Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game

Transformers News: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 7:45am CDT

Category: Game News
Posted by: #Sideways#   Views: 18,635

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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


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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...

Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
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.


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




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


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
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:


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
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.

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


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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.


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


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
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.


Transformers News: Re: Wizards of the Coast Transformers Trading Card Game Thread
"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.


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


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Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2022616)
Posted by #Sideways# on May 25th, 2019 @ 7:58pm CDT
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!
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2022663)
Posted by Wireless_Phantom on May 26th, 2019 @ 10:46am CDT
I wonder if the art on the take cover card is actually based on the coming Siege Ratchet's deco.
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2022666)
Posted by MagicDeath on May 26th, 2019 @ 11:30am CDT
Could backup bag be used with cards like Grenade Launcher or Force Field? Would that be a unique effect?

EDIT: Oh. You mentioned that.
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2022693)
Posted by #Sideways# on May 26th, 2019 @ 6:24pm CDT
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.
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2022742)
Posted by william-james88 on May 27th, 2019 @ 10:03am CDT
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.
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2022749)
Posted by steve2275 on May 27th, 2019 @ 11:51am CDT
#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
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2022824)
Posted by #Sideways# on May 28th, 2019 @ 1:37pm CDT
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.
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2023012)
Posted by william-james88 on May 30th, 2019 @ 8:44am CDT
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)

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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!

4141
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2023098)
Posted by ScottyP on May 31st, 2019 @ 2:04pm CDT
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.
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The look at Sergeant Skrapnel is available via another Transformers fan blog, Life with Sprogs.
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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!
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2023173)
Posted by Stargrave on June 1st, 2019 @ 11:28am CDT
Love that :lol:
But that bear had it coming dude...
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2023206)
Posted by #Sideways# on June 1st, 2019 @ 4:07pm CDT
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


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"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.


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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.


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"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.


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"... 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.


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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.


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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!
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2023208)
Posted by ZeroWolf on June 1st, 2019 @ 4:45pm CDT
I spy bulkhead on the art for heat of the battle, and Cyclonus fighting the cons? And dual wielding Arcee.
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2023253)
Posted by Flashwave on June 2nd, 2019 @ 12:55pm CDT
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!
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2023254)
Posted by #Sideways# on June 2nd, 2019 @ 1:19pm CDT
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:
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2023256)
Posted by Flashwave on June 2nd, 2019 @ 1:27pm CDT
#Sideways# wrote:
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:
one of my favorite one off frames froM Idw1 0 is from the -ation series, if Roller with a BIG AFT CANNON strapped on smoking.

All I can say is some of the Minicons have some wonderful screwholes on them...
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2026172)
Posted by #Sideways# on June 26th, 2019 @ 3:54pm CDT
THE ULTIMATE DOOM


So the time has come! Well, almost.

With these reveals, the last cards of Siege 1 have come along with them! Oh god, why are there so many!? Now, this isn't going to be the last article I'll be doing -- not by a long shot! -- because I have a lot more to talk about including tournament reports from the larger events. Of course, you can find all of that content and more on my YouTube channel, Nanomachines!

Anyway, enough with this sordid affair! Let us get to the meat of the article!



TO ORIGINS AND BEYOND


Origins Game Fair was just last week, and there was a solid turnout of over 150 unique players over the course of the week, ending with an invitational where the top 32 players over the course of the week play in single elimination rounds to play for a prize pool of $10,000.

On the first day, we had roughly 30 players. I was in a frankly in an unknown metagame, with little idea outside of my own observations, my locals and a few articles to base any meta call on. To that end, I decided to play Insecticons because it is one of the most consistent decks out there with some of the best ability to beat random riffraff outside of the meta. When you play in an event, especially large ones, this is imperative. The first round or two when playing rogue can pit you against another rogue deck that just so happens to utterly dumpster your deck, potentially ruining your tournament.

With my deck chosen and my fate sealed, I ended up placing 3rd with a final record of 3-0-2 after tying against Planes and IDing against mirror into cut! I managed to face off against and meet several fellow content creators like Wreck 'N Rule and a couple of guys from VectorSigma.info, and it was really awesome to put some faces to the names and names to the faces!

With my Top 8 finish on the first day, I ended up more or less a spectator for the remainder of the tournament. To warm myself up to the idea of playing against a frankly absurd amount of hate for my chosen deck after literally half of the first day's Top 8 was made up of Insecticons, and to get a few more tickets for the prize wall, I played a bit on Saturday. This was mostly to test the meta after it evolved over the week, but I then dropped after deciding to stop grinching people like a huge jerk.

The next day, I played in the big finals. After I decided on playing Insecticons again, I was fully expecting to hit a horrible matchup on the first game and then dying instantly. Instead, I faced Cars which is even at its worst and great at its best thanks to their relatively low defense and average HP. I ended up winning and moving on to Top 16, securing my place in the Energon Invitational at Pax Unplugged!

The Top 16 matchup was definitely not as good of a matchup as Top 32, but Aerialbots was something that I expected to face. In fact, I knew that it was such a poor matchup in a vacuum that I decided to devote most of my sideboard to beating it with the most unlikely of cards: Repair Bay and Bad Attitude. Aerialbots deal chip damage to eventually KO multiple characters at once to win, and low chip damage over time gets stopped by Repair Bay and gets dumpstered by Bad Attitude. To make things even better, I ended up sideboarding Chop Shop for his reuse of Bashing Shield, Weapons, his unique draw ability and, yes, his potent healing.

