Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Have I Been Doing?

Well, if you didn't figure it out. Here's the official haps... Flashback81 put out the call and I answered it. Technically before that thread went up. But since then, the call has been answered, the names are picked, the teams are decided upon and soon designing will begin. I'll give you one little teaser of what's to come.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

X-Force Week.

Man, I'm not quite sure about these guys yet. X-Factor, Exiles, they hit me immediately. These guys... I don't know. It seems cool. I love Domino and X-23. Techno-Organic Virus is sweet as hell. Everything else I just don't think gels together the way Exiles and X-Factor did. Take a look for yourself.


So they have a cool theme, I think. I guess I just don't see enough of it here. The idea of lots of plot twists is pretty cool. I really like Lust For Power, and had a strong build of Elektra.dec with 3-drop Dr. Doom and Lust to load up on for the turn pumps.

Domino is very interesting, situational, but very interesting. She can shut down defensive pumps very easily. She kills upswings for the cost of playing plot twists. She can't stop search, out of combat tricks, any of that, but controlling combat is more than enough to warrant consideration.

X-23 is immediately powerful though. Punisher 4-drop is a character that, with work, cleared boards. X-23 is even easier to enable. Instead of multiple equipments, you only need an attack pump. Considering the theme of this team, that will be VERY easy. If X-23 doesn't kill a LOT of 4 drops I will be absolutely shocked. Oh and I know it doesn't have to be an attack pump, just saying that makes the stuns come easier.

Cable and Shift could be an important part of this team, but at this point it seems more like something to play with Exiles. We'll see where this all goes. I hope they're good. I'd like to play with Domino, Cable and Deadpool.

Deadpool's not on X-Force?

Yeah. I know. Just saying that's what I'd want to play. Hehe.

So, I've been a bit busy with a little project (and WoW... I know... Sorry!) and that's kept my VS system thoughts occupied. I don't know what I can say about it yet so... Nothing from me! You'll be able to find out soon for sure. Hey, search for stuff on VSRealms.com and maybe you can figure it out yourself.

Continue reading...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Exiles Week Comes to An End.

So I'm sure you've read all the previews now,... What!? No!?

Go read here... It's not long but it has links to all the previews from this week and... Well okay, that's about it.

So, you surely realize by now that Panoptichron is broken. Shadowcat <> Cat: Earth-Unknown is Dr. Light, Proteus: Earth-58163 is Dr. Minerva and Warp Shards is... Well, what ISN'T it?

Yes, I love the Exiles and I love how crazy good they are. The best part is that Weapon X is another Shift team because the Weapon X is NOT the Weapon X I thought it was. Yes, it has Deadpool so there's cross over I assume, but it definitely contains the Weapon X of the Exiles comics. Which means one thing...

HYPERION! Big, nasty, evil, vile, world destroying Hyperion.


I hope he's alternative win where you remove 20 Shift counters from him on turn 8 and you win. Maybe 30. Or 40. Gotta be fair after all. ;)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Marvel Evolution Preview: Five In One! That's right... FIVE in ONE!

It sounds like a cheesy infomercial pitch.

"The amazing, stupendous, fabulous, fantastic, Five In One solution for all your problems! Need to draw a card? Five In One. Need to change who you're attacking with? Five In One! Need to remove powers and keywords from a character? Five In One! Need to recover an extra character this turn? Five In One! Need to negate an effect from a non-ongoing Plot Twist during the combat phase? Five! In! One! And if you call now, we'll give you not one... Not two... Not THREE! Not even FOUR copies of this amazing card... But FIVE copies of Five In One!"

So, one thing that really excited me about this set immediately after Deadpool, was the Exiles. I'm a huge fan of that book. Well. I don't know about Claremont's stuff. He kinda scared me off of it. But before then? Absolutely brilliant. And my favorite character was definitely Mimic. The heroic leader figure, part Cyclops, part Wolverine, part Colossus, part Beast and for a while part Angel. He's like Rogue only he can keep his abilities. However, he can only keep five at a time. So Mimic Legend was easily one of my top five picks when Ben Seck asked what I'd be interested in previewing.

