Saturday, September 20, 2008

Little Deck Creations: Revenge Squad - Ongoing

All right, untested deck reports rule. :)

I saw some mention of Revenge Squad in the VSR MWS Little Deck tournament and I figured before I saw any sort of decklist from the two people playing it I should try my own version and see what differences there were later. I figure it'll make for a fun comparison.

Jumping straight in, here's my list.

1 Drop
Hope, Amazon Bodyguard
2 Drop
Atomic Skull, Joe Martin
Brainiac 13, Mental Giant
Mole Man, Leader of the Moloids
Mr. Mxyzptlk, Fifth Dimension Imp
Terra-Man, Toby Manning
3 Drop
Lex Luthor, Champion of the Common Man
Lex Luthor, Megalomaniac
Lex Luthor, President Luthor
Professor Emil Hamilton <> Ruin
4 Drop
Atomic Skull, Cursed
Kiman, Chief Weaponer
Maxima, Empress of Almerac
Metallo, Kryptonite Heart
5 Drop
Preus, Citizen's Patrol
Mongul, Tyrant of Warworld
6 Drop
Brainiac 12, Upgrade Complete
Brainiac 2.5, Future Intelligence
7 Drop
Braniac 13, B-13

Battle for Metropolis
Bizarro Ray
Concrete Jungle
Death of Superman
Executive Privilege
Hostile Takeover
Null Time Zone
Revenge Pact
Toy Soldiers

Standoff may be one to jettison as I don't know how often it's really going to burn anybody for a significant amount, but without play testing it I like the card. If it had a lower threshold I'd like it more. It's probably best kept to a full size format where you can flip multiple of it on turn 4.

I also dabble in the 0 Defense Stun theme, as you can see. Kiman, Bizarro Ray and the Brainiac's all combine to provide some good potential for out of combat stuns. If nothing else stun backs or extra damage can't be scoffed at. Not when a game can be decided by getting that last 1-2 points on your initiative or losing next turn. I went this direction because the Revenge Squad 4 drops didn't excite me enough to include any but the ones I have.

That being said Metallo, Atomic Skull and Maxima are awesome. Burn, stun and big attacks are all very nice. In a perfect world I would hit Atomic Skull every game though. The reason why is he forces your opponent's attack order and controlling your opponent off-initiative wins games. Even optimal attacks can turn bad. But if they have to save Atomic Skull for last, chances are you can reinforce every swing that comes your way.

In my last post I mentioned the one major problem in the Little Deck format, Deck Out decks, but there's another thing that can cause problems for you. I don't see it as a problem with the format that needs to be fixed, but it's certainly something that will challenge you as you build with this format in mind.


While one-of's are often found in the most consistent of control decks, that's because they're able to manipulate the deck as much as possible by stacking a ton of search, mill and sifting effects. Four Enemy, four Mobilize, four Straight To The Grave, four Wild Ride is excessive, but there are tons of winning decks that run some 8-10 card combination of those to vast success. Yet, nearly all winning decks have something in common. The early game is full of 4x cards on the decklist. Four of the optimal two drop, four of the power one drop (often a search effect themselves), four of the best three drop.

In Little Deck you just can't do that. You can't even play Enemy of My Enemy or Mobilize ONCE, let alone four to eight times. So, the point of all this?

Look at Mole Man and look at Terra-Man on turn two. They serve vastly the same purpose. In fact the only difference in playing one of each as opposed to two of Terra-Man is flight/range, some Plot Twist interaction with team affiliation (pretty important if you need to fill 2 points on 5 and miss because Mole Man can't be picked up by Revenge Pact) is that you can have BOTH of them out on the field if you're lucky enough.

In fact, I'd be pretty pleased to set Terra-Man on turn two and Mole Man with Hope on turn three. Ruin is the obvious better choice, but if you have a row full of Ongoings without him, these growth minded 2 drops can swell into your second and third four drop on turn 5.

In what I've played of little deck, finding similar cards like this is one of the best strategies. Consistency is the best way to victory in our little game. If you can stack a ton of similar effects into your Little Deck you may find it playing very much like it's older brother varients.

The suite of Lex Luthors on three seemed the best option to me as backup for Ruin. They each do something effective and provide me with a way to power up in a format not very conducive to such a thing, which could lead to many surprise bricks on Defense or stuns on offense. It does lock me out of playing Lex at any other drop though, because I think his best options are at four and five and if you lose your three on those turns you're in bad shape.

This may be another change that has to be made to the deck once I start play testing, because while I'm very happy with the turn four options, the turn five options without Lex seriously SUCK. Preus is incredible. Mongul is a nostalgia choice. I had many great turns thanks to Mongul back in Man of Steel sealed pack. I don't think there's any better options for the Revenge Squad at five, but I all most considered playing Preus or Die as my turn five option. After all, with Revenge Pact and Executive Privilege I have a fair chance of cycling through a lot of my deck.

With them both active on turn three I can see more than half my deck. By turn 5 I will have cycled through it's entirety and begun drawing into cards stacked as I chose. Which can be used to your advantage by simply taking quick notes during play.

Which reminds me... I need to make a Longshot Little Deck. Hehe.

If I do have to replace Standoff, a strong choice might be Thinking Outside the Box which forces you to draw from the bottom of your deck instead of the top. Which means instead of waiting for your good cards to cycle back through the deck, you just pick them up next turn.

With such strong effects that simply require you to lay down your blues every turn, this concept seems like a powerhouse. You have to be wary though, because without Ruin you can end up rowing characters and losing your biggest advantage. Little Deck, like sealed, seems best suited for a 20/10 spread of characters vs. others. Meaning it's not that hard to face a hand full of characters on an early or mid-game turn.

With that in mind, in goldfishing the deck I've mulliganed for a hand full of blue or Ruin each time. So far it hasn't led me wrong.

To give you an idea of how different I expect this deck and the ones in the tournament to be, I heard mention of Reign of Terra and Total Anarchy. Yeah, Reign of Terra. The worst card in VS System history. lol And it was praised! So, I can't wait to see how that works. To further illustrate my point, here's a list of Ongoings I considered.


Absolute Dominance
Assault and Battery
Bad Press
Banished To The Anti-Matter Universe
Blood In The Dark
Carrying The Torch
Dimensional Deal, Team-Up
Global Domination
Help Wanted
Hostage Situation
Knowledge Is Power
Magical Lobotomy, Magic
Mob Mentality
New and Improved
New Mutations (before I realized I had a fair amount of flight and plenty of range, if I needed it)
No Hope
Research and Development
State of the Union
Thinking Outside The Box
Total Anarchy
Trapped In The Sciencells

That's a BIG list. Many of them would change the deck quite a bit. Well, I would be forced to change the deck quite a bit that is. I could just slot them in and it'd suck and they'd be useless. Hehe. But from teaming up to focusing on certain characters there's a lot of ways to build this, it'll be fun finding out which ones are most effective and how many of them are effective.