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Thread: Transformers TCG Devastator Pack out March 29th

  1. #1
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    Default Transformers TCG Devastator Pack out March 29th

    I got given a copy of the Devastator Pack to review. You can find the review HERE.





    One thing worth noting (as explored in the blog), this Combiner plays differently to any of the other combiners due to the Tower Card. Essentially, whilst battling you also have your individual Constructicon's adding height (points) to the Tower Card, then when you form Devastator, not only do all those points negate an equivalent amount of damage to him, but also power up his special abilities. It adds a whole new element of gameplay - very cool!



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    That is an excellent review there Trev... it actually makes all of the new element make sense.
    I saw that you posted it on TFW as well... but they might not post it up on their news page if their admin/staff also got one to review (like they did with the booster packs), because they will want to have their own review be posted on the news page.
    I will get onto posting up some of the images and info on our facebook page as well, with a link back to your review of course.
    (this deserves its own news topic here too)

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    Some of the stuff that this game has in it makes me ant to give it a try. I've never given a poop about card games before, but yes, I am interested! Seems like some cool stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by griffin View Post
    That is an excellent review there Trev... it actually makes all of the new element make sense.
    I saw that you posted it on TFW as well... but they might not post it up on their news page if their admin/staff also got one to review (like they did with the booster packs), because they will want to have their own review be posted on the news page.
    I will get onto posting up some of the images and info on our facebook page as well, with a link back to your review of course.
    (this deserves its own news topic here too)
    No worries, glad you enjoyed it

    Hasbro actually asked me if I had shared this with Ozformers and I told them I had posted it in two different threads, but they will probably be quite happy for this to have a dedicated thread of its own

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    Nice review there Trev, captured some of the dynamics well!

    mine arrived from WOTC yesterday so i hope to get into it over the weekend once work commitments are finished but i love the packaging!

    look forward to the Gameplay

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    PART TWO OF MY REVIEW OF THE DEVASTATOR DECK IS UP NOW.
    YOU CAN FIND IT HERE



    This time I look at the deck in gameplay






    Obviously I go into a lot more detail regarding each point in the blog, and with associated pics, but these are the main tips & tricks I found useful:

    *Get Scrapper into Robot Mode
    *Get Bonecrusher in the mix
    *Flip Scavenger next
    *Keep the others in vehicle mode until KO’ed or needed
    *If any character gets KO’ed in vehicle mode, flip them at the first opportunity.
    *Build that Tower to at least 6 before combining!
    *Getting your Tower to 10 before combing is often unrealistic.
    *If your opponent makes a Combiner first, get combining!
    *Keep track of your Builders Tools and Constructicon Enigma Cards
    *If you get your Tower to 10 – get ready to bask in victory!

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    Default DEVASTATOR DECK REVIEW

    First and foremost thanks again to Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) for the opportunity to review the new Devastator Deck. I was sent one MISB copy of the Devastator Deck to enjoy and review. With my household situation still not conducive to photography of fragile pieces of cardboard, I have resorted to scanned images. Except for these below photos of the gorgeous packaging.




    It's a shame WOTC are still sticking with the all glued sides for this deck pack in particular as it is really back-in-box worthy and looks like a real collectors item.



    SKINNY REVIEW

    PROS
    -4 star character cards baby!
    -Great art as always
    -The constructicons fun to play (so long you don't pit them against the Seekers )
    -Great value for money, constructicons aside you get some sweet battle cards


    CONS
    -From a competitive perspective the Constructicons/Devastator just aren't that great, though I see a lot of potential if you purchase multiple Devy packs to make a battle deck.
    -With all sides of the box glued, packaging enthusiasts must cry as the box really is a work of art.



    LONG REVIEW

    So lets get down to business, this is what you get in-box

    Character Cards
    Hook, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Mixmaster, Long Haul and Scrapper.

    Battle Cards

    Wave 2A
    Constructicon Enigma x3
    Builders Tools x3
    Heavy Landing x3
    Reclaim x3
    Work Overtime x3

    Wave 1
    Blast Shield x3
    Force Field x3
    Grenade Launcher x3
    Ramming Speed x2
    Scrapper Gauntlets x3


    Wave 2
    Improvised Shield x2
    Pep Talk x3
    Primary Laser x3
    Rapid Conversion x3

    40 battle cards total

    The Wave2A cards are unique to this pack and are the most exciting as they mostly lend themselves to constructicon gameplay. The remaining cards while somewhat dull, are still a pretty good assortment of battle cards and a good way to get some of the better ones without buying a dozen plus booster packs.

    +1 TOWER CARD

    I feel like WOTC really lost an opportunity here. The tower card is near uselessly symbolic. As an avid board gamer if they had thrown in gimmicky tower counters that would have made this set feel even more premium. Heck even a cardcrafty 3D tower would have made my day.

    ANCILLARY
    • Written game rules/instructions - fantastic, I am old school and hate having to watch videos to learn or revisit the rules a game.
    • More damage counters, thoughtful and appreciated, although I expect most people would simply use the official app or a piece of paper.



