(Metagame Archive) Team KG Archives: Of Hands and Robots

By Alex Shvartsman

In last week’s article, I covered the basic GLEE strategy and talked about the version played by the KG/YMG conglomerate at PC Indy. Those of you who follow the DC Modern Age format will note that there are many viable cards that did not make the cut into our deck. This week, I’d like to start by discussing several of the more relevant choices.

GLEE Alternates

Helping Hand

Perhaps the greatest difference between the KG/YMG Prison GLEE variant and other successful GLEE decks in Indianapolis was our lack of Helping Hand. Team FTN swears by this plot twist. In a format where you are likely to have 6+ characters out in the mid-game turns, Helping Hand can often cancel one of your opponent’s attacks. In the FTN variant of GLEE, this card was part of their mirror match strategy. So why did we snub it? Simple—we believe that the best defense is a good offense.

Helping Hand can be great in a few situations. However, it will often be utterly useless, especially if an opponent is competent enough to attack around it. In most cases where I faced decks sporting this plot twist at Indy, it was easy enough to attack in such a way that an opponent could not use Helping Hand to stop the attack or had to use two of them, only to be stunned anyway thanks to !Ole! or Shock Troops.

Another major argument against Helping Hand is that while it may save your G’Nort from getting stunned, it does not help it stun back the opposing character. You may get ahead in the damage race, since the turns where you have initiative are crucial and you just hope to minimize the damage on other turns, but using a card like Prison Planet instead of a Helping Hand will actually help you to control your opponent’s board better; it makes it very difficult for him or her to attack you without getting stunned back.

For my money, !Ole! is a far better card because it lets you deal extra damage, will counter the opposing Helping Hand most of the time, and is generally useful in a greater range of scenarios.

Salakk and Sonar

In a GLEE build, you can never afford to miss an early drop. My version of the deck features a pretty fair range of characters, but many of my teammates (including the Prison GLEE designer, Craig Edwards) believe that even more 1-drops are necessary. Popular options for this slot are Sonar and Salakk. Sonar’s ability to exhaust characters can come in handy on occasion (though not often enough for me!), while Salakk’s 2 points of willpower will allow you to play The Ring Has Chosen for a second-turn Kyle Rayner. It will also stun G’Nort without stunning back, helping you to race ahead early on the life points or even end up with an extra character.

No Man Escapes the Manhunters
This card is truly excellent, and if I had to replay PC Indy, I would strongly consider using it over Trial by Sword (which is very good as well, but you just can’t fit in everything that you want). Bringing in a character out of the hidden area can be huge but will not happen very often. Even without it, this combat trick is particularly valuable because it does not have the restrictions of plot twists like Shock Troops or Trial by Sword.

Emerald Twilight

This card can be very effective in the mirror, allowing you to KO the opposing Dr. Light. Once again, in our eyes it simply lost out to the other locations and plot twists in the deck. But as an even bigger percentage of the field was playing GLEE than we initially anticipated for Indy, it was a viable alternative strategy.

Remoni-Notra ◊ Star Sapphire

As a turn 5 play, Remoni-Notra can help decimate an opponent’s board. Much like the rest of the deck, it works best with Olapet, but even the rest of your team can set up their attacks in such a way as to KO your opponent’s better characters. In the end, though, our testing prove it to be a less effective play than recruiting Hector Hammond and several other smaller characters on your opponent’s initiative or dropping Guy Gardner on yours.

The Best Deck in DC Modern Age

This weekend, two members of team KG traveled to the PCQ in Berlin, NJ. Traditionally, Constructed formats attract more players, but with a brand-new format and many of the more casual players not having their DC Modern Age decks ready yet, there were only seventeen players competing in Constructed. The Sealed Pack format, on the other hand, had 33 players. Both Freddie Crespo and Rick Corredor played our PC Indy deck with no changes. Despite having to play each other in the Swiss, both made the Top 8 and eventually met in the Top 4. Corredor conceded to Crespo, who went on to split in the finals with Marc Paternoster. It was generous of Paternoster to agree to a split, as the deck was he playing had a significant advantage in this matchup.

That’s right. There is a deck in this format that has a favorable matchup against GLEE. No, it’s not Anti-Matter, despite some players’ wishes. It’s Superman Robots! Here’s Paternoster’s list from this weekend:

Marc Paternoster

Winner, PCQ in Berlin, NJ, Aug 27

15 Soldiers of New Genesis

15 Superman Robots

4 Lois Lane

4 Phantom Zone

4 Birthing Chamber

2 The Kent Farm

2 Trial by Sword

4 Shock Troops

4 Armies of Qward

3 Royal Decree

3 Lanterns in Love

This deck surfaced at PC Indianapolis. Its concept is simple, effective, and yet something we did not even consider in our playtesting! That’s the great thing about Vs. System—there are so many different decks and concepts that are as of yet unexplored that you can count on someone showing up with a very original deck and doing well with it. It happened with Rigged Elections at PC Indy 2004 and with Superman Robots at PC Indy 2005.

Soldiers of New Genesis holds down the fort over the first few turns of the game. It can even go on the offensive, as a bunch of 2 ATK/2 DEF characters is a very aggressive start in many matchups. Then you start dropping Superman Robots every turn. On turn 3, you have a 4 ATK/4 DEF character. On turn 4, you have a pair of 6 ATK/6 DEF characters. Assuming that you weren’t forced to KO a Robot (and that is the plan!), by turn 5 you’ll have three 7 ATK/7 DEF characters and an extra Soldier to boot. Birthing Chamber and Armies of Qward help to keep your hand full of Robots, and you should have plenty left over to power up your characters and win combats.

The Kent Farm will help Robots take out even the largest characters, and Phantom Zone nullifies Dr. Light, Master of DC Modern Age.

Expect the Robots to play a major role in upcoming Modern Age PCQs.

If you have a question or comment about this article, please drop me a note at ashv at kingsgames dot com.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: