Author Topic: Superstar Strategy Session #2: Damian Sandow  (Read 303 times)

Offline Hogtrail

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Superstar Strategy Session #2: Damian Sandow
« on: April 03, 2019, 02:49:26 PM »
Superstar Strategy Session: Damian Sandow

My goal is to spotlight and break down a different superstar every week by going in depth on their cards, referenced cards, and different types of builds for them.

I posted a poll on the TCO discord channel and this week's session is dedicated to The Intellectual Savior of the Masses, Damian Sandow!

PART ONE
Let's take a look at his specifics:
Quote
Damien Sandow
Starting Handsize: 6     Superstar Value: 3
Superstar Ability: During any player's turn, when your opponent moves cards from his Ringside to his hand or draws cards (except for his Draw Segment or Ability), he overturns 1 card, and when he moves cards from his Ringside to his Arsenal (except for his Ability), he discards 1 card.
V7

I love Sandow's ability. Its essentially The Un-Americans, but it hits during any turn. Not only does this hurt your opponent's ability to be a draw heavy or recovery heavy deck, but it also hurts them for abusing Thrust Knee Lift, Thrust Kick, I Can't Be Reading This Right, Back Body Drop, Dubuque Iowa, Calgary, ECW One Night Stand, and Many many more good cards. AND there are also ways for you to manipulate your opponent into being effected by it. I'll focus more on those in Part Two.

Quote
The Many Faces of Sandow
Backstage Card
During each of your turns, before your Draw Segment, you may overturn 2 cards and replace your Ability with one of the following until the start of your next turn:
• Your cards with 'blindside' or 'elbow' in the title are -2F and +3D.
• When your card is unsuccessfully played, you may discard 1 card and search your Arsenal for a card with the same title, reveal it, put it in your hand and shuffle.
• When you have lower Fortitude, your cards are -1F for each word in their title.
Unique     RMS logo
V8

As if his normal ability wasn't good enough, now he can easily switch between these ones bu only overturning two cards! Let's look at the individual benefits of these new abilities.

First: Your cards with 'blindside' or 'elbow' in the title are -2F and +3D.

“Your cards with Blindside or Elbow...” CARDS. Not just maneuvers, but cards. Elbow to the Face, Blindsided Ego, Blindsided Control, and Blindsided by the Dangerous Divas are a few non-maneuvers effected by this. Along with all the other blindside maneuvers.

Second: When your card is unsuccessfully played, you may discard 1 card and search your Arsenal for a card with the same title, reveal it, put it in your hand and shuffle.

So I get to be Miz's stunt double? AWESOMEEEEEEE.... I could see this ability helping out a Chain build, especially if paired with Unbreakable Chain. OR if your hard to reverse maneuver is reversed, you can just search for another one to play next turn. Very versatile.

Lastly: When you have lower Fortitude, your cards are -1F for each word in their title.

This is my favorite of the three. And again, it reduces the F of all your CARDS. And as we'll see, his specifics are awfully wordy. But this card can also give you an 8F Manager Interferes, 0F Get The F Out, 0F Boot Lace, 2F German Suplex, 4F The Maneuver of Doom, and essentially every non-RMS card in the game is discounted.

On to the Backlash specifics:

Quote
The Intellectual Savior of the Masses
Backstage Area
Your Damien Sandow-specific Pre-match cards do not take up a slot in your Ring.
When you successfully play a card that would allow you to choose between one or more effects, you may choose one additional effect.
When your opponent successfully plays a card that allows him to choose one or more different effects, you may choose and apply one of the effects as well.
Unique     RMS logo
V7

Now THIS is the card that you'll like to abuse. Not only does it give you free pre-match slots, but you get so many more options when playing cards. I'll list a few of my favorites in Part Two, but for now, just keep this in the back of your head.

Quote
I Cannot, And Will Not, Demean Myself By Engaging Such An Ignoramus This Evening!
Pre-match Event
Cannot be blanked; can be played during any Pre-match phase.
Your opponent starts the game after the Pre-match phase regardless of any card effects, and your Distractingly Divalicious and It's Showtime! cards are blank.
You cannot respond to his first non-unique card played during his first turn of the game.  During your first draw segment, you may draw 3 additional cards and he discards 3 random cards.
When this card is in your Backlash and you have 10+ lower Fortitude, you may discard it to reverse a non-Superstar-specific maneuver.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Permanent
V7

