Earlier this year, I wrote about how much fun I was having with Marvel Champions. Ten months later, I’m still really loving Champions. I’ve acquired more cards, fought more villains (including getting thrashed by Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet), and finally built custom decks for my favorite heroes.
Of the custom decks I’ve built, two are my standout favorites. To change things up a bit, I thought I’d talk about those two decks below, and why they’re my go-to Marvel Champions builds.
(If you’re not interested in Marvel Champions, don’t worry. Normal comics discussion will resume next week.)
I Can Punch You All Day: Captain America Aggression
This Captain America Aggression deck is all about punching the heck out of villains and their minions. It loads up on Physical (Fist) resource cards and generators to make the most of Drop Kick, Heroic Strike, Marvel Boy, Blade, and most notably, Hulk. In this deck, you have a roughly 66% chance of hitting a Physical resource off Hulk’s attack trigger. So he usually gets to deal at least two to four extra damage before disappearing, making him well worth his cost.
In the early game, I often find myself defending with Captain America’s Shield while setting up my Supports and Upgrades for the late game. Between defending and stunning the villain (with Drop Kick, Heroic Strike, and Mockingbird), I typically don’t have to flip back to Steve Rogers before defeating the villain (at least, when playing Champions solo). That makes this deck’s relative lack of thwart power (though you can grab bursts with Fearless Determination and Agent 13) not as big a hindrance as you might think.
If all you want to do is drop kick and shield slash villains, this Champions deck might be right for you. I know from experience that it also works well in group play, though your friends might decry your lack of ability to remove villain enhancements that require Mental or Energy resources. If you’re looking for upgrades or swap-outs for this list, I’d recommend Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Jarnbjorn, or Wolverine. I don’t own those cards yet, so I haven’t had a chance to try them out.
Handing Out Stark Tech: Iron Man Leadership
This Iron Man Leadership deck, on the other hand, takes a bit more time to start dealing damage. You’ll never flip from Tony Stark to Iron Man on the first turn, as you simply won’t have enough Tech Upgrades in play to do so. You will, however, likely be able to play an Ally and/or two Tech Upgrades. If you can land a couple more Tech Upgrades on your next turn, either as parts of Iron Man’s suit or as enhancements for your Allies, you’ll be ready to armor up and take the fight to the villain. (Remember, Power Gloves and Reinforced Suit are Tech Upgrades, and they count for Iron Man’s ability!)
Typically, I don’t flip to Iron Man until I have at least four Tech Upgrades in play. It’s nice if one of those Upgrades is Mark V Armor, as that card’s extra six hit points give Iron Man a bit of cushion against cards that discard Allies or deal overkill damage. But the Mark V Armor isn’t essential, and one set of Rocket Boots may actually be a higher priority, to make sure you’re set up for Aerial Supersonic Punches in the late game. (In one of my Thanos fights, the Mad Titan snapped away both pairs of Rocket Boots. Finishing him off from there was an uphill battle.)
After you flip, don’t be afraid to let your Allies step in front of the attacks coming Iron Man’s way (especially if you haven’t found Mark V Armor yet). Just make sure to have at least one Ally ready to slip on a set of Power Gloves or a Reinforced Suit, to keep Iron Man’s hand size high. Typically, you’ll end up keeping the villain’s schemes in check via Iron Man’s own thwarting, and you’ll whittle the villain’s hit points down via Ally attacks and Powered Gauntlets. Then, you’ll finish the villain off in one big shot, via either the aforementioned Aerial Supersonic Punch or a (hopefully-supercharged) Repulsor Blast.
These two decks have worked well for me, playing Marvel Champions both solo and in a group. More importantly, playing them has been a heck of a lot of fun. Their playstyles are very different; playing the Captain America deck feels like getting into a big, knockout tussle with the villain, while playing the Iron Man deck feels like a slow burn in which Tony’s trying to concoct some crazy way to win. If you’re also playing Champions, I’d highly recommend giving these two decks a try. I’d also urge you to share your favorite decks with me in the comments below. I’m still regularly picking up new Marvel Champions cards, and I’m still in the market for a good Protection and Justice deck …