"Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas

Transformers News: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 2:46pm CDT

Categories: Event News, Site Articles, Game News
Posted by: #Sideways#   Views: 21,367

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CON JOB

GenCon Meta Predictions & Rogue Ideas


GenCon is coming up next week, and with it comes a whole new meta with not just the Siege cards but also the slew of promos we got over the San Diego Comic Con weekend! Sure, not everyone was able to get them, but many people were, and that means you're likely to see a whole bunch of people trying on Soundwave or the Omnibots on for size. Not only that, but with the advent of black pips making Pierce not just an easily reachable damage cap, but a powerful damage effect for defensive decks with low attack totals. With these new additions to the meta, how will the meta shift before GenCon begins and what should you play at the game fair? Let's dive in!

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META PREDICTIONS


I think, as a whole, the entire format is going to slow down thanks to the black pip, Battle Masters and an increased reliance on Bold for more offensive decks to be countered easily by Acid Storm. But does that mean that the format has a bad case of the "blues"? Well, not exactly. Let me explain by going into the first deck that I'd like to cover, which is Aerialbots.

Aerialbots wrote:Silverbolt -- Aerialbot Leader (5*)
Skydive -- Air Warfare Specialist (5*)
Fireflight -- Sky High Recon (5*)
Air Raid -- Reckless Flyer (5*)
Alpha Bravo -- Airborne Special Ops (5*)

25/25

2 Aerialbot Enigma (G)
3 Steady Shot (B)(Blk)
3 Security Checkpoint (B)(B)
3 Inferno Breath (B)
3 Marksmanship (B)
3 The Bigger They Are... (B)
3 Battlefield Report (B)
3 Handheld Blaster (B)(B)
3 Smoke Cloak (B)(Blk)
3 Noble's Blaster (B)(G)
3 Armed Hovercraft (B)
2 Laser Cutlass (B)
3 Field Communicator (W)
3 Reinforced Plating (B)
37

Sideboard
Optimus Prime -- Battlefield Legend (13*) / Omega Supreme -- Autobot Defense Base (19*)
3 Infiltrate (B)
3 Dampening Field (W)
2 Hiding Spot (Blk)
2 Enemy Combat Analysis (G)


This is what, I think, an average Aerialbot list is going to look like. At least, this is what I would play if I were going to make the trip to GenCon. You might want to put a few more black pips in there to start with, such as Hiding Spot to effectively force your opponent to attack Skydive as much as possible, but generally speaking this is what an average list will look like in many cases with the only exception being a few cards in the sideboard.

Before we get into that, let's dive into the main list. Basically, you already play quite a few cards that give you Pierce in the first place. Playing a few black pips will help maximize the amount of Pierce you can do without bogging down your flips with potentially bad defensive flips. This is why Smoke Cloak and Steady Shot are both so powerful. Not only do they allow you to play fairly solid cards during your turn with Steady Shot being the major player in that regard, but you will never be sad to see them flip given the fact that they have both a black pip for offense and a blue for defense. They are both very solid cards, and if you're playing Blue/Black you should definitely be playing them.

So, all that aside, the rest of the list is fairly average. The exception is that I put a few interesting cards in the sideboard for your consideration, including Infiltrate for the aggro matchups as well as Omega Supreme for everything else.

Optimus will likely be the general side-in for most cases, having incredible utility and power and will often just out-value your opponent especially with cards like Marksmanship, Steady Shot, Inferno Breath and more in your deck to help increase his damage even further than you already will be with a Noble's Blaster. Plus, in a defensive list, he'll be incredibly hard to take down, especially with Fireflight using Brave to keep the major heat off him. Fireflight is so good, in fact, that I included a character in the sideboard for you to consider just because of his versatility.

You see, Omega Supreme really likes it when his partner is attacked instead of him. Omega's HP isn't as large as Metroplex, but if you only take two at a time and your partner defends the rest of it, well, you'll be lasting a long time to make the most of your powerful offensive potential. Since Fireflight has Brave, you can put Reinforced Plating on him (as well as Enemy Combat Analysis if you're facing the mirror) and you can force your opponent to attack him, dealing minimal damage thanks to Fireflight's defensive upgrades, which you can then move off to Omega to make the both of them last.

Omega is a lot like starting the game with Superion in play. Sure, sometimes that's not for the best and you'd be missing out on the time and value that your other parts give you, but sometimes the matchup just requires it, especially against Mirror. I think that Omega is super underrated in this metagame, and I think that the slower the format gets, the more viable he becomes. In fact, you can even use UFO to get even more value out of him, but even I think that might be a bit much, investment-wise.

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Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
Forgotten, but not lost.


Speaking of underrated cards, I'd like to point out possibly the most underrated card out of Wave 1: Aerial Recon. Aerial Recon has been an absolute boon in my playtesting thanks to not only its scry effect, but its defensive boost on a Utility. Sure, it's an orange pip and that makes me only a little sad, but when you consider the fact that you're going to be defending that much more damage on cards like Fireflight on a practically immovable Upgrade thanks to its Utility nature, Aerial Recon finds its value extremely quickly.

Plus, if you happen to swing for more Pierce than attack, it is always nice to flip one offensively to give yourself that extra oomph to get the job done. But that said, it is an orange pip which means that there's a pretty good chance that you'll flip it at the wrong time, potentially messing up your defense of a powerful attack. Think of it like playing a blank card in your deck, of which this plays none. You can use Aerial Recon to powerfully boost your defensive stats, and when you get to keep it, you get to put it on Superion to boost his stats even more than your Armor already is.

If you're playing Aerialbots, try this card out. You won't regret it.

