Monday, June 30, 2008

Thursday (Yeah I Know) Thirteen - Week Four

But it's Monday! But I'm way behind! So let's cut to the chase. Four drops. You love them, I love them. These are my favorites and not necessarily the best, but just the ones I like best. Some are important to the history of the game, some are power brokers and some are just damn cool or even all three. I cut down from 24 this week, proving once again, that it's getting easier as I go along.

Here we go...

#13: You know I love No-Hand Squadron. He is a hell of a good reason why. He's a nice 7/6 and then you get his effect. Burn for 6!? Crazy! How can he do that!? Well, they gain one back for each card in your hand. Oh, okay... Well, wait, so if I just have no cards he burns for 6? Ooooh yeah.

#12: Little Bucky didn't die, he grew up Red. This version of the Winter Soldier is unaffiliated and falls into a very dangerous category of characters. His power allows you to directly KO a character. That's a nasty power. In a game won and lost on missed drops at times, KO'ing someone, effectively for free? Especially a character up the curve? Incredible. Unlike some other characters with this ability though, Bucky makes you work for it. I have this Turbo Bucky combo-ish deck in my head that I'll have to write up if it ever starts firing. I have a feeling Sniper Shot ala Eugenio is a much easier and more consistent choice, not to mention all ready developed, but options are good.

#11: Ahh, Poison Ivy, quite a regular on my lists so far. She's a bit further down on the list here, but she's just not quite as good at four as she is earlier in the game. Stealing a 2 drop or KO'ing a character is very nice, but her activate cost is a bit prohibitive. While Bucky kills things without having to do anything and other characters kill things by doing what comes naturally, she has to have a character stunned before she can use her ability. So KO'ing a four drop on 4 require a 3 drop to go up the curve. Why is she a favorite then? Well, it's Poison Ivy! Also, I had quite a few sealed decks that decimated people with Ivy Lock.

#10: Wow, I may be under rating this guy, but I'm still trying figuring him out. With the Iron Man support in Marvel Universe, just having the name is pretty good. Extremis Upgrade is ridiculous. Nimrod every turn? Check! Stark Armory growing him every turn? Check! I'm A Futurist doubles as a character search? Yes, yes it does! Better yet though, his effect is amazing. It lets you keep your board and they get bigger to boot! Your three drop is good as a 5/4, he'll be better as a 6/5. Your five drop is only a 9/9? Next turn he's a 10/10. That's using average characters! Imagine him teamed up with Thing: Heavy Hitter or Wolverine: Logan! Or my favorite pairing so far, Radioactive Man: Containment Suit.

#9: So John isn't obviously a powerful card. But he's on here because I have a really fun Willpower deck that uses him to power a few combos. His ally effect works great with Oa, Ultra-Humanite: Evolutionary Antecendent, Katma Tui, Wall of Will, Guy Gardner and Satellite HQ. Even The Ring Has Chosen sometimes is ably assisted by John. I've turned games around when I missed on 5, but powered up and searched out Sinestro-6.

#8: So drawing cards, nice defense and he grants team ups. You'd think they're be powerful in that order: most to least. But the ability to give adjacent characters the X-Men affiliation is what really put Professor X on the map. Drawing cards is always nice, but you have to make it to the recovery phase. Good defense helps with that, but even better is letting Xavier's School ready Puppet Master (or you know, Dr. Light: Master of Holograms before he was banned, who... got another Puppet Master usually anyway) to exhaust an additional character who is one more character who can't attack into the big chair end of Chuck. Oh, and then draw a card when they can't stun him. Hehe.

#7: My only cheat this week. Bullets or arrows, guns or bows, these guys will kill you dead. In that power group of 4-drops with KO powers, these are probably the best. Punisher KO's anyone he stuns at the low cost of playing equipment while making equipment better anyway! Merlyn requires locations and is a little more fragile, but his power has been proven in the past, having won a PC. He activates, sure, but he doesn't need a stunned character! Both are 7/7 with range and both play into a theme of their team. Marvel Knights are good with KO's and equipment, while the League of Assassins was the original Location hog. Both have great search, they're both uncommons, it's no wonder that with the addition of a KO ability they've rocked the house. And luckily both are very cool characters. Merlyn's appearances in Green Arrow's solo series which I recently caught up on are absolutely brutal in the best possible way.

#6: Rogue is the kind of card that makes combos you didn't think possible, possible. She allows you to copy an ability, like, maybe KO'ing characters based on your number of locations or exhaust a character like Puppet Master or any number of other things. My favorite Rogue trick was in a Heroes United deck. Rogue, Mr. Fantastic: Stretch, and Professor X: World's Most Powerful Telepath. Normal F4 burn got 9-12 off each Cosmic. With Rogue and Professor X you could get 18 with just the two of them! And on the occasion you faced off against Thing: Heavy Hitter...? 22 damage on their initiative turn 7 is usually insurmountable.

#5: "I bet you a fucking dollar The Captain makes Top 8 at Worlds." Well, I wish Guglio or anyone else had taken me up on that offer. And thank you to Brian Eugenio, local deck builder extraordinaire, who not only proved my prediction on The Captain right, but also went all the way to the finals and won the WHOLE event with the Nextwaver, becoming the very first VS Worlds champion. Which I also predicted after seeing the Top 8 after day 2. Congratulations Brian! You deserve it, big time. I could tell you a million things to do with The Captain, but I'd rather just build decks and show you later!

#4: This card just doesn't seem like it should work the way it does. I read it and thought for sure I was reading it wrong. Go ahead, take a look... Read it yourself. Yeah, see? She's direct burn that you can add attack pumps onto! How crazy is that!? Savage Beatdown? +5, direct to the face! But of course, like any deck that attack so efficiently, think Quickfate, you play Samantha Parrington on 5 and Elektra can attack twice letting you play for the turn effects like Flying Kick, Combat Reflexes and Tania Belinskya. I like to team her up with my favorite 3-drop Dr. Doom with Lust for Power to load up a huge hand of pumps before you smack the crap out your opponent!

#3: I think Sentinel Mark V is one of the most important cards to ever be printed. For good or evil, Curve Sentinels was the dominant deck in VS for longer than anything before or since. Strategies like Puppet Master and Rigged Elections have always been at the edge of the meta waiting to jump in and steal the event, but Curve Sentinels ruled supreme. They had the tools since Origins with Bastion, Nimrod, Micro-Sentinels, Search and Destroy and one set later the addition of Total Anarchy, but they needed a bridge to the future, and this four drop/five drop turned the dial to 11. I enjoyed my time with Curve Sentinels, but will admit I was very happy to see Avengers dethrone them. I think the reason many people felt smothered by the Purple Curve King was not because the Robots weren't a good deck, but because they were the Kings of Savage/Nasty/Overload too. Combined with an open ended deck list they could tech against and beat all most anything.

