Across the Universe: A MUN Set Review, Part 7

Card Name: Stark Armory
Type: Location
Affiliation:
Cost: 3
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
At the start of the combat phase, put a tech counter on Stark Armory.
{Activate}, Remove X tech counters {>} Put X +1 / +1 counters on target Iron Man.
Remove X +1 / +1 counters from an Iron Man you control {>} Put X tech counters on Stark Armory.
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-127

Lorenzo: Whoa, where did Neeka go? Oh yeah, she’s kind of tired and needs to sort her card stacks anyway, so she’ll only interject every so often, when she feels the card deserves special mention. Moving right along, Stark Armory is part of the Iron Man Legend suite, so it’s not likely that you’ll be getting much use out of it in Limited. 1 out of 5.

Fred: I wouldn’t necessarily say Stark Armory a key card in an Iron Man Legend deck, because the stat growth it provides is in small increments, and if we’re only taking Modern Age into consideration, you’ll only get about 2 or 3 +1/+1 counters out of it in each game. The Tech counter transfer is nice for when you have to a replace lower-drop Iron Man with a higher-drop alternative, but still not a game breaker. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: Company of Heroes
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Target [SHIELD] character gets +2 DEF this attack.
Boost: Exhaust a leader you control: That [SHIELD] character gets an additional +2 DEF this attack.
Flavor Text:“This is your shot, Carol. Don’t screw it up.”
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-128

Lorenzo: DEF bonuses are difficult to come by in Limited, and this one can potentially provide a +4 DEF bonus both ways, so it’s golden. 4 out of 5.

Fred: This is a good DEF booster if you build the deck with its usage in mind. The Leader trait isn’t as plentiful as we would like in this set, much less S.H.I.E.L.D., so it won’t save you from every situation. More problematic is that you won’t get full utility out of playing multiple copies unless you’ve got the characters to exhaust. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: I’m a Futurist
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Play only if you control Iron Man. Search your deck for a card with cost greater than the number of resources you control, reveal it, and put it into your hand.
Flavor Text:“The best is yet to come.”
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-129

Lorenzo: Iron Man Legend suite. 1 out of 5.

Fred: Considering that the cheapest Iron Man weighs in at a cost of 4 (not counting the MHG Doom-affiliated one), you’ll get most use out of this search card in a curve build to get your next drop. There aren’t many useful non-character cards that cost more than 4, limiting the viability of this card. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: The Intiative, Team-Up
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
To play, choose a leader you control and any number of its affiliations.
Draw a card.
Ongoing: Characters you control gain those affiliations.
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-130

Lorenzo: Hey, a team-up for Limited… but with a significant cost to play. Leaders being relatively scarce overall, this card will probably not see much action. 1 out of 5.

Fred: Fine for those multiple-team Leader builds, lousy otherwise. 2 out of 5.

Card Name: License to Kill
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 3
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
To play, choose a [SHIELD] character you control.
Ongoing: Whenever an opposing defender becomes stunned, you may discard a card and exhaust the chosen character. If you do, KO that defender.
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-131

Lorenzo: This one’s pretty effective if you can recruit a low-cost Concealed character early on to use as your 007, though you should keep an eye on your hand to ensure that it doesn’t hurt too much as the game progresses. 3 out of 5.

Fred: The card cost is negligible if you’ve been maximizing the S.H.I.E.L.D. “character cards in hand” tactic, and with a low-drop hidden character, this is a mighty board-clearing machine. 4 out of 5.

Card Name: Out for Justice
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
To play, return a non-stunned [SHIELD] character you control to its owner’s hand.
Target attacker or defender gets +2 / +2 this attack.
Flavor Text:“We used to make one heck of a team, Sharon.”
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-132

Lorenzo: We’ve seen loads of +2/+2 pumps over the history of VS, but this one falls a little flat since it requires the return of a non-stunned character. Fine if you’ve got some useless or expended drop, but very situational. 2 out of 5.

Fred: This will probably work best in a deck with Squirrel Girl and Nick Fury helping to chuck out extra characters. The non-stunned requirement hurts this card the most. 2 out of 5.

Card Name: S.T.A.R. Squad
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Return target Army [SHIELD] character card from your KO’d pile to your hand.
Boost: Return a ready non-Army [SHIELD] character you control to its owner’s hand: If that Army card has the same cost as the character you returned, put it in play instead.
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-133

Lorenzo: Hmm. Trade a non-Army for an Army? Might be okay in certain circumstances. But you’ll need an Army card in the KO pile first, which bites. 1 out of 5.

Fred: This could see play with some Army characters outside of the S.H.I.E.L.D. line-up and a team-up. Very narrow application, though. 2 out of 5.

Card Name: Scarlet Spiders
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 3
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Ongoing: Discard X [SHIELD] character cards {>} Target attacker or defender gets -X ATK this attack. Use only once per turn.
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-134

Lorenzo: Scarlet Spiders is simply too card-intensive in Limited to be of significant use. 1 out of 5.

Fred: Ah, something to do with all those character cards amassing in your hand. Perhaps it won’t be used every turn, but even an ATK reduction of 2 or 3 during a critical attack may spell victory. Take note that the discarding has to be done all at once, and not in increments depending on what your opponent does. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: Secret War, Team-Up
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
To play, choose an affiliation and return a [SHIELD] character you control to its owner’s hand.
Ongoing: [SHIELD] characters gain that affiliation.
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-135

Lorenzo: It’s not Midnight Sons, but it’s close enough, though the return of a S.H.I.E.L.D. character may be rather pricey in Limited. 3 out of 5.

Fred: Midnight Sons for S.H.I.E.L.D., and the character return shouldn’t be a problem for this team. 4 out of 5.

Card Name: Security Clearance
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 6
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
To play, return a non-stunned [SHIELD] character you control to its owner’s hand. Search your deck for a card and put it into your hand.
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-136

Lorenzo: I can search for any card! Oh wait, it’s got a threshold of 6. Blah. 2 out of 5, since it’s still all right, but comes into play too late to be truly useful.

Fred: This is a setup card for the late game of S.H.I.E.L.D., improving consistency and allowing you to toolbox late-game elements to adapt to the situation. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: You’re Under Arrest!
Type: Plot Twist
Affiliation:
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: /
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Play only if you control a [SHIELD] character. Negate target activated effect from a character.
Boost: Return a character you control to its owner’s hand: The character whose effect was negated can’t ready this turn.
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-137

Lorenzo: Though I don’t see too many activated abilities to fear in this set, this card increases the chances that all your opponent will have to show for a deadly activated power is an exhausted character. If you can afford the boost, you also lock down that character until next turn, which is a solid tactical move. 3 out of 5.

Fred: Situational but strong, particularly with the lockdown effect. Nice in conjunction with Power Dampeners. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: A.I.M. Agents, Army – A.I.M.
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 1
Atk/Def: 1/1
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Discard A.I.M. Agents {>} Target [Crime Lords] defender has reinforcement this attack.
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-138

Lorenzo: And we’re at the Crime Lords, finally! I’d hold onto these and consider them plot twists. Reinforcement is sometimes good enough by itself, but is more integral to the Crime Lords, raising the value of this card for play. 3 out of 5.

Fred: Given that reinforcement is one of the driving themes of the Crime Lords, the A.I.M. Agents are fine enablers. More importantly, since their effect is not a plot twist effect, it will be much harder for opponents to negate. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: Arnim Zola, The Bio-Fanatic – Raid
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: 2/3
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Concealed-Optional
{Activate}, KO a character you control {>} Target player loses 2 endurance and you gain 2 endurance.
Flavor Text:“As long as I have my work, I need nothing else.”
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-139

Lorenzo: I suppose he’s all right to get mileage out of stunned characters that are going to hit the KO pile anyway, since his stats make him unsuitable for combat. However, if your characters are dropping like flies, Arnim Zola won’t be the one to save you. 2 out of 5.

