There’s a very good Cabal list that has been evolved in several places at the same time. There are a few variations on it, but they have the same game plan. I like to call it the double barrelled shotgun.
The first barrel is the well established pairing of Red Skull with M.O.D.O.K. Round one, Skull moves up, typically to a secure or extract, generates power from the cube and Master of the Cubes M.O.D.O.K. forward so the big head can unleash two attacks later in the round. Skull then has a great target for Hail Hydra if he needs it, as M.O.D.O.K. is pretty durable and immune to wild status effects.
As the game unfolds, Red Skull is contributing with long range attacks, positioning M.O.D.O.K. and playing team tactics cards – Cosmic invigoration on M.O.D.O.K. is well known to be a great use of it, or Dark Reign on whoever needs it. Maybe he goes to grab another extract or secure – you have to play that by ear a little bit. M.O.D.O.K. unleashes attacks and does M.O.D.O.K. things with Bow to the Will of M.O.D.O.K.! and Imbecile! All the World is a Weapon to M.O.D.O.K.! But those two really work well together.
This is about delivering a high damage character far up the board turn one. That could be either Killmonger or Venom. The way you deliver them is by using Drop Off. So you need a flier, and typically that is Ultron. At size 3, he can drop off Venom. At M move with a 50mm base he can have some cute plays as shown in this great video. But the key thing is he is a four point flier, in affiliation – so he can either pay for or benefit from Dark Reign – and has a 50mm base.
But really this is about the damage dealing potential of three attacks from Venom or Killmonger. The fact that the drop off attack will generate power – even more with the Cabal leadership – means they do even more damage than you might expect on round one. Either character can easily daze a character that advances up around the half-way line.
A tight build
This team comes in at 17 threat. The four characters lends itself to taking priority away from your opponent. It has an nice option of plugging in a 2 threat character, often Rocket, though Okoye to support Skull and M.O.D.O.K. or Nebula for even more damage output could fit well too. At 18 threat, you could swap out Ultron for Star-Lord and one of those twos or even Thor so long as you are running Killmonger.
Venom vs Killmonger
A key choice in this list is your beater for the second barrel. Personally I like Killmonger better than Venom. I find that Venom’s energy weakness is exploitable. As soon as you start deploying your double barrel team, it’s clear where Venom will be during the game. It’s not hard to counter-deploy an energy attacker, ideally with range 4, to try and take him down quickly.
Add in to the Usurp the Throne and the flexibility in team construction mentioned above that Killmonger brings, and I like him better in this set up.
This team is perfect for Infinity Formulas. You have two corridors of engagement: perfect for the team ups you have planned. It plays pretty well on the Extremis consoles too, but the corridors of engagement run diagonally. Ultron drops off the beater near one wide secure and Skull and M.O.D.O.K. hold the close secure and threaten the other flank.
For extracts, they really like Evacuees. Cabal is really strong on that extract due to their power generation, and the fact that it stacks on top of the Infinity Formula secures really helps. Hammers is good for them too, but the possibility of an 18 threat build can make the team harder to put together, particularly with Venom, but it enables the threat of a triple attack on someone that grabs a wide hammer opposite your second barrel.
This list looks set to make use of some new releases. Ultron is probably the weakest part of the list as after dropping off he feels like he isn’t contributing as much as his threat value might suggest, but he could well find himself getting replaced by another 50mm based flier such as Doctor Strange or Green Goblin. Depending on their threat level and battlefield role, one of them may well replace Ultron as droppers for the second barrel beater.
This is a really good, solid list. So much so that it has got me thinking of splicing this list with my Wakanda Wave to form a roster that covers a really wide range of crises.
If you haven’t played with or against this list, I’d strongly recommend trying it out. It’s difficult to gain an advantage against them. It’s a great strategy.