#2: I love assassin characters. Deathstroke is one of the coolest. He's so cool even Deadpool, who originally was just Rob Liefield's excuse to draw Deathstroke, is that much cooler by association. And Deadpool is cool on his own! This version is one of my favorites. He's powerful and will usually see play if he's your main four drop. The effect of burning your opponent whenever he stuns is simple, but very effective. He's practically got invulnerability, but instead of taking 0, you just even the playing field. This gave him a prominent place in the High Voltage burn deck that aimed to drop your opponent to zero very fast by Enemy'ing out the nastiest burn options it could get it's hands on. Besides effects though, the guy has his own team! And a sword too! (if you get that joke, congratulations, you have a good memory!)

#1: You knew this was coming right? How could you not? Dr. Doom won the first PC, he won the last PC. He was my first major VS love and to this day nothing thrills me more than dropping him, turning up a search card and turning it back down before clearing a board full of weenies with Reign of Terror. 7/9, 10/6, whatever flavor your Doomstadt it turns him into a monster and if you don't like attacking he can just remove people from the fight to begin with via Mystical. Best of all though, your opponent can't do anything about it. Locking the plot twists in your opponent's hands from being played can devastate their game plan. I've had people scoop on turn 4 in response to a second Reign of Terror that they're powerless to stop. Diabolic Genius, is probably the most successful card in VS history. I'd be very surprised if any character card has been in more PC Top 8 decks than him. And I bet he gives Beatdown and Enemy of My Enemy a run for their money.

Continue reading...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Crossblog Challenge Prizes!

Remember the Crossblog Challenge?

No? Well, it was a week of coordinated posts by some of my fellow bloggers that lead to a puzzle, helped you solve the puzzle and told you how to turn in the answer for a prize of 12 packs of VS system product! I was very excited about it and dedicated a few days of time to figuring it out.

And I won!

So I got my packs today. It was 4 packs of Man Of Steel, 2 Infinite Crisis, 3 JLA and 3 Avengers. Now, that's certainly not the most desirable package I've ever received, but for free I'd take a any cards! Hehe. I got some decent rares even. 3... 2... 1... and Removed From Continuity from the Crisis packs; Secret Origins, Psycho Pirate and Mogo from JLA; Foil War of Attrition, Avenger's Mansion and Avenger's Assemble from MAV and Astro Force and Anti-Life Equation from Superman.
The only two bad rares were Hank Henshaw <> Cyborg: Evil Imposter and Ride of the Black Racer, which at least is a very cool looking foil.

Thanks guys! The challenge alone was fun enough that I didn't care about prizes as much as solving it.

Speaking of the fun of it, I'm gonna try and get back in the swing of things here soon. Tonight or tomorrow I'll do late Thursday Thirteen on my favorite 4-drops and then I'll post up the text of the first draft of the Survivors team to start the second part of the Marvel Zombies Fan EC. I also have a contest of my own brewing in my head. It'll involve deckbuilding and alternative strategies. More on that later though!

Remember to read the Crossblog Challenge hosts by clicking them in my blog roll, and if you don't remember, they were Lost Hemisphere, Lost Planet and The Kamiza!

Continue reading...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Much Late Tournamnet Report and Modern Age Musings

Pre-Face: I've been working on this since Friday now and I just can't remember the details of the matches well enough to match them up with the endurance totals. So, I'd just like to say upfront I switch from detailed report to kinda fuzzy recollections half way through.

Okay, so better late than never! I apologize for the delay, stuff came up. But last Monday I went to a tournament in Hayward, for the Marvel Release Celebration run by Curtis "T'Challa" Brown who most of you probably know on Realms. Playing Superman/Batman Robot in Modern required me to borrow some cards, but luckily Curtis is very cool and all was well. Even though he didn't have exactly what I wanted he had stuff and I was happy just to play.

The switch from Sealed to Modern was originally due to product lacking, but as of the day of the tournament there WAS enough MUN to do sealed but, rightfully, Curtis said unless everybody wanted to do Sealed we'd stick with Modern cause the price difference was 25 vs. 10. I was kinda looking forward to sealed, but we didn't get a totally unanimous vote so Modern prep for World's it was.

With me was my friend Muffin who's learning the game and literally decided to play a deck built from 3 packs of DC Legends, 3 packs of Marvel Legends and whatever reprints he had from older packs. That's a trooper folks! Well, in my line of thinking anyway. He just "likes" playing his own cards and he just likes playing period. I never was really certain about the idea of archtypical players, but I think he fits. I don't know which one, but who cares as long as we enjoy ourselves.

Here's the list I played.

4x Superman/Batman Robot
4x Maggie Sawyer
4x White Lotus
2x Huntress, Vicious Vigilante
2x Krypto
4x Barbara Gordon <> Oracle, Elite Hacker
1x Batman, Twilight Vigilante
4x Superman, Man of Tomorrow
2x Dinah Laurel Lance <> Black Canary, Cry In The Dark

27 Characters

2x Coast City

4x Bat-Signal
3x Blinding Rage
4x Combat Reflexes
4x Crackshot
3x Heroic Effort
4x Home Surgery
1x Mental Blast
4x Teen Supreme
4x The Hook-Up

34 Others

Ideally I would have played 3x Metropolis Marvel instead of Man of Tomorrow, though he's very nice with Coast City, which I had never thought about until I was looking through Curtis' cards for some filler. I think in Modern Coast City will definitely stick around and maybe even in Silver if there's room. Blinding Rage/Mental Blast woulda been Soaring To New Heights, but I really think Blinding Rage works well. Especially if you have 4 Krypto's like you mean too. Also Heroic Effort should be Clash of Worlds.

I think I'll write a bit more about a fixed deck list below, at the event I wasn't exactly stressing. I just wanted to play. I went a long time without getting many games in and as I said when starting this blog, I really missed it because I love VS. I'll play this game long after it's gone, which hopefully won't be anytime soon.

(Pre-order, pre-order, pre-order...)

Game one I was paired with Chris and we sat down and shuffled up. I mulliganed a hand with The Hook-Up two Teen Supremes and a Home Surgery. I wish I had kept cause the first card off the top was Maggie and I drew into a Robot on Turn 1.

In anycase I had evens and so he played Mastermind Excello first, discarding a Hulk to draw two. I laid down Maggie Sawyer and swung for one. Turn two I had Huntress concealed and passed. He must have missed based on the endurance totals, but I originally was thinking he had played Rick Jones. I'm sure he dug for cards though. I swung direct for 5 and passed. Next turn he had Hiroim and I played Barbie. He swung on Maggie, I took 4 and Bat-Signaled for Twilight Vigilante. I think I had Hook-Up and started the usual big card draw here.

And, I just can't make sense of the game from the life totals from here. He hit Korg, he hit Green King. I know I had a huge hand full of pump and just needed the Teen Supremes a couple turns to win, but never drew any after the mulligan. He went from 44 to 39 to 28 to 24 to 19 to 15 to 9 to 3 to -3, but I was at -9 by that time. He hit me for 23 with Green King and then 6 more. I also taught him that Righteous Anger is a once per turn kinda thing. Hehe. I remember we made it turn 8, but my Black Canary didn't do much against the 17/17 King.

Next round I was inevitably paired against the new player I brought with me. lol Seems to be the way tournaments work out for me. There was only 8 of us anyway. Probably a good chance we'd have faced off anyway.

