Exit Thanos, Enter Cerebro.

By: Ashley Knox

Professor X is a character I haven’t touched since the Marvel Battles was all we could play with, maybe with a change or banishing of Thanos, some of the other old characters could have a chance to shine. The idea of using Singularity with a bunch of characters that provide value just sounds great to me, and getting an explore trigger off Kane every turn sounds absurd. As I was play testing with the control Thanos deck I really saw how powerful Ice Man was especially if you’re recurring it every turn so where better to put it than a deck that can really fall behind in the first few turns by attacking. Cerebro is a great ability in the early game when you’re trying to search for your synergy pieces and can still help to filter for win conditions in the late game. Five wounds is really not a lot, but with all the disruption you’re playing early game and an endgame that revolves around using Mental Domination to zero for two your opponent, using Valkyrie to recur infinite Ice Man or getting the job done the good old fashioned way with Ghost Rider.

Now this archetype was a deck for a short time at the start of A force being released but didn’t seem to last long enough for me to see a really polished list. I’m not saying this is the tightest thing since the Hulk’s purple hot pants but we’ve got a lot of decks to look at that have used a similar shell.

When you’re playing Singularity there are a few different ways you can go, you can go turbo combo with Pixie and just make a turn three Thanos or whatever chubby boom booms your deck can muster and go from there or you can flicker a bunch of value pieces like Wasp and Iron Man. Given that Professor X already uses blue for his ability and the idea of paying a resource to flip over a Cosmo seems pretty horrendous I decided to forgo the “combo” and focus on another build entirely.

4 Ice Man
4 Wasp
1 Hope Summers
4 Kane
1 Emma Frost
3 Iron Man
4 Singularity

The First part of the deck focuses on getting value from Singularity flickering and also helps you not fall too far behind when you’re trying to level up your Prof X by not attacking in the early turns. Wasp does a great job of this protection part of the package and Kane is there to help fuel your Cerebro and has the marginal value of giving you a shuffle effect when you’re selecting from Cerebro. Iron Man runs in a similar vein to Kane in allowing your to activate Prof X every turn which becomes especially potent when you reach the end game of using Mental Domination. Due to the duo of these two characters I feel it could be ok to include one copy of Fortress and Training Ground so that you could activate abilities from enemy characters you “borrow”.

Hope Summers is a more interesting inclusion and could be an easy cut but it gives you the out of having double Freeze before you get the Valkyrie engine online. She also allows you to have an albeit more expensive version of the Ice Man train you get with Valkyrie if you didn’t find a second copy of ice man to keep the train going multiple times every turn.

Emma Frost is another singleton I like – you can’t win by decking in this game, but once an opponent has no cards in their hand they will never be able to draw another card to improve their board. Though typically you will be using her to cycle your hand, which has a minor synergy with Kane adding locations to your hand. Discarding characters you no longer need allows you to both draw into and craft some pretty lethal Ghost Riders as well as filling your yard with great Valkyrie targets.

4 Cosmo

Cosmo is the greatest piece of interaction with many characters, from stripping flight or ranged to all together making a character like Dark Phoenix useless. I considered Yondu but adding locations felt like it could interrupt my streamlined plan.

4 Miss America
2 Punisher

The meat and potatoes of the party, Miss America does a great job of protecting singularity, turning on You Won’t Like Her When She’s Angry and beats down opposing characters. I really can’t say enough good things about Miss America but the versatility of being a great defensive character and also a great offensive one solidifies her place. When it comes to Punisher, a great offense truly is a great defense.  Frank is great at removing many threats in the format and his lethal ability really helps turn the tides against multiple wound characters such as Juggernaut or opposing Valkyries.

2 Valkyrie
4 Ghost Rider

Valkyrie allows you an additional method of attack as you can both re-buy expensive win conditions or train through Ice Mans freeze ability or to a lesser extent Wasps sting ability which given enough recruit points can KO an MC which allows you an incredible amount of late game reach and disruption. Ghost Rider is simply the most efficient win condition, they can act as a removal effect, a burn spell for your opponents main character or just an imposing stabilizing force for your board.

4 Uncanny Defense
4 Shock to the System
3 You Won’t Like Her When She’s Angry

Given you are already a defensive deck in the early turns having a large number of plot twists helps your survivability and helps to protect your synergy pieces. I am a huge fan of You Won’t Like Her When She’s Angry and if you ever get to put some counters on Professor X, he becomes huge and very difficult to ever actually stun. Putting those Counters on Singularity is usually correct as they will keep her alive or force your opponent to massively over extend into a team attack which could be blown out by Shock to the System of an Uncanny Defenses onto another character on your side. Shock to the system has really gone down in stock recently and could perhaps predate a future uprising in Iron Fist activation in our future as I can see his power being a nuisance for us. Uncanny Defense, or *Bamf* as we like to call it back home, allows you real control over your opponent combat steps, a great tip is to cancel the first attack on Wasp using her Shrink ability and on the second attempt switch her out with a larger character to keep her around for later.

4 School for Gifted Youngsters
4 Laboratory
4 Academy

The locations are pretty cookie cutter the only off color activation we have in the deck is Punisher and he’s great without it though as I mentioned earlier I would not be adverse to playing an additional of each basic location as you can eventually tutor for them and at a point of the game you can keep re-flipping them. I do like the idea where I can only hit MC locations with Kane as this helps to grease our engine until we can get an Iron Man online.

I appreciate the split up deck list might be a bit unfriendly to those of us reading on our smart phones so I’ve provided it below.

Professor X

4 Ice Man
4 Wasp
1 Hope Summers
4 Kane
1 Emma Frost
3 Iron Man
4 Singularity
4 Cosmo
4 Miss America
2 Punisher
2 Valkyrie
4 Ghost Rider

4 Uncanny Defense
4 Shock to the System
3 You Wouldn’t Like Her When She’s Angry

4 School for Gifted Youngsters
4 Laboratory
4 Academy

A few tips with the deck:

At a certain point of the game facing down a deck with Ghost Rider or a lethal Femme Fatality in it, you may want to prioritize hiding Professor X with Singularity so that he is never in play on your opponents turn as this could be one of the only ways you could lose once you’re stable. The X Men affiliated characters all have the ranged keyword so you can eventually make a team attack using Ice Man, Emma Frost and Hope Summers will gain their ranged these kind of wonky attacks are vital in taking down large threats.

Just because you “shouldn’t” attack to level up, doesn’t mean you can’t. If there is a character on the board that you need to get rid of (Helmut Zemo comes to mind) attack into them with Ice Man, Wasp or Prof X.

Being on the play allows you to have an XP before your opponent can impact the board but you may want to be on the draw as it helps you hit locations and these allow you to dig further for a Singularity – though you will eventually be accruing card advantage every turn and burying your opponent you do need to get the pieces online first.

Thanks for reading,

you can find me on @Thatresolves on twitter, or casually rioting in the Facebook VS2PCG Collective group..

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