Across the Universe: an MUN Set Review, Part 1

Marvel Universe is upon us at last, and while much rejoicing and revelry has accompanied its release, the sheer number of new cards bombarding the general VS populace has left many reeling with nausea from the information overload. In times like this, a card-by-card set review is usually the most refreshing and comprehensive method of sifting through all of the card text and discovering the gems of a rather glittery bunch. Now, I am certain there will be dozens of similar review articles out there. In the interests of originality, then, this review series will be spearheaded by the following impressionable figments of my imagination, casual players all but in different flavors:

Lorenzo: Enjoys playing Limited formats for the challenge of limited resources.

Neeka: Loves to fiddle around with the vast card pool of Golden Age, and more interested in fun and flavor than tournament viability.

Fred: A retired tournament-level competitive player who prefers Constructed formats.

All right, let’s dive right in!

Card Name: Bill Foster ~ Goliath, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers
Cost: 7
Atk/Def: 16/14
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Reservist
Whenever Bill Foster becomes stunned, KO him. If you do, characters can’t attack this turn.
Flavor Text:“You mark my words, they’ll be coming after all of us after this.”
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-001

Lorenzo: Yeesh. That KO effect isn’t optional. On my initiative, though, with some careful attacking, I can do just the damage I need to win and have him careen into the opposing 7-drop to stop attacks for the rest of the turn. Off-initiative, he has the potential to limit the amount of incoming attacks. I’d better have something on turn 8 to take advantage, though. I’d say 2 out of 5, because it’s hard to take advantage of his effect, let alone build towards it.

Neeka: Goliath’s effect is a great representation of how the fighting came to an end after he was killed by the Thor clone, shocking the heroes into a mutual retreat. 5 out of 5 for flavor accuracy!

Fred: He doesn’t go into every deck, and certainly not in your typical Avengers Reservist build, which is normally aggressive in nature. I think he has a place in a deck that tries to stall to 8 or beyond, coupled with some effect that allows you to stun your own characters. In the set itself, that would be Warbound, with their Imperial Dreadnaught; outside, probably Villains United. 2 out of 5, since he does have his uses, but his overall application is quite narrow.

Card Name: Black Panther, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/Fantastic Four
Cost: 5
Atk/Def: 8/8
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Concealed
Reservist
Boost: Replace two face down resources you control: When Black Panther enters play, distribute two +1 / +1 counters as you choose among characters you control.
Flavor Text:“Nothing good will come of this.”
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-002

Lorenzo: You’d never play him without his Boost, which more or less requires you to devote your Limited build to a Reservist strategy. This isn’t so harsh considering the number of Reservists in MUN, but what you get for it is either a slightly above-average blank box of a 5-drop, a normal 5-drop with a +1/+1 counter on one of your other characters, or a pathetic 5-drop and a slightly larger low drop. Worse, he’s Concealed, so even as a 10/10 he can’t be utilized to help absorb incoming attacks. 2 out of 5 for me, there are better 5-drop options out there.

Neeka: I’m not sure what distributing counters has to do with Black Panther being who he is. Maybe I’ll put him in a Doom Patrol deck or some other counter abuse deck… oh, it’s a Boost effect. 1 out of 5.

Fred: Black Panther has decent synergy in-team with Stature, and may well find his way in a Thunderbolts deck that needs the extra counters to empower certain characters. On curve, he essentially provides you with characters of the 4-drop and 5-drop sizes, giving you added flexibility to distribute that extra heft where it is most needed. He’s a solid 3 out of 5 for me.

Card Name: Cable, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/X-Men
Cost: 3
Atk/Def: 5/4
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Reservist
Boost 2: When Cable enters play, if you control another [Avengers] or [X-Men] character, remove Cable and another target character from play. At the start of your attack step this turn, return those characters to play.
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-003

Lorenzo: Bodyslide on a stick isn’t so impressive when you figure in that you’re giving up two resource points for an effect that doesn’t quite compensate for the underdrop.  Against your opponent’s characters it has some more utility, taking out one attack off-initiative, so it’s a little better then but you still end up below the curve come turn 6, which could be problematic even if it is your initiative.  2 out of 5.

