**** Sandman (Flint Marko) ****

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  • hopper1979hopper1979 Posts: 553 Critical Contributor
    It shows how bad the power is I have cast it so few times that I cannot even keep track of if it is an aoe or not.  I guess I want it to be an aoe because then it might be worth the cost.  :)  

    Yes you only need one shied on the board for the power to hit but if you are pared with 4Cage, especially in pve, you may have 3-4 on the board by the time you can cast Sandman's yellow that is a big defensive hit.  Also Cages yellow is much better.  Like Kingpin is the Sandman's yellow power worth the penalty, in most of the situations I would argue no.  If he could create shields passively or if his pink created a couple to feed his yellow it might work, but his problem now is there is just no synergy at all between the powers.  I really liked the way he was set up in Sinister Six event, I could get behind that set up but a tweak is needed.  Why are all the yellow generators in 4 land horrible now except for C&D. 
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    Sure, so if you pair him with Cage, you're using him to feed Cage's Yellow. 
  • hopper1979hopper1979 Posts: 553 Critical Contributor
    That is all he is as the moment a decent yellow generator with some stun ability.  The only person I can think of who I might use to generate yellow for Sandman is Kingpin and that is because his black is so detrimental even though Kingpins yellow is better also, C&D, 4Cage there is no debate on who has the better yellow there.  I like the idea of Chuck but then you have to hope for a shield to spawn, another one who might be good for shields when boosted is Beast.  There we go Sandman, Beast and Chuck watch out world :)  
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    That's silly. Kingpin has his own Purple ability that generates Yellow AP. And now you're using two bad characters to... what, fire Maggia Pawns a lot? Pass.

    Also, you don't have to hope for a Protect tile to spawn when Prof X is around. Just fire a power. Any power.
  • hopper1979hopper1979 Posts: 553 Critical Contributor
    I would not pair them for that reason I am just saying out of all the yellow generators Kingpin (slot 5/5/3) is the only one I might use to cast Sandmans yellow for speed (Kingpins pink guarantees more yellow so I would use it before Sandmans (slot 5/3/5) if I ever paired them) but now you have to put them with a countdown generator for Kingpin to have any use other than generating yellow.  No matter who you throw in this pairing is bad I am just trying to optimize a bad power :)

    I like Sandmans pink but I do not get much yellow from its cast, very rarely do I get a match 3 and 2 match 3's are even rarer unless I throw C&D in the mix then you can get some good cascades once you transform C&D and then cast Sandman's pink but now you need a pink generator to get any speed going there.   Our conversation is just proving the major flaw in this character his yellow is horrible, it accelerates horribly, it hurts your team more than it helps, it is a pain to cast quickly and he literally has one good teammate, Vulture.  Sandman is the Spiderman 3 or the original Spiderman trilogy. :)
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    Sure, so 5/5/3, and pair him with Vulture and someone who can use Yellow. I think Luke Cage still works well here.
  • StraycatStraycat Posts: 959 Critical Contributor
    Anon said:
    My biggest concern with Sandman (as much as I love the character) is whether I should champ him in case of a buff (I Champed Mordo literally the day his rework was announced regardless of how bad he was). 

    My Sandman is 2/4/5 so he's 2 covers away from fully covered. I had optimism for 4* Iron Fist and Agent Venom when they were released and they turned out to be, not top tier, but way better than first impressions.

    Sandman doesn't share that optimism. His Green is ok, but one ok skill and two lackluster ones isn't much to get excited about.

    I love Sandman as a character and I look forward to camping him, but I really hope the devs take a look at him.
    I don't think you're giving Shifting Sands enough credit here. 8 AP to add 5 Yellow tiles to the board is fine, and the 14 tile swaps gives a passable chance to get some additional matches as well.

