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  #181  
Old 07-21-2018, 04:26 PM
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Stuntman

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (base power, Lance-Flammes)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (The Usual Solution)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Planquez-Vous!)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Hidden Mine, L'embuscade, Steal the Scene)
  • Deck Control: No

The theme for the new heroes in the OblivAeon set is that villains from the entire set before this point are turning heroic, because that's how big the stakes are for the fight ahead! Up first is Ambuscade, now showing his pretty-boy face as much as his horrific facial scarring will allow. The design principle of Stuntman's deck is that they wanted it to feel like an action movie in hero deck form, and apparently the main way that happens is by being able to do things out of turn.

Strengths:
  • Out-of-Turn Actions: The bread and butter of Stuntman's deck is being able to do things outside of his own turn. Moreover, all of his powers get stronger when used on another player's turn, and much like K.N.Y.F.E. he has a plethora of items that do something when they are destroyed, which can stonewall a lot of stuff as it happens if done right. You'll basically never be left wholly helpless even in the face of disruption.
  • Beefy: The main thing Stuntman will do with his turns and those of everyone else? Shoot and punch villains and take beatings in turn. He might not look like it, but he's a reliable brawler comparable to Mr. Fixer or Haka. His assorted weapons can deal decent amounts of damage, and he's got a pretty solid set of options for mitigating damage, and even capitalizing on that via Moving Target.

Weaknesses:
  • Self-Damaging: Stuntman can take a hit for sure, but sometimes he'll do that a little more than you'll be comfortable with due to the effects of cards like Coute Que Coute or some of his one-shots. His deck won't hurt him too badly, but just be careful that all the other targets don't hit him too hard (especially if you're trying to milk Moving Target for all its worth).
  • Awkward Setup: Like Ra, Stuntman has a lot of very powerful cards to have out, but which he might not all want out at the same time. And unlike other characters with fluid builds like Mr. Fixer or The Naturalist, Stuntman isn't fast enough at his setup to make switching between defense and offense all that easy. Rather than switching midfight, I instead advocate looking at what everyone else on your team can do and building Stuntman for the role required.

Notable Cards
  • In Medias Res: It's a one-shot that Stuntman has only a single copy of and it removes itself from the game as you play it, but holy hell is it ever worth it to have. This lets you break the game clean in two by skipping straight over to Stuntman's start of turn, which makes him REALLY good at just ignoring an entire villain turn or sustaining strong hero effects that would crash on their turns. For best results, play off of the effect of Dramatic Cliffhanger, or to interrupt a vicious destructive effect via Stylish Armour or Pistolet-Mitrailleur.
  • Moving Target: This card is very hard to sustain, since it self-destructs as soon as Stuntman takes a hit from a villain target. But if you're able to block attacks consistently, a feat which Stuntman's deck makes a little easier? Suddenly you can consistently fire both of your weapons and use your base power each villain turn. And if you can somehow bait attacks on other turns over to Stuntman and then negate them? Hoo boy.
  • No Time To Bleed: This card is a fairly weak auto-counter, albeit one that lacks friendly fire potential as they so often do. However, it also lets you counter spike damage with a power use, which don't forget, Pistolet-Mitrailleur can chain into a card play. Again, if you have a good option for interrupting something that would've instigated that huge damage, that would be a good time to use it. Just bear in mind that you still take that 5 damage attack whether you like it or not.

Variant Strategies:
Action Hero Stuntman
As always, hero variants have to take into account the lack of their own base power, which in Stuntman's case means no more irreducible damage. That said, being able to self-buff damage and having two ways to play cards through powers means that stockpiling one-shots and ramping up your damage with each successive turn becomes a lot more viable. As with any hero with a card play as a base power, you'll want to accelerate your card draw to keep up with this, but uh... probably wait until it's your turn again for a Training Montage. That damage doesn't need buffing.

Last edited by Kalir; 08-03-2018 at 09:11 AM.
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  #182  
Old 07-23-2018, 10:07 AM
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Benchmark

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (Fly-By, Onboard Cooling System)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Threat Neutralizer)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Ally Matrix, Intervening Path Calculator, Tactical Communicator)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Shunt Energy, "Inferno" Missile Pod)
  • Deck Control: No

Benchmark doesn't represent any single villainous person, unless you believe the codswallop that corporations count as people, in which case say hello to the face of the completely reasonable and helpful RevoCorp! A corporation-designed superhero is a pretty novel concept to me, and Benchmark in particular handles it really interestingly, with a very high tech suit with a very high setup ceiling. Expect something like Argent Adept, but geared for damage rather than support.

For example, Benchmark's deck is predominantly full of two types of cards. His Hardware equipment serves to extend his basic capabilities in some way or another, and he has one copy of each in his deck. His Software ongoings, on the other hand, grants him a wide array of new powers or reactive effects. Software requires Hardware to install it on, and if you start a turn with more Software than Hardware, you draw a card and trash 2 Software cards.

Strengths:
  • High Setup Ceiling: For those of you playing Benchmark in the physical, you will definitely want a good way to physically arrange all of his garbage such that it makes sense, because he has a lot of garbage. I recommend organizing his Hardware into three rows, one for each of start/end of turn effects and one more for passive boosts. Also yeah when fully set up, Benchmark will have access to a ton of powerful effects, but if you ever actually reach that point, get out of the Meteor Swarm and go win already.
  • Constant Attacks: Benchmark's primary style of attack is the same as Chrono-Ranger's, save for that he prefers power uses to card plays. The Secondary Cannon allows him to discard after every power use for a 1 projectile attack, and the "Inferno" Missile Pod stores up all discards into a spam of 1 fire attacks on a single target. And the Multi-Point H.U.D. can boost his damage by 1 for a turn, so if you can use that as early as possible, you can easily get 10 or so damage out each turn once set up. And that's before factoring in what you actually DO with most of those powers.

Weaknesses:
  • Equipment Dependent: This obviously goes without saying given his high setup, but generally speaking, losing a Hardware card could also mean losing up to two Software cards as well (do note that destroying the Software card that would trigger this effect cancels the second destroy, but that's not always reliable to do). Watch your dang back around any villain who can wipe the field of equipment, lest you find it also eating all of your ongoings. At least you'll get lots of card draw, right?
  • Low Base Damage: This one's not news to anybody, but with the bulk of his attacks coming from 1 damage hits, you'll be extremely dependent on damage boosts to really make the most of Benchmark. Multi-Point H.U.D. and Tactical Communicator both HELP, but unless you can use those to cut past the main defensive point of the villain's setup, they're not going to do enough for Benchmark. Shunt Energy also helps, but it does have a bit of backlash to it that you'll want to be set up to handle.

Notable Cards
  • Legion-Core Processor: The most important card in the game for Benchmark's damage setup if he really wants to leverage all of his tiny hits. Use this on Multi-Point H.U.D. or Tactical Communicator power uses depending on what you're up against and what you have out. Or hell, use it on Ally Matrix or Intel Analyzer if you really need things set up quickly. This also lets you get Software back into your hand, which suddenly makes Threat Neutralizer much more viable.
  • Subcutaneous Cybernetics: It's a little less obvious than his damage focus, but properly set up, Benchmark also serves as a perfectly viable healtank. This Hardware is the core of the build, but it also can use Intervening Path Calculator in the same way the Wraith uses Smoke Bombs, Upgraded Memory Unit and Reinforced Chassis to improve Benchmark's own durability, and Countermeasures because why the hell not.
  • Fly-By: Those of you who regularly play Omnitron-X may be aware of the problem it tends to have once set up, in that you still have a card play and nothing to do with it. Fly-By is a very nice solution to that problem, being a fairly decent damaging one-shot that also either chains into another card play or bounces back into your hand. This also goes a little ways towards keeping Benchmark's hands full of cards, since he'll want to discard fairly often to maintain his high damage.

Variant Strategies:
Benchmark: Supply and Demand
Both Benchmark versions couple a minor numerical effect with a minor setup booster, but in either case it's not hard to see what the preference is. Base Benchmark obviously works better for the damage spam, while this variant is better suited to healtanking. Playing the top card of your deck as a power is pretty good, but don't forget that Benchmark can only sustain so much Software at one time before it starts collapsing. Thankfully, it only checks for that collapse during the start of your turn, and you still get a card draw out of it, so don't be afraid to use Desperate Measures in the same way you might fear using Setback's Risk.

