The Think Tank: Concepts Yet to be Abused in Vs System

Delving into other competitive TCG’s is a good way to sharpen your skills at both creative deckbuilding and problem solving. There are many concepts that exist in one game but have yet to be discovered in another. For example; one TCG may have a “Burn” concept such as Magic the Gathering while another may still need to be broken-in. Much like Yu-Gi-Oh was in the game’s early form of tournament development. Today on the Think Tank we will be discussing those concepts and cards associated with them to possibly form decks that have yet to be discovered.

Infinite Recursion
dfadsfasMAV156MSM-130
Like many winning combos in TCG’s, this one involves graveyard recursion, a sacrificial outlet, and a character that returns the graveyard recursion back to the owner’s hand. This strategy requires the Doom and Masters of Evil Team Affiliations and the ability to cross them over. Sacrifice Rama-Tut to Devil’s Due putting a +1+1 counter on a character you control an infinite number of times. Having more than one character with infinite +1+1 counters will ensure breakthrough damage, winning the game. There are several cards in both affiliation categories that give aid to the concept but remember, Hard Sound Construct puts the character in to play, it does not recruit it.

Pass the Rock
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The idea of pass the rock is to use Darkseid, Omega’s ability to swap The Rock of Eternity and a resource your opponent controls in order to lock your opponent out of combat for the rest of the game. This card combination has been the talk of an alternate win condition in decks like Deep Green but there has been no real follow through as far as sound competitive decks.

Hand Lock
DJL090 untitled DJL089 DJL097
Although the idea of Hand Lock has been around since DC’s Justice League of America set came out in November of 2005, Vs players have yet to bring the deck to the competitive scene. The plan is to give your opponent an overabundance of card advantage that he can’t really use. The Joker, Headline Stealer locks your opponent out of any additional Plot Twists and since you cannot play Locations from your hand and are limited in recruiting your Characters based on the amount of resource points you have, making your opponent draw over six cards a turn really isn’t an issue. The deck wins by using Scarecrow, Phycho Psychologist’s ability to burn your opponent for each card in his/her hand.
Post your thoughts or decklists on these subjects in the comment section and lets talk about them and remember For more information on updates to my blog or Vs System news, click the link below and like the facebook page.

 

 

 

 

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

MMK190
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.
MMK113
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.
MMK094
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.

MMK187
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:
MSM-072MMK135
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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The History of Vs System Part 6: League of Brotherhood

Superman, Man of Steel was released in November 2004. Like Web of Spiderman, the set was underpowered compared to the Marvel and DC Origins sets and just like Web of Spiderman; Superman, Man of Steel released supporting cards to increase the effectiveness of decks already in the Meta such as Teen Titans and B&B. The majority of the support seemed to lean toward the League of Assassins team affiliation. Among many cards release for the team, one card in particular stood out.
DMS-144
Merlyn, Deadly Archer’s Ability Allows you to KO a character with a cost less than the number of locations you control on your attack step. Players that saw the potential in this card asked themselves two questions.

1. What team affiliation has the most support for Locations besides League of Assassins?
2. Is there a Location to team them up so as to not lose the effectiveness of Merlyn’s ability?

The first answer is obvious. Big Brotherhood was a deck with very strong Location support. Adding Merlyn and the League of Assassins Location package to the mix would prove to be devastating. The answer to the second question would seal the deal in the player’s deck choice to once again break the format.

DMS-156
Metropolis was the first Location of its kind to provide a generic team up. The League of Assassins as a whole was too weak to support any type of abuse for Merlyn. Metropolis not only allows for multiple copies of it face up at one time but it lets you team up with another team affiliation for added location support such as Brotherhood.

League of Brotherhood

Characters

4 Talia, Daughter of the Demon’s Head
4 Quicksilver, Pietro Maximoff
4 Quicksilver, Speed Demon
4 Mystique, Raven Darkholme
3 Mystique, Shape-Changing Assassin
4 Magneto, Eric Lehnsherr
3 Magneto, Master of Magnetism
1 Ra’s Al Ghul, Master Swordsman
1 Ra’s Al Ghul, The Demon’s Head
4 Merlyn, Deadly Archer

Plot Twists
3 Have a Blast!
4 The Demon’s Head
4 Tower of Babel

Locations
4 Lost City
4 Avalon Space Station
4 Metropolis
4 Mountain Stronghold
1 Lazarus Pit
1 Flying Fortress

If you haven’t read The History of Vs System Part 1: Big Brotherhood please read the article before reading further. The article contains tips and tricks to using “The Brotherhood” portion of this deck. if you don’t know the full aspect of how to effectively run that deck, adding the League of Assassins package isn’t going to help and possibly make your game play worse.

