Editors Note: Ben Sinnbeck not only produces great content and game coverage on metaxstream.com, he also is the heart of the Australian tournament scene, and a skilled – and opinionated! – MetaX player. Ben was gracious enough to send MetaManiacs his MXOLT II 1st place deck profile and tournament report, so everyone can get a better grasp of the exceptionally strong “Unexpected Aggro” deck!
Hello my fellow MetaX enthusiasts, Maniacs and Xstreamists.
Ben Sinnbeck here from the great land down under. I’m sure a lot of you already know me from my recent 1st place win of MXOLT II, Founder and content creator of MetaXstream and from my insensitive Aussie trolling and antics found all over the MetaX Facebook pages.
As the winner of MXOLT II, I figure it’s probably my responsibility to share some secrets of my deck, how I played during the tournament and throw out some MetaX tips for anyone interested in reading this.
When playing games I find I generally gravitate to a certain play style, usually Combo/Control but since playing MetaX I have really started enjoying more aggressive type decks. Mixing what I am used to playing and speeding it up a little bit with faster Characters and more draw power has led to the creation of my now semi-famous Unexpected Aggro deck.
Is it Tier 1? Honestly I don’t know…how do you even determine what a Tier 1 Deck is? It has definitely become a large part of the Australian meta with every man and his dog attempting their own take on the “Unexpected Aggro” and for everyone else that hasn’t it has at least influenced them to run similar cards or try to find counters to it.
The deck is definitely very good but I feel like it has a lot more to do with the fact that I built the deck to suit my play style and know a lot of the secrets of playing this deck that aren’t so obvious to someone “Net decking” it. I have had a lot of feedback from people questioning my card choices, especially the Battle Cards and how they line up with my Characters Stats but I assure you they are all in there and the deck is intentionally built the way it is for a reason which I will go into more detail during this article.
- Wipe the field with Unexpected Turnaround.
- Play Blue Beetle using his effect to play either Robin – Boy Wonder or Red Tornado.
- Opponents turn, they play a Character.
- Play Batman – Dark Knight to push your opponents Character they had just played last turn.
- Attack with Blue Beetle and your second Character using a 4 Special (C49-JL) or 3 Strength (S34-AT) allowing Batman to also attack for 3 easy VPs.
- Rinse and repeat.
The combo is fairly straight forward and easy to pull off. Once the game gets going and you start drawing more cards you can easily do this over and over again consecutive turns in a row.
There are some small variations in this combo using Teleportation instead of Unexpected Turnaround or using Blue Beetle to play Harley Quinn – Heartbreaker instead of Robin/Red Tornado but ultimately its the same deal.
While serving their obvious purposes and roles as part of “The combo”, I have designed this deck in a way to enhance every single Characters abilities beyond what they are usually capable of.
Batman – Dark Knight is already a powerful Character in his own right but his effect is extremely potent when you are only allowing your opponent to have a single character on the field when you play him, he also has amazing synergy with Teleportation for turns in between playing Unexpected Turnarounds and keeping the field clear and sneaking through even more VPs.
Robin – Boy Wonder, one of the most underestimated Characters really shines in this deck with Unexpected Turnaround and Teleportation keeping Characters in your opponents hand and not allowing them to use Battle Cards, etc. Playing him turn after turn lets you easily refill your hand, drawing even more combo pieces and continuing to play very aggressive. He also can play both the 4 Special (C49-JL) and 3 Strength (S34-AT) cards that allow you to maximize the amount of VP’s you can gain in a turn.
Red Tornado – John Smith is essential to keeping a consistent flow of cards being drawn. In this deck he really shines attacking with 1 Intelligence (C41-GL) as it is very easy to deal with opponents defenders giving him guaranteed VP’s, card draw and the ability with Intelligence 1 to essentially add cards like Unexpected Turnaround from your discard pile right back into your hand.
Blue Beetle – Ted Kord is here to speed things up and give you big swings in Character advantage, he also generates a huge amount of MP needed to play cards like Unexpected Turnaround and Teleportation turn after turn as well as helping deal with MP control decks.
My last spot for Characters I keep as more of a meta dependent spot where I can easily swap out the standard 2x Harley Quinn – Heartbreaker for whatever I feel is required.
There are only 2 events in this deck both serving a very similar/important purpose and both extremely powerful in their own right. I believe this is how events should be included in most MetaX decks (with a few exceptions) and unfortunately I view a large amount of events in MetaX as almost completely useless competitively.
