The History of Vs System Part 7: Honor Among Thieves

Marvel Knights released its content to the Vs Community and provided players with access to new team affiliations. X-Stall, League of Brotherhood, Common Enemy and other Control Decklists overran the meta calling for faster, more aggressive decks to enter the format. Due to the flood of control decks in the format, players were torn between two different play styles. Control players, and players who attempted to win on or before turn six.

Honor Among Thieves

Characters:
4 Vulture, Adrian Toomes
4 Chameleon, Dmitri Smerdyakov
3 Mendel Stromm, Robot Master
4 Stilt Man, Wilbur Day
4 Hammerhead, Gangster
4 Cobra, Klaus Vorhees
4 Mysterio, Quentin Beck
1 Mr. Hyde, Calvin Zabo
1 Owl, Leland Owlsley
4 Rhino, Alex O’Hirn
1 Masked Maurader, Frank Farnum
2 Carnage, Cletus Kasady

Plot Twist
4 Honor Among Thieves
4 Blown to Pieces
4 Uprising
4 No Fear
4 Flying Kick

Location
4 Doc Ock’s Lab

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Honor Among Thieves teams up Crime Lords and Sinister Syndicate. It also gives your characters with a cost of three or less +1 ATK. This attack boost is permanent, not just when the character attacks. That piece of information is very important as it is the cornerstone of this deck.

Unlike most decks where if you wing it you may get win, so long as you don’t miss any drops, if you don’t play the deck properly you will lose, hard. Honor Among Thieves’ specific play style was a complete counter-balance to what decks were floating around in the meta at the time. At this point in history players either ran control decks or curve decks.

Control Decks: Honor Among Thieves relies on pure aggression by playing multiple characters in one turn. Especially on turn four. Decks like X-Stall have a very hard time dealing with decks that played multiple characters in one turn. Once X-Stall had to make the choice of keeping Rogue or Puppet Master, they are usually on a downward slope to a loss.

Curve Decks: Curve Decks are intended to make every drop with the corresponding character cost for that turn. Attacking characters on your initiative and boosting the attack to stun your opponents attacking characters on theirs is how you beat curve decks with Honor Among Thieves.

Turn 1: Vulture, Adrian Toomes, or Chameleon, Dmitri Smerdyakov, are the two characters you want to play this turn. Mendel Stromm, Robot Master shouldn’t be played unless it is in conjunction with another character. His ability isn’t going to be very good unless you have an additional character to play with him. One of the best plays you can make this turn is to play Vulture, flip Doc Ock’s Lab, and attack with the Flying Kick Plot Twist for a total of eight damage. In addition you will gain any breakthrough in endurance. Being as aggressive as possible in the first two turns will most likely determine the outcome of the match. Abusing Doc Ock’s Lab is important so you will want to activate it regardless of how much life you spend.

Turn 2: There are a lot of turn two plays you can make with this deck. If you have the option of choosing between different play options in your hand here are a few general guidelines.
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Stilt Man, Wilbur Day, is in the deck as a Crime Lords Character to meet Honor Among Thieves’ requirements for activation and to keep up with Beast Boy from the Teen Titans and B&B Decks. If your opponent is playing either of those decks or other decks that give characters +1+1 counters then Stilt Man is the character of choice, otherwise go with other options.
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Cobra, Cobra, Klaus Vorhees will allow you to search for Mr. Hyde, Calvin Zabo. This will take care of your turn three strategy. There are no specific or generic search cards in this deck aside from Cobra searching for Hr. Hyde. There are other turn three characters in the deck so if you feel as if you have a better turn three plan then you will need to move on in this article.
MSM-075
Hammerhead is the card you want when you are anticipating your opponent to have fewer characters then you within the first three turns. Running Vulture into your opponent’s two drop (assuming they played nothing on turn one) will allow Hammerhead to get in for eight damage with the help of Dock Ock’s Lab. Best case scenario, If you followed the game plan for turn one, then you will have dealt around 18 damage within the first two turns.

Turn 3: If by turn three you haven’t had the opportunity to play a Crime Lords Character in order to activate Honor Among Thieves then there are a few tricks you can do to fix that. Chameleon is excellent for getting around affiliation issues. Using his ability can temporarily grant him the Crime Lords team affiliation. Otherwise you can recruit Rhino, Alex O’Hirn. You shouldn’t worry about life loss in this deck. Vulture causes you to break even in the end.

MSM-083
Mysterio, Quentin Beck should be boosted on turn four, allowing a second Mysterio to be played. Remember, the purpose of the deck is to have more Characters then your opponent between turns four and five. If you are on the even initiative then you will need to evade both Mysterio in order to preserve your attack strategy for turn five.

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At this point in time you should be running into multiple copies of Blown to Pieces. Chameleon can assume an additional team affiliation so by choosing the Underworld team affiliation, you can bluff Blown to Pieces to be in your resource row. Blown to Pieces will give a defender +3 ATK. If Blown to Pieces is in your resource row and you control a Crime Lords character and an Underworld character, that defender gets an additional +2 ATK this attack and you may replace Blown to Pieces. This has good synergy with hitting an Uprising or Honor Among Thieves.

Final Turns:
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If you were as aggressive as possible and you have a few Honor Among Thieves online, playing Carnage, Cletus Kasady, will set your characters attack stats to above average. The Uprising Plot Twist will add another +2 ATK to all your characters that attack a character with a higher cost. Playing one or more Uprisings combined with Carnage and multiple Honor Among Thieves will end the match in your favor. You need to make the most out of every turn by dealing as much damage as possible to your opponent. Don’t waste any valuable Plot Twists and don’t miss your Dock Ock’s Lab triggers.

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