You better be Tough enough for this ride!

So another spoiler is here! 

We would like to welcome our guest writer Simon Sangpukdee!

If you do not already know Simon he is one of the judges you will meet at big tournaments such as Gen Con and Origins and has helped Chad, who we all know and love, set up those events with Upper Deck.

SHELVE IT: We need to see more cards to support this card’s playstyle before it finds its way into competitive play

PLAY IT: This card is good, and at least one should be played in your deck

SET IT: This card is so good, you’ll probably want to run the playset. Grab all four and play them all!

MMU-030

 

Jason: Being that Ghost Rider was on the original Champions from the 70’s, I fully expected to see Johnny Blaze on the Champions, and I have to say I really dig the design on this card. It’s hard not to compare this Ghost Rider incarnation to the previous one on defenders. Ghost Rider is supposed to be the ultimate “punisher” of evil and protector of the innocent, and this card showcases it via his two unique abilities, Good Loyalty and Seek Vengeance. Good Loyalty which requires Ghost Rider to be surrounded by “good” affiliated cards (if they have an affiliation) adds a much needed restriction to cards that can be considered “overpowered” and I think it’s a great direction for the game in terms of balancing – but also is the perfect flavor for a character like Ghost Rider. Seek Vengeance is a really interesting ability, because it punishes evil characters especially if they are unable to stun Ghost Rider first, which isn’t an easy task as a 9 defense on turn 6. Interestingly being on the team equipped with Baby Avengers and Tough Kids (see our next reveal) makes it really easy to maximize the potential of this ability. I believe in terms of design this card is way more dynamic and interesting than the defenders 7 drop, but I think the defenders version serves more as a kill shot or answer to “unreachable” characters; while this version serves more as a control character by trying to direct the flow of your opponents turn, and punishing mistakes. All in all I think Ghost Rider is a very well designed card, but in terms of competitive play, he may just not make the cut, as majority of the current Meta are good characters, so you won’t probably Seek Vengeance all that often, and I think most people are looking for a character with Flight or Grab on turn 6 to start protecting their MC from wounds.

Rating: For now I would say “Shelve it” until we get our hands on more reveals, and interesting ways to maximize his abilities, or if evil suddenly makes a big splash in the Meta.

Simon: So I really wanted to like this card.  I really did.  I love Ghost Rider, and this card does a wonderful job tying in the theme of the Spirit of Vengeance with its VS mechanics as the whole “Seek Vengeance” power really fits with what our favorite fire-chain wielding hero does.  That being said, we can only fit sixty cards in a deck, and I’m not convinced ol’G-Rider makes the cut.  His supposedly nasty deterrent of making your opponent think twice about stunning one of your characters can be situational (if your opponent attacks you with an evil Main Character, nothing happens; if your opponent attacks you with a good Supporting Character, nothing happens).  Plus, when you build your deck, if using this card, you better make sure every card belongs to a Good affiliation or else it’s a game loss for using an illegal deck, and that’s a terrible way to lose a game.

Rating: Shelve It (I’m so getting a nasty visit from Johnny Blaze for this).

Rafael: Ghost Rider is a very powerful Supporting Character. At his cost he shares the highest defense with Kingpin while having the same attack and health as several supporting characters that share the same cost. Ghost Riders “Seek Vengence” Keyword ability is most similar to Private Hudson’s Superpower “You want some of this?”. Key differences are that characters must stun your characters and be evil in order to get the return stun. However, the ability is free. Also it’s mostly bonkers in Good Vs Evil format. Ghost Rider also shows us one of the game’s first returns to the Loyalty mechanic as seen on certain faction plot twists in the Legacy expansion. In this case, Ghost rider requires a much less constraining loyalty as he requires you only have good characters in your deck. Conveniently, this synergizes with the Ghost Rider from the Defenders expansion. Overall, this card is dripping with flavor. Speaking of flavor… This card doesn’t have a mantle on it (denoted by stars on the Character’s name). This means that the game is using Ghost Rider as one continuous being(regardless of if it’s Johnny Blaze or Robbie Reyes).

