Spite is just the worst

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AlexxKay
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Spite is just the worst

Spite has long been my least-favorite Villain.  He isn't (necessarily) the *hardest*, but he's the least fun.  He's for all practical purposes immune to damage until he flips, and he will have done a lot of damage to the heroes before that happens.  The only viable general strategy seems to be to try and get as many Victims into the Safehouse as possible, then burn him down fast after he takes the hit from flipping.

Today, while beta testing the App, I found a new reason to hate Spite.  When he flipped, with 8 Victims saved, he took no damage.  I thought it was a bug at first, but then I realized the awful truth.  Technically, it's not the Safehouse doing the damage, but Spite damaging *himself*, and I had hit him with a Throat Jab.  Argh!!!!!

Arcanist Lupus
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Yeah.  You'll find other threads around here declaiming a dislike of Spite's gameplay.

 

By the way, congrats on saving 8 Victims.  That's pretty impressive.  Did you never get a Forced Entry?


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Grrr! I detest Forced Entry with a burning passion! It comes up so often with Spite's accelerated cardplay that saving victims seems almost counterproductive. 


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I gotta say, it's almost not even worth it to save the victims. And that's sad.


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Killswitch wrote:

I gotta say, it's almost not even worth it to save the victims. And that's sad.

You should read this thread on BGG for a unique perspective on whether to save a victim or not!


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Arcanist Lupus wrote:
By the way, congrats on saving 8 Victims.  That's pretty impressive.  Did you never get a Forced Entry?

Correct.  It was mostly luck.  Happened to get many Victim draws and no Forced Entries.

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Matchstickman wrote:

 

Killswitch wrote:
I gotta say, it's almost not even worth it to save the victims. And that's sad.

 

You should read this thread on BGG for a unique perspective on whether to save a victim or not!

Eh, the cost for saving victims is not so high. When we played him we saved as many as we could except, of coure, the Doomed Sidekick (I know the card isn't really called like that)

That being said we only played Spite 2 times, both advanced, before declaring him the easiest and most boring and villain in the entire game.

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Yeah. Really, all the villains in Rook City rank low for me, and the environments as well. The closest I come to enjoying a Rook City villain is the Chairman. Spite and the Matriarch I outright dislike.

Doing the expansions in order makes sense, but considering how much more I like Infernal Relics and Shattered Timelines, it was a bummer to hear the app would follow the official release order up until Vengeance (which gets skipped for Wrath).

Edit: I'm hoping the app makes Matriarch more fun, because I won't have to flip all eleventy-seven birds and resolve their attacks.

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So, what's the solution for fixing Spite? If there's a new set of villain card rules I could put on an alt version villain card on my site, I would, just like I have for Gloomweaver and Ambuscarde. 


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I think Gloom Spite fixes him pretty well. 


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metlarcturus
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Phantaskippy had a good suggestion in another thread:

phantaskippy wrote:

We have a house rule that at the end of his turn we can put one victim in the safehouse out of the game, and we use the number out of the game for his flip damage (instead of the safehouse)

It gives reason to save the victims, and keeps the tension of Forced Entry for those we've pulled off the streets but haven't gotten into proper safety yet.

So, perhaps an add-on card for the safehouse that  replaces the second paragraph with:

"At the end of the villain turn, move the top card from beneath the Safe House out of play. When Spite flips to his "Drug-Wracked Monstrosity" side, he deals himself X toxic damage, where X = the number of Spite's cards out of play times 5." 

Spite's entire deck is about two things: drugs and victims. If either of those gimmicks doesn't play well... well, then we get a thread with a title like this.


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metlarcturus
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Also/alternatively, you could put a rider on the Safe House that gave the heroes some immediate benefit for saving victims. Perhaps something like:

"Whenever a card is placed under the Safe House, each hero may choose to regain 1 HP or draw 1 card."

Powerhound_2000 wrote:

I think Gloom Spite fixes him pretty well.

Yeah, Agent of Gloom does seem to work quite a bit better, but it would be nice if it were possible to preserve the original intent of "one-winged angel" Spite.


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When we play Spite, I'll quite often use the Wraith just so I can get out the double-Stun-Bolt combo on him and nerf pretty much all of his damage (thus preventing his healing on his front side) :D.


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Ameena wrote:

When we play Spite, I'll quite often use the Wraith just so I can get out the double-Stun-Bolt combo on him and nerf pretty much all of his damage (thus preventing his healing on his front side) :D.

