“Compromise where you can. Where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say, ‘No, you move’.”
~ Sharon Carter, quoting Peggy Carter, Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Why play this junk, when you could just run as many healing cards as you can fit, plus Hired Muscle or Pentagrams?
The reason is that history remembers the pioneers, the rebels, the swashbuckling heroes who play by their own rules; nobody remembers the tossers running MODOK and Med-Pack. The path to eternal glory lies not in treading the well-trod paths created by past champions but forging a brand new path for others to follow. So let’s chart our own path to
failure and humiliation glorious victory by picking out those hidden gems, and pretending that their remarkably niche windows of usefulness will regularly open up thinking outside the box while playing to our outs.
What Is An Underused Tactics Card?
The legends at Strike Better have done a thorough summary of the TTS Season 4 meta. With a solid 168 players from right around the world, this is our best indication of who is playing what, and in what quantities.
In a world where the most popular card hits 77% of all rosters, I think that 3% is a pretty fair threshold, so that’s what we’re running with: to qualify for consideration, a given Tactics card must be taken by 3% (or fewer) of the TTS Season 4 starting rosters.
Ready? Let’s go.
The Top Cards
Face Me, 3%
Get over here! At 3 Power it ain’t cheap, but hooking someone off an objective (or into the lion’s den) will win you games.
OK you have to take the hit afterwards, but that can be managed by leaving your opponent tantalizingly outside of range, or saving the card for characters whose output is less than terrifying. I’m also the kind of sucker who obsesses over lining up epic beam attacks, so this appeals to me greatly.
Mission Objective, 3%
Pay 2 Power, hand off your Extract to a nearby friend instead of dropping it. This, true believers, is quite a big deal.
The obvious one, that will come up in every game you play, is when you get dazed, but it doesn’t end there: you can also deny Miles’s Webline Blast. I don’t believe this works with the wildly-popular Enchantress unfortunately (since Amora’s Kiss doesn’t specify dropping the Extract) but even so, this is immensely powerful for Objective play. Extract with a Long mover like Black Widow, hand it off to a tank and profit.
Marked for Death, 2%
You make them slow? They can’t modify or reroll defence dice? Costs only 2 Power with a generous Range 5? How does this not see more play?
Maybe I’m biased because it dunks on my beloved Web Warriors (by blocking their defence rerolls), but it feels like so many opponents will hate this card – Inhumans spring to mind (by also switching off their innate rerolls), for one.
They can’t even shake off the Slow condition, for added
table-flipping rage fun.
Follow Me, 2%
OK OK OK, I see it too…6 power is kinda steep. I get it. The reason why I wouldn’t dismiss it is Priority management. If you’re running an aggressive army, what you really want to be doing is striking first at the top of the round: activating back to back with this card will often mean you finish your turns first, and swing Priority in your favour.
Finish up the round by dazing someone, activate first in the next round and KO the fools before they have a chance to pick themselves up. Pull off that one-two combo, and they’re potentially leaving way more than 6 Power on the table.
There will be other times this card will write you stories: you’ll leave an injured enemy on 1 health and fully loaded, then BAM BAM the sucker never even saw it coming. But it’s for Priority that you’re taking it.
Turn literally any character in the game into a Bodyguard? Don’t mind if I do!
The range is restrictive, but the cost is not; and while pulling attacks away from a hero on death’s door will come in clutch, so too will redirecting an attack into one of your characters that has yet to activate, and thirsts for a drop or two more of that delicious Power.
What did you notice about the above cards? OK smartypants, apart from that they’re mostly situational and objectively worse than the most popular cards. What I’m shooting at is that they were all universal cards. We chose universal cards for this in order to
generate as many filthy clicks as possible make the article as helpful as it can be to largest number of players.
So how about some honourable mentions: What are some rarely-taken cards that are locked in to a specific Affiliation or character, but deserve more table time nonetheless?
The ultimate troll card – when your opponent lines up a key play at a clutch moment you can just veto the whole damn thing.
“No thanks, I’d rather that didn’t happen.”
Being linked to a subpar 5 Threat character in Ebony Maw is the only impediment on this card (albeit a major one).
We Are Groot, 2%
Another superb card linked to another subpar character, at least Groot is only 3 Threat. Jamming in another healing card will always feel good: safe to say that Med Pack and Field Dressing made the restricted list for a reason.
I particularly like the idea of Groot in Criminal Syndicate, where “Standing around on Objectives and not dying” is a legitimate win condition.
So there you have it! Hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought and inspired the mad thinkers among you to start building lists with some of the game’s under-appreciated gems. In the meantime, let us know in the comments what below-the-radar filth we’ve missed, and what we should all be trying out beyond the basics. Or you can shoot us an email at email@example.com.