(Metagame Archive) Superman, Man of Steel Preview: Smiles, Everyone!

By Jason Grabher-Meyer

Okay, so it turns out that Roy Harper was never black . . . it was just a very darkly drawn arc around New Titans 114 that made me think he was. So, today I’m going to go for a safe bet—Joker is absolutely white.

No, wait, let me double check . . . yes! Definitely white.

The card I checked? Your fresh new preview for the day, a card I’ve been hotly anticipating and fighting to keep a lid on, a plot twist called Smiles, Everyone!. Smiles is an Arkham Inmates-proprietary card, which means that you need to have an Arkham Inmate in play to activate it. It targets an exhausted defender of your choice, and whenever that character becomes stunned this turn, you KO it.

So, it’s effectively a Charaxes minus the moth. It’s also another really crushing board control option for a team that already has some of the best control options in the game. I’m an avid Arkham player, and though the team is deathly under-played and under-explored, I’ve actually had a lot of success with it. There are many ways I plan to use this card.

It turns counter-attacks into potential board advantage. Charaxes was always able to do this, and he did it well both on his own and as part of a team attack, but that’s still just four cards out of 60. Charaxes is fragile, so in many cases you’d need to Burn Rubber him to the front or give him a Mega-Blast to make a viable KO’ing counter-attack. This is doable, but Smiles, Everyone! will make it more reliable and easier to pull off. In short, any Arkham character who Acrobatic Dodges an attack from an equally-sized character will become a brutal counter-attacker that can wipe the failed attacker off the board. Arkham is already difficult to attack into—Nasty Surprise makes Arkham difficult to approach after turn 4. The threat of brutal retaliation from Smiles or Kidnapping makes a shaky proposition much worse.

The potential for a retaliatory double KO goes up in some situations, too. If you can Acrobatic Dodge out of the traditional jump-the-curve team attack on a turn where you don’t have initiative, you can send your big hitter with Smiles after one of those smaller characters and KO it without being stunned. That then frees you up for a team attack against another attacker (likely the turn’s big drop, since it’s the other attacking party in the traditional model) with Charaxes for a second KO. That’s just brutal.

In addition, the value of cards like Fear and Confusion and No Man’s Land goes way up with Smiles, Everyone!. Don’t have Charaxes or Kidnapping or Ivy? Don’t want to wait around to start claiming hard board advantage? Smiles, Everyone! adds utility to the above-mentioned cards, and also to Puppet Master.

Arkham’s early-game potential for control is now much higher. If you hit Puppet Master, No Man’s Land, or Fear and Confusion by turn 3 and then drop Charaxes, great, but the fact that Smiles essentially works the same angle with any character is awesome. I’m personally only running four 3-drops in my current Arkham build, opting to run more 1- and 2-drops over the unimpressive field of 3-drops (with the exception of Charaxes). Firefly and a front-row Ventriloquist ◊ Scarface  will take out almost any 3-drop your opponent can throw at you, short of Wolverine, Logan. Even if you aren’t running Ventriloquist ◊ Scarface , Firefly and any two other Arkham 1-drops will do it. Or just Firefly and an in-hand Query and Echo. Or . . . well, there are a lot of ways you can do it.

Heck, it even sm…

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