The Correct Turn Structure for the Transformers TCG

When we created our tutorial video for the Transformers TCG last fall, a misreading of the rulebook on our part meant we played the game incorrectly. We caught this during editing, which is why you can see us explaining the correct rule 22 minutes into the video.

While we state the correct rule in the video and in the How to Play the Transformers TCG chapter of our learning series, we go on to play it incorrectly throughout the course of the game. This has led to a continued stream of questions about how this works. So, we created this blog so we could link to it in the video any time this rule is played incorrectly during the video.

The turn structure we should have followed while playing the Transformers TCG is below.

  1. Draw a card.
  2. You may do each of the following once, in any order: flip a Transformer to bot or alt mode, play one action, play one upgrade.
  3. Perform an attack.
  4. If your opponent has any untapped Transformers, it is now their turn. If your opponent does not have any untapped Transformers, you continue performing attacks (not repeating steps 1-3) until all of your Transformers are tapped. Once every Transformer is tapped, both players untap all of their Transformers and it is now your opponents turn.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out on Facebook, Twitter, and in the comments on YouTube!

Raider Triggerhappy – War for Cybertron Exclusive Preview

I’ve been playing a version of my original planes deck off and on since the Transformers TCG released. When we received our previews from Wave 3, War for Cybertron, I was very excited to see we would get to reveal a new plane – Raider Triggerhappy!

When I first saw Raider Triggerhappy, my first instinct was to plug him into my original planes deck. Once I started putting a deck together though, I realized I liked him even better with Starscream, Decepticon King! Not only is his Pierce 4 in bot mode a major boon, but being able to cycle weapons back into your hand from your discard pile is quite powerful.

As I started looking to build a deck around these two Transformers, I realized I had a bit of a problem. Their combined star total is 21… leaving me only 4 more points to flesh out my team. I had been wanting to try out the action cards with a star cost, so I thought this was my chance!

I even had a version of the deck built assuming I wouldn’t be gifted a 4-star, Decepticon plane to put into my deck. As I was browsing through other previews from Wave 3 though, I found just what, or I guess who, I needed!

Raider Storm Cloud is a 4-star Decepticon Plane coming out in Wave 3. I literally couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Transformer to add to my deck! With my team fully built, it was time to put together a deck. I took the current iteration of my Starscream, Decepticon King deck and started making modifications. After a few rounds of revisions and cuts, the current version of my deck is below!

Transformers:
Raider Triggerhappy (8)
Raider Storm Cloud (4)
Starscream, Decepticon King (13)

Upgrades: 18
3 x Bashing Shield
3 x Decepticon Crown
3 x Enforcement Batons
3 x Grenade Launcher
2 x Scoundrel’s Blaster
2 x Security Console
2 x Data Pad

Actions: 22
2 x Escape Route
1 x Roll Out!
2 x Rapid Conversion
3 x Incoming Transmission
3 x Treasure Hunt
3 x Pep Talk
3 x Brainstorm
3 x Master Plan
2 x Swap Missions

Deck Overview: This deck is all about drawing a ton of cards, getting key upgrades in play, and then getting all the right cards on top of your deck. The deck has a balanced mix of pip-colors, unlike decks that lean heavily towards Blue or Orange Pips to leverage Tough and Bold respectively. It is looking to set up a few big plays, like flipping multiple Decepticon Crowns whenever Starscream attacks. The deck also has a number of weapons that scrap enemy upgrades, which you can play over and over if you use Triggerhappy’s flip ability to get them back from your discard pile.

Opening Moves: The deck centers around Starscream, so in the opening turns you want to make your opponent attacks him last. Between Incoming Transmission, Master Plan, Decepticon Crown, Data Pad, and Security Console, you are looking to set up a scenario where you can flip one or more Decepticon Crowns every time Starscream attacks and defends. Since they have a green pip, you can put it back in your hand to be able to put back on top of your deck through the listed cards. You’ll likely want to attack with Triggerhappy first, forcing your opponent to attack him and divide their damage.

Finishing Moves: The biggest finisher in this deck is flipping two or three Decepticon Crown’s when you attack with Starscream. This lets him hit for 12+ damage, not counting any weapons he has attached. If your opponent manages to get Starscream off the table, Triggerhappy can loop Grenade Launchers with Pierce to make sure you can sink damage into your opponent. Using Stormcloud at the right time to attack when you are going first can be critical, forcing your opponent to sink an attack into your utility character.

