It feels like only yesterday that I was typing up a post revealing Optimus Prime (Dark Awakening) AKA Zombie Prime by Team Bayformers. Where have the past nine months gone?
Well, we went from the initial shock of the game being canceled by WotC, to a Wild West scenario where everyone and their Great-Aunt Arcee were making custom cards, to where we are today: a relatively stable scenario where established groups are releasing fan sets while individual creators still contribute in one way or another.
As an added bonus, many of those groups/individuals are now working together to present a sort of unified play environment as the world in general is more and more able to offer somewhat safe in-person play (maybe, TBD). Much of this unification has been spearheaded by Adam, the captain at the helm of the Bayformers crew (and their associated supporters). You can find out some additional background info here.
Team Bayformers is on the cusp of their second set release (currently in open beta). If you haven’t already become acquainted with them, you can find their cards on their site, along with links to their various social media channels. If you haven’t already done so, check out their Discord server, which may very well be the most active social media hub currently for Transformers TCG content, with loads of players talking about the game and tossing ideas around about custom cards and providing feedback.
So, with the regulation Brian-longwinded-preamble out of the way, let’s talk Fracture. First, who the hell is Fracture?
Fracture was released as a Walmart-exclusive in order to coincide with the release of the first live-action Transformers movie by Michael Bay. She was a repaint of Classics Mirage, who I’ll argue today is still one of the best deluxe class toys ever made. Don’t get me wrong, the Siege mold is nice, but that Classics figure is just so sleek and lithe.
Beyond that, Fracture is also meant to serve as an homage to Crasher, the second-in-command of the Renegades, the villainous faction from the Gobots universe. Although Gobots was a much hokier cartoon than Transformers, it’s worth watching a few clips here and there, as Crasher really was a standout character. She was sadistic, while also loyal to Renegade leader Cy-Kill.
But… I digress. Let’s return to
Crasher Fracture as a character card within the game. At 5 stars, she’s in Flamewar/Nightracer territory.
In comparison to the two current (or formerly) ubiquitous 5 star characters, Fracture’s raw stats lean closer to Flamewar’s “acceptable” power level, as opposed to Nightracer’s bonkers values. As for her ability, Fracture gives you baked-in protection against direct damage effects that hit multiple characters at the same time (like Armed Hovercraft or Magnetic Dysfunction Ray). This stands in contrast to Flamewar, who needs a flip to start affecting the game, or Nightracer, who needs a Secret Action to be played.
In Bot mode, she has the ability to ping multiple enemy characters with the same trait, which can be useful against character line-ups that share the same alt mode or combat trait. It’s especially potent against 5-wide combiner teams, potentially netting you 4 free points of damage and either softening up their individual forms or putting in a decent dent for when they combine.
Both of Fracture’s abilities are potentially powerful, but also very situational, making her feel like a balanced addition to the 5 star character stable. She may also be an interesting sideboard character opportunity, giving you answers to teams that all share a trait or teams that love to spread direct damage far and wide (*cough* Quake *cough*).
Fracture also sets herself apart by possessing Melee as her combat trait (unlike Flamewar being a Specialist and Nightracer being Ranged). I’d encourage you to explore some of the cards from World|Strike, the first wave by Team Bayformers, which had empowering Melee characters as one of its design goals.
With 10 health, Fracture is just beefy enough to potentially get some use out of those self-damaging cards that boost Health or DEF. On top of that, by using the various untapping cards available to Cars, Fracture can be a fairly annoying pest to deal with on a team with other Cars, allowing you to offer her up as a target as you see fit while also protecting your heavier hitters.
Personally, as a filthy casual player, I’d be most interested in throwing Fracture in with Runamuck and Runabout. At 10 stars each, they didn’t really have a great 5 star character to round out their team when they were released, and I didn’t have time to revisit them after Nightracer released in Wave 5. The addition of Fracture gives the team the Melee, Ranged, and Specialist traits in all modes, giving some major utility with cards like Wedge Formation and the Ark’s Assault Formation.
Those are A LOT of things you’d get to do if you still have all three characters on the field, especially if you have Runamuck in the right mode at the right time.
Again, keep a close eye on the Team Bayformers website/social media outlets to see more from their upcoming sets, along with the other community sets that are finally coming into alignment.