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C3G Strategy - March 2019

Posted March 21st, 2019 at 10:16 AM by HS Codex

C3G Strategy Guide
Sub-Zero (Kuai Liang)
Author: Lazy Orang


Since C3G’s first Mortal Kombat set has just dropped, I thought now would be good time to take a look at one of the most interesting new kombatants it’s brought to the Battle of All Time.

Analyzed Statistics

Left Box Breakdown
Species – Cryomancer (no actual synergy, but having a unique species helps when pairing him with Star-Lord)
Uniqueness – Unique Hero
Class – Warrior (provides a Justice League marker to Martian Manhunter (II) and Superman (III))
Personality – Determined (irrelevant)
Size/Height – Medium 5 (manoeuverable, can use ladders, and can be affected by a number of beneficial powers such as Carry, but also vulnerable to a number of enemy powers, like Graviton’s throws)

His left-hand stats make Justice League and Guardians of the Galaxy builds perfectly viable for him, but it’s not exactly necessary to use those interactions to make the most of Sub-Zero. Warrior synergies are probably the biggest point of interest here.

Statistics Breakdown
Life – 5 (hardy)
Move – 6 (swift)
Range – 1 (melee)
Attack – 4 (average)
Defence – 5 (solid)
Points – 230 (mid-range)

His stats are generally pretty good, but nothing amazing at this point total, and his powers will need to compensate for a melee attack of 4 at 230 points.

Powers Breakdown

Ice Blast 7
Before moving with Sub-Zero, you may choose a figure within 4 clear sight spaces without the Ice Resistance special power, and roll the 20-sided die. You may continue rolling for Ice Blast until you do not roll 7 or higher. Until the end of Sub-Zero’s turn, when the chosen figure rolls defense dice it rolls X fewer dice, and when the chosen figure rolls the 20-sided die, subtract X from the roll. X is the number of times Sub-Zero rolled 7 or higher.

This is probably Sub-Zero’s most important power ... and, given his other powers, that’s saying a lot. Though needing to start your turn near your target to get a good attack in isn’t ideal, and there’s a chance you’ll flub the roll on your first attempt and get nothing out of this, more often than not I’ve seen this work brilliantly, and it’s far from unknown for this power to hit enough times to subtract four or five from the defender’s defence roll, leaving plenty of characters literally defenceless. Only having a single attack of 4 keeps this from being overpowered, but it can still be pretty brutal at times and that single attack of four is suddenly looking a lot more impressive than it should be.

Tactical Advantage – Extremely High.

Slide 3
Instead of moving normally, Sub-Zero may use Slide. Move Sub-Zero up to 3 spaces in a straight line. When using Slide, Sub-Zero may move through all figures and never takes leaving engagement attacks. When attacking a figure Sub-Zero moved through this turn, add one automatic skull to whatever is rolled.

This is an interesting power more than it’s a great one. An auto-skull and being able to leave engagements is brilliant ... needing to move through a figure to get the auto-skull and replacing your normal move with a move of three that has to be in a straight line isn’t. This is a power you’ll be happy to have, and that you’ll probably be able to make good use of, but it is somewhat situational, and you’ll want to think before using it most of the time.

Tactical Advantage – Moderate.

Ice Clone Counter
Before rolling defense dice for Sub-Zero, you may reveal the “X” Order Marker on this card to add one automatic shield to whatever is rolled and, if the attacking figure is adjacent to Sub-Zero and does not have the Ice Resistance special power, count all excess shields as unblockable hits on the attacking figure.

Like Ice Blast 7, this power is absolutely amazing. Five life / 5 defence is already solid, but when you add an auto-shield it becomes really hard to crack through, as anyone who’s fought C3G’s Captain America can attest. Then provide Counter Strike on top of the auto-shield, and this isn’t just good for blocking attacks, it can be used to make your opponent pay for daring to attack you. The only downside is being once per round and tied to the X, so you really have to think about when to use it, and he doesn’t play well with other characters with X-based powers, such as Deadpool. That being said, this makes for some fun and strategic decision making, which always makes for interesting gameplay. The once per round restriction is the only thing keeping this from being just as important as Ice Blast 7.

Tactical Advantage – High.


In Depth Analysis

For the purposes of this strategy article, I will be using a slight variation on Agatagary’s chess-based unit evaluation system, which can be found in a previous article.

Sub-Zero is a knight, through and through. He’s strong and should be used carefully to make the most out of him, and is far above the level of plenty of opponents, but he’s not the equal of some of the more powerful warriors out there.

Cryokinetic Control
When playing Sub-Zero, the army you draft him in is often less important than how you make use of his abilities (though it should still be considered and will be discussed later). All three of Sub-Zero’s powers take some thought to use, so let’s begin with the simplest one.

Unlike most defence subtraction powers such as Adamantium Claws, Ice Blast isn’t automatic—it requires a d20 roll, and could fail altogether. However, 7+ is pretty easy to hit and you get to keep rolling, so with a bit of luck you could potentially completely cripple an opponent’s defence (seeing it subtract 4 or 5 dice is not exactly uncommon in my experience), allowing you to leave even the likes of Superman nearly helpless while you just punch his face off. Of course, this isn’t reliable, but it does give Sub-Zero some amazing potential and allows him to punch quite a bit above his weight at times.