Moving on to the card so good that the deck was named after it, Unexpected Turnaround. It is one of the most powerful events in the entire game, however also comes in at one of the highest costed events being -8MP to play. Thankfully in this deck all my characters and quite a few of my Battle Cards are giving me very good MP gain (Just playing Blue Beetle and Red Tornado after an Unexpected Turnaround almost covers its cost).
The other benefit of running 3x Unexpected Turnaround and 3x Teleportation is they serve as great ways to stall a game while you are trying to draw cards and set up your hand for some future shenanigans.
Since most the time my attacks happen while my opponent can’t defend I didn’t need any fancy effects, all I needed was to draw heaps of cards to play aggressively and help set up my combos. Because of this 3x 2 Special (R128-JL) was one of the best choices, drawing 2 cards with a condition that is very easy for this deck to achieve.
Almost any of the Intelligence 2 Battle Cards would have done the job but the 2 Intelligence (C42-GL) in my opinion is far superior to the others, I already have enough draw power in this deck that the extra filtering from the other variations is not really necessary plus being able to control your opponents discard pile is a much larger advantage than anyone has really given credit to. Just to name a few of the very potent decks this card almost completely shuts down – Starfire, XR Sinestro, Arkham Inmates, Rogues Gallery and other “Toolbox decks”, any decks designed to replay Characters from their discard pile with 1 Strength/Intelligence, 4 Special (C51-BM), etc (Villains, Mill, Doctor Fate, Green Lanterns, etc), plus any deck using cards like Joke’s On You or Coming Storm as a way to re-use their powerful Battle Cards or for decks that run a lower amount of Battle Cards expecting to reuse them from the discard pile, plus a whole lot more.
3 Strength/Intelligence/Special (U97-BM) which searches your deck for a specific Character and adds it to your hand was almost one of the best additions to the deck from the Batman set. It basically replaces itself with any Character you need which helps set up the crazy combos this deck can pull off.
The other ability I wanted to have in this deck was allowing Batman to attack after he entered play to maximize the amount of VP’s i could gain in a single turn. Because of this I have included 3 copies of both 4 Special (C49-JL) and 3 Strength (S34-AT), while this might be a bit of overkill on the “haste” cards I would rather have them available when I need them. The main goal of this deck is trying to force through more VP’s than your opponent can in the same amount of time so even if you are playing any of these cards with no effect as long as they are gaining VP’s it doesn’t really matter.
Lastly I have included 3x 1 Intelligence (C41-GL). This card is just too good to combo with Red Tornado, especially in this deck where you constantly remove your opponents ability to defend so I had to include 3 copies of it. Being able to stack and draw cards from your discard pile in a single action is amazing. It really helps against things like Hand control to get your Robin or Unexpected Turnarounds back, getting Characters back from the discard pile if your opponent keeps destroying them or even Intelligence 2 if you need to control their discard pile more.
Honestly there isn’t really anything to change here, this is the one deck I am 100% satisfied with that I wouldn’t change a thing.
3 Strength (C59-JL) is about the only card I would consider swapping in but probably only a single copy.
Other than that as I mentioned earlier I have the 2 Character spots currently filled by Harley Quinn that I keep available to tech cards like Sinestro – Master Tactician, Ra’s Al Ghul – The Demon’s Head or whatever else I feel I need at the time.
Round 1 Jordan Syverson 1-2
Jordan was definitely out for blood after the spanking I gave him in our MetaXstream VS Metamaniacs crossover games a couple of weeks prior. He was playing an absolutely savage rank 7 deck and while I was quite confident that I was going to spank him again things just didn’t work out for me this time.
I don’t really know what happened to my deck this round, I was getting enough draw power and had a good variety of cards in my hand but the combination of cards I had were just a bit off and I just couldn’t get in control of the game in time, my deck also struggled a little against his strong defenses and tech cards like Preen and 7 Special (C59-GL).
It was definitely beneficial for Jordan having some recent experience against my deck and he played extremely well to counter what I was trying to do. Well played Sir.
Round 2 Eric Kutche 2-0
After losing the first round of the tournament I was feeling a bit under pressure, concerned that if I lost another game this early I wouldn’t have any chance of making top 8. Fortunately for me this round I got to verse another midrange deck I could try to out aggro and my deck did its thing, I got a runaway victory in the first game against Eric’s “Unblockable Intelligence 7 Deck” and even though Eric fought back really well in the second game I managed to lock in the win 2-0.
