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darthweasel2

Ant Man experiences

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Due to an unfortunate knee injury I had a ton of time on my hands this past weekend.  My incredible brothers, knowing I was an invalid, each bought a copy of Ant-Man and brought it by...so I decided to run him through every released scenario.

 

First up was Rhino, which seems like the easiest scenario and no challenge. Using the deck out of the box, I played Rhino...and then again...and then rebuilt the deck because A) I triple the number of times I have ever lost to Rhino and lost to him  for the first time since learning the game months ago B) never had an affordable ally when I needed it and had several cards I never wanted to play. After rebuilding I ran through it 3 more times and it was as easy as ever...maybe easier.

Lessons learned from Rhino; flipping is key. Knowing how and when to flip. So far keeping my opinion I only picked up the deck because I am a completionist.

 

Klaw was a bit of a challenge, but I got plenty of allies out and was able to handle all the schemes coming at me and ended up taking him out. It was a challenge but I saw some mistakes I was making in how I was using him. He really needs to thin his deck and his Helmet might be his most important card. Healing and card advantage combined with resize. Not hard to either heal 4 or thwart 2 while drawing a couple extra cards...or more...his suite of cards is awesome and learning to use them is key.

Ultron was a piece of cake. Between Hawkeye and having the Ant Armies out, drones were laughable and with him never spinning an advance, took him out in very few turns with no issues. Starting to really like the deck. Key lesson is getting out not just helmet but his full suite...Army of Ants, Helmet, Wrist Gauntlets. And when I have a double resource in hand, keeping the villain stunned or confused pretty much every turn...nice! Still, at this point I am giving serious consideration to changing him to protection.

It feels like it is vital to keep him on one of the two hero sides as much as possible. Because of the importance of getting his suite of cards out I was not using allies enough yet.  And as effective as getting a free pip of damage or taking off a threat is just for flipping, he really needs to use his abilities every turn they are that powerful. Flipping to Giant form with 2 Giant Strengths out is nice...being able to attack with them is far better. I was thinking Indomitable and Desperate Defense might make him better but I don't really like making decks so figured I would continue on the Leadership path.

Wrecking Crew was next up and again showed the strength of Army of Ants and flipping to Giant form. Never facing retaliate, that is nice...they were as expected a piece of cake, not much to see here.

Mutagen Formula was next on the agenda and the first true test since I was in the learning phase with Klaw. It was a bitterly contested battle. This was a case I nearly fell pretty to the "stay in hero form at all costs" syndrome. A well timed double lightning to confuse the villain, flip down, pop up and finish him but it was a razor thin margin. But I did learn a fun new trick. Early on I was using the Hank Pym version strictly with 4 hp but he has a lot of value just throwing a spare resource to use as a chump blocker. His variability for cost is much better than I initially realized.

Risky Business was of course a cakewalk but it was also another solid lesson. The Army of Ants gives laser sharp control. Easy to keep him at one counter until I wanted to flip him. Add as many as he wants, I will be taking them right back off but not flipping him. Having 4 easily distributed individual pips of damage is incredible (including flipping to Giant). I think it was about this point I realized how weak Ant Mans nemesis is. I have seen Yellowjacket about 8 times and he has yet to survive a turn or attack me and his scheme, particularly in single player, there is not enough threat to make it relevant. I think my favorite time was being in Giant form when he popped up, using Pym Particles to draw a card and play Wasp to do 2 damage to him, using her to remove Tech Theft, flipping to Tiny form and finishing him with Army of Ants x 2.

Time for the campaign. Crossbones has often been an issue. When he gets numerous weapons built up he is deadly. Ant Man laughed him off . It was softer than Rhino. This was Ant Man hitting on all cylinders. With the Wrist Gauntlets, I was keeping him stunned when needed, keeping weapons off him, roughing him up. He did get to stage 2 courtesy of Advance but I was never in danger of losing. I would face 2 weapons the remainder of the campaign.

Absorbing Man generally takes me about 5 or 6 turns to beat. I am never in danger of losing to it but I also take a conservative approach which is not necessarily good against Absorbing Man. This time? on my third turn I finished him. It was hardly even a game. It may have been somewhat helped by two early Giant Stomps...

