(Metagame Archive) Infinite Crisis Preview: Mr. Freeze, Brutal Blizzard

By Patrick Sullivan

In my history of writing previews for Metagame.com, I have typically been assigned the more esoteric cards. Panacea Potion required a little bit of suspended disbelief from the public (“How am I supposed to play with no hand?”), even if that disbelief seems a bit absurd in retrospect. Joker, Joker’s Wild is, you know, not a very playable card. Goblin Glider debuted at a time when off-curve was limited to combo and Army decks, and Sunfire first saw the light of day when the X-Men weren’t tournament viable. Never have I previewed a card where I expected the reader to look at it and say, “Yeah, obviously this is insane.” That ends with today’s card, Mr. Freeze, Brutal Blizzard.

Weighing in with 9 ATK and 10 DEF, Mr. Freeze has what many consider to be the ideal stats for a 5-drop. In a world where the benchmark is 9 ATK / 9 DEF, Mr. Freeze is able to tackle other 5-drops without aid and live to tell the tale, which already makes him a noteworthy Sealed Pack card. What puts him well over the top, both in Constructed and Sealed Pack play, is his vengeance trigger, which locks down a character with cost 5 or less for the entire turn. Vengeance, for those of you out of the loop, triggers whenever the character with vengeance becomes stunned. This is actually the most challenging part of navigating Mr. Freeze; you have to find a way to stun him, which is a relatively desirable complaint to have about a character as far as these things go.

If you have the initiative on the fifth turn in a standard curve game, Mr. Freeze will almost always bust things wide open. You can send Mr. Freeze at your opponent’s 5-drop and either cause a one-sided stun because Mr. Freeze is too big, or force a mutual stun and lock down your opponent’s 5-drop that turn. Your opponent is often forced to KO his or her 5-drop because (assuming all of your opponent’s characters get stunned) he or she will be left with only one character going into the sixth turn. Anything on top of this (say, a Finishing Move on your opponent’s 4-drop) will compound your opponent’s misery even further, leaving his or her board completely decimated.

Mr. Freeze is still rough to handle even when you don’t have the initiative because of his better-than-average stats. Your opponent still has to fight through him, and Mr. Freeze still messes up your opponent’s defensive formation on the following turn. He can possibly even prevent a concealed character from cracking back on the sixth turn.

These are only the most generic examples. Villains United will deal a lot with vengeance and with ways of enabling it a little less painfully, so you can bet Mr. Freeze will be keeping plenty of annoying utility characters on lock in Constructed on a regular basis. Golden Archer, Dr. Light, and other characters with activated powers can be totally shut down by Mr. Freeze. Decks built around building up a density of concealed characters will find life difficult with Mr. Freeze in play. Mr. Freeze really has no bad matchups—curve or off-curve, concealed or visible, even in regular attacking or combo decks, Mr. Freeze is one of the rare characters with applications across every axis of interaction.

Normally, my previews require a little hand holding. You know, the standard “This doesn’t look good, but with this or that or in conjunction with this mechanic, it’ll be really good!” I don’t think Mr. Freeze requires that sort of explanation. He is, quite simply, well above the curve for a 5-drop. In Sealed Pack, Mr. Freeze will be a borderline bomb, and he’s a common. In Constructed, I expect curve decks with Enemy of My Enemy to splash him just because he’s that good. He’s good on either side of the initiative, even if you aren’t trying to get tricky with him, and his power increases if you dabble into a few choice team-stamped plot twists that Villains United has to offer. Cards like Mr. Freeze come around only so often, so my advice would be to add a few of these to whatever deck you’re building and enjoy yourself. Quite honestly, I don’t ever expect it to get better than Mr. Freeze. In my history of writing previews for Metagame.com, I have typically been assigned the more esoteric cards. Panacea Potion required a little bit of suspended disbelief from the public (“How am I supposed to play with no hand?”), even if that disbelief seems a bit absurd in retrospect. Joker, Joker’s Wild is, you know, not a very playable card. Goblin Glider debuted at a time when off-curve was limited to combo and Army decks, and Sunfire first saw the light of day when the X-Men weren’t tournament viable. Never have I previewed a card where I expected the reader to look at it and say, “Yeah, obviously this is insane.” That ends with today’s card, Mr. Freeze, Brutal Blizzard.

 

Weighing in with 9 ATK and 10 DEF, Mr. Freeze has what many consider to be the ideal stats for a 5-drop. In a world where the benchmark is 9 ATK / 9 DEF, Mr. Freeze is able to tackle other 5-drops without aid and live to tell the tale, which already makes him a noteworthy Sealed Pack card. What puts him well over the top, both in Constructed and Sealed Pack play, is his vengeance trigger, which locks down a character with cost 5 or less for the entire turn. Vengeance, for those of you out of the loop, triggers whenever the character with vengeance becomes stunned. This is actually the most challenging part of navigating Mr. Freeze; you have to find a way to stun him, which is a relatively desirable complaint to have about a character as far as these things go.

 

If you have the initiative on the fifth turn in a standard curve game, Mr. Freeze will almost always bust things wide open. You can send Mr. Freeze at your opponent’s 5-drop and either cause a one-sided stun because Mr. Freeze is too big, or force a mutual stun and lock down your opponent’s 5-drop that turn. Your opponent is often forced to KO his or her 5-drop because (assuming all of your opponent’s characters get stunned) he or she will be left with only one character going into the sixth turn. Anything on top of this (say, a Finishing Move on your opponent’s 4-drop) will compound your opponent’s misery even further, leaving his or her board completely decimated.

 

Mr. Freeze is still rough to handle even when you don’t have the initiative because of his better-than-average stats. Your opponent still has to fight through him, and Mr. Freeze still messes up your opponent’s defensive formation on the following turn. He can possibly even prevent a concealed character from cracking back on the sixth turn.

 

These are only the most generic examples. Villains United will deal a lot with vengeance and with ways of enabling it a little less painfully, so you can bet Mr. Freeze will be keeping plenty of annoying utility characters on lock in Constructed on a regular basis. Golden Archer, Dr. Light, and other characters with activated powers can be totally shut down by Mr. Freeze. Decks built around building up a density of concealed characters will find life difficult with Mr. Freeze in play. Mr. Freeze really has no bad matchups—curve or off-curve, concealed or visible, even in regular attacking or combo decks, Mr. Freeze is one of the rare characters with applications across every axis of interaction.

 

Normally, my previews require a little hand holding. You know, the standard “This doesn’t look good, but with this or that or in conjunction with this mechanic, it’ll be really good!” I don’t think Mr. Freeze requires that sort of explanation. He is, quite simply, well above the curve for a 5-drop. In Sealed Pack, Mr. Freeze will be a borderline bomb, and he’s a common. In Constructed, I expect curve decks with Enemy of My Enemy to splash him just because he’s that good. He’s good on either side of the initiative, even if you aren’t trying to get tricky with him, and his power increases if you dabble into a few choice team-stamped plot twists that Villains United has to offer. Cards like Mr. Freeze come around only so often, so my advice would be to add a few of these to whatever deck you’re building and enjoy yourself. Quite honestly, I don’t ever expect it to get better than Mr. Freeze.
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