The Big Project: A Comprehensive History of Vs. System.

Craig Edwards

Me and My Playmat

Mathieu Brochu

It took a while to get to that point.  Winning a feature match on the mothership against a $24,000 Pro Circuit Runner-Up, while flipping cards on my own face, did not happen overnight.  We built this history, as a community, card by card, brick by brick.

I propose a project.  I will catalog and coordinate the effort.  You give me dates and events.  Triumphant tourneys, sloppy afterparties, local legends.  Tell us your Vs. Sytem stories, and they will be included in the document. Together we will give the world a hobby-based history lesson they will never forget.

If you need a slap in the memory, most of our top level competitive chronicles are housed in that link.  Click around in there for basic time checks if you need to.  You can post your entries in the comment section of this blog, or in the thread on Realms.  I will update the master list daily, here on the blog, in the comment section of this post.  We will choose a random historical contributor each week for a series of special prizes.  That’s right, you can win rares and tee-shirts just for posting your good times.

I want to include everything from Pro Circuits to kitchen tables, so tell me any highlights you can remember, placing them on the timeline.  I will start with some basic bones, and the community can help flesh out the rest.  This will be big fun, here we go…

January 1, 2004: Upper Deck announces a Million Dollar Pro Circuit for their new Vs. System trading card game, in the pages of Inquest Magazine.

February 12, 2004: VsRealms.com is launched, creating a community center that quickly catches fire.

April 1, 2004: Vs. System’s first expansion set, Marvel Origins, is released.

(Flash forward to August 18th, 2007, and you will find Craig Gibson, the absolute master of Coverage Photography, snapping the shots you see above.  The Comprehensive History of Vs. System project is underway right now, and it continues in the comments.  See you there.)

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “The Big Project: A Comprehensive History of Vs. System.

  1. January 1, 2004: Upper Deck announces a Million Dollar Pro Circuit for their new Vs. System trading card game, in the pages of Inquest Magazine.

    February 12, 2004: VsRealms.com is launched, creating a community center that quickly catches fire.

    April 1, 2004: VsSystem cards are released for the first time as an expansion set with Marvel Origins.

  2. August 18, 2007: Guy in banana suit makes Top 8 running Wild Vomit.

    March 16, 2008: The Comprehensive History of Vs. Sytem project begins.

  3. soshikenpachi

    October 2007: Marvel Universe is revealed to be a partially fan designed set, with the masses voting on Legend, Mechanic focus, Story Basis, and Affiliations.

  4. February 2008: The first-ever original art and uncut sheet prizes are awarded at Mega-Weekend Los Angeles, and X-babies takes Miami:

    http://entertainment.upperdeck.com/vs/en/news/article.aspx?aid=3874

  5. May 2004: First $10K tournament, in Philly at Wizard World. Too early for Metagame coverage. I have hundreds of memories of that, including future designers and PC Champions. Talking Sentinel tech with Yip and Leader? Mmm.

    (Thanks, Dragon!)

  6. December 2004: My teammate Billy Zonos watches with a grin from the rail in the feature match area, urging me forward as I destroy Chris Price with my mighty Unus. Then Ryan Jones, another Team Realmworx member, wins the whole thing.

    Making us the first official team to claim the crown.

    (Thanks, foilball!)

  7. soshikenpachi

    Ok, I have to throw this in there: That Playmat is Hedonism given form… my god.

  8. You should have seen the crowds it attracted.

    I could list at least 50 different memories of Dave Spears, and grooving on my playmat with him that day was an exclamation point.

  9. May 2006:

    “I think my favorite Vs memory was when my friend and I first started playing Vs at our local store (when Crisis had just come out). We were pretty nervous about what competitive decks would look like. The guys there decied to started off with a big multiplayer match so everyone could get introduced. Anyways, the match goes to turn 7, and my friend has 7 drop Hercules out. He attempts to swing into 2-drop conner hawk of one of the better players that was there that night. The guy looks at him, and asks super daringly “are you sure you want to do that?”. My friend looks, the guy has no cards in his hand, most of his resources are flipped up. Thinks about it seriously, ask some people there if he’s bluffing. No one says anything, dead silence. He thinks some more, acts like hes doing calculations in his mind. He passes, everyone bursts out laughing. To this day we always treat that moment as the pinnacle of intimidation.

    That is my personal favorite moment of Vs. Its what got me into the game, and introduced me to some great people at my local store.”

    (Thanks, Bats!)

  10. OSM

    AMAZING! I didn’t think we’d get this sort of thing done for awhile.

    If we’re talking vs history, not much has impacted the game more than the birth of curve sentinels.dec, and the famous sentinels vs titans war.

  11. Indeed.

    I’ll research that a little more and try to pin down some dates.

  12. kaleeshwarrior

    February 7th, 2007/May 22nd, 2007/July 3rd, 2007:
    The first Vs. System video game, Marvel Trading Card Game, is released for the Sony PSP, Nintendo DS, and PC (respective to dates).

    On a personal note, May 22nd is also the day I went out as soon as my local video game store opened to pick up the game. Life was never the same afterwards…

  13. Silkmane

    Sept 2005: Katrina rolls into N.O. and I run for safety. I take my small carrying case which holds about 300 cards: I always keep it in the car with me. My big case with most of my rares and cool uncommons I leave on the top of the dresser in the utility closet. That’s gotta be a safe place… I’ll just come back and get them in a couple of days.

    1 year later…

    I walk back into my small shootgun house, losing my balance constantly because I keep tripping over my floor which now has more loops than any roller coaster you could imagine. 1st 2 cards I see are 8 drop Apoc and 5 drop Garth: both soaked. You would think that between the 2 of them, somebody could’ve devised a survival strategy to save the rest of my cards.

  14. June 2005: Dr Light posed a crippling threat to the entire VS. metagame, and is thusly crushed down by the hands of the Hump, but only after Jason Hagar pilots his Light Show build to a dominating win at 10k Charlotte.

    On a more personal note, the same day as that 10k, the hearts of every gamer in the area around Springfield Ohio were crushed to tiny little bits, as we learned the unfortunate fate of Keebler Powell’s wonderful FLGS “Howling Wolf” closing it’s doors for good. I still miss that place so much. Now the store is a floral shop… kinda makes me chuckle.

    (Thanks, lizardlightning!)

  15. Same event, June 2005: My friend was trying to get me and another friend to wear bathrobes throughout the entire tournament. You may have seen him there, in his bathrobe with a little cigar in hand. I was going to do it, but changed my mind at the last minute (my other friend too).

    I remember standing around when my friend walked in with the bathrobe and cigar. Random Guy #1: “What’s up with that guy?” Random Guy #2: “I guess he just wanted to be comfortable.” ::shrugs::

    Another time I was flying out to California for a PC. I believe I had a layover in Atlanta. I sat on the plane by the window, waiting for everyone to finish loading the plane. Then someone walked by that I recognized, a pro player in fact. I’ve read about him from various reports on Metagame and other sites. When we landed in California, I went straight towards transportation. So did the pro player. We ended up catching a ride in the same van. After I exited the vehicle, I headed for my hotel (next to the venue), while the pro player went to the venue itself.

    If I had wrote a tournament report for that weekend, that’s how it would have started. And the name of this particular section would have been entitled “Follow the Leader.”

    (Thanks, Techn0range!)

  16. Vidi’s 3 straight PC Finals appearance (winning one) comes to mind. That right there pretty much solidified his position of best vs player, IMO.

    PC: Atlanta 2006
    PC: San Francisco 2006
    PC: Indy 2006

    Oh yeah, who can forget the “Golden Ticket” invites we had on realms all those years back? You won the first one, then they formed the first “Team Realmworx” vs team made up of “scrubs” who didn’t have invites to the first PC, lol.

    I was talking to Hump and Sully this past weekend about how they gave out “courtesy” invites to people of other games for the first PC. They invited guys like Garry Kasparov, Johnny Chan, Chris Moneymaker, etc. We all had a good laugh about that.

    (Thanks, Majestic! Remember, that crazy idea worked… )

    David Williams actually DID play with us, right after winning the $3.5 Million in the WSOP:

    http://metagame.com/vs.aspx?tabid=46&ArticleId=423

  17. November 2004: Just before Man of Steel came out, I wander in to a new store in Sand Springs, Ok. We don’t get many Hobby shops out here so I pop in. I was 15 years old and couldn’t drive so I had the folks take me. They came in for a sec. and left a sec. later.

    I saw the owner playing a card game with a friend and I looked at it. Teen Titans and Spider-man duking it out! Over the next couple days I convince my brother to pool our funds to get the Batman starter. I go in to the store with games to trade in for credit and a small amount of cash. In the end I am still 3 dollars short. The owner sells it to me anyway and I fell in love!

    (Thanks, Grazingcattle!)

