Marvel: Crisis Protocol Review – Mighty Thor, Lady Sif, Thor, Hero of Midgard & Loki, Prince of Lies

The Heroes of Asgard Credit - Alfred_Pharius
The Heroes of Asgard Credit – Alfred_Pharius

Asgard gets a huge upgrade with this new affiliation pack. Four new characters with two new leaderships and five tactics cards all in one box.

Thank you to Atomic Mass Games for providing this pack for review.

Who Is the Mighty Thor?

The Mighty Thor Credit - Alfred_Pharius
The Mighty Thor Credit – Alfred_Pharius

Jane Foster, also known as the Mighty Thor, was originally a nurse employed by Dr. Donald Blake, Thor’s first mortal host, before becoming a doctor herself, and one of the most brilliant astrophysicists on Earth. During a trip to New Asgard, her life was forever changed when the shattered Mjolnir mysteriously transformed her into the Mighty Thor. She was deemed worthy to wield Thor’s hammer Mjolnir when the former Thor was no longer able to do so. As the Mighty Thor, she possesses the same powers as Thor Odinson, including control over weather and the ability to fly.

Stat Line

Jane Foster comes in with an impressive stat line: 4 defence against all types and 8 health is above average for a 5 threat. Her health is weighted to her healthy side with only 6 health on her injured side but that works better for scoring secures.

Attacks

Hammer Strike is her builder, a range 3, six dice attack is already good but a size 4 throw on a wild on top makes it even better. This attack is almost the same as the original Thor, Prince of Asgard’s but comes with the benefit of additional range.

Lightning Blast is her spender attack. Range 4, eight dice energy attack at the cost of 4 power. The attack also gives out the shock special condition but the real money comes from the wild effect “electric shock.” Before damage is dealt, all other characters within range 2 suffer 2 damage. There are a couple of things to unpack here. Firstly a wild on 8 dice has decent odds to go off though isn’t guaranteed at around 70%. Secondly it is worth noting that this affects all characters so you will need to be particularly careful on who you target to stop your characters being caught in the crossfire. As it is ‘other’ characters the initial target won’t get the additional 2 damage. With a range of 4 this attack could be very powerful to take down multiple weakened enemies clustered around a point but it will require careful positioning to make the most of it.

Leadership

Jane Foster comes with a brand new leadership Renegade Thor of Asgardia. This lets her allies once per turn re-roll an attack dice against enemies within 2 and additionally once per turn re-roll a defence dice if the enemy attacked from outside of range 2. This leadership is straightforward but should be a strong addition to the Asgard faction. Often the problem with Thor, Prince of Asgard’s leadership was the cost of power. Although Asgardians generate 2 power per turn, having to spend more power for leadership abilities could often put them one power away from being able to throw or charge at the top of round 2. This leadership costing nothing and the attack re-roll potentially gaining you additional power on builders may even help with power economy. The range requirements shouldn’t be too much of a problem in a faction heavy on brawlers. B+

Superpowers

For Midgard! is the Mighty Thor’s first superpower. It is effectively a charge that lets her re-roll up to two of her attack dice when she attacks. With wild triggers on both her Hammer strike and her Lightning Blast these re-rolls will really help. The addition of a charge effect will really upgrade her action economy letting her use move actions without wasting attacks. The cost of 3 power shouldn’t be too hard to get on a character that generates 2 per turn and Wong is a frequent inclusion in Asgard lists to help turn on abilities like this early.

Inner Strength is her terrain throw. At size 4 and throwing medium this can be a quite nice bump in damage output however, unlike Thor Prince of Asgard she is unable to throw characters from her superpower so has a little less battlefield control.

If She Be Worthy is her defensive superpower. For 2 power she can re-roll any number of defence dice vs physical or energy attacks. Physical and energy are the most common attack types in the game and with 4 defence on both this should make her quite survivable. Re-roll any is much better than re-roll all effects as she will get to keep her initial successes.

In terms of passives she has the standard Asgardian passive of additional power in the power phase, and additionally flight and immunity to shock.

