Card draw simulator

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dr00 · 30733

CREAM SODA Refreshing to see a relationship with actual division of labour

Cyclops has a, shall we say, troubled relationship with Jean. Not as bad as Madelyne Pryor's. Yikes. We don't really have to get into all that. This deck is all about Jean though. I mean Cyclops is also there I guess, but Jean is what makes this strategy work. As such, it doesn't play well with another player using Phoenix, but it can work solo or in a group as a great support role that also dishes out a lot of damage and can have decent thwart spikes.

Get it? Person named phoenix dies and resurrects a lot? You get it! It's funny. Please laugh it's all I have left.


Mulligan aggressively for Phoenix and also mulligan away any TACTIC upgrades in your starting hand. You'll want them in the discard for later. You should then start the game by digging for any of your TACTIC upgrades: Exploit Weakness, Practiced Defense, Priority Target, or Rapid Response. If you don't have a good target turn 1, just grab something you don't want to use as a resource.

Eventually, you'll want to build up an impressive engine so that every flip to Alter-Ego will provide a lot of value:

  • Constant Training: Cyke's Alter-Ego ability lets you grab any of the aforementioned TACTIC upgrades to play or gain an extra resource.
  • Moira MacTaggert gives you an additional card flipping back to Hero
  • Weapon X digs for Jean while also providing value, unlike Cerebro. No matter what point in the game, you can find Jean, other important setup pieces like Field Commander or Ruby Quartz Visor or any of your quality events.
  • Mutant Education lets you shuffle your TACTIC upgrades and other pieces back into your deck. When you're about to cycle your deck, be sure to shuffle Jean back in so you draw her right away. If not, prioritise other important pieces as you can always grab Jean from the discard. Shuffling TACTIC upgrades ensures that Constant Training can always find something.
  • X-Mansion gives you an additional card when playing Mutant Education and heal yourself a bit. You won't really use it for Jean. She's too busy to go to class.

Once in Hero form, you're free to do so much.

Phoenix Loop(s)

Phoenix being the cornerstone of this deck provides a lot of avenues to victory. Here are some of the main patterns:

Set up Command Team and use Phoenix several times so that she can be defeated. Then, resurrect with Rapid Response. Alternatively, you can simply chump block with Phoenix. Just remember that she has to be defeated for Rapid Response to bring her back, but thankfully she enters play with a damage counter, allowing you to send her back to the discard even quicker than last time.

There are three copies of Make the Call. You have up to three uses per deck loop. Then, when your deck is about to cycle, be sure to swap to Alter-Ego and shuffle her back in with Mutant Education so that you can draw her again quickly. If you have Make the Call in hand and need to defeat Jean, Go Down Swinging is available to discard her. Keep in mind that you can't trigger Rapid Response with GDS since it's a discard, not a defeat. Also keep in mind that you can grab GDS with Tactical Brillance if you need.

Every time Phoenix loops, you get to grab a Cyclops card from your discard pile. Priority Target turns on your Optic Blast ability and rewards you for defeating enemies. Tactical Brillance grabs even more tactics while thwarting. Grab Field Commander or Ruby Quartz Visor if they happen to be discarded. My absolute favourite though, and the main reason for this deck strategy, is Full Blast.

Maximum Power

Full Blast is a great card. It's a single use card that requires a lot of hoops to jump through: upgrade on an enemy, exhausts your hero, a spare resource or Ruby Quartz Visor. But the payoff is immense. Deal 11 damage to a single target, gaining piercing, ranged, and overkill (with all the relevant pieces in play). It discovers the Lost City of Atlantis. It divides by zero, locates the edge of the universe. Hell, this thing even does your taxes. With Phoenix you can grab Full Blast again and again, using it practically every round for the maximest of maximum value. Utopia is included to ensure that you are always ready when you need it. Unfortunately, you can't Full Blast more than once in a single round since you can only Optic Blast once per round, so you'll just have to settle for only doing 11 extra damage per round. I hope you can cope with this better than Scott coped with the Dark Phoenix saga.

More Cream Soda

There are a few other nice things to toast to your victory and your enemy's inevitable demise. Clarity of Purpose is just an insanely broken card and honestly deserves to go in every single leadership deck. It's legitimately so difficult not to include it, but it doesn't have any intrinsic synergy, so while I won't forgive you for taking it out, I guess I can try to understand. X-Mansion easily heals off the maintenance damage, and Phoenix will chump block for you often anyway, but it's mainly for the extra card draw since we'll be studying up a lot with Mutant Education. Also, X-Gene helps pay for all of your events. Full Blast is the star of the show and Tactical Brilliance can grab any _TACTIC_card from your discard, but Ricochet Beam is also very good, especially with Exploit Weakness (you can deal damage to the same target twice).

