Hello, my name is Dr. D, or Dylan if you hear my name announced at an event, and I have a problem. I like tiny little model mans maybe a little too much.
It is early into 2023, the new model box with Agent Venom and Spider-Women has just released, and I am dead inside. I started the year with a trip to LVO and my Defenders roster to see if I could contend with the people not in the invitational, and I was met with a solid punch to the face. I am on the rain-slicked precipice to a slightly lower score on Longshanks.
I scream into the sky until I am hoarse asking WHY………no one answers. Gorr the God-Butcher might be right. It is time to take things into my own hands. I pick up a strange black sword I find on the ground and charge at the next closest person who is even slightly larger than me to help with the pain…….
I see a glimmer through the dust, tears, and red foggy thing called the future. Something shines, literally, like a diamond in the distance. The amazingly well-maintained outfit and immaculate mind called Emma Frost sits confidently upon a new affiliation I would like to make mine. So you see, that’s where all the trouble began, that general contempt for my existence. After I saw her, I knew that the forge’s fire must be relit, and the call of war begins anew. Where one LVO ends, another one begins.
Fancy Tolkien-esque writing aside, I was feeling a slump in the game and I was trying to get back into stride of not being completely terrible at this game. I love the feeling of hanging out at all the events and this community of people I love so much. My attempts at using Defenders was a failure and I knew I needed to pivot to something a little more competent. The spark started with the approaching release of Emma since I was excited that a character I love from the comics was coming. It only helped that I thought she was very good. She is going to cause a meta shift, and it’s going to be fun to see how much of it changes by just adding this one character. I think she will fit very nicely into all of the lists I love to make.
As of writing this article it has been brought to my attention that you can dress your cards up like TINY WIZARDS! I will say that adding these card sleeves and tokens for my other affiliations really does add some zazz to your presentation so pick them up if you are on the fence about it.
Anyway, the purpose of this new series is to analyze what I am doing with my MCP life, and see if I can overcome the thing called the consequences of my own actions. I will consider it a bonus if I make a few of you laugh along the way too.
I decided I would return to my old love, Convocation. Like a well-worn slap bracelet, I slapped it onto my arm and got made fun of by the very next person I met on the streets since no one wears those anymore, you idiot. The Muthaloving Wizards would return with Dr. D at the helm. My brain was now abuzz with changing my old roster to bring it up to speed, and I decided this needed to be chronicled so that I could be stream snipped at conventions!
When it comes to roster construction, it’s always a good idea to go in with a general plan in mind. Convocation do certain things very well, and getting into a fist fight in the middle of the board is generally not one of them. When you think of a bunch of nerds in DnD outfits, seeing them fist fighting with people whose diet is purely methamphetamine in a Denny’s parking lot is a good indication that something is going very wrong. So, for this first installment of the series lets look at the CORE of what makes the roster tick.
So, when making a roster it’s good to think about who the solid foundation of the team is going to be. Generally speaking, this is who you are going to pick no matter what threat or what crisis. You want these characters to USUALLY be affiliated so that whatever other characters you bring won’t take you out of affiliation. This is usually going to be dictated by what your roster wants to do throughout the game, hence why it is the CORE of the roster and team.
My current core is Mr. Dr. The Strange Supreme Master of Sorcery, Magik, Lizard, and either Wongers or Baron Mordo. To make sure I am a hypocrite, Mr. Dr. Lizard is in fact not a convocation member, but he sure is very useful for the kinds of crisis that we want to run. More on that later, but the current core threat with the little alteration comes out to either 13 or 14. Mordo is a more recent inclusion into this list, but he seems like a fairly decent back point holder if a E, B, or D deployment crisis comes up. This is also something that Wongers can do very well since he is so cheap and only fulfills support roles. The Mordo switch is something that gives me a little leeway depending on threat so I think having that little bit of utility is helpful. Full discloser, I do not remember his name, but the New Jersey community had a fellow Defenders player who pitched this idea to me and I think it is very cleaver and deserves a shot.
Ok, so lets talk about a couple of these characters.
Ok, with the way the leadership in Convocation works, 8/10 times you are going to want to make it Strange. We are going to talk about Convocation in general in the next blog post, but keep that in the back of your mind. Dr. Strange SS is a pretty amazing 5 threat when you boil him down. The only thing that could make his card better is if you printed the card on something with subtle off-white coloring, a tasteful thickness, and a watermark………. Dr. Strange comes in at 5 threat, solid health, very solid defenses when you take the Iron-Bound Book tactics card into account, and some real banging abilities. He has a builder with a pierce trigger, a long range, cheap spender that can apply a very annoying condition that is disabling for some characters, and a AoE with condition removal! SS Strange’s AoE comes with a heal and condition removal triggers that can come in very clutch on maps where everyone is being forced together like E and C deployments.
Taking all of this into consideration, you haven’t even seen the best part of his card. Scalpel of Strange, which is a sword if you didn’t know, is in my opinion one of the best powers in the entire game.
Scalpel of Strange is a 4-cost placement that allows you to get around alot of defense tech that models are springing up with these days. Being able to dictate where enemy models are is going to be the key to winning every single game you play with Convocation. What makes it even better is you can use this ability as many times as you have power as long as it is different characters. So jump in, give them the blasting, and then send them packing. If your opponent is able to double attack you with no difficulty, your wizaads are gonna fall down really fast even on the book turn. Dr. Strange is going to generate 3 power for existing which makes getting this power off much easier than you might originally think. Dr. Strange’s attacks and defense are also much more reliable thanks to the full reroll from Eye of Agamotto which got even better now that Malekith can’t ignore things like this and his prevalence in the meta currently. To wrap it all up with a little bow, if you are going against another team that is heavy with mystic or energy attacks, you might as well thank them for the power they are going to be throwing at you with his reverse pierce armor that essentially turns your wilds into 2 successes and gives you a power in the process.
