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Subject: Introducing La Commodora rss

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Arthur Williams
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‘Tis time at last for me to premiere the first of the five OblivAeon heroes in a solo game; I’ve played four of them in real games, but only once each (maybe twice in one case), while the fifth one I have yet to actually play myself, but saw played repeatedly by a friend, giving me the idea that I understand her well enough to have her “premiere” for me in solitaire. Selecting a well-understood villain who won’t make her first experience too challenging...and then pairing him with a brain-breaking Environment which I’ll rather enjoy seeing him exterminate...I’ll pair La Commodora with a promo hero who can help her set up, and another hero who LC can help get set up herself, figuring that one or the other of these longer-term heroes will accomplish the win, while their ally “takes point” and pinch-hits with small damage amounts.

Deadline [80] vs Rogue Agent KNYFE [29], Unity [26], and La Commodora [29] in the Realm of Discord

Setup: Atomic End-Glaive [10] enters play. KNYFE draws For The Greater Good, Wrecking Uppercut, Focusing Conduit-Blade, and Amplified Combatant. Unity draws Swift Bot, Flash Forge, Scrap Metal and Bee Bot. Commodora draws Rudder in the Timestream, Harnessed Anomaly, Concordant Helm, and Weigh Anchor.

Villain 1: Plays Magnetic Pole Shift and Calculated Orogenesis. The End-Glaive shoots one of the two tougher heroes for 3; Commodora takes it [26] so that KNYFE will be free to self-damage with Greater Good and similar cards

KNYFE 1: Despite a request from Unity to play an Equipment, KNYFE doesn’t want to play her Conduit-Blade without another one to pop out in its place; to see if she can manage to make it work after all, she plays Greater Good [26], drawing Amplified Combatant, playing the Conduit-Blade, and then using Infiltration on herself, putting Overdo It into play (definitely a self-demonstrating example). Having failed to get another Equipment, she opts to waste her normal Power rather than waste the Equipment play from the Conduit-Blade. She draws a third Amplified Combatant, reaffirms that she doesn’t want Unity monkeying with her stuff, takes her own psychic damage again [24], and is done.

Unity 1: With a comically exagerrated pout, the teenage technopath takes the draw-2 turn, getting Raptor and Platform Bots. Her pout is more thoroughly exagerrated now.

Commodora 1: Plays Harnessed Anomaly on the only possible target, Greater Good; KNYFE shuffles her deck (god I’m going to be tired of shuffling before I’m done here) and plays the top card, which turns out to be Wrecking Uppercut. The End-Glaive takes 3 [7], and Deadline discards a Magnetic Pole Shift. Commodora then plays Weigh Anchor, putting Unity’s bottom card into play: it’s Powered Shock Wave, so Unity deals 1 to Deadline [79] and 1 to the Glaive [6]. Commodora (I’m so tempted to shorten that to Commie, but it would give the wrong impression, given that she’s an extremely capitalist character, or at least was back – and forward and sideways - in her misspent youth) then starts to activate her Time’s Lessons power, choosing her own Weigh Anchor. In the process, I reread it and find that it doesn’t allow you to target a deck, so I undo the effects of Powered Shock-Wave [Deadline 80, Glaive 7], shuffle it back into the deck (great, yet more shuffling), and puts her own bottom card out instead – a Cannon Portal. Since this is an Equipment, Weigh Anchor repeats; it plays a second Weigh Anchor, which plays Timeless Treasure, which repeats Weigh Anchor again, playing Take Time. Though it’s risky to destroy Deadline’s Catastrophes, drawing three cards strikes LC as worth it, so Cappy takes out Calculated Orogenesis (a very risky card in an Environment as swingy as this one), drawing Harnessed Anomaly, Combat Timing and Chronological Sweet Spot. NOW she finally uses Time’s Lessons on her own Weigh Anchor, which goes under the Run Aground she then draws, and she then draws it thanks to Timeless Treasure while Unity and KNYFE get Turret Bot and Flawless Execution, and the Cannon Portal blasts the End-Glaive [4]. Well, that was a much more impressive turn than I thought I was giving myself….

Enviro 1: Ethereal Bonds [9] enters play; having no plan to deal damage at the moment, Unity takes the hit [24] in place of Commodora.

Villain 2: Magnetic Pole Shift discards Explosive Bubbles from the Environment deck, along with the hero cards Battlefield Experience, Brainstorm and Run Aground. It also destroys Timeless Treasure, and Deadline then plays Severed Ley-Line (a serious problem for Cappy in view of her Run Agrounds and her innate Power), times two (so there’s definitely not much hope of avoiding it). Next turn he’ll explode for at least the usual 3, but probably 4 and possibly even 5; for now, though, he continues to just take one shot with the End-Glaive [Commodora 23].

