Hello again, folks!
I’m Matt Smith and I led the design for Blaster vs Soundwave.
The retail release of Blaster vs Soundwave is less than a month away (September 20th where Transformers TCG is sold!). With that in mind, I thought I’d prepare you a bit so you might gain a running start.
At Gen Con we saw some players earn success while equipped with the convention edition of Blaster. Vince DeGulis in particular reached top 8 in the Gen Con Open, setting some groundwork for Blaster, so I'm going to focus on the much-anticipated Decepticon master of whispers: Soundwave.
When building for Soundwave, you'll want to first evaluate the strengths and weaknesses associated with his tools. In bot mode, Soundwave has a middling attack, but an above average health and defense combination for 10 stars. His ability to play Mini-Cassette characters for an effective 4 stars each is rather strong considering the Mini-Cassettes have a solid stat line even at 5 stars.
Soundwave's ability to disrupt the opponent's hand can be useful in two major ways: disrupting your opponent's early plans so that you can capitalize on their stumble, or putting a strain on your opponent's resources to reduce the number of plays they make over the course of the game.
Looking over Soundwave's partners, you'll find ⅔ of them lend to blue battle icons. Buzzsaw allows you to play blue icon weapons, while Ravage can grant Soundwave Tough 1. In order to get the most out of Buzzsaw and Ravage’s abilities, we'll want to consider a heavy blue deck. This will pair well with Soundwave's strong survivability, but won't do us any favors with his and their low attack stats. We'll have to keep that in mind when building out the offensive plan for our deck. Since we are electing a blue strategy we will want to use Soundwave's ability to strain our opponent's resources as we won't be quick enough to capitalize on early stumbles.
After Soundwave, Buzzsaw, and Ravage, we are left with 7 stars to complete our deck. We could consider a third Mini-Cassette, but that puts a lot of pressure on Soundwave to stick around for 5 turns. I think we'd rather have someone who can support and draw the enemy fire to give Soundwave enough time to deploy this friends. Flamewar, Veteran Decepticon is strong in a blue deck, but she requires a flip to get going and we'd prefer to use our flips on Soundwave or to stealth our Mini-Cassettes. Looking for low star characters that don't require a flip limits us to few options, but I'm immediately drawn to Raider Aimless, Airforce - Weapons.
Aimless is very tanky in a blue deck, which is just what we are looking for. Not only that, but once he is KO'd and flipped to the Manifold Ion Particle Blaster, he can really kick up our offense which is something the team is lacking.
So we are set on a lineup of:
Raider Aimless, Airforce - Weapons
When picking battle cards for this deck I am looking for:
- Cards that will pair well with our characters.
- Cards that enforce our overall strategy.
- Tools to fix some of our weaknesses (if possible.)
- We are going to focus on blue to make the best of our character abilities.
Security Checkpoint is a double blue icon card that pairs well with Soundwave's hand disruption. Imagine using Soundwave to take an action from the opponent's opening hand, then using Security Checkpoint to scrap 2 upgrades from their hand. That would really leave them with very few options.
Escape Route will help Soundwave and our buddies to flip when we need them to. Roll out! will do the same for multiple at once.
Buzzsaw needs some blue icon weapons. Laser Cutlass will turn any of our 3 small guys into decent attackers which is something we really need. Armed Hovercraft can be effective on Buzzsaw, and quite strong if he gets a chance to move it to Aimless.
Ravage's innate Pierce will pair well with the Laser Cutlass to do 4 each attack, maybe even 5 if we flip a roll out!
Recover Cassette will also let us refresh Ravage and Buzzsaw should they survive some damage.
Raider Aimless really just ask for a lot of blue, and to pair it with Bold. Our characters aren't sporting Bold, but Data Pad and Decepticon Crown will help to more reliably trigger our weapon mode ability. Quartermaster can bring it back should the opponent find an answer.
Thanks to Soundwave, armor cards are more likely to stick in play for us as finding a Bashing Shield with no hand is not an easy task. Since our upgrades are more likely to stick around, and Buzzsaw accelerates out weapons, Equipment Enthusiast can be a potent source of card draw.
We'll add some Scoundrel’s Blasters and The Bigger They Are… for some much needed offense. Handheld Blaster will up our chances of getting 3 blue icons with the Manifold Ion Particle Blaster.
Raider Aimless, Airforce - Weapons
3 Laser Cutlass
3 Armed Hovercraft
3 Scoundrel’s Blaster
1 Drill Arms
3 Handheld Blaster
3 Reinforced Plating
1 Sparring Gear
2 Evasive Maneuvers
3 Data Pad
1 Decepticon Crown
3 Security Checkpoint
3 Recover Cassette
2 The Bigger They Are…
2 Escape Route
2 Roll Out!
3 Equipment Enthusiast
What we’ve come up with is a rather tanky, intricate control deck that hopes to out-resource the opponent over a long game. Perfect for the head of Decepticon intelligence! This should prove to be a solid foundation for you to start from and evolve with your own local metagame in mind.
Bonus Deck List!
The Blaster vs Soundwave battle deck gives you even more options. This one is more on the fun side, but… why not!?
Eject, Electronic Surveillance
3 Laser Cutlass
1 Piercing Blaster
3 Primary Laser
2 Drill Arms
3 Obstructive Rhythm
2 Force Field
3 Smoke Cloak
3 Inner Groove
2 Data Bank
3 The Bigger They Are…
3 Steady Shot
3 Buzzsaw, Ravage, Frenzy… Attack!
3 Rapid Conversion
3 Inferno Breath
3 Pep Talk
With this setup, Buzzsaw, Ravage, Frenzy… Attack! Is active from the beginning, and Obstructive Rhythm can grant your mini-cassette Tough 5.
That’s a lot of Tough.
Thanks for stopping by. You are now on the right track toward maximizing the potential of Soundwave in time for the release of Blaster vs Soundwave.