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There are players all across North America that understand the better parts of this game, perform well at every event they go to, and yet they still wouldn't be noticed when they walk into a room of a Pro Circuit when the time came around to it. The reason could be that they simply don't play often enough to garner that attention in the big spotlight or perhaps they don't have the funds that the big professional teams have to travel by airplane to Ohio, Indy, and California, the three biggest Versus tournament scenes in existence. For as many articles I can, I will be profiling a deck that I found on the internet played by a player who always seems to do well, yet never get the recognition for there play (excluding next week's Jason Hager article). Today's article is a Sinister Syndicate Rush deck aimed to win on turn four, something that it does fairly consistently after I gave the deck a test run just this past week in just a handful of games. The deck was played by TCGPlayer's own “KardKrazy” at his most recent City Championship and piloted him to a 3rd-4th place finish.
Sinister Syndicate Rush
3rd-4th Place, North Carolina City Championship
4x Basilisk, Basil Elks
3x Razorfist, Sociopathic Mercenary
3x Fusion, Markley
3x Slyde, Jalome Beacher
3x Vulture, Aerial Stalker
1x Lizard, Voracious Predator
1x Doppleganger, Killer Clone
4x Electro, Shock Jock
3x Spider-Slayer V.X, Aracnid Hunter
2x Vermin, Sewer Rat
1x Answer, Aaron Nicholson
1x Black Tarantula, Carlos LaMuerto
1x Swarm, Fritz von Meyer
3x Carnage, Psychopath
4x Trial by Fire
4x Flying Kick
4x Justice Is Served
4x Planet Of The Symbiotes
4x Legacy Of Evil
3x Spider Hunt
1x Alien Symbiote - Unique
4x Hidden Cache
Analyzing the Deck – Card Selection
When I first looked at the list I didn't really think it was anything amazing; after all it was Sinister Syndicate. When was the last time anyone has been ever able to do anything with them on the competitive Versus scene? Not only that, but because of being so used to seeing Checkmate, Quicksilver Voltage, and Good Guys everywhere, I had to read just about every card in the deck to see what it did.
After proxying the deck up and taking it for a test ride (through actually playing with it and ‘fishbowling'), I certainly think that the deck has serious potential thought may not be ready for the Pro Circuit just yet based on some consistency issues that almost all aggressive archetypes struggle with early on, with the exclusion of the Squadron Supreme. I know that a lot of you might not know what many of the cards do, but I will highlight some of the main points of the deck that I found most helpful when I experimented with it.
“The Plot Twist and Location Lineup is near Perfection”
Perfection is a strong word, but KardKrazy really impressed me with the impressive plot twist and location lineup that he uses with this lineup. The character lineup doesn't really make much of a difference to me when all of the plot twists and locations in the deck basically tell your opponent “my character is bigger then yours”. Other then one small flaw, I think KardKrazy's decision in the plot twist and location department is one of the things that accelerated him to victory at his City Championship.
Playing off curve and a deck that aims to win on turn four, Trial by Fire
is a no-brainer as a four-of inclusion with the +4 that it provides to the deck. Flying Kick
is my personal favorite attack pump in an aggressive archetype and its ability to make the formation step null and void when you have the initiative by flying into the back row unexpectedly.
Trial by Fire
and Flying Kick
are easy inclusions and aren't the things that make me really impressed with the build. Justice is Served is easily the best card in the deck, even if it only provides a +2 attack to your character. You don't have to lose life to play it, which is good considering all of the other attack pumps are going to be draining your life on a pretty consistent basis. The other effect of “KO target equipment with a cost of 0” is one of the best secondary effects this deck could ask for in combination with an attack pump. Showing its worth against the Fate Artifacts in the very dangerous (and still very hard to win) Quicksilver Voltage matchup and also being useful against Nth Metals (or Fate artifacts) in the Good Guys matchup makes this card easily the MVP of the deck, which may surprise a lot of people who would have went with something a little more powerful.
Legacy of Evil
is the only non-attack plot twist that the deck runs, though many could argue that the card will simply draw you into some anyway. When you're playing an aggressive deck like the Sinister Syndicate it won't be hard to make sure that you have the “more characters then resources” requirement needed to activate its effect. There are two types of aggression that you can run in this game. You can run the small drop aggression like this deck is capable of, where turn 3 is more likely to mean a 2-1 over a 3 and turn 4 is more likely to be 3-1, 2-2 over a 4. The other kind of aggression can be referred to as “Squadron Aggression” where the main goal is the go straight up the curve 1-2-3-4-5, yet still win by aggressive plot twists in the main lineup. I think KardKrazy's character lineup (which I will briefly touch upon) supports the use of the four main deck Legacy of Evils, so I applaud him for a good inclusion there.
Planet of the Symbiotes
and Hidden Cache
is where I could go either way. In matchups that wont be able to deal lethal damage on turn 4 (Good Guys-Checkmate/Anything) I don't think the use of these cards on a regular basis is going to effect the overall game that much. However, you start to look at a deck like Quicksilver Voltage which has become the big face of a Silver Age format because of its unbelievable consistency for ending games on turn 4 and you really have to question the full playset of both cards on the part of KardKrazy. Giving Quicksilver Voltage some free damage puts a lot of pressure on drawing into some game-saving Justice is Served to try and win back some of the damage that you are going to be dealing yourself. Personally, I have never once run a playset of a location that I didn't think was absolutely critical to my overall game plan. Sure, I ran 4 Kooey Kooey Kooeys when I was playing Good Guys and I ran 4 WIllworlds when I was playing Anti-Green Lantern, but other then those two cards running 4 of a location is asking for some dead draws later on. With Legacy of Evil drawing cards quite often in this deck, I would like to see the number of Hidden Caches dropped to three for competitive play.
Now we get into the meat of running the cards, as they are going to take a drain on the life a little bit when you use them. Hidden Cache
, for me, is best served on turn 3+, so I'm not seeing a huge loss in life (7 endurance) over the course of the game. Honestly, how many Planets can you expect to draw a game? When you plan on ending the game on turn 4-5, the most you can expect to draw are two copies of the card. So while running seven (KardKrazy runs eight) cards that drain life might seem like a little but of a reach in a metagame that is still defined by Quicksilver Aggro, I still like both of the cards in the deck a lot.
is the finisher of the deck and personally there really isn't much that you can hate about a card that gives a blanket +2 across your board, considering that you should have a handful of characters on your kill turn ( turn 4 or 5, whichever is your initiative). I saw someone in the forums say that the KO of the resource is to big of a disadvantage for one turn worth of a couple of characters getting +2 attack. The thing is…who cares about KO'ing the resource if you're going to win on that turn anyway? If Spider Hunt is ever dropped, you should be winning the game or come very close to doing so. Decks like Good Guys and Checkmate that have several defensive tricks might be able to throw all the numbers you just crunched out the window with some defensive stall, but for the most part playing a Spider Hunt is usually the sign that some bad things are going to go down. The thing that makes Spider Hunt so busted is the fact that you can continue to play plot twists after you have played it, so long as it is the first thing you played. So, in summation, I have to give all of my characters +2 ATK before I can start drawing two cards with Legacy of Evil and making them even bigger with my other plot twists? Yea, got it. Not to mention the fact that as I'm writing this article I just realized that KO'ing the resource could put you ahead to play the Legacy of Evil just in case you didn't have it before that. Spider Hunt is a powerful late game card and once again a perfect call on the part of KardKrazy by choosing to run only three copies in the main deck.
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