When deploying characters in MCP, it’s important to understand the “character matchups” – knowing what your opponent’s characters are afraid of, and making sure to put your pieces across from those. With a good understanding of these defensive weaknesses and some careful deployment ordering, you can set up a situation where your attacks are going into their most effective targets, and theirs are going into the least effective ones.
One of the worst weaknesses you can have is a low physical defense. You see this most commonly with the Convocation affiliation. Most characters have a physical attack, but to really exploit this weakness, make sure to bring plenty of terrain throws (which are also against physical defense), and try to KO multiple characters in a single turn so they don’t get iron-bound books back multiple times.
An often overrated weakness is having a low energy defense – most commonly seen with symbiotes (Venom and Carnage). The larger weakness for these characters are long range attacks, since if you just walk up and punch them they are very adept at just healing back to full with all the power you gave them. Don’t forget that defense dice are less valuable than attack dice, so don’t use a 4 strength energy attack over a 5 strength physical attack just to exploit an energy defense 1 lower than their physical.
Mystic weaknesses are common with avengers and web warriors, so if you see a team with multiple spider senses, martial artists, and Vibranium shields, make sure to bring mystic attacks. Many of the characters with mystic weaknesses are extremely quick, so having a character with range 3 mystic attacks or a secure that forces them to come to you is very helpful. Also, it’s even more important to exploit the weakness of leaders like Miles and Sam because if you can chase them down and take away the leadership, that’s a huge decrease in power for your opponent.
Characters with a damage reducer that can reduce to zero (Thanos, Kingpin, Juggernaut) are adept at surviving lots of small attacks (and are just as weak to spikes as everyone else), but can go down to a couple of big attacks – one of the few times I recommend taking the 7+ die spender attacks. Normally, it’s better to take a lot of small builder attacks rather than one big spender just for the chance at getting power, but with this kind of defensive rule, the chance of doing no damage is just too high (nearly 50% for 5 attack dice into 3 defense).
Finally, there are several characters with a large health pool whose only defensive rule is having a lot of defense dice (Hulk and Doctor Voodoo come to mind here). These characters are quite vulnerable to lots of small attacks, because their defense rolls are very inconsistent, so it’s common to see them taking four or more damage even from very weak attacks. Rapid fire and flurry are especially valuable in these cases, and even better if you can get those rules on attacks longer than range 3.
These quick heuristics should help you to determine which characters to deploy last and how to line up characters against your opponent’s deployment – but if it does go wrong, don’t be afraid to just double move to the other side of the table. It’s better to waste a single turn (especially in the first round) than to get a character taken down easily by exploiting their weaknesses.