Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game

Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game

Monday, April 22nd, 2019 9:40pm CDT

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Posted by: #Sideways#   Views: 30,262

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Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
The last time I had this much to digest, I had to get it delivered.

Oh, hello there! Fancy meeting you here. What have I been doing since the last set? Oh, you know, the usual. Work, sleep, ritualistic sacrifice of virgins to Sergeant Kup to bring bountiful offense and defense flips.

Yeah. The usual.

But unlike me, the guys over at Wizards of the Coast have been hard at work! This time, they started a new set with plenty of new mechanics including Targetmast-- Erm, Battle Masters and Micromasters! All of this information comes thanks to an exclusive article by IGN and a startlingly adorable Facebook note by the TFTCG page, in which they reveal juicy details about the next set -- from Secret Actions, Wave 4 announcement to several new cards!

But, that's not all the news that we have today: The official Facebook Page revealed that all Battle Card artwork in Siege is actually original artwork made by the team, which is fantastic news! But not just that, several characters have completely original artwork making their debut in this set!

This means that the guys at Wizards aren't just comfortable enough with their profit margins to put out their third and fourth set but also to use artists to add to their own stock of artwork instead of reusing comic artwork. I can't wait to see how that plays out with both potential stories to be told through the serialized artwork as well as what other projects might hold with that influx of funds by Wizards of the Coast!

Of those cards that they revealed, none could size up to the astounding shock, excitement and anticipation than the announcement that Soundwave will not only be in this set but that he will incorporate the new mechanics held within. My guess -- since we don't have a card of him to show just yet -- is that he is going to incorporate the new Battle Master mechanics with his cassettes. There is good reason for this, and I think the best way to tell you why is to show you.


Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
"I am become death, destroyer of worlds."

Targe-- Battle Masters, rather, are fascinating and are seemingly infinite value. You start out in robot mode, and whereas at least Firedrive's stats leave something to be desired, you can at least deal chip damage with him before Firedrive inevitably becomes a powerful weapon to whomever you attach him to. You're more or less confirmed to get that value out of a Battle Master as your opponent can -- in a vacuum -- only KO one character per turn. This more or less confirms that you will have access to their weapon modes, and if Firedrive's weapon mode is anything to go by, they look like they're going to pack one heck of a punch.

An interesting thought to think about is using Firedrive with Thrust and another nine star partner. You can eventually attach Firedrive to Thrust, discard several cards from your hand to give Thrust a boost in damage and then pass that damage on to another threat for potentially massive damage.

Now, my favorite part about Firedrive in particular is that he's a Weapon. There is plenty of Armor scrapping nowadays, but there is virtually zero weapon scrapping cards that are played enough to threaten Firedrive, meaning that if you're careful, you can get several uses out of him once he's a weapon. That's fantastic value, to be perfectly frank with you.

Something else that I would like to touch on is that Firedrive is partnered -- in-universe -- with Hot Rod as his Targetmaster ally. I mean, even Firedrive's name is a sort of wordplay on Hot Rod. It would surprise me greatly if we did not see a Hot Rod card in Siege, just judging from WOTC's track record.

All in all, I love the idea of Battle Masters. More importantly, I love the idea that Soundwave's cassettes also being Battle Masters that turn into Cassettes to synergize with Soundwave once attached. They're really quite impressive, and I can't wait to play with them.

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
So... When is Erector happening?

Micromasters! Oh, goodness me, why didn't I see this coming? It seems so obvious in hindsight. So, for those who don't know card measurements, these Micromasters and Battle Masters are both the size of a standard Magic The Gathering card. This means that you pull them not as a replacement of a standard character, but alongside your battle cards. That's a good thing, too, because sometimes the Battle Card unpacking was a bit underwhelming compared to the character reveal.

Now, as for Red Heat, we can see that he has some rather interesting traits that can make him an interesting addition to a team. For one, he's a five star Truck which means he can use Truck-based support like Cargo Trailer, but perhaps more importantly he's a Specialist that is virtually untargetable by your opponent on the first turn of the game thanks to his innate Stealth whilst he's untapped. Even moreso, his utility in robot mode is some of the most fascinating abilities for a five star character I've seen to date. You have a fantastic -- and somewhat disconcerting given recent meta developments -- ability in your robot mode: A pocket Swap Parts.

So, here's a little context as to why I'm a bit disconcerted about this otherwise mediocre ability. Normally, Swap Parts is a slightly "meh" effect where you can perhaps move a weapon or an Armor. But here's the thing: Swap Parts and other "move" effects reactivates the "put" abilities of Upgrades, including things like Rapid Ascent, Cooling Vents, Drill Arms, but chiefly in recent days it was discovered that when you have a team of Specialists, you can move Field Communicators and Multi Mission Gears to play a stunning amount of free Actions and Upgrades from your hand and deck.

This playstyle promotes an infinite combo, where you can play both I STILL FUNCTION! and Peace Through Tyranny in the same turn to essentially gain a free turn, and with potent draw, you eventually begin taking infinite free turns. Using Swap Parts, you can pull this combo off consistently enough, but something that is astonishing to think about is how consistent it makes the combo when you can use Swap Parts more or less whenever you want using Red Heat. His ability to avoid all damage on the first turn of the game is extremely powerful given the deck's fragile disposition, and when you consider that he's also an Autobot Specialist to cap off a team of Autobot Specialists... Well, you can tell where this is going.

Think Swap Parts is insane? Think it needs a nerf or a ban? Well, you might want to trudge around the latter part of the article for some good news on that front.

I digress from the main point. As a general whole, Private Red Heat isn't the best card for most lists. You won't be getting the full use of his Swap Parts effect, and in a lot of lists White cards are far fewer than other colors. But, that being said, there is a silver lining -- we know that he is part of the "Rescue Patrol" as per his trait, and that means that his Micromaster partner, Stakeout, will also be printed. We can assume the same about other Micromasters that will be printed, and perhaps more importantly, possible synergy. But until then, I can only see one list to play him in and one alone: Infinite.

Something else worthy of note is that you can only use one "tapping" effect during your turn, like Red Heat's. This means that you can't untap him through Ready For Action and use him a second time in the same turn. Of course, this is neither bad news nor good news -- it's just news. Make of it what you will!

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
There's a man who leads a life of danger / To everyone he meets he stays a stranger
With every move he makes another chance he takes / Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man / Secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name

Shockwave is a Major in this prequel set, and he is majorly interesting. If you notice something about him, you'll notice that his cost is titanic -- just like his stats. He has the highest stats of any non-Combiner Decepticon, and the highest point cost as well. This high point cost definitely limit the potential partners you can play him with, but interestingly enough, if you play him with Shockwave -- Cybertron Commander, you get 25 points on the nose.

The synergy isn't just skin-deep, either -- Major Shockwave can "dig" farther into your deck to pull out Decepticon cards and/or Secret Actions. Certain of these cards -- Bad Attitude foremost of these -- can be used to facilitate your playstyle. If your playstyle is to deal damage outside of combat, then Bad Attitude will be your best friend with both Shockwave. But here's the thing about that -- other than Bad Attitude, Swindled and Scoundrel's Blaster, there aren't that many uesful cards that Major Shockwave can use.

I mean, sure, you could make the case that Decepticon Crown could be in certain offensive builds, but look at it this way: If Decepticon Crown was on top of your deck, it would end up in your hand anyway thanks to its green pip, and you could say the same about Scoundrel's Blaster. The Decepticon-only side of this guy seems a bit mediocre, to be perfectly frank, especially since they still take up your turn plays.

