Another Monday, another Three Box Challenge! It’s been a while since the last challenge article, as life has gotten in the way but I’m back and ready to chat about this week’s focus: Spider-Foes!

But before we get into this week’s Three Box Challenge let’s go over the article format for anyone who isn’t familiar:

What is the three box challenge, you may ask? It’s simple – what affiliated rosters can you put together with just the core set plus three boxes of your choice. I know a lot of us obsessively purchase every single box, but I think a huge part of why this game is so great is you can pick up a core box, and a couple boxes of what appeals to you and you could take that to a game night or tournament and do OK.

If you’re coming to this article without having any MCP experience whatsoever and are doubting the value of the Core box, I’m here to tell you that it is worth it. For $100 you get:

All the dice you should need

All the measuring tools you will need

~Half a tournament board’s worth of terrain

10 characters (a standard game requires a roster of 10)

20 tactics (you’ll need 8)

3 secure crises and 3 extract crises (you’ll need 3 of each to play)

Compared to other big wargames like 40k/AOS and WMH, its really impressive what you can get for ~$200. So, this is somewhat akin to a budget/beginner’s MCP guide, focusing on a different faction each time.

And of course as stated earlier this week I’m covering Spider-Foes. Which, coincidentally is what I picked to play in the Three Box Crisis event I’m running with a bunch of top tier content creators, but am also currently 2-0 after taking down both Sam Spam and Sin Cabal / “Double Date” Three Box Challenge rosters. A retrospective will come in at the end of the event but suffice to say I am very happy with their performance so far and as such lets break down why its been working!

Spider-Foes has had an interesting ride in the history of MCP. Their humble origins start in the core box with Doctor Octopus who historically was considered a weak 3 threat until he found a home in the Wakanda Wave roster early on. Next came Venom who for a good while was considered one of the better 4 threat characters in the game, but saw his stock fall after Drop Off was banned and more generically high quality 4 threat characters came out. And the final piece of the puzzle was Green Goblin.

From Panel to Play: Green Goblin — Atomic Mass Games

But to be entirely honest, Goblin was more puzzle than piece himself. Sure he brought the affiliation, but no affiliated cards and a cornercase leadership ability. When 2/3 of your core members have 4 dice builders having power to spend on MAYBE doing extra damage is not an attractive proposal. And his kit fits into a story told by a BUNCH of unloved 4s – tons of cool stuff to do if he gets power and no good way to get it. Worse, even, is the fact that his builder is 4 dice unlike Cyclops’ 5. This combined with the lack of options put Spider-Foes on the shelf for a LOOOOONG time. Kingpin was another nail in the coffin because as one of the better Spider-Foes, if you were married to playing Green Goblin + Kingpin, you could just pivot to Criminal Syndicate and get better upside. Sure there was some Thanos + Spider-Foes brews people took to spike their dice with Death’s Decree but outside of that spice, they were not being seriously played at all.

And then along came the second wave of Spider-Foes. Kraven. Lizard. Mysterio. Carnage. Each one of them a solid and compelling Spider-Foes affiliated piece, also bringing a bevy of affiliation and character specific cards that make your team stand out. They also flesh out the Spider-Foes niche as a weird band of brawly fighters who can go toe to toe with most strong fighting teams. In fact, I fully expect there to be a solid cadre of Spider-Foes players in the next TTS League season TBC notwithstanding. But how do we go about building a Three Box Spider-Foes?

First off, don’t be married to the Goblin. It’s one box for one character and one good tactic. Sure I took him but I’m not entirely convinced you need him. Your two core boxes are actually going to be Lizard/Kraven and Carnage/Mysterio.

Marvel Crisis Protocol Mysterio & Carnage - Recess Games LLC
Lizard and Kraven Character Pack for Marvel: Crisis Protocol

4 affiliated characters, a bunch of great affiliated and character-specific cards. Between these 4 and Ock from the core box literally half your roster will be Spider-Foes, with a lot of overlap in the 3 threat slot to tailor your team to the crisis combo you get. Want more control? Mysterio and Lizard. More damage focused? Kraven and Ock (Ock loves bonus dice on attacks). Playing on a B? Take Lizard and Ock so you can double move onto your opponent’s B secures to pick up an early advantage. Hell you can even intentionally play 6 wide on 17 (the threat you’ll play virtually all the time) with Kraven, Ock, Lizard, Mysterio, Zemo, and Widow. With just these two boxes you get more flexibility in your roster than most Three Box Challenge rosters get in 3. But from this wonderful core 2 boxes where do we go from here? The first (and obvious choice) is of course Norman Osborn:

Marvel Crisis Protocol: Green Goblin Character Pack – Common Ground Games

I spent a lot of time shit talking him but at the end of the day, he IS the quintessential Sinister Six character, and is literally their leader. I felt mildly honor-bound to take him as my third box. And TBH he’s been performing GREAT so far. He makes a really clean Spider-Foes team at 17 of Goblin, Carnage and three 3 threat characters. He also brings with him Blind Obsession which makes Carnage one of the scariest characters you can put down on the table. Unlike most other leader boxes he doesn’t come with a Crisis, though, so it locks you into the core crises but with your extreme comfort at 17 threat that isn’t the end of the world. Forcing Extremis/Infinity with prio and reactively choosing Cube/Skrulls without gives you some solid play to force a game that is a referendum on whether Carnage can kill the world. If you want to play Spider-Foes and Spider-Foes only, Green Goblin is the box to take.

