SHIELD Agent Training – Building Your First Deck

Greetings SHIELD Agents! This is the second article in a series of new-player articles, aimed to get beginner players get up to speed on the game – Marvel Champions! We’ll be kicking things off in this training sessions talking about how to build your first deck!

SHIELD AGENT Training Session 002 – What Makes a Hero? (Building Your First Deck)

This article aims to take readers from the intro game into building their first deck but it will also overview my (KennedyHawk) deck-building process and philosophy. I’m going to walk you through the phases and steps in building a deck from concept to testing, hopefully both new players and veterans come out of this with something new. First, let’s talk about the game plan, any plan will do, even 12% of one.

Deck Building Steps

I like to break deck-building down into 6 steps:

  • Step 1: Determine your deck plan/goal
  • Step 2: Select a Hero and Determine Deficiencies
  • Step 3: Add Your SHIELD Training Staples
  • Step 4: Shop in Your Local Aspect Shop
  • Step 5: Back to the Basics
  • Step 6: Test and tweak!

We’ll cover the first few steps in this article and talk about tweaking a deck in more detail in the future. 

Step 1: Deck Plan

It’s important to build a new deck with a plan in mind. To come up with this plan ask yourself several questions and these questions will influence how you build your deck. Once you’ve come up with a plan or goal you are ready to begin the full deck-building process. As we’ve learned from the MCU movies having a bad plan is better than no plan at all. In this article we will build a deck-thinning Black Panther deck using core-set cards only. We want to make our deck as small as possible using upgrades and supports.

  • Do I want to play a specific hero?
    • Influence: What compliments that hero?
  • Am I designing this deck for solo or multiplayer play?
    • Influence: Can I be broad or focused?
  • Is there a specific combo you want to try to pull off?
    • Influence: What compliments this combo
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Always have a plan…. even 12% of one

Step 2: Pick a hero… any hero… and find what makes them tick

Next you’ll want to select your hero and evaluate their deficiencies. Most heroes in Marvel  Champions want to be generalists. They are able to thwart a bit, heal a bit, and dish out some damage. Each hero in the core-set has some sort of draw-back that you’ll want to compensate when deckbuilding so it’s important to figure that out right away. Below is a list of the deficiens I consider when playing a core-set hero.

  • Black Panther
    • Requires some set-up
    • Good at everything, great at nothing
    • Variance can slow this deck down
  • Captain Marvel
    • Requires a large investment in one resource type
    • Is optimized with lots of flipping
    • Low AOE / Minion control
  • Iron Man
    • Needs a lot of set-up (often sits in Alter Ego for a few turns)
    • Depending on specific resource types (Energy and Mental)
  • Spider-Man
    • Low thwart capability
    • Minion dependent
  • She-Hulk
    • Optimized when flipping a lot
    • Thwarting requires alter-ego
    • Low hand size in hero form

You can see a few things we’d like to address for each hero. Since we are focusing on Black Panther in this build we’ll want to make sure we reduce variance in his deck (by using tutors or thinning his deck). We’ll also want to be prepared for a long grindy game as we set-up – this can be accomplished by bringing additional defensive or thwarting mechanisms. Once you’ve selected a hero you are up to 15 cards out of 40-50. Not bad!

Step 3: Don’t forget your SHIELD Training Staples!

Let’s start adding cards to our deck with what I’m calling the SHIELD Staples – these are basic cards that begin in almost every deck I build. There are some really useful basic cards that I start by placing in each deck I build. Sometimes I’ll remove these in later steps or by testing but I find them to be generally useful for all heroes.

The SHIELD Training Staple List includes:

  • Avengers Mansion – Card Draw is Good
  • Helicarrier – Everyone wants to play more things
  • Mockingbird – Stun is very powerful
  • Nick Fury – Great generalist to shore up your heroes weakness
  • Energy – ’nuff said
  • Genius – ’nuff said
  • Strength – ’nuff said

At this point I throw these in every deck so I’m now up to 22 out of my 40-50 cards!

Step 4: Pick an Aspect and Select Aspect Cards

In this step we will pick an aspect. I’ve taken two approaches to this. In solo games I need to be very versatile – so I like to pick an aspect that really shores up a weakness. This is why Spider-man plays so well with Justice and Iron Man with Leadership. In multiplayer -or- combo decks I often pick something that synergizes with my hero and goal. So, in this Black Panther build we will select Protection. It will afford T’Challa the time to build up his Black Panther upgrade stockpile. We now need to choose aspect cards as well. Make sure to pay attention to resource type if they matter for your hero. Black Panther isn’t dependent on a resource type so we will focus on one thing… cards that can stay in play and thin our deck! Here’s the Protection Core Set Cards and why I decided to include or ignore them:

  • INCLUDE: Black Widow x1
    • Allies are good – they can stay in play – her ability is amazing for avoiding pitfalls
  • INCLUDE: Luke Cage x1
    • Allies are good – thin that deck – even though we plan to defend a lot having something with tough can get us out of tough situations (intended reuse)
  • IGNORE: Counter-Punch
    • Great card but doesn’t fit our deckstyle. We want a thin deck so we can just draw Wakanda Forevers and play them – extra events are unncessary
  • IGNORE: Get Behind Me!
    • Interesting card – especially since we have built in retaliate. Again we want to thin our deck
  • INCLUDE: Med Team x3
    • Thins out deck – check. Heals us since we plan to defend – check. Include for sure
  • INCLUDE Armored Vest x3
    • Multiplayer deck – check, cheap – check, thins deck – check. All good things
  • INCLUDE: Indomitable x3
    • Lots of defending – check, cheap – check, thins deck – check. All good things
  • IGNORE: Power of Protection
    • Remember – we have both Vibranium and Basic resource cards! We don’t really need more resources once our deck is thinned. In addition only 5 cards in our deck our Protection cards costing more than 2 – not a good sell for our deck.

