MCP: Rocket & Groot

Guess who found their way onto the painting table? It’s everyone’s favourite tree and small mammal with a gun, Groot and Rocket! Two of the most beloved characters in the MCU, Rocket and Groot were on the agenda for Atomic Mass Games from the get go, with their presence in the display cabinet at GenCon 2019 causing no small amount of excitement. It’s oddly fitting that I finally got them painted just before what would have been GenCon 2020. Who knows what I’ll get painted before GenCon 2021!

Groot and Rocket are meant to be played as a duo. Its kismet. Or fate. Or design space. Or magic. Take your pick. What evidence do I have for this crazy supposition, you ask?

Exhibit A: Rocket’s Personal Bodyguard ability explicitly allows Rocket to redirect attacks onto Groot, who is generally much better at taking it on the chin, and can heal himself for good meaasure.

Exhibit B: The Deadly Duo Team Tactics card, which lets you spend 4 Power (2 off each character) if they’re in proximity, to allow Rocket to make three Plasma Rifle attacks against three different enemies.

Exhibit C: The models. Unless you’ve gone and gotten all creative with basing, Rocket is clearly standing on Groot’s arm/branch, breaking through the pavement.

That’s all much of a muchness though, let’s take a quick peek at the cards. Neither character is overly complicated, but that doesn’t mean they’re to be underestimated at all.

Groot can take a hit on the chin, with with much of the damage being dealt in the game being physical, his defense stat of 4 will go a long way. His basic strike is decent, but I Am Groot! allows you to deliver a hefty wallop that both Throws and Staggers the target, though it comes with an equally hefty price tag at 6 Power.

Living Plant is gold, trading two power for three health and keeping our arboreal avenger on the table, but there’s also something to be said for the hilarity of inflicting the Root condition on opponents with Tangling Vines. Root means that the target needs to spend an additional Power every time they want to use an active or reactive superpower. This won’t be as useful against characters that rely heavily on their basic attacks, but it can thoroughly mess with characters like Red Skull, basically adding a “You messed with Groot” tax to all their favorite tricks.

Rocket is a little faster than Groot, and is the single squishiest model in the game to date. His defense stats are unimpressive, and he can only take a total of 6 damage combined over both sides of his card… but then, we’ve already mentioned Personal Bodyguard. Don’t let his diminutive stature fool you. Paired up with Groot, he’s going to be irksome to remove from the board, and while you’re trying to do so he’ll be shooting everyone with his Plasma Rifle and Hadron Enforcer, which damages other enemies near the target and forces them out of position.

Oh, and speaking of his diminutive stature, he actually has the Small Stature rule, so always benefits from cover.

Rocket’s main application will be shooting things, but his Booby Traps will also help discourage incoming attackers, potentially doing up to 4 damage to any enemy that ends its movement within R3.

Long story short, Rocket & Groot are essentially one model on two bases – A big damage sink with a mean right hook, and an attached ranged weapon platform. You know, just how they appeared in the Annihilation comic event, and in the prison breakout scene inGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. Swing by your FLGS or reach out to your preferred online retailer. Someone’s gotta save the entire freakin’ galaxy.