Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Infinity Series – Soul 10Jul2022

Following the excellent MCP Nations team tournament, Sunday’s agenda was a singles event for Marvel Crisis Protocol. I think that this is part of a series of six events but the locations mean that this is the only one I’m likely to be able to attend. Most, though surprisingly not all, of the players from the team event were taking part in addition to a number of others who couldn’t commit to both days for various reasons.

As the new standard play rules were effective for this event I had to make a few small changes to my roster – Wakandan Herb had been added to the banned list and half of my cards were now restricted. I also wanted to make a fairly small number of character changes so minimise the number of minis I had to remember. Since Clea and Juggernaut were only present for Wakandan Herb jank, I removed them and all the associated cards. I put in Hood simply because I quite like playing him and theorise that he’d be pretty good in Convocation, and then put in Omega Red for Poison synergy with both Ancient One and Doctor Strange. I also swapped in Terrigen Clouds (borrowed from Allan) with the theory that it might go nicely with the Poison theme. I didn’t actually get a chance to try any of this out before the event so I didn’t have particularly high hopes.

Characters: (10)
Ancient One (Ancient One) Threat: 4
Baron Mordo (Karl Amadeus Mordo) Threat: 3
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (Stephen Vincent Strange) Threat: 5
Doctor Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) Threat: 4
Wong (Wong) Threat: 2
Magik (Illyana Rasputin) Threat: 3
Ebony Maw (Ebony Maw) Threat: 5
Hood (Parker Robbins) Threat: 3
Lizard (Curtis Connors) Threat: 3
Omega Red (Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich) Threat: 4

Tactics: (10)
Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath
Plane of Pohldahk
The Bar With No Doors
Wand of Watoomb
Hood’s Gang
Journey Through Limbo
Brace for Impact
Monkey Brain Is Lizard Home

Secure Crisis: (3)
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? (Threat: 19)
Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse (Threat: 19)
Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City (Threat: 20)

Extract Crisis: (3)
Research Station Attacked! (Threat: 16)
Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan (Threat: 17)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)

Game 1: Giacomo playing Convocation

For the first round I’m drawn against Giacomo who was part of an Italian team who swept all before them in the MCP Nations event. He won priority, picking Extracts, and we end up with Spider Portals and Research Station. I choose 18 threat, though looking back on it I wonder if 16 would have been a bit better for me. The choice of 18 threat was mainly so I could use Ebony Maw and let him throw various bits of terrain at everyone – there was certainly plenty on the board – but it might have been better just to use Lizard instead and have him sit on the central point. I also was in two minds about whether to take Iron-Bound Books as one of my cards – in the Convocation match-up it’s not much use but Giacomo did have the option to play Avengers instead.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Giacomo’s team: Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo, Baron Mordo, Deadpool, Ms Marvel
Giacomo’s cards: Astral Ring, Brace For Impact, Face Me, Indomitable, Plane of Pohdahk

Round 1: Baron Mordo takes the back Portal and gets placed away and Ebony Maw gets the same treatment on the right which enables Deadpool to saunter up and take that one. My Doctor Strange takes the left Portal and Ms Marvel takes it off him. The Ancient One flips my home Portal and everyone else joins the party in the middle. The score is 3 – 1 to Giacomo.

Round 2: My Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound Books and Plane of Pohldahk on Giacomo’s Doctor Voodoo, Giacomo pays to flip his leadership away from the bump side. Ancient One leaves Doctor Voodoo on one hit point plus Stagger – leaving him on one is terrible for me as it means that he can get his Brother Daniel token out onto someone. Predictably his Doctor Voodoo hurts mine and Possesses the Ancient One. My Doctor Voodoo finishes his off and gently tickles Doctor Strange, who dazes him right back and heals himself. Ebony Maw dazes Deadpool and flips the right Portal and Ms Marvel leaves my Doctor Strange on one hit point, though oddly I didn’t note what he did first. The score is 7 – 3 to him.

Round 3: My Doctor Voodoo rolls like a chump and does nothing at all to either Doctor Voodoo nor Doctor Strange in the centre. Giacomo’s Doctor Strange pushes Doctor Voodoo away and Staggers the Ancient One. She Staggers Doctor Voodoo right back and he throws her away before moving off to safety at the back. Ebony Maw hurts Mordo who moves up and flips my home Portal. My Doctor Strange dazes Ms Marvel and the score moves to 11 – 5 to Giacomo.

Round 4: My Doctor Voodoo continues his ineffective tickling of Doctor Strange, then Ms Marvel easily dazes my Doctor Strange. The Ancient One fails to hurt either Baron Mordo or Doctor Strange while Ebony Maw can’t plink the last few wounds off Doctor Voodoo. Giacomo’s characters don’t even need to attack, they just flip the remaining points and he wins 17 – 5.

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t put up more of a fight there against Giacomo, but he was a lovely chap to play against and I very much enjoyed our game. As mentioned at the start, I think that I might have been better off playing at 16 threat and picking Lizard (along with his ‘push everyone away’ card) over Ebony Maw. I noticed that Giacomo wanted to move second onto the Portals on the left and right so that he could have the last chance to score them. I need to consider this in more detail as I’ve usually tried to go first as it’s easier to take them if no-one else is standing there; perhaps that is a risk I should be taking sometimes. I almost never pick the re-roll side of the Convocation leadership as the bump is so useful, but Giacomo flipped to it on round two and it helped him out a lot. I guess that is one of the reasons that he’s so successful at this game.

Game 2: Eduardo playing Web Warriors

For the second game I get Eduardo with a Web Warriors roster. He wins priority and chooses Secures so we get Infinity Formula and Spider-Infected which means that we’re definitely playing at 17 threat. I feel like I should have the tools to do well on this combination, though I’d obviously prefer priority to get a head start on the Extracts. I don’t know what happened with that first photo, I must have sneezed or something!

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Infinity Formula Goes Missing!
Threat: 17
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Baron Mordo, Wong, Lizard
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Wand of Watoomb
Eduardo’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Moon Knight, Venom, Ghost-Spider, Doctor Voodoo
Eduardo’s cards: All Webbed Up, Disarm, Lethal Protector, Psychic Shielding Device, Spider Tracker

Round 1: Miles takes the Spider-Infected on the right so I send up Baron Mordo on the left to take the far one over there. This was probably a mistake as I could have just picked up the central one here with Doctor Voodoo; Lizard can usually survive the sort of punishment from a cheeky play like that but Baron Mordo is much less resilient. Gwen zaps him for a horrible three damage; the only saving grace is that I can get him behind the building to avoid the pull into Doctor Voodoo’s range. My Doctor Voodoo takes the central Spider-Infected and his zaps Mordo. I think that he could possibly have Possessed Baron Mordo at this point but opts not to; it doesn’t matter as Moon Knight easily drops him and picks up the Spider-Infected. Wong and Doctor Strange take the remaining Spider-Infected on my side. The score is 5 – 4 to me.

Round 2: I put Iron-Bound Books into play from Mordo. Venom hurts Wong who bumps back and has to play Indomitable to avoid being pulled in for the daze. Baron Mordo pays for his spender and gets no successes against Gwen who puts a couple of wounds on him in return. Lizard throws Venom off the rear point and Miles throws him off in turn. Doctor Strange fails to hurt Doctor Voodoo who applies the Brother Daniel token to take his Spider-Infected. The score is now 9 – 8 to Eduardo.

Round 3: Wong somehow survives a round of attacks from Miles and used the Wand of Watoomb to zap Venom, doing no damage but at least applying a couple of annoying conditions. Venom uses Web Snare to send Lizard away and drops Wong. Doctor Strange dazes Doctor Voodoo but can’t pick up the Spider-Infected as he’s still Possessed; Gwen picks it up after slapping Mordo around a bit. My Doctor Voodoo Possesses Miles but also can’t pick up that Spider-Infected as he’s already carrying one. Moon Knight KOs Baron Mordo and Lizard dazes Venom. The score is now 13 – 11 to him.

Round 4: Wong pays for Iron-Bound Books. Miles plays All Webbed Up and KOs Wong, then Gwen and Moon Knight pay to Disarm Doctor Strange. Lizard throws Venom into Miles but leaves Miles on one hit point; Venom pulls Lizard off the scoring point with Web Snare. Eduardo wins 18 – 14.

That was a fun, close game, but again I’m a little disappointed in my play. I should have stacked the right side – especially Doctor Strange should have been facing off against Venom as he has the tools to make life very hard for the symbiote. I should have left the back left Spider-Infected alone as Baron Mordo is too fragile for a cheeky steal on that side, especially considering that all the characters facing him on that side have long enough range attacks that they can probably get two goes at him even if he bumps back from the first. Instead, my play should have been just to take the near left Spider-Infected and then pull everyone over to the right and overwhelm Eduardo’s characters on that side if he wanted to leave anyone on the left to score those points. Oh well, we shall see if I manage to learn this lesson for the future. Eduardo made the game very enjoyable and he played a solid game to get the win.

Game 3: Jacob playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Finally I get paired into the current boogeyman roster of Guardians plus Thanos. Jacob wins priority and chooses Extracts so we end up with Hammers and Demons Downtown. I choose 18 threat as I think that it’s more convenient for me to go four wide and try to maintain priority. I think that I have two choices – either focus down Thanos or try to keep him out of my hair until I’ve thinned out the Guardians.