This card if definitely a risky play, and I would understand anyone not wanting to play it. But the case for this card is also good. Opponent discards 3 AT RANDOM, and I draw 3. That's amazing. And, yeah, having to eat a card hurts, but lets think of a few ways to soften that blow. A few cards that come to mind are:

Quote
Trash Talkin' Interview
Pre-match Feud
At the end of the Pre-match phase, your opponent looks at your hand and chooses 1 card. Shuffle the chosen card and any other number of cards into your Arsenal and then draw the same number of cards shuffled in.
Then look at his hand, choose 1 card, he shuffles the chosen card into his Arsenal, and draws 1 card. 
Throwback
F: 0      D: 0

Pyrotechnic Volley
Pre-match Event
At the end of the Pre-match phase, you may discard 1 Volley maneuver and then look at your opponent's hand, choose 1 card, and he puts the chosen card on the bottom of his Arsenal.
F: 0      D: 0

and the combination of

Quote
Parts Unknown
Pre-match Venue
Your Starting Hand Size is +3, and your opponent's Starting Hand Size is +2.
When you successfully play a card with blank text, draw up to 1 card.
When you are the Ultimate Warrior and Back to Basics is not in your Ring, you may not play Corners or Run-ins, this card does not increase your opponent's Starting Hand Size, and once during each of your turns you may search your Arsenal for a Superstar-specific maneuver, reveal it, put it in your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal.
F: 0     D: 0     Universally Active     Permanent

Overrated Superstar
Mid-match Action
When this card is in your Backlash before the Draw Segment of the first turn of the game, and your opponent has more than 12 cards in his hand (when his printed Hand Size 10+, more than 15 cards instead), you may put this card into your Ring and he discards 3 random cards.
F: 0     D: 1     Unique

Using these cards, or any cards that effect your opponent's starting hand, can greatly increase your chances of not even being hit with anything worst caring about. And if you hit Overrated Superstar, then they'll be discarding 6 cards at random before you even get a turn. Not too shabby.

Quote
Please Remain Silent While I Am Speaking, Thank You!
Pre-match Event
Cannot be blanked.
When this card is in your Ring, all cards with 'fans' in the title are blank. and the number of cards moved from your Ringside by non-Damien Sandow-specific cards to your Arsenal or under cards is reduced to 0.
ACE: Once during each of your turns you may remove 1 card in your hand from the game and then shuffle # cards from your Ringside into your Arsenal where # is equal to half the number of words in the title of the removed card rounded up.
During your turn, when this card is in your Ringside, you may discard 3 cards to put it into your Ring.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique
V7

This is another very good card. It allows you to recover a lot of cards with only a simple cost. There is one card in particular that every Sandow deck must run 3 of:

Quote
Give me an S … Give me a P … Give me an I … Give me an R … Give me an I … Give me a T…
Action
Put 1 non-unique card that is a Strike, Grapple, Submission, High Risk, Action, or Reversal card from your Ringside pile into your hand and put up to 1 non-unique card of each of the other types from your Ringside pile on the bottom of your Arsenal.
F: 5 D: 0

This card has 24 words in it's title. Meaning you get to shuffle in 12 cards just by removing it from the game!

The only downside of this specific pre-match card is that it isn't permanent. But it can put itself back in the ring, OR you could try to play Witte Retort to make it permanent.

Quote
The Beacon of Light in a Harbor of Iniquity
Pre-match Event
Cannot be blanked.
At the end of the Pre-Match phase, you may put Mental Acumen from your Ringside or Backlash into your Ring; it is Permanent, cannot be blanked, and when you Activate that card, do not discard to reversals to that effect.
Your non-reversal Face and Heel cards are -2F for each Damien Sandow-specific card in your Ring.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Permanent
V7

Here's the text of Mental Acumen:

Quote
Mental Acumen
Mid-match Action
Cannot be reversed when the card titled Backstage Politics is in your Ring area.
You may put 1 Face or Heel card from your Ringside pile on the bottom of your Arsenal.
When this card is in your Ring area, once during each of your turns, you may discard 1 Face or Heel card and search your Arsenal for 1 Face or Heel card, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal.
F: 12      D: 0

So these two cards let me search for, and play heavily discounted face or heel non-reversal cards? 0F Spit at Opponent, 0F Face the Music, 0F Apply Illegal Leverage, 0F Overhand Chair Shot, 0F Classic Knee To The Groin, 4F Chair Shot, and the list goes on.

