Glutton for Punishment

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Glutton for Punishment 0 0 0 1.0

VillainTheory · 25345

Unusual X-Men Decks: #3 - Glutton for Punishment

With the 1.5 rules, we can no longer REC at full hp. Why would you want do that? For Phoenix specifically, it's because using her REC also generates a Power Counter. And we like Power Counters.

...So here's a deck all about using her REC anyway! This deck wants us to take damage, get extra value from it, and then we can REC as much as our hearts desire. And then spend as many Power Counters as we can.

Don't defend the villain's attack, take it. Use Toe to Toe and Weapon X to help safely manipulate our hp further down. Then Down Time lets us heal it all back while giving us Power Counters. The combination of Honorary X-Men and Utopia can even let us REC twice in one turn.

"You'll Pay for That!" lets us spend an extra counter per round (in the villain phase) and helps us make the most of getting hit. Endurance and allies keep us safe from extra attacks.

If a deck about a 9 hp hero wanting to take damage wasn't unusual enough for you, it also boasts 46 cards - and for good reason as we'll cover below. And it works! Though it requires unusual decision-making, this deck has smoothly defeated a variety of scenarios including Expert Nebula and Magneto in my tests.

d20woodworking takes Glutton for Punishment up against Crossbones and Mojo here! Does he purposefully try to play the deck wrong? Absolutely! Does it go well? ...You decide!

Dark Phoenix


  • Archetype: Big REC/Confuse-Lock/Ally Damage
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Style: Control
  • Recommended Player Count: 1-3
  • Ideal Aspect Partners: Leadership
  • Ideal Hero Partners: Storm, Cyclops (for the team-up cards and ally boosts)
  • Scenarios to Avoid: Any steady/stalwart villains

Let's quickly cover why we've gone with 46 cards. By adding more basic and aspect cards, we dilute our hero cards which are, until we unleash, generally underwhelming. It also lets us include more supports/upgrades than we otherwise would without them flooding our hands.

That aside? Our game plan is simple on the surface. Deal damage with our allies and attack cards, remove threat with our basic THW and thwarting events, and survive by taking attacks directly on Phoenix and then going alter-ego so we can REC and roll.

And all this while spending as many Power Counters as we can - we're going to have a LOT. Since you can spend one per phase, make sure to spend one in the villain phase on "You'll Pay for That!" whenever it's useful - and Phoenix Firebird becomes a lot more affordable to ready with.

If you do have too many Power Counters and want to Unleash? Enter Rise from the Ashes. Trigger it on your turn with Toe to Toe to really make use of the ready and get big value.

Let's focus for a moment on "You'll Pay for That!". This card is rarely used but is actually quite powerful when used well - especially when paid for with Power Counters. In solo, one use of this can often clear an entire side scheme. And it's particularly good in multiplayer to keep the main scheme under control. In Expert, this thing is often clearing 4-5 threat whenever you use it.

Since we want to go alter-ego a lot, ideally every turn, we can repeatedly use Cerebro and Weapon X for huge card draw. This makes them very high priority. Cards are our friends, as are allies in particular - and using Cerebro to find a basic ally when The Power in All of Us is in hand is optimal.

Rather than protect ourselves with our DEF stat, we usually want to take the villain attack undefended. And if we take the damage instead of chump blocking with an ally, our Boot Camp-boosted allies can spend more of their hp on dealing damage.

As a 9 hp character, taking damage can be risky. This deck has two solutions.

  • Raising our hp with Endurance and Honorary X-Men.

  • Keeping an ally on the board so that, if the villain does get an extra attack, you have the option to block with it.

And then we want to go alter-ego and heal. We have 6 potential confuses per deck cycle - 8 if we Unleash - so going alter-ego is usually very safe! In solo especially, we can usually keep the threat at 0 too.

With Down Time, we can heal for 5 and generate a power counter. We also have White Hot Room which can also heal us for 2 or give us a power counter. Generally I advise only playing one or the other unless you expect a lengthy game.

With Utopia and Honorary X-Men, we can use Phoenix's THW or ATK, go alter-ego, use Cerebro to find and then play an ally, then use her REC. Or vice versa if starting the turn alter-ego. Or even just REC twice in one turn.

