Jocasta

Jocasta may be T'Challa's Protection equivalent, in that they allow you to tutor a card in your discard pile for later use.

They both have a THW of 2 with 2 consequential damage. Assuming that you save their last activation for a Villain block, they can both deal 2 damage or remove 2 threat (although T'Challa is a bit faster in the damage dealing. T'Challa also has 4hp, which could possibly be used to block twice against a low-ATK Villain. The biggest difference is the cost: there is a mile of difference a 4 cost and a 3 cost card. What does that extra cost mean?

There should be some discussion about the usefulness of their associated events. Jocasta is less expensive and is likely more playable, but can only find (defense) events. They are all designed to prevent damage in some way, and a few can deal a bit of damage as well. It's rare, however, that a particular (defense) Event will make or break the game. Among the available (defense) events, only 11 are non-Signature cards. There are a few outstanding Hero Signature cards that Jocasta can grab, such as Spider-Man's Backflip, Captain America's Shield Block, or Venom's Mass Increase, allowing you to completely negate an attack.

Black Panther is more expensive and harder to get on the table, but can grab any Leadership Event. Leadership has some crazy events that can make or break a whole scenario (Avengers Assemble, Blaze of Glory, Lead From the Front, Mass Attack, possibly a Sneak Attack, perhaps even a well timed Make the Call). Leadership can put a lot of Allies on the table and then use them to do something (draw cards, deal damage, etc.). Finally, Leadership has the option to build a Sneak Attack deck, putting T'Challa into play for a single cost, although you lose the flexibility of sitting on that Event past that turn.

All in all, I still rate Jocasta a solid B: She affordable, can deal 2 damage/remove 2 thwart, block an attack, and give you a (defense) event that suits your situation.

Judicator82 · 55
This review seems to have a significant misunderstanding about Jocasta. She does NOT recover a Protection event. She recovers a defense event. This is both much more restrictive (as defense events do not have a wide variety in utility 'to suit your situation') and much stronger (as she can recover signature defense events which are generally much higher value than aspect events). — Death by Chocolate · 2
Thanks for the comment! I will amend my review. — Judicator82 · 55
Sky-Destroyer

Man, I love this card. When built into the intended SHIELD deck, it provides "free" damage nearly every turn.

Some key advantages of this card:

  1. Two damage for free is nothing to sneeze at!
  2. The damage is not an (attack) action, so it does not trigger Retaliate or any other Villain related "when you attack".
  3. Is an indepedent source of damage, not restricted to the Villain, someone attacking you, a minion, etc.
  4. In a SHIELD deck, can be exhausted for other effects (Dum Dum Dugan, Homeland Intervention, Global Logistics)

The downsides are as impactful as the benefits. It's unique, so it can only be played once by a single Hero. It has pretty strict deckbuilding requirements, being only truly useful in a Justice SHIELD deck at this time (April 2022). The cost of 3 keeps this from being an auto-play; It must be played early enough to get the use out of it.

Still, if you can handle the restrictions and random show time, the Sky-Destroyer can rack up an impressive amount of damage.

I rate this card a B: Requires restrictive deckbuilding, is relatively high cost, and may end up on the bottom of your deck, but if the stars align this is a powerful card that will definitely impact the rest of the game.

I'm excited to see how this card will change in usability if more SHIELD cards are added to the game!

Judicator82 · 55
Counter-Punch

Counter-Punch is a great card for Protection Heroes, as long as you have an ATK of at least 2. You could say that this is the Protection equivalent of Skilled Strike, but there are a few advantages in the trade-off of the proactive vs reactive nature of the two cards.

The first of course is that Counter-Punch scales with your Heroes attack. Whether it's a natural ATK of 3 or boosted with Combat Training, you can end up with 5 or 6 damage in the right circumstances.

The second is that CP has a cost of zero. The Heroes that have a natural ATK of 3 tend to have a hand size of 4, so "free" cards are very valuable.

The third is how effective Counter-Punch is with Defender-style builds, i.e. Heroes that plan on defending every turn and benefitting from from a series of Upgrades (e.g. Unflappable, Electrostatic Armor, Hard To Ignore). This turns what you were planning on doing anyways into more profit.

Finally, given the changes to the Defense rules, you can be exausted, play a (defense) Event, and meet the condition of playing this card.

