Marvel Universe Previews have been awesome. We are about a month away from its release and I have to admit, UDE has done a great job with releasing previews early and generating interest. I am seeing new faces on the boards and hype all over the blogs of people excited and anticipating the MUN set. All I need now is to see either Thor cards or viable United Front cards to lure my dollars out of my pocket for a case of the product. I am seriously considering that at this point as it is a huge set and something definitely that is very marketable, especially with it’s ripped from the comic’s flavor.

If you are reading comics right now and looking for a game that portrays your favorite characters then VS System is a great start. The Marvel Universe Expansion is tentatively set for release on June 10, 2008. The game touts great hobby league support and an all around community of players.

If you want more information go to http://www.vssystem.com/ for news on the game and upcoming events, don’t forget to stop by http://www.tcgplayer.com/ and http://www.vsrealms.com/ for access to the minds that have allowed the game to flourish. And as always remember if you want to play the game online to get a taste for what is going on, download MWS at http://www.magicworkstation.com/ and the sets will always be here for download. If you have any question then feels free to ask.

This weeks Marvel Universe Previews are based off a legendary team in their own rights, The Illuminati. Some fan favorite characters take center stage with this team as it consist of only 6 members; Iron Man, Professor X, Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner and Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans.

These 6 men remain in the shadows trying to lead the super-hero community and maintain the balance. All of them are legends in their own rights, together they are an undeniable force. Many players are hyped with anticipation to get there hands on some of these cards. So why don’t we take a look.

To start the week we got an in-depth understanding from The Ben Seck over on vssystem.com about the illuminati. The mere fact that he informed us that this is not a traditional team in the game was astounding, but then we got some reveals from him that were simply amazing and definitely deck inspiring. First off the assembly line was a new version of Iron Man; Iron Man, Protector of the Reality Gem.

This card is a little shocking to me because it is a hidden version of Iron Man and it is dual affiliated with Infinity Watch and Avengers. Okays so the hidden part has to be a part of team theme, but the Infinity Watch affiliation opens up some doors for the Infinity Watch team we saw in the Heralds of Galactus expansion. I for one loved Moon Dragon, and the Infinity Gems, but wasn’t willing to spend my time trying to make that deck work, although T’Challa over on VSrealms did.

This card is very nice, along with being an average 5 stat’d character the ability is something I can’t really say we have seen before on a character card if any card in the game. Iron Man in a hidden area with any two other Illuminati members exhaust controls your opponents effectively and as you all probably know from my Darkseid deck I love control and defense. So on Turn 5 we are in the hidden area with a 3-cost and a 4-cost, maybe even a 1 and 2-cost character if your opponent doesn’t have any hidden hate, means you can effectively exhaust your opponents highest cost character in play. That is a nifty ability, especially when you consider some of those higher cost character that are game breaking that now exist. This is also a great way to deal with the Hulk Warbound Loner Strategy, a hidden Illuminati puts a freeze on everything that big boy wants to do to ransack your endurance. With flight and range and this ability this may have been a good contender for a rare entry. I guess stamping his ability for only once per turn changed that.

The Illuminati is turning out to be a pretty bad ass team because we also had a search card preview for the team in Secret Government.

Let me explain the significance of this card for those who may not understand. It is a Bat-Signal search effect at worst, but the great part is that it searches for any member of the Illuminati. That is regardless of their team affiliation, they just have to be one of the 6 listed members of the Illuminati, and this clearly defines the team as more than a team, but an entity and organization that exist outside the boundaries, that’s a lot of flavor in a card.

The last card Ben Seck gave us wasn’t something too thrilling, but it showed the various members of the Illuminati were receiving direct support cards. Mr. Fantastic was up first and much like Mr. Fantastic has been in previous incarnations we got a deck filter in The 100 ideas. Yes if you can figure out a way to place cards on the bottom of your deck to have a better idea of what you are going to grab then this is simple card draw at its best. When you look at other members of the Illuminati, like Sub-Mariner and Dr. Strange who happen to exist on a team called the Marvel Defenders and you quickly take note of some of the plot twist that exist for those teams, placing what you want on the bottom of your deck should not be too hard.

Cards that come to mind are definitely a plot twist called The Illuminati, Consulting the Orb, and Sanctum Sanctorum.

On Tuesday we had the preview Infinity Gauntlet over on VSrealms podcast The Ring Has Chosen. This cards fanfare depends strictly on other cards we get to see later in the week as no one knows how easy it will be to get 6 Illuminati members in the field of play at one given time. This card presents the same problem as having all of the Infinity Gems in your hand or in play. The effect is definitely powerful if you do, what is crazy ridiculous about this card is managing to pull off having 6 Illuminati members in play to use this card and having the equipment card The Infinity Gauntlet in play. We have seen some speedy ways to get all 6 gems in your hand, and they have very good effects, I don’t see why the dual process could not be explored. Imagine wrecking your opponent in the late game utterly when the two Infinity Gauntlet cards are in your hand. Just a thought and a combo I will aim to use if Black Bolt looks remotely playable for this team.

Today Kamiza wowed us with The Elektra situation. I am a huge fan of the things Kamiza has done for the VS community, from his website over on the-Kamiza.com
To the VS Network (Don’t forget to vote for Darkseid Revenge) and his work with UDE. He is somewhat of a celeb and he keeps getting to preview excellent cards.

This card is simply a beastly effect. We are seeing more of the exhaustion theme for the Illuminati, but here we just need 2 members. You choose a name and that character loses it all, powers and Keywords. So no more worrying about Wonder Woman, no more worries about Spider-Man, Punisher and others from the Legends sets who have powers and Keywords that devastate the field of play. As a matter of fact after turn 4 you don’t have to worry about any character you choose. Batman, Cape and Cowl we all hate to see him on the opposite side of the board, turn that off. Wonder Woman redirects, not any more. Magneto’s annoying tricks, whatever, the Illuminati are literally laughing they have a one trick pony that deals with the entire stable and that my friends are awesome.

Today we got a welcomed addition to the Illuminati, Dr. Strange, Secret Avenger. This card is unique, the effect it provides is very powerful and something we have not seen before in Versus. The card is not as powerful as one might think if you are playing a curve deck. The likelihood that you are able to arrange your deck to take full benefit of this effect on two is highly unlikely and the odds of you calling the proper type of card to rally for decreases in percentage because you can rally for all 4 types of versus cards, plot twist, locations, characters or equipment.

Triggering his ability gets a bit easier when you start thinking back to MTU and MHG, especially with cards like Consulting the Orb, Sanctum Sanctorum and The Illuminati which allow you to arrange your deck. The Illuminati plot twist probably providing the best means of getting this online.

Dr. Strange has some other areas where he may shine as well as he is a possible drop in other decks that need to generate early card draw and have the means of getting to them quickly. I can think off-hand of adding him to a Heralds of Galactus deck that may underdrop with 2 cost Silver Surfer. A low rush Spider Friends deck that can make use of him. He is dual-affiliated with the Avengers and Marvel Knights which is interesting in itself.

I'm not exploding about the card, but it is a nice effect.

That’s today’s preview catch-up. I know everyone is anticipating the Dr. Strange rally preview tomorrow so tune into poppythecat.wordpress.com for Joe Clarke’s preview.

I hope you guys stop by the rest of the week for the comic reviews, it’s a banging line-up. I know most of the comics hit shelves today, but don’t expect anything till tomorrow when you can probably expect good things and better scans. For those who are reading for the Thor VS Reflections, I promise, swear on my life that you will see that series kick back up this weekend as i have some pretty good scans and new ideas for cards we just ought to see in that series.



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