As the Love and Thunder season nears its end, many people have been experimenting with different decks in preparation for the new season. No longer needing to worry about grinding the ranked ladder opens up space for players to practice some of the more technical decks in the game. None have been more requested than Movement, so I’m here to bring you a deck tech double feature! Since my Pool 2 list from the last season has become a bit outdated, I’ll be featuring Den’s Pool 2 Movement list for newer players to get a handle on the archetype, as well as Paper’s Human Torch Movement list that won Cube Rush #3.
Table of Contents
The Pool 2 Deck List
Here’s what Movement looks like without any Pool 3 cards. As you can see, the archetype actually gets quite a few powerful tools in Pool 2, the most important of which are probably Kraven and Heimdall. The general idea of this list is to buff up Multiple Man using cards like Forge, Hulk Buster and Nakia, then move him around using Iron Fist, Cloak and Doctor Strange to swarm the board with tons of stats. Drop a Heimdall on turn 6 and you should easily have your entire board full to the brim with copies of Multiple Man!
The Pool 3 Deck List
Now, Paper has already put together an incredible breakdown on the general gameplay of this deck in the description of their list, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Instead of planning your game around Multiple Man like the Pool 2 list, you will be focusing on your three main power sinks – Dagger, Vulture, and Human Torch. Moving these three all around the board (several times onto your Kraven lane) should provide you with plenty of stats to take over any lanes you desire.
Multiple Man (Pool 2): Multiple Man is the main build-around of the Pool 2 version of this deck, along with Vulture. As good as it may feel to drop this card on curve, do not play him on turn 2! You may have found while trying this deck out that you end up with 10 copies of Multiple Man on the board. Pretty great, right? Until you see that you get a grand total of 40 power split across 3 lanes. Yikes. Make sure your Multiple Man is at the very least 5 power with Forge/Nakia, putting it on par with a Cerebro 3 deck, or even better, 8 power with Forge/Nakia and Hulk Buster!
Vulture (Pool 2/3): This card is your main backup plan in the Pool 2 build, but also a formidable win condition in the Pool 3 build. The main weakness of Vulture is that, while +5 power for each move is incredibly strong, all that power goes to one lane. Where the Pool 3 build can really take advantage of that is having other pseudo-Vultures in Dagger and Human Torch to cover your other lanes. For the Pool 2 builds, assuming you don’t draw Multiple Man you’ll want to focus on either stacking a large Kraven or using Heimdall to trick your opponent.
Dagger/Human Torch (Pool 3): Dagger and Human Torch fall into a similar category to Vulture, in the sense that they are your big power sinks to try and win lanes. I grouped them together for this reason, but they do have some intricacies that are important to keep in mind. In my opinion, Dagger is one of, if not the most skill-testing card in the entire deck. Sure, you can just move her to your opponent’s biggest lane a couple times and she’ll get decent value. But where you can really push this card over the top is by baiting your opponent into over-committing to a lane by playing into it heavily, then move your cards out and Dagger in for a clean 2|7 statline off a single move.
Human Torch plays much more similarly to Vulture, but keep in mind that instead of buffing Multiple Man, you should treat Human Torch in the same way. Moving a 1|2 Human Torch twice makes it a 1|8, where moving a Human Torch after Hulkbuster just once makes it a 1|10. Always plan ahead!
These are the cards that you will be using to trigger all of your wonderful Movement effects! Rather than going into a detailed card-by-card here, I want to focus on some extremely important technical information that you will absolutely need to pilot this deck optimally.
- First and foremost, when multiple cards move on the same turn, there is a set order. If you are choosing to move several cards with cloak, they will move in the order you choose. That means if you play Cloak on say turn 4, then turn 5 you move Kraven + Multiple Man + Vulture to your Cloak lane, you need to move Kraven first. If you do, he will get +4 power. If you don’t, he will not.
- Secondly, if cards are moved simultaneously by the game, for example through a card like Heimdall or Doctor Strange, the cards are moved in the order they were played OR moved there. For example, if you play Kraven turn 2 in the middle lane, Vulture turn 3 in the same lane, then Heimdall turn 6, Kraven will get the +2 bonus from Vulture moving to his lane, since Kraven will move first. But if you played Kraven second, he will not.
- Adding onto the previous point, cards will also follow this logic when a location is full. If you have 3 cards already in the left location, Nightcrawler + Vulture in the middle (in that order), and you play Heimdall on the right, Nightcrawler will be moved to the left lane and Vulture will stay in the middle. Make sure you pay careful attention to which cards are going to move and which will not!
- Last but not least, Hulkbuster interactions. Any card or location that would move, copy or otherwise interact with Hulkbuster when you play it will instead do that action to whatever it attaches to. For example, let’s say you play Forge on turn 2 in the left lane, then Multiple Man in the middle on 3. Then on turn 4, you play Iron Fist in the right lane, and Hulkbuster in the middle. Hulkbuster will attach to Multiple Man first, giving him a total of 8 power, and then Multiple Man will be moved by Iron Fist, causing him to multiply! Taking advantage of this trick to move around your cards is extremely helpful in pushing this deck to the next level.
