Freelance Peacekeeping

Counting with Damage Modifiers

Bits and Bolts - Exploring TF:TCG Synergy


Welcome to Bits and Bolts, a series intended to help Transformers the Trading Card Game newcomers discover some of the valuable interactions between different cards.

Damage outside of attacks and repairing are two parts of the game that have increased in importance as the game has developed. In addition to more and more cards that inflict or repair damage, there are also cards to block or boost those damage effects. Sometimes the counting in these cards can be confusing, so let's look at how the counting works.

Toolbox Card Image
Toolbox boosts your repairs.

Medic!, Emergency Maintenance, and Versatility are three repairing cards, repairing 2, 1 to 3, and 0 to 5, damage respectively. If you're doing a lot of healing, you'll want to use the Toolbox utility, which repairs another damage for each time your character is repaired. How do you determine how many times your character has been repaired though?

Medic! Card Image
A simple repair 2.

The Medic! card is an easy place to start. It says "Repair 2 damage from one of your characters". If you repair 2 damage from a character who has a Toolbox, you will get to repair 3 damage instead.

Emergency Maintenance Card Image
A situational repair 1 or 3.

Emergency Maintenace is a little more complex. It says to "Repair 1 damage from one of your characters. If you have more Stars of characters in your KO area than you have on the battlefield, repair 2 more damage from character. ". Let's assume that you do have more Stars in your KO area. You will repair 1 damage from your Toolbox upgraded character, then you will repair another 2 damage. Each time you repair, the Toolbox will add another 1; leading to you actually repairing for 2 and then 3, for a total of 5 repaired damage.

Versatility Card Image
Take a gamble to repair 5?

Versatility is the last repairing card we'll look at. It says "Choose one of your characters. When it attacks for the first time this turn and you flip at least one battle icon → Repair 1 damage from it for each different color among battle icons you flipped. ". In this case you are first flipping a bunch of cards, then you are calculating how many colors you flipped, then you heal that much. Let's assume you hit the jackpot and flipped 5 different battle icon colors and healed our Toolbox upgraded character. Instead of healing 5, you would heal 6.

It may feel a bit odd that Toolbox gave two bonus repairs to your Emergency Maintenance, but only a single bonus to your Versatility. This is something to watch for in the game - are there two (or more) steps to the card you played, or is it all one step? When you see "for each" in the game, it is a counting stage rather than a game changing stage. You are calculating the amount of repair, and then doing the repair after the "for each" in one go. Put simply, Toolbox is not a fan of "for each".

The same is true when it comes to cards that send damage at a character. There are simple cards, cards that have multiple steps, and cards that add up the result of some other things. There are also cards your opponent can use to reduce, or ignore, the damage you send at them. As we're looking at how the numbers are effected, we'll be looking at the cards your opponent can play to reduce the damage done.

The two cards that reduce the amount of non-attack damage a character takes are Defensive Driving and the 2-star Ultra Magnus Armor. In both cases the amount of non-attack damage done to the upgraded character is reduced by 1. Because it's not a star card, let's use Defensive Driving in our examples.

Defensive Driving Card Image Ultra Magnus Armor Card Image
Dodge one Zap.
Just a reminder that there are three basic ways a character's damage can change in Transformers TCG:
  1. Attack damage caused when one character attacks another.
  2. Non-attack damage caused by a card.
  3. Damage being moved from one character to another (which is neither repairing nor damaging).
Only the 2nd type of damage is blocked by Defensive Driving and Ultra Magnus Armor.

Let's take a quick look at three types of damage card to show damage and repair count similarily. Our examples will be Plasma Burst, Frag Toss, and playing Decipher when your opponent has two secret actions.

Plasma Burst Card Image Frag Toss Card Image Decipher Card Image
Time for some non-attack damage.

Based on what we've seen with repairing, it should be no surprised that Plasma Bursting a character upgraded with Defensive Driving will only do 1 damage instead of 2. Additionally it's hopefully clear that Frag Toss would do no damage as it does two 1 damages and both would be reduced to zero by the Defensive Driving. Lastly, when you play Decipher against two secret actions, your damage is accumulated to 2 damage and Defensive Driving only gets to block 1.

War of Attrition Card Image
Some damage, some repair.

Another example would be playing three War of Attrition cards. Each War of Attrition is its own played card, so your opponent would be able to direct the 1 damage onto their Defensive Driving upgraded character, taking no damage. As you played all three War of Attritions You would repair 3 damage from one of your characters, or 4 if they were upgraded with a Toolbox.

I hope that was helpful. As always, thank you for reading.