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TItan Masters Attack Card of the Day (COTD) with Team VectorSigma.info!

Each week leading up to the sets release, three to four times a week, Team VectorSigma.info team members will bring you their "Hot Takes" on this exciting new set.  Opinions will change as more cards are released of course, so stop back often to get the latest dish!


You can find the archived COTDs here:  https://vectorsigma.info/articles?blogcategory=Wave+5 

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Belligerence

Scott


The effects of this card cannot be overstated: a wholly blue based defensive deck will not be blocking ANY damage for the turn. This means that static based defensive buffs like the Rock-Paper-Scissors armors, defensive Bashing Shields, defensive Secret Actions, Ghost Armor, etc. will be preferred in this world over typical Tough based armors and secret actions that frequently see play. That being said, this does nothing in Orange mirrors other than being on color. It is also “not green” so while it is very powerful, it is not “on demand” and will need to be played at the correct time for the most use. Blue mirrors will use this card, and overall this will have a domino effect of diversifying the pip distribution in decks as well as upgrade selection as I mentioned. Very powerful, very staple card.


Jon


An incredible card for the blue mirror. Whether it's a sideboard card or a maindeck card will depend on the specifics of the environment (and whether mixed pip decks, like Galactic Prime or some plane decks, are good) but the swing on the turn you play it is just massive. In a typical Shockwave mirror this card would take you from doing 3-4 to doing 8.

Dan


This card is one of the standouts so far from the preview season. I can see this card seeing play in main and sideboards for control and aggro players alike. In control mirrors this card may be on the same level as Disarm since you can just completely ignore all Tough Armors, Secret Actions, etc. I can see many different decks having to build with this in mind. 

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Hold the Line

Scott


I love cards that are song references so I can sing them when I play them! Now Toto (of “son of John Williams” and “Africa/Rosanna” fame) get their due! That aside, this is amazing in aggressive mirrors and the fact that it is Green/White means you can rely on getting it on the table consistently. This card may single handedly bring back the three wide aggro archetype/sphere into contention, since this is a way of battling the wider aggro decks (attack with an AirStrike member for 10? I’ll take 4..thanks!) 


Jon


Just as Belligerence will be a massive swing for blue-blue matchups, this is a huge card for orange-orange matchups. Limiting the damage you take when a 4 star ASP swings at you for 8 and you only defend for 1 can be huge; those matchups tend to be about whoever manages not to get KO’d in one attack. It's also a hammer against Arcee, and will likely force some decks to think about saving their Launcher/Reckless turns for their big guy. Randomly hoses wave 1 Grimlock too.

Dan


Remember Espionage when it was printed? It was initially a three-of in just about everything! I can see a similar start to the TMA metagame with this card. In aggro it will keep a character alive longer then it should, and for control it can potentially save 5/6 damage easily on the correct target. I’ll be curious to see exactly how many decks will want to play this card, but the bar is definitely high right now. 

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Master of Metallikato

Scott


I can’t believe how playable this card actually IS considering the main benefit is getting all three pip colors when you flip to proc abilities. Slight modifications to deckbuilding should easily be able to make this a +4 with +5 possible if the character has in-born Bold effects: Main color, White, Green, Black (paired with main color), off-color splash should not be hard to achieve with Bold. Even without it, getting this color spread with a normal +2 to +3 is amazing. Short list of characters who will love this card: Brawn, Metroplex, Galaxy Prime, Horri-bull, Slipstream/Bluestreak, Sergeant Kup, Autobot Nautica, Autobot Whirl, Fortress Maximus, Cerebros..just to name a few off the top of my head..


Jon

  

The most conditional pip spread we've seen. In a reasonably diverse deck, especially if you're running bold, this can be a pretty consistent +4.

 

Dan

  

This card will give diverse deck builders a little extra “umph “ in their decks. If you can mold your deck around getting the most of this card as a three-of it could be Very strong. I can see + 5 attack left and right from this and that’s pretty scary to think about.

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Scouting Mission

Scott

  

Modular cards are always needed in card games. The flexibility this offers to either damage your own units for value (Energon Axe, Windsweeper, etc.) or do that final point to an enemy bot at the “cost” of them drawing two cards is too much to ignore. Couple with a Blue/Black pips, places many decks seem to want to go in the future, just makes this innocuous looking card into a tournament staple imho.


