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Subject: Raccoon? What's a Raccoon? (Rocket Deck) rss

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Carl Frodge
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How do you build a Rocket deck? I asked myself this question and started with the obvious. Rocket needs to empty his hand to level up, so...put a bunch of Plot Twists in the deck, that way you can just drop them all when you want to level up.

The equally obvious thing was to include 4 copies of Rocket (SC), because they essentially act as extra plot twists, and they're cards you can easily drop to lower your hand (while also powering up your MC). After that, it was a matter of figuring out which locations to use. 4 Knowhere was obvious. 3-4 Laboratory was also obvious, because they can just be played or discarded to activate Rocket (MC)'s ability. And we'd also need 3-4 Training Ground for once Rocket actually does level up, to take advantage of his second ability. You don't want a ton of Locations in your hand, though, unless you can activate a lot of Super Powers in a single turn if you need to (but that adds a level of depth I don't think I'm ready to delve into just yet).


The hardest part in building the deck is figuring out how many Supporting Characters to run. It has to be kind of low, not only to make room for the Plot Twists, but also to make sure you're controlling your hand size at all times (too many SC's you can't play make for dead hands, and you only want to play an SC as a resource if you absolutely have to.)

1st Revision (9/12/2015)

Main Character: Rocket

Supporting Characters: 23
4 Cosmo

4 Daredevil
4 Black Panther
3 Namor

3 Deadpool
3 Green Goblin

2 Sabertooth

I chose Namor because he seems great early game for SC threates (especially Cosmo, which often hides in the backrow. Namor swoops in and KO's him, or the opponent has to waste a PT to keep him on board. Either way, he can't strike back, so Namor should survive to do the same next turn). I liked the idea of Deadpool, because like Chris pointed out, he's good if you can't level up Rocket early enough to still get the stuns, and you can potentially get him back with a Fortress.

I chose Green Goblin, because he has the potential to place a lot of -1/-1 counters (a better Black Widow, but at a slightly higher cost), plus he has Flight, so he can often hit your opponents MC, especially if it hasn't leveled up yet.

And I chose Sabertooth, not just because he's one of the best 4-drops in the game, but because he can potentially team attack with Green Goblin. I didn't think Gamora was a great choice because I'm not playing Agent Venom in this build, and she would have to solo attack, which might not work out without dropping a PT on her.


Plot Twists: 23
4 Savage Surprise
4 Open Fire
4 Even the Odds
4 Vigilante Justice
4 Give 'Em a Lift
3 Earth's Mightiest Heroes

I wanted to optimize Daredevil's potential with the plot twists, so I included 4 Vigilante Justice and 4 Give 'Em a Lift, both of which make Daredevil a force to be reckoned with (Give 'Em a Lift lets you attack an MC in the backrow, and Vigilante Justice means Daredevil will probably survive to attack again next round. Vigilante Justice is also great if Daredevil is team attacking with Black Panther, because they'll both be Ferocious.

I decided on 4 Daredevil and 4 Black Panther to get the team attacks, and to maximize the opportunity to play Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

The rest are pretty standard.


Locations: 14
4 Knowhere
4 Laboratory
4 Training Ground
2 Fortress

Since I'm only playing 3 Deadpool, and he's the only one that uses Fortress AND he has to be in the KO pile to use his ability, I didn't think more than 2 Fortress was necessary, but I'll find out in testing. I might end up dropping a Training Ground for a third Fortress.

I feel like the numbers are right (22 Supporting characters, not counting Rocket SC/28 Plot Twists inclduing Rocket SC/10 Locations). Or maybe 20/30/10.

One of the tough things about the deck is the curve. I don't want a lot of SC's in hand in the beginning, because I want to empty my hand to level up Rocket, but once he's leveled up, he needs support. So it's a really difficult balancing game.


Anyway, I'd really love some help figuring out what SC's to use.

I feel like Avengers has the best Plot Twists for this build (aggressiveness with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but Think Again lets me cancel combat, Ant Man does the same, and Stark Tech adding +1/+1 counters.
 
