Archive for August, 2008

Power Struggle

Posted in VS Ramblings on August 15, 2008 by omnicresence

Reading the Lost Hemisphere’s latest Thursday Thirteen has got me feeling all ashamed of my being unable to update as regularly as I used to, but this is a particularly hectic season at the company where I work, and I’ll be flying out to Beijing next week for contract signing (the drafts of which still need to be finalized), so you can imagine the punishing workload and lack of time with which I have to contend.  I am perpetually in awe of those stalwart men and women (well, men mostly) who continue to pound away at their keyboards in spite of their busy schedules to bring us their valuable insights and tournament reports, all for the selfless love of this awesome game.

Hargh.  It seems I may have a bit of spare time over the weekend to organize my thoughts.  Was planning to finish that darned MUN set review, continue with the Lethal Weapons discussion, come up with some Custom VS Hijinks featuring the Evilluminati or the DC Illuminati, and write an article about how accurately different powers and abilities have been represented in the VS universe.  Poor Storm has yet to have a version that involves more of her storm-whipping powers than simply providing and hindering flight, and Jean Grey, for all of her vaunted telekinesis, is aching for a version that involves her actually throwing something at the opponent.  Or the opponent at something.  You get the idea.  And really, is the best way to represent hydro-capable characters like Aquaman and Submariner giving them the power to excavate things from the KO pile?  Even if we were to stretch out the comparison and say that they’re diving deep for lost objects, neither character has been particularly renowned for using his powers in THAT fashion.  Aquaman possesses superhuman strength with psychic abilities over marine life.  Submariner has used his fists to clobber things far more often than he has opened them up to dig up something from the ocean floor.

Yipes, got to get back to work.

Anyway, here are some snippets from a very rough draft fantasy set involving my current favorite cartoon, Transformers: Animated.  Not sure how many VS/Comic book fans are also Transformers enthusiasts, but I’m hoping there are a few.

AUTOBOTS

Sari Sumdac Keeper of the Key

Autobots Cost 1 1 ATK/2 DEF

Reservist.

Sari Sumdac cannot be attacked while you control another non-stunned Autobot character.

Activate, pay X endurance-> recover target Transformer Autobot character you control with cost X.

Isaac Sumdac Reverse Engineer

Autobots Cost 1 0 ATK/3 DEF

Reservist.

At the start of the combat phase, Rally for a Transformer Autobot character card.

Bumblebee Stinging Speedster

Autobots Cost 2 3 ATK/2 DEF Range

Transformer.

Bumblebee cannot be stunned while attacking.

Activate-> Target opponent loses 2 endurance. Use only once per turn.

Captain Fanzone Chief of Police

Autobots Cost 2 2 ATK/3 DEF

Reservist.

Captain Fanzone gains +2/+1 while you control Prowl.

Activate, exhaust X Autobot characters you control-> Exhaust target character with a cost less than X. That character cannot ready this turn.

Wasp Framed Fugitive

Autobots Cost 2 4 ATK/4 DEF Range

Reservist. Transformer. Loyalty-Reveal.

Wasp cannot be recruited if you control another Autobot character with Transformer. If you recruit another Autobot character with Transformer, return Wasp to your hand.

Prowl Stealthy Naturist

Autobots Cost 3 5 ATK/4 DEF Flight/Range

Concealed-Optional. Transformer.

Prowl comes into play with 2 Ninja counters.

Remove a Ninja counter from Prowl -> Choose one: Target opposing character loses –2 DEF this attack; or target defending character you control cannot stun characters or be stunned this attack.

Blurr Blinding Velocity

Autobots Cost 3 5 ATK/3 DEF Range

Transformer.

Blurr cannot be stunned while attacking.

Whenver Blurr stuns a defender, ready him. This power only triggers once per turn.

Arcee Code Carrier

Autobots Cost 3 4 ATK/5 DEF

Reservist. Transformer. Loyalty-Reveal.

Arcee may not be attacked while you control another Autobot character with Transformer that is not named Arcee. If Arcee is put into your KO pile from play, lose 10 endurance. At the start of the combat phase, look at your opponents’ hands and resource rows. Choose a card name. Cards with that name cannot be played by your opponents this turn.

