Triple Changers Land In The Official Transformers Trading Card Game + In-depth
Monday, February 11th, 2019 5:52am CSTCategories: Game News, Collectables
Posted by: ZeroWolf Views: 19,302
Not only that but fellow Seibertron user and Transformers TCG contributor, #Sideways# is back with his thoughts on these new cards!
They are here.
They have arrived.
But are they as good as they're hyped up to be?
Springer is the first of at least two Triplechangers coming in Rise of the Combiners, and he's the second Helicopter in the game. Being a Triplechanger, he has three modes, but I fear that only two of them are going to be useful -- and if you've been reading up until this point, I think you know what I'm about to say -- because of his lackluster robot mode.
Okay, before I delve into that deep black hole, let's talk about Triplechangers. We don't exactly know how they start the game. One would be able to guess that one starts in "Alt 1", but being that the rules merely state "Alt Mode", then it stands to reason one might have a choice of alternate modes at the start of the game. That being said, one would probably prefer to start the game in his Truck mode anyway given his higher Defense stats, but that's neither here nor there.
I, for one, would put money on the "star side face up" logic and have him start in Truck mode, but until we have an official ruling on the matter, then I'd refrain from playtesting it any other way.
Anyway, to the card itself, I think the versatility that Springer's vehicle modes bring to the table is actually fantastic. First off, since Springer's Truck mode is just that, a Truck, he can use Cargo Trailer which is always an interesting thought, but the fact that he has Tough 2 with an Armor already attached makes me swoon. Having that means that, with a Reinforced Plating, he becomes extremely hard to take down with his massive health pool and a permanently high Tough in an all blue list.
But that's not all! You see, his Helicopter mode is the analog to this, having Bold 2 with a Weapon attached, making his five attack turn into some pretty insane numbers in an all orange list, especially with the advent of Power Punch. With a Power Punch, Supercharge and his innate Bold, you can hit Bold 8 and deal frankly disgusting, Dinobot levels of damage fairly easily.
This brings me to something that I'd like to point out. You can build three separate lists for Springer, with one being an all blue list that focuses on defense, another being an all orange that focuses on offense, and a third, balanced list. It's a fascinating concept that brings forth several options that could each work well in their individual rights. But, balanced lists can be inconsistent, and if you choose to focus on one color you forsake the other -- and the other mode.
You really have to pick your poison with Springer. Whereas I do think that balanced is probably optimal for him, the mono color lists for him should not be ignored or discounted.
What probably should be discounted is his robot mode, sadly. You see, his robot mode doesn't really do anything. With an emphasis on Pierce if he has a Utility, that's honestly fine -- but the problem arises when you look at both his mediocre attack stat and his abysmal defensive capabilities. You'd think that either of them would have gotten boosted instead of a net loss in literally both categories but that's just my opinion. His attack is that low to justify having Pierce, though, which is understandable -- but unfortunately, it really isn't. You can't really do anything with even that high Pierce number because his Attack stat is simply so low that it forbids it.
Normally, in cases like Megatron -- Decepticon Leader, he actually had higher attack than his Pierce, which allowed plays with cards like Energon Axe to put some considerable levels of Pierce on opponents characters. That just isn't happening here, and I am extremely sad about that.
All in all, I really do like Springer and his potential variety in gameplay, especially in a balanced list, but his robot mode is incredibly lackluster which essentially turns him into a two vehicle mode character since you're almost never going to be using his robot mode. It's unfortunate, but then again, his vehicle modes pretty much have all the power you're ever going to need out of him, but I can't shake the feeling that his robot mode -- or perhaps the lack thereof given its uselessness -- make him worse than the competition.
"Then let's make it official."
Blitzwing makes me extremely happy just looking at him, and no, not just because of the literal action figure hands in his artwork, but the fact that he has Brave in his Tank mode, Stealth in Plane mode and an actually useful Robot mode ability.
Let's talk about that Tank mode real quick. I've already spoken about this, but teams with Brave as a starter that force your opponent to target a specific thing means that you are free to play far more important small characters. For instance, Flamewar is a very important character who kind of dies in one hit from certain characters, and if she goes down before you get to use her, you pretty much end up losing that game. With Brave, you are virtually guaranteed to be able to use your smaller, squishier characters' abilities -- sure, at the cost of some HP from Blitzwing, but hey, that's the name of the game.
Being a Tank, Blitzwing can use amazing Actions like Hunker Down to not just give him an Armor -- likely a Force Field -- and all but confirm his survival, but you will be confirming the survival of your teammates as well because not only are you using Hunker Down to Upgrade him, but you are also suddenly putting a Brave character on the field. This means not only are you accelerating Upgrades but you are also forcing your opponent to attack into a Force Field, essentially all but wasting an attack. You won't be attacking in this mode, sadly, but that's not the point of his kit.
As a lighter note, he can even make use of Crushing Treads if you really hate yourself enough to give him Pierce 1 or Pierce 0. I mean, let's be honest here, that's one thing that you're never going to use on him. Funny, though!
Blitzwing does a lot of work, but what happens when the pressure is a bit too much? Well, that's easy -- just transform him into his Plane mode, which innately has Stealth, which forces your opponent to attack someone else. If you think it's time that your squishy allies to finally take some heat, then instead of being a Tank, Blitzwing can also become a competent Plane with a moderate attack stat and Stealth. In fact, you can play him with Slipstream and Bombing Run to make a surprisingly competent Plane list, even abusing his Tank mode to take the heat off Acid Storm as a potential third partner. But despite all of that, you still won't be attacking in this mode, either.
Why? Well, let's take a look at his robot mode, which unlike Springer actually has an attack stat and ability that's worth something. Of course, you have zero defense, but you are highly unlikely to need it as you can use the abilities of his robot mode to transform after the attack into one of his alternate modes, to either the Tank to the Plane to abuse either of the abilities.
On top of that, you even draw a card to potentially aid any Plan effects you have on Blitzwing to all but confirm his transformation ability to pop from your flips. The amount of versatility that Blitzwing can bring in teammates to capitalize on either of his modes is an interesting analog to Springer, whose abilities are more useful based on a self-sustaining deck build. Blitzwing is more team-focused, aiding his team and their survivability.
Between the two, I much prefer Blitzwing given his field focus instead of Springer who -- if you simply don't draw into your specific parts -- can whiff pretty badly and lose his value. Blitzwing is a much safer pick if you're looking for consistent value, but both have their merits.
But as for Blitzwing, the thought of playing him with Warpath and Acid Storm to make use of both his modes to their fullest makes me think. I've considered other "Hate Bears" lists with both Warpath and Acid Storm, including the Super Rare Starscream, but I wonder if this wasn't their intended place. I mean, where else are you going to get a Tank and a Plane in the same place?
Jesting aside, it's always an interesting idea to consider what the developers had in mind for potential partners and playstyles when looking into new characters, because I find that they usually know more about the game than I do. Whether their logic holds true or not when a player-driven metagame takes over is another animal, though, which is why it's generally a good idea to take every supposition with a grain of salt, but the fact can't be ignored that it's uncanny that both keyword blockers are both a Tank and a Plane.
I don't know, perhaps my tinfoil cap is showing and my voice is echoing out of my tailpipe, but it's always something to keep in mind.
Surprise Attack is not the best, but it's actually kind of niche in certain decks. It's not by any means "good", nor will it go in most lists. At all. But there is actually some merit in blue lists. Of course, you should be using The Bigger They Are and Leap Into Battle to facilitate your damage, but it's not exactly horrible to confirm a certain amount of damage in certain lists, like Aerialbots or perhaps Tanks.
It'd be like playing a redundant weapon like Erratic Lightning in a deck that already plays Grenade Launcher. It's not a bad thing -- at all, actually -- but it's redundant, which increases chances of drawing one or the other. I'm not saying it's particularly fantastic or special, but I am saying that it could be used as a third wheel to Leap Into Battle and The Bigger They Are.
You know how I feel about Pierce, so when I give a Pierce card a few options, you know it has potential, am I right? But either way, it's an interesting card, but I don't think it'll see much play outside a few lists, and even then it's kind of a redundant card in a few regards.
Triplechangers are magical. What does this mean for the game moving forward? Well, it means games are about to get a lot more interesting without much effort unlike Combiners. Combiners are always an interesting game to be sure, but they require the entire team to be devoted to that singular goal. With Triplechangers, you have the traditional playstyle married to the unique triple-sided card mechanic as well, which is sure to make more interesting, more engaging choices happen in the future.
It should almost go without saying at this point, but I am extremely excited for these guys. Super Rares or not, they bring a lot of diversity to the game without having to devote all of your points to it (Volcanicus notwithstanding).
What are you most excited about? Are you on Team Blitzwing or Team Springer? Who do you think is coming next? Let me know in the comments below!
