As I am sure many of you have done, one of the things I have done over the last few days, since the rotation Announcement, is take a look through my saved teams on my Sidekick app and get a bit misty-eyed for some of the cards I will miss in the new “Modern Age” format.
Here’s a little selection of the list (my “miss list” if you will) and the reasons why I will miss them…
Human Torch – Johnny Storm
I love this guy, he was one of the cornerstones of one of my very first team builds (possibly THE first team build) and one I returned to and tweaked time & time again as new sets came out.
I played with him A LOT around April last year – I loved the card so much he was my first choice for my UK Nat’s Qualifier team and I practiced and practiced and practiced with him quite a bit leading up to the event in June. (I did a write up of the event HERE and walked through the team HERE, if you’re interested)
My play style is a bit tentative at times, and so a direct damage strategy such as ‘Human Torch – Johnny Storm’ that I can initiate in a relatively passive way suits me down to the ground.
He has lots of potential to create interesting little combos here & there with other cards too. One particularly popular team up was ‘Hulk – Green Goliath’, which was my Win Con in the Johnny Swarm build I played.
He also paired up well with my next card…
Kobold – Greater Humanoid
I’ve never been much of a fan of the ‘Professor X’ global for ramp because of the advantage he also hands to my opponent, and so have long been a proponent of the Swarm mechanic for ramp. I became even more of a fan when the ‘Oracle’/’Elf Theif’ control strategy hit the meta and made PXG even more of a liability.
The ‘Kobold – Greater Humanoid’ is perhaps the most cost efficient Swarmer to be found in the game, and I will greatly miss this little 1 cost weenie.
He lost some of his sheen when ‘Faerun Under Seige’ came along and brought such popular ‘Adventurers’ as ‘Dwarf Wizard’ and the ‘Half-Elf Bard’ to my opponent’s team. His secondary text became a bit of a challenge, however, there was also some fun shenanigans this brought with it with cards like ‘Transfer Power’ global – and as a combo player I found this sort of thing very appealing.
Swarm is still going to be very much alive in ‘Modern Age’ with cards like ‘Multiple Man’ and ‘Foot Ninja’, but I will miss the ‘Kobold’ (especially my Strahd alt-art) chilling on my teams.
Black Manta – Deep Sea Deviant
I know I’m not alone on this one.
It’s a shame, but the rotation of the Justice League set has now killed off the Retaliation archetype in ‘Modern Age’, and Villain Retaliation was a super fun team to play. This saddens me – whenever a new set came out I was always on the lookout for cards that could make an interesting new fit in a Villain Retaliation team, but in the meta it never quite took off, sitting as a more popular build in the second tier or thematic formats.
There is tonnes of variety in the options for what you could pair up with ‘Black Manta’. Villains is the most expansive Affiliation in the game, providing loads of fun cards & combos that synergies well with ‘Black Manta’. If you’re a newer player reading this looking for some ‘Golden Age’ fun I’d suggest taking a look at cards like ‘Nitro – Explosive Personality’, ‘Scarecrow – Hallucinogenic Vapours’, ‘Blue Beetle – Jaime Reyes’ and ‘The Outsider’ Basic Action.
Deadpool – Chiyonosake
I had some fun with this guy in the early days and, even though I’ve used him less & less as time went on, I’ll still have a soft spot in my heart for him.
I used to make these really cool teams with ‘Deadpool’ that, once again appealing to the combo fan in me, made good use of the globals on the Basic Action ‘Transfer Power’ and UXM ‘Ant-Man’. It had a lot of moving parts, but it was an engaging team to play.
‘Deadpool’ is a real handy guy for some targeted removal or a bit of board clear when you need it. Back in those days there was nothing quite as satisfying as clearing out a wall of Sidekicks just after your opponent buys their ‘Falcon – Recon’!
I always found him useful to provide just this sort of “stay of execution” and he pulled my ass out the sling a few times in games (The board clear is satisfying, but there is also something exhilarating about the enormous sigh of relief as you watch your opponent fail to re-roll those characters you’ve just KO’d in his turn).
Colossus – Piotr Rasputin
This guy is my latest love; I’ve been playing him loads lately and I’m going to get some exhaustive use out of him in the remaining few months of non-rotation.
He suits my tentative style of play down to the ground. He was sat gathering dust in my collection for quite some time, I hadn’t really cottoned on to his strength, until he came up in a conversation I was having with Ben Scott (UK Nat’s Champion 2016) where I was stressing over the challenge of finding a winning team that matched my cautious, defensive approach. Thanks for pointing me in his direction Ben.
His game-text has the potential to be devastating. With just five characters in the field at level two or above (himself included) he can deal lethal over two turns. He comes at a high cost, but ramp up to him quick enough and you could be chipping away with the pressure on early doors in your game.
Constantine – Hellblazer
I don’t think there’s been a competitive team I’ve built since the release of Justice League that hasn’t had this card in it. He’s that amazing I even splash him into my Mono Energy ‘Lantern Ring’ teams.
I can’t count the amount of times that ‘Constantine – Hellblazer’ has kept me in a game by slowing an attack or clearing a crucial ‘when fielded’ game-text for my opponent. I also can’t count the amount of times I’ve yelled “goddammit!” In my opponent’s ‘roll & re-roll step” when I realise I’ve failed to name something before the draw!
He was a super useful card that had everything; cheap, half-decent stats, and an incredible game-text. There’s just nothing in ‘Modern Age’ (yet) that quite compares.
Loved ya Johnny.
There are many more cards besides I’m sad to see go, but they haven’t made the list because, while I enjoyed playing them and sometimes had a preference for them in teams, there are alternatives in the ‘Modern Age’ that can serve the same purpose. I liked using ‘Storm – Wind Walker’ or ‘Millenium Puzzle’ for a bit of removal but, for example, ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ or ‘Scarecrow – Hallucinogenic Phobias’ could be just as useful. ‘Blue-eyed White Dragon’ global is amazing, but I can re-strategise with ‘Faerun Under Seige’ Golems.
We’re going to be keeping ‘Golden Age’ play alive down my FLGS so their days aren’t numbered. In the meantime I’ll be moving my thoughts slowly towards Prime and Midern for the future.
What about you, dear reader? Who are you gonna miss?