Superstar Strategy Session #10: Brock Lesnar

Started by Hogtrail, June 05, 2019, 07:40:05 AM

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My goal is to spotlight and break down a different superstar every week by going in depth on their cards, referenced cards, and different types of builds for them.

I posted a poll on the TCO discord channel and this week's superstar this strategy session is dedicated to the REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED (2nd place at the NAC) BEAST HIMSELF... BBBBRRRROOOOOCCCCKKKKKK LLLEEESSSSNNAAARRRRRRRRRRR!

Let's take a look at his specifics:

Brock Lesnar
Starting Hand Size: 7     Superstar Value: 4
Superstar Ability: Your opponent's Strike maneuvers played do no more than a maximum of 3D. You may play the card titled No Sell Maneuver.

Having a 7 hand and a 4 value are good stats. There's a good chance that you'll be able to start the game. And his ability is awesome. It neutralizes what is probably the most popular maneuver type in the game. It makes a cards like Quick Reflexes, and Clumsy Opponent a decent pack, or how about Knee to the Gut! ...Well, maybe not.

Brock's Massive Physique
Backstage Card
* Cannot be revealed until your opponent reverses the Activated Card Effect of your Collegiate Champions.
When he reverses the Activated Card Effect of your Collegiate Champions, draw 3 cards, look at his hand and choose 1 card, he discards the chosen card, and remove 2 cards in his Ringside from the game.
Your Brock Lesnar-specific maneuvers are -7F and cannot be reversed by Unique cards.

This is a great way to start our strategy session. When your opponent reverses Collegiate Champions (which we will cover in a bit), this card comes out a wreaks havoc. It gives you hand knowledge, the ability to strip a card from that hand, allows you to draw 3, and then you get to remove 2 key cards in his ringside from the game. That alone would make this a good card. But THEN you get discounted specific maneuvers that are also protected from Unique reversals. This is a great card.

Oh, and also notice that this card is revealed when the ACE of Collegiate Champs is reversed, not put into the ringside. So even if the opponent uses Unscrupulous S.O.B., this card can be revealed.

The Baddest Man On The Planet
Backstage Card
When packing this card, you can pack Backed By Paul Heyman.
Ignore the 'Can only be played...' text on your Brock Lesnar-specific maneuvers.
Once during each of your turns, you may put 1 non-hybrid maneuver from your Ringside into your hand.
Unique     RMS logo


Not only do you get Backed by Paul Heyman, not only do your specific maneuvers become playable, but you also get to, each turn, pick up ANY non-hybrid maneuver in your ringside (including uniques) and put it into your hand FOR FREE! Literally every Brock Lesnar deck is built around this card. This card makes discarding for Collegiate Champions, or the chain trait, or any reason not hurt nearly as much. Just keep discarding your non-hybrid maneuvers. You'll further see how killer this card is in part 3. The only thing that kills this card is Hell in a Cell, and that card is rarely packed and easily blanked.

Suplex City
Pre-match Event
This card is -5F and cannot be blanked.
Your Brock Lesnar-specific Events do not take up a Pre-match slot in your Ring, and your German Suplex cards are F: 0 and the first non-Throwback German Suplex played each turn is Multi.
ACE: Once during each of your turns when Collegiate Champions is not in your Ring, you may overturn 3 cards and then put 1 non-Throwback German Suplex from your Ringside or your Ring into your hand.
F: 5     D: 0     Unique     Permanent

Another great card. Of course the 5F is thematic (F:5, get it?). It makes your Lesnar specific pre-match free to play, and also gives you free German Suplexes (one of the best maneuvers in the game). This is a perfect card for Brock.

Backstage Warm-up Routine
Pre-match Event
Before starting hands are drawn, if your opponent has a lower Superstar Value than you, his Starting Hand Size is -2; if your opponent has a greater Superstar Value than you, your Starting Hand Size is +2.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Smackdown logo
VEL     Errata

This card is not nearly as good as his other pre-match cards. Don't get me wrong, it's good... but compared to the greatness of the others, this one pales in comparison. The -2 hand of this card is easily countered by Flanked by Arena Security, or any number of specific cards that prevent hand manipulation. And the +2 hand is good, but in most Lesnar decks, will probably only make a small difference. But it's free, so there's no reason not to pack it.