So what are your thoughts on these? Let us know in the Energon Pub and stay tuned to Seibertron for all the latest news and reviews!
Credit(s): Survivefan23 and #Sideways# from Seibertron, Official Transformers Trading Card Game Facebook page
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HobbyLink Japan Sponsor News - MP Starscream 2.0 Available This Month, Plus Cutie1 GeneratioPosted 2 days ago
Posted by ZeroWolf on February 13th, 2019 @ 4:52pm CST
#Sideways# also gives us his detailed thoughts on the cards and their combined form!
Back in the mystical past of 2007, I had the Transformers movie game for the PS2 and in that game there were a lot of memorable characters and enemies from them. I still remember the cool Shockwave bossfight that they had, but one of the most memorable enemies that they had was Dreadwing, who would fly around, jump into the sky and use flamethrowers to deal a ton of damage to you if you got too close. They were a bit easy to kill because they kinda just stood completely still and you could just walk away and just shoot them, but they looked awesome.
From that point, I payed attention to the name Dreadwing, so when I got up this morning and saw that the last Combiner for this set has been revealed and that it was none other than Dreadwing, I couldn't help but to pay attention. But first, let's talk about everything that makes up his plane glory: His composite parts.
Blackwing hits hard and gets hit harder, if that wasn't obvious from his zero defense in robot mode. He still swings pretty hard in both modes, despite him being a vanilla 8-star Plane. Blackwing doesn't really have too many things to really go over except for his robot mode ability, which takes the place of the Enigma for these pseudo-Combiners.
You see, at the end of your turn, if both Dreadwind and Blackwing are in robot mode, you can scrap three cards from your hand and combine them into Blackwing. This effect is expensive, but extremely fast considering you can pull off a Combination on the second turn of the game. This is a powerful effect, and I wager it will always be Blackwing who will be using this effect.
There really isn't much else to talk about for this guy -- he just swings really hard and then turns into Dreadwing.
Dreadwind is a very depressed individual, and his stats definitely reflect that. Having such a low attack stat in robot mode and relying upon Pierce 2 to deal any damage whatsoever, Dreadwind is almost as dismal as he is.
You see, there is a silver lining about this guy: His defense. When you attack with him in his Plane mode -- which you definitely would and I'll tell you why in a moment -- you shove a solid three defense in your opponent's face and tell them to deal with it. Three defense is honestly huge, especially in a primarily defensive Plane deck where you're likely to take even less damage than the average. It is here where his Pierce actually shines instead of being extremely underwhelming like most Pierce is.
You see, if you're playing a balanced or blue Plane build, you're going to be sitting there with a low attack trying to chew through your opponents' defense stats. Certain decks like Double Primes can make good use of their already monstrous attack stats to still beat-stick their way through defense stats, but when you have such low attack like Dreadwind here, you're gonna need that Pierce to do anything whatsoever.
But what is this leading into? What exactly does Dreadwing do?
Oh, oh big ol' jet airliner / Don't carry me too far away
Oh, oh big ol' jet airliner / 'Cause it's here that I've got to stay
Dreadwing is very good and you should like him too. Okay, guys, that's it, the end of the article, thanks for tuning in!
But in all seriousness, what makes Dreadwing good? Well, he's essentially a combo of Dreadwind and Blackwing, and that shows through in every ounce of his kit. On one hand, you have 24 HP and 7 Attack -- a combination of the composite parts' stats -- and he has two of every Upgrade slot. This makes it to where he can swing incredibly hard with two weapons, tank an inordinate amount of damage with multiple Armor slots, provide draw with Data Bank, keep the heat off teammates with Bravery or even use multiple Aerial Recon in his Utility Slots.
Dreadwing has a massive amount of utility and staying power on the field, even more when you consider that he is a Plane, which means that he can use Slipstream's damage moving effect as well as Bombing Run to keep him in tip-top shape. The fact that he has the incredibly strong ability to have multiple Armor cards combined with all of that healing make him last forever. The best part is that his "healing" doesn't even count as "healing". Since it's technically "damage moving", not even Torox can keep him from doing as he pleases.
Dreadwing isn't just a pretty name -- he's a freaking monster on the battlefield, and through the use of Bravery and the stacking of Armor, whoever you pair him with can attack with impunity as well.
So how do you get him into play efficiently and without either of his parts getting KO'd in the process? Well, that's easy. Blackwing has zero defense, so thus he must attack last lest you want your opponent to obliterate him. But, that doesn't mean you have to transform him second, now does it? You see, Dreadwind has three defense and Pierce in his vehicle mode, which allows him to deal chip damage while sitting pretty with his three defense. Your opponent won't be able to do much to him, especially if you happened to get an Armor on him (for instance, if you went second).
Then, the next turn, you simply transform Dreadwind and swing with the already Transformed Blackwing and by the end of the second turn of the game, you have Dreadwing on the field with little if any damage on him. This also makes it incredibly easy to get value out of him as you can attack with him the turn after, essentially gaining not just a "free attack" but essentially a "free turn" since you will be more or less untapping one of your characters through combination. This makes his offensive power incredibly apparent after you focus the character both the composite parts have been attacking.
I realize you'd be essentially making yourself "tall" by only having two characters on the field, but I wager it's worth it given your monstrous HP, powerful offensive potential and incredible defensive capabilities.
All in all, Dreadwing is a character that is both consistent and powerful -- and a common at that! What more could you want? Well, what more could you want other than needing Slipstream as a partner, that is. Those convention exclusives! Always playing hard to get!
What do you think of Dreadwing? Too powerful to handle or "too big for his britches"? Do you want me to cover him on my YouTube channel? Let me know in the comments below -- I always read them! Until next time, thanks for reading! See you then!
Thats not all though! Also revealed on the Official Transformers Trading Card Game Facebook page is the launch of a companion App you can download on your smart phones or tablets! This news was shared with us by fellow Seibertron user, jon3.0.
Download now from your devices app store!
What do you think of this surprise reveal? Will you be using the app? Let us know in the Energon Pub and stay tuned to Seibertron for all the latest news and reviews!
Posted by Bumblevivisector on February 13th, 2019 @ 6:25pm CST
As for the cards, this was a really nice surprise! Quick 2-bot combiners are a welcome variation for this expansion. Too bad we're a ways off from having cassettes, as I can't think of too many other pairs unless they use Battleslash and Roadtrap, Crash Combiners...or the Multiforce! Now they would be the freakin' bomb in this game!
And just the other day, I was wondering how this game would handle the _______master characters, and our first 'Con powermasters give us the eloquent answer: just ignore that gimmick for now! No, seriously, since western fiction depicts most of those characters as having just been plain ol' TFs prior to entering binary bondage between '86 and '09, treating them as such for now and saving their organic upgrades for later waves makes perfect sense.
Will this game last long enough to see a Masterforce expansion repaint these cards into Buster and Hydra? Let's make it happen! I just need to actually learn how to play, and...
Posted by Rainmaker on February 13th, 2019 @ 11:17pm CST
Posted by steve2275 on February 14th, 2019 @ 4:46am CST
Posted by Emerje on February 15th, 2019 @ 1:07am CST
The full tweets can be found below:
Get a double-sided, Titan-sized Transformers Trading Card Game card featuring OMEGA SUPREME - AUTOBOT DEFENSE BASE in this month's ‘TRANSFORMATION’ themed Loot Crate! Sign up by 2/19 at 9pm Pacific: https://loot.cr/tfwotc
OMEGA SUPREME - AUTOBOT DEFENSE BASE will be available via alternative avenues in EU and APAC regions. Please consult your preferred card game retailer for availability and more information. Stay tuned for more information!
The crate will also contain items from Marvel, the Alita: Battle Angel movie, Adventure Time, and Naruto Shippuden. This standard crate runs $19.99, but be sure to keep an eye out for working discount codes to get the best deal possible!
How do you feel about the Loot Crate exclusive? Sound off in the Energon Pub forums below!
Posted by Rodimus Knight on February 15th, 2019 @ 7:44am CST
Posted by What's Crackin'? on February 15th, 2019 @ 9:43am CST
Posted by Rodimus Knight on February 15th, 2019 @ 12:39pm CST
What's Crackin'? wrote:I love the TCG but I hate Loot Crate. Hard pass.
As soon as those cards are in my hand, I'm cancelling.
Posted by ZeroWolf on February 15th, 2019 @ 12:44pm CST
Posted by william-james88 on February 16th, 2019 @ 3:43pm CST
If you want to know more about these cards and strategies, we have breakdowns here.
Posted by ZeroWolf on February 18th, 2019 @ 3:36pm CST
Thats not all though, as fellow Seibertron user and contributor, #Sideways#, has sent in his In-depth analysis of Omega Supreme and a new Bumblebee card!
Over to you #Sideways#!
