• The Prep Area Podcast 04: Hello AoU, Goodbye JuL!

    Welcome to Episode Four of the Prep Area! Hosts RJ (RJRETRO) and Patrick (Shadowmeld) will give you another Little Cup to mess around with -- specifically one that could do well at a National Tournament! Also, we say goodbye to the Justice League set by building a team around a character suggested by you: Swamp Thing! Finally, we build a team with the new Age of Ultron set designed to stop your opponent from generating energy. We also hear from Necromanticer and his new segment "Off the Meta". Plus, words of advice from the 2015 Latverian Dice Masters National Champion, Dr. Count Von Homash!

    As always, if you want to correspond, tweet at @TheReservePool with the hashtag #TPADM.

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    If you would like to follow along, here are the three teams:
    Little Cup
    http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=3x...%20Nats%20team

    Bayou-Kinetics
    http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=3x...=Bayou%20Bombs

    Energy Oppression
    http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=3x...e%20Supression
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. KingMatticus's Avatar
      KingMatticus -
      Hey guys! Thanks for the great show! Just a heads up, the Energy Oppression link has Villainous Pact instead of Cone of Cold as one of the BA. The podcast says that you are using Cone of Cold and Poly.
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      Thanks for listening! Sending a note to @Shadowmeld .
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Yup, I knew I would miss a change somewhere. I just can't seem to get this deck the way I want it and have been running several builds. Thanks for the catch.
    1. Kevin's Avatar
      Kevin -
      Rad intro music btw! Oh, and great episode as always!
    1. Scorpion0x17's Avatar
      Scorpion0x17 -
      LOVE the Swamp Thing team!

      Thanks guys!

    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion0x17 View Post
      LOVE the Swamp Thing team!

      Thanks guys!

      Thanks! I saw the Gambit interaction and KNEW i had to build that team!
    1. Steele's Avatar
      Steele -
      Another great podcast. I really like hearing the thought process behind these teams. Favorite so far has been Energy Oppression. Great control team. And most importantly, no PXG (and anti PXG).

      You’ve mentioned a couple times now that PXG is almost an auto include, I’m wondering why. Yes it’s great ramp. Yes it speeds up games. But why give your opponent such an advantage? You spend the card slot, they get all the same benefits. And if they bring a Jinzo or any of several others (in place of the PXG slot), they can shut/slow down your ramp, all the while using your own global against you.

      More builds without PXG, with some of its own internal ramp, and the ability to take advantage of PXG if it’s there would be of high interest to me.

      Keep up the great work!!
    1. Necromanticer's Avatar
      Necromanticer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Steele View Post
      Another great podcast. I really like hearing the thought process behind these teams. Favorite so far has been Energy Oppression. Great control team. And most importantly, no PXG (and anti PXG).

      Youíve mentioned a couple times now that PXG is almost an auto include, Iím wondering why. Yes itís great ramp. Yes it speeds up games. But why give your opponent such an advantage? You spend the card slot, they get all the same benefits. And if they bring a Jinzo or any of several others (in place of the PXG slot), they can shut/slow down your ramp, all the while using your own global against you.

      More builds without PXG, with some of its own internal ramp, and the ability to take advantage of PXG if itís there would be of high interest to me.

      Keep up the great work!!
      This guy... This guy knows whats up!
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      The reason we Deem PXG as an almost auto-include is because the other options for ramp are generally more rare. Rare Blue-eyes is probably the best option, and definitely a staple in higher tier constructed decks, but with our general self imposed limitation on rarity, it just ends up being easier for all for us to say "here is PXG, this is your ramp mechanic" and not spend a lot of time talking about it when we are trying to emphasize the other mechanics of the team. Remember our teams are good, solid combo effects, but we generally don't flesh them out to combat metas or stand up to a variety of threats. Instead we load more and more redundancy into them so you can see the game effects in action, and see a variety of angles that the interaction we're highlighting takes place. While we could build highly competitive teams week after week, our show would become "And this Gobby team does things differently this way" week after week. The reason isn't just because Gobby is such a good card individually, but because he fills Multiple Niches: 3 cost bolt character, Good stats to cost character, direct damage character, cheap villain to stop Villainous pact, early pressure, Sidekick utilization mechanic, etc. He just does so many things, and building tier 1 decks comes down to finding out how to make a team who utilizes these best cards in different combinations.

