The ‘Thick’ Ally Leadership Deck

Written by Herohodgson

I’m not sure about you, but Marvel Champions has definitely been my game of choice during this pandemic. I love the difference in styles between each character and am always looking for new decks that change the way a hero plays or feels on the board. For me, the aspect that invites the most creativity is Leadership. The Ant-Man hero pack gave us the biggest change up in terms of an aspect’s card list by handing us some incredible upgrades that take the aspect away from simply flooding your board with allies to use and defend with. A theme that I have seen on social media forums and chats has been around how its now possible to build ‘Thick’ allies that are maxed out with multiple upgrades, and this got me thinking – is it possible to build a deck centered around a single ally? Probably… so here we go then!

Let’s start off by picking our hero, we need someone with a draw heavy deck so that we can get to both our hero and ally upgrade cards quickly. Two standout in particular – Captain Marvel and Dr.Strange.

Captain Marvel’s draw is unparalleled in the game with both her Commander ability in alter-ego mode and Alpha Flight Station. Doctor Strange can use Winds of Watoomb to draw 3 cards, and by utilizing his events to repeat spells you can soon have double digit hand sizes. His invocation deck also has the potential to handle the board state whilst you get your ally setup and rolling. As an alternative hero I would also recommend Spider-Woman, because the Captain Marvel card in that character deck is a potential choice for our maxed-out ally, as with each basic action you get to draw a card – then you can also brag about having a leadership deck with no leadership or basic allies! All three of these heroes also have the capability to handle board states quite well on their own.

Now that our hero is sorted its time to pick our ‘thick ally’. Lots of candidates but as far as I see it we have three options in particular, each with their pros and cons towards what we want to achieve.

Ant-Man has the flexibility when it comes to cost, making it easier to pay for him as well as one or two upgrades very quickly. His flexible cost also helps with the Make the Call plays in case we lose him, and need to get him back from discard. However, I don’t always like the idea of having to throwaway a hand just to give him a decent amount of HP.

Iron Man and Ronin are the two best shouts here, they both have decent base stats and their special text ability will help out in terms of what we’re wanting to achieve with upgrades. Ronin’s stats get a nice boost when we place an upgrade on him and his cost at 3 resources makes him easy to get out in the first place or play from discard. However, Iron Man’s ability to decrease the cost of each upgrade make him the ideal choice and worth the extra initial resource. It’s a toss-up between these two, but we’re running Iron Man for this deck. There are of course many options but you don’t want something too cost prohibitive, the stats need to be decent enough, and of course any ally that will disappear at the end of the round won’t work for what we want to do.

Now that we’ve chosen our ally we need to get them out as quickly as possible, this is a scenario where if they’re not in your opening hand you might want to hard mulligan every card to increase the chances of getting to your character. To help get to Iron Man quicker though we are running three copies of Call for Aid just in case. We also have two copies of Rapid Response and three copies of Make the Call in order to rescue Iron Man from our discard pile if needs be.

And now our upgrades, this one is tricky as all of the below are max 1 per ally. So depending on the shuffle of our deck we could be shooting ourselves in the foot with too many copies of one card. To avoid this I would limit the below to 2 of each. Bearing in mind that each of these has 0 cost when played onto Iron Man.

For my other two events I’ve chosen United We Stand and Inspiring Presence. You could run Get Ready here as well, but I always prefer to run lean 40 card decks when you’re utilizing combos like we are here, and so it didn’t make the cut once I’d thrown in all the double resource cards. Also, I want to keep Iron Man on as many HP as possible so that with his repeat activation we don’t take him off the board. Get Ready will use up an extra HP per round compared to Inspiring Presence.

So there you have it! The one ally leadership deck! You should realistically be able to pump out 10-12 damage a round as long as your draw comes up in the order you want. As with most combo-based decks however, it’s very much open to variance. An unlucky card draw might mean you’re stuck with a lot of dead cards. Is it meta? Probably not, but when you’re playing games though lockdown at the rate I am its good to branch out and try something a little niche! It is a lot of fun and an intriguing way to play the game by having the focus more towards one ally than your actual character. Just watch out for any cards that interfere with your allies!

What are some of your more ‘curveball’ deck builds? Comment below!

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