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Chris Ward
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Here's my Rocket list. I have been having great performance out of this deck, with it having positive win rates against Star Lord, Storm, Thanos etc. Supporting characters are definitely a challenge for this deck, but my curve caps at 4. I cannot stress how good Nova is in this deck as he supports that Give 'em a Lift turn when Rocket Get's Murderous. Every SC in this deck is useful in its own right. Really, it comes down to aggressively pulling from your discard as often as possible. I am happy to see every card in this deck when I dig. That said, if you haven't won by turn 7 then you're probably boned.

I can go into the specifics as to why I picked each dude if you want.


Rocket Gets the Blood Lust:

Characters:

1 Cost:

4x Cosmo

2 Cost:

4x Agent Venom
4x Dare Devil
3x Black Panther

3 Cost:

3x Deadpool
3x Gomora

4 Cost:

2x Nova

Plot Twist:

4x Even The Odds
4x Give 'Em A Lift
4x Open Fire
4x Earth's Mightiest Heroes
4x Savage Surprise
3x Vigilante Justice


Locations:

3x Training Ground
4x Laboratory
3x Fortress
4x Knowhere
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Carl Frodge
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If you'd go into specifics, I'd really appreciate it.
 
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Chris Ward
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No problem! Initially, I went weenie rush with the build. This used Antmn, Blackwidow, Cosmo and Yondu. Aside from Cosmo, they are all counter intuitive to the deck's glass cannon nature. The pup just wins games, I am never unhappy to see him in either a standard draw or off a L2 Rocket dig. He turns off flying, which is a big draw, especially late game when they think they can hide behind a big Adam Warlock.

The 2 slot is where you level out, really. All of the guys in this slot hit like a truck. Venom works with Rocket, especially on a murder turn. Panther and Daredevil work well together, and swing for 9 on a MC. I like to swing on an mc with these dudes and if they thwart it, swing with Rocket+Plots+Murder. Really, them playing Think Again is your bane here, which is why having early dudes that can sink wounds into guys is important. Daredevil is incredible at this. Plus they turn on Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which is amazing.

At this point, unless you're location flooded, you should have been able to dump your hand. Sometimes it just doesn't happen, so don't worry if you don't level as fast. It is seriously okay to wildly use a few pt's to get a stun and xp, since you'll be able to get them back. It's important, if you have a red and stuff you need in your discard, to be digging every turn. This is the reason I cut Yondu. No competition for red. There's nothing in this deck that I'm not happy to see.

In the 3 slot, Deadpool is an easy choice. If you're not able to level, he helps with getting team stun with Rocket or if you wanna thin your discard, he's easy to bring back with a Fortress. Provided you haven't burned them on Venom. Gamora is just solid and can team attack with the already strong Guardians. Pumping her with twists to kill a Sabertooth or other two wound dude is a valid play. If I had to switch anyone out, it would be her.

Finally, Nova. You don't drop him unless you are gonna use him because he becomes a huge target. I cannot stress this enough. He will swing games for you. I essentially view him as a +5/+5 Give Em' a Lift. Sometimes taking out a dude with him and then readying him can win games.

Since I'm running Avengers, it's difficult to no just run Think Again, but it is counter intuitive to the deck's objective. It's a glass cannon and absolutely should perform as such. The hardest cut was Sabertooth, and I still miss him. He's, imo, the best 4 drop right now, but I don't think this build want him.

If you wanted to change the resources, Major Victory and Ronan will give you a huge amount of control and will probably let you switch from Nova to Sabertooth. I also really like Black Widow in this build, especially since she helps with the turn 1 stun and turns on the Mighty Heroes. She was really hard to cut.

Lemme know what you think!

 
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Carl Frodge
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CrankiestFox wrote:
No problem! Initially, I went weenie rush with the build. This used Antmn, Blackwidow, Cosmo and Yondu. Aside from Cosmo, they are all counter intuitive to the deck's glass cannon nature. The pup just wins games, I am never unhappy to see him in either a standard draw or off a L2 Rocket dig. He turns off flying, which is a big draw, especially late game when they think they can hide behind a big Adam Warlock.