If you hadn't guessed already, today... I have a rather large reveal to bring to you guys. Oh yes, my friends, it's Omega Supreme. Now, as a preface I do have to mention that you can technically buy this guy right now, but there is a catch. You see, not only is Omega Supreme a promo card found in this month's Loot Crate, but it is currently only in Loot Crate. Now, say what you will about that, but something that I definitely recommend is that you use the Valentine's Day code -- LOVE50, or in some cases LOVE35 -- to get a solid 35%-50% off your order.
Basically, you get the stuff in the Loot Crate as well as a confirmed Omega Supreme for about $15. But that's not all that's special about this guy -- notice that his set code states "P2", meaning quite literally "Promo 2". What, then, would Promo 1 be? What could possibly be on-par with Omega Supreme?
Nobody knows, but me personally? I wager Trypticon will be stomping his way to the battlefield shortly.
This Bumblebee is really, really good, and it's easy to see why. First off, you have great stats with a considerable HP stat and a very respectable attack stat in both modes, but you're also a Car Leader, which is very neat when you consider Matrix of Leadership's existence. Perhaps even moreso, you can play him with the Starter Bumblebee to do some Matrix Stacking which is an interesting thought if you don't mind not having a slot to use Turbo Boosters or Agility of Bumblebee with.
But those are just his innate effects; I haven't even touched on what really makes him good. You see, the best part about him is his ability to combo Actions. For instance, in his robot mode, you have the ability to scrap an Action to draw two which nets you a lot of cards (considering) without using your Action for the turn. Of course, this is something that happens essentially at the end of your turn, but any draw is generally good draw.
But that's not all.
Not only does Bumblebee draw using Actions, but he also allows you to play a "free" Action during your turn when you Transform him to vehicle mode, the same ability that Mirage has. So, that being said, when you play a Roll Out or a Start Your Engines and have both a Bumblebee and Mirage in robot mode, you have the ability to play two free Actions, then untap one of your Cars. That's monstrous value, and when you consider playing him with other Bumblebee to abuse Agility of Bumblebee, that value gets even higher.
Now, that being said, he won't be in every car list thanks to his 10 Star cost to play him, but standard Car lists might want to make use of him. It would mean dropping the Super Rare Bumblebee, who is rather incomparable to Common Bee outside of having the name "Bumblebee" given that SR Bee can attack untapped characters and at the end of the game turns into something of a beast, but as a cheap alternative, I don't see why you wouldn't want to play him.
There are already debates regarding whether or not it's better to play him over SR Bee, but I find myself on the Super Rare side of the fence after playing Predacons. Being able to attack untapped characters is immensely powerful, especially against decks like Insecticons, Combiners and even Double Prime because you can potentially remove a character that has not attacked yet from the field. Doing this essentially wins you the game, so to say it's powerful is a bit of an understatement.
That being said, being able to draw more and play more Actions certainly makes me swoon. You're likely to have more early game usefulness with Common Bumblebee, while at the end of the game SR Bumblebee will be a monster. I don't really know for sure, of course -- this is all just theorycraft -- but it cannot be denied that a case for either could be made and made quite well.
I suppose it's all up to your personal preference which Bee is for you, but I think it should go without saying that you should probably be playing one in your Car list.
Something that I've noticed about promo cards from the Transformers Trading Card Game is that none of them seem wholly unplayable. Slipstream has her uses in Planes, Cliffjumper has his own version of Cars to consider, Devastator seems extremely strong out of the gate, Metroplex turned into a top tier deck and even Ironhide, who is oft regarded as one of the worst characters in the game, has a home in the Truck archetype. Or at least he did before Motormaster likely took his spot, but that's another discussion for another day.
Basically what I'm saying is this: Just because they're a promo, don't discount them. Too often promo cards have turned into shiny proxy backs, or even the esteemed position of bulk. Not here. Not with Omega.
Omega seems to have some of the most janky potential in a promo card I've seen yet, and when you consider that he has 19 stars, it's easy to see why. Having 19 stars means that you can play him with a small partner, someone to either help keep heat off him or perhaps increase his damage. Where he has only one defense, his HP and attack are both quite high indeed, and on top of that he's a Tank, where you can abuse Hunker Down to attach everything from a Force Field to a Reinforced Plating. That, and when you consider playing him with Flamewar in an all blue setting, you begin to realize that Omega will begin to have a monstrous amount of staying power.
He won't be the only one to stay on the field forever, though, given his ability in robot mode to take two damage off your opponent's attack directed at your smaller, softer character you play him with. This is an incredible ability, which essentially makes it to where he can let his partner last a lot longer in the battle. I mean, imagine: Your opponent swings at your partner for six. You defend three, and then you move off two with Omega. Your opponent did effectively one damage. Omega is insane at keeping his partners alive, and it really shows.
Omega also has his vehicle mode, which is both a Tank and a Spaceship -- which would be nice if being a Spaceship actually meant something given the decided lack of support for them. Omega also has the neat ability to either deal one damage to something when you flip to his vehicle mode or to draw a card. Drawing a card is usually better, but depending on the partner you chose you might want that extra damage. In fact, that ability pops Skrapnel for enough damage to turn him into a 2HKO instead of a potential 3HKO. Being a Tank and using Hunker Down and Flamewar on the same team, you can start to defend quite a bit of damage.
But that's honestly not my favorite way to play him, even though I am and always will be a fan of Flamewar. Not to betray my Decepticon waifu, I actually like the idea of playing Omega with either Warpath or Acid Storm. Since these anti-keyword characters are both six stars, playing either one with Omega Supreme seems obvious. On one hand, one could dedicate an extremely defensive list with Acid Storm, using Omega Supreme and high blue cards to keep Acid Storm alive and keep Dinobots depressed, but on the other, one could use Warpath in the same way to try and beat Double Prime.
So let's talk about that for a moment. Which one is better, and in a way, isn't playing one redundant if the way to play Omega is defensively?
Well, on one hand Acid Storm seems to lend himself extremely well to that defensive playstyle. Acid Storm turns off Bold, which means your opponent will be doing even less damage to your blue-driven deck, decreased even further given your recycling of Armor with Hunker Down. That, and when you consider that Omega will be doing his part to keep Acid Storm alive by taking two damage for him, you realize that Stormy can pretty well keep himself alive from there with his healing ability. Dinobots will then be dead drawing into their Bold Stacking cards all game, while Insecticon players will be considering dropping Barrage from their list altogether, but there's a problem with that:
Acid Storm sucks against defensive lists.
Against anything that's offensive, Acid Storm chews through like butter, but when you run across something that's going to be trying to outlast you, he falls apart. Conversely, Warpath -- who turns off Tough -- is something approaching the same thing for offensive lists, or at least he should.
You see, Warpath's ability prevents your opponents characters from using Tough, and that also means that these extremely defensive lists like Double Prime, Planes or similar lists are going to be taking a lot more damage than normal. All of their armor in their deck essentially turns into dead cards in their hand, and when you consider that Warpath is a Tank as well as being on the same team as Omega, you realize that he will be able to stay on the field forever to keep it that way.
Double Primes also becomes even more inconsistent given that they will be potentially drawing into dead armor cards all game, and their deck cycling effects won't come into play, making Nemesis' ability even slower than it already is. Simply put, Warpath is priority number one on their list of KO candidates -- so it's a good thing that in a defensive Tank deck with Omega Supreme on the battlefield, your opponent won't be able to do anything about him.
This is why I like Warpath. He doesn't help you "win harder" against Dinobots, which should still be a good matchup given your "Tank"y ability and blue list, but he also helps you against Double Primes which is the best deck in format at the moment. That, and he's a Tank, which means that you can Hunker Down with him as well as Omega, cycling Force Fields and Reinforced Plating all game. He might not have much offensive power -- at all, actually -- but that's what Omega's job is. With an Energon Axe, Omega Supreme has a whopping 10 Attack, which can deal even more damage with Leap Into Battle and other boosting cards.
I definitely think that Warpath is the way to go in terms of six star teammates for Omega, and as for Omega as a whole, I look forward to seeing Omega be the anti-meta pick he was always destined to be. Of course, his smaller friends should always watch out for any Aerialbots on the horizon, but Omega fears nothing but the strongest of foes.
Jar Ja-- Erm, Wheelie gets his debut in the Transformers TCG by being on a Battle Card, and it's just about as terrible as he is. Fling is just outclassed by pretty much all of its peers. It's a bad healing card, as MEDIC! straight heals more, and even Field Repairs allows you to Plan while still providing an orange pip. Even Emergency Repairs is better because it has a pip and the ability to repair three damage from one of your characters, and Emergency Repairs isn't that great.
So, if its medical license is revoked, then how about its offensive potential? Well, it's not good either. Shall we look at some examples? Plasma Burst deals two damage while still having no pips, "One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall" deals three damage and while having recoil damage you can also use that to your advantage through Energon Axe and Slipstream-esque abilities. Even Inferno Breath deals three damage and has a pip. Sure, it taps one of your characters, but a lot of lists don't really care about that given the new Brave mechanic.
