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High Hopes

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The Spider-Bomb has been defused. For those who don’t know, or aren’t up on things, the latest sexy team of the week was named Spider-Bomb. It used Spider-Man "Wallcrawler", Ant-Man "Biophysicist", Professor X "Recruiting Young Mutants", Doomcaliber Knight "Fiendish Fighter", and Relentless.

To sum it up, through the use of PXG, you find yourself rolling eight sidekick dice, one Spider-Man, and one Ant-Man all on turn three.

You spend two energy to field a level three Ant-Man and level three Spider-Man. That leaves you with six energy left. You need two energy for Spider-Man’s ability, so set aside two fists. With the four remaining energy, you pay one fist for the global on Doomcaliber Knight if your opponent has Distraction, so your attacking characters cannot be targeted.

Then you have three masks leftover to use Relentless, so any would-be blockers could not block.

Attack with Spidey and Ant-Man, pay two fists for Spidey’s ability making your opponent’s life total 10, then Ant-Man and Spidey do five damage each. 10 + 5 + 5 = 20. Win. Not anymore, though, because the errata says that Spidey's ability takes the place of his own attack. But don’t worry turn 3 kills are still possible! Check this out…

Here’s our team. Ant-Man Biophysicist, Nick Fury Patch, Professor X Recruiting Young Mutants, Doomcaliber Knight Fiendish Fighter, Iceman Too Cool For Words, with basic actions Enrage and Relentless.

[u][*]Turn 1: Buy Ant-Man, save two masks(on opponent’s turn, use PXG twice putting three dice in your prep area)[*]Turn 2: (rolling 7 Sidekicks) Buy Nick Fury, save three masks(on your opponent’s turn, use PXG three times putting six sidekick dice in your prep area)[*]Turn 3: Pay 2 energy to field level thee Ant-Man and level two or three Nick Fury. We have 6 sidekick dice left. It’s time to assess what our opponent has.[u][*]If they have a single blocker:[u][*]Use Iceman’s global to spin four sidekick dice to their bolt sides but keep one of them a mask.[*]Use Enrage’s global four times with the four bolts we just got all on Ant-Man, making him a 9A/2D.[*]Use your mask for the Relentless global, so the opposing Sidekick cannot block. Attack with both Ant-Man and Nick Fury. Since Ant-Man is an Avenger, and will be unblocked, Nick Fury lets him deal his damage to the opponent twice. 9 + 9 = 18. Plus the two damage from the attacking Nick Fury, and we have 20 damage on turn three.[/list][*]If they have no blockers, but are sitting on multiple mask energy with Distraction:[u][*]play the third turn exactly as described above, but instead of paying a mask energy on Relentless’ global, pay a fist energy for Doomcaliber Knight’s global to ensure your character’s cannot be Distracted back.[*]Increase Ant-Man’s damage by four with the bolts, play the Doomcaliber global, and attack. 9+9+2=20 on turn three.[/list][/list][/list]

So, the Spider-Bomb has been defused. It has been replaced with a new third-turn kill: TRP’s “High Hopes” team. Why “High Hopes”? I’d say this team embodies that little ant being able to move a rubber tree plant. Here, look for yourself.

If you do everything as described above, and just don’t get a good reroll on turn three, it’s not the end of the world. Field what you can, buy another Ant-Man or two, and use PXG up to three times to make sure you’re rolling as many dice as possible on turn four. If You can field an additional Ant-Man, and have even more energy to spend on globals, then turn four should be your time to seal the deal.

So what else do you need to know? Well, first off, this isn’t as sure fire as the Spider-Bomb. Spider-Bomb gave you enough energy to be prepared for multiple blockers and Distraction. High Hopes does not. Multiple Sidekicks as blockers or a single Sidekick and a mask for Distraction can stop this. Short of those obstacles, I think it is easier to get this combo, because you can manipulate what sidekick dice you spin to their bolt sides. Even if you roll a couple of Sidekicks, no biggie, you can spin them during your main step. Also, Spider-Bomb relied on rolling Ant-Man and Spider-Man both on level three. This still needs Ant-Man on level three, but Nick Fury can be on level two or three. It makes no difference. So the High Hopes combo isn’t as instant win as Spider-Bomb, but High Hopes is easier to achieve. Give and take.

So, how do you stop High Hopes?

Obviously, as we just mentioned, you bring Distraction or have multiple blockers fielded before your opponent’s 3<sup>rd</sup> turn. If you have both, your opponent can't mitigate all of them and will whiff.

The thing about needing Distraction is that if you are going to play High Hopes, you bring Relentless and Enrage; two basic actions. That doesn’t leave room for Distraction. So you need to decide if you’re playing High Hopes, or stopping it with Distraction. You can’t do both.

Of course, Distraction isn’t the only way to stop it; Ring of Magnetism Action Attraction is another. Assuming your opponent is playing High Hopes and they are going first (because we want to plan for worst case scenario) RoM can save the day. You should be able to tell pretty quickly by looking at their team and first turn if they are shooting for the turn three kill (or T3K as I’ve seen it called).

You need to purchase RoM for three energy. With that 4<sup>th</sup> energy, use Silver Surfer’s global to take two damage and draw a die to place in your prep area. For those of you who are familiar with Surfing for dice, you already know what this does.

You now only have three dice in your bag. That means next turn you will draw three dice, and refill your bag to draw your fourth. So there’s a 25% chance you will draw your RoM on turn two.

[u][*]If you draw and roll the action face of RoM, slap that baby on a Sidekick. You will still have 3 energy left to purchase whatever you feel you need. (If you’re also playing High Hopes, now would be the time to buy your own Ant-Man and save a mask for PXG) Just a quick explanation here: Ring of Magnetism Action Attraction will shut this team down because all of the bolt energies your opponent would spend on Enrage’s global to pump up Ant-Man will be forced to target the Sidekick with the Ring instead.[*]If you do not draw the RoM, or it comes up energy after the reroll, (after you bury your face in your hands) you need to field two Sidekicks, since your opponent won't be able to get by both of them for the win.[/list]This is riskybecause if you don't get the Ring or the sidekicks, you've made it easier to kill you.

Here are some other globals that could help you if you only field 1 Sidekick. Remember, they can’t play the global on Doomcaliber Knight making their characters immune to actions and abilities until they attack. So before they attack, they’re fair game. (Keep in mind; these are things that could have worked against Spider-Bomb as well):

[u][*]Green Goblin Norman Osborn – During your opponent’s turn, if everything is rolling their way, at the end of their main step, use this global. Pay a bolt, sacrifice your Sidekick and deal 2 damage to Ant-Man, knocking him out. This isn’t something that will shut down High Hopes, but it takes Ant-Man out of the picture for that turn anyways.[*]Slifer the Sky Dragon Lightning Blast – Use this global twice to KO Ant-Man just like with NOGG’s global above. Keep in mind that High Hopes uses Iceman TCFW, with a global that can give you multiple bolts. But if you spend a bolt to get more bolts, then spend two bolts to KO Ant-Man, you’re really not able to do anything to get yourself ahead… you’re just surviving, while they can now roll that Ant-Man again next turn. This option is better than nothing… but I’d much rather use RoM or NOGG.[/list]
I think that’s about wraps it up!
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  1. Dave imported's Avatar
    Great one, Randy. Definitely not as certain a kill as the other one, but still a possibility, and depending on what you bring with you, it can play into a longer game as well if you don't have it.

    You just have to know when you should swing with everything and when it's a bad call.
  2. Chris imported's Avatar
    Wow...this is NICE. Great job Randy.