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Subject: Spite Finally Triumphs rss

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Arthur Williams
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Finally time to get back to solo games, and this time I’m taking on the super-annoying Spite, fully intending to try and kill him before he flips, despite how futile this is to attempt. I’ve never actually lost to Spite, let’s see if I can manage it today by throwing myself with psychotic intensity into this goal. I had been doing a slow rollout of the promo heroes, but continuing the process requires me to use Prime Wardens Tempst, whose power is useless against Spite; therefore I will choose the Environment which gives him the most to do, the Enclave of the Endlings. Freedom Five Legacy and Captain Cosmic are still traveling with him, and for the first time in solitaire, I’m adding in Setting Sun Ra, who is both the last new promo hero I haven’t tried yet at all (I’ve seen him played, and even killed, but not done it myself), and a very fitting inclusion for a game where I intend to try to accomplish the nigh-impossible even at the risk of my own destruction.

Advanced Spite [80] in the Endling Enclave, vs. Setting Sun Ra [28], Prime Wardens Tempest [24], Captain Infinitor [29], and Freedom Five Legacy [32].

Setup: Safe House puts Innocent Bystander into play. Ra initially draws Summon Staff x2, the Staff of Ra, and Drawn to the Flame. Tempest begins with Ball Lightning, Reclaim From The Deep, Electrical Storm and Grevious Hail Storm. The Captain gets to have Construct Cataclysm, Cosmic Crest, Destructive Response, and Harsh Offense, and for Legacy there’s the Legacy Ring, Lead From The Front, Surge of Strength and Superhuman Durability.

Villain 1: Spite would regain 6 HP if he could thanks to Advanced text; add 3 more healing from his innate, and 4 if he kills a Victim (which is often unpreventable), and the heroes really have a stupidly tough climb ahead of them, which they’re fools (or more properly one fool) to even attempt. He plays another Bystander, hits Legacy for 3 [29], and then plays Lab Raid, revealing Compound Upsilon – the heroes won’t be able to keep anything on the table unless they play at least three such cards each round! Where’s Guise when you need him… Not to mention that Spite’s damage has gone up, and thus also his healing.

Ra 1: This version of Ra has an interesting strategic challenge built into him. He can use his innate power to thin his deck, allowing the few cards he didn’t trash and then ash to be recycled over and over; he can also try to use the power before he has any trash, minimizing his losses. I’m not sure which version is best, but I don’t feel like saving two Summon Staffs in my hand, so I burn them both to get three Staffs, and figure that I’ll be breaking those all over Spite’s face before I get around to using Blaze of Glory, which in this game will mostly be demolishing Staffs and Summons to leave my game almost devoid of them. In this process he draws Flame Barrier (which he really doesn’t want!), as well as Inferno. Finishing with the Staff, he throws it for 4 damage [76] and draws Wrathful Gaze.

Tempest 1: Ra may not care about saving the innocents, but Tempest figures he can spare a couple cards, since he’s only actually losing one of them thanks to Reclaim from the Deep. He ditches his two Ongoings, then throws Ball Lightning at Spite [72], and uses Thunderstruck on him too [71], drawing another Grevious Hail Storm.

Captain Cosmic 1: Eager to get in on Reclaim from the Deep, CC throws his two cards that also start with CC, saving the other Bystander, and then uses Harsh Offense. Luck is not really on his side; he gets only 2 damage [69], losing the other Cataclysm, a Sustained Influence, and a Vitality Conduit. He then activates Requital, putting out two Energy Bracers [4] and smashing one of them for a Potent Disruption of Spite’s face [64], leaving the other in play on Legacy (I’d do it to Ra if his self-damage wasn’t irreducible; Tempest is vulnerable to Endling ambush, but the most important thing is to thwart Spite’s healing, so the highest-HP hero - who might manage to get out Lead From The Front eventually, if we can get ahead of Compound Upsilon - gets the nod instead). He ends by drawing Dynamic Siphon.

Legacy 1: Having no cards that are capable of staying in play, Legacy skips his play phase (I should probably have left one of the Bystanders to him, I guess, but too late now), but gives a card play to Tempest, who Reclaims Ball Lightning to his hand as the Staff of Ra and Potent Disruption are set up. Draws Danger Sense.

