This article is intended as an introduction to this character. In the future I plan to write articles with tips on how to play each character, and what to do if you see them across the table. For now though, read on for a discussion of the character statistics and a brief chat about their abilities.
I have been waiting for this once since the Asgardians were first teased, and at long last AMG have revealed the character sheets and team tactics cards for 4 out of 5 of the Asgardian team. It makes sense to start with their leader, Thor, Son of Asgard. So, what does Thor bring to the table? What is the Asgard affiliation all about? And, more importantly, does Thor even lift? Let’s see…
STAMINA – At 6 stamina Thor is mighty indeed, as is only right considering, well, he is a god. A strong start to his character card.
MOVEMENT – Thor moves medium which seems fair enough. I would be very surprised if he moved short, and long seems like it would be a bit of a stretch really.
SIZE – It seems that Asgardians, like humans, are going to be size 2.
THREAT – At 5 threat Thor is up there with M.O.D.O.K. I am really pleased that his threat is a little higher than the 4 threat characters we have seen so far, just because he has to be a powerful character to tie in with the comics. So, at threat 5 let’s see what he can do.
DEFENCES – Thor has strong physical and energy defences, with 4 dice rolled for each. His mystic defence is a little weaker at 3, but still bang on average. A really solid lineup.
ATTACKS – Rather gloriously Thor has 3 attacks, the first of which is physical and is called Strike. This attack has a range of 2, strength of 6 and power cost of zero. As usual, power will be gained equal to the damage dealt. Additionally, roll a wild and you may throw the target character away short if it is size 4 or less. Size 4 is currently every character released, including Hulk. The most interesting thing about this strike is the word “may.” Unlike Black Panther, this throw is not mandatory, so you can choose whether or not to trigger it with your wild roll. I like having the option, as sometimes you will want the target character to stay put whilst you pound them. But then again, if you can throw a size 4 character at another enemy character then that is going to be 5 points of damage coming at an enemy, all for free. Plus the thrown character will take 1 point of damage if a collision occurs. This is no small thing.
Next up is another physical attack, and this one is called Hammer Throw. It has a range of 5, strength of 5 and power cost of 1, so, not the strongest attack ever, but certainly better than a slap in the face. Once this attack resolves the target character gains the shock special condition. This is the first instance of shock in the game and the rules tell us that a shocked character removes one die from its attack rolls until it has remove the condition. This is a really nice touch if you are wanting to cripple some attacks, and could be good against Captain Marvel who gets to add 2 dice to her attack pool when in binary form. But really, this will be good against any character whose attacks you wish to weaken.
Thor’s last attack is an energy one and is called God of Thunder (sidenote – does it seem to you that the MCU filmmakers don’t know the difference between thunder and lightning?). This attack is an area attack, and will affect all characters within range 2 of Thor. It has a mighty strength of 7 and costs an absolutely whopping 6 power! 6! Who ever has 6 power lying about? But, considering that this has the potential to affect multiple targets we can surely forgive AMG for such a high cost. Plus, pulling this attack off is going to feel soooooo goooooooood. If only there was a way that Asgardians could generate more power…
LEADERSHIP ABILITY – Thor has the Asgard affiliation which is called Prince of Asgard. This is a really interesting ability that states that at the start of each of your turns one allied character may spend 1 power. Straightforward enough. If they do this then they may remove 1 damage or 1 special condition. Each allied character may only use this once per round. We have seen a form of healing before in Venom, but applying healing to a whole affiliation is fantastic and opens up loads of possibilities in the many aspects of the game.
Let’s think about the wording on this ability for a moment. You can trigger this at the start of each of your turns. Each activation is pretty much a turn, and you go back and forth between yourself and the opposing player, each taking turns until every character has activated, and then you do the cleanup phase to close out the round. So basically, every time you activate a character and it is not a reaction to something an enemy character does you can trigger this ability and heal 1 damage or ditch 1 condition. Granted, each character can only do this once per round, but still, this is an absolutely tremendous ability to have access to. If you heal 1 damage per round on a character with 6 stamina, then over the course of a game (as long as it lasts 6 rounds) you have effectively saved your character health equal to one side of their character sheet. That’s amazing.
This affiliation ability is also incredible for its power to remove conditions. Imagine you have an Asgard affiliated Hulk. Now stun and stagger aren’t so much of an issue, and you can plan your turns around being able to negate 1 of these conditions as they stack up on you. I really like this leadership ability and am looking forward to giving it a try in-game.
Right, enough gushing. Let’s check out what Thor has in the way of superpowers.
SUPERPOWERS – First up we have an active superpower with a power cost of 3 called For Asgard! It does count as one of your activations 2 actions, and states that Thor can make a move action followed by a Strike attack. If the attack deals at least 1 damage then the target character gains the stagger condition (on its next activation the staggered characters first action must be to shake the stagger condition). This is much like the Charge which we see on Baron Zemo and Killmonger, except that it is restricted to Thor’s basic Strike only (imagine how powerful it would be if it wasn’t). Considering his basic Strike has a strength of 6, doing 1 damage is quite likely, and so getting to stagger the character is likely too. Remember too that Thor’s Strike also let’s you do a short throw on a character up to size 4 and gain you power equal to the damage dealt, so for the cost of 2 power for For Asgard! you are potentially doing a heck of a lot, and maybe evening gaining back the power you just spent (and maybe a little extra too).
