Magik: She’s mobile, can chase extract carriers very effectively with her non-action movement and hits fairly above her weight class.
Jean Grey: With Shield Mind, she can stop a fair amount of control from the likes of Thanos. She brings another size 4 terrain throw and a unique displacement tool that can be used on both allied and opposing models.
Ghost-Spider: Gwen brings a very mobile control piece. Cover helps her stay longer on the board as she’s relatively fragile and the X-Men jump synergises well with her Spider-Technique.
Pyro: He brings in a very crippling tool with Firewall that helps leverage X-Men’s inherent mobility and impairs opposing models. He also brings an additional source of incinerate and can spread the one Domino applies. Pyro also brings his signature Tactics Card, Pyrotechnics, which can give a huge VP swing and controls the board.
Doctor Voodoo: He brings another mystic attacker, a 50mm base, scenario pressure with Possession and is another source of displacement.
Game #1: X-Men vs Guardians of the Galaxy, Sword/Montesi (18)
Teams: Storm, Beast, Rogue, Jean, Pyro vs Star Lord, Groot, Nebula, Gamora, Toad, Rhino
Before I get into game one, I need to provide additional context to put it in perspective. I attended LVO with one of my good friends and regular sparring partner who, unfortunately for them, weren’t qualified for the invitational. After playing a very demanding 5 rounds on Friday, they end up 4-1, securing the 8th place and a spot in the invitational. After drawing the first round, much to our dismay, we have to play each other already.
I chose to go with what I would’ve brought for a regular Guardians with Thanos match up, which turned out to be a mistake, since after all the practice we got in for LVO, he figured Thanos would stay on the bench. We trade points back and forth, but having a wider squad on Sword makes them take the lead for most of the game, which I only manage to win in the last round thanks to a lucky dice spike from Jean. Having played so much together, my friend was able to keep me on the ropes all game long. But we had a good game, and I carry on to the next round.
Game #2: X-Men vs X-Men, Sword/Hammers (18)
Teams: Storm, Beast, Magik, Domino, Gwen, Pyro vs Storm, X-23, Magik, Logan, Red Skull Master of Hydra
Round 2 I get to face the X-Men mirror, which is a match up I don’t have much experience with. I avoid the same mistake I did in round one and go 6 wide to maximise my number of activations for the sword consoles. Since my opponent had a fair number of high threat models (Red Skull, Master of Hydra, Hulk and Malekith), I really wanted to fit both Pyro and Gwen, which I couldn’t do at 5 wide on 18 and would be a bad call on 15 since I would probably have been facing Hulk without enough tools to deal with him. We trade blows, but I manage to out activate him to gain a majority of Sword consoles to close the game 16-9
Game #3: X-Men vs Criminal Syndicate Infinity Formula/Paranoia (17)
Teams: Storm, Beast, Logan, Gwen, Voodoo vs Shadowland Daredevil, Rhino, Black Cat, Pyro, Mystique
After seeing my opponent’s list, I was expecting a Kingpin led team and not a Daredevil one, especially on Infinity Formula with Black Cat, so I went with a team that could control them fairly well, especially with Logan, Voodoo and Gwen. We play an even round one, but they manages to get a devastating round 2 and I end up down 4 to 12, with him scoring 4 Paranoia tokens and 3 Formulas.
I decided to take a couple minutes off my clock to take a walk and clear my head and come refreshed to the board. I manage to have a very strong swing turn by displacing Mystique, dazing Pyro, possessing Shadowland Daredevil then Black Cat to stop them from scoring to climb back to 9-13 at the end of round 3. The following round, I get to daze Black Cat before she activates and displace his models enough to come back to an even 14-14 at the end of round. On round 5, he activates Black Cat to Grapple Hook, steal a token from Logan then double moves to the edge of the board, which lets me reposition Ghost-Spider out of range of Mystique, and in range to use Life Saver Voodoo far away from Rhino to seal the game.
Honestly, this was one of the most intense game of MCP I’ve ever played and I would like to salute my opponent for not only being a great sport but showing me just how exciting and nail biting a game of MCP can be.
Game #4: X-Men vs Brotherhood of Mutants, Spider-Portals/Montesi (18)
Teams: Storm, Beast, Domino, Magik, Ghost-Spider, Pyro vs Mystique, Sabertooth, Apex Predator, Juggernaut, Bullseye, Rhino.
Spider-Portal and a central extract is pretty much a dream come true for X-Men when the scenarios are revealed. My plan was to grab the central Montesi book and keep parity with the Spider-Portals as much as I could to close the game on turn 4. Credit to my opponent, they tried their best but had a streak of bad luck with an activation where both Rhino and Juggernaut did not manage to daze Storm and failed to secure a Spider-Portal, putting them in a very precarious situation that let me close out the game with a final score of 16-12.
Game #5: X-Men vs Brotherhood of Mutants Redux, Sword and Skrull (20)
Teams: Storm, Beast, Domino, Logan, Pyro, Voodoo vs Mystique, Toad, Juggernaut, Rhino, Hulk
From the get to, I don’t think I chose the right team for this scenario with fairly fragile characters against the team of size 4 that were in my opponent’s roster in addition to not having enough characters with 4 physical defense for the Skrulls. I end up deploying more awkwardly than I wanted because of the terrain, which left my Domino overexposed in round one, leaving my opponent the opportunity to deal with her. I get punished very quickly and efficiently for positioning errors and lose characters to the three size 4’s for which I have little tools to deal with. I take my first loss of LVO and get knocked out in the semifinals in round 4, 12-16.
As the first major event since the latest crisis change, the Las Vegas Open was a wild experience and I had the privilege of meeting and playing with some of the best MCP players from across the world, even making it to the semi-finals (also winning me the best in affiliation prize) which exceeded my expectations by a fair amount. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my performance but one of the biggest highlights of this event was getting to meet a huge amount of MCP players and talk to the amazing folks whom I’m lucky to share this hobby with. I would like to thank everyone who I’ve met and hung out with and to the tournament organisers, the judges and the streamers who all participated in making LVO such a cool event to be at.