One of the suggestions I received for content from a reader was to review submitted team ideas and to review them and he volunteered his own team for the initial post. I think this is a great idea and should help you prepare for the Winter WKO!
Today’s team comes from the Reddit user zstrong24; he’s submitted information and requests before, so I’m glad to help him out here and take a look at his team. Let’s not waste lead-in time and jump right into it!
Zstrong24’s 300 Point Modern Animal Theme Team – WizKids Open
- SFSM 054 Devil Dinosaur | 100 Points
- TMNT2 024 Rat King | 100 Points
- WF 046 Klarion the Witch-Boy | 70 Points
- AOU 100 Avengers Round Table Resource | 5 Points
- Sideline: SMWW 021 Red Tornado, AOU 023e She-Hulk, CACW 008 Falcon, AOU 018r Thor, WKD16-004 Green Arrow
- Animal Theme Team +3
- Build Total: 300 Points
Before I jump in to reviewing this team, please note that Zstrong has commented on his build that he doesn’t own a lot of high-end meta pieces and he lacks Pandora’s Box. Keep this in mind as I go through the review.
This team is pretty solid for an animal theme team. With a +3, he’s not ensuring he wins map roll, but he’s got a better chance than someone who doesn’t have theme (like say Quinjet/Faust or undying tech). He won’t get Theme Team Probability Control, but that’s a risk you have to take when you run a generic theme, and animal is certainly a good theme.
Zstrong starts off in the best way possible with Devil Dinosaur. There’s no reason this guy should be left off of an animal theme team; the fact that he can spawn so many pogs, has three stop-clicks, and has front-loaded TK makes him a powerhouse. One of my first articles ever was about Devil Dinosaur, so I’m not going to go into detail about him since you all probably know about him. One thing is for sure; this guy dominated ROC tournaments last summer after his release, but he did fail to meet expectations when the time came and Quinjet players revealed they were just lying in wait. He’s kind of been reduced to Krang status: He’s a gatekeeper of meta that your team has to have an answer for.
Rat King is another piece that I’ve talked in detail about as he also got his own post here on Clix Fix. He’s a mobility terror and brings Prob to his team which is sorely needed. Mystics is fantastic as it’s a great way to counter enemy token teams, or pieces like Armaggon that really need to keep that first click. Mind control is also key here so that he can lure people into his token army from Devil. This guy hasn’t seen a lot of play yet, but I think he can be a real terror.
Klarion is a piece that I haven’t had the chance to talk about, and that’s because I don’t own him so I’ve never played him. However, I’ve played against him a whole heck of a lot. There’s one thing I’ve learned about Klarion; I hate fighting him. He’s got so much value rolled into that measly point cost, and Teekle has some otherworldly ability to always hit 5 or 6 on blades and is neigh-impossible to kill. Klarion also has Mystics, so if his opponent doesn’t go after Devil (which most people won’t), they have to suffer through the unavoidable damage. Klarion also has Stealth meaning that his main attackers take huge advantage of hindering terrain, which he has a good shot of getting with map roll. Probability Control round out his kit and makes him a steal for 70 points.
For his resource, he’s opted for the Round Table which is a great choice with Devil. Since the tokens are bound to get in the way, this will help him turn the resource dial and potentially call in a ton of threat. It seems he’s using the Round Table as a variable threat assessment piece that lets him handle the jobs that his animals can’t. The Round Table itself isn’t that strong of a resource, and when you have no Ultron drones to summon for you, it can be a little underwhelming, but when it’s loaded with the right cards, it can be a huge boon to your force.
Let’s talk inspirations before actual call-ins for our final segment. For inspirations, Red Tornado grants TK, She-Hulk grants +1 to attack, Falcon grants +2 movement, Thor grants an additional target and minimum range of 6, and Green Arrow grants +2 attack for range. None of these are really killer and seem to be small bumps for his values. Since both Teekl and Rat King have Perplex, the She-Hulk inspiration can ensure that he hits, or he can roll the dice and go for the +2 from Green Arrow for Rat King. Regardless, these are kind of okay inspirations.
As for the actual ID characters, that’s where things get interesting. Red Tornado is an awesome piece that sees a lot of meta play as she can drastically alter board positioning and comes complete with her own TK as well as Outwit. Very good for a token army to butcher someone. She-Hulk has Charge and Flurry, and if she’s called in next to the Drop Bears, they’ll all get +1 to attack which is great. She also gets Perplex if she’s adjacent to Rat King or Teekl. Falcon is a stealth buster, and has traited Prob for himself which is nice. With his double bolt and giving tiny characters a -1 to defense, he can easily counter enemy bystander forces. I would say Thor is used as a money alternative to Nightwing for the Jane Foster pog to heal his team up. Bringing up the caboose is Green Arrow, probably the strongest ranged call-in in the meta with his trick arrows and 12 attack. I do really like that all of his summons are under 100 points, meaning Devil Dino can become his ID summoner if he’s got pogs out and doesn’t need to TK (or Rat King with his teleporting).
Now that we know the team in detail, it’s time to actually review it.
None of Zstrong’s pieces are generally weak and I can see this team packing a lot of punch with only three figures starting on the map. He’s got TK and two sources of Prob which a lot of teams suffer from, and two sources of Perplex. It’s a solid team and I think he’s got a fair shot against some of the teams we see in the meta game.
