By: Eric Buckendorf
Here we are, after weeks of pitting sixteen of the community’s most popular decks against each other. We have come down to our Fantastic Four Decks and we are about to embark on the first match of the Semi-Finals. It’s no surprise that number 1 seed Dark Phoenix is still going strong along with number 4 seed Luke Cage. But we do have a couple of sleepers in number 14 seed Star-Lord and number 15 seed Sister Grimm. These two decks almost didn’t make the cut during voting and here they are now playing to get in to the finals. Let’s get to the first game and see what went down!
Game 1, Turn 1: Kirk was the pilot for Star-Lord and also won the die roll to go first. He kept his opening hand and I used my Mulligan. Kirk placed a Sanctum Sanctorum into his resource row and then recruited Yondu who went to the back row. Kirk had no attacks to make but he did gain an XP.
I played a Fortress as my first resource and ended my turn.
Turn 2: Kirk played a Training Ground and recruited Iceman who targeted Sister Grimm with Freeze. Kirk gained another XP and had Iceman enter his back row with Yondu. Kirk still didn’t have an attack to make and ended his turn.
My second turn was just as boring as my first. I played a Fortress and ended my turn.
Turn 3: Kirk laid an Academy and did not have a recruit to bring in so Kirk just ended his turn there.
Turn 4: Kirk laid a Sanctum Sanctorum and recruited Mantis who went to the front row. Star-Lord gained his third XP and then made a team attack with Mantis into Pixie. I played a copy of Find Cover to save my Pixie. Kirk then chose to turn his Training Ground face down to activate Yaka Arrow targeting Pixie for the knockout and then ended his turn.
I played another Academy as my fourth resource and recruited M.O.D.O.K. who went to the back row behind Sister Grimm. I then had M.O.D.O.K. attack Yondu, got the stun and then ended my turn.
Turn 5: Kirk played a Knowhere and flipped an Academy face down to activate Greatest Guardian in order to recruit Loki a turn early. He had Yondu enter his front row with Loki and went to main phase. Star-Lord, Yondu and Mantis all made a team attack on Sister Grimm.
I chose not to play any tricks but I did have Sister Grimm strike back on Yondu for a knockout. Then I added the first wound to my now level two Sister Grimm. With my main character out of the way Kirk had Loki attack M.O.D.O.K.. I played Find Cover and Kirk powered up drawing three cards from Power Hungry. I played Find Cover again and Kirk had the Even the Odds to get the knockout keeping his Loki face up. After that Kirk’s was done with his turn.
I had to lay a card face down for my fifth resource. I didn’t draw a source of energy for Pixie so I recruited Miss America instead of Pixie and Singularity. Sister Grimm was in the back row while Miss America went to the front. I had Miss America attack Star-Lord and got the stun after Kirk tanked for a minute. I didn’t want to ramp Kirk into Ghost Rider without making him have to activate Greatest Guardian. So I just activated Open Sesame to draw three cards, Sister Grimm went back to level one and then ended my turn.
Turn 6: Kirk laid a card face down and recruited Valkyrie. Next he activated Greatest Guardian followed by Chooser of the Slain so he could recruit Iceman from the discard pile. Iceman targeted Miss America with Freeze before he was sent to the back row. Star-Lord leveled up and was sent to the back row while Valkyrie and Loki went to the front row. Star-Lord made a ranged attack on Miss America, I played You Won’t Like Her When She’s Angry (YWLHWSA) to add two +1+1 counters to Miss America. In response Kirk powered up discarding Call and drew three cards from Power Hungry. He then discarded another Call to bring his ranged attack to 6. I played a second copy of YWLHWSA to make Miss America a 10/8 and the attack was nullified. Mantis attacked Miss America and got knocked out to trigger Rebirth which put Mantis into Kirk’s resource row instead of the discard pile. After that Kirk ended his turn.
