Investigating the Meta #6 – Serving up some Justice

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Since my last post was for a Villain heavy deck, I decided that today I would post up my thoughts on a Hero heavy one.

Strength based decks have been alluding me since the game came out. While I like many of their Battle Cards, their characters just didn’t really speak to me in any profound way.

While looking at an article submission from one of our readers, Ryan Newman, I started to take a different look at Strength based characters, and the result is the following list. Thank you Ryan for your inspiration! While I know this is drastically different from your list you sent in, I feel it is the first deck that has inspired me to not only play Strength heavy, but to try and focus it heavily around the Emerald Archer himself!

Let’s check it out:

The Round Up

Character (13):
3x Green Arrow – Emerald Archer
3x Vixen – Mari McCabe
2x Red Tornado – John Smith
2x Cyborg – Victor Stone
2x Blue Beetle – Ted Kord
1x Robin – Boy Wonder

Battle Cards (19):

Rank 1 (10):
3x Str 1 – C31-JL
1x Int 1 – C32-JL
3x Spc 1 – C34-JL
3x Str/Int/Spc 1 – U92-JL

Rank 2 (3):
3x Str 2 – C35-JL

Rank 3 (2):
2x Str 3 – C59-JL

Rank 4 (2):
2x Spc 4 – C47-JL

Rank 5 (2):
2x Str/Spc 5 – R134

Events (8):
2x Overboard
2x Push and Pull
2x With Friends Like These
2x Echolocation

The Motives

This deck is really trying to play fast and loose with its cards, discarding less effective cards in the moment to gain benefits thanks to Vixen, while still dictating what your opponent is allowed to do.

Green Arrow gives us a character that can really force our opponent into some odd situations. Being able to place one of our many low-impact Battle cards on their characters means that they can find themselves TKO‘d much more often then they usually expect to. With the fear of any given attack or defense threatening their characters, you may be able to make your opponent hesitant to commit to aggressive plays.

With Friends Like These was a card I took notice to right away, but after playing the game for a while, I struggled to comprehend why a card like that was needed in a game like this. Characters are more often than not going to KO each other with combat, so what was the point? Well, I think this list is a very reasonable way of putting that card to good use while maintaining your own board state.

Thanks to cards like Str 2 – C35 or Spc 1 – C34 we are able to place Battle Cards on our opponent’s characters while removing or ignoring Battle Cards ourselves. Again, coupled with Green Arrow, we can ensure that playing “With Friends…” will virtually be a one-sided board wipe. Even if we happen to lose a character, as long as Green Arrow or Vixen are not among the causalities, we can still keep our grip on the flow of the game.

This list has, by far, the most Battle Cards I have placed in a single deck up to this point, and I still feel like there could be room for 1-2 more. With so much filtering and raw card draw in this deck, we can make sure that we are getting exactly the cards we want for any situation.

Echolocation is again a fantastic tool for this deck. Once we have cleared our opponent’s board, or set up a threatening position to do so, we can cherry pick any annoying Characters waiting in their hand, hoping to force them into an empty board state.

Str 3 – C59, Int 1 – C32 & Str/Int/Spc 1 – U92 are our real close out Battle Cards. Being able to deny someone the ability to defend or have a Battle Card we can reuse to attack, defend or activate Green Arrow with next turn is really something else to behold.

The great thing about this list is that it can only really improve as the game progresses. As more Multi-Stat Battle Cards are introduced to the game, Green Arrow will steadily grow in utility. Likewise, as more discard effects are introduced, Vixen can only grow in strength as well. Being a soft counter to your opponent’s Echolocation is already a big plus in Vixen’s favor!

Another great thing with this list is the threat of Str/Int/Spc 1- U92. As stated above, we can use it to attack, and as long as we score a VP we can pay 1 MP to return it to our hand. This gives us the ability to use it again to defend during our opponent’s turn, attack with it during our next turn, or activate Green Arrow next turn, hopefully TKO-ing one of their characters thanks to it being Multi-Stat‘d. Another great thing about the card though, is that it is basically the perfect Battle Card to be aggressive with thanks to “With Friends…”. If they happen to block the attack so we can’t return it, it will be shuffled back into our deck to be used again later once we filter our way back to it; giving us even more chances to start abusing its effect!

