Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thunder Tactics - Little Deck Creations

Team Tactics is easily one of the most powerful cards in the game. I don't think it's ever gotten it's due, because (luckily, I think) it's a combo piece that needs a lot of work to pull off and isn't too hard to disrupt. Early versions of Tactics Abuse used Fantastic Four because they had very large stats to begin with, access to a great pump in It's Clobberin' Time and of course they had the best readying tech for a very long time, if not still, Cosmic Radiation.

Cosmic allows you to ready your entire team! You can't attack, but if you're all ready attacking, who cares! They also had a 1-drop Ant-Man who killed reinforcement, which is very important if the plan is to smash through somebody for lethal damage with Team Tactics. Basically they gave you eight cards to ready and eight cards to break reinforcement with while any other team would only have Press the Attack and Blindsided. The version I played also used A Child Named Valeria, the idea being to weenie up, draw a lot of cards with Antartic Research Base and play Thing, Heavy Hitter or Wolverine, New Fantastic Four on the kill turn. You attack with your unstunnable small drops, attack with the big guy, pump them to all hell and Press/Cosmic them into Tactics.

It was very fun. There was also versions with Doom as early as Marvel Origins. My friend Joe O'Brien built a deck with Doom-Bot, Doom's Throne Room and Tactics that played used a Doom-Bot or two to ready the Latverian overlord into a pump fueled Tactics kill. Boris was great at searching out the key plot twist, Doom-Bot being army made him easy to hit on three and Robot Destroyer on 5 was a good way of negating reinforcers.

The next major change to Tactics as a deck idea, that I remember was in the Avengers expansion. In that set the Thunderbolts debuted. A team of villains looking to get over as do-gooders that eventually decided they preferred the life of a hero had a sub-theme of being "ready" and thus had multiple ways to set an attacker straight ways.

So, this LDC is probably obvious by now, if it wasn't from the very subject line. I decided to build a Team Tactics deck that focused on the ability of the Thunderbolts to ready themselves. The first thing I did was pull out the super obvious choices. To me that consisted of 5 cards.

Speed Demon, Second Chance Speedster
Melissa Gold <> Songbird, Heroine Unbound

Blind Sided
Deadly Conspiracy
Team Tactics

Next I thought about what I need to make this work with the Highlander rule of Little Deck. Obviously you needs attack pumps and to make sure you get your Team Tactics the best solution outside of search is card draw. I also wanted ways of preventing reinforcement. With that in mind I set about building a curve.

At one, I chose two characters,

Count Vertigo, Werner Vertigo
Ogre, Weaponsmith

I'd play Dallas Riorden over Vertigo, but the only copies I have are in my Faces deck and I didn't want to replace her in there. lol He'll help out with reinforcement issues.

Captain Boomerang, George Harkness
Erik Josten <> Atlas, Kosmos Convict
Speed Queen, Female Fury
Tania Belinskya <> Red Guardian, Cold Warrior

Boomerang gets rids of two drops, Josten gets bigger and bigger and is just a nice attacker on turns 4 and 5. Speed Queen's readying effect is useful not so much for Team Tactics, but for card draw with Ego Gem. If Tania sticks around or you have to under drop, +4 attack for the turn is incredible.

Besides Speed Demon on three I have...

Dr. Doom, Richard's Rival
Hellcat, Patsy Walker
The Creeper, Jack Ryder

Doom will search out Tactics for you, Patsy is a pump that's likely to stick around even to turn 6 for Melissa Gold. The Creeper's card draw is very useful. He should net you at least 2 cards thanks to Evasion and he's only made better by being on everyone's team. And if I had any copies of Babs I'd totally play a copy of her over him though.

For four drops I picked 3 really strong card draw four drops.

Darkseid, Apokoliptian Opressor
Moondragon, Protector of the Mind Gem
Professor X, Headmaster

With luck, all of them will net you 2-3 cards per game. If you have an Ego Gem, Moondragon will guarantee at least one the turn she comes into play. And since you want the even initiative you can probably protect her until the next turn by making safe attacks.

