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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 01-23-2017, 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 01-23-2017, 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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  #154  
Old 01-25-2017, 03:52 PM
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Temple of Zhu Long

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (Mysterious Ceremonies, Rites of Revival)
  • Hero Disruption: No
  • Field Damage Modifiers: No
  • Villain Acceleration: Yes (Resurrection Ritual)
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Apprentice Poisoner, The True Form)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Master of the Temple, The True Form)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

Man, been a while since we've had an environment that doesn't try super hard to overwrite the rules of the game in play, huh? The Temple of Zhu Long has some really unique and interesting mechanics to it, but in practice it's not that bad. It will often be helpful, even if they're on their own side in the same way the Enclave of the Endlings or Omnitron IV is its own side, and it will rarely be so dangerous that it demands your attention to handle.

Good Strategies:
  • High Card Draw: This isn't extremely essential, since Mysterious Ceremonies has very good draw support for heroes, but it's nice to use that time to play a card out of turn instead. Moreover, the Rites of Revival, while they are a super nice panic button, are expensive. Play as heroes who can rapidly draw up cards to really get the most out of the Temple of Zhu Long. Yes, the Shinobi Assassin can punish that a bit, but they're more likely to go after villain targets than hero.
  • Damage Reduction: The only way that the Temple of Zhu Long can pose a threat to you is by dealing damage. The only form of villain acceleration is an end of turn revive, if and only if two specific cards are in play and have been left in play for a while. Moreover, the Temple of Zhu Long likes both low-damage area spam and double-typed attacks, both of which are excellently handled by even a single point of damage reduction. Smoke Bombs, in particular, are amazing here for their ability to reduce AND redirect for low-health hero targets. (Or they would be if they worked on environment damage. How the hell am I supposed to know, I never play the Wraith.)

Bad Strategies:
  • Indiscriminate Area Attacks: The Shinobi Assassin is only able to attack after it gets defeated, and the Apprentice Poisoner does an area attack when it's defeated. Hitting the entire field gives them more opportunities to throw damage, which can make even the safest wide-scale attacks like Grievous Hail Storm and Disruptive Flechettes have a bit of a backlash cost to them. And besides which, Master of the Temple will do enough of that to the villains as well as to your team. Selectively targeted multi-attacks are better than area attacks here.
  • Environment Deck Control: First: the Temple of Zhu Long is not so dangerous that you need to sort out its good cards from its bad ones, the way you might with Rook City. Second: the Shinobi Assassin explicitly counters this by entering play (and attacking) when revealed by any means, which means looking at the top cards of the deck will get you ninja ambushed. Just let the deck do its own thing.

Notable Cards
  • Shinobi Assassin: Can't discuss this deck without looking at this card. The main thing is that there are a lot of ways for it to enter the field after entering someone's deck (or even before), up to and including top-deck environment reveals like environment deck control, or even Mysterious Ceremonies. However, one thing the Shinobi Assassin CAN'T respond to is deck shuffling. Using one of your deck-search tools can throw the Shinobi Assassin away for a LONG time.
  • Rites of Revival: Granting heroes the ability to revive fallen heroes is STUPIDLY STRONG. But it's not as broken as it seems on paper. First off, heroes revived this way can't damage environment targets (but they can still damage revived heroes, and revived heroes can still use destroy effects). Second, have you ever tried to discard H+2 cards when down a hero? Because that HURTS. And finally, if you're in a bad enough state that you really need a hero revived, it's debatable whether bring them back with zero setup and a paltry 2 card hand is going to really help.
  • The True Form: Single Target Char: Now with Mr. Fixer nemesis! They can get extra attacks off of Master of the Temple, but all of its attacks are toxic/radiant dual attacks, so any damage reduction effects you have apply double here. Both the innate attack and the Master of the Temple area attack trigger another card play from the environment, but honestly the Temple of Zhu Long has a lot of dead or beneficial cards, so this isn't nearly as scary as other self-accelerating environments.

Last edited by Kalir; 02-01-2017 at 02:00 PM.
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  #155  
Old 01-26-2017, 09:48 PM
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Court of Blood

Checklist
  • Hero Support: No
  • Hero Disruption: No
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Unhallowed Halls, Matron Erszi)
  • Villain Acceleration: No
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Blood Countess Bathory, Angry Mob, Dame Katarina, Relict Dorotya)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Angry Mob, Infecting an Heir, Relict Dorotya)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

Like the Temple of Zhu Long, this place isn't very complex at all. It's pretty much just vampires and cards based around vampires. However, the Court of Blood manages to be significantly less friendly than the Temple of Zhu Long, largely because it has a lot more ways for them to tilt the field in their favor. It's another environment that is basically on its own team, so you can still leverage it against enemies, but that doesn't make it a cakewalk.

