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Confusing Card of the Week #58 - Black Canary: Volatile (Focus on Impulse)

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Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

Today, we're going to take a look at Black Canary: Volatile from the DC Green Arrow and The Flash set.

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Ruling - Ability

Black Canary has the Impulse keyword ability. Impulse abilities happen when you purchase that character's die and do not require that the character be active in the Field Zone for the ability to work. These abilities are optional because the definition of Impulse says that you may immediately use the ability when you purchase the character die.

You may also reduce the cost of the Impulse character die (Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Monstrous Dragon) and still gain the benefits of Impulse. You may use Wild energy if you do not have the required energy face to purchase an Impulse character and still gain the benefit of the Impulse ability.

When you purchase a Black Canary die, a target Crossover character gains +2A and +2D until the end of the turn. Crossover characters are special characters that have more than one energy type. Barry Allen is an example of Crossover character. When you purchase a Black Canary die, you may target a Crossover character if one is available. You are not limited to targeting your own characters with Black Canary's Impulse ability. If your opponent has a Crossover character die in the Field Zone, you may target their die instead.

Black Canary's ability will only grant the bonus to one die, even if you have several of the same character die in the Field Zone.

Bonuses last until the end of the turn unless otherwise stated. The bonus from Black Canary's Impulse is a standard bonus that lasts until the end of the turn.

If you purchase an Impulse character die and do not use the Impulse ability, you will not be able to use it later in the turn. You must use it immediately when you purchase the Impulse character die.

Impulse can be used each time you purchase that character's die. If you purchase more than one of the same Impulse character die in a turn, you get to use the Impulse ability each time, unless otherwise stated. With Black Canary's Impulse ability, you can give the bonus to the same character or different characters, as long as they're Crossover characters.

Affiliations and Types

Black Canary: Volatile is a Fist Character and has the Justice League affiliation.

Examples

These examples are for information purposes only, to show what would happen in certain scenarios. I am not suggesting that these examples are the best outcomes for each scenario.

Example One:
Regular Impulse purchase (multiple of the same character active).


~ (Main Step) I have one Fist energy and three Bolt energy in my Reserve Pool. I have one level one Barry Allen die and one level two Barry Allen die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend all four energy (moving the dice Out of Play) and purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I choose to use it and target my level two Barry Allen die, giving that die a +2A and +2D. The level one Barry Allen remains unchanged.


Example Two:
Reduced cost Impulse purchase.


~ (Main Step) I have one Bolt energy and two Wild energy in my Reserve Pool. I have one Barry Allen die and one Sidekick die active in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend the Bolt energy (moving it Out of Play) and KO my Sidekick to use Blue-Eyes White Dragon's Global.
~ (Main Step) I spend the two Wild energy (moving them Out of Play) to purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I choose to use it and target my Barry Allen die, giving that die a +2A and +2D.


Example Three:
Unused Impulse purchase.


~ (Main Step) I have a Fist energy and three Shield energy in my Reserve Pool. I do not have any character dice in the Field Zone. My opponent has a Barry Allen die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend all four energy (moving them Out of Play) and purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I do not want to give my opponent's Barry Allen the +2A and +2D bonus so I choose to not use Black Canary's Impulse ability.


Example Four:
Multiple Impulse purchases.


~ (Main Step) I have two Fist energy and six Mask energy in my Reserve Pool. I have one Barry Allen die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend one Fist energy and three Mask energy (moving those four dice Out of Play) and purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I choose to use it and target my Barry Allen die, giving that die a +2A and +2D.
~ (Main Step) I spend my last Fist energy and my last three Mask energy (moving those four dice Out of Play) and purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I choose to use it and target my Barry Allen die, giving that die a +2A and +2D.
~ (Main Step) My Barry Allen die now has +4A and +4D because I used Black Canary's Impulse on his die two times.


Using this same example, if I had two Crossover characters, I could target each one with a Black Canary purchase instead of just targeting one of them.


Official Sources

You can find an official ruling referencing Crosspulse and Wild Energy, here.

Page 20 of the Civil War Rulebook - Powers, Abilities, and Card Text talks about when effects end. The section under it, Bonuses and Damage, has information about attack and defense modifiers.

Official Rules Insert for Green Arrow and The Flash:

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Competitive Play Rating

Black Canary is not a card I would expect to see in any competitive constructed format. It's not that she's a bad card, I just think she doesn't have what it takes to make it in competitive constructed. Her purchase cost is okay, but not with those stats. Her ability is exclusively beneficial to Crossover characters, so that's another downside to using her. You would need to build a team that used her and a Crossover character as a potential focus for the team. Right now, I'm not sure that's a team that would do well against Vicious Bards. Crossover characters require more precision in purchasing their dice as well, which could slow or stall a competitive team. Sorry Black Canary, you're not my pick for a competitive team.

Black Canary: Volatile gets a competitive play rating of zero out of five stars.
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Casual Play Rating

When you start looking at casual settings, Black Canary could be a fantastic character for a beginner. Her ability can be explained easily, she's not expensive, and her stats are okay for a more casual environment, all of which earn her high marks for casual play. I think someone could easily make a team with her, Barry Allen: Super-Sonic Punch, and Hulk Out, just for fun. I might even do that - just because it sounds like lots of fun to play. I can easily recommend Black Canary to any player of any skill level - which is another reason she gets a higher casual rating. She isn't a plug-n-play type card though, which keeps her at a three star rating.

Black Canary: Volatile gets a casual play rating of three out of five stars.
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