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Reading the Rainbow - Part 1 The Economy

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DC is here!
As such, I felt it was a good time to discuss the Drafting that we will all hopefully be doing over the next month or so. I plan to do a series over the next few weeks where I analyze a draft and many of it's decision points. I have documented my Gravity Feed opening as if it was being drafted and plan to give you analysis from each player's perspective. I will also be talking about the DC meta-game in general, as well as giving you guys a chance to pick the cards each player drafts. Now onto the meat!

Let me tell you, DC is a tricky draft. We have a small number of 2 drops, all who have better 3 drop faces. We have some scary good 4 and 5 drops, and not a whole lot of 6+ drops worth our time. Oh, and don't forget those fielding costs, because DC is rampant with 1+ costs on even level 1 faces. With this totally skewed Economy what ever are we to do? Well, before we even look at our packs or the rainbow, before we even sit down at the table, we should have an idea of what economy to expect to encounter, and thus what cards are MUST GRABS.

Let's talk about what economy we are used to seeing. In AvX we had solid low cost characters we could buy early to ramp into big bombs late game along with the Silver Surfer Global. In UxM we had PxG. In YGO we saw even lower cost characters as well as ritual effects to get our bombs out. In DnD we had swarm, Resurrection, adventurers and Half-dragon, each bringing their own economic discounts. For DC, we have... almost nothing. Villainous pact is akin to resurrection, Aquaman(C) and Sinestro(C) give us some economic discounts and Catwoman(C) gives us some much needed prep, but nothing really on the scale of Swarm or PxG.

Maybe we should go back to our AvX days where we just buy may low cost characters? Looking at the list, we have 3 2 cost characters, Constantine(C), Katana(C), and Black Manta(C). We also have 2 other versions of Constantine but at Rarity (R) and (SR) we need to assume all Constantine in the rainbow are (C), and that we are not likely to see a lot of them. Speaking of not seeing a lot of them, Black Manta (UC) is a hotly contested Villains card and players are going to be drafting him up like crazy, so it is unlikely that we will be able to get many of him. The same could be said for Katana(UC) with her villain synergy. This leaves us with very contested choices for our 2-drop slots, so contested we can probably assume we will only get one or two dice of ANY 2 drops.

So, what other choices do we have? 3 and 4 drops with some economy manipulation will allow us to ramp well. Action Dice can give us Much needed Generic energy for both fielding and ramp. And lastly, we can just win with speed. Looking at Economy Manipulation there are some obvious stand outs. We mentioned Aquaman and Sinestro earlier, with their discounts to purchase costs and fielding costs they are great pick ups. If you like discounts, Harley Quinn(C) is your girl! a cheap Joker, fielded for less, is nothing to scoff at. Catwoman is also a great purchase with decent stats and the most reliable prep mechanic in the set. It also helps that while you are only likely to get her common, you only really need one of her to get the ramp in on occasion. So Catwoman gives you that one turn with 5 dice, what do you do with it? Hopefully you roll 5 energy and buy that 5 cost win card, like Firestorm(C). If you don't, you could always re-roll those sidekicks, but if you're anything like me when it comes to sidekick re-rolls, you always get a pawn. That is where Zatanna(C) comes in. She allows you to re-roll your sidekicks an additional time per turn, giving you highly reliable energy typing, and allowing you to go a little heavy into one type or another (bolts for example).

Lastly, let's talk about a serious issue. Immagine a world where PXG wasn't global. Where you could reliably reduce your sidekick count from 8 to 5 and keep it that way. Where you could predictably draw 5 dice a turn instead of 4. As they would say on How I Met Your Mother, "Have you met Rannian?"

This guy is all the economy any Draft team will ever need. Turn 1 or 2 buy him, turn 3 or 4 field him, turn 5, watch your opponent's jaw drop as you have just cycled 7 sidekicks and drawn a character. Then do it again on turn 6, and 7, and 8 and.... Oh, you want to remove this guy? He's a 6 defense, good luck. At Uncommon, there will only be one or two of these Lab Creations in a draft. If you see him, DO NOT LET HIM PASS. Pick him over anything but a SR Constantine.

Just know, who ever gets him, they're already winning your match, so be prepared for him.

Next time we will talk about Metas, and discuss the strategies of buying action dice and speed decks.

Updated 05-08-2015 at 04:16 PM by Shadowmeld



  1. RJRETRO's Avatar
    You think UC Red Tornado is that strong, eh? I'm guessing it has to do with how badly he crushed you in the draft?

    Great article!
  2. Shadowmeld's Avatar
    Yes, and no. This set has no real ramp, and seeing him in action is eye opening. If you can't buy two costs, and can't prep more than one die with any reliability, then you are looking at one 3-5 cost die per turn. With that in mind, if you buy him turn 1, field him turn 3 and draw for your turn 4, you are almost garunteed to draw 3+ sidekicks. Setting those aside you draw 4 more, and in most situations that resets your bag adding those characters you bought turn 3 back to your bag. Draw that character and 3 more side kicks, and you just SKIPPED a turn of 4 sidekicks in exchange for one with an actual character.
    Say you build the firestorm bolt team. Skip a turn of sidekicks and get a turn with a bolt character, that is a whole turn faster of putting that Firestorm 2 damage at your opponent.

    Over and above his ramp though, look at that guys stats! For a character you want to stay on the board and defend, I'm not sure there is better for 4 cost.
  3. DigitalFirefly's Avatar
    Anyone else only see 2 cards in this article? I see the colon codes, but the cards aren't showing up except for Katana and Black Manta.
  4. Shadowmeld's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalFirefly
    Anyone else only see 2 cards in this article? I see the colon codes, but the cards aren't showing up except for Katana and Black Manta.
    Yes, the DC uploads aren't fully done yet. When they've been fully added and implemented I'll refresh the doc.
  5. DigitalFirefly's Avatar
    That explains it. Thanks. Great article.
  6. Chris's Avatar
    GREAT article, Shadow! Really good stuff. I'm drafting DC in two Saturdays (so 8 days) and I can't wait. This is helpful stuff.