It’s the height of convention season and so we are rich with spoilers a plenty.
After the Team Pack treasures brought to you by this very blog at the UK Games Expo this year (which you can find HERE and HERE for the ‘Harley Quinn’ Team Pack and ‘Kree Invasion’ Team Pack respectively) our friend and Dice Coalition team member Paul K (known online as PK2317) has grabbed some photos of the goodies on display at the Origins Game Fair from the ‘Avengers: Infinity’ Campaign Box and the ‘Orks: Waaaagh!’ Team Packs. Thanks Paul – your a legend – top drawer work.
You can find full sets of the pics at the Dice Coalition web site on the links below:
This post is going to be my ‘Top Picks’ specifically from the ‘Avengers: Infinity’ Campaign Box. Regular readers will know I like to get my initial, first instinct look down and select a few key cards that stood out to me upon early viewing. They might not necessarily be the best cards, just the ones I’ve found most interesting.
So, here are my faves from the spoilers so far…
Loki – Chains of Destiny
This a pretty interesting card for the Control fans out there like me.
At first I nearly dismissed this card because it was “other than Villain” and it seemed that, to get real value for his costs, you’d need to effect more than one of your opponent’s cards. As I read it though I reflected on the teams I saw at the recent UK Nationals weekend and realised I saw a few that had two or more cards on it that shared the same non-Villain Affiliation. I reckon there’s actually quite a few combos this would stop.
Think it over for a moment – how many popular teams right now have a handful of D&D “Monsters” on them like ‘Chwinga’, ‘Gold Dragon’, ‘Batiri Battle Stack’, ‘Yuan-Ti Pureblood’, ‘Pseudodragon’ or a Fabricator? Or what about “X-Men” like ‘Boom Boom’, ‘Bishop’, ‘Jubilee’ and ‘Professor X’? Or what about the “Avengers” with the likes ‘Hulk – Power of Attorney’, ‘Kate Bishop – Hawkingbird’ and several of the new Avengers coming in this new set?
And outside of competitive play this guy is definitely going to have some game when it comes to casual or store level games – there’s no shortage of non-Villain Single Affiliation builds out there he will totally mess with.
Plus – check out those stats – he’s going to be tough to shift once he’s out in the field.
For sure, like many things, he’s vulnerable to the likes of ‘Shriek – Sonic Beam’, and you’ll have to be careful how you play him so you don’t blank vital cards of your own, but I definitely reckon I’m going to have a bit of a play with him and see what happens.
Thor – Every Problem is a Nail
Here’s a card that marks the return of a classic global, weakened slightly, that was very popular before the first rotation.
Remember RDG? (“Red Dragon Global”) well – it’s back! It doesn’t give the little bit of zap damage that RDG gave, but it still provides the discount.
The reason it’s so significant is, as RDG used to, it makes earlier purchases of more expensive, yet potent, Action dice more viable. For example – with the net gain discount of one you can grab yourself a handy 4 cost like “Team Up”, “Archnemesis” or a “Green Devil Mask” in your very first turn if you were so inclined. It also makes the more expensive, but fun, Basic Actions a little more useable too: I’ve had a little idea brewing around ‘Plot Twist’ that this will help with.
As to the main text – God – one of the last thing this game needs is more ‘Attune’ characters. This ‘Thor’ isn’t too bad at a 6 purchase cost (It’s the 3 cost ‘Wasp’ I’m particularly aggrieved at) but, as a side note, ‘Attune’ isn’t going away any time soon and may be getting even more gross upon the release of this set. Although – I’ve got some thoughts on ‘Attune’ that might just be another post in the making, kinda waiting on the US Nats scene out of Origins to prove/dis-prove a theory I have… watch this space for more on that one.
Black Widow – Crimson Shadow
Here’s another card that’s made my list because an old favourite Global comes back to the Modern meta.
I saw someone refer to this card as “Baby-Tsarina” when the spoilers hit social media – which is a cute description.
It’s a nice little ability, and it’s been proven time and time again that low cost characters such as this, that can deliver accumulating shallow cuts, can soon mount up and contribute to a solid win.