I laid a Laboratory as my sixth resource, which meant it was time to recruit Pixie and Singularity. Then I sent everyone to the front row. During my main phase I activateded Hallucinogenic Dust to bring a copy of Thanos into play. Next Thanos attacked Valkyrie, Kirk powered up to draw three cards from Power Hungry and Valkryrie was stunned. Then I had Singularity attack Iceman for a knockout. Before I wrapped my turn up and sent everyone I could to the Pocket Dimension I activated Welcome Death to add the knockout wound to Valkyrie.
Turn 7: Kirk laid a Sanctum Sanctorum and recruited Ghost Rider. He gave his Penance Stare to Singularity for eight -1-1 counters and a knockout. I had Thanos come back to the front row while Grimm, Miss America and Pixie all went to the back row.
Before ending his turn, Kirk decided to power up Loki to draw three cards from triggering Power Hungry.
On my 7th turn I laid a card face down and recruited my own copy of Ghost Rider. He directed his Penance Stare at Loki for two -1-1 counters and then went to the front row with Miss America and Pixie. Ghost Rider attacked Loki and got the knockout. Thanos was next and he attacked Kirk’s Ghost Rider for a stun. I then had Pixie and Miss America team attack Star-Lord. I was willing to sacrifice Pixie to make sure that Star-Lord would get his wound in the case Kirk had Even the Odds. Star-Lord was stunned and gained his second wound but he also knocked Pixie out with his strike back.
With no more attacks to make, I activated Welcome Death to knock Ghost Rider out and add a third wound to Star-Lord. Unfortunately we didn’t add the wound to Star-Lord but as you will see it did not affect the way the game was played out.
Turn 8: Kirk added a Knowhere to his resources and recruited another copy of Valkyrie. He then activated Chooser of the Slain to recruit Iceman four times from his discard pile. He targeted each of my four characters with Freeze then ended his turn.
My eighth resource was an Academy and then I recruited She-Hulk and Singularity. Singularity was the only character in my back row. She-Hulk made her attack on Iceman and got the knockout. After that I sent everyone but Sister Grimm to the Pocket Dimension and ended my turn.
Turn 9: Kirk laid a Training Ground and then activated Chooser of the Slain. He recruited Ghost Rider who gave ten -1-1 counters to Singularity and got the knockout with his Penance Stare. I had She-Hulk, Miss America and Ghost Rider all appear in the back row. While Thanos went to the front row with Sister Grimm. I had Ghost Rider target Valkyrie with his Penance Stare and put four -1-1 counters on her. Kirk then used his remaining three resource points to recruit his two copies of Iceman repeatedly from the discard to Freeze Thanos, Ghost Rider and Miss America. With Iceman, Valkyrie and Ghost Rider all in the front row and Star-Lord in the back, Kirk entered his main phase. Ghost Rider attacked Sister Grimm for a stun and a second wound was gained. This would level Sister Grimm up before Kirk ended his turn.
My ninth turn I chose not to lay a card face down as a resource. I recruited another copy of Ghost Rider which knocked my frozen copy out. He gave his Penance Stare to Kirk’s Ghost Rider for five -1-1 counters. My Ghost Rider went to the front row with She-Hulk and Thanos. Then I had my Ghost Rider attack Kirk’s Ghost Rider and got the stun and wound. Next I had She-Hulk attack Valkyrie getting another stun and wound. For my final attack I had Sister Grimm attack Iceman and got the knockout. Since I didn’t have a resource that matched up with Sister Grimm’s remaining super powers I ended my turn there.
Turn 10: Kirk added another Sanctum Sanctorum to his resources and then recruited Singularity. He followed up by activating Chooser of the Slain so he could recruit Iceman five times from the discard pile targeting all of my characters with Freeze. With his remaining three resource points Kirk recruited Mantis and Yondu. Yondu and Star-Lord were the only characters in the back row when Kirk was done with his formation. Kirk’s first attack was to have Mantis run into Thanos to trigger Rebirth. Next he had Yondu and Star-Lord make a ranged team attack on She-Hulk and got the “free” stun. After this one attack Kirk ended his turn sending all but Yondu to the Pocket Dimension.
