The Great Vs. Resolution #11: Team Superman

We ring in the tenth Vs. Resolution with a cheer as the Big Blue Boy Scout comes swooping into the game. Superman is THE superhero icon. You can go anywhere that is half-civilized with a Superman logo on your shirt and people will know exactly what it means.

Now, I must admit that I’ve never been a huge Superman fan, both character-wise and Vs.-wise. Personally, I find Supes to be way too perfect for my tastes. He has practically no flaws and is invulnerable to pretty much anything outside of Kryptonite. He has a massive array of superpowers that are powerful to the point where if a character had just one of the powers, they’d still be a decent hero (Cyclops and eye beams, Iceman with frost powers, Super-strength with anyone that has super-strength, Flight and heightened senses with Hawkman, etc.). To me, Superman is just a huge Mary Sue or Gary Stu character. Perfect in every way and always there to save the day.

In Vs., I never liked the look of his “protection” theme. I wasn’t around for the original Superman Cosmic theme but that looked pretty junky as well. While I’m not an aggro player, I also don’t like to play defensively. Give me comboes and a way to win, not just a way to mess with an opponent.

However, with the DCL/DXC releases of Cadmus Labs, Indestructible, and Flying High, Superman and his friends became a bit of an eyebrow raiser for myself. After building the following deck, my Vs. opinion on Superman has pulled a complete 180. Supes has some serious game.

Look, Up in the Sky!

Team Superman

Modern Age

Characters:
4x Maggie Sawyer – Gotham Central

4x Hiro Okamura <> Toyman
3x Krypto – Guard Dog of El

3x Natasha Irons <> Steel – Unlikely Alloy

3x Superman – Last Son of Krypton

2x Superman, Metropolis Marvel
1x Wonder Woman – Deflection Diva

2x Brahma – Supermen of America

1x Superman, Founding Member
1x Superman – Deterrent Force
1x John Henry Irons <> Steel – Armor Aura

1x Kara Zor-El <> Supergirl – Claire Connors

1x Superman – Bulletproof

Plot Twists

4x Iron Will
4x Soaring to New Heights
4x Flying High
4x At Their Finest
4x For the Man Who Has Everything
4x Mobilize
3x Indestructible
2x Have a Blast!

Locations:
4x Cadmus Labs

This deck’s theme is simple. On the attack, you smack massive face while on defense you force opponents to waste their pumps. The preferred initiative here is evens but the deck runs relatively well on odds. Mulligan condition is a 1-3 drop and some search.

Maggie Sawyer is your one-drop. Now, she doesn’t look like much but she can be a huge damage saver in early turns. If I was running something like Kandor or the other Superman defensive tech, I seriously think she could stop 99% of an opponents damage without ever entering danger. However, this is a more aggro Supes deck so she tends to not stick around after turn 3 but she certainly helps you to make it to the endgame.

Krypto is an oversized body that probably won’t be able to attack on turn 2. That’s fine, though. He doesn’t have to attack, he can just be a wall. Hiro Okamura <> Toyman is proffered over Krypto. I can usually get two or three activations out of the guy and I have topdecked important cards with him so often that I’ve learned to love him for more than the fact that his name resembles one of my favorite characters from NBC’s Heroes.

Ping

There’s a certain term that is used in my non-Vs. gaming group and it is known as “Ping.” Whenever we’re playing Epic Duels (a combat-based Star Wars board game) and someone completely negates an attack, it is customary that the defender waves his hand like Yoda and goes “Ping,” as if he just reflected a blaster bolt. Natasha Irons <> Steel exemplifies the doctrine of “Ping”. I have literally had her on the field all the way into turn 5 and never taken damage from an attack on her by the time she left. Herself combined with Maggie Sawyer lets you make it through several turns without taking any damage whatsoever. An excellent card.

What can be said about Superman, Last Son of Krypton that has not already been said? He’s completely immune to stun damage, he has no cost so Return Fire, Turnabout, any double stun effects, Kimiyo Hoshi, and quite a few other useful cards are completely worthless, and he’s a 7/7 with flight and range. This guy with Natasha means that you are taking a fraction of the amount of damage that the opponent is dealing out. Beautiful.

