Fantasy Fisticuffs: Marvel’s Banned/Restricted List Emerges

With new guidelines for tactics cards and organized play, what has changed in competitive Marvel: Crisis Protocol?

Last week ended with a surprise from Atomic Mass Games, creators of the excellent Marvel: Crisis Protocol.  A document detailing banned and restricted cards has been made a formal part of organized play.  Banned cards will be entirely unusable, while players may only include two restricted cards as a part of their lists.  The initial banned/restricted list is a modest one and appears as follows…


– Brace for Impact

– Doomed Prophecy

– Field Dressing

– Medpack

– Patch Up


– Drop Off

The list was released accompanied by an interview with The Gamer’s Guild, which candidly went into detail regarding these changes. In short, the game’s competitive meta would ideally see greater diversity of tactics cards played, if the above generics were moderated.  Additionally, “Drop Off” had proven truly game-breaking, causing unforeseen character and scenario interactions.

Finally, but notably, the AMG staff reiterated that characters would NEVER find themselves on such a ban-list.

So what are our thoughts on these changes?  The Fantasy Fisticuffs team actually aggressively packed the three-day weekend in the US with test games, and came away feeling that the changes are overwhelmingly positive.

Without the crutch of what had often become auto-take cards, we saw games played where pivotal turns often revolved around much more thematic affiliation cards, such as Dark Reign, Cosmic Invigoration, etc…  While this may potentially turn into a “haves vs have-nots” situation, we certainly saw new plays happening, and at least in the short term, a scramble for discovering the tiers and value of some previously under-played cards.

It is also telling that AMG seems interested in reducing the access to healing, game-wide, with every major healing card finding itself on the restricted list.  In the immediate moment this reads as a subtle buff to characters such as the already solid Wong and Doctor Strange, and slight nerf to characters such as Hawkeye, whose lack of energy spenders often meant they served as a list’s dedicated Med-Pack/Patch-Up healer.

In light of characters such as Sabertooth and Wolverine on the release horizon (due next, in fact), healing super-powers appear to be valued more highly, going forward.

What are your thoughts as to the state of the game, and the choice of banning/restricting cards versus altering the existing ones?  Let us know below!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Mark Gottlieb

Writer, Game Designer, and owner of Fortunate Sun Studios, I have always tried to lead a life in some way built around paying back to gaming, and the gaming community. This hobby, and everyone in it, saved my life on more than a few occasions, and now I get to put my heart into helping it thrive for everyone!

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