Hello true believers, and welcome to the first article of my weekly Marvel Crisis Protocol column! Hopefully the first of many great articles to come! What specific topics will I be talking about you ask? Well, whatever I fancy any given week, but let me give you some ideas of what I’m planning on writing about: crisis scenarios, character flavor hits and misses, TTS league map breakdowns (for the map being used that week), and perhaps the odd tactics card deep dive or roster building strategy guide. Basically I’m going to talk about whatever I want any given week, so if what you read today isn’t your jam, come back another week and enjoy something new!
This week, I’ll overview the newest crisis released, Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City! We’ll explore the lore behind the crisis, give some recommended thematic squads, as well as touch on some tactics and note how some affiliations may perform in the scenario. Before I dive into the lore, take a moment to refresh your memory by reading the card. I won’t dive into the rules text yet, but will be talking more about it later in the tactics section.
If you are someone who wants to avoid spoilers, and are just here for the tactics discussion, skip on down to the next section! If not, you’ve been warned!
The Terrigen Mists are a Kree invention used to awaken repressed genes in susceptible life forms. They are sacred to the Inhuman people, and it is by exposure to the mists that their Inhuman DNA is awoken and their true selves are revealed. Increased strength and heartiness is innate to all Inhumans so awakened, as represented by the Inhumans innate ability to reroll dice and their immunity to poison, but each individual’s transformation is unique. Through most of history the Inhumans have kept the Terrigen mists safely stored in their home city of Attilan, but when Terrigen Clouds have been released, the consequences have been world changing, awakening the Inhuman gene in thousands of individuals, creating new super heroes, like Ms. Marvel.
One such event in which Terrigen clouds were released was during the invasion of Earth by Thanos, who swore to destroy all Inhumans for their refusal to hand over Thanos’ son. In an epic showdown, Black Bolt fights one on one with Thanos in the evacuated city of Attilan, and with a single shout levels the entire city, detonating a Terrigen bomb built by Black Bolt and his brother Maximus the Mad to enable latent Inhumans to be able to fight against the Black Order’s Invasion. If you want to recreate the epic battle that ensues with maximum possible flavor, here are recommend 20 point lists:
- Inhumans: Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Lockjaw, Dr. Strange (Black Bolt’s Illuminati ally)
- Black Order: Thanos+Mind Gem, Corvus Glaive+Reality Gem, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw
Another event centered around the release of the Terrigen mists is the X-men vs. Inhumans series. Again, a Terrigen cloud rolls across the earth, awakening Inhumans, but it turns out the gas is deadly to mutants! Seriously, can the X-Men ever catch a break? Anyways, when Beast and Inhuman scientists efforts to create an antidote for the poisoned mutants prove too slow, Storm, Magneto and other leading mutants to take drastic action and decide to try and destroy all of the Terrigen, ensuring their own survival, but preventing future Inhumans from ever awakening their true selves! Of course war pursues, with not all the X-Men siding with the mutants. Here are recommended thematic lists for reliving this comic moment on your own:
- Inhumans: Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Lockjaw, Beast, any non-Toad 2 point figure
- X-Men: Storm (Leader), Cyclops, Wolverine, Magneto, Mystique
Terrigen Clouds is a C scenario missing the center secure, creating a situation where the points are focused towards the sides of the board. This gives an interesting choice to the player: do you fight on both sides at once, splitting your team, or do you commit all your resources to one side, ensuring victory on half the board, and hope you can clean up whatever remains of the opposition in the late game? Both approaches have their merits and weaknesses, so let’s discuss each.
The merit of the split approach is that you are able to fight for both objectives at the same time, potentially scoring 4 points from the secures in a single round, while your opponent scores none. The strength of this approach is obvious, but unless you build your team specifically to split into two equal groups and your opponent does the same, you are often going to end up with one side where you’re gaining the upper hand, and one where you’re slowly losing ground. Affiliations capable of going wide, like Criminal Syndicate, probably don’t mind this too much, as they want to build an insurmountable lead off secures in the early turns anyways. Affiliation without great movement abilities, like Guardians, are often going to want to take this approach as well, as they would struggle to reposition late game to contest the other side.
So which affiliations do well in this scenario playing a split game? I would say Criminal Syndicate is likely the best equipped for this, and their leadership ability shines on high value secures like these. Don’t underestimate the advantage having characters that are immune to poison can be though. All the Inhumans except Beast are immune to poison, thus negating half of the effect of the Terrigen Clouds. A-Force and Avengers can field similarly resistant teams with characters like She-Hulk, the Hulk, Vision, and Captain Marvel. Asgard’s leadership can eliminate either the poison or the damage, but it comes at the cost of 1 power, and by the time you’re removing the poison, it has already taken effect.
A single-side focused approach offers you almost guaranteed control of the side of your choice, and seems the better choice for attrition focused teams, the obvious downside being you’re essentially giving your opponent 2 free points a turn. However, the movement mechanic for when you lose control of a cloud allows you to move the cloud on the side you’ve abandoned closer to you every round, making it easier for a late game reposition. Cards like Asteroid M in Brotherhood and Mothership in Black Order can allow you to reposition a key member of your force to the other side as long as you send another character over first, perhaps one of you 2 or 3 threat pieces. Defenders may also have some play with this approach, as you can Pentagrams of Farallah to reposition to the other side once you’ve convincingly won the first.
As far as affiliations that may struggle on this secure, affiliations with low health total and average power generation come to mind, such as Web Warriors and Guardians of the Galaxy, as the negative effects of the Terrigen Clouds hurt them the most. X-Men Blue may struggle to get value out of their leadership ability unless they all commit to one side, and don’t have the tools to reposition to the other side very well if the need arises. To be clear, I’m not saying that these affiliations are unplayable in this crisis, but just that other affiliations appear to be better suited to the specifics of the scenario.
That’s all for today folks! If this article inspired you to pick up the Black Bolt and Medusa pack so that you can play Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City, whether because it suits your tactics or your want to recreate a comic moment, I recommend checking out Discount Games Inc. They sell the entire Marvel Crisis Protocol line at the maximum discount price, perfect for people like me who are lovers of this game and on a budget. Until next time folks! Excelsior!