Summary

Overall The Mighty Thor will be a strong addition to the Asgard faction. She bears several similarities to Thor, Prince of Asgard and which one you take may depend on which leadership you want and who you are facing. Her defences are slightly better than Thor’s due to her defensive re-rolls and her attacks have slightly better range however she doesn’t have as much battlefield manipulation as Thor does as her throw does not affect characters and she does not have access to stagger. The two Thor’s together should work well under her leadership using those re-rolls and throws on her attack to bowling ball enemies into one another. B+

Lady Sif

Lady Sif Credit Alfred_Pharius
Lady Sif Credit Alfred_Pharius

Who Is She?

Lady Sif is a warrior-goddess of the Vanir in Marvel Comics. She is the sister of Heimdall, the sentinel of Asgard’s Rainbow Bridge. Sif is known for her black hair, which was originally golden until it was cut off by Loki in a fit of jealousy. She is a skilled Asgardian warrior, often fighting alongside Thor, Balder, and the Warriors Three.

Sif is also known for her romantic relationship with Thor. They fell in love when they were young, and Thor even offered his own life to ensure her release when she was kidnapped by Storm Giants. Sif has also shown affection for certain individuals who have proved worthy to wield Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, such as the noble alien warrior Beta Ray Bill, and the mortal Eric Masterson.

Stat Line

Sif is a 4 threat with 6 health on both sides and 4/3/3 defences. This might look a little below average at first glance but her damage reduction from Battle Tested and potential re-rolls from Master Swordswoman will make her quite tough especially against physical attackers.

Attacks

Her builder attack is Warrior Born. This is a range 2, five dice physical attack that gains power equal to the damage dealt. Additionally there are a couple of triggers on there with a size 3 push on a wild and the potential to advance short toward the target if you roll a crit and wild. Neither of these effects are particularly reliable on their own with a ~50% chance of the push and ~25% chance of the advance; however, you can increase these odds by a lot with Master Swordswoman re-rolls.

Her spender is Warrior Forged. This is a range 3, seven dice physical attack for 3 power, on a crit and hit she can do a Mighty Bash which will throw a size 3 character medium and lets her advance short. A seven dice physical attack on its own is only OK for a 3-cost attack but a medium throw as well as an advance is very nice. The issue comes from the fact the trigger is unreliable at ~40% chance without re-rolls.

Superpowers

Her first superpower is charge. Considering she starts each turn with 2 power she will be able to charge every round making her action economy extremely strong.

Her second superpower is Master Swordswoman. This is the same superpower that we have seen already on 3-threat Baron Zemo and helps her both offensively and defensively. It also increases the odds of her hitting all the triggers on her attacks for the potential for additional movement and throws. As it lets you re-roll any dice (except skulls) you could use this to re-roll your failures or even your successes if you are really fishing for that wild.

For her passives she has the usual Asgardian ability to gain additional power in the power phase. Finally she has Battle-Tested to reduce the amount of damage she would suffer from enemy effects by 1. We have seen this ability on several characters already such as Black Dwarf and Colossus and we can see how tough it can be to kill any character with such a passive. Some nuances to take note of are that this only prevents damage from enemy effects so Lightning Blast from a friendly Mighty Thor could still do the full 2 damage to her.

Summary

Lady Sif is a welcome mobile brawler for Asgard though being limited to physical attacks she might struggle against other characters that have particularly strong physical defence. Her kit isn’t as flashy as some other characters but what she does bring to the table is strong and reliable especially as she can continually charge and apply pressure on the board wherever she is needed. A-

Thor, Hero of Midgard

Thor, Hero of Midgard Credit – Alfred_Pharius

Thor, Hero of Midgard Credit Atomic Mass Games

Who Is He?

Thor Odinson the God of Thunder has been the long time protector of Earth a.k.a. Midgard from the forces of evil alongside many of the premier heroes in the Marvel Universe. With his mighty hammer Mjolnir (or Jonathan if you are Paul Rudd) he smashes and bashes his way across the battlefield all the while speaking in a quasi-Shakespearean tone.

