Incite: Journey into VS System 2PCG part 1
Hello Champions. Today I am going to embark on new journey with you all. I am going to start a new article series titled Incite, this article series will be off topic, so I understand if this doesn’t interest you. However I thought it might be interesting for those Marvel fans out there! For those of you sticking around to read this, I’m going to journal my journey into the VS System 2PCG by Upper Deck Entertainment.
I’m fairly new into the game, I bought in just a week ago. Honestly Marvel Champions Monthly chit chat episode talking about VS is what sold me on the game. I think this is a good game with good mechanics and it oozes theme at every possible office and crevice. For this part 1. I’m gonna talk a little bit about what the game is, really fast synopsis of how it’s played, what hooked me to go all in, the release model and the format structure for events. As i travel farther and farther down this particular rabbit hole I’ll post updates at intervals that make sense.
Now what is the VS system 2PCG, it is a player v player card game, that launched in 2015. A lot of people may be familIar with original VS which was a ccg with booster packs and ended in 2010, new VS launched in 2015 with an lcg style expandable structure with monthly releases. Most product releases are a part of an Arc taking up 3 monthly releases, some are 55 card packs and others are 200 card packs. They also hav a few stand alone packs with cards within it that further fill out cards from previous releases. The 200 card packs are titled “Battles” and are generally considered good jumping on points for new players. Most of their releases and cards focus on the Marvel IP, but there are some non marvel packs released, including Alien/Predator, X-files, and buddy the vampire slayer.
Each player selects a main character and builds a deck of 60 cards and play until one main character is defeated, there are alternate win conditions but mill is not one of them! Your 60 card deck is full of supporting characters, plot twists(events), and locations, locations are played in your resource row and obi can flip them face down to generate the resource type on them to pay for super powers or other card effects. Characters both main and supporting have attack, defense, and health value, a character is defeated once their health value reaches 0. There is no summoning sickness for supporting characters, so when you recruit them you are able to attack with them that turn. There are rows, a front and back row that you can play players into, and adjust your formation towards the beginning of your player turn, this is important and interacts with powers and keywords such as ranged, flight, stealth, etc.
Your turn is broken into phases, the draw phase, recovery phase, build phase and main phase. So when your turn starts you draw 2 cards, then the recovery phase you ready or refresh any of your cards you are able to, it’s included flipping over any characters that were stunned. Then the build phase has a few parts, you can play any card face down in your resource row, or play a location face up, you then get a recruit point for each card in your resource row, you then can recruit supporting characters to your side equal or less than your available recruit points. Any points not used during your recruit step are lost, then you have the formation step which allows you to change your character placements on the board by moving characters between the front and back rows. Then you go to the main phase of the player turn this is where combat takes place and and where most plot twists take place. Then your turn ends and your opponents turn begins.
One thing I really like is how they have rotations and event formats. So there isn’t rotation. Instead of rotation there is a changing quarterly feature format for any UDE(Upper Deck Entertainment) event. One example is a mutant format where you can play any card that’s affiliated with a mutant team, like X-men, brotherhood, etc. These format changes help in a few ways. It keeps older cards relevant by going back to those Releases Including those cards. It helps keep broken combo and NPE down by limiting certain cards from interacting with each other. And my favorite part is ours very new player friendly by keeping the initial investment cost to buy in low since you only need to buy a few packs instead of a bunch of booster boxes or combing through secondary singles markets to be competitive.
Another thing, this game, nails the theme. Every card I look at A+ on theme, Franklin Richards can make a pocket universe in game and it reflects on the table, mister fantastic has an invention pile separate from his main deck he can create things and bring them in game. Doom has doom bots and when he would take damage he’s able to switch places with the bots, etc. They do a really good job nailing the theme.
Now how’d I fall into this rabbit hole, well some people may know, but I played Star Wars destiny competitively for roughly 2 years. Starting out I was bad going 0-X at my first store champ, along my journey I became Active in my local community, ended up being invited to co-host a great podcast, our local group became part of the official competitive team for that podcast and my last event I was at the top tables with some of the best players in the game. When destiny died officially none of use really wanted to continue playing the fan created content thats continued to come out. We have sort of wandered aimlessly through games. We liked ashes but we don’t really know what that scene will look like when reborn finally comes out, we tried flesh and blood but I am turned off by a few thing that game brings. I liked dbs a lot and some of my group did too but it’s slowly feels like it’s becoming too much like magic and I’m also not a fan of some of bandai’s practices. I didn’t rey hits one guys did play the final fantasy tcg which I’d still like to try. But we’ve been on a competitive break ever since and it’s fine as I have champions and the side Scheme, but recently I’m getting that competitive itch back. And once I heard the MCM chit chat episode I was hooked. I went to my local shop and bought the marvel battles base set which has a bunch of cards for avengers, x-men, guardians of the galaxy and villains. I go the A force box which included the a force and femme fatale team affiliations, the first appearances are which had Deadpool and friends, new mutants, and brother hood of mutants, the mcu heroes and mcu villains packs for $30’as a bunch was on sale. And since I’ve ordered the entire first family arc So I can wreck people with Doctor Doom, and a few other packs. I’m all in and VS system 2PCG is going to be my competitive game going forward, I’m trying to get my local group into it, and they seem interested!
Thanks to MrBen from the build phase podcast and KennedyHawk for answering my multitude of questions these last few weeks. I know the game is 5 years old but the game design is great the community seems really good and I’m excited to see where things go from here.
Thanks for everyone who stuck it out this long, if you are interested in learning more about VS system 2PCG reach out to me, or KennedyHawk I’m sure would also answer any questions you can. I’m gonna post some links at the end here for people that want to learn more. Thanks everyone and stay scheming champions.
The Build Phase Podcast- https://thebuildphase.libsyn.com/
Marvel Champions Monthly VS chit chat episode- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/marvel-champions-monthly-a-fan-podcast/id1480325631?i=1000507804500
Learning to play reddit link- https://www.reddit.com/r/VS2PCG/wiki/how-to-play?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf