Tuesday Tidbits: Rank 5 Examination

Click below for a review of Rank 5 Characters!

Before delving into today’s topic, a frequently asked question:

“How does Sinestro impact an effect which allows you to draw 2 or more cards?”

Effects that list a specific number are looking for exactly that amount. For example, Sinestro would skip your opponent’s draw during their Prep Step. In the given scenario, Sinestro’s effect would do nothing since the opponent is drawing two cards.

Following up on the concept of grouping Characters by Rank, today we’ll focus on the low end of the spectrum. What can Rank 5 Characters bring to the table, and which types of decks want access to those effects? First, a glance at all of the Characters from Justice League that have a maximum Rank of 5 or less:

  • Alfred: generally included to fish out an essential Character cog or support a toolbox of varying Character effects – unlikely to benefit from inclusion in a deck focused on Rank 5 Characters
  • Amanda Waller: one of the most “build around” cards in the set, but invites a lineup of Characters that stray outside of “Rank 5” effects
  • Black Canary: a high tempo card that can provide a temporary answer to most of the field
  • Hawk Girl: a preemptive answer to cards like Starfire and Joke’s On You, while also packing a favorable stat distribution
  • Deadman: playable in nearly any deck, and has special synergy with key aggro Battle Cards
  • Hawkman: currently emphasized in decks that attempt to run the opponent out of cards, but other applications are lurking
  • Martian Manhunter: sees general use in numerous midrange builds, and potentially enables a splash of “Rank 5” effects in non-focused decks
  • Red Tornado: one of the fastest cards in the game, and capable of snowballing
  • Mister Freeze: utility option with decent Stats and MP
  • Scarecrow: pairs well with Aggro cards that clear out defenders, but has applications in Midrange and Control as well
  • Poison Ivy: unparalleled as a consistent MP engine
  • Batgirl: team attacking expert that also enables any Rank 5 based effects
  • Blue Beetle: massive upside, though necessitates a higher count of Rank 5 Characters
  • Vixen: requires utilizing a specific cardpool, but provides an explosive card advantage engine
  • Cyborg: instant filtering and solid MP – at the cost of lower stats
  • Green Arrow: anti-aggro, synergistic interactions with a variety of effects
  • Krypto: being KO’d by any single hit can be a boon when you want to clear out a Character or deny an opponent further draws
  • Robin: anti-control, or aggro enabler
  • Harley Quinn (Former Psychiatrist): excels in combat, garners attention from targeted removal
  • Atom: anti-7, or enables Rank 7 recursion of own Characters
  • Bizarro: combo applications, fits in a wide array of archetypes

Several effects reward running Rank 5 Characters. Against the Current enables unique interactions with effects that stack cards on the top of your deck, and certain archetypes are greatly enhanced by hand knowledge. Overboard is useful in a deck with a mix of Rank 5 Characters, as you can discard any that are undesirable in a given board-state. Lastly, Push and Pull is the biggest card draw Event in the game, though it is most likely to be seen only in aggro builds.

4 Strength (C45-JL) also has a specific bonus for Rank 5 Characters, while a card like 5 Strength (C50-JL) provides an example of Rank 5 Characters also being able to inherently dodge certain effects.  Finally, even a deck entirely based on Rank 5 Characters will usually dip into other Character Ranks – usually the likes of  Darkseid – Uxas or Ra’s Al Ghul.

As you can see, Rank 5 Characters slant more Aggro – but they can still be taken in other directions! Even within Aggro builds, there are numerous configurations to consider. Outside of decks that emphasize Rank 5 Characters, many of them have unique enough effects to overcome their lesser KO thresholds/Battle Card access and ultimately find a home in more generalized archetypes.