To be perfectly blunt, he just isn't good enough on his own to warrant too much investment of time into Double Shockwave. But that being said, there is a silver lining.

Secret Actions are something brand new to the set, and whereas I won't go into too much depth on their intricacies here, I will tell you that they breed a very disruptive playstyle that no doubt will eventually have discarding effects. At the time of writing, we have only seen one Secret Action, and it's included in the Battle Card section of this article.

But to close things off, Major Shockwave has a little potential, but his expensive nature is going to be a major turnoff for a lot of people looking to make decks out of him.

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
"If you're nothing without the suit, then you don't deserve to have it."

Major Magnus is, on the surface, extremely mediocre. His ability damages himself, his stats are lackluster save his monstrous HP and he's expensive to boot. He has Brave, which is cool, but with only one defense, he'll be toast, right?

Well yes, but also no.

His vehicle mode ability sucks in an Ultra Magnus Armor from the deck, and as a little spoiler alert for later on in the article, UMA is an armor card that gives him +2 attack and +2 defense and reduces all non-attack damage dealt to him by one. Sounds insane, right? Well, it would be if it also didn't cost two stars to put in your deck at all and even better if it couldn't be popped by Bashing Shield, but that's a discussion for later.

So, with these innate boosts to his stats, he deals a considerable amount of damage and has a considerable amount of tankiness. I mean, at three defense and eight attack with added effects, he just seems like a better Inferno. Now, say what you will about Inferno and his viability, but his attack of eight is still monstrous, and his survivability is also still extremely high. So, think about that but imagine if Inferno actually did something other than damage. In fact, imagine if your opponent had to attack into him turn one instead of one of your squishier teammates!

That's the power of Ultra Magnus. Your opponent effectively wastes an attack on the first turn of the game while you opt to go second, forcing your opponent to attack him with no response for his powerful armor. I realize he comes at a premium, but I can't help but to like this guy for that reason. Well, that and his spreading effects.

But I fear that if your opponent has Bashing Shield or other removal effects, he'll just fall by the wayside. After all, without his suit, he's just a worse, more expensive Inferno.

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
Hit or miss / I guess they never miss, huh?

Aimless is a Battle Master with a flair for the defensive. Coming from (or at least, that's where I got the picture after I couldn't find it online) we get our first look at Aimless! With an innate Tough 3 and a powerful ability in his weapon mode, he makes a strong first impression. Even with his mediocre innate defense, he still puts out a good amount of defense with his Tough 3. The only problem I see with him is his lackluster offensive power in his robot mode. Without Pierce, a Blue deck with attack numbers that low would be better off trying to defeat their opponents by boring them to death. He makes a good meat shield, but the trouble is getting value out of him other than that.

But there is a silver lining.

What he lacks in his offensive power in robot mode, Aimless more than make up for it with his powerful weapon mode. With the frankly silly ability to deal three damage regardless of attack damage or defense before dealing damage for his attack, completely bypassing Force Field, Skrapnel or other similar effects, he can make even the weakest character seem powerful. For instance, consider Demolishor in a balanced list -- he's not going to do anything on his own, but with Aimless attached, he can do a startlingly potent amount of damage given he will almost always trigger Demolishor's effect.

In closing, Aimless is a neat character that is tough to find early value with outside of being a meat shield. But, mid to late game, if you partner him with a character that has innate Bold or flips extra cards, you'll love him to death.

No, really, kill this guy quick to get his weapon!


Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
Heavy boots of lead / Fills his victims full of dread
Running as fast as they can / Iron man lives again

Two stars.

Two stars and this is all you get?

Magnus' armor seems really powerful when placed on Magnus, and its pips are always welcome in any deck, but when you realize that the frankly ridiculous cost of putting it in your deck followed by the fact that you can't even attach it to non-Autobots makes its usefulness extremely limited. Okay, I get it -- having an Armor that adds both offense and defense as well as reducing incoming non-attack damage by one seems really good, and it is, but for those two stars, would you not just rather take a Leap of Faith or similarly priced star cards?

Remember, Bashing Shield is kind of everywhere in offensive decks, so you'll get to use this card on Magnus on the first turn of the game, but without Spare Parts you can kiss this suit goodbye. It's for this reason that you can't use it on non-Magnus characters as easily as you could, say, on Magnus who attaches it to himself at the start of the game. You don't have time to attach a Spare Parts when you have weapons to worry about, as well as your opponents disruption.

Heh. It's almost like the developers only wanted Magnus wearing Magnus' armor! Who'd have thought it?

Anyway, it's way too expensive for what it offers outside of Ultra Magnus builds. Only take it if you happen to have way too many stars to burn.

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
"You activated my Trap Card!"

Ever just want to play a totally harmless card face-down and make your opponent panic as to what horrible machinations you're planning? Ever wish that Incoming Transmission could rig cards defensively? Ever want to do both of those things at once?

No? Just me then? Well, uh... You're missing out, then!

Well, Secret Actions seem to be a weird mix of Trap Cards from Yu-Gi-Oh and Action Cards. Obviously, we can assume that Battlefield Report will be one of many Secret Actions in this set, and with the mechanic of triggering on your opponent's turn, we can assume the disruptive nature of the cards that you can use to mess with your opponent's turn.

But speculation aside, Battlefield Report seems to be a defensive Incoming Transmission that you can use after your opponent devoted resources to attack a character. This is good, too, given that you can opt out of putting more valuable double Blue cards on the top of your deck if your opponent is merely attacking a nearly KO'd character anyway. It helps you avoid wasting resources.

But, that's kind of it. It's not that great, to be perfectly frank. Drawing two then Planning one seems good, but there are just better draw cards out there. The only thing I can say to this is that it's good to see defensive Plan effects to make King Starscream even more viable than it already is.

It most certainly will not see play in many offensive decks, but in extremely defensive ones like Double Shockwave, Tanks or similar lists, I don't really see why you wouldn't play Battlefield Report unless space is an issue. It's not like they won't trigger the Secret Action effect, unlike I'm sure plenty of other cards we haven't seen yet. That said, I cannot wait to find out what other Secret Actions there are, and what they'll do! Imagine if there was a counterspell and how you might play around it! Well, a boy can dream.

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
Back in black / I hit the sack
It's been too long / I'm glad to be back

Black pips are here, and now that they are, I can't help but to be excited for the prospects that they bring. If you didn't know already, here's a recap on black pips: Whenever you flip a Black pip, your character gains Pierce 1 for each instance of black pips that you flip, stacking on top of other instances of Pierce that you have. So, if you have a Noble's Blaster on one of your characters giving him Pierce 2, and during your attack you flip two black pips. That character would then gain Pierce 4 in total, combining the Pierce 2 you gain from your black pips with the Pierce 2 you have on your Noble's Blaster.

Now, whether or not RR Disruptor Blade is good given its reliance on black pips remains to be seen. Put it this way: In a blue list -- which one could say has one of the chief usage of Pierce in the game -- any pip that is not blue is one less defense that you're going to be able to flip. It's the whole reason playing a "balanced" list is usually frowned upon, with both orange and blue pips clogging the other's flips with the wrong color. So, with that ideology, would you not say that black pips belong in their own colored list? Or that playing the proverbial "Orzhov" black and white combo would be the way to go?

Well, that remains to be seen. I can definitely see it, especially in decks with Jazz, Mirage and similarly white-focused lists. But regardless of that, there is one thing for certain. If you are playing black pips, I don't see why you wouldn't want RR Disruptor Blade as an inclusion. Its damage output is high, and at worst case scenario, you can at least say that it's a slightly worse Grenade Launcher.

Oh, and one last thing, what on Earth does "RR" stand for? Rest and Relaxation? Are you killing your opponent with a blade that makes them tired? I am so confused.

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
"You're right -- this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. All right, pass me the bomb."

I heard this card was the bomb!

Oh god.

Anyway, Erratic Energy Grenade is in the same vein as Bug Bomb is for Insecticons, but unlike the dud of Bug Bomb, Erratic Energy Grenade actually has a potential place in certain decks. It's wonky, and many lists will find its appeal discordant with their playstyle, but I think that a few decks will definitely like to have it on-board.

Now that I mention it, I'm actually really glad that Combo is now being pushed out of the format, because Erratic Energy Grenade would have likely been a great boon to its already high power level. I mean, think about it: During your turn, you would sometimes have to pass on playing a Plasma Burst because you ran out of Actions to play. With EEG being an Upgrade, you could play it easily on your turn, and since you're constantly KOing your own character through Peace Through Tyranny, you're able to deal a high amount of spread damage instead of Plasma Burst's "death of a thousand cuts" playstyle.

Of course, since Combo doesn't exist anymore, we have to ask ourselves if Erratic Energy Grenade is worth it in other lists. Well, in mainstream aggro lists, I can definitely see a case for it. Take, for instance, one of my favorite decks: Predacons.

I'm a sucker for their aggressive, yet nuanced playstyle, and their frailty is a natural side-effect of that. Their health pool is so low that they simply do not care about the damage over time that the EEG gives them, and Razorclaw certainly loves the concept of softening other targets for elimination. Insecticons could also make this case, as their similar glass cannon playstyle as well as their reliance on I STILL FUNCTION! to return to the field -- and to subsequently KO -- their characters could open up a consistent way to use EEG.

Now, with those examples aside, do I think that Insecticons or Predacons have the time to strap a grenade to their faces, or that enough space to force it into a list, especially when black pips do virtually nothing for them otherwise?

Frankly? Not really. Lists are very tight, and you'd have to be certain that Erratic Energy Grenade is worth it to put into your list. But that being said, I can definitely see it as an early game play, especially as an anti-Combiner tool.

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead." ~Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac

This card might be good one day when we have more Secret Actions!

See, the problem with seeing what is essentially Brainstorm for Secret Actions is that we don't have any more Secret Actions revealed other than a simple draw and Plan effect in Battle Report. Of course, you could make the case that you could simply play two Battle Reports and draw more cards, but at that point, you're drawing the card you Planned, so what's the point?

Special Ops Mission will probably be as good if not better than Brainstorm is depending on the power of Secret Actions, but that's the thing: Unlike Brainstorm, Secret Actions only activate when your opponent does something. We can assume there will be other triggers than your opponent declaring an attack, but if there's not? Well, why not just play a similar Action card on your turn and use Brainstorm on your terms?

All of these speculatory questions won't receive much in the ways of answers. Yet, I can't help but to be optimistic. The prospects of disrupting your opponent on their turn has always appealed to me, and I look forward to seeing how Special Ops Mission helps with that.


You want to know a secret? I've always fancied myself a bit of a detective. I'm not going to lie, when I wrote a detective into a novel of mine, I ended up gleaning a few things from her. The first of which is to read into every detail, which is both a gift and a curse, and the second is to notice everything that's hidden in plain sight. So, when I saw the box that Siege is being carried in, I put those skills learned from a fictional character I created to good use.

From there, I happened to see a few figures on the side of the box. Intrigued and with a bit of a rush of adrenaline, I investigated a bit further. When I opened it up in GIMP, I did my best to scale, stretch and shear my way to answers, leaving me with a few clues on whom else is going to be printed in this set, character-wise:

Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game

From this picture it's pretty clear that we are going to be getting not just Hound, but it seems to be Sideswipe standing directly next to him! As it stands, we have no idea what they'll do. But, we at least know what they'll look like and that they're in the set!

Another thing that I noticed is that these characters have a peculiar naming convention. No, I'm not talking about "Major" Shockwave or "Private" Red Heat. I'm talking about, in the past, cards used to be "TITLE -- SUBTITLE" like Shockwave -- Cybertron Commander, or Optimus Prime -- Battlefield Legend. Now? Now they have multiple secondary names with Ultra Magnus -- Infantry + City Commander.

It's odd that there are multiple characters with "Infantry" in their subtitles, as well. It makes me wonder if this is a name at all, or if they're extremely well-hidden secondary traits for cards that state "for every character with Infantry in their name" or something similar. I dunno, I guess my tin foil cap is showing again, but I can't help but to see a pattern.


Transformers News: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game
Icarus, son of Daedalus, soared high on wings of wax...

Well, it happened. We lost a comrade. He burned bright, hot, and far too fast. If you don't know what I'm talking about, or have been keeping up with recent events with the metagame in the Transformers TCG, let me brief you on a little thing I like to call "Infinite Combo", or just "Combo" for short.

But first, let's talk a little about how the card game works to refresh your memory on this subject. Once each turn you can do four separate actions: Transform a character, play an Action, play an Upgrade, and then attack. There are certain cards that get around those rules in order to play more cards in a turn, such as Multi-Mission Gear from Wave 1 that allowed you to play a second Action when you attached it to one of your characters. Field Communicator is another example, which scraps the top of your deck, where you can then choose to play it if you would like.

But here's the thing: Whenever you swap or move Upgrades between characters, their "Put" effects reactivate. So, for instance, if you played a Field Communicator and flipped a Multi-Mission Gear, you could use that Multi-Mission Gear's effect to play a Swap Parts, reactivating both the Field Communicator as well as the Multi-Mission Gear.

To what end, you ask? Well, eventually you ramp up your upgrades and you begin to spam both Peace Through Tyranny and I STILL FUNCTION! in the same turn, being able to take infinite turns. You would then be able to play one Plasma Burst in the list, dealing chip damage over your effectively infinite turns to eventually win the game after your opponent has ideally only taken one or two turns in total.

Well, that's what could have happened. Just last week, Wizards of the Coast made a Note on their official Facebook Page banning Swap Parts from Tournament Play effective on the 19th. This is the first time the game has been broken by the community, and the first time that Wizards has had to ban a card in the Transformers Trading Card Game.

What do you think? From my playtesting, Combo was effectively a hit or miss deck that could either be punished early into oblivion, or stomp things that weren't able to outspeed it. For example, Insecticons had a good shot at punishing Combo's frailty, same with Battlefield Legend. But, that being said, it rather ate Combiner decks alive other than Predacons. I realize the deck isn't exactly "interactive", as stated in their note, but I can't help but to think about how the deck might have been received by an older community, one with more cards at their disposal and a more established metagame. It's a controversial opinion, I know, but liking total control decks always is.


Boy howdy, do we have some nutty things happening. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this dwarfs the changes that Rise of the Combiners brought forward. Battle Masters and Micromasters both, Secret Actions and even more interesting mechanics from there. Whether or not Battle Masters will shift the meta is yet to be seen, despite their hype. Armor is easily removed, but so too are weapons. The problem was, no one really played cards to remove them because weapons were either discarded or they weren't as pressing of an issue that armor was.

As for the artwork, it's really quite fantastic. If you had told me that this wasn't from a professional comic or something similar, I wouldn't have believed you. You can really tell that this is a passion project for the guys over at Wizards, and I love what I'm seeing so far. Black pips, Secret Actions, Micromasters, Battle Masters... Well, what can I say, I'm a sucker for cool stuff.