Quote
As Smart As Rhodes Scholars
Mid-match Action + Action
When you are Cody Rhodes, this card is -3F.
Choose one:  your opponent puts 1 random card on the bottom of his Arsenal and overturns 2 cards; shuffle up to 5 cards from your Ringside into your Arsenal and draw 1 card; or your next card played this turn is -4F and reversals to it are +6F.
When Cody's Protective Face Mask is revealed, double the numbers in this card; when Liberated is revealed, choose all three options instead.
F: 10     D: 0     Unique     Multi
V7

Solid card if it's successfully played. And since you're Damian Sandow, you get to pick 2 of the choices listed. Another bonus is that this card has 5 words in it's title, so you could lay it at -5F if you choose the alternate ability.

Now for the Arsenal specifics:

Quote
A Magnificent Rolling Russian Leg Sweep
Grapple + Grapple
Cannot be reversed from Backlash or Ring.
Choose one: draw up to 2 cards or your opponent discards 2 cards.
F: 8     D: 9     Unique     Multi
V7

Good multi maneuver with a few reversal restrictions. And also playable at -6F due to the length of the title. Allows you to draw 2 AND opponent discards 2. Or, if you're in a pinch, you can remove it from the game and shuffle in 3 cards using the ACE of your pre-match.

Quote
Sandow's Cubito Aequet Elbow of Disdain
High Risk
Can only be played after a successfully played maneuver or as a Counter.
Choose one: your opponent puts 2 cards from his hand on the bottom of his Arsenal, he removes the top card of his Arsenal from the game, or you may remove 2 cards in his Ringside from the game.
F: 12     D: 12     SV: 2     Unique
V7

A-ha, another 'Elbow' card! And another card with 6 words in the title! Very easily playable, and has some good effects.

Quote
The Utterly Devastating Terminus
Trademark Finisher
Choose one: put 1 card from Ringside into your hand, put 1 of your cards removed from the game into your hand, draw 1 card, or your opponent discards 1 random card.
F: 25     D: 20     SV: 3     Unique
V7

This is a pretty standard secondary trademark finisher. Only 4 words in it's title, but the effects make up for that.

Quote
You're Welcome Full Nelson Slam
Trademark Finisher / Reversal: Special
As a reversal, reverse any Strike.
During your turn before your Draw Segment, when this card is removed from the game, you may discard 1 card and put this card on the bottom of your Arsenal.
F: 35     D: 20     SV: 3     Unique
V7

This is a card that could get pretty abusive. You can remove it from the game to activate your pre-match, shuffle in 3 cards, and then easily put it into your ringside to retrieve it later. And as a reversal, it hits the most popular maneuver type.

Quote
Thank You For Your Irrelevant Opinion!
Reversal: Special
Reverse any non-maneuver card, and when your first card played on your next turn is an action, your opponent must discard 2 cards to play a reversal to it.
F: 6     D: 0     Unique
V7

What a convenient fortitude rating for this card.... 6 words in the title, and 6F. Wait a minute! That means you can make it 0F by switching your ability! Sarcasm aside, this is a really good card that gives your next action some protection. And as we'll cover with his next card, actions are Sandow's friend...

Quote
...You're Welcome! - Throwback
Action
Cannot be packed when packing Corners.
Can only be played after an action or antic, played from hand. Your opponent cannot respond to this card.
This card gains the text of the previously played card until the end of the turn, and all numbers in the text are +2; put this card in your Ring instead of any other area before damage is applied. After damage is applied, end your turn, and he cannot play actions or antics during his next turn.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Permanent     RMS logo

Wut? Um... This card is amazing. Just think about it! You play this after a Spit at Opponent, and the net result is you discard 4 and opponent DISCARDS 10! Or how about Who Booked This Match? You draw a net of 6 and he discards a net of 6! And just think about playing this after a card I'll cover in part 2 (Two-Time Two-Time)! Incredible card, and all he can do about it is cry.

Quote
I Do This For The Benefit, The Welfare, And The Common Good Of Each And Every One of You!
Action / Reversal: Special
As an action, this card is -5F, put this card on the bottom of your Arsenal and choose one: your opponent must Promo: 2 and then put 2 cards from hand on the bottom of his Arsenal, you may Promo: 2, or put up to 2 cards from Ringside on the bottom of your Arsenal.
As a reversal, reverse any non-Trademark Finisher maneuver.
F: 15     D: 0     Unique
V7

Another solid card. I count 19 words in it's title, meaning you can remove it from the game and shuffle in 10 cards from ringside to arsenal.

As for the actual card effects, I'd pretty much always play it as a reversal. And it's also playable at 0F is his ability is switched.

That's all of his Superstar Specifics, so lets move on to...

