Team Brew Switcharoo
by, 01-15-2016 at 10:12 PM (1418 Views)
Hello fellow fans of hexahedral heaving, it's time for another experiment. I'm going to start with a team of eight random cards with two random Basic Actions. Then, as if by magic, I'm going to make this random team reasonably competitive (or at least fun) by swapping only four cards out for four other cards of my choice. To make it more interesting, I'll be selecting a random rule to guide my build and restrict what selections I can make. While I won't promise that this team will take first (or second, or third, or fourth) in a PDC event, I think it will be a fun way to expand our minds when brewing our own teams at home. And maybe, just maybe, we'll learn something about life (and ourselves) in the process. Maybe not that last bit... but this should still prove to be a fun experiment.
Thanks to my personal favorite team building website, dm.retrobox.eu, we have our randomly determined starting point:
Now, for the rule. To my wife's chagrin, I have re-purposed one of the rooms of our apartment to hold an insane super computer from the future. I fed punch cards with each rule encoded on them into the diabolical machine, brewed a cup of coffee, and awaited its answer. After a day of calculation, it printed this: "No Masks on team".
Our first step is to take a look at what we already have. Luckily, our random team already does not contain any mask characters. Also, luckily, it seems to have a built in energy direction... namely energy. Toad and Deadpool are both nice here, since we can dictate one character that has to attack each turn, and one character that has to block. Rocket Racoon will be able to stop any Overcrush, as long as he's blocking with another character. The SHIELD Agent is interesting here as well, but only if we can get an Avenger on the team. Unfortunately, our only Avenger is... less than optimal. Both Basic Actions fit our team's micro-control personality, and I think we can use them to our advantage, even if the Global for Swords of Revealing Light uses energy, which we'll be limited on. So, with several good characters baked into the team, and at least one keeper Basic Action, we are off to a good start.
We do have a few characters that don't really make the cut. Bishop's ability is too limited to be much use for us, especially at his cost. With only one character with Heroic on this team, Cyclops is even more useless than normal. And, as I've already mentioned, I'm not a big fan of this version of Black Widow. I like drawing dice, but I do not like paying life to do it. Considering all of the angles here, I think I'm ready to begin.
My first swap will be Bishop for Kobold - Greater Humanoid.
This is a gimme. There are now several forms of ramp in this game, but two or three stand head and shoulders above the rest. Given that we cannot have Professor X Ramp (due to our restriction), and given that we have a mostly team... this is the only way to go. My only concern with these Kobolds is the caveat that we have to attack if our opponent has any adventurers. After the new D&D set is released, we might see fewer of the one cost Kobold for this very reason. But, for now, it is a solid choice for our first switcharoo.
We've established a good ramp, but our next selection is a bit less clear cut. I feel like there is an obvious choice with Hulk (either Green Goliath or Jade Giant). However, I'd love to take this team in a different direction than the normal "Hulk Smash Puny Dice" team.
My second swap will be Black Widow for Ant-Man - Pym Particles.
I'm going to come clean here: I LOVE Ant-Man. The Global will be especially useful to make sure that Deadpool (and his great defense) are able to KO characters and deal that damage to everything else. If I can force my opponent to spend energy re-fielding dice, that is less energy that they can use for other things.
We have limited ramp with the Kobolds, but I would love to supplement that with something else. I think it's time we turn to some churn.
My third swap will be Cyclops for White Tiger - Mystical Amulet.
Her Global ability is nice, because it lets us thin out our bag by keeping those pesky Sidekicks out and in the field. Her ability is also not that bad, as it will let us Sacrifice misrolled and fielded Kobolds into the Used pile to be drawn out to activate Swarm the next time we have to refill the bag.
I find myself wishing that we had two swaps left, because there are a couple of different things I'd like to add to this team. I'd love to throw a Captain America into the mix, to take advantage of the Agent's ability to allow us to field an Avenger for free. Or, perhaps a rare Wasp would be good, to sting our opponent every time they would like to use a Global. But, again, I've decided to go in a different direction.
The final swap will be Swords of Revealing Light for Casualties.
We know that, thanks to White Tiger's Global, our opponent will have a few fielded Sidekicks. The Global on Casualties will allow us to gain a little bit of life if we choose to KO some of those hapless pawns. Also, with no Red Dragon Global on our team, having an inexpensive Basic Action can only help us, in case we whiff on EVERYTHING else.
The team appears to be set. I've meticulously chosen the number of dice for each card, and so our final team looks like this:
x4 x2 x2 x2
x3 x2 x2 x3
As far as a strategy goes for playing with this team: on the first turn, buy some Kobolds or White Tiger. Also, keep any Sidekicks that roll on the character face. We can only benefit from removing as many of those guys from the rotation as possible. On the second turn, pick up the thing you couldn't get on turn one (Kobolds or WT), and try to leave a free to activate White Tiger's Global and field another Sidekick. Then, you can feel free to start buying more Tiger, Toad, and eventually Deadpool. After several hands of solitaire to test the buying order, I'm convinced that even though this ToadPool team is slow to get out of the blocks, it can really pick up some steam with proper dice management. Even with a pretty harsh restriction that cut out a quarter of the available characters, I feel like we have built a team that can be fun to play, and even catch a few "better" teams off guard.
What do you think? What would you have done differently? Did I swap out a game winner, and just didn't realize it? Could I have gotten more bang for my buck with a different selection? And, more importantly, did you enjoy this experiment? Hopefully you did, and it got your team brewing juices flowing.
Sometimes, we can fall into the trap of playing only the same "meta" teams and cards. It is my hope that by participating in brewing experiments like this, players will approach building differently, and maybe discover a card or combo that previously didn't get a second glance.
Thanks for reading!