Wave 5 Preview: Battle Card MISSION BRIEFING

For the first time, Flip Flip Bang Bang is proud to preview an upcoming card from the next wave of Transformers TCG, Titan Masters Attack! Read on to see this new battle card, and how it could be played!

The type of cards that really interest me in this game aren’t the obviously powerful ones; it’s the ones that have that potential to do something cool, even if it isn’t instantly clear. I don’t believe in good or bad cards, I just believe in interesting or not so interesting cards. Today we’ll be looking at a card that at first glance doesn’t seem that powerful, but in the right deck at the right time, is ahead of the power curve, and that to me makes it interesting. Plus it has Kup on (hence the Wreckers-themed hype, despite this not being a Wreckers-trait card… sorry guys!).

So anyhow … let’s talk about card-drawing cards!

The base line for a card-drawing card is the action card Pep Talk from Wave 2 + 3. It does very little – you play it, it draws 2 cards, and then the action is done. Playing this card gives you some card advantage – you end up with one more card than before you played Pep Talk – but otherwise it isn’t a very exciting card.

Drawing more cards than this usually comes at some kind of cost, examples:

Backup Plan and System Reboot require you to scrap your hand before you can draw 3 or 4 cards respectively.

Intelligence Mission requires you to tap a character.

Inspiring Leadership needs you to scrap 2 cards straight after you draw those 3 cards.

Universal Network Access costs a star.

Treasure Hunt draws lots of cards…. but only if they are upgrades, so could be randomly no cards at all.

However there is one card currently in the game that lets you draw a considerable amount more than 2 cards when you play it at the right time. It’s become a bit infamous as of late for its role in many Daring Escape decks, because its draw power is so good…

Equipment Enthusiast is one of my favourite cards in the game; it has the potential to draw many times the amount of cards that Pep Talk does, so long as you have a deck and team that can play many upgrades very quickly. Once you’ve managed to play Equipment Enthusiast with multiple upgrades in play, your hand becomes much larger than it normally would in Transformers TCG, and your options become much wider. This makes what you can do with the game much more varied; you can use it to quickly race towards playing Daring Escape, you can use it to do vast amounts of damage with Sunstorm, you can use it to let Bombshell insta-KO combiners; the options become very open.

In the right deck, at the right time, Equipment Enthusiast is well ahead of the power curve. Just a shame you have to get it in your hand first… I wonder what that card would be like if it had a Green pip?

Mission Briefing is a new common battle card debuting in Wave 5. Like Equipment Enthusiast, it has a White pip and like Equipment Enthusiast, it’s draw power is variable depending on the current game state. For Mission Briefing, it draws a card for every character you have currently in Bot or Body mode.

Most importantly, it has a Green pip – it’s much easier to guarantee this card in your hand than Equipment Enthusiast, and thus any strategy it might be leading to is more reliable.

Mission Briefing has a much more limited draw potential than Equipment Enthusiast; it can only draw as many cards as you have characters on the table, and those characters have to be in the right mode. The game is designed so that it is hard to get characters into bot mode en masse – alt mode is easy (Roll Out, Hunker Down, Start Your Engines), bot and presumably body mode not so much; so getting to a game state where you’d want to play Mission Briefing will take a couple of turns for most decks.

A second turn sees a second alt-to-bot mode flip, and the player plays Mission Briefing to get an Energy Pack for Optimus Prime and an Equipment Enthusiast for later.

Typically Mission Briefing is most likely to be played about two or three turns into a game whilst playing a three-wide Blue deck, where your Flame War or Ravage has already switched to bot mode, and your big guy has just switched to bot mode too. In these types of decks your characters are more likely to still be in play a few turns in, and those characters tend to want to be in bot mode, so Mission Briefing is likely to net you a few cards for future plays or to look for upgrades. This basically means it’s doing what Pep Talk is doing, but it’s much more guaranteed due to the Green pip; so it’s slightly better than Pep Talk here.

There’s some really interesting outlier cases for Mission Briefing worth observing, though, and that’s where I think this card starts getting more powerful. Most of the decks that really benefit from it are actually decks that feature Battlemasters or Weaponizers; since these start in bot mode, you’re already part of the way to enabling three card draws from the card.

Here’s some examples of Mission Briefing being played early and yet still drawing plenty of cards:

Runabout and Runamuck already in bot mode at the start of Turn 2.

In the above scenario we have Runabout, Runamuck and Blowpipe, on their first time whilst going second (Turn 2). Runabout and Runamuck flip together, and Blowpipe starts in bot mode; so on their first turn, when Runamuck flips, all three characters will be in bot mode; and you’ll even have five cards in your hand already thanks to Runamuck‘s draw. Playing a Mission Briefing in a Blue deck on the first turn you can play cards will mean that the battle chargers have a better chance of seeing Pierce weapons, untap cards, and other tools to keep the brothers in game. It might not be enough to see them being played again, but it does give them a lot more potential.

Blaster flips out Ramhorn, and with his ability plays the Mission Briefing from the top of the deck, drawing a Force Field for Ramhorn to use when he defends.

Blaster is another Wave 3 era character who can get three characters in bot mode first turn; in the classic Blaster + Firedrive deck, when Blaster flips to bot mode, Ramhorn deploys in bot mode, giving you three bot mode characters on the board. Drawing 3 cards with Mission Briefing helps to fuel Firedrive; and since Blaster plays a card off the top of the deck when he flips to bot mode, you might even find yourself playing Mission Briefing on the very first turn! Soundwave can also benefit from this tactic (minus the extra card play); and having more cards in hand means there’s more chance of having the correct cards for Ramhorn and Buzzsaw to bring into play when they battle.

Sky Shadow can use this card in body mode.

For myself, I can see wanting to include this card in a future Sky Shadow build. I already like the idea of partnering Sky Shadow with Steeljaw and Flame War, and my attack plan is to spend the first two turns attacking with each Sky Shadow card, whilst flipping the supports into bot mode. By Turn 3, I’d imagine Sky Shadow would be combined (and when combined he is both combined AND body mode, thus eligible for Mission Briefing), or forced to combine using Peace Through Tyranny. That puts me in a state where I can play Mission Briefing to grab three cards, refreshing my hand significantly, and giving me a better chance of having the right damage boosting cards for the next stage of the game with three untapped characters.

A perfect compliment for a Battlemaster focused rainbow deck maybe?

I think Mission Briefing will be an interesting card to see in play in Wave 5; not because it’s especially glamorous in itself, but because like Equipment Enthusiast it can enable a wider range of plays. It also asks interesting and novel deck building questions – what kind of deck could you envision that gets to 3 or even 4 bot mode characters as soon as possible? What could you then do with all those cards available?

That might be a question to consider as we get closer to Wave 5’s release.

Until next time!

Thank you to Wizards of the Coast for giving this website the opportunity to preview this card, and thank you to everyone who has supported the site so far. Let’s make Wave 5 the best wave yet!

Titan Masters Attack releases all over the world on April 17th.

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