A Hero's Guide to Absolute Zero

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flamethrower49
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A Hero's Guide to Absolute Zero

Character Profile

  • Best Attack: Thermal Shockwave
  • Best Team Support: Subzero Atmosphere
  • Best Personal Support: Focused Apertures
  • Required: Null-Point Calibration Unit and Isothermic Transducer
  • Primary Damage Type: Cold
  • Secondary Damage Type: Fire
  • Worst Card: Glacial Structure

Absolute Zero is the trickiest hero in the base set, possibly the game.  He draws a lot of flak for being a slow-build hero who uses a bunch of math.  Once he gets set up, however, his unconventional methods can deal a terrifying amount of damage at the cost of his hit points.  His incidental healing makes him an excellent tank, especially if the villain or environment deal in fire or cold damage, and he rounds out his deck with a few unique utility cards.

Attack

Here’s what you came here for: How Absolute Zero is supposed to work. 

First, you need Isothermic Transducer (IT) and Null-Point Calibration Unit (NPCU).  At this point, your one-shots and base power are all online.  Now, cold damage that would be dealt to you results in pure healing, due to the NPCU.  When fire damage is dealt to you, you have a choice.  The IT allows you to choose any target for the resulting cold damage.  You can hit somebody for the same amount of damage that you take.  Alternatively, you can choose Absolute Zero as your target, effectively neutralizing the fire damage by dealing him the same amount of cold damage.

Now, dealing damage to Zero for a 1-1 damage ratio is not very efficient at all.  Add Focused Apertures (FA).  This allows Zero to start getting ahead on these transactions.  When he deals himself cold damage, he gains an extra hit point.  When he is dealt fire, he can either deal that damage +1 to something else, or simply gain a hit point.  Frost-Bound Drain and Hoarfire, his one-shots, are both very flexible once Zero is set up like this.  FA is also just a good boost in general, a handy increase for most of his damage.  IT, NPCU, and FA comprise Zero’s basic setup, but FA can be easily replaced by anything that increases hero damage.

Attack Method 1: Thermal Shockwave

Once you are set up as above, use Thermal Shockwave.  This deals three targets two cold damage each (remember FA) – one of these targets could even be Zero, who would heal.  Then, Zero deals himself fire damage equal to the cold damage he dealt this turn.  In this example, we’ll say six.  This makes seven damage (remember FA) that he can either throw at something using the IT, or send back at himself to heal for another one.  This is the typical method Zero uses for his big attacks, but not the only one.

Both Impale and Cold Snap are strong, all-purpose automatic attacks.  They also increase the damage you can deal with Thermal Shockwave, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.  If Zero deals enough fire damage to off himself with Thermal Shockwave, he’s gone.  He doesn’t get more effects, so be very careful with that.

Attack Method 2: Coolant Blast

Set up as above, and add Coolant Blast to the mix.  Then, you play Hoarfire or Frost-Bound Drain.  Both can deal three fire damage to Zero.  After you resolve that, you can use Coolant Blast for four damage to a non-hero target (remember FA!), and that isn’t a bad turn.              

Coolant Blast gets really good when Zero is dealt fire damage from another source.  An environment like Insula Primalis or Mars can deal a lot of fire damage to you, as can a good number of the villains.  Another option is for a hero to target you with fire.  You can neutralize the damage and gain some health if you have your basic setup, while blasting all of the fire damage out of Coolant Blast on your turn.  Or, you can go on the offensive.

If you can increase and double (deal it once with IT, then again with Coolant Blast) all of the damage being dealt to you, the villains will surely feel the burn.  The drawback to this method of attack is that Zero also feels the burn.  He can quickly find himself short of hit points.  Which leads to…

Recovery

This is generally what Zero’s base power Thermodynamics grants him: a way to recover the hit points he spends to deal damage.  If he has a damage buff out, he can also heal himself for a point every time he is dealt fire damage – in this way, Thermal Shockwave can help him recover hit points twice, while also dealing some damage.  Hoarfire can also be used more to recover health than deal damage, if desired, by aiming the cold Zero’s direction.

