There’s a fair number of eye-catching cards in the releases coming down the pipeline in 2020, and while there might be some splashy, big meta pieces & beat sticks on their way there is one card in particular that has got this little blog thinking: ‘Gazer – Evil Familiar’. (Otherwise referred to as”The Geezer” on the podcast by Andy aka “fancies himself some sort of cockney gangster”)
There’s so much packed into this little beast of a card I felt like it needed a bit of a closer look, while everyone is getting all frothy over Statues and big yawns and what not. So, for Your reading pleasure, here are some random thoughts from the True Mister Six about what’s hot, and what’s not so hot, about this card…
It can find a place on almost any team…
There are many, MANY teams where a cheeky little bit of cheap ‘Intimidate’ could find a place. There are a multitude of situations where taking one of your opponent’s characters out of he picture for a second would set you up for success.
For example: I’m a direct damage player who is constantly plagued by the likes of ‘Bishop – Butterfly Effect’ or ‘Black Widow – Agent’. One well placed Geezer and I’m set for success taking the pest-y direct damage counter out of the way.
And that’s jut one example. ‘Ice-Man’ teams can remove annoying ‘Polaris’ or ‘Wrecker’ dice, aggro teams can clear away a big blocker, weenie teams can remove a ‘Phantom Stranger’ etc etc
It’s not always the ideal choice – you may not want too much Shield energy knocking about or you’ve got an ‘Adventurer’ heavy meta in your local scene (If you have we would love to hear about it!) – but if you’re ever not quite sure of an eighth card you couldn’t do much better than this. And let’s not forget…
There are essentially no counters to it.
I’m actually dropping this point in the “What’s not hot” column because, aside from blanking the geezer, there is very little can be done to stop it. Nada. Zilch. Zip. It’s going to be seriously frustrating.
Here’s the thing: Keywords are not considered “when…” game-texts. Here’s the ruling if that’s news for you: https://win.wizkids.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=13551
This means that your traditional “when fielded” counters are useless against the Geezer. Classic control cards like ‘Wonder Woman – Reflections’ and ‘Madame Masque – Nefaria’s Schemes’ can’t stop the scary Intimidating away of your characters.
It’s the ultimate anti-Control Control. Any Control dice you’ve got in the field, whether there to protect your win con or to run interference on your opponent’s win con, is going to be nigh on meaningless when a Geezer flies into the field.
It wouldn’t be that bad, broadly speaking, if it wasn’t so low cost. You could buy all 4 of these over two turns if you were so inclined and field them for buttons. And those defence numbers, particularly on lvl 1 & 2, are going to make it super-easy to recycle over, and over, and over…
Overall I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a go-to buy to help you out in challenging situations – I’m a well known Control fan after all – but to make it so cheap and basically un-counter-able (Pretty sure I’ve invented a word there) is terrifying, especially when we’re looking at an impending “beat-stick” style meta from this set and the upcoming baby oil crew.
Really… the only option you may have is to buy up two of the dice you need so badly. Or put an Experience token on it, but…
The downside’s not really a downside
The secondary text that limits The Geezer’s playability doesn’t really limit it at all in an Open Constructed meta.
When was the last time you saw someone put an experience token on an Adventurer? I’ll admit that the new influx of interesting D&D characters may increase the likelihood of some Adventurer’s around, but when you’re mostly looking to shift counters to your win con it’s highly likely the downside is not something you’ll need to worry about much at all.
So… is it OP?
Yes, it may actually be OP. Time will tell on that question.
If you’re a regular listener to The Ministry of Dice podcast you’ll know I have a bee in my bonnet about cost vs impact, and this is a perfect example of a card that I don’t believe the cost is balanced against its potential impact, especially with the distinct lack of counters.
What keeps me from going bat-shit rant-y crazy is a couple of things. First: it’s not a win con itself, and while it will provide some insane support to some win cons it still needs something with punch to give it value.
Plus – unlike ‘Shriek’ – it needs a Dice in the field to Intimidate. It doesn’t target the card, which gives it some semblance of balance despite its ridiculously low cost.
What DOES give me pause for thought about whether it’s OP is the upcoming WWE card ‘Becky Lynch’.
The return of the prep global, with such a cheap Intimidator, could spell some real frustrating, game-ending moments. Picture the moment: you frantically try to figure something out on your turn, knowing a Geezer is sat waiting in prep to clear out your ‘Polaris’ while ‘Fixit’ is chilling in the field, waiting for his moment to hit you for 20+. Terrifying.
I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy this card’s impact on the meta.
I’m notoriously twitchy about cards that give “one turn kills” an opening, support nasty combat damage strategies and that I can’t counter effectively (with an equivalent efficiency cost) so it may be that I’m being a bit negative on The Geezer. So… tell me… what are your thoughts on this card? Is it as nasty as I predict? Have I missed something obvious? Is there a gross OTK combo you’re brewing with this guy in mind? Let me know in the comments below…