ONE YEAR LATER - HONOR THE BLACK PANTHER!
So it's been about a year since my first game of Marvel Champions and, while I was playing this week end, I thought about how much the game has evolved over the year. One thing comes to mind: how Black Panther, that I initially considered awkward and who was sometimes tagged as under-powered by some, ultimately became a very reliable hero for me. When I began comparing what each hero brought to the table, I realized he's actually average most everywhere, but very adaptable and steady. Imagine you're going through your deck and playing every hero card possible without too much problem. You attack or thwart one turn out of two, recover the second turn. Depending on how you play Black Panther, here's what you might get:
ATTACK: you're playing attack only. So you deal about 3x 2DMG (basic), 6 times Wakanda Forever! (the 6th because you had Ancestral Knowledge played) which can be 6 DMG if you have all upgrades in play, retaliate 3 times, and have Shuri attack for 3. You've dealt 48 DMG only counting hero abilities and cards, which only Iron Man or She-Hulk can beat (in the base box).
THWART: you're only thwarting. you THW 3 times, have Shuri THW 3 times, use Tactical Genius to the fullest 6 times. THW value 21, beat by Iron Man and She-Hulk.
DEFENSE/Survival: you can defend for 2, but also heal 2 each time you use Vibranium Suit. No utilities, however, like STUN or CONFUSE. Not Spider-Man class, but decent.
RESOURCES: here's what most people consider to be Black Panther's strenght: 3 Wakanda Forever!. Now, if you consider that a lot of heroes have some way to get more resources (Web-Shooter, Super-Soldier Serum, Pepper Potts... etc), Black Panther isn't alone in the "resourceful" department. However, his are free and , meaning he gets an economical boost right off the bat (althought lesser than Captain Marvel) and is actually the best for cards that require certains resources (Tackle, for instance. The Golden City, finally, is incredible and should always be a priority.
SOOOO... where does that lead us?
Knowing what you NEED as Black Panther will actually allow you to adjust thanks to FORESIGHT. If Spider-Man is the defense champion, Iron Man the "ramp", Captain Marvel the draw power and She-Hulk the THW and Fist, Black Panther certainly is the jack-of-all-trades.
Also, his upgrades and Wakanda Forever! actually scale through the game, making him more and more efficient. Panther Claws, for instance: the first 4 DMG you get out of it cost you 3 resources (1,33 dmg/resource). At your second, 8 dmg for 4 resources (2 dmg/resource). But at your 6th Wakanda Forever!, you have dealt 24 DMG for 8 resources (3 dmg/resources). It seems to follow an almost logarithmic curve and gets better every time.
All in all, Black Panther benefits from longer games (a real boon for expert players), a certain foresight on your part and a strong economy. The first year also gave us lots of way to exploit his uniqueness (Mean Swing, the infamous Rapid Response- Shuri combo, etc.).
Long live the Panther!