Playing Venom – Pt.2
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This is the second article where I’m talking all about everyone’s favourite Symbiote – Venom – And if you missed the first one or just want to read it again as a preface to this post, you can find it here. In this article I’m going to talk about some of the things that Venom can do in game, as well as his specific tactics cards and others that work really well with him!
The role of Venom
When taking Venom in both my Web Warriors and in with the Spider Foes, he serves a very similar function – He is my team’s tank, as well as being a huge control piece. Tactics cards allow him to bodyguard other models, and although these are one use only they can act as a huge deterrent in the first place. Venom does of course have the potential to throw out quite a decent amount of damage, although I’ve always seen him much more as a brutish control piece, rather than a huge damage dealer like Moon Knight.
As Venom is quite slow, deploying him in the right place can be very important. Generally Venom wants to be right in the middle of the action, as this is where he can have the largest impact and his Superpowers and Tactics cards cover the most ground. Certain models like Ghost Spider can easily be deployed early on, as they generally can just get deployed in the middle and still be able to get wherever they want with their long moves. Venom on the other hand might be one that you want to hold onto to deploy last – As this means your opponent can’t just avoid putting models where it looks like Venom is headed. Equally, it stops your opponent from positioning their long range Energy attackers like Rocket and Star Lord across from Venom – as although Venom is tanky enough to take a couple of these hits, they are the quickest way to put him down!
Once deployed it becomes very easy to just want to send Venom out and start using all his power for Throws and big attacks – But what Venom is often much better for is to save up some power and start pulling around lots of characters. As I’ve said, I much prefer Venom as the brutish control piece, and I think that this is really the place where he excels!
Venom’s damage output does become a bit better under Spider Foes, as their leadership works really well with his Symbiotic Instincts. I do think that this means he should be aiming to make at least one attack during his turn under Foes, just to really leverage the benefit of that leadership!
One of the best cards that I’ve found for Venom early on isn’t one that he plays himself – But rather one that someone else plays to open up a lot of options for him. Advanced R&D can be used to give Venom the power that he needs to use Web Snare straight away. This can be great for pulling an enemy model off of a Secure or reeling them in once they’ve picked up an Extract – Or even just pulling a model close enough for Venom to Strike them, and start his damage output and power gain early on. It also means that Venom is able to pick up an Extract and then go in to turn two with two power, which again opens up a lot more options.
In Web Warriors Moon Knight is the perfect piece to be playing Advanced R&D. For those who don’t know what Advanced R&D does
During its activation, a character may spend up to five power to play this card.Advanced R&D by Atomic Mass Games
Choose a number of other allied characters equal to the power spent. Each chosen character gains one power
Round one I will generally try and wait for an enemy model to move forward, and then I’ll activate Moon Knight who will move forward and unleash his throwing Crescents! This means he will have at least two power to dish out turn one – Which I’ll throw over to Gwen and Venom. This gives them the power for both of them to use their pulls turn one, which can make it an absolute menace for the opponent to try and stand on secures!
One of the best things about having two power on Venom is the option for him to use Lethal Protector. I honestly think that this is an auto include tactics card whenever you’re bringing Venom, as it is just so good.
When an enemy character targets an allied character within range three of an allied Venom with an attack, Venom may spend Two power to play this card.Lethal Protector Tactics Card by Atomic Mass Games
Place Venom within range one of the friendly character. Venom becomes the target of the attack regardless of Range and Line of Sight.
The way that this works with the rest of Venom’s toolkit is what makes this so strong. Not only does Venom take the hit and stop one of your weaker models from taking damage, but if Venom then has the power he can also counter attack thanks to So many Snacks! On top of all of this, the place that it allows you to make with Venom can actually be quite a large distance, so it saves the slow symbiote from slugging it up the table.
The only downside to using Lethal Protector is that it is one use only – but more recently I’ve been running it along with Sacrifice too. Sacrifice is like the Wish.com version of Lethal Protector, and it does work quite differently.
If an allied character is within range two of another allied character and is targeted by an enemy attack, those allied characters may spend one power each to play this cardSacrifice Tactics Card by Atomic Mass Games
The non-targeted allied character immediately becomes the new target of the attack regardless of range and Line of Sight. It cannot add additional defence dice to its defence roll and cannot modify its dice during this attack.
So this definitely is not as good as Lethal Protector, but it is still very useful with Venom. The biggest difference between the two is that Venom doesn’t get placed within range one of the original target – So you won’t be able to use it to get some free movement for Venom or to position him in range to counter attack. The range Venom needs to be to the allied character is also range two instead of three, but this can easily be done if you’re careful with your Movements, and both characters pay one power each rather than Venom paying two to use it.
The downside to Sacrifice is that the Defending character cannot modify its defence dice or add additional dice to its roll. Venom doesn’t have any abilities that let him add more Dice into his defence roll, so all that you give up is the extra dice from Crits and the Web Warrior reroll if that is the affiliation your playing under.
This can be another great way to protect one of your weaker models – And if Venom does happen to be within range to counterattack then that is even better! This does become quite a large investment, but it really does mean that your opponent is going to be forced into attacking Venom when they don’t want to, and it can really mess with their game plan.
Other than Lethal Protector, the only other tactics card that we have at the minute that is Venom specific is Uneasy Allies. You are also going to need Spider-Man in your team to use this, but it can be very brutal if you do!
During their activation, when Spider-Man or Venom targets an enemy character with an attack that is within range two of the other allied character, both characters may suffer one damage to play this cardUneasy Allies by Atomic Mass Games
Add three dice to the attack roll
Because the card says ‘Spider-Man’ this means that you can use this with either Miles Morales or core box Peter Parker! This can lead to an absolutely devastating attack, as you boost Venom’s strike up to eight dice, or We Are Venom up to ten!
The card can also be used by Spider-Man, which means if Venom has already activated you’re still going to have the opportunity to use this card!
The final card worth talking about with Venom is All Webbed Up. This is a Web Warrior specific card, and you might even argue it is the Web Warrior card.
A Web Warriors character may spend three power to play this cardAll Webbed Up by Atomic Mass Games
Each enemy character within range three of the character that played this card suffers the Slow special condition. When an allied Web Warriors character is attacking a character suffering the Slow special condition this round, add two dice to the attack roll.
Venom doesn’t generally have the spare power lying around, but he can usually afford to pay for All Webbed Up if he is planning on making any strikes – as the extra dice will help Venom earn his power back very quickly.
The one benefit that Venom has over all other Web Warriors at the minute is that he is currently the only one that is able to make attacks outside of his own activation. So, during your All Webbed Up turn, anyone who hits Venom needs to be wary of a seven dice counterattack, or nine if he is feeling hungry! This really helps to get the absolute most from All Webbed Up as Venom can potentially be benefiting from the extra dice three of four times in that round!
Nine dice We Are Venom attacks are a great way to quickly heal up the Symbiote, and if your opponent starts shaking the slows to try and avoid the extra dice, your still making them waste actions – So it is a win win!
Venom in summary
So overall I think Venom is a phenomenal character. He brings a lot to the table, and his tactics cards only amplify how strong he already is. He serves the role of the team tank, both in Web Warriors and Spider Foes. The Web Head reroll makes him more tanky, and the Oscorp Weaponry leadership does increase his damage output, so he can lean more into certain roles based on where your running him.
I think that Lethal Protector is an auto take with him, as it just offers so much for one tactics card slot. Outside of his own affiliations Venom loves anywhere that gives him attack rerolls, as he can make the most out of them both in his own and enemy turns. If you’ve got any more thoughts on Venom or think that there is anything I’ve missed, then please let me know!
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