Black Panther’s Pounce is a great ability. I’m going to look at some the dice maths, trigonometry and positioning of Pouncing.
Using Pounce to reposition before attacking is a great use of it, but it can be used to catch your prey after Striking them, which pushes them away S – this is not optional and you must push them the full distance (unless they are stopped by terrain or another character).
To get the most out of your attacks, you will often want to Pounce after a Strike to make another attack. But you probably want to Pounce and collide to cause maximum damage.
The throw will cause a collision, making the opponent roll dodge against 3 damage. It’s worth noting that a lot of defensive abilities don’t work on Dodge rolls. Spider Senses, King of Wakanda (the leadership ability) and forms of damage reduction are the only things in the game so far that do work on Dodge rolls.
There’s a very high probability of at least one damage off a pounce, and pretty good chances of 2+, which can really help daze or KO a character.
So your best chance of dealing damage to a single character given that you push them away with your strike is to Strike, Pounce, attack again. But to maximise, you want to collide.
35mm based characters
Most characters are on the smaller 35mm bases, the same as Black Panther. Given that the push off the Strike is S and the pounce is an S throw, so long as Black Panther starts in base-to-base contact with your opponent, you will be able to contact them with your pounce after the push.
This is even true if you push them directly away. That’s an important point and one that needs a bit of expounding. Communication with your opponent is key here, as exact placement of models can be tricky to do. Explain when Panther ends up next to them that you are in base-to-base with them – make your intentions plain. Check they are happy you are base to base. Walk them through the push and throw being the same length (S) and confirm that they agree you’ll contact, even if you misplace slightly so that it looks “out” when you put your movement tool down to Pounce. Communication before stuff starts moving is a useful way to prevent misunderstandings that ruin game experiences. This is especially important for any sort of tournament play.
If you push at the widest possible angle – 45° – you can be up to 7mm away and still connect, but to be safe, aim for base to base.
If you can’t get base to base, so long as you are in Range 2 for the first attack, you will be in Range 2 after the pounce.
50mm based characters
It is not, however, normally possible for Panther to push and collide with a 50mm character like Doctor Octopus. He can still Pounce in to range to make a second attack, but even at the widest angle allowed, he will not make contact:
Because it is a “push away”, the widest angle you can push at is 45°. The maths of the triangle made by the distance between the bases (50mm), the push distance (81mm) and the maximum pounce+base (116mm) needs an angle of about 57° for it to fit:
As a result, if you want to collide with a character on a 50mm base for that collision damage, you will want to look for terrain or other characters to push them in to. Remember, they will stop (but not cause a collision or take damage) if they contact either of those during a push. That will allow you to get that Pounce damage off on them.
That does mean, if there isn’t any relevant terrain or characters then you don’t need to be base-to-base with a 50mm character. So long as you aren’t at the very edge (last 15mm to be exact) of your range 2 when making the first you will definitely be in range to make another attack after your pounce.
To reiterate, do not put yourself at the full range 2 from a 50mm you want to attack twice.
65mm based characters
Its even further away for a 65mm based character. It isn’t so far that you’ll be out of range 2, but if you are much further away than Range 1 (the width of the range stick) for the first attack it will be close enough (20.8mm of wriggle room at Range 1).
To reiterate, if you want to make two attacks against a 65mm base, position at Range 1 for the first attack.
The same caveat applies about scenery stopping pushes to try and get the collision from the pounce. If you can position for the first attack to have terrain or a character in that push away arc, you’ll do more damage.
I’ve talked a bit about positioning to make two attacks. Often that isn’t realistic, as it takes an action to move so you only have one to attack. Pounce is once per turn so you can’t Pounce into position. There are effects that can move or place him: Red Skull’s Master of the Cosmic Cube, Drop Off (watch out as this will have an extra push!), Avengers Assemble, Tactical Analysis, Gamma Launch… the list is getting even longer.
But one that I think warrants special mention is Wakanda Forever. This is a great way of getting that extra attack. If you know this round is a Wakanda Forever round, make sure you position Black Panther appropriately.