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C3G Strategy - May 2019

Posted May 27th, 2019 at 10:25 PM by HS Codex

C3G Strategy Guide
Rocket Raccoon (I)
By: Lazy Orang

Between C3Gís anniversary wave and the recent opening of Avengers: Endgame, cosmic Marvel is the order of the day, so what better time to take a gander at one of the most iconic Guardians of the Galaxy?

Analyzed Statistics

Left Box Breakdown
Species Ė Raccoon (no effect, but a unique species helps when pairing Rocket with Star-Lord, Baby Groot, and Mantis)
Uniqueness Ė Unique hero
Class Ė Ranger (no effect, but a unique class helps when pairing Rocket with Star-Lord and Baby Groot)
Personality Ė Fearless (provides immunity to fear effects, such as Judge Fear, Yellow Lantern special attacks, Waking Nightmare, and Phobos)
Size/Height Ė Small 4 (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 Gravitonís throws)

The main points of interest are his unique species and class, making him (appropriately enough) a perfect fit for Guardians of the Galaxy builds which will (surprisingly) not cause friction with anyone. Fearless immunities are nice, but not a big deal.

Statistics Breakdown
Life Ė 4 (Average)
Move Ė 6 (Agile)
Range Ė 7 (Long)
Attack Ė 4 (Average)
Defence Ė 4 (Average)
Points Ė 175 (Low-to-mid level hero)

Rocketís stats are definitely on the low side for his points bracket: his attack, life and defence all fail to reach above average. Youíd expect at least one to get a bump up to the next tier. His move and range are definitely stand-outs, though, and if you can get him to a nice perch, boost him with Star-Lord and use his 7 range to snipe from afar while staying out of immediate combat ... suddenly heís looking a lot better.

Powers Breakdown

Support Fire 15
If an opponentís unengaged figure moves adjacent to a figure you control within 5 clear sight spaces of Rocket Raccoon, you may roll the 20-sided die. If you roll 15 or higher, the opponentís figure receives a wound. Rocket Raccoon may not use Support Fire 15 if he is engaged.

This power isnít amazing, in all honesty. It only triggers when an opponentís figure engages one of yours, so if you charge first, forget it; opponents charging Rocket donít have to worry about it and can prevent him from using it at all, and rolls for it are unlikely to crop up that often, and, even when they do, 15+ isnít the easiest roll to hit. That being said, the fact that itís so minor may cause an opponent not to bother to play around it, and when you do hit that roll, thatís a free wound you didnít have to really do anything for ... not something to complain about. Just donít rely on or expect it.

Tactical Advantage Ė Low.

BFG Special Attack
Range 4. Attack 6.
Choose a figure to attack. Any figures adjacent to the chosen figure are also affected by this special attack. Rocket Raccoon only needs a clear sight shot at the chosen figure. Roll attack dice once for all affected figures. Each figure rolls defense dice separately. Rocket Raccoon can be affected by this special attack and can only use this special attack once per round.

This is an amazing power ... potentially. An attack of 6 is already great, and making it an area of effect makes it even more potentially destructive. But itís also a mixed blessing: bear in mind, your own figures and even Rocket himself are not immune to a BFG shot. Itís also once per round and a single roll, and, therefore, swingy as all hell. Iíve had times where heís rolled hot and blown a massive hole in an enemy formation, changing the course of the battle in his favour, and others where heís had his chance and rolled 1 or 2 skulls, achieving nothing and making him a damp squib. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst here.

Tactical Advantage Ė High.

Rocket Raccoon rolls one additional die against figures leaving an engagement with him and figures roll one additional die against Rocket Raccoon when he leaves an engagement.

