Sorry that this one is coming a week late, but I still wanted to document this one, moreso than the format than the team itself. So why don’t you take a look at this…
The Team: s’teL evah emos nuf
So, the rules for this event were as follows:
- Every card (including BACs) had to come from the same universe (Marvel, DC, WWE, etc.)
- Every card had to be legal in Global Escalation (by which we rely on the official list found here – we also banned Jimmy Lawler so we wouldn’t have everyone running double-Overcrush Becky Lynch)
You’d think I would aim for some high-powered hijinks, and you’d be…not quite right? I wanted to have another crack at running Mystics now that DC has more options in that affiliation. It’s not the first time I do it, and you’ll notice some similarities, but there are some fun twists.
First up, the core strategy relies on Zatanna. She gives Attune to every Mystics character, so most of the team, as you’ll notice, are Mystics. Since I’m not allowed any non-DC characters, for my 2-cost, instead of Wong, I went with Mister Mind (hey, Wizkids didn’t put Worlds 2022 on the Global Escalation ban list yet, so that card’s fair game for now! UPDATE: Wizkids has now added the cards from US Nationals 2022 and Worlds 2022 to the Global Escalation ban list. Mister Mind is now banned in Global Escalation). I hope someone brings some “When attacks” powerhouse I can steal with him, that would be hilarious. I also put in Phantom Stranger, whose ability is a great way to slow down the hyper-aggro strategies that define the Global Escalation format.
While Zatanna’s my main strategy, I wanted a solid backup plan. So here comes Shazam. Giving Range 2 to everything, he makes it very easy for any characters to go right through. And Mary Shazam pairs up nicely with him, though her discount of Shazam will likely be irrelevant due to her fielding costs. Both, of course, have the Mystics affiliation and work well with the overall strategy of the team.
But what you are probably noticing is that I want to use a lot of Attune triggers from Zatanna…so where are the actions? Well, Thrown Brick is an easy pick. Cheap action, free ramp, repeatable Attune triggers…there’s a reason I used it last time I ran Mystics. But let’s not forget my opponent can buy those Bricks pretty quickly too. So next, I put in two non-basic actions: Atlantis and Captain Cold’s Cold Gun. Atlantis is a great way to recover from any missed rolls or ramp up for a big purchase, plus it has built-in ramp on burst faces and on its global ability. As for Cold Gun, it needs no introduction – great removal and blanking that is one of the hardest blanking effects to counter in the game.
The last two cards are Riddler and Resurrection. Riddler is there to stop my opponent using my Thrown Bricks against me. The threat of that damage will hopefully make my opponent uncertain and give me the chance to buy my Bricks myself. Resurrection, on the other hand, is there for ramp and bag fixing (especially early game).
And with all of that said, on to the games!
I started off against a Patch + Avengers ID Card team that doubled stats with R Cable. I was very thankful I’d included Phantom Stranger for this one. He hit the field, and my opponent didn’t really know how to respond to him. Meanwhile, I also got Zatanna, some Bricks, and even a Shazam (my opponent made it easier by bringing Dark Phoenix!). The Bricks did their job wonderfully and chipped away with a lot of damage. I clued in way too late that I should get Mister Mind to copy Cable, but it wasn’t even necessary. The Bricks brought my opponent’s life low enough that a Range-fueled attack (thanks Shazam!) gave me the win eventually.
Next up I faced off against a Guardians team. Now, this team’s win condition was slow, but I have to discuss the ramp engine because it was brilliant. He was using Star-Lord: Black Vortex alongside Mantis: Gift from the Priests of Pama. Then, he would field Cosmo Space Dog: Cosmonaut. In short: he triggered Star-Lord (did damage and Prep’d a die), then triggered Cosmo’s ability to KO himself, then triggered Mantis’ ability and Prep’d one more die. This is per fielded Cosmo. On top of the triggers from fielding his other Guardians. He just Prep’d too many dice after a while, and it was great. Luckily for me, his win condition wasn’t as effective. So when my Mystics started hitting the field and the Attune triggers started, the damage ramped up fast and he couldn’t keep up. Shazam hit the field in this game too, and his Range triggers just wrecked my opponent’s board. Again, the Bricks softened my opponent up, but it’s a Shazam-fueled charge that gave me the win.
Last game was against a Spider-Friends team. Since we’re in Global Escalation, Madame Web made an appearance in this one (great – now I can’t stop his attack and all his stuff comes back thanks to Molecule Man…). That looked like it would be rough, but eventually I managed to get all my Bricks and the ramp just became insane. The damage took a while to get going, but while Shazam didn’t hit the board, this time I didn’t forget I had Mister Mind. So sure enough, with my opponent’s life at 7 and some decent attack stats on the field (thanks Mary Shazam!), I used Mister Mind to copy Madame Web’s ability, tying up all of my opponent’s blockers as I charged in for the win.
-This build was just gross. From past experience, I knew the Zatanna/Mystics/Brick engine could work, but the addition of Mister Mind and Shazam really gave this team more versatility and ways to respond to opposing threats.
-This team was helped by the fact that my opponents left my Bricks alone. Not sure if they were afraid of Riddler or just wanted to use their own ramp, but it certainly worked in my favor.
-I thought I’d have a hard time getting to Shazam, but after a while, between Bricks, Resurrection and the Atlantis global (didn’t use the action all night, but that global was handy), you can get enough ramp to get there if you miss the Bricks (or if the opponent brings Dark Phoenix).
-I underestimated R Mister Mind. There, I said it. He’s good, really good, and that stolen Madame Web trigger was just gross in Game 3.
-Cold Gun was a good backup plan to deal with specific threats, but it never became necessary. My opponents didn’t set up any control that required me to set that up. Phantom Stranger, on the other hand, was amazing since some teams were just not ready for him.
Overall, this team worked great, and we enjoyed the format. We’ll probably stick to this idea for a while. What would you build with this rule set?
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