(Metagame Archive) Deck Clinic: Hank Pym’s Healing Touch

By Jason Hager

Hello, True Believers. This week’s exciting installment of the Deck Clinic will be hosted by me, Jason Hager. For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I live in Huntington, West Virginia; I’m a college student at Marshall University; and I love this game. After I had some success with strange deck archetypes at the Pro Circuit level, the powers that be (Metagame.com) decided to give me the reins of this article series for a while. I sincerely hope you enjoy the ride.

On to the deck that needs a bit of tweaking. We will start our little experiment with:

Hank Pym’s Healing Touch

Created by JediJames84

4 She-Thing

2 She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters

4 Hank Pym ◊ Yellowjacket

4 Invisible Woman, Sue Storm

2 Medusa, Medusalith Amaquelin

4 Mr. Fantastic, Stretch

1 Thing, Heavy Hitter

4 Iron Man, Invincible

3 Thing, The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing

2 Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd

4 Salvage

4 Tech Upgrade

4 Millennium

4 Signal Flare

3 Antarctic Research Base

4 Medallion of Power

4 Fantasticar

3 Framistat

Total: 60 cards

Overall Intended Strategy

Unlike the Fantasticar decks of old, this deck has a defensive gimmick. The intent is to use Hank Pym with the Medallion of Power to have a character in the hidden area that can easily KO an equipment on itself to recover some of the visible area’s more important fighters. All the while, Pym and his ability (that isn’t team-stamped) ride the bench and wait to turn your beaters into pseudo-Nimrods. That basic strategy is sound. One of the major problems with the old Fantastic Four Bumper Car decks was that they didn’t do anything on off-initiative turns. This new build allows you to have game on defense without having to add cards like Entangle.

However, you are forced to add several very narrow cards to a list that is otherwise focused. When I say narrow, I’m referring to how many different things a card can do for you. The Medallion does a simple job in this deck: it keeps your Hank Pym hidden, and it allows you to recover your all-important 4- and 5-drops, protecting them from KO effects and the natural wear and tear that those high-impact turns create. Teaming up isn’t necessary, as it only affects a few specific card interactions.

Here are the problems:

–          You have to naturally draw Hank Pym by the third turn or forego playing him at all (unless you are willing to under-drop for him, which I do not suggest).

–          The combo that you are forcing down this deck’s throat assumes that the characters that you are recovering are worth the effort. The offensive capabilities of this deck are suspect and are reliant almost entirely on dropping two or three ’Cars on turn 5.

–          Your Avengers characters are at costs 3 and 6, but other than that, you are abandoning all the benefits that team can give you. The Avengers, in my opinion, are worth more attention than that.

–          A card I typically mulligan for, Antarctic Research Base, isn’t fully represented in this deck. (This is true in both the number included and the tricks you can perform with it.)

–          There are far too many copies of the high drops in this deck, given that this team-up gives you the opportunity to play two different search cards that don’t make you lose endurance (Signal Flare and Avengers Assemble!).

–          You are playing a dangerous game—your alternate 5-drop is the same character as your intended 7-drop. It is just not worth the possibility that you would lose Thing, Heavy Hitter when you play Thing, The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing. Would Curve Sentinels be willing to play Magneto, Master of Magnetism if it would KO their Nimrod? No sir. The allure of an 11 ATK/11 DEF alternative is big, but you don’t want your game to end up like the end of the movie Time Cop.

–          You are playing one of the most generic search cards, Tech Upgrade, and not utilizing it to its fullest. There is a bundle of missing equipment cards that would add a lot to the deck’s overall strategy and give you tricks your opponent may not expect.

–          There are no offensive combat pumps (other than power-ups) as tricks. When an opponent gets just 1 DEF bigger, you run the risk of failed attacks or taking a lot of endurance loss trying to use Mr. Fantastic, Stretch to move Framistats all over the board.

–          The Millenniums are dead cards until turn 6 if you miss Hank Pym on turn 3.

