Marvel: Crisis Protocol – Namor the Sub-Mariner and Black Panther, Chosen of Bast

Is your SHIELD list missing a fishy presence? Could your Wakandans do with some mystic empowerment? Then this box might be for you!

Who Is Namor?

Namor the Sub-Mariner – credit: Brushwizard

Namor the Sub-Mariner made his debut in Marvel Comics (then Timely Comics) in “Motion Picture Funnies Weekly” #1 in April 1939, and then in “Marvel Comics” #1 in October 1939. Known as the King of Atlantis, Namor is a hybrid of Atlantean and human heritage, granting him abilities like superhuman strength, aquatic adaptation, flight through small wings on his ankles, and longevity. It’s worth noting that Namor is the original Atlantean King as Aquaman came after him by two years.

A complex character, Namor often oscillates between heroism and antagonism, driven by his fierce loyalty to his underwater kingdom and a deep mistrust of surface dwellers. His storied history includes affiliations with various superhero teams, such as the Invaders, the Defenders, and the X-Men, making him a pivotal and enduring figure in the Marvel Universe.

Namor Credit - Atomic Mass Games

Stats

Namor comes in with an impressive base stat line. Defensively he has 7 health on both sides with 4/4/3 defences. Most remarkable is his long move on a medium base which, as well as starting on 2 power each turn, means he will be a great objective runner in the same vein as Angela or the Amazing Spider-Man.

Attacks

Namor’s builder is Trident. A range-2, 6 dice physical attack that gives him power based on the damage dealt. In addition before damage is dealt he can advance short toward the enemy. As a 6 dice builder there is some good damage potential here. This becomes better when you take into account that he can re-roll one of his own attack dice (see below) and, under the defenders leadership has the potential to re-roll skulls.

The free additional movement is always welcome and gives you the potential to move onto secures held by the opponent or set up follow-up attacks. It’s worth noting that with a long move and medium base one move alone won’t get you between points on a D shaped map. However attacking an opponent with Trident will give you the movement needed to pivot between those points. B

Namor’s spender is Armies of the Deep, range 2 7-dice attack for 3 power. This attack has a choice of 3 effects:

  • Swarm of Crabs (Yes the famous lothario of Marvel comics hands out crabs) causes the target to drop all asset tokens they are holding.
  • Octopus’s Grasp makes other enemy characters within range 2 of the target suffer a damage and get pushed away from the target short.
  • Wave of turtles lets Namor after the attack interact with any number of objective tokens without paying the power cost. If he does he can advance short.

There’s a lot to unpack here. For Swarm of Crabs, it specifies that the target drops ‘Assets’ they are holding. This means that on missions with civilian extracts, Swarm of Crabs becomes irrelevant. For Octopus’s Grasp, it is worth noting that the push does not specify a size, this means that even a size 5 sentinel can be pushed away due to this attack. The flat 1 damage it does could also be helpful for finishing off low-health enemies. It also specifies enemy characters so there is no danger of pushing your own characters off a point. Wave of turtles could be particularly useful when there is the opportunity to interact with an extract and a secure mission that can be interacted with like Mutant Madmen turns city into lethal amusement park. A

Superpowers

Namor’s first superpower is IMPERIUS REX! This is a charge effect in a similar vein to Thor’s FOR ASGARD! Letting Namor make a move action followed by a Trident attack for 3 power. If he does damage with the attack the target gains the stagger condition. Like other Charge effects, this takes up one of your two actions however it effectively gets you a move action and an attack action in one. With his long move Imperius Rex means that Namor will be darting quickly around the board. As he starts on 2 power (see below) it will be relatively easy for Namor to begin almost every turn with Imperius Rex and as the attached Trident attack builds him power and gives him even more movement and attack potential. The stagger requires damage to be done but on 6 dice with an innate re-roll the odds are good. A

For innate superpowers, Namor has Atlantean Might this gives him one additional power in the power phase and also gives him a new passive we have not seen before.

Damage caused by this character’s attacks and effects cannot be reduced or prevented by superpowers or Team Tactics Cards.

