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Best Heroes/Villians for 2, 3, 4, and 5 Hero Games

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SuperRick
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Best Heroes/Villians for 2, 3, 4, and 5 Hero Games

As I'm new to this, I'm just wondering what you guys think about what heroes and villians are best to play in 2, 3, 4, and 5 hero games.

As far as the 2 player element, I'm talking about 2 heroes (not 2 players and 3 heroes), as in the 2 hero variant that is on BGG (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/872326/my-journey-to-find-the-best-rules-for-a-2-players).

So, for clarification, if you could only play with 2 heroes, which ones would it be?  And which villian would you fight?

It seems to me that as far as villians go, 2 players agains Baron Blade or Ambuscade would be a solid matchup.  From everything I've heard you wouldn't want to take on the Chairman with less than 4.

It also seems like you wouldn't want to go into a fight with a heavy tank/controller like Legacy or Visionary if you only had 2 heroes.  I don't know, just wondering what you guys think.

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SuperRick wrote:

So, for clarification, if you could only play with 2 heroes, which ones would it be?  And which villian would you fight?

As you probably already know, 2 hero games are not an officially supported play format. Any 2 hero varients need to be heavily houseruled to prevent the [H] mechanic, and the rest of the game, from breaking down. My answer has to be "none" for that reason, but you are welcome to experiment.

The best way for two players to play is by running 2 heros each. Or there is a popular "sidekick" varient where each player only runs 1 deck each and you bring along one incapped hero setting [H]=3 which doesn't require heavy houseruling.

SuperRick wrote:

From everything I've heard you wouldn't want to take on the Chairman with less than 4.

Chairman gets exponentially harder as [H] drops due to the nature of his minions and the total amount of damage needed to correctly time his trash/deck reshuffle. [H]=3 is incredibly punishing even when you try and metagame the matchup.

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For 2 player variants, the less minion-heavy villains tend to work best.  I've found that Ambuscade can be a lot more fun in a 2 player scenario (where the H is counted as 3) than for any other amount of heroes.  Plague rat is a tough fight (and frankly, one that you are not likely to win with 2 people),  but it can be a lot of fun to try.  `

For the more minion heavy villains, like Voss and Dawn, I've found that it can be a fun fight if you ignore the setups on the villains.  they don't get to start with a crew, so you get a small amount of grace before you get overwhelmed.  Sometimes you can pull it off and blast new minions before they have much of a chance to do anything, sometimes they get something (or someone) out that lets them pull ahead.  

For heroes, the less of a setup the hero needs to be effective, the better off you'll be.  Tachyon, Haka, Tempest, Ra, Chrono... all good choices.  but you can bring in anyone, really. 

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Foote wrote:
Or there is a popular "sidekick" varient where each player only runs 1 deck each and you bring along one incapped hero setting [H]=3 which doesn't require heavy houseruling.

Yes, that's what I'm talking about.  I love the idea of a sidekick or support deck.  Managing multiple heroes (for me) bogs the game down.  Here's the current favorite variant over at BBG (I'm looking forward to trying it this weekend):

 

Each Player uses 1 Hero.
Shuffle all Hero Character cards not used in this game, this will be the Support Deck, Incapacitated side up.
The Support Deck represents the support that helps the Heroes, it can be a supercomputer from the Base Camp or Sidekicks or team of Heroes, etc.
So the total is 2 Heroes + 1 Support = 3 Heroes, H=3.

The Hero Turns is:
- Hero A Turn,
- Hero B Turn,
- Support Turn: each Player may choose 1 ability from the 3 abilities available on the top of the Support Deck.
Hero A chooses 1 Ability, then Hero B chooses 1 Ability (Hero A and B may choose the same Ability). After that put the top card of the Support Deck to the Support Discard pile.

Note:
- the Support Deck and the Support Discard Pile are not exist in the game (no effect may be applied to them). Treat the Support Turn as an Incapacitated Hero's Turn, as in the Rulebook (according to here, an incapacitated Hero can skip his turn).
- If the Support Deck is empty, just shuffle the Support Discard pile to make the new Support Deck.
- The Support only help the Hero that is not Incapacitated. Example: Hero A is Incapacitated. On Support's Turn, only Hero B chooses 1 Ability.
 

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SuperRick wrote:

I love the idea of a sidekick or support deck.  Managing multiple heroes (for me) bogs the game down. 

You are not alone. Once you are fully familiar with all of the decks I bet you could pull it off without being too bogged down. But thats easy for me to say, I'v been playing since release =P

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Try two heroes, two "sidekicks" (incapacitated hero cards), H = 3. Balanced? Eh, sort of. Playtested? Hardly. Barely. Not really. But it could be fun!