This is one of two uses of Cryo Chamber.  Increasing cold damage done to Zero is very nice as long as he has his NPCU handy.  Decreasing fire damage done to Zero means he outputs less damage.  That tradeoff may be worthwhile, at least until he has enough hit points to burn.  Once you deem him healthy again, you can let the Cryo Chamber go in a solid explosion that’s more controlled than Thermal Shockwave and more reliable than Coolant Blast.

Utility

Onboard Module Installation is always good to see.  It gets Zero the cards he needs to work, and lets him get another play and draw as well.  If you already have both modules, it gives you a backup.  Getting ahead in cards for free is always nice.

Modular Realignment is of course useful when the dastardly villain is destroying your stuff.  It's worth more than that, though.  If you have an occasion to discard a card while this is around, make it an equipment you don’t already have out.  Then you can get it back and deal some damage, and that’s a great deal.  If you don’t have your ongoing powers, and sometimes even if you do, Modular Realignment/Cryo Chamber makes a good one-two punch.

Absolute Zero has some control options available to him.  The purpose of Subzero Atmosphere is to slow down the villain’s cards.  If a villain’s minions trigger at the start of the villain turn instead of the end, you have a round to eliminate them before they get their effects.  This can sometimes turn to the villain’s advantage, especially if the villain  plays an additional card at the end of the villain turn, like side A Omnitron or side B Advanced Voss.  Also, if you lose Subzero Atmosphere during the villain turn, you may have to suffer through end-of-turn effects twice that round.  Despite these hazards, it usually does a fantastic job of freezing minions out.

Fueled Freeze destroys the most targeted ongoings of any hero card, and eeks every advantage out of them that it can.  As such, it’s great against Citizen Dawn and Plague Rat, where you’ll have the targets.  Don’t forget it can also take out inconvenient or extra hero ongoings when necessary.  Sacrificing some to increase the global damage effect is right up Zero’s alley.

Glacial Structure

Okay, it’s probably not the worst card in Zero’s deck, but it is the most annoying, and I’ll tell you why.  You must spend a whole turn on this card, since you have to play it and then use the power.  You get four cards that turn (3, plus normal card draw).  This is twice as effective as skipping your play and power to draw two, so that’s some consolation.

The annoying part is that Zero builds up very slowly anyway.  Taking turns off to get the cards he needs is usually necessary, since not every hand is perfect.  It slows your buildup further, and makes you a drain on the team.  I suppose I resent Glacial Structure because it’s the only way Zero has to get really important combo pieces like Coolant Blast, Thermal Shockwave, or Focused Apertures, and it is maddeningly imprecise.  (God help you if you don’t have your modules yet.)  So yeah, I use it, but I don’t have to like it.

Absolute Zero: Elemental Wrath

The Freedom Six promotional version of Absolute Zero gives the hero the ability to use Elemental Wrath, a power that gives Zero something he had been missing.  Confidence.  Absolute Zero can now use a power without having particular cards in play, making it so that he doesn't have to set everything up before contributing.  All of the attacks and setups in this guide are still valid with Elemental Wrath Zero.  They are still what he wants to work towards.  The fact that he doesn't have to use these to make contributions makes a big difference in his playstyle.  Impale, Cold Snap, Subzero Atmosphere, and Focused Apertures make great turn one plays when you aren't forced to seek a module to be able to start using powers.

Why would you play the regular Zero ever again?  The original Absolute Zero is simply more survivable.  He has an inherent healing power with Null-Point Calibration Unit, as well as two more hit points.  He is a superior tank, and can live for a long time.

I would suggest that everybody unsure about playing this hero play a few games with Elemental Wrath Zero.  Proxy him if necessary.  Once you see what Zero can do, go back to the original and see if you can employ that confidence to be even more effective with the hero they saw a reason to give us in the first place.

Weaknesses

First, the obvious.  Absolute Zero is cripplingly dependant on having, at the very least, two equipment cards out, plus a couple more cards if he wants to make strong contributions.  Environments and villains that destroy his stuff really ruin Zero’s day, make no mistake.  This also means he takes at least 3-4 turns of setup to make optimal contributions.  Some games can be over in 4-5 turns, so he needs to hurry.

Less obvious.  Absolute Zero is also painfully dependant on damage types.  The damage type changes in Megalopolis and Pike Industrial make Zero useless.  Ra’s Imbued Fire, one of his best cards, is a terrible hazard for Zero, though perhaps handy if he’s ready to self-destruct. 

Absolute Zero is unable to take down environments, though he can be awfully fond of several of them – Mars and Insula Primalis can actually treat him really well, if he is set up. 

He relies on damaging himself to damage the enemy – if he has only a few hit points, he may not be able to mount a heavy offensive.  He’s the only hero who gets angry when heroes are immune to damage.  Finally, most of Zero’s outgoing damage is cold, which is an occasional annoyance.

How to fix these issues?  Patience and teamwork.

Teamups

Absolute Zero is the endpoint for all buffs in the game.  That’s not to say he should be the only hero enhanced; but he can surely use anything his allies can give him.  Damage buffs are king.  They affect his output doubly; once on the way into the IT, and again on the way out.

Extra card draws make sure he finds what he needs.  Extra card plays let him get set up quickly.  Extra powers let him decimate his foes with Thermal Shockwave followed by Coolant Blast.  Healing gives him more flexibility in damaging himself.  Cold damage still heals him, fire damage from another hero amplifies the damage he can deal with IT and Coolant Blast.

Heroes that have control over the villain or environment deck, like Nightmist, Visionary, or Wraith, can help protect Zero’s setup by dodging the cards that would destroy his stuff.

Visionary is great to give him extra cards, and Twist the Ether allows Absolute Zero to rule the board.  Argent Adept, aside from giving Zero ALL THE BUFFS, has the very interesting Scherzo of Frost and Flame to do targeted fire and cold.  Lots of people love the interaction between Ra and AZ.  Increasing and doubling Ra’s already formidable damage is a powerful prospect, but just watch out for AZ’s hit points.


Edited by: flamethrower49 on Nov 23 2012 - 1:04pm
flamethrower49
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Boy did this take a long time to write.  I hope it's useful to all the people seeking help with this hero.  I don't want to add too much, since it's probably going to be the longest of my guides by far, but I'm definitely interested in whatever I can do to improve it.

UXM266
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Thanks! This looks EXTREMELY helpful! I waited a long time for this!!!!

 

THUMBS UP!


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arenson9
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I've not always had the time to read through these guides. This one is fantastic. Are they all this good?!


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flamethrower49
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Thanks for the compliment!  Think you could read them and let me know?  smiley  I know they are long; I try to keep an eye on that, but I don't plan to cut any useful information.  Any input you have, with your longtime expertise, is appreciated.

I try to put a lot of effort into each of them.  I put even more into this one, I think, because a new buyer's first strategy question is always about Absolute Zero.

 

Kuroi Kaze
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thanks so much for this.  my very first game was with A0 and i found myself looking pretty useless compared to legacy, ra, and wraith.


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Rabit
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Ooo... AZ as your first hero. surprise Yeah, that would suck. Glad you didn't abandon the game after a tramatic experience like that! wink


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mocachild
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yeah, I had the same experience my first time playing the game.  the guy who was running the game at a local game convention just put the heroes out on the table and let us pick.  AZ looked really sweet so i chose him.  no one said anything about my choice.  we were not warned about the different difficulty levels of the heroes etc.  for a while i hated the game as i felt confused and useless.  once the game was over, i pondered the other hereos and then pondered AZ.  suddenly, it clicked and i saw how the game was meant to be played.  i fell in love with it after the fact, even though i had a bad first impression.  i went out and bought the game and the first expansion then a few days later joined the kickstarter for Infernal Relics. 

 

apparently, the guy running the game had only played it once or twice himself so that was the problem right there.  so glad i was able to see what the game was about on my own.  i can't stop playing it now!

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This guide is great, thank you for putting it together. Only one guy in my group has been brave enough to use AZ so far but after reading this I think I'll give him a shot. 

lynkfox
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So Im curious. In the recent podcast that Chris was in, he made an offhand comment about 'alternate ways to play AZ' besides the typical modular setup that you talk about here.

 

Now I've never played AZ, only watched him (ill undoubtedly pick him up this tuesday now to try some things out) but can you see an alternate way to play him that is not like this, without using say the new Promo AZ?


