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Transformers TCG: Outfitting the Omnibots

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Bah-weep-Graaaaagnahwheepnini bong, gamers, and welcome back to another article about Transformers: TCG. In our last article, we talked about the Decepticon Battlechargers Runamuck and Runabout, whose quick-changing gimmick was used to great effect. Today we're going to talk about the Autobot answer to the Battlechargers, the Omnibots. Released in the year 1985 as a set only available as a mail-away pack, the Omnibots were a trio of Autobots whose gimmick was the ability to deploy hidden panels and fold-out platforms to mount weapons on while still in their alt modes.

To honor this legacy, Wizards of the Coast has released the Omnibots as a 3-pack of characters available only at San Diego Comic-Con and on their Hasbro Pulse online platform, keeping that "mail-away" feel. They've also given them the ability to equip upgrades at the start of your first turn while still in alt-mode. While in bot mode, each of your Omnibots gives your team a boost based on which types of upgrades you have equipped. In order to capitalize on this ability, we're going to be building an upgrade heavy deck with an eye to balance.

Characters

As with most Transformers TCG decks, we'll start by taking a look at our characters. Thankfully, the Omnibots come out to an even 25 stars when all three are played together, making our choice very simple in this regard. So, let's take a closer look at what these Omnibots bring to the table.

Starting with the Omnibot Leader, Sergeant Overdrive, we immediately start to see what the Omnibots have going on. Overdrive allows us to play a utility onto one of our Omnibots at the start of our first turn. If we're going first, then this allows us to bypass the "no card plays on first turn" rule, as this is an exception case. We'll see why this is important in a bit once we get into the deck-building itself, sufficed to say that being able to bypass first turn card play rules is one of the major strengths of this build.

In his bot mode, Overdrive gives us the Focus ability equal to the number of Omnibots with utilities equipped on them. Being able to effectively stack our deck or eliminate dead flips during a combat is a powerful tool. This ability triggers at any point when the affected characters battle, which means we can do this both on the offensive and defensive. We haven't seen a lot of characters or cards that give the Focus ability so far in the game, though I suspect that if it becomes more prevalent, it will become a powerful mechanic that can turn the tide of many games.

Moving on to Private Downshift, we see a similar pattern emerging with him having a similar set of abilities as Overdrive. In his alt mode, Downshift allows us to start our first turn by playing a weapon onto one of our Omnibots. Again, this happens at the start of our first turn, and allows us to bypass the card play limits, so already we're up to being able to play three upgrades outside of our normal turn restrictions.

Similarly, in Downshift's bot mode, he empowers our weapon-upgraded Omnibots with Bold equal to the number of weapon-upgraded Omnibots on our team. Pairing this up with our Focus ability from Overdrive, we can stack our deck and flip more battle cards while on the offensive, hopefully getting ourselves the most bang for our buck when we attack.

To round out the pattern, we have Private Camshaft, whose alt-mode ability gives us the power to play an Armor onto one of our Omnibots on our first turn, and his bot-mode ability grants our Omnibots Tough equal to the number of other armored Omnibots on the team. Now that we've seen what our bots allow for, let's see how we can optimize this ability through the usage the selection of upgrades in our deck.

The Deck

Given the abilities of our Omnibots, our deck is going to be focused not only on upgrades, but also being balanced in terms of both battle icons and utility. Many of the cards in our deck are useful but fairly generic as to their usability, so let's instead only take a look at the cards we want to keep our eyes out for.

First up is Multi-Tool. We only have one specialist on our team in Camshaft, but that doesn't mean we can underestimate the power of being able to play a second upgrade when equipping with this versatile weapon. The beauty of this card is that if we have it in our opening hand, we can play it onto Camshaft and get yet another free equip on top of what our normal Omnibot plays allow. This becomes exceedingly useful if we draw a hand that is lacking in a certain upgrade type.

Next up, as innocuous as it may seem, Extra Padding is actually very helpful in this deck. Yet another upgrade that allows you to play more upgrades, even if it is just other copies of Extra Padding. Yet again, though, on a good draw this allows us to get some extra armor onto our Omnibots early. Even if we don't start with this card in our hand, we can still get a hold of it easy enough thanks to its handy green battle icon.

With a three-wide cars deck, Turbo Boosters is a must include to get a bit more activation advantage out of our team. While most of the time we're going to want to have our Omnibots in bot mode, flipping them to alt mode to get benefit out of Turbo Boosters is a calculated risk. However, the benefit in the early game of being able to out-activate our opponent is immeasurable, especially given the bonuses that the Omnibots provide for us.

Because the goal of our deck is to always be equipped, Combat Training will come in very useful. Gaining Bold 1 and Tough 1 if we have a weapon and an armor is a major boost. Given that we will more than likely have both of these across our Omnibots at any given time, we're simply adding onto the number of cards that we'll be flipping each combat. On top of that, Overdrive will be able to benefit from the Matrix of Leadership that we'll be putting in our deck as well. It also is both a blue and an orange pip, which lets us keep that balance we spoke about earlier.

The rest of our upgrades are some standard fare, Noble's Blaster, Force Field, Bashing Shield, and the like. However, we can't live on upgrades alone, especially given how many we already have. We'll need a way to get them into our hands and onto our bots, and so we have two actions that we're going to use to help with this. Scavenge the Battlefield lets us plan for the eventuality that one of our Omnibots will be sent to the big scrap-heap in the sky, allowing us to transfer upgrades from our fallen Omnibot to his comrades in arms. We've also got Treasure Hunt, which will more than likely net us at least three to four upgrades each time we play it, which we can then pick from at our leisure.

And there you have it! Playing to the strengths of the Omnibots and their ability to equip upgrades early on, we can leverage a wide variety of utility upgrades to power up our bots and send them off to victory against the forces of the Decepticons; or any Autobots who wish to stand in our way.

Join us next week where we try to make a deck around one of the more perplexing characters to hit in wave 3, Sergeant Cog!

Battle Icons:

20 Orange

15 Blue

8 White

12 Green

Omnibots | Royce Thigpen

  • Characters (3)
  • 1 Private Camshaft, Special Ops - Scout
  • 1 Private Downshift, Special Ops - Security Agent
  • 1 Sergeant Overdrive, Special Ops - Strategist
  • Upgrades (35)
  • 3 Bashing Shield
  • 3 Combat Training
  • 3 Enforcement Batons
  • 3 Extra Padding
  • 2 Force Field
  • 3 Matrix of Leadership
  • 3 Multi-Tool
  • 3 Noble's Blaster
  • 3 Power Punch
  • 3 Reinforced Plating
  • 3 Security Console
  • 3 Turbo Boosters
  • Actions (5)
  • 2 Scavenge The Battlefield
  • 3 Treasure Hunt