What do you guys think of the black pips? Good? Bad? Almost virtually invisible on the card background? What does "RR" Disruption Blade even mean? Reid Richards? Rock n' Roll? Rainbow Rare? You're killing me, smalls!

Now that we have incentive to play anti-weapon cards, what will become of the metagame? Do you think that the age of Battle Masters and Micromasters are fast approaching? Will Erector ever get a card? I mean, I'd be happy with a promo card, even! Let me know what you think in the comments below, and I'll see you next time!

This article was last modified on Monday, May 13th, 2019 11:32pm CDT

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Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2019799)
Posted by PerfectVision on April 24th, 2019 @ 1:00pm CDT
This is flooding at this point.You're paid for that?

Stop being a nostalgic noob also,it's new stuff for new stuff,some reveal are missing by the way.EEG for micromaster,it look like that right now.

Mshock with Nightstick,not Aimless.

No ban for Optimus13 and Mega13 and Nemesis?Why have they done nerfed version?(beginning at page15).

The swapP is originally for the armedH,ban only the infinite combo(the game is full of 2cards combo).

Alpha can use card out of his hand,so he can keep it big and get a strong firedrive+universal and fuel.I'll wait before to write a deck.Needlenose can be a variant of firedrive.
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2019803)
Posted by ZeroWolf on April 24th, 2019 @ 1:19pm CDT
Flooding? I'm not sure I understand.
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2019988)
Posted by #Sideways# on April 27th, 2019 @ 7:30pm CDT
PerfectVision wrote:This is flooding at this point.You're paid for that?


PerfectVision wrote:Stop being a nostalgic noob also,it's new stuff for new stuff,some reveal are missing by the way.EEG for micromaster,it look like that right now.

I am currently in the process of writing the next article, which has those reveals. It should be up by tonight! Thanks for reading, even if I can be somewhat nostalgic at times. :lol:

PerfectVision wrote:No ban for Optimus13 and Mega13 and Nemesis?Why have they done nerfed version?(beginning at page15).

The swapP is originally for the armedH,ban only the infinite combo(the game is full of 2cards combo).

Well, to be perfectly frank, neither Battlefield Legend, Nemesis nor Living Weapon were broken -- they all had interplay, unlike the Infinite Combo which had little interplay and interactive games. At least with Battlefield Legend, you can focus him down before he gets to attack again, same with the other ones. This is why Insecticons had a good to even matchup between the two, and why it kind of pushed Double Prime out of the meta.

After the advent of Bashing Shield, Double Prime was unable to keep up against the onslaught of bugs -- it was just too aggressive and the focus fire was simply too good.

Regardless of what Swap Parts was originally made for, the main point is that it was being abused. The developers went in detail on why they banned Swap Parts instead of having a "no infinite turns" rule on their Facebook page which you can check out HERE.

PerfectVision wrote:Alpha can use card out of his hand,so he can keep it big and get a strong firedrive+universal and fuel.I'll wait before to write a deck.Needlenose can be a variant of firedrive

Sounds interesting! I'm looking forward to seeing your list. Just remember, making a large article does not news flooding make -- I'm just trying my best to explain in depth the merits of each reveal. Hope you can understand, and thanks for reading!
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2019994)
Posted by #Sideways# on April 27th, 2019 @ 11:42pm CDT

We have a plethora of new reveals for you, today! Let's jump right in:


"Oooohhh myyyyyyyy!"

Before I dive into the character card itself, I would like to point out that Alpha Trion's vehicle mode is actually original artwork by the Wizards crew -- something that I've spoken at length about being a fantastic sign of the longevity of Transformers as a card game. I certainly hope that more characters get original artwork in the future. Of course, all Battle Cards have original artwork -- but it seems that it's even more widespread than we thought! I can't wait to see where else they go with it.

But as for Alpha Trion himself, he's something of a "Baby Battlefield Legend", if you will. He can play a free Action -- albeit a specific color of Action -- when he attacks, and return an Action -- again, specific color of Action -- to your hand on Vehicle mode flip. I really enjoy the gameplay flow of Optimus Prime, so being able to play essentially two of them on the same team is just as welcome. You already favor a blue deck with Battlefield Legend, at least in many circumstances, so Alpha Trion fits exceptionally well into that mold. Even more than that, George Tak-- Er, Alpha Trion can return the ever-useful Reckless Charge to your hand to power up Battlefield Legend's next attack even more than you already are naturally.

I really and truly do like Alpha Trion, but I do doubt his usefulness over Battlefield Legend in many circumstances. Battlefield Legend is arguably the best character card in the game, though, so that's not saying much; but it is an interesting idea. In many circumstances, Battlefield Legend's high point cost constrained the pool of potential partners for him. With Alpha Trion, you don't really have that problem; here, you can use two seven star characters, a six and an eight, or even a ten and a four star! You can use a lot more partners with Alpha Trion, and whereas your deck will likely have to be more balanced than you're used to to make full use of his abilities, you're going to get a lot of value out of him regardless.

All in all, I am extremely excited for Alpha Trion and his prospects. His utility is extremely high for an 11 Star character, and even moreso than that, you can use him in many more team combinations than Battlefield Legend. He's not perfect, and his stats are a little lacking, but with the right Actions, all things are possible. Look out for this guy!

"On T.R.O.O.P.S., all suspects are guilty. If they were innocent, they wouldn't be suspects, now would they?"

Prowl kind of sucks. Weapons don't really stick around for that long in Transformers, thanks to both Power Punch and Grenade Launcher both being mainstays of many decks offensive engine. Of course, with Battle Masters being a thing, you could technically punish decks that rely on them for damage, but to be perfectly frank, there are an absurd amount of weapon-scrapping effects that would be better for that punishment.

As for his stats, he's rather lackluster in all but HP. His moderate offensive stats are average for his Star cost, and his defensive stats are mediocre at best. Prowl is a car, which is nice, but at a point, I would actually rather run Ruckus at a slightly higher point cost instead, and he's... Well, Ruckus.

I get it -- he's a Common -- but it looks to me like the card is just as bad as the toy mold it's based on.

"How am I going to stop a mean Mother Hubbard from tearin' me a structurally superfluous behind?
The answer? I'm going to use a gun. If that don't work? Use more gun."

Cog is cool -- an expensive kind of cool. Cog is the first Weaponizer we've seen in the TFTCG, and with him come implications. Foremost of these being: Are we going to see more of them? I did a little digging, and I didn't come up with much in terms of the toyline, but with the unprecedented new artwork, who knows what could come next in terms of Weaponizers?

But that's beside the point. The main point is that Cog is a Weaponizer, and Cog is very good. I can't put to words how excited I am at the prospects of pairing him with three Micromasters/Combiner parts and using his absurd Weaponizer ability to power up your entire squadron instantly. I'm also extremely excited the prospects of powering up a multi-weapon Razorclaw with the combination of Tooth and Claw and Cog, but I'm a sucker for Razorclaw so that shouldn't be a surprise.

I just wish that his stats in robot mode were better. Just four attack is a bit lackluster, but with his explosive ability in Weapon Mode, I find it hard to be disappointed. For instance, you could use him to soften something up for one of your other characters to finish off. Plus, he can still dumpster some Combiner Parts or Micromasters -- it's just going to be harder to find robot mode value against decks of normal stature.

