Loki is a great Avenger, but I think there is a specific reason you should be considering him in your Avengers roster: as a good counter to other Avengers rosters.
The Avengers’ leadership ability gives a discount on the first super power used each turn – remember that each character’s activation is a turn, so it can be used multiple times per round if you have lots of reactive superpowers that cost more than one power. Loki has a couple of great powers for this. I Am A God really skews the maths on both attack and defense. Trickster is such a great deterrent to being attacked at all that Loki is surprisingly survivable.
But his most relevant ability in the match up against another Avengers team is his God of Mischief:
This completely negates the Avengers’ leadership ability in nearly 20 inch bubble. If Loki is positioned centrally, that’s a huge amount of power economy you deny your opponent. Even on a split scenario like Infinity Formula, deploying Loki opposite some specific characters can have a huge impact. Cap paying 2 to Bodyguard or Vibranium Shield really feels expensive when your used to it costing 1. Thor not being able to For Asgard without getting some extra power from somewhere can be really impactful on what your opponent is able to achieve. Vision paying two to phase shift makes him much easier to deal with and paying full price for his throw reduces his power available to use phase shift. The list goes on.
A mystic Avenger
Another great reason to take Loki is his access to mystic attacks. So far, we only have three characters that can make mystical attacks: M.O.D.O.K., Hela and Loki.
Of those, Hela has very little synergy with the Avengers. I could see wanting her for her staying power: high defense and built-in recursion both seem like things that Avengers will like, but she wants to hold a back-field position early game
M.O.D.O.K. does benefit to an extent from the leadership abilities, but doesn’t fit with larger game plan of the Avengers: he favours a team that wants to play aggressively and deal a large amount of damage quickly. Avengers can be built that way, but I don’t feel that plays to their strengths the best way.
Loki fits a lot better than either of those options in most scenarios.
Why is access to mystic important in the Avengers mirror match? There’s a few reasons. The first is Cap. You know you will see Cap opposite you, and he has lower defense against mystical attacks and critically cannot use his Vibranium Shield against mystical attacks:
Another popular character in Avengers is Black Panther. Again, he has a lower mystic defense, and a pair of Vibranium superpowers that mystic gets around:
Dealing with either of these Avengers regulars is significantly easier with mystic attacks.
I find when considering teams for specific crises combinations, Loki can be hard to justify including. But for all the reasons listed above, I think he can really give you an edge if you know you’ll be facing Avengers.
But you can go further: given Loki’s effect in power economy, you can further impact that through your crisis selection.
Typically, secures don’t require power to be spent, but with Origin bombs your power advantage will be further compounded as they are forced to either spend or cede VPs to you.
Extracts can be effective too. Hammers puts further power tax on playing team tactics cards like Avengers Assemble. Loki can’t use Avengers Assemble, so can happily pick up a hammer without causing you extra pain in that regard.
Choosing Evacuees also means your power economy advantage means you should find it easier to get to the six power required to evacuate.
Avoiding Cosmic Cubes and Infinity Formula stops your opponent redressing the balance in your power economy advantage.