TABLE GAME REVIEW: Marvel Legendary Deck-Building Game

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This week at GS Table Games we look at Marvel Legendary Deck-Building Game! How do Marvel’s mightiest make-believes fit into the Deck Building arena, and have Upper Deck got the upper hand in this crowded gaming arena?



Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is set in the Marvel Comics universe. To set up the game, players choose a number of hero character decks – Spider-Man, Hulk, Cyclops, Wolverine, etc. – and shuffle them together; since players use only a handful of hero decks out of the fifteen included (which are in themselves grouped by SHIELD, X-Men etc), the hero deck can be varied widely in terms of what’s available. Players then choose a mastermind villain (Magneto, Loki, Dr. Doom, etc.), stack that particular villain’s attack cards underneath it (also in groups such as X-Villains, Asgard Villains etc), then modify the villain deck as needed based on that villain’s particular scheme.




Across the play of the game, players will recruit powerful hero cards to add to their deck in order to build a stronger and more resourceful deck. Players need to build both their recruitment powers (to enlist more heroes) and their fighting ability (to combat the villains who keep popping up to cause trouble). Players recruit heroes from an array of six cards, with empty slots refilled as needed.

At the start of a player’s turn, he reveals a villain and adds it to the row of villains. This row has a limited number of spaces and if it fills up, the earliest villain to arrive escapes, possibly punishing the heroes in some way. Some villains also take an action when showing up for the first time, such as kidnapping an innocent bystander. The villain deck also contains “master strike” cards, and whenever one of these shows up, the mastermind villain (controlled by the game) takes a bonus action.





As players fight and defeat villains, they collect those cards, which will be worth points at game’s end. Players can also fight the mastermind; if a player has enough fighting power, he claims one of the attack cards beneath the mastermind, which has a particular effect on the game. If all of these cards are claimed, the game ends and players tally their points to see who wins. If the mastermind completes his scheme, however – having a certain number of villains escape, for example, or imposing a certain number of wounds on the heroes – then the players all lose.




What I really like about this deck-builder, what really sets it above all other deck-builders is: a) its variability of play and b) the game itself can beat you. In terms of variability, there are nearly infinite combinations of heroes and villains you can assemble, and they will all have a different impact on game-play. But it’s playing against the game that is really testing: as much as you want to beat your competitors, and so have to keep a watchful eye on those all important victory points, you have no choice but to work together, or the game can beat you – sometimes very easily!  The artwork on the cards is very good, and the attributes & powers make for very interesting twists & turns within the gameplay. Of all the deck-builders we have and we play, this is the one that stands taller above them all.

There are some issues in getting this game in the UK; apparently it’s not legitimately available in UK stores – I bought via Amazon in the US, but there are ways to get hold of it. There are also two expansions for the game called Dark City and Fantastic Four (due out later this month) and we’ll be reviewing them both soon.


Rating: 5/5

You can find our other table game reviews and news HERE.

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