Last edited by Kalir; 08-03-2018 at 09:14 AM.
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  #183  
Old 08-02-2018, 01:41 PM
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What up, nerds. I got my copy of OblivAeon and it looks neat as hell.

Given how much OblivAeon changes the game, I'm going to be doing writeups for the foreseeable future based solely on the new heroes and environments. I think I'll start with the four heroes of Void Guard, then move to environments, and then round it off with the five heroes included with OblivAeon.

So that's a thing to look forward to.
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  #184  
Old 08-11-2018, 09:29 PM
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Mainstay

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (base power, Void Belter)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Kick the Tires, Whiplash)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Leader of the Pack, Headlock)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (School of Hard Knocks, Mano a Mano, Drop the Hammer, Bad To The Bone)
  • Deck Control: No

I guess we're just getting all of the brawler sorts out of the way first with OblivAeon, huh? Mainstay is as brawly as it gets. Players familiar with K.N.Y.F.E. in particular will feel right at home with him, as he shares many of the same strengths and weaknesses as her. He just handles it in a slightly different way. He's maybe a little bit more focused on tanking, but really if you just want to beat the hell out of whoever you're facing, Mainstay can do that.

Strengths:
  • Constant Damage: Again, this is about what to expect from him. He has the punches and will punch the dudes with them. He can do spammy little hits with his base power, but has no problem ramping up to bigger badder strikes. I don't really know what else to say here! He's a biker dude wielding a boulder on a chain, did you expect him to be a support?
  • Destruction Resistant: K.N.Y.F.E. pioneered the style of having gear active that would give a boost when destroyed, but Mainstay takes that to the nines. Hilariously, a lot of his stuff doesn't even have a method of self-destruct built in (although you may wish it had at times), so you might actively filter villain decks with your deck control characters just to let Mainstay really go wild at them by absorbing destruction effects.

Weaknesses:
  • Damage Sponge: Mainstay can tank for the team, but he'll also grant the villains a lot more attacks than normal, and usually with enough number that he won't want to play some of his cards without one of his (fairly rare) defensive cards in play. And with Headlock, those defensive cards don't even help, since it also makes damage from that target irreducible. You really need to know your limits if playing as Mainstay.
  • Slow Setup: Again, most of Mainstay's stuff works best when destroyed, but this cuts both ways. This also means that Mainstay will want to destroy his own stuff to get ahead, and if it's not getting destroyed, you're going to be slowly putting out cards, many of which are goodbad to have out for an extended period of time anyway. You can still work out okay without most of your stuff, but don't expect results to get there quickly unless you break things along the way.

Notable Cards
  • Sweet Rhonda: Fittingly, the motorcycle is the best way to accelerate Mainstay's deck. Unfortunately, the best way to do this is by destroying your own stuff. But hey, this also lets you be much more fluid about what you have in action at any given time. As long as this card is out, you can be much safer about dangerous cards like Mano a Mano or Headlock. But at the same time: destroying this is going to get you a lot of cards too, and you want those cards, right?
  • Durasteel-Studded Vest: Also a very important card to get if you can. Not only does this take the edge off of all those attacks you're going to be taking, but the Quick Insight as a power has a subtle benefit to it, in that discarding equipment cards this way fuels the power of Drop the Hammer when you get around to playing it. But on the other hand, maybe you want to keep that backup equipment for when you destroy it, because let's be real, you will eventually. Decisions, decisions.
  • Shard-Strength: Exhibit A for why you might want to destroy your stuff. Yeah, cards like Embolden and Pushing the Limits are super handy to have around, but they also let you opt out by destroying the card. This one doesn't do that, but it still forces the self-damage as long as it's active, and it eats the ablative defense on your turn just to make sure it doesn't get instantly boosted. It's a good card, and one worth taking a bit of damage to keep around. Just, y'know... make sure you can actually handle it.

Variant Strategies:
Mainstay: Road Warrior
Okay, so you lose the base power that does the basic attacks. That's not great, but Mainstay has enough one-shots and a damaging power from the Void Belter, so it's workable. And the conditional auto-counter from Bring It is pretty nice, even if it doesn't do that much damage. Sadly, Bad to the Bone doesn't amplify this damage on other turns, so you'll want to bring help from buddies, or rely on Shard-Strength, to really make this counter worth the effort. This variant, obviously, works best with players who are as proactive as possible about tanking for their team, so don't be afraid to take some lumps for them.

Last edited by Kalir; 08-12-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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  #185  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:08 PM
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Writhe

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (Umbral Siphon)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Unquiet Night)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Cloak Projector, Nowhere to Hide)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Darkly Dreaming, Concealed Assailant, Lurking Shadows)
  • Deck Control: Yes (Grasping Shadow-Cloth)

Not done with brawlers yet, and we're about to explore one of the weirdest examples of this archetype. Writhe has a scant 19 HP, less than any non-Sentinels character in the game, but he's also one of the most survivable out there, with easy access to the Shadow Cloak, his signature gear. He's also fairly versatile, with access to several handy effects, which can get even better if you have or even destroy the Shadow Cloak in the process.

Strengths:
  • Hard To Kill: Writhe is, like Nightmist, a character who doesn't initially look that sturdy, but who can take on many of the biggest and baddest fighters the multiverse has to offer. The Shadow Cloak's innate damage reduction and ability to discard to prevent the first hit each turn both help out a lot, and being able to summon it back as a base power is incredibly useful. He's also got one of the ever-handy damage-reduction-on-a-target powers with his Cloak Projector, letting him share the love by blocking for his team as well.
  • Versatile: Unlike most brawlers, Writhe can do a wide variety of other things as well. And with his card draw being fairly decent (which it has to be to keep up with the discard-fueled negation effect of the Shadow Cloak) he will almost always get a hold of the tool he needs to do the job. As with most other jack-of-all-trades characters, don't worry so much about playing to type, and just do whatever the situation might call for.

Weaknesses:
  • Tempo-based: With most of his effects requiring the destruction of the Shadow Cloak, but it being such a vital piece of his kit, you need to have a very good sense of where and when to use it. There are cards that can retrieve it in addition to his base power, but usually if you're in a position to need that effect, you'll already be fairly defenseless for being the likely lowest HP character without your chief protective gear. And if you aren't destroying the Shadow Cloak regularly, you're just not playing to the most useful level that you could be, really.
  • Low Max HP: Yeah, you're hard to kill, but this is a legitimate drawback for a number of reasons. You won't be able to make good use of healing effects if they are common, and you'll be an easy target for anything preying on low health heroes. And since a lot of these effects also tend to block your damage, this also means you'll have a hard time doing damage when those keep tagging you. And discarding each time to block meager hits can be very costly, as anyone who plays Nightmist (or now Benchmark I guess) can tell you.

Notable Cards
  • Umbral Siphon: It's a 1 and 1 damage attack, ho hum. Well, you have a damage booster built in more often than not, so Umbral Siphon is usually worth it on that count alone (and it doesn't require destruction of the Shadow Cloak for maximal effectiveness, either). The cool part is that it blocks HP recovery on the target. That is, if memory serves, the first time healblocking has been available to a heroic repertoire in the game, and the applications of that are very handy indeed.
  • Lurking Shadows: So the damage boost is nice, not least because Writhe has lots of 1 damage attacks. Being limited to one target and only damage from Writhe is less good, but eh. The trick is that you really need a damaging power to use first. Concealed Assailant is perfect for this, since everyone loves a 3-3-3 attack, but of course Umbral Siphon isn't a bad choice either. Or if you want, you could use some of your other, more supporting powers. The point is that with this card granting a power use during the play phase, you can then use your power phase to bounce the Shadow Cloak back.
  • Erratic Form: Dominion for a new generation. It's not limited and it accelerates your card draw (although it only has two copies) when a very common trigger for your character happens. It also allows you to filter your hand at the end of your turn if you just keep being saddled with cards that aren't helpful right now. And don't forget, Somber Tinker can revive Equipment cards from your trash, so if you have that card, chuck Equipment at the end of this turn and just bring it back into play the next.