Collegiate Champions
Pre-match Event
At the end of the Pre-match phase, remove 1 card in your opponent's Ringside pile from the game.
When this card is in your Ring area, once during each of your turns you may discard 3 cards, look at your opponent's hand, choose 1 card, and he discards the chosen card.
When this card is put into your Ringside pile from your Ring area, you may look at his hand, choose 1 card, and he discards the chosen card.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Smackdown logo

Another game changer. Being able to choose any card in your opponent's hand for him to discard is huge. And the lost is mitigated by Brock's ability to pick up maneuvers for free with his Backstage. The only downside to this card is that it isn't permanent, but that would just be greedy. However, if this card  is put into your ringside, you get to use the effect anyway! This card is best used early in games to help push your maneuvers through.

The Paul Heyman Guys
Pre-match Event / Mid-match Action
This card is packed as a Pre-match or Mid-match. Cannot be blanked.
Your I'm a Paul Heyman Guy! is -3F and can only be reversed by Unique reversals; when your Paul Heyman's Shoot Promo would be removed from the game, put it on the bottom of your Arsenal instead; and when you successfully play or Activate a card with "Heyman" in the title, you may Promo: 3.
ACE:  When you Promo, you may put this card in your Ringside and then put 1 card not chosen in your hand and up to 1 card not chosen on the bottom of your Arsenal instead.
During your turn when this card is in your Ringside, you may put it into your Backlash and end your turn.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique

I'm definitely a Paul Heyman Guys guy. This card allows you to promo: 3 when it's played AND you can also use it's ACE during the pre-match phase (remember, Brock doesn't care about putting non-hybrid maneuvers into his ringside). And being able to constantly return this card to your backlash deck can really pay off for you.

Mid-match Trademark Finisher / Reversal: Special
Cannot be reversed from your opponent's Backlash deck.
As a maneuver, can only be played after a successfully played Grapple maneuver.
As a reversal, reverse any Grapple, Submission, or High Risk maneuver and end your opponent's turn.
F: 35     D: 30     SV: 3     Unique     Smackdown logo

Yes. Just yes. Amazing card that reverses 3 out of 5 maneuver types. 35F is very attainable for Brock, and 30 damage is almost impossible for opponent to survive. I'd say, unless your opponent is Batista or The Natural Disasters, you'll only be playing this as a reversal.

Here Comes the Pain
Mid-match Action
You may put up to 2 cards from your Ringside pile into your hand.
When this card is in your Ring area, your maneuvers are +3D.
F: 5     D: 0     Unique     Smackdown logo

This card is good, but it's almost always reversed. Picking up 2 cards is good, and the +3D is fine, but just remember that this card is easily reversed by Shoot Counter, Volley This, or any other low F action reversal. I honestly wouldn't talk someone out of not even packing this card.

I'd say that Brock's Backstage/Backlash Deck cards put him in an elite category. Not lets jump into the Arsenal specifics.

Brock Block
Can only be reversed from your opponent's hand.
When successfully played, you may search your Arsenal for the card titled Series of Back Breakers, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal.
F: 5     D: 7     SV: 1     Unique     Smackdown logo

This is a good way to start. Only from hand is always a great reversal restriction, and Brock Block being unique makes it not susceptible to Carlito Says..., Douchebag, or It's Great to be Back in...

And when Brock's Massive Physique is revealed, this card is F:0 and you can keep picking it up and throwing it until it sticks. Being able to search for Series of Back Breakers is a decent effect (more on that in a second), but unfortunately makes this card reversible by Ax Kick (an underrated card).

Brock Lock
Submission / Reversal: Special
As a reversal, reverse any Grapple or High Risk maneuver and end your opponent's turn.
F: 7     D: 5     SV: 2     Unique

Another card that you will most likely be saving as a reversal. In fact, unless i'm absolutely confident my opponent won't be playing grapples or high risks, or it will definitely win me the game, I'm probably never playing this as a maneuver. It's a great reversal though.

Brock's Stretch Muffler
Grapple + Submission
This card is +1D for each maneuver with 'leg', 'knee', or 'suplex' in the title in your Ring.
When you do not have a Corner in your Ring and this card is D: 15+, cannot be reversed from hand or Backlash by D: 1+ cards.
F: 9    D: 9     SV: 1     Unique     Multi

I don't really care for this card. At least not for Brock. This card is probably better in a Beast Incarnate deck. I wouldn't pack it in a Brock deck. I feel like the arsenal space could be better used.

Series of Back Breakers
Can only be played after a successfully played maneuver.
Cannot be reversed by the card titled Backlash!
You may play the card titled Maintain Hold after this card.
F: 12     D: 12     SV: 2     Unique     Smackdown logo

Ditto for this card. I don't see enough reason to pack it. Maybe if it were multi, or the reversal restriction was for the entire backlash deck. But as is, I'd rather pack an Atomic Driver, or any other impactful card.

Beatdown by The Beast
Cannot be packed when packing a Corner.
When played, choose up to 2 Chair Shot or German Suplex cards, or non-Multi cards with 'punch' in the title in your Ringside; those maneuvers are considered played from your hand and are played in the order of your choice after this card, resolve each card's effects and damage before the next card is considered played. After all cards chosen are played, your turn ends.
F: 15     D: 10     SV: 1     Unique     RMS logo

On the surface, I like this card. Brock's own personal Kitchen Sink.

However, after my experience at the NAC, this card didn't have enough of an impact to be worth packing. This is probably another card that The Beast Incarnate benefits more from than Brock. Chair Shot (or Chair) are simple to reverse, and German Suplex in Brock Lesnar should always be the throwback version. It may not be popular, but in a competitive deck, leave this one out.

The Kimura
Trademark Finisher / Reversal: Special
As a maneuver, when your next card played this turn is Maintain Hold, ignore the 'Can only be played after...' text, and it cannot be reversed.
As a reversal, reverse any Strike or non-maneuver card; ACE: during your next turn before you play any cards, you may discard 2 cards and this maneuver is considered played from hand and can be reversed normally.
When successfully played, your opponent discards 2 random cards.
F: 35     D: 10     SV: 2     Unique

Ah, that's more like it. This Trademark Finisher basically reverses everything F-5 does not (with the exception of TMF's). It also makes opponent discard 2 at random, which is ALWAYS good. But my favorite thing about this card is the ACE. I love being able to discard 2 to be able to basically play it again. And if they use DTTAH, then it goes into your ringside and you can use it again later. Great card.

The 11th Commandment
Reversal: Special
Completely reverse any non-maneuver card and put up to 1 maneuver from your Ringside into your hand. When your next card played is a maneuver, it is -11F and ignore the 'Can only be played...' text; when it has 'suplex' in the title, it is Multi and can only be reversed by 2 reversal cards.
F: 11     D: 0     Unique

Another solid card. A beefed up No Chance in Hell that completely reverses non-maneuvers, and allows you to put a move (The Kimora, perhaps...) into your hand. The rest of the text probably doesn't make too much of a difference. However, adding a Shooting Star Press TB wouldn't be a bad idea, and could be funny for multiple reasons (See: Wrestlemania XIX).

Bad to the Bone
Reversal: Special
Reverse any card and end your opponent's turn. You may put 1 non-unique Maneuver card from your Ringside pile into your hand.
F: 15     D: 0     Unique

This is a tremendous reversal. Reverses any CARD and allows you to pick up a non-unique maneuver. Simple and to the point. Pack this card and profit.

An Irresistible Force; An Immovable Object
Action / Reversal: Special
As an action, if your next card played this turn is an Action card, it cannot be reversed.
As a reversal, reverse any Grapple or Submission maneuver (including the card titled Clutch onto Opponent) and end your opponent's turn.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Smackdown logo

The action part of this hybrid is laughable in today's meta. However, the reversal part is very playable. No reason not to pack this card.

