Bradcast Tournament Report: By Jay Solomon

Posted June 7th, 2021 by Joe Pangrazio


Hey clixnexus.com users! I won the most recent Bradcast Cash Bash tournament on June 5th and want to share how the games played out and what I played. This is going to be a long one, because I love writing, and I also want to be as thorough as possible for players that are newer to the competitive scene. I also suppose that I want to explain all these game elements in detail since they make up a lot of what you’ll see in the competitive environment.


Before I get into the team I ended up playing, I want to mention a previous team that this one is based on:
+9 Scientist theme
30 FF063 Valeria Von Doom
30 FuFo044 Molecule Man
30 FuFo059a High Evolutionary
30 FuFo059a High Evolutionary
75 FuFo062 Dr. Doom (w/ FuFoS010 Time Platform equipment)
25 WW80037b Giganta
30 WW80053 The Flash
20 WW80053 The Flash
20 WW80053 The Flash
10 FuFo S006 Emotional Modifier
Sideline: Various Dr. Dooms, Troubalerts, Troublemakers
Maps: BTAS Ha Ha Hacienda, F4 Aunt Petunia’s House, FuFo Negative Zone Prison

The original team is quite similar to the one I won with (sharing over ⅔ of the same points/game elements), so I’ll not get too into what it does here.
I played this team at the Heroclix for Huntington’s modern event and placed in the top 16, so I was happy with it.
After talking to some friends about the team and tweaking it, the idea to just replace DJ Doom with Annihilating Conqueror made the most sense. Everything on the team (besides Giganta) either has keywords that can be added to a Latveria team or already has Latveria. At the very least, adding Dark Phoenix to any given team makes a lot of sense.
I will miss the D6 replacement effect, though I found that DJ Doom didn’t end up doing much besides the D6 replacement, and occasionally taking away opposing equipment.

I worked on the last bunch of points and made some more tweaks with Adam Friedman (as I do all of my teams), and ended up with this:


+10 Latveria theme
75 FFFF069 Doom the Annihilating Conqueror
30 XDPSG020 Dark Phoenix
30 XDPSG020 Dark Phoenix
30 WW80053 The Flash
30 WW80053 The Flash
20 WW80053 The Flash
30 FFFF044 Molecule Man
30 FFFF059a High Evolutionary
10 JLU069 Brainiac
15 F4005 Doombot
0 Latverian Village Location bonus
3x Standard light objects
Maps: F4, Latverian Village, FuFo Negative Zone Prison, forgot to add a third map (sorry Tom!)

The short version of the team is that it’s the best stuff in the format on a themed team (I could integrate Sky Tyrant if I wanted). Normally you see unthemed good stuff, but happening to get theme is nice. I aimed to have as high an initiative bonus as possible. I know that the Secret Six teams tend to be at +7. There are other teams that have higher initiative, but I went as high as was reasonable, which wasn’t difficult with how low the point costs are, along with how hyper-efficient everything is. For a more detailed breakdown of the game elements:

FuFo069 Doom the Annihilating Conqueror
While the dial itself isn’t great, thanks to the replacement trait, he just needs to be on the starting force. Latveria is already an interesting keyword, with stuff like Molecule Man, (F4) Valeria Von Doom, and of course many versions of Dr. Doom. Cosmic was already a strong keyword, so having access to that is quite good. Future and Past have been less overwhelmingly good, but it got some recent tools. In addition to what I actually played, there are some great Future and Past characters now, like Shifting Focus Wonder Woman (the common has Past), as well as an interesting selection of primes including Crimson Avenger, Micron, and Bishop.

Replacements:
FuFo062 Dr. Doom
His Time Platform and the ability to take away opposing equipment is the main reason he’s here (since he can’t get his D6s if he’s brought into the team via the replacement effect). It could be argued as a waste of a sideline spot, but I’d rather have a different tool than yet another TroubAlert or Troublemaker. If his taking away an opposing equipment-object makes or breaks a game, it’s much more valuable than another use of the slot that would amount to diminishing returns.

