This article was authored by guest writer (and recognized Metroplex expert) Ozzy, the creator and pilot for this deck in the World|Strike Tournament Season One-ending Omega Invitational.
I have been playing with Metroplex since he came out at the end of Wave 1. I faced a real dilemma on whether to play my Soundwave or Metroplex deck for the 2022 Omega Invitational, but I eventually settled on the Autobot City himself. With all the chatter before the OI being about aggro combiners and Safeguard decks, I decided to run this. Historically, I have had many top 8 tournament finishes with variations of this deck.
So I present to you, dear reader, the deck I took to 2nd place in the 2022 Omega Invitational tournament.
Metroplex is a Titan. He has 35 Health, a decent Attack value, and a little bit of Defense. He can deploy drones to help him in his battles:
- Slammer – the little Tank that could
- Scamper – the little car that scraps
- Six-Gun – the little turret that shoots hard
Additionally, he can also hit the battlefield so hard that the enemy is left stunned, damaged, and in disarray.
Slammer, Combat Drone
Slammer’s built-in “Strafing Run” and Bold 1 for Metroplex are perfect for your first deployment, as early in your game is when you have the most targets. His stat line of 3/3/3 doesn’t seem like much – but if you don’t respect him or have direct damage, Slammer is one of the best defending characters in the game. Somehow, he flips more blue battle icons on defense than any character should. I once had a Dinobot Sludge attack him for 9, and he blocked 8 of it. In the OI Grand Finals versus Brettasaurus, Slammer died exactly to almost every attack that went into him – regardless of whether it was General Optimus Prime attacking for 10, or Flamewar for 7.
Scamper, City Patrol
Scamper also provides Bold 1 to Metroplex in his alt mode. A neat trick with Scamper is that he has a built-in “Dismantle” in his bot mode. A flip action to deploy him can also turn into upgrade removal if you then flip Scamper to bot mode with your flip for the turn.
Six-Gun, Heavy Weapons Expert
And finally, Six-Gun. He’s usually the last to come out and play as he doesn’t give Bold to Metroplex in alt mode. The extra damage he does to a defender is still useful though. I’ve used it to turn off Safeguard, and also in combination with a Metroplex trigger to KO a character with a Force Field on 6 remaining health. However, his bot mode flip does give Metroplex Bold 2 and makes him one of the strongest attacking 4-star characters in the game.
3x Roll Out!
3x Escape Route
1x Hit and Run
2x Lie in Wait
Battle icon breakdown
- 23 orange
- 19 blue
- 13 white
- 8 green
- 1 black
The card choices for a Metroplex deck are complex – but at the same time straightforward. You need as much Bold as you can to trigger Metroplex’s bot mode attack (such as Height Advantage, Backup Beam, and Supercharge). You need lots of cards that can flip Metroplex to deploy the drones (Escape Route, Roll Out! and Hit and Run). Additionally, you need lots of double battle icon cards to get the right mix of colors for his attack trigger (such as Matrix of Leadership, Take The Shot, and Handheld Blaster). Once you’ve collected all these kinds of cards, there’s just enough room left for some removal and utility (such as Bashing Shield, Espionage, and Debilitating Crystal).
The Ozzy algorithm
Once you have a pile of these kinds of cards, the hardest part now comes in trying to balance the color distribution. Thankfully, there are now enough cards in all colors that can fit the roles you need, and this is not as hard as it was in wave 1. What I have deliberately done in my decks is to skew my list towards more aggro and orange battle icons. If I swing in with Metroplex and I miss my trigger, it is usually because I flipped too many orange battle icon cards (what Vangelus has since called during the OI – and I love it – “the Ozzy algorithm”). I don’t mind this, as instead of attacking for 9 and triggering, I swing for 12+ and KO a character instead, which is sometimes just as good an outcome.
For the sideboard, each tournament (and kitchen table) meta is different and sideboards change constantly. A couple of cards to mention though are:
- Debilitating Crystal vs. things like W-5 Gyro Blaster and Stunticon Swagger. These cards are really good against Metroplex, and it’s good to have an answer to them.
