From Starter Deck to Structure Deck: Doom and Fantastic Four

Although the majority of Vs cards now have significantly dropped in price, many of the good staples are still around $2.99 a piece. Playing a competitive Vs Deck can still set you back $50.00 – $100.00. This tends to push players away when considering starting or even getting back into the game.

From 2004 – 2006, I was at the top of my playgroup winning tournament after tournament in the local scene. I decided to “take it up a notch” by running decks that were considered to be over the top or completely unfair, decks such as Fate Squad, Deep Green, and X-Stall (the Gamma Bomb Version). I wanted to prove that I was the best beyond a shadow of a doubt. The issue with this is that everyone else in the local scene was running tier three decks like Dr. Doom (The Herald of Galactus Block Version), JSA, and Kang.

For those of you who don’t know and without going too much into detail, Fate Squad is a Squadron Supreme, Thunderbolts team affiliation with Fate Artifacts and cards to support them. If built properly and played against anything less than a tier two deck, it can win as early as turn four. For the next three months I would win first place every week, winning consistently on turn four. While i was on my winning streak, basking in the glory of being the best player, players slowly started to lose interest in Vs System saying things like; this deck is too broken, or Fate Artifacts should be banned. Our group dwindled from a solid 15 players to a measly four. Playing devil’s advocate; if the local Vs players were that concerned with Fate Squad or any other tier one deck they could actually do research and fix their deck accordingly but that didn’t stop the local players from giving up. The Vs System scene in my area died with me on top but it came with a price. The lesson I learned was that not only should i have taken the time to pass the knowledge I learned from playing to others over the years, but i shouldn’t have tried to smash such weaker decks with such a competitive one which brings me to the point of this article.

Vs System is a lot of fun. From do it yourself deck projects to fighting it out using your favorite comic book characters. Competitive play unfortunately sometimes takes the fun out of the game. Players who no longer have their collection or new players looking to have fun with the game will most likely stray due to lack of funds or fear of failure to better decks. Upper Deck released a series of Starter decks pinning famous teams against the team’s most common antagonist.box_fantasticfour
The Starter decks themselves contain one Vs System Rulebook, one Vs System Quick Start Guide, and two 26 card decks. Everything you need to get started. The decklist for this product is listed below:

FF/Doom Starter :

Fantastic Four

2 Noah Baxter, CEO Baxter Industries
2 H.E.R.B.I.E.
2 Invisible Woman, Protector
2 Luke Cage, Reserve Member
2 Medusa, Medusalith Amaquelin
2 Crystal, Elemental Princess
2 Human Torch, Hothead
1 She-Hulk, Green Jeans
2 Thing, Strongman
1 Mr. Fantastic, Leader

Plot Twist:
2 Personal Nemesis
2 No Fear
1 One-Two Punch
1 Flying Kick
1 Force Shield

Location: 4
1 Reed’s Workshop


2 Kristoff Von Doom, Ticking Time Bomb
2 Boris, Doom’s Caretaker
2 Ovoid Mentor, Alien Mentalist
2 Titania, Big Bad Bully
2 Volcana, Raging Inferno
2 Victor Von Doom II, Doomed Heir
2 Sub-Mariner, Atlantean Monarch
1 Dragon Man, Experimental Monster
2 Darkoth, Death Demon
1 Dr. Doom, Scientific Sorcerer

Plot Twist:
2 Personal Nemesis
2 No Fear
1 Flying Kick
1 Cryonic Grenade
1 One-Two Punch

1 Doom’s Laboratory

This looks good after opening the package but the card count is only 26 cards per deck. After a couple of games you tend to get tired of playing the decks. This is an issue with any starter deck in Vs. Many times you will wind up not drawing the proper cards, miss your character drops, or have to use your characters as resources. This can be very frustrating when all you want to do is enjoy a game of Vs System with an old friend where the decks are even and the environment is lax.

Changing these decks to 60 cards is a lot easier and less expensive then you may think. You can obtain a FF/Doom Starter deck for as little as $2.30. You will need to purchase two copies of these decks. This will bring your total card count up to 52 for each deck. This will give you four copies of the majority of the commons in each deck, which adds consistency to what you are running. At this point you will be missing eight cards from each deck. The tricky part is finding cards to fill the deck slots that aren’t too powerful, goes with the theme of the deck, and won’t make your opponent rage quit the match while still keeping the integrity of the game.

These two cards pretty much define each deck and what they do. The Doom deck is an aggressive deck that specializes in burn abilities but lack in defense while Fantastic Four is a little underpowered with excellent defense early in the game with the ability to turn the game around turns 5-7 using strong characters with great abilities. you will need to drop $1.00 at finishing out the play sets of the above cards. This brings your count to 54 cards in each deck.

Next we need to find six cards that go with the theme of each deck. The cards must be commonly used card and not too overpowered. We don’t want to make other cards in the deck seem completely useless.
Baxter Building Unstable Molecules
Unstable Molecules and Baxter Building work very well together and are not very expensive. by purchasing a play set of Unstable Molecules at $0.25 each and two copies of Baxter Building at $0.35 each you move your Fantastic Four deck count to 60 cards.
The same goes for these two. Micro-Size and Doomstadt work very well together and will boost Dr. Doom out of range of an attack on turn seven, causing your opponent to team attack, possible biding you another turn. Doomstadt will give Micro-Size the ability to negate any combat boosts you opponent may use. You will need a play set of Mico-Size and two copies of Doomstadt. A total cost of $1.70. This is a total cost of approximately $11.00 for two-60 card decks, depending on whether or not you own Magic the Gathering Sleeves which I strongly suggest using since the cards are not longer being printed. After buying these cards, you new list should be as follows.

Fantastic Four

4 Noah Baxter, CEO Baxter Industries
4 H.E.R.B.I.E.
4 Invisible Woman, Protector
4 Luke Cage, Reserve Member
4 Medusa, Medusalith Amaquelin
4 Crystal, Elemental Princess
4 Human Torch, Hothead
2 She-Hulk, Green Jeans
4 Thing, Strongman
2 Mr. Fantastic, Leader

Plot Twist:
4 Force Shield
4 Personal Nemesis
4 No Fear
2 One-Two Punch
2 Flying Kick

Location: 4
2 Reed’s Workshop
2 Baxter Building

4 Unstable Molecules


4 Kristoff Von Doom, Ticking Time Bomb
4 Boris, Doom’s Caretaker
4 Ovoid Mentor, Alien Mentalist
4 Titania, Big Bad Bully
4 Volcana, Raging Inferno
4 Victor Von Doom II, Doomed Heir
4 Sub-Mariner, Atlantean Monarch
2 Dragon Man, Experimental Monster
4 Darkoth, Death Demon
2 Dr. Doom, Scientific Sorcerer

Plot Twist:
4 Cryonic Grenade
4 Personal Nemesis
4 No Fear
4 Micro-Size
2 Flying Kick
2 One-Two Punch

Location: 4
2 Doom’s Laboratory
2 Doomsdadt

I could list the breakdown of how to play the two decks, the tips and tricks associated with every play. Important initiative decisions and recruiting options but that would take the fun out of it. If you wish for more information on these decks, want to request tips and tricks or just have a generic discussion about the blog, please leave a comment below.

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