Luke: In any co-op game where you’re trying to defeat or outdo the AI, being able to cancel their actions is regularly a strong option.
Phil: It gives you more control over the unpredictable elements of the game, making it easier to plan without worry or concern.
Luke: And since the game’s release, Marvel Champions have seen a few instances of cancel cards, most prominently in the Black Widow expansion. Let’s take a look at the different forms these cards take and how useful they are.
Phil: There are only 2 types in the game thus far; canceling boost cards and canceling encounter cards.
Luke: And each has seen hero-specific iterations and Aspect-specific cards.
Phil: Canceling boost cards are always nice, especially when playing on the defensive; being able to reduce what damage you’re taking while often dishing some damage back can turn the tides.
Luke: Attacrobatics and Preemptive Strike are basically the same card with one major difference; Attacrobatics is played in advance, whereas Preemptive Strike must be played in response.
Phil: This is significant for hand-size in particular. Playing 2 cards before your turn even starts can seriously limit what actions you can take feasibly, especially if you have some expensive cards in your hand.
Luke: You also need to hold on to it until the effect becomes predictable. Being able to put a Preparation card in play and let it trigger at the opportune moment is way more satisfying and efficient.
Phil: Hence why it’s a hero-specific card.
Interestingly, the only instance of canceling a boost ability comes in the form of Target Acquired, a neutral card. For an effect that can be so optimal in a given circumstance, it’s interesting that this isn’t tied to a particular Aspect.
Phil: I love adding 1 or 2 into my Aggression decks, as they give me some protection while adding a few physical resources to my deck.
Luke: Canceling Encounter cards outright, though, that can be game-changing. Preventing a ton of threat from going onto the main scheme or stopping a Nemesis from coming into play can be huge.
Phil: Hence why many of these cards have caveats. Get Behind Me! requires that you get attacked instead, whereas Spycraft can only be used if you’re a spy and forces you to draw another Encounter card to replace it.
Luke: Black Widow (the ally) works similarly, making you spend a resource only to have you replace the Encounter card with a new one. To me, this can mean you spent resources only to get a worse card, which isn’t worth it. At least Get Behind Me! is a bit more predictable, if dangerous in its own way.
Phil: But of course, we have our two spider-related heroes, each with their own diffuse options to bring into play. Spider-Man can cancel any Treachery card with his Enhanced Spider-Sense, whereas Black Widow can prep her Grappling Hook, which only cancels a Treachery card she draws.
Luke: This is a significant difference, making each card on-par with one another in fascinating ways. Spider-Man has to hold his card in-hand, meaning that it has an inherent cost in that sense, but being able to protect anyone at the table is a nice boon.
Phil: Black Widow, on the other hand, just leaves her card in play, but who gets what cards can mean the Grappling Hook is much less helpful depending on the flow of the cards.
Luke: To my mind, canceling boosts are much more regularly helpful than canceling Encounter cards. Boosts give immediate effects to the villain and can do as much damage as the worst of Encounter cards, give the right circumstances. A well-placed Attacrobatics can swing the game in your favor by 6 damage (3 canceled from you, 3 dealt to the villain).
Phil: Still, Encounter cards can be a huge hurdle to deal with; assuming that you can cancel particularly punishing cards, the ends may justify the expense.
Luke: We’re curious, what are your thoughts? Which is the best cancel option to date? Let us know your thoughts below, and we’ll see you next week!