Saturday, August 18, 2012

Marvel Super Hero Squad TCG: The Critical Phase

1LR is introducing some of the all-new cards now available in the Hero's Destiny expansion to the Marvel Super Hero Squad TCG.

Marvel Super Hero Squad
Hero's Destiny:
The Critical Phase
Today, I bring you The Critical Phase. It's a purple super-rare card. The featured hero is Shadowcat (who gets a lot of attention in this expansion) and it is an X-Men card. As you can see, the card is a level 13 card so it should be very powerful. It can do 6 damage and blocks blue. The card's ability is, indeed, very potent. If you do two damage you can play another playable card without restrictions and you will ignore blocking icons from your opponent's deck for the rest of the turn.

I'm blown away by this card. This is the type of deck you engineer an entire deck around. This is a kill-switch.  

Let's look at the wording carefully. The card doesn't say to ignore all blocking icons, just those from your opponent's deck. So cards can still be blocked from your opponent's hand. So this card essentially adds the wording, "This attack cannot be blocked from the deck," to all future attacks played for the rest of your turn. 

To me, this would make managing your opponent's hand a top priority. I would either want my reduce and/or eliminate altogether my opponent's hand or simply make sure he didn't have any relevant blocks. 

The best way to achieve the first goal is with cards that cause your opponent to discard cards or, quite simply, are just too good to not block. 

The best way to achieve the second goal is to build a mostly-mono purple deck. After all, if you had a purple block in your hand wouldn't you block this sucker to begin with? 

Fortunately, this isn't an either-or proposition - you can do both at once! Cards such as Sudden Amnesia and Brain Drain are purple X-Men cards AND cause your opponent to discard! Sweet Dreams, another new card, is also a purple X-Men card but this one causes your opponent to discard THREE cards! Throw in Doctor Strange's Erase Your Destiny, which discards your opponent's entire hand, and you would be almost assured that your opponent would have no cards in his hand when Critical Phase was played or would, at the very least, not have any purple blocks in his hand. 

Once you've successfully played The Critical Phase (and the only thing that could top you at that point would be a lucky block) you could literally play any card you wanted unrestricted. I would, once again, see two options at this point. 

The first would be just to play a huge damage card. Since you know the power is at least 13 to be able to play the Critical Phase you could play almost any card. Eternal Might does 22 damage and has a power level of 11. A 24-28 damage round would certainly be enough to end almost any game. Thunderbolt might be another great choice - you know it would do at least 13 damage! If you wanted to stick to the X-Men, Fast as Lightning would be a great choice for 13 damage. 

The other option would be to chain. If you've completely eliminated your opponent's hand, you could chain your entire hand (up to 8 other cards) for an absolutely astronomical amount of damage, theoretically ending any game instantly. Eternal Sorcery does 11 damage and allows you to play another card (ANY card). The possibilities are endless!

Sure, there are some powerful level 13 cards in the game but The Critical Phase is truly a game breaker. 

My strategy with the card would be to wait patiently and play no cards except those that cause my opponent to discard cards, focused primarily on the purple cards mentioned above. Block as necessary to let the power level escalate.  Then I'd whack them with The Critical Phase, followed up with either Fast as Lightning or the purple card Grand Slam that does 12 damage.

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