Maidstone Mega Weekend: Silver Age Winner’s Report

Continuing in a tradition of not getting enough sleep before Vs tournaments, I spent the previous night celebrating a friend’s birthday and saw the dawn and a fair bit after it. However, this time I learned past lessons and chose to bring a deck that was good and simple to run and did not require 10 minute build phases. With that as the criterion, the only real choice given what I had built was Secret Avengers. It was already hovering at the top of the list since most other efforts had proved somewhat inconsistent (I miss Enemy) so it wasn’t a tough call in the end.

I went for a brutally simple build in which anything blue that wasn’t Losing the Argument or Avengers Reassembled was an attack pump.

4x Iron Fist, Secret Avenger

4x Dagger, Secret Avenger

3x Hawkeye <> Ronin, Secret Avenger

1x Dr Strange, Secret Avenger

4x Echo <> Ronin, Secret Avenger

4x Captain America, The Patriot * Secret Avenger

2x Jessica Drew, Secret Avenger

2x Falcon, Secret Avenger

2x Storm, Secret Avenger

4x Human Torch, Secret Avenger

1x Wolverine, Secret Avenger

2x Black Panther, Secret Avenger

2x Spider-Man, Secret Avenger

1x Luke Cage, Secret Avenger

(36 Characters)

3x Avengers Reassembled

4x Losing The Argument

3x Savage Beatdown

2x Big Leagues

4x Skree!

4x Crackshot

4x The Big Three

(24 Plot Twists)

A few cards/numbers weren’t my first choice, but enforced on me by lack of cards. Character-wise, I’d have liked the fourth Hawkeye, Punisher instead of Jess and Falcon, and perhaps another Dr Strange. As for plot twists, I’d rather have had Flying Kicks than Crackshots, as well as more Beatdowns and Big Leagues… though what I would have cut to fit them in I’m not sure.

But all in all, I was pretty happy with the build – the few non ideal things weren’t really disastrous and didn’t involve the deck losing any particularly vital pieces.

And then onto the matchups…

DISCLAIMER: Apologies in advance if I get any names wrong, I’m not good at names and my handwriting’s desperate. My notes rarely extended past endurance totals, names and decktype, so anything beyond that is from memory and liable to be completely incorrect.

Game 1 –

Secret Society (Tommy)

Unfortunately, this game was mostly decided by my opponent’s bad luck. He missed his 2 and 4 (I think), and three forced conscriptions dumped nothing but blue into the KO’d pile, leaving him sorely lacking in the tricks departed while my fistful of pumps rolled over for a turn 5 win. My deck was a little shaky, not hitting rallies and not getting the much better under-drop on 3, and not spending all my resource points on turn 4, so it could easily have played out very differently. As it was, I was already happy about the decision to focus almost exclusively on pumps for blue, because it made all the difference to a shaky draw to be able to push through the damage while I still had momentum.

Game 2 – Family of Four (Gary)

I hit Iron Fist on 1, rallying into Echo. YES! Then he plays Invisible Woman. To my horror, I realise I have to team attack my guys into her to get the stun and do only 1 damage. Curse her gigantic 3 def behind. Having to team attack a 1-drop – could it be the most depressing thing ever?

Thus began a game of many big butts. The already uphill struggle to get over the Family of Fours, Against All Odds, Unstable Molecular Suits and already beefy characters wasn’t helped by missing on 2, though Gary also under-dropped at some point (I forget which turn). In the end, I just couldn’t crack the brickwalls turn after turn and I went under on turn 7.

Game 3 – Doom, Just Reward (Graham)

Graham was playing a deck focused around the Dual-Loyalty 5 Drop Doom from MTU – the one that gets +1/+1 for the turn each time he’s powered up, and a few Doom Bots to swing multiple times. My deck came out of the gate just the way you want it to, and the endurance totals were 43/20 in my favour by the end of turn four, with turn five being my initiative. He dropped the Doctor, and was able to soak up enough damage to get through the turn on 3 endurance, but critically he failed to brickwall the attack on Doom but spent a lot of resources doing that, leaving him unable to hit back without Luke Cage stunning Doom and putting him that little bit more under.

Game 4 – Brotherhood (Amy)

The deck faltered a little bit at the start, only curving out instead of having 4 or 5 guys on the board on turn 3 like it should have , (Random Thought – I possibly wouldn’t hate curving out as much if Punisher had been there, but Jess and Falcon just always seemed much worse than the 2&1 underdrop) but was still keeping ahead in the endurance race. Scarlet Witch put a dent with a direct attack for 9, and then her (with Insignificant Threat) and Magneto hurt my board presence going into five, but thanks to The Big Three (Twice) and Luke Cage replacing into a pile of pumps I was able to win on 6 with a huge attack into Mystique.

Game 5 – Helen (MKKO)

This matchup is pretty much a straight up endurance race, with the early turns mostly involving swinging at each other’s face, before a couple of actual interactive combats thanks to some Skrees for me and Blade / Wolverine for Helen meaning that we could actually attack each others characters for a bit. Lost someone to a Quick Kill, but I had enough pumps for the turn 5 win.

