Ever have a week where you just want to go back to an old idea and make it better? That was me this week. While we didn’t make the whole “Single set” format mandatory, I stuck with it, and went back to an old concept from the BAT set. I guess I can sympathize with Batman having to stay up at night. What can I say? Looking after a 3-week old, I guess I turned into a bit of a…
The Team: This should Hush any critics.
Format: Casual Golden Age (Single Set recommended)
First, let’s go over the ramp engine. Hush and Catwoman are a fun ramp engine I used before. Let me break it down quick: Hush is KO’d and gives me extra dice if I have a Bat-Family character. Enter Catwoman, who can flip to her Bat-Family side to KO Hush, and if I want Hush to stick around? Just flip Catwoman to her Villain side and Hush is safe.
And this time, I did something I avoided before: I also threw in C Harley Quinn for ramp. So let me break this down: I field Hush, Prep a die thanks to Harley, then Prep a die thanks to Hush’s own ability and KO Hush. Field one die, 3 enter my Prep. That’s not busted at all…
Next up, a team can’t win with ramp alone. How do I win? Well, I went with Owlman and Batman. Batman serves as removal and as a big body, and Owlman makes my villains bigger (including all those Hush’s I ramp with!).
Next up, I threw in some complementary pieces. First, Joker: on his Villain side, he’s unblockable if there aren’t villains on the other side. Seeing as I will buff him with Owlman, that can get some interesting damage in. Then, there’s Huntress, who does some nifty removal with good stats for her cost.
The rest of the team is utility: Outsider is self-explanatory, as I can buff my villains pretty effectively. Then, Resurrection is there to establish some ramp, churn, and early game bag control. And the last piece: Mr. Freeze. I wanted to see if I could get Freeze’s Stun tokens to become relevant.
And with that said, on to the games!
I started off the evening against a Yu-Gi-Oh! team based around U Obelisk and Goblin Attack Force’s global. That could’ve gotten out of control in a hurry. Especially since I literally couldn’t buy anything on turn 1 (sidekick, mask, mask after reroll). My opponent went for Morphing Jars in the hopes of ramping up to Obelisk, but never quite had enough energy, so she went for her backup plan: R Injection Fairy Lily. I quickly recovered after my horrible first turn and started gathering Hush dice after getting Catwoman, as well as getting Harley for massive ramp. Since my opponent was relying on Lily for damage, she had a leaner field than she’d have liked. So when my ramp engine got crazy and I got Owlman, I just had too many attacking character dice, so I charged in repeatedly and eventually won.
And after playing against Yu-Gi-Oh!…another Yu-Gi-Oh! team. Same basic strategy, but some different supporting pieces (e.g. C Baby Dragon as another low-cost bruiser alongside Morphing Jar). This one went a lot smoother for me, as I got the ramp engine going quickly. And as a result, I started setting up to attack pretty quickly. Knowing what happened last round, my opponent tried keeping a bigger board presence. But that had a drawback: when I started attacking with Hush and Owlman, my opponent lost his characters, and had to keep paying his fielding costs to get them back out (on top of having to roll character faces). Eventually, Batman showed up to play, and as a result, removed enough characters that I could swing in for the win.
The following match was against an Infinity Gauntlet-based team. She saw Batman, and UC Angela was her first purchase (not that I blame her). This was an interesting game; she actually had a villain on her team (C Kang), so even if I’d gotten Angela out of the way, Batman would not have been a thorough board wipe. And then there’s the fact that she had high-toughness characters (Dr Strange). So I went for a more aggressive strategy; I didn’t wait for everything to be clean and ready for one big strike. I bought Hush, Harley, Owlman, and attacked wherever I could, aiming to sneak attackers past her blockers and wear her down. And near the end, I used her Dr Strange global to force Angela out of the Field…and then I fielded Batman. Who removed enough characters that I got enough damage through for the win. That game was a bit more of a puzzle, but it worked out.
My last game was against a Mighty Thor team, featuring the Warriors Three. He brought me plenty of ramp (Heimdall, Investigation, two sidekick fixers), on top of my own ramp, so this got ludicrous in a hurry. But on the flip side, he was using C Nick Fury, which gave him free fielding when I had a villain active…yeah, that’s no fun for me. We were both racing to our win conditions, and since I had more ramp, I had the advantage. Despite that, I barely got Batman (with Owlman + all 4 of my Hush dice) on the field before he got his Volstagg on the table (which would’ve likely given him the game). My closest game of the evening, without a doubt.
-When you see this team, it’s crazy to think that the whole thing comes from just one set (except for Catwoman, but you can easily swap her for a version from within the set). There is some serious synergy and power here.
-With Hush and Harley together, I ran out of dice to draw more than once. That amount of ramp is just silly.
-That ramp had a big benefit though: I was able to purchase both Owlman and Batman reliably. Generally, it’s not a good idea to force yourself to purchase multiple 5+ cost characters at full price. But with this ramp engine, it just worked. The fact that my ramp engine turned into my win condition when Owlman got out there certainly didn’t hurt.
-I’m disappointed Joker and Freeze never got out to play, but it goes back to an age old problem: they both annoy the opponent, but they don’t win you the game as quick as the rest of the team.
-Note to self: don’t forget your Catwoman triggers. It’s easy to lose track when you switch between versions. I forgot her trigger at least twice this evening.
-Huntress is good, but using her with Owlman backfired a bit: since her D gets buffed, it was hard to get her KO’d to trigger her “When fielded” effect more than once.
-Before anyone asks: I purposefully avoided using C Firefly. He could’ve been a nasty win condition in his own right, but I avoided using him to tone down the team just a bit. Turns out the team didn’t really need him anyway.
So overall, that team was maybe a BIT too strong for the setting. I’ll go for something a bit more toned down next week, promise.