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$25 and Under: WKO2 Edition

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$25 and Under: WKO2 Edition

I want to say thanks for all the feedback and comments for my blogs. I really appreciate it. Thanks again to Shadowmeld.

Target and Rules:
Target of this blog is for the casual/new player who has either been introduced to the game or just started playing and is thinking of taking the next step to tournament play while under a budget.

Before I dive into the team, let me go over again the rules I set up for myself.
1. Create the most competitive feasible deck for under $25
2. Try to expand your dice master collection
3. Build a deck with the assumption the player does not already own any of the cards
4. For the price of cards, I am using I am not affiliated with the website; it is the website I tend to use more often to buy singles.
5. No op or alt art cards, this is because some sites do not sell these cards. Which of course, leaves ebay and other similar sites to obtain these cards and, as a result, the price fluxes too much.
6. Full set of 20 dice for the team.

Idea for team:
I was discussing the recent WKO2 with my brother. We were going over the standard questions, "How did you do? What should I have done? What do you think of the teams?, etc." Eventually, the discussion came back to the staple cards in the game, a topic my brother and I discuss many times. My brother, along with many players, think that one cannot have a serious chance of playing/placing in a WKO or major tournament without having staple cards, which tend to run for $20+ (Hellblazer, Gobby, Tsarina, Blue Eyes White Dragon, Dwarf Wizard, and the up-and-comers: Babs, Super Rare Ronin and Super Rare Venom). This comes back to another question, which is the biggest factor: the team or the pilot? In essence, I feel the pilot is the bigger factor; while my brother, in my opinion, tends to believe the cards are the bigger factor. One can make a case for either side or a combination of the two. Mind you, my brother and I both come from a Magic: The Gathering background; where netdecking has always been a problem. The idea of this team stems from said discussion. I decided I will take a winning WKO2 deck, in this case TRP's IsaacBV's PolyVenom deck (metaphorically speaking: Coca Cola) and try to come up with a $25 and Under version of it (metaphorically speaking: C&C Cola).

WKO2 Edition:
Before we go into our team, we must first break down Isaac's team. For those of you who are unaware of the team and how it performed here's the link:

Take a few moments to look over the team. I have a question I would like to ask you:
How much do you think the team costs? A. Under $100, B. $100-$200, or C. $200+

The price for the deck, if you were to purchase all the cards and dice, I made some assumptions on the dice count for the cards, came out to $85-$90. Which is not bad for a winning WKO deck, this shows that you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a winning team. But, then again, some may not have $85 to spend on a team. I also would like to point out that Isaac, as discussed in his post and on the TRP podcast, spent a lot of time prepping, piloting, and learning his team. Again, some fuel for both sides of the card vs pilot debate.

When I first saw this team, I really liked how it addressed, in what I believed, are the four main elements of a good team: Control, Defense, Ramp, and Damage. When I sit down to think of a team, I think of how I am addressing these four elements. Obviously some teams will have more of a focus on one particular element then others, but all four elements must be addressed. Isaac's team addressed all four. Lets break down how all four elements were addressed and which cards made up these elements. By doing so, we should have a better idea of where are $25 and Under Team will need help addressing and which elements we can convert smoothly.

:: :: ::avx124:: :: ::

Of all the four elements, this is the one area where our $25 and Under will need to think outside the box to replicate or to come up with a different strategy. Bulk of the cards and finance for team comes from this elemenet. Actually, 5 out of the ten cards are devoted to Control, which is of no surprise. Personal note, when someone comes to the table with Polymorph, nine times out of ten he/she is running a control team. Hellblazer alone can cost from $40-60 and Venom goes for $10-15. I feel the two must have cards for this element are Venom and Archnemesis!. This is the crux of the control element. Venom gives all non-fist -2/-2 and Archnemesis! helps KO any characters with a 0 attack. Cerebro is then, probably placed, on key characters we want our opponents to have a hard time fielding. Constantine and Oracle will be great to have on the team, but I feel these are supportive control cards to the overall control element of Venom and Archnemesis!. So in our team we will keep Venom and Archnemesis! and Cerebro as a supportive control card. I will discuss later in the blog which cards we will use to replace Hellblazer and Oracle.