Good Strategies:
  • Damage Type Modification: First off, this helps because it means you can easily hit the obvious weakness of the vampires, that being radiant damage. Second, it helps more than just bringing actual radiant-typed attacks because Unhallowed Halls can both render it useless and make infernal damage stronger (and in what is becoming a very alarming trend, it can't be destroyed except by outright environment destruction effects or the Angry Mob). Heroes who can freely change the damage type they deal can get a lot done in the Court of Blood.
  • Evenhanded Attacks: While Blood Countess Bathory prioritizes heroes, all of the other hostile cards in here are just as okay with fighting villains as they are with fighting heroes. Leverage that, but don't let the vampires build up to become a bigger threat than the villains. They can stack up a LOT of powerful methods of attrition, especially with Unhallowed Halls locking off healing for non-Vampires and Dowager Ilona boosting their own healing capabilities whenever they deal damage.

Bad Strategies:
  • Healing Dependency: Unhallowed Halls has no built in destroy effect. That in and of itself is reason enough to not play heroes who rely on healing. It's okay to have a hero who occasionally uses healing, they don't really punish it so much as just block it, but the fact that Unhallowed Halls exists means that you can't guarantee that your healing will survive, especially since it's got two copies. Like... that's really about all I have to say. I guess it means that any villains who rely on healing (like Bugbear or Citizen Dawn) also can have a lot of trouble here.
  • Leaving Vampires Alive: Again, the Court of Blood can stack up a lot of things that help Vampires stay alive longer and do more damage. The best solution to this is to make sure that there aren't that many Vampires around to work with. Hunter Fulepet and the Angry Mob helps with this, of course, and outside of villain environment wipes there's not much stopping them from sticking around for a long time, but they're not going to do everything themselves.

Notable Cards
  • Blood Countess Bathory: I'm really only bringing her up because she's a Fanatic nemesis, but that's about it. Her double attack is just as prone to damage reduction as any other, although she can amp up half of it with Unhallowed Halls and each damage instance can become healing via Dowager Ilona. Fanatic can do boatloads of damage to her, but only if she doesn't feel like using Consecrated Ground on her (although she's going to save it for Unhallowed Halls, let's be real).
  • Angry Mob: An area attack for 1 melee and 1 fire is annoying, but not impossible. What's important is that these guys have built in environment destruction, but ONLY if there's no Vampires out. This isn't going to be the case very often, but it's also the only built in way you have to destroy Unhallowed Halls (and it's somewhat less expensive to clean up Infecting an Heir than letting it trigger the combo attack). If you can reduce their damage somehow, even with a single Mega Computer, these guys are great to have around!
  • Infecting an Heir: This is your biggest argument for leaving minions alive. The follow-up attack is infernal damage, too, so it gets the boost from Unhallowed Halls as well, but that boost only happens if the vampire actually hits a character instead of just a target. Additionally, this card only does damage if a Vampire is around to execute the attack, and this card only destroys itself if the follow-up attack happens. Outside of Unhallowed Halls, this is probably your biggest choice for an environment destroy effect.
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  #156  
Old 01-27-2017, 04:59 PM
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Magmaria

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (Crystal Collector, Ember Shaman, Inner Core Tunneler, Seismic Defender, Stone Shaper)
  • Hero Disruption: Yes (Fiery Crystallization)
  • Field Damage Modifiers: No
  • Villain Acceleration: No
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Crystalloid Behemoth)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Fiery Crystallization, Crystalloid Behemoth)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

Here's a place I really like. Magmaria is one of my favorite environments for being a place that is dangerous to everyone, but which can offer incredible benefit for the heroes if properly handled. It's kind of like a more modern version of the Ruins of Atlantis in that way. The only disappointing thing is that a few heroes have ways to all but nullify the threat this environment deals, but even outside of that, it's a neat place.

The central mechanic of Magmaria is that its citizens, the Magmarians, will do very handy things for the heroes if provided with Magma Crystals. Getting Magma Crystals hurts, but each different Magmarian provides a lot of different ways to seriously help the team out. It's not exactly safe to leave the Magmarians out and about, but if you have the capability to work with them, they can be very helpful indeed.