–          The 2-drops in this deck are just an afterthought. You will miss this drop very often, which makes me wonder if they are even worth it.

I make a lot of Fantastic Four equipment lists in my spare time, so when I looked over this list, the first thing I did was make a list of all the cards I’d like to have at my disposal. Then, over a friendly game of Ping-Pong, I told Anthony Justice the decklist I was going to be changing to see how close his changes were to the ones I’ve already recorded. His were eerily similar.

This is when I would like everyone reading to scroll back up to the decklist. Look at the numbers of everything included, and think about all the cards both of these teams have to offer. I want you to think about what you would do to this deck. Just imagine that a kid at your local hobby store came up to you with that pile of cards and wanted to take that strategy to a PCQ. He has always loved Hank Pym from the comics, and he wants his Pym Particles to win him an invite. If you were a good Vs. mentor, and you wanted to give him an honest opinion of what would make this deck at least one tier better, what would you say?

Sure, go ahead. I’ll wait on you.

Okay, I’m impatient—let’s compare builds now. When I construct decks, I start with all the cards I want in them, and then I slim the lists down. The current list is 70 cards, and I won’t play a deck that contains anything more than 60, so after a “quick” description, we’ll have to make the cuts. Here is what I came up with:

Hammer-Time

4 Rick Jones

4 Wyatt Wingfoot, Keewazi Adventurer

4 Hank Pym ◊ Yellowjacket

1 Thing, Ben Grimm

1 Thor, Odinson

4 Mr. Fantastic, Stretch

1 Monica Rambeau ◊ Captain Marvel

1 Iron Man, Invincible

1 Hulk, New Fantastic Four

1 Thing, The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing

1 Hercules, Son of Zeus

4 Thor, God of Thunder

1 Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd

28 Characters (2 fewer than in the original decklist)

4 Salvage

4 Tech Upgrade

4 Avengers Assemble!

4 Signal Flare

16 Plot Twists

4 Antarctic Research Base

1 Metropolis

1 Avalon Space Station

1 Pier 4

7 Locations (4 more than in the original decklist)

4 Unstable Molecules

4 The Pogo Plane

4 Mjolnir

2 Medallion of Power

2 Fantasticar

1 Framistat

1 Light Armor

1 Chopping Block

19 Equipment (8 more than original)

Summary: 70 cards, one third of which are equipment (this is too many).

Here is the overall strategy shift:

Characters

1-Drops

None are represented in the original, and that’s not a bad thing. However, I gave the deck another terrific search card in The Pogo Plane. The deck’s preferred 2-drop is now a Fantastic Four 1-drop with the Plane on it. Which 1-drop for Fantastic Four character is best? It’s debatable, but I like Wyatt Wingfoot, Keewazi Adventurer. The real choice is between Invisible Woman, The Invisible Girl and Mr. Wingfoot. One important thing you should notice about the best decks in Vs. is how useful every card becomes as the game goes on. This means that in games in which you miss your 1-drop, it should be good for more than Signal Flare discard fodder even if you draw it on a later turn.

In the original decklist, She-Thing doesn’t satisfy this condition. She is just in there with the hopes of getting her early to hit a nice curve. I feel this is a pipe dream, and I’d rather utilize my 1-drops later as surprise defensive tricks (and working wonders with Avalon Space Station). An extra 1 DEF may not seem like a lot, but it works on attackers too, and you’ll be surprised at how often Wingfoot makes them whiff. Rick Jones, A Hero’s Best Friend, on the other hand, is a guilty pleasure of mine. He is in there for a few reasons, the main one being his interaction with the Pogo Plane. I’m listing only a single team-up, and on turn 5, you can play Rick Jones from your resource row and replace him with a Metropolis that you search for with Stretch’s free Pogo Plane. This is handy in a deck where your row sometimes gets far too crowded with things that need to live there. Rick Jones also exhausts for Tech Upgrade. The 1-drops have a nice reinforcement theme going, which is totally a coincidence.

