It’s Preview time Everyone! In case you missed the Upper Deck blog last Friday, check it out here! Big change to Thanos and Comso…
…Oh, and some new guy named Thor.
To be honest, Thor looks to be really raising the bar on the Power Level of Main Characters. Dark Phoenix better watch her back before a Thunder God shows her some real power. So what else can we expect from the main Characters? Upper Deck was gracious enough to give us some to preview. We’ll do Villains today and Femme Fatales on Wednesday.
For now, gaze upon the sultry James Spader voiced goodness that is Ultron:
I’ll let the gang chime in with their thoughts and wrap it up with my own:
John – Wow. We’ve waited a long time for preview season and here we are with a sweet one. Personally, I love this card. I really enjoy playing decks with non-linear playstyles and Ultron is a great example of that. You can curve out early and Swarm them late or you can try to assemble the squad as quickly as possible and try to stun the opposing MC as quickly as possible. One thing is for sure, you 100% of the time want an Ultron and a yellow resource in your opening hand. You also really want to avoid seeing Satana or Thanos pretty much ever as getting your Ultrons shuffled back in, or worse removed from the game, really deflates this strategy.
I really like the card from a thematic standpoint and think that it has a lot of potential competitively as well. We’ve seen the power of team attack decks in the successful Magneto strategies and there is no reason why Ultron can’t be even better than that. I’m pretty excited to give this a shot regardless.
Eric – I saw that one defense right away, and wasn’t feeling to good about this card. Then I saw the seven wounds, flight, range and SWARM. Wow Thor has Berserker and Ultron has Swarm. That is awesome. Main characters are getting better. But getting your supporting character copies of Ultron going isn’t all that easy when you only one copy for every fifteen cards in your deck. I imagine this deck in A Force right away as well. Pixie is automatically going into the deck, she helps find your Iterate targets. So that means Iron Man and Singularity both make sense as well. Iron Man and Build a Better World to help keep the energy locations going. Singularity because the combo is so good. We are A Force so A number one Loki Supporting Characters is a must. Then I think you want Emma Frost to help you get to more copies of Ultron’s supporting character into your discard pile. After thinking about that I find myself more excited to see what this new and interesting main character may be able to get his hands on deck wise. I am not sold on him just yet though, because there are a lot of good decks with main characters that just walk through his stats every turn.
Tim – Looking at Ultron you are really getting a mixed bag here. You do get a character with Flight and Range, but Ultron’s Level 1 stats are tiny compared to most Main Characters. Once you get Ultron to level 2 he gets an ATK that combined with his Range is large enough to threaten most characters, but he is weak on defense. You will be using those resource to power out copies of Ultron from your hand or KO pile to help preserve Ultron’s health.
The best way I have found to evaluate a Main Character is to examine how quickly you can level them up and what you get for doing so. I think you can level up Ultron quickly with the right draw. There lies the problem though. A huge draw-back to Ultron is that he really depends on your opening draw. You always will want a Ultron Supporting Character and Yellow Resource in your opening hand. Without those, my fear is that it will take too long to level him up, which combined with his own weak preservation is a recipe for losing.
In the end, Ultron seems like one of those cards that you need to play with to see his true potential. There might be ways to put a Ultron Support Character into your Hand/KO pile from deck which would instantly change my evaluation of him. My gut tells me to group him with a team that cares about the number of characters you have in play (like Femme Fatales), but also to avoid teams that have a huge need for resources as I think Ultron will be using your locations constantly.
I think if you change one or two words in the rules text this becomes absurd and I’m very glad that this was very carefully worded. This really shows me that the time that has been taken has been to make sure we have positive play experiences and that rules are just going to be very clear from the get go.
As for playing Ultron, you’ll want to be playing with Villains or A force as a base as they have the chunky bodies to sit in the front row and stop you from dying – though seven wounds is a lot especially if your plan is to take over the late game
Ultron feels like there is potential for a really high risk explosive strategy where you put one ultron into play which tutors up another and if you have anything in the front row you’ll be able to pick off anything and just stone wall the opponent much like a reverse Captain Marvel
Sadly now that our lord and savior Uncle Thanos is back that will mean there is some pressure in the format to be able to turn off at least half of both of your abilities and maybe Thanos is able to be a better version of this deck but I’m really excited to see what people can do with this and hey, he’s not just a power up anymore ;]
This does open up something really cool for the future if there are multiple copies of Ultron printed with the AKA mechanic this main character could really pick up. This leads me to believe this is a seed for either this set or a future set with an extra few copies of this MC.
I do like the thematic aspect and I know there are some players who live for this stuff where they get to tell the story of the time where by turn two they had this amazing board and just machine gunned down whatever their opponents were up to! Personally this is a little too chaotic for me but I can’t get to get my teeth kicked in by it at my local game store next time I’m trying to durdle around with Professor X
Saying all of that I’m not sure how I feel about this – on the one hand I really like characters with base colours Yellow and Blue on the other I tend to shy away from aggressive-combo style characters. I don’t feel like there is currently a place for Ultron that isn’t better served lead by someone else but I’m optimistic of a future where any new printings or changing original Ultron to have legion adds just enough power to make this a major player in your local environment.
Kirk – When Marvel Battles was first released at Gencon in 2015, we spent time with friends building different decks to take to the first 10k. One of those friends was Tim Batow, legendary Deck Builder from the WoW and DBZ TCGs. He always comes up with crazy combos and ideas, and his best for that few days of testing was the Storm build that Michael Barnes piloted to second place that weekend.
That said, I did see him tinkering with the idea of Comboing Ultron with Captain America_SC in a Spider-Man deck. The idea of getting 3-4 Ultons in play on turn 4 is great, especially with the “new” to us at the time rules for Ranged Attacks. They could all team attack for 12… If you played Captain America the turn before, now you have four 4/2s instead of four 3/1s.
It was cool, but not explosive or fast enough. And you ran out of gas, once all those resources were spent. That said, it endeared Ultron to my heart and I’ve been keeping my eye on him ever since. With this new Main character, I get to start these kinds of shenanigans much earlier AND I get to switch into overdrive later in the game with a different resource color and start getting 2 clones into play at the same time. We also get Singularity to abuse with Captain America’s Inspire power. So if you’re now sprinkling in A-Force, every copy of Build a Better World becomes another Ultron, as does Iron Man.
I don’t think he’ll be knocking down any Tournament doors, but he will definitely be a fun deck to build and play. That said, I may be looking at this the wrong way. Instead of trying to be a control deck, maybe he’s aggressive with him and his clones making sure to wound the opposing MC every turn and the 7 health just allows you to win the war of attrition. Your turn, make Ranged attacks to stun their MC (new Cosmo may even help here, shutting off any flying or Grab blockers) then on their turn with their counter attack, you could Savage Surprise for a return stun.