• Pretending to Know Stuff Vol.2

    Attachment 3621 Welcome back for another edition of Pretending to Know Stuff. The unlimited or constructed “Meta” – what is in RIGHT NOW. What’s still in the Meta, what joined the Meta from the most recent set, and what from the most recent set can help combat the Meta. This column will be full of bias. I can’t help it. I will favor stuff you don’t, and I will inexplicably fail to mention something you think is amazing. The comments are a place to politely point out where you disagree and let me know what I might have missed.

    The two BACs I want to discuss this week are Heroic Defense and Vicious Struggle. Heroic defense is a great way to use smaller characters to force your opponent into making challenging choices. Especially when combined with Transfer Power or Mystic Box globals. If your opponent chooses not to block your sidekick attackers, you may steal a larger attack value for greater damage. If they block with any character, you can expect life gain out of the ordeal for just a shield. It doesn’t even require the KO’d characters to be attacking. You can combine this with good old Blue-Eyes White Dragon global for life gain. Now I recognize all too well the dangers of bringing BACs and globals and allowing your opponent to use them against you, but it is worth pointing out that there are good ways to make your opponent pay for using the actions and globals you bring (Jinzo, Wasp, etc).

    Next up is Vicious struggle. If you bring Captain America – Man Out of Time, you practically ensure your opponent will not be able to use any Vicious Struggle dice they may buy. And while it is not at the speed of a global, it’s a reasonable defense against early aggression which is not a one shot combo. It’s heady for sure, but playing around with the havoc this can wreak has been a world of fun. Just be ready to do some math and keep an eye open for threats.

    Of the Black Lanterns, I expect modest Meta impact. What I do think will happen is that someone will come up with a reasonable strategy in one of the (hopefully) forthcoming regionals that takes advantage of them in a specific way. Let’s face it, a 7 cost should win you the game, or come very close to doing so, but these mostly just start a clock and affect both players. However, they are all villains which plays nicely into a number of strategies, as @Osprey pointed out in a recent report from his local scene.

    A few cards are worth mentioning that are probably on the outside of the Meta: Once hailed as the “new Gobby,” the UC Fatality has some promise, but I haven’t seen her full utility realized. Sinestro – Thaal Sinestro of Korugar can be a sneaky life drain in Metas which don’t see or have banned the R Lantern Ring. The UC Lyssa Drak is a fantastic taxing device, especially when facing a team which relies on numbers. The SR Lantern Battery is another tax – I love it, I just have not found a good way to drop it into my competitive teams. The C Lantern Battery is a really neat counter device to the R Lantern Ring, but those who have concerns about how slow it is in response are probably right to have those concerns. Speaking of the ring again, we should look at two characters who pair with the ring very well.

    The C Miri Riam has an ability which can rescue a roll where you miss most of your characters – if your ring is in the field, she will count it and you can buy a 2 cost lantern character with the energy on the missed character dice before fielding her and get it on the field in the same turn. The starter Guy Gardner – Blinding Rage is a powerful 2-cost fist. Yes, I understated his ability just so I could draw attention to understating it. This is an amazing ability – pumpable just by being part of a group. Name a general strategy in which a cheap character with a big attack is never desirable. I’m not saying this Guy should go on every team – I’m just saying that if you need a two cost fist beatstick and don’t have Tsarina, this card is available in the starter and there are lots of good ways to put it to use, not the least of which is comboing with the R Lantern Ring (or possibly the SR Lantern Battery).

    The two globals I expect to see the most out of this set are Parallax and Mera. Frankly, both should be considered in light of combo teams – those that are one-trick ponies and need to have several dice line up the right way to pull off the combination. I love the Parallax global and hate the Mera global. Which is funny because if I run one in a competitive team it will be the Mera and not the Parallax. Here’s the thing – sinking resources into chance is a bad way to win any game with consistency, let alone a dice game. Now, if you know you will have resources to spare, be my guest to bring something that makes your team more consistent, but if you don’t have the margin for that in your strategy there is a good chance all you will really do is lose faster. Mera, however, is very useful if your strategy does not require a one shot kill. The early protection she provides is well worth the slot on many teams.

    With the delay of ASM, it looks like we’ll sneak one more PTKS in under WoL and next time we’ll take a look at cards from previous sets with some new potential to make an impact in the Meta. Until then, don’t hesitate to let me know where I went wrong with this list in the comments

    Cheers!
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Joepancreas's Avatar
      Joepancreas -
      I am not sure I understand the protection Man out of Time (While active, each time you take non-combat damage, deal 1 damage to an opponent.) provides against Vicious Struggle. If you take 5 damage from VS, your opponent only takes 1 correct? Assuming all five is from one source?

