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Pyromania: The Human Torch

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As I'm not up on Marvel Comics, it seemed a bit weird to see a member of the Fantastic Four included among the Avengers vs. X-Men starter set. Considering that all of the other starter characters are either part of those two teams or unaffiliated - and even Spider Man has worked with the Avengers - I was unaware of any additional affiliations that our boy Johnny Storm had. Wikipedia tells me that he was a part of the "Secret Avengers" for maybe a year.

I have no idea what the "Secret Avengers" are. Though I don't want to make light of it - as a DC fan, I'm the first to admit that there have been many odd variants of the Justice League. It's just off-putting for someone that you immediately associate with the Fantastic Four to be the oddball among a bunch of Avengers and X-Men.

Regardless of all of that, Katie went into a bit of depth already about some of the combo opportunities that Human Torch presents. Now, it's time to analyze all of the Human Torch variants, see what we like, and see what we don't.

<h3>The Die</h3>Human Torch is a middle-of-the-road cost die, with a TFC of three. He provides "lightning bolt" energy and has no bursts on any face.

His die is very straightforward and his stats are quite balanced. There isn't much to say here.

Aesthetically, the die is transparent with a red coloring to it. Just as with the die's cost, the quality is also middle of the road. Some of the sides look great, some of them have a little too much paint around the character symbol or not quite enough in the number.

<h3>The Card</h3>

Human Torch ranges from two to four in purchase cost, in all cases making him a viable option for early game buying. Since we're still in the starter set, only one of these - "Johnny Storm" - can be found in the boosters.

There seems to be a thing in games about anything having to do with fire providing direct damage to creatures and/or opponents, and thematically, this is exactly where Human Torch falls on half of the cards. The other half makes me think of the fact that fire will spread quickly, either making Human Torch more powerful or giving you access to more of his dice.

[u][*]"Playing with Fire" - 2 cost - The first time you field a character each turn, each Human Torch already in the field gets +1/+1[*]"Matchstick" - 3 cost - While active, each time you field a character, you may roll one Human Torch from used. If it's a character, place it in reserve; otherwise, it goes to used.[*]"Flame On!" - 4 cost - While active, he deals 1 damage to a character OR player each time you field a character. Global: Pay one lightning when you deal damage with an action die or global ability to deal one extra damage to one target.[*]"Johnny Storm" - 4 cost - While active, he deals 1 damage to a character and 1 damage to a player each time you field a character.[/list]

"Playing with Fire" should be pretty familiar for those who played the basic game, as he is on one of the teams. The quality of this die is inherent in its cheap cost. The pump up is nice, but for two purchase, you're getting a good source of energy and a modest attacker/blocker. Nothing more, nothing less.

"Matchstick" requires that you purchase several Human Torch dice for the full benefit. He would work well in a deck that relies on a lot of character dice, as his ability triggers every time one is fielded. It should be noted that the if you roll a character face, you still have to pay to field it. It's not a free Human Torch, just the chance for more if you can afford it.

"Flame On!" deals direct damage with the option to deal extra direct damage with certain abilities if you save those lightning bolts to spend on this. However, he can't pump himself up with this as it only impacts action dice or globals. It also isn't currently clear if it must be to the same target.

"Johnny Storm" again deals direct damage, but instead of dealing it to one place, he hits two. This time he targets both a character and a player. Note that there is no "may deal damage" conditional text on the ability - this one is a must every time you trigger it.

<h3>My Favorite</h3>

I don't think it's a surprise that I'm going with Johnny Storm here.

He combos too well with other cards, especially Hulk and Nova. He's the perfect method to do a little damage to these high-defense guys so that their abilities trigger and help you all the more. Used well with Hulk, it could close out the game for you. Using with Nova "Quasar", the one that lets you draw dice and put them in your prep area when damaged, could set you up for a big move.

The player damage that he does can help to soften up your opponent or generally provide annoyance as you're working on setting up the rest of your engine.

The only reason to use "Flame On!" is if your opponents start bringing cards to the table that help them when they take damage. Then, the pinging that "Johnny Storm" elicits becomes a problem for you and you'll want a substitute.
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  1. Lazy Boy Reviews imported's Avatar
    Recently ive been using johnny storm to field sidekicks and deal the one to either philanthropist iron man for life gain, or to my own sidekicks to prep then for future damage. Rolls out the pain really quickly
  2. Katie imported's Avatar
    Absolutely! Torch is fantastic in a few team-ups: Philanthropist for healing, Quasar for dice draw, Hulk for damage or such. Pretty much anyone who does cool stuff when they take damage is a great card to pair up with Torch. It's rare that I'm not bringing him in a constructed deck.