It’s time to get full-on mystical as we take a look at the latest character reveal from AMG, Johnny Blaze himself. The mini is fearsome, but what about his abilities?! Let’s see!
STAMINA – GR is big money right out of the gate with a whopping 7 stamina! He’s one healthy dude.
MOVEMENT – Medium. Which would be average but for GR’s 65mm base. A 65mm base + medium movement tool makes for some serious speed. And we thought Wasp was fast!
SIZE – As GR is mounted atop a flaming motorbike his size is 3 – fair enough.
THREAT – 5, not at all what I was expecting. I don’t rightly know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t this. The Defenders affiliation has got some high threat characters with GR, Doctor Strange and Hulk. I just checked my watch and it’s threat o’clock! Still, with 5 threat we can expect GR to be doing some serious work on the battlefield.
DEFENCES – GR has a respectable defensive lineup of 3 physical, 4 energy and 4 mystic.
ATTACKS – The Blazemeister General’s first attack is an energy attack with a range of 3, strength of 6 and power cost of 0. Do you get to gain power equal to the damage dealt after the attack resolves? Heck yes you do! Plus, roll a wild and you can trigger Hex which, somewhat unsurprisingly, lets you give the target the Hex special condition (the character does not roll additional dice for its critical results during attack, defence or dodge rolls). This is a really solid basic attack – decent strength (a la Thor), power gain and a chance to throw out a not particularly nice special condition (Hex really messes with the Reality Gem – woohoo).
Attack number 2 steps us up a notch. It is an energy attack called Flames of Hell which has a range of B3, strength of 5 and power cost of 2. If this attack deals damage, after it is resolved the target gains the Incinerate special condition. The Incinerate special condition causes a character to remove 1 die from its defence rolls – harsh. A new beam attack is always a welcome thing, and this one has decent strength, good range, cheap cost and a nasty special condition to boot! Nice. GR’s mobility adds to the awesomeness of this beam attack, as it will be much easier for him to get into position than, say, Vision who only moves medium on a 35mm base and has no out of turn movement (more on that later)/
Last of all we have a mystic attack (woohoo) called Penance Stare. This attack has a range of 3, strength of 5 and power cost of 5. Well that’s poo. 5 cost for what is basically a Strike attack?! But hark, there is more! When firing off this attack you get to add dice to the attack roll equal to the amount of power the target character has, to a maximum of 5. Dang. PLUS, instead of gaining power for the damage dealt by this attack the target character loses 1 power for each damage dealt. Good grief! This is one seriously crippling attack! GR can just roll on up to a powered up character, pop off a Penance Stare, get some extra dice, do some damage and then strip the target character of power. This is a nice way of giving GR’s allies a bit of protection from souped-up enemy characters, and is thematic as chuff. GR just rides up, picks a target, and makes your opponent’s characters go weak at the knees and pay for their sins! Ideally you would want to be hitting someone with at least 5 power on them so you can turn this into a 10 dice attack, dealing a lot of damage (if you are blessed by the dice gods of course) and then stripping the target of power, but I think it would still be worth it if you only got 2 or 3 extra dice. I think it is the power stripping that is the big thing here, and this could really be used to gain an advantage in a game.
SUPERPOWERS – GR’s first superpower is an active one with a power cost of 3 called Hell on Wheels. This superpower simply states that GR may advance long once per turn. Simple, but effective! A long move on a 65mm base?! Dang! Amazing for lining up for a Flames of Hell beam attack, but also great for getting into position for a Penance Stare – just shooting GR right across the board is going to be great.
Next up is a reactive superpower called Wicked’s Judg(e)ment, which has a power cost of 2. This superpower states that after an attack made by a character within range 3 of GR is resolved, as long as it targeted an allied character that is not GR himself, the attacking character suffers 1 damage for each critical hit in its attack roll. Dang, yet more punishment for the opposing characters! Normally we have everything crossed for those sweet sweet critical hits, but maybe we are thinking twice if we are within range 3 of an enemy GR. This superpower adds a nice extra layer to the game, as your opponent will have to be thinking whether it is worth it to try and do a swing using his weakened character at the risk of dazing or K.O’ing them.