KNYFE 2: Uses Overdo It to play Flawless Execution, partly because it’s expendible fodder for the next Pole Shift, but also because her normal play is going to be Amplified Combatant; she deals 1 Melee and 2 Energy each to the Bonds [6], Deadline [77, not that he isn’t going to heal most of that], and the Glaive, which drops to [1] and is therefore Executed. Infiltration is then used on Unity’s deck, since Commodora doesn’t need the help and KNYFE doesn’t want to risk hitting a Conduit-Blade that she’d have to discard; Unity thus gets a free Platform Bot [3], and KNYFE draws Primed Punch. She chooses to let Overdo It go, since her current hand of cards has too few things she wants to play for it to be worth the self-damage.

Unity 2: With some reluctance, she Flash Forgets (that should be Forges, but the typo is too perfect to fix) the Bee and Raptor Bots into a Construction Pylon and a Modular Workbench; though unable to use these yet, she gets Commodora’s permission to Bot-Hack the Cannon Portal into Swift Bot [6], which allows her to draw not only the third Platform Bot but a second Construction Pylon, just before the first Platform Bot fires at the Ethereal Bonds [3].

Commodora 2: As the only character who definitely has ongoing destruction (even if she hasn’t confirmed that she has ongoing destruction which works on two ongoings that both have to die at once), LC chooses herself for Harnessed Anomaly, shuffling Take Time into her deck and then playing its top card – which turns out to be Flintlock and Cutlass, enabling her to exterminate the Bonds with a bit of overkill. Then, because it’s not currently clear she will be able to play it to any better effect later, she plays Run Aground with only 2 Equipment to reshuffle (annoyingly the Flintlock and Cutlass don’t count), dealing 3 to Deadline [74]. Obviously I should have done those two attacks at each others’ targets, so that Deadline would take 1 more, but since I didn’t math it out before deciding what my second card play would be, I’ll accept the risk that Deadline survives at 1 and ends the game. Having shuffled her own deck quite as much as she cares to for one turn, she uses Time’s Lessons on Unity’s Brainstorm (by a narrow margin over Battlefield Experience; normally “play 1 draw 1” beats “draw 2”, but in this case I feel the opposite is true), so Unity is set up to draw cards and deal damage on her second-to-next turn (or third-to-next if Swift Bot dies). Except I forgot a reshuffle was going to happen, so it’s moot, but whatever. LC ends by drawing another Cannon Portal.

Enviro 2: Spinning Vortex enters play, whacks KNYFE for 3 [21], and goes away. KNYFE could have ditched her two cards in play, one of which she’s about to lose anyway, in order to not take the 3 damage, but she’s gone to a lot of trouble to keep that Conduit-Blade; this isn’t a “go without stuff” kind of game, so she’ll continue to invest in her possessions. (Meanwhile, Commodora has no stuff at the moment, and Unity has stuff which isn’t “stuff” according to the game’s usual definition, so both of them ignore the Vortex completely at this moment.)

Villain 3: Pole Shift destroys Flawless Execution and discards Ghostly Images from the environment deck; the rest of what it is done is moot, since Deadline cleans up everyone’s trash (twice over) and heals to [76]. God I’m tired of shuffling. Actually the environment discard is also moot in this case, since he’s about to flip no matter what he plays, but it’s good to stay in the habit of resolving that part, in case only one Severed Ley-Line had been out, and he played a non-Catastrophe card and thus failed to flip. He plays one more Catastrophe (an Orogenesis if you care) and thus FLIP!s with an X of 4; this of course means yet more shuffling, though only of a 15-card deck, which then becomes an 11-card deck; Time will never Fly or Crawl during this match, and Claustrophobic Delusion is also removed, making the Discord Realm relatively friendlier to the heroes than it usually is, although the loss of Positive Energy Field is a slight negative against this kind of a villain. The 4 damage dealt across the board meanwhile kills Platform Bot and leaves Swift Bot barely alive [2], dropping all the heroes as well [KNYFE 17, Unity 20, Commodora 19] and ending his turn.

