So, tonight I expected Jocestitch to make an appearance, and wanted to build a team with the most iconic card she was associated with: R Spider-Man. Which gave me a perfect excuse to finally use one of the most intriguing cards from the Secret Wars. Time for…
Spidey and the Beast
The Team: This team has some punch!
Format: Modern Age
For this team, I knew I wanted to build around UC Beast. I’ve been interested in that card since I first saw it. The flexibility of giving you removal or bigger stats on demand sounds great on paper, so long as I can use him alongside fist characters. I put two of them in to support Beast: first, Spider-Man. He doesn’t need any introduction – amazing removal, solid stats, reliable and a pain to play against. Because he can remove bigger threats, Spidey’s a great complement to Beast, who can focus on taking out smaller characters like sidekicks. Then, there’s Agent Brand. I needed a 2-cost, and I’m hoping her buff to attack stats, added to Beast, will be able to make a dent in my opponent’s life. And since her fielding costs are really good, that makes it much easier to field her repeatedly to trigger both her effect and Beast’s.
I figured I would experiment with another fun removal engine in case I was up against heavy control. Enter God Emperor Doom and Archnemesis. This one’s simple: God Emperor Doom gives a character die 0 attack, and I use Archnemesis’ global to give the same character 0 defense, KO’ing it instantly. God Emperor Doom costs 6, but the second he hits the field, he becomes painful to deal with. That’s the hope anyhow.
Now, outside of Doom, I’m all-in on fists, so let’s build on that a bit more. First, Black Dwarf. Sidekick fixers are great to make a team reliable, and to give me exactly what I need. And for this team, fists are the name of the game. Then, Wolverine and Arctic Breath give me two globals to make use of my fists for ramp and extra attack, respectively. I’d say the plan is coming together nicely.
The last two cards are utility. First, Gladiator is there to counter Distraction just in case, since I’m relying strongly on combat damage. Then, Apocalypse gives me a way to KO my Brand dice to trigger both her and Beast if the game walls up. I wasn’t planning to use them, but Gladiator and Apocalypse ALSO give me removal options, as if I needed more…
And that’s the team. I had no clue how well it would do, but let’s give it a shot. On to the games!
I started off against Brotherhood control (SR Mystique, R Sabertooth, UC Madelyne Pryor…). I went for R God Emperor Doom early enough, and he hit the field. He wasn’t that relevant but his stats helped. However, it turned into a long game because we were spinning each other’s characters out (me with Spidey, him with Mystique). Eventually I got Beast on the board for one big turn (I really should’ve bought him early) that completely emptied his field, and I swung in for a ludicrous amount of damage for the win. Made me wish I’d gone for Beast early on instead of Doom, to be honest. But a win’s a win, and this was both a win AND a learning experience for future games.
My next game was up against a Goddess of Thunder + Front Line build (essentially, beat the opponent down by forcing them to block the Goddesses, and take advantage of the opponent’s limited board presence with Front Line). Unfortunately for my opponent, I had better removal. As a result, I used Front Line to my advantage. Beast did some work to do removal, but my opponent had the Sinister and Collector globals, which meant a lot of those sidekicks I KO’d came right back. Still, I kept up some pressure with Spidey and Beast (fielding a couple of Agent Brand’s here and there for Beast triggers) and eventually it paid off; my opponent lost her characters and didn’t have sidekicks to bring back from the Used pile. I took advantage and rushed in with Front Line for way too much damage and the win.
My next opponent used R Superman with UC Black Widow for some near-unblockable Overcrush damage. This team kept a leaner field, but they were bigger characters. I got Beast and Spidey early and got the removal pain train going. I dealt 7 damage T3 (lvl 3 Spidey buffed by Beast). I did take 6 damage from a Superman-fueled Widow after, but I had the better board state and bag control (in no small part thanks to Spidey spinning out her non-sidekicks). I kept up the pressure with Beast and Spidey’s removal, using Brand for Beast triggers and attack buffs, and a few turns later I simply had a bigger board state thanks to my removal, and I charged in for the win.
My last game of the night was against R Colossus. This one ended before it could really get going. His Colossus never rolled. He was getting his one character (Lois) off the board with the Apocalypse global so she wouldn’t be spun out, but that just meant his board was empty (a mistake against this team). I did 7 damage on 2 turns in a row (once with a buffed Spidey, once with Brand + sidekick buffed by Beast), and then my opponent missed on all but one character. Spidey was fielded the next turn and spun that character out, letting me deal the remaining damage for the win. T5 win.
-Beast and Spidey worked like a charm together. I was always intrigued by Beast’s flexibility, but seeing it in action is something else. His triggers are pretty much always useful. Using him with Spidey can whittle down the opponent’s characters deceptively quickly…whereas if there are no characters to remove, you just win quicker with Beast.
-God Emperor Doom + Archnemesis, on the other hand, was a disappointment. It hit the field once and had minimal impact, too much work to get one KO. UC Beast and R Spidey was simply a better removal engine for this build.
-I can tell you one card who didn’t disappoint though: Agent Brand! She brings 4 to 5 damage on the board per die (between her stats and her effect), which is pretty good value for a 2-cost character with low fielding costs. Added to Beast’s triggers (very repeatable thanks to her), she’s the unsung hero of this build.
-I did struggle against Sinister to get enough removal due to the sheer number of sidekicks my opponent brought back, but against that build, simply maintaining the pressure was enough to get the board presence to win with Front Line eventually. If my opponent didn’t bring Front Line, not sure how that game would have gone. Maybe I would’ve used Black Dwarf to pierce through with Overcrush?
And there you have it. Four months later, I’m still finding cool tricks from the Secret Wars set. I wonder though; what 2-cost would you use UC Beast with other than Agent Brand?
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