• Team Brew Switcharoo 17: GAF Craft

    Hello again everyone! It's been a few months, but I'm back! As you know, I've been on a vacation (of sorts) around the world. I have gone from remote monasteries in Japan to the Underground Dice Masters Parlors of Milwaukee, all to find new and interesting ways to swap cards in for other cards. My trip started out in the rocky way, as I had lost the slip of paper that contained my TRP username and password. Hopefully, no numpty found it and started a series of articles about drafting and such. Or a (frankly hilarious) podcast. Too late to worry about that now.

    Last week, Green Arrow and the Flash was released... and it promises to change things drastically. DRASTICALLY I SAY!

    This guy just saw all of the cards and is, dare I say, gobsmacked.

    For those of you that have never read this series, here is what we'll do. We'll take eight randomly selected characters and/or Non-Basic Actions, and two Basic Actions. Then, through a series of four swaps, we'll take that random team just a touch better. To help guide the build, we'll randomly select a "Meta Rule" that we have to follow. Can we take a random group of cards from zero to more-than-zero? Let's find out with some Team Brew Switcharoo!

    I do love pretty pictures. Unfortunately, there really aren't any good scans of the cards yet, so this will be a mostly text affair. Still let's go ahead and make our random selection. Using the fabulously glorious dm.retrobox.eu, here is what we have to work with:

    Roy Harper™: Don't Call Me Speedy - When fielded, target Team Arrow character die you control gains Fast (until end of turn). (Character dice with Fast deal combat damage before non-Fast characters.)

    Amanda Waller™: The Wall - When Amanda Waller blocks, she gets +1D for each of your blocking suicide squad character dice.

    Speedy™: Accomplished Archer - While Speedy is attacking, when your opponent declares blockers, Speedy deals each of those character dice 1 damage.

    Huntress™: Brutal Justice
    - When fielded, you may reroll any of your Sidekick dice in the Field Zone or Reserve Pool.

    Ra's Al Ghul™: League of Assassins
    - When fielded, KO target level 3 character die.

    Deathstroke™: High Price - Crosspulse - When you purchase this die, KO all opposing Sidekick dice. (You can only use a Crosspulse ability if you paid this character's purchase cost using only their energy types.)

    Captain Cold™: Elegant Egomaniac - While Captain Cold is active, when you use an action die, Captain Cold gets +1A and +1D (until end of turn).

    Katana™: Bushi - Impulse - When you purchase a Katana die, if you spent at least one ?, you may immediately field her at level 1 for free. (Impulse abilities happen when you purchase the character die with Impulse.)

    That's what I'm talking about! Getting a good spread of rarities, and a decent group of abilities. Since GAF doesn't have any inherent Basic Actions, let's choose two randomly from all of the sets:

    Let's see what's good about this team. Speedy is pretty great, with a good cost and a great ability (dealing that damage to blocking characters). That could pair well with Roy Harper, who will give Speedy the Fast keyword when fielded. Katana, of course, is amazing. Being able to purchase and field her immediately (if we used a wild energy to purchase her) is a nice trick.

    On the other hand, we have some that will not work so well for us. Amanda Waller is almost useless, since we don't have any Suicide Squad teammates. Ra's Al Ghul has VERY targeted removal with is ability that only affects level 3 characters. Let's see what the Meta Rule brings to us.

    Now, for the Meta Rule. One day, while I was traveling the world on my quest for Swap Nirvana, I met an old man. He said he was like SHAZAM, but legally different enough for DC to totally be cool with it. Instead of the best attributes of the gods, however, he had the best attributes of the Golden Girls. He said he could transform into this heroic vision I saw before me by shouting "RDSB!" I asked him to show me this wonderful transformation but, for some reason, he declined. He did, however, tell me "You can only swap in Commons". I told him that I knew what game he was playing, and that I was done with Team Brew Switcharoo. He just winked and said "GAF doesn't only stand for Great And Fantastic." Then, he ran (shuffled) away, cackling madly. So, it looks like only grey stripes will be eligible to be popped into our team.

    The first thing I want to do is replace Amanda Waller with a similarly priced character. So, for Swap #1, let's take out Amanda Waller and replace her with Felicity Smoak™: Gray Hat.

    Felicity Smoak's ability says: When fielded, you may spin target character die up or down 1 level. She has the Team Arrow affiliation and, with her zero fielding cost on all three levels, she can jump back into the field with abandon.

    The next thing I want to do is to try and speed up the team a little bit. I like Ramp, and I like fielding a Sidekick to cull them from the bag. There is one amazing card in this set that does both... and it is S.T.A.R. Labs. We will be swapping out Ra's Al Ghul for S.T.A.R. Labs™: Advanced Research.

    The Global ability, pay to move a sidekick die from your Used Pile and field a second one is pretty fantastic. The ability on the die itself, Target or character you control deals damage equal to its A to target character die, is not bad. In a pinch, we can certainly buy it for the energy or a bit of potential removal.

    Next, I'm thinking of a big hitter. I want one. I want one that will be reasonably priced, and that has a decent ability. Also, because this is his set, I'd like to use the Flash HIMSELF. So, my next swap is Deathstroke for Barry Allen™: Super-Sonic Punch.

    Good Ol' BA is a heavy hitter. Here is what his card says: Synergy - While Barry Allen is active, you may pay to give a Barry Allen character die +2A and +4D (until end of turn). The plan is, of course, to get Big Bar and start going nuts. His attack states (3/4/7) are good enough naturally, but when you start throwing that "Pay 2 for Plus 2" ability around, he can get strong.

    Now that I've got a Fearsome Flash, I'd like to give him Overcrush. Infiltrate isn't really doing much for us, so let's swap it out for Hulk Out (to add some of that Marvel flavor... or flavour, for my UK and CAN friends).

    Ok, let's sprinkle some dice down on the table...

    Just pretend that Speedy is the Rare Speedy... cool?

    For this team, the idea is to be quick. Which makes sense, since we have someone named Speedy and another character that gives Fast. But, the real plan might be to buy Felicity Smoak and try to use S.T.A.R. Labs Global (if possible) on your opponent's turn to ramp and cull. If we can't use that beautiful Global, we can certainly start purchasing our Hulk Outs. Then, start buying Katanas... preferably on a turn when you can field her and field Felicity Smoak to spin her up. Work toward getting Barry Allen, throw on a Hulk Out or two, and just attack, attack, attack. Huntress might be a good support piece, as we can use her to get an energy burst from all those Sidekicks we've been fielding with the SLG. With half our team being Team Arrow, then Roy Harper might even find some use if we need Fast.

    What do you think? First Team Brew Switcharoo'd GAF team... was it a success? Did I zig when I should have zagged? Was there a better common card in the set that could have been swapped in to better use our existing team? Did you miss TBS, or did you groan when you saw the image on the main screen?

    I do love Drafting, obviously, but sometimes you gotta change it up a little bit. In the coming weeks, Reading the Rainbow will return (again) to dive into the draft implications of this set. Also, with the upcoming D&D RDWs, we will be taking a closer look at the two possible sets that you will encounter.

    Until then, though: keep creating combos, brewing boffo bands of battlers, and throwing things at the wall to see what sticks!
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. artean's Avatar
      artean -
      Welcome back! I missed Team Brew Switcharoo
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      I'm a big fan of this feature, great to see it back. This looks like a really cool team. I don't have any of the new set just yet, I'm to get them this next week or so. Keep up the great work.
    1. Awesome Dave's Avatar
      Awesome Dave -
      Hooray! Welcome back! MY FAVORITE SERIES!!!!!