WHYP: TTTD Diversity Champion*

JackalopeSpam here to recap my process for the the Two Team Takedown: Diversity that just finished. For this tournament each player had to create two teams under the following guidelines.

  • No two cards across both teams could share the same title.
  • No two cards across both teams could share the same affiliation, and every non-basic action card needed at least one affiliation.

Otherwise the entire Golden Age card pool was available, sans a few specific cards. Read all about the format here. As always it was a great tournament with a lot of great teams and players. Somehow I managed to come out on top for this one, so let’s take a look at the teams.

Team A:

The Team:  Ready, Aim, Fire!

My usual playstyle is direct damage, because who really needs to use the attack step anyways? That’s precisely the aim for this team with some amazing potential. All of the damage comes from two cards, Hulk and Human Torch.

With both in the field you can field a character to activate Human Torch which will deal 1 damage the the opponent and one damage to a character. Note that it doesn’t need to be an opposing character, so you can damage your own character to activate Hulk! The real threat is when you field a sidekick you start the chain of events. Fielding the sidekick will activate Human Torch dealing 1 damage to the opponent and one damage to a character. Choosing your own sidekick means Hulk will activate and deal 2 damage to the opponent. The real treat is that the sidekick will be KO’d, which means you can field a Plague Marine at level 2. This repeats Human Torch’s ability for another 1 damage to the opponent and one to a character. Once again picking your own character you can repeat Hulk’s 2 damage. All together that’s 6 damage directly to the opponent just from fielding a sidekick. Even better, the level 2 Plague Marine will be KO’d as well and sets it up for another cycle of damage. Note its ability allows it to be fielded from the Prep Area or the Used Pile.

With the Rube Goldberg machine gun of damage in place, it’s on to utility. First, the team obviously needs a sidekick fielding global. That’s where Professor X comes in, which sadly removes the X-Men affiliation from all of my other cards. That’s a hard price to pay, but the global is essential. There’s also the question of getting a 6-cost Hulk and 4-cost Human Torch in the field, where is where another hard choice was made for the Dark Phoenix global, losing the Villain Affiliation. However, this global is amazing in conjunction with Plague Marine.

A brief pause for the beauty of using Dark Phoenix with Plague Marine and amazing early turn setup. Turn 1 you want to purchase a Plague Marine and Field a sidekick (use Professor X global, as needed). On turn 2 you can use the Dark Phoenix global to KO the sidekick, which fields the Plague Marine. Then you can use the global again on the Plague Marine for a total discount of 4 energy on your purchase this turn! This setup allowed me to consistently purchase Hulk on turn 2, and, even better, on turn 3 you’ve got a sidekick and Plague Marine to roll as well as your draw from the bag!

Back to the rest of the team… The team has a strong pair of win conditions and tremendous ramp in just 5 card slots. To fill out the rest of the team we have the following utility.

  • Magic Missile, use the global on your characters to activate Hulk or the opponent’s for removal. Even better if you ping an opposing sidekick to field a Plague Marine!
  • Typhoid Mary, blank problems on the opponent’s team.
  • Mera, use the global to reduce early damage from aggro. Note it also gets around most global protection, like Gladiator’s global since it targets the damage and not the character die.
  • Resurrection, ramp global is for ramp. Just don’t use it turn 1 or your Plague Marine will be in the bag on turn 2!
  • Black Widow, more removal and a cheap mask for the OG PxG.

In that list, I’d only consider Magic Missile as essential. It’s good removal for opposing characters and helps trigger Hulk’s ability. It’s just for the global though.

Team A Post-Mortem:

This team is ridiculous when it works. The damage starts flying in from everywhere. You field a character, that’s damage. They attack and you block, that’s damage. With so much direct damage potential, the opponent might even forget about Hulk’s beefy stats and +attack global. So you can also attack, and that’s damage! Really there wasn’t a reason to not attack with Plague Marines. If unblocked that’s 2 damage, blocked and Hulk will deal damage, and in either case they’ll likely be in Used or Prep where a KO’d sidekick brings them back for… you guessed it, more damage! Remember, once it’s going that’s 6 damage per sidekick you field. You could even do it on the opponent’s turn with a single mask and the Professor X global!

That much damage potential is actually where things got rough. This team only lost to teams using Hulk: Green Goliath. Once the other Hulk was in the field all the damage potential turned into a board wipe. Sure you’d get to throw some damage back from your own Hulk, but then she was crushed right back. You might be thinking, why not purchase Typhoid Mary to shut down the Goliath? It’s a good thought, but the teams also had Shriek to fix it. Outside of the Battle of Hulks, the team was undefeated.

