Editors Note: One of the most fun properties of deck building in MetaX is the ability to pick even just a single character or trait and develop a solid deck from that motif. Veteran deck builder and article-writer Alex is back with a behind-the-scenes look at how he built his deck that scored him 10th place in the 31 player MetaX OCTGN League Tournament II – a Hero-themed “midrange” style deck that started with one of his favorite Character card’s Justice League’s Wonder Woman – Amazon Princess.
So if you’ve been following my guest writing series, you’ve seen my method of categorizing Characters, breaking down Battle Cards, and evaluating Events. Now I’m opening up the deck lab and dissecting my most recent MXOLT entry. This deck had an acceptable 3-2 record, and won a total of 8 games through those rounds, for a 10th place finish. It performed well against a Big 7s deck, a Military Police Regiment, and a Hero rush, held its own against a Villains hand control deck, and valiantly stole a win in the midst of a Titans beatdown (man those 9s just don’t drop like Superman is used to!)
Here’s the deck list:
I’ve run variations of this deck since day 1, when I made sure to acquire 2 copies of the con-exclusive Wonder Woman – Amazon Princess. I thought the art was simply awesome, and knew I wanted a deck built around her. While not the most powerful centerpiece for a deck, she is extremely durable and lets me completely disregard one type of threat: rank 7 characters.
Wonder Woman is a Support character, so I want to put her on the board and keep her there. That means I need a constantly revolving cast alongside her to keep up my MP generation. You’ll note that most of the other characters in my deck are Strikers, having immediate effects and intended for a short stay on the board. I keep that roster rotating via strategic blocking and a few self-KO effects- and if all else fails, Wonder Woman can drop my own 7-stat.
Shazam – Captain Marvel deserves special note. As he can Push to return to hand, he acts as a Champion who can heal himself, free up space when necessary, and even re-deploy for MP gain. He also has excellent synergy with the event Showdown, as you can pull him back into your hand, clear the board down to 1 each, and re-deploy him. I want to have one of these at all times; he’s usually the first target for my character search cards.
Other character synergies to note:
- Wonder Woman can toss a rank 7 Battle Card to KO an opponent, then I can play Starfire using that same rank 7 to KO another.
- Superman – Big Blue Boy Scout is intended for a quick draw boost, but as Wonder Woman is already playing support he can’t be intended for a long residency.
- Superboy – Kon-El not only triggers BBBS’s draw effect, but can also return attached Battle Cards to your hand. This deck throws a lot of one-hit KOs, so attached battle cards are usually just stuck without a purpose.
- Starfire is the only character in the deck without a 6+ Strength. As such, she’s the least effective on-board character- and in fact, even prevents certain effects from triggering. Get her off the board as quickly as possible!
At first glance you’ll notice only 1 of these cards is a 3-of. In testing, I’ve found that options help this deck adjust to different matchups, and more diversity makes the impact of cards like 3 Special (C44-JL) and Coming Storm greater. You’ll also note that all of my cards can be played by Superman and Shazam, who will be making most of the attacks and doing most of the defending. Superboy and Wonder Woman can play anything but the 7s; it’s just Starfire who is drastically excluded from combat.
My Battle Card lineup is intended to one-hit KO as often as it can. It maxes out on 5s, 6s, and 7s in Strength (its primary stat). It also includes an extensive array of Special Battle Cards, to facilitate TKOs and give access to another three rank-5s.
A few noteworthy card effects and interactions:
- 7 Strength (C60-BM) can trigger Superman – Big Blue Boy Scout multiple times, and can also put your ‘stuck’ Battle Cards back into your deck. You have a lot of draw power, so card cycling becomes important in certain matchups.
- 6 Strength (R135-BM) is an incredible draw tool, but Starfire ruins it.
- 5 Strength (C50-JL) and 6 Strength (C39-GL) both function as unblockable attacks or targeted strikes on the right board state. Strength 5 will always kill a blocker, making it as good as a rank 7 Battle Card for that- and it actually gives you MP.
- 5 Strength (R133-BM) can be used to remove Starfire if that’s more desirable than removing an enemy (and it often is). 7 Strength (U100-AT) can be used this way as well, but it’s less consistent.
- 5 Special (C54-BM) is one of the primary reasons to run a Hero deck. 5 is a terrible rank for Special right now, with Trait-stamped and Basic-stamped cards the most viable options. This card not only retrieves a character, it also replaces itself in your hand. As a 0-MP card, it’s also easy to play- and is usable by everyone in the deck.
This deck doesn’t use many Events, opting for high-cost effects that press my advantage.
I hope to see Leap Into Action at least once in the first 3 turns. It allows me to pull Shazam and get my MP running. If I already have Shazam, I can instead pull a rank 7 Battle Card for a VP or KO by Superman/Shazam while prepping my discard pile for Starfire. It quickly loses value as the game progresses, which is why I can’t justify more than 2.
It’s never a bad idea to include an escape plan. As mentioned above, Leap Into Action synergizes nicely with Shazam, and also lets me clean up my board when I get stuck. You can follow Showdown with Starfire for an empty enemy board and 2 characters on your side, plus a VP for the one character you left on board who can’t be blocked now. It’s an expensive effect, but you can immediately start rebuilding your MP stash with a Character play.
Heroic Charge and Coming Storm both make it easy to press forward with all 3 characters. The former works extremely well with a good hand and a full board; after attacking, your whole team (even a Wonder Woman who used her Push effect) readies up to defend on the following turn. Coming Storm is best played when you outnumber the enemy or can afford to be defenseless next turn. Remember to leave enough MP after paying the Event cost for the Battle Cards you intend to use from your discard!
While this deck has a reliable performance and mostly does what I want it to, there are areas that could be improved, and the release of Teen Titans may very well give it entirely new avenues to explore (such as a second viable 5 Special).
2 Special (C42-BM) has not proven to be the useful tech card I hoped it would be. While MP costs on Battle Cards merit a lot of consideration in this deck, I’m not convinced this is the best option. 1 Special (C38-BM) was in an earlier draft of the deck, and might be a better choice. 1 Special (C51-GL) may be viable too – though less playable as a Superman – BBBS trigger. I love the idea of 1 Strength/Intelligence (U82-AT/U86-BM), but can’t have my low-ranking Battle Cards costing me MP.
I’d like to include a second copy of Showdown, but I’m not sure how to fit it in. I don’t see how to cut down on any of the other Events, and hate to lower the card count on either of the other 2 types.
Variants of this deck’s core could include any of the following characters, adjusting the synergies as necessary:
- Red Hood – Freelance Mercenary to protect Shazam and Superman.
- Batman – The Caped Crusader for a 7 Special, using Wonder Woman as a stat bridge and adding cards that trigger off DC’s Trinity.
- Black Canary – Dinah Drake to net card draw for your one-hit KO propensity.
- Dick Greyson – Master Martial Artist can play most of your Battle Cards and doesn’t have to pay for them (helping ease the numerous -2 MP costs) while also being easy to KO when needed.
- Harley Quinn – Heartbreaker has a Heroic Charge- like effect for your characters, follows the Strength stat, and is KOed by any damage at all, freeing up that space after her PLAY effect has triggered.
- Superman – Last Son of Krypton should really be in this deck. I just don’t own any.
Are you running a similar deck? Have suggestions for me? Leave a comment below, or on the Facebook link to this article!