$25 and Under: Can Nats Edition
by, 06-03-2016 at 06:16 AM (3044 Views)
$25 and Under: Can Nats Edition
I just want to thank you for all the comments and support. Due to family responsibility I will not be able to post at all next week. To make up for this, I posting this second blog for the week.
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 coolstuffinc.com. 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:
On my last blog, I took a winning WKO2 team (TRP's Isaac's PolyVenom) and came up with $25 and Under version of it. In addition, I added my two cents on the 'Card vs Pilot' debate that I have often with my brother and sometimes with other players. I consider this posting a continuation/appendix/supplement of my previous blog. (the link to previous blog will be at end of this posting).
A team that made a huge impact and took many by surprise was the Winning, Winning, and Winning (took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) team at Canada Nationals. This team, Golem Flood, was also another brain child of the mad scientists that came up with the Bard Blitz team. So lets take a look at this team (metaphorically speaking: Canadian Bacon) and try to come up with a $25 and Under version (metaphorically speaking: American Bacon).
Can Nats Edition:
Before we go into our team, we must first break down the 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, came out to $50-55. A great value for a winning team. If someone would offer me a national championship for $55, I would take it in a heartbeat. Also, this team is significantly cheaper than the PolyVenom Team we went over last time. I understand some may not have the money to buy this team, but once again I need to point out, according to the Attack Zone Podcast, how much these guys piloted, tested, and learned this team. I feel this is more evidence on the PILOT side than the CARD side in debate on which is the greater factor.
With Isaac's PolyVenom team, I went over how it addressed the four main elements of a good team: Control, Defense, Ramp and Damage. While the creators of the Golem Flood team did a great job at addressing how the team functions, both in the article and responding to the questions in the feedback section, lets break down this team based on the four elements and how they were addressed. 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.
:: :: ::avx113:: :: :: :: ::
This going to sound repetitive in regards to my last posting, but once again 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. Once again, bulk of the cards and finance for team comes from this elemenet. Granted, this is only the second winning deck we have broken down, but already there are two major patterns forming. Our first pattern is the heavy investment in control. With PolyVenom it was 5/10 cards, with Golem Flood we have 7/10. Second pattern will be discussed later.
Lets look at Golem Flood's control components. Elf Thief serves as two purposes in my mind: control and ramp. The emphasis is more on control, we are either stealing energy from our opponent or forcing our opponent to change their buy strategdy. With Cloudkill serving as our Relentess/Swords replacement, either control function of Elf Thief will benefit this team. The stealing of energy for a possible ramp is more of a by product of the more control element of the card. Actually, the potential theft of energy is why Elf Thief is more of a control card. To make Elf Thief effective we need a reliable fielding and/or KO engine to make sure to can bring back Elf Thief. This team has both in the form of Clay Golem and Parallax. Parallax serves as double control. Parallax gives us some control over bad rolls and allows us to possibly gain multiple use of when fielded effects. Elf Thief and Parallax, I'm, sure will have spots on our team.
The other four cards, Rare Dwarf Wizard, Rare Mr. Fantastic, Cloudkill, and Magic Missile, is where we may need to use some alternatives or think outside the box. Rare Dwarf Wizard, came out of the gate as a tournament staple. I'm sure many of you, like myself, had to deal with the double team of Rare Dwarf Wizard and Hellblazer (in WKO2, I faced this team-up 3 times). Dwarf Wizard, being a rare, is not as expensive as Hellblazer, but selling for about $25, means we have no room for him on our team. I was glad to see Kryptonite on Golem Flood. This card has been popped up on a lot of our $25 and Under teams. I was really impressed with the combo of Kryptonite with Dwarf Wizard as a counter to Hellblazer and using Kryptonite as bolt energy for Magic Missile. We should have no problem carrying Kryptonite card over to our team.
Rare Mr. Fantastic is a taunt. I love taunts. His mask global has a lot of synergy with Elf Thief. We may need to replace him, only because of the cost of Magic Missile and Elf Thief. We have two solid basic actions: Cloudkill and Magic Missile. Of the two, I would place Magic Missile above Cloudkill. The reason for this, is because of the multi-use of Magic Missile as offense, defense, and control. However, Cloudkill serves as lynchpin for this team as a form defense denial, which obviously helps with the swing for lethal. Cloudkill also provides a plan B for win condition. We can either hammer our opponent's wall with Bard or swing with our opponent unable to pay for blockers due to Elf Thief. Obviously best case scenario is having both Cloudkill and Bard. With Magic Missile going for about $4-5 dollars and Cloudkill going for $2-3, we might not have room for the two basic actions in Golem Flood. So we may need to look for alternatives.