This. Is. Huge. Some of the most common defensive abilities in the game are from superpowers. Active powers that prevent damage such as Korbinite Cybernetics on Beta Ray Bill or Inured to Pain on Crossbones won’t work vs Namor. Neither will innate superpowers such as Rhino hide on Rhino or Organic Steel on Colossus. Additionally, common tactics cards such as X-Ceptional Healing or Odin’s blessing won’t be able to stop the King of Atlantis. Imperius rex requiring damage means that it is much more likely you can damage tough foes like Bill who could otherwise use their damage reduction to reduce damage to 0. A+

Charismatic Leader lets Namor and allied characters within range 2 re-roll 1 die in their attack and defence rolls. This is the same power we have seen from Baron Zemo however as it is not named Strategic Genius characters will be able to benefit from both effects. A

Finally, Namor has the flight superpower which is always useful on a long mover and can hold the Time stone for the potential of additional re-rolls.

Summary

Now this is a character. He can safely grab central objectives with his long move and medium base. He can support allies with re-rolls. He can force enemies to drop objectives, he can give stagger. The one thing he doesn’t have is a terrain throw but considering everything else in his kit I predict we will see a lot of Namor in the near future. A+

Who Is Black Panther, Chosen of Bast?

Black Panther, Chosen of Bast – credit: Brushwizard

The Black Panther is a title bestowed upon the ruler and protector of Wakanda, a technologically advanced and isolated African nation in the Marvel Comics universe. Bast, the Panther God, is a deity worshipped by the Wakandans, and she selects the Black Panther to serve as her earthly representative. The Chosen of Bast gains enhanced abilities such as superhuman strength, agility, and senses, along with a deep spiritual connection to the Panther God. This title is traditionally passed down through the royal lineage of Wakanda, with each Black Panther not only defending their nation from external threats but also guiding it with wisdom and justice.

Black Panther Chosen of Bast Credit – Atomic Mass Games

Stats

Black Panther, Chosen of Bast has fairly standard stats for a 3 threat. Defensively he has 5 health on both sides and 3/3/3 defences. He also has the stealth superpower preventing attacks from coming in from outside range 3 and passively prevents opponents from modifying dice against him. He has a medium move on a medium base which puts him a little faster than the average 3 threat character when base size is taken into account.

Attacks

Black Panther’s builder is Panther Strike. A range 2, 5 dice mystic attack that gives the bleed special condition on a wild and power equal to the damage dealt. As far as builders go this one is fairly standard for a 3 threat. The best thing about it is being mystic typing meaning that it can bypass some of the most common defensive tech in the game such as martial artist. C+

His spender is Spirit Predator. A range 2, 7 dice mystic attack for 4 power. On a wild and hit trigger he gets to make an additional Panther strike re-rolling any number of attack dice. On 7 dice the wild hit trigger will happen roughly 57% of the time. As the follow-up attack is a builder it might be able to refund the initial spender depending on how good the roll is. The follow-up Panther Strike does not need to be into the initial target giving this attack the potential to take out multiple opponents. B-

Superpowers

Pounce is the same super power that we see on the original 4 threat Black Panther throwing him short for 2 power without causing him to take collision damage. Pounce effects are a great way to get additional movement and damage without using up an action. As he is size 2 it is effectively 3 damage that the opponent has to block/dodge and may bait out the use of a Brace for Impact Card early. A

Insight of the ancients is the second superpower that lets him for one power re-roll any number of dice when interacting with an objective token including skull results. As it does not specify extract or secure you could use this power on either one. The timing of when this is paid for might need a ruling by AMG as there is not (as far as I know) a timing chart for interacting with objectives. One of the most frustrating things in all of Marvel Crisis Protocol is when you fail to flip an uncontested objective. At least Black Panther, Chosen of Bast has a chance to try again, or when I am playing him, fail twice… B-

Black Panther has three innate superpowers. Stealth which prevents him from being targeted outside range 3, Superior Agility preventing opponents from modifying dice against him and Wall Crawler. Stealth is always useful however with his attacks being limited to range 2 he might not get as much use for it as other characters. Preventing re-rolls against him will help with survivability but as we have seen from Black Cat this defensive ability truly shines when you can also stop their critical hits from exploding. The value you can gain from Wall Crawler will completely depend on the terrain on the board but it is never a bad ability to have. B

