Jankyard | Blue Cars
Ba Weep Gran Na Weep Ninny Bong! I'm Tim and I would like to discuss the prospects of a blue cars build. Cars have been generally known to be an aggressive deck in all the variations we've seen in tournaments, but I would like to present an option where a more controlled, yet still aggressive archetype can be played.
As of writing this article, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, where many of us are confined to our homes. Wave 5 was due to have been released by now but unfortunately is pushed back to end May instead. The kind folks at wotc have decided to fully release all spoilers for wave 5 so that we can get our thinking caps on during lockdown.
I will be sharing my deck build based on wave 4, and in a separate article in the future will discuss the improvements that wave 5 can aid in enhancing this archetype. Let's kick things off with the deck list!
Cliffjumper, Renegade Warrior
Sergeant Mirage, Special Ops <> Spy
Arcee, Skilled Fighter
Raider Road Hugger, Infantry <> Tactics
2x The Bigger They Are...
2x Hidden Fortification
2x Roll Out!
3x Steady Shot
3x Start Your Engines
3x Security Checkpoint
2x Sturdy Javelin
2x Field Communicator
1x Noble's Blaster
1x Enforcement Baton
1x Sparring Gear
3x Smoke Cloak
2x Laser Cutlass
2x Energon Axe
3x Grenade Launcher
3x Turbo Boosters
3x Handheld Blaster
Bumblebee, Trusted Lieutenant
2x Armed Hovercraft
1x Bashing Shield
1x Battlefield Report
2x Sabotage Armaments
Here's a video of the deck profile:
For those of you who prefer to read, here's the text version. Else, feel free to skip forward to the Game Play section.
Character choices are pretty straightforward.
Cliffjumper is such a strong choice to have in cars as the amount of cards drawn throughout the game allows so many options every turn. He is also ranged on his bot mode which provides certain play options in the later part of the game.
Games tend to end with Cliffjumper being the last bot standing big and tall.
Sergeant Mirage is another beast when it comes to card draw. In a predominantly blue deck, he nets even more cards with the aid of Cliffjumper.
Arcee is there to ensure a huge amount of guaranteed damage, especially when partnered with Raider Road Hugger who gives a very attractive +3 attack for the cost of a blue card.
The Bigger They Are is a decent pump that has the potential to pierce for more if I'm attacking up the curve, which happens quite a bit.
Marksmanship is there for the direct 2 damage burn. I'm not packing 3 copies because I only have 2 ranged characters.
Hidden Fortification is there for the boost in defensive capabilities. Tough 3 is amazing and makes a huge difference in crucial battles.
Roll Out! is around for a few reasons. The first is for the double pips. With Arcee around, having that extra orange pip could prove useful. The second is having tha ability to flip modes to draw cards with Mirage or heal with Arcee have been valuable.
Steady Shot is in there as the combat pump of choice over Leap Into Battle because I value the black pip. There are many times where I've played games where I wished I had that additional black pip to push for one more pierce damage. I feel it's a good trade off to guarantee that one more damage when it counts.
Start Your Engines. The whole reason behind a cars deck. The ability to untap and go again is absolutely amazing! In this deck where I can attack with a character that has laser cutlass to pierce minimum 3, and be able to ready the character for another go the next turn is spectacular!
Security Checkpoint is such an amazing control card. Although you wouldn't be playing this card very often because you would want the upgrades in your hand too, it is such a game changer against aggro decks when you can strip them of half their power.
Sturdy Javelin is a very versatile card. Only Arcee will not benefit from this. I personally use it more for Mirage or Cliffjumper to equip for the direct damage effect, but there are times when I have used it for Road Hugger if he needs to go in early. It also is a +2 attack on Cliffjumper in alt mode. I play 2 copies instead of 3 because I have other weapons I'd rather play, and I don't want to have too many white pips.
Field Communicator is arguably the weakest link in this deck. However, I feel that the ability to play into a free card is warranted. This is especially useful in the early game when I'm just looking for the setup, or in the mid-game when I've drawn so many cards but still lacking the untap effects. This is a chance to get into that untap which has happened more often than I've thought it would.
Noble's Blaster is just a one-off in case I need a weapon and haven't drawn into one.
Enforcement Baton for opposing board weapon removal. Only really used against annoying weapons like Battle Masters, Weaponizers or Ion Blaster of Optimus Prime.
Sparring Gear is also a one-off since there is a green pip. I'm usually setting up offensive upgrades as I want to pressure my opponent instead of being reactive, thus only one copy is required for the late game when Cliffjumper is left to defend on his own.
Smoke Cloak is packed more for the blue/black pips than for actual use being equipped. As mentioned above, I prefer going more offensive. The best defense is a good offense is the motto of this deck, but that doesn't mean we let it go completely null. Smoke Cloak can be played in certain situations especially against high aggro decks where that one extra fliip could make the difference in your board state.
