When I first got into VS, I rarely, if ever, built competent decks. It’s nice to see that some things never change, huh? Yeah, you know!
Anyways, I wasn’t a good enough player or a good enough deck-builder to delve too deeply into strategy, but I thoroughly enjoyed one particular set of articles on Metagame.com – Breaking Ground. And one of my favorite articles over there introduced me to Plague Counters, a little-used League of Assassins theme that encompasses all of three cards in the entirety of the game.
Of course, that deck’s creation was back before the Revenge Squad was refeatured, giving them a single, massive bonus to the deck: Professor Emil Hamilton <> Ruin, Power Suit.
For those unfamiliar with Clench Virus, it’s a 3-cost plot twist that reads thus:
Play only if you control a League of Assassins character.
Ongoing: At the start of your attack step, put a plague counter on target character.
Whenever a character receives a plague counter, if that character has a number of plague counters greater than its cost, KO that character.
Not too shabby, huh? Of course, there’s a simple problem – just one of these isn’t going to do much. Two will obviously do more, but what you really want is 3-4 of them in your row. Three-four of them in a row can start knocking off characters every 1-2 turns, especially when combined with Poisoned!, a minor pump that’ll also give a plague counter.
So, here goes a modern take…
4x Winslow Schott <> Toyman, Child’s Play
4x Terra-Man, Toby Manning
4x Atomic Skull, Joe Martin
4x Professor Emil Hamilton <> Ruin, Power Suit
3x The Mad Dog, Rabid Killer
4x Maxima, Empress of Almerac
2x Metallo, Kryptonite Heart
2x Talia, Daughter of Madness
2x Satanus, Evil Incarnate
4x Mountain Stronghold, Non-Unique
4x Tower of Babel
4x Clench Virus
4x Executive Privilege
4x Never-Ending Battle
2x Hostage Situation
1x State of the Union
3x Death of Superman
So, there’s the game. The obvious stuff first – you want as many Clench Viruses in your row as you can get. Hostage Situation isn’t bad, and Executive Privilege is great, but you want some Clench Virus action going as soon as possible. Your mulligan is a Mountain Stronghold or Emil Hamilton, though obviously Clench Virus or Executive Privilege can be tough to pass up.
The deck plays exactly as you’d think it would. You keep their board clear using plague counters, refresh Poisoned when you need to with Winslow Schott. Terra Man, Atomic Skull, and Winslow Schott can all be played for free thanks to Talia, while Executive Privilege and Mountain Stronghold will both beef up your search and offer discards to her ability. Hostage Situation gives those low-drops something to do just in case, while Never-Ending Battle lets you push through the damage you need to on their diminishing board (with help from Death of Superman) to try and end things. Only bring out Satanus if you have initiative on 6 and you know you can't kill - a team attack into their 6 will net you a vastly superior position on 7, and your board will only keep improving.
Meanwhile, if you’re playing against Darkseid’s Elite or some other team that will fool around with your resource row, a single stun on Emil can send him scurrying for a copy of State of the Union, which will prevent opponents from targeting your row. And, finally, Tower of Babel proves to be one of the ultimate utility cards in the Bring Your Own Two-Team format, preventing a vast variety of support abilities – no legend support and no generic cards make Tower of Babel particularly nasty.
That’s all for tonight, but I’ll be back in a day or two with more fun stuff. Hope you had a good weekend!