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.

The History of Vs System Part 1: Big Brotherhood

Magneto, Master of Magnetism

The first set brought to the Vs Community was Marvel Origins. It was released in April of 2004 and contained X-Men, Brotherhood, Doom, Fantastic Four, Sentinels, Skrull, and Negative Zone. The set contained 220 cards and plenty of diversity. As you may know, decks change with the popularity and success of other decks. This is the core concept of a metagame. With only seven teams and only 220 cards to choose from, it was very frustrating to make a team work when there weren’t as much support for that team as there would be for another. Out of the seven teams, one emerged victorious and clearly superior in the tournament scene. The team was Brotherhood and the deck was Big Brotherhood.

Big Brotherhood

Characters

4 Toad, Mortimer Toynbee
4 Quicksilver, Pietro Maximoff
4 Quicksilver, Speed Demon
4 Mystique, Raven Darkholme
4 Mystique, Shape-Changing Assassin
4 Sabretooth, Feral Rage
2 Sabretooth, Victor Creed
4 Blob, Fred Dukes
4 Magneto, Eric Lehnsherr
4 Magneto, Master of Magnetism

Plot Twists

4 Acrobatic Dodge
4 Overload
4 Relocation
2 Burn Rubber

Locations
4 Lost City
4 Avalon Space Station

Other decks in Vs at the time were tier 2 at best in performance. There was no synergy with other decks that compared to the synergy big brotherhood gave. Big Brotherhood stampeded the metagame. In 2004, when you played the deck it felt like you were cheating as long as you did not play the mirror matchup. Why is this you ask? Two cards, Avalon Space Station, and Lost City.

Lost City Avalon%20Space%20Station

Lost City: If a Brotherhood character you control would become powered-up, that character gets +3 ATK and +3 DEF for this attack instead.

Avalon Space Station: Activate, discard a card from your hand -> Return target character card from your KO’d pile to your hand. Activate, discard a Brotherhood character card from your hand -> Return two target character cards from your KO’d pile to your hand.

Powering up is a feature in Vs that allows you to discard a character card that has the same name as a character card in play to give it +1/+1 until the end of combat. Lost City changes that to +3/+3. Avalon Space Station allows you to discard any Brotherhood character card to return two Brotherhood character cards from the graveyard to your hand. Thus, allowing you to utilize lost city up to two additional times for a total of +9/+9 to one character. There is another rule regarding locations. Unless specified on the card, all locations are unique. This means only one location with the same name can be face-up on the field at one time. Should you flip a second location that is unique face-up, the first location is sent to the graveyard. Because of this, Lost City does not stack; however, you will get an additional use out of Avalon Space Station. Let’s take a look at how the deck plays out.

Turn 1: There are no characters in this deck with a cost of 1

Turn 2: Toad, Mortimer Toynbee is your 2 drop. His ability allows you to return him to your hand when he is stunned. Toad then becomes food for Avalon Space Station, gaining pure value. Make sure you don’t return him to your hand until you’re in a situation where one of your characters will die during the recovery phase if you don’t. This allows you to maximize Toad’s value and damage. You don’t have a higher drop whose name is Toad so don’t wait around for one.

Turn 3: 4 Quicksilver, Pietro Maximoff and Mystique, Raven Darkholme are your three drops. Quicksilver, Pietro Maximoff has a burn ability that’s good when you’re on the defense. Be careful of Mystique, Raven Darkholme’s ability. Don’t abuse her with lost city for a damage overload as her ability will dramatically lower it. Use her strategically. Both Quicksilver and Mystique have higher cost character versions so be on the lookout for them. During combat this turn is when you will want to return Toad back to your hand and use Avalon Space Station to replenish your hand. Don’t make the mistake of dumping your hand at this point in the game. You will slowly bleed yourself out of your power-ups by turn 6.

Turn 4: 4 Sabretooth, Feral Rage and Blob, Fred Dukes are your 4 drops. Sabretooth is going to be the character that does the most damage. Although he requires you to discard a Brotherhood character card to play him, he is an 11/7 with a six cost version of him for added lost city abuse. Sabretooth is the character you will want to see on turn four. Blob should be the Character you discard to Avalon Space Station at the end of every turn. If you run into a situation where you have to use Blob on turn four that’s ok, just prepare your hand to abuse lost city on turn six when you play your higher cost Sabretooth.

Turn 5: This turn requires a lot more strategy. The problem is that all characters in Vs are unique. Just like locations, if a character with the same identity comes into play under your control, you choose which version of the character you keep and sacrifice the other. As you can imagine, if we play Quicksilver, Speed Demon on this turn, and we have kept our 3 drop Quicksilver, we are one less character. The same goes for Magneto, Eric Lehnsherr. We need to be thinking ahead in preparation for our turn seven. It’s very easy to lose track of the long term plan and bleed ourselves out of character and card advantage.

Turn 6: We have our 6 drop Mystique, Shape-Changing Assassin and Sabretooth, Victor Creed. Our lower drops will fuel lost city. You should expect the game to either end on this turn or turn 7.

Turn 7. Magneto, Master of Magnetism is your only seven drops. On this turn you will want to utilize every one of your Avalon Space Stations. Activate your existing one and flip your duplicate. This will kill your previous Avalon Space Station and allow you to get activations out of the one you just flipped. Repeat the process for each Avalon Space Station you own in your reasorce row in conjunction with your Lost City triggers.

Plot Twists:

You may be wondering why the plot twist package is the way it is in this decklist. It’s because Big Brother’s only bad matchup is Big Brother. All other decks at the time were such a good matchup that all you needed was Lost City and Avalon Space Station. This left 14 slots specifically for the Mirror Matchup. Relocations deal with your opponent’s Lost City or Avalon Space Station. Overload will stun a character that has been beefed too high with Lost City. Acrobatic Dodge negates a Lost City trigger, and Burn Rubber will deal with any reinforced character late game when it’s time to go all out.

Notes:

Get Familiar with your character’s abilities. Don’t get so wrapped up with Lost City and Avalon Space Station that you forget what your characters on the board actually do.

Use Lost City Sparingly. Remember, Avalon Space Station returns two characters for an exchange of a Brotherhood character. If you power up a character twice, activate Avalon Space Station, and power up twice again in that same turn, you will have discarded three cards. Again, don’t bleed yourself.

Toad and Blob do not have as high of a power-up probability as other characters that have multiple versions of them in the deck. Refrain from Playing Blob and use Toads ability as soon as he is stunned on turn three. This lets you discard them to Avalon Space Station instead of discarding the characters you need for powering up.

Final Thoughts

Big Brotherhood wiped the first 10K tournament landing the first place slot. Even to this day, if a player isn’t familiar with how to deal with it, they will lose by turn six. For more information on updates to my blog or Vs System news, click the link below and like the facebook page.

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