Posts Tagged ‘previews’

DFC Preview: Ryan Choi The Atom, Black Gambit

November 14, 2009

Ryan Choi

We’re getting down to the end of the DFC previews.  Today is the last day of previews for Checkmate, the last team featured in the set.  Like Seventh Soldier said in his excellent team write-up Checkmate was easily the most hotly debated team in the set.  Originally, we hadn’t planned to refeature Checkmate.  But as the Final Crisis story unfolded, it became clear that next to Darkseid’s Elite, Checkmate was the most important team in the story.

Another problem was that Checkmate was already a force to be reckoned with in Vs.  The original version of the team in the Infinite Crisis set remains one of the most playable teams in the game.  Certainly one of the best DC teams left out there.  So we were faced with the challenge of making a team that felt like Checkmate without making Checkmate crazy busted.

The answer was found in the story itself.  In Infinite Crisis, Checkmate was quitely pulling all the strings.  They were calling the shots and the DCR version of the team reflected that.  In Final Crisis, Checkmate was desperate.  They were on the run as safehouse after safehouse fell to Darkseid.

As a result, the new version of Checkmate has to makes some risky plays.  Not only that, but they will loose one headquarters after another.  Ryan Choi <> The Atom plays into both of those themes.  Going down a resource (usually a location for Checkmate) is a risky proposition.  Koing a resource too early or too often can easily cost you the game.

But the payoff – the card of your choice in your hand when you need it – could win you the game.  It’s just of matter of knowing when the time is right to pull the trigger so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

Other affiliations (Brotherhood, JLI) are looking at Ryan Choi and drooling.  His restriction makes him a little less splashable.  But as long as you can guarantee a team-up, Ryan will be a welcome addition to any team that likes to KO its own resources.

So, that’s it for me.  Thanks to the guys for letting me play along when I didn’t do much of the heavy lifting this time around.  And thanks to everyone for the overwhelmingly positive response to the set so far.  Believe me when I say, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Monday morning is going to be like Christmas for any Vs. fan.

Until next time – and there will be a next time – good gaming.



July 23, 2008

WHAT????? – Are you serious? A terraform location that allows me to play different versions of my printed JSA characters . . . And with Earth-22, perhaps signaling the coming of Kingdom Come/JSA characters and of course more JSA characters than we can shake a stick at.

-from StaticCat at

Power Girl, Sole Survivor

July 23, 2008

It’s the best day of the year today.  Yep, Power Girl day.  All kinds of PG goodness.  And comic book fans know, nothing beats PG goodness.

If you don’t know Power Girl’s back-story, I’m not even going to attempt to explain it.  Your head would explode.  Let’s just say she’s the last survivor of the Krypron of Earth-2.  If that doesn’t make any sense to you, nothing I can say is going to fix that.

To capture the importance of these locations (Krypton and Earth-2) all of the Power Girl-related cards in the set deal with locations.  Here’s an example:

I sense you’re not that impressed.  Sure, replacing resources can be a good thing.  But it can also bite you if you wind up burying an important character in your resource row.

MUN gave us the Super Hero Registration Act and way back in MOR we got Night Vision.  Both cards can help you know when to use Power Girl’s power and when not to.  Plus there are ways to stack the top of your deck like Poseidonis or Asgard.  The JSA is going to have quite a few ways of their own.

With apologies to ChaosExile489 at tcgplayer, I’m going to run the risk of stealing his thunder a little.  He’s supposed to preview 2 PG cards today, but I haven’t got a confirm that his article will go up today.  So, I’m going to let you see one of the cards here.  When I get an address for his article, I’ll be sure to post it so you can enjoy his Power Girl previews.

I’m not going to comment a lot on this card since there is another preview article being written on it.  But you can see how this would help make Power Girl, Sole Survivor a very useful card.  Survivor of Another World will have other uses, as you will see. 

If everything goes according to my preview calendar, you should see some more uses sooner rather than later.

Enjoy the rest of your Power Girl preview day!

JSA Team Design

July 22, 2008

Disclaimer: JSA is the one team that I did the initial designs for.

Way back at the dawn of time when we first started work on this project, everyone picked a team to start working on.  Guglio picked Emerald Enemies.  But because he’s super fast, he did the Green Lanterns too.  Seventh Soldier started working on . . . a team I can’t say yet.  And I started working on my favorite team in the set (and my second favorite team of all time) the JSA.

The challenge for me in desiging the JSA was to keep the flavor of the original team while still doing something new and different.  Originally, I tried to flesh out the “identity” theme.  But it didn’t work well with the roster I wanted to use.  (More on the roster later.)  I focused my attention on exhausted characters and attacking up curve.

To try to differentiate the new JSA cards from the old ones, I incorporated the keyword “boost”.  My original design had a lot of boost effects.  I figured that this would work well with the little guys attacking up curve strategy.  However, all that changed when the MUN previews started.

Here’s the thing about designing a fan-created set.  Upper Deck doesn’t tell us what they are doing.  I try not to be offended, but frankly this would be a whole lot easier if they would just keep us in the loop. 

(Incidentally, if anyone in R&D would send me a full explanation of the keywords that will be featured in Marvel: Evolution, it would be greatly appreciated!)

You may recall that the first MUN preview card was Captain America, Secret Avenger.  It showcased the new keyword “rally”.  Immediately, I knew we needed to include “rally” in our set.  More than that, I knew “rally” needed to be on my team.  Who rallies better than the JSA?  No one. 

While I was re-working the team to incorporate the new keyword, I also started fine-tuning the roster.  Characters who had been included solely for their identity got dropped.  I decided to focus on the line-up from the current series.  It took a lot of work, but we managed to squeeze in almost* every member from Justice Society of America #1 to current.  (*Sorry, Lance.)

One of the themes in the book since its relaunch has been the swelling of the ranks in the JSA.  It’s getting tough to keep all of these characters straight!  As I was reviewing the roster, it occurred to me that some of these guys had to be reservists.  Before I knew what I was doing, the JSA had a minor reservist theme as well.

So, yeah, the JSA is going to work very well with the Avengers.  Since the Avengers are my favorite Marvel team, I guess I can live with that.

What else can you expect from the JSA?  We’ve got a few legends.  It was tough squeezing them in given the size of the team.  A couple of them spilled over into other teams like Alan Scott in the Green Lanterns.  And there’s some cards designed to work well with the old team themes from Infinite Crisis.

I hope you guys enjoy the refeature as much as I enjoyed doing it.  If not, the good news is I didn’t have time to do any others.*

*And honestly, the other guys are better designers than me anyway.

Be sure to check out today’s JSA preview artcicles and keep coming back all week for more!

Thunderbolt, Cei-U

July 22, 2008

Today’s previews got posted early!  I’m not used to having two previews to share before noon.

Anyway, here’s the second of today’s JSA previews: