Meta Talk: ROC World Cup Winning Teams Breakdown

A lot of interest was shown about breaking down the winning teams for the ROC World Cup. Now that they’re released, let’s take a look and see why they were so devastating.

As I stated in my Meta Talk – ROC World Cup 2016 Results and Musings article, I’m going to cover the top 4 winning team builds. Although the top 8 are available, I covered Phil Isaacson Jr.’s (5th place) undying team in that article a bit, and I don’t want this article to go on forever. I’d like to note that I won’t be going into the maps as I don’t think I’m at the level yet where I actively think about map choice aside from “is it open or closed? Lots of walls?” etc. Let’s jump into the builds, starting with 4th place making our way to first.

4th Place – Daniel Powell (Mystical Sons)

  • M-028 Doctor Strange Possessed by Eclipso + Midnight Sons ATA | 179 points
  • D-027 Felix Faust | 80 Points
  • Avengers Round Table with 6 ID Cards | 35 Points
  • ID Cards: Green Arrow, Black Panther, S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7, Batman, Hawkeye, Martian Manhunter
  • Sideline: NFAoS 056 Nick Fury, TW 208 Green Arrow, AAoU 106 Hawkeye, TW 051 Batman, D16-001 Martian Manhunter, CWSOP 109 Black Panther

Deemed the ‘Mystical Sons’, Daniel ran a Mystical theme team with just two characters in order to get that amazing Midnight Sons ATA. Any character with this ATA gains Stealthon their starting click. However, if they can already use Stealth, lines of fire can’t be drawn to that character while on that click, which Daniel gains from Eclipso. This prevents Strange from being hit from ranged or from the deadly onslaught of Nick Fury as he flat-out cannot be targeted. The real idea behind this team was to have the two D20 characters rolling off every turn to make life miserable for his opponent. With double the chances to roll nonsense, there’s a good chance that Daniel will get something that he needs each turn.

I covered why Faust is such a disgusting character in the World Cup article I linked above, and you’ll see him a bit in this write-up, so I’m not going to go over him again. Basically, he’s severely undercosted for having board-altering effects. As for the Resource, Daniel wasn’t using the Round Table like Devil Dino teams were. Usually, you’re limited to one ID card per character on your force, but with the Table, you can have exactly 6 cards instead and supersede that rule, which is exactly what Daniel did. With Strange being 150 points, that gives him a lot of options to dish some damage.

Nick Fury is a necessary evil and only two of the top 8 teams didn’t have him on an ID card. If you don’t know what Fury does by now, you got some homework. TW Green Arrow is among the best ranged characters in the game, and he brings an awful lot of options in terms of attack powers that he can use, so it makes sense that Daniel brought him. 12 attack is nothing to scoff at, and the fact that he can use Sidestep after Running Shot means he can blink him out of existence and retaliation by Sidestepping outside the 5-square range of call-ins. Hawkeye is another good choice, and the fact that he can see through hindering is a great ace-in-the-hole for a Stealthed target. Pen/Psy and Enhancement make him a good source of damange, and he’s cheap enough to call in via Fuast which means he can get some more damage in with Strange if he needs to. Batman is a Jack of All Trades that I’ve covered before, so it makes sense that his big, 150 point piece is this guy. Martian Manhunter (on 100 point line) is a pretty nasty ranged attacker with fantastic values that Daniel can use for straight damage with Pen/Psy. Finally, the Civil War Black Panther is a great melee piece if Daniel gets cornered with Outwit. Plus, he’s 75 points which means another Faust call-in, and he can blink into hindering terrain at the end of your turn, which if you play your cards right means he can vanish like Arrow before retaliation triggers.

The last thing to look at on Daniels team is the inspirations on his ID cards. Because Daniel isn’t really using tricks to buff his characters, they don’t really come into play here. The only pieces I can imagine seeing play strictly for Inspiration is Black Panther for his ability to grant Barrier/Smoke Cloud/Stealth, Batman for the same reason, and Manhunter for granting Shape Change/Stealth. Sure, the archers grant some nice stat boosting for ranged attacks, but it seems they’re being used for straight damage instead of buffing Strange (Faust has no move and attack ability).

It’s a nasty team. Having a character to call-in characters that can’t be targeted while rolling D20’s and changing the game every turn is problematic and can completely shift how a team works. Daniel did a great job with his build!

