Ep. 13 – Super-Hero Smash Up!

Welcome to Marvel Champions Monthly: a Fan Podcast. We are a (now) twice a month podcast about Marvel Champions the card game by Fantasy Flight Games. In this Episode join hosts: KennedyHawk,  Crimson, and Amerikano as we go over various topics. We discuss a fun way to deck build for Marvel Champions, using the shuffle building concepts of AEG’s Smash Up. We provide 25 card decks (one for each aspect) that are meant to be versatile and shuffled in with any hero. Once Black Widow is publishable on MarvelCDB we’ll release them there. Finally, we dissect the nefarious villain phase and break down the exact steps that occur when a Villain activates!

Show Notes

0:00 Intro, News, Recent Plays

8:30 Carol Danvers Casual Champions

10:00 Super-Hero Smash Up (Justice)

17:30 Super-Hero Smash Up (Leadership)

23:50 Super-Hero Smash Up (Protection)

32:50 Super-Hero Smash Up (Aggression)

36:45 Rules Lawyer Debate: Villain Activation

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Ep. 11 – The Widow’s Web (Black Widow Special!)

Join the MCM Podcast crew: KennedyHawk, Crimson, Lester, and Amerikano as they discuss Black widow and eagerly await her release. We discuss some recent plays and Crimson leads the Tony Stark Deck Garage segment into an interesting build of Black Widow Protection: Always Ready Widow (which uses new cards from both Widow’s and Dr. Stanges pack). In the second half of the episode we discuss our favorite cards in Black Widow’s pack and talk about the lore relationship between Winter Soldier and Natasha!

Thanks for listening!

Shownotes:

  • 0:00 Intros and Quarantine Survival Check
  • 3:00 Recent Plays
  • 13:00 Tony Stark’s Deck Garage – Black Widow / Protection with Crimson
  • 30:00 Black Widow – Favorite Cards
  • 51:00 Brief Lore Discussion

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Thorsday II of IV Thor / Protection – You people are so petty — and tiny

Happy Frigga’s Day to you all,

Today’s article is going to be a brief primer on a Thor/Protection deck, we will cover the remaining aspects (Aggression and Justice) in the coming weeks. Frigga is Thor’s mother and the origins of the word Friday. In the movies and comics we often see Frigga in a role where she protects her children but in this deck Thor will be using protection cards for his protection. This deck is going to focus on Thor protecting allies while counting on his signature cards to take out his foes. As always our card images are provided courtesy of the amazing Hall of Heroes website. Be sure to check them out and consider supporting their endeavors! This deck is going to focus on Protection cards that will provide Thor with many Energy resources while protecting him from damage. The deck-list is located at the bottom of the article so read on!

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 Secret Origin

The objective with this deck is to get some pieces in place so Thor as the protection player doesn’t even need to defend! This is done though a few cards from Ms. Marvel’s deck, mainly Energy Barrier and Nova. Thor is the defender of the nine realms with a stout 2 defense. We are hoping to not need to use his defense stat and instead use his potent attack while protection cards and a hefty 14 starting hit points will keep him alive. Thor has one signature card that helps with this goal. His trusty – but totally awesome looking helmet! Staying in hero form means Thor will trigger his Have At Thee ability as much as he can.

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Let’s take a look at some of the protection cards included in this deck. For damage mitigation we have cards like Energy Barrier (see above), Nova, and Preemptive Strike.I know this card took a hit in multiplayer from the latest RRG update but it still is a great card for mitigating damage slowly and chipping away at the villain. Also all 7 of these cards (Nova is uniquer) have the energy resource symbol which is vital to the success of Thor!

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We also have some cards to heal Thor which provide this energy resources, Med Team which can heal Thor for 6 over 3 turns. With damage mitigation from Energy Barrier this should help Thor sustain hero mode for a long time.  All these energy resources are good for fueling Thor’s Lightning Strike which is key for removing several minions that may pile up while Thor focuses on taking down the villain. The deck ends up coming in with 20 energy resources so that’s a pretty good amount to fuel this event.

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I hope this brief write-up inspired you to try playing Thor with a little support form Protection. Using these cards should allow Thor to stay in hero more for longer and trigger his Have at Thee ability more often!