As well as those three, I picked a card I've never really seen get used much, but I think is pretty good.

Dallas Riordan <> Vantage, Ionic Inheritor

She pumps her self at the cost of giving your opponents a card. But if you do you get a 10/7, which is pretty nice. It's too bad it only lasts for one attack.

Charcoal, Charles Burlingame
Paul Ebersol <> Techno, Man of Metal
Scarecrow, Psycho Psychologist

Since 5 is likely off initiative Charcoal makes for a scary defender. He'll stun just about anybody attacking into him. Especially if he's Hellcat's +2/+2 bonus on him. Paul Ebersol lets you get back a pump you might have used to stock up for turn 6, or if you somehow lost Team Tactics, he's a second copy. Scarecrow is a nice five drop or six drop and if you keep letting your opponent fill their hand with things like Vantage, Win-Lose Deal or bouncing 2 drops, he can deal a nice little stack of burn damage.

Finally, I'm packing one seven drop.

Beetle <> Mach 4, New Team Leader

He's got okay stats. Nothing bad, nothing phenomenal, but his ability can be very nice. Did you have to under drop last turn? Well, put that character adjacent to Beetle and give them +3/+3. Flight and range make him a good option as a Tactics finisher too.

That's a total of 22 cards, 19 characters, 3 plot twists. I all ready mentioned, Ego Gem and Win-Lose Deal which rock for card draw so let's make that 19 characters, 1 equipment, 4 plot twists.

Ego Gem, Infinity Gem

Win-Lose Deal

And that's 6 cards left. Pumps!

Barbaric Brawl
Combat Reflexes
Flying Kick
Justice, Like Lightning
Savage Beatdown

The only one that isn't at least 3 attack worth is Justice, Like Lightning which also allows you to exhaust target character if you play it on a Thunderbolt. No need to talk about these, they're just chocolate syrup. Once you get the ice cream in the bowl... Pour it on!

-Mike Continue reading...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Radioactive Waste! - A Preview Inspired Deck Idea

Thunderbolts Week begins for Marvel Universe previews and the first card I saw was a new version of Radioactive Man. Instantly I had an idea in mind... Because I've always loved counters and this adds another thing I love with counters, Control.

What's the plan? I wanna lock my opponents out of plot twists on turn three and hide this bad boy in the hidden area. Doom Patrol is the obvious answer for counters and I think to hide him the best option is Charles McNider <> Dr. Mid-Nite. I think I'll call it...


4x Elasti-Girl, Rita Farr
3x Atom Smasher, Al Rothstein
4x The Chief, Niles Caulder
2x Erik Josten <> Atlas, Kosmos Convict
4x Radioactive Man, Containment Suit
x Charles McNider <> Dr. Mid-Nite, Golden Age Academic.
2x Holocaust, Age of Apocalypse
1x Robotman, Cliff Steele
1x Beast Boy, Freak of Nature

3x Dayton Manor

4x Enemy of my Enemy
4x Freak Out
4x Misfits
4x Heroic Effect
4x Forbidden Loyalties
3x Counter Terrorism
3x New Identity

55 Cards

I figure that leaves 5 cards for MUN to fill in, with Counter Terrorism and New Identity being easy to cut for better alternatives. The theory is simple. Put counters on Radioactive Man, immediately on turn 3. Lock out your opponent's twists so they can't get enough attack to stun him, hide him on 4 and keep adding counters to your board until you can just win out with Holocaust burn.

Heroic Effect, Counter Terrorism and Forbidden Loyalties all work on Radioactive Man whether you hit Doom Patrol or not, but obviously the idea is to team up Doom Patrol and Thunderbolts so you can Freak Out onto old Chen boy. Misfits lets you smooth the curve and Enemy is Enemy, no need to explain that one. Dayton Manor is perfect if you team up on three and is reusable every turn. On 6, and I can easily see even turn 5, you can flip another one without caring that it's going to KO a resource if you plan to win that turn.

