There has been a lot of hype for the introduction of Jean Grey into the game of Marvel: Crisis Protocol. Characters with a focus on Mystic always get us excited, and with X-Men being a fan favourite for many players, Jean is sure to find her way into a lot of rosters. Secretly, I think most of us were hoping she would be a 5 threat character, ready to muscle her way into the club of MCP elite. Unfortunately, whilst the crew at AMG have not dissapointed us in this area, we aren’t quite sure that this unique character will really shake up the meta.
As discussed in our last article, we here at Strike Better go through a check-list when analysing a character card to figure out if they are hot or not. As a refresher, this is what we look for:
1. High Stamina (6 or above)
2. Strong Defence (4 or above) or damage reduction
3. Dice Manipulation (re-rolling or changing your dice or your opponents)
4. Movement (above average speed, out of action movement, or innate abilities (wall crawler/flight))
5. Damage Output (zero cost range 3 builder attacks or above, minimum 5 dice, free conditions)
6. Character Displacement (the ability to move yourself or your opponent, which is not an action)
7. Innate Power Generation (gaining more than the usual 1 power during the power phase)
8. Character-Specific Tactics Card (Unaffiliated or Faction Specific)
With the criteria set, lets look at her card:
High Stamina, Strong Defence and Dice Manipulation
Jean surprises us here, with 6 stamina on her healthy and a whopping 7 on her injured side. Not only is this reaching top-tier stamina levels, but her defences are also decent, with 3 physical, 4 energy and 5 mystic defence.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your side of the board), Jean doesn’t have the means to manipulate her dice. Not only does this hurt her slightly in offence, but it lowers her defences as well compared to her more beefy 5 threat peers. However, I’m willing to forgive her, because she has some spicy tech in other areas!!
With a small base and a Medium move, Jean Grey isn’t outrunning many other characters in the game. However, with a free Range 4 Mystic Builder, this isn’t such a big deal. With her extended range, Jean can reach out and a good portion of the board if she is placed well during turn zero, and with her innate flight ability, her manoeuvre on the table becomes a bit more flexible.
This is where the positives start coming for Jean. A whopping Range 4 Mystic Builder is a fantastic attack stat to have, with 5 dice being thrown and a Sap power on a Wild. Giving her power equal to damage dealt is also required for her, considering there is plenty for her to spend her power on. It feels weird to write this, but despite 5 dice Mystic being decent, it is probably one of the worst 5 Threat character builder attacks. Jean’s spender is a big attack. A Range 3, 9 Dice Physical attack that will guarantee a Size S throw away on any character in the game at the moment is a great control ability. Whilst the cost is high at 6 power, we should see this attack being used by Jean more often than not. The Telekinetic Force will also gives a little splash damage to anyone within Range 2 of the target, which always feels nice when you can pull it off. I can’t help but feel something else should have been here to make this attack more worthwhile, but I think the ability to guarantee a throw on any character in the game could be worth it, especially in those critical moments in the mid to late game.
Character-Specific Tactics Cards
This is an area we will need to revisit when the cards are revealed. As highlighted during our analysis of Scarlet Witch, this is a key consideration in determining the viability of a character in the game of MCP.
Character Displacement and Innate Power Generation
This category is why you would consider bringing Jean Grey. Let’s start with the easy one. Her innate ability Latent Psychic Potential grants her an additional power in the power phase, which I love. But as you will see, she is going to need all the power she can get.
Battlefield Manipulation is a strong throw, giving you the opportunity to throw terrain size 4 or less M within Range 3. Whilst the cost is high at 3 power, you need to pay a premium that for that Range 3, which makes her throws more likely. Jean isn’t throwing characters with this superpower, but through her attacks, and other powers, she still has her ways.
Matter Transmutation is a fantastic ability. For a respectable 3 power, Jean can choose any (yours or your opponents) character with an activated token within Range 2 and push them any direction S. This power could be clutch if Jean is activated last to bring one of your characters back onto an objective, or move an opponent off. It is a little restrictive, requiring an activated token on a character to trigger it, but being able to move your own characters is a great ability.
Shield Mind is one of our favourites from Jean Grey. For only 2 Power, when this character or an ally within Range 4 would be advanced, placed, or pushed by an enemy Mystic attack or superpower, then jean can use this power to prevent it. This ability at first glance was thought to be huge anti-Wakanda tech, denying the ability to manipulate your characters in a tight scenario like Gammas and the like. However, this superpower only triggers of those specific movements listed above, and off a Mystic attack. This means that Shuri and Black Panther can still push you into submission. At least you can stop MODOK from bowing you all over the board!
We can see Jean providing some much needed support to the X-Men affiliation, but perhaps that is it. She is a character that hits hard, and can control the board amongst some of the best in her threat range. Be prepared to spend power though, as her superpowers will be triggered more often than not. I just hope that her Mystic builder has the legs to keep her battery going!