Deck-list:

MarvelCDB Link: Thor: You people are so petty — and tiny

Deck
Upgrade (9)

  • 1x Down Time
  • 1x Endurance
  • 3x Energy Barrier
  • 2x God of Thunder
  • 1x • Mjolnir
  • 1x • Thor’s Helmet

Ally (6)

  • 1x • Black Widow
  • 1x • Lady Sif
  • 1x • Luke Cage
  • 1x • Mockingbird
  • 1x • Nick Fury
  • 1x • Nova

Support (5)

  • 1x • Asgard
  • 1x Avengers Mansion
  • 3x Med Team

Event (15)

  • 3x Defender of the Nine Realms
  • 1x For Asgard!
  • 3x Hammer Throw
  • 2x Lightning Strike
  • 3x Preemptive Strike
  • 3x Tackle

Resource (5)

  • 1x Energy
  • 1x Genius
  • 1x Strength
  • 2x The Power of Protection

Strategy Tips:

Here are a few strategy tips for this deck.

  • First, give Thor time to set-up. You are going to need to get a few damage mitigations down to get rolling so this deck may struggle a bit in solo.
  • Use your mulligan wisely, be sure to search deep for something to help with your low handsize (God of Thunder, and Asgard are perfect turn 1 plays!)
  • Don’t be afraid to flip back to Thor and use Mjolnir early as a resource, you’ll be able to bring it back and it helps with your early game economy (a must for Thor players!)
  • Thwarting is going to be tough – use your allies wisely to keep the threat managed. Your main threat management tool is staying in hero form!

Mulligan Thoughts:

  • Mulligan hard for hand support – Consider a hard mulligan for Asgard, or 2x God of Thunder. Your deck doesn’t need speed. It needs slow and steady ramp.
  • Always pitch Mjolnir – In your initial hand, you’d rather see more combo pieces and return it to hand as a resource!
  • Don’t be tempted by Attack events early on – Don’t let the allure of Hammer Strike get you early on, pitch these cards for economy builders as it’s essential for keeping your damage mitigation up and running

Multiplayer Tips:

This combo works well in solo but really shines in multiplayer. There you’ll be able to mitigate damage on your turn and defend for another player. Consider packing an armored vest for this instance and allow the rest of the team to deal some steady damage.

Thanks for sticking with me – next Thor entry we’ll swing for the fences with a hammer’s blazing – aggression deck!

Thorsday I of IV: Thor and the Warriors 3+ (Thor/Leadership)

Happy Thorsday Everyone!

 Today’s article is going to be a brief primer on a Thor/Leadership deck, for the next 3 Thursdays I’ll be testing Thor out with each aspect in the game so be sure to check on back or follow us on podbean, facebook, or twitter to be alerted when the latest article drops! I promise next week I’ll move on from Leadership and try another aspect. This deck is going to focus on Thor adventuring with 3 allies, the warriors 3 and will focus on a new Leadership card, Teamwork! As always our card images are provided courtesy of the amazing Hall of Heroes website. Be sure to check them out and consider supporting their endeavors! Without any more introductions, let’s look at Teamwork.

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 Secret Origin

The objective with this deck is to get allies out with statlines of 2-3 and use Teamwork to add their stats to Thor. Thor has a base 2 attack (3 with Mjolnir) and a base 1 thwart. This is his major weakness if threat gets away from him or if side schemes become abundant Thor struggles to contribute to this problem! To get the best use out of this we will look for characters that have stats of at least 2 thwart. Those characters tend to be expensive (other than Maria Hill) and with Thor’s limited hand size this can be a struggle. We really rely on Thor to hold down the fort while we get things set-up. Remember when we use Teamwork the ally does not take consequential damage so we can plan on having a pretty hefty ally wall and can even use those allies to stabilize the game so long as we leave them at one life! Let’s look at our three favorite Warrior options…

First, Maria Hill. Maria comes with a 2 THW 1 ATK stat line and is pretty cheap on cost. She’s great to help with Thor’s limited hand size. I always try to target her with Teamwork when I can for thwarting but since several allies are in your deck don’t be afraid to let her die and bring her back on a future deck pass. Her enters play ability is crucial to keeping up your tempo.

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Next, let’s look at Thor’s signature ally, Lady Sif. She comes with another amazing 2 thwart stat and 2 attack as well. Remember to use Thor before playing her, so you may swing for 3, ready Thor then team work for 3 leaving yourself 3 uses for Lady Sif. Another great ally, again, with an enters play ability. Note neither Lady Sif or Maria Hill are Avengers so they won’t be pumped further with an Avengers Assemble!

