One of the most important decisions to make when building a roster in MCP is which team tactics cards to take. This decision is not made any easier by the sheer amount of cards available and the restrictions in place to limit them. In this article, I’ll go over some of the strategies I use to choose tactics cards, but realize this is by no means the only way to do so.
Usually when building a roster, I start with the characters and affiliation – so an easy first step is to look at the tactics cards that are only available to that affiliation and pick one or two of my favorites. Generally (but not always) the unique tactics cards for a team are very powerful and do a lot to define how that affiliation plays – especially cards like Avengers Assemble (which move all affiliated characters) or Wakanda Forever (which let affiliated characters make a free attack). It’s important not to take too many of these types of cards because it’s easy to run out of slots in the five cards to take in a game, and these tend to be broadly powerful when sometimes you need specific answers.
The next set of cards I add are my two restricted cards, which is a complex decision that fortunately I’ve already dedicated an entire article to.
At this point, you should have about 6 card slots left, but realistically only 2 or 3 that you’ll use in a single game, so this is when I start looking at narrower cards that will only sometimes make my roster. Recalibration Matrix is a new favorite of mine that is very useful against attrition based teams that are relying on making a ton of attacks until their dice spike hard. Mission Objective is a great unaffiliated card that can win the game on single extracts – definitely consider taking this even if you don’t bring any extracts like that. Fall back is another unaffiliated all star that is great for avoiding second attacks, and is especially powerful against rapid fire attacks thanks to its strange timing. There are, of course, many more unaffiliated tactics cards, but these are some of the ones I look to first.
With my last couple tactics card slots, I try to take character specific cards with powerful effects. It’s important to not take too many of these or you can end up with a team that happens to not want to play those characters and not enough non-character cards to fill your five. To avoid this, I try to make sure there are a set of five cards that I would be happy to play in any situation (such as team card x2, restricted card x2, Recalibration Matrix) before adding character specific cards. That being said, you should definitely bring some of these cards – guard effects (like Lethal Protector or Heroes for Hire) can dramatically change how an attrition game is going, character moving cards (like Deception or Do You Know Who I Am?) can catch a character fleeing with an extract or win a secure out of nowhere – and Helios Laser is just way too much fun to pass up. Note that character cards that only require your leader (like Eye in the Sky or Magnetic Refraction) I consider as team affiliated cards when building that affiliation.
One last consideration is dual affiliated rosters. While I won’t go into detail about the pros and cons of rosters that can play as 2 different affiliations (yet!) you need to be very careful about tactics cards when building such rosters because it is very easy to end up in a situation where you can’t play 5 tactics cards in a game. Make sure that you go through the “5 cards you’d play in any situation” exercise with both affiliations, ensure that both affiliations want both of your restricted cards and be extremely cautious with character-specific cards.