Hulk Leadership SMASHES Heroic

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

Mag · 2764

[This deck has cleared every scenario on Heroic 1 with the Bomb Scare module, as well as several other modular sets.]


Understanding Hulk:

Hulk needs help smashing. So this gives him all the help he needs...to SMASH heroic.

I've been using Hulk for roughly two months now (thanks, Polish import deck), taking him through every scenario on normal, expert and heroic. Things can get very tough for multiple reasons. Let's take a look at Hulk's weaknesses first.

1) His alter-ego hand size

This is a very underlooked aspect of Hulk. Hulk badly lacks tempo, which can be killer on heroic difficulty settings. Starting at at hand size of five with Bruce Banner (even with his cycling ability) might seem fine, but even just one card can mean the difference between playing one or two cards turn one and maintaining that tempo.

Compare this to say, Captain Marvel, who can start with seven cards and put down two allies and an upgrade. That's a huge difference.

2) His hero hand size

Okay, I went there.

This one is obvious if you've ever played She-Hulk or Thor (who are fine heroes) and have hit dead hands or had unfortunate turns. Less cards = less options. Any hero can be effective when you build up a board state of toys to make everything cost less. In standard or even expert, you can afford to try a completely different deck with Helicarriers, Quincarriers and Avengers Mansions (don't you dare with that last one!).

We aren't concerned about setting up: in heroic, you often can't meticulously set up. We want to smash, and enable more smashing.

3) His lack of thwart

Hulk needs thwarting, and not conditional "okay maybe you can thwart if [x] or [y] happens" thwarting that cards like You'll Pay for That provide. He needs burst thwarting, which Justice and Leadership are good for.


What is the gist of this deck?:

That leads us to the crux of this deck's goal. The reason Leadership works so well with Hulk is simple: an easy way to consistently play allies.

This deck contains cheap allies ready to be brought in even with Make the Call. When more cheap allies (like Kate Bishop in the Red Skull box) come out, Hulk will be even better with this setup. Imagine a turn there you play Mockingbird with Limitless Strength and Maria Hill with a hand size of four. With Make the Call and a double-energy resource, that's not a pipe dream. This deck keeps costs low (three or below) so that no matter what your draw is, you can make at least one play without having a dead hand.

Going hog-wild with physical resources, as a strategy, can bite you in the purple-short-wearing behind. Most of your cards work without them and the few that require kickers are often low cost. If you focus too much on physical resources you'll often take low-impact cards and/or cards that cost too much for Hulk. This deck has more than enough physical resources to get you by.

Honorary Avenger is there to pump up your allies and get them thwarting cheaply for longer: all while providing a physical resource. The same goes for Get Ready, which is also 0-cost and a physical resource.

You can substitute one copy of Honorary Avenger for one copy of Downtime if you want: Downtime can be great for Hulk due to the low cost, physical resource and synergy with Banner's Laboratory. But the whole point of this deck is to power through in hero form the entire game, if possible.


Strategy:

Face-tank the first few turns. This is such a fun way to play Hulk and you're going to love it. Hulk can take a few Rhino hits no problem. Hulk can even take direct hits from Klaw: with the right boosts, he can tank Klaw for extended periods of time. If he gets his hero HP upgrade out: good night! He can face-tank minions all day and slowly whittle them down. This works great against Ultron or villains with low-health minions.

Make the Call is for consistency. If you have the 0-cost Make the Call in your hand and a triple-resource (Limitless Strength) or even a double-resource, you can bring back a key ally. Again, this deck is all about getting allies out to take the brunt of Hulk's attacks so he never has to swap back. Take small attacks (minions) with Hulk. Take big attacks from villains by face-tanking with Hulk early, then let your minions tag in. All allies are 3-costed or lower to ensure that you can play them no matter what with a hand size of four.

As far as card draw goes, the low cost of this deck circumvents needing card draw or resource generation. Strength in Numbers is a far more effective way to coax cards out of a Hulk deck than spending an entire turn doing nothing but setting up.

Hulk runs by the seat of his (small) pants. You are not going to win as consistently with Hulk in solo as you are with a few other heroes. Be patient and learn the ways of when to face-tank. If you defend too often, Hulk won't get to smash and that's a problem.

You will struggle the most against Heroic Ultron (if you can't get your retaliate upgrade out) and Heroic Mutagen because of how hard those scenarios can hit (insert Rocky Balboa quote).

As you can imagine, he's great against Wrecking Crew as none of them hit particularly hard, and [[Thunderclap]] is great Wrecking Crew tech. Yes, it doesn't mention "the villain" as per the rules insert; so it works against three different Wrecking Crew members.


