I’m Rick Jones, B!&%#

Who knew that Hulk Hogan was thirty seconds in MS Paint from becoming an awful rendition of The Incredible Hulk? That ref in the background sure looks surprised at the transformation. Seriously, I need Adobe PhotoShop or something!

As you can probably guess, this week’s article is about The Hulk. I did not go to the first Hulk movie in theatres. The trailers for it looked awful, and my friends that went opening night had nothing good to say about it (they actually saw a boom in the shot). Eventually, I rented the movie through my online Blockbuster subscription and found that I hadn’t missed much. It had an incredibly slow story that focused on character development a little too much for such one-dimensional characters. Also, I still don’t think I understand what happened in the final battle.

Anyway, the bad taste in my mouth from the first movie stopped me from running out to see the sequel; especially when I heard about its star’s (Edward Norton) unhappiness with the final cut. This time around though, the fan buzz has been better, so I think I might head to the local theatre and see it this weekend. In leiu of my popcorn munching adventure-time, I thought I’d try an initial build of the Warbound team. I know, I know, this team has had tons of buzz around the net already, but I have a couple of reasons for investigating them. First, my friend Dave Jones is moving to Oregon, never to be seen again (as mentioned last week). He is a big fan of The Hulk, and asked me to do an article on him this week. My second reason has a lot to do with Warbound’s similarity to the X-Statix team. My roommate Martie’s first real obsession was with an X-Statix deck. He even bought all their comics because he enjoyed their loner theme so much.

Warbound kind of builds itself. Sure there are little changes you can put into place to make the build your own (as I will attempt to do), but there are not many options at each drop. In fact, the only drop with more than two choices is the three drop position (and that’s only if you’re counting Archangel as a character instead of a Flying Kick). For my build, I’m going to skip right over the one drop position. I like Mastermind, but I want to curve consistently to turn seven, and there are only so many character slots. Besides, it’s much more consistent to mulligan for a two drop than a one drop. Add to the mix that the three viable search cards for a Warbound deck (Mobilize, Warbound to the End, and Uncertain Legacy) are all three cost, and you’ve got a no-brainer.

At the two drop spot we have a couple of sweet characters. You won’t be disappointed if you draw into either one. Rick Jones, Monster’s Best Friend draws you cards like crazy. He might as well say, “Activate -> Draw a card.” Pretty much every card in this deck (if not EVERY card in this deck) should have Hulk somewhere on the cardboard, so tap Jones every turn. Your other two drop is Miek, The Unhived. Miek is sweet in this deck. He basically turns every Hulk you’ll ever recruit into a Ra’s a Ghul by making it so that anyone defending against The Hulk can’t be reinforced. How handy would that be all game? I can’t decide which is cooler; 2-3 extra cards for the game, or a perma-Blind Sided!

The three drop position in this deck is a little unusual. Archangel, Champion is a Flying Kick for Hulks, but he’s just a vanilla three drop, so you’d really only want to drop him if you’re going to miss your other three drop. You can’t help but include Archangel, however, because anytime you draw into him after turn three he’s still incredibly useful. I love this kind of utility in a character card. The other three drop I’m going to include in my build is Hulk, Exile. Hulk, Exile is a four drop that they apparently misprinted with a three in the upper left-hand corner of the card. He’s a 7/6, similar to Black Panther (when you had a row of reservists) from the Avengers set, and we all remember how good he was. I run Hulk at three because he’s a three drop AND a backup four drop; I’m also not very fond of the four drop Hulk. The four drop Hulk, Green Scar works like a Flame Trap, so he’s only situationally useful. The five drop Hulk (which we’ll talk about later) is amazing, so I decided to focus on hitting Hulk on turns three and five every game.

The three drop that’s omitted from this build is Hiroim, The Shamed. He makes Hulk invulnerable for the rest of the game. I was originally going to focus on a Hiroim/Imperial Dreadnaught build because it would be very similar to an X-Statix build running X-Statix HQ, but the other choice at the four drop position made me decide that I only wanted to recruit Hulk on four as a last resort. I’m talking about Brood, Brood Creature 2 of 6, who turns all your Hulks into Punisher, Guns Blazing. That’s right, everyone you stun on offense and defense will KO once Brood has done her thing!

At five, we’ll run Hulk, Gladiator. He’s a 10/10 beefstick that can KO your three or four drop Hulk (instead of replacing them) for the sweet, sweet bonus of stunning an opposing character of equal or lesser cost. This essentially negates the drawback of losing your three or four drop Hulk. Also, I’m not quite sure about this, but I believe that Brood’s ‘remove from game’ ability applies when you stun a character with Hulk, Gladiator’s boost ability since Brood does not specify that the stun happens during the combat phase. If this is the case, you’ll want to remove Brood from the game when he stuns on turn four; then on five you, when you boost Gladiator, you’ll KO your Hulk, Exile to stun and KO their three drop. After this, run Gladiator into their five drop to KO him too. Now they have a four drop and you have a five drop going into turn six.