Stat Line

There are a relatively low number of 6 threat models in the game so comparing their profiles becomes difficult especially when two of those 6 threats are Hulks that don’t have injured sides. Thor has 4/4/4 defences with 9 health which is relatively strong however he does not have the same defensive tech that other 6 threat models have which could make him a little vulnerable compared to his peers.

Attacks

His first attack is Odinson’s Ire. This is a range 3, seven dice energy attack that gains him power equal to the damage dealt. There are a few triggers on this attack; for each wild (~65% chance) he can choose an enemy within range 3 of the target to suffer a damage. On a wild and hit (~58% chance) he can small push the target. Interestingly this is an omnidirectional push so you can use it to reel in models for follow up attacks from allies. Energy attacks are particularly useful as they bypass some key defensive abilities. In addition this Thor will still get to benefit from the card Brothers in Arms which will give him an additional three dice on this attack in a round it is played. The potential to do flat damage to nearby enemies could also be particularly useful against affiliations like web warriors who have small health pools but defensive re-rolls that usually protect them. An interesting note is that the Lightning Arc does not have the word ‘may’ so this additional damage is not optional.

His spender is I Would Have Words with Thee! This is a range 3, ten dice physical attack for 4 power. Before the damage is dealt he gets to place himself within range 1 of the target and after the attack he can throw the (size 4 or less) target away medium. The timing of this attack means that you can place Thor in the perfect position so that the throw away will hit where you want it to. The throw not requiring any triggers makes this especially good. Although 4 power seems steep at first glance, size 4 throws on their own often cost 3 power and he is already generating 2 power per turn as an Asgardian. The additional movement also helps his action economy.

Superpowers

His first superpower is Have at Thee! This power is effectively a pounce, throwing Thor Medium and he does not suffer collision damage at the end of the attack. Between the place from I Would Have Words with Thee! and this power Thor should be very mobile. The problem will be generating the power necessary to use these abilities every round. As a size 3 character, this effectively gives Thor 4 free damage as well as movement. It is helpful to remember that if this were an attack he would need to roll 4 successes to get the same amount of damage through. Terrain will have a big impact on how useful this ability will be as you have to stop as soon as you hit any terrain piece. One small lamppost can be the difference between doing 4 damage to your opponent and none.

His second superpower is The Power of Thor. This is a size 4 terrain throw that throws Long. Long throws are relatively rare and with the movement abilities we have already mentioned Thor shouldn’t have trouble getting into range 2 of terrain pieces to use it. The main limitation will be the cost of 3 power as we have noticed a theme in that this Thor is quite power hungry.

I Say Thee NAY, Villain! is Thor’s only defensive power though it does not directly prevent damage. After an attack targets him if the attacker is within 3 he can roll seven dice, the attacker suffers damage for each crit and wild rolled. My basic maths skills tells me that this should do just under 2 damage on average. As it isn’t an attack roll and the criticals won’t explode, there is no easy way to increase these odds. The real strength of this ability is that low health enemies will be heavily discouraged from attacking Thor unless they can kill him. Enemies that have a lot of health will have nothing to worry about and additionally using this against them might give them the additional power they need to do scarier attacks or abilities later in their activation.

Finally for passives he has flight, immunity to shock and as an Asgardian gains additional power in the power phase.

Summary

Thor, Hero of Midgard looks like he will be a very fun character to play. His abilities will let him bounce around the board attacking the enemy where they least want him calling them a cowardly Cur all the while. He does, however, have some glaring issues, the first and foremost being his power economy. There are almost too many things on his card that require power and being a 6 threat you need him to have proactive activations to justify that cost. On top of this he doesn’t have much in the way of defensive tech and could be particularly vulnerable to special conditions being stacked on him, especially stagger. As a 6 threat he directly competes with some heavy hitters like Hulk and more often than not you probably want a Hulk. C+

Loki, Prince of Lies

Loki, Prince of Lies Credit Alfred_Pharius
Loki, Prince of Lies Credit Alfred_Pharius

Loki, Prince of Lies Credit Atomic Mass Games

Loki Laufeyson is the God of mischief and master of Asgardian sorcery and magic. He is the adoptive brother and nemesis of Thor. After discovering his true origin as a Frost Giant from Jotunheim he becomes envious of Thor and frequently plots to take the throne of Asgard. Despite usually being portrayed as a supervillain he has also been an antihero working with the heroes if his goals align his own.

