SCG Daily – A Deck a Day: The Avengers

I love the Avengers. The super-hero team of Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes has been a favorite of mine for a long time, going back to my childhood in years past. I have virtually every Avengers comic printed, including most comics printed that include an Avenger in them. For this final entry in our deck-a-thon, I decided to figure out whether it was possible to build a Magic deck based around the Avengers theme, with unique cards for each character.

I decided to approach today’s entry in our deck-a-thon from a different angle. Instead of trying to build a deck around a card, a tribe, a mechanic, or whatnot, I decided to build a deck around a concept. Not a Magic-related concept, of course, just a random concept.

I love the Avengers. The super-hero team of Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes has been a favorite of mine for a long time, going back to my childhood in years past. I have virtually every Avengers comic printed, including most comics printed that include an Avenger in them.

My goal today is to build a deck based around the Avengers. What I need to do is find one card for each and every Avengers that I include in my deck. That way, I know if I draw a card, I know who it is supposed to be. Does everything make sense? Excellent.

I am going to list the card, then the character and a brief description of why I chose that card. Everything is one-of. There are occasionally mild comic spoilers, but only for comics from a long time ago, so it shouldn’t matter.

The Avengers

Urborg Panther (Black Panther) – Chosen because it’s a Black card, and the art is very Black Panther-ish. It’s also one of the few panthers in magic to have a single panther as the subject as opposed to multiples.

Shield Dancer (Captain Amercia) – Not only a shield fighter, but a fighter who turns his opponents’ own weapons against themselves.

Yavimaya Gnats (Wasp) – Not only a flying insect, but one with little overall punch but can keep a big guy occupied for a while.

Tor Wauki (Hawkeye) – One guy who can kill any two toughness creatures by shooting them. Plus Hawkeye has this real powerful anti-establishment streak, which is a nice Red/Black thing. (Although he sets it aside during his WCA days)

White Knight (Black Knight) – Despite the name change, Black Knight is a good character who knows how to use his sword to best effect, like the White Knight of old.

Sword Dancer (Swordsman) – The Swordsman is more of a mercenary character who falls in love with Mantis and follows the true path. That fits here.

Lightning Elemental (Living Lightning) – Miguel is a new super-hero who can be really powerful, but also falls easily in combat due to his inexperience.

Ovinomancer (Sersi) – Among other things, Sersi regularly turns opponents into pigs and what not. This is very Ovinomancer-ish.

Shivan Hellkite (Thor) – Thor was not easy to do. The Hellkite flies, is one of the biggest creatures running, and zarks creatures for damage. Thor flies, is one of the strongest heroes in Marvel, and zaps people with lightning.

Etched Oracle (Jocasta) – Jocasta is a synthetic construct able to analyze various situations and respond appropriately.

Mirri, Cat Warrior (Tigra) – Tigra is a cat warrior herself, having been changed into the body of the greatest cat warrior of a tribe of cat people.

Lunar Avenger (Vision) – Not only does Lunar Avenger have the ability to gain several abilities, much like Vision is able to adapt, but I also wanted to include a creature named “Avenger.”

Psionic Entity (Doctor Druid) – Dr. Druid is a character who has tremendous psychic powers but who got so caught up in them that he was the downfall of the Avengers. Just like the Entity shoots itself.

Vodalian Knights (Sub-Mariner) – Did you know that Wizard never printed a single Merfolk with a power greater than 2 (other than Mistform Ultimus)? There are beefy elves, beefy goblins, beefy soldiers, but never beefy merfolk. That’s sad. And now they don’t print merfolk anymore, so we may never flesh this out. Sub-Mariner wil be represented by the 2/2 Vodalian Knights, who can also fly and have first strike. They were the best warrior Merfolk we had available.

Avatar of Might (Hulk) – Hulk Smash! The Avatar of Might is strong, big, green, and also named the Avatar of Might, which is a name you could give Hulk. (Grey Hulk was never a member of the Avengers, but intelligent nature loving mid 90’s Hulk ran around with the team occasionally).

Child of Gaea (Gilgamesh) – Gilgamesh is known as the Forgotten One whose eternal nature is represented in the regeneration, and massive muscles in the power/toughness.

Sea Monster (Marrina) – After becoming pregnant with Sub Mariner’s children, Marrina’s alien body mutates into a huge sea monster and starts smashing islands and Miami.

Ekundu Griffin (Falcon) – Falcon is just a solid flyer with sharp wings. Nothing special here.

Vizzerdrix (She-Hulk) – Not as strong as her cousin, Bruce Banner, Jennifer is very intelligent, hence her color as Blue, instead of Green or Red. She-Hulk is also a lawyer who has argued in front of the Supreme Court, thus making her a follower of order. Intelligence and order maker her Blue.

Angus Mackenie (Starfox) – Starfox has the ability to turn on a person’s pleasure center, causing them to cease fighting.

Sibilant Spirit (Wonder Man) – The art looks like a super hero. Wonder Man is strong and can fly, but his fear of death causes him to regularly make mistakes, hence the spirit’s ability to give cards to an opponent.

Quicksilver Dragon (Iron Man) – IM was really hard to find a card for. I chose Quicksilver Dragon because IM can fly, can be really tough with his combination of several abilities, is super-arrogant and intelligent like blue, can be tricky like the redirection ability, and sometimes runs around as a minor little Tony Stark (morph ability) instead of super strong IM.