Stun Bolt crushes him, actually pretty easy to beat him before he flips with the right team comp


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Yeah, we've beaten him a couple of times pre-flip. We tend to save some Victims but never bother with the Good Samaritans. Usually we've got two or three under the Safehouse when he flips, so he doesn't do that much damage to himself relative to his max hp.


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p.d.magnus
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Spiff wrote:

So, what's the solution for fixing Spite? If there's a new set of villain card rules I could put on an alt version villain card on my site, I would, just like I have for Gloomweaver and Ambuscarde. 

 

I made an alternate version which gives players real incentives to save victims.

http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/31875/two-rook-city-variants

You are welcome to host a version on your site, provided you credit me.

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We just played a game against Spite, and found it almost shocking how effectively Wraith shuts him down.  Granted, it helped that Tempest kept giving her back copies of Throat Jab, but even aside from that, the Stun Bolts vastly reduced the amount of damage he dealt out.

 

I still can't see us playing him often, though.

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I do that against him pretty often too - Wraith with double Stun Bolts. Have the lowest hp and get out the Smoke Bombs and you don't even need to worry about Nemesis damage getting through if he targets you. This is with H as three...i think some of his damage is H-determined so it might not work quite as well if you have a higher number of heroes.


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Spiff
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p.d.magnus wrote:

 

Spiff wrote:
So, what's the solution for fixing Spite? If there's a new set of villain card rules I could put on an alt version villain card on my site, I would, just like I have for Gloomweaver and Ambuscarde. 

 

 I made an alternate version which gives players real incentives to save victims.http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/31875/two-rook-city-variantsYou are welcome to host a version on your site, provided you credit me.

Cool, I'll take a look.


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P.D. - the card says 80 hp, but the text says 60 hp.  Which is the correct value?


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I just finished a game against Spite, funnily enough. Fanatic, Setback, Skyscraper, and Mister Fixer. There's a lot of damage redirection/reduction/mitigation in that set-up, so before he got his final drug out, the one that gives him armor, I was actually managing to stay ahead. Got him down to 36 HP. What really sucked was every time a Good Samaritan came out, the card that I drew as condition of putting him into the Safe House killed him. Happened every time. I hated it so much. By the time he flipped, there were only two cards left in the deck, and I only had two victims ("Innocent Bystanders," if you were curious) beneath it.

The game would have been a lot easier if the environment, Omnitron-IV, hadn't kept destroying Mister Fixer's "Hoist Chains" every time I got one into play. As it was, on the final round, Fanatic and Skyscraper both died. Spite had 7 HP, Setback had 6 HP, and Mister Fixer had 12. I couldn't get out a Tool or a Style that would bump Mister Fixer's damage for my life, so Setback made the ultimate sacrifice of playing "Cause and Effect" with 14 unlucky tokens.

Was it fun? Eh, I guess. It's odd to sweat for a villain who isn't Iron Legacy or Progeny, anyway. But yeah, I can see how after certain Drug combinations come out--armor and punishing players for using powers would be the worst--it just would not be fun to be able to do nothing but try to get all your Equipment and Ongoings into play and otherwise just sit there taking it until he allows you to hurt him. Sometimes it's at least a little bit funny, like when he makes you put cards back into your hand so you take back ones like "Absolution" or "Inspiring Presence," and in my last game it worked out in Setback's favor because he could keep taking back "Looking Up" before he could burn his own brain out with it, but usually not.


Kupo.

p.d.magnus
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Spiff wrote:

P.D. - the card says 80 hp, but the text says 60 hp.  Which is the correct value?

 

He has a maximum of 80, but starts with 60. A different way of putting it is that he takes 20 damage during setup.

This is because there are plenty of ways for him to heal on the first turn. If he would destroy environment cards on the front, for example, he heals instead.

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I really hate to be a bummer with a game I love.

In tabletop, I've been steering the other players away from picking Spite for months.  Forgot why.

So it comes around to 1:30 AM, wife just woke up to prod me to bed, but less than 5 minutes ago I threw down 19 cards on a Haka of Battle, whacked the giblets out of Spite, and watched him regenerate to full the very next turn with 2 drugs up.

Blah blah planning blah...  I wanted to bust some heads right before bed on a work night, not stare obsessively until he hit critical mass & pounce.

I guess sleeping is better than peppering my search history with "sentinels spite worst villain" "sentinels spite slog" "sentinels of the multiverse does anybody actually like spite" "spite worst @$*#* villain"

Guess I'll be replacing him on random computer play as well.   At least the rest of the expansion was decent.

