No Pain, No Reign: Building a Modern Carnage Team

When the new Spider-Man set was announced, there was one character I was hoping, begging for Wizkids to remake; Carnage. Luckily, we got one, and boy is he great! Let’s slice up the competition with my favorite Symbiote.

Carnage has always been one of my favorite characters. From his aesthetic of flowing black and red goop to his maniacal behavior and insanity, he manages to carve his way through the more intelligent villains out there and remain within my top 3 comic villans of all time. Once the previews started for Superior Foes of Spider-Man, it was none other than Cletus that kicked us off for the very first sneak peek, and drooling over his dial convinced me this would be a great set (and oh man, is it ever great).

However, I feel bad. I haven’t played Carnage since the set released and I was able to get my hands on him. Easily one of the most insane close combat pieces in the modern format, Carnage is a tough character to deal with. Wizkids did a great job making me want to play so many new themes and pieces from this new set that I haven’t even gotten around to running this guy (nor Ares, Morlun, and a few other greats). Well that ends today.

Before we can get into builds, we need to do what we did with the Devil Dinosaur build and break Carnage down and what he does. Clocking in at 100 points, Carnage has only two keywords of Maximum Carnage and Monster. That makes building a theme team around him rather difficult. He has 4 range and a single bolt. Like much of the Spiders and Symbiote pieces, Carnage ignores elevated terrain which is a bummer since shrubs trip him up but buildings don’t. He has two traits on his dial, one of which is the new Alien Symbiote trait that seems to come equipped on any of the Symbiote pieces these days (SFoSM Venom, SFoSM Anti-Venom, SFoSM Toxin, SFoSM FF Venom, SFoSM Carnage, and SFoSM Symbiote 3D object) which I like because it identifies that these characters all share the same properties; Plasticity, Shape Change, and they automatically break away. That’s really great!

Carnage’s other trait is Sadistic Slaughter and it does not disappoint. It reads:

Sadistic Slaughter: Whenever Carnage damages an opposing character of lower points with an attack, do not place an action token on him for this action. Whenever Carnage KO’s an opposing character, heal him 1 click or, if that character was lower points, heal him 2 clicks instead.

Hence why I said Carnage is one of the most insane close combat pieces. Once Carnage engages the enemy, he’s not going to stop slaughtering everything within his murderscope. Not having action tokens assigned ensures that he won’t get tired when there’s blood to be shed and healing from KO’s makes sure that you want to attack with Carnage every single turn, whether you would take pushing damage or not. Man, this trait would be brutal if most figures were under 100 points. Oh wait, isn’t that the new direction Wizkids is moving in? Yes, it seems our boy Carnage here is the perfect machine to deal with all these pesky low-point dials. Back line support got you down? Throw Carnage in there and have a field day!

As for his dial and combat values, he comes equipped with 8 Charge, 11 Blades (duh), 17 Combat Reflexes, and a naked 3 damage value. His stats dip a little bit before getting to click 3 where the real fun begins; 7 Flurry, 11 Blades, 18 Toughness, and 2 damage. He keeps this pure death powerset for only 2 clicks before dropping into his previous setup, but picking up Exploit Weakness. But he has an 11 attack on four of his six clicks. For 100 points. So with little to no damage reducers, we want Carnage up in their face and we want it yesterday.

Okay, I’ve said way too much about this guy. Let’s get on to the builds. We’re going to do something a little different today; we’ll still do two builds, and one will be 300 points modern with only figures and ATA’s, but we’re also going to do a build where the only thing we won’t use are Resources.

300 Point Modern Carnage Build, Figures Only

  • SFoSM Carnage 044
  • SMWW Mr. Mxyzptlk 060
  • TMNT Michelangelo 002
  • UXMFF Jean Grey 002
  • SMWW The Atom G001P
  • NFAoS Hulbuster Torso

This doesn’t seem as standard as my other builds, and I really had to take a bit of time to figure out how we make Carnage better at what he does, or at least survive the trip. I feel that when playing Carnage, if you really want him to be your primary attacker, you have to build some points around him, so we added the Hulkbuster Torso to give him un-outwittable Invulnerable through his entire dial. This will help Carnage really stick around. Mr. Mxyzptlk is a god-like piece with his ability to swap dice rolls, and Carnage requires quite a lot of rolls to go in his favor. From hitting your Shape Change, to rolling a 6 on B/C/F when you need to decimate a tentpole piece, he’s going to do so much good that you won’t notice those 70 points for a glorified support piece. After all, he can always push into his special Pulse Wave where he gives out 2 action tokens to all hit pieces.

We need another attacker as well, and Michelangelo fits the bit really well. Not the insane rarity of the chase, he still has a fantastic dial, and he tokens up to two people a turn with a big 11 attack, plus he has Empower so when you don’t need to take a chance on B/C/F, you’re getting +1 to damage. That makes both of our attackers pretty easy to hit with. For getting Carnage there, we have the best TK’er in the game right now in the FF Jean Grey. being able to TK as a free action is incredible, and then TK again as a power action can either get Carnage up and bring him back for safety, or get both Carnage and Michelangelo into the action. The Atom is there because of his overall multi-use to the team. Not only is his colossal retaliation better than the rest (ignoring Shape Change, Super Senses, Combat Reflexes, and dealing penetrating damage with another 11 attack), he just gives us so much for 15 points. Here’s how the beginning of a game could work out in your favor:

Turn 1: Jean TK’s Carnage to the Hulkbuster Torso as a free action, he equips it using you first action for the turn. The Atom moves 4 squares, carrying Jean, then sidesteps carrying her again. Michelangelo moves up for your second action and you pass.

Turn 2: Jean free action TK’s Carnage into the enemy team, or within charge distance, and based on your results, you power action TK Mikey into charge range as well, pushing him to lock down two other people. From here, Carnage goes berserk while Mikey rests. Meanwhile, The Atom keeps being Jean’s personal transport and getting her into position for more free TK’s and when they attack Carnage back, you retaliate with The Atom and grind them into their last clicks for Carnage to finish the job.

I ended up running this the other night against a 300 point Sinister Syndicate team with the Doc Oc LE, Overdrive, Speed Demon, and a couple others. Carnage killed! I like it! So what about our other team? This one is going to be a little different today:

400 Point Modern Carnage Build, No Resources

  • SFoSM Carnage 044 (Possessed by SMWW Eclipso 055)
  • CWSLOP Taskmaster 026 (Possessed by SMWW Brainiac 063)
  • SFoSM Power Man & Iron Fist 050
  • SFoSM Cloak  036
  • SFoSM Dagger 012
  • WF Spectre 066R
  • SMWW The Atom G001P

I’ve been doing a lot of low-tactic team builds and it’s time to start changing that up. Carnage obviously benefits a lot from possession, and although Eclipso’s 4th-6th clicks are ranged heavy, they do provide Invulnerability and Prob. Not to mention that top dial, Carnage gets Impervious and a nice +1 to defense which he can really use.For our secondary attacker, I brought back the Civil War Taskmaster because you really don’t get a much better possession combo than this guy with Brainiac. At the beginning of the turn, you can turn Taskmaster to his Running Shot click, pick up Pulse Wave from Braniac along with a +1 to damage or attack), deal your unstoppable damage, click back to first click, pick Impervious and +1 to defense, and Perplex up his own defense so he sits at a 19 with Stealth. That’s taking a Swiss army knife and turning it into a Swiss Armory.

I couldn’t settle for just two attackers on 400 points, so I opted for Power Man & Iron Fist. Your tertiary attacker should be the guy that your opponent loses focus on or forgets about, and Luke & Danny do a great job of dealing a surprising amount of damage while being pretty resilient. Plus, they have indom for only 50 points.

I think the separate Cloak and Dagger pieces are a steal and work well here as Cloaks 18 Defend will work with both Taskmaster and Carnage’s possession based defense pumping (Bringing Tasky to a 20 defense and Carnage to a 19), while the Stealth can protect them from range. He’s a great taxi in that he ignores everything on the map, but his synergy with Dagger is what makes these two great. Dagger isn’t quite the support truck that Night Nurse is, but with all the number tweaking it shouldn’t be hard to make her work for you. Her Running Shot with triple bolts and 1 penetrating to all targets is a different story; that’s a great way to chunk down targets for Carnage to eat and sustain on. Plus, Cloak can power action call over a medic to immediately heal one of your guys up.

The Atom is just an amazing 15 point piece and I couldn’t pass him up when I had exactly that many points left. H.E.N.R.Y. from the NFAoS Fast Forces set would be great here too as he’s the same cost and gives a flat +1 to damage, and he’s tiny so anyone can carry him for free.

Oh, I’m forgetting someone. Spectre. Yes, I felt it was time to add a Kingdom Come piece on Isolation to a build and Spectre is the best you get. Adding board-wide prob is already outstanding, but what really made my choice solid was his Mystics team ability. Taskmaster, Cloak, AND Dagger are all wild cards, which means that most of your team is going to end up picking up Mystics. What a steal for only 35 points.


Well that wraps up this week for Clix Fix. I hope you’ve enjoyed the latest Team Build. Carnage is quite the character, and I would love to hear what you’ve tried with him. What worked for you? How could these builds be improved? How in the heck can we use the Maximum Carnage ATA on a modern team with Carnage?! Comment below with your ideas and answers! Feedback is always appreciated, and as always, share with your friends if you want to continue to see great content.

Join me Tuesday for the next article!

 

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