(Metagame Archive) Cerebro XIII

By Paul Ross

Hi all.

Lots of reader questions to get through today. Some continue to investigate the new hotness that is Green Lantern (Book of Oa; Sinestro, Green Lantern of Korugar; Nero; Fifth Dimension) and others examine some of the staples of the current metagame (Betrayal, USS Argus, Terra, Nasty Surprise), and of course there is the usual complement of the weird and wonderful.

As always, we’ll kick things off with the feature question, which also came up at PCNY:


If my single attacker has negative DEF (due to Locked in Combat, for example) and is attacking a defender with negative ATK (due to Acrobatic Dodge, for example), does my attacker get stunned?


Dan O., San Antonio, TX, USA

Yes it does.

First of all, any negative values in the game are treated as 0 for the purposes of comparison (except for endurance totals), so both negative values in this question are treated as 0 during the ATK/DEF comparisons at the attack conclusion.

Then, if the defender’s ATK is greater than or equal to the attacker’s DEF during attack conclusion, the defender stuns the attacker.


A player controls Book of Oa and three characters with willpower 2 or greater. The problem is that he only has one card left in his deck and no cards in his hand. Can he draw the one card from his deck, even though he does not have three? And must he then discard that one card?


Thomas S., Chicago, IL, USA

Yes, he may indeed choose to look at the single card in his deck on resolution of Book of Oa’s triggered effect. Technically, what he’s doing is choosing to look at the top three cards and resolving as much of the effect as possible, but the end result is the same.

And yes, if he does and his hand is empty just prior to resolution, he will have to immediately discard that card as part of resolving the effect.

Say you have a card like Night Vision in play and then use a power like Madame Web’s. While you are looking at the two cards as part of her effect, can you still look at the top card of your deck (thus allowing you to really see three cards—the two you are looking at and the one currently on top)?


Adam E.

Interesting question, but the answer is no. Night Vision allows you to continually reveal the top card of your opponent’s deck and look at the top card of yours at any time. Activating Madame Web allows you to look at the top two cards of a player’s deck. However, that doesn’t mean that the third card in that deck becomes the top card – the top card is still the top card, even if you can see it.

Only if you choose to put both cards into that player’s KO’d pile via Madame Web’s effect will Night Vision allow you to look at the next card (previously the third card, now the top card!).

I have three questions about Sinestro, Green Lantern of Korugar. Say my opponent controls Sinestro and my Superman, Big Blue Boy Scout attacks another character controlled by that opponent, but I’m somehow able to ready Superman (before attack conclusion or in response to Sinestro’s triggered effect). Given this situation, is it correct to say that Sinestro’s triggered effect would attempt to stun Superman but would be negated by Superman’s continuous power?


Philip H., Manila, Philippines

Almost. Sinestro’s triggered effect wouldn’t be “negated,” but it would do nothing when it resolved.

Would Cassie Sandsmark ◊ Wonder Girl’s ability also negate Sinestro’s effect, given that Sinestro is a 6-drop?


Philip H., Manila, Philippines

Yep, same deal. Cassie cannot be stunned by Sinestro, so his triggered effect will resolve but do nothing.

What would be the result of the following scenario? Assume Gotham Knights and Green Lantern are teamed up. You control Barbara Gordon ◊ Batgirl, an equipped Sinestro, Green Lantern of Korugar, and a third character. Your opponent attacks and stuns the third character you control, triggering Sinestro’s power and stunning the attacker. Would Barbara’s power also trigger, resulting in a card draw?


Philip H., Manila, Philippines

Absolutely correct (and a team attack would result in multiple card draws).

The following thing came up at a Sealed event recently. Sinestro, Green Lantern of Korugar was helped off to the hidden area by his good friend Krona. On the other side of the board were Nero and some Anti-Matter allies. Nero’s controller proceeded to attack down the curve with each of his characters, allowing Sinestro’s triggered effect to go on the chain each time and then KOing each such character to Nero’s power in response, thereby avoiding stun endurance loss and dealing a little bit of “burn” to the opponent, as well. Was this a correct interpretation of Sinestro’s power?


Ryan A.