2-Drops

A 2-drop has to be very good for me to play it. Either the ability it brings has to be phenomenal (Hounds of Ahab, Puppet Master, or Shimmer), or it has to be so important for the deck to hit the curve that it bends over backwards to have a 2-drop to help it dominate turns 3 and 4 (such as the Avengers Reservist deck). Neither character search card can be played on turn 2, so you have to naturally draw any 2-drop that you add to the deck. I think this is a page that should be taken out of the Curve Sentinels playbook. Be okay with missing your 2-drop—your later turns should overcome that handicap.

3-drops

Hank, he’s the man, the reason for this deck. But when is he not good? Against Terra, he’s abysmal. He’ll seldom survive to the point at which his ability matters. While every non-Ricochet 3-drop suffers from this affliction, the most proactive solution that this deck can support is Thing, Ben Grimm. While Ben doesn’t do much against Terra, he does fight her accomplices pretty well, by which I mean Hank Hall ◊ Hawk and Dawn Granger ◊ Dove. This is because of the deck’s ability to search for Framistat (with upgrade) and free equip it to Ben Grimm. This allows him to enter the turn 3 combat as a 6 DEF character that can KO his equipment to stun Dove directly, and on a later turn, he can help you turn off Press the Attack possibilities. This situation also comes up against Boris and Alfred. I’ve been known to play 2-cost equipment in FF equipment decks so that I can throw it at Shimmer before an opponent’s attack step. Ben Grimm also fills the important role of an on-curve Fantastic Four character, so that the Antarctic Research Base will trigger if you equip Thor, Odinson with Mjolnir on turn 4. With the character search cards that this deck has at its disposal, it’s important to have an Avengers character and a Fantastic Four character at each drop point so that you will be more likely to hit your drop despite which search card you draw.

4-Drop

Okay, I lied. You don’t have to alternate at every drop. In fact, I’m daring to play only a single copy of my 4-drop here. A major goal of this deck is to make sure you hit your 4-drop, because Thor, Odinson is the reason that this deck can win. You can even Tech Upgrade for your 4-drop—how cool is that? And come on, he’s a god. Along with the chance he’ll be armed with a hammer, your 4-drop will often be a 10 ATK/7 DEF deity with flight, range, and invulnerability while attacking. On turn 5, when Stretch starts to go nuts with Pogo Planes, you will often get a chance to team-up, get out Pier 4, and drop a second hammer on Thor. If you add a Fantasticar into the mix, you have a character that’s well worth recovering with Hank Pym’s concealed medallion. This situation is much more impressive than 4-drop Invisible Woman, Sue Storm, even if she is packing a Framistat.

Along with the bonus of having a very aggressive character at your disposal, you don’t have to include six total 4-drops, like the original decklist suggests. You can instead play only one copy and put in four copies of Mjolnir. This equipment card doubles as copies of your 4-drop and has an alternate use. You can’t Tech Upgrade for Invisible Woman, you can’t have a second copy of her trigger the Research Base, and you definitely can’t discard Invisible Woman to get your resourceful 8-drop. If you find his additional reveal cost to be a problem in your testing, increase the number of Avengers characters in your list. For now, though, this feels like enough to satisfy him, especially since Rick Jones can be revealed from your resource row, where he prefers to live.

5-drops

Stretch is obviously your preferred 5-drop. However I put a copy of Monica Rambeau ◊ Captain Marvel (a.k.a. Rambo) as a back-up drop if you are in a situation where you have Thor, God of Thunder or Mjolnir and Avengers Assemble! in your hand but have yet to draw either Mr. Fantastic, Stretch; Signal Flare; or a Fantastic Four character to discard to Signal Flare. If you Assemble for her, she will be a 10 ATK/10 DEF, which is nice, and she also allows you to play Unstable Molecules on 4-drop Thor so that he team attack with Rick Jones, ensuring that Thor gets a second massive attack. The problem with Rambo is that if you play the Avengers side of the curve (Hank Pym/Thor/Rambo), then you will not control the Fantastic Four character required to have the Base trigger, and you will also end up with a lot of equipment in your hand that you can’t play. She is not you’re A plan by any means; I’m smelling a cut around this area.

6-Drops

Iron Man is the preferred 6-drop, because of his interactions with equipment. However, just like other drops, Signal Flare only gets him if you’ve teamed up. The best alternative drop is Hulk, New Fantastic Four. While I’m sure many of you took a quick glance at my decklist and thought I was willing to play the Avengers Hulk with only five leaders in my deck, I am not. It is tempting, but because the Fantastic Four version is the best option for 6 that’s not Iron Man, I am not willing to replace my 6-drop with my 7-drop. Again, Time Cop.

7-Drops

Same drill here—the best of both teams that don’t replace important characters. Thing is preferred here, even if he might replace your 3-drop (this situation comes up when people start Finishing Moving your drops above 3, allowing Thing to survive much longer than he would in a typical game). Hercules’s ability is a pipe dream. However, with so many search cards, it’s not unbelievable that when your hand starts to develop as you draw a bunch of cards with Research Base, you might start Assembling or Signaling for Rick Jones to make him trigger. He’s just a big vanilla beater who also happens to be a mythological god.

8-Drops

Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd is preferred here. His ability is superior to Thor’s, but Thor isn’t in this deck so that he can be put on the board. He runs your Avengers Assemble, otherwise the search card would not be worth playing. He’s a leader. While his leader ability is theoretically devastating, I have yet to have it matter in a game. Even our X-Statix Hulk/Thor-8 deck wasn’t really able to use him for the extra ATK bonus. He keeps Mjolnir from turning into a dead card; you can “hammer” for a character to reveal for your Odinson, or you can “hammer” for a power-up. With the possibility of playing out Avalon Space Station, you are able to cycle him through to use all of your Avengers Assemble! for the very late game.

Character Thoughts

Not too shabby. The new list is more efficient, and you are now getting more bang for your buck. Quality over quantity is what I am going for here. One of the most interesting parts of building a two-team deck is deciding which team owns which drop.

1-drop: FF 4 / Avengers 4

2-drop: N/A

3-drop: Avengers 4 / FF 1

4-drop: Avengers 1

5-drop: FF 4 / Avengers 1

6-drop: Avenger 1 / FF 1

7-drop: FF 1 / Avenger 1

8-drop: FF 1 / Avengers 2
(The first listed is the preferred drop.)

Alternating your 4-drop and 5-drop will make it more likely that you get both teams in play so that you can team-up at the beginning of turn 6, thus allowing your search cards to find either team. This won’t always happen, but it’s the ideal scenario.
   

Plot Twists: 16 Total

4 Tech Upgrade

This is probably the most important card in the entire deck. Here is what it can do. Exhaust a character you control to:

  1. Search your deck for your 4-drop
  2. Search your deck for a leader to discard to Avengers Assemble! (also Signal Flare if teamed-up)
  3. Search your deck for your 8-drop
  4. Search your deck for an equipment, draw a card
  5. Discard two cards, remove target stunned character from the game
  6. Target attacker gets +3 ATK this attack
  7. If Stretch is in play, discard a card to search for a location
  8. Get a Medallion around the neck of Hank Pym
  9. Start a Salvage/Research Base card drawing loop with Molecules
  10. Exhaust another character if you control Ben Grimm to stun a 1-drop (likely Dove or Alfred Pennyworth)

 

And you could just keep going. The only deck that I’ve ever seen Tech Upgrade be better in was my Fantastic Four, Marvel Knights, Gotham Knights deck that played Batmobile, Batarang, and Utility Belt. The characters that will typically get exhausted for Tech Upgrade are your low drops or any character that is getting attacked. Sacrificing an on-initiative attacker in order to search for a piece of equipment is seldom suggested.