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My first experience with Spite was similarly frustrating.

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I played a couple of Spite games in the app this week.

It totally confirmed to me why we rerandomise if he turns up in G+ games. I love him thematically, but find him no fun at all to actually fight. This makes me sad.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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This is why I love double-Stun-Bolting him with the Wraith and having Smoke Bombs out if she's the lowest hp. Damage, what damage? ;)

Okay so we play with only three heroes so there's less damage to nerf but it still works out more often than not ;).


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Well, I enjoyed my last game against him, but that's because I had The Ultimate Target, the Neurotoxin Dart Thrower, andThe Masada in play and we dropped Spite on his front side.

Silverleaf wrote:

I love him thematically, but find him no fun at all to actually fight. This makes me sad.

i completely agree! So I was thinking about what I would do to try and make him more fun, but preserve the theme. Here's what I came up with:

  • Compound Omicron: replace all text with "redirect the first damage that would be dealt to Spite each turn to the environment target with the highest HP."
  • Mind-Phyre: replace all text with "at the start of the villain turn, destroy one environment card that is not a target. At the end of the villain turn, play the top card of the environment deck." (I'm considering changing that last condition to "when an environment target is destroyed.")
  • Spite, Transhuman Serial Killer: change his flip condition to "4 or more Drug cards are in play."
  • Spite, Drug-Wracked Monstrosity: add "when flipped to this side, destroy all environment cards."
  • Forced Entry: change "all" to "H-1."

My rationale is that Spite is mainly boring because of what he does to the environment, with the additional secondary contributor that his flipside is always the same. So, I'd try to make it more like he's hiding in the environment. Still, when he flips, I like the implication that the battle narrows down to just Spite and the heroes, so I put in that destroy-the-environment thing. I changed his flip condition not to make him easier, but to make him different each time. And, finally, while Forced Entry is and should be That Card, putting that cap on it gives the heroes a chance to make up their lost ground (at some cost to themselves).

We haven't tested this out too much - last time, we clearly didn't need it - but I'm optimistic...

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After playing a lot of Rook City in the App lately, I've come to appreciate the power of Stun Bolt.  Against Spite, Matriarch, or the Chairman, it's almost a necessity.  In fact, I've started rating heroes as to their "stun potential".

Wraith: 1 (W has lots of own-deck manipulation, so it's easy to get at least one Stun Bolt in play; decent chance of Throat Jab.)

Visionary: 0.5 (Twist the Ether)

Tachyon: 0.5 (Good chance of drawing a Hypersonic Assault, but it's just a One-Shot.)

Mr. Fixer: 0.5 (Hoist Chain is repeatable, but MF doesn't have the card churn to reliably get it into play.)

Expatriette: 0.25 (Cryogenic Rounds are effectively one-shots, but E has some means of getting them back into circulation.)

Haka: 0.25 (Ground Pound is great, but expensive.)

I wouldn't go up against Advanced versions of Spite, Matriarch or Chairman without at *least* a total of 1 Stun Rating, ideally more.

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I like to put Liquid Nitrogen Rounds on the Assault Rifle. Hit the villain with the first shot, then Fixer Or NightMist redirects the next shot for -2. Or have bith redirect for -3.


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Fixer also has Grease Gun, so I'd probably bump him up a bit.


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I think the easiest way to fix Spite is just to take away the backlash from the drug that punishes you for using powers. The discarding the top five cards of your deck is fine, but the two damage reprise is a bit excessive. Most heroes don't have a base power that deals more than two damage, and without buffs, the most damage a hero can do with a single power is four. Four damage is the bare minimum needed to just break even, doing a total damage of two damage to Spite and being dealt two in return. This gets even worse if his DR drug is out. I think if you just removed the damage punishment for using powers, you wouldn't have nearly so many games where it feels like all you can do is wait for Spite to flip.


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He also deals three damage if his damage-buff drug is out.

At least that drug has the "put something back into someone's hand" part, which is usually kind of annoying but one time we had it cycling Inspiring Presence (when Legacy was first in turn order) so everyone kept getting healed by a point. Bloody Knuckles is a good one as well, especially since that drug goes off at the start of Spite's turn, before he actually starts dealing damage - then you only need to worry about getting hit by whatever comes out on the environment's turn before Spite does away with that as well :D.


