Back in Black

With all the releases after the core set, I’ve found myself including core Black Widow less and less. But recently she’s been making a comeback in my thinking, and ending up in my 10. Here’s why.

I’ve been playing a lot of Wakanda, with good results. But people are starting to get wise to how Wakanda plays, and trying to level the scales. One of the main ways is in Crisis selection. There are two crises that I want to draft Natasha in for specifically.

Wakandan Herb

Wakanda wants to score as quickly as possible, so having someone choose Wakandan Herbs, where one well placed character can completely shut down the extract scoring really hurts them. Part of me just wants to ignore the herbs altogether and just focus on the secures, but recently I’ve been hatching plans.

By including Black Widow as my herb runner, I have some options. First, if left alone she can score the herb by herself on round 4. That’s not ideal, but if the game gets that far those 4 VPs can swing the game.

If my opponent reacts to her running for the extract, they are very likely to commit more resources to her than I’ve committed at a mere two threat. That leaves me advantaged fighting over the secures.

Add in a couple of tactics cards, (tactical analysis and Drop off), and age can score the herb turn two – a real threat. I like pairing her with Vision to do the dropping off – he plays great with Wakanda. Any character can facilitate a turn two tactical analysis. The really great thing about this strategy is that both of those cards are strong cards that can be (and are) used in other lists from the roster. Even if an opponent does commit to removing her, those team tactics cards still have great uses in the list, but the threat of a turn two four points score can dictate your opponents play, increasing the chance of winning secures.

Their aim in choosing herbs was to slow the scoring. Trying to turn that against them feels really good.

Extremis

Wakanda plays great on Gamma Shelters and Infinity Formula. I’ve taken to including an Asgardian splash for Deadly Meteors, which just leaves Extremis.

I’ve been playing a lot of Extremis recently, and Black Widow is a great character on it. She is great at sitting on the close Console, ideally with an extract objective, scoring 2VP per turn.

It’s pretty common to have a camper like that, but your opponent is likely to commit a 3- or sometimes even 4-threat character to it. That gives you a threat advantage on the wide consoles that can lead to winning a flank quickly, and potentially dominating a game.

If they do want to take her out, they can’t do it from range thanks to Stealth, and if they don’t want to trigger her Martial Artist, then they can’t contest the console. Again, she will be drawing more threat than she costs to engage her, allowing you to leverage threat advantage elsewhere on the battlefield.

Evoltuion

I’m really enjoying playing a roster, learning what opponents might do to help advantage them against you and then planning to counter their counter. She’s never in my Plan A, but she’s definitely justifying her inclusion in my 10.

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