Hey there folks,
This last couple of weeks I have been participating in an Online tournament arranged by the good folks over at the CR Game Room Youtube channel. (Go take a look, you’ll find it HERE)
It was a Modern “Two Team Takedown” event. “What’s one of those?” I hear you ask. Well, the format requires you to bring two Modern teams, with no card duplicated across the two teams. In order to win your round you must win with both teams – so once you have won with a team you must then change out to your other and win with the second.
The event has been initially split into two brackets: one for North America and one for the EU. Us folk in the EU played three rounds of Swiss before the brackets combine for the top cuts, North America have got a fourth round to go. (All down to participant numbers)
I, sadly, will not be moving into the top cut, having achieved the grand total of 3 losses in my first three rounds.
But is this a time to lick my wounds in the corner commiserating? It is NOT. It’s time to take a look at the teams and collect my key learns for next time, and I’m going to share that process with you fine folk now.
So, let’s take a look at the teams I played, consider what it was i was trying to do, and lay out some thoughts for improvement next time…
Spammy Boom Boom
BASIC ACTION CARDS
- Thrown Brick
- Confront the Mighty
- Boom Boom – Lemme Hear you Sing Way-yo
- Wasp – Flitting About
- Black Widow – Agent
- Poison Ivy – Red
- Madame Masque – Nefaria’s Scheme
- Mimic – Calvin Rankin
- Atlas – Purged of Pam Particles
- Acererak – The Eternal
You can take a closer look at the team on the Dice Coalition team Builder HERE.
‘Boom Boom’ is a card I’ve been tinkering teams around for nearly a year now, first trying her out as one of my National qualifier teams at the UK Games Expo Nats last year.
I’ve always been a fan of direct damage strategies as win cons, and I like that she does 2 damage per Basic Action all on her own (Unlike Attune characters who need the buff from ‘PseudoDragon’) and that the 2 damage could be dealt to either player OR character. The arrival of ‘Thrown Brick’ in the Harley Quinn Team Pack brought this team back off the shelf a few months ago as I now had just the right Basic Action to spam the ‘Boom Boom’ damage like a boss.
So – the plan is pretty simply – buy an early ‘Boom Boom’ and one or two ‘Thrown Brick’ die and rinse/repeat annoyingly until my opponent dies from ‘ Boom Boom’ damage spam.
Pinging for 2-4 each turn is pretty good, but how about 4-8 each turn? That’s where ‘Mimic’ comes in. The guy copies cards, so the plan is to copy my ‘Boom Boom’ to double up the damage. He became an addition to the team upon the advice of World Champion Arge O’Neill during a post recording natter when he came on the podcast as a guest. One ‘Boom Boom’, One ‘Mimic’ and repeating ‘Thrown Bricks’ can deal quite the chunk of damage each turn.
My biggest challenge was the dreaded ‘Scarlet Witch – Careful What you Wish For’ and so I needed something to keep her at bay. She single handedly took the legs out from under the team at the Nationals Qualifier and so I needed something to manage her. That’s why ‘Acererak’ got added to the team with his action re-rolling global. It was only once per turn, but one ‘Thrown Brick’ is all I need to deal some damage and keep my win con going, so in he went.
‘Wasp’ is my secondary win con for my other trouble Cards: ‘Bishop – Butterfly Effect’ and SR ‘Yuan-Ti’. She gives me an Attune trigger that can kill an SR ‘ Yuan-Ti’ on level 1 & 2 and if my opponent has ‘Bishop’ out I re-direct damage to characters, go for some board clear, and get a big ‘Wasp’ for some combat damage potential leveraging her stat bump from Action use.
Everything else is situational – ‘Black Widow’ for Attune and Range, ‘Poison Ivy’ if I need to stare down a ‘Gold Dragon’ or Overcrushers, Madame Masque’ for ‘Nobby’ teams, and ‘Atlas’ for a prep global & extra muscle if I need it. ‘Confront The Mighty’ is there to ping off big annoyances like ‘Blob’. (And be another spam trigger for ‘ Boom Boom’)
So… I actually think this team is pretty strong, and with a bit of tightening up (and maybe a better player LOL) could have some real potential.
One thing I noticed from reviewing the videos of my games was that I didn’t buy my ‘Mimic’ to double up on the ‘Boom Boom’ damage, yet when I used this team to win the ‘One Big Weekend’ event in Manchester I was buying him all the time. This leads me to think it’s a question of practice – I’ve got my buying order, ramp & churn all over the place with the team. I may swap him out for the Common ‘Doppelgänger – Lesser Monstrosity’ from Tomb of Annihilation to see if the lower purchase cost helps; I had gone with ‘Mimic’ because the idea of pilfering my opponent’s goodies with ‘Mimic’ appealed to me, but I generally don’t hit the 5 purchase cost as comfortably without my opponent bringing useful Globals like ‘Kree Captain’ (Which I don’t intend on adding to the team myself), so I’d rather at least double my damage potential with I card I will buy a dice from than have more options on a card I don’t buy dice from.
