Character review – Black Cat
If you’re looking to jump into Marvel Crisis Protocol, or just need to fill out your roster with some fresh recruits or supervillains, please check out our Sponsor Board in Brum!
Felicia Hardy dons the title of Black Cat, to both help fight crime and help herself when needs be. She first appeared in Amazing Spiderman #194, and more recently she appeared on the table top in Marvel Crisis Protocol. I’ve taken her in around twenty games now, but she suffered badly from new model syndrome in the first couple – Being KO’d early and not doing a fat lot (Thanks Dan!).
Black Cat now finds herself as the character with the highest number of possible affiliations to play in (That’s if my checks were correct!) As she is now an affiliated character for four different affiliations – A – Force, Criminal Syndicate, Midnight sons and Web Warriors.
Needless to say, Felicia can fit into lots of different rosters, affiliated or not. She won’t be the huge damage dealer for three threat like Domino, but she fills a very different role which she can do extremely well.
Starting off as always by breaking down her basic stats, for three threat you get a pretty average long mover. 3/3/3 on the defences is consistent and good enough to block a couple of damage each attack, but she is by no means going to be acting as a tank. She’s size two like a lot of other human sized characters, and has five stamina on either side of her card. She has a long move, which is always great – It means she can rapidly reposition and move to where she needs to be. She really can put some distance between herself and enemy characters in a tight situation, and if she’s carrying a valuable extract, then that’s even better!
Black Cat only has two attacks on her character card, and although neither of them are going to do huge amounts of damage reliably, they both can be very useful in the right situation.
Her first attack is Cat Claws. For zero power, Cat Claws is a four dice Physical attack that’s range two, and after the attack is resolved Black Cat gains power equal to the damage dealt. On a Wild, the attack has the Pierce trigger – Which helps to make up for the low number of attack dice by changing an enemies defence Dice to a blank. Unless the target counts blanks with Martial artist or a similar superpower it’s always good to see the Pierce result. With only four dice this isn’t a super reliable trigger, but it’s nice when it goes off.
Troublemaker is Black Cats spender, and you’ll want to be doing this most of the time over Cat Claws. Troublemaker only costs two power, and gives you a pretty funky attack to work with. Troublemaker is a range three, physical attack that rolls six dice. Similar to Shuri’s Panther Gauntlets, if Troublemaker would deal one or more damage, it deals one instead. This means the attack won’t be dealing much damage, but it’s the rest of its special rules you are spending for. After this attack is resolved, the target character gains Stagger. There is no trigger needed for this, not even dealing damage, meaning you’ll be dishing out Stagger every time you use this attack. If you don’t know what Stagger does, it means a model must shake it as it’s first action when they activate, meaning they essentially only get one action. This is huge, and if you want a little more detail about Special Conditions check out my article on them here. As if this isn’t already a bargain for two power, if you roll one Wild you trigger Elusive which means after the attack is resolved Black Cat can advance Small. Staggering a target from Range three, and then advancing small out of range of there attacks is a huge power play, leaving enemy models in positions where all they can really do is move if there’s no other targets.
Black Cat has four Superpowers, two which are Active and two that are Innate. Her first Super power is Grappling Hook, which for two power let’s Black Cat place within two of her current position. This just adds to the movement shenanigans Black Cat can get up to – And she can use the Superpower even whilst holding objectives.
Her second Superpower is Master Cat Burglar. For three power, Black Cat can choose an enemy model within one of her, and steal one of their Asset or Civilian tokens. This doesn’t let Black Cat hold more than the scenario would allow, but it is still a seriously powerful Superpower. Black Cat can use this to steal some Cubes, grab some Hammers or even take unsuspecting Skrull agents. If Black Cats the last model to activate, and is stood near the centre of the board and has the power, she can use her double move, Grappling Hook and then Master Cat Burglar to steal an extract from just about anyone on the board. Watches and Wallets aren’t safe when the feline thief is around!
Bad Luck is the first if Felicias Innate superpowers. For anyone who knows a little about Black Cat, you’ll know that she literally emanates an aura of Bad Luck. This is ultimately why Spidey had to stop hanging around with her, as she kept plunging him into very unlucky situations. In game, Bad Luck means that enemies cannot modify their dice when targeting Black Cat with an attack. As was clarified by Negoldar, modifying dice includes Re rolls. This is a really helpful way of shutting down some attacks into Black Cat, and means if the opponent has a bad initial role, then it really is Bad Luck, as they’re stuck with it.
So, with a long move, a place Superpower, the option to steal objectives, some defensive tech and the ability to dish our range three Staggers and slink away with Elusive, what would really round Black Cat out and solidify her as a pesky Troublemaker? Stealth! That’s right, on top of being the pesky thief and Stagger machine, Black Cat has Stealth, so she can slink away and hide safely out of sight of enemy characters, holding onto an objective or waiting to cause trouble! Throng move and Elusive means Black Cat can easily Stagger an opponent, before moving away to a distance where she can’t be targeted. This really is a great superpower, and it means Black Cat can lurk around until you want her to go in and cause mayhem.
As I said at the start of the article, I had a couple of really bad games with Black Cat. I put this down to the fact that she literally has an aura of Bad Luck, but since then I’ve had some success with her – In one game against Brotherhood she absolutely controlled the game. The extra Web Warrior reroll on her is nice, boosting her up defensively a little.
I think Black Cat is great in Criminal Syndicate, able to hide with Stealth whilst counting as two models on a secure. She can use Master Cat Burglar and the second part of Kingpins leadership to steal objectives and give them to her friends – And everyone likes being given Celestial Hammers.
Midnight Sons might be an interesting place to see Black Cat, although I think she is already very power hungry and has access to all the movement she needs. A-Force is where I think Black Cat can be particularly nasty. With a steady supply of power from She Hulks Defenders of Arcadia leadership, Black Cat can Grappling Hook around, stealing objectives and dishing Stagger out like candy.
Overall I think Black Cat is a very strong character. She isn’t going going cause carnage and kill enemy models, but she is a great objective runner and control piece. I’m glad I didn’t just write her off after my bad experiences with her, and I might even be slotting her into my roster. I have a super stealthy S.W.O.R.D base team I might try out soon, where Black Cat will be making a feature – But you’ll have to wait for the article to see the rest of that team.
As always, please leave a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading, or a thumbs down if you didn’t! Please feel free to comment any thoughts you have on Black Cat and follow the blog if you want to see future posts!
If you’re looking to expand your roster or jump in to Criminal Syndicate – Check out Board in Brums Marvel section here, for all the MCP goodness you need. Thanks for reading!