Only a few weeks ago we got a sneak peek at Star-Lord and Fantasy Flight Games have also now revealed Gamora! As you might expect, this was exciting news for us, so Tim and James will give their first impressions on the cards revealed.
[Tim] She certainly likes attacking and thwarting! But since that’s how you win the game, it seems pretty useful.
Gamora is another character that alters the standard deckbuilding restrictions and Skilled Tactician seems amazing, particularly for true solo where you could make her an extremely well-rounded character. Her alter-ego action seems okay, nothing to write home about, but better than the other character with alternate deckbuilding restrictions (Spider-Woman).
Her hero side seems very flexible, able to deal with threat and damage in nice little chunks, making turns a lot more efficient. I think her character card is very good, and in the limited context that we have for her so far, I’d venture that she’ll be one of the strongest characters in Marvel Champions.
[James] My first impressions of Gamora are very positive. Stats wise she is pretty average across the board, with the only point of concern being her 10 health and 3 REC being a little on the squishy side. She’s absolutely loaded with abilities though. The stand out is obviously Skilled Tactician as breaking deck building rules by adding attack and thwart events from outside her paired aspect just gives her so many options. Notably this ability is not limited to one other aspect, so the six cards can be from any of the other three.
Her alter-ego action is less impressive as even in a deck that’s full of attack and thwart events it’s still going to whiff a fair amount due to all the other cards you’ll be required to include. That being said the top deck knowledge can always let you know if an attack with Hulk is safe.
Finesse and Precision increase the value of the first attack and thwart event you play each round. Precision in particular is very useful as by playing a thwart event Gamora can get rid of a Tough status without having to waste an attack to do so. Being limited by phase means it’s possible to trigger both twice per round assuming you can attack and/or thwart during the villain phase. I wonder if her kit will include a card that enables that…
[Tim] This will be a fantastic resource generator for Gamora. Generating a wild resource means that you will get the extra effects printed on events every time. While it is not restricted to hero form only, it remains to be seen if she will have access to any attack or thwart events that can be played in alter-ego. Great card!
[James] This is a very good resource generator. Has to be used to pay for a specific type of card but that’s offset by its low cost and ability to generate a wild resource. There’s a number of attack and thwart events that care about the resources being used to pay for them, so Keen Instincts is going to be pretty helpful when playing cards like Drop Kick, Relentless Assault or Multitasking.
[Tim] Another Justice event that removes threat! Well, that is kinda what the aspect is meant to do, but now we’re definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to ways to get it done.
I like Impede because it has two ways to use it; remove 3 threat and then use it as a resource (effectively making it cost one less), or play it twice for a total of 6 threat removed. Okay, it has the downside of only being able to remove threat from the main scheme, but I don’t think that makes it a bad card. I think that as part of a mixture of Justice thwart events, it’s going to be very good.
[James] Impede is yet another good thwart card in an aspect that is crying out for something different. Its secondary ability to bounce itself back to your hand will be beneficial in smoothing out your turns if you play it first, but only being able to target the main scheme might keep it out of true solo decks. For Justice! and Clear The Area are tough acts to follow.
[Tim] At the very least, this is a slightly better Haymaker, but most of the time you’re going to be hitting for 7 damage. Big dumb damage is sometimes what you need to finish off a chunky minion or clear a villain stage, so this card will be great for closing out games.
[James] I’m still on the fence with Decisive Blow. It’s slightly better than Swinging Web Kick in terms of the cost to damage ratio if you can play a thwart event first that round. Requiring a specific type of card to be played first just to essentially make it on curve feels like a miss to me though. However, I’m aware that judging the card in a vacuum is missing the point of it slightly. Decisive Blow is supposed to be comboed with a thwart event to trigger both of Gamora’s abilities. Pulling that off is probably going to feel pretty satisfying, even if other heroes signature attack events are more consistent.
[Tim] When you pay three for an event you expect something good since it’s going to take up most of your resources for your turn. Hit and Run is a slightly-worse Haymaker and a To the Rescue! mashed into one card. Both of those events don’t see a lot of play, as there are usually better alternatives. But what about when combined in this manner? Honestly, I’m not sure. Gamora is definitely going to like it because it will trigger both her Finesse and Precision abilities, and Ms. Marvel will probably like it too. But other heroes? I can’t make my mind up about it, which probably means they won’t.