So on all fronts, Fling is lackluster. It just isn't a keeper. It's just a fling; not really marriage material.
Press The Advantage is a keeper; definitely marriage material.
You might say, though, "Now, wait a minute, this only matters with Autobots VS Decepticons!"
You could say that. You could. But when you consider that pretty much every deck plays at least one Decepticon with Metroplex being one of only a few exceptions, and with Wave 2 adding even more good Decepticons, Press The Advantage becomes quite the good card. Let's quickly dive into why.
So, this card both increases your Autobot damage while decreasing Decepticon defense which, mathematically speaking, is essentially another increase in damage. When you consider that most defense stats average out at 2, you end up seeing a boost of essentially +4 damage against Decepticons and a standard +2 against Autobots. That +4 is insane when you consider Optimus Prime -- Battlefield Legend. Not only does he have the ability to flip this card and boost his damage with the orange pip to nine, but he also gets that solid +2 bringing his damage to 11. Worse yet, whomever he attacks will have their defense lowered to zero, making their demise on likely the first turn of the game something of a done-deal.
But that's not all. What, you thought that confirming an OHKO on the first turn of the game without any repercussions like Reckless Charge or One Shall Stand was good enough? Ohohoho, you might want to sit down: This is gonna make you weak in the knees.
Press The Advantage has a green pip so the turn after you use it with Battlefield Legend, you get to use it again. But Optimus is tapped! You can't use him again, right? Well, the whole "choose an enemy Decepticon" thing doesn't have to be with an Active Autobot present, so you get to use it with Nemesis Prime or perhaps an Autobot partner to Battlefield Legend, making them deal more damage as well.
Sometimes, the built-in armor stat is so vital to the survival of the character they have a low HP stat. Just look at Tanks for example. Demolisher has four defense but only seven HP, Darkmount has nine HP but a whopping potential five defense against ranged characters, and so on. That defense is their lifeblood, and when you strip it from them, things start looking dire for them very quickly.
Now, it should be noted that simply doing more damage is essentially what's happening here. Reducing defense is the same thing as doing more damage since more damage "ignores" the armor, but most highly damaging Actions like Reckless Charge have some sort of drawback. This one does not, and that's what makes it so good at dealing that damage. The fact that it has a green pip makes it even better.
As a whole, this card makes me more terrified of being one-hit on turn one by a Battlefield Legend than I already am, and it begs the question about Battlefield Legend: Is he too good? Nothing can compete with the amount of utility Battlefield Legend has, and very few things can compete with the amount of damage he can do out of effectively nowhere. I think it remains to be seen if he will continue to keep that crown given that we haven't seen all of the characters from this set yet, but I don't think he's going anywhere any time soon.
Tackle is surprisingly good, I'm not gonna lie. Being able to tap your opponent's characters to either open them up to attacks, trigger the "end of turn brawl" where your characters all get to gang up on one of your opponent's characters or deny them the ability to attack is pretty fascinating.
Cars, for one, can make especially good use of this card given their reliance on Turbo Boosters. You can transform Bumblebee -- Trusted Lieutenant and play Tackle to tap one of your opponent's characters, then Turbo Booster him and then still have your Action for turn. Perhaps even moreso, you can use Start Your Engines to transform him, use Tackle for free, then use the Start Your Engines untapping effect to untap the character you just tapped.
Tackle gets kind of crazy when you use it in conjunction with characters that can either untap or in wide lists that have man advantage over your opponents, but something I would also like to touch on is a potential lock combo with Battlefield Legend.
You see, when you flip this card on an attack with Battlefield Legend, you can tap your Nemesis Prime to tap your opponent's Nemesis Prime. If this is the first attack of the "round" with no characters tapped, you're essentially denying your opponent an attack with Nemesis.
And, when everyone resets, you can transform Battlefield Legend and reuse it -- this time tapping Battlefield Legend to tap your opponent's Battlefield Legend. Of course, you're also denying yourself an attack, but it's an interesting thought for the mirror in Double Primes, though to be perfectly honest if you're that worried about the mirror you should probably be playing Enemy Combat Analysis and try tipping the matchup that way.
The Battlefield Legend combo seems interesting, but I don't know if it's any good. Just a thought.
Omega Supreme -- outside of the card himself -- might be one of the weirdest promotional ways to get a trading card I've ever seen, and I am still not sure how I feel about it. I mean, on one hand it's promoting the game, but on the other hand it's a goofy way to get a single card. I dunno, it's strange. But hey, you can't deny that getting a bunch of other cool stuff in your Loot Crate isn't a bad thing.
I'm just sad that I literally just bought a real-life loot box. Curse you, Activision for setting the industry standard! Curse you EA for making it worse!
But in all seriousness, the cards revealed so far have had very few bad cards among them. From Omega Supreme to Devastator to Dreadwing, I can't believe how competent that these decks are. I think that we're about to enter a very diverse metagame, but I don't know if any of them can beat Double Prime at the top.
As always, you can catch me uploading more competitive discussion and deck profiles on my YouTube channel, Nanomachines regularly. If you want to see some of my deck lists, check out my deck profiles!
What do you think? Is Omega Supreme good? Is Bumblebee? Is Press The Advantage as good as I think it is, or am I just living in Narnia? Is Battlefield Legend too good, or does he create a centralized meta approaching some of Pokemon's best years during the SP era? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, I'll catch you next time!
Don't forget to check out our photographs of the TCG products at Hasbros display at this weekends Toy Fair New York 2019!
What do you think of these cards? Will any of these end up in your deck? Let us know in the Energon Pub and stay tuned to Seibertron for all the latest news and reviews!
Posted by Rainmaker on February 18th, 2019 @ 10:08pm CST
Posted by Bed Bugs on February 26th, 2019 @ 1:12pm CST
Posted by Bed Bugs on February 26th, 2019 @ 1:13pm CST
Posted by PerfectVision on February 27th, 2019 @ 7:14am CST
First,i want to rewrite the seekers deck.
Scream11 and Thundercracker or Sunstorm and Dirge +Skywarp\Metroplex
1 X photon\crash\strafing
rollout(scream11 magic with that)
Eaxe thanks to skywarp\grenade
swapP(it reset the side effect)\M escape
THE ADJUSTING:2O\1W\2B\1W\rollout every ten
Very bad against truck\tank,the trucks has recieved a buff with Novastar instead of optimus12,bumpers instead of blast,she attack first and recieve every teamup and cargo,kup in second,he is the only one who flip and use the cybertronium.
Scream13-blitzwing and springer-grapple are duos,nerfed version of the previous ones,yes they are nerf,i will ignore dreadwing.
Bolt X 1
Sconsole\crushing size(perfect on springer + noble)
THE ADJUSTING:1O\1B X 2\1W
The third magician is acid storm with trhust and mega2
ECA X 1(anti grimlock,sludge is more irrationnal,there should be a limit on his absortion)
tech+supierior(the cannon is out of place)
4B\1W\tech every ten
A reminder of the two others,they have recieve buff
plasmaburst X 1
salvage X 1
datapad for chromia
3O or B\1W\rollout every ten with the minority
You may get +3 regulary instead of 2
A new anti combiner deck,very aggressive
bomb11-venin-old kickback\blurr-old optimus7-warpath
the focus fire is very important for the final KO,one every ten with one extra cornered
always put the scrounge behind upgrade that aren't green
pace and improvised+secretD
for every combiner:the enigma every ten and the Rconversion
they use magic damage
steamroll X 1
intelligence(enigma draw or close)
they are agressive and draw fast,the first will have 4 extra card,so,i write only the second.
? X 1
scrounge+electrified+mining for sludge
3O or B\1W
they use healing
? X 1
tackle(it can ruin grimlock9)
fieldR(+Rconversion in particular)
maximus use a 1O\1B deck,it took me longtime to understand that.
This wave is not completely usable without the first one,i find that bad but maybe it's capricious.
Posted by ScottyP on March 4th, 2019 @ 8:39am CST
I can say that there's no way I can keep up doing 4 cases or the equivalent for each wave only to end up without a full set. It feels excessive, like a mobile game that milks the microtransactions as hard as possible because it will only survive by creating gambling addicts, which isn't necessary here imo.
Posted by william-james88 on March 4th, 2019 @ 8:43am CST
ScottyP wrote:How are the pulls going for everyone so far on wave 2? I'm 72 packs in and on the struggle bus for Super Rares and have more duplicate Rares than I'd care to, but at least those will be good trade bait. Very oddly, I still don't have one Common - Breakdown.
I can say that there's no way I can keep up doing 4 cases or the equivalent for each wave only to end up without a full set. It feels excessive, like a mobile game that milks the microtransactions as hard as possible because it will only survive by creating gambling addicts, which isn't necessary here imo.
