This is the last week of the “Single Universe” format, and I figured I’d have some fun with Marvel on this one. And in this Halloween season, I find it quite appropriate that my team is rather…
The Team: J’Accuse!
A reminder of our event rules:
- Every card (including BACs) had to come from the same universe (Marvel, DC, WWE, etc.)
- Every card had to be legal in Global Escalation (we rely on the official list found here – we also banned Jimmy Lawler so we wouldn’t have everyone running double-Overcrush Becky Lynch)
When I started brewing for this one, all I knew is that I wanted an R Danger Room team. But it had to be Marvel-only, so I couldn’t use the excellent anti-Villain stuff from DC (e.g. Black Canary).
So what Villain hate can I use in this context? I went for three of them. The first is Black Panther. Used with Danger Room, he’s pretty much unblockable (but he is vulnerable to Danger Room’s global, so timing is key). Then, there’s the real strategy in this team: Ronan the Accuser, who destroys all opposing characters when used with Danger Room. (I did try that combo before, and it’s amazing) And then…there’s Venom. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember ever playing him or seeing him played. But being able to take control of any character (with Danger Room) upon fielding is pretty darn good, should come in handy.
With this strategy I am presumably trying to win with combat damage, so I need big stats on the board. Enter the obvious: Kree Captain. When I use Danger Room, everything turns into a villain, making him gigantic. Plus, his global can help me discount Panther, Venom, and Ronan. Easy pick for sure. But I need more utility for this to work. Enter Dark Phoenix. With both Venom and Ronan being “When Fielded” effects, Dark Phoenix makes these effects repeatable, on top of getting me further discounts on my big dice.
But even with Kree Cap and Dark Phoenix, I felt I needed ramp for this to work, so I went completely overboard and put in the old Professor X. He needs no introduction as he’s just ludicrous ramp. Including him meant I needed cheap masks for his global. So I went for…Beast? Hear me out, because he’s there to use with Teamwork. I am turning everything into a Villain with Danger Room. So by using Teamwork, everything in my field will get significantly stronger. This will encourage going “wide” in my attacks. So by using a character that must be double-teamed to be blocked, it increases my chances of getting lots of damage through. It’s a backup plan if my main villain-hate ideas fail.
The last card I went for is Takedown. If Danger Room fails to roll, or if I go up against action hate, I need another way to make opposing characters into villains. Takedown is obviously better used alongside Venom (use the global on my target then field Venom), but if I am trying to snipe a character off the field with Danger Room’s global, Takedown can essentially turn into Magic Missile to remove any annoying control if I have enough energy.
My first match was against a Super-Friends team. My opponent’s rolls were unfortunate – she couldn’t roll character faces much. I quickly got my PXG engine going. I didn’t even need to go for Ronan, as Venom was enough against her lean field. In fact, on the last turn, I stole her Superman with Venom (after using Danger Room), and between Venom, Superman, Kree Captain (x2), sidekicks (one of which had 6A), her one blocker was simply not enough to stop the onslaught. I won.
For this next one, I faced off against Hush Manta. Hey, I hardly needed Danger Room for this one, my opponent’s team is almost all Villains! Except for Alfred Pennyworth, the immortal cockroach. He’s going to be annoying if I use Ronan. Well, I went for Ronan anyway, built up my field, and stole Alfred with Venom+Takedown on the last turn before fielding Ronan, wiping out her board, and charging in for too much damage. I won.
Note that in this one, I did a slight misplay. I stole a character with Venom and KO’d it with Dark Phoenix’ global. However, Venom states that the character I take control of returns to my opponent’s Field Zone at end of turn and I forgot to do so. It was my misplay, but it didn’t impact the result ultimately. If you run this version of Venom, please remember that aspect of his ability.
I finished my evening against the Fantastic 4. My T1 was horrible in this one: sidekick, shield, fist. I couldn’t even purchase anything! But I recovered well enough. I got Kree Captain, Venom, Danger Room…and Ronan of course. My opponent was slowly setting up his board, but then Ronan and Danger Room rolled together…and you can tell where this is going by now. Opponent’s field empties, I charge in (for over 40 damage this time!!!). I won.
-Ronan was just a game ender when used with Danger Room, Kree Captain and others active. Last time I used him, we had no Kree Captain and the other teams were really competitive (this was in the Yuan-ti meta). But with Kree Captain and a more relaxed format, he really shone as a viable win condition. Don’t forget that Ronan has 5 to 8 damage on his own, Kree Cap has at least 5A with Ronan active, plus whatever buff he gets from your other characters thanks to Danger Room. It’s really easy to get to 20 damage.
-Venom definitely earned a gold star tonight though. Can’t believe I never used him before. Stealing that Alfred in Game 2 was amazing (ironically one of the few things that could survive Ronan+Danger Room!), not to mention that Superman in Game 1. Used with Takedown’s global, he is just excellent.
-Black Panther, on the other hand, was just okay. Sure, unblockable is nice, but between dealing some damage with the Panther or dealing lethal damage by using Ronan and Kree Cap, Ronan was simply the better combo with Danger Room.
-Side-note: One of my opponents suggested Professor X was not necessary to get to Ronan since I had Kree Captain and Dark Phoenix to discount his cost. Now, I agree that Prof X was overkill, but I definitely needed ramp (and especially churn) of some kind. Solely using discounts with no ramp or churn is not a great way to get to a 7-cost. Instead, it’s a great way to mess up your bag badly. So I stand by my choice here.
And there you have it, the end of the Single Universe format. What’s next? Starting next week, we’re going deep into nostalgia – what if Wizkids had created Modern in 2016? The only sets legal will be those that were released in 2015 and 2016 (from YGO to DP), with Bard banned alongside the cards that are banned in Golden Age. Should be fun and interesting. What do you think I should try to build in that format?
Let us know in the comments below, on our Socials (@dmNorthTV), or join the conversation on our Discord.