Basically Strange

I’ve recently covered Doctor Strange in a couple of Character Focus articles (part one & part two) and found him to be very powerful regardless of which aspect I used.  That got me wondering, does he actually need an aspect?  In this article, I’ve built a Doctor Strange deck using only basic cards and then run him through the usual gauntlet.


This is the decklist that I decided to use:

Upgrades

I included the usual Down Time and Endurance, as well as the compulsory (when using Doctor Strange) The Sorcerer Supreme.

I included one copy of Target Acquired because it comes in handy versus several encounter cards.  I included two copies of Honorary Avenger because I was running out of viable cards to put in the deck, and it would also prolong the lifespan of my allies.

Allies

In my opinion, allies are the strongest cards in the game, so I threw in as many as possible.  While most decks will include Nick Fury and Mockingbird, Heimdall and Lockjaw are less frequently seen.

I’ve got a soft spot for Lockjaw, as he’s been handy in several of my decks during our Character Focus series.  He’s particularly useful in decks that either generate a lot of resources (Black Panther) or need a little bit of extra thwarting/damage-dealing.

Heimdall is expensive, but has a great enter play ability and is a thwarting machine.  He can even attack for three damage if needed, but suffers two consequential damage as a result (although a Tough status will mitigate this, I’m looking at you, Seven Rings of Raggadorr).

Supports

No real surprises here; Avengers Mansion, Helicarrier, and Quincarrier, all of which are great cards to have in play.

Events

Haymaker and To the Rescue! are both generally useful cards, but there are usually better aspect cards available (although To the Rescue! will be finding its way into a lot of solo Aggression and Protection decks for now).

First Aid will help keep my precious few allies in play, and also help keep Doctor Strange in Hero form a bit longer.

Resources

No options here other than Energy, Genius, and Strength.  The lack of Power of <Aspect> cards isn’t a problem here because I don’t have any aspect cards!


Scenario Module Result Rounds
Rhino Bomb Scare WIN 8
Klaw Masters of Evil WIN 9
Ultron Under Attack LOSS 5
Ultron Under Attack WIN 11
Mutagen Formula Goblin Gimmicks LOSS 8
Mutagen Formula Goblin Gimmicks LOSS 1
Mutagen Formula Goblin Gimmicks WIN 12

So I managed to beat all of the Villains!  Rhino was beaten easily enough, as you’d expect.  I also managed to beat Klaw on the first attempt.  I did have to use some Magic Blasts on the Masters of Evil (they’re beefy boys!), but it wasn’t too stressful.

My first attempt against Ultron was going pretty well until during one Villain phase he revealed two Concussive Blasts.  They just might be the most potent answer to Doctor Strange’s Seven Rings nonsense!  I managed to beat him on my second attempt, but he was down to the final stage of the main scheme and I had to do some Master of the Mystic Arts and Crimson Bands of Cyttorak shenanigans to pull out a win.

Mutagen Formula is always swingy, with the initial encounter cards varying wildly in their destructiveness.  On my first attempt I was constantly treading water, with too many minions in play to deal with.  Goblin Soldier was a particular annoyance, as defeating them would deal Doctor Strange one damage and would often mean losing a Tough status.

My second attempt was an absolute disaster (see pic below), but at least it was quick, as I lost on the first round!

Yep, I was attacked four times!  Thankfully, this doesn’t happen too often, but to have Assault, Gang Up, and I See You all within the first three encounter cards was a tad unlucky.

I managed to defeat Mutagen Formula on my third attempt.  Hanging onto damage-dealing events was the key here, as the minions are relentless.


Summary

What have I learned from all of this?  That it doesn’t matter a great deal which cards you throw in with Doctor Strange (on Expert difficulty at least).  Also, that when using a deck containing only basic cards your allies become a lot more important.  I found that it was relatively crucial that I had access to Lockjaw at all times and that First Aid was best used on allies.

Doctor Strange is very powerful, there is no disputing it.  However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for the Sorcerer Supreme.  Concussive Blast exposed a vulnerability in the usual ally spam and Seven Rings of Raggadorr tactic that Strange uses to trivialise encounters.  It definitely caught me by surprise when the ally I exhausted to block Ultron’s attack was defeated by the blast (which also knocked out Doctor Strange’s Tough status) and then Ultron proceeded to smash Strange into the ground.  Fair enough, if I’d had Target Acquired in play I could have stopped that particular card interaction, but you can’t counter everything (but you can try!).

As it stands, allies are perhaps a bit too powerful.  I’m looking forward to all the Piercing, area-of-effect damage, and ally hate that the game can throw at us going forwards (I’m hoping that some is on the way).  The Collector looks like he’ll enjoy your allies a lot as well!

For now I’m going to reserve Doctor Strange for Heroic difficulty games only, as unfortunately he’s a bit boring to play as he’s just too damn powerful!  Anyway, I hope that you have enjoyed this article.

Cheers,

Tim

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