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I think what he is referring to is whether you play him more as a conservative tank (healing a lot), or if you play him fast and loose, spending hp for damage on a regular basis and possibly burning out as a result.


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koutrou
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He can also be used without the modules, playing his other ongoings that do 2 dmg to one thing at the beginning of the his turn, or 1 to everything.  He can be used without the modules, he just doesn't combo as well without them. 

flamethrower49
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If you make a point of playing Cold Snap, both Impales, and Focused Apertures, then that's some pretty hefty damage going on at the start of each turn, and that's pretty neat.  If you want to mount an attack without using the modules, then that's pretty much it.  Everything else you have does damage to you as well, or is just unreliable.  Now that we have Elemental Wrath Zero, you aren't flat out required to have the modules before you can start using powers (outside of Glacial Structure, anyway), and I like that.

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I've started using a house rule for Absolute Zero's base power. It's in my signature. It lets you take a fire damage and return a card from your hand to your deck for a module. Basically you pretend you drew a module instead of that card. Compared to the normal one he's still weak in the same situations (Equipment destruction, damage type changes, damage reduction, takes time to setup) and still strong in the same situations (Taking fire or cold damage, damage increases). You'll note that my version can't do cold to himself. So my version won't heal as well, but you will always be able to contribute to the team. 

lynkfox
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j1hopki1 wrote:

I've started using a house rule for Absolute Zero's base power. It's in my signature. It lets you take a fire damage and return a card from your hand to your deck for a module. Basically you pretend you drew a module instead of that card. Compared to the normal one he's still weak in the same situations (Equipment destruction, damage type changes, damage reduction, takes time to setup) and still strong in the same situations (Taking fire or cold damage, damage increases). You'll note that my version can't do cold to himself. So my version won't heal as well, but you will always be able to contribute to the team. 

 

Thats a pretty cool power, j1

 

Only problem i find with it is it is a gaurantee. For very very little damage, you can garuantee that AZ gets his mojo going, and a lot earlier than usual, making him a -lot- more powerful. Part of the reason you play with a deck is randomness - certain powers should help alievate that, but never fully remove it. Still, if it works for you have at it! (if you find games with AZ and that power becoming to easy, id consider upping that to like 4 fire damage and a discard, to search for a module. Thats a lot more sacrificy, and makes it a choice if its worth it or not.

 


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Lynkfox,

Thanks for the input. I wanted to avoid discarding because it makes Modular Realignment too powerful. I understand the importance of randomness. I just hate how useless I feel without both modules. There is a 16% chance you don't start with a module in hand. (I count getting Onboard Module Installation or Glacial Structure as getting a module.) There is a 6% chance you don't get a module in your first 6 cards and a 24% chance you only get one in the first 6 cards. That means 30% of games you spend the first 3 turns without both. Even when he does get his mojo it's 4 cards in play. There are other heroes with 4 card combos that can easily keep pace with AZ's damage output. I don't think he gets more powerful, just more consistent.

That all being said, I did take your suggestion to heart. I modified my house rule with another option. Tell me what you think. I was shooting for the smallest tweak possible with my house rule. Less healing for more consistency. It sounds like you think I missed. My other idea was leave his innate power alone and reword Modular Realignment to search not the trash but the deck like Impromptu Invention, Meditation, and Quick Draw. That makes the numbers way better.

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I would be curious to discuss AbZero's new Freedom Six incarnation, which gives him the power to deal any target 2 cold damage. Now in theory he plays more like Ra, but with more setup. It certainly gives him something to do while he gets his engine together. Anybody else's thoughts?


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I'm excited to try out his new power.  A lot of fans (myself included) have really been hoping for an opportunity for Zero to be able to do something with his power if the board ever gets wiped.


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I have tried out his power a few times.  My findings are now included under a heading entitled Absolute Zero: Elemental Wrath.  