I'm pretty sure I had Maggie Sawyer to start and then Huntress, Vicious Vigilante. His first play was Bart Allen <> Kid Flash, Heir to the Mantle. He followed with Firehawk, Flaming Justice and I played Barbara and used The Hook-Up a couple times.

On turn four I had Batman and he played Rose Wilson <> The Ravager, Redemption Earned who for some reason I didn't think was on the Titans later and would cost me the game. Batman and a pump hit Ravager for 10 and did 10.Gotta love that double stun endurance loss. On turn five I got stupid and greedy. He played Freddy Freeman <> Captain Marvel Jr., Third in Line and I thought, "Oh man, I need to be able to stun back at least one of his guys... I better play my Robot here."

So I boost the Robot for five and pass to him. He team attacks with Rose and Freddy and I plotz. I've got 2 Home Surgery that will do nothing and a hand full of Crackshot and Combat Reflexes just waiing for a juicy Teen Supreme. So yeah, I trade 5 for none, but lose my Robot. Next turn I have like Krypto and a Teen Supreme. Barbie and Hook-Up into another. And he under drops a big board of characters who aren't teamed up! I could about cry. I've never seen a prettier opening just waiting for smashies.

Le sigh.

Long story, short, too late... I lose on 8 and made a mistake in my attacks, where I coulda gotten it to him -14 while I was at -15, but the actual end was -15 to -7 or something. I played Canary concealed to guarantee swing backs, but I'm pretty sure he team attacked my visible character so... Maybe I could have won. I don't know. I wasn't in the right frame of mind. I got very tilted by the Robot mis-recruit on 5. I was out of the game there. Either way it was a fun, tense match up for me.

In the final round I played Kevin and had evens. I played out Maggie and he responded with the same play, commenting, "Uh oh, you're playing the same thing!" and I replied, "Maybe, I guess we'll see."

Well, I had Barbara on three and flipped the Hook-Up named GK/Team Superman. He played Batman, Problem Solver also using The Hook-Up. On turn 4 I played Batman, Twilight Vigilante in the visible area and he dropped Superman: (EDIT) Last Son of Krypton and No Stun Endurance Loss even when you double it. We attacked around and I lost Maggie. Next turn was Superman for both of us. I had Superman: Man of Tomorrow in front of Batman and he played Superman, Metropolis Marvel after At Their Finest and searching him out. I flipped Coast City and activated on Man of Tomorrow, se he went at him with Marvel and I reinforced. I love taking 0.

On six I played Superman/Batman Robot and he dropped... I forget but he missed Batman and I know that was his main plan cause it was much lamented. It probably wouldn't have made a ton of difference, but then again Coast City was pretty useful more than once. Oh! Two Face. Who tapped down my Superman/Batman Robot. I had one Teen Supreme but the pumps in hand were probably better used waiting I thought. I mean, both Two-Face and Superman: Metropolis Marvel were 12/12 to my 12/12 so it didn't gain me board advantage and if I drew a Home Surgery, Babs could recover the Robots for Teen Supremes to go off.

On seven I played Canary and he replaced Superman with the 7 drop who's just a real dick. Deterrent Force, that is. He activated on Canary and Two Face exhaust Superman/Batman Robot I believe. No, he attacked, that's right. He hit Batman and I swung back with the Robot to trade. Superman after a Blinding Rage. On 8 I had... Krypto I believe. He played 8-drop Kara Zor-El. Who is just awesome, by the way.

Robot/Krypto team attack Superman and I took 2. Black Canary swung into Kara and I played a Crackshot. I played a Combat Reflexes and Batman negated it. Blinding Rage for the sealed deal and the final totals are -1 to 1. I'm the negative one.

So close. One pump. At some point he negated my Teen Supremes too, I'm sure.

So, what would I play in Modern for the Robots after this experience, ideally?

4x Superman/Batman Robot
4x Maggie Sawyer
2x White Lotus
3x Alfred Pennyworth
4x Krypto
4x Barbara Gordon <> Oracle, Elite Hacker
1x Batman, Twilight Vigilante
3x Superman, Metropolis Marvel
2x Dinah Laurel Lance <> Black Canary, Cry In The Dark
1x Lady Shiva, Jade Canary

27 Characters

3x Coast City

4x Bat-Signal
3x Blinding Rage
3x Clash of Worlds
4x Combat Reflexes
2x Omnipotence
4x Home Surgery
3x Soaring To New Heights
4x Teen Supreme
4x The Hook-Up

34 Others

The draw power is fantastic. The ability to just drop pump after pump after pump is incredible. Even better is that with Clash of Worlds you can play a HUGE four drop and a HUGE five drop that take no stun endurance loss and with Coast City and Home Surgery you can often force very bad attacks. Without the digging power of Helm of Nabu, I think you need a longer curve, but can still go off on 4 or 5 and just win outright at least once every few games.

I would probably even play this at World's just because it'd be fun. Not the best choice, but I expect a lot of Marvel Knights and while a deck like MKKO seems like a really bad match, I think you smash them. Just don't recruit the Robot without an active Omni on Black Widow. Blade might hurt a bit, but I think you can recover from losing Barbara and stabilize.

Against Hulk Omnipotence has got it's obvious uses. One of which is NOT stopping Green Scar, but if they can't play Righteous Anger things are pretty good for you. Bat Got Your Tongue is a nice target against JLA/World's Finest builds. Illuminati is chock full of targets to Omnipotence and is probably the one match up you need to take odds on, in case they're going to Glove you.

I don't know what all else is out there, but I'm sure Reservists will see play. Crime Lords have to have some kind of juicy build. Quicksilver/Clash/Teen Supremes seems a pretty likely combo deck waiting to happen. S.H.I.E.L.D. potentially has a couple builds that could make it. And I'll say it here, I bet The Captain is in the Top 8 either Day 1 or Day 3.

Continue reading...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tournament Report Delayed

Sorry guys, inspiration struck and I've been working on my novel instead. Can't pass up a gift like that, I've written 3,482 words and that's more than I've gotten done in one sitting for more than a year. Looks like I'm actually going to finish it sometime this week.

Exciting times! Guess it's time to get myself ready to deal with trying to get an editor and publisher.

Anybody have any connections they wanna hook me up with? I'm totally not above nepotism.

-Mike Continue reading...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Checking In With Some Art

Played at the Hayward Release Celebration put on by Angel's Anime Outpost and run by the Realms' Curtis "T'Challa" Brown. Had a good time, played me some Robots again. Was hampered a bit by being unable to draw what I needed, but... More on that later. Click below to see some art I found that I just thought was awesome. Kind of goofy and light hearted. Certainly made me feel better about my record. :)

Continue reading...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

To all the Dads out there, this is your day. Hope you enjoy it and remember... It could be worse. You could have more of'em!


. Continue reading...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ranma's Comic Review: KICK-ASS 1-3

Wow, I just finished reading these and I have to write about them. Immediately. Warning, spoilers and strong, perhaps even graphical praise ahead. If you are offended easily, I'll tell you right now, you wouldn't like this book anyway. Wuss.

