(Metagame Archive) X-Men Preview: Sebastian Shaw, Black King

Justin Gary

The seductive power of the Hellfire Club has finally come to the Vs. System. Or has it? Perhaps they’ve really been here all along, lurking, waiting for the right moment to reveal themselves. One can never be too sure with this elusive cabal. One thing is for sure, though—now that the Hellfire Club has been exposed, the whole world is in trouble.

The Hellfire Club works from the shadows, manipulating others to do their bidding and striking only when they have accumulated enough power to crush all of their enemies. The mechanics of the Hellfire team mimic this, using many hidden characters to support one visible character and buy time for a massive onslaught. It takes a lot of ruthlessness and power to head a group like this, and Sebastian Shaw has plenty of both.

“Hail to the King, baby.”

For the low, low price of sacrificing his spent minions, Sebastian Shaw gets to hit twice and hit hard. Shaw is very splashy, but you might not realize how good he is at first glance. Some players might be turned off by the cost of using his ability. KO’ing two characters may seem like a lot, but the Hellfire Club is notorious for draining every drop of utility out of its members before sacrificing them. Shaw doesn’t care if his minions are exhausted or even stunned. So, assuming you can attack with the characters adjacent to Shaw first, you don’t lose anything by KO’ing them for Shaw’s second attack. Not to mention that after attacking twice with a 16 ATK / 16 DEF, there will rarely be a need for those characters on the next turn.

Because Shaw has concealed–optional, you have ultimate control over how turn 7 will go. Even when you don’t have the initiative, you can still swing in for serious beatings. No other character can match the damage output of Shaw. Unlike other 7-drops with the ability to ready, Shaw doesn’t care about the size of your opponent’s characters (like Wolverine, Berserker Rage) or what row they’re in (like Sub-Mariner, Ally of Doom), and he certainly doesn’t have any namby-pamby, can’t-do-breakthrough-damage clause (like Hercules). If you play your cards right, Shaw is just like playing two 7-drops on turn 7. All this power comes from being at the top of the food chain in the world’s most elite organization. In short . . .

“It’s good to be the King.”

In an emergency, you can put Shaw into the visible area to help defend against a dangerous assault. The Hellfire Club does a very good job of supporting a single visible character when there is trouble, and they are very good at moving characters into and out of hiding when the need arises. Shaw is the lynchpin of an aggressive yet flexible strategy that allows you to set the terms of battle. As the Hellfire Club, you get to decide who your opponents can attack, and you have plenty of tricks in store for them when they do. By carefully planning and plotting from the shadows, you can set up a devastating turn with Shaw, punishing those who would defy the power of the Hellfire Club. Shaw is a powerhouse on his own and even more of a terror with the shadowy tricks of the other Hellfire Club cards at his disposal. All of this will become abundantly clear come the Sneak Preview events on February 11–12. Until then, however . . .

“The King has left the building.” The seductive power of the Hellfire Club has finally come to the Vs. System. Or has it? Perhaps they’ve really been here all along, lurking, waiting for the right moment to reveal themselves. One can never be too sure with this elusive cabal. One thing is for sure, though—now that the Hellfire Club has been exposed, the whole world is in trouble.

 

The Hellfire Club works from the shadows, manipulating others to do their bidding and striking only when they have accumulated enough power to crush all of their enemies. The mechanics of the Hellfire team mimic this, using many hidden characters to support one visible character and buy time for a massive onslaught. It takes a lot of ruthlessness and power to head a group like this, and Sebastian Shaw has plenty of both.

 

“Hail to the King, baby.”

 

 

 

 

For the low, low price of sacrificing his spent minions, Sebastian Shaw gets to hit twice and hit hard. Shaw is very splashy, but you might not realize how good he is at first glance. Some players might be turned off by the cost of using his ability. KO’ing two characters may seem like a lot, but the Hellfire Club is notorious for draining every drop of utility out of its members before sacrificing them. Shaw doesn’t care if his minions are exhausted or even stunned. So, assuming you can attack with the characters adjacent to Shaw first, you don’t lose anything by KO’ing them for Shaw’s second attack. Not to mention that after attacking twice with a 16 ATK / 16 DEF, there will rarely be a need for those characters on the next turn.

 

Because Shaw has concealed–optional, you have ultimate control over how turn 7 will go. Even when you don’t have the initiative, you can still swing in for serious beatings. No other character can match the damage output of Shaw. Unlike other 7-drops with the ability to ready, Shaw doesn’t care about the size of your opponent’s characters (like Wolverine, Berserker Rage) or what row they’re in (like Sub-Mariner, Ally of Doom), and he certainly doesn’t have any namby-pamby, can’t-do-breakthrough-damage clause (like Hercules). If you play your cards right, Shaw is just like playing two 7-drops on turn 7. All this power comes from being at the top of the food chain in the world’s most elite organization. In short . . .

 

“It’s good to be the King.”

 

In an emergency, you can put Shaw into the visible area to help defend against a dangerous assault. The Hellfire Club does a very good job of supporting a single visible character when there is trouble, and they are very good at moving characters into and out of hiding when the need arises. Shaw is the lynchpin of an aggressive yet flexible strategy that allows you to set the terms of battle. As the Hellfire Club, you get to decide who your opponents can attack, and you have plenty of tricks in store for them when they do. By carefully planning and plotting from the shadows, you can set up a devastating turn with Shaw, punishing those who would defy the power of the Hellfire Club. Shaw is a powerhouse on his own and even more of a terror with the shadowy tricks of the other Hellfire Club cards at his disposal. All of this will become abundantly clear come the Sneak Preview events on February 11–12. Until then, however . . .

 

“The King has left the building.”
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