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Finally we come to my favorite Teamwork ally. Ironically a character that’s not super big on teamwork in the comics! Wonder Man! While he does not have 2 thwart he boosts an amazing 3 attack at very low cost (only 2 resources)! His typical downside is circumvented with Teamwork, usually to attack with Wonder Man you are spending a card from hand, with Teamwork Wonder Man basically becomes an amazing support that pumps Thor’s attack by 3. Even better we can inspire Wonder Man and get him to 4 attack for quite the boost. Now if we really live the dream on a future turn we may use Avengers Assemble to Ready Wonder Man after he’s attacked for 4, then use team work to pump Thor for 5! How would I describe that feeling? Wonderful?

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You may be wondering, how am I going to pay for all this stuff! Well just like the Captain America deck from our last deck tech, we are going to use Strength in Numbers. Since our objective is to bring three allies into play and then use them to pump Thor’s stats when we aren’t using Teamwork we need to find a use for them other than sitting around ready for no reason. This is where we use Strength in Numbers to really cycle our deck and get the combo up and running. Thor has plenty of other cards to help mitigate this hand size (Asgard, God of Thunder x2, Avenger’s Mansion) but this card is crucial to the deck.

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I hope this brief write-up inspired you to try assembling Thor with a merry band of adventurers. Whether you end up with the three above or a different pairing the mighty son of Odin is sure to appreciate their stat buffs. Try this deck out and let us know how it goes. You can comment on the article here, on facebook, or yell at me about my bad decisions on the MCM Podcast discord! Check back next week for a Thor Protection deck!

Deck-list:

MarvelCDB Link: Thor and the Warriors 3+

 Upgrades [6]

  • [2] God of Thunder
  • [2] Inspired
  • [1] Mjonir
  • [1] Thor’s Helmet

Allies [6]

  • [1] Hawkeye
  • [1] Lady Sif
  • [1] Maria Hill
  • [1] Squirrel Girl
  • [1] Wonder Man
  • [1] Mocking Bird

Support [3]

  • [1] Avenger’s Mansion
  • [1] Asgard
  • [1] The Triskelion

Event [20]

  • [2] Avengers Assemble!
  • [3] Defender of the Nine Realms
  • [1] For Asgard!
  • [3] Lead From The Front
  • [3] Hammer Throw
  • [2] Lightning Strike
  • [2] Shield Toss
  • [3] Strength in Numbers
  • [3] Teamwork

Resources [5]

  • [1] Energy
  • [1] Genius
  • [1] Strength
  • [2] The Power of Leadership

Strategy Tips:

Here are a few strategy tips for this deck.

  • First and foremost, use your allies as thwarting support to set up your combo, just like the Pump it Up cap deck.
  • Use your first deck pass to build your board state. Don’t be afraid to use Teamwork with a 1 THW ally to keep yourself afloat while you play cards like God of Thunder and Asgard
  • Take is easy with the Defender of the Nine Realms, only use this if you have a plan to kill the minion that turn (this goes for any Thor deck!)
  • Make good use of Squirrel Girl and Hawkeye to set up big kill counts with Lightning Strike!

Mulligan Thoughts:

  • Mulligan hard for hand support – Consider a hard mulligan for Asgard, or 2x God of Thunder. Your deck doesn’t revolve around Mjolnir so you can even pitch it as a resource and bring it back later. Opening up with double God of Thunder sets you up for success. With these strong allies you should be afforded time to flip back to alter-ego and retrieve the hammer!
  • Always pitch Mjolnir – In your initial hand, you’d rather see more combo pieces and return it to hand as a resource!
  • Don’t be tempted by Attack and thwart events – Don’t let the allure of Hammer Strike get you early on, pitch these cards to look for cheap allies and resource boosts (those allies become resource boosts through Strength in Numbers)

Multiplayer Tips:

This combo works well in solo but really shines in multiplayer. If you can con your aggression friends for a Enraged on Wonder Man you can get him to 6 attack without events. Add Lead From the Front or Avenger’s Assemble and things get even bigger. Don’t be afraid to ask for cards once you are set up you’ll be able to pay them back by clearing the board every turn!

YouTube Content:

 Thanks for sticking with me – come back next week, I’ll have another’!

Ep. 9 – Black Panther Beatdown or Wakanda For-Never?

Welcome to Episode 9 of Marvel Champions Monthly…
a podcast about the Marvel Champions LCG by Fantasy Flight Games

Join hosts: KennedyHawk, Crimson, and Lester as we discuss an arrange of topics including: recent news, a new deck garage primer, the latest RRG update, opinions on Wrecking Crew, and a recap on Dr. Strange spoilers.

This month we help Lester build a Black Panther – Aggression deck using some of the new cards from Thor’s pack! Will Crimson try out this deck or is it a Wakanda For-Never?

