Playing Spider Foes – Lizard
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Last week I did my first article talking about Spider Foes, and I talked about the Core of the team and the leadership. If you’d like to check that article out before reading this one – You can find it here. Today I’m going to be taking a look at one of their other affiliated three threat characters I try and fit in once I’ve already built my core – Lizard. The other Foes I’m taking at the minute are Mysterio and Venom, and they will both be getting articles of their own.
Lizard is a great three threat character, and he sees play in lots of teams. For me he doesn’t quite make the initial cut over Kraven or Doc Ock, but he is still in my Foes roster. When building my Foes I found that both Lizard and Mysterio need a Tactics card slot each – As both the Grand Illusion and Monkey Brain is Lizard Home can be phenomenal in the right situations. I’ve also looked at X-Ceptional Healing for Lizard, but as I don’t have the Wolverine box I’ve not tried it out yet.
So before I talk about how I’ve found him in my games, I’m going to do a full breakdown of Dr Curtis Connors – The Lizard
Curtis Connors – Lizard
As one of the tankiest three threats around at the minute, Lizard is a bit of a unit. With six health on his healthy side, and five on his inured, Lizard has a slightly above average set of stamina with a total of eleven. His defences are also above average, as he weighs in with 4/3/3 on both sides of his character card. Being size three and on a Medium base, Lizards Medium move means that he is a lot quicker than people expect.
What really turns him into an absolute unit is two of his super powers – Thick Hide and Healing Factor. On his injured side Lizard’s card is exactly the same, except for the small drop in Stamina from six down to five. Before I take a look at those though, I’m going to quickly go over his attacks.
Lizard has two different attacks on his character card, and they aren’t really the best in terms of damage output. His first attack is Tail Whip, which is a four dice Physical attack that gains you power equal to the damage dealt. With range three it has a nice bit of reach, but with only four dice it’s not going to do huge amounts of damage. The main reason to use this attack is to try and get the Push, which triggers on a Wild – If the target character is size 3 or less, before damage is dealt it may be pushed away from this character small. This is pretty handy as most pushes are limited to size two, but with only four dice it isn’t super likely to come off. If you do manage to Daze someone with this attack, the push happening before damage can be very useful at leaving the character out of place for when they flip.
Lizard’s second attack, his spender, is Cold-Blooded. For three power, it’s a range two Physical attack that rolls seven dice. After the attack is resolved, if it deals damage the target gains the Bleed and Slow special conditions. This is a pretty decent spender for three power, and the combination of conditions can be quite annoying for any objective runners like Black Cat or Quicksilver if you manage to push the damage through. With only a four dice builder, Lizard won’t be flush for power unless he is taking some damage – So he might not be using this attack that often.
Lizard has four superpowers on his character card, one active and three innate. His first superpower is an active superpower that costs three power to use – Biochemical Breakthrough. This lets you choose an enemy character or terrain feature within range two, both of size three or less, and throw them Small. This can only be used once per turn, but it’s great at helping Lizard do what he does best – Sit on a secure whilst being a pain to shift, and also throwing anyone away that comes to contest. Being able to grab size three terrain makes the throw quite scary, as dodging four damage can prove fatal for anyone that is already wounded. I’ve found that the majority of the time when playing Lizard, the bulk of his power has gone into this rather than on using his spender.
His second superpower is Thick Hide, which is what helps to turn Lizard into a tank. Whenever Lizard would suffer damage from an enemy effect, you can reduce the damage by one to a minimum of one. With his strong Defence line this makes it very hard to put the Lizard down, and against Physical attacks in particular he is able to withstand a lot of punishment. The third superpower on his card is Healing Factor (1), which is the icing on the cake. At the end of Lizards activation this lets him remove one damage, and thanks to the timing of the effect this also acts as a pseudo version of Immunity to Bleed. With these two powers combined and his basic stats, Lizard really is quite a pain to shift.
Finally Lizard has Wallcrawler, which means that he is able to move across and onto terrain unhindered. It’s always nice to have and is very useful with how mobile Lizard can be on his Medium base with a Medium move.
Playing Lizard in Spider Foes
When I first started getting games in with Foes I was taking as many of their affiliated characters as possible to try and get a feel for them – And Lizard was no exception. Although Lizard definitely does do what he’s built to do – stand there and take lots of hits – I found that outside of his throw, that’s all he really did. Doctor Octopus is tanky enough for me that he is able to sit on a point out on a flank, whilst still being able to have a lot of influence further afield due to his range four spender and his grab reach of three on his throw. I’ve got no delusions about just how hard to shift Lizard is, but he just doesn’t feel like he has much use over moving somewhere and staying there.
The one thing I do find gives Lizard a really useful option is Monkey Brain is Lizard Home. I wasn’t really sold on it to begin with, but after talking to Elliot I realised just how strong it is on Gamma Waves or Research Station. When I first bought the box I thought that you needed to deal damage to do the push, but when I revisited the card I realised that it doesn’t. Because of Lizards Medium base he can catch quite a lot of characters in the area, which means you’re going to be able to get quite a large amount of displacement. Holding Lizard until the last activation on Research Station, and then moving him into range to secure and using MBiLH to displace all the enemy characters on it can be a huge swing, and force all the enemies to have to move back in next round. Likewise, using it to push enemies off of a Gamma Shelter and into the deadly Gamma wastes can be really useful. A five dice Physical attack is also still going to be able to push through some damage on enemy characters, and if Kraven is able to mark a couple of them with Expert Tracker beforehand then there might be some potential to do a decent chunk of damage.
At higher threat values, I definitely think that Lizard comes in to join the team – And on the two missions I mentioned above I’ll definitely be bringing him along with MBiLH. At the lower threat values I’ll be keeping to my core three, and maybe bringing Venom in – If there aren’t too many Energy attacks about! If there are any other neat combos for Lizard or anything I’ve missed, please comment below!
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