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
untitled untitled
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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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

Characters
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

Doom

Characters:
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

Location:
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.

MFF024MFF012
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 http://www.CoolStuffinc.com 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.
DoomstadtMicro-Size
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

Characters
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

Equipment:
4 Unstable Molecules

Doom

Characters:
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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Banned List: 19 Jan 15 Announcement

On 19 Jan 2015, WOTC announced a change in the Banned/Restricted List which mainly affects the Modern Format. Coincidently, Pro Tour: Fate Reforged is less than a month away and Modern is the selected Format for the event. The Meta suffers a loss of three cards and will take on an unexpected twist with the return of another.

Modern Format (Banned)
Birthing Pod
Treasure Cruise
Dig Through Time

Modern Format (No Longer banned)
Golgari Grave Troll

Legacy Format (Banned)
Treasure Cruise

Legacy Format (No Longer Banned)
Worldgorger Dragon

Vintage (Restricted)
Treasure Cruise

Vintage Format (No Longer Restricted)
Gifts Ungiven

Birthing Pod
Birthing Pod has been the spotlight of the Meta in Modern for the past year. When players sat at the testing tables with either homebrew decks hoping to take it to the top or lists found from past major tournaments after the cut to the top eight, there was one question that was always asked. Can it beat Pod? Every set that has entered into the Meta over the past two years have added at least one creature to the toolbox of options when using Birthing Pod. Birthing Pod has won five out of the twelve grand prix over the last year and continues to keep decks with unfavorable matchups out of the Meta. WOTC has always supported formats being diverse and in good faith with keeping the format alive, WOTC has banned Birthing Pod.
TreasureCruise DigThroughTime
Delver has been a deck in Modern that has slowly started to gain attention since the second half of this past year but exploded in popularity with the release of Khans of Tarkir due to Treasure Cruise. The ability to draw three cards for one blue manna after the use of fetch lands, cheap cantrips, and Thought Scour is good. In fact, WOTC believed it was too good due to multiple successful deck archetypes running Treasure Cruise. So why ban Dig Through Time? The answer is simple. Dig Through Time is the card players will choose if Treasure Cruise never existed. If Dig Through Time took Treasure Cruise’s place, would the results be all that different? WOTC decided to ban both cards. Due to the same reasons Treasure Cruise is banned in Modern, it is also banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage.
IvGGolgariGraveTroll
Golgari Grave-Troll’s Dredge effect will have an interesting impact on the current Meta for players looking to “break” the format. Though I can’t say for sure if we will be seeing him in any top eight decklist, WOTC believed unbanning Golgari Grave-Troll would add variety to the Meta without having any significant impact.
Worldgorger Dragon
Aside from Worldgorger Dragon’s Synergy with Animate Dead and a few other cards, the Legacy Format should have the same impact unbanning Worldgorger Dragon as the Modern Format would have unbanning Golgari Grave-Troll.
giftsungiven
There was a time when Gifts Ungiven wrecked the vintage format causing it to be restricted. Currently however, Gifts Ungiven rarely makes an appearance, occasionally being seen in Vintage tier 2 decks. This card is back and unrestricted.

That’s the rundown of WOTC’s recently announced update to the Banned/Restricted list. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below. We want to know if you agree or disagree with the recent changes and how it’s going to affect you. For more information on blog updates, MTG News, and Event Coverage, Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MTGFleaMarket

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 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 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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