We finally got our hands on the Sinister Motives* expansion, and after some playtesting we’re here to talk about the heroes in the box. In this article we will cover Ghost-Spider (Gwen Stacy)‘s strengths and weaknesses, and her potential with different aspects, based on our two-player experience.
- All rounder
- Built in ready up mechanic
- Consistency potential
- Can store events to use later
- When revealed effect cancellation
- Cheap Villain (Minion) activation cancel
Ghost-Spider quickly took a spot in S-tier on our Marvel Champions Hero Tier list. Her potential to ready on both Interrupt and Response events makes a very strong hero with great potential of combos. She has thwart (Phantom Flip) or damage (Ghost Kick) after using basic powers, making her very versatile on top of readying her up for another action.
Gwen’s kit is based entirely around interrupting and responding with event cards, which allows you to get extreme value out of those cards. In protection in particular, her built-in card draw and readying provided by playing defensive events almost entirely cancels out the inherent weakness of that aspect, but more on that later.
George Stacy is a support persona that allows you to store up to 3 events under him, giving Ghost-spider a sort-of increased hand size, as well as consistency and versatility. Unlike Bruno Carrelli (Ms. Marvel’s Support Persona), you don’t need to be in Alter-Ego form to store events under good old dad, but you can’t use them to pay for other cards, as they don’t go in your hand. George Stacy is also particularly amazing if you have events in your deck that want you to switch forms or have other specific, unreliable triggers, as they are almost never ‘dead’ draws – you can save those cards until you satisfy their conditions. There are even a few ways to fish him out of the deck or discard with Parental Guidance, and even Worried Father (yes, that is the one time you may want your obligation to come in early).
- No resource generation
- Low thwart starting power
- Focused on the same strategy
- Low recovery
Honestly, a lot of Ghost-Spider’s weaknesses are mostly nit-picking, as with most of our other S-tier picks, none of these are really deal breakers when compared to her strengths.
Unlike the other Spider-Man variants, Ghost-Spider doesn’t have Web-Shooters that generate wild resources. Instead she has Web-Bracelets, which allow her to draw a card after using an “Interrupt” or “Response” event. Considering her entire kit is reliant on this interaction, it’s not so hard to trigger if you’re building around her, but not as consistently as simply handing out free resources with no strings (or webs?) attached.
Her extreme focus on the strategy she’s designed for – interrupting and responding – is both her greatest strength and her biggest weakness. You’re pretty much always incentivised to build her with response or interrupt events in mind if you want her full potential, and that can result in her deckbuilding options being somewhat inflexible.
Ghost-Spider’s Aspect Pairings
Straight out of the box, Gwen comes with a prebuilt Protection deck, and Ghost-Spider’s innate ability to ready after using interrupt of response makes amazing at throwing herself under the bus to protect people, particularly in two-player games. George Stacy allows you to always have defence events ready when you need them without taking space in your limited hand size, and you can actually have a meaningful turn after defending.
Protection’s biggest weakness as an aspect is that you can regularly find yourself blowing all your resources during the villain phase, and not doing anything during your hero phase. You can end up stuck in a loop where you do nothing during the hero phase, draw a new hand, cancel or soak attacks on the villain phase. You then have no cards left for the next hero phase, and those you do have are too expensive to play. And so the cycle repeats, and your hero isn’t even ready to use a basic power.
Ghost-Spider almost entirely removes this weakness. You can ready up when you play a defence event, regardless of other conditions, you can store any events you can’t afford under George Stacy, and you can even draw cards to replace those defence events thanks to your Web-Bracelets. It feels a little like they built her specifically to counteract these issues, and it really shows.
Her natural Protection tendencies aside, we believe that Aggression is likely the second best aspect for this character, because there are a surprising number of generally useful interrupts and response events in Aggression that can boost your damage, such as Skilled Strike. With Phantom Flip you can also remove threat as you are dealing damage, and with Web Binding she can stop attacks and clean up minions.
As third best, we rank Justice, only because the aspect has more “interrupt” and “response” cards then Leadership does. She has only 1 thwart, which dings her viability as justice considerably, but with Justice events like as Making An Entrance you can quite easily compensate for this.
There is no hero that is outright bad with Leadership so far, and since her hero deck has a lot of strong events with interrupts and responses, Spider-Gwen is likely still viable as a leader. If they introduce more Web-Warrior synergy later on in the aspect she could probably benefit from that, but for now, she doesn’t benefit from any of the existing synergies around Guardians and Avengers, and Leadership lacks many truly good interrupt and response events.
Our Ghost-Spider Deck
For our deck, we chose to go with Protection for all the reasons noted above. With this aspect, Ghost-Spider gets most use of her Dizzying Reflexes. Check out our list over on MarvelCDB.
When you start you always want to get George Stacy out as soon as possible. If you start with Ticket to the Multiverse in hand you can use to pay for a card and before you change to hero form, shuffle it back into the deck. That will help you a lot with the setup. It’s rare that playing Ticket to the Multiverse as anything other than a double resource is a good idea, but it’s nice to have it as an option.
During game it is pretty self explanatory, try to attack and ready with your hero deck Interrupt/Response Events. You should also try to store defence cards under George Stacy so you can draw your maximum hand size at the end of the hero phase.
Web of Life and Destiny is just a free card for Ghost-Spider as she is a web-warrior, so there is no reason not to have it out. There are only two allies in the deck that trigger it – Silk and Spider-Man – but you want them out as much as possible. Combined to Across the Spider-Verse you can keep pulling out Silk and removing those harsh treacheries such as Shadows of the Past, Gang-up, etc.
Try to take at least one Web-Bracelet out as soon as possible, so you can benefit from the draw. Remember that you can activate only one per event, but later on you will need both in play.
You get more draw from Unflappable, so try to not take any damage with Defiance, Never Back Down, and Jump Flip, which will also ready you up, even after your first free ready-up from her ability. Energy Barrier is surprisingly helpful, as even a single extra point of damage soaked can prevent the now ubiquitous “If you take any damage from this attack” abilities from triggering.
The deck is built for 2 players, and the other player is Spider-Man (Miles Morales), that is why it runs Young Love. If you are playing with another hero, I recommend replacing Young Love with third copy of Defiance. I don’t recommend adding any of the Spider-Man (Mile Morales) allies, as the defence one wants you to have more Web-Warriors, and the basic one is not even a Web-Warrior.
Overall, Ghost-Spider is a powerful new hero who packs a powerful punch, and she more than deserves her place in S-tier.
- All rounder
- Consistent power
- Built-in ready up
- Treachery and activation cancellation
- No resource generation
- Low base thwart
- Lack of deck-building options
- Low recovery