    Honestly I think Sandman's biggest problem is that none of his powers are good enough that he can afford to have any of them at less than 5 covers. Many characters have 2 powers that are excellent, and the 3rd power hardly matters at all. Others have 3 powers that each do something potentially excellent at 5 covers, and you choose which two you want at any given time. Sandman doesn't have that. Sandman has 3 powers that are all totally fine at 5 covers, but you can't have them all at 5 covers.
    His purple is hit or miss, like all board shake powers. I've had it make a couple match 5s or do nothing. Sometimes it sets up a match 5 only to change some of those tiles yellow and ruin it.
    But I have to disagree with you, his problem is his yellow power is bad. Which makes his purple worse, since you're self accelerating towards his bad power.
  • Rick_OShayRick_OShay Posts: 765 Critical Contributor
    His purple power is fine, as long as you see it in the light that has been mentioned a few times already:
    Since Sandman yellow is bad, you use his purple to acquire yellow for someone else
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    Straycat said:
    His purple is hit or miss, like all board shake powers. I've had it make a couple match 5s or do nothing. Sometimes it sets up a match 5 only to change some of those tiles yellow and ruin it.
    But I have to disagree with you, his problem is his yellow power is bad. Which makes his purple worse, since you're self accelerating towards his bad power.
    Oh come on, it's not that bad. At 5 covers it's either a respectable group of Protect tiles or a decent hit; in the same range as Repulsor Punch, Deadly Strike, or the low version of Combined Forces. And you do know ahead of time which version you're going to get. It's not exceptional, I'll give you that, and speccing him 3/5/5 to take full advantage of it leaves his Green in a pretty sad place (at least it's still a 2-turn stun, I guess).
    Which was my point; none of his powers are exceptional enough at 5 covers, and all of them are basically terrible at 3 covers. He'd probably be merely decent if you could spec him 5/5/5, and what we actually get is 2 covers less than that.
  • StraycatStraycat Posts: 959 Critical Contributor
    Maybe I'm biased against it by comparing it to what it could have been, but it is considerably worse than those powers you mentioned. Throwing out protects on its own doesn't make for a good power, and removing them for low damage is pretty lame.
     It would make sense for it to act like Falcaps dive bomb, but having extra protects doesn't make the power better. It kind of acts like Novas danger zone, but its more expensive and weaker. But those powers aren't double casted for the conditional to trigger. On his own, you would need to double cast it for any damage, which is where it really falls.
    If he simply made protects and did his low damage every time, I would be on board. But 5/5/5 without a rework is still pretty lame I think.

  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    Straycat said:
    Maybe I'm biased against it by comparing it to what it could have been, but it is considerably worse than those powers you mentioned. Throwing out protects on its own doesn't make for a good power, and removing them for low damage is pretty lame.
     It would make sense for it to act like Falcaps dive bomb, but having extra protects doesn't make the power better. It kind of acts like Novas danger zone, but its more expensive and weaker. But those powers aren't double casted for the conditional to trigger. On his own, you would need to double cast it for any damage, which is where it really falls.
    If he simply made protects and did his low damage every time, I would be on board. But 5/5/5 without a rework is still pretty lame I think.

    I'd say you probably are biased, yes. 

    Actually Danger Zone is an interesting comparison. You're right, the damage and damage/AP on Danger Zone is much better, and creating Strike tiles is probably a better effect in most cases than creating Protect tiles. Although, technically speaking, you'd have to triple-cast Danger Zone on its own to get the damage.

    However, removing all (Black) Strike tiles is probably a much heftier penalty than removing all Protect tiles, and I don't think Danger Zone even gains the benefit of those Strike tiles, although I haven't tested that lately. Also, if you have 5 or more Black Strike tiles out, you can't use Danger Zone to create more, even if you wanted to for whatever reason. Could be worth it sometimes, but not if you'd been strengthening those Strikes or whatever.

