(Metagame Archive) Fantastic Four Starter Deck Preview: Darkoth, Death Demon

By Tim Willoughby

Preview time is a happy time, and with the release of the new starter decks, we all get a little bit of a snack in-between the meals of each new 220 card set. Today, you (lucky, lucky reader) get the opportunity to look at just one of the cards from the Fantastic Four vs. Dr. Doom starter decks. These decks have been designed to help new players learn the game, and there have been rumours of slightly “simpler” cards. But have no fear—just because something is straightforward does not mean that it can’t be really strong.

I’m sure anyone who’s experienced a simple slap in the face will agree.

Desmund Pitt’s tale is one of the more unfortunate ones in the Marvel universe. A military test pilot and friend of Ben Grimm prior to his “thingification,” Pitt was a hapless victim of Dr. Doom’s desire to make an example of his enemies. When Doom caught him spying on one of his various nefarious schemes, it was decided that he would face the “ironic punishments division” of the masked Lord of Latveria’s reign of terror.

Rather than pushing him off his mortal coil, Doom instead chose to give him a bit of a slap in the face by taking his (by all accounts perfectly serviceable) human body and having a tinker around with it. What was there when he was finished was unrecognisable as a man. Doom had rebuilt Pitt as Darkoth the Death Demon in the guise of a creature from Latverian legend. Through use of robotics and various chemical treatments, Darkoth gained super size and strength and a limited psionic ability. The final kicker, though, was that his memory was replaced with the false impression that he was a demon rescued by Doom from Netherworld, such that Pitt found himself being the most loyal servant of his sworn enemy.

Doom players, thus far, have had a little bit of a decision to make for their 6-drop. Clearly, there is Dr. Doom, Victor Von Doom, who is both large and in charge, but rather unfortunately forces one to get rid of the 4-drop of choice, Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius. Luke Cage, Power Man has also been seen jiving with the doctor, but ultimately he is a hero for hire, and Doom doesn’t have a lot of time for people who try to be heroes. He likes to turn them into villainous minions. Have a look . . .

One must suppose that, having had his own face encased in steel, Doom felt no strong inclination to make Darkoth pretty. He did bestow various other gifts, though. At 12 ATK and 11 DEF, he is slightly below average in natural size for a 6-drop, so it’s possible that he might want to hide behind someone when forming up. His range allows this without limiting his offensive potential. Make no mistake—Darkoth wants to attack.

With his ability turning him into a 14ATK/13DEF monster when exhausted, Darkoth will always be big enough to be of serious concern when on offense. At this size, he will naturally stun most 6-drops without needing to concern himself with being stunned in return. I wish that I were this good in a fight when exhausted. Frankly, when I’m exhausted I’m not good for much of anything.

On defense, if he has already exhausted to some effect, Darkoth, Death Demon is still quite the force. If your opponent is lacking in flight, then he or she will have to attack through someone to get to him. If you exhaust Darkoth to reinforce that character, then all of a sudden your opponent will have to use a trick to stun him. All this effort can quickly become enough to exhaust anyone. Of course, just because Darkoth is in the starter set doesn’t mean that you can’t get a little bit tricky with him. Imagine that you have a situation where you just cannot justify having Darkoth out back behind somebody. Is your opponent safely able to attack him if he or she doesn’t have some sort of a trick to stun him? If the opponent chooses to take the risk, there are all sorts of effects that you can use to make life really tricky. Something like Heat Vision or Narrow Escape will make him quite colossally big, but for my money, little tricks involving things like Home Surgery or Finishing Move are a lot more fun.

Darkoth is just another tool in Dr. Doom’s nefarious schemes. But what a tool he is.

Take care,

Tim “No Use to Anyone when Exhausted” Willoughby

timwilloughby (at) hotmail (dot) com

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