Home » NeXt Evolution – Marvel Champions Expansion Review

NeXt Evolution – Marvel Champions Expansion Review

NeXt Evolution* is the sixth expansion for Marvel Champions: The Card Game*, and it’s another slam dunk by Fantasy Flight Games. NeXt Evolution follows the X-Force as they attempt to save Hope Summers from the sinister schemes of the villains. In this article we’re going to look at the various options this new expansion adds to the game, and share some of our thoughts on this box.

The Heroes in NeXt Evolution

The heroes in this box are exceptional, and are now some of our favourite heroes to play in general, not just in this expansion.

Cable is a side-scheming powerhouse that gets stronger every time you defeat player side schemes, a new mechanic that’s heavily supported by his deck which is central to his hero identity. Check out our in-depth review of Cable over in our hero review and aspect pairings article.

Domino is hands-down the most mechanically challenging hero that’s been released to date at the time of writing (move over, Shadowcat!), which makes her deck-manipulating shenanigans deeply satisfying to pull off. Check out our in-depth review of Domino over on our hero review and aspect pairings article.

The Villains in NeXt Evolution

Morlock Siege

Morlock Siege is the first of two encounters featuring the Marauders, a multi-villain pack that makes this expansion extremely replayable, as the first two scenarios will be pretty different every time you play them! The gimmick of this scenario is that you have to defeat multiple villains (3 of the 7 Marauders), while protecting innocent Morlocks. Unlike Sabertooth, protecting these little guys is actually pretty easy, but it adds a fun spin to the encounter that I actually really enjoyed.

Fun Rating: 4/5 | Difficulty Rating: 2/5

On The Run

On The Run is an incredibly clever little design that turns the mini-villains into full-grown versions that are as strong as any other solo villain. You randomly get one of the 4 remaining undefeated Marauders from the first scenario, Morlock Siege, or one of the 7 at random if you’re not playing in campaign mode, and they gain an attachment that bolsters their health and stats. As a complete aside, I think we just found out how they’re going to turn heroes into villains someday, and that makes me very excited… Regardless of that, while I appreciate the design behind this upgraded villain system, I honestly didn’t enjoy this scenario as much as the first. The difficulty is very random based on which Marauder you get, for example on our first playthrough we met Harpoon, who it turns out plays out almost identically to the next villain, which made the experience less fun. It also means that you can never deck-build strategically for this encounter, as you pick your decks before randomising the villain. That’s fine, but it’s a little clunky.

Fun Rating: 2/5 | Difficulty Rating: ?/5


Do you know who he is? He’s the Juggernaut… ahem. The Juggernaut does not disappoint as the third villain of the box, with massive hits and building momentum meaning that you have to carefully juggle making progress with spending your resources to expose his weaknesses. Juggernaut’s actually a very fun puzzle encounter, though I’m not sure how much we’ll replay him in the future, having solved the puzzle already. Juggernaut feels almost like a more fun version of Rhino, so we might pull him out in the future as a step up with newer friends to show how interesting the game can get.

Fun Rating: 4/5 | Difficulty Rating: 2/5

Mister Sinister

Mister Sinister is honestly what I would call the hardest villain in the box, which is somewhat surprising considering there are 5 villains in each expansion… He’s an interesting fight, but not one that I found particularly fun, with a lot of his power depending which superpower upgrades you shuffle into his deck at what time. At different points during the battle, he’ll gain new superpowers, which give him new abilities to work with, and new ways to ruin your day. As a challenge, Mister Sinister was a little bit of a rough step up, while being regularly frustrating from the villain randomly gaining the wrong keywords at the worst possible time, but he was about as hard as I’d expect a final villain scenario to be.

Fun Rating: 3/5 | Difficulty Rating: 4/5


Stryfe was honestly pretty easy compared to Mister Sinister, but mostly because he revolves entirely around his gimmick of counting the cards in your hand. I’m not going to lie, I absolutely hated this villain simply because of this additional overhead of having to know almost at all times how many cards I had in hand of the most common card type, and what impact playing a card would have on my hand. And this only grew worse as the encounter progressed, with the unavoidable second stage of his main scheme increasing both the cards you draw and the resource cost of all your cards. This made fighting him an incredible slog, and honestly not even that challenging, as his difficulty rests almost entirely in your hands. Stryfe is an unsatisfying ending to what is otherwise an incredibly strong expansion.

Fun Rating: 1/5 | Difficulty Rating: 3/5

Modular Sets

While going into detail on each modular encounter set would make this article even more lengthy, let’s check them out quickly in terms of their use in other scenarios:

  • Military Grade adds some nasty attachments that can really ruin your day or just… not do much, depending on the villain’s deck, as they attach to either the villain (uh oh) or a minion that’s due to die immediately. Difficulty rating: 2/5
  • Mutant Slayers is a really nice collection of challenging minions that make a pretty solid addition to any villain’s deck. Difficulty rating 2/5
  • The Nasty Boys are a set of challenging Teamwork minions that can be extra brutal when revealed, but don’t do much after that. Difficulty rating: 2/5
  • Hope Summers gives you a way to effectively make any scenario easier! I can’t see us using this one often, but it’s a fun little option to have. Difficulty rating: -2/5
  • Black Tom Cassidy is a terrifying, focused modular set that will ruin your day and make it next to impossible to attack the villain if you get unlucky. Difficulty Rating: 5/5
  • Extreme Measures is another pack of relatively easy minions that have nasty effects on entry, but they’re a bit scarier than the Nasty Boys. Difficulty Rating: 3/5
  • Mister Sinister’s Superpower Modulars of Flight, Super Strength, and Telepathy can technically be applied to any villain, but honestly… I wouldn’t want to. They’re scary as hell, giving the villain a permanent upgrade that can make even Rhino overwhelming. Difficulty Rating: 5/5
  • Mutant Insurrection sports some quite nasty minions that fortunately do nothing if they don’t get to activate, but if they do, will punish you for focusing on a specific resource type in your deck, which can be extra nasty for certain heroes (RIP Hulk). Difficulty rating: 2/5

The NeXt Evolution Campaign

NeXt Evolution’s campaign mode is another great addition to the game if you enjoy playing the game over many play sessions, with each upgrade being won by completing an additional player side scheme that you add at the start of a scenario. I’m not as big a fan of this campaign mode addition as I am the Mutant Genesis campaign, but it’s still definitely one of the stronger campaigns released to date. What I like the most about this one is there’s less external stuff just arbitrarily thrown into this one – the carry-over elements between scenarios are generally a part of the scenarios even if you don’t add the campaign side scheme.

Our Thoughts

Overall, despite a relatively weak finish, NeXt Evolution* is an extremely solid box, with the Marauder-focused encounters being very replayable, two heroes that sit firmly in the higher tiers of both power and fun, and an excellent brawl with Juggernaut and the Brotherhood. Mister Sinister and Stryfe somewhat let down the box but make no mistake, I’d still rather fight them than just about anyone in Galaxy’s Most Wanted* with the exception of Drang…

NeXt Evolution is a slam dunk, and while it’s not the best expansion that they’ve released, it’s certainly above average and worth picking up. If you do buy it, why not pick it up from our affiliate retailer Zatu games? We get a small affiliate fee (which won’t cost you anything!) from any purchases made after clicking one of our links with the star, and that helps us to keep the site online.

Playing the NeXt Evolution campaign? Why not check out our campaign logsheets for 2 heroes over on Ko-Fi?

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