:: ::

With Venom basically weakening almost all of the characters on the field and Archnemesis! being used to help clean up anything that is still on the board, Magic Helmet Paladin combo is a great way to protect our dice. This combo shuts down our opponents use of Archnemesis! and provides some protection from direct damage. In addition, the costs of these cards are reasonable, so we could have room to bring over both cards to our team. Sidenote, remember that Magic Helmet does protect the user from Prismatic Spray. Here's the link on the ruling:

:: ::

PXG is self-explanatory. Since, I have put PXG in a few $25 and Under decks, I'm sure there would not be a problem finding space on our team for it. Polymorph, on the other hand, may be a problem. First off, I place Polymorph under ramp for two reasons. While Polymorph definitely has a control element, the main intent is not for its defensive capabilities. Even though, if you are going to use Polymorph, you will need to know how to use it defensively. This is a key trait between a novice and a well-seasoned pilot. Second, since Polymorph is primarily here to bring out Venom as soon as possible is why I place this card under Ramp. I feel any card that speeds up fielding and purchase, culls the bag, or increase number of die being rolled as part of the ramp element. Polymorph, since it is a popular and staple basic action, goes for $3-5, which means we may have to look for an alternative for our team.


Bard is becoming a huge staple in teams. Even you are not building a bard-centric team, this card is now becoming the finishing move for more and more teams. With this one card, it makes all of our fielded die damage cards. With this being a control team, we are trying to get board control, then board wipe, then lethal swing. Being the only 'damage' element on the team, Bard becomes mandatory on our version.

We have broken down and reviewed the elements that made Isaac's team successful, now lets see if we can make a $25 and Under version that adheres as best we could to the elements and tactics of the original team.

Team Breakdown:

Venom (Budget so far: 25.00)
Angelo Fortunato - 11.99
Our main source of control is also our most expensive card for this team. As stated before, Venom is the main crux of control and I would also say the main flavor of the team. To get more Venom dice, we will also purchase a copy of Eddie Brock for .39.

Cerebro (Budget so far: 12.62)
Super Computer - .39
Once we get our Venom Archnemesis going, we want to make sure it is harder for our opponent to field his/her characters. Cerebro does a great job of being passive aggressive with the control. We will buy two copies of Cybernetic Intelligence of .25. Cerebro also will cause your opponent to pay 2 to field Elf Thief. While Wizkids, have not directly ruled on this interaction, it is safe to make this assumption based on the ruling WizKids made on the interaction between Cerebro and Nick Fury. (Here's the link to the ruling:

Magic Helmet (Budget so far: 11.73)
Greater Gear - .39
Once our Venom hits the field, we need to protect our non-fist characters from ping and globals. Magic Helmet is one card of a two card defense combo that will solve that problem. We are also going to pick up three copies of the common version for .25 each.

Human Paladin (Budget so far: 10.59)
Lesser Emerald Enclave - .99
Our second card in our two card defense combo. As stated earlier in the blog, Paladin with helmet will protect our characters (especially our non-fist) from pings and Archnemesis. In addition, the global offers some protection from direct damage, specifically Gobby and Lantern Ring Teams. We will also pick up a played condition of Master Lords Alliance for .85.

Professor X (Budget so far: 8.75)
Recruiting Young Mutants - .99
Classic Ramp. 'Nuff Said.

Half-Elf Bard (Budget so far: 7.76)
Master Lords' Alliance - 2.99
The unofficial 8th card for every team. This was jokingly mentioned in the latest episode of The Attack Zone Podcast, but it is true. With the banning of Relentless and Swords, Aggro Bard is turning, and probably will, into a mid-range to late game finishing move. For our team, the goal is to establish board control, try to wipe as much as we can with Venom and Archnemesis, then go for the swing. We will also pick up two copies of Lesser Emerald Enclave for .39.

Bane (Budget so far: 3.99)
Professional Criminal - .49
So far we have 6 of the 8 characters from the Isaac's PolyVenom team. You might be wondering how our C&C Cola version is going to be different? No Hellblazer. Remember that Hellblazer is an expensive card, so we need to figure out how to make up for some control. When in doubt, go for a taunt. We should have our Helmet Paladin combo up so this taunt will not bite us. In addition, remember that Venom makes all non-fist characters -2/-2. This means we can taunt our opponent's Hellblazer, let him go through and he will only do 0-1 damage. 1 damage, actually potentially 1 damage, to send a major control element to the used pile? To me, that's a good trade.

