The "Group Article" format went over well for our "Mistakes" series so we decided to duplicate it again for our Siege: War for Cybertron Hot Takes.
Note: these Hot Takes were written before "Black Pips" were introduced
To start with up front I (Scott) believe that S:WfC ratchets up the skill level of the Transformers TCG tremendously. One phrase you are going to see us (especially me) use often is "modal." In the TCG space I use this to refer to cards that can serve double duty for your deck, which means often you can kill two birds with one stone. As a character based game, with characters who begin in play, this means having "on board" access to an ability/upgrade/etc. right away has a dramatic effect on how decks are built and how games play out. I believe S: WfC does this in spades, and I imagine cards spoiled going forward will push this envelope further.
As I said on the podcast (see below), if you felt behind the curve, strategically, through the first two sets, study up on this set because that gap is only going to widen.
Note: for all pics see spoiler page, only some will be recreated here ( https://vectorsigma.info/wave-3-spoilers )
Tech Talk 25 Part I: Siege War for Cybertron
Major Ultra Magnus :
Scott: So you essentially have a modal character here (A phrase I’ll be using a lot in this set..) who can be played for 12 for 14 stars. I will look at the “14 cost version” with the Ultra Magnus Armor card, so let’s just look at the 12. So for 12 you get a 5/17/1 Brave in Alt mode (the mode you want to be in with a giant health pool and Brave) and a 6/17/1 on the Bot side. I think the Bot ability will be close to impossible to pull off, outside of wanting to run a deck with both Matrix and Rollout (with Mining Pick likely) and then likely not worth the effort for simply a single damage across the board (just play Armed Hovercraft..) but there may be other reasons to do so in this set or beyond. I like that he is a leader and ranged (kinda rare to find) Autobot. I believe the 12 cost version should replace Nemesis Prime in “The Touch.” Finding other homes for the 14 cost version is currently an Unsolved Mystery.
Palmer: I can't deal with all these "Major" cards without thinking of Spaceballs. He's beefy and Brave in truck mode, but with low armor and mediocre attack for 12 stars. Of course he's intended to be a 14 star card and begin with his armor. I wish the armor had some sort of protection on it when this happens, because as-is it's generally going to be there for a whole one attack. Generally thinking, he's underwhelming without the armor, damn good with it.
Dan: This Guy at 12 stars is sweet can start at 7/17/3 that is a HELL OF A STAT LINE!
Major Shockwave :
Scott: Wow, this is good! 14 stars is clearly ridiculously high but not impossible to build around for such a powerful character on the field. Absent of not knowing enough Secret Actions, simply having the ability to virtually increase you hand size coupled with the ability to always know the first of your combat pulls or when to play cards like Field Communicator (gee he happens to be a giant Specialist, how convenient!) is powerful. A 6/17/3 or 7/17/2 Specialist-Leader that has a flip ability that draws/discards alone is extremely powerful and “worth the star cost.” Now you throw in the interaction with Secret Actions and Decepticon Cards giving you a virtual extra card in hand at all times, and you have a clear “build around me” character.
Palmer: Now this is what a 14 star character should look like. Great stats, awesome passive ability (knowing what the top card is at all time), a specialist (combo with Field Communicator is obvious) and he plays perfectly with the 11 star version of Shockwave. The ability to play off the top of the deck will depend on just how good Secret Actions are, as at the moment the Decepticon cards outside Scoundrel's Blaster are mostly bad (Swindled is good in the right deck but probably not this one; ditto the Crown)
Dan: 14 stars is a lot, his ability to look at the top card can play it if meets requirement a little better then Windblade if you ask me.
Private Firedrive :
Scott: The entire Battle Master mechanic requires its own larger in-depth discussion but absent of all the strategic impacts of the modal nature of a character that becomes an upgrade this is a solid way to start the mechanic. You draw right away when you attack (which should be first) and the weapon can be massive and should result in the KO you desire, if he can die at the right time
Palmer: The 7 star cost on many of the battle masters makes them interesting. You can get a better package for that cost easily, but they get their secondary usage and don't impede your flip density. Firedrive himself seems quote good for KO'ing on demand in its upgrade form.
Dan: 7 stars when it dies it becomes an upgrade for the character you really care about? Sign me up!
Scott: See above, but outside of basic Battle Master conversations, this guy is going to be powerful in both modes, but requires more of a “build around me” than Firedrive or Smashdown right now. Getting THREE Blue is hard in defensive shells that typically do not run Bold characters inborn in lineup, but I can see a lineup of Aimless, Wheeljack, and Wave 2 Slug (you’ll need White pips in the deck to facilitate the triple blue, why not have it count for more?!) as a good starting point. He is similar to Thermal Weaponry..but better..way better..
