It’s Latin, and Sexy

April 25, 2008

Point of Origin:


In extremis is a Latin phrase meaning “in the furthest reaches” or “at the point of death”.

From Wikipedia’s Entry on Iron Man’s Powers:

After being critically injured during a battle with the Extremis-enhanced Mallen, Stark injects his nervous system with a modified techno-organic virus (the Extremis process) that not only saves his life, but also fuses Stark’s armor to his body. This allows him to store the inner layers of the Iron Man armor in the hollows of his bones as well as control it through direct brain impulses. Stark can control the layer of the armor underneath his skin and make it emerge from numerous exit points around his limbs as a gold-colored neural interface under-sheath. While in this form, Stark has technopathic control of armor and can suit up at any time, calling the larger components to him. Furthermore, the Extremis process has increased his body’s recuperative and healing abilities.

From Ben Seck:

Initial Thoughts:

Well It’s 6:00 PM on April 14th. 11 Days before you read this, here I am with a strange bit of a puzzle. Keep in mind that today we started Warbound previews, and I’m contemplating the Stunt Doubles deck that you may or may not have already read my thoughts on. So we’re already starting at an off place.

I’ll be honest, my first thought when The Superstation sent the e-mail was ‘Oh… it’s… it’s Armor of Doom for Iron Man. I guess that’s flavorful, but there isn’t a lot to say about a piece of equipment we’ve had sitting in decks since last August.’ My second thought was trying to remember is MVL was released in August or September. Then I wanted coffee.

After I made myself an Americano, extra shot(For those who love starbucks, save your money and just get the espresso from there. The Espresso make is worth it if you hit starbucks more than thrice a week.) I noticed something strange. Armor of Doom costs 1 point to equip. Extremis Upgrade costs 0. That means once Iron Man drops, so does his protection. Interesting. That means it’s more functional as a throw away piece of armor. I don’t mean it’s useless, I mean it can be used more recklessly than a piece of armor that I have to underdrop to put into play.

With that, Bizarro.dec just got worse. Now it can run 8 pieces of equipment that I can KO instead of stunning Clark’s imperfect clone. That combined with Stunt Doubles already means that without everyone’s favorite Happy Hour Regular I can make use of it. So I’ve established there is a functional use for the card. Excellent. Now to determine the range of functionality.

Functions(Non to Mid Jank)

The obvious use of this card is to keep Tony alive. This is pretty standard. We’ve seen it with Armor of Doom. The big difference is the cost. You can just equip another one for free next turn if you have it. That makes it a LOT more powerful, simply because you’re not forced to decide between a 4 drop or a protected 3 drop. Again, keep in mind that the stuff you’ve been drooling over this week is still a mystery to me as of this writing. I’m looking at the only legal Iron Man for Silver. Iron Man, Illuminati gets +3 DEF if the top card of your deck is a plot twist as checked at the beginning of combat. Neat. a 3 drop with potential to stun a 4 drop now can do so carte blanche.

The Stunt Doubles deck kinda makes weird use of this. it’s non unique so both Basil and Mystique can both have one at the same time. Between that and The Next Brotherhood, it makes mystique nasty on offense as well as leaving her sitting there to counterstun their attackers. Good times. Basil doesn’t get the mileage out of it that Mystique does. He’s a 9/10 meaning that without pumps the majority of 5 drops are going to just bounce off his muddy hide anyway. Still, Stunt Doubles can make use of the card a good deal. So it’s got moderate versatility.

Now looking at things we’ve seen from MUN, I see a pretty interesting stall strategy. Captain America, 6 drop, prevents people from becoming stunned. He’s an avenger. Iron Man can safely assume to be an Avenger at this point. Then we throw in a bit of the fantastic 4, who have both pier 4 and a bit of equipment search. Now imagine this scenario: It’s turn 6. Captain America is safely sitting behind Iron Man, ensured by Coast City. Iron Man has 2 Extremis Upgrades on him. Attack 1 comes, blows up the Upgrade. Attack 2 offs the next upgrade. On the third attack, Steve helps Tony out, so you don’t even need to THINK about defensive pumps until their 4th attack. If we have a way to recover expended Equipment then you have a hell of a stall method.

I think the real strength of the armor, though, goes back to its 0 cost. What that says to me is access to the more vicious attack pumps(All Too Easy!, Blinding Rage, Etc.) that transfer your DEF to ATK without losing a defender, or leaving your Iron Man open to effects that target stunned characters, or the obvious loss of endurance from stun. Here’s where the versatility of the card really becomes worth comment outside an aside about ‘Well of course Stunt Doubles can Use it, it’s a legend card’.

Secret Society is the master of recursion. They have ways and means, a true presence in the recycling community. So as It’s been 7 hours since I got the card(Yes, it took me an hour to write what you’ve seen so far) and we finally have a deck that makes use of the card in an interesting, and probably unintended manner. Injustice Gang is the delicious, smooth chocolate to Secret Society’s hearty, satisfying peanut butter. Their best attack pump normally leaves my attacker’s DEF at a goose egg. Basil can throw on the Armor(finding a way to discard an Iron Man can’t be too difficult in a Secret Society deck), and drop every all too easy! and blinding Rage you have without losing a potent defender. This sets you up for an interesting turn 5 finisher, as his DEF(especially with Agility!) should soak up if not completely shrug off attack.