Next up, to add a section to all the heroes about their new promo.

akarasoredelar
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I remember playing as Absolute Zero as my first hero against Akash'Buta. Yeah.... We ended up losing. He's still my favorite hero though. :3

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Thanks to your guide flame, I've been getting more confident playing AZ and making him work. But I got to say, Glacial Structure is a godsend early game if you don't have any moduels in your starting hand. Yes it just slows AZ down for another turn, but GS=4 more chances to draw your moduels in one turn compared to playing things you don't want/can't use yet  for four turns, or doing absolutely nothing for two. True, EW-AZ doesn't feel as 'naked' starting out, but who can really argue with more cards in hand and more options to play with?

Octavian
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Zalrus9 wrote:

I would be curious to discuss AbZero's new Freedom Six incarnation, which gives him the power to deal any target 2 cold damage. Now in theory he plays more like Ra, but with more setup. It certainly gives him something to do while he gets his engine together. Anybody else's thoughts?

 

It's important to note that it isn't ANY target - it is specifically NON-HERO targets, which means he cannot target himself with it.  This significantly reduces the options Elemental Wrath AZ has for healing. 

Zalrus9
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Octavian wrote:

 

Zalrus9 wrote:
I would be curious to discuss AbZero's new Freedom Six incarnation, which gives him the power to deal any target 2 cold damage. Now in theory he plays more like Ra, but with more setup. It certainly gives him something to do while he gets his engine together. Anybody else's thoughts?

 

 It's important to note that it isn't ANY target - it is specifically NON-HERO targets, which means he cannot target himself with it.  This significantly reduces the options Elemental Wrath AZ has for healing. 

Yeah, I posted that soon after they announced the change. I think the change is good, though, as if it was any target, that would be too powerful


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Phantom5613
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I just want to say, thanks to your guide, I am no longer afraid to play Absolute Zero. In fact I've been playing him more and more recently, and I've pulled off some nice damage and tanking. Using EWAZ the first time after reading this was an awesome tip, though I only really used it once before I had the basic idea and feel for the deck.

Anyway, thanks for making a previously un-fun hero into a blast for me. laugh

Now I just need to work on my skills with Argent Adept...

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Zero's actually my favourite hero to play. It took a long time to figure him out, but his somewhat unusual playstyle suits me well. I also have a lot of fun telling Ra players to shoot me every so often :D


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I stormed away from my first game as Absolute Zero jokingly Naming him, "Absolute Trash" LOL.

Now Grasping how he flows and functions and becoming enlightened to the potential damage that COULD be his... he lingers as something I HuNgeR to witness WoRk.

Thanks for the write up, definitely dumps a waterfall of much needed light on this guy.

 

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Try running AZ in a scenario with a long-playing villain (I like Akash-Bhuta, from Infernal Relics) in a relatively harmless environment (Megalopolis works well).  It'll give you the time to get out a lot of AZ's cards with minimal equipment and ongoing destruction, as well as the time to start winding up some of his combos.

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=p....  Yeah...   That's generally what Zero needs in order to be effective.    Grand Warlord Voss is also a Zero-Friendly villian if you only have the base game.  


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byc
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I love playing him as well, but he does tend to require a lot of work.

Needs setup
Really wants damage boosting
Has a lot to keep track of

Excluding equipment destruction, Games where he doesn't take off for me are usually when AZ is hit hard early on, and then AZ has to heal over doing damage.  Usually when that happens, the entire team is in big trouble regardless though.  I've rarely had truly terrible starts with him card-wise.

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Also when FT49 says Visionary lets AZ rule the board it's true.

Get his cards out of his deck faster, TtE is insane on Zero or on the villain when they hit him and his really good ongoing cards can be brought back with Mental Divergence, which is big since Zero can save his own equips.

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I'm curious, the folks that say AZ has a really long setup time, are you trying to get both modules out? Or refering to the massive damage/healing that he can perform mid to late game?

byc
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Ronway wrote:

I'm curious, the folks that say AZ has a really long setup time, are you trying to get both modules out? Or refering to the massive damage/healing that he can perform mid to late game?

His setup isn't just the modules.  Getting the modules means AZ can do heal or do damage, but do neither one very well.  AZ really needs Thermal Shockwave to have big turns.  I'm greedy and would say without damage boosting (either by himself, allies, or environment), his turns with Thermal Shockwave aren't game breaking.  With a perfect setup (both modules, Thermal Shockwave, and damage boosts), AZ completely dominates the board and trivializes villians.  It can be really hard to get to that level, but it's amazing to watch when it happens.

