As usual, I want to thank Wizards of the Coast for the opportunity to reveal cards from the sure to be exciting and powerful upcoming Transformers TCG set, Titan Masters Attack! Today we get to bring you what I see as one of the most powerful and exciting characters in the set: Beachcomber!
Before I dive into the true legacy of Beachcomber as a Generation One character, let’s look at his surface bio from TFWiki:
Beachcomber has a hard time reconciling his love of peace and freedom for all creatures with the need to combat those who threaten it. Furthermore, however just the cause for which it was fought, the gruesome and destructive aftermath of any battle sickens him to the spark.
Sometimes, when the internal struggle gets too heavy, he simply has to wander into the wilderness and cleanse his soul. Even there, far from civilization, he sometimes finds strange substances to aid the Autobot cause, for Beachcomber is a skilled naturalist, and geology is his specialty, man. He often tries to preserve or even to hide these discoveries, but he has seen too much evil done by the ruthless Decepticons to conceal any possible source of aid completely from his allies.
Beachcomber's geology tools include a wide array of sensors (magnetic, seismic, sonic, infrared) and a 'sonic pick' which can cut through rock. Beachcomber can use his magnetic sensors to navigate like a compass, but local magnetic disturbances can cause this to lead him astray. His sonic probes possess only limited range.
Beachcomber is neither very fast nor very strong, and his antiwar sentiments gain him little respect from the more martial of the Autobots, yet he is agile and skilled in a fight, and his courage is beyond all reproach.
In case you cant tell by the frequent use of “man,” Beachcomber was always portrayed at the “Autobot Hippe Surfer dude” which was real funny in the 1980s as a kid. In season two of the cartoon he just sort of “showed up” like a lot of the 1985 toys did, with no explanation of how he got to Earth and whether he was on the Ark when it crashed millions of years ago. In the G1 comic he stayed around on Cybertron and resisted the Decepticons that took over, much like his fellow 1985 ‘bots. He did not have a huge role in either series, but like most of the 1985 toys he did have a “spotlight episode” and I think Beachcomber’s is one that really sticks with Generation One Transformers fans: the Golden Lagoon.
The Golden Lagoon is one of the standout cartoon episodes of the first run of the show. It depicts Beachcomber finding a secluded glen that basically looks like where Snow White lives, with a pool full of “electrum.” When coated in the substance, Transformers become impervious to laser weapons with all shots ricocheting off of them and damaging the flower and fauna of the glen. In the end, as usual, the Autobots are victorious, with the help of the usual Season Two Deus-ex-Machina Omega Supreme, but the entire glen and pool are destroyed. The episode ends with all the Autobots minus Beachcomber celebrating as he is off lamenting the horrors of war on the environment reminiscent of the Lorax.
It was an episode that really stuck with me as a kid and continues to resonate with fans today as one of the ways this kids tv show about transforming robots is able to transcend the medium and really tell an important life lesson. The golden tinged characters were quite popular, even getting a special toy line from Takara in 2018 for the 35thAnniversary of the franchise. I’m told this line was well made and quite popular with fans!
Enough about his background, let’s look at Beachcomber as a character in the Transformers TCG! For a scant six star, Beachcomber is a 3/10/2 Car in alt mode and a 4/10/1 Focus 1 in bot mode. These are formidable stats in a six drop, above popular options at six stars like Prowl: Military Specialist and Chop Shop. Four attack with Focus One in a mixed pip deck should allow him to oftentimes gain one attack and one defense, making him a strong asset at this low star cost. Oh wait does he have a flip to alt mode ability to talk about?!
DRAW. THREE. CARDS.
It is a bit more complicated than simply flipping to alt mode and drawing, but considering you get this ability in a smaller character than usual at literally TRIPLE the usual rate, it is worth adjusting your deck to compensate for this fact. All you need to do is play cards with pre-combat plan type effects. Actions like Incoming Transmission, Secret Dealings, and Reclaim allow you to easily set up the top of the deck to prepare for the flip. Even cards like Wedge Formation with an on-board Specialist or Overwhelming Advantage with at least one Decepticon will enable this powerful ability.
