Defeating the Chairman
Here are my ramblings on the subject. All statements are my opinions formed from personal experience that may not match yours.
You need 3 things to take down the Chairman:
- A way to reliably deal with the Jailbreaks
- Enough damage to keep even with the Underboss/Minion stream +tanking the Operative’s hits.
- A bit of breathing room while accomplishing the above to build your heroes into late-game.
The issue with using Wraith to deal with Jailbreaks is a) she can’t get rid of the Jailbreak cards with her Infrared power, she can only delay them to the bottom of the deck (or if you’re lucky, scoot them both to the top before the Operative has cycled too many Underbosses into play). Parse is the queen of getting rid of annoying cards. She has a power where you look at the top three (3!) cards of the villain deck and discard one, putting the other two back in any order and optionally shuffling the villain deck.
She also has an Ongoing card which you can destroy when a Villain card is played to cancel, discard, and draw a replacement. Either method is going to remove the Jailbreaks from play entirely. Once you reshuffle all the minions into the deck, the Chairman is toast (unless he’s already beaten you to within an inch of your life).
For #2, there are several characters that can help you. Because the Operative always hits the highest hitpoint hero, you need someone who can reliably take 2-damage Melee hits (in a 4 hero game). Omnitron-X (plating card), Scholar (Flesh to Stone), or Naturalist (Rhino form + many ongoings) are all great candidates that can entirely negate her hits, leaving you free to just beat up the underlings until you are built up.
In order to beat up the underlings, you will need your last two heroes to be someone that will bring your early total damage for the round up to 10-15. Some underbosses you need to eliminate the turn they come out. Some Minions you need to eliminate the turn they come out. Some you need to do both. ~8 reliable damage on round 1 is okay. 10-15 by round 2 is a must. It will let you deal with both boss and minion and if you’re also able to get setup going, you will build to more and eventually take out the operative.
It is important to build up, because you’ll be taking hits from each minion on the turn it comes out. So if you’re not building up and starting to win, you will eventually lose if you’re just breaking even.
I don’t consider AZ to be a great choice against the Chairman unless the rest of your team is already super solid. If everyone else is focusing on damage and he’s left to build, you can work with that, but as you know, he does basically nothing for the first few rounds and against the Chairman, you have to hit the ground running.
Your idea with the Sub-zero atmosphere is good, but it has one snag. The Operative puts an Underboss into play at the start of the turn. Since it is “Start of Turn,” the new Underboss immediately triggers his “End of Turn” effect of putting a minion out. Since it is still “Start of Turn,” the new minion then triggers his end of turn effects. So the Sub-Zero atmosphere doesn’t help at all with Underbosses that the Operative puts into play at “Start of Turn.”
It DOES help with Underbosses played from the top of the Chairman’s deck during his Card Play phase–but I’ve played whole games against the Chairman where that never happens.
Unfortunately, Tachyon is a similarly paced hero to AZ: low early damage, building to late-game. Having two such heroes on a 4-man team is setting you back in the early stages; especially if you’re putting Wraith on Infrared Eyepiece duty. That’s three heroes who are not doing much damage in the first few rounds–a critical time against the Chairman.
I’ve been keeping a record of my games, and the last time I beat the Chairman was with the following team:
- Parse (Fugue State)
- Lifeline (Blood Mage)
- Fanatic (Prime Wardens)
As you can see, this team had all the elements I’ve talked about. Parse for deck-control, Omnitron for tanking, and Lifeline and Fanatic for quick damage. It also has a lot of heroes who build to late-game. Lifeline becomes a monster when he’s got a half-dozen cards in play, Omnitron can get pretty ridiculous when his Components are not threatened.
A couple of other heroes I haven’t mentioned that come to mind:
- The Sentinels
High, quick damage output with no setup required. As long as they have someone to tank the hits, they’re going to be able to rapidly clear minions.
She can be a bit of a mixed bag, but if you can get some of her giant-form cards, she can deal some pretty reliable, wide-spread damage that requires no setup. She can also help with tanking with damage-mitigating links and her Thorathian Monolith. She won’t build up super well into late game, but she will help you survive early game.