--

The meta has certainly slowed thanks to the introduction of the black pip with Siege, but I'd like to point out that it hasn't slowed down to a crawl, at least not yet. With the introduction of Siege, the "old guard" of Insecticons and Cars can certainly look different in their updated forms. Will that updated form lead to wins against decks like Three Wide Primes and the new Shockwave deck that seems to be on the rise? Well, let's take a look at a list for each of them and see for ourselves:

Insecticons wrote:Barrage - Merciless Insecticon (7*)
Insecticon Skrapnel - Insecticon Leader (7*)
Kickback - Cunning Insecticon (6*)
Ransack - Insecticon Commando (6*)

2 Backup Plan (W)
2 Bashing Shield (O)(G)
3 Erratic Lightning (O)
2 Flamethrower (O)
3 Force Field (W)
3 Grenade Launcher (O)
3 I Still Function!
3 Improvised Shield (O)(O)
2 Mining Pick (O)
3 Peace Through Tyranny (O)
3 Power Punch (O)
3 Reckless Charge (O)
2 Static Laser of Ironhide (O)
3 Supercharge (O)
3 Swarm! (O)

Sideboard
Chop Shop - Sneaky Insecticon (6*)

3 Bad Attitude
3 Repair Bay (O)
2 Frag Toss (W)
2 Enforcement Batons (O)(G)


The Insecticon list hasn't changed much over the eons, but that's kind of the beauty of it. You see, when you have the massive amount of power that the Insecticons have, you don't really need to consider too much in terms of what to play outside of things that increase your damage. In fact, the mainboard for the Insecticons hasn't changed at all from my Origins list. That said, however, with the advent of Acid Storm and Dampening Field being popular sideboards to counter the Insecticon playstyle, you need to play a few things to ease the burden.

For example, if you happen to face off against an Acid Storm or a W-5 deck, you would end up dropping the Flamethrower and either Supercharge or Bashing Shield for Frag Toss as well as adding the spicy Enforcement Batons. You see, Frag Toss gets you a nice bit of Action damage that can not only function as extra Swarms in your deck, but also functioning as another way to activate Barrage's robot mode effect. You play this especially over One Shall Stands because it isn't a blank card. I've spoken at length about how I dislike blank cards and how they can mostly hurt you in the long run, but thanks to the fact that Frag Toss has a white pip, you can play it without worrying too much about your deck's pip consistency.

Enforcement Batons, however, are certainly an interesting add-in even by my standards. Let's dive into why I love this highly underutilized card:

--

Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"STOP RESISTING!"


The sticks of fury strike true! Yes, Enforcement Batons are actually a very, very good addition into sideboards going into GenCon. You see, as a whole, the metagame has slowed down thanks to better defensive cards. But in many cases, W-5 Blaster is honestly extremely powerful at not just stopping Bold effects, but also stopping Kickback from, well, existing. You see, when you have Kickback who flips cards to get his value, only flipping a certain amount of cards makes him ultimately worse. Plus, Battle Masters like Nightstick and Lionizer are frankly ridiculous at getting value, especially used in tandem with characters like Battlefield Legend or similarly strong characters.

That's why Enforcement Batons are so strong. You see, by using them as effectively a Bashing Shield for Battle Masters like Nightstick, you're going to get an immense amount of value out of it. Plus, when it has outlived its usefulness, you aren't exactly losing anything offensively with the orange pip and +1 Attack. Of course, it isn't like you're gaining anything offensively, either, but you're still getting rid of those pesky Nightsticks, Lionizer and even Ion Blaster of Optimus Prime.

Did I mention that it's a green pip so you can do this pretty much whenever you need to? Because it's a green pip that you can use pretty much whenever you need to.

Sadly, there isn't much in the way of removal for W-5 Blaster insofar as something as strong as Bashing Shield. With the advent of Personal Targeting Drone as well as Device Virus, one could make the case that simply using those would make an easy removal. That would be a lie, of course, simply because Personal Targeting Drone is awful. However, Crushing Size could be a savior in that regard. Getting to draw a card in the down-time of when your opponent is not playing a W-5 is quite a powerful effect, and being a white pip is certainly not a bad thing for consistency. But, that said, Crushing Size doesn't have a green pip, so you can be sure that you'll seldom have it when you want it.

Could Crushing Size be the savior Kickback has been waiting for?

Probably not. But it's a nice thought!

--

Cars wrote:Private Downshift -- Special Ops, Security Agent (8*)
Wheeljack -- Weapon Inventor (9*)
Prowl -- Military Strategist (6*)
23/25

2 Mounted Missiles (O)(O) (2*)
3 Confidence (O)
3 Supercharge (O)
3 Reckless Charge (O)
2 Press the Advantage (O)(G)
2 Start Your Engines (B)
2 Backup Plan (W)
3 Peace Through Tyranny (O)(O)
3 Grenade Launcher (O)
3 Erratic Lightning (O)
3 Power Punch (O)
3 Turbo Boosters (O)
3 Field Communicator (W)
2 Bashing Shield (O)(G)

Sideboard
Cliffjumper -- Renegade Warrior (8)

2 Heroic Team-Up (2*)
2 Enforcement Batons (O)(G)
1 Press the Advantage (O)(G)
3 Force Field (W)
2 Heat of Battle (W)


Cars is still a strong mid-range deck that features consistent damage output, though not quite as powerful as Insecticons in the raw damage department, that makes up for it with moderate defensive capabilities that translate into more attacks during the untap phase.

Sadly, the major cause for your defeats usually revolve around someone out DPS-ing you. In other words, you get one-hit on the first turn of the game by an Insecticon and you end up losing the aggression battle. It's why Cars has always had an awful matchup against Insecticons and other, similarly aggressive decks.

That's where Downshift comes in. The Omnibot may be part of the Comic Con booster pack, and without his two compatriots he may seem under-powered, but the simple fact that he can attach a free Weapon to himself on the first turn of the game, then give himself Bold 1 is frankly ridiculous value, especially on the first turn of the game.

