Sergeant Springer and EMP Wave
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.
Sergeant Springer, Conversion Engine, and EMP Wave have a particularly tricky synergy that lets you lockdown your opponent, stopping them from being able to attack you. Let's go over how this works, both as it's educational about the turn structure, and so that it's not a shock when someone plays this against you.
The Expanded Rules document explains which events happen when in a turn. There are two events we're interested in here, the untapping, and the end of the turn. The crucial thing to note is that the untapping happens before the "end of turn" resolutions happen.
4.4: If all characters on both sides are tapped, untap all characters. The game then proceeds to "5. Ending the Turn."
5.1. Any ability that happens "at end of turn" resolves.
Let's start by looking at Conversion Engine. This allows a triple changer (a character with more than one alt mode) to flip at the end of your turn. Looking at our notes above, this means you untap the triple changer, and then you flip them.
For most triple changers in the game, this is a fairly mundane act that changes their stats, however for Sergeant Springer it can lead to a lot more. Sergeant Springer's alt-modes allow you to scrap a card and draw two. Getting another of those flips in at the end of your turn is all good; however it is Sergeant Springer's bot-mode that we will look at next.
When flipping Sergeant Springer to bot-mode, you get to play another Action, and then another Upgrade. With Conversion Engine, this means you get to play those extra cards at the end of your turn, when all of the characters in the game are untapped. This is where EMP Wave comes in.
EMP Wave is a simple card, though typically not the most often played. It taps every character. In this case, with Sergeant Springer flipping to bot-mode at the end of your turn, it taps every character right after they just untapped. It's what happens next that is so compelling. Let's look at the play as a whole.
- Untap all of of the characters.
- At end of your turn, flip Sergeant Springer to Bot-Mode due to Conversion Engine.
- Play EMP Wave. Tap all the characters.
- Your opponent takes their turn:
- They draw a card.
- They play an action, upgrade, and flip a character.
- All of their characters are tapped.
- Everyone untaps.
- Their turn ends.
- It's your turn. Your opponent missed the chance to attack you. Will you get to play EMP Wave again?
Pretty impressive stuff. While your opponent might have been able to cause some trouble in their turn, not being able to attack you was probably crushing to their gameplan. Especially if you can do this again. And again.
Hopefully you will recall this when you see your opponent play a Conversion Engine on Sergeant Springer. How will you get those EMP Waves out of their hand? Thank you for reading.