Variant Strategies:
Cosmic Inventor Writhe
Losing decksearch as a base power on a character who needs his decksearched stuff to survive is pretty harsh, and only gaining 3 max HP is not a very nice consolation prize. On the other hand, it's not that hard for Writhe to get the Shadow Cloak out anyway, especially not with your card draw accelerated. Moreover, Mk II Shadow Projector now carries the damage negation effect of the Shadow Cloak, but without the discards and for whichever hero you choose. This can save heroes from all kinds of mishaps and let them survive situations that would kill anyone else.
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  #186  
Old 08-17-2018, 10:49 PM
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Dr. Medico

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: No
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: No
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Pretty much his entire deck)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: No
  • Deck Control: No

Since the early phases of the game, there's been requests for a pure healer character, which the devs were largely against. They even coined the name "Dr. Medico, M.D." as a joke name. Well, here we are, and suddenly yes, you can play as a pure healer character. I mean yeah, they can do things that aren't healing? But really, the dude's name is literally Dr. Medico, I don't know what else you were expecting.

Strengths:
  • Healing: While the cast of heroes certainly has their fair share of characters capable of healing their team in one way or another, none of them really do it as their main thing. It's just one of their major capabilities, of which they may have several. Dr. Medico is the most absolute focused healer in the game, and while I'm normally not about pure healer roles in games, it's nice that they have finally provided that option for tiny weaklings.
  • Buffing: But what is a healer character without an option to aid their team outside of raw HP replenishing? Dr. Medico also offers a wide variety of other buffs for their allies, including protection from lethal damage with From The Brink, damage boosts with Prescription Strength, extra power uses from Second Opinion... the list goes on and on, but you'll basically never be short of ways to aid your team somehow. Just give them all the HP and buffs, it'll probably work.

Weaknesses:
  • Single-Focus: As with many characters before him, Dr. Medico is very good at their primary specialty, and very bad at doing literally anything else aside from it. I mean, just look at the summary up top. I would have to have listed his entire deck save for maybe two cards before I filled out the support section. He is very good at helping his team, and very bad at doing anything himself. Make sure your team can cover for you not doing anything directly!
  • Self-Damaging: The actual catch, since that first part doesn't matter for most dedicated healers, is that the vast majority of Dr. Medico's healing effects require some self-damage in the process. You have Regeneration if you need it, and you can always aim some healing at yourself, but you have to watch your own health pool just as much as anyone else's. Don't get cocky and overextend, or you'll incapacitate yourself without doing much of anything for anybody.

Notable Cards
  • Healing Pulse: The closest equivalent Dr. Medico has to a bread and butter healing move. Linking the heal to the end of your turn and removing it from a power use comes in very handy for chaining with your base power, but it also comes with an even stronger area heal if you have too much HP for some reason. You should always prioritize getting this card out if at all possible, as it takes a lot of the risk of playing your self-damaging oneshots off of your hands.
  • Experimental Medicine: Pushing the Limits, but for healing. The curious part about this card is that it also fixes Dr. Medico's damage, preventing it from increasing OR decreasing. Which is certainly nice for ensuring an Immunization goes through on everybody, but as far as actual utility in play? Not a great thing! You really want some way to reduce the damage Dr. Medico takes, so he has a lot more leeway to play all of his cards. I guess that's the tradeoff here: you lose the safe option of reducing Dr. Medico's damage, but now all of your healing is even more powerful. Which... I mean, that's what you came here for, right?
  • From The Brink: This is the closest thing the devs will let you have to a resurrect move. It prevents one instance of lethal damage, then heals everyone for 2 and removes itself from the game. This is, let's be honest... not great unless you're sitting on a Triage and intend to spikeheal them back up to 10 afterwards. And even then, you're probably either doing really risky stupid garbage or already losing. I'm mostly just listing this card to say it's here, and also that you can probably do better things. At least it saves you from surprise spike damage.

Variant Strategies:
Malpractice Dr. Medico
Healing? Nope. Not anymore. The base power of Dr. Medico is normally just better healing, which is predictable and nice. Now, though, you turn all hero healing into laser beams. And I do mean ALL hero healing. Tempest drops a Cleansing Downpour? Buddy I sure hope you boosted your damage this turn with Prescription Strength. Be careful using this variant around any healtank characters, because the good news is they will provide you lots of opportunities for attack on every turn. The bad news is that you might just bleed them out faster than anyone was expecting.
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  #187  
Old 08-19-2018, 10:09 PM
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The Idealist

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (Flying Stabby Knives, Karate Robot)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Giant Floaty Head)
  • Team Support Abilities: No
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Karate Robot, Bored Now, Better Punching!)
  • Deck Control: No

The Idealist rounds out the quartet of Void Guard with a cheery disposition and a wide range of highly goofy, but powerful, modes of attack. She's also another one of those decks that really captures the feel of the character you're playing. You're just a super peppy and cheery teen here to fight dudes with giant karate robots. Ignore that this is coming from unstable psychic powers. That's normal, probably.

The Idealist makes use of a series of Concepts as the basis of her powers, but on their own they don't really do a whole lot and are just comparable to a base power. However, she has a lot of ways to put cards under these Concepts, which magnifies their powers significantly. The main method is with her Fragment cards, which go under Concepts in play after they are played. Her base power can also put Fragments directly under concepts.

Strengths:
  • Charged-Up Attacks: The Idealist is a damage dealer, but I wouldn't really call her a DPS, and not just because I consider that term to be inaccurate in most usages. Where she shines is build up for huge hammer blows that take down a single target in one hit, by storing lots of cards under something (probably Karate Robot) and unleashing them in one big attack. And when set up, she can very easily do quick-charge attacks in the same way Bunker might do for the Omni-Cannon.
  • Quick Setup: I'd probably put her setup and play speed somewhere between Tachyon and the Wraith. Individually, her cards won't do much, and she'll want to get a lot of cards under a Concept for it to really be effective, but she can work okay even with only a few cards out, and it rarely takes long for her to get up to half or even full speed. And so what if you lose all the cards under a Concept when you use its power? Your card draw and ability to place cards back under Concepts is wicked fast!

Weaknesses:
  • Ongoing Dependent: If you're facing a disruption-heavy villain, strongly consider hanging onto your second copy of each Concept just in case the first gets destroyed. Without access to your Concepts, you lose so much of your capabilities. Like, imagine Tachyon without the ability to use Bursts in her trash. That's about how hard losing your Concepts with no recovery method hurts you. Sure, you can still play Fragments out of hand, but if they aren't going anywhere, you're not building up to your real heavy hits.
  • Low Versatility: There's a lot of damage in your deck, and that is very good, but it's also the main way you're going to contribute to the fight. You have threadbare defenses, no team support, no deck control, and your method of ongoing/environment destruction, while it is a power, also eats up time and Fragments you could be spending on punching dudes in the face. Try to stick with a team of heroes who can do the things you won't be able to reliably do.

Notable Cards
  • Monster of Id: There are a lot of heroes with cards that can have negative consequences in their deck, but this is the first card we've seen that forces itself into play the second it touches your hand. And it's not even a bad card, at first, since it boosts your damage, which is A+ Very Good. The catch is that this card is hungry. And if you can't feed it, suddenly it'll be using that damage boost on you. And since it's not an Ongoing like your other Concepts, you'll have to burn a Bored Now or use Giant Floaty Head or Strained Superego to destroy it (and that last one isn't a very reliable way of doing it anyway).
  • Karate Robot: Obviously not as good in fights with more than one target to focus on, but if you want one dude very dead, very hard, Karate Robot is your friend. Assuming you can put one and only one card under it every turn, it basically is a 2 and 2 attack for a power use each turn, which is great. Properly set up, though, The Idealist can throw a LOT more than one card a turn under there. And don't forget that none of your Concepts are limited, and that Better Punching! grants another power use with free irreducible damage. You kids like two Karate Robots working together to fight crime, right?
  • Strained Superego: This card kind of feels like several cards glued together. Playing a Fragment as a power is mostly just sort of okay (although it can chain into Better Punching! at least). Shifting around cards from or outright destroying Concepts is kind of weak bordering on hindrance. Getting an end of turn draw or power use? That's pretty respectable, I suppose. I dunno, it feels like you could probably do some wild synergies with this, but I'm just not seeing them.

