Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby Latebrus-K » Wed May 08, 2019 7:08 am

Rodimus Knight wrote:That image for full loadout looks like wheeljack is either fitting prime for a bra or in the middle of sexually harassing him.

To be fair, that could definitely be a Brestforce drone partner. :P
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby #Sideways# » Wed May 08, 2019 9:54 pm

Motto: "Wake up. Wake up and smell the ashes."
Weapon: Dual Compression Cannons
CHARACTER CARDS


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'Cause I'm a cowboy / On a steel horse I ride
And I'm wanted / Dead or alive


So many reveals so little time. But before we get into them, I think we should probably address the elephant in the room -- or to be more specific, the cassette player in the room!

If you couldn't tell from the teaser up top, we're going to be getting Soundwave as well as his cassettes this wave! Now, it is currently unknown what they're going to look like given the line "drastically altered their appearance", but we can guess that they're going to look something like their Siege incarnations. We also have literally no idea how they're going to work given that the guys at Wizards have stated that they had a specific playstyle that was unlike anything we've seen before.

My mind is reeling this early in an article? Criminey Christmas! Someone, start the spoilers, quick, before I start speculating... And hey, what's with this cassette deck on the table? I thought those were out of style since... Bah. Let's get to the reveals!

CHARACTER CARDS


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I, for one, look forward to the Robo-Smasher card.


Arcee is an interesting, and a surprisingly competent, character. This is the second Arcee card we've gotten, with this form being in the form of her G1 design. With her comes Focus, a new type of keyword-based ability. Let's dig into that, shall we?

Focus, when used, is a pre-attack ability similar to Plan where you look at the top card of your deck and decide whether or not to keep it. Basically, just think of Aerial Recon where you can Surveil the top card of your deck to hopefully make your next attack better. But here's the thing. I've said this time and time again, even with Recon System: Focus and other attack-based effects like it, if you really think about it, are just worse versions of Bold.

Put it this way; which of the two would you rather do?

Focus: Look at the top of your deck, decide you don't like it and scrap it. Then, you flip the next two cards, with the end result being you seeing the top three cards of your deck with the standard two flips.

Bold: Flip three cards. The top card of your deck wasn't what you wanted, but the other two were. The end result is that you see three cards off the top of your deck with Bold 1 and and the standard two flips.

If you think those things are anything other than exactly the same, then you're fascinatingly wrong.

But here's the thing: If they're the same, then what makes Focus worse? I must have been exaggerating, right? Well, let's take a look at that same scenario again but let's change the top of the deck to something we want to keep instead of something we want to scrap. Let's see what happens:

Focus: You look at the top card of your deck and you decide to keep it. This means you won't be seeing another card off the top card of your deck, and this means you're only seeing two in total and you're doing the damage that would entail.

Bold: You flip three cards, including the card you wanted to keep, dealing more damage than Focus would allow.

Empirically speaking, Focus is worse than Bold. Now, this is not to say that Focus in itself is bad per se, in fact, I'd much prefer Arcee to have Focus instead of being vanilla, but you have to understand that unless it's in extremely high numbers, Focus won't do much for you outside the first turn or two.

Now, where does that leave Arcee? Well, since we know that having Focus is better than nothing, we can safely say that her vehicle mode lands solidly in the "somewhat mediocre" slot. Hey, it's better than "bad" or "unplayable", right? I may be harsh but I'm not heartless!

But what of her robot mode? Well, my friends, that's where I'm actually slightly excited. Now, I am an excitable person, but in balanced builds Arcee might actually see value. You see, we're in an anti-Armor meta with Bashing Shield making aggro decks extremely powerful against their more defensive opponents. It's why Force Field isn't as powerful as it could be.

So, when I saw that Arcee could retain Tough with only a weapon, I was intrigued. There is no anti-Weapon cards that are played to any notable degree with the innate lack of permanence that many of the most powerful weapons have. So, you could make whatever armor you have on you far more potent, or you could play her in an all-blue list to make her mediocre defensive stats higher.

But here's another reason to be excited for Arcee in aggro lists, as well: She makes every weapon attached to her provide Bold 1. You could use a Power Punch to give her Bold 3, stacking with her innate ability to give her a thick total Bold 4. Which reminds me, if you manage to put a Superior Blaster or Lionizer's weapon mode, you can give her a monstrous Bold 5 not even counting any Actions you've played.

Of course, one could make the argument that one could just play Wave 1 Wheeljack. He has Bold 3 innately, after all. Naturally, I agree. If it's one or the other, Wheeljack is definitely the better option. However, I wonder if she won't have a claim to a spot alongside him instead of Wave 2 Prowl thanks to her Tough and higher HP adding to her survivability?

Who knows? I just write here.

All in all, she's interesting. I can definitely see her getting played in certain balanced lists for her Bold/Tough split, but I can also see a case for her use in Cars. I wouldn't count on it, of course, but she certainly has potential.


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Can we please get more Flamewar toys? Other than BotCon exclusives, that is.


Flamewar has as many cards as her toys. I really don't have that much to follow that up with, but I just thought it was an interesting point at how we have a hilarious lack of Flamewar representation in the toyline. But, is her card just as dismal as her representation?

Well, not really. Somewhat. Kinda. That'll take some explaining.

Firstly, I've spoken at length about low numbers of Focus and how it's basically just Bold but with more steps and less payoff. Now, with Flamewar's Focus 2, you can still look at the top of your deck to arrange them however you want or scrap them. Something about Focus that I didn't exactly touch on is that the high number of Focus (say, for instance an Upgrade gives you Focus 3 plus the innate Focus 2) you can potentially arrange not just the next attack but potentially the defense afterward. I'm not saying that this is confirmed to happen, but it would be fascinating if it did.

I mean, you could pair it with Plan 2 to put two cards for Flamewar's attack on the top of your deck after arranging the next two cards for defensive purposes. I don't know if that's viable given Flamewar's... Rather dismal defense to say the least. Arcee could get away with it with her Tough 1, but Flamewar isn't so lucky. Of course, you could always try out the Plan combo I was talking about to hopefully rig the topdeck to your defensive purposes, but that only goes so far.

But enough about Focus! Let's talk about the stats of everyone's Decepticon waifu: Flamewar! If you couldn't tell, Flamewar is a cheap-ish Motorcycle, which means she can finish out a full team of Motorcycles worth 25 Points with Chromia at 8, Wave 1 Arcee at 5, Wave 1 Flamewar at 5 and using those 7 points, Specialist Flamewar to round out the whole list.

Now, is there any point to a full Motorcycle list other than the novelty of saying that you, in fact, have four Motorcyles on the field?

Not anymore. You remember Swap Parts, right? The banned card? Yeah, that card was kind of important for the Motorcycle's explosive playstyle given the Specialist support that the archetype relied upon. It kinda stinks because Motorcycles were seemingly about to get their hayday with a fourth Motorcycle Specialist to join their ranks and more cards to use in their combo. Now that Swap Parts is banned, who knows if they have the power to be viable anymore?

Who knows? Either way, I just know that Specialist Flamewar will be played in the list. Will she be played anywhere else? Probably not. She doesn't have the amount of power that other seven starred characters have, and despite her Stealth in vehicle mode, not that much bulk to back up the opposite end of the spectrum.


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Let's just agree that Ironhide is basically the Doomslayer but with a Southern accent.


Something about Infinite Combo being uncounterable?

Let's be honest, here, this is the epitome of a hard counter to the Infinite Combo. Ironhide can't take non-attack damage, which is kinda the entire win condition of the Combo deck, and his stats are high enough that we can pretty well say that Combo can't pull off the KO on him pretty much no matter what. Remember, Combo is not dead -- it's just more complicated. Red Heat makes it a competent composition, albeit a more counterable one.

But Ironhide? Ironhide counters it in the same vein that Acid Storm counters Dinobots. His very existence means that, in all likelihood, you will be able to punish their flimsy composition. This is not to say that it's an autowin, but you're guaranteed to at least have Ironhide alive and likely at nigh full HP when their combo inevitably ends. When it does, Red Heat is going to be tapped, and as such, you can more or less annihilate him and his flimsy stats, likely ending the combo for good.

Ironhide can also do a good bit of work against Aerialbots and similarly geared direct damage decks. These aren't played as much as other decks, but it's nice to know that Ironhide is roughly impervious to their entire deck in the same vein that Motormaster makes the rest of his team effectively invincible to direct damage.

Of course, there is more to Ironhide than his vehicle mode. His robot mode is something of an interesting novelty. With the weapon trading effect, you can retrigger weapon effects like Armed Hovercraft, or swap an Armed Hovercraft for a more potent weapon like Energon Axe. Sadly, this happens before flips, meaning you can't swap a Bold weapon with a damaging weapon after the Bold triggers.

Regardless, the Armed Hovercraft combo is something that I'm fascinated by. I've always loved Armed Hovercraft and cards like it such as Photon Bomb, and his synergy with them is titillating. I just wish that it could be with any weapon, not just blue weapons. That way you could put a Superior Blaster on him, bypassing the Tech Research stipulation.

Either way, Ironhide is an interesting little Rare card. I'm not quite sure if we'll see him out in the field thanks to his middling stats and above average cost, but in his own deck or maybe partnered with Ultra Magnus? Now you're cookin' with gas.


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Contrary to popular belief, he's not much of a hugger.


Roadhugger is basically baby Thrust and I love him.

I know, I know, I said the same thing about Storm Cloud, but let's be fair here. What you lose in a single point for playing Roadhugger, you could say that you're gaining consistency. Instead of requiring you to discard three green pips (in some cases three of the same green pip), you need only to discard a single blue pip to get roughly the same value. If you consider that most of the time Bold is just +1 damage (not counting extra white pips, blanks or double orange cards), you're effectively getting the same value for a much more manageable cost.

Roadhugger, however, does require you to play blue cards in an orange deck and I am not super in love with that. However, there is a silver lining. There are cards like Matrix of Leadership or Roll Out which have one of each, as well as playing Backup Beam or Scoundrel's Blaster to have a green pipped green that doesn't really make you lose out on damage with their being weapons.

Plus, he's a Car, which means that you can untap him in a car deck rather easily to be used again (if he survives)! All in all, I think Roadhugger might replace Storm Cloud in most lists that don't care about alternate modes. In decks that want to field a lot of planes, Storm Cloud's your guy, but if you don't care about that single point and you don't mind having a car... Well, look no further.


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Can we all just agree that Laserbeak was the main antagonist of DOTM?


Hey, wait a minute! Laserbeak? Where's your...? Ah, nevermind.

Laserbeak is both amazingly good and amazingly worrying at the same time. On one hand, you have Laserbeak's horrible stats in both modes. On the other, however, you get to play a "free" Secret Action during your turn as well as a little extra draw support with his neat little draw ability in alternate mode. Now, this would be even better if we knew what kind of things we could look forward to in terms of Secret Actions. But, as it stands, we have no idea other than a simple Draw + Plan card as to what we're going to have access to.

But, to be perfectly frank with you, Laserbeak was probably not meant to be played alone. Even though he actually could be competent in terms of his Secret Action engine, he's basically just a slightly worse Micromaster at that point. Why do I say this, you ask? Well, look closely: He's a Micromaster in all areas except the most important: Stealth.

On the first turn of the game, Laserbeak has a great many chances to get annihilated by any and every aggro deck you ever have the displeasure of facing. I gripe, of course; with proper blue support, you have just as many chances at survival, as well, but I can't help but to be worried about the little guy.

In closing, Laserbeak may be frail, but he brings unquestionable utility with his Secret Action ability. We don't know all of those Secret Actions, or any beyond the first to be exact, but playing free Actions never hurt anybody.


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"Check out my mixtape, man, it's pretty catty!"


Ravage is surprisingly good, and he makes up for Laserbeak's less-than-stellar offensive power and bulk by being... Well, both of those things. In terms of five star cassettes, he's going to be able to take quite the beating in his alternate mode. But that's not all that this little bugger can do: In his robot mode, he can do a bit of chip damage here and there, and start pounding on some more dense targets.

I do realize that his chip damage makes him a bit lackluster in many (most) compositions, but do keep in mind that his chip damage actually turns out to be a bit useful in certain scenarios. For instance, he can turn Skrapnel into a 2HKO, and he can pop Six-Gun for one damage to negate the Force Field. Sometimes one damage is all you need, and whereas I still stand by Zap being one of the worst Actions in the game, I can still find justification for Ravage's abilities seeing as he's always there and not a constant threat of cluttering your hand.

Now, the down side. His stats are nothing to write home about other than his high defense in cassette mode, and his survivability in robot mode is actually markedly worse than Laserbeak's. In fact, Laserbeak is actually better at attacking than Ravage could ever hope to be with his innate Pierce 2, but with any luck Ravage won't need to be doing any head-on attack damage, anyway.

All in all, I think that Ravage will probably be passed up on in most compositions outside of cassettes. Laserbeak is just better value for his point cost, including the ability to deal two damage to a high-armored target through Pierce. Plus, there are just better Micromasters, including Roadhugger, in defensive lists for the same cost.

Okay but real talk: We can now have just an entire team of cats. Lionizer, Rampage, Razorclaw and now Ravage. There is literally no actual reason to have that team other than the fact that they are all cats, but like... You have an entire team of cats.


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The big question is, does he have a good Constructicon matchup?


Soundwave? Wait... Soundwave? Hey, wait a minute... Where'd that cassette player go?

Oh. Well, my own blindness aside, let's peel apart the mystery and see just what Soundwave can really do!

Looking over his stats to start off, we see that he is 11 Stars -- not bad, but still not that great for having three five starred characters paired with him. But there's more to him than meets the eye. You see, he also has two abilities directly tied to another team keyword: "Spy Patrol". These are undoubtedly his cassettes (see below) and both of his abilities are equally as powerful.

First, I think I can safely state that giving passively +1 Defense to your cassettes is absolutely insane. Now, sure, your opponent is probably not going to use much effort in KOing them and instead focus on Soundwave given their high defense (especially Ravage), but it's a very interesting idea to transform Laserbeak to robot mode on the first turn and attack with Ravage, forcing them to attack into his monstrous defense. After all, Soundwave can use his robot mode the next turn to completely refund that entire transaction.

