Dark Phoenix VS Sister Grimm

By: Eric Buckendorf

Here we are in the finals of the Salt 16! Dark Phoenix is facing off with Sister Grimm to find out who has the better Pixie / Singularity combo shell VS each other.

Before we start I’d like to give a big shout out to Anthony Calabrese and our own Ashley Knox for contributing the inspiration for, if not the card for card list for these two decks.

Kirk had crushed my slow draw Game 1, and in the interest of time I’m just going to cover two of the more interesting games. We felt it wasn’t worth writing about since we planned on playing a best of 5 if not 7. I was looking to get the combo out as soon as possible because these two deck’s don’t attack Pixie well early.

Game 2, Turn 1: I used my mulligan to ship away a hand that had no Intellect, Pixie or Singularity. Kirk also chose to mulligan. I laid a Madripoor and passed holding this.

Kirk laid an Academy for his first resource.

Turn 2: I laid a Fortress and passed for Kirk’s second turn. He laid an Academy and recruited Pixie.

Turn 3: I laid an Academy and recruited one of my two copies of Singularity. During my main phase I activated What Was, What Is, What Will Be to place a Laboratory and a face down card into my resource row. I then sent Dark Phoenix to the Pocket Dimension and ended my turn.

I probably should have just left Dark Phoenix out and bluffed the potential Dramatic Entrance.

Kirk laid a Fortress and recruited Singularity who went to the back row alone. Kirk activated Hallucinogenic Dust and She-Hulk entered Kirk’s front row. Next he had She-Hulk, Pixie and Sister Grimm make a team attack on my Singularity and got the knock out. I basically felt like I saved a wound here and that I was going to need it if I was going to catch up to this hot start.

Kirk then sent She-Hulk and Pixie to the Pocket Dimension ending his turn.

Turn 4: I laid a Laboratory and didn’t have Pixie, Iron Man or Loki to play so I just passed the turn.

Kirk also laid a Laboratory and skipped to his main phase to activate Hallucinogenic Dust. Miss America entered the front row and made her attack on Dark Phoenix. She got the stun and I added the first wound to Dark Phoenix.

Kirk ended his turn there sending She-Hulk, Miss America and Pixie to the Pocket Dimension.

Turn 5: I laid a Fortress and recruited Ghost Rider. He gave his Penance Stare to Singularity for one -1-1 counter and went to the front row. I then had him attack Sister Grimm and got the stun. This would level Sister Grimm up as well as add her first wound.

Kirk’s characters re-appeared and then Kirk laid an Arcadia as his resource. With Sister Grimm as his only back row character, Kirk entered his main phase to activate Hallucinogenic Dust to have Ghost Rider appear. There were no supporting characters in Kirk’s KO pile for Penance Stare. Kirk then decided to have She-Hulk and Miss America team attack my Ghost Rider and they got the stun. Kirk used She-Hulk’s Leadership to have Miss America take the stun then he used Tough to have her recover. Next Kirk had Sister Grimm attack Dark Phoenix and got the stun adding a second wound to my main character. Finally Kirk activated Caffeine Injection to give his Ghost Rider four +1+1 counters.

At the end of Kirk’s turn, he sent all of his characters to the Pocket Dimension leaving Singularity all by herself.

Turn 6: I laid an Arcadia and recruited Thanos who joined my Ghost Rider in the front row. I had Ghost Rider attack Singularity and got the knockout. Kirk had Miss America, She-Hulk and Ghost Rider appear in the front row while Pixie and Sister Grimm went to the back. Kirk gave his Penance Stare to Thanos for three -1-1 counters. I then had Thanos attack She-Hulk and got the stun. Before I ended my turn I flipped a Fortress face down to activate Welcome Death and knocked She-Hulk out.

Kirk added a Laboratory and recruited Loki. He discarded a copy of Miss America to power up and trigger Power Hungry. Kirk then had his Ghost Rider attack mine and got the knockout. Then Miss America flew over Thanos to attack Dark Phoenix and got the stun. I added my third wound and Kirk ended his turn.

Turn 7: I laid an Arcadia and recruited Pixie and Singularity. Singularity went to the back row and Pixie went to the front. I activated Hallucinogenic Dust to have Iron Man appear in my back row. I turned a Fortress face up with Inventive and then had Thanos as a 9/9 attack Miss America who was an 8/6. That’s when Kirk played Find Cover and discarded another copy of Miss America to power up. I responded by discarding two copies of Thanos to power up. Then Kirk played You Won’t Like Her When She’s Angry (YWLHWSA) to make the final tally: Thanos as an 11/11 vs Miss America as an 11/12.

Thanos was stunned and that was the end of my turn. I sent Iron Man, Pixie and Dark Phoenix to the Pocket Dimension.