Variant Strategies:
Super Sentai Idealist
So the base power accelerating Concept growth and card draw is really good, obviously. Nobody needs to be told that. But what if you could absorb Concepts into the Idealist to have a much more consistent attack power that falls off much more slowly than usual? This also lets you get rid of the Monster of Id when it starts getting really scary. Of course, you lose the spike potential of the Karate Robot, and all of those cards stored under your character card can't be, y'know... used normally. But when you can just Megazord people for about 10 or so damage each turn, who cares? Be warned that this variant will accelerate MUCH slower.
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  #188  
Old 08-22-2018, 01:27 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Maerynian Refuge

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (Squall Guard)
  • Hero Disruption: Yes (Superheated Waterspout, Torrential Monsoon, Unexpected Microburst)
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Maerynian Lightning-Dome, Stormspeaker, Hurricane Shield, Torrential Monsoon)
  • Villain Acceleration: No
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Leviathan)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Softball-Sized Hail, Hurricane Shield, Torrential Monsoon, Unexpected Microburst)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

OblivAeon comes with five environments, as opposed to merely two to four as every other expansion has done before then. There's a reason for this, but we'll ignore that for now and just focus on covering them. The Maerynian Refuge is basically just "what if Tempest was an environment deck". It's a fairly helpful place to be, but it can occasionally be dangerous for the team if you aren't prepared to help it out in turn.

Good Strategies:
  • Protecting Maerynians: There are a lot of different keywords in this deck, but the Maerynians within it provide the largest amount of protection from the worst of the deck, while at the same time providing cheap and powerful area attacks to destroy anything you don't like. Y'know how in theory, Dok'Thorath Capital can be really helpful by just having loads of Freedom Fighters shooting enemies for you? This is what that's like, except it actually works.
  • Single-Target Damage: Usually, if you're bringing a damage dealer, you need to consider whether they excel in hitting single targets (Ra, K.N.Y.F.E., Chrono-Ranger) or at field-wide attacks. The Maerynian Refuge will eventually get three Squall Guards out, and they will handle the area attacks for you with absolutely zero problems. Bring damage dealers who can take down beefier targets fast, rather than layering on even more area damage.

Bad Strategies:
  • Sensitive Villains: Do not fight The Dreamer here. Do not fight The Matriarch here. Basically any villain who will punish you for spraying attacks indiscriminately will get much, MUCH harder in the Maerynian Refuge, because the Squall Guards are plentiful, survivable, and very, very indiscriminate. And that's without taking the Weather Effects into account, because those will also sling damage all the hell over the place.
  • Glass Cannons: It's not a huge thing here, since there's three Stormspeakers who will keep the worst of the Weather Effects at bay. But still, most Weather Effects deal a significant amount of damage, to say nothing of Leviathan coming out and turning them all into massive damage boosters on an irreducible area attack. You don't have to be cowardly, just don't forget to at least maintain a LITTLE defense.

Notable Cards
  • Leviathan: This Tempest nemesis gets stronger the more Weather Effects are out, and their area attack hits heroes and Maerynians alike with irreducible lightning damage. That is pretty bad. However, the Squall Guards will fight him too, and the longer he's out, the more he'll destroy the very Weather Effects making him so dangerous. Still probably don't leave him out for long, of course. Nobody wants to take 7 irreducible damage as an area attack.
  • Stormspeaker: So as you all know, I hate environment cards that lack any way to destroy them outside of an explicit environment-destruction effect. But the Stormspeaker makes the many Weather Effects that can frequently be very bad for the team significantly more tolerable. The disruptive effects are frequently contingent on the damage they deal, which the Stormspeakers can reduce, and the Stormspeaker can destroy Weather Effects pretty much every turn. Eventually, they'll start accelerating the environment deck this way, but that's usually a good thing with how many helpful cards are in it.
  • Plavu'Col Capital: Speaking of environment acceleration: how would you like an accelerator that only puts good things in play? Okay, that's not strictly true since it also plays the Submerged Aqua-Dome, which isn't great since it punishes power uses. But seriously, 1 cold damage? That barely counts. Plavu'Col Capital is just icing on the cake when you factor in how helpful the bulk of the cards it looks for are. I think you can tolerate one hard-to-destroy moderately annoying card coming up every now and then.
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  #189  
Old 08-25-2018, 01:13 PM
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Nexus of the Void

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (Eternal Timbre, Jade Estuary, Slumbering Serpent)
  • Hero Disruption: Yes (Void Slave)
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Eternal Timbre, Taiga Burning Bright)
  • Villain Acceleration: No
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Devouring River, Magma's Rage, Reclusive Keeper)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Ember Dunes)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

The Realm of Discord is one of my favorite environments (and also one of the few I lack a physical copy of) but it can also be pretty punishing for heroes who just want to walk in and go nuts with whatever, not to mention heavy on the bookkeeping with the energy planes. The Nexus of the Void is a slightly more calmed down version of it, as well as a reference to the very excellent good game Spirit Island which you should all play. If you just want to explore incredibly crazy wild parts of the land, this is a pretty excellent place that will keep you on your toes.

Good Strategies:
  • Damage Type Versatility: Curiously, many of the biomes in the Nexus of the Void care more about the type of the damage they deal than the raw quantity. Additionally, it tends to favor some of the more common types that heroes have access to, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that heroes who deal more unconventional types of damage might not be as effective here as their companions.
  • Healing: Ordinarily, for damage-focused environments, I'd just as soon recommend damage reduction, and that's not a bad idea here either. That said, with the Savanna Nocturna amplifying healing and the frequency of lowest-HP-targeting attacks this environment has, you may just be better off putting those efforts to keeping your entire team hale and hearty. Even better is if you have healing that isn't just restricted to hero targets, to get the Slumbering Serpent up to speed. Best of all is if you're careful enough to maintain even HP totals so as to capitalize on the Jade Estuary and avoid the Phosphor Fen.

Bad Strategies:
  • Ongoing Dependence: There's only one card in this deck that curtails hero development, but the Void Slave is VERY good at doing it. Playing environment targets isn't a huge deal since most of them are fairly reasonable on the whole (I'd argue that Devouring River is the scariest, and even then it isn't too bad if the villain has lots of dudes to go for), but the severe lack of them means that the Void Slave is pretty much just Lady Luck, but for playing ongoings instead of destroying them. Not great! (At least she also punishes villain Ongoings.)
  • Solo Villains: There are a ton of attacks in the Nexus of the Void that prey on the weakest cards in the field. Against someone like Progeny, those will invariably be the heroes. If you have lots of potential foes to face, though, then suddenly the environment is going to help you out in incredible fashion against them, with Devouring River, Reclusive Keeper, and many Biomes doing plenty of damage to them on your behalf. (Just be mindful of the damage boost from Savanna Nocturna.)

Notable Cards
  • Shifting Biomes: There are a ton of Biomes in the deck, but for the most part they will pop in and out and you won't get to do anything with most of them. Shifting Biomes, however, lets the Nexus of the Void mix and match Biomes. By default, this will only have two of them at once, which will probably only last a turn. However, if you can somehow play this card outside of the environment turn, then you could get three out, or more. It's mostly a thought experiment since the biomes don't really have any stackable benefits to them, though.
  • Slumbering Serpent: The Spirit cards are all alternate versions of existing characters from Spirit Island, but this one is the most important for how it can help the heroes. Unfortunately, it takes a LOT of time for the Slumbering Serpent to build up, and it's hard to maintain its effect. If it actually gets to full health, though, then suddenly you have a very powerful attacker on the environment team helping you out. This is a great case for bringing non-hero healing if you can!
  • Taiga Burning Bright: Remember how Magmaria was important because of all of its damage being fire-type, which meant lots of heroes could get around its biggest threats by just using that damage type? Same deal here. Absolute Zero, in this environment, almost wants to bring an environment deck control specialist around just for this card, but even then it's a fun one for many heroes to have. Also worth noting is that this Biome totally removes the damage immunities of the Void Slave by making it impossible to deal its damage types.

Last edited by Kalir; 08-25-2018 at 11:54 PM.
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  #190  
Old 08-28-2018, 02:13 PM
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Sentinels? In my Humble Bundle?

It's more likely than you think!
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  #191  
Old 09-01-2018, 10:28 PM
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Fort Adamant

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (General Armstrong, EMP Cannon, Training Facility)
  • Hero Disruption: No
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Training Facility)
  • Villain Acceleration: No
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Bionic Patroller, Codename: Char, Codename: Highbrow, Codename: Radioactivist)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Codename: Char, Aggressive Volunteering)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

Maybe this is just me, but it's a little weird that we're only now at the very end of the game's development before we get a military base environment. I guess it's not as common a fixture in comics as it is in video games, and they had priorities in other places first. Anyway Fort Adamant isn't too mean, it has some rude fighters and some helpful stuff. I'd rate it on the whole about the same as Insula Primalis, as a place you can go that will mean the environment generally does things, but won't really hassle you too much.

