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Transformers TCG: Alternate Win Conditions

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Bah-weep-Graaaaagnahwheepnini bong, gamers, and welcome back to another article about Transformers: TCG. Every single card game has a default win condition built into its mechanics. In Magic: The Gathering it is bringing your opponent to zero life. In Keyforge it is forging all 3 keys before your opponent can. In Transformers, it is KO'ing all of your opponent's characters. Almost as universal, it seems, is the concept of a game having alternate win conditions. In Magic this might be forcing your opponent to attempt to draw from an empty deck or setting up a difficult set of circumstances as in the case of Approach of the Second Sun or Happily Ever After. The Transformers TCG, however, has not had the concept of an alternate win condition, until now!

Introducing the Transformers TCG's first alternate win condition card, Daring Escape for the Autobot faction!

As you can see from the card's text, getting Daring Escape to actually resolve and win you the game isn't easy, as it relies on both your deck and your scrap pile to be empty. This is a state that is going to be quite difficult to achieve during the course of a normal game, so this isn't a card that one would put into their deck "just in case" the situation comes up. No, we're going to have to specifically build around this new win condition, relying on some of the more nuanced rules of the game in order to get us to where we need to be.

Building Around Daring Escape

The first thing we need to pay attention to when dealing with Daring Escape is what all of the possible 'zones' are in a standard game of Transformers: TCG. There are 6 distinct 'areas' where a card may legally reside: in your deck, in your scrap pile, in your hand, attached as an upgrade to a character, in the KO zone, and currently in play (either having been played from your hand or flipped for combat). Daring Escape requires that two of these zones, your deck and scrap pile, be empty at the same time when the card is played, so we have to engineer a situation where all of our cards are currently in other zones.

The easiest zone to populate is our hand, simply by drawing cards. Pep Talk, Testify, Incoming Transmission, Diagnosis, and Equipment Enthusiast, are all draw cards, some with conditions attached. Just playing as many draw cards as we can may feel like all we need, and it will definitely help, but we need to be aware that each draw card played will end up in the scrap pile at the end of the turn, so we need to be careful about what we play and when. Upgrades that draw cards are even better, so we're going to definitely include Data Bank and Data Pad, since once they're on a character, they won't be clogging up our deck or scrap zones while just getting us raw card draws. Battlefield Report also allows us to draw cards, even when it isn't our turn.

However, we can't get there on card draw alone, as that would take quite a long time to get us to a state of having both deck and scrap being empty simultaneously, if not being close to impossible. Instead, we're going to rely first on the 'in play' zone and then our 'KO' zone to store our cards. For the 'KO' zone, Daring Escape itself will help us mill cards into there on its own, and with a green battle icon, we'll be able to reliably get it into our hand during the course of normal attacking and defending, even if we don't get it by way of card draws.

Unfortunately, this will only net us at most 10 cards to our KO zone on a -very- good turn, so we can't really rely on it, either, especially if we end up milling out our other copies of the card, since there currently isn't a way to recover cards back from KO. The way I'm going to really pull this off, is a combination of the two ways of moving cards between zones discussed already, draw and KO, and the 'in play' zone by going as bold as I possibly can. This way, I can put as many cards into play as possible during my turns, hopefully ending up quickly in a state where I have no more cards left to flip, and no scrap yard to shuffle into my deck.

To enable our big, bold swings, we're going to rely on the tried and true combination of Brainstorm, Supercharge, and Focus Fire. For upgrades, we'll include both Power Punch and Flamethrower. With this much bold on our characters, we should be able to quickly cycle through our deck and pull the Daring Escapes we need into our hand or, as we'll see with our character selection, just have them turn up at the exact right time during our attacks.

Characters

Now, you may be asking yourself how this is going to work, since just emptying the deck into the play area with Bold would only end up sending those cards back to the scrap yard at the end of the turn! What's the point? Well, this is where we turn to our old friend, Optimus Prime: Battlefield Legend.

This version of Optimus Prime has become as much of a legend on the battlefields of the Transformers TCG as his name would imply, having been the start of a few different meta builds since the game's first set. For this build, we're going to be relying on his ability to play an action that he's flipped for combat prior to the results of those flips being resolved. Our plan is to pump him up as bold as we can once we've got a few rounds of drawing cards and playing Daring Escape only for its ability to move cards to the KO zone under our belt, and then playing a copy of Daring Escape that we flip. With a bit of luck and planning, we should be able to set ourselves up for this scenario to occur at least semi-reliably.

To make sure of this, we're going to team our Optimus Prime up with a couple of characters to help us churn through our deck even faster. Private Lionizer will come in exceptionally handy in this build, with his built-in Bold 4 and transferring to Optimus as a weapon, also with Bold 4, when KO'd. Steeljaw, from the Blaster vs. Soundwave battle deck also will give our Optimus Prime Bold 1, while also having his own Bold 1. Sure, he's not quite as good at throwing cards around as Lionizer, but in this build, every little bit helps.

There are probably better ways to reliably execute on this win condition, possibly playing it with Aerialbots or with the upcoming influx of the Off-Road Patrol dropping in Wave 4, so please feel free to comment on your own potential builds for this new secondary win condition. When dealing with any non-standard win condition such as this, we always have to fall back on Optimus Prime's old saying: We just need a little energon, and a lot of luck.

Next week we'll delve into how to put a huge amount of pressure on the Autobots when we talk about the new Decepticon card, Overwhelming Advantage! Until then, keep battling!

The Deck

Battle Icons:

  • 11 Blue
  • 6 Green
  • 18 Orange
  • 11 White

Daring Escape

  • Characters (3)
  • 1 Optimus Prime - Battlefield Legend
  • 1 Private Lionizer - Ground Command, Artillery
  • 1 Steeljaw - Tracker
  • Actions (28)
  • 2 Battlefield Report
  • 3 Brainstorm
  • 3 Daring Escape
  • 3 Diagnosis
  • 2 Equipment Enthusiast
  • 3 Focus Fire
  • 3 Incoming Transmission
  • 3 Pep Talk
  • 3 Supercharge
  • 3 Testify
  • Upgrades (12)
  • 3 Data Bank
  • 3 Data Pad
  • 3 Flamethrower
  • 3 Power Punch