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  #151  
Old 01-21-2017, 04:32 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Biomancer

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

As I've said before, the best way to solve villains in Vengeance mode who rely on minion spam is to weigh the costs of how dangerous each one is against how much damage you could just apply to the villain character themselves. Biomancer is your final exam for this skillset. With incredible defenses, perhaps the largest repertoire of minions in Vengeance, and plenty of ways to accelerate minion play, this guy's going to throw huge numbers of enemies at you.

Flesh Moulder
Biomancer begins play with two targets from his deck. There's not anything fancy about them per se, they're all just very standard villain target cards with the Fleshchild keyword. The neat thing is that they're all unique clones of hero characters (except for the three generic Homunculi). Anyway, Biomancer is wholly reliant on them for end of turn attacks, but he replaces that with an end of turn heal for 2 to himself and all his Fleshchildren. Additionally, Biomancer reduces the first attack against him by 2. So you need to either have multiple attacks per character or break 4 overall damage on hitting him to really make any headway. Good thing he's only got the 18 max HP to cut through.

Advanced: Look, this guy is all about minions, so we're GOING to add more minions, okay? If there's H or fewer villain targets out (counting other villain play areas, remember!) then Biomancer plays another card. Note that Biomancer's oneshots effectively combine him playing or healing a Fleshchild with another attack, so the more cards he plays, the more enemies you're going to have to deal with, end of story.

Incapacitated
It's not a supremely dangerous effect unless using heroes with a lot of backlash damage like Sky-Scraper or Nightmist, but I just love this incapacitated effect. Even once he's defeated, Biomancer's instilled enough paranoia in the team that they don't want to hold back when fighting one another, just in case. Devious!

Good Strategies:
  • Irreducible Damage: In a pinch, you can sub in multiple instances of damage, but the best way to get past Biomancer is to ignore his per-turn damage reduction effect with irreducible damage. He has very little HP and is dependent on healing and his damage reduction to stay in the game, and if he's denied that, then you have a serious advantage over him. It also helps out against his most common Fleshchild, the Homunculus, since it has built in damage reduction.
  • Wide-Scale Attacks: As always, this is already strong in Vengeance mode, but if you're not planning on focusing down Biomancer first, you're better off fighting all of his minions at once. Without his minions, he is completely reliant on his card plays to deal damage, and he has no way to assist other villains and only one Fleshchild that disrupts your own setup. Yeah, you probably won't hurt the big man himself, but if you have attacks to spare, taking down his Fleshchildren basically renders him inert.

Bad Strategies:
  • Villain Discards: Villain deck discards tend to be a pretty weak disruption effect on the whole, only really effective if combined with deck control (and who has time for that in Vengeance mode anyway). Biomancer has two very dangerous cards to capitalize on his trash pile. Repli-Blade gets stronger the more cards Biomancer has discarded (and as Friction has taught us, THIS REALLY HURTS) while Mass Rebirth, if left unchecked, is functionally this game mode's version of a Prison Break. (That said, the Visionary has a much easier time with Biomancer given her ability to play with villain trash.)
  • Low Base Damage: Again, Biomancer has a pretty strong damage reduction effect the first time he's hit each turn, but he's not the only card to look out for. Mr. Facsimile turns the power of Driving Mantis against you, redirecting 1 damage attacks it takes back to the heroes, and the Homunculus, might I remind you, has a bit of damage reduction built in itself. If you have a choice between lots of tiny attacks or one big attack, take the second one.

Notable Cards
  • Friend or Foe?: This is the only card that is not a Fleshchild or in some way related to supporting Fleshchildren in Biomancer's deck, so it's worth looking at. In particular, it's one of the few cards that can hit through effects that block villain damage, like Grease Gun or Ground Pound, since it forces hero targets to deal the damage. Moreover, it always picks the lowest health hero target. Be careful that that isn't Chrono-Ranger going ham with Hunter and Hunted!
  • Mass Rebirth: This card's more Apocalypse than Forced Deployment. Yeah, it's seriously aggravating no matter how you're tackling Biomancer, but it's still better for you to destroy it early than late. Biomancer healing for 10 is not only over half his health, it's him healing for that much on an already-defensive villain, but that's still better than him healing 10 and also reviving every Fleshchild.
  • The Carbon Adept: This is Biomancer's only disruption option, it only targets ongoings, and the target in question only acts at the start of his turn and has a meager 5 HP. The fact that it destroys 2 hero ongoings is STILL enough to make this guy seriously dangerous. Try your best to get out temporary ongoings that you are okay with destroying by Biomancer's turn, especially things with a downside like Bloody Knuckles.
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  #152  
Old Yesterday, 05:11 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Sergeant Steel

Danger Levels
  • Minions: High
  • Direct Offense: Middling
  • Disruption: Low
  • Defenses: Middling
  • Ongoings: High
  • Deck Randomness: Low
  • Nemesis: K.N.Y.F.E.

So we have La Capitán in Vengeance mode, sure, but she's not who you run if you actually wanted to fight La Capitán in Vengeance mode. She kept her card-theft mechanic, but gave her crew combo mechanics over to the guys from TF2. The end result here is Sergeant Steel and his crew of Agents. With a wide variety of specialties and plenty of capability for working together, these guys make a dangerous pack.