How? Well, when he attacks, he untaps your cassettes. Thus, after you've tried to punch your opponent with a literal cassette tape turn one, you can prevent Ravage or Laserbeak from being double targeted and reuse their tap abilities to boot. You probably don't need me to tell you this, but this effect is extremely powerful.

Something else that is worthy of note is that Soundwave doesn't have any innate effects to force you into playing orange or blue. Thus, I would probably say that the best way to play Soundwave is defensively so that Ravage or Laserbeak can survive their first hit, and Soundwave can get more value. This lower attack in the blue version is mitigated by Ravage being able to put out some surprising amounts of damage on heavily armored targets. Now, I realize that he's not going to be winning any awards or dominating any games, but adding on a little bit of damage on a turn where you can't or don't want to play a Secret Action with Laserbeak can't be understated.

But finally, something that I want to touch on slightly is this: Soundwave and his cassettes are entirely 21 stars. This means that, unless you wanted to play four Star Cards, you could play Storm Cloud or perhaps -- and no, the irony is not lost on me -- a Constructicon. Now, again, we don't have all the facts. Buzzsaw could be revealed tomorrow, Ratbat the next day, or perhaps Frenzy, Rumble or even Overkill. There are so many options to fill that fourth spot, but the big question I want to ask is... Just who could it be, and just what could they do?

I think I'll leave that question unanswered for now. But I for one welcome Soundwave. He might be janky, but you can't deny that his monstrous 15 HP and his cassettes' utility is not to be understated. I worry about his low damage output, but perhaps there could be Secret Actions to save him from that fate? Or perhaps a third cassette? Until we know, there's no way to tell. But that being said... I can't wait to see how Soundwave does in the meta. I think we're going to see a lot of him, jank or otherwise.


STARTER SET


So, I might have forgotten to show off the starter set when it came out, but I figured I might drop them here and share my opinions on them anyway just to get the news out there! Remember, you can buy the starter set in stores now, and it's a good start to teach people how to play the game!

Just as a disclaimer, my opinions below only reflect the constructed competitive mentality, not from a new player, casual mentality. The set is still a good start to get people into the game, but I fear that may be the only use for it.

_______


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"Another one."


No.

Just say no.

There are just so many better options, like W2 Prowl, Hot Rod, Sunstreaker... Well, you get the picture. He might make a good proxy back, though!


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"Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was: 'Oh no, not again.' "


One day we'll get a good Windblade. One day.

So, I suppose one could make the argument that she is an Autobot Plane who also happens to cost a solid 5 Stars. Now, that's actually quite something, isn't it? Of course, we could try putting her in a five-wide Autobot Plane list, essentially cutting Alpha Bravo from the Aerialbots and making a passing attempt at pulling off the fabled Photon Bomb + Bombing Run combo with five Planes in play. Of course, it's hard enough to pull that off with the Aerialbots on the regular that I daresay that it wouldn't be any easier taking out one of the Aerialbots -- a Specialist at that -- and replacing him with someone who is essentially a vanilla.

To make matters worse, Aerialbots get a lot of power out of Superion, especially on the turn of combination.

I just can't imagine her in anything else, and it sucks because I do love Windblade as a character. Hopefully, one day, she'll have her moment in the sun; but for now, it looks like she'll just have to keep having her moment in the tsun tsun.

Remind me to never make that pun ever again.


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"Big things from small beginnings..."


Megatron might actually have some potential. Think about this: Demolishor has 6 points. Flak has 5. Warpath has 6. Those tanks total 17 points, and you know what that means? You can fit a fourth Tank in that list.

Now, quad tanks might be lacking in quite a bit of defensive power, but consider for a moment the idea of running offensive tanks, with Demolishor being the mainstay. You can Hunker Down your whole field with Force Field as well as Bashing Shields to make your life easier, and your spare Armor could be Scrapper Gauntlets to draw even more cards than you already will with Demolishor. You can even play a Full Loadout with your spare Star to make Demolishor hit even harder.

And, backing him up, is Megatron. Megatron can be used in tandem with Full Loadout, Attack Drones or Flak to boost his damage to similar levels that Thundercracker has. Megatron can boost his damage to startlingly high levels for his point cost when you crank out several Upgrades at once.

The Bold in his vehicle mode won't do you much good, sadly, given his measly 2 Attack. But, at least he is a tank. Demolishor couldn't be happier for it.

But, that being said, I could also see playing him alongside Megatron -- Living Weapon. You can use Living Weapon's alternate mode to boost Baby Megatron's damage, with the two Upgrades from that alone boosting his attack to a very respectable 5, not counting the weapons. Plus, you can use Flak to put a third Upgrade on him, boosting his damage to 6, still not counting the Weapons. Fully stocking him with Upgrades certainly sounds nice, though I do worry for his staying power given his mediocre stats otherwise -- I mean, it always sucks to put all of your eggs in one basket; sucks even more to do it twice. But, he might just have the power necessary to have the payoff.

In total, Megatron alone might make this set purchaseable. He can be used as a nice backup attacker, something similar to Baby Buzzwole in the Pokemon TCG in many fighting decks. Good as a one-and-done, but has diminishing returns. Whether he's in as a fourth member to a Tank list or as a backup to someone double his size, Megatron has a lot of value in a little package.


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Same song, second verse.


Starscream might have potential. Stop laughing, I'm serious.

Okay, so, remember when I talked about how Megatron could fit into a quad list? Or Windblade in a five-wide? You could say the same thing about Starscream, here, except he has something extremely powerful going for him that Windblade doesn't have, and that Megatron can't take advantage of in the same way:

His name is Starscream.

So if you remember, way, way, way in the past -- around September -- you might remember a Starscream being released that had Bold 2 innately, but more importantly had a very special vehicle mode ability tied to how many Planes you had on the field. Now, back then, the Planes list was something of a misfire. Starscream loved having Planes, but he couldn't get the right planes.

Thundercracker just didn't belong in the list despite his vehicle ability, and Skywarp was... Well, W1 Skywarp was W1 Skywarp. Thus, Starscream rather fell into the wayside for other lists. I still tried to keep the dream alive with more and more variations, but all fell rather flat on their faces.

So, then, how does Baby Starscream help with that?

Well, for one, he has five stars. This means you can play Starscream -- Air Commander at 11 stars, Starscream -- Decepticon Lieutenant at 5, Storm Cloud at 4 and Fireflight at 5 to round off the list with a solid Brave effect to keep both Starscream safe. This means you have four Planes on the field, which means you can use Starscream -- Air Commander's vehicle mode effect to its fullest potential of a good three damage. I don't think you'll be progressing too hard in the direct damage route for this build, though, and that's for good reason.

Reason being, you now have two Starscream in the list. Meaning, you can make full use of Null Ray of Starscream to add a whole mess of damage to Air Commander as well as making Baby Starscream's competent four attack an astonishing 5 base with Bold 2 stacked on. Just imagine Storm Cloud getting involved in that mess with his Bold effect, too!

Now, I realize Baby Starscream is about as frail as one can be, likely being in an all orange list to make your Bold deal the most it can, and his Tough 1 can't make his 7 HP last through a soul-shattering 0 Defense. But that being said, you will likely get a lot of value out of him before he falls, potentially one-hitting many threats out there.

Don't mark this guy up to binder bait just yet. I think he might just have a bright future ahead of him.


BATTLE CARDS


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Shortly thereafter, Optimus put together an " Avoiding Sexual Harassment Class", to which Wheeljack was invited.


Full Loadout is kind of nutty. Not only is it a double orange pip -- a blessing in aggro decks with one star to spare -- but it has an effect that is quite ridiculous in many decks.

So, I want you to imagine something. You're sitting there across from a Megatron -- Cybertronian Tyrant and you just went first. You think that your Battlefield Legend is safe, and you decide to swing into their Warpath with just enough to KO them. Not a bad start, and Megatron is too slow to possibly get up enough Upgrades to threaten you on the first turn of th-- Surprise! He is completely powered up with three Upgrades, boosting his damage to 6 base plus a Grenade Launcher and his level of damage and survivability go through the roof with his Force Field and Data Pad.

Battlefield Legend is nearly one-hit out of nowhere.

Now, the effects of Full Loadout are a bit amplified on my cherrypicked Baby Megatron scenario, but playing three Upgrades for essentially free should not be understated in its usefulness, especially if it's on a double orange pip. Now, again, you need to have the Weapon, Utility and Armor in your hand in order to get the full effect of its power and that means you're highly unlikely to get it off on the first turn of the game. But, later on, you can get some shocking comebacks by exploding upgrades on a character out of nowhere.

As for which is better between Mounted Missiles or Full Loadout, I think that should be fairly obvious. Mounted Missiles is neat, but they've never had that powerful burst that you really need to justify playing them on your turn. Sure, you can play it in a Utility or Armor slot, but really, wouldn't you rather just play a regular weapon? Or rather, wouldn't you rather play a Weapon, a Utility and an Armor?

Just saying.

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Everyone at the ice cream eating contest was quite confident until the third bowl produced some unforeseen consequences.


This card is lying to you.

EMP Wave taps all characters, both yours and your opponents. So, what happens when all characters are tapped? Everyone untaps. This means that you are untapping all characters on the field going into your opponent's next turn, effectively giving them their choice of whomever they want to attack on their turn. You don't get to attack with one of your characters -- instead, you're forfeiting that last attack to tap everyone.

Now, there is actually merit to doing so if you happen to be behind in the character trade or the untap game. If, say, you face cars and they're -- per usual -- more or less completely untapped during the turn where you would be completely tapped out, you could potentially play an EMP Wave to negate your opponent's trademark Car Dogpile where they get to attack you with all of their characters.

But, to be perfectly frank, is that worth the star? Maybe. I don't really like Energized Field that much, especially given that it flat out begs you to play orange cards in a blue deck, and EMP Wave's limited use is probably better than Energized Field's practical disuse. Regardless, it's an interesting card. Whether or not it'll see play for its effect or just its pip still remains to be seen, but I think we'll probably see it over Energized Field regardless.


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Gives a whole new meaning to getting a "Ram Truck".


Battering Ram is not the best at everything, but it does its job very, very well. Now, you might be asking, "Hey, what is that job, exactly?" and that is a good question, and I'm afraid it has a simple answer.

Combiners hate Battering Ram because they really, really like being able to combine during a game. Battering Ram not only slows Combiners down to a crawl, but in some cases outright denies combination in general. I mean, think about it. Every time you attack with your truck, you keep undoing their hard-earned flips and it stalls their combiner for another turn.

Wasting turns combining is the kiss of death for many Combiners, and I can definitely see running Battering Ram for the combiner mirror in many decks. Take Stunticons, for instance, who have two Trucks that can use Battering Ram, with Motormaster being effectively unpunishable in his robot mode. You could also say the same for a control-based Sentinel list, though that is played to a lesser degree.

Battering Ram, however, can also be something of a double-edged sword. Take, for example, Metroplex. People love giving Metroplex a seizure and flipping him multiple times in a turn. With Battering Ram, you effectively give them a free transformation into Base mode, spitting out another one of his smaller characters.

This isn't the only case, either. Like, for instance, Megatron -- Arrogant Ruler can play a free Upgrade when Battering Ram swings into him, or returning a non-pipped card from your Scrap to your hand in terms of Skywarp. A double-edged sword, it is.

But, honestly? I think Battering Ram's usefulness against Combiners more than makes up for its peculiarity against other lists to include it in any Truck-based deck. I could even see a case for it in non-traditional "Truck" decks, like Nemesis Prime. After all, slowing your opponent down is something that Nemesis will always enjoy.


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"Yes. My perfect plan. The virus will be on the computer, and the only clue they'll have to the infection is the giant Decepticon logo on the background! I am a genius!"


Device Virus is coming from fellow content creator "TCG Roll Out!" on Twitter, and I have to say, Device Virus is probably the best black-pipped Action we have by a large margin. Everything else is either split colors with a black pip with a lackluster card effect when you play it, but Device Virus is different.

It's basically Super Energy Removal, something you'll remember if you played Pokemon during the fledgling years. Of course, there's a big difference between Energy and Upgrades, but it's pretty much the same effect. But, when you realize that you can combo Device Virus with other Upgrades, things start getting a little interesting.

You see, Device Virus has the potential to remove three Armor cards in one turn when used in tandem with Bashing Shield. You can play a Bashing Shield, scrap an Armor, then Device Virus the Bashing Shield to scrap two more Armor. You could say the same about Weapons with Enforcement Batons or Utilities with Crushing Size.

Of course, such an effect necessitates playing all of those things, so it really depends on what your deck looks like and what matchups you want to beat with it. But, if you're afraid of decks like Predacons which bust out the Upgrades -- usually weapons -- quickly, especially when combined, Device Virus might be for you.

At the end of the day, though, it's a black pip and we still have yet to see how good it is in a blue/black or mono black deck. But, if the black pips we have yet to see are anything like Device Virus, I think we're going to be seeing a lot more of them in lists.


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"Thinking quickly, Wheeljack constructs a homemade megaphone using only some string, a squirrel and a megaphone."


Repurpose is the only black draw card we've seen thus far, and I can't mention too much about it because it's nothing too much to write home about. It's a very basic cycling card that replaces itself and one other card in your hand with the top two cards of your deck, essentially.

It's a black pipped card that also happens to draw cards. I mean, in a black deck, do you really want too much else out of it? Let's be fair here. You won't play it in any other deck that doesn't play black pips, but if you play black, then you'll be needing this.


CONCLUSION


Can I just say this?

Soundwave.

That is all.

But in all seriousness, I can't wait to see how Soundwave will be playing out in this meta. Perhaps more than that, I can't wait to see how his cassettes will fare under stress. The whole composition just seems a bit frail from my perspective, but I haven't really touched it in physical form (yet) and I suppose we won't find out for sure how good he is until we see him in action.

The other characters aren't too much to write home about save the Ironhide. Being able to dance Armed Hovercraft makes me happy, and having an effective autowin against Red Heat Infinite is a brilliant thing to have just as an alternate mode.

As for his female compatriots, Focus is an interesting new mechanic, as well. I think, if we get effects for high Focus, we may very well see balanced decks other than Metroplex make a comeback in the game. Until then, however, just give me Bold and call it a day, hm?