To get AZ up and running at a good and efficient rate, both modules and Thermal Shockwave are musts.  Without any of them, AZ breaks down or is just nigh useless.

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Which is why I was asking other peoples thoughts on it. I wanted to know if people thought getting both modules were part of long setup or if it was his entire chain. Your answers tells me that you feel AZ needs both modules out to get his chain going. Something I have always disagreed with.

I'm curious, how many people use AZ with just one module in play? Another one, how long in a game has someone played AZ without any module?

 

If anyone is interested, I typically play AZ with Isothermic being the only Modular in play. I like to pair it with Thermal Shockwave and Cold Snap/Impale. This is pretty much my main setup, of course I enjoy a good Focused Apertures in there, but it isn't my main goal unless DR is on the field. I don't worry about Null-Point unless I am below 10 HP.

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In a recent PBF game at BoardGameGeek, AZ did masses of damage while hardly using either module:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1022827/sentinels-pbf-11-vs-the-advanced-ennead-completed/page/1

Cold Snap + Focused Apertures + Coolant Blast + env fire damage + Legacy boosts = win.

(Playing the Ennead in the Tomb of Anubis, so multi-target damage was really useful.)

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I normally find Thermal Shockwave difficult to use without both modules. Without Isothermic Transducer it's simply a waste of time, but without Null Point Calibration Unit, you're killing yourself awfully quickly. And it has powerful anti-synergy with Cold Snap, if there are a lot of Targets on the table. It is very strong when it gets going, though.

I usedn't to rate Coolant Blast at all, but I've come to appreciate it more as time goes by.

phantaskippy
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I normally end up with both, simply because you get them in your hand so much, usually at some point I don't have anything better.

They are great for eating equipment destruction simply because they are so easy to replace.  4 of each, with 4 cards that pull them from the deck and 4 that can pull them from the trash (with some damage to boot).

Several of his one shots are really weakened by not having both on the field.

I would definitely avoid delaying better damage options to get both on the field, but there likely will come a time when it is the best play you have.

There are also the games where AZ ends up the best tank vs. a heavy highest hp hitter, in which case your build might end up being prioritized to healing and one module isn't going to cut it.  It isn't ideal, but AZ can do it.

byc
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I certainly put Isothermic into play first so I can start doing damage.  But I find AZ without both modules and Thermal Shockwave very weak.  Either my team is overrun because we can't deal with threats, or I can't get AZ going in an efficient matter.

I'll pay attention to my draws and matches better in the future, because it seems like when I play AZ without the the full combo, he's terrible.  1 damage to me to deal 1 damage to a villain target is just not good.

Theta_Sigma
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I will play with just one if that's all I get, or even none. Though his base power revolves around the modules, it's not impossible to play entirely without them, and I find the versatility one of his stronger points.

 

I tend to see people get frustrated with him when they had a plan from the beginning of how they were to play, but I find he shines when you adapt quickly to whatever the cards give you.


I don't know what makes me different and I don't care. Maybe it's not my problem, but why do they stare? - The Living End, Strange

Vox
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First, I have to thank you for the write-up, since I had totally misread "Isothermic Transducer," thinking it could only target non-heroes.  He was my favorite character from the beginning, but I thought he just depleted his HP quickly, and wrote it off as a "depleted power core" type deal a la Iron Man (the harder he pushes himself, the quicker he depletes his power).  So that changes things.

Next, I have now played 2 games as Freedom Six Absolute Zero and I have to say that I do not think I will be going back to the original any time soon.  My philosophy is usually "the best defense is a good offense" or in other words, "kill it before it kills you."  2 times in the first game and 3 times in the second, either the villain or the environment laid waste to all the equipment cards on the field.  I have to say, it was really nice to be able to take my turn to play NPCU or IT (which, by themselves, do not contribute much to the defeat of enemies) and also lay down some damage to the enemy without having to hurt myself in the process. 

That said, I actually like the original AZ better because he is so unique (dealing himself damage for beneficial purposes).  However, I think his deck could have used a card that allows you to play 2 modules in one turn, at the cost of something else (skipping the rest of your turn, etc.).  Maybe that is just me.

