Deck Tech: Bold Nemesis

Deck Tech: Bold Nemesis

There’s only about a month left before the third set releases, but I’m still trying to brew up decks with the first two sets. One character I haven’t played as much as I probably should have is Nemesis Prime. With high health and a high base attack, Nemesis tends to appear in heavy blue strategies, including the still popular Double Primes alongside Optimus Prime, Battlefield Legend. There were a few three wide blue Nemesis decks in Wave 1, often featuring Thundercracker and Flamewar. These decks didn’t necessarily focus on getting a card under Nemesis quickly, but rather just played conventional games, and thanks to the nature of being blue based were able to extend the number of turns a game had, allowing Nemesis to get his attack buff on later turns.

Can we make Nemesis work in an aggressive bold based strategy? One advantage of focusing on heavy bold with Nemesis is that you can churn through your deck much faster than other strategies. On top of that, I’ve found that throwing an orange shell with almost any combination of characters tends to be more successful than a blue shell. With a bold focused strategy in mind, what other characters do we want to pair with Nemesis?

Fortunately there’s two decent characters that fit right into a heavy bold strategy at thirteen stars total. Barrage is a solid attacker with good stats for his cost, and has a built in Flamethrower whenever he’s attacking a damaged character. That leaves six stars for the last character (or character and star cards). Demolisher is a character that shows up in plenty of tank decks, but there his attack bonus in bot mode is usually worthless. Here though, we get plenty of damage when attacking with him and we get to churn through the deck even faster.


Nemesis Prime, Dark Clone
Barrage, Merciless Insecticon
Demolisher, Devoted Decepticon


3x Backup Beam
3x Flamethrower
3x Improvised Shield
3x Force Field
3x Power Punch
3x Grenade Launcher
2x Bashing Shield


3x Supercharge
3x Focus Fire
3x Zap
3x Treasure Hunt
3x Peace Through Tyranny
3x Swindled
2x Work Overtime

It’s possible with a good draw to trigger Nemesis Prime’s bot mode ability by your third turn and on his very first attack. I did some quick napkin math to see on average about how many cards you need to flip before you attack with Nemesis (remaining number of cards in deck will be in parentheses):

You start with 3 cards in hand, and by your third turn have draw three cards for draw steps (34 cards). You will attack three times and always flip at least two cards on each attack (28 cards). You will be attacked twice going first and three times going second (24-22 cards). There are currently five white battle icons in the deck. With how many cards you will flip in the first three turns, odds are good that you will flip extra cards from white pips two to three times (20-16 cards.) Demolisher always flips four extra cards (16-12 cards.) On the play, you will need to flip over an additional 14-16 cards to shuffle your deck. With only four card plays (two for your second attack and two for your third attack with Nemesis), each card play needs to go through slightly less than four cards in your deck per card play. This is pretty unlikely, particularly because Swindled can’t actually net you extra cards out of your deck with the extra upgrade play.

Going second however, things get much easier. You now get attacked one additional time, lowering the amount of cards you need to flip out of your deck by two. You also get an additional card play as well. This means you now need to flip about 12-14 cards with five card plays. This averages out to needing about two and a half cards per card played. This is much more reasonable to achieve with the deck. While it’s still not guaranteed to go through all forty cards by the time Nemesis attacks, it’s definitely possible.

The real advantage to this deck is that while it’s cards are slanted towards trying to get Nemesis up to ten attack asap, it’s still a reasonable beatdown deck in it’s own right. In a nearly all orange deck, Demolisher is actually a solid attacker, and has good stats for an aggressive six star character. Everyone knows how good Barrage is in Insecticons and other orange decks, and he’s no different here with strong stats for his cost. Nemesis Prime still has a strong attack even without a card underneath him and plenty of health to spare to soak your opponent’s attacks.

As with all fresh deck ideas, there’s bound to be plenty of ways to modify the current decklist. The deck does have several seemingly unconventional choices, but they are there for a reason (but that reason doesn’t necessarily mean that those cards are the best choice for any given deck.) Three Zaps likely pops out as an odd choice. These help turn on Barrage on his first attack (it’s likely you are not attacking a damaged character with him on his first go) to get his built in bold 2. You could play Plasma Burst or One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall instead, but this deck is particularly sensitive to how many non orange pips you have with how many cards you are flipping with every attack.

Focus Fire is another card I don’t think is particularly strong in a conventional deck, but here, with how many cards you see, it’s not difficult to get two or three as you’re flipping through your deck before you attack with Nemesis. More often than not though, the card is just a two card Supercharge. It’s also very weak against Mirage and Espionage. However, one thing I found with earlier versions of the deck is that I generally had a weapon to play whenever I needed it since I was playing three Backup Beams. I could not say the same with actions. Focus Fire is the best green pip action for the deck, and helps to smooth out your early turns by making sure you have actions to play for your first couple of turns.

It could also be that you want some number of Data Pads in the deck. While they only dig you one card deeper, they are an additional white pip, helping make sure there are more white pip flips every game. On top of that, it “combos” up with Swindled to make your extra upgrade play slightly better for the purpose of going through more cards in your deck.

I’ve been enjoying the deck so far, and if you’re looking for something a little off meta, this is a fun and reasonably competitive option. I wouldn’t expect to be able to take down most of the top tier decks at the moment, but if you want a deck for your local weekly events that lets you get some really big Nemesis attacks, then this is a solid choice.

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