By: Ryan Roper
First I want to say thank you to Mark and all the people over at Upper Deck for giving me a chance to preview some cards. I really appreciate it and look forward to doing more of this in the future.
The Leviathons are an interesting faction for VS. All of the other factions gain a measure of variety based on the different Main Characters (MC) that are available to them. More MCs have been a boon to a lot of teams from the past that have felt underwhelming. Leviathons on the other hand went to the other extreme. They have one MC for the entire faction and gain variety through a large number of One of a Kind characters.
A lot of people have commented how this will lead to less consistency in your draws and make matches way more random. So how can Upper Deck handle this inherent randomness and allow you to make a coherent game plan using a lot of one offs? Some of the ways that they can do this is by front loading the factions Supporting Characters (SC) into the low one to five recruit cost scale. That helps with Mothers level up consistency but doesn’t help with getting access to the abilities you need. Another way is to overstat the SCs and put a lot of power there, which doesn’t need as much set up to take advantage of.
So that brings us to the first preview card. Plasma Throat Leviathon is definitely over-statted. A 2 cost character with two wounds and 4/1 stat line with range, it hits early and hits hard. The Lumbering keyword is an interesting one. It’s a disadvantage, plain and simple but one you definitely have control over. A lot of times in the early game it gives the opponent several options, none of which are ideal. Having two wounds means that he is likely to do some damage before he goes.
Yet another way they can increase consistency is to spread a couple of keywords in different combinations among a bunch of different Supporting Characters. You end up with a few base keywords that spread across all of the cards, and then you pepper in more unique and situational keywords. My second preview card definitely follows that line with the Comet Fall ability. We saw this ability on the Leviathon Beast, a 6 drop that also dazes an enemy when it comes into play. What does a baby Leviathon Beast look like?
I think Demolisher is a great card. It comes down early, it has a healthy stat line for being two cost and has a couple direct impacts on the board as soon as it comes down. My immediate thought is that this is a card that Magneto MC would like to be playing early. It protects his level up condition by shrinking your enemies, and turns down a location to disrupt their ability to use powers.
I love the flavor that flows from Demolisher to Beast. They both fall from the sky and shrink your opponent’s field, they both flip over something when they impact the ground. It makes me wonder what other Impact cards could be in the rest of the set, maybe there is one at each recruit cost? That would definitely improve consistency.
I hope you enjoyed my preview for Monsters Unleashed. If you would please give me a follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whatgamenext/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WhatGameNext where I will be doing Card and Board game reviews starting soon! Thanks again to the Upper Deck folks for letting me be a part of this and thanks to Kirk and DMG for hosting this review for me since my website isn’t up yet.