However, this is a review, and it’s my job to pick the team apart and offer suggestions. My big issue with this team is that it’s a bit slow. What I mean is that there’s no transportation for Devil Dino’s pogs meaning they can easily get picked off by a ranged-heavy team. Devil really benefits from super-taxi’s like Overdrive, Vanisher, and Renet Tilley. Unfortunately, there aren’t any super-taxi’s with the animal keyword in modern, so it’s something we have to live with, and we can’t really call it a weakness since it comes with the keyword. I have a small solution, but we’ll get there.
The team also suffers from vulnerability to stealth-busting. Because he has no reducers on Rat King or Klarion, it’s very easy for a piece like Hawkeye to come in and snipe off one of his characters. If that’s done from an ID card (which it will be), his opponent isn’t going to care about the mystics damage. Sure, Klarion and Rat King have Super Senses, but that’s a lot of eggs in one basket since one good hit can take either of them out permanently. Luckily, since both Rat King and Devil are 100 points, Nick Fury doesn’t get +1 to attack/damage and penetrating if/when he’s called in.
There’s also a lack of response against Ultron drones. No matter what, your team has to be able to deal with Ultron’s since they are present in roughly 75% of tournament teams. This could easily be rectified by swapping an ID card for Hawkeye and using AAOU 106 Hawkeye, otherwise known as the Ultron Slayer. The real issue is that since drones have Invulnerable, Teekle has to roll a 4 on blades in order to KO one. Rat King can pick them off as well, but there’s a serious lack of penetrating damage.
I hate this next question, but it must be asked: how does this team beat a Quinjet? Time and again, the jet has shown that it is the master of the meta game, so you just cannot think competitive if you don’t take the mighty Avengers plane into account. Mind Control is a good start, and Rat King has a great kit to attempt a hit, but it’s going to be pretty tough for Dino pogs to really inflict damage, especially before the jet can dismember him.
Again, I’m not trying to be harsh, just reviewing the team. All of these issues I bring up doesn’t mean the team isn’t good. There’s simply no way to build a team that can counteract everything it plays against, and you have to build what you think will net you the most small victories. Let’s move on to changes.
Changes to the Team
I mentioned that transportation is a big issue since Zstrong doesn’t have a way to get his pogs to the enemy and that animal’s don’t have a super-taxi. That’s not entirely true. I present WKTP16-003e Turtle Van. At 60 points, this vehicle has 7 clicks with Invulnerability and can carry four people. When you have any Turtle on your force (which all of them are Animals), it doesn’t count against your theme. The best option here would be to use one of the original TMNT commons since they’re only 50 points, and I would opt for Michelangelo since he has Empower and gives out tokens. This change would also have an impact against The Quinjet since tokens are it’s natural enemy (as are they to Ultron drones). Now we have a piece that can somewhat disrupt ID call-in forces and stop off-the-board damage from sweeping his pieces.
In order to utilize this change, the team would have to undergo a major revision as there simply aren’t enough points. The van and a single turtle clock in at 110 points, 10 points more than Dino or Rat King and that’s a lot to meander onto the team. In reality, I would probably opt to drop the theme team and just use Vanisher or Overdrive over Klarion. If he went this route instead, he could add an Ultron drone of his own and really up his threat response and keeps the ‘easy points’ to a minimum with only his super taxi. Sure, he loses a Prob control, but he gains so much more damage. Map isn’t really crucial to this team since Rat King can teleport anywhere he wants (and object placement will help him there), so I think this could be a great change.
The last change I would make would be his ID cards. Granted, he stated a lack of meta pieces, but let’s talk about the weaknesses. Falcon is a pretty meh piece; the strengths he gives can easily be replaced by the same Hawkeye I mentioned earlier, and his point cost is still under 100. He also modifies Range by +2 for Inspiration meaning Zstrong would have a better chance at buffing Rat King through Inspirations.
Red Tornado is a great piece and can be a huge boon to the controlling player, but in this team comp, I don’t think she pulls her weight (of course, this could 100% be argued). I would opt for something like Shang-Chi along with WKM16-011 Shang-Chi – hear me out on this. With his special attack power, To Fight Is To Thrive, Shang-Chi can potentially be the source of insane amounts of damage. If luck is on his side, he can completely dismantle a Quinjet in a single turn. His inspiration is also terrific granting +1 to close attacks, but more importantly he grants Precision Strike for any attacks.
If the hail-mary play isn’t your bag of tea, why not opt for Black Canary? WKD-021 Black Canary has Running Shot and Pulse Wave, and can use Force Blast, meaning she can be called in for targets that absolutely need to be dealt with. With Rat King and Teekl’s perplex and two Probs, there’s a very high chance he can Pulse Wave for 5 damage. Her inspiration also grants a flat +1 to attack, which is pretty reliable for any character he picks for the Round Table each turn, and raises the total of that effect to 2 (more versions means more reliability).
A final suggestion would be to use the Superman ID card, strictly for it’s inspiration which is Invincible. That alone is HUGE and worth the ID slot. Any of the Shifting Focus Supermen would be great options to choose from and keep his costs under 100 points. Heck, the defensive version alone would be awesome with his pogs.
I think Zstrong has a really great team here, and to be fair, with a few ID card tweaks it could have a very good chance of destroying a lot of teams. Does it have what it takes to win an event? Sure, depending on what he plays against and how his rolls go. Regardless, I want to thank Zstrong for the suggestion for this new article series and offering his team as the guinea pig.
If you would like your team reviewed, feel free to submit a request to me! These take a bit longer than standard Clix Fix articles, so I might only be able to do one a month, but I can try my best! Feel free to comment below on your thoughts or any other type of content you’d like to see.
See you next week!