After the overwhelmingly positive response to the last replay breakdown, we’re back with another Infinite rank replay! Today’s featured decks will be: a lesser-known variant of Discard Combo that uses Wong and Moon Knight to disrupt your opponent’s plays while generating huge value, versus the widespread aggro terror of Pools 1 and 2 known as Pure KaZoo.
If you are missing some of these cards, or playing a completely different deck even, don’t worry! This series will cover everything from location commitments and power balancing to reading your opponent and extracting knowledge from their plays. This means that even though the match has taken place before the latest card balance update, the principles remain the same and you should be able to apply the knowledge in your games.
Here is the decklist I am featuring today:
This is a Disruption-focused deck centered around using Wong along with Moon Knight or Iceman to generate huge value off Collector/Morbius while ripping cards out of your opponent’s hand and making what’s left cost a ton. If you have any questions about the list, feel free to check out my Twitter @StellaTetris or DM me on Discord @Stella#1148 .
Reasoning behind the locations:
This is a bit of a unique take on the Discard Combo archetype. Instead of Hellcow and Dracula, It focuses on using Wong as a combo enabler combined with Moon Knight to rip your opponent’s hand to shreds and generate incredible comeback value on turns 5/6.
Starting the Game
As we should at the start of every game, let’s analyze our opening hand:
Here, I’m thinking three things:
- Okoye immediately jumps out as our strongest turn 1 play, so that’s going in Monster Metropolis while we think about the rest of our plan.
- Morbius is a solid turn 2, or we can play Morbius + Iceman on turn 3 if we draw The Collector.
- The most important thing we should check for in this hand though is our combo pieces. Morbius is a payoff, Blade is an enabler, but we don’t have Wong or any Discard targets (Apocalypse or Swarm) so we are waiting to draw those for now.
Let’s see what our opponent does next.
Our opponent matches Okoye, but in an unrevealed location which is a very strange play. Their idea could possibly be to play around Rocket Raccoon or Mantis on turn 1, but it is sometimes dangerous to play in an unrevealed location, due to potentially unfavorable reveals like The Space Throne or Bar with No Name.
The draw for turn is The Collector, which is great news! An important distinction between Morbius and The Collector is that while Morbius is an Ongoing effect, and will still gain just as much attack on a later turn, The Collector must be on the board to start gaining value. Immediately we know we’re playing The Collector in either the left or middle lane, but before that let’s reassess our hand.
Now, the game is so early that it potentially won’t matter much, but there are a few reasons I’d prefer to keep The Collector on the left for now:
- Since I know at least 1 of the slots in that lane is taken up by a mostly useless card strength-wise, I want to pair a strong card with it in case I have to fight for that lane.
- A buffed The Collector is a strong candidate to get the Monster Metropolis buff, which could become important later.
- If the third location reveals to be somewhere we can’t play Wong like Sanctum Sanctorum, this leaves a completely open lane to prepare for our combo.
At the start of turn 3, we get a mix of good and bad news.
- We drew a discard target! Now if we get to turn 5 and still haven’t seen Wong, we can still play our Discard enablers and get some work done.
- The third location is Strange Academy, which affects our gameplan very little.
- Our opponent played Angela on Monster Metropolis. This is bad for us for several reasons, but it does give us a bit of information. The bad part is now Angela is a strong competitor for both winning the Monster Metropolis buff as well as the entire lane eventually.
- Perhaps equally bad, it indicates our opponent is most likely on some sort of aggro deck. This could mean KaZoo, a decent match-up, although mildly difficult due to the wide nature of its boards. Or much worse, a Swarm deck which we would only be helping with Moon Knight.
An absolutely killer turn 4 draw, we pick up Wong! In related good news, Los Diablos Base ruined Strange Academy so we can freely use the right lane. After playing Wong in the rightmost lane (it has the most free space for combo pieces) we are guaranteed to be able to play Blade and whatever we draw for turn so Blade hits swarm (unless we draw Apocalypse, which is fine because it’s a discard target).
Unfortunately, our opponent plays Nakia which puts them on pretty much the dream curve for any Zoo deck. Here, they also Snap, which puts us in a very difficult situation. We know they have 3 cards in hand buffed by Nakia, and 4 by Okoye. That’s a lot of stats. Also, Angela is getting max value making her a real threat. However, they don’t know we have our combo in hand. The safe play here would be to play Wong and end the turn. I don’t think retreating is realistically on the table, but what about snapping back?
Let’s consider the pros and cons.
