Another Tuesday, another tier list! This time we’re skipping over Brotherhood in the alphabetical order due to their low number of characters. We’ll revisit them once some more of the characters listed on the affiliation document are released. For now instead we’re ranking Cabal. Cabal has a special place in my heart, I’ve played them almost exclusively from the core box days up until Season 4 and even now I play a very similar setup in Criminal Syndicate. For those of you new to this tier list series here are the ranking criteria:
– All rankings are based on playing these characters in the given affiliation. They might shine elsewhere but we’re focusing on in the context of Cabal rosters here
– Leadership abilities are not factored in unless a faction has multiple leaders
– Gems won’t be ranked on their own merits they’ll be folded into their affiliated user’s ranking (obviously excluding Black Order).
With those caveats out of the way, lets rank them!
M.O.D.O.K. – S – This will come as a surprise to no one, but George Tarleton is quite probably the strongest character ever printed in this game. He has been one of the most represented characters in every season of TTS League so far, and season 4 is no exception. Why, you may ask? Multiple devastating range 4 attacks with great type coverage, insane defensive tech, extreme consistency with his rerolls, size 3 throws, and a better mind gem to boot. His only weakness is his slowish movement speed and general vulnerability to control (and how worthless his injured side is), but Red Skull can cube him around to cover it. He also plays incredibly well in most affiliations so despite only being Cabal and Criminal Syndicate he can help you build a splash to most affiliations. If you’re like me and like free wins, M.O.D.O.K. is the character for you.
Enchantress – S – This one is a bit of a hot take as Enchantress hasn’t been comprehensively tested yet, but Enchantress in many ways is a slightly toned down 4 threat version of M.O.D.O.K. – throws, bows, strong attacks with an even stronger type spread, and incredible defensive tools add up to make a mean Asgardian. Her extract stealing superpower is also uniquely strong and a key part of the current meta. In addition to that, she joins Loki in being both Cabal and Asgard, allowing you to play Cabal as an off affiliation to your Dashgard roster – Thor, Loki w/ Mind Gem, Enchantress, and M.O.D.O.K. all rounds out to 19 threat if you ever want 3 characters who can all advance characters against their will to really annoy opponents. She might in reality be an A but she’s definitely a must have in most rosters at the moment.
Baron Zemo – A – I know I’m going to get some flack from some people on this as Zemo is hailed in some circles as the best 3 in the game full stop. Personally I disagree, I’m in the camp that Shuri or Valkyrie has to be it but thats beyond the point. For 3 threat, Zemo is an all star with great mobility as well as offensive & defensive tools. And to top that all off he has a FREE reroll aura that works on both attacks and defense rolls. Sure, one reroll/roll doesn’t seem like much but with proper positioning it pays dividends. If you’re playing Cabal, make sure he’s in your 10.
Mystique – A – I love what Mystique brings to Cabal. Rapid Fire scales well with the Cabal leadership (assuming you can do damage but you’ll probably be taking tools to make that likely), Deception is a powerhouse of a Tactics card, and she bridges you to Brotherhood. It’s also really easy to build Rapid Fire cabal around some combination of her, Punisher and Agent Widow with Hammers, Bitter Rivals, Doomed Prophesy, and Blind Obsession to stretch the dice pool manipulation to its max. As an actually affiliated rapid fire character she can also make devastating use of Cabal’s less popular tactics card – Dark Reign, which lets all cabal members reroll any dice vs a target for a round. Take her out for a spin sometime, you won’t regret it.
Red Skull – B – Red Skull is an interesting piece. He follows the pattern of Captain America where a very large portion of their power budget was put into their leadership. Unlike Cap though, Red Skull can be relevant from a much longer range. His round 1 play is almost always power up with the cube, teleport someone r2, then move onto a secure. Then on following turns he either teleports characters back onto points or takes pot shots with his r4 attacks while using the cube to build up to his ultimate which quite frankly can be devastating in the right circumstances. Probably not QUITE worth the threat outside of Cabal (although I did mess around with him in Defenders for a bit for some round 1 herb plays before Toad was released) but inside of Cabal he feels like he carries his weight as a backline shooter / support piece. He can make certain teams frontline light between him and M.O.D.O.K. though, so thats something to watch out for.
Kingpin – B – I’ve only played Cabal Kingpin a bit because after a while you realize if you’re playing Kingpin and M.O.D.O.K. together you’d probably just rather play Criminal Syndicate outside of extreme attrition matchups, but he can do okay here. Kingpin is VERY power hungry and while he often can be a move -> move -> throw bot, but he does punch once in a while, and his beam can benefit a lot from hammers and other attack bonuses that Cabal like to stack (and once its doing damage give you power). His immunity to character collisions makes him fine to be around M.O.D.O.K. as anyone with size 4 throws likes to make ol’ big head a liability (though be careful about Kingpin being thrown into M.O.D.O.K. as he’s size 3). He can also often feel like an upscale version of Crossbones and stick to points very well with extreme durability. So, I guess in conclusion: great piece, not its greatest home, take him in a CS/Cabal roster but otherwise don’t feel bad about cutting him for something you’re more excited by.
