(Metagame Archive) Design Vs Constructs: Kyle Rayner, Last Green Lantern Preview

By Danny Mandel

Seems like pretty standard stuff for a 2-drop. 2 ATK, 2 DEF, flight, range, willpower 2. Now what’s this business about searching for a “Construct card?”

Those of you who read yesterday’s preview know that Light Brigade has the version “Construct.” When Kyle comes into play, he can search for a character card with the version Construct. But what else can he get?  

A Brief History of Versions  

 

Here’s a quick summary of what versions mean in the Vs. System.  

1. Versions let us demonstrate different aspects of a character. For example, we can design a version of Wolverine that shows off his healing factor and another that shows off his tendency to go berserk. Similarly, we can showcase a young Hal Jordan early in his career and an older Hal with his trademark graying hair. While this use of versions has nothing to do with gameplay, it can be a powerful tool to convey the flavor of the comics.  

2. Versions enforce the “four-of” rule. That is, while you can have as many cards named Kyle Rayner as you want in your deck, you can only have four copies of any one version of Kyle Rayner.  

Additionally, one version, “Army,” modifies the “four-of” rule.  

3. Versions can act as reference markers. While in the past we usually only referenced “Army” or “non-Army” characters, occasionally we’d get a little wacky with cards that look for characters with the version Forever People or Deep Six, like Infinity Man and Jaffar respectively. Plus, some cards like Costume Change use versions to satisfy certain criteria.  

The main question is—why don’t non-characters have versions?  

Well, on one hand, it’s a lot less likely that we’d want to show off a plot twist at different points in its career. Which is another way to say that it’s unlikely we’d want to reuse a non-character’s name*.  

           On the other hand, we get a fair bit of mileage using versions as a referent. And we’ve got this empty little line sitting there on non-character cards. It’s like literal design space! Why don’t we put it to use?  

Versions: They’re Not Just For Characters Anymore  

In the Green Lantern expansion, you’ll find all kinds of different card types with the version “Construct.” While that term has no intrinsic value, several characters on the Green Lantern team have positive interactions with constructs. Speaking of which, let’s get back to Kyle.  

 

Depending on the situation, Kyle offers different kinds of utility. If you’re afraid you’re going to miss a drop, you can search out a Construct character. If you just want another combat trick, you can search out something that pumps stats or reinforces. If your strategy is narrower, you can use Kyle to search for a combo piece.  

Of course, you can’t fully appreciate the options Kyle provides until you know what other kinds of Construct cards are in the set. While I can’t give them all away, I can provide you with a few hints:  

—You’ve already met Light Brigade, but did you know he’s only one part of a cycle of three Construct characters, each with similar powers?  

—There’s a cycle of three Construct equipment cards that are free to equip to a character with willpower.  

—One Construct plot twist combines the board control of Finishing Move with the card selection of Book of Oa**.  

—There’s a Construct card that’ll appeal to all you team-up fans.  

—There’s a Construct card so tricky that it can either recover or KO your entire team.  

—Finally, there’s one efficient ATK-pumping Construct plot twist that would be ironic for Kyle to search for—at least, according to his flavor text.  

Okay, that’s all I got on Kyle and Constructs. Tune in tomorrow for a pair of previews*** that explain why the Green Lantern Corps call them “Enemies.”  

Send questions or comments to dmandel@metagame.com.  

* I suppose I could see using a location’s name more than once. In fact, we’ve kind of left that door open with Xavier’s School, For Gifted Youngsters. Because we couldn’t fit the whole name on the name line of the card, we decided to move the “For Gifted Youngsters” to the version line, which, at the time had no game function. Of course, now this means we could do a new card named “Xavier’s School” with a different version. Yay!  

** Oh, uh, you haven’t seen that one yet. Oops.  

*** And no, I’m not writing them. You see, Hyra was supposed to write today’s preview, but he’s too busy**** working on the Justice League set, so I was called in to pinch hit. And by, “called in to pinch hit,” I mean, “threatened.”  

**** Actually, he’s just lazy. But you didn’t hear it from me. 

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