Teach A Magic Player: How To Play The Vs System Two Player Card Game
Vs System Two Player Card Game is a relatively new Living Card Game based mostly on the Marvel comics licences. The game is a reboot of an earlier trading card game that many of you may have already played or heard of – the new version is a much more streamlined version and plays out similar to a more combat based two player game of MTG Commander (EDH). The game is about a year old and releases new packs about once every three months, our most recent one was the Aliens Battles pack.
We have had four sets so far starting with the first box Marvel Battles which has four factions comprising of The Avengers, The X Men, The Guardians of the Galaxy and The Villains. This set was followed up with smaller two faction boxes which are much more bite size and was kicked off with Defenders which consisted of Defenders Vs the Underworld, continued with A Force which featured A Force Vs Femme Fatales and very recently the Alien Battles set came out which features the Aliens Vs Weyland-Yutani Corp.
Our next set will be another four set box of Marvel characters though the game is looking quite big at the moment don’t worry as each box holds four of every card in that set and you can build very reasonable decks from just one or two sets. This is actually one of the things I’ve liked most about the game since I’ve been taking a break from Magic: The Gathering Standard format.
In the game you have a Main Character who is basically your “commander” and whom you build your deck around. Your Main Character will control the pace of the game; instead of having a life total you have “wounds” on your Main Character. Main Characters could have five, six or seven wounds. A wound is how many times your character can be “stunned” in combat. Usually you can only be stunned and wounded once per turn so the game has a minimum number of turns which is great when you want to have a long term plan.
Each Main Character has two levels, they start as level one and when they complete their “level up” requirement they transform into their level two – in the example provided it’s really thematic how the Hulk levels up when he takes too much damage and gets super angry. The Hulk can then make himself bigger by using green resources and make himself smaller by using yellow resources to draw more cards with Banner’s Influence (more on resources later).
The Hulk character could fit well in a control deck as you want to be stunned and take damage to become more powerful and eventually take over the game with a huge win condition that can allow you to be ahead on cards – or maybe you want to build a beatdown deck that doesn’t mind being stunned and will eventually draw a bunch of cards so you don’t run out of gas.
A Main Character can’t stand alone however, they need some friends, enter Sabertooth !
At the start of your turn you can recruit a character, or multiple characters equal to the number of resources you have in play – similar to Hearthstone. Looking at Sabertooth, he is a very simple card and I like him a lot, he has a cost of four resources (even more on this later), has four power, four toughness and two wounds, meaning he can be stunned twice in combat. Whenever Sabertooth attacks he gets a +1/+1 counter which means you want to play him very aggressively and attack with him every turn – he can even tussle really well in combat with his Ferocious ability (which works just like First Strike). You want to play about 28 Supporting Characters in your deck similar to Magic.
This wouldn’t be a very good story however if there weren’t Plot Twists! Which coincidentally is our next card type.
Plot Twists are very similar to Instants and Sorceries in Magic: The Gathering, though they mostly impact combat like Super Senses does a few of them can impact the board by removing opponents characters or putting counters on your characters to make them better at combat.
The Vs System is a very combat centred game and the Plot Twists add even more play to the game. You don’t need to spend “mana” to use your Plot Twists but some of them are “team stamped” which means you can only use them if you have a character of that team in play, for example Super Senses needs you to have a defender in play but you can use it on a character even if they aren’t from that team. Some Plot Twists are not team stamped and any deck can play with them. You typically want to play about 8-12 of these in your deck, varying between offensive, defensive and utility, and all depending on what you want to be doing with your deck.
Now for the final part of your deck, the Location.
These are like lands and represent colours similar to Magic – at the start of your turn you can play a location face up or any other card in your hand face down which acts as a colourless land. The colours do not matter when you’re casting your characters, however they do let you activate “Super Powers” which are like activated abilities in Magic.
Typically you want about 12-20 of these in your deck depending on how many different types of Super Powers you have. When you use your Location to activate a Super Power you turn the Location face down – you can still use the Location for casting characters so don’t worry but you won’t be able to use it to activate that Super Power again unless you have a way of turning it back up. For example the Hulk character from earlier can turn a Fortress face down to his green ability that puts counters on him.
The game sounds complicated but it really isn’t, and it feels great to play. It’s very similar to Magic: The Gathering and a lot of our local Magic playing friends play it whenever they get the chance. Oh and before I go, if that wasn’t enough to get you interested you draw TWO CARDS A TURN and have no maximum hand size– heavenly!
If you have any questions then please do feel free to jump into our Facebook group Vs 2PCG Collective Facebook Group.
I know a new game can often feel daunting, but don’t worry I’ll be back shortly to talk about the fun part of the game– TOURNAMENTS!
Thanks for reading, I look forward to reading your comments below.