Full marks for this, as well!

Both of my questions involve the character Lex Luthor, President Luthor and the location Fifth Dimension. First, if I send Lex to the Fifth Dimension, will his drawing power trigger when he comes back?


Martin L.

No, he has to be (face up) in play as the draw phase starts for his power to trigger.

If Lex is in the Fifth Dimension and my opponent KO’s the Fifth Dimension location, what happens to Lex?


Martin L.

You still put him into your front row at the start of the next draw phase because a continuous modifier from an effect exists independently of its source. The Construct characters from Green Lantern (Light Brigade, Mouse Trap, and Space Bears) are another example of this kind of modifier.

If I use Fifth Dimension on Lex Luthor, President Luthor during the recruit step, and then recruit a new one, they will both remain in play when the original returns because it’s not being recruited?


Ken V., Cape Coral, FL, USA

That’s right. The uniqueness rule only applies when you recruit a character (or flip a location).

And if I activate Fifth Dimension to target a cosmic character with no counter, would it receive a new one as it returned to play, or does that only occur when recruited?


Ken V., Cape Coral, FL, USA

A character with cosmic comes into play with a cosmic counter on it, regardless of how it comes into play.

Say I control Magneto, Master of Magnetism and some Sentinel characters, including Mark II, Number II. If my opponent plays Betrayal and I choose to stun one of my Sentinel characters, does Mark II, Number II prevent the stun? The way Betrayal is worded, it seems like I myself would be stunning the character, rather than Betrayal.



Yes, Mark II, Number II will prevent the stun. While it’s true that you yourself are choosing the character to be stunned, you’re doing so because the modifier from Betrayal’s effect is instructing you to do so.

My opponent controls USS Argus as the draw phase begins. He claims that once the “draw two cards” effect is on the chain, if he KO’s USS Argus in response (with Terra, for example), he can draw two cards. I thought USS Argus stopped the effect from going on the chain in the first place?



Your opponent is correct. The USS Argus modifier (“You cannot draw cards during the draw phase”) doesn’t stop the “draw two cards” effect from going on the chain. It simply means that effect does nothing on resolution for the controller of USS Argus. If USS Argus is no longer (face up) in play, the effect will resolve normally.

Say it’s the fourth turn and my opponent controls only a 2-drop with evasion. It’s my initiative and I plan to recruit Terra. In response, my opponent evades before Terra comes into play. If I control USS Argus and want to KO it, can I target the stunned 2-drop with Terra’s activated effect to replace the USS Argus? Terra’s text doesn’t say the target character must be non-stunned. Is this possible?



Yep, that works fine.

Is Blackgate Prison another example? Blackgate Prison doesn’t explicitly say to stun a non-stunned character. So, can I use Blackgate Prison to stun an already stunned character and draw a card?



Nope. This is different because here the stun is a cost of playing the effect (rather than part of the resolution of the effect, as it is in the case of Terra). An already stunned character cannot be used to pay a cost of stunning a character.

If my defender is a victim of Nasty Surprise and Overload, is there a window in which to recover that character (take a look at Lanterns in Love, for example) and keep it in the attack? Or does it lose the defender characteristic upon being stunned?


Jon C., Arizona, USA

First some news for any readers who’ve been off orbiting Venus for the past week: Overload has been banned from Golden Age constructed play starting July 1, 2005. Here’s the full announcement.

To answer the question, stunned characters lose the defender characteristic (as well as the attacker, team attacker, and protected characteristics).

Does that character remember it had a Nasty Surprise played on it and retain the +5 ATK?


Jon C., Arizona, USA

Yes. Even though it doesn’t retain the defender characteristic, it does retain the +5 ATK for the duration of the attack (both if it is stunned or subsequently recovered). It only needs to be a “target defender” on resolution of the Nasty Surprise.

Thus ends another Cerebro. Next week, I’m planning a Mega Special Edition™ covering questions from three, count them, three recent major events: PC NY, $10K Manila, and $10K Sydney. Then it will be back to business as usual the following week. If you’d like to see your question published, please send it to vsrules@gmail.com (and if you’d like to win three boosters, please include your mailing address!).


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