Let's dive into that for a little bit:

--

Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
Upshift, amiright?


On the first turn, you can attach a Grenade Launcher to Downshift, giving him 8 Attack with Bold 1 on the first turn of the game. Something is going to die, especially against things like Lionizer, Insecticons and Aerialbots where the average HP is usually low.

The thing you need to consider, though, is that with your newfound power, you also have a lower Star Count which you can increase your deck power with. Mounted Missiles not only help you increase your pip strength, but they also increase your Weapon count to make the turn one play that much easier. Even better, you increase your potential damage by attaching it to Downshift's Utility slot, opening up your weapon slot for an even more powerful weapon.

But that's not all! You see, Downshift also happens to be a Car that Upgrades itself, making Wheeljack incredibly happy in that you can use Downshift to Upgrade himself, draw a card and then potentially discard a Weapon to not only buff Downshift but also activate Wheeljack's Robot Mode ability at the same time.

If you managed to get a Comic Con pack, you need to try this combo. Sure, he doesn't do as much damage as Bumblebee in the mid-game, and he lacks the draw power of Bumblebee, but his early game potential has the ability to completely annihilate a character before your opponent even gets to use them.

I absolutely adore Downshift in Cars for that reason, and you should too. Sure, yes, it is part of the Comic Con Pack and that makes it exclusive, but the point is, there are way more uses for the Omnibots than just their own composition.

--

CONCLUSION


GenCon starts on the 1st of August, and with it comes a new metagame. With the powerful additions of black pips, Omnibots and even the Cassettes, the meta is growing steadily, but that's not all. The meta is also steadily refining itself. This is where rogue decks can finally make purchase.

With a large card pool and more refined field, rogue decks or rogue derivatives of meta decks can shift the matchups that their derivatives normally had. That combined with the sideboard can create a vastly more creative metagame, and one that I can barely contain my excitement for.

I cannot wait to see what comes out of GenCon. With the meta slowing down slightly, you can play different, less conventional lists. In fact, I'd be interested to see if Dreadwing or even Black Constructicons make a showing, but that's probably just wishful thinking.

Sadly, I decided not to attend GenCon this year. I already have my invite to the Energon Invitational, and aside from clout and maybe a bit of money if I do well enough, there isn't too much reason to "grinch" people out of their invite. You'll just have to manage without my ugly mug this time around!

What do you think will be at GenCon this year? What kind of decks will make the best showing? Are you considering other decks with single Omnibots or do you think that they can only be viable as the full squad? Let me know in the comments below, and I will see you next time!

This article was last modified on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 4:40pm CDT


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Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2031200)
Posted by zatara1701 on July 23rd, 2019 @ 5:00pm CDT
Ok,so this article inspired this question...

With all the random and obscure characters getting toys, when are we going to get a proper homage to the Omnibots??

I always wanted them when I was younger, and ended up getting a complete set with instructions and everything... albeit is VERY played with condition... via Ebay a few years ago. I remember friends having them and me never having the money or robot points to send away from them.

While not TRUE triple changers, what they did do was kinda cool and they have a definite presence in the G1 lexicon. Hell, I would rather see a three pack of re-imagined, modern Omnibots than the 3 pack of "Meh" Seekers... I admit I have Classics Acid Storm and Animated Sun Storm, but come on... The new ones are just Blah.

Come on Hasbro... You can bring back obscure characters few of us remember or even knew, but you can't bring back the Mail Away Bots that we all toy lusted and envied over??
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2031242)
Posted by ZeldaTheSwordsman on July 23rd, 2019 @ 7:16pm CDT
Hmm.. I don't know if everyone lusted after them as you did. The Omnibots are only slightly less nobodies than the Powerdashers, and the last time Downshift was on a poll he sadly got a mere 1% of the votes.
Mind you, some of the assorted one-note Seekers aren't much better, they just have the advantage of being easy to do because they're palette swaps.

Alternators "Windcharger" is really Overdrive, for what it's worth.
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2031252)
Posted by Ultra Markus on July 23rd, 2019 @ 7:29pm CDT
i think before we get into the omni bot toys the seige line needs to produce the remaining car bot characters in their G1/cybertronian forms like trailbreaker, sunstreaker, wheeljack, and jazz ;)^
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2031261)
Posted by steals_your_goats on July 23rd, 2019 @ 8:22pm CDT
Downshift could pretty easily be a Tracks remold/repaint.
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2031510)
Posted by zatara1701 on July 25th, 2019 @ 10:48am CDT
Powerdashers were awful lol...

Of all the mail aways the Omninots were the coolest right next to Reflector... At least what I remember. While I can somewhat agree with some of the other originals getting some Seige updates, the reality is all those characters have gotten love in the last few years... Not to mention, with Seige we have gotten some obscure characters (at least in my opinion) so why not show some love for the Omnibots, especially since the other major mail away just got some love?

Just funny how that one little picture gets the thought process going...it's even my least favorite one (the toy was kinda lame). Maybe I am a little jaded, I know we will keep getting more Optimus' and Megatrons, but it would be nice to see some new old faces. The Omnibots never got the full on character treatment, so there is so much that could be done with them... A blank slate if you will.

It's just cool this card game is going deep into the old lore and characters.
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2032679)
Posted by Stargrave on July 31st, 2019 @ 5:49pm CDT
Just in from IGN is the latest reveal for the Transformers The Card Game, and it's a big one! That's right, ready to give Metroplex and his Metro-minions a run for their money is Trypticon and his henchmen Brunt, Full-Tilt, and even Wipe-Out! From IGN:
"Every sealed, 30-pack booster display box of War for Cybertron: Seige II includes one Trypticon pack, inside of which you'll find the enormous Trypticon card and the "three large Character Cards" for Brunt, Full-Tilt and Wipe-Out. The booster packs come with one large and one small character card, as well as 6 battle cards.

