Captain Marvel is fast becoming a favourite character of mine in the game. Let me explain why.
The Mightiest avenger?
From the core set, there isn’t really anyone to rival her as the heaviest hitter. She can get up to a 9 dice attack all by herself, which really should net you a Stagger (74.4% chance). That alone makes her the heaviest hitter in the core set. Yes the power cost is high, but her upside is unrivalled in the starter box.
Binary form also makes her amazing on defence. And that’s before you take into account her energy absorption that makes her a great counter to Iron Man, Red Skull, Doc Ock at range or, to an extent, Ultron (remember Ultron will always choose physical damage on his big attack).
But she’s not just a bruiser. The Danvers Special is also arguably best in class. Spider-Man and Doc Ock can only move size two, and Ultron can’t throw characters. Laying the smack down and still having free scenario plays is amazing.
Making the right choice
The designers have a done a good job making her two zero cost attacks different and interesting, but in the majority of cases, Energy blast is better than her strike.
Range 4 vs range 2 is clearly better.
Energy vs Physical – a lot of characters have higher physical defenses than energy. This has more situational aspects, but with the characters we have, energy attacks are a bit better.
4 dice, reroll all vs 5 dice. This one takes a little thinking about, but all you need is one blank or block and you have the extra dice you were lacking, though admittedly it can’t crit in to more dice, so it’s not quite the same. However the expected damage on 4 reroll all is 3, versus 2.8 on 5 dice straight.
The only area that Strike is better is in power generation. Even then guaranteeing one power can allow you to plan your turn more accurately, where gambling on getting 2 or 3 off a strike can lead to your turn taking a turn for the worse.
There are situations where strike is the right choice, but normally energy blast will be.
Where do your allegiances lie?
Which ever team she’s on, you want to try and binary form as often as you can, so leadership ability’s that’s give/save power are much better for her than ones that spend power. That means I’m unlikely to choose her on a Wakandan team, but Avengers or Cabal both really help her.
Avengers is the easiest to build as she has the Avengers affiliation, but given that nearly every team is including Baron Zemo, you’ve already got one Cabal member.
Both also offer movement shenanigans to allow her to attack twice in a turn – something you should always be looking to do, especially when using binary form. Cabal has Red Skull’s master of the cube, where avengers have Avengers Assemble. She will do well on either team, but Avengers have some really compelling choices.
There are a few scenarios she really shines in.
Oblivion bombs. Her 4 energy defense makes her an obvious choice for this scenario. Expect her to line up along side Cap in an Avengers team. She has a decent chance of coming in late in the turn and taking away an objective from 1 (69% chance) or even 2 (31% chance) characters. Only three objectives in the centre means lots of opponents in easy reach.
Gamma Shelters is the other Secure she does well in. Again, even more bunching up happens to avoid auto-damage, and in Binary form she can be hard to dislodge from an objective. Oh, and then she can throw characters away for a point of gamma damage on to of the collision damage.
The other two secures she’s fine in, preferring the free power of infinity formulas to spending a power to heal off extremis.
For extract scenarios the Kree power corp is very much thematic, but there are better characters for it, like and character with move and attack, especially if combined with long moves *cough*Zemo*cough*T’challa*cough*
She also doesn’t have much synergy with Wakandan herbs, as she lacks a move and attack or free move super power like Black Panther has, and is only averagely fast. But she likes the extra physical damage which might boost her strike to make it more attractive compared to Energy Blast.
Skrulls also have any particular synergy, but she’s fine at, especially as you often need to winkle out the Skrull by dazing or KOing the carrier, which she is great at. Plus when binary formed, she as safe a pair of hands to carry the Skrull as you are likely to find.
Cosmic cube is probably the best extract for her, as that extra power turns on Binary form that bit quicker, and she has the health to tank a few turns of damage.
Spider infected is fine, but pulling away your heavy hitter from the fray can almost be the equivalent of a stagger on her. Or force you to a choice between two energy blasts or a move and one rocket punch.