Saying the words "Repair Bay" and "Bad Attitude" in a tournament setting brought tears to my eyes.

But, as I moved on to Top 8, I noticed something: Five out of the eight were all playing the same deck, and it was possibly my worst matchup. You see, Sentinels is a good matchup despite Sentinel's controlly, hand-destruction playstyle. However, their rather awful defensive capabilities and their orange list make them easy pickens for Insecticons to simply play their topdeck and attack.

Three Wide Prime, shorthand for Optimus Prime: Battlefield Legend, Flamewar and (usually) Hot Rod, is an awful matchup because they can both remove your hand as well as reduce your damage.

Reduce it by a lot.

But Insecticons, my list especially, have a habit of topdecking Weapons and Actions that increase your damage by quite a bit. The most important things about the matchup is target priority and saving your resources when you can and blowing them all at once when you need to.

Optimus Prime is a big guy, but so is Kickback with a Grenade Launcher and a Reckless Charge flipping the top ten cards of your deck.

The long and short about it is that Three Wide is your worst possible matchup, but it is by no means an autoloss. For Three Wide, it's an easy matchup to win. But, it's just as easy to lose as well. This is a lesson my Top 8 opponent, Kent Summerour, unfortunately learned the hard way, as I took the match after a hard-fought victory.

As I did, however, I looked to my right in bewilderment. Nearly all of my opponents were Three Wide, and it wss nearly impossible based on bracket position for me to face the winner of the game to my left. This, of course, came to fruition when my next round opponent, Steffon Pinckney, played me with his Hot Rod-based Three Wide. Kent had opted to use Motormaster, and with my Insecticon list not opting to play direct damage outside of Swarm, Motormaster struggled to find value. Hot Rod, however, is frankly disgusting when paired with Flamewar and was even worse to take out because he could ping Skrapnel with his KO Pile Ability to make math worse when it counted.

We ended up going 1-1 after I Swarmed him for the KO. Then, at the final turns of the final game, I misplayed. I ended up playing an Upgrade before using Backup Plan, where I would have drawn into an I Still Function and a Force Field to secure the game against his lone Prime. Without the Force Field, Chop Shop was KO'd and my Top Cut run came to a close.

But the story does not end there. You see, Steffon is a super cool guy (He also runs a YouTube channel, too! Check it out HERE!) and he ended up going into Top 2 with Dan from VectorSigma.info, where the two ended up splitting the prize pool and playing for the title. The mirror match was hard-fought, but Steffon eventually came out on top and claimed the title as the first ever Origins Open winner!

He made out with $1,250 after splitting the prize pool, an invitation to the Energon Invitational, a box of Siege, a fully paid Pax Unplugged badge and a signed crystal cube with Transformers etchings. He humbly accepted these gifts and our champion was crowned.

Me? Oh, I made off with a few things, myself. The Pax badge, the invite, $750 and a full box of Siege all came my way, with the latter being something I opened on my channel in a recent video. But honestly? The experience and the validation is really what matters the most to me; I started playing the TFTCG by myself in my room with proxies before the game even came out, and to come all this way in the first ever tournament? Well, I can't think of a better prize.

Well, that and the money.

If you're interested in the list I used, have no fear! I've included it below, including a deck profile that Steffon did himself on his channel, SDotAkuma:

Brower Bugs wrote:Barrage - Merciless Insecticon
Insecticon Skrapnel - Insecticon Leader
Kickback - Cunning Insecticon
Ransack - Insecticon Commando

2 Backup Plan
2 Bashing Shield
3 Erratic Lightning
2 Flame Thrower
3 Force Field
3 Grenade Launcher
3 I Still Function!
3 Improvised Shield
2 Mining Pick
3 Peace Through Tyranny
3 Power Punch
3 Reckless Charge
2 Static Laser of Iron Hide
3 Supercharge
3 Swarm!

Sideboard
Chop Shop - Sneaky Insecticon

3 Bad Attitude
2 Emergency Maintenance
1 Flamethrower
1 Mounted Missiles
2 Repair Bay
1 Static Laser of Ironhide


Speaking of Siege, I daresay that I haven't broken down the rest of the cards yet! Let's jump right in on that!


CHARACTERS


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"Top of the Shot to you!"


Top Shot is the little Micromaster that could. He has a surprising amount of value for a 4 Star character, and he has a solid amount of value to be seen out of his innate traits. He's a bit of a wonky type of Micromaster, where he gets more use out of his innate abilities than his tap effect. This is a good thing, given that -- by not using a tap effect to get value out of him -- you're essentially opening up more options in terms of other Micromasters on your team. In fact, one could even say that you could perhaps play Top Shot as the main support of a Micromaster/Small Guys team!

Allow me to explain. Top Shot is the leader of the Battle Patrol, and that carries over into his innate effects where he is a Leader. This, plus his Autobot nature, opens up the option to use him along with the Matrix of Leadership. The Matrix of Leadership gives all of your characters +1 and Pierce 1 so long as it's attached to an Autobot Leader; in other words, Top Shot. That way, you can give your team of smaller characters a way to deal more damage instead of, well, none at all. Being able to boost the damage of your team with a Matrix can be surprisingly potent given the fact that Top Shot is only 4 Stars, and a Tank no less!

Speaking of which, you can also run him alongside Flak, Demolishor, Starter Megatron and have plenty of room for three star cards, like Full Loadout. You can do a ton of damage with Demolishor and Megatron, and Top Shot adds his layer of power to that to create a formidable combination. Since they're all Tanks, Demolishor can draw three cards for his transformation effect, and perhaps more importantly, Hunker Down allows you to play a frankly disgusting amount of Armor on the field.

You can even use a Force Field on Top Shot, thanks to the fact that he has 5 HP, not 4. Meaning, he can take a solid amount of punishment as a "meat shield" if that's what it comes down to. Why a sacrificial lamb and not an offensive character? Unfortunately, even with his good utility, his offensive stats are not the best and thus if you're going to do anything with him, tapping him is the better option.

Besides, his draw + plan effect is still not bad no matter how you look at it, and that utility still translates well to a solid damage boost to your next attacker when you have a double orange in your hand. That being said, there are better draw options, but not at that cost and not for that pip color -- pretty much, if you're looking for a "universal" orange Micromaster, look no further!


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"I'm here to kick gum and chew butt and I'm all outta butt!"


Triggerhappy is interesting. On one hand, I would say that he'd make a defensive plane list happy being a Pierce attacker. On the other, I would say that he would make an aggro deck happy given that he can recycle the used Grenade Launchers for later use. The question is, which one suits him best? To answer this question, we need to take a look into his stats.

With Triggerhappy's high Pierce, he seems to be quite formidable, yes? No, that's not quite the case, now is it? You see, when you have a high Pierce, you can assume that you're able to deal all of that damage. Usually, that assumption would be true. This is not a usual case. With Pierce 4 and only two attack, you need an offensive boost to make use of him offensively, and his defense is not high enough to warrant too much investment on that front, either. So in defense, it's a rather awkward thing to put him in there because he necessitates the weapon in order to be effective.

So, if not the defense, then perhaps the offense? Well, let's decipher that for a moment. On one hand, his weapon recycling effect is always welcome in any list. But, his offensive stats are abysmal, and whereas you'll be more or less confirmed to swing for your Pierce 4, there are just better offensive options to run on that end. At that point, you're just a weapon reanimator -- which is fine -- but you need to balance the rest of your team to support him just as much as he's supporting you. The question is, can you really afford to devote that many stars to occasionally getting a weapon back?

I don't think so.

Triggerhappy is just too expensive for what he offers, and I think that there are just better options to run. Even using Reclaim and a small character with draw like Dead End seems to be the same value with more flexibility. I mean, sure, using Bombing Run in a defensive list seems good to keep him and his friends alive, but I just don't see Triggerhappy being that solid in defensive or offensive comps. I just can't justify him compared to the other options.


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"Lemme axe you a question..."


Pteraxadon is kind of great, not gonna lie. His cheap points only add to this, and he really fits well in a sideboard to fight against highly defensive decks.

Now, being a Battle Master, his stats are going to -- I'm just gonna say it -- suck. It's just the way the cookie crumbles in terms of Battle Masters, of course, with his awful defense and just "meh" offensive capabilities, but the general shtick of Battle Masters is that they don't have their value in their robot modes anyway, so this should not be a deal breaker.

As for his alternate mode, it is honestly one of if not the most powerful Battle Master effects I have seen. Reducing your opponents Base Defense (the defense printed on the card, for those who needed clarification) to 0 is a very, very powerful effect that crushes a lot of characters. For instance, Demolishor, who has his 4 Defense that he normally uses to keep himself alive suddenly becomes an easy target. Headstrong, Darkmount, Inferno, the list goes on with who Pteraxadon can counter. Now, that being said, it does not reduce whatever blue pips your opponent flips -- but really, who cares? It's more damage!

He's splashable, his effect is solid, and on top of that he still gives you a +3 attack boost! To be frank, I can't think of many Battle Masters I would rather put in a list. He's got a lot of value in an aggro list -- especially with Quartermaster allowing you to reuse him -- and you don't really lose much for tossing him in.

They say "you have to save the best for last". With Pteraxadon, I can't think of a better phrase to describe him.


BATTLE CARDS


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A double-edged sword.


W5 Gyro Blaster, despite not having any pips whatsoever, is honestly one of the nuttiest cards I have ever seen. Remember, it doesn't just stop Bold -- it stops Tough, Kickback, Demolishor, white pips and everything in between.

Gyro Blaster allows you to play both offensively and defensively with it, dealing higher damage to characters with Tough and taking less damage against characters with Bold. Take Devastator for instance. You, for example, might play him in a blue list with a really slow, grindy playstyle and eventually you build up enough Tower to combine and have a really massive amount of HP. That's when you attach a Gyro Blaster to him and sit promptly on your 2 Defense and 10 Attack (or 11, rather, with the Gyro Blaster) not even counting any Armor you've attached prior.

Your opponent can't deal with that without using high base attack, and even then they have to deal with your defensive flips. Their Bold won't work, and when you swing at them, their Tough won't work either. The power of the W5 Gyro Blaster is just too massive to ignore, and when used in conjunction with Secret Actions like Infiltrate and Blue pips... Well, let's just say that any aggro deck in your area is going to have a bad time.

Like, a really bad time.


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Thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.


Point Defense System is a neat little Armor that deals with a very, very specific problem.

