Marvel Champions: Doctor Strange Hero Pack

RRP: £16.99

NOW £12.49
RRP £16.99

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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! 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 ro…
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Category Tags , , , , SKU ZBG-FFGMC08 Availability 5+ in stock
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Value For Money

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Feels thematic to the cinematic Hero
  • New addition to the core mechanisms
  • More variety

Might Not Like

  • An additional, albeit small, deck to manage
  • Benefits from repeated plays
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Description

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
Age: 14+

BLOG

Doctor Strange Hero Pack Feature

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.

Ultronmatum

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.

Doctor Strange Hero Pack Body 1

Infinte War

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.

 

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Marvel Champions is a 1-4 player superhero game. Each player takes on the role of a Marvel hero to battle it out against one of three villains. Each Hero is represented by a deck, consisting of basic cards, Hero-specific cards, and aspect cards. Each Villain is represented by a deck of cards, comprising similarly of basic villain cards, villain-specific cards, and a modular encounter set.

Marvel Champions is a Living Card Game (LCG). As such, the publisher, Fantasy Flight Games, is expanding the game with new Hero & Villain packs all the time. You can check out the ever-growing list here

Set-Up

To set up the game, each player will select a Hero to play and place their identity card, alter-ego side up in front of them. The identity card will number the hit points they have and these are entered into the hit point dial. Each Hero will have an obligation card and a set of Nemesis cards, which are set aside for the moment. The player then shuffles their player deck which will consist of Hero specific cards, basic cards, and aspect cards. Hero decks come pre-constructed, but players are free to build their own decks whilst complying with the deckbuilding rules. 

Next, a Villain is selected and is placed on the table along with the Villain's main scheme and the Villain's main deck. The Villain's hit points are entered into the Villain's hit point dial. The main scheme may have some setup instructions which are followed and resolved at this stage. The relevant encounter cards, modular sets, and the Heroes obligation cards are added to the Villains the main deck and shuffled to form the encounter deck. 

Each player then draws a starting hand of cards, as detailed on their identity card, and can discard any number of cards drawing back up to their hand limit. If a Hero has any setup instructions, these are resolved and followed now. 

The game is played over a number of rounds, alternating between the player's turns and then the Villains turn. On a player's turn they can perform a number of actions:

  • Change form from alter ego to Hero or Hero to alter ego, but only once per round.
  • Play cards from their hand, paying the relevant resource costs.
  • Use their Hero's basic attack or thwart ability (only in Hero form, exhausting their identity).
  • Use an ally they control to attack or thwart (exhausting the ally). 
  • Activate an action card they control (and exhausting the card if applicable).
  • Use their alter-egos recovery ability to gain hit points (only in alter ego form, and exhausting their identity).

Once a player has performed all of their chosen actions, the next player performs their actions until all players have passed. At this stage, players can discard any remaining cards in their hand (if they want) and draw up to their hand limit (This may change depending on the form they are in). Each player then readies all of their cards (identity, allies, action cards). 

Next is the Villain phase. At the start of the Villain phase, threat is placed on the main scheme as detailed on the main scheme card. The Villain and any minions then activate against each player. If the player is in Hero form, the Villain attacks. If the player is in alter ego form, the Villain schemes and adds a threat to the main scheme. Each time the Villain activates, they draw a card from the encounter deck and add the number of boost icons to his base attack or scheme value. The Villain then deals each player an encounter card, face down and in turn order. Each player reveals and resolves the encounter card.

The first player token then passes to the next player and the player's start the round again. 

The game continues this way until the Villain has been defeated, by reducing his hit points to zero, for both stages and the player's win. Players lose if the Villains scheme threshold reaches its maximum or they all have their hit points reduced to zero. 

Strategy

What I love about Marvel Champions is the way the Heroes and Villains play differently. The key to success is figuring out how the Heroes play. Their strengths, weaknesses, and how to best utilise them to take down the Villain. Certain Heroes require a certain amount of setup to become strong. These Heroes are best left in alter ego mode as you build up their suit, armour, and weapons. Once they are up and running they can be formidable characters.

Figuring out when to stop building and when to take the fight to the Villain comes with practice and experience, but it is worth that time investment. Where it might seem that you are not making progress by hitting the enemy, it's wise to learn the "arc" of the Hero and play into that. Being efficient with your cards and trying to not have any cards left in your hand at the end of the turn is a good idea. 

The board state needs to be managed very carefully. Often the best move is not necessarily just smacking the villain in the face. Controlling the minions and the side schemes that can mount up is often a better move. Keeping an eye on the main scheme threshold is also key. Knowing how the Villains play and what's in the encounter deck can help you decide how best to defeat them. At some point, you will have to start dealing damage to the Villain. But knowing when to push and when to hold off and control the threat/minions is critical. Like the Heroes, each Villain and modular encounter set has a different feel. Knowing how to handle them is essential. The timing of when to defeat one stage and advance to the next is often a critical step. 

Aspects

There are four aspects in the game that all have their unique playstyles. 

Aggression. As the name suggests, this is all about hitting the enemies hard and fast. Generally, aggression based Heroes are not great at thwarting and removing threat from a scheme. Subsequently, it is often a race against the threat build-up and taking the Villain down

Justice is more focused on removing threat from schemes. Justice based characters are good at managing threat and keeping things under control however they are not typically hard hitters. 

Protection is all about defending, preventing damage, and healing. It can react to incoming attacks, prevent that damage, and sometimes cause reactive effects based on that. 

Leadership is a very versatile deck and can do a lot of things, but is mostly about bringing out Allies. Allies can be good for attacking, thwarting and defending and is a good all-purpose aspect if used with a large selection of ally cards. Protection is reliant on these allies so Villains that target allies can make this aspect weak.

Editors note: This blog was originally published on September 12th, 2019. Updated on October 7th, 2021 to improve the information available.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Feels thematic to the cinematic Hero
  • New addition to the core mechanisms
  • More variety

Might not like

  • An additional, albeit small, deck to manage
  • Benefits from repeated plays