0:00:00 Intro
0:01:45 News Segment
0:05:37 When We Last Saw Our Heroes (Recent Plays)
0:16:15 Tony Stark’s Deck Garage (Black Panther Aggression)
0:34:45 Marvel Comic Reading Club (Black Widow Lore)
0:41:47 Jennifer Walter’s Rules Lawyer Minute (RRG Updates)
1:00:30 Meanwhile In a Secret Lair (Modular Set Review and Strategy vs Legions of Hydra)
1:07:00 Crimson mysteriously vanishes
1:15:30 SHIELD Villain Database (Wrecking Crew Discussion)
1:30:00 New Hero Recap (Dr. Strange Spoilers)
1:43:00 A Hero Returns (Crimson rejoins us to discuss Wrecking Crew and Dr. Strange)

Captain America – Pump It Up (Deck-Tech)

Hi Listeners (and now Readers!)

KennedyHawk here. I wanted to type up a deck-tech on one of the decks I’ve been running. Each week I’ll be posting a deck-tech or some other article to our Podbean site so be sure to follow us on Podbean or facebook to get the latest updates. This week’s article will focus on a Captain America / Leadership deck – that is NOT all about his allies! Instead, we will focus on Captain America’s awesome statline and ability: “I Can Do This All Day!”. Most people recognize this from the Captain America movies but it really embodies Cap’s spirit to give his most. The images used on this blog-post are from the Hall of Heroes website. Be sure to check out their site as it’s a top notch resource for the Marvel Champions LCG community! (Thanks HoH!)

 Secret Origin

When building a deck I often have an objective in mind. I like to consider this the Secret Origin of my decklist. For this deck our objective is to pump Captain America’s hero stat line, then use his basic attack and thwart as many times as possible in one round. Cap’s hero ability to ready once per round is amazing, it means any card we use to increase his stats can become super efficient. If we play an event to increase our heroes attack value by 1, we can now get 2 damage out by using his basic attack twice in a round. Without further ado let’s look at this deck’s stat buff cards. We will be pairing our hero with the leadership aspect mainly to obtain as many stat buff cards as possible but the first card belongs to Cap’s hero pod. We get to include 2 copies of Fearless Determination. This card increases Captain America’s thwart value by 1 until the end of the phase. This is great for removing annoying side schemes that begin with 3 threat (looking at you Klaw!) but also for taking large chunks off of the main scheme. Iron Man’s arc reactor is often used to allow Iron Man to double tap while thwarting. Cap has this ability built in and Fearless Determination makes it even better. My favorite part of this card is it’s net effect on your hand. Often when a card costs 0 it still has a net effect on your hand as playing the card removes a resource from your options. This is not the case with Fearless Determination as you get to draw a replacement card! That means if you plan to flip there’s little reason to mulligan this event as it will just pump your stats and allow you to see the next card in your deck.

 Next, we have three leadership cards which all can be used to increase our basic abilities. First, Morale Boost, this card comes from the Ms. Marvel pack, but don’t be confused. It is an obvious combo piece with Captain America. For 1 resource we can increase our attack, thwart, and defense values by 1 until the end of the round. The use of the word round instead of phase is key here. If we play this card to begin our turn we can perform a basic attack (increased by 1), trigger Captain America’s ability and thwart/attack (again increased by 1), then we can defend during the villain phase and since the round hasn’t ended our defense value for this defense is increased by 1. That’s amazing value! Combined with Cap’s shield you’ll have 4 defense which is enough to really hamper many villain attacks!

Another leadership card available at our disposal is Lead From The Front. This card is helpful at increase Cap’s attack and thwart values and also the values for all his allies. In this deck the allies are mainly used to draw cards but this can set up some pretty big turns once you have 3 allies in play. Overall this card is often the last stat buff I will play unless I plan to end the game that turn and expend all my allies.

Finally, we have Avengers Assemble! This card plays double duty in our deck, it both increases Captain America’s stats and readies him (along with all the other Avenger’s allies you control). The stat buff even hits all Avengers in case another player has a turn later in the phase! This card is pretty expensive at 4 cost but can really pay for itself. If you’ve pumped your stats with one of the ways above and then played this, you’ll ready and get to Thwart or Attack at a value of +2. My RPG characters like those passive buffs and so does Cap! This card combos well within the deck and is often critical to getting Cap’s big splashy turn off!

We now have 4 stat buff cards and 2 ways to ready our hero but I also wanted to make use of a lesser used card and that card is Tenacity. In most decks Tenacity can’t seem to find a home but it slots into this Cap deck perfectly. We really want to optimize the use of our buff cards. Tenacity is like providing your hero with an extra “I Can Do This All Day!” with some upfront cost. If you can get 2-3 copies in play just a single morale boost can see it’s benefit 4+ times in a round! Now that’s a combo to write home about.