Good Strategies:
  • Fire Damage Response: The biggest threat in Magmaria, bar none, is the huge amounts of field-wide fire damage it throws around from Fiery Crystallization (and to a lesser extent, the Crystalloid Behemoth and Smoldering Crystal). Having ways to respond to fire damage makes them much easier. Ra and the Naturalist both make this incredibly easy with Flesh of the Sun God and Environmental Allies respectively, but sometimes you don't want an outright immunity (because that makes it impossible to pick up Smoldering Crystals). Occasionally you might just prefer a hero who can respond well to taking fire damage, like Absolute Zero or Omnitron-X.
  • Environment Destruction: Fiery Crystallization has no built-in destroy effect, and it's a card with two copies that you REALLY don't want hanging around for longer than necessary (THIS SEEMS FAMILIAR SOMEHOW). However, even outside of that, having lots of environment destroy effects comes in handy for taking down Crystalloid Behemoths easily and getting rid of Magmarians you don't intend to use the services of. Most of these guys have pretty beefy HP totals that you won't really want to devote multiple attacks to.

Bad Strategies:
  • Equipment Dependence: Fiery Crystallization destroys equipment cards based on the number of Magmarians in play, and again, it has two copies and no destroy effect. No, I don't want to play Expatriette or Bunker when the environment can field a worse Pervasive Red Dust, thanks. If you flat out need equipment for your hero to function, you better hope you have REALLY good environment control if you're in Magmaria.
  • No Equipment Cards: By that same token, it's really hard to leverage the Magmarians if you don't have Magma Crystals to trade, and that is doubly hard to do if you're relying solely on the environment deck to get them. Your best bet here is to have characters with equipment they like, but don't necessarily need. Sky-Scraper is probably my main choice here, but I could also see arguments made for Chrono-Ranger, Fanatic, Haka, Nightmist, Tempest, and Unity.

Notable Cards
  • Smoldering Crystal: While the Crystalloid Behemoth only requires that it be destroyed (hell, you could have the villain do it for you), the Smoldering Crystal can only enter a player's hand at the end of the environment turn, and only if they take the damage from the pickup. As mentioned above, the best characters to do this with are characters like Omnitron-X or Absolute Zero, who can downplay the fire damage they take and leverage it in another way. Unfortunately, these two characters are among the hardest hit by Fiery Crystallization, so be on top of destroying environment cards if you go this route!
  • Seismic Defender: All of the Magmarians have useful services to grant, but I think this guy is most important to examine. If you want them to fight a single target multiple times, you have to space this out over several turns, since their effect targets X different non-Magmarians depending on Magma Crystals discarded. That said, if you have ways to amplify the damage they deal to a specific target, they can put a serious hurt on them. 3 melee and 3 fire damage is KIND OF NUTS.
  • Crystalloid Behemoth: The damage this guy deals when entering play is melee damage, so fire damage response isn't as good against them as it is against the Magmarians, at least at first. However, the only other time it deals damage is when a hero uses a power. You'll have to make the judgement call for yourself whether taking the extra fire damage is worth the power use, just like when fighting Spite. Then again, if you're already equipped to handle fire damage, like you ought to be in Magmaria, that's not a huge problem at all. Or, again, you can let the villain kill the Crystalloid Behemoth off for you, that still totally counts.
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  #157  
Old 01-30-2017, 11:33 PM
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First off, I'd like to say that given recent political events, I'm super glad that the devs for this game are trying to do the right thing. It's really easy for these sorts of things to come off as preachy or hokey, and maybe it kind of does here, but I'm still glad to see it. Anyway, to the meat.

Madame Mittermeier's Fantastical Festival of Conundrums and Curiosities

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (All-Seeing Alzrabar, World's Largest Pool Table, Maze of Mirrors)
  • Hero Disruption: Yes (Freak Show, Maze of Mirrors)
  • Field Damage Modifiers: No
  • Villain Acceleration: No
  • Hostile Targets: No
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: Yes (Unstable Midway, You Won't Believe Your Eyes!)
  • Alternate Loss Condition: No

Did you like the concept behind Freedom Tower, as an environment where there are no other targets to fight, but wish it had a bit more kick to it? Madame Mittermeier's Fantastical Festival of Conundrums and Curiosities is here to fix that problem, in the face, with a lead pipe. With ridiculous self-acceleration, a wide variety of dangerous cards, and precious few destroy conditions built in, you're gonna find this place to be a dangerous uphill battle.