In the Transformers Universe, Trypticon is the Decepticon answer to Metroplex, the gigantic Autobot city with his own, stand-alone oversized character card and set.

Transformers: TCG wave 4, featuring the Trypticon packs, will be available November 9 "in the US and certain other regions."


And this is from the official announcement from Hasbro:
"Today, Transformers TCG announced Wave 4 – which brings the mighty titan, TRYPTICON, to the fight!

For wave 4, each War for Cybertron: Siege II sealed Booster box includes 30 booster packs and a TRYPTICON pack. The TRYPTICON pack contains one Titan-sized TRYPTICON character card and 3 large character cards as his minions: BRUNT, FULL-TILT and WIPE-OUT!

Wave 4 will be available beginning November 8, 2019 in the US."

Are you ready to give your Autobot opponents a blow to their Metroplexis? Let us know what you think in the forums and as always stay tuned to Seibertron for the ultimate in Transformers news!

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And this just in from our own #Sideways# is the new Trypticon Battle Card revealed on the TFTCG Facebook Page:
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Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2032686)
Posted by #Sideways# on July 31st, 2019 @ 6:58pm CDT
There's also a Battle Card that was revealed on the TFTCG Facebook page:

Image

This guy is busted and I'm definitely going to write an article about all of this. Including the little blurb on the pack that says "half of a Weaponizer Character"!
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2032717)
Posted by Acolyte on July 31st, 2019 @ 10:13pm CDT
Is it just me, or does the artwork seem a bit lackluster compared to the Metroplex deck? Perhaps it will look better with the foil. :HEADHURTS:
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2032731)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on August 1st, 2019 @ 12:30am CDT
Not liking what they've done to ol' Trypsie's mouth, but love the rest!

My first decent custom of a toyless character from G1 fiction was Wipe Out: my old, yellowed Tailgate, dyed black, given a new mouthplate and gun, and slightly repainted with a chest reprolabel.

Thing is, the black had a slightly reddish tinge (like Vegeta's hair), when he should've been slightly purple or blue. Well, this card blues him up SO much that I may just have to dye one of my PotP Tailgates to match it. I tried to do a black one 3 months ago (same day I bought the Metroplex and Devastator decks), but just warped it along with a perfectly good PotP Starscream and Battleslash; mayhaps that was a sign from Primus...that it's just dumb luck when I stumble upon the right dye/acetone/water ratio.
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2032735)
Posted by Latebrus-K on August 1st, 2019 @ 1:44am CDT
I really love that the card game exists and is so extensive, but sadly, my friends probably wouldn't want to play it. Still it's nice to watch the thing develop and read the breakdowns from #Sideways#.

Seeing Wipe-Out get some merchandise love, and be elevated to a default part of Trypticon's team, fills me with joy. I only recently finished my PotP custom of him.
Bumblevivisector, I'm sure you can get a cleaner job with dyes, but maybe my take on Wipe-Out can help your efforts? I went for something closer to the United figure rather than the all-blue look Wizards is going with.
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Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2032859)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on August 1st, 2019 @ 11:14pm CDT
Thanks Latebrus-K, yours might just influence my decision to modify the head...and looking back at the card, I'm considering overhauling his chest now. As soon as my new digital camera's in order, I'll post some pics of my vintage Wipe Out, probably in another thread.

Also, is "Revenge" a new mechanic to this wave, or am I already forgetting everything #Sideways# wrote?
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2033529)
Posted by #Sideways# on August 6th, 2019 @ 6:57pm CDT
INSTRUMENTS OF DESTRUCTION

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Warped Expectations


GenCon came and went, and with it, a ton new decks to make a massive splash in the metagame! My predictions were completely perpendicular to what actually happened, it seems, with a ton new aggressive decks to dominate the tournament standings instead of what I had figured, which was an amplified defensive presence. From Lionizer/Optimus Prime: Battlefield Legend, to General Optimus/Barrage to even Quad Cars, the entire format seemed to be catered to the offensive push.

With GenCon behind us, and a new aggressive meta unfolding before us, what are the causes of this paradigm shift? What changed from Origins to GenCon and what made people suddenly stop playing defense, and start playing offense? How will the format change in the future, deeper into the Siege meta? Let's dive in and find out!


----------



Image
"Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh my!"


Lionizer is far and away the most obvious addition to the pantheon of aggro support in the Transformers TCG, with an astonishing Bold 4 and a weapon that not only gives Bold 4 as well but also trims the fat in your hand with Plan 1. It's a frankly disgustingly powerful card that is cheap enough to play in effectively anything you want, and powerful enough to never make you think twice about it.

The turn one play is incredibly powerful as well given that you, as Lionizer starts in robot mode, have an effectively free transformation on one of your other characters to set up for combos. You see, since he starts in his most powerful mode, you simply attack with him on the first turn of the game. That means you can devote your transformation per-turn to someone more pressing.

But that's not all that he does. You see, since he's a Battle Master, you can also equip him on an already high Bold character like Wheeljack to swing for even more damage, and since he's an Upgrade, he can also trigger Wheeljack's alternate mode effect, drawing you into better resources. It's a frankly ridiculous amount of value in Lionizer that makes him one of the most prevalent sources of aggression out of the Siege metagame.


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Pressure / Pushing down on me
Pressing down on you / No man ask for
Under pressure


A less obvious cause of the more aggressive format is none other than Press The Advantage, a somewhat conspicuous card that deals quite a bit of damage to things that is consistent enough to happen when and where you want it to. But how does this little old card make its presence known so well? That has something to do with factions, and their prowess in certain categories.

