Nebula’s character card has at last been spoiled. Although we are sad not to have her and Gamora in hand today, at least we can get to theory crafting team-up’s with them. So, how has the purple people eater been translated into the game, and how awkward is it going to be to paint that section underneath her right shin? Let’s see.
STAMINA – 4 stamina puts Nebula on par with Black Widow and Okoye, and just above Rocket Raccoon, our other 2 threat characters (more on that later).
MOVEMENT – We have another long mover here, which is always a welcome addition to the character pool. Being 2 threat and a long mover puts Nebula in direct competition with Black Widow, or does it…?
SIZE – 2. Entirely expected. Moving on!
THREAT – Well I have mentioned it twice so it should come as no surprise that Nebula has a threat value of 2. A 2 threat value character is always welcome in the game, and this puts our current Guardians of the Galaxy team at 14 (or 15 if using the Power Gem on Star-Lord) – 5 characters at only 15 threat? Not bad!
DEFENCES – Nebula’s defences are average for physical and energy, with 3 dice being rolled for each, but she rolls a mere 2 dice for mystic attacks. Ouch!
ATTACKS – Nebula has 3 attacks, the first of which is called Strike. This is a physical attack wih a range of 2, strength of 4 and power cost of 0. After the attack is resolved power equal to the damage dealt is gained, and roll a wild and you will get to trigger Shock, which allows you to give the target character the Shock special condition. As a reminder a character that has the Shock special condition removes 1 die from its attack rolls. This may not seem to be a huge deal, but we have all seen what a difference 1 die can make when doing a 5 strength attack versus a 6 strength attack. This is a nice way of crippling your opponent a little, although as you only get to roll 4 dice the chances of this going off are limited (i’m sure Jacob from Xavier Protocols will do some maths on this at some point).
Attck number 2 is an energy attack called Blaster Pistol, and this has a range of 3, strength of 4 and power cost of 0. After this attack resolves Nebula gets to gain 1 power. This is straightforward enough and is very reminiscent of Black Widow’s Pistol attack, albeit energy rather than physical and with the ability to gain a power. Very handy when you just need that 1 extra power to pay for things.
Nebula’s last attack is another energy attack, this time called Shock Sword Assault. This attack has a range of 3, strength of 6 and power cost of 3. After this attack resolves Nebula can be placed within range 1 of the target, and roll a wild and you will get to give the Stun special condition to the target character (a character with Stun can only gain 1 power any time they would gain power). Although this is by no means the strongest “big attack” in the game, it is quite cheap at only 3 power and, combined with her long movement, makes Nebula immesely mobile on the board. She could move long, use this attack, and then move the equivalent of range 3 plus range 1 – that’s a centimetre or 2 short of range 4 – huge!
SUPERPOWERS – Nebula has 3 superpowers, the first of which is innate and is called Assassin. This superpower states that Nebula cannot contest, interact or hold objective tokens. Also, she can reroll any number of her attack dice when attacking a character that is holding or contesting an objective token. What an interesting ability this is. Nebula is doing absolutely nothing for you on the point scoring side of things, but what she is doing is running around the board being a pain in the neck for your opponent when they are trying to score points. Rerolls are always a nice thing to have access to, and this ability makes up a little for the lower strength of her attacks.
Nebula’s second superpower is another innate one and is called Cybernetic Enhancements. This superpower states that Nebula may reroll 1 die in her defence rolls, and at the start of her activation may remove 1 damage from herself. What another interesting ability – a reroll of a defence die is a nice way of compensating for Nebula’s averge physical and energy defence and her weak mystic defence, and auto-healing of 1 damage at the start of each of her activations is an interesting way of potentially keeping her around a little longer. Of course, she will only ever get 6 activations in a game, unless you use a card like Cosmic Invigoration to get her an additional activation, but who knows, maybe in the future more cards granting additional activations will come out.
Last of all Nebula has the innate superpower Immunity [Bleed, Poison, Stun], meaning that Nebula is protected from these special conditions.
INJURED SIDE – On her injured side Nebula’s stamina changes from 4 to 5, no bad thing!
SUMMARY – Nebula is a really intersting character to me. Her focus is clear – chase down opposing objective contestors/carriers and hurt them. And she has the tools to do it. Considering that she is only 2 threat she has some good attacks, and these are improved with her reroll ability. And her defences, although not the best, are smoothed out a little with her ability to heal and reroll 1 defence die. Best of all, she is highly mobile, meaning that she can more often than not get to where you want her to be to deny points to the opposing player. I am really interested to get her onto the table to see how she works in a real game situation.