 Try this deck out and let us know how it goes. You can comment on the article here, on facebook, or yell at me about my bad decisions on the MCM Podcast discord!

Deck-list:

MarvelCDB Link: Pump it Up! Captain America / Leadership

 Upgrades [7]

  • [1] Captain America’s Helmet
  • [1] Captain America’s Shield
  • [2] Super-Soldier Serum
  • [3] Tenacity

Allies [5]

  • [1] Agent 13
  • [1] Falcon
  • [1] Hawkeye
  • [1] Squirrel Girl
  • [1] Wonder Man

Support [3]

  • [1] Avenger’s Mansion
  • [1] Avenger’s Tower
  • [1] Steve’s Apartment

Event [20]

  • [3] Avengers Assemble!
  • [2] Fearless Determination
  • [3] Heroic Strike
  • [3] Lead From The Front
  • [2] Morale Boost
  • [2] Shield Block
  • [2] Shield Toss
  • [3] Strength in Numbers

Resources [5]

  • [1] Energy
  • [1] Genius
  • [1] Strength
  • [2] The Power of Leadership

Strategy Tips:

Here are a few strategy tips for this deck.

  • First and foremost, use your allies as thwarting support to set up your combo. Get to 3 allies out and use Strength in Numbers as much as possible. Ideally you’ll have 3 Avengers allies, play Strength in Numbers, and draw the cards to play Avengers Assemble.
  • The sequencing of your basic attack/thwarts and buffs matters a lot. If you are going to play Avengers Assemble make sure you have exhausted all of your Avengers characters first (don’t waste a Cap activation.
  • Set-up Tenacity and your allies on your first deck pass. Later in the game Tenacity can combo with Super Solider Serum for a free activation.
  • Live the dream, using 3 Tenacity activation, your hero ability and Avengers Assemble you can get 6 activation in one turn. That turns a single morale boost into +6 attack or thwart!

Mulligan Thoughts:

  • Mulligan hard for ally set-up – You really want to get your draw engine going, this consists of playing Strength in Numbers to greatly increase your handsize.
  • Search for Super Soldier Serum  – The combo in this deck can be expensive don’t be afraid to hard mulligan away combo pieces for ramp early in the game.
  • Consider Keeping Morale Boost – Depending on the villain it may be prudent to keep a morale boost in hand. For just 3 cards you can play Morale Boost and thwart or attack for 6 in the opening round. This is great for getting rid of Klaw’s minions and schemes or clearing an early game Breakin’ and Takin!

Multiplayer Tips:

This combo works well in solo but really shines in multiplayer. If you can con your aggression friends for a Combat Training or the guy who always plays Justice to dump a Heroic Intuition on you, then bingo-bango. You can really take full advantage of those stat buffs. Don’t be afraid to ask for cards if you are close to an explosive turn. 1 additional card can mean an extra 5-6 damage easily.

YouTube Content:

 Thanks for sticking with me – until the end of the line! This deck can be a really fun combo piece in solo or multiplayer. I hope you check it out and see a new angle to leadership!

Ep. 8 – Iron Man “Deadly Solutions”

Join KennedyHawk and Crimson for a January issue of Marvel Champions Monthly. Lester was frozen in the North but we’ll get his comments later this month. In this episode we discuss recent Marvel Champions News, Recent Plays, Team Build a Deck, Argue about Indirect Damage and eventually discuss Black Widow spoilers!

00:00 Intros
01:45 The Pulse (news)
04:00 When We Last Saw our Heroes… (recent plays)
09:15 Listener Questions (’nuff said)
16:20 Tony Stark’s Deck Garage (Real time team deck build – this month Iron Man Leadership)
Iron Man Lore Discussion (postponed to next episode so Lester can join us)
46:00 Shield Toss Story (another play story)
49:00 Jennifer Walters Rules Lawyer Minute (Rules topic or debate)
56:00 Meanwhile… in a Secret Lair… (Strategy primer for “Doomsday Chair” encounter set)
1:01:35 Spoiler Talk (Black Widow Talk)

Iron Man Decklist: https://marvelcdb.com/decklist/view/462/mcm-episode-8-deckbuild-waiting-for-the-right-entrance-1.0

Iron Man Youtube Play Through #1: https://youtu.be/MGtypgu-N88

Join us on the MCM Discord Server Invite: https://discord.gg/hubuCtd

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Podcast/Marvel-Champions-Monthly-116032753118141/