Card draw simulator
|None. Self-made deck here.|
ImpossibleGerman · 2125
A VICIOUS STING
(Note- at the time of publication, Multiple Man was available for testing, but not for publishing decklists. This deck runs all 3 copies of him, and NOT Black Widow, Brother Voodoo, or Luke Cage)
I don’t envy the designers who had to tackle her. Ant-Man’s gimmick, the constant flipping between three forms with incremental benefits, feels like a natural direction for the iconic size-changing Avengers. Making Wasp and her own three forms operate in a distinct way while maintaining the feel was surely no small task. Make no mistake, it is different. So different, in fact, that it can be a bit of a bear to pilot, and I hope this decklist can help you get a head start!
You may have heard by now that Wasp has excellent damage output, and you’ve heard correctly. Ant-Man did too, really, but the primary difference is that Nadia’s damage output is far more straightforward. Giant Strength and a commanding the Army of Ants were crucial parts of getting damage out of Scott, but here the damage comes fast and furious in the form of two exceptional damage events.
Those cards are well-priced and versatile, and in isolation, those words apply to most of Wasp’s cards. What can be challenging is gelling all the pieces together into something resembling a gameplan, and to start we have to ask a basic question;
What makes Wasp special?
How’s this for special- in terms of raw numbers, Nadia starts out solid and is only one card away from having the best inherent stats of any Hero in Champions.
With Wasp's Helmet, she flies in swinging at 1/2/3 in Tiny and (holy crap) 3/2/3 in Giant. And 5 hand size on both sides to boot! 3 THW and 3 DEF on one Hero hasn’t been seen so far out of someone’s base Hero cards, probably because those numbers directly combat the two ways a player can lose in Champions.
With her basic powers alone, Wasp is good at staying alive, and she is good at removing threat. Those are two pretty awesome things to be good at, and this statline is enough reason by itself to take a hard look at Wasp, especially as the cardpool expands and more cards trigger off of basic powers.
The other very solid fundamental she brings to the table is G.I.R.L. on the Alter-Ego side, which gives us easy recursion of any card with a .
Listen- getting a few more uses out of just Genius, a card it’s safe to assume you were gonna run anyway, is already knocking on the door of best Alter-Ego ability in the game. Throw in an entire cardpool’s worth of potential mental cards that she can reshuffle, and the fact that her best Hero cards are as well, and we have an ability worth building around and being over the moon for.
These two things are our thesis for Wasping, the defining elements of what make her awesome. Handily, they give us an excellent excuse to win games with Wasp using that oft-neglected aspect- Protection.
OKAY BUT ARE YOU REALLY MAKING ME PLAY STUPID PROTECTION WITH MY SHINY NEW WASP
I really am.
This is partially because when playing against harder scenarios, especially solo, very few characters can even consistently win out of green, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to highlight what I believe to be a really strong Protection character. Wasp has definitely joined that pantheon, and here’s why:
- Protection’s very nature slows the game down, so if you can’t do enough damage, you often just stall out and lose. But Wasp does great damage.
- Protection is not proactive about threat, which means it’s a non-starter for characters without ways to deal with it natively. But Wasp has really solid threat management tools.
- Lastly, you have to have good reasons to defend, and many characters don’t. But Wasp is packing a 3 DEF with extra damage reduction and Retaliate 1 in her 15.
This isn’t the aspect she’s necessarily easiest to play in. She can really do just about anything well, so if you want to just get right to waltzing past Zola and Ultron with no fuss, hit up Leadership or Justice and watch the fireworks. She’ll reward you.
But if you want to see all that she can be, if you want to maximize the coolest elements of what she uniquely brings to the table, I think this is the build for you. Let’s talk strategy:
- We’re in Protection. We cannot miss an opportunity to be proactive about threat management, because half of our deck is green cards that won’t help much with that. This means we have to draw lines in the sand that can’t often be crossed. Every Giant Help must be played. Every Rapid Growth must be played and used to THW. Allies should be THWing unless there’s an emergency minion to clear. Adopting this philosophy is necessary for many Protection and Aggression builds, but even then it’s often not enough. Luckily, Wasp brings enough to the table that it usually is.
- This applies to using her basic powers too. You should almost always be exhausting to THW, even when it’s not immediately apparent that we need to.
- Luckily we don’t have to worry too much about missing out on damage- Pinpoint Strike and Wasp Sting, plus the occasional pings from Small but Mighty, do a great job keeping Wasp ahead on damage. These cards can both be shuffled back in with G.I.R.L., and that's how you close the game out. Also, don’t forget that Wasp Sting is an incredible drone-killer and very solid AOE tech overall.
