This is a big one, and I, like many others, was intrigued to see how AMG would represent Magneto in the game. He is, after all, extremely powerful in Marvel lore; so have AMG managed to meet our expectations and given us a powerful yet balanced character? Is Magneto one of the best minis to paint so far? And, will Marvel ever come to the realisation that not every metal is magnetic? Let’s see.
STAMINA – Magneto’s stamina is quite low considering the threat cost of his character, a mere 6 stamina on his healthy side.
MOVEMENT – Short, but on a 50mm base.
SIZE – 2, understandably.
THREAT – 6. This puts him in league with Hulk and Thanos, meaning he should have some very powerful abilities.
DEFENCES – A trifling 3 for physical and 3 for energy! And a whopping 6 for mystic. Let’s hope things improve a bit when we get to superpowers because so far a 6 threat character with 6 stamina and 3’s for defences isn’t looking too great.
ATTACKS – Max’s first attack is physical and is called Reverse Polarity. This attack has a range of 3, strength of 6 and power cost of 0. Power equal to the damage dealt is gained after the attack resolves, and if the target character is within range 2 of Magneto then Magneto may reroll any number of his attack dice. If the target character is not within range 2 of Magneto then after the attack resolves the target character is pushed short. Me likey range 2 and strength 6 for 0 power! Flexibility as to the effect based on the range is really nice – I would probably prefer a push over attack dice rerolls, but i’m not about to say no to either!
Attack number 2 is a physical attack called Shrapnel Blast, which has a range of A2, strength of 6 and power cost of 5. And now comes all the text – when measuring range and line of sight for this attack, you may choose to measure from a metal construct within range 3 of Magneto instead of from Magneto himself. If you do, after all of the attacks are resolved, the metal construct is removed. After each attack is resolved, the target character gains the Stun special condition. “What the hump is a metal construct” I hear you cry?! For this we must break all the rules of the Inspiring Monologue blog and *shock horror* discuss the card out of order! TO THE SUPERPOWERS SECTION! So, metal constructs are the 2 piles of metal which came with Magneto and which you hopefully didn’t throw away along with your sprues. Magneto has a superpower called Master of Magnetism which states that during the power phase if there are fewer than 2 metal constructs in play then place 1 metal construct within range 3 of magneto. It is a size 2 interactive terrain feature, then Magneto gains 1 power for each metal construct in play. Also, characters may not overlap a metal construct.
So, Shrapnel Blast is an area attack with a range of 2, and the attack can be measured either from Magneto himself, or from any metal construct within range 3 of him, and if you choose to measure from a metal construct then after the attack resolves the metal construct is destroyed and the target of the attack gains the Stun special condition. 5 power seems a steep cost for an attack with the same strength as Magneto’s free Reverse Polarity attack, but when you consider the extended range that this attack can cover when measured from metal constructs as well as Magneto himself, and that if you can situate Magneto right you could hit a few targets, I suppose the cost is justifiable. Let’s hope Magneto can generate lots of power, because he’ll be needing it!
