Playing Venom – Pt.1
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This is going to be a bit of a mixed post, as although this was going to be about his place in the Foes, I’m also going to be talking about Venom with my Web Heads! Venom is possibly the model I’ve used the most out of my whole collection – As he’s been a staple with the Web Warriors and with the Foes.
When I first got into the game, I’d been playing MESBG for a while and was looking for a new game system to jump into. A few of the locals at my gaming store had been playing Marvel Crisis Protocol, and although none of the core set characters jumped out to me – There was one anti hero in particular that I had always loved the look of…
Eddie Brocks Venom is one of the most recognisable characters from the Marvel Universe – And although he started off as a villain he quickly grew to be a fan favourite anti hero. One of his most recent runs – The King In Black series by Donny Cates and a few other talented individuals, really solidified Venom’s place in the Marvel universe, as well as showing us some of the things a Symbiote can do once its reconnected to Knull.
Sadly the Venom we’ve got in Marvel Crisis Protocol doesn’t have wings, but he is by no means a pushover. For me Venom is one of the best four threats in the game – even though he sometimes gets overlooked in place of some of the others like Voodoo and Vision. When building a roster I find that four threats are the hardest to fit in, and the only one I’ve run in my roster for a long time is Venom.
As Venom is possibly one of my favourite characters, I’m going to break down his character card, tactics cards and play styles across a few articles – There is just too much for me to cram into one! Today I’m going to be going through his character card in detail and how he can use all of his superpowers and attacks, and then next time I’ll take a look at his Tactics cards and how to play him!
Eddie Brock – Venom
Starting off by looking at Venoms statline, he is a bit of a tank. With seven health on his healthy side, and then six on his Injured side, he has a strong pool of thirteen health. The only change on his character card from his healthy side to his injured side is his health dropping down, so you don’t have to worry about any changes in his tool kit.
At size three Venom is quite literally hard to push around, and it also means he wont be able to get cover as often as those other size two models. Luckily Venom is quite the tank, with four physical defence. What Venom doesn’t like is Lightning, Taser Webs and anything stronger than an AA battery – As he only has two energy defence. Despite Eddie’s somewhat fractured psyche, he has a pretty average Mystic defence of three. Overall this gives Venom 4/2/3 for his Defences, which are a little low for your average four threat – But his suite of Superpowers and tanky health pool more than make up for it.
The only other downside of Venom’s card is that he is only move Small, but with a Medium sized base he can still get to where he needs to be. He definitely doesn’t like it when someone is able to push or throw him away, but I’ve found that generally you can back stop him pretty well, and he’s still able to get where he needs to be – Or bring those he needs to hit closer to himself. I’m going to break down his attacks, before moving across to his Superpowers!
Venom has two attacks on his character card, both of which are range three physical attacks. His first attack – Symbiote Tendrils – throws out five dice, which is pretty average. The target automatically gains Bleed after the attack is resolved, and Venom gains power equal to the damage dealt. Being range three means that Venom definitely has the extra reach over other characters, and thanks to some of his superpowers this attack definitely is better than your average five dice strike.
Venoms second attack is We Are Venom. As I’ve already said, this is also a range three physical attack – This time with a power cost of three. It throws out seven dice, with the built in special rule that –
“After this attack is resolved, this character removes 1 damage from itself for each damage inflicted“
So if Venom’s health pool of seven wasn’t already enough for you – This attack gives you the option to constantly refill it! It’s hard to give context to just how strong this attack is without talking about Venom’s superpowers, as So Many Snacks lets you use this as a counterattack! So you’ll be using this attack to retaliate and gaining health back in the enemy turns! Lets jump into Venom’s superpowers so I can explain it all properly!
Venom has five different superpowers on his character card – Two active, one reactive and two that are Innate. His first Superpower is Klyntar Rage, which is honestly one of the best throw superpowers in the game. For three power, Venom can choose an interactive terrain feature or enemy character, both of size three or less and within range two, and throw them Medium.
Not only does this let Venom dish out the damage by throwing size three cargo containers at people, but it can also be huge for displacing enemy models. Enemy models like Kingpin and Crossbones who really don’t like having to waste actions moving are going to hate being thrown around by Venom, as at times it can almost be as effective as staggering them. Another great way that Venom can really upset less mobile models is…
Web Snare. For just two power, I’d argue that this is one of the best Active superpowers in the entire game. Web Snare lets you push an enemy character within range four toward Venom Medium – And you can use this Superpower to push multiple characters per turn. B
The only restriction to this superpower is that ‘A character can be pushed by this superpower only once per turn’, which means that if an enemy model uses Indomitable to stop themselves being pushed towards Venom, as long as Venom still has two more power he can just do it again, as that character still hasn’t been pushed. This means that Indomitable can cause Venom to have to spend a couple of extra power, but even the most taken tactics card can’t ultimately save you from the Symbiote!