Speaking of mixed blessings, thereís this power. Honestly, this rarely comes up: the best way to play Rocket, thanks to his 7 range, low toughness and his Support Fire and BFG powers, is to keep him out of melee combat and providing fire support to your front-line fightersónot a role that encourages engagement. If it does come up, itíll likely act as a negative: if an opponent engages Rocket, this will penalise you more than usual for trying to break him out of that engagement, something that youíll likely want to do. Youíll particularly want to avoid engagements because of this, but this doesnít crop up that often in my experience. However, itís not all negative, and it does give you another option when playing Rocket: if you really need to keep an enemy hero tied up, he can charge in and hold them off. He wonít hold them off long (remember, poor survivability), but he will either force them to slow down while they deal with him or open them up to stronger leaving engagement attacks. This isnít a great way of using Rocket, but itís useful in some circumstances, such as keeping a key support hero (such as Star-Lord) protected, or keeping an enemy hero away from a powerful glyph (i.e. keeping Thanos from an Infinity Stone, or Red Skull away from the Cosmic Cube), particularly if Rocketís already done his bit as fire support. Basically, donít plan to use him this way, but if you need someone to hold the line quickly in an emergency, this helps.

Tactical Advantage Ė Marginal.

In Depth Analysis

For the purposes of this strategy article, I will be using a slight variation on Agatagaryís chess-based unit evaluation system; for those unfamiliar, it can be found in a previous article.

Rocket is pretty clearly a bishop: heís good fire support, but heís not the backbone of your army.

Your Collection of Morons
There are five types of figures Rocket enjoys being paired with:
  1. Stat-boosters: these can amp up his fairly average attack and defence to pretty solid levels, especially if he can claim height;
  2. Order Marker managers: since Rocket isnít a figure who wants to hog all the turns, these can allow him to strike at precisely the right time, rather than planning order marker placement ahead of time and hoping you got it right (particularly good for timing a BFG shot);
  3. Generalist bonding: not sure who wouldnít like these, but an extra activation can be a boon to Rocket, especially if he fails to do much with his attack;
  4. Front-line fighters (the tankier the better): anyone who can hold a line and keep your back-line support (including Rocket) protected is massively appreciated; if they can draw enemies in to engage them and risk Support Fire and if theyíre tough enough to shrug off the collateral from a BFG shot, all the better;
  5. Carriers and mobilisers: Rocketís fast enough to likely be able to reach height himself, but still: depending on the map and situation, someone to give him a lift, move him out of turn or keep him from taking leaving engagement attacks can be quite helpful.

Helpfully enough, if you want to remain thematic, a number of Guardians of the Galaxy can fill these roles: Star-Lord obviously fills the first as well as the fifth, and Mantis the second. Baby Groot and Nebula can fill the third while both versions of Drax and Gamora can fulfill the fourth. Last but not least, adult Groot can fulfill both the fourth and fifth roles admirably. Stretching away from thematic combos, there are plenty of other viable options: the first role can be filled by both Bane and Captain America, the second of whom also fits the fourth exceptionally well. The second role can be filled by either of the Zemos almost as well as by Mantis, and characters such as Red Skull (C3G), Iron Patriot and Ms. Marvel fill the second and third roles well, while the first two there can also fill the fifth in a crunch. The fourth role can be filled by an exceptionally wide variety of characters and the fifth can be filled by characters such as Martian Manhunter (I) but is perhaps best filled by Angel (Warren Worthington III). Rocket has a lot of army building options, but it should be noted that some of his best are among the Guardian builds.

It should also be noted that having units in all of these roles in your army isnít needed, or even necessarily recommended, but having a few is definitely a good idea; decide which roles you want to focus on and make effective use of those.

Blowing Up Moons (Well, Armies)
One of the best aspects of Rocket is his BFG, and it needs to be timed correctly: he can only use it once a round, so fire it when it when several of your opponents have clumped together and hope for a good roll. As mentioned before, order marker managers such as Mantis can help massively with timing this. Due to your other figures acting to screen Rocket from attacks, itíll be quite likely that enemy forces that would make a good target for such a shot will be in combat with your own figures. This is less than ideal, due to the explosion effect, but often the potential damage inflicted on the opponent will be worth the collateralóyou have to judge this on a case by case basis, but, generally, how many enemies youíll hit to how many allies, how useful your figures are, how threatening the enemy is and how well your comrades will be able to stand up to the shot are all good criteria to look at. Often, getting your enemies to engage one of your own figures (or having one of your own figures engage a couple of opponents close to each other) is one of the best ways to force them to clump for a good shot. Notably, the second Drax has a power which means heís stronger when in combat with only a single opponent, which can be useful for giving your opponent a dilemma: fight him head-on with a single figure while heís stronger, or send someone else in as support to weaken him and open yourself up for a BFG shot (even a tactical retreat is discouraged thanks to Draxís Warrior Engagement). Sometimes itís worth the sacrifice to hurt your enemyóand honestly, even if your friends do get blown up, you were just trying to rescue them ... why are they being so ungrateful?