I first heard about this book on G4's attack of the show. Their resident comic book geekess Blair Butler did a review of issue 3 for their Fresh Ink segment. Like many books she's recommended I wanted to check it out and this time I actually got around to doing so.

I'm very glad I did.

The concept is simple and summarized well in this issue when our protagonist asks a friend, "Why do you think nobody ever tried being a super-hero before?" This is set in the real world. Which is why I say protagonist instead of hero, because even if it does turn out he's a "hero" and saves people and makes things better, maybe it's sending a pretty bad message.

I'm not one of those psychopaths who thinks reading about violence or playing violent video games programs you to do insane things, but hey, why DO you think nobody ever tried to be a super-hero before? I mean, you'd think someone would've put on a cape, bought a police s
canner and tried to save the day. I don't think dudes in Spider-Man costumes climbing up the side of a building counts.

See? That right there is one good reason why no one has ever tried it before. Me? I don't like being stabbed. I don't think I do anyway. And that's not the worst of it for our protagonist Dave Lizewski. Before the flash back began, Dave had a car battery clamped to his testicles and shortly after this stabbing he's run over by a pair of ditzy teen girls who didn't see him until he was flipping over their windsield and just kept going.

KICK-ASS is brutal. I saw a couple images and I expected the blood shed, but I had no idea the main character was going to be the main whipping boy. To be honest, I all most didn't like it, but reading all three books in one sitting I was able to see that there's a pay off to this. That comes later though. In this first issue what we get is a kid who introduces himself by saying he's not the class jock, not the class geek, not the class anything. He's just one of those kids who exists.

His mother died, but not in any sort of comic booky way he says, "Yes, my mother died when I was fourteen years old, but she was killed by an aneurysm as opposed to a hitman. You might have hoped for a little... I WILL AVENGE YOU MOTHER! ...But the reality was more like feeling numb and playing video games while my father cried in the next room." And despite an awkward 'youth culture' including fandom of the Goo Goo Dolls (WTF?) I think the book does a good job of voicing a real teen aged kid.

Usually the bad teenager dialogue of comics doesn't bother me too much. I mean, my favorite kind of writing is the hyper-intellectual overwrought dialogue that so many people complain about not happening in real life, but still it's nice to see someone handle it well. Better yet, John Romita Jr's art enhances that real feel even more. The kids looks like KIDS. There's no bare midriff, c+ cup prosti-teens. The only cleavage is on the biology teacher he says he uh... thinks about during private times at home. And she's no bombshell.

So when he gets the crap stomped out of him by the three graffiti vandals he tries to stop I think it's that much worse. Because they do such a good job of grounding the character and making you think about him like a really normal person. It's like, "Oh my God, they're killing him!" and instead of going, "COOL!" I winced and wanted to scream, "Leave him alone!" Like I said, I all most didn't enjoy the book at first for this very reason.

In the second issue he wakes up in the hospital, wondering how he got here, lamenting the fact that he's going to have to explain to his father why he was dressed up like a "pervert" and left beaten half to death in the middle of the street. When he finds out that he was found naked, he thinks to himself, "Oh, thank God. Thank God."

One important detail I think is that he thinks with a broken back and two broken legs that he got rid of the wet suit and mask himself. I'm really hoping that Millar doesn't leave it at that. My assumption is that somebody we'll meet later did it. And hopefully an ally, not an enemy. Someone who saw him trying to fight the thugs and wanted to protect his identity.

I digress, speculation aside, the issue spends about half the time with Dave recovering from the horrible injuries he sustained. Six months all together. Six months of a young man's life wasted in bed for the most part. He talks about how stupid it was. How he can't stand to read his comic books anymore because it makes him angry. Blames them for inspiring him.

"...but who was I kidding? The beast was friggin' in me, man."

You knew it wasn't over. He's out prowling the roof tops the very next night. A good spot to work some humor in, some little girls mistake him for a rapist, pervert, flasher or all of the above and begin harassing him. He tells them to bug off, but they keep following him saying they're gonna kick his ass and stuff, which seriously made me laugh my ass off. I might have been pissed if Millar has actually had them kick his ass of course, but instead he stumbles into the middle of a gang beating. He pulls his two lead pipes off his back and shouts, "GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HIM!" clubbing these guys like they were baby seals!

The next five pages are so graphically brutal that I just... I had to stop for a minute to really take it all in. Some guys takes off from the gathering crowd to tell some friends to come check it out, "There's a guy dressed like a superhero fighting Puerto Ricans outside! It's fucking awesome!" And of course in our day and age, what crowd doesn't have a cell phone camera trained on everything that happens ever. Eventually the thugs don't care enough to take the beating anymore and run off. Dave has saved the day and the guy thanks him and dude with his camera phone goes, "...this is so going on YouTube."

Where the first issue made me leery of where Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. were taking the story, this issue had me bounding for the third. I had this pit in my stomach thinking that this would be some sort of sick cautionary tale of a young man who just takes and takes and takes until finally he's dead in a warehouse with jumper cables clipped to his balls. But here he gets a victory. He doesn't get off light, that's for damn sure, but he's obviously the hero he wanted to be now.

I was also very glad to see them realistically portray the injuries he suffered in the first issue. He's not out of the hospital in a month, no he's down and out for a very long time. Long enough to stew in his own misery and realize how retarded what he did was. Even if his oath to never do it again was bull shit, he made it and I wouldn't buy it for a second if he didn't.

The third issue starts off with a little World building as we see the media coverage of the YouTube clip blowing up all across the spectrum. He even gets a name, "Kick-Ass." They get back to Dave's personal life where he's found a new sense of confidence. The thrill of wearing his costume under his clothes. He's even making progress with the girl who shut him down cold in issue one.

Of course his best friend decides to clue him in. Her mother runs a shelter for batter women, and the rumor going around is that the reason Dave gets "mugged" so much is that he's turning tricks and the Johns are being rough with him.

I can't help it... I laughed like a mad man. She's his fag-hag apparently. In the modern sense. I never knew there was a traditional sense, the things you learn, right? Thanks Captain Comet! (...check out Paul Sung's interview with him over on VS Blog! AND an interview with Michael "BigSpooky" Barnes too! Links over in my blog roll.) The funniest part, is he decides he doesn't care. He'll just enjoy hanging out with her anyway it comes.

When we return to his hero career, he decides it's time to learn the age old hero tradition of leaping from roof to roof, until he sees how wide the gaps are and decides to walk street side. I'm laughing at this more than I ever would have expected too after the way the first issue went. Anyway, having set up a MySpace account for Kick-Ass Dave is going to look up some girl's ex-boyfriend and tell him to stop calling her, because it's starting to scare her.

Entering the dude's house he doesn't realize what fucking trouble he's in until it's too late. For one, unlike the girl who flashed her tits at him not five minutes ago...

These guys haven't heard about him, so the swagger his notoriety grants him is sort of neutralized. With the pepper spray his dad gave him, he gets a bit of a surprise advantage... Until the floozy breaks a champagne bottle over his back. It looks like he's in for another horrifying beat down leaving him crippled for like this time when...


