When KardKrazy first posted the idea for the tournament, I was excited. A chance to travel and play at a bigger event was just the shot in the arm I needed to get pumped about VS. Then he announced the format would be BYOT Golden, and I suddenly became beyond excited. Golden Age is my favorite age to play in, and BYOT is the most “pure” of Golden deckbuilding. I immediately started delving into my favorite teams, trying to predict an impossible metagame. I looked at Injustice Gang handflood, SHIELD Burn, Doom stall, X-Men, and finally settled on MKKO. I had a version that I had started building back when my store did a BYOT, but other things got in the way and I never picked it back up. The decklist went through a lot of development before I settled on the final version.
Black Cat, Thrillseeker x4
Mikado and Mosha, Angels of Destruction x2
Black Widow, Femme Fatale x1
Punisher, Suicide Run x4
Daredevil, Fearless Survivor x4
Blade, Independent Contractor x4
Ghost Rider, The Devil’s Rider x2
Luke Cage, Street Enforcer x4
Wolverine, Covert Predator x1
Punisher, Captain America x2
Vengeance, Spirit of Vengeance x1
Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man x1
Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance x1
Punisher, Angel of Death x1
Plot Twists: 28
Savage Beatdown x4
Flying Kick x4
Crime and Punishment x4
Finishing Move x4
Quick Kill x4
Wild Ride x3
Have a Blast! x2
The idea behind the deck was not a new one. Make sure your opponent has no characters whatsoever, and end the game by attacking directly, usually on turns 5/6. Couple of notes:
- The draw engine of Black Cat/Luke Cage can make it possible to Quick Kill on 3 and 4 without losing your hand entirely.
- I played around with the numbers on the search cards, and 6 felt right. 4 Wild Rides is too many, and you end up burning yourself out when you have to use one for a 6 drop.
- Against a stall matchup, Vengeance/Ghost Rider can usually seal the deal.
- Punisher at 5 is a naughty god in almost every matchup. I almost never attacked with him, preferring to activate him on initiative to suicide Black Cat into my opponent’s biggest drop.
- Putting two Have a Blast! in was a metagame call. There are too many things in Golden Age that rely on ongoings and locations that MKKO has no defense against. Sometimes you draw it, sometimes you dont.
The day of the event, my crew from my local HL at Groovy Geckos Comics and Games in Williamsburg VA met at the pancake house near the shop at 7:30 AM to fuel up. We took 3 cars to the event, each carrying 3 people. I remember joking with the crew that out of top 8, I expected most of us to make it.
3 hours in a car listening to punk rock and drinking Red Bull later, we finally arrived at the event. There was a small snafu in that Google Maps lied to us and told us to turn left instead of right, but it all worked out and we arrived 22 minutes ahead of schedule. After meeting KK and thanking him for running the event, we got down to business. 21 people all told, and we were told that we would be running seven 30 minute one game matches, with a cut to top 8 drafting MEV under two game matches, single elimination. I shuffled up and put my game face on, ready to play.
