Before anything else, let me introduce myself. I'm Bohe, a writer and member of the Magic: The Gathering Arena Zone and Marvel Snap Zone teams. It's a pleasure that the DotGG family is getting bigger every day and that we can offer you the best possible DC Dual Force content regularly.
Since we can now enjoy the Closed Beta 24/7, working on articles with relevant information for you is much easier. Where to start? There are certainly many things we could talk about, but after some thought, starting by offering deck lists that are easy to build for all of us is a priority.
It's true that at the start they give us 30 packs and that every day we enter the game they give us another 5 additional packs, but even with all this, putting together decks with a high number of super-rare and ultimate cards is not easy. This is why today, after being able to play the game this weekend, I will present to you 3 decks that are fun and solid enough despite limiting ourselves to only common and rare cards.
Let's get to the heart of the matter!
Gadgets and Shields
Since the very first weekend of the game was available to a few guest content creators, Batman has proven to be without a doubt one of the best (or probably the Tier 0) leaders in the game. The utility provided by his gadgets is certainly valuable throughout the game, and many cards from the Tactics faction take this idea up to notch over other synergies in the game.
In the same way, Aquaman and his sea creatures are powerful in combination with Batman, however, it seems to me that Superman and the Shield mechanic has much greater support in common and rare cards in the Might faction, which makes Batman + Superman a solid and fairly simple deck to build.
Something that I have been able to learn these days is that for a deck to be effective, as in other card games, your curve must allow you to play throughout the entire game. Lots of gold cards will make your deck do nothing during the early game, and a deck full of bronze cards will cause the deck to be potentially weak in the late game.
That's why from my perspective, the ideal is to have an average of 18-22 bronze cards, 8-12 silver cards, and 6-10 gold cards, depending on the curve of the deck.
In this case, both leaders make a great team, the early game falls on the Tactics cards, and the mid-game while supporting us in the transition to the mid-game, and the Might cards take care of the mid and late game giving us support during the early game.
Any of the Tactics recruits are very good on turn 1. Alfred Pennyworth allows us to charge Batman, which is very important since using the leaders as much as possible in this game is key. John Diggle can grow frequently thanks to how many of our cards create gadgets in our hand. As for it, besides Alfred creating a Bandage in our hand, Utility Belt, Bluebird, S.T.A.R. Labs Research, and WeyneTech Engineer also create gadgets in our hand.
Utility Belt gives us options, while Bluebird gives us one gadget at random but has more solid stats than Alfred. WayneTech Engineer gives us recurrence, creating gadgets at the beginning of each turn, so thinking about protecting it is a good idea. Finally, S.T.A.R. Labs Research allows us to stick with the plan during the late game by giving us a gadget plus two additional value cards.
The rest of the Tactics cards in our deck are solid commons and rare options for any Tactics leader. Batcycle will charge one of our leaders, giving us more gadgets if we target Batman with it. The Question let us draw a card, replacing itself, and Commissioner Gordon is two recruits in one, something that allows us to protect two spaces on the board at the same time while allowing us to attack the same turn thanks to Squad Card and its Speed ability.
As for Might cards, their contribution to the early game is with the interactions generated between Bibbo Bibbowsky, Superman Robot, Krypto, and Lois Lane (the main reason for playing Superman instead of Aquaman).
The synergy between these cards, in addition to giving us a second lane of play early in the game, allows us to draw cards, effectively protecting our leaders, attacking without losing our recruits on trades, and charging Superman, all at the same time!
Kong Kenan, Superboy, and Steel together give us an incredibly solid midgame. Kong Kenan will come into the board with Shield most of the time, and shielding him again with Krypto is pretty nasty for our opponents. In the case of Superboy and Steel, they are simply cards that, although in essence they are simple, are quite good for the cost-stats effectiveness. Steel is one of the best common silver cards in the game in my opinion.
We closed the curve without late-game cards. In addition to the aforementioned S.T.A.R. Labs Research from the Tactics faction, Supergirl, and Dual Force make sure we don't lack power when it's time to finish games. The advantage of playing Superman as the leader is how hard he hits. Being able to repeat this effect quickly thanks to Dual Force means that few recruits are able to defend an enemy leader during the late game. Same case with Supergirl, who by granting +5/+5 to any recruit with Shield allows us to have a strong hit where necessary.
If we add to all this that for a single bronze resource, we can use Up, Up, and Away and give +4 to the attack of all our recruits with Shield, completely cleaning the enemy side or taking out an enemy leader in a single turn is quite simple.
As a regular Magic: The Gathering Mono Red player, I couldn't stop trying to get the Firepower deck to work, and boy did it work!
The Firepower ability allows us to maximize the amount of damage we deal when dealing damage in any way other than through attacking. Both leaders allow us to deal direct damage with their abilities. Shazam! puts 5 Lightning Bolt in our deck, which in addition to doing damage allows us to continue drawing cards, and The Joker fires 1 damage four times, which already with +1 Firepower on the field starts to be quite unpleasant for our opponents.
During the early game, we should try to play Kite Man in the center hex of the back line and protect him with some other bronze recruit like Onomatopoeia, Eugene Choi, Pedro Peña, or Stargirl. With this move, Kite Man can easily deal 6 damage to an opponent leader. We must try to focus on one, either the one with the least amount of resistance or the one who is a priority to eliminate first (Batman and Wonder Woman would be good examples).
Keeping our opponent's recruits at bay is not difficult thanks to the amount of direct damage we can do. In addition to Lightning Bolts that Shazam! creates, Eugene Choi gives us redundancy by making another two bolts, and if this wasn't enough, we also have two Lightning Bolt as actions, something that paired with a couple of Energy Blast allows us to keep the board stable early in the game.
