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Duel Masters is just over a year old in the non-Japanese market – no time like the present for yet another 120 card set! For Duel Masters 120 cards is a lot of cards to introduce at one time. The potential impact on the game is nearly terrifying. Then again, I’ve seen plenty of other games crank out uneventfully dull sets one after another (the current Magic: The Gathering block comes). So, is “Stomp-a-trons of Invincible Wrath” inspired or just another collection of colorful cardboard?
In this article we shall attempt to discover just that. Before you begin dishing out your hard earned cash for those Stomp-a-trons, how many cards are you even going to play with? How many are worth trying to make work? Will Stomp-a-trons live up to its invincible name?
Invincible or simply Improbable?
I believe the first thing to really stick out is the five “Invincible” spells. There is a single one of these spells for each civilization, they cost an unimaginable 13 mana to play, and their effects are potentially game breaking in each case. Now, I’m not a big fan of any card that takes this much mana to cast; however Nature has been granting us some pretty useful mana acceleration. Stomp-a-trons adds to this successful endeavor through very interesting cards of its own – such as Living Citadel Vosh. Thanks to these awesome innovations is “mana technology” I’m nearly sold on the idea that these spells might not be such a bad idea to test around. Obviously any deck running Invincible cards would be forced to make Nature the decks primary civilization. Despite this, any other civilization would be more than splashable. Time to start experimenting!
Evolution creatures make a strong comeback with a total ten in this set. The usual line up of races get a little boost including Gaurdians, Humans, Liquid People, Ghost, Initiates and Giant Insects. Plenty of new races also begin climbing up the evolutionary ladder – Chimeras, Colony Beatles, Cyber Cluster and the long awaited Dragoniods! To top it off, the survivors of the megapocalypse have made their own evolutionary leaps – twice!
Most of these evolutions don’t seem to stack up well against those from the original evo set. For example, Crystal Jouster is simply not as good as either of the other two members of the Crystal family. Still, I believe we will see some use from many of these cards as they allow the potential for more, strong mono-race decks.
The Megapocalypse Continues
Eight new survivors are added to our survival kit. This time, Water gains an unfair advantage with three of the eight followed by Fire with two leaving only one for each of the remaining civilizations. Included amongst these creatures are two survivor evolutions. These evos can be played on any survivor – no matter the race – and boy do they add something to the game!
In addition Duel Masters gives us our first totally vanilla survivor with Prompehius Q. While this creature does not have any abilities to share with other survivors, it will gain plenty abilities from its friends and relatives. With all this assistance to the survivor arsenal I’m sure we will be seeing more and more competitive survivors decks.
Tap, tap – Who’s there?
For me the verdict is still our about many of the cards that allow you to tap them to gain an ability. For the most part, I see these creatures being attacked and dieing the turn after they are used. The creatures that grant all of their own civilization their ability perhaps stand a chance for being good. At least for them you are able to tap any other creature for their ability – essentially sacrificing that creature for the effect.
Then again – perhaps I am a fool. After first seeing Hypersquid Walter I believed the card had potential yet just didn’t quite stack up compared to the likes of Aqua Hulcus. With Hypersquid Walter I believed it was pretty much the same situation. You use him once and get a single card so you might as well play Aqua Hulcus as you get the card right away and he has a 2000 body. Since then I have been forced to revise my opinion. In the proper deck, Hypersquid Walter is able to net you more than a single card and justifies itself over Aqua Hulcus. We may have the same situation here. Maybe we just need the right deck.
Enter the Fatties
No overview of Stomp-a-trons would be complete with out mentioning the two newest attempts to wow the Timmy power gamer in all of us. Armored Dragons and Demon Commands get to take the cake here – hope this doesn’t mean the war occurring in the story is becoming unbalanced toward evil and chaos! Sorry, but I always have to root for the good guy. The good guy has to play by a set of rules and so they always have the greater challenge!
Fire brings us a new dragon Bolmeteus Dragon. Okay, there are other creatures in this set that possess a bigger number in the power box, however none of those creatures show up with as impressive of an ability. Not only is this sucker a double breaker but, when he strikes the opponent drops those shields right into their discard pile. If this creature has the chance to attack it may be a good way to take out Ill-Folk and shield trigger dependant decks! Definitely worth consideration…
Darkness delivers Daidalos, General of Fury. This vile Demon Command only coast four mana to put into play!! Obviously there must be a drawback – and there is…sorta. Every time Diadalos attacks you are forced to kill one of your own creatures. Fortunately, Darkness has some really good, cheap sacrificial creatures and plenty of creature recursion. I’m starting to fear this sucker more than I have any other Demon Command ever!
That wraps it up for my little Stomp-About! I hope you enjoyed and found this article informative. As usual, I appreciate all feedback as it’s the only way I know if anyone is even bothering to read. Later this week I should have the next “Agro in the ’05 Metagame” article done – or so I believe. It’s just a matter of finding the time – the wife and I reopened our eBay store (with Stomp-a-trons!!) then there’s work, school, the kids, research I’m doing on restoring a local water well, etc, etc…
HOWEVER – my next tournament report is only about a week away! Look for it as I will be daring to run a new ‘5 Civilization (as in running all 5 civs) Control’ deck I’ve been play testing! I’ve got high hopes for it. Pass or fail, my deck list will be included with the report…
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