1 – Dallas – Family of Four
Dallas was part of my team, and he groaned when I laid Punisher on 2. We’ve played this matchup before, and Family of Four needs characters to get the most out of the deck. After KOing a few of his early drops, things finished on turn 6, my initiative. I underdropped with Vengeance and Black Cat, activated Punisher on Black Cat to punch through the massive 13/13 She-Hulk. I then swung Vengeance into his 5 drop with a Crime and Punishment to stun and burn so that Blade and Luke Cage could attack to the face for the win. (1-0)
2 – Heather – X-Men Energy Burn
Another Gecko’s player. I felt horrible for Heather in this game. She completely missed all drops until turn 4, and I hit a perfect curve. By the time she dropped Bishop, I had all the pumps and KO effects needed for another win. (2-0)
3 – Ian – Spider-Stall
This was one of four Spider-Stall decks at the tourney, and I’d tested this matchup. I needed to KO his 3 on 3 and his 4 on 4 to have a chance. I made a mistake on 4 and attacked with 2 drop Punisher to the face instead of going for the Finishing Move. When I tried to KO Punisher to KO Spider-Man (4), I got PA’d. Nevertheless, things finished up on 4 when I actually attacked with Punisher (5) into Ben Reilly with Ghost Rider (6) on the board for massive burn. Ghost Rider then used a Flying Kick to swing into Sensational Spidey for enough damage to make him extend his hand. (3-0)
4 – Ken – Spider Stall
Ken was the one I had playtested with for about a month before the event. I knew his deck, and he knew mine. The only thing left to do was shuffle up and play. Things started well, but I made the mistake of using Quick Kill on Black Cat on 2 instead of saving it for his 3 drop. Then, I proceeded to miss my 5 drop completely, and got most of my board tapped down. My only character, Luke Cage, managed to swing into an unreinforcable Aunt May with 3 Beatdowns and a Crime and Punishment, dropping Ken to 8 endurance. We drew for turn 6, and I whiffed again. No characters whatsoever, while Ken flashed Ben Reilly and recruited the 3 drop Spider-Man twice, pulling counters and tapping down my board. He then swung directly and put me in the negatives. (3-1)
5 – Whitey – Mauraders
Another Geckos player. At this point I was starting to wonder if I would play anyone from NC at all, or if I was simply here to clean up the VA crew. This match was a disaster. I Mikado’d and Quick Kill’d his Vertigo on 1, and dropped Punisher on 2, feeling confident. He then No Man Escapes the Manhunters on 2 of my characters on 3, reducing my board presence. We kept trading back and forth, but things ended for me on 7 off initiative, when I missed my 7 drop and couldn’t crack back for enough damage to even it up. (3-2)
6 – Nate – Hellfire Club
Not much to tell on this match. Nate almost had to drop from his last game, as he wasn’t feeling well. As soon as we sat down, he lurched and went to the the bathroom to vomit. He realized he couldn’t continue, and had to drop. (4-2)
7 – Kevin – Blackbriar Thorn
I finally get to play someone from NC, and it turns out to be the TO for the event. I have hideous luck against this deck, for some reason. Every time I’ve ever played it, I come really close to winning, but lose horribly, no matter what I’m playing. I decide that it won’t happen again. I KO Blackbriar on 2 and 4, and Kevin hangs in there, punching me directly and making the most of his Magic Plot Twists, keeping it close. Turn 7 I’m at 15, and he’s at 10. I have Spider-Man (6), Punisher (5), and Blade (3). He has June Moon (4), and Zatanna (3). He activates June Moon, stunning Blade. (12 to 10) He then recruits June Moon (6) and Madam Xanadu and passes. I have the Mobilize for 7 drop Punisher, but instead decide to go off curve with Woverine (4), Daredevil (2), and Black Cat (1). Kevin thinks deeply, doing the math in his head over and over, and finally decides to activate June Moon on Spider-Man, stunning him. (6 to10). He then Activates Xanadu, picking up a Magical Conduit and using it to pay 5 endurance to pump Zatanna to be able to attack Punisher (6 to 5). I activate Punisher, choosing Black Cat and pass. Both characters stun (1-3). I send Black Cat into June Moon, pass. Both characters stun (0 to -6). I then swing direct with everyone else, and Kevin extends his hand.
I’ve made the draft! I must mention I’ve never drafted before, but I understand the concept, and I’m intimately familiar with MEV. Also, out of the top 8, 6 are from Geckos. We are storming this tourney! In my first pack is a Wolverine, Unleashed which I quickly snag. I then get passed no Weapon X characters, but start getting all the X-Force I can handle, both plot twists and characters. I fill out almost an entire curve of X-Force, with the exception of a Raza on 2 and a Lady Mastermind on 3. I shuffle up and get ready to play.
1 – Kevin
Kevin has almost an entire Exiles deck together, complete with Proteus, Blink, and Mariko. He swarms out and overruns me in the first game, which runs almost the entire time limit. We go into overtime, and I miss my 3 drop. (Sad face)
So ends the ECS. We end up leaving the store at 10, and hitting the Waffle House for some much needed sustenance before the long drive back to VA. If I had to do it over again, I’d probably run more Black Widows over Mikado, and PA over Have a Blast!
Mad props to KK and The Hobby Shop for putting on an awesome event and an incredible day. Next time we do it at Williamsburg.