Of course, Ice Blast is used before moving, and, with a range of 4, it requires Sub-Zero to be pretty close before attacking to be properly effective—no charging in at full pelt; Sub-Zero is absolutely a close-quarters fighter. However, using it before moving does give it some flexibility in another area—you don’t actually have to go after the figure you Ice Blast. Now, 90% of the time you will—you just tried to cripple their defences, why wouldn’t you?—but let’s say, for example, that Firestar, a fairly weak, vulnerable hero, and Blob, an absolute tank, are both in striking distance of Sub-Zero. What you could do in this situation is attempt to Ice Blast Blob, in the hopes of of brutalising someone normally nigh-impervious when they’re defenceless—then, if you’ve weakened his defence sufficiently, charge him, but if not, go after the softer target rather than wasting your attack on someone who’ll just absorb it. You’re effectively hedging your bets in this case. Just remember: this power is what drives Sub-Zero’s offence, and it’s useless against Ice Resistance figures. This guy should not try picking a fight with a Frost Giant if he enjoys having bones that aren’t powder.

The next power is Slide. The auto-skull this can provide if you Slide through someone is nice, but not only do you need to be basically adjacent already in order to use it, but you’ll also want to be aware of where you’ll end up after the Slide. Sometimes you’ll be able to use Slide to claim height, which is awesome, but rare. Sometimes you’ll end up on equal ground, which is good thanks to the auto-skull, but quite often you’ll find yourself sliding to a lower level, which is not exactly brilliant. If you’re on height before using Slide, this is almost never worth it—if you’re on equal ground, you’ll have to decide if the auto-skull is worth ceding height. Usually it’s not, but sometimes it is ... this is a judgement call you’ll have to make plenty of times if playing Sub-Zero often. Also bear in mind the placement of your and your opponents’ units before using Slide—sliding out of range of Star-Lord’s leadership and into range of War Machine’s guns is something you’ll be wanting to avoid. Also remember that, since it allows you to move through figures and take no leaving engagement attacks, Slide can simply be used for repositioning or slipping away to hit another target in the heat of combat. Having a move of only three that has to be in a straight line means its uses are limited in this way, but it’s an option you should remember you have.

Finally, Ice Clone Counter. There are two principal ways to use this power. The first is, of course, defensive—if you see an enemy attack that you’re scared could cripple or even kill Sub-Zero, reveal that X and get an auto-shield, pretty simple. The other way is, for lack of a better term, passive-aggressive—wait until a dangerous opponent’s figure hits Sub-Zero in melee with a normal attack, fails to roll anything remotely impressive, and then reveal the X to make them bloody well pay for even looking in your direction. Time this right and get a good roll, and you could potentially inflict a tonne of wounds with this, and we’ve all seen times when normally dangerous fighters have blanked or only managed one skull. Save your X for this, and you can potentially inflict crippling damage without even attacking. Whichever way you make use of Ice Clone Counter, whatever you do, don’t use it just to use it. You can only use it once a round, so wait until it’s actually needed or useful.

Choose Your Destiny
There are several options when building armies for Sub-Zero. Of course, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy builds should be considered—while Sub-Zero isn’t a multi-attacker, stat boosts are always good and still combine well with Ice Blast and Ice Clone Counter. Not only that, but as a cryomancer he has a unique species that fits into the Guardians well, and bonding him with Ms. Marvel sounds as though it could be really quite effective.

Another thing that’s worth remembering is that he benefits from starting his turns close to whoever he plans to attack—as such, figures who can move him to the front lines without turns are appreciated. Such figures include Angel (Warren Worthington III) (who can Carry him in, plus can reposition him with Guardian Angel), Beast Boy (Pterodactyl) (who can Carry him in like Angel, but can’t do much else and isn’t as good, but costs only 40 points), Star-Lord (Distracting Fire), Martian Manhunter I (Telepathic Directive) or Hawkeye II (who can fly him in with Skycycle Passenger and then activate him with Hawkeye’s Orders, letting Sub-Zero actually fight at his full potential when he didn’t start near his target). None of these are necessary, but it certainly doesn’t hurt Sub-Zero to have something like this around.

Importantly, Sub-Zero is also a warrior, which means he provides a Justice League marker to Martian Manhunter II and Superman III. The Martian can be the basis for a lot of solid Justice League builds—not only is he a godlike bruiser in his own right, but as long as he still has a marker he can expend one to give you a Professor-X-style double turn once per round, with potentially any hero in your army. While sadly Ice Blast only lasts for Sub-Zero’s turn, meaning you can’t set a hero up with it to have their face rearranged by Thor or a Green Lantern (which, honestly, would probably be pretty broken if you could), Sub-Zero is still a solid, deadly and effective mid-tier fighter for the Justice League to recruit, and one you’re unlikely to regret drafting.

Superman III lends himself to more specialised armies thanks to his powerset, but they include ones where Sub-Zero is a perfect fit. Superman has a maximum of three markers, each of which can be burned to have one character leap in to take an attack for someone else, with a boost of plus two to defence. As such, his builds tend to like a combination of two different hero types: 1) glass cannons who can dish out damage on their own turns but want protection, and 2) defenders who can rush in and take the hits for said glass cannons. Defenders themselves fall into two broad categories: 1) walls whose defensive capabilities allow them to avoid or tank any hits that come their way when defending like this, or, my preference, 2) retaliatory strikers who can hit back with Counter Strike blows and inflict damage on your opponent’s turn. With Ice Clone Counter allowing him to get an auto-shield and Counter Strike, Sub-Zero can, when using this power, fill both defender roles excellently—seven defence plus one auto is nigh impregnable and will likely inflict a lot of Counter Strike damage. Alongside Huntress and Echo, Sub-Zero’s probably my favourite pairing with Superman III.

Finish Him!
With all that being said, go now and lead Sub-Zero (and any other recently released Mortal Kombat kharacters) into battle, rack up those fatalities, and rinse your hands in the blood of your foes! Until next time, may the Dice Gods bless you with victory!
Total Comments 1

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Tornado's Avatar
Nice work Lazy Orang. He was always my favorite character.
Though the extant of my abilities was freeze to uppercut.
Posted March 21st, 2019 at 10:46 AM by Tornado Tornado is offline
 
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