Initiate House Party Protocols (Iron Man - Leadership)

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Initiate House Party Protocols (Iron Man - Leadership) 0 0 0 1.0
Tony Stark's Tinder Matches 1 0 0 1.0

lupercal30 · 996

Recently I have been setting myself a challenge of building a deck for a hero and taking them through every Encounter on Expert difficulty with the recommended Modular set. Last month I posted a Spider-Woman centred on the Captain Marvel ally. Since then I built a Thor aggression deck and took him to a 12-3 record. With losses to Ultron, Mutagen Formula, and Crossbones (with an impressive 2 Machine Gun activations and 7 attacks in 3 rounds, gotta love Crossbones). However, it’s not a deck I got massively inspired by and it is somewhat similar to this deck [https://marvelcdb.com/decklist/view/5822/thor-finally-edit-number-2-1.0]. So instead, I went back to a deck that a friend of mine first brought to our attention.

It should be no surprise to experienced players that Iron Man is a formidable hero and Leadership is often touted as the best aspect. This deck combines Tony’s desire for tech upgrades with Leadership’s ally swarm and upgraded allies themes. We’ve run this deck through numerous 3-4 player games at expert and heroic difficulties, it’s bested heroic 1 Kang 2-handed, and my friend and I have both completed solo runs as detailed above to a 12-3 and 12-2 record respectively (that damned Crossbones got me again). Here’s a breakdown of the deck’s aims and what to expect:

Put On the Suit. Let’s Go a Few Rounds.

Like all Iron Man decks, the aim of this deck is to assemble Iron Man’s signature tech upgrades, combining each of their effects with an impressive 7 hand size. For most Iron Man decks, the question they have to answer is how to buy time to get themselves into the endgame. For Justice, it’s using cards like Under Surveillance and Counterintelligence to earn extra turns in alter ego making the most out of the hand size 6 and Futurist action. Protection decks seek to accelerate the rate at which they can play tech upgrades by including an impressive 6 extra tech upgrades in the form of Energy Barrier and Electrostatic Armor. The future is bringing Hand Cannon to add to Aggression. And Leadership received Reinforced Suit with the Ant-Man expansion. This deck combines the versatility of allies with the 3 extra tech upgrades that Reinforced Suit provides.

Of all the ally upgrades in the game Reinforced Suit is by far the least restrictive to play. It doesn’t require any specific traits to attach and its effectiveness isn’t dependent upon attaching it before the intended ally activates for the first time. Reinforced Suit also synergises fantastically with Giant-Man transforming him into a 4 ATK, 6 hit point behemoth and Ronin giving him 4-5 activations at 2 THW or 3 ATK. If you haven’t seen either of these late game heavy hitters, then Maria Hill and Ant-Man make more than adequate targets for a suit. If you can keep a suited up ally around, the +1 hand size will aid you in drawing into higher priority targets and another suit. Reinforced suit also offers ally based decks with a solution to retaliate heavy scenarios.

The deck packs a good amount of Leadership tricks, both old and new. Make the Call is on hand to fetch you defenders on demand. Or it can be used in conjunction with Rapid Response to recur Maria Hill or Squirrel Girl. United We Stand can be used to heal Iron Man when alter ego isn’t an option or Giant-Man, Ant-Man, and Ronin make fantastic targets to keep their THW or ATK rolling. One thing the deck does lack is the usual flood of energy resource icons for Repulsor Blast, but honestly even if the event deals 3-5 damage it’s ridiculous anyway. The deck’s endgame comes from big hits from Giant-Man, Ronin and Supersonic Punch, and chip damage from Iron Man, Powered Gauntlets and your swarm of allies. Whilst the damage output of the deck doesn’t seem to be much, it all adds up, and the deck is capable of dealing the 20+ damage needed to defeat Green Goblin from Stage II in a single round.

Sometimes You Need to Run Before You Can Walk.

As previously stated this deck performs against all villains at all difficulties, but solo brings a unique challenge. In multiplayer you are able to juggle Iron Man’s hit points and developing handsize by coordinating alter ego turns with your fellow players. In solo that option is taken away from you and taking consecutive turns in hero with a hand size of 3 or below can irreparably damage your tempo and chances of winning. Fortunately the encounters released currently can be divided into two groups, those in which you can spend the first two player turns in alter ego and those which require a little more finesse.

• The former group includes Rhino, Absorbing Man, Taskmaster, and Kang. Each of these villains is either weak at scheming or has a main scheme with a threshold of 12. They all have very little chance of threating out against you in the first round and as such back to back turns in alter ego seeing 12-18 cards and with no threat of damage should allow you to build a board capable of recovering board advantage against these villains. Make sure you hit your high priority cards (Tech Upgrades and Economy pieces) within this time.