We are now up to 33 out of 40-50 cards – almost there!

Step 5: Back to Basics

Next we need to return to the basic cards we previously ignored asking a few questions.

  • What cards fit our theme?
    • Upgrades/Supports etc
  • What cards provide resource types we need?
    • Not applicable
  • What cards are just generally useful for shoring up a weakness?
    • Thwarting cards

First stop Tenacity. Not a super popular card but it’s a great card to keep on the board for a rainy day. Once you’ve cycled your deck Shuri can fish them out for card advantage and with a 2/2/2 stat line readying is never bad. INCLUDE x3

Next, First Aid. This is basically the event version of Med Team. With other expansions we’d probably pitch this but it works in a pinch. INCLUDE x3.

Finally we are at 39/40 cards. We need to include something. I’m going to include Haymaker x1. Once our deck is thinned Wakanda Forever will always be a good play but sometimes it makes sense to get a guard minion off the board first. Haymaker can fill that clutch.

There you have it we now have 40 cards!

Step 6: Test, then tweak

Test twice, then tweak. I’m not going to dwell on this topic but it will be a topic of a future training session. I often test a deck multiple times before I decide to tweak it. While the deck built in this article was only 40 cards I’ve found I often build decks at 43-45 cards. Then test a few times (remove an unused card), test a few more times and repeat. It’s all a part of the fun.

Session Complete

This concludes our second SHIELD Training session. Let us know how your first deck build went – or if you are a veteran what are other ways you plan out a deckbuild? You can view this Black Panther deck in the linkbelow another build and play for Iron Man using the same process! If you want to discuss more about building decks be sure to join the MCM Podcast discord and get into Tony’s Deck Garage and we can help you fine tune your deck (and you can help us with ours!) Discord Link

Black Panther – Protection MarvelCDB: Link

Iron Man Deckbuild:

 Iron Man Play

 Iron Man – Leadership MarvelCDB: Link

Upcoming Training Sessions

We have a whole slew of topics we want to cover in future training you can check out the entire series to date below – as always – thanks for reading!

Panel Art – Pictures of Spider-Man

Welcome true believers. KennedyHawk and Amerikano here and we are kicking off a new article series that highlights some of the Panel Art behind the cards in Marvel Champions. Each article we will focus on a character or topic and some of their in-game art that comes right from the panels (or variant covers) of a Marvel Comic book. We will discuss the card – and the comic it comes from.

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There’s no better place to start talking about pictures than with — Pictures of Spider-Man! Today we’ll look at the books behind 5 cards that include Spider-Man in the art.

Spider-Man: Core Set #1A: Spider-Geddon #1 (Variant cover)
Artist: George Perez

KennedyHawk:This art comes from a variant cover to the Spider-geddon event crossover – so not exactly from a panel but cool comic art in itself. You can read this issue in the Marvel Unlimited app as Spider-Geddon #1. First, let’s discuss the card itself. Spider-Man is the hero form for one of the core-set heroes. He has a cool ability that happens when an enemy initiates an attack against him. I really like this hero ability, it rewards you for staying in hero form and using cards like Get Behind Me! Amerikano – do you have any favorite uses for Spider-Man?

Amerikano: I think that Spider-Man’s solid 3 DEF statistic makes him a great candidate for a multi-player Protection hero. Without getting too much into his hero suite of cards, he has Backflip which allows him to take 0 damage from an attack (AMAZING!). This allows Spider-Man to constantly steer the Villain in his direction which allows teammates to deal lots of damage.

KennedyHawk: Great points! Now let’s discuss Spider-Geddon #1. This is the sequel event series to Spider-Verse. The Inheritors are potentially coming back and it takes a slew of spiders to stop them. This issue is mainly the spider-army teaming up to try and stop the Inheritors arrival. It showed off a slew of alternate Spider-totems. My favorite was definitely Spiderman UK a combination of Spider-Man and Captain Britain from Earth-833. Did you have a favorite character in this issue?

Amerikano: So. Many. Spiders. Honestly, the Inheritors were my favorite. Immortal Energy Vampires that eat Spider-people. So cool. Verna was probably my favorite Inheritor. Did you see the way she spoiler Spoiler’s spoiler? Wow.

 KennedyHawk: Right, totally creepy and very different from the villains from the Spider-verse movie. Ironically, Peter Parker (616)  from the card art isn’t even in this issue! But the art for his card is just from a variant cover. I hadn’t read this series but had read the original Spider-verse and this definitely lives up as a great sequel. On to the next card…

Enhanced Spider-Sense:  Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #299
Penciller:
Adam Kubert

KennedyHawk: Why don’t you tell us about this card, Amerikano?

Amerikano: Canceling the “When Revealed” effects of a treachery card from the encounter deck is really good. If you’re able to play it, you may not need to face Vulture. Or, you may stop the Villain from scheming when he only needs 3 threat to win. I just wish that it wasn’t a Hero Interrupt. Maybe it would’ve been too strong if it was simply an Interrupt.

