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Monthly archives for October, 2009
This week Squire is out with the flu. So, Cliff enlisted the aid of special Guest Jason Billingsley. Get ready for the most off topic tangents, EVER!
Alright friends and family, it’s time to switch to the South side of things (all the SoCal members here tell me that this is the best side to be on!). I know this was posted quickly considering the long wait for the end of the North Bracket, but I can’t help but gush it all out when I’m holding onto so much Vs. fun! Hopefully you’ve made your picks by now, and hopefully you picked right, let’s find out with this first installment.
Cliff and Squire are back discussing their favorite hobbies, and some things to come for the show.
The end of the North Bracket is finally at hand. Here are the final five (not to be confused with the Fearsome Five) matchups. I’m sorry for the delay, but there were a lot of legitamate reasons; computers were fried, intestines were removed, Canadian holidays were observed; it was CHAOS these past couple of months! But the result is as entertaining as always so grab your bucket of popcorn, heavy on the butter, and read.
From Number 6:
By now, readers may be aware of the Revenge Squad previews featuring the two Legend-type characters of that team, Brainiac and Lex Luthor, so it may seem like there wouldn’t be much interesting left to cover. Well, as the primary DSM2 designer for Revenge Squad, I can assure those of you reading this that such is not the case (at least, not in my clearly-biased opinion). But before we get to the nifty new stuff, I feel it’s my duty to bore you with some details from the development of the affiliation. Fortunately for you, I’ve already discussed a fair segment of that (concerning the Revenge Squad’s increased adaptability with the resource row) in the initial preview that kicked off this week.
But the resource row (along with the Ongoing plot twists) is only one of the underlying themes in this revival of the team; the other major theme is DEF reduction. From DSM’s Kryptonite, through Bizarro Ray and into DWF with cards like Never-Ending Battle, the Revenge Squad have greatly enjoyed bringing down the DEF values of their opponents (gloating monologues notwithstanding). While DEF reduction seems like little more than a style of “pump”, it occurred to me that it would be interesting to explore the possibilities for generating effects by checking DEF values, and that was my plan for putting a new twist on an established theme. So you can expect to see both resource-row-relevant and DEF-relevant abilities scattered throughout all of the Revenge Squad’s DSM2 material; and once you read the other articles (assuming you haven’t already), I expect you’ll have a new appreciation for how those cards work.
However, that’s not the only new aspect of the Revenge Squad team design. They’re in possession of a brand-new ability, seen on the following preview cards:
That’s right, some of these vicious-minded villains have taken their obsession with the Man of Steel to the next level, and introduced Hunter to the Revenge Squad’s team roster! If the Atomic Skull’s design looks familiar to you, that’s intentional; there was a strong feeling that his DSM text was one of the best things from that set, and so it became easy to keep its row-related emphasis and adapt it to the Hunter mechanics. When it came to Mongul, I combined both the resource-row themes and DEF-reduction themes into a single effect operating within Hunter constraints. Having it work on characters in the same row was my way of making an oblique reference to the Revenge Squad’s minor front-row theme from DWF (which I liked enough to create one other card for the team that more explicitly references that theme…but you’ll have to wait a bit longer before you see it).
While some of the Hunters among the Revenge Squad are translations of other cards and effects, the rest have interesting new abilities and I hope they all will see plenty of action. At any rate, expect to see a full curve of Hunters in the DSM2 Revenge Squad as well as a Vengeance curve (continuing its contributions from DWF), both existing alongside an assortment of non-keyworded characters. But despite the seeming segregation of these characters by keyword (or the absence thereof), the prevalence of the Revenge Squad’s two major themes means that you can still expect them all to work together very well in any number of combinations…some perhaps a bit more easily than others
As with all previews, I can’t reveal all the possibilities available; but suffice to say that the Revenge Squad has a lot of potential (both within and outside DSM2), and I look forward to seeing the reactions of VS players once the full set spoiler is released.
Hey guys! Are you enjoying the DSM-2 previews that KardKrazy, Shadowtrooper, and Number 6 have unleashed upon the world as much as I am? In fact, DSM-2 has brought me back into the world of article writing for the first time in nearly a year. That’s how awesome this fan set is. It brings a fool like me back in the fold
When KK and the crew started asking around for volunteers to preview cards, I jumped at the chance. I loved doing previews for UDE back when I had my blog and they hadn’t canceled Vs. yet. Those were some of the most exciting times I’ve had in the Vs. community. So, being nostalgic, I hoped that the DSM-2 designers would smile upon me and give me a preview. They were kind enough to do so. They were even nice enough to allow me to previews cards from my favorite team featured in DSM: Darkseid’s Elite.
But enough about how awesome the DSM-2 people are for being awesome and giving out previews and making this set. You want to *see* the preview I was given, so here it is…
Darkseid, Uxas. He’s beautiful, isn’t he? Let’s start with the fact that he has substitute. This makes him useful in a modern Darkseid build that abuses said keyword. It also means you can do some janky stuff in a Darkseid Clones build with the other 6-cost Darkseid: Darkseid, The Omega. Play Omega, toss your opponent the Rock of Eternity or Crisis on Infinite Earths and then substitute this bad boy into play so you can use *his* effect.
And what an effect it is. I can’t immediately think of any other power exactly like it in Vs. It’s like Substitute, but with a KO pile-tastic twist. As soon as I saw this card, I started trying to come up with janky combos.
Inside the realm of DSM-2’s Darkseid’s Elite team, there is some fun to be had. Particularly with the 5-drops. The designers really made some great cards for the team in that slot. But I can’t talk too much about those. So, instead, we’ll look at the UDE-designed cards we *do* have access to.