Anyway, that's the idea. Can't wait to see how much better it gets during the week!

-Mike Continue reading...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dazzler by Jim Lee

Now THAT is an awesome version of Dazzler. I'm not sure what all it really says in the corner there, but seeing as MY name is Mike, I'm just assuming this is "For Mike." This is just the universe rewarding me yet again for being up past 4AM. :)

-Mike Continue reading...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Marvel... Apes? Huh... Okay. I'm sold!

It was cool when DC did it, right? :)

I always (never) wondered what kind of simian Dr. Doom would be!

-Mike Continue reading...

Fantastical Zombies! The Marvel Zombies Essential Collection.

Little late, um, oh yeah, I meant to do this Monday... LOL Yeah. Reason being the DC announcement kinda depressed and scared me to be honest. BUT! Soldier on, is my motto.

So, the theme of the Marvel Zombies is weenie rush with lots of dead bodies sticking around. You've seen Hawkeye, I flirt with broken-ness a bit more, but not a LOT more, I promise. Hehe.

So Loyalty - Hardfast prevents you from playing Zombie Thing with anyone but the FF and MZ, otherwise you KO him. Zombie keeps you in play if you're recovering somebody else in the recovery phase.

His other restriction prevents him from having greater than 3 attack. This builds in a limit to how much damage he can do. The reason is because, obviously, he's free. What is his real purpose if you can't even play a flying kick on him?

He's there to be a body. There are multiple effects for the Marvel Zombies that care about bodies. KO'ing bodies most specifically. There are also costs that require you to control stunned characters or give you bonuses based on the number you control. So Thing and his 0 defense are very friendly to the deck.

Zombie Invisible Woman is the best bet to keep the deck on track. She searches for your key plot twists she grabs characters and she fulfills the stunned character requirements that fuel some strong effects.

A nice 2/3 for a 2-drop with concealed-optional. I've always loved Concealed - Optional. You can either protect her and use the ability every turn or you can put her out on the lines and attack with her... And if the attack goes bad, use her effect to go set up next turn. Or, if your opponent's attack goes a little too well, then you can use her effect and negate the effects your opponent has played on an attacker.

I'll make sure to show one of the awesome Ongoing plot twists she can snag next week!

Continuing up the curve is Zombie Human Torch. Human Torch usually is a burn character and he usually has good attack and bad Dee, so he was rather easy to design. 6/3 is good, but his real power is in the ability!

"Activate -> KO a character you control, target opponent loses endurance (uh oh, typo!) equal to that character's attack. Use this power only once per turn."

Is your attack about to go south? Did somebody negate a lot of your attack long pumps by killing a defender? Are they going to remove an attacker? Force Field Projection, Science Spire? Kill that attacker and do all that damage straight to the face! Characters still have attack while stunned too, so remember that zombie sitting around, doing nothing for you? Kill it, hit the face, make use of them! Hell yeah!

Flight and range make him a good attacker, but I think you'll often find yourself activating instead of attacking. And obviously make Human Torch a very strong defender. Again he's Concealed - Optional, so that you really have the choice of what you want to do with him. I think it adds a very interesting and fun level of strategy to your rush decks having a lot of Concealed - Optional.

Thematically Concealed works well for zombies, but I thought at the time it worked especially well for these four because they end up coming across the divide and into the Ultimate Universe. They do this when Zombie Reed tricks Ultimate Reed into building an interdimensional teleporter that then brings Ultimate Reed to Zombie Earth and allows Zombie Reed to take his Frightastic Family to the Ultimate Universe where they do battle with the rest of the Ultimate Fantastic Four.

