Soundblaster loves Overwhelming Advantage
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.
It's been a while since the last Bits and Bolts - but against your expectations, you've not seen the last of them. Today, let's talk about a surprise bit of Wave 4 synergy that got a wee bit nicer, and a wee bit worse, in Wave 5.
Wave 4 gave us Overwhelming Advantage (OA) - a quest-like card that, if you can get all 5 battle icon cards represented on a character's Upgrades, and you can flip all 5 battle icons when that character attacks, then you get to drop a massive 15 damage onto an enemy character. Being Decepticon focused, OA also works better with Decepticons, allowing you to prepare your flips in advance to increase your chances.
Due to color limitations, there are only so many strategies you can entertain to line up your upgrade play. There are no three-icon Upgrades, and no white-black, white-blue, or white-orange Upgrades. You also have to get around Upgrade scrapping trying to mess you up.
Enter Sergeant Soundblaster. Sergeant Soundblaster, also showing up in Wave 4, is a Decepticon who likes to move Weapons around. Specifically, in bot mode, he likes to grab a Weapon from the scrap pile when he attacks.
This makes for a very speedy OA deck.
You have to start with Combat Dagger. This is the only Orange Black weapon in the game; there are no Black Blue weapons that Soundblaster can grab. It provides Bold 1, which is quite nice for that OA hit, you'll always be flipping 3. You'll also, of course, need OA.
Next you'll need some Armor. As there are no White Green armors, Blue Green is the way to go. This is nice - Extra Padding (three-playable) and Sturdy Armor (Specialist only) are both Blue Green.
Lastly, there are many White Green utilities. You can opt classically for Spare Parts and Decepticon Crown, or slightly less obviously you might want to use Personal Targeting Drone and consider a Backup Bag.
Let's talk about that promised speed.
The first card you will play is a utility onto Soundblaster. It's quite likely you'll see one of your 6 utilities in your first 6-8 cards. Someone else attacks.
You are then waiting to accumulate the rest of your cards. You are watching for Combat Dagger showing in your scrap, waiting to swap for the Orange Green OA, and waiting to swap for a Blue Green iconed armor. If you get a Combat Dagger in hand? Swap it for a green to put it in your scrap. While 'wait to accumulate' sounds like you're hoping for luck, you're very likely to be ready by either your last attack before the wheel turn, or your first attack of the next wheel.
This isn't all your hoping for though. When you make this attack you want to have 4 cards in hand. Ideally you will have a White Green card, of which you will have those Utilities and some additional actions like Espionage and Mission Briefing, and you'll have a Black Blue card like Scouting Mission, or ideally a Orange Black Blue card, such as Master of Metallikato (MoM). As you'll note - planning an Espionage and a MoM guarantees you your OA when it comes time to attack. Getting Master of Metallikato or Scouting Mission in hand is the primary time you're relying on luck, but even without it you have high odds of success.
So there you are. Your Soundblaster is equipped with nothing but a utility. You start by adding your Blue Green armor.
You play an Overwhelming Advantage. You plan your seed cards to give you high success probabilities. Your opponents eyebrows raise.
Soundblaster taps. You declare your attack, then fetch your Combat Dagger from the scrap pile. Your opponent's eyes open wide as the OA comes out of nowhere. Time to do the damage, and Soundblaster has also attacked for ~8.
So how is this doable?
Unfortunately, all is not great in Wave 5. Sure you get a lot of good White/Green cards, but there's a lot of anti-OA. End Hostilities is a great way to break a deck that is trying to flip particular colors, Holomatter Projector is hurtful, and Reflect Damage is just plain embarrassing.
Despite these killjoy cards, super-quick OA with Soundblaster is still a joy. If your opponent appears to have options well in hand to cancel out your machinations, simply pull a Crystal of Power for Soundblaster and he will have ~10 attack followed by ~4 defense on your next battle; especially if you have a Spare Parts to keep it protected from being scrapped.
I hope you enjoy developing this approach. Soundblaster is worth a visit. Should you be involved in a Wave 1 to 4, or Wave 3 to 4, competition, remember that this will stick work in those tournaments.