KennedyHawk: This issue was pretty cool. The first page sets the story so you don’t have to read much background. It was cool to see Spider-Man at odds with hero friends. But I miss some good old fashioned Spider-teamwork. I really liked the reveal at the end it got me to read the next issue as well!

Amerikano: For me, the coolest part about this issue is the very beginning. A Spider-Man/Black Panther altercation-turned-fist-fight that was cut short due to Hawekey’s Explosive Arrow (that Spider-Man caught while giving Black Panther a knee to the ribs, by the way). I mean, I guess it’s pretty cool that the Tinkerer was upgrading villains to try and defeat our hero once and for all. The image used on the card is from the panel where Spider-Man realizes that the Tinkerer has somehow affected the other heroes from using their abilities, including Vision’s phasing. Big blow to the good guys.

KennedyHawk: Big blow indeed! But heroes always find a way to get back up — or ready? That brings us to our next card!

Tenacity: Amazing Spider-Man Family #3
Pencillers:
Todd Nauck, Val Semeiks, Colleen Coover

KennedyHawk: Alright the next card is Tenacity, a basic card from the core-set. I originally overlooked this card but recently I’ve really liked running it in decks where a character likes to pump their stats – like leadership Captain America. I haven’t found a big use for it, but it comes from Amazing Spider-Man Family #3. Have you found a fun use for this card yet? I’m really excited to try this out with Spider-Woman to use her stat buff as much as I can!

Amerikano: It sounds amazing with Spider-Woman’s 5-5-5 buffed up statline. I like to run a couple of these in my Ms. Marvel Aggression deck. I try to add as many Physical resources as possible so I can pay the cost. It’s expensive, but it readies her for her ability. Assuming you can pay the cost of the event card, you may be able to play the same event 3 times by using Tenacity!

KennedyHawk: The issue itself is kind of cool, the series is a short lived series and that recaps takes from all over the Spider-verse (nearly half a decade before the Spider-verse was a thing). In the first story you get to see snot nosed nerdy high-school Peter, basically… me. The panel is Spider-Man saving a foe from being crushed by a broken crane.  Pretty tenacious… There’s 4 other stories in this huge issue, including stories about: Peter and Mary Jane (married couple in another universe), the real Parker family hero – Aunt May, a story about 616 Spider-Man, and a look at the troubled past of Harry Osborn. Did you have a favorite story?

Amerikano: I mostly like to read comics for the action and adventure. But #3 taught a nice lesson. As Spider-Man was coming to grips with his new-found superstrength, and unexpectedly walloped an opponent, he decided he needed to make it right. But, on the way to finding that opponent, he ended up saving hundreds without swinging a punch. Which is a good segway into the comic that the next card comes from.

KennedyHawk: What is our next card Amerikano?

Enhanced Reflexes: Amazing Spider-Man #1 2018 Variant Cover
Artist:
Clayton Crain

Amerikano: Enhanced Reflexes is a Basic card from the Ms. Marvel Hero Pack; the sister card (cousin?) to Enhanced Awareness (Captain America Hero Pack) and Enhanced Physique (Thor Hero Pack. I could have easily seen Daredevil on a card called “Enhanced Reflexes”. Spider-Man works, though.

KennedyHawk:  The community has really been enamored with the art from this card and it’s pretty awesome. Such a classic Spider-man post (pose?). Funny enough, Spider-Man’s signature set doesn’t really rely on energy resources. But Iron Man and Captain Marvel both love them. Any other cool combos with this card?

Amerikano: I think this card is fine for any deck that wishes it had more Energy resources. You mentioned Iron Man and Captain Marvel. I think Thor decks appreciate Enhanced Reflexes, too. I do like the fact that the card allows the resources to be out in front of you instead of requiring resources from your hand. It may just be the difference in playing that one extra card.

KennedyHawk: The card sort of acts like a resource filter. It takes 3 resources to play (including the card itself) and it turns all those resources into energy resources! And the issue, it kicks off a new era of Spider-man! I really liked this issue, it’s the start of his most recent run. It features a lot of heroes pretty angry with Spider-man and it slowly gets into one of a few reasons why. It’s got a ton of classic villains: Kingpin, Beetle, his new roommate Boomerang (Yup, you read that right) and giant alien space bugs! Plus a guest appearance from *spoiler-spoiler*(

Amerikano: I like the way this issue is set up. Spider-Man comes to the aid of other superheroes, but as he’s punching the space bugs, internally, he’s brooding as to why everyone is mad at him. What I don’t like is when heroes think that everything is their fault. I’m all for humility in a superhero, but c’mon, I get a little tire of the “it’s all my fault” routine. Anyway, rant over. I won’t get into the specifics of what exactly happens, let’s just say Peter took advantage of a bad situation. But, I agree with the community, I think the variant cover artwork is pretty awesome.

KennedyHawk: A lot of changes happen in Peter’s life in this issue and it’s time for him to take some responsibility for his body-snatched actions! Speaking of responsibility, our next card is…..

Great Responsibility: Civil War (volume 1) #2
Penciller:
Steve Mcniven

KennedyHawk: Our final card comes from the Justice aspect, and we can’t write enough to do this series justice – Civil War. This is from the great unmasking of Peter Parker. This panel will haunt Pete and shape this role in the Marvel Universe for years to come.

Amerikano: Did Peter make the right decision by revealing his well-guarded secret in joining Tony Stark and the U.S. Government by signing the Superhero Registration Act? That’s one for you to decide. Read it and make a decision for yourself. You won’t regret it!

