From The Dread Dormammu to the Dreaded Baron Zemo, there’s no character in Marvel Crisis Protocol which can be taken lightly. Sometimes you just need to understand why it is someone might be worried about seeing that particular thing across the table from them. Today let’s look at The Dreaded… She-Hulk.
Jennifer Walters was just a simple big city lawyer before she received an infusion of blood from her cousin to save her life following a terrible accident. That’s not normally a big deal, but when your cousin is THE INCREDIBLE HULK, side effects might include becoming big, green and occasionally very, very angry!
She-Hulk is an interesting character and one that Marvel Crisis Protocol presents in a fascinating light. Whilst she and her cousin share certain similarities, there’s far more that separates them whilst ensuring that both are very much worth their considerable six threat price tag.
She-Hulk has the same deep 20 health pool as her cousin, with the same downside that she doesn’t have an injured side and is taken out of the game if she would flip. Unlike Bruce, she only has 3/4/3 defenses without the opportunity to spend power to reroll them if she wants to – so she can take a lot of damage very quickly if she’s left in a position where she can be repeatedly attacked.
Her Sensational Uppercut is a strong 7 die builder with – most importantly – an automatic Slow given to any target that she hits with it. This couples with her The Defense Rests spender to potentially stack Slow, Stun and Stagger all on the same target. It’s also important to note that The Defense Rests is range 3 which gives her a decent amount of reach if she has the power to take advantage of it.
She-Hulk also has Clear the Court to throw characters or terrain of up to size 4 a Medium distance, Superior Weight Training – which lets her add attack dice equal to the size of the target, really threatening to put the hurt on size 3-4 characters (and even moreso on Dormammu) and Legal Defense, which lets her take hits for her squishier teammates.
Finally, She-Hulk gains 1 additional power each turn and whenever she is damaged by an attack she can advance short towards the character who attacked her. With her large base size this can be a surprising amount of movement and helps her to mitigate movement effects from attacks.
She is also immune to poison – so she will usually be gaining that extra point of power each round.
On the face of it, it is tempting to throw She-Hulk into opponents and dare them to deal with her 20 health and strong attacks. However, I think this is often a mistake. Sometimes, yes, She-Hulk needs to get in a brawl, and she can certainly hold her own against most characters in the game. There’s few characters who can reliably take a minimum of two seven die strikes (and probably more than that) let alone two seven die strikes and a big piece of terrain chucked into their face.
However, I have found She-Hulk works best when she is acting more as a frustrating control piece than a brawler. The ability to put slow on a key target and then throw that target away medium – which ensures they cannot make up the full distance in only a single move or charge action – can seriously hinder the offensive output of most characters in the game.
If She-Hulk is focused down with multiple characters putting two or more attacks into her each round it does not generally take long for her deep health pool to start to fade. Although having 20 health is undeniably an advantage most of the time, it’s worth noting that it can be a disadvantage as well; if a character rolls a 5 die strike and gets extremely lucky, spiking for 6 or more damage… most of the time that extra damage is ‘wasted’ – the target is dazed and the attacking character doesn’t get anything else for it. With She-Hulk that’s not the case. Early spikes can lead to opponent’s characters getting huge amounts of power, which then makes them more likely to KO She-Hulk if she can’t take them out before they next activate.
Generally speaking, then, it’s important to gauge when to fight with Jenn and when to run. I like to think of her as a skirmish piece more than a strict control or fighting piece. One of my favourite missions for her is Terrigen Mists, and I think this gives a good example of what I see as her best play pattern.
I am very happy to commit She-Hulk to one side of the board and have the rest of my team – preferably with R3+ attacks – commit to the other side. At this point my opponent has a choice. Either they can give me the side of the board that She-Hulk is committed to, and she can score me a minimum of 2 points every round (hopefully more if she can pick up an extract on the way) or they can choose to try and fight on that side of the board too.
If they commit a single character there, I’m usually pretty happy for Jenn to try and fight it out for at least a round. If she can daze that character, great. If she can’t, she can throw them away slowed and they are only getting one attack into her in return. They might be able to move her off the point, but if they aren’t doing enough damage she’ll probably win that exchange. This even holds true to a point if there are two characters; Jenn can fight most pairs of three threats aiming to daze one with attacks and throw the other away to slow down the counterattack.
If the opponent commits more threat to that side of the board than I have, though, Jenn can make sure they get committed round one, probably not die in the first activation because of her deep health pool, and then simply walk away from the fight – potentially having left one of the characters slowed and thrown away as she does.