[Green Goblin]

[Characters]
– Baron Zemo: 3
– Black Widow: 2
– Carnage: 4
– Doctor Octopus: 3
– Green Goblin: 4
– Iron Man: 3
– Kraven the Hunter: 3
– Lizard: 3
– Mysterio: 3
– Spider-Man (Peter Parker): 4

[Team Tactics]
– Blind Obsession
– Brace for Impact
– Carnage Rules
– Disarm
– Neogenetic Recombinator
– Sinister Traps
– The Grand Illusion
– Well-Laid Plans

[Extract Crises]
– Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership [C]: 17
– Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan [F]: 17
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians [C]: 17
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

MCP Sin and Viper Character Pack - Recess Games LLC

Our next option has been a recent part of my Season 6 TTS League dojoing – Sin (and Viper). There are two very specific reasons I’m advocating for this box and both of them are related to unlocking Carnage – Partners in Crime and Illicit Tech. Partners in Crime is Sin’s ability to have Crossbones to immediately go afterwards which in a Three Box Challenge meta basically guarantees you priority from round 2 on in most matchups (and Carnage likes to go first). Illicit Tech is a super long ranged attack that also applies Incinerate on a bunch of targets. Carnage LOVES attacking incinerated targets. Sure, it pulls you out of Spider-Foes when you play like this but it gives you options. Want to play a comprehensive scenario focused style? 6 wide. Want to go full murder in a discount Double Date team? Sin, Crossbones, Zemo, Carnage, Ultron at 17 will do just great. And if your opponent brought a box with a different threat crisis you have a lot of Spider-Foes focused versions of the Carnage kill team on higher threat, and can compress your 6 wide foes list for lower threat.

[SinBones]

[Characters]
– Baron Zemo: 3
– Black Widow: 2
– Carnage: 4
– Crossbones: 3
– Doctor Octopus: 3
– Kraven the Hunter: 3
– Lizard: 3
– Mysterio: 3
– Sin: 3
– Ultron: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Brace for Impact
– Carnage Rules
– Dark Reign
– Disarm
– Illicit Tech
– Neogenetic Recombinator
– Sinister Traps
– The Grand Illusion

[Extract Crises]
– Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership [C]: 17
– Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan [F]: 17
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians [C]: 17
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

Marvel Crisis Protocol: Spider-man & Ghost Spider – Common Ground Games

And finally we’re going to circle back to the perennial Three Box Challenge favorite, Miles and Gwen. You get access to a secondary affiliation, two situationally AMAZING 3 threats, and of course All You’ve Got. It might merit an article all on its own but All You’ve Got is starting to hit the point where it might be banworthy, so now is the time to live the dream with Carnage and AYG daze your opponent’s entire team. I do have to admit I almost didn’t include Spider-Portals but caved at the last second. This is purely a preference thing, I don’t like it when two of the characters I want to play in most games have 1 energy defense (Carnage and Mysterio), and you’re just power hungry in general. That said, it opens up an exciting 6 wide Carnage focused team at 18 consisting of Carnage, Mysterio, Lizard, Kraven, Zemo, and Black Widow. I think with the over-focus on 17 threat teams in a Three Box Challenge you can really throw people off if they haven’t prepped for alternate threats, and the X-factor is too juicy to ignore, especially when you kinda suck at Origin Bombs already without Green Goblin. I also managed to find room for Fearful Symmetry and Spider-Man (Peter Parker) in case you run into Web Warriors and want an extra spicy game.

[MilesGwen]

[Characters]
– Baron Zemo: 3
– Black Widow: 2
– Carnage: 4
– Doctor Octopus: 3
– Ghost-Spider: 3
– Kraven the Hunter: 3
– Lizard: 3
– Mysterio: 3
– Spider-Man (Peter Parker): 4
– Spider-Man (Miles Morales): 3

[Team Tactics]
– All Webbed Up
– All You’ve Got
– Carnage Rules
– Disarm
– Fearful Symmetry
– Neogenetic Recombinator
– Sinister Traps
– The Grand Illusion

[Extract Crises]
– Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership [C]: 17
– Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan [F]: 17
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Portals Overrun City With Spider-People! [D]: 18
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

And FINALLY, if you’re not supporting your FLGS for MCP, I would like to bring your attention to our sponsors for your wargaming needs in both NA and the UK:

NA:

https://www.discountgamesinc.com/

UK:

https://blackgategames.co.uk


That will wrap us up for this Three Box Challenge article here on acrossthebifrost.com! Also make sure to check out the Roster Doctor on Facebook, Youtube and Twitch!

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