Interview

The Marvel Champions 20 Questions Hotseat, Issue #13: LukeMuench

Welcome, Luke to our Marvel Champions 20 Questions Hotseat. Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer our questions.

Absolutely, I’m happy to be here. Thanks for taking the time to reach out! It’s exciting to be included alongside so many well-known content creators.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Let’s kick this off with your history with Marvel. What was your history with Marvel, if any, before you discovered Marvel Champions?
When I was about 10 years old, my cousin got me a collected volume of the first 10 issues of the original Spider-Man series for Christmas, shortly after, the first film of the Sam Raimi trilogy was released, which I saw in theaters. Needless to say, I was entranced. I read any and all of the Ultimate Marvel comics I could get my hands on and once in college, I expanded my collection, reading as much as I could to get a gauge of where my tastes lie. I still read comics today (digitally) and try to keep up with the Marvel mythos, regardless of what I’m reading at the time.

2. Moving into Marvel Champions, where and when did you learn about the game?
I saw Marvel Champs from a distance at Gen Con and wrote it off, I wasn’t a huge fan of the card formatting, and I saw it as a quick cash-grab. It was only a few months later when I saw the gameplay overview online that I realized that perhaps I was too quick to judge. I picked up the last copy from my local gaming shop, gave it a try, and found myself excitedly anticipating the release of more content, impressed by the game as a whole.

3. Before playing the game, what was your first impression?
Like I mentioned above, I was skeptical. It’s easy to be with Marvel being a property that is routinely scooped up to draw die-hard fans to games that, otherwise, wouldn’t be terribly appealing. I feel like the license is being spread thin these days, so it’s nice to find a game that is a strong representation of the source material.

4. When did you play the game your first time and how did it affect your first impression?
After picking up the game, my significant other and I sat down to play a couple of games with the pre-generated decks. While we had a bit of fun, I was hungry for some deck-building. I then played 10 or 12 solo games as I toyed with different decks and what limited options there was at the time, falling down the rabbit hole.

5. Clearly you love the game enough to do content for it, what was the final push that made you want to do content?
I started by reviewing the base game and some of the expansions, as me and my business partner, Phil Schadt, had a ton of fun with it. Quickly, I found myself wanting to go more in-depth on certain elements of the game but didn’t want to overwhelm readers with nothing but Marvel Champions content. So, Marvel Champs Monday was born, giving me the platform to just gush and chat about my thoughts and feelings at the time without feeling like I was limiting my overall audience.

6. Speaking of content, what kind of content do you do for the game and where can people find it?
I write articles and recently started doing weekly live streams. Namely, Marvel Champs Monday, is where you want to look for content regarding our favorite deck-builder. You can find that every Monday at www.1-2-punchboard.com.

7. Has doing content for the game taught you anything about the game or yourself that you may not have learned? If so what was it, If not why not?
It’s certainly trained me to be a better deck-builder. As I’ve taken closer looks at certain cards, such as Lockjaw, I’ve learned what elements make for a better deck. I certainly build a lot more decks with only 1 copy of a given card than I used to, a huge step in the right direction.

8. Diving into the game itself, who is your favorite hero to play as, what aspect is your favorite and why?
I’m a big fan of Ms. Marvel Justice. Yellow is my favorite board gaming color, and while I was a little luke-warm about Justice at first (pun intended), I find that certain heroes, like She-Hulk and Thor, really benefit from it. But Ms. Marvel feels made for it. Sure, a lot of people really like running Aggression Ms. Marvel, and I see the appeal, but I like being able to confuse the enemy with Concussive Blow and then having a power turn using all of the Personas at my disposal.

9. How about the villain side, who is your favorite villain to play against, which encounter set is your favorite so far and why?
I think Expert Klaw is the best balance between giving the players a good fight while not being obnoxiously difficult. I also quite enjoy Expert Rhino, but he’s a little more 1-note.

As for the Encounter Set, I tend to gravitate towards any of the ones released in the Green Goblin set. Having Electro, Tombstone, or Scorpion pop up can really mess with your plans. It makes me crave a Sinister Six set one of these days.

10. How do you prefer to play and if it is not alone, what does your playgroup look like?
I tend to play solo, though recently me and my significant other have been playing a “campaign”, building decks and then fighting through each villain to see how well we do. We’re about to take on Ultron, which I think will likely be our downfall, but we’ll see.

