Skyscraper Guide

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Skyscraper Guide

Summary:

1: Change forms frequently. Spending more than 2 turns in the size probably means something went wrong.

2: Play lots of cards at once. Skyscraper has several options for playing more than 1 card in a turn, and many of them can combined. These high impact turns are why she needs to change forms – without pit stops back in normal, you can't afford to use this strength

3: Control your mass damage. Hurting your friends, the Dreamer, birds, etc carelessly can make you a liability.

 

 

Skyscraper is a size changing hero who can hurt everything on the board, including other heroes, very easily. So it's kind of easy to screw up the game. With damage buffs, Chokeslam and her huge power can deal lots of friendly fire damage. Her indiscriminate damage can hurt Dreamer, force bad flips on villains who care up targets in the trash or on the table, inflict 1 million points of triggered against the Matriarch or destroy some of the helpful environment targets. And her links aren't exactly safe either, since the Neutralizing Resonator can put unexpected cards into the trash and thus cause Dawn to flip, or Baron Blade to pull the moon into the earth. Both events that are often best avoided. A super strong giant has to be careful to avoid to stepping on folks, and you have to be playing carefully with Skyscraper to make the most of her. Playing stuff just because you have it can allow the villain to win.

 

The most important thing to know Skyscraper is that she's a hero who plays out of her hand. She doesn't stack up some improved powers and a bunch of upgrades like Wraith, AZ, Bunker, etc. Like Tachyon, her “main” action will usually be driven by her card play for that round. Out of her size powers, only her huge size ability does something other than draw or play cards. Fortunately for someone who is very reliant on her play phase, our Thoraxian agent has incredible card draw in her normal form. Skyscraper also possesses an unusual ability to play multiple cards in a turn. Colossal Left Hook generates an extra play if you discard along with it (you almost always want to do this). Tiny size lets her play 2 link cards as power (and return some links back to her hand for play later). With Colossal discarding into Linking Incursion, you can play 4 cards out your hand, one discard, and 2 links out of your deck (effectively 1 damaging one shot plus 4 links). So a good overall play pattern is to set up a few rounds when she can make multiple good plays, followed by switching back to normal to recharge her hand so she can do it again.

 

Here's two important tips about links: First, they're amazing. You can trash ongoings, neuter environment threats, essentially have a reuseable irreducible damage one shot, etc. Second, they're garbage. Each link card, by itself, is kind of crap. Sometimes a specific link will be key to dealing with your board – Compulsion Canister against advanced Voss with 2 Guards out for instance. But most of the time, links are valuable as a multitude. You can start with no links, put out 4 on a turn, have them blown up somehow, and get them back while playing more.

 

Skyscraper deck list

 

Proportionalist 2

 

This is one of her 2 ongoing cards, and only persistent buff. The rewards for changing size are almost always good (although getting bigger can be dicey if there are reasons not to damage to all non-hero targets). But +1 sonic damage turns her thunderclap from 2/0 (assuming no other buffs) into 3/1, so her friends start to suffer. And more damage buffs quickly ramp up the friendly fire – while 1 damage is not so bad and can mitigated by Heavy Platings and similar cards, clapping with Obsidian Fields, Galvanize, Inspiring Presence and Proportionalist is a super hero massacre.

 

I still like Proportionalist – anyone who has played Skyscraper more than once or who reads this guide should know that they need to be careful with her huge power and its associated destructive properties. You need to be careful with this card, especially in matchups like Dawn or Matriarch, or if you'll end up shredding your allies with the buffed sonic damage.

 

Skyscraper has 9 ways to become huge.

 

Thoraxian Monolith 3

Colossal left hook 3

Tectonic Chokeslam 3

 

Monolith is her tanking card: for a turn she gets 2 DR and takes all the damage. Since lots of villain cards deal 2-4 damage, this card can effectively negate almost all villain damage for a round. Even if it doesn't, often times it's still better than she takes the damage than say a built up Tempest or Wraith. This is her big hero moment card like Heroic Interception or Hypersonic Assault. Use it to pull everyone else through a tough board, or make sure nothing goes wrong when you're almost done. You can also use Monolith to soak up the friendly fire damage she can inflict with her power so you can hurt lots of targets without wrecking Wraith or something.