Jon

 

The Blue/Black pip combo is welcome. Turns on Energon Axe, combos with several effects already revealed in this set (Windsweeper loves it, as would any deck running Bludgeon + Raider Caliburst). Definitely a fan.
 

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Bludgeon

Scott


One of my favorite cards in the set.  I am constantly looking for character abilities that copy existing battle cards, and Bludgeon does that in spades.  Basically he turns all damage abilities and upgrades into combat buffs as well, so you are getting double the value out these cards.  There is a lot of opportunity to virtually stack the abilities using other bots.  For example, pairing him with Titan Master Kup turns a One Shall Stand targeting the defender into “Target take 3 damage and has -1 defense, Kup or other Wrecker gets +3” for basically a seven point swing.  That example is only an extra one total, but when you factor in things like Armed Hovercrafts, EnergonSlingshots, Hori-bull’s body ability, etc. you wind up getting a lot of incremental advantage from Bludgeon using cards you otherwise want to play with anyway.  An archetype defining character imho. 


Jon


The best defensive tank we've seen so far (3 armor, tough 1) and a potentially very good bot side, as it doubles the effectiveness of both Hovercraft and direct damage against the target of your attack that turn. The Pierce 1 is probably unnecessary and I'd prefer he had an extra point of base attack.

Dan


This guy is sweet! Very interesting ability to bring to the game. Teams very well with ranged characters. I have nightmares of thinking about Marksmanship, Hovercraft turns with a -2attached to it! Even as a melee character in bot mode, cards like Energon Slingshot now pull double duty. Looking forward to seeing what this guy can do.

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Metallikato Stance

Scott


I think this changes the makeup of what I am envisioning as “the Bludgeon Deck” too much. The fact that you only draw when HE attacks seems a bit restrictive for the star cost.  You can mirror this ability on enough non-star cards.


Jon


Oddly goes against a lot of design themes and points to a deck playing a lot of single pipped cards. I'm not sure people want that too much unless there's an obviously synergistic build with unrevealed characters.


Dan


So this Strategem is probably one of the more unique ones we have seen.It will 100% change the make up of your battle deck. Playing singular battle icons isn’t really that normal, currently seeing as how often we have green attached to another color pip. The ability to draw a card on every attack (and choosing from options) is a very strong ability.

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Brawn

Scott


A skill testing five drop!?  What I love about Brawn is that while he shines in all aspects of the game.  Going first he allows you to put actual damage on the true target, not either wasting an attack on it or being forced to attack secondary ones (through Pierce) and defensively he can get a very high defense number against larger targets.  Even if you are facing a small wide deck, a 3/9/2 for five remains very powerful and gives you upside against their largest character.  I see him making a big impact on the competitive tables.


Dan


Ill join in on the hype train for this guy haha. For a long time we have watched Flamewar rule the battlefield (don’t count her out just yet) but this guy 100% has a ton to offer at 5*s. auto Pierce in blue mirrors when going first is pretty amazing. Suit this guy with a Noble’s Blaster and he is a legit threat for opposing purple players.

Jon


Seems way too good at 5 stars, competition for Flamewar as the "default" character at that price. Both sides' abilities are pretty amazing, tho he's a weird bot that wants to attack in alt mode and defend in bot mode (may pair up well with the Siege teams that can run Head-On Collision). He's going to be all over, particularly in conjunction with...

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Resilience

Scott


Likely a sideboard card because of its narrow use, I am not sure it shuts off quite enough on all sides to use it main deck, if you find the extra star it is fine, but it can be killer out of the board.


Dan


This is a card for side board purposes. Even just as a 6 star character this ability to get plus def is pretty sweet. But the good news you don’t need this card for Brawn to be a force in the meta.

