Kirk W Buckendorf
My friend, Nick Rausch, showed me a Rocket deck that he and Jim McGuire had been tinkering with at Nick’s store, Card and Board, in Ohio. Building a deck that discards your hand quickly is nothing new with Rocket, but I was intrigued and thought that with 3 sets, he surely has to have a better shot winning some games with this strategy thanks to a larger card pool. Nick and Jim had 4 Major Victory and 4 Academy, but I felt Agent Venom might be a better option as a big early beater could take out blockers or stun their MC, and have a better chance at different stages of the game than a more situational Major Victory. Here is the list I sleeved up and played a few rounds with:
You didn’t really have any issue Leveling up by turn 2, but with this configuration your best bet was to always discard your Training Grounds and Knowheres hoping to get them back with One Racoon’s Garbage to keep the train going. This just proved to be frustrating and you quickly ran out of gas only getting to activate One Racoon’s Garbage maybe once or twice before the game was over. Also, when you did get a location back with it to be able to activate it again next turn, you weren’t really getting the card advantage you want and need to be able to come back from dumping your hand.
Cosmo wasn’t really having an impact on any games as he’s not very well protected without any defensive Plot Twists and Rocket not having Flying. Yondu was OK with out of combat stuns, but I thought there was a better direction go. Thinking about it as I write this, there may still be room for Yondu in the new deck, but I’ll try that out later and just report on what I’ve found so far.
What I really wanted to do was place my Locations in my resource and reuse them instead of discarding them. This would also ensure that the garbage in my KO pile would be more likely be cards of action and impact. Iron Man is an obvious choice for getting used Locations flipped back over, but his 6 cost makes him terrible in a deck that is trying to empty its hand in the first 2-3 turns. Build a Better World is also a step in the right direction, but now we have to look at getting some A-Force characters in the deck to be able to play it. Also, we don’t want to have to cram more than 16 Locations in the deck. We can always discard them to Super Powers, but there are only a couple available to play in the early turns and they can only be activated once.
A wild Pixie appears!
In addition to turning on Build A Better World, Pixie will put Iron Man into play much earlier than turn 6, resetting any Locations in play and giving me a 5/7 flyer that can help Rocket in taking out opposing Supporting Characters and stunning their Main Character. There’s still the problem of drawing Iron Man in the early game, but you can always place him in the row or get lucky and Power Up one that Pixie put into play. It’s not a perfect system by any means and adds to the volatility of the deck. If you just get a hand full of Iron Man you’re gonna have a bad time, but Rocket calls for a very volatile deck.
He needs a very volatile deck like he needs that guy’s leg.
When it works it’s a beautiful thing; when it doesn’t it crashes in all its improvised garbage glory.
Either way, this deck is a “Johnny” player’s dream. When you win, you win spectacularly, but you’re only going to win 1 out of maybe 4-5 games. At least now, with Pixie, Build a Better World and Iron Man those odds are way better than they used to be.
Relying on Pixie isn’t enough to make sure you can play Build a Better World’s when yoe need to, and I also want another outlet to discard excess Training Grounds to on turns 2-3 if Rocket isn’t leveled yet. So we need another low cost A-Force character with a red Super Power. We also want her to not be a completely terrible hit with Pixie, so flying and a decent Super Power are all that’s required in addition to a 1 or 2 resource cost.
Spider-Woman is interesting! She hits our criteria and has an added benefit against the current metagame top-dog, Captain Marvel, and her back row of range crazy misfits. They can’t range attack her, and she’s probably going to stun just about anyone in a turn 2-5 Melee Combat. You don’t really want to hit her with Pixie, but it’s not the end of the world and again, Rocket’s love of all things volatile makes her a necessary evil. Here is the list adjusted with the new changes in red:
Rocket & Pixie’s Garbage
I like the Location base here better as well, we’re now only using 2 color types instead of 3 and we get another Wild option as well. We’re leveling almost as easily as the first deck did, but what we lose there we make up for big time in what happens after Rocket levels up. Now we’re not afraid to place locations into the Resource Row because we’ll get them back with Build a Better World and Iron Man, and we’ll also get to use One Racoon’s Garbage almost every turn if we’re lucky instead of hoping to do it once if we’re lucky.
You even build up to 6 Resources pretty easily making the return of Iron Man to your hand with the Garbage pretty great. The deck has way more synergy now after you get leveled up.
Best Offense is a Good Defense is the worst card in the deck, and I’m hoping that Aliens and future sets will continue to add more cards to take its place. Loyal Soldiers was OK in the first build, but not game breaking. Here, Build A Better Word, is just way better. I did tinker with some options to try 1 and 2 copies of Dormammu in the deck in place of a couple Best Offense is a Good Defense, but he added too many high cost cards to draw. Getting 1 Iron Man in hand early and having to place him face down in your row isn’t too bad, but when you have 6 guys to force you into doing that instead of 4, it makes the deck worse.
I also tried a couple copies of Sister Grimm, but without wanting to up the locations to include some Academy, Arcadia by itself wasn’t enough to power her and Pixie. Being just a 2/2 for 1 cost to enable Build a Better World wasn’t enough. Also, she makes for a terrible Pixie hit.
In playing the deck, it’s a hilarious ride and a lot of fun. You’re not going to blaze any trails in a tournament without being super lucky every single game, but if you did pull it off, imagine all glory and bragging rights you’d have! Also, this is just a fun deck to pull out with friends and watch them squirm when they lose to a Racoon.
If you have any ideas for changes or different builds I’d love to see them!