Written by Herohodgson
One of my favorite things about Marvel Champions is, how cheap the game is to collect and own compared to other titles I’ve played. If you set out the initial investment, you’re looking at fifteen pounds or dollars, roughly, to get a new hero every 4-6 weeks on average with the odd campaign expansion box thrown in now and again. So if you’re starting from scratch though, assuming your first purchase is the core box and your second is the Rise of the Red Skull campaign, which packs should you prioritize?
Now I should say that the best thing you can do is go out and get the hero that appeals the most to you, via fandom or general curiosity. There’s also plenty of power ranking tables from content creators for the heroes themselves. If however your still unsure, then hopefully this list will help. I’ve based it not only on the hero themselves, but the aspect cards that come with that pack, the pre-built deck, and how crucial their cards are for other games with other heroes. So lets get the ball rolling with the inevitable last place…
#10: Hulk – Prebuilt with Aggression
There’s really no getting round this one. Hulk is a shocker. A really poor design and some pretty awful cards to measure. Many people still cling to the hope that with fresh aggression cards Hulk can become relevant once again, however if anything, the more material that comes out, the further off the pace he feels. Drop Kick is a great aggression card though, and a staple in most Aggressions decks. Inspiring Presence is a nice leadership card for shenanigans with allies like Goliath, but its replaceable with Get Ready from the core box. Beat Cop is another card which gets a lot of hype, but is easily cutable in a Justice build due to its cost and ‘death by papercut’ way of removing threat.
#9: Ms. Marvel – Prebuilt with Protection
Now this is a tough one because I love playing Ms. Marvel. Once you get your head round how she plays she can be a fantastic hero choice in any aspect. With the new Avengers video game and upcoming TV show her stock as a fan favorite will only get higher too. The cards that come with her pack however are easily missable. Only 4 protection cards in total doesn’t exactly fill out your card binder, and of those, only Tackle sometimes makes my Protection decks. Endurance and Down Time are both really useful as basic cards, but again, I find that these can be cut quite easily when trying to whittle my deck down to 40-something cards.
#8: Thor – Prebuilt with Aggression
If you’re a fan of the films, you should absolutely have this guy in your collection. When Thor works, he really works. When he doesn’t work, he leaves you really disappointed. If you play multiplayer he’s a lot more forgiving, as your counterparts can play over his cracks while you get your board setup with Hall of Heroes and God of Thunder. The former is a card that should make every Aggression deck though, but sadly that can’t be said for a lot of the other cards that come with his pack. Mean Swing is a good card providing you have some weapons out, and Jarnbjorn can feel broken in some decks and a waste in others. A lot of his aspect cards are aimed at Thor specifically though, which makes porting them to another hero less viable. Under Surveillance is a brilliant card if you play a lot of Solo games with Justice, but sadly, like Hulk, the hero from Asgard just leaves you feeling like there should have been more to come from him.
#7: Black Widow – Prebuilt with Justice
Black Widow is a very good character to play in this game. There’s a lot going on with her card suite, but if you’re patient and don’t mind playing within the villain phase a bit more than normal, she can be very rewarding. The reason for her low place on this list, however, is the cards that sit outside her own hero specific ones within the pack. Spycraft and Agent Coulson, while perfect for Natasha, will rarely make it into another deck list for you. Stealth Strike is nice if you’re playing Justice in solo mode, for that bit of damage from hand, and Rapid Response and Defensive Stance are definitely cards you’ll use when playing other aspects. Sadly though, the rest of her set doesn’t make it much out of storage for me, which feels a waste given how much I play Black Widow as a character. I just think they went too heavy on the preparation cards.
#6: Wasp – Prebuilt with Aggression
Take everything I said about Black Widow and flip it round. Wasp has some good cards such as Wasp Sting and Pinpoint Strike, but every hero has one or two heavy hitters right? Most people I’ve spoken to feel a little underwhelmed when playing her compared to other heroes in the game, but its worth saying that running her and Ant-Man together either in multiplayer or double handed is a lot of fun. Into the Fray is a nice card for the solo Aggression player and Surprise Attack is very powerful with either Ant-Man or Wasp, or a character that flips regularly like Ms. Marvel and Black Widow. Lie in Wait is a very useful card as well, depending on which villain you’re up against, but its actually the basic cards that I think are absolute must haves from her pack. Ironheart should go into every deck you play, regardless of aspect, and The Power in All of Us can help put down those big grey cards like Helicarrier and Avengers Mansion much easier. Spider-Man – Miles Morales is a nice ally as well, even if he lacks some of the key traits to enhance his capabilities further. All of this means that, while her own cards aren’t amazing compared to others, Wasp’s pack is still a good one to get hold of.
