Marvel Champs Monday: The Art of the Mulligan

Luke: Marvel Champions takes a unique approach to handling mulligans. When I first started playing the game, I simply skimmed over the section covering it, assured that I knew exactly how it worked from my years of board gaming.

Phil: Classic, rookie mistake, Luke.

Luke: Having revisited how mulligans work here, we thought it would be worth briefly discussing what makes for a good mulligan.

Phil: It’s easy to think that never mulligan-ing is the right call; throwing away cards means you’re that much closer to decking out and getting one of those nasty encounter cards. Not to mention you’re throwing away cards that you won’t see until after the deck reshuffles.

Luke: That might not be such a bad thing though. If I’m throwing away a couple of thwart cards at the start of a game against Wrecking Crew, I’m pretty safe in the knowledge that I won’t likely need those cards until late game if I’ve drawn out the fight too long.

Phil: Or having a particularly expensive ally in hand early on. I find it better to start building your permanent tableau from the get-go tends to be way more advantageous than playing Nick Fury turn 1 only to have him disappear shortly after.

Luke: Especially for characters like Iron Man.

Phil: And that’s the other thing; some characters really prioritize that you toss cards early on in hopes of getting better, more integral cards, into play. Iron Man needs his tech, Black Panther can often use his upgrades, and if you can get Asgard into play turn 1 for Thor, you’re in a really good spot from the start.

Luke: By that same logic, tossing cards like Mjolnir or Captain America’s Shield are obvious since you’ll just get them back momentarily.

Phil: Mjolnir less-so; if you can pay for cards in hand with it, return it to hand, and put it into play while emptying your hand, it may be better just to keep it.

Luke: But more often than not, these cards are easy mulligans, since you get them back for free. Even a Black Panther upgrade could be a good toss so you can return it to hand immediately afterwards.

Phil: And just as we said it may be good to toss cards against a specific villain, you may want to dig for others cards to combat them. Pulling Hawkeye early in a fight against Ultron is always clutch, and dealing with the early threat of Risky Business and Mutagen Formula can be very important.

Luke: Finally, there’s always costs to consider. If you have cards in hand you simply can’t pay for or doesn’t allow you to efficiently use all your cards, tossing some cards for better options isn’t a terrible play. Efficiency tends to be key, especially at the start of the game.

Phil: And since you’ll be working through your deck quicker, you’ll reach those cards you tossed sooner than later.

Luke: Of course, this is all based on your hand and is incredibly variable. Starting the game with a Power of Leadership and Falcon can lead to an obvious play… unless your other cards are all Iron Man techs that you reeeeeeeally need to just get on the board. Decisions, decisions…

Phil: And that’s the beauty of this method of mulligan-ing; even before turn 1, you’re making important calls, all without needing to shuffle your deck for the umpteenth time.

Luke: It’s smart, svelt, and makes you consider the value of your cards in a different light than you might normally.

Phil: But what are your thoughts on the Marvel Champs mulligan? Do you never do it, or are you tossing cards left and right before each match? Let us know your thoughts and recommendations in the comments!

Luke: Thanks for stopping in, and we’ll see you next week.

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