Superstar Strategy Session #15: Dangerous Alliance

Started by Hogtrail, July 10, 2019, 09:18:54 PM

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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 superstar this strategy session is dedicated to The Dangerous Alliance!

Let's take a look at their specifics:

The Dangerous Alliance
Starting Hand Size: 6     Superstar Value: 8
Superstar Ability: Whenever your opponent draws up to 3 cards for any reason other than his Superstar Ability or his Draw Segment, you may draw up to the same number of cards. You may play the card titled Handicap Match, even if your opponent cannot play any belt except the Tag Team Title Belts. You cannot play Title Belt cards. Your opponent cannot play the card titled Handicap Match.

They also can pack this:

The Numbers Game
Backstage Card
Can only be packed by Right To Censor, Hall & Nash, The People's Team, The Dangerous Alliance, FBI, The Home Team, The Heat Seekers, The Spirit Squad, or a Stable.  When packing this card, you may pack Handicap Match.
You are a Stable, and your opponent cannot play Handicap Match.  When he is not a Stable, you may ignore the "Can only be played..." text on Handicap Match, and he must discard 1 card to play a Run-in.

The Dangerous Alliance are a Stable with a 6 hand and and 8 value. A 6 SHS is pretty good, but the 8 SSV is elite territory and gives them a great advantage to potentially start the game.

As far as their actuall Superstar Ability, I have always liked it. ANY TIME your opponent draws 3- cards (other than draw segment or their ability) you can draw that many. This includes during the pre-match phase. Opponent plays Premiere Smackdown Superstar? You get to draw all those cards right along with them. I'll discuss other good cards for them to take advantage of later on in Part 2.

It's too bad they cannot pack title belts, despite all of the gold Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, and Kurt Angle have held. Maybe in a future virtual release they'll be able to pack belts.

The Most Dangerous Champions of Smackdown
Pre-match Event
Cannot be blanked.
When packing this card, you may pack Backed by Paul Heyman.
Your non-reversal The Dangerous Alliance-specific cards are F: 0 and Multi, and when you have lower Fortitude, they can only be reversed by 2 non-hybrid reversal cards.
ACE: Once during each of your turns you may discard 2 cards and if your next card played is a maneuver, it is Multi.
ACE: Once during each of your turns you may discard 2 cards and if your next card played is a maneuver, it is Chain.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Permanent

There's a lot to unpack with this card. Firstly, they get to pack Backed by Paul Heyman, with is a pretty good card, and gives you reason to pack the other Heyman cards.

Next, their non-reversal specifics are reduced to F:0 and become quite difficult to reverse with lower F. As we'll see going forward  how this interacts with their other cards.

Now let's get to the meat of this card. It has 2 Ace's, and both can be very effective. The first effect allows you to discard 2 cards to make your next maneuver a multi, and the second effect allows you to discard 2 and make your next card chain. Both of these are good – BUT costly. Even though the Dangerous Alliance have the ability to draw a bunch of cards, if either of these ACE's are reversed with DTTAH, then you're going to be discarding a total of 4 cards – that's hurts anyone.

However, if either (or both) of these ACE's are successful, it can really give the DA a nice advantage of throwing hard to reverse maneuvers. And if you keep throwing Chain maneuvers, your opponent is going to wnt to draw cards – which is a good thing for you.

Twelve Years of Terror
Mid-match Action
Look at your opponent's Backlash deck, choose 1 card, and he discards the chosen card.
F: 12     D: 0     Unique

This card is pretty good at F:12. It's REALLY good at F:0. It's incredible at F:0, multi, and only reversible by 2 non-hybrid reversals. Being able to strip your opponent of ANY mid match card can really help DA's get an early advantage. Being able to get rid of Cow on Ice, Restricted Use, Sustained Damage, or maybe a key superstar-specific.

Brock Lock
Submission / Reversal: Special
As a reversal, reverse any Grapple or High Risk maneuver and end your opponent's turn.
F: 7     D: 5     SV: 2     Unique

Unlike Brock Lesnar, The DA actually do have a reason to play this card as a maneuver with it being F:0, and possibly Chain + Multi. But, above all, it's a really good reversal.

The Dangerous Slam
Trademark Finisher
When you are Dangerous Alliance and this card is in your Ringside, when your opponent's effects cause you to discard he must then discard the same number of cards you do, and during his turn he may discard 3 cards and then you put this card on the bottom of your Arsenal.
F: 20     D: 20     SV: 3     Unique     RMS logo

This is an interesting card. Not only is it a TMF with a generous F to D ratio, but it has a pretty neat effect when it's in your ringside. WHENEVER your opponent causes you to discard cards, he has to discard that many. That includes their superstar ability, the chain trait, or a card effct like DTTAH. Of course, they can put it on the bottom of your arsenal, albeit at a pretty steep price.