      Instead TPA tries to teach and explore the REST of the cards, to see if there's a card who provides more than he looks like he does. PXG gives us the freedom to explore 7 slots instead of 4-6 as well as lets us ignore ramp as a constraint on our game play. Sometimes we should probably pay more attention than that, there might be better options, but in most instances, PXG is just the easy option to give you the content you want to hear about, and not eternally repeat ourselves about ramp over and over again.

      All that in mind though, we don't want you to play the decks exactly like we have them in our deck lists. We want you to take the team and make them your own. If you think Team Black works better with Kobolds instead of PXG, go for it! If you think the Little Cup Nationals team can get away with Prismatic Spray instead of PXG, Do EET! make the teams your own, then come tell us your stories in the Strategy forum, or better yet, tell us in the Tournament Winners subforum section!
    1. Steele's Avatar
      Steele -
      Very good reasoning for PXG. And certainly you guys are doing a great job of pointing out control and win condition combos. But lets not gloss over ramp as well. Finding ways to ramp without PXG is huge. In fact, I'll challenge you one step further, finding ways to ramp without globals is huge. BEWD is amazing, but again for both sides. However, at least with the BEWD global you can build your team around it to be better than what your opponent probably has (i.e. using "when KO'd" and "when fielded" effects as part of your ramp).

      Anyway, just my thoughts. I'm always trying to minimize the number of globals I give my opponent and maximizing the amount of internal ramp I can take advantage of. It would be cool to see your take on that.
    1. Scorpion0x17's Avatar
      Scorpion0x17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      Thanks! I saw the Gambit interaction and KNEW i had to build that team!
      Tried it against @AJV1785 's Budget Aggro team:

      http://youtu.be/tLBbUcyPpxw
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      Watching a bit of it now! Thanks for posting the video!
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion0x17 View Post
      Tried it against @AJV1785 's Budget Aggro team:

      http://youtu.be/tLBbUcyPpxw
      "I think I know what they are doing with it, but I'll tell later"



      MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH


      ... I dare you.

      PS, the team looked great, maybe a distraction instead of Charm. You needed a way to stop relentless, and there' not much besides that.

      Also, you could swap Storm or even Zatanna out for the Uncommon Breaker Might have the same effect, but give you a fist option. I also debated the common Goblin Attack force, if you want a nasty bomb to throw at your opponent to finish the game.
    1. AJV1785's Avatar
      AJV1785 -
      Don't mind the sloppy play left and right...
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      How could I? I relate to sloppy play quite easily.
    1. jevansfp's Avatar
      jevansfp -
      Great episode as always guys. I have to say that I almost wrecked my car as I whooped when I heard you mention me bringing a modified AIA team to a local C/UC tournament and making @IsaacBV sweat it out to the final turn. To his credit, he put up really the only fight I had that day. After I imprisoned his Johnny Storms, he kept using his Phoenix global to force my Beast to attack, making me use my masks to distract him back instead of using them to distract the beholder or PXG ramp. If I didn't, he would have let Beast through, taken the damage, sent Beast to used and freed up his jail birds.
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      And then @KingMatticus comes at me with another TPA team in vassal. Apparently I am the testing ground for TPA teams
    1. Jar_99's Avatar
      Jar_99 -
      Thank you guys for the great show and the teams. I have always been a huge Gambit fan since the x-men cartoons and when I heard you discribe that team it brought a huge smile to my face. I now just need to get the rare Gambit.
    1. KingMatticus's Avatar
      KingMatticus -
      Quote Originally Posted by IsaacBV View Post
      And then @KingMatticus comes at me with another TPA team in vassal. Apparently I am the testing ground for TPA teams
      I might have come at you with it, but I had no idea what I was doing with it. You smoked me with that JohnnyKo Swarm! That and BEWD...I mean there was that time I rolled the lvl 3 Hulk JG and I only had two energy in the RP, that was fun! At least Prismatic Spray didn't hinder me too much!
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      Quote Originally Posted by KingMatticus View Post
      I might have come at you with it, but I had no idea what I was doing with it. You smoked me with that JohnnyKo Swarm! That and BEWD...I mean there was that time I rolled the lvl 3 Hulk JG and I only had two energy in the RP, that was fun! At least Prismatic Spray didn't hinder me too much!
      It was a fun game. Maybe we can get some vassal in next week