FuFo064 Lord Doom
I’m almost never going to bring him in, especially since few teams will outnumber me, but may as well. His Improved Movement to destroy blocking terrain and his offenses are reasonable.

FuFo065 Dr. Doom the Sorcerer Supreme
Not much to say here. He’s one of the better attacker options, along with having a very powerful reroll effect. He’s the second most likely Doom to be used, after:

FuFo067 DOOM
LIFE IS CONFLICT: Opposing forces can't take more costed actions each turn than 1 per 100 points of the build total.

This trait is the main reason to use DOOM. While it will not come up in literally every game you play, I would still call him the default Doom. Most teams have Leadership, so having 4 actions is almost assumed to be the case by default. It also deals with Autonomous characters, since whether their costed actions count towards their action total doesn’t matter; it’s a question of how many costed actions your opponent has taken. While he’s not as problematic as pre-errata Spider-Man 1776, he serves a similar goal. He doesn’t ever make it so your opponent takes less actions than the build total, but he still essentially takes away an action. Spider-Man 1776’s global effect also didn’t deal with autonomous actions, and although 1776 can shut off Autonomous and Leadership when within range, DOOM does so globally. Like I said, while he is the most likely to be played, that doesn’t mean it’s always true. I happened to have matchups where he did matter a lot, so I used him exclusively. I also forgot that he has a printed 4 damage on his first click, which ended up mattering, so he was actually better than I thought to begin with.

XDPSG020 Dark Phoenix
I played two of them because...why not? She’s simply absurd for the points. The second one synergizes well with this team in particular. Since I send the first one up aggressively, having another as backup after the first one does all sorts of damage is just silly. Being able to move up a colossal with ten range to have the ability to attack the entire map when outdoor map while being (almost) completely safe is just silly. She’s also much better with the current rules. Losing the old colossal stamina and gaining Willpower on a 3-6 is a sidegrade, in my opinion. Not an upgrade or a downgrade, just differently good. She can also now target 3 characters with Ranged Combat Expert, and, although this never came up, carry another Dark Phoenix, since fliers can carry fliers now. Also, like a lot of the characters on my team, more recent competitive characters have skewed to lower points, so she can heal even more than before. If she heals just once she can take out a Scarab or Sky Tyrant, just for a few relevant examples.

WW80053 The Flash(es)
One of my favourite pieces, despite how new it is. For what it’s worth, I didn’t so much replace the Enhancement Flash with the second Charge one as much as not have the 20 point Flash on the team to begin with. That dial is really good too, just the least mandatory for any team in my opinion. If he makes an object attack with a light object, I can trade him for a Sky Tyrant, and then there’s not much I have to worry about with the Scarabs. I had to replace a 20 point Flash with a 30 point one for Charge since as far as I can tell, you can’t choose the green line with a 20 point Flash, and they can’t share starting lines.

FuFo044 Molecule Man
MOLECULAR MANIPULATION: Smoke Cloud as FREE. // FREE: Roll a d6 and choose a number of non-debris terrain markers within range up to the result. Replace those markers with any combination of hindering, water, or blocking terrain markers. At the beginning of your next turn, remove all markers placed this way.

If I keep saying “this piece is absurd” I’ll be here writing all day. He can make, at a minimum, 5 squares of blocking terrain in a turn, with Barrier plus at least one more via the terrain changing effect. Being able to remove opposing terrain markers is also useful, with characters like Marvella and....Molecule Man in the format. He’s also relatively safe for the points, having Stealth (and his own personal Smoke Cloud marker), and has support powers and is a flier. One of the best pieces in the format.

FuFo059a High Evolutionary
Ever since we first saw this piece, I’ve been obsessed. He doesn’t do anything degenerate, he’s just...simply so good for the points. He’s a support piece and a capable attacker, not to mention being annoyingly hard to KO for the points. Theme Team Probability Control uses going from a maximum of 5 to 3 also makes characters with Probability Control more valuable. In fact, he’s the reason I even built the original Scientist team. I just really wanted to play him. He’s so good that I simply had to. Sharing keywords with Flash is even better, between Scientist and qualifying to gain Latveria.