The Location Package:
Lost City Avalon%20Space%20StationMountain%20StrongholdDMS-156
Lazarus Pit Flying FortressDMS-146

For the more knowledgeable Vs player, the deck is the earliest recorded stages of Deep Green, a location heavy deck that revolves entirely around abusing Merlyn and other characters like him. The purpose of this deck is to utilize the League of Assassins support that was added to the Big Brotherhood deck such as Mountain Stronghold’s Tutor ability, Flying Fortress to give your attacking character flight, Lazarus Pit to keep your characters from getting KO’ed and Tower of Babel to stop team attack options or prevent team specific character pumps and abilities while simultaneously utilizing Merlyn’s ability to the fullest extent.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to play Merlyn on turn four. Merlyn’s ability only works during your attack and only if he has a cosmic counter so keeping him from becoming stunned is key. Using Lost City and Avalon Space Station will easily prevent him from becoming stunned so if they are not online, The Demon’s Head should be used to retrieve them.

Ensure that every resource in your resource row is either a Location or The Demon’s Head. The Demon’s Head should be played only when one of your characters would become a defender. You must exhaust a character upon playing The Demon’s Head. With that in mind, you should only activate it if you know that character will become stunned.

The Deck runs exactly like Big Brotherhood so again, if you haven’t read The History of Vs System Part 1: Big Brotherhood, you need to read it. The League of Assassins support is the only changes made to the original list with the exception of Relocation being taken out for Have A Blast!

Final Turns:
Magneto, Master of MagnetismRas al Ghul, The Demons Head
Big Brotherhood had little to no support for an eight cost character, much less a character that you could power up with Lost City and use for food when activating Avalon Space Station early in the game. Should the game drag into turn eight, Ra’s Al Ghul, The Demon’s Head will allow you to flip multiple copies of lost city and Avalon Space Station.

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The History of Vs System Part 5: X-Stall

Marvel’s Web of Spiderman was released in September 2004. The set introduced two new teams to the game; Spider Friends and Sinister Syndicate. Neither of which made an immediate appearance in any major tournaments. In fact, Web of Spiderman is considered to be one of the weaker sets in Vs. What Web of Spiderman did bring us was approximately 10 support cards for other teams that would once again change the meta. Surprisingly those support cards forged the main staples behind X-Stall.

Characters:
4 Puppet Master, Philip Masters
4 Wolverine, Logan
4 Rogue, Power Absorption
4 Jean Grey, Marvel Girl
4 Professor X, Charles Xavier
1 Sunfire, Shiro Yoshida
2 Emma Frost – Headmistress of Xavier’s Academy
4 Mimic, Calvin Rankin
4 Professor X, World’s Most Powerful Telepath
3 Jean Grey, Phoenix Force
2 Onslaught, Psionic Spawn of Xavier and Magneto

Plot Twists
4 Acrobatic Dodge
4 Children of the Atom
4 Pleasant Distraction
3 Burn Rubber

Locations
4 X-Corporation
3 Cerebro
2 Avalon Space Station

X-Stall is a very important piece of Vs System history. It was the first of its kind to attempt to stall the game all the way to turn nine, recruiting Onslaught, Psionic Spawn of Xavier and Magneto.
Puppet Master, Philip MastersRogue, Power AbsorptionMSM-119Professor X, World's Most Powerful TelepathMSM-156
Abusing Puppet Master is the key to survival in this deck. With that being said, your decision to mulligan revolves entirely around whether or not Puppet Master is in your opening hand. Rogue and Mimic copies Puppet Master’s ability making it harder for your opponent to deal damage. When I first started playing this deck I would get discouraged when i didn’t hit the perfect curve; Puppet Master, Wolverine, Rogue, Professor X, Charles Xavier, Mimic, Professor X World’s Most Powerful Telepath, Jean Grey, Phoenix Force and Onslaught, Psionic Spawn of Xavier and Magneto. I would especially get nervous when my opponent would play multiple characters in a turn. Puppet Master only affects one character and has no team affiliation. Because of this, if your opponent planned correctly, they could strategically weed Puppet Master out or make his ability useless over time due to your opponent choosing what character he/she exhausts. After playing the deck for a few months i started to realize that hitting the perfect curve was not the priority. The priority was simply staying alive until turn eight. I also realized that even though Puppet Master would get KO’ed, i could still easily survive.