For turn six you’ll have options for either initiative. If you have evens, you’ll want to hit Caiera, The Oldstrong. She let’s a Hulk you control attack twice as long as they don’t stun back. As I mentioned earlier, you should have a five and six drop going into turn six while you opponent should only have a four and six drop. If it’s your attack step on turn six you might want to immediately stun and ‘remove from game’ Caiera against their six drop; run Hulk, Gladiator into their four drop (there should be no stunback); then smash straight to the face again with Gladiator! This is especially great if you have a couple of Hulk Smash! in your hand. Alternately, if you get odds, you’ll want to recruit Hulk, The Green King replacing your five drop Hulk. Green King would come into play as an 18/18 behemoth that should force you opponent to team attack. If this is the case, you’ll have plenty of defensive tricks like Hulk Red and Bloodsport to ensure you get a swing back.

On seven there are also two options. If you dropped Caiera on six because you got stuck with evens, then you’ll want to drop Hulk, Sakaar’Son on seven so that you’ll have a 17/17 double attacker. If you dropped Hulk on turn six because you got odds, you’ll want to drop Hercules, Secret Avenger, who’ll allow The Green King to double attack (18/18 on the first attack, 21/21 on the second). To quote the wise Qui-Gon Jinn, “Either way, you win.”

As far as plot twists go, there are some obvious inclusions. Hulk Smash! is a +8 attack pump that can be used as early as turn three. This is RIDICULOUS! Also, Trouble with Dinosaurs is an almost equally large attack pump. Trouble with Dinosaurs gives an attacker plus eight attack, then subtracts one attack for each character you control. Since you are usually going to have only one character, at most two on board at any given time, this pump will always be for six or seven attack! Fight or Die is also a cool pump that can be a +3 or a +6 if you so desire. If we run all three of these we will have twelve pumps in the deck that are better than Savage Beatdown! If you count Archangel, there will be a total of fifteen pumps in the deck. Hidden Injustice Gang might have more pumps than that, but all their pumps are smaller!

When you’re on defense, you’ll want Hulk Red, a plot twist that, when optimal, gives your Hulk +4 defense. There’s also Bloodsport, a very crazy defensive plot. Bloodsport removes all but one team attacker from an attack when Hulk is defending. This means that if you opponent team attacks, you can turn it into a one-on-one battle, which will most likely go in your favor. If your opponent was already just attacking with only one character, then Bloodsport can still serve as a Reset, making him waste pumps.

Righteous Anger also serves a few purposes in this deck. First, it can be used as a suedo-Pathetic Attempt on the defense (at the price of loosing endurance from the stun). It can also be used to “Reset” the attack by removing your Hulk as a defender. Finally, this card is the bomb on the offense. If you’ve just attacked twice because of Caiera or Hercules, but did not stun, then use this card to get in a third attack!

The Great Arena is a must in this deck as well. It allows you to get a final use out of any Hulk that you might be replacing. For instance, if Green Scar is on the table and I’m about to put Gladiator into play, I can exhaust Green Scar to exhaust their three drop, then use Gladiator’s boost to KO Green Scar and stun their four drop, then I can attack their five drop with Gladiator. It’s a pretty awesome turn of events!

I kind of touched on possible search cards earlier in this article, but I’ll elaborate here. When building this deck, I basically could chose from Mobilize, Warbound to the End, Uncertain Legacy, and Origin Story. Origin Story is basically the same as Uncertain Legacy, except that it forces us to return a Hulk to our hand. While that might be good for a power-up, it neuters all of our Hulks that KO Hulks with their boost ability. Uncertain Legacy is amazing in this build because it nets you a card with no cost attached. You’ll just have to replace your Hulk when your new one comes into play, which this deck is designed to do anyway. When I compared Mobilize to Warbound to the End I found that Mobilize was a little weaker. Sure, Mobilize can get anyone, but so can Warbound to the End (WttE) once Hulk, Exile is in play. Besides, Mobilize can’t be peeled from the top of the deck by Rick Jones. Neither can Uncertain Legacy for that matter, so lets make WttE our primary search card.

Alright, I think I’ve talked about everything I can, so here’s my final list:

4x Rick Jones, Monster’s Best Friend
4x Miek, The Unhived
4x Hulk, Exile
3x Archangel, Champion
4x Brood, Brood Creature 2 of 6
1x Hulk, Green Scar
4x Hulk, Gladiator
2x Hulk, The Green King
1x Caiera, The Oldstrong
1x Hulk, Sakaar’Son
1x Hercules, Secret Avenger

3x The Great Arena

4x Warbound to the End
2x Uncertain Legacy
4x Hulk Smash!
4x Trouble with Dinosaurs (or Savage Beatdown)
4x Fight or Die!
4x Hulk Red
3x Bloodsport
3x Righteous Anger

I love this deck already because it’s poised to kill you in so many ways without being watered down. Also, there are only seven cards without the word Hulk in title or gametext for Jones to peel off the top of the deck, so he’ll have an 88 % hit rate. Nine out of ten successful draws is pretty amazing when you think about it. This is the reason that I run Fight or Die! over Savage Beatdown though. I feel like Beatdown should only be used to replace another non-Hulk card like Trouble with Dinosaurs. Let me know what you think. I already saw a bunch of variations on the realms, but they’re welcome here too!

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4 Responses

  1. Best hulk picture ever!

  2. This is the best article you’ve ever written. This deck makes me want to play Vs. again. I must have to have it!

  3. Thank you for your very interesting information
    pleasure to read your blog
    forward new and interesting discoveries

  4. i just shut the door on you while you were talking to tara. ha. imo.

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