What an absolute ride. I had never been to Vegas or competed in any kind of tabletop tournament, to say I was overstimulated would be putting it lightly. That said, I met some wonderful people and put a lot of faces and actual names to internet buddies, and I got to play almost non stop MCP for three days which is a dream come true. LVO was one of the most fun weekends I’ve ever had. As for the contents of this article, I ended up writing brief notes on all of my tournament games so I will be trying to reconstruct those from memory and talk about how everything went, and maybe even do a little discussion on what was “meta” for LVO. First things first, here is what I was playing.
|Hulk||Avengers Assemble||Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities|
|Captain America (Steve Rogers)||Follow Me||Mystic Wakanda Herbs: Fact or Fiction?|
|Captain America (Sam Wilson)||Heroes for Hire||Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan|
|Doctor Voodoo||Escort to Safety||Secures|
|Luke Cage||Sacrifice||Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest|
|Iron Fist||Advanced R&D||Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusment Park|
|Iron Man||Disarm||Portals Overrun City with Spider-People!|
|Black Widow||Brace for Impact (R)|
|Black Cat||Field Dressing (R)|
Before I talk about my matches, I qualified for the top cut on Friday going 4-0, and Saturday a combination of curiosity and sleeping in led to me going on a little Vegas adventure and trying some local food. I still ended up playing 3 matches that day against solid opponents, but I was basically trolling with double Hulk so I will not be talking about it any more. I will be playing all the days in future tournaments.
My first match was against a Defenders player named Benjamin. He won priority and we ended up playing Gamma and Herbs at, shockingly, 15. He took Soul Strange, Daredevil, Taskmaster and Okoye while I had Sam, Luke, Iron Man and Hulk. Since we were on Gamma I decided not to mess around with the Herb and just control Gamma with the Hulk, the King of Gamma. I think I attacked with Hulk once the entire game, I was just moving and throwing people off points. My opponent used Daredevil to scoop up the Herb and a fantastic turn 2 portal play to start scoring herbs almost immediately, but I was able to control Gamma to the point that he conceded with a final score of 15-9. My opponent did come within a hair’s length of activating Hulk with Strange at the start of what ended up being the final round, which almost certainly would have kept the game going for a bit longer.
Round 2 was against someone who I had been looking forward to meeting for a long time, Chewie89 who was running Spider-Foes. Chewie got priority, picked extracts and we played on Mutant Madmen with Hammers at, again shockingly, 18. He was playing Goblin, Venom, Lizard, Toad and Sorcerer Supreme Strange while I took Steve, Iron Man, Luke, Widow and Hulk. This game was wild, and Chewie experienced firsthand how obnoxious double bodyguard can be. One side of the map was Iron Man, Cap and Cage vs Goblin and Lizard while the other was Toad and Venom vs Hulk and Widow. Strange was teleporting all over the place, he started on the side with Cage and ended up fighting the Hulk. Since Chewie had priority, his toad was able to move up and snag a hammer without issue while I had to burn Avengers Assemble to functionally burn his Sinister Traps on the other side for Iron Man to get his hands on the opposite Hammer. The real exciting part of Round 1 was Hulk grabbing a home hammer, moving, flipping my home Madmen trap and then nearly oneshotting Toad with a size 4 throw. Widow moved up to finish him off but a very clever mission objective got the hammer onto Venom, which proved a bit of a headache as it tends to. All in all, the first round was tied. The midgame consisted of Chewie trying to land attacks on Iron Man while I shifted damage around to Cage and Cap. It was extremely difficult to land any attacks on Iron Man, even with Strange and Goblin’s range and maneuverability. On the other side of the board, Hulk was able to eventually put Venom down and double up on Hammers. Lizard also fell but Goblin was able to get his Hammer, leading to Hulk and Goblin both having 2 Hammers. Go Green Boys! Then a massive Friday AI Ricochet Blast annihilated Goblin and Iron Man scampered away with 2 hammers, and Chewie was unable to burn through all of Hulk’s health with won me the game at 20 – 12, a score that does not illustrate how close it was. I got a couple of clutch Oscorp rerolls into more defense that really kept me going strong.
