On September 1st, 2019, 31 players made their way to The Comic Book Store in Glassboro, NJ for their Energon Invitational Qualifier event. I took the following list to a first place finish.
PART 1 – THE TEAM
Bumblebee – Trusted Lieutenant // 10 stars
Prowl – Military Strategist // 6 stars
Cliffjumper – Renegade Warrior // 8 stars
24 stars worth of characters leaves us with one star card. We will jump ahead a bit in the next section.
I narrowed the options to Leap of Faith, Mounted Missiles, or Full Loadout.
The thought had crossed my mind to run 7 double orange pip cards.
- Mounted Missiles ultimately makes an attack stronger with static defense while allowing upgrade slot flexibility, however, using a +2 attack as my upgrade for turn felt underwhelming.
- Full Loadout is an excellent choice to fully upgrade a character to max potential with there being only 2 necessary upgrades to abuse for this deck. Unfortunately that would require too many hoops to jump through. Drawing FL, and having both correct upgrades in hand, and an extra for turn to take full advantage of the turn. That’s a 3-5 card combo, one of which being a one-off and not likely to be drawn in a timely fashion.
- I wound up going with Leap of Faith. This is an action heavy deck and LoF allows the user to dig potentially 2 to 8 cards into the deck to look for an upgrade and/or the most optimal action for the turn. The 9th and 10th card in that string could potentially be played via Data Pad+Anticipation Engine, henceforth for this article DPAE.
And back to the characters…
Bumblebee – Trusted Lieutenant
Bee is a damage dealer, deck cycler, hand filterer, action cheater, potential extra attacker, and potential tank.
Going first is easy. You will flip Bee, draw a card via Cliffjumper (see below) and attack. Scrap whatever action from your hand you deem is the weakest for your matchup and draw 2.
If you go 2nd, only send Bee if they attack Prowl or Cliffjumper. If they attack Bee, you will need to eye up your opposition to determine if Prowl or Cliffumper is sent out.
Prowl – Military Strategist
Prowl is a combo piece for big attacks giving anywhere from Bold 2 to Bold 6 to Bold 8+ in unusual circumstances.
Prowl is also a decoy. If your opponent is about to swing big, serve up Prowl. Sometimes untapping your team and serving him up as a meatshield is the proper call..
If your opponent is about attack with a weak character, toss Prowl into the fray before Cliffjumper in case you need to buy CJ some more time to dig and play upgrades.
Cliffjumper – Renegade War
CJ is a decent part of the draw engine. Between flipping characters every turn and abusing SYE, you should be able to get ahold of all cards you need to pull off your combos. He can also take a hit, so if you have an untap in hand, send him for a quick attack if you think he won’t get 1-shotted. Cliffjumper only flips to bot mode when he is the last character you have, then start flipping your KOed bots to car mode.
PART 2 – ACTIONS
3x All-Out Attack
3x Incoming Transmission
1x Leap of Faith
3x Peace Through Tyranny
3x Press the Advantage
3x Ready for Action
3x Roll Out!
3x Start Your Engines
-I played a version of this without All-Out Attack and it was pretty decent, just slower and less threatening. Having played in this event and pulled off multiple AoA turns, this card can be incredibly devastating and game ending as early as your 2nd attack (see part 4).
-I do apologize, but as of writing this, the incredibly bad news is that AoA is probably the hardest card in the game to get a hold of. For that reason alone, most of you building this deck are now down to 41 cards. Anywhere in this article you see a request to play AoA, you can replace it with PTA or Supercharge for attack value or any other card you see fit.
–Confidence, Incoming Transmission, and Leap of Faith are meant to dig through your deck for the proper cards suitable for the task at hand.
–Peace Through Tyranny is meant to enhance attacks and in most dire of circumstances, to give you a chance to finish your opponent if you are on your last leg.
–Press the Advantage is excellent static attack value, especially against heavy blue Decepticons. The green pip helps to filter your hand as well.
–Ready for Action (RFA) and Start Your Engines (SYE) will be used for spreading damage via untapping your characters, granting Bold for attacks, stacking actions, and in certain cases…pressing your attack (see part 4).
–Roll Out! will be used as a last ditch effort to flip characters to combo with other cards (see part 4).
–Supercharge will be used primarily against aggro decks and in certain cases it will be a combo piece to help counter blue decks (see part 4).
–Zap is…..well….zap. I’ve lost more games than I care to count because of wasting an attack on a character with 1hp. This is just my random silver bullet to help those scenarios and against characters like Skrapnel.
