Legacy Lore 003: Double Power Actions
This week will probably be a little shorter as we're talking about a concept that didn't even last ten years in the game. That's right, we're looking at Double Power Actions.
Let's start with what Double Power Actions are. While the layout changed over the years, the actual guidelines did not. So we'll just use the last wording.
A DOUBLE POWER action is a variant of the POWER action type that can be used to activate even more powerful effects. It counts as a POWER action for effects that reference action types.
DOUBLE POWER actions are costed actions and work the same as POWER actions except for the differences listed below:
• Just before the double power action resolves, give the character two action tokens. This signifies that you have resolved the action.
• Can only be activated if the character has 0 (not 1) action tokens.
• Can’t be given “at no cost” or “as FREE.”
Fairly simple, right? When they wanted a power to be more “costly,” they made it be activated with a Double Power action. And this was before pushing damage was removed from the game, so it really cost you something in game economy to use them.
The first figure to ever have a Double Power action (predating the standardized wording) was Captain America #058 Human Torch in 2011. His attack power reads, “Give Human Torch a power action that places two action tokens on him.” Double Power actions were very quickly adopted, however, and showed up (with the standardized wording) in the Street Fighter set.
Double Power actions were never used a lot since they were supposed to be reserved for more powerful effects. And an effect better be pretty powerful if it's going to force your character to clear next turn (absent a successful Leadership roll). And more often, it was used as a negative with figures forcing Power actions to become Double Power actions. 2020 saw the last mention of Double Power actions as a concept with the Power Elite traits. Donald Pierce's Head was the last game element to actually have an effect activated with a Double Power action in the X-Men Animated Series: Dark Phoenix Saga set from 2019. And the rules overhaul with Wonder Woman removed Double Power actions from the modern rules.
Double Power actions were a decent idea that was never truly capitalized on. In a world with pushing damage and predating willpower rolls, two tokens was just too costly for most effects. Which is why we saw more figures that penalized opponents with Double Power actions rather than effects that warranted the two tokens. All in all, I'd say the game is probably better off without them. Power actions are good enough, in my opinion.
Thanks for reading. If you have an older effect that you're curious about feel free to write into firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we'll cover it in a future Legacy Lore.