KennedyHawk: The comic plays out quite differently than the movie. The entire issue begins with the New Warriors making a reality TV show about super-herodom. They try to stop a team of villains including Nitro from attacking a school and inadvertently cause Nitro to explode causing massive public outrage. At its core the book is still about conflict between Iron Man and Captain America. Politicians propose a super-human registration act forcing heroes to register to continue superheroics! Spider-Man has a very different role and unmasks himself to the greater world. What does that mean for the loved ones in Peter’s life? Who wins the war in the end – we don’t want to spoil it so you’ll have to check it out on Marvel Unlimited

Amerikano: After that summary that doesn’t do the comic justice (yes, I did. C’mon, it’s an article about Spider-Man!), let’s look at the card. I mean, with a name like “Great Responsibility” could the art feature anyone other than Spider-Man? I think it could maybe have been a Protection card, instead. That being said, I think the developers got it right by making in Justice. 

KennedyHawk: For sure. I would have loved for this to be a Protection card. I think that it fit’s the Justice theme. It’s pretty cool, one of the few ways to prevent yourself from threating out! I really like this in decks where characters want to take damage. Mainly She-Hulk, but also any character when I’m playing with some protection chump to heal me!

Amerikano: Watch it. I might just use my shield for a resource next time.

Well everyone, thanks for reading our discussion about some of the Panel Art that ends up on Marvel Champions cards. You can follow the Marvel Champions Monthly Podcast facebook, twitter, or podbean page to see more articles like this in the future – until then check out these series for some great Spidey-art!

SHIELD Agent Training – Your First Game

Greetings SHIELD Agents! This is the first article in a series of new-player articles, aimed to get beginner players get up to speed on the game – Marvel Champions! We’ll be kicking things off with our first training session:

SHIELD AGENT Training Session 001 – Your First Steps (Your First Game)

While we will cover a range of topics we wanted provide a good resource for players looking to play their first game. Fantasy Flight Games really provided a nice gift with Marvel Champions. When you open your brand new core-set you’ll find a beginning scenario is prepackaged and ready for you to play. The villain with be the Rhino who can face off against two players with pre-built decks: Spider-Man with the Justice aspect and Captain Marvel with the Aggression aspect. We’ll talk more about aspects and heroes in a bit. You may have noticed there were two rule books in the box — what gives? They are not two sets of rules one is a Learn to Play guide. We recommend giving this a read before your first game. The other is the Rules Reference Guide (RRG)– as the title tells you this can be used as a reference of glossary for a number of game questions. Note: Fantasy Flight Games regularly updates this guide on their website so consult there for the latest update which may include: errata, further clarifications, and frequently asked questions! Once you’ve read the Learn to Play this guide can serve as a quick reminder and get you through your first turn before you are off on your own heroic way! Let’s get started with game set-up! First gather all the tokens where both players can reach them – this guide is written for a 2-player game but you can play with anything from 1-4 players!

Set-Up

Set-up for this game is extremely simple. You can find detailed set-up instructions in Appendix II of the RRG but we’ll go over it here as well. First players will select their heroes

Initial Hero Set-Up

  1.  Select Heroes – Choose your heroes, if playing your first game with more than 2 players prebuilt deck lists for the other 3 core-set heroes are located in the Learn to Play guide.
  2.  Set Hit Points – Create a life dial from the provided components and set your life equal to the hit points located on the bottom of your identity card. This is the card that has an Alter-Ego on one side and a Hero on the other.
  3. Select First Player – Randomly pick a first player – we recommend Captain Marvel!
  4. Set Aside Obligation Cards – This card will have a yellow back and is contained in your heroes prepackaged deck.
  5. Set Aside Nemesis Sets – You may have noticed five other yellow back cards these make up the Nemesis set for your hero which may be called into play later  – just to annoy you!
  6. Shuffle Player Decks  – Shuffle your player decks. You are almost done with set-up for your heroes. Some heroes have a set-up ability that will trigger later. You can now put your identity card into play with the Alter Ego side face-up

Villain Set-Up

  1. Select a Villain –  This is done for you – Unpack the Rhino deck!
  2. Set the Villain’s Hit Points – Just like players the villain also needs a way to track their health.
  3. Resolve Scheme Set-up Ability – Place Rhinos Scheme “The Break-In” into play with the 1A side face-up. Set-up text could be on the 1A side for other villains
  4. Create and Shuffle the Encounter Deck –Combine the cards specified on Rhino’s 1A scheme, along with the standard set and one modular set. For your first game this will be the remaining cards. Add the obligation set aside earlier and shuffle the deck to form an Encounter deck!

Final Set-Up

  1. Draw Cards -Your alter ego will tell you your hand size at the bottom draw that many cards to get your opening hand.
  2. Take Mulligans – You can now mulligan cards from your hand. To do so discard cards you don’t like – then draw up to your opening hand size. Don’t worry you may get the discarded cards back later! We’ll cover how to optimize your mulligan in a future training session!
  3. Resolve Character Setup Abilities – Neither Spidey or Captain Marvel have set-up abilities but if playing with other characters (like Black Panther) you may get a bonus ability right now.

Your board state should look something like this (tokens and dials not pictured). 

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You are now set-up and ready to run your first game! So who goes first? You do – of course!

First Turns

Let’s talk about your first turn. Starting with the first player each player will take a turn. On a heroes turn you can take several actions. Take as many actions as you want until you declare the end of your turn.

