Sunday, November 2, 2008

VS: Bring Your Own Two Teams - Avengers/Squadron Supreme Edition

Most of you know by now my fascination with the Avengers team-attack theme, and my desperate wish that they had gotten an effect reminiscent of Legendary Battles and of Playroom in MUN, especially now that my favorite theme is trapped in the hellish limbo known as Golden Age play. You also know that, after BYOTT was announced, they were the first deck I built and presented to you all.

Now, I was planning on doing a segment today trying to utilize Warworld for the BYOTT format, but the deck I had built just wasn't doing it for me. That isn't to say that it wasn't good - most of the decks I present to you are average, more theory than gameplay. It just wasn't satisfying enough, I suppose.

However, while combing through the cards that I thought I would enjoy using Warworld with, I began to look at Squadron Supreme. Squad was the first 'competitive' deck I ever built, and by that, I mean it was the first deck that my friends essentially gave me, with the sage advice to "Stop playing that frankly embarrassing Kang Lords X concoction and try and win a freaking game." They quickly came to regret this act of charity.

But we all know that the Squad No-Hand theme could be explosive. And I'm sure that most of you were aware that Squad had another theme. "Yes," I hear you say. "They had the No-Hand theme, and they had a theme that involved getting rid of the cards in their hand, right?"

"No," I say to you, "but verily didst they have a theme in which they did absolutely no breakthrough for any reason. And I do not know why."

One of the most potent cards this theme brought us was called Project Utopia, and it reads as follows....

Project Utopia
Choose a Squadron Supreme character you control.
Ongoing: Whenever the chosen character stuns a defender, that defender's controller loses 4 endurance.

Whenever the chosen character causes breakthrough, KO it.

Well, when I saw this card during the building of my Warworld deck, I certainly went, "...Quicksilver!" and thus was this deck born.

4x Jarvis, Honorary Avenger
2x Rick Jones, Hero’s Best Friend
2x Speed, Thomas Shepard * Young Avenger
2x Doctor Decibel, Anton Decibel

4x Natasha Romanoff <> Black Widow, Super Spy
2x Wasp, Janet Van Dyne-Pym
2x Captain America, The Patior * Secret Avenger

4x Quicksilver, Mutant Avenger
2x Patriot, Elijah Bradley * Young Avenger
2x Lady Lark, Skylark
1x Black Panther, T’challa

2x Amphibian, Kingsley Rice

1x Wolverine, Secret Avenger

4x Playroom
4x Utopia Isle

4x Project Utopia
4x Legendary Battles
4x Reckless Youth
4x Switching Sides
4x Liberating Number 42

Do you remember when I extolled with great verbosity the virtues of Playroom, one of the key cards of the Avengers team attack strategy? It was a few weeks back, and I told you it totally rocked. It wasn't a subtle card, but that 4 damage could add up right quick with Quicksilver.

Well, with further thought, Project Utopia means that it can REALLY add up something fierce. A single Project Utopia, naming Quicksilver, means that every team attack stun he gets nets you over 8 points of endurance stun loss. Assuming they have a 2, a 3, and a 4 on turn four, and you have a Playroom and a Project Utopia, that's 34 damage. Imagine if you were playing against an off-curve deck? And, of course, you can have multiple Project Utopia's out at the same time....

There is, though, a drawback to Project Utopia. One of the best things about Quicksilver is that, after the board is clear, he can attack directly. Yes, you're gaining a significant amount of damage, but is it worth losing that pumpable direct attack? I think it definitely is...but just in case, I threw in Switching Sides. After Quicksilver demolishes your opponent's board, he can make nice with their highest drop and invite them over for tea. If you played a Legendary Battles that turn, that leaves you with 0 stunned characters, a massive endurance swing, and your opponent's highest drop.

Just to play it safe, however, I added a card called Utopia Isle, which reads as such...

Utopia Isle
To flip, exhaust two Squadron Supreme characters you control.
Whenever an attacker causes breakthrough while attacking a character, that attacker's controller loses 3 endurance.

You won't be causing my breakthrough on your attacks, but your opponents very well could be, and a fast-enough deck could outrush you. With this, though, even when they're hitting you as hard as they can, you're hitting back.

As always, I'm not entirely satisfied with the character selection - Quicksilver and Natasha are perfect, and it's my personal belief that Wolverine is the perfect finisher for the deck. He and Quicksilver can team into their last remaining character with a Legendary Battles, causing 13 damage and then letting Wolverine ready for a direct swing. Jarvis is nice, thanks to the lack of search (and no, I can't afford Avengers Reassembled), and Amphibian offers you a nice option just in case you don't want to underdrop on 4, as he can bring you back a plot twist you really need.

I would also seriously think about making room for AIDA, to prevent an opponent from exhaust Quicksilver before he can attack. You need Quicksilver to be free to attack, and AIDA helps guarantee that.

Still, the deck looks to be pretty fun, a slightly riskier but notably faster version of my X-Men/Avengers team attack deck. Hope you all enjoyed, and I'll see you all again soon!

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