• Reading the Rainbow Age of Ultron Draft Episode 3 The Rainbow

    Welcome back folks! Last time we talked about exposure, and how to gauge each move you may take in the attack step. I also mentioned last time that we would be taking a look at Player 1's hand today, but our colon codes are still being run down and uploaded. To that end I figured we should spend some time looking at our rainbow anyway. Once I finally got a chance to take a look at it myself, I realized there were some interesting aspects that were worth taking a look at.

    Without further ado, here is our Rainbow Assembled!

    First things first, congratulations to one of our players, lucking out with the Zombie Red Skull. We'll go into that guy a bit more in this series, as well as a possible home rule for what happens when someone opens a Zombie pack in an AoU draft.

    Next let's look at the dice that we are low in our rainbow and see if any of them are must grabs. There is only one Vision, which is still one more than we need in draft. One Loki's Scepter, might cause some problems if we wanted to build an action team. Looking a bit more into that, Helicarrier is a bit low, so our chances of getting an uncommon are also small, on top of that only two Zemo's means Rare Zemo is unlikely. We can probably rule out a good action die team as our strategy.

    Speaking of characters with two dice. Many of our starter characters are only two dice. Hawkeye (no one wants him), Black Widow (cheap body), Captain America (expensive ramp) and Iron Man all only have two dice, and Iron man seems to be the only one we should look at picking up to do anything worthwhile. We can also see that Maria Hill and Rocket Raccoon are sitting on only two dice. Shield ramp and economy seems unlikely with Maria, but if you can grab both of her, MAYBE you can ramp into uncommon Odin and Thor for a pretty solid win strategy. Rocket on the other hand is usually worth picking up on his common die, just because he hits so hard, and is so cheap. A little punch to the nose early can really keep an opponent on the defensive, especially in draft.

    Other strategies we could look at numbers for include capture, sidekicks and Guardians of the Galaxy. As for Guardians, we can see that with only two rockets, our offense could be hindered. However, there are a LOAD of Gamora dice, and a good number of Star-Lords and Starhawks. Pick those guys up and you might be doing well on building a team that can roll of the competition with great tribalism.

    The Sidekick strategy is one with pretty solid support in this set. We have a good number of Phil Coulson dice to grab up, as well as a few shield agent dice to help supplement. Add to those Sidekicks the defensive backing that Pepper Pots or even common Odin can provide and you're living large on solid wall power. One thing to look out for though, 7 Spider Women dice means there is most likely a Pheromones out there, and that one die can wreck a sidekick team and gain it's controller a massive boost in life.

    The Capture strategy is one of the strongest ones in the set. It uses the best 2-3 cost characters in the set in terms on stats and utility: Ultron Drones. While there are only three drones in the set, if you see two of them in your packs, you could prioritize them and corner the market. With 4 Ultrons running around, you can also expect him to wheel around a bit, especially in the second pack, where people will know that the drones have all been snatched up. Also keep in mind that uncommon and rare Enchantress also captures, and Enchantress herself has good stats. Her plus Ultron makes it two high cost characters, but this is draft, and things can get pretty drawn out. One last thing I want to mention about capture decks. You need cheap fist characters to make it really work. Something you can use to fun the double fist forced bock global from the drones. Beast is a good one for that, and he's got a decent number of dice in our pool, followed by Daredevil who also has plenty of dice.

    @RJRETRO and @Isaacbv would also call me remiss for not mentioning the fact that there are VERY FEW Giant Man dice in this rainbow, do not expect one to get passed to you. Take it when you see it and be happy you got awesome.

    Common Loki is another guy who looks like he might be difficult to get in this set, so keep an eye out for him. he's a great way to bring the magic missile global and a targeted prismatic spray effect and keep that nasty Ultron drone from using his capture mechanic, thus shutting down the plans of the capture deck.

    Well, that's it for low quantity dice, anything that stands out int he high quantity dice? I see tons of Odins and a decent amount of Thor's. If it were me, I might try to find a way to ramp to uncommon Odin and untargetable Thor and keep cycling through unblocked Thors. Of course that would require a ton of ramp.

    I also see more than the average number of Wasp dice, which could mean we're sitting on a rare wasp scenario. In which case, you take her and hopefully the uncommon Gamorra. Those two globals and Wasp's ability can lead to some great chip damage to put behind any wall you build.

    Lastly, Uncommon Gamora is also a great way to keep good when fielded characters cycling through. Uncommon Loki, rare Daredevil and even the SR Electro can be good tools for that. Also of note, though decently expensive, Gamora can help ensure the death of your Red Skull, triggering the common and Uncommon when KOed effects.

    That's a quick overview of the rainbow, and what to keep our eyes out for as we're drafting. What do you guys think? Any hidden messages in the rainbow I missed? Any numbers stand out as something to watch out for our instant grab?
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      So whats the Home Rule for Zombies in the draft?^^
      Always i like your analisys
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      If you open a pack with a zombie, buy a new one to replace it and set that pack aside. Zombies give away alot of information about what you are drafting, limit your options and don't add to the experience. You could extend that rule to SRs too, but SRs aren't obvious just by opening the pack.
    1. Jaymo's Avatar
      Jaymo -
      We did an AoU draft last weekend with 9 people at one of our local stores in Milwaukee, WI. It was a fun afternoon and I ended up winning. I managed to draft the majority (3 of 5) of the Beast dice along with the life gain Beast. I also went after some Gamora dice/cards and played the common which KOs enemies she deals combat damage to. Beyond that I drafted a couple Giant Man dice among other things. I like the UC best which levels up when your characters are KOed.

      The organizer took a vote via Facebook during the week beforehand for what to do for BACs and the majority voted to use any Marvel BACs.

      Here are a few observations after playing some AoU constructed games and a successful draft:

      I got a chance to play a few AoU constructed games with a friend during the few days between set release and the draft on that Saturday. What I found was that, while there are some capture mechanics, etc., many of the cards give bonuses to one another and it's a very agro-y set with small armies of characters to throw at each other at some point. (I am overlooking Jocasta SR and Zombie Magneto for the purposes of draft since they aren't likely to show up.)

      The guy I played in the final round and I both had a similar idea in Gamora and both had several of her dice, playing the common. He had great success with her. He faced someone in round 2 that was going for the capture route with Ultron & Ultron Drone among others. The downfall of the capture team ended up being Ultron Drone's global which his opponent (who went on to the finals w/ me) used to bring lots of tasty blockers for Gamora to destroy. Beyond that, Ultron's 6-cost is relatively steep, and thus unreliable (at least quickly) for draft in a set without a lot of ramp available.

      I have to admit that what I played was total cheese. The only characters I bought in the entire 3 games were Beast dice whenever possible, 1 Baron Zemo each in games 1 & 2 to let me re-roll action dice an additional time, and Gamoras in the final, which I'll get to. Since the vast majority vote was Marvel BACs I went with Power Bolt and Distraction. The constructed games I had played with AoU led me to decide that it would be faster damage than most teams people could throw together in draft. It was. Hulk Out is cheap Overcrush with some big attackers in the set, so Distraction seemed like a good solution there since I wasn't relying on combat damage. I won my first game 20-0, second game 17-0 if I remember correctly, and the final 16-0.

      I bought Power Bolts my first 2-3 rounds in every game, followed by the very affordable UC life gain Beasts. I fielded any sidekicks I rolled to thin the bag as much as possible. In the final my opponent caught on quickly and purchased a Power Bolt die as soon as I bought my first one, so I ended up with 2 to his 1. He quickly bought up Gamoras, which had served him well in previous games. I matched each of his Gamora purchases with one of my own and we both quickly built up walls of sidekicks and Gamoras. Every now and then I would let an attacker or 2 through to get rid of them. With some Beasts in the field I could attack regularly and my opponent had to either eat the damage or give me life, as I was able to ping them with a wasp global to finish them off when blocked by weak blockers. In the end, my 2 Power Bolts were enough to finish the game off!

