A Hero's Guide to Sky-Scraper

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The Burning Stickman
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A Hero's Guide to Sky-Scraper

I haven't seen one of for her yet and she's one of my favorites, so I figured I'd try my hand.

Best attack: Colossal Left Hook
Best Team Support: Thorathian Monolith
Best Personal Support: Proportionist
Honorable Mention: Micro-Assembler
Primary Damage Type: Melee
Secondary Damage Type: Sonic, Psychic, Lightning, Projectile
Worst Card: Undetectable Relinking
Nemesis: Kaargra Warfang

Sky-Scraper fills a few roles on the battlefield and can attack from several angles, able to shift her size to suit a variety of circumstances, from Ongoing destruction to Environment control to tanking and straight damage. Using her means being the right size at the right time and -- occasionally -- being willing to cause a little collateral damage. When you're that big, accidents happen...

MAKE MY THORATHIAN GROW!

Portja's going to do most of her attacking while she's Huge, and she has 9 cards that get her there. First, of course, is her base power. 2 Sonic damage to all targets is pretty darn good, especially when boosted with Proporitionalist, but be wary of the second set of damage -- if you've got Legacy or Ra on the team, or any other buffs on her, she can do serious damage to her own allies.

Tectonic Chokeslam is her biggest single attack, dealing 4 Melee damage, then 1 Projectile damage to all targets -- for the most part, your allies should be well able to withstand that, but you might want to ask first before using it while Unity's on the board. Also be careful if there are villain or environment targets you don't want to whack. Colossal Left Hook, while doing only 3 damage and no AOE, ranks her best attack because of its ability to chain extra card plays. You have to discard a card first, but Sky-Scraper has so much draw (covered later) that by the time you're ready to let loose, you should have plenty to ditch.

The other three Huge cards are Thorathian Monolith, which turns her into a great tank. If you have a team to keep safe, there are few cards better at it, and it's especially good when you've got Proportionist out, as it undoes the Sonic damage your team would normally take. Just be wary using it on high-target teams (like with Unity or Captain Cosmic), because if a big enough AOE attack comes out (Exploding Vats, Explosives Wagons or Curst Acolytes come to mind), she'll be hurting.

Missing links?

Tiny size is all about the links, with her base power and four copies of Linking Incursion each letting her put out two in one go. Base power can also pull two out of the trash, and if a target a Link is next to is destroyed, it doesn't leave play, leaving them ripe for Undetectable Relinking or an Explosive Reveal. But you might not want to blow them all up right away, as they are great on their own.

Aggression Modulator is a unique form of environment control -- pop it on a target that hits everyone and watch it lay waste to villains and leave you unharmed. You can even attach two to the same target and double the boost/reduction.

Compulsion Canister is both irreducible damage, and lets you take advantage of some unique circumstances -- put it on one of the Ennead and their Nemesis bonus boosts their damage. Slap it on Iron Legacy and suddenly his insane boosts to damage work in your favor. Don't forget it also works on allies, so if you're willing to take the hit, putting it on the villain's nemesis can eke out an extra point; on Dr. Medico with Hypocratic Oath out, it becomes a nice heal; and if Fixer has the Jackhandle out, it's a devastating double attack. Its main downside is it's a one-shot effect, so you have to pull it back into your hand and re-play it, but there's plenty of ways to do that.

Cortex Hyperstimulator is also handy, reducing the first damage its target does each turn (great against Spite, The Operative of anyone else who's going to do frequent reaction damage) and has them shock themselves at the end of their turn (so you can pull some of the same shenanigans as with Compulsion Canister). A very solid play against any villain that you can expect to do damage.

Micro-Assembler is fantastic for any character who depends on their equipment or, like Legacy, has no dedicated search cards. Don't forget Sky-Scraper can also use it, if there's a Link she needs right now.

Neutralizing Resonator is great against some villains, useless against others, and detrimental against still others (like the Ennead). Its immediate effect -- discarding the top of the villain deck -- can get rid of a troublesome card if you've had someone scry the deck, but be wary of using it against Citizen Dawn and never use it against the Ennead. Unfortunately, you have to wait until your next turn to destroy an Ongoing, so this is a good one to put into play early, especially since you can keep bringing it back out of the trash afterward, letting other heroes save their ongoing destruction for emergencies.

Finally, there's Rebounding Debilitator. It nullifies the first damage of more than 3 HP its target does, which can save you from some big attacks. When it's destroyed, you have the option of putting it on top of your deck instead and use it that much more quickly. Against a flipped Iron Legacy, this can seriously neutralize their damage output -- just make sure it's not on them before you hit with Compulsion Canister.