The Backup Plan:
Professor X, Charles XavierRogue, Power AbsorptionMSM-119MSM-104
Sometimes when piloting this deck you will run into an awkward situation where playing Children of the Atom to recover Rogue or Wolverine in an attempt to select puppet master as the Character you recover during the recovery phase keeping the stall engine going doesn’t work. Usually this is because your opponent has stunned more than one character or found a way to KO Puppet Master using a Plot Twist or Character ability. If Puppet Master becomes KO’ed, Rouge and Mimic suddenly become average characters in a format were average isn’t good enough. If this happens your plan should switch to making your opponent discard his/her entire hand by turn seven. With Professor X coming into play, activating his ability and Rouge copying Professor X, your opponent discards a total of three cards on turn five. Turn six is a total of three again with Mimic’s ability and If you’re lucky, you will have forced your opponent to discard his turn six character on turn five and his turn seven character on turn six, ensuring Jean Grey wipes the board on turn eight.

Life Gain:
X-CorporationAvalon%20Space%20StationMSM-119
X-Corporation is crucial in this deck. Even with the ability to exhaust characters, loss of life happens which is why it is important to be aggressive with activating X-Corporation, gaining four life by discarding an X-Men Character card. We get those characters back from the graveyard by using Avalon Space Station. Mimic is the only Brotherhood Character in the deck so be mindful of his advantages when deciding what to discard. If X-Corporation is activated by discarding an X-Men Character every turn from the moment you can activate it, you will have gained 28 life by turn eight.

The Final Decision:
Jean Grey, Phoenix ForceOnslaught, Psionic Spawn of Xavier and Magneto
Obviously your turn eight play is to recruit Jean Grey, Phoenix Force. If you were following my advice on the paragraphs above then you should have a character named Jean Grey in your graveyard put there by either Avalon Space Station or X-Corporation. Activate Jean Grey during the combat step or after your opponent has recruited for the turn. If your initiative is odds then recruit Onslaught next turn. If it is even, repeat the steps you took last turn until you’re able to recruit Onslaught on your initiative. I’ve been in situations were I cleared the board with Jean Grey and played onslaught on a turn where my opponent attacked before onslaught’s ability went off, causing my endurance to go below zero so remember, just because you play Onslaught doesn’t mean that you win. You have to be just as vigilant on turns nine and ten as you would be turns three and four.

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The History of Vs System Part 4: The Brave and the Bold

The%20Brave%20and%20the%20Bold

If you haven’t read The History of Vs System Part 3: Teen Titans then I suggest you go and read that article before reading further. This article will make much more sense. Shortly after Teen Titans became a part of the meta, people began experimenting with the Gotham Knights, Teen Titans variants of the deck. What did Gotham Knights do to the
deck that set it apart from the traditional Teen Titan builds you ask? The answer is found in this two card combo.
. Dynamic DuoGCPD%20Headquarters
Dynamic Duo: Gotham Knights characters cannot be stunned while team attacking this turn.
Ongoing: Exhaust two Gotham Knights characters you control >>> Turn Dynamic Duo face down.

GCPD Headquarters: Whenever three or more Gotham Knights team attackers you control stun a defender, KO that defender. Activate >>> Target Gotham Knights defender with a cost of 3 or less has reinforcement this attack.

Teen Titans are more commonly known for their uncanny ability to team attack and ready those same characters several times in one turn. The weakness behind this strategy is that those team attackers have no real way of ensuring those Characters stay alive. With Dynamic Duo that problem becomes solved and with GCPD Headquarters the Characters you stun while team attacking with three or more characters become KO’ed. If you are able to ready your Characters twice in one turn using Teen Titans Go! after flipping Dynamic Duo and having GCPD Headquarters online, you can KO three characters in one turn. Lets take a look at a basic B&B list and how it works.

Characters:
4 Alfred Pennyworth, Faithfull Friend
4 Mirage, Miriam Delgado
2 Dawn Granger ◊ Dove
2 Hank Hall ◊ Hawk
3 Beast Boy, Garfield Logan
2 Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal, Sharpshooter
4 Terra, Tara Markov
4 Garth ◊ Tempest
1 Batman, Caped Crusader
1 Connor Kent ◊ Superboy, Tactile Telekinetic
1 Raven, Daughter of Trigon

Plot Twists:
4 The Brave And The Bold
1 Worlds Finest
3 Bat Signal
3 Fizzle
2 Dynamic Duo
4 Teen Titans Go!
2 Heroic Sacrifice
2 Home Surgery

Locations:
4 Optitron
4 USS Argus
3 GCPD Headquarters

The easiest way to explain the way this decks works is through phases.