Good Strategies:
  • Card Draw: Two main reasons for this one. First, the EMP Cannon is super handy to have for the entire team, and discarding to fuel its attacks merits keeping up. The second is that the Blast Doors are the only built in method of environment control, and while they provide a consolation single card draw to keep you from losing most of your turn, they still want you to discard your hand, and a lot of it, to do what it does. Make sure you have a good way to keep your hand size big and meaty. (Shout out to Haka, who can pretty much ignore the cost on the Blast Doors with Dominion.)
  • Leaving Villain Minions Alive: Hey guys, what do we do in environments that pick on lowest health targets indiscriminately? Exactly: we let them eat the tasty hostile villain targets and keep out of their way. Hell, Codename: Highbrow will happily cannibalize the environment if given half a chance. Plus, there's enough area attacks, plus environment turn end power uses from Training Facility, that even if someone isn't around to explicitly take down the small fries, they'll usually end up biting the dust anyway.

Bad Strategies:
  • Damaging Environment Targets: For some heroes, and some environments, it's usually more efficient to just smack the environment's threats in the face until they go away. This isn't as reliable in Fort Adamant for a lot of reasons, including Doctor Demikahv's indestructibility, Codename: Highbrow's regeneration, and Codename: Radioactivist building up damage whenever attacked. You still have environment destruction effects, plus the benefit of Blast Doors if you really think you can handle it. Use them, silly.
  • Environment Deck Control: Usually, if I recommend against deck control, it's because the deck in question usually just has crazy-huge acceleration built in, and that's certainly a factor of Fort Adamant for sure. There's a lot of that here and it's not easy to stop all of it at once. Aside from that, though, is that the Blast Doors not only destroy all the environment cards if you have 3 cards in hand, but they let you block environment card plays with even a single card. And really, if you're that low, why not just stall out the environment this way anyway?

Notable Cards
  • Doctor Demikahv: Absolutely vicious accelerator for Fort Adamant, and a sure sign that things are about to get worse. That said, she isn't quite as terrifying to dispose of as she seems at first. Remember, anything that destroys all environment cards can get to her after getting all of the Subjects out of the way. And that's without taking into account that you can deal her damage before she becomes destructible, so that destroying the last Subject instantly trashes her. (Plus, she'll happily facetank Codename: Highbrow's attacks for you.)
  • General Armstrong: In contrast, this guy is going to do everything he can to take the heat off of the environment for you. If he had any two of the effects on his card that would be enough, but he just does it all: protecting the heroes from environment damage, accelerating their card draw (much welcomed in Fort Adamant) and attacking weak villain targets. About the worst thing I can say is that he might finish off a villain target that Codename: Highbrow was going to hit anyway, forcing her to direct more attention to less desirable targets.
  • The Foundry: The other main accelerator for the deck. Although slightly less mean than Doctor Demikahv, particularly because it doesn't do a lot if a Subject is the card played, it does combo with her in a really aggravating way. Destroying a Subject heals her as well as all the others, and if all of the Subjects are already out, you're looking at three environment card plays at once (which can get really mean if all of the Bionic Patrollers are out). Worst of all: no built-in destroy condition save for the Blast Doors.
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  #192  
Old 09-15-2018, 07:15 PM
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Champion Studios

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (Craft Services Table, Magical MacGuffin, Props Department, Bottom of the 9th, Love Interest, Stunt Double)
  • Hero Disruption: No
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Car Chase Scene, Potential Pratfalls)
  • Villain Acceleration: Yes (Deus Ex Machina)
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Death Ray, The Zorrm)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Deadly Choice)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: Yes (Bottom of the 9th)

I still haven't played this environment much, so I can't really adequately talk about it in full detail, but the theme at least speaks for itself. Champion Studios is basically a Greatest Hits of cheesy movie tropes loaded into a single environment deck. It strikes me as another one of the environments that you have to pay attention to, but which isn't going to, ironically, steal the show as some other environments might. Plus, it's a place with a sense of humor, so that's always fun.

The instant loss here comes from Bottom of the 9th. This one will reveal the top card of each hero deck on each environment turn. If it only reveals oneshots, you're fine and safe! Otherwise, you strike. Strike three times and you're out, which is of course an instant game over. Don't lose in such an embarrassing way, or I will laugh at you.

Good Strategies:
  • One-Shot Dependence: With both Deadly Choice and Bottom of the 9th losing their biggest threats when your decks have oneshots stacked on top, the obvious way to mitigate their threats is to just have lots of oneshots available. Additionally, try to make sure that they don't solely do damage as their main effect, since the Props Department will dilute the effect of the oneshots you're throwing around. Setup-heavy characters who have decks full of ongoings or equipment they want out will more often than not find them chucked into the trash.
  • Environment Destruction: This is just the world we live in now. There are environment cards that will sit around and be annoying, and short of some wacky deck stacking, they'll just live out there until you do something about it. Most of these cards are Conflicts and can be destroyed by a Deus Ex Machina, but you don't want that to be the one that does it for you, usually. Just bring an external source in case the environment starts acting up, and ESPECIALLY if you're about to strike out at the Bottom of the 9th.

Bad Strategies:
  • Damage Boosting: This goes for both villains and heroes. If the villain has boosted damage, Deus Ex Machina becomes more and more terrifying. If the heroes do, then the self-damage effects that are fairly prevalent in this deck just get meaner and meaner. It's not quite as bad as fighting Plague Rat or being in Madame Mittermeier's, but you should still try to avoid amplifying damage unless absolutely necessary.
  • Solo Villains: There's a lot of minion mitigation of all things in Champion Studios, not to mention solo villains tend to amp up the damage of their own attacks fairly regularly. Champion Studios becomes a lot more manageable with a nice hefty crowd of lovable stooges to eat some of the more punishing effects of the environment deck. Plus, better to have some of that Deadly Choice damage aimed at a larger crowd of bad guys than a smaller one, no?

Notable Cards
  • Jump Scare: This one is neat because of the way it works. Not only does it search (sort of) for environmental threats, it also synergizes with each of the two threats, with a deck shuffle to give Death Ray an extra attack, and a highly likely discard of a Conflict to give the Zorrm its extra attack. Each of its effects, though, is so minor that you should only be afraid of it if both Antagonists are out, and even then I wouldn't worry about it THAT much.
  • Car Chase Scene: This one is easy to forget for most of the match, but unless you're playing as a hero dependent on lots of minions for whatever you're doing, it's pretty good for the heroes. High-minion villain decks can become much more manageable with this out, since it raises the floor for how much damage is needed to wipe the field with a multi-target attack. Also handy is the conversion of melee to projectile damage (except for K.N.Y.F.E.) since it lets you get around one of the most common damage immunities in the game. Of course, this also applies to the Antagonists, whose most threatening attacks are all melee.
  • Potential Pratfalls: Assuming Car Chase Scene isn't out, this one is an alternate version of the above that keeps minions from posing a threat to either side, while at the same time diluting the attacks of the Antagonists pretty severely (as well as the attacks of many heroes). It's a little weird that there's two cards with very different effects, but which lend themselves to more or less the same situations and strategies.
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  #193  
Old 09-21-2018, 03:33 PM
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Mordengrad

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (Conscripted Engineer)
  • Hero Disruption: No
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Mobile Alert Platform)
  • Villain Acceleration: Yes (Remote Walking Tank, Battalion Command Center, Device Assembly Line)
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Blade Battalion Commander, Blade Battalion Platoon)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Black Hole Generator)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

For the final environment of the game, we'll go back to the beginning a bit. Baron Blade's been the primary villain of the game for ages, and his decks have had some commonalities between them (as will his heroic version that I'll be covering in the next post). Mordengrad, his homeland, is a deck that's meant to be fairly challenging to fight most villains in, but which is tailormade to be even more threatening to face Baron Blade himself in, regardless of what iteration. You want minions? Devices? Deck discards? You got it all, right here.

