The Possibilities Are (soon to be) Endless

The Possibilities Are (soon to be) Endless

When the Marvel Champions Core Set first dropped, we were given five heroes, three villains, and five modular encounter sets, not to mention four aspects. This provided an amazing amount of variety straight out of the core set:

  • 5 Heroes x 4 Aspects = 20 basic hero modes to play
  • 3 Villains x 5 Modular Encounter Sets = 15 villain / encounter match-ups to face
  • If you took every hero in every aspect through every villain / encounter match-up, you’d have 300 games to play.

That’s incredible variety for a core set experience.

One area of only modest variety, however, was in the realm of hero team-ups.

Some play 3- or 4-player Marvel Champions, many play solo with just one hero, but some play solo with two heroes and easily the most-played multiplayer format is 2-player. In the Core Set, there were a mere 10 hero team-ups available:

Black Panther & Captain Marvel

Black Panther & Iron Man

Black Panther & She-Hulk

Black Panther & Spider-Man

Captain Marvel & Iron Man

Captain Marvel & She-Hulk

Captain Marvel & Spider-Man

Iron Man & She-Hulk

Iron Man & Spider-Man

She-Hulk & Spider-Man

Then again, with all of the different aspects available, there was still a significant variety of play possible – there are 16 different hero-aspect combinations with any two heroes, so from that perspective there’s 160 unique team-ups. The point remains, however, you could only make 10 different two-player hero pairings.

That has changed with every release since the Core Set, but I’m here to tell you, it is about to get WILD.

Captain America added five new combinations (one team-up with each of the core set heroes). Ms. Marvel added another six, Thor another seven, Black Widow another eight, and now Doctor Strange another nine.

That brings us to a current 45 possible team-ups!

From here on out, starting with Hulk, every hero released will add ten or more possible team-ups. The formula is simple: each hero adds x-1 possible team-ups, where x = the number of now-existing heroes.

That means that, after Hulk the 11th hero adds ten, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye add twenty-three more possibilities, bringing our total number of team-ups to 78 post-Rise of Red Skull.

That’s insane.

What will that mean for the future when any given hero combination is its own rarity? Especially when you consider the corresponding growth in villain / encounter set match-ups, which will grow from 45 match-ups (plus Wrecking Crew) pre-Rise of Red Skull to 165 match-ups (plus Wrecking Crew) after The Once and Future Kang.

With 78 team-ups, each with 16 possible aspect combinations, and 166 different scenarios… that’s 207,168 (two-hundred seven THOUSAND one-hundred sixty-eight) possibilities. Multiply by two or three if you include the different difficulty modes (Standard, Expert, Heroic).

That’s a heck ton of possibilities and certainly we want to win in more than just one possible future.

How will the rapid expansion of hero team-ups and villain / encounter match-ups affect Marvel Champions and the community?

I want to hear your thoughts!

P.S. Another thought: any given hero – think Thor – has only the four aspects to choose from to face a villain. But that same hero – again, think Thor – has 16(x-1) possible hero-aspect combinations available to them. So currently, Thor has 144 hero-aspect combinations to face a villain. What does that mean for how we rank heroes or even understand the game?

Ep. 19 – You Spin Me Right Round (Introducing the Card Text a Mini-Podcast)

Welcome to Marvel Champions Monthly: A Fan Podcast about the game Marvel Champions designed by Caleb Grace and Michael Boggs at Fantasy Flight Games. Join hosts: ApotropaiC, Scott Plays, and Theorel…. wait who are these hosts? This is a special episode where we introduce and get to know the hosts of “The Card Text” a new mini-podcast on the Marvel Champions Monthly feed. These three hosts will talk to you all about recent rulings and tricky situations in the game Marvel Champions. This introduction is a stand-alone episode but future content may appear as a mini-podcast segment within the typical MCM episodes. Either way this content will be in addition to the recordings we perform every other week. We hope you enjoy these three hosts as they try to tackle their first tricky topic: YOU!