One other thought that I think makes this card good is that it’s Uncommon. Given the lessons from DCL and MVL, Rares can be difficult to get ahold of. The sheer availability factor already makes the card worth a good hard look. It’s going to be in your card boxes.

Preview -4

So I’m writing this in the aftermath of Hulk Week. Looking at Extremis Upgrade now, I’m curious to see what today brings in the way of Iron Man previews. With Iron Man vs. The Hulk, I see some interesting fights. Again, I write this with the excitement of the first Iron man previews still shooting through my veins.

I’m hoping for a 5 drop. Regardless, a 4 drop Iron man basically fizzles Hulk, Gladiator. Extremis allows you to resist a lot of the Hulk’s madness. Something special tingles when I think about Extremis+Reinforcement is nice. You take no damage, and still have a defender to soak up damage. The F4/Avengers work up seems nice. Two Extremis Upgrades on Iron Man, Two Stall Shields on Captain America, and Two Fantasticar 2.0’s on 3 drop Invisible Woman to pumps people up. I can’t wait for MUN to come out so this Herbert Hoover deck can really come to fruition.

Preview -3

So it’s Tuesday. After the wave of previews that’s been dropped over the past 18 hours, my head’s spinning. Avengers/TT is looking REALLY good. I say this because Beastboy, Garfield Logan can protect Iron Man, stay in play, and get continuously bigger while Extremis can go onto Tony to keep him safe from Flight, and an opening from Beastboy getting stunned. Between that kind of reliability, and Stark Armory making both of them bigger every turn you have a solid 3 and 4 drop who work together, with Extremis, to stay alive until a massive 6 drop Beatstick comes in and they both swing with 6 Drop Stats. Protecting Iron Man, Mighty Avenger makes Garfield a target of sorts, which not only enters him into combat, but should get him stunned as well. So between Call of the Wild and constant combat and recovery from Iron man he gets huge. The fun part is Clawyface dropping on 5, with the Finisher on 6. That means Extremis can protect two characters, and Iron man Keeps Beast Boy on the table so you have for full curve on 6, while whittling the opposing side down to almost nothing. Stark Armory then takes all of the +1/+1 Counters from Tony after his swing and puts them on Basil, making the imitator a 13/14. So Using extremis to maintain board presence allows you to effectively swing with four 6 Drops on turn six. The more I look at this card, the more important I’m seeing it as being. It keeps people on the field. That in and of itself is power.

Preview -1

Sorry about the missing day, and the relative shortness of the final entry. Thor, and Hellicarrier were both dropped in the 48 hours since I last spoke of the subject. Thor is easier to get to. Hellicarrier is another card that really makes me like Extremis. It allows you to jump a turn without losing the sexiness of Iron Man, Mighty Avenger’s leader ability.

Final Thoughts from Kenpachi

We’ve seen the effect before. It’s been on Kevlar body Armor, and Armor of Doom. The real kicker is the cost. The environment dictates the exact use of the card. The Modern environment, as it’s shaping up post MUN, is going to be as varied as the players who come to the tourneys. From Secret SocietyS/SHIELD army love that constantly recycles the armor to keep Tony alive, to the unstoppable wall of a Team Superman/Avengers build that uses Maggie Sawyer to reinforce and Extremis to keep him from getting stunned as a form of ultimate stall tek, the Artists of the Vs community will find ways to make use of the potential power from the card. New variants of classic Kevlar Strategies and brand new tek borne of the creativity and innovation that have come to define the modern Vs Community are both inevitable.

Onward to June 10th.

A Final Thought From Erin

As I’m Anti-Registration, Iron Man has been on my bad list for the last year. I’m not an expert on Iron Man. So I asked one of my friends, who doesn’t play Vs., about Extremis. After explaining what she did, she had this to say: “I think that’s about the best way for a collectible card game to represent Extremis. You can’t get rid of Extremis like that, but I like it. The thing that gets me is that it’s not an ‘upgrade’. You either have Extremis or not. Still, completely awesome!”

With the final words from an Iron Man fangirl, enjoy the card.


5 Responses to “It’s Latin, and Sexy”

  1. Cliff Says:

    Sweet Sweet Sweet Goodness.

  2. rorschachinkblog Says:

    Just one point … Bizarro.dec will never get an opportunity to use this, as Bizarro World will change with the new sets release [unless the DC contract dispute somehow freezes it in time as well].

  3. soshikenpachi Says:

    Yeah, I kinda forgot about that. Still, stunt doubles still can use it. I really need to get that article up… *sigh*

  4. […] missed. The first being this lovely piece of equipment, courtesy of Soshi Kenpachi over at his Tek Upgrade […]

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