What is the cost of 3 resource points? You can get 1 for free many ways. Including the new, awesome, previews of MUN that StuBarnes revealed on his blog (see link to your left!) where Squirrel Girl pops out a one drop friend when she comes into play. Shadowpact lets you pay 15 for 1 resource point up the curve and it's restricted to only Shadowpact character cards, period with it's "printed" restriction. But down the curve is much less expensive, your 3-drop Nick Fury can bring in 2 characters each turn for the cost of an exhaust! With a team-up for Anti-Matter that's a pair of 4/4 Anti-Green Lanterns! 8 damage a turn!

By limiting Zombie Mr. Fantastic's effect to Zombies, as well as forcing you to bring out 3 characters, it makes it much harder to just power out a sick 3-drop. Ahmed? No need to apply here, buddy. This is another reason for the 0-drops. It rewards you with the ability to bring out the undead Torch (...or Wolverine! More on that later.) with his buddies Thing and Mr. Fantastic. Still, there's plenty of good 1-cost targets for this ability.

And there you have the Zombie Fantastic Four! Please feel free to comment here or if you want to start a thread on VSRealms and link it in the comment section!

See you next time, when I show you some Zombie plot twists!

-Mike Continue reading...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Something Sinister This Way Comes (Little Deck Creations)

So, instead of the idea of a Week or Month dedicated to Little Decks, this will be a continuing series of articles.

I've always loved the Goblin Glider, so when I was pawing through cards looking for idea starters for little decks, I realized I HAD to do Sinister Syndicate. I don't have much Marvel Team-Up, but I had enough to add some real power to this deck. Looking through my old SS cards, it's easy to see why they never went far. Most of them outright suck. However, there's some serious gems.

Goblin Glider is ridiculous in a weenie deck. Flight, range, +4 attack and it usually costs "free." Thank you very much! I'll take one! Vulture, Adrian Toomes? He's a 2/1 with flight for one. You have to reveal as an additional cost, but you gain END for every bit of breakthrough he does. On turn one that's a 4 endurance swing a good lot of the time! And if you put the glider on him? Ridiculous!

Hammerhead, Gangster is a 2 drop, 3/2 that gives +2 attack to your characters while they attack directly. That's insane. Imagine 1 drop, Hammerhead, 2 drop + Toomes + Glider. Attack up into their 2 and 3 with the 1/2... Now swing direct with Hammerhead and Toomes and rock the endurance difference by 19! On turn three! I did just that with my Sinister Little Deck tonight.

Green Goblin, Norman Osborn can straight up KO a character in the support row. It can be played around by protecting that character, but the ability is so strong that even if it doesn't go off it should be because you can just fly over and kill the weenie not worth KO'ing for breakthrough. Then attack up into the character "protected" from Norman with some pumps. Like Spider Slayers. Then KO them with Sadistic Choice anyway. Hehe.

19 Characters

Chameleon, Dmitri Smerdyakov
Basilisk, Basil Elks
Doppleganger, Killer Clone
Razorfist, Sociopathic Mercenary
Tombstone, Lonnie Lincoln
Tinkerer, Phineas Mason
Vulture, Adrian Toomes
Vulture, Aerial Stalker
Electro, Shock Jock
Hammerhead, Gangster
Shriek, Frances Barrison
Silvermane, Silvio Manfredi
Swarm, Fritz Von Meyer
Trapster, Peter Petruski
Albert Malik <> Red Skull, Axis of Evil
Spider-Man Robot, Timespinner
Venom, Mac Gargan
Carnage, Psychopath
Green Goblin, Norman Osborn

1 Equipment

Goblin Glider

1 Location

Doc Ock's Lab

10 Plot Twists

The Contract
Crushing Blow
Flying Kick
Legacy of Evil
No Fear
Sadistic Choice
Sand Trap
Savage Beatdown
Sinister Salvo
Spider Slayers

Chameleon, Doppleganger and Red Skull are the only ways to facilitate The Contract, so I might cut that after I play more games, but so far whenever I've had it, I've had one of them. Carnage is a great game ending option on 5 with a one drop. For the most part my mulligan has just been characters, but hitting Hammerhead on two is usually at least 4 extra damage by turn 4. You lose a lot of endurance off Razorfist, Venom, Carnage, Electro and Doc Ock's Lab, but the way the curve looks I think the deck is supposed to lose if the games goes to six anyway. Hehe. Enjoy your endurance while you have it. Use it. I should probably play more pumps to make up for this, but I kinda like the deck so far.