What do you mean by "glass cannon" and "weenie rush"?

Quote:
The 2 slot is where you level out, really. All of the guys in this slot hit like a truck. Venom works with Rocket, especially on a murder turn. Panther and Daredevil work well together, and swing for 9 on a MC. I like to swing on an mc with these dudes and if they thwart it, swing with Rocket+Plots+Murder. Really, them playing Think Again is your bane here, which is why having early dudes that can sink wounds into guys is important. Daredevil is incredible at this. Plus they turn on Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which is amazing.

At this point, unless you're location flooded, you should have been able to dump your hand. Sometimes it just doesn't happen, so don't worry if you don't level as fast. It is seriously okay to wildly use a few pt's to get a stun and xp, since you'll be able to get them back. It's important, if you have a red and stuff you need in your discard, to be digging every turn. This is the reason I cut Yondu. No competition for red. There's nothing in this deck that I'm not happy to see.

In the 3 slot, Deadpool is an easy choice. If you're not able to level, he helps with getting team stun with Rocket or if you wanna thin your discard, he's easy to bring back with a Fortress. Provided you haven't burned them on Venom. Gamora is just solid and can team attack with the already strong Guardians. Pumping her with twists to kill a Sabertooth or other two wound dude is a valid play. If I had to switch anyone out, it would be her.

Finally, Nova. You don't drop him unless you are gonna use him because he becomes a huge target. I cannot stress this enough. He will swing games for you. I essentially view him as a +5/+5 Give Em' a Lift. Sometimes taking out a dude with him and then readying him can win games.

Since I'm running Avengers, it's difficult to no just run Think Again, but it is counter intuitive to the deck's objective. It's a glass cannon and absolutely should perform as such. The hardest cut was Sabertooth, and I still miss him. He's, imo, the best 4 drop right now, but I don't think this build want him.

If you wanted to change the resources, Major Victory and Ronan will give you a huge amount of control and will probably let you switch from Nova to Sabertooth. I also really like Black Widow in this build, especially since she helps with the turn 1 stun and turns on the Mighty Heroes. She was really hard to cut.

Lemme know what you think!

Thank you so much for taking the time to walk me through it, I really appreciate that! I totally get your mindset and I'll definitely apply it in making my own version better.

Thank you so much! If you have any other tips/advice for this deck, or just deckbuilding in general, I'd love to hear it.

I noticed you don't play 4 copies of Rocket (SC). Did you ever test this? (My mindset is, he basically acts as a PT that you never have a problem playing).

I updated the OP with my new build.
 
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Chris Ward
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Weenie decks usually play a bunch of low cost dudes in an attempt to overwhelm your opponent. I think that strategy makes sense with rocket, but doesn't work as well as I'd like. The issue is that they are so quickly KO'd that they really don't stick around long enough to be useful. It's also a meta call for me as Storm and Cap can really decimate low cost dudes.

Glass cannon basically means super powerful but incredibly fragile. So I build the Rocket deck to do just that. It puts out a bunch of damage, but only lasts 6 or 7 turns.

My biggest advice is don't worry if you lose dudes or get stunned. It's okay to blow a bunch of plot twists to stun them on their turn. If you do this, you can often marginalize the board by focusing on another SC while their MC is stunned.

I tested 4 copies of Rocket and found I didn't need it. The plot twists offer a more consistent source of bonus damage. I found running Venom in that slot offers a more diverse board and makes Gamora and Rocket just plain better.
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Carl Frodge
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I've updated the decklist and there's now 2 versions I'm going to test. The only differences between the two are a few 2 and 3-drops.