  • You can play cards from your hand
  • Activate your identity to use their basic abilities (Recovery, Attack, Thwart)
  • Call for another player’s action
  • Flip your identity from Alter Ego to Hero (or vice versa) once per turn

Usually in your first game you’ll want to get right to work playing cards. The first thing to note is several cards say either Hero action or Alter Ego action. You character will have to be in the right form to take an action. Two examples are shown below. As the Spider-Man player you will need to be in Hero Form to perform a Swinging Web Kick, but you’ll need to be in Alter Ego Form to heal up using Aunt May. To pay for cards you’ll need to pay resources. In Marvel Champions every card also acts as a resource, the number of icons in the bottom left are how many resources the card generates. Most cards generate 1 resource but a few generate two so pay attention to the card and the text on cards like Power of Justice. Ideally each turn you will play or pay with every card in your hand and after everyone’s turn is complete you will replenish your hand. So burning through your hand means you’ll see more cards in your deck!

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There are several card types in Marvel Champions:

  • Events – Are one time use cards that enter the discard pile when played.
  • Supports and Upgrades – Are cards that enter your field and remain there – different cards may key off of Supports or Upgrades
  • Allies – Are other heroic characters you can call to your side to temporarily help attack, thwart, and defend! Note they typically take consequential damage when performing an action so they are short-live but still very useful!

For your first game we suggest you try to build your board state by playing Upgrades, Supports and Allies – then use events to smash the Rhino! An ideal first turn often includes some ramp and set-up for the future. As Spider-Man playing a Web-Shooter is a great way to invest in the future. You can even use Peter’s Genius ability to play it before you flip. With Captain Marvel your ramp is inherrent in your

Alter Ego ability. If you happen to draw Alpha Flight Station or Avengers Mansion they are great first turn choices for Carol.

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One thing to remember during the first turn is you will ready before the villain acts during the villain phase. So there is no reason to not use your basic abilities. We recommend during their turns both players flip to hero form and exhaust to attack Rhino (there’s no threat on his scheme to thwart yet). You’ve probably picked that up in the Learn to Play guide but Identity cards have 4 basic abilities.

Hero Form:

Attack – exhaust to deal your ATK value to an enemy as damage
Thwart – exhaust to remove your THW value from a scheme
Defend- exhaust to reduce incoming attack damage by your DEF value (use this during the villain phase)

Alter Ego Form:

Recover – exhaust to heal hit points equal to your REC value

Once both players have completed their first turn the hero phase ends! You’ll want to ready all your cards in play and draw up to the hand size designated on your identity card. Note, for both Carol and Spidey their hand size is smaller in hero form! This means in future turns if you want more cards you will have to flip back to Alter Ego form. Now, it’s time for Rhino the charge in and take control of the game for a moment.

First Villain Turn

The villain phase is broken into 5 steps

1. Place threat indicated in the main scheme’s acceleration field onto the scheme. Note, if any acceleration icons or tokens were present the threat would go up even more. If the threat reaches it’s threshold of 7 per player Rhino wins the game! Rhino’s scheme goes up each turn by 1 threat per player- so with no bonus effects for Rhino and no removal by the heroes you’ll have 7 turns to defeat him.

2. The villain will activate once per player.

  • If that player is in hero form Rhino will attack them. Deal one card facedown from the encoutner deck to boost rhino’s attack based on the number of boost icons. The attacked player will have the chance exhaust to defend (or have a friend defend for them) to reduce the attack by their DEF value. You can also exhaust an ally to have them soak the attack (not recommended unless the ally is low in health). Once a defender is decided or the attack is declared undefended flip the boost card to see how much Rhino hit you for.
  • If the player is in alter ego form Rhino will scheme. He will still get a facedown boost card. Now instead of attacking the player he will progress his scheme and place threat onto the main scheme! Here the players have no chance to defend, there a few cards that can reduce this threat placement but not many. It can be dangers to stay in alter ego form too long!
  • Regardless of form any minions engaged with you will also attack or scheme after the villain completes their activation

3. Encounter cards should now be dealt to each player facedown. If a hazard symbol is in the field you’ll need a second encounter card for the first player (and the next player if another hazard symbol is present!)

4. In player order, each player reveals their hazard card and resolves the effects. If the card is:

  • A Minion Card – It engages that player
  • A Treachery Card – It is immediately resolved and discard
  • An Attachment Card – It attaches as the test box describes
  • A Side Scheme – It enters play and effects the game in a new way, all three icons are present in Rhino’s villain deck along with his suggested modular set!
    • Crisis icons prevent you from removing threat from the main scheme while this side scheme is in play
    • Acceleration icons increase the threat placed on the main scheme at the beginning of each villain phase
    • Hazard icons add additional encounter cards to step 3 of the villain phase
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5. The first player token is now placed to the next clockwise player and the hero phase can begin again.

Follow-on Turns

Game rounds will continue as heroes take their turn, then Rhino takes his turn. If you defeat Rhino’s Stage 1 card you’ll need to bring his Stage 2 card into play, resolve any when revealed effects and defeat him all over again. Most villains are stronger later in the game (just like heroes) so Rhino is going to punch harder. Once Rhino has been defeated twice the heroes win the game. Heroes will lose the game if all heroes are defeated (hit points are reduced to zero) or if Rhino completes his scheme! Complete your first game as you learn all about Spider-Man and Captain Marvel’s decks. Below we’ve included a list of tips and commonly missed rules for players first game

Tips

  • Spider-Man is very good at defending with his 3 DEF, he also has one of the best healing supports in the game so he can often take an attack for Captain Marvel allowing her to use her activation for attacking and thwarting.
  • Both heroes will benefit from flipping often. Spider-man can generate a resource once per turn on his alter ego side and Carol can choose any player to draw a card.
  • Make sure to use your heroes basic ability every turn! There’s no reason to remain ready at the end of your turn as you’ll ready before Rhino activates.
  • Remember you’ll draw to a full hand every turn – don’t linger on pretty looking cards if your deck runs out you will simply reshuffle your discard!