Jeska, Warrior Adept (Black Widow) – The tap ability represents the Widow’s Bite. Widow is a strong combatant who is always a hit away from being knocked out, so the 3/1 body with the haste and first strike seems appropriate. The Widow has always had a problem with authority, as ex-USSR, ex-KGB, and ex-SHIELD prove (she was also only with the Avengers for a few issues before she left until she was brought back in the 90’s).

Hunding Gjornersen (Giant Man) – Dr. Pym’s second and sixth costumed guise was as Giant Man. As a researcher par excellence, Pym is Blue. When he’s big, you can understand the rampage as well.

Torsten von Ursus (USAgent) – USAgent fights with a shield like Captain America, because he was Cap’s replacement for a while. USAgent is so orderly that even his teammates don’t like it, but he can occasionally go nuts and attack willy-nilly, more primal like Green or Red. His strength has been augmented to be really strong, so he’s much more powerful than Cap, although Cap is more clever. (Note that Cap’s creature, Shield Dancer, would kill USAgent’s Torsten in combat despite being a smaller creature).

Lightning Angel (Firebird) – Firebird, who later changed her name to Espirita, believes that she is the chosen servant of God because she was struck by a bolt from the heavens which gave her the ability to fly, throw fire, sense evil, and so forth. She’s definitely red/white, and the best red/white flyer is Lightning Angel. [Okay, there were a lot of crappy, random Avengers… – Knut, who has been in and out of the comics reading since he was 7]

Echo Tracer (Stingray) – Walter Newell is a biologist who takes on the costumed identity of Stingray reluctantly and usually just to gather information. His abilities are minor, and he really just slows you down, like the Echo Tracer.

Sandstone Warrior (Sandman) – A certain famous Spider-Man villain was an Avenger for a short while. Ultimately, his temper caused him to leave the team in a huff as a miscommunication. That sounds Red to me.

Dawn Elemental (Captain Marvell II) – Monica, who later goes by Photon, can change her body to various forms of energy – like light, x-rays, and what not. As such, she is rather invulnerable and able to fly. She also has a decent punch.

Jasmine Boreal (Mantis) – Mantis was a primeval martial artist trained by monks in Vietnam. Ultimately she was revealed to be the Celestial Madonna, prophesied as the mother of a celestial messiah. She left the Avengers after her lover, Swordsman, died and she married the alien plant creature, Cotati, from Kree.

Squee, Goblin Nabob (Mr. Immortal) – A small amateur team sprung up in Milwaukee and called themselves the Great Lakes Avengers, despite no official team affiliation. Mr. Immortal was the leader, who had little in the way of combat abilities, but was always resurrected after he died.

Lexivore (Beast) – Honestly, there were a lot of directions that I could go with Beast’s character. I could have tried a Beast creatures, gone with something Blue, tried an Ape, went with the agility angle and so forth. I chose Lexivore because ultimately, Beast is two major things. First, aside from Spidey, he may be the most well known joke-cracker in the Marvel universe. Second, Beast is often about talking with unusual and large words. Both fit Lexivore

Possessed Aven (Deathcry) – Deathcry is a young Shi’ar warrior who is banished from her homeworld and sent to Earth to help the Avengers against the Kree, whom the Shi’ar just annexed in a war that the Avengers helped. Many Shi’ar have birdlike appearances, as does Deathcry. Additionally, DC has some major secrets in her future, damning things, just like a certain Possessed Aven.

Patron of the Moon (Moon Knight) – Moon Knight joins the West Coast Avengers for a while, but during his time, Khonshu, the Egyptian God of the Moon, takes over Moon Knight’s body and is actually the Avenger. Of course, that Moon Knight is actually possessed by Khonshu is never known by his Avenger pals, but this Patron of the Moon is best represented by a certain Betrayers spirit.

Add 25 lands.

Alright, with such a bad deck, I’d argue that basic lands should be able to tap for any color of mana, so you can play Captain Marvel’s four White or use Sandman’s powers. Who wants to build a fun comic deck and then never play any of the characters?

There were several major Avengers that I wanted to fit in, but could never find the right creature. Scarlet Witch should be the queen of Red, with her uber-chaotic ability. Yet, there was no real translation of her ability to use magic and change probabilities. The best I could come up with were Goblin Bookie and Mannichi, the Fevered Dream. Neither of those really got her true scope of power.

Quicksilver, the ultra-fast Avenger lacked a decent translation as well. I decided not to include heavy hitter Hercules since other major hitters were included. I really wanted Quasar in, but there is simply no translation possible for the Guardian of the Universe and a guy who can make any form of force field with his bracelets. Crystal’s ability to control all four elements was lacking, mysteriously. Shouldn’t there be a creature in the Magic that has the ability to control all four elements? The best translation I could come up with was Cromat, but that’s not really control of elements, nor is a 5/5 body appropriate for Crystal.

Today’s daily deck is virtually regular article sized. It was my special treat for the readers that have been with the entire series. Who knows when I’ll return to the series, but I intend to. [In the meantime, methinks Abe might be collecting a whole slew of the Vs. System Avengers expansion… – Knut]

Until Later,

Abe Sargent