Good Strategies:
  • Wide-Scale Damage: The big threat of Mordengrad is largely about the minions and devices. Not hugely surprising, that. Since they all have health totals and not much defense (at best, the Remote Walking Tank backed by the Mobile Alert Platform can take a beating) you're honestly best off just spraying all the damage everywhere uncontrollably. The stuff that doesn't have a health total isn't too bad, and the only friendly target, the Conscripted Engineer, is still not especially great unless you're dependent on equipment, and even then only if there isn't also a Blade Battalion Commander.
  • Damage Reduction: Speaking of, the Blade Battalion Commander can create a LOT of spammy single attacks. In addition to that, there's plenty of other attackers in here that'll last long enough to seriously harass you. Better not let all of those attacks pile up, because while this deck doesn't accelerate quite like Omnitron IV, it still likes to swing at you pretty often. If you can't bring down all the targets, do your best to keep them at bay.

Bad Strategies:
  • Target-Heavy Villains: This one is obvious, but it goes double for anyone who uses the Device or Minion keywords. The more enemies you have to deal with, the more dangerous Mordengrad can make them, by pressganging them into service with the Blade Battalion Commander. If you do expect to face villains with lots of targets, try to face some that have high individual HP totals if possible, so as to deny them the extra attacks and stat boosts.
  • Fighting Baron Blade: This one really has to be emphasized here. This deck is built to synergize with Baron Blade's existing decks, regardless of the plot he has in mind. He will throw cards into his trash at an alarming rate, put out loads of dangerous Devices and Minions, and you will not be able to take all of them down before he kills you. I do recommend this if you want to have an exciting new spin on the old tutorial boss, but hey, you've been warned.

Notable Cards
  • Conscripted Engineer: This is the only supportive card for the heroes in this deck, and it's not bad. Free trash recovery for equipment is sort of situational, but if you're in that situation, it's VERY good. That said, they're still going to heal Devices, or mill decks if that's not possible. Plan around this for some villains, since it can make some matches easier, but others much harder. I still think this card is overall good, but again, mind the situation.
  • Black Hole Generator: This is the most hilarious built-in environment control I have ever seen. It's something that gets super dangerous if the environment deck is close to a reshuffle, but generally speaking, this thing can keep Mordengrad, as well as itself, in check for a decent amount of time. Of course, that's not wholly safe to do, because it's still hitting everything except itself for an absolutely insane amount. And, of course, it gets even more deadly when paired with other decks that use Devices.
  • Blade Battalion Commander: The most dangerous card in this deck, and also there's two copies of it. This thing assigns everything that isn't on your team the Minion keyword, incorporating it into the synergy of Mordengrad, and introduces some synergy of its own by allowing them to all make minor attacks on the environment turn. Then again, as scary as this card is, it's also fairly situational. If it's the first card out against a solo villain, you're fine. If it's halfway through both the environment and villain decks and you have a very spammy villain? Yeah try not to die I guess.
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  #194  
Old 10-02-2018, 11:41 AM
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Luminary

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: No
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Terralunar Translocator, Timely Disruption)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes ("Consider the Price of Defeat!", Regression Turret)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Explosive Reconstructor, Orbital Death-Laser, Terralunar Translocator)
  • Deck Control: No

Finally, we're at the hero set for OblivAeon, going back to all the assorted villains of the multiverse to see who could potentially be heroes. First up, of course, is Baron Blade, now sporting the title of Luminary. Of the heroes you are about to see, he plays the most like a heroic version of his villainous deck. If you want lots of robot minions and grandiose plans, plus a running joke to hit OblivAeon with the moon, look no further.

In addition to being the only hero character that uses the Device keyword, he also relies on a trio of Doomsday Devices. These powerful weapons require you to have 15 or more cards in his trash, and shuffle his trash back in when used, but just like a Lightspeed Barrage, when Luminary uses a Doomsday Device, people tend to notice.

Strengths:
  • Gamechanging Finishers: The most important event in any match with Luminary is getting the Doomsday devices played and used. The Orbital Death-Laser pretty much is exactly a Lightspeed Barrage, the Terralunar Translocator can just solve entire scenarios the way End of Days can but without the backlash, and the Explosive Reconstructor combines an area attack with a revival of all the Devices you have undoubtedly been destroying or getting destroyed.
  • Auxiliary Targets: Luminary, in practice, plays somewhere between Tachyon and Unity. At first, you're going to have lots of helpful devices out and about doing little things to deal with the villains. What's more, as nice as those devices are, you don't care too much about keeping them alive, as per the above, so feel free to just throw them out even if you don't intend to use them that often. If nothing else, they can take some cheap hits headed your way.

Weaknesses:
  • Trash Dependent: If you can't get 15 or more cards in your trash and keep them there, you're a weaker Unity. Don't be a weaker Unity! Any villain or environment effects that ask you to shuffle your trash into your deck are The Worst for you! You do have a lot of ways to accelerate dumping cards into your trash via your base power of Devise and a few of your one-shots, and discard effects are a little nicer for you, but seriously, keep that trash pile there.
  • Awkward Tempo: Luminary is nice to have on the team for sure, but with him on your team, you should expect someone like Guise or Tachyon. Most of the game they'll just throw out devices and a few oneshots that do little things here or there, until out of nowhere they suddenly win the game for you. Make sure the rest of your team can pick up the slack for you, because it won't be easy for you to contribute early on. Not that you're USELESS, of course, just that you need time to get the flashiness just right.

Notable Cards
  • Sabre Battle Drone: This is not Platform Bot. I know, it LOOKS like Platform Bot, but it isn't. Platform Bot is a dependable and sturdy regular attacker that forms the core of Unity's offense. Sabre Battle Drone is an unreliable and flimsy attacker that forms the core of Luminary's SETUP. The destroy effect that provides the extra attack should be taken almost constantly unless you REALLY need that device up and running (you probably don't).
  • All According To Plan: This is a card like Strained Superego, which looks like a bunch of weak effects that aren't especially great on their own. Unlike Strained Superego, though, this one makes extremely clear sense as to how it synergizes with Luminary's deck. Devices are your most regular attackers, particularly the Regression Turret, but getting something when you destroy them for whatever reason? That's even better.
  • Terralunar Translocator: Of the three Doomsday Devices in Luminary's deck, this one I would argue is the strongest out there. Unconditional destroy effects are rare and expensive, and here is one that can just... do that to a bare minimum of 7 targets. That is, without a single doubt, absolutely insane. This thing just solves board states. Don't just go for this every single time, though: sometimes you really just need the numbers advantage of Explosive Reconstructor, or the crazy huge spike damage of the Orbital Death-Laser.

Variant Strategies:
Ivana Ramonat: Luminary
So before we get into the genderswapped heroic version here, let's discuss how good base Luminary's Devise power is for setup. And on paper, discarding the top two cards of your deck unless they're Devices doesn't sound great for most heroes, but for Luminary? That's really dang good! Are you really sure you want to change that out for Powered Shock Wave, but single target and weaker, AND one that disincentivizes using the extra effect of the Sabre Battle Drone? Expect a MUCH rockier setup with this variant. That said, she does get a lot more use out of the Explosive Reconstructor.

Last edited by Kalir; 10-04-2018 at 11:41 AM.
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  #195  
Old 10-04-2018, 12:09 PM
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Lifeline

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (Nordidian Sulph-Axe, Orphic Repository, Alien Arcana)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Discharge Lifeforce, Unnatural Upheaval)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Base power, Repair Ley-line, Ley-line Shift)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Infernal Detonator, Cryptic Alignment, Cosmic Immolation, Harrow, Unleash Energy)
  • Deck Control: No

Next up, we have Deadline, finally at his remorseful edgy antihero version that we all knew was coming sooner or later. With access to both alien tech and blood magic, Lifeline is a very powerful hero in many ways, but all that power comes at a cost or several. He's not super tricky to figure out, just make sure you know what you're getting into.

Strengths:
  • All-Out Damage: Y'know how Absolute Zero can put out ridiculous levels of damage if you don't care about that pesky little detail of his health total? Lifeline is like that. He has a lot of ways of dealing damage all throughout his deck, and if he really gets flashy with it via Cosmic Immolation, he can start throwing out hammer blows the way Chrono-Ranger does with Hunter and Hunted. What's more, Lifeline is equally capable of fighting single or multiple targets, no problem.
  • Card Draw: Nobody doesn't like card draw, and Lifeline brings a very healthy amount to the table. Hell, his base power also lets other heroes get some free card draw out of it, too! What's even better is Matter Manipulator, which lets you turn card draws into power uses, and his ability to easily recover his stuff from the trash. Lifeline's answer to heavy disruption villains is just to go "eh it's fine I can just play that next turn anyway".

