You’re Going To Need A Bigger Box
Marvel Champions has been around for a few years now. Throughout its lifetime it has seen a multitude of content released for it. To newcomers, this can be very daunting. Where do you start? Do I need all the content? What is the difference between a Scenario Pack and a Hero Pack? The questions go on and on and this buyer's guide hopes to answer some of them. I am going to explain all the different types of content available for the game. At the end, I will also provide a recommended buying order. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
The 4 Content Types
There are currently 4 kinds of content you can buy for Marvel Champions. There is; the Core Box, Hero Packs, Scenario Packs and Campaign boxes. All content for the game is in one of these four categories, let's discuss each of them.
The Core Box
I am probably stating the obvious here but the core box is where your collection should start. The Core Box contains everything you need to play the game. It comes with 5 heroes; She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Black Panther. It has 3 villains; Rhino, Klaw and Ultron. These villains gradually ramp up in complexity, helping you progress your skill level. It also contains all the ancillary items you need to play the game. Tokens, health dials, a rule book, a reference guide and modular encounter cards. This box is outstanding value for money and your collection could end here and still be great. Marvel Champions has so much more to offer than this box though, so let’s check it out.
A hero pack is the best way to pick up your favourite Marvel characters to play with. Heroes can be placed into any encounter and they all come with a premade deck, that you can play straight out of the box. Each pack also contains a small set of aspect cards, for the deck-building lovers amongst you. These packs are a great inexpensive way to enhance your next Marvel Champions game. At the time of writing, there are 28 Hero packs and they are:
- Captain America
- Doctor Strange
- Ms. Marvel
- Scarlet Witch
- Black Widow
- War Machine
- Quick Silver
These boxes are more akin to traditional board game expansions. There is a tonne of lovely content in each of them. Every box comes with 2 heroes, 5 villains, a campaign to play through, new aspect cards and modular card sets. There are currently 5 Campaign Boxes to choose from and I will give a very brief overview of each.
- Comes with the heroes Hawkeye and Spider-Woman.
- The Villains are Crossbone, Absorbing Man, Taskmaster, Arnim Zola and Red Skull.
- A well-balanced Campaign Box and a great progression in difficulty from the core set.
- Contains the heroes Rocket and Groot.
- The villains are Drang, Collector (x2), Nebula and Ronan the Accuser.
- A very difficult box that introduced the Guardians of the Galaxy to the game. Not recommended for a first buy, due to its difficulty. Would recommend it for experienced players seeking a challenge.
- Heroes include Spectrum and Adam Warlock.
- Villains are Loki, Hela, Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive and Thanos.
- A well-balanced box with some of the most iconic Marvel villains. The scenarios in this box are much more complicated than the core set. This should not deter new players. A great acquisition for the more advanced player and beginners.
- The two heroes are Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and Ghost Spider.
- Villains in the box are Sandman, Venom, Mysterio, The Sinister Six and Venom Goblin.
- Another great pickup here from Fantasy Flight. If you are a webhead like me, this is not a bad place to set your sites.
- The heroes are Shadowcat and Colossus.
- Villains include Sabertooth, a Sentinel, Master Mold, The Brotherhood of Mutants and Magneto.
- This pack finally introduced the X-men. If you are a mutant fan this is a must-buy as it features some great villains from that side of Marvel. Some of the scenarios are a bit more complex but never overwhelming.
Finally, in the marvel Champions range we have the Scenario packs. These packs include extra villains for your heroes to fight. Most also come with modular encounter cards, for use against other villains. There are currently 5 Scenario Packs available and they are.
- Green Goblin. This pack comes with 2 scenarios. Mutagen Formula and Risky Business. It also comes with 4 modular sets that can be added to any match-up in the game. Both of Green Goblins' fights are entertaining and have some very interactive mechanics.
- Wrecking Crew. This scenario pack unfortunately only has one encounter to play with. It also comes with no encounter cards. Although the scenario is great fun, fighting 4 villains at once. I would say this is one for the completionists out there.
- The Once and Future Kang. This scenario pack was designed with multiplayer in mind. Players will be splitting up to fight Kang in different parts of the multiverse. Leading to a final showdown. Also contains three modular encounter sets to utilise.
- The Hood. This pack's main appeal is its 9 modular encounter sets. Two of these sets stand out in particular. Standard II and Expert II. These modular sets are for players who want the biggest challenge the game has to offer. The scenario inside is easy to tailor thanks to all the encounter sets that come in the pack.
- MojoMania. The latest pack comes with three unique scenarios. They can be played standalone or part of a min-campaign. On top of this are 6 modular sets. This one feels like FFG finally hit the sweet spot with Scenario packs. A must-have for scenario pack enjoyers.
That was a lot to get through but now you know all the content available for the game. Next, it is time for my recommended buying order. If I could go back and start my Marvel Champions journey all over again this is the way I would do it.
Firstly, the Core Box. You cannot play the game without this so this has to be your first purchase. If there are ways to play the game without this box, I do not know them and I imagine it would be difficult.
Your favourite heroes. The core box has legs and will last you a while. So replaying the box with your favourite heroes is a no-brainer to me. My own personal favourites would be Captain America, Ant-Man and Thor.
Now it is time for a Campaign Box. the best one to start with is where it all started, The Rise Of Red Skull. The campaign is beginner friendly and comes with a great collection of cards to enhance the core set.
Next, I would suggest the Sinister Motives box or the Mad Titans Shadow campaign box. Or why not both? These boxes provide some wonderful encounters that will test you and your friends.
More heroes. You may find some of the encounters you have now quite tough. Well, the more heroes you own the more cards you have for deck-building. You can then craft the perfect deck for each encounter. Going through the meta of heroes is beyond the scope of this buyer’s guide. Heroes I think are strong to pick up are; Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch and Venom.
Any Scenario pack that takes your fancy. If you are looking to increase the overall difficulty of the game, I would target The Hood. If instead, you want a cool new villain to fight, you cannot go wrong with the Green Goblin pack.
The rest is pretty free-form and will go off of personal taste. I would value the campaign boxes over hero or scenario packs personally. Owning everything is nice but not essential.
Well, that is everything. I hope this guide was helpful to you. Despite its intimidating product range, Marvel Champions is a great lifestyle game. I wish you the best of luck facing the many villains of the marvel universe. Have fun.