I thought that, like with hockey cards, one case would give you everything albeit with loads of doubles. This sounds pretty intense.
Posted by ScottyP on March 4th, 2019 @ 8:58am CST
The last actual trading cards I did were some Legend of Zelda cards from Enterplay a couple yeaes ago and a case pretty much guaranteed a full set outside of gold foils and box toppers. For whatever reason Transformers cards can't seem to get this concept down. Armada took years to finish off. Despite hundreds of free packs from Robot Kingdom and four ultra cheap clearance cases from BBTS, I still don't have 8 DotM cards. These aren't much different. I get it on the Super Rares and Rares but it feels like "Common" and "Uncommon" mean totally arbitrary things with these particular sets.william-james88 wrote:ScottyP wrote:How are the pulls going for everyone so far on wave 2? I'm 72 packs in and on the struggle bus for Super Rares and have more duplicate Rares than I'd care to, but at least those will be good trade bait. Very oddly, I still don't have one Common - Breakdown.
I can say that there's no way I can keep up doing 4 cases or the equivalent for each wave only to end up without a full set. It feels excessive, like a mobile game that milks the microtransactions as hard as possible because it will only survive by creating gambling addicts, which isn't necessary here imo.
I thought that, like with hockey cards, one case would give you everything albeit with loads of doubles. This sounds pretty intense.
Posted by william-james88 on March 5th, 2019 @ 8:53pm CST
This world has only one / Sweet moment set aside for us
Who wants to live forever? / Who wants to live forever?
They say that all good things must come to an end. They say that life is not beautiful because it lasts forever, but because it comes to an end. Well, unless you're a Highlander, but I already opened with Queen so I'm pretty sure all of them left the room. But like the existential dread-inducing realization that things are finite, so too must we realize that card spoilers must eventually come to an end.
It just so happens that the aforementioned "end" is a cataclysmic, explosive dump of card spoilers on the Transformers TCG Facebook page with an amount of reveals coming in at a solid 33 freaking cards.
And I'm going to do all of them.
Every single one.
So strap in -- you're in for a wild ride.
Skywarp is actually very competent, and I am extremely excited about his potential with an Aerialbot team backing him up. You see, this Skywarp may have lackluster stats on the surface, the thing you have to realize is that beauty is rarely skin-deep. You see, when you have this Skywarp in his Robot Mode, he has an affinity for "pipless" cards that don't have a colored pip on them.
When you flip a pipless card, you gain a sizable offensive and defensive boost, making his lackluster attack and utterly abysmal defense stat actually useful for something. If you recall a few days ago, we saw the Super Rare Starscream who has a very similar ability to this except that he deals with the Decepticon Crown. The difference being, Starscream is both more powerful when he works and more expensive. It's for this reason that I can't help but to consider the two to be extremely similar, and I wonder if that wasn't by design. Food for thought.
You can use this defensively, chiefly, with an emphasis on Tough to give him an extremely competent defensive capability. His offensive stats are too lackluster to capitalize upon, it would seem, which is slightly unfortunate. But then again, the best part about him, at least in my opinion, isn't his robot mode.
You see, when you transform Skywarp you get to put a pipless card from your Scrap Pile into your hand. Skywarp, of course, can put any pipless card into your hand, not just Actions, which means that certain cards like Stunticon Swagger could get even better given that you could play him with a team of Stunticons (though I am not sure why exactly you would choose to deny yourself combination in that regard). But let's think about this in terms of Action Cards for the moment, hm?
So, let's say for instance that you have three Aerialbots along with him. Remember that kinda nutty Bombing Run combo I was talking about where you could do 8 damage to something in total without attacking? If not, let's recap: You start with four Planes, then you play a Brainstorm. Brainstorm will then play a Photon Bomb, damaging all characters on both sides for 2. The second card comes, and it's a Bombing Run, which moves a damage from each of your Planes to a single target. This turns the 2 damage from the Photon Bomb into 6 given you have four planes in play. But that's not all. Next, you get to transform Silverbolt into Robot mode and put another damage counter on something, then you get to attach an Armed Hovercraft and spread another 1 damage on your opponent's characters. This brings the total damage you've done to a single target -- not counting the other spread damage on your opponent's other characters -- to a whopping 8.
And you haven't even attacked yet.
Skywarp helps make that combo way more consistent. Being a Specialist, a Plane and having the ability to return the Photon Bomb from your Scrap to your hand, he allows yourself the ability to confirm a part to the combo in your hand as well as potential Multi-Mission Gear plays. You have a lot of potential value out of Skywarp from his vehicle mode ability alone. I just wish that his offensive stats were a bit more than lackluster.
All in all, he's great utility. He'll never come close to either Battlefield Legend or Starscream, but he has a very nice niche in spammy Aerialbot-based lists.
No, really, why?
I mean, sure, seven attack is actually kind of big in Ruckus' robot mode, and being a Car allows him to swing more than once, but almost everything else about him is just... Vanilla. His Car mode has a nice 3 Defense, though, so there's that, but at 11 points there are just better options.
Like, a lot of better options like Wheeljack, Cliffjumper, pretty much any Bumblebee... You get the picture.
Cool artwork, better name, bigger pass.
So! If you couldn't read Chinese, let me transcribe it for you courtesy of Alex Brock from the Transformers TCG Facebook group:
Robot Mode: "When this character has 5 or more damage counters on it, it has Tough 2."
Alternate Mode: "When flipping to this mode, this character has has Bold 2 until end of turn."
So, if you couldn't tell, this card is P1, the other Promo coming out for Rise of the Combiners! I had a quick conversation with the official marketing team on the Facebook team about its availability and as it turns out, it's only available in China to celebrate the Lunar New Year as a Buy-A-Box Promo, shown HERE.
Sadly, this means we won't be getting this card at all in the United States or in the United Kingdom, and they were quick to state how they didn't want to distribute it outside of Asia so we can't get our hands on it outside of simply importing one likely at a premium.
Bumblebee himself is excruciatingly mediocre in the stat category -- I mean, 8 HP for as many stars! -- but when you consider that his Bold ability in his vehicle mode stacks with Wave 1 Prowl, Power Punch and Supercharge, you're going to be flipping a whole lot of cards coming in at a Dinobot-level Bold 10. That's more than Wheeljack can pull off, and all Bumblebee needs to do is play a Start Your Engines to do that combo.
His robot mode is pretty to look at, but abysmal to play with given he's more or less vanilla until he's almost dead, in which case he has an innate Tough 2. That's fine, but when you consider that he only has three HP remaining it becomes a whole lot worse. If you want my opinion, just run him in Wheeljack and hit really hard with him -- it's easy enough to do!
No Loot Crates here, just cold, hard, disappointment. Not that the card is bad or anything, I just hate that I'm going to have to spend a premium to get it. Where does it get that value from? Well, it's pretty to look at, it's actually startlingly competent in a Car list and it's exclusive. What else do you need?
"... Every shot MIST!"
Fog of War is a fantastic card for hand control lists, and it's easy to see why. Discarding both players' hands down to two cards not only makes it extremely easy to control your opponent's hand from there, but also extremely easy to simply discard the other two. Take for instance Shockwave, who is both a Specialist and someone who abuses effects like these.
Using Shockwave, you can use Multi-Mission Gear to play a Disruptive Entrance, leaving your opponent with only a single card in hand. If you have a Brainstorm, you could even use the Disruptive Entrance without using your Upgrade for the turn, instead using a Rapid Ascent on a Ranged ally to Scrap your opponent's last card. Now, whether this is good in a game that requires very little hand commitment in order to deal damage or not is simply reliant on the power of characters and the power of played cards from the hand.
In a game where the characters are extremely powerful and less reliant upon their hand to deal damage, this combo isn't as great. But with the advent of more powerful Action cards and Upgrades in this game, the more I begin to realize that hand destruction might be better than I give it credit for.
This card isn't that great, not gonna lie. It's good, don't get me wrong here, and it will definitely replace The Bigger They Are in Double Prime, but the problem is this: When you're markedly bigger than your opponent, your attack is usually far higher than their defense. In other words, in all likelihood you won't need Pierce to deal damage unless you're facing down an extremely beefy Demolisher.
Let's be fair here, though. There are certain things that can make use of this against lists like Aerialbots, Trucks, Stunticons and similarly defensive lists with smaller characters. Most of them have five stars and a small set of HP, and when your own damage output is low you might want to make use of this card.
Again, I don't really think that this card will see wide use. But it will probably see niche use in the terms of Double Primes and Tanks.
Surprisingly, I do like this card. In terms of most lists, you won't really find much use for it, but with Brave Combiners you most definitely will. You see, in terms of standard lists you simply don't have the resources to tap one of your characters outright and open them up for attack, but in wider Combiner lists (preferably with a Brave character on-board) you have a startlingly good draw card.
