From what I’ve seen, one of the least played scenarios is Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians. There are a number of reasons I think you should reconsider this scenario, and maybe even build around it.
Choosing a crisis
As I wrote about here, taking three crises all of which you are happy to play is a slightly wasted opportunity. Of the secure crises, the obvious counter-choice for me is Origin Bombs.
To recap, this places three tokens across the centre line. In order to take control You must spend a power to interact and roll dice equal to your energy defence and get more successes (hit, wild, crit) than there are opponents contesting the origin bomb token. The player who controls the majority of the bombs scores all 3VPs and their opponent scores none.
In particular, I think this provides difficulty for Wakandan and Cabal single affiliation rosters or even a dual Cabal-Wakanda roster. They are very power-poor in the early turns. Cabal needs to be making attacks in order to kick start its power economy, so has hard choices to make in turn be between interacting with extracts and the Bombs. Until they have their power generation sorted, it also acts as a power tax to reduce use of superpowers.
Across the community, people are starting to build teams around scenarios, like my Wakanda Wave or Turn Zer0 Gaming’s BDT. Both of these team designs around the Gamma Wave crisis. They are both very powerful teams that have a hard to disrupt game plan. So the best way not to lose to them? Don’t play their game. If you get the chance, choose Secures and give your opponent a scenario they may not have thought as much about or have as detailed a plan for. Origin Bombs fits this perfectly.
Another consideration is how this can reduce the utility of certain high frequency characters – for example, Shuri. Shuri really likes a close ‘defensive’ secure to sit on and push people off other secures at range. Not only does this not have a ‘defensive’ secure, but pushing people away from the secures doesn’t stop you scoring them. If you know your opponent crutches of Shuri, take away some of her utility.
Equally, there are popular characters like Venom and Vision that have low energy defendes, which can force your opponent in to using them in a particular way, and relying on dice rolls even more than normal – with only 2 energy defense, they have a 25% chance of failing to claim a bomb even if there are no contesting characters.
There is often an advantage to not having priority in a scenario, as you get the last activation to grab a secure or the throw/push an opponent off one. That can lead to you gaining 1 VP and your opponent effectively losing one. In Origin Bombs, doing this loses your opponent 3 and you gain 3. That’s huge. So if your opponent has a roster that looks like they are building a team that wants priority – Cabal springs to mind – then this can be a good crisis to choose to reduce the advantage of having priority.
This is also the only secure that doesn’t care if your character is injured or not, so ‘kill squad’ style teams find it harder to carry out their game plan, as their uninjured characters are no better than your injured ones – though dazed characters still aren’t counted. But it is a marginal gain.
The Star Spangled Man with a Plan
So if you are going to force your opponent on to this scenario, you should be trying to formulate a game plan.
My experience of this scenario is that it is the ‘brawniest’ secure scenario. There is more trading punches along the middle line, and the slower tempo of scoring with only 3 VP available, that means I think this is a great crisis for Avengers players. You have a number of characters that get better on their injured side: Cap, Iron Man, to an extent Thor and Loki plays really nicely in Avengers and especially on this scenario where lots of characters will be in his bubble of annoyance. Avengers also has access to some great characters with 4 energy defense: Cap, Thor and Captain Marvel. Carol in particular is great on this scenario, not just because of her high energy defense, but it gives her the time she needs to build up power to chain Binary Form, making her a real headache to deal with.
Asgardians play a similar game, with durable characters with access to healing and Odin’s blessing. Again, Thor and Hela have that 4 energy defense and they play well in a longer game.
Damage reducing or ameliorating team tactics cards like Brace for Impact of Patch Up are in most rosters, and play to the game plan on this scenario, so there is a lower opportunity cost when designing a team for this crisis.
One word of warning
If you are planning to play in a tournament style event, be aware that there is likely to be some form of time limit. This slower scenario means you are more likely to come up against whatever their method of time limitation is. That’s fine: make sure you know the rules of your tournament and keep an eye on game state as you are getting later in to the game.