4 Avengers Assemble!/Signal Flare

While Signal Flare is preferred because it’s much easier to fulfill its requirements, Avengers Assemble adds a few things to the deck that the original did not have. You now have a way to get Hank Pym on turn 3 that isn’t just crossing your fingers and praying to Thor.

4 Salvage

Salvage was not used well enough in the original decklist. The only thing that you expected to Salvage was Power Medallion after using it and Cars/Stats from characters who had bitten the dust. This isn’t a solid enough reason to play Salvage. If you are going to run it, it’s worth going slightly “Molecule Happy.” Salvage now gives you an insane combo that was not in the original deck. Chopping Blocking from your hand has never been so affordable. Thor may prefer a hammer, but he is much more effective with a guillotine. It’s not uncommon to be able to Chop two major drops during the course of a game. This action will do wonders for this deck, and all the while, it’s planning on trying to preserve the drops it has on the board with Hank Pym. Do not be afraid to discard an important equipment to Pogo Plane on turn 2 to go get the Research Base and then Salvage back that equipment that you discarded.

Those plot twists are terrific. The only other plot twists that are worth considering are Chaos Magic and Null Time Zone. Walk through Walls may be another possibility, as you can then equip a Medallion on the character so that it can keep walking through walls for turns to come. In a deck that’s already jam-packed with cute combos and natural synergies, we’ll try not to stretch the list too thin. If you find yourself losing to Titans very often (I have had Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal stun my Stretch more times than I can count), then you may want to consider one of those cards. If you are worried about Curve Sentinels, there are a few options I will talk about later.

Locations: 7 Total

4 Antarctic Research Base  

The Base is very important to this deck. There are so many equipment cards and so many one-of cards that you can’t possibly search for every one of them. The next best thing is to draw a bunch of cards and then search for the important ones you haven’t drawn yet. This is the theory behind the characters/locations/equipment in this deck. The Base is just that—the base for this deck to function. You will often find your hand slowly starting to fill up as you cycle through your deck, and you will draw lots of one-ofs. Your game plan will then mutate based on those drawn, and your reliance on search cards will decrease. While there are characters in this deck that are better than others at the same drop, the most important thing is hitting your curve. The characters at each drop are similar enough that you can win with any of the ones you draw. You aren’t playing any Phantasms in here—everyone packs a punch.

1 Avalon Space Station

Avalon allows for a lot of things in a deck like this. You can discard a big drop early to a search card or one of many discard effects and have confidence that you haven’t lost the ability to play that character later. This is especially true when you are forced to discard Ever Lovin’ to Signal Flare early. Don’t worry about it—by that time, the chances of you being able to play that same Thing is pretty likely. The 4-drop Thor also puts cards from the top of your deck into your KO’d pile, and in a deck so full of recursion, this nearly amounts to drawing a card. Even the Space Station itself can be Salvaged back to hand if it gets lost for any reason.

Avalon also allows you to play the Curve Sentinel middle-game power-up war. Similar to how devastating a Nimrod power-up can be, a couple of Stretch power-ups or a couple of Wyatt’s combined with a busted Molecules can ruin an opponent’s day. A note for players not used to playing a location like this: If you can, flip Avalon during the recovery phase to protect it from Ka-boom! There’s no reason to get your location blown up if you can avoid it. If you are in a tournament, make sure to verbally assert that you are in the recovery phase when you do this. I have seen this misplayed several times with the result being another turn on your opponent’s terms.

1 Pier 4

While Stretch doesn’t work well with Pier 4, since he is forced to move equipment onto unequipped Fantastic Four characters, the Pier is still very powerful in its own right. A Thor with a hammer in each hand is a scary thought for your opponent, and that alone warrants this one-of that you will play pretty often due to the redundancy of Pogo Plane searches in the mid-game.