Again, it's situational, but to be perfectly frank there are uses for this card. In anything else, I would say that it's bad. I mean, you're effectively removing an attack from the field when you tap a Specialist -- and that's not great, especially since your Specialist is now open to attack. However, when you have a Brave character on the field like certain Combiner lists, you can use this card with relative impunity.
I don't know how much this will see play if at all, but I do think that it's worth a try in Combiner lists to put some solid draw in the mix.
So, I don't know how to feel about this card. On one hand, it seems like a much better Plasma Burst given that it has a pip instead of Plasma Burst's lack thereof. But on the other, it seems like a less consistent Plasma Burst given that your target has to be in Robot Mode. Regardless of its requirement to have a Ranged character on the field, you can't ignore that your opponent can just transform one of their characters into vehicle mode to avoid this card altogether.
Although, there could be a case to be made that the threat of this card forcing out one of your opponent's transformations for the turn or perhaps changing the gameplan from the start of the game to avoid the card altogether. But at that point, wouldn't you rather just play a Plasma Burst and punish them anyway?
But therein lies an interesting thought: Redundancy. You see, Aerialbots use Photon Bomb, Armed Hovercraft, Bombing Run and other damaging cards to make plays -- this could just be another one of those to make their combos more consistent. In Pokemon, it's wise to play multiple search cards not because you have more Pokemon to search, but because you just need to find them quickly. In the fast-paced Transformers TCG, you will definitely need to find your combos just as quickly.
So, I pose this question to you: If you're already playing Plasma Burst, why not add this guy in to make that just a little bit more consistent? Just a thought.
So, in other words, you can put your entire hand on the top of the deck to not only rig what you're going to flip now, but on your defense as well. This effect is fascinating, and I am extremely interested in it. I mean, imagine using it with Mining Pick which gives you +1 each time you Plan, a card that already gives you Plan 2. You'd be giving yourself Plan 8, and if you happened to have that many cards in your hand, you'd be giving yourself a monstrous +9 attack including the +1 the Pick already gives you. Not to mention the cards you already put on the top of the deck to increase your damage further.
But the problem is this: You need a massive hand to make use of this, and that is a bit of a problem given that you're constantly decreasing in hand size. But, if you happened to have a deck to support such a massive hand, this might be a potentially game-winning maneuver.
Put it this way. Say for instance you have a hand with several double pips of varying colors, a white pip and a standard orange. Normally, this would likely be a bad hand. I mean, bad enough to draw one of your double pipped cards, but drawing that many would be a severe handicap. With Master Plan, you can put all of those on top of the list in a very specific order. If you're playing a balanced list, you can rig your next attack with orange pips and your white pip, leaving double blues on the top of your deck to rig the optimal defensive cards for your defense flips.
Rigging both offense and defense is a surprisingly good effect, and flipping the right cards at the right time can be kind of insane and put you extremely far ahead. It also makes Metroplex swoon, given his effect requires a certain combination of potentially six cards on the top of your deck.
All in all, I think this card has a ton of potential. It will most likely become a staple in Metroplex, but other than that I don't quite know what else would play it. Perhaps balanced combiner lists, or any balanced list in general, but otherwise if you're playing mono-color, stay as far away as possible unless you're wanting to make a Energon Pick shenanigans deck.
Hey, it's Pot of Greed! And it's good in this game too! Whodathunkit?
Like, actually, Pep Talk is pretty good, I'm not gonna lie. Nothing quite like adding cards to your hand, especially early game. Whereas I don't know if this would replace Inspiring Leadership, which may just be the better blue draw card given that it shows you more cards from your deck and you can get pesky Handheld Blasters out of your hand, it might be a good supplemental draw card. I mean, what's wrong with Pot of Greed, right?
They still get no respect, no respect at all.
R & R is bad. No, seriously, there are so many better cards that do other things that can also heal your characters while you're doing them. Take for instance Fling or Salvage for Parts. Fling can damage an opponent while Salvage for Parts can scrap their Upgrades. Thing is? Both of those cards are more or less unplayable and they're both better than R & R. So what does that tell you about this card?
Hey, at least it's better than Underhanded Tactics!
Security Console is so good. Oh my god this card is so good.
Okay, lemme calm myself down. So, basically, in the first set, there was Data Pad, which was an offensive Plan effect that doubled as a draw card. It was pretty darn okay, but there were usually better cards to play during your turn. Good utility, but still worse to attach than a Weapon.
Now we have an Armor, and I couldn't be happier.
So, what makes it so different? Well, Data Pad wasn't that great because you could only effectively use it once. Since you're going to wait an average of three more turns to attack with the Upgraded character again, and there's a chance that your opponent has focused them down in that time and you don't exactly reap too many benefits for its existence.
Security Console is different in that it works in the opposite way. Upon defending, you can rig your topdeck to not only be defensively inclined but also draw a card. Whenever your opponent attacks you, you get another card. It's a great draw effect that -- depending on the value of the target -- can net you way more cards over the course of a game than Data Pad.
I'm extremely excited to use this with Starscream -- Decepticon King, constantly reusing Decepticon Crown and putting it on the top of the deck. You constantly spam the crowns during a game, but the problem was getting them on top of the deck during your defense. Now you can, and that makes me super spooked because Starscream is kind of super good, and this kind of pushes him into a really good potential spot in the meta. I mean, it even states "Plan" on the card, so you can use Starscream's effect to return it to your hand if you need it immediately.
All in all, with defensive decks, I couldn't be happier. Though, then again, it is a card that just makes Double Primes just straight up better. But hey, it kind of makes everything else better, too, so it balances itself out.
Sonic Scramble is actually, in all honesty, the best card for hand destruction decks in the game, and I firmly stand by that statement. Computer Sabotage is good and so is Fog of War, but Sonic Scramble takes the cake. The fact that Sonic Scramble not only discards up to three full cards from your opponent's hand, but that it refunds your expenditure by drawing three cards (when all three are played at once) is actually fantastic.
All other disruption cards have no such bonus, let alone a positive effect for you at all. I mean, Security Checkpoint discards cards from your hand along with your opponent's, Salvage For Parts scraps your Upgrades as well as your opponent's... You get the picture.
Speaking of disruption cards with a drawback, Sonic Scramble definitely has its own and it's that you need all three of them in your hand at once. Remember, you can only put one green pip into your hand per battle, and if you ever happen to flip multiples of this guy without using Wave 2 Swoop, you'll be up the proverbial river.
But, if you can manage to get all three in your hand, you can use effects like Bumblebee -- Trusted Lieutenant's where you can use a free Action, then using them in tandem with a Computer Sabotage to completely discard your opponent's entire hand. Now, again, hand destruction isn't the best strategy in the game, but it should definitely be noted that your opponent having zero options during their turn is always a good thing.
Sonic Scrambler is a definite inclusion in every hand destruction list, but the question remains on whether or not hand destruction belongs in the metagame outside of key Action-scrapping turns.
Backup Beam is not good.
No, seriously, just play Scoundrel's/Noble's Blaster instead of this thing. It's a Blue pipped Bold card, which isn't inherently bad given Power Sword's current competition with Flamethrower in certain lists, but it's only Bold 2.
Now, you might say "Wait, aren't you going to be doing more damage with Backup Beam than Scoundrel's/Noble's since you're Bold?"
Well, yes, but actually no. First off, with the advent of Acid Storm, pretty much all Bold is on constant shaky ground given Acid Storm's splashability, but even moreso, since you're playing blue cards in your Bold deck now, you're more likely to whiff on that key offensive power when you need it. If you play any blue cards at all, at least S/N's Blaster deals confirmed damage.
Worse yet, Flamethrower is often included as a redundant weapon to offensive lists. Of course with Power Punch and Erratic Lightning likely to replace it, you can imagine how that affects Backup Beam's chances.
Just play Power Punch.
Sparring Gear is sort of okay, but in the same boat as Backup Beam.
Sure, they both have green pips and another pip that is the antithesis of what decks that play them hope to use, but there is a silver lining: Warpath, or rather, the lack thereof.
Warpath will likely not be played as much as Acid Storm is going to be, making his ability far less common and as such, making Tough more likely to stick than Bold is. But, still, being an orange pip in hopefully an all blue deck, you have to be pretty darn good to be included, and with something as mediocre as Sparring Gear... I just can't justify it in most lists, with perhaps the only exception being Balanced Tanks.
Either way, I don't think that either card will see play outside of sealed events.
Together, more or less in line / Just keep truckin' on.
Oh my god.
Steamroll is insane.
Okay, so let's say you're playing a late-game match between Double Prime versus some scrub from your local tournament. Basically, it doesn't matter who you're facing because this has always happened to everyone: The dreaded one-damage-off, the victory so close from your grasp, the sweetness of triumph so near your lips, but it's tugged away from you at the last moment when your opponent's useless Headstrong is left with a single HP and you have no choice but to attack into him a second time. More resources, more attacks... Basically an all-around horrible trade.
