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  #121  
Old 08-11-2016, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
Resource Recycler: As you'd expect, this could be really strong if you have a lot of equipment-dependent characters whose things keep getting broken, because they're playing equipment-dependent characters. But again, at the end of the turn it revives a Mechano-Accumulator (or something worse). And if it does, that Mechano-Accumulator may very well eat more of your stuff AND the Resource Recycler, robbing you of many things, but mostly your innocence.
I've seen that damn thing revive an Electro-Pulse Explosive. I may or may not have immediately lost there.
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  #122  
Old 09-16-2016, 09:38 AM
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Season 2 is starting up proper now. For starters, they only have the preview pack, consisting of Setback, Chokepoint, and the Temple of Zhu Long.

Immediate observations from a quick glance into their decks: Setback I've already played, and Setback : Fanatic :: Guise : Tachyon. Chokepoint looks incredibly fun, and while she has a lot of disruption, she seems to encourage using lots of equipment and ongoings anyway. The Temple of Zhu Long looks really fun, but ultimately not too threatening to either side (far from it, it could easily be beneficial to either).

I probably won't write up any guides for Season 2 yet, not least because I simply don't have enough experience with Vengeance Mode yet to properly suss out more ideal strategies.

Last edited by Kalir; 09-16-2016 at 10:10 AM.
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  #123  
Old 09-17-2016, 08:37 PM
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Well we finally got to play this again. Had two games where Infinitor just rolled us, then an Apostate game in Ruins of Atlantis that looked like it was going really well until he broke out his second "play all my relics" card on his third turn and just wrecked us.

Didn't help that he started with the relic that redirects all relic damage to it on the table.
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  #124  
Old 10-20-2016, 01:10 PM
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The app was $0.99 over the weekend, and while the DLC is not exactly priced to move, I've been enjoying the base set. Impressions:

Legacy: Galvanize is the best. America's Newest Legacy replaces it with 3 energy damage, which would be fantastic on anyone else but is not so great here. Even when Legacy is doing literally nothing besides Galvanize, he's still worthwhile, which makes Inspiring Presence a little silly. And then he can become immune to damage! What's not to love?

The Wraith: So much damage, so much utility. "Destroy every equipment" effects make her sad, but she gets back on her feet very quickly.

Haka: Not especially good at anything. Ostensibly a bruiser, but Wraith fills that role better. His single-target damage is good, but Ra's is better.

Ra: Not a particularly diverse character, but what he does, he does well. I'll take it.

Tempest: A particularly diverse character, and what he does, he does well. I don't think these heroes are entirely balanced, guys. Loves him some damage support, so Legacy is his best bud.

Tachyon: Takes too long to start contributing. Against especially healthy foes, that's fine? I guess? But she has low utility and low damage for most of the game, and who can afford that?

Fanatic: With damage support, she has an excellent base power. On her own, she doesn't bring much to the team.

Bunker: Cannot do a single thing without ages of setup. You think Wraith is bad against anti-equipment effects? Bunker just goes back home and cries himself to sleep.

The Visionary: A+ support.

Absolute Zero: Don't have a module? TOO BAD, YOU'RE USELESS. Destroy all equipment? TOO BAD, YOU'RE USELESS. I want to like this guy, but he tries his hardest not to let me.



Baron Blade: Even on Advanced, if you have any damage output at all, the Baron is a total wimp.

Omnitron: Lots of health, not much teeth. What's a punching bag doing with so many cards that go away if he takes damage?

Citizen Dawn: Deciding whether/when to let her become invincible makes this an interesting matchup. Being able to hit multiple targets (and, crucially, being able to choose whether you hit multiple targets) makes her much more manageable.

Grand Overlord Voss: Of the base villains, he's the one who'll make you care most about what flavor of damage you deal. He's a good nemesis to Tempest, who would rather let his AOEs take care of the minions and take less damage from the big guy himself.


Psst, your enviroment links in the TOC are pointing to the villain writeups.
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  #125  
Old 10-20-2016, 01:28 PM
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Tachyon and Fanatic have card effects that make up for the factors you mention.

Tachyon's entire thing is that she just doesn't care about disruption; as long as her Bursts are moving into her trash, she'll just blithely shrug and get back up to speed, then deliver a knock-out punch.

Fanatic has a ton of cards for mopping up trash, dealing finishing blows, keeping herself alive, disposing of obnoxious villain or environment cards, or amplifying her damage.

Bunker's surprisingly effective with even a single card in play - both Flak Cannon and Grenade Launcher can do a lot on their own, and he's got a lot of ways of keeping cards coming out and into play. He is a bit on the weak side; most of his variants make him better.

A0 is like a better Bunker in that regard. Too much equipment disruption makes him unhappy, but he can live with a surprising amount. Impale and Cold Snap are surprisingly good too. They're better with a damage boost, but they're good anyway.
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  #126  
Old 10-20-2016, 02:06 PM
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Yeah the links in the first post have been BROKEN BROKEN IM SO BROKEN for ages. Fixing it now.

Haka isn't a very flashy hero, but what he has that the Wraith doesn't is just being generally huger and more straightforward than she is. Haka also doesn't care as much about disruption as she does, because for him, having a large hand is usually more valuable than a large setup. The Wraith is still USUALLY a stronger hero, but she really needs that setup to be stronger, even if she can get set up really easily with Impromptu Invention.

Legacy is far and away one of the most brokenly strong heroes in the game, and his base power isn't nearly as much of the reason as you'd expect (although it is, and almost every single variant of Legacy there is has a similarly cheesy base power). His deck just has so many ridiculous support and tanking options, it boggles all minds.

Bunker and Absolute Zero are some of my favorite heroes but there's no denying that being so held back by equipment disruption really hurts them. Especially in the disruption meta of the base set, which is to say "DESTROY ALL EQUIPMENT WITH ONE CARD, ALSO DO OTHER HORRIBLE THINGS".

Last edited by Kalir; 10-20-2016 at 02:22 PM.
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  #127  
Old 10-20-2016, 06:46 PM
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I won this week's one-shot on the second try, although I couldn't explain how, since Omnitron has all of the Sedative Flechettes. Skin of my teeth. Everyone survived, but no one with more than four health (unless you count Fanatic dying and resurrecting).

Are you going to go over the alternates at some point? This scenario had a different (much harder) Omnitron as well as Redeemed Fanatic (probably slightly better?) and America's Newest Legacy (minus points for no Galvanize).
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  #128  
Old 10-20-2016, 10:03 PM
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Yes, but I'm waiting to get my copy of OblivAeon first so I can really get a feel for the variants in action. This is also why I've yet to post Vengeance writeups, because I'm still not sure how you actually go about winning in Vengeance mode.

But to go over the three you posted real quick: Omnitron II (Cosmic Omnitron) is generally considered harder, because they borrow the Matriarch's minion-snowballing gimmick and drones are WAY meaner in hordes than Fowl are. Redeemer Fanatic makes her way better at tanking but absolutely terrible at dealing damage, since the only other reliable power in her deck is Absolution, making her more susceptible to equipment hate than AZ (that takes talent). America's Newest Legacy is honestly more my style, especially if you're running her in a team that doesn't have a lot of damage dealers already, but there's no denying that base Legacy is stronger.

Last edited by Kalir; 11-15-2016 at 08:37 AM.
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  #129  
Old 10-26-2016, 08:50 PM
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Okay, NOW I feel well-versed enough in Vengeance Mode to describe it. Only villain I have yet to face is Ambuscade, and I'll fix that come this weekend. Plus I still have to do a bunch of hero write-ups to even make it to that point. Let's get right to that, shall we?

K.N.Y.F.E.

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (base power, Prototype Servo-Gauntlet, Primed Punch)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Prototype Servo-Gauntlet)
  • Team Support Abilities: No
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (For the Greater Good, Energy Burn, Battlefield Experience, Overdo It, Primed Punch)
  • Deck Control: Yes (Wrecking Uppercut)

Vengeance has the largest count for new heroes added to the game, perhaps to balance it also adding an entirely new play mode (OblivAeon will do the same), so presumably they wanted to add heroes to cover most conventional roles. K.N.Y.F.E. fills the role of straightforward Haka-like bruiser: she is here to take hits and beat the hell out of dudes. She is not flashy about this, but she IS effective.

Strengths:
  • Damage Ramp-Up: Not many heroes have as many ways to boost their damage in so many ways as K.N.Y.F.E. does. I mean, yeah, her damage boosts are considerably more situational, yet you will find yourself getting so much mileage out of them compared to everyone else. Properly set up, K.N.Y.F.E. can hold her own against the best damage-dealers in Sentinels of the Multiverse, like Chrono-Ranger or Ra.
  • Destruction Resistant: Most of the time, the best you can hope for when hit with an equipment or ongoing destroy effect is to hit a card that was already going to go away whether you liked it or not (things like Guise's ongoings, Omnitron-X's components just before a monstrous hit, etc.) K.N.Y.F.E. is one of the only characters in the game who can react to her stuff being destroyed with legitimate good things. And if nothing bothers to destroy her stuff, in many cases you can just do so yourself, usually getting some tasty, tasty prizes out of it.

Weaknesses:
  • Limited Utility: Just like Haka or the Scholar before her, K.N.Y.F.E. is very good at what she does, and has little to no capability to do things outside of this. I mean, she CAN destroy ongoings, but Prototype Servo-Gauntlet only doing it when you destroy a target with its power? Weak. Be sure to bring people who can do other, actual things aside from beating the hell out of people.
  • Self-Damaging: K.N.Y.F.E. can function okay without self-damaging, but honestly, if you're NOT using Overdo It or For the Greater Good, why not just play as Haka? Giving K.N.Y.F.E. extra card plays to do even more damage is what you should be aiming to do at basically any point in time, but you're GOING to have to self-damage to really take this to the next level.

Notable Cards
  • Battlefield Experience: Okay, even as a one-shot base power, dealing someone 2 melee and 2 energy damage, followed with a card play and card draw? That is legit worth consuming a card play and power use. But if you don't yet have enough damage boosts to leverage the 2 and 2 damage, you might just want to leave this out for a while. Having it soak an ongoing destroy effect is usually way nicer than any alternative you care to name.
  • Focusing Conduit-Blade: Just be careful if you're trying the same thing with this. Yes, you can play an equipment card when it's destroyed, but that helps precisely zero amounts if that happens during, say, a Technological Singularity, and that new play gets eaten by the same effect. It's still a great way versus small amounts of equipment destroy, which is considerably more likely to happen in Vengeance Mode.
  • Kinetic Neutralizer: In the design for these five heroes, it's pretty obvious that the devs were moving towards designing heroes that could fit in more with the Vengeance play style. Don't get me wrong, K.N.Y.F.E. loves her damage boosts, but most heroes wouldn't be too excited about only a boost to the highest health villain target. I mean yeah, Haka has Punish the Weak, but the negative side effect of it is also a beneficial thing in a lot of cases, and lowest health tends to get more actual takedowns than highest. Kinetic Neutralizer is just... there.

Last edited by Kalir; 10-26-2016 at 09:10 PM.
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  #130  
Old 10-27-2016, 04:41 PM
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Parse

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (base power)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Segmentation Fault, Data-Mining)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Syntactic Analysis, Targeting Arrow, Reveal the Flaws, Critical Multiplier, Exploit Vulnerability, Between the Lines, Gauge)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: No
  • Deck Control: Yes (Buffer Overflow, Extrasensory Awareness, Gauge, Updated Intel)

It's easy to look at Parse's base power and health and assume that she serves a role like the Wraith, as a damage-oriented character who kind of does a bit of everything. Nope. Parse's job is to be the best damn deck control character in the game by a stupidly wide margin. The Visionary and Nightmist can do more utility shenanigans, but if you really want to keep a villain deck under control, you won't find a better hero for the job than Parse.

Strengths:
  • Deck Control: Prior to Parse, the only real deck controllers were the Visionary, the Wraith, and Nightmist. The Wraith usually had better things to use her power uses on, the Visionary's deck control was limited to one-shots, and Nightmist had to constantly discard (and in turn, self-damage) to maintain real deck control. Parse's deck control is stronger than any of the three with none of the drawbacks of any of them. One wonders if they let her get away with things like Extrasensory Awareness due to the Vengeance mode emphasis I touched on in K.N.Y.F.E.'s write-up, because what
  • Offensive Support: But let's be real, as any deck control specialist can say, it gets boring if that's ALL you have to do. Parse will spend any time she's not using on stacking the hell out of the villain deck to provide her team with plenty of firepower. Either constant damage boosts, some of the most reliable ongoing/environment destruction in the game with Segmentation Fault, card play spam from Syntactic Analysis, or easy irreducible damage from a number of sources. Parse acts as a weaker version of Legacy, not doing much damage herself, but doing plenty to help her team hit even harder.

Weaknesses:
  • Ongoing Dependent: Y'know how Legacy or Tempest really wants to have loads of their ongoings out to give them crazy new powers and passive boosts, but they can function okay without them since their base powers are really good? Parse is like that, but without the really good base power. You'll have a slow and arduous setup phase, especially if you don't get your deck control options before the villain deck gets their disruption options out. And your deck is almost as varied in individual card quality as the Wraith's, but without Impromptu Invention to save your neck.
  • Discard Dependent: In a way, this is also a strength given Critical Multiplier, but there's no denying that you'll have to discard a lot of cards to really get Parse up to her real potential. Recompile, Segmentation Fault, and Snap Decision are all really great cards, but only if you have the cards in hand to fuel the discard effect, and even then they're fairly weak options if you don't have Critical Multiplier out. And Parse's card draw isn't much better than, say, the Scholar's. If your base power won't take down many targets and your hand doesn't have anything good, it is totally okay to skip your play and power for a turn or two.

Notable Cards
  • Extrasensory Awareness: WHAT. Look at the top three cards of the villain deck, outright DISCARD your least favorite, stack the other two however you want, and then if you still aren't happy with it, straight up shuffle the villain deck? AND THIS IS AS A POWER USE. The only thing stopping this from being more broken than Legacy's base power is the fact that it's on an ongoing you are in no way guaranteed to get during a game, but WHAT THIS IS SO GOOD
  • Segmentation Fault: Oh, and we're not even done yet. Remember how half the reason Omnitron-X is good is the Bio-Engineering Beam destroying environment cards as a power, or the Visionary's Mental Divergence destroying ongoings as a power being a similar level of ridiculous? Segmentation Fault can destroy either one. The only big problem is that it costs a discard to pull off, so you can't spam it QUITE as much as Omnitron-X or the Visionary can spam their respective options. Still, though, destroying an ongoing or environment card as a power. Wacky.
  • Buffer Overflow: This plus Extrasensory Awareness really drives home the whole "we're going to use Vengeance mode in the hero design" thing. Against a solo villain, if you have Extrasensory Awareness, this is frankly overkill, but when you have as many as five villain decks to manage, Buffer Overflow is a great way to handle the decks you can't control, just by keeping an eye out for stuff like Friction's Synergy Surge and going "no screw that give us a reasonable card thanks". And you choose which villain deck gets the replacement card play, too! Just be careful, because if you let it get destroyed by an ongoing destroy effect, the villain gets another card play anyway!
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  #131  
Old 10-28-2016, 03:13 PM
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The Naturalist

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (The Deadly Crocodile)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Crafty Assault)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Hyperactive Senses, The Predator's Eye, Indomitable Force, Natural Form's Power, Threatening Stomp, Environmental Allies)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Feral Fury)
  • Deck Control: Yes (Hyperactive Senses)

Okay, K.N.Y.F.E. and Parse are both pretty straightforward heroes, could've been in the base set no problem. Starting with the Naturalist, though, that stops being the case, as every Vengeance hero aside from them has their own wacky shenanigans to bring to the table. The Naturalist's shenanigans aren't the wackiest, but they are the most all-around useful. Like the Wraith or Omnitron-X, it's not a question of what the Naturalist can do, but what he can't.

The Naturalist has three Form cards, which I'll go over in more detail in the Notable Cards section. Each Form lets him activate extra abilities on his one-shots and ongoings when they are played, with each Form favoring different effect types: Crocodile being damage focused, Rhinoceros being heavy defense, and Gazelle being game and deck control. As you might expect, these Forms are mutually exclusive, and all others are destroyed when you play one (unless Fixed Point).

Strengths:
  • Heavy Versatility: The Naturalist's three Forms let him function as a jack of all trades, but without that pesky "master of none" downside. Sure, you need the right Form for the job, but you can change Forms with your base power, and quite a few cards can even be played outside of their proper form if you really need them (Threatening Stomp or Cornered Beast being the most notable example). Find the hole in your team composition, or the role needed for the villain you're facing, and just... be that. Easy.
  • Bulk: This admittedly plays to my usual style, but I find the Naturalist, even outside of Rhino form, has plenty of self-heal and card draw, letting him get away with surviving in a lot of instances where other heroes would've bit the dust long ago. On top of that, your base power lets you search the deck OR trash for a Form, so you're never in a state like Absolute Zero where you're missing that one card you NEED. Hell, for absorbing ongoing destruction, your Forms are almost as useful as Guise's ongoings.

Weaknesses:
  • Form Dependent: The only problem is that you only get to change forms with a power use (unless your form is in your hand, which is, like Chrono-Ranger, the last place you really want it). So you basically have to anticipate a form's necessity a full turn before it actually becomes needed. Always pay attention to your hand's contents as much as the board state, because while the game might currently call for a Crocodile, if your hand has nothing but Gazelle cards, you might just need to switch anyway for a while.
  • Environment Dependent: The Naturalist, like Akash'Bhuta, really likes environments with lots of targets, which give him ample room for cheating with Blend Into the Pack and Environmental Allies. Problem is, as fun as that all is, he does not have actual environment destruction effects (fittingly). So while you might be hilarious in the Final Wasteland, Dok'Thorath Capital, or Magmaria, you are going to find him significantly more underwhelming in Rook City or Madame Mittermeier's.

Notable Cards
  • The Deadly Crocodile: It's not often you'll need to be a crocodile, but this form's damage boost and innate power are just a taste of how much damage you can throw out. Feral Fury becomes a 3 and 3 attack, The Predator's Eye and Threatening Stomp can both move up to 5 damage, and if you're in Vengeance mode, Cornered Beast is almost guaranteed to make all that damage even wackier. Crocodile form Naturalist is a solid damage dealer in any situation.
  • The Formidable Rhinoceros: Easily my favorite form. I've barely gone a villain post without preaching the value of damage reducers, but even outside of that, Rhino form has a number of ways to focus targets to aim at himself, and Resilient Hide becomes way more valuable than it seems at first glance to rhino form. Oh no, you get the weaker half of Undaunted's effect? Psh, you're not as fragile as Fanatic. This plus Indomitable Force means that any damage instance less than 4 just doesn't happen to your team, and that is INSANE. Oh, and did we mention self-heal from Resilient Hide and Natural Form's Power??
  • The Nimble Gazelle: Don't underestimate the survivability of Gazelle form, though: self-healing for 3 as a power is pretty good. And if you want a form to REALLY abuse target-rich environments, Gazelle form is it. Even outside of those, you'll be able to take out ongoings with Crafty Assault, control decks with Hyperactive Senses, and support your team with extra card draw via Natural Form's Power. Yeah, you don't get innate damage boosts or reducers in Gazelle form, but trust me, you won't need them.
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  #132  
Old 10-29-2016, 03:22 PM
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Setback

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (Looking Up)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes ("Whoops! Sorry!", Cause and Effect)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Wrong Time and Place, Uncharmed Life, Turn of Events, Cash Out, Surprising Fortune)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Exceeded Expectations, Karmic Retribution, High Risk Behaviour, Cause and Effect)
  • Deck Control: Yes (Fumbling Fool)

Guise might be the obvious Deadpool character, but if you really want a joke superhero in your team, you go with Setback. A hero who doesn't have much in the way of powers, but who combines Gambler's Fallacy with a general predisposition towards being highly unlucky? Now that's comedy.

Setback's main mechanic is their Unlucky tokens. Almost all of their cards use this pool of tokens in some way, either modifying the count or using it to determine the strength of effects. A higher Unlucky pool makes Setback incredibly powerful, although getting that high usually requires you to do some very risky things.

Strengths:
  • Rapid Card Play: This is only half a strength, to be fair, since his base power plays the top card of his deck, and Setback's deck is full of cards you might not always want played, sort of like Fanatic. Still, there's no denying the value in playing multiple cards a turn, especially when your deck also has as much potential as Setback's does. And the more cards you play, the more you can adjust your Unlucky pool to whatever you need it to be. Usually this means ramping it way the hell up, but sometimes you want to lower it here or there, and many of Setback's cards are workable, if not great, even if your pool isn't quite right.
  • High Reward: His toolkit might look really underwhelming at first, but once you realize how it can all work together, and once he's fully set up, Setback is a terrifying force of nature. I'm talking several instances of upwards of 10 damage per turn. And if you have Silver Lining out, you don't even have to worry about the self-damage, because instead of dying, if your Unlucky pool is high enough, you'll just full heal instead, and can resume the beatings to your heart's content. Setback fills the same niche Fanatic does in a team, where he might not be the most reliable character, but he's definitely impressive.

Weaknesses:
  • High Risk: This one goes without saying, honestly. Nobody self-damages quite like Setback does except maybe Absolute Zero, and half the time that doesn't count since he turns it into healing. Meanwhile, Setback will just end up punching himself for no reason other than that it's the fast track to being actually helpful for his team. Not to mention that at the wrong times, his cards will do far more harm than good: Looking Up or Cause and Effect punishes him for hoarding Unlucky tokens, Wrong Time and Place for not having enough, and "Whoops! Sorry!" breaks your team's stuff.
  • Melee Damage Focused: It's not enough that most of Setback's contributions will usually come from damage instead of utility (although he's not too limited in that way, honestly). No, even worse is that he's also going to be doing basically nothing but melee damage. Sure, Haka or Legacy has the same problem, but they have other things they can do if melee damage isn't working out, but melee immunity on any target is a serious problem for Setback. It's basically Cause and Effect (which frequently has the minor side effect of killing you) or bust.

Notable Cards
  • High Risk Behaviour: It's easy to look at this and assume it fills the same niche as Hunter and Hunted or Bloody Knuckles. But High Risk Behaviour is far and away better than either of those for a number of reasons. First, it's not limited, so you can stack both copies. Second, each one lets you tweak your Unlucky pool at the start of the turn, which is way stronger than it sounds at first. And finally, Silver Lining lets you totally ignore the downside as well as all the self-damage Setback WILL be dealing. Oh no, you died? Your Unlucky pool becomes your health total, which in turn means villains won't be getting +8 damage against you anymore.
  • Looking Up: While this is one of the cards anyone playing Setback wants to get on the table as quickly as possible, it's also one of the ones that can most easily turn around and bite you. Self-damaging at the start of the turn for having too many Unlucky tokens is pretty mean. But again, Silver Lining can take away a lot of the edge from this. Like High Risk Behaviour, this isn't limited, but unlike High Risk Behaviour, this is VERY BAD. Try to avoid using your base power if you already have a copy of this out.
  • Karmic Retribution: Removing 7 Unlucky tokens to deal a target 7 melee damage. No, that's not wrong, the base damage on this one-shot is 7. That ISN'T A NUMBER THAT IS ALLOWED. Don't get too excited, though, because removing 7 tokens from your Unlucky pool is a lot. If you're using Looking Up to generate Unlucky tokens and don't have Silver Lining, that's great, but if you're using High Risk Behaviour and Silver Lining, you might not want to use this if you can help it, simply because the damage boost is more valuable.
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  #133  
Old 10-30-2016, 03:22 PM
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The Sentinels

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (The Idealist base power)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: No
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Dr. Medico base power, Restorative Burst, Positive Thoughts, Aura of Vision, Hippocratic Oath, Human Shield)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Dark Delusions, Coordinated Assault, Fling Into Darkness, Horrifying Dichotomy)
  • Deck Control: Yes (Writhe base power)

Well, we did it. It took us many, many expansions to get here, but we finally figured out who the Sentinels of the Multiverse are. It's these guys. Good for them! If you really like the concept of managing a full team of heroes, moreso than Unity or Captain Cosmic just creating assistance of their own, these guys are for you.

The Sentinels are composed of four heroes, each of which has their own character card. These cards have their own health totals, although they are by design much smaller than most hero health totals, and they don't provide incapacitated effects unless they are ALL incapacitated. In a few ways this is better (you've got more total HP, start the game with four power choices, can revive your incapacitated heroes, and are less likely to be targeted for the first few turns) but this obviously means than any area attack technically hits your team 4 times, so be careful.

Strengths:
  • Healing: Prior to the Sentinels, the game hasn't really had a super-dedicated healer character, possibly because that would be BORING. Sure, certain characters COULD heal others, and some (Tempest, the Argent Adept) were better at this than others, but that was by no means their specialty. Dr. Medico's existence on this team, especially with his Hippocratic Oath, make the Sentinels one of the best dedicated healers in the game. Hell, if you really want to, you can turn many of their damaging one-shots into emergency healing with Hippocratic Oath (Horrifying Dichotomy is one of the usual methods). For extra fun, have Dr. Medico aim the initial attack at one of the Sentinels, since they're technically nemeses!
  • Constant Damage: This is doubly good, because if there's one thing the Sentinels have lots of, it's damaging oneshots. Sure, they don't have many damage boosters in their deck, it's basically the Durasteel Chains and that's it, but basically every card they play either does more damage based on the hero you aim with, or does combo attacks based on which heroes you have active. If you can maintain the early lead and keep all of your heroes alive long enough, you'll be throwing out loads of damage nonstop (and if you have Sentinel Tactics out, congrats, have more power uses!)

Weaknesses:
  • Fragile: This applies in a number of ways. First and most obvious is the fact that your health totals are half of the average hero health total, even if you have four targets. Anything that targets multiple or lowest health heroes makes you sad as hell. Second and more subtly is the fact that their stuff, which they REALLY want out, is sharply limited. There is one copy of each of their Signature cards in the deck, and Unique Capabilities can't search your trash. If the Hippocratic Oath got destroyed, hope someone else has a method of trash recovery!
  • Limited Utility: The Sentinels are great at dealing damage or healing, but they can only provide so much help for their team in other ways. Aura of Vision provides some extra card draw for the team, but slowly. They have no ongoing or environment destruction. Human Shield is certainly NICE, but only if Mainstay's got his Durasteel Chains out AND you have cards to discard to fuel it. (You probably do, because Team Communication, but still.) Your deck control is basically Writhe's base power, and while it's not BAD, it tends to run out of usefulness fairly quickly and competes with your other powers, usually losing in the process.

Notable Cards
  • Hippocratic Oath: Really almost all of the Signature cards are great and important, but the Hippocratic Oath is the one that's easiest to cheat with. Obviously, you can use this with your damaging one-shots to get strong burst healing done, but this also lets you prevent unwanted damage instances, such as from Plague Rat's Infection or Miss Information's general existence. Better yet, these self-damage instances get re-aimed as part of Hippocratic Oath! Your Infection suddenly becomes healing for Mainstay? COOL!
  • Team Communication: Draw 4 cards, play a card. I can't add anything to that. That is just an amazing card for getting through your deck as fast as possible and getting your useful stuff. And getting through your deck as the Sentinels is excellent for a number of reasons, not least that you shuffle your trash back into your deck, which may very well put destroyed Signature cards back in there! AND WHO DOESN'T LOVE THAT?
  • Human Shield: This is the other reason Team Communication is so great. If you draw enough cards, you can sustain this more or less indefinitely (and the Aura of Vision can help there, too). And not only can Mainstay protect himself with the Durasteel Chains, Dr. Medico can keep him alive incredibly easily. It's like you're the Scholar, but you can also punch things!

Last edited by Kalir; 12-18-2016 at 10:39 AM.
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  #134  
Old 11-01-2016, 04:46 PM
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Right, so, Vengeance mode. Before I get into individual villain discussion, I have to discuss the mode itself, and how strategies change for it.

You have a total of H villain decks in play (albeit with decreased card counts for each one) and a villain character card for each one. These villain cards have health more in line with hero health totals, although they may deploy targets of their own. Their disruption is significantly lighter in Vengeance mode, if only because having normal villain levels of disruption would make certain heroes outright unplayable. Additionally, none of the Vengeance villains flip like solo villains do, but they DO have incapacitated effects.

Additionally, Vengeance style villains often feature mini-nemeses within their decks. These represent B-list villains who don't merit a full villain deck of their own, but who are still people who tangle with specific heroes from time to time. In addition to the normal nemesis rules, these mini-nemeses will usually have more dangerous capabilities if their nemesis is active in-game. I'll list out the mini-nemeses in their own section, since having their nemesis in play warrants extra examination.

The upshot of all this is that the core strategy for Vengeance mode is prioritization. Yes, you will have lots of very scary targets to deal with, and it can be overwhelming at first to decide which ones to bring down. But remain calm and work through a list of targets. Don't forget that defeating a villain character renders their deck and all of their cards null and void, same as for an incapacitated hero. The good news is that any area attacks become far more potent than against solo villains, since you'll have a LOT more targets to deal with.

Baron Blade

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Middling
  • Direct Offense: Middling
  • Disruption: High
  • Defenses: High
  • Ongoings: Middling
  • Deck Randomness: Middling
  • Nemesis: Legacy

Remember how solo Baron Blade was more or less a tutorial villain for learning the game? Well, he's not here to show you the ropes in Vengeance mode. Here, he's on a mission, and that mission is delivering a stone cold beatdown. Worse, he's not going to be the one getting his hands dirty for the most part. His game is sabotage and leading the other villains, and he is very, very good at this. In fact, he's much more comparable to his nemesis Legacy in this iteration than ever before, and he should always be a top priority to take down in any Vengeance game.

Evolved Madman
Baron Blade enters play with his Genetically Fused Physique ongoing and a random Device out, which is pretty mean. Your first Ongoing destruction in any game should be aimed at Genetically Fused Physique, or you won't be getting ANYTHING done to damage him. The Device you'll have to make a call on, since they range fairly drastically in power. The worst part is that he ends his turn by attacking the hero with the lowest health for 2 melee. He also attacks himself, but the Genetically Fused Physique will make that a non-issue (as will the Negation Bands), and he has enough defense and health that this won't do a whole lot on its own. Focus on Baron Blade as much as you can unless something that will end the game within the next few turns takes priority.

Advanced: Reduce damage dealt to devices by 2? That kind of sounds mean, and it is, BUT it doesn't honestly change up his strategy much at all. After all, defeating the dude himself removes all his Devices from play. I guess if you're in Omnitron IV it's a good way to die really fast, so watch out for that.

Challenge - Mastermind: Baron Blade's immune to villain damage, is he? Well, that means that his end-of-turn attack no longer hurts himself, so that's a bit awkward. It also means indiscriminate villains can't hurt him for you. But honestly, neither of these is as big of a problem as, y'know... Baron Blade's deck. If you can fight normal Baron Blade, you can fight Challenge (or even Ultimate) Baron Blade.

Incapacitated
I don't discuss hero incapacitated effects in my rundowns, usually, because they vary way too much in power and utility, and they also are pretty self-evident as to the best choice in any given situation. Vengeance villains, though, are another story, because you'll have to deal with them in any match. Baron Blade's effect, in which each hero self-damage for 1 toxic at the start of his turn, is kind of mean, but only if you're playing as dedicated glass cannons. Way better than dealing with Baron Blade himself. By all means go glass cannon to take him down, but switch off once you do.

Good Strategies:
  • Area Attacks: I mean, it's Vengeance mode, of course area attacks are nice. But you want to hit Baron Blade himself, and his Devices are uniformly awful to deal with, so it's better to hit all of them at once if at all possible. The devices don't have much health individually (aside from Omni-Blade, who doesn't really count), so it's not out of the question for a focused attack or two to take one down, but you also need to keep the pressure on Baron Blade himself.
  • All-Out Offense: Baron Blade's presence in a Vengeance mode game will be a constant disruption for the heroes and accelerant for the villains. There are few costs too expensive for eliminating him as fast as possible from play. Yes, other villains might capitalize on lowered defenses from things like High Risk Behaviour or whatever, but let's be honest, Baron Blade can make them capitalize on literally anything by granting them damage boosts or card plays. Take him out as fast as is humanly possible.

Bad Strategies:
  • Heavy Setup: Baron Blade has a lot of disruption, but most of it seems curiously aimed at curtailing setup rather than outright stopping heroes from doing things. Yes, he has the Regression Darts for doing that and those suck, but things like the Impulsion Beam and Obsessive Planning are pretty clearly meant to punish heroes that are already set up. Get enough stuff in play to go nuts at him, but don't go overboard with it.
  • Fighting Mini-Nemeses: Other decks have some seriously murderous Nemeses if their matching hero is in play, such as Revenant, Major Flay, or the like. But honestly, in Baron Blade's deck, seeing a Nemesis come into play is usually WAY better than the alternatives. Just leave them be, for the most part, and focus on Baron Blade. If you have other targets to choose, his Devices are excellent to prioritize.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Citizen Slash (Expatriette): See, this is what I mean. Citizen Slash's damage being irreducible isn't really that scary in and of itself, and targeting second highest HP for 2 psychic? Whatever, man. You have better things to do with your time than fight this guy. The damage being irreducible doesn't really affect Expatriette at all either, because if she's using Liquid Nitrogen Rounds on this guy, it's because she loaded them into the Submachine Gun, at which point THEY'RE STILL AWESOME.
  • Empyreon (Captain Cosmic): Ditto for this guy. Yeah, area attacking for 1 is pretty annoying? But it's for 1. You'll take WAY more damage from any number of other things Baron Blade decides to do on his turn. And Captain Cosmic's nemesis effect of reducing energy damage specifically? Captain Cosmic doesn't care, because either 1 damage to all of his Constructs causes half of them to activate, or the Cosmic Crest nullifies basically everything Empyreon does anyway. NEXT.
  • Omni-Blade (Omnitron-X): Possibly the most dangerous mini-nemesis in Baron Blade's deck, solely by virtue of their ridiculous HP total. Why deal 15 damage to this thing when you could deal 15 damage to Baron Blade? The annoying part is that all of their devices heal if Omnitron-X is active, but again, Baron Blade remains the highest priority. Drop all pretense of deactivating his devices if Omnitron-X is active and just slug at Baron Blade himself.
  • Ruin (The Argent Adept): Even without the Argent Adept, Ruin attacks the lowest health target (albeit only for 1 damage), which is on top of Baron Blade doing the same. Ruin is one of the few nemeses actually worth attacking even if his nemesis isn't in play. If the Argent Adept IS in play, then your best bet is to beat Ruin to the punch and Cedistic Dissonant his face off of the planet. Hey, if that instrument's gonna die anyway, why not make it work for you?
  • Zhu Long (Mr. Fixer): Reviving Baron Blade's Nemesis cards? Again, the only instance in which you should really care about that is for Ruin, and even then that's a maybe. Furthermore, Zhu Long has enough health that actively attacking him is unlikely to actually defeat him, so don't even bother when Baron Blade is RIGHT THERE. Have Mr. Fixer use him to ramp up Dual Crowbars damage and that's it.

Notable Cards
  • Regression Darts: Ordinarily, damage prevention attacks usually target the lowest health hero. Regression Darts doesn't do this, so it's a bit more reasonable since high-health heroes tend to have damage reducers on hand more often than not. However, the fact that they target two heroes? Beyond the pale, man. In a 3 hero game, that's tantamount to a full turn free from hero harassment.
  • Vengeful Assault: But that's still not the meanest card in Baron Blade's deck. Boosting the damage for ALL villain targets by 1 means a hell of a lot more in Vengeance mode, where villain targets will almost certainly outnumber hero targets. Worse, this makes Baron Blade's ordinarily-tepid Nemesis cards actually pretty dangerous to deal with. And of course, the damage boost applies to Baron Blade himself. (The consolation prize here is that this means his self-damage will do even more damage, unless Negation Bands prevents it because OF COURSE IT WILL.)
  • Old Tricks - New Allies: And that's STILL not the meanest card in his deck! Remember how bad cards that gave the villain bonus card plays were? Well, here's one that gives EVERY OTHER VILLAIN a card play. And then once they've all resolved, he heals every villain target for 1, because why the hell not at this point? This plus Vengeful Assault means that any card play blocks your team has should almost always be directed at Baron Blade whenever possible. (I say almost because Friction exists.)

Last edited by Kalir; 05-11-2017 at 11:19 AM.
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  #135  
Old 11-04-2016, 02:59 PM
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Ermine

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Low
  • Direct Offense: Low
  • Disruption: High
  • Defenses: Middling
  • Ongoings: Middling
  • Deck Randomness: Middling
  • Nemesis: The Wraith

Hey guys, it's Catwoman! How's it going? Ermine is not, strictly speaking, a dangerous villain. Unpredictable and annoying, certainly, but she will usually not be the biggest threat on the board at any given point in time. The real problem she poses is that she's one of the few villains in Sentinels of the Multiverse who makes milling a legitimate threat you'll have to face. She has ways to put cards you need on top of your deck, and Constant Prattle will trash those cards, ensuring you won't get them back for a while.

Con Artist Extraordinaire
The key to Ermine's disruption is that she starts with Constant Prattle out, which means her cards that put things atop your deck get trashed almost instantly. Destroying it nullifies a lot of Ermine's disruption, but at the same time, you'll usually have better targets for destroying ongoings, at least early on in Vengeance mode. Aside from that, she has a pseudo-second card play at the end of each of her turns, kind of like Infinitor. She either plays a one-shot, or hits the second lowest hero for 2 melee. That and Heavy Hitter aim at second lowest, so it'll be a good idea to disrupt her damage in turn if you can spare it.

Advanced: I'm sorry, what. Destroying a hero ongoing AND equipment at the start of her turn, IN VENGEANCE MODE. Hell no. I refuse. Go to the evil prison. (Or just rely on heroes who either have little need for setup, or really fast and extensive setup.)

Challenge - Canny Thief: Starting with a copy of Subtle Diversion and Uncatchable in play is pretty annoying for sure... but it also doesn't really do anything for Ermine already being a villain you usually eliminate last. Plus, if you were going into an Ermine fight, you were probably already bringing ongoing destruction, so this won't be a huge deal anyway.

Incapacitated
Discarding the top 2 cards of each hero deck is a completely tolerable incapacitated effect, and Ermine is basically solely reliant on her ongoings (which won't even see the light of day frequently) for defense. So if you have lots of damage and no better targets, Ermine is a fine choice for an early defeat. Unfortunately, you will probably have better targets.

Good Strategies:
  • Ongoing Destruction: Ermine's ongoings aren't strictly dangerous, but they are going to keep her alive and you off-balance for a long time. More often than not, destroying them will keep her more than in check for the duration of the game. Ermine's offense isn't bad, but it IS within the realm of acceptability while you focus on more dangerous targets, IF you can bring down her ongoings first.
  • Damage Reducers: That said, Ermine still attacks as often as twice a turn, and usually at targets that are hard to predict and manage. Either use things like Stun Bolt to reduce the damage she specifically deals, or use hardy heroes with damage reducers of their own, to mitigate her damage, since each individual instance isn't very strong. Just make sure the entire team has some method of reducing damage if you're doing the latter.

Bad Strategies:
  • Slow Setup: Ermine's disruption is good enough, especially with Constant Prattle, that only having one or two cards out in a turn will not be enough to keep them intact, especially not with other disruption-heavy villains backing her up. You need to be able to hit the ground running to get away from her disruption, to say nothing of Long Con or Sleight of Hand attacking the cards in your hand as well as the cards in play.
  • Off-Hand Attacks: By this, I mean hitting Ermine with multi-target attacks while focusing the brunt of your offense at another target. If Ermine's in your game, you either need to focus her hard, or ignore her. Committing halfway will waste your team's targeting, since she has enough defense and self-heal to undo a half-assed assault easily. Remember, Vengeance mode is all about target prioritization. Decide early on whether Ermine's going to be eliminated first or last, because you can't be indecisive against her.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Calypso (Ra): On the surface, moving a card to the top of a hero deck seems like bad news. However, Calypso will usually come into play AFTER Constant Prattle by design, so she's not nearly as intimidating as she seems (although she will still add to Ermine's disruption, so be careful). With Ra in play, the fire damage reducer is countered by the nemesis boost he gets against her, and it's not out of the question for Ra to focus on her if the disruption's getting out of hand. But her nemesis penalty mostly only affects a handful of heroes (and villains), and Ra's one of the only ones who actively cares about it.
  • Equity (The Naturalist): Hey look, more unpredictable attacks. On his own, Equity is barely worth consideration, but if the Naturalist is in play, suddenly he's providing Ermine with some serious kick. Worse, the Naturalist can't rely on his usual tanking to protect the team since Equity will happily take the damage boost against him. That said, the Naturalist can just as easily leverage that damage boost right back at him with Crocodile form: a single Feral Fury in such a state instakills Equity.
  • The Seer (Fanatic): Hahaha what. Again, on his own, The Seer is totally fine to deal with. His attack will bounce off of the fierce biceps of your tankiest hero, no problem. The funny part is if Fanatic is in play, because the Seer's idea of a penalty is preventing heroes from self-damaging. While Fanatic can't sustain many of her best ongoings due to this, other heroes can actively use this to serious benefit, especially if faced with another villain that forces self-damage on a regular basis. For example, Haka, Nightmist, and Sky-Scraper can unleash their meanest area attacks without fear of backlash.
  • Tantrum (Sky-Scraper): Speaking of Sky-Scraper, she gets a really weird form of opposition with Tantrum. Without Sky-Scraper, Tantrum is honestly perfectly fine to leave out, as she'll keep the environment's worst cards in check while you reap the benefits as best as you are able. And if Sky-Scraper is in, honestly, you probably won't even see the area attack in question, especially not if you have targets to throw Aggression Modulators on. Just be careful not to let the environment get too chewed up around Tantrum and you'll be fine.

Notable Cards
  • Heavy Hitter: I don't like it any more than you do, but as the most numerous one-shot in Ermine's deck, expect to see this card played a lot. And as long as Constant Prattle is out, it combines a fairly solid melee attack with a virtual ongoing/equipment destroy effect. Course, the strategy here is easy: just destroy Constant Prattle first.
  • Subtle Diversion: Again, you need to decide whether you're going to attack Ermine at full force or not at all. If you're doing the latter, cool, whatever, this card is largely ignorable. If not, then cool, whatever, you still have ongoing destruction to use on it, right? Constant Prattle isn't the only thing in her deck worth trashing. Or you could have your heroes bring multiple attacks a turn AND have a highly tanky character on the team who can take all the other heroes' first attacks (or just, y'know, not attack her.)
  • Impromptu Heist: The good news is that this card is basically a one-shot without the one-shot keyword, which means it'll often be discarded instead of played. The bad news is she'll destroy an ongoing AND an equipment if it actually gets out, and if it doesn't destroy anything, it'll wait around until stuff to destroy DOES show up. Again, you really need a quick setup on hand, so that this on top of the rest of her disruption doesn't slow you down to the point of uselessness.

Last edited by Kalir; 05-11-2017 at 11:22 AM.
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  #136  
Old 11-05-2016, 03:32 PM
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Friction

Danger Levels
  • Minions: High
  • Direct Offense: High
  • Disruption: Middling
  • Defenses: Low
  • Ongoings: Low
  • Deck Randomness: High
  • Nemesis: Tachyon

Okay guys, okay. You wanted Baron Blade to be the main leader villain who has excellent team boosting and disruption. Fine, okay, good. So why do you have a villain in the VERY SAME SET AS HIM who is almost as good at things while ALSO being villain Tachyon? Dick move, fellas. Anyway, Friction is just as awful as being villain Tachyon sounds, but the good news is that if you act fast enough, she'll kill herself almost as hard as she kills you.

Friction's mechanic is the same as Tachyon's, albeit with Surge cards rather than Burst cards. They still work the same, with them fueling her biggest, meanest attacks. The trick is that Friction doesn't actually HAVE superspeed innately, just some highly untested gear that lets her go that fast, and only her Shock Dampeners protect her from the backlash. If those are destroyed, she'll be doing self-damage at an incredible rate.