This card gives you five chances to swap your Mimic's abilities around, taking whatever utility you have access to. Though, sadly, he only keeps this power for the turn. I really enjoy when cards do something that breaks the rules of the game. Like the Royal Flush Gang before it, this card isn't limited to just four copies. Thematically speaking, that's a very good way to represent Mimic. Traditionally he doesn't have powers of his own, but instead is given abilities that let him take other powers from around the field.

This has allows Mimic to play an important role in versions of the powerful X-Stall. His first version, Calvin Rankin gained flight if there was a flyer around, gained range if someone with range was in play and was granted one character's activated effects at the start of the combat phase each turn. Puppet Master was quite pleased with this. As was The World's Most Powerful Telepath version of Professor X. The ability was quite a bit like an early way of breaking uniqueness. Instead of playing multiples of the same character, you could just make multiple characters do the same thing. This as I said, proved to be a very strong strategy. It's also been the basis of many a jankfully jubilant deck.

After Calvin came another 6-drop. This one a bit of an upgrade in terms of ability. While the stats can often be less than stellar, he has flight and range without relying on any other characters to gain it. And for two endurance he gains any character's payment powers. This is any power with an arrow in it, which includes all activated effects and quite a few others! Plus he can gain this ability at any time, all be it just once per turn.

I haven't seen Mimic, Exile breaking any decks or burning up the tournaments, but his utility is dangerous. If your opponent is trying to burn you with activated effects you can still take those and fight fire with fire, but if he's doing something else like playing Raven, Daughter of Trigon (I'm just saying...) you can gain her "Pay 1 endurance -> Characters and locations target player controls can't ready this turn. Use only during the recovery phase." power and prevent him from readying too.

How about stealing Dark Beast's ability to solve that stat problem, "Discard a card -> Put a +1/+1 counter on Dark Beast. Use only once per turn." Remember any instance of a character's own name in their effect technically means, "[this card]" so when you steal the power the name is changed to Mimic.

Well, you could only do that once per turn. Not anymore. With Five In One, you could do it six times in one turn. Kind of crazy. The thing is since Mimic is a Legend in this set, you know he's getting multiple drops. I've seen a four and a six- Oops. Well, I don't think that's saying too much. Hehe. You'll see them soon enough anyway.

Besides the obvious use of copying your own effects, after all if one use is good, two are better, I think the ability to steal your opponent's thunder can have an unexpected effect. Much like the potential bluff of letting your opponent choose what resource to replace with the new Super Skrull, you can perhaps hinder an opponent from playing characters with powerful payment effects.

Many decks have their main drop and backups in the early game and a suite of Silver Bullets at five and up. Payment powers are one of the most prevalent in the game. While it might not hurt to let your opponent copy Barbara Gorden, Hacker Elite's effect, "Free -> Draw a card. Use only once per turn." It might be another story to give them access to something like... "Pay 2 endurance -> Target player moves his characters until none are adjacent to each other. Use only while Radioactive Man is in combat." or "[Activate] -> Rally for a plot twist card. If you're successful, ready Mr. Fantastic. Use only once per turn." or "[Activate], Remove The Sentry from the game -> Remove target character from the game. At the start of the recovery phase this turn, return The Sentry to play." or "Stun Wolverine -> Stun all opposing attackers and defenders. Use only if Wolverine is in combat and only if you recruited another Wolverine this game." or "Discard a card -> Whenever Luke Cage stuns another character this turn, draw two cards. Use only once per turn and only during the build phase." or... Well... You get the idea.

If you want a better idea what kind of options you have with Five In One go to DocX's search engine and type "->" into the Card Text line and select characters from the card type drop box. There are a LOT of cards there. And if Mimic having their effect may do more harm to your opponent, then your opponent could do to you or even equal harm... Then they might not even play their optimum drop, instead hoping to beat you with their backup plan.

In a Mimic legend deck, I expect the best use will be to double up on your own effects though. Pick a pack of characters with very useful effects and then turn Mimic into the second copy without the hassle of playing Clash of Worlds. Mimic isn't so much his own man, but instead he's every man. Whatever you want him to be, he can. Ahmed the second. Another Quicksilver. Random, Marshall Evan Stone III plays well with Human Torch's various abilities, throw Mimic in and you can copy the enabler OR the payoff.

