Posted by: thederangedbear | October 22, 2008

Preview Reviews (no lockescythe)

Constructed Unplayable
This card should not be played in Constructed under any normal circumstances and will never be found in a competitive Constructed deck.

Playable – Role Player
This card is either unspectacular and competing with cards that do the same thing more efficiently, or useful in only a limited number of decks. For whatever reason (redundancy, lack of better alternatives), the card is good enough to fill a role in a reasonable Constructed deck.

Playable — Staple
This card is played in whatever decks and strategies where it would be appropriate, almost without question. When the card is absent, we start asking questions.

Playable — Flagship
This card has a powerful or unique effect, so much so that we build decks around it rather than fitting it into decks. Quite often the presence of this card allows for new archetypes to be explored. In some cases, those archetypes are not very good (but without their flagships, we would never even ask the question).

I was really underwhelmed with this card when I first saw it. With a name like Endangered Species – which is the name of a story arc, albeit one that I did not enjoy very much – you would think you’d be getting something on par with Messiah Complex or Mutant Massacre.

Anyways, on first glance this card is really a ‘do nothing card’. If you want to force an opponent to KO a character that they didn’t recruit this turn, you already have a natural way of doing it – stun multiple guys then go to recovery.

This card isn’t completely valueless though. Against control decks which rely on keeping multiple characters in play to handle the opposition, this will probably provide you the same utility a Finishing Move would.

In limited, this card can also be great because it can come out of nowhere. Where the biggest value will come from it is probably when your opponent is attacking. Your opponent might try to swing one guy up the curve then everyone down the curve in hopes of keeping all their board. This allows you to not get thrown too far back in board development.

For example, say you both have two guys in play, they swing down their big drop and swing up their lower drop. You play this card, and you go into the next turn with the same amount of board. Not bad yeah?

That said, you can already play Finishing Move, Death Trap , or dare I say it… Gift from Glen if you really need someone dead on the spot… so this card probably isn’t very great.

Constructed Unplayable

I really like this girl. This card is good but just quite short of being awesome.

Even if your opponent outpumps you, who cares? How much life have you potentially saved in that exchange? I think if you think of her as a life gain engine as opposed to some way to force brickwalls you will be much happier with life. How awesome is a Mobilize that also gains you five life?

There are a few awkward problems with her. First, she’s concealed. This is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is pretty obvious, but the curse is that since her power only triggers with an X-Force characters is combat, you having a smaller visible board gives your opponent more ways to play around her such as swinging across the curve then facing you with pumps, or team attacking.

Math will play a big part in deciding whether or not this.: How many defense pumps do X-Force have, or perhaps more importantly how easy will they be to burn? What’s the defense of your four drop?

Her strengths and flaws are both quite situational, but her ability being able to singlehandedly grind out attrition wars makes me think she will be quite good.

BTW, X-Force plus A Day Unlike Any Other? PEACE OUT ATTACK PHASE!

Playable- Staple

Wow, this card has a very hefty cost, but boy… is it powerful.

The big question: What kind of deck can assemble four characters early on and not really worry about exhausting them for no direct benefit? Probably an Army deck – duh.

Specifically though, I’m thinking of Jamie Maddox. Right now we have One Man Army to ensure you never lose board. If there is some sort of Jamie Maddox global reinforcement effect then we potentially have a soft lock going – two copies of this card, along with One Man Gang and the reinforcement effect.

Maybe recur Messiah Complex for oodles of life gain?

This card is awesome in that you get the benefit almost immediately. The Phantom Stranger – Wandering Hero has already shown how powerful exhausting small characters to refill your hand could be. Here we have a card that is twice the cost, but potentially many more times powerful.

The real worry is finding the right character to team-up with, but I’m sure there will be plenty of cute tricks in X-Force.

Speaking of TPS… in Golden Age, this card seems really good with some sort of combo deck. Exhaust four GCPD Officer – Army to recur Cosmic Radiation seems pretty good – albeit somewhat slow~

Flagship

Peace,

-TDB

Flagship

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Responses

  1. I’m gonna have to disagree with you on Endangered Species Bear. I can find only three Modern Age KO effects that are available to any team.

    Finishing Move
    Gift for Death
    Death, The Second Force of the Universe

    While all three of these effects allow you to target any character, they’re not necessarily superior to Endangered Species.

    1) Both Death and Gift for Death are rares.
    2) Gift for Death requires more hand depletion.
    3) Death can’t be recurred as easily (maybe at all?) because it’s in the RFG zone.
    4) Finishing Move is much harder to use against a stall deck or concealed aggro deck.

    #4 is why I think Endangered Species could see some real value in the current meta. With Illuminati and Spider-Man decks, having available characters to exhaust is difficult. If you want to attack with those characters, it’s near impossible. Species provides that option. It’s also a useful effect in loner strategies, which really benefits Hulk decks.

    Species also helps maintain board parity against concealed decks. Off initiative it allows you to kill off characters that might otherwise have survived. Furthermore, on initiative you can still use all of your available characters without having to leave one in reserve for KO effects.

    It’s for the above reasons, that I would label Endangered Species a Role Player card, especially in Modern. It won’t see play in all decks but provides value for certain styles because it’s good for traditional combat-oriented curve decks and loner strategies.

  2. You left out Death Trap.

    I think your assessment is fair and I was likely to harsh on this card.

    The key thing for me is that if there is a character who is so that you want to KO, you probably want to do it now and then as opposed to waiting for your opponent to gain an additional turn of having it on the board.

    I also feel that against control, by the time you get to the places where Endangered Species is going to be better it just might be too late. I’d rather start chopping characters as soon as possible.

    Then again. Hm. You are probably right about it being more tech as opposed to unplayable.

  3. Ah, Death Trap. I knew doing a search for “KO target stunned character” would bite me somehow. However, any concerns with Finishing Move still ring true when considering Death Trap.

    That’s true about wanting to deal with a specific character right then. But think about Spider-Man, The Sensational Spider-Man. There’s a good chance you might not be able to hit him on turn 4, especially if your opponent has evens. So you wouldn’t be KOing him the turn he comes into play anyway.

    It’s truly against stall where I see the value of the card because against a strong stall deck the “this turn” drawback might not come up.

  4. Just a little info – Endangered Species was not one of those PTs that “randomly” got added to the set, it has a very close connection with a lot of cards and mechanics within this set. It especially has an affinity with Shift (since the biggest character won’t always be the one that entered play this turn) and Hunter *ahem* (no spoilers). You might not always want to kill the newest guy!


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