Shockingly Speedy
Oh, it's not enough that she starts with the Shock Dampeners that you need to destroy. No, she ALSO starts with HUD Goggles in the form of Stolen Gear, so she gets two card plays each turn. Facing a fully set up villain Tachyon from square one is terrible and awful and terrible. In any game where Friction is in play, you need to either destroy her Devices as fast as humanly possible, or admit you can't kill them that fast and just take her down even faster. The good news is that once her Devices are gone, her turns are basically more harm to herself than to you, since she only does a card play and a 1 melee attack to the highest health target, but by then, Blinding Strike and Surge Strike are brokenly strong.

Advanced: Oh boy, she gets a damage reducer! Don't you wish Tachyon had easy access to a damage reducer? Cuz I know I would. But nah, not only does she take less damage from your attacks, her self-damage is also blunted. Good luck, because you're gonna need it.

Challenge - Sturdy Tech: Shock Dampeners are indestructible. Okay, cool, Friction no longer self-damages. (Unless you modify her damage with Twist the Ether or Close Quarters Combat or something, which hey maybe consider that.) The Stolen Gear is still totally doable, though, so smash it the hell apart.

Incapacitated
Oh, and her incapacitated effect destroys a hero ongoing or equipment card. So even once you do finally take her down as fast as you can, guess what, she's STILL got really good disruption to help the villains still standing. Ugh.

Good Strategies:
  • All-Out Offense: There's no way around it, you NEED the Shock Dampeners and Stolen Gear destroyed. Yes, Friction and every other villain is going to be swinging at you constantly, but Friction is automatically the most dangerous villain in any group she's in for how quickly she can accelerate if left unchecked (unless Baron Blade is in play, in which case TRY NOT TO DIE). If at all possible, try to take her devices down in addition to herself, but if you simply don't have the targeting to do that, focus your damage on Friction herself, since the self-damage the Shock Dampener blocks isn't very high.
  • Equipment Reliance: Wait, what? Yeah! Equipment is safer in this fight than ongoings are! As it happens, Blinding Strike ONLY targets ongoings. The only thing Friction can do to destroy equipment is be incapacitated, which is a completely reasonable trade-off compared to her playing cards. This is a rare chance for heroes like Expatriette to shine: get your biggest, baddest weapons out and go nuts!

Bad Strategies:
  • Ignoring Mini-Nemeses: Unfortunately, Friction does not share the same weakness Baron Blade does, her mini-nemeses are actually pretty dangerous, especially if their respective heroes are out. Unfortunately, aside from Highbrow, they all have respectable health totals, so if you have to choose between focusing a large assault on Friction or her mini-nemeses, focus on Friction, but don't let their abilities get out of hand. In particular, Highbrow and Revenant can do a ton of damage if left alone.
  • Deck Control: Even taking the weaker state of deck control tactics in Vengeance mode, Friction's just going to play too many cards, and she doesn't honestly have bad cards in her deck. Furthermore, Unhealthy Speed lets her chain card plays, which is exactly as powerful for her as it is for her nemesis. Devote any resources you'd use on deck control to just kicking her teeth in, classic style.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Argentium (Guise): If Guise isn't in play, who cares about Argentium, honestly. You have WAY better things to focus on. But if Guise IS in play, then suddenly Argentium's highly unpredictable attack is also a highly unpredictable damage-blocker. And not being able to deal damage to Friction is not a good thing. Guise should put as much effort into attacking Argentium as he possibly can, and with his usual Guise the Barbarian/Blatant Reference combo, he's honestly pretty good at doing that, and could conceivably kill him in one turn. (Unless Argentium beats him to the punch, in which case time to play defensive with Total Beefcake!)
  • Highbrow (Parse): The damage alone isn't a huge problem, not with how low it is and how it targets highest HP. The problem is that it happens every time a hero plays a card, and boosting Highbrow's damage if Parse is out? Well, that'll curtail your playing speed pretty harshly. If Parse is in play, I recommend holding off on Snap Decisions for a while. You won't have to wait for long if Highbrow is an issue, with her low health. Even Parse could take down Highbrow solo if she really wanted to.
  • Revenant (Setback): Villain damage boosters. Villain damage boosters in Vengeance mode. NO, WE ARE NOT OKAY WITH THIS. Boosting only the damage of the highest health villain isn't too bad, depending on who that is. Hell, if you're focusing on your targets properly, you'll end up boosting a relative non-issue. But boosting all villain target damage if Setback is in play, and on a 10 health target to boot... I'd take a good look at where Friction's health total is and decide whether to just keep swinging at her, because that is a pretty big amount of health to burn through in a single turn, even for Setback.
  • The Hippo (Haka): Oh man, it's this guy! What a joker! If Haka's not in, you really have better priorities to focus that 14 damage at than the Hippo. But if Haka IS in, then you'll be playing that Rampage sooner rather than later. And if it's later, then the rest of your team gets to deal with Friction's health getting more than a 50% effective boost while the Hippo tanks for her. And all the while, he's swinging away with respectable 3 damage attacks on her turn.

Notable Cards
  • Blinding Strike: Friction has a grand total of 14 Surge cards in her deck. If she plays all of them, her cards like this become terrifying even by solo villain standards. You may as well read this one as "destroy all hero ongoing cards", honestly. If you ever wanted an excuse to play all your favorite equipment-dependent heroes, this card is it.
  • Surge Strike: Oh yeah, you know Lightspeed Barrage, right? That card that you use to ignore the second half of a solo villain's health bar? Imagine how that feels aimed at you. If it wasn't for cards like these that key off of her Surges in her trash, Friction would honestly be a pretty reasonable villain, but there is nothing that makes "take 13 damage" an acceptable thing for a Vengeance mode villain to do. I guess this makes all those "when you'd take 5 damage or more" cards finally worthwhile, and using Synaptic Interruption on this can make your day a lot easier. Y'know, if she didn't blow it up with a Blinding Strike.
  • Synergy Surge: Remember how Baron Blade has a card that lets everyone else play a card? Do you think, just maybe, we should give that same ability to a villain in the same set as him? Except instead of healing everyone, she shoots them all and also gets to play a card herself. I am so, SO glad that she only has one copy in her deck, but y'know what'd be even better? If she had no copies in her deck. I feel like that would be fine.

Last edited by Kalir; 05-11-2017 at 11:25 AM.
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  #137  
Old 11-06-2016, 11:39 PM
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Fright Train

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Middling
  • Direct Offense: High
  • Disruption: Low
  • Defenses: Middling
  • Ongoings: Middling
  • Deck Randomness: Low
  • Nemesis: Bunker

One nice thing about Vengeance mode is that, by design, it leaves room for villains who are very much one-track, and wouldn't be interesting enough in a solo deck. Ermine sort of fits that design, but Fright Train definitely does. I suppose if he did have a villain version, it'd be a less interesting version of Iron Legacy, which honestly gives a pretty clear indicator of what to expect here: he is huge and he is going to run you over and punch you until one of you is dead.

One-Track Warrior
Fright Train has so many train puns, even the finest pun artisans of Talking Time couldn't keep up with his schedule. But enough of that. He begins play with Engine of Destruction as an ongoing out, which does boost his already-formidable damage, but it ALSO increases the first instance of damage he takes each turn, so you might be okay with leaving it out if you're going to focus him down first! Aside from that, he has a meaty end of turn attack for 3 melee damage, and most of his one-shots are "hit at least one guy for a meaty melee attack". Really is just what he says on the box.

Advanced: I mean, his advanced side is "just hit even harder". What else do you even want from me here? You're the one fighting Fright Train, you should expect him to hit you really friggin' hard. I guess that means all those "when you would take 5 or more damage" cards can finally see use against him, though.

Challenge - All Aboard: Ahahaha what. Redirect all hero damage to Fright Train? That is very, VERY silly (and extremely abusable with area attacks). More seriously, it means any heroes that rely on self-damage have to get past Fright Train first, which is... honestly totally fine? Fright Train's not a bad villain to focus down first, and it's not especially hard to do so with Engine of Destruction out. If other villains get some high-priority targets out, try to find ways to force villain or environment damage to take them out, or to use damageless destruction like Cedistic Dissonant or Final Dive.

Incapacitated
Not unlike Baron Blade's incapacitated effect, Fright Train forces the highest health hero to hit themselves for 2 toxic. This is going to hurt, but unlike Baron Blade's, this will usually be aimed at the hero best equipped to take the hit, so hey, not a big deal.

Good Strategies:
  • Friendly Fire: Okay, at this point it's pretty obvious that with Engine of Destruction, a team that wants to focus damage on Fright Train will have a relatively easy time doing so even with his huge health pool. But what about all those villain turns, or the environment turn? If you can somehow get villains to attack him on their turns, either through damage redirection or sheer innate unfriendliness (for example, from Plague Rat or Sergeant Steel's Arsonator), then that's going to get a damage boost too!
  • High Card Draw: Fright Train doesn't have much disruption, but what he does have is discard effects, especially on the people he is currently punching. You want your team to have the card draw to keep up with these effects. It's nowhere near as mean as the disruption of, say, Ermine or Friction, but it IS enough that you'll want to keep up as best as you are able, and being able to draw cards faster than Fright Train can force you to discard them is a good start.

Bad Strategies:
  • No Ongoing Destruction: Again, Engine of Destruction can be leveraged. But even if you plan on doing so, you want at least one ongoing destruction effect on hand just in case he gets Rebuilt to Survive. It's entirely possible that you can boost damage high enough that it would reduce the effect, but needless to say, him getting self-healed is always bad. And if you're not going to cheat with Engine of Destruction that much, don't let Fright Train have access to it any longer than is necessary.
  • All-Out Offense: When focusing on Fright Train, don't feel the need to go all out. Not only can you only leverage Engine of Destruction once per turn, but Fright Train has a few ways to attack the lowest health targets, or even instakill targets a la Sucker Punch. Do not underestimate his ability to take out weak heroes, because between his low-health targeting oneshots and the potential instakill of Last Stop (highly dependent on environment BUT STILL), no one is truly safe from Fright Train.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Choke (K.N.Y.F.E.): Whether her nemesis is in or not, Choke is a pretty aggravating opponent solely for destroying your gear in Vengeance mode. Every little bit adds up, y'know! Giving everyone a damage reducer if K.N.Y.F.E. is in play is even more terrible. That said, 5 HP is barely a number, even in Vengeance mode with a damage reducer, and K.N.Y.F.E. has a tasty nemesis bonus to negate the damage penalty. An ordinary 5 health target that destroys 1 equipment card doesn't last long against K.N.Y.F.E.
  • The Crackjaw Crew (The Sentinels): Okay Vengeance devs, what was the deal? Why did you give us all these cool heroes, and then a villain set full of traps for playing as the cool new heroes? If all of the Sentinels are active, this is an 11 health target that swings at two hero targets for 5 damage. Look on the bright side: the Sentinels will rarely all be standing in Vengeance mode, so it won't be for a constant 5 damage! If the Sentinels are in a game that Fright Train is in, suddenly taking him down before these guys show up becomes your top priority.
  • Major Flay (The Visionary): Like the Crackjaw Crew, if Major Flay's nemesis isn't in, he's very forgettable. But if she IS in play, suddenly villain ongoings are indestructible. And this isn't just if you try to destroy ongoings with Mental Divergence as you would totally do. This applies to things like Miss Information's A World Improved. You DO NOT want a fight in Vengeance where all villains are immune to damage and all villain ongoings are indestructible. That's not strictly an instant loss, IF you have a way to remove Major Flay from play without damaging him. And to that, I say "GOOD FRIGGIN' LUCK."
  • Man-Grove (Nightmist): It's kind of amazing when I can look at something that does an area attack for 1 and go "okay, sure, that's totally fine". But honestly, in Man-Grove's case, it kind of is, because this is an area attack for 1 compared to Fright Train's entire deck. Easiest card in his deck by far. Just hope that Fright Train doesn't Locomotivation it into a self-heal, I guess?

Notable Cards
  • Last Stop: Like a lot of environment-based cards, this one could be very situational. If there's no targets in your environment, it's a blank card, which is great. If you're in the Enclave of the Endlings, you run the risk of Fright Train throwing Immutus at you for 17 damage. And what did we learn from Friction? That sort of number is not okay for Vengeance villains to throw at you. I'd recommend keeping one eye on the environment deck if you're concerned about Last Stop.
  • Unstoppable Momentum: This is, by far, the most Fright Train card in Fright Train's deck. Remember, each hit he connects with here could be boosted by Engine of Destruction very easily. Try to bring some extra cards to discard to get out of the way of the second hit if at all possible. On the other hand, if you have enough damage reducers and have destroyed Engine of Destruction, maybe keeping that hand size is more valuable...
  • Plow Through: The nice thing about this card is that, at least early on, it will probably be aimed at environment targets rather than your heroes. It still prioritizes lowest health, though, so don't get too comfortable, especially not when there's as many as four other villains who might have things to say about the environment. If you're confident you can keep them safe from Off The Rails' instakill, Unity and Captain Cosmic can easily use their respective creations to block this one off.

Last edited by Kalir; 05-11-2017 at 11:52 AM.
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  #138  
Old 11-07-2016, 02:58 PM
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Proletariat

Danger Levels
  • Minions: High
  • Direct Offense: Middling
  • Disruption: None
  • Defenses: Middling
  • Ongoings: High
  • Deck Randomness: Low
  • Nemesis: Absolute Zero

I'm not sure whether Proletariat's character design is cheesy, genius, or both. I mean, come on, of COURSE the superpower of a character themed after the USSR is going to be self-cloning. Proletariat is easily my favorite of the villains in the base Vengeance set, combining an interesting, flavorful mechanic, an innate defense against the usual Vengeance standby of wide-scale area attacks, and a complete lack of disruption effects. I noticed halfway through doing this that I didn't rank the Vengeance villains by difficulty like I did for vanilla, but that's mostly because the difficulties are even more bogus here than in solo villain mode. So alphabetical order let me save the best for last.

The Every Man
Proletariat's mechanic is defined by his Clone cards, all also named Proletariat. He has 6 in his deck, each with six HP, and starts with two in play. (For what it's worth, these cards aren't nemeses of Absolute Zero, but honestly their nemesis connection is even weaker than Kismet's.) These clones give him extra attacks for 2 melee at the end of his turn, and any non-psychic damage aimed at the main Proletariat gets redirected to the weakest clone. However, maintaining so many clones exhausts him, in the form of self-damaging for 1 psychic damage per clone at the start of his turn. Managing his clones and capitalizing on that exhaustion are both key to fighting Proletariat.

Advanced: This will be even harder on this side, where he revives a Clone card from his trash at the end of each turn. Once again, if you weren't already bringing area attacks to a Vengeance mode fight, now would be an excellent time to do so.

Challenge - The Will of the People: Ouch, psychic immunity. Which means you can't shortcut past his defenses, nor does he suffer upkeep for maintaining too many clones. Thankfully, as mentioned above, there's not many heroes that traffic in psychic damage much, and certainly not many that do so exclusively. Really, this just stops you from taking the easy way out, it doesn't change up your strategy none.

Incapacitated
Shuffle the hero trash with the most cards into its associated deck on his turn. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the full extent of Proletariat's disruption game. Sure, Tachyon or Nightmist might hate it, but honestly this is by far the most painless incapacitated effect in the Vengeance base set. It's a shame that Proletariat will never be your first priority in that set.