So let me give you a quick recap, yeah? Siege 1 introduces black pips, including blue/black cards that can create a surprising amount of damage potential in blue decks, all without sacrificing that defensive power. In fact, black pips actually make Bold not horrible. Remember, certain characters have Bold innately, like Superion, and it would initially mill your deck and your resources. Black pips make that Bold actually worthwhile.

That's where Point Defense System comes in.

In the mirror blue/black matchup, your opponent is going to have roughly two to four Pierce at any given point in time through their Upgrades and through their black pips. This means that, even with your powerful defensive capabilities, you won't be able to block them when they have their Pierce. With Point Defense System, you're able to reduce that potential damage by a surprising amount given the nature of Pierce Upgrades, potentially tipping matchups like Aerialbots in your favor.

That being said, it really does depend on whether or not your local meta is more defensive or aggro-focused to whether or not you mainboard this card. If you want my personal opinion, I would probably just sideboard it in most cases -- three cards from your sideboard aren't too likely to be drawn when you need them, and I can only assume that most decks won't be as reliant on Pierce as Blue Black is.

Be that as it may, you should definitely sideboard Point Defense System if you're afraid of Pierce-heavy matchups. You'll find no stronger counter than this!


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"Must have been my imagination." ~ Whiterun, Decepticon patrol. Last words.


Going invisible seems pretty fun, but it's all fun and games until a Specialist loses an optic.

There are three of these kinds of armors, and nearly all of them are honestly pretty fantastic. I can tell where they were going with all of these with each of the innate triangle (Specialist, Melee, and Ranged respectively) defending against a different member of the triangle. In this case, it's Melee against Specialists and unfortunately we have to start off with the weakest link.

Covert Armor is a Melee armor that defends against Specialists, which, so I can preface, is not that great because Specialists seldom have enough offensive power to threaten other characters and if you're playing armor in a list, you more than likely playing it with a primary and secondary Armor cards already. This means that Covert Armor is so niche that it will only really counter Motorcycles, the only real Specialist-focused deck, which might not even be that popular given their low stats.

The point I'm making is this: It's kinda useless to have an Armor that only protects against a very niche thing, and it probably won't be able to make it into your Sideboard given the plethora of other options and probably worse matchups to fix.

That being said, though, it is a very consistent card being a green pip, and it blends very well in a blue list given that it is, well, a blue pip. There are a lot of benefits to these cards, and getting +2 defense is frankly stupid good on many different levels, which is why the others have such good power in them.


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"Might as well jump! (Jump!) / Might as well jump!
Go on and jump! (Jump!) / Go ahead and jump!"


As I said, there are definitely good cards in this trio. Reflex Circuits are definitely one of these, having the ability to get a freakishly good +2 defense against the rather prolific Melee class. The fact of the matter is, this has every bit the power of Covert Armor but in a more meaningful way.

I mean, when you consider how powerful this could be attached to someone like Superion (or just the Aerialbots in general, to be fair), things get a little gross especially with how players afraid of the Aerialbots can sideboard in Warpath to stop you from using your Tough abilities. Reflex Circuits allow you to defend through Warpath, Stunticon Swagger or whatever else they throw at you, like Gyro Blaster. The simple fact that you can get +2 defense on an Upgrade should not be ignored, especially for the normally defensive Ranged character roster.


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The best defense is a good defense.


To be perfectly frank with you, this is another miss for me, but at least not as much as Covert Armor.

Let me explain. When you have a Specialist, you expect to put one of two things on it: Field Communicator and Multi-Mission Gear. Multi-Mission Gear is still as powerful as it was in Wave 1, and it's still just as dependent on Specialists to... Well, work. The best part about that card is that it still gives you +1 Armor, and when you put it on a character like Skydive or someone similarly as defensive like Flamewar, your opponent is going to have a tough time clearing them from the board.

Whereas Sturdy Armor seems like a great inclusion on these characters, I wouldn't put Sturdy Armor anywhere near my mainboard and instead hold it on the side as a big maybe. Why? Well, let's dig in to that.

You see, Ranged Characters normally have quite low attack, save some outliers like Optimus or Megatron. The simple fact is, the Tank or the Plane is the best "average" Ranged character baseline: Defensive, middling attack stats and relying on Pierce and direct damage to do their dirty work for them. When you have a card like Sturdy Armor, you're trying to defend against something that doesn't even do high base damage that instead deals its damage through Pierce -- it's not possible.

Pierce is getting another big buff in Siege 1 thanks to the introduction of black pips, and Ranged characters are the big winners of that thanks to their already high reliance on Pierce to do their damage. Again, there are outliers that don't, but the "base" Ranged character normally does, and adding defense just doesn't matter when, well, it doesn't matter.

That being said, it is a nice counter to Optimus Prime -- Battlefield Legend amongst other things, but I would only include this if you're really, really afraid of him.


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"Oh, that's a little Bobby Dazzler! A real top-pocket find!"


Metal Detector is a great little engine that will definitely benefit lists like Blurr, Cars, Motorcycles and pretty much anything else that really likes playing extra Upgrades and can attack multiple times. When you have a Metal Detector on a character that attacks, you get to look at and play any Upgrade on your topdeck, and when you build your list accordingly it effectively makes that a done deal.

Blurr especially gets a load of value out of Metal Detector, as he untaps and attacks twice in one turn, effectively turning Metal Detector into a Brainstorm or Leap of Faith but for Upgrades! Of course, this doesn't confirm just what you'll get on the top of your deck (though you can try rigging that with Plan effects), but I often find that playing pretty much any Upgrade is generally a positive with few exceptions, like playing an Improvised Shield instead of just scrapping it.

