I'm The Best There Is At What I Do
Welcome to another TURN ZER0 GAMING article bub. AMG opened up their doors into the world of the X-Men, and we are going to breakdown our favorite lone-wolf, Wolverine.
Logan is probably the character I am the most excited to paint and play for the X-Men. He was the first character I selected in the X-Men arcade game; I loved his comics and used him in fighting games all the time (MVC2 forever!). When AMG announced we were going to see X-Men released in 2020, I was more than excited, I was ecstatic.
Today we are going to take a look at his card and see where he fits inside this evolving world of Marvel Crisis Protocol.
Wolverine is an aggro monster. Seven health on the front and five health on the back puts him at an above-average total of twelve health. His defenses of 4/3/2 are incredibly thematic and also potent. Three defense is the standard, and four is above average. Since Wolverine is a close-range assassin, having an extra point in physical defense will make a difference when getting into fisticuffs.
If you have ever played HeroClix, you may notice a similarity between Marvel Crisis Protocol and Clix. A model can have cool abilities, strong attacks, and no tools to get into combat on their own. Wolverine is not a victim of needing cards like Drop Off (RIP) to get into the range of enemies to become effective. Logan has a built-in charge with a bonus effect, each Wild showing counts as two successes. Not only do each Wild symbol count as two damage, but it also triggers Bleed and Pierce. With a kit like this, Wolverine is going to be one of the most aggressive models who want to get in your face and roll dice.
Adamantium Slash is the bread and butter of Logan's offensive playbook. Range two, five dice and Wilds triggering Bleed and Pierce. WOW. Wolverine will have some unkind words for MODOK, but everyone else had better watch out. Although this attack uses the same template for a basic "strike" attack, Wolverine has the added boost to stick the landing. Adding Pierce and Bleed to his attack helps get damage through tough defenders and leaves them wounded on their activation. Bleed is no joke if you ignore it. Little packets of damage from here and there add up to a dazed or dead character. Forcing opponents to spend an action to shake the Bleed or suffer damage can be round changing.
I want to thank AMG for naming Wolverine's second attack after one of his most iconic supers from the Marvel VS Capcom series. Berserker Barrage is a range three, seven dice attack at the cost of three power. Before the damage is dealt, place this character within range one of the target. If this attack deals damage, you can throw a character of size three or less Short. Three power gives Wolverine a pretty decent teleport ability (I hope Nightcrawler has this on all his attacks). Range three to target an enemy, and then you can potentially teleport behind them while being within range one. This attack allows Wolverine to bounce around the field, similar to Proxima. Between his Berserker Barrage and The Best At What I Do Superpower, Wolverine is an extremely mobile assassin. It will be hard to avoid Logan with his Medium move, charge superpower, and Berserker Barrage teleporting.
Wolverine is known as being almost unkillable. He has survived insane amounts of damage, world-breaking attacks and still keeps on kicking. AMG revealed a new mechanic that is both thematic and powerful called Healing Factor. At the end of his activation, Wolverine can heal up to two damage from himself. AMG also revealed you can choose how this interacts with Bleed. The player gets to decide in which order Bleed and Healing Factor resolve. Nasty!
Adding his Healing Factor , seven health, and stout physical defense, Wolverine has the tools needed to get into close-range and stay alive. Medpack is a restricted tactic that can heal three damage for two power, Wolverine can heal two damage for free. I don't think this power is broken (like some do) but, it does extend Wolverine's presence on the battlefield. The extra two health each round can add up to keeping him alive additional rounds and extending his pressure to hunt down priority targets. Healing for free also keeps Wolverine focused on spending power to either charge into combat or go berserk on some poor soul.
If you want to get particularly nasty, Wolverine is a prime candidate for Doomed Prophecy + All You've Got (attacking with 9 or 11 dice with each roll) or Blind Obsession. We have already covered the DP+AYG play with the Bomb Squad list, so that's not news. But, Wolverine is a strong candidate to become a single-target assassin. MODOK, Dr. Strange, Corvus, and Kingpin are all high-priority targets. Spending three power to add +2 dice to attack rolls on Wolverine is gross. Rolling seven dice into Kingpin with Bleed and Pierce on Wilds feels good. Wolverine also adds +2 dice to his defense rolls when being attacked by his Blind Obsession target. Add in the Healing Factor , and Wolverine has a high probability of going toe-to-toe with any model of his choice.
When Logan flips to his injured side, he loses two health but gains some very aggressive bonuses. Wild Rage is a new innate superpower that adds dice to Wolverine's attacks equal to the damage on him. Additionally, Logan cannot interact with or hold objective tokens. I can see how players might see this as a downside, but I feel this makes Logan very strong.
Early game Wolverine can be used to run around the field and contest objectives, grab extracts, or burst down high-priority targets. Once he gets into the mid-game, Wolverine can pivot into being the AD Carry and start pressuring KO's. Adding dice equal to his damage means he can roll up to +4 dice on all his attacks when he gets beat up. If you save Doomed Prophecy, you could add a maximum of +8 dice per attack (+4 from DP and +1-4 from damage on Wolverine) for some oppressive (12 dice max) opportunities into your opponent's field. Although this is the dream scenario, you can still rely on Wolverine adding +1-3 dice pretty safely.