Phase 1: The Set-Up

Alfred Pennyworth, Faithful Friend Mirage, Miriam Delgado OptitronThe%20Brave%20and%20the%20BoldBat-Signal
Your first phase is the most important. Alfred Pennyworth’s ability will only activate if you control another Gotham Knights character so your first few turns are going to be dedicated solely to getting Alfred Pennyworth on the board and The Brave And The Bold online. It’s crucial that the two teams are crossed over because a lot of your cards affect only Gotham Knights characters while your main Character curve is mostly Teen Titans. The set-up phase generally lasts two turns. During those turns you will only be playing combinations of the cards you see above. Your main priority is to team up Teen Titans and Gotham Knights together and to have Alfred Pennyworth and Mirage on the board. Mirage is important because when you play her you can reveal a Teen Titans Character from your hand and give her an additional team affiliation (Gotham Knights). This will allow Alfred Pennyworth to activate and Bat Signal to be used without having The Brave And The Bold online yet (if needed). A really good trick to use is to play Alfred Pennyworth on turn one and on turn two when Alfred Pennyworth becomes ready, activate Optitron and use one resource point to search your deck for Mirage and put her into your hand and play her using your remaining resource point. We call this technique under dropping. By turn two you should have both characters on the board. Mirage should be in the front row and Alfred Pennyworth should be in the support row directly behind her, forcing your opponent’s non-flight character to attack Mirage instead of Alfred Pennyworth. There is a risk of both characters being stunned in combat depending on how many characters your opponent has recruited, forcing you to choose between the two. If this happens, use a Bat Signal on Mirage to search for a character needed for the future turns and use Alfred Pennyworth to search out an important Plot Twist. You will need him as a discard outlet later in the game.

Phase Two: The Defense Grid

Beast Boy, Garfield LoganGCPD%20HeadquartersIMG_0743IMG_0742

The goal during this phase is to survive with the maximum amount of characters on the board as possible while taking as little damage as possible. Beast Boy is your primary character of choice and should have either been drawn or fetched using Bat Signal and GCPD Headquarters gives your characters played so far reinforcement. If your read my article of Teen Titans than you would know how amazing Heroic Sacrifice and Home Surgery work together. Just remember that if you can save this two card combo for turns four and five then do it. From this point forward Beast Boy needs to be getting at least one +1+1 counter on him every turn.

Phase Three: Terra
Terra,%20Tara%20MarkovUSS ArgusOptitronGCPD%20Headquarters
Terra, Terra Markov gives us the ability to stun a character with a cost of three or less by replacing a location you control. This is not only good, but combine it with USS Argus and its pure advantage. USS Argus says If you would draw a card during the draw phase, skip that draw instead.  Activate >>> Look at the top four cards of your deck. Put one of them into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your deck in any order. Use this power only during the build phase and only if you control a Teen Titans character. you shouldent flip USS Argus unless you are planning to have Terra online that turn. If you choose not to follow this advise, you will technically be drawing one less card a turn and will more than likely lose because of it. If you choose to follow my advise however, you can flip and activate USS Argus during the build phase (resulting in drawing a total of three cards that turn) play Terra and activate her before the end of the tun destroying USS Argus and stunning a character with a cost of three or less. Remeber, the purpose of these set-ups are to ultimately prepare your board for phase four. If you dont have USS Argus, use Optitron for Terra’s ability. GCPD Headquarters should be the last Location you replace when using Terra’s ability and only if you have another copy of it.

Phase Four: The Board Whipe
IMG_0744GCPD%20HeadquartersDynamic DuoTeen%20Titans%20Go!
Everything you have done so far has led up to this moment. On this turn you will be Team attacking using the previous characters you played and the cards you see above. You goal is to KO every character your opponent has played so far. The majority of the time that will only happen if you have two copies of Teen Titans Go! and Garth ◊ Tempest. His ability lets you pay three endurance to return any card from your graveyard to your hand. This will give your three activations of Teen Titans Go! for a total of four attacks. That will KO your opponents characters turns two through five. Make sure Dynamic Duo is face up, otherwise Teen Titans Go! won’t be of much use.

Quick Note:
Connor%20Kent%20-%20Superboy,%20Tactile%20TelekineticRaven, Daughter of Trigon
If you notice in the decklist there is one turn six character and one turn seven character. These characters are only to be played under two circumstances. If your facing a deck that focuses heavily on equipments such as Good Guys or any deck involving Fate Artifacts then Phase six should be replaced by playing Connor Kent ◊ Superboy, Tactile Telekinetic or if you’re in a situation where you were unable to complete phase four, skip phase six and just go with the deck’s natural curve by playing Connor Kent ◊ Superboy, Tactile Telekinetic on turn six and Raven, Daughter of Trigon on turn seven.