::cw54:: ::cw90::
Namorita (Budget so far 3.50)
Taunting Villains - .25 OR Aquatic Beauty - .49
Namorita is our second change to our team. Which version of Namorita you want to use depends on your playing style; either one, adds a nice control element to the team. Lets start with the common version, Taunting Villains. Taunting Villains is a great defense for the early game until we have our Venom and Paladin on the field. Remember, this affect triggers per Namorita that blocks. So you can have 2 Namoritas block separate sidekicks, then give a third attacker -4 to attack and allow the third attacker to go to the used pile. Another strategy is to give an attacker a 0 attack and instead of letting them through, you could use Archnemesis! to KO the attacker, though I don't know why (if the attacker is at zero let the him/her through). Aquatic Beauty, works best with one of our basic actions. The ability to send attackers or blockers to the used pile is a great mechanic. With Aggro Bard teams, you swing hopefully for lethal, if not, we knock a huge hole in the opponent's wall. However, our opponent will have a chance to reroll his/her blockers that were KO from our attack. However, when we attack with Aquatic Beauty with Aggro Bard, we place our opponent in a lose/lose situation. Our opponent will either let Namorita through for damage or block her and send the blockers to the used pile, denying our opponent an opportunity to reroll the blockers on their next turn. Regardless of which version you go with, we will also buy three copies of Taunting Villains to max out our Namorita dice count.

Transfer Power (Budget so far: 2.26)
Cost - .79
Transfer Power will be our substitute for Polymorph. Transfer Power does give us a some Ramp Element (as explained before, I place all dice that decrease purchase cost, fielding cost, cull our bag, or increase the dice we roll under the label of Ramp Element). Pro: Transfer Power allows us to field a character from the Used Pile for free, which is great for any 'when fielded' ability and there is a chance our die could be at level 2 or 3 instead of level 1 with Polymorph. Con: Bringing a character from the Used Pile is not guaranteed as with Polymorph. Regardless the die goes into our bag which increases the change of rolling the die on our next turn. With Transfer Power we are trading the ability to spin characters with swapping attack values. Transfer Power works well Namorita and if our opponent happens to have a character on the field that is still alive after Venom's -2/-2 we can Transfer Power swap the attack value then Archnemesis! for the KO. Yes that is using two different energies for the removal, but we do have a form of targeted character removal. If we have our Paladin Helmet combo up, we don't have to worry of this global biting us.

Archnemesis! (Budget so far: 1.47)
Cost - .99
We are going to keep Archnemesis!, its a great combo with our rare Venom. Nothing else to say that has not already been said about this card.

Final Team:
Transfer Power
Venom - Angelo Fortunato x2
Cerebro - Super Computer x3
Magic Helmet - Greater Gear x4
Human Paladin - Lesser Emeral Enclave x2
Professor X - Recruiting Young Mutants x1
Half-Elf Bard - Master Lords' Alliance x3
Bane - Professional Criminal x1
Namorita - Aquatic Beauty OR Taunting Villains x4

Left over budget: .48

Alternate Build:
Not much left over to play around with. One suggestion, is if you are going with the common Namorita (Taunting Villains) you could replace Bane with Mr. Fantastic. Mr. Fantastic's mask taunt would give us more synergy with the energy for our global; just be careful with Zombie Mags. You may also get a non-played condition of Paladin, or change the die number layout of the team to best suit your playing style.

Looking back on our deck, we are using 7 of the 10 cards that made up Isaac's PolyVenom Team. The major difference is the control element. Isaac's control for his team, in regards to the cards that we are missing, are much more passive in nature than our deck. However, with Namorita, I feel our deck has a slight edge on combat defense. Let me know how you guys feel about our C&C Cola Team in comparison to Isaac's Coca Cola Team.

I hope this article was helpful. Please leave any helpful replies/comments/suggestions. The more I get, the better (I hope) this blog will become.

Previous Blogs:
#1 Torchallax (updated with Civil War)
#2 Alfred/Grayson Bomb (updated with Civil War) -
#3 Sweet Vicious Christmas! -!
#4 Action Jackson -
#5 A Civil Start -
#7 Can Nats Edition -
#8 UK Nats Edition -
#9 US Nats/Worlds Edition -

This is a link to my trade/sell thread (updated as of 6/22):

Updated 06-22-2016 at 08:17 AM by Sagi

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  1. Jwannabe's Avatar
    Looks like a very competitive deck with your own flavor

    This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series to read. Thanks so much.
  2. gkpon66's Avatar
    Thanks for the great write ups. Keep up the good work.
  3. LucanO's Avatar
    Keep this series up, it is a great series!