Character review – New Shuri
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Today we’re going to take a look at the Princess of Wakanda – And the head of their Research and Development teams – Shuri. Most of us were first introduced to Shuri when she was portrayed by Letitia Wright in 2018s Black Panther, although for those long time Wakanda fans, you’ll remember her debut in Black Panther (Vol. 4) #2 – way back in May 2005. Throughout the comics we’ve seen Shuri step up and take on the Mantle of the Black Panther, but her current representation in the game is more reminiscent to how she was shown to us on the big screen. She was one of the very early releases for Marvel Crisis Protocol, and for a long time made almost every roster thanks to her Panther Gauntlets. With the new updates and character card changes, Shuri has been bought back in line – But I think she will definitely still see play.
Shuri, Wakandan Princess and Super Genius
As with a lot of the new cards like the revised Captain America, we haven’t seen the unhealthy side of Shuri’s character card. Her original card had no changes from her healthy to her unhealthy side, so I’m just going to assume that’s still the case. Starting off by looking at her basic stats – Shuri stays unchanged from her last card – She is a three threat size two character that moves medium, and has a stamina pool of five. Her defences are very average coming in at 3/3/3. She definitely isn’t going to be able to tank lots of hits, so it’s a good thing you get the Wakandan bodyguard Okoye in the same character pack.
Starting off by looking at her attacks, the main reason to include Shuri in a roster has always been her builer, Panther Gauntlets. Previously Shuri’s basic attack was a range five, six dice energy attack that gained her one power after it was resolved, and could only ever deal one damage. Even if you rolled six Crits and then six Hits, if it would deal more than one damage it instead would deal just one. With attacks like this, it always seems to be that they roll stupidly well – Only to be limited down to one damage. This attack clearly wasn’t so good due to it’s damage output – But rather thanks to it’s second special rule. After the attack was resolved, you would automatically be able to push the target character away Small.
The omission of a size restriction made this attack very obnoxious. Being able to push away the Hulk, M.O.D.O.K or Black Dwarf without even having to worry about rolling a Wild for the trigger felt very odd, as the size four and five brutes were simply pushed out of the game by this three threat character. I do think Shuri is one of the big reasons the Hulk just simply didn’t see table time, as it was hard to justify a six threat character that would spend most of his actions moving back towards the brawl, only to be pushed away twice the next turn.
With Shuri’s new and updated card, Panther Gauntlets is still the same, except for the addition of the size restriction on the Push. Now Shuri will only be able to push back the likes of Sabretooth, Lizard and other size three characters – Although this is still very powerful. With size three brutes like Kingpin and Venom that only move small, Shuri is still going to give them a hard time getting into the fight.
Shuri’s second attack, her spender, is Sonic Crush. A lot of people are that used to Shuri just double tapping with the Panther Gauntlets, that they don’t even realise she has this attack. For four power, Sonic Crush is a range two, seven dice Energy attack. After the attack is resolved, the target automatically gains the Stun special condition, and on the trigger of a Wild they also gain Stagger. This is a pretty brutal attack that can really catch people off guard, and Staggering a model before pushing them away with a Panther Gauntlets can leave them in a very unfavourable position. The attack does cost four power, so you might not always find you have the power to be using it, but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind if you come across an enemy with a low Energy defence – Or just a beater that you could really do with losing an action.
Shuri has three Superpowers – two are reactive and one of them is innate. Her first superpower is Super Genius. When attacking, Shuri can spend one power to use this during the calculate success step of her attack. If she does, she can choose to count Block (Shield) results as successes instead of hits. This superpower won’t come up that often, but there will be times when you might roll a couple of Blocks and only one hit – So this can come in very handy.
It’s worth mentioning that Killmonger has a very similar superpower called Special Forces, and when bearing it in mind it actually can come in handy more often than you might expect.
Shuri’s second superpower is Upgrades. Her new card sees the timing for its use changed yet again, as you now use it during the modify dice step of an attack. When another allied character within four of Shuri is attacking or defending, Shuri may spend X amount of power to use this superpower. For each power she spends, the allied character that is attacking or defending may re roll one of their attack or defence dice. This is a really great superpower, and when combined with leadership abilities like Wakandas or the Web Warriors, this superpower can make dice a lot more reliable. I can’t imagine that there is anything more frustrating than trying to daze Amazing Spider-Man, as he rerolls all of his defence dice, then another three thanks to Shuri.
Shuri’s last superpower is Head of Wakanda R&D, and it really helps with her somewhat limited power gain. Whenever Shuri rolls dice, after the effect is resolved Shuri gains one power if at least one failure (Skull) was rolled. Some of us learn from our mistakes, but Shuri instead starts farming power. This superpower is really handy as it works when attacking, defending and when interacting with objectives. With a six dice builder, your pretty likely to roll a skull each time you use it, so suddenly she is gaining two power rather than one. This tends to give Shuri enough power to dish out rerolls, and she might even be able to use a couple of Sonic Crushes if she gets in range. I think this is a really interesting Superpower, and it’s much better than just having her gain an additional power per turn.
Even with her changes, Shuri is still a really powerful control and support piece. She’ll still be giving headaches to Criminal Syndicate players, as she can stand across from Kingpin and just remove him from the game. I think she will definitely still see play in her affiliated factions – As she is a great three threat for both Wakanda and A-Force. We’ll have to wait and see if she still sees lots of out of affiliation play, although the golden days of her pushing around Dormammu and Hulk are soon coming to an end.
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