Marvel Champions: Hulk 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.
HULK SMASH! Hulk brings the pain to the villains with his incredible power! But his rage makes him an unpredictable hero, so his allies might need to be careful! As usual this hero pack comes with a suggest pre built deck but it is super easy to build your own with the base games rules!
Player Count: 1-4
Time: 45-90 Minutes
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.
One of these new Hero packs is The Hulk which I will talk about in more detail here He is big, he is green and he is also a genius. Well, Hulk's alter ego, Bruce Banner is the genius, Hulk himself just likes to smash things. Hulk Smash! Bruce Banner was saturated with deadly gamma rays whilst saving his best friend from the detonation of an experimental bomb. The gamma radiation transformed Bruce Banner in to an angry and giant wall of muscle with unpredictable rage. A deadly combination. Bruce Banner, on the other hand, is a renowned scientist, has seven PhDs and is, for want of a better word, a genius. The Hulk hero pack is a new playable hero that can be added in to the base game of Marvel Champions. Straight out of the pack is a pre-constructed deck with 15 Hulk cards, 17 aggression cards, 8 basic cards and the Hulk specific obligation and nemesis. As with previous Hero packs this pack also comes with additional cards to add in to the game for future deck building opportunities.
If Hulk is good at one thing it is damage, especially with the aggression aspect and the pre constructed deck straight out of the box. He is a powerhouse of damage and pain and will takes the fight to the villain. The Hero form has a zero thwart value but a three attack and three defense. The majority of his cards are all about dealing damage and the event "Hulk Smash" adds whopping +10 ATK for the next attack. It also gains overkill if paid using a certain resource. This type of damage output is massive and not seen in any other Hero pack to date. So is he over powered? Not at all (in my opinion). Yes he is powerful, with huge attack and damage output as well as being able to withstand a lot of damage. But his many restrictions. He has to discard his hand at the end of his turn, he has a very small hand limit of only four cards and he is not the best at thwarting. Lets face it, would you expect anything other from The Hulk? Marvel Champions is not solely about pummeling your enemies until they are dead. You have to also make sure the schemes they are progressing don't pan come to fruition as this will trigger the end game.
He does have a smattering of thwart removing tools in his deck however. "To the rescue" can remove two threat from a scheme. Despite him being a damage dealing powerhouse he is not easy to play with, especially solo. Under certain circumstances he is in a race to deal damage whilst the threat builds up on the scheme. The "You'll Pay For That" card also helps with thwarting which removes threat after the villain attacks you for the damage you sustained. His thwarting attempts are more subtle and limited than a lot of other Heroes. Despite the limiting hand size and thwarting capabilities I have a "smashing" (sorry couldn't resist) good time with the Hulk. He is just so much fun to play with and really fits the theme and personality of the character. Personally, I think playing him solo is a challenge but one that I enjoy. When he teams with another Hero who has some good thwarting possibilities you have a winning combination. It will be interesting to see how he plays with other aspects, something that I am looking forward to doing. A Justice based Hulk or a Hulk Leadership could be quite interesting.