I didn’t want to end today without mentioning a combo that Ryan brought up in his article submission that I felt really needed to be shared with the rest of you. He calls it the “Purple Blitz” and I think it very well could lead to all sorts of aggro builds.

It involves Blue Beetle‘s effect to place a Red Tornado into play, then followed up with a large draw effect like Push and Pull or Ingenuity to fill your hand back up. While I know it’s nothing earth-shattering, I really haven’t come across any decks trying to use set ups like this to help fuel them into the game fast. I think it really has the ability to be a great engine for a number of different decks, and is worth sharing with everyone.

The Verdict

Thanks for checking out today’s article. Again, shout outs to Ryan Newman for helping to fuel the idea for this deck today.

I truly think there are a bunch of cool concepts working together in this list, and many of them can be pulled apart to build completely different decks of their own if you like certain aspects of the list but not others.

The great thing about this game that I feel we’ve all come to enjoy is just how open ended the deck building can really be, and what different brews are waiting to be explored.

Until next time, enjoy your stay at the bar. Just don’t forget, there’s a two drink minimum.

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Investigating the Meta #5: Secret Society

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Matt’s certainly been having a lot of fun lately posting decks for you all to enjoy. With him being pre-occupied with Gencon this weekend, I thought I’d step in and present you guys with a list I have been working on as of late.

As is no surprise by now, my list today is a bit more on the controlling side. Not just in effects, but in pure pressure placed on your opponent at all times.

Come take a look:

The Round Up

Characters (15):
3x Harley Quinn – Former Psychiatrist
3x Darkseid – Uxas
3x Bizarro – Imperfect Duplicate
3x Poison Ivy – Pamela Isley
2x Mister Freeze – Victor Fries
1x Ra’s al Ghul – The Demon’s Head

Battle Cards (15):

Rank 2 (4):
2x Int 2 – C38-JL
2x Spc 2 – C39-JL

Rank 3 (2):
2x Int 3 – C42-JL

Rank 4 (9):
3x Int 4 – U93-JL
3x Spc 4 – C47-JL
3x Str/Int/Spc 4 – U94-JL

Events (10):
3x Echolocation
3x Push and Pull
2x Joke’s on You
2x Microscopic Victory

The Motives

This deck is a pretty straight-forward Mid-Range/Control style of deck.

The first thing I really want to talk about for this list is the use of Bizarro. I’ve had my eye on him for quite some time now, and I feel like this list is the first I’ve seen that really makes him stand out as a powerful tool.

In this list alone, Bizarro has the power to:

  • Be another copy of Poison Ivy, to gain us +4 MP a turn.
  • Be another copy of Darkseid, to draw us two cards with our first attack.
  • Be another copy of Harley Quinn, to make combat awkward for our opponent.
  • Be another copy of Mister Freeze, to lock down Rank 7’s twice as hard.

Not to mention the fact that Bizarro can target any of your opponent’s characters as well. Meaning any Constant or Push power they may have can easily be yours, if you desire it.

The next big thing about this list, is the fact that it has so many Rank 5 Characters. Making cards like Push and Pull, Darkseid and Ra’s al Ghul feel right at home. With a steady card draw engine, this deck rarely hurts for anything in particular throughout a match.

For those of you wondering where the Control aspects come into play, aside from Mister Freeze and Harley making your opponent’s combats tricky, Echolocation and Spc 2 – C39 are the heavy-handed control portions of this deck. If you haven’t had the “privilege” of playing against either of these cards yet, don’t worry – sooner or later, you will. Having perfect information as well as disruption thanks to Echolocation makes it a must have for any deck looking to force your opponent into an awkward position. Spc 2 – C39 also gives you board control by shutting off a character’s effect for upward of three turns if time correctly!

Another great asset in this list is Int 4 – U93. Since all of our characters are Villains, and ten of our fifteen characters are capable of using it, we will be able to proc this effect whenever we need to, setting up our next turn to play any Character we need in that particular moment.

Microscopic Victory may seem a bit odd at first when looking at a deck like this. But with the amount of MP you are able to produce thanks to your Characters, Ivy’s Constant and most of your Battle Cards being MP positive, it really is a great tool to have at your disposal, placing your opponent behind and forcing them to make potential bad decisions in order to catch up.

One of the big benefits to this deck is the fact that nothing is truly forbidden. Card Draw, MP gaining, non-attack VP, Disruption and Recursion are all abundant in this list. A deadly combination for any deck to face down.

With the whole deck being Villains, you may be asking yourself, “Where is General Zod?” And while yes, I think he could find a place in a deck like this, I feel the fact that he is a Rank 6 Character that synergizes so poorly with our Battle Cards and strategy is reason enough to leave him on the sidelines for now. Should this deck have a hard time dealing with particular Constant effects in the future, Replacing Ra’s al Ghul with Zod may be an appropriate substitution.

The Verdict

Thanks for checking this list out!

As more and more games are played, I think different strategies will begin to poke their heads out from behind the curtain. There certainly doesn’t seem to be a shortage of strategies as of yet, and we are only one set into this game!

I really look forward to seeing what other sets will do, especially those focused on other aspects of the game that we have yet to explore or realize as players yet.

If you enjoy a walk on the “darkseid” of things from time to time, I recommend giving this list a try. It’s a lot of fun, and you feel like you are really in the driver’s seat from turn one.

Until next time, enjoy your stay at the bar. Just don’t forget, there’s a two-drink minimum.

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Investigating the Meta #4: Starfire Control

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This week, Matt hits us with yet another home-brew that is sure to intrigue those looking to play a more controlling Mid-Range style deck.

Take it away, sir:

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With the game being released for a few weeks now, and my level 1 deck being the “Ramunap Red Tornado” list posted earlier, I have spent the majority of this week working on different control brews to combat it. I spent a lot of hours tweaking this list and I still think there is some room to grow, but right now it has a great win percentage against the aforementioned aggro deck and has been performing well against the other mid-range/control brews.

The Round Up

Characters (14):
3x Batman – The Caped Crusader
3x Starfire – Koriand’r
2x Alfred Pennyworth – Butler
2x Brainiac – Collector of Worlds
2x Firestorm – Nuclear Man
1x Deadman – Boston Brand
1x Zatanna – Magician

Battle Cards (17):

Rank 1 (2):
2x Spc 1 – C34-JL

Rank 2 (5):
3x Int 2 – C38-JL
2x Spc 2 – C39-JL

Rank 3 (2):
2x Spc 3 – C44-JL

Rank 5 (2):
2x Int 5 – C51-JL

Rank 7 (6):
3x Int 7 – U99-JL
3x Spc 7 – R139-JL

Events (9):
3x Point Blank
3x Rise from the Ashes
3x Transfer of Power

The Motives

As stated above, I was really looking to find a more controlling deck to combat the level 1 deck I had created on launch weekend. In order to do that, I enlisted the help of Starfire to act as the core of the deck, and to work with the event package of Rise from the Ashes and Transfer of Power in order to maximize the amount of times I could activate her within a single game.

To help get the engine going, I knew that the deck would require Rank 7 Battle Cards to be in the bin so that Starfire could become a full-on kill spell whenever played. But how to go about doing this…

Enter Batman!

Batman – The Caped Crusader truly shines in this deck! Whether using his ability to put a Rank 7 Battle Card in the discard pile for Starfire, using his ability to smooth out your draws, or once your opponent is short on characters, using his ability to make sure
your opponent cannot find what they need; Batman truly pulls a lot of this strategy together, earning him a full three slots, and in my opinion, making him the most impactful UR in the game so far.

At first, I knew Alfred was good, but this deck truly showed me his full potential. Alfred being included in the list gave me the opportunity to run tech characters such as Deadman to recur either Rank 7 Battle Card; as well as Zatanna – one of the most devastating pseudo-removal spells in the game. In addition, he can always serve as an additional copy of one of the main parts of the engine, or even just to grab a Firestorm when I truly need the extra removal.