Next is another active superpower, and this one is called Strongest Avenger. It has a power cost of 3 and states that Thor can choose an interactive terrain feature of size 4 or less within range 2 and throw it medium. Again we see Thor’s ability to throw up to size 4. As mentioned earlier, throw a size 4 character and that is 5 points of damage that an enemy character will have to dodge. Hulk is safe from throws no longer! Also, if using this ability to throw M.O.D.O.K it is mandatory to do a panicked wail in a M.O.D.O.K voice.
Next we have a nice innate ability called Asgardian. This states that during the power phase Thor gains 1 additional power, so 2 power per round. As if Thor wasn’t awesome enough he also has inbuilt power generation?! God of Thunder suddenly becomes much more affordable!
Lastly we have the Flight innate superpower meaning that terrain up to size 5 is of no consequence to Thor when it comes to movement.
INJURED SIDE – On Thor’s flipped side you will see a tattered cloak and a ripped tunic. Oh, and a trifling, tiny, humble 2 ADDITIONAL STAMINA! That’s right, he goes from 6 to 8 stamina. This is going to make for some really fun fights, and makes Thor a real burden to the opposing player.
SUMMARY – <Engage fanboy mode>. I absolutely love everything that is written on Thor’s character card. He has good defences, good attacks, great throws, power generation and healing/condition removal. I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it! I honestly can’t foresee a time where I won’t be including Thor in my list of 10. Even without the Asgard affiliation he is very strong indeed.
Speaking of afilliations, he works well in Avengers, bringing down the cost of his throw and his “charge.” Plus as he is actually an Avenger he benefits from the Avengers-specific team tactics cards. Cabal could be ok too, getting him extra power as he puts out damage (which he will be doing). Wakanda I am not so sure on, I would have to try it. Don’t get me wrong, rerolls are always a good thing in dice-based games. But considering how strong Thor is and his healing abilities when running the Asgard affiliation, and some of the team tactics cards available to him, I am not sure how well he would fit with Wakanda. But then again, he offers some good throws and control so maybe stick him in the team and see how he does.
Speaking of team tactics cards, Odin’s Blessing is a card that comes with the Thor/Valkyrie pack and states that when an Asgard character would be damaged by an enemy effect then they can spend 3 power to play this card. Reduce the amount of damage suffered to 1. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Imagine swinging at an Asgard character, rolling all the dice and then the opposing player slaps this down on the table. Imagine you have a souped-up Hulk who is rolling his billion dice and then this card comes out – no, no, no, only 1 damage for Asgard!
Thunderwave is a Thor-specific card that can be used if also running Captain America. Much like Ricochet Blast which works if Iron Man and Captain America are allied, this card gives access to a special one-off attack. It is a beam energy attack and has a range of 5, strength of 6 and power cost of zero (although you do need to pay 2 power off Cap and 2 off Thor to play the card). Man, it is going to feel great to pull this attack off! And range 5 as well, ouch! Run an all Avengers squad and time your activations right and you could pull this off the turn before or after Ricochet Blast for the ultimate cinematic spectacle!
Sibling Rivalry is a card that was spoiled in the recent Asgard stream and comes in the Loki/Hela pack. If Thor and Loki are allied and within range 2 of each other then they can pay a power each to play this card. Loki gets thrown medium and suffers no damage from a collision, whilst targeted enemy characters reduce their dodge dice pool by 2 dice and are staggered. A nice card to whip out of your back pocket, and also a great way for AMG to ensure that the Twitch server crashes due to everyone in the chat typing “get help” as furiously as they can. This is like Black Panther’s pounce but with the added benefit of stagger, I like it.
As for other team tactics cards I though Sacrifice could be good. If an allied character within range 2 is targeted by an attack then they and Thor could pay 1 power each. Thor then becomes the new target of the attack. But, the advantage is that should the attack be too much for Thor you can just play Odin’s Blessing to reduce the damage to a mere 1. This is going to be a great combo if the opposing player is gearing up for a big hit. Let them spend all their power, get all the dice, fire off an attack, then redirect it and neuter it. Yum!
As Thor is going to be so hard to take down, having him hold certain objectives is a good option. Having Mission Objective could be good, so you can hand off an objective to Thor. As Thor has flying powers then Drop Off is also worthy of consideration. Other than that, the usual staples of Recalibration Matrix and Patch Up apply.
Lastly, as mentioned before, Thor is an Avenger, so any Avengers-specific team tactic card would be worth considering.
Well, that’s enough rambling from me, let’s just count down the days until the February release… is it February yet?… How about now?…
What are your thoughts on Thor, Son of Asgard? Have I been gushing over him too much? Comment below!