That's where Steamroll comes in. Remember Grimlock and how good he was with his innate ability to use that bleedover damage? Well, now you can have that on an Action. Now, instead of wasting another attack on that 1 HP Headstrong, you can instead swing for however much you like into him and let the bleedover damage deal considerable damage to one of his allies.
Steamroll allows an over aggressive deck to abuse its firepower to its fullest extent, and in a game where a single Force Field can stop an offensive push from KOing the smallest of characters, you'll find the value that Steamroll gives is definitely useful to a lot of lists and I think its play will be something but an inevitability.
Something tells me the value of Wave 1 Grimlock might be going down, too...
This card seems horrible. I mean, it's literally just a green pip! It's an Action that does nothing! What could possibly ever come of this?
Oh. Well, that would explain that.
So, this card is okay, but let me ask you something: In an all offensive list with very little staying power, do you really need your weapons to stick? I mean, you're going to be attacking with that character once, maybe twice before they go down, so lemme reiterate, will you have a chance for your weapon to stick? The answer is unequivocally "no".
So, let me pose this question to you: Why not just attach a Power Punch instead of going through all that rigmarole? To be perfectly honest, I can't justify this card or...
... Or this one.
Seriously, if you know me you know how little I care for Pierce, so when you see a card with that keyword on it, you can guess how I feel about it.
That being said, of the Pierce cards we have, this is probably the best one. As I said, high Pierce is actually good, but the amount of effort you have to put into this card is simply too much to make it viable. That being said, if you are playing a Tank deck that enjoys high amount of Pierce that will already be playing the card below... Well, I could see saving a seat for Jetpack. I can't see it that well -- like a seat at the very back of the movie theater that you're really unsure of why it's there -- but I can definitely still see it.
Superior Plating is what happens when Reinforced Plating does a line of cocaine and washes it down with three cans of of Four Loko. It's a spastic card to play that could end up clogging your hand down with several unplayable copies of a card, or explode your field with nigh invincible characters.
What makes this card even more interesting is that both Jetfire and Hunker Down can play it from your Scrap Pile more or less for free. This means that you can circumvent the normal rules of Tech Research + Superior X to get this busted card into play with less risk than its counterparts. The fact that you can use this in Tanks makes me extremely interested in their possible ability to defend against pretty much anything.
Seriously, this card can tank -- no pun intended -- a ton of damage for you, essentially giving your character a +4 on defense at all times, with variation to give you likely way more than that given white pips and double blue. Naturally, you could end up flipping blank cards, but I wager you'd be playing more of the former to raise the average defense you're getting off it.
I cannot wait to see how this card plays out. The biggest problem I see, though, is the necessity of playing Tech Research to at least declump your hand mid to late game after inevitably drawing into these guys instead of discarding them off an attack. But, seeing as it has a green pip, it's at least easier to do than not at all. Not the best card to be playing on your turn, for sure, but it's at least nice to have the option to play them from the hand.
All in all, the entire combo is fascinating and I think that it will definitely see play. Dreadwing, Tanks, Double Primes, pretty much anything that uses Tough will like this card. Where the others fall behind compared to alternative cards in the game, this one really stands out from the pack as being an immensely powerful Upgrade.
This card is really bad.
Well, let me clarify: It's not bad per se, but it's almost certainly not good by any stretch of the imagination.
So basically, Spare Parts is there to prevent your Force Field from being Scrapped by your opponent before you can use it, or your Superior Plating that you worked so hard to achieve. An admirable goal, if it did anything for you. You're essentially wasting an attachment just to say, "Ha ha! Now you really can't get rid of the card you could have gotten rid of last turn!" and feel extremely happy about yourself when your opponent gets the shocking idea of simply attacking you.
When I say that they could have simply gotten rid of your Force Field last turn, I mean it. They actually could have simply attacked into you with a smaller character to pop its effect, or use a Ramming Speed or a Drill Arms, and now even Smelt and Vaporize have been printed. It's just a bummer to play on your turn when you could be playing either another armor or another weapon and I am extremely disappointed in that regard.
This card doesn't do anything. Don't play it.
"We're not in Australia."
Testify is a pretty good card. Coming off the first set, there were only two cards that left you with more cards in your hand after playing them (Team Up Tactics and Equipment Enthusiast, respectively), and the only orange draw card amongst them was Incoming Transmission that simply replaced itself. Not a bad effect, and putting a pesky Improvised Shield on top of the deck is always useful, but more often then not you're simply putting a card you don't really want to Scrap on top of your deck.
Testify seeks to remedy that by simply giving you access to Pot of Greed for both players. Now, whereas you will be giving your opponent two cards too, you can use this to your advantage in certain decks that abuse hand size. As an example, Shockwave.
Now, I don't exactly know if this will replace Incoming Transmission or not, but when you consider that most orange decks have a constantly decreasing hand size, you start to get the picture that drawing more cards is pretty good to help mitigate that. After all, what's better than card advantage?
This card isn't good.
I get it, you see a card that says, "Draw three cards" and you begin to lose your mind, but need I remind you: Universal Network Access is a Star Card, and that means you're going to be playing one, maybe two Star Cards in your deck depending on the list. When you realize that, and when you realize that Leap of Faith is actually kind of insane in terms of value, this measly draw effect pales in comparison.
There are just better options out there, man. Don't spend your deck space on this.
Vaporize is actually really good for Double Primes, and the big reason is Battlefield Legend. I've spoken in the past about how good Battlefield Legend is, and one of the best things to do about him was to bait him into wasting the monstrous 8 attack that he gets on something that he can't KO -- likely something with a Force Field on them.
Now, sometimes Double Prime played Ramming Speed, which is literally the same thing as this but with an orange pip, but the orange pip sometimes made their defensive abilities less consistent. This is a more consistent version of Ramming Speed for Double Primes, and I can't really see any reason why you wouldn't play this card.
Again, I've spoken in the past about how bad Ramming Speed is in non-Prime decks with few exceptions, but this really takes the cake in terms of being "just for Primes". Fantastic in Primes, but not anywhere else.
That's the entire thought process I had when writing this segment of this article. I first thought about in Planes, then I remembered that you'd rather be attaching something like an Armed Hovercraft or something similar. Then, the thought struck me: Tanks! Tanks are almost entirely Ranged, and using an Armor to heal on top of your Medics can't be bad.
The only problem is, it's an orange pip. I suppose you could still play it in an already tight list in terms of pips, but I guess it always balances itself out by healing off whatever blue you missed on your defensive flip!
All in all, I don't think this thing will be played in anything else other than Tanks. There just isn't anything that would really make use of this bar maybe a heal-focused Plane list, but when has that ever happened?
First off, can I just say that if a flying sauropod happened to crash land in front of me on a Sunday Stroll, that I would probably never go outside ever again? I mean, you never know what other flying dinosaurs are out there, ready to fall on you -- big risk!
But in all seriousness, Crash Landing is a freaking insane card that I am in love with. It makes Ramjet actually an extremely appealing deck, it makes Sunstorm an extremely satisfying prospect and it makes the Aerialbots even more powerful than they already seem. Seriously, this card enables all of them to be potentially extremely oppressive.
I mean, let's take Ramjet for example. He starts off at 7 attack. You play a Swindled and you happen to attach an Erratic Lightning to him. You then attach a Crash Landing for turn and you swing at someone for somewhere around ten damage to Nemesis Prime. Your opponent then turns around, miffed that you hit them so hard with a vanilla common, and straight one-hits him with a very angry Battlefield Legend.
That's when the real magic happens. Now that you have an Erratic Lightning on Ramjet, he has a base attack of 10. That means Crash Landing activates and deals a solid 10 damage to a tapped target -- in this case, Battlefield Legend -- either softening them up for another swing with one of your partners or just killing them outright.
Just think. You can even play Ramjet with Skywarp to more or less confirm the Crash Landing will be attached to him using Skywarp's vehicle mode ability. Instead of Skywarp, you can also partner him with Thrust to deal even more freakishly high damage to your opponents' characters.
I for one welcome our new Plane overlords.
Hey, a double blue pip! Much like the Mounted Missiles card revealed earlier, Energized Field is the third double pipped card you can put in your mono-color deck, effectively making it more consistent and more defensive. The effect of its sister Star Card, Mounted Missiles, was a welcome one with its ability to essentially "keep" its double orange effect on the field through Upgrading, so how does Energized Field stack up?
In terms of effects? Not that well.
Well, let me explain. On one hand, Mounted Missiles allowed you to keep the pressure coming by attaching it alongside a weapon if you ever happened to draw it. This almost offensive double blue does the same thing where you expected it to do the opposite. Where you would expect it to have a similar effect (for instance, attaching it in your Utility slot and giving your character more defense), it instead relies on orange pips to activate, dealing damage to attackers if you flip an orange.