Brainiac and Firestorm make such a huge difference. Brainiac helps to counteract my Event card costs, and helps feed the Starfire engine. Firestorm is the best one-for-one removal in the game and can also be used in tandem with Rise from the Ashes, which of course is a huge boon if I can’t find a Starfire right away.

The Battle Card line up is pretty straightforward. I run plenty of Battle Cards that net MP, some that can replace themselves or shuffle Battle cards back into the deck, as well as a handful of haymakers to close out games once the advantage is heavily tilted in my favor. The fact that you get to run a playset of both Rank 7’s in this list is another reason why Batman – Caped Crusader is the best UR in the game.

Sorry, just wanted to say that again.

One of the Battle Cards that truly shines in this deck is Spc 2 – C39. This card is able to shut off a character’s effects for a full turn, which comes in handy in more match-ups than you might think. Be sure to squeeze that card into more of your Special-based decks!

The Events are fairly standard for this strategy. As stated above, we are running a full playset of Rise and Transfer to act as removal/recursive spells. Point Blank is incredible in any deck running multiple Rank 7 characters. A cool combo here is using your Alfred to fetch a character with a Stat of 7, then using Point Blank to draw 3 cards and discard the character you tutored. Mmmm.. combos.

The Verdict

You will for sure see Batman and Starfire making their marks on the Meta. As OP season quickly approaches, we will definitely start to see more and more control strategies, and I for one think that Starfire Control will be one of those premier decks in the Meta.

Going forward, now that I have unlocked the next level, I will probably spend the next week on a deck that combats this type of strategy yet again. John Constantine is a great start and I look forward to sharing that deck with you guys the next time around.

Remember, while you’re asleep, I’m Gittin’ Gud!

And as always, please observe the two-drink minimum.

Later scrubs.

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Investigating the Meta #3: “Ramunap” Red Tornado

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The game’s launch occurred this past Friday, and I spent the large majority of my weekend locked away in the Fortress of Gud. Time was well spent in my chambers, resulting in many lessons learned, many failed brews, and a few bright spots that are starting to shape my view of the format.

Without further adieu I give you my first successful aggro deck in MetaX –  Ramunap Red Tornado!

The Roundup

Characters (12):
3x Batman – The Dark Knight
3x Green Lantern – Hal Jordan
3x Nightwing – Dick Grayson
3x Red Tornado – John Smith

Battle Cards (19):

Rank 1 (3):
3x Int 1 – R127-JL

Rank 2 (4):
2x Int 2 – C38-JL
2x Spc 2 – C39-JL

Rank 3 (2):
2x Int 3 – C43-JL

Rank 4 (5):
3x Spc 4 – C49-JL
2x Int 4 – C46-JL

Rank 5 (3):
2x Int 5 – C51-JL
1x Str/Int/Spc 5 – U95-JL

Rank 6 (2):
2x Spc 6 – U97-JL

Events (9):
2x Don’t Go it Alone
2x Echolocation
2x Power Corrupts
2x Transfer of Power
1x Leap into Action

The Motives

This deck from turn 1 to the end of game is truly looking to pressure any opponent sitting across from it. The build is extremely low to the ground and truly built to maximize on overwhelming synergy as opposed to power.

The ideal start of course is to be on the play with turn 1 Red Tornado, turn 2 Batman, Spc 4 – C49 giving haste to Batman, and then swinging with Int 1 – R127 or Int 2 – C38 in order to net some cards and set up the next turn. This interaction is incredibly common and allows you to net 3 cards in hand, along with 2 VP of course. Once you’re off to this start it is very easy to Transfer of Power to reuse Batman, Power Corrupts to make Red Tornado unblockable, or you’ll just overwhelm the opponent with the substantial card advantage you’re gaining through the Battle Cards in the deck.

In our Battle Card line up, you’ll see a ton of card drawing and replacement effects. For instance, you have the ability to swing with Int 4 – C46 and then tutor either Int 5 – C51 or Str/Int/Spc 5 – U95. My favorite play is to Int 4 into Int 5 to shuffle back Spec 4 to make sure I have late game haste if needed. Another interaction is Int 3 – C43 to fetch Int 2 or Int 1 based on the desired card drawing spell. As you can see with these effects, the deck has the ability to constantly stay ahead of your opponent in Battle Cards which is necessary for an Aggro deck to keep pace.