Weaknesses:
  • Card Play Dependent: Lifeline is stuck in that awkward spot between wanting to use card plays for setup and wanting to use them for super rad one-shots. And while he has a few one-shots that chain into more card plays, they're not common or cheap to use. Sure, you'll draw your hand to a nice plump size very quickly, but you won't have that many ways of getting all of those cards to actually do something for you.
  • Costly: Lifeline has a lot of cards that deal himself damage, and you will want to play all of those cards because they're pretty dang good. Lifeline also needs to discard cards to fuel some of his stronger effects, like Cryptic Alignment or Infernal Detonator (technically). Lifeline ALSO wants to be the one to secure kills whenever possible, so as to get the benefits of the Vitality Battery and the extra effect of the Nordidian Sulph-Axe. Always pay attention to how much your options will cost you, and any possible measures you can take to shave that cost.

Notable Cards
  • Cosmic Immolation: A drastic damage booster and card draw accelerator for a character with lots of attacks and a need for lots of cards. This card is addictive as HELL, and if you have enough of your setup in place it can stay out for a pretty decent amount of time. Still, all that unstoppable power only works as long as you can support it. Don't be afraid to trash it when needed (ideally via Unnatural Upheaval so you still get that start of turn draw).
  • Infernal Detonator: Omni-Cannon but better. It activates the damage from it on destroy, so villain disruption just trips it early, plus it's irreducible, plus you can throw down as many as 5 cards if needed. And Lifeline has comparable card draw to Bunker, too. Only real catch is that there's only the one in his deck and it smashes on use, but that's what trash recovery is for, right?
  • Enclave's Tech: Fish for equipment, Lifeline has rare and powerful equipment with virtually no duds, what's not to like? I think the thing that most players would easily miss is the whole trash shuffling thing. It's generally good, don't get me wrong, but if you were expecting to use your Haunting Memories to get something key out of there that you lost, maybe do that before asking the Enclave for help.

Variant Strategies:
Blood Mage Lifeline
What's that? You don't have enough crazy powerful attacks? HOW ABOUT SOME MORE? Starting off with effectively a Grievous Hail Storm as a base power is as good as it sounds, but even so, I would only recommend this for players who are already familiar with base Lifeline. Remember, you're also losing the speedier card draw of your base power, and every shot of Vitae Strike hurts you too. Still a good variant, just... be careful.
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  #196  
Old 10-09-2018, 12:26 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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La Comodora

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (Cannon Portal, Future-Tech Deck Gun)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Take Time)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Base power, Brig Teleporter, Temporal Rigging, Timeless Treasure, Harnessed Anomaly, Paradoja Figurehead, Chronological Sweetspot)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Weigh Anchor, Run Aground)
  • Deck Control: No

Probably one of the less expected heroic turns, La Comodora doesn't handle much like how you'd expect her to, given her villainous deck. Gone is the crew and the rampant theft of artifacts. Instead, the focus here is on supporting her new crew (i.e. the other heroes) and all of the power of La Paradoja Magnifica that she can maintain at any given time.

Like The Scholar, La Comodora has a pretty decent amount of powerful cards she can have in play, although there's no keyword for it like his Elemental cards. Also like these Elemental cards, she has to discard at the start of each turn to maintain her equipment. You won't be at full setup every time, but that's okay. The stuff you have will still be pretty handy.

Strengths:
  • Team Support: It's not very sustained due to the above cost, but La Comodora can provide a lot of help for her team in several ways. Her base power, of course, lets you recover things from any hero trash (eventually, assuming no shuffles), and there's tons of things that buff up hero options in a few ways. You have damage boosting, accelerating card draw and play, and more. Time corsairs make for very good helpers.
  • Setup Fluidity: You have your high setup characters, like Benchmark, Argent Adept, and the Wraith. You have low setup characters, like Mr. Fixer and Tachyon. And then you have a few characters who can do decently in either direction. La Comodora is one of the more flexible characters in this category, who COULD have a giant set of stuff out fueled by constant discards and her decent card draw, or you could just keep things in and out of play, eventually building up in another direction as your stuff is destroyed, eventually getting a good Run Aground in.

Weaknesses:
  • Card Draw Dependent: La Comodora's card draw is a little bit better than the Scholar's, but not by that much and even then situationally. Everything about his setup and its flaws applies to La Comodora as well. There will occasionally be some times where you will only have your gear out for a scant single turn, often absorbing a disruption effect, and then assuming that it dies anyway. Without extra card draw, you'll be doing this a lot.
  • Indirect Support: While La Comodora has a lot of cool support options, most of them take a while to really come up as actually helpful, or affect the game in some very minor ways. You're a little like a hybrid support character, actually: helping the team out both by fighting directly, sort of, and by increasing their own capabilities, sort of.

Notable Cards
  • Shipshape: It took me a bit to figure out exactly how this card helps you out that much, and part of it still sort of mystifies me. Obviously, following up your first discard each turn with a card draw is great, both for countering forced discards and keeping up with the cost of sustaining all of your cool ship equipment. The other part of this card, though, about bouncing cards you have to the top of your deck and then playing it... none of her equipment or ongoing cards have an effect when played. It mostly just lets you trip any effects that would happen when a card is played, which you normally don't want to do. I guess it makes getting the Chaos Lord title easier??
  • Run Aground: As far as spike damage built up over time goes, this is one of the better ones. You have about as much mill capacity as Tachyon does, and while there's not going to be that much equipment thrown into your trash, you usually don't need to get the full... what, 17 maximum damage? In fact, since this card lets you shuffle any amount and the damage is irreducible, you can actually partition the damage between plays of this quite elegantly, using exactly enough damage to take down troublesome targets.
  • Concordant Helm: Your centerpiece of your entire deck, obviously. Changing the order of the phases of your turn is pretty nice for sure, but the other effect of this card is nice for the same reason Shipshape's extra effect is technically a viable thing. Blocking card draw hurts, and yet here you have a way of, at the end of your turn, adding a card to your hand via a mechanic that never once actually says "draw", letting you keep your hand size healthy without tripping all of those annoying drawblocks.

Variant Strategies:
La Comodora: Curse of the Black Spot
So in exchange for having a sort of good trash recovery as a base power, you get a basic 2 damage attack plus a single deck mill of your choice. It's not a bad variant at all, and La Comodora is not so dependent on her base power that this Black Spot variant dearly misses it. The most nuance here comes from deciding which deck to mill. Be mindful of which villains you're facing, and remember that your own deck is never really an outright bad idea, especially if you have Run Aground or the Concordant Helm.
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  #197  
Old 10-09-2018, 12:38 PM
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Egarwaen Egarwaen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
Shipshape: It took me a bit to figure out exactly how this card helps you out that much, and part of it still sort of mystifies me. Obviously, following up your first discard each turn with a card draw is great, both for countering forced discards and keeping up with the cost of sustaining all of your cool ship equipment. The other part of this card, though, about bouncing cards you have to the top of your deck and then playing it... none of her equipment or ongoing cards have an effect when played. It mostly just lets you trip any effects that would happen when a card is played, which you normally don't want to do. I guess it makes getting the Chaos Lord title easier??
It almost feels like a downside; since otherwise the card's a very powerful "optionally cycle 1 at the start of your turn" effect?
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  #198  
Old 10-09-2018, 01:55 PM
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Maybe. There's a lot of choices in this game that don't really click until several shots of playing that character, like playing Termi-Nation Absolute Zero literally ever.
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  #199  
Old 10-09-2018, 02:04 PM
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Egarwaen Egarwaen is offline
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Maybe. There's a lot of choices in this game that don't really click until several shots of playing that character, like playing Termi-Nation Absolute Zero literally ever.
So apparently the point is that it lets her manipulate the order of her start-of-turn effects.
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  #200  
Old 10-15-2018, 04:28 PM
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Akash'Thriya

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: No
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Accelerate Nature's Order, Creeping Mold, Strangling Roots)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (One With The Land, Healing Pollen, Strangling Roots, Akash'Flora)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Rapid Growth)
  • Deck Control: Yes (Primeval Germination, Earth's Attunement, Cultivation, As The Earth Turns)

Akash'Bhuta, as a villain, had an incredible amount of synergy with the environment deck, moreso than any other villain in the game, which lent to the feeling of fighting an embodiment of nature itself. Akash'Thriya does the same thing, but this time turning the environment deck towards your own ends as a hero. She is not a fast or direct hero, but in any game where she exists, you are the best environment specialist in the game, hands down.

