• Mistakes! - AvX Month 4 Event Review

    This is a continuation of my "Mistakes" series. (Parts 1, 2, and 3 are here.) The mini-series did well enough to make it a monthly ongoing. (The comic bookmetaphor is intentional.) Actually, the real reason I am going to continue my review and analysis of monthly OP Events is because no one else here at The Reserve Pool is able to attend OP Events, so my account of how these things are going is the only account we have. I'm trying to find the right balance of givingenough details of the games and important moments, but still write an entertaining article that's not too bogged down buy facts and numbers. So let me know if you'd like more or less detail about the actual flow ofgame, strategy talk, and what-not. Here we go.

    This event started out just like any other. We got there, waited for the stragglers to file in, got our teams ready, and started. I used my same (tournament winning) team from last time.

    My Team: Hulk Green Goliath, Iron Man Philanthropist, Black Widow Tsarina, Spider-Man The Amazing, Nick Fury Patch, Magneto Sonderkommando, Silver Surfer Silverado, and Green Goblin Norman Osborn. Invulnerability and Force Beam were my Basic Actions.

    Round 1 – I went against a player I’ve only played one time previously. Last time we played it came down to our third round match, where I got a pretty unlucky roll. I was rolling six dice (three Tsarinas and 3 sidekicks) and all I needed was two characters, as he was down to one life, with only one blocker available. I got all energy. I rerolled and got all energy. He won on the next turn. Knowing that’s what happened last time we met, I knew this guy was beatable. Our first match I won in standard fashion. My Hulk kept the board clear until I had enough characters to rush for the win. Second match Went more his way. Storm Wind Rider is the bane of my existence when Hulk is out. I knew Storm was still in his dice bag, and she was either coming out next turn or the turn after. I knew I should have attacked with Hulk for 7 damage to get him off the board before Storm came out. Instead, I said “I won the first match. Plus, I’ve got a 50/50 chance that Hulk will stay on the board even if Storm does come out this turn.” Storm came out. I rerolled Hulk. He came up energy, and I took 2 damage. So instead of dealing 7 damage, I took 2 damage. That’s a 9 point swing. He won our second match. 3<sup>rd</sup> match I got unlucky. I bought Hulk early, but was never able to field him. Tsarinas and Patches helped bide my time, but Hulk worked his way through my dice bag three or four times, and I never once rolled a character side. I lost the third match, and ultimately lost the first round 1-2. Ugh, I KNOW I can beat that guy. One thing of note is after watching me run through the competition last month, he prepared for me. He accidentally purchased Human Torch Johnny Storm out of habit early on in our first match, but soon realized his error and never once fielded him. Also, he brought along Deadpool Chiyonosake to force my Hulk to block and knock him out. He purchased Deadpool 2 of our 3 games, but was never able to field him.

    Round 2 – This was my greatest fear. There’s one player who I’ve played against dozens of times, practicing against in my living room. We have fine tuned our teams together, and discussed strategy. It is my little brother. My second round opponent was my little brother. This is the first time we played each other at an event. We share cards from my collection, and as many as I have, we make it a point to not use any characters that the other is using, so we can each use as many dice as we want. He uses no super rares, but has a control build with Beast Mutate #666, Human Torch Johnny Storm, Punisher McRook, Storm Wind Rider, Colossus Russian Bear, and a few others I don’t remember with Distraction and Power Bolt. He knows how to beat me. He knows I can’t handle Storm. And he knows I don’t really have an answer for tanks like Colossus. So that’s who he goes right for every time we play. I beat him 2-0. But in those two wins, I was down to my lowest life total in any other win I had all day. He’s good, but he’s especially good against me. However, he IS my little brother… I had to put him in his place. 2-0. Just like Bret beat Owen in the Steel Cage at Summerslam '94.(Side note: I never realized how much we trash talk with each other while we play. Good gravy! Just little comments like, “You go first this game, since, you know… you lost,” and “Whatever, just shut up and take the damage. There’s nothing you can do. Your turn.” We love each other… it shows.)

    Round 3 – This was against the guy who gave me trouble with Loki Gem Keeper last event. I beat him 2-1 last time, so it’s a non-issue. But you know what Loki is? A Villain. You know what global I have with Magneto? Pay a mask to reroll a villain die. You know I did not do one time last tournament? That’s right… force him to reroll Loki to get him out of the field. This time, that fact did not escape me. He took advantage of my Silver Surfer global a lot, using it 3-5 times each game. When you are willing to deal yourself that much damage, it doesn’t take much for Black Widow and Hulk to finish you off. I won 2-1, and even though he won a game, I never really felt in danger during our third game.

    In talking with my third round opponent, and some other players afterwards, I realized something. I never change my strategy. I try to get my Hulk on the field using my globals early. Support him with Black Widows. Buy a Nick Fury or two for the knockout punch. Buy Iron Man for life gain if things get hairy. That’s my game plan every single time. Now, I keep an eye on what villains I can reroll or pay attention to when Storm Wind Rider is in their bag. But I never have to alter my strategy. I force other players to alter their strategy and abandon whole characters. People are afraid to use Human Torch Johnny Storm and Green Goblin Gobby against me because of the automatic direct damage to me, triggering Hulk’s ability. (I’m still afraid of Gobby, despite my Hulk, but whatever.) I like that. I force players out of their comfort zone, because they aren’t used to looking across the table and not seeing Beast, Human Torch, and Storm. From what I have seen online with teams that do use Hulk Green Goliath, those players still set up their Mutate #666s or Tsarinas or Gobbys first. I’m almost always buying my Hulk on turn 2, after I set myself up with globals on turn 1. Also, very few people play Invulnerability at my events. Everyone loves Distraction, Power Bolt, and Smash. So other players always forget about the global to pump up the attack value with bolts. I suppose there’s an advantage in playing cards that might not be as familiar as some.

    All in all, I didn’t win. However I did do well enough to score Colossus Phoenix Force. I don’t think I will make any changes to my team. I never use Spider-Man The Amazing, because if I have 6 energy to buy him, I’d rather spend 6 energy on another Hulk. I could take him out, but I honestly don’t have another character I’d rather sub in. Force Beam has been much less useful ever since the rules on it were clarified a few months ago. (If I get the two-burst side, it deals 2 damage to each character and 1 damage to each player. Unfortunately they fixed it so that this does NOT trigger my Hulk’s ability twice. Once for him taking damage, once for me taking damage. Now Hulk’s ability only triggers when “you or Hulk” are dealt damage. So if both of you are damaged by the same source, it only triggers once.) I was looking forward to the participation prize next month, Collateral Damage, to replace Force Beam in my constructed deck. You deal your opponent 1 damage for each of their characters you knocked out this turn. That is a Basic Action that was made for my team. Unfortunately, when Uncanny X-Men is released, we will have a new Basic Action: Feedback. For 1 less energy, it does the same thing. The only minor difference is it looks like Feedback only counts characters knocked out AFTER you play Feedback, where Collateral Damage can be played at the end of the turn, after characters have been knocked out. Why is this unfortunate? Because it would have been great to get Collateral Damage as the Month One or Two event prize card, so I could actually use it. But as things are now, we will get it AFTER a newer, cheaper version is released. Collateral Damage will never see the playing field, which is a shame, because I was looking forward to it ever since it was revealed.

    Thanks for reading. Give me your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below. As always, roll on.
    This article was originally published in blog: Mistakes! - AvX Month 4 Event Review started by Randy