PART TWO
Non-Specific cards to consider when building Damian Sandow:

The first card I'll focus on will be my favorite card in all of Virtual Raw Deal

Quote
Evening Up the Odds
Pre-match Event
Cannot be packed by Ric Flair or by a Stable.
At the start of each player's turn before their Draw Segment, when they have more than 7 cards in their hand, they shuffle 1 random card from hand into their Arsenal; when they have more than 14 cards in their hand, they shuffle 1 random additional card; and when they have less than 7 cards in their hand, they may draw 1 card.
Before any players' Draw Segment, when both players have 7 cards in hand, put this card from your Ring into your Ringside.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique

You may look at this card and think it's counter productive because Sandow can easily make opponent discard their hand. However, lets take another look at your ability... In particular, this sentence:

“During any player's turn, when your opponent [...] draws cards (except for his Draw Segment or Ability), he overturns 1 card”

Also note that the draw effect on Evening up the Odds IS optional. Make your opponent decide whether to rebuild his hand (thus making his overturn), or not get hit with the overturn but keep your hand down. This card also helps keep your opponent's hand at bay. I love this card and try to put it in as many decks as I can.

Another good card to consider for a heel build is:

Quote
The Abraham Washington Show
Pre-match Event
Cannot be packed by The Heat Seekers.
When you are an Extremist, this card does not take up a Pre-match slot in your Ring and your opponent's Starting Hand Size is -1.
At the end of the Pre-match phase, search your Arsenal for 1 Heel Action, reveal it, put it in your hand, and shuffle.
The first Heel Action played on each of your turns is Multi when you do not have a card with that title in your Ring, and ignore "completely" on his reversal cards played to it.
His Once is Enough cards are +10F for each copy in his Ring.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique

This will help you search for and play that first turn 0F Spit at opponent, or 0F Bait Opponent. It will also, hopefully, get rid of your opponent's Once is Enough so he can't play another one until he gets to 10F.

It will also help you search out this card:

Quote
Grab <WWE logo> Timekeeper Mark Yeaton's Chair
Action: Heel
Put 1 Foreign Object from your Ringside pile into your hand.
When your next card played this turn is a Foreign Object, choose 2: it is -20F, ignore the "Can only be played..." text, or your opponent's Reversal cards to it are +10F.
F: 5      D: 0

This card is 0F for Sandow, and he gets to choose all 3 options. This card, combined with an Overhand Chair Shot, or even better, Reverse 180-Degree Chair Shot is a GREAT way to start a game. I mention those two maneuvers because they are Multi and your opponent's Reach Exceeds Your Grasp can only reverse half of them.

Mark Yeaton's Chair brings up the topic of cards with multiple choices to take advantage of, such as:

Quote
McMahon Family Values
Action
Shuffle up to 3 of your cards that have been removed from the game into your Arsenal or shuffle any number of Unique cards and cards with the word "McMahon" in the title from your Ringside pile into your Arsenal.
Unique
"If you want to get ahead in this business, it's through our backing, so pucker up!" - Vince McMahon
F: 0          D: 0

This card combined with your specific Pre-Match will let you recycle those long titled cards and keep you living forever.

Quote
Technical Power Bomb
Grapple / Action
As a maneuver, you may search your Arsenal for 1 card with the word "technical" in the title, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal.
As an action, this card is -8F and -14D, shuffle this card into your Arsenal and then draw 1 card or your opponent discards 4 cards from his Backlash deck.
SV: 3   
F: 16      D: 14

This card (playable as low as 5F) allows you to draw a card AND destroy your opponent's Backlash deck.

How about this game changer:

Quote
What's Mine is Mine and What's Yours is Mine - Throwback
Action: Heel
Cannot be packed by The Heat Seekers.
Choose one: draw up to 2 cards and put up to 1 card from your Ringside with the same title as a card from your Ring into your hand; or put 1 non-Superstar-specific card from your opponent's Ring into your Ring and discard 2 cards.
Whenever he searches for 1 card, he must reveal that card, and you may then search for 1 card with the same title as his card, reveal it, put it in your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal.
When this card is moved from your Ring, put any cards moved from his Ring into your Ring with this card into his Ring.
F: 8     D: 0     Unique     Cheater logo     RMS logo

Getting both options on this card is absurd. And jus think about playing ...You're Welcome after it... Might as well just take their entire ring area.