---
Version 1
Main Character: Rocket

Supporting Characters: 22
4 Cosmo

3 Daredevil
3 Black Panther
3 Agent Venom

3 Gamora
3 Deadpool

3 Nova

Plot Twists: 22
4 Savage Surprise
4 Open Fire
4 Even the Odds
4 Vigilante Justice
4 Give 'Em a Lift
2 Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Locations: 16
4 Knowhere
4 Training Ground
4 Laboratory
4 Fortress

---

Version 2
Main Character: Rocket

Supporting Characters: 22
4 Cosmo

3 Daredevil
3 Black Panther
3 Namor

3 Green Goblin
3 Deadpool

3 Sabertooth

Plot Twists: 22
4 Savage Surprise
4 Open Fire
4 Even the Odds
4 Vigilante Justice
4 Give 'Em a Lift
2 Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Locations: 16
4 Knowhere
4 Training Ground
4 Laboratory
4 Fortress

---

Right now I'm playing a lot of 3-of's of characters. This is until I've tested enough and figured out which characters are best, and I'll optimize the numbers based on those characters that I want to see more often.

Other characters I've considered adding:
Black Widow
-Considered her, because her keyword power is great, but she has no synnergy with the rest of the deck, unless I throw her in the front row with Daredevil or Black Panther. I'd rather run Green Goblin, who puts -1/-1 counters on a bunch of characters and can handle himself. He can also team attack with Sabertooth if need be.

Yondu
-In theory, his ability can be really powerful early game, being able to straight up get rid of early threats, but because he requires Training Ground, he cuts into Rocket's use of it (which is very important in this deck), and it's inconsistent. He could potentially team attack with Rocket, but Cosmo has a better effect, which is also free.

Rocket (SC)
-The idea was to have easy cards to drop my hand size, and act as another plot twist, but the other plot twists in the game are better. I'd consider dropping Earth's Mightiest Heroes if it becomes inconsistent to add back in a few copies of Rocket, though.

Gambit
-Considered him for his 5/3 stats, which are great for a 3-drop, but decided against it, because his ability can't really be used here.
 
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Chris Ward
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Well, Black Widow is cool because her power and ability to turn on Earth's Mightiest Heroes turn 1. That almost guarantees either a stun or them burning plot twists. EMH is one of the best pumps in the game as it's an open fire that helps with the stun-back issue. I'd probably go to 2x Vigilante and 4x EMH.

It's fine to run Yondu as a 2x, since Cosmo is everywhere. Don't see thier Cosmo? Resource him. I have been thinking about throwing him in because Rocket not being able to Murder You! is very problematic to the overall strategy of the deck. I think he's definitely a crutch sometimes, but Cosmo behind a Storm on their turn one initiative is rough.
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Carl Frodge
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CrankiestFox wrote:
Well, Black Widow is cool because her power and ability to turn on Earth's Mightiest Heroes turn 1. That almost guarantees either a stun or them burning plot twists. EMH is one of the best pumps in the game as it's an open fire that helps with the stun-back issue. I'd probably go to 2x Vigilante and 4x EMH.

It's fine to run Yondu as a 2x, since Cosmo is everywhere. Don't see thier Cosmo? Resource him. I have been thinking about throwing him in because Rocket not being able to Murder You! is very problematic to the overall strategy of the deck. I think he's definitely a crutch sometimes, but Cosmo behind a Storm on their turn one initiative is rough.

Yeah, if I did decide to run Black Widow, I would bump up the number of EMH for sure.

Namor is meant to take care of stuff like Cosmo, but against Storm, that could be a problem. So you bring up some valid points.

I'll have to test and see how it goes.
 
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Chris Ward
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Yondu vs. Namor is absolutely a meta call. My shop here in Ohio is working on a momo-xmen Storm that is particularly brutal with Hope/Iceman/Deadpool abuse. She and Namor are always hanging out protecting Cosmo, so Yondu is a must.


I think Namor is really strong as an early Nova like character.
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Carl Frodge
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CrankiestFox wrote:
Yondu vs. Namor is absolutely a meta call. My shop here in Ohio is working on a momo-xmen Storm that is particularly brutal with Hope/Iceman/Deadpool abuse. She and Namor are always hanging out protecting Cosmo, so Yondu is a must.


I think Namor is really strong as an early Nova like character.

Yeah, see I don't even know if our meta has developed yet. I've seen a few vs. players around, but nothing structured. I've just been playing with a friend of mine for the time being.
 