Each Agent has their own passive ability, usually a buff to Sergeant Steel, and a F.I.L.T.E.R. ability that can be triggered by Sergeant Steel or cards in his deck. The more Agents he has out, the more things he can choose from, but the fact that they have different specializations lets you prioritize exactly what kind of opponent he's going to be. (And as Agents, his minions can interact with the Block. Warden Hoefle makes them terrifying, while the Imprisoned Rogue is suddenly your best buddy.)

F.I.L.T.E.R. Leader
Sergeant Steel himself doesn't do much, but he starts with two Agents in play, and ends his turn both by activating one of their F.I.L.T.E.R. abilities and attacking a hero for 2 projectile damage. The Agents he begins play with radically alter your gameplan for fighting him, but he doesn't have much health himself at 22. No other villain in the game forces you to adapt to the board state as much as Sergeant Steel, so always keep an eye on the Agents he has active and be ready for the worst. My usual votes for the worst foes are the Infiltrationst, the Bomb Specialist, and the Field Inventor, but again, adjust to the situation at hand.

Advanced: As the Mission Objective will readily indicate to people facing Sergeant Steel, he and his crew don't NEED attack boosts, but you really don't want them to get them. You need to be on top of taking down Agents with this one, because they ramp up attacks boosts incredibly quickly if allowed to do so.

Incapacitated
Sergeant Steel himself does nothing when incapacitated, but he does give every other villain a start of turn 1 projectile attack when he's down. On paper that sounds fine, but then again, so do most of Sergeant Steel's cards in a vacuum. Remember that lots of villains could get damage boosts to this 1 damage attack, and single-shot defensive measures like Driving Mantis or Cortex Hyperstimulator get eaten by it as well. Which of Fright Train's attacks do you want to block again? Because I'm pretty sure it's not the 1 projectile. This gets weaker the more villains you take down first, so if you can afford to do so, just keep Sergeant Steel's Agents in check instead of eliminating him.

Good Strategies:
  • Versatile Heroes: The best way to handle Sergeant Steel's many Agents is to make sure you have characters who can do a little bit of everything. The Field Inventor and Infiltrationist punish heroes who can't put out damage. The Bomb Specialist and Mega-Gunner punish heroes who neglect defense for offense, while the Sharpshooter and Espionagent punish heroes intending to turtle up and let a chaotic field state take care of things for them. If you can't handle the biggest threats to your team composition when they come up, it won't take long for Sergeant Steel to blow your team apart.
  • Damage Reduction: This isn't foolproof on account of the Sharpshooter, and it's not going to solve the game the way it will against, say, Gloomweaver or Infinitor. But there's no denying that Sergeant Steel and his team do a LOT of damage, and have a lot of ways to get damage boosts. You're going to need SOMETHING to take the edge off of those attacks, and Sergeant Steel's going to have too many dudes out to make killing them all a reasonable choice if you want to make any headway in taking down villain characters.

Bad Strategies:
  • Rushing Sergeant Steel: Like, against Baron Blade, this is pretty much the only strategy, but Sergeant Steel isn't quite in the same boat. If he has the Mega-Gunner or Battle Medic out, he's a pretty scary foe to try to rush down, and the fact that he has three copies of Hold the Line combined with the fact that you probably won't spend ongoing destruction on it means he can suddenly put off your offensive really easily. Furthermore, his Incapacitated effect, as discussed above, is worse early than late. Just worry about keeping his Agents under control while you deal with other villains.
  • Low Hero Counts: It's not a huge, huge deal, but the main damage booster Sergeant Steel has is Mission Objective, which only applies to one hero at a time. With only three copies in his deck, he can only target so many heroes at a time. You want bigger crowds than usual, not just to absorb Mission Objectives, but to buy more time outside of his turn, since the F.I.L.T.E.R. abilities mean that his team is most dangerous during his turn rather than as passive constant threats.

Notable Cards
  • Bomb Specialist: The wording on the combo attack she grants the Sarge is curious. Like, yeah, the Visionary can cheat on this with Twist the Ether to protect her team from the follow-up, which is great and nice. But what if you have a way to redirect that initial attack? Aim that at another villain and deal them 3 projectile damage. Oh look, now he deals 2 fire damage, and by that we mean 3 projectile damage. Rinse and repeat until your target instantly dies from bullet stack overflow. Assuming you don't plan on cheating this way, the Bomb Specialist is incredibly dangerous and your biggest argument in favor of damage reducers.
  • Mega-Gunner: As one of two Agents with the highest HP at 8, this guy's going to activate his F.I.L.T.E.R. ability more than anyone else on the field unless you do some damage. Which is a problem, because with his ability active, he gets a really serious damage boost. Did we mention that it's possible for F.I.L.T.E.R. abilities to trigger multiple times in the same turn? This guy with +4 damage behind him is terrifying.
  • Arsonator: Woo, fire damage immunity. That's not the important part (unless you're Ra, in which case GET PUNKED). The important part is that the Arsonator attacks each target. This includes villain and environment targets. It's very possible to keep them alive for the same kind of shenanigans that one would pull with Plague Rat, assuming you can keep your defenses up. The Arsonator is considerably more fragile than Plague Rat, and it's harder to amplify his damage to villains as much as with Plague Rat. (He has no problem amplifying his damage to heroes.)
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  #153  
Old Yesterday, 09:13 PM
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KCar KCar is offline
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I just clicked on this thread to see what was going on and holy crap I am not equipped to understand anything that's happening right now.

I know Sentinels of the Multiverse is a card game. Other than that... woo!

No need to educate me. I'm just awash in the glow of unknowing.
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