Profile photo of Colin Atkinson By Colin Atkinson On February 08, 2012 Posted In Other

Day 22: Malicious Mini Monsters

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February 8, 2012

I find it amazing to hear that the general Monsterpocalypse community felt for awhile that morphers were squishy. It is true that they can be destroyed easier than other monster alpha forms, but they trade that 5 def and 5 health for killer abilities. However, most morphers also have access to some form of healing, so they aren’t completely reliant on avoiding damage at all costs. Considering all of that, plus the fact that morphers can hide while still dealing massive damage and move to completely different ends of the board through flexing, it almost seems like morphers aren’t squishy at all. They are truly a terror to almost any monster they face, but how strong are they against Crustaceor?

It’s My Map Morpher:

Kill Agains Island is an interesting map for morphers. If my opponent chooses the Blue Side, the most he can secure is one building with just his morphers. If my opponent has chosen the Red side, he can capture two buildings in-between the red spawn point furthest in on the map with morphers alone. The monster starting zones all consist of water terrain, so only those with Flight or Burrow can enter those. Mobility wise the map is pretty friendly to morphers due to the spawn points near the middle of the map as well as all of the teleporters, but alpha forms with Burrow or Flight do the best due to all of the water spaces. There’s not too many places where the opponent can hide his alpha from my monster, although the right corner on the blue side is a good place to run to for healing. Speaking of hiding, that’s something morphers cannot do against my units. The teleporters may help the morphers get to me, but they also help me get to them, so unless the morphers are benefiting from cloak, there is little they can do to protect themselves from my unit blasting power.

A change of plans is at hand:

Morphers are nasty little creatures since each of them can attack separately if they wish to, resulting in potentially heavy damage. That is why the alpha form must be eliminated as quickly as possible. My monster turns typically focus on the enemy monster, so I don’t change what Crustaceor does when he starts his turn. However, when it comes to my deadly units, a morpher alpha form suddenly becomes a very attractive target. In the past, I would try to produce p-die for Crusty and potentially disrupt my opponents power base while also attempting to lay a damage on the alpha form. Obviously such a turn is nigh impossible. This is why I think when coming up against a morpher I must play highly aggressive unit turns that consist of attacking enemy units for p-die while hitting the weakest morphers for damage. If hitting the morphers is almost impossible due to them having Cloak, then I will focus on setting up a small power base instead.

Morphers Messing up My Macro?:

Since I plan to be more aggressive in my unit turns against morphers, my number one goal in my macro strategy, which states my want to build a good power base, is discarded. This messes up my strategy slightly, but considering my units are quite good at producing p-die through destruction, I’m not too worried about it. My Macro for Morphers would look like this:

1. Attack the enemy power base and units

2. Deal damage to enemy morphers

3. Create a small power base if possible

Low defense isn't as bad when they can only hurt you once a turn.

My greatest enemies:

So which morpher is the most dangerous to my army and monster? In some ways I would say all of them. I’ll never forget when Jeff (Theorist) pulled 4 damage off on Crustaceor with alpha Legionnaire. That’s the strength of a rare power attack, and he did it with just two blast attacks in one turn! Now not all morphers have the chance to do 4 damage in a single turn, but they can easily do 3 with enough dice. Considering every morpher alpha also has some sort of board control trigger like Explosion, Chain Reaction, or Multi-Shot, even my units can suffer greatly at their hands. The most dangerous morphers for Crustaceor are Mega Legionnaire and Ultra/Mega Tyrranix. Legionnaire may have low defense on two of his morphers, but they have access to force field and healing. Being able to potentially pull off 4 damage with the alpha, use chain reaction for board control, and then use the Mega to shoot me from 7 spaces away for 2 damage, -1 p-die,  and finally Hit and Run to get further from my power attacking Crustacean is a nightmare. The Ultra is a terror too with Multi-Shot and Toss, but it’s just not as daunting as the Mega. Tyrranix can pull off at least 3 damage by summoning a Spikeasaur, using Beat Back, and then brawling or blasting me one more time, although if I’m near a building he might be able to form kill me in one move. Multi-Shot and Explosion make keeping board control against Radicals an even more troubling feat, and Tyrranix can easily get rid of screens by hypering up into them. Let’s not forget that Tyrranix can retreat with a hyper down for some mechanical healing, or attack a unit with Red Munch or a building with High Occupancy. With access to insane healing, strong board control triggers, and high damaging attacks that take advantage of my low defense, the Guard and Terrasaur morphers are especially deadly, but the other morphers are very close to them on the danger scale.