Jon


Giving him essentially immunity to opponent's Bold, at the cost of one star, is ridiculously good. I'm curious to see how stratagems are going to interact with the sideboard as to whether you have to always have this up or not (Editor’s Note: Early indications are Stratagem’s will just act as “Star Cards” in the board, so you can just side it 

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Windsweeper

Scott


His stats and abilities for only ten stars are just amazing.  The “cost” of playing with a second plane on your starting team seems completely irrelevant when you have a 5/15/1 who double Bombing Run’s the defender for a four point damage swing when he attacks.  He does not even need to flip ever, but his bot mode may have some value when you pair him with self-damaging characters like Sky Shadow or Horri-Bull for example.  There is just too much here for this character to not see play in a big way in the meta and his exact cost pairing with Sky Shadow parts is a pre-made TMA deck out of the box.


Since you are going to be playing One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall in a deck with Windsweeper already (seem to constantly be mentioning my favorite cards a lot of synergy in this set), it should immediately turn on Saturation Bombing against opposing three wide decks.  Saturation Bombing is just a straight upgrade Stratagem so if you can find the star for a “Heal 2-4/Strafing Run your team” there is no downside to playing it.  My only current issue is that it makes the Sky Shadow pairing impossible, but that does not mean other partners will emerge with Windsweeper to make use of this Stratagem


Jon


If I'm paying 10 stars for a plane this is what I want, not crap like every version of Starscream. He's very on-theme for planes, combos with Slipstream, and has solid stats (but in keeping with the plane theme, slightly lower defense). It is a bit disappointing that you can't play both him and Slipstream in a 4-wide plane deck but that might be a bit much. Definitely one of the cards I'm looking forward to building this set.

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Nautica

Scott


Love her in an aggro deck.  Her alt mode is likely “too cute” to build around (sideboard her maybe in that situation?) but the body mode Bolster ability is simply too good to ignore.  You can put any offensive head on her, making her anything from a 5/10/1 Bold One for Nine, to a 5/10/1 Bold Three for Twelve, and you still get the ability to play a Forcefield on your opponent’s turn to keep her around for multiple turns.  The fact that you can actually play more than one against wider decks when they have multiple attackers is just the tip of the iceberg.  Even just playing a Sturdy Armor on her against ranged may be enough to blunt attacks against control, but the Forcefield type effects will be her bread and butter in aggro strategies.


Jon


Cheating in Force Fields with the bot mode will always be good. Outside of that, how much she's worth is going to depend on the field and whether her alt mode ability is every coming into play. She seems a bit under-statted for an 8 star body.

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Brainstorm

Scott


The only “Titan” Master I owned as a kid!  I am not a big fan of this card, simply because of how much he costs.  He essentially gives all your upgrades “Green” when he attacks, but similar to other cards mentioned, it is only when HE attacks. The Galaxy comparison may not be far, since it is a minimum of FIVE more stars, but Galaxy Prime is able actually PLAY the upgrades to get immediate use out of them.  Brainstorm has to wait a turn.  I am not going to complain about improving hand quality throughout the game, but this ability is mirrored in the large Autobot standouts from Siege II and they each just do this “better.”  I am willing to be wrong, but he seems small for the large star investment, stats wise.  


The flip to Alt mode means you need to be playing Plan effects or Reclaim, which is fine, but means you have a lot of negative flip density tied up in your mid star character. Overall there is a lot here, I just may not be seeing the correct partners or build right this moment.

 

Jon


An excellent way to get the Upgrades flowing for your deck, much cheaper than Jetfire. I see him getting played with one of the smaller heads so that he can suit up some bigger characters to help carry the load on the attack.

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Sky Shadow

Scott


The entire Sky Shadow mechanic is probably my favorite thing thus far in Titan Masters Attack!  I love the effort to really make DuoCons work, from the underwhelming Dreadwing and Skytread molds we wind up with what seems to be a powerhouse!  You get two very solid non-flip needed parts in a Plane that is as powerful as Sentinel characters (just under Barrage’s insane OP stats in Bot mode) and a Tank that is easily the most defensive character at its star cost of seven, even pushing out the staple Hot Rod from this lofty pedestal.  Then you get an easy combine condition that leaves you with an 8/20/2 Bold 2, Tough 2, Pierce 4 Body (with likely 10 damage on it mind you) untapped and when that is KOd you STILL get a 2/3 Pierce 4 Character (untapped)…so for a Starting Price of 15 Stars you essentially get Four Characters that offer AT LEAST 18 stars in value, minimum..and I’d probably argue it is more than that to be honest.  If your opponent is playing ANY Autobots, they just got Bolt of Lightning’ed and likely attacked for even more.  This guy overall is a powerhouse, and that Tank mode can likely take multiple hits before you even need to combine, so if you can manage to protect the Plane mode, or you are playing a defensive deck with attack redirection, you can control the flow of the combat to where you are in no rush to combine. 


