If you checked my last article, you know we’ve gone back to the 2021 Modern for now. This is giving us a chance to explore some fun combos that never got to shine. This week, time for another combo that’s like peanut butter and jelly. Time for you to…
Kneel Before Zod! (And Jubilee)
The Team: I got all the bolts.
Ok. The combo I’m playing with is the first thing I thought of when seeing General Zod. He makes my sidekicks bigger and, more importantly, he makes them all bolt-type characters. So of course, I’m using him with Jubilee, who hits my opponent harder the more bolt characters attack. Between the combat damage of the sidekicks plus Jubilee’s damage, I should get to 20 damage easily. Simple, but incredibly effective.
To get to a 6-cost like Zod however, I need some ramp. Enter Villainous Pact for its global (as usual, don’t forget to use the action as a secondary win condition), Dark Phoenix for its global, and my old favorite Grell to use alongside the Dark Phoenix global for some reliable ramp and churn. With all of this put together, I should be able to get to Zod easily.
But that’s not all I need. Seeing as I’m relying on Jubilee, I want to load up on bolt characters. I have Grell, which helps, but I need a way to get more sidekicks. Enter Lita, who can turn any sidekick die I roll into a character that, with Zod and Jubilee active, will pile on the damage. I also put in Typhoid Mary to act as control, while also fuelling Jubilee if necessary.
The last two cards are utility. Intellect Devourer’s global is key if I want to get bolts consistently, and with the amount of bolt energy I should get, Power Surge converts those into damage. Yawning Portal is the last card I put into this team, and I’ll admit I was being silly: if I’m going to field Grell all of the time for his ability, why not make him free to field AND make my characters cheaper? Might be overkill, but it’ll be fun.
So in short: this doesn’t look like an especially well-balanced team (definitely more on the aggressive side), but it will certainly do some damage.
And with all of that said, on to the games!
My first game of the night was against a U Deathbird team relying on Range + Seething Corruption, Anti-Monitor and similar shenanigans. This was a weird one. I couldn’t roll any non-sidekicks early, which allowed me to quickly purchase Zod. But that meant that when I did field characters with Yawning Portal active, I got to buy multiple Jubilees, Lita, etc. My opponent had a lean field due to odd rolls, which made Range less effective. So when 2 Jubilees, Zod, Lita and a couple of sidekicks hit the field, I had more than enough damage to win. (10 ability damage with Jubilees, plus combat damage from characters)
I went up against SR Mary Shazam this game. Definitely a tough team at first glance, but my opponent gave me complementary ramp tools to my own (R Sinister + Wolverine). This led to some funky shenanigans where I ramped a ton on T2 and bought Zod AND Jubilee on T3. As is expected, my opponent had a lean field, focusing on his Mary Shazam. He swung with a 13A Mary, and since his bag was lean (meaning she’d be back anyway), I blocked with Zod and Jubilee together to bring that damage down to 5 (I had a couple of sidekicks I elected not to block with). The next turn, Yawning Portal rolled alongside Zod, Jubilee, Grell, and sidekicks. I ended up attacking with 7 characters and dealing my opponent exactly 20 damage. (6 with Jubilee’s ability, 11 with my characters’ stats since he had 3 blockers, add 3 with pump globals – my Power Surge and his Hulk) I didn’t expect I’d have lethal that turn if I’m honest. Did the math 3 times to make sure I was right. But I won.
My last match of the night was against a Brotherhood team using both Mystique and Magneto to spin my characters to energy. That was a rough matchup for me, as I had a really hard time keeping any characters on the field. It didn’t help that Grell didn’t roll all game; my bag was a bit of a mess. I regularly used Dark Phoenix to KO my Jubilee dice so they wouldn’t be spun to energy. My opponent didn’t have his Sabretooth set up, so his damage output was too low to take advantage of my nonexistent field. And then Lita hit the field on a turn where he was unable to get her off the board. That was the only opening I needed. The next turn, I fielded 2 Jubilees, Zod, and all of the sidekicks I rolled (thanks for the free fielding Yawning Portal!). The 2 Jubilees’ ability dealt 12 damage, and the combat damage did the rest. I won.
-As expected, Jubilee’s damage plus Zod’s buff to my sidekicks led to plenty of damage, enough to reliably win. And the various ramp + discount + setup tools really got the job done.
-The team was, however, completely lacking in removal. I was lucky that my opponents didn’t keep that many characters active.
-Yawning Portal was a “why not?” inclusion at the start, but ended up being a key piece in all of my games. Jubilee and Zod’s fielding costs are…not great. Especially Zod’s. And since Grell wouldn’t roll for most of the night, my bag was a mess, so having the Portal send dice to the bag was really helpful.
-This team is deceptively quick to get to 20 damage. The second Jubilee + Zod is set up, even if you don’t think you have lethal damage, do the math anyway to make sure.
So that’s how it went for me. Now I need to decide what to run next week. Do I try to make a Super-Friends team work? Or do I go Green Lantern with the extra JL characters in Kryptonite Crisis? Maybe I should try to make R Bizarro work in constructed? Decisions decisions…What would you pick?
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