You use it before the game begins. After you put the Brainstorm into your hand, you’ll shuffle the rest of your deck. Then you’ll draw the normal 3 cards at the start of the game. This means you’ll start the game with 4 cards in hand (Brainstorm plus the 3 you draw). You’ll still draw a card at the start of your first turn.
Assuming I want to use Brainstorm to play two more Actions, how do I order them?
First, choose your first Action. Carry out all its instructions and set it aside. Then choose your second Action and carry out its instructions. Note that you don’t have to choose the Actions ahead of time. For example, if your first Action lets you draw a card, and that card is an Action, you could play that Action as your second one.
This was written in Rules Roundup 10/11/19:
“I play Brainstorm. Using my 2 actions, I play Ancient Wisdom
first, then System Reboot
. I draw Unleash Potential
off of System Reboot, do I get to play it for free now?
Both Brainstorm and Ancient Wisdom resolve “top to bottom”. When you play Brainstorm, then you play Ancient Wisdom, you must play Unleash Potential at that moment. In your case, you’ve moved past Ancient Wisdom and are continuing with Brainstorm, playing System Reboot. It’s now too late to play Unleash Potential with your previous Ancient Wisdom.”
Would this rule also apply to Tech Research
? You must play a Superior upgrade after playing Tech Research or else that Tech Research is not forfeit. Example: I play Brainstorm first, then I play Tech Research, then I play Medic. Can I play Superior Jetpack
Superior upgrades only check to see if you have played Tech Research
at some point previously in your turn. Therefore, there is no issue with playing other cards between Tech Research and a Superior upgrade.
How does Brainstorm work, exactly? Do I play the two actions from my hand immediately, then resolve them, or do I resolve the first action before playing and resolving the second action? What if a character's trigger happens between actions, such as Wave 1 Thundercracker
? Are triggers resolved before or after the action that triggers them?
You play one action from your hand, then you play the second, then resolve the triggers caused by those actions.
I have a team of all Autobots, including Captain Wheeljack
in bot mode. I play Brainstorm, and as the first action, play Confidence
. Do I play my second action for Brainstorm now, or do I resolve Confidence first and play an action via Confidence? Either way, this will trigger Captain Wheeljack’s "When you play your third action" ability. Do I draw the card for that immediately, or do I wait until all the actions played via Confidence and Brainstorm have resolved?
first (including possibly playing another action), then play your second action for Brainstorm. After that’s done, all abilities that triggered while Brainstorm was resolving happen in an order of your choosing.
Say I attack with Optimus Prime - Battlefield Legend
with a Rapid Conversion
in my hand and flip a Brainstorm for the attack. If I play the Brainstorm and play the Rapid Conversion from hand to target Optimus, am I able to play the action that he retrieves from the graveyard as the second action for Brainstorm?
No. You must fully resolve Brainstorm before the ability from his flip triggers.
If I start my game with Wave 1 Dinobot Sludge
and Wave 2 Grimlock
and Dinobot Swoop. After I was able to bring the rest of my Wave 2 Dinobots into the KO area, Grimlock is KO’d and Dinobot Sludge was the only card left on my battlefield in bot mode. On my turn, I played the Dinobot Enigma
and then flipped Dinobot Sludge to take all of his damage, was this correct? Also, what if I had played a Brainstorm then an I Still Function!
and then a Dinobot Enigma after which I would flip Dinobot Sludge? Is that a better scenario?
In your first scenario, Volcanicus
appears on the battlefield with 55 damage counters on him.
In your second scenario, you can I Still Function!
one of the five Dinobots and then use the Dinobot Engima to form Volcanicus. Volcanicus will have 54 damage counters on him (because of the 1 damage ISF! repairs). No matter what, he will be KO’d at the end of the turn, so repairing him with Dinobot Sludge
probably won’t do a lot.
s say they scrap at the end of my opponent's turn. If I Brainstorm, Secret Action, Peace Through Tyranny
, how long does the Secret Action stay out? Will it stay out for my second turn, until it is my opponent's turn, and then scrap at the end of their turn? Or do Secret Actions just scrap at the end of the following turn, so it would scrap at the end of my second turn?
It will stay out for your second turn and scrap at the end of your opponent's turn.
Things that effect actions also effect secret actions, which are a subset of actions.