These direct damages are more powerful during this phase of the game thanks to Improvised Weaponry, Onomatopoeia, and Punchline, which make our strategy work during the first few turns (it should be noted that Punchline's in-game text says "When you have The Joker leader, Firepower +1).
Mr. Freeze helps us delay enemy leaders' abilities exhausting them while starting to lower their hit points. Ventriloquist certainly requires us to have a lot of Arkham Inmates in our deck, and while we're not a 100% Anarchy + Tyranny deck focused on this, we do have 10 recruits that meet this requirement, which is enough to make it work. In general, it's best to have it in hand and play it when we can activate it immediately by playing another Arkham Inmate we have in hand.
Pedro Peña can hit very hard thanks to the number of actions we can play in one turn thanks to how we can get multiple Lightning Bolt early. This is all rounded off by Stargirl, who by generating an extra bronze resource allows us to quickly position ourselves on the board while dealing with our opponent's threats at the same time.
We transitioned into midgame by increasing our Firepower thanks to recruits like Deadshot and Booster Gold. Deadshot for his part also has the Hunter ability, which will allow us to have redundancy with the plan to continue attacking a leader the Kite Man has already started to hit. Solstice for her part does not give us Firepower, but she will allow us to draw a card every time we deal damage without attacking, which can easily give us 2 or more extra cards in a single turn. And we close the silver cards with Cosmic Staff, which like Stargirl, will give us an additional bronze resource in addition to more Firepower.
With all the synergy our cards provide, closing the game with Bazooka or Living Lightning is something opponents don't expect. Thanks to our Hunter recruits and continuous direct damage on many occasions one of the enemy leaders is at 10 or less resistance when we generate our first gold resource.
Enchantress and Black Lightning close the recruit curve. Enchantress doesn't have much strength, but her 9 resistance is a lot! (only 4 recruits have more than 9 resistance in the entire game). This allows us to very well protect our leaders or any of our recruits with Hunter during the late game while still being able to do massive amounts of damage with our actions and The Joker. Black Lightning for his part requires living a turn to start working, but if this happens it's something that throws the balance of the game on our side in a way that if the opponent does not respond immediately, it will be quite likely that the game ends in a couple of turns.
Without a doubt, a rather fun deck that I invite you to try. It's worth mentioning that I have tried this deck with Doomsday instead of The Joker and it also works great. The strategy changes a bit. It's only necessary to change Punchline for another card of your choice. Instead of the wear and tear that we generate from The Joker, we can kill an unprotected leader on turn 4 or 5 (when we generate our first gold resource) by activating Doomsday and playing Bazooka at the same time.
There are certain combinations of leaders that have begun to attract attention due to their rapid impact on the game and the value they provide throughout it. Green Arrow + Wonder Woman, Batman + Green Arrow, and in this case Poison Ivy + Zatara, are ideas that allow us to activate both leaders normally on the same turn.
This does not mean that playing leaders that activate at different times is wrong, but as we have already mentioned, the correct and continuous use of leaders is decisive in the game. The combination of Poison Ivy + Zatara generates a cycle that gives us value in all possible aspects at the same time, giving us Savage Vines on the board and a magic spell in hand, which thanks to its various effects will be useful at any time of the game.
As in the other decks in this article, we try to have a curve that allows us to have options at any time, however, unlike the previous decks, here we want to play a little more defensively during the first few turns, and that little by little the wear and tear of the game drowned out our opponents.
During the early game, it's not hard to keep the opponent's board on the sidelines thanks to Deimos, Traumatize, Amethyst, Energy Blast, and Ambush Bug. Almost any opponent's bronze card is not a problem to our removal or recruits that function as such. If the opponent has not been able to put pressure very quickly, our leaders will start to generate value from turns 2-3 of the game. It's at this moment that we take a leap and being to generate additional value with our Magical Spells.
John Constantine and Circe are key cards in this strategy. John will make our entire board gain +1/+1 every time we play a Magical Spell, which thanks to Madame Xanadu, Gift of Nabu, Book of Destiny, Timothy Hunter, Mark of Cain, and Forbidden Tome is easy, even if Zatara isn't charged. On the other hand, Circe takes care of our opponent's biggest threats transforming them into pigs after we play our first silver Magical Spell.
Hugo Strange and Mercy Graves help delay our opponent's plans during the early to mid-game transition while Ivy's Fly Trap gives us a lot of time while giving us more resources turn after turn. This little plant tends to draw 2+ cards every game, making it something more powerful than it looks.
Our Magical Spells can deal damage, heal, and even put strong recruits on the field. Thanks to this, it's usually not a problem to extend the games until the moment when we can play Nick Necro or Dr. Fate. In both cases, along with Blood Offering, continuing to generate Magical Spells is easy, something that will make almost no other leaders can keep up with us in terms of resources (maybe just Batman and/or Green Arrow) since we always have various options to maintain and dictate the pace of the game.
Starting this new adventure called DC Dual Force is very interesting for me. The game is at a very early stage, and being able to accompany it as it grows is something valuable for us as content creators.
We still have many things to discover, archetypes to try, more super-rare and ultimate cards to get in these remaining days of Closed Beta, and many more articles to write.
I hope this first article from me for dcdualforce.gg has been to your liking and that you find the decks fun and functional. Don't forget to let us know your opinion in our Dual Force section in our Community Discord, on my Twitter, and in our comment section. Meanwhile, and as I always say on our other websites; don't forget to smile, I assure you it makes a difference.