The Great Vs. Resolution #28: Crime Lords

And the train just keeps on rollin’. I haven’t had the chance to play on MWS recently due to the primary Darkseid server being down which generally means no one even bothers with it since the only alternative is the armpit that is MWSgames.net.

So, instead of doing Crisis decks like I’d originally intended, I’m stuck with decks I’ve played a lot of. I’ve been running a Crime Lords deck that is at least similar to the one below since MUN came out. I was a big fan of the Lords way back when but how is their newest incarnation?

Red Masque of Death

Crime Lords

Modern Age

Characters:
3x The Hand, Army – Hydra

3x Sin, Synthia Schmidi – Raid

4x Red Skull, Alexsander Lukin – Raid
3x Silver Samurai, Kenuichio Harada – Hydra

4x Master Man, Max Lohmer – Raid
2x Kingpin, War Profiteer – Hydra

3x Red Skull, Johann Shmidt – Hydra
1x Head Case, Sean Madigan – A.I.M.

3x Baron Strucker, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker – Hydra

2x Red Skull, Master of Creation

Plot Twists:
4x Radically Advanced
4x Acts Of Vengeance
4x Mobilize
4x Code White
4x Nasty Surprise
3x New King In Town
2x Burn Rubber
2x Call in a Favor

Equipment:
3x Cosmic Cube
2x Death Warrant

Basically, the only way I could figure out how to do the Crime Lords and even hope to fit into the Resolution guidelines was by going Red Skull legend. To help you see why Skull was the only option, here’s the rules I’ve set for myself.

The Great Vs. Resolution Guidelines:

All characters must share a printed affiliation, at least 50% of non-character cards must be team or character-stamped, remaining cards must be from the same universe as the affiliation for the deck, deck must be in as recent of a format as possible.”

If you go with an army version of Crime Lords, I wouldn’t have the card draw since Birthing Chamber is DC. Direct attack isn’t any good since Crime Lords don’t have enough pumps to make the 50% team/char-stamped non-characters requirement. The only particularly good choice that had any chance (and, even then, only fit by a nose) was Skull legend.

The Hand and Syn are the starter drops. Both are useful in their own way. Syn is capable of moving in and out of the hidden area to activate Red Skull’s leader effects while providing reinforcement along the way. The Hand lets you keep Red Skull alive so his leader effects activate. Both are good hidden support for the ol’ Nazi.

Red Skull is, of course, your primary 3-drop. He’s unlikely to activate due to the early drops being hidden but he’s a 5/5 and he can use your Skull plots. Silver Samurai is there as a substitute if you still have Red Skull on turn 5.

Turn 4 is usually going to be Master Man. Having a big 4-drop is helpful along with the fact that he has flight. And he’s a Nazi which works with Skull being the key to the deck. Alternatively, you have Kingpin who works incredibly well if you can force an opponent to attack an adjacent character and then spring Nasty Surprise on them.

Red Skull comes down again on turn 5 with his best effect. The ability to burn for adjacent character is just great plus handing out +3 DEF if they go for him first forces the opponent into a jam. Combine that with the recovery effects of The Hand and Code White and you’ve got a great defensive turn. Head Case is there for a substitute on turn 7. He isn’t great but he’s useful to keep the 5-drop body around.

Baron Zemo is the sole 6-drop. Yeah, I’m not using Satan Claw. The more I look at that card, the more I like it. However, there’s just not enough room in the deck to fit it in. Still, auto-recovery is great which means he’s in over the alternative of MODOK.

Finally, another Red Skull on turn 7. With the recovery effects in the deck, you’ll almost always get a minimum of 11 burn at the end of turn 7 which will usually win the game.

Plot twists and equipment are search, Nasty Surprise to get some defensive stunbacks, Burn Rubber and New King In Town for reinforcement, and Death Warrant for some KOing goodness. You also have Acts of Vengeance which can turn Red Skull into an absolute unstunnable beast and Radically Advanced which, when played in multiples, can gain massive amounts of life.

In my opinion, this deck is just alright. It’s not great but it’s not bad. It doesn’t do anything amazing, it just sorta runs. I’m pretty saddened by this because the original Crime Lords were an incredibly unique team in so much as they were all about getting attacked and reinforcing. The modern Crime Lord seems to just be about doing random things. Not a big fan. Not at all.

Crime Lords (Modern) Ratings:

Deck Strength: 7 (Meh. The free recovery effect on Skull makes it pretty average but there just isn’t much “wham” to the deck.)

Deck Theme: 5 (Theme? What theme? Using adjacent people to burn the opponent? Big whoop. Sure it’s pretty thematic for Red Skull but I’m just not a big fan.)

Ease of Use: 8 (Nothing really difficult about this deck at all.)

Fun Factor: 6 (Not un-fun but not particularly fun either.)

Overall: 6.5 (Meh. It’s not a bad deck but it isn’t particularly great in anything. I mean, it defends well but there just isn’t much behind it. Very disappointed compared to the Crime Lords of old who, while not an amazing deck, were at least fun to play with and different from every other team out there.)

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

8. Arkham Inmates (Modern)
9. Secret Six (Silver)

10. Revenge Squad (Modern)

11. Secret Society (Modern)
11. Teen Titans (Modern)
12. Outsiders (Modern)
13. X-Statix (Golden)
14. Hellfire Club (Silver)

15. Inhumans (Silver)
16. Shi’ar (Modern: MWS Gem)
17. Kree (Silver)
18. Future Foes (Silver)

19. Crime Lords (Modern)

20. Manhunters (Golden)
21. Sinister Syndicate (Modern)

22. League of Assassins (Modern)

23. Sentinels (Golden)
24. Doom (Modern)
25. Skrull (Silver)

26. New Gods (Golden)
27. Emerald Enemies (Golden)

Disappointing. Very disappointing.  I had really looked forward to Crime Lords when they were announced to be part of Marvel Universe but it just didn’t turn out. One thing to note, though, is that this isn’t at all the best build for the Lords in a normal deck. I have a Crime Lords Direct Attack deck that short curves from 1-5 and is just full of pumps and THAT deck is actually powerful. However, as I mentioned, it doesn’t fit the terms of the Resolution.

Hopefully I’ll get some matches in on MWS so I can do reports on Shadowpact or JSA. Otherwise, I’ll have to use another familiar deck like Marvel Knights or Injustice Gang. We’ll see what happens.

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