Enviro 1: Baahsto [7] comes out, attacking the Energy Bracer [3]. That was officially just 16 damage in the first round – not bad, but not nearly good enough against this bastich.

Villain 2: Stupid invincible Spite [70]! Plays Demon’s Kiss, then deals 3 net to Legacy [26], heals [73], puts out PL626 Compound Xi, hits him for 1 more [25] while dealing 2 to everything else [Ra 26, Tempest 22, Cap 27], including Baahsto [5] and the Energy Bracer [1], giving him 11 more healing to put him up to full. Combine that with 3 damage for every power the heroes use, they officially have to give up on racing him; how unsurprising. I swear, he draws his drugs asap every single game; I can’t recall one instance of them and the Lab Raids all being buried under Victims, which statistically ought to happen once in a while.

Ra 2: The team’s strategy having shifted, Ra does play that Flame Barrier after all, as he won’t be Blazing with Glory any time soon, and needs a way to deal damage without being proactive. He isn’t doing any more than counteracting the healing from Demon’s Kiss, but at least that Drug guarantees that he’ll hit Spite every single round. Draws his Staff.

Tempest 2: Now that the party has committed to maximum O/Es rather than minimum, he wishes he’d kept Electrical Storm instead of Ball Lightning; both of these being no longer desired, he plays Grevious Hail Storm and draws Flash Flood.

Cap 2: Knowing that Potent Disruption is coming, even though he no longer especially wants it, Cos puts out Dynamic Siphon, which isn’t super-desirable right now. Unable to touch Spite, he kills Baahsto to remove an Endling that he can siphon life from (I mistyped that as Engling, which is an interesting typo if you know Werewolf: the Apocalypse), then unleashes the beast: Sustained Influence and Augmented Ally are the new reveals, and the latter goes on Tempest while the Siphon is smashed. Actually scratch that, we’ll leave Baahsto alive, put the useless Siphon on Ra just for laughs, and smash the Energy Bracer for 2 damage to Baahsto [3], allowing Sustained Influence to put it back out, protecting Tempest. Finishes by drawing a Vitality Conduit, which leaves him glad to have spared Baahsto’s life. Oh, but I completely forgot to have him take damage [24] and lose cards (the Vitality Conduit plus Autonomous Blade, Wounding Buffer, Harsh Offense and Conservation of Energy) for Compound Xi, so he actually draws a Wounding Buffer.

Legacy 2: Only one card gets to stay in play for the round, two with the aid of Overwatch, so Legacy puts out Danger Sense just as a speed bump, and gives his team the nod. Given that Flame Barrier will definitely happen, Ra plays his Staff to improve the damage...or that would be the plan if Cap hadn’t taken damage, but now Ra is in Spite’s crosshairs, so there’s no point in wasting his Flame Barrier when it will be healed by Demon’s Kiss. So he just adds another speedbump in the form of Wrathful Gaze – except no, that would get Legacy damaged! Screw it,Legacy skips a phase for the second time in a row, and draws Bolster Allies.

Enviro 2: Baahsto’s near-death experience has sent him fleeing back to the Endling Refuge, where Jansa Vi Dero [25] waits to succor his wounds [4], though not before he tags Augmented Ally for 1 [3]. If Spite didn’t already have all his drugs, one Lab Raid would get four of them off this layout.

Villain 3: Laughs maniacally as the heroes rewind Danger Sense and Grevious Hail Storm. Plays Collateral Damage, blasts Ra [22], absorbs the Flame Barrier with only momentary discomfort, and plays the expected Lab Raid. Hm, okay, the Endling Refuge is basically a space elevator, we’ll say, and he has just shut the door and launched it into orbit, leaving the heroes trapped on the surface with him. Extracting the last two Drugs from his deck (their sequence is irrelevant), I discover that one of them is missing! Oh wait, it was in his trash somehow, when that isn’t legally possible. Well whatever. Demon’s Kiss and Mind-Phyre then proceed to deal 1 net damage to Tempest [21] and 3 to each other hero [Ra 19, Cap 21, Legs 22], destroying the Augmented Ally and leaving the other Constructs at [1]. That was the last turn for Spite’s deck; the lifetapping will end after this round.

