On of my favourite parts of playing Magic: the Gathering was when new sets released. Seeing how new card would slot perfectly in to existing decks and which new decks would emerge was a lot of fun. We are starting to get that same experience in Marvel: Crisis Protocol. Specifically, Drax has got me thinking about my Wakanda Wave list – should I replace Doc Ock with Drax?
These guys are competing for the same slot in the roster: second a three threat character with a throw after Valkyrie. Valkyrie has a two-cost throw and generates two power due to being an Asgardian, so she is a much more reliable thrower. But these guys are quite comparable in the context of this list.
The whole concept of the list is built around pushes and throws on cheap characters to control the gamma waves secures. Both Doc Ock and Drax are three threat and have a three cost throw:
Size 3 vs Range 3. Both have advantages. For this list, you normally want someone who is on a gamma shelter throwing someone else who is contesting it off that shelter. That means the extra range is less useful, whereas size 3 characters are becoming more common and prove a problem for Doc Ock. An advantage to Drax there.
Add in that Drax has as auto size 3 push built in to an attack and it really gives him the edge in this category:
There are a couple of other things about this attack. I really like the 4 dice. This list doesn’t want to be making attacks for damage, as that gives your opponent power to fuel abilities and Spender attacks. 4 dice physical is the weakest attack you can get in the game right now. Assuming a 4 physical defense, it has good odds of not doing any damage at all, and thus not generating any power for your opponent.
It also has wild stun, which plays to the game plan of the list nicely.
The final thing to note is that it only costs two: the throws cost three, and while Doc Ock is better at generating power on paper thanks to his Scientific Hubris, Drax can be online for moving models turn 2, whereas Ock may have to wait until later to get his throw online – it depends what your opponent does.
Another important aspect for this character in the list is durability. Doc Ock is normally my first activation of the game. He moves up and typically grabs an extract and then moves centrally to chime in with throws in later turns. That presents him as a target for my opponent. On the surface, his 4 physical and mental defenses are better than Drax’s, but Drax ignores one damage from each attack:
Drax also has 6 stamina on his uninjured side, compared to Doc’s 5. That alone skews the chance of Drax surviving a flurry of attacks above Doc’s. Let’s throw, say, Zemo at both of them with a Strike, Steel Rush combo. He has a 41% chance of dazing Doc Ock, compared with just 14% of dazing Drax. Even if Drax only had 5 stamina, he’d still be more durable thanks to his reduction – a 26% chance of dazing. The disparity becomes bigger if it’s an energy attack.
The only situation Ock stands up better is against M.O.D.O.K., Hela and Ebony Maw with their Mystic attacks (I guess Loki too, but that’s less likely based on how Loki tends to get used).
So far, it looks pretty stacked against Doc Ock. But there are real reasons I think he might still be better. Maybe. The big advantage Ock has is a larger base (50mm) and Wall Crawler making him faster. How much this matters depends on the extract crisis and terrain.
On Evacuees Drax can get to an evacuee and back to within 1” of the close shelter, but Ock can get within 1” of the central one or the close one. That aggressive positioning does invite a bit more fire, but it also sets the line of engagement higher up the board. Ock also has better power generation to get up to 6 to evacuate, but Drax’s higher resilience is very relevant for those trying to focus down the evacuee holders.
On Hammers, Kree Power Core and Skrulls, the difference isn’t really there. Both Ock and Drax need to move twice to grab a wide hammer. And both need to advantage twice to be contesting the centre (Doc will be at least 0.3” out of one move from the hammer to the shelter). On Skrulls and Power Core they can just advance to the centre shelter anyway to hunt the hidden objective.
On an F set up like Cosmic cubes, any M mover can move to a near-wide extract, pick it up and move to a gamma shelter, ending within 1” of either the middle or the close shelter, contesting.
All of this assumes Drax isn’t hindered in any way terrain. Typically if I’m sending someone – usually Okoye – after the other wide extract, Ock is positioned on the side where the terrain is less favourable, so he can just tentacle over it. Drax loses you that flexibility, and might result in slightly slower scoring – something that can be make or break for this list.
This is the only thing Ock really has going for him unless you know you are facing down mystic attacks.
That’s a lot falling in the Drax column, with only a little in favour of Ock.
Such posts do make me worry for power creep and the future of the game, when the consensus is “90% of the time, this model is strictly better than this same cost one”.
Obviously they belong to different affiliations (here’s hoping for a sinister six), so that does play into it. Not going to be a competitive gamer, so it impacts me less, but will be disappointed if core set models become obsoleted by newer entries.
I think it’s understandable that core modes have simpler designs than ‘expansion’ models. But if you have taken away that Drax is straight better than Ock then I’ve failed in communicating the specific context of this discussion.
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