By Danny Mandel
Sentinels get a bad rap. All they want to do is wipe out the entire mutant species with extreme prejudice and what do they get? Blown apart by the X-Men, reprogrammed by Magneto, and clobbered by the Fantastic Four. (Okay, maybe not that last one too often, but in the Vs. System, anything can happen.) What’s an honest mutant-hunting robotic killer supposed to do? Retire to south Florida to play shuffleboard and swim with the dolphins? Of course not! I’ll tell you what—it should team up with Dr. Doom and kick some butt, that’s what! Yeah!
Uh, let’s start over.
The Sentinel Mk II is one of the middle children of the Sentinel family. It’s not as powerful as a Mk IV, but it’s not squishy like a Mk I. It doesn’t have the charm and good looks of a Master Mold, but it’s no wet behind the ears Wild Sentinel either. If it were porridge, it wouldn’t be too hot or too cold—it would be just right. And it wouldn’t be just any porridge. It’d be mutant-hunting, power-negating, flying, ranged-attacking porridge. Mmmm . . .
So why is the Mk II hot stuff? First of all, it’s got flight and range, which makes it a pretty versatile attacker. Most Sentinel decks lend themselves to swarm strategies, and a low cost flier is great at taking out protected potential reinforcers that are perched in the support row. And while you might discount the Mk II’s ability to attack from range while protected as superfluous due to the Sentinels’ disposable nature (cards like South American Sentinel Base and Reconstruction Program provide efficient ways to bring them back from the KO’d pile), realize that cards like Cover Fire (that are contingent on range) work better in Sentinel decks than anywhere else.
Okay, flight and range—check. What else does this guy do? How about the ability to negate an opposing character’s activated power? There’s a price of course—you have to discard a Sentinel card from your hand to do it—but keep two things in mind. One, again, Sentinels are expendable, so you’ll probably be able to get the discarded card back with relative ease. Two, when a ready Mk II is on the board, your opponent often won’t want to exhaust an expensive character to activate its power only to have it negated. The threat of the Mk II is often enough.
A quick aside about the term “negate.” When an effect is negated, it is removed from the chain without resolving. It’s that simple.
Be All That You Can Be
So at this point you’re probably thinking, “Man, the Sentinel Mk II is so cool. Is there anything it can’t do? I wish I could put more than four in my deck!”
Well, guess what? You can! Hurray!
The Mk II is an Army character. You can put as many copies of a character with the word “Army” in its version line as you want in your deck. And Army characters are not unique, which means you can have as many as you want in play at the same time as well. You want to build the 60-card Sentinel Mk II deck (and who doesn’t!), you go right ahead. Heck, since there’s no upper limit to your deck size, you can build the 400-card Sentinel Mk II deck. When the oversized promo cards slid off the presses, the joke around the office was that you could build a 60-card oversized deck using just Sentinel Mk IVs. Of course, we quickly decided to change the decklist to 56 Mk IVs and four Savage Beatdowns.
And to combine today’s preview with yesterday’s (and for some real army craziness), throw some Lost Cities and Marvel Team-Ups into a Brotherhood/Sentinel deck and watch your robot team go very, very large.
That’s all for our new friend, the Mk II. Now for a word from our sponsor. And by a word from our sponsor, I mean me talking about other stuff.
We’re currently working hard on the comprehensive rulebook, which will explain in detail every part of the Vs. System. We’re also compiling a game FAQ and a card FAQ that will answer tons of popular questions. But we need your help. There are lots of great questions floating around the various forums, and we want to answer them all. The problem is that it’s impractical to respond to each forum thread when not everybody reads every thread (or necessarily even visits forums at all). So what we’d like you to do is send any rules questions you might have to this address:
While we won’t be responding directly to your emails, we’ll be adding your questions to the card FAQ so you’ll have your answers when the game officially releases the first week of April.
Thanks in advance and keep those questions coming.
Tune in tomorrow for a new article about the Brotherhood.