• How it Works: The Used Pile Part 2

    So... apparently next week means next month!

    Last time on How it Works we talked about how the Used Pile works, but didn't get a chance to work through some manipulations and strategies for it. Today we discuss just that!

    It is hard to discuss the used pile in isolation, it existence is a counterpoint to all of the other zones, and utilizing it is really a symptom of having used the Field, Reserve or bag. As such, the best way to discuss Used Pile manipulation is to talk about common first three turns, and how those strategies manipulate the Used Pile.

    The Basics:
    On a first turn, with no ramp devices, the most efficient strategy is to field as many sidekicks(SKs) as possible, and buy a character that has a value equal to the remaining energy. Doing this allows us to put as few dice as possible into the Used Pile at the end of our turn. Things we don't want to do is purchase multiple characters or reroll sidekicks to rush to a specific purchase if we have a good option that we can buy. The most difficult part of this strategy is knowing what energy type to save from our initial roll. On a team where we only have one energy for our 2-4th level characters it becomes a simple choice. Or perhaps we could save a wild, and reroll everything else in an attempt to get as many SKs as possible, despite our team composition.

    On turn two, we will want to do the same thing, field as many SKs as possible. If our team strategy hinges on an early 4 cost character, this turn would be a good turn to purchase it, but if we can't win with it on turn 3 or 4, it's more efficient to field those SKs and get to turns 4 and 5 faster than our opponent by having SKs in the field rather than the used pile.

    Now, if we do this for our first two turns, we will have a used pile that likely has 6 SKs and 2 characters, with 2 SKs in the field. This means we'll be filling our bag with 8 dice, instead of 10 that our opponent with no fielded SKs will have. This effectively puts us a half a turn ahead of our opponent. Long story short, the fewer dice we put into our used pile each turn, the more efficient our dice draws will be.

    With PXG:
    Everything we just talked about, forget it. Professor X's Global changes the game. It makes Masks the desired face on a die. So, Roll, keep any Masks or ? and 1 energy face that matches that of your desired purchase. Ideally, turn one well want to buy a 2 cost character, and have two masks, however, a 3 cost and a mask is an acceptable result. We can then use the PX Global to prep two or three SKs and a be rolling 6 or 7 dice on turn 2. This gives us the tools we need to hopefully save 3 masks and buy a 4 cost character. Saving 2 masks and buying a 5 cost is much less efficient, but can be acceptable. Also, each SK that we get stuck with in this process dramatically slows it down, so we'll want to KO it or attack with it to send it to the used. The more masks we get, the more forgiving this method becomes, and the more powerful an advantage we get for using it.

    If we get the masks we were looking for, we'll be rolling 2 characters, a SK and possibly getting a generic energy from draw-burn or rolling a second SK. Also, we'll be rolling the 6+ sidekicks we prepped with PXG. This gives us a possible 11 energy on turn 3, all because we kept as many SKs in the used pile as possible.

    With Resurrection:
    Resurrection, or for that matter, Silver Surfer, Robin, Villainous Pact, Mysterio, and several other globals that "draw and prep" a die, all change the way our first few turns work. The first turn, standard as usual, except that if our team relies on a 3 cost character, we can be satisfied with just a single SK on turn 1. NOTE: DO NOT RESURRECT ON TURN 1.

    On turn two, we're looking at buying a 2 or 3 cost character, maybe a SK and the energy needed to activate the global. Then we can fill our bag with the 3 SKs from turn one, and both purchases we made. This will ensure we get both characters turn three and can field. In addition, if we can afford to resurrect on turn 3 as well, we'll be filling our bag with 5 SKs and prepping one, ensuring that we stay in a rhythm of buying turn, fielding turn. The truly difficult portion of this strategy is getting the SK on the first turn.

    Ring + Resurrection:
    Very similar to the above strategy, this one uses the Faerun Under Siege Ring to make sidekicks more reliable. popular with aggro teams, such as Bard Blitz, this strategy lets you get a 4 cost character on turn one instead of needing a SK and a 3 cost character. To do this, we buy the 4 cost character, then on turn two we make a SK before we resurrect, but after we buy. This will give us exactly 5 dice in used when we resurrect, and again give us 2 chracters and 3 SKs on turn 3.

    Other Strategies
    There are other ways to manipulate the Used, other ways to do a turn 3 sequence, but few of them are competitive against these fast starts. Big Entrance for example is cited as a great tool to get started fast, but without Professor X to support it, or Resurrection to give you a great turn two use, you can't get reliable efficiency from BE. On the other hand, this article is far from extensive, so please, if I missed a strategy you use, post it in the comments below!

    Thanks for reading, and next time on How It Works we'll move from the Main Step to the Attack Step!
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Just wanted to mention double prep global interaction to get a two cost on turn two 40% of the time.
      Also I want to add, that it is not that bad to roll SKs with PXG, because if you have two SKs in field on turn two, you need only two masks to roll both purchases and six sidekicks and you can use the two SKs in field for BEG and/or Polymorph.