      To sum things up, it was a fun event, well run, and someone pulled a Zombie! (I like the proposed house rule of replacing it with another pack and will bring that up in the future.) I like this set in general. It is fun and relatively balanced so far, but bringing in the other BACs definitely threw a wrench into things. As I mentioned, I think Power Bolt/Distract was a cheesy way to win, but it occurred to me on the way to the draft and I managed to draft the right couple cards to test it. I look forward to our next "All-Marvel" constructed event this coming weekend! It will be interesting to see how Jocasta, Wasp, etc fit into a slightly broader meta both in all-Marvel and beyond!
    1. RizBeef's Avatar
      RizBeef -
      Did a 5-player Rainbow this past weekend. I had pre-ordered my AoU Starter + Collector Box + GF online, but it hadn't arrived yet. And I really hadn't looked at the spoilers much at all.

      Not having any AoU yet at all, I had decided ahead of time to just draft for rares. In the first set, I got a rare Loki's Scepter and a rare Enchantress. Second set, I managed to get a SR Thanos that *two* new players had passed because they were HeroClix players and thought Yellow was rarer than Red. I also grabbed the only Giant Man in the set just because the die looked strong. And having seen Thanos, I was looking for cheap villains to earn those tokens. I ended up with 2 Ultron Drones, The Wonder Man that changes from Villain to Avenger, the common or uncommon Enchantress (captures single die, not the all avengers one), the Ultron that does 3 for each capture, Gamora, and of course Thanos with 2 dice. I had chosen my BAC's before the draft to be Polymorph and Resurrection, and just kept those.

      This worked out really well as I could spin down a Drone to convert Giant Man into that great level 3. And as luck would have it, my first opponent had Tinhead, so I kept using that to make Giant Man a villain, to help get Thanos down to minimum cost (which we played as 1 mask. Is that correct? The card doesn't say "to a minimum of 1", but we assumed that was the case.) But between the drones chipping away and Giant Man, I never even got Thanos fielded. He got me down pretty low on life as well, so I wasn't sure how viable my team really was. But I managed to win the second match of the round more easily.

      Next round, I played against a Wasp/Shield deck, but between some great rolls for me and some horrible rolls for him, I won the first match 20-0. Second match didn't go much better for him, and I won 18-0. On the last turn of the second match, I had 2 characters fielded and he had 3 blockers, but I rolled 2 Thanos dice and got a 9/9 and a 7/8, with enough energy to field both. Thank you Overcrush.

      To top it off, the hosting store gives out 2 free packs for each round you win, so I got 4 packs. Opened those up, and got the SR Groot. So we didn't see any zombies, but still a very rewarding Draft event for me, especially considering I was just drafting for cards and not a strong team, and I didn't know the set much at all.
    1. VastSpartan's Avatar
      VastSpartan -
      @RizBeef "so I kept using that to make Giant Man a villain, to help get Thanos down to minimum cost (which we played as 1 mask. Is that correct? The card doesn't say "to a minimum of 1"

      What do you mean by that? You kept making Giant Man a villain and kept attacking lowering the cost for Thanos.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Minimum 1 is correct. And you still need to pay one mask.
    1. RizBeef's Avatar
      RizBeef -
      @VastSpartan - Thanos SR text says "Whenever one of your villains deals combat damage to an opponent, put an Infinity Counter on Thanos. Thanos dice cost 2 less to purchase for each Infinity Counter on Thanos."

      So I could declare Giant Man as an attacker and then use Tinhead's global ("Pay [bolt]]. Target character becomes a [villain] until end of turn.") to give Giant Man the Villain affiliation until the end of the turn. This allows me to add an Infinity Counter to Thanos for that attack.

      Between Giant Man, Wonder Man (my life was above 11 so he was still a villain), and Ultron Drones, it didn't take me long at all to get 4-5 counters on Thanos.
    1. RizBeef's Avatar
      RizBeef -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      Minimum 1 is correct. And you still need to pay one mask.
      @Shadowmeld - great, thanks. That's how we played it, just in case.