(Metagame Archive) One Step Beyond: The Greatest Format Ever

Steve Garrett

“Daddy. Daddy. DADDY!” 

The voice resonating in my ear drags me kicking and screaming from the depths of a truly blissful slumber. My eyes force themselves slowly open, and they begin to make out a series of grey, blurry shapes.  

“Bloody kids,” I think to myself as my brain starts to piece together what is happening. It’s early. That much I can tell. What day is it? Of course, it’s Saturday. It’s the weekend, and, for a change, my wife is not working. This means that in theory I have an opportunity to lie in. My daughters do not see it that way. To them, Saturday morning means chocolate spread on toast for breakfast and Scooby Doo on the TV. Gradually, I sit up. I stretch and hear the familiar sounds of my joints cracking and popping. I look over to the alarm clock . . . Six o’clock! I consider lying back down and letting the wife get up and handle the kids, but right on cue she rolls over and covers her head with the pillow—I’m not going to win this battle.

I slowly get out of bed. My body takes a lot longer to get going in the morning than it used to. Whoever tells you that a life of exercise and sport is good for you—slap them in the face. Just under twenty five years of martial arts has left me with the joints of a man twice my age. I slowly and deliberately descend the stairs, reminding myself to switch off the alarm. Too often in this half-asleep state have I forgotten to deactivate it and then walked into a room, setting off the alarm and thus awakening the neighborhood. I make the kids their toast. They buzz around me like a couple of hummingbirds while I move with all the energy of a dead sloth. I grab myself a cup of coffee and sit down with my girls. Normally I can handle this, as I’ve got them trained quite well. Their normal Saturday morning viewing consists of stuff like Scooby Doo, SpongeBob, and Tom and Jerry, all of which I am perfectly happy to watch. Unfortunately, today the cable is out for some reason, so the girls want to watch one of their “Barbie” DVDs. Great. Can the day start any worse? I elect to pour myself another coffee, and, just as I walk past my study, something hits me like a lightning bolt. Suddenly I’m awake and alert. Of course—it’s Pro Circuit San Francisco! I switch on my computer and quickly click on the Metagame.com shortcut, eager to catch up with what occurred on Day 1.

This weekend saw Silver Age debut at a Pro Circuit level, and I have to say I absolutely loved following every second of it.

Before I go any further, there are two people who deserve a big pat on the back. First, PC: SF winner, Ian Vincent. Ian’s victory has filled the U.K. players with so much pride it’s really quite amazing. Congratulations to the first non-American PC Champion.

I would also like to offer congratulations to Vidi Wijaya. Reaching the finals in two consecutive PCs is an amazing achievement and something we mere mortals can only dream of.

The thing that struck me about Pro Circuit San Francisco was the number of new decks being played. This event was a veritable goldmine of original and interesting ideas. Without a shadow of a doubt, the big three performances came from Checkmate location decks (be it TAWC’s version or the one sported by Ian Vincent and his teammates), FTN’s Mexican Hardware Store, and the Justice League of Arkham deck that was championed by members of The Donkey Club. All three decks brought something refreshingly different to the table. As I’ve said before, if the flavor of the month stays around too long, you soon get tired of the taste. I was pleased to see Squadron Supreme and X-Faces drop out of the limelight for a change, although my teammate Nate Blauw would probably not agree, as he was running X-Faces himself.

Modern Age is fun and forces a degree of creativity, but there are only so many decks you can make out of two sets. Golden Age is great, but it’s easy for people to get lazy and just keep playing the same old decks. Silver Age, however, is quickly establishing itself as my personal favorite. It encourages new ideas, but it also gives a broad enough card pool to ensure that you won’t necessarily be playing mirror matches all day long. Everyone will have seen the Top 8 decklists from the PC by now, but if you haven’t, click here. I’m sure netdeckers everywhere have bundled these cards together and set off down to their local store armed with their latest weapon of mass destruction, but I would like you to take a couple of moments to look a little further down the final rankings.