Taskmaster would have been about that quick except I wanted the heroes. Here again the power of Army of Ants came to the fore. I kept him at 1 HP and removed all his shields with the ants while keeping threat at zero, having a full suite of allies out...this would be the only time I ran into an accelerator token but I ended up with all 4 heroes and took the easy win. Suddenly Ant Man his high on my list of favorite heroes.

Zola is a scenario I disagree with most people on. I typically find it among the easier scenarios and this was no exception. His retaliate is a minor nuisance at worst. With the power of Tiny Ants and flipping to Giant Form it can be totally avoided if necessary. With all the recovery Ant Man has available it is not necessary.

Red Skull is a fun scenario. Knowing you will have to thwart off two schemes every turn, main and a bonus scheme can affect the approach. Fortunately with allies out that was easy, the Sleeper did not last a turn, and the game felt in control from the beginning. I am learning to prioritize Ant Man cards and allies. I was getting so many allies out I often was removing allies I planned to chump block with to bring in better allies. Giant Man with power gloves and reinforced suit, use First Aid...he doesn't suck. Again the scenario was a cakewalk. Also finding I don't need to chump block...with the Helmet down and resize in hand, it is easy to keep him at or near full health just by flipping regularly.

 

Kang: This scenario is much better mult-player so you get the effect of playing both multi-player and single player in the same game. This way it almost felt like 3 single stage solo games. By now I have a really good feel for which cards to prioritize so it was another cakewalk. I have learned the power of Ant Man.

 

Looking at him as a whole, a few things are quickly obvious. His character specific set has as good a synergy as any other. They combine to have a power greater than their individual cards. Having the Helmet out, using Pym Particles to pay for a card, hitting a resize...draw a card for Pym, draw a card for going Tiny...he can fill a hand quick. Between Tiny, Giant, and Avenger Team-Building Exercise feels like it should be part of his suite. I need to look at the wording on Avengers Tower, I think it would work with Team Building to make Giant Man a 3 cost hero...that would not suck. Regardless, with the synergy of the suite, you have bonus healing, thwart, and damage...he is a fantastic Swiss Knife to do what is needed. My initial take was he is a support hero. He is not going to reach the damage levels of a Hawkeye, he is not going to reach the thwarting levels of Captain America....although Hive Mind with 3 Army of Ants out is a solid 2 for 5 threat remove and you should almost always have 3 army of ants out.

Hilariously, my first look at him I was a bit bummed about him not having a resource generator in his suite a la Expert Marksmen/god of Lightning/Super Soldier Serum was an issue but in practice Team Building Exercise handles that effectively and what would you take out? Maybe Giant Strength, arguably the weakest of his cards...but it is so thematic and allows massive turns. This happened a ton of times in the 12 scenarios. Have both Giant Strengths down, the Helmet, the armies of ants, and 2 resizes in hand. Do 3 damage using Army of Ants. flip to Giant to do 4th, attack for 5 and heal 2 (draw 1 for Pym Particles), Giant Stomp for 8 for 17 damage without having done much. Resize to take off a threat and draw a card. I had turns like this several times and not a few of them saw 2 resizes in hand. Not unusual for me to have about 13 cards in play, sometimes 15 or 16. It led to having great hand after great hand. With the shockingly high level of card draw it was easy to have 2 resizes and a giant stomp hanging out.

 

Final review they did a great job. The more I flipped between tiny and Giant the easier the game was, the more effective Ant Man was at dealing with pretty much everything. It was reminiscent of how he was in the movies and he can steamroll pretty much any scenario. And the best part...when I started working through the scenarios, I anticipated Ant Man being one of the seldom used heroes. I have not found a Captain Marvel build I enjoy, she feels blasé to me. Thor and Hulk are okay but not exactly the first deck I reach for. At the other end of the spectrum are favorites like Captain America, Ms Marvel, Black Widow, Iron Man...decks that require a bit of thought to play well and also all decks that can do multiple things well.