There's one more aspect to the links that makes them extremely handy. With Linking Incursion and Tiny's base power each able to put out two Links at a time, the base power's ability to get two out of the trash to be reused and the fact that most of them aren't destroyed after use, they are extremely good destruction fodder. Let Akash'Bhuta wipe out five links and leave the Tools, Instruments and other Equipment you've been building up alone, then drag them back out of the trash a turn later.

Undetectable Relinking is not a bad card, but it's listed as worst because it's situational and one of the cards I play the least often. Many of your links you'll want to keep out so they can do their jobs, but if you have to do a mass reshuffling, it's good for that. It is good for recycling the Canisters and, if you've still got any Linking Incursions in hand, you can pump out double the links you take out.

Her final Tiny card is more direct damage and a neat little homage -- Catch a Ride offers more irreducible damage and lets another character get in on the fun. Pick whoever has the most boosts (Wraith, Chrono Ranger, Ra and Legacy are favorites) and/or is the villain's nemesis and let fly. Very effective if you can string it with some Undetectable Relinking.

Taking a Breather

Normal size is probably the one you'll be in the least, and it only has one damage card, but it can be useful to make quick stops there to replenish yourself, and it's where you'll find your healing. Her base power is fantastic for drawing, either at the start of the game to get a leg up, or to replenish yourself later on after Left Hooking away some troublesome targets.

Rest and Recover is also a good late-game play. 1 HP of healing is a little lackluster, but better than nothing, and both drawing a card and picking one out of your trash is fantastic -- perfect if you need another Thorathian Monolith or Ongoing destruction took out Proportionist.

Emergency Evac is, as the name implies, for emergencies. Destroying all Environment cards is the best Environment destruction in the game and taking out two Ongoing cards is always handy, both of which can save you from a world of hurt, but it comes at the cost of destroying all your Links. It also heals all hero targets, so if you don't mind losing links, it's a solid play.

Explosive Reveal is good for dealing with a lot of low HP targets, but not much else. It's best used when you have a couple links out that aren't serving any purpose and a couple troublesome targets need to be whacked. Or just to get back into Normal form and draw.

The Proportionalist

As her best and only buff, Proportionalist gets its own little section. It doesn't buff all her damage -- just Sonic, making her Huge base power a trickier proposition. It has two other effects that you'll get even more use out of -- whenever she gets bigger, she'll do 1 projectile damage to all non-hero targets, and shrinking draws her a card, making it even more to your advantage to swap sizes as often as possible, and making Colossal Left Hook an even more attractive play. Just be careful if there are any non-hero targets you don't want to die (i.e., never use Proportionalist against The Dreamer).

Drawbacks

Her main drawback is that so much of her AOE attacks hit her allies, meaning any universal buffs start to become a detriment. Captain Cosmic and Unity don't like her very much. She also lacks consistent armor, but she has the second highest HP of any base character card before OblivAeon and a little healing, so she should still last a little while. And while destroying all Environment targets is fantastically good most of the time, there are situations where you might want to keep one or two out, and losing all your links at once can be a setback.

Team-Ups

Probably the best team-up for Sky-Scraper is Visionary, thanks soley to Twist the Ether. That plus Proportionalist gives her an effective +2 to all her outgoing damage and can nullify all of her friendly fire AOE -- so a play of Tectonic Chokeslam becomes 3 sonic AOE to non-hero targets, 6 to a single target, then another 3 to all non-hero targets, followed by her base power of 4 to all non-hero targets. It also turns Explosive Reveal from a good 4 damage to a fantastic 8.

Aside from that, she's good on any team that needs equipment cards or tanking. While the team might not appreciate the effect Legacy's buffs have on her, Legacy loves being able to fish his ring out of the deck.

Ra is also a good partner, able to buff all her outgoing damage and nullifying her self-damage. And as long as he's got a Jackhandle out, Mr. Fixer loves Compulsion Canisters, especially if he's got any of his other buffs out.

Finally, while her Bots are particularly vulnerable to Portja's friendly fire, Unity still makes a good teammate, as she can destroy excess Links to put her bots out and Portja can return the favor by helping her fish for those Construction Pylons. And if Unity gets Stealth Bot out, then even the friendly fire is a non-issue, while Cryo Bot can make use of that friendly fire to hit the villains yet again.

EXTREEEEEEEEEME

Extremist switches her roles around a little and makes Proportionist both a lot more useful and a lot more dangerous. Tiny and Huge both have options to switch back to Normal, meaning some extra damage or a card draw when Proportionist is out, but the buff to Sonic applies to Huge's AOE attack, making it a whopping 3 damage to your own team. Ouch. Tiny mode's irreducible damage can get insane once she has more than a few links out, making her perfect for villains like Voss, who likes to hide behind his minions. Huge's Environment destruction is more consistent than Emergency Evac, and if it's a target, the image of Portja throwing dinosaurs and Endlings at a villain is just too hilarious to pass up. Normal mode here works like a much weaker version of Base Tiny's, letting you play or retrieve a link, but not both, with the added wrinkle of playing the bottom card of her deck. Great if it swaps her size and gets more things done, not so great if it's Emergency Evac and takes out all your links.