Again, I had nothing I wanted to lay for a resource and just recruited another copy of Ghost Rider. He gave his Penance Stare to Kirk’s Singularity for six -1-1 counters and she was knocked out. Kirk had everyone other than Iceman appear in the back row. Iceman targeted my new Ghost Rider with Freeze. Kirk’s Ghost Rider targeted Sister Grimm with his Penance Stare for ten -1-1 counters and got the stun along with adding a third wound. I had no attacks to make during my main phase and ended my turn.
Turn 11: Kirk laid a card face down and recruited Iron Man who would turn a Sanctum Sanctorum face up with Inventive. He then activated Chooser of the Slain to recruit loop Iceman four times targeting She-Hulk, Thanos, Ghost Rider and Miss America with Freeze. With all his ranged characters in the back and the melee beaters up front Kirk entered the main phase. Before he made His first attack Kirk activated Space Cop to take all my character’s super and key word powers away. Then he had Iron Man fly over and attack She-Hulk. I played a copy of Find Cover which nullified the attack and then Kirk ended his turn.
My eleventh turn was worse than the previous two turns. I laid a card face down and recruited Miss America and M.O.D.O.K.. She went to the front row and M.O.D.O.K. went to the back row. My main character had four wounds on her and there was no way for me to avoid the final wound once Kirk’s copy of Ghost Rider appeared from the Pocket Dimension so I scooped. The missing wound on Star-Lord did not impact the game it was more a case of me not being able to draw the needed cards to keep up with Kirk’s recurring discard pile paired with the Pocket Dimension combos.
Game 2, Turn 1: I chose to be on the play and Kept while Kirk used his Mulligan. I played an Arcadia and ended my turn.
Kirk played a Knowhere as his first resource and ended his turn looking at this.
Turn 2: I chose a copy of Thanos lay face down for my second resource and then ended my turn.
Kirk laid a copy of Sanctum Sanctorum for his second resource and ended his turn.
Turn 3: I played a Laboratory as my third resource and ended my turn.
Kirk added a second copy of Sanctum Sanctorum as his third resource and then recruited Singularity. Star-Lord gained an XP and then went to the front row while Singularity went to the back row. After his formation Kirk ended his turn with out sending Star-Lord to the Pocket Dimension.
Turn 4: I played an Arcadia for my fourth resource, recruited She-Hulk and sent her to the front row to protect Sister Grimm. I then sent She-Hulk to attack Star-Lord. Kirk played YWLHWSA and gave Star-Lord two +1+1 counters. I activated Baroness of Arcadia to match the buffed defense. But Kirk discarded Call to power up Star-Lord and pushed him just out of stun range. I had no more tricks and ended my turn after the combat resolved.
All Kirk had for his fourth turn was a Knowhere. He left Singularity in the back row behind Star-Lord and ended his turn.
Turn 5: I laid a copy of Corporal Hicks face down for my resource and recruited both Pixie and Singularity. She-Hulk, Sister Grimm and Pixie all went to the front row while Singularity was hidden in the back. During my phase I activated Hallucinogenic Dust to bring a copy of Loki into the front row. Next I discarded another copy of Loki to power up and draw three cards from Power Hungry.
Then I had She-Hulk, Sister Grimm and Pixie make a eight point team attack on Star-Lord with his three +1+1 counters. I got the stun and because She-Hulk has Leader, I had Star-Lord strike back on She-Hulk who got stunned but had the wound to spare. Next I had Loki attack Singularity as an 8/7. Kirk played YWLHWSA and discarded Call to power up making Singularity a 5/9.
After the failed attack, I sent Pixie and Loki to the Pocket Dimension ending my turn.
