GAF Draft Strategies

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Image Courtesy of Wizkids

Green Arrow and The Flash
Draft Strategies
Written by DB3000DoubleBurst.com

By: Dr. J

Green Arrow and The Flash is the perfect example of how Wizkids is improving the game of Dice Masters. This set has been the most fun I have ever had drafting since I started back during the Age of Ultron release.

What makes this set so much fun?

This set is so different from past sets. With the introduction of Green Arrow and The Flash we now have: Crossover Characters, Impulse Abilities, Crosspulse Abilities, Unique Globals, Shiny Foils, Cheap Control Characters, New Affiliations, and White Lanterns! All of these amazing additions to the game make for an exciting and challenging draft experience. “But what are some of the amazing strategies that I can use while drafting?” you might be asking. Well, that’s what Dr. J is here to share with you. Some of these strategies are ones I employed in my drafts, and some of them are strategies that ripped me up and spat me out, but one thing is for sure…they work. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

 

The Fin-Slap from Hell

This strategy is a personal favorite of mine, and I have used it in 2 of the 5 drafts that I have played in. The backbone of this team is a two-card combo. The most important part being the Rare King Shark.

king-shark-rare-wm

King Shark’s beefy A and D buff as well as the Overcrush he gets makes him a devastating one shark army. But remember, he is all but worthless without his counterpart. King Shark needs a crossover character to make him a one shark wrecking crew. I personally used the 2 cost Hal Jordan because he was cheap and had nice stats for a cheap-o, but any affordable crossover character works. Zatanna, Jay Garrick, or even a White Lantern can provide the buff he needs.

If you are lucky enough to pull this card in a draft, there a few things to remember about playing it.

  1. Always bring a ramp Basic Action like Superhero Registration Act or Relaxing. If you don’t have a way of buying King Shark, then he is just going to be an awesome conversation piece and not the one shark battalion he is meant to be.
  2. There are good counters to him. Rare Cyborg will all but neuter your King Shark and make him little more than the king of sardines. Make sure you bring some form of targeted removal to clear him out. Uncommon King Shark can also hurt your team since he can only be blocked by 2 single energy characters or one crossover character. If your opponent clears out your crossover characters, then King Shark is basically a vanilla card.
  3. Buy him and attack early. If you can buy him turn 3 or 4 and attack quickly, your opponent will be in serious trouble. Even if you only get one shot off before they slow you down, you still hit them for 7-10 points of damage.

Conclusion: King Shark – “I’m a Shark” is an incredible attacker and defender that will keep your opponent on their toes. He’s not unstoppable, but almost.

 

The Big Banana

This strategy is one that I have only played one time, but it is very effective and I have seen it used by many players so far. The Workhorse of this team is another giant animal: Gorilla Grodd – Force of Mind.

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This strategy is similar to the King Shark strategy, only instead of Grodd being a one gorilla wrecking crew, he turns all of your other characters into beefy little gorilla minions from the abyss. His buff to all of your other characters along with the Overcrush makes him a force to be reckoned with. Also, unlike King Shark, it really doesn’t matter what your other draft cards are. He doesn’t rely on anyone else, they rely on him.

Things to remember when playing the Big Banana in a draft.

  1. Always bring a ramp Basic Action Card like Superhero Registration Act or Relaxing. Gorilla Grodd is the most expensive card in this set at a 7 cost. This can make him very difficult to buy, but once you do, you only need one of him.
  2. Try to keep a good range of characters on your team. A couple cheap-os, a couple midrange costs, and one more 6 cost can give your team the diversity and power it needs to punch through your opponent’s defenses.
  3. Grodd does not get the A buff.
  4. Grodd does not have to attack with your other characters. If you can get a few through at a time and keep Grodd in the field, then play it safe. You don’t have to kill your opponent in one hit.
  5. A couple rare Cyborgs can really hurt a Grodd team. Make sure to draft a crossover character or two in order to keep the damage consistent.

Conclusion: Gorilla Grodd – Force of Mind is a ticking time-bomb. Once you buy him, it is really only a matter of time before he goes off. If you can keep your defenses up long enough to get him out, your opponent will be wishing they had a big banana too.

