Character review – New Hulk not puny Banner!
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So with Atomic Mass Games announcing that we will be getting the updated cards and changes mid November, it’s put a little stop to me working through the Criminal Syndicate character cards – We don’t know which ones are vetting changed, or how much, so I don’t want to put out posts that are then invalidated.
What we have seen already is a handful of the characters cards – post changes. One of them is none other than the big green rage machine – Hulk, who we are going to talk about today
Hulk is one of the most iconic superheroes throughout the entirety of the Marvel universe. Through various comic runs – The Incredible Hulk, and World War Hulk to name a few, Hulk is one of the most powerful and feared beings there is. Bruce Banner has his own strengths that he brings to team Hulk – As he is just as intelligent as the Hulk is strong, and we saw this when the two merged to become Smart Hulk during Avengers: Endgame.
For a long time in Marvel Crisis Protocol, as the Hulk was one of the first releases, he has been left behind by the newer characters and the changes in the game. With the character re works the Hulk is set to live up to his reputation – The angry avenger getting some nice buffs that really means Hulk will be able to SMASH!
The Hulk’s stat line has been buffed hugely, as previously he had a very low set of defences which were only 2/2/3. Now the Hulk has a much more respectable 4/3/3, which means he’ll be able to shrug off a lot more incoming damage. Having literally double the Physical defence that he had before, The Hulk will no longer have to worry as much about chip damage from lots of small attacks. With the old Hulk, an opponents four dice physical attack could pretty reliably deal a couple of damage to him, which meant it was pretty easy to just bring him down with lots of small attacks over a couple of rounds – And the big attacks would be absolutely devastating. Now you’ll have to dedicate much more to bringing the Hulk down, as smaller attacks might just bounce off and do no damage at all.
Hulk is still size four, and he still has an impressive stamina pool of twenty. Hulk’s movement speed is still only slow, but it really doesn’t feel that slow due to the fact he is on the largest base size, so he will still be able to get where he needs to be. As we have seen, lots of throws and pushes are going to become size limited, meaning even less people will be able to push and throw the Hulk out of position.
Hulk’s character card has three different attacks, a builder and two spenders. His builder attack, which is still just titled Strike, has changed quite a bit from his original card. It is still a range two physical attack, but it’s been bumped up to seven dice rather than six. The main change, and one that the Hulk has been desperately crying out for, is that he now gains power equal to the damage dealt by this attack. It was very easy to starve the Hulk of power with Poison and Stun before, but with a seven dice builder that actually gets him power, the Hulk will be flush with power as he beats his opponents into the ground!
Hulk’s second attack is Thunder Clap. This is a carbon copy of the attack from his old care – A five dice energy attack that is a range three beam. This seems quite expensive on the surface, but I’ll explain a little as to why it is costed this way when we look at his superpowers.
Hulk Smash! is the name of Hulks big attack, as well as what you should be screaming if your playing him. Like his builder, this is a range two Physical attack, with some great special rules. The attack itself rolls eight dice, which is pretty good on it’s own. If you get just one Wild, you get to throw the target Small before damage is dealt and they gain the Stagger special condition once the attack is resolved. What is great here is that like before, there is no size restriction on this throw, so the Hulk will be able to throw anyone in the game, including the giants like Dormammu.
With his updated card, Hulk now has a grand total of six superpowers – Three innate, two active and one reactive. His first superpower is Gamma Leap, which is unchanged from his original card. For three power, you can place Hulk within range two of his current location. Although this can only be used once per turn, this is a great way to help guarantee your getting the most out of Hulks actions during his activations. With the size of his huge base, this can make the Hulk deceptively quick
Strongest One There Is is still also unchanged, and for two power you can choose an interactive terrain feature or character within two of the Hulk, both of size four or less, and throw them Medium. This is arguably one of the best throws in the game, and with more size restrictions incoming, it’s going to be great to still be able to throw Black Dwarf or the Hulk buster across the table. Throwing size four terrain is no joke either, as dodging five incoming damage can be really scary for some of the newer characters that only have a couple of physical defence
Hulks new superpower is Hulk Not Puny Banner. For three power, this reactive superpower turns Hulk into the tank he deserves to be. Whilst the Hulk is defending against a Physical or Energy attack, he can use this superpower during the Modify dice step of the attack. Hulk can reroll any number of his defence dice, including Failure (Skull) results. This is going to make the Hulk super tanky, and it puts his physical defence on par with that of the Amazing Spider-Man, although Hulks is arguably even better as he can re roll Skulls. With twenty Stamina, his buffed defences and this new superpower, the Hulk is going to be obnoxiously hard to put down if you don’t have the right tools – and I love it
Inner Rage is another superpower that’s been copied over from the old Hulk card. This innate power simply means that during the power phase, Hulk gains an additional two power. This is insanely useful and it opens up a lot of turn one plays, from Hulk moving to pick up three Cubes to him using Gamma launch to throw an ally across the board. This combined with the changes to his Strike means that the Hulk should always have enough power to do what he wants, and sometimes you might even find the Hulk has more power than you need
Another superpower that has been ported over from his old card is You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry, although it has been changed slightly. This innate power means that this character adds one attack die to it’s attack rolls for every four damage it has. So if the Hulk has taken thirteen damage, that’s an additional three dice to all attack rolls. Previously you’d gain an additional dice for every three damage you’d suffered, but with his strike being buffed slightly and the changes to the rest of his card, I think it’s only fair that this superpower be bought back in line slightly. The second part of this superpower is that if this character would flip it’s card to the Injured side, it is KO’d instead, which is the same as it had been previously.
As I mentioned earlier when talking about Thunder Clap, I think this superpower is why that attack is locked behind a three power cost. If the Hulk has taken thirteen damage like in the last example, then he’ll be adding three attack dice to all of the Beam attacks, which would be a little too good to have for free. The fact that the Hulk could line it up and hit three or four characters with this justifies why it is locked behind the expensive pay wall, but I still think he will have the power to use in when he wants to.
The Hulks last superpower is Immunity (Poison, Stun). Previously this was just Immunity Poison, and the addition of Immunity Stun means the Hulk will never be limited on his power gain. These are both great immunities to have, especially so on a big six threat character where you don’t wanted them to be power starved. Part of me does think that the Hulk doesn’t actually need Immunity Stun now that he gains power from his builder – I’ve got a feeling the Hulk will always have all the power that he needs now.
Overall I think the Hulk is now a very valid choice for a six threat. His power gain being fixed, and his new superpower mean that he is going to be Incredibly hard to remove from the board, and he’s going to be causing chaos until you do manage to put my down. I’m even tempted to try him out myself when the new rules launch, as with a Web Head reroll he is going to even harder to put to sleep. Please let me know your thoughts on the new and improved Hulk, and where you might be planning to try him out!
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