Extraction: Fear Grips World as ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Jacob’s team: Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Nebula, Thanos (Space and Mind Gems)
Jacob’s cards: Crew of the Milano, Deadly Duo, Lovable Misfits, Mission Objective, We Are Groot

Round 1: Groot picks up the left Hammer and Doctor Strange zaps him in for a mighty five damage. I could have gone for the right Hammer at this point instead but felt that I’d just lose whatever I sent up to Thanos pulling them across the board so I figure if I let a Guardian pick it up first I might be able to get something cheeky with the trigger on Ebony Maw’s Black Tongue attack. Star Lord does indeed come up for the Hammer and Lovable Misfits is played from Nebula, Rocket and Groot; I don’t actually remember anything happening from this so I guess it wasn’t a big effect whatever got rolled. Ebony Maw leaves Star Lord on one hit point and doesn’t manage to roll the Wild which would have let me bring him to me, so Thanos collects a Hammer of his own, comes up and pulls Star Lord right back into his lines while also displacing the Maw. The Ancient One picks up a Hammer and moves up and everyone else sits on a Portal. Somewhere in here Groot plays We Are Groot to heal back some of that damage from Doctor Strange’s spike. The score is 4 – 2 to Jacob.

Round 2: Doctor Strange pays for both Iron-Bound Books and Plane of Pohldahk on Thanos. Ebony Maw throws some terrain at Nebula (this was a mistake, I wasn’t likely to daze her and I should have properly focussed on Thanos), then fails to hurt Thanos twice despite the full re-rolls and Incinerate. Thanos does minimal damage to Doctor Voodoo, I use Shhh… to prevent some Cosmic Portal shenanigans, then uses the Mind Gem to move Voodoo back. Voodoo hits the big chap and Possesses him. Star Lord drops Doctor Voodoo, Nebula hurts Ebony Maw and Doctor Strange hurts Groot again. Rocket picks up a fallen Hammer from somewhere. The score moves to 8 – 4 to Jacob.

Round 3: Ebony Maw dazes Thanos but rolls abysmally against Rocket who is sitting ready to be dazed and far from Groot. Rocket in turn bounces uselessly off Doctor Voodoo then both he and Groot are dazed by Doctor Strange rolling like a champion; he also collects a hammer. The Ancient One finally dazes Star Lord and, since I’m losing priority anyway, Voodoo dazes Nebula. The score is now 10 – 8 to me.

Round 4: Thanos Mind Gems the Ancient One into range and dazes her then collects a pair of Hammers lying on the ground. He also uses the Space Gem to move Rocket next to Groot. Ebony Maw attacks Rocket, which gets bodyguarded to Groot and moves him away with the Black Tongue trigger, then actually attacks Rocket. Sadly a single Wild was all I rolled in both attacks so all of this does no damage whatsoever. Nebula KOs Doctor Voodoo with help from Thanos and Doctor Strange shows the Maw how it’s done, finally ending Rocket. Star Lord puts some nice damage into Doctor Strange. The score goes to 13 – 11 in my favour.

Round 5: Doctor Strange dazes Groot and hurts Thanos with his area attack but Thanos dazes him despite a bit of healing. He then picks up the remaining Hammers and dazes Ebony Maw. The Ancient One KOs Star Lord. The score is 15 – 11.

Round 6: I need to KO Thanos here or I definitely lose; even if I can do it Nebula might do enough damage to shut me out of the game anyway. I decide to start with Ebony Maw as he has enough power to do his Spender twice, but I roll awfully and Jacob rolls three blocks from three dice on both attacks, so nothing happens there. Thanos KOs Doctor Strange and Mind Gems the Ancient One away. The Ancient One gives him all she’s got but leaves the big chap on one hit point, still clinging onto all four hammers. The score ends up at 19 – 13 to Jacob.

That was a very frustrating exercise in dice rolling, and I’m very sorry to Jacob for probably sounding like a moany old man throughout. Jacob was a nice guy and made the game enjoyable and I hope to meet him again at some future event. I’m not unhappy here with the way I played; I felt that I was doing quite nicely drawing out both We Are Groot and Crew of the Milano for no real impact in round 1. Perhaps in the final round I would have been better going with Doctor Strange first into Thanos as his full rerolls might have been instrumental in getting Thanos, but Jacob rolled so many blocks on defence that I think it wouldn’t have made any difference as it turned out. I’d also stand by my play in round 1 of letting Star Lord take the Hammer on the right; one more damage or a Wild in the roll from Ebony Maw gets me that Hammer from a position of relative safety.

