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Iron Man/War Machine Starter Set

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You may have read my previous set reviews on DiceAnon. Since this set has been spoiled, here is my review for the Iron Man / War Machine Starter Set.

Note: In the Analytics portion, the comments are a comparison to the applicable Purchase Cost (PC) of all the released character cards to date. This takes the sum of all 3 levels of that particular attribute from that character die. For example, the averages for the attributes of a 4 PC character card are:
A value = 10.15 (or range 10 – 11)
D value = 10.57 (or range 10 – 11)
Total Fielding Cost (TFC) = 3.14 (or range 3 – 4)

This comparison is provided so you can see the strengths or weaknesses of that card relative to other cards within that purchase cost. If there is no comment on a particular attribute, it means that attribute falls within the average range.

For A and D values, being above the average is good; below the average is undesirable.
For TFC, being lower than average is good; higher than average is undesirable.

The number in parenthesis after the subtitle is the character card’s PC.

New Keyword definitions for reference:
Suit Up: When you purchase a character die with Suit Up, you may KO a character you control whose name matches one of the names listed in the ability. If you do, you may immediately field the purchased die at level 2.

Character Cards

Howard Stark S.H.I.E.L.D.
General Comments: All versions in the character set have the Ally keyword, which is applicable with abilities affecting Sidekicks.
The Burst ability is on the level 3 face.


Father (2)
Ally (This die counts as a Sidekick in the Field Zone.)
* Howard Stark can't be targeted by Global Abilities.
Analytics: The A values are below the average for a 2 cost card.
Comments: Rather limiting since this card only has a Burst ability that is only available on the level 3 face. This ability is mediocre at best. Prefer the other versions.

Expert Businessman (3)
Ally (This die counts as a Sidekick in the Field Zone.)
At the start of your turn, you may sacrifice this character die. If you do, other character dice you control gain +2A (until end of turn).
Analytics: The A values are below the average for a 3 cost card.
Comments: This ability is useful when you are gearing up for a strike. Providing +2A to all of your character dice in a powerful boost to your attackers. Definitely consider including in any Rush team builds.

Brilliant (3)
Ally (This die counts as a Sidekick in the Field Zone.)
At the start of your turn, you may sacrifice this character die. If you do, spin target character die up one level. It gains Iron Will (until end of turn).
Analytics: The A values are below the average for a 3 cost card.
Comments: Iron Will is somewhat of a problematic ability in that your opponent can use a damage ping to remove the KO defensive shield. The spin-up effect may have more utility, depending on the attributes of the target character die. Prefer the Expert Businessman version if I intend to sacrifice a 3 cost die to implement my game strategy.


Hulkbuster Iron Man Stark Industries

Model 36 (6)
Hulkbuster Iron Man cannot be blocked by character dice with purchase cost 6 or more.
Analytics: The A & D values are above and the TFC is higher than the averages for a 6 cost card.
Comments: Too expensive for the ability. Highly unlikely there will be many 6+ PC characters around.

Rocket Powered Punches (6)
Suit Up - Iron Man (When purchased, you may KO an Iron Man character die to field this die at level 2.)
Analytics: The A & D values are above and the TFC is higher than the averages for a 6 cost card.
Comments: Here is where either a low PC Iron Man (e.g. Big Man from the AoU set, with a PC = 3), or an Iron Man that has a “when fielded” ability (e.g. Pro-Reg or Secretary of Defense from the Civil War set) can be useful. Problem is these Iron Man versions have a TFCs of 112 & 123 respectfully, making this a rather costly move to immediately get this die fielded at level 2.

Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good (7)
When fielded, you may KO target opposing character die with purchase cost 6 or more. If you do, gain 2 life.
Analytics: All attributes are normal for a 7 cost card.
Comments: This card is the counter to cards like Colossus – Piotr Rasputin, Cyclops – If Looks Could Kill, Gorilla Grodd – Force of Mind & Brains and Brawn, Hulk – Green Goliath and UltramanKryptonite-Powered – to name a few. It’s your remedy to an opponent’s ‘game winning’ die. It’s expensive, and it has a “when fielded” ability, but this die will thwart your opponent’s strategy, since many teams are built around such character dice, perhaps saving you from losing the game. And the life gain effect is an added bonus.