KNYFE 3: All of a sudden, I notice an option I hadn’t thought of before – if Deadline can be forced to play exactly one Catastrophe each turn while flipped, he won’t unflip, and if he manages to play a non-Catastrophe card on his own turn, he will explode for just 1 every turn, instead of for 3 every two turns on average, and thus is slower to wipe out the environment. It’s a gamble, since the odds are in favor of him getting a second Catastrophe and exploding for 2 every turn, but having had this idea, I wish to explore it even though it is not favored by the odds. So rather than playing and using Primed Punch, KNYFE does a Wrecking Uppercut [Deadline 73] and luckily knocks out the third Severed Ley-Line, so there won’t be any more of those for a while. If Commodora can cooperate, the heroes might have a chance of pulling off this unconventional victory; to give it a shot, KNYFE uses Infiltration on Deadline, putting Subduction Super-Zone into play, and she then draws another Primed Punch. Not the best of turns, but certainly an unusual one.

Unity 3: With no way of using two powers in one turn, Unity’s only way of really benefitting from Swift Bot’s bonus play this turn is to play Scrap Metal, along with a Construction Pylon which can be popped to get out Turret Bot [9] and an inevitably moribund (thanks to the Super-Zone) Platform Bot. She draws Champion Bot and Cryo Bot, then returns Swift Bot to her hand – which means next turn she can play Swift Bot, getting the full effect from it without it being exposed to danger (and, if she later draws another Scrap Metal, she can return a bot to her hand again if necessary – this could save a Platform or Raptor Bot from being destroyed after it’s fired, if the Bot can happen earlier in the turn than Scrap Metal, though that’s not currently the arragement with Scrap Metal being her oldest still-in-play card). Platform Bot shoots Deadline [70], for the one and only time in its current existence, and Unity is done.

Commodora 3: Time to Weigh Anchor again! This time it gets Temporal Rigging, followed by Harnessed Anomaly; that’s one card LC could use to cooperate with KNYFE’s plans if Infiltration didn’t work, but at the moment none of this has lined up, so she chooses a hero deck as usual, specifically shuffling the currently-dead Platform Bot back into Unity’s deck and playing a Bee Bot. This is even better than I thought possible, actually; now when the Subduction Super-Zone fires, it will kill Bee Bot, which can kill it back, and have no further effect, both events happening after Deadline fails to unflip, and thus possibly causing him to explode for 0! Go Commodora! Meanwhile she gets one more play from the Anomaly, so she leans into the kind of fun the party is currently having and plays Chronological Sweetspot. She activates Time’s Lessons on herself, putting Harnessed Anomaly under the card she will draw, guaranteeing that she can get it into play with the Sweetspot even if the other two heroes miss; she draws Combat Timing, then the Rigging activates, allowing KNYFE to Infiltrate Unity in search of a backup Bee Bot. Instead Unity pulls Robot Reclamation, a card with no utility at the moment since her trash is empty (“This is why I never clean up my room, Dad!”). She does get to draw a card, which gets a Supply Crate off of her deck so that the Sweetspot won’t simply discard that; after that the Sweetspot discards the duplicate Conduit-Blade which KNYFE has been waiting to draw this whole time, which I hope isn’t an omen about how well the two grown womens’ plan for dealing with Deadline is going to turn out. Unity does get a result from the Sweetspot however, and it’s a result similar to LC’s; she gets Inspired Repair, and though there’s no damage to heal as yet, the ability to draw a Raptor Bot and then immediately play Champion Bot [8], improving the first shot Turret Bot will fire shortly, is a more than fair trade for wasting the usually-least-important aspect of the card. Finally comes the Anomaly which has been thoroughly Harnessed; unable to find a better target in any trash piles, Commodora reels back her Weigh Anchor, she gets Take Time, which can do nothing useful for her at the moment since she’s holding 5 cards and doesn’t wish to destroy the only villain Ongoing card in play (while the Environment has been Spited for as long as the heroes manage to keep up their trolling of Deadline – and I’ve just made a decision involving the verbs and names “Spite” and “Troll”, the fruit of which may someday see the light of day, though the odds currently don’t favor it). So that opportunity to accomplish something was missed, but it was a small loss compared to the rest of this incredible turn.