Neeka: Bodyslide by one! There’s a wealth of “enters play” effects out there that would benefit you greatly by having them activate again, without even figuring the various “leaves play” effects available.  More importantly, he can slide out your enemy as well, which has “WTF?” written all over it.  Cool effect.  5 out of 5.

Fred: It has been pointed out that Cable’s boost effect can target any character, so it can save you a lot of headache when you don’t have the initiative by taking out your opponent’s biggest or nastiest attacker that turn.  It isn’t a straightforward game winner, because you’ll still be down a defender, but it does have intriguing turnaround potential.  3 out of 5.

Card Name: Captain America, The Patriot – Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: 3/2
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Concealed
Reservist
When Captain America enters play, rally for a character card. If you’re successful, put a +1 / +1 counter on each character you control.
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-004

Lorenzo: Nifty effect, if you’re going for off-curve or short-curve Reservist, regardless of Affiliation (but sweet on Thunderbolts), as you’d want to be playing this Cap with a field of at least a few other characters already in play. No guarantee that you’ll be able to pull off the rally, but in a Reservist deck your odds are much higher. Lest we forget, the rally means an extra card draw, allowing you to sift through your Limited deck faster. 4 out of 5.

Neeka: This version reflects Cap’s status as a leader of heroes, and has a lot of potential in many devious off-curve builds. 3 out of 5.

Fred: Off-curve Reservist, possibly Thunderbolts or Teen Titans, would welcome the addition of this Cap to its ranks. A good effect that nets you a card draw, as well. 4 out of 5.

Card Name: Captain America, Champion License
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D.
Cost: 4
Atk/Def: 8/7
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Loyalty – Reveal
Leader: Remove an adjacent defender from this attack {>} Target non-stunned, non-defending character you control becomes a defender. Use only once per turn.
Whenever Captain America becomes stunned, adjacent characters have invulnerability this turn.
Flavor Text:“Champion License means I don’t take orders from you.”
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-005

Lorenzo: Loyalty-reveal shouldn’t be too difficult with the proper build, and what a monster you get for your trouble! Above-average stats, access to the Cap Legend suite, and a pair of excellent effects that will either screw up your opponent’s attack or significantly reduce endurance loss. 4 out of 5, only because of that Loyalty-reveal and the temptation he creates of putting in those Cap Legend cards without having a potential target for them.

Neeka: Now that’s a legendary defender, and great fun with Coast City. Hard times for all your opponents on their attack. 5 out of 5.

Fred: Wow. The Cap Legend suite just seals the deal, really, but on his own Champion License Cap ensures that your opponent won’t get much out of his attack step. He’ll either attack Cap directly and trigger Invulnerability for the rest of your characters (if he can even stun Cap successfully in the first place), or attempt to attack some other character and have his attack redirected to a far less desirable target. 5 out of 5.

Card Name: Captain America, Living Legend
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/Invaders
Cost: 6
Atk/Def: 13/13
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
If another [Avengers] or Invaders character you control would become stunned, instead, you may exhaust Captain America.
Flavor Text:“Is this what we’ve been fighting for?”
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-006

Lorenzo: The team stamp on his ability makes him a bit unwieldy in Limited, great though it may be, but he’s a 13/13 with no drawbacks or loyalty requirements, so for that plus an ability he’s a keeper. 4 out of 5.

Neeka: The Invaders affiliation hearkens back to the World War II era, which is appropriate for this version of Cap. Properly positioned, he saves you a stun, mostly for defending, but also for attacking in a pinch. And he’s 13/13 with an ability and no drawbacks, which is a first. 5 out of 5.