Magneto – B – Again, I’ve only played Cabal Magneto a couple times because I find him significantly stronger in Brotherhood – his leadership just generates more power than Skull’s, and he really wants Asteroid M. Also as an upscale beater he is often just less good than M.O.D.O.K. who costs less to boot. That said if you’re playing Brotherhood/Cabal and are tight on character slots he’ll do great in a pinch. His builder is so reliable with inbuilt rerolls that he will trigger Skull’s leadership pretty much every time, the way AoEs scale with the leadership makes Magneto’s ultimate much more appealing, and no one can deny his extreme damage output once he gets properly fueled.
Sabretooth – B – I like Sabretooth in general. He’s a highly mobile fighty character thats annoying to attack and surprisingly sticky. He can be a bit tactics intensive as Weapon X Program and X-Ceptional Healing are both very nice to have in any roster that features him or Wolverine but if you can justify the slots hes a great beater. On D secure scenarios, between Aggressive and Red Skull’s place effect it’s very easy for him to relocate between points and still be able to inflict some hurt when he arrives at his new point to hold. And of course, like the rest of his brethren he helps bridge your roster to dual affiliation with Brotherhood if desired. One thing to be careful about with including all these Brotherhood pieces though is they are all consummate physical damage dealers. Which, admittedly, isn’t the end of the world with Skull’s energy based range attacks, but something to think about when balancing out a composition.
Loki, God of Mischief – C – You’ll notice immediately Cabal Loki is a far cry from Asgard Loki. Cabal DOES help his massive power economy issues in terms of fighting, but the loss of Drop Off has really hurt his place in Cabal teams. His + cost aura is a uniquely powerful effect that can really mess with certain Dashgard or throw-heavy teams, but outside of that you can often feel like you’re wasting activations due to short attack range and low attack quality (before I Am A God, but if you use it you are in danger of getting dazed immediately after, so be careful). You can try to fit in the Mind Gem but then you’re spending 2 character slots to do mostly what Enchantress does for 1 and less threat. He also along with Enchantress helps bridge you to Asgard where he shines a lot more which is some consolation at the very least.
Killmonger – C – Oh man, I used to be so hot on Killmonger. Between the coolness of scoring VPs through his unique tactics card, and his consummate single target damage there’s a lot of upside when he works. Emphasis on When. He is an incredibly power hungry character without a lot of ways of getting it until he gets in r2. From my experience you double move him onto a secure (can’t afford to pick up any extracts) and prepare to charge -> 2 attacks round 2, and if he doesn’t pop off big enough on those attacks, he will feel like a lead weight for the rest of the game. If your heart is set on making him work, find ways to funnel him power and rerolls like Advanced R&D + Shuri or Zemo and you can truly unleash the beast.
Crossbones – D – I know there are a lot of people out there who love Crossbones. I am not one of them. At least, not in Cabal. Crossbones is an incredibly slow pillow fisted character whose only redeeming qualities is his excessive tankiness and his extreme ability to stick on a secure. Thats a GREAT Criminal Syndicate kit, but a pretty terrible Cabal one. CS/Cabal has high overlap so he might be part of the bridge between the two but he should probably be sitting on the sidelines for any Cabal games such a roster plays.
Ultron – D – The days of Ultron’s metallic fury are long past. While I have great nostalgia for Ultron dropping off Venom in the middle of the board to terrorize early days Avengers teams, we are very far from those glory days currently. He’s honestly an OK tanky ranged character if you need an affiliated 4 in a pinch, but he gets outshone by Enchantress and Sabretooth a LOT. He also doesn’t have any other affiliations so he doesn’t bring much in the roster building aspect to make up for his so-so stats. Unfortunately I think he’s destined for the rust bucket going forwards.
Bullseye – F – I hate Bullseye. There, I said it. I think he’s a legitimate candidate for worst character in the game. Ebony Maw is a deeply flawed character that you could make work, probably just outside of Black Order, but Bullseye I have yet to find a purpose for him in either Cabal or Criminal Syndicate. His basic attack is trash, his ultimate is trash, I Never Miss doesn’t work with Cabal Leadership so its also pretty trash. Hell even Hit & Run is mediocre on him because his attacks are so bad! The only good piece of his kit is Parting Shot, which you can get for the same cost on Agent Widow with a better kit. Skip Bullseye, you won’t regret it.
That’s going to be it for this week’s tier list! Let me know in the comments what pieces you think I overrated or which pieces I’m sleeping on. If you want to make your own Cabal tier list you can make it here:
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