Cog's stats aren't all mediocre, though; 12 is still a high number, and your opponent might be hard-pressed to KO him in one hit. It's for this reason that I can't help but to think about Heroism or Bravery, both being used to draw a second attack from your opponent away from one of your squishier targets for a second turn in a row. Simply put, your opponent doesn't want to have to attack Cog -- they'd rather leave him alone until all of your other characters have been KO'd so they don't have to deal with his Weaponizer effect.

This also lends itself to a potential entire team of Micromasters. Since all Micromasters have Stealth when untapped, your opponent can't target them on the first turn of the game. In other words, you're essentially forcing your opponent to attack Cog, and if he's still alive at that point, you can attack with him and force your opponent to waste another attack on him again, only to power up your entire field.

I could go on about the nuance of Cog's playstyle, but I think I'll leave that to your imagination. Anyway, who do you think will be another Weaponizer? I haven't seen any hardline Weaponizers in my research, but now that I think about it, Megatron could be a Weaponizer with his gun mode! Oh, my, the mental image of that makes me swoon. But enough dreaming! On to the next!

The new season of Black Bullet looks great!

Nightstick is... Well, he's something, all right. On one hand, he's a playable Decepticon Specialist which is something of a commodity outside of Flamewar and Breakdown, but on the other hand, he's kind of dismal in his robot mode. His stats are agonizing at best, and whereas I realize you're supposed to play him with heavy black pips, you're probably going to swing for an astounding two damage on average.

I realize that most Battle Masters have two to three attack, but most of the time, they do something to justify it, like draw a card, high Bold or have a high amount of Tough. Nightstick does neither of those things. Regardless, you don't play a Battle Master for their robot mode: You play them for their weapons!

So, as for Nightstick's, well... Night-stick, it's actually an interesting weapon. With the influx of black pips, one could build their deck to accommodate it rather well. The offensive boost isn't the real reason you'd play him, in fact: It's the defensive boost combined with the hand control effect. I mean, just to put it in perspective, with Shockwave -- Cybertron Commander, you could attach Nightstick and when you attach a Multi-Mission Gear the next turn, you will end up with a shocking five defense.

With that, you can even use the hand scrapping effect with Shockwave to deal chip damage -- it's almost like the two were made for each other! But, anyway, Nightstick might be used in select lists. But, with hand destruction not being as good in Transformers as it is in other games, I can't help but to feel like Nightstick's usefulness will be just about as limited as his robot mode.

"Who're you callin' pinhead?"

Needlenose? In Cybertronian form? Oho, if you couldn't have guessed, this is entirely new artwork of Needlenose in Tetrajet form. The artwork for him blends seamlessly in with the other artwork for the other characters, and I can't help but to love the little things, like the asymmetrical guns in his vehicle mode.

Regardless, Needlenose is actually impressive in many different regards. For one, he's the cheapest character who can return an Action (or Upgrade, but who plays Star Upgrades?) to your hand, and on top of that, he can combo especially well with Leap of Faith and Bolt of Lightning, dealing a damage to an enemy of your choice for each. That powerful effect makes for an interesting conundrum: Just how many Star Cards would you play, and which ones?

Bolt of Lightning comes to mind to start -- being able to snipe for 4 directly is an immensely powerful effect, and it certainly makes up for his mediocre at best attack power. But, getting those specific cards into your hand when you need them is something of a crap-shoot. You never know when you're going to flip them during a battle, and then you need to use two of your Transform actions just to get it back and use it to its full effect, and all of this hoping that your opponent doesn't just, y'know, kill him.

It's for that reason that I think that Leap of Faith must be played alongside Bolt of Lightning. I know, I know; you're playing six Star Cards -- a full character's worth -- you have to realize that you're probably doing more with your Leaps and Bolts than you could probably do with a six star character, anyway, aside from having them eat an attack for you. Plus, Leap of Faith can also trigger a Bolt of Lightning, dealing five damage instead of the normal four. On top of that, you can Brainstorm a Leap of Faith and a Bolt, and who knows what you can get off the Leap flips to compound that damage?

I digress slightly. Needlenose being eight stars allows you access to smaller teammates, making room in your deck for more stars. You deal a massive amount of pressure damage outside of combat with a deck consisting of mostly stars, but I can't help but to feel like his stats lack a bit of "umph" to push him that extra mile that he so desperately needs. Only 11 HP with only one defense is a bit lackluster, and in a format of increasing aggression, I worry that his frailty may cost you in the short run.

All in all, Needlenose is going to be a neat rogue deck. I don't think he'll be a mainstay in the mainstream metagame thanks to that frailty of his, but I do think that he'll be fun to play regardless.

Cutter no more.

Trailbreaker is back, guys! I was so excited to see the card's name, and then I looked at the card's effect. First, let me say, searching out a Force Field at the start of the game is actually kind of nutty. It confirms that your opponent will avoid Trailbreaker like the plague, and that means that he'll likely have full health going into your first turn. But, that being said, if you fill your team with Stealth characters other than Trailbreaker, you can force your opponent to attack into your Force Field on the first turn of the game, but after that you have a team of Micromasters that couldn't dent tin foil even if they tried, so perhaps that strategy is something of a miss.

Other than that, Trailbreaker has only a few things really going for him, and most of it revolves around having an Armor attached. But, as I've said before, Armor doesn't tend to stick around that long after Bashing Shield's advent. That makes him more of a liability than anything else, with his zero defense compounding the loss of your Force Field. Pretty much, if you ever lose your Force Field, you can preemptively notify his next of kin -- he's a dead man walking.

But that's kind of all he does. Sure, his five attack isn't bad at all, but there are plenty of cheaper options who do that, too. His Brave effect is good, don't get me wrong, and starting the game with a Force Field is very good, but if your opponent plays any Upgrade removal at all, you are going to get next to no value out of him.

"Damn it, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a mechanic!"

Let me preface this by saying that Ratchet is one of my favorite characters. The crotchety doctor is one of my favorite archetypes, with Bones being one of my favorite characters from Star Trek in general. The type of character that can do anything with a scalpel, and they won't be happy about it when you give them lip. Unfortunately, Ratchet just doesn't live up to that hype.

He's something of a byproduct of the times, sadly. Healing just doesn't have that much of an impact, and when you only deal +1 for each damage you heal, you're not getting much offensive power from it, either, and when he's an eight star character with zero defense, he's not going to give you back that much value in the long run. It's not that he's bad per-se, in fact, if the format slows down a bit (or a lot) then his Medic! search will see a lot of value.

Until then, however, Ratchet's just too expensive for what he brings to the table.

It's poetry in motion / She's turned her tender eyes to me
Deeper than any ocean / As sweet as any harmony
Mm, she blinded me with science!

Wheeljack is really quite interesting. On one hand, he is completely lackluster compared to his previous iteration, but the idea of starting the game with a Brainstorm in-hand is definitely appealing. His stats are seemingly in-line with most other characters his cost, and his Car status could prove to boost him slightly, but in a Car list, wouldn't you rather play Wave 1 Wheeljack instead for his draw and Bold effects?

But either way, what are Siege Wheeljack's merits? Well, my favorite part about his kit is that he's an Autobot specialist, making him an available bachelor for the Red Heat Combo archetype. Early playtesting with Skywarp have been going very well, and I wonder how it would turn out, starting the game with a Brainstorm in-hand? Even more than that, his Autobot nature allows you to play the ever-useful Confidence, digging just a little bit farther into your deck for those Peace Through Tyranny. Something that's not as useful but still welcome is his draw effect in his robot mode, where you can try and refund some of your massive hand expenditure.