Kirk laid an Arcadia and then had Singularity and She-Hulk join his crew. With Singularity in the back row and She-hulk up front Kirk activated Hallucinogenic Dust. Thanos appeared and went to the front row. Then Kirk had Miss America attack my Singularity and got the knockout. I had Pixie and Dark Phoenix go the back row behind Iron Man who went to the front. I flipped up a Madripoor with Inventive. Then Kirk had Loki and She-Hulk team attack Iron Man. I played three copies of YWLHWSA to give Iron Man six +1+1 counters making him an 11/13. Kirk Flipped his Arcadia face down to activate Baroness of Arcadia and he got the knockout. This was probably not the best use of those plot twists at this time. Kirk had Iron Man strike back on She-Hulk who was stunned and wounded. Next Kirk had Ghost Rider attack Pixie and got the Knockout. Finally Kirk had Miss America attack Dark Phoenix and got the stun adding my fourth wound. Before sending his characters to the Pocket Dimension to reload Penance Stare, Kirk activated Welcome Death to add wounds to Thanos, Dark Phoenix and his own She-Hulk.

I didn’t need to see any more, Kirk hadn’t knocked out She-Hulk yet in this picture but we called this game here to shuffle up for game number three. At this point I realized Ramping wasn’t doing enough, soon enough.

So far Kirk was able to play Pixie and Singularity on curve and was hitting great, on team characters, Ghost Rider or Thanos. While I was hitting Iron Man ever so often who just wasn’t keeping up with Grimm’s characters as a combatant. Yes I’d get a resource back to add another character to my team or even to activate What Was, What Is, What Will Be but that is too slow when Iron Man can only make a 5 point attack. Miss America and She-Hulk are targets for him. But The rest of the Grimm Deck just ignores Iron Man.

And then there is Corporal Hicks who means it when he says “Stay Frosty“.

Game 3, Turn 1: I kept my hand with two copies each of Singularity and Academy while Kirk chose to mulligan. I laid an Academy and ended my turn.

Kirk laid an Arcadia and ended his turn.

Turn 2: I laid a second Academy and went to my main phase to activate What Was, What is, What Will Be. There was an Arcadia and Laboratory waiting on top of my deck to come into my resource row face up. I had the thought that my luck was changing for the better.

Kirk laid a Fortress and recruited Pixie, who went to the back row behind Sister Grimm. Kirk made no attacks and ended his turn.

Turn 3: I was hoping to draw Pixie or Phoenix this turn but didn’t get there. I laid an Academy and recruited a copy of Singularity to see if I could make use of some of the plot twists I was holding.

Kirk laid a Laboratory and recruited Singularity. She joined Pixie in the back row and in Kirk’s main phase he activated Hallucinogenic Dust flipping his Lab face down. She-Hulk appeared and went to the front row, ready for action. Kirk had Sister Grimm and She-Hulk team attack my Singularity. I played Dramatic Entrance and had the fight go to Thanos instead.

Kirk chose to have Thanos strike Sister Grimm with She-Hulk’s Leader. This was so he could still send She-Hulk to the Pocket Dimension and not lose her to Hallucinogenic Dust’s end of turn text. Sister Grimm would not level up from the wound obviously but it was interesting to note. At the end of Kirk’s turn he sent She-Hulk and Pixie to the Pocket Dimension.

Turn 4: I laid an Arcadia and didn’t have anyone to recruit so I ended my turn with my Singularity still protecting Dark Phoenix.

Kirk laid and Arcadia and went to his main phase with everyone up front. He activated Hallucinogenic Dust and Ghost Rider appeared in the front row. With no supporting characters in his discard pile, Kirk had no -1-1 counters to give with Penance Stare. Kirk had Ghost Rider attack Singularity and got the knockout. Then Kirk had She-Hulk attack Dark Phoenix and got the stun.

Dark Phoenix gained her first wound and Kirk ended his turn sending everyone to the Pocket Dimension.

Turn 5: I laid a Fortress and finally got my hands on a copy of Pixie. I played her and Singularity with Pixie and Dark Phoenix going to the front row while Singularity went to the back. In my main phase I flipped an Arcadia to activate Hallucinogenic Dust. Iron Man appeared and I flipped a Madripoor face up with Inventive. I turned the Madripoor and Academy face down to activate What Was, What Is, What Will Be and put a Fortress face up along with another card face down into my resource row. Iron Man doesn’t do anything vs Singularity so I just sent him to the Pocket Dimension.

I had drawn two copies of Pixies this turn so I wanted to preserve the copy of Singularity I had in play. So Pixie stayed out to help eat up Kirk’s attacks.