If we take a look back at the characters, we also max out on Nightwing and Green Lantern. The amount of value picked up from these 2 guys in the list has been substantial. Green Lantern allows me to gain access to an additional piece of information every turn if needed, and in the case where resources are at a premium between the opponent and I, I will always be up a card thanks to Lantern. Nightwing’s value is something that sneaks up on you in this list. Some turns he takes off, or even just attacks by himself. Others, your opponent will be down on resources and you’ll squeeze out 2 VP with a team attack the opponent was not able to properly defend. Of course, you’ll also notice that both of these characters can use almost all of the Battle Cards above, allowing them to join the fight every turn if needed.

In the Events we truly look to maintain the synergy that exists between the characters and Battle Cards, two copies of Don’t Go it Alone allow us to link with no issues so that we can truly max out on value for our team attacks. Echolocation has been a huge boon in so many games this weekend. Often in this deck you’ll find yourself ahead on cards by a large margin, so when the opponent is depleted you can often snipe one of their last relevant Battle Cards so you can turn everyone sideways. Two copies of Power Corrupts are either a finisher or an early game snowball to start the oncoming avalanche with Red Tornado. Transfer of Power is strictly used with Batman of course. This interaction feels so incredibly powerful no matter what turn of the game it is. Lastly, we have the Leap into Action as strictly our 4th copy of Batman so that we can chain early and often.

The Verdict

After the first round of testing, this was the most consistent performer of the weekend. Of course, Aggro decks are usually the easiest ones to piece together and Control does take more time to craft. MetaX truly proves that deck building matters and I love it.

We are still far away from solving the set 1 format, but trust me when I say the work never ends for “The Gud One.” Be sure to check back later this week for more content.

Until then, please enjoy your stay at the bar. Just don’t forget, there’s a two drink minimum.

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Weekend Brew Fest: Most Wanted Cards

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With only three days under its belt, MetaX is feeling so much better than we could have ever imagined! We had a hunch the game would be fun, but the amount of time we’ve already put into playtesting and crafting decks over these last few days has proven that this game has the depth that we craved and the enjoyment to back it up!

Having done our own solo research into the meta thus far, Matt and I wanted to take the opportunity to compare notes and post about our initial stand out cards from testing so far. These cards have proven themselves worthy of consideration in many of our decks already, and so, in no particular order, we’d like to discuss our Top 5 cards found during Launch Weekend.

To make things interesting, we’ve gone ahead and made sure that there are no duplicates in our notes, as to talk about the most cards possible for this list. We share many of the same thoughts on these cards, so just because you see Matt list one I haven’t, does not necessarily mean I don’t think it deserves to be seen here. We just want to give you the most bang for your buck with this discussion!

Now, with the format being in its infancy, it is likely that opinions may sway or decks may develop that make some of these cards less impactful (or heaven forbid – obsolete). But for now, these are the cards we wanted to devote some time talking about and bringing to the forefront of discussion as we all piece together what the potential meta for this game may become.

Here we go!

Number Five

Matt’s PickInt 2 – C38-JL

This card has over-performed in all Intelligence based decks. It’s a perfect card for Control and Aggro strategies and just has no downside. It gains you an MP, lets you draw 2 cards, and then place the worst card in your hand at the bottom of your deck. It does such an incredible job of smoothing out draws so that you can dig to find exactly what you need at a moment’s notice.

Chris’s PickNightwing – Dick Grayson

I think it comes as little surprise to any of you out there currently testing out the game that Nightwing would appear somewhere on this list. Having devoted a ton of my time thus far trying to build out a deck for each of the major archetypes – Aggro, Control & Combo – Nightwing has proven himself to be one hell of clock to deal with!

