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Control Part Two - Putting the Theory in Practice

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It's been some time since I posted the initial article on a control deck, and since that time we've even put out a podcast episode that featured a segment trying to debunk the deck the best we could.

Also since that time, we've seen a video go up from a fellow Dice Master who used the squad against a Gobby archetype. He and I chatted briefly about it and he felt that what let him break through was some poor luck on part of the other player, but I think that this deck can get there even if the other player has the normal amount of luck or better.

Today, we'll look at a little bit about using the deck and talk about some long term strategies and situational tactics to use here.

<h3>The Opening: Beast. Duh.</h3>
I'm not sure that there's a lot to say here. The first turn is as many Beasts as you can muster. Two is ideal. If you can only get one, consider spending a shield and two life for Silver Surfer's ability to prep a spare die. This will give you a shot at a Storm purchase in turn two. I have successfully pulled this off more often than not, though a fair warning that this can blow up in your face.

If you didn't surf for a die during your first turn, definitely do it during two or three. The faster the Storm the better. Turn Two could be more Beast; it could also be Gambit, and probably should include a Surfer if you didn't earlier.

Otherwise, you need churn options here, and Beast is the best, especially if Tsarina is across the table from you.

<h3>The Midgame:</h3>
Distraction is your friend, as is the Mr. Fantastic ability that forces an attack. You can force anyone to attack and use your Beast to block and trigger a die draw. Great news.

If you're opponent is going to go Gobby all over the place and you don't have a Storm yet, consider Mr. Fantastic-ing a sidekick or two and taking the damage just to get them off of the board. Or, do the same and use your Beasts to send them to prep and get more dice in your queue for next time.

Midgame is about getting Storm in place and working towards getting your Human Torch out. The reason that this squad works is because it limits the impact that opponents characters can have (by turning them back or otherwise forcing them into positions they don't want to be in) while having win condition characters that don't cost a lot. The most expensive character that you'll plan to purchase is a 5. The worst fielding cost will be two.

Continue to cycle characters through and take advantage of characters that have the "when fielded" trigger. If you have your Johnny Storm out, don't be afraid to make the mandatory character damage happen to one of your own - KO Storm, Hawkeye, or Gambit, prep 'em and you'll get to trigger them again next turn, hopefully.

<h3>Situations to Avoid</h3>The biggest thing that you have to do is make it so that there are enough characters moving through your bag. I was playing a casual match and found that I needed one or two more character dice in the mix than I had. Early on it wasn't a problem because I seemed to have enough out and happening, but as soon as I got a few bad rolls and characters that I wanted in the field ended up in the used pile.

<h3>Closing Arguments</h3>You'll be moving a lot of characters through. Johnny Storm will ping your opponent and their characters to the point that their board will clear up and give you enough of an opening to reach a critical mass.

You'll attack and a sheer force of numbers (combined with the life that was drained by Storm and Johnny Storm) will get you the win.

<h3>Overcoming Obstacles</h3>
Loki Lock - Force him to attack and take the damage. Bye, Loki.

Professor X - Do the same; he doesn't hurt that badly. Conversely, if you think you're close, just pay the two life. You can afford that a few times in this deck, as a critical mass is unlikely to ever build up against you.

Gobby - Take out the sidekicks! Storm is your friend.

McRook - Reroll and distraction.

Wolverine - Force an extra attacker; he's not so scary now.