Palmer: A base Tough 3 in bot mode will make him hard to kill and move over to his weapon mode. Once you do, however, you get stuck in a bit of a quandary as blue decks generally won't have the bold to flip enough cards to trigger the special ability consistently (outside of Wheeljack Thermal Weaponry decks, if those are still a thing).
Dan: Flipping BBB to Deal 3 Damage to guy when attacking makes for some very interesting Deckbuilding choices.
Scott: 2/6/2 is another Combiner level stat line, and becoming a Primary Laser clone is not too exciting. I think you need to build a deck with a lot of (currently) Orange-Blue and Green-X cards no matter which side of the spectrum your deck starts and you could have an “every attack Grenade Launcher”
Palmer: 5 stars definitely seems more playable than Firedrive even if both his modes are markedly worse.
Private Red Heat:
Scott: 80’s Arnold movie shout out! I like the design of the micromasters, especially if they all have these type of tap abilities I can see a lot of use for these types of cards, especially on turn one (on the play). I am not sure how powerful the “Swap Parts” ability is for most decks, and no use on the aforementioned turn one, but a decent stat line (combiner sized) on a 5 cost Specialist is nice.
Palmer: The new tap mechanic will open a lot of options as it's an additional thing you can do on your first turn. That said I'm not sure of the deck that needs Swap Parts so badly that it will tap a 5 star character and discard a white card in order to trigger it.
Ultra Magnus Armor:
Scott: So it turns Ultra Magnus from “very powerful 12 drop” to “Extremely powerful 14 drop if it sticks” 7/17/3 or 8/17/3 with the ability to be immune to his own damage from the bot ability will make that side more enticing to attack in, so you should get that ability off at least once if you are using the “14 star version” of Magnus. You just cannot rely on this sticking, but you CAN Reclaim it back and if you somehow draw a card (probably from a flip effect/bot effect) you can replay it on any Autobot for a powerful effect. If we get other Reclaim type effects, this will continue to increase in value. You can really see the power level going up from one-star cards to two-star cards.
Palmer: Two stars for a card that can be destroyed by a green pip card just isn't going to be worth it for me. It should have had some sort of inherent protection to it.
Dan: This card is great for Major Ultra magnus himself, but I also wouldn’t mind putting this on Optimus Prime (or plenty more options as well)
Battle Field Report :
Scott: Secret Actions are awesome! For the cost of using your turn’s action, you get to essentially have a chance of interacting on your opponent’s turns. Obviously as a mechanic we need to see how powerful other ones are before evaluating the ability overall (likely very good) but for just Battlefield Report alone I feel this will be an auto-three of in every Blue based deck. Most Blue based decks play “underpowered” action cards that are not combat focused on the non-Leap into Battle/TBTA type turns..this will replace all those plays for a defensive Incoming Transmission. Characters like Starscream, Grapple, and Skywarp need this card and the rest of the control strategies simply want it to supplement Security Consoles. Staple card.
Palmer: Adding trap cards should be key to bringing in players used to these types of interactions into Transformers. In all seriousness this seems like a very solid card, an Incoming Transmission analog on defense.
Dan: new Keywords are always fun, “Trap Cards” it’s been quite some time since I’ve played with those. Action based Security Console idk if that’s worth my action for turn but will have to see what other Secret Actions cards do.
Special Ops Mission:
Scott: Use of this card comes down to how many Orange Secret Missions we get and how good they are. Otherwise Brainstorm will just be better at ALL times since you can play a normal action/secret action combo if you really want to or the same two secret actions. Really need more secret actions spoiled before we can make that call.
Palmer: I'm not sure of why we needed a White, significantly more restrictive Brainstorm, but here it is. Perhaps there's an interaction that makes this worth it later in the right deck.
Keep your eyes on the fan Facebook groups and/or our Facebook Page and Reddit when our next content goes live, and please hit me up with any comments on Facebook, email, Discord (AUStarwars#1576), or Line (austarwars).
Our YouTube page is now live with exclusive content from game play videos, to decktechs, to interviews. We do not simply play the games, we explain our steps and thought processes and follow through with thorough explanations that explain our testing processes! Look for RotC video content in the coming weeks! Find and subscribe to www.youtube.com/vectorsigmainfo
Reach out with any questions on the event or anything to do with VectorSigma..and look for more exciting content this week and beyond!
“Till All Are One!”
Copyright © 2018 Hobby Gaming MP Template - All Rights Reserved
All Transformers and Transformers Trading Card Images are Copyrighted © 2018 Hasbro.com All rights reserved. All audio, visual and textual content on this site (including all names, characters, images, trademarks and logos) are protected by trademark, copyrights and other Intellectual Property rights owned by Hasbro or its subsidiaries, licensors, licensees, suppliers and accounts