Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite pants-wearing Finding Nemo villain – King Shark. Shark as he currently stands in second edition is a great addition to a crew looking for a melee beat-stick. With Shark being affiliate unknown and only rivaling the Brave and the Bold, he’s an option for the majority of crews and teams. When evaluating whether or not to take Shark into your list you should first understand his role and what he’s going to do for you. Let’s take a look at his card.
He’s coming in at 95 Rep and no cost to your funding with a solid stat line and a high damage output potential. With his core stats you can see at attack 5 with 3+ strength that he’s going to want to put his hands on someone. Furthermore, he can easily snap henchman like twigs, but also will be able to go toe to toe with a more formidable opponent. His weapon profile “Claws & Teeth” on their own are fine; however, coupled with Devastating and a few other abilities, he can turn into an absolute terror. For each successful damage he’s putting 1 blood and 1 stun onto his target and with Combo that’s a potential 7 attacks going through. Now, if shark is injured at all he’s gaining another attack counter from Bloodthirsty putting him at a potential attack output of 9 attacks (6 attack counters plus 3 from combo). His attacks are devastating, meaning he’s rolling 2 collateral die and applying both results and he’s Brutal so he has an innate bonus to crit chance and/or knocking down his opponents. Shark is mostly going to be putting out 6 or so attacks because he won’t benefit as much from loading his attack completely with combo, only applying for each 2 attack counter intervals. This also allows for shark to save some counters for Regeneration, defending or making use of Swift to increase Shark’s threat range. Keep in mind that because shark is a base attack of 5, your opponent will need to block on 5’s as well, making him a tough model to defend against. Blood Scent is going to be what you need to make Shark more reliable against tougher opponents. Once they’re injured he can go in with +1 to hit and +1 to strength. Making it easier for him to chew through models with higher defense and making his damage rolls close to certainty. Finally his size is going to give him access to Charge which can be very impact-ful against henchmen balls.
Another component that makes your melee beat-stick a threat is how quickly he/she can get to a model. Since Shark is Huge he has a base movement of 7″, three more inches of base movement than your average 30mm base model. Should you need additional movement he’s Swift as I mentioned before, meaning he’s moving and additional 6″ when you allocate 2 counters into movement. This makes Shark’s threat range 13″ which will often get him into contact with what he needs to reach. Shark also has access to Amphibious, which will allow him to access a sewer for 1 counter instead of 2. This can often be useful for traversing the board, or exiting an area to safety, and with the cost of less counters this will help him defend or regenerate if he finds himself in a dangerous situation.
Shark’s weakest point is his ability to survive. Yes he has endurance 8, but his defense is average at 3. The issue is that half of all incoming melee attacks are going to get through, and without Martial Artist and being so big, a few models can outnumber him and bring him down to defense 2. The silver lining is that Shark has a Bulletproof Vest in the form of Meta-Skin making his survivability against guns significant, and with access to Regeneration he can heal himself as needed. My main point with his weakness is that he does not have access to Sturdy or Desensitized making him starved for counters as he takes damage, which he can accumulate rather easily for a free agent.
Recap / Strategy / Personal Experience
Shark is a murder machine, chomping those pearly whites into anyone and everyone he crosses paths with. We know that hes great at beating-up henchmen and has the ability to go toe to toe with some heavy hitters with less ease, but possible nonetheless. We also know that he’s relatively quick which couples nicely with his ability to rip through models, and finally his only downfall is his low defense and that he can be put down fairly easy for a high rep cost model.
Shark is great to take when your crew lacks melee power, and since he’s not in the triple digits for rep cost, he can fit into a lot of lists without breaking the bank so to speak. It’s important to play him into situations where you can somewhat predict the outcome or be aware of the potential backlash. This means you’ll want to throw him in knowing he can survive or pick off a model without a ton of risk. Look at him as a glass cannon, he has high damage output potential, but he will pay dearly for you overextending him. Also keep in mind that he’s big and it wont take much for your opponent to outnumber him and take him out. One neat trick is that he can score all of your objectives at once if the objectives are placed near each other (legally). This is something you can do with any Huge 60mm model, but since Shark wants to fight this is something that should be done only if your opponent is not contesting or scoring and he can do it safely. Realistically he should be out fighting while your low-cost goons score your objectives, but remember this is a possibility for you. Run him around the board as a hunter and don’t feel like your wasting your efforts picking off henchmen because this is his job and he does it very well.
I like Shark in gun heavy crews like organized crime, since he can put his hands on your enemies while the rest of the crew sets up to shoot, and with a threat like shark in the forefront your opponent is going to be forced to deal with him instead of rolling through your gun-wielding henchmen. Just be careful not to overextend him and get him killed. At this point I would also say he’s pretty much an auto-include in Suicide Squad. Squad has limited options and some of them are flat-out weak choices; whereas Shark is a strong choice in any crew. He also benefits greatly from Squad’s Airborne Deployment.
Consider taking Shark in your lists and let me know how he fares. Thanks for taking a look and make sure you don’t get your period in Shark infested waters. See you soon.