As for the Battle Cards, there were a ton of reveals. I can't say that some of them were overtly good or overtly bad, but I can definitely say that many of them had a ton of potential like Device Virus.

What did you like the most? Roadhugger? Soundwave? W2 Starter Bumblebee? Maybe not that last one. Let me know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading! If you want to check out more of my content, go to my YouTube Channel, Nanomachines, where I do deck profiles and other competitive content.

You never know... Something interesting might happen there in the next few days. Who knows?
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby MagicDeath » Wed May 08, 2019 10:31 pm

Motto: "In order to progress, one thing must die and provide the fertile soil for another to grow from."
Weapon: Hypersonic Concussion Blasters
Focus triggers on defense as well. Wouldn’t that make it sort of a worse version of Bold AND Tough (rather than just Bold)?
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby #Sideways# » Thu May 09, 2019 9:16 am

Motto: "Wake up. Wake up and smell the ashes."
Weapon: Dual Compression Cannons
MagicDeath wrote:Focus triggers on defense as well. Wouldn’t that make it sort of a worse version of Bold AND Tough (rather than just Bold)?


Ope, you're right. I guess I misread it! :lol:

That being said, my opinion isn't changed that much. Low levels of Focus is juat as you said, worse Bold and Tough. That being said, I wager it makes Flamewar marginally better given it increases her survivability.
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby Stargrave » Mon May 20, 2019 12:28 pm

Motto: "It’s all the in the reflexes"
Weapon: Glass Gas Gun
Seibertronians I hope you’re wearing your asbestos long johns for this one because just in from Kotaku are images of the new Firecon set from the War For Cybertron Siege set!
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Transformers G1 1988 Flamefeather (Sizzle) Gallery

That’s right Cindersaur, Sparkstalker, and Flamefeather are all set to make their debut later this June. This is noted as being the first time the creative team for the cards were authorized by Hasbro to spearhead their redesign as there is no previously existing or planned molds for these characters. If you are a fan of the card art so far you will be pleased to know artist Marcelo Matere drew up the actual redesigns. The original characters originally sold for about $3.00 US per figure, and were primarily based around the ‘cold spark’ gimmick where a button could be pressed down causing an internal wheel to grind against a magical substance, probably Unobtainium, which would cause an awesome storm of sparks to fly from the characters mouths! Fans of G1 will remember this same gimmick being used for the Autobot Monsterbots. Anyone who loved the cheesier aspects of G1 gimmickry or those who found new substance in these characters towards the latter half of the IDW run will no doubt smile when seeing this set is on its way. Let us know your thoughts in the forum!

Source: Kotaku
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby Rodimus Knight » Mon May 20, 2019 3:13 pm

Have they given the reason why every character in wave three has some sort of position or title before their names (Sergent, raider, etc)
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby o.supreme » Mon May 20, 2019 3:23 pm

Motto: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"
00Stargrave00 wrote:The original characters originally sold for about $3.00 US per figure, and were primarily based around the ‘cold spark’ gimmick where a button could be pressed down causing an internal wheel to grind against a magical substance, probably Unobtainium, which would cause an awesome storm of sparks to fly from the characters mouths! Fans of G1 will remember this same gimmick being used for the Autobot Monsterbots.


:lol: :lol: While I never smoked myself, Plenty of my family have, thank goodness for young minds that don't recognize a flint ;)
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby Stargrave » Mon May 20, 2019 3:38 pm

Motto: "It’s all the in the reflexes"
Weapon: Glass Gas Gun
Flint, while an awesome G.I. Joe, is not nearly as mysterious a metal as... Unobtainium! :lol: I mean how do we know that’s not “Cybertronian flint”? Hahaha
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby steve2275 » Mon May 20, 2019 7:01 pm

Motto: "it may not get better
but it wont get any worse"
not a bad 24 star team
i come and go more than a hmw programmer
or a karma chameleon
BEAT L.A.
im content
WWWYKI!!!
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby Skritz » Mon May 20, 2019 7:34 pm

I'm honestly surprised how quickly this card game has churned out the most obscure of late G1 toy-only losers! :lol:
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby #Sideways# » Mon May 20, 2019 9:43 pm

Motto: "Wake up. Wake up and smell the ashes."
Weapon: Dual Compression Cannons
OPENING


I have a wide array of new reveals for this article! Including one revealed by some guy's YouTube channel by the name of Nanomachines... Wait, that's me! You read that right! Wizards saw fit to send me a character card to show off and dive into on my channel, with a link I'll put below if you'd like to literally hear my thoughts on it. But, until then, let's dive into the reveals!

CHARACTERS


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"The name's 'Warp. Skywarp."


Sergeant Skywarp is another rare coming out of Siege 1, and he certainly has the power to back up that title. Simply put, he has a ton of synergy with Secret Actions, with both of his abilities refunding their use. Of course, the Secret Actions we've seen aren't the greatest, nor are they the most impactful, but Skywarp is just one of those cards that will forever get better in a constant climb of power so long as they keep printing Secret Actions.

Okay, so, why do I feel that way? I mean, sure, his stats aren't that great by any stretch of the imagination, and his cost isn't something that makes him entirely splashable into just any list. But, if you consider his utility abilities creating a fantastic Secret Action engine, you realize that he has fantastic potential. Now, it is currently unknown whether or not you'll be getting much use of him currently given the fact that the Secret Actions we know of are limited in use, especially with how Actions work in this card game, but I can definitely see him being a huge mainstay in certain future archetypes if the Secret Actions we get will allow.

I mean, consider: What if we got, essentially, a Counterspell or a Power Spray? A Secret Action that says, "Negate your opponent's next Action" or "Scrap the Upgrade your opponent attaches" or even "Negate the next character ability your opponent activates"? Skywarp would not only be able to refund your playing of that card, but also return them to your hand at any time. Plus, you can play him in a Tall list alongside Shockwave to extend your hand even further to play even more Secret Actions.

Now, again, this is all speculation. If you couldn't tell, I am wearing a tin-foil cap. But, it isn't too far-fetched that any of those could be printed. I'm just saying, but Skywarp might just be the engine that makes a lock deck go around.


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"I'm blue / Da bo de da bo die
Da bo dee da bo die / Da bo dee da bo die"


I was about to say that Chromia is like the weird, estranged daughter of her Wave 1 iteration, but that wouldn't be entirely correct, now would it? This Chromia is entirely unique, especially with her robot mode. In fact, she's the only character who draws you cards when you are attacked so that you may use them on your next turn like a Security Console.

Of course, her stats are not the best, and she relies upon the armor that you will no doubt be playing through her vehicle mode effect, but sadly her stats are not good otherwise. In fact, a simple Bashing Shield will open her up for massive damage. This is somewhat amplified by he rather awful offensive stats, and even worse defense. Her HP is good, and she is a Specialist, but that's pretty much the end of her usefulness.

That being said, her armor ability is pretty alright, but I can't see her being played that much. Although, every ounce of me wants to build a full "fembot" team. How would I do that, you ask? Well...

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That's a car? She turns into a car? Sure. We'll go with that.


There are so many things to unpack with Elita, much like my previous girlfriends.

First off, let's look at the obvious: Her stats. Her offensive stats are somewhat middling, and her defense stats are about as bad as you can get, but her HP is one of the highest in the game outside of Combiners. In fact, outside of larger characters, I believe she is tied with Magnus as having the highest HP in general. She's also a 12 Star Specialist, which means she can do Specialist things as well as use Car-based effects including Start Your Engines. But that is not her strongest suit.

Well, let's look at her vehicle mode. She has a "Sludge" effect, where you can move as much damage from one of your characters to her as you want as long as it doesn't KO her, making her a fantastic partner to smaller characters. But, even that is not her final form, her strongest ability.

What is her strongest suit, you ask?

Well, let's take a look at her robot mode for a clue. You see, her robot mode has the effect of whenever she's KO'd, you essentially activate a "free" Leap of Faith, playing the top two cards of your deck. So, if you look closely, it also turns "I STILL FUNCTION!" and Peace Through Tyranny into Leap of Faith added on to their already powerful effects. So, in a Car list based around Elita, you can use her as a sort of "sacrificial lamb" where you can let her soak up a ton of damage through her vehicle mode, and once you're done doing that, you can use her to play more cards out of your deck.

I think you can guess where I'm going with this. Elita is a Specialist Autobot who is over 6 Stars who also plays a bunch of free cards when she's KO'd. Infinite can go infinite very easily with this effect, and with the right partners, you can force your opponent to attack into her massive HP. Now, with Red Heat, infinite has a practically confirmed comeback into the metagame, albeit with quite a bit of clunk given the current partners. With Elita, there is 100% another infinite archetype with her as the centerpiece.

Now, whether or not Red Heat is nerfed by the existence of another anti-Micromaster character or upgrade remains to be seen, but regardless, Elita will definitely be a mainstay in that archetype. Regardless of that, I still think that Elita can definitely see a lot of play in a Car list that wants to build around her. Something else you can pair her with is -- unsurprisingly -- Optimus Prime: Battlefield Legend, or in a twist of fate, Megatron: Living Weapon, essentially acting as a battery to her larger friends, essentially increasing their HP to a staggering level.

There's a whole lot to love about Elita, and I don't think this is the last we've seen of her.


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"RED A-LERT! WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO!"


This reveal is brought to you by... Wait, it's brought to you by me!

That's right, Wizards sent me an exclusive reveal so I can show it to you on my YouTube channel! I'll drop the link below so you can hear my rather long-winded thoughts on him:




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Tote the GOAT.


Tote is surprisingly interesting in decks that play a lot of cheap attackers, being a "free" untap effect for one of your other characters. I mean, sure, he's effectively useless on the stat front, but you're never going to play a Micromaster for their stats.

Now, when I say, "you'd use him in a cheap attacker list", I really mean lists that play cards like Demolishor or Ransack. A cheap, five or six star attacker who swings for way more than they should. You deal a whole lot of damage with certain characters, and you have characters like Tote as support to keep them swinging. The fact that Tote is only four stars makes this idea even better, making it possible to cram as much value in your list as possible.

Now, you do need to play black pips in order to make use of him, but there are several good black pips that I could see you playing to use for both their effects and for his, like RR Disruptor Blade or Device Virus.

The thing is, he's a one and done -- your opponent is likely to KO him or his target, and then you're left with nothing. You really need to ask yourself one question: Is he worth the point investment?


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"Nani?! Kansei dorifto?!"


Detour is a very good card.

For starters, he is a four star Specialist Car, meaning that he can use all the Car cards that can untap him. This means that you can use something like Start Your Engines to transform him, untap him and reuse his tap effect next turn. Played in Cliffjumper, you can draw a card for transforming him, tap him to draw two more cards, then use a Field Communicator to potentially draw even more cards.

Speaking of Cliffjumper, you can pretty much guess that Detour is going to be targeted by your opponent for a cheap KO. Cliff especially makes playing the tiny Micromaster well worth it, that when Detour is KO'd, he can fuel Cliffjumper's offensive stats. This makes Detour one of the best car Micromasters not only for Cliffjumper lists, but also one of the best for regular Car lists. Roadhugger may still be on the top of that proverbial ladder in terms of power, but it's good to know that there's a lot of value to be found elsewhere, too.

Detour has a lot of value in a tiny package, and whereas you can at least use him as a nice point filler in other lists, Cliffjumper is the one who will find Detour the most appealing because of his point cost and Specialist nature. Detour is definitely not going to survive any damage whatsoever, but you can pretty well see the value -- like Roadhugger -- that he's going to give you until that happens.


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He's pretty fire.


The...? The Firecons? Jinkies, that's a deep dig. Revealed in a recent article by Kotaku, the Firecons, i.e. Sparkstalker, Flamefeather and Cindersaur, have each been modernized by the guys over at Wizards who even got to spearhead their modern redesign! The article is an interesting tidbit into that development, and you should definitely read it if you'd like a peek behind the curtains.

But, let's go through them one by one and see what they're made of!

First off, Sparkstalker is a moderately costed character with moderate stats, but there are two fantastic things about him that make him a very interesting partner in aggressive decks. The first of these is his impressive draw effect in his robot mode, effectively refunding whatever cards you played on that turn with a Draw 2 when you flip three orange pips. Now, if you haven't played much aggro, you should know how easy it is to flip three orange pips between Bold effects, white pips and double orange pips. In fact, I'd be shocked if you didn't hit the Draw 2.

Sparkstalker's second form of value comes from his great vehicle mode transformation effect, scrapping an Armor so that his teammates can continue to pop off. He isn't the best outside of Firecons, but he's certainly playable in aggro lists that needs just a bit of draw power. Plus, his vehicle mode effect is quite a bit useful in other aggro lists that don't already play a few Bashing Shields. You can't really go too wrong with him, especially with his powerful draw. That being said, of course, the Firecons love him the most, but it's good to know that he has a home elsewhere.

You'll find that all three of them have a great alternate mode effect that fits well with the archetype, with the potential for a nutty amount of power with the playing of a Roll Out. But don't just take my word for it! Let's dive in to the next two:


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Ah, I see he's a Ravenclaw.


Flamefeather is an extremely thick boy and I love him.

So, let me explain what he does real quick so there's no confusion. Basically, when defending, he turns all orange pips into blue pips to a cap of five of the converted pips. This does not include any blue pips you flip (from a Roll Out, for example), making his potential defensive capabilities astronomical. I mean, consider: You fill your deck with orange, double orange and half n' half cards, you could potentially deny a massive amount of damage through Flamefeather.

But that's not to say that he lacks offensive power. Even though he has a mediocre offensive stat, you are playing aggro, and that means that you're going to be able to do a massive amount of extra damage with your weapons and your heavy orange deck. You're not going to be doing the most damage with him, but it isn't like he's an invalid target for some of your resources. Plus, when you have Sparkstalker refunding that expenditure with his draw during the next turn, you're free to use him how you please.

And, when you're done with that, you can flip Flamefeather to his vehicle mode, using his ability to add just that much more Bold than you're already going to be adding with your Supercharge and Power Punch. Unfortunately, this bird-brain doesn't have too much potential outside of Firecons even with his damage denial effects and his Bold, something that's amplified by the stipulation in his vehicle mode that his Bold is only applied to Firecons.

