Batman is now released and, along with simply being one of the coolest sets of MetaX yet, it seems to have also spawned a lot of discussion about which Trait is going to be sitting pretty at the top of the charts in the upcoming official tournament play circuit. But one of the best things about Batman is that, unlike previous sets, it didn’t just pushed trait-stamped and potpourri builds, but also included a chunk of cards with name stamps, much like the Superman support of the past. This is, of course, made possible by Batman adding to the pools of available options for these Characters so that decks can be built nearly entirely out of those named Characters alone – and that’s exactly what we are set out to do today!
Today we are looking at a deck built around two of DC’s most popular villains – The Joker and Harley Quinn, a.k.a. The Clown Prince of Crime and the Queen of Arkham! One quick caveat – this version of the deck is, unfortunately, not a budget one. The lineup below includes 8 Cross Rares and 3 Ultra Rares – thankfully for fans of the characters, there are ways to build more budget-friendly, but still potent Joker/Harley decks – let me know below if you are interested in seeing those in a future Deck Tech!
With all that said, let’s jump into the list, and then we’ll go over what this list is trying to accomplish!
When you build a deck around any one specific element of a card – be it Trait, max rank, stats, or, in this case, name(s) – you are always looking for what the payoff is. What effects are going to give you a compelling reason to limit yourself in your card selection for the deck to the chosen element? Joker and Harley have two big ones – the Event Endless Waltz, and the rare 1 Intelligence (R126-BM). And these two actually weave together in a lovely way in the larger scope of the deck, and the synergy between them gives us lots of room to focus on a strong discard strategy while still stretching out our gameplay options to not be so narrowly focused.
Both cards require both Joker and Harley in play to function at all, so first thing’s first – we need to be able to make that happen. Since our Character lineup is 6 versions of The Joker and 8 versions of Harley, it shouldn’t be too inconsistent, but just to be sure – the Justice League XR The Joker – Certifiably Insane can always search up his better half, and we’ve included one copy of Legion of Doom which can search up any of the Characters aside from Harley Quinn – Queen of Arkham
. Speaking of her, the two copies of her are really included to shore up flow of the Battle Cards and MP in the late game when things get tight, but in a pinch, she can also throw away other Harleys to dig to a Joker when you need it to get your effects online.
The payoff for this effort is one of the most efficient draw events in the game in Endless Waltz – a free event that draws 2 and shuffles itself back into the deck to be used again later – and 1 Intelligence provides a potentially destructive random discard element – in fact, the first one seen on a Battle Card in MetaX! These effects in combination allow you to keep a hand advantage on the opponent as long as you can maintain the duo on board, letting the rest of your strategy play out with consistency and without as much disruption from the opponent.
With a solid engine to draw cards and one of the more potent disruption Battle Cards yet printed, the way we are going to abuse that in this deck is by…keeping our opponent’s Characters alive! Many long time MetaX players are aware that, due to the Character limit, you can often slightly disrupt your opponent by making sure not to damage their Characters enough to KO them and free space on your opponent’s board for new effects and MP gain. We are doubling down on that in this deck – not only are we playing mostly low rank Battle Cards, but we are leaning on the combination of 1 Special (C51-GL)
and 3 Intelligence (C43-JL) to heal our opponent’s characters by returning 1 Ints when they are blocked (allowing us to reuse the discard effect again and again), or return them from the discard pile if the opponent lets them through. This in combination with Harley Quinn – Former Psychiatrist being a very unsavory target to defend or attack into (for fear of scoring us extra VP) makes the opponent loathe to engage in combat with us – they are effectively between a rock and a hard place, and it’s all coming up in our favor.
To add to the consistency of the strategy, we also include a set of 4 Special (C48-JL), the mutual discard Battle Card that we are hoping to leverage with repeated card draw from Endless Waltz, padding the hand with XR Joker, and extra incremental advantage provided by 2 Intelligence (C38-JL). By repeatedly pushing these discard effects, we can greatly limit the opponent’s options, and thanks to the new UR The Joker – Unpredictable, we are able to quickly push these Battle Cards out to try to cut the opponent off in the early game. When they are cut off from Battle Cards, the single copy of 1 Strength/Intelligence/Special (U92-JL) can prove a timely way to close out a game.
As we discussed in our last deck tech, the hate for discard strategies is real these days. And for good reason – when a deck like this works, the opponent’s options for digging out of it are limited. And those are the only cards that can halt this deck in its tracks – a Turn 1 Superboy-Prime is able to cut off the deck’s consistency engine, which can quickly turn a perfect keeper hand into a set of dead cards, while a Bat Family deck with Terry McGinnis (there he is again!) shuts off literally every event in the deck – not an unwinnable proposition, because the deck may still be able to crutch on its strong Battle Cards – but a tough one. While we’ve include 2 copies of Infighting for its flexibility in clearing your own board when needed and dealing with Superboy-Primes, General Zods, and others, as well as 2 copies of Power Players for dealing with everything else not named Terry, sometimes your deck just needs an alternate plan to jump into to help close out a game, and boy do we have one!
Enter Harley Quinn – Dr. Harleen Quinzel. She accompanies the Former Psychiatrist to give us options for pushing out free VP even when the opponent has us mostly locked down. She can be searched up with XR Joker and Legion of Doom, and we’ve also included a couple of Battle Cards in the mix to help reuse her (or either of the VP Harleys, really) as much as possible. Two copies of 1 Strength/Intelligence (U82-AT) can punish the opponent’s attack by replacing a less useful Character for a free VP Harley, or an XR Joker to search one up – and a single copy of the underplayed 3 Intelligence (R129-AT) can be leveraged to return TWO copies of VP Harley – and is easy to fire off if you are keeping your opponent’s characters alive, while knocking out your own with Harley’s own effect or Infighting. This can be so potent that if you are building your own variant of this deck, you may choose to tweak these numbers and go harder into this strategy – it’s a valid option! This extra strategy ensures that if the opponent stabilizes and recovers from your initial disruption, or gets down a board that shuts off your primary plan, you have an extra edge pushing into the end of game to help you secure the win.
We’ve already discussed a few of the cards that can give this deck trouble – and that’s not to mention a high-removal opponent simply keeping you off of your two-name board setup. But despite that, against many “random” decks that aren’t packing pointed shutdown, this deck has a lot of opportunity to tear apart their strategy and push through a game relatively uncontested. With both early game power and long game potential, this is a deck you may want to try out and consider when planning to attend one of the OP events coming in the near future!
Let me know your thoughts on this deck below – how would you build it differently? And if you have any suggestions for future Deck Techs, we’d be happy to take them!