It will take She-Hulk two activations to move across and join the fight on the other side of the board, but the opponent now has to choose between trying to chase her down, where they are unlikely to get more than one attack each activation into her, or let her walk away – preferably with an extract – whilst the rest of your team mops up whoever they are fighting and then readies a gunline for the characters Jenn had been fighting to walk into.
She-Hulk’s medium move with a 50mm base allows her to cover a surprising amount of distance very quickly, and moving from point to point whilst slowing your opponent’s characters and throwing them around in her wake feels fantastic. She’s particularly good in crises like Struggle for the Cube Continues and Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities where she can hold multiple extracts. If the opponent hasn’t put a good amount of damage into her in turns one and two, and she’s holding three extracts by round three, it becomes very challenging to take them away from her before the game is over – and a She-Hulk with a 9-10 die strike before using Superior Weight Training is very scary.
This strategy also works quite well on crises where She-Hulk can flip a point and walk away. Deadly Meteors and Spider-Portals are great because she has 4 energy defense, allowing her to use her speed and throw to threaten points your opponent has left characters on (albeit at the risk of being displaced on Spider Portals which can be annoying). She can even work nicely on Mutant Madman because there’s no real downside to trying and double moving to a point with one enemy character and throwing them off, then flipping the point ready to hit them twice and throw them away if they come back feels pretty great! Her deep health pool also means that she can get a lot of healing out of Extremis Consoles over the course of the game.
In terms of affiliation I have primarily been playing She-Hulk in A-Force, where she is the leader and – unsurprisingly – she has fantastic synergy with a lot of A-Force pieces.
Special Delivery in particular helps with this strategy of moving your She-Hulk around the board where your opponent doesn’t want her to be. This is an A-Force specific tactics card that lets She-Hulk and a flying A-Force character spend 1 power each when the flying character moves to deposit She-Hulk at the end of the move and make an attack.
It can be very tempting to use a long moving flyer – like Angela, Crystal or Wasp – to drop She-Hulk on an unsuspecting target in the first round and get a free attack out of her, and that can be great! But I personally prefer to use it later in the game to move She-Hulk a huge distance away from the characters my opponent had been trying to match up into her, and potentially put some damage into a weakened target to finish them off at the same time.
Stalwart Determination is also an excellent A-Force tactics card, allowing any number of A-Force characters to spend 1 power at the start of a round to become immune to throws and pushes for that round. This doubles down on She-Hulk’s ability to win those Terrigen Mist duels, as if she’s managed to daze a single character the opponent was hoping could keep her off the point, now she can’t be moved and she’s still healthy.
A-Force also has a lot of characters who synergise really nicely with She-Hulk’s style. Medusa brings a huge amount of potential damage and control, whilst also being able to move She-Hulk around with her Royal Decree. Captain Marvel brings a size 4 throw and strong long ranged attacks. Black Cat helps to maintain extract advantage and stagger key pieces, and Scarlet Witch can turn off key superpowers with her No More Mutants cards whilst also bringing huge potential damage and a size 4 terrain throw. Shuri also doubles down on the control element of the team whilst turning power into rerolls to make damage and defense more consistent. Angela also doubles down on the extreme movement and high defenses play for pay-to-flip secures, and offers a safe turn one centre steal on some extracts.
It’s also worth noting that with Angela, Medusa and Black Cat all in affiliation you can have a team which limits the number of targets your opponent can reroll attacks into – which can be very frustrating if you’re able to keep She-Hulk both relevant to the crisis and outside of easy retaliation range. A team of She-Hulk, Medusa, Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel also brings 4 characters who are immune to poison and all have strong control and damage potential for the aforementioned Terrigen Mists crisis!
It is absolutely possible to build A-Force in a ton of different ways. The leadership is useful when playing against any team that wants to try and damage your characters, which are most of the teams in the game, and the roster is deep enough that you can build to emphasize control or damage output. Personally, I’ve found that She-Hulk lends herself to a blended style of focused violence in order to get ahead on points turn 2 or 3 before shifting into a more defensive posture.
I also generally find that it is worth building your selection of tactics cards to be ready to blunt the opponent’s counter-punch when you take that lead.
Patch Up is also a great card for characters with deep health pools, and whilst it won’t always be the right choice to use it on She-Hulk, it’s rare that there’s not someone at some point in the game it is worth restoring health to.