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I feel like I wait for Spite to flip while he hurts me, doing nothing but occasionally saving victims and hoping he doesn't decide to make the Safe House's name a lie and make my sacrifices pointless. At his own whim he gets all the drugs out, which can take forever, and then I can start actually playing the game.

Then of course he kills me because I have to audacity to need powers to do, y'know, fun stuff, and damage.

I am just not seeing how he's in any way enjoyable to play. I feel like my decisions don't matter, and all games with him play exactly the same way except for the varying amount of time before he flips.

And I really want to like him. :/


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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Destroying him before he flips is far more satisfying. Try doing that =)


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The first time we played him, we managed to get a ton of people in the Safe House, and he never broke them out before he flipped. We whittled him down on his front side, and then when he flipped, the Safe House exploded in his face, and he died. We thought it was pretty fun, and a cool idea for a villain and a mechanic to support that theme.

I've played him on the app several times since then, and each time it has been the same: We do everything we can, he flips right after emptying the Safe House, and we kill ourselves trying to find any way possible to damage him enough to overcome the healing he's giving himself when he hits us.

I've lost every game against him on the app, and he's been at max HP every time.

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He doesn't heal on the flip side.


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MigrantP wrote:

Destroying him before he flips is far more satisfying. Try doing that =)

Agreed.

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Try Challenge Mode. It was the original version of Spite anyways.


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Pydro wrote:

Try Challenge Mode. It was the original version of Spite anyways.

No...

Nonononononononononononononononono!

No max health=bad!

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Pydro wrote:

Try Challenge Mode. It was the original version of Spite anyways.

Before playtesting determined that stunk... :)

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MigrantP wrote:

Destroying him before he flips is far more satisfying. Try doing that =)

Whether or not I can do that depends on what drugs come out in which order. I would say though that with Spite, the most satisfying victories are the ones where you kill him with SafeHouse damage. I also think Spite is easier with three or four heroes. When H equals three, damage reduction makes killing him before he flips much easier.


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I still enjoy it.


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but never hit soft."
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Challenge Spite was cool, but then I don't seem to have much problem with Spite, probably small sample card luck, but he rarely flips for us, and when he does he doesn't last long.  Of course we do a lot of (H)=3, and he seems to scale nastily.

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AlexxKay wrote:

After playing a lot of Rook City in the App lately, I've come to appreciate the power of Stun Bolt.  Against Spite, Matriarch, or the Chairman, it's almost a necessity.


That is exactly why I find Spite, Matriarch, and The Organization to be spectacularly disappointing villains.

"3/4ths of this expansion's villains are really fun if you take the same hero in every game and keep two copies of one card in her deck on the field."

Maybe just cut the need for DR and just make the villains deal less damage so you can have fun with more than Just The Wraith?

Forgive me if I seem to be engaging in histrionics or antagonism, but I truly do not understand the argument "This villain is fun with a very particular strategy offered by a small pool of heroes" being used to try to convey a villain's design as fun, engaging, and successful.


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Draw, God of the Sun
The Matriarch's Psychic damage is her forcing a gratuitous amount of Snapple facts about birds into a hero's brain.

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Strategies to make victory easier are just that.

They aren't arguments that the villain is awesome, just ways to beat them.

Wraith is Spite's nemesis and it is pretty cool to play Wraith and just crush Spite.  There are many more ways.

Mr. Fixer is awesome against Spite as well, and Ra, Parse, Tachyon, Scholar, Sky-Scraper, Cosmic, Unity, Expat, they all have ways to work together to crush Spite.

My favorite team for crushing Spite is Fanatic, Visionary, Ra.  Frankly because he deserves to be judged and burned.

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Reckless wrote:

 

AlexxKay wrote:
After playing a lot of Rook City in the App lately, I've come to appreciate the power of Stun Bolt.  Against Spite, Matriarch, or the Chairman, it's almost a necessity.

 

That is exactly why I find Spite, Matriarch, and The Organization to be spectacularly disappointing villains.

"3/4ths of this expansion's villains are really fun if you take the same hero in every game and keep two copies of one card in her deck on the field."

Maybe just cut the need for DR and just make the villains deal less damage so you can have fun with more than Just The Wraith?

Forgive me if I seem to be engaging in histrionics or antagonism, but I truly do not understand the argument "This villain is fun with a very particular strategy offered by a small pool of heroes" being used to try to convey a villain's design as fun, engaging, and successful.