I’ve also been finding that ‘Acererak’ global isn’t mitigating ‘Scarlet Witch – Careful What You Wish For’ well enough. It’s inconsistent. Buying an abundance of Actions to try and roll through her doesn’t seem to make a difference either -sometimes it works but I’m so cursed on dice rolls that most of the time it doesn’t. As a man of principle the obvious choice – ‘Shriek – Sonic Beam’ – is a non-starter, so I’ll be trawling the Sidekick app for a removal option to test out and see if I can’t deal with ‘Scarlet Witch’ in a new and interesting way.
Now, onto my second team…
The Collector & Norman are bros
BASIC ACTION CARDS
- Magic Missile
- Villainous Pact
- Danger Room – Nasty Stuff n’all Dat
- Chwinga – Paragon Elemental
- Scarecrow – Chose Poorly
- Norman Osborn – Don’t Call Me “Gobby”!
- Blob – Nothing Moves the Fat Bastard
- Shriek – Dark Empathy
- The Collector – Taneleer Tivan
- Bishop – Butterfly Effect
You can take a closer look at the team on the Dice Coalition Team Builder HERE.
This is essentially my UK Nats team from last year with a minor amendment of adding ‘Scarecrow’ from the new Justice set in place of the ‘Batarang – What Goes Around Comes Around’.
The aim of the team is to create a whole field of Villains (my side and my opponent’s) with the ‘Danger Room’ and drop a ‘Norman Osborn’ for the big blows, usually using ‘The Collector’s’ game-text to spring ‘Norman Osborn’ into the field for cheap and in both player’s turns.
The ‘Chwinga’ swarm is the variant choice in the team to set up an abundance of Bolts to use. This serves many purposes – it gives me the energy to plough into ‘Magic Missile’ and ‘Danger Room’ Globals to clear down pests on my opponent’s team; it also gives me bolts to KO & prep ‘Norman Osborn’ dice for next turn if I’m using him without ‘The Collector’ out, and it makes sure I’m flush enough to use ‘Shriek – Dark Empathy’ with ‘The Collector’ to wholesale blank my opponent’s field when nasty ‘when attacks’ stuff is on the way (Looking at you ‘Gold Dragon’ and ‘Venerable Dreadnaught’). It’s also not unusual for me to field and KO just One ‘Chwinga’ die to line up a prep and some bolts for next turn in a pinch.
‘Blob’, ‘Bishop’ and ‘Scarecrow’ are all control measures to be annoying for my opponent, and ‘Villainous Pact’ is there for the early prep global to get things moving along early doors.
Where do I begin? Despite all the months of practice with ‘The Collector’ last year I really didn’t play this team well at all during the Two Team Takedown.
When I used to play with this team I was certain to get my ‘The Collector’ out as early as possibly as he can operate offensively and defensively for me, but in these games I sort of floundered around and had my buy order totally skewiff. So, next time around I need to get back to basics and get the big man out to do the job he was there to do.
I’m also not sure I’ve moved the team along with new card choices all that much, especially with the new releases that have passed since UK Nats last year. We now see variants of ‘The Collector’ archetype with ‘Kree Captain’ global for that speedier ‘The Collector’ purchase, ‘Black Canary – Flower Shop Owner’ for a secondary win con, and added Control from ‘Yellow Lantern Ring – The Weaponer’s Ring’ that’s immune to ‘Madame Masque’ and ‘Wonder Woman’. I was living in the past basically trotting out the same old team, and not playing it how it was intended to be played either.
The only new addition was ‘The Scarecrow’, which I was perhaps too hasty to buy in the early turns to experiment with. While he certainly proved useful (He locked down Ben’s ‘Gold Dragon’ pretty well in the first round and held Cleggy’s ‘Shriek’ at bay a little bit in the second round) I hadn’t thought my buying order through and delayed my win con every time I bought him first. This is about the “100 game reps” – I had practiced A LOT for Nats with my team once I’d settled on the card choices and had my first 3 turns well figured out for a range of match ups, but this time around I chucked a new card in (for little other reason than I wanted to try something shiny and new) and then tried to experiment with buy orders while in the event itself.
I was also all over the place getting my swarm going, I was just totally sporadically buying ‘Chwinga’ die with no sense of what I was doing. Those Bolts are an important tool for my ping-y strategy, as well as helping me churn through my bag when I get around to picking up utility pieces like the ‘Blob’ or to swing my ‘Danger Room’ faster, but I got trapped into rolling 4 or 5 dice a turn and limiting my own spending power all the time. Once you’re on the wrong side of the beat down and playing defensively you start to find little in the way of options and I mostly found my games slipping out of my hands.
So… lots of thinking on this one. First – it’s back to basics with how I use ‘The Collector’ and then it’s back to the drawing board with the general team construction to see if I can’t freshen it up a little in the new meta. Then – PRACTICE!
There we go folks, my personal reflections on the teams and some thoughts on where to take the teams. Once I like a team I’m the sort to keep at it, so keep an eye out for new, improved, well practiced versions of these making a return the next time a Modern event rolls around.
And – if you want to see the games I referring to in more detail head on over to the “Two Team Takedown” playlist on the Ministry of Dice’s Youtube channel – 2 of my three rounds were recorded – find them HERE.
Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the teams. Do you find you play good teams that get beaten because you’ve not had enough practice? Is there a gem of card I’ve overlooked you’d like to suggest? Got any ideas on how to screw ‘Scarlet Witch’? Give me your thoughts…