Either way, Metal Detector doesn't give any stat boost, just a utility boost, making playing it somewhat of a "feels bad moment" like playing a Data Bank or your first Cargo Trailer. But, I think it'll offer much more value than one might expect, much like Scrounge. Anything that extends your hand can powerful, but it necessitates a list to support it.

The question is, is it worth the effort?

I think so.


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"Michael Knight, a lone crusader in a dangerous world. The world... of the Knight Rider."


Similarly to Metal Detector, Anticipation Engine is like a Multi-Mission Gear but for everyone and I love it to bits. I truly and honestly think that it's one of the most powerful Upgrades out there for Cars, Motorcycles and honestly just about anything else that plays a billion Actions in their decks and wants to play more of them. You can imagine someone like Blurr being able to play a tremendous amount of Actions during your turn including cards like Marksmanship, Leap Into Battle, Leap of Faith and loads more.

The fact that Actions have and always will be more powerful than Upgrades makes Anticipation Engine thus more powerful than Metal Detector. I could go into just why Actions are better than Upgrades, but to be perfectly honest I think I go over that in every article to be perfectly frank with you, so I don't think I'll go over it again this time just to save my sanity.

Unfortunately, with that power there must also be something to rein it in and Anticipation Engine has its fair share. Whilst you have a powerful effect, it's still a Weapon that takes up any other spot for weapons. That means that whatever you're attacking with, you won't be able to deal too much -- or any -- damage at all when you use it on a lesser powered character. That, and it's a white pip, not a green pip like Metal Detector. Unfortunately, this makes Anticipation Engine far less consistent than its Upgrade sister card and thus less powerful.

It's an odd balance with Anticipation Engine. On one hand, the effect of playing multiple Actions in one turn while not needing a Specialist in order to do so seems extremely powerful. On the other, though, you'll effectively be crippling yourself in terms of damage output. In that case, I don't think it'll see much play given that it doesn't give any stat boosts. The Weapon slot is so imperative to winning the game, that I struggle to justify taking it up with something that doesn't really give you anything in terms of power. That being said, perhaps you could fill your deck with damaging Actions to make Anticipation Engine essentially do more damage than none at all.

I dunno. It's a bit tin-foil-cappy, to be sure, but I'm confident that the list made to support this card would be so niche and oddly built that I'm not quite sure that it could function normally.


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"Extra Padding"? Same, Red. Same.



Extra Padding is simply not that great at being an armor, but it is great at getting more of itself in play which can be quite the boon to certain cards. So, let me explain.

You see, since Extra Padding is a stacked Upgrade, Equipment Enthusiast can draw a net more cards than normal. Three upgrades in one slot can give you essentially more potential value for Equipment Enthusiast. But, that's not all. You see, Armor is a potent yet fragile slot thanks to Bashing Shield. Being that Extra Padding is a stacked Upgrade, Bashing Shield can only remove one layer of Armor.

This makes Extra Paddimg an effectively invincible Armor, since playing Bashing Shield to simply remove one layer of Extra Padding would be a frankly abysmal expendiature for extremely little value. That said, Extra Padding is also a lot of effort to play during your turn, and it also has little payoff for the required resources.

I mean, think about it. You're almost never going to get all three, and if you do, you'll find that it's simply just as potent as a Reinforced Plating or Body Armor with double or triple the effort to play. That said, having an invincible armor isn't a bad thing, even if your opponent can play a Security Checkpoint and prevent you from playing it to begin with.

Either way, I think there are just better cards to play during your turn, but it's a cool little card regardless.


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It's like half of a Flamethrower. So, like, a Smokethrower?


Basic Combat Protocols is a worse Flamethrower. I realize that, as a Utility, you're essentially adding on more Bold than you would normally, but you're losing that Utility value while also potentially losing weapon value.

Consider my Insecticon list. Did you see any Utilities? It's because aggro decks don't have the time to attach something that only gives them Bold 1. In fact, Tandem Targeting System is straight better because it attaches multiple Upgrades at once for effectively the same amount of damage.

Further, if you're playing Aggro, you'll find that when everyone untaps, they'll be unlikely to have any Upgrades whatsoever. Many aggressive decks use Upgrades like Grenade Launcher and Power Punch to deal damage, and this is no different. The simple fact is that Basic Combat Protocols is just a worse Flamethfower, making it a "feels bad" card that simply gives no value in the short run.

Problem is, Aggro is the only kind of deck that'd really benefit from this outside of Metroplex and Aggro decks live in the short run.


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"You are an idiot! Do you need a second opinion? You are also ugly!" ~ The Medic, Team Fortress 2


You know, I've learned to consider all the options. I learned that certain cards are way better than they might seem. I learned that certain things just take the right matchup. I mean, this even replaces itself!

Under normal circumstances, I would tell you to move on. I would tell you, "A single damage counter isn't worth it" and just go on to the next card.

These are normal circumstances. A single damage counter isn't worth it. Just go on to the next card.


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"YEET!"


Frag Toss is... Actually really solid. It reminds me of Swarm to many degrees since your opponent chooses where the damage goes, which is not necessarily a bad thing per se. Because of this consistent damage output, you can assume it will almost never go where you want it. That said, it is actually a very solid Decepticon card to play in Shockwave because that's kind of his whole playstyle.

Something else I'd like to point out is that this card is actually kind of amazing in Insecticons. Not only is it essentially "baby Swarm", but it is also a white pip instead of One Shall Stand's zero pips. It's honestly a very good card to look into when it comes to Insecticons and Shockwave, and I think this isn't the last time we've seen Frag Toss.


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"Go ahead. Make my day."


This card is very bad.

However, since it is a Decepticon card, you will be able to use it in Shockwave, especially since it has a black pip for the undoubtedly blue/black list.

That said, those are really the extent of the rewards you'll find with it. I think this one is niche at best. Move along!


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You know, I think I'm beginning to understand why Shockwave is "hand" control.


Shockwave kinda needs a hand.

Heh.

But truly, any Shockwave composition seems a little lackluster when compared to others, especially when you consider how hand destruction is usually a secondary effect rather than a full game plan. Shockwave usually deals a lot of damage at once through a burst of hand destruction, at least according to his Wave 1 iteration and the theme of LV Gamma Disruptor Launcher. With that in mind, we can pretty well assume that Major Shockwave and W1 Shockwave are going to be played in the same list because Gamma Disruptor is both a Decepticon card as well as a defensive hand destruction card.

But there's a problem.

When you consider the fact that hand control is a kind of "all or nothing" burst effect with often not a lot of payoff, this card gets a little worse. Consider Sentinels, for example. Sentinels really enjoy discarding your entire hand on the first turn of the game, and it works very well. However, when you consider that now that your opponent has no hand, you realize that you won't be able to discard any more cards to get any more value out of W1 Shockwave. That makes LV Gamma Disrupter Launcher just a tad bit worse, as well.

But is it bad?

Oh heavens no. Discarding a card from your opponent's hand while giving Shockwave a much-needed damage boost to the point that it reaches a permanent Grenade Launcher after two are attached? That's amazing. Especially when you consider the fact that, usually, after a Security Checkpoint your opponent is going to have only one card in their hand, an Action. When you use LV Gamma Disruptor, you can discard that last card and still boost your damage by quite a noticeable margin. Since it's also a Decepticon card, Major Shockwave can also effectively dig further into your deck to pull it out and use it against your opponent, making it a far more consistent card than most especially if you happen to use Reclaim to rig your topdeck to use any accidentally flipped ones.

Will this make Shockwave suddenly a nutty composition? I don't think it will, at least not particularly, but I do think that LV Gamma Disruptor is a necessary and welcome step in the right direction for Shockwave. I think it'll be a fantastic boost to Shockwave compositions, and I can't imagine a future without more to come.


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Even Soundwave must pet the kitty cat. All must pet the kitty cat.


Micro Capacitor is a kind of, well, very good.

You see, in a team with Micromasters (or in certain cases a team full of Micromasters) you will have a lot of options when it comes to tapping effects. Sadly, you'll find that your opponent will often target down the most useful of these effects. With that in mind, we either simply had to bite the bullet and let it happen, or use Stealthiness or Bravery to attempt to redirect that damage. Micro Capacitor effectively forces your opponent to attack where you want them to, while also giving you the added bonus of untapping your Micromaster for later use.

I think that any deck that values its Micromaster will love this card more than life itself. I mean, imagine getting to use Red Heat twice before he's KO'd, or even Detour or Flak! You can get a lot of value out of your Micromasters when you use them at the right time; you can get even more value out of them if you get to use them twice.


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Mark my words, Bolster will be of one of the best cards in the set.

Allow me to explain. In a defensive list, you have one big enemy that you will fear until the end of time, and that card is named Bashing Shield. Bashing Shield can remove your armor and make your characters take way more damage than they initially would (or should) and effectively deny your Armor upgrade for the turn. In fact, most defensive lists play cards like Espionage just to remove Bashing Shield when they see an opponent pick one up using its green pip.

That's where Bolster comes in.

You see, when Bolster activates, your opponent will not have the chance to remove any Force Field, Reinforced Plating or any other powerful Armors that you might have. But perhaps more than that, you can get ahead on the Upgrade arms race or use to disrupt your opponent, including using cards like Scrapper Gauntlets to remove potentially awful weapons before they have an effect.

In fact, I actually quite think that will be a very good use for Bolster. But just imagine all of the potential you can use with it! If your opponent overinvests into an attack, simply Force Field and deny them that play. If they underinvest, then you can use cards like Multi-Mission Gear to play more Actions or Scrapper Gauntlets to punish their board state.

Bolster is honestly one of the best cards I have seen in Siege, and I am ecstatic to see where it goes from here.


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Defensive Formation is a less hand-based version of Bolster, at least in the defensive respects. Think of this like playing an Armored Plating on one of your characters with a Bolster -- it's just not that strong as a defensive card when compared to Bolster. But, when you consider that it is markedly better against hand destruction-based lists like Sentinels... Well, I guess you could find a place for it in a sideboard.

But in a mainboard? I mean, sure, it makes all of your characters have +1 defense, but why? This isn't like Battle Ready where it makes all of your characters have +1 attack for each Upgrade on them -- this is just straight +1 defense on an orange pip no less.

I'm confused, disappointed and I'm ready for the next card!


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RIP Viewfinder


It's basically Vaporize that can't target Utilities. It's at least good for decks that want to play a lot of black pips, but more than that I can't say I'd see using it over Ramming Speed, Vaporize or any of the other anti-Upgrade cards -- even Device Virus is better.

