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Deconstructing the Bard Blitz

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Deconstructing Bard Blitz

So what is Bard Blitz? Bard Blitz has recently come to the top of the meta, winning in Lacy WKO, more recently in both California States PDC and South Caroline States PDC events. Several people were discussing how powerful the Half-Elf Bard: Master Lords Alliance actually was. Since this is a Starter character, I didn稚 get a chance to look at him with Elf Thief and Dwarf Wizard outshining some of these other cards in my own drafts and control team. At first I was skeptical of the impact this team could have. After going a few rounds, I am convinced that it is not only a Tier 1 team; You absolutely have bring something to answer this incredible flexible build. So let痴 look at the team:
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Strategy For Bard Blitz:
First, in this team there are a couple of combos you need to be aware of: Half-Elf Bard pairs with every attacking turn, and ideally would be attacking every turn you swing in, as he is the main element for increasing damage significantly. The second combo forms around Miri Riam and her ability to pull characters from the Used Pile into the Field Zone at level 1. So ideally, you would wait until a turn where you would Field Miri, then make your Morphing Jar purchases, one per fielding Miri, make the purchase, and then field Miri to grab a two for one field. Lastly, it was once said about this team that any character fielded is just energy waiting to be used. With the Ring: Lesser Gear and Parallax: Source of Terror the real answer is indeed it is. With all of this in mind, let痴 look at the ideal turn structure.
Turn 1: Sidekick, Bolt, Any Energy, Shield. Here you are going to BEWD with the Bolt the Sidekick, prepping the die for next turn, then you are going to Use the remaining two energy to purchase Half-Elf Bard.
Turn 2: Bolt, Bolt, Shield, Sidekick/Any Energy, Sidekick/Any Energy. Here you are going to purchase a Miri Riam and then use the Resurrection Global to prep a Die. Now at this point, you just forced two things, First 3 Sidekicks, Bard and Miri Riam, just went into your bag. That is 5 dice and you are drawing one of them. Guess what you are getting next turn? Another Option: Energy fix two sidekicks using Ring Global before using Resurrection global, and only have 3 dice in the bag. Either way, you are pinning up your 4 character win con.
Turn 3: Mask, Mask, Bard (Any Face/0 Fielding cost is Best), Miri Riam (Any Face/0 is Better), Sidekick / Any Energy. At this point, Purchase Morphing Jar, Field Miri Riam, dragging Morphing Jar from the Used Pile to the Field Zone at level 1. Field Half-Elf Bard. Currently your Field Zone is: Miri Riam, Morphing Jar, Sidekick, Sidekick, Half-Elf Bard + either an additional Sidekick / Mask or Mask / Any Energy.
Miri Riam LVL 1 is 4/5, Sidekick is 4/4, Sidekick is 4/4, Morphing Jar LVL1 5/4, Half-Elf Bard LVL 1 4/6
Use Relentless on any blockers, Usually 1, could be two. Swing for Lethal 21. If your opponent brought Mera痴 Global, you will need that sidekick reducing your Relentless ability down to 1 Mask free. But delivering Lethal 22, instead. (Morphing Jar damage reduced to 2, extra Sidekick 4/4 damage).
覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
Turn Win-Con: Swing with 5 character dice, Bard, Miri, Morphing Jar, Sidekick, Sidekick. Ideally, adding up to 2 more sidekicks to just beat blockers.

Deconstructing The Bard Blitz Team:
So you just lost to Bard Blitz, and probably rather quickly. Lets look at where this team breaks down: First the win-con is assembled in just three turns. That is not a whole lot of time to do much defensively, especially if you are going second. Half-Elf Bard is the glue on this team that makes it work. Let痴 look at our game mechanic options. We can employ a delay mechanic (Constantine: Hell Blazer)/(Mr. Freeze: Heart of Ice) , a prevent from fielding mechanic (The Joker: Clown Prince of Crime), increase his fielding costs (Cerebro: Supercomputer), a board wipe mechanic (Delayed Blast Fireball), a capture mechanic (Deadman: Possessive Talents), or simply go faster (High Hopes team going first). So the issue with all of these seems to be either targeting the character die in the field, which you won稚 get to do, or are possible on turn 3 with large amounts of luck. I am of the opinion that none of these are really good options. In fact most of these will result in you losing trying to get all of these defenses in place. Unfortunately, you will have to move quickly, and it will not stop the team for long due to Prismatic Spray.