The Last Dangerous Ride
Trademark Finisher / Action
As a maneuver, this card is not affected by The Most Dangerous Champions of SmackDown!.
As an action, this card is F:0, draw up to 1 card, then shuffle this card into your Arsenal.
F: 30     D: 20     SV: 3     Unique

This card isn't nearly as fun as the last one, but it's still a TMF. I wish this card did something more... like "Your next ACE cannot be reversed" type thing, but regardless, no reason not to pack this card.

Dangerous F-5
Trademark Finisher / Reversal: Special
As a maneuver, this card is not affected by The Most Dangerous Champions of SmackDown!; can only be played after a successfully played maneuver and cannot be reversed from Backlash.
As a reversal, reverse any Grapple or Submission.
This card is considered 2 cards for your card effects.
F: 40     D: 25     SV: 3     Unique

Every part of this card is good. Hard to reverse as a maneuver, Reversed and grapple or submission, and it counts as 2 cards for your effects – such as your specific pre-match or Sustained Damage.

Bad to the Bone
Reversal: Special
Reverse any card and end your opponent's turn. You may put 1 non-unique Maneuver card from your Ringside pile into your hand.
F: 15     D: 0     Unique

As I wrote in my Brock Lesnar article: This is a tremendous reversal. Reverses any CARD and allows you to pick up a non-unique maneuver. Simple and to the point. Pack this card and profit.

Nuff said.

An Irresistible Force; An Immovable Object
Action / Reversal: Special
As an action, if your next card played this turn is an Action card, it cannot be reversed.
As a reversal, reverse any Grapple or Submission maneuver (including the card titled Clutch onto Opponent) and end your opponent's turn.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Smackdown logo

This card is surprisingly playable as an action for DA. Being multi itself – it can help you land a significant action when you need it. However, 9/10 times you'll play this as a reversal.

I'll Make You Tap
Search your Arsenal for 1 non-unique Submission maneuver, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal. You may put 1 Mid-match card from his Ring area into his Ringside pile or if your next card played this turn is a Submission maneuver, it cannot be reversed.
F: 5     D: 0     Unique

Remember, this card is F:0, so if it ends up in your opening hand it could potentially spell trouble for your opponent. An overlooked effect of this card is to get rid of a mid match card. Sustained damage is the obvious choice.

You Can't Stop 'em
Shuffle up to 6 cards from your Ringside pile into your Arsenal, and then you may put 1 Action card from your Ringside pile into your hand.
F: 8     D: 0     Unique

Shuffling in 6 cards for F:0 is pretty good, and it lets you pick up an action – maybe a Don't be a Douchebag, of Ref Takes a Bump, or maybe one of their specifics.

That's it for their specific cards. They don't have many, but they're all decent.

Non-specific cards that can be helpful for Dangerous Alliance.

First, let's look at the rest of the Paul Heyman support cards.

Backed by Paul Heyman
Pre-match Event
Can only be packed when you are packing an ECW card in your Backstage Area.  When packing this card, your Managed by Paul Heyman is not Heel.
At the end of the Pre-match phase, put Managed by Paul Heyman from your Backlash into your Ring.
ACE: During your turn, you may put this card into your Ringside and then put 1 Stipulation from your Ringside or Backlash into your Ring, and either discard 3 cards or put Managed by Paul Heyman from your Ring into your Ringside.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Permanent

Managed by Paul Heyman
Pre-match Manager: Heel
When this card is in your Ring area, during your turn you may discard 1 card and put this card into your Ringside pile, and then put 1 non-Backlash-deck card from your opponent's Ring area into his Ringside pile.
   (Activated Card Effect Symbol) 
Universally Unique
F: 0         D: 0

I'm a Paul Heyman Guy
Mid-match Action + Action: Run-in
Cannot be packed by Paul Heyman.  Cannot be reversed when you have a card with 'Heyman' in the title in your Ring.
Search your Arsenal and Ringside for Paul Heyman's Shoot Promo, reveal it, put it into your hand, and shuffle; that card is -4F and cannot be reversed.
When your opponent has at least 15 greater Fortitude and he successfully plays a maneuver, you may ignore the 'during your turn' text on your Managed by Paul Heyman and immediately Activate it.
F: 3     D: 0     Unique     Multi

Paul Heyman's Shoot Promo
Action + Action
Draw up to 2 cards.
ACE: When this card is in your Ring and your opponent moves a card from his Ringside to any other location without playing a card, remove that card from the game, and then remove this card from the game.
F: 7     D: 0     Unique     Multi

Heyman Interferes
Reversal: Special
Can only be played when you have 2+ cards with 'Heyman' in the title in your Ring and/or Ringside; when you have 4+ cards with 'Heyman' in the title in your Ring, this card is -7F.
Can only be played when your opponent plays a card, he puts that card into his hand (or Backlash, if applicable), it is considered not to be played, and end his turn; when you have 4+ cards with 'Heyman' in the title, you may put his card into his Ring, Ringside, or remove it from the game instead.
F: 12     D: 0     Unique

I'm a big fan of Paul Hayman's shoot promo, It can snipe key cards at opportune times. The rest of the cards are just okay in my opinion.