As of Sinister Motives release (April 2022 here in the US), Ghost Spider (Gwen Stacey) loves this card. She can defend for at least 3, play this card, deal at least 2 damage, then ready. Two damage and a ready for 0 is a steal!

I rate this card an A: Not flashy, but provides Protection decks with inexpensive damage and combo potential.

Protection is beginning to have a lot of good options, Deciding what the goal of your deck is will have a lot of weight in determing whether to include this or not.

Judicator82 · 55
Government Liaison

Another fine 2-cost resource generator. This is interesting, however, as SHIELD covers a pretty big subset of cards. Deft Focus covers Superpowers, which is almost entirely in Signature Pools. Nerves of Steel, Martial Prowess, and Sense of Justice each target a type of Event. Enhanced Awareness, Physique, and Reflexes each provide a limited amount of a specific resource type. SHIELD covers Allies and Supports. There are two new SHIELD events, but they cost 0 and aren't a consideration for including this card.

SHIELD cards are mostly in Justice at the moment (Sinister Motives, released in the US in April 2022), although there is a smattering in the other Apects.

Allies

One of the best uses for this card, SHIELD allies include:

Basic: NIck Fury, Mockingbird, Agent 13, Dum Dum Dugan, War Machine

Justice: Agent Coulson, Quake, Spider-Woman, Monica Change

Leadership: Maria Hill

Protection: Black Widow

Of course, given the release within Sinister Motives new SHIELD tribal focus, the real value is in building a Justice SHIELD deck. It can pay for Surveillance teams, Helicarriers, Field Agents, and the Sky-Destroyer. Even after all of these assets are on the table, you can Exhaust the Government Liason to power Dum Dum Dugan, Global Logistics, and Homeland Intervention.

Given this flexibility, Government Liason is a great little card, if not the flashiest.

I rate this card an A: An efficient resource generator that also combos with other SHIELD cards.

Of course, this high rating assumes that you are building a SHIELD specific deck, similar to the consideration of whether or not to include Deft Focus.

Judicator82 · 55
The real "cost" for the SHIELD events is to exhaust SHIELD cards, so in that sense Government Liaison *can* actually help pay for events. — OrionJA · 7
Good point! Look at how helpful the Government Liason is. — Judicator82 · 55
I use this in a Cap deck with a moderate SHIELD focus and it works very, very well. If I get it out early it really hastens the deck. I'm using it to help with Fury, as my group is one of those that just never uses or used Fury in the past due the high cost and the fact he doesn't stay around... however, with the Liaison and Rapid Response, I get amazing utility out of getting 3 cards, one or two thwarts, and another 3 cards in the villain phase for a total cost of 7. It's also great for the Helicarrier and Sky Destroyer. I can't see not running any Leadership or Justice deck without it (even one of the other guys in the group is using it to fuel his Justice Quicksilver deck). — KLSanchez · 1
Spider-UK

I really enjoy Spider-UK. He is similar to U.S. Agent: costs 3, has 5 life, and has a retaliate effect.

If you are willing to include other Web-Warrior, Spider-UK can becomes the deadliest retaliating Ally in the game. By simply being a Web-Warrior yourself (Miles or Gwen), he deals two damage instead. With a full suite of Web-Warriors, you could be dealing 4 damage every time Billy defends.

Regardless of the number of Web-Warriors you have, you'll likely get two full Villain blocks out Spider-UK. Additionally, as his ability is worded "When Spider-UK defends against an attack" as opposed to Relatiate, he will deal his damage even if he is defeated.

You can build around him as a minion wrecker, or simply use him to weather attacks, Either way, you will get your value out of Billy Braddock, As a Web-Warrior, he can be the target of Across the Spider-Verse He helps utilize Silk's ability. He can be readied by Spider-Man (Peter Parker). He contributes to Spider-Man (Miles Morales) 3 Web-Warrior requirement.

I rate Spider-UK a A-class card: With no specific building, he is good. In a Web-Warrior build, he is very powerful.

Judicator82 · 55
I would go so far as to say he is S-class. He has Pretaliate that reasonably starts at 2, and can get up to 5 with another two web-warrior allies in play + Web of Life and Destiny. So long as minions have less health than he has attack, he can kill them before they even deal damage from their attacks. — Death by Chocolate · 2
I agree that he is S-class if specifically built for a Web-Warrior Hero with Web-Warriors. Overall, I think he is an A because he brings strict deck building requirements to get to S-tier power level. — Judicator82 · 55