The Leading Claw

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
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Tano Games · 2950

I'm so happy to have X-23 in the game, now! Wolverine is one of my favorite heroes, and Laura is a nice, clever departure from his build. Given that Laura's theme is focused on her basic ATK, I was inspired to try a card I've never played before: Leading Blow.

Another hook for using X-23 in Protection is the highest HP Training upgrade for X-Men, Protective Training is present in the aspect. So, Honey Badger won't have super stats that other aspects can generate, but she will have maximum hit points. Also, she needs to be recruited into the X-Force with X-Force Recruit.

Leading Blow is the primary hook for the deck. Laura will always have 3 ATK thanks to her Claws, and with Claw Mastery, she gets up to 5 ATK. You may not like the nature of Leading Blow because it is random, but through many games so far, I have not had the card whiff (reduce her attack to 0). She's always dealt at least 1 damage with it, even when not on a Claw Mastery turn.

One place I've found Leading Blow to be particularly useful is clearing out minions. You can put 1-2 damage on the minion, ready, attack again to finish the minion off, if it's a high HP minion. Several Marauders in the NXE campaign need 2 attacks from Laura to KO, for instance.

There is kind of a generic theme in X-23, if you want to look at it that way, in which you get a Training upgrade on Honey Badger and use Game Time to ready X-23 a lot. I certainly enjoy that, but there are great other ways to ready in Protection, without relying solely on the Honey Badger trick, such as What Doesn't Kill Me. I'm only playing Professor X as I usually like to avoid lots of allies outside Leadership. Of course he's wonderful for the Confuse, but don't forget he can ready Honey Badger!!

Interestingly, X-23 is a very reliable defender, since she always has a free ready in the villain phase if she takes at least 1 damage (from the attack or not). It does suck when you see no boost turn up, so you certainly don't want to be boosting her defense.

However, you need to take advantage of the fact that Claws and Claw Mastery last until the end of the round. So Counter-Punch is great for her, since you just always defend the villain attack, anyway. Added to that are cards like Electrostatic Armor, which will always trigger, and she gets Retaliate from Adamantium Lacing, anyway. She can get up to an effective Retaliate 3 with Dauntless.

In order for that to work, though, you'll need to play Endurance and Lacing to give her +5 hit points. She will take a lot of of damage, but you can also heal considerably from What Doesn't Kill Me, Regenerative Longevity, and Pain Tolerance. I love Pain Tolerance, it is such a fun card, and works in Alter Ego, as well.

Speaking of Alter-Ego, she doesn't necessarily have to flip a lot, but there are nice benefits to doing so. Since we're trying to play Leading Blow and Counter Punch with her high attack, shuffling in things like Claw Mastery is significant boost to guarantee you can get those big damage turns. Mutant Education is always great to put those cards back in your deck, and usually my other option besides Claw Mastery, is Regenerative Longevity.

X-Mansion is also nice to heal Honey Badger, and with Mutant Education, you'll get a card out of it. Weapon X can then trigger to get your Claw Mastery right back, and with Pain Tolerance, you can simply heal the damage from Weapon X, anyway.

I threw Specialized Training in late, but it's really nice to have a choice between the extra hit points of Front Line Specialist to boost your Dauntless and Retaliate combo, or Combat Specialist to get your ATK even higher. In solo, it's super easy for Laura to clear this side scheme, considering Animal Instinct can really boost her thwart. But, don't sleep on the prospect of thwarting, then using Claws to deal her damage to ready and thwart again. She is surprisingly a strong thwarting without much assistance.

NO DOUBLES

Yes, there are no double resources in this deck! Unless you're loading up with expensive allies or upgrades, there's no real reason for Laura to play with the double resources. Grim Resolve is always giving you a wild to play What Doesn't Kill Me, and her kit is so cheap regardless!

Other Options

You can tweak this deck a little if you'd like. There are options for you to lean more into the Dauntless/Retaliate focus, such as adding Energy Barrier to make sure you aren't taking too much damage in your defenses.

She doesn't really need any defense events, but one I would consider, depending on the scenario, is Defiance, one of the best defense events, imo. It will count as defending, so it'll still trigger your Electrostatic Armor, even if you don't want to exhaust again.

Here's a game with the deck:

4 comments

Nov 19, 2023 dr00 · 42059

punch punch punch punch punch punch punch kick punch punch punch slash

Nov 19, 2023 Tano Games · 2950

@dr00 you just gave me a flashback to button mashing Mortal Kombat and Smash Bros

Nov 19, 2023 dr00 · 42059

@Tano Games what about Marvel vs Capcom? BERSERKER BARRAGE BERSERKER BARRAGE BERSERKER BARRAGE BERSER-

Mar 15, 2024 DoxaLogos · 226

Excellent deck! Having lots of fun with it and protection is my least favorite aspect.