Written by Herohodgson
As I’ve written in previous articles, I really like the nuances of nemesis sets. I remember first playing the game out the core box and being disappointed at having to set aside some great villain names that might never see play. In fact, I’m pretty sure that for my lesser played heroes, their arch rivals have never seen the light of a playmat yet. That being said the nemesis sets can often wreak havoc particularly in solo games where their impacts are felt more.
Some are naturally worse than others though, so here are my rankings for the top 10 toughest nemesis sets in the game. I’ve ranked them not only on the villain themselves, but the package as a whole, so considering the side scheme and extra cards too. Let me know if you agree with my list in the comments section below!
#10: Baron Zemo – Captain America Nemesis Set
Baron Zemo is an interesting one as the issue of being unable to thwart can really impact you if he enters play when the main scheme is quite high. I’m aware that some interpret the word ‘you’ differently – it could mean just Captain America and allies can therefore still thwart, or it could mean you the player and none of your cards can. While his stats aren’t totally insane, the two extra (and delightfully purple) Hydra soldiers are pesky minions to be throwing into the encounter deck. Hail Hydra is always a horrific card as well if you’re going thematic, and playing with something like Legions of Hydra as your modular set.
#9: Titania – She-Hulk Nemesis Set
Titania is one of those cards you can easily forget about, as She-Hulk isn’t exactly a popular deck choice. Her ability means you are going to have to deal with her straight away, even if you can’t kill her off its best to put a bit of damage on to her to avoid being hit for a ton of damage in the villain phase. Her cards then help her out by increasing her hit points and healing her back up to full health to attack for six or more again. If you’ve already been whacked by the main villain, that’s tough to come back from.
#8: Abomination – Hulk Nemesis Set
Abomination is another villain who preys upon the weaknesses of his opposite hero. Attacking for three with then, a likely, (given a typical Hulk deck) extra 2 is pretty gnarly. Six health is a decent number, but the reason for his appearance here is actually his side scheme. Thwarting is already an issue with any Hulk deck, but you can’t even touch this one until Abomination is defeated, making two encounter cards per round extremely likely for the rest of the game.
#7: Avalanche – Quicksilver Nemesis Set
Upon his arrival, Avalanche hits as quick as his heroic opposite hero. His 2 incite combined with the 1 incite on the side scheme may just be enough to flip the main scheme card in some games – or end it in others. Don’t forget he then has a ‘When Revealed’ ability to either add more damage to the equation or exhaust. Earthquake not only exhausts your hero (something Quicksilver can easily come back from), but also discards 2 cards from your hand – huge in any game of Marvel Champions regardless of your hero.
#6: Killmonger – Black Panther Nemesis Set
Depending on what sort of game you’re playing, Killmonger could be higher, lower, or not even on this list at all. His special text is what made his appearance on this list. If you’re playing Black Panther in solo mode for example, your options outside of your Wakanda upgrades are pretty limited. You’re not able to do your usual tricks to get Killmonger off the board easily. His side scheme at three threat per person is beefy enough to cause trouble as well. The fact that you might have a, normally perfect, hand of Wakanda Forever’s that are no good against him lands T’Challa’s nemesis at number 6 on our list.
#5: The Viper – Spider-Woman Nemesis Set
Viper isn’t so bad if you can get rid of her quickly. She comes in during the villain phase when you’ve already drawn up your hand, but if you’re unable to ping her off in that first appearance, she’s going to start really messing your rhythm up. 5 health with a 2 attack and 2 scheme are strong stats, and her overall package of a Hydra regular and Hail Hydra will be impactful in certain villain decks as we’ve explained above with Baron Zemo. You need to get her gone quickly through so that she doesn’t start ruining your hand sizes. While not potent in one particular area, her set is pretty solid all round which lands her at number 5 on the list.
#4: Taskmaster – Black Widow Nemesis Set
Let me tell you about a game I had playing Black Widow, I felt all cocky having got 7/8 preparation cards down on Natasha and was feeling confident going into the villain phase, I just needed to flip an encounter card for going through my deck…
“Oh.. Shadows of the past.. right that’s erm, Taskmaster… and now in the villain phase he’s gonna hit me for… Oh my”.
– Lesson learned – save your Grappling Hooks for Shadows of the Past and Shadows alone.
#3: Baron Mordo – Doctor Strange Nemesis Set
I think most agree that Doctor Strange is the best hero in the game right now, but Baron Mordo absolutely hampers the Sorcerer Supreme. First of all, you lose one of your precious invocation cards with the side scheme, then Baron Mordo is hitting you with a solid additional ability each time. If your Crimson Bands of Cyttorak is the spell you lose to the side scheme you’re already in trouble, because if you’re running protection or justice, you might be struggling for damage from hand. Likewise, if you’re running aggression and lose Images of Ikonn you might struggle to remove the side scheme, etc. Add that onto the really tough Thoughtcasting and Counterspell cards, it make his nemesis set truly limiting for the games’ top Avenger.
#2: Loki – Thor Nemesis Set
The main reason the Loki set is on this list is of course his pesky ability, you think you’ve killed him, but no, back he comes with full health again. In one swoop he makes any encounter deck reconnaissance like the type you get from Heimdall or Falcon really important, otherwise you can easily end up sinking 8/12 damage into him to try and remove him from the board. Oh, and don’t get started on Family Feud, looking over to the aggression player and cursing them for running Jarnbjorn, Thor – Jane Foster, and Valkyrie as you place 10 or so threat onto a side scheme is brutal. Throwing in two Frost Giants with 3 attack, 4 health, and toughness can be harmful too, if you’re close to the end of the encounter deck.
#1: Yellow Jacket – Ant-Man Nemesis Set
When comprising this list I realized that in a multiplayer game, most of these sets can be dealt with pretty easily. “Killmonger eh – don’t you worry Black Panther I’ll nuke him for you”. If the aggression player can knock down the 4/5 health minion, the justice player removes the side scheme etc, you can overcome Shadows of the Past quite quickly. Yellow Jacket however really hurts the entire table.
Starting with his stats which get a nice boost depending on the Ant-Man form and a huge buff if Size Increase comes into play, he’s a decent minion. If Size Increase comes in and he’s not around though, that’s an insane buff to the main villain. It’s the side scheme that can ruin a game quickly though. Think about a few heroes in particular, Black Widow loses most of her preparation cards, Spider-Man loses half his upgrades, Iron Man’s suit – gone in an instant. You can soon see how depending on your line up how a board state is entirely ruined. With each of his cards being truly terrifying Yellow Jacket takes our top spot.
Do you agree with our list? Comment below with your opinions!
If you enjoyed this article, please consider joining our Discord channel to discuss this article and more.