I absolutely L-O-V-E the Infinite Crisis expansion for Vs. Seriously. The new teams are all cool, each with challenging mechanics and a variety of appealing cards spread throughout the curve. Also, while I’m not really the best judge of such things, I’d say the primary teams — JSA, Villains United, Checkmate and Shadowpact — are all strong enough to go up against any of the previous teams introduced, Marvel or DC, including those frustrating, team attacking Avengers Dan was killing me with for a while.
Our last session, featuring fledgling decks built from our haul from the Infinite Crisis preview a couple of weeks back, saw me victorious as my more straightforward JSA/Villains United hybrid proved too much for his more complicated Shadowpact/Checkmate combo. My favorite aspect of the VU team is the Vengeance mechanic, built-in little nasty surprises that usually cause some kind of damage whenever a character is stunned. Black Adam <> Teth Adam ended up making the difference as his power — “Vengeance: Whenever Black Adam becomes stunned, target character gets -3 ATK / -3 DEF this turn.” — enabled me to pull off the victory by attacking Dan’s Blue Devil <> Big Blue for a mutual stun, which then allowed me to target his more powerful defender (I forget whom) and go for a one-on-one attack w/breakthrough instead of teaming up for a straightforward stun.
When the round was done, Dan was at -9, meaning Black Adam’s -3 DEF became the difference in the game as -7 or less would have allowed him to survive into the next round during the Recovery phase thanks to Blue Devil’s equally cool, double-edged power: “When Blue Devil comes into play, lose 4 endurance. When Blue Devil leaves play, gain 8 endurance.”
Despite this, I’ve decided to separate the JSA and VU into individual decks to see how they stand on their own, because the JSA in particular has a similar feel to the Avengers, with some great team-up options that seemingly work best with an undiluted deck. I don’t quite have all the cards I need for an optimized deck yet, but I’m a lot closer than I’d expect to be after only 10 packs, thanks mostly to the trading Dan and I have been doing between us. One of my primary needs is 2 more copies of Huntress <> Earth 2, whose power — “Characters you control and character cards you own in all zones gain the version Earth 2.” — has the potential to seriously turn the tables in rounds 5-8 when some of her Earth 2 counterparts join the fray.