Stealth Strike Ep. 2 – Shadows Deja Vu

Get in and Get out – complete the mission. I wish that’s how my games went. The minipodcast Stealth Strike continues with a second mission in our debut series. In this mini-series your host KennedyHawk will play and narrate games using a single deck. Our patrons have set up a tough line up of four villains for me. I’ll begin on Standard and each time I win I will increase the difficulty level so if I go 3-0 I’ll end up in a finale at heroic level 2! This is a new experimental type of episode where you get to experience some game-play along with me and hopefully feel like you are right there at the table. These will hopefully get better as they continue but be sure to let me know what things you enjoy and want things you don’t.

This second episode pits our Natasha a.k.a. the Black Widow deck against Expert Klaw with the Power Drain module, Another annoying minion makes a guest appearance but is it enough to stop the widow? Two more missions to go in our gauntlet after this and we’ll see what our record is with this SHIELD themed deck.

Decklist: https://marvelcdb.com/decklist/view/2228/stealth-strike-episodes-1-4-1.0

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Ep 14 – The Immortal Klaw (Villain Primer)

Welcome to Marvel Champions Monthly: a Fan Podcast about the card game Marvel Champions designed by Fantasy Flight games. In this issue we cover the core-set villain Klaw discussing some memorable games we’ve had, some lore, and some strategy to use against this unpredictable villain! Special Guest host Steve from the Critical Encounters Podcast joins us to cover the Aggression aspect for Lester. Thanks Steve!

Lore Comic List:

  • Fantastic Four (vol 1) #53 & #56
  • Avengers (vol 1) #54 & #55
  • Fantastic Four (vol 1) #326 & #327
  • Superior Carnage #1-5
  • Black Panther #166-171 (2016)

Show Notes:

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 2:30 Klaw Overview
  • 6:30 Memorable Klaw Games
  • 8:00 Special Guest Host Joins From Critical Encounters Podcast
  • 13:30 Klaw Lore
  • 21:00 T’Challa’s Tactical Talk – Strategies Against Klaw
  • 31:00 In a Secret Lair Somewhere – Modular sets suited for Klaw

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Custom Content Highlight: Return of theā€¦ Klaw!

Hey everyone, continuing our coverage of #KlawYourWayThroughMay. I’m going to write up my first custom content highlight. I’ll be doing more of these in the future by other creators but I wanted to present one of the ways I’ve used to spice up Klaw at my kitchen table. I know custom content is not everyone’s jam, so if it’s not your thing check back next week for more Klaw coverage only using official FFG content!

Welcome to the Return of the Klaw a new custom modular set I’ve designed for Marvel Champions. I’ve played both Lord of the Rings LCG and Arkham Horror LCG and both have content that allows you to return to old scenarios with increased difficulty. It can be quite a nightmare but I enjoy it. Marvel currently doesn’t have this beyond just trying new modular sets with old villains. So I wanted to create a modular set for each villain that encourages me to Return to them time and time again. You may want to call this a retcon pack but it basically upgrades an old villain while keeping to their designed encounter themes. You’ll be able to download and print and play this custom encounter set here.

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Each “Return of” kit contains an overview card. You can include this as an additional modular set (a 2nd set) in standard or expert modes. Or even use it as the modular set for an extra thin villain deck! Most of the cards have some way of discarding additional cards from the encounter deck so it doesn’t thicken the deck too much! Without further introduction let’s get to the first 2 cards. I wanted to champion one of the powers Klaw often uses in the comics that is not featured in the FFG villain encounter. Even from his first appearance Klaw has been using sound transformers to create creatures out of living sounds. Nothing is better than a giant gorilla or elephant stampeding our heroes. In the “Return of” set you’ll find two copies of Sound Creature. This minion has a special response when it engages a player. So passing it around the table with any taunting tricks will trigger it’s ability a second time. Each time this ability is triggered a card is discarded from the encounter deck which provides a status change to either the player or Klaw! The more boost icons the discarded card had the worse the outcome becomes!

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You’ll also see a common boost ability among many of these cards. This is the same ability on some cards in the Green Goblin pack. It provides Klaw an additional boost card! This means Klaw may attack with 3 boost cards or scheme with 2! Look out for these special boost abilities! Next you will find two copies of High Frequency Pulse. This card doesn’t have any immediate effect on your board state (thus the surge) but it also deals Klaw an additional boost card. Klaw often suffers from a bit of RNG (random number generation) if both boost cards are 0-1 boost icons his attacks are pushovers, if they are both 3 boost icons he swings hard. This card helps Klaw reduce the randomness of his activation and helps him mill the encounter deck another theme of Klaw’s scenario!

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Next we have a 3 boost icon treachery card, Accelerated Approach! This card has some amazing art from the Cover of Black Panther #166 that is also on the #KlawYourWayThroughMay banner. This card will force the resolver to discard a card from their deck then choose one of two options. Discarding potentially several cards from hand (the typically preferred option) or giving Klaw at least 1 acceleration token! I love when players have interesting choices and this is certainly one. A lot of heroes focus on one energy type and this may force you to diversify your deck-building!

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The final card of this custom modular set is Piercing Noise. A side scheme where Klaw is sending dangerous shock-waves. Forcing the heroes away from his main plot. This card plays into Klaw’s theme of both RNG and encounter deck mill. It comes into play with only 1 threat, but then discards two cards per player from the encounter deck adding 1 threat for each boost icon on the cards! This could be a huge or very small number. Note, if the encounter deck empties from this action you will stop and not continue discarding so depending on where in the encounter deck this shows up it could have a range of effects!

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I hope you all enjoy this custom encounter set which can be downloaded at this link! If you want another simple challenge with Klaw you can use the custom environment we’ve also been testing below. It begins the game in play and is sure to spice up Klaw but with a smaller impact on the overall game. Make sure to follow the MCM blog to see more custom content highlights in the future.

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SHIELD Agent Training – Moving On To Klaw! (Moving on from Rhino)

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!

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Klaw Overview

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.

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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.

  1. Klaw’s attacks become a lot less predictable – just as they are in the comics!
  2. 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!

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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.

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 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.
  • Spider-Man
    • 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.
  • She-Hulk
    • 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.
  • Thor
    • 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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Training Sessions

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!

Lore Reading Club: Klaw, the Murderous Master of Sound (May 2020)

Hi Readers! In addition to the small snippets of Lore reading we discuss on the podcast I wanted to write up some of the research I do into Marvel comics so you can feel free to read along or get updates by following this post. I plan to update this blog-post throughout the month of May as I read more and more stories involving the Klaw. #KlawYourWayThroughMay with me and join in on the comic fun. Every issue I read and talk about is available on Marvel Unlimited!

Klaw History (5/5/2020)

Issues covered:

  • Fantastic Four (vol 1) #53 & #56
  • Avengers (vol 1) #54 & #55

In this first segment I’ll be reading a few comics from Klaw’s original appearances in the comics. Starting with Fantastic Four (vol. 1) #53 & #56. Note, readers may want to read Fantastic Four #52 as well for the first appearance of Black Panther! Fantastic Four #53 finds Marvel’s first family in Wakanda as guests of King T’Challa the Black Panther. He retells a story from his childhood when the Ulysses Klaw attacked Wakanda for their Vibranium. Young T’Challa saw his father murdered at the hands of Klaw who brings along sonic blaster guns in his pursuit of Vibranium. One cool tidbit, Klaw uses his sound transducers to create simulations of creatures made of pure sound! The Human Torches flames do nothing to stop these sound creatures a power or feature we don’t see in Marvel Champions! As typical in these classic comics, the good guys foil Ulysses by the end of the issue. Wakanda is saved and the Fantastic Four return to the Baxter building!

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Klaw however has more nefarious plans. After his defeat he enters his  sound transformer to become a true embodiment of sound! This is how he gets his classic red-tones look and becomes more than just a crazed mad-scientist, and more of a mercenary to challenge heroes across the globe! In Fantastic Four #56 the Klaw returns to seek revenge on the Baxter Building. He has his classic get-up and uses some brute force soundwave attacks to beat down on the family. In the end, he is foiled with the use of some Vibranium on loan from the Black Panther. It’s fitting that in Marvel Champions Klaw’s worst cards (his upgrades) are removable easily with the use of Vibranium from Black Panther’s hero kit (good theme win FFG)! I love these classic issues, they show fictional technology like tiny world wide communication devices (aka cell phones) as if they could never exist. Now we literally read these comics on a cell phone! The times have changed… and so has Klaw!

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Next, I wanted to touch on a few issues that relate to the Marvel Champions core set cards. In issues Avengers (vol. 1) #54-55 Klaw works with a mysterious overlord, the Crimson Cowl. Hey! That’s a card from Ultron’s set… anyways he’s a member of the 2nd iteration of the Masters of Evil, fitting as that is his recommended modular set. He works alongside Melter, Whirlwind, Radioactive Man and more to assault the Avenger’s Mansion. Avengers #54 follows the butler Jarvis who betrays his employers for some quick cash. Unfortunately, this information falls into the lab of the new Masters of Evil, lead by the Crimson Cowl. The Cowl’s “true” identity is revealed at the end of the issue and it’s too big to spoil (Marvel Champions fans it won’t be who you expect!) In Avengers #55 you’ll find out who is really pulling the strings! Well, the Avenger’s take card of the new Masters of Evil, like it’s a standard mode game, but I’m sure they’ll be back to attack the mansion again! But, the Masters of Evil isn’t the only super-villain team Klaw has been on! Just like in Marvel Champions, Klaw likes to be in charge but constantly works with other villains. What a team-player!

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The Frightful Four (5/13/2020)

Issues covered:

  • Fantastic Four (vol 1) #326 & #327
  • Superior Carnage #1-5

While the original Frightful Four debuted before Klaw he joined multiple iterations of the team. Always recruited by another super-villain, the Wizard. In Fantastic Four #326 the Wizard assembles another iteration of the Frightful Four including: himself, Klaw, Hydro-Man, and Titania. Sadly only Titantia made it into Marvel Champions and as a Nemesis for She-Hulk. But Klaw’s role in the Frightful Four is still very interesting. During this arc they assault the four freedoms plaza. Somehow Klaw always gets roped in when attacking a heroes home base. Not a great plan. Like typical super-villain teams there’s a lot of infighting. Klaw uses his sound creature powers again to attack the Thing who remarkably turns into a human after an explosion! The arc lasts only two issues which is short for a 80’s affair but it’s a good read with some major shake-ups for our heroes. We even see a truly villanois side of Klaw when he threatens Reed and Sue’s children. Of course – he is taken out by the end of the issue like we are playing Bomb Scare Standard mode but this arc encapsulates Klaw’s first inclusion in the Frightful Four.

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Next, I read a more modern version of the Frightful Four from the pages of Superior Carnage (2012-2013). This is a five issue miniseries around the time of Superior Spider-Man so you’ll catch some awesome Doc Ock hero action and characters like Agent Venom. This arc actually features the art from Klaw’s villain card at the end of issue #1. The Wizard, always plotting, plans to assemble yet another rendition of the Frightful Four. The issue covers his recruitment of Carnage the deadly symbiote. Carnage almost kills the Wizard who is saved on the final pages by none other than the immortal Klaw!

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Issue #2 covers some of the history between the Klaw and the Wizard. This is where we get some insight into the Immortal Klaw! The Wizard has resurrected, rebuilt, and clone Klaw multiple times. This rendition is basically controlled by the Wizard! Pretty villainous and makes me wonder what a Wizard scenario with a Klaw minion would be like! I don’t want to give too much away but knowing that the Wizard and Klaw are trying to control Carnage… well let’s just say it’s a good thing the Klaw is immortal. Next week we’ll round out the Klaw lore reading with some modern stories involve the Klaw and his greatest foe. The Black Panther!

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Modern (5/21/2020)

Issues covered:

  • Black Panther (2016) #166-#171

After the events of Superior Carnage the forever resurrecting Klaw returns again. This week I wanted to discuss Black Panther (2016) issues #166-#171. The previous issue was #18 but Marvel swapped the title back to some sort of legacy numbering and with it they brought back on of T’Challa’s greated foes, Klaw!. The cover of the issue has an depicts and awesome battle between Klaw and the Panther. This first issue recalls a story of Klaw’s past as he remembers his sister and overviews his powers. His power has been growing and he fancies himself a god! He displays some cool abilities like traveling by sound wave!

The entire opening issue is a Klaw monologue about his sister and at the end we find out he is trying to bring her back as a solid-sound body just like himself! If you read these issues you’ll find a ton of the Klaw art from the game. We’ll be covering this art in a Panel Art issue soon so stay tuned! Issue #167 is more Black Panther focused and he discusses the loss of the Wakanda gods and suspect Klaw is meddling in Wakanda’s affairs yet again. There’s a pretty interesting discussion about Klaw’s constructs and how they have evolved to become more powerful. Klaw next appears in issue #169 when Klaw finally reunites with his sister only to have the laboratory destroyed as she is brought back – and she vanishes never to be seen (or heard) again.

The story arc concludes in issue #171 an epic showdown between the Black Panther and Klaw but has a ton of guest appearances along the way including:

  • Storm (of the X-men)
  • Shuri
  • Thunderball (of the Wrecking crew)
  • Eden (of the secret warriors)

And those are just the good guys! In the end Klaw is defeated – he finally gets his greatest desire – Vibranium – but it was an unstable lab created counterfiiot. The stability dissolves Klaw into solid pieces of sound – a brutal but fitting end for Klaw — for now?

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