Ra 3: Lays down the Staff of Ra, as his Flame Barrier will be relevant now. Draws Flesh of the Sun God, a very important card for this version of him, if he has enough other ongoings to keep it intact.

Tempest 3: Replays Grevious Hail Storm and draws Lightning Slash.

CC 3: Plays Destructive Response, then ends his turn by drawing Potent Disruption. Too bad I didn’t know that was there, as it would have been helpful here.

Legacy 3: Bolsters the team with Fortitude, Augmented Ally, Otherworldly Resilience, and Flame Spike. Tempted by Overwatch, but skips it for now. Draws Motivational Charge.

Enviro 3: Orbo [25] looms into play, heedless of the danger. He munches on Legacy [19], who forgot to have Danger Sense this round; the 2+1 damage he takes this way would have been the same total as the 3 which would have happened if he had braved Compound Xi instead, but oh well. It’ll be Orbo’s last meal, let’s hope he enjoyed it.

Villain 4: FLIP! Collateral Damage is destroyed before Ra ever had a chance to profit from it. I’m pretty sure the healing from Spite’s advanced flip happens before he takes damage from the Safe House, so with 1 point of advanced reduction plus the Compound Omicron armor leaves him taking 7 [73]. Compound Upsilon rewinds Grevious Hail Storm and Destructive Response. He deals every Hero 2 projectile damage, -1 for Tempest [Legs 17, Cap 19, Tempest 20, Ra 17] and is hit in return by the Flame Barrier, having only advanced armor against it to counteract the Staff bonus [71]; Captain Cosmic is something of a liability here, since the lowest-HP hero is usually safe, but in this case only a Construct is spared from lethal damage, with the Energy Bracer staying. Not for long, though; Demon’s Kiss deals 2 across the board [Legs and Ra 15, Cap 17], with Tempest again being protected [19] but only for as long as the Bracer survives. Mind-Phyre then acts, dealing another 2 across the board [Legs and Ra 13, Cap 15, Tempest 17] with pieces of Orbo’s corpse. (It’d be really nice if the damage came from the Environment cards instead of from Spite on that one, although there would of course be issues.) That’s it for the Drug-Wracked Monstrosity’s first turn, and all the subsequent ones will be much the same.

Ra 4: Plays Drawn to the Flame because he has a plan; he isn’t ready to Blaze of Glory yet, so he activates the new card for just 1 damage to Spite, bouncing off advanced armor, but taking 3 damage in order to get Flame Barrier through...except that Compound Upsilon hasn’t acted yet, so that won’t work. So skip the power, he just draws an Inferno.

Tempest 4: Plays Otherworldly Resilience, unsure if he can manage to keep it, and draws Ball Lightning.

Captain Cosmic 4: Plays Destructive Response, then activates Requital [13], discarding Unflagging Animation, Conservation of Energy, Unflagging Animation, Potent Disruption, and Vitality Conduit, then playing Wounding Buffer, Sustained Influence (whew!), and Dynamic Siphon, putting both Constructs on Legacy. Draws Cosmic Weapon.

Legacy 4: Plays Fortitude, then activates Overwatch, with Compound Xi dealing only 1 to him [12] (discards Lead From The Front, Bolster Allies, Motivational Charge, Inspiring Presence, and Take Down), allowing him to also play Lead From The Front. If he were a little less nearly-dead, he’d be able to stop Spite cold, while the other players did nothing but play stuff for Upsilon to unwind. Draws Back-Fist Strike.

Enviro 4: Korruption [9] enters play, clearly in cahoots with Spite, since he deals no damage to him. Tempest and Legacy are protected, but the middle two heroes take 2 instances of damage [Ra 11, Cap 13].

Villain 5: Destructive Response and Sustained Influence go back into CC’s hand; 2 damage goes across the board, but the first instance to be resolved is Legacy’s, where only 1 gets through [11], and the Wounding Buffer goes off, dealing 2 damage which is reduced to 1 by advanced armor, then uses up Upsilon. The Buffer itself must take no damage, because Dynamic Siphon needs to [2]; this lets Legacy activate Overwatch [10], and he tells Tempest to play a Lightning Slash while Upsilon is down, putting 4 damage through [67]. Spite then hits Ra [9] and is Flame Barriered back for 2 net [65]. Tempest takes just 1 [16], and Cap would take 2, but Legacy opts to protect him and lose another 1 [9]. Demon’s Kiss then sweeps across the party; Legacy takes the hit for Ra as well as himself [7], and Dynamic Siphon is destroyed while Wounding Buffer survives for a second. Tempest loses 1 [15], Cap loses 2 [11], and Mind-Phyre destroys Korruption to send out more damage; Legacy again takes Ra’s hit and is left at [5], Tempest is at [14], and CC joins the single-digit squad at [9].