Fifteen stars has proven to not be detrimental to deck building and leaves the Sky Shadow deck with options for Partners.  Windsweeper seems like an awesome partner and stays on the direct damage theme of the combined mode (allowing you to also play OSS to control the Combination if your opponent is not making it convenient on you!) but you can also insert “Flamewar and five drop” as Galaxy Prime is doing nowadays. 

Sky Shadow seems like one of the first builds I will be working on April 17!


Vince


Parts -   I mentioned this on Tech Talk, that although the combiner itself is exciting I am significantly more excited by the parts of Sky Shadow. The important piece to keep in mind here is that they do not require flips while also fulfilling their roles. Up to this point playable non-flipping bots were often reserved for Rise of the Combiners Sentinels and Battlemasters. With the addition of both the tank and plane sides of Sky Shadow there are multiple strategies that get fleshed out and at reasonable star costs. The flip economy advantage afforded by these combiner parts is subtle but significant. Having these parts available opens the door for many other character combinations even outside of the tribal synergies. Although the synergies there also get a significant bump.


Skyshadow Combined:   It’s funny, this one has  to be good right? We’ve seen Dreadwing. We’ve covered Skytread. Third time’s the charm? It certainly is a lot of power packed into SKy Shadow’s combiner form. Oddly enough the fact that he can only target down Autobots with his Bolt of Lightning combine ability is a little concerning. He very much is a numbers machine between the bold, the tough, and the substantial attack. Not to mention the pierce from Ominus. You do need to close the game out and if a dangerous Decepticon deck arises it may prove to be the thorn for the combiner version of Sky Shadow. Typically burn cards are needed to ensure that you can finish the game against aggressive builds if you are skimping on them banking on the innate bolt it could get dicey. Regardless there seems to be power oozing out of every star on Sky Shadow and his combined form.



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Fortress Maximus and Cerebros

Scott


Fortress Maximus  - I put these together without Emissary because I dont think you should be using him as the "second head."  That aside I love the design and complexity that Fort Max offers.  I believe the deck needs to be all in on "Form 1" Fort Max (so much so I dont even care about Cerebros other than you get more turns to stay alive), and cards like Master of Metallikato, Matrix, Roll Out, will help you achieve that.  Playing a one star head like Parsec or Kreb will allow you get 3x Double Blues, to help keep Fort Max alive for that first turn against aggro decks.  I think that is his only vulnerable turn, because a couple of turns of one sided Photon Bombs should be enough to close out the game against wider decks.


Story time:  as a kid of around 11 I saved up enough to buy a Fort Max (original one)..he was like $150 or something, but in the end I never did.  Well, I wouldnt still have him anyway since my mom got rid of all my old toys, but I always equated Fortress Maximus with "accomplishment" (I know, random..)



Steffon


Fortress Maximus-     I don’t even know where I really want to start. I like everything about this guy. His name has Maximus in it so I’m already auto obligated to play this bot. When I saw Optimus Maximus back in wave 2 it was the same deal and I played Sentinels for just about all of that wave! So 8 attack in both modes is crazy! But, not that crazy as most of the time you’ll be attacking in body mode no matter what. However if we get a battle card that has an effect that affects alt modes severely then there’s a chance to attack in alt mode is ideal. It’s just cool to have our first bot with that much attack on both sides. Like Scott’s sentiment I do wish it had 3 defense in bot mode but it’s all good. His one sided Photon Bomb effect is insane, and of course as easy as flipping a Fight For Position for one of your battle flips to trigger it. His Alt Mode direct damage effect is pretty good too and also very easy to pull off in a mixed deck. With Bold 1 and tough 1 from the next guy we’re gonna talk about, this could truly be our first viable 1 tall deck. Also to note our first viable competitive promo card in general! I am concerned for it’s orange match-ups, as being one tall means a lot of potential big attacks, but against blue this is very powerful. Time will tell if it’s a big deal at all! Oh...and the homie is ranged. You already know what I feel about that! 