In the end, I'm enjoying my favorite Sentinel even more now, and looking forward to further playtesting.

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Vox wrote:

However, I think his deck could have used a card that allows you to play 2 modules in one turn, at the cost of something else (skipping the rest of your turn, etc.).

Hmm. You're essentially having to wait til next turn to take advantage of your two new modules that way, at the cost of one power and one card draw but gaining a "spare" card play on the second turn. You could get two modules out in two turns anyway, so I'm not sure you're any better off.

Play 2 modules, skip rest of turn (in 2 turns):

  • Play 3 (2 of which are modules)
  • Use 1 power
  • Draw 1

Normal (in 2 turns)

  • Play 2
  • Use 2 powers (one of which will be with only one module in play)
  • Draw 2

Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

Vox
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Silverleaf wrote:
Hmm. You're essentially having to wait til next turn to take advantage of your two new modules that way, at the cost of one power and one card draw but gaining a "spare" card play on the second turn. You could get two modules out in two turns anyway, so I'm not sure you're any better off.Play 2 modules, skip rest of turn (in 2 turns):Play 3 (2 of which are modules)Use 1 powerDraw 1Normal (in 2 turns)Play 2Use 2 powers (one of which will be with only one module in play)Draw 2

The "skip the rest of your turn" was just one possibility of a payoff, but for now we can run with it.  The idea was that you take one turn to play the two most crucial cards (arguably) in AZ's deck, but you don't get to do anything else that turn.  That frees up your next turn to play outwardly-beneficial cards like Hoarfire, Frost-Bound Drain, Thermal Shockwave, etc., most of which have an effect that deals AZ cold and/or fire damage.  However, said damage is now also beneficial because you were able to put both modules in play at once. 

The idea is a short term loss (no powers, no drawing on the turn you would play both modules) in exchange for a long term gain.  We all know how survivable and hard-hitting AZ is with both modules out, and he is obviously designed to have both on the field most of the time.  (Why else would they include 4 copies of each in his deck, with a bunch of other cards that deal him fire and/or cold damage?)  Under that mentality, most of us probably want to get both modules out before doing much else since many of the other cards in the deck end up giving us a net-loss without the modules.  But AZ has to spend 2 rounds before he can really start being beneficial.  (This is where I think EWAZ has the advantage.)

Some may argue that such a card/effect would make AZ overpowered, and that may well be true.  Again, going back to his design, AZ can perform some pretty stellar turns, but the payoff for that is that he takes a couple of turns to get set up.  At the beginning of the game, that makes sense to me, but it is when something like Citizen Dawn's "Devastating Aurora" is dropped mid-game (or worse, late game when hero HP is likely in the single digits) that AZ being incapacitated for 2 full rounds can really harm the team's chances.

I don't think it will ever happen, that is just my one idea on how to improve his reputation.

 

Envisioner
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flamethrower49 wrote:
Once you are set up as above, use Thermal Shockwave.  This deals three targets two cold damage each (remember FA) – one of these targets could even be Zero, who would heal.  Then, Zero deals himself fire damage equal to the cold damage he dealt this turn.  In this example, we’ll say six.

I hope you're aware that NPCU says "If Absolute Zero would be dealt cold damage, he regains that much HP instead".  Thusly, if he hits himself for 2 cold damage, he didn't actually deal that cold damage, and thus doesn't deal himself fire damage for it.  You might want to reword the example to make this distinction clearer for newbs.

Also you list Glacial Structure as the worst card, but I've found it to be extremely useful.  At the beginning of the game, before you get your modules online, using your whole turn to draw four cards (having effectively discarded one) instead of two is pretty good; it can also come in very handy if the game stalls due to equipment destruction, a "you cannot deal damage" effect, or the like.  I'd have said his worst cards include Sub-Zero Atmosphere (occasionally a lifesaver but often useless), Cryo-Chamber (in and of itself, does nothing), and Onboard Module Installation (with four copies of each Module in your hand, it's extremely common to draw them both early and be left with Installation a dead card).  He also has a lot of cards that are situationally useless - Coolant Blast and Thermal Shockwave CAN be all-stars, but often turn out as duds instead, while Glacial Structure is always a solid option.


