The deck was born because I happened to open Attuma, so I took a look at my Zero deck when the thought hit me: "Hey, there are more than enough 4-drop options for this deck now, why not throw in Zabu?" And it's treated me well for the past few weeks even if I do switch to my Death deck on days with a destruction related featured location.
This deck doesn't include the Shuri package (Shuri, Taskmaster,) which is used in the more prominent version of Zero decks as of the end of Quantumania.
As mentioned in the introduction, with a little Zabu buildaround, this deck aims to win with the help of overstatted cards such as Typhoid Mary, Attuma and Red Skull, supported by several tech cards to either deactivate (Zero and Enchantress) or protect them (Armor) and some early tempo (Sunspot, Lizard).
Dracula was performing well enough, but I feel like I'm just not a fan of the extra RNG he brings with him so I've swapped in She-Hulk for now. We usually want to play her on turn 4 with Zero into a turn 5 Red Skull. You could also skip turn 5 and do so in conjunction with Aero or Red Skull.
The deck does include Attuma who's from Pool 4, but you could try replacing him with Crossbones, Jessica Jones, Rescue if you feel like you need more 4-drops.
If you're missing Zabu, try replacing him with Scorpion, Maximus or Cosmo.
The updated decklist after two months:
- Sunspot is great as early tempo or surprise late game stats as some of your combos you'll be setting up will require you to float some energy. Try to keep him alive with Armor.
- Zero, never play this guy on turn 1 as he's essential to disable Typhoid Mary and Red Skull. Sometimes Attuma, but he can be kept on the board by Armor. I like to slide him in on turn 4, great if you alse have the Zabu discount.
- Armor, serves as protection/disruption against destruction effects (Killmonger, Shang Chi) and Attuma's suicidal tendencies until her Ongoing effect is dispelled.
- Lizard, good tempo for the cost and can be turned off by Enchantress later if you're planning to hit more than 1 of your cards at the same location with her.
- Zabu allows us to start deploying our 4-drops as early as turn 3 while helping us curve better on the subsequent turns.
- Shang-Chi, just an overall great tool to swing the game.
- Enchantress, besides making Lizard, Typhoid Mary and Red Skull better is also crippling for enemy Ongoing effects - Cerebro, Darkhawk, Dino, Patriot, Seratonin beware.
- Attuma and Typhoid Mary, the deck's payoffs which also benefit from Zabu.
- Aero, to move away the opponent's cards from a priority location on a selected, usually final turn. Especially powerful when we hold the initiative.
- Red Skull, another win condition for the deck.
- She-Hulk can be played as early as the fourth turn if you float at least 2 energy on the third turn. And she also works well with Aero if you skip turn 5.
The Snap is an interesting mechanic which makes your matches similar to games of Poker. Meaning, knowing when to fold (retreat) or double down by snapping will heavily impact the amount of cubes you'll be gaining. It also means that while I'm in love with the game, I wouldn't recommend playing it if you're struggling with gambling addiction.
Snap in the midgame if you look at your hand, can already see your endgame and you like it - depending on the matchup - is the short answer on when to snap.
I'll go over some general rules I try to stick to which may help out players maximize cube gains and minimize losses, as I see a lot of them using this mechanic in questionable ways.
- Never snap before all the locations are revealed is probably the first one I adhere to. Therefore, turn 3 should be the first moment when you ought to consider snapping as you never know whether that final location will turn out to be Ego, Worldship or a location which supercharges the opponent's archetype and the whole game plan just flies out of the window. Not to mention, the opponent also has agency and will use it by playing Storm, Scarlet Witch, Aero, Magneto, etc. That also brings me to the second rule.
- I don't recommend snapping until you've figured out what archetype the opponent's playing. This can delay your decision to do so by a turn or two. You could have the best hand in the game, but a disruptive deck doesn't care about that. This leads us to the next point.
- Watch the game, take note of what and where the opponent's setting up their plays. To be honest, this is probably the most complicated one as it requires a broader knowledge of the archetypes and it will take some time to gain enough experience. If you've considered all the options and are feeling comfortable, go ahead and snap before locking in your play on turn 5 at latest - the reason to do so is related to the next rule. The same goes for when you're feeling behind and the opponent snaps on turn 5, there's always the option to retreat. Also, if you've accepted a snap earlier or have snapped yourself, it is not wrong to retreat if you see an unfavorable outcome. No need to feel obligated to commit just because there's more than 1 cube on the line, losing 1 or 2 cubes doesn't matter in the long run as they can be replaced easily by winning just a single match.
- Never snap on the final turn. This is probably the most common thing I see when playing. The math is mostly on the table on the final turn, be it a close game or they're ahead, the opponent snaps. Best case scenario; it may occasionally cheat out 4 cubes from a less experienced player. What it usually ends up achieving is a retreat in a close game where the other party would stay in for those 2 cubes (because now they know that they've managed to draw their finisher and people are very rarely bluffing on the final turn), making a loss of 1 cube. Worst case scenario; the finisher's been anticipated, countered and you make a loss of 4 or more cubes.
- I'll dub this one 'Avoid bad snaps', it's about snapping before making a play of small significance. One of my favorite examples is snapping when playing Armor on Nova or The Hood. Remember that the opponent has 11 more cards in their deck, was also just informed about the 'big counter' and will likely adjust accordingly.
I believe most of the gameplay's been covered at this point. I'll leave the counters to watch out for, the way to play around them and some tips in the current meta for last.
- Armor, can counter your own Shang-Chi at a critical moment. Staple in Shuri decks.
- Cosmo stops anything On Reveal related, can be a double edged blade though because it protects our big stuff as well. Currently it's another staple in Shuri decks to protect their big Red Skull/She-Hulk.
- Killmonger if you're growing an unprotected Sunspot, this danger can be mitigated with Armor. Currently a bit less common, but you ought to expect him when playing against Sera Control and Death Wave.
- Lockjaw, take a look at the deck size of the opponent at the start of the game. If you see more than 10 cards, you're playing against a Thanos Lockjaw deck.
- Polaris sometimes played in the variety of Good Card decks, most annoying if she pulls something into Fisk Tower or pulls away your Armor from Attuma or something to his location.
- Elektro or Wave on turn 3 usually means a Galactus is around the corner. Just pull him to the location where they have cards with Aero if you hold the initiative.
- Enchantress or Rogue, the ladies are relevant only if they're about to turn off your Zabu or Armor (though Rogue does literally nothing to Armor).
- Shang-Chi as we're looking to be carried by big stats, Armor can ward against the guy to some extent. The solution to Shuri decks if you can lose initiative on turn 4 and they don't have a Cosmo or Armor on the board, provided you can guess the correct location. Or you can pull the big card over from Cosmo/Armor with Aero and Shang on the final turn.
- Aero and Magneto, always keep them in mind and how they'll impact the board state, especially around Fisk Tower or an unsilenced Attuma. Aero especially, as she's currently very prominent, you'll usually see Magneto in Lockjaw decks.