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Off the Meta | The Silver Surfer is Radd

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Hello and welcome back once again everybody! While looking back through AvX to find Hawkeye, I spied another character that I felt also deserved attention. However, I've learned better than to test myself with multiple characters a week, so instead, I waited till now to have look at Silver Surfer. For all those of you out there crying foul and that he's a well known character in the game already, I'd argue that he's passed FAR out of the meta with the advent of Ressurection and Villainous pact, and he's also never been known for his actual character, just his global.







Overall:
Silver Surfer is a very big character, weighing in at a 6+ purchasing cost and the related TFC-6. His abilities all revolve around you having less health than your opponent and we all know his global is simply Resurrection with the added cost of you taking 2 damage. Now, this is an interesting ability in that it changes how you and your opponent play. If you have sufficient threat such as Overcrush, it can pressure your opponent into playing a game of chicken with you, each of you using the global to try and keep your own health lower than your opponent's. This automatically reduces the value of early aggression because if you get an early lead in damage taken, your opponent may have just given up the late game. It also plays very nicely into the idea of risk and reward, since it takes a while to get out a 6+ cost character and you may simply eat the full 20 damage needed to kill you in the mean time. This is an interesting mind game you can play with your opponent and if he doesn't go for it, you get a bonus for free when you manage to get Silver Surfer out. Overall, he adds a very interesting dynamic to the game that I think is slightly underrated.




Silver Surfer - Silverado
Here we have the most basic Silver Surfer, while you have less life than your opponent, he gains +2/+2 in the attack step. If his effect procs, you're getting the strongest statted character in the game for 6-cost at a whopping 7/7, 9/7, 10/9. That's a ridiculous amount of stats for a single character, even besting the Egyptian Gods from Yu-Gi-Oh. He also provides you both ramp and the ability to get your health lower than your opponent's by a marginal amount and should honestly be the post child for self-synergy. The only real issue you're going to have with him is making him into a win condition since he doesn't do much on his own when faced up against even one sidekick. to really get good use out of him, you'll have to slap on Overcrush or set up some shenanigans with the Transfer Power global and a form of field-swarm or unblockable characters. Just beware to bring along protection; nothing hurts more than swinging with a 12+ character with Overcrush and getting immediately distracted.










Silver Surfer - Sentinel
This Silver Surfer is a bit strange. For a 6 cost, he provides a decent body and a persistent ramp ability while you're behind on life. However, you really don't want to be ramping up to a ramp effect, that's the point of ramp in the first place. You want to use ramp as a way to get to a win condition or something useful, while Silver Surfer is only mediocre, even when his effect does proc. This seems to be a theme with a lot of heavy characters in the coming AoU and it's come up in the past, most obviously in the Yu-Gi-Oh set with Dark Magician so I'm going to take a moment to coin the term: Dark Magician-Syndrome. This is where a big 6+ cost character has mediocre stats and is built around a ramp effect. It essentially makes the character a dead slot since there's almost never a good reason to waste your beatstick character's effect on more ramp. Instead, you should be building up to a character with a wall of stats like Silverado or a character with an ability that will let you close out the game like Obelisk the Tormentor - Fist of Fate. Accordingly, I really do not rate this character and would only recommend playing him if you wanted to immediately ramp up to him using this trick and then play a game of hyper-inflated energy with 3 or more 6+ cost characters (note: the author of this article does not condone the usage of PXG, play at the risk of your own fun).








Silver Surfer - Sky Rider
For a single extra purchasing cost, you're getting Silverado on steroids! At the start of the attack step, if you're missing a bigger chunk of life than your opponent, Silver Surfer is going to double his stats. That's right, your 7 cost character just became a monster with 10/10, 14/10, and 16/14. Better yet, this effect procs only once you enter the attack step, meaning you get to pump Silver Surfer before his stats double. With that in mind, a single Anger Issues effect is going to give him +6 attack on top of overcrush. I let you do the math, but that's an incredible amount of damage and can turn Silver Surfer into an instant win condition if you're not already in the lead. Normally, a 7-cost character is not going to be worthwhile for pure stats, but at a 16/14, Silver Surfer is an exception. The only issue you're going to see when playing him is ramping up to him in the first place and the fact that you can't really pull off anything sneaky with him. He relies on a very clearly telegraphed condition to make him worthwhile, but you can still use that to your advantage. As I said before, Silver Surfer is all about the mind-games and if you can manage your ramp, your opponent is going to have a big incentive to keep their life lower than yours. Take advantage of this and you should be able to do great things, possibly swinging in for an OTK.






