With the release of the Uncanny X-Force Team Pack I’ve been mulling over the new keyword in the set: “Energize”. (which freaks out my UK spellchecker every time I type this janky Colonial spelling) Specifically; I’ve been putting some thought into how I might go about experimenting with it and how I might go about integrating this new keyword into teams.
Let’s start by taking a look at the all the Energize keyworded cards from the set…
Quite a curious range there.
The idea of re-purposing the desired outcome of a dice roll to the energy face is an interesting one. There’s been a handful of examples before now of this type of game-text, and I’ve had a tinker with one of the more notably ones (and a personal favourite in general); ‘Rescue – Resilient’, and my experience with that character has been largely positive and put ‘Energize’ very much on my radar.
So here are some thoughts…
Assessing the character’s value
I have been initially contemplate the value of ‘Energize’ cards. Rolling a die with the whole intention of utilising as energy, thus sending to the Used Pile eventually, does liken ‘Energize’ characters more to the one-shot style of an Action/Basic Action. That inherently makes me question whether considering normal character factors you may look at to assess value; the fielding cost, stat line and affiliation, are particularly part of the equation. So therefore it’s all entirely down to the game-text effect that is triggered by the double energy roll and how it weighs up against the purchase cost – as we would value an action.
It’s particularly interesting when you consider that there are some Action dice that can fulfil the same, or similar, function for a lower cost, for example; ‘Cable’ and ‘Energy Field’ or ‘Forge’ and the Uncommon ‘Cosmic Cube’. This will clearly factor in to team building decisions.
It’s also of note that none of the ‘Energize’ characters come with any globals to increase their Overall game-play value, nor do they have an opportunity for added value from Burst/Double Burst rolls.
What they do give, however, is the game effect AND the specific energy available for use, and this is where you might find the counter balance. To use the ‘Cable’/’Energy Field’ comparison – it may have cost me 2 more in purchase cost initially, but I’m getting double Bolts to spend as well every time I go for the ‘Energize’.
One final note on ‘value’ – there are only 2 out of 6 faces on the die that trigger the game effect, where as actions and character have 3 out of 6 faces to get what you are after in any given roll. (I’m not your guy for complicated odds calculations including re-rolls and what not, you’ll need to look elsewhere for that.) so consider carefully how much you may rely on the ‘Energize’ game-text in your strategy.
Using the Energy
One thing I’ve been thinking about is what I might want to do with the energy once I’ve rolled double energy and triggered the effect.
For example – I’m looking at ‘Domino’. Dealing direct damage is most definitely my jam and I want to give her a go, but once I’m done rolling what am I going to do with that energy after I’ve triggered ‘Energize’? (In fact, as I’m thinking on it right now, ‘Domino’ Isn’t the best example, because the re-roll element of her game-text will end on a character face or a single shield)
So when team building with ‘Energize’ characters it’s going to be important to have useful globals of a matching energy type of characters of the same energy type to make it all worth while.
Of course, there’s always the option to buy a second/third/fourth die from the ‘Energize’ character of course, but how often are you going to need/want multiples of that effect going off – particularly as the vast majority are not win cons in their own right. I’ll be putting some thought into it for sure.
There are interesting combos
In isolation the ‘Energize’ characters don’t seem that strong, but looking at some other cards (including alternative versions of the same characters) opens up a wider selection of tricksy combos that, while competitively unproven, do look like a lot of fun to play.
For example – the ‘Deadpool – It’s a 4th Wall Thing’ forces your opponent’s dice to block if there is a die with double energy in the Reserve Pool, which would pair nicely with ‘Fantomex – International Art Thief’. Or how about the ‘Magik’ and ‘Sunfire’ that deal damage for dual energy character dice in the Reserve Pool when they are fielded.
So… I suppose what I’m saying is that there may be potential with the new ‘ Energize’ characters to actually make them central to your team build as well as seeking opportunities to integrating them as enhancements to existing archetypal builds.
It’s great to have new keywords in the game and I’m really into the fresh angle that this particular one brings to the characters. It’s got loads of potential for really fun future shenanigans too so it’s my hope that this isn’t a flash-in-the-pan keyword that fizzles out and gets explored further in future sets.
I’d love to hear about any interesting combo ideas you guys have come up with or how you’re feeling about ‘Energize’ so drop me a note in the comments section below.