If you look at the decks that are played, you can see a few things: First off, Cars are immensely prevalent due to their consistency and offensive prowess, but second off, when you have a defensive deck, it usually either features or is entirely made up of Decepticons. I mean, sure, there are exceptions in Aerialbots of course, but the vast majority of defensive decks either are comprised of or feature Decepticons. For example, Major Shockwave is usually entirely made up of Decepticons, the eponymous Double Primes from back in the day had Nemesis Prime, Tanks had an incredibly defensive (and Decepticon) setup and now Three Wide has both Flamewar and Aimless in it.

What does that tell us? Well, for one, Decepticons are probably depressed because they're blue all the time. But perhaps more importantly, it tells us that the most potent circumstances for Press The Advantage is also the most common, meaning Press The Advantage will deal far more damage to the most common defensive decks than against the most aggressive ones. And the best part? Well, it's a green pip, which means you get it pretty much whenever you need it given the fact that you have a monstrous amount of Bold, usually.

Press The Advantage might not seem it, but it's a huge reason why the meta's growing more orange than blue. But wait, if you notice, Press The Advantage only works for Autobots -- aren't we forgetting something? Huh. This is gonna bug me!


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An oldie but a goodie.


Insecticons are and have always been a fantastic deck that refuses to die. Ever since the deck was printed, Insecticons have always been a powerful deck that has only gotten stronger as the days go by, but oddly enough, it uses absolutely zero of those other cards. What keeps these bugs going? Is it that they hold their breath when someone whips out the Raid? Are they juicing on steroids?

Personally, I think it has something to do with this:


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"Cowabunga it is, then."


Reckless Charge is, I think, the source of this extremely aggressive metagame. If you combine this incredibly powerful card with a Grenade Launcher (or any weapon for that matter) you'll be getting around +8 damage on one of your characters, around 2/3 of a character's HP before flips and before factoring in your base stats, not counting what Battlefield Legend can do when playing a free Action.

Doing +4 damage on an orange pip creates an immensely powerful card that doesn't really have too much of a downside when you consider that most aggressive decks are usually pretty fine with getting either one-hit or have enough HP that the 3 damage recoil doesn't affect them too much. Put it this way: If you're using Reckless Charge, you don't care about the recoil effects.

When you consider that Lionizer and Firedrive are Battle Masters and thus don't care about being attacked, or dying for that matter, Reckless Charge creates a practically unparalleled amount of damage with a frankly irrelevant recoil effect. Isn't this familiar, though?

If you think about it, One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall could be regarded as the same card but a little worse in some regards. Okay, yeah, sure, one is direct damage and the other is a stat boost and they're used mostly for different reasons, but consider this: When you're not using One Shall to target a different character, you're using it to target a character that you're about to attack. You could essentially say that you're increasing your attack damage to that character by +3 and taking 3 damage in recoil. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? With that in mind, wouldn't you rather do one more damage and have an orange pip while also taking the recoil damage after the attack instead of before?

That's my point. Reckless Charge is an immensely powerful card; so immense that it is actually better in some circumstances than a blank pipped card. I think that, as a whole, there is no other card in the game that could attest to growing the offensive power of the game more than Reckless Charge. Nothing else comes close, not even Bashing Shield. Sure, Bashing Shield is a fantastic supplement to that power, but not everyone has a Force Field on them or even in their decks, so it's a strong card, but not as strong as Reckless Charge is.

So, what are we gonna do about it? Just have more oranges until we make Minute Maid jealous? Or perhaps we should wait until the next set and hope that things cool off?

Not if I can help it!

This is a little something I've been working on for quite a while, and I've found that it's one of the most powerful decks that I have created thus far. Ladies, gentlemen, all of my discerning fleshbags, feast your eye-holes on SkyStick!


SkyStick wrote:Skywarp -- Sneaky Prankster (6)
Raider Nightstick -- Ground Force, Weapons (6)
Flamewar -- Veteran Decepticon (5)
Raider Detour -- Infantry, Demolition (4)
Private Tote -- Special Ops, Infiltration (4)

(25/25)

3 Battlefield Report (B)
3 Hiding Spot (Blk)
3 Steady Shot (B)(Blk)
3 Dampening Field (W)
3 Security Checkpoint (B)(B)
2 The Bigger They Are... (B)
1 Calculated Strike (Blk)
3 Handheld Blaster (B)(B)
2 Laser Cutlass (B)
2 Piercing Blaster (W)
3 Bravery (B)
3 Security Console (W)
3 Field Communicator (W)
3 Smoke Cloak (B)(Blk)
3 Reinforced Plating (B)
40


Sideboard

Acid Storm -- Toxic Terror (6)

3 Infiltrate (B)
3 Point Defense System (Blk)
3 Take Cover (B)
1 Laser Cutlass (B)


Skywarp from Wave 1 is probably one of the most forgotten characters in the entire game. Sure, he was printed to be the six star, third member of the Seeker trio, but when you consider that he did practically nothing for that entire list, you start to wonder just what kind of list he should be played in.

Here's a refresher on what he does:

Image


His vehicle mode is one of the most useless things in the game, and he'd probably be better off blank. But, when you consider his robot mode, you start to see where I'm going with this. You see, Skywarp defends attacks and stacks his defensive power using Flamewar and Reinforced Plating, but just when he's about to take the far reduced damage, you can instead choose to move it off him and onto one of your patsies -- erm, teammates if you flip a white pip. You play plenty of white pips, so you'll get it effectively every time.

You see, that's what is so amazing about this deck. You reduce your opponent's damage by an incredible margin, and you force them to attack into Skywarp using Hiding Spot, Bravery and psychology in general. You start the game attacking with Nightstick and transforming Flamewar to robot mode, forcing your opponent to attack into Nightstick. They will almost definitely not one-hit him thanks to his effects as a Battle Master (of which can boost Skywarp's defensive prowess even more than it already is) and your defensive list in general. This leaves you to transform and attack with Skywarp, ideally with an Armor, effectively giving your opponent the choice of either attacking into a defensive tank or into a Battle Master a second time.