What's the worst that can happen?

(Global thermonuclear war. That's the worst that can happen.)


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Christopher wrote:

Global thermonuclear war. That's the worst that can happen.)

Bleak dude. Real bleak.

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Foote wrote:

 

Christopher wrote:
Global thermonuclear war. That's the worst that can happen.)

 

Bleak dude. Real bleak.

Not necessarily!  Finn and Jake have all sorts of vibrant adventures in a post-apocalyptic world!  Once you get past the "thousand years of wasteland" era, things start looking up!

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Christopher wrote:

What's the worst that can happen?

(Global thermonuclear war. That's the worst that can happen.)

Ehhh....Hakuna matata.

 

(As long as we are going with Mathew Broderick references.)


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Christopher wrote:
(Global thermonuclear war. That's the worst that can happen.)

Would you like to play a game?


"I'm not prone to hyperbole, but she is the Antichrist." - chwineka

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broccoli wrote:

 

Christopher wrote:
(Global thermonuclear war. That's the worst that can happen.)

 

Who you like to play a game?

I think it's "Would you like to play a game?"


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Koga wrote:

 

broccoli wrote:
 Christopher wrote:
(Global thermonuclear war. That's the worst that can happen.) 

 

Who you like to play a game?

I think it's "Would you like to play a game?"

Dang typos....../fixed


"I'm not prone to hyperbole, but she is the Antichrist." - chwineka

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For the 2 player version you want heroes that can stand on their own really well.

 

Wraith, Tempest, Chrono Ranger, Haka, Omnitron-X, Nightmist, Fixer are really good picks, otherwise you want to get a 2-player team that works really well together, like Omni-X/Unity. or Legacy/Tachyon.

For villains typically the more (H) they use the easier they are for smaller teams, and the harder they are for bigger teams.  That doesn't always end up true, but as a basic rule it works.

On the other side of the coin the more big HP minions and flat damage greater than 2 is involved the harder they are for small teams and easier for big teams.

 

You want to be careful selecting your support deck, as certain heroes incap abilities wreck certain villains and make certain heroes ridiculously powerful.

 

Unity and any incap that says "one hero may play a card now" is just really powerful, Tempest's incapcan really shut down certain villains.  Team Leader Tachyon can shuffle a trash into a deck, effectively crushing the Chairman, and flipping Akash'bhutah and The Matriarch at will.

It is important to remember when using the support deck that the game is not at all balanced for it.

 

Legacy is a hero that gets way better the more heroes there are in the game, higher (H) hits don't mattter when you are immune, and the more heroes benefitting from his damage boosts the better.

The game seems most balanced for 4 players, and pretty much everyone works just as well.

Also everyone knows that you can avert Global Thermonuclear War with a 9 block grid and your high school sweetheart.

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Thanks for the info!

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I play infinite heroes in infinite combinations (to do otherwise would be illogical), but if I were to pick out twelve heroes for a 'dream team", it might look something like this:

3 heroes:  Tempest (striker and problem-solver), The Scholar (tank), Nightmist (party wizard and last woman standing)

4 heroes:  Haka (frontline warrior), Chrono-Ranger (executioner), Unity (one-girl army), The Visionary (writes the script for the whole battle)

5 heroes:  Legacy (ungodly awesome war-leader for high-H games), Absolute Zero (nuclear weapon with long-burning fuse), The Wraith (extremely talented generalist), Fanatic (miracle factory), Omnitron-X (another nuclear option).

The Argent Adept is also extremely powerful, I just couldn't make up my mind which group to put him in.  Tachyon is potentially quite handy, but a bit underwhelming at times unless luck is on her side (or you use the absurd Team Leader promo version).  Bunker and Mr. Fixer are somewhat underpowered generalists.  Expatriette is perhaps the single weakest hero overall, and Ra is extremely good at dealing damage but doesn't have much of anything else up his sleeve.

Christopher wrote:
(Global thermonuclear war. That's the worst that can happen.)

I can think of much worse things.


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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What do you think of Fanatic?  My daughter player her twice in a row and both times she saved our bacon with End of Days and Wrathful Retribution!

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Personally I've had trouble doing well with Fanatic.  Thematically she doesn't appeal to me, and her mechanics frustrate me on a lot of levels.  She definitely has a lot of cards that can be very powerful in certain situations, but in my experience you often draw them in the wrong situation and are stuck not being able to contribute.  I've never tried her Redeemer promo, who trades the nerfable Exorcism power for healing and card-drawing which might make a huge difference.  (There's also supposed to be another promo on the way somewhere in the future.)

