First of all, sorry for the delay I was doing pretty good at doing one of these at least once a week but life happens sometimes and hobbies and extra stuff has to get put on the back burner. Let’s get into it though.
Team Tactics Cards, oh boy this has been something I have been trying to think about how to lay out in the easiest way possible and what I could possibly suggest. Team Tactics really come down to what you prefer, your personal play-style, and of course what the team could use most. You probably will have some amount of agreeance and some amount of thinking I am crazy with this one but let’s get dive in!
Let’s talk about the easy part first, the affiliated Tactics Cards. Comparatively speaking well…. they’re kinda not good to kinda okay, with one being a staple only because it enables your team to work the way it needs to but it isn’t really game changing. Recently on The Danger Room Podcast we had an episode discussing “proactive vs reactive” in the game. During this open discussion episode I had kind of a realization that, in my opinion, explains maybe why X-Force seems to be lacking competitively. This being a lot of the really good or even banned tactics cards in the game are incredibly proactive especially the affiliated ones. For instance, All-Webbed Up, get extra dice slow your opponent it directly impacts the game influencing a swing turn. Wakanda forever or Siege of Darkness, very straightforward proactive here. Avengers assemble, Asteroid M, Mothership, I think you see the point. What do we get as X-Force?
Pretty Sneaky Sis! Don’t get me wrong this is a good card but it is so situational and doesn’t apply in a lot of games, as well it’s power cost is incredibly high for this team who want their power for everything else. Let me pay 2 power for super stealth and have a runaway tactic or a defensive tactic. Seems very reactive to me, doesn’t impact board state very much at all, and it can be only used by X-Force members. So it a lot of times will just get the boot because of these things. Again, don’t get me wrong it is a fun card can get you things and has its purpose but is it a staple? No not at all. What about game-changing like allowing a swing turn to happen! Nope not that either its just okay.
Next, I’d like to talk about Dirty Work. When this card first was spoiled I started reading it thinking oh my god we’re gonna get Usurp as an affiliated card! Then I kept reading and thought…. what? Let me pay 3 power, select a high threat target, HOPEFULLY daze or KO with an affiliated model and then gain 2 power for all my X-Force models. So I am having a negative return on the model that pays for the card, and then I might not even get it if I happen to daze the target with a non X-Force member? Maybe if this gave bonus dice or something else then this card could be really cool but it is a negative return, doesn’t impact board state by any means, and it has a potential to just not work. There really isn’t much else I can say about this card but it leaves a lot to be desired.
Then we get the one card we can call a staple, good ol’ Cat and Mouse. This card does impact board state by bumping up a model right before the power phase which is actually really kinda cool. It can give an edge on a lot of games allowing cable to double tap if your opponent moves pretty much at all. It can also enable X-23 to get some shenanigans and get rolling early with a combination of cat and mouse and NMTC! The other really neat part of this card is the fact if you are playing Infinity Formula or Demon’s downtown you get your place before the crisis stuff happens. So on infinity you can cat and mouse and gain an extra power on X-23 or Cable or whoever you do it on as long as you position properly, just be sure you’re paying attention on Demons because you will begin the game incinerated as well.
But let’s break down this play a little bit so people can see with graphics!
We talked Affiliated Tactics so lets jump into Unaffiliated Tactics. As I showed in the previous images NMTC is in my opinion a staple for X-Force it might as well be an affiliated card. My thoughts behind this is multiple characters in the affiliation are Healing Factor so the damage you take from it can easily be benign. In the case of X-23 she can use the card to spender round 1, interact with an objective, get some free movement out of the attack, and literally take no damage due to her healing factor. I LOVE this card for her. Other members of X-Force love it as well, even Cable. If you’re sitting on 3 power you could NMTC and Askani’son early game if your opponent decides to push hard. Then if you’re hitting 3 people you heal back the 3 you just took for it. This is something not really expected and is also extremely Corner case and I would not recommend making it a plan to do this every game as the option doesn’t present itself all too often. Long Story Short NMTC is one of my favorite cards to bring with X-Force.
