Vindictive Villains

by Ken Jackson

Lord Kass. Balthazar. Dr Sloth. Few names are more feared in the world of Neopia. In the Neopets trading card game, these vile Villains can help lock up the arenas your opponents have a stronghold in—and more importantly, foil some of their strategies!

Villains are an important part of any deck, as they enable you to cover arenas your deck is vulnerable in. When building a deck, it’s best to stick to two or three different contest types where your Neopets are strong, and use other methods to ensure that your opponent can’t walk all over you in contests you’re weaker in.

One very good way to do this is to use Villains.

When an arena has a Villain card in it, that Villain must be defeated (or removed by some other means) before either player can bank points there or play other Villains. In order to defeat a Villain, a player must start a special contest against it. The player who starts the contest can roll a die and use item cards, but the player controlling the Villain can only use its stats (Strength, Agility, Magic, and Intelligence). To make up for this drawback, it’s not unusual to see Villains with powerhouse stats in the 15 to 20 point range—or even higher!

In addition to high stats, Villains often have very devastating powers as well…

Truly Vile Contenders

As her name implies, The Darkest Faerie truly IS one bad Faerie. She has a Magic of 23, and when she wins a contest, she removes her rival from the arena! If you’re going to try your luck against this Villain, make certain you have a good chance of winning; otherwise, you face the possibility of losing ground to your opponent.

For an added bonus when using The Darkest Faerie yourself, try playing the Something Has Happened card: Weakness. Weakness decreases all Light and Air Neopet’s stats by 8 for the remainder of the turn. Play this when your opponents announce a contest against the Darkest Faerie with a Light or Air Neopet; this combination gives them a severe disadvantage in the contest, and possibly enables you to remove any threats from that arena.

Jhudora is another Dark Faerie to watch out for. Like The Darkest Faerie, Jhudora has extremely high Magic as well as strong Intelligence. She also forces players to discard a card from their hand if they want to bank cards from winning contests. Just be aware of this effect though, because it covers both you and your opponent, so think carefully before using her.

Usually when a Villain is defeated, its rivals untap. Since you’d rather keep them tapped for as long as possible, call upon the Dark Faerie Sisters. What the Dark Faerie Sisters lack in stats, they make up for in effect. While their stats aren’t as high as other Faerie Villains, if they're not defeated by at least 5 points, their rivals can’t untap that turn. Why is this important? Generally, when you have a Villain in an arena, you’re not going to bring other Neopets there. So when your opponent beats a Villain, he or she has a free shot at banking points. If they have to remain tapped for a turn, you have a chance to build up more defenses in that arena—and possibly block them from getting some easy points!

Ylana Skyfire, from the Return of Dr Sloth, can help out when your opponent is trying to gain some ground with those pesky one-hit Heroes. Keep her in hand until your opponent starts a contest in an arena without a Villain. Then play her to defend that arena. The contest will continue, but your opponent is forced to attack Ylana instead. Ylana has a modest 12 Intelligence and 17 for her other three stats, but she gets an added bonus of +5 in a contest against a Hero. With any luck, having stats of 22 will help you defend against the threat—not only preventing your opponent from banking points, but also getting rid of a Hero in the process.

Baddest of the Bad

The baddest of the bad is, of course, Dr Sloth. A holographic rare card found in the newest expansion, Return of Dr. Sloth, this Villain could possibly be one of the hardest to overcome. If having an Intelligence of 24 doesn't make the bad doctor hard enough to defeat, he also requires more than one Neopet or Hero to topple him. An effective strategy to keep Dr. Sloth around is to wait until your opponent has a good chance to defeat him, and then play The Three. This holographic rare from Battle for Meridell lets you roll three dice when your opponent starts a contest against a Villain, and add the highest number to your Villain’s base stat. Who says you can’t add to your Villain’s already deadly stats?

With a few Villains in your deck to help you out, as well as some great Villain-based cards, like Back from the Grave (which allows you to put a Villain in your discard pile into your arena of choice), or Sloth Plushie (which gives all Villains +2 stats when it's banked), you can definitely create some strategies that will not only annoy your opponents, but enable you to focus on the more important task of banking those crucial 21 points!