Enviro 3: A Portal Fiend pokes its nose out of the Discord Realm [17], looking thoroughly pathetic and miserable; as long as Deadline is bulldozing this dimension, environment cards can’t survive to the start of the next turn, and the trash which determines Portal Fiend’s gunpower cannot exist, except at the moment Deadline is shoving him into it and then emptying it into a cosmic recycle bin. Science beats magic, it would seem…

Villain 4: Deadline fails to unflip, as per KNYFE’s chosen plan, and then Super-Zone and Bee Bot drag each other into oblivion, as per Commodora’s luck-and-or-improvisation, vis-a-vis KNYFE’s plan, which was beyond Commodora’s ability to predict or control – order and chaos working hand in hand! On top of all this, thanks to Champion Bot, the Bee Bot’s explosion deals 3 to Deadline [67], who then plays the Pandemonium Key [10] and thus does indeed explode for 0, killing Portal Fiend but having no other effect! (If Naturalist were in the game, he’d take 1 damage thanks to Nemesis, but Commodora is being quite insane enough; I even regret including Unity, due to the headache quotient, though not in terms of my odds of winning.)

KNYFE 4: Plays Primed Punch. The Pandemonium Key makes her plan questionable in both directions; if the Portal Fiend comes back out, he might create a Catastrophe, but that’s two question marks and her Infiltrate is a third, so she kind of doesn’t want to select a value for one randomizer and then risk having two others come out exactly wrong. For this reason she opts to Infiltrate La Commodora, hoping to give her a new Ongoing or Equipment to destroy with Chronological Sweetspot so that it and the Temporal Rigging can both stay out (the Rigging gives her a last chance to Infiltrate again, or else use the Primed Punch, so clearly she’s the one dangling through a time portal at the moment). The plan works out serendipitously again; the Brig Teleporter is played, and it’s not incredibly useful, so LC will happily ditch it. KNYFE draws Overdo It and is done.

Unity 4: Turret Bot fires for 4, and Unity opts to risk leaving the Key in play, in favor of her usual plan of doing insane amounts of damage to the villain in the late game if she can get/keep the proper setup. Deadline falls to [63], while Scrap Metal reassembles itself into Swift Bot, and she plays Supply Crate, draws Brainstorm, and plays Construction Pylon to pop out Cryo Bot and Raptor Bot. Drawing Supply Crate and Powered Shock Wave, she goes down the line giving the fire commands, with Deadline as the exclusive target: Platform for 4 [59], then Raptor for 8 [51]. I sort of expected more shots, but it was certainly nothing to sneeze at; the real fun will come later.

Commodora 4: Discarding a Combat Timing and destroying the Teleporter keeps her stuff alive as planned; with some dubiousness, she picks this moment to play the Concordant Helm, then takes her draw phase before her power phase (by far the least useful application of the Helm, but that’s usually how it’s going to work out when you have to play the thing from your hand), drawing a second Rudder in the Timestream and then using Time’s Lessons to give KNYFE back the duplicate Conduit-Blade (Bee Bot was the other possibility, but equipment in KNYFE’s hand is generally preferable to Golems in Unity’s hand). During her super-important end phase, Commodora gives a power to KNYFE, who does a Primed Punch on Deadline [48] rather than using Infiltrate again; the risk exists that Deadline will unflip, but even a momentary interruption to his usual cycle has been valuable enough that I’m not desperate to continue the situation. Finally, Chronological Sweetspot happens; KNYFE plays Incidental Contact, dealing 4 each to Deadline [44] and the Key [6] while unfortunately killing Raptor Bot, but it’ll be worth it – the next thing she hits is Cryo Bot [5], who unleashes a Champion-boosted blast for 2 more [Deadline 42, Key 4], then takes 2 more [3], and shoots again [Deadline 40, Key 2]. The sucky part of Incidental Contact then continues – 1 actual damage to Platform Bot [2] and 2 each to Turret Bot [7], Champ [6], Swifty [4], KNYFE herself [15], Unity [18], and Commodora [17]. Like the decision to leave Pandemonium Key in play, this was a questionable exchange which seems to have at least partially favored the heroes; Unity then gets a Flash Forge, with which she chooses to turn her remaining Supply Crate into a potential Stealth Bot and otherwise not take much advantage. (God, so much freaking shuffling; the way Flash Forge and the Sweetspot are written, she had to shuffle even if she didn’t discard and search up even the one card.) As the final action of her insane turn, Commie (by now I’ve earned the right to occasionally call her that) reveals and discards another Temporal Rigging; another Run Aground would now be just as useful as the one she did.