My third game was against a fellow SoCal guy, Christian (Zargar) who was playing an extremely spooky Midnight Sons list, which famously involves Black Dwarf. I won priority and we ended up playing Terrigen and Herbs at 20. This game was an insane slugfest. Sam, Voodoo, Vision, Cage and Hulk took on Blade, Voodoo, Ghost Rider, Black Dwarf and Luke Cage. My memory of this game was a blur because it was incredibly intense. Hulk started scoring the Herb round 2 to give me a huge lead in VPs but the damage that Sons can put out is always terrifying. One thing does stand out about this game: when Hulk was travelling across the board to score the Herb he punched Ghost Rider to get some extra power since you can only move once with a Herb and did a casual 7 damage with unmodified 8 dice, then threw a Dwarf that Vision had been beating up into Rider to daze both. That was my biggest spike all weekend. Doctor Voodoo, the Sons’ Luke Cage and Sam were all left out of the giant battle on one Terrigen and my Herb destination, but that scrum was a legendary battle. The game ended at 16-8, but man was I sweating for it. Christian is the only guy all weekend to come anywhere near actually taking my Hulk off the table.
My final game of Friday was against the other undefeated player of the day, Aaron England. He had a Black Order/Midnight Sons list that was pure carnage, so I unfortunately knew this would be the game where I could not play Hulk. At 20 threat, Gamma Alien ship was going to be a nightmare. I played as wide as possible with Sam, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Iron Man, Voodoo and Vision against a brutal team of Blade, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Corvus and Proxima. Considering my opponent had Bitter Rivals, I was feeling pretty spooked. He did not waste any time attacking, we both only scored 1 VP round 1 because everyone else was on the middle point to the level that finding places to stand was neigh impossible. Also, Luke died round 1 and dazed top of 2 which meant I was basically playing 17 v 20 for the rest of the game. That being said, it took Bitter Rivals on Vision, the double Corvus Proxima activation and Siege of Darkness to totally put Luke down. I used the Leadership trigger to move the Bitter Rivals target, Vision, into position once all was said and done. Then, something beautiful happened. I threw a car at Iron Fist, got everything lined up, and beamed my opponent’s entire team twice. This dazed Proxima, Iron Fist and Blade while doing heavy damage and sapping key power from Ghost Rider and Corvus. I was able to use Escort to Safety, Sacrifice, and Heroes for Hire to keep Vision alive for the rest of the round and the scoring started to get out of control with me getting every point on Gamma round 2. Round 3 was a continued bloodbath, but since I had Voodoo on his back Gamma shelter my opponent had to make a choice at where he committed harder, and he chose to push into my side of the board. Damage was certainly dealt, but that left Voodoo open to double attack Blade and throw him for the last bit of damage, KOing him. The split became too hard to manage, and I ended up taking the center and my own Gamma shelter again. Enough of my models had been dazed that I got priority for the next round, and I used it to daze Corvus with a Vision throw that got him out of position, and when I wound up an Iron Fist for my next activation Aaron chose to concede as he did not see a path to victory. The final score of 14-2 does not at all illustrate the bloodbath of a game that we played.
Sunday – Top Cut
My first opponent was another SoCal buddy of mine, Brandon who had a Dark Dimension list that made top 16. I think there were actually 2, but I do not know if the other one got played. Anyway, it was Herbs and Deadly Meteors at 15, and this madman actually played Dorm at 15 with Iron Fist, Bullseye and Okoye backing him up. I played Sam, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Hulk. I scored the Meteors round 1 and then never again, and his Bullseye basic did 4 damage to my Iron Fist in the first attack of the game. OUCH. While Sam hung out near my Herb destination and locked down that meteor, Luke and Danny brawled hardcore in the middle with his Iron Fist and Bullseye until the big firey dude got involved as well. Since Brandon had Smash, I had Hulk double move, grab the herb and then throw a size 4 into a size 3 to alleviate potential Smash targets. Unfortunately it was not enough. Next round my Iron Fist was loaded with power since he dazed round 1, and burned Heroes for Hire with his Iron Fist into Dormammu. Then I disarmed Dormammu to stem the brutal tide of Smash. So Dorm was only rolling 8 dice instead of 10. Yeah, a lot of my dudes died. Sam leadership plus Gamma Leap plus Assemble means Hulk gets to start scoring the Herb though, even though I started losing the meteors. Now things got rough. Brandon just hard committed to murder and send the whole squad towards Hulk after finishing off my Iron Fist, and I spend the rest of the game trying to keep him alive and scoring the all powerful Herb. Sam healing kept Hulk trucking long enough that I was able to win this one 18 to 9 but this without that healing and status removal Hulk would have absolutely died.
Next round I won priority and took my opponent to Gamma, while he selected Spider Infected and chose 17 points. I got to play my favorite squad in the game currently with Hulk, Vision, Captain Steve and Iron Man. This was the only game all tournament that I did not field Luke Cage. My opponent Matt played Guardians with Star Lord, Drax, Angela and Hulkbuster. Brief story time: I saw a lot of Hulkbusters this weekend, and this was the first time I got to fight one. And I really wanted to kill one with Hulk. So I did. But yeah, Vision and Hulk on Gamma with Follow Me and priority is absolutely devastating. Once Hulkbuster was down, a 14 die Helios Lazer also managed to do 1 damage to Hulk, so it just was not his day.
Christian (Zagar) and I got a rematch in the semifinals. Terrigen got picked again, but this time it was Spider Infected. As much as I wanted to play Hulk again, Christian got closer than anyone to dazing him and at 20 points I had no doubt that’s what he would be going for. I took Sam, Luke, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Vision and Voodoo vs his familiar team of Blade, Ghost Rider, Voodoo, Cage and Dwarf. This game is also a blur but it was extremely close, it ended up coming down to whether or not Voodoo could generate 3 power off of a builder to possess Luke Cage. I played Midnight Sons in TTS Season 6 so I knew what he would not like to see, and once again Vision was able to dominate his Blade and do serious damage to basically everyone else. Once I got a VP lead at 13 to something slightly less, I just grabbed as many Spider people as I could and ran for the hills. Oh, also Iron Fist Falcon Punched Black Dwarf into Voodoo and blew him away. Midnight Sons are an extremely powerful team no doubt, but I think my experience piloting them game me a slight advantage even though new Ghost Rider changes them a lot and Christian is an incredibly intelligent and strong opponent. I look forward to playing with him more since he is also a SoCal guy.
And with that, I was in the Grand Finals. Surreal as anything, my brain was exploding and stimulated to the max. My unpainted kings and I had knocked out everyone’s teeth up until now. I didn’t even realize there were people watching until I would hear them say stuff. Mike DeLuca is a great player and the crisis setup we ended up on definitely gave him a slight advantage, but I also made a couple of serious misplays. I kept healing my dudes because I don’t like seeing my team dying even though I was playing Sam, then I burned Heroes for Hire and power off Cage to keep Iron Man alive, completely forgetting that Miles’ Venom Blast attack exists. Additionally, I completely screwed up with a Hulk movement and started scoring Herbs a round later than I should have. It was an absolutely fabulous game, mistakes and all, and I applaud Mike for fucking up less than I did and being a stellar player/opponent in any case. Anyway, Mike won Priority and it was Extremis/Herbs at 15. Since my roster was unpainted, this was the only game of mine that Omnus (one of the TO’s and a great dude) recorded, it can be found here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCBhKI1XD48&ab_channel=OmnusProtocol)
Crazily enough, Mike was one of the only Web Warriors playing at LVO despite them being easily one of the best affiliations available, and they are something I have clearly not gotten enough practice against. This tournament was my first real one, and for me will be unforgettable. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to EVERYONE who played with me this weekend. I look forward to the next time we all meet again on the field of battle.
Shameless self plug, my discord is hyperVIPER#2682, my twitch is https://www.twitch.tv/hyperviper997 and the about page has links to my youtube, which has vods of many of my games.