July 22, 2008

DCU Fan-set Preview: Pancake Breakfast

Once again I've had the good fortune of being given a card to preview from the DC Universe fan-set created by some of the players over on VS Realms. So far the set is looking fantastic, and contains all kinds of Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps shenanigans. It's almost a shame that it's a fan set, because some of these cards are so damn good. It's been promised that the set will be available for both Magic Workstation and OCTGN (my preferred virtual tabletop). Being able to play with these cards, even if only just online is a very exciting prospect.

So with that, let's have a look at the next preview!

Pancake BreakfastNow I have to admit that my JSA knowledge is far more limited than my Green Lantern lore, but I know the characters and have tried a deck or two out. However, you don't need to be a JSA expert to realize that Pancake Breakfast is a good card!

The JSA's theme seems to be based on getting bonuses for having a lot of exhausted characters. So, if you're able to keep another character out of your KO pile, it stands to reason that you can have more bonuses. Not to mention the possible board advantage you could get after your opponent goes all out to stun your two biggest characters in hopes of KOing one of them.

The cost of the card really isn't an expensive one either. If you have a card in hand that you plan to recruit next turn, why not put it back on top of your deck? It certainly isn't going anywhere and you'll be getting it back soon enough.

I also think this card could be pretty strong in an army or rally deck as well. I'm sure there are some players out there far smarter than me that could come up with some pretty spiffy combos. Or just save them all up for the end of turn six. Just when your opponent thinks they've stunned all of your characters and you'll only be coming back with one character...you recover four of them and have a full field plus your seven-drop the next turn. Ouch times five = good times.

July 19, 2008

A good gaming group is hard to find

The group that's come together to play Vs. at our regular Hobby League events is definitely a good one though. We're also lucky to have a supportive store to play at, which makes all the difference in the world.

Yesterday's event wasn't any kind of special event, nor did we have any special prizes, but we still had eight players show up with mostly new constructed decks. There was quite a field too including Avengers, New Brotherhood, Crime Lords (two different builds), Outsiders, Gotham Knights and a tweaked Thule Society deck. I've been really impressed with some of the deck building skills of the players lately too. Some of this stuff is amazingly inventive.

I have played against both of the Crime Lords builds and find them to be very strong decks. Master Man is a serious threat if you can't get him off the board. With cards like Hired Hit he can be made huge even if you're trying to avoid attacking him. Add in all of the reinforcement mechanics with James Barnes and the Death Warrant and it's scary. The only thing I've had good success against them with Thule Society.

I haven't really spent much time building anything from Marvel Universe specifically, but rather play-testing against a few of the other players builds. The only one that I've actually built is a Warbound deck. But as I only have one or maybe two of some of the main rares (Sakaar, Great Arena, etc...) it's really not that good. I also don't find it that much fun to play, so I will likely be taking it apart fairly soon.

I'm still trying to make my Infinity Watch / Fearsome Five team-up deck work. The bloody thing still doesn't even have a name. Since I've talked about it a few times I figured I might as well post up a deck list.

4x DOR-121 Gizmo (1)
2x MHG-175 Pip the Troll (2)
2x DOR-126 Shimmer (2)
4x DJL-120 Dr. Sivana (3)
2x MHG-173 Gamora (3)
3x DOR-122 Jinx (4)
3x MHG-174 Moondragon (4)
3x DOR-120 Dr. Light (6)
2x MHG-176 Thanos (6)
2x DOR-125 Psimon (7)
1x MHG-171 Adam Warlock (7)

Plot Twists:
2x DOR-127 The Underworld Star
2x MHG-177 Gathering the Watch
2x MHG-196 Armageddon
3x MAV-197 Prismatic Shield
4x DCR-191 Forbidden Loyalties
4x MUN-320 Public Outcry
4x MUN-309 House of M

2x MHG-178 Mind Gem
2x MTU-211 Ego Gem
2x MHG-185 Time Gem
1x MHG-180 Reality Gem
1x MHG-181 Soul Gem
1x MHG-179 Power Gem
1x MUN-293 Quantum Bands
1x MHG-184 The Infinity Gauntlet

2x MTU-213 Monster Island
2x MTU-214 New Baxter Building
2x MUN-295 Asgard

Total cards = 66

I have played variations of this deck for the past few months, but it really didn't seem to work well until I was able to put in some cards from Marvel Universe. I replaced Soul World with Asgard and swapped in the Public Outcry and House of M because they can still work when I have Monster Island on the board.

We played a few four-player team games after the regular event. Shimmer is a monster, especially in multi-player games. Exhausting two or three of an opponent's characters for two or three rounds can be devastating. Colin will vouch for it. :D

Next up will be our "Bring Your Own Team" event.

July 09, 2008

Can you smell the rares?

I love rare cards. The near-brokenness of their effects, awesome artwork and sheer cardboardy goodness all make me smile. And if you're lucky, sometimes you get that extra-shiny rare-card treat! Just the other day I received an envelope in the mail containing 70-plus rare cards that I had ordered online. With these cards added to my collection I can finally declare my first two complete sets: DC Origins and Green Lantern Corps.

Now to clarify, "complete" to me may not mean the same as it does to you. I'm a collector as well as a player, and as such my aim is to obtain at least one copy of each card from each set. Many other players would consider a complete set to be 4 copies of each card from the set. The fact is that there are just too many cards out there and not enough time for me to play. And of course some rares I may never have a chance to use, and thus don't need four copies, or they are cards that you simply dont need four copies of (basically any card with cost 8 or higher).

All of my cards are neatly organized into binders by expansion set, so it is easy to tell what cards I'm missing. It also makes it a lot easier when building decks, as I know exactly where to look for what I need. I also tend not to keep decks together for very long. I like to change what I'm playing on a frequent basis. The binders allow me to flip through, looking at cards and artwork until something catches my eye. From there, I can pick a card or team that seems interesting and begin to build a new deck.

My want list is still in need of a lot of attention, so drop me a line if you have stuff to trade. I probably need something you have.

July 07, 2008

Missed out

Other obligations came up and I had to miss out on our last event. I had pretty cool deck put together and was disappointed that I wouldn't get a chance to try it out. It's a really interesting team-up that I wish I could have come up with myself. I found it on VsSystem in an article back in October of last year my Michael Barnes. You can read the article here. I had to make a few substitutions, as I didn't have four copies of a few cards. The most notable one I remember was tossing in the Marvel Knights 4-drop Wolverine. Otherwise it was almost exactly as the deck list there shows.

Happily enough Darren, who was also unable to make it to Friday's event, was able to get together on Sunday. He ran an Avengers deck based on reservists and rallying for equipment like Hulkbuster Armor. After losing three games (the first being the closest), he conceded defeat. It just seemed like luck wasn't on his side, as he seemed to be missing draws and failed a lot of his rally attempts. I will say though...every time he dropped an Ares or flashed a Sentry card at me I started getting pretty nervous. The 6-drop Ares from MUN is freaking scary. (13/12, Range, If the controller of a character in combat with Ares would take an amount of stun endurance loss, instead, he takes twice that amount.) I was playing odd-initiative and got smacked around by that guy more than once; and it stings.

We played a few more games, me with the "Two Gauntlets Blazing" and Darren with his Crime Lords deck. He had a nice combo going with the concealed James Barnes and Death Warrant which caused me enough problems to lose the first game. After I'd seen it once though, I started making plans for getting around it. Of course, after four games I also had a good feel for how my deck ran and what it was capable of doing. And frankly, it's insane, even without getting the Infinity Gauntlet out.

However, I was actually able to get it into play in the 6th and final game. I've run a few decks that try to get the Gauntlet out, but have never been able to pull it off. Darren had just dropped Sleeper and things were looking grim for me, even though he only had one other character on the board. I had my 7-drop Punisher, the Infinity Gauntlet and five of the gems in hand. Checkmate Armory saved my butt, letting me spend that left-over resource to grab another gem, and drop the Gauntlet onto my 6-drop Huntress. She was protecting my 7-drop Sasha, and I had Ahmed and Black Thorn hidden. With the Gauntlet activated it left Darren with one character to my 5. Game over.

Ah if only I could think up crazy stuff like this on my own... Hell, I'd be happy if I could come up with something even half as good! It's a great example of thinking outside the box. ;)

July 01, 2008

DCU Fan-set Preview: Beware My Power

Today I have something very cool...our first card preview! Hot on the heels of the release of Marvel Universe is a new fan-set, DC Universe. This set is being put together by a hard-working group of members over at www.vsrealms.com.

I liked the DC Legends set a lot, but found it really tough to get the rare cards of my favorite Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. With Beware My Power you can really lock down an opponent's board. I think I'd build a legend deck centered around Hal Jordan, Hard-Traveling Hero. Pump up his willpower with a Green Lantern Ring, Mogo or Power Surge and then exhaust a pile of your opponent's army characters, their big gun or both!