(Metagame Archive) Two Turns Ahead – No Poor Relations

By Tim Willoughby

This week, I am a happy bunny. I’m sure that the fact that every other living thing (with the possible exception of grass) is a predator for the common rabbit means that there aren’t many happy bunnies, but I am equally sure that I am one of them. After an extended period of illness in which my long term travel companion Lappy feigned death, he has made a spectacular recovery. All of a sudden, I’m able to write about things on the move, and to celebrate, I elected to write the following article a full twelve feet away from my more traditional writing spot. On a comfy chair, next to the fire, and with a great view of the big TV, things are pretty spiffy here. Even with an above average length of extension cable, Mr. Desktop wouldn’t be able to do that.

Of course, it isn’t just the comfy chair benefits that are making me happy. I really couldn’t afford to replace my dear friend Lappy, and not having to do so makes my wallet happy. When my wallet is happy, the rest of me tends to be, too. Jubilation abounds.

I fully understand that money can’t buy happiness, but at the same time, it does run a pretty good line in staving off the miserable. This applies just as much to the Vs. System as it does anything else. While being rich certainly won’t make anybody a good player, there are occasions where a lack of card availability can hamper one’s results. To this end, I have a little gift to the Vs. community in the form of a decklist that can be played for the rest of the PCQ season before Pro Circuit LA.

This list originally came to me from Mr. Cory Eisenhard, who was keen to point out that it’s ideal for the player looking to compete on a tighter budget, or indeed for someone just looking for something a little different. If any of you have big bundles of cash and still elect to play the deck (which wouldn’t be the worst choice you’ve ever made), then I would recommend that you send some to either he or I. I know it’s not quite as fun as having a money fight with it, but if it makes you feel any better, we promise only to spend donations on goofy escapades.

Cheap Thrills

Characters

24 Anti-Green Lantern

4 Xallarap

4 Element Man

Plot Twists

4 Emerald Dawn

4 Q-Field

4 Thunderous Onslaught

4 No Man Escapes the Manhunters

4 I Hate Magic!

4 Locked in Combat

4 Cosmic Conflict

This is the most basic list for the deck and it has a very simple plan, most of which involves attacking for lots of endurance loss. Lots. With twenty combat pumps and eight card drawing effects (Element Man’s replacement ability lets you reload when looking for the kill), there is ample potential for all of those characters with surprisingly high costs to make the most of their deadly attack power.

The interesting thing comes when one looks at matchups. Cheap Thrills has a pretty positive matchup against GLEE, assuming that one is willing to get a little bit tricky with one’s hidden hip-hop heavies. Even though the deck runs 24 1-drops, it is generally correct to suck up some beats for the first couple of turns, even if those Anti-Green Lanterns could do some decent damage. The thing is, each of them is more powerful on turn 3 than they could possibly be on turn 1, when all they represent is 4 endurance loss, because they die at the end of the turn in which they come into play. On turn 3, three Anti-Green Lanterns represent a really scary proposition for most opposing boards. It is not very hard for them to stun the vast majority of an opponent’s board, which effectively harms the opponent’s board position much more than your own. Indeed, if one’s opponent has a character able to stun on of your Anti-Green Lanterns, it is a positive thing for you. The game text on the concealed 1-drop (and on Xallarap) will only cause it to be KO’d at the start of the recovery phase if it’s unstunned. If it’s face down at the start of the recovery phase, then it’s free to recover as normal. When one considers this, Locked in Combat becomes one of the most important cards in the whole deck, and an opponent playing Light Armor is often a recipe for a game win for you.

Things get even trickier when one looks at Xallarap. A 9 ATK/9 DEF on turn 3 or 4 is a pretty sizeable threat, and you will often find that he represents an almost insurmountable force for an opposing team. A little bit of a pity then, that he is naturally concealed. Enter Q-Field. With this harmless looking plot twist, one can let Xallarap jump out into the open to act as a pretty effective wall for a turn. If opponents want to attack him, they will likely need to make it a big team-attack, and that will leave him stunned (and as such, able to fight on the following turn). If not, then he will have saved you a whole turn of opposing beats. Depending on the initiative, Cosmic Conflict or Thunderous Onslaught can work a similar mojo. Most interestingly of all, every now and again it is even appropriate to play No Man Escapes the Manhunters to bring Xallarap into the open to stand back on D. Every now and again, Thinking Outside the Box is more than just a card.

The standard decklist as it was presented to me contained only four uncommons and not a single rare. Emerald Dawn is at its most effective when it can be used on a character marked for death anyway to fetch whomsoever is most appropriate for enforcing the beatdown manifesto of Team Anti-Matter. If one does want to go overboard and make the deck a little pricier, there’s really not a lot to do. Some interesting options include Dead-Eye, who is a great answer to Dr. Light, Master of Holograms, even if he can’t be fetched by Emerald Dawn. The other potential option is to include the ubiquitous doctor himself. It is fairly rare for one to have any huge decisions about which character to recover with the deck, and Dr. Light will always be a happy recovery that allows you to create a slightly scarier board with each successive turn.

One way or another, there is no need to add rares to the deck. And then you can spend the money you saved on treating your mum to a nice bouquet of flowers. Mums love that sort of thing.

Be good to your wallet and your mum.

Tim “Back with Lappy Again” Willoughby

timwilloughby@hotmail.com

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