That's fine, but when you consider that you're going to be almost entirely blue, this is an extremely rare effect. I can't help but to wonder at what could have been, how good it would be if it had the effect of, perhaps, turning all non-blue pips -- even non-pipped cards -- into blue pips, or perhaps a +1 Armor that also gave you some degree of Tough, then you could definitely justify attaching it. But as it stands at the moment, I just can't.
Good in your deck, but not in your hand.
This card is a straight up worse Armed Hovercraft. I mean, I get it, you get to use it on a Melee character, but when it has a blue pip, how can you justify it in aggro lists that most Melee characters find themselves in? Okay, I get it -- Double Primes are both Melee, but they just don't need to place a single damage counter. I mean, if swinging for 11 on average wasn't enough, right?
So, I struggle to find a use for this card except maybe -- and I mean, big maybe -- Stunticons to try getting some poke damage in while trying to combine or set up a big Motormaster play. I'm sure that this card will make a great proxy back, though!
Espionage is a pretty cool card, I'm not gonna lie. When you consider that all Enigma cards are green, and the fact that your opponent is not likely to have more than one in their hand, you can scrap that Enigma before they get a chance to combine and essentially deny them their combiner for the game. How you know that they have an Enigma in-hand is easy: You know that your opponent put it into their hand when they flipped it since it's green, and if they don't put any into their hand from their flips it becomes pretty obvious that they have one in-hand.
That is something I love about this card especially: Reading your opponent. Bluffing your opponent. Interplay. Too often cards can boil down to "deal damage, but harder this time" and that is unfortunate. I really enjoy how much damage you can deal with this card, not to your opponent's characters, but to their strategy. It's a very strong thing to take what your opponent has when they need it, but the fact that it technically can't take cards that are pipless is a bit of a downer. It makes it balanced! But it's a downer nevertheless.
Something that makes this card even more powerful is the fact that it's green. You can pretty well find it more or less whenever you want through Bold or Tough numbers, and you can pretty well dominate less than experienced Combiner players by abusing the fact that you can pretty much get it at any time.
All in all, I absolutely adore this card. It's so strong at so many things, and it can cripple your opponent's hand outright. The fact that it's a green makes it even better, and when you consider that you can deny your opponent a Combination for the entire game, you begin to realize that this -- not Cornered -- is the real Combiner Killer.
So Enforcement Batons (and Bashing Shield down below) is kind of the antithesis of Drill Arms and Scrapper Gauntlets. The pips are swapped, the effects are swapped and the draw is gone, instead gaining a green pip for added consistency.
As for Enforcement Batons, I have never liked weapon scrapping effects given the abundance of Grenade Launcher, low defense attackers and now the advent of Power Punch which is basically just more Grenade Launcher at this point. The same rule applies here. You don't really gain anything other than +1 attack, and at that point, why even play it? You aren't punishing your opponent's weapons all that much, and you're not drawing a card like Scrapper Gauntlets does.
So, why play this?
The answer? You wouldn't. Unless you're terrified of Superior Blaster, of course, then this card becomes a pretty alright answer to it. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's still a competent niche card to counter that niche card.
But again, niche is niche, and I wouldn't recommend filling your deck with niche techs against something you may never see lest you want to tank your own consistency against everything else.
This is something that I can get behind more. Getting an Armor that scraps other Armor in offensive lists is a pretty interesting idea, and when you consider that you can put Bashing Shield on an already high defensive character like Headstrong or Thrust to amplify their survivability in an orange list, you can't really go wrong with it.
Normally, I would start into a speech about Power Punch or Grenade Launcher, but when you consider that this is an easy, surefire way to get rid of Force Fields when you need them gone, I can't say too many bad things about Bashing Shield. I honestly really like it, and I can't think of too many offensive decks that wouldn't like to play it if for no other reason than to get rid of the almighty Force Field.
Attack Drones are a poor man's Erratic Lightning, which is weird given that Erratic Lightning is a Common.
No, really, this card deals a solid +3 damage for a three card investment, compared to Erratic Lightning or literally any other weapon that gives similar numbers for only a single card's investment.
Okay, so there has to be a reason to play Attack Drones, then, right? It's not all doom and gloom here. Well, not usually. So, what are the positives here? Well, for one you can play all three from your hand instantly instead of waiting three turns to attach all three like Cargo Trailer, and they have green pips which is pretty neat, but I think the most important reason to play them is for cards like Chop Shop and Equipment Enthusiast.
Equipment Enthusiast refunds you for all your Upgrade expenditure and then compounds that into massive draw later, but I think Chop Shop comboing with that makes for an even better draw effect. Something that Chop Shop does is, for every Upgrade on him, you can scrap them and both heal one damage for each and draw one for each. When you have three Drones and an armor, for example, you can scrap all four of them to heal him by four and then draw four cards.
You can use Equipment Enthusiast to essentially refund your Drones, then Transform Chop Shop to effectively double the amount of cards that you had initially. It's a niche use, of course, given that Chop Shop sees limited use in the first place, but that is a lot of draw to burn through your deck with and I can't wait to see how people are going to use it.
(*cough* Sunstorm *cough*)
The scroll unfolds to read, "You need therapy."
"This thing is worthless!"
So, basically, this is a Combo Card that deals heavily with the next card, so I won't go too much into that combo just yet. But, I do think that Ancient Wisdom in a vacuum is rather mediocre, to be perfectly frank.
Of course, used on its own, Combo Cards are always going to feel like a bad play. Sometimes, though, you might have to use it for its pseudo-draw effect. It's not the best, but at least it gives you something, unlike Tech Research. There really isn't too much to write home about this card outside of the combo. I mean, it automatically replaces itself with one of your two cards on the top of your deck at worst, and increases your hand size at best, but it's kind of hard to get excited about the idea that you can't just draw them unlike some other Actions.
But anyway, on to the combo!
Hoooooo boy, what a brain teaser. So, Unleash Potential is a card that pulls things out of your binder to put into your hand. Unfortunately, you can't put anything into your hand, but putting a Star Card into your deck regardless of whether or not you have 25 stars already is a pretty cool thing.
I mean, you won't really do anything with it other than take a Leap of Faith out of your binder, but it's an interesting concept. You see, you could take Bolt of Lightning and use it the next turn, but at that point, why aren't you just using One Shall Stand and just bite the bullet on the recoil damage? Instead of putting a Universal Network Access in your hand, why not just play a Pep Talk? Instead of going through a massive amount of rigmarole to pull something out of your binder, why not just play a similar card in your deck?
I simply cannot answer that question, and for that reason I cannot recommend this combo. I realize that putting a Leap of Faith into a list that couldn't before sounds good, but when you realize all the effort it took to finally use it, you'll start to see what I mean. I mean, imagine, fighting through the inconsistency of getting both Unleash Potential and Ancient Wisdom in your hand, finally getting a Leap of Faith in your hand to use the next turn, only for your opponent to play a Disruptive Entrance, transform Mirage or use Espionage to scrap it before you can even play it.
That's reason enough not to play it.
Inconsistency can be surmounted through superior draw (like Cars), but when you consider the fact that your opponent can just scrap the card you took forever to finally get through an Action of their own, I can't justify playing this at all. I mean, you can always use Recon System or Energized Field, but why go through the effort at all at that point?
Sadly, the most interesting card combo is also one of the hardest to justify in a list. I realize what the guys at Wizards were trying to do with this, but it just didn't pay off. At least, not yet.
I lost count of how many cards I have done.
I'm not kidding. I legitimately do not know how big that was, but all I know is that it was worth every moment of writing it. I love this game quite a lot, and I love how fun and engaging it is to play. Rise of the Combiners takes that to a whole new level and brings in some of the most fascinating card combos I've seen to date and some of the most interesting physical card mechanics I've ever laid eyes upon in terms of the Combiner cards.
March 1st is approaching fast, and my wallet is already screaming a high pitch, "No, daddy, please!" as I make plans to buy a box of product. But the cool part about all of this is knowing that Wizards of the Coast sees how well this game is doing, and how Competitive is right around the corner.
But... That's it. That's kind of everything we have until Devastator comes out with his exclusive Battle Cards and Wave 3. As always, it's a pleasure to write for Seibertron and it's even more of a pleasure to know that people actually read what I pour a frankly inordinate amount of time into!
In all seriousness, though, I will be frequenting my YouTube Channel, Nanomachines to upload more coverage of new decks and competitive updates. I haven't been able to recently thanks to some hectic work schedules, but I've been really enjoying putting out content for you guys.
What about you? What has been your favorite part of this set? Triplechangers? Combiners? Green pips? Omega Supreme? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for tuning in!
Posted by soundwave765 on March 6th, 2019 @ 11:00am CST