Kirk laid an Arcadia and recruited Miss America. He had Singularity as his only back row character when he entered his main phase to activate Hallucinogenic Dust. Corporal Hicks appeared and entered Kirk’s back row. Then Kirk had She-Hulk attack Dark Phoenix and got the stun adding a second wound to my main. Then Kirk had Corporal Hicks attack Pixie and got the knockout. Next Kirk had Miss America attack Singularity. I played Shock to the System which nullified the attack. Now it was Ghost Rider’s turn to take a swing at Singularity and he got the knockout. Iron Man appeared and I turned my Academy face up with Inventive.

This is when Singularity, Sister Grimm and Pixie all start growing two +1+1 counters at a time from Stay Frosty. Then Kirk had everyone but Miss America go to the Pocket Dimension.

Turn 6: I laid a Laboratory and recruited Thanos who went to the front row with Dark Phonix while Pixie and Iron Man stayed back. I activated Hallucinogenic Dust by fliping an Arcadia face down. Loki appeared and entered my front row. I discarded a copy of Pixie to power up and draw three cards from Power Hungry. Then I had Iron Man attack Miss America hoping for a free wound but Kirk played Find Cover.

Iron Man is a real liability in this match up and some others. I have had that feeling about him for a while, but this match really exemplifies why I don’t like him in this deck. Next I had Loki attack attack Miss America and got the stun. Loki was knocked out and Kirk used Tough to recover Miss America. Next I had Thanos attack Miss America and got another wound on her. Kirk used Tough again and that was the end of my turn.

Kirk’s crew appeared and there were still no supporting good guys for Penance Stare. Then Kirk laid a Laboratory and recruited Magneto. With Magneto, Corporal Hicks, Singularity and Sister Grimm all in the back row Kirk entered his main phase to activate Hallucinogenic Dust. Loki appeared and entered the front row. Next Kirk discarded a copy of Loki to power up and draw three cards from Power Hungry. Then Kirk discarded Miss America to power up and had her and She-Hulk team attack Thanos.

I played Dramatic Entrance and had Ghost Rider appear as the new defender. He gave his Penance Stare to She-Hulk for five -1-1 counters.

Miss America was knocked out by Thanos and She-Hulk was stunned from the counters. Then Kirk had Corporal Hicks attack Dark Phoenix, she was stunned and her third wound was gained. For Kirk’s last attack he had Magneto fly over and attack Pixie for a knockout. At the end of Kirk’s turn he had Sister Grimm, Ghost Rider, Pixie, Loki and Singularity all Stay Frosty and gain two +1+1 counters.

Then he sent everyone but his stunned She-Hulk to the Pocket Dimension.

Turn 7: I laid an Arcadia and recruited another Iron Man who went to the back row. Inventive flipped an Academy face up for me and I activated What Was, What Is, What Will Be and put a card face down and a Fortress face up into my resource row. I then had Thanos attack Singularity who had four +1+1 counters on her from two rounds of Stay Frosty. Kirk responded by playing Find Cover raising her defense to thirteen.

Without any way to buff Thanos, that was the end of my turn.

Kirk had all his guys return form the Pocket Dimension and Thanos was the target of Penance Stare for three -1-1 counters. Kirk chose not to lay a resource and recruited M.O.D.O.K.. M.O.D.O.K. was sent to the back row with Magneto, Corporal Hicks and Sister Grimm while the rest of Kirk’s characters went to the front. In the main phase Kirk discarded Loki to power up and draw three from Power Hungry. Then Kirk discarded a Laboratory to activate Hallucinogenic Dust bringing Miss America back into battle. Next Kirk had She-Hulk and Miss America team attack Thanos and got the stun. Kirk used Leader to make Thanos strike Miss America, she was stunned and Kirk used Tough to recover her. Ghost Rider was next and he attacked Iron Man getting the knockout. Finally Corporal Hicks would finish off the combat by attacking Dark Phoenix and getting the easy stun for her fourth wound. That’s when Kirk decided to Stay Frosty before he sent his crew to the Pocket Dimension.

This was Kirk’s set up after the Pocket Dimension trigger.

Turn 8: I laid and Arcadia and that’s when Dark Phoenix leveled up. I recruited both Thanos and Loki who went to the front row together. I activated Ravager of Worlds flipping down my two Laboratories and a Fortess. Kirk lost four of his face down resources and then I discarded Phoenix to power up and draw three cards from Power Hungry. Thanos was sent to attack Miss America and got the stun. Kirk used Tough to have her recover. Next I had Dark Phoenix make a ranged attack on Miss America. Kirk played two copies of Shock to the System to blank my attack. I wanted to be able to power up and draw three cards on Kirk’s turn so I chose not to attack She-Hulk. Kirk had a few cards still and I didn’t want to risk Loki just yet.