JLU069 Brainiac and F4005 Doombot
These two were the last additions to the team. I figured I wanted to throw in filler for initiative, so Brainiac seems obvious. The Doombot is the most likely candidate for removal, but he still has a role. His potential ability to become the target of an attack that would target a Dr. Doom can mitigate their relative squishiness. All of my options for Dr. Doom, not including Annihilating Conqueror have both Latveria and Ruler, although them all happening to have it didn’t really affect whether or not I was going to play Doombot. Neither ended up doing much, but they very well could have if I needed to, and the aforementioned initiative bonus. I didn’t want to play a second Brainiac because it felt like diminishing returns.

To be honest, I didn’t really make any particular gameplans going into the event. I playtest, but I don’t quite plan moves or approaches like that. I just learn from practicing. I had that there were some specific opening plays, but that was about it.

If I win map, I put us on Latverian Village, send up Dark Phoenix halfway down the map with some Mastermind fodder (the bystanders having Immune if I don’t move them from their starting squares). I have two bystanders left to pick up opposing equipment-objects. The fourth action can go towards Barrier if I need it, but that never happened.

It’s a very Tylor Spees style opening (he has even played and won with a Latveria team with Dark Phoenix et al). You’ve moved up and are forcing your opponent to make bad decisions. They have to deal with what you have in their face. Dark Phoenix can safely approach and follow up attacking their backrow (starting in row 2, Sidestep to row 4, move to row 13, 10 range to row 23). Sidestep on your next turn to hit the map. On an outdoor map there is simply nowhere they will be safe. Then I have another retaliator in the back. You could also send in The Flash in the same aggressive manner. He could even destroy an opposing equipment-object before ending up adjacent for Mastermind. A theoretical team variant with Q could be pretty funny, giving him Mastermind.

In addition to this quite frankly rude aggression, thanks to the TK Flash’s extra 2 square placement, the Flash with Charge can be in row 24 for his second attack. Hitting row 18 with the first use of Charge is still quite good, since he can destroy special light objects and not waste an attack.
As effective and competitive as it is, I still love running this team. Playing all of the moving parts right and getting full use of the synergy is rewarding. It’s a team that a good player will get more mileage with (not that I’m a great player).

Some quick notes about all the games so as to not repeat myself:
I won the initiative roll in all my games, despite one opponent having a +2 on me. Always chose Latverian Village.
I always swapped Doom the Annihilating Conqueror to DOOM, since all my opponents had Leadership (or Dr. Fate’s extra action effect) and I felt that taking them down to 3 actions was the way to go. The 3 actions mattered a lot, especially against Dr. Fates adding Action Total +2.
I also always chose a Dark Phoenix to gain Mastermind from the location bonus. She would then move up to the middle of the map adjacent to a Latverian Peasant,
For my 20 point Flash I always chose the starting line with the special attack power (Telekinesis).

 

Round 1: Wes Summers
+12 Mystical theme
20 RE026 Billy Batson
20 RE026 Billy Batson
15 XDPSG018 Wendigo
65 JLU004 Dr. Fate
10 JLU004 Dr. Fate
10 JLU004 Dr. Fate
10 JLU004 Dr. Fate
10 JLU004 Dr. Fate
45 SVC057 Venom Dr. Strange
50 HX054 Jubilee
30 WW80055 Felix Faust

