• Reading the Rainbow Age of Ultron Draft Episode 2 Win Conditions

    Welcome back folks! Last time we talked about the Economy of Age of Ultron's draft format. Today we're going to be talking about what we plan to buy with that economy; we are going to talk about the cards that win us the game. While this is similar to Archetypes as a discussion topic, I want to highlight how those Archetypes evolve and how you can learn to identify your own archetypes. In DC we knew Firestorm was a core card to victory, and he was the crux of the Bolt archetype, but if it wasn't for the other cards in that archetype, he wouldn't have been quite as good. If there had been fewer (than 4) 3 cost bolt characters, or those bolt characters hadn't been so exceptionally good at EITHER walling or chipping our opponent down, then we would probably not have seen the bolts archetype dominate so strongly in DC draft. Along those lines, let's take a look at what cards could be great win conditions, and then see if there's enough there for us to build a win condition around.

    We still don't have colon codes for AoU up yet, for now just follow along here.

    Thanos. He's a win condition in all of his forms. He's so big, and has Overcrush or can easily be given overcrush (hulk out basic action), that we just can't ignore him. The question becomes, how do we get him on the board. For his common verison we could build the common Hawkeye, some Wondermen dice, and something that gives generic ramp, like Uncommon Jocasta and magic missile. Then we can use Hawkeye's ability to help get ourselves to 10 health, buy our cheap Thanos and get him out with something like Polymorph.

    For the Uncommon and Super Rare Thanos, we need the Economy first. We could look at the same MM Jocast combo, the Captain Marvel steady ramp, and make a purchase when she gets KOed, but really we need something more reliable than that, and the question is, does that exist in the draft format. We will talk more about that next time I think, for now, let's look at other win conditions.

    There isn't a whole lot of direct damage in this set, unlike Justice League. We have common Red Skull, Enchantress and Ultron, who each do damage based on interactions with your opponent. While Enchantress is likely to do good damage in draft, her initial urchase cost and Red Skulls expensive fielding cost are rather prohibitive for them to be our main win condition. If we can get Ultron drones in our draft, the Ultron plan might be pretty solid, but if we don't then we could just be out of luck. The other direct damge sources in draft are a bit more rare, with uncommons Loki and Ultron Drone being the ones we will most likely see and honestly are two of the best direct damage cards in the entire set. The Rare Wasp and Super Rare Jocasta and Electro also bring us some direct damage, but the likelihood that we get any of those three is so slim that we shouldn't expect to build around them. However, if you get Jocasta or Wasp, you really should look into going direct damage, it will totally shred through the standard draft structure.

    Economic combat stats are often a win condition in themselves, and the best example of that in AoU has got to be Giant Man. 3 cost 7/7 is just devastating to your opponent in the draft format, especially one with limited direct removal options. Other economic stat lines include Captain America, Daredevil, Hulk, Hyperion and Iron Man. Iron Man especially stand out for me as a character that gets a lot of bang for his buck as most of his die efficiency is in the attack side, and he brings the ever popular villain maker global, only this time for bolts. Daredevil is also a great choice as many of the better statted dice in the set are Mask characters, and he brings tons of mask hate (in before we confirm Kingpin to be a mask character). Basic actions like Relentless, Hulk Out and Polymorph will do wonders for these efficient teams. Lastly, I want to make a call out to common Rocket Raccoon, who in my opinion will likely be the Cheetah of AoU. A character that can reliably attack for 5, and only costs 3 is a really devastating force in a draft meta. he also fields for cheap and can gain many synergies in set with his Guardian's affiliation.

    Unblockable characters are also abundant in this set. The one that stands out as the most powerful to me is Odin with his ability to go unblockable and bring Thor along with him. Also interesting are the rare Wonder Man and uncommon Nick Fury, as both can get in some solid finishing damage once you've established a solid board state. Some slightly trickier unblockables include Daredevil's mask hate, Bucky's sidekick hate and Spider Woman's evasion of low fielding cost characters. One last unblockable to mention, would be the uncommon Helicarrier. It gives a character +3 attack, the avengers icon, and can also make them unblockable by villains. Pair that with Iron Man or Pandora's Box and you're punching for quite a few damage each time you roll that baby.

    As the draft scene develops we are likely to see more and more win conditions be discovered, for now I know what I'm looking out for in my drafts! Tell me below what you're planning on drafting on Wednesday.

    UPDATE: You folks read about Maria Hill in episode 0 of the AoU draft. Today we got an update about her on the Wizkids rules forum. Remember to let those folks you draft with know about the update before your draft begins, and ensure your TO is up to date on the rules.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. pishposh's Avatar
      pishposh -
      With the update on Maria Hill, there doesn't appear to be much ramp in this set. I'm thinking of either going for a Guardians team or possibly a S.H.I.E.L.D team.
    1. CeeQue's Avatar
      CeeQue -
      Had a draft yesterday, I chose the uncommon Thanos over the avengers hate enchantress, could never afford him. We went AoU basic actions only so I should have brought nasty plot and enslavement. Enslavement can actually bring direct damage and KO your Sidekicks.
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      If you were to land both Ultron and Ultron drones, what would you be looking for to fill out your team?