Getting in to comics in the early to mid 90s, my fandom was defined by one event: Spider-Man – Maximum Carnage. I’ve read and reread the mini-series, and continue to love it. So what does Spider-Man’s rag-tag team of heroes look like in Vs System? Let’s take a look. Without further ado…
Maximum Carnage, #TeamSpidey
Venom (x4) (Underworld)
Black Cat (x4) (Femme Fatale)
Cloak (x4) (Defenders)
Dagger (x4) (Defenders)
Deathlok (x4) (Defenders)
Captain America (x4) (Avengers)
Iron Fist (x4) (Defenders)
Spider-Man (x4) (Avengers)
Hidden Weapons (x4) (Defenders)
Open Fire (x4)
Savage Surprise (x4)
Stark Tech (x4) (Avengers)
Avengers Mansion (x4) (Avengers)
Sanctum Sanctorum (x4) (Defenders)
Thoughts – First, our characters are set in stone, thanks to the Maximum Carnage storyline. Morbius and Firestar are sadly excluded, but we do have enough characters to fill out a deck. Out of the characters given to us, you’ll notice our cost tops out at 4 with Venom. 4! Because of this, we can’t really tangle with opposing 6+ drop characters. We want to put the pressure on early, so I chose Savage Surprise and Open Fire which both increase the attack power of defending and attacking characters respectively. Given our roster, we don’t stand much of a chance with the game getting drawn out. So increasing our attack power will help us be aggressive, and maybe steal an important wound or two by surprise. You’ll also notice we are devoid of Flight, and only have 2 Ranged characters (Dagger and Deathlok). Since we have a Main Character with the Avengers affiliation, Stark Tech is a safe bet. It gives a permanent +1/+1 with a counter and gives us that Range we desperately need. Looking at our other characters we have 4 characters with the Defenders affiliation. The Hidden Weapons Plot Twist has a very similar effect to Stark Tech, and with over half of our characters sharing the Defenders affiliation, I feel comfortable adding it.
Then, looking at Locations, there really is no good solution. Spider-Man at level 1 uses green resources, Venom uses green resources, and Deathlok uses green resources. Deathlok is unimportant, really. The most he has to gain is +1 to his attack or +1 to his defense EXCEPT if he copies the stats of a discarded supporting Spider-Man card, then he can jump up to 7 defense. Spidey and Venom are our main focuses with green. Spider-Man on level 2 uses yellow resources, so the wild Avengers Location is a must. We don’t have any other Underworld characters, so we shouldn’t use the wild Underworld. Some regular Fortresses will do. Iron Fist is our ONLY other character that has a super power that uses a resource, and it’s red. If we bring the wild Defenders Location, it’s essentially the same as bringing red for Iron Fist, except it can also double as a resource for Deathlok in an emergency.
Strategy – If you don’t get Black Cat, mulligan! She’s the only 1 drop on this team, and it can make a big difference if you get her early. Spidey having 5 defense on level 1 helps in case you can’t get anyone until turn 2, but she definitely helps. Don’t be afraid to play 2 of Stark Tech/Hidden Weapons on the same turn to allow for a Ranged team attack if possible. I’ve moved Spider-Man and Captain America both to the back row, used those Plot Twists, and caught an opponent off guard. It’s satisfying. Cloak is important, as I mentioned before, we want to speed the game along. The sooner we get those -1/-1 counters flowing, the better. He’s probably the most important 3 drop. If you can get Dagger out as well, great. But if turn 3 comes along, and you have to choose, go with Cloak. If possible, I’d consider keeping the Sanctum Sanctorum cards in your hand to discard for Iron Fist’s ability, opposed to flipping the resource face down to activate it. It will be a way to surprise your opponent, and there’s not much else you will use them for. Venom is great… not much else to say there. He’s your beat stick you can pump, and works great with the Stark Tech Plot Twist.
Conclusion – This team is not built for a competitive meta. It’s casual at best. With nothing higher than a 4 drop, you need to be aggressive with attacks and Plot Twists to get those wounds early. Holding Locations in your hand to discard and surprise your opponent is a viable option here since we don’t need to build for those high cost characters. I’d honestly consider playing Deathlok face-down as a resource if it means keeping a Sanctum Sanctorum in my hand. In the hands of an experienced player, I think this could beat some “netdecked” teams being piloted by players who are not as familiar with their decks. All in all, this one probably doesn’t leave the kitchen table though. But go ahead and give it a shot, and read through the now classic Maximum Carnage storyline to gain some extra flavor.
Thoughts for another article? Have a favorite comic event or random idea you want to see a team built around? Drop me a line. RLRtheSecond@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading.