• Pretending to Know Stuff Vol.4

    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.


    Last time I made the case that you must know how to pilot your team versus multiple threats. Know if your team needs to play aggressively or a more control style to beat your opponent. The beauty of this game is that you pretty much need to make that determination not just on every turn, but even with each roll of the die. Let’s face it, this information affects which dice you will reroll during your Roll and Reroll Step. I can’t tell you how many times I have wished I made a different selection of dice to reroll – not because of how my reroll resolved, but because I realized I probably had what I needed for the right play already, and a different selection could have only made things get better. Too often, I do not think about the opportunity cost of a reroll. A reroll doesn’t cost me energy necessarily, but I have found myself rerolling dice I should have kept because I was too keyed in on a preconceived strategy rather than evaluating what I would be able to do with the resources I had.

    When we look at the ASM set as a whole, there is a wealth of opportunity for impact on the Meta. Part of the reason is that the Meta is wide open right now. Yes, early aggro is probably favored if it gets the rolls it needs. But control is favored once it has board control. But again, because of the answers to answers and counters to counters that exist, the game really favors the better pilot. In any case, there are a few really remarkable cards in this set, let’s take a look.

    The basic action Back For Seconds (BFS) is really interesting. When combined with the White Tiger Global, it can drop a turn 3 purchase into the field on level 3 immediately after purchase. If you were to Red Dragon for BFS and PXG, then RD for Anger issues and PXG x3, you could use the White Tiger Global (opponent will have SK in used in virtually any scenario, but you won’t, so you pay a fist to force an Underdog board state), buy Wolverine – Formerly Weapon Ten (FWX), play BFS to drop FWX in the field on level 3, apply Anger issues, and attack for an overcrushing 15 damage. The best thing is that FWX may not even be the best Wolverine option in this scenario – consider what might be done with The Best There Is! Keep an eye on BFS, in particular because this action can force when fielded effects.

    Holy aggressive masks, Batman. Carnage, Rare Mary Jane, Cloak and Dagger, Silver Sable, even the Common Scarlet Spider. One of the biggest holes in the game was aggressive masks. There were a few, sure, Batman and Black Widow among them. But this set is full of aggressive mask characters – with abilities that probably belonged to fist characters in any other set. While Cloak and Dagger’s stats don’t totally support aggressive play, their abilities can make them viable, especially with some of the Attack stat boosting that is available. I think the implication of this is super interesting based on a conversation I had with Shadowmeld recently – I wasn’t initially convinced, but his contention was that the game is moving towards mono and dual energy build superiority. Viability is one thing, but superiority? I didn’t buy it. But here’s the thing – as the game grows, it probably makes a significant amount of sense. You can now be aggressive with masks – who would have thought that was possible before?

    The combinations that are available are for all practical purposes innumerable. You can see loads of discussion on the forum about the Uncommon Vulture. I’m not sure I can add anything to that discussion. This is an incredible beatstick. It requires getting rid of characters, but that might double as a desirable thing if those characters are would-be blockers. It has no ceiling. It’s absurd, and I love it.

    There‘s plenty in this set to be excited about. We’ll chat about a few of the other things in this set that are really exciting next time, and we’ll look towards possible ways to build with them as well. Keep in mind how important knowing how to pilot your team is as you look for new combinations. Piloting is more important than building or style. Pilot well, and you can win.

    Cheers!
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      You heard it here, Mono or dual energy teams, the way of the future.
    1. djcannonmi's Avatar
      djcannonmi -
      Bolts are probably the best Mono energy going right now but it looks like masks may be catching up!
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by djcannonmi View Post
      Bolts are probably the best Mono energy going right now but it looks like masks may be catching up!
      I challenge you to face my shields!

      Serioulsy though, half of the top 20 cards in the game are shield cards.
    1. djcannonmi's Avatar
      djcannonmi -
      Yeah but do they mesh together as well as Johnny Storm, Too Cool for Words, If Looks Could Kill, Monstrous Dragon, Former Avenger, CEO of Stark Industries, and various others. I can definitely see masks especially with the PXG adding the ramp.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Z-Mags, Grundy, Joker, U Hulk, Jinzo, Hellblazer, Human pally, and Blue-Eyes (yes, not a shield, but still) Solid and varied control elements, with High attack stats for a finish.
    1. djcannonmi's Avatar
      djcannonmi -
      You had me until you added the Blue Eyes, lol. But I agree it is a solid team that meshes well just missing a way to ramp. With Johnny Storm, I can ramp on my own just by rotating the SKs, but I cannot argue how effective your team looks.
    1. Electric Leo's Avatar
      Electric Leo -
      Would someone mind explaining what RD and SK are please?
    1. fun4willis's Avatar
      fun4willis -
      RD = Red Dragon Global
      Global: Once per turn pay bolt. When you purchase your next action die this turn, it costs 2 less (minimum 1) and you deal 1 damage to your opponent.
      SK = Sidekick (also known as an NPC)
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by fun4willis View Post
      RD = Red Dragon Global


      SK = Sidekick (also known as an NPC)
      Thanks, man. And apologies for failing to spell it out in the first place!
    1. Electric Leo's Avatar
      Electric Leo -
      Quote Originally Posted by fun4willis View Post
      RD = Red Dragon Global


      SK = Sidekick (also known as an NPC)
      Thank you!
    1. Mellingera's Avatar
      Mellingera -
      I am waiting for someone to mention the fun that the Rare Agent Venom has with Johnny Storm from AvX.

      After you get either character on the field, you bring in the second and ping your opponent and Agent Venom and field a sidekick from your used pile. Do that anywhere from 3 to 5 times depending on whats in your used/prep area and the level you field Agent Venom. Maybe add in some +D somewhere and keep having more fun that way.

      Put a Gobby in there to field after you go through that and swing with all the sidekicks to keep yourself from getting hit with Betrayal. Yeah. I think that could be fun.
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mellingera View Post
      I am waiting for someone to mention the fun that the Rare Agent Venom has with Johnny Storm from AvX.

      After you get either character on the field, you bring in the second and ping your opponent and Agent Venom and field a sidekick from your used pile. Do that anywhere from 3 to 5 times depending on whats in your used/prep area and the level you field Agent Venom. Maybe add in some +D somewhere and keep having more fun that way.

      Put a Gobby in there to field after you go through that and swing with all the sidekicks to keep yourself from getting hit with Betrayal. Yeah. I think that could be fun.
      Some discussion can be found here: http://www.thereservepool.com/thread...ht=Agent+venom
    1. Mellingera's Avatar
      Mellingera -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jthomash2 View Post
      Awesome! Thanks!

      I was under the impression that the transition zone was used on both players turns. I wasn't even looking at it as an infinite combo, but that is interesting. I do think the transition zone should be implemented in both players turns. Not just because of this, but also for continuity.