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The Better Than You Card of the Week #2: Neck Torque

posted 11/7 by John of Team BTY

Neck Torque
Submission: Heat
When played, discard your hand.
When successfully played, put up to 5 cards from your Ringside pile on top of your Arsenal and then search your Arsenal for 1 card, put it into your hand, shuffle your Arsenal, and end your turn.
F: 10 D: 20

Heat is a mechanic that's been around for a few sets now, but spent a lot of time in the shadow of Chain and more recently, VOlley (which got a substantial boost in Unforgiven and Royal Rumble). In Great American Bash, though, Heat got a subtle but important boost of its own, spearheaded by Stay Away From Daivari. This week we're going to look at one of the other gems Heat decks picked up in GAB, Neck Torque.

On the surface this doesn't seem like such a great deal. The cost of discarding your hand, with no guarantee of the maneuver being successful, will chase a lot of people off. Of course it's not as simple as that, so let's get into the card's advantages first and then worry about mitigating the drawback.

The most obvious advantage is its extremely favorable fortitude-to-damage ratio. Not many maneuvers give you 10D more than their fortitude, and at 20 a pop Neck Torque will let you quickly bridge up to any card you want to pack - including the game enders Mania and Goodnight Everybody, also Trademark finishers of every variety.

As a more subtle effect, the card gives heat something it has precious few sources of - mass recovery. Neck Torque is as much a Puppies Puppies for heat decks as it is a maneuver, and the fact that you can throw it turn after turn makes it almost like packing an extra 5 cards in your arsenal. And of course, if it's successful you won't find yourself completely at a disadvantage because you'll be able to search your arsenal for any card you like - and with the 20F boost you'll get from Neck Torque, that card can be virtually anything you pack and you'll be able to play it.

It should be fairly obvious that Neck Torque isn't for every heat deck. Heat builds for superstars who draw multiple cards per turn (Carlito, Mankind, X-Pac?) and superstars who derive an advantage from having low or no handsize (Test, Triple H/The Game/Degeneration X via Cerebral Assassin) will find this card the easiest to fit in. I think it's good to keep a copy or two in any heat deck as a "just in case" card - if you run out of reversals in hand, or your opponent makes you discard your hand, you might as well lob a Neck Torque in their direction. Another idea to consider is packing cards that let you hide cards from your hand under them - like Mickie's You Think I'm Psycho, Keibler's Cookies (or Torrie Wilson, On It in a Billy Gunn Heat deck), and more recently Arm Wrench and its big cousin Vise Lock. There's always That's Broken and That's Balanced to keep some reversals in a convenient location so you're protected incase your Neck Torque gets reversed. And of course, you've always got Headstrongs and Leave me Alone as a ringside possibility.

One nagging issue I've run into with Neck Torque is the fact that it's damage value is so high that, even when successful, it's likely to be reversed out of your opponent's arsenal and only do a fraction of its damage. To get the full impact out of your Neck Torque, it's worth looking into a few methods of modifying the maneuver to force its damage through. Fortitude Plunging is a possibility - for Heels we've got Grab the Mic, for Faces there's It's Not Always About the Charisma. Low superstar value players can use Fans Love an Underdog, and old-school Tag Teams can make good use of Little She Devil. YOu can also use effects that make the maneuver unreversable - Face has I'm Desperate and that blast from the past, Turn the Tide. Superstar Specifics like You Don't Want to Play Me, Rattlesnake Rulz, and When Hulkamania Runs Wild On You are also powerful choices. Sometimes there's a big difference between just getting a lot of fortitude out of a maneuver and having the maneuver do its full damage, and Neck Torque is one of those card's you'd rather see do the damage.

Neck Torque has the greatest fortitude-to-damage ratio of any submission, has a mass recovery effect with the Heat trait, and lets you search out any one card from your arsenal when successfully played. Considering that you can pack three of this monstrosity, and that you can play it turn after turn until it's successful, I think it's safe to say that Neck Torque is...Better Than You!

-John of Team BTY