Cerbros-      As per Drew’s comment on the Facebook post, Cerebros can only be used with Fortress Maximus period. There’s no head swapping with him, but it fits perfectly(pun intended) with Fortress Maximus. It’s going to be sincerely fun (I usually don’t have “fun”, I usually am just laser focused to win, even exhibition games, the fun is in winning.) building a mixed deck that’ll include the black icons along with our tried and true originals. Cerebros of course has bold and tough 1 himself and a text box we haven’t seen yet, flipping a Orange, Blue, Black and White icon allows him to retrieve any upgrade from the scrap pile onto him, so it’ll count for that battle! This is actually a little further insane because it’s when he battles, so attacking or defending! 6 attack is strong as ever on a 7* bot. It does only have 8 health, but I feel like after Maximus has beat up a few bots on the battlefield that’s ok. Plus with the Grax head it’ll make him a 13 hp bot. Oh..and ranged.  

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Energon Mace and Trithyllium Shield

Scott


Mace - I love this card.  It is a powerful sideboard option, but good enough for 1-2 main in control shells. Shockwave loves this (for the other characters, he has his own LVs), but really any deck can make use of this upside Energon Axe .  The meta is currently dominated by Autobot Leaders (various Optimus, Jetfire, Springer) so I can see this weapon being fully powered up often, no matter who wields it


Shield -  the key here is static defense, which seems to be needed in a new world given other reveals coming.  I think you may not run more than one main, but up to two more in the Sideboard will be key if Decepticons keep getting the massive buffs we will be seeing so far in this set!


Dan


Mace -  Man, I have waited for a card like this! Just having another blue weapon that isn’t straight Primary Laser is a step up for me! It’s also the first card that just looks like a direct reaction to the current meta in the competitive scene, with Galaxy Prime and Captain Jetfire running through top tables currently. Giving decks a card like this to help buff damage and guarantee Pierce is just a strong effect to “Shorten” those matches. 


Jon


Mace -    This card is pretty amazing, a Blue weapon that's +2 always, +3 against Autobots, Pierce 3 against the lynch-pins of numerous decks (Optimus, Jetfire, Springer, Grimlock, Omega Supreme, Bumblebee). I suspect it will compete with or complement Energon Axe in a lot of decks, and it's another necessary blue weapon for non-ranged decks that can't easily slot Sturdy Javelin and Armed Hovercraft. An early pick for the money rare of the set.


Steffon


Mace-     Cool! The latest addition to the Energon family. At best it beats Energon Axe, on average Energon Axe ends up being better, at worst, it’s just a +2 Weapon. But it’s pros outweigh’s it’s cons. Shockwave absolutely loves this as it’s a Decepticon card. However keep in mind any faction can play it though! Great card.  


Shield -     When I first saw this one I immediately put too much pressure on it from a competitive standpoint in conjunction with comparing it to Energon Mace. Mistake. This card I can see being a potential side deck option especially if Pierce starts to get out of control. In the end, in most cases it’s always your biggest bot vs mine and if your centerpiece is a Decepticon Leader and you have a Mace/Axe etc on it, then this Armor may come in handy. All in all, this is a meta dependent card. 

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Monxo and Grax

Dan


Monxo - 2* for one attack. I mean people may look at this and scoff at the idea of paying that much for one attack, but it’s a permanent damage buff.  On a character like Wolfwire, where you may only get one use out of it, it may not be very worthwhile.  A more defensive minded Titan Master gaining +1 Attack could be an easy addition to guarantee certain damage break points. Is Bold better then attack? It should be right? But how many times have you flipped 3 cards and always get +3 attack? The answer is "not always," which is why Bold is viewed as “less” effective then guaranteed damage in terms of Star Cost. 


Grax - 3*, + 5 health. I feel like a lot of people may gloss this guy over. It’s easy to see Tough 3 or even Tough 2 (assuming we get this for 3*) as more enticing. Probably the "just 5 health" isnt flashy.  I can see Grax being a meta dependent type card. 