Either way, it's a middling card that will likely see play in black lists. More than that I cannot say.

However, it is worth noting that Reflector is actually featured on this card artwork! Plus, with a coy response from game designer Ken Nagle when I asked him at Origins about possible character inclusions, I'd wager that we'll be seeing a card or two based on everyone's favorite camera-based trio coming out next set. After all, why make new artwork to feature a character that will never come to be?


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Skywarp quickly realized the easiest way to win in a Battle Royale game was to hide -- earning him the ire of his friends and the anger of his opponents.


Hiding Place is a very, very good card for Tall decks.

So, lemme explain. You see, when you have a Tall deck, you're only sitting there with two characters. It's easy -- especially for aggressive decks like Insecticons -- to focus down one of your characters with mass attack. So, with Hiding Place, you can effectively force your opponent not to do that by giving the character they wish to focus down Stealth. This is an incredibly good effect for a powerful composition like Double Primes or even Three Wide Prime, as redirecting your opponent's attacks in a defensive build is never not good.

Now, in most other lists, this won't help much. But, in lists like Sideswipe, Tall decks and various defensive compositions, you'll find that Hiding Place is invaluable.


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Drawing a blank.


Being a +3 attack weapon, one could say that EM24 IR Laser Launcher is a good weapon -- one could even say that it has no downside like Erratic Lightning!

One would also be super, super wrong.

You see, being a blank pip effectively cuts back on that value by quite a large margin. You're effectively losing consistency in your list in terms of pip strength, something I am not a fan of. In fact, I cut One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall from my Insecticon list simply because it had no pips to flip during Kickback and other, equally as Bold characters' attacks.

The same could be said here. Laser Launcher still has a bit of power in it, sure, but I would never put more than one in a list that already had cards without pips like I Still Function. Even if I were to put this in a list, I would be far more likely to play One Shall Stands simply because of the out of combat damage that it could provide instead of the in combat damage that Laser Launcher provides.

One thing that Laser Launcher has over One Shall Stand, of course, is the lack of recoil. But is that truly a reason to play a subpar weapon over your other options?


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I just keep "droning" on.


This card is a not great card, much like its two sister cards. Aside from Device Virus, Chop Shop and, well, dying, there really isn't many ways to scrap this card from one of your characters to scrap an already usually unimportant Utility from your opponent. Plus, you're not getting any healthier as the game goes by -- there just isn't time to play and scrap this card.

Of course, Personal Targeting Drone does have a green and white pip, so at least you can put a white pip into your hand if you desperately need one for Red Heat, Stakeout or other, similar effects. There's not too much reason to play this, otherwise, though.


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Well I guess I need another name to roast Basic Combat Protocol with.


Think about Flamethrower, and then put a black pip on it, and then you have Smokethrower.

In orange/black decks, you're effectively able to play six copies of Flamethrower while still not losing any of your orange or black cards. In fact, in white/black lists like Omega Supreme/Jazz, you're going to be needing something like Smokethrower in order to actually deal a relevant amount of damage. It's not exceptional, no, but it does it's job and I think that's pretty much as much as you could ask for.


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"I have mastered the ability of standing so completely still that I become invisible to the eye. Watch."


Urban Camo is actually much better than Basic Combat Protocol.

So, Tough 1 is super small, yes, but when you consider that you can use it in tandem with Flamewar, General Optimus and an Armor, that Tough 1 can stack very quickly. Keep in mind, Urban Camo is a Utility -- not an Armor -- so you can play it alongside other cards like Reinforced Plating or Body Armor. Plus, being a Blue pip, you can still flip it and not feel awful about yourself.

It's kind of a feel bad card to play on your turn, but if you're playing defensively you're able to have enough time to take full advantage of Urban Camo, unlike Basic Combat Protocol in aggro lists. Either way, I think it's a great card for defensive lists in the highly underutilized Utility slot -- and I couldn't be happier.


CLOSING


Origins was a dream for me. I drove down with a friend of mine and ended up staying in an Air BNB with a great group of friends, having one of the first vacations I've had in a matter of years. Escape Rooms, literal knights in shining armor, film festivals and interesting eats all made the tournament at Origins not just any tournament, but an experience. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed my time at Origins -- and I think the best way to explain it is simply to tell you to go to the next tournament at GenCon, yourself, and see. If you'd like to hear more things about my thoughts on my placement and my run, you can check out an interview with me that Cameron Ehteshami did on his channel, Arbitrary Hero!

I had an utterly awesome time at Origins, and it was even better to meet all the people that I have spoken to online about this card game we all love to play, and meeting new friends was even better. Plus, winning third was a nice bonus -- it was far greater than I had even hoped to place! I had hoped to get this article out beforehand, which is why it's so long, but I ended up running out of time and had to put it out after I got back from Columbus a week after. Sorry about that!

Speaking of those reveals, what do you think? I think that Bolster is one of my favorite cards in the set, and I think that the abilities that Bolster is bringing will be far and away one of the most impactful cards to be added to the game.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Who knows? Lemme know in the comments below what you think!
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2026177)
Posted by ZeldaTheSwordsman on June 26th, 2019 @ 4:07pm CDT
I think that Pteraxodon needs to be recalled or have a correctional sticker issued. :-x :evil: :BANG_HEAD: :BOOM: :HEADHURTS: That is an axe, not a scythe! How the smeg did they screw that up WHEN HE HAS "AX" IN HIS FREAKING NAME?!
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2026203)
Posted by #Sideways# on June 26th, 2019 @ 5:03pm CDT
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:I think that Pteraxodon needs to be recalled or have a correctional sticker issued. :-x :evil: :BANG_HEAD: :BOOM: :HEADHURTS: That is an axe, not a scythe! How the smeg did they screw that up WHEN HE HAS "AX" IN HIS FREAKING NAME?!


You know, that's... That's actually a really good point. What were they thinking? :lol:
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2026524)
Posted by Stargrave on June 28th, 2019 @ 10:43am CDT
Thanks to our news staff we have word that the Transformers Trading Card Game is about to step things up a bit with Turbo Mode! Thanks to an article on the TCG Facebook site by Scott Van Essen we get a succinct break down of how this mode will work. Take your standard Transformers TCG format to a more simple more intense version as stated in the article "Turbo Mode is a limited format created specifically for Transformers. Each player opens two booster packs. The characters are your team and the battle cards are your deck. That’s it, you’re off to the races."
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The article goes in depth to the limitations and benefits of this version of the game.
"Once you’re playing, Turbo mode captures the core of what the game is about. You have fast action, robots bashing each other to bits, and the abstracted tactical feel of our tapping-based combat system. This is one of the game’s core strengths, even though it’s so simple. The back and forth maneuver of attacking, tapping, and then being vulnerable to counter attack is at the heart of Transformers TCG. A large part of why we settled on two packs to start is because it’s the minimum number you need to experience this jockeying for position."
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It further goes on to touch on some things expected on the horizon.
"As I mentioned, we’ve been watching the world play Turbo Mode. Often this is on people’s streams, but we also got to see a ton of Turbo play at Origins 2019 before and during the Transformers TCG Open. We’ve had several cool ideas that we’re investigating for future sets, and we’re excited to talk about them when we get closer to those sets’ release dates.
For now though, we’re tweaking the rules for turbo for Wave 3 – War for Cybertron: Siege I. Starting in this wave, you get two characters per booster pack (one large and one small), so for Wave 3, before starting a game of Turbo Mode (and without seeing your opponent’s cards) you’ll select a team of one large and one small character from among your four character cards."
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Time to rev up your decks ands bend some fenders Seibertronians! Let us know if you're going to be giving Turbo Mode a go in the forums or if you're more of a fan of the standard play format.
Re: Description and Strategies for Latest Card Reveals from Transformers Trading Card Game (2026545)
Posted by PerfectVision on June 28th, 2019 @ 12:45pm CDT
The enigma should be GOB,Scream12 has too much HP,Ionstorm is a bit too strong with an ability.

This wave gave me headache,i won't come back.

Shock11-bomb8-ransack
Plasma X 1
Swarm-multi-Repair-system-Grenade-Scrapper-ComputerS-Debiliting-Bbeam-Underhanded-Unconventionnal-brainstorm-Escape
What i mean is that he is not buffed bythe LV but by the UFO,if you begin in the blue section,flip him very fast and end withe a system.What do you want to do with a single discard?

Ptera-Sideswipe-Chromia7-Stakeout
A better version of the Jazz quadrio
Repurpose-Calculated-FieldC-TBTA-heroism-SecretD-EEG-hiding-workO-sturdy-Start-Laser-ForceF

Soundwave
Bolt X1
EEG-scavenge-SecretD-energised-Bolster-ForceF-RR-Squish-fragg-Underhanded-Energy-Reclaim-WorkO

Hound9-Arcee8-Redheat
Stealth-BattleR-AttackD-Eslingshot-Unleashed-Intelligence-Ancient-PowerP-heroicT-ForceF-covert-Heroism-WorkO

Ultra-Ratchet
The special flip is doable with a focus level 2

Alpha-Firedrive-Topshot+universal,1O/1B
Mega3-Triggerhappy-Detour,mining+Master obviously,3B/1W and a minority of O,don't forget the Eenthusiast
They can draw very fast and convert it into damage

Old optimus13-Wheel3 +fullL
I don't care

Runabout and muck-Visper
Schock14-Nightstick-Roadhugger
Discard and heal,the takeC is mostly anti EEG or the flip of mega3,unless you have the Cdagger+Device

Trail-Lio-Flak/firecon
They combine bold and pierce
EDF X 1
ForceF-Tackle-BattleR-Treasure/swindled-Bbag/piercingB-Mounted/Fflame-superC-Erratic/bashing-quarter/heat-rock-Cdagger-repurpose-EEG/smokeT

Scream12-skrapnel-Stormcloud/skywarp8-Aimless-Flamewar7,i don't see what level card they want with them
Camping
Handheld-smelt-Infiltrate-Inverted/spare-Scheckpoint-Covert/sturdy-pep/laser-Callous/pop-smokeC-Steady-metal/hiding-EEG-Dampening

Elita-Prowl10
Optimus11-Iron9-Mudslinger
Anti camping
Repurpose-PDS-Anticipation-EMP-Turbo-Diagnosis-Energy-Grenade-BattleFS-ForceF-Heavyhand-Eaxe-Surprise
Calculated-Heavyhand-Metal-Battering-RR-workO-battleFS-TBTA-repurpose-Pep-PDS-teamup-Diagnosis
The battering turn Skrapnel into a wimp.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #240 - Ramping Up
Twincast / Podcast #240:
"Ramping Up"
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Posted: Sunday, February 9th, 2020

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