Article

She-Hulk vs Thor

Star crossed lovers, ever since Avengers (2018) #11
Written by Josh Bailey

Introduction

I think these two heroes occupy similar spaces in the current catalog of Marvel Champions heroes, and so it should be interesting to compare and contrast them to find out if one is better than the other or, more likely, identify the situations in which each should be favored. I’ll give my thoughts in a “tale of the tape” style, meaning we’ll look at each hero’s stats, printed abilities, signature cards, and any other miscellaneous considerations and decide which hero has the advantage in each category. Then determine an overall winner. I’ll also speculate about what kinds of future cards could tip the scales in one direction or the other. Let’s get into it, starting with the hero’s basic stats.

Stats

She-Hulk has a THW/ATK/DEF stat line of 1/3/2, while Thor has a 1/2/2, though Thor’s nearly-omnipresent Mjolnir gives him an effective 1/3/2 stat line at the cost of a card. She-Hulk has 15 hit points with a REC of 5, slightly edging Thor’s 14 hit points and REC 4. She-Hulk also has the slightly better printed hand sizes of 6/4 in Alter-Ego/Hero form, while Thor has 5/4 with an alter-ego ability that can basically him give him the 6-card starting hand.

Advantage: She-Hulk

Abilities

She-Hulk’s Do You Even Lift? and I Object! abilities deal damage and prevent threat respectively. Thor’s Have At Thee! and Worthy abilities are both forms of card draw. To compare the two, we’ll have to make some assumptions and try to convert damage and threat to resources/cards.

Over 10 turns, and assuming you change form every single turn, She-Hulk will deal 10 damage and prevent 5 threat. Using some fuzzy math I’d call that equivalent to about 8 or 9 resources generated or 6 or 7 cards drawn. To do your own fuzzy math, look at the costs and effects of Haymaker, To The Rescue! (spoiled from upcoming Hulk pack), Big Hands, Sneak By, Helicarrier and Avengers Mansion.

In that same 10 turns, Thor would need to trigger Have At Thee! at least 3 times to get approximately the same value. The number of minions in the encounter deck can obviously vary widely depending on scenario and included modulars, but Standard Rhino and Klaw with their recommended modulars have 1/10 and 3/10 minions/encounter card, respectively. Mutagen Formula is a little higher than Klaw, and Ultron is of course overflowing with minions. So I think against an “average” scenario, if such a thing even exists, drawing at least 3 minions over the course of 10 turns should be expected.

This one is tough to call because they are very close, with She-Hulk being more reliable if you can flip every turn but Thor having the higher ceiling while being more scenario-dependent. It probably will just come down to play-style preference but, looking at only basic use of the abilities, I’m going with-

Advantage: She-Hulk (I’m a higher floor > higher ceiling kind of person. YMMV)


Signature Cards

Now that we’ve examined the Identity cards in every possible way (save judging the art, which I’d call a “Push”), let’s move on to putting their signature cards side-by-side. I have tried to group these based on the function they fulfill in the deck as best I can.

Hellcat vs Lady Sif

 

Looking at just costs vs raw stats, I’d say these two are pretty much even. However, in these decks I’m probably going to want both of them to be thwarting and that gives Hellcat the edge. Even if the cost is justified, Lady Sif is a little too expensive to reliably play in a Thor deck unless you are really maximizing Have At Thee!. I have never gotten a lot of use out of either ability, mostly because they are both hard to pay for, but between the two I’d rather get the ready than the ability to keep bouncing an ally in and out of play. It’s hard to keep playing a 3-cost ally repeatably and I’d probably rather have the ally block anyway. But a cheaper ally is hard to ignore in these resource-constrained heroes,

Advantage: She-Hulk

Focused Rage vs Asgard

These are both 3-cost cards that make up for the small printed hand sizes of their heroes. Focused Rage is a 2-of while there is only one copy of Asgard, however you could count For Asgard! as a second copy since that’s probably the first card you’d use it for anyway. That possible additional cost of playing the tutor card first is still worth it because Asgard works for Hero and Alter-Ego forms while Focused Rage is Hero-only and requires you to take a damage. Yes, that damage fuels Gamma Slam, but that doesn’t totally negate the downside. One thing in Focused Rage’s favor is that you could theoretically get both in play and draw 2 cards per turn in hero mode. Having both in play and converting all that damage into a big Gamma Slam is just not an experience I’ve ever been able to make happen, however-

Advantage: Thor

Split Personality vs Defender of the Nine Realms

 

For this comparison, I’m looking at these cards as ways of further leveraging the heroes’ printed abilities. I’ll have more to say about Defender of the Nine Realms as a pure threat remover next. Split Personality gets you one extra identity flip each time through your deck, and can either net you two additional cards or cost you two cards depending on if you used it in hero form or alter-ego form, respectively. For my 10-turn comparison above, I think you’d get to use this card a maximum of twice. That means 4 extra damage and 4 extra cards, or let’s just call it 7 extra cards using that same fuzzy math.

Looking at just the card draw generated by Have At Thee! due to Defender of the Nine Realms, we’d only have to play it 4 times to outpace Split Personality. Going through our deck twice with three copies of the card each time, this is very doable and probably beatable. Obviously this is scenario dependent and maybe you shouldn’t just use it without considering what’s in the discard pile and left in the deck but that’s kinda how Thor has to be played.