      I figured Super Solider (While active, prevent all but 1 damage to you from any action or character abilities.) would be a better Cap in this instance, but I am not sure how it would work. Could VS only do one damage and then be nullified, or would it reduce each instance to 1 damage?
    1. Java's Avatar
      Java -
      Quote Originally Posted by Joepancreas View Post
      I am not sure I understand the protection Man out of Time (While active, each time you take non-combat damage, deal 1 damage to an opponent.) provides against Vicious Struggle. If you take 5 damage from VS, your opponent only takes 1 correct? Assuming all five is from one source?

      I figured Super Solider (While active, prevent all but 1 damage to you from any action or character abilities.) would be a better Cap in this instance, but I am not sure how it would work. Could VS only do one damage and then be nullified, or would it reduce each instance to 1 damage?
      If your VS damages me, my Man Out of Time damages you back. That causes your VS to damage me again, which causes Capt to damage you back, which causes your VS....etc. The game is suddenly over, and whoever had the most life when the whole mess started wins.
    1. Joepancreas's Avatar
      Joepancreas -
      Quote Originally Posted by Java View Post
      If your VS damages me, my Man Out of Time damages you back. That causes your VS to damage me again, which causes Capt to damage you back, which causes your VS....etc. The game is suddenly over, and whoever had the most life when the whole mess started wins.
      Thanks for clarifying that, I didn't consider the loop it would cause.
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Java View Post
      If your VS damages me, my Man Out of Time damages you back. That causes your VS to damage me again, which causes Capt to damage you back, which causes your VS....etc. The game is suddenly over, and whoever had the most life when the whole mess started wins.
      Right. But @Joepancreas has a good point which I did a poor job of elucidating in the article. If your opponent can play Vicious Struggle and get ahead in life in the same turn, Cap actually kills you because of the cascade Cap and VS create. It makes me think someone will find a way to use the Treant global with Jinzo and this combination to do some neat tricks. With Jinzo, the Treant global is fairly one sided.
    1. Osprey's Avatar
      Osprey -
      Fair points. One thing I will say is that the meta impact of Black Lanterns is probably even lower than your expectations. It's certainly a fun list, but why go to all the trouble when you can just sit on cheaper power cards? It also flat-out dies to prismatic spray because of the amount of ramp you have to maintain, not to mention all the wonderful globals you bring for your opponent.

      That said, I absolutely love it and have the final chase rare in the mail on it's way to me now, so expect an update on the list soon! I've taken some time to improve it a bit. I highly recommend that anyone who can gives it a try. It's a ton of fun to be staring down your opponents entire team and knowing that you're going to have to fight back with 1-2 characters, a millennium puzzle and no chump blockers. Once wonder woman hits the board though, she needs an immediate answer or she will destroy your opponents field presence.
    1. Joepancreas's Avatar
      Joepancreas -
      I am still curious as to how you would interpret Super Solider (While active, prevent all but 1 damage to you from any action or character abilities.) in regards to Vicious Struggle. Since the action is ongoing, would he reduce the damage to 1 for the whole turn, or one for each instance that VS would activate?

      I am thinking that it would reduce each instance, but the fact that it is a continuous ability makes me unsure. Thoughts?
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Joepancreas View Post
      I am still curious as to how you would interpret Super Solider (While active, prevent all but 1 damage to you from any action or character abilities.) in regards to Vicious Struggle. Since the action is ongoing, would he reduce the damage to 1 for the whole turn, or one for each instance that VS would activate?

      I am thinking that it would reduce each instance, but the fact that it is a continuous ability makes me unsure. Thoughts?
      I've been playing as each instance. As a prevent ability, it interrupts resolution of each instance of damage to take effect itself. Perhaps others would care to chime in a well?
    1. Osprey's Avatar
      Osprey -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jthomash2 View Post
      I've been playing as each instance. As a prevent ability, it interrupts resolution of each instance of damage to take effect itself. Perhaps others would care to chime in a well?
      I imagine it would be each instance as well, based on how it is worded, but I can see how it could also be read to deal damage in a lump sum. It's definitely strong either way. If I had to rule it at an event, I would go with the each instance option, but it needs further clarification from the WKRF.

      In other news, it combos nicely with anything that makes your opponent lose life, so it's harder for them to use it against you. The aforementioned Sinestro: Thall Sinestro of Korugar is a nice example of how we could build around it.
    1. Adimantium10's Avatar
      Adimantium10 -
      What exactly do you mean by "...with the delay of ASM?"
    1. Osprey's Avatar
      Osprey -
      Quote Originally Posted by Adimantium10 View Post
      What exactly do you mean by "...with the delay of ASM?"
      ASM was delayed an additional week, and it could face even longer delays due to shortages.