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Iron Man: Visiting Stark Tower

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First off, I was looking at referring sites and hello Sweden! Thank you for reading!

Next up in the character review series is Mr. Tony Stark. It seems that Iron Man has a lot of fans these days. It's pretty easy to see why. After all, in The Avengers, he got to spend about 20 minutes fixing a plane. Woo!

He also upgrades his power suit like Apple upgrades smartphones - every year, he's got something different. To that end, we have four different iterations of ol' Iron Guts to discuss here.

Ok, and before we begin, I'll admit that all of my snark, every bit of it, is out of jealousy - who wouldn't want to fly around in that suit? It's crazy awesome. Especially when you have a plane to fix.

<h3>The Die</h3>
Iron Man's die has a TFC of four, so while he is getting into the higher tier of fielding costs, I must make the obligatory note that he is an Avenger and therefore can be fielded for free in concert with Nick Fury "Mr. Anger."I had a request to start including the die faces in these little profiles, and I'm all too happy to oblige:

It shows a single burst icon at level three, which is used by the Philanthropist and Inventor variants. His attacks are not weak, ranging from three to five, though they are far from the most powerful. Defense is where he shines - five, six, or seven in level order. This is good because many of his abilities deal with how he takes and/or responds to damage.

The costs here are really quite favorable, especially considering that quality stats on the die.

Aesthetically, my Iron Man dice are of good quality; I don't recall a single blemish on any of them.

<h3>The Card</h3>Iron Man, of course, is a part of the Avengers, and the standard Avengers synergies that we all know about apply here. He also partners well with War Machine. In fact, War Machine's abilities are so dependent on Iron Man that it would be silly to have the former without the latter. Luckily, Iron Man is effective all on his own.

Thematically, Iron Man's powers are based off of the suit - it protects him, it helps to sustain him, and it makes him a rather effective fighter. As a result, his abilities help with life gain, redirecting damage, or preventing damage from specific types of opponents. Let's look at each one individually:

[u][*]"Playboy" - costs 4 - Each time Iron Man takes damage during the attack step, he deals 3 damage to an opposing attacker or blocker.[*]"Inventor" - costs 4 - Each time Iron Man takes damage, reduce it by 1. Burst: Reduce it by 2. Global: Pay shield to redirect 1 damage from you to one of your characters.[*]"Philanthropist" - costs 5 - Each time Iron Man takes damage, you gain 1 life. Burst: Gain two life instead.[*]"Billionaire" - costs 6, the lone uncommon - Iron Man takes no damage from non-sheild characters.[/list]

"Playboy"'s redirect makes him dangerous, and it works when Iron Man is attacking or blocking. Further, this can damage any attacker or blocker, not necessarily the one that he is engaged with. This could be enough to finish off a character.

"Inventor" is most interesting because of the global. I don't know that his character ability is enough to consider having him but the global is where this one shines. This ability that can help to fuel Hulk and/or Nova - perhaps not as the primary source, but certainly a quality secondary. The cost for the die is very favorable as well, especially considering the stats that Iron Man carries.

"Philanthropist" is expensive, but used well he can really sustain the game. Playing casually with a friend, this card allowed him to go from getting stomped to keeping it even. There aren't a lot of cards that enable healing, so for now Philanthropist has a definite place.

"Billionaire" is extra expensive and certainly is tempting. There aren't an enormous amount of shield characters in this set, and many of them have a high purchasing cost. However, this ability also doesn't stop them from blocking, it just prevents the damage. It also doesn't save him from direct damage offered by Mjolnir. However, it can save him from closers like Cyclops: If Looks Could Kill.

<h3>My Favorite</h3>It's a tie.

"Inventor" is an excellent card. The global is almost as good as being able to heal, and the fact that it can fuel the characters who thrive on taking damage is a big plus. As I said above, you're also getting some nice stats for a four-cost die.

I also feel strongly about "Philanthropist." The use and need for healing is obvious, and there are few sources, though it wasn't until I played against him a few times when I realized how key this could be. Iron Man was able to get my opponent from four life back to seven as he built a wall of defenders, and these attacks came during times when I wasn't able to afford taking some damage. Further, it was difficult to attack him at that point because he would have gained all the more life. Of course the burst is a nice touch as well.

I like Playboy, but there are enough "assassin" cards and I also think that "Inventor" is a better four-cost option.
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  1. Katie imported's Avatar
    Playboy and Philanthropist are my top picks! I thought about trying Billionaire in a deck that focused on characters who couldn't block or take damage from a particular source, but he's just too pricey! Genetic Expert (Beast) would be a good choice, but everyone loves his 666 form too much. War Machine is also a bit too pricey, and works best with Iron Man around anyway. Healing is dear right now, and ways to force damage are much more prevalent.
  2. Evan imported's Avatar
    I'll also note that Playboy doesn't actually need to be involved in the combat to have his ability take effect - you could ping him with the global on Flame On Human Torch, he could get hit by a Green Goliath splash, whatever - as long as he takes damage during an attack, he'll blast something for three. I'm also a fan of Philanthropist; him and Human Torch pair well, again. Inventor's a really solid defensive card, but my experience so far makes me favor more offensive strategies, so I tend to prefer Playboy out of all the starter ones.
  3. Evan imported's Avatar
    Though it's been pointed out to me that the global for Flame On might not let you pick new targets, so that may have been a bad example for me to pick. Another one for the FAQ!