Ra 5: Flesh of the Sun God comes out, and Ra is finally in business; he Blazes with Glory, using up and completely ignoring Upsilon as well as the advanced armor, for 3 full damage to Spite [62]. Compound Xi hits him back, but that just means Flame Barrier can happen (the exact order matters because of Upsilon, but I think I was doing it wrong earlier, I believe the power completely resolves and then the aftereffects happen – in the case of cards in an un-stacked deck, as with happened with CC, it doesn’t officially matter, but here it matters a lot because of Upsilon); Ra goes to [6], Spite to [60], and Ra’s deck loses Excavation and Flame Spike to the sunset (as well as the one Summon Staffs and the just-destroyed Drawn to the Flame), plus Flame Barrier, another Flesh of the Sun God, Scorched Earth, the last Flesh of the Sun God, and a Summon Staff all discarded by Xi. Satisfied, he draws Solar Flare and is very excited to team up with Legacy.

Tempest 5: Replaying Grevious Hail Storm might be wise, but it wouldn’t get through for any damage at this point, so he just throws some Ball Lightning, getting through for all of 1 damage thanks to Upsilon [59]. Draws another Resilience.

CC 5: Plays Destructive Response, then Requitals: Dynamic Siphon goes on Ra, Augmented Ally on Legacy, and Cosmic Weapon on Legacy again (Tempest would rather have it, except that it’ll never survive to get back to him). Compound Xi hits him [7] and he ditches all but the last two cards in his deck, drawing one of them which is an Autonomous Blade. No Requital next turn, it seems.

Legacy 5: Discarding Superhuman Durability, he activates Overwatch at the start of his turn, taking 1 damage [4] and letting him play Motivational Charge. He also plays the Legacy Ring, then Motivational Charge uses up Upsilon while healing everyone [Legacy 5, Cap 8, Tempest 15, Ra 7], and Cosmic Weapon gets through for 2 [57]. Draws Next Evolution.

Enviro 5: Finally the heroes have some help: Bloogo shows up [13]. He’s only protecting a Construct, but if there’s any chance that Legacy can keep his Cosmic Weapon, it’s totally worth it.

Villain 6: Rewinds Lead from the Front and Otherworldly Resilience; they’re useful, but everything else is more so. Hits the Dynamic Siphon [2], letting Ra fire Blaze of Glory; he deals 3 irreducible to Spite [54], reluctantly destroys Flame Barrier, and loses it and a Summon Staff along with Scorched Earth and Living Conflagration. Compound Xi hits him for 3 [4], then the attack hits him for 2 more [2]. The Augmented Ally is hit [2], then Bloogo takes a hit for Cosmic Weapon [11]; Tempest takes the full 2 [13], as does Cap [6], and Legacy takes 1 [4]. I realized in the course of this that Ra was going to die, but then that’s his shtick, so keeping Destructive Response for his sake seems reasonable; it’s just too bad that he never got to do the Solar Flare thing. The Augmented Ally is spared from this blast, and that’s a problem because I need it to die – actually we’ll spare Bloogo by selecting the Weapon as the non-hit, and Augmented Ally takes 2 [2]. Demon’s Kiss then goes off, directly hitting Bloogo to put him at [11] after all, and blowing up Augmented Ally, allowing the Destructive Response to happen. Ra smashes his Staff of Ra on Spite’s head for 3 net [51], dying to Compound Xi before he could die to Demon’s Kiss. (To have avoided Ra’s premature demise, I’d have needed to rewind Destructive Response and keep Lead From The Front; another option was to rewind Flesh of the Sun God and/or Flame Barrier, giving up on Blaze of Glory, but this version was more fun, and better suits my intention to risk my life in search of a memorable victory over Advanced Spite, rather than the usual humdrum way of beating him.) Continuing with the carnage, Tempest drops to [11], Cap to [4], and Legacy to [3]; Bloogo is hit both directly, as previously mentioned, and indirectly to protect Cosmic Weapon, leaving him at [7]; the Siphon dies away, an echo of Ra’s voice having outlasted him. Then Mind-Phyre destroys Bloogo outright, dealing more damage; Cap and Legacy both wind up at [2] and Tempest finally enters the single digits [9], with Cosmic Weapon left at [2].

