Luke: Resources. The cornerstone of any good deck. There’s a reason why folks put Energy, Genius, and Strength in nearly every deck. They’re what fuels nearly every action you take and just as often limits how your turns play out.
Phil: Meaning how many of each you include can mean the difference between the next villain-slayer and an okay pile of cards.
Unfortunately, not all resources have been born equally. Even looking ahead to future sets, it’s clear that some options are just better than others.
Luke: So we’re going to look at each resource in order of effectiveness and see just how useful each can be. And no, we’re not taking a look at wild resources, since they usually just take the place of the other resources.
Energy: Built to Burn
Luke: Energy is easily the most prominent of the 3 resources.
Phil: It’s hard to deny, with 2 and 1/2 heroes being built around the resource.
Luke: That is a big factor. Captain Marvel almost requires that you focus her decks around it, though she does supply the player with plenty from the getgo.
Phil: Thor’s Lightening Strike can make for a powerful board sweep, even ignoring tough statuses.
Luke: And Iron Man, while mental resources shouldn’t be overlooked, needs a ton of energy to make use of Repulsor Blast.
Phil: Similarly, plenty of allies make good use of it as well. Vision comes to mind, spending energy to increase his stats temporarily.
Luke: Nova can dish a ton of damage by spending energy, potentially defeating attacking units before they can deal damage to you.
Phil: Valkyrie deals extra damage to a minion as she comes into play assuming you spent energy to summon her.
Luke: And even Hulk dishes 1 damage to every unit, friend or foe, when energy is discarded after he attacks.
Phil: No matter how you slice it, energy has a commanding force in the game, not because of how many cards use it, but because of how many energy resources often need to be spent to use those effects to their full extent, making Enhanced Reflexes perhaps the strongest of the 3 resource-generating upgrades.
Luke: What more needs to be said? At this point, we’d just be wasting energy.
Physical: Hit ‘Em Harder
Luke: While energy dominates specific hero decks, physical resources are pretty well peppered into the aspects and basic cards.
Phil: Concussive Blow, Relentless Assault, and Tackle are strong attack cards from 3 different aspects that deal some serious damage if fueled by physical resources.
Luke: More importantly, being able to give a villain a stun or confused status card is a powerful play that can buy players some time to recover and plan.
Phil: Obviously, Aggression benefits from it in particular, thanks to Jarnbjorn and Hulk, but nearly every deck can benefit from a little brute strength.
Luke: And that’s not to say hero decks don’t benefit from it; Captain America has his Super Soldier Serum that generates physical resources that he uses for his Heroic Swings, making the foundations of his phenomenal Stun-Lock deck.
Phil: And on the horizon, Hulk seems to be fueled by nothing but violence, with cards like Unstoppable Force and Hulk Smash demolishing opponents with his physical prowess.
Luke: The only flop is Tenacity, an overly expensive card due to the additional cost of a physical resource to trigger.
Phil: Which probably should have made our list of bottom-of-the-barrel cards.
Luke: We all make mistakes.
Phil: But generally speaking, physical resources have a strong use and foundation within the bounds of the game state, helping players slam the opponent even harder than usual.
Mental: Mind Doesn’t Matter
Luke: And here we get to the meat and potatoes, more or less the reason why we’re here.
Phil: Really? 1-2-Punchboard has been leading up to this moment?
Luke: No, I mean why this article in particular exists.
Phil: Ahhh, that makes a lot more sense.
Luke: Frankly, the mental resource has, up until now, felt neglected, and for the foreseeable future, from the looks of it.
Phil: No hero decks are really built around it, although you could argue She-Hulk and Spider-Man are.
Luke: Peter Parker generates 1 each turn he’s active, but the only card that needs mental resources he can legally spend it on is Second Wind. Except Spider-Man already has a ton of healing, thanks to Aunt May, making this situationally useful to him outside of healing other players.
Phil: Black Cat also encourages adding mental resources into Spidey’s deck for some extra card draw, but it’s such a situational effect it’s hardly worth noting.
Luke: And She-Hulk uses it to pay for her Superhuman Law Division, but it’s limited to her Alter-Ego, meaning Enhanced Awareness is all but useless to her.
The only hero that gets any benefit from it is Iron Man since he needs a few on hand for Rocket Boots.
Phil: The only other cards that use the mental resource is For Justice!, an admittedly great thwarting card, and Black Widow, another ally we highlighted in our worst-of list.
With any luck, Spider-Woman or Hawkeye might feature a mentally-prominent playstyle, but until then, it’s looking less and less likely that mental resources will get the boost in prominence they deserve.
Our Hopes for a Better Future
Phil: Physical and energy resources have already claimed a couple of heroes, so let’s see some more mental presence in future hero decks.
Luke: Maybe an Ant-Man deck that uses mental resources to shrink and grow, or a Beast deck that balances mental and physical resources similar to how Hank McCoy has to keep his feral instincts in check.
Phil: As Bill Nye once famously stated, “science rules,” and we want heroes or decks that can really flaunt that fact. But for now, we sit tight in wait for a more thoughtful tomorrow.
Luke: Speaking of being thoughtful, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments and let us know what you’d like to see in the future from our LCG overlords.
Thanks for reading as always, we’ll see you next week!