Also worthy of note is that BFG can be used in melee, but will hit Rocket himself if you do so. If Rocketís been forced into melee combat, his days are probably numbered, so if you donít think you can kill his attacker with his normal attack or extricate him from that situation in some way quickly itís probably worth doing this: let him hurt them as much as possible on his way outóitís what he would want. In addition, it is significantly stronger than Rocketís normal attack, but if you can claim height and get an attack boost, he can equal its power quite easily from a longer range, keeping you from needing to rely on his BFG to hit hardóyou can mostly just use it for hitting clumped forces. Still, if you canít stack attack boosts effectively, BFG is definitely still worth going for against a single target. Also worth noting is that it is a special attack, and while that means it canít be modified, it also means it bypasses a lot of strong defensive powersóif youíre shooting at Kryptonians, for example, itís time to bring out the big guns.

Extending His Lifespan
Using Rocket is fairly simple much of the time, but requires a degree of thought. He needs to be kept safe, behind your main battle line, and given a turn here and there (one or two a round is probably about right) to provide fire support. Keep him protected, or that 4 life will get eaten up very quickly.

One of the best ways to keep him protected is just to have a solid front line of fighters who can keep your opponent distracted. Not only will they make it harder for your opponent to reach Rocket, but if your opponent has other threats to contend with, it will make reaching him a lower priority. Having defensive support figures such as Beat Cops on hand is also certainly viable, but not usually necessary, and the activations needed to bring them up to protect him may not be worth the benefits.

Sometimes, though, an enemy will end up slipping the net or just beating their way through your front line and engaging Rocket in melee combat, where he does not excel. At this stage, you could just fire his BFG at point-blank range as one last hurrah, but if you want to extricate Rocket from that situation, there are options. Just running is one, and often worth doing in extremis, but be warned: Rocket does not like to run and his Tenacity will cause him to take more damage than normal on the way outóitís worth the risk if you can get him to safety, but generally not if his attacker can just chase after him next turn anyway. In a Guardians build, another viable option that will likely be open to you is using Star-Lord: if heís still alive, he can open fire on the enemy engaging Rocket with Distracting Fire, giving Rocket a chance to slip away and possibly giving someone else an opportunity to engage the enemy figure to keep them tied up and off Rocketís back. The best way, however, is probably using Angel (Warren Worthington III): whenever an enemy makes a normal attack on a nearby figure, he can use Guardian Angel, allowing him to fly Rocket from perch to perch. This is probably the best way to ensure that Rocket has a safe firing position at virtually all times.

Closing Thoughts

Well, thatís pretty much everything I have to say about Rocket ... hopefully a itís big enough percentage of a plan for you to be getting on with. All you need to do now is steal someoneís prosthetic, and your planís good to go. Until next time, may the dice gods bless you with victory!
Total Comments 2


IAmBatman's Avatar
Nice article! Sounds like you really want to keep him out of engagement as long as you can.
Posted May 28th, 2019 at 11:57 PM by IAmBatman IAmBatman is offline
MrNobody's Avatar
I once had a fun game with him, Martian Manhunter I, and Phobos. Use MM to move Rocket into engagement, then use Phobos to force the enemy to move their figures out of engagement. Not crazy effective (Rocket dies pretty fast), but I just like being mean.
Posted May 29th, 2019 at 12:12 AM by MrNobody MrNobody is offline
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