(Metagame Archive) Voices from the Field: Here Come the Spider-Sentinels!

By Ben Kalman

On the heels of last week’s article, which highlighted some of the underrated cards in the Web of Spider-Man set that could shine in Modern Age, I’ve put together a Modern Age deck using only cards from Web of Spider-Man. Every card but the team-ups are Web of Spider-Man cards. This 61-card deck arguably teams up the most unlikely partners in the Marvel universe—Spider-Friends and Sentinels! I put this deck together on a whim after arguing with a friend at the local shop that Sentinels could work in Modern Age. While this throws Marvel continuity out the window, think of it as a team in the other, other, alternate Marvel universe. While this deck may not win you PC Amsterdam, you’ll be surprised to find just how well it works when it goes off.

Spider-Sentinel Sense and Destroy!

 

Characters

5 Wild Pack

3 Silver Sable

5 Sentinel Mark III

2 Prodigy

4 Mark II Number II

8 Sentinel Mark V

3 Mattie Franklin

2 Ezekiel

Plot Twists

3 Crushing Blow

4 Marvel Team-Up

3 No Fear

2 Pleasant Distraction

4 Spider Senses

2 Tragic Loss

2 Twist of Fate

3 Wave of Sentinels

Locations

2 Volcanic Base

Equipment

4 Armored Spider Suit

As I said earlier, this is an all Spider-Man version—every card in this deck but the four copies of Marvel Team-Up are from the Spider-Man set. One could easily add a little spice by using the Marvel Knights set. Cards like Crime and Punishment, Blown to Pieces, Dracula’s Castle, Gravesite, Hounds of Ahab, Meltdown, and Weapon of Choice could all be potential additions to the deck. I would taste it before adding salt, however, as it works rather nicely as is.

The Deck

This is essentially an army deck with a little help on the side. There are two ways to play it. One is to play as many army characters as you can and swarm over your opponent, and the other is to keep to the curve as much as possible and use your extra character cards to feed Mattie. I also built an alternate version of this deck that was almost two thirds character cards. Its purpose was to fill the resource row with Mattie pumps, but I felt that working towards a 6th turn win with Mattie was counterproductive, especially if you somehow missed her (even playing four copies of Mattie and four Twist of Fates is no guarantee you’ll find her).

So, what we have here is half curve and half swarm, and the deck was built to function in either direction.

You should always try to have a Marvel Team-Up in your opening hand. The Team-Up is an important aspect of this deck. It’s not necessary, but it’s a lot harder to win without one. Mulligan for the Team-Up unless your opening hand is so amazing that you simply can’t let it go. But with thirteen 1- and 2-drops and six 3-drops, there aren’t many reasons you’d need to keep, unless you were unfortunate enough to draw all of your Matties in your opening hand.

Sentinels, Attack!

 

The early game is all about swarm. Your Wild Packs get a team attack bonus, making them each 2 ATK/1 DEF team attackers, and Silver Sable gives them an additional +1 ATK/+1 DEF. Your Mark IIIs, with a team-up, give your Wild Packs an extra +1 ATK while attacking, as they become Army Sentinels. Mark II, Number II is the Ricochet replacement. His DEF is a little lower, but his ATK is higher and he has flight and range. Plus, his ability, while not quite as good as Ricochet’s, affects all of your characters (assuming a team-up), not just the ones with evasion. Ricochet’s ability is all but useless in this deck, as he’d be the only one affected by it.

Prodigy, however, is a very nice card to have. He gives you a nice defensive boost and makes your smaller characters less attractive targets. While you may prefer to have three copies of Prodigy and fewer Mark II, Number IIs, I prefer the latter with their flight and range. Either way, you have a way of keeping your smaller army characters happy, especially when the Mark V’s come out.

The Sentinel Mark Vs are a key component of this deck, which is why there are eight of them. Not only are they your 4- and 5-drop, but their ability allows you to play late game Wild Packs and Mark IIIs without fear of being destroyed by the Big Boys—your opponent will have to take down or exhaust your Mark V’s before he or she can hit your smaller army characters for high amounts of damage. With a Prodigy and a Mark V or two on the table, Wild Pack becomes a 4 ATK/1 DEF reinforced defender. Add Silver Sable to the mix, and Wild Pack is 5 ATK/2 DEF. Five ATK is not the kind of ATK I want to deal with when I’m trying to take out a 1-drop. Plus, a Blown to Pieces will make this situation extremely aggravating for an opponent.

Armor Up!

 

Turns 4 and 5 are where you’ll start deciding whether or not you want to diverge from the curve. It will depend entirely on your hand and resource row. Do you have Mattie, and if so, do you want to set her up? How many Mark V’s do you have? Are Prodigy and/or Sable on the table? Your mix of non-character cards will also have a major impact on your decisions. For example, Armored Spider Suit costs 0 if you recruit two Spider-Friends characters on the same turn you play it, and giving your weenies a +2 ATK/+2 DEF boost and reinforcement is not exactly a bad thing. Also, if you have a Volcanic Base in your resource row, emptying your hand will ensure you get a draw.

No Fear is another card that helps smaller characters take on the Big Guys, and Wave of Sentinels is a great excuse for committing suicide with a solo, unadorned Wild Pack member and then swarming him with other weenies. And why not put that Wild Pack kamikaze to good use by using Tragic Loss and boosting his teammate with a gigantic +5 ATK or DEF on defense? As well, if you pop in a Crowd Control or two, you may prefer to simply place everyone in the back, discard to fulfill your Volcanic Base obligation, and ensure that the breakthrough is minimal. Pleasant Distraction is another way to avoid having to deal with retaliation from a big opponent, especially in later turns when you may need to chip off only a small bit of endurance to get your opponent to 0, and you don’t want him or her to use a 6- or 7-drop and smash you in return.

To mould this deck to your own specifications, you could remove Ezekiel and maybe even Mattie to go full-on swarm. In their place, add a couple more Wild Packs, another Sable or Prodigy, and/or a couple more Mark V’s.

As well, if you take out the upper curve, the Twists become expendable. You can pop in another Pleasant Distraction and Tragic Loss, or the aforementioned Crowd Controls. Finally, you may find that the Volcanic Base is expendable, or that the Crowd Control option is unnecessary with the Mark V’s and the Armored Spider Suits. In that case, try Blown to Pieces, Gravesite, and/or Meltdown. I personally prefer Volcanic Base to Gravesite, however, as even though it’s not a guaranteed draw, there’s no discard and your opponent doesn’t benefit. You may also want to add some Hounds of Ahab, which is certainly a vicious card. I prefer the Mark IIIs, however, as they give a nice ATK boost to everyone.

Corrections Dep’t

 

Thanks to great player and all-around nice guy Jeremy Treanor for pointing out this error in last week’s article: I mistakenly recommended using team-stamped team-ups from Marvel Knights for Silver Surfer, and I said that Forced Allegiance would work. Forced Allegiance, and all of the team-stamped team-ups in Marvel Knights (except Midnight Sons, will not work for Silver Surfer because they do not affect cards in your hand.

Also known by his screen name Kergillian, Ben Kalman has been involved in the Vs. community since day one. He started the first major player in the online community, the Vs. Listserv, through Yahoo! Groups, and it now boasts well over 1,300 members! For more on the Yahoo! group, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Marvel_DC_TCG

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