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In What Order Should You Buy Marvel Champions in 2022?

In What Order Should You Buy Marvel Champions in 2022 - Guide

So you’ve decided you’re all in. You want to buy Marvel Champions: The Living Card Game, and you’re already figuring out where to stick it on your board game shelf. The problem is, there’s a million different boxes, a billion different little hero packs and scenarios… where do you even begin to start building your collection? In this guide, I’m going to share what I believe to be the buying order for Marvel Champions… at least as far as the stuff that’s out there in January 2022.

Please note: The links to products and packs in this list are affiliate links to Amazon. Firstly, if you have a local game store – buy from there instead! These links will help support our site hosting and content if you do end up ordering off Amazon, but we’d rather you head down to your local independent hobby shop instead.

1. Core Set

The Marvel Champions Core Set is fantastic. Let’s just get it out of the way – if you’re just dipping your toes into Marvel Champions, this is the way to go. It contains:

  • 5 iconic Avengers: Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and She-Hulk
  • 3 villains: Rhino, Klaw, and Ultron
  • A whole bunch of different cards for your hero and villain decks (which, by the way, you need to play the other content on this list – this is the only box other than the Hood to include the Standard and Expert encounter sets! Everything else is optional, but those sets are necessary to play the game)
  • Lovely health dials, counters and other optional bric-a-brac

I’m not going to spend any more time extolling the virtues of the core set, because it’s necessary if you want to play the game (which I’m guessing you do if you’re reading this article), and the lovely Ina already wrote a review of the core set, so go check that out instead.

Marvel Champions: The Card Game – Review

Marvel Champions is a cooperative living card game, where you take the role of notable Marvel superhero, and try to stop the villain before he they complete their evil scheme.

But what comes after the core set? Let’s keep going.

2. The Heroes You Love

You’re playing Marvel Champions, not some generic game with original heroes. This means it comes with all sorts of baggage when it comes to the heroes themselves. Chances are if you’re interested in playing, you like specific heroes and comics, and Fantasy Flight Games have done a spectacular job at capturing the essence of each character in their cards and abilities. The very first thing you purchase should be any hero that you particularly resonate with and love. At the time of writing, there are 18 Hero Packs out in various stages of release. These are:

In addition, there are currently three expansions available that contain two heroes each:

So if you want even one of those, buy that expansion first and ignore the rest of this list.

Basically, If there’s a particular hero in that list that makes you excited from a character perspective, get them. Not every hero is created equal, and some are much stronger than others with more powerful generic cards for your collection, etc. etc., but the point of playing is to have fun, and you’ll have more fun with your favourite heroes first. The difficulty of Marvel Champions is hugely customisable, so every hero is playable at different difficulty levels. You just have to find the right one for each hero. There are no wasted purchases here.

3. The Rise of Red Skull

The Rise of Red Skull expansion is a little harder to get in some places as it was the first expansion for the game, but it’s a solid expansion, with a lot of value in the box. Expansions in general are the best bang for your buck, with a lot more play time built-in through additional heroes, villains, and modular encounters. The Rise of Red Skull doesn’t amp up the difficulty unreasonably, but it does pose a nice challenge for anyone who’s mastered the core set.

4. Scenario Packs – Kang and Green Goblin

Kang and Green Goblin are my next pick on the list, even before the other expansions. This is simply because the other expansions are hard. Very, very hard. If you’re the sort of person that enjoys mashing your face against an unfair challenge, then by all means skip this part, but the scenario packs give you some more villain variety to work with, some fun modular sets to make your old villains challenging, and generally just a different, fun experience.

5. Other Heroes You Like or Want

The increase in difficulty from the other expansions is why I’ve put some other heroes before them in this list. While you absolutely could buy the expansions first, it’s unfortunately going to be even more of an uphill struggle without some powerful additions from the other hero sets. Again, prioritise heroes you like above all else, but here’s a few key packs that you might want to consider in no particular order:

  • Black Widow, Wasp or War Machine – the Quincarrier is a hugely important Support card which can and will be played in almost every single deck you build. The only reason not to include this card is because someone else is using it in your team, or because you’re not an Avenger.
  • Captain America – Not only is cap one of the best protection and leadership heroes, this is the only pack I’m currently aware of that comes with Strength In Numbers. This card is so powerful that it catapults Leadership into the spotlight for enabling some of the most powerful builds in the game.
  • Ms Marvel – Ms Marvel’s hero pack comes with Down Time, which dramatically increases your odds of succeeding with less players by reducing your… down time. Yeah, that makes sense. Without this card, you’ll spend twice as long in Alter-Ego recovering, which can absolutely lose you the game.
  • Doctor StrangeThe Sorcerer Supreme is a must-have card for any Mystic hero, so if you plan on playing him, Scarlet Witch, or Adam Warlock, you’re going to need this pack. Those are also some of the strongest heroes in the game, so that’s a plus!
  • Hulk – While I wouldn’t recommend Hulk for everyone (he’s sadly one of the weakest characters in the game for lower player counts), his pack comes with Drop Kick, which is one of the best Aggression attacks in the game right now. Aggression is my least favourite aspect, but Drop Kick is a card that cannot be disregarded.
Endurance Down time and Quincarrier

6. The Mad Titan’s Shadow

Now that your collection is bulked up, it’s time to start taking on some major challenges. The Mad Titan’s Shadow is my pick for the next expansion on the list, because it contains some real heavy challenges, some powerful heroes and cards for your collection, and is generally a great expansion.

7. The Galaxy’s Most Wanted

Galaxy’s Most Wanted is probably comparable on difficulty to the latter half of the Mad Titan’s Shadow, but for a while I straight up did not think it was possible to complete the campaign on expert difficulty reliably. I’m still not fully sold on that, but as written, it’s just not that fun an experience. Villains that take away your cards, villains that either do nothing or straight up kill you in a single round with very little counter-play being possible… the only way you complete the campaign on expert difficulty is with brute force and luck.

You’ll still get a lot of value out of Galaxy’s Most Wanted, but it’s down this far on the list simply because it is almost the worst content currently available for Marvel Champions. It’s still worth getting but… get it after the rest of the fun stuff above.

8. Other Packs for Completion

If you’re still hungering for more, start buying up the remaining hero packs at this point. You’ll get more cards for deck building, more options, and generally some more play time. You might find some that surprise you!

9. The Wrecking Crew

It pains me to put them down here, but from an objective standpoint, the Wrecking Crew just aren’t good value for money. They come with no modular encounters, and once you’ve beaten them once, you can reliably beat them in the future. The Wrecking Crew is basically a puzzle to solve, and once you’ve nailed the strategy they’re just… Rhino levels of easy. Actually, Rhino’s less predictable, so once you’ve nailed them down, the Wrecking Crew is probably the easiest content in the game.

This lack of challenge and replayability puts their value in the toilet, and while they’re fun the first time and spice up the game by having a set of rotating villains, they’re in last place simply because I have no inclination to take them off the shelf.

Our Final Buying Order for Marvel Champions in January 2022

So to wrap things up, here’s in the TL;DR:

  1. Core Game
  2. The Heroes You Love
  3. The Rise of Red Skull
  4. Green Goblin and Kang scenario packs
  5. Other heroes you like the look of or want specific cards from
  6. The Mad Titan’s Shadow
  7. Galaxy’s Most Wanted
  8. Heroes you only want for completing your collection
  9. Wrecking Crew

We hope that helps, and we think it’s great that you’re getting into the hobby! Tweet us your favourite packs, woes and wins over at @cardboardchamps on Twitter.

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