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The original Transformers animated movie, in addition to being an Artax-level traumatizing event for many of us, was at its heart designed as a way to sell new toys to the core Transformers audience. A number of the original Autobots and Decepticons were killed off, and new characters were introduced with varying degrees of success.
I'm not crying, you're crying!
Most of these new Transformers were original designs with their own stories to tell. But via the power of Unicron, some of the vanquished Decepticons were reformed as new, altered Transformers. Today we're going to see two of them - the rebuilt Skywarp, who becomes Cyclonus (miss me with your Bombshell theories, nerds), and the rebuilt Thundercracker, who becomes Scourge.
As we can see, Cyclonus is nine stars and has the Ranged and Herald keywords in both modes, along with the Spaceship keyword in alt mode alone. Herald is a new keyword being introduced in this set and the characters with that keyword tend to have abilities that affect other characters of yours, with enhanced abilities if the other character is also a Herald. This can be seen in Cyclonus' bot mode ability, as he gives Bold 1 to each of your other characters until the end of the turn when he flips. He also allows an additional Herald to flip from alt mode to bot mode, giving you a free flip and potentially allowing you to attack with another Herald in bot mode with the Bold 1, on turn 1.
Cyclonus is noteworthy in Transformers lore for being a rare loyal Decepticon second-in-command, and we can see this in his alt mode ability as he gives your character with the highest number of stars on your team the Brave keyword. This can be him pumping up a bigger character, or standing as the biggest threat on the board and picking up Brave himself as an improved version of the Wave 3 Skrapnel. He also allows you to reveal the top card of your deck when he flips, and immediately play it if it is a white card - revealing another characteristic of Heralds, an affinity for white pips.
Cyclonus' 12 health and 2 armor, along with his 5 attack in bot mode and 4 attack in alt mode, are in line with most of the options in the 9 star range, if slightly underwhelming. However, the synergy he has with the Herald team and the fact he has abilities on both side that work even sans Heralds makes him a strong, if flip intensive, choice for this slot.
Scourge, the leader of the Sweeps, is our second preview. Like Cyclonus, Scourge is a Herald in both modes and a Spaceship in his alt mode. He is a Specialist instead of Ranged, which will be a slightly limiting factor in the deck he's most likely to see play in - but when it comes to design, it looks like that was about the only place he was limited.
His stat line of 3 attack, 10 health, and 2 armor in alt mode/1 armor in bot mode is slightly better than 5 star mainstay Flamewar, but not quite as good as noted power creeper Nightracer. However, as with Cyclonus, his abilities are what push him to the forefront.
Scourge's bot mode starts out with a simple yet devastating declaration of intent: Bold 2. That's right, not even a conditional Bold 2 like 7 star hitter Barrage - he's just always got it. This instantly puts him at the top of the 5 star aggro list, rivaled only by Tailwind and his specific deck tailoring requirements. That would be enough to make him an auto-include for decks, but why stop there? Unicron is plentiful in his gifts, so Scourge also has the ability to let you draw cards when any character - not just him - flips two white pips. You know who's good at flipping two white pips? Characters with Bold 2. Characters in aggro decks that play a lot of cards that give Bold. Thankfully, this was stopped before it got out of hand and only works the first time each turn that two white pips are flipped each turn.
On the alt mode side, Scourge has Stealth against characters with 14 or more stars, so you don't need to worry about him getting one shotted by Overlord, Galaxy Prime or a combiner. He also has an ability that alludes to his origins as a plane; you can move damage from one of your Heralds to an enemy character, moving extra if the target is larger.
Scourge is likely to become the default 5 star for aggro decks, and he pairs well with Cyclonus to form 2/3 of a Herald deck. Might we see another Herald this set?
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