To be frank, I don't think he'd be played all that much outside of Firecons anyway unless one wanted to pair him with Flamewar or something similar to that composition. Although, there is nothing stopping you from doing that, anyway, it's just that he won't be as effective as he could be in a pure Firecon list.

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"Oh, no, they say he's got to go / Go, go, Godzilla!
Oh, no, there goes Tokyo / Go, go, Godzilla!"


Cindersaur gives you free damage and Actions and I literally can't think of many things better than that.

So, if you couldn't tell, Cindersaur really likes orange pips and high Bold. When you attack with him with a Bold card having been played, you have a chance to deal a massive amount of damage between the flood of orange pips you'll be flipping and the free damage you'll be getting when you do. In fact, if you only flip the base four orange needed to activate his ability, you'll be dealing a total of nine damage when you count the two direct damage you'll be dealing. Since you can flip that without a weapon through a lucky white pip, you can imagine what kind of damage you'll be dealing when combined with a weapon or an Action.

Cindersaur's value doesn't end there, however -- in fact, his best value comes from his vehicle mode! Playing a free orange-pipped Action is impressively powerful given that cards like Supercharge or Reckless Charge both have their respective pips. But, I'd like to point something out: When you flip to Cindersaur's alternate mode through the use of Roll Out, it effectively refunds your Action for the turn with the ability to use a damage-boosting Action to boost your damage more than Flamefeather already will be boosting you.

With all of this in mind, Cindersaur is a lot of value for the Firecons in one package. In fact, you might even play him in other aggressive lists to make use of that free Action that he provides in the late game and the offensive power when properly equipped. But that being said, wouldn't you rather just play the whole of the Firecons to work with their synergy? I mean, just consider: Flamefeather is very good for Firecons, and you may as well take him along because you're playing one already. After that, you could always play two smaller characters to take up Sparkstalker's slot, but why? Wouldn't you rather keep that draw power and Armor-scrapping in your aggressive deck?

I think we might be seeing the rise of a standard-sized Insecticons in the Firecon strategy. They're thick enough to take a hit or two in order to take them down (especially in the case of Flamefeather), and they're powerful enough offensively to make their opponents... Ah, feel the burn if you will. Now, their stats across the board could be just a little higher to make me comfortable saying that they'll be a meta mainstay, but that being said, they are a full team of themed characters with interesting and potentially powerful abilities; I'd be surprised if we didn't see them at a tournament or two!


BATTLE CARDS


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Another day, another time I wished we had more Flamewar figures...


Remember when I said that playing all Motorcycles had no real point to it? I've never been more glad to be wrong.

So, in case you needed an explanation on what Pop A Wheelie really does, basically think of it like a baby All Out Attack. You can attack twice that turn, but only if the extra one was a Motorcycle, put simply, in their vehicle mode. This is both very good and very mediocre, and I'll tell you why.

First off, it's fantastic because there are going to be many points where you have to attack twice in order to get a KO on a very important character, or on a character that has a Force Field or a similar effect. Further, in matchups like Insecticons or Combiners where the characters are notoriously fragile, you can potentially score two KOs in one turn, sometimes being able to KO an untapped character after KOing the only tapped character. To make things even better, you can play a Bravery and attack with that character to potentially save a damaged teammate, forcing your opponent to attack the newly tapped character. Furthermore, in the Motorcycle list, W1 Flamewar has the ability to give all of your characters Bold 1 until end of turn, and when you get to attack multiple times in a turn, you're going to start seeing that effect pile up.

Now to the down side. Remember how you have to be in your Motorcycle mode to get that spare attack? Well, if you remember, many vehicle modes have a middling to mediocre attack stat with few exceptions. Meaning, the attack you're going to get is not likely to do much without weapons and high orange counts in your deck. This is not to say that playing an all orange is a necessarily bad thing, it's just that it limits your options. Plus, Pop A Wheelie somewhat necessitates the extra character to be upgraded, and that can be a difficult balance to strike.

But that being said, I think it should go without saying that getting another attack during your turn is a very good thing that can swing entire games. Even more than that, imagine when all characters are untapped and you're able to KO one of your opponent's fresh characters out of nowhere before they can use it to attack you. Or perhaps just eke by a KO on a character that will certainly demolish whomever they're about to attack, like a Cosmos or a Nemesis at the end of their deck.

All in all, I love Pop A Wheelie. It's a great boost of power to the Motorcycle archetype and it adds a nice layer of synergy between the 'cycles. Even Chromia can get in on the action by returning Pop A Wheelie from your Scrap to your hand to be used on that turn or the next. Whether or not Motorcycles will be next in line to try and dethrone Insecticons as the premiere aggro deck remains to be seen, if aggro is even the best way to play Motorcycles (though if I recall correctly it was mentioned offhandedly by the developers that it is), but I know one thing: More attacks = More damage, and that's always a good thing in my book.


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"For the last time, Arcee, use the seats! I said, 'USE THE SEATS'!!"


Heroic Team-Up is the best Autobot Action. There; I said it.

It may be a Star Card, and that innately limits how many decks you can play it in, but its effects are so good that it makes me want to play it in almost every deck. First off, half-n-half pips are always welcome no matter what, and it being an Action in an Autobot list makes it easy enough to pull off in a turn through Confidence and other Autobot Action love. There are plenty of decks that love the extra damage that Heroic Team-Up can give them, but I think the one that can make the most of it is Cars.

For your consideration, Cars. You have access to high draw, meaning you'll be able to draw into your Heroic Team-Up, and the Car character pool is deep enough for you to shave off enough points to play a good portion of them. But perhaps the greatest reason of them all is that you have access to Turbo Boosters, an untapping effect in an Upgrade instead of the normally Action-based untapping effects. This allows you to use a Heroic Team-Up to tap a character, then Turbo Booster them to untap them, then use an extra Action effect like Mirage's alternate mode ability to use a second one and tap that same character a second time, adding even more damage to one of your characters.

Now, this is not going to happen all the time, of course. But it is nice knowing that a crazy combo like that can happen, and the mere presence of Turbo Boosters will save you a lot of heartache by refunding the tap effect and preventing your opponent from punishing your overextension.

Cars, of course, is just one of several different archetypes that would love to have Heroic Team-Up, including decks that play Battlefield Legend, Alpha Trion or other characters that would like an extra boost in damage. To be perfectly frank, the only bad thing I have to say about Heroic Team-Up is that you can't play it in everything. Will it trump Leap of Faith as the best Star Card? Not likely, but that's like asking "Will any movie series ever come close to the success that Marvel has?" -- some hurdles are just too high to leap.

Be that as it may, Heroic Team-Up might just give Leap of Faith a run for its money in Autobot lists, especially with ones with fewer stars to spare. You can't beat half-n'-half pips and their value, after all.


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"Power flows to those who know how to use it. Desire alone is not enough."


Finally, Decepticon Leaders get their day!

Callous Leadership is a shockingly powerful "healing" card that can be used to help your larger, more important characters online. For instance, Shockwave, Soundwave or Megatron -- Living Weapon; all necessitate a list being built around them, and all would very much like to stay alive. Living Weapon takes up a lot of investment to swing with effectively, and Soundwave kinda makes the entire Cassette archetype go around. Using Callous Leadership, you can move that damage to a squishier character to make the damage meaningless or to transfer it to a character that you managed to I STILL FUNCTION! to wipe away the damage entirely.

This massive amount of healing can be compounded with cards like Cooling Vents that heal one when you attach them or characters like Red Alert or Arcee who heal your characters when you Transform them. As I spoke about in my Red Alert video, healing can stack in the same way that damage can. It's usually not as powerful as simply damaging your opponent because there is so much burst damage in the metagame that it becomes a bit irrelevant to heal anything.

But, Callous Leadership allows you to heal off your more important characters with a huge burst of healing, much better than the healing over time effects that we've been accustomed to. I realize that it's technically not healing per se, but when you move damage from an important character to an unimportant one, you can effectively call it "healing" from there. I can't wait to find out how much this will be played, especially when you consider the power that large Decepticon Leaders like Starscream or Megatron hold -- and how frustratingly unkillable they're going to feel when you heal off over half the damage that your opponent dealt to them.


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"This is Major Tom to Ground Control / I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in the most peculiar way / And the stars look very different today"


Unconventional Flying Object -- UFO for short -- has probably the most hilarious artwork of anything in the game. Just the mental image of Alpha Trion just supermanning it through the atmosphere gives me a good chuckle.

But, anyway, UFO itself is a pretty neat little Action that literally every Spaceship will love to see. Whereas Rapid Conversion was a good little card that most Spaceship lists like Cosmos played, it always felt lacking because you still needed more Transformations in a turn than you were given. Further, you can use UFO in Cosmos to burn through your deck even faster, then to use his robot mode's ability in the same turn. With Alpha Trion, you can use it as a sort of "junk hunt" effect where you can simply replace it with a card from your Scrap Pile. With Shockwave -- Cybertron Commander? You can essentially use it as a Testify, then still having the transformation to flip him to robot mode in order to punish your opponent's large hand.

Now, does this make Cosmos or Shockwave suddenly good? No, I don't think so. But, does it make them better now that you can use their flip effects more effectively? Oh, absolutely. I think Cosmos in particular has to get a second look after Siege comes out -- his value it simply too high to ignore, and I think UFO will make that obvious for all to see.


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"You did it, Scoob! You caught those spooks!"


And just like that, the Firecons were captured and hauled away. No one saw them again!

Anyway, just in case you wanted another card other than Acid Storm to utterly demolish Dinobots or Firecons, look no further than Dampening Field. Dampening field, Secret Action 2 of apparently 8, is a doozy for Bold decks or other aggressive archetypes because it effectively turns off their Bold or other flipping effects like Kickback or Demolishor.

Even better, it's a white pip -- meaning, you don't need to force yourself to play blue pips in an orange deck or orange pips in a blue deck to tech in Dampening Field. In fact, I can see playing this in Insecticons for the mirror matchup just to effectively confirm one of my character's survival without taking up an Upgrade attachment for the turn in Force Field, their Bold notwithstanding. Of course, Grenade Launcher and Reckless Charge can both be used regardless of Dampening Field, but it's an interesting thought regardless.

I can see a lot of decks playing Dampening Field to slow down the meta, forcing their opponents into moments of weakness, potentially forcing them to whiff KOs that they normally would have been confirmed. I am extremely excited for it, in fact, and even moreso when you consider all of the Secret Action support we have in this set in Laserbeak, Shockwave and Skywarp to name a few.

Could Dampening Field slow down the meta through its presence alone? Maybe, maybe not. I think aggro decks are still going to be the best kind of deck out there at the moment, purely because they chase the win condition the fastest. Plus, it's always fun to flip half of your deck and look at all the pretty colors as you blatantly murder your opponent's characters. However, I have a feeling that Dampening Field might just have something to say about that.


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The three most important words in the Cybertronian dictionary: Wheeljack, Wheeljack and Wheeljack.


Ever get one of your Battle Masters scrapped by some scrub and their Enforcement Batons? Ever sit down and wonder, just why was your opponent playing Scrapper Gauntlets of all things to scrap your hard-earned Battle Master? Have you ever been attacked by an Air Raid, like, at all? Then Quartermaster is for you!

Quartermaster allows you to reuse Battle Masters from the grave, drastically improving their overall viability and usefulness, but also allows you to move upgrades, reactivating Put effects and allowing you to move a Battle Master from one location to another. If you're like me and you're constantly on the lookout for things that can be broken, you're getting some alarms right about now.

If you remember Swap Parts and how oppressive that card was in the infinite combo deck, you see the words "move an upgrade" and you start to sweat. No worries here, though -- it's only one Upgrade, and unless the upgrade is the most broken upgrade on the planet (Hello, Cog) you won't be winning any games off the back of this card in that way at least.

That being said, cards like Lionizer or Aimless will get much better now that they have the power to come back from the scrap heap and reequip themselves. Now, every one of your characters have the potential to use Lionizer multiple times, and with his effects of Bold 4 and Plan 1 being as they are, I can't wait to find out how much he'll be played. Aimless, too.

Battle Masters in general were a bit inconsistent in the amount of value they give, but now? Now there's room for their power to spread to other characters, and that's about as good as you can imagine it to be and I, for one, am extremely excited about it. Plus, if your area is flooded with them, you can even tech in anti-weapon cards to potentially make your opponent whiff attacks with their Battle Master. You never know!


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Not Leap Into Battle, rather, a light saunter.


For blue/black, Steady Aim could not be better. Trading out one of the extra damage for a black pip, Steady Aim has nearly all the power of Leap Into Battle and maybe even a bit more power given the Pierce. Blue decks usually need Pierce in order to do much damage unless they have a high base attack like Optimus Prime -- Battlefield Legend or Nemesis Prime, making the Pierce that one would get from playing blue/black extremely effective at keeping damage from falling too low.

The damage boost isn't going to be as high as Leap Into Battle, but it's definitely going to be just as useful. Put simply, there's really no reason not to play Steady Aim in a blue deck -- it's just one of those cards that will nearly always be good.


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"If you are looking for the weak spot, just aim for the glowy bits and you can't be far from wrong."


This is just Steady Aim but with more words and less colors. I think, between the two, Steady Aim is slightly better because of the blue pip. You're far more likely to flip a card than draw it, and for that reason you're going to want the pips instead of the slightly more Pierce.

There's really not much else to say since the two cards are so similar. However, if you have room for both, I don't see why you wouldn't want to play both.


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What a gas!


Similar to Combat Dagger, Smoke Cloak is a slightly less effective Reinforced Plating with a black pip. There really isn't too much to note on about it, other than the fact that it makes blue/black just slightly better. Pretty much, so long as there are blue and black combo cards, the better the deck archetype becomes and the more playable it will be.

I'm extremely excited at the notion of slower decks that would play cards like this because it diversifies the meta. It makes plenty of the more niche rogue decks better (especially because they aren't being one-hit every attack) and more combiners can be played. I'm ecstatic about the prospects of that notion, and thus, I am ecstatic about this card; not because of what it does per-se, but because of what it represents.


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Hit or miss, I guess they never miss, huh?


Emergency Defense Field is a funky, funky card. On one hand, it's a worse Force Field. On the other, it's completely busted and makes certain archetypes way better.