Vince


Monxo -  I am now VERY curious what a one star titan master will provide as I sort of expected one attack = one star. While it may seem plain, a change of one attack can put you over specific thresholds. For example it push a character from having to sink three attacks into something to where only two are required. Often I find myself wishing that specific bots had just one more base attack, and poof appears Monxo. I'm not sold that the two stars are worth it just yet but going from six → 7 attack is pretty crucial for me when evaluating certain bots. He may provide enough oomph to get some of these bodies into the fight. 


Grax -  This effect feels as though it is one star too many. Still, things don't scale in a linear fashion all the time. Grax gives a sizable boost and health gain can be significant as we have seen already in other circumstances. That being said, a +3 on star cost is substantial. There's an argument to utilize Grax with some of the already revealed bodies aside from Skullsmasher. I think we've officially hit the point where the number of combinations is becoming a challenge to evaluate quickly. 


Jon


Monxo -   2 stars for a +1 attack is probably the cheapest Head we're going to see; I would have thought those numbers would be a 1 star bot. Dies to "2 damage" but for 2 stars, a 3 attack isn't awful. 


Grax -   +5 life for 3 stars seems pretty good, but he's also the best statted head we've seen in bot mode, 4/5/0 is pretty darn good for that next attack you're going to get immediately. I suspect he may be the "default" head for a lot of early deck builds. 


Steffon


Monxo -    For it’s star cost it will be a great filler when you have a certain team that works well and only have space for a 2* head. Since every head needs a body...welp, we got options!!


Grax -    This titanmaster is insane. It pretty much grants you 10 health to your team. +5 when it’s a head. 5 more when Grax deploys himself. He’s also only 3* which is a big deal. My favorite little guy thus far.  

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Skullsmasher

Dan


6/14/1 Pierce 3 is a pretty acceptable stat line for 11*s. 5/14/2 with built in direct damage for character below your star cost is also very interesting. This is the type of character that would love a very new type of card in the game that increased direct damage by 1. Now granted a card like that would have large influence for other cards,  but would definitely make this Titan Master a ton more fun to play. At 11* + I do worry a bit about this guys high cost, but if we pair him with Grax make him 14* 6/19/1 he may be a nice character to look at with those stats. 


Vince


While I really enjoyed Wolfwire (Weirdwolf G1) in the toy line Skullsmasher (Skullcruncher  G1) left something to be desired. He has a new lease on life though in the card game. I actually thought to myself after it was revealed that this bot has everything I want in one package, and you can almost envision the conversations that took place during his design. He beats up on little enemies, and if he is up against a larger team? Well you can be a swampy warrior instead since that has the bigger base attack value. His higher star cost may actually broaden the available titan master partners since you will almost always be able to be bigger than the highest star cost aggro enemy, even with a low star cost head. Problem is with a meager 14 health, using anyone by Grax may be a problem. That's a big issue. He isn't quite dangerous enough to blue teams in alt mode, but he is a reasonable threat if you load him up. Depending on how sideboard rules shape up we may have more options. Notably his "ping" ability in body mode only cares about enemies being tapped, not attacking so maybe Tackle, Headbutt, and other unseen effects might have a home. I'm looking forward to trying this Decepticon despite his potential flaws. Although those flaws may prove too much.


Jon


I really like both of his abilities, his statline feels like it might be a touch weak for his star cost but that seems to be the way they've cautiously proceeded with the headmasters. He seems to pair well with Grax as a 14 star 6/19/1; without a 1-star Head there's no way we can get him into a 4-wide deck though. 


Steffon


 ....Give him a Mace and he’s potentially an 9 attacker with pierce 6 max vs. Autobot leaders! At minimum that Pierce 3 is still strong. It’s body mode is very cool too. Melee tag again. But! It does have direct damage built in, essentially free at that for any bot that taps that has fewer stars than him. It’s drawback effect to deal damage to himself I don’t see coming up too often to hurt you, especially once equipped to a head it’s star count auto goes up as well. Very interesting character. 