And another card with some good choices is, as teased above:

Quote
Two-Time!  Two-Time!
Action + Antic / Reversal: Special
When you have lower Fortitude, can only be reversed by 2 reversal cards. This card is -2F for each D: 2+ card in your opponent's Ring.
As an action, choose two of the following: draw up to 2 cards, shuffle up to 2 cards from your Ringside into your Arsenal, remove up to 2 cards in his Ringside from the game, flip up to 2 D: 0 cards in any Ring over, he puts 2 cards from his hand on the bottom of his Arsenal, or he overturns 2 cards.
As a reversal, this card is -22F; reverse Poke or Shake, and he discards 2 cards.
F: 22     D: 2     SV: 2     Unique     Multi     RMS logo     Permanent

Damian Sandow gets to choose 3 of these options. Need I say more?

And another favorite is:

Quote
ECW Championship Belt - Throwback
Choose one: Your maneuvers are +1D, or your opponent's maneuvers are -1D.  When you are Rob Van Dam, Lashley, Revolution Tommy Dreamer, Jack Swagger or Christian, draw 1 card.
Superstar Value +1     Universally Unique     ECW logo

Not only do you get to choose both options, but if your opponent plays this card, you get to apply one of the options!

PART THREE
Specific Build Types

Damian Sandow is a superstar that can do just about anything. Personally, I went with a heavy heel build, using a bunch of good heel actions and maneuvers. Combine that with a dash of chain, and the maneuvers listed above, and I think you have a good base.

However, Sandow could also be a good Face build and still be quite an effective discard deck. Cards like the above mentioned Who Booked This Match?, and a powerful card like Face The Music can strip your opponent of a hand very effectively. And if they want to rebuild their hand, they have to get hit with your superstar ability.

In my heel build, I made Sandow a member of the NWO.

Another card you could use is

Quote
I'm Gonna Break You
Pre-match Event
At the end of the Pre-match phase, if your opponent has more cards in his Ring area than you have in your Ring area, look at his hand and choose # cards, where # is equal to the number of Pre-match cards he has in his Ring area and Ringside pile greater than you have in your Ring area and Ringside pile, and choose one: he discards the chosen cards or shuffles them into his Arsenal.
When this card is in your Ring area, when you have to remove any number of cards from the game, you may remove this card from the game instead of 1 of the cards.
Active
F: 0      D: 0

It's very rare that someone doesn't play all of their pre-match slots in the current meta. This card could really catch your opponent off guard. Having said that, there are more and more cards that prevent moving cards from your opponent's hand during the pre-match, but if your opponent isn't packing them you can strip away their maneuvers to limit the downside of I Cannot, And Will Not, Demean Myself By Engaging Such An Ignoramus This Evening!

PART FOUR
In Conclusion

I think Sandow has potential to be, if anything, an annoying deck your opponent will not look forward to playing against. I feel like he can be quite powerful, but is also susceptible to a few bad match ups. He probably belongs more in the 'fun' category over the 'competitive' category. I can't imagine me bringing a Damian Sandow deck to a major tournament, but maybe that would catch enough people off guard.

Thank you for reading this article! Let me know if I missed anything, or if you have other ideas for Sandow.

Next weeks Superstar Strategy Session will be all about Macho Man Randy Savage (OOOOOHHHHHHH YYYEEEAAAAHHHHHH)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 04:50:35 PM by Hogtrail »
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Offline MonkeyLord13

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Re: Superstar Strategy Session #2: Damian Sandow
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 02:47:53 PM »
Nice write-up! I've got a question, though, because I think I'm forgetting  some cards, or missing interactions:

 "You play this after a Spit at Opponent, and the net result is you discard 3 and opponent DISCARDS 10! Or how about Who Booked This Match? You draw a net of 6 and he discards a net of 6!" can you run me through the math that gets the numbers this high? Because I'm calculating Spit as forcing a 6 card discard, and WBTM as doing 4 apiece.

And I'm happy to see you mention the Grab Mark's Chair/Reverse 180 combo. I've used it in decks before, but getting to 5F was often a requirement. I hadn't thought of using it with Sandow!

Thanks!

Offline Hogtrail

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Re: Superstar Strategy Session #2: Damian Sandow
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 02:53:15 PM »
You play spit at opponent.

You discard 1 card, opponent discards 4.

You then play You're Welcome. Repeat the text of spit, but add 2 to each number.

You discard 3, opponent discards 6.

So the net would be you discard 4 and opponent discards 10.

(I'll adjust the guide to say discard 4 instead of 3)
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Offline MonkeyLord13

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Re: Superstar Strategy Session #2: Damian Sandow
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2019, 07:20:34 PM »
Perfect! Thanks again!