Friday, June 13, 2008

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.