Are there any stars of the MTU Sinister Syndicate that I'm missing? Leave a comment and let me know!

-Mike Continue reading...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Look'it Me! I'm Spider-Man!

I've been playing this game for like two hours. You have a little stick figure and you click on the platforms to "swing" from lines you shoot out from your hands. Very Spider-Man-esque. My record right now is 134.72 yards. Gotta go try and beat it.

-Mike Continue reading...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Going A Little Crazy

I've become engrossed with making decks for the Little Deck Format. Read it about it here on and I'll be waiting when you get back.


So how crazy did I go? Yesterday I put together 8 decks! It's great! I have so many great cards in one ofs not the normal four-ofs you need for so many full size decks. But in a Highlander environment that's all I need! I have no Mobilize or Enemy of my Enemy, but those are banned! I think I'm in love! The first thing I built was actually an Avenger's Reservist deck. I always loved the deck, but never got to play it except in proxy.

In building it I was reminded of one big problem. You really only played Carol Danvers because you couldn't play 7-8x Hawkeye, Clinton Barton. So, now you still need 4-5 four drops, but you only have three on team! And I don't have Dr. Druid! Ack! What to do? Well, I looked through my Avengers cards and noticed Squadron Supreme had a lot of reservists. Lots of good reservists!

So in went Golden Archer and... Amphimbian. I could go with Brotherhood reservists, but those are in my TNNB deck and I didn't want to break it up. It's all ready got 4 random 2 drops because I don't have Amelia's. Hehe. Anyway, I looked around and I like some other Squadron reservists like Albert Gaines <> Nuke, Moonglow, Lady Lark (Linda Lewis) and Arcanna. Finally I grabbed Paladin and my curve was decided.

21 characters.

Beast, Furry Blue Scientist
Rick Jones, A Hero's Best Friend
Thermite, Sam Yurimoto
Dane Whitman <> Black Knight, Heroic Paladin
Natasha Romanoff <> Black Widow, Super Spy
Paladin, Intruders
Black Panther, T'Challa
Lady Lark, Linda Lewis
Moonglow, Melissa Hanover
Quicksilver, Mutant Avenger
Amphibian, Kingsley Rice
Carol Danvers <> Warbird, Galactic Adventurer
Golden Archer, Wyatt McDonald
Hawkeye, Clinton Barton
Albert Gaines <> Nuke, Atomic Powerhouse
Hawkeye, Leader By Example
She-Hulk, Gamma Bombshell
Harry Delgado, Acolyte
Wonder Man, Simon Williams
Hercules, Son of Zeus
Arcanna, Arcanna Jones (...She's not related to Rick is she?)

This was always an attack deck, so I grabbed a few obvious pumps first of all.

3 Plot twists

Call Down The Lightning
Heroes In Reserve
Savage Beatdown

Next I decided if I should play a team up and figured with the ease of searching it, I might as well. The Squad and Avengers have their own team up anyway. It also made my non-Reservists, reservists... However, I didn't think I needed to play any non-Reservists. Plus depending on the team up would suck. But having it would occasionally make Answer the Call and Pancea Potion game winners! Even without the team up Answer is great on every turn I'm likely to play it except 6. To try and make my curve better, I also added Hibernaculum. At the discard of a Squadron Supreme character I can dig for my characters or bring back a character I lost earlier. It doesn't have to be Squadron either.

