(Metagame Archive) Going Titans!

By Brian-David Marshall

Last week, I wrote about drafting League of Assassins. Actually, it was more about being forced to draft League Assassins than choosing to draft them. This week, I’m going to be talking about one of the reasons people end up being forced to align themselves with the Immortal Villain himself.

Teen Titans is my favorite affiliation to draft in the DC Origins set. Unfortunately, it’s also very popular with most of the people I draft with every week at Neutral Ground in New York. After a pack of sharp elbows and shin kicks, one or two people suddenly notice the depth of cards available with League of Assassins written up the left hand side and abandon the Titans—or worse yet, play the dreaded League/Titans mixed bag deck, in which case you had better hope you opened Mirage!

What are the cards that make you want to go Titans and put up the good fight to stay with them through all three packs? Normally we look at the commons in this column, but a pair of uncommons makes fighting for the commons worthwhile.

Tamaran is certainly an important card when drafting the youth movement. I have heard more than one player indicate an intention to steer clear of this card because it put a card into your KO’d pile. That can seem like a disadvantage to the newer card gamer, but what if the card was rephrased to say, “Activate: Target an attacker or defender you control and search your library for a card that shares a name with that character. You must use that card to power-up the targeted character immediately”? Do you think anyone would hesitate to use that card? No, and people should not hesitate to pick Tamaran highly in draft—and use it early and often.

The other card that makes the Titans worth tussling over is Titans Tower. It is similar in power to Savage Land from Marvel Origins, and can completely dominate both the early and late game. Your opponent has to respect that you might be holding any number of 6-drop Koriand’rs and Connor Kents that will devastate opposing defenses.

What makes both locations so saucy is their flexibility to work on both offense and defense. Both cards can only target Teen Titans characters, and the Tower also requires that you discard Titans characters. If you get either of these cards early, you are going to try and fight for the cards that support them and let someone else get stuck with League or a split affiliation.

I am going to go through the commons by drop again this week. When I am drafting Titans, I generally try to draft plot twists and bomb locations (see above); then 1-, 2-, and 3-drops; and then focus on my 4-, 5-, and 6-drops. I don’t worry too much about 7-drops—if all went well, they’ll be accounted for in my 5-drop pile.

One of the things that I overlooked in last week’s column was putting an emphasis on drafting multiples of the same card for the purposes of power-ups. One of the appeals of League that I failed to address last week was the fact that you not only get League characters really late around the table, but you can usually get multiples of all your key commons to make up for their usually underwhelming stats. While it is harder with other teams, I still try to pick multiples of the same character as opposed to diversifying within the drop.

One-drops

You have two choices here, but I think you have to give the clear edge to Dawn Granger ◊ Dove. While they don’t get the kind of marquee billing that the Dynamic Duo get, Hawk and Dove are simply fantastic. The cards are nuts in Constructed and nuts in Sealed Pack—provided you have both pieces of the puzzle. Combined with Hank Hall ◊ Hawk, you can have 6 points of ATK on turn 3. If you are lucky enough to draw them both on the first two turns, it is akin to a New Brotherhood draw. When analyzing your curve, you should treat this duo as 3-drops as well as 1- and 2-drops. It is sometimes scary to make the commitment to what is essentially a two-card combo. Once you have made the commitment to one half, you had better make the second half a real priority because there is not much to write about a 1 ATK/1 DEF for 1.

Now, if that 1 ATK/1 DEF for 1 happens to get a +2 ATK when it attacks, you might find a little something to write about. Pantha is deceptively powerful and also can have that New Brotherhood feeling, especially if your opponent has a slow draw that doesn’t get started for a turn or two. I like this card almost as much as I like Dove, and I try to have multiples of both in my deck. There are very few 3-drops for the Titans, and I try to rely on Hawk and Dove in that slot and leave the 1-drop slot as Pantha’s hunting grounds.

Two-Drops

I have already talked about Hank Hall in the previous section, and I will undoubtedly talk about him in the upcoming section on 3-drops. He is a perfectly ordinary 2-drop without Dove to pump him up, and I take him very highly if I have Dove. I will also take him highly in anticipation of Dove, but not if there is another Titans 2-drop in the pack.

Tim Drake ◊ Robin: Young Detective makes this deck tick. He can occupy the 2 spot and the 4 spot on my curve. He has a sturdy 2 ATK/3 DEF frame to hold off the early beats, and you get to dictate who gets stunned in a team attack. His boost ability pushes Titans decks over the top whether they come in thirty-card sizes or sixty. When you play him with boost, it should mean that every character on your opponent’s side of the table is getting stunned while none of yours are. He can be the catalyst for some very big turns, especially in conjunction with my favorite card for this archetype.

Teen Titans Go! is the source of some controversy in my regular play group. Matt Boccio (of Wizard World $10K and PC: Indianapolis fame) claims that the card is not very good and that you end up trying to hard to have a big turn with the plot twist that it is to the exclusion of other good plays you should be making. Tony Tsai is of the same mind as me on this card—whenever I play it, all my opponent’s characters end up stunned.

There are definitely some misconceptions about this card. First, “you get to ready all characters who participated in a team attack” does not mean they have to team attack again. They can attack individually or as a team—whatever you see fit to do with them. Keep in mind that they do not deal breakthrough damage, so getting to attack with them while all your opponent’s guys are stunned accomplishes nothing. Your goal with this card is to disrupt your opponent’s board so you have an advantage on the board. I have had some amazing turns with this card …

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