This little girl in a mask comes in behind Kick-Ass and shoves a freaking sword through the ex-boyfriend guy! She then proceeded to slice and dice the loser friends like so much wet, bloody tissues.

"Okay, you cunts. Lets see what you can do."

THIS is the moment where I think the book will either have you hooked like some sort of super-crack-heroin hybrid or if you somehow made it past the first few beatings without running away screaming... You'll run away screaming.

I think you know which category I fall into. If you are not reading KICK-ASS and you have a strong stomach, you are doing a disservice to yourself to not be reading it. If they can keep up this pace, stay true to the concept and deliver on even half the potential it offers, I can see this book surviving deep into the double digits without a hitch. With two heroes in the cast now, a third can't be far behind and when or if they introduce a super villain, I expect something VERY special.

I'm happy to report that not only has is sold very well, but the movie rights have all ready been snatched up. So even if you aren't a comic reader (STU!) then you'll be able to get yourself a dose of KICK-ASS sooner or later. I'm dying for issue four and as a self promoted book only (Epic is an imprint of Marvel that doesn't get access to their PR department) I'm asking you to do your part to help get it out there. Tell people about this book. As soon as my guitar auction closes I'll even be buying copies of my own, to make sure my support shows up where it counts. In the numbers.

Continue reading...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Burning Down The House!

Wow, the sky outside is really creeping me out. There was a big fire in central Fremont and at about 8:40, when it's still usually just starting to get dark, this is what the sky looked like. This is literally me just turning and facing different directions and shooting up into the sky. I wish I had gotten a picture of the sun earlier. It was blood red. I don't know how to connect this to VS, but had to post these. Put together a Secret Society/Manhunter Little Deck. I'll probably write about that soon. For now I'm just gonna put together a play list fitting of the mood and try and relax with some tea.

Continue reading...

Thursday Thirteen - Week Three

Welcome to my third Thursday Thirteen. I nearly forgot, but thankfully I was browsing the VS Blogasphere and stopped by the Lost Hemisphere and saw their newest, which reminded me to do mine! Thanks guys!

I somehow started with just _29_ choices this week to whittle down. I don't know if I was just in a rush to get it done or if I actually am getting more concise at making choices in the first place. Or three drops might just be easier to pick out because there's such a wide gap between playable and unplayable, cool and uncool at that point. There's lots of marginal two drops that still see play, have cool effects and are workable, because after all you're only paying two resource points. But on turn three it's time to get serious.

#13: Then again, you didn't always pay two resource points. I've avoided listing banned characters in my actual 13 so far, but hey, Dr. Light is iconic in VS Lore. Talking about three drops and not including him is like... irresponsible. Sure, I wasn't against him going. It was long over due, but do I get wistful for him sometimes? Definitely. Do I think of him when I see cards like Captain America, Secret Avenger and think... Wow, am I glad Dr. Light is banned? Definitely. But he left an indelible impact on the game. I think for the better. Errata worked for a while, but he continued to make things go fantastically, cosmically awry. Puppet Master, Kyle Rayner, Mr. Fantastic, Rama-Tut whoever the target of his effect, Dr. Light was the star of The Show.

#12: I always loathed Cable. I thought he was such a terrible character for so long, but in Cable and Deadpool I was won over. He went from gun toting mutant bad ass to this strange messianic schemer who just wanted every to love each other. The main reason he's on the list is because of his legend support. Being the cheapest version of Nathan, with a sweet ability as a bonus, he enables Bodyslide. Bodyslide is like a plot twist version of Dr. Light. Much more limited, but anybody with a "comes into play" ability can take advantage. Two drops or not. It's a plot twist, not an activate ability so it's much more balanced, but I still find myself coming up with a hundred Bodyslide combos I want to try out all the time.

#11: Back before the Morlocks made Evasion Random Punk royalty, this guy made it playable. 3/5 wasn't that bad for a 3 drop and his ability was amazing. Overload? Not so scary when your whole curve can't be targeted by your opponent! His flavor text is very cool too. I love when VS puts the funky in the flavor. From this guy to Thor's Olde English and Bullseye's hitlist.

#10: So, I'm sure a lot of people disagree with me on this one. In fact I know quite a few absolutely hate this guy. To be honest, I didn't even play him in a tournament, but once. And he was a one of in my Brave & The Bold Equipment deck. I did plenty of off initiative sniping in casual play, because I always felt the best way to beat a deck was to play it and learn it.

Roy makes my list of favorite three drops, because he pushed me. He made me improve at the game. He made me learn things like, once you put a put a recruit effect on the chain, you have recruited that character. So before Doom comes in and gets sniped, you can play Reign of Terror on Arsenal and laugh maniacally. Or that when you play a plot twist it's on the chain until it resolves, so Garth can't target that Teen Titans Go! that was just played to ready again in response to you playing Overload a second time. Roy Harper made me a good VS player.

#9: If you want a big 3 drop you can find plenty of them. I think Black Panther is one of the quintessential 3 drops though. T'Challa over here was all most always a sick turn three play. On turn 4 and 5 he was just as fine, though Reign of Terror sucked. King of Wakanda found himself in High Voltage and search out Flamethrowers, but I like putting a Mindtap Mechanism on him and laughing at opponents who can't attack into the hidden area. There's a lot of great 1 cost equipments he can snag for you though.

#8: Two cheats in a row? No, see, I like Ruin but he's not a favorite three drop. And I know it's vogue to hate Ahmed, but I can't help it. King Kills, 6/6's that you all most always exhaust... He's the kinda of thing I LOVE about this game. That balance of opposing ideas and counter intuitive strategies. Ruin is here to show you just how awesome Ahmed is. Ruin? He's the "fixed" Ahmed. 'Nuff said.

#7: Never has a version been so keenly correct. Sage, the secret weapon that gave Ivy League fits. When your win condition has a threshold of 4 and you have to play it out of combat for it to work, delaying it until turn 6 is a deal breaker. Enemy of My Enemy enabled decks to deal with Ivy and her pals. She also did a good job slowing down AGL's when combined with Bad Press. I really like the art here too. The color scheme stands out as very different from most other cards. Plus she's Mental, the one Mutant trait that UDE really nailed in development.

#6: If you're playing Random Punks in Silver Age without Barbara Gordon <> Oracle... That's one hell of a three drop you have. She's so amazing, you can even sub her over Ahmed if you're afraid he's gonna lose your game. The two faces of Barbara both draw cards. Sure Batgirl isn't as good at it, but I love her too. As linked above, my B&tB equip deck used her to the best of her ability and like Oracle, that often meant a giant hand.

#5: As good as drawing cards usually is, this guy made it a scary prospect. Coming down on turn three, his ability doesn't activate until turn 4 and that lead to many games where an opponent facing Luthor (including myself) would desperately throw everything in their arsenal at the Nefarious bastard to try and stun and/or KO him at any cost. Especially since even if you KO'd him on 4 after his ability triggered, it still locked you out for the rest of the turn. With IQ on the table the turn before, he could pour on the burn in Injustice Gang and anything that somehow makes Dr. Doom: Diabolical Genius better is damn powerful.

