• Fist Team Postmortem & Reconstruction

    In some limited testing, we tried out the fist team from the other day. We did this against a very fast and consistent deck championed by the folks at Dice Anon involving Iceman. You can read about that here if you're not familiar with it.

    The two decks are similar in scope, so it was going to be interesting to see which one was going to be fast enough. Could this fist oriented blocker control deck win a race?


    Don't get me wrong, it was just shy of fast enough. It did plenty of damage, but went 1-2 and it lost the same way both times. The win came when the Iceman deck stumbled briefly.

    But we learned plenty from all of this!

    1) She Hulk isn't as great as she looks, at least not in Constructed.

    She's good, but she might be slightly overvalued. She Hulk is the same win condition for this team that Iceman is for the other. But She Hulk is 5F to buy and has a TFC of six. Iceman is 4B and has a TFC of three. While his stats don't compare, the ability that buffs him when there's another character fielded bridges that gap nicely.

    In essence, to "fix" my team's speed, you need something like Iceman. Or perhaps Spider Man "Wall Crawler". Deadpool "Assassin" could be an interesting choice if you bring the uncommon Ant Man global along for the ride. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I suppose.

    2) TFC Matters.

    As above, the fact that She Hulk may require as much as three energy to field was really a downer. But for the fielding cost, I could have done more because I'd have had more energy to spend. I know that sounds obvious, but it's important to remember. If your bomb has a high TFC, you need a way to mitigate it with the rest of your team or to just flat make it not matter.

    3) Having many outlets for churn doesn't necessarily make a deck faster.

    It didallow me to play around the five purchase cost a bit more deftly than if I was relying on PXG alone. It did give me options when Lauren - who generally relied only on PXG - had the potential to get in a logjam if a roll went wrong. But when we were both humming, it didn't make me faster than her.

    4) Remember when we talked about role assignment in Podcast #39? Yeah, that matters.

    We had two very similar decks. Both were aggro, both wanted to use efficiency tools to enable us to get the dice we wanted more quickly. Role assignment would tell us that one player is always the aggro and one player is always the control.

    Because Iceman wasjust a touch faster than She Hulk, then Iceman was the aggro. The problem is that I had no elements of control in She Hulk that could slow things down or change the board to favor me. Frankly, there's not a lot out there that can slow down the Iceman team. Perhaps putting a Cerebro on their Iceman to raise the fielding cost is an option, and put that in place of my Psylocke. You'd have to recognize that need early and get the right roll, but otherwise I don't see an option.

    Back to the lab.

    Let's change it up then. We need a deck that can race, but we want something that's not exactly the same as everything else. Let's be a Johnny and get creative.

    [u][*]Win Conition: Swap in Deadpool for She-Hulk. Why? The fielding cost is way lower, he purchases for just four, and the Ant Man global makes him far more useful. Iceman needs a character to swing for 7. Deadpool just needs a fist.[*]Support:[u][*]Ant Man, for the global.[*]Beast, for the masks - you want to use him for masks more than you do anything else, but if you have to field him it's not the worst thing in the world, especially if you have a Tsarina on the other side.[*]Falcon Common, for a two-cost fist. You don't have Ant Man anymore. Could you use Black Widow? Yes, but then this is a completely different kind of deck.[*]Cerebro, to throw a wrench in an opponent's efficiency if needed.[/list][*]Returning Cast of Characters:[u][*]Professor X, because he's professor X.[*]Mr. Fantastic, as he can help break up a stalled board.[*]Silver Surfer, just in case.[/list][/list]So it would look something like this:

    But is it better?

    YES. It's SO MUCH BETTER. It gives us the same options for churn, we still have multiple options for an early character buy. We now have control elements that could be meaningful, as Cerebro is difficult to get rid of, and if we can make our opponent's fielding cost choices difficult, we're happy. And, our bomb is cheaper to buy and cheaper to field. He won't always swing for seven, but we also have a stronger supporting cast and the means to pump him using Enrage.

    I just did a similar play test and it was a WORLD of difference, taking the two-out-of-three in straight sets, once 10-0 and the next time 18-0. The lower purchase cost and TFC of Deadpool was so key. A fringe benefit to Deadpool is that he lets you force a blocker to him, which can let a more sizable Deadpool or other character swing through. This helped me finish one game.

    At this point I feel that Mr. Fantastic is probably superfluous. I don't know what an ideal replacement would be, but I could see the problem with keeping him. For example, if I don't have a fist for the Ant Man global and am therefore less likely to attack with Deadpool, my opponent could force him to attack and move him off of my board.

    Granted, if you give Iceman the same tools - Beast and Surfer - he'll likely have the same ease of eating a stumble. The Iceman team is a UXM-only team, after all. Modify the supporting cast around one to match the other and they'd be quite even, as they do very similar things.
    This article was originally published in blog: Fist Team Postmortem & Reconstruction started by Dave