Regular readers will know that I’m not only a huge Transformers fan, but also a fan of collectible card games too; having played Magic for more years than I’d care to admit (though on and off – and more casually than serious), I was very excited when I first saw the Transformers Trading Card Game in the wild.
The impressively large, double sided character cards with stunning artwork certainly attracted my attention – and thankfully, the game itself is good, though a few missteps with the earliest Starter Set were a little offputting (for example, the full game rules being missing and only Autobot characters being included with the very first starter).
However, further sets have rectified these issues and have brought some astoundingly cool, very thematic touches to the table. Combiners – which see multiple robots combining into one huge character – and Triple Changers (characters with three modes, rather than the standard two) have been the most exciting additions to the game for me, but the Autobot Titan Metroplex – with an appropriately enormous character card – was also a brilliantly handled and welcome new character.
The only issue with Metroplex was that there was no Decepticon equivalent; no Titan for him to face off against. The fourth Wave of cards, Siege II (following on from the Base set, Rise of the Combiners and Siege), rectifies that – with the impressive Decepticon Titan, Trypticon, included. In a somewhat unusual move, there’s no dedicated deck for Trypticon – the only official way available in order to get your hands on him is to buy a Siege II booster box; Trypticon is packed in each box, along with the three smaller characters the evil Titan ‘houses’.
The three smaller characters all come with an ability that uses a keyword new to Wave 4: Revenge, which triggers when the character is knocked out. It’s an appropriately Decepticon-esque ability and gives the little guys a bit more punch than they’d otherwise have.
Trypticon himself costs 24 stars to play, which may strike you as odd in a game which allows you to play a combination of characters with a 25-star allowance, but there’s a good reason for it.
Relentless Invasion is a Trypticon-specific card that makes use of that spare star you’ll have if you’re using Trypticon as your character and it’s super powerful, allowing Full-Tilt, Wipe-Out and Brunt – Trypticon’s inhabitants – to be moved back into play from the KO area.
Not only that, but it also provides a white, orange and blue icon for combat – not too shabby. It’s another reason to build a Trypticon-specific deck if you can.
Though Trypticon is, for me, what truly piqued my interest with Siege II, another cool addition comes in the form of a non-Autobot, non-Decepticon faction of characters – Mercenaries.
They come with a great new icon and lots of different characters, including (as pictured above) the triple changer Octone. They have a new keyword too – Bounty – which they can make use of when they knock out a character (reflecting the bonus they receive for carrying out their mission, keeping their keyword thematic to their mercenary status).
Battle Masters are a further addition, acting as characters in bot mode and Upgrades in alt mode.
And I haven’t even got to the non-character specific additions to the game. I think it’s fair to say that, with all of these new mechanics and card types, Siege II isn’t a newbie-friendly place to start with the Transformers TCG – but it definitely adds a surprising number of excellent mechanics and touches to the base game to keep things fresh, exciting and unpredictable for players already on board with the TCG. I’m very impressed by what’s been brought to the table in this wave and can’t wait to see what’s next.
Disclaimer: Hasbro UK provided me with Siege II booster packs to assist me with writing this article.
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