Number Four

Matt’s PickBatman – Dark Knight/Transfer of Power

I put these two cards together because these two cards alone should be jammed into any tempo based deck. Whether you’re trying to control the game or are trying to go incredibly fast to close it out, Batman’s ability to push a character in tandem with Transfer of Power in the same turn is just devastating to the opponent.

Chris’s PickAlfred Pennyworth – Butler

This one may come as a bit of an oddball for some people, but stick with me here. Alfred is the kind of character that deserves to be a one-of in any deck with a dedicated “tentpole” character or any deck with toolbox potential. It’s important to find that crucial character as soon as you can to set your engine in motion or derail your opponent’s, and Alfred is the perfect man to find what you’re looking for.

Number Three

Matt’s PickHarley Quinn – Former Psychiatrist

Harley Quinn is proving to be the linchpin in Control strategies. She’s an excellent blocker who can provide additional turns to stabilize while keeping pace with a faster deck, or she can just turn sideways and jam in to force a block or net you a free VP.

Chris’s PickSleight of Hand

If you haven’t played this card yet, you really need to! Nothing feels worse than searching your deck for a particular card and finding out that your opponent has randomly snatched it away into their VP pile. With this card, it’s almost like having a second hand at your disposal to pick and choose from the further behind you become, but at the cost of 0 MP! Couple this card with Doctor Fate, and suddenly you may find your opponent second guessing their aggressive strategy.

Number Two

Matt’s PickGreen Lantern – Hal Jordan

Green Lantern has been performing incredibly well in my Aggro and Mid-Range decks so far. He gives you enough card draw to keep pace with Aggro decks, and his stats allow you to play some of the best battle cards in the game. I can see Green Lantern making a ton of appearances in top cuts to come.

Chris’s Pick – Red Tornado – John Smith

Speaking of card drawing engines, this is the man with a plan! While innocent looking enough, Red Tornado has the ability to just refill your hand any time you can find your opponent unprepared or by giving him the means to push through with cards like Int 1 – C32-JL. Not to mention the fact that devoting a team attack with him as your leader not only can allow him to push through for a VP for you, but also nets you 2 cards. What a team player!

Number One

Matt’s PickInt 7 – R138-JL

Resource denial is an incredibly powerful mechanic in any game, and it is no exception in MetaX. This card is a defensive powerhouse that will take down a character and drain your opponent of 5 MP. You’d truly be surprised how often this leaves someone tapped out. This card alone makes going all-in to the Intelligence archetype worthwhile. This is a game winning bomb when built around and can truly swing games in your favor.

Chris’s PickSpc 3 – R130-JL

Oh boy is this card a doozy! It may seem harmless enough, netting you 1 MP, but the real beauty of this card comes in the mind games it can present to your opponent. If defended, you can choose to place it back into your hand and then may attach any Battle Card from your hand to the defender instead. Some great uses for this can obviously be to return it to your hand and replace it with any Rank 7, HP KO-ing anyone foolish enough to defend. But it can also be used to bait your opponent into blocking an attack from something like a Harley Quinn, only to return the card and replace it with nothing, potentially KO-ing your Harley for a VP, clearing a space on your side for a new Character, and losing nothing in hand. The mind games! In either case, it’s bad news for your opponent to deal with this card, and letting it through for a free VP may seem like a necessary evil, but with cards like Joke’s on You or Deadman – Boston Brand, your opponent may find themselves staring this card down more times in a single game they they feel comfortable with.

Parting Thoughts

Matt:

So those are my Top 5 picks so far just from the few days of testing. The brewing never stops and this game truly feeds “The Gud One’s” appetite. Be on the lookout for upcoming deck techs centered around the cards in my top 5!!!

Chris:

Thanks for checking out the article as always guys! We hope we’ve helped fuel the fire for some new deck design for you all. Like Matt pointed out, be on the lookout for decks sporting these beauties in them from us in the near future.

But until then, please enjoy your stay at the Bar. Just don’t forget, there’s a two-drink minimum.

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Investigating the Meta #2: Git Gud on Launch Day!

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Happy Launch Day, everyone!

What better way to ring in this momentous occasion then to unleash the “bad boy” of card gaming upon the Oblivion Bar!

