Card Review – Core Set (Aggression)

Here at Tabletop Timesinks we’ve recently decided that we’d love to give every aspect and basic card a subjective rating!  In this article, Tim and James begin this mission by starting with the Aggression cards from the Core Set.


We are going to be rating cards between 1-5 using the system below.  Our ratings are an overall score taking into account True Solo and Two-Handed/Multiplayer.

This time we are going to be rating the eight Aggression cards from the Core Set.  If you’d like to rate the cards yourselves to see if our opinions match up, here’s a link to marveldb for a visual reminder of the cards we are rating.


[Tim] (3/5) I really like Hulk.  For two resources you get a 3 Attack, 5 Health ally.  However, the results you can expect from his forced response will be greatly dependant on your deck, which is why I’m only rating him a 3/5, although you could just never trigger his forced response by using him only as a defender.  This isn’t a bad approach, as with 5 Health he’s perfectly capable of taking several hits.  Ultimately, the main thing that I’d like to say about the Hulk ally is how perfectly he captures the feel of Hulk, unlike the hero version.

[James] (3/5) Hulk is a strong but inconsistent ally. 2 cost allies always demand attention especially when they have such high ATK and health values. His Forced Response can also pump out a lot of extra damage if you build your deck around it. The problem with this approach is there are quite a few good mental resource cards in both Aggression and Basic that you’ll have to miss out on. Hulk can also just be used to defend or serve as an Earth’s Mightiest Heroes battery, but I can’t help but feel you’re missing out on his full potential if you go that route.


[Tim] (3/5) I might be overvaluing Tigra slightly here, but I think she’s a good card.  Her stats are average for three resources, but it’s her response ability that makes her shine, particularly in minion-heavy scenarios like Ultron or Zola.  In fights like those she will likely be a constant source of two damage round after round; a great return on investment.  Even in scenarios that aren’t minion-heavy, as long as it has some minions Tigra is always worth a consideration.

[James] (3/5) Tigra is a decent ally that unfortunately gets overshadowed a lot by her peers. Her ability to heal herself after defeating a minion gives her longevity in any minion heavy scenario, but Aggression’s ally slots have become quite competitive and she lacks the more immediate impact of allies like Valkyrie. She is far better at dealing with smaller minions though, especially Ultron Drones, so is always worth considering when putting together an Aggression deck.


[Tim] (2/5) Back in the Core Set-only days I would have rated this a bit higher, but that was because Aggression had few threat removal options.  Since then, we’ve had more options released which have, in my opinion, left this card behind.  In minion-heavy scenarios it is definitely worth considering, as removing two threat for one card and zero resources is a good deal, but in all other scenarios I would look elsewhere for your Aggression-based threat removal.

[James] (3/5) Situational threat removal that I like a lot. It requires a steady stream of minions to be consistent (like so many other Aggression cards) but when you consider all the “good” scenarios are very minion heavy that becomes less of an issue. Aggression still remains fairly light on the ground when it comes to threat removal, although it’s improved a lot since the core set only days. Chase Them Down may not be the reason you play Aggression but it’s a strong contender for any deck you build.


[Tim] (4/5) As long as the scenario contains some minions, this is going to be a great value card.  Five damage for two resources is very good.  The number of copies you will include will depend on how many minions there are and how easy it will be for you to get the overkill effect (i.e. how easily your deck can generate physical resources).  

[James] (4/5) Relentless Assault remains one of my favourite non-Ally Aggression cards. Being able to keep minions under control is super important. Being able to keep minions under control whilst still getting damage through to the villain is fantastic. It deals a decent amount of damage for its cost, with the caveat of only being able to target minions with that damage. It also requires a specific resource to get the full effect, but is definitely a strong inclusion in any Aggression deck.


[Tim] (1/5) Even in the Core Set-only era, this card wasn’t particularly good.  Three resources for an event is a lot, therefore the event had better be worth it, and this isn’t.  I can’t remember the last time I put this in a deck, so it’s definitely binder-fodder in my opinion.

