Strategy Spotlight: Attack Plan

Strategy Spotlight: Attack Plan

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully.”  If there’s one thing Transformers players know at this point, it’s just how important attacking is in the game.  In fact, it is a fundamental core to the game, and your attacks in any given game also dictate your other plays.  Yet attacking is the part of the game I have heard the least about in terms of maximizing your tactical and strategic advantages.  Each attack is important in ways that many players don’t consider, and the very first attack of any game can determine who will win that game.  My goal with this article is to outline the various reasons why you would make a particular attack in a game.

1.) Attacking for Damage

This is the prima facie reason you attack.  The game is won by K.O.ing all of your opponent’s characters, and that is accomplished by dealing enough damage to each character to equal or exceed their health.  Usually in any given game you’ll attack an opposing character (or multiple characters) more than once with your own characters to deal enough damage to K.O. them.

2.) Attacking to K.O.

The second reason you attack flows naturally from the first, namely to K.O. a bot.  Sometimes, K.O.ing a bot with an attack is pretty academic.  Other times, you’ve got to do some math.  And by math, I mean your best educated guess.  If your deck is an all orange bold based strategy, you can count every card you flip as one point of damage.  If your deck is a blue based defensive deck, then you can just ignore your flips when attacking.  Conversely, you want to take into consideration your opponent’s likely defense when you attack.  Are they a highly aggressive orange deck?  You’re probably safe just counting their printed defense+remaining health as the number you need to reach on your attack to successfully K.O. the defending bot.  If they are a blue based deck however, you’ll want to count out their defense as being two or more higher than their printed defense, as well as taking into consideration any bonuses from tough.  It’s important to keep in mind that some aggressive decks may still have some number of blue pips in their deck.  Keep an eye out for blue cards that get flipped throughout the game to get a feel for how many blue pips they may have.

3.) The Defensive Attack

This sort of attack is less concerned with dealing damage to an opposing bot and more concerned with protecting your other characters.  This attack can be made for various reasons: you have a character with low health that you need to live for more than another turn; you want to protect a key bot(Optimus Prime, Battlefield Legend or Grimlock, Dinobot Leader)in your lineup so that they can get more high power attacks in future turns; you want the character that attacks early to soak damage early because they are more effective at that (Optimus Prime, Gleaming Commander and Insecticon Skrapnel are good examples here).

4.) The Terminal Attack

Sometimes you have a bot whose health is low enough that they are vulnerable to being K.O.ed from direct damage (One Shall Stand One Shall Fall, Plasma Burst, Autobot Hot Rod flipping).  You don’t want to lose out on an attack with this character, so even though you know by attacking you’re committing them to a near certain K.O. from an attack on your opponent’s turn, you want to ensure you still get an attack in, as if your opponent K.O.s your character with direct damage, you missed out on an entire attack.

5.) Attacking the Important Target

Not all characters are created equal.  You will often encounter choices in a game of which character to attack.  While it’s important to take into consideration all the different reasons you would attack listed above, one of the most important reasons to attack a character is the importance of that particular character to your opponent’s strategy, or how dangerous that character is to your own strategy.  Remember how I said earlier you want often want to make defensive attacks to protect characters like Optimus Prime, Battlefield Legend?  If you’re playing against these characters, then you want to look for opportunities to K.O. or damage those particular characters when you have the opportunity to do so.

6.) Attacking to Disrupt

This type of attack is an interesting one I found early on in the game, and is most commonly executed on your first attack.  Remember how I said above that certain characters often want to attack first to soak damage?  If you attack that particular character first, you can put your opponent with less optimal choices for their first attack.  Consider the following scenario: you are playing an aggressive deck against a stock Insecticons deck and you are on the play.  Who do you attack first?  By attacking Skrapnel in his alt mode, you have a good chance of dealing four or more damage to Skrapnel, meaning that your opponent now has to decide whether they want to commit their Skrapnel to an immediate K.O. on the following turn.  You can make the same kind of attack against Optimus Prime, Gleaming Commander in a Sentinels deck, since if you can deal five damage to Prime, your opponent now has three bots all with approximately the same effective health, meaning that when you take your second turn, you have a very good chance of K.O.ing whichever bot they decided to attack with.

7.) Attacking for Value

Sometimes your opponent may have a character with an important upgrade that you want to clear off the board.  Combat Commands is a good example of an upgrade like this, and the power level of the Sentinel characters are all similar enough that you’ll be more interested in knocking out a character carrying Combat Commands than another one.  Also certain characters have effects that can give you some value when you attack with them or deal damage.  Air Raid is a good example here since he can scrap an upgrade when he deals damage to the defending character.

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