Stat Line

Loki is a 5 threat with 4/4/5 defences, 7/6 health and a long move. The long move is particularly interesting as with 2 power and a long move he can use eyes on the prize to safely take central objectives. His defences also make him strong on ‘pay to flip’ missions that are based on either physical or energy defence stats.

Attacks

Mischiefs and Magicks is Loki’s builder. A range 3, six dice mystic attack that gives him power equal to the damage dealt. In addition there is a trigger on the attack bamboozle where on a crit and wild (~32% chance) he can advance the target short then give them root. This builder is great especially when you take into account the fact he is counting the opponent’s skulls to successes with This isn’t mischief, this is mayhem (see below). The chance of the Bamboozle happening is relatively low but when it happens you will be ruining your opponent’s day. Mystic attacks in general also bypass some of the key defensive abilities like martial artist or spider senses.

Clever Ploy is Loki’s spender attack. For 4 power he gets an area 3 mystic attack for five dice that advances the target short if it does damage. In addition it does not damage allies in range. Area 3 is huge and on maps where you are clumped around a central objective has a chance to hit every enemy on the opposing team. Five dice is a little lackluster but being mystic means it has slightly more chance of damaging a lot of opponents, especially when some popular characters like Rhino or Wolverine and friends all have poor mystic defence.

Leadership

I Come Bearing Gifts is the second Asgard leadership in this box. While another allied character is attacking, defending or dodging they can spend one power to re-roll a dice. If they do Loki will gain a power. There are some interesting nuances to this leadership. First off Loki himself does not benefit from these re-rolls which reduces his consistency a little. Having said that it isn’t limited to once per turn like many of these leaderships are so if you have the power you should be able to keep Loki topped up on power relatively easily. Asgard have a theme of getting a lot of power but also requiring a lot of power so a leadership that costs your characters power could prove problematic. On the plus side the power is never lost as Loki gets it and on top of that if you use it to get a success on a builder it is a net gain for the team. B

Superpowers

Go Forth lets Loki place another allied character within range 4 within 2 of their location. This is limited to once per turn. The thing to bear in mind here is that it is another allied character so he cannot use it on himself or enemies. Access to a range 2 place is always going to be strong and can help control your own future turns or mitigate opponents who have pushed your activated characters off points.

Oh My, What a Pity is a superpower that you will be hearing a lot from Loki players and might be the best named ability in all of Marvel: Crisis Protocol. After an attack targeting this character or an allied character within range 3, or after an attack made by this character is resolved it may use this superpower. If the enemy character’s roll contains any skull results, that character suffers 1 damage. There’s a lot to unpack here. When he has the power to do so Loki will be able to chip away constantly at enemies who try to attack his allies. One key aspect is that this superpower isn’t limited to once per turn. If an opponent does a beam attack or rapid fire attack that hits multiple allies Loki will be able to Oh My, What a Pity each time a skull is rolled and potentially chip away a lot of damage. The fact that it does 1 damage at a time can actually be an advantage as abilities that reduce damage won’t prevent it (except Thanos). Generally skulls can’t be re-rolled so your opponent won’t have many ways to prevent this from happening other than not attacking your allies. On top of that the allied character needs to be within 3 of Loki, not the enemy doing the attacking, which means this ability will threaten enemies a long way from Loki himself. The one aspect Loki players will need to consider is whether or not powering up the opponent with this damage is always worth it as it could lead to stronger follow up attacks but it will cause an interesting psychological conundrum for opponents on low health who may not want to attack at all.

