Have you ever sat down and watched a reveal video with no expectations? Well, that was me for the Thor character reveal. I don't care about playing with heroes because I find them boring. Then they said Loki and I became immediately interested. Needless to say, I was freaking out when I saw his card and abilities. So we are going to take a look at his card and see how good he is.
Loki, God Of Mischief
Let's take a quick look at his stats. 5 HP/M move/Height 2/4 threat. Defenses are 3/3/4. Nothing particularly amazing on the values but what else could he have? Strike, ok this is the standard attack everybody has. Frost Blast is a very interesting attack. Beam 3, 4 attack dice and 0 power. This seems like a very useful attack. As Todd and Chris said on the podcast, Energy attacks are the worst!
Illusions is the attack I am going to try and use on some poor souls as soon as I can. I LOVE how AMG decided to represent magical attacks with the double wild symbols. The theme for this attack is well designed. But the meat of the attack is the ability text.
After this attack is resolved, you may advance the target character its speed. After the advance is resolved, all other characters (friendly AND enemy) within 2 range of the target suffer 1 damage.
WOW! So first off, you don't have to deal any damage to the target character. As long as you roll 2 wild symbols, you get to resolve the ability text. The next monster in the room is being able to move the target character its speed. This means you can move them anywhere. Just think about the practical implications. Move a character off an objective. Move them into range of your other characters. Move them away from a gamma shelter...
The extra damage ability is just icing on the cake. But the ability to move characters if you can conjure the right symbols is nuts. As a control player, I see so many applications to just ruin other player's plans. Board control is important in wargames. Character manipulation is equally powerful in Crisis Protocol. MODOK is another great example of being able to manipulate where you control the position of enemy models. Even Spiderman can ruin your well-laid plans with his Web line.
As cool as this attack is, the 3 power and 2 wilds on 6 dice is a very high cost. I appreciate AMG balanced such a powerful ability with a lot of requirements for success. Just make sure to respect this attack and how potent it can be if you get hit.
There Are No Men Like Me
The superpower kit for Loki is equally interesting as his attacks. God of Mischief is pretty much a middle finger to Captain America and his ability. I love how he is not a direct counter, but he is going to make Cap's life harder by just showing up. Anyone not running Cap's power reduction is in for a pretty hard day managing power on their characters. Being able to force enemy characters to spend +1 power for Active and Reactive abilities is mean.
The implications for this ability are pretty nasty. Now range 4 is not super far away from the enemy. But if he is behind a building at range 4 you may not be able to get LOS to attack him, but he is still messing with your resources. Loki doesn't need LOS to mess with your team and I find that so thematic.
When Loki is injured he gets a new line of text for God of Mischief. Additionally, while within range 4 of this character, enemy characters do not roll additional dice for critical results.
Loki does not want you to do stuff on your turn. This is what the kids today call a flex. Forcing the opponent to spend more power and they can't add dice from criticals. This is a very powerful utility character I believe we will see in a lot of lists after his release.
Hitting Does Not Solve Everything
The real superpower that makes Loki my favorite revealed character by far is Trickster. When this character is targeted by an attack you may use this superpower. For 3 power Loki immediately makes an S advance. After you move, if you are outside the attacker's range OR line of sight, the attack ends. If you see Loki next to a wall of a building, you better be able to see both sides or you're about to waste an attack. With his ability to move S, Loki can stand next to LOS blocking terrain and bait players into attacking from one angle. This allows Loki to move around a wall and waste that attack/activation. Although this is not a guaranteed outcome, Loki can set up traps to bait other players. This is what makes the superpower so interesting. The utility and options it gives to Loki players is truly fascinating. Now 3 power is not cheap, but the Asgardian ability gives Loki 2 power every turn.
This ability is going to make Loki a high skill ceiling character. Being able to move S and stop attacks will be a crux for his survivability. But skilled players will see lanes for him to use to his advantage. Especially as the scene grows and more terrain becomes available, Loki can capitalize on any battlefield setup. Even the option to move S gives him a deceptive range for controlling objectives or getting in range for God of Mischief.
Ooh, It Burns You To Have Come So Close
If you can't tell, I am excited to play Loki. He may not be a heavy damage dealer. But he will make you frustrated. He can control both his and your battlefield positions. He forces you to spend more power on your abilities. He can nullify attacks. He has attacks in all three defense values. Loki is the character that can do a lot depending on how players use him. I feel his ability to adapt to situations will reward creative players. Loki is not the powerhouse Thor is. But he is a control/utility monster that players will have to respect.
Atomic Mass Games designed a character that pretty much defines me as a player. Being able to disrupt strategies, control your opponent's resources and pretty much troll attackers. This is a character I believe we will see on the table for both casual and competitive games. Loki looks like a lot of fun to play. But his potential is limitless with player imagination and skill.