#5: Quicksilver – Prebuilt with Protection
Quicksilver makes the halfway spot on this list, largely down to his own cards and his power. He’s someone who works superbly in whatever aspect you play him with, and is one of the games best designed and more powerful characters at the moment. Outside his own specific cards, the rest of the pack is a bit lackluster compared to other heroes though and Protection is probably the least played aspect when playing with numbers of 3 or less people, so you might not be clamoring to get hold of him early on. Multiple Man is the aspect’s best ally though and Never Back Down is a nice event akin to other interrupt events like Desperate Defense. Beat em’ Up should go into your deck for any Ultron game as well, but other than that, there’s very little outside of Quicksilver’s own cards that have him moving up this list. Good job he’s so bloody brilliant then, otherwise he’d be a lot lower than 5th.
#4: Ant-Man – Prebuilt with Leadership
Ant-Man is a fantastic character outright, and the three-sided card, while annoying for storage, is a wonderful way of demonstrating his unique abilities. Giant Stomp can make you the most popular player on the table in a multiplayer game, and his helmet is much stronger than the similar card belonging to Wasp. The rest of his pack is just as good, with some fantastic new allies for Leadership as well as a new suite of upgrades with Power Gloves and Reinforced Suit. Having these really opens up what you can do with the aspect itself in terms of pushing certain allies over the edge. Moment of Triumph is a card that big damage dealing characters like Thor and Hulk should certainly take a look at. Assess the Situation is an intriguing event for players looking for draw heavy combos or working with card specific decks like Black Panther where you’re always looking for one or two certain cards.
#3: Doctor Strange – Prebuilt with Protection
He’s the best hero in the game, and its not even close. If you’re wanting to breeze through villains, you should certainly have him in your collection. His unique invocation deck is also a bit different to any other hero which is nice and niche to work with. The Sorcerer Supreme is a card you’ll be fighting over with the Scarlet Witch player, but its a must play for both characters. Outside of his own stuff, Clea and Iron Fist are really strong allies for the aspect and Desperate Defense is a must have if your protection player is looking to get multiple defends off in a round. Unflappable is also another card crucial to making that playstyle tick over nicely. Let’s be honest though, you’re not buying Doctor Strange for his protection cards, but they’re certainly crucial to the aspect’s arsenal overall.
#2: Scarlet Witch – Prebuilt with Justice
I love playing Scarlet Witch, in fact, I’d be as bold to say I’d be happy if its the only hero I’m allowed to play for the rest of my days. Utilizing her hero ability and her Crest to get the most out of those Hex Bolts – which my friends will attest to coming with added hand gestures by me as the encounter cards are revealed – is a wonderfully thematic way of demonstrating the characters abilities. The reason she lands second on our list ahead of Strange is because of her Justice cards though. Crisis Averted and Multitasking are the two best events in the entire aspect – and they both come in one hero pack! Also, if you were worried that Doctor Strange was loosing his step a bit, then Spiritual Meditation is an insane card by letting you draw then discard rather than the other way round. Browbeat is an on-the-curve card for the Aggression player, but Last Stand when tied together with Rapid Response and/or Make the Call is a must have for any Leadership player. There’s no doubt that the Scarlet Witch pack gives value for money in both the hero and aspect cards that come with it.
#1: Captain America – Prebuilt with Leadership
Another one of the game’s A+ ranked characters, but you may have forgotten how insanely good the rest of his pack is. I must admit I have not played ‘Cap’ in some time, as similar to Strange, he’s almost too good to enjoy things, and no one wants to actually start feeling sorry for a villain. His card suite is a wonderful blend of damage dealing and blocking, he’s rare in the fact that both his alter-ego and hero abilities are extremely powerful. Plus, as far as I’m concerned, that’s America’s ass… so why would you not own this guy? The reason for him taking the number one spot though, ahead of all others, is not just him being awesome in his own right, but I’m really not sure how you can play the Leadership aspect (effectively) without the cards he brings. Avengers Assemble, for a time, was the games’ best card, and still might be in the right load-out. Strength in Numbers is a card more and more people are seeing the power in to flood the board with cheap allies to essentially then get to an 8/9 card hand size every round. Squirrel Girl, or ‘Ultrons nightmare’ as she could go by, is a staple in any Leadership deck, as is Falcon, and while Wonder Man has lost a step as the game has gone on, he’s still useful due to his low cost to get into play. Avengers Tower is also a card that, alongside a Helicarrier, can make the ‘ally flood’ play style really workable. Followed is a nice card for the solo Justice player and Expert Defense is a nice 0 cost alternative to Desperate Defense without the readying up. So if you’ve just bought into the core box, you really can’t go wrong by purchasing ‘Cap’ as your first expansion.
Do you agree with my list? Let me know in the comments section below and head to the I Rebel discord for more Marvel Champions discussion.