Wreck ‘n Spoil Week: Episode 1

We are incredibly hyped to be able to share some card reveals with you folks this week. Make sure you also keep an eye out on Wednesday and Friday for more reveals from us! As always, we’re incredibly grateful to our friends on the Transformers TCG team at Wizards of the Coast for giving us an opportunity to participate in the process of revealing upcoming cards to the community.

Today, we’re excited to share with you three battle cards in the upcoming War for Cybertron: Siege II set. In case you just want to see the new stuff, ASAP here are the three cards we’ll be talking about down below.

First up, we have Immersed in Shadow.

As of writing this article, this is the third card we’ve seen with the orange/black battle icon combo. In Siege I, we were given the opportunity to show you guys Combat Dagger and Rock Toss.

Immersed in Shadow continues the trend we’ve seen in cards that have the dual orange/black or blue/black battle icon combo, where they have a less powerful effect than a similar card that only has the single orange or blue pip. Combat Dagger is a less powerful Flame Thrower from Wave I, while Rock Toss is a more restrictive version of Zap. Similarly, Immersed in Shadow is a more restrictive form of Stealthiness from Rise of the Combiners.

The blue/black cards from Siege I (Smoke Cloak and Steady Shot) have seen a little bit more use in constructed play, typically in 4-wide builds that try to block a lot of incoming damage with a heavy blue focus, while ensuring reliable pierce attack damage while on the offense. As an example, take a look at the deck that Joe took to Top 32 at GenCon.

Orange/black cards haven’t quite made as much of a splash in constructed play. In theory, they should work well with a 5 or 6 wide set of characters with low native ATK stats, like an orange-based Constructicon deck or a team of Micromasters . If they’re unable to boost their ATK value into double digits, then black battle icons can ensure that they’re at least pushing some damage through.

We did find that both Combat Dagger and Rock Toss were effective cards in limited play, especially the sealed events that we held locally when Siege I initially released. We expect Immersed in Shadow to function in a similar manner, especially if the team you decide to run in a sealed game is focused around one powerful character (like Raider Ion Storm from Siege I) supported by a few support characters. If you were to upgrade Ion Storm with Immersed in Shadow, it will ensure that he is protected from being attacked once all characters on the field have activated and untapped.

Next, let’s take a look at 4-Wheel Drive.

I’m relatively sure that we haven’t seen cards with this specific verbiage before. We’ve certainly seen a lot of cards with “put on” restrictions before, but I don’t believe we’ve seen conditional restrictions worded in this way. To clarify my point a bit more, Battering Ram MUST be put on a character in truck mode, but if you then flip into bot mode, you are still able to use its ATK bonus and its effect.

Conversely, 4-Wheel Drive can be played regardless of if the chosen character is in bot or Truck mode, but they’ll only get the bonus while they’re in Truck mode.

It’s also important to clarify exactly what “base” means. At multiple points in Rules Roundup posts and in the FAQ, “base” is clarified as the printed value on the card, before you take upgrades, actions, or icons flipped into account. Example:

Ransack’s ability sets his base attack value, what you’d see printed on the card if it didn’t change. From there, Actions and Upgrades can raise that value.

As an example, if you have Private Powertrain in truck mode and play 4-Wheel Drive, his base attack value would be 7 rather than 3. When you attack, your Primary Laser would add 2. Then if you flip two orange battle icons, you’d get an addition +2, for a total ATK of 11.

Joe and RJ did some theory-crafting, and it turned out that for the most-commonly used Trucks (OPBL/Nemesis/Ultra Magnus, etc.), it’s better to just use Leap Into Battle, since you’ll get into a higher total ATK . In addition, most of the current trucks out there would much rather attack while in bot mode. There is one major situation, however, where 4-Wheel Drive will be a better selection.

If you decide to play with the entire Off-Road Patrol, their base attack value in truck mode starts off at a paltry 2 (Tote) or 3 (Powertrain, Mudslinger, Highjump), so boosting it to 7 with 4-Wheel Drive is better than playing Leap Into Battle.

For reference, RJ compiled a list of the trucks currently in the game, along with their base attack value while in truck mode. Characters in bold get more use from 4-Wheel Drive than from Leap Into Battle.

