The Updates that will Change the Meta

The wait is finally over! After what felt like an eternity, the MCP community has been blessed with the much anticipated rules, tactics cards, and character updates. For both casual and competitive players alike we are now in a weird period, where we try and make sense of what has just happened, and figure out how these configurations will change the way we play the game. Whilst we believe upfront that the changes are for the greater good, there are a few updates in particular that we think will have the biggest impact.

Noting that the dust is yet to settle on the latest drop from AMG, this article will look at a few key design changes that we think will have the biggest change to competitive play. It is a bit too early to tell if we have the right answers to these new challenges, however, these are the areas we are most looking forward to exploring.

Random Crises
Let’s first discuss the biggest elephant on the tabletop…Random Crises will obviously have the biggest shake up to the way we play competitive MCP. AMG has done a fantastic job in keeping the way people play this game more about the characters, and less about turn 0-1 gotcha plays through powerful character and crisis combinations. With the change in rules, players now draw one card from their secure or extraction deck (both still consisting of three cards in each) instead of having the choice of two crises. No longer can a player be sure of playing a particular crisis. This new rule means the emphasis is on roster flexibility, as player’s can’t go into a game with confidence they will get the crisis or threat value they need to execute their game plan.

Whilst the choice for this new play style was meant to take the focus away from crises back into the characters, this might not necessarily work out that way. You will now really need to ensure that the three crises in each deck suit your playstyle, or at least provide a neutral advantage to both you and your opponent. There isn’t room anymore for taking your two favorites and a meta counter pick. These decisions matter now more than ever. Morgan gave some great advice on the latest podcast as we learn the new way of playing with this rule change – pick some more neutral secures and extracts initially until you have a good feel for the new system. With secures, you could consider crises such as Extremis and Infinity Formula, as well as variance heavy secures like Mutant Madman and Deadly Meteors. In extracts, go could for your even numbered or neutral extract tokens, like Hammers and possibly Skrulls or Alien Ship if you want to lean into the RNG. These Crises don’t provide an overly specific advantage to the player with or without priority and leave the advantage to those rosters with the most flexible character combinations (and a bit of luck). Time will tell on the best way to build your roster with this significant change to the competitive scene.

The Rise of the Big Boy’s
A great change moving forward has been the nerf to characters with displacement options for characters of all sizes. By this we mean the characters who had no limit on their push or throw abilities. Before the updates, characters like Black Panther, Kingpin and Shuri could displace any character in the game, in ways that many feel were not aligned with their threat value. Shuri for example had been a very strong meta pick for most of MCP’s life, seeing her way into most early rosters for her ability to displace any character in the game at Range 5. This is no longer the case. After the update, most of the characters at 4 threat and below lost their ability to displace the big boys, and instead have been hit with a size 3 limit. Check out the list here for all the characters that saw an update.

This change is great for the big boy’s in MCP. Characters like Hulk, Dormammu, and Hulkbuster have now secured themselves a much more permanent table presence in the game as a result of this update. The little guys can no longer move the big guys as easily, and the ability for a large character to influence the game has increased as well. In competitive play, people have often overlooked these big expensive characters, in favour for a more wider approach through low threat options. Now, these big characters give your roster more potential going forward and are well worth their large investment price. The update makes it appear that AMG wants to see these larger than life characters appear on the table more often than they currently do. You only have to look at the updated Hulk to see that these high threat characters are meant to be a key piece to the core MCP experience. If you have been overlooking the big boy’s in the past, it might be time to see how you can fit them into your playstyle.

Infinity Gems
The way Infinity Gems are used in the game have changed in a big way. No longer do Infinity Gems consume a roster slot! Instead, players now assign gems to characters during roster creation. This means the character must use the assigned Infinity Gem(s) when a player adds the character to a squad. This update creates some huge advantages and disadvantages to the current MCP meta, depending on your perspective.

For example, you lose the flexibility when you create your squad in a game, as you cannot scale the squad based on threat. You can’t choose to use a gem or go without. However, you gain back those precious roster slots during roster creation! Also, this is a massive win for affiliations like Black Order. This affiliation now becomes one of the most powerful primary, or second affiliation options in the competitive scene! For the measly cost of 3 roster slots, you can have a very powerful core group of characters at 15-16 threat – Thanos with Mind Gem at 15 or Mind+Space/Power Gems at 16, Corvus with Reality Gem and Proxima. Scale this core group to taste with 7(!) other characters and Black Order become an even more viable affiliation choice. Even with the nerfs to Corvus and Proxima (stat card updates here) these two characters are still one of the most lethal character combinations in the game. The ability to splash these two characters for only two character slots instead of three will be worthy of serious consideration for any competitive player.

Oh and we also saw a change to the infamous Time Gem. Instead of giving its user a third action, it now allows an attacking character to force a reroll of the attacking and defending characters dice, including failures. This occurs before the calculate success or failure step, at the end of the modify dice step of the attack. Gone are the days of a triple punch to the face from Thanos, or a crazy triple move extract shenanigan. Or is it? Space Gem is now 1 threat after the update, giving characters like Thanos similar movement options to what Time Gem used to provide (Space Gem is equivalent to a Small Charge on top of his otherwise enhanced generally scenario movement!). We are sure that there will be players that will find a new way to turn this once rarely seen Gem into a Black Order staple.

10 Tactics Cards
Finally! How many times have you said “man I wish I could take another tactics card”? Well now you can…twice. Opening up the option to take another two tactics cards into roster construction means we should start seeing more variety in our tactics card combinations, which we think is the approach AMG were going for. Moreover, the character specific cards should now see a resurgence, with the ability to take those cards that might not be required in every crisis scenario, but are clutch at those specific threat values. This change for us is a no brainer – have a look at those cards that never quite made your 8 and start throwing them in. The update could be just what we needed to find the next great tactics card combination, and create those amazing moments we seek when playing MCP.

Updated Banned & Restricted List
Goodbye “All You’ve Got” would be the headline to this latest change to the Banned & Restricted list. The banning of the infamous AYG was met to both positive and negative criticism in the MCP community. Many were happy to no longer be on the receiving end of a huge AYG play that left only scorched plastic in its wake, while others have vented their frustration that their best method of attrition has been removed. Regardless of your stance on the card, AMG have stated that it didn’t fit with how they wanted the game to be played, so it has been placed on the shelf alongside some other cards this November.

Joining AYG on that dusty banned shelf is the Crisis Card: Panic Grips City As Evacuation Efforts Continue! This Crisis saw huge popularity for some turn 1 plays that took a lot of agency away form the opponent. It appears that placing it on the restricted list was not enough. Finally, Bitter Rivals saw itself placed on the Restricted List, meaning it may not see as much play in the future. However, we suspect it may see common use as 1 of the 2 restricted cards allowed in a roster, alongside a defensive card of some description. We will have to wait for the data on that one.

There has already been a plethora of articles breaking down some of these changes and to help you navigate this overload of content, below are some great links to check out:

For a great overall summary of the rules updates, check out Negoldar’s article here.

The new core rule book is here.

Go here for the links to the updated tactics cards, character cards, and infinity gems.

Here is the updated Banned & Restricted List.

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