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Here's an update on my current build. Keep in mind, it's still in the testing phase, but it's getting closer and closer to where I want it. I wish there were more offensive, neutral or Guardians plot twists, because filling in slots for them is difficult.

Main Character: Rocket

Supporting Characters: 22
3 Cosmo
3 Black Widow

4 Daredevil
4 Black Panther

4 Deadpool
2 Green Goblin

2 Nova

I wasn't playing Cosmo while testing, and I realized I need him in here. Opposing characters with Flight can really slow down this deck, so I added Cosmo back in, and swapped out Sabertooth for Nova, that way I can hopefully shut off opponents Flight and fly over with my own Nova. I'm still considering Namor, too.

I bumped Deadpool up to 4. He's just fantastic early, team attacking with Rocket, and because I can get him back from the KO pile mid/late game, he really gets in there, and running 4, I'm more likely to draw him if my opponent does KO him.


Plot Twists: 23
4 Give 'Em a Lift
4 Savage Surprise
4 Open Fire
4 Earth's Mightiest Heroes
4 Vigilante Justice
3 Even the Odds

In testing, I found Even the Odds to be dead too often at 4. I know it's a great card, but half the time it would just end up removing -1/-1 counters placed by Black Widow or Green Goblin if I had used it. I wish there was one more neutral offensive plot twist, because this deck could use it.

Locations: 15
4 Knowhere
4 Training Ground
4 Laboratory
3 Fortress

I can't justify running a 4th Fortress, because of all the locations, I want to see it least often, at least not until turn 3, and only if I have Deadpool to play. It's good if I don't have any other locations, sure, but it's the least important one in the deck. I've found consistency with 15 Locations to be fine.

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Chris Ward
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Really, it comes down to personal preference at this point. I think I wound up going down to 3x Even The Odds as well. I am not convinced that Goblin is good here, because I love Venom in this deck. Once again, preference. I'm gonna test it and see. Mostly, I feel you really want dudes that can team attack, which Venom does really well. I understand if you don't want him competing with Deadpool for Fortresses, though. I'd think, since you're running so many Avengers, you'd want to try and fit in Stark Tech, or re-visit the dupes of Rocket. I find 20+ plot twists to do the trick, especially since you can recur them.

Namor would probably be a solid add since he can team attack with Deadpool.

Really the only absolute change I would make would be going up to 4x Cosmo. He helps win games. I definitely think having Namor or Goblin would help with protecting him, that's for sure.

I'll test Goblin and Namor and get back to you!
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CrankiestFox wrote:
Really, it comes down to personal preference at this point. I think I wound up going down to 3x Even The Odds as well. I am not convinced that Goblin is good here, because I love Venom in this deck. Once again, preference. I'm gonna test it and see.

Yeah, I'm still testing him. he helped me get over Adam Warlock a few times, which I like, although it's possible without him. But I'll definitely try Venom some more and keep testing and trying other SC's.
Quote:
Mostly, I feel you really want dudes that can team attack, which Venom does really well. I understand if you don't want him competing with Deadpool for Fortresses, though. I'd think, since you're running so many Avengers, you'd want to try and fit in Stark Tech, or re-visit the dupes of Rocket. I find 20+ plot twists to do the trick, especially since you can recur them.

Yeah, I'm definitely considering Stark Tech, but I feel like it would end up dead more often than I want. Earth's Mightiest Heroes is already dead a third of the time, even with 11 Avengers.

Quote:
Namor would probably be a solid add since he can team attack with Deadpool.

Yup, and he's just a good 2-drop, because of his ability.

Quote:
Really the only absolute change I would make would be going up to 4x Cosmo. He helps win games. I definitely think having Namor or Goblin would help with protecting him, that's for sure.

I really want to play 4 Cosmo, but it's hard to balance him and keep the Avengers count high enough to justify 4 Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I'll test with 3 and if he really becomes necessary at 4, I'll make the change.

Quote:
I'll test Goblin and Namor and get back to you!

Thanks! Please do.
 
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