In week 3 of our Single Set format, I’m trying to stick to old-school shenanigans. When I chose the AOU set, I thought I’d just build an Avengers Team with Teamwatch, but I ended up running a SR that took me…
To Infinity…And Beyond!
The Team: That Thanos was infinitely entertaining.
So there are two different teams that kind of melded into one here. Originally, I wanted just to build a Teamwatch Avengers team. So Black Widow, Hawkeye and Starhawk were the main pieces of that strategy. Hawkeye thins out blockers, Widow becomes harder to block (especially if you take out any sidekicks with Hawkeye), and Starhawk…just makes everyone into a bigger threat. Widow’s weak attack stat suddenly becomes 3-4 per die, making her ability that much more relevant.
But eventually, while adding other Avengers, I saw Iron Man’s global…and then I got an idea. I ran the SR Thanos to make my sidekicks (or even Widows!) into villains after they’re unblocked, allowing me to put Infinity counters on Thanos and make him stupidly cheap. That eventually became my primary win condition.
I threw in cards to complement both the Teamwatch and Thanos strategies. First, I threw in Wasp and Captain America. They’re both Avengers, and thus they can both trigger Teamwatch. They also have good control abilities, and Wasp’s global can take out a sidekick in a pinch (or even deal the last points of damage to my opponent).
And to complement Thanos, I threw in Ultron Drone for the global. Forcing my opponent into making bad blocking choices, when I use an Overcrushing character, is always the right choice. And to be fair, it can help my Teamwatch strategy too; you have to use two characters to block Widow, so if one of them’s tied up blocking someone else, that could make the difference. Plus, that global is not limited to once per turn…if I have enough fists, of course.
And now, my basic actions. To be honest, AOU’s got relatively slim pickings here. I went for Hulk Out (hoping to use it on Starhawk, as his Teamwatch bonus can add up) and Nasty Plot (since that is literally the best ramp card in the entire set…doesn’t say much).
And with all of that said, on to the games!
I got the bye on round one. Not much to say.
I went up against the same guy as last week (who has an exemption on the team-building rules) and his 8-cost Thanos team. I went for Widows early to get plenty of masks, kept some bag control by using his ramp+churn (Pact, Bricks) and started attacking with some sidekicks (made into Villains with Iron Man’s global). He tried to slow me down with Drax, but his Doctor Strange global gave me an easy way to get Drax off the board. After a few sidekicks, Thanos had 4 Infinity Counters and cost me 2 per die (!!!). Started piling up some Thanos dice and charged in. With battering rams this large, I won within a few turns. It was…inevitable.
Next up, another face off against the UXM Villains team from last week. I’ll be honest: I could’ve been real nasty and bought Wasp since she had PXG (1 damage per PXG trigger really adds up!). I didn’t. But I did buy Captain America, which was a real pain for her, seeing as she relies on burn damage. I attacked with more sidekicks than she could block, and turned the unblocked characters into villains. Soon enough, Thanos had 4 infinity counters and cost 2 to purchase (again!). I bought 3 Thanos dice and fielded them all within the next couple of turns (thanks to PXG, otherwise there’s no way I could’ve afforded those fielding costs!). She didn’t have enough characters to stop me, so I won.
And for my last match, time to face off against a WWE team with the 4-cost Becky Lynch. That is as painful as it sounds. I couldn’t rely on ramping up to Thanos. Plus, since my opponent brought the Becky Lynch global, I needed to go for more, cheaper dice I could get to quickly. So I went for Widow+Starhawk as my win condition this time. The fun thing: my opponent would rarely have more than 2 characters active. So if you choose between blocking a 9/9 Starhawk (5A with 2 Teamwatch triggers) or double-blocking a 4A Widow (buffed by Starhawk)…the choice is pretty easy. So that’s what I relied on. On two occasions, I got 8 damage out of two 4A Widows. That allowed me to keep up with the Becky damage and eventually, by using some Ultron Drone shenanigans (forcing a blocker on my sidekicks), I got my damage in and barely outpaced my opponent for the win. No Thanos, no problem!
-That was the first time I remember running the SR Thanos. Being able to buy 2-cost Thanos dice is just silly. Iron Man’s global was the key though; making sidekicks into villains was the reason this worked. Otherwise, the discount would’ve been way too slow if I had waited on my non-sidekicks to deal damage.
-It was also my first time running that Teamwatch Widow. She worked quite well tonight, and was a big reason I won in round 4. However, don’t rely on her attack stats to carry you to victory. You need a buff like Starhawk to make her worthwhile.
-Speaking of Starhawk, here’s a fun tidbit that I realized after building the team: if you make Starhawk into a villain, then field Thanos, that will trigger the Teamwatch ability. As if Thanos needs to be even more overkill in this team. This never came up tonight, but could’ve been a fun curveball to throw at my opponent.
-My BACs were completely inconsequential. My opponents brought me better ramp than what I ran, and I always preferred purchasing Widow over Hulk Out. To be honest, looking at the lineup of BACs in AOU, I can’t think of better choices.
-I didn’t use Hawkeye all evening either. Wasp was just far more tempting as a 3-cost. But that was probably my mistake; Hawkeye’s removal could’ve been quite relevant, especially when I was relying on Widow+Starhawk to win. Wasp is annoying, but I often did overkill levels of damage at the end of a match anyhow, so I should’ve gone for Hawkeye.
-I wish I had a cheap fist character to make better use of Ultron Drone’s global. Paying 2-fist per targeted character more than once per turn is near-impossible otherwise.
So overall, the team had 2 goals, and did both decently well. But Thanos was the core of this team, hands down. Outside of one round, the Avengers were a secondary strategy at best. Still, quite a bit of fun in this one.
This was the last week where we make it mandatory to run this format; we’ll formally return to casual golden age next week, but I might stick to single set teams for a while anyhow; until we get more DM sets, let’s enjoy some janky fun, shall we?