For my first “What Have You Played” article in a while, I couldn’t run Dark Phoenix Saga just yet. So I just decided to be silly this time around. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be…
So there is one word you’re going to see a lot in this team: “Rush”. The short version: if you draw a die with “Rush” with the kind of dice it can “rush” with, you get to draw more dice, much like “Swarm”.
And with different characters with “Rush”, who each trigger off each other, the objective is to try to draw way, way too many dice and “rush” in for the win. (Pun absolutely intended)
So let’s break this down: Gamora and Groot trigger off of drawing Bolt dice (Rocket Raccoon). Rocket triggers off of Shield dice (Groot and Iron Man). Iron Man triggers off of Fist dice (Gamora and Star-Lord). And finally, Star-Lord triggers off of every other Guardians die.
For example, if I initially draw Star-Lord, Iron Man, Rocket and Gamora, Gamora triggers once (Rocket), Rocket triggers once (Iron Man), Iron Man triggers twice (Gamora and Star-Lord), and Star-Lord triggers 3 times (all 3 other dice are Guardians)…so I draw 7 more dice. And if I draw any more dice to trigger rush among those, I get to draw even more!
Unreliable? Yes. Silly? Absolutely! But quite fun.
Before going further, I want to highlight that two of the Rush characters have abilities beyond just the “Rush” keyword. First, Iron Man. He can spin level 1 characters (e.g. sidekicks) down to energy. Not the most reliable removal, but since I want to use the character anyway, nice bonus! Star-Lord also gives us a fun ability on Energize, where I give two characters “Call Out”, which is terrific to tie up blockers with my weaker characters as the stronger ones sneak through.
Now, as I said, Rush isn’t terribly reliable, so I did use some tools to try and improve the team’s reliability. Groot himself has a very useful global for this. Since my Rush characters are all Guardians, if I field one, I get to pay a Shield to put any of them from the Used Pile to my bag. Perfect to include that one die to trigger someone’s Rush! …Or more than one die, even. Groot’s global doesn’t say “Once per turn”, after all!
Another consistency tool I included is Yawning Portal. Not only do I get to discount my purchases, but I get to put dice in my bag, which is perfect to trigger Rush! Oh, and there’s the fact that I get to field characters for free, which is important when Iron Man, Gamora and Star-Lord all have really bad fielding costs. This Portal is a must for this type of team.
Now, this is by no means a control team, but I did want to put something to slow my opponents down. Enter Angela; she’s a Guardian herself, and a bolt character (meaning she triggers Gamora, Groot and Star-Lord’s Rush effects). Plus, she shuts down Drax, Typhoid Mary, Mimic, and a number of other cards.
Now, since I want to draw my characters, my number one threat is, well, my sidekicks! I included two cards to help with this. First, Collector. The global is the main attraction, as I get sidekicks out of my Used Pile and stop myself from drawing them. Plus, if I field a sidekick with Collector while Yawning Portal is active, I get to further discount my character purchases. Great utility. The second card I put in was Walk with Elias, also for the global. Getting two sidekicks out of my Used Pile before a crucial draw could really help by making my bag leaner.
And for the last spot on my team, I wanted some kind of mass removal. After all, I didn’t think too much about my win condition, but I guess I’m trying to field tons of characters and go wide. So here’s Crowd Fighting. Dealing up to 3 damage to all opposing characters should thin out my opponent’s field enough to allow me to make a serious dent in their life points.
So my plan is to draw tons of dice, field characters that generally have little to no abilities, and win with stats. Not the fanciest way to win, but sure, why not?
And with all of that said, on to the games!
My first opponent built around Vajra: Blackstaff of Waterdeep, and used basic actions (such as Thrown Brick) to trigger her Spark ability and add Experience counters to Jamilah: Shipwrecked on Chult (who has both Experience and Overcrush). Interesting dynamic for sure! I didn’t end up buying Yawning Portal because I couldn’t get bolts for most of the game. However, I did buy some Thrown Bricks, which allowed me to thin out my bag. Eventually, that thin bag paid off and Rush started to work its magic. One turn, I ended up rolling around 15 dice because of Rush. With the amount of characters I fielded, and with Iron Man providing timely removal, I simply kept up the pressure until my opponent simply could not get enough blockers on the field. So I continued to go wide and eventually won.
Next up, an interesting mix of different general utility cards. Rare Spider-Man, the Grey Hunter with Deadly, some Overcrush, Dreadnaught, a Typhoid Mary…not a straightforward focused team, made it a bit hard to nail down. I just went about my business, taking a fair bit of damage early on as I tried to set up Rush. Iron Man again came up big as timely removal, and Collector allowed my opponent to survive longer than he should have when I did get his characters off the field. But going wide and battering down my opponent’s life little by little paid off: on turns, on my last turn, I managed to deal just enough damage to win.
My last match of the night was against a 4-cost Becky team (fuelled by Parasite) that threw in a couple of Golden tools to help out. He relied on Grey Hunter (the one that damages all characters when KO’d), used alongside the Nihiloor global to KO him at will, combo’d with the Staff of the Forgotten One to KO all of my characters. I made this game closer than it should’ve been, but ultimately my issue was that I bought too many dice (surprise…). My bag was an absolute mess, and Rush’s weakness (unreliability) really showed in this game. Never drew the right Guardians to trigger a huge draw. But I could still purchase and field enough characters to give him some trouble and prevent too much Becky damage from going through. But eventually, he got his combo to fire off and swung into an empty field. He won.
-Yes, I built this entire team as a joke and a gimmick. No, I don’t regret one moment of it.
-With that said, for a joke team, it was surprisingly effective! Unreliable as expected, but when it fired off, it was quite spectacular!
-Unfortunately, my bag did end up getting clogged with sidekicks at times. Walk with Elias in particular didn’t work well, as I often had bag refills at a bad time (or I didn’t have the energy to trigger it when I should’ve). And Collector was even worse; I was giving them the tool to add blockers, which was a horrible bit of anti-synergy. Xanathar would’ve been a far better fit. Or even Hela from Infinity Gauntlet for that matter!
-This team is hurt when buying my opponents’ ramp. Drawing from my bag, I risked messing up my Rush triggers. There are times I actively hurt my chances of winning by using a Thrown Brick to ramp! Definitely something to watch out for if you intend to run this.
-If Rush teams are too prevalent in your meta, definitely look at using the common Madelyne Pryor from the recent Dark Phoenix Saga set. An absolutely excellent counter to Rush.
And there you have it. This team might have been good for laughs, but its potential for winning was no joke. Next week, we may be doing a draft, so I’m still evaluating what kind of article to write. Stay tuned for more info.
So did you ever run Rush teams? How did it work out for you? Let us know in the comments below, on our Socials (@dmNorthTV), or join the conversation on our Discord.