Luke Cage VS Magneto

By: Eric Buckendorf

I watched Kirk play this match up before at Origins 2016 in the top four but with different builds. This time around I was curious to see if the tweaks that were made to Magneto improved what was thought to be an almost unwinnable match for Magneto. Kirk played the Magneto deck and I played the Luke Cage deck with its Power Up Man inspired list from Ashley Knox. Luke had more Defenders this time around which meant less targets for Helmut Zemo. My plan was to aggressively mulligan for Cosmo and to also play as many face up resources as possible without using them until I got up to six resources total.

Game 1

Turn 1: I won the die roll and chose to be on the play. I laid a Sanctum Sanctorum and since I was not able to find a copy of Cosmo so I used my resource point to give Luke Cage his first experience. Then I had him attack Magneto, Kirk responded by discarding a Laboratory to activate Magnetic Force Field which kept me from getting the stun.

Kirk got his experience at the beginning of his turn, resourced The Vault, then recruited Cosmo naming Luke Cage. Cosmo took up his position behind Magneto and Kirk passed.

Turn 2: I laid a card face down for my resource and recruited Cosmo naming Magneto with one point and I gave Luke his second experience with the other. I then had Luke attack Magneto and got the and a wound.

Kirk laid a Fortress and Ronin entered his front row. Kirk flipped The Vault to activate Accuse naming Moon Knight. I discarded my one copy of Moon Knight and revealed two copies each of Call and Super Senses. Kirk chose not to attack and passed.

Turn 3: I laid another card face down and then spent my resources leveling up Luke Cage. I discarded both copies of Call to power up Cosmo twice before attacking into Ronin. Kirk had another copy of Ronin in hand an used it to power up which saved Ronin for now. I then had Luke attack Ronin, got the stun and passed.

On Kirk’s third turn he laid a Fisk Tower followed by recruiting Helmut Zemo. Cosmo and Magneto ended up hiding in the back row while Ronin and Helmut Zemo went to the front to play defense. During his main phase Kirk activated Sow Distrust but I had no off team supporting characters for him to make me discard. With no good attacks Kirk passed.

Turn 4: I wasn’t drawing resources like I was hoping and had to lay another card face down for a resource. Iron Fist was my lone recruit and he went to the front row with Luke Cage while my Cosmo with two +1+1 counters was still in the back row. I sent Cosmo into Ronin again and got the knockout this time. Then I had Iron Fist take out Helmut Zemo. Next Luke Cage attacked and knocked Cosmo out instead of adding another wound to Magneto. I had one more experience to fade before Magneto was going to get nasty, so I chose to free up Luke’s super powers first.

Kirk laid a Laboratory and recruited Sabretooth to his front row while Magneto stayed in the back row. Sabretooth attacked Iron Fist and got the knockout along with his Berserker +1+1 counter. Then Kirk ended his turn.

Turn 5: I had drawn a Sanctum Sanctorum and used it for my fifth resource. I then activated Power Man and… to bring Iron Fist back into play along with recruiting Punisher. Iron Fist went to the front row and Punisher took up the back row next to my beefy Cosmo. I had Punisher go after Sabretooth and got the lethal stun for the knockout. Then I sent Luke Cage into Magneto and got the stun and added another wound to Kirk’s MC.

Kirk added a second Fortess to his resources and then recruited Hellstrom. Hellstrom attacked Punisher from the front row but I used my first copy of Super Senses to keep my Punisher alive. With nothing else to try Kirk passed the turn.

Turn 6: I laid a Fortress and then added She-Hulk to my team in the front row. Luke Cage attacked Magneto and was able to get the stun and add a third wound.

Kirk added a Laboratory as his sixth resource and recruited Sabretooth along with Electro. They both went to the front row.

Kirk then had Sabretooth attack She-Hulk, gained a +1+1 counter from going Berserk and got the ferocious one sided stun. Next Hellstrom came after Punisher again. I had to resource my other copy of Super Senses earlier so I had to accept and trade knockouts. After that Kirk passed.

Turn 7: I laid another Fortress and recruited Ghost Rider. I directed his Penance Stare at Magneto for seven counters getting the out of combat stun and adding the fourth wound. I then had Ghost Rider attack Sabretooth for another stun. Next She_Hulk would knock Electro out. I think I should have hid She-Hulk in the back row but I also didn’t want to miss on any of my chances to keep Kirk’s board stunned or KO’d. After that I passed.

Kirk had a third Fortress to add to his resources and recruited both Helmut Zemo and Juggernaut to his front row. Juggernaut attacked Ghost Rider and both characters stunned each other.

Kirk then had Sabretooth attack She-Hulk, again gaining a berserker +1+1 counter to be able to knock She_Hulk out of the game without taking the strike back. Zemo was now going to act as a speed bump and Kirk passed his turn.

Turn 8: I laid a Sanctum Sanctorum and I showed Kirk my second copy of Ghost Rider who would give his Stare to Magneto and get the win out of combat.

Game 2

Turn 1: Kirk chose to play first, laid a Laboratory and recruited Cosmo, naming Luke Cage. Cosmo went to the back row and Kirk made no attacks passing with two copies of Call in hand.

I put Sanctum Sanctorum into my resource row and recruited my own copy of Cosmo naming Magneto. I sent my Cosmo to the back row as well and had Luke attack Magneto. Kirk responded by powering up Magneto by discarding Call. I responded with a power up of my own. But Kirk used his second copy of Call to give Magneto his second +1+1 counter. I ran out of gas and my MC was stunned leaving a 4/6 Magneto standing to gain his second experience. Things were not looking good and it was only the first turn.

Turn 2: Kirk added an Academy and Ronin to his cards in play. Ronin went to the front row with Magneto while Cosmo stayed in the back row. Kirk activated Accuse naming Moon Knight but this time he missed.

Ronan then attacked Cosmo and I powered up my copy to save him. Kirk then had Magneto attack Cosmo and I responded by giving Magneto a Shock to the System which also kept the Lab alive for another round.

I added an Academy on my second turn and instead of gaining experience I chose to play the Iron Fist I had in hand. If I allowed Magneto to keep going with his two +1+1 counters I could find my self not being able to reach five resources for a turn or three. I felt it was worth the gamble to use Iron Fist’s super power to make Kirk have the Shock to the System or lose his two counters now.

I made the attack and activated Iron Fist turning my Sanctum Sanctorum face down. Luckily it paid off and I got the stun and wound while Iron Fist was also knocked out from the strike back. Wiping the sweat from my brow I powered up my Cosmo once again and had my 3/5 make a ranged attack on Ronan getting my second stun for this turn. Next Luke Cage made his melee attack on Kirk’s Cosmo getting the knock out. I had no experience yet but that didn’t matter since my Main Character was once again larger than Magneto and I had a very beefy Cosmo who was still Nullifying Magneto’s super powers.

Turn 3: Kirk added a Fisk Tower and recruited Cosmo to the back row. Ronin and Magneto stayed up front but Kirk made no attacks and passed.

I added a Fortress and put my three resources into experience for Luke Cage. I had  Luke Cage attack Magneto and Kirk responded with Trickster God on Luke Cage. I had drawn a power up and used it to put a +1+1 counter on Luke and got the one way stun. I then had Cosmo attack Ronin and this time I got the knock out ending my turn.

Turn 4: The Vault went into Kirk’s resource row and Sabretooth took up his spot in the front row while Magneto joined Cosmo in the back row. Sabretooth attacked Luke Cage gaining his +1+1 counter but I had a Super Senses to respond with. Kirk powered up Sabretooth in an attempt to keep him from getting stunned and it worked. Kirk’s turn was ended there without making any more progress.

I laid an Academy and used two resource points to level up Luke Cage. I then sent Luke into Sabretooth and got the stun. Next I had my Cosmo attack Kirk’s Cosmo for the knockout and then I ended my turn.

Turn 5: Magneto gained his third experience and Kirk added his second copy of The Vault to his resources. Kirk did not add a character to his team this turn and he passed leaving Sabretooth as a blocker.

I laid a card face down and added Punisher to my back row. Next Punisher laid the beats on Sabretooth and got the knockout. Luke Cage then attacked Magneto and got the stun adding a third wound to Magneto.

Turn 6: Kirk played a Fortess and recruited both Abomination and Helmut Zemo to his front row. During his main phase Kirk activated Sow Distrust and this is what he saw.

Kirk had to choose between Miss America or Loki. Kirk chose Miss America not wanting to have to deal with the three health flier for the rest of the game. Luke was too big for Abomination to attack alone and Kirk had little choice but to pass the turn without attacks once again.

I drew an Academy along with a third copy of Cosmo, how lucky! I added the Academy to my resource row and recruited Loki to the front row. During my main phase I powered up Cosmo to draw three cards and make my Lab a 4/6.

I then had Punisher make his Lethal, Ranged attack on Abomination Kirk didn’t have an answer and Abomination was sent to the discard pile. Next I had Cosmo attack Helmut Zemo for an easy knockout. After that Luke Cage added another wound to Magneto stunning him with his melee attack.

Turn 7: Kirk laid a card face down and revealed Thanos and Trickster God. This would be the end of Magneto’s run in the Salt 16.

I hope you guys are enjoying these matches as much as I am. If you have questions, comments or what ever please hit me up on the Facebook Group tagging Eric Buckendorf. Thanks for reading and I hope to see some or ALL of you at Origins and or Gen Con this year!