But it’s really the global that caught my eye and put this one on my list of ‘Top Picks” from the spoilers. Many players achieved some fun combos in past metas using Globals that forced an opposing character to attack – dating all the way back to the very first ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ Set with ‘Mr Fantastic’ and ‘Phoenix’, and latterly ‘Bane’ in ‘World’s Finest’.
For example: I’ve used such a tactic before to remove an annoyance on my opponent’s turn so it’s out the way and not interfering with my next turn, or as a method of conveniently KOing my own Dice. There’s definitely some key cards around at the moment with low attack stats (but BIG, hard to shift defence stats) that I’d be willing to take a small hit on to get them out the field and into the opponent’s Used Pile – like Rare ‘The Collector’ or any of the ‘Blob’ dice. In fact, I’d even take a bigger hit from the likes of ‘Wonder Woman – Reflections’ or ‘Bishop – Butterfly Effect’ if I knew I could be coming back swinging in my turn.
A quick point of note: it has been weakened a little by the addition of “once per turn” on it, but I still think it’s got its place.
It’s going to be a fun one to play around with.
Black Panther – The Orphan King
When I saw this guy I was reminded of a player down my FLGS called Duncan. A few weeks ago we were playing a casual, three round Golden Age event. Duncan pulled a blinder of a combo I’d never noticed before with ‘Martian Manhunter – Watchtower’ and ‘Danger Room – Flame-Thrower and Rotating Knives’. ‘Martian Manhunter’, like this new ‘Black Panther’, cannot be blocked by Villains. I’m a combo magpie of a Johnny, so when I saw the move I stacked it away and looked to see if I could pull it off in a Modern format – finding only ‘Connor Kent – Kon-El’, which didn’t quite pack the punch of ‘Martian Manhunter’. I hung onto the idea though, and as I was pouring over these spoilers the answer to my combo prayers came in this card.
Two of these guys on the top level paired up with a well-timed ‘Danger Room’ could be especially devastating, particularly paired up with a nice stat buffer like ‘Haymaker’ Global or a ‘Nova Core Uniform’ to top up to lethal, or a good spin up effect like ‘Giganta’ global to guarantee that juicy attack.
He’s quite pricey at a 5 cost, but with Modern ramp I don’t believe it’s that much of a stretch for his damage potential, and while he might be a bit too slow for the highest levels of competitive play he’ll have a place at the top of the mid-range for sure.
Gamora – Power Gem
Not a dream card this one, but I like in nonetheless.
we had cards with the ‘Deadly’ keyword before, and we’ve had cards that need more than one blocker before, but I think the two combined is a really interesting prospect.
It’s been said before that one of the keys to success with this game is to place your opponent in a position to make tough choices – and I think this is a great example of that. If you choose to block you have to allocate two of your dice to it with a guarantee they’ll be KO’d, if you don’t I get to push some damage through. If they do choose to block and have their character’s KO’d then it comes with all the pain of possibly whiffing rolls or re-paying fielding costs, which is not the worst thing in the world sometimes either.
One fun interaction that jumped into my head was to pair this with the common ‘Green Devil Mask’ to challenge my opponent into keeping a tight field of their most essential dice then throwing ‘Gamora’ across the Attack Zone to stab those fish in the barrel. (that’s a really messy metaphor – but you get the idea)
She’s a bit pricey, particularly in terms of fielding costs, so if you don’t have the ramp to cover it then you’d likely need to pair her up with a ‘Commissioner Gordon – Good Cop’ or the new ‘Mantis – Fragmented Mind’ from the ‘Kree Invasion’ team pack to mitigate that cost, which is then a second card to make her more viable, but if you’re going for a Single Affiliation team of Guardians then ‘Mantis’ could definitely have her place anyway.
There we are then boys & girls – my top picks.
Let me know in the comments below your thoughts. Do you share my stand outs? Have I missed something awesome? Care to suggest a combo with one of the above? Don’t be shy, get typing…