Author Archive

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December 28, 2008

Hello all.  SeventhSoldier here, going behind the back of the other fine designers to give you something to look forward to in the face of the New Year – a little news on DFC!

Yes, friends, the set will be largely based around The Day Evil Won, giving us a chance to revisit a few teams… but the story is far too large to be contained in a single set, and there’s more going on in the wide world of the DC Universe, and so we aren’t quite limiting ourselves to just the events of Final Crisis to pull inspiration from.  One example of this would be Shadowpact, one of the main refeatures of the set.  Have you heard?  There’s a war going on in Hell, and the mystic community of DC has found itself steeped in corruption and trying to make the most of the worst Hell has to offer.  So, expect to see some pretty potent spell-slinging in the set (and maybe a minor legend or two that you didn’t expect!).

But in case that doesn’t quite do it for you, I’ll also point this out: Batman sure has been having a hard time, lately, huh?  I mean, all sorts of stuff has been going on over there….

Besides a few of the obvious refeatures (and a few of the surprise ones I’ve mentioned here) you might just be seeing the premiere of one or two brand spankin’ new mini-teams.

So, that’s all for now.  This was just a New Year’s message for you all, so I hope you’ve enjoyed it, however brief it may have been.  With hope, I’ll be able to sneak in a more hearty spoiler or two sometime pretty soon!

Ivy Town

August 21, 2008

YGO Daedalus brings you Ivy Town, the home of Ray Palmer over at vs.tcgplayer.com – enjoy!

http://my.tcgplayer.com/blog/view/id_2417/title_dcu-preview-ivy-town

Donna Troy, Honorary Amazon

August 21, 2008

Hey there.  I couldn’t help but sneak in just one last preview for one of my favorite teams from the set – Themyscira.  Donna Troy, like Supergirl, has the potential to gain the abilities of her namesake, which is a pretty potent ability given the suite of legendary cards available to Superman and Wonder Woman, but she’s powerful in her own right with her cosmic – surge ability to spread the counter-love around as you wish.  Her 8 defense helps keep her unstunned for her Surge ability to kick in, but more than that, access to cards like Fury of the Amazons or another Wonder Woman legendary plot twist from this set ensure that she’ll be around to get her counter.

Donna is also one of the few Challengers characters in the set.  Don’t worry – there aren’t any Challengers characters with no other affiliations in the set.  Not this time, at least.  Instead, Donna is a Themyscira character who does a little moonlighting with Kyle Rayner, in one of the many Countdown nods in the set.  

It’s a brief article, but I hope you enjoy the card!

Themyscira Design Article

August 19, 2008

Hello.  SeventhSoldier back with this, the last of my design articles.  Back when the DCU Project first began, well before we had any idea that there wouldn’t be any DCU, lebeau began asking for people to help make the set a reality – at least a little bit.  He had a lot of people volunteer, and I was one of the earlier volunteers.  I had always wanted to see Themyscira in the game, and when I saw that Amazons Attack was voted to be a part of the set, I knew that I’d love to try and design them.

As I began, I went over the Themysciran roster.  There were a lot of minor amazons that have popped up over the years that I would’ve loved to have used, but given that this would almost be a full-sized team, I thought that I should keep the number of non-recent Amazons to a minimum (sorry, Acantha fans – she’s not in here).

That in mind, I began to read through Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman run, and what had been published thus far of Gail Simone’s.  I couldn’t bring myself to buy Amazons Attack, but a story synopsis and the help of the fearless people of scans_daily gave me plenty of working knowledge of the story.  Some cards – Amazons Attack, Grace, and many of their army cards – came straight from Amazons Attack, when they descend on Washington DC with a horde of mythical creatures, from the cyclopes to the pegasi, and I had a number of army cards in there.  My favorite, sadly, got cut – White Gorillas, Army.  I’ll leave it to you to guess what this Wonder Woman stamped army card did, because it shall never now see the light of day.

Another thing that I took away from Amazons Attack (though it was a big part of their appearance in such places as JLA, too) was an equipment theme.  The Amazons have the best armor and weapons, magically improved to be functional even in today’s society of guns and (in the DCU at least) force fields.  Perhaps because their smith, Io, is blessed/cursed by Hephaestus, the god responsible for crafting Wonder Woman’s arsenal.  They have the Purple Healing Ray, the Purple Peace Ray, the Purple Death Ray – they had Purple Rays for every occasion!  Wonder Woman has a number of enchanted pieces of armor.  The more I looked, the more important equipment seemed, and while a number of pieces of equipment were removed for space restraints, we still got many of the essentials, from swords and armor to Wonder Woman’s own magical Lasso of Truth.

Here, I must apologize – there is no equipment titled ‘Bees’ or ‘Death Bees’ or ‘Magic Killer Bees’ in this set.  I just couldn’t justify it to myself.

The final theme of Themyscira, locations, is the only one that did not come from Amazons Attack.  Instead, this was a nod to Greg and Gail’s respective runs.  When you think about the Amazons, you think about Themyscira, the mythic island they inhabit.  If you read comics, though, you also think of their patrons on Mount Olympus.  Their Embassies.  Their Forges.  The best Libraries in the world.  When I realized that Wonder Woman was now an agent of the DEA, a government agency that works directly with Checkmate, I couldn’t resist.  And since this set would (were it real) knock Checkmate out of Silver, I felt it fitting to keep the dream alive.  Of course, since Wonder Woman deals more in locations created by the Gods, she searches only for Terraform location – it’s up to the gods (you) to put them into play as you will.

