29 January 2006

Vs. CARD(S) OF THE WEEK: X-Men Expansion

Take two friends who love comics. Add a superhero-themed collectible card game. Sprinkle a dash of competitiveness, and a lump of testosterone. The result? Weekly matches that turn friends into nemeses.

This is not your typical "card of the week" column. Every web site dedicated to CCGs has been there and done that. This column is all about our competition, though. Guy and I usually play two games of Vs. a week, and every Sunday, we'll feature the card that we think most influenced the outcome of the matches we played the preceding week, and the metagaming lessons we learned in the process.

Well, because of our busy schedules, Guy and I haven't played a game in two weeks. I ended up play testing a new Thunderbolts Deck with my wife, against my Avenger Reservist Deck. Let just say she beat me so bad that I needed some time off to heal my wounds!

This installment of Card Of The Week will not feature cards we played with, but instead I've got some previews for you from The X-Men Expansion coming out in late February.


Frost Shaw

Psylocke Ape

The X-Men Expansion is still in previews, so not all the details of the set are known, but here's what I've gleaned so far.

  • The teams in the set will be the X-Men, Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, Hellfire Club and Morlocks. No X-Factor :(. I had some great card ideas for Multiple Man.
  • There are no dual-affiliated cards.
  • No reprinted cards from Marvel Origins. It was speculated early on that Upper Deck would do this, but all cards are originals. For example, it was thought they might add Leader to Cyclops-MOR006, or Reservist to "name your favorite mutant".
  • The cards will depict the characters from a handful of timeframes. I believe it was in InQuest magazine that I saw a preview of Storm in a mohawk, from when she was with the Morlocks. If I'm not mistaken, even the current version of the Astonishing X-Men are included, but don't hold me to that one!
  • Mutant Traits have been added to the game, and they are not retroactive. If you look at the above cards you'll notice text on the bottom of the character art. It will say either "Mutant - Physical", "Mutant - Mental", or "Mutant - Energy". These traits are active even if the character is stunned, unlike character powers which are inactive when stunned. These traits do not spill over to older cards from earlier sets, either, so Emma Frost MSM-104 from the Spider-Man Expansion is not a "Mutant - Mental" card, only this current version is.

Don't forget, Sneak Preview tournaments are being held on February 11 & 12. Check out a preview of some of the prizes available to attendees. (I believe the picture of Phoenix is the playmat.) Last time I went to a Preview Tournament, I came away with a playmat, and I didn't even win a match! You can find a local shop holding a Preview Tournament at upperdeck.com.

If you'd like more in-depth information and coverage of other preview cards, check out Metagame, and TCG Player. They may break the stories, but here at CBC, we break them down for you. That's why I think it's so hard to pull in new players to Vs. If you go to a CCG website and you're a newbie, its a huge turn-off. The first few times I went there I was like, what the f*%^ are they talking about? I really wanted to learn, though, so I stuck with it. Most people won't put that type of effort into it.

So, Upper Deck, if you want to reach the masses with Vs., reach out to CBC. Provide us with a preview, and help bring in new players, and don't just preach to the choir!


Shane Bailey said...

I won't be getting the new set, but that James Jean illo is a thing of beauty. I want his work as posters. I was pretty dissapointed in the small little book they published of his work a while back. I wanted a big coffee table book.

Dan Diaz said...

I'm not that excited about this expansion. I'll probably save the cash for the Infinite Crisis Set coming in May. That being said, I'll probably go to the preview tournament. They're fun, and the swag is very cool.