At first pass Mimic seems like a less exciting legend than others. He doesn't do something new and shocking. He doesn't exhaust everyone or replace himself with smaller copies of himself. He doesn't recover and attack again, he doesn't become invulnerable or unstunnable or anything like that. He just becomes... Whatever you want him too.

Continue reading...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Survival of the Fittest: The Marvel Zombies Essential Collection Rises From The Dead

So, before my blog stalled out and went on semi-hiatus I had posted the first version of the Survivors team affiliation. They were not cool. Well, they were but in that bad, "Attack Power 1200! I play Exodia!" kinda way. They were too good in testing. And too convoluted too now that I think about it. Sadly I didn't want to change them that much because I like convoluted sometimes. It's easy to over think things. That's kind of why I did stop posting. I kept wracking my brain on how to fix them and just couldn't figure it out.

Well, now with Marvel Evolution introducing Energize I've been inspired to take up the creative part of my VS fandom again. No, the Survivors aren't going to be an Energize team, after all the problem with the FIRST draft was that they were broken! Not gonna do that again!

I kid, UDE! I kid! Energize isn't broken. Yet. ;)

Instead, the discussion of Armed Escort made me think of attack redirection. So inspired by that I sat down and started first looking at the old list and seeing if anything could be kept as it was. There was one or two that I thought still fit my new vision and they were imported to a new file first. Next I made changes to the cards that could be merely edited. Then I wrote new abilities for all the cards that needed to totally change. In a matter of an hour I had a first draft for a whole new team!

Before I start showing cards here though, I'm going to try play testing them with real people this time. I don't have MWS and it's a little out of my budget so if anyone wants to volunteer putting a MZE set together for me let know. If not I'll make a patch for OCTGN myself. Anyone who would want to play test a few games can reply here as well.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

I got the email with my preview today.

Man, is it exciting to be a blogger right now!

I can't say a word about what was IN the email, but I got it and when you see what I have seen, you will be excited. Very, very excited. I have so much to write about and yet I can't. Such torture! Hehe.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Played Some VS Tonight! Yay! I missed this game....

After a little Magic and some Netrunner, Netrunner is very fun by the way, but then I got down to the real stuff. The best game in existence, Versus System.

First we played casual golden age, I brought out the classic Curve Sentinels. Dead Betrayals and all. I should switch them out to Micro Sentinels, knowing my most common opponent plays a lot of swarm decks and rarely, if ever, off team characters. In any case it was fun playing a bunch of pumps on Bastion, Cover Firing and then swinging across with a 16/16. Powergirl tried to take him down, but just couldn't manage.

He had missed a couple early drops, but I flipped Total Anarchy, swung back on his Kate Spencer <> Manhunter for a one sided stun KO'ing her. Finishing Move on Powergirl and then the Hounds munched on Thunderbolt to complete the board wipe. I miss that. So fun!

Then we played some Little Deck. I played my very crappy Kree-Mate deck, that seems to draw well for some reason and he played Teen Titans. Duela Dent, Donna Troy, that was a tough two turns, I had Dr. Minerva on 2 and then Brother I Sattellite for Ahmed. I couldn't touch him until turn 4. I ended up at like 28 or so thanks to T-Jet, Tamaran and Mega-Blast.

Turn four I press out to Commander Dylon Cir with Minerva and Kona Lor. Snagging Ronan off Minerva for next turn. Combat was pretty basic and I caught up a little, by reinforcing mostly and then opting to attack with Ahmed instead of grabbing Penal Colony. Probably shoulda got it, I had to grab it next turn anyway. Penal'd Minerva, Slaughter Swamp on Minerva and had to play Clumsy Foulup to press out Ronan. lol A Knightmare Scenario kept his cosmic in tact and probably won me the game.

Dylon Cir and Kona Lor I would find out had a lot to do with it too. They nuked Tamaran and rowed three characters that could have been the difference makers in closing me out before I was able to force massive damage through on turn 6. I finished at 9 and couldn't believe I had actually won after being so low by turn three.