 

After running through the scenarios solo...Ant Man is in the top pantheon. Ton of fun and great design job.

 

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Avengers Tower and Team-Building Exercise can indeed be used to reduce an Avenger ally by 2.  You'll have to use the Tower first since it's a floating effect and TBE is a combination of immediate reduction and playing of the ally.

I knew Scott was going to be fun and good so I started out with the preconstructed deck against Expert Rhino and Legions of Hydra.  LoH on the first turn in two of three games was awful and the 3-boost on it made me lose to an untimely Advance.  I tuned the deck up to try Expert Rhino with Masters of Evil and simply crushed him.  Expert Klaw with MoE took a bit long and was more fun.  Can't wait to play him with friends and also with the Wasp!

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16 hours ago, BCumming said:

Avengers Tower and Team-Building Exercise can indeed be used to reduce an Avenger ally by 2.  You'll have to use the Tower first since it's a floating effect and TBE is a combination of immediate reduction and playing of the ally.

I knew Scott was going to be fun and good so I started out with the preconstructed deck against Expert Rhino and Legions of Hydra.  LoH on the first turn in two of three games was awful and the 3-boost on it made me lose to an untimely Advance.  I tuned the deck up to try Expert Rhino with Masters of Evil and simply crushed him.  Expert Klaw with MoE took a bit long and was more fun.  Can't wait to play him with friends and also with the Wasp!

fits with what I was seeing...the out of box is just a little fat with the wrong cards and minor tuning makes him a beast. I am shocked by the fun factor, I was not expecting that.

I am debating the inputting of Avengers Tower, I am not feeling resource poor very often due to his draw power so it is not hugely necessary

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20 hours ago, Sc00ter1979 said:

i got trounced by crossbones, absorbing man, and taskmaster with antman and then was like 'I'll put you next to thor in the box' lol

he has a bigger learning curve than a lot of heroes but if you are thinking he is as situational weak as Thor...rethink man. You definitely have to tweak his deck and learn the power of flipping between hero forms but once you do...he is doing something of value almost every turn. It is rare indeed you have a "I have to flip down to alter ego and neither thwart nor fight this turn", I encourage you to tweak him a bit and keep rolling. You will soon find he is on or near top tier strength wise.

 

 

Side note, Thor, when put in a specific role, can be very, very powerful. If he has to get out of his lane...yeah, not so much but if you can build a true team he can work well

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Ant Man is great fun. I actually think his is the 3rd strongest pre Con deck (after Widow and Cap) so far though - you can definitely make it stronger with a few tweaks but it’s really strong straight out of the box. You just need to flip at least once a turn and you’ll get plenty done, particularly if you have his board built.

Definitely a character I’ll be playing a lot going forwards.

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1 hour ago, Steeljaw said:

Could you guys share your custom Antman decks that worked so well for you?

I don't recall what all I took out...copy or two of "call for help",

 

I know I added:

2x Power Of Leadership

Wonder Man

don't know if these came with it or I added, Hawkeye and Falcon

 

What I have found is keeping it at 40, adding the Power of Leaderships means I have at minimum 3 allies I can play at any time, even with 4 card hand (Stinger, Wonder Man or Ant Man with whatever resources come to hand). If there is threat on a scheme I am taking it off with tiny, if not going big. I mulligan hard for Ant Mans Helmet, Wrist Gauntlets, and Army of Ants. Double resources are only other cards I keep.

Example: just drew test hand. Falcon, Hive Mind, Team Building Exercise, Wasp, Ant Man and Giant Man. Unless there is a minion I need to deal with starting in play or more than three threat out, I am tossing this entire hand.

First Aid, Giant Stompx2, Strength, Wrist Gauntlets, Power Gloves:if this were first hand instead of redraw  I will keep the gauntlets, the double....MIGHT keep one Giant stomp but might pitch it with everything else. Very likely play: play a 1 resource for Wrist Gauntlets, go Giant, pop Energy to stun the villain, and let rest of hand play itself. If this were the redraw...Wrist Gauntlets, pop to Giant (do 1 damage), pop Strength to stun him, Giant Stomp for 8 and attack for 3. 12 damage and stunned villain...not bad turn.