Rating: Going forward things to keep an eye out for with the card would be something that forces your opponents characters to become Evil. This would cause this cards power level to skyrocket dramatically. Until then, unless you’re playing Good Vs Evil, you should probably… Shelve it.

Ryan:

  • Stats in the right place, wants high defense.
  • amazing in the right meta, underpowered in the wrong meta
  • Deck building restriction not hard to work around
  • 5 evil teams against 9 good teams after Monsters releases. Unlikely to be needed, but keep an eye on those Leviathans.

Rating: SHELVE IT. Right now with so many Thor decks running around that don’t play evil characters, I don’t think you need him. But keep an eye on the meta, and especially on the Leviathans. My mind could quickly change.

MMU-034

Jason: Full disclosure, I really love plot twists and special shout out to Mark from UDE for letting us reveal one! But now, onto the card which is a Champion team affiliation combat plot named Tough Kids. All I can say is “wowie” in my opinion the design of this card is perfect in terms of affiliated plot twists. This is one of my favorite cards revealed so far, because it has a flavor for plots we’ve rarely seen. That flavor is, combat plot twists that also give a temporary ability and not just the effect the ATK/DEF of your character or your enemy (more akin to Hidden Weapons), and I enjoy the evolution of plot twists to this point and I really hope to see more combat plot twists that provide these kind of benefits (as long as they stay affiliated). I really like the utility of it; this plot provides the stats of a main strength or open fire while providing tough, without any of the restrictions from those cards, other than an affiliation requirement – it can be used on attack, defense, a support character, or even your main character. I think Tough Kids is way more versatile than Monsters Unleashed. This card will be great in helping to maintain board presence, or surprise your enemy in an attack that seemed like a regular trade. I especially like this card, because while you may lose the +2 ATK to Even the Odds, you won’t lose out on the tough, which can be a very useful ability, especially when combined with cards like the new 6 drop Ghost Rider (our other reveal).

Rating: I think this card is a “Set It” in any deck that can squeeze in the Champions to activate it, and thus far the Champions have been my favorite team reveals for the Monsters Unleashed set, hopefully the momentum doesn’t stop, and they are able to prove themselves as Champions at GenCon!

Simon: Okay, I’ll start with what I like about this card, and that’s the artwork, as I’m a big fan of the Kamala Khan version of Ms. Marvel.  While I like the gimmicky effect of giving a character the Tough keyword for that specific combat (and the +2/+0 is also helpful), I can’t help but feel there are other Plot Twist cards out there with more utility that are more deserving of being in a sixty-card deck.  I really tried to think of ways I could proactively use this card, but they all seem so situational, and let’s be honest, even if you play Tough Kids, your character is still taking a wound, so why subject your characters to that when you can play other Plot Twists that would not only prevent you from taking a wound in the first place but actually give you a decisive combat outcome in your favor.  Space is precious in a deck, so you may be better off running something else.

Rating: Shelve It (it made me sad to type those two words)

 

Rafael: Tough Kids may be one of the best plot twists to splash a Faction for in the game. This card super-charges characters like Goom who want to get into combat multiple times with their opponent. With Goom staying ready after the combat the opponent will need to attack into Goom again thus netting him another experience. This card also synergizes well Deadpool by allowing him to trade stuns with another character in combat and still be face up for his xp condition. Of the champions Main characters this card is most interesting a deck build around *Ms.Marvel* since it will net her xp as well as let her continue to defend any back row characters by herself(perhaps who she intends to write a fan fic about…). Otherwise, the card is interesting but until we see the entirety of Monsters Unleashed has very limited applications.

Rating: Perhaps we’ll see a Main Character in the coming days who really could be a little tougher? Until then… Shelve it.

Ryan:

  • Tough is an amazing ability, great card with multi health characters, and at protecting characters.
  • Half of a savage surprise and the ability to screw up the opponent’s planned lines of attack is great.
  • Can be used on a main character, but should be done cautiously.

Rating: SET IT. The champions are showing some amazing plot twists. If you’re running champions, you want this card

 

Hope you enjoyed these cards! let us know you’re thoughts on them as well!

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