Phase 6: Roy Harper Abuse
Roy Harper - Arsenal, Sharpshooter  Hank%20Hall%20-%20Hawk,%20Agent%20of%20Chaos Dawn Granger, Agent of Order
In order for this deck to be as effective as possible you need to have the “odd” numbered initiative. The reason for this is the most important phase (phase four) occurs on turn five. That is the turn that you will be wiping your opponents board of their Characters completely. If all went according to plan, the only character on your opponent’s side of the board should be their turn six Character. The average turn six character is a 12/12. On this turn you will be playing Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal, Sharpshooter and Boosting Dawn Granger or Hank Hall. Roy Harper’s ability says you can Exhaust a Teen Titans character you control >>> Roy Harper gets +2 ATK this turn. You can also Activate, KO a resource you control >>> Stun target character with ATK less than Roy Harper’s ATK. We can safely assume the only characters on the board are Beast Boy, Terra, Garth and the three you just played exhausting them all is a total of 14 ATK for Roy Harper. KO a resource you control and stun your opponent’s only character. This technique is known as the “Roy Harper Abuse”.

Three Things should happen by this point in the game:

1. You win this turn
2. Your opponent has given up knowning that Roy Harper’s ability on his initiative combined with the ability to KO his character on your initiative is too much to deal with.
3. Your just a few endurance away from winning. If thats the case, just stick it out and use Home Surgery and Heroic Sacrifice to protect your life from going below zero.

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The History of Vs System Part 3: Teen Titans

With Common Enemy Evening out the playing field after a dominant run with Big Brotherhood, the meta was once again wide open. Big Brotherhood decks became scarce  allowing Vs players to “break the format” with cards yet to be tested from the DC Origins set. The meta was missing a good rush deck. One of which would emerged from the testing tables of Tim Willoughby straight to 1st place at the $10K Gen Con Indy.

Teen Titans

Characters
4 Pantha, Subject X-24
3 Dawn Granger ◊ Dove
4 Tim Drake ◊ Robin, Young Detective
3 Donna Troy ◊ Wonder Girl
1 Hank Hall ◊ Hawk
4 Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal
2 Beast Boy, Garfield Logan
4 Red Star, Leonid Kovar
3 Bart Allen ◊ Kid Flash
4 Garth ◊ Tempest

Plot Twists
4 Teen Titans Go!
3 Press the Attack
4 Heroic Sacrifice
4 Home Surgery
3 Overload
4 Savage Beatdown
2 Flying Kick

Locations
4 Tamaran

Yes ladies and gentlemen, Teen Titans! Before we get started there are some things that need to be explained about this team. There are about four different Teen Titan builds from the DC Origins set alone. This article doesn’t cover the future sets released in the years after nor will it cover the other three builds. A lot of players tend to give up on the deck after hours of getting their shit pushed in during playtesting. Usually the reason players lose so much using Teen Titans is because they are taking the four different Teen Titan builds and unknowingly mixing them. If you are inexperienced with Teen Titans meaning you haven’t competed in a tournament with a record above breaking even, or do not know what the other Teen Titan builds are and how they work, I suggest you stick with the above list and really delve into this article, perhaps do some playtesting until you’re comfortable with the deck enough to take it to a tournament.

With that being said, let’s get started. Notice when you look at the list, there are no characters above the cost of five. The reason being is that this version of the deck is intended to grind your opponent turn after turn while using Red Star, Leonid Kovar’s ability which allows you to pay one resource point to have your opponent lose five endurance. The trick to keeping your characters alive during this grind is found in three cards.

IMG_0743IMG_0742IMG_0744
Heroic Sacrifice: As an additional cost to play Heroic Sacrifice, stun a non-defending Teen Titans character you control. Exhaust target Teen Titans defender you control and remove all attackers from this attack.

Home Surgery: To play, exhaust a character you control. Recover target stunned character if its cost is less than or equal to the cost of the character you exhausted.

Garth ◊ Tempest: 9/9, Range Teen Titan, Loyalty. Pay 3 endurance >>> Return target card from your KO’d pile to your hand. Use this power only once per turn.

Heroic Sacrifice in combination with Home Surgery works like this; when a larger character attacks, you can play Heroic Sacrifice and your big guy doesn’t get stunned, while your little guy gets stunned instead. You also take no breakthrough damage. Because exhausting a character is a part of the cost of playing Home Surgery and stunning a non-defending character is a part of the cost of playing Heroic Sacrifice, it won’t matter what order the Plot Twists resolve in. This is an incredible two card combo that allows you to survive much longer leading into late game.

