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Vs. System

Pojo's VS System Card of the Day

  Steely Resolve

Card #DLS-190

Target, defender you control gets +3 DEF this attack.

Date Reviewed: 10.28.06

Constructed Modern Age
Average Rating: 2.25

Constructed Golden Age
Average Rating: 2

Limited Average Rating: 2.5

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst. 3 ... average.
5 is the highest rating.


Steely Resolve

Ok, ok so I have been absent for a while. I really have a good reason - honest. Perhaps I will explain tomorrow. Leave it to me to keep readers tuned in...:)

Anyway, there was no way I was going to pass up this sneak peak. After all today's card is a RARE! Today we are going to look at the new card from DLS - Steely Resolve.

Basics: Steely resolve is a 6-cost PT that gives a target defender +3 defense for an attack. Considering it is a rare, I would like to have seen this card play out for an entire turn, but such is usually the case in VS.
Constructed play: Is this card going to be worth it? Well, given that it has a cost of 6, I am going to say not really. You could probably get something out it if you play your deck specially around this card (ie. PT cost reducers) or it could come in handy in a stall, but there is no point in taking up room in a deck when the card comes into play so late in the game and your opponent could counter with some equally big attack bonuses. In this day and age unless you are playing and alternate win deck or stall/life gain deck you will have a good idea by turn 6 whether or not you will be able to pull out the win....this card may just turn out to be too late to save you...
Limited play: Ok, this card is definitely a beast in this format. However, since it is rare I guess you don't have to worry about coming up against it too often. In a format where people usually trade blow for blow, this card could make all the difference. It certainly encourages odd-initiatives so it will be interesting to see if the format this time around will be as turn based as the last set. If you get it, play it - enough said.

DCMA constructed - 3.5/5.0 ...This could be a decent card in this format.
GA constructed - 3.0/5.0 ...It just comes into play so late in the game....

Limited - 4.0/5.0 ...Great card for this format.
You know what I like about doing previews? I like being one of the first people outside of Upper Deck R&D to read the text of a new card, then sit back and let my mind wander as I think of all the ways that it could impact the game. Granted, there are much smarter people out there who will make a fistful of money with these cards while I'm still going X-3 at PCQ's, but for now, I have a headstart on the rest of the VS world. As I'm typing this, I've known what Steely Resolve does for about 8 hours, and since I work nights, I've had most of those 8 hours to contemplate what this card means to the game of VS.

First of all, the effect. Target defender you control gets +3 DEF this attack. Not a lot of plot twists give that much defense, and the few that do require a fairly steep cost. Spider Senses gives a flat +3 DEF, but it's team stamped, as are cards like Circle Defense and The Plunder Plan. Cover Fire requires characters with range, and Helping Hand looks at characters with 1 or more Willpower. Steely Resolve is generic defense with no cost and no drawback.
Anybody can use it.

All this comes with one tiny drawback...a threshold cost of 6. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Most combats are about mutual stuns. My 5 drop attacks your 5 drop, and both characters get stunned. On occasion, my 4 drop will attack your 5 drop and we both get stunned. Rarely, my 5 drop will attack your 3 drop, you have a pump, and we both get stunned. It's the natural flow of the game, and it keeps us from having too many characters on the field by the late game. One thing that good players use to disrupt this natural flow is the brickwall. Stopping an opponent from stunning your defending character is a huge momentum swinger, as it allows you to steal the initiative and potentially take control of the game.
Acrobatic Dodge was a great card back in Origins, as you could keep your defender from stunning, but at the cost of lowering its attack, lowering the possibility of stunning the attacker. Now any character can potentially brickwall an attack, and still stun the attacker, it'll just have to be after turn 6. the average 6 drop is 12/12, and the average 5 drop is 9/9, so +3 DEF is just enough to stop any breakthrough from happening, and a powerup or additional defensive pump means that your opponent's plan of swinging down the curve has just been ruined.

Now, the other issue here (and one that will totally be brought up on the message boards) is the rarity, namely, that Steely Resolve is a rare. Believe me, I've been thinking about that for a while. In Heralds of Galactus, Armageddon was a rare plot twist with a threshold of 6, and it gives +6 ATK. This is only a
+3 DEF. However, I've come to a conclusion: Stuns
are good. Stuns are what keep the game flowing, they make recovery effects good, they keep the board manageable in the late game, and they keep endurance totals going down so that the game will actually end before time is called. A generic +3 DEF is too good in the early game for some decks. Imagine if a Doom player who could flip down extra Steely Resolves with
Doom-4 combined with Doomstadt, or a Titans player who can protect Roy Harper multiple times each turn by bringing back Steely Resolve with Garth. Even just keeping Dr. Light, Master of Holograms from being stunned by throwing an extra 3 DEF on him could be too good in the early game. The rarity really becomes a factor in Sealed play, as it's not only important to keep the flow of the game going, but you also don't want to get stuck with multiple copies of a plot twist that you can't play until turn 6. Most Sealed games last until turn 7 anyway, or even turn 8 in Heralds sealed play, so saving a powerful defensive trick until the late game isn't that much of a dealbreaker.

Steely Resolve may not be the bomb rare that everyone's been waiting for, but it's a powerful card in its own right, and I think it'll find its place, especially in Modern Age and Sealed play. With the popularity of stall decks in the recent PC LA, an extra +3 DEF will be nothing to sneeze at. If you open one at your sneak preview this weekend, and you're not 100% satisfied with it, just send it to me, and I'll give it a good home.
xstreamzero Steely Resolve

Yay, more exclusives!

Steely Resolve
Plot Twist/6
Target defender you control gets +3 DEF this attack.

What? Thatís it? Seriously? What the hell was wrong with Acrobatic Dodge?
That and the fact that you could play that card since the very first turn.
You canít even play this till turn 6. And when you do reach turn six, I doubt +3 DEF will be much of a boost anymore. At least itís somewhat useful in draft. Actually, itís pretty much broken in draft. But do not, under any circumstances, play this in a serious deck. Itís a waste of space.

DC Modern: 1/5
Silver Age: 1/5
Golden Age: 1/5
Overall: 1/5

I canít believe itís a rare. From the new set.

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