Jankyard | Master Jetfire
Greetings Cybertronians, Autobot AL of Team PTSD reporting in. It's been a few weeks since my first article was released and I would like to thank you for all the kind words and comments you gave for that article. It has been a good start for me as a new writer and I look forward to sharing more with you.
In my first article, I mentioned that my style of mixed deck building usually avoids Handheld Blaster and Improvised Shield. This time I have included both of them in this particular deck which brings a lot of fun for me. I present to you my variant of Captain Jetfire, whom I shall affectionately term Master Jetfire from here on.
As per my usual, I am running a total of 42 battle cards instead of the minimum 40. This is made up of 16 Actions and 26 Upgrades. There are 12 Orange pips, 27 Blue pips, 1 Black pip and 5 White pips.
B - Blue
O - Orange
W - White
G - Green
K - Black
3 Mining Pick (O)
3 Energon Axe (B)
3 Handheld Blaster (BB)
2 Noble's Blaster (BG)
1 Enforcement Batons (OG)
1 Dismantling Claw (BG)
3 Improvised Shield (OO)
1 Reactive Armor (OG)
1 Sparring Gear (OG)
3 Matrix Of Leadership (OB)
3 Shoulder Holster (B)
1 Personal Targeting Drone (WG)
1 Metal Detector (KG)
3 Security Checkpoint (BB)
3 Reclaim (B)
2 Secret Dealings (WG)
2 Escape Route (WG)
2 Hidden Fortification (B)
2 Sabotage Armaments (B)
1 Master Plan (BG)
1 Smelt (BG)
Master Jetfire has a whopping 16-stars count, but with is comes 6 attack, 20 health and 2 defense. I would like to go with the pairing of 2 members of the Air Strike Patrol - Tailwind and Nightflight.
Master Jetfire's ability on both alt and bot modes are considered some of the best abilities I have played. The alt mode ability provides me with an amped up Treasure Hunt effect to dig through 5 cards for upgrades to put into my hand, while the bot mode ability is a combination of Data Pad and Security Console - both cards of which were heavily played by me during the Wave 2 era of the game. They allow me to draw a card during battle with the option of revealing an upgrade to place it back on the top of my deck for an additional flip. This was the icing on the cake for me.
Master Jetfire's bot mode ability works very well with Improvised Shield and Handheld Blaster that having to draw them in this deck is not a bad idea at all. After much playtesting done, Master Jetfire tends to be the sole survivor of entire matches because of how beefy he can end up being. Tailwind and Nightflight are my cannon fodder to allow me time to setup Master Jetfire. In my attempts to keep the Air Strike Patrol boys alive (especially Tailwind due to his ability), I have packed in Dismantling Claw, Reactive Armor and Personal Targeting Drone for them to be equipped on, hoping that my opponent wouldn't want to KO them and trigger the upgrades' effects.
Here is where the jank part of my brain started to get ambitious. With a decent draw engine and the ability to plan cards on the top of my deck, the combination of Mining Pick and Master Plan started to sound really good.
Mining Pick increases the upgraded character's attack by 1 for every card put from my hand on top of my deck. This in conjunction with being able to Plan up to 6 cards from Master Plan, and with the 1 card from Master Jetfire, I would have a total of 9 additional attack. This allowed Master Jetfire to easily reach 16 attack before battle flips.
If I can plan 3 copies of Improvised Shield on the top of the deck, Master Jetfire's attack can go up to 22.
Take note that the ability of the additional attack granted from Mining Pick lasts until the end of turn, hence it is safe from Sabotage Armaments.
Master Plan opens up a lot of possibilities in this game plan. It allows me to plan ahead to my defensive flips during my opponent's turn. Master Jetfire's ability only allows for upgrades to be placed on the top of the deck and not actions. With proper planning, I can plan for his Draw ability and have my actions such as Security Checkpoint under that in stack, ready to be flipped to provide a wall of a defense.
That's not all Master Plan can do. It also opens up an upgrade sequence such as Metal Detector into Shoulder Holster into Energon Axe, and then into the battle flips for a major attack boost.
All this would require a lot of forward planning and careful consideration for such a sequence of cards to trigger, so I would strongly advise a lot of practice if you would want to be even more ambitious and take this concept into a tournament setting.
