Tournament Review: Days of Future Past – Melbourne Australia

It is great to be back and talking about in-person MCP. Coming off the back end of another highly entertaining and competitive online league, many of the Oceanic’s top players gathered in Melbourne this week to roll some dice in the pursuit of glory! With a very healthy 28 person event, I was eager to chat to Nick Gentile (FastNick12 on Discord), the event organiser, to get the lowdown on how to tournament went, as well as the opportunity to review some data. I also spoke to Theodore Crane (Horeath on Discord), who went 5-0 over the weekend and won the event, and had a talk about his roster. If you just want the raw data, scroll down to the bottom of this article, and if you would like to see the event results, click here.

The appropriately named Days of Future Past: A Marvel Crisis Protocol Extravaganza was (apparently) 2 days of Marvel: Crisis Protocol fun! The tournament comprised of 5 games of Swiss pairing, with the top of the rankings at the end of the weekend being crowned the overall winner. The players all followed the standard Marvel Crisis Protocol using the most up to date Banned and Restricted, as well as the latest Affiliation List as at 14 May 2022. Given the issues surrounding COVID lockdowns and distribution schedules in Australia, Nick allowed anyone to play any official model they owned. Whilst this may have skewed the stats a little, it was still enjoyable to see real models being used and finding out what was competitive over the weekend.

What was the spread of experience levels at the event? Nick: “Really good spread from 0 games, or only TTS games all the way through from a handful of games to the sweaty diehards! I would say standard event regulars. I’d say 30-50% regular diehards.”

What sort of prizes were offered up? Nick: “Prizes for 1st-3rd place (W/L then SoS); Player’s Choice (voted combination of Painting and theme); Best Large Base Mini; Medium Base; Small Base (All judged independently); Coolest Table; and then finally Best Sports (as voted by the players).”

What were your favourite rosters from the day? Nick: “There was a real myriad of lists that were completely in affiliation. My 3 favourite have to have been Abby’s Inhumans, Brenton Shaw’s Cabal and Adam Burt’s Cabal/Dark dimension.”

Which character impressed you the most over the weekend? Nick: Cyclops, of course! His leadership was run 4x over the weekend for 3 wins!

Right, lets get into the top stats for the weekend. All of this data was taken from the 28 rosters submitted. Just a reminder, the raw data is at the bottom of the article. Let’s first cover the most popular affiliations, characters, tactics, and crises taken over the weekend.

Affiliations:
1. Avengers: 9/28, 32%
2. X-Men: 6/28, 21%
3. Brotherhood: 4/28, 14%
4. Defenders: 4/28, 14%
5. Cabal: 3/28, 11%
6. Spider Foes: 3/28, 11%

Single Affiliaiton: 18/28, 64%
Dual Affiliaiton: 9/28, 32%

A strong showing by Avengers, which is reflected in the characters taken. X-Men is a popular franchise in Australia, so that number is not surprising. No Guardians and no Black Order seen at all?? Could be a combination of players choosing to leave the potentially ‘feels bad’ stuff at home, as well as experimenting for the next online season.

Characters:
1. Hulk: 9/28, 32%
2. Iron Man: 9/28, 32%
3. Rogue: 9/28, 32%
4. Black Widow (core set): 7/28, 25%
5. Bullseye: 7/28, 25%
6. Doctor Voodoo: 7/28, 25%
7. Captain America (Steve Rogers): 7/28, 25%
8. Toad: 7/28, 25%
9. Winter Soldier: 7/28, 25%
10. Domino: 6/28, 21%

Great to see some iconic characters up the top. Although, an almost 1/3 chance to face Hulk is daunting! Bullseye is sharing the podium at the top with Black Widow as most taken 2 threat characters, with Voodoo also showing good representation. Seeing Winter Soldier be popular is an excellent sign of his rebalancing, as well as showing he is a fan favourite.

Crises
Extracts:
1. Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities: 19/28, 68%
2. Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown!: 12/28, 43%
3. Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership: 11/28, 39%
Secures:
1. Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0: 12/28, 43%
2. Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?: 11/28, 39%
3. Infinity Formula Goes Missing: 10/28, 36%

From this quick glance, it appears people like throwing additional dice in a good ol’ fashion brawl!! Extracts definitely favouring attrition, while Secures looking at a few different play styles, with 3 different shapes being popular.

Tactics Cards:
1. Medpack: 16/28, 57%
2. Brace For Impact: 15/28, 53%
3. Field Dressing: 10/28, 36%
4. Advanced R&D: 9/28, 32%
5. Indomitable: 9/28, 32%
6. Blind Obsession: 7/28, 25%
7. Helios Laser Bombardment: 7/28, 25%
8. Mission Objective: 7/28, 25%
9. Avengers Assemble: 6/28, 21%
10. Can I Borrow That?: 6/28, 21%

Apart from the usual list of restricted cards, the overall spread of tactics cards was great to see. A large amount of one-off cards, as well as character specific cards, spread throughout the entire tournament. This level of variety here shows that the new 10 card slot has definitely opened up options for the players.