Superman, Metropolis Marvel is another amazing card. More often than not, an opponent will have at least three characters on the field going into turn 5. That means he’s an 11/11 with flight and range. Those stats alone makes him worth playing. Combine it with Team Superman pump waste tech, At Their Finest, and the fact that he’s even bigger against swarm decks and this guy is great. The only issue I’ve ever had was when my opponent played the “exhaust and burn” Professor X. Getting burned once for 14 damage and getting exhausted is bad enough, having it done to you again on the next turn and taking an additional 16 damage is just plain wrong.

For time like those, or when you haven’t gotten your hands on Cadmus, you have Wonder Woman. She can be incredibly useful by pinging an attack over onto 4-drop Supes who can then be reinforced by Natasha for a grand total of no damage and still having your five drop. Not an amazing card but useful when you need her.

Brahma is technically the six drop. He’s not bad, although there are times when you WANT to get attacked. On occasion, if I have Cadmus out and the opponent has at least four characters, I’ll recruit another Metropolis Marvel instead and sometimes let Maggie Sawyer tag along. Sure, you lose one defense and the “no attack back row” effect but you gain another At Your Finest target along with a freebie reinforcer. Either card works just fine.

Turn seven has lots of options. If you’ve utterly whiffed on Cadmus Labs, you can play John Henry Irons <> Steel, Armor Aura to hand out free +2 defense boosts. However, it’d be much better if you could play Superman, Deterrent Force or Superman, Founding Member. Which one is up to you. If the opponent is playing curve, Deterrent Force can completely stop their biggest attacker which is a huge gain. If they’re playing swarm or weenies then Founding Member can neuter an attack step. Both are great for each defensive situation so you have some excellent options this turn.

Kara Zor El <> Supergirl, Claire Connors is another one of those amazing cards if you have the initiative. Just team attack with your lowest character into the opposing seven-drop, stun their eight drop for free, and then swing down curve with everyone else. On defense, she’s alright but she shines against team attack decks since she can trigger her power for them as well.

Just when Superman’s ego gets big, the villains start using Kryptonite bullets…

I. Love. This. Card. You want to know what’s awesome? Playing against Modern Age Spidey-Stall and having them play Onslaught on-initiative. You then use Deterrent Force’s effect on Onslaught, “forget” to use Cadmus, replace your board, and drop Bulletproof. Onslaught activates and hits absolutely nothing and the opponent can’t team attack into Superman because nothing would be gained. Utterly wasted turn. Sure, Spidey just ends up webbing Superman up and your attack is wasted as well but its still an awesome feeling to kill an opponent’s win condition.

Plot Twists are eight search cards. I love search. Every team should have a search card plus Mobilize IMO. Nothing sucks more than missing drops. Cadmus lets you play lots of Superman clones which ties right into At Their Finest which can easily become a global +2/+2 pump. Slap that onto Metropolis Marvel’s already oversized stats and the fact that you can swing Last Son of Krypton into the opposing five drop without taking damage back and that’s grin worthy. Have A Blast is there to protect Cadmus from nasty things like Ego The Living Planet or Omnipotence. Soaring To New Heights is a +3/+3 which is always great. Lastly, Iron Will is like Hell Breaks Loose but even better. I dream of the day I can row four of them and get that elusive +16/+16 pump. The card has been going in and out of the deck for other things but that temptation plus the fact that it is consistently a +4/+4 makes me keep it for the final cut.

On defense, you have the beautiful combination of Flying High and Indestructible. Just imagine. It’s turn 5 and you have Last Son of Krypton and Metropolis Marvel inplay. The opponent has a 3, 4, and 5-drop of their own. They swing their 5 into your 11/11 Metropolis Marvel and play a pump. You play At Their Finest to avoid the stun so they play another pump. You play Flying High and completely reset the attack. Without any more pumps, they team attack their three and five drop into your Marvel. You play Indestructible and completely negate the attack. The opponent is left with a 4-drop that is facing down a 9/9 with no cost and a 13/13 5-drop. Opponent passes, Last Son swings in for damage, and the opponent has wasted their turn 5 attack step. Utterly beautiful defensive tech.