Matthew Coombs has so graciously decided to let us in on his first thoughts for the meta with today’s article; and while he’s a bit more his own style, let’s say, I think you guys will enjoy it all the same. He has a ton of great competitive analysis skills at his disposal for any game he puts his mind to, and I’m glad to have him as co-writer on the blog with me!

So with that, let me turn it over to him:

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The Git Gud God has arrived!

I have no time to waste due to having more decks to brew so I can continue to Top 4 a bunch of events in this new environment.

So let’s dive right into – Trench Coats and Lightning Bolts!

The Round Up

Characters (13):
3x Aquaman – Arthur Curry
3x John Constantine – Occult Detective
3x Shazam – Captain Marvel
2x Superman – Last Son of Krypton
2x Black Adam – Teth-Adam

Battle Cards (15):

Rank 1 (6):
3x Str 1 – C31-JL
3x Int 1 – R127-JL

Rank 4 (3):
3x Str 4 – R131-JL

Rank 7 (6):
3x Str 7 – U98-JL
2x Str/Int/Spc 7 – R140-JL
1x Spc 7 – R139 -JL

Events (12):
3x Leap into Action
2x Injustice
2x Passion for the Hunt
2x Reinforcements
2x Sleight of Hand
1x Point Blank

The Motives

John Constantine is obviously powerful, yet not as talked about as he should be heading into the release of MetaX. He has solid stats, generates MP, but most importantly, he negates all “When Played” effects. This means characters like Sinestro – Intergalactic Criminal, Darkseid – Ruler of Apokolips, either Batman, Superman – Man of Steel, The Flash – Scarlet Speedster, etc etc, all lose their abilities, reducing them to just bodies.

That is what this deck is counting on.

John Constantine and Shazam are the centerpieces of this deck’s strategy. You need/want to stick a Constantine as soon as possible to begin the lock. And, you want to be able to get Shazam down as one of your three character slots ASAP. You can use him as a potential blocker, MP ramper, or just to have the option of swapping him with Black Adam or Superman if needed later in the game.

And, let’s not forget Aquaman

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His ability to basically have “Shroud” for those hip to the Magic lingo, means that he is going to be a pain for your opponent to get off the board. The only way short of a full board reset is to kill him the old fashioned way.

In addition, one of the main goals of the deck was to maintain a level of consistency in stats. That is why in the character line up, we opted for mostly just Strength and Special ranks. The exception being Constantine, who has Intelligence over Strength. What this does is allow us to play a pretty consistent line up of Battle Cards that we almost always have access to, aside from Int 1 – R127 a minuscule percentage of the time.

In the Battle Cards we really wanted the following elements:

  •  Low MP Cost and Potential Gains
  • Card Draw/Card Quality Upgrades
  • Powerful Rank 7’s for Late Game Swings and Pseudo Removal

Inevitably, we want to achieve a game state where we are ahead on cards, John Constantine and Beaters are on board, and have the ability to use our Rank 7 Battle Cards when needed for removal, as well as their back breaking effects.

The Verdict

Any feedback or additional opinions are always welcome!

This is the first deck I have worked on so far and I still feel like I could be missing dozens of potential cards.

Man the rabbit hole for deck building in this game goes super deep!

Until next time, Git Gud scrubs.

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Investigating the Meta #1: Smooth Criminals

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With the game officially releasing this Friday, August 4th, I wanted to go ahead and present a few things to you all today.

One, what to expect when it comes to articles done by myself (Chris Kreitzman) if you are new to following my blogs. Expect a deep analysis of the cards present in the current pool with some fun and flair thrown in.

Two, what my play style tends to be versus the majority of the player base. Since I come from a background of playing nearly 20 years of Magic, I tend to lean heavily towards Control more than anything.

And lastly, what our Deck Breakdowns for this blog will look like moving forward. There will probably be some room to develop it a bit more as we grow, but this deck list template will be what to expect for now at least.

