I was invited to be a part of GDNerd’s Three Box Challenge, where you only have the core box and 3 additional boxes to build a full roster. If you want the full details of the event, check out this article that GDNerd himself put out. Needless to say though, I’m real excited at this as it showcases directions new players can take when they are just getting into the game, something that at this point in the game’s lifespan is real daunting. My hope is that this league can be used as a strong template for on-boarding new players into the game.
That being said, my list is probably the least new player friendly in the tournament, as rather than focusing in on an affiliation as is generally the idea when building a roster, I went after an idea. Here we have Death and Taxes, a style of play centered around Power Denial and cost taxing. Seeking to slowly bleed your opponent to death by making it so that their normal plays are too expensive to execute without great effort, and leveraging a power differential into control.
The main core is comprised from the three boxes I took, so let’s quickly break those choices down. First off, and the main crux of the list overall comes from the Loki/Hela box. This box brings three major things to the table, starting off with Loki himself. God of Mischief, more commonly known as The Loki Bubble, is the backbone of this list. A range 4 area around Loki where all superpowers are 1 power more expensive is what originally inspired this list. Then you have the Mind Gem, which you immediately sticks onto a Loki. The extra bit of control that the mind gem provides not only allows you to keep your Loki safe from potential close range threats, but pull in targets that are holding important extracts towards the heavier hitters of the team. The mind gem also gives Loki a third power a turn to work with, which make a massive difference with his trickster being 3, giving him another consistent safety net. Finally, we have Doomed Prophecy in this box. Probably the riskiest of the Restricted Cards, it’s also a personal favorite, so I’m not going to miss the chance to play it. This informs some of my list building outside of my core, but I’ll come back to that.
Second up is the Groot/Rocket pack. Groot is the main attraction of this pack, with the Root condition he can deal out also taxing your opponent superpowers. If you manage to stack both Root and the Loki Bubble on a single target, that’s +2 power cost on every superpower. The point of this list is trying to effectively cut off the bottom half of a characters card by making their superpowers so prohibitively expensive that your opponent doesn’t want to use them. These two pieces in tandem do that rather well. We also have We Are Groot in this box, a piece of non-restricted healing, and since we are planning on playing a lot of Groot, it would be silly to leave it behind. Rocket is also a nice addition, giving us a second 2 cost to play with to potentially go wider than our opponents if that is something we wish to do. In that vein, while not part of our main plan, we are taking Deadly Duo for when we do go for both at once.
The Final pack is Deadpool/Bob, playing off of Deadpool’s Merc With a Mouth superpower. While we have a lot of ways to make it so our opponent isn’t going to be able to use the power they have on superpowers, spenders are still a thing in this game. Merc With a Mouth allows us to target down a character that has a powerful spender that we aren’t taxing and take away the power they have to spend for it. Alongside Deadpool in the pack though, is Bob, who ends up becoming an integral part of the list as well when it comes to the ability for this list to end up affiliated, but that’s something we will touch on in a minute.
So, now that I’ve spoken on why I’ve taken each of the boxes I did, let’s look at the full list, and I’ll go over some of the other choices that I’ve made.
Baron Zemo (Threat: 3)
Doctor Octopus (Threat: 3)
Groot (Threat: 3)
Hela, Queen of Hel (Threat: 4)
Infinity Gem: Mind (Threat: 1)
Loki, God of Mischief (Threat: 4)
*Red Skull (Threat: 4)
Rocket Raccoon (Threat: 2)
Deadpool (Threat: 3)
Bob, Agent of Hydra (Threat: 2)
Brace for Impact (R)
Doomed Prophecy (R)
We Are Groot
Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians (Threat: 17)
Infinity Formula Goes Missing! (Threat: 17)
Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 (Threat: 17)
Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership (Threat: 17)
Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan (Threat: 17)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)
So, I’m going to start with some of the quick answers. Crisis, I didn’t take any boxes that include new Crisis, so I am having to deal with just the core box crisis. This also shows some of the meta of this Three Box Challenge. At most there are going to be 3 non-core box crisis in someone’s list. Much more likely is only 1 or 2 other crisis in their list. This mean, the majority of these games are going to be play at 17, since that is the only threat value in the core box.
In that, we center around the 17 point core squad within this list, which happens to accidentally be affiliated. We have our core cast of Loki+Mind Gem, Groot and Deadpool for 11 threat. Those are the characters that make up the real center point of our Death and Taxes strategy. Then we have the 2 person Cabal combo of Red Skull and Bob to make this list affiliated with the Cabal, since Loki is also a Cabal Member. We have a splash character of Hela in the list for when we need mystic, as well as just being a solid piece in Cabal for the times we are looking across to a team that don’t intend to use superpowers anyways. Zemo and Rocket are for non-17 lists, Zemo for 18 to keep affiliation, exchanging with Bob. Rocket is for a 5 wide unaffiliated 15/16 line up for if we are brought to those point values. Doc Oct is there for when we need to go fightier, and especially if we want a non-Deadpool target for Doomed Prophecy, as while he’s doomed, his strikes start to deal an average of 5.5 damage an attack because of his double wilds.
Then we have the Tactic Cards. Brace and Doomed for the restricted cards. Brace is nice as damage negation, and acts as a way to cancel out a superpower that our opponent has decided to overpay for, continuing the theme of pushing power imbalance between the teams on the table. Doomed gives Deadpool a lot of threat of activation, especially in Red Skull Cabal where he suddenly is gaining power off of his possible Bang chains. Chimichangas is there for push the power gap between the 2 teams even further, especially since our preferred crisis is going to be Deadly Meteors, intending to just lay on even more taxation of their power.
Finally we have Trip Up and Disarm, which are just both useful control tools from the core box. Trip up cuts someone activation in half by giving out stagger, as well as taxing their power further by giving out the dreaded bad wifi, stun. Disarm is a tool to keep the big attackers of the game from being able to overcome your taxation with dazing or capping out of power. It’s a little riskier because we are planning on being 5 wide, so there are teams that can under activate and keep priority, making Disarm less useful. Otherwise though, this will be a clutch card for keep our characters alive so they can keep taxing the opponent.
If you are interested in seeing what happens with this and the other Three Box Challenge lists, stay tuned, as myself and the other content creators involved in this are going to be chatting about it. Follow all those involved below.
Sploosh + Dyzard + Xavier Protocols’ Jacob: https://anchor.fm/the-danger-room https://xavier-protocols.com/
HPP Will – https://acrossthebifrost.com/category/podcast/housepartyprotocol/
KennyG + Sooner5 – https://anchor.fm/advancedrnd https://anchor.fm/turnzer0gaming
Lexa White – https://morlockmcp.podbean.com/
Merzain – https://www.twitch.tv/merzain
NateGG – https://youtube.com/c/TheGamersGuild
Pat Dunford – https://acrossthebifrost.com/category/podcast/atb/
Quinn Duggan – null
QTR_Quotemyname – https://youtube.com/c/QuoteTheRavenGames
Rich Mid Gaming – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJiJrp1_YbL1klxpJ8ZsUxQ
Fingerguns – https://acrossthebifrost.com/author/fingerguns/
UtilityCookie – https://acrossthebifrost.com/author/utilitycookie/
GDNerd – https://acrossthebifrost.com/author/gdnerd/