Luke: Let’s not beat around the bush; with characters who are built with a specific piece of equipment in mind, like Captain America or Hawkeye, it’s hard to rationalize that any other card could best encapsulate the essence of that character.
Phil: Much like in the comics, Mjolnir defines Thor in many ways, and while he may not need to have it on hand at all times, the versatility and usefulness of the card is undeniable.
Luke: And while other cards, such as Defender of the Nine Realms, are important to the functionality of the character, they aren’t as all-encompassing as Thor’s mighty weapon.
So rather than try and explain its significance in lore, as I’m sure everyone is all too familiar with the royal hammer, let’s explore the various uses Mjolnir and how it creates a particular play experience.
Phil: At first, the card seems a little innocuous; +1 attack and an aerial trait? Sure, the extra damage is nice, bringing Thor’s stats up to equate those of She-Hulk. The Aerial trait, however, is meaningless outside of context, relying on other cards for it to have any meaning or value beyond thematics.
Luke: And this is because Thor’s deck is so carefully built around using Mjolnir for other purposes that the card itself is, on its own, seemingly unimpressive.
Let’s start with Odinson’s ability:
It would be one thing to have this card simply deal extra damage, but with the Worthy effect in mind, players can quickly pay for other effects while also returning Mjolnir to hand.
Phil: This is especially important considering Thor’s low hand-size until Asgard comes into play. This gives players an interesting choice; deal a ton of damage by having Mjolnir equipped or keep tossing it to help your various other tools hit the ground running.
Luke: Once Thor is wielding his trusty hammer, though, he’s got some nasty attacks up his non-existent sleeves that will keep minions running for the hills. Remember that Aerial trait that seemingly did nothing? Alongside Lightning Strike, players can potentially wipe the floor, dealing tons of damage to a crowd of enemies.
Phil: They do have to be engaged with Thor specifically, but the important part is that Aerial allows you to ignore Tough status cards, a huge boon against certain villain sets.
Luke: It’s so satisfying to take down 3 Armored Guards with a single attack, all while doing a little damage to the head honcho while you’re at it.
Phil: But if you’re really looking to pack on some damage, Hammer Throw will plow through a minion and hit the villain square in the face, all while returning Mjolnir to hand. While this may not be always beneficial, this allows players to shift between the 2 distinct modes of Mjolnir, dealing damage to pay for cards, returning Mjolnir to hand, and eventually returning it to play so you can do it all over again.
Luke: That looping cycle is unheard of at this point in the Marvel Champions experience and a hard balance to pull off, but with some practice, Thor can be an incredibly powerful hero to helm.
Phil: And this does, in many ways, speak to how Mjolnir is presented in the comics, sometimes used to track individuals or items, purge illnesses from the possessor, or power submarines or force fields. It can be used defensively or offensively, depending on the situation. The Worthy ability does a great job of mimicking this, having Mjolnir fuel a variety of effects.
Luke: And similar to Hammer Throw, it presents how persistent Mjolnir can be when called to its wielder, reliably returning time and again.
While the Marvel mythos has gone through aches and pains to remind readers that Thor is more than his hammer, the Marvel Champions interpretation of the character makes Mjolnir a quintessential card. Anyone can and should use it, but only true Gods of Thunder will find victory through a full understanding and appreciation of the card.
Phil: Thanks for stopping in as always, and be sure to pop by tomorrow as we do a full review of Thor as a character before the U.S. sees the official release of Black Widow.