After hitting a hard wall at rank 80 for about a week, this Discard deck got me to Infinite for the first time with ease. I know the Lockjaw Discard deck is floating around and being highlighted by some content creators, but I found that deck pretty draw dependent and a little more difficult to get cube equity out of. This deck has a great mix of maximum power without having to draw the nuts, and one of the best turn 6's in the game. If you are a player that can quickly go through probabilities and are looking for a powerful deck, I highly recommend playing around with this.
Table of Contents:
- Card Descriptions / Tips
- Card Substitutions
- How to Play Turns 1-2
- How to Play Turns 3-4
- How to Play Turn 5
- How to Play Turn 6
- Snapping / Cube Maximization
Card Descriptions / Tips:
Blade - This card is really underappreciated as it really helps your turn 5 curve since we don't run any 5 drops. Generally, do not drop it before turn 5 UNLESS you have both Apoc and Swarm in hand, as you almost always have an energy floating on Turn 5.
Lady Sif - Staple 3 drop that targets Apoc. You usually do not want to play this if you aren't discarding Apoc and are instead hitting Hell Cow or Dracula, but that is why we have other T3 options.
Sword Master - The body is nice, and along with Gambit, provides an alternative Turn 3 play to Lady Sif if you do not have Apoc in hand.
Gambit - This card definitely takes some skill and judgement to play effectively. I did not have Colleen Wing, and I think if you do you can definitely sub her in for this card. Similar to Sword Master, when Lady Sif isn't targeting Apoc, this is a decent T3 play. If you have priority, you can often hit their Angela. You have pay attention to priority order as well as odds of hitting a decent target. If your opponent is playing a Zoo list, or playing Armor, you need to treat this card more as discard fodder rather than a viable play. Note this card can be very clutch on locations like Kamar Taj or Sinister London.
Hell Cow - This card pairs extremely well with Dracula as your preferred turn 5 play. Dracula really wants your hand clear other than Apoc, and this card helps with that. A couple notes on how this card works. While the discards happen individually, the same card cannot be targeted twice. For example, if you have an Apoc and Gambit in hand and you play this, if it discards Apoc first, Apoc will gain its power and come back to your hand, but Gambit will be the target of the second discard. Also, if you have a Swarm in hand and it is discarded by the first discard, the clones will appear in your hand but they cannot be discarded again by Hell Cow. Pay attention to this, as this is an ordering optimization you can make on Turn 5 if you are playing Hell Cow with Blade.
Dracula - This card is absolutely the MVP of this deck and solo carries locations as a 4 drop, which is insane. The general idea is by the end of Turn 5, you only want Apoc and 0 cost Swarms (if you drew them) in your hand. Then you draw and drop Chavez plus your Swarms on Turn 6 and Dracula will discard the Apoc, proccing the +4 attack and gaining the final power of your Apoc. As a side bonus, you're also getting a final Morbius discard proc that is often overlooked. This card is very often a 4 energy, 16+ power play that is immune to all tech cards. It's a great card to play on locations where you don't want to flood like - power locations or locations that give bonuses a single card.
Apocalypse - Here the ironic thing about this deck: Apoc is not your preferred Turn 6 play. Ideally you are playing out your Chavez and Swarms on turn 6 and Dracula is discarding Apoc for you and utilizing its power. Even if you are taking a 50/50 on Dracula discarding Apoc, it's often worth taking the chance. Often the most important part about Apocalypse is drawing it, not necessarily playing it.
Swarm - Swarm is our other discard target and very good and amplifying your turn 6. There are a quite a few nuances with Swarm. First, the thing to realize is that from a pure power perspective, discarding Swarm the first time is essentially a free +6 power, but additional Swarm discards are only an additional +3 power,. and depending on the locations, you might need to take board space into consideration. And although after the first Swarm discard, Apoc technically gets more power when discarded, Swarm can give you flexibility on the final turn to play into multiple locations. Swarm pairs great with Angela, as often you can set and forget Angela in the early turns while focusing on other locations, and then use Swarm to fill out Angela's location on turn 6. There is also a nuance with the discard ordering, which I go into detail in a section below.