 

Funny story. Pillars of Hercules caused ElectroPulse Explosive to be played at the start of the villain turn. Monolith was in play, so Skyscraper went from almost full health to dead because the stupid explosive hit for 16 on everyone with no lead time. Ouch. Note: always assign damage to the other characters and then redirect it to Sky before dealing the damage to herself in a situation in which she'll get KO'd.

 

Colossal Left Hook is a medium damage one shot (3 in one go) that can generate extra plays. This card is really good IMO because A) there's no downside to using it, B) the extra play and discard work well with her amazing bursts of card draw.

 

Tectonic Chokeslam is a pretty high damage one shot: 4 damage to one guy, and 1 damage to everyone (including allies). It's not the biggest, but 4 damage will still put some damage through damage reducing cards. The party damage is the big downside here – in a 4 person team, the initial 4 HP hit is kind of balanced by the 4 damage she takes away from the heroes. That's not the best trade. Chokeslam is good for helping to drop priority targets quickly, or if it can lead to a board sweep when combined with other powers and cards. Be careful about just throwing it out to DPS faster unless you know your friends will be able to survive.

 

Skyscraper's huge size power is potential board sweeper. It also has the biggest potential downsides. If your heroes, villain, and environment might make her Concussive clap power a bigger liability than an asset, be very careful about switching to Huge if you don't have ways to get out of it. Standing around clapping is okay on some boards, but it's also a kind of trap. Cycling through her sizes to use all her abilities is usually better than remaining big to use her damage power.

 

Skyscraper has 8 ways to get back to Normal size.

 

Explosive Reveal 3

Rest and Recover 3

Emergency Evac 2

 

Evac and Reveal each destroy at least some of your Link cards. Fortunately, they can come back pretty easily.

 

Evac is an incredibly strong situational effect: it wipes out the environment completely and can trash 2 nasty ongoings at the cost of all your links. I think it's usually good to save this card to help deal with problem ongoings or environments.

 

Rest and Recover gets you a draw, a pull out of your trash, puts you into normal form, and recovers an HP. When Sky plays R&R, she's getting +4 cards in her hand that turn unless her power action is locked. Since you're drawing a bunch of cards, I often like to recover Colossal Left Hook – with so many cards drawn you can usually take advantage of the extra play and pay or it easily. Other good cards might be Monolith, or Linking Incursion IMO.

 

Explosive Reveal trashes some links to do a pair of 2 point hits to a target per link you trash. Since it hits twice, it's okay for milking damage boosts even though she doesn't get a damaging power after using it (without a bonus play somehow). Links are pretty easy come, and easy go IMO so don't be afraid of blowing up some stuff to help clear the board or just apply damage more quickly.

 

Reveal and R&R should be your default plays to return to normal size for more card draw. Emergency Evac is Skyscraper's only way to destroy any environment card, and her only immediate way to destroy an ongoing, so it should usually be saved for those purposes instead of just being used to get a small bonus while drawing up.

 

Normal size power doesn't affect the board; it just fills up your hand so you can do more stuff later. It's good at the beginning of the game, and to recharge after she dumps a ton of cards. Normal mode is the best mode to “dead end” in, because the cards it provides will almost always give you a way out. Skyscraper can dump cards quickly, so don't worry too much about drawing cards you can't really use. However, you should be switching out of it regularly.

 

 

Skyscraper has 9 ways to become Tiny.

 

Linking Incursion 4

Undetectable Relinking 3

Catch A Ride 2

 

Linking Incursion pulls two links out your deck, so you get extra plays (on top of the plays the Tiny power grants) but don't get to pick them. Even if you don't have links now, Incursion is still good because it gets you links, which you can then start picking up and replaying the next time you become tiny. IMO, this is another one of her really good cards. The main reason not to use it is if you've pulled most of the links you think you'll need.

