The Strike Better Take on Viper

There has been a flurry of MCP reveals and releases from Atomic Mass Games over the past few weeks, which has us excited to expand our collection and punish our wallets. A recent addition has us interested, with uncertain expectations, as Ophelia Sarkissian a.k.a VIPER is revealed alongside SIN into the Cabal affiliation.

Let’s look at her card shall we?

5 Stamina is pretty normal for a 3 threat character, backed up by 3 defence across the board. Not an overly impressive stat-line, however she is protected by her stealth ability, meaning she can’t be attacked beyond range 3. What is great on this card is that Long move. The L symbol on a character card is always a welcome movement speed in our books, and this speed works well with VIPER’s stealth ability. I can see her being a great objective runner within the Cabal affiliation, with attacks that will punish the opponent if they get in range to hurt her. Speaking of attacks, VIPER has a few to choose from.

First, let’s look at VIPER’s Poisoned Blade, a Range 2 Physical attack. Right off the bat, a 3 Threat character rolling 5 dice on their builder attack is always great! Add to that the ability to gain power for damage dealt and VIPER shows the power building potential needed for her impressive superpowers, more on that later. The value of inflicting poison on a character is always underrated. If you roll a wild on her builder (statistically likely in a 5 dice attack), placing that little green token on your opponent can deny some big plays, especially against those characters that are power hungry from the outset. VIPER looks to tie in well with the Power Starving tactic we spoke about in S2E05 of the Podcast.

Assassins Pistol is a 0 cost, Range 3, Physical attack that rolls 4 dice. It is essentially an automatic power generator for when your opponent is just sitting outside of Range 2, allowing you to get that one more power to let loose on a big superpower or Viper Strike attack. Stun is always a good condition to throw out there on a power hungry character, and if you can combine that with the poison from VIPER’s Poisoned Blade, the power starving only gets worse for your opponent. However, chances are not very high to roll the wild needed, so I can’t see this attack occurring too often.

Viper Strike, however, seems like good-quality spender attack. Range 3, 3 cost attack that rolls 6 dice against your opponent, offering plenty of reach even from a small base. Not only does this attack give her some out of action movement shenanigans, placing her within Range 1 of the target after the attack is resolved, but on a wild she dishes out Venom. Venom places both slow and stun on the target, a combination that shows the synergy with the poison available from her builder. Overall, her attacks are decent, with the potential to deal some power-starving conditions that are likely to frustrate your opponent. These are impressive effects from a 3 threat character.

VIPER’s superpowers all aim to support her role as an objective runner, supporting her with movement and defence up close. Displacement Ring is a simple superpower, pay 2 to move her Range 2. This doesn’t sound like much, but offers VIPER that additional mobility to secure a far objective, run away with a token that little-bit further, or deal some damage with two attacks before moving beyond the range of a counter-attack.

Finally, we have Coiled Serpent. Not a superpower we haven’t seen before, as it’s similar to Proxima Midnight’s Martial Prowess. By paying 2 power, when an attacker is within range 2, you roll 5 defence dice and dish out 2 damage if your opponent doesn’t manage to hurt you. This ability helps keep VIPER alive longer and punish an opponent for not rolling hot and doing any damage. If anything, it encourages your opponent to avoid her if they can. Again, this helps her maintain focus on the objectives game.

A summary of our hot takes:
– Great movement speed, supported by stealth
– 5 Dice builder attack with poison special condition
– Auto power generation attack that can inflict Stun special condition
– Cheap and hefty spender, with multiple conditions and out-of-action movement
– Cheap movement superpower
– Offers the Cabal affiliation 3 x 3 threat Long movers
– 5 stamina on both sides with 3 defence dice and no defence modification (besides Coiled Serpent)
– No enemy displacement

We are looking forward to seeing VIPER on the table. With so many great 3 threats available, it’s unclear if she will see a lot of love outside of affiliation, but she provides a great option for spreading out wide in Cabal. When coupled with the leadership of SIN, she can definitely provide a different flavour to the traditional attrition-style approach we have seen Cabal bring in the past.

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