I have been putting off my first impressions of Nick “Cold Rage” Fury (ok…it’s just Nick Fury…) until after we got to see his tactics cards because I truly believed that with 10 tactics cards under his belt that it would be prudent to wait. And boy was I correct. Nick Fury himself is a fine card and leader for the S.H.I.E.L.D. faction, giving you aggressive plays on your opponent while you are ahead and gives you a chance to come back when your enemy takes the lead in VP. Fury also comes stock with 4 defense in 2 of the most common attacking types in the game (Physical and Mystic) with a 3 in Energy defense. His Health pool seems standard at 6/5 and his medium move allows for average maneuverability.
Fury’s Builders are nothing to truly write home about. He essentially has Wolverine’s Claw Slash in the form of Tactical Knife and has a nice R3 single power builder (this is important by the way). Lead from the Front is interesting as it will allow you to make some pretty nice Dice rolls against your opponent and get Fury around the Map.
Fury’s Super Powers are quite good. Call in the Cavalry allows for Fury to perform some silly extract plays by having an effective Super Toad ability for 2 power. Placing grunts R3 away from Fury almost gives him an effective R4 interaction with Extracts, allowing you some very interesting T1 plays. From there, while the grunts are within R3 of Fury they now also have Inhuman rerolls. While the offensive portion of the reroll is nice, it isn’t essential as the Grunts aren’t going to be doing tons of damage anyway. The defensive reroll, however, is fantastic. Every Web Warrior player can tell you how rage inducing the reroll is, and now you get it on a grunt that just wants to
However, the second part of Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is just as important as Fury keeping his men alive. Fury also gains power whenever his Agents take or deal damage. This keeps him generating further agents and allowing him to continuously feed moves and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent grunts onto the field.
Eye in the Sky: Life Saver is good. Omnidirectional Life Saver is better. Infinite Omnidirectional Life Saver is bestest. By using Eye in the Sky you are essentially giving Fury a 3 power Life Saver every Round. Considering you generally only use Life Saver once or twice a round anyway, this card is a definite must in my eyes for S.H.I.E.L.D. affiliation.
Reposition: Asteroid M and Mothership or staple cards for their respective affiliations. I really like this card because any and all displacement is pretty nice. This one is limited in its scope however as it only allows Fury to teleport to S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. However, it does allow him to teleport to them while holding objectives, and that is truly amazing for Fury to possibly generate Grunts R3 into your zone, double move to an objective and then teleport himself back to the Grunts for a truly disgusting amount of distance. Or, alternatively, it positions Fury to take single objective scenarios and move far enough to possibly deny your opposition the point for several turns. The only downside is it is for Fury only, and thus limits how much cool stuff you can do and is only applicable for S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents and not S.H.I.E.L.D. affiliation.
Life Model Decoy: Pseudo Doctor Strange Mists. The Strange version is really taken and I don’t think this one will be either. Having a chance of doing nothing twice hurts when you are paying 3 power for it.
Battlefield Medicine: It’s Medpack. But for S.H.I.E.L.D.. Medpack is restricted for a reason. If you are playing S.H.I.E.L.D. then you are playing this card. It is that simple. What this does is it allows you to free up a restricted slot in your team tactics cards slot.
Hard Reset: It’s a Recalibration Matrix. I don’t even think we took Recalibration Matrix when it first came out, much less a specialized S.H.I.E.L.D. version of it.
Sitrep: Hey, it’s another S.H.I.E.L.D. specific card. I choose you….Tactical Analysis…I mean at least S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be all about the team work shenanigans and Fury will probably be flushed with power, so you won’t have much to worry about. It may see play since it is cheaper than Climbing Gear, if not more limited in scope.
Helicarrier Strike: I have mixed feelings about Helicarrier Strike. On the one hand, I really don’t like TTC that replace an attack for one turn. On the other hand, I do love the smell of napalm in the morning. An AoE incinerate on certain maps is a game changer, so if you are planning around this one big attack to swing the game then I think there may be a place for it, especially on characters who can easily afford it like the Hulk and Bill Gates.
Defensive Prototype: S.H.I.E.L.D., I am going to need you to stop jacking other peoples stuff. First the Tesseract, now Web Barrier!? I thought you were above petty theft Nick. But, in all seriousness. Web Barrier is a good, if not underused, TTC. I suspect you will be able to get a little bit more out of it with S.H.I.E.L.D. due to some other card’s interactivity and characters ultimately not being as power hungry as Web Warriors.
The Shieldmobile: Not gonna lie, everyone loves Climbing Gear. This is Climbing Gear’s cooler older brother who brings the drink to the party. Juggernaut is already strutting to his new theme song, A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton, but now he can potentially get into a car to cruise around too? Shenanigans I say. But, you may be asking yourself, “Hey Foster, how you getting that big red dude into that tiny car? He ain’t no S.H.I.E.L.D. agent!” But, that’s where you’re potentially wrong kiddo. It’s all in your…initiative…
The Initiative: And here we come to the Magnum Opus of Shield Cards. Not only can you give any character in the game the S.H.I.E.L.D. affiliation, but you then also get to give themselves a mini-version of Web Warriors, Asgard, or Crime Syndicate’s leadership ability once. This opens so many different combinations it is damn near mind boggling to comprehend just how this is going to affect the game in the future. Some things I just thought of off the top of my head:
- Hulk or Juggernaut riding in Coleson’s pimp-mobile.
- Corvus Glaive, Wolverine, X-23, Rogue, insert other potentially hard hitting characters here gaining on demand Aggressive. There is no escape.
- Thanos gaining compassion and learning the meaning of friendship. Also, Thanos offering ridiculous control options that will play into your desire for extract play.
- Being able to decide what heavy hitters you want to add to the list to add some more bulk to its already aggressive roster.
The list goes on and on. But, I think that there is a problem with S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Issue with the Affiliation
I think that S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to make a huge splash into the meta when we get Fury. I think it’s going to take a lot of work to make it properly hit home. There are so many TTC that only work with S.H.I.E.L.D. here and the majority of them are fantastic that I think you are going to find yourself a bit oversaturated for choice and you are going to have to be hyper focused on what you need to win. If you play The Initiative then you are playing with only 4 TTC. If you aren’t then you are still working with a myriad of cards. If you play Brace, Battlefield Medicine, and Field Dressing/Patchup then you are looking at only working with 2 TTC from there. S.H.I.E.L.D. players are going to have to choose very very wisely in order to draw out all the affiliations potential.
I look forward to seeing how this affiliation works out and how Fury works outside of affiliation (R4 extract grabs sound really good for a certain red webbed spandex faction).
Till next time Webslingers.