Support Our Yellow Magnetic Ribbon Makers!

If you have a pulse, you know that Monday was Memorial Day.  As I drove to work on Memorial Day I noticed (as I always do) hundreds of cars sporting the bright yellow ribbon shown at the right.  I’m going to do my best not to go off on a diatribe about these ribbons, but it is kind of relevant to this week, so why not.  First of all, I dislike (hate’s such a strong word!) these magnets, but not because it’s a bad thing to support our troops.  I dislike these ribbons because they make it look like the people sporting them care more than I do about our troops.  You’d be hard-pressed to find an American that isn’t appreciative of our troops – even if those same Americans aren’t particularly fond of the wars that our government sends those troops to.  This is similar to how the Lance Armstrong bracelets make people look like they care more about curing cancer than I do.  They certainly don’t care more, they just jumped on a trendy bandwagon with everyone else.  Again, I greatly appreciate the armed forces, but that’s not what these magnets are about.  They are about money in someone’s pocket.  Someone once told me that the Armstrong bracelet sales went to a non-profit group, but why don’t you just send that same group the money without making them waste time and money making you a bracelet that shows the rest of the world that you donated.

This does give me a great idea though… what do you guys think about necklaces that say, “I donated in Church this week,” or “I was a good role model this week.”  If you disagree with my point, I understand, but I hope you really think about what this past weekend actually meant.  It had nothing to do with the capitalism these ribbons represent, it was about making sure that the US wasn’t renamed <insert German/Japanese-sounding word>.  Here endeth the rant!

And now for something completely different…

In honor of Memorial Day I wanted to take a look back at successful ARMY decks of the past.  It doesn’t get more appropriate than that!  The first one that comes to mind was Wild Vomit.  Early builds of this deck only had seven different cards.  Longshot and Underground Sentinel Base made sure that you never ran out of characters to recruit, and the Mark IV meant you had a lot of power to swing at your opponent.  Multiple Man and Senator Kelly now usually go in this deck because Multiple Man becomes a Sentinel character without a team-up, and Longshot makes sure that you have multiples (pun!) of him in hand to put into play with his ability.

Wild Vomit

4 Longshot, Rebel Freedom Fighter
25 Wild Sentinel, Army
15 Sentinel Mark IV, Army

4 Combat Protocols
4 Cover Fire
4 Reconstruction Program

4 Underground Sentinel Base

Wild Vomit isn’t the only Sentinel army deck that you could create.  In fact, Curve Sentinels dominated the meta longer than any other deck in the history of Vs. (I can’t actually back that up!).  This deck relied on Bastion and Nimrod to help their army buddies out.  Nimrod prevented his owner from ever losing board position while Bastion either brickwalled attacks or helped his owner smash an opponent’s face.  The seven drop position was filled with various persona’s including Magneto, Juggernaut, Two-Face, etc.  Here’s an old build of Curve Sentinels

Curve Sentinels

4 Boliver Trask, Creator of the Sentinel Program
2 Hounds of Ahab, Army
7 Sentinel Mark II, Army
8 Sentinel Mark V, Army
4 Nimrod, Mutant Hunter
4 Bastion, Leader of Operation: Zero Tolerance
3 Magneto, Master of Magnetism

4 Acrobatic Dodge
3 Finishing Move
3 Flame Trap
3 Nasty Surprise
4 Reconstruction Program
4 Savage Beatdown
3 Total Anarchy

4 Genosha

Somehow this deck had an answer for everything.  It wasn’t until Avengers Reservist came out that that these robots found their way back into the card boxes.  Avengers had more attack pumps than Sentinels had defensive pumps.  They also got an out-of-combat stun from Wonder Man that made up for having to stun Nimrod twice.  Sentinels are still playable in Golden, but they don’t fair well against Crisis Doom, the current Golden Age deck of choice.

Next in line is Fat Bat.  This deck relied on flooding the field with Reed, Sue, and a bunch of GCPD Officers so that you were drawing a ton on turn seven with Batman, The Dark Knight.  Reed and Sue enabled A Child Named Valeria, which was essential to keeping up your board position.  Batman got pretty “fat” once your hand was filled, and he was able to swing two or three times for massive breakthrough (thanks to Press the Attack and Blind Sided).  This one is easily my favorite army deck to date.  Maybe it’s because this deck was the only way that a Batman character card was playable before the release of Word’s Finest.

