Custom Card Thursday #1: When it’s cold outside…

I probably should have spent the past hour or so typing up my next Vs. Resolution report. I really should have. That’s why I got on the computer in the first place. But as I scanned my desktop shortcuts for Magic Workstation, my eye caught a different “Magic” computer program: Magic Set Editor. MSE lets you easily build custom Vs. System cards and is a massive timesuck. I decided to procrastinate on my resolution and hit that program instead.

With the past hour behind me, I can say that I’ve built some fun little cards plus I came up with an idea for a new featured article. The current trend on Thursday’s is the Thursday Thirteen where you list thirteen things on some topic. I’ve also seen “Wordless Wednesday” which is when you make a post with just a single image and no words. I don’t like those ideas. I don’t like joining groups and whatnot, I like doing everything on my own terms. So, instead, every Thursday I will be posting at least five new custom Vs. System cards. We’ll see how long this lasts but with my free time, I should be able to keep this up for a while.

Now, I’ve delved into MSE before. I originally downloaded it and used it for some custom Star Wars legendary cards. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, General Grievous, all of them are currently sitting on my hard drive in Vs. System form. However, when I sat down and opened up Magic Set Editor instead of Magic Workstation, I had a different series on the mind and a completely different character.

The series? Batman: The Animated Series. An absolute classic in every sense of the word. The character? The tragic figure known as Mr. Freeze.

Never meant to be so cold

For those that aren’t privvy to Freeze’s backstory, here’s the short version. Originally, Mr. Freeze was a throw away villain in the old comic books, just another campy guy for Batman to fight. However, in the Batman: The Animated Series episode entitled “Heart of Ice”, Mr. Freeze returned with such a vengeance and amazing character update that the cartoon series ended up influencing the comic books instead of it being the other way around.

Mr. Freeze was born Victor Fries, a brilliant scientist who fell in love and married a woman named Nora. She became ill with a deadly disease that caused Victor to put her into cryogenic stasis so he could find a cure. Fries turned to a wealthy business man for funding but in a tragic accident, the businessman got into a fight with Victor that ended in Nora’s condition worsening and Victor falling into chemicals that lowered his body temperature to subzero levels and gave him immense strength. Victor took up the name Mr. Freeze, invented his well-known freeze ray, and swore vengeance on the businessman that caused the accident. In the end, Batman caught Mr. Freeze but also helped bring the target of Victor’s rage to justice.

I love Freeze. He’s an awesome, tragic character with a really cool gimmick (pun intended). I wish that I could build a deck around ol’ Victor but, sadly, all his drops are at 5 or 6. So, I decided to fix that today and built a Mr. Freeze legend set.

mr-freeze.jpg
We’ll kick the party off with Mr. Freeze, Icy Tragedy. This card marks the start of two constantly running themes of ol’ Mr. Freeze: He has subpar stats for his drops but makes up for it in locking the opponent’s down in a solid block of ice. Basically, this version of Freeze is Ego the Living Planet in but on a character and targeting characters. This guy can lock down any card an opponent plays all the way up to a 4-drop. Simple yet nasty. However, the question comes on turn 5 whether you keep this guy around to hold down the opponent’s 4 or replace him with his next incarnation.

Freeze, baby, freeze
On turn five, you get this guy. Mr. Freeze, Subzero is pretty bad off-initiative but on-initiative he is going to be locking down opponent’s like it’s nobody’s business. The instant Freeze attacks anyone, you get to exhaust someone with a lesser cost that the defender. Team attack with Freeze and your 6-drop into the opposing 6 and you get a freebie exhaust on their 5 which leaves you free to do whatever you feel like for the most part. However, even Subzero Freeze is nothing compared to the guy that comes in guns freezing on turn 7.

mr-freeze2.jpg
Nasty. Keeping with the below average stats, Mr. Freeze, Heart of Ice has the attack stats of the drop lower than him and then average defense. However, he more than makes up for it with his effect. At the cost of an activation and some endurance, you can lock down an opposing character with a cost equal to however much endurance you paid. Opponent have a 7-drop that’s keeping you down? Lock ‘er down for a mere seven endurance. But that’s not all that comes out of the effect. Oh no, Freeze also stops all the opposing characters from readying that turn. He’s like a Magneto, Master of Magnetism but instead of recovery, he stops readying. This leaves you available for utter board control. Yeah, perhaps its a bit borked but it’s a legend card. It’s supposed to be borked.
freezes-cell.jpg
The first card in Freeze’s legendary support is his cell in Arkham Asylum. I would have preferred his laboratory but I couldn’t find a good image of it so I just went with what I had. This card works well in combination with the 3-drop and the 7-drop. You get to lock down an opponent and then still attack. Easy.

flash-frozen.jpg
Where would Mr. Freeze be without his freeze gun? Absolutely nowhere. That’s why I had to give it some Legend support. First, errata time. This is supposed to read “lose endurance equal to the highest cost of an exhausted character he controls”. Basically, Flash Freeze allows you to turn that exhaustion into a nice little burn effect. It also makes the 7-drop Freeze that much more annoying since you can pay whatever amount of endurance yourself and then make an opponent lose it as well. Very nice.

freezes-snowglobe.jpg
Finally, there is the piece of equipment that helps define Mr. Freeze in the animated series. Freeze always carried around the snowglobe pictured above in memory of his frozen wife. I took it and made it something deadly. Whenever your opponent gets exhausted due to one of your effects, they lose endurance equal to its cost. It’s a free Flash Frozen every turn! How great is that.