The Round Up

Characters (15):
3x Hawkman – Carter Hall
3x Bane – Professional Criminal
2x Poison Ivy – Pamela Isley
2x Blue Beetle – Ted Kord
2x The Joker – Clown Prince of Crime
2x Harley Quinn – Dr. Harleen Quinzel
1x Braniac – Collector of Worlds

Battle Cards (11):

Rank 1 (2):
2x Int 1 – R127JL

Rank 2 (3):
3x Str 2 – C37JL

Rank 4 (3):
3x Int 4 – U93JL

Rank 5 (3):
3x Int/Spc 5 – R135JL

Event Cards (14):
3x Teleportation
2x Paralysis
2x Birds of a Feather
2x Unexpected Turnaround
2x Sleight of Hand
1x Lose the Battle to Win the War
1x Rebirth
1x Microscopic Victory

The Motives

Okay so right off the jump I’m sure you are going to be scratching your head as to what is going on here. Now, with the game not officially out, I’ll admit that this is pure speculation on my part. However, I’ve been known to make some good educated guesses in my day, so even if this ends up not being the best version of this list, I think there is definitely something worth exploring here. So let’s get into it.

So the big thing here is, with so few Battle Cards, we won’t be attacking our opponent unless we really have to. Our path to victory is a much more interesting one.

For those of you that might not come from a Magic background, you may not fully understand the phrase “milling your opponent out.” For those unfamiliar, this is the concept of playing effects that discard, draw or otherwise remove cards from our opponent’s deck resulting in them losing the game by decking themselves out.

This is our primary objective.

Likewise, we have the potential of setting up another alternative win condition in the form of Harley Quinn – Dr. Harleen Quinzel and Int 4 – U93JL. With these two cards we can use someone else to block (if Harley is already in our discard pile) using Int 4 – U93JL. Then, we can place her on top of our Deck with the Battle card’s effect. At the start of the next turn, we draw the new Harley, Push an old copy for a VP (if we happen to have one in play already), and play the new one; thus potentially setting up the loop again for later use.

To reset the loop we use cards like Lose the Battle to Win the War or Int/Spc 5 – R135JL to put our own copy of Int 4 – U93JL back into our hand (or on top of the deck depending on which card we use). Because our deck is so full of effects that draw both players cards, we will eventually draw the pieces needed to keep the loop going, even if they are placed on top of the deck in the same turn. And since all this VP drip is removing cards from the top of our opponent’s deck, our mill strategy is still live throughout all of it!

Another thing about this list, is since we are drawing so many cards, we need ways to stop ourselves from milling out. With cards like Lose the Battle to Win the WarRebirth and Int/Spc 5 – R135JL, we get the ability to place or shuffle cards back into our deck, hopefully staying off our own mill long enough to lock our opponent down.

You may be wondering how exactly we plan on milling our opponent out so quickly without losing to a VP victory from our opponent. Our basic combo for the deck is Hawkman – Carter HallBane – Professional Criminal and Teleportation. With these cards, we are able to either draw each player 2 cards or mill our opponent for 2 cards with the character played, then use Teleportation to return that character to our hand. We also get the added bonus of returning a character to our opponent’s hand should they have something to disrupt our combos or an aggressive character we don’t want attacking.

Another line of play this deck presents is using Braniac – Collector of Worlds to KO one of our Hawkman/Banes in play to gain 4 MP and potentially return them to the top of the deck using the same Battle card used to return Harley!

With several ways to disrupt our opponent from attacking, setting up loops that return our defensive Battle cards back to our hand/deck, and slow VP drip, this deck feels like it could very well be the Control player’s deck of choice right out of the gate.

The Verdict

That’s it for my first look into the meta! What did you all think of the deck and its breakdown? Let us know in the comments below!

Hopefully I didn’t lose too many of you there with the abstract design of this deck. For those looking for a more straightforward approach to the game, fear not! Matt and I will be exploring everything under the sun we can find in the weeks to come. So there will be plenty of chances to join us as we potentially explore the decks that interest you!

Also, please feel free to comment on any decks or cards you’d like to get our opinions on! We may set up a Weekly/Bi-Weekly article where we examine a potential list and give our thoughts on it and where it could grow and evolve!

Until then, please enjoy your stay at the bar. Just don’t forget, there’s a two drink minimum.

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