Now let's look at cards that DA can use that work well with their superstar ability:

<WWE logo> Signing Appearance
Can only be revealed from your Backstage area when you reveal your Superstar card.
Your Superstar Value is +1.
At the end of the Pre-match phase all players may put 1 card from their hand on the bottom of their Arsenal and then draw 1 card.

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. 
F: 0      D: 0

In the Interest of Fairness...
Pre-match Event: Heel
At the end of the Pre-match phase, look at your opponent's hand and choose 1 card. Your opponent shuffles that card into his Arsenal, then draws 2 cards.
F: 0   D: 0

Give You the Runaround
Mid-match Action
Look at your opponent's hand, choose 1 non-unique card, and he removes the chosen card from the game. He may draw up to 3 cards.
F: 6      D: 0

Once is Enough - Throwback
Reversal: Special: Face
Completely reverse any Multi card, or reverse any card when your opponent has a card with that title in his Ring.
He draws up to 1 card for each Once is Enough in your Ring.
When this card is in your Ring, ignore the "When played from your hand," text on your Sloppy... Very Sloppy cards.
F: 0      D: 0     SS logo

Manager Interferes - Throwback
Reversal: Special: Heel
Reverse any maneuver and all players draw 1 card.
F: 10     D: 1     SS logo

Shake My Hand, Boy!
Action: Heel
Your opponent may draw 1 card and then discard 3 cards. If he does not, if your next card played this turn is a maneuver, it cannot be reversed from his hand.
"I respect you, but if you don't give it back, you better get out of my yard." - Dead Man Inc.
F: 3      D: 0

Offer Handshake (SS2)
Action: Face
Draw up to 4 cards and then your opponent may draw 1 card.
F: 4      D: 0

...Where the Hell are we?!
Your opponent and you may each draw up to 3 cards. If played in Milwaukee, WI at GEN CON you may each draw up to 4 cards, instead of 3 cards.
F: 0     D: 0

Blindside Hook
When successfully played, your opponent draws 1 card.
You may play this card from your Ringside pile.
When played from your Ringside pile, remove 1 card in your hand from the game.
Fan Favorite logo
F: 0 D: 6

Precision Haymaker
When played, name a number 5 or less. Your opponent draws that many cards. This card is -2F for each number named.
Cannot be reversed from your opponent's hand by non-hybrid cards.
¶ (Restricted Modification Symbol)
SV: 2
F: 18 D: 22

Those are only a handful of cards that can trigger their ability, and doesn't include opponent's cards/effect that would also trigger DA's ability.

There's one card in particular that I'd like to point out:

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

Anyone who reads these articles knows about my love for this card.

I know what you're thinking, "DA are a stable so they can't pack Evening Up the Odds."

Wrong. They are allowed to pack It's a Number's Game which makes them a stable WHEN IT'S REVEALED. So they can pack Evening Up the Odds all day long.

So why is this card potentially a good card for them? Not only does it help offset all the discarding you'll be doing for your Pre-Match ACE's, but you're opponent is going to want to rebuild his hand because of all of the chain maneuvers you'll be throwing at him. Point being – when he draw for this, you draw for this.

I'll touch upon a few other key cards during...

Specific Build Types

Dangerous Alliance is another one of those superstars that can be built in a multitude of styles. I'll cover a few of them here.

First Idea: Chain + Heat

This seems like the obvious build for them, considering their pre-match card. The idea is pretty simple – discard your heat cards to make them chain. And you can combine all of that with this:

Sizzling Clothesline
Strike: Heat
When this card is in your Ringside pile, your non-unique printed F:0 Heat maneuvers are considered Multi maneuvers.
Fan Favorite logo
F: 12 D: 13

This will give you a decent way to get early fortitude. Your opponent can only reverse so many Chain/Multi Heat maneuvers until one will finally land.

I've often found that the hardest part of a heat deck was keeping your hand, and Dangerous Alliance shouldn't have too much of a problem with that.

