Do you like to play plot twists? I mean, do you really like to play plot twists? If so, have I got a team for you! From what we have seen so far, X-Force is a team that will reward you just for playing plot twists – something you were going to do anyway!
Yesterday’s preview of Domino, Probability Manipulator, set the tone. For the simple act of playing a plot twist during combat, Domino will negate an effect from a non-ongoing plot twist! Negation is one of the most powerful effects in the game and X-Force can do it practically for free.
Today’s first preview card is similar in that it offers you a powerful effect at a neglibile cost. Check out X-23, Genetic Miracle:
Genetic Miracle indeed! If I had to make a list of my favorite things in Vs, free KO’s would rank right up near the top.
We’ve seen characters in Vs. who KO the characters they stun before. But there’s usually some kind of restriction. Darkseid, Destroyer of Life, for example, can be negated by paying endurance equal to the stunned character’s cost. Rogue, Powerhouse will only KO defenders. And Elektra, Pawn of the Gorgon will only KO characters with a cost less than or equal to the number of team affiliations she has.
We’ve also seen characters that can KO any character they stun. But I don’t think we’ve seen one with such an easily met cost. Charaxes, Killer Moth required you to put three character cards who share an affiliation with Charaxes from your KO’d pile on the bottom of your deck. That’s all well and good until your KO’d pile starts running low on character cards.
Executioner, Sourge of Jotunheim required a discard of a Masters of Evil character card. Plus, his stats were garbage. Heck, Executioner was garbage. Forget I brought him up, okay?
Divinity, Vampire General required you to KO a resource or a Doom character at the start of every build phase. Playing a plot twist during combat is starting to look like a real bargain, isn’t it?
The character X-23 most reminds me of is Punisher, Guns Blazing. Both cards are 4-drops. Both will KO anyone they stun on attack or defense as long as you can meet their cost. Both are really good cards. But in a vacuum, I’ll take X-23 over Punisher.
For one, X-23 is concealed. Off initiative, it was all too easy to monkey pile Punisher out there in the visible area. If your opponent wants to keep X-23 from attacking, they are going to have to work for it. Next, X-23 has a higher attack. She’ll attack up curve more easily than Punisher. Sure, she has a lower defense to offset her stats, but that’s a trade-off I’m willing to make on a concealed character.
The big difference between the two characters is the cost to trigger their effect. The Punisher needs to be equipped with more than one equipment. In the right build, that’s easily done. But you have to build for it. And your opponent will know whether or not you can meet the requirement before combat even begins (unless you’re playing tricks to equip Punisher during the combat phase).
With X-23, your opponent won’t see the KO coming. Unless your hand is empty and your resource row is face up, there’s always the possibility you’ll play a plot twist in the middle of an attack. Psychological advantage goes to X-23.
Also, there are ways to unequip Punisher and transform him from a crazed killing machine into a vanilla 4-drop. X-23 doesn’t care if you negate her plot twist. She still played it, so she still KOs your character. Sure, there are ways to restrict which plot twists you play. But it’s hard to stop you from playing them at all.
Well, I’ve spent way too much time trying to convince you that free KOs are good. Come back tomorrow when I write a doctorate on the benefits of a free lunch. Let’s move on to our second preview of the day, shall we?
In the Crossfire ain’t exactly a free lunch. In fact, it’s kind of costly. This card definitely won’t be an auto-include in any X-Force curve decks.
But if you were to build an off-curve X-Force deck, that cost seems a lot more reasonable. I don’t know what kind of off-curve game X-Force is going to have at this point. But that’s what team-ups are for. I know I can’t be the only one who saw this card and thought about running it in a Secret War deck with lots of S.H.I.E.L.D Agents who would burn for two and then exhaust to In the Crossfire.
The card has one other subtle cost. You’ve got to have plot twists in your KO’d pile that you want to play again. If you think that will be a problem, check out today’s other preview here: http://thederangedbear.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/techno-organic-virus/.
So, now that you’ve found a way to pay the cost, let’s talk about the rewards you will reap. At the start of each combat phase, you get a plot twist back from your KO’d pile. That’s a free card. Not just a card, but the card of your choice. On-going plot twist recursion, kids. It’s crazy good.
This is one of those cards you’re going to have to build your deck around. It reminds me of another card that had a heavy cost for a heavy reward. That card would be Lust for Power. If Doom brings all his little minions, there could be some big advantages to a Doom/X-Force team-up!
That’s it for me, gang! Thanks to Billy for letting me write my first official preview article! I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope you enjoy the rest of the MEV preview season. I know I will!