With Venoms small move Web Snare can be a great way to pull a model into range of Venoms attacks – But it is also a great way to stop models from scoring. By waiting until other models have activated, Venom can then move up and pull them off of Secures, stopping them from scoring!
If a stealthy objective runner like Black Cat is making a run for it holding a Skrull, then Venom can use his Web Snare to leash them back towards the fight, and by the time he’s finished pushing them they’re normally close enough for Venom to then ignore their stealth. Web Snare has so many great uses, and truly no one is safe from a powered up Symbiote.
Venoms one Reactive superpower is So Many Snacks. For two power, this is another phenomenal superpower. After an attack against Venom is resolved, he may use this superpower. If the attacker is within range three, then Venom may make an attack against the attacker. This superpower can only be used once per turn, but Venom can use this to make either of the attacks on his character card as long as he has the power.
This means that So Many Snacks almost has two different uses. The first is to just use the Two power cost of the superpower to make a Symbiote Tendrils attack. Making a five dice attack out of activation can be really useful, and thanks to Oscorp Weaponry, if your playing under Spider Foes you’ll even be able to make the defender reroll one of their defence dice. As you gain power for the damage dealt by Symbiote Tendrils, this sometimes covers the cost of using the superpower.
One of the best parts of combining Symbiote Tendrils with So Many Snacks is the fact that it automatically gives out Bleed. So due to the timing of the superpower, if an enemy model uses their second action to attack Venom, and then Venom counter attacks with his Tendrils and gives them Bleed, the enemy model will gain Bleed before their activation ends and not have an action left to shake it. This means they’re going to be taking another damage at the end of their activation regardless, and it means that any enemy model on low health really can’t risk trying to hit the Symbiote – As he might actually be the one to finish them off!
The second way of using So Many Snacks is to combine it with We Are Venom. This premium package combination is going to cost you five power, but you’ll find yourself able to do this more often than you would expect. As you use So Many Snacks after an attack targeting Venom is resolved, if Venom has taken a bunch of damage then he should also have a bunch of power – Which can pay to fund this attack.
When playing Venom in my Web Warriors, I’ll wait to see what my opponent has rolled and then even use my Web Warrior reroll to get rid of one of my own successes, if it means that I’ll have the power to use So Many Snacks and We Are Venom.
Not only will this combination be throwing Seven dice at your opponent’s character, but it will also heal Venom for each point of damage he pushes through. This can make it extremely hard to take down the Symbiote, as all of a model’s hard work to deal damage to Venom can suddenly be undone, with the attacker now being the one in danger! There have been plenty of times where my opponent has left Venom on one or two health, before hes counterattacked and used We Are Venom to go back up to full health!
Using So Many Snacks can both finish off enemy models and help to preserve Venom, so it’s always important to look at both options when deciding what attack to use. If it’s your All Webbed Up turn, then Venom will be adding two extra dice if he counter attacks against anyone with the Slow condition, so this really turns it from So Many Snacks to an Absolute Feast!
Venom’s first Innate super power is Symbiotic Instincts. If Venom’s suite of attacks and superpowers already weren’t good enough, Symbiotic Instincts makes them even better. When Venom is attacking, the defending character cannot modify their defence dice. This means no rerolls for characters like Spider Man or Baron Zemo – Who go from being quite tanky to just another puny three threat when being hit by Venom!
This also means that characters can’t benefit from cover when being attacked by Venom, as it is a type of Dice modifier. This really helps Venom lean into the role of being a brute, as some targets that normally have plenty of tricks and re rolls to help themselves out suddenly pale to the instincts of a Symbiote! As this is innate it works during Venoms activation, and whenever Venom is counterattacking!
Venom’s final superpower isn’t quite as exciting as the rest, as it is simply Wall Crawler. As Venom only moves Small anyway, Wall Crawler doesn’t come into play much – But if you have a way of Speeding up the Symbiote it means he doesn’t have to worry about climbing! All of Venom’s other Superpowers are great, so I suppose its fair that this one is just average!
As I’ve already said, I think Venom is one of the best four threats in the game. His only weaknesses are his slow move and his susceptibility to energy weapons, but other than that Venom can serve a role as a Tank, a Brute and a Control piece. He is great in all of his affiliations, and next time I’ll be talking specifically about how he plays in them, and how good some of his Tactics cards are! If I’ve missed anything on Venom then please let me know!
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