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Sentinels of the Multiverse: Shattered Timelines» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Abusing Fixed Point for Fun and Profit rss

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Roberta Yang
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If you haven't come across it yet, Fixed Point is a card in the Time Cataclysm environment deck that makes all other cards indestructible for one game round. It's interesting to play around when you can't kill villain cards (but can still reduce them to 0 HP so they die when Fixed Point goes away in the environment turn), and if the villain chooses that turn to play their "destroy X ongoing/equipment cards" effect then lucky you.

But surely our heroes can find more interesting ways to take advantage of an effect that dramatic.

1. Don't pay upkeep costs. Don't discard a card for Gatling Gun or the Scholar's Elemental cards, and don't take damage to keep Pushing the Limits, Embolden, Solar Flare, etc in play. Choose to destroy them instead. Of course, they won't actually be destroyed, so you've gotten away without paying for one round. A little basic, but quite effective.

Along the same lines, Ongoing cards that normally destroy themselves at the start of your turn (Ground Pound, Heroic Interception, Grease Gun, Slip Through Time, etc) will last an additional round, but since you'd need to have played them in the previous round it's hard to take advantage of that if you don't know in advance when Fixed Point is coming.

2. Use effects for free. A lot of ongoing/equipment cards have effects that blow themselves up when used. Bunker and Absolute Zero both have cards that say "Power: Draw 3 cards. Destroy this card." With Fixed Point out, they may as well just say "Power: Draw 3 cards." Tachyon gets to redirect damage with Synaptic Interruption for free, since Synaptic Interruption will fail to self-destruct. Expatriette can fire away her Ammo without losing it. Absolute Zero in his Cryo Chamber can spend a power to spike himself for 5 fire damage without losing the Cryo Chamber. Ra can throw his staff at someone without his staff actually leaving his hand. Ground Pound can enter play without a discard cost.

Be careful with how the effect is worded, though. If the destruction is a side-effect of the ability - like "Do X. Destroy this card," or "You may do X. If you do, destroy this card," or "When you do X, destroy this card," it works fine. But if the destruction is actually a cost or prerequisite to use the ability, like "You may destroy this card to do X" or "Destroy a card. If you do, do X", then you can't use the ability at all with Fixed Point out. Freedom Six Tempest's base power and the Argent Adept's Cedistic Dissonant both use the "If you do" template so they don't work, and Bunker can't attempt to blow up his Auxilliary Power Source to use an additional power because it uses the "to" template.

You can get some nice mileage out of this, but it has a lot of limitations that stop it from being too abusive. But this is where it gets really interesting:

3. Break the limits. It's easy to overlook that Bunker's Mode cards aren't actually Limited. Normally, it's impossible to have more than one in play because whenever one enters play it destroys all the others, but Fixed Point makes that a non-issue. So if you've got a couple of Upgrade Modes in your hand and Fixed Point comes out? Play all of them! They won't destroy each other when they come into play because Fixed Point is out, and after they've come into play they'll stop trying to destroy each other, so you'll have multiple Upgrade Modes around even after Fixed Point goes away. Enjoy being able to play 3-4 cards every turn. (This actually happened to me in a game last night - Fixed Point was played just after I came out of Recharge Mode, so I was able to have two Upgrade Modes in play at once for a few game rounds.) In principle, you could have two Recharge Modes or two Turret Modes in play as well, but because you can't play cards after you play one of those, you'd need something like Omnitron-X's Timeshift Power to put the second one into play for you.

Who else is interested in taking advantage of Fixed Point this way? Mr. Fixer. Normally, he can only have one Style because his Styles kill each other when they enter play, but this way he can put out a second Style (or a third, or fourth - a well-prepared Argent Adept can help Mr. Fixer take full advantage of a single short Fixed Point round!) and keep it around forever. This lets him unlock combos that wouldn't normally be available, like "All damage you deal is irreducible and whenever you damage a target all other damage dealt to that target is irreducible until your next turn", or it can be used to just stack generic good effects.

Here's something particularly interesting: look at how Indestructibility is defined in the Rook City rulebook. It doesn't just protect cards from destruction; it protects them from leaving play in any way. (This makes the Enhanced Edition rewording of Into the Stratosphere merely a reminder rather than a mechanical change - it could never put indestructible cards on top of the villain deck.) So with Fixed Point out, cards are protected not only against destruction but also against being returned to heroes' hands.

This means that Omnitron-X's Platings no longer return each other to his hand, so he can have more than one in play. Play two extra Platings during a Fixed Point, and Omnitron-X gains damage taken -2 against all damage types. Since damage of every type is being reduced by Plating cards, this means he gets to counterattack every single time he is dealt damage. And as a Power, he can discard another Plating card to deal each non-hero target 1 damage 11 times (once for each damage type) - villains had better hope Legacy isn't buffing him. Or you can forego that sort of damage explosion and just put two copies of all his Platings into play, granting him a permanent damage taken -4 and ability to counterattack whenever something does manage to get through his thick armor.

But this also means Mr. Fixer can not only have multiple Styles in play but also have multiple Tools in play, since with Fixed Point out they can't return each other to his hand. And having even two Tools out can be incredibly profitable because Tools are so good - depending on how you interpret the way they interact, two copies of Dual Crowbars may even be an infinite damage combo in and of themselves.

