• TMNT: Villains - Part 2

    It was a crazy couple of days. I flew up to Canada, took Top 4 in the 2016 Canadian Nats, flew back home, and we have a new Dice Masters set hitting store shelves TOMORROW. I’ll go in to more detail about Can Nats another day. But the here and now is about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We’ve been taking turns, here at The Reserve Pool, looking at various characters in the set. As with any typical TMNT adventure, as we arrive at the end, it’s time to face the big bad guy. So let’s look at the last four villains we have yet to unveil: Fugitoid, Foot Ninja, Krang, and of course, Shredder.

    Fugitoid – He has consistent fielding of 1 on every face. While paying 1 for a 3A/1D might feel expensive on level 1, 1 energy for a 5A/3D on level 3 is nice. He’s a fist character and has the Villain affiliation
    In set: I think I’d have to recommend the 4-cost Neutrino Scientist. He puts a tax of 1 energy on any player that wants to attack with “other” Villain or Turtle characters. That “other” is key, because that means Fugitoid is exempt. I think this Fugitoid, combined with an unaffiliated Casey Jones, could keep pressure on your opponent. Add in a support character like the 7-cost Splinter, Radical Rat, and both Fugitoid and Casey become unblockable attackers that you don’t have to pay an energy to declare.
    Unlimited: With Neutrino Scientist and High Tech Body both requiring specific affiliations to be useful, I think the textless Professor Honeycutt is the only version that has a chance of seeing unlimited play. He has a similar cost and stat line to common Bullseye and uncommon/rare Katana, however they bring abilities to the table as well. 5A/3D for 1 fielding on level 3 is something that can be taken advantage of with the Back For Seconds! basic action, but I think there’s too many characters that do what this Fugitoid does, but better for the same cost.

    Foot Ninja – This might be the character that people are most excited to get their hands on. This character brings features to the table that are unique to the game on multiple versions. Bolt character, Villain affiliation, very incremental stat line and fielding. 0/1/1, 0/2/1, 1/2/2.
    In set: Shredder’s Army, all day long. 2-cost with swarm in a set that has no Professor X global or Resurrection global. There’s no cheap basic action like Shocking Grasp to knock out your own characters. I am slightly tempted to choose the 3-cost Ninja Syndicate, because he could get big in a hurry with other sidekicks in the field (including April with her Ally ability) and made unblockable with the 7-cost Splinter, Radical Rat I mentioned earlier. I think the 2-cost is the way to go, though.
    Unlimited: Well, it all comes down to these two again. Shredder’s Army or Ninja Syndicate. Both could prove valuable on bolt-based Lantern Ring teams. The 2-cost swarmer is a valuable piece. We see the 2-cost S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent being used. He has a slightly better stat line that the Foot Ninja, but he doesn’t help accelerate your dice movement through your bag the way a character with Swarm can. I think Shredder’s Army will instantly replace him in the competitive meta. Ninja Syndicate, on the other hand, isn’t quite the churning engine that the 2-cost is, but it has Ally. Depending on how Wizkids rules the interaction, Iceman, Too Cool For Words, COULD be able to spin this Foot Ninja die to its double bolt energy face. That could be HUGE for Lantern Ring teams. Say you have 5 sidekicks fielded with 2 Foot Ninja dice. If you pay a bolt, you could have 9 bolt energy in your Reserve Pool. That’s brutal. Keep in mind, that is still pending a WKRF ruling. Since we picked Shredder’s Army for “In set”, let’s go with Ninja Syndicate for Constructed, just for the sake of spreading the love.

    Krang – Shield type, Villain affiliation, defensively skewed stats: 1/3/7, 1/4/8, 2/6/9. 7D on level 1. ASM Hulk, Zombie Kingpin, Thanos, Winged Dragon of Ra, and Dracolich are the only other characters in the game with 7D on level 1. Zombie Kingpin is the only one with a purchase cost of 6. So, other than the Super Rare only Zombie Kingpin, Krang is packing the highest defensive value on level 1 for a 6-cost character. That might not be too important to you, but it makes him unique.
    In set: I really like the 6-cost Ruler of Dimension X here. He has the high defense we mentioned above to stay on the field, letting others do the attacking, potentially going to Prep instead of Used if they get through. I think He can be combined well with the Casey Jones that ties up opposing sidekicks and Villains, while some attackers like Bebop and Rocksteady, who pump each other up, or the Foot Ninja that gets a bonus for other fielded sidekicks can get through.
    Unlimited: Remember when I gushed over his stats for a 6-cost character above? Well, for unlimited, I’m going with the 7-cost, Utrom Warlord. “When fielded, move all Sidekick dice from your opponent’s Used Pile and Prep Area to their bag.” That could set your opponent back 2-3 whole turns! I mean, yea… he’s 7-cost, and he doesn't have a game-ending ability. But with BEWD, PXG, Resurrection, etc, a 7-cost is reachable as early as turn 2. It’s probably more reliable to sell the farm and get him turn 3, guaranteeing him turn 4. If you have a way to make sure you clear out your opponent’s side of fielded sidekicks, dropping this guy in the field can be an absolute crippler to your opponent's ramp and tempo. Combined with the BEWD global I mentioned above, you can KO him for a single bolt, and try to re-field him again next turn. This character could be the perfect case to use the Warth that copies the “when fielded” ability of another active character.

    Shredder – Ah, Master Shredder. One of my favorite comic/cartoon characters. The classic cartoon made him seem like such a bumbling idiot. I love the cartoon, don’t get me wrong. But the cunning and lethality of Shredder was lost. Do you remember in the first TMNT movie when he took out all four turtles effortlessly? Yea. That's my Shredder. Mask type, Villain affiliation, 1/4/4, 1/6/6, 2/8/8. Very balanced stats. TFC of 4. I think it’s a decent stat line.
    In set: Old Rival is cool. If you can guarantee your opponent is running Turtles, there’s no reason not to bring him. I might even lean towards bringing him regardless, just in case your opponent brings Turtles. If they are running Villains, or just avoiding purchasing your Turtles because of Shredder, then don’t worry about purchasing him. However, I just can’t pass up the 6-cost Oroku Saki. That one less purchase cost could be huge in a game with limited means of ramp. He puts a time table on the game. I would NOT bring life gain basic action with this Shredder. Be aggressive, attack often, get ahead in life and watch them squirm.
    Unlimited: I have to go with Oroku Saki again. He’s just punishing. I’d like to couple him with Imprisoned. Because his card specifies that each player loses life, opposed to taking damage. So that won’t release the Imprisoned characters. Put him on a team that can trigger multiple Imprisoneds through Ultraman and Kryptonite, and watch them panic. With a clear opposing field, and life being slowly lost turn after turn, Shredder has decent enough stats that he and Ultraman should be able to attack for the win before your life gets too low to be an issue.

    Now, the most important part. What do YOU guys think? What character are you excited for?
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. bahamut7's Avatar
      bahamut7 -
      All excellent reviews, though I personally see some interesting shennigans with Shredder - Foot...Join Me!
    1. pwaa's Avatar
      pwaa -
      Foot Ninja all the way, Ninja Syndicate is going straight onto my current favourite team! Think it's a stronger card than Shredder's army, purely because of the maximum of 3 dice. 3 Dice on a 2 cost character or a character with Swarm is iffy, on a 3 cost character or Ally it's perfectly acceptable.
    1. themadking's Avatar
      themadking -
      Ohhhh. I wanna play with that last Krang.