MEV Previews: John Proudstar, War & The Red Rider

War. What is it good for?

Well, for Apocalypse, it means a savage Horseman who will pound anyone who stands in Apocalypse’s way into the ground. Several characters have played the role of War. On the lesser known side, you have Abraham Kieros, a mutant capable of creating explosions, and Gazer, one who photosynthesized radiation into energy blasts. On the better known side, you have Deathbird, Hulk and, in an alternate reality, Cable.

However, the War that I will be previewing is the War from Earth-1100. This War is John Proudstar or Thunderbird. In his reality, he fought alongside his brother as part of the X-Men. However, one day his brother died and John left the team. He was picked up by Apocalypse who turned him into War but Proudstar was able to escape and was picked up by the Timebroker to join the Exiles. There he defeated The Hulk in one reality in order to save that planet’s Canada and was able to wound Galactus by planting a bomb in his armor while in a reality where Skrulls ruled Earth. However, he was injured by the bomb’s explosion and the Exiles were forced to put him into stasis until they could find a way to help him.

Now, what do we know about Thunderbird in Vs. System? He tends to have big stats that is counteracted by a drawback. This version of Proudstar is no different.

john-proudstarthunderbird-war

(PSST! Those who are just here to see the card will still want to look ahead so they can see The Red Rider. Just figured I’d let you know)

So, you’ve got 10/9 4-drop with Shift. Right off the bat, one has to think of how abusable Shift is with the Exiles. Everyone had been wondering if they would have a good 4-drop other than the hidden Illyana and combo-savvy Mimic. Here’s your answer. If you’re looking for a beatstick for the Exiles, Thunderbird is your man.

Proudstar’s second affiliation is, of course, the Horsemen of Apocalypse. The currently known 4-drops of HoA are Abyss and Dark Beast. Abyss can completely toss a guy from the game at the cost of tossing himself and Dark Beast is card milling that requires you to be ready and willing to discard cards. John Proudstar fills in the role of “Straight-Up Beats” as well as giving you a character with the War version which will be talked about in a bit.

Now, the downside of Proudstar. If he’s unstunned at the start of recovery, he’s going to Shift himself out of play with three counters. This would normally be a horrible thing but one has to remember a few things.

First, does anyone remember a certain deck based around swarms of characters that KO’d themselves if they were face-up during recovery? Yeah, I hear that deck did well way back when. Proudstar has these guys beat because he doesn’t KO himself, he just Shifts himself which is a much easier place to get back into play from.

Second, it only takes one resource point to bring him back into play so you could just pay that one resource point on turn 5 to bring him back into play. This is normally a bad idea but one should remember Thunderbird has 5-drop stats anyways. You could play Proudstar on turn 4, let him Shift out at recovery, pay 1 to bring him back in, and then recruit a 4-drop. You end up with the same stats worth of chars inplay on turn 5 as you would with a 5-drop and a 4-drop. Not bad.

Third, the Exiles have a pair of easy ways to get free Shift counters so you don’t even have to worry about paying that resource to bring Proudstar back. With Proteus, you’re one activation away from getting two characters with 5-drop stats on turn 5. With Blink, it’s just one Shift into play to bring Proudstar back from the grave. There’s also Panoptichron but that’s a bit fancier to get done.

Finally, there is the fourth way of keeping Proudstar inplay: get him stunned. All it takes is a Blinding Rage and you can get Proudstar stunned back by the opponent’s 3-drop and keep him in play going into turn 5. Easy. If you want to be able to do this without relying on combat, you can use cards like Act of Vengeance, Faith In Monsters, Speedball is Dead, Sakaar, Imperial Dreadnought or Marvel Zombies to stun him yourself to keep him around. Marvel Zombies seems particularly useful since you can stun Proudstar to recover your 3-drop and then recover Proudstar naturally rather than likely losing your 3-drop when you let John stun on purpose.

But what if you want a way to keep Thunderbird around while moving towards the Horsemen of Apocalypse’s win condition. Simple. You call in The Red Rider.

the-red-rider

The Red Rider has that fun little “One per game” clause that everyone knows and loves. One thing of note before getting to the content of the card is the cost. 3. This means it is very likely we’ll see a 3-or-less-cost War character or else why not make it 4 for Proudstar? At least, that makes sense to me.

Anyways, main bit of the card: Exhaust Proudstar (or anyone else with the War version) to stun an attacker and the defender. This card works on attack and defense so there are a couple of uses.

On defense, it’s basically an insured stunback. Also, it’s a way to avoid breakthrough. This is a very simple but good effect. It’s like a one-time Sinestro, Green Lantern of Korugar three turns earlier and an exhaust requirement. Also, you can use this when Proudstar is defending in order to make sure he gets stunned and his effect doesn’t trigger. Why would you want to do this since an opponent is unlikely to attack if he’s not going to stun you? I don’t know. Oh, one idea: to avoid getting bounced by guys like Morg. That could be helpful.

Then there’s the attack uses. You can basically make Thunderbird a pseudo-Punisher, Captain America. Ram a 1-drop into the opponent’s highest character, exhaust Thunderbird, 1-drop and opposing character stun. Almost like a Fastball Special. Which is the basis for another idea: Team attack reseting. By exhausting Thunderbird, you stun the defender and a single attacker. Your team attack will reset because of there being no defender so you can swing again. With teams like Outsiders that like to team attack several times, this could be quite useful. Finally, The Red Rider is a panic button. If the opponent tries to brickwall an attack, you can make sure the double stun goes down.

The Red Rider is pure combat tech. It has multiple uses all wrapped up into one card. Combine this with the KO power of Black Rider, the exhaustion of Pale Rider, and burn of White Rider and you have several ways of controlling the opponent’s options and endurance. If you get all four of the Riders inplay, down comes Apocalypse on turn 6 to bring about the end times. It’s that simple.

So, I hope everyone who read this article enjoyed it. This preview season has been a blast and I’m proud to have helped try and wrap it up. Everyone should remember to go out and buy up Marvel Evolution before Apocalypse really comes. Even if he does, still buy some. You’re gonna need something to enjoy during his reign as Mutant Messiah.

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8 Responses to “MEV Previews: John Proudstar, War & The Red Rider”

  1. great post !!

  2. Alan Wilkinson Says:

    The Red Rider would be a great card if it wasn’t 1 per game.

  3. Great preview– i like how you touched on each of the interesting rules applications of the cards– stunning, shifting out at Cost – 1, etc.

    Can you turn off that snapshots preview in WordPress? That thing is miserable.

  4. thederangedbear Says:

    I liked this write-up very much too.

  5. Outstanding work, as usual.

    I hope you enjoyed writing it as much as we enjoyed reading it.

  6. kaleeshwarrior Says:

    Actually, yes, I did have a lot of fun writing out this article. I just wish that Realms was up so I could read everyone’s thoughts. Kamiza’s forum and TCGplayer are great but I like having four pages in one spot rather than about a single page total in two or three spots.

    Glad everyone liked the article. I actually think it’s one of the better pieces I’ve put on the blog. Methinks my college writing classes are having an effect on my writing.

    “Can you turn off that snapshots preview in WordPress? That thing is miserable.”

    I’m not a fan of it either. I’ll see what I can do as far as disabling them. Should have done it a long time ago.

    EDIT: Snapshots are now off.

  7. ReasonOverMythology Says:

    Preview!

    I didn’t even know you had one – this is awesome.

    I was just randomly surfing VS blogs since VSRealms is down.

    Thanks =D

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