Love at first Strike

Atomic Mass Games has just revealed the cards for Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight along with the Time Gem.

They are both pretty decent damage dealers. A 5 dice strike with pierce on both of them, with a flurry attack on the more expensive Corvus Glaive along with ranged options for the approach. Glaive also has the ability to skew his attack dice by including blanks. It’s a mechanic we’ve seen on Loki, and I’ve already written about how it skews the maths of a 5 dice strike. Loki only gets up to 6 dice, where Glaive has access to a 7 dice attack. That’s going to do a lot of damage if you have 7 power.

That brings up a difficult decision point with Glaive. From experience with Loki, it would seem that you want to activate Glaive’s Edge on a 5 dice strike in order to pump the power gain from it to trigger Death Blow with a second (or third!) activation. But the high cost of both the superpower and the attack make that a weird option to take.

A regular 5 dice Strike has a 63% chance of gaining one or more power vs a vanilla 4 defence – higher versus less good defended obviously. If we assume Glaive is already on three power, then he needs that one to get the four he needs to fuel Death Blow. If he spends it, however, to activate Glaive’s Edge, there is a less than 10% chance of inflicting the four damage needed to get the power to pay for Death Blow. It’s not something I can see myself doing, unless Strike is the last activation of the turn. Power economy from Avengers or Cabal changes this a bit, but not enough to swing it to being used much more often to my mind.

They both have damage reduction like Iron Man’s that helps increase their durability, improving their decidedly average baseline stats. Let’s compare a 6 dice vanilla attack coming at either of them vs a 4 vanilla defense:

They are more likely to take one damage, but less likely to take any more than that.

Married with benefits

So they are good damager dealers that are above averagely durable, but the real reason to get excited about the two is the really interesting mechanic baked in to them.

The ability to activate back to back with no power cost is really powerful. For comparison, Follow Me costs 6 power and uses a team tactics card slot. If you are taking either of these two characters you really want to be taking the other. This really is their defining ability on either card. Other characters can deal damage as well or better than them but this ability sets up a few things.

The first is really skewing the chance of dazing or KOing an opponent at the beginning of a round. Having between anywhere between four and eight attacks makes it easy to daze one or possibly even two important characters so long as they are near to this cosmic power couple.

Glaive’s M move on his Death Blow is really useful for trying to get damage in to that second target. If he spikes high on his first attack, both the move and free attack happen after the attack is resolved, meaning you can move to get a new target. If your initial target is still upright, you get your strike then move away, maybe back to contest a secure.

I can see these two working together to dominate a flank on a scenarios with split secures, like Infinity Formula early in a round.

That leads on to the second thing this ability enables – keeping priority. Teams that like daze characters often end up losing priority as the opponent loses an activation from having their character dazed. Much like using Follow Me, this allows you help keep priority from one round to the next. If your game plan involves aggressive scenario play by dazing opponents early in the round, you will be wanting to keep priority every turn. These characters allow you to field keep priority whilst dazing a character on a same-sized team, or to maintain priority in early rounds against a team with one less character.

The down side to this line of play if is your opponent brings a lot of throws and pushes. Acting with large numbers of characters early leaves you open to area control play without any recourse later in the round.

Affiliations

The game plan they appear to be designed for lines up perfectly with Cabal, so that’s an obvious synergy. Do damage. Keep priority.

Avengers doesn’t seem like a great place for them – the discount on Glaive’s Edge doesn’t seem like enough to make it more appealing, though Martial Prowess for one power seems pretty good.

Asgard seems great – healing up hard to damage characters is really good. The difficulty will be in fitting them in the team: their cost of 7 is hard to build around with Asgardians. Thor the leader and Valkyrie the cheapest Asgardian cost 8 together. You need to include at least one more Asgardian or Rogue Agent, meaning the lowest threat team you can include them on is 18. It’s possible, but not on smaller teams.

Guardians is pretty exciting with them. They tend to have high character count due to all their cheap options, so they really like the ability to try to keep priority. The Winging It rerolls are great on characters that are looking for wilds or can make more than two attacks – both true for Corvus Glaive.

Wakanda doesn’t seem to have much synergy with them. The only thing that appeals is stacking Vibranium Shielding on top of their existing damage reduction. It’s also probably the only way to give them access to Shuri’s rerolls until the Black Order is fully released.

Time Stone

Just a quick note to say that the Time Stone is something I haven’t really commented on. It is such a big deal it will need some testing before I form opinions on it. It is cool though.

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