Let me explain. You see, Force Field is usually better in most circumstances. The higher HP you have, the better Force Field is. If your opponent has to wade through fifty Force Fields to finally get the killing blow on your Nemesis Prime, you're probably winning that game. That being said, the lower HP you have, the better Emergency Defense Field is. For instance, you could attach it on a character that has less than 4 HP remaining to potentially defend them, or you could attach it to a character who has 8 or less HP in an attempt to force a two or more hit KO.

Now, the big problem is that EDF is not surefire. You see, if your opponent just so happens to hit an odd number at the wrong time, they totally dunk on you. You always run the risk of your opponent playing a Bashing Shield or something similar, but here, you run the risk of your opponent just attacking you through your shield just anyway.

For instance, if your opponent can easily hit 13 and up damage, and you have 12 HP characters, wouldn't you rather just attach a Force Field and avoid that high damage altogether, take your 4 and move on? Kinda thought so. I find the small damage that Force Field affords you is way better than essentially flipping a coin and seeing how well or how poorly your opponent flips cards. In fact, Force Field even has a white pip, and EDF doesn't have any pips whatsoever.

Either way, it isn't like you can't play both in lists that either really don't value their opponent's sanity or just like looking at pictures of Trailbreaker. It's a funky thing, but I'm really quite middling on Emergency Defense Field. You could probably play it in lists with small characters like Combiners (Devastator especially), but outside of that, I doubt it will be played all that much.


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"Look out! She's got a sword!"
"You idiot, we
all have swords!"


This card is an over(under?)glorified Fusion Cannon of Megatron for small characters. There are good things about it, of course, but I just find it hilarious that a sword has the same destructive power as Megatron's Fusion Cannon.

Anyway, as to the playability of Laser Cutlass, you may find that certain Combiners really adore this card. For example, Aerialbots deal their damage through two means: Direct Damage and Pierce. They are a very defensive list that loves their blue pips, and I can see them absolutely adoring this card.

However, we have two very interesting cards for low damage Combiner teams that were printed in Rise of the Combiners that are way more consistent than Laser Cutlass: Noble's Blaster and Scoundrel's Blaster, both of which are Blue, deal more damage and have similar levels of Pierce. Oh, and they have green pips, too.

It really depends on what you're planning on doing. Sometimes you need redundant Upgrades or Actions to make things just that much easier to draw into them, but other times they can just end up making your deck inconsistent. I would say that Laser Cutlass as a whole is in the same niche as Scoundrel's/Noble's Blaster, with the only noticeable differences being that the Cutlass can be attached to anyone, not just a specific faction, and that the Blaster has a green pip.

Which one you play really depends on the deck you're playing and what you want to do with it, but until then my money is on Scoundrel's/Noble's for their consistency alone.


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"Why worry? Each of us is wearing an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back."


Energy Pack is kind of nutty when you think about it in certain cases. I mean, think about it. Nemesis Prime has 16 HP; slap one of these bad boys on him, and he has a frankly disgusting 20 HP. Metroplex? Oh, he just has a tiny, teensy weensy 39 HP. Dreadwing? You can attach two of these things, giving him 32 HP in total. Jetfire can attach Energy Pack from the Scrap Pile and grow his HP whether your opponent likes it or not, and he has 15 base. Big characters get bigger, and smaller characters weep in jealousy.

I've oft thought about HP and defense as one in the same in most circumstances. If you're going to one-hit Kickback, you'll need to hit 10 damage, even though his HP is only 9. That's because his defense is only 1, and if you're going to OHKO him, you'll need to factor that number in. However, when your HP is higher -- for instance, Nemesis or Metroplex -- that defense is going to reduce a lot of damage over time because nobody is going to be able to one-hit you unless they're Predaking or Volcanicus.

So, when you add to your already titanic HP, you're also effectively adding on to your defense as well. The longer it takes your opponent to KO you, the more your defense is going to defend you. You're not going to always want it, of course; sometimes a Data Bank, a Field Communicator or something similar is going to give you more value in certain scenarios. But, that being said, you can't tell me it's ever bad to have more HP.


CLOSING


First off, sorry this article took so long to put out. It seemed like whenever I was just about done with it, more cards were revealed. I guess that's a good thing -- it helps keep me up-to-date and it keeps me honest!

As for the cards themselves, I am convinced that the Firecons are going to be a meta deck. I'm not quite sure what tier they are particularly, but I am convinced that they belong on the list. Motorcycles, too, have quite a bit of potential with Pop A Wheelie -- a "boost" they've been needing for quite some time now. I also can't wait to see where Elita goes from here; whether she's only playable in Infinite or if she's going to be a bodyguard for her partners is beyond me, but I just can't wait to see what people do with her.

Revealing a card for Wizards, as well, was definitely a highlight of my run in this community. I've been ecstatic to work with Wizards on it, and I've been super thankful that they allowed a tiny channel like mine to show off a reveal, a character reveal at that. I am constantly impressed by the transparency and openness that Wizards has been gracing the community with, and I am proud to help with that. I even got to flex on my Red Alert figures! Even the one that wasn't named Red Alert!

Of course, the grown video player shows my shoddy thumbnail work, but you can't win 'em all, right?

What about you? Are you fired up for the Firecons? Elated for Elita? Pumped up for Pop A Wheelie? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll see you next time!
Check out my YouTube for my Transformers Trading Card Game lists, gameplay and general thoughts on the game!
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby #Sideways# » Sat May 25, 2019 6:58 pm

Motto: "Wake up. Wake up and smell the ashes."
Weapon: Dual Compression Cannons
NEGATE, NEUTRALIZE AND NULLIFY


We have more reveals today, and I would like to preface this by stating that this is one of the most game-changing reveals that I have seen in this game thus far. I won't spoil what's ahead, but the implications of this reveal is massive. If you've read my previous article content, you'd know how much I've been begging for something like this for a while now.

But that's not all! Courtesy of ScreenRant.com, we have scans of both Generals of the Autobots and Decepticons -- Megatron and Optimus Prime! Without further ado, let's jump in!

CHARACTER CARDS


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“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War


The reason I chose that quote from The Art of War wasn't because I was being pretentious -- well, I was being a little pretentious -- it was that it really epitomizes what this Optimus Prime really is. His strength is not overt like Optimus Prime: Battlefield Legend, or value-based like Optimus Prime: Autobot Leader; his is a subtle strength that's passed to his allies, not hoarded like his more expensive Wave 1 iterations.

You see, Prime gives all of his partners Bold 1 and Tough 1. You can use this in combination with a Matrix of Leadership to give them +1 Attack and Pierce 1 as well, giving your characters essentially a flat boost across the board. This flat boost comes at a cost, however, seeing as Optimus is an 11 Star character, your partners become somewhat limited in their availability. However, I think the one thing that should be in every General Optimus list is Flamewar: Veteran Decepticon. Her ability to give each of her allies Tough 1 in robot mode is actually nuts when combined with General Optimus, who gives a combined Tough 2 to all of your characters without even playing an Upgrade. That, and if you're playing Balanced or Aggro in terms of pips, you can always flip her to her Motorcycle and combine that Bold 1 with Prime's Bold 1 and give all of your characters a cumulative Bold 2.

With Flamewar as a partner, Prime has 14 HP, 3 defense and an innate Tough 2 -- but that's without playing Upgrades. If you play an Ion Blaster of Optimus Prime on him, you can give him 4 defense and an innate Tough 2 with potentially even more defense as your Armor Upgrades can give him more Tough and even more defensive power. You're looking at potentially massive tanking potential with just Flamewar and that's not even counting other potential partners to fill up your other slots.

Frankly, that's amazing, and it leaves a solid 9 Stars for you to play with in terms of smaller characters. For one, you can play Detour for 4 Stars and Skydive for 5 Stars -- I mean, who wouldn't want Tough 4 innately, right? Or, you could play a 9 Star character to centralize the list and try to give yourself more survivability in your raw stats. Whatever you choose, you can rest assured that Optimus is going to be able to spread that love as much as he can.

His robot mode is less useful, sadly. Having Focus 1 in robot mode is fine, but he lacks he power of many of his previous iterations. Sure, he has Bold 1 and Tough 1 in his robot form as well, but if that was a major selling point we wouldn't have left his alternate mode. In fact, his defense goes down in robot mode as well, despite his Tough and Focus. His attack is really the big reason you'd be transforming him, but it also exposes your team to potentially more damage than you would otherwise given that his vehicle mode effect goes away when you transform him.

So, is it worth it to transform him? Probably not in many cases, as the safety of your team -- and yourself -- is worth more than doing slightly more damage to your opponent. After all, if you're playing him defensively you're likely to be giving him a number of Pierce as well. So, at that point, what does that slightly more damage matter?

My guess? Not a lot. General Prime's defensive capabilities are frankly astonishing, and I cannot wait to see where he'll go.


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"Who'd want to ignite things one at a time?" ~ Chandra Nalaar


In the Transformers Trading Card Game, there are a lot of "burn" cards. Now, just in case you don't know what that means, in Magic there are cards that deal damage to your opponent's cards and/or the player themselves. These cards are usually red in color and usually involve fire, and the color of red is represented by fire, which is probably why those cards are called "burn cards".

Transformers has plenty of burn cards, but sadly the characters never really wanted to cooperate with that playstyle. Either their stats were too low to give you enough time to burn through your opponent's HP with cards like Armed Hovercraft, Plasma Burst and other similar cards. That's where General Megatron comes in.

This beefy Megatron has the unique damaging abilities to consistently put out damage that affects not just one of your opponent's characters, but all of them as well. You see, if you upgrade him with three separate upgrades (which includes cards like Attack Drones), he has the impressive effect to slowly chip down your opponent's HP at every start of your turn. And, when your opponent's characters eventually fall to just close enough to being KO'd, Megatron can flip to his alternate mode and deal damage to it equal to the amount of weapons you have on the battlefield, including cards like Attack Drones.

Megatron may seem like he takes a lot to set up, but with cards like Swindled, Callous Leadership, New Designs, Attack Drones, Full Loadout along with a few Specialist cards like Multi-Tool, your "arms race" gets a lot easier. To make things even easier to get everyone upgraded, General Megatron has monstrous stats, like his high defense and HP, he can combine with Flamewar to be as defensive as possible. Plus, since he's a Tank, he can use cards like Hunker Down to attach free Armor to make it even easier to get him fully upgraded as well as hit those magic damage numbers with his flip ability.

As it happens, Megatron's biggest weakness -- despite his impressive stats -- is that he'll be quite alone in many respects. His 13 stars make his options for partners... A bit limited, shall we say. With Micromasters, this becomes slightly easier; however, with Full Loadout being so powerful in the list, I wonder if playing three of those would be necessary even though it would cost you another three stars. Perhaps, then, one could play Detour and Breakdown alongside three Full Loadout to make the full 25 stars?

Just a few ideas. But, keep in mind that you're going to be filling your deck with burn cards alongside your weapons. It's a weird balance between the two lists, but I think that General Megatron might have a lot of potential, especially in the low HP-dominated meta we are currently in.


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Up for a game of darts?


Blowpipe is not a great, but niche, card.

First off, let's take a look at his practically vanilla robot mode. His stats are not that great, and neither is the Focus 1 -- but it at least makes him a little better at dealing damage, and in a list where you're no doubt playing all the colors of the rainbow, there's a lot of need for Focus with a character whose attack is that small, same with his defense. Focus as a whole isn't the best, but it certainly is way, way better than nothing.

The weapon mode -- the real reason one would play a Battle Master to be frank -- is also a bit lackluster. Dealing +1 for every kind of color you flip, Blowpipe is a fan of as many colors as possible -- a total of five at the moment between blue, orange, green, white and black -- to give a possible total of 5 damage if you flip all five colors not counting any orange pip damage. Whereas that sounds great on paper, it requires a high amount of Bold to work out. Remember, you have to flip all of those cards if you want to get their damage effects. Sure, there are combo cards like Scrounge, Smoke Cloak and Fuel Cache to name a few, but there are only a handful of cards that can take advantage of that.

Such as?

Well, Grapple for one can definitely make a lot of use out of Blowpipe especially given that his lists want to play literally every color in existence, and in many cases, the same could be said about Slipstream. Even Megatron: Living Weapon can take advantage of him simply because he's a cheap, Decepticon Battle Master. That being said, his usefulness only goes so far as your list is built to support him, and to be frank, I'm not convinced that he's someone you should build a list around. I could be wrong, of course, but I'm just too skeptical of him to think otherwise.


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"Bring the rain."


First Acid Storm, and now the second Rainmaker is here! No, Sunstorm doesn't count (it's actually Nova Storm that's the final Rainmaker, commonly misinterpreted as Sunstorm). Which means, we could very possibly be getting a Nova Storm either in this set or the next. With that being said, let's get to the matter at hand: This scrub.

There are a few things to talk about with this guy. First off, Ramjet can eat his heart out. Sure, Ion Storm is somewhat more expensive than him, Ion Storm has a startlingly high HP, defense and attack in his alternate mode. Sadly, he's vanilla -- but hey, this is actually a lot of value if you're a fan of Ramjet. He's far less punishable than Ramjet, and even though he's more expensive, he also has far more value in his robot mode in Ramjet could ever dream of.

With his seven attack and still moderate defense, Ion Storm has pretty much the same value in his robot mode than he has in his alternate mode, but with a twist. Ion Storm bounces an Upgrade to your opponent's hand, and when you consider playing him with Debilitating Crystal, you can bounce two Upgrades at once. When you consider that your opponent could be playing Battle Masters, his effectiveness against them goes up, too. Since he can bounce multiple upgrades with a Debilitating Crystal, he can bounce both the Battle Master as well as the upgraded character's Armor.

Now, this is not to say that I think that Ion Storm will be a sudden mainstay in the meta or something like that. He's very expensive, and whereas he certainly has carry potential, I can't help but to think that he'd just fall apart against more aggressive decks. To stave this, you can play him with Acid Storm as well. You can play the Bold reduction to keep Ion Storm alive, while still devoting your pips and cards to offense. Remember, you don't need to worry about your opponent's defense -- not really -- because you can keep their armor off them effectively forever. In fact, it makes me wonder if Blue/Black Rainmakers might be the better way to play them.

Who knows? Maybe Nova Storm will be the final piece of the puzzle.


BATTLE CARDS


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"Ah, Laserbeak! Unlike my other soldiers, you never fail me."