Good Strategies:
  • Environment Destruction: This is a "good strategy" in the same way that bringing fast-acting heroes to an Iron Legacy match is a "good strategy". Namely, if you DON'T bring some degree of environment destruction to this environment, you are going to lose. Simple as that. Again, there are some cards that provide destroy conditions, but most of them are pretty painful, and it only gets worse the more Attractions are out. It's simply not feasible to destroy them as they come up with built-in effects.
  • Damage Reduction: This is kind of hard to do since a lot of the damage done here will be self-inflicted, but Madame Mittermeier's doesn't actually have that much to threaten you outside of damage and rapid card acceleration. It has a LOT of both, though, and it's pretty persistent and heavy about it, so this won't keep you safe for long. However, the fact that the villains will get hit almost as much as you can work things out in your favor if you are adequately tanky.

Bad Strategies:
  • Damage Boosting: Far and away, the bulk of the damage from this environment is self-inflicted, which in turn means that any damage boosts you apply to yourself will then be leveraged against you, frequently multiple times in an environment turn. Running Legacy in most cases is fairly safe and overpowered, but I'd argue that they're one of the hardest characters to function with in Madame Mittermeier's.
  • Reducing Villain Damage: This swings both ways. Villains don't like Madame Mittermeier's any more than heroes do, they just hate it slightly less. Don't go out of your way to dilute the damage they'll deal, for the same reason you shouldn't boost your own damage: you want every instance of self-inflicted damage that's happening to them to happen at full force, right? Turtle up if you must, but leave the villains alone to hurt themselves.

Notable Cards
  • Maze of Mirrors: The first part is the meanest part. The first attack anything does gets bounced right back to the recipient. For some heroes, like Mr. Fixer, this is a hard wall that you have no way around (since this card lacks a destroy condition), but for some heroes it's more manageable. The second part, where any text saying "villain" on hero cards now reads "hero", seems scary at first until you realize that there's not that many instances of that happening. Really, it just makes most deck control methods into deckstacking for your team and invalidates a very small amount of hero cards as direct attacks.
  • Freak Show: Blocking a target from dealing damage sounds really awful, and in many cases it is. However, for heroes that don't rely on damage to do their job, this card becomes an amazing built in defense against the rest of the environment deck. Better yet, the destroy condition on here is RIDICULOUSLY lenient: just discard 2 cards at literally any time you want to destroy this card. You can even do it in response to another card granting you a damage instance if you want (like, say, Catch a Ride).
  • You Won't Believe Your Eyes!: Two copies of this card, both Attractions. There's a total of 10 attractions in the deck. How do you feel about everyone dealing themselves 10 damage, twice? Again, I should point out that this card applies to villains too (unless you blocked them from doing damage, and DON'T DO THAT HERE). I don't think that's a good enough case for you to ramp up all ten Attractions that hard, but it'll probably happen on accident anyway. Be very careful with this one, and unless there's an environment acceleration card out or the Maze of Mirrors is making fighting impossible, prioritize destroying this.
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  #158  
Old 03-23-2017, 11:47 AM
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The app has just added Challenge Mode, giving each villain an extra layer of SCREW YOU PAL. I'll probably add all of those to the posts here over the next few days once I finish the Ittle Dew LP.

Also we got us some new variants to hunt down, Termi-Nation for each of Bunker, Absolute Zero, and Unity. Have fun!
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  #159  
Old 03-23-2017, 01:17 PM
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Termi-Nation Unity is nuts in a completely different way from regular Unity. Harder to get rolling, but once she's cycled through a few good golems she basically never stops.
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  #160  
Old 04-01-2017, 09:27 PM
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Aww yeahhhh

Iron Legacy can be cheesed pretty easily with this party; the win isn't TOO impressive on its own, even if it's on Ultimate. The real fun here was bursting him down with Tempest in basically a single turn, thanks to Vicious Cyclone, Electrical Storm, and Prime Wardens Tempest's nearly unlimited card plays (all at +4 due to various boosts).
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  #161  
Old 05-30-2017, 08:22 PM
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Chokepoint

Danger Levels
  • Minions: Low
  • Direct Offense: Middling
  • Disruption: High
  • Defenses: Middling
  • Ongoings: Low
  • Deck Randomness: Low
  • Nemesis: Termi-Nation (Absolute Zero, Bunker, Unity)

UGH FINE I guess I can do the last solo villain now. Chokepoint is probably the easiest disruption-focused villain, which says a lot considering she has a lot of disruption effects (specifically equipment). I feel like she makes an even better intro villain for most players in that vein than Omnitron does. Yeah, she can hit really hard when she needs to, and she can get set up pretty heavily if you let her, but she doesn't run her deck at Mach 3, doesn't hit the field for H+1 damage, she doesn't blow up literally everything with a single card play... way better at teaching players how to deal with disruption.

