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.
I was playing the Black Order roster that I described in my last article (https://acrossthebifrost.com/2022/05/25/the-diary-of-a-dreadlord-day-1/).
My opponent was running a power taxation Asgard roster.
My opponent won priority and picked Extracts, pulling Cubes. I then pulled Cosmic Invasion. I picked 17 threat, since I wanted to try out Corvus Glaive with the Reality Gem, Proxima Midnight, Black Swan with the Power Gem, and Black Dwarf at 17. In hindsight, this was not necessarily a bad choice, since Root and Loki can cause a lot of trouble for Thanos, Corvus Glaive, and Proxima, which I would have ran at 16. As far as tactics cards, I took First of the Black Order, since I was running without Thanos and with Corvus Glaive. I took Black Onslaught, since I was taking Black Swan and Black Dwarf. Since I was playing Black Order, I took Mothership. I took Patch Up, since that was the healing card in my roster. I, also, took Sacrifice for changing the target of a key attack, such as a For Asgard attack that gives the stagger condition. One thing to note is that Black Swan was being proxied with Medusa, since they have the same health and base size.
My opponent includeded Thor, Enchantress, Loki, and Sinister in his squad. Sinister was there to root my characters, which, in addition to Loki’s bubble of increased superpower costs, can really inhibit superpower realiant characters. Since my opponent was playing Asgard, he took Rainbow Bridge and Odin’s Blessing, two very strong affiliated tactics cards. Since my opponenet took Mr. Sinister, he took Forced Extraction, to get Genetic Sample tokens on Mr. Sinister early. Unsurprisingly, he also selected the two restricted cards in his roster, Medpack and Field Dressing.
My deployment plan was to threaten the side secures. I placed Black Swan centrally so that she could move to whatever side would be most helpful, bringing a friend along for the ride using Black Onslaught or Mothership. My opponent deployed all to one side.
Round 1 … Fight!
My opponent opened up by moving Sinister to his home secure. I respond by moving Black Dwarf up to get a cube and then moving him onto my leftmost secure. My opponent then double moved Loki to grab a cube. I then double moved Black Swan to grab the center cube. My opponent moved up Enchantress to grab a cube and be in a central position. This left my opponent with Thor to be activated and me with Corvus and Proxima. This is where my lack of foresight with regards to tactics cards, deployment, and the matchup became evident. I really wanted to have someone score my home secure, have someone contest my leftmost secure, have Proxima grab the cube closest to her, use Husband/Wife to steal priority, and setup Corvus for round 2, potentially via a Mothership play. To accomplish all of this, I had Corvus climb over the truck and move to my home secure, spending one for his Husband superpower. Proxima then moved up and picked up the closest cube, and, then, moved onto my rightmost secure. With the cube, Proxima would start round 2 with two power, needing only one more power to enable a Mothership play with Corvus. In response to this, my opponent double moved Thor to contest Proxima. This meant that Round 1 ended with me being up 5 to 3 VP.
During the power phase, Corvus was, luckily, pushed by the secure, gaining two power, giving him five power. Proxima was not pushed. I push Loki into the fountain. I started off Round 2 with Proxima double striking into Thor. She ended up doing only one damage, but that was what I needed to enable me to Mothership in Corvus. Since my opponent had Odin’s blessing up, I had Corvus do a strike into Thor, hoping that the strike would do a lot of damage and my opponent would be forced to use Odin’s Blessing. Fortunately, Corvus’s strike did four damage, which put Thor on one health. My opponent opted not to use Odin’s Blessing. I then used a Glaive’s Edge strike to daze Thor, since an undazed Thor would be catastrophic. Dazing Thor gave Proxima, Black Swan, and Black Swarf a power, due to First of the Black Order. My opponent then moved up Sinister, rooting Swan and beaming Corvus and Proxima, doing some chip damage. Since my opponent had Field Dressing, his obvious last activation was to move Enchantress to within range two of Thor, beam Corvus and Proxima, and play Field Dressing on Thor. That meant that I needed to somehow prevent Enchantress from doing this. In order to try and do this, I had Black Swan charge Enchantress. The charge cost four, since Black Swan was rooted and within range four of Loki. I then spent two of her remaining three power to debuff Enchantress’s defenses. In hindsight, this was probably a mistake. I should have done a strike without debuffing, hoping to get enough power for Everything Dies. Regardless, Swan’s first attack did one damage. I probably should then have pivoted from attacking Enchantress and moved into a better position, either to contest an objective, be in Sacrifice range, or both, but I decided to attack Enchantress again, hoping for a spike to force an Odin’s Blessing. Black Swan’s second attack did two damage. My opponent then moved Loki, who had a cube, onto his home secure. I kept Black Dwarf holding down my leftmost secure with a cube. Then came the clap back. Enchantress moved up and beamed Corvus, dealing four damage to him. She then bowed Corvus off of the secure and played Field Dressing on Thor. Thor followed up by throwing Corvus off into the middle of nowhere and dealing three damage to, and displacing, Proxima, which meant that she would daze in the next power phase from cube damage. I think that my opponent should have played Medpack on Thor, likely forcing me to have to attack Thor twice at the top of Round three, instead of only once. Round two ended with me up 9 to 7.