(Bonus fact: Since DA's specific pre-match has "Chain" in the text, you can pack it with All Together Now)

Second Idea: BASH

This is similar to the last entry where you keep throwing Chain/Multi maneuvers. The three base BASH maneuvers are all multi:

BASH Headlock
Submission + Submission
Cannot be packed by Female Superstars.
When successfully played, your opponent discards 1 card.
F: 2 D: 6

BASH Suplex
Grapple + Grapple
Cannot be packed by Female Superstars.
SV: 1
F: 3 D: 7

BASH Punch
Strike + Strike
Cannot be packed by Female Superstars.
F: 4 D: 8

BASH also provides you with 3 starting F and a pretty decent reversal pool early in the game.

Third Idea: Backed by Vickie

Backed by Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero
Pre-match Event
Cannot be packed when packing Enforcers or by a Legend, or by Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Latino Cheat, Rey Mysterio, Shane O'Mac, or The People's Champ.
Your opponent cannot play non-Superstar-specific non-D:0 reversals (except Manager Interferes) or Overshot Your Mark to your first non-Superstar-specific Smackdown non-F:0 maneuver played each turn.
Your next Pre-match Smackdown card played gains the text "Your Pre-match Capacity is +1."
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Smackdown logo

What's more difficult to reverse than the Vickie protected maneuvers? Vickie maneuvers that are chain and/or multi!

Vickie is already elite, but DA can make it even better.

Fourth Idea: Blindside

I already pointed out Blindside Hook as a possible card DA can exploit. But the main reason I bring up Blindside is because they don't mind being discarded and hanging out in the ringside. Discard two blindside cards and then play a chain Blindside Hook, or a Multi Blindside Tornado Strike, or a Chain/Multi Blindside Slam...

I'll end it there, but be sure that DA can be built with any of the standard archetypes of Raw Deal, or can simply be a "good cards" deck. As long as they keep drawing cards, they should be decent.

In Conclusion:

For some unexplained reason, Dangerous Alliance just doesn't work all that often. They usually find themselves in the "Bottom of the barrel" discussions. It probably has something to do with the prevalence of ACE reversals really hurting them. But I believe that if build the right way, they can compete with the best of them.

Please comment anything I may have forgotten or overlooked, or if you've built Dangerous Alliance before!

I hope you enjoyed this, and hopefully learned a few things.

Check back next week when I cover Festus!


I had always hoped to build DA with either McMahonism or Where the Big Boys Play.
Mr. Rivets



Check back next week when I cover Festus!

Are you going to cover him in biscuits and gravy? I ask because contrary to popular opinion, they made me a man.
Mr. Rivets


The weakness of DA, I've always found, is top-decking: Your opponent gets the right reversal at the right time because you forced them to draw it. It's the sort of problem that statistically shouldn't worry you, but always seems to happen. So my DA decks have tried to focus more on forcing discards than on forcing draws. The idea was always that my opponent would choose to play their own draw effects (that I would generally also benefit from), because I was trying to keep their hand low. Generally, I find that giving my opponent more cards to play is... Dangerous. *rim shot*

This is a deck I've been actively working on for a while now, and if I come up with a list that I think is worthwhile, I'll be sure to share it here.

I also think a couple of cards that are worth mentioning for DA include:
QuoteFlurry of Finishers - Throwback
Mid-match Action
Cannot be packed by The Home Team or The Heat Seekers.
During your turn when you are a Stable and have not played or Activated any cards this turn, you may put this card from your Backlash into your Ring.  When the next card you play this turn is a Trademark Finisher, you may play up to 1 additional Trademark Finisher from hand, Backlash, or Ringside (as if from hand or Backlash) with it, and you may ignore the 'Can only be played...' text on 1 of those cards.  Unless both maneuvers are reversed when played, both are considered successfully played; after damage is resolved, your turn ends.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Permanent

With The Numbers Game, you get to play this bad boy, and, as pointed out, they come with some pretty solid TMF's. If you're built Chain or BASH, you have midmatch TMF options to pair with whatever you may be playing from hand. This may be assumed, but just in case someone comes here searching for "Dangerous Alliance" and finds this post in isolation, let that be a good reminder for them.


QuoteSpinning Arm Lock
Submission + Hold: Mean
You may search for this card as if it was non-Unique.
Draw up to 1 card.
When you have a Revolution card in your Ring, F: 0 Mid-match reversals to this card are +4F, and when you successfully play this card, you may search your opponent's Arsenal for 1 non-reversal card, put it in his Ringside, and he shuffles his Arsenal.
F: 10     D: 10     Unique     Multi     arm

This card is mostly chosen because of how well it pairs with I'll Make You Tap. Of course, if you end up going Chain, you're probably better off with a Fujiwara Armbar, and if you're Heat, probably either an Asphyxiator or Neck Torque. But if you don't go either of those routes, a 10/10 multi without RMS is nothing to sneeze at.