 

Can’t Stop the Fire

I have not had the opportunity to play using this strategy yet, but I did have an opportunity to get completely wrecked by it in our local win-a-feed draft. I had made my way to the top 4 with my killer King Shark, and then this guy burnt me to a crisp. This team is focused around the burning man himself: Firestorm – Elemental Fury (and really, any of the firestorms are great to draft).

firestorm

Firestorm’s “when attacks” ability has very few counters within set, and paired up with the various crossover characters, it is very easy to get one of every energy type in the field. If you can get 2 of him out and also have multiple energy types in the field, there is very little that your opponent can do to stop the burn.

Things to remember when drafting Firestorm.

  1. You need one of every energy type to maximize Firestorm’s damage output. I recommend playing any version of Zatanna and Felicity Smoak in order to get cheap characters with all the symbols you need.
  2. Common Firestorm can be a good counter, since his “when attacks” ability can keep your firestorm out of the field. This isn’t the best counter, but it can work if your rolls are bad.
  3. Common Martian Manhunter can also be a hard stop to Firestorm. If you think you might be playing against a Firestorm, draft the Martian Manhunter and bring a villain maker global to cool him off.
  4. The uncommon or rare Cold Gun can slow him down (appropriately) so watch out for that.
  5. If your basic actions are unlimited then Blink – Transmutation or Distraction can make Firestorm nigh unstoppable.

Conclusion: Firestorm is very strong with very few counters. If your opponent brings ramp Basic Actions, buy them up quick so they don’t outpace you and add some speed to your fiery fury.

 

The Green Butterfly?

This is another strategy that I had the privilege of losing to in a local draft event. I even drafted it once, but got beat by a mirror team with more brains. This team revolves around a Common card, which makes it much more viable to draft than any of the other draft strategies mentioned so far, and that card is: Power Ring – Harold Jordan.

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This character can get a huge buff if you are playing against an opponent that likes to wall up. There have been times that I have seen this “harmless” butterfly hit for 10 damage unblocked. Pair him up with one of my favorite actions from this set (S.T.A.R. Labs) and he is a juggernaut.

Things to remember when playing with Harold:

  1. Bring a Basic Action that can complement Harold’s damage output. Stealth Ops can make him unblockable, and Hulk Out or Anger Issues can give him Overcrush.
  2. He only gets an attack buff, so his defense will stay relatively low. Remedy this by drafting two or three of him. That way your opponent will have trouble dealing with all of them.
  3. Harold (without his purple crayon) only gets the attack buff when he is attacking, so blocking with him won’t do you as much good.
  4. The Common S.T.A.R. Labs can be a powerful removal tool when paired with Harold. First attack with him, then when you are allowed to play actions, nuke that King Shark or Gorilla Grodd that is keeping your damage from coming through. This is especially effective if Harold has Overcrush.

Conclusion: The green butterfly is both very effective and very draftable. If you can get three of him, he is particularly scary. Power Ring – Harold Jordan may be a new meta card.

 

She Spins Me Right Round

I tried to use this strategy once to no avail, but I am positive it is because I played it wrong, because I have seen it played to great effect since then. This card revolves around one stand-up gal: Giganta – Larger Than Life.

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Giganta has an incredible ability that comes with an incredible global that lets you spin her down each turn. The great thing about her is that it doesn’t really matter what level you roll her on because she will spin right up to level 3 in no time. Once she spins up to level 3, there is little your opponent can do to stop the Overcrush, especially if you can get a couple of her out at once.

Tips for playing this lovely lady:

  1. Giganta suffers from the same counters as King Shark and Grodd, namely rare Cyborg. Bring some removal to keep her potent.
  2. DO NOT FORGET to spin her up BEFORE you draw your dice on your turn. If you miss it, you have to wait until next turn.
  3. DO NOT FORGET to spin her down before your opponent ends their turn and make sure you save enough energy to spin each of her dice down each turn.
  4. Her stats top out at 6A 6D, so bring something to buff her, like the Call to Action Basic Action card.
  5. She is a 5 cost, so she is the most affordable Overcrush character in this set. Use that to your advantage and buy as many of her as you can. One is probably not going to be enough.

Conclusion: Giganta is very fun to play and she has great all-around stats to match her purchase cost. If you can keep spinning her down at the end of your turn and punching with her on the next, your opponent will have very few options to keep her at bay.

