• WizKids Wednesday: Justice Like Lightning OP Preview

    Competitive “season” is over for now and while we all patiently await Rainbow Draft Weekend, there's still something else going on in July: The Justice Like Lightning OP event. Focusing on the Thunderbolts affiliation, Justice Like Lighting gives the faction some fun tools to make it a much more viable and interesting option for team builds.


    The first of the three OP cards and the participation prize is a Marvel version of the Justice League basic action, Villainous Pact. This is also our first time seeing a basic action re-printed as an OP card. If your LGS is apt to limiting your basic action pool during single universe events, a “Resurrection” style global is now available to you for DC-only, D&D-only, and Marvel-only events. The basic action itself also comes in handy for Thunderbolt affiliation teams since the majority of the characters also carry the villain affiliation.


    Ant Man: Tiny Regret brings the power of Teamwatch to the Thunderbolts allowing you to spin an opposing character die down 1 level whenever a Thunderbolt is fielded. While none of the Thunderbolts' abilities directly take advantage of having opposing low level characters, this still pairs well with Black Widow: Widowmaker or Mistress of Pain, bringing a character down to a 0 fielding cost face and KOing it when Widowmaker fields or making sure it runs into the “Pain wall” if it tries to attack. This can also help get characters off of burst faces, or if you add something like Rare Umber Hulk to the team, you can make sure your opponent's entire field is “re-rollable”. It's a really nice utility piece with a lot of flexibility.


    At first glance, Baron Zemo: Citizen V seems a little expensive for simply giving your other Thunderbolts a static +1A while he is active, but it could easily swing a game in your favor. Coupling it with Songbird: Reformed Villain will give this fairly weak, potentially unblockable die some much needed extra punch. Also with the possibility of Punisher's Intimidate abilities, Black Widow's KO abilities, or playing the Villainous Pact basic action, an even partially open field becomes a lot more lucrative with Baron Zemo giving those characters a boost.

    As much as I love “tribal” play, I honestly hadn't really considered Thunderbolts as a viable team until I saw these cards. While they are a little expensive for their effects and their stat lines, they offer something much more important: fun build options. To me, OP cards are at their best when they make you go back and re-evaluate existing cards and make you want to try something new, and these cards absolutely do that. Way to go WizKids! I can't wait to get my hands on these.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. jigsawhc's Avatar
      jigsawhc -
      The Villainous Pact OP card is interesting. Lots of folks locally like to use it for drafts so I'm sure it will be popular here.
    1. Razorback's Avatar
      Razorback -
      Totally agreed! These cards are amazing.
    1. chalos13's Avatar
      chalos13 -
      I've been ready for a new storyline! Here's hoping we see a Thunderbolts Red Hulk or Ghost Rider. I figure Deadpool will be in the Deadpool set.
    1. Necromanticer's Avatar
      Necromanticer -
      Major props to WizKids on clearing up how Villainous Pact works by re-releasing it. I know a fair number of people thought it worked on a whole active character and not just the selected character die, so it's good that it's been clarified.

      Sadly Baron Zemo doesn't bring enough to outshine his common and rare, especially since he's almost twice the purchasing cost of either. If they had given that ability to Songbird or Moonstone, we could have had something workable. As it stands, I'm only looking to run Ant-Man from this kit since he offers a very fun ability to abuse. I've always liked Stinking Cloud and the global from Power Word Pain, so character that allow me to make those more powerful are A-Okay in my book.
    1. jigsawhc's Avatar
      jigsawhc -
      Quote Originally Posted by Necromanticer View Post
      Major props to WizKids on clearing up how Villainous Pact works by re-releasing it. I know a fair number of people thought it worked on a whole active character and not just the selected character die, so it's good that it's been clarified.
      Yeah, we always played that you were picking a character so you you had more than 1 die you could block with all of them. Good to know that was wrong.
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Necromanticer View Post
      Major props to WizKids on clearing up how Villainous Pact works by re-releasing it. I know a fair number of people thought it worked on a whole active character and not just the selected character die, so it's good that it's been clarified.
      100% agree. This is (IMO) one of the best things about these alternate art cards: the opportunity to clarify sometimes confusing text. This, Black Manta, the upcoming Magic Missile, etc.
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      Great article. I love OP cards, and while they may not be the staple of tournament play they were a year or two ago, at my level of play they are amazing. For semi casual play, throwing your opponent the curve of a card they're not used to can be a game winner. I continue to be pleased (and impressed) with how WizKids takes the opportunity of OP to add team affiliation cards and expand a roster. (The OP Robin really helps make a Teen Titans deck playable.) Thanks again for the heads up.
    1. Mausphart's Avatar
      Mausphart -
      Combine this new Ant-Man with Black Widow - Mistress of Pain and you might have a decent Bard-Blocker.

      edit* Oh, now I see where I got that idea...