And there you have it. Mr. Freeze represented in a flavorful way that is probably broken but I don’t care because its not like anyone will actually be using these cards in games anyways. This was really fun both to write and to make the cards for so I’ll definitely be doing this again next week. I think I’ll be sticking with the Arkham family. Two-Face needs him some legend support as well. As does Hush. And Poison Ivy. And Joker could use some more as well. Oh, and Killer Croc. And… snap. Looks like I have a LOT of work to do. 🙂

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4 Responses to “Custom Card Thursday #1: When it’s cold outside…”

  1. Nifty stuff, but…I woulda thought that his “world class freeze gun” (as described in his flavor text from his DCR version) was going to be the equipment. And I was always under the impression that it was his cryo-suit that gave him the extra strength (and would have given him extra DEF as “armor”).

    At any rate, mini-legend stuff is always interesting to see (especially for the Inmates)…I had a few posts over at VSRealms (under the “So close, you can almost taste it” thread amongst several other fine ideas) with some thoughts for character-specific support cards. Here’s what I came up with for fun after, like, a week or so of imagining stuff for characters I’d like to see Legend-ed up:

    Leave It To Chance
    Plot Twist, cost 2
    To play, exhaust a Two-Face you control.
    Flip a coin; if you win the flip, choose an opponent. Otherwise, choose yourself. Then, choose a character controlled by the chosen player and flip a coin again. If you win this flip, stun the chosen character if its cost is less than or equal to the cost of the Two-Face you exhausted. Otherwise, KO that character if it is stunned with cost less than that of the Two-Face you exhausted.

    Jewel Heist
    Plot Twist, cost 3
    To play, exhaust a Catwoman you control.
    If Catwoman was hidden when you exhausted her, target opponent discards a card at random. If Catwoman was visible when you exhausted her, draw a card for each different cost among resources you control.

    Exotic Plant Spores
    Plot Twist, cost 4
    To play, exhaust a Poison Ivy you control and choose one of the following:
    Remove an attacker from an attack.
    Replace target non-Team-Up resource.
    Exhaust target visible character.

    Deepest Fears
    Plot Twist, cost 4
    To play, choose one of the following:
    Exhaust target character with cost less than or equal to the cost of a Scarecrow you control; or,
    Return any number of characters with total cost X or less to their owners’ hands, where X is two less than the cost of a Scarecrow you control.

    Crossbow Vigilante
    Plot Twist, cost 3
    Play only if Huntress is your only attacker.
    To play, choose a number.
    Stun target non-combatant with cost less than the number of face-up resources you control with cost equal to the chosen number.

    Family of the Bat
    Plot Twist, cost 3
    Recover target stunned character with identity Robin or Batgirl if that character’s cost is less than the cost of a non-stunned Batman you control.
    Characters you control named Batman cannot attack this turn.

    Aerial Acrobatics
    Plot Twist, cost 2
    While you control Archangel, characters you control with Flight get +1 DEF this turn while in combat with characters that do not have Flight.
    While you control a non-stunned Archangel this turn, X-Men characters you control with Flight cannot be targeted by opposing effects.

    Full Blast
    Plot Twist, cost 3
    To play, exhaust a Cyclops you control.
    Stun any number of characters with total DEF less than or equal to the ATK of the Cyclops you exhausted. If Cyclops is in your front row, he cannot ready this turn.

    Pym Particle Infusion
    Plot Twist, cost 3
    To play, choose one of the following:
    Move target Hank Pym you control to the visible area, he gets +3/+3 and can only attack characters this turn; or,
    Move target Hank Pym you control to the hidden area, he gets -X ATK and can attack players directly this turn, where X is two less than Hank Pym’s printed ATK.

    Telepathic Probe
    Plot Twist, cost 6
    To play, exhaust a Professor X you control and discard a card.
    Look at the top X cards of target player’s deck, where X is the cost of the Professor X you exhausted. You may remove one card from the game and return the rest to the top of that player’s deck in any order; for the rest of the turn, you may play the card you removed as though it were in your hand.

    Touch and Go
    Plot Twist, cost 4
    To play, reveal a character card from your hand or resource row unless you choose a character in play or a character card from your KO Pile.
    Target Rogue you control gains all names, identities, and abilities of the card you revealed or chose, and cannot ready during the recovery phase this turn.

    Hex Bolts
    Plot Twist, cost 4
    To play, exhaust a Scarlet Witch you control, discard a card, and choose one of the following:
    Switch the ATK and DEF values of target character for the turn; or,
    Remove target defender from an attack; or,
    Target opponent loses 2 endurance for each exhausted character he controls.

    Lord of the Deep
    Plot Twist, cost 4
    Play only from your resource row.
    The next time target Sub-Mariner attacks or defends this turn, you may return a card from your KO Pile to your hand.

  2. kaleeshwarrior Says:

    Wow. Those cards are awesome, Number6. Might use some as inspiration :).

  3. rorschachinkblog Says:

    Flash Frozen just screams to either be renamed freezer burn, or at least have it in it’s flavor text, as it is a great blend of the cold and hot themes from the game.

    Other Freeze card title suggestions: Cold Snap, Frost Bite, Hell Freezes Over [alternately Cold Day In Hell]

  4. kaleeshwarrior Says:

    Y’know, you are absolutely right, WK. Might end up going back and changing it to Freezer Burn. Can’t believe I missed that great opportunity…

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