- This solid event-based damage means we get to treat our Tiny ability, Small but Mighty, as a happy opportunity and not a play-around mechanic. It’s a good thing to have, but it’s far from our most potent effect, and most of the time we’re stronger in Giant form. Don’t sell the farm for multiple triggers of Small but Mighty. Optimize in other ways.
- Wasp has three upgrades that are all very impactful and should take priority. Bio-Synthetic Wings is usually the extra edge we need to feel really confident that we’ll score an Unflappable trigger, but is lower on our list of high priority plays. Wasp's Helmet is NOT low on that list- much like Ant-Man's Helmet, it’s so good that unless you are certain you will lose the game by spending the 2 resources, you must drop everything to play Helmet the moment you see it. Red Room Training is a singular tech card with two great effects that can make big difference.
Speaking of upgrades, the green upgrades are critical- Protection has always gotten a lot of mileage out of these 1 drops, and they’re great as always here.
- Electrostatic Armor combines with the above-mentioned Red Room Training to give us top-tier passive minion control and game acceleration. Let ‘em smack you, finish ‘em for Small but Mighty triggers, profit.
- Unflappable helps us refuel after spending cards in the Villain phase.
- Armored Vest makes every DEF exhaust more potent (and there’s gonna be a lot of them.)
- The Night Nurse helps us not lose tempo in crucial moments.
When you can, make sure these get played- you’re only carrying one of each, although G.I.R.L. does give you a second chance on several of them if you need to use it as a resource in a pinch.
INDOMITA BULL GIVES YOU WINGS
This deck’s gameplan is to be unbreakable in Hero mode and utilize Wasp’s strong stats to keep tempo. The keys to accomplishing that are found in the cards we’re running at 3x- Perseverance, Indomitable, Counter-Punch, and our unlikely centerpiece, Multiple Man.
Both Wasp and Ant-Man can always trigger Perseverance, which means that like Lay Down the Law and Surprise Attack it just completely loses it’s conditional nature and becomes straight value. It’s awesome. In multiplayer, use that toughness to absorb your own attack without breaking a sweat, and then follow up and defend for someone else. If a Villain turn passes in multiplayer and you didn’t trigger Unflappable, you might not be Wasping hard enough.
Counter-Punch and Indomitable help us get the most out of our crazy statline. I’m still really into Counter-Punch, but my high praise of it is not necessarily authoritative. If you feel inclined to be a bit more meta-appropriate (and you feel comfortable with a higher resource curve) you could swap it out with Desperate Defense for a similar effect that gives you more opportunities to THW.
And then we have Multiple Man, which is the closest thing we have to a build-around card. The guy is just exceptional in solo, but he does have a significant caveat- if you don’t want to play him on the same turn you see the first copy of him, he’s made actively worse by being in the discard pile, as that’s the one place he can’t pop out of. Luckily for us, big-brain Multiple Man has a . This means Nadia says no to all that downside, using her influence over at G.I.R.L. to make sure Jamie is always on call.
This was the initial theorycraft behind this build and, unlike most of my hair-brained deckbuilding schemes, I was ELATED to discover that it actually worked great. Being able to time your Multiple Man drop to ensure he gets his full value gives you so much security and time to stay in Hero mode. Combined with Perseverance and the ability to swap from one Hero form to another, you’ll be routinely shocked by how comfortably Wasp can stay in the line of fire turn after turn. And when all of your tricks have been used up and the villain finally does get an attack off on you? Well, you’re probably at 4 DEF with an Indomitable on the board.
BRING A BUCKET AND A MOP, THAT’S SOME WASP
In the middle of my testing, I got an opportunity to play as Ant-Man while my buddy played Wasp for the first time, and it was the first time I got to experience them as a team. We both laughed a lot during that game, making tons of stupid bug jokes and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Mutagen Formula.
I realized in that game that the Champions designers pretty much nailed the cool factor of two iconically connected characters fighting together. It was a ton of fun, but frankly I've been pretty confident that they’d manage that part ever since this pair was announced. I was less sure that both Wasp and Ant-Man would hold up mechanically as individual characters in such a way that players would want to return to them over the years. When Ant-Man dropped and hit that mark, I became even more nervous for Wasp. I was almost positive they couldn’t go 2 for 2.
I was wrong. Wasp has the flexibility and the damage ceiling to hang with any scenario, and an Alter-Ego ability that can only keep increasing in potency. It’s been awesome to see the community rally around her release and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of what she can do.
Fly forth and conquer.
(ps these are absolutely atrocious section titles and im very sorry)