#4: While She-Hulk was usually the main drop in most Common Enemy decks, I played 3 of her and 3 of Purple Man. His ability put pressure on decks to waste tricks and against the mirror he even let you call your shot on turn 4 when they flipped something. Wanna reuse that Beatdown? Nah. I'll take that. In one PCQ he won me multiple games. First he stole the only two Heroic Sacrifices a B&TB player had in his deck, on back to back turns. (...and now I didn't KO one to steal the other. No, Garthing them either!) And better yet in another match against a Fantastic Four deck (piloted by a young Carlos The Dwarf if I remember correctly) I stole a Signal Flare just in time to search for Thing: Every Loving Blue Eyed Thing after replacing Diabolic Genius with Victor Von Doom.

#3: Look at that face. See that? She's enjoying this way too much. Bad girls always have more fun, don't you know. She breaks the rules brazenly. Riddler: Riddle Me This is good once, how much better is he in triplicate? Yeah. That's much better! She lets you reuse Chemo: Toxic Waste every turn. She makes Dr. Polaris: Polar Opposite pretty dandy too. Without even teaming up, that all ready earns her a spot. Now just think about team ups. Tattooed Man lets you bring in 2 characters for free every turn, Terry Sloane quickly turns your 1/1's into 3/3's and 4/4's attacking up the curve, gain 12 a turn after you hide your new Valeria: Children of Light and Darkness, Technocrat team attacking to draw cards? And that's just a few ideas.

#2: I've kept an Arkham deck together since DOR because of this guy. Sonic Guns and Sucker Punches just made it better with MSM. I haven't really updated it much since then, I probably should, but it's come to hold such a special place in my heart. I don't know if I could change it. It actually works quite well when it goes off. Maybe Mobilize should worm it's way in. But with cards like Fear and Confusion, Crushing Blow and Kidnapping, it's hard to make cuts. They're the kind of cards that just blow out games when they hit. Plus... "You're food now, fleshbag!" is easily one of my favorite phrases to shout out as a I attack into a 6 drop with Fear and Confusion and a 5 drop.

#1: This shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me. I could play Dr. Doom in any deck if you give me half a reason. "Man, I hate getting King Killed... Oh man, replace Ahmed with Dr. Doom!" Okay, no, I wouldn't do that, but I have found him in my X-Statix Little Deck, my Squadron Supreme No Hand, of course my Doom Crisis Little Deck and I have plans for a couple A Child Named Valeria decks with him. Search for a plot twist, KO a useless lackey and put it into your row. You can exhaust him to bring a Moloid in play without shame. You can KO HIMSELF to get out of a bad attack when you know you'll lose him anyway. 5/4, range, he's amazing. And with the support he has across the ages he just gets better. Attack or Defense boosts from Doomstadt, Latveria makes turn 3 Reigns of Terror possible even if they aren't as powerful as you'd think, Mystical Paralysis lets him neutralize all the way up the curve no matter how late your game goes. There's no downside to him. With Crisis on Infinite Earths you don't even lose him when you play the 4-drop Doom. How can you not love this guy? God, I could rant on for hours and hours about Richard's Rival. But I'll just leave it at this, if they make a nice 4-drop Cable, I'll be dreaming of Bodysliding this little bad boy.

Continue reading...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ebay: Because Supporting VS Is Cool

Well, I'm finally selling my guitar.

I've thought about it for a long time and I never could bring myself to do it, but now I really want Marvel Universe and it's getting scarce all ready. So... Up on ebay it goes. If anyone is interested it's an Ibanez 7-string, RG 7620 from 1999 made in Japan in Vampire Kiss red.

Local pick up is an option.

Continue reading...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hobby League: Random Punks - Or Paul Sung Let Me Play

First things first. Thank you, Daddy Bear! Dude, you're the man. Guy doesn't even play in the tournament, but shows up to lend me some cards so I and a new player I'm trying to get into the game can play. Though he did forget a few. Still, I'd rather play something suboptimal than not play at all.

Click below to see how I did.

What I Played:

4x Superman/Batman Robot
1x Harvey Bullock, Gotham Central
3x Jaime Reyes ♦ Blue Beetle, High-Tech Hero
4x Maggie Sawyer, Gotham Central
4x White Lotus, Supermen of America
4x Huntress, Vicious Vigilante
2x Krypto, Guard Dog of El
4x Tania Belinskya ♦ Red Guardian, Cold Warrior
4x Barbara Gordon ♦ Oracle, Hacker Elite

1x Amulet of Nabu - Fate Artifact
1x Cloak of Nabu - Fate Artifact
1x Ego Gem - Unique ♦ Infinity Gem
4x Helm of Nabu - Fate Artifact

4x Dr. Fate's Tower

4x Bat-Signal
4x Combat Reflexes
4x Flying Kick
4x Teen Supremes
4x The Hook-Up: Team-Up

This should look familiar to you. Because you should be listening to A Proud Zinco Podcast over at VS Realms. Or reading Bearsday over at Miguel Rodrigquez's VS-Blog. Well, Paul hit me up with the idea a few weeks ago. I suggested Krypto, so I feel like I contributed at least a little bit to the deck. So all you netdeckers out there can thank me after you're down kissing Paul's ass! Ha ha ha. But seriously, if you like the deck Paul and Ludin Romero, Paul's co-hostm both shared versions with the online community that I think are strong.

I think a hybrid is stronger. What I really wanted to play looked like this...

4x Superman/Batman Robot
3x Jaime Reyes ♦ Blue Beetle, High-Tech Hero
4x Maggie Sawyer, Gotham Central
2x White Lotus, Supermen of America
2x Huntress, Vicious Vigilante
4x Krypto, Guard Dog of El
2x Tania Belinskya ♦ Red Guardian, Cold Warrior
4x Barbara Gordon ♦ Oracle, Hacker Elite
1x Batman, Twilight Vigilante
2x Superman, Man of Tomorrow
1x Dinah Laurel Lance ♦ Black Canary, Cry In The Dark

1x Amulet of Nabu, Fate Artifact
1x Cloak of Nabu, Fate Artifact
1x Ego Gem, Unique ♦ Infinity Gem
4x Helm of Nabu, Fate Artifact

4x Dr. Fate's Tower

4x Bat-Signal
4x Combat Reflexes
4x Flying Kick
4x Teen Supremes
4x The Hook-Up: Team-Up

And if I was perfectly honest with you I'd cut 1x Dr. Fate's Tower and 2x Helm of Nabu for 3x Clash of Worlds. But I thought it would be tacky to borrow a card, if Paul even had it, that was the prize for the tournament. Especially since I had assumed he would play.

Anyway, I headed for BART with a friend at about 4:30 and go to Berkeley just after 6, hurried over to Games of Berkeley and went to the back to sign up. After doing so I headed to the front to snag a few packs of Universe since everybody was opening boxes and I had a little bit of money. Pulled a James Barnes ♦ Winter Soldier, Communist Puppet - Raid and License To Kill. Not bad. Not Hulk Smash! but I like both.

