Marvel Champs Monday: Crowd Control

Phil: While Thor can benefit from waves of minions knocking at his door, most heroes dread the moment when a new sea of enemies appears to cause some mischief. Fortunately, there are a few good ways of dealing with them.

Luke: … Is there though? Like, seriously, it feels like there are very few Area of Effect attacks that can handle a lot of enemies at once.

Phil: There are a few, buuuuuuuut many of them have been cited by players to be some of the weaker or more situational cards the game offers.

Luke: I mean, seeing as how there aren’t all that many, let’s take a look at some those we have, those on the horizon, and what we’d like to see down the road.

Core Set

Phil: In the base game, we see 2 heroes equipped with AoE attacks, neither of which are particularly great.

Luke: Black Panther definitely has the far better option; Energy Daggers allows him to potentially deal up to 2 damage to each enemy engaged with a player of his choosing each time he activates Wakanda Forever!, making it a cheap and consistent option.

Phil: Meanwhile, Ground Stomp is one of She-Hulk’s weakest cards, a 2-cost card that deals 1 damage to all enemies.

Luke: An effective way to remove tough status cards perhaps, but it’s a little too expensive and a little to weak to be used unless the circumstances are rather dire.

Phil: There are a few allies that can help, like Hawkeye, but generally speaking, many minions needed to be dealt with individually at the start of the game.

Captain America

Luke: Cap luckily stepped up the damage-dealing game with his incredible Shield Toss. Sure, it can cost a few cards, but dealing 4 damage per enemy makes this one of the best minion-removal options in the game.

Phil: You can’t keep that guy down, helping to be an incredibly useful damage-dealer no matter how you slice it.

Ms. Marvel

Luke: While Ms. Marvel has no tools of her own that lend themselves to putting down multiple minions at once, the Aggressive card of her pack, Melee, has shown to be a popular option for players to include in their damage-dealing decks.

Phil: And since Ms. Marvel lends herself to Aggression, this made for an incredible combination from the get-go, playing well with her core ability.

Luke: I’ve personally had a hard time adding it to many of my decks, though, as it is an expensive option.

Phil: The 3-cost can be a little steep, acting as a worse Shield Toss, but the fact that anyone can use it will lead to some rather interesting combinations.

Thor

Luke: In playing to his fascination with minions, Thor has his Lightning Strike, a rather expensive card that can deal some serious damage to all enemies.

Phil: All enemies attached to him. This makes it a fairly situational card in multi-player games, and that’s ignoring that it needs a lot of resources to become viable. And if you draw into it with no Energy resources, it’s basically useless. In some ways, this card might be worse than Ground Stomp.

Luke: It has more versatility, that cannot be denied, but I wish Thor had a better method of taking down the baddies he invited to the fight.

Black Widow

Phil: How I wait ever impatiently for her release in June. Dance of Death seems like such a good card.

Luke: I’ve played a game with her using a Print and Play I made of her cards, and it’s pretty useful. The fact that the damage amounts are staggered make for some really unique choices. Not the most effective method, but by far one of the more dynamic and fun options to play with.

Phil: The 3-cost though…

Luke: Makes it a little pricey, sure, but it’s no worse than Melee at that point. In fact, it’s a little better, as all 3 attacks can be dealt to the same target if you want.

Hawkeye

Phil: It’s a ways down the road, by Hawkeye may have one of the best methods to deal with the swarming waves of enemies, fittingly.

Luke: Explosive Arrow seems like one of the best options in the game, on par with Shield Toss. A 1-cost card that deals 3 damage to the villain and all enemies attached to the player of your choice? Please and thank you.

Phil: Not quite as flexible as Cap, but it’ll often be way less expensive.

Our Takeaway

Luke: So, what can we learn from all this?

Phil: Well, the power-levels of our crowd control options are pretty varied, and often reliant on specific heroes. All but one are hero-specific after all.

Luke: I’d definitely like to see 1 or 2 more Aggression cards that focus on this over dishing a lot of damage to 1 enemy.

Phil: And, seemingly, the heroes that are generally seen as the weakest also have the weakest area of effect options. Coincidence?

Luke: Perhaps. There are certainly other heroes that have none to speak of that seem to perform better on average, but I think it can speak to their decks be diluted by some less effective options.

Phil: And a big part of what makes a good or bad minion-removal option is how you can select the targets. The best options seem to have far more flexibility in who can be attacked in a given situation.

Luke: That and how much damage is being dealt are definitely the 2 major factors. That’s why Shield Toss is such a good tool, supporting a bit of both.

Phil: I assume that Hulk will have some kind of Clap attack that will do something similar to She-Hulk’s Ground Stomp but likely a 2-cost or 3-cost and a bit stronger.

Luke: And assuming some of our predictions are right, Shang Chi and Quicksilver should have some good tools up their sleeves.

Phil: Are you still convinced that it’s Shang Chi? It’s clearly a guy sitting on a couch with a drink and TV remote-

Luke: Yeah, I know, I get it. I’m probably wrong on that account, but who knows? Maybe Shang-Chi reeeeeeeeeeeeally likes lounging around watching reality TV.

Phil: But yeah, that’s it from us this week. What cards or minion-removal options would you like to see? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you next week!

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