I hope this helps, feel free to make suggestions and suchlike.

Edited by: The Burning Stickman on Jan 18 2017 - 9:15am
Pydro
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Undetectable Relinking can deal some nice damage if both Cannisters are out. Also, it allows you to play Tiny cards too, and since you will stay in Tiny forms, you can still play those Links you didn't play because you played Tiny card during the power phase. Uaing it too play multiple Linking Incursions and/or Catch a Rides can be nice. Not to mwntion if you have a punch of lins out you can play multiple Undetectable Relinkings and play the same Cannisters multiple times in a turn.


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-Robert E. Howard, "The Tower of the Elephant"

Pydro
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Also, aince Tiny can play two Links a turn and return two Links a turn from the trash, Sky-Scraper is great for equipment heavy and slow build heroes against villains with non-destroy all equipment destruction. She can put out a lot of Links to make sure the other heroes don't have to sacrifice much, and she can bring them back very easily.

Also, while Sky-Scraper's Ongoing destruction card has a delay, she can keep bringing it back again and again. This means she can singly handily control the villains Ongoing all bu herself. Very handy, and it can save cards that destroy either Ongoing or Environment cards to only focus on the environment.


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-Robert E. Howard, "The Tower of the Elephant"

Dandolo
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Nice work mwc146, excellent write-up.

There was another Sky-Scraper guide a while back: https://greaterthangames.com/forum/topic/skyscraper-guide-8536

Figured I throw a link here for reference.

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One other note:
I consider Unity and Sky-scraper an excellent team up. Unity can blow up links to play Golems. If she can get Stealthbot out, Sky-scraper doesn't need to worry about hitting heroes (unless she has a damage boost from an external source). Cryobot can take damage from Sky-scraper's area attacks to inflict even more damage on non-hero targets. On turns where Unity has no Golem's in hand she can make great use of Micro-assembler. Lastly, Thorathian Monolith plus Hasty Augmentation makes for a very nice attack.

The Burning Stickman
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Pydro wrote:

Undetectable Relinking can deal some nice damage if both Cannisters are out. Also, it allows you to play Tiny cards too, and since you will stay in Tiny forms, you can still play those Links you didn't play because you played Tiny card during the power phase. Uaing it too play multiple Linking Incursions and/or Catch a Rides can be nice. Not to mwntion if you have a punch of lins out you can play multiple Undetectable Relinkings and play the same Cannisters multiple times in a turn.

Fair point, and I've added such to the guide. I still ranked it worst mainly because there seems to be a sweet-spot for it that I never seem to draw it in. It's useless in an opening draw, since there's no links out, and if you get it late in the game, you've probably already used the Linking Incursions so its usefulness is limited. The butter zone seems to be when you have a couple links out, few in hand, and Tiny cards you want to play right now.

Pydro wrote:

Also, aince Tiny can play two Links a turn and return two Links a turn from the trash, Sky-Scraper is great for equipment heavy and slow build heroes against villains with non-destroy all equipment destruction. She can put out a lot of Links to make sure the other heroes don't have to sacrifice much, and she can bring them back very easily.

Also, while Sky-Scraper's Ongoing destruction card has a delay, she can keep bringing it back again and again. This means she can singly handily control the villains Ongoing all bu herself. Very handy, and it can save cards that destroy either Ongoing or Environment cards to only focus on the environment.

Yeah, I mention the destruction fodder aspect in there; and I added what you say about the Resonator, I hadn't considered that.

Dandolo wrote:

Nice work mwc146, excellent write-up.There was another Sky-Scraper guide a while back: https://greaterthangames.com/forum/topic/skyscraper-guide-8536Figured I throw a link here for reference.

Huh. I tried searching and didn't see it in Flamethrower's thread, so I didn't find this. Thanks.

Dandolo wrote:

One other note:
I consider Unity and Sky-scraper an excellent team up. Unity can blow up links to play Golems. If she can get Stealthbot out, Sky-scraper doesn't need to worry about hitting heroes (unless she has a damage boost from an external source). Cryobot can take damage from Sky-scraper's area attacks to inflict even more damage on non-hero targets. On turns where Unity has no Golem's in hand she can make great use of Micro-assembler. Lastly, Thorathian Monolith plus Hasty Augmentation makes for a very nice attack.

Huh. Somehow I totally forgot about Stealth Bot. Okay, added this to the team-ups section.
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If you have at least one Compulsion Cannister in play and a few more links you can use undetectible relinking to replay Compulsion Cannister once for each Undetectible Relinking and extra link.


"Deja-fu? You've heard of that?"
- Lu Tze, Sweeper, Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett