Marvel Champions is a game of two halves – the game itself, and deck building. Deck building plays an important part in the game, and we’d strongly recommend you give it a go, which is why we wrote our posts on the Rules of Deckbuilding and Building Your First Deck before this one! But we know building decks can be scary or just plain not your thing, so in this article we’re going to look at 4 Marvel Champions decks that you can build with only the cards that are available in the core set box.
We’ve paired these decks with the 4 heroes we think suits them best, but you can try these decks out with pretty much any of the heroes in the core set box, because there’s really not a ton of flexibility with only core set cards. Some heroes will work better than others, but absolutely swap heroes around to see what you like best! You’ll notice that Captain Marvel isn’t here either – this isn’t because she can’t play any of these decks, it’s actually the opposite! Captain Marvel is an S-tier hero, one of the best heroes in the game (even with all the packs!) so she can be swapped in to play any of these packs reasonably well. There are just not enough cards in the core set to build 5 decks simultaneously. Oh, did we not mention that? You can build all 4 of these decks at once, so your copy of Marvel Champions is ready to go on game night. Let’s get into it.
Our Pre-Build Core Set Decks
In each deck we’ve included a basic package of Helicarrier, Avenger Mansion, Nick Fury, Mockingbird, and the three big resource cards (Genius, Energy, and Strength), plus the two wild resources from their aspects (such as The Power of Protection). Let’s take a look at each aspect deck in more detail, and explain why we chose the heroes we did. As a reminder, Captain Marvel is probably better at all of these decks, so swap heroes about however you like!
For our Aggression deck, we put Spider-Man on the front. This is because Peter is great at generating resources with his Web Shooters, and the Aggression cards in the core set box are surprisingly expensive. With his Spider-Tracers and Relentless Assault, he can set minions up and knock them down for massive value. You’ve got an extra Combat Training – one is for you, and the other should be given to someone else. Literally anyone works as a good target for this – the Protection player has Counter-punch, Iron-Man can ready himself, multiplying the card’s effectiveness. She-Hulk’s basic attack is extremely high, and she can ready herself after attacks as well. So look at who’s attacking a lot, and pass them that upgrade as early as possible.
Our Justice deck is just classic threat-management, and you may be surprised to see She-Hulk on the front of it, as she’s not got a fantastic hand size in hero form. That’s because She-Hulk should be flipping back to alter-ego regularly (maybe even every turn), and you typically want your big thwarting turns to happen after the villain has been given the chance to scheme. Being the Justice player puts She-Hulk in charge of threat management, and there’s little chance of her ruining the Justice player’s plans due to being in alter-ego when she’s the one playing Justice! Great Responsibility allows her to provoke an attack when she has a Gamma Slam queued up to maximize its damage. While She-Hulk’s basic thwarting ability is low, she’s one of the few heroes who can prevent threat from being placed while in alter-ego form, thanks to cards like Legal Practice, Superhuman Law Division, and her alter-ego’s ability, “I Object”. Your best Phoenix Wright impersonation is absolutely mandatory while playing this deck.
She-Hulk’s basic thwart power is extremely weak, and she synergises with making basic attacks, so unusually for a Justice deck, you’re actually best off attacking and using your cards to thwart most of the time (but sometimes 1 threat can be all it takes to lose the game, so be cautious!).
The burden of Leadership falls to Iron Man in this setup, and that’s for one primary reason – Iron Man is slow to set up. You often want to spend a lot of time early in the game tinkering with your suit and preparing to go to war, and that makes it difficult to help out. That’s where Leadership comes in. Even while you’re in Alter-Ego, cards like Get Ready, Make the Call, and First Aid are all playable without requiring you to go into hero form with a terrible hand size. You should still suit up and flip to Hero form occasionally to stop the threat escalating too wildly, but feel free to duck out to Alter-Ego on turns where nobody else is doing the same, and don’t be afraid to spend a turn without flipping – Iron Man needs to get his armour in play as soon as humanly possible.
You’ll know you’ve won the game when your suit’s in play and you’re thwarting for massive amounts of threat while blowing up minions and the villain’s face, all at once.
If Maria Hill is in your discard pile, play Make the Call at the start of the first player’s turn to make the entire table draw. If she’s in play, throw her under the bus to protect one of your teammates (or yourself) from a villain attack, and then Make the Call to bring her back at the start of the next hero phase. It’s your most powerful tool, and you should expect to do it a lot while playing this deck.
The Black Panther of Wakanda is here to protect the table, and that’s because this cat is extremely difficult to put down. With extra hit points, retaliation, and self-healing from his Vibranium Suit upgrade, T’Challa can stay up and fighting for a long time. First Aid and Med Team make our king even more of a dependable anchor that can stay online and soak up damage all day long. The upgrade Indomitable lets him defend others, but a Protection character can’t defend for everyone all the time. That’s another reason why this deck packs so much healing that can be handed out to your friends. Get Vibranium Suit into play as soon as possible, and stack up upgrades to play Wakanda Forever while defending and keeping the rest of your team alive.
We hope these decks help you to get the most out of your Core Set box and help you to defeat everything, even Expert Ultron! We still recommend building your own decks as and when you buy some more packs or expansions (which you should if you like the game – check out our Buying Order to see what we recommend buying first!), preconstructed decks can really help get the ball rolling. Win your first game with these decks? Let us know how it went by tweeting us over at @cardboardchamps over on Twitter!