Summary

Loki, Prince of Lies brings a new leadership and some interesting tricks to Asgard. Between his long move and Tactics cards (see below) he will be able to place himself where he is needed and chip opponents down with Oh My What a pity. His stats are on the high end for a 5 threat and the ability to count an opponent’s successes will help his dice reliability. He will make a strong control piece with the multiple ways he has to move opponent’s models and your own. A-

Tactics Cards

For a Limited Time Only is an Asgard Active card that can be played by Thor, Hero of Midgard for 3 power. For the rest of the round while within range 4 of Thor, other allied characters can add one die to their attack rolls. Additionally if their attacks do damage the target gets the shock special condition. The effect of this has the potential to be good as extra attack dice can mean extra power for allies when used on builders. Additionally on a character with a beam or area attack there is some additional value to be gained. However this version of Thor is already quite power hungry and paying for this card could mean you forgo a terrain throw or throwing yourself. If you are playing him in Asgard then you are likely also playing a 5 threat leader which means 11 threat on your first 2 characters. It is unlikely that you are going to be able to afford to affect that many. Finally the card needs to be played on Thor, Hero of Midgard’s activation and he isn’t a character you always want to begin a round with. C+

Giant’s Blood is an unaffiliated reactive card. When an enemy character ends a movement within range 2 of an allied Loki Laufeyson he can spend 2 power. Enemy characters within range 2 gain slow and root. Then, Loki drops all objective tokens and is placed within range 5 of his current location. There are a few things to unpack here. As an Asgardian Loki will begin each round with 2 power so it is likely to always be online. As it specifies Loki Laufeyson either version of Loki is able to use this card. The ability to hand out root and slow in an AOE is very powerful as they are both particularly debilitating conditions especially on a wide map where the slow means they will find it difficult to chase you. Not only that, but a range 5 place could enable him to suddenly contest a point that other characters were near. Original Loki may even choose not to place as far away as giving root to several enemies on top of his God of Mischief aura could really hinder an opponent’s plans. A

Heart of the Worthy is an Asgard reactive card that can be played by the Mighty Thor at the end of the activation phase for 2 power. The Mighty Thor removes her activated token and immediately activates, during the next Cleanup phase she is KO’d. This card is very high risk high reward in a similar vein to Doomed Prophecy. It is important to clarify that the end of the activation means that every other character on the board will have activated already, this is not the same as the end of the turn. If you play this card you will therefore be giving up priority and potentially your leader as she is KO’d even if she was healthy before. An interesting potential combo will be to use this with Doomed Prophecy which lasts until the following cleanup phase. This would mean that you could potentially get 4, 10 dice builders out of Mighty Thor during that round. The caveat being that she would have to last the entire round without any physical defence at all so how realistic that is remains to be seen. Ultimately, this is a card you want to save until the final round of the game as there is no down side if the game was about to end anyway. B+

Trickster’s Boon is an active Asgard tactics card that can be played during an allied non-Asgard character’s activation. Loki, Prince of lies pays 4 power and you choose both a non-Asgard character to gain 5 power and an enemy character. This Activation Phase, if the chosen allied character dazes or KO’s the chosen enemy character you gain 1 VP. If it did not, then during the cleanup phase the player controlling the enemy gains 1VP and the chosen ally losses all of its power and Loki, Prince of Lies gains that power. Another card with a lot to unpack. Loki pays 4 to give an ally 5 power which is a net gain however you look at it. Giving an ally power 5 power before it activates is very strong even without the VP gain as 5 power is enough for most spenders or superpowers in the game. There is no non-grunt stipulation on the chosen enemy character so the easiest way to achieve this will be to choose an enemy grunt character to KO for some easy VP. The effect also has the entire activation to be achieved so if you have characters that can do damage outside their turn like Gwenom or Winter Soldier they might be able to achieve this later in a round. Overall a strong effect. A

Freyja’s Blessing is an Asgard Reactive card that is played during the power phase by any Asgard character for 3 power. This character can re-roll any number of its defence dice this round. Asgard are going to want to play a small number of powerful characters and keeping those characters alive is important. Re-rolling defence dice for the entire round could keep heavy hitters like Thor, Hero of Midgard alive long enough to be worth it especially on a central scenario where you expect several attacks coming in. Asgard already have Odin’s Blessing as some premier defensive tech so whether or not another, less flexible defensive card is viable remains to be seen. B

For more information on playing Asgard as a whole check out our Affiliation Spotlight: Asgard.

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