First round I was paired up with everybody's favorite 27 character sealed deck playin' Wakandan King Curtis "T'Challa" Brown. As I sat down I had this sudden flash of like... ESP. Gotham Knights! And turn two he plays Tim Drake: Titan In Command then Barbara Gordon <> Oracle: Elite Hacker. How'd I know? Hehe.

Turn 1 I was in with Maggie Sawyer after mulliganning a hand I wish I had kept when I drew Maggie. But oh well. Turn turn I had Huntress in the concealed. She traded with Tim and I poked with Maggie again. Turn three he plays Card Draw Barbie, Aerie One and draws a card. I Bat-Signal with Maggie for Barbie myself. The Hook-Up teams Superman/GK and I discard to draw. Tim smacks around the cop. Huntress smacks around Tim. My Barbie to the face. He death traps Huntress with his Aeried Oracle.

Now, I draw into a Robot and the Helm of Nabu, exhaust Barbara for Jaime Reyes and flip Fate's Tower to complete the suit. He plays the Huntress 4 drop, Harsh Mistress. She's a sweetie. I attack Tim and he moves her for free to reinforce and I don't dare Teen Supreme even though I pumped. I was hoping to bait him into negating a Kick, but he's a sneaky Panther.

On turn five he had Cassandra Cain: Death's Daughter. I played Tania Belinskya, used her backup on herself and formed with Maggie adjacent to both. He declared a team attack into the Batman/Superman Robots with Cassie and Huntress. I have nothing so I take 0 and he takes 5. Hey. I like that trade! Tim hit the cop lady again and he passed. I passed and he went ahead and exhausted Barbara to Finishing Move the Robot. Le Sigh. Good-bye Fate Suit! Luckily I drew Robots next turn and played them for a full 6 points, backup with Tania on Robots and form the same way as last turn.

He under drops with Commissioner Gordon: Gotham Central and Batman: Twilight Vigilante. Tim and Huntress still the only visible characters. I declare Robot into Huntress and he reinforces, then discards a copy of herself to Gordon for plus four and used Break You for +6, just in case. Making her 17 attack and stuns back even if I'm still on the Dr. Fate curve! Daaamn. Well, I didn't have any other attacks to make so he sent Batman into Maggie, I took 7 with the double stun damage. Then 8 with Cassie into Tania. Barbara Gordon exhausts to Death Trap the Robot... Okay. :D I assume he was playing around a potential Clash of Worlds.

Next turn would be the last with him playing the Jade Canary, Lady Shiva and me boosting a Superman/Batman Robot for 7 plus replaying Fate's Tower to search for a Helm so I could at least stun back. He made good swings and I stunned by Shiva and that was game.

Round 2 I faced the new player I brought with me, Matt. Sadly we both knew how this was going to go and with a little grumbling we shuffled up and played it out. I hit my curve, what little I had, I had Teen Supremes on 4, but not very much pump so I finished it with a triple swing on turn 6. Basically took the time to tutor him a little more on smart attacks and reminds him not to accidentally shuffle his mulligan into the deck against anyone but me! Hehe.

Round 3 I played a player I haven't met before, named John. As I sat down he said he thought we were playing the same deck and we might have been playing something similar, but not quite the same. He opened with no drop. I missed as well and as we drew he commented, "Want to go back to last turn? I pulled my one." I replied, "I got a one drop, but not one I wanna play." He asked if it was Maggie Sawyer and I said I'd love to play her on turn one. lol I laid down my resource and recruited Krypto. He had Kelex: Caretaker of the Fortress. I couldn't attack and he didn't dare. So I exhausted the super-dog to remove Jaime from the game and get an Amulet. Turn three he recruited Barbara: Elite Hacker, played The Hook-Up and drew. I drew Barbara Gordon and a Fate's Tower. We both free draw off Barbara and then I flip The Hook-Up and draw a Helm. Sweeeet. So I flip the Tower, grab a cloak and let Batgirl fly again.

He didn't have any attacks and so I hit Kelex with Oracle and went to the next turn. Superman/Batman Robot came out, took the mantle of Dr. Fate and I subbed Barbara out for Barbara to draw a card. Replayed Helm a couple times and did some math in my head discarding Flying Kick, White Lotus and Jaime. Subbed in Tania Belinskya and used her backup on the Robot. He had Batman: Twilight Vigilante and passed. Krypto attacks Kelex, Robot goes into Batman with some pumps. We take a minute trying to figure out the math. Robot is 25 and Batman is 7 defense and... We both just kinda go slack faced. lol "Uhhhh." He says, "Do you have Teen Supremes so we don't have to figure this out?" I show two and it's scoops.

Don't you hate those moments when you can't remember shit like, "Batman's defense is 7, 7 minus his cost is 3. 25 - 3 = 22 endurance loss?"

Final round I'm playing Michael Gilmore who's been around and we've played multiple times. We think the last time was at the last PCQ in the area. Could be. I'm not sure though. In anycase we play and I mulligan into an awesome draw. Seemingly. He plays Rem Ram and grabs Harry Delgado. I drop Maggie Sawyer and he passes attack. I attack.

"Uhhhh." Oh yeah. They're both 1/2's. Next turn I play Huntress: Vicious Vigilante to his Chrome. Huntress and Chrome trade, I attack Maggie into Rem Ram again, but I have the power up! Sadly he decides to play Lying In Wait and that's the story of this match. I lose Huntress, naturally and we move on to three. Barbara comes out for me with Amulet and Cloak, I don't play the Helm because I'm low on hand size and don't wanna have to discard any pumps or Supremes, Senyaka for him. He hit Maggie and I think she Bat-Signaled. Oracle hit Senyaka and he had Lying In Wait again. I played The Hook-Up to team up and recovered Barbara. Turn 4 I had the Supa-Mecha-Bat and switched the suit over, Helmed out. He had Anne Marie Cortez and I had a feeling that if I played my Combat Reflexes and Flying Kick then he'd just reveal a two cost, so after asking him to hold on before the Combat phase I decided to pass. When he didn't reveal a two anyway, I kinda had a feeling he wasn't familiar with Teen Supremes, so I swung and saved my Flying Kick for a kill turn.

Cortez went down with reinforcement or something... I'm kinda hazy on the middle here. Turn 5 wasn't too eventful except I expected to replay the Robot so I sent the Fate Set to Barbara and let him stun my 8/8 robot with Polaris for 1. With Huntress and Harvey Bullock in the hidden area I didn't have much to attack back with so I tried to Hook-Up with a power-up, since I had a Bat-Signal in hand, but no luck. I looked at the Acolyte Body Armor in his hand.

So, next turn I exhausted the old Superman/Batman to look for a new one. Boosted, moved the Fate Suit over and re-buyed the Helm a couple times. I had like... 15 cards left in my deck at this point with 4 full Helm draws, Barbara'd out and 2 face up Hook-Ups. I subbed Tania in for Huntress. He had Harry Delgado. He used Harry's effect on Tania. He didn't reveal for Anne Marie. Then in combat he replaced for Polaris. This plus a third Lying In Wait won him the game. I attacked Anne Marie first and she got reinforced. I played Teen Supremes and he seemed not surprised so I assume he just didn't have a two drop. :( I had one more Supremes, but...