At first I was thinking of placing Rare Dwarf Wizard and/or Kryptonite as defense. I changed my mind, because these cards are used mainly as control with some defensive elements. The lack of direct defense cards, which tend to be prevent/reduce damage, attack tax, targeting protection, etc., was replace with a heavy emphasis on the control element. This proves one does not need all four elements to be addressed to make a competitive functional deck. However this also shines some light on where this team is lacking. If your opponent can break free of your control, you are going to have some problems.
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. I placed Clay Golem in under the ramp element because of how the card will be used on this team. As stated in my previous blog, 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. Clay Golem is being used as a way to cycle Elf Thief and Dwarf Wizard to get them back on the field. This is another way to set up a big Parallax engine on the next turn.
Here's our second pattern that is emerging: Aggro Bard. This card was jokingly referred to in the Can Nats episode of The Attack Zone podcast as the 8th card, and with good reason. Both PolyVenom and Golem Flood are able to invest cards and resources in the control element because you only need one card for damage...bard. With bard, you do not necessarily need board control, you just need to have more guys on the field than your opponent. Then you can just swing and hammer into your opponents wall. You could insure win condition by bringing along Doom Calibur Knight. With the Elf Theif/Parallax engine, you do not need to have DCK. Since bard is the only damage element, we have to make sure this card is on our team.
In regards to the meta, I foresee one of four outcomes: a bard ban, a bard nerf, nothing, or perhaps a number of anti-bard cards in about four sets from now. Case in point, look how Civil War has a large number of anti-direct damage cards, that I feel are in response to Gobby, Johnny Storm, and Lantern Ring.
We have broken down and reviewed the elements that made the Golem Flood 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.
Elf Thief (Budget so far: 25.00)
Lesser Harper - 1.99
Great control/ramp card. Good stats for a character that we should always be fielding for free. Control element that will either stop/delay our opponent's global use or forced to change buy patterns. I know whenever play against a team that has elf thief, I make sure there is no energy left in reserve pool to be siphoned away. We will also buy 3 more copies at 1.99 to max out the dice count.
Professor X (Budget so far: 17.04)
Recruiting Young Mutants - .99
Classic Ramp. 'Nuff Said. Only getting one copy for the global.
Clay Golem (Budget so far: 16.05)
Greater Construct - .49
Fabricate is a very good ramp, in addition it gives us the ability to cycle our elf thieves. Something that I did not go over, is the Golem's ability. We can redirect damage to other character dice to our Golem. So we not only protect our own guys from ping damage (Magic Missile, Human Torch, or Babs), we can also prevent damage to our opponent's dice. Why would we ever do that? This could stop the Hulk's or Bab's ability to fire off, or at the very least delay or increase the amount of energy our opponent would need to spend to activate the abilities. Those are two ways to look at a defensive ability. Similar to elf thief, we will buy three more copies for .49.
Kryptonite (Budget so far: 14.09)
Green Death - .79
A staple in our $25 and Under decks. As I stated before, this .79 card can shut down the expensive staple cards such as the rare dwarf wizard. We will buy three copies of Green Plague for .49.
Half-Elf Bard (Budget so far: 11.83)
Master Lords' Alliance - 2.99
The unofficial 8th card for every team. Bard has proven to be such a versatile card. I would argue, Bard can make any team lethal and frees up space to invest into control elements. Similar to PolyVenom, we want to establish board control or to have overwhelming numbers and swing. Remember, the bonus for Bard stacks FOR EACH bard; "when attacks" bonus and ability trigger for each die, not for each character. We will also pick up three copies of Lesser Emerald Enclave for .39.
Parallax (Budget so far: 7.67)
Source of Terror - .25
I cannot stop praising this card. For a quarter....a quarter! We get so much utility. Bad rolls, reroll them. You have a character with a great when fielded ability...try to refield them. I think this card will have the same effect on you as it did for me. It will slowly creep up into more and more of your teams. Since we only need the card for the global, we will only buy one copy.
Phoenix (Budget so far: 7.42)
Ms. Psyche - .39
So far we have 6 of the 8 characters from Golem Flood. You might be wondering how our American Bacon version is going to be different? We are going to replace the rare Mr. Fantastic with Phoenix. Main reason is due to price. Rare Mr. Fantastic goes for about $3. Phoenix gives us the same taunt global for less than .50. Granted, mask taunt will provide more synergy, and we could of gone with the common Mr. Fantastic, but there is always that looming threat of a Zombie Magneto. Also, we are going to have potential bolt energy with Kyrptonite. We will only get one copy since we are using this card for the global.
