By: Ashley Knox
It’s finally here, the spoiler seasons for Vs System two player card game it’s an exciting time for us all as not only is this brand new content but it unlocks a lot of older content which hasn’t seen any love for a long time. I can really get behind the idea of legacy, breathing new life into our old friends on Friday the official Upper Deck blog let us in on one of our new Main Characters from the Avengers team.
It took me a while to really get what was going on with Thor but once I did I think this is one of the coolest and overtly powerful designs I’ve seen in a while.
Thor has been completely hyped over the Facebook Vs Collective group and I think they’re right – sure a one power & Thor toughness doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence but I’d missed something. Bezerker this is new, main characters never had keywords before and having one of those is definitely worth a few stat points. This ability also means that on the first attack Thor is a 2/5 which means its a safe to just attack into nearly every MC in the game and it only gets better every turn you manage to keep that counter. The Bezerker keyword actively rewards you for attacking and feeds into both your level up condition and your level up ability.
It’s worth touching on that the level one ability of Lightning Strike deals with a lot of powerful elements in the current format – wanna deal with a Luke Cage but can’t be bothered with those greens or super senses he’s got? ZAP! Dark Phoenix balling out of control? ZOOP! Punisher trying to ruin your Miss America? KAPOW!
Out of combat stuns are not to be understated however, they can apply a lot of pressure on the game where if Thor rises to the top, three toughness single wound supporting characters that don’t generate value the turn they hit play lose a lot of playability. If you look at the effect that Ghost Rider and Yondu had on the game, Ghostie was aside from being a game ending threat could usually stabilize the board and take down two opposing characters the turn he rode up. Yondu had more of a micro effect on the game where it made it a lot more difficult for you to play a character like Doctor Octopus or to put equipment on a Hope Summers though some part of this was a part of a very powerful meta game not really giving you time.
Flight is easily one of the best physical keywords there are too as it works both offensively to hit any hidden utility characters and protects your own from opponents potential attackers. Things only get better from here though, when you’ve attacked seven times (which includes each character in a team attack) you level up into his level two version.
A level two 5/5 feels small but remember that you leveled up mid combat and should still have a few counters on you already so we’re looking at on average a 7/7 flyer that’s primed to get huge and fast and even if you do get stunned you turn into a 6/6 in your first combat when you recover. The real talking point here though is God of Thunder with this ability you can use it as a one-two punch with your Lightning Strike to kill a 6 toughness character outright or mortally wound anything else and be able to fly right in there and show them it’s hammer time. That’s not the only text on that ability though, you double the number of counters on Thor at the same time which really exacerbates the situation for your opponent. Unlike Captain Marvel though Thor can still generate his own counters and though he asks that you play Good characters to level up quickly it doesn’t require that you commit to the cause 100%. Playing Good characters is honestly a good idea because this means you’re more likely to be able to feed a ghost rider which you’ll be able to use to great effect even in the face of Court Death as Thor can double any non lethal amount of counters that Ghost Rider brought with him.
Whats more interesting to me is the few cards that Thor unlocks – starting with a more controversial pick and working myself towards the basic easy includes.
Black Panther is an old favorite of mine, an excellent anti-aggro character that has synergies with Thor’s Lightning Strike as you get to use Ferocious to strike down diminished opponents in combat before they have a chance to fight back. Aside from being an excellent team attacker he can really do a lot of damage by himself especially now you’ve just unlocked one of the top six plot twists in the game.
The flexibility offered in this is absurd and being able to pair it with Ferocious on defense can often make your character untouchable as you get to take out the biggest threat before they get to hit you. Offensively this is pretty great too as it buffs you on both sides and is basically just a free upgrade over Open Fire & Main Strength.
Dr Strange is a new piece of technology I’d been incorporating into my Dark Phoenix deck as a way to have a toolbox answer to green counter nonsense – perhaps now is his time to shine though if Thanos takes off or you need to have some way to even up the mirror this could be just what the Doctor ordered.
Think Again was basically the end game for the old Hulk decks and kept you alive in the small window of time where you had a bunch of cards in hand but hadn’t deployed them all yet. Right now I’d expect you to be using this to counter the expected Even the Odds or to win the tempo game against an opponent who doesn’t play around it with their team attacks.
Iron Man hasn’t exactly being missing but I do believe that he’s joint first in terms of six cost characters (alongside Aforce Loki) – when your end game consists of paying a Laboratory and a Fortress to end the game outside of combat you really want access to used up resources.
I’m really excited about this new set and though I’m cautious about the power level of out of combat stuns (see Ghost Rider) after speaking to Danny at length about the game and game design in general I trust that the Super Awesome Games team have hammered out every issue in play testing. This is truly something to look Thorward to.
This card is great, this game is great, this community is great. Thank you all !