1 Metropolis

Team-ups in this deck aren’t a necessity, as shown by the original decklist. While it may have included 4 Millennium, the character diversity alone showed his resolve to get a team-up really going. The biggest advantage for Metropolis is team attacks later in the game. Since this deck plans to keep its characters around for later turns, team attacking will become important to take down the biggies like Bastion and Magneto, Master of Magnetism. Due to the lack of aggressive plot twists like Savage Beatdown, safe team attacks will be a major bonus in the late game against another curve strategy, allowing you to roll over your opponent with your larger characters attacking down the curve. That being said, now you have the ability to search for your team-up, something that the original deck did not have. Despite there being four in the original deck, this version will probably team-up as often, just at a later turn on average.

Thoughts on Locations

Not too bad. The other locations I would consider include Yancy Street, Psychoville, Coast City, and Baxter Building.

Equipment: A Robust 19

4 Unstable Molecules

These are played mainly for their interaction with the Base and Salvage, but are not to be played willy-nilly. The Molecules’s effect is powerful. It creates many situations where your opponent has to be content with only stunning one character you control. However, unlike the defensive bonus given from Lost City (the first one) or Acrobatic Dodge, you can’t surprise someone with your Molecules, so you won’t make many attacks fail with it. It’s often best at putting your character’s DEF high enough that your opponent tries to compensate with an attack pump for just nearly enough. At that point, you often just need a Wingfoot or two to make him or her either blow another Beatdown or fail the attack entirely. Molecules also doubles as a mini-From the Shadows.

4 The Pogo Plane

Remember, it’s unique and it can only be equipped to a Fantastic Four character. You will often find stages in the mid-game where you are just cycling through Planes and getting all of your extra Research Bases out of your deck by discarding previously searched-out Research Bases. The order of importance on what you search for with the Plane varies depending on the situation. The most important is almost always the Base, but it could be Avalon in a pinch. After Base, Metropolis is the next most important, then Avalon for tricks, and then Pier 4, which may be considered by some a “win-more” card. For those not familiar, a “win-more” card is something that is beneficial, but typically it won’t win you the game, only increase the margin of victory, helping out an already good situation. I just want two hammers on my Thor. Is that too much to ask? And don’t forget, the Plane also gives all of your characters flight and gives the person piloting reinforcement. In the very late game, your opponent’s most likely breakthrough target should hold it.

2 Medallion of Power

This deck started with four, but I don’t think the gimmick is so strong that you want to draw multiples. One will do just fine. You can search it out in the optimal situations and draw it occasionally without help other than the Research Base. With all of the copies of Salvage doing the heavy lifting, two Medallions should really be enough. You might want to double-equip Hank with both of them while he is in the hidden area. Remember, when equipped with the Medallion, Hank (or even Rick) can jump out for a reinforcement and then jump back over to the hidden area. Also, No Man Escapes the Manhunters doesn’t do much against the Medallion, since you can just move right back over there before the attack is legal. The only worrisome attack you will get is from Luke Cage, Street Enforcer or Rot Lop Fan, and in the case of Luke, you can often just put Rick Jones in front of Hank as a good speed bump against the street-smart brother who lacks flight.

4 Mjolnir

This deck started out based around Medallion of Power, and I shifted its focus to Mjolnir. It’s an incredibly versatile card. It doubles as a character but will still help you better your board position later in the game and draw cards. It will also save you endurance when Thor goes a-knocking, only to be recovered swiftly by Hank Pym’s Healing Touch.

While these are rare, I don’t think many people should have difficulty getting a hold of them for cheap. There are a ton just sitting around in our shop, and you may be in the same situation. You will sometimes want to wait until turn 5 to drop the hammer on Odinson when you can have the Base active. It depends mostly on the initiative and the likelihood that the hammer would matter on a particular turn.