Option 1: First, you are going to need to weight Constantine: Hellblazer the direct choice for slowing down this team with the actual card necessary slow it in future turns - Constantine: Antihero. Lets go with Constantine: Hellblazer. Second, to survive, you will need to get more blockers out than your opponent can Relentless global when he swings in. So Turn 1: Purchase Constantine and field 2 Sidekicks. Turn 2: Ideally you field 2 - 4 Sidekicks, remembering that energy with Ring gets you a third sidekick if dice are not cooperating. So at this point, either you survived the attack anyway and have energy ramp, or worse, they decided to hold off a round or two. At this point you have two objectives, first having enough blockers that despite some of them being Relentless Global, you have enough to prevent a lethal strike. And second, assembling your own Win-Con on the clock. It is just a matter of time before anything you used to slow them down either is Prismatic Sprayed away or your opponent has enough characters to just overwhelm you. But now that you survived turn 3, what you really need is a 3 cost answer to Bard. Just remember that Prismatic Spray is going to wipe any control for Half-Elf Bard. So Obviously, if Doomcaliber Knight: Skeletal Warrior is on your team, getting it out as soon as possible is first on your list. Constantine: Hellblazer calling Miri Riam or Half-Elf Bard depending on board state is an absolute must.

Option 2: Delayed Blast Fireball. Using Thousand Dragon Global twice to reduce an action die痴 cost by 4, you would then spend 1 energy to purchase this die on turn 1. Then you would need to prep a die. Now this gives you, 3 pawns in the bag and a refill of 4 dice with a 25% chance to draw Delayed Blast Fireball out of the bag. Your turn 2, would then consist of trying to roll 3 Sidekicks (at Least) in addition to the Fireball, if you were lucky enough to draw it. However, you have no energy fixing abilities with Ring: Lesser Gear. Only re-rolling abilities via Parallax, and limited to twice. Be Sure to read the card entry for Delayed Blast Fireball.

Option 3: Damage Mitigation. It can't be overlooked that Mera would provide two chances to reduce damage to below lethal if you can mitigate both; Iron Fist and Captain America combo could significantly reduce incoming damage as well if you can get one or both of these guys in the field. Vibranium Shield can also reduce damage at 1 point per instance per shield.

Some Cards that will slow down the team:
Cerebro: Supercomputer

Increasing fielding costs is always a great way to deal with problematic teams. The ability to have up to 3 of your opponent痴 cards cost 2 to field will definitely prevent big build ups. Pairing this with a board clearing state, and it will be devastating to your opponent. It can be wiped with Prismatic Spray, so you have to have some Action die cancelling effects.

It was pointed out that Cerebro is an Action Die and unaffected by Prismatic Spray. This is a good point, increasing the value of playing 3 Cerebros to increase all of the fielding costs for these characters.

Doomcaliber Knight: Skeletal Warrior

This character provides some control against Action Dice when they are used. Unfortunately, you can稚 park two of this character in the field to remove two sequential action dice. So your opponent is going to have to purchase both 4 cost action dice to get around this guy.

Constantine: Antihero

If your like me, you are constantly having the which Constantine talk. In this instance you really need both. A stall to prevent pieces from attacking, and a forced re-roll. I think Constantine: Hellblazer is more powerful in this instance, simply because of the Parallax Global. Oh, so you forced me to re-roll my Prismatic Spray energy. I am just going to spend one of these other energies to re-roll it until I get what I want. Prismatic Spray hitting spells your death, if he as 5 more characters than you do.

Mr Freeze: Heart of Ice

What I most like about Mr. Freeze, is that he can稚 be Prismatic Sprayed as a defensive maneuver. As long as you have some means of moving Half-Elf Bard to the Prep Area, you can force him to sit there. What I HATE about Mr. Freeze, is he can only affect 1 Character Die. So, I hit your Half-Elf Bard, buy another one and move along with your plan.

