As I proceeded to clean newly spilled chocolate milk off of my rare folders, I praised God for the inventor of clear protective sleeves. I also though, “Why do I have so many rares that I don’t use?” Most decks use a few rares, and some decks do use more than others, but Vs. has yet to make it to the state of Yu-Gi-Oh where its players shell out a fortune for the most competitive decks. There are currently a ton of cheap competitive decks in every format of Vs. Checkmate builds had very few essential rares and dominated the meta forever (whatever happened to them anyway?).
Anyway, screw cheap competitive decks. I want to use my rares. I want to find the most competitive deck that ONLY uses rares. Maybe this has already been done, but I’ve not seen it yet so I figured I’d give it a shot. For the sake of my valuable time, I decided to limit myself to Silver Age.
With the current abundance of legends cards (most of which are rare) you wouldn’t think it would be too hard to build an all rare deck, but it was kind of a challenge. First of all, I couldn’t decide which team to focus on. Here are some builds that are on the cutting room floor.
- JLA was my first choice because I love the JLA. I was going to make a Flash legend deck that finished with Barry Allen on six. The deck could also have run the Batman three drop, the Wonder Woman four drop, and the Superman five drop because they’re all freakin’ amazing!
- Fantastic Four builds are often reknowned for their high amounts of rares, unfortunately, they don’t have a rare Sue before turn seven. This makes Force Field Projection (one of their sweetest cards) a no go. One way around this is to use Carrying the torch to make someone else Sue early on in the game, so this build is still possible.
- Marvel Knights has almost two characters at every drop that are concealed and rare. Throw in some Wild Rides, Savage Beatdowns, and Blinding Rages and you practically have MKKO.
I know there are many more viable options out there <cough> X-MEN <cough>, but I decided to stop searching when I remembered a conversation I had on the ride home from Gen Con with Eric Madden. We were both talking about the best way to build a Captain America legend. It didn’t take long to figure out that most of his good cards were rare, but also flat out amazing. There was also the fact that I actually had them all since I’m only three cards short of having everything from MUN. It was decided…
Captain America’s rare legend cards are all very defensive. It makes sense for the cards of a shield-wielding hero to be defensive, but it sure doesn’t give you many options when building a deck. I was essentially pigeon-holed into stall.
First of all, a digression. I want to compare Captain America’s Shield to the Batarang…
|Batarang||Captain America’s Shield||Winner|
|Payment||Exhaust Batman and KO Batarang||Return Shield to hand||Shield|
|Effect||Exhaust target character||Captain exhausts and Opponent exhausts a character||Batarang|
|Restrictions||Equip only to Batman||Equip only to Captain||Tie|
|# of uses||1||As many as there are turns||Shield|
As you can see, though both are incredibly symbolic weapons of their namesakes, Batarang sucks hard while Captain’s Shield rocks. Why would you underdrop just to use the Batarang once? The Shield’s only weakness when compared to the Batarang is in the choice of who exhausts. This can often be played around by leaving only one non-stunned character on your opponent’s side, then using the Shield. The fact that Captain can still use his shield if he’s already exhausted is also another big hit in the ‘pro’ column. What were the designers of the Batarang thinking?
Anyway, onto the deck construction. When searching rare Avengers characters there aren’t too many options. After eliminating ones that are obviously not stall related, you’re left with an oddly large number of Spider-Men and Captains. This is perfect when so many stall cards target those two characters specifically. Here’s a list I came up with:
4 Spider-Man, New New Avenger
4 Dr. Strange, Secret Avenger
4 Hawkeye, Loud Mouth
3 Punisher, Secret Avenger
4 Captain America, Champion License
3 Spider-Man, Secret Avenger
1 Wolverine, Secret Avenger
2 Captain America, Living Legend
2 Spider-Man, Stark’s Protege
1 The Sentry, Mighty Avenger
4 Captain America’s Shield
3 Avengers Reassembled
3 Gift Wrapped
4 Big Leagues
4 Against All Odds
4 Charging Star
3 Steely Resolve
3 Level 12 Intelligence
As you can see there’s a ton of defensive pumps rocking this deck. Between exhaustion effects, fat butts from defensive pumps, and the effects of the two Captains, you should be able to smash your opponents late game pretty easily. I’m curious what you guys can come up with for an all rare deck. Can anyone think of a deck that costs more than this that is equally competitive (or more so!). Thanks for reading guys!