  • 0:00 Intros
  • 01:30 The Card Text Intro
  • 2:00 Host Introductions
  • 5:50 Rulings to Be Covered
  • 27:00 Listener Question

Connect with the Marvel Champions Monthly Podcast:

By The Numbers: Rhino!

Cap is right! Let’s talk.

Numbers! The kind of numbers that don’t require you to have a Cosmic Calculator (yet)!

Hello everyone and welcome to what may be the first installment of my article series, tentatively named By The Numbers. My name is Shane and I like card games AND numbers, so naturally I figured I should combine those two things into one riveting data sheet…

That didn’t happen, (well, it did happen, but data sheets aren’t as exciting to everyone) but what I did do is crunch some numbers that may or may not help you the next time you think “I can take 3, but I can’t take 4… What are the chances of that happening though?”

What does this mean? Well, I sure am glad I asked. What I did was collect and record the boost symbols in each modular set, determine the average within each set and with those averages, you can do some quick math to figure out approximately what the average damage per turn will be for any given combination of modules.

Doesn’t that sort of take the fun out of the randomness? Another good question, Shane.

It might be seen that way and I can understand if data like this isn’t for you. It’s not surgically accurate, it’s just a guideline for people who like to see some numbers before heading off to storm Doomstadt. (Think of it like a warning, but not THAT Warning. This warning is sorta useful.)

Then let’s get to it! This weeks installment? He’s big, grey and recently known to both Break AND Take! It’s…


Courtesy of

Here’s some basic info about this big fellas eponymous modular set:

This Modular set Rhino has 17 cards that it adds to the Encounter Deck. The set contains more of course, but we don’t need to count the Main Scheme or Villain Cards. Of those 17 cards, 5 have 0 Boost icons, 5 have 1 Boost icon and 7 have 2 Boost icons. By adding those icons together, we can determine an average number of icons.

((0+0+0+0+0) + (1+1+1+1+1) + (2+2+2+2+2+2+2)) = 19
We then divide that value by the number of cards, like so:
19/17 = Approximately 1.1

This means that the average amount of additional damage will be +1.

We can then do something similar with all of the additional modules and recommended modules for a scenario.

Standard Average: 0.6
Bomb Scare Average: 1.3

Once we’ve got the averages for each of these sets, we can add them together and divide by the number of sets we included, in this case we have 3.

1.1+0.6+1.3 = 3
3/3 = 1

Therefore, the average boost damage is almost exactly 1. Which makes perfect sense for what is considered to be the “Starter Scenario”. There are very few big damage spike turns and the Villains bonuses to their actions are statistically very average.

Really takes the ol’ brain for a jog.

The thing that makes Rhino such a deadly adversary isn’t that he’s got a real doozy of an attack value. It’s that we really start to feel it when he attacks extra times each turn! Using the Standard recommended configuration of Rhino, Standard, and Bomb Scare, there are 5 Treachery cards that allow Rhino another attack on any turn. This means 5 out of 30 cards we can encounter mean our Rampaging Rhino gets a round 2 against our heroes.
Any given encounter card has approximately a 17% chance to result in an extra attack from the big guy. Can your squad handle something like that?

Rhino’s set is 41% Treachery cards, 24% Attachments, 24% Minions and 12% Side Schemes, adding in the Standard and modular sets only makes those numbers even smaller. The real reason you’re getting Charge+Stampede is because it’s easier to remember getting crushed than sneaking buy without incident (but I’m no psychologist).

The Expert mode of Rhino does change the numbers a bit, but they’re still fairly predictable. Using the recommended modules in addition, our Boost Average goes up to about 1.4. This means that we’re going to see a good amount of +1 damage turns, but we’re certainly going to be seeing higher than that more frequently than the Standard mode (and by a larger margin). 

In conclusion, it’s safe to say that Rhino will just about always be dealing 1 damage in addition to his printed value in any given scenario. So if the question is can you take that next attack and the difference is life or death? Better hope to get lucky or just never leave home without a trusty Shield Block! Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Thumbs up, soldier!

Editors Note: Thanks for reading our first community created article. And shout-out to Attercop for showing us some of the numbers behind the Rhino scenario! – KennedyHawk