Card draw may not be as strong in the Transformers TCG as it is in other card games, but the card selection that cards like Incoming Transmission, Secret Dealings, and Reclaim allow you to set up for the turn to make the optimalplay each turn are still powerful. Now on top of that you get to set up your next turns as well, drawing a plethora of options as Beachcomber consults the Recall of his Ancestors. All you “lose” is the ability to set up your deck for combat, but that cost is minimal compared to DRAWING THREE CARDS!
You can also combo other characters with Beachcomber, including another preview character, Windcharger..remember him? Here was the preview article on him from this very site! (https://vectorsigma.info/windcharger-preview ):
Say you flip Beachcomber on turn one to bot mode, then on two flip Windcharger to bot mode, Draw and Plan 1, and then play the ubiquitous Start your Engines to flip both back to alt mode, untapping Windcharger to attack again and drawing you three cards. This would make for an interesting take on an updated car list that would keep you stocked with powerful untap actions throughout the game if played in conjunction with the above actions.
Oh were you looking for another guaranteed way to know the top of your deck? If only some meta-defining character had this ability..
With Major Shockwave, you do not even need to use any of the above actions to set up the top of your deck, and he already combos perfectly with Reclaim as it is. The only issue is how flip intensive both characters will be, with Shockwave’s ability to disrupt your opponent’s plans arguably more important than advancing your own, but this character combo would allow you to run flip effects (especially Showing Off) to great effect to save you flips throughout the game.
Beachcomber’s ability to Recall the wisdom of his Ancestral forefathers will be format defining in conjunction with all of these powerful and popular enablers.
Not sold on the Scientist yet? How about his Stratagem: Science Officer.
At the time of this writing, we have seen these types of effects mirrored in Weapons Cache for Roadbuster and Stealth Mission for Nightracer, but I feel Science Officer is the best of all three. The ability to get one more free star overall (minus one to use Science Office, plus two from it’s ability) in the deck for Star cards is more powerful than restricting it to a Weapon/Armor or Secret Actions. You are still able to use it them if you wish, also! See, by getting any one Star of Actions and any one star of Upgrades, you can slant your deck to contain more double pips, as you can find combos through both types that allow you to double them up.
Current combos like:
Double Orange: Mounted Missiles with Full Loadout/Even the Score
Double Blue: Energized Field with EMP Wave/Heroic Resolve
Black: Plunder (Triple!) with Indestructible Sword
If none of these options excite you for the pips alone, you can always just run universally powerful star card options like Leap of Faith, Vandalize, or Bolt of Lightning. Overall, you are simply improving the flip consistency of your deck by allowing you to play eight doubles. The math will favor running this as the default for Beachcomber, as all of your combats slanted to the side you wish will be improved, mathematically. It also really factors into his Focus ability, as having eight doubles in the deck allows you to be more aggressive when searching for them during combat.
I would be remiss without mentioning the fear I have over the “combo-deck” implications of this Stratagem. Starting the game with an EMP Wave or Leap of Faith in your deck will allow you to gain the consistency you are looking to incrementally add to the “huge turns” these types of decks allow for. Many plays in this deck are around using the Ancient Wisdom/Unleash Potential combo to get Star cards into your deck from the sideboard, so the convenience of starting with one to two (the upgrade does not help as much..for now..) will be quite powerful when coupled with a character who reads: Draw Three Cards!
Beachcomber packs a lot of punch in a small bot. I am happy to see Wizards designing so many powerful support type characters in Titan Masters Attack! so we can continue to versify the lineups we are running. Enjoy the rest of the previews out there and stay tuned for more in-depth analysis on this exciting and powerful set on VectorSigma.info!
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“Till All Are One!”
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