YES. YES. YES. YES. *Breath in* YES.

I can barely contain my excitement. When Secret Actions were revealed, I had a gut feeling that they were eventually going to print a Counterspell or a Power Spray. Although, I think I might be getting a little ahead of myself, here. What do I mean by this card being a "Counterspell", anyway?

Okay, to explain that, let's take a look at what the card actually does. So, when you use a Secret Action, you place it face-down in front of you. Your opponent takes their turn, and unless they do something that triggers it to flip face-up, the card is discarded at the end of your opponent's turn. In the case of Infiltrate, if your opponent plays an orange Action card. This means that your opponent, when they play their orange Action card, that it is negated and discarded instead of activating.

Infiltrate is so incredibly powerful. Remember Supercharge? Reckless Charge? Treasure Hunt? Roll Out? Scrounge? All of those cards will be negated if you play an Infiltrate. But perhaps the biggest card that will be negated out of all of these, creating a massive amount of counterplay to Infinite, is Peace Through Tyranny. Peace Through Tyranny -- if you didn't know -- is the engine that makes the infinite combo possible. When Infiltrate is played, Peace Through Tyranny is negated. That means that your opponent won't be able to begin their infinite combo (that turn, at least). Remember, Multi-Mission Gear, Brainstorm and other, similar effects still count as "playing" an Action -- Infiltrate will still flip and negate it regardless of where it came from.

Something else that I'd like to mention is, if you read last article, I stated that Sergeant Skywarp would be incredibly powerful with a negate card. Now that we have one, Skywarp is going to be an absurdly powerful character with it. When you play a Secret Action with him, you get to draw a card. Better yet, you get to return two different Secret Actions from your Scrap to your hand! It's an extremely powerful effect, and Skywarp will definitely have a fascinating playstyle with it.

Regardless, I can't wait for Infiltrate to come into the game. I have no doubts that it will slow down the game to make more defensive decks more viable. When you turn off your opponent's aggressive cards between Infiltrate and Dampening Field, your opponent won't be able to make too much headway in terms of damage. With Peace Through Tyranny decks being as they are as well, you can imagine how powerful Infiltrate will be.


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Is this the part where they pick up a truck for no reason only to get shot?


Simply put, Take Cover is a bad card. There is not usually enough direct damage that deals a meaningful amount of damage to someone in order to warrant playing Take Cover. However, with that being said, the format might shift in favor of General Megatron and the direct damage ability in his alternate mode is frankly nutty -- but, is he alone enough to warrant you putting in a card that is going to be useless against most matchups?

No. The answer is no.


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Shockwave always was good at RTS games.


Battlefield Scan murders Micromasters, but that isn't as simple as saying so. So basically, consider for a moment, the Micromaster. Micromasters have Stealth in their vehicle modes when they are untapped -- when they are tapped, they no longer have Stealth. This is just to confirm at least one turn of their use, and it's a great mechanic.

However, in the case of Red Heat, entire decks can be based around that single Micromaster. When doing so, you leave yourself open to potential punishment by cards like Tackle or Skrapnel. This isn't the only time that Stealth comes up, however; in the mid-game, your opponent's characters and yours are both entirely untapped, meaning you have your pick amongst your opponent's characters. With Battlefield Scan, you have the opportunity to ignore their Stealth and take out their Micromasters before they have a chance to use them.

Of course, you can also combo this with cards like Razorclaw or Bumblebee: Legendary Warrior, who both can attack untapped characters. This way, you can attack important Micromasters like Red Heat, Detour, Flak or other, similar characters. This card isn't for everyone, but it certainly has potential in decks that can attack untapped characters like Cars or Predacons.


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"Oh, don't worry! You won't bleed out! The fire cauterizes the wound. You'll die of internal bleeding, not external bleeding."


The Firecons just got better.

So, remember Matrix of Leadership? How would you like that, but for Bold and for all of your Firecons? Sound good? That's because it is. Remember, Flamefeather adds Bold 1 to each of your Firecons when you flip him -- and when you combine that with Firecon Flame, it begins to add up quite a bit. Remember, it stacks amongst itself, too -- for each Firecon Flame you have in play, you're adding another layer of Bold 1 to each of your Firecons. With all three in play and Flamefeather, you'll have Bold 4 on each of you characters and you haven't even played an Action yet!

Now, again, you're only likely to ever have one or two in play at any given point in time, but the power of Firecon Flame should not be understated. You get a lot of value out of a single Upgrade attachment, and I think it pretty well confirms the usage of Firecons in a competitive sense. I really can't wait to see how they evolve over time, and I can't wait to see how they pair up against characters like the Dinobots and Insecticons.


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"Well, this backpack isn't sentient, it's not purple and it doesn't speak Spanish, but it'll do."


Backup Bag is a weird, weird card. As far as I know, Salvage For Parts and Device Virus are the only cards that you discard an Upgrade on your own field with. Unless Grenade Launcher, Power Punch, Evasive Actions or similar card effects work on it (which I'd doubt), Backup Bag is quite possibly the most niche card I have ever seen in this game.

I'm actually quite confused. I mean, sure, Device Virus is a great card and it'll see play, but I really don't think Backup Bag is worth the spot just for Device Virus, y'know?

CLOSING


In short, these new reveals are some of the most exciting reveals I have seen out of this set. From Infiltrate paired with Skywarp to both Generals and their strategies, I can't wait to see where they're going. I've already playtested with a few next format decks, and it's been a really interesting experience. Red Heat is as good as people fear him to be, and Ultra Magnus is like a baby Metroplex.

Will these cards make them better or worse? Well, I would probably say that Infiltrate makes just about everything aggro slightly worse when you consider how easy it is to punish your opponent's overextension. Plus, if you consider what would happen if they printed an anti-upgrade Secret Action, Aggro would certainly start to fall out favor in the meta in favor of a more blue/black or orange/black centered deck.

What about you guys? Ever pick up a proxy or two and try out a deck before release? Are you as exited as I am about Infiltrate? Are you on going to play a General Megatron or General Optimus deck? You looking forward to Ion Storm? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll see you next time!
Check out my YouTube for my Transformers Trading Card Game lists, gameplay and general thoughts on the game!
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby Wireless_Phantom » Sun May 26, 2019 9:46 am

Motto: ""There is no fate, no destiny, only your will.""
Weapon: Dark Saber Sword
I wonder if the art on the take cover card is actually based on the coming Siege Ratchet's deco.
You can trust the man who speaks in purple
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby MagicDeath » Sun May 26, 2019 10:30 am

Motto: "In order to progress, one thing must die and provide the fertile soil for another to grow from."
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Could backup bag be used with cards like Grenade Launcher or Force Field? Would that be a unique effect?

EDIT: Oh. You mentioned that.
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby #Sideways# » Sun May 26, 2019 5:24 pm

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MagicDeath wrote:Could backup bag be used with cards like Grenade Launcher or Force Field? Would that be a unique effect?

EDIT: Oh. You mentioned that.


lol Yeah, I don't think that it'll work. The simple fact of the matter is, you're not playing a card to scrap one of your cards -- rather, your cards are scrapping on their own. I don't think they have the same kind of effect.

Something that I would like to mention, though, is that Prime won't actually give himself Tough and Bold 1 in his alternate mode; I misread the card. But, that being said, it's still a really great tank to be perfectly honest, and he has a lot of synergy with Flamewar.
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby william-james88 » Mon May 27, 2019 9:03 am

Wireless_Phantom wrote:I wonder if the art on the take cover card is actually based on the coming Siege Ratchet's deco.

Turns out we also saw him in that body with that deco in the comic already, so this isnt a first. Oh well.
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby steve2275 » Mon May 27, 2019 10:51 am

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#Sideways# wrote:
MagicDeath wrote:Could backup bag be used with cards like Grenade Launcher or Force Field? Would that be a unique effect?

EDIT: Oh. You mentioned that.


lol Yeah, I don't think that it'll work. The simple fact of the matter is, you're not playing a card to scrap one of your cards -- rather, your cards are scrapping on their own. I don't think they have the same kind of effect.

doesnt say if one opponents cards
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby #Sideways# » Tue May 28, 2019 12:37 pm

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steve2275 wrote:
#Sideways# wrote:lol Yeah, I don't think that it'll work. The simple fact of the matter is, you're not playing a card to scrap one of your cards -- rather, your cards are scrapping on their own. I don't think they have the same kind of effect.

doesnt say if one opponents cards

I think you might be thinking about Spare Parts from ROTC, here, which does have that effect. Backup Bag has a similar effect, but only for cards that you play.
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TRANSFORMERS TCG Announces Organized Play: In-Store and Convention Events, Prizes

Postby william-james88 » Thu May 30, 2019 7:44 am

You will find below an announcement from the Transformers Trading Card Game relating to their plans for Organized Play in stores and at convention events this summer. This will lead up to the first ever TRANSFORMERS TCG ENERGON INVITATIONAL at PAX Unplugged in December!


TRANSFORMERS TCG Announces Organized Play: In-Store and Convention Events, Prizes

TRANSFORMERS TRADING CARD GAME·WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2019

Wizards of the Coast is excited to announce that organized play is coming to the Transformers TCG!

Whether you’re playing in events run by your local shop or you thrive on the pressure and excitement of a convention crowd, Transformers TCG will have something for you in upcoming months. The fast-paced, action-packed game is going to heat up as it introduces Officially Sanctioned game store support and a path to prizes through gameplay for its most successful players.

The season kicks off at with an open tournament at Origins Game Fair in June and powers on through events at participating game stores in countries and regions in which the Transformers TCG is available, before another open event at Gen Con in August. Both open events will serve as qualifiers for Transformers TCG’s first-ever Transformers TCG Energon Invitational at PAX Unplugged in December! A small number of winners of last chance qualifiers on-site at PAX Unplugged will also be eligible to participate in the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational.

Placing among the top competitors at large-scale open events isn’t the only path to the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational, however. Players will also be able to qualify by competing in events at certain game stores.

Stores that receive the Transformers TCG War for Cybertron: Siege I In-Store Play Kit will be able to declare one store champion via Officially Sanctioned play during the in-store play period supported by the kit (July 1 - September 30). That player will receive an invitation to compete in the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational. For more details on qualifying in-store play events for the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational, contact a participating game store near you.

By joining in on tournament events for the Transformers TCG, you’ll not only be competing for the glory and renown of a skilled victory, but also an array of prizes, including the grand prize--an opportunity to design a character card with the Transformers TCG design team, as well as cash prizes, Transformers TCG items, and TRANSFORMERS toys!

Key information regarding the Origins and Gen Con open events and the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational, each of which will be run by Pastimes Inc., can be found below. Check out the Pastimes website for more details as the event dates approach!

Participation in officially sanctioned events requires a valid Organized Play account. Create your account here.
STAGE 1: ORIGINS OPEN


Where: Origins Game Fair 2019
Greater Columbus Convention Center
400 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215

When: June 12-16, 2019

Eligibility: The Origins Open is open to all Origins Game Fair attendees with a valid Organized Play account* while spaces remain available. Each participant will receive 1 Transformers TCG War for Cybertron: Siege I Booster Pack for each preliminary event entered.

Entry Fee: $26

Format: Officially Sanctioned Constructed play.

Play Type: Four preliminary events will advance the field to a 32-player final. A player may pay to enter multiple preliminary events. If a player who has previously qualified for the 32-player final would win an invitation to the final in a subsequent preliminary event, that invitation passes down to the next highest unqualified player in the final standings.

Prizes
Top 8: Booster box of Transformers TCG WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE I Product
Top 16: Entry into the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational and 3-Day PAX Unplugged badge. An additional badge for a parent/guardian will be provided for a badge recipient who is under age 18.

Top 32: $10,000 prize pool, to be split among the top 32 players as follows:
1: $1500
2: $1000
3: $750
4: $750
5-8: $500
9-16: $250
17-32: $125
STAGE 2: IN-STORE PLAY


Where: A friendly, participating game store near you. Contact your preferred local retailer to see if the Transformers TCG War for Cybertron: Siege I In-Store Play Kit will be at their store.

When: In-store play begins with release events for Transformers TCG War for Cybertron: Siege I on the weekend of June 28, 2019. Participating game stores may schedule qualifying events for the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational between July 1 and September 30. Check with participating game stores for details.

Eligibility: Qualifying events for the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational require players to have a valid Organized Play account.

Formats: Individual stores may choose Officially Sanctioned Constructed play or Limited play for qualifying events for the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational.

Prizes
Transformers TCG War for Cybertron: Siege I Release Event: Private Smashdown participation prize (while supplies last)

Image


In-Store Play: Three different Transformers TCG large character cards with Gold Foil (while supplies last)Image

Photograph of actual promo cards

Transformers TCG Energon Invitational Qualifying Events: One invitation to compete in the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational at PAX Unplugged 2019, with the winner to be determined via qualifying events by a participating game store. Only stores that receive the Transformers TCG War for Cybertron: Siege I In-Store Play Kit may hold qualifying events for the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational. Please check with your friendly local game store to see if they are participating. If a player who has previously qualified for the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational (for example, at an Open or at a qualifying event at another store) would win an invitation, that invitation passes down to the next highest unqualified player in the final standings.

STAGE 3: GEN CON OPEN



Where: Gen Con 2019
Indiana Convention Center
100 S Capitol Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46225

When: August 1-4, 2019

Eligibility: The Gen Con Open is open to all pre-registered Gen Con attendees with a valid Organized Play account* while spaces remain available. Each participant will receive 1 Transformers TCG War for Cybertron: Siege I Booster Pack for each preliminary event entered.

Entry Fee: $26

Format: Officially Sanctioned Constructed play.

Play Type: Four preliminary events will advance the field to a 32-player final. A player may pay to enter multiple preliminary events. If a player who has previously qualified for the 32-player final would win an invitation to the final in a subsequent preliminary event, that invitation passes down to the next highest unqualified player in the final standings.

Prizes
Top 8: Not-yet-announced Transformers TCG Product (Product announcement forthcoming)
Top 16: Entry into the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational at PAX Unplugged and a 3-day PAX Unplugged badge.

An additional badge for a parent/guardian will be provided for a badge recipient who is under age 18.