But how do you win the game? You can't just sit in one spot and do nothing forever. Well, that, my friend, is why you play Blue/Black. Dealing Pierce damage through black pips, Cutlass and Piercing Blaster can whittle your opponent down to nothing, one bite at a time. Your patsies aren't just an effectively extended health pool for Skywarp -- they can pack a punch.

And how will you do all of this? Well, that's where Detour comes in. Being a Micromaster, he has a tap effect. This tap effect, however, involves drawing two cards, which can be extremely useful into drawing into Bravery, which can force your opponent into attacking Skywarp for as long as it remains in play. Of course, you won't always need that Bravery when Skywarp has Nightstick eventually attached to him; your opponent may very well just attack him outright given that he's the largest threat on the battlefield.

Speaking of making him a threat, did I mention that Tote can untap him and allow you to attack with him a second time, scrapping Smoke Cloaks and Hiding Spots from your hand that you don't need anymore? Because Tote can do that thing.

SkyStick is one of my favorite decks at the moment. It's practically invincible, you play enough disruption to care little about what your opponents do on their turn, but if you eventually find that your opponent is simply too Bold for your own good, simply side out Nightstick for Acid Storm and watch them squirm. As it turns out, Lionizer isn't really a threat when he does zero damage. Of course, if it's Aerialbots you're afraid of, simply side in a Take Cover and Point Defense System and watch as they combine for no reason at all, reducing practically all of their damage to nothing.

SkyStick can still be beaten, of course, and it usually happens if you go second against an aggressive deck that can can do upwards of 12-14 damage on their first turn, potentially KOing Skywarp (or coming close enough for him to be KO'd outside of combat through direct damage). In fact, direct damage as a whole is entirely annoying for SkyStick, which is why I play Take Cover. If it ever becomes too much of an issue, however, it is definitely worth swapping out Acid Storm for Motormaster in your Sideboard since he effectively stops that from happening for the rest of the game.


----------



CONCLUSION


The format has never looked more aggressive, with an influx of powerful decks like Quad Cars, Lionizer Cars, General Optimus/Barrage and Lionizer/Optimus Prime: Battlefield Legend making strong things even stronger. In fact, Aerialbots did make a showing at GenCon, and all of them did rather poorly compared to the aggressive decks around them. Now, what does that say about this format, then? Is it some congealed mass of the same three decks? Is it some monotone, horridly homogeneous metagame?

No, it's not. In fact, this is one of the most diverse character metagames we've ever had, with oodles of combinations to work with. But does that mean that it's also diverse in deck creation? That's where things get a little dicey, with only a little variation in terms of pips, Weapons, Actions and everything in between. This is where the game could use some improvement, and I look forward to seeing what will come in the next set to aid the diversity of deck creation.

What say you? Will you be using orange, aggressive decks for the remainder of this season to try and get your invite to the Energon Invitational? Or will you go against the grain and go blue? Will you take SkyStick out for a spin or does a death from a thousand cuts seem too slow for your taste? Whatever you pick, let me know in the comments below, and I'll see you in the next one!
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2033530)
Posted by #Sideways# on August 6th, 2019 @ 7:13pm CDT
Bumblevivisector wrote:Thanks Latebrus-K, yours might just influence my decision to modify the head...and looking back at the card, I'm considering overhauling his chest now. As soon as my new digital camera's in order, I'll post some pics of my vintage Wipe Out, probably in another thread.

Also, is "Revenge" a new mechanic to this wave, or am I already forgetting everything #Sideways# wrote?


Nope! Revenge is totally new. I'm putting together an article going over everything we know about the next wave, but I'm going to wait to put some things together until we see a wider card pool. I can't say if Trypticon is good or bad without all the cards that come with him, now can I? :-?
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2034197)
Posted by Stargrave on August 12th, 2019 @ 9:57am CDT
Always been a trading card fan going back to the Marvel sets back in the 90’s. Never played Magic or any other turn based combat card games but couldn’t help myself I broke down and bought a couple packs over the weekend. I think I may be hooked :shock: I just love the art the foil it’s just all so cool. I’ve got to learn how to play.
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2034736)
Posted by Sparky on August 16th, 2019 @ 6:07am CDT
I used to play Magic: the Gathering, but dropped out when even casual play became too costly to play at my local game stores. Yu-Gi-Oh! was great because it had a great casual scene, though once certain decks became popular from tournaments showed up, among a few other things, it just wasn't fun anymore. Never mind the player-base for that game.

But a few weeks ago, best friends came back from out of state, and they surprised me with a Metroplex box set, while they had a Devestator set. And I have been excited and playing like crazy ever since.
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2035170)
Posted by PerfectVision on August 21st, 2019 @ 6:11am CDT
Some deck i didn't wrote earlier

Alpha-Firedrive-Topshot
Peace X1
Rascent-Pep-TwoP-laser-Matrix-Diagnosis-Energy-Universal-Ancient-Unleashed-Heroism-Rollout-Quarter

The twoP and the peace can be researched if necessary,quarter instead of spare.

Mega3-Trigerhappy-Detour
Schechpoint-Master-Teamup-AttackD-Handeld-ExtraP-Pep-Callous-Energy-NewD-TwoP-Mining-Eenthusiast

Shock14-Nightstick-roadhugger
Steady-Dismantle-Hiding-Spare-Cdagger-Device-Repurpose-Callous-Underhanded-Sturdy-TakeC-LV-Fog

Surprisingly,he's always agressive in this game.

Runabout and muck-Visper
SparringG-Focus-Enforcement-SecretD-Reactive-Bashing-Scrounge-Spare-Smelt-Bbeam-Scoundrel-Rest-Espionnage

Reactive for them,PTD for Springer only the dismantling is useless.

