Next up for a deep dive is Tony Stark. Which scenarios he plays well in, some tips on using him and how to get the most out of him.
Why should I bring Iron Man?
Apart from having all the best lines in the MCU, Iron Man has a really important role in Marvel: Crisis protocol. The game is all about objectives, and often you need a character to sit contesting an objective that isn’t where all the action is going on.
Iron Man’s basic attack is Range 4. He’s the cheapest character with a base range 4 attack. That is one of his big selling points. That Repulsor Blast attack has a nice control effect too, so as well as doing chip damage, he can be pushing people around, ideally off their objectives.
His homing rockets are a slight upgrade, being range 5 and 5 dice, but only costs two power.
Both of these can be boosted by his Friday AI, but only if he’s got some spare power to hand. Normally that comes up in his injured side, often in combination with his Unibeam.
Unibeam is a great attack, an your opponents know it. You can play on that to an extent. Reminding them that you get Unibeam might make them think twice about attacking Iron Man after he’s taken a few damage.
Invincible Iron Man
Speaking of damage, Tony is a really survivable character. By reducing all damage of 2+ by one, he can really reduce his chances of thanking big damage.
As you can see, most of the time he only takes at most one damage from an attack. You need to devote a large amount of resources in the form of powering a big attack to start to chip away at his health in a meaningful way. More than pretty much any other character, if you have a way of removing damage that you’ve taken, Iron Man gets more out of it.
Iron Man has a really cool and thematic tactics card – ricochet blast. It is a really powerful attack: 7 dice with full rerolls. That is pretty close to an equivalent of 10 dice. It also has a big range from Iron Man, so long as Cap is within 4. It can be great, but in my experience it’s quite easy for an opponent to spot you setting it up.
The big issue I have with including Ricochet blast in my 8 tactics cards selection is that it forces your hand a bit. It’s saying you are always playing Iron Man with Captain America. It doesn’t allow the flexibility to field him elsewhere as the opportunity cost is high. You might think, “I’m always going to play him Cap”, in which case the value of this card goes up, but that leads us nicely on to…
Despite being an Avenger, he only has one super power that can benefit from Cap’s leadership ability. It’s nice getting extra dice for cheaper, but he gets more power to upgrade from his basic attack through the Cabal ability or goes wild fishing with rerolls from the Wakandan leadership. He probably better in either of those teams.
Iron Man loves secure scenarios with objectives close to your own deployment:
Extremis consoles: boy does he love this one. A deep secure to sit on that he heal from while zapping people from range. Golden. Watch out as people can set up so that they are out of Iron Man’s range without him abandoning his objective.
Gamma shelters: He makes a great holder for the close shelter. His wild pushes can take characters out of safety range for free damage.
Origin Bombs: a decent energy defence makes him an okay choice for this. If you already have Captain Marvel and Captain America for their high energy defense, he’s a solid third Avenger that can do a good job of contesting a bomb, of repulsing a rival contester off then claiming control.
Infinity formula: free power to allow more powerful attacks from him. Again he take a role of saying “this is mine”.
He has a really well defined role on any of the Secure scenarios. Extract is more of a mixed bag.
Kree power core: he’s a decently tanky holder of the core who is probably making attack every turn. Solid choice on this one.
Spider infected: with his range, being pulled S shouldn’t hurt his ability to attack too much.
Skrulls: Being limited to move S hurts a bit, but again his range will help him contribute and his defense will help him stay upright
Cosmic Cubes: free damage on to Iron Man is sad. It’s doubly sad that multiple cubes trigger separately, so he can’t get any efficiency from Invicible Iron Man.
Wakandan Herb: you’re looking for a L mover here. But you only need one, so choosing him for the Secure on here may make sense.
Part of the reason Iron Man is making my Roster of 10 is how well he plays on any combination of scenarios.