On top of adding dice to his attacks, Wolverine adds Immunity [Stagger] to his impressive defensive abilities. He can now ignore Stagger, Stun, and heal two damage at the end of his activations. Thor and Dr. Strange can no longer hope to slow down this monster.
Tactics like No Matter The Cost can create some very difficult situations for the model opposite of Wolverine's rage.
Reducing the cost of Berserker Barrage WHILE adding dice to the attack is nuts. If you play NMTC and take three damage, you have a 10 dice attack minimum, and the potential to throw the target for additional damage. At the end of the activation, Wolverine can heal the damage he just took. The NMTC + Healing Factor  almost allows Wolverine to add dice to his attacks for free. With the new B/R list limiting the more powerful tactics, this could be a great time for NMTC to shine.
...But What I Do Best Isn’t Very Nice
Wolverine has a lot of options to unpack. On the surface, he is designed as a close-range, in your face, aggressive and mobile assassin. Outside of the assassin position, Wolverine is also a very adept tank and objective bully. Quoting the AMG article on Storm and the Team Gold leadership affiliation:
"Her Leadership ability X-Men Gold allows her to coordinate the movements of her allies, allowing a character to be placed within Range 1 of a nearby ally once per turn, as well as granting cover in the form of mists and fog to any character targeted from more than Range 2 away."
Wolverine is going to be a very strong option for getting into combat and helping his allies teleport to the frontlines with him. Ororo can also keep him alive longer with her "fog" effect on top of his Healing Factor . Currently, we do not know what the leadership affiliation for X-Men Blue is but I suspect it will give Wolverine more options for aggressive play.
With the limited information we have about the X-Men, I still believe Wolverine is adept at what he does. He can move into combat, heal damage, apply Bleed, and use Pierce. When he flips to his injured side, damage turns into more aggressive attacks. Wolverine has access to throws, a charge superpower, and boosting the damage output of his rolls.
The major disadvantage for Wolverine is no ability to re-roll anything. He may be able to boost his potential damage and add dice when attacking, but he has to live and die by whatever the RNG gods determine. "Todd Syndrome" is a real thing, and Wolverine rolling bad dice can turn into a frustrating board state pretty fast. Wolverine needs help correcting his dice, so allies like Zemo or Shuri can give him more consistent rolls.
The other issue Wolverine is going to encounter during games is the "blanks counting as successes" ability. Pierce is a useful offensive tool. However, we are beginning to see more models in the game with the ability to ignore Pierce. Captain America, Black Panther, and Taskmaster are great examples of targets Logan might not want to throw claws into. Most models in the game don't invalidate Pierce, but some of the targets he wants to kill do (looking at you MODOK).
The last fun little ability Wolverine has is Adamantium Skeleton. When determining his size for throws, pushes, or collisions, he is counted as size three. I suspect we will see a Tactic called Fastball Special for Wolverine in the future. Outside of my hopes and dreams for a Colossus model in the game. Wolverine can avoid being pushed by Spiders using Taser Webs. A lot of attacks that push models have to be size two or less. Wolverine can still be repositioned with Web Line and throws that affect size three or less models. But characters like Valkyrie cannot use Asgardian Might, and that matters.
Listen Here Bub
Overall, I think Wolverine is going to a fun model to paint and play with. He has some very strong points and some very glaring weaknesses. I believe he will find a place in some aggressive lists and many different affiliations. Regardless of his viability in the meta, I hope to see his model in games just because Wolverine is stinking cool.
I can see Wolverine finding his way into a lot of different affiliations because of his aggressive playstyle.
- Cabal can tag-team Zemo + Wolverine for a very aggressive and mobile death squad. Zemo can enhance Wolverine's rolls while also using his mobility to pepper targets.
- Defenders can use Dr. Strange and/or Wong to keep Logan healed on his front side. Dr. Strange can add +2 dice to Wolverine's defense rolls while he uses Healing Factor  in case any damage gets through. Wolverine can use power to shift his attacks into Energy or Mystic to capitalize on his target's weakest defenses.
- Guardians of the Galaxy are a very aggressive affiliation. Wolverine loves the Winging It tokens for re-rolls and allies helping lay down cover fire while he runs down-field. Wolverine + Nebula could be one of the most aggressive objective bullies we have seen.
- Asgard gives Wolverine a way to use the power he will generate. Using Asgard healing plus Healing Factor  can give Logan Medpack level healing every round for one power. Although Asgard is a high threat affiliation, Logan will become almost impossible to kill unless you burst him down. Being able to remove statue effects at the start of his activation also keeps Logan action efficient for moving and attacking each round.
These are some initial ideas, and I am excited to see where the community finds Wolverine to be most successful. Marvel Crisis Protocol is about to celebrate its first anniversary, and the X-Men are shaping out to be one of the best ways to celebrate. Wolverine is not a perfect model, but he sure looks like a lot of fun. I do believe he will see a place in the competitive meta. But I also feel like he will see play in casual and friendly games because of how iconic he is. AMG knocked this model out of the park thematically and mechanically in my opinion. His defenses reflect how stout he is in the comics and movies. His attacks are classic, and the Healing Factor  is one of the coolest abilities on his card. I am ready for November and the X-Men release so I can start painting and getting these super cool models to the table.
If you enjoyed this article, check out TURN ZER0 GAMING online:
We are always talking Marvel Crisis Protocol somewhere, and we want you to be a part of that conversation! Until next time...
Keep on rollin'