Fred: I like that he’s oversized with a useful ability, and practically forces your opponent to attack him first. Once that happens, however, he’s a blank box, and if he gets exhausted before the attacks start coming in, then you’re screwed. Haha, not really, he’s still Cap and you get to utilize the full might of the Cap Legend suite. Not as good for me as the 4-drop, though. 4 out of 5.


Card Name: Captain America, Sentinel of Liberty
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers
Cost: 8
Atk/Def: 19/19
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
While Captain America is visible in your front row, other characters you control can’t be stunned.
Flavor Text:“I know what freedom is. I know what it feels like to fight for it, and I know what it costs to have it.”
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-007

Lorenzo: He’s a great 8-drop for either initiative, since your other characters can’t be stunned while attacking or defending. Problem is, he’s an 8-drop, so you’ll most likely be dead before he even sees play. 2 out of 5.

Neeka: Stall to Captain America 8? Oh yeah! I laugh in the face of all those stun effects! 5 out of 5, since it’ll be delightful fun for you when he comes down.

Fred: As far as 8-drops go, Cap is one of the more effective ones, especially if you have the initiative, and access to the all-important Cap Legend suite is always key. If you’re packing the other versions of Cap in your deck, chances are good that you’ll see 8 or beyond if that is your intention. 4 out of 5.

Card Name: Cloak, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/Marvel Knights
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: 2/3
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Concealed-Optional
Reservist
Boost 1: When Cloak enters play, you may have the controller of target visible character move it to his hidden area.
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-008

Lorenzo: Blank 2-drop without Boost, and unimpressive effect. Far better choices all around. 1 out of 5.

Neeka: Cloak-y effect, yes, but why’d it have to be a Boost? As he is, he’s not very interesting. 1 out of 5.

Fred: In an off-curve build, this is fine for pushing a huge roadblock out of the way. Just make sure you can deal with the possible equally huge breakthrough. 2 out of 5.

Card Name: Dagger, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/Marvel Knights
Cost: 1
Atk/Def: 2/1
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Reservist
Whenever you rally Dagger into your hand, target player loses 3 endurance.
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-009

Lorenzo: 1-drops are generally not included in Limited builds except for some serious utility potential, and sadly, Dagger doesn’t have what it takes. It’ll be great if you pull off the burn rally effect, but not so much that you’d want to rally her instead of a character who’d actually be useful on the field. 2 out of 5, since she’s still a decent 1-drop at 2/1 with Range.

Neeka: Meh. 1 out of 5.

Fred: I doubt if anyone would really want to build a deck based off of rallying Dagger for an extra 3 points of burn when the rally could be drawing you more useful characters. There’s probably some wild direct endurance loss combo here that I’m not seeing, but until then, she’s a 2 out of 5 for me.

Card Name: Dr. Strange, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/Marvel Knights
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: 2/3
Abilities: Flight, Range
Rules Text:
Concealed
Reservist
When Dr. Strange enters play, rally for a card type of your choice. Each time you’re successful, repeat this process with a card type you haven’t chosen yet. (The card types are character, equipment, location, and plot twist.)
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-010

Lorenzo: Potential for drawing up to 4 cards being what it is, that would more probably be due to luck than anything else. As a 2-drop, you’d hardly be set up to be able to manipulate the top card of your deck, and there are simply some builds that don’t utilize either locations or equipment. In the average Limited deck he could net you about 2 cards if you’ve gambled correctly. Not as impressive as the previews made him out to be, at least in the Limited environment. 1 out of 5.

Neeka: Dr. Strange would be enormous fun with something like Night Vision or Superhero Registration Act to see the top card of your deck at all times, and an assortment of effects that could allow you to rearrange your deck. It’ll be difficult to pull off the 4-card maximum, but it’ll be a lot of fun trying. 3 out of 5.