    CHARACTER CARDS REVIEW


    There are six Constructicons, the ability for all Constructicons who attack in alt mode (i.e a construction vehicle) is the ability to build another height onto the 'Tower'. The tower has a number of purposes, primarily the height of your tower enables the Constructicons to heal the same number upon forming Devastator. This gives Devastator a high chance at lasting a round once combined (excuse the pun). Devastator also gets an attack boost (Bold 2) once the Tower reaches 6 or higher, and a crushing upgrade to his base attack at height 10. All 6 constructicons can be fielded within the 25 star limit, which is reflected in their individual stats, which are lower than the average combiner. It is also worthwhile noting that all Constructicons are classed as 'Melee' which probably more of a curse than a blessing as you will see in the test plays. The combined mode of Devastator has stats which are pretty much on average with the likes of Menasor and Superion, though I suppose the 2 defense and tower abilities are percieved to balance this lack of statistical domination. Given that I've pretty much reviewed Devastator along with my description of the Constructicons in general, let's have a photo of the combined form!


    DEVASTATOR



    SCRAPPER

    The leader of the Constructions, Scrapper has the highest health, half decent attack and the most unique ability. You want to transform this guy on your first turn as every time a Constructicon is KO you gain a height counter on your Tower. Notably he is worth 5 stars vs the rest of the constructicons' 4 which I think is purely because he's the leader AND his stats are just that little bit higher.

    BONECRUSHER

    Bonecrusher has Pierce 2 in bot mode, which means you want this guy transformed as soon as possible as he is one of the two guaranteed damage dealers on your team. Unfortunately with only 4 health and 1 defense, he's usually one of the first targets for KO.

    HOOK

    Hook has high health and the pierce 1 ability. He is the other guaranteed damage dealer and may actually last long enough on the field to do it. His zero defense is a bummer but understandable for balance. Getting some defense upgrades on this guy should be a priority.

    LONG HAUL

    With higher and average health and average attack and defense, Long Haul is likely to last, making him a good candidate for tower building.

    SCAVENGER

    Scavenger has 5 health 1 defense and the Tough1 ability in bot mode. He's arguably the constructicon built most for battlefield longevity. And with 3 attack to boot he might get in a hit or two.

    MIXMASTER

    Probably the least remarkable of all the Constructicons as he has no bot mode ability. A higher than average attack and defense but only 4 health. On the upside he'd be the one you keep in alt mode till the end so you can keep building towers. I kind of wish they'd make him a little special like he adds 2 to the tower instead of 1 every time he attacks but perhaps this upsets the game balance?

    Overall, from a non Devastator perspective, the main event of all these characters is the fact that there are 4 star character cards. How many times have you put together a 2 bot team with 4 stars left, wishing you could just squeeze another body in? Well now you can.

    From an art perspective, although not as dynamic as some of the other artwork in this TCG (a lot of showroom type shots) I still appreciate the artwork on these cards. The Constructicons really look the part of brutish brawlers even if they don't have the stats to back it up


    BATTLE CARDS REVIEW

    This will focus on the new battle cards unique to the Devastator Deck

    BUILDERS TOOLS

    Á card that is essential for tower building, if you are lucky enough to get these on early then building that tower is almost a cakewalk. Unfortunately playing one of these instead of a defensive upgrade is a tough choice to make. What is the point of this upgrade if your con doesn't live long enough to use it?

    HEAVY LANDING

    One of the few ways you're going to be dealing damage prior to combination given the low stats of your constructicons. That said, between obtaining more cards to feed your tower or bolstering the defense/healing of your constructicons, sometimes direct damage has to take a backseat.

    RECLAIM

    An incredibly situational card made better only by having a tower 3 or higher, it would be much better if this card allowed you to reclaim an upgrade from your scrap directly onto a character rather than the top of your deck. The blue defense icon is welcome salvation for the weak constructicons.

    WORK OVERTIME

    Potentially one of the best battle cards in existence given that you're scrapping cards to build that tower. It is balanced out by having a white battle icon which often only helps you bin through useful upgrades in your deck. The only problem is that there is simply not enough of them.

    CONSTRUCTICON ENIGMA

    Arguably the best enigma card out there. The base problem with most combiners is that by the time you form them you're likely only 1 or 2 hits from being KO. With enough of these, your longevity is enhanced AND you get a tower boost.

    TEST PLAY

    Team Mrs Lint Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker (24 stars)

    vs

    Team Lint Scrapper, Hook, Long Haul, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Mixmaster (25 stars)


    This is the game where I attempt to prove quantity trumps quality. Six versus Three, should be a fair fight right? As per tradition, Team Mrs Lint prepared a battle deck of 40 favouring planes and ranged. Whilst Team Lint used the default 40 card battle deck straight out of the Devastator Deck.

    It was a slaughter. My team of constructicons got hit early with 2 strafing runs, 1 armed hovercraft (these cards do 1 damage to all enemy characters). This pretty much allowed each seeker to one hit KO Scrapper, Long Haul and Bonecrusher. Burning through a lot of the best cards in my deck. This left Hook, Scavenger and Mixmaster to return the favour, however given their poor stats and lack of meaningful upgrades, together they could not even take down poor 8 health Skywarp.