And finally, The Power of Leadership helps to pay for all of your Leadership toys, like Command Team! And Rapid Response! Just those two things! But also keep in mind two things. One: Command Team can be used to ready any ally, not just Phoenix. Rapid Response is limit 1 per player, but you can crack one then play another. The Power of Leadership comes in really clutch for those turns where you might want to play more than one.


If you want to customise this deck for yourself, I have a few suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Assess the Situation: I absolutely love this card, and it's a TACTIC so it can be grabbed with Tactical Brillance (but not Constant Training). It's nice but not essential. You don't necessarily want to loop your deck too often unless you're digging for Jean since your discard is kind of an extra hand for you.
  • Cerebro is ok for helping to dig for Jean. It looks at the top 5 cards of your deck then shuffles if she's not there, increasing the chances that you find her on the next draw, but it never gives you any value unless you find Jean, so if she's already in play, it's a dead card unless you include more allies (see below).
  • Save the Day: if you want some more thwarting power, include this. I prioritised Go Down Swinging because you will typically grab it with Tactical Brillance, so you're already thwarting. GDS is also 0 cost so it's easier to play compared to StD.
  • Sneak Attack: I actually don't like this for the deck because I'm not drawing Phoenix too often, but you could shift some of the focus to recycling the deck as much as possible, using Assess the Situation, Mutant Education to shuffle in Jean, etc. and she'll get back into your hand more often. I just find that with more of a focus on that strategy, Rapid Response loses a lot of value, and there are no other allies in the deck.
  • Which brings me to the next point: more allies! If you want to have a little more consistency with allies, there are a few decent ones that can additionally help your deck function: Beast (hella resources), Forge (find those X-Men supports), Maria Hill (everyone loves cards), Pixie (MORE Jean; also works well with Sneak Attack), Professor X (so many modes to choose one, and they're all great), Wolverine (keep the love triangle alive).

JEAN!? Storm tries her best as Scott's wingwoman, but he has unrealistic expectations


Feb 24, 2023 dr00 · 30733

also, are you a '?!' person or a '!?' person?

Feb 24, 2023 Mikepelf · 675

Feb 24, 2023 dr00 · 30733

all bow down to the interrobang

Feb 24, 2023 VillainTheory · 13498

I absolutely love the idea of a Leadership deck with only 1 ally - that revolves around that ally! Very cool. Poor Phoenix though, flying in and out of play. No wonder she unleashes.

Looking forward to trying this!

Feb 24, 2023 Fry · 176

Thoughts on Psychic Rapport? More Full Blast (or whatever), readies Jean try get her out of play again, gets you some bonus Thwart or whatever from Scott.

Feb 24, 2023 dr00 · 30733

@VillainTheory tyty! yeah i was actually surprised at how well the deck handled, but of course you can have bad games where the ally is all the way at the bottom ;__;

@Fry agh! @journeyman2 actually asked me about this a few days ago, and i thought i included it. maybe i forgot or it didn't save, but here was my answer! 'yeah it's solid. i just thought with command team and that playing her is the same effect, it's kind of unnecessary. i don't really value activations for scott all that much'

tl;dr: it's fine, but i do like Utopia better in that position since it always readies right at the moment you need it (when you're about to Full Blast, since it exhausts you), but that could be a decent card to cut for it. it does help synergise with defeating Jean faster and grabs a card for you, but i think the deck is already doing it enough.

Feb 24, 2023 Leo_the_wookiee · 1

Thank you for this awesome concept! How about Medlab?

Feb 24, 2023 dr00 · 30733

@Leo_the_wookiee thanks for the awesome comment and question. actually med lab is fine, but i found it was quite slow since jean would come into play exhausted. as a one-off it's probably fine though. i would maybe take out some of the other one-off cards that aren't as necessary, like maybe moira or utopia

Mar 10, 2023 journeyman2 · 11261

I thought I left a comment when the deck got freed from the sidebar, but must have just made a discord comment. FREEEEE JEAN!

Mar 11, 2023 dr00 · 30733

@journeyman2 'i'm here to chew bubble and FREE JEAN and... oh there's another piece right now... but i'm almost outta bubblegum!'

Apr 19, 2023 Vardaen · 22

I played this deck for MCM Week 3 OP Challenge, and I lost. Nebula kicked my butt, I blame you dr00 ;) Fun deck, gotta try again.

May 26, 2023 dr00 · 30733

@Vardaen i blame me too. and scott. >:(