Yellow Ranger Exploration – Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid
Go! Go! Power Rangers!
The Power Rangers Game, Heroes of the Grid, was published by Renegade Game Studios in 2019 and it was incredibly well received. Currently, with a ranking of 8.3 on BGG (Board Game Geek, the internet database of board games), Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid not only encapsulates the spirit of the Power Rangers, but it offers an interesting cooperative strategy game in its own right. Using unique asymmetrical characters, players control a number of Rangers (depending on player count) each with their own abilities.
My partner and I play the game two player most often, and when playing two player each player controls two Rangers. Recently, when playing, I decided to break out a Zack Taylor (Black Ranger) and Trini Kwan (Yellow Ranger) combo, with the Pink and Green Rangers as back up, and it turned out to be a really interesting game.
Trini Kwan, like all the Power Rangers in Heroes of the Grid is a really quirky character, and requires some nuance when playing. Today I thought, since it’s been a while since we’ve looked at a strategy article, we would take a look at the Yellow Ranger in all of her glory.
Trini Kwan – Yellow Ranger – Combat Cards
The way that Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid works is that each Ranger has a deck of 10 cards. Some of these are unique cards, and some are duplicate cards. Out of those cards, each Ranger has the card Blade Blaster. It’s a special weapon attack that turns energy into direct damage within the game, and it has proven especially excellent when facing the many monsters Rita Repulsa (or other bosses with the expansions) uses to fight the Rangers.
Leaving aside Blade Blaster, this means that Trini, our Yellow Ranger, has 9 combat cards, a Special Ability, and a Zord.
So, let’s take a look – what are Trini Kwan’s combat cards?
- Blade Blaster – Cost: X – Attack: Special – This attack deals an amount of damage equal to the amount of energy spent to play this card. You may divide this damage amongst any number of targets.
- 2x Tenacity – Cost: 0 – Maneuver – Gain 1 Energy. Choose 2 cards from your discard pile and return them to the top of your deck, in any order.
- 2x Precise Strike – Cost: 0 – Attack: 2 – After you play this card, you may spend 1 energy to shuffle it back into your deck instead of discarding it.
- 2x Twin-Fang Teamwork – Cost: 0 – Reaction – Play this card after another Ranger resolves an attack to deal 1 damage to the target of that attack.
- 2x Sabertooth Strike – Cost: 1 – Attack: 2 Dice – If this attack defeats the target, you may immediately perform a second attack with 2 dice.
- Power Daggers – Attack: 4 Dice – After you resolve this attack, a Ranger of your choice may immediately play 1 card.
Now, when we opened the box, I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed by Trini’s cards. When you compare her to Zack (Black Ranger), Jason (Red Ranger), Billy (Blue Ranger), or Kimberley (Pink Ranger) her cards seemed distinctly tame. She doesn’t have the same 3x dice damage cards the other Power Rangers have, but instead, she seems to deal with small damage. I remember my first game, completing it with a Zack/Jason combo and thinking “I am so glad I didn’t choose the Yellow Ranger – in fact, why would anyone want to choose the Yellow Ranger?”
Wow – how wrong I was. Trini Kwan is a powerhouse in the game, and it call comes down to her special ability.
Trini Kwan – Yellow Ranger – Special Ability
In Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid each Ranger has a special ability. That ability can usually be played in the heat of combat. Kimberley (Pink Ranger), for instance, can cause damage to a single enemy at the start of combat. Zack (Black Ranger) can create splash damage to an enemy beside an enemy card he has just defeated. Jason (Red Ranger) allows for a member of the team to reroll, where Billy (Blue Ranger) allows for a Ranger to rearrange their hands/deck. Trini has this:
Double Strike: Once per battle, after you play a card, you may immediately play another card with the same name.
Okay, that may not sound that impressive, but if you go back to her cards, Trini has 4x doubles in her deck. With a hand size of 5 combat cards, the odds of her not having at least one double pairing in her hand are incredibly small.
What is more, in a two player game, this ability gets even better. Not only do you have a hand size of 7, meaning you can see more cards at any one time, but you have a both Ranger decks shuffled into one. This is awesome for two reasons. Firstly, you can use Trini’s ability for both Rangers (still restricted to one per battle, but you can use it with Jason cards, for example, if you are playing as both Yellow and Red Rangers). Secondly, since each Ranger has Blade Blaster then you can double up on it using each Ranger’s personal energy supply.
Trini Kwan – Yellow Ranger – Saber-Toothed Tiger Zord
The Yellow Ranger’s Zord also helps perpetuate an idea. If you are lucky enough to get Trini’s Zord into play then the Saber-Toothed Tiger comes with its own ability.
Saber-Toothed Tiger – Mighty Morphin Yellow – Exhaust this card during a battle to allow for each participating Ranger to draw up to 2 cards.
It starts to piece together an interesting picture of who the Yellow Ranger is within Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid.
Who is the Yellow Ranger in Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid?
This may seem like a bit of an obvious question to ask so late in an article; however, we’re not really asking who the Yellow Ranger is (obviously, she is Trini Kwan – it says so on the card). Instead, we’re asking about who she is in the function of the game, and that is slightly different.
So, who is Trini Kwan? What does she do?
Well, if Jason is a large damage dealer and Zack is an AOE (area of effect) style character, then Trini is the fast one. Both the biggest strength and biggest weakness of Trini Kwan is this – Trini can play cards very quickly.
It’s surprising actually, but Trini can eat through her deck fast, and this means having to be careful of how she is played. Each Ranger gets two actions per round, however, these can easily be eaten up returning back to the Command Centre to Power Up (ie. replenish your hand) or to Recover cards mid-round.
Through eating through her deck slightly faster than other Rangers may be able to, Trini can make herself vulnerable to damage, and this is where the strategic use of Trini’s ability is incredibly important.
Having played Heroes of the Grid a number of times now, myself and my partner (who is the real Power Ranger fan between us) were discussing the character abilities and, out of the base set (we kickstarted it, so we have the White Ranger and Green Ranger as well), Trini probably has the best ability.
So, why is that? Well to understand that we need to break down the core aspects to combat.
Looking at Combat in Heroes of the Grid
Essentially, within the combat of Heroes of the Grid there are three things you are looking to do on your turn. Deal damage, aid other Rangers, or prepare to take damage.
When facing Putties, the odds are that you are facing enemies with 2 or 3 health at any one time. Even the Super Putty Patrollers only have 2 or 3 health, so they aren’t too difficult to beat.
Well, one option for Trini is to use Precise Strike, dealing two damage outright for the cost of no energy (although you may want to spend an energy to bolster your deck, depending on how much fighting you want to do before Powering Up). You kill a Putty with Precise Strike and, if you have two in your hand, you can use Trini’s ability to play it again. Boom, two Putties destroyed.
Since you can only face 4x Putties at a time, that’s 50% gone in the first turn.
Okay, what if you don’t have Precise Strike? Well, with the right rolls and cards, two Sabertooth Strikes can be incredibly powerful. If you defeat an enemy with Sabertooth Strike you can immediately attack again with 2 dice. This means, it is possible (with good rolls) to defeat two Putties in a turn. Since, by default, those have to be different Putties you have halved the opponent’s battle line in one round.
But wait! If you have the energy and the second Sabertooth Strike in your hand then you can play it again, giving you the possibility to wipe out another two Putties. Granted, it is reliant on good dice rolls, but it’s still a better chance than a lot of other options.
Twin-Fang Teamwork is pretty good for delivering a final blow at the best of times; however when facing a boss and needing to just tip over a boss card, Twin-Fang Teamwork can be especially useful if you need guaranteed damage (although whether you want to use both is highly situational – it would only be 2 damage after all).
Finally, we have Tenacity. Now, why is Tenacity useful? Arguably, it is one of the best Trini cards as, in using Tenacity, you can replenish your deck, meaning you (a) don’t need to recover as much and (b) have additional shields for any defence. It also allows you to pull out combos from your discard pile and put them on top of your deck to ensure you get them in your hand ASAP.
Now, Tenacity is incredibly helpful the first or second battle after a Power Up. It means you may be able to put two Sabertooth Strike’s or the two Precise Strikes to the very top of your deck. It’s useful at the best of times for additional strength, but mix it with the Yellow Zord and it helps you keep good combos in play, especially between battles.
Mix Trini with other Rangers in a two player game and she is unstoppable.
The Yellow Ranger: It’s Morphin’ Time
For want of a better way of putting it – Trini Kwan is an awesome character in Power Rangers: Heroes of The Grid. She has an ability that requires a bit of nuance to be able to pull off, and it is arguably the most situational out of all the base Ranger abilities; however, it is incredibly good.
So, fellow Rangers, I urge you to, when you next play Heroes of the Grid, give Trini Kwan a go. The Yellow Ranger does not disappoint.
And on that note, let’s draw this article to a close. What are your thoughts? Have you played Heroes of the Grid? Do you enjoy it? Do you like playing as Trini? Let me know in the comments below.