Does "outside the game" refer to the sideboard? The other question is if I play Brainstorm with Wave 3 Skywarp on the field, how do I proceed if I have 2 Defensive Formation
s at hand? Do I play the 1st Defensive Formation, draw a card and then play the 2nd Defensive Formation to draw a 2nd card? Or do I play the 1st defensive formation, then the 2nd, and then draw the 2 cards?
It can refer to your sideboard, however your “outside the game” cards do not have to be in your sideboard to be considered detectable by the game.
In resolving the Brainstorm, you will play both Defensive Formation
s. Skywarp’s ability will trigger for each of them, but you won’t draw cards for the ability until you’ve finished resolving the Brainstorm.
Later rules for competitive play required "outside the game" battle cards to be in your sideboard.
In this scenario, it is too late to reveal them.
What occurs if I attack with Volcanicus
the turn I combined while also playing Steamroll
that same turn (assume I used a Brainstorm or Multi-Mission Tool on Divebomb) and flip enough Orange pips to KO the defender with Volcanicus' ability. Do I still calculate my total ATK damage to determine what (or if) Steamroll's damage would be?
In this case, Volcanicus
has KO’d the defender before actually doing attack damage to it, so the attack will end with no attack damage dealt. Thus, Steamroll
’s effect would not apply
Regarding character triggers, the following scenario is Demolisher
all in bot mode. I play Brainstorm > Hunker Down
> Rapid Conversion
. Hunker Down flips all 3 to alt mode, then I play armors from the scrap pile if able. Once Hunker Down is complete, I play Rapid Conversion targeting Megatron to flip him into bot mode. Brainstorm is now resolved. Moving on to character triggers, would Demolisher’s ability now draw 1 or 2 cards? Would I be allowed to use Megatron’s flip ability?
In this scenario, Demolisher
’s ability would draw 1 card and you would be able to use Megatron
’s flip ability.
I have 4 cards in my hand and my opponent has Decepticon Shockwave
in Bot mode. If they play Brainstorm > System Reboot
> System Reboot, do I take 4 damage after each System Reboot or 8 damage after Brainstorm is resolved?
Shockwave’s ability will trigger a total of 8 times. Each of those abilities resolves separately, so essentially you have 8 damage counters to spread around as you wish.
Using the previous scenario, my character is Nightbird
in alt mode. What is the timing there? Does the Decepticon Shockwave
player take 1 damage each time an action hits the play area or after the Brainstorm resolves?
I.E. My Nightbird is at full HP (11) and his Shockwave is at 3. Who wins?
Here's what happens. Your opponent starts to play Brainstorm, this causes Nightbird
’s ability to trigger, but that effect doesn’t resolve immediately. Continuing to resolve Brainstorm, your opponent then plays System Reboot
. Another Nightbird trigger happens, which, again, doesn’t resolve immediately. The System Reboot resolves, causing Shockwave to trigger four times. Continuing to resolve Brain Storm, your opponent then plays the second System Reboot. This causes another Nightbird trigger. The second System Reboot causes another four Shockwave triggers. Now that Brainstorm has resolved, we start resolving triggers, beginning with the ones that triggered most recently and working backwards. The four Shockwave triggers caused by the second System Reboot happen one at a time. Next, the Nightbird trigger caused by the second System Reboot happens. Next, the Shockwave triggers caused by the first System Reboot happens. Next, the Nightbird trigger caused by the first System Reboot happens. And finally, the Nightbird trigger caused by the Brain Storm happens. At any point, if resolving one of these triggers causes a player to KO their last character, that player loses the game. If Shockwave was at 3 and Nightbird was at 8 at the beginning of this sequence, Nightbird is going to lose.
When I play Brainstorm, Heat of Battle
, then the Combiner
Enigma, do all of my combiners get the BOLD 3 so therefore my Combined Combiner gets all of the BOLD stacked?
“Sadly, yes.” - Rules Master Matt Tabak.
If I play Brainstorm into 2 Overwhelming Advantage
s and meet all the requirements, can I do 15 damage to 2 different enemies? Or must they target the same character?
Let’s walk through this whole play. You play Brainstorm and your first action is Ancient Wisdom
. Ancient Wisdom has you scrap the top two cards of your deck and put an Action and/or Upgrade from among the scrapped cards into your hand. At this point, you can play Unleash Potential
, if it’s in your hand.
