For when the charm of the meta has worn off and we don't want the opponent to have any fun either. The deck focuses on clogging up the opponent's board while keeping ours fairly open and disrupting/countering their plays. This playstyle requires a bit of experience and knowledge of the the various archetypes we'll be facing. Another thing to note is that we can't just play on autopilot, meaning the right decision won't always be playing on curve and will need to adjust the plays based on what the opponent's doing and anticipate their next move.
On the other hand, it can be rewarding to watch it all come together. The deck also often manages to mislead players into making inadequate responses. An example; we play The Hood on turn 1 following it up with Viper, the opponent will deduce this is a Destruction deck and drop Armor on top of it as they'll have initiative. What ends up happening is that they get -2 power and also protect the lane for us so we just safely add a rock from Debrii. At that point they'll be left with one last spot at the location making it very difficult (not impossible) for the opponent to further contest.
What we want to be doing is disrupting the opponent's plays by any means available. That includes limiting their board space with Viper and Debrii, mess with their hand and deck by playing Iceman or Korg, move their cards into unfavorable locations with the help of Juggernaut and Magneto, ruining their payoff with Shang-Chi and Cosmo. Meanwhile Carnage, the Demon from The Hood and Spider-Woman will also help in generating tempo.
Out of Pool 3, in my opinion, only The Hood, Viper and Debrii are truly necessary but there is no such thing as a definitive version. The cards can be shuffled around. Enchantress can substitute Juggernaut as there's usually enough Ongoing cards in the meta and if you're missing Magneto, America Chavez is always a reasonable replacement.
Let's briefly go over the card choices:
- The Hood generates a cheap powerful card and is a nice gift for the opponent.
- Iceman and Korg are always good company when messing with others.
- Carnage can turn our rocks or other 1-drops into value while freeing up space.
- Armor's best use has been briefly mentioned above, she'll ensure that the lane will remain clogged up.
- Viper, what we usually want to send over are either rocks or The Hood, however locking up that final space with an Iceman or Korg is also acceptable.
- Cosmo, great disruption tool best played when we hold initiative. Use him wisely and play when he's needed. For example against destruction decks, playing him on curve is alright as we want to block the lane with Bucky Barnes. However he's even more deadly when played later into a location with a Wong or Black Panther setup.
- Debrii also clogs up the board, great when she manages to fill up that last spot denying a final play for the opponent. We may also hold off on playing her too soon if Killmonger is a possiblity.
- Juggernaut just messes up the opponent's mid to late game with some good decision making. Can also serve as a finisher on the final turn at times.
- Shang-Chi here to keep the big stuff in check.
- Spider-Woman often surprises the opponent with a potential 10-11 power tempo swing.
- Magneto is just another great card for redistributing power across the board as needed.
There's not much that counters the archetype when piloted correctly besides itself and Patriot, but thing can and will go wrong at time. Bottom line, if things are not working out there's always the option to retreat, so I'd like to add my thoughts on when to snap and when no to do so instead.
The deck gets a lot of retreats so it's usually correct to snap early but not before you figure out what the opponent's playing and see all locations so do so on turns 3-4 if you're feeling confident based on the game flow and matchup.
On the other hand, and I see this a lot, please stop snapping on turn 6. This applies to any deck. You'll occasionally get those 4 cubes from an inexperienced player, however 90% of the losing opponents will just retreat and you'll be losing out on cubes in the long run.