Random Bits - 5 Counterpicks for Stale Local Metas
by, 08-18-2015 at 08:41 PM (1702 Views)
So, a recent blog post about the meta and the desire for diversity got me thinking about some cards I like a lot but don't talk about very much as I haven't quite decided how and where exactly I want to use them. Why 5 cards? Simple, I normally write insanely long blog entries and I don't want to overload the dust bunnies and tumbleweeds who stumble upon my corner of the internet as I have another (moderately) long post in the works. Work just has me physically fried at the moment, so it's been hard getting my exact thoughts about the topic in order. Anyways, without further ado, in no particular order, here's 5 cards you should probably keep tucked away somewhere just in case:
5: Mind Flayer: Greater Humanoid
Anyone who plays within my local meta knows that my most hated team in the entire game to play against is the Pepper Potts/Firestorm bolt burn team. It's easy to build, even easier to play and does a lot of damage very quickly while walling up behind hordes of characters who spin down your characters to lower levels, ensuring you cannot get enough damage through unless you are playing a very fast aggro team. I feel like it has become the new "flying sidekicks" team, an easy to build and play introductory team that is present almost everywhere you go, within it's metagame anyways. Sidekicks have been mostly phased out of the game for now.
So what are you to do when you want to play a control team, with some Prismatic Spray/Jinzo action, maybe a Lex Luthor? Easy. Make all of their bolt characters horrifically expensive to field. Pepper Potts? Now a tfc 6. Black Widow has you down? Now she is a tfc 7 character. 6 energy isn't too hard to put onto the board turn 3, especially if you are playing a PXG/Jinzo/Wasp combo to ramp while making sure your opponent cannot. The only downside here is his high fielding costs, lackluster attack stat and the fact that he does need to be fielded in order to trigger his ability. You cannot polymorph him in. Instead, try switching polymorph out of for BAC like Transfer power to try and make sure he hits the board. You could even use the BAC Assemble! to put him onto the field, which will also trigger his ability. Since he has a fairly large defense to round him out, your opponent will have to resort to less optimal methods of knocking him out.
4: Dwarf Cleric: Legendary Order of the Gauntlet
Unfortunately, this is the best image I could get, so if you can't enlarge the picture, here is the ability text:
Experience (once per turn, gain a +1A / +1D token when you knock out a monster)
Once per turn, while Dwarf Cleric is active, after you declare blockers, you may choose one of your blockers. Prevent all damage dealt to that blocker this turn.
Let's just ignore that experience ability for now, since it won't come up often. What matters is total blocker protection, allowing you to easily trigger "when blocked, when x deals combat damage" type abilities as well as, and this is the big one here, it gives you almost complete protection from overcrush. Since it triggers after blockers have been declared, you can prevent all combat, and therefore, all overcrush damage to any specific target. This is one of the easiest ways to counter the new scourge that is Giant Man boosted by Hulk Out. It is an OP card, so it may take a bit of doing to actually acquire, but it's well worth it. I've put it into practice a couple of times, and it does work very well. Plus, with a low fielding cost and relatively high defenses, you are getting quite a usable character for your 4 energy investment.
3: Mystical Elf: Everlasting Support
This one is not necessarily a counter as much as it is an all around defensive card that provides you with an interesting form of ramp. I've done quite a bit of testing with it in control teams and it is an insanely big wall to try and beat down. If you have access to the BEWD global, you can also trigger it's effect anytime you like. The 2 life gain is not to be underestimated, and if you can stall out and force a game into parity, this card can easily provide you with the life and ramp you need to overcome your opponent once their strategy has been exhausted. While I do believe it is great even right now, I think it's going to be an incredible card in the future once we get some more generic shield energy type support cards.
2: Professor X: Powerful Telepath or Charles Francis Xavier
Both of these cards are absolutely amazing. Some newer players may have never even heard of these cards because of the popularity of the omnipresent Professor X Global from Uncanny Xmen. However, there was a time when these saw their fair share of play due to their insane defensive bodies and powerful control abilities. Many people are opting to forgo pxg and go a control route, hoping to take advantage of their opponents who bring the global for them. If you decide to test this out for yourself, definitely consider giving these guys a try. The rare is more expensive but offers a heavier control ability, while the uncommon is cheaper and combos very well with either the transfer power or ant man globals.
1: Iron Man: Philanthropist
There once was a time where getting this card to work the way you wanted just wasn't possible. Now, thanks to cards like Magic Missile to do damage, Iceman TCFW to supply bolt energy and polymorph to drop it on the field with a global ready to pump up to a burst face, Iron man is probably the most interesting and effective way to gain massive amounts of life very quickly. I'm actually working on a team with him at the moment because of the combos with the pepper potts rare and the wonderful uncommon War Machine. If you like thematic teams, definitely give this card a try. If you're worried about taking lots of damage and need a way to stall out to complete a more difficult win condition, philanthropist is your guy. Great for dealing with aggro rush teams, you can take a hit if you need to because Iron Man will buy all of your life back.
I hope these cards inspire a few people to build something new or take a look at some other cards they might not have paid much attention to. Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments.
AND IN HEAVENS STEAD, WE SMITE ESTABLISHED METAS