When the Legionaires’ set came out everyone said that the Cosmic keyword was finally given a proper treatment. Now, with the advent of DSM-2, the infamously bad Superman set will no longer have to play second fiddle to the other ‘Cosmic’-themed sets. In fact, after being lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the finished product, I can confidently say that DSM-2 will knock your socks off.
My preview card today comes from the most maligned of all four DSM teams: the New Gods. A team so bad that people often would build New Gods decks just to collect bragging rights over every person they managed to beat with them. Of course they weren’t 100% unplayable. I believe there was a Doom/New Gods deck played by Brian Eugenio that did very well at an LA 10k; but as a mono team, they were pretty atrocious and had very little cohesion. All that is about to change, however. That’s right ladies and gents, the… New… Gods… are… PLAYABLE!
Izaya’s stats remain the same, because they were already great, but notice the significant upgrade to his text box. He used to read:
At the start of the recovery phase, you may discard a New Gods character card. If you do, recover target stunned character you control.
Not bad by any means, but not great. His original incarnation used to only work during the recovery phase. This meant you had to prevent Izaya from becoming stunned during combat just to use his ability; either that or run recovery effects just to use him (and running recovery effects to use a recovery effect seems oddly redundant). His new text (for those that can’t see the image) now reads:
Leader: Whenever a [New Gods] defender adjacent to Izaya becomes stunned during your first defense each turn, recover it. Cosmic
Similar to the Legionnaires, you’ll notice that while Izaya has a Cosmic Counter, he does not have a Cosmic ability. This tells us that New Gods will share each others counters. Another character or plot twist might say something like, “remove a cosmic counter from a character your control -> get target effect.”
Izaya also has a Leader ability that recovers an adjacent character on your first defense of the turn. This ability stays true to the original focus of the character (recovery) but improves upon it significantly. No longer do you have to wait ’til the recovery phase to reap the benefits of Izaya. There is also no longer a discard associated with it, which means you’re preserving your board while preserving your hand.
Let’s look at ways this recovery effect can be useful with the New Gods. The first thing I thought when I read this card was that you’ll need to force your opponent into attacking a character in front of Izaya. Otherwise your opponent could just attack Izaya and prevent his ability from ever going off. We could do this a couple of ways: Coast City and Kandor, City in a Bottle. Whichever route you chose, you’ll want a character in front of Izaya worth recovering. New Gods has a couple of great 3 drops to fill that role. Himon would be pretty good. He locks down 1 and lower cost plots, and putting him in front of Izaya means he’ll have to be stunned twice just to get his ability out of play. It’s probably a safe bet that the new Himon will also lock down plots somehow; in fact, if Himon has been improved upon as much as Izaya, these two could be a deadly one-two punch.
Another great on-team option is Shiloh Norman. If he’s in front of Izaya with a Coast City in play, he’ll nullify two of your opponent’s attacks with virtually no drawback. After all, Shiloh’s evasion will recover himself during the recovery phase after your opponent has had to run through him twice. This is a fantastic way to stall to whatever endgame you choose.
There are off-team implications as well. One particularly broken combination is utilizing Echo, Masterless Samurai. She’ll auto stun back anyone that attacks her – and Izaya will make sure she does it twice a turn. This will make opponents’ attacks very no-win situations. Especially if you have a way to give Echo permanent reinforcement (Framistat comes to mind). You will just have to have the rest of your characters in the hidden area so that you can still cause damage while your opponent steams over his lack of attack options. And I don’t think you’ll be lacking in hidden characters that are on-team with Echo!
Other things to consider: New Gods 5 drops worth recovering; Vengeance effects that you’ll want multiple uses out of; and powerful Evasion effects. I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg, but my mind is already on fire with the possibilities. I cannot wait until this full set is released! Thanks to everyone who worked on this project, and thanks for the chance to preview a card!