At the top of round 3, Proxima dazed and dropped a cube. For my first activation, I had Corvus walk and Death Blow Thor, since an undazed Thor is a problem and Corvus was outside of walk into strike range. Corvus did the one damage to Thor, but, luckily, rolled the flurry trigger of a wild and a shield. I gave all other, non-dazed, Black Order characters a power. After using his Death Blow move to move onto my leftmost secure, Corvus used his flurry strike to get my opponent to use Odin’s Blessing on Enchantress. Enchantress then double moved and picked up the cube that Proxima dropped. Black Swan, proxied with Medusa, moved and charged Enchantress, paying two power to debuff Enchantress’s defense. The strike dazed Enchantress, allowing Black Swan to pick up two additional cubes. I gave all other Black Order characters a power. I then used Patch Up to heal Black Swan, paying power with Corvus. Sinister walked up and beamed Corvus and Black Swan, dazing him and doing one damage to Black Swan. I had Dwarf chill on the point with a cube. My opponent had Loki also sit on a secure with a cube. The round ended 14-9 VPs, with me still in the lead.
In the power phase, Sinister got pushed by the secure. I started my first turn by Glaive’s Edge striking Thor twice with Corvus and striking Thor twice with Proxima. It took all of those attacks to KO him. I give all non-Proxima Black Order characters a power. Enchantress used her builder on Black Swan. Black Swan blocked two and spends power to negate a wild, not taking any damage. Enchantress then used her spender on Black Swan, dazing her. Enchantress only had one power after this, so she only picked up one cube. My opponent placed the other two dropped cubes as close to Sinister as possible. In response, I moved Black Dwarf outside of move-attack distance of Loki, while still being on the secure. Loki had nothing better to do, so he sat tight. Round 4 ended 16-14.
As briefly mentioned, this type of power taxation roster could be good into a Thanos and Corvus squad, but, between the power from cubes, the First of the Black Order leadership, and the Power Gem on Black Swan, I did not really feel it this game. While not flashy, the leadership was definitely helpful. From my count, I gained ten power from the leadership, three from dazing Thor round 2, two from Dazing Thor round 3, two from dazing Enchantress round 3, and three from Dazing Thor round 4. I really enjoyed Black Swan’s mobility, although I am not a huge fan of her unmodified strikes. Her wild blanking is really nice. The power gem gives her a lot of options, and I need practice at choosing the right one. Unfortunately, I did not see a good opportunity to use Black Onslaught, but I think it is good and look forward to using it in future games. While I did miss both Grievous Wounds, which would have likely allowed me to stop the Field Dressing on Thor, and Medpack, I am going to continue to test the roster under the assumption that Field Dressing and Medpack will be rotated out. If this is not the case, Grievous Wounds and Medpack will, very likely, be swapped into the roster. Other than that, I do not have any planned roster changes at this time.
One thing to note when playing Cosmic Invasion is to be aware of the potential push in the power phase. Even if you are base-to-base, a short push can take a model outside of range 2, which is not great for most Black Order characters. Make sure to be aware of backstops, both from terrain and other models. You should be thinking about these backstops when choosing board edge and deploying. When playing the game, also be thinking ahead about what plays would be opened up if a model, either your’s or your opponent’s, is pushed and gets power.
After the game, I discussed my opponent’s crises with him. Cubes is probably not good if you are trying to power starve your opponent. My opponent decided to drop Cubes for Research Station. Flip secures can also be good for Asgard and power taxation lists. As a result, my opponent swapped Gamma for Meteors. If you are interested in learning more about power taxation Asgard lists, AGoose#6737 (not my opponent) has written extensively about them on the MCP Discord and in https://acrossthebifrost.com/2022/01/05/the-dreaded-mister-sinister/.
What is next?
In the next article in this series, I will analyze another games and discuss 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.