    I pretty much blamed this loss on the default battle card deck that comes with the Devastator pack. There were simply not enough defensive and healing cards to keep my constructicons alive. I would customise a new battle deck using cards from the Devastator pack as well as cards from Wave 1 & 2 to achieve certain victory! Which leads to....

    TEST PLAY 2

    Team Mrs Lint Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker (24 stars)

    vs

    Team Lint Scrapper, Hook, Long Haul, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Mixmaster (25 stars)


    Armed with a custom battle deck containing some damned powerful hand expanding, defensive and healing cards as well as a generous smattering of 'Rapid Conversions' I was keen to form Devastator and lay the smackdown on those seekers.

    What actually happened though was a less rapid slaughter of my Constructicons than the previous test play. Once again I had some truly horrendous luck with my card draws, however I did manage to get my tower up to size 6 and was only one transformation away from forming the mighty Devastator! Turns out the opposition was insanely good. With all the Constructicons being of the melee type, Thundercracker is pretty much a Constructicon killing machine, with his ability being able to do free damage every other turn, plus the general high attack stats of the Seekers make quick work of low health combiners. Even though the seekers were outnumbered and I could gang up damage at turn 3, the low attack stats of the individual constructicons coupled with the fact that my battle deck was focused so much of defense rather than offence meant that once again couldn't even take down Skywarp. Though I would have, if not for his pesky damage diverting ability. From this I can only conclude that the constructicons/devastator are not a fantastic game-winning team and Mrs Lint's Seekers are possibly the most powerful TCG deck ever assembled. The third possiblity is that I am simply truly terrible at playing this game. One thing that could have made a huge difference is if I had more than 4 copies of some of the unique constructicon battle cards. These came so few and far between I could never make much progress on the tower nor feed more essential cards to my hand. Needless to say if I had a battle deck with good numbers of Builders Tools and Heavy Landings, this game could have been a very different writeup.


    CONCLUSION
    Overall from a players point of view Devastator was a little disappointing as it was quite challenging to keep the Constructicons alive long enough to nail the combination (with 6 weak characters instead of the usual five) let alone commit to the tower building mechanic. However I could see a lot of great fun pitting the constructicons against another similarly statted combiner team (which would be a fairer fight) and seeing who can form up first for victory! I can see even more fun in building an ultimate battle deck for the Constructicons, given than the 40 cards included don't really pack much of a punch, and finally take down those damned Seekers. That said, the product is not without it's merits. As it stands, it is by far the cheapest way to guarantee getting a full combiner as well as some powerful battle cards like Pep Talk, Force Field and Grenade Launcher which is too good to pass up if you're starting out with the game. Finally from a packaging perspective, the way it's been presented is simply gorgeous.

    Although it is not as good as the Wave 1 Autobot Starter Pack for someone looking to get into the game I wouldn't discount it as an entry into the Transformers TCG. It comes with six character cards and a full, albeit unrounded, 40 card battle deck. For an existing TCG player I would say Devastator appears a little gimmicky, but there is incredible utility in having character cards that are worth only 4 stars. Plus the deck still represents great value for money and an easy way to add multiple copies of some awesome battle cards to your arsenal.

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    Another excellent review, with game examples to illustrate the elements of this exclusive pack.
    A little surprising/disappointing that the Devastator set wasn't a near-indestructable team, to make it an incentive for people to buy after already investing heavily into series two (characters and cards). Obviously you don't want a god-like pre-prepared set that defeats the point of buying booster packs, but a super powerful set would have meant needing to put more thought into a battle deck and team to play against it as a challenge to oneself.
    (Mixmaster looks more like Gen1 Scourge... what "gen1" Mixmaster toy has ever had the barrel split apart like wings like that?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by griffin View Post
    Another excellent review, with game examples to illustrate the elements of this exclusive pack.
    A little surprising/disappointing that the Devastator set wasn't a near-indestructable team, to make it an incentive for people to buy after already investing heavily into series two (characters and cards). Obviously you don't want a god-like pre-prepared set that defeats the point of buying booster packs, but a super powerful set would have meant needing to put more thought into a battle deck and team to play against it as a challenge to oneself.
    (Mixmaster looks more like Gen1 Scourge... what "gen1" Mixmaster toy has ever had the barrel split apart like wings like that?)
    If you make them powerful for the reasons mentioned then you have the issue of power-creep, which in the long run is detrimental to the game.

    Artwork wise, it's all straight out of the TF Legends Mobile game. Some of the artists there were less true to form than others.

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    Since Kmart and BigW appeared to have stopped stocking the TCG after just the first series Starter Pack and Booster Packs (they didn't get the Metroplex set in), we probably won't see Devastator for a decent price at a major retailer either.
    I found it on the Good Games and Game Empire sites, for AU$30... which is a decent price, as it has the equivalent of 6 Booster Packs in the box, which would be about $36-42.
    Unfortunately, Good Games only has free shipping over $40 or $50, so I will have to check out one of their stores here in Brisbane to find one, or wait for it to show up on Amazon America (I got the Metroplex set from there).

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