4 Plot Twists

Answer The Call
Pancea Potion
Supreme Sanction

I wanted more attack pumps so I grabbed Avengers Mansion, hard to argue with a reusable pump! Air Strike can be used as attack and a card draw. Might Makes Right is a nice 3 attack all the time and if I play into Answer, Pancea and Nuke it's Beatdown #2. That was 30 cards, but I kept coming back to a card that was in vogue with Reservist for a while, War of Attrition. It's like Have a Blast without the discard and most of the time and no drawback in this deck. I decided to keep it because I all most always play 61 cards and often play a little over 30 in sealed. I know the extras in sealed are bad, but mathematically the difference between 60 and 61 doesn't effect your mulligan condition.

1 Location

Avengers Mansion

3 Plot Twists

Air Strike
Might Makes Right
War of Attrition

Total = 31

Final List

21 characters.

Beast, Furry Blue Scientist
Rick Jones, A Hero's Best Friend
Thermite, Sam Yurimoto
Dane Whitman <> Black Knight, Heroic Paladin
Natasha Romanoff <> Black Widow, Super Spy
Paladin, Intruders
Black Panther, T'Challa
Lady Lark, Linda Lewis
Moonglow, Melissa Hanover
Quicksilver, Mutant Avenger
Amphibian, Kingsley Rice
Carol Danvers <> Warbird, Galactic Adventurer
Golden Archer, Wyatt McDonald
Hawkeye, Clinton Barton
Albert Gaines <> Nuke, Atomic Powerhouse
Hawkeye, Leader By Example
She-Hulk, Gamma Bombshell
Harry Delgado, Acolyte
Wonder Man, Simon Williams
Hercules, Son of Zeus
Arcanna, Arcanna Jones

1 Location

Avengers Mansion

10 Plot Twists

Air Strike
Answer The Call
Call Down The Lightning
Heroes In Reserve
Might Makes Right
Pancea Potion
Savage Beatdown
Supreme Sanction
War of Attrition

So, once I get a few games in I'll update you with how it does. If you have any suggestions on how to make it better, I'd love to hear them, though this is me making decks out of what I have for now. Doesn't mean I can't be on the look out for new cards, hehe.

And seeing as I made 8 of these... Maybe I'll do Little Deck Week! Or maybe not... lol I'll definitely be posting a lot of these either way. If I feel up to it tomorrow you'll know.

-Mike Continue reading...

Marvel Zombies: The Dead Shall Walk Again

In thematically representing zombies, what is most important? I think there's obviously the dread of flesh eating monsters, but it's hard to scare your opponent while you're playing. Then again if you ever sat across from Roy Harper and his Teen Titan pals, you may just have felt dread. Or, maybe you were abused by a wall of Gotham police officers escorting Sue and Reed Richards from the hospital.

What they have in common is what I think is the best way to represent zombies. Swarm. A crowd of zombies surrounding you, no escape, impossible to fight your way through the mass of teeth and out reached arms... That's the quintessential scene of any zombie movie if you ask me.

Building a swarm team is hard because you have to supplement the ability of the deck to play out characters. The norm of a curve deck playing out one character and one resource per turn is supported by the draw step without any help. Trying to play two or three characters a turn quickly empties the hand and leaves you devoid of resources. So, draw effects and recursion are essential to a strong swarm deck.

This card, practically, gives the Marvel Zombies both. Originally it allowed you to thin any number of Zombies from your deck as long as their cost was three or less. This stacked the KO'd pile far too quickly and I felt that this would break with something from outside the set if left alone. I designed the card just around the time Attend or Die was being broken and so I always had it limited to recruiting three unique characters, but didn't want it to be too weak.

The idea of zombies coming back from the grave I think is the best part of the card. As the zombies kill more and more heroes they continue to join the ranks of undead.

Next Monday I share with you the members of the Zombie Fantastic Four! Continue reading...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spent The Night Playing Vs... With A New Player

That picture, is a picture of VS doing it's magic.

Once again I got somebody new to play VS and I'm hoping I can get them to stick to it, because if I turn this play group over to VS... Well, it'll be a bunch of new VS System players, that's what!