The Joker: Clown Prince of Crime

Not really much to say about this guy, other than keeping the troublesome character out of the Field Zone, susceptible to Prismatic Spray, obviously. Still a good card to remove all of the Half-Elf Bards when paired with some form of Action Dice control.

Deadman: Possessive Talents

Again a really goo single character removal. Susceptible to Prismatic Spray and like Mr. Freeze really only works against 1 character die unless you can get multiple Deadman dice to capture each one. Unfortunately, this does mean that the Half-Elf Bard hit the field.

Delayed Blast Fireball:

I really Like the idea of using this BAC against this team. Unfortunately, it really just helps your opponent by only partially clearing his board and prepping his pawns for next turn. It is possible to purchase this die turn 1, using Thousand Dragon痴 Global twice and another any energy. This leaves 1 energy for prepping a die, guaranteeing you get a chance to get this dice out Turn 2. HOWEVER, It is my belief that Fireball is triggered after declaring attacks, which means after the bonuses are given to all of the character dice. Assuming you missed bursts, and your opponent痴 dice are all on their level 1 faces, Miri Riam and Half-Elf Bard will survive the blast. While Sidekicks and Morphing Jars will be moved to the Prep Area. If they decide not to attack with the Delayed Blast Fireball, then all of the Lvl 1 / Lvl 2 dice will be moved to the Prep Area. Unfortunately, you have only delayed the issue and added to their pool of available energy to Relentless all of your characters next turn. Unless a Cerebro Die is coming on your next turn, or you have something to block Half-Elf Bard from being fielded, this might not be the best strategy.

At this point, pick your poison. I honestly think breaking the initial turn 3 kill doesn稚 prevent this team from going off at any point in the future. However, your opponent has brought energy fixing and the motto that characters in the Field Zone are energy to you when needed. Fielding Sidekicks in the initial turns would make you believe that you are behind. However, any turn you need to buy a 5 cost character, that is 2 Bolts plus the unique energy for the character, with two characters to prep. Or, spend 1 energy on Parallax Global and roll all you want. All you have to do is prevent a massive attack each turn and Prismatic Spray from hitting. Looking down the spoiled cards for the upcoming releases, we do not have a lot of answers for this team yet. To the original master minds, you have found the team that breaks Guy Rush into noobcakes team.

Hopefully, you have found this to be informative. Maybe it will help you play against Bard Blitz or maybe you will use it to examine your own Bard Blitz Team. Either way, may the dice roll in your favor.

Updated 04-11-2016 at 12:29 PM by Wargfn

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Comments

  1. agentj's Avatar
    Under Cerebro you said, "It can be wiped with Prismatic Spray, so you have to have some Action die cancelling effects." This is not true. Prismatic spray wipes character cards, Cerebro is an action.
    Besides that a great write up.
  2. Wargfn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by agentj
    Under Cerebro you said, "It can be wiped with Prismatic Spray, so you have to have some Action die cancelling effects." This is not true. Prismatic spray wipes character cards, Cerebro is an action.
    Besides that a great write up.
    Actually, this is a very good point. Cerebro being an Action Die would not have it's card text wiped. I added the comment above. Good catch.
  3. bahamut7's Avatar
    Captain America and Iron reduce ability damage not combat damage. I am surprised you didn't mention the Dwarf Wizard. If you want to cite any solutions proposed in the forums, I don't see any problem with it. Funny thing is I believe that Delayed Blast Fireball fires off before the attackers are declared. I see it as once your opponent ends their main phase (regardless of attacking or not) it triggers. This would also be an inset counter to the Bard's ability.
  4. gkpon66's Avatar
    Bahamut, delayed blast fireball was ruled to have it's timing determined by the active player, so if he declared an attack with his bard, all his characters attacking were already bumped and the DBF was all but nullified. It was an interesting day.
  5. Judgemental's Avatar
    "To the original master minds, you have found the team that breaks Guy Rush into noobcakes team."