Storm (Pool 2): Storm is a great card in Movement decks in general, and a perfectly reasonable tech card to include even without Juggernaut. Since you have much more freedom to play into the Flooded location than almost any opponent, Storm will often take lanes just by herself. Just be careful if you plan to play Heimdall on turn 6, as it can easily move your powerful cards out of the Storm lane, and your opponent’s in.
Juggernaut (Pool 3): Juggernaut has incredible synergy with Storm, but also nice synergy with some of your other cards like Kraven. Playing Storm on turn 3 then Juggernaut on turn 4 might as well be a guaranteed lane win, but if you dropped Kraven on turn 2 then you can get the added power boost if they move to his lane! Even without Storm, Juggernaut is an incredible strong utility card for manipulating your opponent’s plays. As I mentioned previously with Storm, you have much more freedom to move around your cards and adapt your board, so using Juggernaut to stuff up lanes for your opponent can be absolutely devastating.
Movement has quickly garnered a reputation for being one of the most difficult decks in the game due to the massive amount of depth and variety that come naturally from being able to move your cards around. As a result, it will take a lot of time to get the feel of this deck, but don’t be discouraged! If you’ve been reading carefully so far, you’re already well on your way. Since each game will be wildly different from the next, you will need to tailor your plays accordingly, but let’s go over a three or four card combo for each deck you may see over the course of a game.
- Kraven + Multiple Man + Nakia + Iron Fist. This one is pretty straightforward, and is more about playing on curve than anything else. On turn 2, you have two options: Kraven or Multiple Man. If you remember from the beginning of this guide, you should never play a Multiple Man before buffing it unless you have Hulk Buster in hand! So Kraven it is, most likely in the middle lane so we can move him with other cards (remember, he will get the buffs since we played him first). Turn 3 we can play Nakia to buff Multiple Man, either in the middle lane to move with Kraven or wherever locations dictate. And on turn 4 we have a simple Iron Fist combined with Multiple Man in the right lane. Multiple Man gets knocked over to the middle, buffing Kraven, and duplicates himself back on the right for a potential Heimdall later.
- Human Torch + Iron Fist + Cloak + Dagger + Hulk Buster. This one is a little trickier, since most of these cards are quite cheap and it’s very tempting to play them on curve. However, you need to plan ahead carefully to get maximum value out of your plays. Let’s think here. You could play Iron Fist turn 1 then Human Torch on 2, but that’s not very impactful. You can do it on 2 anyways, so we should probably pass and see what our opponent does. Starting turn 2 you can play Cloak or Dagger, but playing Cloak would be useless and playing Dagger ensures our opponent will never over-commit to a single lane. You could also play Iron Fist + Human Torch, but what is even trickier is Human Torch + Iron Fist in separate lanes. This banks the Iron Fist effect for turn 3, where you can play Hulkbuster onto Human Torch, moving it and getting it straight to 10 power. Then on turn 4, you have the massive play of Cloak onto whichever location they have the most cards, paired with Dagger, primed and ready to move over, along with Human Torch if necessary.
Given the widespread cohesion between almost all cards in the archetype, just about any cards with Move effects or buffing effects can fit into either one of these decks. I would recommend tailoring your tech options to cover the meta if you want to include them, but honestly the synergies in this archetype are so strong and numerous it almost feels wrong to take cards out for generic tech options. You may be better off flexing utility Move cards like Juggernaut and Captain Marvel than generic utility cards like Enchantress or Shang-Chi.
Given the flexibility of Movement, it can do well against several different matchups, and depends more on how well you can read and punish your opponent than the deck they’re playing.
That being said, let’s go over some of the more difficult matchups you might see on the ladder today:
- Against Death Wave, I would consider the matchup to be very fair. Where you can get into some serious trouble though, is a turn 4 Wave. Movement likes to spend most of its early turns setting up buffs, or organizing the board for combos on turns 4/5/6. A turn 4 Wave into turn 5 Odin is devastating, as you can’t put together the combos you’ve been planning, so be very careful. However, Heimdall is usually your turn 6 play, so a Wave on 5 is perfectly fine!
- Decks that can really hurt Movement the most tend to be ones that shut down your lanes and lock up board space. Whether it comes through a pure lockdown by a deck like Destroyer using Professor X, or even through disruption decks using some combination of Green Goblin, Hobgoblin and Debrii to clog up your lanes so you can’t move what you want, be very wary of decks that interact heavily with your board.
- If you’re playing the Pool 3 version of this deck and running Human Torch, be extremely wary of Elektra and Killmonger. Both cards are exceptionally popular on ladder right now, and both will swing the game heavily in your opponent’s favor. In the case of Elektra, you can try to always stay one step ahead with your moves, but for Killmonger you need to either make the read or tech in a card like Armor to protect Human Torch.
While Movement is often considered one of the most difficult decks in the game to play, you may find that it’s not actually as difficult as you thought. I highly encourage everyone reading this to give the deck a try for yourself! If you take anything away from this article, make sure you know how movement ordering works like I explained in The Movers above, it’s absolutely essential to playing the deck properly.
Special shoutout to Den and Paper for the decklists used in this guide! If you enjoyed this article, have any questions on why I made certain decisions, or other feedback, feel free to comment below, join our Discord server, or check out my Twitter @StellaTetris. Hopefully this deck tech was able to explain the intricacies of Movement to even those brand-new to the strategy, and good luck moving on up the ranks!
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