Commonly Missed Rules in your First Game

  • Pay attention to card actions that require a specific hero/alter ego form!
  • Remember you need to defeat Rhino twice! Once on Stage 1, once on Stage 2!
  • Rhino has 1 SCH but he can still threat out very easily with boost cards – don’t linger in Alter Ego form too long although the extra cards can be tempting.
  • Spider-Man draws a card when a villain initiates an attack against him. This means when Rhino originally declares an attack. He won’t get this bonus from a minion attack and also won’t get it if defending for Captain Marvel. He will get this bonus even if he uses an ally to block though as Rhino targets Spider-Man then the heroes decide how to react.
  • Peter Parker’s resource generating ability must be spent immediately you can’t generate resources and then flip forms to spend it.
  • Captain Marvels hero ability allows her to cycle a card with an energy resource for a new card but it requires you to heal a point of damage (everything to the left of an arrow is a cost).

 Session Complete

This concludes our first SHIELD Training session. Let us know how your first game went and check back or subscribe to be alerted of upcoming articles of interest to new and experienced players! If you are an experienced player and read this far… let us know a common rules mistake you experienced in your first game. We’ll add them to the list above! KennedyHawk recently played through the starter game solo you can check out the video below!

Training Sessions

We have a whole slew of topics we want to cover in future training you can check out the entire series to date below – as always – thanks for reading!

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!

Social Distancing and Marvel Champions

Attention readers! The world is in a scary state right now, many countries around the globe are instructing citizens to not leave their homes except for essential reasons. At the MCM Podcast we take this situation very seriously in our personal lives and wanted to provide a brief guide for how-to play Marvel Champions with friends even when not at the same table! Read this article or browse to find information about the method you want to try out. Disclaimer: First, we encourage you to buy a physical copy of Marvel Champions. There’s nothing anyone can do to support the company that makes this game better than purchasing the game and playing it. These are some alternatives to playing the game with friends, when a physical setting isn’t possible.

Method 1: Tabletop Simulator

Tabletop Simulator is a game system you can purchase and download through STEAM workshop. Within Tabletop Simulator (TTS) you’ll find hundreds of free games and paid DLC. You can pay a small fee to purchase fully support versions of board games like Wingspan. There is also a huge community of people who create custom games or mods on TTS. This is where you will find Marvel Champions. 

To get started:

  • Create or login to a STEAM account
  • Purchase and download Tabletop Simulator
  • Search under the TTS workshops for Marvel Champions
  • Subscribe to one of the free mods (detailed below)
  • Load up Tabletop Simulator and the mod of your choice… START PLAYING!

There are three primary mods that I will point out:

  • -=SoF=- Crimson’s Mod –
    • This mod is managed by MCM co-host Crimson! It has everything you’ll need to get started played Marvel Champions on TTS including all the currently released heroes and villains! In addition Crimson’s mod has a big focus on custom content. In addition to the custom challenge environments if you scroll north of the table (UP) dozens of custom heroes and villains from the homebrew discord are available for testing!
    • This mod is best suited for 1-2 players
  • Anesthesia’s Mod (NOw defunct!)
    • This mod offers a large table and all currently released content. It has sufficient space for 4-5 players and offers a lot of unique trays and features. This mod focuses on just the game as released by FFG so you won’t see a ton of custom content and because of that it will load quite a bit faster. I use this mod when playing large multiplayer games as it offers optimal space.
  • FunkyMonkeyMonk’ Mod
    • This mod is the beginning of an automated mod. Whether it’s small automations added to the villain turn or great scripted features (like loading a deck from marvelcdb!) This mod is really a great start at an automated masterpiece. I’ve been testing this mod out and it grows better each update. I’m excited to see where the villain automation goes!

All three of these mod managers are on discord so feel free to reach out to them with requests or feedback on their amazing work! I’ll end the TTS section with a list of shortcuts and commands, a screenshot of Crimson’s mod with some information about where you may find the components you seek, and a brief youtube tutorial video!

TTS Tip List

  • Make sure you select a color to have a seat at the table (click on your name on the top right to do this)
  • Use a playmat to define your play area
  • Don’t forget to mix in your obligation!

TTS Shortcut List

  • P – change camera view
  • WASD – Pan Camera up, left, down, right
  • Q/E – rotate a card counterclockwise or clockwise the angle displayed at the top
  • R – shuffle a deck or randmoize a dice roll
  • Click and hold, then drag – move a pile of cards
  • 1, 2, 3, etc – when hovering over a pile of cards draw 1, 2, 3, or etc cards

Here is the tutorial video, we’ll probably do an updated one soon and we’ll update this blog entry accordingly. UPDATED with new tutorials by both Crimson and KennedyHawk.

