The Masterminds have gathered their forces, the time has come for them to enact their scheme. SHIELD, with the aid of any heroes they can assemble, must stand between the villains and victory. In the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Edition of the Legendary Deck-Building game, you must work together with up to four friends, to take on difficult villains and masterminds, in a board game that is different every time you set it up.
Introducing the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Edition
So, this printing of Marvel Legendary boils it down the core heroes of the original printing, seven in fact: Captain America, Iron man, Thor, Hulk, Black widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury. This means you don’t need expansion X, Y, Z for any of the heroes to come into their element and this sets up nicely for a potential phase two.
There is a new mastermind in the form of Iron Monger, complete with new villain groups gamma hunters and Iron Foes. Each of the different type of hero cards have a different image on them, which, like all of the cards in here, are taken from scenes within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films.
The bystanders within this edition also contain some of the bystanders only available previously through expansions, once again using images from MCU films. There is also an updated rulebook, so there is no more checking the internet mid-game to confirm a ruling you know was updated with an expansion.
Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Edition - Iron Monger Mastermind (Credit: Upper Deck)
So, starting with this, it is a reprint of the base game and it brings it back to core. While this means you won’t end up with a set of heroes at the HQ that just simply can’t gel with each other at all, it means you have reduced “you need X hero to defeat,” or any of the other hero-based difficulty spikes.
The game mat that is supplied with the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Edition, while absolutely stunning to look at showing the scene from Avengers Assemble promotional material, is narrower than the previous board, completely removing the KO zone.
Villains and henchmen, while any that were in the previous printing retain the same effect trait shared by masterminds and hero cards, previous enemies that are absent from this print in name like the Doombots and Sentials are added in the form of the Iron Hammer army from Iron Man 2 and Ten Ring fanatics from the first Iron Man - making it feel a bit stale creatively.
The general gameplay remains largely unchanged compared to previous editions. The biggest change is the introduction of the “Conqueror” ability. For example, the Chitari has the ability “Rooftop Conqueror” X which means as long as the rooftops contain a bad guy, they have +X toughness, meaning some plays need to be done a bit more tactically to get around this or to ease this issue.
If you are new to the Legendary game, it revolves around playing cards to increase your attack or your recruit to smack bad guys or recruit heroes. The heroes will have special effects or hit harder than your base starting deck, until you are finally able to take the fight the mastermind. You combo your effects and recruit heroes that have complimentary effects with other heroes you have bought.
This means you will have those discussions about whatever deck you are trying to build every time you go to buy a hero from the HQ, unless you are buying Odin’s Son Thor (Green recruit bonus Thor card) and suddenly everyone is happy you are working through the hero deck.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the easiest setting in the game can't suddenly pull out a villain victory from nowhere and smashing your group down, but working together and discussion of what you are going to build is key or…..
You can go for an ultra-competitive run, these are hard because the rule of this run is; no discussion of any kind or tactic and suddenly you are playing a completely different game. As a group, we have yet to win on an ultra-competitive run, but we still have a blast with them.
Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Edition - Black Widow (Credit: Upper Deck)
I would personally agree with the recommended 14+ on the box, but if your children are already playing card games that revolve around combos or deck-building then this would not be too difficult of a jump to, so take it with a pinch of salt.
Final Thoughts on Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Edition
If you are new the Marvel Legendary series, then this is a great place to start. It's a solid game, easy to learn but still challenging after 100+ games. There are hours of fun to be had and this is a solid purchase. If you already have a solid legendary collection, then I (personally) would give it a miss unless you can enjoy the variety in the card art and the new mat.