Ultimately, Themyscira is a fun team making use of many of the tools of Checkmate in a manner that actually ends up differing quite a lot from Checkmate itself.  And, as I finish this, we are already underway with our final week of preview cards, generics, legacies, and unaffiliated characters.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our set as much as we enjoyed making it, and I’ll be back soon for a send-off with lebeau and maybe even Guglio, the head designer of the set.

‘Til then – enjoy!

Io and the Themysciran Forges

August 14, 2008

Meet the cornerstones of the Themysciran equipment theme over at Flotownvs, courtesy of vs_savant2.

http://flotownvs.blogspot.com/2008/08/2-for-1-special.html

Amazons and Cyclopes and Bears, oh my!

August 14, 2008

Meet some army characters over at the Lost Hemisphere…

http://losthemisphere.wordpress.com/2008/08/14/dcu-preview-amazons-cyclopes

(bears sold separately)

Grace, Of the Bana-Mighdall

August 14, 2008

In case you didn’t notice with Kara Zor-El, there just might be a little legacy love to be found on Themyscira.  A number of heroes and heroines have joined Wonder Woman’s Amazons, for one reason or another, including The Outsiders own Grace Choi.

I mentioned in an earlier article that Themyscira has a small army theme.  Well, they have a number of non-army characters that work best when they join the war, and Grace Choi, never afraid of a scrap, is one of them.  Grace first learned of her Amazon heritage when she was recruited in Amazons Attack, and she’s had a bond with Wonder Woman ever since, extending to when they teamed up in an Outsiders special as part of a test by Batman.

Grace is a large, powerful woman, but despite her attitude, she’s a team player, and here we see her, getting bigger and badder as she works to help out the smaller guys, making her obviously useful in an army build.

That said, she’s also massively effective in the traditional Outsiders build.  On any give turn past 4-5, the Outsiders will often have a board full of smaller characters, depending on one massive team-attack and a few extra abilities to get the stuns, and Grace will definitely help you get the numbers you need to hit their highest drops, or to keep in reserve for a last, single attack.

I hope you continue to enjoy Themyscira, and keep an eye out for the end of the week previews, when we introduce you to some pretty amazing legacy content!

Amazons Attack!

August 12, 2008

SeanValen returns to us with a preview for Amazons Attack, a potent card for Wonder Woman and her allies.  Head on over to his blog to check it out!

http://evolutionspeak.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/amazons-attack

Wonder Woman and the Lasso of Truth

August 12, 2008

So, as you’ve probably heard, this week we’ll be seeing the last team of the set – Themyscira! Now, Geoff Johns had nothing to do with this team, and this team almost exclusively. No, you have Trinity, Wonder Woman, and (shudder) Amazons Attack! to thank for the long-overdue inclusion of Wonder Woman and her Amazons into the VS System.

Now, the Amazons of Themyscira in the comics have a few things they focus on more than anything else. Equipment and Locations. I mean, their forges, libraries, embassies are all vital to Themysciran culture. They’ve created spectacular armor and weapons. The Amazons are a force to be reckoned with, as we saw when they invaded America rather out of the blue in Amazons Attack. Equipment. Locations. Armies. Does this sound at all like a team from the past?

Read more at…

http://vsexplosion.blogspot.com

Suicide Squad Design

August 11, 2008

Amanda Waller’s team, the Suicide Squad, is one that, as Lebeau said, was snuck into the set.  They had been a part of a number of events we were referencing – specifically 52 and Salvation Run – and so, when we realized that we had space left, rather than making a few of the teams bigger, we instead decided to add a ‘mini-team’ – the Suicide Squad.  Unlike most mini-teams, though, the Squad has a full curve from 1-7, with multiple characters at each drop.  

It was hard to come up with a theme for the Squad.  Hidden beats seemed to be natural, but with IG-Hidden having just rocked the tourney scene when the team was being made and almost no hidden-hate available, it seemed like a bad idea to make them too hardcore beatdown.  Still, concealed fit the team, definitely, so brainstorming began.

One theme that we see pop up every few sets is the ‘Single Visible Guy’ theme from Hellfire and Hellboy, and the more I thought about it, the more I thought that fit the Squad.  There would be modifications.  The Suicide Squad doesn’t send someone visible because the person is strong enough to take it, and they aren’t supporting them from the side-lines – when the Squad sends you to the front lines, they’re sending you to your death to buy them some time.

So, the Squad plays those themes, but with some twists.  Some of their characters punish opponents for attacking you directly, like Electrocutioner (c’mon Wolverine, Agent of SHIELD – swing to my face!).  Some excel at getting out of those tight spots, like Bronze Tiger.  And Amanda Waller, the rogue Queen of Checkmate, won’t let any asset leave the board until she’s long done with ’em.  The team doesn’t beat nearly as hard as the Injustice Gang, but they don’t have the resources of the Injustice Gang, either.  

Tomorrow begins previews for the set’s final team, though you can get a brief preview of one of our most wonderful new teams over at vs.tcgplayer.com right now, thanks to our friend StaticCat.  Head over there and check it out, or wait until tomorrow for a new preview right here at your DCU Previews HQ.