Good Evening everyone, and welcome to the first match of the Salt 16! We have a couple of power houses lined up to battle in 8th seed Professor X. vs. 9th seed The Dragon. (Click the links to check out their deck lists!)
Also, follow the bracket here!
Here is Eric’s take on the action:
Going into the match up I didn’t know what deck I was going to get to play. I have tested with and against Professor X MC deck so I think I can pilot that deck alright. The Dragon MC deck though, I have not got to play with yet and to be honest I was kind of hoping to get The Dragon. I was a little concerned about learning the match up on the fly if I got my wish though. I naturally want the games to be played as skillfully as possible. But since this is the first time we have tried something like this I am going to have to leave my comfort zone and do some learning on the fly. Turns out I got my wish.
The Professor X MC won the die roll with a pair of Boxcars, if I didn’t know better I could have sworn I saw the dice teeter on its edge for a second before it landed on the second 6. Looks like the Professor is playing dirty right off the bat. I can’t say I blame him though, if I was staring down the Dragon I’d probably do everything I could to gain the advantage too.
Kirk is Piloting the Professor MC deck and chooses to go on the play. He resources a Laboratory and immediately activates his Cerebro ability. I don’t remember what the other four cards were that were revealed because Iceman was the target and he was ready to come into play and freeze the Dragon. Now, I have seen these aliens in action in the movies and I was thinking this strategy could be a bust. The aliens in the movies are able to survive and function in the below freezing temperatures that are present in the vacuum of space. But alas the paper version of The Dragon was frozen for round one of this game. This was not the way I was hoping to start out but I figure the Professor is going to have the most success employing this play turn 1.
(1st turn Iceman, into 2nd turn Wasp, along with a couple misses on Ovomorph Hatching)
After about 5 turns I noticed that I needed to manage my resources a little better when deploying Ovomorphs and paying a space to activate them. I didn’t realize how important the healing would be later in the game and that the Facehuggers would be taking away my opportunities to heal. I was able to get a queen into play on early and she was able to start laying the beat down along with some eggs. I used a Blue from LV-426 to activate the Queen’s “Who’s Laying the Eggs?” ability netting a couple Ovomorphs for next turn. This first activation was fine. It was the second one that would end up costing me a heal I would need to keep pace with each of Kirk’s Yellow resources later in the game. This being realized as The Dragon was taken over by the Professor’s Mental Domination ability which was just used to suicide The Dragon into my frozen Queen every time. I am pretty sure I have a better line for the next couple of games. Luckily I get to be on the play this next game and I have a much better Idea of how I am supposed to win this difficult match up.
(Even with an empty board, all Professor X needs is his mind to make the Dragon Suicide into his Queen)
I had a great curve in game two along with a Call SC, Chest Burst and a Shock to the System which would be my first resource. I did not have locations but I don’t think I was really going to need them. My focus was to just stun the Professor until he tapped out since I had the turn advantage and wasn’t getting frozen on turn one. I powered up on turn one and got the stun. I assumed I would be frozen turn two but that is when the Leaping Xenomorph comes in and attacks a cowering Professor X who would be hiding behind an Iceman SC. He played Iceman SC after consulting with Cerebro and froze my Dragon. The game went according to plan as I drew enough supporting characters to keep the pressure on. I had accumulated a couple resources by now and was able to cheat The Newborn in who just took over as the primary attacker once The Dragon got locked down again. This game felt much better on the play as expected. I won on turn 6 or so I believe.
(A spook on Singularity to keep Wasp from returning to Protect Professor X was all it took to signal the end)
(Turn 1 Iceman, Turn 2 Hope Summers, Followed by a Wasp is a pretty good opening for the Professor)
(Turn 4 Nighthawk, lead to turn 5 Valkyrie and Iceman from hand, lead to Iceman recursion already)
(Eventually Valkyrie/Iceman combo turned into Ghost Rider/Singularity Combo ending The Dragon’s Dreams of glory)
I really enjoyed this match up and I am super pumped to keep this going at lunch every day. I found I really like The Dragon MC deck and I have some Ideas I’d like to test with it. This match up is not as abysmal I thought it was going to be for The Dragon MC deck. It easily won on the play and Iceman was present along with Singularity. If you can get the jump and keep drawing a strong curve to keep the pressure on, this match up is great on the play. On the draw it is much harder and leans toward the Professor under a great Pilot. I would not suggest playing Professor X in a live event though. It takes so long to figure out your turns and you have so many lines and decisions to make. I recommend mastering this deck under a clock and making sure you are finishing well before time vs the top decks.
I asked Anthony Calabrese what he might change in the deck from Gen Con. He said the Black Cat SCs were for the Thanos match up mainly and those could be tinkered with. I was thinking Iceman might be a good add to the deck since some people were just running their Main Characters into The Dragon MC to keep it from gaining experience. I also swapped the third copy of The Newborn SC for a fourth copy of The Queen SC. I don’t think I want Iceman any more. I feel like just adding threats in more Xenomorph Supporting Characters is just better. But that is also based on this one match up.