An Ultimate Fighter
Action / Reversal: Maneuver
As an action, put up to 3 maneuvers from your Ringside into your hand, and your next maneuver played this turn is Multi.
As a reversal, reverse any maneuver and your opponent overturns 4 cards; when the reversed card is Unique, overturn 4 cards.
Your Superstar-specific maneuvers are +1 Stun Value.
F: 6     D: 0     Unique

An excellent card. The action part is quite good, getting you key maneuvers put into your hand, but the reversal part is too good to not play it as one. Any hybrid card that reverses any maneuver is likely better played as a reversal. And more Stun Value is a good thing.

Promo: 4, put this card and 3 cards from your Ringside on the bottom of your Arsenal, and then your opponent overturns 2 cards and puts 1 card from hand on the bottom of his Arsenal.
F: 5     D: 0     Unique

This is another card that I liked at first, but I never actually played it at the NAC. I like being able to, in fact, repeat it, but I never felt the need to play it. And it gets hit by Shoot Counter. Maybe if it were Multi then it would be better. As is – probably not worth it.

The Next Big Thing
Reveal the top card of your Arsenal to your opponent and put it into your hand. If it is the next card you play this turn, it cannot be reversed.
When this card is in your Ring area, before your Draw Segment, you may put this card into your hand.
F: 10     D: 0     Unique     Smackdown logo

This card, however, is great. If successful, it will at very least give you an extra card in your hand (2 if you use Premiere Smackdown Superstar). And if the revealed card is a maneuver or action, it cannot be reversed. That's an amazing effect. Oh, and you get to freely put it back into your hand and your opponent can't do anything about it. This also helps put Steel Chain Shot TB back into your hand every turn.

The One ... in 21-1
Action + Action
Shuffle up to 10 cards from your Ringside into your Arsenal, put up to 2 of your cards removed from the game on the bottom of your Arsenal, and draw 1 card.
When this card is in your Ring, replace the 'Can only be played' text with 'Cannot be reversed when played' on your F-5, and during your turn you may play that card from your Ringside.
F: 21     D: 1     Unique     Multi

I like this card. Recovers 10 from ringside, 2 that are RFG, and lets you draw a card. And it makes F-5 much better as a maneuver (even though you'll still probably never play it as one). But again, watch out for Shoot Counter (found that out the hard way).

PHEW... that's a lot of cards.

I think Lesnar has an elite set of specifics. But now lets look at...

Non-specific cards that can be helpful for Brock Lesnar.

First, let's look at the rest of the Paul Heyman Guys support cards.

Backed by Paul Heyman
Pre-match Event
Can only be packed when you are packing an ECW card in your Backstage Area.  When packing this card, your Managed by Paul Heyman is not Heel.
At the end of the Pre-match phase, put Managed by Paul Heyman from your Backlash into your Ring.
ACE: During your turn, you may put this card into your Ringside and then put 1 Stipulation from your Ringside or Backlash into your Ring, and either discard 3 cards or put Managed by Paul Heyman from your Ring into your Ringside.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Permanent

Managed by Paul Heyman
Pre-match Manager: Heel
When this card is in your Ring area, during your turn you may discard 1 card and put this card into your Ringside pile, and then put 1 non-Backlash-deck card from your opponent's Ring area into his Ringside pile.
   (Activated Card Effect Symbol) 
Universally Unique
F: 0         D: 0

I'm a Paul Heyman Guy
Mid-match Action + Action: Run-in
Cannot be packed by Paul Heyman.  Cannot be reversed when you have a card with 'Heyman' in the title in your Ring.
Search your Arsenal and Ringside for Paul Heyman's Shoot Promo, reveal it, put it into your hand, and shuffle; that card is -4F and cannot be reversed.
When your opponent has at least 15 greater Fortitude and he successfully plays a maneuver, you may ignore the 'during your turn' text on your Managed by Paul Heyman and immediately Activate it.
F: 3     D: 0     Unique     Multi

Paul Heyman's Shoot Promo
Action + Action
Draw up to 2 cards.
ACE: When this card is in your Ring and your opponent moves a card from his Ringside to any other location without playing a card, remove that card from the game, and then remove this card from the game.
F: 7     D: 0     Unique     Multi