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Wolfwire

Dan


This Titan Master is half W2 Swoop, half Lt Bee in one card with a fairly nice attack stat for 9* character at 5/6. The zero defense in bot mode does scare me for a 10+* character however. There is a potential chance you won’t be able to untap this character so his life span in a game may not be worth his ability which is my biggest fear. 


Vince


Given how awesome I felt Wolfwire (Weirdwolf G1) was in the toy line I was very excited for him to get some card game recognition. He supplements the beast trait, but also does a strong Rise of the Combiners Swoop impression. That bring said I am not sure that "attack for 6, draw 2" is enough. The draw two isn't even necessarily a sure thing as even Air Strike Patrol decks sometimes whiff on a green, especially when they don't have General Optimus pairs with them. He may actually benefit from the bold two titan master we have already seen more-so than Monxo. He is frail enough to not quite cut it as a defensive option, since you're going to want to be in body mode. However he isn't quite an impressive threat since he will be double digits stars when you factor in a head being attached. I really want to like this bot, but don't right now. That being said there's a lot of combinations for bodies/heads so I need to do more thinking.  


Jon


Very interesting concept to get "free" redraw on greens, but the 0 armor in bot mode makes it very worrisome. Seems to pair best with Grax, as at 12 stars I think you can deal with a 6/17/0 and the ability. 


Steffon


Great art! Gives me a Zoids vibe. Both sides of this bad boy gives you great advantage involving green icons. The immediate thought for most was to probably use this with Air Strike Patrol. With the Grax Head he’d have 17 health, which is a step up from Sergeant Springer who has the highest health for the Air Strike Archtype, from a competitive standpoint. I think it does have merit to test with Airstrike but of course I’m on the look out to see what other bots he can pair with. Melee tag makes me twitch, but that comment can change if we get a solid melee battle card or two this set! 

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Crystal of Power/Who's Next

Scott


I put these two together because they clearly go together (the Kup Strategem was spoiled a day later and it was obvious they go together).  I think Crystal of Power is a solid backup strategy for your weapons and armor, never the "Bell of the Ball" but never the worst option either.  Combos like Hunker Down into "not having three Composite Armor, guess I'll just grab this" seem fine as well.  The potential "Soundblaster gets to keep this after attacking for Defense" will be a big factor in this as well. I just wish it did not have only one Black icon, because then it would probably be a solid modular backup in all decks..now it will have a more niche use as said backup or future combos may help prove its worth..such as..


Who's Next seems like a natural fit for this card.  Wave One Sergeant Kup is a frequent whipping boy/meme for the community (to frankly nauseous levels at time) but i think this Strategem helps him tremendously.  The issue will be fully suiting him up, but this is where Crystal of Power saves you an upgrade play before he needs to swing.  Assuming you hide him behind at least three other characters, you can then swing as a fully suited up 5/8/1 against their weakest target (likely for 13-14 in an Orange shell, maybe less but with guaranteed damage in Blue) which will likely untap him.  He could literally machine gun down Patrol decks over time, though when he attacks he is only likely to get one additional attack, though still buffed from any end of turn effects.  If we see more "multi-slot counting" upgrades this will only increase the playability of this Strategem.  Pylayers seem to think this requires a lot of set up, but it really does not seem that difficult and the pay off seems well worth it, even if you are "only" getting off a Ready for Action once..but the small Orange decks will get a severe punishment if you can get Kup going early and often..remember, in the mid-turns you wont be a target, as you'll be untapped right away!


Jon


Very interesting to see a one-shot combination of Grenade Launcher (but not quite as good) and Blast Shield. If I'm reading the Soundblaster/Crowbar ruling correctly, if he gets it back it should not fall off, which is excellent even if he'll probably be immediately attacked and lose it. If that combo doesn't work, I'm sure there are still decks that can use this. 


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Hull Down

Scott


I like this card as a backup Hidden Fortification for any deck, regardless of its Tank Tribal nature.  It is very powerful with characters who key off an Orange card flipping or existing at times in an otherwise Blue build:  Characters like Galaxy Prime, Alpha Trion, Slipstream/Bluestreak, etc.  If we get more "when you flip certain things" on defense, this also shoots up in value.  I think you will see it as a 1-2 of at least in sideboards against aggressive decks, but overall it is a powerful effect (as Hidden Fortification sees universal play)