The Week Ahead – May 12-18, 2008

No second look at the controversial Legion of Superheroes expansion would be complete without a foray into the featured team’s bitter rivals, the Future Foes, and the unfortunate failure of the discard theme as a game mechanic.  Consider that some of the most powerful cards in other games, so game-breaking that many were restricted or banned, were discard cards.  How then, could the discard element have failed so badly in the context of VS?  I’ll be exploring this in Custom VS Hijinks as I feebly attempt to deconstruct the Future Foes and their “combat discard” tactics, as well as the curious Fatal Five theme of attacking small characters multiple times with oversized attackers.

I’ll also be starting a new article series this week called Lethal Weapons, that will follow the Science of Search format loosely in studying the combat pump aspect of VS, and the constant struggle between plot twists and equipment.

Lastly, my good friend and irreverent fellow VS player Alex Santos will showcase his original take on the Green Lanterns in the wake of the Sinestro Corps War and the upcoming Darkest Night.  I’m also hoping to solicit the input of other Filipino players (at least those who aren’t posting on VS Skillze, anyway) and provide ample coverage for their wild deck creations.  By way of example, another of my VS-playing friends, Christian Borja, has created a fanciful archetype he fondly calls the Mimiflo deck (after a popular brand of baby feeding products here in the Philippines), which features nothing but characters and plot twists of women with substantial frontal assets.  Naturally, the star of the deck is DC’s very own voluminous-chested Power Girl:

Ahem.  Well.  Stay tuned.

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2 Responses to “The Week Ahead – May 12-18, 2008”

  1. Failure is too harsh of a word. In fact, the Future Foes are a VERY powerful team. You can only say how bad they are if you were to play test them in a bring your own set environment and they play miserably. Here, they would probably do fairly well…

    The reason why the discard theme is really powerful in other games is because the effects are more game breaking. With the Foes, the option of keeping your cards is still an option. Since you can choose to ignore your opponent completely a rush deck would know they will hit them harder, and a stall deck would simply exhaust the problematic characters or just out last them. The reason why they never ‘made it big’ was because they were just stuck in that limbo between deck types.

    They are a GREAT and well designed team, but they are in an era where a single card rendered a ten teamed deck that can easily outperform a single teamed one. If they were placed in before MXM, they would have been that much better.

    The Anit-Matter or Manhunters. Now they’re something I’ve yet to see something from.

  2. omnicresence Says:

    Well explained, Ra’s Al Cool, and I’ve been chastised before for judging too harshly, so I’ll discuss the rationale behind my comment.

    Yes, failure is a strong word, but then, providing your opponent with options, and in turn depending on your opponent’s actions, is never a good thing, and hardly created tension for the opponent in the way, say, Sadistic Choice for the Sinister Syndicate did way back when. Likewise, sticking the Future Foes in that limbo where they were neither had adequate control tech or powerful attack/rush tech was an abomination of design — what they basically had were a whole bunch of unimpressive effects that could be negated completely by the discard of a card.

    Wouldn’t it have been better, then, for the Future Foes to force discards, and then have cards that hurt a player for not having cards in hand (like Magic the Gathering’s The Rack)? Or lean more towards either an aggressive or a control strategy? I’m examining the possibility of the latter, myself.

    As to Anti-Matter, they did have that Qward deck that stunned all the opponent’s characters, and it can be argued that the IG Concealed deck is just as much Anti-Matter as it is IG. But I agree that Manhunters has yet to demonstrate some level of prowess.

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