End of Days is very situational; it can often save your bacon, but it also costs you all of your stuff, and the villain in general is built to recover faster than you often will.

Wrathful Retribution is a singleton, it costs you your whole starting hand to play, and if you try to do more than 20 damage with it, you might end up dying before you can play it (especially since there are often other things you need to play first).  Generally I only use it as a finishing move, and don't worry too much about getting the most out of it.

I always seem to get stuck holding Smite the Transgressor in my hand when I haven't got a second power to use, then drawing Absolution when I'm at my max HP, and otherwise being unable to get all the mileage out of her cards.  I love Brutal Censure because it lets you draw a card, and the most fun I've had with her was when I got to try out some unconventional strategies, like running Divine Focus for a full round and then reloading with Prayer or Desperation, or using Sacrosanct Martyr for the first time.  My favorite card in her whole deck is Final Dive, closely followed by Aegis of Resurrection; she has access to more HP than pretty much any other character, and yet I've managed to get her killed in half my games, and only once has her incap ability helped the team win.  She definitely has her charms, but overall I find her unreliable and frustrating.  My saying about her is "Fanatic's idea of strategy is to pray for a miracle", and that pretty much sums it up.  I prefer characters I can count on to work as I expect them to, ones who are always able to contribute to the situation at hand.  (And ones who aren't insane murderous Templar zealots.  The Redeemer version is after she mellows out a bit, which is another point in its favor.)


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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Fanatic is one of my favorite heroes.  I can go all day with the tactics that are my favorite and the stories of high-risk, high-reward gameplay, but I'll keep this simple.

 

Fanatic has a deck full of super powerful cards.  No one else can really match Wrathful Retribution, End of Days, Aegis, Divine Focus, Final Dive or Zealous offense.  However, the cards don't tend to work well together, so she ends up pretty balanced.

My strategy with her is a full on assault, where I give no heed to my HP and just fly into battle swinging.  Zealous offense is one of my favorite cards in the whole game, and teamed with Absolute Zero's sub-zero atmosphere can ruin any minion based villains day.

I like getting Martyr into play early, esp. since it works so well with Zealous Offense (sometimes you can't deal villains 3 damage because of heavy reduction, but damage dealt to yourself counts as damage dealt, so 3 to myself and 1 to a villain counts as 4 dealt, and keeps Zealous Offense in play)

I disagree with how Envisioner sees her, I see her as a true believer, unafraid to get hurt or die for her cause of ridding the world of evil.  She gains power by not being concerned for her own fate, she would gladly lay down her life for her friends, or her cause.

One of the ways to ensure you are doing the right things is to look at the overall HP that will change, if doing a full on Martyr (5 to self) will help bring about the destruction of a target that will deal 2 damage to each hero (6-10 damage) then it is the right choice.  Divine Sacrifice and Aegis of Resurection is another combo that won us a match.  One match two of Omni's EPE's came out in the same round.  We were able to knock one down, but the second was going to wreck us.  I had Aegis in play and 17hp, so I used divine Sacrifice on it, it dropped me to 3hp, then 0, where Aegis restored me to 10hp, and the third incapped me.  The other two heroes won the game, but wouldn't have if that EPE had been allowed to thit them.

That is Fanatic to me, the one hero that is most willing to die for the win.  She loves to go down fighting, and it is rare that a villain can survive her.

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I actually do like her theme a lot.

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Redeemer Fanatic, Tempest, Ra. A very powerful 3 hero team capable of handling a majority of advanced mode villains.

 

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I like a 5 hero team with Legacy, Chrono Ranger, Omnitron X, Argent Adept, and Haka.

 

Legacy and Haka can tank while dealing admirable amounts of Melee damage.

 

Argent Adept, Omnitron X, and Chrono Ranger provide a variety of Ongoing destruction.

 

Legacy and Argent Adept can buff everyone else in various ways.

 

Omnitron X and Chrono Ranger can dish out a surprising amount of damage over the course of the game, especially if Chrono Ranger gets his "Ultimate Target" bounty in play early on.  Combined with buffs from Argent Adept, Legacy, and Ultimate Target, Chrono Ranger's Composite Bow is dealing 10 damage every turn the villain deals damage (which can destroy villains with a redirect like Blade and Iron Legacy, who will likely be dealing damage on each hero turn).  Omnitron X's components can be fragile, but he has a good number of ways to get his Platings out on the field, so as long as you know the damage type you're up against, you can minimize the risk of his components being destroyed.

 

Argent Adept and Omnitron X can allow other players to play cards out of turn, helping them to get set up quickly.  AA's ability to let players draw cards and use powers out of turn can really aid in dishing out some quick damage as well (or to let Legacy double Galvanize, making Chrono Ranger even scarier).

