UPPER DECK's Vs SYSTEM 2PCG: MARVEL MONSTERS UNLEASHED
@ £40.00 - £45.00 Online and In Your Local Game Store
Although this boxed set is named as an expansion for the VS System and its cards can be used with other VS System sets, the 400 cards in this box are not collectible but instead are capable of being melded into 60 card themed decks. Players can create/build decks using just the cards in this set and play against each other using the regular VS SYSTEM rules (found in other VS System box sets or online http://www.upperdeck.com/Products/Entertainment/
The Main Character Marvel Heroes in this box are, in the main, not as well known as some but they still have awesome powers and brave Supporting Characters to enhance their Teams (Decks), but the most fun way to play is with three players, two with Decks created using Main Super Hero Characters and the third player (the one who should enjoy the game the most - I know I do) controlling (or being controlled by) the Evil Leviathon Mother and her Legion of Leviathons. The two Hero Characters need to work together against the Leviathon Mother's Horde while she has to defeat each Main Hero on her own. When The Leviathon Mother plays a Location she gets one of the following effects depending on which power symbol it has:
On opening the MONSTERS UNLEASHED box you are faced with 4 sealed decks of 100 cards each and a single, double-sided, sheet of Rules. You do not need any of the previous Vs Sets to play MONSTERS UNLEASHED but you do need the basic complete rules (as mentioned previously). These Decks contain the Four New Teams. three of which are the "Good" guys and one is the invasion of the Evil Leviathons lead by the aforementioned Leviathon Mother. Each Team has their own recognition icon ; the InHumans, the Champions and the Monsters all are defenders of Earth against the Leviathons.Two cards, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, are affiliated to two teams; Moon Girl with the InHumans, Devil Dinosaur with Monsters Unleashed and both together are a combined group which allows them to Team Attack together.
The first thing you should do, in my opinion, is to sort the cards into the Decks as noted on the Game (Rule) Sheet. You will find that the Main Characters and Supporting Characters (with the possible exception of Moon Girl) are all easily found in their respective sealed packs but the Plot Twists (Blue cards) and Locations (Green cards) are spread throughout the 4 packs so as you come across any not required in the current Deck you are building just put them aside in separate stacks, one for each colour type.
The three "good guy" decks; InHumans, Monsters Unleashed and Champions are each in decks built around the usual suspects: Main Characters, Plot Twists, Supporting Characters and Locations, whereas the Evil Leviathon deck is different. They have only one type of Supporting Character, the Leviathon Servitor which has amongst its abilities "Legion" and the good news is they can have up to 8 of this same card in the Deck (I say "bad news" but if you are playing them as your faction then it's actually quite good news. Other good news, but this time for the good guys is that if you play Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur as your starting Main Character then you are only defeated when both of them are KO'd out of the game.
Each Deck of 100 cards, or I should say each sealed 100 card pack (they aren't truly decks at the point of opening) has 60 cards in it that are regarded as the best starting cards for the Deck they are predominant in. Both the Inhumans and Monsters Unleashed packs contain Devil Dinosaur and Moon Girl cards whilst the Champions have a number of Marvel heroes with their title (name/Mantle) bookended by stars. These cards are important if you are introducing cards from other Vs sets with the same titles or with the Human names of the Heroes: such as Peter Parker/Miles Morales/*Spider-Man* as a card that affects or refers to a character within the naming boundary can be effective against any of them or you could have both Peter Parker and Miles Morales in your deck at the same time. As yet I haven't introduced other sets into MONSTERS UNLEASHED as the 400 cards you get give you plenty of scope to play around once you have used the basic four teams several times.Speaking of *Spider-Man* he has the power of Invisibility which sounds pretty cool except that there are as many disadvantages as there are advantages to him using this skill in a game. Black Bolt has the Amplify ability which isn't new to this set, but his ability has to be chosen before his Powers are truly effectual. Another effect introduced is Lumbering which is one of several Leviathon powers that at first seems weak but can be rather nasty in effect. Basically, if a Leviathon with Lumbering attacks the Defending player has to choose the target it is attacking and it has to be one that it can legitimately attack.