But other than in Combo, Wheeljack probably won't see much play compared to his Wave 1 iteration. His effects just aren't as useful as Wave 1's, and I don't see that changing any time soon.


Visper is kinda freaky. I don't know whether I love him or despise him, but regardless of that, I know that his effect is good. Regardless of whether or not Visper is viable otherwise, his effect when built correctly is immensely powerful. Removing your opponent's hand on the first turn of the game is strong (albeit lucky) and in doing so, you're more or less confirming that your opponent will likely not be able to retaliate against your more important partners like Shockwave.

The biggest problem with hand destruction is that your opponent can always retaliate. This is no different, but when done early enough, you curb that until far later. Now, I realize you're also dumping your own hand, but that's what Work Overtime and character-based draw is for. Plus, if you're a magician or just really bad at shuffling, you can potentially draw three cards to replace the ones you've discarded if they all share the same name.

Not to say that he's going to be doing much after that, but Micromasters have always been one-trick ponies anyway and I'm not complaining. It's for that reason that I don't really care too much about his HP -- whereas your opponent has no hand, they probably won't find it too hard to one-hit the poor guy unless you flip well. Remember, they still get to draw at the start of their turns; they're going to be able to play something. You should just hope that it's not a Grenade Launcher.

You could also potentially save Visper until mid to late game where you have a swarm of green pips in your hand, and potentially three of a kind. That way, you could scrap all three and get the full effect of Visper's ability. But at that point, the damage has kind of already been done by your opponent, don't you think? They've already been able to play most of their cards, and at that point, your characters are going to be wholly softened for them to swing into.

The problems I have with Visper are the same problems I have with hand destruction in general. He's not a bad pick, especially with the right partners, but the problem with him is more systemic than anything else to do with him specifically. I don't know. Maybe I'm being too critical of him, but until hand destruction is good, Visper likely won't be.

(A)(v)(^) (A)(v)(^)

Storm Cloud is the partner of Visper, and he's just as niche. He belongs in the same kind of list that Visper does, with more than a little green pips and a lot of luck. However, there is something that makes him instantly more viable than Visper: Early aggression paired with a tiny point cost. Storm Cloud is four Stars, and he can give one of your bigger, more powerful characters a lot of Bold on top of potentially the Bold they had to start with. You can even use him on the first turn of the game to give a staggering amount of Bold to a character to more or less confirm the KO on the first turn, in the same vein as Thrust. In fact, you could use him in concert with Thrust to deal an astounding level of damage before your opponent even gets to take a turn -- something I'm actually quite a fan of.

I mean, I realize you're almost never going to be able to use him to his fullest on the first turn of the game, but still, Bold 3 is nothing to sneeze at before the game really begins. Take, for instance, this lineup: Ramjet at 10 Stars, Thrust at 9 and capping everyone off with Storm Cloud at 4, making a total of 23 making plenty of room for Missile Launchers to be flipped on the first turn of the game. You can stack oodles and oodles of damage modifiers on Ramjet, dealing upwards of approximately 15 damage with somewhat average flips (five orange and two white, not counting double pips) to whatever you want. Now imagine if you flipped well.

Sure, you're tapped out afterwards, and if you don't get the OHKO you're probably going to be in a world of hurt, but it's an interesting concept nevertheless. Again, if you manage to pull a super hot hand out of your hat on the first or second turn of the game with all three copies of something in your hand, power to you. Other than that, though, just settle for the Bold 3 and have fun at your opponent's expense.

Hey, man, what the Flak?

Flak is actually better than Storm Cloud in early pressure, and you can't change my mind. Let me explain: With Storm Cloud, you need to build your entire deck around his features. Then, you add a variable amount of damage to a character that will then have to wade through your obnoxious green pipped cards to hopefully hit a double orange or two and after all of that, you still don't have much in the ways of next turn.

Not with Flak. With Flak, you can play a Grenade Launcher on Thrust on the first turn of the game, then Thrust will add a total of 7 damage to Ramjet, totaling in 14 base damage before flips. There is less variation, less milling of resources and, yes, a plan for the next turn since Thrust now has a weapon on him. You could say the same thing about some other decks out there. For instance, you could, instead of playing Ransack/Chop Shop in Insecticons, you could play Flak. Flak could then add one of your many weapons to Kickback on the first turn, acting as something of a "baby Thrust".

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Well, Storm Cloud is four stars and he gives Bold, and I like Bold better than damage boosts!"

Well, first off, the difference between four and five stars is not the end of the world, and two, you could always add a Power Punch to one of your characters to essentially do the same thing -- while still discarding less cards from your hand. I realize that he's an Autobot, and that means you can't use Swindled, but a turn one KO might just be worth it regardless.

Plus, he's a Tank, and that means you can use him with Demolisher, Starter Megatron and Barrage to make three-wide aggro Tanks, drawing two cards off Demolisher and attaching up to three Armor cards with Hunker Down. It's probably not the best use of his abilities, but it's an interesting concept to explore nevertheless.

Regardless, I'm excited to see where he goes -- and I definitely think he'll be going somewhere. Just where that is remains a mystery.

someBODY once told me / The world is going to roll me
I ain't the sharpest tool / in the shed

Mudslinger looks cool, but does next to nothing. You see, this is a fairly fast-paced game, and characters can't take a lot of punishment. Meaning, Mudslinger doesn't really have too much value to attain. I mean, if healing isn't good for Ratchet, how is healing one by tapping a character worth it at all?

The answer? It's not. The only thing I can possibly think of is dealing one damage to Skrapnel to potentially make him a 2HKO, but as far as that goes, I'd rather just play a Zap. He's cool looking, but I'm afraid looks aren't everything.

"Go get 'em, tiger."

Some Battle Masters are kind of awful, in fact, most Battle Masters are. Most have mediocre offensive potential, and a middling weapon to boot. Lionizer is not most Battle Masters.

Having an innate Bold 4 is monstrous -- he swings about as hard as Demolishor does in an all orange build, and he might, against certain builds, take a hit to boot. His HP, his defense and his offensive potential are all high for Battle Masters, and his weapon is anything but disappointing.

Not only does his weapon, Firesteel Saber, transfer his Bold 4 to the Upgraded character, but he also adds in a solid Plan 1 to make things even better than initially thought. I adore that about him, and the thing I love about Lionizer the most is his versatility in lists. In many cases, the kind of Battle Master you play is dictated by the list you use, but in this case, Lionizer works in nearly every list.

I can't say enough good things about Lionizer. He's extremely versatile, and just as powerful.


Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words especially hurt me.

It's amazing how they made a blank orange and black pipped card!

All jesting aside, Rock Toss does just a bit more damage as actually tossing a rock at a card. You're not going to be doing much noticeable damage by playing the card, but you're going to like the pips in black lists. Something else that should be noted is that, as it stands, this is almost 100% better than Zap. Zap, whereas it can target anything, doesn't have that Pierce 1 effect -- and let's be frank here, you're probably not going to be targeting anyone with Zap other than than the thing you're about to attack.

My words are rather harsh, but I gotta be honest, I'm not even that against it. In a black deck, orange boosts are definitely a worthwhile consideration, especially if you happen to be named "Jazz and Omega Supreme". White/Black Omega Jazz is an archetype, guys -- you'll see!

There's not much else to say about it, so I won't.

"What do you have?"
"A knife!"

