BENDING CARDS

Another BENDING STEEL Blog

THE FLAVOR OF: Scarecrow

Posted by jadecanary on May 7, 2008

This post is simul-posted on the portal of Arkham Asylum. Maybe you might want to read both.

Let’s start with the world famous wiki-link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarecrow_(comics)#Fictional_character_biography

That’s my way of being lazy.

So here’s the deal. I’m going to take a look at the previous incarnations of Scarecrow from UDE’s VS System and put them to the flavor test. Then I have a special surprise for all you fans of Arkham Asylum: Journey Into Madness, coming to an Emerald City Comics and Games store near you (me?).

The Five Fives of Fear.

Let’s start this tour of terror with the original, and my favorite: Scarecrow, Professor Jonathan Crane. This Scarecrow continues the concept, seen in the Doom plot twist “Reign of Terror” of fear translated into VS. Let me start with the boost. “Boost X:When Scarecrow enters play, return all characters with a cost of X or less your opponents control to owner’s hands. For each character returned to hand this way, put two +1 ATK/+1 DEF counters on Scarecrow.” Scarecrow’s fear toxin sends all the small brains scurrying away. All that fear makes Dr. Crane powerful. I say he’s my favorite because I like to drop at least one copy of him into an Arkham Inmates deck… just in case. I remember years ago when I ran Arkham against Wild Vomit and I boosted Scarecrow to 6. My opponent dumped all the Wilds back into Bastion on his swing, and then the other half of Dr. Crane’s power kicked in…

“Whenever Scarecrow stuns an attacker, return that character to owner’s hand. Whenever Scarecrow becomes stunned by a defender, return Scarecrow to owner’s hand.”

Bastion felt fear, and he ran away.

Origins Scarecrow is an amazing card flavor-wise. He sends the little guys running and, if he is scary enough, he’ll send an attacker away. But then again, if he meets his match, like the comic character, he’ll succumb to his own nightmare 5/5

Scarecrow, Psycho Psychologist, the first single-affiliated Injustice Gang-er deviates from the return to hand for more of the team method. He gets counters on a boost, like his predecessor, but unlike the Origins, he has a team-flavor burn. This Scarecrow is the staple 5/6 drop of the Injustice Gang’s hand lock/burn. But is he flavorful? Not so much. This card doesn’t follow the VS style of fear. But it’s still a damn good card for his faction. I will give credit where credit is due: John Van Fleet knocked it out of the park with the art on this one. The only image of Scarecrow you see is the reflection of the villain on his scythe. And his poor hostage, sends a chill up my back thinking of horrors in store for him. 3/5

The Fearmonger. Thank you Fearmonger for the Justice League playmat I earned from using you. Fearmonger is the go-to Scarecrow. A 10/9 5-drop isn’t shabby, but to put counters on top of that? Dr. Crane’s feeling that Shinobi Shaw kind of love. But what makes this Secret Society/Arkham Inmates such a killer is the power to steal a counter. Do you remember Nimrod? Nimrod remembers the introduction of the Fearmonger, and he’s been cowering ever since. The flavor to this card is that Scarecrow makes you afraid, you give him something precious to make it stop, and he gets stronger. But he doesn’t go away, he comes after you… and he gets stronger. The team of Bachalo and Parsons nail it on the art. 5/5

World’s Finest gave us our fourth 5-drop, with an Insanity twist. Back to Scarecrow’s old stomping grounds, Scarecrow, Fear and Loathing sends a character packing, a 2-drop that is. But just one. And you have to discard to do it. At random. Not the best Scarecrow to drop into your Injustice Gang. But if you’re feeling a little… insane, you get a 3-drop. The flavor of this card fits the fear style and his madness eliminates some of the most dangerous characters in the game. Tomm Coker’s art doesn’t stand out compared to the DJL offerings. 4/5

DC Legends is the place to find the first redesigned Scarecrow, Chiroptophobic. (I had no idea what that really long word over there meant until an origin story in the back of an issue of Countdown explained that it was a fear of bats. [now in my best Will Ferrell-doing-Alex Trebeck-voice] Fear of Bats.) This Injustice Gang-er doesn’t play with just anyone, he is Loyal to his team. This version continues the classic fear theme by returning all 2-drops back to the hands. But at what cost? Two cards. I haven’t played this Scarecrow in a deck yet (Hell, I only own one copy) because Circe is soooo much better in modern, and his earlier incarnation is the man in Golden. But that’s not what this post is about, now is it? He pulls off the flavor trick. He makes people go away, and better then his Insanity cousin. The art by Ryan Sook, the unofficial official artist of DC Legends gives us the first Scarecrow without his scythe. The mask in Sook’s art reminds me of Batman Begins and the ghostly images to the sides of the psychotic doctor is, no doubt, fear-toxin induced. Also the first artist to illustrated that aspect of the Scarecrow. 4/5

So that’s it. That’s the flavor of Scarecrow. Good night now.

<Tiny Voice> “Show them!”

“Oh no, not you!”

<Tiny Voice> “The doctor will see you now!”

“AAAH! AHHH!”

BENDING STEEL proudly presents Arkham Asylum: Journey Into Madness Preview: Scarecrow, Fear Unleashed

The first thing I asked <Tiny Voice> was, “Is it a 5-drop?” Nope, it’s a 9-drop, concealed. Hiding the Scarecrow is new to the game, making people go away is not. A 9-drop raid deck character sending back all 3-drop and less characters in a four-player game could wreak havoc on the Rescue Team. His raid gameplay flavor owes a debt of gratitude to Stardust and The Fallen One. But the rest is all his. Like Professor Jonathan Crane and Fearmonger before him… he gets the counters. And just think, when Moon Knight pops out of a Defenders deck, Scarecrow if he’s feeling a little insane, pops 5 +1/+1 counters, jumps out of hiding and says, “BOO!” Nighty-Knight. The art is cool, I just wish I knew who the artist was. 5/5

Excellent job with the card, Marc. I’m loving this set so far and I hope everyone has been following the JiM previews on Arkham Asylum, Arkham’s Asylum and on Bending Steel.

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One Response to “THE FLAVOR OF: Scarecrow”

  1. Rudolph said

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