Laser Cutlass is one of my favourite weapons. The reason there's only 2 copies of this card is because I rarely want to have it equipped on Arcee. Only Mirage and Road Hugger should be utilising this upgrade to get the pierce done, untap the next turn and do it again.
Energon Axe will never fail to be the go-to blue weapon card for some time. +3 attack with 2 pierce for the small price of equipping only on damaged characters is pretty good. This weapon has won me many games in the hands of Cliffjumper.
Grenade Launcher is Arcee's best friend in this deck. With Road Hugger's ability to +3 attack, Arcee will be going in for a guaranteed 8 damage excluding potentialy action pumps and combat flips. That is a huge game changing swing.
Turbo Boosters is the other amazing untap effect for cars. Between Start Your Engines and Turbo Boosters, you get to choose whether you'd prefer to untap using an action or upgrade depending on what you have in hand. The orange pip also aids Arcee or any of the others that need just that little bit more of a damage push.
Handheld Blaster can also be arguably the next weakest link in the deck. It is only useful for the double blue pips. The Bold 1 does not do much for this deck unless I am desperate to flip one more orange or black pip, which is rarely the case. I am tempted to remove this for something else come wave 5, but this is for another article.
Here are the sideboard choices:
Bumblebee, Trusted Lieutenant is selected as the biggest stat car available at 10 cost, that also has a relevant ability to this deck. I rarely ever sideboard out into him, but he's just there as an option should I need to avoid giving my opponent many turns to play around.
Disarm is in here for Galaxy Prime. This is the one, true killer that turns the games around on it, hence its inclusion in here.
Armed Hovercraft is for all those pesky combiners or wide decks that just need that extra push across their wide board. Pierce and direct damage bring small characters down really fast.
Vaporize is also in here for Galaxy Prime. More removal needed. I was thinking of having Reprocess in place of this, but with the amount of draw this deck gets, it's pretty easy to get into this and having a blue pip is better.
Smelt is yet another card in here for Galaxy Prime decks, but also good against Shockwave. His small guys would be pierced off easily leaving his Shockwave around for the later part of the game. Smelt is a wonderful card to reduce Shockwave's wall.
Bashing Shield is only in here for decks that run Force Field or Point-Defense System. With the amount of consistent pierce damage in this deck, most armors do not affect your gameplay.
Battlefield Report is the weakest card in the sideboard. I have it in here because I have encountered games where I just have horrendous draws (probability, hey) and it would be nice to be able to dig more and stack up double pips for defense.
Sabotage Armaments are for decks that really depend on heavy weapons to maul your guys down. Grenade Launcher, Erratic Lightning, Power Punch, Energon Axe, Ion Blaster of Optimus Prime, Battle Masters, Weaponizers etc. These are just some of the crucial weapons I do not want to see across from me and with Sabotage Armaments, it is possible to stop an opponent's commitment into one of your bots.
Here are some game play videos done, though I will explain in text below as well.
Game Play: Blue Cars vs Sports Car Patrol & Friends
The play I usually do is flip Sergeant Mirage on turn 1 for the card draw. I will flip him back the following turn either via normal flip or Start Your Engines. I will be digging for Laser Cutlass and Grenade Launcher early on to help push damage through before my opponent can setup his board.
Depending on the number of characters you have on the opposing board, you want to be careful of the turn orders so that your Arcee and Road Hugger can be used in combination for a huge hit. If there is a need to sacrifice a character to a heavy aggro opponent, Road Hugger can be the first one followed by Arcee. Arcee is not as efficient against aggro decks as they already are not flipping additional defense.
With a total 41 health on the board with this character lineup, I have been able to out pierce Aerialbots and even go the distance with Galaxy Prime with 2 copies of Energy Packs. It is very crucial to plan for the proper order of attack to spread out the damage across your board. Everyone knows that when they are up against a cars deck, they should be going for a one shot one kill approach. This is easily accomplished against an orange build cars deck, where they are better able to calculate the exact amount required. In a blue deck, you would have a much higher chance to survive with the high stats of the characters.
Before getting to this current deck build, I was playing a slightly different variation which works better if the meta is heavier on orange aggro decks. The change in characters would be to replace Arcee and Road Hugger with Bumblebee, Brave Warrior and Raider Hyperdrive. Bumblebee has an innate Tough 1 in bot mode along with a 2 defense to make him a really good damage tank early on. Being able to give a board wide Pierce 1 when flipping back to alt mode is great too. Raider Hyperdrive is just there to fill the slots at being a car with 4 stars and has Stealth.
In this alternative iteration, I replace the Grenade Launchers with Matrix of Leadership. Bumblebee is a leader and the board benefits a lot more pierce with the Matrix, which is also a double pip (orange and blue) card.
The two decks run very similarly with the main decisions made only due to the decks in the meta. I look forward to exploring everything that wave 5 has in order to boost this deck's capabilities, and sharing these updates with you all in a future article.
Thank you all for reading this lengthy article. Till All Are One! Tim, out!