Team B:

The Team: Nob, Ork Nob

As I mentioned, I usually tend to play direct damage teams. However, my typical strategy for a TTTD tournament is to pair a direct damage team with a team focusing on combat damage. It’s hard to plan a team that can shut down both types of damage, so this tends to make a better rematch in the best of 3 format. Now that I’m forcing myself to use the attack step, which just feels icky, it’s time to use it in style. So why not go for an all out Alpha Strike to end the game in one turn?

Enter my favorite heavy hitter, the Ork Nob. I’ve used this card plenty of times before and it can deal some impressive damage. (Watch here for an old version that went all out) This team is very inspired by my previous versions, but this is where I struggled with the Diversity Format. Usually I’d pair it was Professor X, Clayface, Parallax, and (most important) Ork Boy. Having already used the X-Men and Villain affiliations on Team A, the speed was gone. Also, I couldn’t have both Orks! At least I could still use a Stone Golem to Fabricate a lot, right?

The original team allowed me to Fabricate 2 Ork Boys which come back, to Fabricate again. That’s where I had to get creative. Fortunately someone brought Carol Ferris to my attention, so I slapped it on my team without really reading the card! (More on that later) All I needed was the cheapest Green Lantern I could find, no text required. This would let Carol Ferris come back to the field and 2 copies of her in the field were perfect for Stone Golem’s Fabricate requirements.

Now that the Fabricate engine is complete, it’s finding a way to get the damage through. First off, if you’re KO’ing your own characters you might as well get even more out of it. That’s where Vigilante Justice let’s you KO opposing characters for each character you lose. It’s an excellent board clear if you KO enough characters, which feeds Ork Nob to higher potential. Note that once it’s used, a single Fabricate for Stone Golem results in 2 of my dice being KO’d and likely 2 of their dice as well. With 4 Ko’d dice, that’s +4/+8 to Ork Nob!

If Vigilante Justice doesn’t clear the field, why not go over it with Living the Dream? Better yet, once it’s in the field it stays there until the opponent finds a way to remove it. In order to activate it just add Magneto for Loyalty counters, since he doesn’t need to be active to gain them, as per this ruling. He also brings a prep global. It’ll be easy to stack those Loyalty Counters too since Carol just happens to be a mask character and I already plan to KO her a bunch.

So the plan is in place. I just need Hal Jordan, 2 copies of Carol Ferris, and an Ork Nob. I can start the Fabricate sequence, get a huge Nob, and push for damage in a couple of ways. Just a few more cards to round out the team.

  • Gladiator, the global will prevent your opponent from targeting your dice during the attack step. Distraction and the lot won’t be a problem.
  • Kal-L, since Ork Nob gets +1A and +2D you can flip the stats for a bigger hit. Now that single Vigilante Fabricate gives Ork Nob +8 attack.
  • Dwarf Wizard, every team needs a little control.

Team B Post-Mortem:

The goal of the team was great, I can Fabricate 2 copies of Carol Ferris, which return to the field*, and I repeat the process for all 4 Stone Golem dice. Ork Nob gets big and I can crush the opponent. Most games I’d use Living the Dream to just go over the top with an overwhelming amount of attack from an Ork Nob or two. This new version definitely wasn’t as quick as the original with Ork Boy, since it needed another character to save my Carol. Even worse, it was pointed out to me late in the tournament that I can’t read (my true weakness).

Apparently, Carol Ferris happens to say “at end of turn” in her ability. So I couldn’t Fabricate 4 times in the same turn like I wanted to. On the turn where I thought I had lethal to close out the tournament, I had to suddenly pivot. I did Fabricate once, but ended the turn since I couldn’t clear the field with Vigilante Justice and Living the Dream wasn’t setup yet. The team still works by building up the Loyalty Counters on Magneto with Carol Ferris and Stone Golem, I just should have been doing that over multiple turns instead of all at once in an Alpha Strike. I managed that slower strategy in the final and still pulled out a win, so it works.

Once you build up Loyalty counters on Magneto, Living the Dream becomes really hard to counter. Vigilante Justice can still be used as targeted removal on the opponent’s biggest blockers and give 4 KO’s for Ork Nob to get +4/+8 with just one Fabricate. If you have a few Ork Nob dice and/or start flipping their stats with Kal-L, it’s going to be painful really fast. Despite misreading the card early on, I could have used this strategy from the start and been nearly as punishing.

Given the knowledge of what the card actually says… I’d probably smooth out the team in a number of different ways. Venerable Dreadnaught gives your characters Range which makes sidekicks a vulnerability for the opponent. Those chump blockers become easy KO fodder. Daisy Johnson does the same thing, but also KO’s your own low D characters. In either case you can swap Vigilante Justice for Seething Corruption to really clear the opponent’s field before they can block. You could even use Manshoon with with Seething Corruption as the board clear, but then you’d need to remove Dwarf Wizard. So how would you fix the team in this format? 

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