Meta Talk: State of the Meta Part II

Last week’s article was so overwhelmingly popular, I thought I would revisit this with some of the teams I didn’t talk about. ROCtober is next weekend, so let’s get one more round of big teams in to think about when building your team.

Before we dive into the teams this week, I have to give a big Thank You to everyone that shared last week’s article, commented on it, or PM’ed me saying how helpful it was. In case you didn’t know, the guys over at Two Clicks From KO shared the article and a few champion-level players were talking about it. That’s huge for someone like me, just a LGS player here in San Diego. I’ve tried to not have a big head about this, but it really is a big deal for me. So again, thank you to everyone who has supported the blog for the 1.5 month’s it’s been running for. Now then, let’s do this! Round 2!

Last week, I talked about how today’s Meta is constantly changing, with different teams winning each ROC event. That’s starting to slow down a bit and the teams we should expect to see next week at the big event are pretty apparent. We’re seeing more and more showings of Devil Dinosaur as he continues to take a bite out of the competition with his immense token army. I even played a version of Paris’ Devil Dino + Mephisto ID card team on Sunday and was shocked when a ROC winner named Erik from Phoenix showed up with his undying team. It was a tough battle, but I won and was really surprised with just how strong the big, red T-Rex is.

However, I missed a few teams last week, so I wanted to take the time to give them a spotlight too. If you’re using these to plan against the competition, it would only be fair to provide you with the most tools possible, and that’s what I intend to do. I’m going to do the same thing as last week in terms of covering each team (if you haven’t read that article and you’ve come this far, please take a look as it’s very helpful information) in that I’ll briefly talk about what makes the team great and what you can do to stop it. I’m not going to cover as many winning teams today, but I will talk about other top-teams I haven’t discussed.

lex

  • TW Lex Luthor
  • Jarvis
  • War Wheel Colossal (Retaliator Dial)
  • Thug
  • Pandora’s Box with Sloth and Lust Relic
  • 6 ID Cards

Lex here has seen competitive play for quite some time, and his wins go back to last year along with Koriand’r. He’s a 200 point beat stick, and counter-intuitive to the swarm teams we’ve been seeing of late, but that’s because he’s not used as an attacker. Lex’s trait gives him Mystique-like protection as he can’t be targeted unless you start the turn adjacent to him. Because of this, he’s used as a glorified ID card summoner with his gigantic 200 point call-in value. With Pandora’s Box granting him Sidestep, it ensures he’ll never worry about getting based, and when he clears actions to call someone in next turn, Sloth can heal him up in case he’s been Pulse Wave’d. With War Wheel as his own personal transport with a gigantic movement, Lex is a devastating ‘One Man Army’ (even though he’s not). It should be noted that other builds are prevalent including Justice League theme teams with Atomica’s, but this is the most recent winning build.

How do you deal with this? Pulse Wave is the big answer to Lex as it’s the only way to whittle him down. It only takes 7 clicks to kill him, so a big damage PW will rock his world. Also, he can be easily out-actioned since he only attacks with one piece every other turn. I think Mephisto is a great counter to him at full points. Able to survive the brunt of most ID call-ins with his stop click, Mephisto becomes a 12 attack, 4 damage Running Shot Pulse Wave piece. You just have to worry about that 200 point SMWW Wonder Woman call-in that can absolutely shatter Mephisto’s glass jaw once he hits that stop click., or Fury for that matter as he can just turn off Invincible and go to town. Finesse will be a big key factor in match up against Lex.

ultron

  • Ultron 7 Drone X2
  • Ultron (Age of Ultron) Drone
  • Ultron-1 Drone
  • Ultron (Future) Drone X2
  • Brimstone Colossal (Retaliator Dial) X3
  • Solaris Colossal (Retaliator Dial)
  • Avengers Round Table with 6 ID Cards

Like the Lex build, the Ultron Swam has seen a few different iterations as of late, mostly with people using two Ultron-1 Drones rather than a single piece, but PJ Bolin took first with this setup on September 24th. The idea is fairly simple; run your Ultron Drones out, calling in help from your 120 point and below pieces (125 with Ultron-7) and breaking down their front line, while letting your drones die off and resurrect with the Ultron-1. Again, simple, but incredibly deadly and unrelenting. What’s even nastier is that every drone you kill is going to click that round table closer to his reserves, and then you’ll see King Thor and another big piece (in this case, AOU War Machine) hit the board and demolish anything you had left.