2 Fantasticar

I’ve dropped the number of Cars due to personal preference. They are fine for some people, but I’m willing to live without them and don’t consider them necessary. Because of the team-up situation and the fact that you often want to have your three in the hidden area equipped only with Medallions and have room for Stretch to do some rearranging, Cars are not for me.

1 Chopping Block

Yep, willpower just doesn’t matter. This card is incredible with Salvage. I doubt you’ll equip the Block very much, but it’ll happen sometimes. This should be used most often on your initiative for taking out problem characters like Terra, Sentinel Mark V, or Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius

1 Framistat

While the original played three of these, I don’t like them enough to justify that. I’m willing to continue to include it for the synergy with Ben Grimm, but otherwise, I would be playing a single copy of Advanced Hardware or Twin Firearms in its place. Framistat has another hidden downfall. It’s not good against Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal like some of the equipment similar to it.

1 Light Armor

This is the equipment that allows you to fight against surprise defenses. Combined with Salvage, you can push through the points when you need to. It doesn’t hold you down to a decision like equipping may do. If you are faced with an important failing attack and you have a Tech Upgrade at your disposal, sometimes you are going to wish that Tech Upgrade gave +3 ATK, and with Light Armor in your deck, it can.

The Equipment

I like these, but frankly, there are too many. If you are expecting a lot of Curve Sentinels, you can even consider adding a Ghost Rider, New Fantastic Four and Kevlar Body Armor. You can’t have a third of your deck with gray borders, as it will destroy the natural flow of a Vs. draw. Some have to be cut out, so that leads us to . . .

The Cuts

(We currently need to make ten cuts. What would yours be?)

Now that I have spent a while talking about how all of these cards rock and that they will win you games, I’m going to wince and make painful faces as I pull off a few Band-Aids.

-1 The Pogo Plane: We need fewer gray cards.

-1 Unstable Molecules: Less gray.

-1 Fantasticar: This has shifted from a ’Car deck into a more controlling deck. This one will be based on the player’s taste. Some of you may want to go back up to four, and if that’s your thing, by all means do it, but that’s just not the way I roll.

-2 Thor, God of Thunder: Something’s got to go, and five 8-drops is obviously too much. Two should be fine.

-1 Monica Rambeau ◊ Captain Marvel: It’s Stretch or bust. Sorry, Rambeau, your name is cool, but I just can’t have you messing up my curve.

-1 Hercules: Your alternate 6-drop is just about a good enough consolation if you miss Thing on this drop. I am dropping the number of Avengers Assembles slightly because I have dropped the number of leaders, so it makes sense that he hits the road. Sorry, Herc, but there is only one god, and he’s swinging two hammers.

-1 Rick Jones: You don’t need to draw that many of him. One by turn 5 would be nice.

-1 Avengers Assemble!: You saw it here first. Two leaders in the deck and three Avengers Assemble! Because of the flexibility of Mjolnir, I think this can work. Eight search cards may also be just a tad too redundant. I mean, who would play eight character search effects in the same deck?

-1 Wyatt Wingfoot: Sorry, fella, I know your picture makes you look like Clark Kent while you are actually a Keewazi Adventurer, but I can handle not drawing you every game. You’re a great surprise, and you’re great at flying the Pogo Plane, but sometimes I can wait until turn 5 to really start going Pogo Plane happy.

We are left with 22 characters (26 if you count Mjolnir), 7 locations (they all survived the cuts), 15 plot twists, and 16 equipment. Here is the final list:

P-Y-M-P

by Jason Hager

3 Rick Jones

3 Wyatt Wingfoot, Keewazi Adventurer

4 Hank Pym ◊ Yellowjacket

1 Thing, Ben Grimm

1 Thor, Odinson

4 Mr. Fantastic, Stretch

1 Iron Man, Invincible

1 Hulk, New Fantastic Four

1 Thing, The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing

2 Thor, God of Thunder

1 Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd

22 Characters

4 Salvage

4 Tech Upgrade

3 Avengers Assemble!

4 Signal Flare

15 Plot Twists

4 Antarctic Research Base

1 Metropolis

1 Avalon Space Station

1 Pier 4

7 Locations

3 Unstable Molecules

3 The Pogo Plane

4 Mjolnir

2 Medallion of Power

1 Fantasticar

1 Framistat

1 Light Armor

1 Chopping Block

16 Equipment

Overall Feelings

This deck is doing a lot now. While Tech Upgrade is a lot better in this deck, there is a lot of stress on the four copies you are allowed to play. Those decisions need to be made quickly and deliberately in tournament play. It’s no longer straightforward, and some very difficult card searching problems have been added. While some players may shy away from those very difficult build phases, I am the type of player who wants to meet them head on and make the wrong decisions in testing until I figure it out. I want a 10-minute turn 4 build phase where I’m constantly doing things, and I want every card in my deck at my disposal on every turn. It’s just the way I like to play.

I will leave you with a few tidbits about how I would expect the matchups to go and pitfalls you may run into.

Curve Sentinels

Hank and his Medallion of glowing goodness are going to be terrific in this matchup. You need to be careful when recovering your 4- and 5-drop, because they are very prone to getting Finishing Moved. Try to Chop the opposing turn 4 play and make sure to over-commit with team attacks on your initiative when the opponent has Bastion. Light Armor will be good for you there, allowing every Salvage flipped to equate to a Reconstruction Program. Thor should save you some endurance early on, because you should expect this match to go to turn 8. It doesn’t look too bad for the home team in this matchup.

MKKO

This matchup will not go to turn 8. Play defensively and be assured that your later drops will just crush your opponent. But you have to get to the later drops, which is the hard part. You need to have Rick Jones to protect Hank Pym in the hidden area, and you need to bust several Molecules on the same character only to be able to safely recover it and force an attack into it again. Be very aware of all of the ways your deck can grant reinforcement. This matchup is winnable.

Avengers Reservist

Take that Hawkeye, Clinton Bartin—no 2-drops. Watch out for Hawkeye hitting two 1-drops. Your reinforcement abilities are combat-stamped, so don’t rely on them to save you. Be very aware of all of the Nasty Surprise effects the reservist decks have. Having Molecules on characters during your initiative is good against them. This may be the type of game where Mr. Pym gets to cross the table and tussle with the opposing 4-drop. Be warned that Wonder Man is great against Odinson, but overall, this one is winnable.

Teen Titans

This is the problem with the equipment FF decks: they have a very hard time dealing with the out-of-combat stuns of Roy and Terra. You need to chopping block their important characters in the mid-game—either Terra, Red Star, or Garth ◊ Tempest. Get those off the board and make your opponent replay them. Don’t let him or her enter turns where he or she can safely recruit Roy Harper and boost Hawk/Dove. Those turns will crush you. Be on the lookout for Titans Tower when you attack down the curve. This matchup doesn’t look too good.

Kang City

Kangs don’t fly, so you can make great walls on the board that they have to travel into multiple times. You can use Ben Grim to out-of-combat stun Kang, Rama Tut if the opponent is expecting to use him as a heroic sacrifice. This will not be an easy match. The one Fantasticar should help out all of the team attacks that are going to be necessary here. This deck also plays a 7-drop that will strip equipment right off your characters, so be careful.

New School

No one plays this deck, so you can ignore it.

And that’s all the time I have today to talk about decks. If you want me to Deck Clinic something that you’ve been toying around with, I would be happy to. Just shoot me an email explaining what your deck is trying to do, much like I’ve explained what this deck is trying to do in this article (except your description should be much shorter than this article ended up being). Also, if you have any interesting ideas for this decklist that I didn’t think of, shoot me an email and let me know. I will try to update with any knowledge sent to me in future articles so that everyone can know how to make Hank Pym the best he can be.

Thanks for reading this far—now go rest your eyes.

Jason Hager

Send new decklists and suggestions to Hager47@marshall.edu.

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