Somehow, I manage to win map against a team that has a +2 initiative bonus against me. It’s only a 25% chance that I do (plus the 10% chance to tie). It’s especially important here, since if Wes takes us to HoX Otherworld, he can turn Jubilee to her second starting line immediately, as opposed to the fifth turn. If Wes can do that, he has a big threat. Instead, Jubilee just...sort of did nothing, which is my main issue with the piece. She just doesn’t do anything if she’s on her starting line.
This was definitely a case of “first round is for practice”. Although the other team shares a lot of game elements, it is still different. Dark Phoenixes are a gamechanger, and access to the second Charge Flash is great, but different. Latverian Village is not a map I have tested with, nor have I played against someone using it with the Location Bonus. I definitely could have played better, and I’m lucky that it was a good matchup for me, somewhat limiting Wes’ ability to capitalize, despite his skill.
I do my opening aggressive play. There’s not much for him to do on his first turn but he does move up some Dr. Fates adjacent to my Latverian Villagers to KO them so I can’t use Mastermind. I attack to attempt to KO at least one Wendigo and the main Dr. Fate to take Mystics damage in order to retaliate, mitigating the Mystics damage by healing once.. He has theme team Probability Control, as do I. He also has Probability Control on both Felix Faust and Venom Dr. Strange. We both forgot about Felix Faust’s trait, which could have mattered a lot:

A DEAL WORTHY OF MY NAMESAKE: When an opposing character within range would use Outwit, Probability Control, or Perplex, roll a d6. 1: That character can use that power an additional time this turn. 4-5: The use of that power has no effect. 6: The use of that power has no effect and, after resolutions, deal that character 1 penetrating damage.

We ended up using up all of our theme team Probability Control and I end up missing. Perhaps trying to hit that attack against that much Probability Control was a mistake, but I only needed to hit a 7 (Wendigo’s defense having been Perplexed up). At that point there isn’t much more for me to do. He KO’s Dark Phoenix with Felix Faust and not much else if I recall correctly. I retaliate with the other Dark Phoenix. I didn’t realize that I was targeting the main Dr. Fate (who Wes did highlight so it was very clear), so I healed less than I thought I would and Dark Phoenix was KO’d although she would have been KO’d anyway, because I’m bad. I do end up hitting most of his team for 2 damage and giving them action tokens and KOing a Wendigo, so while the point exchange was in his favour, I hit him hard and messed up his tempo. At this point I know I need to catch up, so I approach with the Charge Flashes. I realize that since the low point Dr. Fate is only 1 click, the Minions of Doom team ability will mitigate their Mystics, so I don’t need to worry about it. High Evolutionary can also take out 2 of them since he gains Invincible on his second click. I end up finishing off Jubilee with one Flash for the points, and the other takes out some Dr. Fates. I whittle him down more and in time the game ends 300-90, Wes having taken out both Dark Phoenixes and one of the Charge Flashes.


Round 2: Brian Estes
+7 Monster theme
50 WW80064 Scarab
50 WW80064 Scarab
50 WW80065 Sky Tyrant
25 WW80067 The Commissioner
65 SVC053b Doppelgänger
20 XDPSG004 Proteus
20 XDPSG004 Proteus
10 ABPIS001 Reality Gem (Infinity Gem)
10 ABPIS003 Power Gem (Infinity Gem)

I thought I used up all my initiative roll luck on that first game, but I do still win map here. I do my usual move up with Dark Phoenix and pick up both of his equipment-objects with Dark Phoenix. He has The Commissioner generate Rookie and is then carried up the map into hindering terrain, both having Stealth. I have Dark Phoenix attempt to target both Proteus and Scarab to get some KO’s and follow up by retaliating. If I recall correctly one Proteus rolled Shape Change, I KO’d the other Proteus but Scarab rolled Super Senses? At this point if he takes out Dark Phoenix I’m still winning 40-0, with a Dark Phoenix waiting to retaliate. His Rookie is just out of range to use Running Shot on the backrow Dark Phoenix, so he just decides to take the one out (dual targeting her and the Peasant to prevent her from using Mastermind). I then retaliate on Rookie and start attacking stuff. I take out the other Proteus and hit one of the Scarabs for two clicks. He doesn’t quite have the swing to make Doppelgänger do a ton either. Also, since he doesn’t have six or more Secret Six characters, my characters can still use SAFEGUARD: Outwit, so Scarabs can’t do much, only having 2 printed damage. I send in The Flash to take out Sky Tyrant, and at that point there wasn’t much he could do even with two Scarabs, and I end up taking out the rest of his team, and he scores 30 points for a Dark Phoenix and a Flash. Winning map and taking his objects was big, so I feel validated in going for the maximum reasonable initiative bonus (although the +7 team wasn’t actually Secret Six). It’s an interesting team. I am a big fan of orange Proteus and feel like he is very underplayed, and Doppelgänger can do some serious damage to follow up after Sky Tyrant.