Now let’s discuss the winning list (5-0) with Theodore Crane:

Characters:
1. Storm
2. Rogue
3. Beast
4. Domino
5. X-23
6. Honey Badger
7. Thanos (Mind and Space Gems)
8. Hulk
9. Black Cat
10. Wong

Tactics Cards:
1. To Me My X-Men
2. First Class
3. Jonathon the Unstoppable
4. X-Ceptional Healing
5. Brace For Impact
6. Field Dressing
7. Indomitable
8. Eyes on the Prize
9. Advanced R&D
10. Escort To Safety

Crises
Extracts:
1. Struggle for the Cube Continues
2. Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
3. Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities
Secures:
1. Cosmic Invasion! Black Order Descends on Earth
2. Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
3. Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0

What were the core characters in your roster that you took every game? Theo: “So the 3 pieces that played each matchup were Storm, Beast and Domino. I never got Rogue on the table (but I did this morning, and she took Nick Fury from Healthy to KOed in 2 activations lol.”

What was your overall strategy when approaching your matches? Theo: “Overall Strategy was to win Priority and get my F shaped Extracts….which I didn’t do at all. I won Prio once, and drew Hammers. Overall though, I have strong control elements with Thanos, who can dominate some points, and I had good extract play available with Beast, and Storm’s leadership, with a little black cat splash. Each match up I was able to quickly read the crisis combo, and decide, based on shape, number of extracts / secure and points, if I wanted to go for extracts or secures as a victory pathway. I also felt the list has reasonable attrition at a pinch, as Domino, X-23, Rogue and Hulk (as well as Thanos to a degree) can all get some damage through, so it was important to push some damage through and limit the impact of key pieces while I executed my victory conditions.”

What are the lists strengths? Theo: “List’s strengths is that it proved pretty flexible in varying how wide / narrow I could run. I played 6 wide at 16 and 4 wide at 16 points, in different games, and ended up running 5 wide at 18 in the last. Running narrower has been something I am working on. I also think, as is always the case with X-Men, you have a strong and fairly safe turn 1 grab on any non-single extract crisis, so even without prio, being able to secure the extract advantage when an asymmetric extract was in play definitely helped.”

Where did you feel the list was weak? Theo: “Weakness is that, as all X-Men, it’s pretty fragile, or at least it can be, and even when you have a match under control, you are one dice spike away from disaster. In a few matches, I was able to leverage this, tempting my opponent into leaning in to beating me up while “pay to play” secures ticked away. I had to play pretty cagey in a few games to protect pieces with limited attack re-directs available to me aside from Honey Badger. The list can also be power starved. Seems a strange thing to say when you have access to First Class, but you often want to spend a bit on Beast throws, Strom needing 3 to throw hurts, and Rogue can be power intense. It’s kind of feast or famine, because others like Domino or X-23 tend to generate heaps, and you sometimes struggle to spend it. Wong helped a little in that regard, being a speed bump and passing off the power he generated from being punched.”

What would you change moving forward? Theo: I think I want to bring in Juggernaut. The rules for the event required painted models, and he hasn’t arrived in Oz as yet, otherwise he will be in for sure. I think I might be able to pass off Wong to bring him in, as the turn 1 black cat isn’t really needed. I also want to add sacrifice to the list, as I think it is game winning. I think I would drop Eye’s on the Prize for it. I’m pretty positive on my secures, but I would be tempted to consider a second pay to flip. Reality is that Mutant Madmen is great for me, and sadly Spider Portals gives me nightmares from some bad experiences, but probably should be in for Cosmic Portals. My one weakness of Cosmic Portals is that running Thanos, along with Storm, Honey Badger, and Beast is that Honey Badger can’t get portals. So I think taking away that points level is wise.”

Finally, what was your favourite character or roster to play against over the weekend? Theo: “I loved my round 2 game against Josh Fink. We had a really close, cagey game, jabbing and circling. I was able to steal his Warmachine with Thanos and take him out early, to leave us even on numbers, but he got the edge on one flank and was pressuring me. In the end, the game was decided by Beast snagging just for a single turn, a daze on his Widow, punching the Hammer, and the Extremis point, giving me a lead. He soon got them back, but that one play was basically the difference. We had some other swings back and forth, and even at the last it could have gone either way. Fink took Hulkbuster in that matchup, expecting my Hulk, and was caught off guard by Thanos, but nevertheless Hulkbuster was exceptional, pressing, pushing, and generally creating chaos. Fink played it really well, and I love seeming that model on the table.”

Big thanks to Nick and Theo for taking time to chat with me, as well as provide some of the photos. Please enjoy the raw data below! All numbers are out of 28.