LEADERSHIP ABILITY – And speaking of power generation, Magneto bears the first of our Brotherhood of Mutants leadership abilities (the other being held by Mystique – more on her in future posts). The ability is called From the Ruins… and states that when a terrain feature is destroyed, after the effect is resolved, choose a number of allied characters equal to or less than the terrain feature’s size. Each chosen character gains 1 power. A character may only gain 1 power as a result of this leadership once per turn. I guess it’s quite handy that Magneto generates his own size 2 terrain isn’t it?! Best of all, this ability can be triggered when an opponent’s character destroys terrain, not just terrain destroyed on your own turns. I am a big fan of abilities that give you a positive benefit for something which you or your opponent are going to do in the game anyway (see She-Hulks A-Force ability, more on that in future articles); either way you win – your opponent throws terrain at you and you get to spread some power round, or your opponent avoids throwing terrain in which case you avoid taking damage. This ability helps take away the sting of the cost for Magneto’s Shrapnel Blast attack which is nice. Never have I longed for size 4 terrain to come flying my way…
SUPERPOWERS – Magneto’s first superpower is active, is called Fatal Attraction, and has a power cost of X. This superpower states that to trigger it Magneto pays 1 to 4 power. Then he chooses an interactive terrain feature within range 3 and with a size equal to or less than the power spent to use this superpower and then throws it long. Cast your mind back to the early days of MCP and the glory of the M.O.D.O.K long throw, ’tis a beauteous thing indeed. Although not being able to throw characters is a shame, being able to scale the power cost to the size of the terrain is great, meaning you’re not paying 4 power to throw something size 1 (well, you can do if you want to), and being able to throw something within range 3 is no slouch. Paying 4 to throw something size 4 is a bit on the costlier side compared to other size 4 throws, but that extra power you are paying seems to be for the added range of the throw itself and the distance to the terrain piece. There is a restriction to this superpower though, before using it you must pay 1 power for each time it has already been used this turn. Fair enough I suppose, just plan your turn accordingly.
Next is a reactive superpower which costs 2 power and is called Force Projection. When Magneto is targeted by an attack or would make a dodge roll this superpower can be used. You get to use Magneto’s mystic defence to defend or dodge. And, Magneto cannot be pushed or thrown as a result of the special rules of the attack or collision. This is pretty immense. For a mere 2 power you get to roll 6 dice against any attack or dodge roll, and you can’t be pushed or thrown by the attack – wowzers. Considering Magneto gets 2 power in a round (1 as per normal and +1 for placing a metal construct; +2 if there is already another metal construct in play) he can fend off a big attack or throw at least once a round (if you aren’t feeding power into his big attack or throw of course). Mega.
Next is the innate superpower Master of Magnetism which we have already discussed, but I have to include here as OCD dictates that it be so. Metal Constructs out, power gained, done.
Last is the innate superpower Flight, always nice to see.
INJURED SIDE – The only change I have spotted is that Magneto’s stamina increases from 6 to 8, a welcome change indeed.
SUMMARY – Magneto seems very powerful indeed, with strong attacks, great defensive abilities and plenty of ways to spend power. I also really like the leadership ability that rewards you for just playing the game as you would. Characters like Green Goblin and Punisher that destroy terrain are going to pair nicely with Magneto and generate lots of power I think.
AFFILIATIONS – Magneto seems pretty disgustingly good in an Avengers team, because he gets to use Force Projection, his defensive superpower, for a mere 1 power. The problem being that he costs you 6 threat. Still, a more durable character with strong attacks could be something you are in the market for in your Avengers team.
If you are feeling saucy you could run Magneto in the X-Men Blue (Cyclops) team. Magneto could declare a Shrapnel Blast attack, then allied characters within range 3 can spend a power to reduce the cost of the attack all the way down to a minimum of 1 (granted, you would need 4 allied characters within range 3, but still). Sounds like fun to me!
On the topic of X-Men, Storm’s X-Men Gold affiliation could be nice for Magneto too, giving him a much needed mobility boost, as well as a little cover if the required conditions are met.
A Cabal team has to be considered as Magneto has an area attack with great range and good strength. Gaining power off each instance of the attack is no small thing. Nor is a basic attack with a strength of 6 – again, more power gained. Magneto is affiliated to the Cabal too, so no need to worry about a 6 threat character taking up an unaffiliated slot in your roster.
