Well, I’ve just got back from Nottingham uni and it’s been a long day, so I’m up for some VS-essay-writing therapy, and have decided to continue the article on the silver-age legend-stamped arsenal the much-hyped Bizarro decks have access too. Without further ado (read the first part if you want an introduction) let’s dive straight in with…
Marvel Team-Up featured two mini-legends, in the form of Spider-Man and to a lesser extent the magnificient mystic Dr. Strange… So what tools do these provide for our backwards antihero? Two of the Spider-Man stamped cards are Spider-Friends specific, and as such are unlikely to be featuring in any decks at the Mega-Weekend (well, Bizarro decks at least) and these are Target Practice and Trial by Jury. Spider-Man does however donate his pseudo-Mystical Paralysis, Gift Wrapped, which is quite an interesting tool for shutting down opposing rush decks on their initiative (especially useful against BS rush, which tries to set up a kill for turn four; but not so much against Quickfate/Quick<insert word/phrase/team here> as their Quicksilver is likely to be equipped with an effect that prevents targetting. The problem with both Gift Wrapped and Mystical Paralysis is that they target, and their threshold of four means that will be competing with what is likely to be the most popular generic card at the Mega-Weekend: Pathetic Attempt.
Although a Four Freedoms Plaza can search up a From the Darkness to counteract it, don’t always expect to be able to target opposing characters. Then again, using the existance of Pathetic Attempt to dismiss a card is like dismissing a great creature card in Magic the Gathering because it DtT (Dies to Terror). An example of this would be Tarmogoyf, a $40 card. Sure it dies to creature kill (imagine effects that KO characters) but if they don’t have any, he’s solid. Couple this with the fact that rush decks are unlikely to be packing any negation, and you have a way to potentially stall into turn five. I’m tempted to say Gift Wrapped is superior to Mystical Paralysis, as after turn four you won’t really be wanting to exhaust Bizarro to simply shut down an opposing attack, when Indestructible or a Fearless + Abe Sapien turns what looked like a sucessful attack into a stonewalled stun-back of a failure.
The second Spider-Man stamped card from MTU is a break from the norm in the form of a character. Wolverine, Canucklehead is especially interesting. Hitting the field on turn 6, he can’t be stunned while attacking while you control Spider-Man (or in this case, Bizarro). Not only that, he also has synergy with another part of the deck: the Wolverine legend-stamped cards that seem to be very popular inclusions, (Healing Factor, Berserker Rage and potentially Adamantium Claws) can now be thrown at Bizarro OR the late-game Canucklehead. Definately consider running a single copy for searching out with Enemy or 4FP (Four Freedoms Plaza) to break late-game stalemates against decks such as straight Checkmate/Villains United, if some players decide this to be a prudent choice when Bizarro C/VU is looking like that stronger pick, at least on paper.
Finally, Dr. Strange provides the last legend-stamped card from MTU (at least, the last legend-stamped card from MTU that doesn’t require you to be running Marvel Defenders) in the form of Eye of Agamotto. The Eye recruits for free onto Bizarro Strange, and stops your opponent’s effects targetting you. This would potentially be of more relevance in Modern Age, where Venom Burn is a very real threat; but is possibly worth including as a single copy against decks that may emerge from the murky waters of the new Silver Age format. Remember however, that Bizarro may also want to wield more aggressive equipment in the form of Juggernaut’s Helmet, or some M60s; or a B.P.R.D Signal Device for extra protection. It’s all a matter of personal preference, and despite having a common central shell there is scope for a large variety of different Bizarro decks. It’s all down to personal taste, in my opinion.
At the name of the set might suggest, World’s Finest focussed on the Best of the Best: Superman and Batman. The first legend-reliant card from World’s Finest is Lois Lane, Reporter Extraordinaire who will cost 1 less while you control a Bizarro-Superman. I’m not quite sure why the Bizarro World deck would want to run a visible, off-team 1-drop; but just in case the fancy takes you, she’s there. Soaring to New Heights is Team Superman-stamped, so we can also safely discount it as well.
Batman has two pieces of name-stamped kit, however Batmobile, Burn Rubber has an effect stamped to Gotham Knights so its uses become very limited in Bizarro.dec. Batarang, Cutting Edge is the second piece of technology Bizarro <> Batman has access too, but unfortunately compared to Gift Wrapped and Mystical Paralysis, having to pay 1 resource point for an exhaust effect isn’t great, especially as it can just be a futile Pathetic Attempt: not so much a consideration with free plot twists, but definately a problem when you’re paying 1 resource point AND exhausing the build’s main character.