Turn 1: Pantha, Subject X-26 and Dawn Granger ◊ Dove are your 1 drop characters. Pantha will get +2 ATK when she attacks and Dawn Granger will get a stat boost based on whether or not Hank Hall ◊ Hawk is in play. You can also Boost her for an additional two resource points to search for Hank Hall and put him into your front row. There is only one copy of Hank Hall ◊ Hawk so if you have to choose between playing Dawn Granger or Pantha, choose Pantha to get the most value out of what’s in your hand unless you can play your only copy of Hank Hall on turn two.

Turn 2: Tim Drake ◊ Robin, Young Detective is what you will always want to play on turn two. His ability states If a team attacker you control would become stunned, you may stun another team attacker you control instead. you can also Boost for an additional two resource points to have Teen Titans characters you control not be stunned while attacking this turn. Your other options are Hank Hall ◊ Hawk who should only be played from your hand if Dawn Granger is in play, and Donna Troy ◊ Wonder Girl, a character you should avoid playing alone.

Turn 3: You have three options on this turn. Your first option and most is to play Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal. His ability is very important later in the game. You can Exhaust a Teen Titans character you control >>> Roy Harper gets +2 ATK this turn. or you can Activate, KO a resource you control >>> Stun target character with ATK less than Roy Harper’s ATK. If you don’t have him you will have other opportunities later in the game to do so. Option two is to play Beast Boy, Garfield Logan. He gets a +1+1 counter every time he attacks or is attacked so you will want to use him in combat as much as possible. If Beast Boy end up being the character you have to play then this is the turn where you need to start using Home Surgery and Heroic Sacrifice. Under no circumstances should you let Beast Boy become KO’ed. Option three is to play Dawn Granger or Hank Hall with Boost.

Turn 4: If you have the initiative this turn, Red Star, Leonid Kovar is an absolute must. His ability is as follows: Whenever Red Star becomes powered-up, he cannot be stunned while attacking this turn. Pay 1 resource point >>> Target player loses 5 endurance. Use this power only once per turn and only if you control another Teen Titans character. From this point forward in the game you need to always try and manipulate your resources to use Red Star’s Burn ability. This is also the turn when you will be grinding out your opponent using Home Surgery and Heroic Sacrifice. Also Power-up Red Star during this turn and every other turn using the Location Tamaran. If you do not have the initiative this turn then play Bart Allen ◊ Kid Flash. He lets you Exhaust a Teen Titans character you control >>> Ready Bart Allen. Use this power only once per turn. Activate >>> Target Teen Titans character has reinforcement this turn. Use him to give your characters reinforcement and take minimal damage. If you can, using Home Surgery with Bart Allen, sometimes allows you to recover him after he’s been stunned in a turn and counterattack back by exhausting another Teen Titan Character to ready him.

Turn 5: The majority of the time you will want your initiative on evens. This means you will be playing defensively on odd turns. Assuming you are on the defensive this turn, you have two plays to make. If you have a copy of Heroic Sacrifice and Home Surgery there is no need to play Garth ◊ Tempest. (Your only five cost Character) Instead you need to play Bart Allen and activate Red Star’s ability to burn your opponent for five. Remember, burning your opponent out with Red Star’s ability is your main objective. If you have the initiative this turn and/or played Bart Allen last turn, play Red Star and subsequently use his ability to burn your opponent with the remaining resource point. Something else to consider when you’re on the play and only when your side of the field have not lost any characters since turn one is to use Red Star’s ability and spent the remaining four resource points to play and Boost Tim Drake ◊ Robin, Young Detective. He will allow you to team attack without your guys being stunned. Follow this up with the Teen Titans Go! Plot twist to ready your team attackers and attack again, minimizing your opponents character count down to one at the start of the recovery phase.

Turn 6: If you notice, there are no characters in this deck with a cost of six or more. However, there are plenty of tricks you can do. if you still have a copy of Home Surgery and Heroic Sacrifice then Use Red Star’s ability to burn for five, recruit another copy of Red Star killing the first and use the newly recruited Red Star’s ability to burn for another five. Another option is to Burn your opponent for five and play Garth ◊ Tempest. His ability will let you pay 3 endurance to return any card from your KO’ed pile to your hand. You will generally use him to return Heroic Sacrifice or Home Surgery to your hand in order to continue grinding your opponent out of the game. Regardless of what you do, you will need to abuse Roy Harper’s ability and stun your opponent’s character.

Turn 7: You should have already won the game by this point. If you haven’t, use any combination of characters needed to win you the game. If you’re on the defensive you can use Garth’s ability to return Home Surgery from the graveyard to your hand, recruit another copy of Garth and return Heroic Sacrifice to your hand with his ability. Use Red Star’s ability next and that should win you then game. If you’re on the offensive this turn then use whatever means necessary to deal as much damage as possible. Just don’t forget to use Red Star’s Ability.

