Greetings! I’m Ken Nagle, design lead for Transformers TCG. Today I want to talk about an interesting deck I built and playtested during design for War for Cyberton: Siege II, which is Wave 4 of our releases.
Part of designing Wave 4 was to create more deck possibilities. After Wave 1, Wave 2, and then Wave 3, we realized we no longer needed to incentivize players to play Bold characters with orange icons or Tough characters with blue icons. Those were going to be the default because of the system design in the game and the primary goal to knock out enemy characters while preserving your own.
Even though we have 5 battle icon colors to work with, this variety doesn’t translate into Constructed decks because players naturally want to reduce their variance during battle. This is all well and good – we want players to “feel” that their deckbuilding decisions matter.
If we as game designers want players to “embrace chaos” then we’re going to have to heavily reward all 5 battle icons. The newest and loudest example of this is Overwhelming Advantage:
This new Decepticon story-themed Action has lots of moving parts and is almost a whole archetype to itself. Here’s a deck I built for playtesting:
10* Raider Apeface, Espionage Commando
10* Megatron, Arrogant Ruler
5* Predacon Headstrong
3 Overwhelming Advantage
3 Terrifying Resilience
3 Spare Parts
3 Combat Dagger
3 Smoke Cloak
3 Point Position
1 Backup Beam
3 Immersed in Shadow
1 Attack Drone
3 Metal Detector
2 Reflex Circuits
3 Decepticon Crown
3 Treasure Hunt
3 Work Overtime
Meet the Team
Raider Apeface is a new 10-star triple-changer from War for Cybertron: Siege II. In this deck, he’s going to be where we play our Upgrades. We are trying to navigate the game where Apeface attacks with full Upgrades and 1-9 damage so his innate Bold 2 is active. His Focus 1 mode is a small backup to find our Upgrades. His Tough 3 mode is a desperation move where we hope his Upgrades stick around. It’s important to find a relatively sturdy Decepticon to go for Overwhelming Advantage.
We’re using Megaton, Arrogant Ruler to increase our deck’s speed. He’s our primary character to flip since he helps find the correct Upgrades and speedily play them. We attack with him second where he’ll hopefully take the hit and survive. In a pinch, we can suit up Megatron for the Overwhelming Advantage turn.
Predacon Headstrong is our deterrence. His Brave keyword keeps attacks away from Apeface from the start of the game and he doesn’t require any flips to be effective. Since we want a full Decepticon team, Headstrong is our only 5-star Brave choice.
Assemble the Combo
This deck is trying to do 15 damage via Overwhelming Advantage. The first part is to find 3 Upgrades, 1 Weapon 1 Armor and 1 Utility, that collectively have the 5 colors among them. Since you need all 5 colors, you can’t just use a green Weapon, green Armor, and green Utility since that will only be 4 colors. Here are a couple loadouts:
Also, be prudent with how you deploy these Upgrades because your opponent is going to try and disrupt you. If your opponent is relying on Bashing Shield to scrap your Armor, then save playing the Armor until the turn you attack. For general safety, you can play the green Upgrades first since if your opponent scraps them you’re more likely to find another green Upgrade than a non-green Upgrade.
Flipping 5 Colors
After finding the correct 5 colors of Upgrades, you’re next concerned with flipping all 5 colors. This can be easy or impossible depending on your deck:
- Extra Bold effects on the character you’re attacking with.
- Using the Plan 1 effect of Decepticon Crown.
- If your team has 2 Decepticons and a Decepticon Crown (not necessarily on the attacker), you can Plan 3 and guarantee the 3 cards have the 5 icons. You can Plan less than that and improve your chances.
- If you get really good at playing your particular decklist, you can check your scrap pile, figure out what’s left in your deck, and know if it’s even possible to flip all 5 colors or make an educated guess what cards to Plan.
As I outlined in my Air Strike Patrol article, this decklist was built for test purposes so it’s deliberately over-themed to let the War for Cybertron: Siege II cards shine. The first time I got Overwhelming Advantage to work, it simply KO’d a single enemy. That didn’t seem very fair to Trypticon, so the next time Overwhelming Advantage did 25 damage. Again, that felt unfair to very tall decks and ineffective against a 5-wide team. Next time it was 10 damage, which did not feel like enough to justify the effort.
We ultimately landed on 15 damage which should be enough to win a game but not enough to knock out the strongest characters like Lord Megatron or Trypticon in a gimmicky way. Also, 15 damage is an amount of damage that can sometimes be overtaken by a card like Increased Durability, which actually happened during playtesting.
Remember – Overwhelming Advantage is just a means to an end. You’re still on the hook to knock out all enemy characters. 15 damage should be plenty to solve a huge problem but not every problem – for example, your opponent might simply refuse to Combine their 5-wide team to deny you the full 15 damage.
Today we saw my Overwhelming Advantage deck and its proof of concept. Many playtesting characters were sacrificed to the gigantic doom cannon, but in the end we want to loudly pushed multicolor, higher variance decks since they flow against the grain.
Thanks for reading this deck profile. I hope you enjoy War for Cybertron: Siege Part II on sale tomorrow, November 8th!
Until next time, may you line up 5 in a row through careful planning.