Marvel Champions Top 10, Issue #9: Hardest Villains

Written by Herohodgson

I think we can all agree that the Galaxy’s Most Wanted (GMW) set has really stepped up the power level in villains. However before I join the complaints on social media towards this, I think its important to remember how insanely powerful the two heroes that arrived beforehand, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, are. Its a balancing act of increasingly great heroes matched up against ever stronger villains that will keep the game alive and going moving forwards.

It does feel at the moment that you need your A-team line up (or dream team!) in order to take down the GMW campaign. In terms of the villain line up across the board however, who is up there on the league table? I think we can all agree who gets the top spot, but who joins him on the podium? Or sneaks onto a top ten list when we have 17 line ups to pick from?

My picks are below based solely on the villains own card suite. No modular sets factored in, as you can easily ramp or even drop a villain’s difficulty by mixing these up. So with this in place here we go!


Any particularly ‘flippy’ characters like Ant Man, Wasp or Ms. Marvel will have to play around Taskmaster’s forced response.

The setup for Taskmaster is quite a tricky one. Each player starting with an encounter card, then taking damage or puts threat onto the main scheme, as well as putting Hydra Patrol into play straight away. This is an extra annoyance, as when this disappears you get a Hydra minion too. The forced response really impacts ‘flippy’ characters that regularly go from Alter-Ego to Hero and back again. This means its harder to simply flip, recover 3-4-5 HP before going back into hero, as its instantly negated. In terms of his card suite, Photographic Reflexes is one of the most annoying cards in the game in my opinion, and his Training Camp giving each minion tough status cards can be really horrible if you’re playing with a particularly tough minion based modular set.


You can’t do this to me… YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I’VE SACRIFICED?!

When compiling this list I was actually quite surprised as to how much I had Green Goblin slipping down in the rankings, but such is the difficulty of the names below. The reason I don’t have him higher is that in many of the games I’ve played against Goblin managing the initial setup of 2 encounter cards (then 3 for stage three) is the challenge, but after that its easier than you think to play around some of his tricks. The second side part of the main scheme – Mutagen Cloud can be managed if you’re quick to ping off the minions as they arrive letting you focus on damage over thwarting. There are some challenges within his deck for sure, particularly with the stronger minions like Monster and Goblin Knight and he has defeated me many times, but he only lands at number 9 on this list.


Make sure you’ve got enough acceleration tokens to handle…

It almost didn’t feel right putting Klaw ahead of Goblin, however what swung it was reviewing all the cards that Klaw has within his deck. With his interrupt ability whenever he attacks, the chances are, you’ll hit all the worse ones at some point during a game. You never feel like you’ve got lots of time in a game against him as due to him racing through his own deck. He can soon be putting 5/6/7/8 threat on the main scheme during the upkeep phase each round. Sonic Converter is one of the most painful attachments to see in the game and some of his treachery cards like Sonic Boom and Klaws Vengeance are pretty potent as they effect you whichever form you’re in. If you’re daring with your modular set choice, Klaw can be a consistently devastating opponent in Marvel Champions.


Managing The Collection itself is the trickiest part against The Collector.

When basing a list solely from the villain deck, the GMW box poses some interesting challenges, since its so modular heavy. The Infiltrate the Museum deck being only 13 cards, I’m basing this choice largely on the Forced Interrupt ability. It causes so much mayhem for the heroes. In particular characters like Black Widow or Captain Marvel that use upgrades which are normally soon discarded, are a tricky match up to win with against this version of the collector. His card suite also helps out the collection with cards like Stay A While and an extra copy of Caught off Guard forcing players to think outside the box in terms of taking him down.


Round and round we go, which stage II of me will you get? No one knows……

Kang is my favorite villain to play against. An insane ride where you never know how its going to play out. The obligations are a fantastic way of derailing your best laid plans, with Stolen Memories being the worst particularly if you hit more than one copy. Also, the way that the second round separates you from your teammates can really expose your weaknesses if you’re running a thwart or damage heavy deck. The ‘Easy’ version of Kang gives you a little more time to build your board up but Expert Kang is truly ferocious. The four copies of Kang’s Dominion are the worst cards to see, particularly if your thwarting capabilities aren’t a strength, whilst the Macrobots are quite a pesky minion to repeatedly engage.


“Wait, haven’t I seen you in Jumanji?”

Nebula can be devastating if you don’t manage her loadouts as you chip away at the hit points. Cut Throat Ambition slows down those big damage dealing cards we see in most hero decks, whereas Evasive Maneuvering and Unyielding Persistence can ensure no damage is done at all with status cards for her or the player. For the last two however, it does give Doctor Strange the ability to negate her slightly by changing around the cards. With her card suite supporting her technique loading for her activation, she can quickly get out of control. Landing her at number 5 on our list.


“There are no strings on me… just more drones!”

The strange thing I find with Ultron is, that his stage II is actually harder than his stage III for me. His Stage II loads up the board with Drones, whereas his stage III relies on his card suite to bring more of them out, each one acts as a meat shield (or circuit shield??) preventing you dealing him any damage. His Hit Points total is crazy and you absolutely need to get rid of the Upgraded Drones environment attachment whenever you see it in order to stand a chance. I like how Countdown to Oblivion doesn’t allow threat being removed from it, so you can almost hear the clock ticking as you chip away at his last bit of health. Winning when that side of the main scheme is out feels great, but if you reach that point more often than not, its an Android-only Earth from there on out.


I’m pointing at you….

Tough one putting Red Skull in at 3rd. It could easily be a 2a and 2b situation with the name below, but truth be told, I’ve actually beaten him more times than the next villain. The side schemes can be managed in multiplayer if you allow your Justice player to just focus on those – unless you hit Spreading Lies at the wrong time. For me, the success factor is the order that they come out in and whether or not you see Masterplan from the Expert encounter set, you also don’t want to see the Sleeper too early when you’ve not got your board state sorted. Red Skull’s Right Hook is another card that’s tricky to get rid of, needing three different types of resources. But if you have a player that’s happy to spoil a round by getting rid of it, its worth it to avoid the retaliate stacking up as well as his potentially big attacks if you’ve got a messy board littered with side schemes.


What am I working on? Soon you will find out….

Some people will agree, some will disagree, but I believe Zola is a real badass in this game. Each time I’ve played against him, if I can scrape a win, its normally with 4/5 minions still out, a bunch of side schemes I’ve had to ignore, and 2 or 3 health remaining on my hero. The Zola Mutates can become frightening with the wrong upgrade on them and cards like Mind Ray that hand out status cards as well as getting ‘double activation’s’ off are horrible if you’re low on health, or have just flipped to heal up only to see the scheme get out of control. Because the tactic for Zola, most agreed upon is to simply nuke him as quickly as possible and ignore the minions. Otherwise it makes his board state stick around for longer, increasing his chances of killing you or scheming out, which lands him the runner up spot on my list.


Bow down before me!

I mean… was there any doubt? The guy literally gives players PTSD, and makes some quit the game entirely if you believe what you read on social media. The only concern for me is if this is Ronan, what the hell will Thanos be like…


Do you agree with my list? Let us know in the comments section and head to the I Rebel discord for more Marvel Champions discussion.

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