Summary

The elephant (or panther) in the room is that Black Panther, Chosen of Bast is also a T’Challa. This means that in Wakanda and likely in other affiliations that T’Challa is a part of he has to compete with the 4 and 5 threat versions of himself. He does bring mystic attacks to Wakanda which is something they were lacking before. This makes him good into the Wolverine family of characters who tend to have a weakness to mystic attacks and re-rolls that won’t work into him. However, unlike his other versions he does not come with a new leadership and may be more of a situational piece than one you play every game. C

Tactics Cards

Wisdom of the Ancestors is an unaffiliated card that T’challa or Shuri can pay for 3 power. This round when the character that played this card rolls attacks, defence or dodge dice it adds skulls to its total successes. Each version of Black Panther has ways to re-roll their dice but none of them have the innate ability to re-roll skulls. This gives this card a lot of damage potential as it can turn a terrible attack roll into a great one. As it lasts the whole round it also helps shore up defences as the Original Black Panther is already counting blanks against physical and energy attacks. If he also counts skulls that means that 6/8 dice faces become successes for him which could make him extremely tough to take out. As it is an unaffiliated card this could be a card taken when using Black Panther in his other affiliations such as the Avengers. For Shuri the card has less offensive use as her main attack can only ever do one damage anyway but it can give her a defensive boost if you need it. 3 power is an expensive price to pay but it has a lot of potential. B+

King’s Command is a Wakanda card that an ally with an active Wakanda leadership can pay 4 power to play. This round once per turn when an allied wakanda character makes an attack, after the attack is resolved it gains one power. 4 power is a steep price to pay however depending on how wide your team is you should end up with a net positive of power played. The problem is that the power is paid upfront by your leader and the current Wakandan leaders have good ways of spending power already. The ideal situation for this is to play it on the same turn you play Wakanda Forever so that your characters can gain an extra power attacking on their own turn and another attacking on an allies turn. Ultimately Wakanda already have multiple strong tactics cards with Wakanda Forever and Spirit of Wakanda and fitting another in for power gain might prove tough. B-

Strength and Cunning is a Wakanda reactive card. When an enemy picks up an objective Black Panther, Chosen of Bast and M’Baku can each spend 3 power. If they do M’Baku throws himself short toward the enemy (he does not suffer collision damage from this) and then if the enemy suffers damage Black Panther, Chosen of Bast may advance his speed toward M’Baku. This card is terrible. It costs you a total of 6 power and a card slot to throw M’Baku and maybe get an advance on Black Panther. If the opponent has Brace for Impact not only will they prevent the collision damage but half of the effect of the card – the advance on Black Panther – won’t happen. There are a great many more things I would rather do with 6 power and there are many more cards I would rather take. D

The Invaders is a new SHIELD leadership available to Namor or Steve Rogers Captain America (the WW2 version). This allows allies to re-roll one defence die and additionally, they can re-roll skull results provided they are within range 2 of another ally. The defensive re-roll is welcome especially when it is not limited to once per turn and does not cost a power. The ability to re-roll skull results is deceptively good and works especially well when you have other re-roll effects available such as from the Invincible Iron Man’s Jarvis or from Namor himself. The limitation of working within range 2 of an ally is within your own control to manipulate but does favor crisis where your characters are clumped together. As with all leaderships like this taking up one of your 5 tactics card slots is what brings it down the most as that same slot could be one of the powerful SHIELD cards like Battlefield Medicine or the Shieldmobile. B+

Prince’s Protection is an unaffiliated reactive card that Namor can play for 2 power when an allied character within 3 of him is targeted by an attack. Namor is placed within range 1 of the enemy and becomes the target of the attack. After the attack is resolved, provided Namor was not Dazed or KO’s Namor can push all enemy characters within range 2 away short. This card plays similarly to lethal protector or Comrade’s Keeper making your opponent think twice on who they want to attack. Namor himself isn’t a character you necessarily want to be attacked as his defences are only OK however not only can this provide a large amount of movement, but it can also be used to clear multiple enemies off a point to score for yourself. The push has no size limitations and you will be able to resolve them in any order to ensure your opponents models are where you want them not where they want them. This card will be most useful when used on a mission like Research Station Attacks where you often have multiple characters trying to swarm the researcher to score it. The problem will be keeping Namor alive for follow ups. A

Thank you to Atomic Mass Games for providing us with the review copy.

For more from Wakanda check out our Wakanda affiliation spotlight. And from the Defenders our Defenders Affiliation Spotlight.

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