Affiliations:
Avengers, 7
X-Men 6
Brotherhood 4
Defenders 4
Cabal 3
Spider Foes 3
Convocation 2
Dark Dimension 2
Inhumans 2
X-Force 2
Asgard 1
Midnight Sons 1
Shield 1
Web Warriors 1

Single 18
Dual 9

Characters:
Hulk 9
Iron Man 9
Rogue 9
Black Widow 7
Bullseye 7
Doctor Voodoo 7
Steve Rogers 7
Toad 7
Winter Soldier 7
Domino 6
Gambit 6
Honey Badger 6
Magik 6
Mystique 6
Quicksliver 6
Scarlet Witch 6
Venom 6
Black Cat 5
Dr Strange 5
Lizard 5
Storm 5
Beast 4
Captain Marvel 4
Ghost Rider 4
Hood 4
Luke Cage 4
Sam Wilson 4
Wong 4
X-23 4
Baron Zemo 3
Blade 3
Clea 3
Colossus 3
Enchantress 3
Green Goblin 3
Hawkeye 3
Lockjaw 3
Magneto 3
Mister Sinister 3
MODOK 3
Moon Knight 3
Ms Marvel 3
Mysterio 3
War Machine 3
Amazing Spider Man 2
Ancient One 2
Black Bolt 2
Black Panther 2
Cable 2
Carnage 2
Cyclops 2
Doctor Octopus 2
Dormammu 2
Elecktra 2
Hulkbuster 2
Iron Fist 2
Medusa 2
Miles Morales 2
Nebula 2
Nick Fury 2
Omega Red 2
Red Skull 2
Shuri 2
Sin 2
Thor 2
Valkyrie 2
Vision 2
Ant Man 1
Baron Mordo 1
Black Dwarf 1
Cassandra Nova 1
Crossbones 1
Crystal 1
Dr Strange, Sorcerer Supreme 1
Ghost Spider 1
Hela 1
Jean Gray 1
Juggernaut 1
Kraven 1
Loki w Mind 1
Okoye 1
Rocket Raccoon 1
Ronan (Power Gem) 1
Sabretooth 1
Taskmaster 1
Thanos (Space and Mind) 1
Thanos (Space and Reality) 1

Crises
Extracts:
Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities 19
Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown! 12
Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership 11
Research Station Attacked! 9
Struggle for the Cube Continues 8
The Montessi Formula Found 7
Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan 6
Mutant Extremists Target U.S. Senators! 5
Deadly Legacy Virus cured? 4
Mystic Wakandan Herbs: Fact or Fiction 3
Secures:
Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 12
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? 11
Infinity Formula Goes Missing 10
Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse 8
Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate! 8
Cosmic Invasion! Black Order Descends on Earth 6
Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park 6
Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City 6
Gamma wave sweeps across Midwest 5
Portals Overrun City with Spider-People 5
Deadly Meteors Mutate Citizens 4
S.W.O.R.D. Establishes Base on Moon’s Blue Area 2
Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses 1

Tactics Cards
Medpack 16
Brace for Impact 15
Field Dressing 10
Advanced R&D 9
Indomitable 9
Blind Obsession 7
Helios Laser Bombardment 7
Mission Objective 7
Avengers Assemble 6
Can I Borrow That? 6
Jonathan the Unstoppable 6
Lethal Protector 6
Deception 5
Disarm 5
First Class 5
Follow Me 5
No More Mutants 5
X-Ceptional Healing 5
Heroes for Hire 4
Journey Through Limbo 4
Patch Up 4
Sacrifice 4
Tactical Analysis 4
Asteroid M 3
Bitter Rivals 3
Children of the Atom 3
Climbing Gear 3
Dark Past 3
Fan Club 3
Highway to Hell 3
Magnetic Refraction 3
Marked For Death 3
Monkey Brain is Lizard Home 3
Ricochet Blast 3
Siege of Darkness 3
The Grand Illusion 3
The Whims of Chaos 3
AIM Lackeys 2
Battle Lust 2
Battlefield Medicine 2
Carnage Rules 2
Cloning Banks 2
Dark Reign 2
Dark Restoration 2
Deal With The Devil 2
Escort to Safety 2
Eyes on the Prize 2
Face Me 2
Gamma Launch 2
Illicit Tech 2
Reposition 2
Second Wind 2
Sinister Traps 2
To Me My X-Men 2
Well Laid Plans 2
A Better Tomorrow 1
All Webbed Up 1
Astral Ring 1
Aunt May’s Wheat Cakes 1
Bats the Ghost Hound 1
Book of Cagliostro 1
Iron Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath 1
Charming Thief 1
Cosmic Invigoration 1
Dark Empowerment 1
Defensive Prototype 1
Difficult to Please 1
Do You Know Who I Am? 1
Doomed Prophesy 1
Elemental Infusion 1
Extreme Conditioning 1
Eye in the Sky 1
Forced Extraction 1
Hoods Gang 1
Inhuman Royal Family 1
Kick ‘Em While They’re Down 1
Last-Minute Save 1
Mental domination 1
Mind if I Cut In? 1
Neogenetic Recombinator 1
No Matter the Cost 1
Odin’s Blessing 1
Orb of Agamotto 1
Pardon Me, Sugah 1
Plane of Pohldahk 1
Professionals 1
Psychic Fortress 1
Rainbow Bridge 1
Recalibration Matrix 1
Seance 1
Seeing Red 1
Sibling Rivalry 1
Spider Tracker 1
Terrigenesis 1
The Air Force 1
The Bar with No Doors 1
The Books of Truth 1
The Initiative 1
The Shieldmobile 1
Til the End of the Line 1
Trip Up 1
Vendetta 1
Wand of Watoomb 1

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