Method 2: OCTGN

Another digital platform option is OCTGN. I’ve used OCTGN a lot in the past for playing other LCG’s remotely with friends (Star Wars, LOTR, etc) but it had been a while. So I loaded up the platform and got acquainted with the Marvel Champions set-up. To begin you’ll want to download OCTGN from their website. Once you have the program installed run it and you can install Marvel Champions from within the app! Most games natively come with text cards instead of ones with images. You can download and install the image packs from OCTGNGames website here. This entire mod is curated by twitstedsistem who you can find on the main Marvel Champions discord.

OCTGN is perfect for scripting and allows easy automation. The Marvel Champions mod for OCTGN is still rather new so there is not a ton of automation but there is  enough to be really helpful. When you create a game you can choose how many players to allow, once in the game simply right-clicking on the game mat allows you to load a deck, you can even just input a URL from MarvelCDB to have your entire deck loaded.

Once loaded you’ll be able to load a villain and modular set in the same way with a final screen having both your hero and the villain in play! From here you’ll be able to mulligan cards from your deck and get started with your first turn. The area near the bottom that shows where the hero and villains HP are tabs so you can tab back and forth between your deck and the villains deck!  Automation is still somewhat limited but a few things have been incorporated. Pressing F12 will toggle between a players turn and the villains turn, it will ready all your hero’s cards and draw up to your hand size (if you have an increased hand size from say Asgard you’ll have to fix that manually.

On the villains turn you’ll need to tab to the villain area and increasing the threat. Double clicking on the villain will draw a boost card for the foe and you can go on your way completing the villains turn. As more is automated in this system the OCTGN implementation of this game is sure to be rock solid. We’re excited to see where it goes!

Here’s a quick list of tips and hotkeys for OCTGN

OCTGN Tips and Hotkeys

  • F12 – toggle end the current phase and move to the next (swap from villain to hero or hero to villain phase)
  • Up, Down – while hovering over a card this will add or subtract 1 damage token
  • Right, Left – while hovering over a card this will add or subtract a general purpose token
  • Double click on a player card (hero/ally/support) – exhaust the card
  • Double click on a villain – deal a boost cast
  • Delete Key – while hovering over a card this will place the card into the appropriate discard pile
  • Right-click on the table – option appear to load a hero/villain, defeat a villain stage (and load the next), complete a main scheme phase (and load the next!)

Be sure to try out OCTGN if you are looking for something a little more automated and speedy to get through (especially once you learn all the shortcuts)! I’ll be making a tutorial video for this program shortly so we’ll update this article with the video when it goes live!

Method 3: Skype/Video Conferencing

The final way I’ll list here is my favorite way to play Marvel Champions when social distancing. You won’t need any fancy software, just a camera, and some way of video conferencing. You can use a lot of platforms, facebookLive, GoggleHangout, Skype etc. Find a way you can send video and voice feed from your phone or webcam to a video conferencing system and you are good to go. We use Skype in our house to play Marvel Champions remotely with friends all over the world! There are a couple things to consider. Everyone will need cards, but only one player will need a villain deck to stream to the group. You can purchase a webcam clamp mount which will also work with a tripod cellphone adapter. I linked the one we use for our cameras! Not the best image but we have a computer off to a table on the right, we can adjust the camera to capture two players set-ups and play remotely with friends who may be managing the villain deck.

Players on the Magic reddit have shown their set-ups for use during this time of social distancing. You can get as janky as you want including this set-up I saw on the MTG facebook group, all of these work and provide a fun experience for playing Marvel Champions during this critical time of isolation.

Just because we are isolated doesn’t mean we can’t game together. If you are looking for a game consider joining one of the many discord servers and arranging a game with one of us or one of the many active community members. The best way to keep this game alive is to keep playing it during this time, so try out some interesting deckbuilds from marvelcdb. Or pit your best deck against a custom hero from Hall of Heroes. Until next time! Thanks for reading.

Marvel Champions Monthly discord… https://discord.gg/d2nmdZb

Deck-celsior Podcast discord… https://discord.gg/dXWBhSx

Main Marvel Champions Global discord… https://discord.gg/yPCEYsY

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’!

Jennifer Walters – Rules Lawyer Update (RRG 1.2A Roundup)

On February 25th, 2020 FFG released a new updated version of the Rules Reference Guide. You can find the official document here. This article will summarize some of the updates, clarifications and changes so you can know how this impacts your favorite marvel card game! Changes ranged from minor things, like clarification on when Setup abilities trigger to things as wild as how (defense) events are used! Read on to find out what’s new!

I’m going to lump things into one of two categories: minor clarifications, major clarifications, and major changes! This article is by no means all-inclusive but I will highlight the clarifications and changes that may change the way you play this great game!

Minor Clarifications (‘Nuff Said) – These clarifications are pretty obvious and are really wording updates to make sure we are all playing the same game. Most people probably played this correctly, but if not, we now have direct updates to reflect this!

  • Setup abilities
    • Player card abilities cannot resolve during game setup, unless they are noted with a “Setup” timing trigger. So despite what She-Hulk want’s she can’t use her “I Object” ability to prevent threat at game setup. You can still use alter ego setup abilities like Steve Rodgers and T’Challa have! Nuff’ said
  • Mandatory triggers
    • Previous versions of the RRG did not list Setup, Force Interrupts, and Forced Response abilities as mandatory abilities. They are, we knew this, now it is written so no one can lawyer you out of it. Thanks FFG!
  •  Component Limitations
    • Another yup… obviously. Previously it stated if you run out of tokens simply use something else to denote it (I suggest M&M’s so you can eat them later). It mentioned every type of token in the game except…. acceleration tokens. Hopefully no one is playing a game where they run out of those, but if they are. Fear not, you can use red M&M’s instead.