To make the entire deck more interesting, I make use of Shoulder Holster to equip a second Mining Pick. The second Mining Pick may not be necessary but having double the additional damage feels too damn good! After all the effort into planning cards on the top of the deck (which results in a depletion of my hand size as well), this doubling of damage output could be what is needed for a huge damage push or even to KO a beefy character like General Optimus Prime, Galactic Commander.
To ensure Shoulder Holster triggers, Reclaim is included in the list. Reclaim allows me to place an upgrade from my scrap pile on the top of my deck. This allows me to have the exact weapon I want equipped for the current situation.
Reclaim works wonders with Metal Detector as well, allowing me any upgrade type as needed. I can even have Metal Detector on Tailwind or Nightflight to have them help setup Master Jetfire for later turns.
So assuming I have everything I need in place - 2 copies of Mining Pick, 1 copy of Master Plan, and 3 copies of Improvised Shield, here's the math:
Mining Pick - Plan 2, Master Plan - Plan 6, Master Jetfire's ability - Plan 1
Mining Pick = 12 total attack (including printed base of 1)
Master Jetfire's base attack = 6 attack
Battle Flip of 3 copies of Improvised Shield = 6 attack
Grand total = 12 + 12 + 6 + 6 = 36 attack.
This is the kind of attack value that I've always dreamt about having. This could allow big targets to be taken out easily. Such a commitment should be used to guarantee a kill on critical opposing characters. Having a double Mining Pick and Master Plan is pretty achievable and the feeling when you accomplish it is so satisfying!
Now as I've covered above, the overall concept of Master Jetfire is to make use of Mining Pick to plan for attack, while Master Plan is used for both offensive and defensive capabilities with forward planning. Yet this Master Jetfire deck is comprised of predominantly blue battle icons, with only key cards being orange.
Despite having beefy stats and defense, Master Jetfire is prone to direct and pierce damage. He works well against aggro match-ups and stands up decently against blue control, but he struggles against pierce decks. The solution to this lie in the sideboard.
Sergeant Six Gun, Artillery <> Soldier
3 Peace Through Tyranny (OO)
3 Grenade Launchers (O)
2 Erratic Lightning (O)
1 Enforcement Batons (OG)
1 Bashing Shield (OG)
Many would argue that Thrust, SuperSonic Interceptor would be a better choice for the raw damage output potential with decent stats at 9 stars. However, my choice for Six-Gun is more of a personal choice to try something different from conventional plays.
Six-Gun's ability to discard a weapon to increase attack, and the synergy between Master Jetfire and him is what I'm looking at. As Six-Gun is a Weaponizer, Master Jetfire is able to be flip efficient and dig for sufficient upgrades for Six-Gun's ability.
The idea of transitioning into a 2-wide is to achieve a quicker gameplay and board state by aiming for quick KOs of as many opposing characters early on, or pushing damage into a major opponent to ease the late game tensions.
With a 2-wide, the double Mining Pick strategy would not work due to lesser time for setup. Shoulder Holster and Reclaim become less effective too. They are swapped out for Orange pips battle cards for a more aggressive build.
Escape Route becomes better in a 2-wide combination which allows more digging from Master Jetfire. A risky move would be to flip Master Jetfire to bot mode on the first turn and send him to attack, subsequently flipping him to alt mode the following turn to dig for upgrades for Six-Gun. Having more upgrades in hand provide more options for Six-Gun. I would have the choice of upgrading one weapon on him, and discarding another for his ability for a huge boost in attack power. At this point, Master Jetfire may be heavily damaged depending on how much commitment to the attacks your opponent has given. Six-Gun would then be going in first upon board reset, ideally with double Grenade Launchers and a Reckless Charge.
Overall, looking at the deck composition, there is a lot of flexibility in card choices for better effects and/or control such as Espionage, Marksmanship, Sturdy Javelin and Leap Into Battle. Building and piloting a blue deck requires a lot of practice against various match-ups. Some players may enjoy more control builds, while others just want to beat their opponents senseless with raw power. The main thing is to always have fun! I believe that in any TCG, it is most enjoyable when you have fun creating something you can call your own creation.
I hope that you guys have had a good read on my thoughts in this article. Thank you for reading till the end, and do share with us your own creations.
Autobot AL, out!