Lesser of 8 evils:

While I think all morphers are very deadly to Crustaceor, I would have to say that Lo-Tron is the least of my worries. He can’t use ToC so that hinders the Cthul units greatly, Lo-Tron can’t use the ironically named “manly morpher retreat,” and the Fiend units aren’t that great of power producers power base wise. The Cthul units can use Hellfonts to help their mobility, but I have Extinguish to counter that. Now it is true that Lo-Tron can heal, but it costs him more to do so since there are no mechanical healers in the Fiends agenda. While Lo-Tron is still dangerous due to Brawl Toss and a large arsenal of Blast Triggers, I believe that he is the weakest morpher that Crustaceor will come across.

Mini Monster Mayhem:

Since morphers can take full advantage of Mega Crustaceors extreme fragileness, they are probably the most dangerous monsters to Crusty, even more dangerous than monsters like MZM. When I come across these fellows, I need to take out their Alpha form as quickly as possible in order to stop their hard hitting single turn attacks. Thankfully most morphers have low defense that my units can take advantage of, but with either 6 health or access to healing, I still have to attack quick and hard before the morphers nearly take both of my monster forms out. It’s not an immediate loss for Mega Crusty when against a morpher, but he’s in for a tough battle when they appear.

    1. As far as Vorgax goes, the best way to do board control is a carefully placed forward SUMMON (Barreler), a BLITZ kill (also Barreler), and maybe a solo shot from Synapsepede since it has RAGE and can pull 2P back to itself for the kill. The other two pieces are generally much less useful and just assist those two most of the time.

      It really pales before Tyrannix’s SUMMON and 7+ unit slaughter-fest. Nobody matches Tyrannix for crowd control potential, or even comes particularly close to it. Osheroth can kill 5 by dropping P-dice levels. Ultra Magna can kill 4. Ultra Kraken can kill 4. Mega Voltis FTW. A monster I need to try again, I think.

      I do note that a lot of the older monsters with powers like FORCE FIELD seem to need that 1 point of defense. It would make Hondo a little better for sure too. Between that and PATHFINDER and ABDUCT and half a dozen other powers… not sure the guys who made the power sets and the guys who wrote what the icons actually do ever met each other or talked on the phone.

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    2. Oh you’re right, Force Field doesn’t benefit the morphers. Silly me to forget. I do agree that it seems like that skill was originally meant to benefit monsters as well, but at the same time maybe it was just created as a response to Shelter.

      1. I’d concur that they don’t need the help under the current iteration of the rules — the AA nerf stole the biggest weapon keeping them in check, and I recall them already being hard to beat even back then a lot of the time.

        I continue to advocate that a single trigger’d damage to multiple morpher pieces should be 1 to the form not 1 to each piece hit, and do away with the AA (& HAZMAT TRUCK!) errata.

      2. Colin, Airborne Ape’s Radial attack used to be the go-to solution for fighting Morphers. It was changed so that when Radial Attack is on a unit, it only damages units, but on a monster is damages other monsters. This effectively removed a big reason for splashing the Airborne Ape (though it’s still a solid splashable unit) and protected Morphers from the biggest threat to clumping.

      3. Phil has it, but the way n which it was used made it a terror to morphers. You could park by “battle cube” (morphers in 2×2 formation, shoot one of the far side, and Airborne Ape’s RADIAL would land 2 extra damage. If you could get near 3 and shoot the 4th, it was 4 damage. The AA could conceivably one-shot the Voltron/Lo-Tron pentamorphs, given no building obstacles in the way. It was so absurdly high-caliber that every single list brought one to help equalize vs the insane offense morphers can bring.

        When Voltron/Lotron was getting ready to come out, somebody posted a blog on how AA could land 5 against the pentamorphers “no matter what” — and the knee-jerk to that was that in the next errata, unit RADIAL attack was nerfed to not hit monsters anymore. It killed AA’s usefulness to large degree, and really hurt Radical agenda’s tournament viability quite badly (until the availability of Tornadus restored a range extension unit to them). It also completely killed Hazmat Truck, which (especially with the help of units like Steel Shell Crab) could do some neat things to land multiple damage to enemy monsters with 1 dice roll. That unit hasn’t seen any play since.

        A reverse to the “unit RADIAL can’t hit monsters” and a cap on HOW much damage a single trigger can do to morphers would limit AA and Hazmat Truck to 2 damage, but take away EXPLOSION as a means to deal 2+ to morphers. So it’s not a perfect solution, just better than what we have now.

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