In all, I utterly love this deck. As you can see, I’ve been playing around with what makes for a good curve ever since reading TheDerangedBear’s post on the Realms. I’m still not confident enough in my draws to strip it down as far as he claims is possible but I have found that I rarely miss drops even with the smaller number of characters. Besides that, this deck is simply amazing. It loses to Spider-Stall and the X-Men if they’re packing Xavier (stupid psychic powers…) but is otherwise quite powerful. Easily one of the strongest decks I’ve ever built.

Team Superman (Modern) Ratings:

Deck Strength: 9 (Holy snaps. This is simply a hyper-powerful deck. It has pumps on the offense and some nasty surprises on defense which combined with the invulnerability of the 3 and 4-drops means you’ll almost always see the late game power of Supergirl and Superman, Bullet Proof.)

Deck Theme: 9 (To me, Superman has one big theme and that is constantly being stronger than the opponent. His other theme, which is an offshoot of the first, is never getting hit THAT hard against even the strongest foes. Metropolis Marvel, At Their Finest, Soaring To New Heights, and Iron Will fit that first theme. Natasha, Last Son of Krypton, Bulletproof, Indestructible, and Flying High fit the second. Very, very thematic in my opinion.)

Ease of Use: 8 (“Being the President is easy. You just point the army and shoot.” Homer Simpson’s words of wisdom on Ralph Wiggum’s candidacy. In the same way, this deck is just point and shoot. However, there are the defensive tricks timing as well as the chaining of Iron Will and also knowing when to use Superman and At Their Finest and all the other stuff. So, while easy to play it requires a tad bit of skill for maximum effectiveness)

Fun Factor: 9 (This deck IS Superman. You just beat face in and then “ping” attacks when your on the defensive. Nothing is better than wasting an opponent’s attack and then smashing on yours. Well, maybe a perfectly executed jank combo is better but that’s not nearly as easy.)

Overall: 8.75 (Such a beautiful deck and it almost makes me want to like Superman as a character. Almost.)

Vs. System Affiliation Leaderboard
1. Marvel Defenders/The Hulk (Modern)
2. Team Superman (Modern Age)
3. Fantastic Four (Modern)
4. Anti-Matter (Golden)
5. Squadron Supreme (Golden)

6. Arkham Inmates (Modern)
7. Teen Titans (Modern)
8. Outsiders (Modern)
9. Future Foes (Silver)

10. Emerald Enemies (Golden)

And there you have it. A character that I dislike is still able to fly his way into the top two, overthrowing the oldschool pick of the Family of Four. Perhaps Reed Richards should have brought some Kryptonite? Anyways, that breaks the streak of my Vs. Resolution decks not being instantly recognizable.

Next time around, though, we go back to the lesser known characters. Sure, this guy was featured in a movie just a while back but he still isn’t exactly a top-tier guy. He doesn’t care. He can stick around for a LONG time and just wait until everyone knows his and fears his name. What character am I referring to? Anyone wanna hazard a guess? Here’s a hint: Jason Blood. Stay tuned to find out on the newly revitalized Great Vs. Resolution!

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5 Responses to “The Great Vs. Resolution #11: Team Superman”

  1. I’m very surprised that Team Superman ranked higher than Family of Four on your list. It definitely gives me hope for when I get those copies of Flying High from the points store. Mm.

  2. […] Planet Kalee Featuring the Great Vs. Resolution, 57 mono-affiliate decks in 52 weeks « The Great Vs. Resolution #11: Team Superman […]

  3. […] System Affiliation Leaderboard 1. Marvel Defenders/The Hulk (Modern) 2. Team Superman (Modern Age) 3. Fantastic Four (Modern) 4. Anti-Matter (Golden) 5. Squadron Supreme (Golden) 6. Arkham Inmates […]

  4. […] System Affiliation Leaderboard 1. Marvel Defenders/The Hulk (Modern) 2. Team Superman (Modern Age) 3. Fantastic Four (Modern) 4. Anti-Matter (Golden) 5. Squadron Supreme (Golden) 6. Arkham Inmates […]

  5. […] System Affiliation Leaderboard 1. Marvel Defenders/The Hulk (Modern) 2. Team Superman (Modern Age) 3. Fantastic Four (Modern) 4. Anti-Matter (Golden) 5. Squadron Supreme (Golden) 6. Arkham Inmates […]

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