Fred: Arnim Zola is a trash compactor whose 4-endurance swings are nifty, but hardly fatal. 2 out of 5.

Card Name: Baron Strucker, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker – HYDRA
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 6
Atk/Def: 13/12
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Whenever Baron Strucker becomes stunned while defending with reinforcement, recover him. This power triggers only once per turn.
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-140

Lorenzo: If your opponent is lacking in flight, Baron Strucker makes a delightful defensive protector who technically forces foes to go through him twice each turn. Whatever’s left after taking down the Baron twice probably won’t be enough to do significant damage to your remaining field. 3 out of 5.

Fred: The Baron’s a wall with proper reinforcement tactics. 4 out of 5.

Card Name: Crossbones, Brock Rumlow – Raid
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 4
Atk/Def: 8/5
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Concealed
Substitute
Crossbones can attack an opponent directly while he controls no ready visible characters.
Flavor Text:“The Skull ain’t here to take his revenge, so I gotta be his hands.”
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-141

Lorenzo: The other dominant Crime Lords theme, as we’ve already seen from the S.H.I.E.L.D. Wolverine, is direct attack of an opponent. Crossbones has a pathetic DEF but he’s Concealed so it isn’t as much of a concern. During off-initiative turns, he can simply bypass your opponent’s exhausted visible characters and swing for 8 to the face. Substitute, too, for him to come in when he can actually perform for you. Evil stuff. 3 out of 5.

Fred: Between Wolverine and Crossbones the Crime Lords may just be the new IG, happy to lose the initiative so that they can slap an opponent around for a combined 14 endurance at least each turn. Since they do well on the defensive this could be a brutal archetype. 4 out of 5.

Card Name: Doctor Faustus, Johann Fennhoff – RAID
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 1
Atk/Def: 2/1
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Substitute
When Dr. Faustus enters play, you may have target character get -3 ATK this turn.
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-142

Lorenzo: The -3 ATK penalty is certainly significant, and with Substitute, you can get it into play when you need it. However, being a 1-drop, it’s unlikely unless you play off-curve that you’ll be able to use his ability well. 2 out of 5.

Fred: Multiple substitutions of Dr. Faustus can nullify your opponent’s attack step by spreading those nasty ATK penalties everywhere, or lumping them on his biggest character. 4 out of 5.

Card Name: Elektra, Pawn of the Gorgon – HYDRA
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords/Skrull
Cost: 5
Atk/Def: 10/8
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Concealed
Whenever Elektra stuns a character with cost less than or equal to the number of affiliations she has, KO that character.
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-143

Lorenzo: Great, she can KO 1-drops. While Elektra may gain slightly improved utility by playing enough team-ups, she’s much better off in a Skrull deck, which won’t happen here in Limited. 1 out of 5.

Fred: It’s time to rebuild that Skrull deck, and whiile Paibok is an excellent 5-drop, Elektra can put plenty of hurting on your opponent with enough affiliations running. For the Crime Lords, she doesn’t have quite so much use. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: The Gorgon, Tomi Shishido – HYDRA
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 5
Atk/Def: 8/10
Abilities:
Rules Text:
Whenever a character attacks you directly, it can’t ready this turn.
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-144

Lorenzo: If you muster a full hidden character curve, your opponent will be trying to outdo you through sheer direct endurance loss attacks. The Gorgon ties up such plans, pinning down his characters so you can swing in with impunity next turn. 3 out of 5.

Fred: With all these hidden characters, Crime Lords may well be crushed by IG Concealed or MKKO, whose ATK output seems to be greater. With The Gorgon on your side, though, those evil beaters don’t stand up for the next turn, allowing you to seize victory as your characters beat down without fear of retaliation. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: The Hand, Army – HYDRA
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 1
Atk/Def: 1/1
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
{Activate}, Put The Hand on top of its owner’s deck {>} Recover target stunned [Crime Lords] character that defended this turn.
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-145

Lorenzo: If you can get these out early on, barring any hidden hate, you can set up a turn where your opponent will have to work through a large defender multiple times. Of course, your opponent will expect it since the Hand will be on the table, but it won’t make things much easier. What I don’t like about it is that it retards your draw, which can kill you in Limited. 2 out of 5.

Fred: I dig the recovery effect, but placing the Hand on top of your deck isn’t so enjoyable unless you’ve got a way to sift them around. 2 out of 5.

Card Name: Head Case, Sean Madigan – AIM
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 5
Atk/Def: 9/10
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Substitute
Whenever Head Case stuns an attacker, you may KO Head Case. If you do, KO all characters that attacked him this turn.
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-146

Lorenzo: The only time I would use Head Case’s ability would be if (a) I managed to defend with him successfully multiple times, or (b) if it meant KO’ing a character of equal or higher cost. Scenario (b) being much more likely, I’d say he’s only about average. 3 out of 5.

Fred: We’ve seen enough attack redirection these days to make Head Case potentially fatal to your opponent’s attack plans. Between that and some DEF tech, you can take out a couple of large characters with his effect, leaving your opponent sorry he’d attacked you. Which is the essence of Crime Lords, anyhow. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: The Hood, Prince of Pistols
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 4
Atk/Def: 8/6
Abilities: Flight, Range
Rules Text:
Discard X cards {>} Exhaust target character with cost X.
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-147

Lorenzo: That’s a hefty discard cost. If you accumulate the cards then he might be worth it for that one turn, but otherwise he’s just another Concealed 4-drop. 2 out of 5.

Fred: In a deck with a draw engine of some kind, The Hood may be a stall monster. Note that his ability has no “once per turn” restriction, so you can lock down your opponent’s entire board with enough cards. He’s monstrous against off-curve. 4 out of 5.

Card Name: HYDRA Recruit, Army – HYDRA
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 2
Atk/Def: 3/2
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Whenever HYDRA Recruit becomes stunned during the combat phase, rally for a card named HYDRA Recruit.
Flavor Text:“Hail HYDRA!”
Rarity: Common
Card #: MUN-148

Lorenzo: Decent size for a 2-drop, but the rally ability is only good in decks packing many copies of it, which won’t happen in Limited. 1 out of 5.

Fred: Since the rally ability can potentially trigger every turn, in a deck packed with HYDRA Recruits, you can ideally fill your hand in a hurry. Mr. Fike will definitely find something sweet to do with these minions. 3 out of 5.

Card Name: James Barnes ~ Winter Soldier, Communist Puppet – Raid
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords
Cost: 3
Atk/Def: 5/3
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Concealed
Put James Barnes on top of his owner’s deck {>} Stun target character attacking a [Crime Lords] defender you control with reinforcement.
Flavor Text:“Should I take the shot?”
Rarity: Rare
Card #: MUN-149

Lorenzo: Would have been nicer for Mr. Barnes here to return to your hand instead of the top of your deck. His ability is fine, though, and works well as a deterrent against unwary attackers. 3 out of 5 since he still requires some setup.

Fred: In an environment chock full of cheap effect negation, Barnes is too much of an investment to stun an attacker for one turn. All those conditions, and he retards your draw as well. 2 out of 5.

Card Name: Kingpin, War Profiteer – HYDRA
Type: Character
Affiliation: Crime Lords/Sinister Syndicate
Cost: 4
Atk/Def: 7/7
Abilities: Range
Rules Text:
Leader: Whenever an adjacent defender stuns an attacker, you may KO that attacker.
Rarity: Uncommon
Card #: MUN-150

Lorenzo: Kingpin begs to be stunned first, of course, but if you can protect him adequately, your opponent will be very reluctant to attack. Excellent Crime Lords material. 4 out of 5.

Fred: With Coast City, Kingpin should be able to force at least one KO. Combine with the defender recovery tech available to the Crime Lords and your opponent risks losing all his characters to your lethal defense. 5 out of 5.

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