While not really a legendary support card, World’s Finest also contains the 6-drop Bizarro, Bizarro World’s Finest which is incidentally non-unique with other Bizarros as a result of Bizarro world. With a 14/14 body, his drawback is negatable; especially as most of the characters you don’t want to be attacking with (Black Thorn or Ahmed) can active to make them unable to do so. Maybe run a single copy alongside Wolverine, dependant on build, and fetch to taste.
In all honesty, I almost forgot about the best Legend support in the set, because they’re lurking at the back of my DWF folder :O At their Finest provides a +2/+2 for-the-turn pump on Bizarro which is quite nice, however Fearless beats it as a pump with Abe Sapien down; and the no-other-plot-twists stipulation dissuades you from running many copies. Perhaps run it as a 2-of alongside a pair of Fearless; and tailor your choice of pump for just how much of a boost you want, and how long you want it to last.
Best of the Best is decidely meh. I’m not quite sure why you’d want to bounce Bizarro… He has much better ways of stopping/punishing opposing characters attacking, such as Stonewalling, Indestructible, Mystical Paralysis or Gift Wrapped. And it fails to work on defense against a counterattack, as the Bizarro must be ready. Not a great use of deck slots methinks.
Finally, Brains and Brawn effectively reads: recover target Bizarro. Which is always nice. However, Healing Factor effectively reads: recover target Bizarro OR Wolverine, Canucklehead. Oh, and have some free endurance while you’re at it. The same cost seals the deal, and makes Healing Factor THE choice for recover effects (unless you’re REALLY worried about Omnipotence, in which case run a single copy of B&B over the fourth Healing Factor. But this is only if you’re paranoid they won’t shut down one of your more essential cards in favour of a recover effect. Otherwise, Healing Factor is a strictly better card.)
As I’ve completely forgotten about DCX, MAA, MCG and MEX, I shall be covering MCG and MEX these this evening and saving the mammoth task of chronicling the MVL and DCL support for tomorrow evening along with DCX and MAA; shifting the Counter-Bizarro article to Saturday evening. Many apologies for all of you who were waiting to hear all the secret Anti-Biz tech 😛
Nebulize and Obliterate! can both function by exhausing Bizarro acting as a proxy for Galactus, but with a threshold of 8 are they really worth it? The answer I can nearly safely say is no. Pathetic Attempt hower…. 😀 …. is not legend stamped, and won’t be discussed in this article 😛 But yeah, it’s a solid, solid card. And in tandem with From the Darkness and Expendable Ally (the Doom card from yesterday, I think that’s the name :S) provides the deck with a solid quasi-legend-stamped negation suite. It’s like playing Blue in Magic all over again.
You Dare? is an interesting plot twist, as it can decimate team attacks made against Bizarro after previously brickwalling on the back of an Abe Sapien-fuelled powering-up fest. It’s definately better than No Match for Darkseid, and remember after Bizarro hits the dirt you can always flip him face-up again with a copy of Healing Factor.
I’m playing with a pair of Siphon Energy in my build, (I know it’s not a legend-stamped card, but it copies them :P) as a way of re-using 1-ofs, but more often than not my resource row is full of locations Ahmed has fetched for me… It’s a quandry, as when it does go off as a result of foreplanning it’s great, but otherwise it’s pretty dead unless your opponent’s row has a particular tasty gem sitting in it. Maybe it’s worth running as a lone copy? I’ll get back to you on that.
I feel cheated. I shift my schedule for these small bonus sets, and they provide me with little to nothing. Silver Surfer’s Board is a piece of equipment that can be used to hide Bizarro if you really feel it’s necessary, but is competing with other aforementioned better pieces of equipment (see the discussion after Eye of Agamotto in MTU) for that coveted task of being attached to the mighty Bizarro. I’d like to say that the Jury’s out, but I really don’t see it proving that useful. Which is sad, because I have two copies sitting in my Bonus Set Binder. 😦
THE MIDDLE OF THE END
Anyways, that’s all for today peeps 😛 If you feel unfulfilled as a result of the lack of MVL and DCL, take heart in the fact that this article is the longest yet for just four non-legend heavy sets. What will it be like tomorrow when THE legend sets hit, along with the Apocalypse support in MAA, and the absolutely nothing in DCX…
I’ll leave that to your imagination 😛
Join me then, and have a great day in between,