(Metagame Archive) The Avengers Preview: Titania, Vengeful Vixen

By Tim Willoughby

There are three things that will determine whether or not you win or lose any game of Vs. System: strategy, tactics, and luck. Luck is pretty straightforward, and I think that most of the time we’re all fairly well aware of how lucky or unlucky we might be at any given time. There isn’t anything you can reasonably do to improve it, though people have tried since the beginning of time. Think of the rabbits, people! Those feet are doing us no good. Just because they have two more than us doesn’t mean that they owe us anything.

Tactics is how you conduct your actions in a game based on what’s happening in the now. Within the space of a turn, it will represent playing as well as you possibly can, given the information that is explicitly available to you. To some extent, tactics are inherent in every individual play that you make. With a little bit of luck and strong tactical play, players can reasonably expect to do well in most games.

The final element, which I believe is the most important element of one’s game, is strategy. Strategy is forward-looking, whereas tactics are not. You can play perfectly reasonably every turn, but if your actions aren’t directed toward areas of strategic importance and focused on achieving position for subsequent turns, then it is easy to lose to an opponent who sees the game as a whole and acts accordingly. Strategic decisions are often based on imperfect information, which can make them pretty tough. But at the same time, they are often based on finding a single point of leverage in a matchup by boiling things down to the essentials, which can make tactical decisions easier.

With previews for the Avengers set upon us, everyone is looking forward to the new release, and there will no doubt be plenty of speculation about what we will see when it finally hits the shelves. If you look down just a little way, I must warn you, you’ll find quite a bit of speculation in this article. While none of the people who email me trying to find out about new cards believe me, I genuinely haven’t seen the entirety of the Avengers set. The only cards I ever see are the ones that I’m previewing, and I am massively grateful for just those little titbits from the UDE table. If the speculation below is correct, then hopefully I will be hailed as some sort of latter-day Nostradamus, greeted with awe and respect and allowed to sit at the captain’s table. If it isn’t, all I ask is that I get to have a cushion to sit on while I’m in the dunce’s corner.

Today’s card seems to spell an interesting new direction for a team in Vs. System. Here she is.

Titania might be familiar to many as a member of Dr. Doom’s team—part of a fairly exclusive club of Vs. ladies who have fought for the metal-faced menace. Titania was imbued with her powers (much like Darkoth) by the machinations of Doom, but eventually she moved out from under Doom’s wing and joined the Masters of Evil in their fourth incarnation. There she met Absorbing Man, whom she married. As if she didn’t have enough reasons to be less than keen on The Avengers, they rather crashed her wedding. The result: a pretty vengeful vixen.

At 10 ATK/8 DEF, Titania can happily mix it up with other 5-drops, but that is just the beginning of her abilities. Much like Erik Josten ◊ Goliath, who was previewed at Comic Con, Titania’s size and strength is compounded by her bringing a little bit of power to every recruit step.
While I could talk about the current effects on which extra resource points could be spent (Lion’s Den, Manhunter Guardsman, and Optitron seem to be prime examples), I am more interested in looking to the future and thinking a little about what Titania’s and Goliath’s abilities could mean for Vs. System.

I have a sneaking suspicion that their existence hints at big things for the new set that should be very positive in terms of reducing the negative effects of being unlucky, particularly in Sealed Pack formats. Nothing is more horrible in most decks than missing your allotted turn drop. As a feature match reporter at a couple of different Pro Circuits, I have seen great decks left in losing positions purely because they had to under-drop on a single turn of the game. That completely changes the tempo of the game in the least fun of manners.

The traditional solution to this problem has been character search effects, such as Signal Flare or Wild Ride. These are obviously very powerful, but as more and more of them come along, such search effects could do rather naughty things to the overall balance of the game. It isn’t necessarily fun to have a game where everyone is faced with the imperative of playing with some collection of search effects in order to be competitive, as it rather limits space in terms of creativity when some number of slots are locked in stone.

The other solution is to have effects that allow for the spending of “spare” resource points on useful effects so that they aren’t wasted when an appropriately costed character can’t be found. Teen Titans may well have been a little ahead of their time in that they have both Optitron and Red Star with which to ease the sting of occasional under-dropping. Now that Titania, Vengeful Vixen and Erik Josten ◊ Goliath have come to play, it looks like the time of resource payment effects has come, and along with it, yet another incentive toward off-curve play (which is less susceptible to missing its curve). Hopefully, we’ll see some smaller characters or locations with useful payment powers that involve spending resource points so that missing the curve is less devastating.

If all of these predictions are true, not only will I be the Grand High Poobah of Things that are Yet to Be, but Titania, Vengeful Vixen will be an absolute powerhouse, allowing the abilities to be used without even missing your curve. What is it about the bad girls that makes them so tempting? I wouldn’t dwell on it too much . . . just be thankful if this one is on your side.

