In a stroke of sales genius Thor and Loki have been split up across 2 boxes, meaning we will have to fork out extra cash to get them both, but also meaning we will also get our greasy mitts on Valkyrie and Hela (no bad thing). We have already discussed Valkyrie’s worth, and soon enough it will be Hela’s turn. But for now, let’s take a look at the golden-horned one and see what he can do – fingers crossed for trickery aplenty!
STAMINA – At 5 stamina, Loki has what it takes to stick around.
MOVEMENT – A medium movement, which is perfectly acceptable.
SIZE – A thoroughly human/asgardian size 2.
THREAT – Loki sits a a solid 4 threat, meaning he should be bringing quite a bit to the battlefield.
DEFENCES – Loki’s strength when it comes to defending is against mystic attacks, which is understandable given his character and skills in the comics, with 4 dice being rolled. When it comes to physical and energy defences Loki is average with 3 dice rolled for each.
ATTACKS – Loki’s first attack is a physical Strike and has a range of 2, strength of 5 and power cost of zero, and after the attack resolves power equal to the damage dealt is earned – thoroughly standard fare and easily understood.
Loki’s second attack is an energy attack called Frost Blast which has a range of B3, strength of 4 and power cost of zero. At strength 4 this is a lower powered attack, but it is a beam attack so anything the range 3 tool touches could potentially do damage. As a bonus, if this attack does deal damage then that target character gains the slow special condition. This is the first instance of slow in the game, and means that the affected character can only advance short until the condition has been removed. For someone like Black Panther or Baron Zemo this is absolutely crippling, so it is well worth keeping this attack in mind should there be a cluster of characters or a long-mover which you want to slow. Used effectively, this attack could really put a dampener on the opposing players ability to reach objectives and thereby claim victory points, giving you chance to get there first.
Next is our first non-M.O.D.O.K mystic attack which is called Illusions. This attack has a range of 4 (heck), strength of 6 and power cost of 3. On top of this it has a wild ability which requires the rolling of 2 wilds to trigger, which is no small thing to accomplish, but then it is a nice thematic representation of the concentration and skill required to pull off a tricky mystic ability. And what do you get for your two wilds? You get to advance the target character its speed, and once done, all characters within range 2 of the target character suffer 1 damage. Yes please. This is an amazing bit of control, plus you get to add damage to multiple characters on top of that. Imagine moving a Spider-Man or Baron Zemo off into a group of allies, away from an objective, and then damaging multiple enemy characters, maybe even KO’ing or dazing one or two. This ability, timed correctly and with the dice on your side, could swing the game way in your favour. Having rerolls available to you when triggering this attack is going to be a good thing, so hello Wakanda affiliation.
But what supowerpowers does the non-asgardian asgardian possess?
SUPERPOWERS – Loki’s first superpower is a 2-cost reactive ability which is oh so humbly called I Am a GOD! This superpower can be triggered before rolling attack or defence dice, and let’s Loki add blanks in his dice rolls to his successes. This is an ability which we have seen in various forms across other characters, and is always nice to have on a character card as it means you can ensure that a little extra damage is done, or that your character sticks around a little longer. Anything that allows rerolls or dice modifications is going to be nice with this.
Next is another reactive superpower which is named Trickster. This superpower costs 3 and states that it can be used when Loki is targeted by an attack. Loki then gets to advance short and, if he ends up outside of the incoming attacks range or the attackers line of sight, the attack ends. The attacker then gets to take another action. 3 power seems a bit much, but Loki should be able to afford it fairly often given his Asgardian ability (more on that later). An out of turn advance is nice, even if it is only short, and potentially skipping out on an incoming attack is always a welcome thing. This is a solid enough ability that I suspect will come in more useful than it might first appear.
Speaking of Asgardian, the next superpower to talk about is an innate one called… Asgardian. This let’s Loki gain an extra power during the power phase. Nice to see, even nicer to play.
Next is another innate superpower, and this one is called God of Mischief. This superpower states that whilst within range 4 of Loki, enemy characters must spend 1 power before using an active or reactive superpower. PAIN. IN. THE. BUTT. You know full well that when playing with Loki you will keep forgetting to trigger this because you are trying to remember the billion other abilities spread across the rest of your characters, and if you are on the receiving end of this superpower then it is going to be so very very frustrating. With that being said, AMAZING! Power de-ramp of your opponent, just glorious! This is one of those powers that players will keep forgetting whilst planning their turns, go to start their big move, and then realise they’re scuppered because they forgot to account for the additional power. This one ability alone is going to frustrate so many plans across such huge portions of the battlefield. Very nice.