Ahh, I love this game.

-Mike Continue reading...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Energize Breaks Armed Escort

Read the thread here...

So you obviously now know my thoughts on the situation.

Or you can read on and hear them here. Hey, it's my blog, I can damn well repeat myself as much as I want.

Energize with Armed Escort is an infinite combo that readies a character with Energize as much as you want. The Energizer also becomes a defender an infinite number of times.

Under that scenario, this guy over to my right means infinite burn. Or you know, an opponent who never attacks again. Reign of Terror. Meltdown. Play Time. (You go look that last one up.) They all destroy it. So, no, it's probably not consistent in that manner. It's potentially very resilient. Especially if you can put a Fate Set on Red Skull and Pier 4 a Hellboy-Cloak onto the Energizer Bunny.

That alone doesn't mean it shouldn't be fixed.

Maybe you forget some important VS history. Things like Frankie Raye were allowed to roam the meta free and loose before they were banned while others like Valeria were banned before they made any impact at all. Maybe Valeria was beatable. Maybe she wasn't even that good. Poor Detective Chimp, he was so fun, yet broken all the same.

Some would argue that because there isn't a major metagame to break that nothing should be done. That because Golden Age and large money tournaments are passe, that fixing things is out of style too. After all, why fix something that will potentially never see play?

Because it's the right thing to do. If there's a combo on turn three that breaks the game, even if it only goes off one game in a thousand, it should be fixed because it's broken and broken things should be fixed.

Quicksilver isn't broken, he sucks. He does what he was intended to do, he readies and he attacks again. UDE R&D said the intention with him was a character to take out weenies. You hit a one and a two and come out safe. Well, the fact is he's a weenie. And weenies typically have to fight upcurve. They made a simple miscalculation and we've paid for it. He works as intended, the intention just turned out to be a bad one.

The original wording for the three drop Secret Six Parademon was...

Reveal Parademon -> Whenever a Secret Six character you control with cost 4 or greater becomes stunned this turn, you may put Parademon into your front row if you don't control a character named Parademon. Use only if Parademon is in your hand."

This had a broken interaction with the Morlock 6-drop Callisto who bounced a character adjacent to her to put a +1/+1 counter on target character. You could reveal Parademon an infinite number of times, evade a four drop Morlock who was teamed up and then put him down, pick him up, put him down, pick him up, until your entire board was infinitely larger than they started out.

It made it's grand VS entrance at Pro Circuit: San Francisco. It went off five times and didn't even make day 2. But R&D fixed it, because it was broken. They didn't need to fix it, they could have let it go, see if a better version might break the metagame or if with warning it wouldn't even go off once. They didn't. Because it didn't do what it was supposed to do. They don't like cards doing things that are not intended.

So, while Parademon now says, "Remove Parademon From The Game" I can assure you that Armed Escort will soon read, "Use this ability only once per turn."


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Friday, October 3, 2008

Marvel Evolution - Previews BEGIN! My Thoughts

So early this afternoon a card image was released to the VS System facebook page. If you're not a friend of VS System, go become one now! This image features the ever popular Nightcrawler with what I'm told to believe is a member of the Power Pack. Now I know the Power Pack by reputation and ill repute at that, but whatever, the important thing is Nightcrawler. Well... Take a look...

In Ze Munich Circus... Zey Call Me The Nightcrawler!

I love this card. Nightcrawler legend? Yes please! Better yet, we have no idea just yet what it does. Why is this good? Well, personally, I love the rampant and wild speculation.

There's so many things that it could be. Attack protected and hidden characters, reinforcement, character movement, unstunnable attackers. Maybe even defense resetting? Or just remove attackers? He is a sneaky devil and as a legend plot twist it's likely to be powerful. As a rare, it's even more potentially powerful and complex.

Personally, I just am happy to see the fuzzy blue guy getting some legend content.

