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Make it Meta | Mr. J and the 'Harlequin of Hate'

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Hello and welcome everybody! It's time once again for us to Make it Meta and this week Harley Quinn is going to (arguably) be the focus of our efforts. She and the Joker go together like hand and glove, so whatever we do is likely going to have the big man himself at the helm of the outfit. Without further ado, let's get underway.





As always, we first have to see which version of Harley we want to be building with. This is especially important as Harley's different rarities have a high level of variance in both effect and utility. The only thing that stays consistent between her iterations is her energy type and her stats, so which effect (and associated cost) is going to heavily effect how we set up a team for its best effect.

  • Cheap, energy efficient Jokers
  • Blocker evasion with board swings
  • Non-damage, limited burn

I would normally go for the blocker evasion, but at a 4- purchase, it's not quite efficient enough for Harley's varied offensive stats, so we'll be building with the common. The rare Harley makes for a good choice now that the Age of Ultron Captain America has begun to present a problem for burn teams, but she fills up our rare quota to early and we'd be unable to pair her with BEWD who makes her ability a real double-whammy of efficiency. Since we're building with the common Harley, it follows that we're also going to be featuring the Joker on our team, so we're presented with another choice of three different characters.

  • Blocker evasion when fielded
  • Single character hate
  • Anti-affiliation clearing

As I explained in Off the Meta earlier this week, only the common Joker doesn't function on a "while active" basis. Because of this, buying multiples of him isn't a problem for us and each die will contribute to our team rather than reinforcing Joker's singular effect. Now we have the basis for a combo with Harley making Joker very cheap and Joker evading non-villain blockers, but we need a way to solidify it and put together a real win condition. Joker has naturally defensive stats, but since we want him to be sneaking through for our damage, we're going to bring along Ant-Man's global and buffing Joker for 3 damage on every face. Finally, we need to make sure that Joker is getting through for his damage. Since he only evades non-villain characters, we're going to bring along Swords of Revealing Light in order to pick off any villains and keep them from foiling Joker's "when fielded" effect.

Core


This is our win condition, now we want to make sure that we can protect ourselves from any sorts of low commitment counterplay that our opponent could bring to the table such as Distraction to keep our Joker on the field long enough to lose his "when fielded" effect or a taunt global to pull our Harley off the board so we have to pay more energy; we also have to worry about simple Magic Missile pings because Joker is going to dip down very low when we swap his stats with Ant-Man's global. Accordingly, we ant to bring my time-honored favorite: Human Paladin. He fits into so many teams as a flex purchase if you see any scary globals, but only takes a single slot of investment for the privilege. Since we're not planning on doing ability damage and will have extra shields from failed Joker rolls, we can also make good use of his global against nasty characters like "Gobby".

With our protection set, we also have to think about ramp. The key to our strategy is going to be attacking in and going unblocked, so we're going to want heavy churn in order to keep drawing into our Joker dice. To that end, I'm going to slot Red Tornado into the team as well. However, we're not always looking to pick up a ramp character using a full turn's worth of dice on a TFC-6 body, so we'll bring along Villainous Pact as well. This not only gives us on-demand ramp, but also gives us a backup option should our opponent get too many of our Joker's stuck on the field without their ability to bypass blockers. The last of our utility slots is going to be a removal character since we want to be sure we have the option to interrupt our opponent's board if we feel threatened. For that, we're going to bring Toad to the table. However, we're not going to go with the standard "Tongue Lashing"... We really don't mind if our opponent walls up, but we do mind if they have villains out. To that end, we want to be plucking out specific characters from our opponent's wall and Toad - Mortimer Toynbee is perfect for the job. He gives us more villainous blockers should our opponent try to get tricky and buy our Villainous Pact.

Support




With all the key roles of the team fleshed out and two character slots left, it's time to boost the strength of what we already have set up. If we had the option, I would include the SR Thanos since we have a reliable way of dealing villainous combat damage, but since that's not within the budget for Make it Meta, we're going to go with a far more controversial way to boost our damage. I've had a long and spirited debate over on the rules forum on exactly how this character plays out and I'm confident that Angel - Flying High combos excellently with our nigh unblockable Joker. According to the WizKids ruling, since Joker can be blocked but won't be due to his evasion and our global, Angel will be free to add his damage to his swing or simply wait around for a Joker to pair up with. Should the ruling change in the future, a good replacement is any character that can avoid blockers reasonably well such as Kitty Pryde or Black Manta to give us more villain blockers, but for now I think Angel is perfect. Our final slot is going to go to a passive buff to all of our numerous villains in the form of Sinestro - Order Through Fear. So long as we're keeping our opponent's villains controlled with our Toad, he's going to provide a persistent and useful buff to our villain-centric team while also providing us a fairly exclusive pump global to use alongside our villainous hoard. Another great character to fill out this slot would be either 4-cost AoU Captain America, but I'm still dubious of including AoU character without a caveat, so Sinestro gets the official nod, though the team is highly flexible on these last two slots.

Full Team




The main plan is to get Harley fielded ASAP, possibly accelerated onto turn 3 with the use of Villainous Pact. Once she's out, Joker is going to be a measly 3- character with TFC-1. Whenever he fields, the Ant-Man global turns him into a 4-6 attack character that only villains can stop from going through for damage. If we have the energy, Red Tornado is going to keep our Jokers rushing through the bag, chomping at the bit to come back onto the field. Should we be worried about Swords of Revealing Light being used against us, or that our opponent has another scary global, Human Paladin is going to be the character to buy and will keep our characters safely on the board. If we're feeling particularly evil, we can pick up Toad to pick off our opponent's characters as we need to and Sinestro comes in as a late-game purchase for the purpose of boosting our damage and maybe getting ready for a full-field swing. Angel is a great option if we're worried about having enough fists to pump Joker's damage or if our opponent has some way to consistently damage our Jokers to death once their stats are flipped as he's a resource free character that will provide a solid boost to the damage going through (optimally, a singe Joker and Angel swing can result in 10 damage, nothing to scoff at). Villainous Pact is a fallback strategy for the off chance that our opponent is fiddling with a semi-villain team since just villains still isn't enough to block a full-field swing while we'll be sitting pretty behind a wall of 4+ unique villains depending upon the specific build.

Overall, this is a very low-economy team, focused around a host of small dice and making a specific character fit that bill as well. With enough energy to buy a die and field a die each turn, you should never be rolling very many dice unless you've just engaged in combat or your opponent brought a ramp global like PXG. Accordingly, this is a reasonably aggressive team since it doesn't really need more than a single die on the field for its setup. Once you get to drawing Jokers, your opponent is on the clock and only a wall of pure villainous evil can stop you.





Thank you all for following along, I had a blast puzzling out this team and how each slot should be filled. There's a lot of flexibility past the core combo, so feel free to tailor the team to your needs. I was really surprised by how effectively Joker and Harley can work together and I think WizKids did a brilliant job of keeping them both thematic and functional. They are a terrible twosome indeed and together, they can bring your opponent to his knees in a matter of turns. Try out this cruel combo and be amazed at how useful a persistent reduction of both fielding and purchasing costs really is.

Updated 08-08-2015 at 04:32 PM by Necromanticer

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Comments

  1. bahamut7's Avatar
    My favorite part about this team is that Zombie Magneto doesn't hamper it as long as you got some joker churning. It's simple and to the point. The paladin also slows down kobold ramping (potentially gains XP), Sinestro can always be flipped for an 8 attack, and any excessive bolt energy (outside getting more Red tornado) can be used to acclimate your opponents action dice. Very well done.