 

Other Tips for Drafting GATF

Sometimes a good defense is the best offense. Any of the Cyborgs are solid defenders, with the rare being the absolute best.

cyborg

Energy fixing can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Four rare cards in this set will allow you to change a *sidekick character to a specific energy type (you can NOT use the global on sidekicks that are on their energy side). Not only is this global a lifesaver, the cards they are on (with the exception of Clayface) are very good in draft. If you get one, take it.
*Sidekick must be on character face to use Global

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Common static can be a two-edged sword. If you play him just remember that his ability is not optional. When your opponent rolls more than two dice and they have no characters in the field, you must ping one of your own characters. He is still good, but be warned. If your opponent plays him, common Batgirl will make him work for you.

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The Uncommon and Rare Captain Cold’s Cold Gun are both very good counters to any team. If you see one seriously think about taking it, because it can save you from the stickiest situations.

captain-colds-cold-gun-r

The S.T.A.R. Labs global is incredible in a draft. I have never regretted playing a S.T.A.R. Labs card on my team. The global is useful for clearing your used pile and keeping sidekicks out of circulation. It also can provide a last minute blocker.

star-labs-c

Rip Hunter’s Chalkboard is such a good card. Mostly because of the global. I have played drafts with the global and without it, and playing with it adds a level of fun, efficiency, and strategy to the game that isn’t there without it. I would always recommend playing it.

rip-hunters-chalkboard-c

White Lanterns aren’t the best in a draft, but if you pull one TAKE IT!!!! (Same goes for all other Super Rares)

 

Common The Atom is also very good in draft. In Utah the rare seems to be nigh unfindable, but hopefully the rest of you don’t have so much trouble getting him. Really any of The Atoms are good in draft, both for abilities and stats.

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A lot of your strategy will revolve around what Basic Actions you pick, and since I am Dr. J I feel uniquely unqualified to give you a list of what Basic Actions are good and which ones are not. That being said, determine whether the set will be unlimited (my least favorite in draft) or DC only (the right way to play). If it is DC only, I have used several cards to some effect. You’ve Been Chosen is good for board clear, Stealth Ops is good for easy damage, Relaxing for ramp, Big Entrance for cheap-os, Pick Your Battles for a headache, and Heroic Defense to keep your life above your opponents.

 

Final Thoughts

I have never had so much fun drafting a set before and I hope that you enjoy drafting Green Arrow and The Flash as much as I did. I hope that this article helps some of you out there have more fun in your drafts. Please be aware that this is not a comprehensive list of strategies, I’ve seen teams abuse Zatanna and the Cosmic Treadmill, and I’ve seen teams that are constantly reviving Katana from the used pile. These are just the ones that I found to be the most effective for and against me. If you have a killer strategy that has worked for you, then please leave us a comment or send us an Email so that we can try it out in our next draft or casual play event. And remember to check out the Double-Burst Podcast Episode 15 for more tips on drafting Green Arrow and The Flash. Thank You.

Dr. J

Also be sure to checkout our GAF Cheat Sheet for quick reference to some of the best cards in the set.

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  • Mencken Sense

    If dual energy characters count as both energy types (i.e. Barry Allen is both a fist and a bolt), wouldn’t that lessen the effect of Pick Your Battles in this set?

    • Diego Francisco Chavez

      So lets look at Draft as a completely different Motza ball. You are confined to the constraints of what the set diictates. In this set they are introducing a lot of new things to the game. I view this a an expected expansion. Introduce new things and see what works. They have done a good job getting people interested with the use of CWTV. So now lets add more depth to what draft is. All of the sudden we are given dual energy characters, actions, and globals to play. Now we run ito the same thing tha magic has going for it. Mixed Energies. All of the sudden it makes drafting certain energies to your benefit.

      Welcome Pick Your Battles. Within this set drafting dual types of energy is excellent! Each player is only allowed eight characters on their team. How Many options are they gonna have to have go all MASK/BOLT or SHIELD/FIST or any dual energy for that matter? At a certain point in the draft you see that two types of energy are being taken. If you can get your beat stick or even chip damage in that energy that is going to be unblockable or a major annoyance at the least you WILL win the game.

      its more about matching up off types rather than matching up types

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