Friday, August 8, 2008

Carrying the Torch

These are more brief thoughts that precede an avalanche of bizarre ideas. Just sayin'.

The Legend concept in VS is one we've been familiar with since the beginning of the game, when Dr. Doom subjected his first victims to his Reign of Terror. It wasn't until Marvel Legends, however, that the mechanic became commonplace, as we began to see anyone who'd ever been in a movie achieve legendary status (Ghost Rider? Really?) and get the support suite of kings.

It was a great idea for making some interesting decks to be built, but it was still an extraordinarily limited idea. In general, if you wanted to pull off the effect, you had to have the proper character in play. If you wanted to use Full Throttle, you needed a Flash. If you wanted to make your defender Indestructible, you'd better hope they were attacking Superman. While it's a fascinating mechanic, it's a limited one.

Or, it was. In Marvel Universe, we saw Carrying the Torch, a card that could give the name of any character in the game to another character. At first, it was being sold cheap - until people realized what they had. What if you could give Barry Allen some Adamantium Claws? What would happen if Captain America Smashed, instead of Hulk - and what it Cap just kept on smashing thanks to help from the residents of Poseidonis? Deck-building opened up.

Of course, there's the downside. Legend cards are so much easier to break, now. But let's ignore that and focus on the bizarre ideas that are available to us now, because CtT has my juices moving like few recent cards have.

What if you took Natasha Irons <> Steel, Unlikely Alloy, gave her the name Captain America on top of it, and plopped her as your only visible character? Then you flipped Stars and Stripes? A single Burn Rubber means you're taking three damage with each attack and nothing else, and all you need is Poseidonis or Atlantis to recur it. Meanwhile, you could ship Punisher, Captain America to your hidden area and, at then your opponent can't even make that simple attack into Natasha, knowing that Punisher's a single activation away from stunning everyone who tried. That's a Modern-Age legal, half-assed stall deck, right there. Every other card in your deck could be dedicated to gaining life, whatever you want.

What if you gave the name Punisher to two hidden 3-drops, and had Punisher, Suicide Run out already? You could Sniper Shot every turn, essentially destroying your opponent's curve. What if one of those hidden Punisher's was James Barnes <> Winter Soldier, Out in the Cold - that's even more character-destruction your opponent has to work around. That's absolutely brutal.

What if Wolverine, Secret Avenger had access to Final Justice, making him unstunnable? He already has a plot twist that he can use to ready himself - he could wipe your board AND attack you directly for 2 cards! And don't get me started on Wolverine, Agent of SHIELD once you start throwing Hulk Smash into the mix, with the Atlantis to free-recur it that turn.

These are just a few ideas, but I'd love to hear some of yours. How would you use Carrying the Torch to make a Secret Six Victorious deck work? Would you add in Force Field Projection, Atlantis, and Poseidonis, giving you the means to blow out all the attacks you want?

So, question, if any VS players actually read the blog: what's your favorite Carrying the Torch deck, and why?

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