Smooth Criminals: A look into Criminal Syndicate – Chapter 2 – Building a roster

Hey guys! UtilityCookie here and back with another affiliation series, this time: Criminal Syndicate!
In this series I will try to guide you through my thought process in building a Criminal Syndicate roster. This series will not focus on building what I think is the premium optimised roster, (try to find what works for you) but I’ll try to give a solid foundation from where you can build  your own roster.

So I ask you, do you like to shrug off most attacks? Want to minimise your opponents efficiency? Don’t you just love secures? Then Criminal Syndicate is just the affiliation for you!

Building your roster
As mentioned in chapter 1, the Criminal Syndicate core is built around Kingpin, Crossbones, Hood, Omega Red, Black Cat and Bullseye. By which I mean you will probably start with 3 of these characters when choosing your team on a crisis. After that you will fill in the gaps where needed. So when building a roster you have to ask yourself a couple of questions when keeping the plan for Criminal Syndicate in mind:

1. Do I have enough displacements?

2. Do I need more survivability?

3. Can I cover every point value well enough and bring at least 5 models every point value? (to have enough bodies to win the secures)

4. Can I find characters that do all of the above?

After you have selected your characters you repeat this process with your tactics cards:

  1. Can I keep my bodies on points?
  2. Can I keep my models on their healthy side/alive?
  3. Is there a way to displace enemy models through cards?

Following these steps you should have a good enough basis for a strong roster, again you might ask different/more questions when building your own roster. Maybe you want a more offensive playstyle and fill in the gaps with those models and tactics cards. Many options are viable in this game!

Since there is a vast amount of characters and tactics cards available in MCP I will try to narrow them down both to a still large group to select from but saves you some time reading the cards of 100 characters. This does not mean the characters or cards I am not mentioning are bad for CS but the following list will play into the questions I asked above.

So first up we will look at the characters.


2 Threats

Adding a 2 threat is not needed unless you want to be able to go 7 characters wide at certain point values so take that into consideration when picking your 10 characters. Should you want to use another 2 threat over bullseye in other point values than I would look at the following 3:

Black Widow – Fast objective grabber or useful for flipping uncontested ‘’pay to flip secures’’, also brings a stagger option. Can run from far to contest secures like a back gamma shelter. Brings stealth

– Can protect your more important pieces through bodyguard and is rather tanky herself

Helps you play the extract game but might be a bit redundant with the leadership.

3 Threats

Baron Zemo – Gives your team rerolls and helps your offensive output, can run from far to contest secures like a back gamma shelter.

– -1 damage, has a throw and can do big damage through his vengeance token.

– -1 damage, has a thow, is size 3 so harder to displace and has healing factor.

Luke Cage
– -1 damage, can throw on his spender and has the Heroes for Hire tactics card. If you get lucky he can stagger.

– Has Stealth is evasive and can stagger. Is affiliated.

4 Threats

Doctor Voodoo – Is pretty survivable with 4/4/6 defenses. Helps tremendously in the points race with his Brother Daniel token. Also brings a throw.

Mr. Sinister
– Can reduce up to 3 damage, can displace someone.

Black Dwarf
– Is size 4 so harder to displace, -1 damage, has a throw and can stagger on his spender.

Black Panther
– Can push 2 characters per round, has an L move to contest secures from far away and is pretty tanky.

– Has his range 4 aura to either reduce super power effectiveness and on his flip side does not let the opponent roll in crits protecting your team. Is pretty evasive with trickster.

– Bring lethal protector, can heal himself and has a big health pool.

Rogue – -1 damage, Can throw someone on her spender and can drain power from opponents to reduce damage output and displacement options.

5+ Threats

Doctor Strange – Can heal your tanky models, can push 2 characters from range 4 and adds defense dice to your models. Also has the option to auto stagger or activate someone.

– Big healthpool (13!) on his healthy side. Can auto push. Reduces damage by 1while being immune to pushes on that attack. Auto throws size 4 or less on his spender.

– Can reduce damage by one, has a wild push on his builder attack and is hard to displace. Has a big healthpool. On his injured side he gets access to a throw.

– Can be outfitted with the mind gem for extra displacement, reduces damage by one 1, has a big healthpool, can place allies and enemy characters 2, can throw or push on his attacks. Opens up a Black Order dual affiliation roster.

All these characters bring a layer of survivability, healing or control or a combination of these. Pick the ones you like, keeping crisis point values in mind, and you are set.

Tactic cards
Now that we know the crisis and characters it is time to finalise the roster with tactic cards. These you can use to glue together your characters and gameplan. Below is a selection of cards that work well for Criminal Syndicate. I won’t be explaing what the cards do because they explain themselves. I’ll leave out character specific cards, many of them are very good if you take the character that uses them. (Lethal protector, Heroes for Hire, etc.) Below they are sorted in different roles.


Displacement and displacement prevention

Damage Reduction

Specific plans

And that concludes the Criminal Syndicate affiliation guide, I hope this two part article has helped shine a light on the Criminal Syndicate playstyle and gameplan.

See you guys in the next affiliation series!

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