3rd Place – Patrick Yapjoco (Quinjet)

  • AoU V001 Quinjet + Resource Dial | 145 Points
  • AoU 054bd Ultron-18.2 Drone | 30 Points
  • AoU 042bd Ultron-6 Drone | 30 Points
  • TWFF 007 Atomica | 25 Points
  • SMWW G001p The Atom | 15 Points
  • NFAoSFF 099 H.E.N.R.Y. | 15 Points
  • 7 ID Cards | 40 Points
  • ID Cards: S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 X3, The Atom, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Hawkeye, Iron Man
  • Sideline: NFAoS 056 Nick Fury, NFAoS 007b Peggy Carter, NFAoS 024 Winter Soldier, SMWW G001p The Atom, D15-008 Nightwing, TW 208 Green Arrow, AAoU 106 Hawkeye, NFAoS 053r Iron Man

Patrick played a team very similar to his WizKids World Cup winning team with the only differences being his ID cards since Guardians of the Galaxy rotated out. If there’s anyone that knows how to pilot a Quinjet, it’s Patrick. He used what’s basically the staple build of Quinjet + Ultrons + low-point, high-level characters for ID cards. Although most of his pieces can be picked off rather easily, by the time he’s in your face dishing damage there won’t be much left for you to use. I’ve gone over these Quinjet teams a number of times, so we’re going to jump to the rest of the team and why he used what he did.

The Ultron drones are a given, but why these two in particular? In my opinion for 18.2, it’s two fold. A, he has flight which means he doubles as a ID call-in character and a taxi, and it’s wonderful when your taxi has sidestep. B, he’s got Impervious on his second click, so that makes him a little bit more durable than some of the others. Regarding Ultron-6, he has the ability to break through walls on movement making him a valuable piece at re-configuring the map if Patrick plays against a theme team and (most likely) loses map roll. Plus, his second click is quite the offense one with Plasticity/Sidestep/Giant, along with 11 attack and Pen/Psy.

Atomica is a beast for 25 points and I think the Meta will feel it when Trinity War rotates out and she leaves us. Granting your entire team Theme Team Probability Control for 25 points is outstanding, and her 19 defense and tiny ensures she’s stick around longer than the opponent wants. I’ve extensively gone into why The Atom is the best retaliator, so I won’t take up more space to explain here again. Basically, he ignores so much when striking he more than outweighs his point-cost. H.E.N.R.Y. just grants Patrick more damage all the time and his tiny size makes him easy to shuttle around. Free damage!

So what about his ID characters? I’ve covered Fury, Nightwing, Green Arrow, and Hawkeye in this article and others, so let’s save some time and space and talk about the other three. I’ve never covered Peggy Carter before and that’s a shame. Peggy is outstanding, and even more-so as a call-in. She has a special damage that allows her to pick a standard power or team ability and opposing characters within 3 squares can’t use that power until your next turn. That’s huge. She also picks up Shape Change if you call her in close to the opponent’s starting area so she becomes harder to kill which is good since you don’t want to give up free points. Winter Soldier is my favorite pick for a ranged call-in. He ignores characters and hindering for line of fire, and can use Outwit and Ranged Combat Expert on the same character with a range of 10. Brutal, and he can absolutely turn the tide with a shot from Bucky (let’s not forget that Henry can boost his damage too). The Atom is used as a call-in for two reasons; you can get in a retaliation whenever you need it the most, and he’s only 15 points so anyone on his team can call him in. Pretty important.

The last piece for calling in is Iron Man on his 50 point line. I saved him for his section because there’s a strategy that Patrick and a lot of Quinjet players use that may not be apparent with this guy. The resource dial allows you to call-in a character permanently rather than for one turn and they stick around until they take damage. A lot of players will use this for things like calling in Fury for good (which is still an option), but Patrick is using this dial to 9/10 times ‘real boy’ Iron Man to be a pilot for the jet. When Iron Man climbs aboard, he grants the Jet Perplex, and because he has both the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. keywords, he gives the Jet Sidestep, an additional ‘target’, and the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. team abilities. That’s a lot of value for only 50 points.

Inspirations played a part in Patrick’s team too. Green Arrow and Hawkeye can boost range and attack values, while Level 7 grants the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability and +1 to attack for range which makes Fury a beast with 12 range and 14 attack. The Atom’s inspiration isn’t really crucial as making someone tiny on Pats force isn’t huge, but it does allow his main boarded Atom to make attacks as he’s now smaller than everyone so that’s some cool tech. Nightwing can give his guys the option to get away easier if he needs it, and Iron Man can give him Stealth-busting and buff attack values.