Last up is an innate superpower called Spirit of Vengeance which states that after an attack made by an enemy character that is within range 3 of this character is resolved, if the attack targeted a character that is not GR himself, GR gains 1 power. Additional power generation is always a welcome thing. Again, GR’s mobility plays into this in a big way, getting him into position to punish your enemies when they attack your allies. Flavourful, thematic and fantastic.
INJURED SIDE – The only change appears to be that, sadly, GR’s stamina reduces by 1 from 7 to 6.
SUMMARY – What a fantastic character. I wasn’t planning on buying the Ghost Rider pack, but now I may have to give Mrs. Inspiring Monologue the puppy-dog eyes until her blessing is given. GR is all about punishing your opponent for attacking your characters which is just so thematically on point it is untrue! Penance Stare is particularly delicious and has the potential to be used at just the right time to swing a game in your favour. I also love Hell on Wheels – a long move on a 65mm base, BRING IT ON! That’s some Mothership levels of movement. Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but it is still a loooooong way. I also really like that he just does a little damage and gains a little power whenever your opponents nearby characters step out of line. Just great.
AFFILIATIONS – GR is Defenders affiliated, and being able to spend a power to change his attacks to any attack type seems super strong, as well as being able to dole out Hex left, right and centre. Giving the opponent Hex off the back of a Penance Stare is just pouring salt in the wound.
Avengers could be a fun affiliation for GR. Hell on Wheels would only cost 2 power, and Wicked’s Judgment would cost 1 – nice discounts. The Avengers team is already pushed for space, but i’m sure we could make room for GR!
Cabal could be a really good affiliation for GR I think. All 3 of his attacks are really strong and so likely to do damage. This would generate him extra power, which would in turn feed into his attacks and abilities.
A Wakandan affiliation could be interesting. You could use Shuri to push enemy characters into range 3 or GR, so he can use his Wicked’s Judgment and Spirit of Vengeance, and rerolls would give him a bit more consistency with his attack and defence rolls. Plus, the Wakandan affiliation has a bit more room than, say, Avengers, as they only have 4 affiliated characters, whose total threat adds up to a mere 13 points. Maybe not the strongest affiliation for GR, but worth a try.
Asgard could be a fun affiliation to play I think. This would give GR access to a little healing, which would be really helpful because he has nothing to boost his defences beyond his basic defence dice. However, all 4 affiliated Asgard characters are strong, and add up to 15 points already. Then again, Asgard aren’t overly mobile, but GR for makes up for that weakness. Definitely one I am wanting to try out.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a good affiliation for GR I think, especially when using Penance Stare – getting to reroll 2 dice so you can do maximum damage to the target is very tasty indeed, and that leaves you some dice left over for some defending too if need be.
A Black Order team could be fun. As mentioned earlier, GR’s attacks are strong, and this pays nicely into the Black Order mentality of ‘kill everything.’ The issue is that Thanos is 6 threat, and the other Black Order characters don’t come cheap either. Would you run a team without Thanos? That’s up to you to decide.
Web Warriors would not be the best I don’t think. A 1 die reroll when defending is nice, and being able to modify and reroll critical failures whilst holding or contesting an objective token is fine, but I don’t really think you will use GR much for objective play. I imagine him more zooming around the board punishing enemies and any objective holding or contesting would be an added bonus. Plus, he has no built in access to rerolls so may not get to use the critical failure reroll ability much. I’m not sold on this affiliation for GR but I could be entirely wrong.
GR could fit fine into a Spider-Foes team, spending a power to reroll an opponents defence die, but I think there are other things which he would rather spend his power on. Still, worth a shot if only to see him on the board next to Green Goblin.
