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Dave

Johnny Blaze: Not A Ghost of a Chance

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We've decried the lack of options in the two-cost slot here and there. Worse, not all of those options were created equal.

Ghost Rider's "Johnny Blaze" varient is hailed by some - and, actually, it's card text - as a cheap and solid means of getting some lightning energy in your hand.

I can't agree.

With the highest fielding cost that we have in this game - and no stats or abilities to match - Johnny Blaze is more often than not one of the worse buys that you can make. Especially early on in the game. The cost just isn't worth the potential benefit in this case.

Let me explain.

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<h3>Bolts! Huh! What are they good for?</h3>
Absolutely no-

No, just kidding. Bolts are great. Some of my favorite characters in this game are bolts.But beyond that, there isn't a huge reason to stockpile bolts. Oh, sure, there are some globals, but let's consider:

Mjolnir - two bolts does one damage to a character. Talk about high cost for low gain!

Phoenix - one bolt forces a character to attack - If you're using Phoenix, then OK, but why not Mr. Fantastic, who is cheaper and does the same thing for a mask? Especially when this ability is probably better since it pairs with Distraction, which also requires a mask? Flexibility!

Invulnerability - one bolt gives a character +1A; this can be useful, I'll admit.

Human Torch "Flame On" - one bolt does an extra damage when you use an action die or global to deal damage to a target. This only works with actions/globals, and so is rather situational.

Mjolnir can do some extra damage with a double bolt, but two is a lotof energy.

Second, the most in-demand bolt characters are already fairly inexpensive. None of the Green Goblins or Human Torches break the bank, not even close; they're easy to get a bolt and purchase.

With so few reasons to need an abundance of bolts - only one particularly exciting use in the form of Invulnerability - why do we care about this two cost die?


<h3>What's wrong with Ghost Rider?</h3>
Nothing! Unless it's Johnny Blaze.

Here's what you get for the highest fielding cost in the game:

No abilities
At maximum, a 5/5 attacker.

Let's compare to a very adept low-cost character, Angel. Even at his highest, he costs one to field; his Total Power,a new metric that we're working on developing which is Attack + Defense on a face, is seven on level three compared to a fielding cost of one on the same face - plus he has some nifty abilities at all rarities. Ghost Rider on level three costs three to field and has a Total Power of 10. I don't need to break that down into ratios to see why this is bad.

The story is worse if we look at just attack power compared to fielding cost- For Angel, it's 3:1. For Ghost Rider, it's 5:3.

That's all fine if you're using another form of Ghost Rider that carries a more useful ability - we've spoken about his rare form as a means of churn both here and on the podcast. But that's horrible when he brings nothing else to the table!


<h3>TL;DR:</h3>
Ghost Rider: "Johnny Blaze" is tempting at two cost but is just not worth the investment. Bolts aren't thatimportant. If you want a source of energy, buy Invulnerability - you're likely to get more energy off of it. His die isn't important either; it carries no abilities with it, so it's going to be difficult to make it a part of your win condition compared to the other fantastic two-costers out there - Tsarina, Mutate 666, and Genetic Expert all should get a long look, as should certain varieties of Angel.

Are there times that you might want him? Perhaps. A deck involving some combination of "Flame On", "Power Bolt"/"Force Beam" and "Invulnerability" might really wan't more bolts - but other less expensive dice exist to help drive that. He might be a part of a rush deck, but that fielding cost makes it pretty difficult to truly make him viable in such a setting. For me? No dice.
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