Patrick used calculating moves and careful planning to maneuver his team and strike when the timing was right; only Faust could stop him. If you want to play the Quinjet, study Patrick!

2nd Place – Easton Brock (Quinjet)

  • AoU V001 Quinjet + Resource Dial | 145 Points
  • AVAS 034 Jarvis | 40 Points
  • AoU 054bd Ultron-18.2 Drone | 30 Points
  • AoU 042bd Ultron-6 Drone | 30 Points
  • TWFF 007 Atomica | 25 Points
  • 9 ID cards | 45 Points – Thanks to Jarvis
  • ID Cards: S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7, The Atom, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Red Tornado, Batman, Black Canary, Iron Man, Firestorm
  • Sideline: NFAoS 056 Nick Fury, SMWW G001p The Atom, D15-008 Nightwing, TW 208 Green Arrow, SMWW 021 Red Tornado, TW 051r Batman, D-021 Black Canary, NFAoS 053r Iron Man, D16-012 Firestorm

Easton’s build is a lot like Patrick’s in that he used the Quinjet, Ultron-18.2, Ultron-6, and Atomica. That will save us some time, so let’s go over what made Easton’s team better.

Jarvis. That’s the main difference between Easton and Patrick. Jarvis has a wonderful trait that lets him count as 3 characters for determining how many ID cards you can have, and you don’t have to pay for 3 cards. That’s a 15 point bonus you’re getting for 40 points. Jarvis also has Perplex and when he’s adjacent to an Avenger, he can only be dealt one damage. Jarvis was practically made for the Quinjet and gave Easton so many tools to work with.

Easton’s team really comes down to his ID cards, even more-so than Patrick’s. With no real attackers (other than the Jet) on his force, or retaliation sitting in the back-field, Easton is heavily relying on what his sideline can do. That’s where we’re going to find the meat of his team. Again, I’ve already covered a good portion of these figures: Nick Fury, The Atom, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Batman, and Iron Man, so let’s get into the others.

Red Tornado is an interesting choice. Her dial doesn’t look that great with average values, no move and attack, and TK for 95 points. She does have Outwit, but why pay for that many points for Outwit? It’s her trait that makes her so useful. She can use Force Blast normally or as a free action, and when she activates it, if the target is still next to her, she deals them 1 penetrating damage. Being able to call in a character that can double Force Blast is a big deal; you can knock people off elevation, break them away from your characters, or if there are retaliators that are next to you, you can flat out kill them since you can’t knock back bigger characters and they only need 1 measly damage to be KO’d. Versatility is what Red Tornado is about, and what Quinjet teams are about. Black Canary is a rather easy egg to crack; she’s filling the hole that Nova left when Guardians rotated in the form of Running Shot/Pulse Wave, plus she can use Force Blast. Last up is the new LE Firestorm. I talked about how good this guy is in my first OP kit review article, and it seems Easton knew this. His damage output is phenomenal for the points, and having the option to burn off possessors and other equipment is very necessary.

Regarding Inspirations from his ID cards, they were important just as they are in Patrick’s build. Let’s talk briefly about the ID cards he used that others didn’t. Red Tornado grants TK, which might not seem that great when Easton’s main piece is the Quinjet, but being able to TK a drone out can be very valuable. Black Canary on the other hand has a wonderful inspiration that flat out gives +1 to attack without any requirements or restrictions. Lastly, Firestorm boosts both attack and damage for ranged attacks, which the Jet will be doing a bit of if Easton needs to put the hurt out even more in a turn.

You could argue that Easton and Patrick played nearly identical teams, and that’s fairly accurate. There were small differences and if they played each other, I really don’t know who would win. Patrick has already shown he’s the authority on the Jet, and Easton is amazing at playing pretty much anything put in front of him (or that he builds, I’m not implying he doesn’t build his own teams). They were both great teams, but in the end it wasn’t enough to beat Ed.

