Luke: Here on 1-2-Punchboard, we try to keep things light. I’d rather spread positivity than to $#*% on well-intentioned, if flawed, products. We want to be a driving force for the betterment of the industry rather than a destructive and problematic publication that brings the medium down.
Phil: There are already enough of those out there.
Luke: And while this article will be looking as some of the weaker, more situational cards released for Marvel Champions up until this point, this is not to say that these cards are “unplayable” or “garbage” or that anyone should feel bad for using them. I’ve used a few of these on the rare occasion to build decks, which just goes to show how highly I think of the game design up until this point.
Phil: Every tool has a use, no matter how situational.
Luke: But I felt that this could be a good exercise in seeing what cards don’t quite have a place in the current meta and consider why that is.
Why I’ve Picked These Cards
Luke: In order to be as fair as possible, I chose 1 card from each Aspect and 1 Basic card, for a total of 5, to represent the ideas that I’m talking about.
Phil: What about hero cards?
Luke: Hey, maybe if people are interested in what this article says, we could do a future piece looking at each Hero’s best and worst tools. For today, though, we’ll be looking at these 5 cards exclusively.
Phil: So what makes them stand out to you?
Luke: Most of them were selected due to how situational they are. How good a card is can often be defined by how often they could be used for a positive effect. A card that is useful all the time will always be more important to include in a deck than a card that is only useful for niche circumstances.
Phil: Sure, I can see that.
Luke: Additionally, cost can be a big factor, although many of these cards cost very little to get to the table, with 3 of them being free to play.
Phil: Free cards? What could be bad about that?
Luke: You have to consider, in order to add those cards to your deck, you’re often excluding other, better tools. So if those free cards aren’t giving you good effects, they’re just forcing you to mill through your deck that much quicker.
Phil: Meaning more villain cards to deal with.
Luke: Right. Lastly, these cards tend to have effects that don’t really combo with other card effects well, set-ups to a pay-off that doesn’t exist.
Luke: Ah, that’s something I wanted to address as well. While these cards aren’t great currently, we could see cards down the road that make them way more useful. Who knows what other cards FFG could release and make these cards a part of a killer combo.
Phil: Alright, well without further ado, let’s get to it.
Aggression: Get Over Here!
Phil: Marvel Champions and Mortal Kombat? What is this, a crossover episode?
Luke: Yeah, it’s hard for me not to see the title of this card and think of Scorpion yanking someone across an arcade screen. It feels slightly thematically dissonant in that I’m pulled out of the game experience due to how ingrained this phrase has become with the popular video game series.
Phil: Not to say that this is why we chose this card to be the bottom of the @$$-kicking barrel.
Luke: Obviously. Get Over Here! struggles so much because it’s a card that’s only really good for one hero; Thor. Sure, it’s a free card that can remove a tough status symbol here and there, but plenty of other cards can be used to the same effect and be useful in plenty of other scenarios.
As for engaging the enemy with you, other than Thor getting his extra card draw, it’s rare that this card has any palpable effect beyond moving a minion with Guard elsewhere or preemptively preventing some damage to a given player. Additionally, this part of the effect can only trigger if the hero is Aerial, meaning there are plenty of characters who won’t get half the effects of the card at all.
Phil: Frankly, this card feels like it should be a secondary effect of a card in Thor’s deck.
Luke: Exactly, and because it’s linked to the Aggression Aspect, This makes the card that much more situational, as I’ve found Thor best when coupled with the Justice Aspect.
It’s also worth noting that this card is practically useless when playing Solo, which certainly doesn’t help.
Phil; So yeah, a tough card to get to the table for sure.
Justice: Great Responsibility
Phil: Uncle Ben deserves better.
Luke: Great Responsibility is theoretically a great card; take a ton of threat as damage to prevent an end-game trigger? Awesome. The problem? You have to be in your hero form to play it.
Phil: Meaning that when you would get huge amounts of threat, you’re normally in your alter-ego form.
Luke: Right; unless you are playing multiplayer and a friend happens to be reverting to their alter-ego side and you happen to have the health to allow you to take an attack and take some straight damage, this card isn’t going to be used very often.
Phil: How effective the card is can also be largely dependant on the luck of the cards. How devastating the additional threat will be depends on what boost symbols are flipped, making this card all the more situational.
Leadership: Avengers Assemble!
Luke: I may get some flack for this, and that’s more than fine, but this card is way too expensive for what it does, and not just in terms of resources.
Phil: A 4-cost card is already pretty pricey.
Luke: For sure, and I can understand the high cost considering it gives all Avengers +1 to their primary stats for the round. However, plenty of other cards give stat boosts, like Morale Boost or Lead From the Front.
Phil: Ah, but this card boosts all Avengers, including your teammates.
Luke: Assuming you’re playing with anyone else.
Phil: And it readies each Avenger you control.
Luke: Which is nice for a big power turn, but what that means is, to get the full effect of this card, you need to have 3, potentially 4, Avenger allies in play in front of you that have at least 2 health left each (for the 2 activations), and by the end of your turn, all your allies will likely be dead, leaving you wide open to attacks and bad-times. Unless this is the final turn of the game, this card is going to just as often leave you susceptible to a counter-attack as it will help you march onto the battlefield.
Protection: Get Behind Me! or Black Widow Ally
Luke: Similar to Great Responsibility, Get Behind Me! relies on the fact that the villain cards you draw are bad enough to warrant spending a resource out of hand to play this card.
Phil: It certainly can be worth it at times.
Luke: Sure, this is likely the most useful card of the cards gathered here, but I’ve found it often more worthwhile to take the effect than spend 2 cards before my next turn and get attacked for who knows how much damage. Maybe this could be useful in a stun-lock deck, though (I’m looking at you, Captain America)…
Phil: See? We’re already finding uses for these cards.
Luke: Like I said, even the most situational of cards have their uses.
Phil: I’d argue that the Black Widow ally card is a worse card overall.
Luke: How so?
Phil: A 3-cost ally with only 2 health that requires you to spend specific resources to use her ability, which could reveal a worse encounter card? Taking a hit to the face at least has predictable outcomes, who knows what’ll come out of that deck of horrors?
Luke: Yeah, I certainly have a hard time rationalizing putting her in my Protection decks unless I really need the thwarting help.
Basic: Honorary Avenger
Phil: I saw this one coming.
Luke: Yeah, we’ve talked about this one in the past. Sure, it’s free. Sure, it gives an ally +1 health, which usually means 1 extra activation. And sure, it provides the Avenger trait. But what does that really equate to?
Most cards that trigger off of the Avenger keyword requires that a card have that keyword before it comes into play, like Quinjet and Avengers Tower, making that aspect not particularly helpful unless you’re planning on using Avengers Assemble!. The +1 health can help keep an ally in play slightly longer, but I find myself sacrificing allies to big swings from the villain rather than take hits myself, making that extra health situationally useful. And you can only play the card if you are an Avenger. While this is easy enough now, we’re likely going to see a ton of heroes that don’t meet that criterium.
Phil: And like we said before, adding a card with a weaker ability like this is rarely worth it when other cards end up providing a lot more.
Luke: It’s useful when building a deck focused on the strength resource, but nothing about the card itself is particularly appealing.
That’s All For Now!
Luke: So yeah, that’s going to be it for now.
Phil: For a while now, since we have to wait an extra month for Black Widow.
Luke: Yeah, not looking forward to that.
Phil: But if you all reading this think there are other cards that belong on this list, feel free to let us know.
Luke: As well as if you’d want to see a follow up featuring hero-exclusive cards. See ya’ll next week!