Draw 4....energy, wonder man, ant mans helmet Team Building Exercise. I am playing the helmet, if there is only one threat attack then flip down to remove threat and draw a card (Helmet). If there is more than 1 threat I am flipping down instead of attacking.  Ditch Wonder Man draw 5...ready for next turn.

 

obviously what the encounter deck does will alter it but this is not an atypical start. From there it is assess what is needed and play it. I had Pym Particles and Army of Ants in the next hand...Pym Particles replaces itself while paying for Ants, Ants do a damage, I am prepped to thwart or attack as needed, can potentially stun him again which all but buys a free turn to handle what the encounter deck and threat are doing...he is fantastic. if I took a couple points of damage, flipping to Giant with the helmet lets me heal and be attacking...it is just a fantastic combo.

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I wanted to go theme-y with him so I added Goliath to make it all the size-changing allies, plus Iron Man and Ronin to get the best effect from the ally upgrades.  Having 7 upgrades that have to attach to allies can give me janky hands where I draw all the stuff to boost allies but no actual allies to play them on.  Cutting Call for Aid entirely kind of hurts in that regard but I'm fine with it since the real solution should be to cut 1-2 of those upgrades.  Running 3 copies of Team-Building Exercise is too many and that was a problem I also had with just the preconstructed deck, currently going with a single copy but 2 in Scott also seems fine.  I also got rid of Moxie even though it's best in Ant-Man (and soon to be Wasp) decks.  Inspiring Presence to get more swings out of loaded-up guys like Giant-Man and Goliath fits better with what I want this deck to do.  Anyone with an Inspired and Power Glove makes a great target for readying too!

https://marvelcdb.com/decklist/view/5187/lang-s-big-tall-1.0

Only played solo so far and haven't done more than a few bouts with Rhino and a single battle with Klaw but it's been fun.  

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13 hours ago, IceHot42 said:

Do you think he can work as an Aggression build?

 

I legit think he can work with ANY aspect. A lot depends on if you are playing solo or group and your playstyle....and I am noting more and more that the last part is true of pretty much every character. Playstyle can make sub-optimal pairings work and strong pairings exceed all expectations, but where they don't mesh it can take a strong pairing and make it...bleh. I don't know if you  frequent Boardgame Geek or not but that is one reason I more or less quit going over there...they are so snarky towards people who play the game different than they do.

 

One poor kid (I assume) was struggling with Dr Strange. The critiques he received and the insults to him and his skill were embarrassing. Not to him...to the people making them but they are not smart enough to realize what $%^& they look like. 

 

But back on topic, Ant Man Aggression has tremendous potential. He can already whip out fantastic amounts of damage, Aggression turns the game into a race where most games should be 2-3 turns, maybe 4 and can work really well. With careful building you can stun-lock the villain almost guaranteed, aggression ties into that really well.  

 

It does leave you susceptible to being stunlocked yourself, but having Combat Training, both Giant Strengths on the table, maybe the Jarnborn/Martial Prowess combo up...flip up (1d), Attack with mean swing (8d), Giant stomp...17d on a casual turn. And that is easily repeatable. He can definitely do fast damage with the best of them. 

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If you are going to keep team-building exercise, I'd consider increasing the number of Avengers from the starter deck list.  I think between Tiny, Giant and Avenger, the starter deck includes 10 cards total that can be reduced by Team-Building Exercise.  It's a reasonable number, but I think you can probably get greater value if you run closer to like 13-15 cards that will work off it.

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I've been playing with his pre-con deck since I (finally) got him last week and the one thing I discovered is that you have to have his helmet out on the table fast. You really need to hard mulligan for it. He works so much better once you have it out.

And you have to keep flipping him (part of the reason his helmet is key). The first time I played with him I realized that it felt like I was playing the restaurant fight scene from Ant-Man and the Wasp. Which was freaking awesome.

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1 hour ago, KimJoshIl said:

What’s the verdict on using Team building exercise with Antman (Pym)? Can I play him at 4 reducing his cost to 3, but still give him the 4 Pym counters? 

