On episode 9 of the Strike Better Podcast, the team mentioned that there are sometimes situations in games where attacking your opponent is just not a good option. A common challenge for newer players is realising when you should attack and when you shouldn’t. Depending on your strategy, or the crisis you are playing, it is sometimes better to stay-put or move your character to prepare for the next round, rather than throw dice against a juicy target in the open. Giving an opposing character even one measly power after an attack can provide access to devastating superpowers in your adversary’s turn, or even a dangerous counter-attack. Attacking these enemies could result in leaving you a character down, and behind in victory points. Whilst a lot of us play the game for opportunities to roll an obscene number of dice, there are a few characters you might face in a game that can make the choice to reconsider much easier.
In this article, I asked the Strike Better Team for their opinion on who they hate to attack in a game, in favour of saving those precious actions during their turn.
For the illustrious host, his answer emphatically was Toad! I’ve had to alter his response to remove the expletives, but his frustration against this flexible two threat character is reason enough for Ryan to ignore him in games.
“If you decide to attack Toad, he just runs away if you hit him. Not matter what you do it feels horrible unless you daze him, and if you do, he is STILL only two threat, so it’s like…not even that big of a win.” This synopsis by Farmer shows that for a two threat character, Toad is an excellent choice for an objective based strategy. “And if you don’t attack him, he hippity hops all over the place.” Get him a token turn one, and bounce him to the back line if your opponent takes a swing. If they ignore him, then let Toad score you some VPs and enjoy the value from a tiny portion of your roster.
Morgs provided me with a plethora of characters he hates to attack; unless he is sure that he can get a result from his action investment. I suspect this approach may have led him to finding his Black Order roster so Corvus and Reality Gem could reliably remove these problem pieces from the board completely! Morgs has broken down these characters into a few categories:
The first category is the characters who count blanks as success when defending. Morgan’s most hated is Black Panther. With his ability to count blanks as successes in his four dice physical defence rolls, bringing down King T’Challa can be a challenge.
BP’s defensive buff forced Morgan to bring Execute as a tactics card into the top 16 of last season’s TTS league. With Wakanda well represented in the top bracket, this was one of the few ways to reliably remove Black Panther before he could steal an extract and run away with valuable VPs. Wasting actions on characters like this makes them a pain to attack!
The next category is the characters that are power starved, that only become reliable threats in a game when an opponent gives them power. There are a few in this bracket, such as Venom, Green Goblin, Drax and Crossbones. These are the characters we like to ignore. Give them no power, and their impact in the game can often be limited.
His final category was characters who can access damage mitigation cards such as Asgardians and Wolverine/Sabretooth.
This card means that your huge power investment on a big spender attack can just be eliminated by reducing the damage to one. The end result is the attack action was wasted, and now the opposing Asgardian can retaliate from a position of leverage. With Wolverine and Sabretooth getting access to X-Ceptional Healing, this ability may start to be seen more in characters as they release. Seeing them in abundance could be your trigger to adopt a more control strategy, instead of trying to remove them from the board.
Travis has revealed a strong hatred towards Captain America and his ultra-defensive ability. “I HATE attacking captain America on his flip side! He feels invincible.” Being able to add dice to his already strong defence pool and then adding blanks makes Cap a beefy boy! Add in his Bodyguard ability, and he becomes a frustrating target in a game of attrition.
So how does Travis deal with the leader of the Avengers? “I just ignore him and never flip him.” Fair enough. Ignoring a character is ok, as positioning is such an important aspect of Marvel: Crisis Protocol. Fighting the urge to target Cap can be difficult, with that smug smile and arrogant appearance! But sometimes moving twice to score VPs can be a better option.
My personal selection for this article has to go to Venom. I learnt early during my MCP games (from Morgan mostly) that attacking Venom is rarely a good idea. Venom is tanky, with seven health on his healthy side and six on the injured, so dazing him in one attack is rare. He has good physical defence and is also very powerful—once he gains power. A strong standard attack and cheap, powerful builder attack (that heals him on damage dealt) means that giving him power through a limp attack is just asking for trouble. However, the major reason is because of his ‘So Many Snacks’ ability.
Within R3, your attack is almost always going to result in a minimum five dice to the face with an automatic bleed (oh, and you can’t modify your defence rolls). Did you just deal a couple of damage to Venom in your attack? Well, now he has the ability to retaliate and potentially heal himself… Feel good now?
Getting around Venom, however, is manageable. Shoot him with energy attacks beyond R3. My Venom has died to an opposing Okoye more times than I care to remember. His slow movement also means a push in the right direction, preferably from range severely reduces his chances of influencing the game, so line up an opposing Shuri and Venom will be no trouble.
Let us know your most hated characters to attack on the Strike Better Facebook page and your strategy to get around them!