How do you deal with this? Oh man, remember how I talked about how good Living Lightning was against drones last week? Yep, he’s gonna be your guy against this team. Sure, you’ll turn that round table, but remember that every drone you KO earns you points and gets your opponent deeper in the hole. As long as you can stay alive and hit time, you can ensure your win with the overwhelming points you’ll rack up with drone killing. Pick your targets carefully and only kill what you absolutely need to. The tough part is going to be winning map roll since the swarm teams come with a big +10 (give or take), so chances are they’ll put you on a map that you can’t hide on. The other HUGE play is to go after their Ultron-1’s as that’s going to be the source of their army and force them into playing more conservatively. Mxyzptlk would be great here as if he rolls a 1,2, or 3, he stops a Drone from rebuilding.

sinister

  • Doctor Octopus LE
  • Speed Demon
  • Chameleon
  • Overdrive
  • Avengers Round Table with 6 ID cards

I remember when Superior Foes of Spider Man was coming out and people were saying there wasn’t a lot of Meta potential in the set. Boy, were they wrong! LE Doc Oc has always been incredibly strong for 80 points, and the influx of Syndicate members we got in the set just made him that much better. Overdrive is a themed taxi with huge range, which Oc loves. With all the ID call-ins being under 80 points, this version of the Syndicate team has two pieces in Doc Oc and Speed Demon that can be viable call-in pieces. For Chameleon disguises, this team has the WF FF Nightwing at 50 points (Outsiders), NFAoS Peggy Carter Prime (Can’t Use defense), and AoU Scarlet Witch (+1 stat boosts and Perplex).

How do you deal with this? This team is a lot like a standard team you’d see at an LGS, but has a remarkable bite. Your best options are going to be to take out Doc Oc and Speed Demon as they’re accomplishing pretty much all of the team’s damage. Doc Oc is great, but he goes down quick once he’s hit, and this team is trying its’ best to get to you first and put you down. Unfortunately, Fury isn’t going to be able to be as effective as both Speed Demon and Oc are 80 points, so you lose out on the +1 to attack/damage and Penetrating. Still, he can nuke out Speed Demon’s defense, dropping him to a naked 18 and really hurting him. Doc Oc has no reducers, and he has no way of giving him any, so if you can get through his high defense numbers you can really hurt this team. Mary Marvel would be great since she has a huge movement with Hypersonic, Super Strength for HUGE damage, Invincible to really reduce Oc’s hits, and Prob to help hit or stop them from hitting. But best of all, her trait makes it so Oc can’t outwit her. The stop click is icing on the cake.

midnight

  • Doctor Strange LE (D20) Possessed with Eclipso, Midnight Sons ATA
  • Felix Faust LE (D20)
  • Justice League Teleporter with 6 ID cards

A little random compared to other teams we’ve seen winning ROC’s, the Midnight Sons team hasn’t taken a victory yet, but we’ve seen bits of them in top 8 for a bit now. With Eclipso, any Midnight Son keyworded figure effectively can’t have lines of fire drawn to them on top click. This makes Doctor Strange a great ID character since he’s 150 points, can free action roll a D20 for game effects, and has Prob to keep him alive in case they DO come and fight him. Faust adds to the randomness with a second D20 roll, and the ID characters are big; GF Green Arrow, Balls of Fury, TW Batman, and LE Martian Manhunter are able capable of big numbers.