Fat Bat

4 Alfred Pennyworth, Faithful Friend
4 Invisible Woman, The Invisible Girl
13 GCPD Officer, Army
1 Ant Man, Scott Lang
1 Harvey Bullock, GCPD Detective
1 Spoiler, Stephanie Brown
1 Wyatt Wingfoot, Keewazi Adventurer
1 Barbara Gordon <> Oracle, Information Network
4 Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards
2 Batman, The Dark Knight

4 A Child Named Valeria
4 Bat-Signal
1 Blind Sided
4 Cosmic Radiation
2 Crowd Control
4 Fizzle
2 Marvel Team-Up
2 Press the Attack
1 Team Tactics
2 World’s Finest

2 Utility Belt

Blue Abuse was a deck that took advantage of Superman, Blue’s cosmic ability by flooding the field with one-drop army cosmic characters.  The Soldiers of New Genesis were already large one drop army characters, the fact that they also had a cosmic abilility that made them invulnerable made them even sweeter.  New God’s natural team-up, Royal Decree, also helped by netting you a card to make sure that you didn’t run out of Soldiers.  I believe this deck came out as an answer to the Dr. Light rush decks that controlled the meta at the time.

Blue Abuse

18 Soldiers of New Genesis, Army
4 Lois Lane, Star Reporter
4 Superman, Red
3 Superman, Blue
2 Cir-El <> Supergirl, Daughter of Tomorrow

4 Lanterns in Love
3 Man of Tomorrow
2 Millennium
4 Royal Decree
4 Shock Troops
4 Trial by Sword

2 Birthing Chamber
2 The Source

4 Supercycle

When Chomin was first printed as a legacy card I though, “What a worthless ability!  No thank you!”  It wasn’t until later that I remembered the text of AGL and Xallarap.  They had to KO at the start of the recovery phase unless they were stunned (which turns off their text box).  Chomin prevented you from losing your entire board by stunning them for you, since it was unlikely that your opponent would be stunning back your 4/4 dudes until turn three or later.  This deck hit my local meta like a storm.  My roomate and I played it to great success, but we saw it everywhere we went.  Then one day it was just gone!  Not really sure what deck squeezed this one away, but it’s still a favorite of mine when you don’t want to do too much thinking!

AGL

14 Anti-Green Lantern, Army
4 Chomin, Qwardian Spy
2 Shadow-Thief, Carl Sands
4 Xallarap, Anti-Green Lantern Corps
4 Felix Faust, Infernal Dealmaker
1 Fiero, Qwardian Conglomerate

4 Bad Press
4 Banished to the Anti-Matter Universe
4 Cosmic Conflict
4 Mega-Blast
3 Savage Beatdown
4 The Ring Has Chosen
4 Trial by Fire

4 Willworld

Anti-Matter didn’t just have big stats though, you could also stall with them using Shadow Creatures.  Who would have thought that Shadow Creatures would be playable?  The fact that they had Willpower and were one-cost was all they really needed.  They were just exhausted to Rain of Acorns so that your opponent could not attack you back; and to Qward to get a few out-of-combat stuns on your opponent’s initiative.  The fact that your guys were hidden meant that you could build up a board in no time.  Here’s a list:

Qward

18 Shadow Creatures, Army
3 Qwardian Watchdog, Gatekeeper
1 Malvolio, Lord of the Green Flame
4 Kiman, Chief Weaponer
1 Katma Tui, Green Lantern of Korugar
1 Element Man, Qwardian Conglomerate
1 Evil Star, Servant of the Star-Band
1 Krona, Creator of the Anti-Matter Universe
1 Anti-Monitor, Architect of Destruction
1 Two-Face, Split Personality

4 Helping Hand
1 Lanterns in Love
4 Men of Steel
1 Rain of Acorns
4 The Ring Has Chosen

2 Anti-Matter Cannon
4 Birthing Chamber
4 Qward
4 Sector 2814

I played a Doomed Earth deck at PC Indy 2007 and went about .500 with it.  I really like the deck’s ability to swarm the board despite the heavy drawback of Doomed Earth.  Armies of Doom, Mole Man, Dr. Doom, and Mr. Fantastic kept bringing Moloids back into play from the KO’d pile and everybody got +2 attack per Doomed Earth in your row.  it was real easy to amass a lot of attack very early in the game.  This deck did well in the Chicago Mega-Weekend this year as well.  I believe it got top-eight in the Silver Age tournament.

Doomed Earth

13 Moloids, Army
2 Elite Doom Guards, Army
4 Mole Man, Moloid Master
4 Dr. Doom, Richards’s Rival
3 Mr. Fantastic, Doom’s Adversary
2 Divinity, Vampiric General
2 Ultron <> Ultron 11, Army
1 Dr. Doom, Sorcerous Savant

2 Armies of Doom
1 Astral Suppression
4 Big Leagues
4 Doomed Earth
4 Flying Kick
2 Mask of Doom
4 Mobilize
4 SKREEEEEEE!
4 Unthinkable

I first saw this deck in Steve Garret’s “Last Man Standing” article series and was amazed at how quickly Swarm-Bots could beef up Dr. Doom.  I think it ultimately lost due to a bad first round matchup, but I found myself severly bummed that the deck was immediately rotating out of Silver Age.  The deck, like Moloids, played it’s one-drop army characters from the KO’d pile with Armies of Doom, but it also used Attend or Die because Manhunter Clones filled your KO’d pile quickly.  This is a very synergistic team-up.

Swarm Bots

4x manhunter clone
2x Boris, Personal Servant of Dr. Doom
16x Swarm-Bot
4x Doom-Bot
4x Dr Doom, Diabloical Genius
2x Dr Doom, Gypsy King

4x Supersize Me
4x Attend or Die
4x Striaght to the Grave
4x Forbidden Loyalty Team-Up
1x For The Glory of Doom!, Team-Up
3x Armies of Doom
3x Mystical Paralysis

2x Slaughter Swarmp
2x Arsenal of Doom

1x Mandarin Prototype

Infernal Minions are cool beans when combined with Zazzala because not only are they dispersing +1/+1 counters, but they are helping you burn you opponent to death at the same time!  The other characters in the deck mostly help you get the Minions into play to keep this process up and running.  Tattooed Man gathers counters and removes them to put Minions back into play for a rinse/repeat-type cycle.

War Paint

18 Infernal Minions, Army
1 Shadow-Thief, Carl Sands
4 Mantis, Power Parasite
4 Zazzala <> Queen Bee, Mistress of the Hive
1 Witchfire, Rebecca Carstairs
4 Tattooed Man, Living Ink

4 Air Strike
4 Infestation
4 Level 12 Intelligence
4 Secret Files
4 World War III

4 Birthing Chamber
4 Hard-Light Storage Tank

Army characters have played roles in other decks too.  Ultron <> Ultron 11, Army combos well with Coup d’Etat and Gorilla Grodd; Robot Destroyer was often used as tech in Common Enemy decks as a way to take out Dr. Doom in the mirror match; OMAC’s made their way into Checkmate/Villains United buillds; etc.  Army characters have had an impact in almost every facet of our beloved game.  Unfortunately I was unable to come up with a competetive build that used US Army Rangers, which I thought would be cool for Memorial Day.  The only real idea I could think of was combing the Rangers with Damn Nazis so you’d have a KO-able character for Project Ragna Rok.  The problem with this was the deck would have Nazis and US troops working together.  probably not appropriate for Memorial Day!  Oh well, if any of you guys can think of competetive decks that use either of these two army characters let me know.

VS.

Also, send me a shout if I forgot any competetive army decks that should have gone in this list!  Thanks for reading!

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7 Responses

  1. hate to be a dick, but fat bat wasn’t the first deck that made a batman playable. the batman, caped crusader (5 drop, double stud) from origins was in the brave and the bold. imo.
    not a bad article, it is nice to see old decks. warms my old man heart. imo.

  2. Hush yer shenanigans and send me an entry for this contest!

  3. Paul, you pwned me. I totally forgot about BatB. Gdaybloke… I’m on it.

  4. whats this nonsense imo. articles on a thursday? a sign of the apocalypse no doubt imo.

  5. I posted it at 5 on Wednesday, not sure why this site does that. I’ll change the timestamp for you!

  6. I adore this, with all my heart.

    Thanks. Consider yourself bookmarked. Forever.

  7. Thanks Stu, glad to have a fan!

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