“It’s exactly what you think, mutant. You step into the arena, knowing the full measure of what you’re fighting for… You face your enemy, who wants nothing less than your total annihilation… you look them in the eye, steady yourself… And then… And then… You raise. Your. SWORD.”
-Opal Luna Saturnyne
Marvel HeroClix: X of Swords Storyline Organized Play is an all-new in-store play experience! This release brings exciting possibilities to casual and competitive settings. In case you missed it, check out the article about how Tarot Cards work here. This will give you the basic knowledge that you need to understand the mechanic properly, as well as giving you interesting ideas about how to use them outside of tournament play!
This article focuses on the tournament play implications for HeroClix’s first ever Tarot Cards. First and most importantly, these cards are legal for constructed HeroClix play (Modern Age, Silver Age, and more). How should a HeroClix player approach adding Tarot Cards to their strategy toolbox? Is it better to add Tarot Cards to a team you already enjoy, or build something entirely fresh based on new opportunities?
Competitive players LOVE certainty. They use Perplex, Probability Control, die replacement, and other tools to shrink the variance of their HeroClix match. The word “random” may scare some players, but that’s ok! You’ll get to choose precisely which of the 78 Tarot Cards go on your HeroClix team. You can ensure each card that is drawn on your turn has an impact on the plan you’ve made for your team, or the plan you’ve made to stop your opponent’s team. With practice, you’ll learn to position your team to capitalize on any possible draw from the Tarot Deck just like you would to react to your opponent’s rolls.
As a reminder from the previous article:
- Players construct a deck of 5-12 cards to be used alongside their force.
- Each card is Unique.
- A deck must include a card from of each of the four suits (Pentacles, Swords, Cups, Wands), as well as a card from the Major Arcana.
- A deck can’t include more than two cards from the same suit, and no more than four cards from the Major Arcana.
Each of the suits are tied to a specific combat type and has 14 cards associated with it. This covers each standard power as well as two additional cards that are more widely associated with the combat type.
When you begin building the Tarot Deck for your team, you’ll want to look at your team’s play style. Are you going to be aggressive? Passive? Reactive? Maybe a mix? Once you’ve decided, you can then move into card selection. Check out what powers you have an abundance of on your team for each slot on the dial. You may find that you are very diverse in a particular power slot (i.e. all of your figures have different Defense powers). That’s okay! Then you will want to prioritize the power on your most important piece, most expensive dial, or use the Queen or King of that suit to get the more generic effect.
Example Team and Tarot Deck
We figured that giving a full example of how a Modern Age Team might utilize the Tarot Cards would be a great way to let everyone experience the mechanic at a base level. Here is a basic X-Men theme team to get us started!
XMRF 061B Mimic 60
XMRF 024 Dr. Moira MacTaggart 20
AFFE 069 Venom Magneto 35
HX 068 • ••ịẬị•• • (Krakoan Apocalypse) 70
HX 051 Maggott 40
HX 051 Maggott 40
HX 044 Magneto 25
XMRF 007 Multiple Man 10
Alright! Now that we have got the build out of the way, let’s start looking at each power slot and see what cards will benefit us the most (as well as preview a few cards for everyone)! We will be building the full 12 card deck.
Pentacles (Speed Powers):
This is where we start to count what powers are utilized most often and begin selection based on that! Mimic is on the team, so we can assume that he will always have any power that the rest of the team has access to. Admittedly, he complicates things but also makes for an awesome practical example.
This team has great optionality among Sidestep, Running Shot, Charge, and Stealth in the Speed slot, so the Tarot Cards corresponding to those cards are the most interesting to us. The 9 of Pentacles immediately jumps out as something that we would want to have.
By using the Page of Pentacles, characters with Stealth get some INCREDIBLE mobility! It’s an awesome intersection of defense and repositioning.