As many of you have no doubt gathered by now, May is Klaw month for the Content Creators of Marvel Champions LCG – you can find loads of other stuff by following #klawyourwaythroughmay.
Here at the Card Game Cooperative, we’ve been doing a few Klaw-related bits-and-pieces, and we wanted to give you the chance to get involved with one in particular.
Each of the 4 CGC hosts has created a hypothetical Klaw Level IV, and challenged the others to defeat it. Obviously though, we’re only 4 people, so we’d love it any of you wanted to take them for a whirl, and let us know your thoughts.
To clarify, set up Klaw level III, with the Expert Encounter cards mixed in – once you beat him, advance to one of the stage 4s below. Otherwise follow all the standard rules for setting up Klaw.
We’re going to record an episode taking a closer look at Klaw next Friday, 22nd May, 8pm (UK Time) so if you have thoughts you like included in the cast, please let us know by then. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org contact us on Facebook, message MightyJim#6786 on Discord, or Eric-the-Cleric on Reddit.
without further ado then, here are our 4 attempts at Klaw IV
Over the years of playing card games I’ve encounter (and made) far too many fan-creations that were MUCH too complex, and ended up as just a wall of text. With this in mind, I wanted to keep mine very clean and simple.
I had a few ideas for how to approach this, and toyed with ideas like discarding cards every round until you got a Minion or Side-Scheme, but the Side-Scheme one felt way too random, and Minions just seemed like another Ultron.
In the end, I decided to keep it simple: Klaw doing the things Klaw does, but more so- this really emphasises the way he burns through his deck, and how unpredictable the power of his attacks can be. If you’re well enough set-up he’s still very beatable, but you’re going to be getting plenty of acceleration tokens, and it puts you on a tight clock. On reflection, I wonder whether I should have stuck with my earlier plan of giving him 1 extra boost for Scheme and 2 extra for Attack, but this will have to do for now/
I often find Klaw puts down more acceleration tokens than other villains as he burns through so many boost cards, so I thought if he could stall a little more, then the heroes would struggle to keep the game going just by maintaining threat. This seemed like a neat way to achieve that while playing with his extra boost cards. I considered making the ability only fire when an activation had no boost icons (so all boost cards had to have no boost icons), or firing on only blank cards (no boost icons or boost abilities), but when I gave it a little testing, it needed to have quite flexible triggering criteria for it to actually have any impact. I wish Simon the best of luck as my very best decks only had a 50% success rate.
When designing my klaw 4, i wanted to add a mechanic that would be annoying, but add an additional puzzle element, rather than just making the game harder. I’m a fan of discarding to add a ‘random’ effect to the game state so i knew immediately i wanted to include this mechanic. Initially i wanted to create additional cards to shuffle into the encounter deck that would cause the ability to trigger several times across the game, but to remain as simple as possible having this trigger off side schemes felt like both a fair and thematic way – “Klaw brings out his next nefarious plan – so much is happening you’re confused about your next move.” My first design had the player identity take 2 damage upon revealing a fight resource but this felt like rather than adding in an extra puzzle element it just added an auto fail if you weren’t keeping HP high enough, where as the tough status can cause you to rethink your entire turn without being a game-ender. I hope my design helps you hate the side schemes even more!
When I started thinking about this idea, I wanted to give Klaw a sort of EMP attack that would disrupt a player’s setup as he sabotaged the heroes abilities and support, forcing them to leave them behind or take time to reboot them and get them back online. Initially, I thought about a When Revealed effect that would return each card to their owner’s hand but this would just create one very difficult turn, then allow the player to play all the cards again eventually and, in essence, just start from scratch which after having to start against Klaw III, seemed a bit harsh.
As there were other cards in the encounter deck that would have side effects if damage was dealt, I figured I’d stick with the theme. This would force a player to either successfully defend an unpredictable attack each turn, or force them to play aggressively as their setup started to slowly diminish.
In order to make sure this effect could get through a protection deck, I wanted to give Klaw a little attack boost without overpowering him so another non-protection deck would have a chance against it. This is why I added the draw for Sonic Converter so there would likely be one very strong turn but then return to ‘normal’ if the player paid for it.
As I was unsure about the power levels, I tested this against a Black Widow Justice deck that spent most of its time ignoring boost icons with Attackrobatics and, if needed, could simply return one of many cheap preparation cards to hand. Despite being able to ‘cheese’ my way through it, on the penultimate Villain phase, I took a hit for 7 damage, leaving me on 1HP (I’m glad I didn’t increase his base attack). Through a mix of allies and attack cards in hand, I returned the favour to leave Klaw on 1HP. The final attack was soaked by an ally and thanks to Grappling Hook, the encounter card was cancelled and the final damage dealt through her Widowmaker ability.
So it’s a winnable villain… just!
These cards were kindly made for us by the talented Anders Nordberg, aka Nugget, who I got in touch with via the Marvel Champions LCG Homebrew Discord. You can find his custom sets for Old Man Logan, The Lizard and Pokemon Trainers on Google Drive or Steam. Also keep an eye out for his upcoming Spider-Verse project!
The Card Game Cooperative will be back very soon. This Tuesday, 19th May in fact, we’ll be releasing a very special episode in which we’ll be unveiling a card from the upcoming Hulk hero pack that Fantasy Flight have kindly given us.