I saw people dunking on Howard the duck a while back and decided to main him and see if i could make something competitive. This deck has done really well in Conquest so far (even earning me my first Infinity Border) though I have to say it's a difficult deck to pilot with a LOT of planning and some luck required to make it work.
In the early game (turns 1-3) use Howard the Duck to scout out your next draw so you can setup a winning endgame.
In the second half of the game (turns 4 and 5), use Jubilee or Iron Lad to cheat out the top card of your deck (or simply copy it's effect). If you don't like the card on top, throw Wasp into Lockjaw to reshuffle your deck and get a chance at something better.
On the final turn, use the information Howard has given you along with what you know is remaining in your deck to decide the best play to win the game. You've got a lot of flexibility here between Magneto, Doom and Odin along with Jubilee or Iron Lad for top deck scamming.
Thor or Lockjaw
The decision to play Thor or Lockjaw should primarily come down to whether you want to shuffle your deck or not and if you're hoping to draw a particular card. If Howard is out, then look at your turn 4 draw and if you like it, play Lockjaw on 3 and then Thor on turn 4. When Howard isn't down, then you need to think about the endgame you want to setup. If you are eager to draw a specific card then playing Thor on 4 is better since he reduces your odds to draw a given card when he shuffles Mjolnir into your deck.
Iron Lad or Jubilee
When Howard the Duck is on the field, the decision between Lad and Jubilee is pretty easy. When he's not in play is when things get more difficult. In general, remember that Chavez starts on the bottom. This means that if your deck has not been shuffled, Iron Lad is likely to provide value as Wasp and Howard are the only truly bad hits. However if you have shuffled your deck via Thor or playing into Lockjaw or a location which shuffles cards into your deck, then you should probably lean towards Jubilee as she has a good chance to pull Chavez (after shuffling, if you would draw Chavez, she will instead remain on the top of your deck). This is especially true on turn 5 after a shuffle.
Know When to Snap
If you have Howard in hand along with Thor or Lockjaw and Jubilee or Iron Lad, then you should consider Snapping. This is because Thor or Lockjaw can each anchor a lane and a good hit with Jubilee or Lad can anchor your second lane. You also can be more confident in your retreats with Howard on the field so Snapping is a bit less risky. If your opponent Snaps back and you can see that your draws aren't gonna pan out, you'll know with certainty that you should leave. Speaking of which...
Know When to Quit
If you don't have any plays until turn 4, it's probably gonna be a losing game because that means you've drawn into your high powered stuff and will only be drawing or copying weaker things. So if your opponent Snaps, you should strongly consider leaving. However, if you have Howard down and both Jubilee and Iron Lad in hand, theres a chance you can win if you're able to get value from them. Jubilee on 4 that pulls Magneto or Iron Lad copying Iron Man can be huge for catching you up in a game.
Be Mindful of Location Space
This deck has some cards that are large enough on their own to hold down a lane: Thor, Chavez and Magneto. However, because we're running some low power cards like Howard, Wasp, Jubilee and Mjolnir, we need to be mindful about how many of these cards we put in the same lane lest we end up gifting our opponents a lane. We also need to be mindful of Odin since we have some great OnReveals that we don't mind triggering again.
- Leave space for Odin in lanes with OnReveals you want to copy
- If you want to play a big card like Magneto into your Lockjaw location, be mindful that you need 2 empty spaces if you don't want the card to cycle. This means you can't play Jubilee into your Lockjaw lane as she forces you to either cycle the final slot or fill it with a Doombot
- Speaking of Doombots, be mindful of the space he fills, particularly if Iron Lad top decks him
- Piloting successfully requires knowing what cards remain in your deck and the % chance to draw them. Even with the info Howard provides, you need to know things like "If I cycle Wasp into my Lockjaw and play Jubilee on this turn, what are the odds that she pulls the card I need?"
- We don't run any tech cards. This means we have to beat our opponent by just putting more power on the board. Thankfully, Lockjaw, Jubilee and Iron Lad are great at letting us cheat out more power than our opponents but we will struggle against the high rolls of some decks.
- We have very little ability to interact with our opponent. Actually, we only have one way to do that and that's with Magneto. Use him wisely!
- Some of our key cards are very vulnerable to tech cards. Cosmo into our Lockjaw lane hurts. Shang Chi can obliterate one of our lanes but thankfully we run multiple 8 power cards that duck him while still providing power. We can also drop big cards in multiple lanes which makes it harder for him to swing the game by himself. Shadow King on Thor sucks too btw and so does Rogue or Enchantress.
- We are sensitive to junk strategies. They don't ruin us but we need to be very conscious of playing cards like Howard, Mjolnir and Jubilee when the opponent has a junk strategy. Odin on turn 6 to return a goblin can be epic for swinging a lane though.
- We can sometimes telegraph where we will make our turn 6 plays thanks to cards like Lockjaw. That makes it easy to get caught by an Alioth if you're not careful. If Lockjaw is in the left lane and we have no hope of contesting the right lane, the opponent can be pretty confident that we are going to drop our big card in the middle lane and throw Wasp into Lockjaw. Try to surprise them sometimes by using Magneto to yank around their cards or Doom to add power into a lane without playing there.
- It can be hard to throw priority going into turn 6. This means our opponent can frequently react to our plays with their tech cards and our one disruptive tool, Magneto, often can't have as big an impact. One way to throw priority going into turn 6 without losing board presence is to play Iron Man into an empty lane. He adds no power but sets you up for playing a card like Magneto or Chavez there safely (assuming you don't get caught by Alioth)
- We have a swiss army knife of card types to take advantage of locations.
- Doom for Sanctum and Deaths Domain
- Jubilee for Deaths Domain
- Iron Man for Onslaughts Citadel
- Thor, Doom and Odin for Kamar Taj
- Magneto or Thor for Space Throne
- Thor and Lockjaw for The Big House
- Lots of big cards for Crimson Cosmos
- 6 Cost cards for Titan
- Singular high power cards for Negative locations
- Jubilee and Wasp to fill locations like The Raft
- The list goes on but you get the point. There are a lot of locations that this deck has the cards to take advantage of.
- Can absolutely dominate games early with lucky Lockjaw pulls. People don't think of Lockjaw as cost reduction but he basically is. Getting a Magneto or a Doom for free thanks to Wasp is crazy value. This can be a downside in that some opponents might retreat early if you pop off too soon.
- Can win 8 cubes by using info that Howard provides to secure "unlikely" victories. I've won some crazy games simply because I knew exactly what Jubilee and Lockjaw would generate on the final turn and my opponent didn't.
- Can dodge Alioth with priority by playing Jubilee or playing into Lockjaw. Alioth doesn't destroy the cards that Jubilee or Lockjaw put into play.
- Success requires a nice balance of RNG and strategy. Less RNG than Hela Casino but more spice and variety than something like Shuri. If you enjoy Pokemon, you might enjoy this deck (also because throwing cards into Lockjaw feels like putting them in a Pokeball lol)
This went much longer than I planned. What can I say? I like thinking and writing about Marvel Snap! If you read all of this, thank you for your time and any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Good luck out there!