WHYP: Sinister Designs

If you’ve known me for long enough, you likely heard me say that I love when KO’d effects. So when Secret Wars introduced not one, but two amazing when KO’d effects, you just know I had…

Sinister Designs

The Team:  One way or another, your stuff is getting KO’d.

This team is just an excuse to try and make Terrax as busted as possible. The core I built around is, of course, Terrax himself, who deals damage whenever a character I control is KO’d. This, by itself, means a good block allows me to KO 2 characters for 1 of mine. Then, there’s Deathbird. Whenever I happen to KO a big enough character, Deathbird deals 3 damage to my opponent. And last but not least, Sinister is the oil that makes this engine go. Sinister has a “When KO’d” ability of his own, so if I KO Sinister, I get to trigger Sinister AND Terrax, KO’ing two characters. If Sinister blocks and KO’s something, I can get 3 KO’s for one character!

So if my plan is to KO stuff, let’s pile it on. I put in Dark Phoenix to easily KO Sinister on demand (his global is good but costs 2 energy) and to make it easier to purchase my high costs. Plus, even if I KO someone other than Sinister, I still trigger Terrax and get some removal. I also put Spider-Gwen to do more KO’s and give me more bolts to use Dark Phoenix with. And last, but certainly not least, I put in Anti-Monitor as yet another way to trigger KO’s and trigger Terrax and/or removal. This may seem like it’s too much…and…well…it kind of is. But if I’m up against heavy control, I want multiple backup plans. Plus, having so many removal tools in this team will allow me to try different combinations and see what works best together.

For this team to work well, I need tools to support it. A big one is Orion. He serves two purposes. First, he’s a big body that gives me damage to help me win once I empty my opponent’s board. Second, his global can allow me to make my characters bigger…or my opponent’s. If I spin my opponent’s characters up, they can get in Deathbird range to hurt my opponent when I KO them.

The rest of the team is utility. Lois Lane helps me deal with my (horrendous) fielding costs, and she’s a 2-cost, which this team needs. I don’t like that the global sort of works against me, but I’m dealing so much damage that if my opponent stops one or two with that global, it should not be a huge hindrance.

Then, there’s Invulnerability, primarily there for its global, though the action can really be fun when used alongside Anti-Monitor (KO stuff with Anti-Monitor and it all comes right back!).

And last but not least, Villainous Pact is there to give me a Prep global, though I have to be careful when using it with Dark Phoenix. The action is quite handy here though, as, if you haven’t noticed, Terrax, Sinister and Deathbird are all villains. As a result, the action is relatively one-sided if I have to go there (but with the amount of removal on this team, hopefully I won’t need to go there).

Ok, that was a handful to explain. Now, on to the games!

Game 1:

My first game was against a Fantastic 4 team based around R Molecule Man, with R Thing there to buff stats, C Invisible Woman there as a cheap bruiser, and SR Mr Fantastic is the ramp engine. My opponent brought Investigation however, and I went first, so I took advantage. My opponent kept fielding Invisible Woman dice, and those are big enough to trigger Deathbird. So between her Invisible Woman global, UC Spider-Gwen, R Terrax and UC Sinister, they got KO’d a lot. This triggered Deathbird repeatedly and brought my opponent’s life points down low enough that I just swung in for the win before my opponent could set up her win condition. Thanks Terrax!


Game 2:

Next up, I faced a Goddess of Thunder team (the 2-cost) using Agent Brand to give her Fast and make her hard to get rid of. Hard matchup for him, since I don’t need to KO his characters with damage. UC Sinister did a lot of work in this one. I got him out early as a threat, which made it really hard for my opponent to attack. He got Typhoid Mary but couldn’t stop all of my removal since I varied it up. He blanked Deathbird to try and limit damage to him. But this meant my removal could just go nuts. I repeatedly used UC Sinister, KO’d him on my opponent’s turn to get rid of his most dangerous stuff. (Thanks Lois Lane for the free fielding!) The game stalled out a bit because of my removal, and eventually I got Anti-Monitor, Terrax and Orion. I then charged in with Anti-Monitor, used him to empty my opponent’s board and Terrax to KO the rest, and dealt lethal damage in one fell swoop (25 damage with just 4 character dice!). I won.


Game 3:

My last game was against Spider-Friends. He was using SR Molecule Man, hoping to build an army of Spider-Friends to charge in with. He was actually sniping off Terrax with Spider-Gwen and Dazzler together (pretty impressive!). I kept getting his characters off the board with the rest of my removal though. It was a constant tug of war. Plus, my Deathbird didn’t want to hit the field at first, so I couldn’t do damage to him that way.

Eventually, Deathbird did hit the field. I attacked with Anti-Monitor and KO’d 3 characters, then used my 3 Terrax triggers to empty the rest of his board. Between Deathbird triggers and combat damage, I ended up dealing exactly 20 damage and won. My closest game of the night.



-Terrax is absolutely disgusting as is, but with UC Sinister on top? None of my opponents could keep much of a board, and when they tried, the threat of Deathbird damage was big enough to give them pause. Most characters that hit the field cost 4 or less, so Sinister pretty much always has a target. And if he doesn’t just use his attack stats to deal damage. It’s win-win.

-I thought Anti-Monitor would be “win more”…but he actually wasn’t? Two of my games were won thanks to Anti-Monitor attacking alongside Terrax. I’m not claiming this was optimized, but it was certainly effective at what it did. I never fired off Anti-Monitor and Invulnerability together though.

-Deathbird was good as a threat (and a magnet for control), but I think buying more Orion dice would have won just as quickly, as my opponents simply didn’t have a board by the time I was done with them. Maybe Deathbird could have become UC Molecule Man (for the global) and SR Lois Lane could’ve been swapped out for another 2-cost? But then I would depend solely on combat damage, which is not that bad because Anti-Monitor, Orion and Terrax (even Sinister to a lesser degree) all have pretty beefy stats. Just a thought.

In short: this team worked well, almost too well. Terrax is the new king of KO shenanigans and I love it. What would you try to use with him?

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