**********Now that Press the Advantage has been banned, we will be going -3x Press the Advantage and +1x Zap and +2x Heat of Battle.
This deck has not been updated past Wave 3.
AoA RULES QUERY
From the September 6th, 2019 Rules Roundup. Roughly translated, whichever of your characters are tapped at the time AoA is played, they will be unable to attack that turn if your opponent has an untapped character.
If you manage to somehow untap that character and then play AoA again during combat, then they are allowed to attack.
PART 3 – UPGRADES
1x Bashing Shield
2x Improvised Shield
3x Data Pad
3x Turbo Boosters
3x Anticipation Engine
3x Grenade Launcher
-A solo Bashing Shield is to counter an annoying Force Field or maybe an Extra Padding (ExPad).
-3x Improvised Shields (IS) became annoying after I played Leap of Faith and flipped one too many ISes. Not sure if dropping them altogether is the correct choice since double oranges on attack are incredibly valuable. Down to 2 I went.
–Data Pads are for drawing and manipulating attack value and/or AE combo plays (see part 4).
–Turbo Boosters are for untapping cars (see part 4)!
–Grenade Launchers are for attacking. Deal damage!
–Anticipation Engine…..this is a strong piece of the combo puzzle this deck utilizes. Drawing it, playing it, and utilizing it correctly is somewhat of the main focus of the deck. If you can’t get one to hand, you will need to rely on cunning/untaps/PTA/supercharge to get you through the match.
PART 4 – COMBO PLAYS
In this section I will outline some combo plays to help put you over the top in your match if you can pull them off.
-Bee is tapped in bot mode, flip Prowl for turn, draw from Cliffjumper. Play SYE, combo AoA from Bee, Grenade Launcher or AE on Cliffjumper attack with whole team with Bold 2 each.
-Bee and Prowl are both tapped in bot mode. Play Roll Out! and combo RFA off of Bee, then play Turbo Boosters on Prowl or Bee
-Play SYE to flip Prowl and Bee to alt mode, combo Supercharge off of Bee to Bold 5 someone.
-In the event your character has AE equipped with no DP, Incoming Transmission will act as your “Data Pad.”
-Hiding a character is also a tricky play. Bee is tapped and has alot of damage on him. DPAE into SYE with Cliffjumper to untap Bee instead of Cliffjumper if you wish to give Bee another shot at an attack.
-Play SYE to flip Bee and Prowl, untap Bee, combo AoA with Bee, attack with CJ with DPAE to play RFA or SYE to untap CJ again (to hide him for your next turn). Repeat this process as many times as possible. Last ditch effort would be a Leap of Faith or a blind AE, a blind AE is just revealing the top card and hoping you can combo off of it with Confidence, LoF, or hoping for a big play like Supercharge or PTA.
PART 5 – SIDEBOARD
This section is a bit of a struggle for me. Below is what I keep with the deck although truth be told, the only piece of sideboard I used for the event was the occasional Enforcement Batons swap for Zap. This ultimately proved effective for a few matches helping to knock off Firedrive.
-I don’t feel replacing any of the 3 characters is a smart idea because there would probably be a catastrophic failure of the components of the deck ranging from lack of card draw, to survivability, to attack power.
-The extra Bashing Shield is in case you encounter a blue deck that seems to put out more armor than the deck might be able to handle.
-The Dampening Fields are for Bold heavy decks if you can’t keep up wiith them
-The Filed Repairs were just another way to manipulate the AE plays. I never attempted to utilize them.
-Squish Them Like Bugs should be for Insecticons and combiners if necessary
1x Bashing Shield
2x Dampening Field
1x Enforcement Batons
3x Field Repair
1x Heat of Battle
2x Squish Them Like Bugs
PART 6 – GAMEPLAY VIDEOS
*Note: Some of the footage below may contain plays that are illegal. The Rules Roundup took place 5 days after the CBS EIQ videos.
CBS EIQ FINALS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Au5mFunryU&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2gJXQ3EWuXVvL9K0YcVOUbOwcYCpJes2O3L4UPJ-k9ftfSdXcvq-SS790
CBS EIQ Top 4 – Player Note: Cliffjumper’s 2nd attack at 29:00 is now illegal
Against PrimeBL/Alpha Trion – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdTyN_lfvnA&t=1103s
Against Major Shockwave/Raider Nightstick/Flamewar – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOTSeL9Tsqw&t=985s
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