1st Place – Ed-Arnold Berkovits (Quinjet/Faust)

  • D-027 Felix Faust | 80 Points
  • AoU V0013 Quinjet + Resource Dial | 75 Points
  • AVAS 034 Jarvis | 40 Points
  • AoU 054bd Ultron-18.2 Drone | 30 Points
  • AoU 042bd Ultron-6 Drone | 30 Points
  • SMWW G001p The Atom | 15 Points
  • 9 ID Cards | 45 Points – Thanks to Jarvis
  • ID Cards: S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 X2, The Atom, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Superman, Batman, Black Canary, Booster Gold
  • Sideline: NFAoS 056 Nick Fury, NFAoS 007b Peggy Carter, SMWW G001p The Atom, D15-008 Nightwing, D16-004 Green Arrow, SMWW 041ae Superman Blue, D-021 Black Canary, WF008 Booster Gold

Seems like a lot of the same thing that we’ve seen in all the builds above. We’ve got Faust, the Quinjet, Jarvis, the same two Ultron drones, and The Atom. Even the ID cards and characters are similar. Wait a minute… The Quinjet and Faust? Your eyes do not deceive you. While everyone else was running the Quinjet at 140 points and full dial, Ed decided to shorten the life-span on his Jet and run it at 70 points, leaving enough room for the deadly Faust to show up, which was absolutely instrumental in his victory.

What’s the main thing the Quinjet does well that other teams don’t do well (save for Devil Dinosaur)? Versatility. The Quinjet plus ID cards rules the roost because of how many different threats it can pump out and adapt to the board. Once you add Faust into the mix, it completely changes what you can do and what the opponent can do to react. Whether it be Faust hitting yellow to decimate a back line, red to reset the board, or orange to energy dampen the opposing team, Faust takes your strategy and throws it out the window. Couple that with the onslaught the Jet brings and it’s not too tough to see why Ed made it to the final round.

Let’s take a look at Ed’s ID characters since they were a little different and he brought some new stuff. Once again, We’ve seen Nick, Peggy, The Atom, Nightwing, and now Black Canary. You may notice that Ed used a different Green Arrow, opting for the newer LE rather than the gravity feed version. It’s pretty simple to see why; he costs 85 points whereas the gravity feed piece costs 135. With the Quinjet being 70 points, Ed has no way to call in the bigger arrow. Thankfully the LE is still a beast and has the same offensive values and options in what powers he picks. Superman Blue was a pretty neat piece to see. Able to grant his team protection against Pulse Wave, this Supes isn’t a bad attacker either, and he’s only 50 points. He’s got Running Shot with 7 range and double bolts with 11 movement and Flight, so he’s going to get to you. Since he has the Superman Team Ability, he also busts Stealth so he’s useful in that regard. Again, versatility is the name of the game. I would say Ed’s most unique ID character was Booster Gold. Looking at his character, it’s pretty tough to argue with another ranged flyer but it’s his traited Probability Control that really makes him a solid pick. Energy Explosion is always great too when you’re dealing with a Meta with lots of small-costed, single or two click figures (see both versions of Green Arrow).

Regarding Inspirations, we only have two unique cards over the other builds. Booster Gold grants Probability Control when targeting an opponent with an attack which is HUGE, especially if Ed ‘real boy’s’ in a big attacker in the same turn. Meanwhile, Superman grants Invincible, which is really nice when coupled with his Pulse Wave protection. That gives Ed some pretty crazy die re-rolling and an awesome stone wall for a single turn.

This is all well and good, but really the reasoning behind Ed’s win was Faust (and of course his play and strategy as the player makes their team). The one-two punch of Faust and ID onslaught was just too much for people to handle, and Ed kept the title in the family. It’s unfortunate that his son, Isaac was eliminated early on, but it’s cool that between the two of them they’ve won the last two years. It shows that they’re a family of force and they know how to deconstruct what people are doing to their advantage.

Well, that wraps up my Meta coverage for a little bit. The Wizkids open is around the corner, and I’m sure we’ll see some new builds there. What will really be interesting is the limited format with the Jet flying away. Will Krang reign? Will Devil laugh at extinction during a monologue?  Or will something new see play? Maybe Iceman will come back around. Who knows. I’m looking forward to what happens.

See you guys Thursday!


3 thoughts on “Meta Talk: ROC World Cup Winning Teams Breakdown

Add yours

  1. A good article as always:) I would like to hear more about brainiac skull ship as your mention of him in one of the meta articles made me wonder how do people use him, what are his strengths and weaknesses. Good job sir!


    1. I’d love to talk about the Skull Ship, however, I’ve never seen it played or played it myself so I feel that I wouldn’t be able to give an accurate description of it. Thanks for the compliment though!


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