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Molding a Middle Cup

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Adam and I played in a Middle Cup event on Saturday. Each team could only be comprised of uncommon cards (green stripe). Additionally, no Hulk – Green Goliath, Human Torch – Johnny Storm, nor Storm – Wind Rider allowed on the team.

Wow was it ever a lot of fun. Not just to play, but to prepare for.

The announcement came on Tuesday that we will be doing Middle Cup at our OP on Saturday. I told Adam near his bedtime about the format. He quickly scooped up the binders and headed to his room to do some “studying” before lights out. When I went in to check on him later, he was asleep with open binders all over his bed. I gathered up the binders, set them on the floor, kissed him goodnight and smiled.

Cute. And waaaaaay awesome!

The next day Adam is all excited to show me his team idea. He was not the only player up late planning and excited to test his team! Using my very handy Transition Zone app I also put together a team for this format. It was so much fun looking at, and considering, cards that almost never get a second glance. Theme and rarity formats are really great for keeping your collection fresh and for finding some gems for the rogue team builder. Adam and I eventually found a couple of potential gems. But the first incarnations of our Middle Cup teams did not contain much in the way of gems. And in all honesty, they were….well…bad.

The entire process from idea, to initial testing, to tweaking, to more testing, and on and on was so very exhilarating and fun. I cannot wait to do it again.

Adam’s team started out like this…

He explained all his reasoning behind his choices, and I must say I was thoroughly impressed with his logic, and that such could come from such a young mind.

Koboldramp and GL fuel
Morphing Jar – mess with opponent’s ramp, given Resurrection surely to be a common BAC. As is Fabricate a viable ramp option.
Alfred – steady GL fuel, even when fabricated
Lyssa Drak – direct damage tax
Mera – protection
Black Cat – target removal
Green Lantern- win condition
Clay Golem – more ramp

Adam’s strategy was simple. Take advantage of all the weenies and overwhelm the opponent until Green Lantern arrives to turn weenies into serious threats. As such, GL is very much a poor man’s Bard.

The first few games of testing did not go so well. Giant walls of characters on both sides and no win conditions in sight. In 2 games Adam had 20ish characters in the field and no Green Lantern even purchased. My win condition idea was just flawed and therefore I could not get to a win after something like 30 turns. Adam was having so much fun with his new found tricks and gimmicks in Black Cat, Morphing Jar and Fabricate that he forgot to plan for the win. Basically:

1. He didn’t have a real plan to get to his win condition.
2. He was so enamored with all the tricks and gadgets his team possessed that he forgot to win the game.
3. His main strategy fell easily into in the win more area, that is, once he actually started trying to win.

So, my immediate feedback was:

1. Not necessary to get 20 characters in the field. “But, Dad, each Kobold and Jar and Alfred is beefed up by GL”. True, but Green Lantern and 4-5 friends in the field is really all that is needed.
2. Have ways to deal with the opponent’s field, that is more than simply having way more characters.
3. Fun time with Black Cat and Morphing Jar is over. Time to view them as tools and not toys.

When we eventually got down to ways to improve upon Adam’s great initial ideas, I wanted to make sure to maintain his core and his noticably beloved approach. The hardest part was getting him to drop Kobold. He so loved having a field filled with weenies.

But once he saw what Scarecrow could do, he was all in. Kobold was dropped.

Next, another more efficient way to have more attackers than your opponent has blockers was one 2 dollar Giant Spider. Line up all your opponent’s SKs behind him and get a great hole to swing through. Also, a great little global for targeted removal options. Alfie out, GS in.

Team is tightening up real nice. SK walls were not only no longer a thing to worry about, but something to look forward to and a mistake by the opponent. Thanks to Scarecrow. Still more work to be done however.

Ways to cheat in characters is always high on my list of wants. Polymorph took the place of Relentless.

Without relentless, more removal options would be nice. Gamora stole Lyssa’s spot for this reason. The burn damage was nice from Lyssa, but so easy to play around. Especially now that we are giving our opponent Poly.

Last change, and the star of the revamp, was Sangan. Another cheat option. Fabricate fuel. Another body for GL. And because we have so many SKs in the field, to use Sangan more often and efficiently, Flesh Golem took over from Clay.

So, the final team looked like this:

The team ran really well. It was tight, efficient and had a lot of tools available for many situations.

Adam and I found a couple gems in this whole process. Sangan and Flesh Golem is a thing. As for my team, I really liked Two Face as a win-con. Will be trying out some team ideas around him. He was fun.

How did Adam do in the event? He went 2-1. Losing only to his Dad. Which was to be expected; his Dad is amazing! lol. jk.

I would love to hear from anyone and everyone with ideas on how we could have made Adam’s team even better, while still maintaining GL as the win-con and other favs such as Morphing Jar, Black Cat and Fabricate.

We can’t wait until the next theme challenge! I would love to try Switcharoo.
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  1. IsaacBV's Avatar
    Great ideas, happy to see you guys working together to build, that is what my son and I love to do also!