(Metagame Archive) The Avengers Preview: Helmut Zemo Citizen V

By Jason Grabher-Meyer

Heinrich Zemo, the twelfth Baron Zemo, was one of the greatest villains of Marvel’s Golden Age. He was an ally to Hitler in World War II, a rival to Red Skull, and an arch-enemy of Captain America. Armed with a brilliant, goal-oriented mind, he was a visionary inventor who created Adhesive X and the dreaded (and campy!) Death Ray. When Red Skull sent him on a doomed mission that had been leaked to the allies, Heinrich countered with a trap of his own, killing Captain America’s sidekick Bucky and setting off a chain of events that would conclude with Cap’ and Red Skull in suspended animation.

Life progressed peacefully for decades for the Baron, but when news sources across the world reported on the resuscitation of his nemesis, Heinrich had no choice but to tie up the one loose end left in his life; he had to kill Steve Rogers. To do so, he took an approach no super-villain had ever taken before—he created his own band of villainous allies, naming them the Masters of Evil. It was this party that clashed with Captain America’s do-gooders in “Avengers #15,” the story in which Captain America avenged Bucky and inadvertently killed Heinrich Zemo.

But Heinrich had a son. Helmut Zemo was not the brilliant inventor, exceptional conspirator, or strong fighter that his father was, but he possessed the one thing Heinrich did not: a commitment to revenge. While his first few attempts at wreaking vengeance upon Captain America were laughable solo efforts, he quickly came to one of the same conclusions his father did and reformed the Masters of Evil. It was the fourth and arguably best incarnation of the team, and when leading his group into the Avengers’ mansion in broad daylight, Helmut divided and devastated members of the group before being driven off. Helmut’s greatest strength—leadership—was revealed.

Later, when the world thought the Avengers to be dead, Zemo took up the guise of the American hero his father had killed in WWII, Citizen V. He helped form the Thunderbolts and quickly took a liking to his heroic approach. Later, he would lead a truly well-intentioned version of the group, discovering that he could earn the respect both he and his father had craved through heroism.

That said, his villainous ways still remained within him, and it’s the good but deviously-minded Zemo that we see here. While Zemo is dedicated to noble causes, he still remembers the strategy and tactics that led him to a successful raid of the Avengers’ mansion. This incarnation is all about catching his opponents off guard.

As a 6-drop, Zemo can be viewed as having above-average stats if we can forgive his lack of flight and range. Both of his effects require characters to be adjacent to him, and both exemplify the new leadership mechanic. While leadership effects are often incredibly powerful, they are prone to disruption. If you can protect your formation, though, both of Zemo’s effects are extremely good.

His first allows him to share his team affiliation with those adjacent to him. If he’s in the front row, that means both an increased capacity for team-attacks and the ability to be reinforced by the character behind him. If he’s in the support row, he can team attack with whoever is in front of him (as well as any adjacent ranged characters), while at the same time create the potential for a strong defensive position due to reinforcement possibilities. As such, he’s a versatile card with excellent flavor that reflects his brilliant leadership abilities.

His second effect demonstrates his more nefarious side. This is the same man who attacked his enemies under cover of daylight, when they were least expecting it. Zemo threatens to exploit your opponent’s initiative if he or she doesn’t bring him down, and placing him in the back row on turn 6 when you control odd-numbered turns can make life difficult for an opponent. If the opponent’s 6-drop doesn’t have flight, he or she will either need to bash through the meat-shield guarding Zemo or over-commit via team attacks and plot twists. If the opponent fails, Zemo and his newly-deputized Thunderbolts cohorts will make him or her pay. Note that his 13 DEF makes him a great fit for this role.

Alternatively, if you have control of the initiative on even turns, you’ll probably be looking to make use of some offensive exhaustion to get the most out of Zemo’s effect. Luckily, this happens to be a running theme for the Thunderbolts, so Zemo will be just as effective on offense as he is on D.

A rather simple character, Zemo provides a good introduction to the leader effect mixed with great stats and good team synergy. As a common 6-drop, you can expect to see him quite a lot in Sealed Pack, and that is where his first effect is incredibly valuable. Uniting even the most ragtag of multi-affiliation decks, Zemo lets you draft aggressively and go after the best characters possible while still allowing you the ability to team attack and reinforce on later turns.

