Summer’s been and almost gone, and we’re just over a month into Wave 3: Siege of Cybertron I for the wildly successful Transformers TCG.
So how does it shake down, now we’ve had a chance to play with it, and what does the future hold in the War for Cybertron? With Blaster, Soundwave and Trypticon on the horizon, let’s take a gander – and as always, win some MORE stuff! We’ve put together a wee starter bundle with a bit of help from our friends at Hasbro and UK Transformers TCG community.
Before I go any further, I’m not claiming to be an expert here, just an enthusiastic amateur. But then again, one of the joys of this game is how ridiculously accessible it is, even with the raft of new elements that W3 has introduced, such as the Black Dot (how very Treasure Island), such as is found on the card we previewed back in May, Calculated Strike.
Adding additional Pierce damage on the attack flip is a neat mechanic, albeit one that doesn’t seem to be getting a huge amount of play yet. That being said, it’s become the core of my personal favourite deck, running off Megatron and a whole bunch of Tanks. More generally, we’ve seen a lot of support for theme decks this wave, with the likes of Pop a Wheelie and Unconventional Flying Object.
The art in this wave is tied to the current toy line, Siege I, which is very much the visual aesthetic of the opening of the Bumblebee movie – updated, Cybertronian G1 style, essentially. This is carried across from the Character cards to the Battle Cards – and whilst I loved the use of classic IDW comic art, the new art style is excellent also, without jarring against the previous
The set has 48 Character Cards, and introduces Battle Masters and Micro Masters in the form of small Transformer Character Cards. Battle Masters flip between Bot Mode and Upgrade (Weapon). Micro Masters flip between Alt Mode and Bot Mode.
Lionizer is getting a lot of attention just now as he’s brutally effective both in bot form and weapon mode. My 11 year old quite happily put together a preposterously nasty deck in most no time around this bad boy that I’ve yet to beat. However, widespread community concern that he’d be overwhelming in the competitive meta seem to have come to naught, if GenCon results are anything to go by.
Regardless, the fact that high-level decks continue to centre round uncommon characters – W2 was dominated by Aerialbots/OptiMax and various Thrust decks after all – is something for which Hasbro need to be commended. I’ve played other games where it is all about the amount of £$¥€ you throw at it to win (my other son plays Pokémon, which is a frankly terrifying money pit) – and whilst, yes, there is a need for certain key battle cards and some rare characters are very good, this is still a game that at its core remains totally accessible.
Some obscure and fan-fave Decepticons get a wee look-in this wave, with the Firecons – toys that shoot real sparks kids! – the double-team of Runabout and Runamuck, and the mighty Soundwave (with a little help from his little friends)!
It delights me to see that they aren’t all just stuck in rare slots, though that’s not to say there aren’t the usual selection of chase characters – Ultra Magnus, new versions of Shockwave and Megatron, and the first Weaponizer in the Game: Cog!
I’m very fond of how a lot of this wave also looks for triples – 3 of an icon, typically – to achieve particular effects, rewarding and HELPING focus deck construction. Also, tapping – that staple of card gaming – comes into its own this wave as a resource in its own right.
Overall, this wave feels like it’s filled in the gaps, which of course makes sense seeing as where it fits in the cycle.
But if you can’t wait till the start of November for Wave 4, then hold onto your decks because coming late September is the Blaster vs Soundwave 2 Player Set
This comes complete with loads of mini-cassette shenanigans too:
This looks like it has the potential to be the real breakout set for the game into the mainstream, and I for one can’t wait. Self-contained, totally retro, completely playable.
Equally, Wave 3 is the first in the 3-part Siege timeline, so there’s more delights to come and the teases have begun with a big one:
Yup, Trypticon is coming to take on Metroplex, along with his crew of relentless minicons.
Now this might be contentious but to me, Scorponok is a more iconic Titan, but I guess that introducing Headmasters is for another day. What I do like is that Trypticon will be a box-topper: buy a box and get him (and his coterie) for free!
And there’s all sorts of other exciting goodies – and baddies – on the way in Wave 4. More secret ops means more tiny cassettes!
Interesting to see more of the Revenge mechanic – also found on Trypticon’s little helpers – effects that trigger when KOd. Let’s hope we get some Blaster love this wave. But still, other Autobot goodness on the way:
I for one am loving the new Safeguard ability, as much as because it feels thematic with Revenge.
So hopefully this has given you a wee taster of what’s around and what’s to come for the Transformers TCG! And as usual, let’s win some stuff, right?
Want to grab a wee get-going bundle for you and a mate? Comment and tag the Starscream to your Megatron to win!