Kirk laid another Sanctum Sanctorum and recruited Yondu and Mantis. With his whole crew in the front row Kirk activated Yaka Arrow targeting my Singularity and knocked her out. I had Loki come back to the front row and Pixie went to the back. Next Kirk had Star-Lord, Mantis and Yondu all team attack Sister Grimm. She was stunned, gained her first wound and she also leveled up. I had Grimm strike back at Yondu who was stunned and gained a wound. Finally, Kirk had Singularity with her three +1+1 counters, attack Pixie. I played Find Cover to save her for another turn and that was the end of Kirk’s turn.
Turn 6: I laid a Fortress and recruited Miss America. Sister Grimm went to the back row with Pixie while the rest of the crew went to the front. I had She-Hulk and Miss America team attack Singularity. Kirk didn’t have a play to make so I got the knockout. I had Singularity strike back at Miss America instead of having She-Hulk get knocked out. I also chose to have Miss America recover with Tough. My last attack was to have Sister Grimm attack Mantis and I got the knockout but it triggered Rebirth and Mantis went to Kirk’s resource row. For my final play I activated Muzzle so Kirk’s characters could not attack mine during his next turn. This would make Sister Grimm go back to level one and I ended the turn.
KIrk’s seventh resource on his sixth turn was an Academy and he activated Greatest Guardian turning it face down. His first recruit was Yondu, this knocked his wounded copy out adding a fourth good character to Kirk’s discard pile. It also gave Star-Lord a fourth XP. Kirk’s next recruit was Ghost Rider and he gave his Penance Stare to Pixie for exactly four -1-1 counters resulting in a knockout. Star-Lord would level up and go to the back row with Yondu while Ghost Rider went to the front. Kirk’s squad was Muzzled so he couldn’t attack and that was the end of his turn.
Turn 7: Feeling like I had just skipped Kirk’s eight resource point turn six, I laid a Laboratory and recruited my own copy of Ghost Rider. He gave his Penance Stare to Kirk’s Ghost Rider for three -1-1 counters. I had Loki go the the back row with Sister Grimm while Ghost Rider went to the front row with She-Hulk and Miss America. I had my Ghost Rider attack Kirk’s Ghost Rider and got the stun and added a wound. Next I had She-Hulk and Miss America team attack Star-Lord and got the stun adding a third wound to Star-Lord. I chose to have Star-Lord strike She-Hulk who was just out of range of his four attack. Then I had Sister Grimm attack Yondu and got another stun adding a wound to Yondu. After all this carnage I ended my turn.
Kirk did not play a resource on his seventh turn. He recruited Mantis, Iceman and Singularity. Iceman targeted my Ghost Rider with Freeze. Mantis and Iceman were up front with Ghost Rider while Singularity went to the back row with Yondu and Star-Lord. Then Kirk had Yondu and Star-Lord team attack She-Hulk. I played a copy of YWLHWSA and Kirk responded with Even the Odds.
Kirk got the stun on She-Hulk finally knocking her out. This image doesn’t have the wound on She-Hulk because we had already played this out before taking the pic. But you can see from the previous turns the accounting adds up. Then Kirk had his Ghost Rider attack Miss America, she was stunned and gained her second wound. I did not choose to have her recover with Tough. Next Kirk has Mantis make a solo attack into Ghost Rider intending to just trigger Rebirth, which was the end result. But I used the opportunity to discard a copy of Ghost Rider from my hand to power up and trigger Power Hungry to draw three cards. Before he ended his turn Kirk had everyone that could, go to the Pocket dimension.
Turn 8: I laid a Laboratory and recruited Singularity and She-Hulk. Singularity went to the back row with Sister Grimm while Loki went to the front with She-Hulk, Ghost Rider and Miss America.
Loki attacked Kirk’s Singularity and got the knockout. Kirk had his characters return from the Pocket Dimension. Iceman targeted She-Hulk with Freeze. Ghost Rider targeted Miss America with Penance Stare for five -1-1 counters, she was stunned and gained her third wound which knocked her out. Iceman went to the front row with Ghost Rider while Yondu and Star-Lord went to the back row. I then had Sister Grimm attack Iceman and got the knockout. Finally I decided to draw three more cards by discarding a copy of Singularity to power her up and trigger Power Hungry. This also brought my good character count to seven. This would allow me to have my next triggering of Penance Stare target Star-Lord for the out of combat stun. After that I sent every one I could to the Pocket Dimension to avoid any Iceman shenanigans on Kirk’s turn and set up my next Ghost Rider appearance.
Kirk’s eighth turn was led off with a card going face down as a resource. He recruited Valkyrie and activated Chooser of the Slain. He then brought Singularity back from the discard pile and had her go to the front row with Valkyrie and Ghost Rider. Star-Lord and Yondu stayed in the back row. Kirk then activated Yaka Arrow to knock Singularity out. I had Ghost Rider target Star-Lord with Penance Stare for seven -1-1 counters and got the stun adding a fourth wound. With the Thanos already in hand and a Fortress in play I revealed Kirk’s fate and we ended it here to shuffle up for the final game.
Game 3, Turn 1: Kirk chose to play first and kept his opening hand as did I. Kirk laid an Academy and ended his turn.
I also laid an Academy and ended my turn.
Turn 2: Kirk laid a card face down as a resource and recruited Mantis. Mantis took the front row and Star-Lord stayed in the back row. Then Kirk ended his turn.
I resourced a Laboratory and ended my turn.
Turn 3: Kirk added a copy of Knowhere to his resource row and recruited a second copy of Mantis. His first was knocked out and Rebirth was triggered.
Here is a nice shot of Kirk’s hand before he ended his turn without attacking.
On my third turn, I laid a Fortress into my resource row. I had nothing to recruit yet and ended my turn there.Trun
Turn 4: Kirk had another Academy to add as his fifth resource. He flipped an Academy face down to activate Greatest Guardian which would allow him to recruit Loki. Loki went to the front row with Mantis and during the main phase Kirk had Loki attack Sister Grimm. I had Sister Grimm Find Cover and Kirk answered with a power up by discarding another copy of Loki. This triggered Power Hungry so Kirk drew three cards. I decided to end my defense there and took the stun. I added the first wound to Sister Grimm, but also leveled her up. After that Kirk was done with his turn.
I added an Arcadia as my fourth resource and recruited She-Hulk. She went to the front row while Sister Grimm stayed in the back. During the main phase I flipped the Laboratory face down to activate Bounce House targeting Mantis and Loki. After Loki and Mantis went back to Kirk’s hand and Sister Grimm was leveled down, I sent She-Hulk to attack Star-Lord. Kirk powered up discarding a copy of call. I responded by turning the Arcadia face down to activate Baroness of Arcadia and got the stun. The first wound was added to Star-Lord and my turn was over.
Turn 5: Kirk laid a Sanctum Sanctorum for his sixth resource. He then flipped his Academy face down to activate Greatest Guardian. His first recruit was Loki followed by Iceman who targeted She-Hulk with Freeze. Star-Lord just leveled up and stayed in the back row behind Iceman and Loki. Next Kirk had Loki attack She-Hulk. I played You Won’t Like Her When She’s Angry (YWLHWSA) to add two +1+1 counters. Kirk powered up discarding another copy of Loki mainly to draw three cards from Power Hungry. I followed up by playing Find Cover to put She-Hulk’s defense out of range. Loki was knocked out and that was the end of Kirk’s turn.
Laboratory was my fifth resource and Miss America was my new recruit. From the front row Miss America was sent to attack Star-Lord, I turned my Fortress face down to activate Baroness of Arcadia and got the stun. Next I had Sister Grimm attack Iceman and got the knockout. With two wounds on Star-Lord I ended my turn.
