Some interesting conversations got started over on Realms about Jared Stevens and his projected usefulness. I am a fan of the card for alot of reason. My main reason is because of his flavor and addition to the Shadowpact team theme.

I thought it would be a good idea to delve deeper into this card and the possibilities for its creation.

Jared Stevens ties to the identity of Dr. Fate are chronicled is the 23 issue comic series title, "Fate". Jared Stevens was a graverobber who was sent to retrieve the Fate artifacts. Three items that imbued the wearer with the mantle of Dr. Fate, an agent of Order and Chaos. The three items; The Helm of Nabu, Amulet of Nabu and Cloak of Nabu imbued it's wearer with various powers, these items linked the wearer to Nabu, an ancient sorcerer.

When Jared was to deliver the artifacts back ot the original Dr. Fate, he denied them and kept them for himself. The artifacts seemed to agree with this as when Jared tried to use them, the cloak wrapped itself around his right arm, the amulet melted into his face giving him the Ankh shaped scar over his right, which also imbued him with magical powers. The helmet was melted down into weapons as well.

That is the history of Jared Stevens and the Fate Artifacts.

When we look at the comic history and we marry that information with the card we see why Jared is represented as he is. Pay X resource points -> KO target unique equipment with cost X. The Fate artifacts had perhaps the biggest implications on the VS System game fueling decks like Quick Fate and Punisher and many others. Mechanically all of these decks were geared at usign the 3 artifacts to make characters large early on and take advantage of their effects. Any character equipped with all 3 artifacts received +4/+4 stats, Flight and Range and could not be a target of effects.

Jared's card is a clear look at this. He was greedy enough to keep the artifacts from the original Dr. Fate. He even melted down the helm to a weapon. Not to mention each artifact is only a 0 cost threshold, which makes his ability free. He is also not limited to using this ability once per turn. In the realm of flavor he is spot on. Equipping Jared with the Fate artifacts makes Jared a 7/6 Flight and Range Character that can KO 0 cost equipment and aides the team in reducing the cost of playing plot twist. Wow! How is that for theme? It certainly fits in with his comic lore.

Effects on the Game

Fired up with that information let's move on to his effects on gameplay. As i said typically most decks that incorporate the Fate artifacts are looking at having a character equipped with all three items as early as turns 2 or 3. Some of the early cards used to accelerate the process were; Ape X, Xina / Jaime Reyes<>Blue Beetle, High-Tech Hero / Ted Kord<>Blue Beetle, Heir of the Scarab and Poison Ivy, Deadly Rose.

A big proponent of stopping this came in the form of Deadshot, Floyd Lawton. His ability allowed you to KO a character of cost 3 or less if you had 10 or more cards in your KO'd pile. Players would then use his effect prior to an opponents 2 or 3 drop being equipped with a Cloak of Nabu, which made the wearer untargettable.

Insert Jared into the mix and look at what he does for the game with relation to these artifacts. Jared is great in a mirror-Fate Artifact-inspired match.

a. If a player equips Jared with a Cloak of Nabu it prevents effects like Deadshot from taking him out of the game.
b. This also allows him to make sure no opponent is utilizing the artifacts.

In non-mirror matches, Jared could see play as well, considering two of the hottest decks in play are Punisher and Quick Fate a gamble is that you will see a Jared in play. Even if he isn't suited he still inspires. If i have a Jared Stevens in play and my opponent was thinking of KO'ing my 3 cost character and they were planning on using that equipment they have to think twice.

Jared is an inspired flavor card added to team shadowpact and makes the argument that the fate artifacts are somewhat team stamped as now there is a team member keeping them at home.

I know for the newbies alot of that may have been too hi-level gameplay talk, but talk is appreciated and learning is even better.



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