With every set that’s released for the next year while ID cards are still legal in Modern, it’s important to take a look at which characters from that new set can be utilized. What If… had some rather interesting pieces, so let’s take a look at which ones are worth getting for your call-ins.
ID cards are still an incredibly big deal. Even though Ultron drones are no longer an issue in Modern (thankfully) and the mechanic is now relegated to how it was meant to be played, it’s still adding the capability of bringing in an extra character during the course of the game, and a lot of these can be utter powerhouses like Nick Fury.
If you recall, ID cards took a rather large hit this month with rotation as both Avengers Assemble and Age of Ultron rotated out, taking a good chunk of Marvel ID Cards with them. Before we can look at which characters are decent ID call-ins from What If…, we need to make a list of all the Marvel ID cards that are still modern legal. Remember, these include the Convention ID cards as well as those from Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel ID Cards Still Legal in Modern (with Real Names)
Black Knight – Dane Whitman
Black Panther – T’Challa
Ms. Marvel – Carol Danvers
Quasar – Wendell Vaughn
Quake – Daisy Johnson
She-Hulk – Jennifer Walters
S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 1 – NONE
S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 – NONE
U.S. Agent – John Walker
War Machine – James Rhodes
Bucky Barnes – James Buchanan Barnes
Moon Knight – Marc Spector
Red Hulk – Thunderbolt Ross
Spider Woman – Jessica Drew
Venom – Flash Thompson
Ant-Man – Scott Lang
Ares – Ares
Daredevil – Matt Murdock
Doctor Strange – Stephen Strange
Captain Marvel – Mar-Vell
Namor – Namor McKenzie
Sentry – Robert Reynolds
Shang-Chi – Shang-Chi
Spider-Man – Peter Parker
Swordsman – Jacques Duquesne
Tigra – Greer Nelson
That’s still a good amount of ID cards. With What If…, because we have a lot of alternate identity characters, we need to look at their Keywords (S.H.I.E.L.D. ID cards) and their real names to see if we can pair anything up that doesn’t seem like it would fit initially. Let’s get started!
Spider-Man 001 – While 55 points isn’t too tough to call-in, this Spider can deal 4 damage if you can bring him in on higher elevation than your intended target. The issue I have is that with the 5-square radius, that really limits his Hypersonic with no range. Pass.
Daredevil 004 – 40 point characters are very easy to call-in, and with an 11 attack that hands out action tokens on a hit, Matt could be a very good budget ID option. Still, his threat isn’t too great, so he’s kind of middle of the road. Decent.
Punisher Squad 008 – We really don’t have anything great for the Level 1 ID card, but these guys sure look like a great option. 30 points is incredibly easy to call-in, they can deal up to 4 damage (more likely 3 with a 10 attack), and have the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability. Good.
Jessica Jones 013 – Granted, there are way better uses for a Level 7 ID card, Jessica could land some decent damage, and has Flight to get there and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability to buff range on others. However, why not just play Peggy for 5 points less? Pass.
Spider-Man 014 – This is a very bland dial for 90 points and doesn’t really offer anything special for the Web-Head. Pass.
Daredevil 017 – Another very bland dial with worse opening values than the common for more points. Pass.
Punisher of S.H.I.E.L.D. 021 – This could be a very good option to call-in if you’re potentially looking at a one-man army like Goblin King or Jakeem. With varying attack and damage, good opening values, Running Shot, and a killer trait that punishes people if they go for the free 90 points, he could be a very good runner-up for a Level 7 ID. Good.
Iron Punisher 023 – 100 points isn’t much to pay to bring someone in with a massive attack value and Penetrating damage. Iron Punisher’s issue is the back portion of his dial, so he could be a very good ID option if you don’t have the funds for big boys like Nick Fury. With some Enhancement, he can be a beast and swing a game. Good.
TV’s Spider-Man 025 – There is no reason to bring a distraction piece out on an ID card that doesn’t distract all that well. Pass.
Spider-Man 026 – Another very lackluster opening click for 80 points. The common is honestly better as a call-in option. Pass.
Daredevil 029 – This actually isn’t a bad option for Matt. Although he doesn’t do too much damage, he does have Outwit and Perplex that can only be used on the same target, meaning a smaller piece can call him in and your primary attacker can now go to town on a target with low defense and no reducers. Decent.
TV’s Daredevil 034 – If you want a distraction piece, this is 10 times better than TV’s Spider-Man. Only 30 points making him easy for supports to bring out, Plasticity to lock opponents down, and a Wild Card to take on your Mystics. If you want to go this route, he’s really not that bad of an option. Decent.
Daredevil, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. 035 – Take your pick of Level 7 or Daredevil ID! This is actually a terrific option with Level 7 on a ranged-heavy team as it will allow anyone next to Daredevil the option to buff attackers 3 squares away. While it might be hard to pull off, it could be glorious in the right situation. His dial is fairly bland though. Decent.
Cosmic Spider-Man 038 – I’m sure you’re all aware of the best/second best call-in in the game right now, which is Cosmic Spidey. At 75 points, he made quite the impact at worlds, and needless to say that if you have both the Spider-Man ID card and this guy, you should be running the combo on any team with 5 points to spare. Good.
Peter the Hunter 039 – While you won’t get his tokens, you are gaining access to a piece with Charge, 11 Blades, and Exploit Weakness that if he KO’s someone, he can’t go down in one hit. That makes him a very safe close combat piece that can really earn your money’s worth. Good.
The Advocate 041 – There’s really only one reason to add him; you get 3 permanent Smoke Cloud markers on the map as long as he isn’t KO’d before your next turn. Due to the way his trait is worded, there are only two conditions these markers are lost, and being removed from the map isn’t one of them. He’s actually got a pretty decent dial as well with 11 attack and Exploit Weakness. He’s an ace that might not see the board, but could be devastating on the right team comp. Good.
Peace Machine 043 – This is actually my favorite ID call-in from the set. With Outwit, TK, Sidestep, and the crazy-good damage nerf trait, Peace Machine can combo as something to get your primary attacker into the fight and also protect you from a large counter attack. There’s a lot of strategy involved on when to bring him in, but if you do it right, it’s a game changer. Good.
Poison 047 – This guy is a damage machine, and all of it is penetrating! For the time being, you can call him in next to someone, penetrating Poison them, then hit for 3 more damage which is also penetrating, and if this target doesn’t have a reducer, he deals even more damage. Oh, and he also ties them up. All-star call-in. Good.
Spider-Man 101 – The 50 point starting line is brutal for 50 points with Flurry and Perplex. While he isn’t as good as the BvS Wonder Woman common, he’s potentially the most damage you can get from a 50 point call-in character now that Triathlon is gone. Good.
Daredevil 104 – Charge, Flurry, Prob, 3 damage, and he gives an action token if he hits the same character with both attacks makes this pretty much the go-to Daredevil for an ID call-in. As long as you can get that 10 attack up to an 11, he can be a very good piece. Good.
There are absolutely some other really great options from What If… aside from just Cosmic Spider-Man, and a lot of these can be very good picks if you have an ID card but not the expensive piece that would normally go with it (see Nick Fury for Level 7, or even Cosmic Spidey for Spider-Man). While it’s a shame that we didn’t see anything for Doctor Strange come from this set as every version of a Sorcerer Supreme was someone else entirely, we did just get some fantastic options for him in Avengers Defenders War.
What are your thoughts on these picks? Feel I judged something too harsh or not high enough? Did you like this article and would like to see it as a reoccurring theme while ID cards are still legal? Let me know in the comments section!
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