Ben's Top Tens - Justice League Affiliation
by, 03-04-2016 at 08:11 AM (2699 Views)
Hey guys and welcome to my new section on The Reserve Pool. This semi-regular series will take a look at ten of the best competitive cards of a particular type.
With the upcoming release of DC comics World’s Finest I thought this would be an appropriate time to take a look back at the very first set of DC and at the Justice League affiliation. What better way of celebrating Batman and Superman hitting each other in the face than reminiscing over the team that brought them together in the first place.
Before we get started I’d like to give a shout out to Aquaman, poor poor Aquaman. Unfortunately, despite him being an excellent in-set addition, in all 3 of his forms, a JL only team just doesn’t have the tools to work at a top tier competitive level. Therefore despite his low purchase cost and his ability to make JL teams that much stronger I’ve had to leave him off this list. I also want to mention the promo Wonder Woman for her ability to spin up one of your characters when another is knocked out, it’s useful but done better elsewhere; and the common Wonder Woman Princess Diana, who makes sidekicks invulnerable. This card only missed out because it requires 2 or more JL characters to be in play.
Anyway let’s get on with the list.
10. Firestorm: Jason and Ronnie
The card that started the bolt craze in earnest. A killer in draft, this Firestorm is a major threat in any game, when your opponent gets him out. His stats are great, his high defence means that you won’t be able to knock him out without some creativity, while his decent attack stat 3/4/5 will make opponents think twice about forcing the attack with him. But given the nature of bolt characters in this game (primarily aggressive and wanting to be churned through the bag quickly) common Firestorm is the perfect game finisher. He can combine with so many wonderful things, the most obvious being Cheetah, that he really is a great card to build a team around.
9. Cyborg: Vic Stone
KO’ing your opponents dice is one of the most useful abilities in dice masters. However, a significant portion of characters that enable you to remove your opponents characters rely on ‘when fielded’ effects. This can be problematic because competitive players will often expect your targeted removal to come from these ‘when fielded’ effects and will have means of stopping this (Constantine Hellblazer I am looking at you - and crying because you won't let me use Storm!!!). That’s why Cyborg makes this list, a guaranteed KO from when attacking could surprise your opponent, particularly when you can use a Polymorph global to guarantee that pesky Hulk is the exact same level as Cyborg before he attacks. His stats are also good and fielding costs, while high, aren’t game breaking. All in all he is a great alternative to the common Punisher and a useful pick for your targeted removal option.
8. Wonder Woman: Daughter of Zeus
This card placed above all the other Wonder Women simply because of one, game breaking, card… Green Goblin Gobby… no matter what you think about the Super Rare AvX character he is still one of the most dangerous cards in the competitive meta. I’ve been on the end of his wrath many times and if you don’t have something to protect against him then you will not last long. Wonder Woman is an excellent choice in this regard, cheap with good stats and a starter card that means everyone can get their hands on her. She may only have a niche use but that niche is one of the most important to be aware of in the entire game.
7. Cyborg: Exceptionally Gifted
I find it surprising that this card has not seen more competitive play. The popularity of Wolverine Formerly Weapon X, as the go to, 4 cost fist, heavy hitter has probably made a lot of people skip over Cyborg. But with his bonus of +2/ +2 Cyborg is still a fearsome 6/7/8 attack when attacking alone. That's nothing to turn your nose up at. His Retaliation ability also gives him a nice range of flexibility. Has your opponent walled up enough so that you just can’t get a single attacker through? Well Cyborg can get in some chip damage by making him the same affiliation as another character in your field (a pretty easy task with so many affiliation maker globals available to us these days). An excellent choice if what you are in to is being aggressive; more people should definitely cast a red-cybernetic-eye over this card.
6. Batman™: World's Greatest
I said a lot about this character in my top 5 cost characters last week and the Dark Knight was never in danger of not making this list. His high fielding costs make other versions of this Justice League character just not as accessible, but this Batman die makes other cheaper characters do his work for him. It works brilliantly even if it isn't tremendously thematically. Life gain plus direct damage make any card great in unlimited and this character can do serious work.
5. The Flash: Speedster
Like Cyborg the Flash is another JL character which has similar abilities to an AvX favourite. Angel Soaring is cheaper and can have other characters attacking in tandem with it, but if you want a bigger punch then look no further than Speedster. Combine him with a basic action card like Ambush or True Believer to give Flash some extra bang for your unblockable buck and you can easily be hitting through for a third of your opponents life. If you can manage his pretty high fielding costs (why not use new BAC To The Rescue which lets your field a character for free) then The Flash is a great utility card and win condition.
4. Green Lantern: Willpower
First things first, with a TFC of 3 the stats on this dice are great. With a 4/5/6 attack line he is a character you are going to want to attack with regularly. But his ability is where it is at. Giving everyone that attacks a +2/+2 buff makes even the weeniest of characters a real threat. This character was so good that it made my top ten 6 cost characters because it is such a brute. Get anything out that can clear a field and even sidekicks become 3/3. Get some Angel Soaring’s out on the field and make them all a likely five attack each. It’s powerful but not infallible: the 6 cost is a lot to get up to and the Half-Elf Bard Master Lords' Alliance can do similar things for cheaper. But if you are looking for a JL win condition Green Lantern is the best you can get.
3. Superman™: Not a Bird or a Plane
Superman is quite rightly, a tank of a character. Without being able to target him the only chance your opponent really has, without shenanigans, is by getting him KO’d with combat damage. That wouldn’t be too difficult except Superman is 5/7/8 defence; there are so few characters who can remove him. Then when the time is right is 5/ 7/ 8 attack is no slouch either. If you can afford the 6 purchase cost then it is a serious upgrade on the Lord of D or Wonder Girl for a Ring of Magnetism team. Make everything target him then laugh as the man of steel bats everything away. I also really really like the fact that the upcoming Kryptonite cards will have little to no effect on Superman.
2. Zatanna: Zatanna Zatara
Like Superman Zatanna is an all-around useful character for any team going. Unlike Superman Zatanna’s stats really don’t pack a punch but, actually, that works pretty well. Ramping and churning through dice in this game is vitally important. It’s why the Professor X global from uncanny has become a main stay of most competitive teams. While Zatanna isn’t quite as good as PXG her low fielding costs combined with the ease at which she can be knocked out makes her a good option for those wanting to avoid giving PXG to their opponent, or who fear the brutality of facing a Jinzo Trap Destroyer. She’s also a good option for those wanting to pair her up with some of the aforementioned Retaliation characters.
1. Firestorm: Matter Master
Already mentioned in this article, Firestorm is just an excellent die stat wise, particularly at the low expense of the 4 it costs to purchase Matter Master. This guy is truly a tank. A great answer to a fair many things, most importantly Hulk, his high defense means that to knock him out you are likely going to have to sacrifice another one of your fielded characters. Facing any kind of high aggro team he is a good solution, your opponents will have to think twice before attacking. Alternatively do you need a 4 cost character for aggro? Then Firestorm’s your guy, your opponents really don’t want to block him either. An excellent, excellent addition to any team and in my opinion the best JL character so far.
So that's my take on the top ten Justice League characters in the current meta. What do you guys think? Any changes you would make? Am I wrong to leave out Aquaman? How about the Zatanna that preps a die when KO’d? And who is the worst JL character in the game (promo Superman is pretty damn bad).
Thanks for reading and let me know if there are any other top ten lists you would like to see.