Last up we have an interesting innate ability called Gem Bearer [Mind, Space]. This is the first time we have come across the infinity gems (they’re not stones, people) in the game. There was discussion as to how the gems work in the latest AMG live stream, and in a recent interview with Will Schick online. I don’t want this to turn into a discussion about the merits of infinity gems, but basically only certain characters can hold infinity gems, and Loki is one such, he being able to hold the mind or space gem. The gems have a threat cost that counts towards the total threat of your squad, and when team building they must replace a character on your roster, so there is a steep cost to be paid for including them. A character can usually only hold 1 gem (I think we can safely assume that Thanos is the exception to the rule here), and so far the gems grant access to an additional superpower for the character to use, as well as an additional power during the power phase.
Both the Mind and the Space Gems have been spoiled. The mind gem allows its bearer to advance an enemy character within range 3 short for the princely cost of 3 power. Nifty, and for only a threat increase of 1. The Space Gem costs you 2 threat, making Loki a 6 threat character, and allows Loki to choose himself or an allied character within range 3 and plce it within range 2 of its current position, for the cost fo 2 power. We have seen how briliant this ability is on Red Skull, but is it worth making Loki a 6 threat character for? Hmmm…
INJURED SIDE – Once injured there is a change to Loki’s God of Mischief ability. As well as having to pay a power whenever they want to use an active or reactive superpower within range 4 of Loki, enemy characters now also do not get to add dice to their pool for critical results. I will say that again in capitals and with additional punctuation so that the point is clearly made. THEY. DO. NOT. GET. TO. ADD. DICE. TO. THEIR. POOL. FOR. CRITICAL. RESULTS! This is beyond crippling, it totally neuters a huge part of the game. It is going to take your opponent so much extra work just to play at the level they would were Loki not on the board. If this was a range 2 ability then maybe not so bad, but range 4 is huge, and is going to affect such a huge area of the battlefield. If you show up for a game and see Loki across the table you may as well just pack up, go home and dust off Settlers of Catan.
SUMMARY – I mean, what can I say? It is very clear how great Loki is. He is not an all-out attacker, and he is not the best objective runner. But wander him around the board and he will be a permanent thorn in the flesh for your opponent. Getting slow onto characters by using Frost Blast is going to be fun, but really the stars here are Illusions and God of Mischief. If playing with Loki just keep throwing out maniacally evil laughs as you run through your activation, and if playing against Loki try not to rage quit or table flip too often. He is going to be just so good at frustrating enemy plans left, right and centre!
Affiliations wise you can’t go wrong with any of them really. Asgard will let Loki remove damage or conditions (which are going to be key when playing against him), and Avengers will reduce the cost of his superpowers. Cabal is maybe a little weaker because Loki won’t be all-out throwing down damage, but he will be doing some at least so will fit in a Cabal list well enough. Wakanda is good I think as it will allow rerolls and improve the chances of pulling off the double-wild trickery of Illusions, and will help in getting slow onto characters when attacking with Frost Blast.
As for team tactics cards, Odin’s Blessing is pretty much an auto-include for any Asgardian character at the moment, although it does require the Asgard affiliation to be active. Still, 3 power to reduce all incoming damage to 1 is magnificent and ensures that Loki has greater opportunity for causing havoc. Sibling Rivalry (it is not called “Get Help”, deal with it) is a Thor/Loki card which allows an allied Thor within range 2 of Loki to throw Loki medium for the cost of 1 power each. Loki does not suffer collision damage, the target character rolls 2 fewer dodge dice and becomes staggered. A very nice ability indeed, and for such a cheap cost. A lovely, easy way of staggering a character. This is a freebie against Hulk as he won’t roll any dodge dice at all, guaranteeing that damage is dealt and he becomes staggered.
As Loki is also a listed Cabal member, the Cabal cards are all worthy of consideration, particularly Dark Reign which allows rerolls of attack dice, thereby improving the odds that you can trigger the Mesmerise ability on Illusions, and Cosmic Invogoration which allows an extra activation of Loki for additional vexation of the opposing player.
As mentioned earlier, any cards that allow rerolls will be good too, so Recalibration Matrix is a good one to consider. Battle Lust could be good as well, allowing Loki additional dice and therefore additional chances to fire off his more aggravating abilities, and allow him a little extra control via a short push. And lastly, if running M.O.D.O.K then I thought A.I.M Lackeys could be good as it allows Loki an additional move action so you can get him where he needs to be on the board to do the most emotional damage.
So, what do you think of Loki? Will he find a regular spot in your roster or is he doomed to the sidelines? Comment below!