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Off the Meta | Black Canary Cry

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Hello and welcome one and all. It's a brand new week and it's time for another round of Off the Meta. This week will be holding with the Justice League theme by looking into Black Canary and her wonderful stats (and I'm on time this week)!







Overall:
Black Canary is an interesting character that is built around a solid set of stats and manipulating/removing blockers. Her costs are a bit higher than what I'd love, but she still provides a lot of utility on a body that cost almost nothing to field and packs a whollop. Arguably, her biggest strength is her strangely low TFC-1 on an offensive body, making her effectively Kitty Pryde v2.0 with a bigger focus on team play rather than solo capabilities. All of her abilities are going to limit your opponent's abilities to block and allow you to swing in for hefty damage. This is especially true when taken in combination with the fact that 2 of her 3 iterations are "when fielded" abilities, meaning that you're best served by swinging with her a lot and making good use of her abilities. Even if Black Canary dies in her attack, she's still made room for you to sneak more damage in and can be critical to an early aggrestion team working effectively.



Black Canary - Crime-Fighter
Despite her rarity stripe, this Black Canary is actually a common rarity and is one of a few characters from Justice League that received an erroneous uncommon stripe. Regardless of this fact, she is a reasonably powerful 4- character who will stop all of your opponent's sidekicks from blocking on any turn she is fielded. While very effective for keeping chump blocks from going through, she's difficult to use as her effect is the only one of the Black Canary effects that does not stack with itself. Accordingly, you're not going to want more than 1 or 2 to make the best use of her ability when swinging in. Even so, when combined with just a little bit of extra blocker removal such as Storm or Relentless, you can effectively bring a full-field swing to bear with only minimal opposition. That said, this ability is roughly the equivalent of a breath weapon 1, without the on demand element, making it a more unwieldy. If you're focused on an economy fist team or are worried about being knocked out and having to repay fielding costs, Black Canary can do great things, just make sure you'd not be better served by a breath weapon instead.








Black Canary - Canary Cry
In keeping with the 4- cost and a "when fielded" ability, this Black Canary instead acts as a modified Storm - African Priestess. When she's fielded, you may roll an opposing character and if it comes up energy, send it to the prep area. While on the face of it, this may not sound too good as it preps the die rather than sending it to used and she costs an extra energy, there are some differences that make her at least a competitive pick. First, she's a character meaning that she can be bought on the Kobold's dime, isn't competing for mask energy that could be better spent on globals, and if she rolls energy she can be used for a pump global like Anger Issues for more early damage. Additionally, she has a lower fielding cost and higher stats across the board, meaning she puts a stronger body on the field to take advantage of the hole in your opponent's board. Finally, she doesn't get canceled by the new hotness Magnteo - Magnetic Monster. That last fact alone may be her saving grace in a meta that will definitely be adapting to the new Magneto. However, she's still a 4-cost character that does a less effective job than a 3-cost character, so you have to weigh these advantages over that fact. This Black Canary hinges upon that comparison to Storm since they are so similar, so keep that in mind when deciding which character best fills this slot on your team.







Black Canary - Dinah Laurel Lance
The cheapest and rarest of all Black Canary's at a 3- Super Rare, Dinah Laurel Lance is a fantastic character that retains the great stats that Black Canary is known for and combines it with an incredibly useful and thematic effect. Black canary is the only non- character in the entire JSA and her ability is made to match. When she attacks, she may spend a per die in order to prevent an opposing character from blocking for every energy paid. This not only means she fits perfectly into any JSA based team, but also that she's bringing the Relentless global on a body. Having access to the Relentless global on a body means that you're not taking up an action slot, you're not letting your opponent have it, and Black Canary even changes its energy type to one that can be easily supplied by the Iceman global instead of forcing you to rely on random rolls or forcing you to build into a certain energy type. Bringing her alongside extra blocker removal such as Blue Dragon to clear both sidekicks and other blockers, you're going to be able to make quite effective use of her ability. Best of all, it doesn't even count as a global, meaning that Human Paladin your opponent invested so much into isn't going to help your opponent in the slightest. This all adds up to an incredibly strong character that's going to provide a very one-sided advantage to your entire team for cheap. Just like Iron Man before her, Black Canary exemplifies how to make a super rare. She's not overpowered by any stretch, but you can put her into a specific team and she's going to multiply your force by an incredible amount. She's not a one-man army, she won't win if you just stack Black Canary, but she allows new strategies and interesting interactions that all focus on the theme of her character. This is the kind of character I want to see taking up the Super Rare slots of the sets to come.




