Exciting times are upon us, as tomorrow our local Hobby League will be hosting our Bring Your Own Set (Modern) tournament. Admittedly I have not put much thought into the deck I will be running, but I figure this post will serve to flesh out some of my ideas.
After all, it’s a limited format. How many viable decks can there be?
Apparently enough for a two-part series, that’s how many.
There are four full sets and one Essential Collection available in the format: Marvel Team-Up, World’s Finest, Marvel Legends, DC Legends and Hellboy! Other non-sets such as Coming of Galactus and Age of Apocalypse are also technically possible, but not too likely. Let’s look and see what the decks to beat are, set by set.
Despite being a fan favorite, it’s fair to say that Marvel Team-Up has been overlooked in most formats. However, MTU remains one of the most solid and powerful sets ever produced by UDE. There is not a single ‘weak team’ in the set… even the Wild Pack have a few tricks up their sleeves!
Spider-Stall: In a format with few negation effects a control-oriented Spider-Friends deck could be devastating. However, the relatively weak stats on most characters makes the team vulnerable to more aggressive curve decks. The biggest drawback to Spider-Stall is that without a Galactus to ensure victory in the late game Spider-Friends have no clear kill turn. Stalling out too long could end up backfiring as World’s Finest and Fantastic Four have stronger closers.
Syndicate Rush: This is one of the most straightforward and fastest decks in the format. By throwing out as many low-drop characters as possible Syndicate ensures early damage, but at the cost of their own resources and endurance scores. Control-oriented decks usually have answers to weenies, so in a competitive environment I’m not sure how well they can do. They will be one of the few teams that can hit even harder than IG Concealed.
Defenders Back-Up: I have a lot of experience playing against this deck, and I can vouch for how annoying it is. Unless one can maintain board control against them they will simply overpower any foe with their huge variety of back-up abilities. Marvel Defenders also have an extremely powerful tutor (B Team,) and deck-milling power that makes them one of the most splashable and consistent teams in the format. Moon Knight, anyone?
Underworld: The ‘controlling stunned characters’ gimmick never made much of a splash in competitive play, but their secret weapon is the team’s access to not one — not two — but four Dual-Loyalty characters. Overpowered characters + easy access to team-ups (It is called Marvel Team-Up after all) = Pain and suffering. Hellstorm abuse seems incredibly likely, but I would love to see a deck properly try to abuse Morbius or Demogoblin.
Wild Pack: The Wild Pack’s draw power and natural team-up ability have made Wild Pack a favorite for casual play. A Wild Pack/Syndicate team-up could be absolutely devastating, given both teams’ focus on board presence. Plus, the extra cards certainly wouldn’t hurt Syndicate.
Hellboy Essential Collection:
Considered one of the finest releases VS. has ever had, Hellboy features powerful cards and simple strategies. It is extremely likely that every Hobby League will see at least one variation of the Hellboy Legend, and why not? This set has great cards to please both new fans and hardcore players. Of the two decks included in the set only one has made any impact on the game.
Hellboy Legend: The Hellboy Legend has access to free stuns and beefy characters, which are very great things. More importantly, the Hellboy Legend is extremely consistent and rarely misses a drop. The BPRD equipment sub-theme should allow your Hellboy to become ginormous without the fear of being KO’d. BPRD Signal Device is awesome!
Project Ragna Rok – Thule Society: There are hardly any pieces of resource hate in this format, so an alternate win condition is more realistic than it might normally be. The BPRD/Thule Society team-up will also allow Hellboy to attack the hidden area, which is an absolute neccessity against hidden beats like IG Concealed or Marvel Knights.
Ironically, the World’s Finest may have some of the least viable decks in this format. Outsiders and Arkham Insanity are extremely powerful… but only when given access to larger card pools. This set is dominated by Gotham Knights, Team Superman and the powerful control effects that ruin the lives of their opponents.
Revenge Squad Front Row: This deck is actually quite powerful, but has no real tutor available to it. A row of Ongoing Plot Twists and Preus gives Revenge Squad the largest 5-drop in Modern, except for maybe Jean Grey. Sadly the lack of consistency dooms this strategy, as well as the relative weakness in Ongoing Plot Twists for the set (outside of Battle for Metropolis.)
World’s Finest: This deck is pure control, plain and simple. With amazing consistency, powerful characters and plot twist support to die for the Team Superman/Gotham Knights team-up is a serious force to be reckoned. Unlike many other control-oriented builds much of the support for World’s Finest can be found within a single set, so it will handle this limited format relatively unscathed. WF also has access to powerful negation effects for payment powers and plot twists, both of which are very rare in this format.
Note: World’s Finest is quite possibly the best overall deck in BYOM events due to its’ consistency and overall power. The biggest opposition it should expect to face are hidden beats decks and rush, although the set does contain solutions to both.
Gotham Knights/Birds of Prey: Recently a lot of parallels have been drawn between this deck and IG Concealed, often considered to be the defining deck in Modern formats. Whereas IG relies on generic plot twists such as Big Leagues and Flying kick to fill out its’ arsenal, Birds of Prey has an amazing array of combat pumps at their disposal. This advantage makes BOP one of the hardest hitters of any deck in BYOM. Cards like Lady Blackhawk, Oracle, Bat-Signal and The Hook-Up will provide incredible consistency as well.
Join me for part two tomorrow when we’ll be looking at Marvel Legends, DC Legends and my own deck!