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
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Matchstickman
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OMI is a dead card?

I suggest you read the card again, you get a free module, a card draw and a play. It is a very rare turn that I do not play it if I have it in my hand


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phantaskippy
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Matchstickman wrote:

OMI is a dead card?I suggest you read the card again, you get a free module, a card draw and a play. It is a very rare turn that I do not play it if I have it in my hand

This, you don't need to play the module, it replaces itself with the draw and the second card play, the module pull often just thins the deck of cards you don't need.  It is an automatic play for me, and you can play it even if there is no module in your deck.

I don't have a problem with Glacial either, but it is his weakest card.  There is no situation where it is game changing, and a lot where it is unwanted.

It is a +1 on the traditional draw two turn.  It costs you one card to get 4 back, net gain of three instead of two.  Not bad but if you don't need to skip your turn it has negative value.

Envisioner
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Okay, scratch that.  I forgot that it lets you play a card, so technically it's never "bad".  That said, I find it underwhelming if I have both modules out.


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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I would say that being able to draw and then play a card is always good, because the card you drew might be something really cool which you might want to play immediately. Any card that lets me draw and play will get used ASAP - Onboard Module Installation, Summon Staff, Eye on the Prize, Reset, Impromptu invention...all those and any I forgot. Yay for extra cards and the chance to play them :D.


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Theta_Sigma
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Having a spare module in hand is never a bad thing, especially when there are villains that wreck equipments out. The extra draw and play in amazing. Even if I'm not plsying the game with both modules out, I may deliberately hoard them for when they're needed.


I don't know what makes me different and I don't care. Maybe it's not my problem, but why do they stare? - The Living End, Strange

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Envisioner wrote:
I hope you're aware that NPCU says "If Absolute Zero would be dealt cold damage, he regains that much HP instead".  Thusly, if he hits himself for 2 cold damage, he didn't actually deal that cold damage, and thus doesn't deal himself fire damage for it.
ohhhhhh never realized this! Guess I'll just ignore it for simplicity but still, it changes some situations where you wouldn't be able to use Thermal Shockwave to be able to.
The Orange Mailman
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Thanks so much for this review.  I am new to the game but am loving it.  I was going to ask the question to make sure I played correctly, "Can Absolute Zero target himself?" for IT to heal, but found the answer.  Will be looking for other strategy guides as well.

 

What about Cryo Chamber?  If Fire Damage of 1 is dealt to AZ with Cryo Chamber in play, is it Fire Damage of 0, or no damage at all?  IA, FA, and NPCU all in play would allow him to heal one if it is 0.  Apologies if the question is in the wrong place.


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Matchstickman
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That's no damage to AZ, 0 can be raised and lower but you still need to deal damage to yourself for the modules to trigger.


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mwc146
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Been tinkering around with Termi-Nation AZ, so...

TNAZ, if there was a 4 for complexity, would be a good candidate. The complications of base AZ are amplified, and to an extent he's even more dependent on his equipment. That said, the priority on card plays changes a little -- Violent Shivers makes Coldsnap and Impale even more attractive, and Fueled-Freeze becomes devastating. The rub, of course, is that you have to spend a round vulnerable. Villains and environments that hit multiple times a turn are going to kill him, so avoid, for instance, The Matriarch and avoid Plague Rat like, well, the plague.

The biggest upshot is that it drastically multiplies the amount of damage AZ can put out a turn -- a self-hit with Violent Shivers is at a +4, and the resulting cold response is at another +2, meaning any of AZ's cards where he does himself 1 fire damage becomes a 7 in cold damage. Hoarfire goes from a good attack to a devastating onslaught... provided you've got the HP to survive it, which is where his 25 base health really hurts him, as it puts a pretty hard limit on how much damage he can do before he keels over.

The real key to TN AZ is knowing when not to use his base power; that or having teammates who can get him out-of-turn uses or tank for him. Visionary is his best friend with Twist the Ether, while Legacy, Mainstay, the Scholar and Stealth Bot can all keep him from getting hammered. Try to manage his HP and, frankly, keep your fingers crossed at all times because one bad flop when you're vulnerable could be it.

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