WHYP: Quake-ing in Fear

As you probably noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a winning streak recently in our legacy league. So I decided to tone it down a bit, but still bring something strong enough that it should leave my opponents…

Quake-ing in Fear

The Team:  That combo should lead my opponents with a…Staff shortage.

The concept behind this team is inherently simple: Use the Staff, then attack with Green Lantern and Daisy Johnson (aka “Quake” – not sure why Wizkids didn’t just use that name), triggering their “When Attacks” abilities in that order. Deal 1 damage to everything and my opponent’s characters are KO’d while mine charge in, where even my sidekicks survive thanks to Green Lantern’s buff, which will hopefully give me enough stats to win.

But what if I can’t rely on my combat damage to win? Then let’s bring non-combat damage as a backup plan. Hulk is a great backup plan when used with Daisy, as each of my characters can then trigger Hulk and cause my opponent to take 2 damage (which can get out of control in a hurry). However, if I don’t have Green Lantern, can my weaker characters survive Daisy? They can, if I use Agent Brand. That +1D buff across the board is easy to set up and allows me to maintain board presence if I go “Daisy + Hulk”, bypassing what was a weak point of that strategy. Another part of the backup plan is to use Feedback – 1 damage to my opponent per KO’d die on top of Hulk’s damage can escalate very quickly.

But whether I’m going with Hulk or Green Lantern, either way I am going for a 6-cost, so I need ramp. Enter Investigative Journalism and Wolverine (early Wolverine global to purchase the Journalism T2 ideally). With those two together, I should have sufficient ramp and churn (churn in particular is important if I rely on the Staff) to get my big guns and keep my bag relatively under control.

With everything I have so far, however, the only removal I have is during the Attack Step. Let’s fix that. First up, Mimic. He needs no introduction. Field him and your target is gone – the only question is if Mimic becomes a copy of it. And then there’s Hawkeye. He’s amusing to use with the Staff – I can split the damage to 1 per character and do a partial board wipe, neutralizing any control that might stop my strategy from firing off during the Attack Step. Don’t forget the Hulk global here – his damage is equal to his attack, so if that’s more helpful, you can increase Hawkeye’s to KO more characters.

And with all of that said, on to the games!

Game 1:

I started off against Manshoon + Seething Corruption (similar concept, different execution). My lower purchase costs helped here. I got the Journalism T2 to get my ramp and churn going. Really, this was a race to set up enough damage on the board. He needed two 4 costs, I needed whereas I needed two 3-costs, so I had the easier set up. I got my engine set up (including picking up the Lantern), emptied his board, and charged in for enough damage to win.

1-0

Game 2:

Next up, I was against Tsarina and other Avengers. He played extremely aggressive. While I was buying my pieces (got an early Journalism again), he was chipping away at my life points effectively. I mitigated his damage the best I could, but when someone buys all 4 Tsarina dice, damage output was quite high. It didn’t help that I completely whiffed on a key turn (missed all my characters AND the Journalism) and messed up my board and my bag. He had me down to 6 life by the time I could finally set up Staff with Hawkeye (didn’t have a shield to trigger Daisy’s ability). I emptied his board, charged in, and thanks to rolling several sidekicks I had EXACTLY 20 damage for the win. That was way, way to close for comfort (I was his only loss of the night).

2-0

Game 3:

My next opponent was SR Ultraman. This was a bit of a funky one. She simply couldn’t get Ultraman purchased early enough (on the perfect turn to get him, she had 5 energy, just one short!). I again went for Journalism T2, and this time I went for Hawkeye in the early game to control her board a bit and make her pay for her fielding costs (especially Boom Boom’s). I had the “economy” advantage if you will, and I simply got my engine set up before she could get her strategy off the ground. By the time Ultraman was purchased he never had the time to hit the field. I eventually wiped her board with Daisy+Staff and charged in for 31 damage. I won.

3-0

Game 4: 

I then went up against Jocasta.This was my worst matchup of the night. Because she uses the Ultron Drone global, I knew that Green Lantern or Hulk being on the field could wreck me easily. My opponent, of course, knew that too. So while we both took our time to set up, I literally had to skip fielding Green Lantern one turn. My opponent forced my weaker characters to block, doubling the damage dealt to Jocasta with SP//DR. I did see one opening where I could use Hawkeye to damage Jocasta ahead of time and charge, dealing a bunch of damage. Unfortunately, that meant Green Lantern was still active, so I had to hope my opponent would miss something (either not have 2 fists, or not rolling Jocasta and/or SP//DR). Of course, that didn’t happen. My opponent rolled everything she needed and dealt me 10 Jocasta damage, bringing me down to 1 life. Technically I had no way to win now – I could, at best, play for a tie (since Jocasta’s redirect means the damage I would deal is simultaneous to the one she’d redirect). And I could have gotten a tie if Hawkeye rolled the next turn (could’ve KO’d everything except Jocasta, then charged in). However, he didn’t. My opponent won this one. I knew it was a rough matchup – honestly, it was closer than I expected.

3-1

Game 5:

Yes, you read that right. We played our games so quick we had the time for a 5th round tonight! And so, time to go up against Merlyn + Firestorm bolts galore. This matchup was a bit annoying as he used Scarlet Witch, which directly countered both Staff and the Journalism. I got them anyway, especially to get ramp in the early game. Once the Witch hit the board, however, it greatly affected my strategy, so I went aggressive. I used Hawkeye (buffed by the Hulk global, thanks to Staff that rolled double fist), KO’d almost all of his characters, and dealt 19 damage. However, it left my board empty. The next turn, my opponent had a lucky draw and almost, ALMOST had enough damage on the board to outright win (thanks to Firestorm’s ability softening me up) – if he had literally one more energy or one less fielding cost, he had it. But he didn’t. The next turn, I rolled Hawkeye and the Staff, emptied his board, and attacked with the one other character I rolled (Lantern) for the win. Again, a close, close win.

4-1

So after all of this, me and the Avengers player were tied for first, with identical Strength of Schedule. We determined the winner of the event at random (for legacy league purposes), and he won! A lot of us cheered loudly at finally seeing Tsarina banned (and that R Spider-Woman – she can be quite a pain).

Post-Mortem:

-Would Bard, Barry Allen, or even SR Invisible Woman have done better than Green Lantern? Yes, absolutely. But I didn’t want to go there. As it is, the team was well-balanced overall with the others, so no regret on not going harder. But even with Green Lantern, the damage output was still solid and dealt lethal damage more often than not.

-One major blind spot of this strategy is that you need a lot, and I mean a LOT of characters to be active to win (since Green Lantern’s buff isn’t that big), so it’s slow. Against quick, aggro builds, it was not easy to hold them at bay long enough to win.

-While Daisy was my #1 plan and worked well, that Hawkeye did a LOT of work for me, much more than I expected – I knew he was really good, but I had forgotten just how good. Since my team didn’t get banned, don’t be surprised if I come back to that one.

-Agent Brand was really handy. Making my characters a bit harder to KO helped me tremendously to keep a board presence, which was important in most matches.

-I never really went for Hulk as a win condition (bought once in Game 2, but never hit the field), but that global was a lifesaver and the threat of Hulk was in itself quite worthwhile.

So there you have it. Not my best build, but it was a lot of fun, and someone else’s team is banned for once. Huzzah! Good riddance Tsarina. Now if only Jocasta would get banned too…should I put a Jocasta in my next team just to troll the Jocasta player?

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