Posted by: thederangedbear | August 19, 2008

Testing Tuesdays: GenCon…

This isn’t really a testing session persay, but a little reflection on what little information we’ve gotten from GenCon

Courtesy of your favorite monkey and mine:

7 Avengers
5 Hulk
3 Secret Society
2 Supes/Bats Bots
2 FF
Juggernaut Legend
Gamma Bomb
World’s Finest
JLA Curve
GK/Alpha Flight
IG Concealed
ThunderBolts UM
Arkham Insanity
ThunderSeid (TBolts/Darkseid)

It’s not complete because we may have missed some decklists (I asked for them from the judge).

Top 8 decks were (to my knowledge):

John Hall: Secret Society
Rob Rietze: SHIELD Simmer
Dan Clark: SHIELD Burn
Michael Barnes: Secret Society
John Phillips: MKO
William Baldwin: Secret Avengers
Max Shear: Secret Avengers
Wilson Fisher(!): World’s Finest

That’s two Society decks, two SHIELD decks, two Avengers decks, a MKKO, and a World’s Finest.

What Happened to Worlds?

The big thing for me is: “Wow, strong lack of Sniper Shot!” Oh yeah, add Cold School. Only one copy? The pedigree and the results these decks had are definitely not apparent in their representation at the tournament.

Especially Brian Eugenio’s deck: Not only is this deck established, it’s also ‘cool’. It’s not like a Deadshot deck where it’s just functionality times metagaming: This deck plays those wonky cards we love, to the max. It’s fun, refreshing, and has a really cool gimmick.

The only reason I can think of for people not playing it is it’s cost. If that’s legit, then this deck will probably never really develop as a true metagame concern.

Interestingly enough though, if you look at the top 8 decks from day one and the top 8 from this event, you’ll see that there’s a lot of overlap. Coincidence?

Onto specifics:

Secret Society

You can find Michael Barnes’ list here.

On The Ring Has Chosen, Squire talked about how TBZ was dissapointed that the Society never caught on. Well, they did good.

The Riddler is really good. You know how Radioactive Man makes Thunderbolts good? It’s the same thing with The Riddler except Society has lots of more interesting guys and support effects – read: Society is actually good. So many decks just fold to an active Riddler. Chemo – Toxic Waste is also extremely powerful against the right decks too.

Agility is so nutty. You can STTG it out to set up your engine. Turn five onward, you’re telegraphing at least + 4 DEF, thanks to Poison Ivy and Charaxes. This isn’t factoring you blowing it early on and trading with their better pumps.

I really like the Messiah Complex /The Beyonder set up. Perhaps I should fit it into my SRA?


This deck is definitely legit having take two spots in the last two tournament. Moreover, the deck is comparatively cheaper to assemble – require only one ‘hot rare’ in Avengers Reassembled.

Enemy number one. This deck is the new IG beats. Comparatively cheap to build and packs a huge wallop.


MKKO is definitely a big deal, but having played with it so many times, I’ve realized that there’s no point testing it, as you can’t really re-position yourself against MKKO.

What I mean by that is this: You either have the tools for the match-up or you don’t. If you by default don’t have the tools to deal with it, there is no ‘magic’ pill you can swallow to suddenly make the match-up better.

The quality of your MKKO match-up is rooted in fundamentals: Namely, how invested you are in your curve characters. You cannot ameliorate this without completely re-wiring your deck. Consequently, you should more or less know if your deck is favored just by how expendable your early plays are to your gameplan, and if they are not, you should concede that MKKO will not be a fun match-up.


I really like Dangerous Liaison.

Other then that… man, this deck seems so bad on paper. Like, are you really doing anything? Clearly though, theory fighter doesn’t pan out. I would definitely need to test it. It’s been putting you enough results that even if you dislike it, you need to respect it.


Man, does Dangerous Liaison pwn this deck! I think this deck is still very good and definitely should be discounted as it is very powerful and is very fun to play.

Me, Me, Me…

I think Illuminati might be slightly better now. No seriously! Illuminati has an awesome match-up against Army decks with The Elektra Situation and Clandestine Operations leading up to seven drop Thing.

The deck can play around The Riddler; although it has very little way to play around Chemo. From the lists I’ve seen they have neither the Omnipotence , Pathetic Attempt , or KO effects to keep you from gloving.

All his replacement effects are going to be quite contentious, but I think if you’re willing to re-draw you Illuminati build to factor that in… it can definitely be done.

As for Avengers… not sure. I think the Illuminati possess the tools to handle rush, but I don’t think I’m that certain off the top of my head. Perhaps, that’s what I should test for next week. Though I feel I’m better off working on the City Championships instead.

I would probably play Bust-A-Cup though, if my life depended on it.


I think your gauntlet should look like:

Some Radioactive Man variant

There are a lot of other fringe decks, but that’s what I think you should try to figure out how to play against.

That’s a lot of decks, and given how varied metagames have been seemingly, I think you’re better off just playing what you like and are familiar with.





  1. I think the complexity of the Sniper Shot deck is what turns people off to it– it’s been consistently shown that reactive combo decks, even if they’re powerful, don’t catch on as much as strong beats decks, because a lot of people just can’t wrap their minds around the dozens of decisions that need to be made each turn.

    Basically, anyone intellectually lazy enough to netdeck in the first place is unlikely to have the brainpower to run Brian’s deck.

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