JUSTICE… IS DEAD!

After all the craziness of Worlds and the DCU set being unveiled, I thought I’d slow down and do what I used to do with this blog… take one card, and examine a bevy of possible uses for it, obvious and otherwise.  The card I want to look at today is called Phyla-Vell <> Quasar, Protector of the Universe.  As far as the sealed environment goes Phyla is dyno-mite!  She grants your entire team the ability to team attack and reinforce as though they had all team affiliations.  This ability means that you don’t have to run as many team-ups in the sealed environement, or at least you don’t have to stress about hitting them as consistantly.  However, it’s another one of her abilities that I want to focus on today.  I’m far more interested in her ability to auto-recover whenever she becomes stunned.  “Whenever” might be a poor word choice on my part because this ability is a cosmic one.  After the first time that she stuns and recovers she loses her ability to do it again.  My goal today is to look at ways to eliminate that drawback.  Before we can do that though, we’ve got to think of reasons we would want Phyla to stick around…

  1. Board presence is usually a good thing unless you playing X-Statix, Hulk, or Hellboy.
  2. We can try to arrange it so that our opponent’s inability to eliminate Phyla is detrimental to his deck’s plan of attack.
  3. We could be gaining something from her constantly stunning and recovering.

Our first point is that Board presence is usually a good thing.  This is an obvious statement because decks have been battling for board  presence for years.  Many people run KO effects like Finishing Move to hurt their opponent’s board presence, while others run recovery effects like Lanterns in Love to improve their own board presence.  Phyla helps our board presence without the drawback of extra card slots.  Gaining board position is healthy in most decks, but one type of deck that really benefits from it is a team attack deck.  After all, it’s pretty hard to pull off a team attack with only one character.  Teen Titans, Outsiders, Legionaires and Avengers all have team-attack themes and would benefit nicely from Phyla’s ability.  Normally when you think of Teen Titans team-attacking, you think back on the days of Roy Harper <> Arsenal, Sharpshooter.  The Titans decks back then were not true team-attack decks because they only team-attacked so that they would all ready when Roy’s ability stunned their defender.  Their team-attacking was part of an engine, not an actual attack.  Modern Titans, on the other hand, don’t have the same luxuries because Sharpshooter was not reprinted alongside Teen Titans Go!

Typically, in the past, to get enough characters on the board to perform multiple team attacks you had to flood the board with little characters on a later turn.  Phyla lets us stick more closely to our curve by starying around and keeping our character count up.  Since Titans and Legionnaires have both team attack AND cosmic themes, let’s see if they have any cards that would be synergistic with Phyla…

  • Legion of Super-Pets is a Savage Beatdown for a team attacker
  • Legion World is a burn card similar to Playroom.
  • Overwhelming Force prevents all team attackers from stunning.  It’s a Bamf for everyone!
  • Teen Titans Go readies your team attackers (non of whom probably stunned with a card like Overwhelming Force in your deck)
  • Cunning Strategy is a Tim Drake stamped card that returns opponent’s defenders to hand.
  • Forged in Crisis is similar to Cunning Strategy, but it doesn’t require your deck to play Tim Drake.
  • Blinding Light replenished your cosmic counters when team attacking.
  • Infiltrate lets you team attack protected characters, essentially giving your board flight.
  • New Recruits searches for any character with cosmic, which would include Phyla.
  • Science Police Central gives all cosmic attackers +2 ATK
  • Youth of Tomorrow specifically teams up Titans and Legionnaires and allow for cosmic counter manipulation.
  • Clash of Titans is a +3 ATK pump that replenishes cosmic counters.

These two teams bring some pretty clutch characters to the table as well.  Tim Drake <> Robin, Titan in Command has a chance to net you a card every time he team attacks.  There is also a three drop Tim that replenished cosmic counters and a four drop Tim that gives all team attackers +2/+2.  Add to the mix Tim’s other legend card ‘Follow the Leader’ which gives all your attackers +2 ATK and I’d say it would be pretty easy to make this a Tim Drake legend deck.

On the Legionnaire’s end of things you’d want to run the four drop Wildfire, Drake Burroughs who replenishes a comic counter to any cosmic character that recovers.  This combos extremely well with Phyla who’ll auto-recover when she stuns – and reciever her counter back.  If only there was a way to give Phyla reinforcement and force our opponent to attack her without having to splash in Duty Calls and Wonder Woman, Deflection Diva!

Let’s change gears entirely.  Team attack decks are fun, but annoying our opponent’s is even better.  My second listed reason for keeping Phyla around involved making her presense detrimental to our opponent’s plan.  Above I mentioned giving her reinforcement and forcing our opponent to attack her.  The best team I could think of for that was actually Heralds of Galactus.  On turn two you can recruit Silver Surfer and his Board and move them hidden with the Board’s text.  Then, whenever Phyla loses her counter, Silver Surfer’s Board can replenish it.  On four, The Human Torch, The Invisible Man can give Phyla permanent reinforcement.  To make sure this reinfocement lasts, we could use a card like Underground Movement, Team-Up to move the Torch hidden.  If you wanted to stick with Fantastic Four (The Human Torch’s second affiliation), then Invisible Woman, Sight Unseen could move the Torch hidden when she comes into play on turn five!  This would be particularly brutal against a hidden rush deck that aims to kill on turn five.  They would have to waste at least three attacks on Phyla (if she’s getting a second counter from Surfer’s board) for a measley nine endurance.  That’s pocket change for a deck aiming to do 40+ damage to you that turn.

My third point covered taking advantage of a character recovering over and over again.  To this end I briefly entertained splashing Phlya into the Thunderbolts team to use Speedball is dead on her.  I figured that we could use multiple copies of the card on her to make her something like a +6/+6 when she finally recovered the natural way.  This team-up would also allow us the use of Faith in Monsters with no real drawback to the card.  Anyway, I scrapped the idea as soon as I remembered this was Radioactive Man’s team.  I didn’t actually forget that, but I was hoping to find enough synergy with the Thunderbolts to make my case.  Alas, I could not.

My final cool collaboration for Phyla was mixing her with Lex Luthor, Master Manipulator.  He would stun her to gain 3 +1/+1 counters at no loss to your board.  If you run Wildfire as your four drop, she’ll be constantly gaining her counter back and you can use Lex’s ability multiple times!  I’ve always wanted to find a way to use this version of Lex, and now I can!

I’m sure there’s countless other ways to abuse Phyla.  If you can think of any, drop me a line here.  Also, I wanted to warn my readers (all two) that I might need a week off to catch up with work, then I’ll be back in full swing!  See you all in a week or two!

P.S. 3000+ hits on the blog… I’m officially a rock star!

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3 Responses

  1. You are a rock star. Phylla is great, and Wildfire definitely is the way to go. Burn Rubber and Duty Calls both fit the bill nicely. Coast City http://www.metagame.com/includes/image.aspx?s=200512079&c=DGL-187

    was reprinted in DCL, and maybe something could come from that. You’ll need 4x pathetic attempt but there’s definitely something to be said for a deck like this.

  2. OR SO JAY THINKS!

  3. Coast City is definately a good, cheap way to force your opponent’s attacks where you want them. Put Silver Surfer with his Board hidden an Phyla in front of The Human Torch, Invisible Man and you have a frustrating situation for your opponent!

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