When sorted you should have four 60 card decks of Supporting Characters, Plot Twists and Locations and for three of the decks you will have a selection of five (ten cards) Main Characters, each of whom can head the deck of their type. The fourth deck is the Leviathon deck and you will have no choice of Main Character for this deck, only the Leviathon Mother can head this evil entity for she doesn't ask for support, she demands it. You will finally be left with 24 Assorted Plot Twists and 104 Supporting characters, none of either contain any unique cards (I also had a single L2 Fin Fang Foom Main card left over but unless I am missing something, a reason why there should be this one odd card making the total to 401 cards, it is probably an oversight - I hope your set isn't missing one of these).
InHuman Main Characters: Moon Girl, Medusa, Black Bolt, Karnak and Crystal.
Monsters Unleashed Mains: Kid Kaiju, Goom, Elsa Bloodstone, Devil Dinosaur and Fin Fang Foom.
Champions Mains: *Spider-Man*, *Ms Marvel*, *Hulk*, *Nova* and *Viv Vision*.
There are two copies of each of the Main Characters, Level One is in Grey, easily and instantly recognisable across top border around the title while Level Two cards have a Golden colouration. Most, if not all, of these Main Characters can also be found as Red based Supporting Characters, often in multiples; the colours are important for recognition because each character is shown with the same illustration no matter whether they are Mian L1, Main L2 or Supporting. Apart from her Horde or Legion the Leviathon Mother has 20 One-of-a-kind creatures she can call on. These are (as the name implies) unique and therefore only one of each can be in the Leviathon Deck.
To ensure the majority of your time is spent playing the game and not scurrying through rules sheets the majority of Keywords (Type, Power, Skill, Ability, Mannerism etc) found on the cards are set in a Bold Font and followed by an explanation of what the word means in game terms; for example Genius: At the start of your turn you draw a card.Some of the Keywords have been used regularly in previous sets or are found a lot in this set and thus may not be explained on the cards. The Leviathon Servitor has the keyword Stealth and the explanation that goes with it, but it also has Creature, Swarm and Legion. Common words can, of course, be found on the rules sheets of earlier sets and, online if you search for them. but for player ease the most popular have been repeated on the MONSTERS UNLEASHED reference sheet. Once you are playing the game the meanings of words like Fearless, Legion, Swarm, Tough etc quickly become embedded in your game brain and the need to check their meaning soon evaporates.
In an earlier 2PCG Vs Set of rules we were introduced to Team Attacks. This is where you can combine certain team members from the Front and Back rows to attack a powerful foe who can only hit back (counter-strike) at one of the attackers. In MONSTERS UNLEASHED this still counts but there is another type of Team Attack now and this is found under the Multiple Defenders amendment. Instead of combining several of your characters to attack you need to have either Fin Fang Foom or Leviathon Hydra in attack ready position. These single cards are able to attack multiple defenders with their full ATK against each defender. However the defenders counter-strike is a total of all of their ATK against their attacker. This means that although the Fin Fang Foom and Leviathon Hydra are pretty powerful, if you don't want to sacrifice them you need to be selective on your use of them in attack - a nice balancing mechanic.Speaking of mechanics, unless specifically stated all mechanics from previous rules count when using MONSTERS UNLEASHED, you just get a few more with this new set to add into the mix.
Overall I like the Alien-esque Leviathon Mother, defending her children and naturally being defended by them - as if they had any choice. I also enjoy playing Monsters as good guys, let's face it, just because someone is a different race or looks, smells, speaks differently, it doesn't automatically make them the bad guys, although they generally are. The art on the cards is once again exceptionally good, particularly the action poses, but most of all I like the fact that almost all that you necessarily need to know is right there in front of you each time you play a card, either by icon or, in most cases, in text that is comprehensible. A very good addition to the 2CPG Vs System of Marvel.