Welcome Back to SG Protocol.

Today I want to take a longer look at an upcoming Team Tactics Card that has the community divided between “it’s absolutely fantastic and a must take” and “the juice it not worth the squeeze”. It is Nightcrawlers Card Mass Transit (as you probably aren’t surprised as it was in the title…):

(the art is a placeholder here)

Let’s look at the card line by line.

It immediately starts with a controversial wording. Active: Action is new and in theory helpful. The card however doesn’t say it has to be played in Kurt’s activation. Personally I think that it is implied but there is a valid argument that RAW (rules as written) it could be played in someone else’s activation costing them instead of Nightcrawler the action. For the sake of this article we assume that is not the case though. (But we should keep an eye out on the rules forum). Update March 7th 2024: this has now been ruled in the expected way. It has to be in Kurt’s activation.

So we assume the base cost of the card is:

3 Power on Nightcrawler (his card is below as a reminder of what he can spend his power on otherwise) and an action as well as a Stagger token at the end of it.

For that investment Kurt places himself within 3 (something he can do without the card for the same amount of power but without costing an action) but what’s important here is he takes up to 3 characters within 2 of him with him and they place within 1 of him.

At face value I don’t really see the appeal of the card. Sure repositioning what could be your entire team seems awesome but you have to ask yourself a series of questions before using it:

  • Do I have 3 power on Kurt?

Kurt usually wants to BAMF! And Brimstone Blitz as often as he can. Sure Mass Transit is basically a Range 3 BAMF! But having 3 power on Kurt isn’t a given especially in the early game unless he’s taken some damage

  • Do I have one or more allied characters in Range 2 of Nightcrawler?

Kurt is designed to zoom around the board and not stay back with his friends. Getting 3 allies in 2 and fulfilling question 1 is already a stretch in most games

  • Do I want to have my team bunched up somewhere?

Delivering some high threat killers or fast scenario players up the board reads really good but how much will that actually further or potentially hinder your overall game plan?

  • Is using the card worth an action of Kurt?

Think about what else you can do with the action. What furthers your actual game plan more?

  • Is it worth probably loosing another action to the card from the Stagger on Nightcrawler?

Think about how likely it is to affect his next activation. If you think he’s gonna daze (or KO) in the round anyways give this one far less thought. Two leaderships stand out here: Winter Guard which clears the Stagger automatically and Asgard, where Kurt can spend a power to remove it. And then we have one more where it is a first: Baron Strucker Hydra. Here Kurt can (depending on doing damage) not only loose the Stagger but actually give it to an opponent. It is definitely a high risk, high reward play but almost the only way to ever get rid of a Stagger under Strucker (outside of counter attacks and got your backs. With this play you have full control which with the other ways you don’t).

In theory I really like the idea of handing over the Stagger under Baron Strucker but in reality I don’t think there will be many times where bunching up a Strucker team in the middle will be compatible with the game plan.

Final verdict:

I remain unsold on the card. I think it’s thematically great but I don’t see the combination of a team running Nightcrawler that also wants to bunch up their characters somewhere.

Ok I just realised that I was permanently looking at the card as a jump starter to bring your characters into the fight. But what if that’s not what the card is supposed to do in the end?

Can it be useful to gather a bunch of extract carriers and get them out of the fight and to relative safety?

In this case you’d want as much power on Kurt as possible but if you have the three you can manage.

If you are within 3 you attack someone and place yourself within 2 of the target trying to get up to 3 allies into range 2. Then you mass transit away. And now if you have the power to BAMF! You can get up to Range 2+ Small Base + Range 3+ Small Base + Range 3 away (possibly into cover granting stealth).

The characters you’ve taken with you end up Range 2+ Small base + Range 3 + Range 1 away from the character Kurt has attacked (perfect world situation). That’s not gonna be enough to be totally safe most of the time but probably costs your opponent at least one movement action where otherwise they might have been able to double tap you.

All that said this play can win you games. But the bigger question is how often is that going to happen. Enough to warrant a space in your 10? In your 5?

Actual Final Verdict:

Im excited to put Nightcrawler (a German everybody rightfully loves) on the table but still see Mass Transit as mostly a fun thematic but not really competitive card. As with everything I’m happy to be wrong about it. Personally I wouldn’t consider it out of Strucker Hydra, Thor Asgard or Crimson Dynamo Winter Guard as paying two actions is way too much for my taste but I’ll most likely be wrong about it too 🙂

That’s it for today. Cheers from Germany 🍻

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