Throughout the month of June my schedule didn't exactly allow me a lot of time to join in the VS events. But of the five Thursdays packed into the month, I was able to attend two of them; and took full advantage of the chance to explore some of the cards in Marvel Factions a little bit deeper.
After playing our two-teams event early in the month I found myself leaning towards the Heroes For Hire over Marvel Defenders. Not that they had poor cards or stats by any means! The 4-cost Hulk and She-Hulk drops they have are very solid and performed very well. There just seemed to be something more in the Iron Fist / Luke Cage cards I had used that first event that needed further attention. So with that in mind I stripped out the Defenders cards and started working around this pair of characters.
First off, the 2-cost Iron Fist with substitute is a great card...just not on turn two. So I decided to make Paladin my first choice, as he ALSO has substitute. The ideal play for turns two and three are Paladin on two, Luke Cage on three, then subbing out Paladin for Iron Fist to give Luke Cage +2/+2 for the turn! My alternate 3-drop is Colleen Wing, but you really don't want to play her unless you have no choice. This could be looked at further, and maybe swapped out for Shang Chi.
Turn 4 is a tough one. There are some options for a 4-drop Iron Fist, and they're good choices, but I don't like the idea of ditching my 2 if it isn't necessary, especially when my 6-drop Iron Fist is the hoped-for finisher. The best choices are also off-team, so I ended up going with Misty Knight for her leadership text.
Turn 5 and 6 are obvious here. Luke Cage and Iron Fist respectively. If you are able to get even initiative and save a handful of your attack-boosting plot twists for here, it should be over in a hurry. Of course I'm a fan of insurance so I do pack a 7-drop for those instances.
The locations available to Heroes For Hire in MFA are very solid and they even have a search card for Iron Fist, so that's a definite must for inclusion. If I were to say anything about weak points there are two of them:
1) Most of the characters have no flight or range. There are a few characters that get bonuses for being in combat with other flightless & rangeless characters but it's tough to do, as they only have one card that can cause this to happen.
2) There are no team-stamped cards for boosting defence WHILE defending. While not a desperate concern based on the higher-than-normal stats, it can be an issue if your opponent is also playing an aggressive combat deck. It also happens that their attack-boosting cards are almost exclusive to "target attacker"...so you do have a point of weakness during each of your opponent's attack steps.
The weaknesses can be addressed with some options. I'd definitely consider a play set of New Mutations to give all of my characters flight and range. Some acrobatic dodges or nasty surprises, or similar effects, might also come in handy while defending. I'll definitely be considering some of these if I revisit the deck in the future.
We still have a few months before getting into the next set so I'm looking forward to digging deeper into the other teams before then. I think my next focus will be Dark Avengers.
Until next time!