Good Strategies:
  • Damage Type Modification: The best way to bypass Proletariat's defenses and hit him in his fairly low health pool is to abuse his inability to redirect psychic damage. After all, he might have many bodies, but only one mind. The Visionary is one of the best heroes suited to doing this on account of Twist the Ether, but there are a few other heroes who either deal psychic damage normally (The Idealist from the Sentinels) or have ways to do so anyway (Mr. Fixer and Tempest being the main examples off of the top of my head).
  • Area Attacks: If you can't secure the cheap win that way, your next best bet is to rely on hitting multiple targets at once. Kind of like a reverse version of Akash'Bhuta in that way: you might not hit Proletariat himself, but the redirection effect will let you cut through his clones with simplicity. And once those are gone, he has almost nothing in the way of defenses and precious little offense. (I mean, unless he has Everyman's Strength, in which case try not to die.)

Bad Strategies:
  • Glass Cannons: Proletariat has irreducible damage via Overwhelm the Mighty, so damage reducers, while still valuable in this fight, aren't really going to save you constantly. But you cannot afford to boost Proletariat's damage, or worse, magnify your own damage taken, because he will be doing a LOT of attacks as long as he has clones out. And if he is the scariest threat on the board, you don't have to go all out to take him down. Just bring down the clones first, and that'll make him fairly manageable.
  • Ignoring Clones: I know, you have a lot of things to deal with, it IS Vengeance mode. And it's easy to assume that the sustain cost will self-damage him to the point of self-elimination. Not so: he WILL eventually play Regroup and Recover, and if you've been leaving his clones alone, that may as well be a full self-heal, and he rarely, if ever, lasts more than one or two of his turns without having a Clone (or at the very least, Everyman's Strength). If you have auxiliary attacks, his Clones are perfect targets for them.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Doc Tusser (Chrono-Ranger): Most of Proletariat's mini-nemeses are hardly worth the trouble if you have even a single point of damage reduction on you, and Doc Tusser is no exception. The self-heal if Chrono-Ranger is out doesn't matter either, because if Proletariat's out, you probably have better targets to aim at than a regenerating nerd who deals 1 damage a turn.
  • Hermetic (The Scholar): A little bit scarier than Doc Tusser, but only by virtue of doing an area attack and forcing it as self-damage. The weird part is that this attack gets repeated if the Scholar is in play, which the Scholar really doesn't care about. I guess it puts lots of pressure on him to get things like Alchemical Redirection out to protect his team? But again, you usually have bigger priorities, and even if you don't, Hermetic's got only 6 health, easily within the Scholar's range if he has access to an actual attack of some kind.
  • The Radioactivist (Unity): Well, I can safely say that not every single Proletariat mini-nemesis is bad at actually planning for their nemesis. But the Radioactivist sure is. Highest health for 1 fire by default, who cares. Lowest health for 1 energy if Unity is in, and therefore WILL have Mechanical Golems to take the hits and either do cheating with Bee Bot or not give a damn with Platform Bot or Stealth Bot? Come on, man, be less bad at this.
  • Vyktor (Tempest): Remember this guy from Grand Warlord Voss' deck? He's back, and he hates the hell out of Tempest. On his own, the destroy effect only matters for the environment, for Unity or Captain Cosmic, or if you were going to lose this game anyway. But if Tempest IS in, the bad news is that until Tempest's next turn, you are going to be taking a lot more damage, especially from all those Proletariat hammers. The good news is that the nemesis bonus and his low health means he won't live through Tempest's turn!

Notable Cards
  • Regroup and Recover: As mentioned above, this is your punishment for hoping that Proletariat exhausts himself to death by maintaining too many clones: he will probably full heal and then play another card with this. The good news, though, is that it DOES leave Proletariat completely open to attack unless he chains this into playing another Clone or Share in the Struggle. Take that opening and run with it, because you don't get many opportunities like that in Vengeance mode.
  • Everyman's Strength: Proletariat has only three ongoings, two of which are basically non-issues and one of which DESTROYS YOUR FACE OFF. If you're fighting Proletariat as intended, this increases his damage by as much as 6 points. I shouldn't have to explain how terrifying that is, not least because if the damage boost from this is low, then that means he has more than enough clones out to render it irrelevant. Do not let this card survive for any length of time.
  • Share in the Struggle: That sure is some deck dilution you got there, Proletariat. Six of the same card, and then two more cards that say "play two copies of that card I have six of". The good news is that if you've already destroyed all six clones, or otherwise removed them from his deck, this is a blank card.

Last edited by Kalir; 05-11-2017 at 11:31 AM.
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  #139  
Old 11-07-2016, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
of COURSE the superpower of a character themed after the USSR is going to be self-cloning.
And yet somehow the X-Men never got around to doing this.
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  #140  
Old 11-08-2016, 01:47 PM
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Mobile Defense Platform

Checklist
  • Hero Support: No
  • Hero Disruption: No
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Shield Generator, Bridge)
  • Villain Acceleration: No
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Battalion Brute, Battalion Gunner)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: No
  • Alternate Loss Condition: Yes (Propulsion Systems)

I kind of like that the canon reason for the Mobile Defense Platform existing as an environment is that Baron Blade turned them into Rent-a-Bases. But for those of you expecting it to favor the villains like Rook City does, I'm sorry, but the actual result of this environment is that it will matter less in your game than the Block. The Mobile Defense Platform is a great environment if you barely want to pay attention to it, and would prefer the villain to take center stage.

The only card that matters for most fights is the Propulsion Systems. In the event you reduce it to 0 or fewer health, you crash the Mobile Defense Platform and instantly lose. However, you can still "destroy" the Propulsion Systems to avoid this, provided you use a non-damaging method of doing so.

Good Strategies:
  • Damage Reduction: The highest damage that the Mobile Defense Platform can field to heroes is 2 damage. Most of the time, it won't even be that. I'm only offering this as a good strategy because there's really not much that counts as a bad strategy on the Mobile Defense Platform, but surprise, not taking damage tends to be a good idea.
  • Environment Destruction: This is primarily to deal with the Propulsion Systems. The Mobile Defense Platform has barely any cards that are actually going to prove a persistent threat, and most cards that are can be handled by punching them a little bit. Still, you don't want to go into the Mobile Defense Platform and risk actually crashing it without a way out, so try to ensure at least someone on your team can do something about it.

Bad Strategies:
  • Wide-Scale Attacks: This only counts as a bad strategy IF the Propulsion Systems are out. If they're not, well, go nuts with your area attacks. Not like the environment targets are going to help you. The second worst thing the Mobile Defense Platform can do against area attacks is defend itself, which is an excellent problem for your team to have.
  • Indiscriminate Villains: It's easy for a hero team to not crash the Mobile Defense Platform, but what if the villain is happy to attack environment targets instead of just destroying them? If that's just due to a few cards they have in their deck, then keep an eye out for those cards. If attacking the environment is just a thing they kind of do, be sure to protect or destroy the Propulsion Systems.

Notable Cards
  • Sky Deck: This one's an odd one, and it depends on which villain you're facing as to whether it's good or bad. If you're facing Gloomweaver, it's goodbad (but mostly good). In the case of the Chairman, it's goodbad (but mostly bad). Against Citizen Dawn, it's great! Also worth noting: this doesn't work like "No Executions" where it moves it to the bottom of their deck instead of destroying them. They are still destroyed, so any effect that would happen when they are destroyed still happens. No cheating your way through the Matriarch.
  • Shield Generator: The hostile targets in the Mobile Defense Platform don't pose much offensive threat and have little health, but with enough Shield Generators backing them up, suddenly those health totals stop mattering as much, in the same way the health totals for Apostate's relics don't matter. Still, who's your bigger priority: some loser Battalion Gunner, or the main villain? Yeah, that's what I thought.
  • Berth: It was really hard NOT to put the Propulsion Systems in this section, but it basically dominated all the other sections, so I GUESS I can discuss the Berth. Against villains who ramp up in accordance with the environment, like Akash'Bhuta, this thing is terrifying. Against villains who have lots of minions and are okay with attacking the environment, like Akash'Bhuta, it's also terrifying. But there's not many villains who actively fit either description, to be honest. Oh well.
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  #141  
Old 11-09-2016, 01:35 PM
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App has started releasing the Prime Wardens variants, but with a TWEEST: each one has to be unlocked by a fan in turn, after which the next one gets set up.

Freedom Tower

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (Dr. Stinson's Secondary Lab, Mission Control, The Wraith's Arsenal)
  • Hero Disruption: No
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Frost's Cryo Chamber, Entry Point)
  • Villain Acceleration: Yes (Entry Point)
  • Hostile Targets: No
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Frost's Cryo Chamber)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

It's a little strange that there hasn't been a dedicated hero home turf environment until this late in the development cycle. Megalopolis is the closest it's ever been, but even that's not really a sure thing since it's more about hero disruption than support. Freedom Tower is a bit more angled towards hero support, which is nice, but it's also not exactly a walk in the park if things start getting out of hand and the villains get a foothold in the tower.

Good Strategies:
  • Slight Environment Destruction: Freedom Tower is full of modifier cards, mostly neutral-to-positive, but it also provides absolutely no way to destroy its own cards except for the Security Station. Honestly, you don't even need much here, even something like Blinding Speed or Consecrated Ground would do the trick for the most part. Most of the cards here can basically be ignored, or are even rather helpful to keep around.
  • Speed Play: The only problem is that leaving all of those good cards in play and out of the deck dilutes it enough that Entry Points can come into play at an alarming rate, even if you destroy them. You're better off striking while the iron is hot, and leveraging as many of those advantages as you can to take down the villain quickly. The longer a fight in Freedom Tower goes on, the worse it is for you.

Bad Strategies:
  • Environment Target Dependence: Freedom Tower is one of the rare few environments in the game that is 100% devoid of targets. Any character that has cards that rely on environment targets to work (The Naturalist being the biggest example, but Sky-Scraper also fits) can consider those cards to be blank in Freedom Tower. I guess it also means Akash'Bhuta is basically toothless here.
  • Multi-Attack Villains: Likewise, the villains that like Freedom Tower the most are those that can use all those Entry Points to ramp up every otherwise-tiny instance of damage they deal into bone-crushing blows. The Matriarch, Infinitor, or Progeny here becomes extremely dangerous with that many damage boosters backing them up. Against villains like these, you really need to do everything you can to win before they do, and to keep those Entry Points sealed up.

Notable Cards
  • Caspit's "Playground": A weird card that's worth dissecting. For the heroes, this is largely beneficial, since quite a few heroes can really run wild if the Equipment keyword is attached to anything and everything. Sky-Scraper's Micro-Assembler can search any hero deck for ongoings. Chrono-Ranger's Displaced Armory can summon Bounties from anywhere he wants. Unity can basically get infinite bots, especially from things like Ground Pound or Bloody Knuckles that would be destroyed anyway. That said, this means villain disruption that focuses on equipment gets just as harsh, so be careful.
  • Security Station: This is your built in environment destruction, I guess. Sure, you can afford to discard your hand, right? Is that Entry Point really worth closing up? It might be if you have no environment destruction effects in your team, but discarding your hand is a HARSH cost. I'd still advocate for just pressing as fast as you can to defeat the villain over using this to clean up the tower, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
  • Entry Point: Mostly just gonna discuss the mechanics here. Entry Point has to be played over a pre-existing room card, and gets shuffled back in and replaced with another card play if it can't do that. Destroying an Entry Point reveals the old room it covered, so that's nice, but you can choose which room it replaces, so you have a bit of leeway in what utility you sacrifice. (Legacy's Landing Pad is an excellent choice.) Curiously, if there are no room cards out and only Entry Points in the deck for whatever reason (perhaps an Emergency Evac), the environment deck gets caught in an infinite loop. I have no idea what to do with that.

Anyway, I'm gonna take a break to muse on what I'm doing next here. Probably going to just handle Villains of the Multiverse, but I still want to get in a bit more play with them.

Last edited by Kalir; 11-12-2016 at 01:23 PM.
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  #142  
Old 12-16-2016, 12:12 PM
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Vengeance mode is live on the app version. While the villains are all awful and the environments are meh, the heroes are well worth picking up.
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  #143  
Old 01-10-2017, 11:49 AM
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Welcome to Villains of the Multiverse! Continuing the Vengeance style of play from earlier, this set contains NO heroes to discuss and a whopping 10 villains for the Vengeance play mode. I'd argue that if you really want to experience the Vengeance style, pick this up first, and only get Vengeance itself for the heroes (who are all great, to be fair). Anyway, to the meats.

Miss Information

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Middling
  • Direct Offense: Low
  • Disruption: High
  • Defenses: Middling
  • Ongoings: High
  • Deck Randomness: Middling
  • Nemesis: The Freedom Five (Legacy, Tachyon, Bunker, The Wraith, Absolute Zero)

Miss Information continues to get an incredibly raw deal in life, following her defeat at Parse's hands at the Pike Industrial Complex, a place where nobody wants to be, much less lose. This time, though, she got some weird new alternate-reality powers out of the deal. While she won't really face the heroes directly, as usual, her M.O. will involve altering the rules and putting your team at a constant, but subtle, disadvantage. She's one of the two villains in this set ranked at difficulty 1, which I agree with.

Reality Rewriter
Miss Information only ever has the 6 Ongoings in her deck, and only a single copy of each, but she starts each game with two of them out. The good news is that most of them have built-in destruction effects, but the bad news is that they are all pretty strong disruptive effects, like rendering villains immune to damage, redirecting damage to heroes, countering card plays with damage, and so on. Almost all of them have destroy effects that can let you burn your way through them by the end of Miss Information's first turn, though. After that, all she does is move the top card of hero decks to the bottom, which meh.

Advanced: Ugh. Reducing damage dealt by hero targets by 1 is a pretty mean overall effect (albeit one that can be leveraged for self-damaging sustain costs). The good news is that Miss Information's incredibly low health and high amount of nemeses makes this pretty easy to shrug off quickly, and it dilutes her forced self-damage cards. The bad news is that Miss Information is usually a fairly low-priority target, so you'll need to be sure the other villains won't be a problem while you take her down.

Incapacitated
Everyone discards a card and draws a card, huh? That's almost beneficial for trash-dependent heroes. And it's a good way to get cards you're never going to find another use for out of your hand to make room for actual cards. It's still a disruptive effect overall, but a completely tolerable one, especially if you already have decent hand sizes to start with.

Good Strategies:
  • Hitting Her Really Hard: The whole "shadowy manipulator behind the scenes" schtick is all well and good if you're actually behind the scenes. As is, Miss Information has a criminally low HP total, five nemeses, and barely any defenses. You don't even have to take her down first if there's bigger fish to fry, but she's more than fragile enough that you can focus her down over the space of a couple turns, no big deal.
  • Low Deck Randomness: One thing Miss Information is very good at is screwing with what cards you have access to. Not outright discarding, just... changing. To counteract this, I recommend running heroes who are going to be happy with their hand no matter what it is: big or small, ongoings or equipment or oneshots, and so forth. Card draw is good up until you take a Focused Insanity to the face and suddenly start with a completely new hand, so don't rely on that to cover for a swingy deck.