In my opinion, this Dr. Strange is the most fun you can have at a table of nerds with your pants on!
Now Magik is a really fun 3 threat. Coming in at 5 health on both sides, pretty solid defenses, again considering the Iron-Bound Book tactics card, and some solid placement abilities. Ms. Rasputin comes charging in with some surprisingly nasty attacks with the Soulsword and Darkchylde and has the ability to swing without wasting actions moving. What helps Magik truly stand out is Limbo Step and her tactics card Journey Through Limbo.
Limbo Step helps keep Magik in position and lets her double swing with her Soulsword. Journey Through Limbo is, quiet frankly, an amazing tactics card that not only allows you to dictate enemy positioning, see the repeating theme here, but it also lights them on fire for some sweet, sweet slaying for later. If Magik has the power, you can teleport in, send them through the hellscape of Limbo off of the object they were protecting, and then slice them in half for their insolence of daring to exist with two attacks. To wrap it up, you also get the same thing as Dr. Strange when it comes to his fancy magic armor since you get a reverse piece on mystic attacks. This can make for some truly frustrated opponents when you roll 2 wilds and turn his 4 successes into 2 energy for your Darkchylde attack next activation.
Baron Mordo is a very interesting and divisive 3 threat. I admit that he is the Black Sheep of my current roster and I am very excited to try some games with him to see if he is worthy of the spot. So he comes in at 6 and 5 health respectively, decent defense considering Iron-Bound Books which even hold up as long as no one is punching him in his smug face. Karl comes with a decently ranged builder that has a size 2 push trigger that can help with objective play on any point he finds himself on, a much longer range gainer that has a chance to hex someone, and a spender that I don’t suspect I will use very often unless I REALLY need someone to be incinerated. I don’t suspect that spender will be used all that often given the decent superpowers that are coming up, but it is always good to have incinerate options.
Master of the Occult is interesting for a few different reasons. He isn’t punished for standing back on points and not getting directly involved in fighting since he can just make power. This is important since he can pay for the Convocation tactics cards without forcing Dr. Strange to spend precious Scalpel of Strange power. Soul Barb is alot of fancy text about passing conditions that I don’t suspect will come up all that often, but could be a real game winning move if the situation presents itself. Always good to keep these kinds of things in the back of your brain pan. Ferocity of Cyttorak is something that can always be considered if available, and you find yourself in previous need of violence. This is something you would use when you want to take down the Hulks, Malekiths, and Big Evil Gas Giant Gods of the games. The cost of this power is potentially heavy, but it could help you get the dice you need to put the large scary threats down. I feel that the biggest weakness of this power is the range 3 nature of giving it to someone. It could potentially leave Mordo in a dangerous position depending on map deployment, and it costs you a precious health on your already thin characters. Jury is out if I will be using this power very often, but experience is the best way to see if it is worth it.
To wrap it up we have the Vaulting Boots of Valtorr. I actually think this was something that was made from the Cinematic Universe and they ported it over. This power allows Mordo to push himself back or even further away if someone comes along and pushes him like a big bully. This could potentially make him immune to annoying pushes from Webb Warriors and models like Shuri who are going to push him off of a objective and steal a point. Will this come up all the time? Who knows. That is why I am going to try him and out and see what shakes out.
So, this is the core of what I want to do with my Convocation list. I didn’t really feel the need to go over Lizard since he is just a big solid object that explains himself since he is one of the most solid 3 threats in the game currently. Lizard walks to an enemy point and forces the other person to deal with him since pushing a 3 isn’t always easy, and the push on his Tail Whip builder is oddly enough a game winning move if you manage to get the push off consistently.
The next tournament I will be attending is the one at Professional Casual’s very own Bearded Dragon Games in Oneonta, NY. This will be the crucible to test my new list since some players of note will be attending. This will be an excellent event to test the list in a much more relaxed environment since LVO is not right around the corner. If I can win and synch the LVO spot immediately that would be a very good start to the Road to Not-Looking-Stupid at LVO. This list is going to force me to paint a few more models since I have not had a chance to paint up Red Skull, Mordo, or put the finishing touches on my Juggernaut. This means that my list might slightly change right before the event if I am unable to find time to paint these models. I will do my damndest to at least get the colors splashed on them before I fully finish painting them Without Fear.
I hope you enjoyed this article and and I am excited to bring more in the near future. My goal is to not only provide some good information on how to play one of my favorite affiliations, but to also explain my thinking behind why I make the decisions I make. This should help out newer players figure out what might make their lists more interesting and to help them plan on Not-Looking-Stupid at an event near them. I hope to get an email saying something like, “Thanks Dad for helping me not look like a big doofus in front of the girl I really like at the MCP tournament.”
If you feel the need to email me, you can do it at Furypainting@gmail.com since that is also where I take my emails for The Painting Gallery with No Name. Yes, I am ALSO that Dr. D who is continuously called “That Painting Guy” at the events I go to. I was informed that I need to get that on a shirt since that is all I am, currently, known for.
Let me say thanks for reading this all the way to the bottom and I hope I managed to put a little bit more fold inside your brain before you realize how bad at this game I am. SEE YOU IN THE NEXT ONE FELLAS……..and potentially ladies I suppose.