Character Review: Cyclops


Cyclops is the second leader of the Uncanny X-Men in Marvel: Crisis Protocol. His leadership; X-Men Blue, will not be the focus of this piece and deserves it’s own article. So let’s see how the second leader of the X-Men does for himself.

6 health with 4 physical defense and 3 energy and mystical is a good start for a 4 threat character and combined with his superpowers, it makes him a surprisingly resilient model. Bringing a medium move on a small (35mm) base is about as average as it can get on a Crisis Protocol model.

Optic Blast is a pretty decent builder with 5 dice energy at range 4 with a size 2 push on a wild. Cyclops can have some difficulty with his power generation early game if his first attacks don’t go well, a trait he shares with the other X-Men leader that can make him a bit unreliable.

At first glance, Optic Devastation looks pretty powerful, Beam 5 with 7 dice for 4 power, with Concussive Force to mitigate the power you’re giving the opposing models. If you can line up 3+ models, Optic Devastation can do some heavy lifting but like his builder, without outside assistance, the attack can be very dicey.

Cyclops’s first superpower, Field Leader, really captures his role as a leader of the X-Men. For 3 power he can reposition a model within range 4 of him. Out of activation movement is a pretty solid tool. Being able to move a model on a point after they’ve been pushed away or advance a model with Bodyguard within range of a character you’d want to protect, there’s a lot of things Field Leader can enable.

Like Charge, Hit and Run is a great superpower because it makes him more mobile and gives him a significatively better action economy. Being able to attack someone, move, then attack someone again helps him move across the board and be as relevant as possible.

His last superpower, Quick Draw, turns his above average defensive capabilities into solid stats. Under Storm’s Leadership, it gives him 5 dice with Cover as long as he can pay 2 power and is attacked outside range 2.

Last but not least, we have his leadership; X-Men Blue. As far as leadership goes, it’s not very enticing and probably tied for one of, if not the worst leadership in the game. While being able to pool power for spenders seems decent at face value, the range 3 limitation or the 1 power per character limit stops a lot of its effectiveness. This also doesn’t consider the fact that spenders are, more often than not, much more unreliable than superpowers as they’re often dependent on good dice results to be effective.

As far as leadership goes, X-Men Blue is definitely not the one for me but it can be a lot of fun if you want to play a more relaxed set up or teach someone to play as it’s very flashy and feels cool to have Cyclops be able to do two huge Optic Devastations in a row.

Overall Cyclops is a pretty decent model that suffers from the same issues as a lot of his fellow mutants, having a solid toolkit but unreliable power generation to support it, which makes them somewhat unreliable on the table. If they have strong openers and good results on their first builders, they’ll usually be pretty effective and pull their weight but if they don’t, they can easily fall behind.

Thank you and feel free to leave a comment, good luck and don’t forget to have fun!

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