Jazz Ninja Elite

Autobots Cost 4 8 ATK/7 DEF

Transformer.

Jazz cannot be stunned while attacking a character with lesser cost. Whenever Jazz stuns a defender, stun all characters that defender’s controller controls with the same cost.

Rachet Medical Veteran

Autobots Cost 4 6 ATK/8 DEF Range

Transformer.

Activate, discard an Autobot character card-> Recover target character with a cost less than or equal to the cost of the card you discarded. Gain endurance equal to the cost of the character you recovered.

Elita-One Downloader in Distress

Autobots Cost 4 7 ATK/7 DEF

Transformer.

Free-> Elita-One gains the powers and keywords of target Transformer character until end of turn. Use this ability only once per turn.

Ironhide Impenetrable Plating

Autobots Cost 4 6 ATK/8 DEF

Transformer.

Activate-> Ironhide gains Invulnerability and –2/+2 until end of turn.

Sentinel Prime Arrogant Guardian

Autobots Cost 5 9 ATK/9 DEF

Transformer.

A character protected by Sentinel Prime cannot be attacked.

Pay 2 ATK-> Sentinel Prime gains +1 DEF this turn.

Optimus Prime Reluctant Leader

Autobots Cost 5 10 ATK/10 DEF Range

Transformer. Loyalty.

Optimus Prime comes into play with an Axe Counter.

Activate-> Exhaust target opposing character with cost less than Optimus Prime.

Remove an Axe Counter from Optimus Prime-> Choose one: Target opposing character loses –3 DEF this attack, or negate target effect that would exhaust a character you control.

At the start of the combat phase, put an Axe Counter on Optimus Prime.

Bulkhead Gentle Giant

Autobots Cost 6 14 ATK/12 DEF Range

Transformer. Loyalty-Reveal.

Whenever Bulkhead stuns a character, you may replace any number of resources controlled by that character’s controller.

Activate-> Stun target attacker with a cost less than Bulkhead. Use this ability only if Bulkhead is defending.

Prowl Upgrade Addiction

Autobots Cost 6 13 ATK/12 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer. Loyalty.

Cosmic: Prowl has Invulnerability and +2 DEF.

Whenever Prowl stuns a character, that character cannot ready this turn.

Ultra Magnus Autobot Commander

Autobots Cost 7 15 ATK/16 DEF Range

Transformer. Loyalty.

Ultra Magnus cannot be stunned by characters with a cost of 3 or less.

At the start of the combat phase, you may reveal an Autobot character card with a cost of 6 or less. If you do, stun any number of opposing characters with a combined cost less than the cost of the card you revealed.

Omega Supreme Last Line of Defense

Autobots Cost 8 20 ATK/20 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer. Loyalty.

Exhaust an Autobot character you control-> Stun target opposing character with a cost less than or equal to the character you exhausted.

DECEPTICONS/VILLAINS

Blackarachnia Venomous Vixen

Decepticons Cost 4 8 ATK/7 DEF Range

Transformer.

As an additional cost to recruit Blackarachnia, discard a Decepticons character card.

At the start of the combat phase, choose an opposing character with a cost of 6 or less. That character loses its powers and keywords and Blackrachnia gains its powers and keywords until end of turn.

Lockdown Upgrade Hunter

Cost 5 11 ATK/9 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer.

Lockdown cannot team attack.

Whenever Lockdown stuns a character, put a Trophy counter on that character. While a character has a Trophy counter, it loses all its powers and keywords, and Lockdown gains all its powers and keywords. If a character with a Trophy counter leaves play, Lockdown gains that character’s powers and keywords permanently.

Whenever a character with a Trophy counter stuns Lockdown, remove a Trophy counter from that character if it did not gain a Trophy counter this turn.

Starscream Conniving Traitor

Decepticons Cost 4 9 ATK/9 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer.

As an additional cost to recruit Starscream, stun a Decepticon character you control. If you stun a character named Megatron, Starscream gains +3/+3 this turn.

Blitzwing Triple Threat

Decepticons Cost 5 9 ATK/10 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer. Reservist.

At the start of the combat phase, roll a 6-sided die. If the die roll is:

1-2: Until end of turn, Blitzwing gains: Activate-> Exhaust target character with cost 5 or less. That character’s controller loses endurance equal to that character’s cost.

3-4: Until end of turn, Blitzwing gains: Whenever Blitzwing stuns a character, that character’s controller loses endurance equal to that character’s cost.

5-6: Until end of turn, Blitzwing gains: Discard a card at random-> Blitzwing gains +X ATK or +X DEF this attack, where X is the cost of the card discarded. Use only once per turn.

Starscream Clone Creator

Decepticons Cost 6 12 ATK/13 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer.

If Starscream would be put into your KO pile from play, return him to your hand instead.

Free-> Put an army character card named Starscream Clone from your hand into play exhausted. Use this ability only during the recovery phase.

Starscream Clone Army

Decepticons Cost 4 7 ATK/7 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer.

Activate, KO Starscream Clone-> Target opponent loses 4 endurance.

Lugnut Loyal Warrior

Decepticons Cost 6 14 ATK/14 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer.

As an additional cost to recruit Lugnut, reveal a card named Megatron from your hand.

Activate, stun Lugnut-> Stun any number of characters with a combined cost of 5 or less. Use this ability only during the combat phase.

Shockwave <> Longarm Double Agent

Decepticons/Autobots Cost 4 5 ATK/9 DEF Range

Transformer. Reservist. Concealed.

At the start of the recovery phase, you may exhaust Shockwave. If you do, move Shockwave into your opponent’s front row, and he cannot ready this game. Shockwave gains: You play with your hand and resource row revealed, and may not play more than two non-character effects each turn.

Megatron Deposed Leader

Decepticons Cost 2 0 ATK/5 DEF

Transformer. Concealed.

Megatron cannot attack.

Activate, pay 3 endurance-> search your deck for a card with the version Megatron Construct or an equipment card and put it into your hand, reveal it, and shuffle your deck.

Megatron Allspark Obsession

Decepticons Cost 5 11 ATK/9 DEF

Transformer.

Discard a Decepticon character card-> stun target opposing character with a cost of 3 or less. Use this ability only during your attack step.

Megatron Decepticon Ruler

Decepticons Cost 7 17 ATK/16 DEF Flight/Range

Transformer.

Whenever Megatron enters combat, you may stun target character with a cost of 5 or less that is not in combat.

Whenever Megatron is team attacked, you may exhaust Megatron. If you do, stun target team attacker with a cost less than Megatron.

Soundwave Musical Miscreant * Megatron Construct

Decepticons Cost 3 0 ATK/0 DEF Range

Transformer.

Soundwave comes into play with 4 +1/+1 counters.

At the start of the combat phase, you may KO target character with a cost of 1 or less. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on Soundwave.

Remove 3 +1/+1 counters from Soundwave-> move target character with a cost of 2 or less to your front row. Use this ability only once per turn.

Swindle Intergalactic Arms Dealer

Decepticons Cost 4 7 ATK/8 DEF Range

Transformer.

Swindle can equip any number of equipment.

At the start of your attack step, you may search your deck for an equipment card with cost 1 or less and equip it to Swindle. If you do, discard a card.

Factory Bot Army * Megatron Construct

Cost 2 3 ATK/2 DEF

Exhaust X Factory Bots you control-> exhaust target character with cost X or less.

Nanosec Villainous Velocity * Megatron Construct

Detroit Villains Cost 2 3 ATK/3 DEF

Free-> Ready Nanosec. He cannot attack this turn. Use only once per turn.

Professor Princess Hater of Violent Toys

Detroit Villains Cost 2 3 ATK/1 DEF Flight/Range

Professor Princess gains +2 ATK while in combat with equipped characters or characters with the Transformer keyword.

Prometheus Black <> Meltdown Acid Touch

Detroit Villains Cost 3 4 ATK/4 DEF Range

Whenever Meltdown enters combat with a character, put a –1/-1 counter on that character. If that character is a Transformer, put two –1/-1 counters on that character instead.

Angry Archer Robbin’ Hood

Detroit Villains Cost 2 3 ATK/2 DEF Range

Activate->Target opposing character loses –2 DEF this attack.

Slo Mo Time Thief

Detroit Villains Cost 2 2 ATK/3 DEF Range

Free-> Target attacking or defending character cannot ready this turn. Use this ability only once per turn.

Henry Masterson <> Headmaster Total Pwnage

Detroit Villains Cost 3 1 ATK/1 DEF Flight/Range

Concealed.

Pay X resource points-> Move target Transformer character with cost X or less to your front row and place a Control counter on it. Use this ability only if you control no characters with Control counters.

Whenever Headmaster becomes stunned or leaves play, remove all Control counters from characters you control and move them to their owners’ front rows.

Momentum

Posted in VS Ramblings on August 6, 2008 by omnicresence

So difficult to maintain, really. I was all zealous and eager to churn out article after article every single day up until a few weeks ago, when work, family concerns and other hobbies and interests devoured what little time I could devote every day to maintaining this blog site.

But I guess what matters at the end of the day is that this site doesn’t die, that I’m still writing, and preferably about VS.

So I’m going back to last Saturday’s VS games, when my friends and I played VS straight from around 3:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. the next day, taking the occasional break only to eat or relocate when the comic shop where we play had to close at 8 p.m.

Some random thoughts:

I really need a couple of those 4-drop Hulks, at least, since I’m not hitting hard as early as I’d like.

In two-on-two team games, the team with the Illuminati player versus the one without appears to have something of an advantage.

No two players will build the Illuminati alike.

For team play, I will have to remove those Clandestine Ops and add something more useful to the team dynamic.

People have got to put more attack pumps in the Crime Lords builds or we’ve got the same nasty problem as before with the old Crime Lords – great defense, little of anything else. Though the burn of Red Skull shows promise in a team dynamic.

Bring It On is devastating in a two-on-two team game.

Two Secret Society decks are very hard to fight, particularly if one of them is packing Monkey See, Monkey Do and Coup D’etat.

I’m still learning how to use Omnipotence properly.

Jury still out on how good the Captain is in an Illuminati deck, but I’d say he has serious potential.

Even running at 40 characters, the new Avengers Reservist deck seems to misfire horribly or run out of steam. Wondering what I’m doing wrong. Maybe more search cards necessary.

Heroes for Hire: the new Mimiflo deck team-up of choice.

We ended the night casually discussing who could compose a DC version of the Illuminati. Head a bit fuzzy on the exact details since it was so late, but we figured it would be comprised of, among others, the following:

Batman – Tactical genius, tons of connections.

Zatanna or Dr. Fate – Representative of magic.

Martian Manhunter – Yes, he’s dead, but he seemed to be the best candidate for mental projection/powers.

Aquaman – Lord of the sea.

Alan Scott – Checkmate King and member of the old guard.

Mr. Terrific, Wonder Woman and Phantom Stranger were tossed around, but didn’t seem to make the cut for one reason or another. I know I’m leaving out some other people who were considered for DC Illuminati membership.

Conversely, although the concept was done before with Villains United, we figured it had to be done Illuminati-style for the DC Villains. The anti-Illuminati, or the “Evilluminati”, would be comprised of:

Lex Luthor – Earth hubris and considerable intellect.

Brainiac – Possibly overlapping with Lex, so one of them would have to be cut.

The Joker – Too much insane fun not to include, and remember what happened the last time he wasn’t allowed to play.

Darkseid – Cosmic-level evil.

Gorilla Grodd – Mental powers, megalomania, general nastiness.

Sinestro – Purveyor of fear.

Ra’s Al Ghul – Immortal villain with armies of assassins at his command.

I notice there are no evil magic beings among the roster. Felix Faust or Morgan Le Fay perhaps, but they’re rather too minor to be seriously considered, I think.

Ha. If only they could come up with some DC Evilluminati cards. A fair number of the characters I mentioned are already Legends in their own right. Hmmm.