(Metagame Archive) Fan Card Crossover – Week 8: Game (Text) On!

By The Ben Seck

Hey guys, welcome back to the Fan Card Crossover. Last week we had what is likely to be the most significant vote of the series: What game text should Nyssa have?

What Game Text?

  1. The World According to the League (submitted by Matthew Dunn) – 10.6%
  2. Locations at Any Cost (submitted by Anthony Calabrese) – 26.9%
  3. Last Controller of the Pit (submitted by Bernard Hsiung) – 45.2%
  4. Heir to the Demon’s Head (submitted by Tyler Hine) – 12.5%
  5. Master of Assassins (submitted by Christopher Bird) – 4.8%


After a close race, there emerged a clear winner—one submitted by Bernard Hsiung! Congratulations, Bernard. We’ll come up with a very cool prize for you when the card comes out! The simplicity and power of his entry were enough to impress not only the Vs. R&D team, but also players worldwide. After some discussion with the Lead Developer of Vs. System, Dave “DaHump” Humpherys, we even decided to increase the power of the entry by altering the text slightly.

Where before the text was:

Loyalty, Concealed—Optional

You are considered to control Ra’s al Ghul.


Exhaust X locations >>> Choose one: Recover target stunned character with cost less than X; or KO target stunned character with cost less than X.


We decided that it would be cooler if it was:


Loyalty, Concealed—Optional

You are considered to control Ra’s al Ghul.


Exhaust X locations you control >>> Choose one: Recover target stunned character with cost less than or equal to X; or KO target stunned character with cost less than or equal to X.


This is a big change in the power level of the card, as it effectively means that if you have six face-up locations on turn 6, you’ll be able to KO a 6-drop character!
Current Card:

Even though we have the text for Nyssa now, the journey for this card is not over. We’ll take the card and start playtesting in-house to determine a range of ATK and DEF values for it. We’ll then come back to you in a couple of week with yet another vote on her numbers, along with a few tweaks that we may have missed before this point. In the meantime, you’ll have to hold onto your hats and just sit back and enjoy the previews for the awesomely powerful Infinite Crisis set.

But don’t go away just yet! I promised to answer a few questions that were sent in to me via the mailbag, so I won’t go away without giving you a few little pearls of wisdom from the collective brains of R&D.

From Travis Moore:

How long does it take for new mechanics from a DC set to get into a Marvel set (and vice versa)? I’ll give the example of JLA’s double affiliations (which did not appear in X-Men).

Most of the time, we use mechanics to capture the flavor of a character or team more accurately. As a result, there is no particular length of time it takes for one mechanic to bleed into the other universe. We also use mechanics to demonstrate synergy between old and new cards while still maintaining a fresh look at each of the mechanics. You can see this with the keyword evasion, which had a very different flavor in the Spider-Friends team than in the Morlocks team. Just having the keyword or mechanic be similar doesn’t mean that it will have the same feel! Anyway, if you could work out when a mechanic was coming back, it wouldn’t be exciting, would it?

As for the dual affiliations in X-Men, there are a few reasons why they didn’t turn up. The Mutant traits were a complex addition to the game, so we didn’t want to overwhelm the players with an overly crowded text box. Furthermore, the old dual “each side” affiliation marker took up more of the art box than we were comfortable with, and so if it were to be combined with the Mutant trait line at the bottom of the art box, you wouldn’t be left with much art at all (and I don’t know about you, but the Vs. art is one my favorite things about the game!). But as you’ll see with Infinite Crisis, this templating problem has been fixed, and you can look forward to some very cool dual-affiliated Marvel characters in Heralds of Galactus and beyond!

An excerpt from a long and involved email from Jordan Groves:

I have noticed that with new sets, there has been a general ATK and DEF inflation. Although some of the new sets have had some great ideas, there has been an upward trend. New cards have better ATK / DEF values than cards in older sets, in general. Although statistically speaking, this is most prevalent in 1-drops, you can see marked differences at other spots as well. I think these trends tend to denote a decrease in a game’s interest to players, as people can no longer successfully play older teams that they enjoyed playing.

While in some cases you can see inflationary numbers on characters, you must remember that it is not just characters that make a team. Many of the older teams have more powerful powers or plot twists that allow them to work with their lower ATK / DEF values; look at Teen Titans, who, apart from a boosted Hawk and Dove, have almost exclusively “under-stat” characters! So, I think that both new and old teams can compete in this brave new world. That being said, the R&D team has learned a lot of lessons in the two years since the game’s release and has performed a little tweaking to the average power level. And I think that the players have responded in kind. Players are enjoying Vs. System more than ever, and I think it’s because the game is constantly improving. Just wait—the best is yet to come for Vs. System!

It’s time for me to go. Even though there won’t be a vote this week, there’ll still be an article next week that will go through even more of the mailbag. So please send your questions to fancardcrossover@gmail.com. Next week will be completely dedicated to your questions, so if you want to pick the brains of any of the designers or developers who make this game, now is your chance!

Until then, enjoy Infinite Crisis, and don’t forget to go to your local Sneak Preview!

Good Gaming,



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