Ferro-Kineticist
A lot of Chokepoint's cards will put more cards in her play area, and on this side, any non-character targets she takes down go here first (and she has a number of ways to aim at lowest, so be careful). She'll flip once she accumulates enough stuff here, but aside from that, all she has on this side is a bog-standard H-1 swing at the highest HP hero. Whatever. She's one of those villains who will flip eventually whether you like it or not, and this side isn't especially flashy.

Advanced: Oh, she takes a card from the largest player hand and throws it in front of her? That's... moderately annoying? But still not a huge deal, just means she'll flip faster. I guess it means you want to emphasize card draw more than usual, to keep your team from being stagnated to death.

Armored Animus
So here she's stolen all your junk and is using it against you. Every deck she has a card from, she gets a boost to damage and defense against (which counts the environment she has very likely stolen cards from). She no longer autosteals cards by destroying targets, and she trashes one face-down card in front of her each turn, so in theory she can flip back eventually (in practice, you'll win first). Really, the big problem is that she hits FAR harder on this side, at H+1 (and that's likely with another damage boost from her stuff). Hope you can take a beating and dish it out in turn!

Advanced: The first hero card discarded each turn gets taken away. This doesn't really synergize with the Ferro-Kineticist Advanced benefit at all, it mostly just works to keep heroes who would discard for whatever reason from ever ditching Chokepoint's boost vs. them. Be careful when using heroes that like to discard cards frequently, like Haka, Fanatic, or Parse.

Challenge - Steel-Singer: Any non-villain cards destroyed for whatever reason go to Chokepoint, and any cards put facedown in her play area give her an area attack for 2 and heal her for 2. Hey look, suddenly she's actually going to be a threat with some respectable damage output, especially on Ultimate mode. Doubly so with all those damage boosts she'll get for taking your stuff (and she'll basically stay on Armored Animus all game). Try not to rely on heroes who have stuff that self-destructs, like Guise or Expatriette, or fight in naturally disruptive environments like Wagner Mars Base.

Good Strategies:
  • High Base Damage: Chokepoint can get a few good damage reducers out and they can be very pervasive, so ideally you want someone that can hit her through her defense. Irreducible damage is also really nice if you have access to it. Between that and her fairly low health of 70, honestly just hitting her in the face really hard is as good a strategy as it gets.
  • High Setup Ceiling Chokepoint can steal your stuff, but she will rarely steal more than a single card a turn per player, if that. Moreover, the more junk you have out, the more freedom of choice you have of what stuff she does steal, and the better equipped you are to punch past her defenses and weather her strong attacks. She tends to favor equipment destruction, but she also has Ireful Grasp and Material Upheaval to punish equipment-free heroes, so I can't really say one or the other is better here.

Bad Strategies:
  • Wide Scale Attacks: Mostly this is just for a lack of targets to hit. The other factor is that the main reason you'd use multitargeting moves is to hit the environment, but Chokepoint will already be doing a fair amount of that herself, and she doesn't get anything tangible out of killing environment cards in the same way, for example, Omnitron or Akash'Bhuta would. Oh no, she gets extra damage and defense vs. environment targets! Anyway yeah, single target damage is the way to go here.
  • Glass Cannons: Chokepoint has a lot of area attacks to keep the pressure on everyone, and you REALLY don't want to be hit with an Empowered Self-Repair when you're in a tight spot, Master. Again, she doesn't have much health, so the temptation to pull out all the stops is there, but it's also wholly unnecessary and easily punished. Just fight at a reasonable pace and you'll do fine.

Notable Cards
  • Kinetic Looter: Generally my rule of thumb re: villains with ongoing cards is "don't let them have ongoing cards", but Kinetic Looter really does the most damage when it enters play. After that, who really cares? Sure, you can't look through your trash for your stuff and that makes the Naturalist very sad, but that's really about the worst of it, since a card in your play area leaving play doesn't usually matter if it's going to Chokepoint or not (especially if she already has some of your cards, like she do).
  • Augmented Energy Field: Stacking a few of these suckers really hurts, and it's an actually good reason to bring ongoing destruction effects, but again, irreducible damage works wonders to get past this. And even if you don't have either, many heroes have ways to build up one giant screw-you blast of damage that can easily hit the magical number 5, even with the reducers in play.
  • Shocking Animation: Got any heroes who use gear that self-destructs for whatever reason? Congrats, you found the perfect candidate for Shocking Animation. And as it happens, there are a lot of equipment-reliant heroes who don't keep their equipment in play for very long. Expatriette spends her Ammo, Sky-Scraper isn't too attached to her Links, Mr. Fixer always has another Tool somewhere, and so forth. Just think creatively about where it can go. Don't forget that Shocking Animation renders the equipment in question a hero target, so if the damage spray would weaken it to 0, good news, nobody else gets hit!
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  #162  
Old 06-02-2017, 12:52 PM
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The Celestial Tribunal

Checklist
  • Hero Support: Yes (Found Wanting, Character Witnesses, Called to Judgment)
  • Hero Disruption: No
  • Field Damage Modifiers: Yes (Celestial Adjudicator)
  • Villain Acceleration: No
  • Hostile Targets: Yes (Celestial Executioner)
  • Indiscriminate Field Damage: No
  • Alternate Loss Condition: Yes (Representative of Earth)

Did you need a bit more courtroom drama in your Sentinels of the Multiverse? Honestly, anyone does. It's a shame that the Celestial Tribunal is their main offering for how to do this, because it's very awkwardly done in terms of mechanics. The good news is that this is another environment that is its own team, so it'll be as aggressive towards the villains as to you. The bad news is the same thing: this one will self-accelerate and put out lots of damage at targets you really don't want hit.

Like the Representative of Earth! This card will take a hero character from the game box of unused heroes and put it on trial with 10 HP. If they die, then the Earth gets a Guilty verdict (which is, as ever, a Game Over). You can use their base power, which is nice, but there are many heroes that don't really work that well if their base power is used by other heroes. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Other characters will also be put on Trials, but they don't instantly lose the game for you, so whatevs.

Good Strategies:
  • Protecting Weak Heroes: The main thing that will cause you to lose in the Celestial Tribunal is the fact that it's going to be constantly swinging at anyone on Trial with their Celestial Executioners. The good news is that the main one that matters, the Representative of Earth, still counts as a hero target and can be protected by anything that would protect them. Use Smoke Bombs, use healing, use Captain Cosmic's entire deck, whatever works, just keep that Representative standing! (Or, y'know, destroy the Trial so they can leave, that works too.)
  • Environment Deck Control: Again, the Celestial Tribunal is totally down to attack villain targets, too! And with four Celestial Executioners going ham at the main villain, you'll find yourself burning down even the beefiest lifebars in no time at all! Anyone who can futz with the environment deck to get them aimed more at the villain than at you should do their best to keep the situation favoring you, because when it does favor you, it favors you REALLY hard.

Bad Strategies:
  • Low-Health Targeting Villains: So, y'know how your heroes don't start the game with 10 health (unless The Sentinels)? Yeah, funny thing about that: any Representative of Earth that shows up is going to get attacked by the villains this way long before any player heroes get attacked. As they say, OADIS IS BAD. Be extremely careful around any villain that has even the slightest chance to aim at lowest health heroes (as well as any area-attacking villains, of course). In the Celestial Tribunal, they can end a fight before it really begins.
  • No Environment Destruction: Dang it, guys, stop making environment cards without built-in destroy conditions! It's extremely unfriendly to new players who don't know each hero deck back-to-back and can swamp even a well-built team because they didn't draw the right cards. Anyway yeah there's a ton of cards and for most of them the destroy condition is "trial target dies", and that just accelerates the environment deck even more. Bring environment destruction.

