Friday, January 16, 2015

All the Things in Pandora's Box


One of the most intricate things about Malifaux is deciding which upgrades you should take on your Master and crew. These upgrades have the ability to change how a character plays entirely, and Pandora is no exception. Since my focus is on Neverborn this year, lets talk Pandora upgrades.

Pandora has two limited upgrades, Voices and The Box Opens. One makes her more control oriented and the other gives her the durability to hang out close to the action.

The Box Opens give Pandora Terrifying (All) at a pretty high number. This is fantastic because at the very
least it forces a flip and the loss of a good card or a card out of your opponent's hand. If you are using Incite correctly, you can control who goes next, to give you time to put another threat in the way as well.

Mini Game Wisdom: Anytime your opponent makes a choice you want it to be the best out of two bad options. So force your opponent to either go after Pandora or another threat like Baby Kade or Candy. Either way they will probably get mulched afterwards. Sometimes its worth it to offer a trade of models. Stick Candy in the way to make use of Fears Given Form (I love this upgrade on her) and her Sweet and Sour abilities. Sure it might be sacrificing her but you could set up for a turn where you take 2 models at the price or your one. 

The Box Opens offers another trick as well, giving friendly Woes (Pandora, Sorrows, Candy, Iggy and Baby Kade) another attack called Melancholy. It doesn't do a whole lot of damage but its a rare df duel for Pandora's crew and it has two very good triggers.

Voices is the second limited upgrade for Pandora, and its best trick is adding a trigger to her two attacks, Self Harm and Self Loathing, which hands out Paralyzed condition with a Crow trigger. If you have played Malifaux at all Paralyzed is one of the most fantastic and infuriating conditions in the game. Unlike most other conditions, it only goes away after the model's next activation. Meaning, you could very well get two activations in a row, especially with Incite. A good trick is to Self Loathing on a model for the Paralyze, then Incite the same model so that you force them to go first. They simply activate and do nothing, and you get to go again. (Another good tip: If you have a model with fears given form near the paralyzed model, they still have to make the Df duel at the start of their activation)

Making the Decision
Both of these upgrades are awesome, but you can only take one. So which one do you take? When building crews, upgrades are the most harrowing of decisions. The golden rule is, look at your schemes and scenarios. What did you want to do this game? Is the scenario Reckoning or Turf War? Bring The Box Opens. Pandora can get up close and personal and between being Terrifying and Fading Memory she should be pretty safe in the thick of things. Pandora is a slippery model to catch.
Are your scenario and schemes more objective based? Bring Voices to Paralyze models and keep them from disrupting your plans. If you have an idea your opponent is going for objective based schemes, use Paralyze and Incite to your advantage. Remember AP is limited, and if you take away the activation of a model, that's 2 AP they don't get back, 3 if you manage to get a lucky hit on their Master.

Fugue State
Pandora has another non limited upgrade that I would be crazy to not talk about: Fugue State. Fugue State
gives Pandora another WP casting attack that hands out Insignificant and an 8 inch aura that forces an enemy to make a WP duel at a pretty high value or take 1 damage when they use an interact action
(Keep in mind, if they are near any Sorrows or close enough to Pandora, a lost WP duel is more than 1 damage thanks to Misery)

Cry For Me

Cry For Me is another Pandora only upgrade that gives her another attack based on WP and hands out negatives on all duels to the model hit. With a Double mask trigger it can drop a blast that puts negative flips on all models that are close hit. This is very good when you know models will be clumped up. Expect your opponent to take Hoffman or Collodi? Hit them up with a blast that trips most of their team up.

When you look at your scheme pool and see lots of interaction related schemes, this upgrade is invaluable. Shut down those pesky mole men and necropunks before they even start. Insignificant from Nullify attack lasts until Pandora is killed, and considering how slippery she is, that could be hard for your opponent to pull off.

As for other Upgrades, Pandora can make use of Fears Given Form, it forces a DF duel if a model activates within 3 inches of her and does 3 damage. Its another layer on the defensive pool, especially if you know you will be in tight quarters like Turf War or Reckoning.
Depression is an interesting upgrade that hands out the condition Nobody Likes Me, which forces a model to go last as long as it has the condition. Remember that Depression is a Woe specific upgrade so Candy or Baby Kade can make use of it as well.

These aren't all of Pandora's upgrade choices but they are the ones that have made the biggest impact on the games I've played with her. As I play more games, these choices might change or I will have new insights on them. In the next post I'll talk Pandora's best crew choices, then its on to the Terror of the Swamp. (Hopefully I'll have a few more games with her) Until then, keep cheating Fate!

-John Fox

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