(Metagame Archive) Fun With Speed(y)

Mike Flores

Before he was Roy Harper Arsenal, leader of the Titans and co-founder of the Outsiders, Roy Harper was Green Arrow Oliver Queen’s sidekick. In their first adventure together, Roy was able to outdraw the Emerald Archer and get off a faster shot than the elder hero. Ever since, Roy has been called Speedy. Since the then-industrialist Green Arrow basically copied every possible thing that he could from Batman, Queen took on Roy as his ward when Roy’s guardian died.

Building on the existing marksmanship skills that had impressed Queen, Roy as Speedy focused on becoming a little version of Green Arrow. Check out Kevin Nowlan's kick-ass art on Roy Harper ◊ Speedy, Mercurial Marksman. He has all the classic Green Arrow accoutrements—pointy Robin Hood hat, domino mask, boxing glove arrow . . . but all red instead of green. This goes above and beyond Batman and Robin. Aqualad, Wally West, and even Donna Troy all showed greater individuality in costume and equipment selection. Roy really, really, really idolized Ollie.

So, what happens to Roy when Ollie starts hanging out with Green Lantern? What happens when his former arms dealer/patriarch/hero sells his company and starts running around the country spreading the newfound joy of left-wing politics?

That’s right . . . Junk happens. Funny habit for a kid named Speedy, don't you think?

Of course, Roy kicked the habit and went on to re-establish a great career as a crime fighter. As we've already said, Harper went on to lead the Outsiders as Arsenal (but not before he knocked up a murderous super villain), along with Nightwing.

Enough about the checkered past of this colorful character. What about the card?

I really love Speedy, and I think he would be a great addition to any Teen Titans deck. Some of my friends think Speedy is so good that you can splash him in other decks, but we won't address that possibility today.

In and of himself, Roy isn't really a bomb 1-drop. But that's okay, because he erases your opponent’s bombs.

Public Enemy Number One: Longshot

In my opinion, Longshot is the best card in the Vs. System. Going into the first PC, my playtest group really liked Sentinels. With Sentinels, while it’s not certain that you’ll have Longshot on turn 1, it is likely. Sentinels can be nearly unbeatable when Longshot hits play early, but the deck is a lot less impressive when all it manages is a turn 1 Wild Sentinel.It Takes Two: Rigged ElectionsLook at the Rigged Elections deck that Craig Edwards took to the finals of the first Pro Circuit event. A powerful deck that surprised most of the field, Rigged Elections is nevertheless built (if you will pardon the pun) on a house of cards.

An early Speedy vs. Longshot fight is not exactly the kind of thing a Titans player prays for, but the fact that Longshot would get KO’d goes a long way. Sure, the Longshot player will probably pick up some Wild Sentinels and a Sentinel Mark IV, but it’s the sustained card advantage feeding into repeated power-ups that makes Longshot so good. A short burst of card advantage is not much better than any old Reconstruction Program, and—as long as Longshot isn’t quickly replaced—it should be overcome by the superior bodies of the Teen Titans.

In any case, because a Sentinels deck has a high concentration of 1-drops, Speedy’s effectiveness will not decrease as turns go by. Having to draw him time and again shouldn’t be that big a deal. He can effectively trade with most of an opponent’s deck, and he can make attack decisions difficult when your opponent has the initiative.

The deck consists almost entirely of tiny, 1-drop characters. This makes sense, because the deck wants lots of little guys tapping to put counters on Rigged Elections (rather than one or two huge monsters). Moreover, Rigged Elections needs to play several characters of different affiliations to set up its combo.

Rigged Elections itself only works with Arkham Inmates, while Cosmic Radiation only works with Fantastic Four. Alfred Pennyworth won’t find any combo pieces unless there is a GCPD Officer in play.

So, what does this mean?

Speedy can surgically take out an opposing 1-drop of whatever affiliation is relevant at the time. If your opponent isn’t careful, you can use Mercurial Marksman to break up Marvel Team-Up or World’s Finest before either becomes relevant.

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