Fred: He may draw you a few cards, sure, but you can’t be reasonably assured of that outcome unless you use him in conjunction with some deck manipulation or peeking effect. Since he’s too much of a wildcard on his own and a pithy 2/3 after he enters play, I would say no, except for the fact that he is a low-drop Dr. Strange and the Illuminati greatly benefit from his presence. 2 out of 5 for the Illuminati factor.

Card Name: Echo ~ Ronin, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/Crime Lords
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: 2/3
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Concealed
Reservist
If you would rally Echo into your hand, instead, you may put her into play if you don’t control a character named Echo.
Flavor Text:When Echo infiltrated the Japanese underworld, what she found lead the Avengers to war.
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-011

Lorenzo: Look, a character along the lines of Amelia Voght! In a set stuffed with rally, Echo is two free resource points of Reservist goodness, and since she’s Concealed, will be much easier to exploit to your advantage. She’ll be a bit tougher to bring out for free in Limited, but you will never regret when she does. 3 out of 5.

Neeka: A stealthy character that leaps into the fray without costing you anything is always fun, and makes me want to build a whole deck around the rally concept. Fun how she’s dual affiliated with Crime Lords, though she doesn’t seem as useful to the villains. 4 out of 5.

Fred: Not as reliable as Voght for a no-cost character, Echo is still a welcome benefit when you reveal her as your rally card. 3 out of 5 for a solid game effect that enhances the rally theme.

Card Name: Falcon, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D.
Cost: 3
Atk/Def: 4/5
Abilities: Flight
Rules Text:
Reservist
When Falcon enters play, rally for a character card. If it’s named Captain America, put two +1 / +1 counters on Falcon.
Flavor Text:“He was the best of us. And he was my best friend.”
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-012

Lorenzo: A 4/5 flyer with rally is about average as far as 3-drops go. If you’ve managed to include Cap in your deck, he does have the potential to be much bigger, but the chances are still low in Limited. 2 out of 5.

Neeka: For his effect, Falcon can be considered one of the cards in the Cap Legend suite, and chances are good, particularly with Avengers Reassembled, that he’ll come into play consistently as a 6/7 flying 3-drop. Flavor and a strong power combine for a card that’ll see lots of play in my Cap deck. 4 out of 5.

Fred: Though he doesn’t do much for the Avengers Reservist build, in a Cap Legend deck he becomes a much more viable option. Conveniently placed at the 3-drop so he doesn’t interfere with any of Cap’s drops in this set, with a little deck stuffing and top card manipulation, he will be a 6/7 flyer more often than not. Solid 3 out of 5, requiring that the deck be built with him in mind.

Card Name: Hawkeye ~ Ronin, Secret Avenger
Type: Character
Affiliation: Avengers
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: 3/2
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Concealed
Reservist
When Hawkeye enters play, rally for a character card. If you’re successful, you may KO target character with cost 1 or less.
Flavor Text:Clint needs to be someone else, if only for a little while.
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-013

Lorenzo: Decent stats and a slick direct KO power make him a solid option for 2-drop in a Reservist build. 3 out of 5 because of the lack of targets in Limited for his ability and lower chances of it triggering.

Neeka: True to his projectile-slinging self, Hawkeye comes with an ability that is both flavorful and powerful in a rally deck. 4 out of 5.

Fred: Perhaps not your primary 2, Hawkeye is still good for taking out pesky 1-drops, not to mention those irritating 0-cost Speedsters that threaten to ruin your day. 3 out of 5, for his usefulness in particular situations.

Whew. Let’s see how far we can go with this before my brain gives out.

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2 Responses to “Across the Universe: an MUN Set Review, Part 1”

  1. The new Cable’s utility is being clouded by the old Bodyslide. You can boost him off-initiative to take one of your opponent’s guys out of play until your attack step. That’ a bit more useful than sliding out 2 of your own guys. Otherwise, nice review.

  2. omnicresence Says:

    D’oh! Momentary brain fart. Thanks for pointing that out. I adjusted the review entirely to take that into consideration.

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