(Metagame Archive) Voices from the Field: Green Lantern’s Generic Code, Part 2

By Ben Kalman

Yes, I know I said “in two weeks,” but then I remembered that PC: NY is next week, so next week’s article would have little room for going over the Green Lantern set.

So without further ado, here is the second part of my look at the generic cards in Green Lantern. I’m examining locations and equipment and their . . . erm . . . “splashability” into other decks. Once again, I will overlook most cards that focus on willpower, as they’re not really useful outside of Green Lantern decks.

Location, location, location!

The generic locations in this set are all over the map, and some of them are screaming to be unleashed in decks of all colors and sizes.

Let’s start with Birthing Chamber, otherwise known as God’s gift to Sinister Syndicate. In raw Syndicate decks, discarding cards is a necessary evil that feeds everything from Tombstone to Green Goblin, Norman Osborn. And Syndicate decks generally thrive on the swarm, which means that they’ll usually have at least four or five characters on the field at exactly the same time that they start running out of cards in hand. Sure, they have draw power with Osborn Industries, but that costs a discard to use, so you’re replacing a card and not actually gaining one; sifting, not drawing.

Well, Birthing Chamber is a reusable card-drawing machine that rewards swarm decks by providing a draw as early as turn 3 or a double draw and single discard if you have six or more characters on the field. This not only allows you to fill up your hand, which will deplete when you drop multiple characters each turn, but also feeds those discard effects.

As well, Birthing Chamber loves Manhunter decks (the faction that the R&D team likely had in mind when this card was created), which can explode with a turn 5 or 6 über-swarm, launching Sleeper Agents and excavating and engineering dozens of mini-Manhunters to overwhelm your opponent. When you suddenly rise from two or three characters on the field to six or seven, you can reward yourself with a card draw or two. That should refill your hand with tricks to use on those newfound robots of destruction.

Also, with a mini-resurgence of Vomit in the works (both the Wild kind and rogue decks like that crazy, newfangled Thuggee/Skrull Soldier/Longshot deck seen at $10K Brisbane last weekend), there are all sorts of possibilities for Birthing Chamber to help find the cards one needs, be they drops, power-ups, or that Underground Sentinel Base that your Longshot can’t seem to dig up. With Armies of Qward making multiple-faction Army decks more and more intriguing, this card should see a lot of action in testing.

Next up is Coast City, which is not so much anti-flight as splash-friendly. Afraid to use Longshot because you can’t reinforce him? Know how those Puppet Masters have always been the weak link in your deck? This made you stick ’em behind your beefcake and hope that your opponent didn’t have the flight (or the sense) to target them for a stomping, right? Well, now you have a way to protect them, as Coast City is a reusable location that forces your opponent to take out the front row protection racket before moving in on the support row pancake. Until now, this type of character-protection effect seemed to be limited to Superman drops or to those daring enough to try to squeeze My Hero into their decklists. Coast City makes it more inviting to splash a character that could otherwise be a weak link.

And now, on to Mosaic World. This card is the boon that Mojo fanatics (me included!) have been waiting for. It allows you to take all of your unaffiliated characters and use them together as though they were on the same team. It also allows you to splash affiliated characters into an unaffiliated deck without worrying about having a weak link or an open target. You can now reinforce that Puppet Master, team attack with Arcade to KO those higher drops, and cause all forms of migraines for your opponent as he or she has to plan around new and more complex board strategies.

Unaffiliated decks aren’t the only ones to gain from this card, as Solitaire decks can also rejoice. Ever wanted to run a Big Men deck with powerful characters at every drop—regardless of affiliation—without having to worry about a lack of reinforcement? Or how about being able to use those characters to take out your opponent’s higher drops without breaking a sweat? Mosaic World allows that dream to come true, as it provides you with a sleeve full of aces that didn’t exist before. You can now play a viable solitaire deck without worrying about its biggest weakness—being stuck with a board full of characters that cannot individually face what your opponent has on the table but could collectively wipe the floor with your opponent if they could attack together.

Remember that Mosaic World does not give you an affiliation, so you cannot get around loyalty restrictions with this card and you can’t use team-stamped attack pumps (like It’s Clobberin’ Time!) on characters of other affiliations. This location only provides you with the ability to team attack and reinforce as though your characters had all affiliations. Just as Nightcrawler and Spiral don’t actually have flight or range, neither will your characters gain any new affiliations.

Equip to This!

Light Armor may cost a resource point if your character doesn’t have willpower, but its usefulness far outweighs such a minor drawback. What makes Light Armor so attractive is that it’s a +3 ATK boost that doubles as a plot twist. How many ATK pumps of +3 or higher are in this game? How many of those don’t have some form of drawback or team stamp? And, to narrow down the field even further, how many of them have absolutely no threshold cost? You’re looking at a +3 ATK boost to any attacker, regardless of affiliation, with no cost or drawback outside of having to discard it.

Now, if that doesn’t interest you enough, it is searchable Construct equipment that gives a +3 ATK boost to its equipped character for a cost of only 1 (or 0 for a character with willpower). Fantastic Four should love this card, and if you pop it on Stretch, it not only costs nothing to play, but also makes him a 10 ATK/10 DEF 5-drop. None too shabby, I’d say.

Next on the Construct equipment table is Chopping Block. Chopping Block is a fun little card that allows the equipped character to activate to remove stunned characters from the game. This means that Avalon Space Station, Reconstruction Program, and many Underworld devices cannot make use of the character. As well, its secondary ability (discard it and two other cards for one-shot character removal) is a difficult task, as it’s not easy to sacrifice three cards to remove one. It can, however, be more than worth it in the right situation, especially when you team up to take down that one pesky character that will just recover somehow if you don’t.
 
While Chopping Block is perhaps not as splashable or useful as Light Armor, it is definitely a more powerful card in the right deck. It’s just a matter of finding that right deck.

Finally, we have one of the most useful cards in the set: Catcher’s Mitt. Another Construct, Catcher’s Mitt gives everyone on the field reinforcement or can be discarded as a one-shot reinforcement effect targeting a single character. It’s less effective than Burn Rubber on the whole, but it can’t be stopped by those nasty Not So Fasts. Just the ability to fearlessly play a low drop in the high turns without having to worry about those mean 7- and 8-drops mulching you for über-breakthrough makes this card well worth considering. Popping down a 1- or 2-drop on turn 7 with a Mitt helps you to throw the game open with whatever tricks you had in mind without having to worrying about sucking on the pain pipe as a result of your recruitment drive. It’s particularly vicious in Sealed Pack play, but it can be equally nasty in the right Constructed deck.

When I return from PC: NY, I shall bring forth an old deck with new tricks and look at what happens when a deck that had kinks gets to splash these generic DGL cards.

Also, thanks to Robert Smith for catching an error in last week’s article. Construct characters do KO at the beginning of the recovery phase, even if they’re stunned.

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 1,600 members! For more on the Yahoo! group, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Marvel_DC_TCG.

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