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Will Loki: Gem Keeper be everyone's answer to everything?

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And is that ok?

Loki: Gem Keeper is one of the more interesting cards out there because, when fielded, it prevents your opponent from fielding any dice from a specific character. This is pretty huge and can have quite the impact on someone who is relying on one character to drive their car.

Imagine - one player quickly buys three to four of Black Widow: Tsarina within their first two turns and their opponent manages to field Loki and bring the character ability to bear upon Black Widow. Now 50% of the faces on that die are useless until the first player finds a way to deal with him.

Perhaps you've recognized the synergies that your opponent has out on the table, the strategy that they are working towards - now you can disable the character that is essential to it. That's powerful stuff and will disrupt a lot of strategies.

<h3>Should I Include Loki?</h3>

Are you seeing a lot of squads that have one character that is wrecking your day in your meta? If so, Loki may be the direction to go. In fact, every squad that you face is going to have a character that is the main focus of their strategy, and so every squad that you face has the potential to be stymied by Loki.

Of course the other question is this - since you're not likely to use all eight characters in your squad at once, and since Loki can help mitigate a lot of different aggressors, should you include him no matter what? It'll be interesting to see how that facet impacts team building moving forward. Right now the answer seems to be "yes."When combined with the speed offered by Beast "666", you can get this trickster god out pretty quickly.

It'll also be interesting to see if players start to include decoys that look like the focus of the squad to draw the eye of the Loki when a secondary play is actually the goal. The misdirection would only be temporary, but if it works, it might buy enough time to make an impact.

<h3>Game plan for facing Loki</h3>

If situations like the former mean that Loki is everywhere, then you obviously have to plan for him. The obvious way of doing so is to include a character or two that enable targeted character destruction, but that's a bit too straightforward and Loki does have rather high defense.

One excellent option is Mr. Fantastic's global that forces a character to attack. Loki can only deal 1-2 damage unless buffed, so it's not a terrible inconvenience to take the damage and watch him retreat to the used pile. While this is a rather specific solution, Loki's utility may make him so common as to require such specificity, especially since his ability doesn't impact globals. Another possibility is die manipulation, forcing a reroll of the fielded Loki.

The most hilarious plan would be to block Loki with Loki. That'll show 'em.

<h3>And so is all of that OK?</h3>

As a counter for a lot of things, there's no question that this is a powerful card. It can provide you with the respite that you need to get your own house in order, having stymied your opponent. But it's just one card and it can disrupt so many things.

I'm still OK with it because the cost of the card and the die are in the upper half of the range. Really, the cost is justright. One less would be too little, and one more would be so expensive that he would rarely be seen at a meaningful moment.

While Loki can screw up someone's day, he can also be stopped.

There's also something to be said for the fact that if your opponent spent time and energy fielding Loki, he didn't spend it doing something else. Sometimes, that's a win too. If he becomes as popular as his early popularity would indicate, you'll just have to plan for him - and if you don't, that's on you.
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  1. Matt Hughes imported's Avatar
    My hope is he'll be a deterrent to prevent any shenanigans from happening once people have streamlined their ideas. There have been cards in ccgs over the years that while they didn't see play, their existence made it so certain archetypes that would have been considered too strong were barely played at all in order to dodge the easy answer. Or at the very least, he exists if something IS too good. Still trying to figure out how much space an army can have for a &quot;swiss army knife&quot; of dice to answer things, while also having enough for your own strategy. And sorry for your first comment being long winded, I've had not many people to talk to yet and still don't have my starter.
  2. Lazy Boy Reviews imported's Avatar
    I found that once i bought my first gem keeper, i realised that he can completely shut down the opposing gameplan. If you get him on level 3 there are few dice that can get rid of him. I would be very tempted to include him in all teams i make