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Confusing Card of the Week #54 - Zatanna: Hex Appeal

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Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

Today, we're going to take a look at Zatanna: Hex Appeal from the DC Green Arrow and The Flash set.

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Ruling - Ability

Zatanna has the Crosspulse ability. This ability is only found on Crossover characters and works similar to the Impulse ability. I want to go a little deeper into some of these, because they're new abilities and there is a little confusion over how they work.

Crossover
Crossover characters are characters that have two or more different energy types. In order to purchase a Crossover character, you must spend at least one of each of the character's energy type. Zatanna is a Fist/Mask Crossover character which means you must spend at least a Fist and a Mask energy in order to purchase one of her dice. A Crossover character's purchase cost can be reduced by card abilities (Blue-Eyes White Dragon: Monstrous Dragon), but you still must spend the appropriate energy types to purchase the dice. See Example Three for a Cost Reduction Example.

Impulse vs Crosspulse
Impulse is an ability that you are allowed to use when you purchase a character die with the ability. The character is not required to be active for the Impulse ability to work. Crosspulse works similar to Impulse, but it's a special type of Impulse that only works for Crossover characters and there's a little more to it than just purchasing the character die. When you want to use a Crosspulse ability, you purchase the Crossover character with the ability, but you are only allowed to use that character's energy types. If you use a different energy type that doesn't match the Crossover character's type, you will not be able to use the Crosspulse ability. This is different from Impulse because you can use Impulse when you purchase that character's die, regardless of the additional energy's combination. See Example One for a Successful Crosspulse purchase. See Example Two for a Failed Crosspulse purchase.

Zatanna's Crosspulse
When you purchase a Zatanna die, using only Fist energy and Mask energy (or Wild energy), you can use her Crosspulse ability to move up to two Sidekick dice from your Used Pile to your Prep Area. The energy used to purchase a die will go Out of Play until the Clean Up Step, so if you want to use Zatanna effectively, you need to have Sidekick dice already in your Used Pile. You may not choose Ally characters in your Used Pile because an Ally only counts as a Sidekick while active in the Field Zone. While an Ally is in the Used Pile, it is not a Sidekick die.

Affiliations

Zatanna: Hex Appeal has the Mystics affiliation.

Examples

Example One:
Successful Crosspulse purchase.


~ (Roll and Reroll) I have four energy in my Reserve Pool after my roll: Mask, Fist, Bolt, and Wild.
~ (Roll and Reroll) I want to reroll my Bolt energy to try for a different energy type, so I reroll it and get a Mask.
~ (Main Step) I decide to purchase a Zatanna die, and use all four energy to purchase her die (Two Mask, One Fist, One Wild).
~ (Main Step) I get to move (add) two Sidekick dice from my Used Pile to my Prep Area when I purchase Zatanna because I only used her energy types to purchase her die. Wild can be spent as any energy type.


Example Two:
Failed Crosspulse purchase.


~ (Main Step) After my Roll and Reroll, I have a Bolt, Wild, Fist, and Mask Energy.
~ (Main Step) I purchase a Zatanna die using all four energy.
~ Zatanna's Crosspulse ability will not work because I used a Bolt energy to purchase her die. I put Zatanna's die in my Used Pile and move the spent energy Out of Play. Nothing else happens with this purchase.


Example Three:
Reduced purchase cost.


~ (Main Step) I have a Bolt energy, two Wild energy, and Sidekick in my Reserve Pool after my Roll and Reroll. I also have two Sidekick dice in my Used Pile.
~ (Main Step) I field the Sidekick.
~ (Main Step) I use the Bolt energy for Blue-Eyes White Dragon's Global and KO the Sidekick to reduce the cost of the next die I purchase by two energy.
~ (Main Step) I spend the two Wild energy and purchase a Zatanna die.
~ (Main Step) I use Zatanna's Crosspulse ability and add the two Sidekicks from my Used Pile to my Prep Area.


Official Sources

There are no official sources specifically for Zatanna: Hex Appeal.

Page 9 of the World's Finest Rulebook, under Energy, you can find the definition for the Wildcard Energy.

Note

Many folks have said that you cannot use Wild energy for the purchase of a Crossover character, which is not accurate. You may use Wild energy to purchase any non-Crossover character, so unless there is an official statement to say otherwise, Wild energy may be used in the purchase of a Crossover character. It also counts towards triggering a Crosspulse ability because Wild energy counts as any type of energy. The White Lanterns in the Green Arrow and The Flash set have text that says, "You may not use ? energy to purchase this die, this text may not be ignored." This text is exclusive to these particular Crossover characters and does not apply to all Crossover characters.

Competitive Play Rating

It feels like there is some PXG replacement testing going on here. This particular Zatanna is my favorite of all the Zatanna cards in this set. I could see some folks trying to use her in place of PXG just to deny their opponent the use of that Global, but still have the ability to move Sidekicks, though limited. Until the meta slows down though, I don't see her making rogue status. If you wanted to get her back to her card consistently to use her Crosspulse more than four times, you would have to partially tailor your team around that mechanic with Black Adam: Ruler of Khandaq. I'm currently toying with a team like that, but it's purely casual.

Zatanna: Hex Appeal gets a competitive play rating of two out of five stars.
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Casual Play Rating

I mentioned above that I'm toying with a casual team using this Zatanna, Black Adam, and possibly a Clay Golem. In casual play and certain formats, like Lockout League, this card may shine bright. She's a great teaching tool for several different mechanics like Out of Play, Crosspulse vs Impulse, Crossover characters, and timing. She is a little confusing at first but once she's been explained, she's not difficult to utilize. I think she's a great card for newer players that don't have access to PXG in their local meta. I know it's hard to imagine a local scene without PXG, but they're out there! Uncanny X-Men is around two years old, and if WizKids implements a set rotation or a ban on PXG, Zatanna will likely see play in many casual scenes.

Zatanna: Hex Appeal gets a casual play rating of four out of five stars.
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