Greetings SHIELD Agents! This is the third article in a series of new-player articles, aimed to get beginner players get up to speed on the game - Marvel Champions! This session is all about moving on from the introductory villain. You've stopped Rhino's evil plans more times than you can count. It's time to move on to the Klaw! We lined this article up with the community crossover event #KlawYourWayThroughMay so make sure you check out all the great content creators and their takes on the Immortal Klaw, you can find a summarized list of content from the crossover here.
SHIELD AGENT Training Session 004 - The Klaw!
If Rhino was a powerhouse then Klaw is a tactical genius - who sometimes blunders. The second scenario in the Marvel Champions Core-set is all about the Klaw! In this article we'll talk about a few of his signature cards and provide a few tips that each hero can use to counter the Klaw's sonic powers! The Klaw may sound like a joke from Toy Story but this guy can hit really hard when he wants to!
Klaw has several key differences from Rhino and we'll go over those first. In the Break In scenario Rhino only had one Main Scheme. Klaw now has 2, a 1A/B and 2A/B. You'll begin with 1A in play which will flip to 1B and if (when) Klaw completes it you'll move on to 2A. You would think this leaves you with a lot of breathing room and less losses to threat. But let's look at Klaw's villain phase 1 card and see about that.
Klaw I villain stat-line provides a terrifying 2 scheme. That means he can scheme you out of the scheme very quickly if you spend too long in alter-ego form. In fact Klaw's scheme value can get as high as any villain in the core set. You would think this means Klaw is a schemer. In the comics he's more of a brute force jerk, he has big visions that never come to fruition. Here, Klaw's attack value seems rather low, but his ability makes up for that. Each time Klaw attacks he will receive 2 boost cards. This ability serves two purposed for Klaw.
- Klaw's attacks become a lot less predictable - just as they are in the comics!
- Klaw advances through his encounter deck very fast especially in multiplayer.
So, knowing exactly what Klaw is going to do during the villain phase is a lot more tricky than Rhino. While Rhino boasts big attack numbers at most he is boosted by 3 icons. Klaw could have an amazingly powerful 6 strength attack turn 1 - or he could boost with two 0 boost icon cards and attack for nothing! You'll have to use some sound logic as to when you can forgo defending and when it's required. Glancing through Klaw's encounter cards he has only six - 2 to 3 boost icon cards. The rest are 1 or 0, so depending on the modular set these numbers will increase but knowing whats in his discard can be used to inform your decision.
Additionally Klaw will be burning through his encounter deck a lot faster than other villains. Even with a slightly larger deck than rhino, players in a 4 player game can burn through 12 cards without any sugres or double attacks!
Show Me Your Moves
Klaw has a few tricks up his sleeve. We'll go over them briefly here. Klaw will always begin with at least one side scheme in play. Defense Network. This scheme has a Crisis icon which will prevent you from initially removing thread he may place on the main scheme. This side scheme CAN NOT be ignored for long or he will quickly jump to his second scheme. In addition, Klaw's scheme will discard cards from the encounter deck searching for a minion. This means right off the bat you'll have thwarting and attacking to complete - and Klaw starts milling his deck from the get go!
On expert mode or when you progress to Klaw II he will fish another side scheme out of the deck. This one gives him a static hit points buff and an acceleration icon. So, in expert mode you'll be beginning the game with 2 side schemes and a minion in play! Ouch! Klaw has lots of small minions in his deck so be prepared with some small damage cards to take them out. In addition a few of them have guard and tough. This means they will act as meat shields for Klaw and will need to be hit with some source of damage before you can eliminate them! Klaw has a few treachery cards of note. Between the Standard Set and Klaw's cards there are 5 treachery cards that can cause Klaw to attack a second time. Like Rhino, Klaw has a healing treachery. In Alter-Ego mode this card will heal him for 4, but in Hero mode it's a lot more dangerous he can deal 2 damage to you and heal 2. Don't linger at low health after an attack or you may find yourself KO'd.
So How Do I Win?
It's not all doom and gloom with Klaw. Every hero has a few cards at their disposal to help out when defeating this foe. One of Klaw's main weaknesses is stun and confusion, if you can avoid activation after activation, it goes a long way to avoiding his encounter deck burn. The pressure Klaw exerts it strongest when he has schemes and minions in play, so bringing something to take care of one of these obstacles in your hero kit allows your aspect selection to take care of the rest. Let's go hero by hero
- Black Panther
- Black Panther has a nice stat-line of 2/2/2 so he can provide the stat you need when you need it. Consider taking Tactical Genius or Energy Daggers with your setup ability.
- Captain Marvel
- Crisis Interdiction and Cosmic Flight! This card will just help you wipe those side-schemes off the board putting Klaw off his game and setting you ahead.
- Iron Man
- Iron-mans helmet can come in helpful early. Consider anything you can to keep the threat down while in Alter-Ego form to get set up.
- Backflip is clutch and can be used after you see the boost cards flip. Black Cat is another key card from your kit for removing tough.
- One-two punch will really help you remove guard minions.
- Captain America
- Fearless determination really put Cap ahead against Klaw. In expert mode you can Do This All Day and remove both schemes round 1!
- Ms. Marvel
- Wiggle Room is great. In solo consider bringing a few copies of emergency. You need to flip a lot to optimize Ms. Marvel.
- Do what Thor does, keep the board clear of minions. Bring some means of threat removal (allies or aspect cards). You will need it!
A few other key cards that can keep you ahead of Klaw:
- Chase Them Down (Aggression) - Lots of minions, lots of value.
- Tackle (Protection) - Stunning Klaw is an amazing game swing.
- Concussive Blow (Justice) - Same with confusion!
- Morale Boost (Leadership) - This allows you to clear a scheme and boosts your defense for a bit attack or to avoid stun when Klaw is equipped
I hope you enjoyed this overview of Klaw and it helps boost your game from the days or taking down Rhino to thwarting your next foe. Be sure to check out other content creators like the Side Scheme who recently posted a great villain strategy guide for Klaw.
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We have a whole slew of topics we want to cover in future training you can check out the entire series to date below - as always - thanks for reading!