Iron Manor Stark Industries
General Comment: See comments under Hulkbuster – Iron Man pertaining to the Suit Up keyword.

Earth X (4)
Suit Up - Iron Man (When purchased, you may KO an Iron Man character die to field this die at level 2.)
Global: Pay 0. Once per turn, on your turn, spin down one of your [Stark Industries] character dice. You may field an [Strark Industries] character die for [1 energy] less.
Analytics: The A & D values are above and the TFC is higher than the averages for a 4 cost card.
Comments: While the Global Ability reduces the cost to field other Stark Industries character dice, it can also get a Space Armor Iron Man or War Machine onto a die face with a burst symbol. However, this card will see no play without other Stark Industries cards in its team build.

Hermetically Sealed (4)
Suit Up - Iron Man (When purchased, you may KO an Iron Man character die to field this die at level 2.)
Iron Manor gains +1A and +1D for each other, different active [Stark Industries] character.
Analytics: The A & D values are above and the TFC is higher than the averages for a 4 cost card.
Comments: This ability is the same as the keyword Teamwork for a minor A/D bonus. Nothing else is special about it.

Celestial Slayer (5)
Suit Up - Iron Man
Iron Manor gains +1A and +1D for each other, different active [Stark Industries] character.
Global: Pay 0. Once per turn, on your turn, spin down one of your [Stark Industries] character dice. You may field an [Strark Industries] character die for [1 energy] less.
Analytics: The A values are above the average for a 5 cost card.
Comments: In this card, you get the combined abilities of the other versions within this character set for an increase in PC of 1.


Iron Spider Stark Industries / Spider Friends
General Comment: The Burst ability is on the level 3 face.

Version 2.0 (3)
When fielded, target [Stark Industries] or [Spider Friends] character die you control gets +1D (until end of turn).
* Instead, when fielded, each of your [Stark Industries] and [Spider Friends] character dice get +1D.
Analytics: The A values are above, the D values are below and the TFC is higher than the averages for a 3 cost card.
Comments: An average ability when teamed-up with the applicable affiliations. Outside of that, no other use.

Waldoes (3)
Suit Up - Iron Spider or Spider-Man (When purchased, you may KO an Iron Spider or Spider-Man character die to field this die at level 2.)
Analytics: The A values are above, the D value is below and the TFC is higher than the averages for a 3 cost card.
Comments: With this ability, the possibilities are increased because it applies to two affiliations. Nice combo with the PC 2 Mary Jane from the Civil War set.

Too Cool For Words (4)
When fielded, deal 2 damage to target character die for each different active [Stark Industries] or [Spider Friends] character die you control.
Analytics: The A values are above the average for a 4 cost card.
Comments: For this ability to be optimal, you will need to have other affiliated character dice in play.

Jarvis Avengers
General Comments: All versions in the character set have the Ally keyword, which is applicable with abilities affecting Sidekicks. Also, the TFC = 0 makes this a very economical die to field.

Butler (3)
Ally (This die counts as a Sidekick in the Field Zone.)
When fielded, deal X damage to a target character die, where X is the number of character dice you fielded this turn (including Jarvis).
Global: Pay 0. Once per turn, on your turn, spin down one of your [Stark Industries] character die. You may field an [Strark Industries] character die for less.
Analytics: The A & D values are below and the TFC is lower than the averages for a 3 cost card.
Comments: This is a quirky ability that can be fun to play in certain circumstances. The Global Ability provides an economical way to field character dice if you are running a Stark Industries team, but has no utility outside of these team builds.

Loyal Confidant (3)
Ally (This die counts as a Sidekick in the Field Zone.)
When fielded, the next character die you field this turn costs [1 energy] less to field, and gets +1A and +1D this turn.
Analytics: The A & D values are below and the TFC is lower than the averages for a 3 cost card.
Comments: As the subtitle of this card implies, this die is best used when you are going to field Jarvis and another higher fielding cost die in the same turn. May be too situational to execute consistently, unless you are also using tech that can move dice to the Prep Area (e.g. Escape Incarceration BAC).