As more previews are revealed from Wave 3 (Vector Sigma does a great job collecting previews), I can’t help but get more and more excited about the Transformers TCG! If you haven’t locked down your booster boxes for Wave 3 yet, check out our Transformers TCG Booster Box Subscription.

A subscription works like an automatic pre-order for future releases. You can sign-up for free and you won’t get charged until a few weeks before a new set is released. You will automatically receive all future sets until you cancel your subscription, meaning you get to skip pre-ordering every time a new set is announced and won’t have to pre-pay months in advance!

Super Rare Bumblebee Decklist – Transformers TCG

When the Transformers TCG first came out, we opened a box on stream and played using the cards we opened. You can watch the stream below, which includes us dancing around after we opened super rare Bumblebee.

While we didn’t use Bee on stream, building a deck with him after the stream was a top priority. As I noted in my blog about my Jets deck, I learned a lot about the Transformers TCG after the initial live stream. One of the most important lessons was going in with a core concept in mind. If I wanted to use the super rare Bumblebee, I knew I had to find a core concept for the deck that worked with him.

It only took me a few games to understand how powerful untapping a Transformer can be. For this reason, Ready for Action is a staple in basically every deck I build. As I was looking through my binder of cards, I couldn’t help but notice cards that let you untap ‘car’ Transformers like Start Your Engines and Turbo Boosters.

When you play Start Your Engines, you flip all of your Transformers to their car mode and ready one of them. This does not count as your once a turn flip, so it works amazingly well with Transformers like Prowl who have abilities that trigger from flipping. You can flip them to their bot mode and then play this card to flip them back!

Turboboosters was also notable, mainly because it was an upgrade that untapped a car. Being able to pair Turboboosters with cards like Start Your Engines or Ready For Action means you can go from having a single Transformer ready to attack to three. This is particularly effective if you can play this combo right after your opponent attacks with their last untapped Transformer, since you could then attack with all three Transformers in a row. If Prowl was flipped, it also means each of those attacks has Bold 2!

The last piece of the deck came in place thanks to Wheeljack. His ability while in car mode lets you draw and then scrap a card any time you upgrade a cars. This lets you filter your deck as you play upgrades, looking for those critical untap cards to play round after round.

Transformers:
Bumblebee, Legendary Warrior (*****|*****)
Wheeljack, Weapons Inventor (*****|****)
Prowl, Military Strategist (*****|*)

Upgrades:
2 x Piercing Blaster
3 x Grenade Launcher
3 x Handheld Blaster
3 x Drill Arms
3 x Improvised Shield
3 x Force Field
3 x Scrapper Gauntlets
3 x Matrix of Leadership
3 x Datapad
1 x Databank
3 x Turbo Boosters
2 x Agility of Bumblebee

Actions:
3 x Incoming Transmission
3 x Ready for Action
2 x Start Your Engines

I wanted to make sure I was untapping Transformers as often as I could and that each untap was worthwhile. With Wheeljack’s ability to filter cards as you play upgrades, I decided to include a ton of upgrades. This lets me go find the untap cards while also making each attack from untapping more powerful with every upgrade.

Given how important the untapping cards are to the deck, there are several cards that either filter the deck or draw more cards. Cards like Datapad and Incoming Transmission let you stack the top of your deck while filling your hand with critical pieces for future turns.

Meanwhile, Agility of Bumblebee lets you draw cards every time he attacks. Upgrades like Drill Arms and Scrapper Gauntlets are also quite powerful, since Wheeljack’s ability lets you draw and, if your opponent doesn’t have specific upgrade types in play, you draw even more cards!

One of the key strengths of the deck is attacking with a Transformer and forcing your opponent to attack that Transformers. Once they have dealt damage, you can untap that Transformer and attack with someone else, forcing them to divide their damage.

Given how often the deck untaps Transformers, it is also common to be the last player attacking each round. If you successfully divide your opponent’s damage, it is highly likely that when they defeat your Transformers it will be at the start of a turn. For this reason, I like ending turns with Prowl in bot mode. Any time one of your Transformers is defeated, he can heal 3 damage from another one of your Transformers, which can be huge.