Out of the 27 currently released full villains, most of them have nothing to negate a double stun bolt beyond wiping out equipment.  In fact, off the top of my head, Plague Rat is the only villain to deal irreducible damage on his base card.

Only one villain makes infrared eyepiece dangerous rather than just annoying.

Wraith is easy to use and can be OP, we get it.

Now we return to your regularly schedualled Spite hate.

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Setback rocks vs. Spite with Wrong Time and Place and plenty of tokens.


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I play Spite regularly, and I often beat him before he flips. Wraith helps, but is not necessary. While I disagree with the punishment for Heroic choices inherent in Spite's deck, I sometimes remind myself that this is a true serial killer and not our flying rat's mad nemesis. The dark nature of the assignment places the heroes in a moral quandry where saving the obvious and immediate victim may cause failure, and the long term threat to go on unabated.

There are a few things to note:

1) Do not bother with victims until he is close to flipping. Take Lost Child, for instance. Take H-1 damage to put under Safe House. Since the damage is done by Spite, Spite now heals H-1. If you just let her die, you take no damage and Spite Heals H, for a whopping 1 point of healing difference, but a lot less damage taken. Only a fool saves the Lost Child. The commonality of Forced Entry means saving anyone is highly questionable. This is non-heroic, but the game punishes choosing to be Heroic in this case. The moral choice for the heroes: save this one victim and let Spite flee the battlefield to kill dozens more while you seek him out again, or focus on the threat and accept that it is Spite that is killing her, not you?

2) Tachyon and others can make him fail to deal damage. Throat jab is not the only card for that purpose. Hoist Chain and Chrono-ranger can also reduce his damage dealt, and consequently his healing. Go with damage reduction heroes, and get that DR out there early. I know damage dealing gets a high priority sometimes, but this is a single target that does lots of instances of damage, so DR is much more effective than normal, especially DR that targets the source. You take less damage and Spite heals less. Time is generally on Spite's side, but some heroes must have a few rounds to get going. Yes, Wraith does this job best (having both "target Damage Reduction", "target deals no damage" cards in her deck as well as Stealth), but you can choose to set her aside and turn it over to those that do it less well.

3) Damage redirection. Spite hitting himself is net 0, but at least you're not dying. It would not be unreasonable to houserule that Spite only heals for damage dealt to hero targets or environment, so hitting himself would do real damage instead of net 0. I play him normal, but I agree with anyone choosing to change him this way.

4) Irreducible hero damage. Omnitron-X and Fixer are great choices. OX is also great due to his damage reduction and feedback damage, while Fixer can redirect. Chrono-ranger can deal irreducible, but he can't do that and reduce Spite's damage dealt at the same time, unless a specific Bounty is in play.

5) PL531 is a boon for some heroes. Omnitron-X loves replaying Slip Through Time. Tachyon can replay Pushing the Limits for no cost. I know Inspiring Presence is a popular one, but Legacy has lots of Ongoings to get into play, so that is often situational. Fixer can take his toolbox back to hand to protect other heroes from losses. Plan for this by choosing the right team, and work together to get the cards in play needed to handle it.

I know a lot of these are not available in the video game yet. Bunker, Omnicannon, Heavy Plating, and Recharge Mode. Consider it.

For those that dislike Spite's normal mode, play his Agent of Gloom promo. It gives good reason to save Victims as fast as you can at start of game. We threw in Rogue Agent Knyfe, who first Turn drew a victim off the bottom of his deck, flipping him with only one drug in a 3 player game, but I've faced 4 drugs at Flip, too. Victims go ignored after flip, since the Safe House punishes the players, so that same disatisfying punishment of Heroism continues as Spite's core theme. Still, you get to be Heroic for a few Rounds.

eugeneruss
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I like the cost for saving them (heroism isn't free), but it annoys me there's no real penalty for failure to save. A victim flipping should be a bad event period, but failing to save them after the flip ought to be the worst outcome. I simply can't play Spite and not save the victims, so I guess it doens't matter for me in the end.

Donner
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But when you do save them, and he destroys the safe house and kills them anyway? >:(  Then what's the point of saving them?  And most of the time I try and save the Good Samaritan, Spite's card kills the Good Samaritan before he gets saved.


"Deja-fu? You've heard of that?"
- Lu Tze, Sweeper, Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

eugeneruss
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I'd love a revised Spite where he has a dedicated victim deck, and safe house loosed H-2 (or H-1) from the Safe House. His double play is one of his many mechnical problems, it's there to get victims out without costing him mayhem, but it doesn't work well.

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