If a player who has previously qualified for the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational at an Open would win an invitation to the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational and a 3-day PAX Unplugged badge, that invitation and the badge pass down to the next highest unqualified player in the final standings. If a player who has previously qualified for the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational at a qualifying event at a store would win an invitation to the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational and a 3-day PAX Unplugged badge, the badge remains with that player and the invitation passes down to the next highest unqualified player in the final standings.

Top 32: $10,000 prize pool, to be split among the top 32 players as follows:
1: $1500
2: $1000
3: $750
4: $750
5-8: $500
9-16: $250
17-32: $125

 
Transformers TCG Energon Invitational


Where: PAX Unplugged
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

When: December 6-8, 2019

Eligibility: The Transformers TCG Energon Invitational is open to the designated winners of qualifying events at participating game stores and players who have qualified via the Origins Open, Gen Con Open, or last-chance qualifiers on-site at PAX Unplugged.

Format: Single elimination Officially Sanctioned Constructed and Limited play.

Prizes
Champion: Collaborate with the WOTC Transformers TCG team to design a Transformers TCG character card (subject to terms and conditions).
Top 8: War for Cybertron Siege TRANSFORMERS toy and Transformers TCG prizes

Top 32: $20,000 prize pool, to be split among the top 32 players as follows:
1: $3000
2: $2000
3: $1500
4: $1500
5-8: $1000
9-16: $500
17-32: $250

*Officially Sanctioned Event Information



Eligibility: Players must have a valid Organized Play account in order to participate in Officially Sanctioned events. We strongly suggest players ages 13 and up have Organized Play accounts prior to arriving at the Origins Open, Gen Con Open, or the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational.

[Sign up for an Organized Play account here.]

A Player who is age 12 or under MUST have an Organized Play account prior to arriving at the Origins Open, Gen Con Open, or the Transformers TCG Energon Invitational. They will not be allowed to sign up for an Organized Play account at the event.

Each player age 12 or under must also have a parent or guardian’s consent to sign up for an Organized Play account.

Parental consent form

Officially Sanctioned Transformers TCG Events
Officially Sanctioned Transformers TCG events will be run under the official Transformers TCG floor rules. Complete Transformers TCG Floor Rules will be posted on the WPN Rules and Documents page no later than two weeks prior to the first qualifying event.

For planning purposes, here is some key rules information that will also be reflected in the complete Transformers TCG Floor Rules.

All formats
-Best 2 of 3 matches
-50-minute rounds

Constructed Play
-25-star or less total team and deck of battle cards
-40-card deck minimum
-Swap Parts is banned in Constructed play.

Sideboard Rules
(See upcoming Transformers TCG Floor Rules for more details)
-1 character card of 20 stars or fewer
-10 battle cards
-After sideboarding, decks must be legal
-After each game in a match, the player who won that game sideboards first and declares their team. Then the player who lost that game sideboards and declares their team.
-No more than 3 copies of each Battle Card are allowed between a player’s deck and sideboard.
-Duplicate character cards are not allowed between players’ decks and sideboards.

Limited Format Rules
-Sealed deck play
-Players use 6 sealed booster packs to build a 25-star or less team and deck of battle cards
-25-card deck minimum
-All cards in a player’s pool not part of their starting team and deck are considered to be that player’s sideboard.
-After sideboarding, decks must be legal
-After each game in a match, the player who won that game sideboards first and declares their team. Then the player who lost that game sideboards and declares their team.

Side Events
Other Transformers TCG side events will be happening at Origins, Gen Con, and PAX Unplugged. Check out the Pastimes website for more details as the event dates approach!

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Transformers TCG Siege Stakeout and Skrapnel Cards Revealed

Postby ScottyP » Fri May 31, 2019 1:04 pm

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As the release of the third wave of the Transformers Trading Card Game approaches, the set list for the first of two expansions based on War For Cybertron: Siege nears completion with the reveal of two new cards: Private Stakeout and Sergeant Skrapnel.

The first look at Private Stakeout comes to us via Transformers fan Big Angry Trev's blog, with no Polar Claws harmed in the process.
Image

The look at Sergeant Skrapnel is available via another Transformers fan blog, Life with Sprogs.
Image

Check out the linked blogs above for some analysis of these newly revealed cards and keep it here at Seibertron.com as the final handful of characters for this wave are revealed in the coming weeks!
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby Stargrave » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:28 am

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Love that :lol:
But that bear had it coming dude...
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby #Sideways# » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:07 pm

Motto: "Wake up. Wake up and smell the ashes."
Weapon: Dual Compression Cannons
SIDEBOARDED


Competitive is here! Let me say it again, louder, for the people in the back who can't hear it:

COMPETITIVE IS HERE!

The simple fact is, the lack of a competitive play is the sole reason that a whole lot of people didn't want to get into it. In fact, a personal friend of mine who regularly plays at a worlds level in Pokemon spoke to me about it, stating that he liked the game and where it was going, but he hated the fact that he couldn't put his knowledge to the test.

The announcement of competitive play is by far the best announcement that I've ever seen for the Transformers Trading Card Game. It means that people will be able to put their skills to the test, it means that people won't be afraid that the game will no longer be supported in the long run. But perhaps the biggest realization of this is the advent of the competitive rule set.

For a long time now, members of the community have been speculating at a competitive rule set. For instance, time limits, judging staff, tournament locations and most important of all, the presence of a sideboard.

Sideboarding in a Trading Card Game, if you didn't know, is the act of having an "extra deck" that you can swap or add cards to your deck in between games. This allows you to put cards into your deck for specific matchups, including cards like Dampening Field or Infiltrate against certain offensive matchups, or Pierce cards against defensive matchups. Of course, it's not set in stone what cards are the best to sideboard as there is a bit of overlap, and certain matchups almost require you to mainboard certain counter cards from sheer deck popularity alone, but that's neither here nor there.

The real juicy bit to the sideboarding is that you can include a character that is 20 stars or less to swap into your lists. For instance, you can put an Acid Storm into your sideboard and swap him out for a similarly priced character in your active list just in case you're afraid of things like Insecticons, Dinobots or Firecons. Moreover, if you happen to be afraid of facing infinite combo decks, you can sideboard in Torox.

But that isn't the only thing that competitive entails. In fact, you might have read about the Energon Invitational in the competitive announcement! Aside from the monetary prizes that I'm sure all of us would greatly appreciate, the juiciest prize of them all is the coveted chance to design your own card to be featured in the card game. Qualifying for the Energon Invitational is pretty easy, considering you just need to win a qualifying local tournament to do so, but if you want some more bang for your buck, there's the GenCon Open as well as the Origins Open -- both of which having large prize pools in their own right.

But that's not all of the info we need to chew through today -- we've got more! This time, we have new character cards to go over as well as quite a few Battle Cards. Let's dig in!


CHARACTER CARDS


Image
"A runabout! I'll steal it -- AND NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW!"


The Battle Chargers are here, and boy are they really, really weird. I have thoughts on them as a whole because they're somewhat inseparable considering their innate synergy with each other, so check out Runamuck's profile below where I go into both of them. This will just go over Runabout's stats so that you have context when I do talk about the whole of them.

Runabout has moderate offensive and defensive stats in both modes, but the big problem with him is that he, like Runamuck, has 10 Stars as their cost. This makes playing him as a single unit add-in to other lists nigh impossible, not even counting his synergy with Runamuck. The good part about him, in particular, though, is that his most offensive mode is in his alternate mode. That means that cards like Turbo Boosters, Start Your Engines and other things like them will be far easier to use and take full advantage of.

You really don't want to be put in a scenario by Start Your Engines where you have to transform, untap then transform again. You'd much prefer to use that transformation on someone else, like Stakeout who is a good possible partner for the Battle Chargers. Now, that one extra offense in his car mode doesn't make him much more appealing as a standalone unit in one of your teams, but let's be fair here, you won't want to play him outside of the Battle Charger composition anyway.

To find out why, let's take a look at Runamuck as we finish our thoughts about Runabout as well as the entire Battle Charger composition in general.


Image
Rarely are things so simple as black and white.


Runamuck is definitely the better between the two Battle Chargers. Being a Specialist, you can take good advantage of things like Multi-Mission Gear to use Start Your Engines as well as Rapid Conversion to make the most of their transformation effects. If you haven't guessed by now, both Battle Chargers have similar -- yet opposite triggering -- abilities that flip each other to the other's modes.

This allows you to activate the other's abilities roughly every turn. For instance, if you start the game, you can transform Runamuck and draw a card, simultaneously flipping Runabout to robot mode as well. That way, when the next turn comes around, you can flip Runabout back to alternate mode, heal off a little bit of damage that Runamuck took and swing with Runabout's corresponding mode.

Now, with that rhythm in mind, you have a few options to supplement that. For instance, you have access to Rapid Conversion, Start Your Engines as well as teching in Stakeout, who has a Rapid Conversion on command. You can also use cards like Brainstorm and Multi-Mission Gear to play multiple of them during your turn in order to flip your characters even more than you already are. That way, when you flip your Battle Chargers, you can flip them again and again, reactivating their abilities multiple times in a turn.

But the big question is this: Is that worth it?

Well, in full Standard play? No. I don't think their cost justifies their damage, and Runabout's healing effect doesn't heal enough to swing any matchups. However, since they are common characters, you can definitely run them in limited draft or Turbo play to positive effects -- after all, they are consistent characters that can draw you a solid amount of cards that can heal off most of certain limited decks and their damage.

After all, it is the set of blue/black and trust me, things are going to be pretty slow going in certain "Turbo" games if you choose to run these guys.


Image
"Man, I'm good!"


Well Sideswipe said it himself, didn't he? I think that Sideswipe has a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of potential. Let me show you how by going into a bit deck theorycrafting with a brainchild I had earlier that dealt with Cliffjumper: Matchbox.

Sideswipe (8)
Detour (4)
Stakeout (4)
Scamper (4)
Roadhugger (5)

You can use Sideswipe with a Stealthiness on him or a Bravery on a Micromaster, attacking with him and tapping a Micromaster each turn to supplement his expenditure and his damage. That way, when you do get attacked, your opponent will be forced to attack into a Micromaster and when they're OHKO'd (you may be blue/black but you're not invincible), Sideswipe gets to untap and attack again next turn. Then, when all or most of your little Micromaster friends are KO'd, you can flip Sideswipe to alternate mode and gain a massive amount of attack and swing for -- in all likelihood -- the OHKO on something.

Of course, I've not tested this deck yet so I cannot say for certain whether or not it will be good, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be, especially with Stakeout potentially granting Sideswipe multiple flips into his alternate mode, stacking the damage boost that you'll be receiving. You can also sideboard Cliffjumper, potentially changing gears into a disruption-based list with heavy draw thanks to Cliff.

Now, all that being said, I think this is one of the only uses for him. Sideswipe in other car lists just doesn't appeal to me at all, even with his untapping effect. The biggest issues are his low car mode attack before your opponent KOs your other characters, the fact that your limited characters have to be KO'd in order for you to use him effectively and that his untapping effect only triggers on your opponent's turn. If it weren't for those things, I would say that he has moderate potential as a finisher.

Lastly, his relative frailty is doing no one any favors, least of all him. He's a bit of a glass cannon, which is why the Stealthiness and Bravery is so important in the Matchbox list. If he gets targeted down too early, you most certainly will not be able to beat most decks given your team being entirely made up of Micromasters. But other than those things, I for one look forward to seeing where Sideswipe will go in the metagame.


Image
"... and then he led two of every animal onto an ark, and then beat the crap out of them!
That's why you never see two of any animal in one place unless it's a zoo! Or a farm!"


Hound is basically a slightly more expensive, way better version of Starter Megatron.

Don't let his vanilla vehicle mode or his average stats make you think that he's someone to overlook -- his robot mode can pack some serious power in it through some sneaky shenanigans. The thing is, you have a lot of power potential alongside a moderate starting offensive power, making the +2 you get when you upgrade him way more impactful than Megatron's +1 boost from a base of 3. Of course, Hound is two stars more than Megatron, and since he's an Autobot he can't make use of Swindled, but that's more than fine since you have access to other options.

For instance, you can play Inferno alongside him, whose alternate mode ability (aside from his monstrous attack) can allow you to return all Upgrades attached to Hound to your hand to be reattached perhaps in the same turn. Plus, when you consider that Attack Drone can attach three times in one turn, you can get a massive offensive boost from that play alone. Aside from Inferno, you have other Upgrade-shenanigans options, which include Disarm, Red Heat, Flak and Cog who can each upgrade Hound multiple times in a turn to get your power higher than it has any right to be. You can even play Cargo Trailer if you really want to, although I wouldn't recommend it given its inconsistent nature.

All that aside, Hound has a plethora of options on the table for him to be a pretty solid rogue deck. I wouldn't say that he's going to be meta, but I do think that he has a lot of potential with the correct partners. Again, I don't think he'll be beating Insecticons any time soon, but I do think that he is a neat little "haymaker" option to think about.


Image
The polar bears thought that Global Warming would be their final challenge. Then the polar bears saw Stakeout.


Stakeout is pretty much exactly what Infinite needed to have everything they ever wanted. He's a 4 Star Specialist Autobot who is effectively the same as Detour in almost every way, stat-wise. No, Infinite is still not dead -- Red Heat is a character, and Peace Through Tyranny is still a card. Although it is to a diminished degree thanks to the sideboarding of Torox, it still loves anything and everything Autobot Specialist to make every other matchup way better. Although, that being said, Stakeout is marginally less offensive than Detour and he doesn't have the ability to draw, so perhaps there could be a case to simply add Detour instead of Stakeout and simply forgo the Confidence.

I suppose that's what sideboards are for, though, hm?

That being said, you really don't need me to say more about Infinite -- it's very good, and you've already heard me say it plenty of times before with several other characters. Who's really glad that Stakeout exists are the Battle Chargers and Sideswipe: Decks that love Rapid Conversion and other constant transformation. With Stakeout's pocket Rapid Conversion effect, he allows you to pull off some crazy flip combos. For instance, he can transform during your turn, tap him to transform a second time, Multi-Mission Gear a third transformation effect, then for your turn, play a fourth transformation effect and wind up back in your alternate mode for the second time that turn.