- Cornered! vs. combiners mainly, but can also be used in niche games vs things that have certain triggers in bot mode like Insecticon Skrapnel and Nemesis Prime.
- Spy Satellite Uplink to get around those pesky Stealth and Brave characters.
A Bold decision
Ideally, you want an early Bold Weapon and a flip card, and the easiest to get in this deck are the ones with green battle icons: Backup Beam and Escape Route. The Backup Beam gives Metroplex Bold 2, and the Escape Route gives Metroplex a sidekick and an extra Bold 1. Bold 3 is a good place to start staggering the opponent’s characters.
But how about Bold 5 or 6? This is where the non-green cards come into play. A well-timed Kinetic Intensifier Whip and an Escape Route can give you Bold 5. A Supercharge and a Backup Beam is also Bold 5, and a Height Advantage makes Bold 6, but at the cost of no sidekicks.
Staggering Might adds more Attack and Bold, while also helping a bit on defense.
Most of the other Weapons are for the Drones. Scamper loves a Sturdy Javelin, as being Melee in car mode lets you keep it for one attack, and being Ranged in bot mode lets you throw it later. Slammer and Six-Gun can also throw a Sturdy Javelin, and a Grenade Launcher on any of them lets you help Metroplex in KO’ing enemies, especially with Six-Gun in bot mode. 8 Attack before battle flips? Yes, please!
Bashing Shield and Ramming Speed are there mainly for Force Fields and Holomatter Projectors, as these Armors really blunt Metroplex’s attacks.
What I love most about Metroplex is his adaptability to situations.
He has always felt like a true mid-range deck in the Transformers TCG. I can come out swinging hard and then pivot and slow the game down halfway through by sending out the drones to soak up attacks – all while setting Metroplex up for a knockout blow. I can stay 1-wide to slow down my opponent’s plays or go 4-wide to overwhelm them.
My usual strategy with Metroplex is going first if I have a choice.
I worked this out a long time ago. If I go first, I get to hit my opponent’s most threatening or annoying character for 6+ damage. Then, after they have 1 flip and 1 card play, we untap, and I get to hit that character again as hard as I can. Using this strategy, characters like Acid Storm, Grimlock, Wheeljack, Perceptor, Decepticon Quake, Flamewar, Arcee, Horri-Bull, Fangry, and a whole host of others will only get 1 turn to do anything before they are in real danger of being KO’d.
In contrast, if I go second, I have to hit what my opponent wants me to. If that’s a Car, I don’t trigger, and they have a way of untapping, the game can swing out of my favor very quickly. If it’s Insecticon Skrapnel and he only takes 3 damage, I lose control as well. There are a lot of instances where it doesn’t matter what the turn order is, but the ones that matter stand out to me as potential loss moments.
The other benefit of going first is getting an attack flip and 2-5 defense flips. That’s a lot of cards, especially in a deck with many white battle icons. This will allow me to swap cards with double battle icons in my hand for Backup Beams and Escape Routes. You can start the game with one of the worst hands imaginable, and then untap with a clear strategy for drone deployment and an attack strategy with enough Bold to trigger.
Developing the order of battle
From then on, the turn order changes frequently with whether you trigger or not. If you do, your opponent will dictate who you get to attack after untapping. And this is where you use Metroplex’s drones. Don’t want to hit the target sent out? Send in Slammer instead. Don’t like the next one? Send out Six-Gun. Eventually, you will outwait them and get to hit again who you want to.
One final note: if you miss your trigger, and you have an untapped drone, consider the situation next turn before you decide to flip Metroplex to deploy another one. If you send out the drone and leave Metroplex in bot mode, the opponent will get one more turn to attack Metroplex before untapping. Accordingly, if you flip him to deploy another drone, they will get two more turns to attack Metroplex before untapping. Consider the board state and how much damage Metroplex can take before making this decision, as it is crucial to surviving a missed trigger.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this take on Metroplex has given you a different perspective on how our favorite Autobot City can be played!