 

Undetectable Relinking lets you pick up links, and then play that many links and tiny cards. To be honest, I thought links were destroyed when the target they were attached to was destroyed. So many links would be “cleaned up” over the game. That greatly limits how effective Relinking can be. However, that's not the case, so this card is way better than I thought. The ability to reassign Compulsion Canisters and clean up other, currently less useful links to play new tiny cards is pretty good if those links are remaining in play.

 

Now that I've used UR more, it's really good I think. You don't need to pick up a lot of links for it to be worthwhile – just bouncing a Canister while playing another tiny one shot is pretty nice.

 

Finally, there's Catch a Ride, which lets someone else do 2 damage, then Skyscraper deals 2 irreducible to the same target. This is a pretty nice damaging one shot – because it's two damage packages, it uses buffs well. And because it's irreducible at least for the second part, it can still punch through damage reduction which normally cripples multi-hit cards. The ability to have someone else deal damage also has some nice quirks. Heroes like Wraith or Ra have personal damage buffs that can apply. Mr. Fixer has status effects from his styles and tools that can apply when he deals damage.

 

Skyscraper has 12 links, which have widely varied effects. Links can be played quickly and recovered from her trash as a side effect of her tiny, so they are also good at “tanking” destroy X equipment card effects. You should get links far more frequently than their deck percentage would suggest because of Linking Incursion's search ability.

 

2 Aggression Modulators

2 Neutralizing Resonators

2 Cortex Hyperstimulators

2 Compulsion Canister

2 Micro Assembler

2 Rebounding Debilitator

 

Aggression Modulators cause an environment target to deal -2 damage to heroes, and +1 to villains. If there's some Thoraxian military guys shooting everyone for 2, then it suddenly becomes safe to heroes (unless something increases the damage heroes take), while doing 3 per turn to villains. For half a power, that's pretty good. OTOH, if there's a Kraken eating Tempest or something, taking 2 damage off isn't bad. But it's not exactly turning a threat into an asset. Of course, many environments aren't exactly target rich, or have targets that don't do damage.

 

Neutralizing Resonators are Skyscraper's second method of ongoing destruction: if you have them out, you can trash an ongoing at the start of your turn. Key thing there is that you need to the resonator already in play. Trashing a card off the top of the villain deck is kind of a mixed bag. You can put a citizen into the trash and make Dawn flip. Or when Wraith's eyepiece finds a pair of Devastating Auroras, Skyscraper can get rid of the one on top. It combos well with other deck control cards.

 

Cortex Hyperstimulators reduce the first damage the target deals each turn, and causes them to zap themselves for 1 lightning. Only reducing the first instance of damage is a big weakness compared to cards like Stunbolt. Still, reducing villain damage is really good. Hypers are a lot better if the villain target is only doing damage once, instead of hitting everyone. Because the villain is dealing the damage, it can benefit from advanced side buffs, supporting minions or ongoings, and so forth. Of course, it's also not buffed by Legacy, is reduced by your own stun bolts, and can trigger a villain's damage effects like Spite's healing. It's hard to go wrong with these links. Without getting extra plays from Sneak or other cards, I might only rarely make these a priority to play. But Skyscraper does have the extra plays, so you can spam these out to hinder the enemy and hopefully cause them to hurt themselves.

 

Compulsion Canister is effectively a reusable one shot item. Pick a guy, make him hurt himself and a friend, and then use Sneak or Undetectable Relinking to pick it up and do it. Irreducible damage is a big deal IMO. One of the most frustrating situations to play against is a board that shuts down pretty much all your damage – like if Advanced A Voss pulls 2 guards in his set up, so everyone is at -3. You either need tons of buffs to punch through, high damage one shots, or irreducible damage. Skyscraper brings some tools to deal with that really frustrating situation, and can keep using them. Again, this link makes the enemy deal the damage, so it can trigger their on damage effects or benefit from their buffs, but not yours. Be careful if you plan on using Canister plays to pick off targets on a crowded board – the cards your allies will use to make the situation survivable like Hypersonic Assault, Grease Gun, and the like will prevent your links from doing damage.