Turn 6: Kirk laid a card face down as his seventh resource and recruited Ghost Rider. He gave his Penance Stare to Sister Grimm for five -1-1 counters and a stun. Sister Grimm gained her second wound and leveled up. Kirk then had Star-Lord make a Ranged attack on Miss America. I played another copy of YWLHWSA to add two +1+1 counters to Miss America. Kirk didn’t have an answer and the attack bounced without any stuns. Next Kirk had Ghost Rider attack She-Hulk who was currently a 7/7 with her two previous +1+1 counters. I played a third copy of YWLHWSA to add another two +1+1 counters and got the stun back on Ghost Rider. She-Hulk survived and that was the end of Kirk’s turn.
Running hot on tricks and resources I laid another copy of Arcadia to my resource row and recruited Pixie. She went to the back row with Sister Grimm. During my main phase I activated Hallucinogenic Dust flipping my Laboratory face down. Ghost Rider appeared but I had no characters in my discard so he just went to the front row. Next I had Ghost Rider attack Star-Lord and got the stun. A third wound was added to Star-Lord and I ended my turn.
Turn 7: Kirk added a Training Ground to his resources and then activated Greatest Guardian by flipping a Knowhere face down. His first recruit was Ghost Rider which sent Kirk’s wounded copy of Ghost Rider to the discard pile. Sister Grimm was targeted with Penance Stare for six -1-1 counters. She was stunned, wounded for the third time and leveled up. Next Kirk recruited Iceman who targeted Miss America with Freeze. Kirk then finished his recruit step by bringing Yondu into the fold. Star-Lord remained in the back row alone. During the main phase Kirk turned his Training Ground face down to activate Yaka Arrow targeting Pixie and she was knocked out. Kirk decided he didn’t want to make any attacks and ended his turn.
I laid a Fortress as my seventh resource and recruited another copy of Pixie. She went to the front row to help out on a team attack if I needed her to. During the Main Phase I activated Hallucinogenic Dust turning an Arcadia face down. Singularity appeared and she went to the front row. I had She-Hulk attack Ghost Rider and got the one way stun. Next I had Pixie attack Iceman and got the knockout. After that I had Singularity attack Yondu who was stunned. Ending my turn I had everyone go to the Pocket Dimension so I could reform and ready once Singularity was knocked out by the Hallucinogenic Dust trigger.
Turn 8: Kirk laid another Training Ground to his resource row and recruited Valkyrie with six of his nine available resource points. Next he recruited Singularity and sent both Singularity and Valkyrie to the front row. Kirk flipped his Training Ground face down to activate Space Cop which shuts off my character’s powers. During his main phase Kirk had Valkyrie attack Sister Grimm. I played Find Cover and the strikes bounced with neither character getting stunned. This was a big deal as this race of wounds was as tight as it could get. I had drawn and played six defensive plot twists at this point and it was easy see how much sway they held in this final game.
Kirk ended his turn sending his squad to the Pocket Dimension leaving Singularity all alone.
I played an Academy as my eighth resource and recruited Thanos. He went to the front row and I entered my main phase. I had She-Hulk Attack Singularity and got the knockout. Kirk’s squad appeared and Ghost Rider targeted Sister Grimm with his Penance Stare for eight -1-1 counters. I should have activated Open Sesame before I attacked but I was so focused on the line I had I failed to factor it in. Sister Grimm was stunned and I added her fourth wound. Before I proceeded further, I wanted to make sure Welcome Death would win me the game if both our main characters took their lethal wounds on my turn. The answer was yes so I had Thanos Attack Valkyrie for the stun. Then sent Miss America over to attack Star-Lord. Kirk didn’t have any tricks and Star-Lord was stunned. Then I activated Welcome Death to add the final wounds to both of our main characters and because it was on my turn the match would end in my favor.
This was an epic match up of two great decks! I really feel like this match was decided by plot twists. Who ever played the most of them ended up with the win. That and Thanos being able to cheat an extra wound. Both decks played there curves well and both are very resilient. I have gained a much greater respect for Star-Lord after this and can’t wait to start using him with all the new amazing cards coming out.
See you all soon for our next match up! Dark Phoenix is taking on Luke Cage, who are you rooting for?