This is largely due to her Primordial Seed cards, which generally apply their effects at two times: when destroyed (not hard as they all have 3 HP) and when played from the environment deck. How do you get cards from your deck to there? We'll see.

Strengths:
  • High HP: First off: Akash'Thriya has 50 base health. Yeah, that's right, no typo there, I said 50 and I meant it. This doesn't matter a lot against most villains since you'll lose that health quickly, but it does mean that if you have access to healing effects, Akash'Thriya can always use them, and if you have environments with a lot of second-highest targeting and a relatively low max health villain, you're already ahead of the game there.
  • Environment Deck Control: And by "deck control" I mean dilution, because you will be able to jam your cards into the environment deck until you're basically running two decks. It starts off slow, with you generally putting Primordial Seeds into the environment trash, and then eventually shuffling the environment trash in. But it speeds up very quickly, believe you me. Essentially turning the environment deck into an offshoot of Akash'Thriya is exactly what to expect here.

Weaknesses:
  • Slow Setup: This is different from the slow setup of, say, Argent Adept, who needs a giant pile of cards in front of him to function. Instead, your setup takes time because of how long it takes to dilute the environment deck. The less it is diluted, the weaker your auxiliary effects will be. You can still contribute a little, but technically so can module-less Absolute Zero, and he would really rather not do that.
  • Self-Damaging: Your healing capabilities are okay, but not especially amazing, and even with 50 max HP, you will notice the taxing effects of your own cards, not to mention the higher proportion of attacks aimed at you to start out. Akash'Thriya REALLY wants someone on standby who can keep her health total up, because that health will be gone much faster than you want it to be.

Notable Cards
  • Scatter Seeds: Your speed setup option. Yeah, you have to discard as many cards as you draw, but that's hardly an issue when most of them will go into the environment trash anyway after the fact. Do note that if you take damage from other sources on the turn you play this (perhaps by getting another card play) the draw effect of this gets even stronger. And while most heroes wouldn't really want to draw and then discard their entire deck, Akash'Thriya would totally love to do that.
  • One With The Land: Perhaps the most essential piece of kit that Akash'Thriya can have active. As long as this is out, Primordial Seeds that are destroyed go right back to the environment trash, reducing the amount of self-damaging upkeep you have to do to keep the environment deck stacked in your favor. It also lets you protect the heroes from other environment cards that aren't under your control, letting you play a little more fast and loose with accelerating the deck when you don't have your card backs sitting reassuringly on top.
  • Akash'Flora: The most iconic support option in your deck, and yet another reason why Akash'Thriya loves healing, because this sucker can retain healing over its max HP. Once its health has gotten up to comfortable levels, you can start turning it into out-of-turn power uses for the rest of your team, and as I'm sure you already know, out-of-turn shenanigans are good shenanigans. That said, the healing effect on this is weak, and one of its two targeted uses is almost always going to Akash'Thriya, so don't expect this to be a direct health battery.

Variant Strategies:
Akash'Thriya: Spirit of the Void
Oh no, a cost of 10 max HP, whatever will we do. Despite having draw or play baked into the Essence Eruption base power compared to the only draw of the Dormant Essence base power of the original version, I would argue that Spirit of the Void has a harder time setting up since it can't get cards into the environment trash as easily. Of course, it's a moot point, because Essence Eruption also means you don't necessarily have to put your Primordial Seeds into the environment deck in the first place for them to be effective. You can just throw them out and pretend you're playing a tower defense game, with each one giving you another attack. (And if you get Thrashing Brambles out? Oh boy!)
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  #201  
Old 10-24-2018, 11:17 AM
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The Harpy

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (base power, Conjured Aura, Harpy Hex, Huginn & Muninn)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Uncontrollable Flock)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Swift Summoning, Applied Numerology)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Arcane Explosion, Directed Strike, Mystical Outburst)
  • Deck Control: No

Last, but not least, our final hero from Sentinels of the Multiverse is a heroic version of the Matriarch (which is ironic considering that the bulk of her story arc has been as the Harpy, apparently). She no longer relies on her mask to control an infinite amount of birds, but she still has that motif to her, now tempered by magical training from the resident magic expert of Sentinel Comics, Nightmist.

The Harpy's magic is unpredictable and tricky to master, as represented by a set of 5 Control tokens. These have an Arcane and an Avian side each, and her cards will flip these tokens and check how many she has to determine various effects. Broadly speaking, if she has more Arcane tokens, you can expect a more stable, defensive character, while more Avian tokens is the opposite, but of course this is not a rule set in stone.

Strengths:
  • Constant Damage: Generally speaking, any time the Harpy does virtually anything, expect some damage to come out of it. It's not very much damage each time, but you will be constantly throwing out those chip hits, arguably faster than any other hero in the game (including the likes of Chrono-Ranger and Fanatic). This will vary as your Control tokens fluctuate, but generally speaking you can expect the Harpy's turn to throw out several instances of 1 damage, occasionally more.
  • Disruption Resistant: This applies in a few ways. First off: your Control tokens can only ever be affected by your own deck, the bulk of which is one-shots. With most of your one-shots being attack moves, you aren't tied to having your full setup out to do damage. And while your setup certainly helps in a lot of ways, there's no pieces out that you flat-out need the way so many other heroes do. It is entirely plausible that you can just swing for the fences without using a single Ongoing card all game (if perhaps not ideal).

Weaknesses:
  • Low Base Damage: This is the same problem that plagues Fanatic and Chrono-Ranger, but unlike them, the Harpy has precious few ways around this limitation. A single point of damage reduction is a massive barrier for your ability to deal damage, and without that damage, you only have a smattering of iffy support abilities (albeit ones that consume your power uses, which are easier for you to give up) to work with.
  • Hard To Control: It wouldn't be any fun if all of your whole uncontrollable-themed powers didn't have SOME backlash, but weirdly, that doesn't seem to be as big a factor as you'd expect. That said, your cards all want your Control tokens to be in fairly different positions, and if you can't get them where they need to be, your hand could be nonthreatening to your foes, or too threatening to you. Either get used to throwing cards at less-than-full effectiveness, or get used to drawing two if your hand sucks.

Notable Cards
  • Harpy Hex: Granting a free 1 damage attack whenever you do something ridiculously common with your deck? Yes please and thank you. Of all the ongoings in your deck, I'd argue that this one is the most important to get out and maintain if possible. It also does some damage when it comes in, but that's mostly just a consolation prize for not playing one of your accelerator cards or actual attack one-shots.
  • Applied Numerology: A neat card, but not for the effect you're thinking of. The Harpy's powers are by and large unimpressive, and hacking their numbers doesn't do a whole lot to make them better. The recoil reduction is the real prize here. It makes Arcane Explosion, or any similar attack that has team backlash on it, much safer to wield. It's conditional, so you don't have to mess with heroes who actually want to cause friendly fire. And it happens on every hero target, every turn. Against villains who regularly force self-damage, like Miss Information, the Harpy is the best tank in the game.
  • Huginn & Muninn: We can't just ignore the bird friends, although truth be told they're not actually that essential to your turn. About the best thing you can say for them is that they're a damage booster for the Harpy, but they only boost your auxiliary damage type. That said, the end of turn Control flip or damage isn't bad either, and being tied to an auxiliary target means that even if the Harpy's damage is blocked, it's a quick fix. And as ever, auxiliary targets are great for eating up deadly attacks aimed at lowest health, and Calling the Flock makes Huginn & Muninn fairly survivable.

Variant Strategies:
Dark Watch Harpy
As ever, you have to factor in that you're trading away the reliable damage of Arcane Blast, and when most of your attacks are 1 damage, having one that deals 2 damage can be sorely missed. That said, I consider the Dark Watch variant here the stronger one. Being able to finetune your Control tokens much more flexibly with your power uses, and also letting you play a card if you want? This works out great for the Harpy, who doesn't have quite enough card plays to really get set up or make full use of her various one-shots.

And that's it! That's almost everything to talk about with Sentinels of the Multiverse. All that remains is OblivAeon itself, and I hope you'll pardon me, but I need a bit of time to really figure that one out, probably play a couple more games of it to see how to really have a shot at winning it. (So far, I've won one of the three games, and the one I won was insanely close.)
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