Bad Strategies:
  • Damage Boosting: As with her solo mode, most of Miss Information's offense comes from forcing heroes to self-damage. Be careful about doing this, because Miss Information can easily turn this around on you. And worse, Judge Mental can accelerate most of this pretty harshly, since she largely traffics in psychic damage. Miss Information doesn't have so much health that you have to go superturbo to take her down. Just normal turbo will do fine.
  • No Ongoing Destruction: Again, most of her ongoings have fairly lenient built-in destroy effects. But sometimes you can't take those chances, y'know? Better to have the option on hand just in case, even if you end up using it in practice to bring down, say, Genetically-Fused Physique or Constant Prattle instead.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Balarian (The Prime Wardens): Almost all of the mini-nemeses in Miss Information's deck are, like her, nemeses to entire hero teams. In Balarian's case, the default ongoing-destroy effect is fairly mean, but if the Argent Adept, Captain Cosmic, Fanatic, Haka, or Tempest is in, heroes can't use powers on any turns but their own. It's a mean effect to be sure, but as usual, what's better: dealing Balarian 12 damage, or dealing Miss Information half her health bar?
  • Green Grosser (Guise): Here's the exception. The Green Grosser is one of only two cards that deal non-psychic damage in Miss Information's deck, so watch out for him if you're relying on damage type screwery for protection. Then again, his attacks are all for 1 damage, and they're aimed at the hero with the most ongoings, with a spray follow-up if Guise is in. Again, you have better things to do with your time than fight this guy (and if Guise is in, he can take down this guy without trying very hard).
  • Heartbreaker (Dark Watch): Hey Tony Taurus, you've looked better. Heartbreaker is the most dangerous mini-nemesis here just because his attack ramps up in damage each turn he's active. The first attack deals 2, the next 3, and so forth. And if Expatriette, Setback, Nightmist, or Mr. Fixer is in, his damage is irreducible. Same deal as Balarian: yeah he's scary, but if you take down Miss Information there's no problem, right? That said, Dark Watch is on the whole better than the Prime Wardens at just dealing damage, so they could actually fight Heartbreaker head-on if necessary.
  • Judge Mental (The Sentinels): Very interesting. All psychic damage is increased by 2? HEY PROLETARIAT HOW'S IT GOING. Of course, as mentioned above, Miss Information basically only works with psychic damage, so this card favors her more than you (unless you have easy damage type modification). Unfortunately, the Idealist can't easily leverage this boost since Judge Mental's nemesis effect prevents heroes from boosting damage, but frankly that shoots Miss Information in the foot more than not. I guess it means you can't leverage all of those tasty nemesis bonuses Miss Information offers, though.

Notable Cards
  • A World Improved: Villain targets are immune to damage, in Vengeance mode. Rude as HELL. This doesn't actually do THAT much, though, since the destroy effect is just "don't play cards or use powers". If you weren't going to do things on your turn other than damage, then sure, skip your stuff and draw an extra card, why not? And if you were, ten bucks says one of those things you were gonna do is destroy an ongoing card. Like, oh I don't know, this one.
  • Deja Vu: The self-damage is mean, and the ongoing revive is mean, but those are both totally fine when compared with the fact that THIS CARD REVIVES A HERO ONGOING. I shouldn't have to say exactly how nonsense this is, since you can revive cards like, say, Heroic Interception, Ground Pound, Battlefield Experience or Selling Out to get a massive benefit during a villain turn. Or you can revive a more traditional ongoing that you really want, like Cleansing Downpour or Environmental Allies.
  • Focused Insanity: The self-damage effect has already been discussed at length, but when the target in question is a character card, that player basically resets their deck, trash, and hand. Note that it does NOT destroy ongoings or equipment in play, so if you've already got a full kit, this is honestly pretty great to get hit by. But if you're one turn away from a massive setup spree, it's... less good.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:30 AM
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The Operative

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Low
  • Direct Offense: High
  • Disruption: Middling
  • Defenses: Middling
  • Ongoings: Low
  • Deck Randomness: Middling
  • Nemesis: Mr. Fixer

In addition to solo mode villains getting a Vengeance version, there's also a few characters who were notable in other decks, like the Operative here, who become playable. The Operative is a considerable option if you want someone like Fright Train, but more all-around tolerable. She's mostly here to mess you up with sword and poison, but she doesn't hit so hard that you're always in danger, like with Fright Train.

Mystical Combatant
The Operative begins play with her only ongoing card, Iaido Practitioner, in play, which grants her an incredibly punishing follow-up attack whenever she secures a kill. Outside of card plays, all she does is an end of turn attack for 2 melee, but like Ermine, her attack is unpredictable and aims for second lowest health. Iaido Practitioner is a weird one in that you kind of want to destroy it but kind of don't? I mean, she doesn't have any environment attacks, so she's rarely ever going to trigger it, but I'll discuss that later.

Advanced: Huh, a once-per-game revive. Like Apostate's Dark Corruptor side, this is avoidable if you don't eliminate her with raw damage, but instead with a destroy effect like Final Dive or Cornered Beast. Otherwise, she's gone from a fairly unremarkable health pool to a positively massive one.

Incapacitated
Huh. Capping hero healing to 1 per instance? That's only really bad for a handful of heroes, like Tempest, Haka, or Dr. Medico, but when it's bad, it's REALLY bad. If you're running a healing-dependent team, try to save the Operative for last. Otherwise, y'know, you do you.

Good Strategies:
  • Damage Reduction: No, this isn't getting redundant yet. A lot of the Operative's disruptive capability only triggers if she actually deals damage, and most of the effects that do this deal minor amounts of toxic damage. Your best bet is to hit her with things like Stun Bolt or Hoist Chain, since she'll spread her attacks out very unpredictably, so you can't just have your highest health hero go full tank.
  • Auxiliary Targets: Even better than reducing the Operative's damage and disruption is to provide her with lots of targets to swing at instead. Unity and Captain Cosmic can both provide loads of tanking against the Operative, and the Sentinels aren't too bad either if Mainstay's on top of things. If you do plan on this strategy, you should probably keep destroying Iaido Practitioner, as it's her most dangerous weapon if she actually eliminates your Constructs or Mechanical Golems.

Bad Strategies:
  • Healing Reliance: As mentioned on her incapacitated side, teams with excessive healing can face a very sudden wall if they take down the Operative before other baddies. But there's also the Idolater to worry about, since he outright walls healing for your team. Furthermore, unless you're doing group heals, the Operative's unpredictable attacks make it hard to rely on healtanking. Reduce or prevent damage if you can, rather than trying to heal it up.
  • Glass Cannons: Between Shinken Strike, Poisoned Blade and Laced Shuriken, it is straight up not worth it to trade health for damage against the Operative. She will make you regret this trade every time. You don't need much firepower to bring her down, anyway, she only has the 27 health and is reliant on disrupting you or other villains to protect herself. Just pace yourself when taking her down. Plus, as mentioned, it'll be hard to recover if you DO go glass cannon to take her out.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • The Idolater (Fanatic): Wow, Fanatic's nemeses are ridiculous in the weirdest ways. Only 3 health, but he has a ridiculous flat 3 damage reduction to everything, and as long as he's out, you can't heal, period. That's a very unique but aggravating threat to deal with, and one of the best cases for damageless target removal. Oh, and if Fanatic's in, all of her damage is redirected to the Idolater, so good luck dealing damage ever. On the other hand, this gives you an actual use for Divine Sacrifice, since it'll destroy the Idolater in seconds.
  • Mayor Overbrook (The Wraith): Hey look, it's a card that accelerates villain card plays, but back at solo villain reasonable levels rather than Baron Blade/Friction levels. And even then, Mayor Overbrook only does this if the Wraith is in. If not, whatever, discarding the top card of each hero deck barely matters. And with his health as low as it is, it's easy for the Wraith to take him down while also doing five other things.
  • Professor Pollution (The Naturalist): So uh... it's Equity again. Like, right down to the nemesis boost and everything. Sure, the health total is higher and the damage is lower but more spread out. Who cares? Literally everything I said about Equity can safely apply to Professor Pollution with barely any changes in the Naturalist's strategy.

Notable Cards
  • Student of Many Masters: Remember how I said you kind of want to destroy Iaido Practitioner but kind of don't? This is why. If Iaido Practitioner is in, the Operative gets an area attack (albeit weaker than Sweeping Assault), but if it isn't, she revives Iaido Practitioner and shuffles her deck. So destroying Iaido Practitioner can sort of dilute her deck, but not really. Again, it's hard to say whether it's really worth your time or not. Very situationally dependent.
  • Shinken Strike: Elegant in its simplicity. Just swing at the lowest health hero target for 3 melee. If you're running Unity, Captain Cosmic, or the Sentinels, this card is reason enough to destroy Iaido Practitioner (although you will, of course, probably have to get a buddy to do so for you). It's also the second highest single-target damage card in her deck, after Poisoned Blade's 2 and 2.
  • Laced Shuriken: Regression Darts Lite. It only reduces the next instance of damage, and even then only if it deals damage. This card right here is Mr. Fixer's favorite card to fight in her set. If he does take the damage, he uses Alternating Tiger Claw and ignores the penalty. And that's assuming he takes it at all, because Driving Mantis can easily aim that at, say, Plague Rat instead.

Last edited by Kalir; 01-12-2017 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:31 PM
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Greazer

Danger Levels
  • Minions: High
  • Direct Offense: Middling
  • Disruption: Low
  • Defenses: Low
  • Ongoings: None
  • Deck Randomness: High
  • Nemesis: Living Paycheck

Huh. Okay. I'm... not exactly sure why Greazer exists, but I think we're okay with it. I mean, sure, classic 80's bad boy flavored bounty hunter? Sure, why not? Greazer is another character who can only really work in Vengeance mode, since he's all about getting his bounty, which is to say, his nemesis (which is determined on a per-game basis). He'll make their life hell, but he doesn't really care about anything else happening, long as his hair stays intact, y'know? Not someone I want in EVERY game, but certainly an interesting and fun encounter.

Hepcat Bounty Hunter
Greazer begins play with two cards out. The first and most important is his Living Paycheck. This starts in the play area of the hero target with the highest HP, and for that game, Greazer and that target are considered nemeses. Greazer will always attack that hero, and none other, at the end of each of his turns, but as soon as that hero's incapacitated, Greazer incapacitates himself, since he got what he came for. Other than that, he also starts with his Impeccable Pompadour, which is an indestructible 4 health target that, when damaged, prompts a counterattack from Greazer. At the start of his turn, if the Impeccable Pompadour is at 0 or fewer HP, Greazer will restore it to full, taking 3 psychic damage in the process. So area attacks are a bit more dangerous than usual, but if you can withstand them, mess up Greazer and his hair at the same time, sure.

Advanced: This adds an extra disruptive effect to any instance of damage Greazer deals to a hero character card. It's either a discard, a destroy of one of their cards, or a self-inflicted 1 psychic damage, but honestly the fact that you can choose, and none of the effects are individually that dangerous, means this isn't really too dangerous at all.

Incapacitated
I guess to counterbalance Greazer being fairly easy to incapacitate, they gave him the ability to play cards for other villains while incapacitated. Still, he only accelerates the lowest health villain character, so if they become a problem this way, you know how to fix it: just beat the hell out of that villain! Plus, Greazer is really only dangerous if he's actually making headway against his Living Paycheck nemesis, so it's totally viable to throw a tank at him and ignore him.

Good Strategies:
  • Damage Redirection: I can't stress enough how king this is in this fight. Make the villains hit the Impeccable Pompadour, make Greazer hit the Pompadour, make the Pompadour deal itself damage somehow (HEY SKY-SCRAPER), but the more you can force other things to hit the Pompadour, the worse it gets for Greazer. Generally your own attacks should be saved for the big man himself, but even small redirect effects like Driving Mantis or the temporary effect of Synaptic Interruption can be worth it.
  • Multi-Target Attacks: This is different from all-target attacks like Tempest has, mind you. Greazer doesn't like you hitting his Pompadour at all, but he has little problem with you breaking all of his Hunter Tech, and he has a lot of it. It's easy to miss it, but he's honestly kind of like Unity in that regard, where he personally doesn't do much damage, but his low-health gear will more than pick up the slack for him, so having ways to hit him and all his stuff selectively is really nice. (Y'know, assuming you don't want to take the Pompadour counterattack and don't have better villain targets to aim at.)

Bad Strategies:
  • Fragile Heroes: Yes, Greazer will self-incapacitate when he takes down his target, but again, his incapacitated effect is really dangerous. You want at least one hero who can take a beating to be the recipient of the Living Paycheck. You don't even need multiple tanky heroes, just one really survivable hero like Haka, Absolute Zero, Legacy or the Scholar will work just fine. And you REALLY want to be able to take hits once Greazer gets his Impact Neutralizer or the Pink Lady in play, those suckers HURT.
  • Damage Type Dependence: This applies more defensively than offensively, but if you're relying on cards like Omnitron-X's platings or Tempest's Elemental Subwave Inducer for defense, Greazer will be a big problem. He works with a pretty hilariously wide range of damage types, and he'll always have a way to shortcut past your big threats. Furthermore, if you're relying on melee damage to fight, the Pink Lady has an immunity to that, so Haka and Setback need to think up other ways to handle that.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Galactra (Captain Cosmic): Galactra is plenty dangerous on her own, attacking the lowest health hero target for 2 energy. If Greazer gets to run amok on his target, Galactra could be the seal on their fate before they know it, so be careful with her around. Oddly, Captain Cosmic is usually completely okay with her, for much the same reason that he's okay with Empyreon: hitting all his Constructs (and basically nothing else) for energy damage is awesome, hell yes, please do this more.
  • Rahazar (Parse): Rahazar is dangerous on his own OR with Parse in. 4 damage attacks are beefy as hell, although only 7 health isn't very much if you can spare the targeting (you probably can't). If Parse is in, not only does Rahazar swing like a brute, he ALSO destroys environment cards, hero ongoing cards, and equipment cards. Parse's job in any match with Greazer should be to control his deck just to ensure Rahazar never sees the light of day. Yes, I'm advocating deck control in Vengeance mode here. He's that bad.