Round 4: Kian playing Avengers

In the last round I was paired up with Kian. In some ways it was quite liberating to be right at the bottom of the pile as even a win wouldn’t get me up to the mid table, but on the other hand I hate to go through a whole event and not get even a single victory. Still, I resolved to be light-hearted about this game and not take it seriously no matter how it played out. I win priority this time and, even though I would normally choose Extracts I pick Secures. This was because Kian had SWORD, which I hate anyway, and the possibility to force it at 14 threat with Sam Wilson as his leader. We end up with Intrusions and Skrulls. I fancy playing Omega Red for no particular tactical reason, so he goes down. Ironically, half of Kian’s team is immune to Poison, so his main trick is neutered straight away! Hulk is potentially quite bad news but I have some tricks to control him, and Captain America hates a lot of mystic attacks.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadershiip
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse
Threat: 17
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Omega Red
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Wand of Watoomb
Kian’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Crystal, Hulk, Doctor Voodoo
Kian’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Elemental Infusion, Gamma Launch, Mission Objective, Recalibration Matrix

Round 1: Omega Red heads to the left, Captain America to the centre and Crystal to the right, but no-one finds the Skrull. We both put a few desultory attacks but nothing substantial happens. Doctor Voodoo and Hulk pay for Avengers Assemble to get them on the outside points; the latter also pushes Omega Red off the left Portal, though he doesn’t find the Skrull. The score is 2 – 0 to Kian.

Round 2: Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound Books. The Ancient One dazes Captain America, messes with the Portal and gets it wrong, landing next to the Hulk (though actually that was where I wanted her anyway) and Staggers him. He dazes her in one go and finds the Skrull, which is going to be a problem. Doctor Strange zaps Doctor Voodoo and Crystal zaps him back. Omega Red pulls Hulk off the Portal and slaps him a little and eventually my Doctor Voodoo is able to build up enough power to Possess the big chap, though I’ve run out of power to actually pick the Skrull back up. The score goes to 3 – 0 to Kian, so hopefully the attrition is moving in my favour!

Round 3: Hulk beats the hell out of both Ancient One and Omega Red but some poor dice from Kian see them both survive. Doctor Strange dazes Doctor Voodoo, pokes Captain America and Scalpels him away. Crystal pays for Elemental Infusion and dazes my Doctor Voodoo. She nearly gets Omega Red too but he narrowly survives, though he has plenty of conditions on him. The Ancient One manages to drop the Hulk, which is certainly a relief, but Kian plays Mission Objective to get the Skrull to Crystal. Omega Red can’t pull her out of Captain America’s Bodyguard range. The score goes to 5 – 2 to Kian, not the most high-scoring game!

Round 4: Crystal dazes Omega Red and hurts Doctor Strange, so in turn he dazes her and KOs Captain America. I’m feeling confident from an attrition perspective now, I just need to start scoring some points. My Doctor Voodoo and Ancient One KO his Doctor Voodoo; the former also picks up the Skrull out of this mess somewhere. The score now moves to 6 – 5 in my favour.

Round 5: Crystal, feeling rather lonely as the last Avenger, goes crazy by KOing the Ancient One and dazing Doctor Strange. She hops through a Portal to safety and to be honest I’m happy to see her go! I don’t bother to attack, just sit on the points to score this out. 10 – 6 to me.

Round 6: Crystal is going to have to have a hell of a turn here to pull this out. She jumps through the Portal and hits Doctor Voodoo but can’t finish him off. He KOs her with a thrown building. I finally get a win 15 – 6.

Thanks to Kian for a very fun game; we were laughing as we went through with the crazy dice rolls and the narrative of Crystal saying ‘fine, I’ll do it myself’ after finding herself alone facing my whole team. I was glad to get a win and avoid going 0 – 4, though the day had been so enjoyable it would also have been fine and fitting to end on another loss.

When all the scores come in I’m way down in 48th place out of 62 players so not my best performance. Nonetheless I had a very enjoyable time and got games with another four players I’d never met before. I have a lot to think about in terms of how I approach games but hopefully I can learn from some of these mistakes and come away a better player for next time. Gareth had a very successful day, going 3 – 1 in probably his best MCP tournament performance so well done to him. Many thanks to Giacomo, Eduardo, Jacob and Kian for four highly entertaining games of MCP, and most importantly to Tony for running everything so smoothly. I’ll be back!

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Infinity Series – Soul 10Jul2022

  1. I’m glad you had fun in spite of the results. Not that winning is everything but I find a sweet spot is winning about half the games you play or more when you can. To be fair, I used to lose more than I won when I entered in Magic: The Gathering tournaments so I walked away from quite a few tournaments with the kind of results you had this time and I’m not sure I took it as well as you have!

    • Thanks! I certainly like to get half wins if possible, somehow it feels more like a successful day out than if I’ve been beaten every single time. Hopefully I did take it well at the time and didn’t come across as too moany, particularly in game 3 where I was feeling the dice quite badly.

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