It feels like a while since I’ve had a game with Marvel Champions, certainly since I’ve done one of these round-up style blogs. Today, though, I thought I’d have a bit of a rambling talk about some of the games that I’ve been playing, all of which have involved Justice and Protection decks, although that was a completely unplanned theme. I’ve finally gotten round to playing with Ghost Spider and Miles Morales, despite having had the box since Christmas, and I’ve had a game with some of the newer X-Men heroes, as well!
Sinister Motives is the box that I have played the least, in part because I’m not really that big a Spidey fan. He’s fine, and all, but I’m just not really that into his whole universe of goings-on. However. This has started to change recently when my eldest has started to get into Spidey and his Amazing Friends on Disney+. I think it started from a boy in her preschool class being into Marvel, and she’s taken an interest in daddy’s game ever since. Anyway! After a few weeks of seeing the adventures of Spider-Man, Ghost Spider & Miles Morales (who is called Spin, apparently?) I thought I could take them out for a game against Mysterio – who I’ve gone up against a few times already.
It was pretty good, I must say. Mysterio’s thing is Illusions, cards going into player decks. It can be really annoying, as when you draw these cards they’re dealt to you as encounter cards. Now, you do get to draw a card back, but I had this happen when Gwen ran out of deck, so she ended up with about 4 encounters to deal with! To some extent, it was lucky because she seems to be one of these heroes who wants to play during the Villain phase, but even so!
Miles Morales is a curious deck. I really liked his hero cards, and how they can work together to get some pretty impressive turns – especially using the Peter Parker ally card to ready him, which was very nice at times! He comes with a Justice deck that has a very defined SHIELD sub theme running through it. This is all well and good, but it doesn’t seem to fit with him and his deck, really. I have the feeling they included these cards because the campaign system is based around SHIELD upgrade cards, but who knows.
I do really enjoy playing the precon decks, but I have decided to change up the Miles deck as I found it just wasn’t working for me in the way I’d like. I’ve kept him as Justice, but have swapped out all of the SHIELD cards (which is pretty much everything else!) for an alternative build. I’ve since taken this new deck out for a spin alongside Captain Marvel, going up against Crossbones.
This game was actually a whole lot of fun, although Miles was actually defeated due to the Full Auto card dealing him precisely the amount of damage that he had left. Everything seemed to go wrong at this point, because while Captain Marvel was able to defeat the first villain stage, he brought out his Machine Gun as well as the next experimental weapon, and on his activation I had to somehow absorb 6 points of damage while she only had 6 hit points left. Fortunately, I had the Cosmic Flight card that could ignore three of those points of damage, so on her turn she was able to trigger first the Energy Channel upgrade, which dealt a full 10 damage to the villain, then she had a Photonic Blast to finish him off. In a way, it was fortunate that Miles was eliminated before the first stage was flipped, because he only had 14 hit points thanks to there being only one hero left!
Even though I hadn’t got to play with a lot of the deck, as a result, I did enjoy seeing the new Miles Morales – having cards like Concussive Blow and Clear the Area meant that I was actually doing things with the Justice cards in the deck, and Concussive Blow in particular led to some very good turns, as I was able to Confuse Crossbones with that one, then Captain Marvel played a Tackle to Stun him also, which meant when Miles played Arachnobatics, he was able to deal the full 8 damage as a result. I do think it still needs a bit of work doing to it, of course, but I’m much happier with the deck this time around than I had been earlier.
I’ve also finally picked up the Rogue precon, which gives me all of the X-Men to date and, for now I think, all of the hero packs that I want. There are still the four heroes from the Sinister Motives cycle that I have yet to add to the collection. While initially I hadn’t really fancied picking these up, I can see myself getting these before too long! I suppose it’s more for the cards, to allow for more deck building options, than for the heroes themselves.
At any rate, after getting Rogue, I’ve taken both her and Gambit out for a game against Ebon Maw from the Thanos campaign.
I have no real clue about Gambit as a hero, although I know he’s very popular in the fandom. I think this is possibly because I had come to X-Men through the Bryan Singer movies rather than the comics. Rogue, of course, I know about, given the fact she’s pretty front and centre in those films. In game terms, Gambit has a Justice deck and is, I believe, the first hero who can thwart while in alter-ego mode, thanks to his ability to remove threat by discarding cards from the top of the encounter deck. He has an effect with charge counters while in hero form, where he can get +1 to attacks for removing these counters. It can lead to some very punchy turns, and I think I was really enjoying how his deck was working until I had taken my eye off the ball and he ended up being eliminated!
Elimination proved to be a disturbing theme of these recent games!
Rogue comes with a Protection deck, and her main thing is around moving the Touched card around. It represents the fact Rogue can absorb the abilities of other mutants, so if this card goes on a villain, a minion, a hero or an ally, she gains different things like Retaliate 1, or Aerial. Her suite of cards is somewhat kitted for this as well, gaining additional bonuses depending on what she’s Touching. Once I kinda got the hang of that, I think the deck played pretty nicely, and I did find myself playing a lot of the aspect cards as well, which often doesn’t happen with some of these pre-con decks on the first outing.
Rogue was actually eliminated not long after Gambit as well, unfortunately, so that ended in a fiasco, but even so, it was an enjoyable game!