So Starscream has been quite absent from the TCG for some time now and you are really itching for him to do something meaningful, right? Right? Maybe? So what has The Ark done to try and help this guy out? Surely they have devised a Stratagem to make Starscream-Decepticon Lieutenant a formidable foe that strikes fear into the heart of the best. Sort of, but not really.
Starscream’s star costs are fairly high for how much damage he can output and making a Stratagem for each one would be tedious and further restrict who he can be paired with. We decided to hit multiple Starscreams at once without raising the star costs.
That’s right folks, Starscream-Decepticon Lieutenant can now have Tough 3 in bot mode if he has 2 capes equipped.
Let’s clarify a few things.
Put on Starscream Only. Does this need to be clarified?
This can be in an Armor slot. As a reminder, this is a Utility and should be treated as a Utility for things that reference Utilities. Armor removal will not work on Starscream’s Cape if it is in an armor slot unless it specifically references the Armor slot.
Increase each number in the upgraded character’s text box by 1. Starscream-Scheming Second-in-Command will gain Bold 1 per cape in alt mode and Tough 1 per cape in bot mode. Starscream-Air Commander will gain Bold 1 per cape in bot mode. Starscream-Decepticon King will get +1atk/+1def per cape per Decepticon Crown flipped when battling. A possible +5/+5! Starscream-Decepticon Lieutenant will gain Tough 1 per cape in bot mode. Captain Starscream-Infantry-Air Commander will deal 2 damage to an enemy that has no upgrades with 1 cape and 3 damage per enemy that has no upgrades with 2 capes in alt mode. In bot mode, he will deal 2 and 3 damage depending on how many capes he has equipped.
This effect does not modify abilities granted by upgrades or other effect. This part is important. Normally if you flip 2 black pips on attack, you would be granted pierce 1 and pierce 1, which would turn into pierce 2. Having 2 capes equipped would make that pierce 3 and pierce 3, which would turn into pierce 4. Just to be on the safe side and for future proofing, only the value printed in Starscream’s text box can be modified by the capes. Actions, upgrades, and abilities granted by characters that add effects are unaffected by the cape. Example, flipping Barrage-Merciless Insecticon to alt mode will NOT give a dual caped Starscream Pierce 4.
Manifesto of a genius
Hey there! Salty here!
Below is the decklist I landed on for Captain Starscream and his wonderful, glorious, magnificent cape! I had so much fun playing this deck (But I would, I’m the kind of scum who likes to run a ton of removal I also play blue in Magic by the way )
So, the key to this deck is obviously the big man himself, and you want to be getting two capes on him as soon as possible! Two capes means he can hit relatively strongly with the +2 attack and +2 defence buff. But, that’s not what we’re using them for. We’re looking for that sweet bonus damage for scrapping upgrades! With two capes, Starscream will cause a juicy 3 damage whenever an upgrade is scrapped from an enemy. (You may want to rethink that fusion borer now friend) As you can see, the deck is rammed full of removal, ensuring no upgrade is safe! My favourite move, albeit tricky to pull off, is to play device virus on a dismantling claw, causing 3 weapons to be scrapped and causing a good spread of damage.
Obviously Starscream isn’t alone, he’s brought a couple of friends along for the ride as well. Horribull with Parsec attached for Bold 1 is there for two reasons, firstly, if I have no upgrades to scrap, then I can try and use black icon cards to get that damage over instead. But, the main reason, is distraction. People hate that bull and fear his damage output, the bold from parsec only serving to make him look scarier! I want to draw their attacks towards him and leave Starscream safe and sound. And Brawn is here for reliable pierce damage, we chip away at the enemy in this deck, so every damage counts.
If you can get two CAPES on the good Captain, you’re in for a fun time. There’s something that feels so great about scrapping and doing damage. I loved every minute of my games with this deck, whether I was winning or losing. Bashing shield to scrap an armour and do 3 damage, disassemble a weapon for 3 damage, then flip to alt mode and do 3 damage to someone with no upgrades. Yes! So rewarding!
I recommend trying it out and see how you find it. Control has never been so fun.
Captain Starscream – Infantry-Air Commander – 12 stars
Horri-Bull – Ground Trooper – 6 stars
Parsec – 1 star
Brawn – Demolitions – 5 stars
2x Device Virus
3x Escape Route
3x Master Of Metallikato
2x Ramming Speed
2x Scouting Mission
3x This is Bad Comedy
2x Bashing Shield
2x Reactive Armor
1x Scrapper Gauntlets
2x Minor Medic Kit
2x Personal Targeting Drone
3x Starscream’s Cape
2x Dismantling Claw
2x Drill Arms
2x Enforcement Batons
If that wasn’t enough to get your Starscream juices FLOWING, let’s see if this guy helps.
Let’s unpack it.
I wanted to try and be lore-like and have Ghost of Starscream appear when SSDK was KO’d, so having him at 8 stars with the 13 star pre-requisite already made a 3rd partner choice excruciating, combined with the fact that SSDK has become underpowered at this stage of the game. This resulted in the 7 star cost so the 3rd member of the team could be, that’s right, another Starscream.
So right off the bat, your 3 wide team becomes 2 tall/wide?
Before the game begins -> KO this. This will not trigger abilities such as Decepticon Quake if he for some reason started in body mode.
When one of your other Starscreams is KO’d while this is in your KO area ->. Any Starscream you have regardless of adjective such as Captain or…….Ghost. Reminder, Ghost of Starscream needs to be in alt mode in the KO area for this to trigger.
Return this to the battlefield fully repaired, even if you have no other characters. Put all upgrades from the KO’d Starscream onto this instead of scrapping them. Essentially the “Ghost” takes the place of the KO’d Starscream with no damage on it. Things like Torox (RotC-T44) and Specialist Ratchet (S1-T48) do not interact with Ghost of Starscream entering play.
When this attacks -> You may tap an enemy. This ability seemed fine during testing because at some stage of the game, it will become “turned off.” You may be thinking that this is an annoying ability to deal with. Well friends, he is an Annoying Apparition.
One deck I have been having fun with for him is the following:
Starscream – Air Commander – 11 stars
Ghost of Starscream – Annoying Apparition – 7 stars
Starscream – Decepticon Lieutenant – 5 stars
Villainous Spotlight – 1 star
3x Calculated Strike
2x Even the Score – 2 stars
3x Fight for Position
2x Hold the Line
2x Lock on Target
1x Lose the Initiative
1x Magnetic Dysfunction Ray
3x Peace Through Tyranny
2x Precision Fire
2x Bashing Shield
3x Improvised Shield
1x Terrifying Resilience
3x Combat Dagger
2x Fusion Borer
1x Mounted Missiles – 1 star
3x Null-Ray of Starscream
3x Power Punch
Basic mass orange deck to get you started. Send SSDL first so he gets KO’d as fast as possible so GoS gets on board. Then try to get GSS KO’d next so when SSAC goes down, GoS comes in for one last hurrah. Bold your way to victory if you can. Don’t forget to lay down Even the Score if you see an opening!
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More from The Ark coming soon!