- If we win, 8 cubes is a lot. This is a combo deck, which typically climbs through high-cube games, so that’s important to keep in mind. More consistent but less powerful decks climb more through consistent low-cube wins.
- We have the advantage of our opponent not expecting Wong, so it’s unlikely they would consider retreating.
- Our current hand has Swarm combo specifically (rather than Apocalypse) which makes it very likely that we can get above Angela and contest a wide board.
- We don’t know what cards are buffed in our opponent’s hand.
- We only currently have one discard for Swarm unless we topdeck. However, currently there is a ⅖ chance of topdecking a discard as well as another ⅖ chance of drawing either Nakia which here is just as good, or Apocalypse which we can drop on 6.
After weighing the options, I decided to go for the slightly risky (but still statistically sound with ⅗ great draws, ⅕ okay draws and ⅕ dead draws left in the deck) but very high reward play and snapped back. Let’s see if our gamble will pay off.
And we topdeck Moon Knight! By far the best of the remaining cards in our deck, this not only will generate an additional 8 power on The Collector but will rip up to 2 cards from our opponents hand rendering them with only a single topdeck to save them from our turn 6 Swarm army. Suddenly, what may initially seem like an extremely strong turn 4 for our opponent (Bishop with a Nightcrawler on Angela) becomes extremely favorable for us. Let’s double check our opponent’s potential outs to see if we should be afraid of anything.
- Iron Man — in the left lane, it would amount to 32 power before Nightcrawler moves. A bit scary at first thought, but that would mean we empty the rest of their hand and they have only one card to contest the other two lanes. Good luck with that!
- Ka-Zar + 1-drop into America Chavez on 6 — probably the most realistic line for our opponent as well as the second strongest. Even moving Nightcrawler and playing both on the left lane wouldn’t be enough to beat us there. With America Chavez maybe, but in that case we can easily dominate the other two lanes with Swarm.
In this particular case, we have already both Snapped so there’s no reason to not continue to turn 6 but it’s important to always consider your opponent’s plays in order to shape your gameplan accordingly.
The difference between the hand this turn and the hand last turn should be enough to show how explosive Discard Combo decks can be. Not only that, our opponent is now down to 1 card in hand! Their turn 5 was even weaker than expected, being just Ka-Zar, and finishing this game off should be very simple. The most basic and straightforward strategy for closing out a game with a lot of cheap cards is to slightly out-power your opponent in one lane, then commit the rest to the other two.
Looking at the board, Los Diablos Base is essentially guaranteed, although an America Chavez buffed by Okoye could take it. We’ll want at least one Swarm there, but definitely not Apocalypse. The right lane has the least space for us to play Swarm as well as being the least explosive lane for our opponent (no potential swings from Angela or Monster Metropolis) so we can play Apocalypse there. After that, we can simply put the rest on the left lane. In this case, we had so much extra value we could fill our entire board!
Our opponent should absolutely 100% retreat here there’s no question, but they decided to be a good sport and see how the final turn ends up.
In a valiant effort from our opponent, they do in fact draw their America Chavez (which shows our planning earlier paying off!) and move Nightcrawler to play it in the left lane, but they are hopelessly outmatched in the other two lanes and we take a clean win. GG!
Conclusions and Additional Information
In today’s replay, we saw how important it is to try to read what deck your opponent is on as soon as possible, and plan your plays accordingly. Additionally, we saw the potential risk behind snapping early, even if you think you have a killer hand. If you’re looking to improve your game, try to analyze your opponent’s opening plays and identify their deck as soon as possible. And when you’re thinking about hitting that Snap button, always think to yourself, “What could they have in hand that I can’t beat?”.
If you enjoyed this article, have any questions on why I made certain decisions, or have other feedback, feel free to comment below, join our Discord, or check out my Twitter @StellaTetris. You can also find more information on this list in particular there. Shout-out to Manu S as well (my opponent in this game), you can find them on Twitter @ManuS_CCG. As a brief footnote about my qualifications as a Snap player, I went from rank 0-100 in the Atlantis season with only Pool 1 cards, and ended the season at 165. This Love and Thunder season I reached Infinite on Day 1.
I have been experimenting with Wong Discard combo decks for a while now, and I think this list, while slightly worse in general than Hellcow Dracula lists, has a unique level of disruption that most people don’t expect. If you’re looking to play a strong combo deck while still catching opponents off-guard, this might be the deck for you!
Good luck climbing the ladder, and see you in Infinite!