While there are cards like Hunker Down and Crushing Treads pushing the tank archetype, the tank decks have not seen much love in the meta of wave 1. The Transformers TCG’s beginning was heavily oriented toward aggro orange deck (Dinobots and Insecticons) which did not leave much place for blue cards, with a few exceptions like Leap Into Battle. This was until double Primes turned the tide at Pax Unplugged with its massive azure deck, leveraging Optimus and Nemesis offensive abilities while deflecting attacks with ease.
With the success of the double Primes and our interview with Drew Nolosco who teased us with his Megatron/Demolisher/Darkmount deck, I have decided to “hunch” over my desk and brewed my own armored deck… Here is my quest to uncover what Drew’s deck could have been made of with a touch of my own French spice!
In this article, I will go over the benefits of playing the tank archetype and, hopefully, maybe convince some of you on piloting some tanks!
So Frenchie, why would I want to play with tanks?
First tanks are AWESOME! As a kid, I have spent many hours demolishing my buddy’s toy cars by rolling over them with my toy tank… If we come back to the card game, the TLDR is Hunker Down (abbrev. HK).
In the Megatron/Demolisher/Darkmount deck, HK is a powerhouse. When I manage to set up the optimal condition, here is how I read the card:
“Flip all my characters to Tank mode and play 3 armor upgrades, then draw 2 cards and play Ramming Speed or Plasma Burst.”
Darkmount and Megatron’s abilities require you to discard a card to deal 2 damage or discard an enemy upgrade, which is in essence the same as playing Plasma Burst or Ramming Speed.
Setting up a situation where you use HK at its full capacity can happen quite easily. If you flip and attack with Demolisher on your first turn, you will have a minimum of 8 cards in your scrap pile after attacking and defending (up to +6 cards if you started second and flip into white pips). On your second turn, if you have HK in hand, you can flip Darkmount or Megatron first and play the action. You will have to resolve in order Hunker Down, Demolisher draw ability and then Megatron Ramming Speed or Darkmount Plasma Burst effect. If you do not have HK, you can still flip Demolisher to its Alt mod and draw two cards. You will notice that HK would let you play the armor upgrades from your scrap pile even if you do not flip any tank with the action card!
What to build around the tanks and Hunker Down?
To use HK successfully, you will need to add to your deck the best armor upgrades (abbrev. AU). The one AU that has stood out the most during the past weeks is Reinforced Plating in the double Primes decks. Facing one of the Primes upgraded with Reinforced Plating has surely frustrated many Transformers players… This will primarily gear the deck in blue.
I have chosen Force Field and Blast Shield to complete the suits of AU. These AU are good enough to save you from one shot attack by Optimus Prime or even Arcee. In this last case Force Field is your only saving grace and I think it should be an auto include. Blast Shield can be probably swap with something else if you think that your local meta is guiding you toward another more suitable armor.
The way we are going to win the game is by using pierce. There is two main reasons:
- First, Megatron’s natural pierce 3 in bot form is quite threatening when you managed to upgrade him with Fusion Cannon of Megatron or Energon Axe. This grant you at least a 5 attacks pierce 5 which can easily two shot most the of the Transformers. Also, as Megatron is only 10 stars, it can do quite a bit of damage higher cost characters if The Bigger They Are is active.
- Second, upgrading Darkmount or Demolisher with Crushing Tread will turn these tanks into unstoppable machines with guarantee damage output. The Bigger They Are is even easier to activate on them!
The strongest attack the deck can offer you is to have Energon Axe on Megatron and play and active The Bigger They Are. That would let you swing for a total of 9 attack pierce 9! Knowing you are going to do damage no matter what your opponent will flip is going to secure your victory as long as you can reach the mid game. You can check up the deck list here.
Game plan: tank, and hit hard!
The Megatron/Demolisher/Darkmount deck is mid range. The goal is to draw into your key cards that would let you “tank” while setting up your pierce attacks.
Demolisher’s draw mechanic, Inspiring Leadership and Data Bank will let you find your HK and pierce enablers pretty easily. Moreover, Demolisher’s attack in bot mod and Inspiring Leadership will make sure that you scraping pile will be filled with AU options for your HK!
The deck is filled with blue cards that would let you survive attacks while you will arm your tanks up with Crushing Tread, Energon Axe and Canon Laser of Megatron. Your characters are still susceptible to get killed in the first turns if you are not hitting the Reinforced Plating early. Still, there is many games that I have clawed my way back with only one tank. If your tank is armored and armed to the teeth, your opponent will have quite the hard time to take it down while your are crushing your way to victory!
I hope this article will make you itch for playing some Tanks! Thank you for reading up to the end of this article. Please leave a comment if you would like to discuss into more detail! I will follow up with some play notes in the next article… stay tuned!
C’était Frenchie à votre service, @++ ! 🙂