Counterplay:
Stepping down off my soap-box, let's look at how to deal with Black Canary on the opposing team. Black Canary is all about blocker manipulation and targeting characters. If you want to keep this from happening, a simple Ring of Magnetism on a sidekick is going to heavily interrupt her abilities. Keeping in mind that weak damage removal may clear away your ring, you may be better served playing the die on a wall type character, but the effect is the same. If you're facing the non-targeting common, simply field more characters to block instead of relying mostly on sidekicks. These strategies will largely negate Black Canary's many uses, specifically by keeping he from making much of an impact on the board. This all said, Black Canary is always going to be a reasonable body on the board, but her defenses are lacking for a character of her stats. This means that the many high defense/mid-cost characters that have been coming out lately will do quite well for blocker her and serve to allow you to trade effectively. Conversely, you can use sidekicks to foil her as two sidekicks is a knockout on 2 of her 3 faces. The problem with this strategy is that if you knock her out, your opponent can reroll her the next turn and pay very little to get her back on the field. This can turn into a war of attrition which your opponent is going to be paying a lot less for, so it may be prudent to single sidekick blocker her in order to keep her from proccing her "when fielded" effects. Either way, you need to focus on hurting your opponent for purchasing her so try your best to work against her in whichever way happens to be most effective.


Conclusion:
Black Canary is a heavily offensive character that's going to thrive in combat and is one of the best themed characters in the Justice League set. She has a lot of variety and utility to bring to any aggro composition, but may not be perfect for every team. She does a lot of things that we can already do, but she does them in new ways and that's where her utility lies. If you can set her up to take advantage of the different ways her effects play out, such as not knocking out sidekicks, not sending dice to used, or not giving your opponent the ability to use relentless, you can set up a major advantage to keep your regularly niche strategy running smoothly. On top of her variety of effects, her cheap fielding cost means that once you've picked her up, you can make wild use of her, not caring when she's knocked out since you can field her for next to nothing and hopefully proc her effect for another time. No matter how you use her, you're guaranteed to be making big plays for a bit of damage each time and that kind of chip damage can stack up over the course of a game, slowly lowering the amount of damage you need to get a lethal swing which will be your main goal given Black Canary's nature.





That wraps us up for Off the Meta, but later on in the week we'll be seeing a first from Make it Meta, so stay tuned for that. I'm really looking forward to revealing all that's been in the works and until next time, thank you all for following along!
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Comments

  1. Osprey's Avatar
    I have actually used the black Canary rare before in teams where I needed cheap spot removal and didn't want to use Grundy. The main selling point is it gives you the option to use Storm: Weather Witch or Lady Liberator and still have an inexpensive removal card.
  2. Necromanticer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey
    I have actually used the black Canary rare before in teams where I needed cheap spot removal and didn't want to use Grundy. The main selling point is it gives you the option to use Storm: Weather Witch or Lady Liberator and still have an inexpensive removal card.
    That's a really good point and it just goes to show how differently people think about certain cards. The UXM Storm never occurred to me because I think her global is rubbish and would never consider bringing it on a team. That said, if anyone out there does value that global and still wants cheap targeted removal will see major value in Black Canary since she's a fraction of the cost of Solomon Grundy and doesn't actually apply a knockout.

    Thanks for pointing this out, mate!
  3. Razorback's Avatar
    I never realized you could use SR Black Canary multiple times on one turn! I love learning new things! I want to go build a new team around her right now just to see if I can block everything.
    Thanks @Necromanticer !
  4. Necromanticer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Razorback
    I never realized you could use SR Black Canary multiple times on one turn! I love learning new things! I want to go build a new team around her right now just to see if I can block everything.
    Thanks @Necromanticer !
    Yeah, you can use her ability once per her attacking dice, so having multiples in the field directly benefits you. This is a double plus insofar as she's a cheap die with a good fielding cost and good stats.
    I'm glad I could show you the light and I'd love to hear what type of team you setup!
  5. Osprey's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Razorback
    I never realized you could use SR Black Canary multiple times on one turn! I love learning new things! I want to go build a new team around her right now just to see if I can block everything.
    Thanks @Necromanticer !
    Combo's really well with Iceman TCFW global to mass manufacture bolts and swing for lethal damage.