Anything else you'd like me to include here? I sure can do it! Let me know in the comments.
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  1. Dean imported's Avatar
    Where can we find the video referenced in the intro? Thanks
  2. Horatio imported's Avatar
    I really like this deck but difficult to see how it isn't just a collection of some of the best characters in the game, notably Johnny Storm. Add Tsarina and Gobby to Beast 666, Storm WInd Rider, HTJS, and you basically have a squad that doesn't lose to anything other than another identical deck. I guess what I'm asking is how is this team better off for NOT having T and G in the mix?
  3. Katie imported's Avatar
    Can't speak entirely for Dave, but the main allure of the control deck is it's almost entirely Uncommons or Commons, so a super 'cost effective' deck for someone who doesn't want to pay big bucks.
  4. Dave imported's Avatar
    It beats Gobby and Tsarina without having any of the weaknesses of Gobby and Tsarina.
  5. Dave imported's Avatar
    Whoops! ere it is.
  6. Horatio imported's Avatar
    I guess what I'm saying is that this deck IS a Gobby/Tsarina deck, just minus those two guys. Since both a good G&T; deck and your deck have common cards, what is your incremental card (aside from Beast, Storm, HTJS - because I have those too) that beats the G&T;? Gambit? I don't think so.
  7. Dave imported's Avatar
    Because using them means that you're juggling those extra characters. The point is that you DON'T have them.
  8. Tom Landy imported's Avatar
    How can something be a Gobby/Tsarina deck without Gobby/Tsarina? That doesn't make any sense. lol
  9. Trevor Roberts imported's Avatar
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  10. Trevor Roberts imported's Avatar
    I think Horatio is saying that by swapping out 1 or 2 cards for gobby/BW it would be stronger.

    I currently run the following variant. I find the 3 cost gambit and 4 cost hawkeye don't add enough flexablity over BW/Hulk.;1152-4;1187-4;1161-2;1165-2;1222-1;1224-2;1252-1;1177-4;1274-3

    Again the added flexibility and more importantly unlike this configuration has a game ending character which I think every build needs. Again just because you have BW or Gobby doesn't mean you have to buy/field them but having the OPTION to field them is a major advantage.
  11. Dave imported's Avatar
    I disagree. This needs every card that's there. Magneto (for Villains like Loki), Mr. F (for control), and Surfer (for early big buys) are essential globals. Beast is your Tsarina counter. Storm is your Gobby/everything counter. Gambit is a useful &quot;when fielded&quot; trigger that helps get unwanted dice out of the way. Hawkeye is an assassin. Johnny Storm is obvious.

    I'd consider replacing Gambit, but if I did, it would be for something like NOGG. The advantage of Gambit is that he helps get unwanted dice out of your bag. He works, and he's a bit misrated - not over- or under-, just mis-. Lots of folks seem to think that his purpose is other than it is. We'll be talking about that another time.

    Hawkeye is my least used character in the deck, but IMO you need an assassin on your board just in case.

    This squad has a game ending condition - it's Storm & Johnny Storm. With all of the blocking and intentional KO-ing of your own guys, you're fielding plenty of characters - JS will do plenty of damage - and Storm does a good chunk too. The advantage of not having someone as big as Hulk is that this is faster - the most expensive character that you'll buy is Storm - and gives you the chance to control your opponent's board before they can really be established. It's surprisingly easy for your characters to reach a critical mass to finish the job despite having slightly lower energy. You'll be swimming in masks and it'll be difficult for your opponent to do anything as they intended on their own turn.

    By not having Gobby and Tsarina, you have the opportunity to control them. Because nearly every deck with Gobby/Tsarina ultimately turns into a Gobby/Tsarina deck.
  12. limelizard imported's Avatar
    I've won two tournaments with this team:;1167-2;1165-2;1197-2;1220-2;1151-4;1243-2;1245-4;1272-3;1274-3;'
  13. Horatio imported's Avatar
    Very nice team. Further proof (as if anyone needed it) that Johnny Storm is the #1 character in this game. The design team really missed the mark on making him a 4 cost.
  14. Mathew Tucker imported's Avatar
    You say you get rid of Loki and p.X by forcing them to attack, what stops them from using distraction just like you would?
  15. Dave imported's Avatar
    Then they've wasted some energy doing that instead of purchasing something else. Loki or Prof is a means of control but not a means of victory, and if they're spending resources doing that, so much the better. Plus, since they're attacking, I can block with all of my Beasts in the meantime, who will trigger before my opponent can pull back.
  16. Mathew Tucker imported's Avatar