Notable Cards
  • Character Witnesses: This card and Called to Judgment let one hero use the base power of the Representative of Earth. On paper, this sounds fine, but there are a bunch of issues that come up in practice. Can the hero in the environment just use that power on their own? If yes, what happens when that power involves playing or drawing cards from a deck they can't access? If no, what do you do with resources that hero has which other decks don't use, like Unlucky tokens or Bounty cards? The correct answer, of course, is to not play as rules-lawyers and choose someone that won't bog the game down for like a week. (Basically any Legacy variant is a good brainless option.)
  • Celestial Executioner: This is the only way the environment deck can deal damage, and even then it's only to targets on Trial. That said, it deals 3 damage to each target and there are four of these in the deck (and they accelerate the environment if they can't attack). It's the Dok'Thorath Capital problem all over again, where the big threat is that you're just going to take all the damage every turn. Good news is that these guys only have 6 health and can only get a single source of damage reduction, so if you have attacks to spare, you can burn through them easily enough.
  • Found Wanting: As mentioned, the first one of these should go right next to the main villain of the week (or the one you want to focus down first in Vengeance mode). The second one can be used to focus down whatever auxiliary target you think is most dangerous. (For more on deciding who that is, please attend my seminar, Just Fighting La Capitán Fifty Times In A Row, Except There Are Snacks.) That's really about it: the environment deck accelerates itself enough that if you do destroy a target and therefore this card, it'll be back sooner than you think.
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  #163  
Old 06-02-2017, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
[*]Low-Health Targeting Villains: So, y'know how your heroes don't start the game with 10 health (unless The Sentinels)? Yeah, funny thing about that: any Representative of Earth that shows up is going to get attacked by the villains this way long before any player heroes get attacked. As they say, OADIS IS BAD. Be extremely careful around any villain that has even the slightest chance to aim at lowest health heroes (as well as any area-attacking villains, of course). In the Celestial Tribunal, they can end a fight before it really begins.
Are there any significant number of villains without lowest health attacks? I think everyone has at least a couple, and even one can just plain lose you the game if it comes out at the wrong time.

Even for a difficult environment, the Celestial Tribunal is terribly designed. You have to bring a team that's specifically structured to play by its rules, fight a villain that's not capable of just ending the game by accident under its rules, and even then you might still just lose not because of anything you did or didn't do but because of a single round where the wrong combination of cards pop out. And while environment destruction is good, it needs to be targeted environment destruction, or you just wind up wrecking yourself.

The whole deck would probably be considerably more tolerable if Character Witness was folded in to Representative of Earth. It's clearly supposed to be the balancing factor for the deck, but because of the way the Tribunal AIs work, it's going to spend most of the game in the Environment Trash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
(Basically any Legacy variant is a good brainless option.)
Vanilla Legacy runs into problems because of his power's expiration condition. World's Greatest Legacy is similarly strange. Your best bet is actually probably the Wraith, since there's no weird timing or targeting in her power and it helps protect you against a bad draw ending the game. Mainstay is similarly useful, as is Dr. Medico.
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  #164  
Old 06-02-2017, 02:32 PM
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Galvanize reads "until the start of your next turn", so just have a hero that's not Legacy use it and you're fine. Gung-Ho also doesn't break anything because you can't use the same power twice in one turn, so it only gets the one-and-done use despite who actually uses it.

But again, this is all mostly the deck being poorly considered in how it functions rather than these heroes having poorly worded powers. The fact that there is no real distinction between "hero" and "player" is the crux of the issue as I understand it, but again, the simple answer is to not let arguments about a technicality eat up 15 minutes or more of your playtime. Just find a ruling and run with it.
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  #165  
Old 06-02-2017, 03:35 PM
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Yeah; it's just one more quibble on top of the giant heap of "this environment is not actually fun to play and doesn't seem to function as intended". But still if you want a simple hero to put on trial, Wraith is your best bet.
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  #166  
Old 06-22-2017, 02:52 PM
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The app has now updated to Villains of the Multiverse, including Fugue State Parse and Unstable Kismet (once the iOS version stops being broken).

I will probably celebrate this by adding solo villain variants to Baron Blade, Omnitron, Spite, Gloomweaver, Kismet, and Infinitor soon. Mogri's already sent me a bit of his own thoughts on the first of those, so expect that soon!
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  #167  
Old 07-07-2017, 12:27 PM
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And that's all the villain character write-ups, with the exception of Trickster Kismet's Challenge mode that may not exist.

Once again, all the villains listed in the post just above this one now have strategies spoilerpopped for their variant cards! Each villain has one variant, and they usually improve the fight in terms of either mechanics or difficulty. In Gloomweaver's case, it's both!
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  #168  
Old 07-07-2017, 06:30 PM
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Nice writeups, and a good excuse to re-read the thread.

I really like the flavor behind Heroic Infinitor. Maybe it's not as strong mechanically, but I still love it.
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  #169  
Old 07-23-2017, 12:04 PM
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Going to move on to writing up hero variants. I know I said I was going to wait for the release of OblivAeon to do this, but honestly I'm just bored as hell and don't have much work to do still.