The omnibots...Optimus11-mudslinger-iron9 is already better.

Blaster and Soundwave are sckizophrenik and uninteresting at the same time.
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2037859)
Posted by #Sideways# on September 11th, 2019 @ 6:56pm CDT
SIEGE II -- THE SIEGENING


Well, I did it. I awoke from a few months in cryo-sleep just a few minutes ago and the right side of my face has never looked or felt better! The left side is probably still asleep.

Probably.

Anyway, I haven't been completely dormant for the past few months -- in fact, I've never been busier testing, grinding games and theoryforming my way into a few great ideas and a whole legion of bad ones. I'll get into it in later articles, but first, let's go over the newest reveals instead:


CHARACTERS


Image
7.8/10 Doesn't inadvertently kill an allied Optimus Prime.


Hot Rod is -- for the lack of a better term -- super freaking hot. Hot Rod is not only a Car, which means he can take advantage of all of the busted Car support, but he can also take advantage of multiple Action combos as well as having a surprisingly moderate offensive capabilities as well as potent defensive ones as well.

Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. So, what exactly does Hot Rod do? Well, that's simple enough to explain. You see, we are getting a new keyword alongside Revenge, which is Safeguard. Safeguard is effectively the same thing as Skrapnel's effect, except it only takes effect when they're undamaged (and with a name like "Safeguard 3" on the card, one can only assume that we'll see different numbers like "Safeguard 5", "Safeguard 1", etc.).

Safeguard allows Hot Rod to excel at getting his deck to reshuffle since he lives for so long. But, not just that, since he's a car, you can effectively attack with impunity with him. In other words, you can attack with his car, and then untap him to then attack with another character. But, to make matters even better, you can combo him with W1 Prowl to not only do extra Bold damage, but to use Prowl to heal Hot Rod back to zero when your opponent KOs one of your other, and less important, cars.

This will allow you to take another hit and use his Safeguard effect, and it will also allow you to effectively force your opponent to either side in damaging Actions from their sideboard, but to potentially waste attacks on him. Remember, you can use Prowl's healing more than once, and "I STILL FUNCTION!" can trigger it, too, making Hot Rod effectively invincible so long as you can heal him.

Of course, his Safeguard mode isn't the best part about him. In fact, his robot mode is where you're likely to get most of his value given the fact that you can play multiple Actions during a single turn for effectively free. You can use this to your advantage in many ways. For example, you can use a Supercharge as well as a Reckless Charge at the same time to give him a frankly disgusting amount of damage, or you can use multiple ISF to bring back your entire team -- and heal off Hot Rod afterward. Perhaps, too, you could use him to draw a sinful amount of cards from your deck by using multiple Equipment Enthusiast during the same turn. Perhaps a mixture of both! Multiple Actions means multiple options, and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of combos people will come up with using him.

As for the downsides, though, he is only 12 HP, and his defense goes down to 1 in robot mode. His damage isn't great to start with, and he's rather expensive for a Car. He's got the same stats as Barrage, but two stars more for not the fastest of value. In fact, it takes quite a bit of time to start getting value out of him, kind of in the same vein as Nemesis Prime or Cosmos, and he doesn't have the draw power of Cosmos or the defense of Prime to get himself there, either.

That said, though, Hot Rod might actually work well with either of the other Reshufflers, so there's that thought, at least. Regardless, Hot Rod has a massive amount of potential and you can get a lot of value out of him if the deck is right. I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes from here.


Image
"Black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow... Yellow and black! Let's mix it up a little!"


Nova Storm is here, and she's a she! This shouldn't come as too much of a shock, but I adore female transformers, and I have been kind of sad that the only female Seeker, it seemed, was Slipstream. That said, though, I wish that they had given Nova Storm more visual signifiers to signify the contrast, given the fact that she looks effectively identical to Sunstorm.

Regardless, she's a bit of a wonky character, sadly. She has a lot of synergy with black pips, which aside from making me hope that this signifies a bit of a boost to black pipped cards, also effectively makes her usability a bit... Limited. Sure, at 7 stars, you can use her with Acid Storm and Ion Storm to put the three Rainmakers at 25, but why? Ion Storm and Acid Storm love the inclusion of Flamewar to make their defensive trifecta as bulky as possible, and there's little room for the inclusion of someone who is more of a DPS than a wall, and someone who uses pips that probably won't even be included in the list to be perfectly frank.

So, where does she go, then, if her teammates don't need her? Well, I'd wager that the best place for her is -- aside from a bulk bin -- a plane deck that focuses on Action and Upgrade-based damage, not outright damage. You see, since she can move a damage from herself to one of your opponents, she can combo rather well with Bombing Run. Her moderate to high damage can make her potent in an aggro list that runs Air Commander Starscream from Wave 1, and her damage movement ability pairs well with his. You would need a six star character to pair with them, still, and it would likely be a Micromaster plane like Storm Cloud or a Bravery plane like Fireflight, but the long and short of it is that there is a potential home for her.

Nova Storm's Pierce 3 is nothing to shake a stick at, of course, and orange/black cards are most certainly a thing, but I do wonder if she'll struggle to make her way out of the bulk binder to show it off. Either way, I like yellow, planes and female Transformers so I guess this makes her the best card that has ever been printed. Aside from that, though, I doubt her usefulness.


Image
"It's simple. We, uh, kill the Rat Man."


Ratbat is actually kind of insane. He's not the best in monochrome decks, of course, but in blue/black decks or balanced decks, he's rather invaluable. You see, in defensively-geared decks, healing is kinda busted, and whereas he's going to be Priority Numero Uno on your opponent's hit list when they realize how powerful he is at keeping his friends alive, you're still going to get at least one or two heals out of the guy when you pair him with Major Soundwave.