Counterplay:
The biggest drawback of Silver Surfer is that he gives you an incentive to take damage and do your opponent's job for them. If you're up against Silver Surfer, you can turn this to your advantage by rushing him down. Your opponent's life deficit isn't going to help them at all until they manage to get Silver Surfer on the field, so take that time to bully them around and hopefully close out the game. Also, if your opponent ever hopes to purchase Silver Surfer in the first place, they're going to need to ramp up to him. This gives you another vulnerability to exploit by shutting down their ramp. If your opponent has Kobolds, bolt them down with Magic Missile; if PXG is plaguing you, abuse Morphing Jar - All Seeing Eye; If they have Beast out, use Relentless whenever possible to kill two birds with one stone by killing your opponent while also stunting their ramp. Keeping up a steady barrage of aggression is going to pay off very well for you if they're dedicated to the Silver Surfer, and if they brought him over Resurrection or Villainous pact, chances are they want to use him (or want a non-targeted Hulk trigger for their already meta team).

Conclusion:
Silver Surfer is the definition of a beatstick, but with a very clever gimmick. He's built around the idea of turning life into a resource of attrition and punishing your opponent for being in the conventional "winning position". If you can manage to get him out, he's going to be a very powerful character for you to use and abuse and will be even more powerful if you can afford to be at less health than your opponent. You are going to NEED a powerful form of ramp in order to get him out, but when you do, you're going to have a very strong character that your opponent can't deal with by using plain damage. Instead, your opponent will likely try to avoid having to face Silver Surfer altogether and take you down as fast as they can. Silver Surfer brings a kind of unspoken pressure that's going to affect the way your opponent plays and may be worthwhile just for the mind-games, regardless of whether you intend to play him or not. He can also combo with a lot of the upcoming effects in AoU that revolve around non-combat damage or being at low health and can even provide a source of healing with enough Captain America's on the field.





That starts us off for another week and I honestly can't say how energized I am for the Dice Masters community as a whole. I'm sure you've all seen the Dark Souls set that I crafted and the reactions I've had to it have been incredible. Not only that, but I couldn't have done it without the community itself and now that it's on Vassal in a playable state, I can tell that this community is one that's more than willing to band together to achieve great things. Thanks for following along, everyone, I'll see you later this week.

Comments

  1. bahamut7's Avatar
    I actually made a team with Sky-Rider not too long ago. I call it the One-Shot. By utilizing Spiderman - Webhead or Dimensional Door plus Anger Issues, my opponent has to face a clock that will be a shot kill if I am able to field him. Though, I have only played the team twice thus far, I did almost run out of life before fielding him (me 2 life, my opponent still at 20), it's not something I like to use all the time. I find teams that win by skipping your opponents entire defense line boring, the exception is direct damage teams. The fun part is that I also include Minsc and Boo for the same idea (just have to let him build up over time) and my opponent has to choose who to shutdown if they bring Millennium Puzzle, Loki, or Joker.
  2. Necromanticer's Avatar
    @bahamut7 That's exactly the sort of idea I'm going to be going with later this week. It's going to be a lot about mindgames and pressuring the opponent into misplaying. Since they're going to be on the clock from Sky-Rider, they know that have to hit me hard and fast. Accordingly, I'm going to be doing my best to stall out and control their field, though I lament my lack of extra rares since Sky-Rider immediately fills the quota. Looking back, I' always stunned by how often the rare versions of a card have serious game ending capabilities. It seems like part of WizKids' design philosophy was to make the commons and uncommons the real meat and potatoes of a team and have rares act as the utility and bombastic cards to really throw your opponent through a loop.
  3. bahamut7's Avatar
    I have also noticed that the rares and Super rares are niche cards. Sometimes their use is obvious, other times they need a little finesse. The last game I used Sky-rider, I failed to field him on turn 4 or 5 (couldn't stop rolling that single shield) and my opponent knew he had to move it end the game before I got my second chance. He almost did (granted I did damage myself for 10 life over the game) but he couldn't swing enough to win. Ever since I first saw his die stats some time ago, I always wanted to use him and finally got to.
  4. cbone3's Avatar
    Radd? *groan*
  5. bahamut7's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cbone3
    Radd? *groan*
    Radd? Oh, yea the title nevermind.
  6. Necromanticer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cbone3
    Radd? *groan*
    I have never really been into comic books or super heroes, so I've been learning a lot just researching all these characters that I play with. It's always fun to make puns out of information I just learned myself not 1 week prior.
  7. bahamut7's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Necromanticer
    I have never really been into comic books or super heroes, so I've been learning a lot just researching all these characters that I play with. It's always fun to make puns out of information I just learned myself not 1 week prior.
    Like Hawkeye Shot First?
  8. ninjahonor's Avatar
    Little late to this party, but with AoU out, I took a look at this guy. Think of silver surfer global combined with Wonderman - Movie Star.

    Ramp yourself to get 4 wonderman dice out ASAP. The moment you hit under 11 life, all of those dice become unblockable. Bring along a direct damage BAC or global, and you may have yourself a win condition. Polymorph would help with spinning up Wonderman dice.

    If you do the nine energy trick, then you could effectively buy two Wonderman dice quickly. Or, you could just combo into the uncommon Thanos to have something huge unblockable. Then, use Polymorph to swap him again after he is in used.

    The possibilities are endless! :-)