Notable Cards
  • Pink Lady: On his own, Greazer's constant attacks against the Living Paycheck target won't do THAT much damage, especially if you're playing as an appropriately tanky target. The Pink Lady, his signature Sweet Spaceship card, kicks his damage output up from "meager" to "terrifying", throwing an extra 2 projectile and 2 energy damage onto every turn. Worse, it has a huge 12 health and a melee immunity. Unless you're already focusing on Greazer directly, or the Living Paycheck target is dead in the water anyway, take down the Pink Lady as quickly as you can.
  • Living Paycheck: As mentioned, whoever has the highest base HP among your crew starts with this in their play area, and becomes Greazer's nemesis. This works both ways, mind you: Greazer will deal more damage to them (and will take more damage in turn), but whoever has this card deals bonus damage to Greazer, too. So while I generally recommend making sure your highest health target is a hardy survivor, you can also make a case for them being an aggressive damage dealer, assuming you're okay with them focusing on Greazer first. Fanatic, in particular, makes for a great Greazer nemesis.
  • Impact Neutralizer: It's easy to miss most of Greazer's Hunter Tech cards and assume they're mostly garbage. But trust me, do NOT let the Impact Neutralizer survive for long enough to actually do things. 5 sonic damage AND an ongoing-destroy effect on whoever Greazer's focused on is almost as bad as the Pink Lady. Unlike the Pink Lady, though, this one's very fragile, having the same 4 health as the rest of his Hunter Tech. No problem.
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:37 PM
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La Capitán

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Low
  • Direct Offense: Low
  • Disruption: High
  • Defenses: High
  • Ongoings: Middling
  • Deck Randomness: Middling
  • Nemesis: Chrono-Ranger

She's baaaack. La Capitán returns to Vengeance mode, but from an earlier time (from her perspective). She has no crew, just a cheeky little "monkey". She more or less maintains her card-theft gimmick, but without her crew, she's mostly reduced to performing shenanigans to disrupt the heroes, like Ermine, instead of taking your life and your money at the same time. Dangerous, but not very.

Out of Time
La Capitán's theft mechanic's return is centered around Chiquito, an Anthropoid that scavenges hero discards. The first time a player discards each turn, Chiquito takes it, and just as before, any hits La Capitán or Chiquito would take instead return a discarded card to that person's trash. So it's a softer theft effect than solo La Capitán, at least. Chiquito only has 4 health, but La Capitán revives it at the end of her turn (or attacks for a pretty solid 3 energy if Chiquito's still around). You should try to prevent Chiquito from building up too much of a card stockpile, but mostly only if you're trying to take down La Capitán first. It's totally reasonable to save her for later.

Advanced: See, Ermine? THIS is a reasonable advanced effect. It's still destroying hero ongoings every turn, but it's only one, and it's not also eating an equipment card. Still, if your team is ongoing dependent, you might want to prioritize La Capitán here a bit more, just to get to the slightly softer incapacitated effect.

Incapacitated
See, Friction? THIS is a reasonable incapacitated effect. Again, an ongoing destroy each turn, that's mean, but you're now offered the chance to discard 2 cards instead of losing an ongoing. If you have plenty of cards on hand, it's not a huge problem, but again, bear in mind what ongoings you actually have, because some you can afford to lose.

Good Strategies:
  • Multiple Attacks: La Capitán doesn't have many discard effects, but you still want to be able to supply lots of pressure to prevent her from building up too large of a stockpile. Additionally, being able to hit Chiquito and bring them down with regularity takes a huge edge off of her offense, but it's much better to rely on multiple smaller attacks than one big attack for this, especially as Chiquito has all of 4 health. La Capitán also tends to respond more aggressively to larger attacks thanks to A Good Time Span, so rely on multiple hits instead. Chrono-Ranger is excellent against her.
  • Friendly Environments: La Capitán is one of the few villains able to accelerate the environment deck in Vengeance mode with Throwback, which is a twofold problem thanks to Stitch in Time giving La Capitán an extra turn at the end of the environment turn. You really don't want a hostile environment and La Capitán combo-chaining turns together, so you're usually better off fighting her somewhere that will hurt heroes less (or with heroes that can render the environment more amicable, like the Naturalist, the Visionary, or Sky-Scraper).

Bad Strategies:
  • One-Shot Dependence: Well that's a weird thing to write. But it's proper. La Capitán's meanest destroy effects usually respond by chaining her destroys into Ongoing card plays, and Chronological Hotspot will discard one-shots (where Chiquito can steal them) while throwing more Ongoings in play (and hitting the hero in question. Do not let this card survive if Mr. Fixer is out or he will hit himself for 7 damage if he doesn't have a Jack Handle). If your one-shots are just extra small bursts of damage, it's fine, but be careful running someone like, say, Tachyon (who can't even throw those discards into her trash like normal most of the time).
  • Discard Dependence: This one's really obvious, though. It's the first time during any turn, which means hero, villain, or environment turns (and yes, this applies during extra turns she grants). If you're running a hero that has cause to discard frequently, like Fanatic, Haka, or Parse, you're going to end up rendering La Capitán and Chiquito a lot tougher than they need to be. Of course, you can disregard this if you've taken down Chiquito, but that little guy comes back quickly, remember.

Notable Cards
  • Stitch in Time: So, letting La Capitán have a full extra turn sucks for a number of reasons, not least that she can combo with Throwback this way, and more turns means more chances to revive Chiquito, and deal damage in turn. However, since this happens when this card is destroyed, like Forced Deployment, the only thing destroying it early does is give you an opportunity to cut her setup off between the bonus turn and the regular one. Which mostly just involves taking down Chiquito again, but honestly, is that REALLY your best use of an ongoing destroy in Vengeance mode?
  • Temporal Keelhaul: First off, this is an awesome name. Second, the nature of the follow-up attack and decksearch on this card means you should carefully consider who gets their stuff destroyed. If that hero is likely to have ongoings in their deck that could make the follow-up attack worse, like Mr. Fixer, Chrono-Ranger, or Setback, maybe don't hit them. Guise, on the other hand, absolutely loves taking a Temporal Keelhaul to the face.
  • Off Tiempo: This is your biggest reason not to go heavy on card draw unless you're taking down Chiquito like clockwork. This goes double if your deck is heavily weighted towards a certain keyword, like Captain Cosmic or Expatriette. If Chiquito's down, it's less terrible (and Tachyon is mostly okay with taking the effect if she actually has the most cards in hand for some reason) but you still shouldn't go ham on card draw over doing actual things if you can afford it.

Last edited by Kalir; 01-14-2017 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:17 PM
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Ambuscade

Danger Levels
  • Minions: High
  • Direct Offense: Middling
  • Disruption: Low
  • Defenses: Middling
  • Ongoings: Middling
  • Deck Randomness: Middling
  • Nemesis: The Naturalist

Ambuscade is, like Baron Blade, generally a fair bit harder than his solo variant, and it's less because of his own abilities and more because he's working with a team. That said, he's not AS scary as Baron Blade, and relies on a combination of Snares to counteract hero moves, and his mini-nemeses that make up the Slaughterhouse Six to back him up in a fight. You'll want to be careful around Ambuscade, and try not to go too ham, as he's very good at punishing heroes who overextend.

Slaughterhouse Leader
Ambuscade begins play with one of his Nemesis cards out, and has ways to accelerate Nemesis card play and support them, so I strongly advise reading the Mini-Nemeses section thoroughly here. Ambuscade's end of turn thing varies: if there are Snare cards next to heroes (NOT just in their play areas) then he does 3 melee damage to anyone so affected. Otherwise, he plays another card. Needless to say, both of these things are bad, but one of them (the damage) is considerably easier to handle than the other, so be careful about destroying Snares willy-nilly.

Advanced: Ambuscade also starts play with two Snares out here. They're all bad here, but for my money, the worst one is Envenomed Bolts. They're all bad, but they're also mostly fairly easy to destroy. Envenomed Bolts is NOT easy to destroy, and gives Ambuscade the best avenue for abusing Too Many Guns. I strongly advise running heavy ongoing destruction against Advanced Ambuscade.

Incapacitated
So this one's really wordy, but long story short: Ambuscade still leaves some cards in after he's defeated. Namely, all of his Nemesis cards that are active or in his deck. Good news is, everything else is gone for good, as are any Nemesis cards of his you defeat, and he does nothing else major on his turns. If you have a wide-scale area attack that does heavy damage, save it for after you bring down Ambuscade, and the rest of the villains will be MUCH easier. Alternately, go heavy on discarding from Ambuscade's deck if you're rushing him first and have the means to do so, since he doesn't pull Nemesis cards from the trash.

Good Strategies:
  • Area Attacks: Again, you should already be trying to roll this for Vengeance mode, but you really want to be able to hit all of the Nemesis cards Ambuscade is going to play, especially if he manages a Hunting Pack. Better yet, all of his mini-nemeses have only 6 health, and the only one with any kind of defenses is Glamour (and her redirect is pretty much all she brings to the table). Furthermore, Ambuscade has only 25 health himself and not much defense either, so hitting him at the same time as all of his dudes is going to make lots of headway.
  • Damage Reduction: Ambuscade doesn't personally attack much, but like the Operative, his attacks usually get even stronger if they actually deal damage, so preventing them from doing that does a lot against him. And when his heavy hitters like Magman, Desert Eagle, or Re-Volt hit the field (and remember, they WILL hit the field eventually), you REALLY don't want them just swinging like crazy with no defenses to hold up to them.

Bad Strategies:
  • Card Play Dependence: Basically, Ambuscade's at his most dangerous when responding to hero actions, which is mostly card play (and to a lesser extent, card draw). You still CAN play cards regularly, but you'll want to make sure you can also do things with your power use, or that single card plays will be all you need to contribute. Having to rely on too many cards at once is bad news, both for Envenomed Bolts and punishing the card draw follow-up with Concealed Pitfall.
  • No Ongoing Destruction: You don't need much here, but you still want access to a clean way to take out Snares, and you NEVER want to see Too Many Guns out and about (especially if another villain, like Sergeant Steel, is giving Ambuscade bonus attacks). Hell, even if there's other targets to focus those destroy effects on first, that's totally fine, just so long as you're ready for when Ambuscade's meaner ongoings come out.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Desert Eagle (Haka): This guy is the most fragile of Ambuscade's crew, since he self-damages for 3 upon entering play. However, he also regenerates at the end of Ambuscade's turn, and his attack is based off of his health, so leaving him alone is a bad idea. It gets worse, too: if Haka is in, Desert Eagle is immune to villain target damage, which includes the self-inflicted attack to start with, meaning he enters the field swinging for 6 projectile. Don't let this guy last very long in either situation. Thankfully, Haka can easily do 6 damage when he wants to, especially with a nemesis boost.
  • Glamour (Tachyon): Glamour's reflective abilities are really dangerous unless you have multiple attacks per turn for each of your heroes in question. The good news is, she doesn't attack directly, and does nothing to protect Ambuscade. Still, Ambuscade's biggest threat is from his mini-nemeses, and with Glamour around they're all going to stick around a lot longer. She also provides a very unique threat for Tachyon, rendering her chief mode of defense, Synaptic Interruption, worthless, but it's pretty easy for Tachyon (or anybody really) to take down Glamour if they can deal multiple instances of damage in a turn.
  • Magman (Unity): Ugh, second lowest attacks. Why do you gotta be a thing? If Unity's not in, Magman's attack is heavy-hitting and unpredictable, but being fire damage, it's generally pretty okay to be hit by. If Unity is in, it's a tradeoff: Magman's attacks are probably going to hit her bots and therefore mostly bother her, but he's going to punish all equipment destruction (Bothack self-inflicted or otherwise) with an area attack for 1 fire, which Unity HAAAAATES. You're going to be keeping those Volatile Parts around for longer with Magman around.
  • Ray Manta (Omnitron-X): I love that this guy is the only non-Omnitron character with this nemesis icon, and it's just because he's a conspiracy theorist who hates robots. Similarly, he doesn't have a specific nemesis effect for Omnitron-X, he just hunts down Component cards. So he'll direct just as much hate towards Omnitron IV as towards Omnitron-X. More practically: he attacks high health heroes for meh damage and destroys equipment, which sucks (and yes, this combos with Magman). That said, if you're not a very equipment-reliant team, Ray Manta is a relative non-issue. As for Omnitron-X: YOU HAVE A NEMESIS BONUS AND LIKE TWELVE ATTACKS A TURN, USE IT.
  • Re-Volt (Setback): At the end of Ambuscade's turn, this card deals each hero target 3 lightning damage. That, uh... that really just about says it all, don't it? Re-Volt packs a huge kick and becomes one of your top priorities to take down if he hits the field. Weirdly, Setback is mostly okay with the Nemesis effect, because why not just give him some Unlucky tokens? Almost like a consolation prize, really.

Notable Cards
  • Double Team: Obviously, Ambuscade can use this card with his own crew to perfectly fine effect (Desert Eagle being the best candidate to do so, of course). But again, this card just says villain targets. Depending on who that is, you could see villains from any play area jumping at you and healing. In a high-target game this is less of an issue, as you can waste the healing on targets you didn't consider high priority (for example, Baron Blade's mini-nemeses), but in low-target games, or with villains who can get damage boosters (Bugbear and Sergeant Steel both come to mind) it's a bit more of a threat.
  • Too Many Guns: This card is both incredibly dangerous and hilarious, and it's pretty much exactly what it says on the box. With this out, Ambuscade turns any attack he has into a brutal area attack combo. However, on its own, it's not really that dangerous unless he's tagged someone with Envenomed Bolts or another villain is giving him attacks. Then again, both of those instances are pretty likely, and there's always the possibility that he could slip through and hit just once. Remember, if he doesn't deal the first instance, the other three don't happen!
  • Hunting Pack: If you're not rushing down Ambuscade, this card is horrible to see, as it either plays a ton of mini-nemeses (and remember, they're all terrible) or mills the hell out of his deck, taking him closer to a trash shuffle. And when he shuffles his trash, his incapacitated effect gets way more dangerous. Should you have deck control to spare (for some weird reason), try to get past both copies of this card if at all possible.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:05 PM
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Plague Rat

Danger Levels
  • Minions: High
  • Direct Offense: High
  • Disruption: Low
  • Defenses: Low
  • Ongoings: None
  • Deck Randomness: High
  • Nemesis: Setback

Right, so Plague Rat as a solo villain makes sense, but how on earth do you get him to cooperate with an entire villain team when he more or less hates everything? Answer: poorly. Plague Rat will be kept in check by his handlers, hailing from the completely up-and-up RevoCorp, right up until Plague Rat murders them all and goes completely nuts. Played right, Plague Rat may even be more of a danger to the other villains on the table than to you and your team.

Chemically Leashed Pursuer
Plague Rat begins play with two of his Handlers in play, which is decidedly goodbad. Each Handler increases Plague Rat's capabilities in a number of ways, usually modifying damage he deals or takes, and can also contribute to the fight at the start of Plague Rat's turns. However, Plague Rat ends his turn first by hitting everything on the field, hero or otherwise, with toxic damage (which Plague Rat is, naturally, immune to) and then by attacking the two weakest Handlers for 2 melee damage each. And if Plague Rat doesn't have any Handlers out, it gets +2 damage to everything it does. If there's no Handlers out, Plague Rat is going to kill everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING.

