Welcome to The Diary of a Dreadlord. In this article series, I, Ulysses, will discuss my journey in creating a mono-affiliation Black Order roster for the miniatures game Marvel Crisis Protocol (MCP). Hopefully, these articles will help you become a Dreadlord, one of the Mad Titan’s great generals.
What roster are you looking at playing?
With the release of the Supergiant and Black Swan character pack, Black Order has received a lot of new options, leaving a lot of roster configurations to explore. My first draft of a roster is:
In Corvus’s Dice We Trust
Thanos, the Mad Titan (Mind, Space) (Threat: 8)
Corvus Glaive (Reality) (Threat: 5)
Proxima Midnight (Threat: 3)
Black Swan (Power) (Threat: 5)
Bob, Agent of Hydra (Threat: 2)
Ebony Maw (Threat: 5)
Supergiant (Threat: 3)
Black Dwarf (Threat: 4)
Loki, God of Mischief (Threat: 4)
Toad (Threat: 2)
Patch Up (R)
Price of Failure
First of the Black Order
Secure Crisis (3):
Cosmic Invasion! Black Order Descends on Earth (Threat: 16)
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? (Threat: 19)
Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 (Threat: 17)
Extract Crisis (3):
Research Station Attacked! (Threat: 16)
The Montesi Formula Found (Threat: 17)
Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership (Threat: 17)
Let’s break down the draft roster. Since I am exploring Black Order, I included every affiliated character. I then added some unaffiliated characters to shore up some threats. When building rosters, I like to plan out some options at every threat. For this roster, I came up with:
14: Corvus Glaive, Black Swan, and Black Dwarf
14: Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, and Ebony Maw/Black Swan
15: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, and a 2-threat
15: Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, and Black Swan
16: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, and Proxima Midnight/Supergiant
17: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, and Loki/Proxima Midnight
17: Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Black Swan, and Black Dwarf
18: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, Proxima, and a 2-threat
18: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, Ebony Maw/Black Swan
19: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, Proxima Midnight, and Supergiant
19: Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Black Swan, Black Dwarf, and a 2-threat
20: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, Proxima Midnight, and Loki
20: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, Ebony Maw/Black Swan, and a 2-threat
20: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, Proxima Midnight, and two 2-threats
20: Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Black Swan, Black Dwarf, a 2-threat
Why do I have squads that play a point down at 14 and 17?
14: Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, and Ebony Maw/Black Swan
17: Corvus Glaive, Thanos, and Proxima Midnight
I would play these options if I thought that I was likely to play into an opponent that was going to run a 3-wide squad and wanted to be able to control priority early with Corvus Glaive’s and Proxima Midnight’s Husband and Wife superpowers.
Why take Bob, Loki, and Toad as my unaffiliated options?
Having one 2-threat character is close to mandatory for playing Thanos and Corvus Glaive at 15 and Thanos, Corvus Glaive, and Proxima Midnight at 18. I like Bob, since his Excessive Violence attack allows you daze him one round and then Price of Failure on a later round to retain priority and/or give Corvus Glaive and Thanos the power that they need to make a game-winning play. Another 2-threat could be used in the situation where you do not think that priority control will be needed (i.e. when playing into wide squads) and at 20 threat with Corvus Glaive, Thanos, Proxima Midnight, and Bob. I have Toad in the draft roster, since he is a great point extract grabber and point sitter. However, he might be swapped to a different 2-threat later.
I have Loki for helping against enemy characters that use a lot of superpowers, such as Thanos, and for his ability to count blanks on attacks with I am a God, which combos really well with Thanos’s Death’s Decree. Voodoo and Fury are two great unaffiliated 4-threat options that might get slotted into the roster later. Voodoo is particularly good on single extracts and Fury is particularly good on wide extracts.
Why am I taking the tactics cards that I am taking?