My next almost auto include for the team is going to be X-Ceptional Healing. You are taking multiple Healing factor characters, at the very least you should have 3 in your roster, as well you could even build a full healing factor squad minus cable even if you take Wolverine, Sabre, 23, Badger, Deadpool or whatever combination of this. Shoot I even have Lizard in my list and why not make a hard to remove model even harder to remove. This can also be super clutch if you have Badger “taunting” someone to keep 23 or another pivotal piece alive. Let me just take one damage from a 15 die Helios Laser it’s glorious. Not only this but it can be incredibly annoying for your opponent to have this plan to just essentially get ruined by X-Ceptional healing.
I think this really covers it for auto include cards to be completely honest and everything else is more of a dealer’s choice. What we can do though is lay down what types of cards we want. Here is where we stuff in character specific cards for our OOA characters, for example Monkey Brain if I am taking Lizard, or No More Mutants for Scarlet Witch, it really just depends. Some other things of strong consideration is compounding the aggressive nature, adding dice with Blind Obsession is solid, or maybe some sort of out of activation movement with Climbing Gear. So basically after our auto includes we are looking to things that fill holes just like with our character slots. For me this includes the likes of Sacrifice, let me protect Strange or 23 if I need to its just a clutch card to upset my opponents plans. Indomitable, just a super good card that can offset control teams. I love Marked for Death because of the range attacks we have and hunting things like Web Warriors or more specifically Black Cat when she is trying to grab and run. As you can see these cards are really more of what hole do you need to plug in the list and try it out. Something that ups our game plan and just helps in little spots or could be that impact on board state. I understand this isn’t too helpful but this really comes to what you prefer, this should consist of 5 cards of your choosing to enhance your roster though as we have Cat and Mouse, NMTC, X-Ceptional Healing and then 2 restricted cards.
Restricted Tactics Cards
Alright so our 2 slots here are in my opinion going to be completely reactive cards. Sure we can use Bitter Rivals and double down on Badger making our opponent incredibly weak defensively for a round creating a major swing turn due to taking out many models affected by the card and Anklebiter. Then if we really get incinerates going you can easily make an opponent -3 def that round which is nothing to scoff at but I truly think this is easier said than done and Bitter Rivals is easily negated by just moving. Pulling it off these days really is a lot harder than it used to be, as well the return is usually only helping against one model potentially two if you can get the stars to align maybe even three. So this is why I say Bitter really isn’t the top of our priorities here.
Medpack, sure you can bring this it can help but with this team I kinda live by the my models are going to die and its going to help me maintain priority allowing me to make bigger plays, Patch Up gets grouped into this as well. So they can be helpful but I think when it comes to restricted cards our bread and butter should be Field Dressing and Brace for Impact.
Brace for Impact is just super good, it always has been and it probably always will be. Being able to just shirk one damage from being thrown for a daze is great or stopping a big wall of damage from a size four being thrown at you. I really don’t think I need to go into this too much. Where it really helps this team at is a lot of our defenses are going to be 3 physical. So it isn’t uncommon for a throw to just nuke a character when we least want it to. So for this I highly recommend Brace as one of our restricted cards.
Finally we get to Field Dressing. Before I would have said eh take Brace and Bitter. With X-23 and Honeybadger though this changes. The ability to have Honey Badger move during your opponents turn when they daze 23 to field dress her before you activate is huge. That damage you just did to 23? oh yeah don’t worry about that you just juiced her up to do all that she wants to do and come right back at ya with revenge oh and then heal 2 so she would be sitting at 2 damage not just 4 when she’s done wrecking havoc. I love Field Dressing with this team as it has many uses. If you end up not needing it on 23 maybe you use it to get badger back up so she can bodyguard again keeping a pivotal piece alive. There really just are a lot of game saving plays that Field Dressing provides here and this is why I love it in X-Force post X-23 and HoneyBadger.
So there is my low down and dirty crash course on what I look at for my X-Force Tactics cards. For our affiliated Cat and Mouse is a must, then Pretty Sneaky you can make an argument for but you kinda have to have a plan for it. I feel it just takes up space where we want something a little more impactful. For our restricted I think I covered why we use Brace and Field Dressing more than the others but again I could argue you take Bitter Rivals over one of these. Medpack and Patchup just don’t do it in my opinion. Then for our unaffiliated cards, these are primarily NMTC, and X-Ceptional, then whatever character cards you feel that fill a hole in your list, or whatever you think can make an impact on board state. Hopefully this helps answer your questions on what tactics to bring with X-Force!
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