(I would try getting my LPs saved from Photobucket, but right now Photobucket doesn't have images of their own, much less mine, to access.)

I'll only cover released hero variants, which shouldn't be a problem as I have all of them in the app, which is currently ahead of the card game in terms of releases there (as of this writing, you can play Fugue State Parse and Omnitron-U in-app only, not physically). Once OblivAeon hits and I do writeups for all of those jolly fellas, I'll add in the newer variants too.
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  #170  
Old 07-24-2017, 10:13 AM
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I kind of feel like Omnitron-U is categorically worse, so you're not missing out on much there.

(but then I mostly use Omnitron-X as a Unity enabler, so maybe I'm doing it wrong)
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  #171  
Old 07-24-2017, 10:41 AM
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Omnitron-U is bloody amazing. I'll get into detail during their write-up, but, well... y'know how Self-Sabotage does the cool high damage? Imagine that, but also with X instances of 2 fire damage.
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  #172  
Old 08-01-2017, 11:55 PM
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Oh hey, they put some information on what kind of rewards to expect if you clear Missions in OblivAeon. I wonder wh-



?!
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  #173  
Old 08-02-2017, 12:35 AM
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That seems kinda... strong?
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  #174  
Old 08-02-2017, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
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That seems kinda... strong?
You need to complete a quest in order to get it; in particular you need to have two cards with Powers in play that you can afford to take back into your hand.

On the other hand it means that Expatriette's Play A Card power is actually good for something for once, since she can complete it in a turn with two guns in hand.
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  #175  
Old 09-08-2017, 11:24 AM
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I picked up Infernal Relics this week, and this set is on point. Argent Adept is not terribly fun to play but is undeniably one of the strongest heroes in the game, while Nightmist is (intentionally or otherwise) one of the best tanks while also having crazy damage.

The villains are also really excellent. This is the strongest set from a thematic standpoint, and The Ennead and Apostate are wonderful fights mechanically. Meanwhile, if you've ever wanted to run a 100% damage team, here is Challenge Mode Akash'Bhuta and her 200 HP. Stack up your damage modifiers, because you know she's not packing disruption. Just... watch out for the back-to-back Entombs when you have Hunter and Hunted out.

Yes, Gloomweaver is a letdown, but nothing's perfect.

By the way: Kalir's writeup of Tomb of Anubis mentions that Anubis is a nemesis to Ra. That's true, but DID YOU KNOW: Anubis also serves as a nemesis to the Ennead. Since the Ennead can commonly have more targets than you do, Anubis might just be your friend in that fight.
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  #176  
Old 09-08-2017, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
I picked up Infernal Relics this week, and this set is on point. Argent Adept is not terribly fun to play but is undeniably one of the strongest heroes in the game, while Nightmist is (intentionally or otherwise) one of the best tanks while also having crazy damage.

The villains are also really excellent. This is the strongest set from a thematic standpoint, and The Ennead and Apostate are wonderful fights mechanically. Meanwhile, if you've ever wanted to run a 100% damage team, here is Challenge Mode Akash'Bhuta and her 200 HP. Stack up your damage modifiers, because you know she's not packing disruption. Just... watch out for the back-to-back Entombs when you have Hunter and Hunted out.

Yes, Gloomweaver is a letdown, but nothing's perfect.
Akash'Bhuta doesn't have disruption because she has environment acceleration, which turns otherwise-sedate decks into furious hellstorms. And she's got four hate cards and a reasonable amount of damage reduction.

Ennead and Apostate are totally awesome fights; Apostate's one of those rare fights where depending on what he pulls your entire game can wind up being different depending on the ratio of relics to demons.

I actually really enjoy playing Argent Adept; I think of him and Parse as "swiss army knife" characters, but I have an easier time juggling Adept's array of perform effects than Parse's one-shots.
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  #177  
Old 09-15-2017, 09:50 AM
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In the run-up to OblivAeon, they're adding a new variant to the app each Tuesday. Their unlocks still have to be discovered each time, but the first two (Xtreme Prime Wardens Argent Adept and Captain Cosmic) have already been discovered. I'll add each variant to the posts as I unlock them.
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  #178  
Old 10-24-2017, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
[16:17:57] <Kalir> Egarwaen: guise's real name is joseph king
[16:18:01] <Kalir> joe king
[16:18:05] <Kalir> joking
[16:18:11] <Egarwaen> Kalir: ARARARAHGHGHGHHHHHHHHHH
[16:18:18] <Kalir> that was my reaction too
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