Weapon X and Toe to Toe help us maximize our recovered hit points. By using Weapon X, we can safely lower our health. Likewise, if we use Toe to Toe on a minion, we can finely manipulate how much damage we take. You can go down to 2 hp and then double REC to your full Endurance-boosted hp with Down Time in play.

In multiplayer, be aware that - due to Phoenix starting with 3 THW and the split focus between attacking and recovery - this deck is not ideal to clear the amount of minions you will likely face in 4-player, and will prefer a Leadership player to help in 3-player.

Mulligan Priorities:

Other Tips:

  • Don't forget that you can only spend Power Counters when in hero form. Plan your hands accordingly to make sure you don't miss out on spending one!

  • Wondering where X-Gene is? It's a great card for Phoenix and it could 100% be added in - but it pushes us to play more of Phoenix's events, and this deck really doesn't want to do that.

  • Wolverine is a really good ally and playing him early is huge. With your starting 3 THW and his 3 ATK, you can be ready for anything in solo games and ready to help with anything in multiplayer.

  • Longshot is honestly not that great here as a card to regularly play. However, he helps keep Cerebro online even if you just spend him as a resource, is another target for The Power in All of Us, and another trigger for Utopia.

  • If you spend your last power counter on a card such as Telekinetic Attack, you will immediately become Unleashed and the card will play out with you having that trait. In this case, Telekinetic Attack is now dealing 9 damage with overkill!

  • If you have them, don't forget to make sure you use the alternative X-Men art versions of Toe to Toe, Endurance and Down Time! Style matters. Especially since the Toe to Toe art features a psionic character!

  • A lot of people like to run the Storm ally with Phoenix and their team-up card, Soul Sisters. Personally, I think the Storm ally doesn't do much for us here. In solo, we have enough thwarting. In multiplayer, it's paying too much for something that isn't your role. And if Storm isn't in play, Soul Sisters is a dead card. Plus we have other sources of healing here. (With that said, definitely run Soul Sisters in multiplayer with the Storm hero!)

  • Too normal for you? Check out my other Phoenix decks which both have unusual strategies - Master of Puppets (Protection) and Power Overwhelming (Leadership)! Turn the villain against their own minions, or overcharge your allies with psychic energy!

Good luck!


Jun 23, 2023 celric · 428

Have you considered Counterattack? It should deal more damage in Expert games than Toe To Toe. You also don’t have to use it right away if it’s a bad time to do so.

If you prefer the events, Martial Prowess makes a lot of sense too.

The deck loves Confuse. Boot camp doesn’t get you any more confused status cards, but a 2nd Team-Building Exercise would.

Cool deck. Thanks for sharing.

Jun 23, 2023 Aizbaer · 1

I see why we can't Rec with 0 HP but I think you meant with 0 missing HP. Why can't we do that anymore?

Jun 23, 2023 VillainTheory · 25345

@celric Hi and thanks!

Counterattack definitely has advantages when it comes to damaging the villain and I did consider adding it! I prefer Toe to Toe here since it helps us clear minions and precisely manipulate our hp. If I was rebuilding a rush deck, I would definitely go for Counterattack instead.

Martial Prowess is good but we already have 4 resource generators/ways to draw cards here that are generally all more flexible to help pay for things plus we have her Power Counters to spend. Additionally, our attack events are not always high-priority in this deck.

Allies are the main source of our damage here in this deck, so I don't think I'd trade Boot Camp for another Team-Building Exercise. Though a second one can be useful, I generally find having two makes your turns pretty rigid. I can think of a couple of Phoenix decks where I would go to two - but not this one!

Jun 23, 2023 VillainTheory · 25345

@Aizbaer Yes, I meant 0 missing hp! Oops! Great catch - fixed now. The reason being is that the 1.5 rules say: "A target is not valid for an ability if no part of that ability can affect that target". A member of the community asked into that for clarification and FFG answered confirming that you can't use your REC at full hp - the entire answer can be seen here (question #12) -

Jun 29, 2023 VJakson · 23

Nice new addition to ways to play Jean!

Jul 05, 2023 captainfire · 294

I love your new "deck presentation" ! :)
And this one seems really fun to play, definitely will try it.

Aug 19, 2023 takabrash · 1

Fantastic deck, as always... Just can't even touch her