 

Micro Assembler is a pretty amazing card when paired with the right heroes. Some heroes like Wraith or AZ suck until they draw and set up a bunch of equipment (well, Wraith almost never sucks, but she can still benefit). An early game discard and power use is generally a small price to play for cutting the weak part of these heroes' game short. It can also be a big deal on heroes that have few, but game changing items. Between Skyscraper's draw and deck filter for links, she can get the assembler in many games. OTOH, Legacy and Tempest both have powerful items that they might go without getting over several games. Being able to just pull a Legacy Ring out of the deck and turn Legacy into an immune super tank or bruiser as well as a buff guy is pretty amazing.

 

Rebounding Debilitator prevents the next instance of 3+ damage the target deals, and then either trashes itself or goes to your deck (both have their role). Note that it is prevent, and not reduce to zero, so it even works on irreducible damage – like everything front side advanced Iron Legacy does. Obviously, this card gets better and better the more damage a villain does in a single blow. However, a lot of villain targets do 3+ damage, and preventing that for what is often a fraction of your play is pretty nice.

 

Matchups:

 

Skyscraper is at her best when she's free to unleash mass destruction: target heavy villains and environments who don't have punishing kill triggers like Voss and Infinitor. She also needs less time to build up than many other heroes due to her reliance on one shots, so she can survive set up denial villains like Progeny or Dawn better than most.

 

However, I think she has the tools to manage even unfavorable matchups. If you screw up with Skyscraper against Matriarch or Dreamer, the consequences can be severe. However, you can almost always manage her mass damage (unless the environment forces plays from people's decks); some of her tools need to used less frequently or more carefully in these games, but Skyscraper can still be effective even so. She's not like say AZ, who can sometimes be dead weight in the wrong circumstances.

 

With several ways to hit multiple times in the same turn, Skyscraper is unusually good at dealing with villains that can redirect the first instance of damage dealt to them (the advanced back side powers on Iron Legacy and La Capitan). Let's say Proportionalist is out. Skyscraper can play Tectonic Chokeslam, doing 1 damage to non hero targets from growing, 4 melee, 1 projectile to everyone :( and then clap for 3 (and 1 to allies). So only 1 damage gets redirected, and then La Capitan loses 3 cards. Against Iron Legacy, you need a damage buff to get through his innate DR, but if there's one available she can end up hitting IL for 8 (at the cost of a lot of ally damage). And that's just one card. Colossal Left Hook into Undetectable Relinking into Catch a Ride into 2 Canisters with Proportionalist is 6 total hits. These redirect abilities are extremely problematic with many heroes, so it's to bring along someone who can punch through them (often ignoring DR while doing so) with reasonable effectiveness and repeatability (as well as having useful things to do when the resources to attack many times aren't available).

 

Environments with targets that shoot everyone provide some of the best places to use Aggression Modulators – and Skyscraper can also kill environment targets with her aoe damage at little additional cost. Environments that interfere with card play (like Mega) can really hurt Skyscraper – she relies heavily on one shots for both effect, and to adjust her available power to best suit the situation.  

Donner
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Excellent guide!


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Trajector
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I often compare a buffed Concussive Clap to Haka's Rampage: often worth the trade to clear the board, especially if the heroes have some cover (Thorathian Monolith, perhaps?), but not a thing to do all the time.

Foote
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Good read and very on point. Nice job.

cnranger
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I took Skyscrapper into a three player Villain match. I was thinking to use her Huge damage power to help clear the board. However the whole game I never saw one card that would make her huge. In the end she was still very effective using her links in Tiny form and blowing them up going back to normal.

Ironic
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Yeah, that tracks with my experience.  I've only used her twice so far, but I was surprised - I was expecting a tankey damage character with the Link stuff on the side, but instead, 2/3 of her deck is focused on the card draw/control engine tricks, and she usually only hulks out and wrecks things once per game, for about two turns.

 

Somehow, this only makes me love her more.


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Medic-Tank
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I would add that micro assembler on herself can work well if you are in a situation where your huge power is unsafe. It allows you to have a power to use AND get the best link for the situation. Micro assembler is also great to pull grease guns out of your deck even better if you can get scrapyards to get both your grease guns and the links back from trash.