Advantage: Thor

Legal Practice/Superhuman Law Division vs Defender of the Nine Realms

 

Now let’s look at these cards purely as threat removers. Defender of the Nine Realms removes 3 threat and (probably) draws you 2 cards at the cost of engaging a minion. To remove that minion requirement, the card would probably have to cost 4. Can you defeat the minion you gained with 4 resources or less? Probably. Especially if you were already going to Lightning Strike anyway. That makes this card either appropriately-costed or under-costed as a threat-removal hero card depending on what you get and how you’re set up.

Legal Practice and Superhuman Law Division, on the other hand, both usually come out to about 1 threat removed per resource spent, which is what you’d expect from a Basic card not a hero card. Superhuman Law Division gets better the more times you use it, but you’d have to use it 3 times before you’d get the same return as For Justice! without the bonus.

Advantage: Thor

Ground Stomp vs Lightning Strike

The obvious difference here is that Ground Stomp has a fixed output while Lightning Strike is adjustable. The widespread single point of damage from Ground Stomp probably needs to be combined with other sources of small damage to maximize its effectiveness. If you’re going to have to finish off a damaged minion with a hero attack anyway and that point of damage didn’t change the outcome, then it was wasted. Combining with Squirrel Girl, Hawkeye, or even something like Tac Team would be helpful. There needs to be at least 3 minions on the table for Ground Stomp to be worth its 2-cost.

Lightning Strike can almost have the same effect for the same cost as Ground Stomp, except that all the minions have to be engaged with you. On the plus side, though, you can increase the damage done by the card when needed. Ground Stomp just does what it does while Lightning Strike takes a little bit of building around but I appreciate the flexibility and therefore-

Advantage: Thor

One-Two Punch vs Hammer Throw

This comparison is a little bit of a stretch, but I see both of these cards as event-based damage. One-Two Punch is usually 1-cost for 3 damage, while Hammer Throw can be 4-cost for 8 damage if you consider the cost of putting Mjolnir back into play. However, there are some Worthy shenanigans you can pull to recoup that cost. So the two cards have very similar to damage-to-cost ratios but Hammer Throw has a little more flexible use against minions. The 1-cost of One-Two Punch is much easier to get in play while I sometimes struggle fitting Hammer Throw into my plans. I’m going to call this one a push.

Advantage: neither

The Rest

There are some other cards which don’t really have a good comparison in the other hero’s set. God of Thunder sticks out as the kind of card that She-Hulk could have really used. Gamma Slam is a very fun card whose damage output can’t be matched by Thor but is very tricky to play. Thor’s Helmet puts his hit points beyond She-Hulk’s, but Superhuman Strength gives her a way to boost her attack and deal out Stun in a way that Thor can’t replicate.

Overall, Thor has the stronger set of hero cards. This is probably to be expected given that his pure stats are a little weaker and so they have to balance that with his cards. The only problem for She-Hulk, though, is that in every case where she has an advantage over Thor in stats and abilities, his cards make up for it and then go beyond. Thor has 1 fewer hit point but can get +5. He starts with one less attack but can always get a weapon that makes up the difference and opens some lines of play that save you additional resources. He has a smaller hand size but can more easily increase it in both forms, and also boost his card-drawing ability beyond the value of She-Hulk’s ability while simultaneously removing threat. And that threat removal card is more efficient than She-Hulk’s.

Other Considerations

I do think that She-Hulk has the more manageable nemesis set. Titania can hit hard and you don’t want to see something that triggers extra attacks while she’s out. But if you get her off the table in one turn the rest of the nemesis cards are no big deal. Loki is incredibly frustrating, Frost Giants are no joke (especially as a boost), and the rest of the threat increases really hit Thor where he’s weakest. She-Hulk just needs to output a lot of damage which is what she’s good at.

I do appreciate that She-Hulk focuses on flipping your identity as often as you can. When heroes stay in hero mode as long as possible, it really makes a unique part of the game play a minor role.

Finally, there is just the thematic choice of playing as She-Hulk or Thor. This is just a personal choice for each individual but it is nice that a character that hasn’t yet received attention in the MCU was available straight out of the Core Set. I’ve met people at conventions playing this game, not to mention he son of a good friend of mine, that count She-Hulk as one of their favorite characters and that’s going to go a lot farther than any of the points I’ve brought up. The same can be said for any devotees of Asgard. But, the conceit of the article must be addressed and therefore-

The Winner Is…

The primary thing going for She-Hulk over Thor is that she’s more consistent and doesn’t suffer based on the scenario. However, Thor can mitigate this with deck building and clever play – things we tend to come to this game for – and also has a higher ceiling if the honestly low bar of requirements of the encounter deck is met. If I had to boil down the experience of playing both I’d say that with She-Hulk you’re trying to win despite some under-powered cards while Thor feels like everything fits together and you can indeed take on all comers.

What Could Change

I don’t think anything can be done for Legal Practice and Superhuman Law Division. They’re just not good enough to be hero cards in comparison to what other heroes have. The big difference for She-Hulk though is Gamma Slam. If that card could get some support, she’d be a lot more fun to play. Primarily, I think some sort of way to put a card aside and retrieve it later, like a Bruno Carrelli but for other heroes, or even just bring it back from the discard pile would make Gamma Slam more viable. There’s also the possibility of a scenario putting pressure on your identity and causing you to need to go back to Alter-Ego more often (Kang?), because She-Hulk can make better use out of that flip than most heroes. Finally, if there were just more ways to thwart out of Protection I think She-Hulk would be great, because her hit points make defending attractive and the healing makes it easier to ride the line for Gamma Slam. I wait for the day when the green She-Hulk deck will be appropriately powerful.

Agree? Disagree?
Please leave your comments down below what you think.
Thank you for reading.

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