 

And what does Haka do?  Well, everything else.  Because he's awesome.  Ground Pound or a well timed Rampage can completely turn the tides and Savage Mana can allow for some trippy battlefield control.  He could probably be replaced with another hero, but Haka gets it done.

 

Is the team perfect?  No, there are probably other combinations that work far better.  If you want a perfect team that will give you the easiest win, having Wraith and Visionary for near perfect villain control is probably ideal.  But, I don't have nearly as much fun with them for that very reason.

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danmarshall14 wrote:

Omnitron X and Chrono Ranger can dish out a surprising amount of damage over the course of the game, especially if Chrono Ranger gets his "Ultimate Target" bounty in play early on.

By Any Means > The Ultimate Target, especially if H is high.  The only exception might be if the villain deals damage during hero turns, EG Spite if a hero saves a Lost Child.  And even then probably only if CR has a piece of Equipment out (other than his Hat), since getting an extra Quick-Shot is unlikely to be worth +1 damage to the villain from every other hero, plus the Environment, plus even any self-damage the villain does.  (I'll have to try CR against Gloomweaver the Rotting God sometime..."Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself!".)

Of course, that was what you were talking about, but it's something of a niche case.  BAM is better 9 times out of 10 (well, more like 16 out of 18).

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Argent Adept and Omnitron X can allow other players to play cards out of turn, helping them to get set up quickly.

This is especially good if Unity is in the party.  The Scholar can also grant card plays, and sometimes appreciates receiving them...it's better not to Timeshift Scholar until he knows where his Know When To Turn Looses are, but Know When To Hold Fast out-of-turn is amazing.  And if you turn up a Proverbs and Axioms or a Don't Dismiss Anything, you're basically giving every hero an extra half-turn in the middle of your action (which may be bad for some players' patience, but is certainly good for the team's win chances).


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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Much-belatedly, here's my thoughts on the two-Hero game:

1-2 Icapcitated heroes sounds good in practice, but from the times I've done something like that (actually running three heroes + an Incap with H=4* for story reasons), it actually tends to be insanely overpowered.  Incapacitated abilities are designed to give you a fighting chance to get back into a game that's out of control, can be used every turn, and can never be taken away through stuff destruction.  Having Visionary to destroy every Environment card that was even mildly annoying was enough to convince me of the innate power here, and maybe I overreacted... but just think about what the seriously crazy Incap effects could do: Absolute Zero the Elemental Wrath can lock down the Environment deck for good, Bunker would allow a Hero to use their biggest power card every other turn, Tempest can reduce damage from Iron Legacy, Apostate, or The Chairman by more than half, and Horus Ra just needs to wait for a single Healing Light/Nanites/etc. before he can make many villains do nothing but the damage printed on their card every turn forever until the Heroes can take them down to zero in a single turn.

You can cherry pick your Sidekicks for the ones that are more or less "half of a Hero turn," (that is to say, ones with just draw a card/play a card/use a Power/something weak like 1 damage or one healing), but I think at that point, you could just grab a couple of things from that menu for a custom sidekick and avoid the headaches/easy wins.

For my own part, I like to use two-Hero games as a chance to breathe a little life and challenge into the weaker villain decks.  Face off against Ambuscade, or non-Advanced Ennead, or Baron Blade with only two heroes, and set H equal to 3.  This is a lot simpler than almost any other variant rule would be, and it can be a lot of fun to see the usual laughing stocks of the community really breathing down your neck and getting dangerous.  I've refused to try Gloomweaver again even with this handicap, but who knows, it might just make (the original form of) even that much-maligned villain come alive.

Ironic

* Okay, actually, I just have the non-Enhanced base set, so H always equals four for those villains, unless I am really going out of my way to change things up.


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Ironic wrote:

Much-belatedly, here's my thoughts on the two-Hero game:1-2 Icapcitated heroes sounds good in practice, but from the times I've done something like that (actually running three heroes + an Incap with H=4* for story reasons), it actually tends to be insanely overpowered.

 

I agree entirely after having done about 3 games. 

The last time my daughter and I played we tried another idea and it worked very well.  We did wind up losing to Voss and he had about 6 HP left, but it felt balanced.  I'd say the only thing that felt *a little* off was that we had more cards in our hand than normal - but if there was a third hero then that would have been a whole other set of cards as well.  Overall, I think it was balanced and challenging.  We'll be trying it again soon.

 

Simple 2 Hero Variant Idea:

1: Each hero starts with his maximum HP raised by 15.