Heyman Interferes
Reversal: Special
Can only be played when you have 2+ cards with 'Heyman' in the title in your Ring and/or Ringside; when you have 4+ cards with 'Heyman' in the title in your Ring, this card is -7F.
Can only be played when your opponent plays a card, he puts that card into his hand (or Backlash, if applicable), it is considered not to be played, and end his turn; when you have 4+ cards with 'Heyman' in the title, you may put his card into his Ring, Ringside, or remove it from the game instead.
F: 12     D: 0     Unique

Personally, I only packed Paul Heyman's Shoot Promo and I'm a Paul Heyman Guy in my Lesnar. Having said that, all of these cards are good and very packable. Backed by Heyman can put in a late stipulation that can help you win the game (Old School Wrestling Match comes to mind). Managed by Paul Heyman can remove a key arsenal card in your opponent's ring (such as a shoot card to prevent a Shoot Counter being played against you). And Heyman Interferes can help you out in a bind, and is especially helpful if Old School Wrestling Match is in the ring area so opponent have to overturn 6 cards.

But the two cards I decided to pack are because they cannot be reversed when all played together. And Paul Heyman's Shoot Promo is an underrated card. Think of all the mechanics that are used to move cards from ringside to another location without playing a card. This includes card text like Back Body Drop TB, Steel Chain Shot TB, and Kidney Punch, It also can be used when your opponent hides 10th or 5th anniversary (Which I did in the finals against Eric to remove his Divine Intervention from the game), AND it can also be used if your opponent's Superstar Ability allows him to move cards from his ringside. And don't forget that when you play or activate a card with Heyman in the title you get to Promo: 3, and when you activate the Shoot Promo, it goes to the bottom of your arsenal instead of removed from game.

Brock also gets to pack this card:

No Sell Maneuver
Reversal: Special
Can only be packed by Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Deadman Inc, Kane, Two Man Power Trip, Big Show, Al Snow, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Brock Lesnar, The Rattlesnake, Big Poppa Pump, Gene Snitsky, and Heidenreich.
When played from your hand, reverse any maneuver and end your opponent's turn. Discard 2 cards.
F: 0      D: 0

And as I said above, and reversal that hits ANY maneuver will always be helpful.

And one card that I think is great for Brock is:

Smoking Skull Title Belt
Cannot be packed when packing First of All.  At the end of the Pre-match phase, search your Arsenal for 2 different non-Unique maneuvers and reveal them, your opponent chooses 1, put the chosen card into your Ringside and the remaining card into your hand.  When you are Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rattlesnake, or Revolution Stone Cold Steve Austin you start the game regardless of Superstar Value or card effects.
Superstar Value +2     Universally Unique

Brock doesn't care which maneuver his opponent puts in the ringside because he's just going to pick it up during his turn anyway. I usually fetched Pump kick and German Suplex TB.

We'll cover a few more key cards in...

Specific Build Types

First Idea: Backed by Vickie

This seems to be the most popular Brock build, in fact, out of 12 people at the NAC, there were 2 Lesnar's that were backed by Vickie.

First things first:

Backed by Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero
Pre-match Event
Cannot be packed when packing Enforcers or by a Legend, or by Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Latino Cheat, Rey Mysterio, Shane O'Mac, or The People's Champ.
Your opponent cannot play non-Superstar-specific non-D:0 reversals (except Manager Interferes) or Overshot Your Mark to your first non-Superstar-specific Smackdown non-F:0 maneuver played each turn.
Your next Pre-match Smackdown card played gains the text "Your Pre-match Capacity is +1."
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Smackdown logo

Luckily for Brock, all of the Smackdown logo'd maneuvers worth playing are non-hybrid, so he can pick them up and play them with ease. Key Lock in particular is good due to it being multi.

This deck build also lends itself to Premiere Smackdown Superstar, which can really help inflate your hand size.

Second Idea: Volley

Remembering that Brock can pick up any non-hybrid maneuver during each of his turns means that if your opponent is stuck in the volley lock, Brock could potentially pick up 2 volley cards from ringside each turn. And one could use the ACE of Collegiate Champs to strip your opponent of maneuvers to play during his turn.

