Space Maw: The Great Defrosting (Part 1)

Written by barncat

For clarification purposes, the subject of this two-part article is not to be confused with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Ebony Maw who goes by “Spaced Maw” these days. This is in fact an in-depth look at Marvel Crisis Protocol’s Ebony Maw, and more specifically, the infinitely awesome Space Maw. I swear this guy is a thing, and I hope that after you’ve read this article, you will join those of us who have been a part of the glorious Space Maw defrosting. 

Released back in the Spring of 2020, Ebony Maw has seemingly been on ice. Then, in December 2021, Ebony Maw and his precious Space Gem were errata\d. The general consensus was that the changes improved him, but not enough to warrant him much table time. The stats put together at Xavier Protocols support the sentiment and show that the hero of this story had a 1% roster inclusion rate where he was joined by illustrious models such as Bob Agent of Hydra and Viper. Maw just didn’t seem to be worth rostering as an out of affiliation splash 5 due to competition for spots by models such as Scarlet Witch, Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Juggernaut, and several others. He didn’t even seem to fit into his home affiliation Black Order because their 5 threat of choice is the imposing Corvus Glaive.

The sentiments and objective stats regarding Ebony Maw as a 5 threat model paint a dark picture and are sadly warranted in my opinion. He just isn’t quite worth it as a 5 threat compared to some others. However, I am not proposing you use the inferior 5 threat version of the Maw. I am proposing he be used as a 6 threat where he outshines the 5s and competes fairly competently with the other 6 threat models. 

If you’ve read this far, you may be asking yourself why he should be considered for use at 6 threat when he shouldn’t be considered for use at 5. The answer to this interesting quandary lies within where we will cover:

  • Stats & Skills (Part 1)
  • Tactical Usage Tips (Part 1)
  • Key Opponent Matchups (Part 2)
  • Possible Affiliation Homes (Part 2)

Now without further ado, let us hit the play button and crank up the volume of Space Maw’s official theme song “Space Lord” by Monster Magnet, and get to it.

STATS & SKILLS

Space Maw comes in with a surprisingly robust and beefy health pool total of 13. His medium movement and small base is nothing to write home about, but his flight does help with that a bit. The Space Gem certainly overcompensates for his average movement, but more on that later. His cumulative defensive dice pools equal out to a surprising total of 12, which is more than Hulk’s totals by the way. 

His Black Tongue range 4 builder has a 6 dice attack pool that generates 1 power per use, regardless of whether or not damage is dealt. What really matters with this attack is the absolutely wonderful wild trigger that allows you to advance an enemy small omnidirectionally called Sinister Influence. According to math, Sinister Influence will trigger about 59.72% of the time without rerolls and obviously a higher percentage including rerolls. So about 2 out of every 3 attacks, somebody is going where you tell them to go. Maybe they walk over towards Green Goblin, maybe they meander into the MCP model equivalent of a woodchipper named Corvus, or  maybe you trigger it twice on the Hulk who dared to attempt to pick up an herb on round one. The choice is yours and it is glorious!

Herald of Doom is his range 4 spender and costs 4 power, has 8 dice and comes with an omnidirectional throw of models size 2 or less a distance of small. The best part of this attack is that enemies do not gain power from damage dealt. Do note that they do gain power from any damage sustained from the throw, so feel free to not let them have that when warranted. Once Space Maw’s power is up towards mid to late game, this spender becomes a lot more valuable by suppressing opponents power generation and can be used to great effect in combination with effects such as Root and Poison as well as allied superpowers like Rogues Mutant Absorption and Deadpool’s Merc With A Mouth.

Space Maw’s first listed superpower, Telekenetic Powerhouse, is where he really begins to flex his murder muscles by allowing him to throw terrain up to size 4, within 3 range, an impressive Long distance. It is seriously the second best terrain throw in the game, behind only Magneto’s throw everything at everyone superpower. What really makes this so stupidly good is that this throw is online every turn. 

Telekinetic Deflection is his reactive superpower and thank goodness for it. If this didn’t exist, Maw may as well be splattered onto the board without it due to his sketchy dodge dice pool of 2. Fortunately, because of this power opponents don’t even seem to bother throwing terrain or teammates at him.

Earlier we briefly touched on his enemy power management through Herald of Doom and mentioned his pretty good cumulative defense dice pool. Well his first innate superpower, Mind Over Matter, contributes to both of those in a very meaningful way. In order for someone to make an attack into his puny 2 physical defense they must spend 2 power first or get stuck dealing with his superb mystic defense pool of 6 dice. Early game, this is a pretty big barrier for some opponents to overcome and as a result he is pretty free to go wherever he wants on turn 1 without any real fear of taking too much damage  His ability to operate at range also keeps him safe when you factor in the costs associated with bypassing Mind Over Matter. Add in the surprising amount of HP he has and he can be sustained on the board fairly easily over the course of a game. 

His second innate superpower is Incredible Psychic Potential which gives out 2 additional power during the power phase. His native guaranteed power generation each turn simply outclasses every model in the game not named Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange. Once you add an additional 1 power generated as a result of the Space Gem he stands atop a pedestal smiling at the quaint power generation of everyone else.