No.  Ant-Man (Pym) only gets pym counters for the amount that was overpaid and reducing his actual cost of 0 cannot go below 0.  Thus he doesn't combo well with Team-Building Exercise.  He does work well with Team Tactics since it gives +1HP beyond the pym counters so he could be a free 2THW, 2 ATK, or block.

 

20 minutes ago, maniakmedic said:

I've been playing with his pre-con deck since I (finally) got him last week and the one thing I discovered is that you have to have his helmet out on the table fast. You really need to hard mulligan for it. He works so much better once you have it out.

And you have to keep flipping him (part of the reason his helmet is key). The first time I played with him I realized that it felt like I was playing the restaurant fight scene from Ant-Man and the Wasp. Which was freaking awesome.

Scott wants to flip a lot so anything that rewards that is excellent.  His helmet is great and definitely makes him better but not seeing it early isn't as bad for him as Hawkeye not getting his quiver. My favorite part of the helmet is effectively eliminating the hand size penalty for being in Giant form since you get to draw a card by going Tiny.

Haven't watched Ant-Man and the Wasp since release so I forget the specifics, however totally agree that he's just plain fun like the movies.  Even if you don't know much about him or have any particular love for the character he's still enjoyable.

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45 minutes ago, BCumming said:

Haven't watched Ant-Man and the Wasp since release so I forget the specifics, however totally agree that he's just plain fun like the movies.  Even if you don't know much about him or have any particular love for the character he's still enjoyable.

 

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9 hours ago, IceHot42 said:

Just got my Ant-Man pack last night.  I am wondering if Assess the Situation might be good in a Hulk deck.

 

 

Potentially... it’s not a physical resource though. The ability to trade a spare card this turn for an extra card next turn is pretty good for Hulk though...

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I was worried I would be a little late to the discussion party as I just got Ant-Man on Friday and didn't get a chance to try him out until today.

I took him against Green Goblin (Risky Business) and had a bit of struggle but managed to get the win out. At first glance I was underwhelmed by his pre-constructed deck but once I cycled through it once I felt a lot better about it and enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

Then I come here and read what everyone is saying about him, plus I finally read the Ant Man insert and I realize I played him completely wrong the entire time! I didn't realize that his form changes included tiny to giant and vice-versa. I feel so silly! So yes, I would flip to tiny form, next turn flip to Scott, then the turn after flip to Giant form. I wasn't going between the two hero forms unless I played resize. Thankfully as I said I think I picked up on the deck just enough that even playing it without its greatest advantage I was able to get by.  On the final turn I got to swing 17 points of damage to knock Gobbie of his Glider for good. I pinged him twice with the ants, hit him with ally Ronin (with an attachment) for 3 more, resized to giant and swung for 4 with giant strength, then stomped him for 8. It felt pretty darn good!

I'm actually very excited to play him again with my new found knowledge. At some point I imagine I'll be tweaking his deck just a little, but I feel like he would also work really well with protection and can't wait to try him with that aspect as well.

All in all a solid pack!

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On 11/21/2020 at 1:55 AM, FearLord said:

Potentially... it’s not a physical resource though. The ability to trade a spare card this turn for an extra card next turn is pretty good for Hulk though...

Hulk loves the overkill to recover HP card....don't remember the name, have not played in a couple weeks (curse you LotR and your time suck!!!) but last time we played Hulk and Thor never had to flip, always keeping HP full by whacking minions with mass overkill. Beautiful card for them

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We were having some challenges in the RotR (3P)  against Absorbing Man with heavy hitters She-Hulk (Aggression), Thor (Aggression), and Black Widow (Justice)...

Last night we added 1x Team-Building Exercise and 3 x Moment of Triumph to Thor and he found his groove. (presuming Overkill and MoT work together).  But even if that combo does not work the card is still pretty good in Thor with all the Heavy Damage he does he can stay in Hero mode a lot longer which is the equivalent of getting one or to extra thwarts in.

 

TBE is a real strong Thor fixer with all the Asgard cards.

 

Edited by IceHot42

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