"Transformers who won't double-cross their friends? Where's the fun in that, hmm?"
Many Transformers TCG decks benefit from characters whose abilities help those around them. As a deck builder, these characters are common gotos to be an accomplice to the concept at the heart of your deck. As an opponent, these characters make for a tougher choice on whom to attack. Do you go for the bot who is clearly the core of the team, or the bot who is making it harder to K.O. the core bot? Do you have time to K.O. the second bot before the core concept destroys your own team?
In this article we will highlight some of these bots who help make those around them better. The aim being to give the inexperienced deckbuilder some ideas for useful folk to include, and to give the inexperienced player a heads up that, for these bots, there is more than meets the eye.
Flamewar (Wave 1, Common)
Wave 1's Flamewar is the original team player; a little out of character for a Decepticon perhaps.
Flamewar is commonly flipped straight to her Bot Mode, giving everyone on the team a Tough-1. Assuming there are some Blue pips in your deck, this simple move raises everybot's defence. That's not Flamewar's only contribution to the battle. When she flips back to her alt-mode, Flamewar gives a Bold-1 to everybot on the team for that turn. Whether you're a mixed deck, or a blue-pierce deck, that Bold-1 will be well received.
As a participant herself, Flamewar has a 3-attack and 10-health. Given she only costs 5 stars, Flamewar represents excellent value.
Captain Impactor (Wave 4, Common)
Wave 4's Captain Impactor also provides a Bold-1 to the rest of the team when he flips to Alt-Mode. His Bot mode, however, is a selfish Bold-1 for himself.
General Optimus Prime (Wave 3, Rare)
"The General" is an excellent Team player as, unlike most bots, he's in team mode right from the start of the game. There's no need to flip him, or flip him and then flip him back again for a "when you flip" event; he's giving a Bold-1 and a Tough-1 to the rest of the team from the moment your opponent decides to attack you. Not only is The General friendly, he's unselfish. He's the one person who doesn't get the Bold-1/Tough-1, which can make him a bit of a target. While he costs a hefty 11-stars, a lot for a friendly bot, that's still enough to add two 5-stars and a 4-star. If it's not obvious, The General is a great generic partner for three members of a micromaster patrol.
Trypticon (Wave 4 Booster Box)
Arguably Trypticon is also friendly. The great dinosaur, while in city mode, does provide Bold-1 to the other characters on the field. This feels like a trap however given that said dinosaur is quite happy to flip to bot mode and effectively eat those other characters. As a 24-star bot, it seems unlikely you'll fall for that crocodile smile.
Bumblebee Brave Warrior (Wave 1 Starter Pack)
The Starter Pack's Bumblebee, when flipped, gives a Pierce-1 to each of the team's characters.
Windblade Combiner Hunter (Wave 2, Super Rare)
When Windblade attacks a Combiner in Bot Mode, she gives Pierce-4 to each of your characters. So if a friend tells you they're going to play a combiner, and you happen to be lucky enough to have Windblade, you know you're going to be enjoying yourself.
Ironhide Steadfast Brawler (Wave 2, Uncommon)
When Wave 2's Ironhide is in the K.O. pile and is flipped to his bot mode, everyone remaining on the team gets a Pierce-2. Think of it as Ol' Ironhide's wise words finally sinking in.
Arcee (Wave 1, Rare)
When you flip to Arcee's alt-mode, she repairs 1 damage from each of your characters. As with Flamewar, Arcee is an excellent value 5-star character. In her bot-mode she is a piercer extraordinaire.
Raider Chop Shop (Wave 4, Common)
Unlike most other Insecticons, the new Chop Shop's powers affect 'each of your characters' and not 'each of your Insecticons'. Who would have thought an Insecticon could be so friendly?
In Chop Shop's case, they can repair damage for each of your team by scrapping a green pip card.
Raider Ratbat (Wave 4, Common)
If Chop Shop showed unexpected friendliness, Wave 4 Raider Ratbat's tap ability is a complete surprise. Who would expect the Transformer equivalent of a vampire bat to heal everyone on the team, potentially for 3 damage each. Expect to see Ratbat being very friendly to anyone with Plan-1, or the ability to look at the top card of their deck (looking at you Major Shockwave).
Faction-Specific Team Players
Optimus Prime Freedom Fighter (Wave 1, Common)
Optimus does the same as Arcee, though only for each of your Autobots. Optimus is not as friendly as Arcee.
In addition to Ratbat, another two of the mini-cassettes are friendly, but only to those who have sufficient authority/power.
Steeljaw (Blaster vs Soundwave Pack)
Ravage (Blaster vs Soundwave Pack)
Both, when in Bot mode, reserve their friendliness for bots with over 10 stars. Steeljaw provides them a Bold-1, while Ravage provides a Tough-1. Steeljaw is the friendlier of the two as, when flipping to Alt-Mode, they give everyone on the team Bold-1. Ravage on the other hand flips to give Pierce-2 to one other member of the team.
Tribe-Specific Team Players
In addition to the above, there are some bots who are great team players, but only for their specific tribe. Examples of those are:
- The effective Patrol leaders (e.g. Private Powertrain).
- Various Dinobots (e.g. Sludge), Insecticons (e.g. Wave 1 Chop Shop), Cars (e.g. Prowl), and Combiners (e.g. Predacon Rampage).
These bots are outside the scope of this article as they are likely to be more obvious when you're building a deck around a particular tribe.
Go Forth and Deckify
I hope this helps inform, or remind, you of some very useful bots for your deck. Bots who make your team a better team, rather than simply doing their own thing.