11. Do you customize your gaming experience anyway that goes beyond the official rules for the game, if so how and why?
Not really. I’m a bit of a traditionalist, though occasionally I’ll make a call on how a card works rather than looking up the rules for the umpteenth time. Some cards just have poor wording and don’t communicate their effects clearly (Klaw’s “Sonic Boom” boost effect comes to mind).

12. As is, how does Marvel Champions stack up to other games you play or have played? It’s honestly my favorite game to date, next to Unmatched and Scythe. It’s a game that allows for such customization without feeling tiresome. I’ve tried other deck-builders and they just weren’t for me, asking too much of my time or demanding I build much more intricate decks. Marvel Champs feels like a nice balance.

13. Is there anything you would change with how the game currently is? If so how, If not why not?
Beyond wanting a bigger card-pool to work with (who doesn’t???), I’d want for cards to be more clearly worded. As a freelance editor, that kind of thing becomes bothersome and distracting rather quickly. I think FFG is taking some steps to improve this, though, which is nice to see.

14. What was the craziest game you’ve had so far or your favorite memory from playing the game to date?
It’s a game of Standard Klaw, my buddy Ian Moss and I are playing Thor and She-Hulk respectively. Thor just died, which means it’s only me with 5 or so minions on me, 2 of which has Guard. After drawing into Gamma Slam, I 1-2-Punch to get rid of the Guard minions and have just enough resources to pay for Gamma Slam, dealing 14 damage and defeating Klaw by a hair. It was incredibly gratifying. If you want to watch that game, you can check it out over at the Infectious Play Facebook page, we actually live-streamed that one.

15. If FFG came to you and said they wanted to put you in charge of creating OP for this game, how would you do it and what would that look like?
Oh jeez, they certainly picked a poor candidate for that, haha. As someone who plays mostly solo, I’m more interested in the promos than anything else, but I would definitely want to see strong and continual support for FLGS’s. I would prefer a stronger focus on unique game experiences to bring players to stores, like a prequel scenario for the upcoming Red Skull expansion or something of that nature.

16. If you could bring any hero into the game, who would they be, what would they do and why?
I definitely hope to see Moon Knight make an appearance one of these days. He’s such a wacky character that could do some really neat things with his Alter Ego, seeing as he has 3. I’d love to see an iteration of him where you choose from a few Alter Egos at the start of each game. And with his TV show set to be released down the road, we actually have a chance at seeing him one of these days.

17. If you could bring any villain into the game, who would they be, what would they do and why?
I’d love to see Knull or Gorr show up. Both are terrifying villains that have great mythos behind them, feeling like grand legends that have since branched out and affected larger portions of the Marvel narrative than initially anticipated.

18. If you had to turn yourself into a card for the game, what kind of card (it can be a hero, upgrade, event, hero, villain, minion, etc) would you be, what would you do and why?
I would be a minion, supporting the larger goal of the villain while hopefully having an interesting effect or keyword to make the heroes groan when I come into play.

19. Time to head towards the conclusion but we need to touch on the MCU. What is your favorite MCU film and why?
Avengers: Infinity War is what I’ve always wanted from a Marvel film; the character drama built up over multiple films, the epic battles (namely the one on Titan), and the fighting against all odds. As someone who was not a fan of Endgame, I consider Infinity War something of an end-point for that Avengers narrative for me personally.

20. Before we get out of here, what is something you would like to share with our readers that most of them may not know about yourself?
I feel like I’m as invested in board games and Marvel Champions because of the fantastic community they support. When I was in college, I was still figuring out who I was and finding myself when I stumbled across the hobby. Now, I develop board games, I have a game I co-designed being released by Renegade at the top of 2021, and I have a fantastic group of friends to share the work and hobby with. I’m truly grateful for how games like this can bring together such wonderful people. Thanks for being a part of that community 🙂

Thanks again Luke for answering our questions. We wish you the best in your content and would like to thank you for giving back to the community.
You as well! I had a great time talking about one of my favorite games, and I’m glad to give back to the same community that’s provided me with so much joy.

If people would like to find you or your content, where can they find it?
My website is www.1-2-punchboard.com. We also have a webpage on Facebook by the same name, and you can access our Discord channel from that page as well. Lastly, I contribute pretty regularly to the Infectious Play channel on Facebook, definitely take the time to check it out if you enjoy live streams.


Thank you readers for reading this article and stay tuned for our next entry into this series, coming Wednesday. Till then, we wish you nothing but the best and stay safe out there.
-JediGeekGirl

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