We have you inbound on the target. ETA 20 seconds.
Copy that...pedal to the metal.
Roger. Keep cool. Don’t blow a gasket out there.
I’m on it. Engine’s humming, gauges are green.
Be aware, the melee bots we briefed you on are right in front of you.
Right where I want ‘em.
Be Careful! There’s a specialist behind the factory. Something tells me they’re up to something sneaky.
Don’t worry, I was ready for that.
LOOK OUT! IT’S AN AMBUSH! YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY RANGED DECEPTICONS!
COPY THAT! Getting out of Dodge. Thanks.
Welcome to week two of previews. Our card today is a specialist so specialized that he has all three specialties.
Sir, doesn’t that make him a ge….
Moving on. You’ve seen all the slices, so let’s unveil the whole package.
Say hello to Specialist Sandstorm!
That’s right, Triple Changers are back!!
Let’s check him out. The first thing to note is that he has the same stats in all three modes (6 attack, 1 armor, and 15 health). These are fine stats, but the spice is in his abilities. The core of the Transformers TCG is about change. It’s about finding the right mode to put your characters in for the current moment in the game. Nothing exemplifies that more than Triple-changers, given that they have 50% more modes than most regular characters.
There are a couple of different archetypes that we use when designing triple changers. One of them is the “maindeckable sideboard”. These are usually characters that have strong abilities against a subset of possible opponents. Often those abilities aren’t generally useful enough to make your maindeck, but live in the sideboard if they shore up a weakness of your maindeck. Triple changers, by benefit of their extra side are much more likely to be suitable for your maindeck while bringing along a “free” sideboard slot.
Another Triple Changer archetype we think about is the “in-game decisions” model. In this, we’re looking for sides that become stronger or weaker at different points in the game, encouraging you to use your flips to position them in the right space at the right time.
Specialist Sandstorm manages to hit both of these archetypes quite nicely. He has one mode which is strong against each of your opponent’s possible traits (Melee, Ranged, or Specialist). This makes him a maindeckable sideboard option against any mono-trait deck you could be facing, while against a mixed-trait deck, you could find yourself switching modes frequently to optimize his stance against your opponent’s board at the moment. Maybe you switch into Car mode for a base 8 attack swing into their Melee bot. Then, do you switch to Helicopter mode to dodge some damage from their future Ranged counter attackers? Or to you flip into Bot mode to snipe their Specialist?
Specialist Sandstorm is a phenomenal pull in sealed deck and Turbo events. He’s a common, so you’re going to see him a lot. He’s got nice beefy stats to help you close out games, and he gives you tons of options no matter what your opponent is playing. It’s easy to think that Sealed play is less skill-testing than constructed play, but in fact it’s testing an entirely different skill. Instead of rewarding deck-building optimization, it rewards flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to capitalize on opportunities.
Sandstorm is a phenomenal tool in this space, and I look forward to seeing you try him out soon.
Finally, since we’re talking about change, I wanted to highlight the new name for this column: Robots in Design. Nothing is changing in the content, but I wanted to share and highlight the column name since is so perfectly encapsulates what we’re talking about here, while also being a dad-worthy pun.