Advanced: I was about to say that Plague Rat doesn't have nearly as much irreducible damage in this iteration, but uh... now he does. And it only applies to non-villain targets, too, so particularly tanky villains like Baron Blade or Biomancer become FAR more dangerous with Plague Rat on advanced.

Incapacitated
Destroying the environment target with the highest HP is, again, goodbad. Mostly it's good, though, because any environment targets you do want to protect are usually pretty low-health anyway. If you aren't planning on letting Plague Rat murder everything for you, he's a pretty okay choice to take down first.

Good Strategies:
  • Damage Reduction: As long as Plague Rat has Handlers out, his damage is mostly tolerable, up to a maximum of 3 melee off of Seek and Destroy (assuming the RevoCorp Neutralizers aren't out). Still, he's going to be throwing out lots of damage, very indiscriminately, so turtling up is a much better option than swinging for the fences here. This goes double once he starts burning through Handlers and amping up all of his attacks. Hiding behind massive defenses and taking easy potshots at Handlers to have Plague Rat deal widescale damage is totally viable.
  • Fragile Villains: This applies in a number of ways. Either you can run villains that are actually fragile (Miss Information, for example), villains that respond poorly to friendly fire (Fright Train or Greazer), or you can add your own methods of boosting damage to other villain targets, to speed up Plague Rat taking them down. The Predator's Eye, Tracking Arrow, or "By Any Means" are all excellent choices for any fight with Plague Rat, especially if you're aiming them at other targets.

Bad Strategies:
  • Ignoring Handlers: Yes, Plague Rat's going to kill them all very quickly, but they all still do pretty rude things, either by being around or by surviving to the start of Plague Rat's next turn. Ideally, you want to have only one Handler out, but Let Loose is always a threat if you do that. On the other hand, if Plague Rat builds up an actual stockpile of Handlers to eat (perhaps via chaining RevoCorp Backup) suddenly it's like the bad part of having no Handlers out, but without the good part. Just keep their numbers at a sustainable level.
  • Low Setup Ceiling: Plague Rat's only form of disruption is Seek and Destroy, and it's a very soft effect of destroying an equipment card or discarding 2 cards. Capitalize on that, man! Run super turtly characters who can set up unstoppable game-winning engines. Of course, you'll need to be mindful of disruption from other villains, but Plague Rat's relative absence of disruption makes having lots of stuff to add to the field a fair bit more attractive.

Notable Cards
  • RevoCorp Restrainer: Again, none of the Handlers is really good to see, but I think this might be the worst one. If you're leaving Plague Rat alive to murder everything, he makes your job harder. If you're taking down Plague Rat first, he's STILL a problem because of the start of turn heal Plague Rat gets. The only instance in which he's acceptable is if you don't have solid defenses to let Plague Rat murder things, but also have other targets you need dead first (like, say, Baron Blade).
  • RevoCorp Analyst: By comparison, this guy is a non-issue. Being the lowest-health Handler means that unless the RevoCorp Restrainer is in, he's probably going to end Plague Rat's turn with 1 health, if he's lucky. That said, he still affords a way for Plague Rat to play more cards, so basically treat this guy as an attack buffer for Plague Rat (unless Plague Rat himself is low enough in health that one last attack will do him in).
  • Let Loose: If you're flying by the seat of your pants and just leaving one Handler alive, this card destroys them and then has Plague Rat follow up with a 5 (which becomes 7) damage attack. This is a really huge number you don't want to be hit by, of course, so be VERY careful about just letting one Handler stay in to dilute Plague Rat's attacks. Of course, if you've got all your defenses up, this might be an acceptable loss.
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:42 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Citizens Hammer and Anvil

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Low
  • Direct Offense: Middling
  • Disruption: Middling
  • Defenses: High
  • Ongoings: None
  • Deck Randomness: Middling
  • Nemesis: The Visionary

So, we have solo villains working in Vengeance mode, we have leaders of a team of lesser villains, and now we have... a pair of villains working as a duo? Citizens Hammer and Anvil both have character cards for this fight, and also rely on various Positions to modify their capabilities when fighting. They have by far the most video game RPG boss feel to them out of all of the Vengeance villains. Fitting, since they're based on the WoW characters of the developers.

Arsonist of the Dawn, Guardian of the Dawn
Citizen Hammer and Anvil share the same deck, but have different character cards. I'll discuss both of them here anyway. They start with Anvil's Hammer and Shield relic (yes, it's confusing) and one of their three Position cards in play. The Hammer and Shield reduces damage to Citizen Anvil and grants him an end-of-turn melee attack, but as it only has 10 HP, it's not too hard to bring down. The two are immune to damage dealt by one another, although it's unlikely that will come up very often. At the end of the turn, Citizen Hammer has a minor fire attack aimed at the second highest HP target, which can be pretty annoying in low hero count games, but it's not too bad. Citizen Anvil, on the other hand, just ends his turn by reviving Citizen Hammer to his full 17 health if he's incapacitated. So the ordinary path of progression for this fight is: take down the Hammer and Shield, then Citizen Anvil, then Citizen Hammer. It's rarely ever that clear-cut in practice, though.

Advanced: Citizen Anvil reduces the damage dealt to both of them by 1, while Citizen Hammer just gives himself a damage boost. It's difficult for sure... but I don't think it appreciably changes the strategy against them, either. It mostly just requires you to either bring irreducible damage or to focus on the Hammer and Shield for sure, rather than just as a friendly suggestion.

Incapacitated
Each of the two has different incapacitated effects, and both are capable of reviving as long as either is out, so thankfully they're both fairly light. Citizen Anvil heals the lowest health villain target at the start of his turn, which is fairly minimal, while Citizen Hammer increases fire damage dealt to non-villain targets by 1, which is also minimal, especially considering he's about the only villain character who can actually deal fire damage in Vengeance. Sure, minor targets might traffic in it, but it's still a very situational damage boost which quite a few heroes can easily withstand or utilize.

Good Strategies:
  • Single-Target Damage: Given that they provide you a number of relatively low health targets with a clear cut order for how to take them on, this is one of the rare Vengeance fights where single-target firepower is worth more than indiscriminate area attacks. Most of Citizens Hammer and Anvil's cards get stronger if both of them are around to capitalize on it, especially their Positions, so focusing them down in sequence can do a lot to make this fight more manageable. Hell, even if you're saving them for later, just having the raw damage to bring down the Hammer and Shield is usually enough to keep them in check for a long time.
  • Fire Damage Reliance: Fire and cold damage are very rare among most villains, since there exists at least two heroes who have really easy answers to them, but here we have Citizen Hammer chucking out loads of fire damage and literally nothing else. Absolute Zero can respond to his attacks with plenty of his own, or just tank his attacks ridiculously well with a Cryo Chamber. Ra can provide blanket fire immunity to his team (and wouldn't you know, he's really good at that whole single-target damage thing too). Legacy and Omnitron-X are already super powerful, but here, even more so.

Bad Strategies:
  • Evenhanded Attacks: If you haven't yet learned that focusing on the most dangerous target is how you win Vengeance mode, Citizens Hammer and Anvil will make you learn that lesson very quickly. They can self-revive like crazy, and have plenty of healing capability for villains and themselves. It's really easy to assume that attacking both of them at once is better than attacking just one, but they'll be much harder to bring down if you handle them that way, trust me.
  • Low Base Damage: Yeah, Scorching Snap prevents the next instance of damage you deal, but it's still better to have high single-shot attacks than a bunch of weak ones. These two have easy access to a lot of damage reducers for both villains, to say nothing of Bastion letting Citizen Anvil tank for literally the entire enemy team. Either make sure you're hitting for at least 3 damage per attack, or bring a good way to deal irreducible damage.

Notable Cards
  • Bastion: Oh hey, remember Heroic Interception? What happens when the villains get a card that does that? We already know the answer, and we don't like it. Irreducible damage is your best answer to this, but even better is taking down Citizen Anvil directly. Of course, Bastion revives him if he's ever incapacitated... even if Citizen Hammer solo plays that card a few turns after you've taken down Citizen Anvil. Just keep up the pressure on Citizen Anvil anyway to make this card as harmless as possible.
  • Citizens' Imperative: The main deterrent for trying to attack both Citizens at the same time. The effect changes if one or the other is incapacitated, from healing both of them (not a huge deal if you're focusing on one) to attacking the lowest health hero target for 3 melee. This is the only way for Citizen Hammer to deal melee damage, so keep an eye out for it if you're relying on his fire damage preference to keep your team alive.
  • Living Firebomb: This is mostly just here to say that Citizens Hammer and Anvil (more specifically, Citizen Hammer) do not play nice with the environment. Of course, depending on the environment, this can work out really nicely for you (especially in places like the Enclave of the Endlings or the Final Wasteland) but there's always those gotcha cases to worry about. Try not to rely too heavily on environment targets in this fight, for whatever reason.
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:46 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Bugbear

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Low
  • Direct Offense: High
  • Disruption: Low
  • Defenses: High
  • Ongoings: Middling
  • Deck Randomness: High
  • Nemesis: Nightmist

Honestly, even if Bugbear's character and flavor is really dull, I rather like what he does mechanically. He's one of the villains you'll really want to take down first, even if he's a pretty hardy foe and nice to have around if only to deal damage to everything around him. He's kind of like a less forgiving or abusable version of Plague Rat in that way.

Ravenous Hunter
Bugbear starts out with the Blood Scent card, which is an ongoing that will continuously move to different hero targets, particularly the highest health heroes, and which gives Bugbear a strong, but avoidable, 3 damage attack to that target at the start of his turn. At the end of his turn, he attacks the lowest health target for another 2 melee and moves Blood Scent to the highest health target. On top of all of that, Bugbear has two very strong passive features: all damage he deals heals himself, and he gets a damage boost for every incapacitated character, villain or otherwise. If you're running a game with Bugbear in it, unless the other villains are just as bad (Baron Blade, Friction) Bugbear NEEDS to die first.

Advanced: Destroying Blood Scent is certainly NICE, but it's no means a thing you have to do to survive, especially if you have access to lots of card draw. So Advanced Bugbear, who has an indestructible Blood Scent, isn't too big a deal either. At the very least, he's not appreciably harder than vanilla.

Incapacitated
Further incentivizing taking down Bugbear first is the fact that he has a very weak incapacitated effect that just heals each villain target for 1. Yeah, it's an area heal, but that beats Bugbear getting +3 damage or whatever and healing whenever he hits dudes.

Good Strategies:
  • Damage Reduction: Bugbear has loads of health, loads of attacks, and plenty of opportunities to leech life from his foes. If you want to take him down, you REALLY need to limit how much damage he deals. Far and away, the best methods for this are things like Stun Bolt, which only affects one target, but reduces all damage by that target. Remember, even if you have tanky high-health heroes (still a good idea), Bugbear can switch up his attacks easily, and he can even pick off low-health villains in a pinch.
  • Ongoing Destruction: It's a nice idea for a lot of Vengeance mode fights, but Bugbear starts out with one ongoing he really likes to have, and all four of the ongoings in his deck are bad news. Feral Brawn's two copies are both damage boosters and damage reducers, which is terrible, and Easy Prey gives him ways to heal off of environment targets. The more of these you can bring down, the better your odds of taking down Bugbear quickly.

Bad Strategies:
  • Leaving Him Alive: No seriously. His two passive effects of damage boosting per defeated characters (villain or otherwise) and his life leech based on damage combo together REALLY WELL. If you save Bugbear for last and nobody manages to die, you're still fighting a guy with at least +2 damage, meaning any time he deals damage he's getting a base of at least 3 HP back. And it's more if H is higher, and there are a few incapacitated villain effects (Sergeant Steel, Greazer) that can REALLY make him a problem.
  • Fighting Mini-Nemeses: Same deal as with Baron Blade. Bugbear's mini-nemeses simply don't pose enough threat to warrant attacking directly, and they all have far too much health to burn through, compared to Bugbear's own health total and self-heal capabilities. Hell, you could make the case that leaving them alive makes them excellent targets for Stone's Sacrifice, to dilute a bit more of Bugbear's deck.

Mini-Nemeses:
  • Ammit (Ra): An extra 3 damage attack as part of Bugbear's turn hurts, but it's fairly tolerable, honestly. Moreover, if you have 10 damsge you could deal to Ammit, again, why not just deal it to Bugbear? This guy isn't really worth discussing unless Ra is in play, at which point all fire damage is reduced by 2. Ra hates this, of course, but you have more than a few places where it could be actually helpful (Citizens Hammer and Anvil, Magmaria). Of course, if you have Ra, you already have access to Flesh of the Sun God anyway, so that's kind of a bum consolation prize.
  • Cueball (Guise): Okay, a weak-ish attack, but also a pretty hard one to actively control. Annoying, sure, but it could be far worse. And the specific effect for if Guise is in is... well, it's Enduring Intercession, but with Guise as the target instead of Haka. That's terrible, but Guise does at least have a mode of defense there from Total Beefcake, and if Bugbear has his damage reducers up for whatever reason to render attacking him with Guise pointless, Guise can take on Cueball with the nemesis boost no problem (and he is unlikely to be directly attacked by Cueball in turn).
  • Quetzalcoatl (The Sentinels): An attack that targets the H highest health heroes is subtly nicer than a straight up area attack against all heroes, for the sole reason that characters like Unity and Captain Cosmic don't lose all their stuff the instant it happens. However, the Sentinels don't get off so easily, because Quetzalcoatl renders all damage to hero targets irreducible. This is straight up not okay, especially considering he's in Bugbear's deck of all things, and reducing Bugbear's damage is just kind of what you have to do. Worse, Quetzalcoatl has 12 health, which is a lot for even the Sentinels to burn through unless they're fully set up. But hey, you were already focusing on Bugbear in the first place, riiiiight?

Notable Cards
  • Stone's Sacrifice: It's interesting that Bugbear gets a card that attacks villain targets but accelerates villain card plays. Compare this to Friction's Synergy Surge, for example. That deals every villain target 2 lightning damage but plays a card from each deck, unconditionally. Meanwhile, Bugbear deals the lowest health villain target 2 infernal damage, but only plays two cards from his own deck if that kills the target. Stone's Sacrifice is infinitely more reasonable, every single time, not least because you'll probably be focusing on Bugbear first anyway. (If you're not, then you better be damn sure he doesn't finish off a villain character card for you.)
  • Wounding Slash: A 4 damage attack is dangerous and scary, but it's important to point out that he aims for non-villain targets with this (and his other damaging one-shot, Exhausting Pursuit). It's fairly unlikely that an environment target will have more health than a hero target unless you're losing badly, but always keep that in mind, and do your best to leave environment targets alive and healthy if they're not as scary as Bugbear or the other villains.
  • Unpredictable Powers: It's nice that Bugbear provides a form of ongoing destruction within his own deck, but remember that the other bonuses of him healing and shuffling his trash into his deck aren't contingent on destroying an ongoing. Still do attempt to destroy his ongoings, because under no condition should he be permitted to have either copy of Feral Brawn out, but if things are going REALLY badly, don't forget that his deck provides an out if you seriously need it.
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