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MODOK has arrived and with a flurry of different decks and takes on how to use and abuse the card. Whilst we are still yet to see which direction will be the most successful way to play with the card, there are already builds which are popping up which demonstrate the ways you can consider building your MODOK decks.
Lockjaw has taken an early lead in the builds. This card allows for several triggers on the discard effects, either filling your hand with several Swarm cards and/or buffing your Apocalypse several times.
While it’s too early to provide decks with proven statistics and results, we can discuss how to build towards this style of deck and why it works. The build featured today comes from @HsPigpen over on Twitter and combines the Lockjaw discard engine with Hela.
The deck aims to use Colleen Wing to discard Swarm, creating 0 energy cards that can be replayed into Lockjaw. Then we can also play Dracula on other lanes to get extra buffed from Apocalypse. This then also takes full advantage of MODOK as you can have anywhere from 2 to 4 Swarm for the final turn consistently alongside Apocalypse. We add in Hellcow to allow us to more consistently discard the cards we need too. What you may notice is this main engine is only 6 cards (there is an argument for Morbius but this clashes with Swarm).
As the main engine is only 6 cards, this leaves a lot of space to experiment with your card choices when playing Lockjaw. This applies to this build and also any other way you’re looking to use Lockjaw. You want a small engine which synergises with Lockjaw and then a large amount of payoff cards.
This leads to several different approaches which can all be valid, but you have potentially up to 6 card choices you could make yourself to create your own Lockjaw MODOK deck. @HsPigpen has went with adding a Hela package, without Invisible Woman! This presents a great opportunity to discuss why this works as it is not necessarily intuitive.
As mentioned above, the plan here is:
- Discard Swarm with Colleen Wing. The deck is built so Colleen Wing only discards Swarm, even on turn 2.
- Play Lockjaw and use the 0 energy Swarms or your other discard effects into Lockjaw, discarding your hand.
- Play Dracula if possible on another lane so it can discard Apocalypse again at the end of the game.
- Using the engine we either:
However, I would not recommend building this engine without Colleen Wing.
Two cards that may be questioned as not included are Invisible Woman and Morbius. There are arguments for both, however adding these in lowers our payoff cards. They also clash with the consistency of the Colleen Wing and Swarm combinations.
These three cards have high stats and having these pop out of Lockjaw is excellent, as well as resummoning with Hela. When considering your own payoff, consider the affects you want to come out of Lockjaw. Is it raw stats? Do you want disruptive value such as Doctor Octopus or Leech? Do you want cards which go wide like Doctor Doom or even Blue Marvel. If you’re not building to Hela, these are all valid options.
We have no plays on Turn 1.
Lockjaw is the plan for this turn. If you miss on Lockjaw we are starting to consider our odds of pulling out a win. If you have Colleen Wing and Swarm you still play Colleen Wing this turn as you can set up for a Turn 5 Lockjaw miracle turn.
You play Discard cards into Lockjaw if you can. This is the casino/miracle turn. Take a moment to remind you here that discard decks have inherent risk and you’re taking the risk here, but you have built the deck to mitigate that risk as much as you can. If you can’t, look at your hand and work out how much you can discard to create value.
Following this structure you have played towards one of the following outcomes:
- Play Hela
- Play America Chavez or Apocalypse and several Swarm cards.
- Play the rest of what you can into your Lockjaw lane to potentially pull Hela.
All these can produce enough power to win games, but be careful to be clear about what your opponent is likely to put down and if the odds of the miracle turns is high enough.
This post from Twitter shows this in action if your looking for more:
Lockjaw discard decks have an inherent risk, but when they go off you can win big and surprise your opponent. You have to be comfortable taking risks at times, such as playing Hellcow with Hela in hand, to be successful consistently with this deck.
This shell could rise in stock in the coming weeks, so we hope this breakdown and turn discussion helps you to consider your own decks and hopefully helps you utilise MODOK to his full power.
Good Luck Have Fun and Stay Safe!