(Metagame Archive) Searching for Equipment, Plot Twists, and Locations

By Jason Grabher-Meyer

Last time we looked at the character-searching cards available in the current card pool of Marvel Origins, DC Origins, and the Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock Starter Set. Today’s column has a similar theme: looking at cards that search for specific plot twists, equipment, and locations.

While many teams, especially those offered in DC Origins, have access to cards that search for characters, there are fewer teams that have access to cards that specifically search for plot twists, equipment, and locations. There are only two cards that allow a player to search for a plot twist, four that search for an equipment card, and two that search for a location. The ability to search for any of these types of cards can strongly define a team. Understanding the available options can help a player select what to include in a deck (especially when you’re running multiple teams), and it can also help players understand how best to approach an opponent’s deck.

First, the two cards that can search for plot twists are Boris and Alfred Pennyworth. Both cards provide similar results but are very different in some regards. It’s worth taking some time to look at the similarities and differences of each.

Boris is a 1-drop, and though his effect cannot be activated unless you control Dr. Doom, Doomstadt fulfills that condition and can be played as early as turn 1. Boris has a lot of early-game potential, but his activation cost is to put him on the bottom of the deck, which will happen even if his effect doesn’t resolve successfully. Once he’s been used, he’s out of play until you either draw another one or search for him by combining Doom with a team affiliation that has character search capabilities. His viability in the mid and late game makes him good, but his utility and speed in the early game make him great.

On the other hand, there’s Alfred. Alfred can search for a plot twist or an equipment card, so he’s more versatile than Boris. He also returns to the player’s hand when activated, instead of being relegated to the bottom of the deck. Unfortunately, he’s considerably slower than Boris. Not only does he come into play exhausted, but his effect also requires another Gotham Knight to be on his side of the field. I guess Alfred’s just not used to getting anything for himself. He can be used on turn 2 if he’s recruited on turn 1, but he’ll never have Boris’s surprise factor, and he’s not as strong of a character in the mid and late game.

Boris and Alfred both do what they should within the context of their respective teams. Boris can’t get equipment cards, but a Doom deck isn’t likely to care about equipment. Instead, he can grab any of the deck’s many answers to a variety of situations on command. Alfred is slower and more suited to the Gotham Knights, who rely on a variety of plot twists and equipment cards. While Boris can find the answer to any question, Alfred acts before the question is asked. In choosing whether to combine other teams with Doom or the Gotham Knights, it’s essential to thoughtfully consider those differences between the two characters.

Next up, let’s look at the cards that search for equipment. Besides Alfred, the three options available are Tech Upgrade; Forge; and Mr. Fantastic, Scientific Genius. All three cards search for equipment from the deck, so let’s consider the costs of each card as the primary focus of comparison.

Tech Upgrade is pretty basic. Play it, either from the resource row or from the hand, and exhaust a character. Then, get your equipment. Tech Upgrade is a relatively small investment and doesn’t require a specific team’s field presence.

Forge is a bit more complicated and requires a larger investment than Tech Upgrade. Recruit him for 1 resource point, exhaust him, and discard an X-Men character from your hand. Forge then returns to your hand. If everything goes according to plan, and Forge isn’t KO’d before using his ability, you effectively get to search for an equipment card in return for 1 resource point and a discarded X-Men card. He can be a decent turn 1 play, but his cost may seem pricey. Tech Upgrade only requires the exhaustion of a character if it’s used to its utmost potential (in other words, if it’s flipped from the resource row), but Forge costs a resource point.

In return for this investment, Forge does three things that Tech Upgrade can’t. First, when you do miss a drop, he can act as a decent filler character when you need reinforcement. Second, since he’s a character, his effect is reusable. Finally, he packs his own version of Burn Rubber. If an opponent attacks him and commits to the attack with several offensive plot twists, Forge can use his ability and run the heck away from combat. That attacker will ready and can attack again, but it loses all those ATK-enhancing Flying Kicks and…

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