I am taking the Black Order staples of Mothership, which enables massive repositioning plays, and Execute, which enables Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight to more easily deal with many tanky characters, such as Hulk. I am also including the new Black Order leadership card First of the Black Order and Black Onslaught, the new card that allows a charging Black Swan to move Black Dwarf. I am looking forward to stress testing these. Since I am including Ebony Maw, I have included Shhh…, the tactics card that can counter a super power for a turn. Since I am including Bob, I also include Price of Failure for the previously mentioned priority control.
In addition to the Black Order cards, I am taking several powerful unaffiliated cards. In order to protect my important characters from an extremely dangerous attack, I have included Sacrifice, which also combos well with Bob. With the suspected rotating out of Medpack, I am going to be testing running Patch Up for healing my characters. I am taking Advanced R&D to guarantee that Thanos has access to at least four power on round one. This can make sure that Thanos can use two of Cosmic Portal, Death’s Decree, and Mothership on round one. It also enables Thanos to better deal with an enemy Loki on round one. I have Mission Objective in the roster to make it easier to hold onto the few extracts that Black Order picks up. It may be less valuable, since I am not running both Skrull and Alien Ship, but I am uncertain about this right now. A card that I will be looking if I need to swap in is Indomitable, especially since I am running Research Station, which I will discuss later.
Why am I taking the secures that I am taking?
Historically, Black Order has liked to force a series of small skirmishes were Corvus faces one or two enemy characters at a time. D-shaped secures can force your opponent to split up their characters, enabling these small skirmishes to occur, while also not generally allowing your opponent to score a ton of VPs. In keeping with this, my draft roster contains Cosmic Invasion and Extremis. Cosmic Invasion’s threat of 16 is great, enabling you to run Corvus Glaive, Thanos, and Proxima Midnight. However, the potential push in the power phase requires you to be very careful of your positioning, forcing you to often backstop your models with terrain or other models. Extremis’s threat of 17 is decent, allowing you to play the 16 into narrow lists and Corvus Glaive, Thanos, and a 4-threat or Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Black Swan, and Black Dwarf into wider lists. The healing on Extremis is extremely good for Thanos, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, and Black Dwarf, due to their damage reduction superpowers. The third secure is more up in the air for me.
I am playing Demons, since it is a low scoring secure and 19 threat is fine, but not great, for Black Order. However, it being central allows your opponent to bring all their fire power to bear on our few, likely incinerated, models. This means that against wider attrition teams, Black Order may not be favored on Demons. Some players like Scoundrels, but I have found it a little fast scoring for my taste and I have found that 20 threat allows your opponent to bring a ton of Black Order counter tech. Another option that splits the board is Infinity Formula, but part of trying to focus your attacks is to deny your opponent a lot of power on characters that you do not immediately KO. The power gain offered by Infinity Formula goes against this idea.
Why am I taking the extracts that I am taking?
Black Order generally likes low-scoring, low-count extracts, so that they are not outscored early, that also require your opponent to move characters to the center of the board. Historically, this has led Black Order rosters to include the random C-shaped extracts that require a crit to be rolled when interacting, namely Alien Ship and Skrull. However, Black Order can lose games off of these extracts being untimely discovered. As a result, I am currently only taking Skrull, since I, personally, like 17 threat better than 20 threat a lot of the time.
In addition to the Skrulls and Alien Ship, I am looking for other slow-scoring extract where opponents have to move at least one model to the centerline of the board. Montesi is such an extract, which also has the reasonable threat of 17. As discussed in the secures section, 16 threat is great for Black Order. Research Station is relatively low-scoring, has a threat of 16, and Thanos’s control gives you plays to score it against a lot of teams. On Research Station, your opponent needs to spread out to score a lot of points using the secures, which can also be helpful. One potential extract to play is Herb, since it is low-scoring and has a low-threat of 15. Thanos makes scoring the Herb very difficult for your opponent, but certain characters, like Fury, place pressure on Thanos’s superpower use, which constrains how you play him. I am not sold on my three extracts, so this is one area that I will be examining thoroughly while testing the roster.
What is next?
In the next articles in this series, I will be discussing how the roster fares in some games, analyzing those games, and discussing why, or why not, I am thinking about making roster changes. Please try out the new Black Order options and see how they play for you. Thanks for reading.