I have also been using Disarm – because there is almost always either a Rapid Fire character or a big centrepiece damage dealer who can be severely hampered by the effect. Winter Soldier is a particularly good target in a round where you expect to be dazing or KO’ing his friends. Fall Back can also help to keep moving She-Hulk into safety and prevent double taps, and Inspiring Monologue can be a great defensive boost that lasts the entire round, and does a huge amount to increase Jenn’s survivability – but can just as easily be repurposed to assist Captain Marvel when she has Binary Form active, or turn Angela into a more survivable version of Amazing Spider-Man for a round. It’s also a force multiplier for A-Force Assemble, where you can potentially have 5-7 defence dice being rerolled for a full round!
Of course, there are certain things that She-Hulk doesn’t like to see across the table from her.
Teams which are going extremely wide can be difficult to keep away from and limit the number of attacks going into her. She’s much happier when she can use her Superior Weight Training to punish those high size, high threat characters and limit their ability to hit back into her. It’s also difficult for her to stay safe in crises like Research Station Attacked! Or Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest, where the nature of these crises encourages a brawl in the middle of the board where teams like Black Order, Guardians of the Galaxy and Shadowlands Daredevil can focus fire on her and be reasonably certain that she will be taken off the board before she’s had the impact that she needs to have as a six threat character.
It’s also important to keep in mind that She-Hulk doesn’t have the same protection from status effects as her cousin. A Stunned She-Hulk can have difficulty getting enough power to use her throw and her Superior Weight Training. And like her cousin, she suffers more from status effects than many other characters because they will stay with her throughout the entire game unless you have another way to remove them. Incinerate in particular can be dangerous for her, because it means that health pool of hers is going down even more quickly. For that reason, even though she has a bodyguard ability herself, I do like to pair her up with a cheap bodyguard like Okoye to help keep her safe from big hits or annoying status effects.
All that said, I’d strongly encourage you to try out She-Hulk if you have been having trouble with those high threat, high size characters that are often centrepieces to your opponent’s entire strategy. Unlike Hulk, she is less dependent on doing damage and brawling in the middle of the table… but her ability to literally slow down and frustrate characters like Dormammu, Hulkbuster (where her Aggressive can counteract the automatic pushes), Juggernaut and Malekith can really pay dividends.
The other areas where she is affiliated can also double down on this strategy of continuing to move and hand out those slows – like her cousin she loves The Shieldmobile and Battlefield Medicine to keep her healthy, without conditions and where she wants to be, and Eye in the Sky is like a better, recurring Fall Back in Shield. And of course, in Avengers she can enjoy Avengers Assemble, Steve’s leadership helps keep her superpowers online and Sam helps provide continual drip healing alongside condition removal and even more movement – if your opponent is being forced to focus down other characters.
Even outside of spots where she is affiliated, though, I feel like She-Hulk has been overlooked as a six threat taken out of affiliation. Hulk is a popular choice, and it’s easy to see why – he is a lot more difficult to take off the board and he becomes more dangerous if your opponent tries to do it and fails. Hulkbuster brings more control and Magneto brings more damage. But She-Hulk is able to offer frustrating conditions, good potential damage, and control all in one package.
And you can always look at running She-Hulk alongside any of these characters if you feel like trying out a super tall list!
In conclusion, your opponent should fear She-Hulk if:
- They are bringing a lot of characters who rely on putting out two attacks each turn.
- They have a key size 4+ piece.
- The crisis lends itself to skirmishing.
- She-Hulk is going to be able to collect a lot of extracts.
- They lack the firepower to be able to focus her down quickly.
But perhaps Jenn should review her case if:
- The opposing team is going to have a lot of ways to bring multiple attacks to bear on She-Hulk every round.
- The crisis will force She-Hulk to stay in one spot to remain relevant.
- The enemy team is packing a lot of conditions for She-Hulk to worry about.
- The enemy team has enough characters to maintain extract advantage and keep away from She-Hulk.
So that’s She-Hulk! A character who plays as an extremely flexible six threat option; able to bring good mobility (great with the right tactics card support), strong debuff options, control and damage all in one package. She might be less focused than other six threat options, but where she shines she really shines – and as we see more popular size 4 characters hitting the table, She-Hulk’s ability to really put the hurt on them will only grow more relevant!
If you have a character you’d like to understand why your opponents should dread, feel free to send an email over to ADreadedGoose@gmail.com and perhaps I can help!