Marvel Champions: Nebula Hero Pack is one of Marvel Champions' most popular expansion packs. Marvel Champions is a 1-4 player superhero game. Players take on the role of one of five Marvel heroes to battle it out against one of three villains. Play as Captain Marvel, Spiderman, She-Hulk, Black Panther or Iron Man and face off against Rhino, Klaw, or Ultron. Each Hero is represented by a deck of cards. These are made up of basic cards, hero specific cards and aspect cards (one of leadership, justice, aggression and protection). Each Villain is also represented by a deck of cards. Similarly, these comprise of basic villain cards, villain specific cards, and a modular encounter set.
During a player’s turn, they will play cards (paying for the cost by discarding other cards from their hand). They can then activate cards and perform a number of actions. All in an attempt to defeat the “big bad” and to thwart his schemes. Players can also switch from alter ego to hero form once per turn. And activate their characters special ability as well the basic recovery, attack or defend actions. Once a player has performed all of their actions it passes to the next player. They repeat the process until all players have performed their actions.
Next is the villain phase. During the villain phase, threat is added to the main scheme based on player count. Then, the villain will either attack (if you are in hero form). Or, they will scheme (if you are in alter ego form). A boost card is revealed from the encounter deck and added to the Villian’s base attack/scheme value. Each player (in turn order) is then dealt an encounter card. Any minions in play will also attack or scheme.
Players will need to manage the number of threat tokens that are placed on a scheme. If a certain quantity is reached then the scheme advances to the next stage, and eventually the Villain will win by completing his scheme. In addition to the threat/schemes, players will also have to take out minions and deal damage to the Villain. The goal is to reduce his health to zero and win the game.
Marvel Champions is a living card game (LCG) and as such the publisher Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) are supporting the game with new Hero & Villain packs to further expand the game, the combinations and replayability. Check out a full review & final thoughts of the core game here.
This time in Marvel Champions: Nebula Hero Pack, Nebula is hitting the hero scene. Nebula is the perfect killing machine. Trained by Thanos himself, she has broken free of his tight grip and is in the employ of the Guardians of the Galaxy. But her past keeps coming back and you never know if she is going to be the friend of the Guardians or an enemy of the Guardians. With her Cybernetic Upgrades and a multitude of techniques, she is not to be messed with.
The Nebula hero pack comes with a pre-built Justice deck and 15 signature Hero cards. Nebula is a two thwart, two attack and two defense hero with an interesting Forced Response. A large portion of her Hero cards are techniques that give some kind of ability or bonus. Cut-throat Ambition gives Nebula piercing and overkill and Weapons Master gives retaliate 1. However, all of these technique cards have a “special” ability on them. These special abilities trigger with Nebula’s Hero forced response.
At the start of Nebula’s turn when she is in Hero form, each of the special abilities on the technique card are triggered and then discarded. This can make for some very fun turns as you build up to a powerful flurry of actions where you are dealing damage, removing threat, stunning/confusing an enemy and looking at the top three cards in the encounter deck. The timing of when to flip to Hero form and when to stay in Alter-Ego form is that much more important for Nebula and makes for some interesting timing and form flipping. She feels very different to a lot of other Heroes and has a very nice ebb and flow to her gameplay.
On top of that, there are cards like Lethal Intent which is an X cost event card where you can choose how many resources to pay and then activate that many technique cards. Playing this and flipping at the same time can create some very explosive turns,
Three new Justice allies come in to play as well with Eros, Wraith and Venom as well as Cosmo, a basic ally. There are some new Justice cards such as Brains over Brawn and One Way or Another.
Nebula’s nemesis is, of course, Gamora, her sister. As well as being Nebula’s signature ally the sisters have a somewhat confrontational relationship and are often clashing. It makes perfect thematic sense that Gamora would be Nebula’s signature ally as well as her Nemesis and can make for some fun gameplay moments when Shadows of the Past comes out.
Marvel Champions: Nebula Hero Pack is a strong addition to the Marvel Champions lineup and one that has a lot of potential. Her precon deck is pretty good and has a lot of mileage but as with most precons you will want to experiment with adding in new cards and changing up her aspect to explore interesting and exciting combos.