Another Wednesday, another First Impressions! After looking at Spider-Man’s frenemy Black Cat we switch over to full on enemy this time with Kraven the Hunter:
My only real exposure of Kraven is from my middle school library where they had Kraven’s Last Hunt, a comic where Kraven buries Spider-Man alive. Hopefully his MCP incarnation will live up to the hype of reading that. Without any further ado, lets dive in!
The standard 3 threat array of stats across the board. I could wish for some extra stamina but it ticks all the necessary boxes.
I do not like that this is a flat builder. Spoilers for the next attack, but THAT one feels like it should have been the flat builder. That said, automatic bleed and a wild advance trigger is cash money, especially with Elixir of Calypso (more on that later). Besides the power generation issue (which might not even be an issue) this is one of the better builders on a 3 threat character in the game right now. Mobility, status application, good damage all comes together to make a solid package.
Reminiscent of Gwen’s builder, Spear Thrust has a lot of cool synergies. UNLIKE Gwen though, its a lot easier to get both the bonus dice and the “free move” from Kraven. Obviously the dream is Kukri Strike -> advance S -> Spear Thrust with 7 dice -> advance M. And the 7 dice dream is why this attack is power per damage over flat like Kukri strike. But he still has an attractive pattern in move->spear thrust->move, emulating a charge/hit-and-run pattern, though the dice pool isn’t great even with rerolls and perhaps Expert Tracker (more on that later).
TBH I really wish the two had been reversed in that role because without a charge / action economy effect in his kit to set up the Kukri strike, its going to be kinda annoying to line things up correctly. The obvious solution is to put him on a midline secure and say “either you don’t contest me here or I absolutely trash whomever you send over here to stand within r2 of me” but I’m not sure if he’s tanky enough. That said, if he pulls it off once he’ll be flush with power for tactics and Expert Tracker for the rest of the game. In fact, I think a lot of his viability will live and die on whether you can pull off the one-two punch.
I love this. Target someone not standing on an objective / with no enemies to attack and force them to decide whether to be worthless or take damage. Bonus points if you catch a Web Warrior hiding behind Size 3/4/5 terrain and make them double move to be relevant for double damage. And double double bonus points if you combo this with Mysterio to make every step agony. Sure its niche but guaranteed damage or control is a nice little effect for 2 power.
As soon as I saw this I groaned because I KNOW someone out there is going to insist on taking both Kraven and Lockjaw to give +2 attack dice when going after a target. It won’t be good but people will insist on doing it because there’s an irresistible urge to stack similar effects for certain players out there. Kraven’s power economy is odd because if he can’t get in r2 to Kukri strike he’ll struggle to have any power at all, but he only has Corner the Beast and this as power sinks on his card so if he pops off I expect him to be tracking everything and everyone.
Finally, his Inhuman / Dora Milaje / Some Other Passive I’m forgetting inclusion, solid rerolls are welcome in such an attack focused character. The defensive reroll will help him live on the midline a bit more than his standard defensive stats would allow for, and the attack reroll helps a lot to ensure the elusive trigger on his Kukri strike. Not much complexity to the passive but it works as some nice glue to keep the kit functioning in one piece.
Overall I’m… intrigued by Kraven. I’m concerned a BIT about his power economy issues and question how much he’ll be able to put up Expert Tracker (which isn’t an ideal spot for Spider-Foes), but on the other hand Expert Tracker is the kind of effect that the existing Spider-Foes LOVE. Goblin and Ock have terrible dice pools on wonderful builders, so bumping them up a bit is always welcome. And Venom loves doing a bit more damage to have a bit more power to play around with. Kraven can also run frontline in Lethal Protector range of Venom so that nobody will want to touch the hunter on his chosen secure – between the two of them they should be able to make short work of most characters outside of the tankier 5s and 6+s (they won’t kill Reality Thanos or She-Hulk without a small miracle). Outside of Spider-Foes I don’t see any super obvious splash locations for him at the moment but perhaps the contents of his box will make some more attractive options at full release. He seems like a decent workhorse which is what you want in a 3 so while he might not be meta defining, if you want someone to do the job he does he’s a fine choice to do it.
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That will wrap us up for this First Impressions article here on acrossthebifrost.com, make sure to check out the Roster Doctor on Facebook, Youtube and Anchor.Fm!