TEAM TACTICS CARDS – GR comes with 2 team tactics cards. The first is reactive and is called Deal With the Devil and states that if GR is K.O’d he can spend 4 power to play this card before he is removed from the battlefield. Now it gets wordy – GR chooses another allied character anywhere on the board, removes all special conditions, damage and activated tokens from himself, drops all objectives he was carrying and then places himself within range 1 of the chosen character. Then, if the chosen character was healthy, flip GR’s card to his healthy side. Then, enemy characters within range 2 of GR suffer the Incinerate special condition (remove 1 die from defence rolls, remember), and the chosen character is K.O’d. Aaaaaaand breathe. So, think character resurrection along the lines of Age of Ultron and Hela’s ability with captured souls, but at the expense of losing an allied character. Would you sacrifice a 2 threat character to keep GR on the board? That’s up to you of course. Getting to put Incinerate onto enemies within range 2 after GR has been placed (yet more movement shenanigans) is an pretty big added bonus that you could totally plan around. You could wander a low threat character into enemy territory fully prepared for them to get destroyed, then trigger this card to resurrect your GR, get a bit of movement from him an dole out some conditions. The downside is that your GR is now stuck next to a load of enemy characters, but whose to say you can’t Hell on Wheels out of there when the time is right. Great card.
GR’s second team tactics card is called Highway to Hell and is active. This card states that when GR begins an advance during his activation while within range 1 of an enemy character he may spend 3 power. If he does then when GR ends this move you place the enemy character within range 1 of him, and then give the enemy character the Incinerate special condition. Yet another super-thematic ability. Sending GR off on his bike? Grab an enemy with his chain and drag them across the board, burning them as you go. This will be great protection for allied characters as there is no size limit on this – one day let’s hope we get to see GR dragging Galactus away from a character! For now I guess we will have to settle for Hulk, Black Dwarf and M.O.D.O.K. Additionally, this could make for some fun objective play, pulling an enemy away from an objective so you can score it. Heck, even grabbing an enemy character holding a Wakandan herb right across the board away from their vessel. Very nifty.
As for currently released team tactics cards there are a few that I think could be good for running with GR. In the early game getting additional power onto GR courtesy of Advanced R&D could be good for early triggering of GR’s abilities, in particular Wicked’s Judgment.
Also, if running an allied M.O.D.O.K then A.I.M Lackeys could be a good call as it will give GR an additional move action, adding even more to his mobility. If for some reason you find yourself M.O.D.O.K-less then Tactical Analysis provides a similar effect.
I would be interested to see how All You’ve Got synergises with Deal With the Devil. When GR has finished activating you could spend 4 power to activate again, then either become dazed or K.O’d depending on whether he is healthy or dazed, then when KO’d spend 4 power to fire off Deal with the Devil to resurrect as per the above. Granted, that’s 8 power that you could probably just spend doing other things, but a fun thing to try I think. Who knows, it could be an entirely null play – i’ll seek a ruling off AMG.
Off the A’s and onto the B’s now, and you know what that means – Battle Lust. Move, pay 3 power, add 3 dice to an attack, push the target away short, win. In an ideal world that would be a 13 dice Penance Stare. Just saying…
Due to his mobility GR is going to be a good target for playing the 2 character cards that add attack dice or apply conditions etc like Disarm, Heave Ho, Marked for Death, One-Two Punch, Sucker and Trip Up.
If running an allied Green Goblin or Ultron that you could play Drop Off to stick GR way out into the board, then have him zooming around causing all sorts of mischief. Along a similar vein if you are running an allied Hulk (which is entirely possible as he is also allied to the Defenders) you could achieve a similar result with Gamma Launch, albeit without the free attack that Drop Off provides.
Seeing Red could be a fun pay with GR, and ties in thematically with his desire to punish those who hurt his teammates. He is likely to be within range 3 of enemy characters anyway so he can use his abilities, so get him into range 2 and and trigger this card for a bonus attack.
Lastly, Unearthly Rage seems pretty viable with GR as he is likely to spend much of the game close to enemies. 2 power will give him 2 additional dice on his next attack roll. Straightforward enough.
So what do you make of Ghost Rider? Will he make it into your list? Comment below!