What's Hot: Rise of the Combiners
Obiwong March 2, 2020
Now where'd I put my other Energon Axe...
I can remember how excited everyone was for the second set. There was so much excitement after Wave 1 everyone wanted more Transformers, everyone wanted their favourite character and EVERYONE wanted someone to build a deck to stop Insecticons. And Wizards of the Coast delivered, the first spoiler for the Rise of the Combiners was none other than Predaking! We were getting combiners, how cool was that?! VERY COOL. The other mechanic that was delivered in Rise of the Combiners were green battle icons. These new battle icons allowed us to add cards flipped during battle to our hand. I couldn't imagine the game without green battle icons, so lets see what the most popular cards are from Rise of the Combiners!
[[Skydive Air Warfare Specialist]] takes the top spot, and given that the rest of the top 5 are not the remaining Aerialbots we can see that when the combiners were designed. The characters need to be able to work in other shells that were not just decks to form their respective combiner. Both [[Skydive Air Warfare Specialist]] and [[Fireflight Sky High Recon]] are great defensive focused characters that can fill in small spots left after picking a couple larger characters for your team. And [[Skydive Air Warfare Specialist]] even picked up another tournament win recently at Till All Are One paired with [[General Optimus Prime Galactic Commander]].
1. [[Skydive Air Warfare Specialist]]
2. [[Fireflight Sky High Recon]]
3. [[Thrust Supersonic Interceptor]]
4. [[Dead End Doomed Loner]]
5. [[Razorclaw Predacon Leader]]
I bet we all already forgot about [[Press the Advantage]]! Arguably the best card from the set, but ultimately a little too good so it got the ban hammer. Blue cards dominate the the top 5 with [[Smelt]], [[Espionage]] and [[Confidence]] just missing out. Interestingly enough [[Smelt]]'s green battle icon isn't enough to over take [[Vaporize]] as the removal of choice (as opposed to your opponents choice).
1. [[Pep Talk]]
4. [[Escape Route]]
5. [[Reckless Charge]]
Aggro staples are here in the top 5. And these were a surprise to no one. [[Supercharge]] got a ton of play in Wave 1 and it's Upgrade counterpart [[Power Punch]] seemed to fit naturally into all aggro shells. And here we see the power of the green battle icons with Autobot and Decepticon blasters in the top 5.
1. [[Power Punch]]
2. [[Scoundrel's Blaster]]
3. [[Erratic Lightning]]
4. [[Enforcement Batons]]
5. [[Noble's Blaster]]
Good removal with a green battle icon has got to be good. And an orange and green battle icon card that gets rid of armor is going to be in every aggro deck. In fact, [[Bashing Shield]] is so good it just goes into just about every deck. I'm a little surprised at [[Superior Plating]] here but I guess everyone just loves playing [[Jetfire Air Guardian]].
1. [[Bashing Shield]]
2. [[Sparring Gear]]
3. [[Evasive Maneuvers]]
4. [[Superior Plating]]
5. [[Cooling Vents]]
No surprises here. [[Field Communicator]] is a solid card that generates card advantage and gives +1[ATK], it really makes specialists shine. [[Spare Parts]] protects your other Upgrades and [[Decepticon Crown]] for his royal highness [[Starscream Decepticon King]].
1. [[Field Communicator]]
2. [[Spare Parts]]
3. [[Decepticon Crown]]
4. [[Security Console]]
King of Combiners
Who's that Pokemon?
Can't talk about Rise of the Combiners without taking a look at the most popular combiner! It's none other than [[Predaking Ferocious Hunter]]. I was a little disappointed the only combiner that broke into the competitive scene was [[Superion Sky Protector]] but who knows what the future holds, cards like [[Jurassic Punch]] may breath new life into the fan favourite combiners