[James] Expensive basic events are rarely worth a second look and I’m not sure this one is any different. Having both the attack and thwart traits makes it relevant for Gamora, as it can trigger Finesse and Precision off a single card but I’m not convinced that’s worth it.
[Tim] Venom on some artwork! This lends some more credence to the leaked upcoming release schedule. Speculation aside, First Hit is interesting because it can be used in either the Hero or Villain phase, doing slightly different things in each phase (although both doing 2 damage). It’s another way to use Gamora’s Finesse ability in the Villain phase, so there’s that.
Interesting doesn’t necessarily mean good though, and I don’t think that this card is particularly good. If you’re after this kind of effect I’d use Nova, which I don’t do very often, so I probably won’t end up using this card much. Hmm, but triggering both this and Nova to blast a minion for 4 as it’s about to attack could be fun. I guess I’ll try that out at some point.
[James] Another card that I’m not really excited by. Having options is nice but neither of those options are very efficient. The interrupt is just a more expensive version of Nova’s ability that can only target minions. Hopefully we see more cards that have both an action and an interrupt option on them in the future as that’s a design space I would like them to play around with.
[Tim] It’s going to prevent three damage, deal two damage (in packets of one), and remove two threat (also in packets of one) all for one resource. Absolutely mental! This is such an efficient card that I don’t think you’ll ever discard it for a resource, it’s pretty much a must-play in my opinion.
[James] Crosscounter is a fantastic card. Preventing 3 damage from a big attack you can’t chump block will be super helpful in preserving Gamora’s limited health. Getting activations of Finesse and Precision in the villain phase to stack with the cards own damage and threat removal is very nice too.
[Tim] Aggression’s focus is on attacking and this card will help you find your juicy attack events. Being in alter-ego will let you dig further through your deck, but even in hero form looking at the top four cards is still good. You will have to make sure that you have a decent number of attack events in your deck, but you can easily calculate how many there are by looking at your hand and discard pile. I think that Plan of Attack will be a staple of event-based Aggression decks such as Ms. Marvel and it’s one that I’m looking forward to using.
[James] A zero cost search effect seems pretty good, and I think it will give Aggression some much needed utility. Has some synergy with Surprise Attack which might result in it being more playable outside of Ant-Man and Wasp decks. It also offers a cheap stat boost for Spider-Woman, although you will be sacrificing the 7 card search in order to get that. All things considered I like this card a lot. Plan of Attack is actually my favourite card from the article.
[Tim] So she’s a signature ally and also a nemesis minion; it’s a great way to represent her character! Nebula as an ally is great for two-cost, as she’ll find you an attack or thwart event when she enters play (something Gamora is all about), attack or thwart for two, then probably be used as a blocker. This is probably for the best, because the nemesis minion version of her discards the ally when she comes into play.
The nemesis version has fairly mediocre stats, but if you can’t defeat her in one attack, her Retaliate 2 will come into effect. Due to Gamora’s predilection for attack events, it’s likely that she can easily deal with Nebula, so I don’t see her being too much of a problem. Overall though, I like the design here.
[James] The Guardians wave of heroes seems to be really pushing out into new design spaces, which I’m a huge fan of. Nebula being both Gamora’s signature ally and nemesis minion is both interesting and thematic.
Ally Nebula offers some fantastic value with her solid stats and ability to search for an attack or thwart event. Some people will be put off by minion Nebula forcing a discard but in reality that should never be an issue. With only 2 health Nebula should be chump blocking the turn you play her. Team Training changes that slightly, but in that situation I’d still be tempted to chump block just to avoid Shadow of the Past forcing the discard.
With retaliate 2 and 5 health minion Nebula feels like a sufficiently threatening nemesis. There’s a number of events that can deal with her in one attack avoiding the retaliate damage, but the threat of it offers a good tempo hit.
Overall I’m very happy with Nebula’s design.
Those are our initial thoughts about the cards featured in The Most Dangerous Woman in the Galaxy article. Again, overall very positive. The Guardians cycle is shaping up to be very interesting!
Tim & James