Very rarely do you want to play Swarm before turn 6, but let me outline some of those exceptions now. Never drop Swarm as a 2 drop before turn 5 under any circumstance. If you are unable to discard Swarm before turn 6 and your turn 6 play will be either a Chavez or Apoc, you can play Swarm for 2 on turn 5, although let me stress that this is very unideal. On rare occasions you can play your Swarms out before turn 6. Examples in which you would do so are scaling locations like Stark Tower or Muir Island, playing into a Storm lane for some extra power, or playing around a Prof X on turn 5 (if they have Daredevil).
Iceman - This is definitely a cuttable card, but Blade is not often dropped early, so starting with Iceman is a decent way to have more consistency in the early game. Initially I was running Moon Knight in this slot, but found it a bit more difficult to get value out of Angela and more importantly, clear my hand so I could target my discards better. If you have Colleen Wing, she is definitely a decent substitution for this slot.
Angela - Angela is OP, and while I see her being cut in a lot of discard decks, she has very good synergy with Swarm and most of your discard related drops are 3+ cost, so Angela fits nicely with our curve.
Morbius - If Dracula is Michael Jordan, then Morbius is Scottie Pippen. Morbius very consistently gets to 8+ power, which is more than Angela. It's a good card to stick in a Storm lane or a lane that is - power. This card gets very out of hand when you can get extra discards out of locations like Kamar Taj. Try to not stack this card with Dracula, as it's often overkill for a single location. One thing to keep in mind is that the end of game discard by Dracula will buff this up by +2 as well, so take that into account when making your final play. I can't tell you the number of times I've bamboozled an opponent because they forgot about the Dracula discard buffing Morbius.
**Chavez ** - As a card, I think Chavez is overplayed and often thrown into decks where she doesn't belong. But if she has a home in any deck, it is this one (and perhaps Move). Chavez is a core component to your win condition on turn 6, because like I've mentioned before, you aren't ideally playing Apoc, you are having Dracula discarding him. That leaves turn 6 open, and having a last turn burst of Chavez (9), a pair of Swarms (6) a Dracula discard (16+) is a 31 power turn 6 play, which can be even more depending on if your Apoc is bigger and you have Morbius. Something else that will often happen is that your Dracula will be able to secure a location with just a Chavez discard. That leaves you the freedom to actually play Apoc on the board. The text on Chavez is very relevant, since you want to make sure that Lady Sif is targeting Apoc, and you are getting more consistency in a deck that relies a bit on draw sequencing.
Pool 3 Substitutions
Of the three pool 3 cards in this list, I think Dracula is the only required card. Without Dracula, the deck loses a lot of power and blowout potential, as your wincon is extremely telegraphed with just Apoc. However, the other Pool 3 cards are replaceable.
- I do not have Colleen Wing, but I do think that she's quite possibly better than Gambit, Ice Man or Angela.
- Gambit can be replaced by Moon Knight if you have him, as Gambit might be the weakest card in the list, although I prefer him to Moon Knight.
- Hell Cow can be replaced by Moon Knight, Colleen Wing, or other low cost drops. Remember the purpose of Hell Cow is to empty your hand, so you do not want to replace Hell Cow with another 4 drop.
How to Play Turns 1-2
Should I play Blade on turn 1?
My rule of thumb is that I do not play Blade turn 1 (or really any turn before turn 5) unless I have both Apoc and Swarm in hand, giving a 66% chance to discard one of those targets. Even then, if my third card is Dracula, I will not risk discarding Dracula.
Should I play Iceman on turn 1?
Yes, unless you have Angela and you don't have a clear turn 3 play. For example, if your hand is Iceman, Angela, Sword Buster and Swarm, I would play Iceman turn 1 since you're likely to play Sword Buster on 3. If instead of Sword Buster you had Dracula, I would hold Iceman to play on turn 3.
Should I play Swarm on turn 2?
Absolutely never do this.
How to Play Turns 3-4
Obviously the plays are a bit more complicated as the game goes on, so here are some general rules.
- If you have Lady Sif and Apoc, almost always play Lady Sif.
- If you have Dracula in hand, you do not want to risk discarding him by playing Sword Buster or Gambit. However, if you have no other play, you likely will need to take that chance.
- If you have Morbius in hand, it is often better to play Morbius off curve rather than risk discarding him. However, Morbius can also be played on turn 5 with a 3 drop, so consider your curve.
- If you have priority, Gambit can often kill opposing Angelas. If your opponent played armor, or destroy fodder like Nova, Mysterio, etc. you're likely passing on Gambit, saving for later or just using as discard fodder.