Chief of Staff (5)
Ally (This die counts as a Sidekick in the Field Zone.)
When fielded, gain X life, where X is the number of character dice you fielded this turn (including Jarvis).
Analytics: The A & D values are below and the TFC is lower than the averages for a 5 cost card.
Comments: Similar ability to the Butler version, only you can gain life. Although the PC is more, this version may be more useful in the long game.


Rescue Stark Industries
General Comments: Comparison to the Rescue cards from the Civil War set:
Energy Type: shield
No affiliation
PC, C/U/R: 3/4/4
Die values: FC = 112 (higher), A = 223 (lower), D = 356 (higher)

Mark 1616 (2)
BLANK
Analytics: The A values are above the average for a 2 cost card.
Comments: A BLANK PC 2 bolt card with a Max die count of 2. Ugh!

Resilient (3)
Suit Up - Pepper Potts or Rescue
At the end of your Roll and Reroll Step, your opponent loses 1 life for each Rescue die that rolled an energy face. (Rescue doesn't need to be active for this ability to trigger.)
Analytics: The A values are above the average for a 2 cost card.
Comments: A reliable way to deal direct damage. This is a case where you would want to have the max dice available to purchase and have in your churn. This ability is a good addition to a bolt energy team.

Catching a Jet (4)
Suit Up Pepper Potts or Rescue
At the end of your Roll and Reroll Step, draw 1 die for each Rescue die you rolled that shows an energy face. Field any [Stark industries] character dice you drew at level 1. Return all other dice drawn this way to your bag. (Rescue doesn't need to be active for this ability to trigger.)
Analytics: The D values are below and the TFC is lower than the averages for a 4 cost card.
Comments: A minor ramp ability that can only be used if you have Stark Industries affiliated characters in your team build. Too narrow of a focus to be utilized outside of such team builds. However, if you do use this version, best to have the max dice available for purchase to optimize the possibility of drawing a Rescue die each turn.


Space Armor Iron Man Stark Industries
General Comments: See comments under Hulkbuster – Iron Man pertaining to the Suit Up keyword.
The Burst ability is on the level 1 and 2 die faces.

Model 5 (4)
Suit Up - Iron Man (When purchased, you may KO an Iron Man character die to field this die at level 2.)
Analytics: The D values are above the average for a 4 cost card.
Comments: Just a vanilla Suit-Up – Iron Man version

Deep Space (5)
Suit Up - Iron Man (When purchased, you may KO an Iron Man character die to field this die at level 2.)
* Each time an opposing character die deals damage to Space Armor Iron Man, you gain 1 life.
Analytics: The A values are below and the D values are above the averages for a 5 cost card.
Comments: Combine with a taunt effect against a low A value character die to assure triggering his burst ability. With D values of 577, this die is very durable.

#14-C (6)
If Space Armor Iron Man would be KO'd by combat damage, you may pay [1 shield]. If you do, spin Space Armor Iron Man up 1 level, and clear all damage from him.
* When fielded, Space Armor Iron Man gains Overcrush.
Analytics: The A values are below and the D values are above the averages for a 6 cost card.
Comments: Because his D values are robust, it will be hard to KO Space Armor Iron Man with combat damage and if he is KO’d, you need to pay more energy to trigger his ability. The A values are mediocre to take advantage of Overcrush, unless you have tech that increases this value. Overall, this is an expensive card and I prefer the Deep Space version.


War Machine Stark Industries
General Comments: All versions in the character set have the Fast keyword, which gives War Machine a 2-4 point punch before the blocking die/dice can respond.
The Burst ability is on the level 1 die face.
Comparison to the War Machine cards from the Avengers vs X-Men set:
Energy Type: shield
No affiliation
Each card has a Global Ability (basically a life gain effect)
PC, C/U/R: all are a 5
Die values: FC = 112 (higher), A = 345 (higher), D = 456 (higher)
All versions require Iron Man to be fielded to trigger.