Speaking of the Space Gem, did I mention that it gives him 4 power per turn? Yes I pretty much wrote that. Did I mention that Supremely Stupid Strange doesn’t get 4 power per turn because he is too weak to hold a gem of his own? No, of course I didn’t because his parlor tricks have nothing on the raw power potential of Space Maw! Even if he is poisoned he still gets 3 power per turn guaranteed.. While the additional power point is cool and all, the best part is the active superpower associated with the gem card itself. This allows Space Maw to be placed within 2 range of his current location or do the same for an allied character within range 3 of him. Sure you have to pay 2 power to use the gem but once you do, you are still going to have plenty of power coming your way soon and frankly the mini charge/hit & run is totally more than worth it which you will soon bear witness to in the next section.

TACTICAL USAGE TIPS

Hopefully by now you’ve come to see the potential Space Maw offers. He can kill, control, manage enemy power, and is actually quite mobile. He does have to be used a bit more modestly than some of the other native 6’s but his superior ranged attacks and sneaky mobility help a ton. If he is deployed and utilized on the board well he can affect a game as much as any other native 6 threat and sometimes better. In this section of the article, we will move past the potential and get a better concept as to why the less than spectacular 5 threat becomes a formidable 6.

Turn 1 Monster: 

With 4 power to begin the game, Space Maw has a ton of options at his disposal. He can basically go anywhere with impunity because of his Mind Over Matter power tax. He can gem himself to set up attacks (more on this soon) or gem his teammates to set up their attacks or allow models an opportunity to grab a mid line extract and retreat back. The midline extract retreat works with short movement medium bases or larger and all medium/long movers of any base size. Ever dreamed of grabbing the center Montessi book with Groot and falling back? Now it’s possible thanks to Space Maw!

Space Maw is only getting started though!

Not only does Space Maw move the wood tank Groot forward to threaten the center point, but he also has the ability to move and get an attack off on a flank model who plays aggressively on turn 1. Odds are that our poor reptilian friend is taking a walk towards our line. When he gets done doing as Space Maw commands him to, he’ll have this handy size 4 garbage truck thrown into him for 5 incoming damage. 

Note: You can walk Lizard anywhere, to include the edge of your L throw distance to limit his opportunity to double attack on turn 2.

Your opponent may let Groot walk up and grab the spellbook which is a fine scenario if it plays out. Our next activation, your opponent may come forward to prevent Groot from getting the spellbook. If they do, congratulations you now get an extra attack between Rocket and Groot to damage them as well as with any other models on your squad with a  4+ range attack. That is one option for attacking, and the other is that if you find ole Lizzy’s health to be thin, feel free to finish him off.

  

Midline Flank Dominator: 

Space Maw is by nature an apex predator and kind of a bully. He wants to hunt the weak to go for the kill early. For larger prey, he’s content to corral the enemy towards the rest of your squad to finish them off collectively. Ideally, the best way to do this is to deploy him late across from any models who dare to work a flank alone in his presence. He ruins most turn 1 herb plans, and just flat out doesn’t let your enemies score points on his side of the table. If they run, he takes the point himself and helps advance the runner into a killzone for the rest of your squad. Most importantly, Maw throws the biggest possible stuff, the farthest possible distances, and he can do it EVERY TURN.

Now I will freely admit that it may be possible that you don’t get 2 Sinister Influences on your prey. For that sad potential outcome, please see the figure above but take consolation in knowing that you can still hit the bad doctor in the face with a size 4 garbage truck.


Shhh…

By far one of the best things included in the CP19 pack is Black Dwarf. Just kidding, it is actually Maw’s phenomenal personal reactive Team Tactic Card which is frankly one of the top cards in the game. This card can do so many annoying things to your opponent and it even further ties into two facets of Maw’s greatness which we’ve covered thus far which are its ease of use due to his power generation and its ability to waste opponent’s power. It is tough to demonstrate the myriad ways this card can be used but it just completely shuts down active and reactive enemy superpowers for a turn at up to 5 range of the Maw. The best way to use the card is to wait for a key moment in the game and as your opponent announces their power, just abruptly say Shhh… They may be initially confused but just remind them that their powers are inconsequential compared to Space Maw’s.

Seriously though, please don’t do that because if you pop this TTC at the right time it can really take the wind out of your opponents sails. A few examples of how debilitating this card can be:

  • Black Cat runs in and attempts Master Cat Burglar to steal your extract. Shhh…
  • Dr. Voodoo decides he wants to possess someone. Shhh…
  • Magneto has a bunch of power and wants to throw everything all over the place and make a mess. Shhh…
  • Magneto is activated, Scarlet Witch just dazed a model and caused them to drop an extract. Quicksilver licks his chops and uses Speedster to get to the other side of the board and activate the Hard to Please TTC. Shhh…
  • Juggernaut used Nothing Stops the Juggernaut to get his herb onto his vessel. Shhh…
  • Bullseye uses his spender and has 2 power left to automatically daze or KO  you. Shhh…
  • Cable uses Telekinetic Shield on an injured model to try and prevent them from being KO’d. Shhh…
  • Captain Marvel has finally generated some power and is about to get rolling with Binary Form Shhh…

Not going to lie to you, this card can be really satisfying to use at the right time. I hope some of these scenarios helped do it justice.

Well folks, that is it for part 1 of Space Maw: The Great Defrosting. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. I’d love to hear your feedback, so feel free to hit me up on Discord (barncat#2154) where I am usually prowling about looking for games or creating Space Maw memes. 

Lastly and most importantly, I’d like to take a moment to thank the whole community who by and large have been beyond awesome to associate with in my brief time doing this stuff. Cheers y’all!

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