Mere hours later however, things hit the page that really started the ball rolling. Four cards, two sets of two cards that fit into two of the themes listed the other day. Cyclops and Multiple Man legends. These ones have text and... Yeah, WOW. The first is an 8-drop Cyclops. Cyke at 8! Who needs a 7-drop? Hehe. Okay, yeah, he still should have a 7-drop, but 8 is a sure sign of respectability. That's some rare air for Scott Summers. It also spoils Energize. Which is mind blowing, by the way.

So, Energize characters ready whenever they defend. That means when you attack them, they can use their activated abilities, which TBS has said most of them will have.

The majority of Energize characters have an activated power, and this allows them to use it twice, or use it and attack (if your opponent chooses to attack it) and a few other tricks that will become apparent once you see the whole set!"

Cyclops, if your opponent is stupid enough to attack him, starts the combat with a 16 point swing in your favor. Their 8 attacks, you exhaust it, you ready, you hit it again Professor X style and ding another 8 burn on there. You thought double stun endurance was nasty? This, this is nasty. 17/17 is a slight downturn in 8-drop stats, so if you don't want to trade you can just exhaust their 8-drop before the attack and still come out 8 points ahead.

TBS also confirms that Scott has a 3, 4 and 6 drop. So... Your three drops locks down two of their characters, your 4 drop Doom (who else? Spider-man? Okay, sure, Spider-Man too!) locks down a third and you could even have Puppet Master for all we know. Yes, yes please! Two cards for two characters, this card is borderline. Not over the edge, but hell yeah, it's close.

Get this, apprently it STUNNED two characters before! Oh my god, how did that get past even FIRST draft? Hopefully TBS meant you stunned your Cyke to stun two characters. If not... Jesus. The Captain, 3-drop Cyclops, lots of way to get this off. This will really shine with an ability to buy it back. Black Manta? Is there another way? I know someone mentioned John Walker <> U.S. Agent on the Realms, but this doesn't target.

If this is any indication of Cyclops's theme and potential, he may be the new leader of the Control game. Cyclops, Spider-Man, Dr. Doom... It's becoming a crowded fight and with tools like this, Scott Summer may just clear the board. Or at least turn it sideways.

Very interesting ability.

Jamie ensures you keep your investment on the field. 5 resource points is a lot in this game. So losing them is brutal. If you have another copy of Jamie Prime, you don't lose anything except 5 stun endurance. That's very nice by itself. What really gets my motor running is the idea of swarming with him after you get him stunned. 5 1-drops? Well, he has more than one. And the name or identity work around solves issues with previous Multiple Man's who put copies of himself into play very smoothly.

What it doesn't stop is throwing 5 weenies down and with the right Multiple Man, you can double those and turn 5 points into upwards of 10! Yes, this requires a LARGE hand size, but hey... Stu? Longshot works if you call Jamie Madrox and Multiple Man now, huh? ;) Oh yes, yes he does. Sure it's golden, but Golden is for fun now!

So, you lost all those weenies too? Well, instead of just throwing them away, suck them up. Gain some life, draw some cards, be ready to flood the field again.

It's hard for me to say much about this card, it's just so self explanitory. I mean, what more is there to say? We all know drawing cards and gaining life is good.

At the cost of losing characters you likely lost all ready? Wonderful! It's like free card draw and life gain. If you do it on turns 3 or 4 before your five drop comes into play you may even be loading your hand with cards to replace those 5 points with 10 like we talked about above. You've got the KO'd pile full of replacements after all.

Well, that's all for tonight, more as we're granted the info. And don't forget to keep checking back for an exclusive world premiere preview here on RSVSB!

Hey, that doesn't sound half bad.

Continue reading...

Got my Mxy!

Found Mr. Mxyzptlk: Troublesome Trickster real cheap on Ebay. Been wanting him for so long. 4x for under 6 dollars plus shipping. It got in today (yesterday, but I started typing this post 12 hours ago!)

Ahhh, the wonders of ebay. Sad to see such a mighty money rare go by the wayside, but I will take it where I can get it. Ahh, now to get out Poison Ivy: Deadly Rose, Deadshot: Floyd Lawton and some Fate Artifacts to relive Banana Hammock. Was my favorite modern age deck at the time, perhaps ever, and I never got to play it except proxied up for testing. :Sigh:

But it's never too late for VS. :)

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