Plot Twists that ready your characters giving them the ability to attack again:
Teen%20Titans%20Go!Press the Attack
Plot Twists that assist in delaying the game:
IMG_0743IMG_0742Overload
Plot Twists used to increase damage:
Savage BeatdownFlying Kick
Locations:
Tamaran
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The History of Vs System Part 2: Common Enemy

 Common%20Enemy

With the release of DC Origins in July of 2004, Gotham Knights, Arkham Inmates, League of Assassins, Teen Titans, Fearsome Five, and Deathstroke team affiliations were added to the metagame. Up to this point the only way to deal with Big Brotherhood which still controlled the tournament scene, landing first place at every major competition, was to try and steal Avalon Space Station and Lost City with Relocation.

IMG_0246-5

The problem with this is if Big Brotherhood also ran a play set of Relocations, which they did; Big Brotherhood would just steal the location back when the time came. Players had hoped DC Origins would bring solutions to Big Brotherhood’s dominance. The Community’s prayers were answered.

Have a Blast!

Common Enemy, although not as good as Big Brotherhood prior to the release of DC Origins, was the most consistent Tier 2 deck in the metagame but fell short to Big Brotherhood due to lack of answers to Big Brotherhood’s powerful locations. With Have a Blast and a way to search for it, putting it into the player’s hand, Common Enemy quickly became Tier 1, flooding the tournament scene.

Common Enemy

Characters
4 Boris Personal Servant of Dr. Doom
4 She-Thing, Sharon Ventura
1 Luke Cage, Hero for Hire
4 She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters
1 Darkoth, Major Desmund Pitt
4 Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius
1 Wolverine, New Fantastic Four
2 Thing, Heavy Hitter
1 Ghost Rider, New Fantastic Four
1 Robot Destroyer, Army
1 Hulk, New Fantastic Four
1 Dr. Doom, Victor Von Doom
1 Thing, The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing
1 Sub-Mariner, Ally of Doom
1 Dr. Doom, Lord of Latveria

Plot Twists
4 Signal Flare
1 Faces of Doom
4 Common Enemy
4 It’s Clobberin’ Time!
3 Savage Beatdown
4 Mystical Paralysis
3 Reign of Terror
3 Have A Blast!
2 Overload

Locations
4 Doomstadt

DoomstadtBoris, Personal Servant of Dr_ DoomHave a Blast!Dr_ Doom, Diabolic GeniusMystical Paralysis

What you see above is the package used to specifically combat Big Brotherhood. As you can see, Boris, Personal Servant of Doom, fetches out Have a Blast. Playing it from your resource row allows Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius to flip the plot twist face down, allowing for another activation. The ability to permanently get rid of Lost City or Avalon Space Station is exactly what was missing to make Tier 2 decks in the metagame Tier 1. Lets take a look at how the deck works.

Turn 1: Your decision to mulligan should be based on two factors: Do you have Boris, Personal Servant of Doom, and Doomstadt? Or do you have any two combination out of Boris, Personal Servant of Doom, She-Thing, Sharon Ventura, or Common Enemy. With this being said, Boris, Personal Servant of Doom is your only turn one play. If you have it, set down your Doomstadt as your resource that turn in preparation for turn two’s combat step. Remember, Boris’ ability lets you put him on the bottom of your deck to search for a Plot Twist and put it into your hand but only if your control Dr. Doom. This is why Doomstadt is so important.

Turn 2: She-Thing and Luke cage, Hero for Hire are your turn two plays. She-Thing has amazing stats for her cost and has an ability that KO’s equipments attached to the character she attacks. This was important for the Tier 2 Fantastic Four equipments decks floating around. If you feel both Boris and She-Thing will be stunned this turn and you have Doomstadt online, use Boris’s ability before combat.

Turn 3: She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters is a 4/4 that gets +2/+2 while untapped. As a defender, She-Hulk acts as a time walk, almost skipping combat entirely on turn three (as long as your opponent doesn’t have a 6/6 or a combat boost. Darkoth, Major Desmund Pitt is an alternative drop but should not be used unless you have no other options.

Turn 4: This is the turn that is going to do the most disruption in preparation for turn five. By this turn you should have Common Enemy online and Dr. Doom, Diabolical Genius in hand. If you don’t, use Signal Flare or Faces or Doom to search for him. Before recruiting him, activate Have a Blast from your resource row destroying your opponent’s location or team-up, allowing Dr. Doom’s ability to flip Have a Blast back face down, ready for another activation. Ideally, you should already have a copy of Reign of Terror in your hand. This plot twist allows your to return any combination of characters with a combined cost of three to the player’s hand. will want to activate Boris to search for a second copy of Reign of Terror and activate them both, clearing your opponent’s first, second, and Third drop characters. This leaves your opponent with one character and if all went well, you with three. Doomstadt active will increase Dr. Doom’s defense above any average four drop character, making it easy to deal plenty of damage that turn.