[James] (2/5) Uppercut is a fairly lacklustre attack event that is only getting worse with age. Having additional sources of damage is important to helping you burn through the villain’s health, or deal with particularly large minions, but there is now a fair bit of competition in Aggression when it comes to dealing damage. It’s one saving grace is that it deals burst damage so can be more immediately impactful than the other forms of combo related damage that Aggression excels at (Jarnbjorn, Mean Swing, Skilled Strike etc). Given its high cost and unfavourable comparison to hero specific attack events it’s not a card you’re likely to include very often.


[Tim] (4/5) Not an awful lot to say about this card.  Are you running a decent (read, 8+) amount of Aggression cards that cost 2+ resources?  You probably want to include it then.  Otherwise, you can probably skip it in favour of other cards.

[James] (3/5) The Power of cards still feel like auto-includes to me for most Hero/Aspect combinations but I could not justify rating it higher because of how much consideration they require when building your deck. Everyone has a different minimum amount of 2+ costed cards they like to include but the average I tend to see most is 8-10. There’s a growing number of good 0-1 cost cards though so the days of Power of being auto-include are most likely limited.

That being said it’s still a very good card for smoothing out your hands and allowing you to play the expensive allies and events. They also provide the all important wild resource if you’re stuck with a problematic villain upgrade you are desperate to get rid of.


[Tim] (2/5) While I don’t use this card very often, I still think it has its place.  It’s not a high-impact card by any means, but being able to deal three lots of two damage can be useful.  If there is ever a card printed that can add extra uses to it, this card will see more play, but until then it’s situationally useful at best.

[James] (1/5) Really not a fan of Tac Team as I find it far too slow for its cost, which is a problem a lot of support cards have outside of the resource generators. Although damage dealing potential is always nice this lacks the versatility of an ally, and the burst potential of an event. Overall it’s just a very weak card that you’re better off leaving in your storage solution.


[Tim] (2/5) How useful this card is depends totally on how many basic attacks you think that your hero will perform.  If you can ready your character regularly, you’re going to get a lot more of a benefit from it (e.g. Captain America and Quicksilver), but if you don’t make many basic attacks (Doctor Strange for instance) you’ll probably skip it.  It can also help high Attack characters hit certain thresholds (having an Attack value of 4 means that you can defeat minions like Hydra Soldier or Advanced Ultron Drone in one attack), making your turns more efficient.  Overall I’d say that some decks will want to include a single copy of it, which is why I’ve given it a 2/5.

[James] (3/5) Combat Training is another card I’m not personally a fan of but I can see why other’s like it. By itself I don’t think it does enough to justify its slot(s) in the deck unless you get it into play early game. Having access to ready effects also increases the value you get from the ATK boost assuming you’re using the extra activation to also attack. Personally I like to keep my hero activation for thwarting when playing an aspect that is known to struggle, or at least be inconsistent, with threat control.

That issue is diminished when playing multiplayer, which is why I ultimately rated it 3 over 2. In that situation you can focus your activations a little more on dealing damage and leave the threat control to the other hero/heroes.


Summary

Rank Card Average Rating
1st Relentless Assault 4
2nd The Power of Aggression 3.5
3rd Hulk 3
Tigra 3
5th Chase Them Down 2.5
Combat Training 2.5
7th Tac Team 1.5
Uppercut 1.5

We disagreed more than we agreed!  Definitely an interesting start to the series.  How did our ratings match up to your own?  Let us know in the comments.

Cheers,

Tim & James

2 thoughts on “Card Review – Core Set (Aggression)

  1. I agree pretty much. I think Tigra is way worse than 3. She can be a faff to work around and ends up being a Tac Team a lot of the time. Hulk is odd too – he is super situational but if you build around him is he can be very good so 3 seems right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always use Hulk as a two cost meat shield so he’s an autoinclude in all my aggression decks. If he manages to make it to one health and I need some burst damage sometimes I’ll use his atk to give me some extra oomph as there’s little to lose at that point.

    Liked by 1 person

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