Although not exactly the same, Risky Business and Wrecking Crew fall into this group although they don’t quite fit the same description as above. For Risky Business, the plan is the same, you can build up your board in hero instead of alter ego as Norman offers no danger of damage and adds very little threat if you are in hero. Against Wrecking Crew, if you are able to play any of the 2 THW allies or the ARC REACTOR, you can manipulate the threat such that Bulldozer schemes against you, allowing you turns in alter ego as needed.

• The latter group includes those villains which begin the game with threatening side schemes or that can threaten to advance their main scheme stage quickly. These include Klaw, Ultron, Mutagen Formula, Crossbones, Zola, and Red Skull. Both Klaw and Zola begin the game with side schemes that you must remove to improve your chances of winning. They also start with a minion and have a Stage 1 main scheme that puts an additional minion into play if it completes. Against these scenarios I tend to mulligan for a cheap ally or the ARC REACTOR, then flip to hero and thwart away one side scheme. Against Zola you can just leave Hydra Prison in play as you won’t miss War Machine all that much, and he is on hand should you desperately need him. Against Klaw, I tend to take the gamble on taking the initial attacks to the face to ensure that the second side scheme can be defeated the following villain phase. This can be risky as you may get exhausted by a boost effect. Against either villain the next part of the plan is the same: remove whatever threat you can from the main scheme (if necessary) and defeat as many minions as your hand size allows, and then flip back to alter ego. In some scenarios the main scheme won’t advance, but if it does it isn’t the end of the world. Staying hero and dealing with the damage pressure and small hand size is too big a drop in tempo. Against Zola, if Stage 1 advances, always put a Berserk Mutate into play as Quickstrike will not trigger and they have 0 SCH. Use the turn gained in alter ego to build your board as described before. Both scenarios can feel like a climb from here, especially dependent upon which minion you reveal, but they are not insurmountable. Remember to use the increased threshold of Stage 2 to take turns in alter ego as needed by thwarting down the main scheme.

The game plan is similar for Red Skull, although this is mainly due to his 3 SCH value. The Red House is not at all threatening, nor is the +1 ATK gained when the plan is to defend with allies, but advancing the main scheme round 1 and having 3 side schemes to deal with is too big a leap in tempo. Anecdotally, the loss to Red Skull was from the Stage 2 Main Scheme beginning the villain phase on 1, adding the 1 for being in hero form to go to 2, revealing Hydra Reinforcements, and having shuffled a new deck in the player phase, revealing Spreading Lies, Spreading Lies, and Advance (to add 5 threat) to go from 1 to 11 :-0.

Crossbones is a unique case and I feel one of the toughest solo challenges for this deck. The thresholds on his main schemes make taking turns in alter ego incredibly risky, both because it advances to towards the nerve racking 5 threshold on Stage 3b and floods the board with lethal weapon upgrades. My advice is to adopt the first turn Hero form strategy and mulligan to ensure that you have the required resources to discard his starting weapon upgrade. Having an ally in your opening helps to mitigate the potential torrent of damage Crossbones is capable of dealing out.

I feel that more testing is needed to give an honest assessment of both Ultron and Mutagen Formula. The first turn variance in both scenarios makes whichever form you decide to take a gamble. Both scenarios are capable of swarming you with minions, dealing damage from multiple villain activations and scheming out through encounter cards. Against both encounters I opted to mulligan for multiple allies to deal with minions and villain activations and then changing back to alter ego round 2, but it’s hard to know how influential the combination of revealed encounter cards was in the victories.

I hope this breakdown helps and I look forward to your input and feedback. Have fun!

3 comments

Mar 05, 2021 Stretch22 · 542

Thanks for the breakdown! Iron Man is such a great Core Set hero because every Tech addition to the game opens up a new possibility for him. Nice to see the ally buff support growing as well. My issue with a Reinforced Suit+United We Stand+Team Training deck was that there just weren't enough turns in the game to take advantage of the extra hits you could get, but nice to see you found some success!

Mar 05, 2021 lupercal30 · 996

@Stretch22 Agreed, United We Stand and Team Training are definitely flex slots. Here’s to hoping Leadership gets some more energy resource cards.

Feb 19, 2022 sparetomato · 1

I’ve just discovered your decklist this week as I fancied going right back to the core heroes whom I haven’t played for ages.

This is such a blast to play!

I’m sure there’s even more upgrades you’d probably make to this deck in the year that’s gone since you published it, but I’ve had some great matches against Taskmaster over the past few days with it. Star players are Ronin and Giant-Man beefed up with Reinforced Suit, but even an early Squirrel Girl with the reinforced suit buys you enough time to get Tony’s suit together.

Thanks for sharing!