...Well You Know it's Gonna Be Alright (Sorry, but you had to expect some Beatles-related puns from people writing about a set called Revolution!)
A lot of people have reacted with distress and concern about the effects of Revolution on the All-Axxess and Afterburn environments. After all, four new card types to reverse seems to push everybody's need to stop their opponent's every move into the realm of near-imopssibility. As an experiment, I tried designing an Afterburn deck using virtually all Pre-Revolution cards that should stand tall against most anything you'll encounter in the Post-Evolution metagame. The goal will be a deck that can reliably reverse most anything thrown at it, and also mount an effective offense of its own - that is to say, something that isn't just a pile of 50 red cards.
First priority is to find a superstar who has a good non-unique reversal that covers maneuvers of any type - we've got a few to choose from. Edge is an early possibility because his newest card, The Rated R Superstar, will reverse any card with the Revolution logo in front of its title, plus his midmatch reversal which hits any non-trademark-finisher maneuver. Degeneration X gets a look because, though it doesn't have a non-unique, it does have 3 unique reversals that hit virtually any maneuver regardless of type (Chyna/Steph/Ric Interferes, Don't Hunt What You Can't Kill, and Cause I Am That Damn Good). Spike Dudley can be taken into consideration because of his 0F Psychotic Bump, although he's more likely to be reversing off deck than from hand. Where it's really at, though is Hulk Hogan/The Immortal One, who can pack both No Sell Maneuver and 24 Inch Pythons, reversing any maneuver of 9D or less (with an impressive 4D and a boost to all your maneuvers).
The second step towards versatility means embracing the BASH mechanic, and I think out of the superstars listed previously none can do this better than Hulk Hogan/Immortal One. BASH gives us a 0F and 3F reversal to ANY non-unique card, which not only covers the new Assaults, Throws, and Holds, but Antics as well. The synergy really clicks into place when you realize that the prematch card It's Time for a Great American BASH can provide the crucial 2F needed to play 24 Inch Pythons. Between the two, Immortal One seems to be the better choice for our purposes - having a powerful wall of reversals - because he has access to Managed by Jimmy Hart, Through All the Years and Cowboy Bob, plus Submissions (for Shoot Lock-Up, a key card in many matchups).
A further synergistic element on the offensive side of the deck, is BASH's preponderance of multi maneuvers. Immortal One thrives off the multi trait, drawing two cards to compensate for (most) of his cards that are reversed by his opponent. Between BASH maneuvers and some useful non-BASH multis, we can stack the deck to insure you'll always be getting more benefit than drawback out of Immortal One's ability.
With all that in mind, let's take a look at this BASH Immortal One designed to use pre-Revo cards and compete in a post-Revo environment.
1 Managed by Jimmy Hart
The prematch strategy is flexible but you always want to drop Jimmy Hart and at least 2 Time for a Great American BASH. The ECW/Champ is Here combo is for people you suspect want to stretch their prematch with their own Champ is Here. Bitter Rivals, of course, is there for rival Legends.
Here we have the only Revolution cards in the deck - two midmatch 0F Mean reversals, and a midmatch Colossal reversal. I pack these "just in case" a Revo-heavy deck breaks through. These reversals can buy you some time, and ICDAIW lets you recur a useful maneuver from your ring area if you have something to pick it back up with.
1 Chain Lashing TB
The maneuver count is light because you'll be cycling through lots of cards with Immortal One's ability, and you can always use Trevor Murdoch to fish out a BASH move when you need one. The Shoot Lock-Ups are there for legend-on-legend matchups. Every maneuver in the deck is a multi, so if people seek to stop you from landing them, you're sure to draw tons of cards of Immortal One's ability.
1 Say Your Prayers and Eat Your Vitamins TB
The Actions are pretty straightforward - Puppies for Recursion, Shoot Action for damage and as anti-Doink tech (plus it's another multi for them to deal with). I Can't Be Reading This Right will help keep your hand up if you need to play No Sells or Blindsided Egos repeatedly.
1 Hulkin Up TB
The reversals are where the deck really shines. It has multiple answers for everything except its achilles heel - unique cards. Cowboy Bob will pay off big if you can draw it, and against most decks you have a truly intimidating amount of reversal power to work through. I'm not sure about whether the deck has the correct balance of Don't Try This at Home, Two Things You Can Do, and The Coach Says Today's the Day, but that's the sort of thing that you need to figure out relative to your local metagame. 3 Hold the Phone will provide a very rude surprise for anybody trying to build fortitude with Revolution cores, especially if you are able to get two copies of It's Time For a Great American BASH down in the prematch.
It's far from perfect - it needs a way to deal with decks that have a powerful recursive ability, and I'm a little nervous about the maneuver count, although the fact that they're all multi makes it seem a little more aggressively potent. Needless to say, without having played any games with actual Revolution cards as of this writing, the best I can do is to use informed speculation as to what the game will look like in a month or two. I encourage anybody interested to modify the deck, and email suggestions of their own. Also, this version of the deck is Afterburn because my playgroup plays primarily in that format, but an All-Axxess version of the same is a possibility (though a riskier venture due to the added prematch hate in AA). And of course some more cards from Revolution would fit nicely, in particular I'm thinking about Gone-Not Forgotten for certain problematic matchups. Hopefully people who want to play in Revolution but are tentative about adding all those new cards into their decks, finding room for multiple hybrid core reversals of each type, can take some ideas from this deck on how to diversify against the newly broadened metagame. I think it's an almost poetic touch that there's no superstar better suited to finidng a way to survive in a new and radically different environment than Hulk Hogan, who for better or for worse has embodied wrestling for twenty-plus years.