Ra 6: Since we’re nowhere near the point of needing to explode his soul, the deceased Ra grants a card play to get Lead From The Front back out.

Tempest 6: Replays his Resilience and draws a Lightning Slash. He has so many big blasts, but they’re so pathetic when they have to punch through Compound Upsilon!

Cap 6: His last turn is pretty much worthless; the best he can manage is an Augmented Ally on the comparably moribund Legacy. (Wounding Buffer would have a similar upshot, but is less proactive, and I can spare a card to try and make some healing happen.) Draws the last card of his deck, which is his final Harsh Offense; he’ll never have the chance to play it.

Legacy 6: His last turn, almost certainly, but he’ll make it count: Next Evolution would be useful if not for Spite’s randomly diverse array of damage types (you would always pick Toxic first to prevent Xi damage, and if Cap and the Legacy Ring could give you extra powers, you could then block other damage types to protect the party with Lead From The Front, but it would take four total powers in a round to stop Spite entirely), so he discards it to Motivational Charge, bypassing Upsilon for the turn and healing the party [Tempest 10, the other three heroes – counting the Cosmic Weapon in place of Ra – 3 each]. He plays a Surge of Strength, and then gets two Powers, dying to Xi damage after the second one; the first is Cosmic Weapon for 3 net [48], and then Back-Fist Strike for 4 more [44]. Augmented Ally and Cosmic Weapon briefly remain in place.

Enviro 6: Phrentat shows up, his damage bouncing off Spite, being reduced against Tempest [9], and cutting the Augmented Ally down to [2] along with the Weapon and Cap himself. (He’s basically running a Mirror Image spell at this point; too bad Spite can deal splash damage.)

Villain 7: Tempest’s Resilience can’t be maintained with only one other hero around; Cap escapes Spite’s innate attack, but Demon’s Kiss does him in, while Tempest drops to [3]. Cap sets up his deck of constructs, fat lot of good it will do him – even if he lucks into getting an Energy Bracer on Tempest, he still won’t survive, because neither of the other incapped heroes can give him a second armor point. Tempest could spend all three card plays per round (his own, Ra’s, and Legacy’s) on keeping the Resilience down, except that he isn’t holding two other non-one-shot cards. Ra’s 10 irreducible damage could decide this game if it was somewhat close, but with Tempest needing to punch through Upsilon on every card he plays, he can only do 3 or 4 damage in the round, so Spite will have a solid 30 life left by the time his last opponent succumbs. For story purposes, I’ll assume that the villain spares the surviving hero to tell the story of his victory...I guess this was a prequel to every other Spite game I’ve ever played, as he finally seems to deserve the curbstomping I’ve given him in every previous attempt (other than the two or three times that I just quit in disgust after misplacing one of his fiddly bits).

So, at last, Spite has managed to beat my heroes fair and square – granted, it was my fault for playing so aggressively when I knew this wouldn’t work, basically wasting my entire first round of turns, but this is appropriate, as the heroes can hardly be expected to react with cool heads and a perfectly calculated plan, when their opponent is a serial killer who taunts them about how dangerous he is and dares them to come after him before he can strike again. He basically trolled the heroes into walking into his trap, with all his drugs within arm’s reach and not wasting any time trying to kill Victims, and as a result, he beat them decisively...but at least the Innocent Bystanders (who, it seems, were actually Jansa and Baahsto) remained perfectly safe. The heroes’ sacrifice will be remembered. On a space elevator.
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I play 3 heroes solo and hate Spite, regular, promo or advanced. I lost to him 5 times before I houseruled his innate healing ability. He still heals when victims are destroyed though. It makes for a much better game IMO. Thanks for the report!
 
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