Volley maneuvers also lend themselves to higher stun values, so a volley Brock should always have a large hand size.

One volley maneuver I would like to point out is:

Strike: Volley: 6
If this card is not successfully played, put up to 2 other Volley cards from your Ringside pile into your hand.
"I haven't seen JBL this mad since the last time the market crashed." - Tazz
SV: 3
F: 10      D: 12

Brock can utterly abuse this card, putting your opponent in the terrible position of either having to keep trying to reverse it, or just let it go through and giving Brock more fortitude.

Third Idea: Chain

Every chain maneuver is non-hybrid, so Brock is free to pick them up all willy-nilly. And if your opponent is trying to reverse your maneuvers – they'll have to discard for the chain trait each time. Allowing Brock to get a nice hand advantage over his opponent.

A nice thing that chain Brock can do is that if opponent reverses your chain maneuver, you can ACE unbreakable chain, pick the move back up and throw it again.

Fourth Idea: Foreign Object

Like chain, pretty much every foreign object is non-hybrid. But the one I want to focus on is...

Everything and the Kitchen Sink
Strike: Foreign Object: Face
When played, choose up to 2 Foreign Object maneuvers in your Ringside pile not titled Everything and the Kitchen Sink. Those maneuvers are considered played from your hand and are played in the order of your choice after this card. Resolve each card's effects and damage before the next card is considered played. After all of these cards have been played, if any have been reversed, your turn ends.
SV: 1
F: 14       D: 6

Brock being able to pick this up and throw 3 moves at once is a GREAT tool to have at your expense. And Backed by Paul Heyman can put first blood match into your ring for a cheap victory condition.

Another fun trick to do with FO Brock (or any Brock for that matter) involves this card:

Strike: Foreign Object
This card is also considered to be titled Table! Table! Table! for card effects.
Cannot be reversed by Elbow to the Face, Revolution of the Mind, or Sidewalk Slam.
When playing an Extreme of printed 5D or greater, Grapple, Throw, High Risk, Trademark or Trademark Finisher without 'Maintain' in the text, you may choose this card until that maneuver finishes resolving.
ACE: When this card is chosen, put this card into your Ringside and then your successfully played maneuver is +8D and +1 Stun Value.
F: 8     D: 6     SV: 1     Unique

This is already a difficult maneuver to reverse, and if you use the ACE of this card on a card like German Suplex TB, Brock can pick Table up with his backstage and throw it again. Rinse and repeat and you can do some good damage to your opponent. (Trick can also be done with Chair and Ladder, but Table is more fun).

Fifth Idea: BASH

This one is pretty simple:


So every arsenal BASH maneuver is non-hybrid, so Brock can freely pick them up at will. And the low F maneuvers are multi, so opponent will have a more difficult time trying to reverse them. Oh, and you can also use this card:

BASH Down the Walls!
Pre-match Event
When your BASH maneuver is unsuccessful, search your Arsenal for up to # BASH maneuvers with different titles (where # is equal to 2 minus the number of reversals played to that card), reveal them, put them in your hand, and shuffle. When you do, you cannot play cards for the rest of your turn.
F: 0     D: 0     Unique     Permanent     RMS logo

This can help Brock build up his hand so he can discard for Collegiate Champions.

In Conclusion:

I think Brock is one of the best superstars in Raw Deal. He has elite card support, a superstar ability that can shut down a lot of players, and an ability to keep throwing hard to reverse maneuvers every turn. I think that Brock can be a good superstar for beginners and  a GREAT superstar for more experienced players.

I posted my NAC decklist here:,18684.0.html

In that post I articulate some of my strategies.

Please comment anything I may have forgotten or overlooked, or if you've built Brock Lesnar before!

I hope you enjoyed this, and hopefully learned a few things.

Check back next week when I cover Los Guerrero's!

Eric RD

Wonderful article as always.
He would be a great deck to run with Backstage Politics to get the opponent to remove it from your Ring to take it back at the cost of removing your own non-hybrid maneuver to pick back up again. Otherwise Brock would have a whole bunch of Backlash deck reversals for his opponent t to deal with. for Raw Deal streams

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