Team Planning – Axl Steel

It has been a while, gentle reader, since I have written one of those. For this I must apologise, with school term in full swing it has been tricky to get my thoughts written down.

But no longer – let’s do this!

Today I am planning a team around Axl Steel. As always I will pick a team that works around some of his abilities, which might result in a sub-optimal list, or maybe a team which can win Interplanetario. Who knows. Definately one of those two options.

Axl Steel is a fast scoring piece, with control elements. Whilst he might look initially like a damage-dealing character with some lovely orange / red die on his card, his low defence at range combined with his strange dice pools means he won’t be doing much in the way of damage at all without support.

I don’t normally do it this way, but I am building a team around Axl, and at the same time basing it around these cards:

These cards are pretty strong control. Hit the liver is the only way in the game that can inflict -2 action points to a target, which is a horrible thing to do to someone. Saved By The Bell makes Axl immune to any action, making him able to bounce the most potent attack Miyamoto can inflict, or any powerful long range shot that can bypass his weak defence.

Hit the Liver in particular seems potent as it last the round, so if Axl is able to get off several attacks at once they will all inflict the same penalty – which could be disatarous for the opponent. How can he do this?

I love it when a plan comes together. Programmed Strategy is perfect for this, allowing Axl to swing at someone else later in the turn to dish out that -2 energy, whilst also potentially giving him a displace or two at the same time. Pointman also can make some of Axl’s attacks do some decent damage, which is handy given his Initiative 7 meaning he might be able to take someone out before they activate.

Card-wise Cod <Dive> seems like an obvious choice as it means Axl can do an extra attack when he needs to, and Code <Blitz> will make his attacks more likely to do the desired effect, as well as adding to his chances of surviving a hit.

Now, as the -2 action point state flips to a -1 the turn after it seems only fair that we make sure it flips to a -2 again. That seems totally fair, right?

Moon Cycle is a lovely ability, it flips states on friendly targets, and it can re-apply states on your opponents, potentially making them -2 energy for a long time. Black Lightning has great uses as a control attack for locking down ranged characters, at the same time as doing decent damage, especially with Pointman. I find it hard to use Penumbra as I often find Eclypse is too far away – but it can be useful early game when everyone races to the middle.

Veil of Darkness can help keep your relatively fragile characters safe and also has some sneaky fun with Luxumbra that can hide a enemy then pull them out of a scoring zone, or displace a friendly back into the zone again.

This list seems very control heavy, with some fast scoring pieces, so I might as well double down on that at this point.

As this deck seem focused around making Axl doing horrible things with cards, and several cards seem vulnerable to being hit by a No! there are a few things I can do about it. First of all You’ll remember when dreaming will let me get the cards I want out of my deck as soon as I can. You’ll forget when waking is a very potent control ability, giving out stunned can really damage attacks and key actions like Vade Retro – as can dazzled and silenced. His attacks not needing line of sight, combined with his speed and initiative makes him ore survivable than his health and defense might suggest.

Card-wise I have gone for the following…

Delerium is fabulous for preventing your opponent from playing cards that prevent you from doing all the card tricks that you want to do, and Desire will let you play Hit the Liver twice, or once after it has been hit by a No!, or potentially more often than that, as I will explain below.

My aim for this team build is to use the TCOMM deck, which I explain here. This allows me to cycle through to find cards I need when Oberon hasn’t yet activated. It allows me to mess with my opponent’s deck even more which can add a surprising amount of tanking to the list, as they will have less dice-boosting cards to add. It can add less dice to combat checks, but it can really boost other rolls, such as when Axl breaks away from being engaged, or when Oberon wants to silence / dazzle / stun someone – which will happen often.

It also has this card:

What If? Can really pump up this list, which is pretty card-focused. I think the most likely candidate for it is Code <Timeout> as it lets me do all the fun card tricks I have described twice over, as well as make them discard even more cards with tactics from TCOMM like Mental Bug, and the dice adding cards from there lets me get through my deck fast to find the cards I want to do so.

So there we go! A control-heavy list that has a bit of violence thrown in, and the ability to make your opponent tear their hair out as they have less cards and lots of their team on -2 action points for most of the game. Lovely stuff.

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