This Combat Dagger has merit in certain black builds, but not a lot. Something you need to realize about black builds is that Black/Orange in an orange core is probably not going to get you very far compared to other options. Although the concept of Black/Orange as an entire engine might actually have merit, the concept of splashing black cards into orange lists is somewhat useless since it doesn't really boost anything.

It's for this reason that Combat Dagger is niche. I love the black and orange pips, but only having Bold 1 isn't going to be doing you many favors for a weapon attachment. I can see playing it in Black/Orange OmegaJazz, or perhaps some other unseen Rakdos-colored decks, but outside of that, I can't really justify playing it in any other lists. There are just usually better weapons to play. That's not a bad thing per se, but it is worthy of note.

Either way, Combat Dagger will likely see play in black decks -- but outside of them, I really don't think that there's much of a spot for this butter knife.


Well that's a whole lotta pips! Fuel Cache is the first triple-pipped card we've seen in the game, and before I talk about what it really does, I'd like to ask you something: How far will you go for pips alone?

I'm sure we've all put Improvised Shield or Handheld Blaster in our mono orange or blue decks, and those cards do literally nothing when played in their respective lists. We play Peace Through Tyranny in Predacons, even though we technically can't play the card even if we wanted to. There are just a few cards out there that effectively do nothing -- and yet we play them anyway, just for their pips alone.

So let me ask you again: Is it worth it? Now how about when it costs a star?

I'm pretty stingy when it comes to Star Cards. There aren't that many things out there that can even remotely compare to Leap of Faith, and when they do they usually involve drawing cards. I usually err on the side of Actions because you see their power quickly and easily, with Upgrades being more of a "slow build". Generally speaking, as a Star Card, Fuel Cache has to contend with not only Leap of Faith, but Universal Network Access as well as the respective extra double pipped cards for a spot in a list.

Speaking of which, let's talk about what Fuel Cache actually does, aside from its pips. If you couldn't tell, it looks at the top three, and if their composite colors match or exceed one of each primary color, it ends up putting all three into your hand. If you whiff, well, you can kiss all three cards goodbye.

So, how is that better than drawing three cards with Universal Network Access? Or playing two out of three of them with Leap of Faith? It's not. Occasionally drawing three cards is definitely not a good effect compared to the other options vying for the same spot.

In fact, it reminds me of Recon System, a card I've been outspoken about being literally worse Bold and Tough 1. Is Fuel Cache literally not just the same thing but for draw? I can forgive it for its fantastic pips, but I just can't really justify it over some of the other options. In my opinion, so long as Leap of Faith is in the format, you can pretty much count on it being played over any other Star Card, likely regardless of pips.

But, that being said, if you're going balanced and you don't really care about Leap of Faith (say, for instance, you only have one star to play with), look no further than Fuel Cache. Its pips have plenty of merit, and I would definitely put money on not drawing it if it's a one-of.


The following cards are all reprints, but they all have new, original artwork! Check them out below:






Well, those were some reveals. I am especially excited about Alpha Trion, Flak and Lionizer. I really, truly think that both of those cards will see a lot of play in the future, and I can't wait to see what people do with them. Visper is another card to look out for in niche rogue decks (likely with Shockwave), and whereas I'm not the biggest fan of his, I can still appreciate what both he and his partner are capable of.

As for the reprints, they aren't going to majorly shift the format -- but they are going to shift around a few of the cards in my collection! The artwork is seriously fantastic, with Medic! being my favorite of the bunch. I really hope that they use this opportunity to push a plotline in the same vein as Magic has, using the card reveals, artwork and flavor text to push a story. I suppose I won't be seeing that any time soon, but a boy can dream, can't he?

In fact, in a recent interview, Drew Nolosco mentioned that they were, in fact, pushing a Siege plotline about the fall of Cybertron for the next sets. I'm actually all for that, in fact. Every story has to have a beginning -- and an end -- and generally, the best beginning for Transformers is on Cybertron.

What about you? Are you hoping they push the story elements further or are you happy with the artwork doing the talking for them? Are you excited about the plethora of Battle Masters and Micromasters coming into the game? Think George Takei will be proud of Alpha Trion's power level? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll see you next time!
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020021)
Posted by DerrikDGreat on April 28th, 2019 @ 1:08pm CDT
Anybody else notice that Alpha Trion’s alt mode is the Daedalus from Robotech?
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020025)
Posted by Hydrargyrus on April 28th, 2019 @ 2:05pm CDT
On Weaponizers:
I’ve been thinking about a gun-mode Megatron for a very long time, and you might be right about a Weaponizer being the way to do it.
Additionally, Siege Brunt and Sixgun (whose design is used in the Metroplex deck version) are the other Weaponizer toys we know of. I’m not sure if that’s the info you couldn’t find, but there it is.

Thanks for the analysis. I always enjoy reading them, and I don’t even play the game (although I’m thinking about trying it, as it seems to be getting more interesting).
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020028)
Posted by Ultra Markus on April 28th, 2019 @ 3:44pm CDT
DerrikDGreat not really the front looks similar to the Prometheus the other ship
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020058)
Posted by #Sideways# on April 28th, 2019 @ 10:41pm CDT
MagicDeath wrote:On Weaponizers:
I’ve been thinking about a gun-mode Megatron for a very long time, and you might be right about a Weaponizer being the way to do it.
Additionally, Siege Brunt and Sixgun (whose design is used in the Metroplex deck version) are the other Weaponizer toys we know of. I’m not sure if that’s the info you couldn’t find, but there it is.

Thanks for the analysis. I always enjoy reading them, and I don’t even play the game (although I’m thinking about trying it, as it seems to be getting more interesting).

I didn't see Brunt at all! I did a bit of digging around on TFWiki, and it looks like the pages I did the digging on (mostly the page on the C.O.M.B.A.T. mechanic) weren't updated with Brunt. He could be the Decepticon one! Good eye!

Six-Gun might actually be really interesting for weaponizer purposes, but I wonder how that might work with the one with Metroplex? After all, the two are somewhat joined at the hip, or the, uh... Everywhere considering the G1 toy. :lol:

But yeah, those could definitely work. I really hope that they do go with the Megatron idea, though -- Megatron needs more gun modes!

Thanks for reading! I'm glad you're thinking of checking it out; it's a great game, and I'm really excited to see how far it's come, especially from its grassroots beginnings.
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020069)
Posted by ZeroWolf on April 29th, 2019 @ 4:08am CDT
Okay so I'm looking at taking the plunge in this game soon but have no idea what the current meta game is, what the best way to start is or what. Will the bee vs Megs starter set be a good place to start?
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020084)
Posted by Counterpunch on April 29th, 2019 @ 11:45am CDT
#Sideways# wrote:snip

First off dude, I really appreciate you doing these reviews. Well done.

Without commenting on the whole thing, I think I disagree about Ratchet. His star cost is less than Wheeljack with one more life. The 0 health thing is bad, but like you said, it's an environment that favors attacks.

What I would argue is that healing is not necessarily a way to endure or to play defensively, but rather a way to force the opponent into an extra attack that would otherwise have been a confirmed kill. Most bots are either a one shot or two shot death. Using the math of the moment to extend that can really unbalance the tempo of the turn order.

This is all theory craft of course as we have not had an opportunity to use healing in a meaningful way. Medic aside, the more versatile "Team Up Tactics" comes to mind. Pair him up with Trailbreaker and Arcee, use the extra star slot for a Leap of Faith and there may be something brewing there as a resilient build.

