Today, we’ll be showing off our final card reveal for War for Cybertron: Siege II. Thanks to the Transformers TCG team at Wizards of the Coast for letting us be part of the process!
We always keep our fingers crossed to be able to show off a Wrecker character, but this time, we’re also super-hyped to be able to show off one of the Scavengers!
As I’m wont to do, and since Joe isn’t looking over my shoulder as I write this, I’m going to do a quick rundown on who Spinister is before exploring his card in the game. If you’re not interested in fluff, just skip ahead until you see the card image again.
Editor’s note: The other Wreck ‘n Rule members criticized my use of the word “wont.” I advise them to look in a %&#@-ing dictionary.
In the original toyline, Spinister was one of the “Junior Targetmasters,” who were a bit smaller than the regular Targetmaster toys AND came with two smaller Targetmasters that could combine together (in a similar manner to how the Siege Micromaster toys are able to combine into a larger weapon). His “wavemates” were Needlenose, who got a card in Siege I, and Quake, who we haven’t seen yet in game, but has been featured somewhat prominently in the newly rebooted Transformers comic book series by IDW.
Spinister arrived too late in the G1 lifecycle to feature in the cartoon, but he did appear in the comics. He popped up in the UK series first as a member of the Mayhem Attack Squad, which was the Decepticon analog to the Wreckers. Fun fact: we were originally going to call our channel the “Mayhem Attack Squad,” since Joe was initially resistant to anything that was Autobot-focused. After reading Last Stand of the Wreckers, Joe conceded.
As Simon Furman was promoted to writing for the US series, the Mayhem Attack Squad essentially became Thunderwing’s personal Decepticon wetwork group. Spinister’s major moment in the US series was getting blasted by an out-of-control Thunderwing, who had become possessed by a corrupted Matrix of Leadership. The shock of attacking one of his own troops shook Thunderwing out of the Matrix’s possession long enough for the Autobots to gain the upper hand in the battle.
Spinster also showed up as a member of a Decepticon exile group known as The Scavengers in IDW’s More Than Meets the Eye/Lost Light series by James Roberts. I don’t want to talk about them too much, as they have a really neat storyline and a ton of funny moments. I don’t want to ruin your enjoyment. Just go read the series.
While doing some quick research , I was surprised by the sheer number of toys that Spinister has gotten over the years.
Most pertinently, he’s making an appearance in the Siege toyline later this year, which is a clear inspiration for his card.
To wrap up our Multi-Missile Pod manifesto from yesterday, Spinister’s additional weapon slot allows you to collect them while also equipping a weapon that gives you an ATK bonus.
Since he has abilities that trigger off of Battlemasters in both of his modes, you probably want to partner him with at least one or possibly even two Battlemasters. In the early game, you want to flip Spinister into bot mode as much as possible while your Battlemasters are still on the field as bots. Once a Battlemaster has been KOed, you want to stay in Helicopter mode to get the attack boost.
At first glance, you might be tempted to take two Battlemasters that become Weapon upgrades once KOed, but I think there’s value in diversifying your options. Since Spinister is relatively vulnerable behind only 1 DEF with 13 Health, using Peace Through Tyranny to sacrifice a Battlemaster lackey in order to take an additional turn to swing out with a big hit would also be a wise idea.
In order to use this card, you’re going to want Battlemaster partners who are at least 6 stars. Let’s take a look at some of the stronger Battlemaster Weapon possibilities. Remember, typically, when equipping a Battlemaster Weapon, you’d be forced to remove an already equipped weapon, but Spinister allows you to put it into his additional weapon slot instead.
Firedrive seems to be regarded as the strongest option for the Weapon Battlemasters, especially with his early draw potential and his solid starting +3 ATK bonus while in weapon mode, before you even take into account additional boosts you get from scrapping cards in hand.
Spinister probably wants a predominantly blue deck, so Aimless is worth considering if we can find a way to get Bold to flip the third blue.
Nightstick is an intriguing choice. Without any other upgrades, Spinister will be sitting at a healthy 8 ATK, 2 DEF in alt mode with Nightstick equipped as a weapon. If we can run enough cards with black battle icons to make his Weapon-mode ability activate, that’s icing on the cake.
With Enforcement Batons an increasingly common side deck (or even main deck) card, I think there’s value in taking an Armor, or especially a Utility Battlemaster, as your third character. As of writing this article, the only Armor Battlemaster to be revealed is Vanguard, whom I don’t think is an ideal option. Sure, it would be nice to keep Spinister somewhat protected if the opposing player goes first, but without native Tough, the odds of flipping into a white pip are probably fairly small. We also revealed Private Turbo Board on Wednesday, who becomes a Utility, but I don’t know if Spinister wants enough orange to make use of his Utility-mode ability. This leaves…
Of all the non-weapon Battlemasters currently shown, I’m intrigued to pair Spinister with Raider Sights. In bot/bird mode, it shares the Ranged keyword, while its Multi-Maneuver Glider Wings grant Focus 2 and +1 to both ATK and DEF. I like the idea of either stacking this with Nightstick’s Black Beam Blaster mode to pump Spinister’s stats even more, or using the Focus 2 with Aimless’s Manifold Ion Particle Blaster mode to help fish for double-blue or white pips to get the 3 damage ping to trigger.
It should go without saying, but you can basically staple 3 copies of Quartermaster to any Spinister deck, in order to recur any Battlemasters that your opponent is able to remove.
Thank you for joining us for Wreck ‘n Spoil week, and once again, thank you to our friends on the Transformers TCG team at Wizards of the Coast for letting us be part of the excitement leading up to War for Cybertron: Siege II!
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!