Enviro 4: The presumably-sentient Dark Dimension (absent its Dormammu equivalent) declines to directly enable Pandemonium Key to produce the single Catastrophe which will let Deadline stay flipped, but does continue the Commodora-style shenanigans; Ghostly Images duplicates the effect of Chronological Sweetspot, plus some psychic damage for anyone who’s disappointed (and that would have been entirely fitting to put on the Sweetspot as well, they probably just left it off for text-space reasons and to avoid backfire effects). KNYFE of course finds another Conduit-Blade this way, and the damage [13] is entirely fitting for the second instance of this infuriating outcome. Unity also misses out by hitting Volatile Parts, a card she almost always wishes she had in play but seldom wants to actually waste a play phase on; she experiences even more of the pain of failure [15], thanks in part to the clueless inappropriateness of some of the patriotic slogans she has pre-recorded into Champion Bot’s social protocol database; usually they work out, but this is a risk. And at the final moment, LC fails to get any upside from Ghostly Images; Maria Helena’s Plot has entirely failed, and she ponders her mistakes [15].

Villain 5: UNFLIP! Auto-Armor Caster [10] enters play, and then he finally Catastrophizes with, of course, exactly the Severed Ley-Line I didn’t want to see again. That’s all he’s accomplishing this turn, but it’s still a setback compared to the lockdown I had on him last round.

KNYFE 5: Primed Punch is destroyed to deal 4 to the Auto-Armor Caster [6], then she plays another one and uses that on its as well [3]. Draws Battlefield Experience, and only then do I remember that the Conduit-Blade which she was supposed to draw this turn was Ghostly Imaged away, rather than a third one having turned up after the second was redrawn, as I had assumed happened.

Unity 5: Champ’s encouragement goes to waste as Turret Bot finishes off the Caster; that’s the only damage to Deadline it actually prevented beyond the 10 of its own HP, but that was plenty enough. Unity plays Powered Shock Wave, dealing 7 to Deadline [33] and utterly annihilating the Key; she adds Brainstorm, drawing Bee Bot and another Brainstorm, and dealing 22 more to Deadline [31], then breaks her Supply Crate with Bot-Hack to put Platform Bot into play. She draws one more Brainstorm and a belated Raptor Bot, then deals 4 damage twice [Deadline 23].

Commodora 5: Discarding Rudder in the Timestream and destroying Concordant Helm, LC keeps her kit for the third consecutive turn; she plays Combat Timing, then uses Time’s Lessons on Harnessed Anomaly, since that’s the perfect card to combine with the Sweetspot she’s paid for so dearly. She draws Flintlock and Cutlass, then gives KNYFE a power; it’s too late for the Infiltrate trick to salvage their efforts at time-locking Deadline, so she simply uses the Primed Punch again [Deadline 20]. The Sweetspot plays a Wrecking Uppercut for more damage to him [17], discards a Bee Bot off Unity’s deck (and, by the Uppercut, a Subduction Super-Zone off Deadline’s), and triggers the Anomaly; things being what they are, she doesn’t try to do much that’s clever, and just gives KNYFE back one of the Uppercuts so that KNYFE can play another card (and here I was assuming KNYFE wouldn’t matter much in the late game). Energy Burn is the result; with +1 to the energy damage each instance, this hits Deadline for 4 [13], then 3 more [10]. If not for that damn Armor-Caster, we’d be done! To maximize the possibility of ending the game before I need to shuffle again, she plays Flintlock and Cutlass for the final part of the Anomaly, and Deadline goes down to [6]. Probably not low enough for the Realm of Discord to kill him before he resumes his attempt to kill it; he’s unquestionably dead at this point, no matter how badly he wipes the players, but I really hoped I wouldn’t have to do more shuffling.

Enviro 5: Ethereal Bonds [9] interfere with my effort to finish the game quickly; while Commodora might deal damage on her turn with a Cannon Portal, Unity’s double Brainstorms will do slightly more, so LC volunteers to get put in bondage this time [13], and the fifth round ends instead of the entire game doing so.

Villain 6: The barely-alive villain heals by a single point [7] and forces shuffles; I choose not to physically perform them until this proves necessary, and neither Unleashed Hurricane nor the Magnetic Pole Shift triggered by Calculated Orogenesis (both part of an Unnatural Disaster) causes this to be necessary during his turn, which ends without him otherwise interfering with the heroes’ victory.

KNYFE 6: Primed Punches Deadline down to [3] and finishes him off with Amplified Combatant (thus making those shuffles unnecessary indeed); her all-game death-grip on the Conduit-Blade, which she never actually swung with its innate Power, but simply channeled into her One-Shot zaps, is eventually proven to have been worth saying “no” to Unity over. I do believe that 4-card edit to Realm of Discord is the smallest bite out of an Environment I’ve ever seen Deadline take; the heroes might not have completely shut him down, but they certainly got closer than any other party I’ve used against him (as far as I recall).
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