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Gambit: Cards Against Mutant-ity

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I think it's possible that I've mentioned just a couple of times that a certain energy-infused card-spewing member of the X-Men is my favorite Marvel hero or something? Maybe once or twice? I guess that made it a pretty easy place to start for my non-starter set character overviews.

For future overviews, I'm going to try something a little different.

This link right here is our guild page on Board Game Geek. Every time we do a review, I'll have a poll topic up for who the next one should be. It'll be a choice of four, and I'll try to be creative with my distribution of it. So while you won't be able to specifically request the next character, you will have a voice in the process!

Before you do this, you'll need to do the following:

[u][*]Sign up for BGG - this is absolutely worth it; the site isn't as modern as it could be but it's a fantastic gaming resource, the best one out there.[*]Join the guild, which you can do from the guild page.[/list]

And finally, here's the link to our first poll topic. Tell me who I should review next! And feel free to get some discussion going on the boards!

<h3>The Die</h3>
Gambit provides mask energy and features a burst on both level one and level two.

He has a total fielding cost of four, which honestly is a little higher than I'd like for some of his abilities.

Aesthetically, these dice are middle of the road. For one, I really hate the brown-and-pink color scheme even if I understand why - his trenchcoat plus the pink energy that he infuses things with. The quality of my Gambit dice is above average, with a not-quite-perfect fill of the logo on some. They're probably in the top 1/3rd.

<h3>The Card</h3>
Gambit, unsurprisingly, carries the X-Men affiliation.

Thematically, Gambit deals in die manipulation and direct damage, fitting for his knowledge of sleight-of-hand and ability to infuse kinetic energy into any object that he wishes.

[u][*]"Ace in the Hole" - Cost 3 - When fielded, draw and roll a die. Burst: Draw two, pick one and roll it, and return the other to your bag.[*]"Le Diable Blanc" - Cost 5 - When fielded, draw and roll two dice. If they come up character, field them for free. If not, they go to used. Burst: Draw three, pick two and roll them.[*]"Cardsharp" - Cost 5 - When fielded, draw and roll one die. If you roll a character, that character deals its attack damage to your opponent and goes to used. Otherwise, the die goes into the reserve pool.[/list]
"Ace in the Hole" provides a nice amount of churn. This isn't the most energy efficient means of doing it, but just grabbing another die gets you through your bag faster, which is at least as important. Churn isn't just about rolling tons of dice, it's also about passing your dice through the bag as many times as possible.

"Le Diable Blanc" does the same thing in that it can help you get through your bag faster; at five cost, though, there's a lot of risk/reward to this. It could be a big benefit, or it may force a die that you really wanted into used because it came up energy and you don't get a reroll on these.

"Cardsharp" could do a nice amount of direct damage, and at least if you can't get the character face, you get the energy. The dice that could do the most damage for you, though, are mostly higher cost dice - and if you draw a sidekick, forget it.

<h3>My Favorite</h3>
"Ace" gets it here, and the lower cost is what does it. "Diable" has too much uncertainty around it, and while I like that it gets you through three dice, I don't like that they go away to the used pile if they're not what you want. "Cardsharp" requires a lot to work, or else you're just pinging for a small amount of inconsistent damage.

"Ace", with a purchase price of three, gives you some fairly inexpensive access to some masks early game (essential for most control strategies) and the option to get some dice manipulation should you field him. With a "when fielded" ability, he's a wonderful blocker. <strike>With bursts on level one and two, he's a good spin-down candidate for Tsarina.</strike>

I don't think he's perfect because he does miss that energy efficiency piece - but he has his uses, no doublt.
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  1. Sterling Johnson imported's Avatar
    I made the mistake of viewing Gambit-Ace in the Hole as a draw engine similar to Beast. They serve different rolls though and should be treated as such. To use a MTG term I view Gambit as a &quot;cantrip&quot; card. Cantrips are cards that do something but add &quot;draw a card&quot;. One of my favorite cantrip spells in MTG is Remand. It allows you to counter a spell back to their hand and then draw a card. The counter to hand isn't a particularly good counter but when you add draw a card to mix and then start thinking about tempo in the game it changes how you would value the card. Same goes for Gambit. His TFC isn't horrible and sometimes with the energy you roll he basically pays for him self. He also changes the tempo of the game with helping churn through the bag quicker. Id never take Gambit alone with out other options to draw/prep dice but I like having him available with 2-3 dice.
  2. Skyler Luscombe imported's Avatar
    'With bursts on level one and two, he's a good spin-down candidate for Tsarina.&quot;

    Can you tell me why this is good? As a good blocker spinning him down will help him to get KO'd easier to re-roll, but what of the burst?
  3. Katie imported's Avatar
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  4. Katie imported's Avatar
    You're absolutely right, Skyler. As punishment I will see to it that Dave say 'Tsarina Sibilance' three times fast at the end of podcast 4.

    Gambit isn't currently a good burst spin-down benefit candidate, unlike the king of this: Beast (Hulk takes a place in my heart as well).
  5. Katie imported's Avatar
    Definitely! Gambit is good at moving you through your deck, but bad at making sure you get those really nice big rolls the next turn. I'm less of a fan of Gambit for this purpose than Norman Osborn, but I recognize that Dave has a favorite and he's allowed to have him! Gambit just isn't that energy efficient! You pay 1-2 to get... oneish. Great point about speeding up your tempo, Gambit definitely has his place, and makes his mark, it's just a very different one than Beast or Nova. Being aware of when you get your dice and what that means for you is so, so important when you think about who to include in your deck.
  6. Dave imported's Avatar
    Yeah, I was totally wrong there. I must've had Beast on the brain.
  7. Katie imported's Avatar
    I hope you are prepared to accept your punishment as well, Dave!