Marvel Champions is a one to four-player superhero 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. These are 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 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.
Time to Defend
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 scheme (if you are in alter ego form). When they attack or scheme, a boost card is revealed. This is 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 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.
Sting Like a.....Wasp
With the ability to grow to giant size or shrink down to tiny form, Wasp is ready for anything. Wasp is not the first hero to have two hero forms in addition to their alter-ego form. Ant Man, which I recently reviewed here, also has this new mechanism and uses a "three sided" card. Wasp also has some interesting abilities and event cards which make her hit strong. Paired with the aggression aspect and she can deal out some impressive damage. There are also some interesting cards that bounce off Ant Mans deck/cards and it really feels that these two heroes combo well off each other, just like they do in the cinematic universe.
The Wasp Hero pack comes with a 40 card pre-built aggression deck with additional cards for other aspects (and basic cards) for further deckbuilding options.
Jumping on the back of the Ant Man feature with the folding card/three forms, Wasp brings her own take on this mechanism. Not just a re-theme of the Ant Man deck, Wasp feels like a Hero in her own right. One of the very interesting things, especially in Giant form, is that Wasp can divide up her basic attack and thwart actions amongst different enemies and schemes. This is something that has not really been seen before.
The Wasp Hero Pack also has some interesting upgrade cards that play into her tiny/giant abilities and trigger different kickbacks depending on what form she is in. I really like how these cards play into the double hero forms. It gives more tactical choices for a player to make which adds more interesting gameplay and gameplay moments.
The Wasp hero pack also comes with some new Allies for the Wasp deck, basic and aggression aspects. One of these allies is Ant Man which coupled with the Team Up card adds some fun elements when playing with this hero. In addition, the Ant Man ally has a kickback which is dependant on which form Wasp is in. Once again, enforcing the tiny/giant hero from play space.
Some of Wasp's events are also amazingly fun. Take Wasp Sting, which again will trigger different abilities dependant on Wasp's form. It deals four or five damage to either multiple enemies or to a single enemy. Rapid Growth can also make for some interesting choices and gameplay allowing you to switch to giant form from tiny form when using basic power and add +2 to that power.
Pinpoint Strike is also a very powerful card dealing seven damage to an enemy. Plus one additional damage if you are in tiny form and gaining overkill.
The Wasp Hero Pack is a very cool hero to play with. There are some interesting combos to be found within the pre-constructed deck or your own custom builds. I think she really shines when played with Ant Man. Not only is it thematic from an MCU point of view, but the two heroes flipping back and forth make for some fantastic moments and card play. Once again, FFG has come out with an interesting deck. Although the main appeal of the giant/tiny hero form was done with Ant Man, it has interesting mechanisms. I think they have done something different with this set.