While teaching Matt with a couple test games, another gamer who went with me to a few VS tournaments, Charles, called "next" and played 3-4 games against Matt while I got my hands on Super Smash Brothers Brawl for the first time.

VS is so fun though I kept finding myself forgetting Brawl to look over and correct little mistakes like the amount of defense given by a Cover Fire or reminding Charles that Oa only works on attackers.

I think there's hope for converting Matt, after all, how can you resist the lure of Hounds Lock? Or realizing that Total Anarchy is about to hose an Arkham deck! Or Savage Beatdown on a Mark II into 4-drop Poison Ivy followed by Hounds Lock!

You know, I'd forgotten how cool Sentinels were since I last played too. Hehe. Hounds Lock, despite the later sour feelings, is a thing of terror and beauty.


P.S. that's his 6th resource in his hand. Continue reading...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stop Uwe Boll Before He Gets A Comic Book Movie!

Infamous German "movie" director Dr. Uwe Boll, yes, that bastard is a doctor, has said that if one million people sign a petition asking him to retire from creating films, he will do so. Do I believe him? Not really. Will he find a loop hole? That seems to be his thing. But isn't it worth the slight chance he'll quit? Isn't it worth it to never see some indy book like Fables or The Walking Dead slaughtered and strewn about the silver screen like so much feces?

Is it worth it to thumb our noses at the director of such "gems" as Bloodrayne, Dungeonsiege, Alone In The Dark and House of the Dead? YES!

Eventually he'll run out of video games. Eventually he'll have to expand his horizons and license out properties from other mediums. What's the easiest target? Comic books. The comic book movie craze is still in full swing, they're still making big bucks and you have to imagine that some independent publishers are more than willing to do anything to sell a few more books or cash out on something that isn't gonna sell any more.

Please, Dr. Boll, be a man of your word... Cause I'm signature 170,004. I don't doubt we'll hit a million.

-Mike Continue reading...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Converting The Non-Believers Part 2

All right, so I'm attempting to play VS with the "Magic Player" again today, hopefully he can show up early enough to get a game or two in, instead of just a quick run through the rules.

Update later tonight!


EDIT: I think we have us a gamer! Quote Muffin (yeah, he goes by the name Muffin), "I hate you, I really didn't need to ever actually play this." Me, "You've seen how cheap older boxes are, right?" Muffin, "Dammit, yes!" Continue reading...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Marvel Universe Previews! Captain America = Counters FTW!

Marvel Universe Preview: The Avengers

If you haven't seen the new previews from, go check them out! They also drop one hell of a cool tidbit about how there's going to be six character cards dedicated to Captain America! NICE! Now, I'm sure one of those is going to be Bucky <> Captain America and I bet we get a Punisher with the version Captain America too! We all ready have the really cool art for that.

What I'd really like to talk about though is the Captain America 2-drop. Over on the realms in the preview thread (Read It Here!) there's been a fair amount of discussion about this character all ready. Like how he goes well with Avengers Reassembled, but I think that was obvious in the preview. The idea I really like is Captain America, Cable-3 and Bodyslide! Imagine if you will a deck... Sort of like this...

4x Rick Jones, A Hero's Best Friend
Archangel, Angel
6x Multiple Man <> Jamie Madrox, Army
4x Captain America, The Patriot - Secret Avenger
2x Spider-Man, New New Avenger
2x Longshot, Hero of Mojoworld (Or better yet,
Amelia Voght, Acolyte! As suggested by Flashback81)
4x Cable, Nathan Summers
1x Sage, Xavier's Secret Weapon

4x Black Panther, T'Challa
2x Wonder Man, Simon Williams

1x Blackbird Blue

2x X-Corp: Amsterdam, X-Corp

4x Enemy Of My Enemy
3x Time Breach
4x Bodyslide
4x Heroes In Reserve
4x Forbidden Loyalties
3x Counter Strike
3x Fastball Special
61 Total

Only imagine you've seen all of Marvel Universe, you gave it more than 5 minutes of thought and you tested it. As vs_savant2 pointed out in the VS Realms thread above if you pull out a full pump on T'Challa on turn 5 he's a 9/8 all ready. Drop Captain America successfully and he's a 10/9, plus Cap at 4/3. 14 attack for 5 points? Sweeet. Bodyslide Captain and that's 16 attack on turn 5. I'd imagine Counter Strike and maybe Time Breach would be easily replaced with better cards, but this is all off the top of my head.