Ninth Place

Anthony Shaheen

Characters

4 Beetle, Armorsmith

1 Black Cat, Master Thief

1 Booster Gold, Michael Jon Carter

3 Dr. Light, Master of Holograms

1 Fatality, Emerald Assassin

1 Kyle Rayner, Last Green Lantern

1 L-Ron, Robot Companion

1 Maxwell Lord, Financier

2 Melissa Gold ◊ Screaming Mimi, Mimi Schwartz

1 Melter, Bruno Horgan

1 Mikado and Mosha, Angels of Destruction

1 Mr. Mxyzptlk, Troublesome Trickster

1 Nathan Garrett ◊ Black Knight, Corrupt Crusader

1 Oberon, Micro Manager

1 Paul Ebersol ◊ Fixer, Problem Solver

1 Poison Ivy, Deadly Rose

1 Shocker, Vibro-Shock Villain

3 Sue Dibny, Charismatic Coordinator

1 Surveillance Pawn, Army

1 Ted Kord ◊ Blue Beetle, Heir of the Scarab

2 Yellowjacket, Rita DeMara

Plot Twists

4 Enemy of My Enemy

3 Hard Sound Construct

4 Justice League Task Force

3 No Man Escapes the Manhunters

4 The Wrecking Crew

4 Trial by Fire

1 Unmasked

Locations

4 Birthing Chamber

3 Kooey Kooey Kooey

Anthony’s Justice League Task Force deck is something that a group of my teammates have been looking at. Kooey Kooey Kooey is an amazing card that facilitates so much, and you have access to some powerful offensive options like Trial by Fire. It was a shame that the deck missed out on a Top 8 showing, but I don’t expect it will be the last we hear of it.

Tenth Place.

Alex Etzel

Characters

1 Aquaman, King of the Seven Seas

1 Arisia, Green Lantern of Graxos IV

1 Black Hand, Dark-Hearted Villain

1 Captain Marvel, Champion of Magic

4 Dr. Light, Master of Holograms

1 G’Nort, Green Lantern of G’Newt

1 Gorilla Grodd, Simian Mastermind

1 Hawkeye, Clinton Barton

4 Katma Tui, Green Lantern of Korugar

4 Kyle Rayner, Last Green Lantern

1 Madame Xanadu, Cartomancer

3 Malvolio, Lord of the Green Flame

1 Mikado and Mosha, Angels of Destruction

2 Olapet, Green Lantern of Southern Goldstar

1 Psycho-Pirate, Roger Hayden

1 Roy Harper ◊ Speedy, Mercurial Marksman

3 Salakk, Green Lantern of Slyggia

1 Tomar Tu, Green Lantern of Xudar

1 Zatanna, Zatanna Zatara

Plot Twists

1 Breaking Ground

1 Conscription

4 Enemy of My Enemy

4 Helping Hand

3 Lanterns in Love

1 Rain of Acorns

1 The Conclave

4 The Ring Has Chosen

Locations

2 Birthing Chamber

4 Book of Oa

Equipment

2 Catcher’s Mitt

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the potential of integrating Captain Marvel into the established G’Lock build. Alex Etzel took a far better version of the list I posted to tenth place. Congratulations, Alex.

Not only were there some great decks being played, there were also some individual cards that really seemed to shine. Individual toolbox cards were made viable by the likes of Enemy of My Enemy and Straight to the Grave—both search cards that give a deckbuilder more flexibility than ever before. Mikado and Mosha was a popular choice with the vast majority of the field. Almost everyone included a copy of the weenie-tech in his or her deck. Slaughter Swamp  was used to good effect to counter that pesky Dr. Light, Master of Holograms and other necromancer-style cards. My personal favorite of the day was Merlyn, Deadly Archer. I didn’t see this one coming at all, but he proved his worth, ending a few games early by KO’ing Ahmed Samsarra.

This PC has been a casual player’s dream. There are so many decks from which to draw inspiration. Go out there and try to use and adapt some of these ideas yourself. If you like to netdeck, don’t limit yourself to the Top 8 list. All the decks used in the PC are available on Metagame.com, and there are some real gems in there.

To round things off, I’m going to post the Deckbuilder Challenge Cup #2. I know, you haven’t had the results of DBC #1 yet, but unfortunately, deadlines mean that I didn’t have the results of your voting by the time I had to submit this article. If you’re not sure what the Deckbuilder Challenge Cup is all about, you can read up here.

One of the things I like most about Metagame.com’s coverage of premier-level events is the deck profile articles. There was one in particular from PC: SF that really caught my eye: John-Michael Erlendson’s “Ghostbusters.” Your challenge is to build a deck whose primary strategy revolves around counters of some kind. These can be ATK / DEF counters, cosmic counters, mirror counters—anything.

To ensure a little originality, here are the terms:

Deckbuilder Challenge Cup, Challenge #2: Counter Crazy

 

 

You can submit your decks to me via email at kamiza989@gmail.com, or by posting them on my website.

Next week, I will announce the final standings for Deckbuilder Challenge Cup #1, and we will see our first leaderboard. The week after, I will announce the top 5 decks from this challenge. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me.

Thanks for reading.

Steve Garrett

Kamiza989@gmail.com

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