Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!


For this week’s confusing card of the week article, we’re going to take a look at Punisher: War Journal from the Marvel Civil War set.

I’m also adding a new Prime Rating to each of my Confusing Card of the Week articles. They will follow the same rating system as the Unlimited Competitive Rating, since Prime is also a competitive format. You can find a breakdown of how I choose my ratings on my sticky article, Helpful Sites and About this Blog.


Ruling – Ability

Punisher has a When Fielded ability. This type of ability only works when you move the character die into field either from your Reserve Pool by paying its fielding cost or by an ability that specifically tells you to field the character die. Swapping the die into the Field Zone or moving/placing the die by other means will not allow you to use the When Fielded ability.

“Field a character at level one from Used Pile.” This type of wording would allow you to use the When Fielded ability.

“Move a character from your Used Pile to the Field Zone at level one.” This type of wording does not allow you to use the When Fielded ability.

Punisher says when you field his die, each non-Sidekick character die that you field for the rest of the turn gains the keyword, Intimidate. Each non-Sidekick character that enters the Field Zone after Punisher will be able to use Intimidate.

Intimidate is a When Fielded ability that allows that character to remove another character die from the Field Zone until end of turn. You can target an opposing character die or one of your own character dice. The removed character die is placed to the side next to your character cards, but do not place it on the character cards. Nothing else can effect the removed dice because they are no longer in the play area.

At the end of turn, the removed character dice will return to the Field Zone at the level they were on when they were removed. These dice do not return until the Clean Up Step, so they will not be eligible as blockers during the Attack Step.

When a character with a When Fielded ability is returned to the Field Zone after being removed by Intimidate, you do not get to activate that ability. The returning character dice are not being fielded.

A character with the Ally keyword would not be able to use the Intimidate granted by Punisher’s ability. When a character with Ally is fielded, they are considered a Sidekick as long as they are in the Field Zone. You are not able to use Intimidate on your characters until they are fielded. If Ally were a triggered ability, like a When Fielded ability, you would be able to choose the order in which they triggered. Ally is a static type effect that happens as soon as the conditions are met. This does not give you a window to use Intimidate.

Miscellaneous Card Information

~ Punisher: War Journal is a Fist Character.
~ He has the Thunderbolts affiliation.
~ He has a max dice of four.
~ This card is an Uncommon and is #92 of 142.


These examples are for information purposes only, to show what would happen in certain scenarios. I am not suggesting that these examples are the best outcomes for each scenario and each example only features relevant parts of the turn, not the entire turn.


~ I have a Punisher die, a Sidekick die, an Alfred die, a Wolverine die, an Oracle die, and four fist energy in my Reserve Pool (all my character dice are level one). My opponent has a level three Hulk die and a Sidekick die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend one fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to pay Punisher’s fielding cost, and then field my Punisher die. All non-Sidekick characters that I field for the rest of the turn will gain Intimidate.
~ (Main Step) I spend one fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to use the Global on Anger Issues and target my Punisher die to give him +1A (for a current total of 5A).
~ (Main Step) I field my Sidekick. The Sidekick does not get to use Intimidate.
~ (Main Step) I field my Alfred. He is an Ally as he enters the Field Zone, so he does not get to use Intimidate.
~ (Main Step) I spend one fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to field my Wolverine die. He is not a Sidekick, so he gets to use Intimidate. I target my opponent’s Hulk die and my opponent moves that die next to my character cards, showing that it’s removed from play.
~ (Main Step) I field my Oracle die. She is not a Sidekick, so she gets to use Intimidate. I target my opponent’s Sidekick die and place it next to their Hulk die.
~ (Main Step) I pass priority to my opponent. My opponent does not use any Globals, and passes priority back.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) I assign my Punisher, Wolverine, and Sidekick as attackers.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) My opponent does not have any characters to block with.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I spend my last fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to use the Global on Anger Issues and target my Punisher die to give him +1A (for a total of 6A). I pass priority to my opponent to give them an opportunity to use Globals. They do not use any and pass priority back to me.
~ (Attack Step – Assign and Resolve Damage) All of my attackers are unblocked and assign their damage to my opponent. Punisher would deal six damage, Wolverine would deal four damage, and the Sidekick would deal one damage, for a total of eleven damage. These unblocked characters are now placed Out of Play.
~ (Clean Up Step) All dice that are Out of Play are moved to the Used Pile. All effects end (unless otherwise stated). The two characters removed from play by Intimidate are placed back in the Field Zone on their previous levels.

Official Sources

You can find an official ruling about the card on WizKids Official Rules Forum (WORF), here.

You can find an official definition for Intimidate on the Keywords Page.

You can find additional information on Intimidate in The Reserve Pool’s Lexicon page, here.

Turn Order Summary Reference


Unlimited Competitive Play Rating

I do not see this character making it onto any competitive unlimited team. He cost high, his TFC isn’t good for what his ability does, and he is conditional. I say he’s conditional because there are plenty of competitive teams that don’t need active character dice and not many (if any) of your own characters that benefit from returning to play without being ‘fielded’. Vicious Struggle teams don’t normally field any characters. Other teams would likely not be threatened by the temporary removal of their characters. It might be an annoyance for the one turn, but then you would need to cycle Punisher, and any other characters you’re using with him. If WizKids rules that you can use Allies with Punisher, then that may make him a little better, but still not a card I’d consider for a competitive format.

Punisher: War Journal gets a rating of zero out of five stars.
0 Stars

Prime Play Rating

With the loss of Elf Thief and the lack of cost reduction, this card does not seem very useful in Prime. I will admit, he’s more appealing for a Prime format where you’ll likely see more teams with characters that stay fielded, but you still need to work hard – probably harder – to get this crazy combo to go off. I wouldn’t expect to see him in any top teams in the Prime format either. There are still much better options for crazy combos, and even fun combos that require much less work and are not as frustrating to get functioning.

Punisher: War Journal gets a Prime rating of one out of five stars.
1 Star

Casual Play Rating

I don’t particularly like Punisher for casual play either. His ability can be confusing and difficult to use in a casual setting. A more experienced player could use this card as a teaching tool, but I think there are better alternatives for that. I think the right pilot could run a team with him and cheap fielding characters effectively, but it still would require specific card choices and a really good understanding of the game. If you’re playing in a casual setting and you want to try something different, then maybe this card could give you that. I can’t recommend this card for a brand new player, but more experienced players might be able to build a fun team with him.

Punisher: War Journal gets a casual play rating of two out of five stars.
2 Stars

Opinions on this card? Leave a comment!
Is there a card your confused on?
Is there a combo that seems too good to be true?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Special thanks to The Reserve Pool for the use of their site.

Roll on, Dice Masters!

  1. […] A character with Ally will become a Sidekick the very moment that it enters the Field Zone. This is not an optional keyword and you cannot trigger it because it applies the instant the character is fielded. This matters specifically for abilities like the one on Punisher: War Journal. […]


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