Model 11 (3)
Fast (This character deals damage before non-Fast characters in combat.)
Analytics: The A & D values are above averages for a 3 cost card.
Comments: A low PC Fast capable die.

“Rhodey” (4)
Fast
When War Machine KOs an opposing character die with combat damage, deal 2 damage to your opponent.
* War Machine gets +1A.
Analytics: The A values are below and the D values are above the averages for a 4 cost card.
Comments: Combine with a taunt against a character die with low D values to deal direct damage. The Burst ability helps mitigate the low A value on War Machine's level 1 face when employing this tactic.

JRXL-1000 (4)
Fast
Suit Up - Iron Man
* Sidekicks can't block War Machine.
Analytics: The A values are below and the D values are above the averages for a 4 cost card.
Comments: See comments under Hulkbuster – Iron Man pertaining to the Suit Up keyword. Since the burst ability is only on the level 1 face, this card has limited potential. Even if your opponent only has Sidekicks fielded, the best War Machine can do, absent of any effects that boost his A value or flip or swap his A & D values, is 2 damage. Prefer the "Rhodey" version.


Basic Action Cards

Armor Wars (4)
KO target character die with Suit Up. Each player loses 1 life.
Comments: Counters those character dice with the Suit-Up keyword. Provides some balance to this set, though losing 1 life and the narrow focus of this ability will limit the usage of this Basic Action card.

Cone of Cold (3)
Deal 1 damage to target character die, deal 2 damage to a different target character die, and deal 3 damage to another different target character die. You may only use this action if there are at least 3 character dice in the Field Zone.
Global: Pay . Target blocked character die gets +2A.
Comments: Updated wording on the same card as from the Battle For Faerun set. A stalwart staple Basic Action card, now available in the PDC Prime construct.

Hypervelocity (5)
Continuous: At the end of each player's turn, if they didn't attack with any character dice, they lose 2 life.
*/** Also, any player may pay 3 life during their Main Step to send this die to the Used Pile.
Comments: A rather expensive Basic Action card, but is does make ‘turtling’ more expensive. You also have to guard against its effects as well, so best to have a sacrificial Sidekick available or a character die with a “when fielded” ability that you can constantly attack with. One tactic is to use an ability the can withdraw your dice after they attack so as not to reduce your defensive posture.

One Against Many (5)
Deal target player X damage, where X is the number of character dice in their Field Zone plus 2.
Comments: This Basic Action card is somewhat the opposite of the Hypervelocity BAC, in that it rewards those players who like to ‘turtle’ or play a Control game where attacking is not their strategy. While expensive, there are ways to reduce the PC, and in a solid Control team, this card is a powerful direct damage engine that must be dealt with.

Smash! (3)
KO target level 1 character die.
** Instead, KO target level 1 or 2 character die.
Global: Pay . Target blocked character die deals no combat damage this turn.
Comments: Updated wording on the same card as from the Avengers vs X-Men set. Another ‘oldie-but-goodie’ now available in the PDC Prime construct.

Surprise Attack (2)
Deal 1 damage to target character die.
*/** Instead, deal 2 damage.
Comments: Same card as from the Age of Ultron set, now available in the PDC Prime construct.

Upgrade – Fortification (2)
Target character die you control gains Iron Will. Lose 2 life if that character die isn't a [shield] character die.
Upgrade – Proton Cannon (2)
Target character die you control gains Overcrush. KO that character die at end of turn it isn't a [fist] character die.
Upgrade – Smoke Screen (2)
Target character die you control gets +1A. If it is a level 1 [mask] character die, it can't be blocked this turn.
Upgrade – Unibeam (2)
Target character die you control gets +2A. If it is a [bolt] character die, it also gains Fast.
Comments: All of these Upgrade BACs provide an additional basic ability with some ancillary effect, all of which are useful in the right circumstances. Choose the one that best suits your team build.
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