By Jason Grabher-Meyer
Metagame’s own Michael Barnes won the opening roll and took evens. He was forced to mulligan and maligned that fact, while Bell kept his opening hand.
Bell opened with Electric Eve and gave her an Image Inducer. She attacked directly, and in the recovery phase, she evaded for a little bit of extra burn. Barnes recruited Dr. Psycho, Mental Giant on the turn that followed, and Bell brought out Shape with another Image Inducer. Eve took a protective stance in front of him.
“Sure you don’t wanna put Shape in the front row?” asked Barnes with a sly smile.
“Well, I thought about it, but no,” Bell grinned.
Dr. Psycho took down Eve, Shape reinforced, and everybody recovered and readied as the turn concluded.
Bell flipped Enemy of My Enemy and discarded another Electric Eve to dig for Black Panther, King of Wakanda. He recruited Black Panther immediately, gave him a Flamethrower from the deck, and formed up with Panther in the front row and Shape alongside him, protecting Eve. Barnes flipped an Enemy of his own, then another, pitching Bizarro, ME AM BIZARRO #1 and Genis-Vell ◊ Photon to search his deck for Ahmed Samsarra and Maxwell Lord, Black King. He recruited Samsarra to his visible area, protected him with Dr. Psycho, and passed.
Electric Eve attacked Dr. Psycho, and a power-up gave her 5 ATK total. Psycho went down. Shape then attacked Ahmed with 7 ATK. Ahmed activated to KO one copy of Enemy of My Enemy, trading it for Slaughter Swamp. Barnes used the Swamp to trade Maxwell Lord for Genis-Vell and discarded him to give Ahmed +2 DEF. Bell chained Trial by Fire though, making for 11 ATK total and stunning both characters. Black Panther swung for 9 directly, and Barnes used The Science Spire to get Psycho off the table. Samsarra and Shape recovered, Electric Eve hit the dust, and play moved to turn 4.
Slaughter Swamp brought back Barnes’s discarded Bizarro, ME AM BIZARRO #1, and he recruited it to his front row to protect Ahmed. Bell recruited Jester and debated over formation for a while. In the end, he left his 7 ATK / 5 DEF Shape in the front row (protecting Jester), with Black Panther up front as well.
Barnes sent Ahmed into Shape and discarded yet another copy of Genis-Vell ◊ Photon to bump up his DEF. Ahmed had 6 ATK / 8 DEF, and Bell could do nothing; Shape went down. Bizarro then flew at Jester, and Knightmare Scenario made Bizarro a 12 ATK / 8 DEF beast. Bell again had no responses, and Jester was stunned. The endurance totals were 21 to 29.
Bell sent Black Panther to attack Bizarro, presenting an attack threat with 9 ATK / 4 DEF. Barnes let it go, losing 6 endurance to Bell’s gain of 1 (thanks to Bizarro’s effect). Black Panther’s Flamethrower exploded and sent him to the KO’d pile. Die for Darkseid! KO’d Shape, Bell was left with Jester, and Barnes still controlled Bizarro and Ahmed Samsarra.
Bell played his fifth resource, flipped Enemy of My Enemy, discarded Sage, Xavier’s Secret Weapon, and pulled John Henry Irons ◊ Steel, Steel-Drivin’ Man. Steel grabbed the Flamethrower that had backfired all over Black Panther last turn and protected Jester. Barnes recruited Maxwell Lord and protected Bizarro with him, and the support row Ahmed finished out the classic “L” formation. Bell began evaluating his attack options.
“Yyyyyeah, that is a pretty good formation for you,” he remarked, trying to find a hole in Barnes’s plan.
“You can always pass on attacks!” said Barnes with a hopeful but jesting grin.
“I’m gonna pay 3,” Bell announced, moving the Flamethrower off Steel. He then launched an attack with Steel against Bizarro, soaring over Maxwell Lord. Ahmed Samsarra activated to let Barnes dig for Checkmate Safe House, which he activated to give Bizarro an additional +1 DEF. He added Knightmare Scenario to the chain and exhausted The Science Spire to bump Bizarro to a mighty 13 ATK / 10 DEF. Bell had no way of increasing Steel’s ATK, so Steel was stunned while Bizarro remained upright! Yet another attack rejected by the Knights of Checkmate!
Jester then attacked Maxwell Lord, but another Knightmare Scenario, powered by Slaughter Swamp, brought Maxwell Lord to 12 ATK / 12 DEF. Then Barnes dropped a third Knightmare, flipped Brother Eye, exhausted it, and netted Maxwell Lord a whopping 14 DEF total! Completely stymied and devoid of responses yet again, Bell flipped over Jester and offered Barnes the handshake. “Good game,” he said, congratulating Barnes despite a bit of obvious disappointment.
Barnes commented, “Man, I drew all those Knightmare Scenarios and wondered, ‘Am I even gonna get to play these?’” He looked relieved, and he graciously accepted the handshake and the win.
Michael Barnes maintains his x-2 record and keeps himself in strong contention for Day 2!