Round 3 Dylan Hickel 2-0
Unfortunately for Dylan my deck was on fire and the Military Police crumbled under the pressure, beating him 2 games in a row. I always feel super guilty when games end up like this as above everything else I want people to have fun. Thankfully Dylan is a really cool dude and took it as a lesson as something he has to build around in the future. It was the first time I’d seen the police in action and I was really impressed by what Dylan’s deck was doing but unfortunately when my deck goes off there is usually very little that can be done about it.
Round 4 Matt Quinn 2-0
Finally I was back in my groove and confident after my Round 1 defeat, with my deck performing amazingly I had another runaway round beating Matt’s “Hard to Kill” Deck 2-0.
Initially, after realizing what he was playing I was super concerned as I thought it would have straight up countered my deck killing off all my Characters which is something I had deliberately not included tech against but luckily for me Unexpected Turnaround seemed to be the counter to his deck at the same time and I drew enough Characters to replace the ones he did kill.
Round 5 David Goldsmith 2-1
This round was a very weird one for me. One of our local players mentioned versing David in an earlier round and that he was playing GCPD with Darkseid – Ruler of Apokolips, this wasn’t the case at all and because I psyched myself up to be versing that deck I threw the first game in confusion more than anything else. After I realized he was playing a Rank 7 Hand Discard Deck I knew I was going to take the last 2 wins for game (which I did) I’ve played against a very similar deck quite a bit in our local store and my current deck has a 100% win rate against it.
Top 8 Bryan Mardling 2-0
I always dread having to verse another local player in big tournaments and unfortunately this was Top 8 where one of us was going to be eliminated – I didn’t feel good going into this match up, but it had to be done.
Starting the game I think we both knew I was going to win but surprisingly these were some very good games of MetaX! I don’t feel like either deck “went off” and there wasn’t really any crazy stuff happen, they were just very solid games and both Bryan and myself had to play our asses off.
I ended up winning 2-0 in some very close games. Bryan definitely has some skills when it comes to TCG’s but I feel this round all came down to the level or “Tier” of our decks with mine being just that little more refined and powerful.
Top 4 Ricky Manz 2-1
Another match I didn’t want to play (just yet) – I was hoping for an epic Final against the existing MXOLT Champ. The games were super close, Ricky is an extremely skilled player and his deck is just so consistent and powerful.
I was surprised after our games when he said he was confident he was going to win and had played over 100 games against my deck (possibly a slight exaggeration?) but unfortunately for him people don’t seem to play my deck like I do which left me with a really good opportunity to show off just how well I can pilot my deck and play MetaX. This round I was really on top of my game, every small decision I made had to be perfect if I wanted to win. The games were so close that I actually surprised myself when I realized some really clever decisions I was making like playing Robin instead of Red Tornado (even with no effect) because I was playing around him possibly having Disgraced, plays like that while they seem very minor meant an extra VP for me on my following turn which is potentially what won me the games. I felt bad eliminating him in top 4, but it was really my time to shine!
“FINALS” Rory McRae 2-0
Unfortunately my games against Ricky felt more like the Finals than these. Both games Rory drew 1 Character, decided to mulligan then drew dead hands. I won both games in a matter of minutes and it was all over.
At least I didn’t have to feel bad about my deck going off and being stupid but at the same time it didn’t really feel like I earned the win either.
For anyone wanting to check out the Finals, the game can be seen here.
I thought about having a rematch to be nice but figured I’d take the win anyway and become the MXOLT II Champion!
I’ve tried to cover my games to the best of my knowledge but if my opponents wanted to correct me or add anything please feel free to message me or comment below.
If anyone would like to talk MetaX with me, would like an opinion on a deck, encourage me to produce more content or anything else please feel free to message me on facebook.
Also don’t forget to check out MetaXstream on Facebook and at www.metaxstream.com
The MXOLT II was a lot of fun and a great experience, everything ran very smoothly thanks to Matt Quinn who ran the event and everyone else for being very courtious and understanding of the Aussies being in a much different time zone.
A special thanks to MetaManiacs and umm.. us? (MetaXstream) who sponsor the event and give out some pretty awesome prizes as well as Panini Games for Creating MetaX for us all to enjoy!
Thanks again for reading!
Ben Sinnbeck – MetaXstream