Game 6 – Rob (Inhumans)

The total anarchy was worrying initially when flipped, but with I hit with Cap’s rally with four characters on the board (to his San and Tonaja) and was able to resist any ill effects from it, doing lots of damage in the first three turns while his board was hidden and then win off initiative on turn 5 with yet another fistful of pumps. Really glad I chose not to run Switching Sides at this point, as most of the time I’m just getting enough damage through to kill on 5, but the deck doesn’t really want to go much farther. 6 is only seen when I’m on evens or losing.

I come in 3rd in the Swiss, getting a few Gallery Packs. After some debate, the decision is made to cut to top 4 because half of the Top 8 wanted to draft instead.

Semi Finals – Jack (Check/VU)

Game 1 –

After Family of Four and their big behinds, I wasn’t looking forward to fate artifacts on Alan Scott to contend with. But in the first game, my deck was very nice to me. The perfect turn 3 board of Iron Fist (rallying into), Dagger , Hawkeye, Captain America (rallying into) Echo. Five characters all pumped by Cap was threatening enough to cause Jack to play Ahmed visible to try and soak damage. Though it slowed the bleed, the deck kept ticking according to the perfect script, Jack was forced to KO Bizarro to stop King Loss from Ahmed, and the damage kept piling on for a comfortable turn 5 win. If there’s one time you want your deck to give you the best draw ever, it’s in a bad matchup in the Top 4. Because if it hadn’t, I would probably have gone out in the semis – the next two games showed me just how bad the matchup was.

Game 2-

This one didn’t go so well. It’s not that the deck did anything wrong, it’s simply the fact that between Dr Psycho thinning the board, a huge Fated Alan Scott, and multiple Safe Houses, I couldn’t do the damage conceded when faced with turn 7 board which involved a 15/18 Alan Scott, 13/16 Huntress, and a 16/19 Sasha (counting the safe houses) and me hovering on 5 endurance. Once Alan Scott hits the board, it becomes very difficult to push the damage through.

Game 3 –

This game went in a similar fashion to the last, with Alan Scott requiring the expenditure of too many pumps to get the damage through fast enough, while taking plenty myself from punishing return attacks. In the end I was able to Skree! Into his hidden Ahmed and get the stun on Alan Scott. Jack was unable to save Ahmed, and I got the King Kill. Later, Jack realised he could have Huntress’d the Skree!, which would very likely resulted in my losing the game. Or at least me having to work really hard and be more lucky to win.

Final – Helen (MKKO)

After the Swiss matchup, I think the Secret Avengers deck has the slight edge in the damage race, but all three games in the final were extremely close, with endurance totals running down close to neck and neck in each game. I’m actually slightly fuzzy on what plays happened which game, but I’ll try and get it right (This may involve me just lumping all the bad stuff that happened to me into the game I lost, and the good stuff into those I won. If that happens, blame all those annoying unconscious cognitive biases that sort your memory out)

Game 1 –

This game was incredibly close, with us both going into negatives. I win the dice roll and take odds. I took a risk on 4 by burning 3 with Torch, revealing Falcon. I didn’t have a 5 drop in hand, so I was really relying on the power of topdeck to help me out. I was able to drop Falcon and Cap from my hand (missing Falcon’s rally, but hitting Caps rally into a Cap. Missed by 1 card!) so avoiding complete disaster, but I still lost the damage race. Captain America on 5 proved critical. Going through him twice is no fun.

Game2 –

I take odds again. Helen missed her 3, but still managed to keep the damage race at neck and neck for the early turns. Torch burn off initiative and 5 Drop Spiderman turning off Cap were critical for me being able to put through nearly 30 damage on turn five.

Game 3 –

Another close one up until the turn 5 initiative. This time, Helen chooses Evens, hoping to save damage on 5 with Cap and win on 6. On my turn 5, I’m able to reduce her to 1 endurance while Skreeing into Wolverine to cut off any chance of attacking without stunning back. That’s enough to seal the game and the win.

I’m genuinely surprised that the deck performed so well, and more so that I only made a few bad play errors, most involving taking unnecessary risks on rallies (when a much safer play was available) or laying the wrong resource. And a really messed up recruit step in Game 2 of the Semi where I did everything in the complete wrong order. I’m also delighted to walk away with the Hellboy Essential Collection, since I never managed to pick that up despite being a huge Hellboy fan. I was really happy to get back to playing Vs after such a long gap, had a great time, and lucked out a bit at the right times. All in all, a good day. (And there’s a trophy coming too!) Thanks again to all involved, organisers and attendees both. The Vs community continues to be awesome. With any luck I’ll manage to make it out to Maidstone for a few games over the few Tuesdays I still have here in England. Should really have done it sooner.

I’ll be posting a report of day 2 sometime soon (BYOS), wherein I play a Syndicate/Spider Friends deck that exploded or imploded with equal frequency.


~ by Anthony on August 10, 2008.

One Response to “Maidstone Mega Weekend: Silver Age Winner’s Report”

  1. Really good report mate. Pity my deck didn’t actually work until I lost 3 😦 but a well deserved victory!

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