Skilled Strike

This is a bread and butter card for aggression decks. 2 dmg/card is a good rate, and at a cost of 1 card leaves your hand flexible. As a 0-resource cost card, be mindful of your deck composition as you can end up with some awkward hands of 0-1 cost cards + resource cards.

The value goes up a bit in multiplayer where you can know you will be using your basic attack every turn and never have to thwart.

I also want to mention this is a great card with Ghost-Spider! I was happy to bring it in as my “Aspect Advantage” for my Protection deck, which had lots of responses and interrupts for the villain phase but needed more for the hero phase.

Stretch22 · 182
Hard Knocks

At time of print, this is the biggest attack Protection has that it can aim at minions, and the biggest attack it can level against villains aside from Fighting Fit. In multiplayer, there's probably someone on your team that will be great at clearing minions, but in solo, this is your best option, particularly for large minions. And it's very good! As a bonus, that Tough status should free you up from needing to defend next turn, allowing you to Thwart or spend cards developing your position rather than treading water. Overall, highly recommend.

Fry · 56
Protector

If you want an ally to do a little bit of attacking or thwarting and then block the villain, most other Protection allies are better than Protector at the attacking/thwarting or cheaper to deploy. If you want an ally to repeatedly block minions Victor Mancha is much cheaper, though you could consider Protector a redundant option until you can find Victor.

She can be a decent home for any spare Tough status cards you get from Hex Bolt, "We Are Groot", Muster Courage, or the like - it gives you the option to convert the Tough card into 3 damage, if you'd prefer that to absorbing a Villain attack.

One situation where Protector is great is repeatedly paying to Thwart. Protection has a tough time actually clearing threat, so being able to repeatedly spend one resource for one threat removed is a good value.

The other situation is when you just want to convert resources to damage, another area where Protection doesn't have many options. Paying 4+card for Protector to attack twice for a total of 6 damage is not great compared to what you get in Aggression, but it's not bad for Protection. And you have the option to spend 4++card to attack three times for 9 damage, or 4++card for two attacks and a block.

Overall, I'd say Protector is best in a deck that can reliably generate to help keep threat under control, with the ability to throw out some burst damage at key moments.

Fry · 56
Gets way more attractive if you have a blue teammate who can play Mighty Avengers or Inspired on you so you can clear 2-3 threat per turn. Or maaaybe makes the cut for blue-green spider-woman. — OrionJA · 5
Less exciting than Warlock for those uses, but nice to have the redundancy. — Fry · 56
Warlock is the king of long-run efficiency, but Protector can pivot into attacking for 4-5 as needed. Plus, Protector is an Avenger and an Android, while Warlock is neither. — OrionJA · 5
"Fight Me, Coward!"

I was skeptical of this card, but in practice it's actually decent. In addition to readying Drax for another big basic attack, it draws a card for itself, then it probably draws another card for Vengeance, and yet another card for DWI Theet Mastery when you basic attack after readying. That many extra cards can be worth taking the extra villain attack!

Fry · 56
Concussive Blow

3+card is overpriced for just a single Confuse effect (hello, Sonic Rifle) so hopefully you can generate resources on most of your turns. If you can pay the resource, it's reasonably cost-effective at slowing the villain while advancing your win. Use this to buy yourself time in Alter-Ego without losing control of the main scheme.

Fry · 56