By: Kirk W Buckendorf
The final version of the Magneto Deck we took to Origins was the result of a 7 week long journey in developing different decks. As soon as A-Force was released we built the obvious suspects in Dark Phoenix, Captain Marvel to add to the gauntlet alongside Thanos and Luke Cage. We even had some other decks that tried to take advantage of the new card pool. Nicholas Rausch developed an awesome Loki deck that abused Sister Grimm and I worked on tons of +1/+1 counter decks from the competitive like Captain Marvel to the fun and goofy Captain America & Singularity variety. One of my favorite Main Characters to build around was Enchantress, as her Imbue With Power ability was great as a counter to ramp style decks making your characters bigger than their cost usually allows for without having to spend time building extra resources. Also, Carnage was one of my pet-favorite 1 drops he was blowout with the right opening hand in Enchantress. All these decks were good, but my deck of choice if the Origins was 2 weeks after the release of A-Force would have easily been Captain Marvel. The ability to apply heavy pressure every turn and rebuild easily after any answers was just too good and consistent.
That deck has a decent shot against Thanos, but only if the game is fair and the Thanos player didn’t get the perfect draw to gauntlet you by turn 4 or 5. There was just nothing you could do when that happens and I hated it. Any other time I could outplay my opponent to win the match, but times that Goblin Queen hit the table and gave all the XP Thanos needed after all my hard work avoiding giving any quarter was just too frustrating. The only answer was to keep them off of ever playing Goblin Queen or getting all the Locations together that they needed to use Infinity Gauntlet.
Last year at the Gencon 10k, I played Hulk and ran 4 Ronan in my deck. Even with the newness of the set and the unfamiliarity with the metagame he was an MVP allowing me to strip needed cards and gain intel on possible plays from my opponents. He got a buddy in Helmut Zemo from Defenders and ever since I read that card I wanted a deck with both of them, but no list I ever put together really fit. Black Cat after some buzz on the Facebook Collective looked good on paper, but any build I made never really did well. It did shine a light on Satana, though. Her combined with discard effects made for great dismantling of decks and their strategies. I wanted all 3 of these characters in a deck working together, but that plan faced an issue of needing to play 3 different teams worth of Special Locations. It stuck in my mind until I decided to look at all the MCs and see who would fit a deck built around these 3 characters and this location base:
I really didn’t want to go more than 20 Locations, so I didn’t want any MC that wasn’t Villains, Femme Fatales or Underworld. I also didn’t want one that used anything other than Intellect and Energy. If you use all the cool filters here in the TCG Browser, you can see what I was looking at. The only one that fit the bill happened to be one of my early favorites, Enchantress. She was perfect as she used Energy in the early game, so she wasn’t stealing from the discard twins and Intellect in the late game so she played well with Satana. The first draft I threw together looked like this:
It was basically my generic Enchantress with the discard package thrown in. It was pretty good right out of the gate against Thanos, but needed a little more fine tuning. Carnage could have some runaway games, but he was no closer like Cosmo. Especially in the Dark Phoenix match up, and COFFEE’S FOR CLOSERS CARNAGE! Step aside and watch what a telepathic dog can do! Venom was also cute and fun, but relied too much on Enchantress buffing him up or stealing Fisk Towers away from Helmut Zemo to buff himself. Sabretooth was more of a threat by himself and fit Enchantresses second power later in the game. This was also the start of seeing the power of Multi-Health team attackers when he followed a Ronan onto the field.
Moonstone and Black Cat made some rotations into the deck as well, to try and shore up the Captain Marvel match up. As I said in the Magneto articles, we switched to Magneto because this deck struggled so badly against that deck, but even 4 Black Cats wasn’t enough. It also just felt like putting smaller characters in the deck was a step in the wrong direction. It needed more late game, and while a guaranteed 7/9 Iron Man_SC is pretty awesome thanks to his always giving a Laboratory or Madripoor back to Enchantress he wasn’t cutting it. The last list I have recorded is this:
4 Helmut Zemo
4 Doctor Octopus
4 Femme Fatality
4 Fisk Tower
4 The Vault
You can see that we’d started moving towards a more team attacking deck that would eventually move over to Magneto. We even cut Satana, in chasing the Captain Marvel match up, but I think she still has a spot in the deck.
That said, every version of Enchantress we came up with was very good against Luke Cage and terrible against Captain Marvel. The switch to Magneto flipped that around, he has great game against Captain Marvel but lays down to Luke Cage. So it was a metagame call, I just knew that Captain Marvel was going to be more played at the 10k than Luke Cage, so we moved to tuning Magneto instead. Hindsight being 20/20, we totally should’ve stuck to the Dis-Enchantress build. Both of our decks have great match ups against Thanos, so it turns to what is going to be the second most popular deck in your metagame.
If I were to rebuild this deck with what I learned at the 10k and with developing Magneto I would start here and grind some games to finer tune it:
4 Helmut Zemo
4 Femme Fatality
4 Fisk Tower
4 The Vault
If you have a ton of Luke Cage and Thanos in your metagame, give that version a whirl and let me know how it goes for you!