A cool portrayal of the complicated villain-turned-hero, Helmut Zemo ◊ Citizen V is just one of the many highly flavored characters in the set. If you’re a fan of the comic book accuracy and nuance often seen in the Vs. System, then get ready to have your socks blown off—Avengers is packed to the gills with it!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer Heinrich Zemo, the twelfth Baron Zemo, was one of the greatest villains of Marvel’s Golden Age. He was an ally to Hitler in World War II, a rival to Red Skull, and an arch-enemy of Captain America. Armed with a brilliant, goal-oriented mind, he was a visionary inventor who created Adhesive X and the dreaded (and campy!) Death Ray. When Red Skull sent him on a doomed mission that had been leaked to the allies, Heinrich countered with a trap of his own, killing Captain America’s sidekick Bucky and setting off a chain of events that would conclude with Cap’ and Red Skull in suspended animation.

 

Life progressed peacefully for decades for the Baron, but when news sources across the world reported on the resuscitation of his nemesis, Heinrich had no choice but to tie up the one loose end left in his life; he had to kill Steve Rogers. To do so, he took an approach no super-villain had ever taken before—he created his own band of villainous allies, naming them the Masters of Evil. It was this party that clashed with Captain America’s do-gooders in “Avengers #15,” the story in which Captain America avenged Bucky and inadvertently killed Heinrich Zemo.

 

But Heinrich had a son. Helmut Zemo was not the brilliant inventor, exceptional conspirator, or strong fighter that his father was, but he possessed the one thing Heinrich did not: a commitment to revenge. While his first few attempts at wreaking vengeance upon Captain America were laughable solo efforts, he quickly came to one of the same conclusions his father did and reformed the Masters of Evil. It was the fourth and arguably best incarnation of the team, and when leading his group into the Avengers’ mansion in broad daylight, Helmut divided and devastated members of the group before being driven off. Helmut’s greatest strength—leadership—was revealed.

 

Later, when the world thought the Avengers to be dead, Zemo took up the guise of the American hero his father had killed in WWII, Citizen V. He helped form the Thunderbolts and quickly took a liking to his heroic approach. Later, he would lead a truly well-intentioned version of the group, discovering that he could earn the respect both he and his father had craved through heroism.

 

That said, his villainous ways still remained within him, and it’s the good but deviously-minded Zemo that we see here. While Zemo is dedicated to noble causes, he still remembers the strategy and tactics that led him to a successful raid of the Avengers’ mansion. This incarnation is all about catching his opponents off guard.

 

As a 6-drop, Zemo can be viewed as having above-average stats if we can forgive his lack of flight and range. Both of his effects require characters to be adjacent to him, and both exemplify the new leadership mechanic. While leadership effects are often incredibly powerful, they are prone to disruption. If you can protect your formation, though, both of Zemo’s effects are extremely good.

 

His first allows him to share his team affiliation with those adjacent to him. If he’s in the front row, that means both an increased capacity for team-attacks and the ability to be reinforced by the character behind him. If he’s in the support row, he can team attack with whoever is in front of him (as well as any adjacent ranged characters), while at the same time create the potential for a strong defensive position due to reinforcement possibilities. As such, he’s a versatile card with excellent flavor that reflects his brilliant leadership abilities.

 

His second effect demonstrates his more nefarious side. This is the same man who attacked his enemies under cover of daylight, when they were least expecting it. Zemo threatens to exploit your opponent’s initiative if he or she doesn’t bring him down, and placing him in the back row on turn 6 when you control odd-numbered turns can make life difficult for an opponent. If the opponent’s 6-drop doesn’t have flight, he or she will either need to bash through the meat-shield guarding Zemo or over-commit via team attacks and plot twists. If the opponent fails, Zemo and his newly-deputized Thunderbolts cohorts will make him or her pay. Note that his 13 DEF makes him a great fit for this role.

 

Alternatively, if you have control of the initiative on even turns, you’ll probably be looking to make use of some offensive exhaustion to get the most out of Zemo’s effect. Luckily, this happens to be a running theme for the Thunderbolts, so Zemo will be just as effective on offense as he is on D.

 

A rather simple character, Zemo provides a good introduction to the leader effect mixed with great stats and good team synergy. As a common 6-drop, you can expect to see him quite a lot in Sealed Pack, and that is where his first effect is incredibly valuable. Uniting even the most ragtag of multi-affiliation decks, Zemo lets you draft aggressively and go after the best characters possible while still allowing you the ability to team attack and reinforce on later turns.

 

A cool portrayal of the complicated villain-turned-hero, Helmut Zemo ◊ Citizen V is just one of the many highly flavored characters in the set. If you’re a fan of the comic book accuracy and nuance often seen in the Vs. System, then get ready to have your socks blown off—Avengers is packed to the gills with it!

 

-Jason Grabher-Meyer
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