Turn 5: Depending on how the match is going so far you have three plays to make. If you need to control the board this turn you can activate a Mystical Paralysis prior to your recruit step and exhaust your Dr. Doom to exhaust your opponent’s fourth drop character then recruit a second copy of Dr. Doom, Diabolical Genius, killing your first Dr. Doom and flipping Mystical Paralysis face down. Then, activate Mystical Paralysis again when your opponent recruits their five drop character. Recruit Boris with your remaining resource point. A second board controlling option is to recuit Robot Destroyer, Army and use his ability to stun your opponent’s four drop character and use Mystical Paralysis on your opponents 5 drop character. Otherwise, Thing, Heavy Hitter is the character you will want to use. He is an 11/11 with no drawbacks, 1/1 away from being the stats of a turn six character.

Turn 6: This is the turn you will want to do the most damage. Hulk, New Fantastic Four is the character you need to recruit. you have the option of either recruiting him or Dr. Doom, Victor Von Doom. If all goes well, Dr. Doom, Diabolical Genius should still be on the board resulting in him getting KO’ed if you play his counterpart instead of the Hulk. During the combat phase is when you need to unload all of your Plot Twists. This deck can stretch to turn eight if needed but if you can win the game on turn 6, do it.

Turn 7: Sub Mariner, Ally of Doom readies himself when he attacts a support row character. When you have the initiative, use him to attack each support row character so your lower drops can smash the front row. If you have the initiative, attacking the entire support row with Sub-Mariner, Ally of Doom will eliminate your opponent’s ability to re-enforce and more than likely end the game. Thing, The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing returns each character with a cost of 3 or less your opponent controls to its owner’s hand. This is the option you want to take if your still dealing with the rush deck by turn 7.

Turn 8: If the game hasent been won yet, Dr. Doom, Lord of Latveria will turn a Plot Twist in your support row face down for each non-stunned character you control. Also, when he attacts you can return a Plot Twist from your graveyard to your hand. The idea is to use your Savage Beatdowns and It’s Clobberin Time!’s in your resource row so that on turn eight, they flip face down again for a second activation.

some things to keep in mind:

When facing a basic curve deck with no out of the ordinary shenanigans, the curve you want is as follows:
1. Boris, Personal Servant of Doom
2. She-Thing, Sharon Ventura
3. She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters
4. Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius
5. Thing, Heavy Hitter
6. Hulk, New Fantastic Four
7. Sub-Mariner, Ally of Doom
8. Dr. Doom, Lord of Latveria

When facing a low curve deck where your opponent’s majority character costs are four or less, there is no reason to stay on course curving out to Dr. Doom, Lord of Latveria. Instead you will want something like this:

1. Boris, Personal Servant of Doom
2. She-Thing, Sharon Ventura
3. She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters (left untapped because you want to survive to turn four)
4. Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius, bounce your opponents board with a Reign of Terror and activate Boris, Personal Servant of Doom to search for another Reign of Terror one if needed, Otherwise select Have a Blast! to Destroy your opponent’s Team-Up Resource. Dr. Doom’s ability will flip either an already activated Have a Blast!, Signal Flare, Common Enemy, or It’s Clobberin Time!.
5. Flip Mystical Paralysis exhausting your Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius, replay another Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius flipping the Mystical Paralysis for a second activation and Play Boris, Person Servant of Doom with the remaining Resource point. Activate him to search for another Reign of Terror and use it, stalling for your turn six.
6. Underdrop your Robot Destroyer, Army and play a Boris, Personal Servant of Doom to further crush their strategy.
7. By this time the game should be so far in your favor that you won’t need your Thing, The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing but if you do, he’s there and only a Signal Flare away.
8. To add insult to injury, Dr. Doom, Lord of Latveria will return your Reign of Terror to your hand and flip savage beatdown or Its Clobbering Time. If the game isn’t already won.

Don’t Activate Boris right away unless you predict your going to need a Common Enemy over the reign of Terror or Have a Blast. You will need his Search ability to deal with problems later on down the road. Remember the Reign of Terror only activates from your hand so if you have this amazing plan to use it from the resource row and flip it back face down with Dr. Dooms ability on the stack, don’t. The additional Characters in the deck are situational and should be tested depending on the situation you find yourself in. There are too many situations to list. Also, these situations further vary depending on who has the initiative. Play test different deck types and find out what works for you.