If you play Angel, Captain America, Cable and then 2x Multiple Man, Bodyslide Captain America and play a second Captain America... Let's say you kept Angel.

Captain America on 2 = 2 +1/+1 counters. Captain America on 4 = 5 +1/+1 counters. Captain America on your attack step on 4 = 6 +1/+1 counters. 13/13 is a damn nice chunk of stats even divided six ways. Imagine if you Bodyslide the new Captain? Imagine if you Bodyslide the new Captain and play a THIRD Captain America instead of 2 Multiple Man.

(Throwing in a free Amelia adds 2-3 counters the first way, 5 with the double Bodyslide.)

Very cool.

-Mike Continue reading...

Holy Reruns, Batman! It's a ZOMBIE!

All most one year ago I did a guest article on for Miguel when he was going on vacation to a lovely tropical setting. I had forgotten about this, but luckily before I went and redid all the hard work of writing an article I remembered and now, for you re-viewing pleasure is that article. It will be the beginning of a series I'll write revealing an entire Essential Collection I designed back then. As such I'll use the old card template for all of them. Also, these were all created using only the original Marvel Zombies limited series and their appearances in Ultimate Fantastic Four. If you have a favorite Marvel Zombie that you'd like to see next, just request it in the comments section and if they're in the set, I'll try and preview them next!


"Mike! We need you! There's a gap in the release schedule and we're desperate to get a new Essential Collection out the door! You have free reign, do whatever you want, just please, please help us out!"

What is something I dream of, Alex? That's correct! Well, since it's unlikely to really happen I've been playing around on my own. The first thing to decide, after picking the property, was mechanics. Considering the property I chose, one was obvious. What is that you might ask? Glad you did...



For the Marvel Zombies you HAVE to have a keyword representing the fact that they don't die. Not like normal heroes and villains anyway. Now slapping "Zombie" on a card is easy, figuring out what that means? Not so much. My first idea was that they'd all be immune to KO effects, but that quickly got cut, because zombies are hard to kill, not impossible. It would also mess with a lot of costs and things I didn't want to muck about with.

Then I got an even better idea. Zombies may not be able to be killed normally, but they are killable. So what "normally" sends a character to the KO pile? The wrap up during the Recovery Phase!

Zombie. "Whenever this character would be KO'd during the end of turn wrap up, it instead stays in play, stunned."

So now you have zombies that are hard to kill and linger around seemingly ineffective, but ready to bite your ankles if you leave them laying for too long.

After that I realized another thing about zombies. The Marvel heroes turned into zombies might be intelligent, but they were slaves to The Hunger. There's no way they could team up with other hero and villain teams like
normal characters. Even Magneto and the Sentinels had a descent enough reason if you really thought about it. But zombies? They'd just eat you the second lunch was late. Or over. Or your back was turned.

Loyalty - Hardfast. "You may only recruit this character if all other characters you control share a printed affiliation with this character. If you recruit a character who does not share a printed affiliation, KO this character."

This one I think not only lets there be some highly power zombies (Hawkeye up there, despite appearances, would probably be ridiculously 'popular' without this new keyword), but also encourages mono-team decks. UDE has done a good job of getting people to team up... I want the left side of your cards to actually match. You can do a lot of borderline broken things with a character card when you absolutely, positively know that Dr. Doom will never get his grubby hands on it. The best part though is that it'd be a mechanic you could revisit a lot more often than Zombie and if I got to design a mechanic, what I'd really want is to make a lasting impact on the game I love so much.

-Mike Continue reading...