Let’s say you do. You get a card with 1 star from outside the game and put it into your hand. This may not be a great idea, because you then play the second action from Brainstorm, which is System Reboot
. You scrap your hand (including that fancy star card you just snagged) and draw 4 cards.
But instead, let’s say you don’t play Unleash Potential. That brings you to the end of Ancient Wisdom and now you System Reboot just as above.
In either case, your new hand is Multi-Mission Gear
, Brainstorm, and 2 Unleash Potentials. You’ve already played an Action this turn, so we’re guessing you’ll now play Multi-Mission Gear. This allows you to play an Action such as Brainstorm. Brainstorm will allow you to play 2 Unleash Potentials. You played Ancient Wisdom earlier in your turn, so you can get two 1-star cards from outside the game.
Let's say you have a team of combiners. And your opponent’s characters are all tapped out. You have one character untapped and all of your characters are in bot mode. I know you can’t use Inferno Breath
in this instance because you wouldn’t be able to attack to end the turn. However, if you play Brainstorm and then play Inferno Breath, tapping your last character and then using the Brainstorm’s second effect to play and enigma and combine, is that a legal play?
In this scenario, you actually could play Inferno Breath
because you can tap your last character. When it comes time to attack, if you have no untapped characters, your turn would end. If your opponent also has no untapped character, you would untap all characters as usual and your opponent’s turn would begin. If you play the enigma and combine your characters into a Combiner
, the Combiner begins untapped, so it would be the character that attacks.
Would playing multiple instances of Steamroll
in the same turn allow for damage, if it were high enough to KO the second character as well as the initial character that was knocked out, to carry over to a second or third target? For example: Brainstorm into two Steamrolls or play Steamroll and then flip Bumblebee - Trusted Lieutenant
into alt-mode and play a second or even a third Steamroll (if Brainstorm was played first).
Playing more than one instance of Steamroll
on the same character has no additional effect. The extra damage will carry over only once.
If I play Brainstorm, am I allowed to play the same action twice if I have 2 copies in my hand?
Would like to check with you during situation of Brainstorm being used, the other 2 actions after Brainstorm are Ancient Wisdom
and Leap of Faith
. While flipping for Leap of Faith, I somehow manage to flip 2 Unleash Potential
s. Does that mean that I get to bring back two 1-star cards outside the game I owned?
Yes to both!
Both Brainstorm and Ancient Wisdom
resolve “top to bottom”. When you play Brainstorm, then you play Ancient Wisdom, you must play Unleash Potential
at that moment. In your case, you’ve moved past Ancient Wisdom and are continuing with Brainstorm, playing System Reboot
. It’s now too late to play Unleash Potential with your previous Ancient Wisdom.
In a turn where I play Brainstorm, allowing for 2 more actions. I play I Still Function!
, bringing Buzzsaw (Spy) from the KO Area, then I play Recover Cassette
, putting Buzzsaw underneath Soundwave. Will that cancel out I Still Function!?
Yes, it will. Once Buzzsaw goes underneath Soundwave, all existing and/or pending game effects stop applying to him.
If I then swap all of those upgrades with Red Heat, I can then choose the order again. From this I play a Multi-Mission Gear
and play a Brainstorm, do I need to finish prior triggers before Brainstorm, or can I still choose the order?
If you swap upgrades with Red Heat, you can have a lot of triggers, including another Cog trigger. You choose to resolve each of these triggers one at a time. If you choose Multi-Mission Gear
’s trigger to play Brainstorm, you now must finish Brainstorm’s effect before continuing with your remaining triggers caused by Red Heat’s swap.
I have Decepticon Shockwave
in bot mode (untapped), and start by playing Brainstorm, then play Disruption
to have the opponent scrap a card in hand, then Security Checkpoint
and to have the opponent scrap 2 more cards. So a total of 3 cards were scrapped by 2 action cards. Would the opponent take 1 damage for each action card played (that made them scrap cards) or take 3 damage since the opponent scrapped 3 cards total?
The opponent would take 3 damage total.
I am playing Nightbird in alt mode. My opponent plays Brainstorm and 2 follow-up actions. I reveal a Secret Action to stop 1 of the follow-ups. Does my opponent still take 3 damage?
Yes. Even when cancelled by an action such as Infiltrate
, Jam Signals
, or Overrule
, a card is still played and an effects that refer to cards, or number of cards, being played still occur. Another example would be Thundercracker, Mach Warrior's bot mode effect.