    Yeah ... None of our local Guy players are playing Guy after we did that. Surprise surprise! Thanks for the nod, nice write up
  6. bahamut7's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gkpon66
    Bahamut, delayed blast fireball was ruled to have it's timing determined by the active player, so if he declared an attack with his bard, all his characters attacking were already bumped and the DBF was all but nullified. It was an interesting day.
    If you are referring to this ruling: http://win.wizkids.com/bb/viewtopic....efa833a1cf0654 than you are mistaken. Nowhere did they say that the active player or inactive player can decide when it goes off. It looks for 2 conditions. One, is it your opponent's turn? Two, did they end their main phase?

    The real debate comes in when asking if it operates like Captain Cold's uncommon and therefore fires off before attackers are assigned. Which I believe it does, but some people disagree.
  7. zeon20's Avatar
    While my winning team at CA state PDC shares two cards with Bard blitz, the setup and lead up to the alpha strike function quite differently. So technically bard blitz has only taken 1st in Lacey WKO and south carolina PDC, so far anyways lol.
  8. Wargfn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bahamut7
    I am surprised you didn't mention the Dwarf Wizard. If you want to cite any solutions proposed in the forums,
    Actually, Dwarf Wizard is a decent counter to Half-Elf Bard, if you can figure out some way to allow him to be fielded without attacking. It is the same problem with a lot of these character answers. If the Bard player is experienced, he can just let the Bard slide back into the bag for a chance to prep while attacking with a Solo Sidekick, depending on bag state.
  9. Stormyknight's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zeon20
    While my winning team at CA state PDC shares two cards with Bard blitz, the setup and lead up to the alpha strike function quite differently. So technically bard blitz has only taken 1st in Lacey WKO and south carolina PDC, so far anyways lol.
    And NY PDC, still gotta submit the teams.
  10. Spug's Avatar
    Distraction is a help and can stall them for a turn while you try to get Dwarf Wizard out and hope you don't get sprayed.

    The rare Venom is a good counter because he'll keep weenie characters off the field and you can poly him in on turn three - although of course if you're going second it could be too late by that stage...
  11. The0retico's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Spug
    Distraction is a help and can stall them for a turn while you try to get Dwarf Wizard out and hope you don't get sprayed.

    The rare Venom is a good counter because he'll keep weenie characters off the field and you can poly him in on turn three - although of course if you're going second it could be too late by that stage...
    They run Doomcaliber Knight: Fiendish Fighter, which nullifies Distraction. When you try to get Wizard,they can expect it and not field the Bard or use BEWD to move it to prep area.
  12. Spug's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The0retico
    They run Doomcaliber Knight: Fiendish Fighter, which nullifies Distraction. When you try to get Wizard,they can expect it and not field the Bard or use BEWD to move it to prep area.
    I'd understood that once a fielded character had been named using Dwarf Wizard the wipe persisted until the wizard himself left the field and was unaffected by the named character leaving it.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong though!

    *Sorry - just realised I didn't read your post correctly, so this is irrelevant
  13. Yort's Avatar
    Isn't Magic Missile a decent defense against this team? Morphing Jar is going to be at lvl 1, so one bolt will get rid of him before the attack step, which removes 1A/1D from everybody. And if they only have one sidekick you could do it again, leaving the two remaining characters pretty low attack.
  14. Randy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yort
    Isn't Magic Missile a decent defense against this team? Morphing Jar is going to be at lvl 1, so one bolt will get rid of him before the attack step, which removes 1A/1D from everybody. And if they only have one sidekick you could do it again, leaving the two remaining characters pretty low attack.
    But there's the problem. You keep staving off defeat by saving energy to ping things away and you're not able to build towards your win condition. While you're just sending more dice to the Bard team's prep area. You can keep that up for a turn or two, but the Bard team will just wait and purchase and field turn after turn while you have to save energy to ping off characters. It's a vicious cycle that's hard to break. But, if you know you have a character coming to help you stabilize the board state, saving a few bolts to pick off a few characters might be your best bet.
  15. whisperni's Avatar
    Maybe I missed something here, but Bard Blitz did not win the Lacey WKO. It was won with Jinzo/Hulk Poly. Did you mean it won somewhere else?