TEAM TACTICS CARDS – Before we get into standout team tactics cards for Magneto, there are a few Magneto-specific ones to discuss. First is Magnetic Crush which is unaffiliated and active, and costs Magneto 5 power to play. Magneto gets to use the Magnetic Crush attack on the card (physical, range 4, strength 6, power 0) once this activation. “Why would I choose this over Reverse Polarity?!” I hear you cry! Well, when creating the dice pool for this attack you may destroy any number of interactive terrain features of size 3 or less within range 2 of the target character. Add dice equal to the attack roll equal to the number of destroyed terrain features sizes combined. AND before damage is dealt other enemy characters within range 2 of the target characters suffer 1 damage. AMAZING! Even if you only hit 2 pieces of terrain with this, it’s now a 10 dice attack! AND you will gain power for destroying terrain if you are using Magneto’s From the Ruins leadership ability. HECK. YES.
Next up is Magnetic Refraction which costs Magneto 2 power to play. Magneto gains cover this round, and allied characters gain cover whilst within range 3 of Magneto this round. And, if you are using the Brotherhood of Mutants affiliation, you can return this card to your available team tactics cards during the cleanup phase, it can be played again this game. So, our first recyclable team tactics card – nice. Cover is something which I am too prone to overlook in this game, but cover saves lives. Having this card in hand is no bad thing in my eyes, although, granted, not as epic in execution as Magnetic Crush.
Onto the Brotherhood of Mutants affiliation cards now – Asteroid M is active and requires 2 Brotherhood of mutants characters to spend 2 power each. Once paid for you get to place one of the two characters not holding an objective within range 1 of the other character. A nifty way of increasing Magneto’s speed a little, or teleporting right across the board if you find that Magneto is away from the action a bit. This reminds me of the Black Order’s Mothership card – very powerful indeed.
The next Brotherhood of Mutants card is called The Books of Truth and is reactive. It states that when an allied Brotherhood of Mutants character is attacking or defending, at the end of the modify dice step of the attack, before the calculate success or failure step, it may spend 2 power. This character rerolls all of their attack of defence dice, including failures (skulls). I really like this – you can see the results of both rolls, and then decide to redo yours. One caveat however, you won’t get to explode criticals from the new roll or modify your dice in any way, because that step has passed – what you roll is what you’rs tuck with. Still, if you’re about to lose a critical character and you whiff the defence roll it is a good card to have.
As Magneto is also Cabal affiliated we should consider some of the Cabal cards. If you are running an allied M.O.D.O.K (you’re poor, poor opponent) and spending a whopping 11 threat on 2 characters then you could use A.I.M Lackeys to give Magneto an additional move action, helping him to get into the fray a bit sooner. Likewise, other movement cards like Climbing Gear, Extreme Conditioning or Tactical Analysis would be helpful in speeding Magneto up a bit.
Cosmic Invigoration could give Magneto a nasty (for your opponent) additional activation if he is close enough to Red Skull to trigger the card. Area attacks all around! And Dark Reign will allow you to focus rerolls when attacking a specific enemy character – very handy if there is a big threat that you desperately need to take out.
As for more general team tactics cards that you could use on Magneto you know I am going to start with Battle Lust. 2 power turns Reverse Polarity into an 8 dice attack with a range of 3, power gain equal to the damage dealt and rerolls. Granted there is already a short push built into the attack so that part of the card is useless, but still. Likewise for any of the other dice-adding cards like One-Two Punch and Heavy Firepower etc, all good for beefing Magneto up.
Doomed Prophecy would be pretty killer on Magneto. +3 dice to both of his physical attacks is very good, especially when you consider that this would apply to each instance of his area attack. That’s a 9 dice area attack which you can boost even more with Fatal Attraction. Mega!
Lastly, Smash could be good fun to combo with Magneto if you are running a Brotherhood of Mutants team (it’s not a Hulk card remember). The active character could spend 2 to destroy a nearby terrain feature smaller than they are and add dice to their attacks this activation, as well as feeding into Magneto’s leadership ability and generating power back for allied characters.
Before I sign off I just want to mention Black Gate games who are based in the UK. They have MCP – you want it, they want to sell it, and they’ll give you a great discount. Check them out if you are in the market for some more plastic goodness. I’m off to proof read this article as I have no doubt that I have type Magento instead of Magneto multiple times…