Today’s breakdown is covering the UKVS2pcg groups underworld spoiler that was discussed in their first videocast https://youtu.be/EskBFBHkDlw
We did have some minor audio issues but they have been resolved for episode two – I would recommend listening with headphones though.
Baron Mordo – the new Underworld Main character and potential usurper of the Magneto throne.
Considered me Mesmerized. I was starting to get a little worried that this set was looking so aggressive that there might not be anything left for me ! I really love playing disruptive controlling characters so this appeals to me perfectly. First when we look at this card we see the Hex mechanic which we haven’t seen since Scarlet Witch and though she only saw extremely fringe play the ability is very powerful. Hex stops your opponents main character from leveling up as long as you control a face up character with the Hex ability. (This ability can be turned up with cosmo – though the window now is much smaller)
Mordo levels up through The Black Arts and he gains an experience whenever an enemy character discards a card. This is a lot easier than it seems though as examples of discard include Power Ups, paying for super powers by discarding locations, discarding to your Ronan, your Helmut Zemo and even Emma Frost. This means that there are opportunities for leveling up even if you aren’t able to put together the pieces you need.
Barons first super power is an exact opposite of Dr Strange and you can also use it multiple times per turn – Mesmerize causes your opponent to discard a card at random – which is a lot more disruptive than allowing your opponent to select but less oppressive than allowing you to choose.
The leveled up version of Mordo allows you to apply even more disruption to your opponents plan as if your opponent has managed to get out from under your soft lock you can spend the rest of the game activating his Hypnotize ability on each of your turns to keep your opponents main character nice and manageable.
Outside of niche cases like Dark Phoenix – pretty much every Main Character game plan is built around leveling up that main character to fulfill their strategy properly – imagine playing against a level one Professor X or Luke Cage in the late game ? Imagine if Daredevil stayed … never mind, you get the idea. (Sorry Ben)
I think the perfect shell for this is playing Kirk’s Magneto discard deck (links at the bottom of article) but now you have a much more unified plan and are much easier to level – it’s possible to level on turn one but you’ll likely level on turn 3-4. I always liked playing the Magneto deck but I wasn’t sure about the resource denial plan as I felt it was a little counter to what you actually wanted to be doing. Now you get to be disruptive in an entirely different way, keeping your opponents most important resources small – their hand and their main character and using your huge advantage to crush them. Another shining grace is that you now get to play Magneto supporting character which goes a long way in terms of adding power to the deck. So which minions does Mordo summon for us to toy with again?
Information is power – though they both use basic yellow locations they don’t overlap on wild locations and even more importantly their super powers aren’t blue which means you can very aggressively go for your opponents hand. I don’t much rate Zemo’s body but he makes a nice back row team attacker especially when protected by a front row Ronan. Often the play pattern will be that turn one you will use Zemo to take a peek at your opponents hand, nab somebody and then use Ronan on turn two to remove whichever was the greatest threat or anything that your opponent had more than one copy of.
Of course Ronan is great even without this sequence as once you have a grip of the game you can be aware of what you should be naming and I feel like I’m going to be naming Jessica Jones quite a lot.
Of course each time one of these hit with their yellow ability you get to gain an experience which allows you to cement the gap between you and your opponent.
Pain and Suffering plays a similar function to Chestburst and can in some situations be slightly better – as you can use it when ranged attacking. The underworld plot twists never really got a chance to shine as we didn’t really play much with the underworld main characters to enable them. Fair and Balanced had its moment in the sun but even that is deceptively powerful which anyone who has played it in numbers can attest to.
Blackheart and Dormammu are likely the finishers of choice you’d want in your Mordo deck. Blackheart represents a brick wall that your opponents are going to get inventive if they want to get around and Dormammu represents a use for all of those discarded cards your opponents aren’t using. I first experimented with Blackheart in a newer build of Magneto where I couldn’t afford to use green resources on Thanos as I wanted every single one of them to go into using Mutant Supremacy. I was initially impressed as though most evil characters have multiple wounds I felt a lot more free to use extra characters as power ups as this fueled my late game plan. Dormammu was something I first got to play with in my Dark Pheonix deck and that can break matches wide open – from having access to your opponents Singularity to other weird stuff that you wouldn’t normally put into your deck like Luke Cage or Pheonix (supporting characters for power up purposes) the utility is very real when games go long.
Baron Mordo is really a game changer and adds an extra layer of depth to the game when it comes to deck-building. I feel like this will be a real contender on the tables as you’re able to shore up a lot of the weakness that Magneto had and come out on top. I’m going to finish off with some rules interactions I asked Chad Daniel about so you can come back here for reference at a later date.
- Is a power up a discarded card? – Yes. Discarding the card is part of the cost for paying for a power up and could trigger any power that is looking for a discarded card.
- Does discarding a location to amplify or pay for a superpower from hand a discard too? – Yes. Same reason as above.
- When you level up do you lose your experience up until that point and then level up? – Yes.
- If after you’ve leveled up get turned into a level one do you need to level up again from scratch or just as soon as the ability wears off? – If you are turned into a level one by Hypnotize, you do not have to level up again. You just become level 2 once the effect expires.
- How does singularity interact with Mordo’s level two? – Hypnotize’s modifier can not track characters that leave play, so once it is removed from the game, the modifier making it a level one no longer applies and it is a level 2 again.
- Does the “…it becomes Level 1 until the start of your next turn.” count as a trigger that happens at start of your next turn? – No, it is not a trigger, that is the expiration of a modifier. All triggers will begin with the words, “At,” “when,” or “whenever
- When you hypnotize, do they automatically turn back to Level 2? Or does Hex stop them? – They become level 2. Hex stop them from “leveling up” which is a processing of having enough XP to go to the next MC level as defined in the rules. Just changing a character from level one to level two is not “leveling up”
- Editor’s Addition – Further clarifying how Hex is relevant after they’ve leveled up, it helps keep a character from Leveling up after you’ve Hypnotized them (if you can keep from getting stunned). For example, you have a Level 2 Dark Phoenix. I hypnotize her and pass the turn. On your turn, you drop a Resource making her check and count again. She gains an XP, but does not Level up because of Hex. If you stun my Mordo, shutting off Hex, you will Level back up, effectively before the Expiration of Hypnotize.
I mentioned the original Kirk Magneto deck so please enjoy the following links to those great pieces of work.
Hopefully this covers everything but as always the Facebook Collective group is an excellent resource and is very active with people more than happy to help you with any rules questions.
Thanks for reading & let me know what your favorite spoiled card has been in the comments or tag me on the Facebook collective group if you want to discuss something.