Marvel Champions: Doctor Strange Hero Pack Marvel Champions is a Living Card Game (LCG) from Fantasy Flight. That means that it will continue to grow and expand roughly monthly with new content. The good news is that this content is not random booster packs but set cards, like hero expansion decks, new schemes and villains.
The game play is cooperative and based around hand management. Each hero has some cards that are specific to them and then you either use a prebuilt deck, or take cards from two other decks, a general deck with generic cards and one of four attribute decks. These are leadership, justice, aggression and protection. Helpfully the deck names are an accurate description of what the cards will do! Cards are super important as every card you play must be paid for by other cards.
It is fun to fit characters with their best themed deck, Captain America with a leadership build for example, but also fun to mix it up a little too, especially given the challenge of the villains. Villains come into play with their own decks, with a main scheme you must stop, minions, side schemes and more. Interestingly each hero can be in their heroic form or their alter ego and the villain reacts differently to each. Villains will directly attack heroes, but if the hero is in their alter ego form then the villain doesn’t know who they are and will therefore continue with their evil scheme.
The game is thematic and fun to play providing a good challenge for players and meaningful team-ups.
Dr Strange’s hero pack brings spells and hexes with it as you take control of the enigmatic doctor. The Sorcerer Supreme comes with a pre built protector deck or you can build your own following the base games’ rules!
Player Count: 1-4
Time: 45-90 Minutes
Marvel Champions is a one to four player super hero game where 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 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 comprising villain specific cards, basic villain cards and a modular encounter set.
During a players turn they will play cards. (paying for the cost by discarding other cards from their hand). Then, activate cards and perform a number of actions all in 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 on the main scheme based on player count. Then the villain will either attack (if you are in hero form) or scheme (if you are in alter ego form). When they attack or scheme 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 amount of threat tokens that is placed on a scheme as if a certain quantity is reached 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 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.
People are Strange
Marvel Champions has another hero pack. This time it is the supreme sorcerer and the protector of Earth from magical and mystical attack, Dr. Strange.
The Dr. Strange Hero pack comes with a pre-built deck utilising the protection deck and a separate invocation deck. There are also additional cards for other aspects and some basic cards that can be used to further increase your deck building options. As with the other Hero packs you can play with the pre-built deck straight out of the box or add and remove cards if you prefer to deck build and tailor the deck to your liking and play style.
I wanted to start off by saying that the first Dr. Strange movie left me feeling a bit...Meh about the character. However, my interest in the character was piqued further after watching Infinity War (such a great movie). I was not super excited about the Dr. Strange hero pack but as I am slowly collecting everything Marvel Champions related I couldn't miss out on this one and I was eager to see what spin FFG had brought to the character.
What can I say...FFG are continuing to surprise me with the innovative ways they are expanding and supporting this game. Not content with just releasing a hero deck with a few tweaks here and there and few additional cards, the have given Dr. Strange a separate, albeit small, deck - the invocation deck. This sits alongside his main hero/aspect deck.
As. Dr. Strange (hero) you can play one of the invocation cards from the top of the deck (paying the associated costs). This card then goes in to a separate discard pile. As Stephen Strange (alter-ego) you can discard cards from this invocation deck to cycle through to the card you want/need. This is such a small addition but really opens up your options and potential for cool card combinations. The invocation deck allows you to draw additional cards. confuse the villain with images of Ikonn, deal damage and a few other cool actions.
Dr Strange Hero Pack - Final Thoughts
Hero cards such as Magic Blast, Protective Ward, Astral Protection, The Eye of Agamotto, Sanctum Sanctorium, Mystical Studies and, my personal favourite, Cloak of Levitation all add to the the theme the Hero.
There are some very cool cards in the main deck, not just the Hero cards (which are awesome) but some Protection cards and basic cards as well.
Basic cards such as Warning, reduces the amount of damage a hero takes by 1 makes an appearance for the first time. Clea, Dr. Strange's love interest and Brother Voodoo are allies in the protection aspect. Some other new protection cards include: -Desperate Defense, which is a Hero interrupt card which increases your defense by 2 and if you take no damage from the attack you can ready your hero. -Momentum Shift which is a hero action that allows you to heal 2 damage and deal 2 damage. Add these to the Hero cards and you have a lot of interesting yet tough choices to make.
Baron Mordo, Dr. Strange's adversary makes an appearance in this pack, as his Nemesis, who is trying to "Open the Dark Dimension". Thematic ties have always been strong in Marvel Champions and Dr. Strange is no exception.
I sound like a broken record with my Marvel Champions reviews, but FFG have done it again. They have kept the theme and the evoked the feeling of the Hero they are portraying and have brought some new and interesting twist to the core Marvel Champions game.