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What's the counterplay?


I recently played a Mono-purple (me) deck versus Mono-white (opponent), and he played Fox’s Den School. I thought I was lucky to have an Assimilate in my hand that turn, so I built a tower and mistakenly used it’s detector ability (on the same turn as building it) to reveal it and take it over.

But it got me thinking, with there only being two detector cards in the game (Discipline Mastery/Eyes of the Chancellor), how would you best play around that card when it entered the field, especially if it’s tough to keep your tower alive?

In the same vein, how would you attempt to deal with Law/Injunction? Short of having Reputable Newsman, it seems impossible to prevent Bigsby from being summoned and then Injunctioning on the same turn. Now, I understand that at best he can do this every other turn, being dead for the turn in between; it just seems that once that combo starts hitting the field, you better hope you teched in more spells or lower tech level units, because you aren’t going up in tech any time soon.

My understanding of the solution to both problems above is simply be more aggressive and maintain board control; but, board control is a finicky thing, and it’s very easy for the momentum to change hands and to be placed on the defensive.

I must acknowledge that I am still very new to the game; still learning the basics of hero usage, proper tech choices and balancing, the matchups between the different deck colors, and how each hero/spec influences these factors, as well as add-on structures.

What are your thoughts on the above? Additionally, if you have any recommendations regarding other items or strategies that a player should be prepared to need particular counterplay against, I’d love to hear it.

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A lot of counterplays in codex have to happen preemptively. Against Monowhite as Monopurple, build a tower early. It helps defend against ninjas and birds. If you see safe attacking come out, you can assimilate that, once again to discourage bird and ninja shenanigans. You can also aggressively Origin Story White’s heroes each time the opponent invests some gold in them.

re: Injunction:

Yeah, you pretty much nailed it here. As @lemaster pointed out, you often have to pre-counter them. I find it difficult for Purple to deal with spells like Moment’s Peace and Injunction, since its spell-mix tends to work with your board rather than instead of it.

If I am not mistaken, this is wrong. Just because a building is disabled does not stop it from getting a “fresh” injunction on it the next turn? Just because a Building has “disabled” as a temporary keyword does not stop it from being targeted by Injunction again?

Edit: That is one of my ideas of a strategy when I am able to play this regularly, try out a Bigby Injunction lock from early on to stop them ever getting to tech 2 and stopping them from being able to play/use tech 1 stuff, by having Injunction cast as many turns in a row as possible. (Probably not really feasable I guess)

I think it’s generally a good idea to rely more in heroes than usual against Bigby. That includes bith hero cards and spells. Remember that they are also immune to Judgment Day.


Put bigger threats on the board than your opponent. Trycycloid will force opponent to either crash their ninja onto it and you will come up a 2 dead units for opponent for your 1 Trycycloid or he put his ninja on patrol, which allow you to just snipe them. If he just attack you and leave no patroller, your trycycloid can take down their tech build by itself.

Against Injunction you want to diversify your threats. If you have a hero, a level 0 unit, and a level 1 unit in play, with level 0, 1, and 2 units in deck, there isn’t a really good target for an Injunction. If you can continue to develop your board, eventually the disabled guys will wake up, and you’ll be far ahead of the guy who has been spending a card and 3 gold every turn to not affect the board.

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Injunction is actually pretty expensive, it is no doubt capable of making big swings but Bigby can’t totally dominate a well diversified board with it.

To answer the original question of “what do I do about Fox’s Den School”:

I think you have to take advantage of the fact that your opponent spent 4 gold and one of their tech slots to make something that doesn’t have ATK. You would probably do this by making beefy Tech II units. If the opponent rushed out the School, hopefully you can overpower their patrollers with your bigger units and start directing attacks at their heroes and Tech II building. If they’re a little slower to get it out, you’ll want a Tower in conjunction with a beefy Squad Leader to munch their first invisible attacker each turn. You’ll also want to figure out what to do about an untargetable Porcupine squad leader (it will probably involve a Tower and some spells).

Yeah; I didn’t build a tower pre-emptively, I built one after he played Jade Fox. He was going a Ninjutsu route, and I had been holding down the board pretty decently. The real issue is that I never teched in Origin Story, as I had been focusing on a Present/Future based gameplan (with an early assimilate for Safe Attacking).

Sorry; I should have used “at worst” instead of “at best”. You are correct about a building being disabled does not prevent it from getting Injunctioned again - I was just commenting that if I manage to kill Bigby while I’m Injunctioned, it will delay the opponent from being able to do it immediately against next turn, as he’ll have to wait until hes able to resummon Bigby (which he can’t do on his immediate next turn, as he would be facedown).

You’re right; my problem was that I’m still learning how to use my heroes in combination with my units - I love to rely more heavily on units to help control the board space, instead of leaning more on heroes; leveling them up, and utilizing their spells.

My deck was [Feral]/Fire/Future versus Mono-Blue. I teched in a couple Firebats at the start to help deal with Illusions and whatnot, then tried to transition into a Future based flying unit gameplan; if I had gone for a Fire spell based plan instead, that would have likely worked out far better.

I forget my exact tech choices for the game, but I remember turns 3-4 I chose to go with Hyperion (x2) and Temporal Distortion (x2); my plan was to go for a bit of aggression and distort the Hyperions into Tricycloids.

I was able to get the combo off once and chunk out a bit of his board and kill his second hero, but he still had a maxband Setsuki alive (I didn’t deal with that quick enough, I thought I might be able to power through the card advantage during the midgame as I hadn’t seen anything particularly scary). Unfortunately, the second time I tried to pull off the combo, he had a Deadly Porcupine as a squad leader - I didn’t have the board to take it down without all of mine, and I had workered Forgotten Fighter.

After that, he played Glorious Ninja, Fox Den School, and then later Jade Fox. Held him off decently for a few turns (after accidently Assimilating his Fox Den School), but the ninjas were just too much; flying and quick strike is tough for a ground heavy, Present based, game plan.

Lesson learned, I didn’t diversify my board enough. I definitely need to reconsider my tech plans, and what I choose to tech in (unit vs spell) going forward - I rely too much on my units to do the heavy lifting.

Unfortunately, he had played a Deadly Porcupine the turn before, while I waited until Fox Den School entered play before building a tower; my mistake was not even considering Fox Den School as a line of play - I focused too much on what I was doing, and not where he was heading. Also spent too much gold trying to combo Hyperion with Temporal Distortion shenanigans.

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Forgotten fighter wont help against the Dreaded Porcupine.

I like EricF’s advice a lot, which was something like: Units are generally for your own strategy and spells are generally for disrupting your opponent’s strategy. Just the threat of certain spells can be very disrupting to your opponent.

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In Codex, it is important to know when you are the agroer and when you are the agroed, to know if you can go on with your strategy or if you should go with a counter-play. Red colors and Ninja are probably on the top for agro, so when you face one, you should tech and play to counter what they will send in your face to be able to stabilize.