If you have been playing a deck with super rare Bumblebee or if you have any recommendations for changes I should make, I would love for you to leave a comment below!

If you play the game, check out our Transformers TCG subscriptions if you want to automatically receive future sets without keeping up with set announcements or pre-paying months in advance.

Starscream and Slipstream Decklist – Transformers TCG

When I first started building this I thought I was building a ‘Starscream jets’ deck. After playing this weekend though, I couldn’t have been more wrong!

A few weeks ago, on the weekly Covenant live stream, we opened a booster box of the Transformers TCG, built decks using the cards we opened, and then played a game. I was hoping to be able to play a jets deck and was lucky enough to open three Transformers that formed a perfect 25-star team, Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp.

If you missed it, you can watch the archived video below.

One of my favorite parts of a new game is the learning curve of the first few months of play. Getting a new set of cards or building a new deck is exciting in general, but nothing quite matches the experience of really exploring a new game system.

In my experience, those first few months are filled with a lot of mistakes. This weekend was no exception, I made so many mistakes! There were turns I forgot to draw a card and others where I would forget to flip a Transformer at all. Often times, my Transformers were on the wrong side or I would activate them in what I would later realize was obviously the wrong order. It didn’t take long before I started feeling like I was making good plays.

While my gameplay was getting better, I was still getting stomped by a variety of decks. It started to become painfully obvious how far behind the curve my deck was. Every deck I was playing against had a unique strength they were focused on maximizing, which went beyond the theme of the deck like ‘cars’ or ‘jets’.

As an example, the first deck I played against could be described as a ‘tanks’ deck. Thematically, all the Transformers in the deck were tanks. After playing against it though, I would more aptly describe it as an armor deck.

Every card in the deck seemed to reinforce the strength. The Transformers all had high armor stats, the upgrades either gave armor or Tough, and almost all of the cards in the deck had blue pips. Very quickly, I needed to hit for 10+ to score even a single point of damage! It made up for it’s lack of orange pips by including cards that give Pierce. This meant the deck could do damage regardless of what it flipped on offense and all the while, it was almost impossible to damage.

Meanwhile, my deck was very balanced (also known as mediocre). I had fairly even numbers of everything, from pip colors to upgrades and actions. The problem was, I really wasn’t doing anything particularly well. My flips were pretty consistent, but never really having a major impact. My deck had a theme (jets), but it completely lacked a core strength it could leverage.

After getting beat several times, I knew I needed to find a core concept to focus the deck around. I noticed both Starscream and Slipstream (a convention exclusive, 8-star jet a friend had sent me) had abilities that let me deal damage directly. As I looked through my collection, I couldn’t help but notice the cards that could also deal direct damage. I realized that my ‘Starscream jets’ deck needed to become a direct damage jets deck.

Transformers:
Starscream, Air Commander (*****|*****|*)
Slipstream, Strategic Seeker (*****|***)
Skywarp, Sneaky Prankster (*****|*)

Upgrades:
3 x Piercing Blaster
3 x Armed Hovercraft
1 x Energon Axe
1 x Null-Ray of Starscream
3 x Drill Arms
3 x Force Field
3 x Rapid Ascent

Actions:
3 x Aerial Recon
2 x One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall
2 x Bombing Run
2 x Photon Bomb
3 x Strafing Run
3 x Plasma Burst
2 x Bigger They Are
3 x Swap Missions
3 x Ready for Action

While this deck isn’t even close to being optimized, it was evident after only a few games how much better it is. The deck has 12 direct damage cards. Paired with Slipstream and Starscream, this creates a stream of fast, unpreventable damage. I also added a few cards that give me Pierce, like Piercing Blaster and Bigger They Are. This lets me completely forgo caring about what cards I flip during an attack.

The biggest weakness of the deck currently is how fragile the Transformers are. While I can deal a lot of unpreventable damage quickly, I also end up taking a lot of damage. Once I start losing Transformers, both Slipstream and Starscream get less effective at dealing direct damage. My next iterations will experiment with ways of making the jets more defensive and healing damage. Either way, I have to find a way to keep my jets on the table!

If you have any ideas or advice for this deck, I would love for you to leave them in the comments below!

If you play the game, check out our Transformers TCG subscriptions if you want to automatically receive future sets without keeping up with set announcements or pre-paying months in advance.