December 21, 2008

The Ring Has Chosen

For those of you who aren't members of the forums on, you should be. There is a long-running podcast that two of the 'realms members have been doing, called The Ring Has Chosen. I've been listening to Cliff and Squire since before Halloween of '07, and tune in religiously every week for the latest episode. These guys do a great job and always make me laugh with their fun banter, off-topic ranting, and insight into the game.

A while back I sent Cliff an email to let them know how much I enjoyed their show, and was shortly thereafter invited to join them for an episode! I'll let the episode do the rest of the talking, but I just wanted to let them, and everyone else, know how much I enjoyed being on the show. It was hands down the most fun I've had in a long time. Thanks again for having me on guys!

So go listen to The Ring Has Chosen episode 68! It's available for download on iTunes, or can be streamed at

December 17, 2008

Back on track!

Well I just got finished talking with the guys from The Ring Has Chosen (the absolute best pod-cast on the inter-webs!), and was gently reprimanded for not having updated my blog in almost a week. We'll talk more about that later on...for now I thought I'd get back to my regularly scheduled programming, and start talking about the rest of the teams from Marvel Evolution.

I believe the next team I said I'd look at would be X-Factor. Even if it wasn't, is now! From a broad perspective I like how they were handled. All three eras of the team were covered: the original five X-Men, the government-sponsored team led by Havok, and the current X-Factor Investigations. I know the first two teams best, as X-Factor was one of the books that I read for the longest back in the day.

Keeping with the X-Men team, the original five has some great recovery effects from Angel and Jean Grey, some stun and don't-get-stunned shenanigans with Cyclops, and Beast / Iceman rounding out things nicely with other spiffy effects (exhaust, card draw, pumps).While I don't particularly dig the Cyclops legend I do have to admit that he deserved it; if only because he's been the field leader of the X-Men 40 years. He's got some great cards and I'm sure we'll see a lot of legend decks pop up over the next little while.

It seems like the character drawing much more attention however, is Multiple Man. This (odd choice of) legend has the potential to be really powerful with only a few cards. Just flipping through my MEV binder, I think if I made an X-Factor / Madrox deck it would look something like this:

14x MEV-021 Multiple Man, Army (1)
4x MEV-025 Rictor (2)
6x MEV-015 Jamie Madrox, Army (2)
2x MEV-016 Jamie Madrox (5)
4x MEV-028 Strong Guy (6)
Total = 30

Plot Twists:
2x First Class
2x Cracking the Case
2x Multiplicity
2x One Man Army
2x Re-absorption
4x Vocal Minority
4x The "X" Factor
4x Black Box
Total = 22

2x Fall's Edge
2x X-Factor Investigations
4x Alias Investigations
Total = 8

While this isn't an ideal build, I think it has potential, and is something I could actually build with the cards I have right now, barring needing one or two more copies of some rares.

Basically you drop and keep as many army Madroxes as you can on the board until turn 4, dropping Rictor to gain endurance over two or three turns (possibly more than once per turn). On turn 5 bring in the 5-drop Madrox if you can find him, otherwise just keep dumping army guys. The ideal situation is to have a ton of 1-drop army guys available on the board when you recruit Strong Guy. Use a few of the smaller army guys to pump up others (with a little help from The "X" Factor).By this time you should have a Strong Guy with something on the order of 10 counters on him, and hopefully have been able to stomp your way through most of your opponent's board with your army dudes. Attack with Strong Guy for the coup-de-grace and celebrate your victory!

It might not be a super solid deck, but I think it would be fun to play, and very flavorful. If you wanted to round it out with a few more different characters you certainly could, but you really want to try to maximize the number of activated effects you have control of.

So there you have it...a deck and a review (sort-of). Now go play some cards!

December 10, 2008

MEV Black Box errata'd

In the past week or so since MEV was released, some tricky smart players figured out an infinite combo utilizing a combination of Black Box and Techno-Organic Virus. Today, UDE (ie: "The" Ben Seck) posted an errata of the card's text up on the forums.

The card now reads: "Shuffle up to three target cards not named Black Box from a single player's KO'd pile into his deck. If you control an X-Force character, draw a card."

I think this is an elegant solution that still makes the card playable without ruining the usefulness of a good card. Thanks TBS!

And now back to your regularly scheduled gaming. :D

Community Update

Well, if you've taken a close look at the right side of the site lately (providing the color change didn't numb you to sleep)...we have another location running hobby league effective as of yesterday! Due to lack of supply Jason, your other friendly hobby league TO, wasn't able to run a sealed tournament as planned. The sealed tournament will run on Dec 22nd instead.

We will try to operate our events as concurrently as possible Legends will be running on Monday evenings, following the same format as Trilogy on the preceding Friday. Of course we may not be able to keep things in sync all the time. For the most part, the format will be the same. Keep an eye on the side panel here for format, dates and times.

More gaming, more prizes, more Vs System goodness...sounds like a happy holiday season to me! :D

December 05, 2008

Lack of Creativity is Lame

OK I know I said that my next write up would be about X-Factor, but I really haven't had a chance to look at them very much this week. It seems the big story on Magic Workstation is Exiles. Out of all the games I've played, the only ones that weren't played against Exiles decks were those I played against Roy (a total of 5 out of approximately 25). Everyone else seems to have foregone any sense of autonomy or creativity and jumped on the Exiles bandwagon.

I admit, it's a good deck; it's better than good. As you may have garnered from my previous article, I think it's pretty damn amazing. By turn five a regular deck will have garnered a total of 15 resource points. Exiles can almost double that. But does that mean every person online has to play it? Can't we step out of the box a little bit and try something else rather than everyone running variations on a theme? I guess new-and-shiny + wins-almost-every-time is just too tempting to ignore.

Right now you're probably all thinking I sound like a grumpy old man. That's fine with me. For a lot of people, they just want to try out the new teams, see how they play and then carry on about their regular gaming lives. I've been guilty of it myself from time to time too. Perhaps it has a lot to do with my preference toward building thematic and fun decks, rather than "I just wanna win" stuff. I obviously can't claim that I'm not competitive however, as here I am, lamenting away.

It'll be harder to manage building an Exiles deck in real life simply because of the card rarity involved in building some of it. Online that's not a problem. Thanks to the scary prevalence of online net-decking at this point though, I'm tired of seeing Exiles already and I haven't even opened my half-case of Evolution. Yay.