When it comes to affiliations she is a listed member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and having access to further rerolls for attacks and defences will help her to get as much damage out as she can, And being able to reroll dodge dice is great too, as throwing things at Nebula and throwing Nebula will be effective ways of getting around her defensive reroll.
On the topic of rerolls, she fits nicely into a Wakanda team, with extra rerolls helping to further smooth out her attacks and defences. An Asgardian team could also be good, allowing her additionl removal of 1 damage or 1 special condition each round and ensuring that she sticks around on the board for longer. Cabal also makes sense as she is entirely focused on dealing damage and that is what the Cabal are all about. As for Avengers, although she would not benefit from the reduction in power cost for superpowers as all of her superpowers are innate, she would still work very well I think as characters like Captain America and Vision can camp out on objectives and defend them, Black Widow and Black Panther can grab the extraction objectives, and Nebula can run around making enemy characters drop obejctives – certainly something to consider.
As for team tactics cards Nebula has one specific to her called Daughters of Thanos. This card works along with Gamora and states that when an allied Gamora or Nebula make an attack action, after the attack is resolved both characters may spend 2 power. If they do so then the character that did not make the initial attack may make an attack targeting the same character. This is an interesting way of getting an out of turn attack, but I guess the question is is it worth 4 power to do so? It would depend on how much power Gamora/Nebula have, and what you are trying to do to the target character. If it is critical that you take them down then it may be worthwhile, but 4 power plus the cost of the attack is certainly giving me pause. This is one which I think I will have to see in play before deciding whether it is for me or not. Still, 5 power from Nebula to do her big attack and get to move within range 1 of the target character could be a critical move when done at the right time.
As a GotG character Nebula would benefit from Crew of the Milano which is a Guardians-specific card that allows all Guardians characters to remove all special conditions from their character cards, and gives them immunity to special conditions for the rest of the round. No doubt the opposing player will not be too happy with having a Nebula running around the table causing issues, and so stacking special conditions onto her to slow her down and deny her power is going to be a viable move. This card will give her protection for a round, which could be all she needs to get in place and do some damage.
Medpack is a card that comes in the Gamora/Nebula box and is a viable option for keeping Nebula around a little longer to harass your opponent. During her activation Nebula can pay 2 power to remove up to 3 damage from her, or a character within range 3 of Nebula can do the same. Nice!
If running an allied M.O.D.O.K then A.I.M Lackeys would be a good card to consider as it would allow Nebula an additional move action during her next activtion, meaning she can zoom across the board and maybe double attack with her Shock Sword Assault, which would also gain her additional movement after each attack. Just like the hokey-cokey she is in, out, in, out and shakes it all about!
Advanced R&D is also a worthwhile card to consider. As Nebula has no superpowers which have a power cost, all the power she gains will be for her attacks, 2 of which are free and 1 of which only costs 3 power. As such it is possible she may build up a bit of a reserve (although dumping as much power as possible into Shock Sword Assault is the way to go), and as such being able to move some power onto other allied characters will be great.
As regular readers of this blog may have picked up on, I am a big fan of Battle Lust. With it Nebula could do a long move, then pay 2 power to add 2 dice to her Shock Sword Assault attack, making it a strength of 8, resolve the attack, then trigger the short push on Battle Lust, then place Nebula within range 1 of the target character – delicious!
As mentioned earlier, throwing and being thrown is going to be a bit of an issue for Nebula, so the staple Brace for Impact is certainly worthy of consideration, as is Cosmic Invigoration, again mentioned earlier, if running a Cabal team. Getting an extra action out of Nebula would be valuable, but you would have to hope that the dice roll as a result of playing this card is kind to you or you coudl wipe Nebula off the board without any help from your opponent!
Inspiring Monologue is another card to consider, allowing an allied character to pay 3 power to let Nebula reroll all of her defence dice for a round. Her abilities will make her a target for the opposing player and so she is likely to come under a lot of fire over the course of a round. Being able to smooth out defence rolls to such a large extent could prove invaluable in keeping Nebula alive.
One-Two Punch is another way of adding dice to one of Nebula’s attacks and increasing the chances of rolling a wild to trigger her special conditions, and lastly Seeing Red could be good in that Nebula could use her power to gain an out of turn attack, and thus some extra movement, if a nearby allied character is dazed or K.O’d by an enemy effect – very likely to happen!
So, what do you make of Nebula? Will she make your roster? Comment below!