Darkseid shines with the early Mockery drops from DLS. Dark Lantern can pop back in for a “no stun while attacking”, Dark Firestorm grabs you a free card, Dark Thanagarian is a mini Flying Kick, and Dark Martian is Blindsided. This is just on-team, mind you. Let’s not forget the wealth of other “When [so-and-so] comes into play” effects that exist throughout Vs.
Also of note is that this power lets you use “once per turn” effects twice by bringing in a new copy of the character. Barbara Gordon becomes two free draws each turn instead of one, and so on. As long as you don’t have to exhaust the character (or have a way of readying it), there’s some fun to be had.
As far as doing something other than abusing “entering play” and “once per turn” effect, Uxas also lets you use drops as a utility knife, bringing characters in the specific characters you need as you need them. At the 5-drop slot, you can swap in and out Dark Superboy and Dark Warrior. If your opponent has a mostly facedown row or you need defense, you can bring in Warrior. The opponent has enough faceup resources or you’re on offense and want a double stun, you can KO that Warrior and bring in Superboy. It’s handy, it’s simple, and it’s awesome.
Thanks to the current text of Uxas, you, sadly, can’t KO him to his own effect due to the possibility of an infinite loop of KOing and recurring another copy of Uxas. Still, it is possible to underdrop on 6 but I’m just going to ignore that for now .
Finally; turn 7. This one’s pretty neat. Let’s say you recruit Kara Zor El to make sure you stun back each of your opponent’s attackers. So they don’t attack. Don’t ask me why. This is all just high-minded conceptual drivel . So now you can swing back. But Kara’s stats are pretty standard fare and aren’t going to do much damage. What do you do? You use Darkseid’s ability to call in her older, just as brainwashed relative.
I hear an 18/18 on turn 7 is good. Oh, and he has Substitute as well. Finally, he effectively has dual-affiliation with Team Superman (although he won’t be that great without Darkseid around). KO Kara to Darkseid, Uxas’s effect, bring this guy in, smash. Just another day on Apokolips.
Some other fun little effects that Darkseid, Uxas enables are cards involving entering and leaving play. Dark Fury, for example, becomes a consistent +4 ATK pump. Some jankiness also includes Zazzala to burn for 2 endurance with each use. Or go really janky and try to create a combo with the 5-drop Blue Devil (Gain 4 endurance at little to no cost to you ). Most importantly, it combos with the new Granny Loves You in a way that’s simply ridiculous.
And that’s just what a casual player like myself can come up with. What sort of ridiculous combos do *you* see with Darkseid, Uxas and his Dark God powers?
Alright guys, KardKrazy back here with a card that while it wasn’t in my specific portion of the set (as I snatched up the responsibility of overseeing New Gods) I did in fact help design this card specifically with Shadowtrooper.
Since the day I discovered the deck Evil Medical School 2-3 years ago, I was a HUGE fan of Glorious Godfrey and to be honest helping Shadowtrooper design an even better Glorious Godfrey without making a busted card was extremely difficult. We started off with a design or two that bounced off of Anti-Life Equation (which if you haven’t seen yet you need to head over to TCGPlayer.Com and take a look at Shadowtroopers blog as he is show casing ATE and Amazing Grace) but when Anti-Life Equation wasn’t around for Glorious he, well to be quite honest, sucked. So we said well we have a 4-Drop that really likes ATE being around but is still good in her own right without it let’s forget ATE in the Glorious Godfrey design and see what we can come up with. And boy was that the right decision because we eventually came up with this:
As you can tell Glorious is in fact the king of persuasion. Glorious is the key to turning the game around for you. While it is apparent his attack is nothing to be proud of his ability more than makes up for the lack of stats. He can single handedly stop an onslaught of characters looking to beat you down or he can simply exhaust the opposing 4-Drop just like the original. Not only did we improve upon his ability we decided to give him some adhesion to the DLS Darkseid’s Elite by placing Substitute on him. This makes his playability go up even further as now you can drop a Darkseid’s Elite character that is more combat oriented on 5 if you have the initiative and then come turn 6 sub in Glorious Godfrey if necessary. He also has a nice interaction with 6-Drop Darkseid (which if you haven’t seen yet a preview should be up shortly for him). In the end the new Glorious Godfrey melds very nicely with the other Darkseid’s Elite characters that Shadowtrooper designed and the DLS Darkseid’s Elite characters along with the substitute theme.
Well take care guys and enjoy the rest of the DSM-2 previews,
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!
First off I want to say it has been a blast working with Shadowtrooper, Number6, and even Guglio for the time he was part of the project. It is finally here guys.
Whether the community embraces it or not, the DSM-2 crew can guarantee this is one of the most thoroughly thought out fan sets ever created. While Number6 couldn’t partake in the play testing since he doesn’t have MWS me and Trooper easily spent over 50 hours play testing DSM-2 to insure a balanced yet playable set. This does not include the design time that was prior to and during play testing.
And while all three of us have put on a smile for the community when we talked about DSM-2 I can guarantee you there were many times when Number6 wanted to choke me to the death, I wanted to choke him to death, and good god there were WAY too many times that we both wanted to choke Shadowtrooper to death. Arguments/discussions abounded that could easily equal out to 15-20 full pages of PM’s. But in the end it was worth it. In the end, through all the discussions and choking, we believe that we have a product that is in fact 110% better than DSM ever could have hoped to be.
And with that out of the way let us move onto the cards, because DSM-2 starts right now. Whether it is from a design aspect or it is from a playability aspect, the following previews are some of the DSM-2 Design Teams favorite cards. Here we go… READ MORE »