Major Soundwave in general is full of untapped potential, mostly thanks to Ravage being about as useful as an umbrella made out of toilet paper. But, when you create a colorful deck that caters to the defensive capabilities of Soundwave's massive HP and moderate defense alongside Ratbat's healing and Laserbeak's consistency, you start to realize how potent that they could be as a team.

Soundwave not only boosts Ratbat's "meh" survivability in his starting mode, but untaps Ratbat so that you may use his healing ability a second time before the untap phase and that's without even considering the use of Micro Capacitor. If you build your deck with enough Blue/Green, Blue/Black and Orange/Blue cards, Ratbat will be incredibly consistent in his healing, allowing you to survive far longer than you would have initially thought.

Of course, this is not infallible. You still need to do damage, and on a team with Laserbeak, Ratbat and Soundwave, you're looking at one (maybe two if you consider Laserbeak's Pierce) attacker that you're going to be riding on. You still need to kill stuff, you know! You are also sitting at a cringe-inducing 22 stars, which of course opens up the use of three Fuel Cache to potentially use on Ratbat, but it also means you're lacking the ever-important Flamewar that you should be playing as a defensive deck.

Is it worth it? Probably. Does it have potential? Of course. Is it good?

I have no idea.


Image
How'd he get so strong? "Train"ing.


Powertrain is actually kinda busted when you think about it. Okay, let's be clear, here. Tote and Mudslinger have already been released and they're four and five star Micromasters, respectively, and High Jump hasn't been revealed yet (but they said that he was in the set on Twitter!), but we can make a few assumptions.

Given the fact that every Micromaster Team seems to be made up of one five star Micromaster and one four star Micromaster, we can assume that this release will be no different, with High Jump being a four star Micromaster. With that in mind, we can make some assumptions about Powertrain as well as how you can run him.

So, since Powertrain gives all of your Off-Road Patrol characters Bold 1 (which is insane), we would obviously want to put as many Off-Road Patrols on the same team as him, and assuming that High Jump is four stars, we can fit all four of them on the same team with seven stars left over. This means that you have four characters with room for a seven-star fifth, and in an aggro deck, I could think of no other character that I'd rather have than Lionizer.

Since Lionizer has Bold 4 to be shared with one of your characters, we can stack that alongside Powertrain, or use it on him. You see, that's the best part about Powertrain -- you get to stock him up with some powerful tools because, after everything is said and done and all of your other Off-Roaders are in the KO pile, Powertrain becomes something of a beast. With all three KO'd, he has a base 5 Attack and 5 Defense, making him one of the highest defense characters in the game, tying with Darkmount.

But that's not all that Powertrain brings to the table. Since Powertrain, along with all other Micromasters, has Stealth, you effectively force your opponent to attack Lionizer on the first turn of the game, which is always a good thing in my book.

Unfortunately, that's where his usefulness ends. You see, since he only boosts Off-Road Patrol, you can't effectively use him in... Well, anything. He's an Autobot Leader, yes, but so is Top Shot. You're not going to get the same value out of Powertrain as you're going to get out of Top Shot in anything other than Off-Road Patrol decks. But, in those Off-Road Patrol decks, no character is better.

As a side note, I can definitely see Off-Road becoming something of this game's Night March, which is a deck from Pokemon that was known for being extremely cheap to build and noticeably powerful in the right format. Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen, but I don't think that this is the last time we've seen Powertrain.


BATTLE CARDS



Image
"Previously on AMC's The Walking Dead..."


Relentless Invasion seems actually busted. Well, at least it seems that way. I'm not going to pretend like I think that this one card that you get to play once in five games is going to change the meta, but, you have to admit that it's kind of insane value.

But more than that I cannot say. Since they're clearly including Trypticon-influencing cards in the main set, I can't make a proper judgement call on how potent Trypticon will be. I'm not super in love with the whole idea, and I rather figured that Trypticon would be more damaging when you considered what kind of character he is. Although, the concept of deploying based on an Action instead of flips does put a smile on my face.

I simply refuse to give any more thought to the matter until we've seen more of the set. As it stands, though, I think Trypticon is unique enough that people will play him regardless of what they actually think of his potency. He just seems incredibly inconsistent, and frail, to me -- but I could be wrong.


CONCLUSION


Siege II reveals are well underway, and the introduction of offensive Micromasters as well as powerful battle cards like Relentless Invasion make me swoon for the reveals yet to come. I'm looking forward to seeing whether Trypticon shapes up, or if he flops like I'm tentatively thinking he might, but I do know one thing: If he can make headway in this aggro metagame, I'll be impressed.

Since Hot Rod revealed Safeguard, however, I cannot help but to be a bit more excited about the pace of the game potentially slowing down with no doubt more characters and potentially Upgrades with Safeguard on them. I'm ecstatic to learn whether or not we'll be getting effectively Force Field 2.0, and I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll get one.

What about you? Are you looking forward to playing Hot Rod? Are you looking forward to figuring out where Nova Storm will fit in to a Rainmaker composition? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll see you next time!
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2037865)
Posted by Ultra Markus on September 11th, 2019 @ 7:04pm CDT
i almost thought this was a reveal for the next toyline :lol:
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2037866)
Posted by Stargrave on September 11th, 2019 @ 7:08pm CDT
"Siege II -- The Siegening"
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Brilliant!
Re: "Con Job" -- GenCon Meta Predictions and Radical Ideas (2037869)
Posted by #Sideways# on September 11th, 2019 @ 7:54pm CDT
Stargrave wrote:"Siege II -- The Siegening"
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Brilliant!


I came up with it after having a massive Siegezure.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #241 - Toy Fair 2020
Twincast / Podcast #241:
"Toy Fair 2020"
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Posted: Monday, February 24th, 2020

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