Phil: With the release of the Black Widow hero pack has come Preparation cards, a new way to get the upper hand on the villain. Put into play in advance, these cards can trigger when certain cards or effects come into play, allowing you to navigate the uncertain waters of the villain deck with a bit more control.
Luke: From what we’ve heard from head developer Michael Boggs, it’s unlikely that we’ll see other Preparation cards down the road, at least for a long time, meaning we have 10 of these toys to play with as we see fit.
Phil: But how players can get the most out of them, that is the question. Preparations have their own nuances and uses to navigate, making it a sometimes difficult task picking and choosing how to best build your decks.
Luke: Let’s take a look at the effects of these cards and how we’d suggest including them to your decks.
Phil: I think the biggest mistake I made out of the gate was flooding my Black Widow deck with Prep cards. Her ability triggers off of them, making it a seemingly obvious choice.
Luke: Same, but playing a game or two like this quickly reveals how little control you actually have when employing a strategy like this. You end up so shackled to the villain falling into your traps that your turns barely feel substantial.
Phil: And the effects of Prep cards, while useful, may not do as much damage or thwart as well since they often cancel the negative effects of other cards.
Luke: Leading to slower, more arduous games.
Phil: It’s far better to choose a handful of these effects to include in a single deck. Hell, Black Widow may be able to get by with just her core Prep cards, depending on how you build your deck.
Luke: So what Preps you do end up including should have great effects. Cards like Espionage or Spycraft seem neat in theory but are rather situational in practice, making them a questionable choice even if you are allowed to use them.
Phil: Preparations won’t fit in every deck, but they can be huge boons in shoring up your weak-points and better supporting your hero in trying times. The best Prep cards are those that allow you to get more value out of your actions.
Luke: Rapid Response stands out in this regard, allowing you to bring defeated allies back into play. Doubling up on the effects of Nick Fury or Heimdall can be huge, as well as Leadership-specific heroes like Falcon.
Phil: The most common type of Preps, though, are those that mitigate the actions of the villain. Counterintelligence reduces the amount of threat put on the main scheme, Counterattack allows you to deal damage equal to the damage dealt to you, and Defensive Stance reduces the damage an attack would deal to you.
Luke: The last notable iteration is the preventative measures that outright cancel what the villain attempts to do. These are a bit more common in Black Widow’s cards, but Target Acquired can be a clutch card to have in play, depending on the boost effects of your foes.
Phil: Grappling Hook, a Widow-specific card, is obviously the crowned jewel of this, making it a strong variation on Enhanced Spider-Sense. Spidey can cancel anyone’s treachery card, but only the “When Revealed” effects, whereas Black Widow needs Grappling Hook in play and can only target cards she draws, but can cancel any card outright.
Luke: All of these cards are pretty cheap, sitting at a 1 or 2 cost, which can make them more viable than your average card.
Phil: Perhaps, but the more I look at them as a whole, the more skeptical I become about their general use. Outside of a few stand-out selections, Prep cards will, to me, end up being filler cards. Do I need more of a given resource and don’t know what to put in this slot? My Aspect-specific Prep will likely get the job done.
Luke: I wanted to like Preps a lot more, and I think I’ll enjoy using them in smaller doses. Rapid Response easily makes me the most excited, but I’m curious to see how players will begin to use them at large.
Phil: What do you folks think? Which is your favorite Prep card? How useful do you find them on average? Let us know down below!
Luke: Thanks for stopping by, we’ll see you next week!