This effect is very strong on cards like Sideswipe, who gains an offensive advantage every time you flip. You could say the same about W1 Shockwave, where you can flip him a frankly ridiculous amount of times to put more cards in your opponent's hand in order to System Reboot them. Speaking of drawing cards, you can also use him alongside Cliffjumper to transform a partner character several times in order to draw cards with Cliffjumper's alternate mode effect.

I honestly adore Stakeout. I think he has a lot of really cool things you can do with him, and whereas it takes a turn for you to get the value out of him (I mean, if you are going to transform and use his tap effect, why not just transform the character you're going to target with him on your own?), he still has a lot of combo potential in certain lists.


Image
The sequel is almost never as good as the first.


Sequels are really, really hard to make well. At least, that's what Hollywood would have you believe. New writers, new story, more expanded drama, yadda, yadda, yadda. I mean, unless, your name is Deadpool or Nolan Batman in which case the sequel is very much better than the first. Sadly, Skrapnel is neither of those names and he ended up paying the price for it.

At first, I was astonished that the guys over at Wizards were deciding to make Insecticons even better with a character that has innate Brave able to fit into the list. Defending Kickback or Barrage while they fight with relative impunity through Brave, then potentially healing off that damage through the use of your own Upgrade spam? Yeah, I was interested.

Then I saw the point cost.

Nine points? That's a very, very high cost for the Insecticons (Venin notwithstanding) and it more or less makes it impossible to run with the four wide Insecticon list that we're used to. That means that there is another way to run him, like with Venin. You can run Skrapnel, Venin and Ransack to potentially have a bulky, grindy Insecticon deck that heals itself over time while putting out Pierce damage. I'm not the biggest fan of that concept, but Bug Bomb is something that I have always liked since it was printed -- only problem was, it was kind of the antithesis of the trademark Insecticon playstyle.

Perhaps, then, we have a deck to play it in? Bulky Insecticons is... Difficult to think about given their aggressive Wave 1 counterpart, but hey, you never know, right?


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O Captain! My Captain!


Captain Starscream is not good in his own list, but he is pretty fascinating as a supplementary character to someone bigger. I think we all know who that "someone bigger" is.

Before that, let's take a look at his stats. Starscream is expensive at 12 Stars, but he makes up for that with his other stats. First off, he has a monstrous HP stat at 16 with a middling to low defense split between his alternate modes. The good news is that you're likely to run him in a blue "burn" deck, relying on his direct damage abilities to do most of his work for him. Of course, his six attack can actually do a bit of damage to lesser armored targets, but with any luck your opponent won't be upgraded that much anyway. Although, that being said, you can make use of Null Ray of Starscream given that he is a Starscream just in case you wanted to use him in a more Plane-centric list, but I really think that job should be left to his Wave 1 incarnation.

But now on to the meat of his kit. His anti-upgrade abilities make him an excellent auxiliary character to direct damage "burn" lists that deal low attack damage but supplement their offensive power through damaging cards like Armed Hovercraft, Strafing Run and Plasma Burst among others. In fact, in a Burn list, Starscream has the unique effect of turning all of your Upgrade scrapping cards like Vaporize, Bashing Shield, Drill Arms and Device Virus into damaging Actions as well. Furthermore, he acts as a deterrent -- a small one, yes, but still a deterrent -- to playing cards that scrap themselves like Grenade Launcher and Force Field. In fact, Force Field scrapping itself will make your opponent take one more damage than they normally would. If you're facing something that adores Upgrades like Living Weapon Megatron or Predacons to name a few, Starscream is your guy.

It's for that reason why Captain Starscream has a bit of potential alongside -- thematically -- General Megatron. Megatron spreads damage around to your opponent's characters, and Starscream can be used as both an auxiliary damage sponge for the General (especially through the use of Callous Leadership), as well as acting as a secondary damage source through Starscream's abilities. The thing is, you're exposing yourself to potentially more damage concentrated on your characters thanks to the fact that you are playing tall instead of standard or wide with Megatron.

But there's a secondary reason why Starscream works well alongside Megatron. Why? To find out, let's take a look at the Battle Cards...


BATTLE CARDS



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Pictured: The first and only time Starscream and Megatron cooperated together on anything.


As I was saying, in Tall General Megatron/Captain Starscream, you can use Two-Pronged Attack to either discard your opponent's hand to remove their options or to deal a moderate amount of direct damage, feeding into your "burn" playstyle.

Two Pronged Attack, much like Team-Up Tactics before it, can do a lot of powerful things with the right deck. In fact, I would say that it's probably better than Team-Up Tactics given the state of healing in the current meta and Pep Talk not requiring you to be in your alternate mode to give you the same effect. Two Pronged Attack, however, does much more useful things, like softening opponent's characters, or potentially dominating your opponent's hand before they really get a chance to use it.

I mean, how better for Starscream to prevent your opponent from using Upgrades on the field than by preventing them from being played in the first place, right?

So, with all of that in mind, does Two Pronged Attack make Megatron/Starscream Burn a mainstay in the meta? I don't think it's consistent enough to say that, but does it make it better to the point that we might end up seeing it in the tournament scene? Honestly? I really do think so.

As a final note, I'd like to give kudos to the Twincast Podcast for doing a great interview with Drew Nolosco, brand manager of the TFTCG and getting to reveal this and two other cards. If you haven't had time to listen to that, you should! It's HERE!


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"But Optimus, if any of them ever get underfoot they'll, uh... Squish."


So, you're sitting down and your opponent is playing Insecticons. You have a lot of power in your characters, yes, but characters like Skrapnel, Force Fields and other damage blocking effects have you feeling like you're in an uphill battle. Plus, they've been swinging very hard.

Well worry slightly less because we have Squish Them Like Bugs! When you swing at a character who has fewer stars than you do, then you spread 1 damage to everyone on your opponent's field that has less stars than your attacker. I pops Skrapnel's 3HKO ability, it pops an angry Six-Gun with a Force Field on him, and it overall softens everyone on the field just enough to be relevant in most cases. In fact, against combiners this card is especially effective because they have so many small characters.

Now you could make the case that Strafing Run is actually the same card but less complicated. I would disagree! Since it has an orange pip, it is actually more valuable -- in my opinion -- than Strafing Run given its in-combat usefulness to flip. That being said, Strafing Run cannot be countered by Infiltrate, and perhaps that alone would be enough for some people to play Squish Them Like Bugs instead of Strafing Run. Of course, in Burn decks, why not both?

I really do look forward to seeing how much this card will get played as a counterpick to wide, aggressive decks like Bugs, Motorcycles or combiners in general.


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"Shame to let good gold go to the grave."


Scavenge The Battlefield -- aside from having some of the raddest art of all Secret Actions -- has a very interesting effect that will more than likely be in many different aggro decks. Why? Well, that's easy.

Have you ever played Insecticons (or any other aggro deck), like, ever? Well, let me refresh your memory. You start your turn, flip Kickback, attach an Erratic Lightning to him and swing for a billion damage. Then, your opponent gets to attack Kickback and in a blink of an eye Kickback disappears, replaced with a vaguely Kickback-shaped grease-spot on the ground. Now, under normal circumstances, you'd have to find another weapon to use during your next turn's attack, forgoing the more interesting cards in your hand that might be able to net you more cards like Data Bank, save a life like Heroism or, perhaps chiefly, scrap Armor with cards like Bashing Shield.

With Scavenge The Battlefield, you can save the weapon you just used from one of your now grease spots of a character and then use it on your next soon-to-be grease spot! Not only that, but if your opponent happens to focus down one of your Upgrades through effects like Razorclaw's attacking of an untapped character, you get to keep those Upgrades -- all of those Upgrades -- as well.

I really, really like this card. I think it alleviates a lot of aggro's woes in terms of their consistency, it fixes Battle Masters even more than Quartermaster has in the past and I think it also makes certain defensive decks better as well. I mean, who doesn't like keeping their Upgrades on the field, right?


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"Yes, I am so glad I had this very tiny shield to protect myself from a gunshot!"


Literally just play Armored Plating if you want an Armor that gives you +1 defense. I mean, I get it, you need black pips sometimes and it's better than not having black pips at all, but... At what cost? Besides, there are better black pips out there, and one of them is even an armor.

My point is this: Smoke Cloak is way better; it has black/blue and it also gives you Tough 1 which is essentially the same thing as +1 defense anyway, plus you can attach it to all of your characters, not just Autobots like Compact Shield. The biggest argument I can see for playing this is that it's redundant, and that it is at worst a black pip, but I don't think that's reason enough to play it in your list.

Cool artwork, but avoid this one.


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Oh hey, it's an Avengers: Endgame spoiler but with no context!


Aside from having the best detailed -- and I mean the best -- artwork in the entire TCG, Heat of Battle storms the beaches to give Cars, Combiners, Metroplex and Motorcycles the best Action they could have ever hoped for. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Hey, now, what about that Tough 3 that your opponent is going to be getting?"

My answer to you is simple: Against aggro, who cares? They don't play blue pips anyway, and when you swing with all of your characters (in terms of Cars) with each at the very least Bold 3, your opponent is going to very much feel the pain. You can also play Warpath to prevent your opponent from reaping the rewards of Heat of Battle from his anti-Tough effect, though thanks to his limited usefulness you would most likely have to sideboard him.

That said, it's a very good thing to force Tough on your opponent's aggro deck. Their amount of double orange cards are finite in their deck until they become reshuffled -- when your opponent mills more cards than they need to, they will burn double orange pips more often than not. Although it does potentially net them green pips that they'd been digging for like Bashing Shield or their Enigmas, the rewards far outweigh the risks.

I cannot wait to see how people will use Heat of Battle -- it's obviously not a staple in every deck given that its power is mostly wasted on decks that can't attack more than once in a turn, but it is at least very valuable to those that do.


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"OoooOooh, a Claw!"


With the advent of Scavenge the Battlefield, Upgrades have a lot more permanence. That goes for all kinds of Upgrades, except for perhaps armor given the prolific use of Bashing Shield. But, nevertheless, Device Virus is a good counter to that permanence and it makes for a powerful removal ability to "even the odds" if you will.

But what about making that effect even stronger? Well, that's where Dismantling Claw comes in! When you scrap it from a character, you scrap one of your opponent's weapons, and if you recall, Device Virus scraps one of your Upgrades from one of your characters. This way, you get to scrap potentially three weapons from your opponent's field if you so choose.

Now, let me ask you this: Remember Enforcement Batons and how it had this same effect except immediate, including the green pip?

No? Me neither.

In all seriousness, there really isn't a reason to play Dismantling Claw when Enforcement Batons exist. If you're playing Device Virus, you should be playing Enforcement Batons because its effect was immediate and didn't rely on using any other card to get value out of it. I get it, it has a blue pip, but at a point you can just bite the bullet and say that three orange pips in your deck never hurt anybody.


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Post-nerf Brigitte incarnate.


This is just a slow Bashing Shield. My opinion is really quite unchanged from the card above, except this one is worse given that Bashing Shield is so prolific in the metagame. I mean, sure, the big reason you would want to play Dismantling Claw is the blue pip, but Bashing Shield and Reactive Armor are literally the same card except one is a lot slower than the other.

I just can't justify playing Reactive Armor... Well, at all really. I mean, unless you really, really hate Armor and want as many copies of Bashing Shield in your deck as possible -- even if it does require some fancy footwork to get value out of. But the odds of you needing that many copies of Bashing Shield (or like cards) in a game is astronomic to say the least.

I'd avoid this one unless I pulled it in a draft.


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"Everybody knows / The low-rider"


I was ready to rail on this thing for insulting me with its existence.

I was so, so ready.

But then I remembered the time I put Combat Training in Metroplex just to add a slight prayer to hit all the cards I needed off my flips. I remembered on Jazz how I desperately hoped that I would flip a second white pip. I remembered how hard it was to flip another pip and then... And then I remembered!

I remembered that Bold and Tough exist.

Spinner Rims is just conditional Bold 1 or Tough 1. Now, that being said, I do think that there is a place for this card in Metroplex or Jazz decks, but other than that it's just worse Bold or Tough that you might not even make use of in the next combat depending on how many white pips are in your deck. In fact, I've found that more than six white cards in many lists can be too many because you're constantly flipping more than you need and it negates its benefits.

At that point, then, why are you using a Spinner Rim? If you're just going to flip more white pips, then I can't see much purpose outside of Jazz, Chromia or perhaps Cosmos in playing this. It's just the way it is.


CLOSING


There are a lot of really powerful cards that are coming out in this next set, and even more powerful changes in terms of the state of the game. Sideboards change everything, and tournaments change even more than that. I'm so glad that I can finally say that there is competitive play for one of my favorite games out there. For a long time now, I felt a slight tinge of worry when I say things like "yeah, I do competitive content for that game" when people ask me what my channel does and what articles I write; there has always been an underlying concern that it would never happen.

What about you? Are you as excited for competitive play as I am, or are you dreading it? Some people just don't like competitive! What side are you on? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll see you next time!
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby ZeroWolf » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:45 pm

Motto: "My past no longer binds my future..."
Weapon: Battle Blades
I spy bulkhead on the art for heat of the battle, and Cyclonus fighting the cons? And dual wielding Arcee.
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby Flashwave » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:55 am

Motto: "Our society's downfall will not be this war. The war IS our society. That which will get us will be the little things. Some humanoid race, some tossed cannon, the little things that no one looks out for. THAT is for what we must be vigilant."
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
It may be a useless card, but I like the Dismantleing Claw art for its randumbness. ;) i really want to dig out my CR Grimlock and stick his excavator bucket on Siege Ironhide.

Ooh! Photo contest idea: reproducing card art with toys!
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Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread

Postby #Sideways# » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:19 pm

Motto: "Wake up. Wake up and smell the ashes."
Weapon: Dual Compression Cannons
Flashwave wrote:It may be a useless card, but I like the Dismantleing Claw art for its randumbness. ;) i really want to dig out my CR Grimlock and stick his excavator bucket on Siege Ironhide.

Ooh! Photo contest idea: reproducing card art with toys!


Oh god I can just imagine the huge claws on super unfitting figures. Can you imagine that thing on a Micromaster? :lol:

That idea is actually brilliant. I think Heat of Battle'd probably be the hardest to figure out, though :lol:
Check out my YouTube for my Transformers Trading Card Game lists, gameplay and general thoughts on the game!
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