Slifer the Sky Dragon (Budget so far: 7.03)
Lightning Blast - 3.99
Here's our second change up to Golem Flood. Instead of the basic action Magic Missile we are going to use Slifer. I know that Slifer, financially, costs the same as Magic Missile. However, we are placing Slifer for three reasons. One, the goal for $25 and Under is to expand our Dice Masters collection, and, two, to be introduced to other cards. Slifer is a decent alternative to Magic Missile, especially since we cannot add Rare Dwarf Wizard to our team. Third, Slifer opens a basic action slot for our team, which opens up some possibilities to use a basic action, that I feel would benefit from Clay Golem's Fabricate ability.
Cloudkill (Budget so far: 3.04)
Cost - 1.99
Since we are using an alternative to Magic Missile with Silfer, lets not deviated too much from the overall strategy with Golem Flood. So we are going to keep Cloudkill which addition to be used a defense denial can also provide some sidekick clearing.
Escape Incarceration (Budget so far: 1.05)
Cost - .99
Our last card and change to Golem Flood is Escape Incarceration (or how I refer to it - Basic Action Sangan). When reviews and spoilers came out for Civil War, Escape Incarceration did not get much coverage. I understand why, it is a niche basic action that requires some support and set up. Golem Flood provides that set up with fabricate.
Here is the set up. You KO your two Elf Thieves to fabricate your Clay Golem. You then use Escape Incarceration. You then move the golem you just purchase, along with another die from the used pile to the prep area. You have only spent 1 die to have 4 possible non-sidekick dice in your prep area. A great exchange. If you are going to have a KO engine in your team AND have space for a basic action, might as well have a basic action that benefits you for KOing your own dice.
In terms of defense, Escape Incarceration might be a one sided basic action to your benefit, if your opponent does not have an easy access to KO their dice. I have played Escape Incarceration both at a causal and tournament level, and this basic action can be surprising useful. In a few games I had horrible opening rolls, so I would purchase Escape Incarceration turn 1. Obviously, my turn three roll was not optimal due to my horrible opening roll, but Escape Incarceration (which I rolled on turn 3), helped me recover some momentum for my turn four by prepping a dice I just bought. Overall, I feel this basic action has some potential, which is the main reason we are putting it on our final team. Give it a try.
Elf Thief - Lesser Harper x4
Professor X - Recruiting Young Mutants x1
Clay Golem - Greater Construct x4
Kryptonite - Green Death x4
Half-Elf Bard - Master Lords' Alliance x4
Parallax - Source of Terror x1
Phoenix - Ms. Psyche x1
Slifer the Sky Dragon - Lightning Blast x1
Left over budget: .06
:: ::cw96:: ::
.06 does not give really anything to play around with unfortunately. You could change the dice layout of the team to better suit your playing style and personal preference.
We do have some options if you want to make some changes to our proposed line up. One alternate build is that we could replace Escape Incarceration with Magic Missile so that we could have both of the original basic actions. We can take out Slifer, who was replacing Dwarf Wizard. With that open spot we can add a defensive element that was missing from both Golem Flood and our version. I would suggest the uncommon Ronin from Civil War ( Lone Warrior). I like Ronin's self KO'ing defensive ability, which adds to theme of the team somewhat. Also, I really think Ronin, more specifically his super-rare, is going to be a tournament staple. Ronin uncommon is not that far off from the super rare. I would see this as an opportunity to get use to how Ronin's ability works.
Another alternate to this team, is that we could replace Cloudkill with Villanous Pact. With the mask energy with this team we can use it to prep a die from our bag, and the ability of Villainous Pact is somewhat comparable to Cloudkill in terms of a possible defense denial. Here is our alternate build:
Elf thief x4
Looking back on our deck, we are using 7 of the 10 cards that made up Golem Flood. Our $25 and Under team, like the original team, sacrificed the defense element to heavily invested into the control element, banking on Bard for our only damage element. Though our team is missing a heavy control element of the rare Dwarf Wizard, I feel that Escape Incarceration may provide our team with more dice prep, which overall should speed up our target turn of putting dice on the field with Cloudkill.
Our alternate build stayed more with the original style of the deck, but with a defensive element of Ronin in place of the heavy control element of the rare Dwarf Wizard.
Let me know how you guys feel about our American Bacon Team in comparison to the Can Nats triple win Canadian Bacon 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.
#1 Torchallax (updated with Civil War) – http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...der-Torchallax
#2 Alfred/Grayson Bomb (updated with Civil War) - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...d-Grayson-Bomb
#3 Sweet Vicious Christmas! - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...ous-Christmas!
#4 Action Jackson - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...Action-Jackson
#5 A Civil Start - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...63#comment4763
#6 WKO2 Edition - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...r-WKO2-Edition
#8 UK Nats Edition - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...K-Nats-Edition
#9 US Nats/Worlds Edition - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...Worlds-Edition
This is a link to my trade/sell thread (updated as of 6/22): http://www.thereservepool.com/thread...rade-Sell-list