Closing thoughts on Hulk:

There are many, many ways to play Hulk well, and I've found a lot of success with Justice, which makes up for his lack of innate thwarting. BUT THIS ISN'T A JUSTICE DECK, IS IT?!

This deck is not going to be as consistent as say, my Doctor Strange Leadership deck that you can peep on my profile. Unlike Strange, Hulk has weaknesses (see above) and you need to shore those up. Sometimes you're going to get a bad encounter draw and you won't have Strange's triple-toughness to trivialize that draw. You have to roll with the punches (smashes).

Enhanced Physique can be a problem in some decks, and a boon in others. While it's perfect for physical resource generation, it can also be a tempo hit. This deck would rather get an ally out now instead of later.

Some decks will want to run Lockjaw, but I cut him for three reasons: he's too expensive most of the time, he dies too easily, and he prevents you from gaining tempo and smashing. You'd be better off using Make the Call on a cheaper ally and playing something else in your hand if possible. In non-Leadership decks, Lockjaw can shore up consistency by always being available in a pinch.

Good luck! HULK SMASH.

19 comments

Aug 09, 2020 Wrainedaxx · 1

Thanks so much for putting this together. I’ve struggled Against expert Klaw repeatedly in aggression, and even lost a few with a cobbled together leadership deck. I’m going to give this a try and hope for the best!

Aug 09, 2020 bpsymington · 1

I've been playing this for a while, but haven't received Hulk yet - what does "face-tank" mean?

Aug 09, 2020 Jimmydm90 · 1

@bpsymington Face-tank means to take an attack without defending.

Aug 09, 2020 Old Ben · 329

Thanks for this deck. I've been really struggling to get hulk to work, even with Justice, although I've not tried Leadership yet. One question, though. Does this deck feel like hulk at all, or does it just feel like you're playing pretty much any other Leadership deck?

Aug 09, 2020 WakkaWookie · 1

Tried it out, deck works as advertised thanks

Aug 09, 2020 Mag · 2764

@Old Ben - because of the strong damage-dealing focus of his hero 15/15 hero cards, I definitely still feel like Hulk, constantly smashing things. The allies are just there to help him out in the background.

Aug 11, 2020 Yepesnopes · 1

what a surprise that the leadership aspect results in a strong deck.... :)

Aug 12, 2020 LordVampire · 1

This deck definitely works a lot easier than most of the Agression builds. I did have some disturbing opening hands with 3x Get Ready, 1x Make the Call and 1x Honorary Avenger with no allies, but that can happen in any deck I guess. After 2 games I switched 1x Honorary Avenger to 1x Down Time,, as I have Down Time in most Hulk builds, it just suits me better.

Aug 13, 2020 ecamel · 9

I honestly see no reason to not run Helicarrier in this deck, even in heroic. Yes, it is a little slow, but with a mix of 1s, 2s and 3s, having that single extra resource every turn means a lot more with such limited resources on an ongoing basis. Plus, at cost 3, I do not think it is a liability.

Aug 14, 2020 bpsymington · 1

Hulk out of the box smashed standard Rhino, but I’m trying this leadership deck against standard Klaw and he kicked my butt. It’s only been two games so far, so I’ll keep trying.

Aug 14, 2020 bpsymington · 1

Third game against standard Klaw, third loss for the Hulk.

Aug 14, 2020 bpsymington · 1

Fourth time's the charm!

Aug 15, 2020 JoyRick · 1

Krushed expert Klaw first try, thanks

Aug 17, 2020 WosniakBrother · 1

I wasn't a believer: I tried it, now I'm a believer.

Aug 19, 2020 dr00 · 2775

beautiful write-up for another beautiful deck.

Aug 23, 2020 gustave154 · 3

Lovely deck. Hulk is strong but he is even stronger with allies who can help him thwart!!

Aug 25, 2020 Buddhist_Possum · 31

I'm noticing almost any hero with this Leadership base is borderline broken. The Rapid Response/recurring allies is kinda busted, but it does cover all of Hulk's weaknesses. This is probably one of the only decks that can give Hulk freedom.

Sep 05, 2020 The_Wall · 4

I'm curious about you thoughts concerning the newly released Earth's Mightiest Heroes with a more Avenger-centric ally suite. I've found that Hulk wants to be readied as often as possible and while its not a physical resource it is still easier to use than Tenacity because like Strength In Numbers it can be set up in two stages.

I've also been messing around with Resourceful and found that it can fill a gap, letting you actually use the mental resource from Banner's Laboratory and greasing the wheels for some better turns without the steeper resource commitment of things like Enhanced Physique or Helicarrier.

Sep 08, 2020 nikkapo · 1

Loved it, great deck and ideas. I think Earth's Mightiest Heroes it's a great card to add, and also the new cost 2 Kate Bihop hawkeye