(Metagame Archive) Week in Review: May 30

By Anand Khare

The Pro Circuit is here! In three short days, the Silver Age format will finally be unleashed upon the world. Months of dedicated preparation from hundreds of professionals and amateurs alike will finally be put to the test this weekend. What can we expect? Well, if the recent $10K Brisbane (more on that later) is any indication, there should be a smattering of G’Lock, Avengers, and a large array of multi-team aggro and control decks. It’s also been suggested by numerous sources that each of the teams from Infinite Crisis has a viable deck behind it. Shadowpact had its first taste of success this past weekend, but you can be sure that we’ll see representatives of Villains United, Checkmate, and JSA in contention for a place at the top tables. Beyond that, there’s not really much more I can say about this weekend’s big event. The major testing teams (including mine) are on information lockdown—there are sure to be surprises in store for everyone. Getting back to the business at hand, though, let’s talk about the week in review.

Rian Fike, as he is wont to do, began the week with a new installment of Risk Vs. Reward. Just like everyone else, Rian is brimming with excitement over the upcoming PC. He discussed the recent rules changes that will help shape San Francisco for the better and offered his own speculation as to what the metagame might have to offer.

On Tuesday, Steve Garrett returned with a focus that’s about as far away from the PC as it can be: a deck built around The Joker, Emperor Joker. Well, perhaps that’s not entirely accurate. Along with detailing the deck’s evolution from its janky Golden Age origins to its current almost-playable masterpiece, Steve also provides a reasonable Silver Age build of the deck. Somehow, though, I think that a new instant-win 8-drop (by the name of Captain Marvel) will be a little more likely to make an appearance at San Francisco than this guy. But hey, the original “you lose” character is biding his time. Maybe next year!

Also on Tuesday, Infinite Crisis lead designer Justin Gary returned with the third installment of his Creating a Crisis series. This week, Justin’s focus is on card cycles. You may have noticed that there are several well-defined card cycles in Crisis. Justin points them out and discusses both the impetus and implementation concerns for this particular design tool.

On Wednesday, Shane Wiggans came back with a little discussion about teams. Why are teams important, especially now? Well, simply put, everyone’s on a team. Each and every professional player—me, Shane, Vidi, and just about everyone else—is on a team. Chances are that you are on one, too, even if you don’t realize it. You know that friend that you test decks with who you trust to help make your deck better and not share details about it with anyone else? That guy’s your team. Anyway, Shane discusses team dynamics and the good and the bad aspects of being on a testing team. This is certainly a good read for anyone who’s trying to improve the way their team works, or even for someone who’s simply curious about how big teams function.

Also on Wednesday, Michael Barnes attempted to do what a lot of teams have tried (and failed) to accomplish—break The Rock of Eternity. At first glance, this location seems to be exceptionally powerful. Ready all of your characters? All of them? Every turn? That’s downright absurd. In practice, though, the Rock is a little more difficult to use than you might expect. Michael does an admirable job of making good use of the Rock, combining it with none other than Man-Bull. The deck he comes up with is, as always, innovative and interesting. And if you think the Rock has more potential than this . . . hey, you try to break it.

On Thursday, our Sealed Pack duo arrived for another stab at Crisis. As a side note, has anyone out there ever seen the television show Perfect Strangers? Whenever I read Alex and Doug’s articles, the theme song from that show starts running through my head. My point is . . . actually, I have no point whatsoever. Except that Doug would make a good Balki. Anyway, Alex and Doug came back with differing approaches to Crisis Sealed Pack. Alex, as he has been doing, presented us with a Sealed card pool for analysis. He presented his own opinions on its construction, and since you have the pool to work with, you can play along at home! Doug, on the other hand, continued his very methodical team-by-team review of Crisis. This week, the team in the spotlight was Villains United. Doug is particularly enamored with The Calculator, but he provides a great deal of insight on how to work with the rest of the team as well. Both approaches have their merit, and reading both articles will give you a great leg up on the format.

The week came to an early end on Friday with another installment of Tim Willoughby’s Two Turns Ahead. Like everyone else in the Vs. community, Tim’s got the PC on his mind. He tried to squeeze in a little discussion of other matters as well, though, by delving into the topic of resource management. Tim’s a big fan of the Shadowpact team and its new concept of endurance loss as a positive effect. Whether or not the team will live up to the hype is a matter that will be decided in a few short days.

There was one other minor item before the week came to a complete close. This past weekend was $10K Brisbane! The Australians are absolutely phenomenal at coming up with innovative new decks, and this tournament didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The trophy was taken home by seventeen-year-old Alex Antonios, one of the youngest players ever to achieve such a high degree of success in the game. Amazingly, this was only Alex’s third $10K event and the second in a row in which he posted a Top 8 finish. We can be sure to see more from Alex in events to come.

Even more astounding than the winner, though, were the decks that made Top 8. Eight distinct archetypes battled it out on Sunday, including several that flew in under the radar. Only one copy each of the much-hyped High Voltage and TDC Stall decks made the cut, and neither of them walked away with the trophy. That honor went to Alex’s “Migga City” deck, a truly unique Brotherhood / Arkham creation. Yes, I said Arkham. They’re viable. Let the masses rejoice! Migga City isn’t the only new kid on the block, though. Infinite Crisis made its first big splash with a Shadowpact control deck and a G’Lock deck that made use of several important Crisis cards.

Expect to see more of Crisis this weekend at San Francisco. If you can’t manage to get to the tournament, you can always check out our live coverage, which will be continuously updated all weekend! Look for me there, or, as always, contact me at anand@metagame.com. Good luck to everyone participating in the Pro Circuit! Until next week . . .

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