(Metagame Archive) Team KG Archives: Midnight Sons

By Alex Shvartsman

Last week I talked about the Marvel Knights–based deck that my teammates and I ended up playing in PC Amsterdam. This week I’m going to discuss what I feel are the two other best decks you can build around the Wild Ride/Midnight Sons engine.

First up is the deck that almost everyone from team Your Move Games played in Amsterdam. This Marvel Knights/Underworld variant is the brainchild of Darwin Kastle. Kastle championed the deck from early on in playtesting, and although several of the team members initially had doubts about it, he proved the deck’s power by consistently defeating the other test decks. Although this build has trouble with KO-oriented Marvel Knight builds such as MK Hounds, it is a resilient deck that has solid matchups against pretty much everything in the metagame.

Your Move Games’ Marvel Knights/Underworld

4 Orb
4 Dagger, Child of Light
1 Mikado and Mosha

4 Werewolf by Night
3 Iron Fist, Danny Rand
1 Shang Chi

4 Elektra, Elektra Natchios
4 Brother Voodoo

4 Centurious
1 Luke Cage, Street Enforcer

3 Blade, Daywalker
2 Daredevil, Matt Murdock

1 Asmodeus
1 Luke Cage, Power Man

1 Dr. Strange

4 Wild Ride
4 Evil Awakens
4 Black Magic
4 Strength of the Grave
4 Crime and Punishment
2 Midnight Sons

This deck tries to win by setting up a huge Strength of the Grave on turn 5 or 6. Orb is one of your most potent weapons. You really want it in your opening hand, and will throw away many hands where you do not have one and then proceed to use it to cycle through your deck (and occasionally to pump up your hidden attacker). Dagger is another 1-drop you absolutely need, as getting Midnight Sons is pretty important to this deck’s game plan.

Werewolf by Night is your preferred turn 2 play. Because the deck is so rich with characters and because it stands to benefit from having many low drops with cards like Centurious, there are also a few copies of the 2-drop Iron Fist and a single tech card, Shang Chi. Shang Chi is particularly good when your opponent’s 2-drop has no flight and range (say, Hounds of Ahab!). Against many decks, you can force the opponent to waste a turn or even trade in combat with his or her 3-drop. Most importantly, you do not want a KO-style deck to get the better of you, so occasionally you will even Wild Ride for it.

Brother Voodoo is your preferred 3-drop, even if Elektra’s stats make her seem very attractive on your initiative. Do not hesitate to lose card economy by activating Brother Voodoo aggressively. You want as many character cards in your KO’d pile as you can get away with. You still want to attack with Brother Voodoo if it’s your initiative on turn 3, but that just means you’ll get to use his ability on the following turn, which is why he is your preferred recruit.

Centurious is one of the key Underworld characters and you virtually always want to recruit him on the fourth turn. There exist a few exceptions where you might Wild Ride for Luke Cage, Street Enforcer, most notably against X-Statix so that you can draw some cards while they are knocking off their own characters.

Initiative determines which character you want to recruit on turn 5. If you have the initiative, you will usually want to bring out Blade, Daywalker and try for the win that turn with Strength of the Grave. However, Blade is an unimpressive 5-drop when it’s your opponent’s initiative. In that case, you will want to recruit Daredevil, Matt Murdock, instead.

Blade is just as good, if not better, on turn 6 when you can boost him up. If your opponent has the odd initiative, this is where you try to finish the game. Stall decks may well succeed at maintaining a high enough endurance total that winning this turn is not likely. In this scenario, and in cases where your opponent has the even initiative, your best possible recruit is Asmodeus. Decks that rely on late drops such as Silver Surfer or Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man to win the game will not appreciate you resetting the game back to turn 6, and once again, your plan is to win on the next turn with a boosted Blade.

X-Statix is a matchup you do not like to play at all. They are likely to make the game last, and in addition to Asmodeus, you have another plan, as well. Play Dr. Strange with boost to shove the X-Statix character into the hidden area and then attack with your team. This strategy will usually allow you to out-damage your opponent on the last turn.

The one character you never recruit is Mikado and Mosha. It is an excellent tool against weenie decks, especially Syndicate. It is made even better by the excellent interaction it has with such plot twists as Wild Ride and Evil Awakens.

Another deck we did not use in PC Amsterdam, even though it was a top choice for many of my teammates throughout playtesting and remains a powerful, viable choice today, is Marvel Knights/Spider-Friends. Our build was as follows:

4 Dagger, Child of Light
1 Mikado and Mosha
4 Shang Chi
1 Black Cat, Master Thief
1 Jessica Drew
4 Stick
2 Cardiac
3 Will O’ the Wisp
2 Moon Knight
1 Julia Carpenter ◊ Spider-Woman
3 Daredevil, The Man Without Fear
2 Daredevil, Matt Murdock
2 Luke Cage, Power Man
2 Iceman, Cool Customer
1 Mattie Franklin ◊ Spider-Woman
3 Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man
2 Dr. Strange

4 Wild Ride
4 Crime and Punishment
4 Spider Senses
4 Nice Try
3 Head Shot
2 Twist of Fate
1 Midnight Sons

This build sacrifices the amazing power of Underworld’s plot twists for more versatile characters. It plays basically like a toolbox—you go and get the character that best fits the current situation. Hounds getting you down? Recruit Cardiac. Someone running Witching Hour? Bring out Black Cat. Didn’t draw enough plot twists? Recruit Mattie Franklin and replace those characters you’ve got in the resource row. Although this deck is not quite as good as the other two I’ve discussed, it is definitely worth adding to your testing gauntlet.

Next week, we’ll talk about some of the more interesting (if not more powerful) builds in this format—off-curve decks! Until then, please feel free to send your comments to me at ashv at kingsgames dot com.

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