Even with conservative interpretations of how his Tools interact, though, a fully set-up Mr. Fixer's Strike power deals 10 irreducible damage of any type to each non-hero target - and then, a number of times equal to twice the number of targets damaged this way, he deals each non-hero target 19 irreducible damage of any type to each non-hero target. (If there are 5 non-hero targets, this adds up to a total of 200 damage dealt to each non-hero target.) Anything that survives but has 2 HP or less is destroyed, and anything that survives that has all damage it deals reduced by 1 per hit it took and all damage dealt to it is irreducible until the start of Mr. Fixer's next turn.

Oh, and defensively he has Damage Taken -2 and redirects the first two instances of 4 or less damage he would take each turn, though that's not terribly relevant because by now he's already reduced the entire world to a blackened crater.

And because all of this is based on Fixed Point, it's not just something that can happen - it's something that must happen, in every possible timeline. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a crowbar smashing in a human face - forever.
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Benj Davis
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Definitely food for thought. I hadn't considered being able to use mutually exclusive things this way.
 
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Kevin Walsh
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I think having two Driving Mantises out is probably redundant.

Of some note is the fact that Fixed Point interacts in strange ways with The Ennead, because One Shots remain in play until the start of the Environment turn. Kismet gets some minor boosts out of this, since her One-Shot Jinxes and Lucky cards will stay in play for longer than they otherwise would have.

Oh, and Incapacitated Dark Visionary can keep recycling the Fixed Point.
 
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Ken H.
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I just discovered this combo today with Naturalist. I had Rhinoceros form in play and then Fixed Point came up. So I played Crocodile form. Destroy all other forms? No thanks, I'll pass.

So for the rest of the game I was a Rhinodile (or Crococeros if you prefer). Of course, it's easy to recycle his forms in the first place, but it was fun to have two in play at the same time. I had +1 damage dealt, -1 damage taken, and could make use of both form features for the whole game.
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Benj Davis
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Rubric wrote:

I just discovered this combo today with Naturalist. I had Rhinoceros form in play and then Fixed Point came up. So I played Crocodile form. Destroy all other forms? No thanks, I'll pass.

So for the rest of the game I was a Rhinodile (or Crococeros if you prefer). Of course, it's easy to recycle his forms in the first place, but it was fun to have two in play at the same time. I had +1 damage dealt, -1 damage taken, and could make use of both form features for the whole game.


That's pretty great.
 
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Roberta Yang
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Rubric wrote:

I just discovered this combo today with Naturalist. I had Rhinoceros form in play and then Fixed Point came up. So I played Crocodile form. Destroy all other forms? No thanks, I'll pass.

So for the rest of the game I was a Rhinodile (or Crococeros if you prefer). Of course, it's easy to recycle his forms in the first place, but it was fun to have two in play at the same time. I had +1 damage dealt, -1 damage taken, and could make use of both form features for the whole game.


The power and one-shots that have a separate ability for each form is great, because if you're in all three forms at once you get all three effects for the price of one.

The art on that card that gives a Power with a separate effect for each form looks sort of like a three-headed beast with one head for each form; presumably that's what you look like when you're in several forms at once.
 
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Russ Taylor
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Inspired by this thread, I just played a Haka / Naturalist / Dark Visionary game when a random toss of the cards set them up in the Time Catacylsm against Gloomweaver.

Took two passes through the Time Cataclysm deck to get my 3rd form for the Naturalist. After that, it was jus turn and card churning (Naturlist could do "draw two" twice for Haka each turn) until I got to the point where Haka had every target, including the Visionary's, under his Savage Mana. Then he smacked a fully healed Gloomweaver for everything using Twist the Ether to bypass that pesky melee immunity, plus threw most of his deck at him with Haka of Battle. One shot, one kill

Gloomweaver (base form) isn't really much of a threat, but it was still fun to reduce him to a deck of nothing but Vast Followings (which I interpret as not infinite looping, since they don't hit the discard pile until they resolve).

A time-buffed Naturalist rivals a fully charged Sentinels team for disturbing durability.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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... and if that didn't kill Gloomweaver, the cards fueling Savage Mana would remain under it for the next round!
 
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Naomi Nabbit
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Amaranth wrote:
I think having two Driving Mantises out is probably redundant.

Of some note is the fact that Fixed Point interacts in strange ways with The Ennead, because One Shots remain in play until the start of the Environment turn. Kismet gets some minor boosts out of this, since her One-Shot Jinxes and Lucky cards will stay in play for longer than they otherwise would have.

Oh, and Incapacitated Dark Visionary can keep recycling the Fixed Point.


Do one-shots truly stay in play with a Fixed Point out? I was under the impression that One-Shots going to the discard pile after their effect goes off was not stopped by them being indestructible.
 
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nyren wrote:
Do one-shots truly stay in play with a Fixed Point out? I was under the impression that One-Shots going to the discard pile after their effect goes off was not stopped by them being indestructible.

No. One-Shots are not truly in play, they enter play (so trigger effects like Negative Energy Field) but are not "on the table" for Fixed Point to do anything with them.
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Nathaniel GOUSSET
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Number 1 dont work if you are given a choice between discarding or destroying.

In the same way that you can't choose discard if you have no cards in hand, you can't choose destroy if the card can't be destroyed.
 
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Jason Sherlock
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Had it come out with a team of Skyscraper, Guise, Argent Adept and Legacy.

Legacy had takedown in play and skyscraper had Thorathian Monolith in play. For two turns, the poor villain couldn't draw cards and my heroes were pretty much immune to damage (1 or 2 points were occasionally getting through to Skyscraper).

Guise had a mitt full of cards and plunked down Blatant reference and Guise the Barbarian.

Those two turns were a slaughter.

I can only imagine what the game may have been like if I had the Scholar instead of Capt Cosmic.
 
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