Kirk’s eighth turn he made his Mental Calculations before he had his crew return from the Pocket Dimension. Then he chose to target Thanos with Penance Stare for four -1-1 counters. A Fortress entered his resource row and then Kirk sent his ranged guys to the back row while the rest went the front. Kirk flipped his Arcadia over to activate Hallucinogenic Dust and found Thanos who went to the front row. Kirk discarded Ghost Rider to power up and draw three cards form Power Hungry before he made any decisions about his attacks. After all this fun stuff Kirk had Corporal Hicks attack Loki. I powered up to draw three cards and also played YWLHWSA to nullify the attack.

Next Kirk had Magneto attack Loki and got the knockout. Then he sent Pixie and Singularity to team attack Dark Phoenix. She was stunned and gained her fifth wound while Pixie and Singularity were now too big to stun back. Ghost Rider was next and he went after my enfeebled Thanos who was stunned and wounded. Kirk would then announce his intention to flip his Fortress face down and added another wound to both Dark Phoenix and my Thanos who was knocked out. This is when we started counting his KO pile and Kirk made a couple of additions by powering up his Pixie and She-Hulk. This brought the good guy count to seven. Which would be enough to make the final stun on my Dark Phoenix if I didn’t add any defense to her. After that Kirk used Stay Frosty and then sent most of his crew to the Pocket Dimension. I entered my scoop phase after I drew and revealed my hand. Kirk would be able to work his way into stunning my main Character with his huge army and he already had the Fortress in play to activate Welcome Death for my seventh and final wound.

I was very surprised by how this went down and didn’t expect Sister Grimm to beat Dark Phoenix this handily. I understand my piloting errors may have been part of the losses. But even going over some plays with Kirk it was hard to find the winning lines. With that being discussed, we played another game for posterity’s sake and I thought I had opened with the nuts but Kirk had his version of the nuts going for him as well.

Game 4, Turn1: After all these games. I think those still following will get the idea and the play by play will be toned down to a minimum. I went second because the last three games I went first. I got what I felt was a great hand and this is what it looked like after Kirk kept his hand and ended his first turn.

Turn2, Kirk: Academy into Pixie, he made no attacks.

Turn 2, Eric: Laboratory into Pixie no attacks.

Turn 3, Kirk: Laboratory into Singularity. Hallucinogenic Dust found Corporal Hicks.

Kirk made no attacks and Stayed Frosty before sending his crew to the Pocket Dimension.

I tried to keep up with a similar line but Hallucinogenic Dust found Ghost Rider who was underwhelming when Corporal Hicks was making Kirk’s guys too huge to care. I didn’t want to attack and allow Singularity to gain another two counters from YWLHWSA or worse four more with two copies. This play was probably a little too conservative but, if Ghost Rider gets stunned, I lose him. So I chose to play the longer game.

Turn 4, Kirk: Laid a card face down for a resource and recruited She-Hulk. Hallucinogenic Dust brought Loki into play. Hicks attacked Pixie and got the KO. Stay Frosty was triggered before Kirk sent his crew to the Pocket Dimension.

After this turn things just snowballed out of control. Without any way to answer Kirk’s Stay Frosty the game just gets further out of reach every turn. Grimm’s supporting character suite is just better and he is not losing card advantage with any of his defensive plot twists. I’d like to end the pain of my beat down here and get this wrapped up.

Congratulations to the Sister Grimm deck and Kirk for smashing my face in with it in four straight games! I really enjoyed this exercise and I hope you all did as well. I think this means John Tatta is the winner of the Daily Metagame goodies. Congratulations and good job to you sir!

Some more notes on why I think this match up went the way it did.

  • The power ups aren’t doing Dark Phoenix any favors in early combat vs the Sister Grimm deck. They are great to draw three from Loki and add to the good guy count in the KO pile. But aside from that, Sister Grimm is packing an Almost 4 to1 defensive plot twist advantage vs the four power ups for Dark Phoenix. Even if I did activate Hallucinogenic Dust and didn’t hit Singularity on turn two. I would not normally have enough attack to have Dark Phoenix stun Pixie because the odds of the Grimm player not having a plot twist are terrible.
  • I feel like Iron Man is just a big dud in combat. He can fight most five drops or lower well. But unfortunately he is a six drop who can’t stun Loki in one on one combat and that’s terrible in any VS format. Yes you do get a resource back so you can activate Hallucinogenic Dust and just get another character. But I would prefer to hit something that will impact the board right away and add pressure. The ability to keep ramping to level up is nice when Iron Man facilitates it. But as you saw here even making level two and activating Ravager of Worlds was not enough against Grimm.

Thanks for following along and I hope to have you guys and gals reading our next series of Good vs Bad decks, not the official name BTW. This time we will be adding other members of the Daily Metagame crew that are spread across the globe.

Kirk will announce the winners of the Bracket Contest tomorrow!

Happy Cinco De Mayo and Stay Frosty!