  • Hound (4 atk)
  • Novastar (6 atk)
  • Springer (4 atk)
  • Captain Ironhide (4 atk)
  • General Optimus (4 atk)
  • Grapple (5 atk)
  • Inferno (6 atk)
  • Starter Ironhide (3 atk)
  • Sentinel Ironhide (4 atk)
  • Magnus (5 atk)
  • Motormaster (2 atk)
  • Nemesis (6 atk)
  • Offroad (2 atk)
  • OPFF (6 atk)
  • OPBL (6 atk)
  • Starter Optimus (3 atk)
  • Mudslinger (3 atk)
  • Red Heat (2 atk)
  • Tote (2 atk)
  • Trailerbreaker (4 atk)
  • Sergeant Hound (5 atk)
  • Kup (3 atk)
  • Ratchet (4 atk)

Finally, if you’re going for maximum trolling, there’s a clear favorite for who to play 4-Wheel Drive onto.

For our last card today, let’s take a look at Head-On Collision.

First of all, let’s take note of the fact that we have Apeface on this battle card. Now, we did have a couple of characters teased in Siege I art that didn’t make the cut as characters in that wave (I’m looking at you Skytread/EM24 IR Laser Launcher…). Still, with Apeface getting a really sweet looking release as a toy later this year, we can all keep our fingers crossed to see one of the more unique triple changers out there as a character card.

Editor’s Note: Since first writing this, Scott from Vector Sigma gave us a look at Kinetic Converter and Kinetic Intensifier Whip, which completes the trifecta of cards featuring Apeface in his various modes. On top of that, we’ve seen that Sandstorm and Astrotrain have opened the gates to offer us folding cards, so it’s looking more and more likely that we see this goofball in the game!

Once again, Leap Into Battle is another clear analog. A few things set it apart, however.

  • Like 4-Wheel Drive, it has a limitation on mode when it comes to gaining its associated effect.
  • It has a white battle icon, which means it’s more likely to find its way into orange-focused decks, which typically are wary of the blue icon on Leap.

As a general rule, most characters have stronger effects in bot mode, and often have a higher base ATK value, which encourages you to have them attack while in bot mode. Conversely, they have a useful or more conditional effect that triggers when they flip back into alt mode. Let’s take a look at Thundercracker, for example.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Thundercracker, especially when using ways to play additional actions, like Brainstorm. While in bot mode, you’re encouraged to play as many actions as possible, especially ATK boosting actions like Leap Into Battle or The Bigger They Are. You still get those bonuses, however, if you then flip him into his alt mode. That flip can be incredibly useful, since it allows you to just do 2 direct damage to a melee character. You can use that to kill off a heavily damaged character, then use your attack to hit a different target. Alternatively, if you think you’ll be a couple points of ATK too low to get a character kill, you can use that flip to help make it more possible, assuming the target has the melee keyword.

I also like this card for some corner-case situations with Grimlock. Often times, if your opponent only has a single character remaining, it’s more worthwhile to flip Grimlock to alt mode to get Bold 3, especially if you’re fishing for a white battle icon or double oranges. In this case, we could flip Grimlock to alt mode and also use Head-On Collision, giving us +3 ATK and Bold 3.

I think there’s also some utility with traditional orange-based Car decks. Let’s take a look at the standard Hot Wheels line-up.

In the above line-up, you’re usually trying your best to save Wheeljack as your last character activation, to ensure that he isn’t vulnerable to attack and to make sure he slams into your opponent’s most important character. This often forces you to use a turn to flip either Bee or Prowl to alt mode, so that you can put Turbo Boosters on them to untap them. There are frequently occasions where you will then send out either Prowl or Bee while in alt mode in order to hold Wheeljack back for a little bit longer. Playing Head-On Collision could be a strong play here, especially if you can combo it with Prowl’s Bold 2 flip.

As another example, RJ has been using General Optimus Prime in conjunction with the Sentinel versions of Prowl and Ironhide.

Here are RJ’s thoughts about using Head-On Collision in this deck: Good for the GenOP/Prowl/Ironhide deck I’ve been running since two of them are always in Alt mode, and you can keep GenOP in alt mode to protect the other guys if you need to. I think this will definitely see some play! I can see *maybe* using this to replace Reckless Charge in this specific deck.

Thank you for reading! Make sure to look out Wednesday and Friday when we drop some more reveals!

As always, keep your eyes on the Wreck ‘n Rule YouTube channel for our usual shenanigans. Also consider supporting us on Patreon, since the proceeds go toward helping us upgrade our recording set-up AND toward throwing some sweet custom swag your way!

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