How do you deal with this?  Melee pieces are going to be big against this team. I think something like Quicksilver would be a great piece to deal with the ATA that keeps Strange safe. He gets to attack twice, and he has Precision Strike, so even if Strange takes Impervious you’re going to get some damage in. Plus, if he keeps Stealth (which he most likely will) your Precision Strike will go straight through his Super Senses. Just be sure to bring some healing with you as the Mystics on both his characters is going to go a long way. I think Civil War Venom would be great against this comp as well, as long as you have some TK. Traited Steal Energy will be a big boon against the Mystics, and Flurry on top click will let Venom do some real damage. Remember that Eclipso gives any piece Precision Strike, so that could be ideal. Of course, there’s always Pulse Wave.

notes

Before we wrap this article up, rather than come up with another counter build, I thought I would go over some points and changes to some of the bigger, winning teams we’ve seen. Let’s see what people have been doing with some of our big guns lately:

  • Devil Dinosaur – We’re seeing some interesting side pieces come with the big dino. From a recent 1st place team with Zatarra and Jean Grey, to my favorite of Mephisto at full points with Overdrive, we’re seeing a lot of variety with the remaining 150ish points after the Round Table/Teleporter. We even saw a non-ID Nick Fury!
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk – The little pain in the ass is still winning, and the team is sticking to pretty much the same build. However, we’re seeing some variation in retaliators, along with some Morlock with Proteus combos in there for more insane Pulse Waves. We even saw a Supreme Intelligence on a build! If you like using Pulse Wave, look up James Criss’ winning build from 9/24. He ran Pandora’s Box and one ID card rather than the cookie-cutter Mxy build.
  • Civil War Iron Man LE – Easton Brock is a force to be reckoned with and seems to be great at bringing new pieces to light, and he took a second place victory with Civil War Iron Man possessed with Proteus. I didn’t feel the need to highlight this one-off build, but don’t be shocked if you see these monster Stop-Click guys show up.
  • Brainiac Skull Ship – I think the Skull Ship should have a highlight build since we’ve seen it show up a bit, but I frankly just haven’t taken the time to break it down to understand what it does since I don’t own one. If you’re planning on going to ROCtober, it’s worth it to look into this thing and see just what this monstrous 200 point Colossal can do.

SPOTLIGHT PIECE: TW Blue Devil 046

As a last note before signing off on Competitive before ROCtober starts, I want to highlight a piece before he rotates next June. Last week, I talked extensively about how good Living Lightning is at dealing with the current Meta of Ultron Drones. This time, I want to talk about Blue Devil. One the most prevalent things we’re seeing these days are Stop clicks. Once again, these painful powers are stopping people from toppling pieces. Fury can get the job done on something like Devil Dinosaur, but most teams are seeing him as a call-in, so you’re only getting him for one turn.

Blue Devil here has a wonderful trait for dealing with Stop clicks:

SUPERNATURAL EXORCISM: When Blue Devil damages a character and a special power is revealed that stops that dial from turning, after actions resolve, deal that character 2 unavoidable damage.

Devil Dinosaur a problem for you? Mr. Blue can hit him once and take him all the way down to click 5, regardless of damage. If those 3 Stop click Civil War LE’s make a showing, Blue can KO them in one hit since he does 3 penetrating on top click, which knocks them into their 3 Stops, which will each trigger Blue Devil’s trait. Mephisto? yeah, let’s just throw you passed those Pulse Wave clicks and get you right on Regen/Shape Change. Seriously, this guy is great, and with only 7 clicks, he’s perfect for a possessor like Brainiac. Blue also has Energy Explosion with double bolts, so he’s great at taking down Ultron’s too. Maybe not as good as Living Lightning, but still damn good.

If you want to think outside the box, try Blue Devil. I guarantee you won’t see many, if any, at ROCtober. As I said last week, don’t be afraid to be different!


I hope this follow up to last week’s article was helpful in breaking down the current Meta. I’m going to take a break from competitive articles as I’ve kind of ramped up leading to ROCtober and focus on some more fun team builds and LGS-level play. Don’t worry, once the big weekend is concluded, I’ll do some articles about the teams that won, the teams that came close, and if there were any surprises we saw out of the event.

Please feel free to comment or share, and let me know if these articles have been a big help to you! Make sure to come back on Tuesday for a rather fun team build!

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