A star is born

Atomic Mass Games have just unveiled Nebula’s card on Twitter.

She has some really interesting features. There are a few I want to pick up on.

Eyes on the target

A really interesting area of design space – making a character that doesn’t play the same game the rest of the characters do. She can’t even contest secures! But I do think her bonus rerolls are going to come up a lot – most of the game after round 1 is played around secures and if you force an opponent to change their positioning because of her, she’s already having an positive impact for you.

2: it’s the magic number

Another 2 threat character. The second in The Guardians affiliation. That means you can easily got her in to a team with a good number of of their characters who can interact with scenario elements. That has implications for the play style you are aiming at though. An aggressive play style tends to want priority to deal big damage to daze or KO opposing characters that would otherwise have impactful activations. Having lots of small threat costing characters means you aren’t going to get priority very often. There are ways of manipulating priority, but without them that might seem like a dis-synergy.

Cabal has long wanted a good 2 threat option. Rocket fits them well, but Cabal are already quite well served in the “sit back and blast” department. Nebula allows them to aggressively hunt extracts, and can get around her major weakness of no move-and-attack power with the help of Master of the Cube. She will benefit well from their leadership ability, and actively help

No superpowers that cost power

Not one. All inates. At first that might make you think that she’s no good with the Avengers, but I’d invite you to reconsider. Yes, she won’t benefit from their leadership ability, but I do think she can play nicely in to their game plan.

Avengers can be built to maximise on slow scenarios. Nebula can further slow the game by targeting in particular the carrier of a single high priority extract, such as a Skrull or Kree power core. She would work best putting reliable chip damage in to a character carrying it, allowing another character to come in, deliver the dazing blow and then scoop up the objective near the end of the round. Ultimately, I think she will feel better in Cabal, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to consider her.

As much as she might like being in Avengers, she won’t like playing against them. A one cost bodyguard makes her feel a bit mopey. For best results, pair her with someone that can push/throw the bodyguard away.

Affiliations

I’ve already mentioned Guardians of the galaxy, Cabal and even Avengers. Whilst she might not appear to have much natural synergy with Asgardians or Wakanda, she is likely to have the power to spend on either leadership ability as her only means of spending power is her Shock Sword Assault attack. Like with Avengers, if you are actively building a roster for slow scenarios, I can see her usefulness in those affiliations.

Damned if you do…

One thing she can really do is give your opponent tough decisions. Do I commit resources to dealing with this really quite prickly thorn in my side but that isn’t directly stopping me from scoring, or I do direct my resources towards traditional objective holders and contesters, leaving Nebula a free reign to assassinate? Tough choice. Two threat might seem like a low price to force them in to that position.

So is she a star?

I can see her being played a lot with Cabal. She might also make a decent number of Guardians rosters, but I have concerns about space for more than one two threat character in a roster – it can make team building hard – and rocket seems to bring more to the team to me. I’m happy to be proved wrong though.

She may also make specifically tailored teams to specific rosters, like a Wakandan Herb or Skrulls crisis.

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