Round 3: Nick Streif
Unthemed
40 RE052 Mister Oz
15 XDPSG018 Wendigo
25 XDPSG015 Magneto
30 FFFF044 Molecule Man
75 WW80001 Wonder Woman (Shifting Focus)
25 WW80037b Giganta
30 WW80055 Felix Faust
50 WW80065 Sky Tyrant
10 ABPIS001 Reality Gem (Infinity Gem)

My usual movement with Dark Phoenix ends up being a hilarious misplay, since his Magneto can place Dark Phoenix with his trait and get her away from the Mastermind fodder. He takes her out with his Sky Tyrant and uses the second move to get closer to my starting area so my second use of colossal retaliation doesn’t end up targeting the rest of the team. We agreed afterwards that it wasn’t a great play in retrospect. I send DOOM in to Flurry down Sky Tyrant and KO him the first time. I follow up by retaliating with my second Dark Phoenix so she would get the KO. I Sidestep her up and KO Wendigo. He starts to plan to KO Dark Phoenix but forgets that he only has 3 actions, so he can’t make enough attacks to finish her off. I KO his Magneto and can’t recall the rest of the turn. He then sends in Shifting Focus Wonder Woman to Incapacitate my team, but thankfully DOOM’s Battle Fury prevented him from getting action tokens, and Dark Phoenix ended up successfully rolling her Willpower, so that didn’t end up amounting to much. He also sends out Giganta to retaliate. I take out Wonder Woman with a few attacks and he concedes, having only taken out the one Dark Phoenix. I wouldn’t say he made any huge misplays, but it is a rough matchup for him.

I'm now noticing some similarities and how a build can be themed and unthemed variants. If I wanted, I could also play Sky Tyrant and Wonder Woman. Not to mention Giganta, who I was playing previously. My point is that sometimes it can be worth it to break theme. Theme doesn't need to be dogmatically followed. Another team that reminds me of is a team that I played and won a Win a Map with last year, which was basically Hellfire Club. Two Jasons, some colossals, that sort of team. But then I said to hell with theme

I don’t think there’s much I would change about the team, if anything. After going into the Heroclix for Huntington’s event without practice against the Secret Six teams and losing to them exclusively, I am happy that I was able to deal with those pieces when I saw them at this tournament. I am a fan of high initiative teams, not being a stranger to running +10 theme teams (I miss you, Flora swarms). Winning map is more important now than it has been in the past, between interacting with opposing equipment, alpha strikes, the current powerful maps, and tempo. Going first made a big difference in all of my games, let alone the map itself.

The only thing I'm unsure of is not having Perplex. My team's combat values are generally good, but I wouldn't mind having that staple power. Enhancement would also be really nice. There's some serious range on this team, lack of the second High Evolutionary.

This isn't something I'm thinking about doing, but I guess I want to throw out a hopefully not too obvious tip if you want to use the team: It's somewhat modular in that you can mix and match the 30 point characters. Maybe you want a second High Evolutionary instead of a second 30 point Flash or Dark Phoenix. Hell, there are so many 30 point options. You could easily swap in Q (which I am now thinking about doing).

All of my opponents played well and I want to thank them for the games.

I also want to thank Brad for running this and other tournaments. I hope he continues to have good turnouts.

 

Jay Solomon is the host and creator of the JSAClix Podcast.

For more information on the "Bradcast Cash Bash" tournaments, you can head over to the Bradcast Show on Facebook

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