Major Clarifications (Stan’s Soapbox) – These clarifications are a bit more complex, they change the way some people play the game or address commonly asked questions. The FAQ highlighted here are questions I’ve seen come up a lot on discord but there are several more FAQs answered, be sure to check them out!

  • Boost ability clarity
    • The order in which boost icons and abilities trigger is now more clear. In the enemy attacks section we are now instructed to resolve boost abilities (stars) before the attack resolves (in step 3)! This has a few implications. If the boost ability gives the villain toughness when attacking a hero with retaliate the tough token will be placed prior to retaliate damage. Another situation arises when a player defends with an ally but the boost ability destroys the ally (see Concussive Blast). More explanation on this later but it is now clear that the defending ally is destroyed due to concussive blast and the attack now becomes undefended (the check for undefended happens in step 4) against the ally’s controller! This may open the design space for some really cool boost ability cards.
  • Identity-vs-Hero clarity
    • Several instances of hero in the RRG were replaced with identity. This has been clear in printed cards for a while. Cards like Shocker only affect you when in hero form, like wise for cards that target alter egos. The rulebook was a bit more sloppy. It told players to place their hero card in play, when in reality you place your identity card in alter ego form. No brainer right?  
  • More examples
    • There’s a few instances where this makes a big difference. One is in the overkill entry. Previously a player in alter ego form could defend for another player with their ally. If the attack had overkill the overkill entry instructed you to deal excess damage to your hero. Thus, many players assumed they could avoid the overkill damage. Not the case anymore you now take the overkill damage to your identity. General rule of thumb, if the rule book used to refer to your hero card you may want to check and see if it changed to identity card.
  • Dash/Value-0 clarity
    • Additional clarity has been given to characters that have a dash as a stat value (attack, thwart, scheme, etc). If a game step or ability references those values are now treated as a zero. Similar language is used for a star ability (like on Green Goblin / Risky Business). Combining this with the answer to when boost icons resolves let’s us determine what happens when Green Goblin flips mid attack. He will flip before resolving damage, and then his attack will be treated with a base of 0. More on that in the FAQ next!
  • FAQ
  • Risky Business FAQ
    • There was previously some confusion about this scenario. First, if Norman Osborn is stunned what happens when he prepares an attack. The answer was in the rules all along, the status cards always take priority so stun is discarded and no tokens will be added to criminal enterprise as this is a replacement effect.
    • Second, several instances occur where Green Goblin flips mid-attack due to a boost ability. With out increased awareness of when boost abilities trigger this means he will flip and his star value on the Norman Osborn side will be treated as a zero. The forced interrupt has missed it’s window so tokens will not be placed on criminal enterprise due to the attack.
  • Ms Marvel Embiggen/Shrink Common Questions
    • Lots of questions have come up with Ms. Marvel’s upgrades Embiggen and Shrink. Two common questions were answered Embiggen will increase both instances of damage from the card Melee. and Shrink does not interact with Emergency as no threat is removed it is only prevented.
  • Captain America Living Legend Clarification
    • Living Legend, Steve Roger’s alter ego ability only impacts the first ally played, so if you flip after another player has already played an ally you still cannot use his discount!

Major Changes (Needs a No-Prize!) – These clarifications are a bit more head-scratch. I’d say some of these straight up change the way the game was played. Be sure to review these so you are playing the game as FFG design team intends!

  • Defend ability triggers
    • This is the big one! The way defenses work has now been changed. Some changes are minor (like explaining what an undefended attack is). This actually has some interesting consequences. Abilities that trigger after you defend, are no longer triggered by (defend) events. Only the act of using a hero or ally to defend makes an attack defended.  The 5th bullet is the major new update a triggered ability labelled as a (defend) can only be triggered when you are the target of an attack. For solo this doesn’t change much but it changes a lot in multiplayer. Let’s go through some examples.

 Example I: Sound Manipulation

  • Sound Manipulation is a treachery card from Klaw’s villain deck. It is NOT an attack and it is now a lot more deadly! Previously defense interrupts like Shield Block and Wiggle Room could stop this damage, but not any more. Since you are not the target of an attack you can no longer block that damage!
  •  Example II: Preemptive Strike
    • This card has changes a bit as well. In solo, no big difference, but in multiplayer. This card is significantly worse. In the previous RRG if Ultron flipped a three boost icon card on your play partner you could play this from the side lines. No more, you now need to be the target of the attack, so you would have had to defend with an ally or your hero. Quite unfortunate! The TLDR is be careful with (defense) events they interact a bit differently now and have an extra condition.

Challenger Approaching…..

Some RRG updates are also not in the rule-book in red. Note the underlined phrase below that was changed between the last RRG and this one! Tricksey FFG not even showing us this change, maybe there will soon be other ways to defend?

Errata

  • One errata is officially now in the rule book changing Thor’s nemesis Loki from an optional response to a forced response (I think we all thought it belonged that way!)

That’s it for this summary of the RRG update, there may be more hidden gems let us know in the comments below (according to FFG’s site there was another update on March 5th but I’ve yet to see the new content in this second update, so hopefully it’s not a big deal). For this RRG update we are going to considered the Case Closed!

Special shout-out to discord user ApotropaiC for helping me muse out any changes I didn’t fully understand! Thanks friend!