    Also, Danger Zone requires that the Strike tiles be Black, while Sand Smash doesn't care what color they are (and it only needs one). To get the damage out of Danger Zone you need 5 Black Strikes on the board when you fire it. There's no good way to passively get 5 Black Strike tiles out, while there are several reasonable ways to passively get out a single Protect tile of any color.

    Straycat said:
    Which makes his purple worse, since you're self accelerating towards his bad power. 
    Well that's a silly thing to say. Just accelerate towards someone else's good power. 
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    mexus said:
    Straycat said:
    Which makes his purple worse, since you're self accelerating towards his bad power. 
    Well that's a silly thing to say. Just accelerate towards someone else's good power. 
    I recommend Power Man himself, Luke Cage. Not only one of the few proper yellow skills in the 4* tier but also someone that appreciates Sandman's protect tiles - he loves to fortify these.
    Well, 10 Yellow AP to make Protects and then another 8 to fortify them? Nah... If all you want is cheap specials, Yondu has you covered there. Actually, that might be a reasonable third for that team.

    But accelerating into Heroes for Hire with Shifting Sands seems fine, or even good.
  • StraycatStraycat Posts: 959 Critical Contributor


    I'd say you probably are biased, yes. 

    Actually Danger Zone is an interesting comparison. You're right, the damage and damage/AP on Danger Zone is much better, and creating Strike tiles is probably a better effect in most cases than creating Protect tiles. Although, technically speaking, you'd have to triple-cast Danger Zone on its own to get the damage.

    However, removing all (Black) Strike tiles is probably a much heftier penalty than removing all Protect tiles, and I don't think Danger Zone even gains the benefit of those Strike tiles, although I haven't tested that lately. Also, if you have 5 or more Black Strike tiles out, you can't use Danger Zone to create more, even if you wanted to for whatever reason. Could be worth it sometimes, but not if you'd been strengthening those Strikes or whatever.

    Also, Danger Zone requires that the Strike tiles be Black, while Sand Smash doesn't care what color they are (and it only needs one). To get the damage out of Danger Zone you need 5 Black Strikes on the board when you fire it. There's no good way to passively get 5 Black Strike tiles out, while there are several reasonable ways to passively get out a single Protect tile of any color.

    Straycat said:
    Which makes his purple worse, since you're self accelerating towards his bad power. 
    Well that's a silly thing to say. Just accelerate towards someone else's good power. 
    Well Nova has other ways of making strikes, at 5/3/5 you just need ap to cast red then yellow then black nuke. Of course Nova is always 5/5/3 for cheaper moves that don't sacrifice the strikes.
    The point I was trying to make was that for all the conditional powers out there, his yellow is the only one that behaves like this. It requires double casting without his own way of speeding it up and it doesn't stack damage.

    I dunno, in my head I was thinking he would be better if his green and yellow were switched. So purple would accelerate his AOE and stun. Obviously you can use him to support someone else, but I still think his purple would at least feel like it was better if it fueled his own power. I think handcuffing him to either protect makers or yellow users just shows that his yellow is lacking.
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    Sure. He's hardly the first character with an ability that makes much less sense in isolation. Mr. Fantastic Yellow (and Black, for that matter), Medusa Yellow, Thing Yellow. Those are mostly passives, I suppose

    Oh, Double-Double Cross is similar, I suppose. Elektra on her own is unlikely to get much use out of that power unless she fires it twice. And Chi Focus. (ok sure, you get a strike tile) Oh, and Pym Particles and Small-Time Crooks.

    But yes, Sandman has less internal synergy than we've come to expect, based on other characters we have.

