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Off the Meta | A Unique Vibe

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Hello and welcome back everybody! It's a new week and we're approaching the end of the exclusive Justice League coverage. That said, the trend is holding on a bit longer with Vibe, manipulator of vibrations and strangely efficient stats.

As much as I loathe characters with the 1/2/3 fielding cost, Vibe is one of the rare exceptions. Weighing in at a cheap 4- purchase and having a maximum potential of 7/7 stats, he's actually quite impressive, avoiding the pitfall of Red Skull by having decent stats for his cost despite his high TFC. This combined with his heavy AoE abilities makes him an interesting character who is always a double-edged sword. If you field him cheap, his stats are lackluster, but if you get massive stats, he's costing you a lot for the privilege. Additionally, he's going to be powerful anti-sidekick tech with a host of abilities that deal damage to all characters semi-consistently and keep damaging characters on the field. if you're looking for a half-control beatstick on a budget, Vibe is the character for you!

Vibe - Francisco Ramon
The common Vibe has a single motto that he likes to live by: "If I go down, I'm taking you all with me!" Whenever one of his dice is knocked out, he deals 1 damage to everything. literally everything. Every character and player that can be damaged, will be. As with any double-edged AoE, this is a difficult ability to manage since it has the potential to prove very damaging to your own side. If you're trying to run with any low-defense characters, Vibe's going to hurt a lot more than he's helping. However, if you're building with a lot of heavy or stat-focused characters, Vibe can prove a boon. With his ability to wreak havoc across the whole of the field and burn both players, he's quite capable of influencing how both players declare blocks and can even provide you a makeshift version of breath weapon if you equip yourself with a self-knockout such as BEWD or Card Crush Virus. The biggest issue that this Vibe's going to run into is getting knocked out in the first place. With an average statline of a 5/5, he's going to be quite resilient. Even when you do manage to clear him off the field, he's going to be costing quite a lot to get back into the action, so his ability is built with a bit of anti-synergy in the context of his ability being a "when knocked out" ability.

Vibe - Paco
The uncommon Vibe has a lot in common with his common, but he's ever so slightly more discerning. Rather than blasting everything and everyone when he triggers, he instead deigns to leave out his controller when he decides to unload his destructive talents. However, he's also a bit less consistent... Instead of triggering off of the easy to manufacture KO's, he instead triggers when you roll a double- face. This usually will only happen when you roll dice for the first time each turn, but tricky players can make more subtle use of this ability. Using characters that allow you to roll dice outside of the roll and reroll step is going to catch your opponent off-guard and allow you to control how Vibe procs a little more closely. Specifically, Pyro - Pyrokinetic's global can prove invaluable when you've built and bought 's or you could use Human Torch - Matchstick (that's right, there is actually a use for the 3-cost Human Torch). This ability also has marked synergy with Manticore - Paragon Beast and in combination, these characters can function as a hefty burn combo. Otherwise, comboing this Vibe with the infamous Firestorm - Jason and Ronnie can mean that bolt characters are a positive on 5/6 faces as opposed to 1/2.

Vibe - Formerly Hardline
The rarest Vibe holds true to WizKid's M.O. of making the rarest cards the most gimmicky. This Vibe deals 2 damage to any opposing character who has the audacity to spin up or down a level. This effect is one of the most situational abilities I've ever come across and that makes me love it out of hand. Besides the fact that it's the only Vibe effect that won't damage your own field, it's also the definition of a synergy when combined with an ability to spin down your opponent's characters. Not only are you reducing the characters defenses by spinning them down, but you're also dealing damage in order to clear them off the field. This means that all but the most stalwart characters are going to be very hard pressed to stick to the field when you start up your control. This ability works wonders alongside any trigger you can come up with, but full-field spin down abilities make it really shine. This includes characters like Marvel Girl or Green Dragon and will decimate your opponent's defenses if they have built up a wall of characters. Even without a full field clear, this ability still has utility alongside individual cases of spinning characters such as the Energy Drain of D&D's Undead characters, Black Widow's natural spinning capabilities, or Beast - Kreature. No matter how you apply it, this is a nasty ability that you can sit on the field quite early and have working in your favor for the entire game. If you're built to take advantage of this fact, you can set up a very nasty zone of control on the field and use that to take advantage of Vibe's amazing stats by swinging in directly.

If you know that your opponent is going to be bringing a certain Vibe to the table, there's a few things to consider. Vibe has two main weaknesses to exploit: his damage is difficult to control and he's very expensive to refield if he ever gets knocked off the board. In the first case, you're going to want to determine which Vibe you're coming up against. If it's the rare, then building into sidekicks and abusing characters that are strongest on their level 1 face like Beast or Hulk, you're going to be able to weather the control quite well. If you happen to come up against the AoE Vibes, then sidekicks are going to be a very poor investment and instead, you should be looking to get together a force of defensive characters and either focus on big ticket removal or a burn strategy since aggressive characters will have a difficult time sticking to the field. If you want to fight a war of attrition, removing Vibe from the field is easily your best option. With a TFC-6, Vibe relies on his heavy statline in order to stick on the field and avoid paying his TFC very often. To make your opponent suffer, simply bring along any character that can remove Vibe from the field and keep him from sitting around as a hefty block of stats. The best way to do this can be anything from Storm to Solomon Grundy to Black Canary to any other method of removal that doesn't rely on damage. Damage soaking is Vibe's specialty, so going with direct knockouts or rolling Vibe is going to completely avoid that pitfall and get Vibe off the field in a bargain of a trade. Whatever you do, don't let Vibe hang around and don't let your opponent control how Vibe procs. This is where Vibe's strengths lie, so avoiding them should be a big focus of yours considering how potent Vibe can be in the right setup.

Vibe is a big, big characters for an absolute bargain and can pose a heavy threat with his variety of control applications. On the other hand, he can cost you in the long run if you have to keep fielding him and he can wind up being just a block of stats if circumstances don't go your way. In order to make best use of him, you should be focused on controlling the field and providing him an opening to swing in for major damage. His low purchasing cost-to-stat ratio can be a major selling point if you want to get out a big bruiser before your opponent can reasonably respond and his AoE abilities can be used to clear off chump blockers to make his job of getting in for heavy damage just that little bit easier. In the best case scenario, you should be getting Vibe early and sitting him on the field long enough for his ability to come to fruition. This will provide you with a bulky defender, an oppressive threat, and a boost to your control that can persist for as long as he's out on the field. Vibe is a versatile character that changes how you look at stats and give you the ability to buy big from the very start of the game.

That's Off the Meta for this week and I should be coming back for Make it Meta in due time. Vibe was the first character I drafted from DC, back when I didn't have the clearest idea on how to draft properly, and ever since he's held a special place in my heart that only a 7/7 can hold.
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