Have fun and be lucky (but try to be strategic and tactical, too),

Tim “Grand High Poobah Elect” Willoughby

timwilloughby (at) hotmail.com   

There are three things that will determine whether or not you win or lose any game of Vs. System: strategy, tactics, and luck. Luck is pretty straightforward, and I think that most of the time we’re all fairly well aware of how lucky or unlucky we might be at any given time. There isn’t anything you can reasonably do to improve it, though people have tried since the beginning of time. Think of the rabbits, people! Those feet are doing us no good. Just because they have two more than us doesn’t mean that they owe us anything.

 

Tactics is how you conduct your actions in a game based on what’s happening in the now. Within the space of a turn, it will represent playing as well as you possibly can, given the information that is explicitly available to you. To some extent, tactics are inherent in every individual play that you make. With a little bit of luck and strong tactical play, players can reasonably expect to do well in most games.

 

The final element, which I believe is the most important element of one’s game, is strategy. Strategy is forward-looking, whereas tactics are not. You can play perfectly reasonably every turn, but if your actions aren’t directed toward areas of strategic importance and focused on achieving position for subsequent turns, then it is easy to lose to an opponent who sees the game as a whole and acts accordingly. Strategic decisions are often based on imperfect information, which can make them pretty tough. But at the same time, they are often based on finding a single point of leverage in a matchup by boiling things down to the essentials, which can make tactical decisions easier.

 

With previews for the Avengers set upon us, everyone is looking forward to the new release, and there will no doubt be plenty of speculation about what we will see when it finally hits the shelves. If you look down just a little way, I must warn you, you’ll find quite a bit of speculation in this article. While none of the people who email me trying to find out about new cards believe me, I genuinely haven’t seen the entirety of the Avengers set. The only cards I ever see are the ones that I’m previewing, and I am massively grateful for just those little titbits from the UDE table. If the speculation below is correct, then hopefully I will be hailed as some sort of latter-day Nostradamus, greeted with awe and respect and allowed to sit at the captain’s table. If it isn’t, all I ask is that I get to have a cushion to sit on while I’m in the dunce’s corner.

 

Today’s card seems to spell an interesting new direction for a team in Vs. System. Here she is.

 

Titania might be familiar to many as a member of Dr. Doom’s team—part of a fairly exclusive club of Vs. ladies who have fought for the metal-faced menace. Titania was imbued with her powers (much like Darkoth) by the machinations of Doom, but eventually she moved out from under Doom’s wing and joined the Masters of Evil in their fourth incarnation. There she met Absorbing Man, whom she married. As if she didn’t have enough reasons to be less than keen on The Avengers, they rather crashed her wedding. The result: a pretty vengeful vixen.

 

At 10 ATK/8 DEF, Titania can happily mix it up with other 5-drops, but that is just the beginning of her abilities. Much like Erik Josten ◊ Goliath, who was previewed at Comic Con, Titania’s size and strength is compounded by her bringing a little bit of power to every recruit step.

While I could talk about the current effects on which extra resource points could be spent (Lion’s Den, Manhunter Guardsman, and Optitron seem to be prime examples), I am more interested in looking to the future and thinking a little about what Titania’s and Goliath’s abilities could mean for Vs. System.

 

I have a sneaking suspicion that their existence hints at big things for the new set that should be very positive in terms of reducing the negative effects of being unlucky, particularly in Sealed Pack formats. Nothing is more horrible in most decks than missing your allotted turn drop. As a feature match reporter at a couple of different Pro Circuits, I have seen great decks left in losing positions purely because they had to under-drop on a single turn of the game. That completely changes the tempo of the game in the least fun of manners.

 

The traditional solution to this problem has been character search effects, such as Signal Flare or Wild Ride. These are obviously very powerful, but as more and more of them come along, such search effects could do rather naughty things to the overall balance of the game. It isn’t necessarily fun to have a game where everyone is faced with the imperative of playing with some collection of search effects in order to be competitive, as it rather limits space in terms of creativity when some number of slots are locked in stone.

 

The other solution is to have effects that allow for the spending of “spare” resource points on useful effects so that they aren’t wasted when an appropriately costed character can’t be found. Teen Titans may well have been a little ahead of their time in that they have both Optitron and Red Star with which to ease the sting of occasional under-dropping. Now that Titania, Vengeful Vixen and Erik Josten ◊ Goliath have come to play, it looks like the time of resource payment effects has come, and along with it, yet another incentive toward off-curve play (which is less susceptible to missing its curve). Hopefully, we’ll see some smaller characters or locations with useful payment powers that involve spending resource points so that missing the curve is less devastating.

 

If all of these predictions are true, not only will I be the Grand High Poobah of Things that are Yet to Be, but Titania, Vengeful Vixen will be an absolute powerhouse, allowing the abilities to be used without even missing your curve. What is it about the bad girls that makes them so tempting? I wouldn’t dwell on it too much . . . just be thankful if this one is on your side.

 

Have fun and be lucky (but try to be strategic and tactical, too),

 

Tim “Grand High Poobah Elect” Willoughby

 

timwilloughby (at) hotmail.com
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