I thought about it and at 3 endurance, I had to hit Harry Delgado to win. So I hit him. And he had that third Lying in Wait to end it. He was able to attack back and that's all he needed. So I offered him the shake and I finished 9th of... 17 I think.

Matt had fun. He wasn't in last, went 2-2 with a bye. I think I might be able to convince him to buy some old boxes considering how cheap they are. He was very impressed with the idea of 20 bucks getting more than a box with some sets. Especially since he couldn't afford the Magic Pre-Con he wanted and still pay for BART home. See? Pre-cons don't work!

One final thanks to Paul Sung for the deck idea and the cards and big "Fuck, I coulda won if I'd just had a Black Canary to Bat-Signal for on turn 6 and that Harvey Bullock had been a Superman: Man Of Tomorrow like I planned to replace him with!" ;)

Anyway, it's always fun to get out and play. Can't wait for next time. Hopefully Saturday for the Release Celebration. Oh...

Pokemon Milkshake. Blame Curtis.

Continue reading...

Tournament Report Tomorrow. Art Tonight.

I'm dead tired, been typing for about an hour and I'm still just on the first match. lol I probably should take notes more often considering I always write up a report. Sometimes I have to give the gist not the full treatment, but that's only cause I'm lazy which isn't a good excuse. Oh well. I got a PM out to Curtis to remind me about how our match went after turn 4, cause it's all hazy on me right now.

Anyway, on Thursday Thirteen: Week One I mentioned how Mary Marvel: World's Mightiest Girl had some suggestive flavor text. I've been meaning to post a picture more in line with my thoughts when I read, "Say my name, Mary."

There it is. Certainly more than just a girl. You can say what you will about mini-skirts and bared midriffs on super heroines being demeaning and inappropriate to the reality of the situation... And I won't even disagree.

But ask me if I care. Hehe.

-Mike Continue reading...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Continuing First Impressions.

So we've now seen the entire set and I can't get over how amazing some of the cards are. I've got at least 3-4 different decks brewing in the back of my head. Things that just... Well, they're pretty cool in theory. We'll see if they pan out. If nothing else it's a lot of fun decks in mind.

Good: He draws a card every turn, including the first turn he's in play. He's also the new Bizarro. He adds a Legend to his bag of tricks every turn. Wolverine. Hulk. Captain America. Red Skull. Batman. Superman. The Captain is whoever you want him to be. A 7/6 reservist with flight, range and that amazing an ability?

Bad: Nextwave. I love the team, I love the comic, but he's gonna be off team in most builds. There's no Reservist search in modern. Thank God it's so each to team up. Avengers let you deputize anyone and everyone, War Bound says your on the team whether you like it or not and the Reg/Anti-Reg team-ups put everyone in your deck on the list. Otherwise it'd be strictly Straight To The Grave.

Good: First of all it's Spider-Girl. One of my favorite characters and one of the biggest stacks of books in my collection. I have about 70 Daredevil books, 74 Spider-Girl issues and Spider-Man may beat both if I count Ultimate Spider-Man, but I'm not sure.

The ability is great. At the cost of 3 endurance you can turn off everything that makes an opponent's character good. Even if she had to attack to use it, this would be good. But she has evasion!

Bad: Spider-Friends only. With Worlds looming and MTU out of modern, she probably won't be a major factor at the event. At the cost of 3, she also has to fight off notoriously strong characters like Poison Ivy: Intoxicating and Ahmed Samsarra for power slots.

Good: Everybody should know how much I miss Slaughter Swamp. Asgard looks to fill a bit of the gap between Slaughter Swamp and Soul World. For Marvel Universe I think it does nicely, depending on your team. For example the Avengers Rally so much that I think it's better than Slaughter Swamp because you're likely just increasing your hand size at will as opposed to discarding a card. There's even a location Alias Investigations that just lets you Rally for a card type of your choice for an activation. The two of them together are better than Slaughter Swamp.

Bad: The two of them together are better than Slaughter Swamp. Sure, Ahmed will search them both out in Silver. But that's a lot of row space to take up. Is the effect worth it? Probably. But what about now? Right now, it seems like a lot of effort for a non-rally based deck with not that much payback. You can still just draw it next turn, but if you need a card NOW, then it's troubling.

Good: Huge pump for Army decks. It also works very well in the swarm Secret Avengers build I wanna play. I don't know if it's Worlds worthy, but it seems quite good. So much card draw, so many good cards. If you swing with two characters, the bare minimum, this nets you +2 attack. That's okay. But then with 3 team attackers? It jumps to +6 attack. That's all most Wrecking Crew! Three one drops with +6 attack can hit most fives.

Bad: They have to share a version to pump. Though you don't have to have nothing but Secret Avengers in the team attack, you only your attack boosted if you have at least two characters that share a version. It's very nice, but it's definitely a niche card. Army decks love it.

Good: Built in Bodyslide. For a swarm deck, hiding a couple characters on a key turn until YOUR attack step could be key. 5/4 stats, range, reservist, lets you use the actual card Bodyslide and all that for just 3 resources. Also gives you the X-Men team. Very nice.

Bad: The built in Bodyslide costs 2. That's a bit steep for a swarm deck wanting to spam out characters and downright inexcusable for a deck that wants to curve. Why boost when you can just run Bodyslide anyway? Okay, you technically get two Bodyslides, but if you run 4x Bodyslide none of them cost you resource points.

Good: First of all, I'm VERY glad the 4-drop Bullseye isn't the only Bullseye card in the set. I was very disappointed by the 4-drop, who I think is rather unexciting. This guy however is damn nice. Starting turn 3 you get to stun their two drop just by exhausting. He's got Substitute so if you hit a different two drop earlier, Bullseye can always take their place. Or if you have a better 2-drop for the job at the time you play them and when the opponent's two drop becomes pesky, call up Bullseye to take care of it.

Bad: 2/2? If they don't have a two drop out he's kinda sitting in the hidden area hoping you have something to exhaust him for. And if they have hidden hate, he's gonna be a rail for the freight train to your face.

Good: Then again, maybe Bullseye is a 4/4. Exhaust to stun a two, play this, recover and he's a hidden Kyrpto with an ability instead of a draw back. Speedball is Dead plays very well with some of the Thunderbolt characters like Speed Demon who will gain reinforcement, Joystick who will gain Invulnerability and of course my favorite Radioactive Man who will lock up Plot Twists with a cost of 2. Plus it makes him as big as Hulk! You can also kills pumps with it if you're going to take breakthrough anyway, you stun your character, take the damage and recover them anyway, better than before.

Bad: It can start to get really costly if you try and use it on a 4 drop. Especially if you double dip like evasion with old Electric Eve. It's really just all in how you play it.

All right, that's it for now again, I'll be continuing this whenever the mood strikes me. Maybe even more tonight.

Continue reading...