  18. June 2006: One of the funniest moments in Vs. System history. Ian Vincent kills himself in an early round of a P ro Circuit C (don’t remember which off the top of my head) by recruiting Ahmed, whilst already having a copy of the king out. Apparently he wanted to get his “vunerable” Ahmed into the hidden area, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Still, he went on to win the whole thing after that loss.

    (Thanks, kamiza!)

    Steve, it was San Fransisco. It was not only hilarious, but it showed the heart of a champion when he recovered to beat all the big name playtesting teams. With a card from the Man of Steel set? Yes, it really happened:

    http://metagame.com/vs.aspx?tabid=46&ArticleId=5981

    In fact, that is my favorite of the PC Champion articles. Amazing story.

  19. March 17, 2008: WordPress chooses the Comprehensive Vs. Sytem History Project for the front page:

    Good times, still happening. Every day, in every way, better and better.

    Especially…

  20. March 16, 2008: One of our best and brightest is commemorated and immortalized by Jonboy Meyers:

    https://fullbodytransplant.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/speaking-of-history/

    Jason Hager deserves it, probably more than any of us. A quality human being, with the greatest deckbuilding mind the game has ever seen.

    Here are some details about the tournament that gave him the chance to become a myth and give Hulk a beatdown:

    http://entertainment.upperdeck.com/vs/en/events/event.aspx?eid=10

    That one deserves its own entry in the project…

  21. May 2007: Upper Deck Entertaiment’s R&D department stages an in-house tournament, using decks submitted from the first season of City Champions, and rewards the winning deckbuilder with his face on a future card.

  22. Monday March 8th 2005:

    “I was bored at work and upset that my card game of choice at the time (WWE RAW DEAL) was failing to inspire any deck-building ideas. “I need a second game” was what I thought to myself. I remembered playing VS the previous year just after it hit the UK. For a while it was big in my local store but died out after a couple of months. I remember thinking it was pretty good, but success seemed too dependant on hitting a curve of characters. So I thought I’d look it up online and see if anything had changed. The article that I found was by Mr. Adam Prosak, a tournament report in which he, unsurprisingly, played Teen Titans. After reading that I was convinced I wanted to build my own titans deck. Team Attacking! Playing off curve! Roy Harper! Press the attack! Teen Titans go! Making complex decisions seemed like what I wanted to do.

    Next I wanted to see if any tournaments were happening in the UK. What I found was that 10K London was in 13 days. Never one to back down from a challenge I resolved to try and build myself a good deck in the next 2 weeks and go and play while my friends were playing Raw Deal. I didn’t think my old X-men deck would cut it, so I emailed a friend I knew who played VS and asked him if he knew any place I could get the titans cards I needed. His response was to the point. It was along the lines of:

    Titans will cost you hundreds of pounds for the cards even if you can get hold of them in time and it’ll be too difficult for you to play. Play curve sentinels instead.

    Knowing good advice when I saw it I looked up curve sentinels and was surprised how simple and powerful they were. I still preferred Titans, but when my store owner pretty much gave me all the cards I needed for the purple robots I thought it was too good an offer to refuse. I didn’t have all the power rares (only 2 Genosha, no Savage Beatdowns) but the 4 Bastions were golden.

    The tournament went well. I won my first 4 or 5 games and even beat Hans Joachim Hoeh along the way. (I think he missed Bastion, so it wasn’t much of an achievement.) My deck behaved very well for me. I hit Bastion in all ten games, although I did not appreciating at the time how lucky that was. I finished 7-3 and in the top 20 and in the money IIRC. What I remember best was losing to a brave and the bold and absolutely loving doing so because I thought the B&B deck was so amazing. I lost (10 +12 +14 = 36) endurance on turn 7 as batman with dynamic duo and teen titans go x2 (thanks to Garth) stunned Nimrod, bastion and magneto. I was blown away.

    It was the 1st time I’d ever played competitive cards and I loved it. The atmosphere wasn’t as jokey or relaxed as I was used to, playing wrestling cards. I was upset by some gamesmanship in one match where I lost my cool because I wasn’t used to that kind of behaviour. But overall I was hooked. I love being able to test my skills at the top level once in a while, as well as playing for fun locally. It was VS that introduced me to that so it was my first time that was the best memory for me.

    Since then I got my Titans cards, played it in a 10K, and found it too complicated! I still credit Adam Prosak for getting me into the game indirectly by writing such a good article.”

    (Thanks, Matt Cooper!)

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