Could it stand up to Cars, Bugs, etc? Probably not. But I think something may be in the mix.
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020095)
Posted by #Sideways# on April 29th, 2019 @ 1:01pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:Okay so I'm looking at taking the plunge in this game soon but have no idea what the current meta game is, what the best way to start is or what. Will the bee vs Megs starter set be a good place to start?

I think that it'd be a great place to start! You get an array of staples that you can place in your decks in the future. However, the Wave 1 starter set might give you more value, character-wise. If you'd like to jump in the deep end and start with combiners, you should try either the Predacons or Devastator -- either are good starts. You can also check out Metroplex if you're in for something a little more unorthodox. ;)

As for the meta, again, it favors aggro rather well. If you'd like to check out some deck profiles, check out my channel. It has a few decks that'll get you started.

Counterpunch wrote:First off dude, I really appreciate you doing these reviews. Well done.

Without commenting on the whole thing, I think I disagree about Ratchet. His star cost is less than Wheeljack with one more life. The 0 health thing is bad, but like you said, it's an environment that favors attacks.

What I would argue is that healing is not necessarily a way to endure or to play defensively, but rather a way to force the opponent into an extra attack that would otherwise have been a confirmed kill. Most bots are either a one shot or two shot death. Using the math of the moment to extend that can really unbalance the tempo of the turn order.

This is all theory craft of course as we have not had an opportunity to use healing in a meaningful way. Medic aside, the more versatile "Team Up Tactics" comes to mind. Pair him up with Trailbreaker and Arcee, use the extra star slot for a Leap of Faith and there may be something brewing there as a resilient build.

Could it stand up to Cars, Bugs, etc? Probably not. But I think something may be in the mix.

Thanks! I'm glad you like them.

As for Ratchet, I do agree that Trailbreaker is a good partner for him, but instead of Arcee I might try out Skrapnel, since Trailbreaker is for 10, Ratchet for 8 and Skrapnel for 7. I think the main thing that really excludes healing in general from other lists is that defense isn't as good as it could be. Put simply, it doesn't defend enough to make the healing that impactful, even to make two shots into three shots.

I think, however, you might be on to something with Trailbreaker. With the Skrapnel and Force Field effects being as it may, one could use Stealthiness as well as Bravery combined with Trailbreaker's own Brave to effectively force your opponent into attacking Skrapnel and/or into Force Field, where you can then heal it off. Essentially, a less luck-based OmegaJazz but with healing.

Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020096)
Posted by ZeroWolf on April 29th, 2019 @ 2:14pm CDT
Thanks Sideways :) I'll have a look at those options, I know I can still get the first starter set for a good price. I'll have to look into your channel as unlike magic, I've got no idea on how to build decks :lol:
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020099)
Posted by Counterpunch on April 29th, 2019 @ 3:24pm CDT
#Sideways# wrote:I think, however, you might be on to something with Trailbreaker. With the Skrapnel and Force Field effects being as it may, one could use Stealthiness as well as Bravery combined with Trailbreaker's own Brave to effectively force your opponent into attacking Skrapnel and/or into Force Field, where you can then heal it off. Essentially, a less luck-based OmegaJazz but with healing.


I've had a really rough time running Skrapnel outside of his theme. I think people are really aware of how to play around him at this point, but he remains effective in Bugs because he gives just enough cover for them to get at least 2 really nasty attacks in (prior to the untap).
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020107)
Posted by #Sideways# on April 29th, 2019 @ 7:11pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:Thanks Sideways :) I'll have a look at those options, I know I can still get the first starter set for a good price. I'll have to look into your channel as unlike magic, I've got no idea on how to build decks :lol:

Yeah, right? When I first started out, I put so much unnecessary draw in my earliest lists. In Pokemon, the game I mostly played before Transformers, you had to have a draw card every turn otherwise you ended up losing the game. In Transformers, building your deck is usually focused on redundancy -- something I wasn't really used to until recently.

For instance, you need to play multiple weapons, multiple copies of each of them, and likely multiple damaging Actions as well. That, and the double pips. It's really an interesting game.

Counterpunch wrote:I've had a really rough time running Skrapnel outside of his theme. I think people are really aware of how to play around him at this point, but he remains effective in Bugs because he gives just enough cover for them to get at least 2 really nasty attacks in (prior to the untap).

I have actually heard of a few decks taking him and placing him with Battlefield Legend alongside Arcee. Mostly for his tapping effect, yes, but still, your opponent is wholly unlikely to one-hit him. Which is the reason I like him with Ratchet; Skrap's ability being as it may, your opponent is really not likely to one-hit him. With potent healing and Trailbreaker having essentially innate Brave, you can force your opponent to never one-hit your characters pretty much ever.

I dunno, maybe. It's a thought, at least.
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020134)
Posted by ZeroWolf on April 30th, 2019 @ 3:03am CDT
I used to play pokemon back in the day (the day base set 1 released, swiftly followed by Jungle and Fossil) it seems like such a different beast since then
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020844)
Posted by Wolfman Jake on May 7th, 2019 @ 11:20pm CDT
The Transformers Trading Card Game by Wizards of the Coast is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. If collectible card games are your thing, fellow Seibertronians, then enjoy these reveals of new cards joining the line-up! First, we have "Raider Road Hugger," a classic G1 Micromaster. You can check out some strategies and information on this card from designer and creative lead Matt Smith's Facebook page. Next up is fan favorite "Private Arcee!" Designer Scott Van Essen shows off this new card on his Facebook page, along with tips and tricks to getting into the Transformers Trading Card Game if you're so inclined, but feeling a bit lost with all the information and options out there. Finally, design lead Ken Nagle shows off two new Star Cards, "EMP Wave" and "Full Loadout," on his Facebook page. His article, linked here, explains the basics on what star cards can do for you and your deck strategies. Check out the pictures of all four of these new card reveals below!





Are you excited to add these new cards to your Transformers Trading Card Game decks? Have the articles from the designers above inspired you to take the plunge into collectible card gaming? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned to for the latest news on all things Transformers!
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020867)
Posted by Rodimus Knight on May 8th, 2019 @ 7:25am CDT
That image for full loadout looks like wheeljack is either fitting prime for a bra or in the middle of sexually harassing him.
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020878)
Posted by Latebrus-K on May 8th, 2019 @ 8:08am CDT
Rodimus Knight wrote:That image for full loadout looks like wheeljack is either fitting prime for a bra or in the middle of sexually harassing him.

To be fair, that could definitely be a Brestforce drone partner. :P
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020979)
Posted by #Sideways# on May 8th, 2019 @ 10:54pm CDT

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who knows? I just write here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something about Infinite Combo being uncounterable?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roadhugger is basically baby Thrust and I love him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


"Another one."


Just say no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remind me to never make that pun ever again.

"Big things from small beginnings..."

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

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

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

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

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

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

Same song, second verse.

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

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

His name is Starscream.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Battlefield Legend is nearly one-hit out of nowhere.

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

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

Just saying.

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

This card is lying to you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Can I just say this?


That is all.

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

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

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

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

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

You never know... Something interesting might happen there in the next few days. Who knows?
Re: Detailed Description and Strategies of New Mechanics and Cards for Transformers Trading Card Game (2020981)
Posted by Hydrargyrus on May 8th, 2019 @ 11:31pm CDT
Focus triggers on defense as well. Wouldn’t that make it sort of a worse version of Bold AND Tough (rather than just Bold)?

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #275 - Non-Fungible Mailbag
Twincast / Podcast #275:
"Non-Fungible Mailbag"
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Posted: Saturday, May 1st, 2021

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