Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme
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Yesterday we got yet another Panel to Play from Atomic Mass Games! This time, we finally got Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme! If you like reading then this is the character for you, as he is absolutely jam-packed full of text on his character card! This is the penultimate panel to play for the new Mystic releases, the only other character we are yet to see from the new Mystic wave being Clea. I will warn you, this article contains a lot of alliteration.
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme
Strange was separated from his greatest source of power, Earth, and left having to find new places of power to draw his Magical energy from. This led Strange to learn new abilities and types of magic, and he returned once more to don the title of Sorcerer Supreme more powerful than ever.
Strange’s stat line is still similar to the other Doctor Strange that we already have. For five threat, Strange is size two, has a medium move and six stamina. His card is the same both sides, giving him a pool of twelve stamina in total – This is on the lower side for a five threat, but still the same as Scarlet Witch or the Amazing Spider Man. Strange’s defences are 3/3/5, which again is a pretty average combination for a five threat. Some of his Superpowers really help make Strange into quite a tank, which we’ll talk about later on.
This strange has three attacks, and quite frankly, all of them are good. His first attack is the Baleful Bolts of Balthakk, a zero cost, range three, five dice Mystic attack. Strange gains power for the damage dealt from this attack, and it has the pierce trigger on a Wild. A Mystic attack with pierce is always a good thing, as up until the newest releases Mystic has been by far the weakest defence.
The Deadly Daggers of Daveroth are an absolute show stopper. With a whopping range of five, this attack throws six dice and costs one power. The big thing here though is that before choosing a target, Strange chooses whether the attack’s type is Physical, Energy or Mystic. This is one of the best range five attacks we have ever seen, as it has the ability to sit far back out of range and pick off targets on their lowest defences.
For a long time Hawkeye has been dominating the range five bracket, but with the extra dice and option to choose Mystic as well as Physical or Energy, Strange seems set to push him to the side. Both our resident Symbiotes are going to have to try and avoid Strange, as at range Five this is the attack that Cable can only dream of having. The icing on the cake is that if this attack deals damage, the target gains the Poison special condition.
Strange’s final attack is the Shining Circle of the Seraphim. This is an area two attack, that throws out seven dice for a hefty cost of six power. This attack is very different to other area attacks we have seen in the past, as it definitely wants you to have as many friendly models in range as possible. Allied characters dont suffer damage from this attack, and instead have a few nice bonuses if Strange can roll his triggers.
If there is at least one Wild in the final attack roll, it triggers Cleanse. After each attack is resolved, you can remove one special condition from Strange and each allied character within range two of him. There will be times when it’s worth doing this attack, even if your only hitting one enemy model, as it can potentially clear your team of Slow conditions on a nasty All Webbed Up turn, as long as everyone is near to Strange.
The second trigger requires both a Wild and a Shield result, and is called Salve. After each attack is resolved, remove one damage from Strange and each allied character within two of him. This attack is definitely encouraging a tight knit cage built around Strange, and this attack can punish your opponent and really reward you if set up properly. The big thing to remember here is that these triggers are for each attack, so if your hitting three enemy characters, thats potentially three Special Conditions removed and three damage healed.
Strange has a surprising number of innate powers, with four of his five being this way. This might be because his one active Superpower is insane, and possibly the best control power we have seen so far. For four power, the Scalpel of Strange lets him choose either himself or a character within range two, and place them within three of their current position. The big thing here is it simply says character, not allied or enemy. Characters with slow moves are going to absolutely hate being the target of this, as it lets Strange essentially remove them from the action for a turn. The potential chaos this Superpower can cause, and the repositioning it can provide to your own team seem endless. Have a friendly character that looks like they’re about to drop? Place them three away. Venom needs to get stuck in? Place him in the middle of the fight! An enemy Thor giving your team a hard time? Be gone, Thor!
Moving onto his innate superpowers, the first of which is the Chosen of the Vishanti. During the power phase, Strange gains an additional two power. For anyone who is worried about this Strange being power starved, this is the first of his powers that really helps to make sure you have enough power for all of his shenanigans every turn.
His second innate superpower is one we have seen before, on none other than the original Doctor Strange. The Eye of Agamotto is possibly one of the best Innate rerolls in the game, and its great to see it carried over onto the new Strange. Quite fittingly, this takes Strange’s attacks from good to Astronomical. The full re rolls means you can almost guarantee to get the one wild for cleanse on the Shining Circle of the Seraphim, if not both triggers for Salve. Remember Strange’s range five sniper rifle attack, that chooses whichever type it likes and rolls six dice? Well, it can now also reroll all of its attack results, if it feels the need to!
The Mystic Armor of Strange is a super interesting innate power. When defending against a Energy or Mystic attack, Strange may change one of the opponent’s Crit, Wild or Hit results to a blank for each Wild he rolls to defend. Strange gains one power for each dice he changes this way. Not only does this flat reduce the damage your Strange will be taking, but it lets him handpick to remove the triggers of your enemy. Being shot by the Hood, and he only has one hit for his Rapid Fire? Not anymore, he doesn’t! The ability to shut down flurys, rapid fire, throws and all other trigger special rules on enemy attacks is huge, and along with his rerolls from the Eye of Agamotto, Strange is going to be surprisingly tanky.
His final Superpower is Flight, the charismatic Cloak of Levitation still holding him aloft and pulling him to safety. Flight is always a good Superpower to have, letting you advance over terrain without suffering the climb penalty.
Overall this Strange is very different to the one we’ve already got. Both of them fill different roles, and the Sorcerer Supreme looks to be absolutely dominating the parts of the board within his reach. He looks like he would be able to slot into almost any affiliation and do well, and I might even have to try him out in the Web Warriors!
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