If you haven’t been glued to AMGs Ministravaganza on Twitch, boy have you been missing out! Hulkbuster, Ms. Marvel, Rogue, and Magik all got card reveals and we got sneak peaks at the sculpts of Juggernaut, Gambit, and Colossus. But the one panel that was the most intriguing out of the entire schedule was the closing event on the final day of Ministravaganza titled “The Next Phase – The Future of Marvel: Crisis Protocol”. After getting so many cool reveals in one weekend already, what could possibly top them?
To start, AMG looks back at their (nearly) two years of the game being on the market. The difference between characters and crises made at launch versus those made today. Which leads to their bombshell announcement: a core rules update.
One of the first things they aim to do, Pagani announced, is access to 10 tactic cards. This works in conjunction with making less unaffiliated cards to make narrow character/affiliation specific cards more attractive. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve cut Neogenetic Recombinator or The Grand Illusion from my Spider-Foes rosters, or been pressured out of taking a secondary affiliation / certain tactic heavy characters for some flexibility.
But the bigger change comes to crises. Alongside these bevy of updates comes full random crisis selection. Instead of discarding one at random and picking from the remainder, full random crisis selection. Personally I am dismayed by this news. I understand the concept of heading off problematic crises like Panic or Deadly Legacy Virus, but this feels like there’s too much collateral damage. Certain matchup specific crises go out the window, and odd numbered extracts become a list building liability if you randomly draw it when you don’t have priority. I’ve seen a some people in their immediate reactions in twitch chat say this is “more balanced”, and I really beg you to think again. It might reduce the odds of degenerate crisis forces but it will also MASSIVELY reduce crisis diversity at the same time. I don’t think this is the end of the world but it’s a sad day for roster building, overshadowing the tactics bump in my view. Hopefully I’m wrong.
On the heels of that bombshell they announced a change to how Infinity Gems. No longer will they take up a slot at roster creation. Instead now you will state which gems your characters in your roster are using at roster construction rather than list construction. This is an interesting change that personally I’m in favor of. It’s a BIG nerf to Black Order who has been a boogeyman for a while. Losing team building flexibility with Thanos makes putting them off their ideal threat way easier. It does have some awkward collateral for Defenders and other teams that make occasional use of gems in certain situations. But I think its worth improving your ability to fit in characters.
And the cherry on top of the core rules update was something people have begging for ever since Agent Widow came out: you can FINALLY take multiple characters with the same Alias on your roster (but not squad)! The biggest immediate implications are for Web Warriors and Defenders – flexibility between Peters and Stephens is always welcome. Do note that this doesn’t allow you to take multiple different Thanos gem configurations in the same roster.
All of these changes were promised to come out “before end of year” according to Schick.
Moving past the big core rules changes, they manage to drop an even bigger announcement: card updates. But not just new formatting. That’s right – character re-dos!
George Tarleton, better known as M.O.D.O.K. is the poster child for early outliers on the power curve for MCP. M.O.D.O.K. was MCPs first ever “OP” character. Admittedly the meta has left him behind but seeing his bow and rerolls get nerfed is a nice way to bring him back in line.
The next “OP” character to show is Shuri, who has terrorized the game for almost its entire lifetime. Admittedly this is a far lighter touch than M.O.D.O.K. but she can no longer push size 4+ characters. Which is devastating in certain matchups (good luck dealing with Dormammu, Wakanda!). She does also get the reroll timing update alongside good ol’ George.
As for buffed characters they gave us a glimpse into new Steve Rogers. No longer a “man out of time” with the meta, his Shield Throw is VASTLY improved and his Strike can now push size 3. This is an absolute game changer for Avengers as this Steve is completely playable. And theres a TON of exciting builds that are Steve specific over Sam. This is a massive game changer for roster diversity in the near future.
And FINALLY, the saddest trombone in the history of MCP designs gets a MASSIVE face-lift. His builder is stronger and actually generates power. His defenses are better than before. And he gets a BONKERS reroll reactive superpower to make him even harder to kill. Oh, also if you missed it he’s immune to Stun as well now. In compensation for all of this his dice-for-power passive gets weaker but not by a ton. TBH out of all of the changed cards I think Hulk will change the game the most. And I have to admit I’m a little worried he’s overtuned. By how much? We’ll find out.
This will be rolled out to print for free alongside the core rules update, and a card pack will be available early next year with characters and “other cards” for general use.
All in all I am VERY bullish on these changes. I’m VERY sad about crisis selection getting simplified with randomness but literally every other bullet point they announced was a massive win. They showed a promising future as well as a commitment to players’ past purchases. And a critical eye constantly asking “how can we improve on this game” while not being afraid to change things just because thats how they used to be. 2021 was a great year for MCP and as of this evening I’m even more excited about 2022!
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