Written by Herohodgson
Ah minions… I often find the quickest way to lose control of a game in Marvel Champions is an overwhelming force of minions diverting your attention from the main objective – taking down the villain. This might be the sheer number of minions or the strength of one or two in particular. We’ve all been there haven’t we – when a tenth Ultron drone is placed down in front of you, or another ‘gobliny’ creature rises from the encounter deck having only been defeated a couple of rounds ago, they all suck. Period.
Some are clearly worse than others though, so here are my rankings for the 10 toughest non-elite minions in the game. I will be ranking them based on their strength, additional abilities, and also any boost effects that come with the card itself. I am not including any nemesis minions at this point, although that might form a future list! Let me know what you think below!
10) Hydra Soldier – Legions of Hydra / Hydra Patrol
I hate this guy… in fact he’s potentially the one I despise the most on this entire list. He reminds me of that scene in Family Guy when Stewie gets the glass stuck in his head and is running round screaming “do I take it out or leave it in?!”, as you can’t just kill him outright without considering the effect of dealing with another encounter card. Plus, we’ve all been there when the encounter card is just another copy of him. Add this to the fact that 4 health sits outside the range of a simple attack activation, meaning that more often than not, you’re going to have to spend two or three resources on an event to get him off the table, making him quite the annoying foe.
9) Macrobots – Kang
So now that we’ve established anyone with 4 health is annoying, adding guard and retaliate to the mix means the Macrobots come in at 9th place. The Macrobots 4 health again means that you’re unlikely to defeat them in one blow, meaning retaliate will likely hit you once or twice as well as his scheme and attack stats. Retaliate on a minion also massively hampers your ability to deal with them using allies, as this wastes another precious hit points for them. The guard element is also frustrating as it takes you away from Kang as the primary target.
8) Goblin Soldier – Green Goblin Mutagen Formula
Okay so the scheme and attack are terrible, but 5 health certainly makes this card beefy. The reason why the Goblin Soldier makes the list at this spot is the boost ability, making it come into play so often, and there are 4 copies of this card in the Mutagen Formula deck. Secondly Green Goblin’s encounter deck and scheme are massively affected by the number of Goblin Minions in play, so you can’t simply leave the soldier on the board and soak up the 1 attack or 1 scheme all game. With his likelihood of appearance and the tanky 5 hit points, the Goblin Soldier makes number 8 on our list.
7) Zola’s Mutate – Zola
This card shouldn’t be so bad in itself. Its basic scheme and attack are pretty average at best, and 5 hit points puts it in line with the Goblin above. As you can see though, the reality is this won’t be the cards stats due to its text ability. If we take the Zola deck alone, there are 3 upgrades this card could get: Defensive Programming – giving it guard and +2 hit points, Pain Inhibitors – giving him retaliate and +2 hit points, or the worst possible; Neurological Implants – giving him +2 scheme, +2 attack, and +2 hit points. After all of that, as well the likelihood of it hitting the table, is increased by its boost ability. So the Mutate takes a well deserved 7th place.
6) Tyrannosaurus Rex – Kang
The only minion you smile when seeing. 6 hit points is pretty scary, as is the 3 attack. Toughness is always annoying on minions as you end up looking to just ‘ping’ one damage to remove it, rather than waste an activation or event. Also the 3 boost icons make his presence felt even in passing. There’s good reason to maybe place the T-Rex a bit lower on the list, if at all having it on here, but I won’t… because it’s a T-Rex, and that is amazing.
5) Hydra Exo Soldier – Red Skull
Halfway though the list, are you feeling terrified yet? The Exo Soldier’s stats of 2 scheme and 2 attack, with 5 hit points, are pretty scary, meaning you can’t simply flip your identity around his weaknesses. Coming in with toughness as well gives us the same issue as the T-Rex, above where we need to ping it off as easily and quickly as possible. The boost text ability is also pretty annoying, giving the villain a tough status card and another boost, meaning that even in passing this minion is massively impacting the already challenging Red Skull villain phase.
4) Radioactive Man – Masters of Evil
“My eyes – the goggles do nothing!” Well this is a lot less amusing than Rainier Wolfcastle’s interpretation of the popular Simpsons character. Truth is, there were a few options from Masters of Evil set that we could have used here, but I find that losing a card from my hand hurts in Marvel Champions more than a bit of damage here and there. Particularly for characters with small draws like Thor or Hulk – and if you’re doing it properly at random its always going to be that resource card or important ally you were going to play. The 7 hit points also means you’re likely to lose a card in a couple of rounds before you take him down, unless you splash big to wipe him off the board.
3) Electro – Power Drain
Now into the podium places. Electro makes number 3, as depending on how difficult you’ve made your encounter deck, his attack is downright scary. You could easily be taking 2 damage plus 2/3 indirect each time he attacks. 6 hit points is very strong for a minion. Follow that up with his ability text and boost ability to help the villain cycle through the encounter deck towards acceleration tokens, which particularly in 3 or 4 person multi-player can be scary. I’ve seen multiplayer games involving Electro where the basic threat increase at the start of the villain phase is 7 or 8 threat. All of this gives him a bronze medal from our list.
2) Tombstone – Running Interference
It’s a tough call between 1st and 2nd on this list, but Tombstone finishes runner up. Just like his tough fictional backstory, his 9 health is huge and totally bonkers for a non-elite minion. His 2 scheme and 3 attack are extremely powerful compared to others on this list, that maybe only have one decent stat out of the two, so he hurts whichever mode you’re in. Add in his forced response so you not only lose 3 health per attack (unless you can defend it), but you’re also likely to lose a card as well. You’re looking at him being on the board for 2 or 3 rounds unless you can really sink some quick damage into him making his presence in a game extremely tough to come back from.
1) Scorpion – A Mess of Things
I didn’t realise when originally putting this list together, but all of my top 3 are from the Green Goblin pack, so clearly if you fancy challenging yourself it’s the one to get. For me, the differences between Scorpion and Tombstone for the top spot was the quick strike and his forced response being marginally better, but let’s break him down properly. 7 health, whilst not the highest on the list, is very good. His quickstrike immediately deals you 3 damage with a likely stun. Follow that up with his scheme also being 3 makes him a deadly foe whichever mode you’ve flipped into. His stats and forced response mean that you simply have to get him off the board in one round or risk being constantly stunned or have your allies taken out one by one.
So that’s my list, do you think we’ve missed anyone or have a different opinion? Let us know in the comments below!
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