2: Every round that the heroes play one hero gets to use an extra power, and the other hero gets to draw an extra card. Then the next round they switch.

3: H=3

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Envisioner wrote:

 

danmarshall14 wrote:
Omnitron X and Chrono Ranger can dish out a surprising amount of damage over the course of the game, especially if Chrono Ranger gets his "Ultimate Target" bounty in play early on.

 

By Any Means > The Ultimate Target, especially if H is high.  The only exception might be if the villain deals damage during hero turns, EG Spite if a hero saves a Lost Child.  And even then probably only if CR has a piece of Equipment out (other than his Hat), since getting an extra Quick-Shot is unlikely to be worth +1 damage to the villain from every other hero, plus the Environment, plus even any self-damage the villain does.  (I'll have to try CR against Gloomweaver the Rotting God sometime..."Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself!".)Of course, that was what you were talking about, but it's something of a niche case.  BAM is better 9 times out of 10 (well, more like 16 out of 18).

Quote:

Argent Adept and Omnitron X can allow other players to play cards out of turn, helping them to get set up quickly.

 

This is especially good if Unity is in the party.  The Scholar can also grant card plays, and sometimes appreciates receiving them...it's better not to Timeshift Scholar until he knows where his Know When To Turn Looses are, but Know When To Hold Fast out-of-turn is amazing.  And if you turn up a Proverbs and Axioms or a Don't Dismiss Anything, you're basically giving every hero an extra half-turn in the middle of your action (which may be bad for some players' patience, but is certainly good for the team's win chances).

1. You're right about By Any Means if you only plan on damaging the villain.  CR can use his extra power to easily nuke down a Minion/Citizen/Device/Relic and destroy it before the End Phase (which is when most of those things would have their effect happen).  The Ultimate Target has saved my hide a few times, allowing me to take down a scary minion/citizen that could have caused problems (such as Citizen Autumn) before their effect triggered.  But, I see your point about raw damage potential.

2. Yeah, Timeshift is amazing on Legacy as well considering he has absolutely no way to search for cards on his own.  Timeshift at least let's you cycle through his deck a little faster to get out the good stuff (I can't tell you how many times both of my Legacy Rings have been buried in the bottom 1/3 of my deck).  It's the out-of-turn support that makes me love AA and OX so much; and all your friends appreciate it too.  It's like Christmas morning for them when I let them do something when it's not their turn.  It keeps them in tune to the game.

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Scholar is good for some random getting-cards-out-of-your deck stuff with Don't Dismiss Anything. Okay so that's just one card and I think he only has two or three copies in his deck...but that's always fun ;).


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2 copies, but the chaining with Reclaim or vernal is amazing.  Esp. Reclaim, Reclaim sets up for DDA return a second Reclaim to your hand, DDA puts reclaimed cards and a new card for Tempest into play.  

Tempest and Scholar give up their normal card plays, Tempest gets the top card of his deck in play each turn, and scholar doesn't get much good from it, since to run it each round he has to use DDA to put the other DDA on top of his deck.  

Adding Adept to the team solves that, and makes it incredibly complex and profitable:

1.  Tempest plays reclaim:  Reclaim puts one card on top, Reclaim for Tempest, vernal for Adept and DDA for Scholar reclaim goes to Tempest's hand, and he draws a card.  Everyone else puts a card they want from trash to hand (if desired).

2:  Adept plays vernal (heal!) and everyone puts the card they want DDA'd on top, Scholar puts proverbs on top, (Adept draws his)

3:  Scholar plays DDA playing whatever Tempest wanted to play, any other heroes, then Scholar puts P&A in play, Adept draws Vernal, others draw the card they put on top in step one, and then Adept gets the top card of his deck into play (or he can return a card he wants to draw this turn)

 

We got this going round three once (thanks to that Spite drug that discards 5 from your deck) and it was sick.  The other 2 heroes get a card from trash in play, another card in hand picked from trash or top of deck, and with Adept healing with vernal, and giving extra card play it got insane.  We had Expat and Unity for the 4th and 5th, and the game ended pretty fast.  I want to try it with the new Fixer.

You can work it out that Scholar can play DDA three times a round, but it gets complicated and Adept has to be albe to let Scholar draw after he plays vernal.  We tried an idea my friend had for even more, but we got lost on what we were doing (chaining DDA to DDA when Silver Shadow and Reclaim get played by the first DDA gets rough.

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What do you want to bet one of the Vengeance heroes will be able to join in on this action?  I'm thinking it seems to suit The Sentinels, especially The Idealist, but I could also imagine it making sense for Parse.  She seems like the sort of person who would be perfectly fine with doing the same thing over and over, as long as this thing works.


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"