- On turn 4, if you have Dracula play Dracula. Make sure not to overcommit to a location, but it should be pretty clear by now whether you'll be able to get a good Dracula or not. Dracula is a great turn 4 play into your opponents Storm if that was their turn 3.
- If your hand looks favorable, I've found that this is usually the best turn to snap as your board usually looks rather innocuous and you're likely to get called.
- Your other turn 4 alternative is Hell Cow if you didn't draw Dracula. Since you don't have Dracula, absolutely emptying your hand is not the end goal, getting discard procs on Apoc and Swarm are.
- If your opponent Stormed lasted turn, dropping a Dracula into the Storm lane is a solid play. If you got lucky on a Swarm discard earlier, you can also drop your Swarms early.
How to Play Turn 5
- If the game is going well. you played Dracula last turn and you have your Apoc/Swarms in hand and are playing cards this turn to discard. Overall our goal is to empty our hand so we have a turn 6 where we can guarantee a Dracula discard on our Apoc.
- If you did not draw Dracula this game, try to make the biggest Apoc/most Swarms as possible. You will generally have to abandon a location since you likely won't have enough power without Dracula to go wide on all three locations.
- Since we don't play any 5 drops, you can often squeeze in a Blade here if you held him alongside a Hell Cow or 3 drop.
- Sometimes our discards have been not been the best, and we are still carrying a base Swarm. This is maybe the sole opportunity where it's acceptable to play a 2 energy Swarm + a 3 drop to clear our hand for the final turn.
- If your opponent played Daredevil, make sure to play around Prof X. This is one of the exceptions where you can drop your free Swarms to make sure you are covered against Prof X. You might need to drop 2 swarms to play around a Spectrum buff as well.
How to Play Turn 6
The Ideal Setup
The ideal setup is we have Dracula on board, and our hand is just Apoc, 0 Cost Swarms if we drew them, and Chavez. You're overall power this turn is extremely high. A very common turn 6 plays for 31+ points with a 16 point Dracula/Apoc, a 9 point Chavez and 2 Swarms. You also can get more points from Morbius, or have a bigger Apoc.
Given that setup, we have to ask ourselves a few questions.
Do we stay or do we retreat?
Quite a few of our games will come to Dracula discard rolls. I won't get into the math, but if you can estimate that you have at least a 25% chance to win, you should stay. If your opponent snaps last turn, you need to have a 37..5% chance to win for it to be worth staying.
Chavez or Apoc?
This depends on two things. If we need the Apoc's power (remember to add +4) to win our Dracula lane, we should drop Chavez. However, if Dracula just hitting a 9 power will be enough to win, then you should drop Apoc as long as it's been buffed at least once.
What do we do with our Swarms?
Swarms can be great for filling our Angela lane, and also going wide and applying pressure to multiple lanes. You'll be surprised how many people completely forget about our Swarms and are just expecting an Apoc/Chavez to drop. If you need to match an opponents Chavez, Swarms can be a great way to make sure you're ahead.
What if we don't have Dracula / Apoc?
If we didn't draw into Dracula and Apoc, we're obviously going to have a weaker turn 6. A likely scenario here is that you have Chavez and at least 2 Swarms, so while that's a respectable 15+ power, keep in mind that up to this point, discard plays a relatively low tempo game. Make sure to consider alternative plays if they are available. It is rare to have two 3 drops in hand by turn 6 because we've been discarding a lot of cards throughout the game, but just remember that a Sword Buster and Gambit can play for a lot of points, as well as buff up Morbius. If we drew Dracula but not Apoc, you can try to play everything but Chavez and just discard the Chavez for 9, proccing Morbius and not exposing ourselves to Shang Chi.
The cons if playing discard is that you're reliant on discard rolls, but also that your turn 6 is extremely predictable to any opponent paying attention. Thus, it's very important to snap on turns 4-5, and some times on turn 3 (say you can curve from Lady Sif into Dracula into Hell Cow / Blade). It does take some math, but you can actually calculate your final boards out from turn 3 onward, which should influence your decisions.
If you are just starting to play the deck though, I recommend not snapping until you get the hang of it, particularly how the later turns play out. Then start with snapping when you have both Dracula + Apoc, and proceed from there until you get a good understanding.
I hope all this helped. I will be checking the comments for any questions, so let me know if you have any questions.