    Straycat said:

    I dunno, in my head I was thinking he would be better if his green and yellow were switched. So purple would accelerate his AOE and stun. Obviously you can use him to support someone else, but I still think his purple would at least feel like it was better if it fueled his own power. I think handcuffing him to either protect makers or yellow users just shows that his yellow is lacking.
    Absolutely; I'd go for accelerating an AOE + stun, too. But if he did that, we can only imagine that Sandblast would be the 'bad' power that we'd be complaining about now. Plus, everyone and their mom hulk accelerates Green.
  • Punisher5784Punisher5784 Posts: 3,170 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited November 2017
    If his Purple converted the non-yellow tiles onto protect tiles so you didn't have to cast double yellow or bring a secondary protect tile character, that might make him decent
  • tallemantalleman Posts: 376 Mover and Shaker
    What ive heard Sandman is one of the worst 4*s in the game but i got 2 covers on the vine about to expire and i resently champed xforce wolverine so i might aswell champ Sandy too. Even if hes not fun to play i do like the champ rewards.

    How do you recommend to play him and with who? Maybe play him with Iron Fist to convert the Protect tiles to Strike tiles? Could be fun.
  • zodiac339zodiac339 Posts: 1,891 Chairperson of the Boards
    talleman said:
    What ive heard Sandman is one of the worst 4*s in the game but i got 2 covers on the vine about to expire and i resently champed xforce wolverine so i might aswell champ Sandy too. Even if hes not fun to play i do like the champ rewards.

    How do you recommend to play him and with who? Maybe play him with Iron Fist to convert the Protect tiles to Strike tiles? Could be fun.
    Problem with Fist pairing is you want to use Crowd Control to henerate black (even if 5/3/5), but you want to use Sand Blast as decent AOE with actual targeted crowd control. That said, Sand is probably your most reliable Protect generator for now among 4*s (Cage and Thing requiring enemy action not so reliable) without fighting for resources. Might consider supporting him with Nico once she’s in tokens, as long as the Try Not To Die protect tiles are decent past level 270.
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    zodiac339 said:
    Might consider supporting him with Nico once she’s in tokens, as long as the Try Not To Die protect tiles are decent past level 270.
    Getting a bit off topic, I guess, but anyways, boosted to 366 and at 5 covers, Nico would be making 4 tiles of strength ~250, and then boosting them by 50%, for a total Protect strength of about 1500, for 7 AP. Sandman (366 and 5 covers) would make 6 strength 336 tiles (2016 total) for 10 AP. So on a strength per AP basis Nico is slightly better (and with another edge because it's cheaper), and additionally she'll buff Protect tiles created by anyone else, and of course she boosts them every turn of top of that if you have the most.

    Presumably in this pairing you're never intending to fire Sand Smash, since it will remove all those protect tiles you spent all that effort creating and buffing.
  • zodiac339zodiac339 Posts: 1,891 Chairperson of the Boards
    zodiac339 said:
    Might consider supporting him with Nico once she’s in tokens, as long as the Try Not To Die protect tiles are decent past level 270.
    Getting a bit off topic, I guess, but anyways, boosted to 366 and at 5 covers, Nico would be making 4 tiles of strength ~250, and then boosting them by 50%, for a total Protect strength of about 1500, for 7 AP. Sandman (366 and 5 covers) would make 6 strength 336 tiles (2016 total) for 10 AP. So on a strength per AP basis Nico is slightly better (and with another edge because it's cheaper), and additionally she'll buff Protect tiles created by anyone else, and of course she boosts them every turn of top of that if you have the most.

    Presumably in this pairing you're never intending to fire Sand Smash, since it will remove all those protect tiles you spent all that effort creating and buffing.
    Yeah, a little off-topic, building from a “pairs well with 4-Fist?” Consideration. I was thinking NicoFist, and no Sand at all. Just need a good active red (red/purple?) that won’t fight over the other colors... pairs well with Starlord!
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,338 Chairperson of the Boards
    I haven't champed Sandman yet, but I maintain that pairing him with Prof X could be a reasonable way to get the Sand Smash damage pretty much every time. (Ok, every time as long as you fire another power first)

    With, picking randomly.... Gamora as a third. Full coverage, and a cheap ability that happens to be excellent. As an alt-win, Sandman has a chance to convert basic Purple tiles to Yellow
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