[Marvel Champions] Hero Overview: Spider-Man

Today, we’re offering our first written content for MARVEL CHAMPIONS: LCG by Fantasy Flight Games. If you’re not in the know, Marvel Champions is a cooperative card game using FFG’s LCG model (when you buy a product, you know exactly what cards will be included; new releases roughly every month).

Our first article is a rundown on Spider-Man by RJ and Brian! Specifically, we’re taking a look at his specific suite of hero cards. In game, each hero has a set of 15 cards that you MUST take in your deck. From there, you supplement them with cards from a chosen aspect (Leadership, Aggression, Protection, Justice) and basic cards. If you’re coming to Marvel from a TFTCG background, your hero begins in play, you can equip upgrade cards to them, there are event cards, which function like action cards, and you have standalone cards that you can put into play called supports and allies. Supports typically offer an effect that you can trigger each round, while allies function as weaker versions of heroes.

If you’re an experienced player, this article is probably a bit too fluffy for you, but this is the type of rundown I like to read as a new player getting into a game.

All card images are taken from MarvelCDB. Check them out!

RJ: I am admittedly a little biased when it comes to this deck as Spider-Man is my favorite superhero, Marvel character, etc. It was a great time to be an impressionable child growing up in the early to mid-nineties with the Saturday morning gauntlet of Spider-Man and the X-Men on Fox. With that being said, thus far, Spider-Man/Peter Parker has been my favorite hero to play. The alter-ego side ability (“Scientist”) of generating a Mental resource is super strong as the deck plays a lot of single cost cards that you are able to essentially play for free. I’m also partial to “Spider-Sense” since you can draw into one of the best cards in the game, in my opinion (Backflip) or just draw a card to set up your next turn. His stats are fine and in-line with the rest of the heroes. I generally run him with the Justice aspect and have yet to have trouble in solo or group play. There’s not much more to say other than reiterating my love for him and this deck.

Brian: I remember enjoying the 90s cartoon as well, but I’ve largely soured on Spider-Man as a character since then.  I was not a fan of Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man: far too whiny for my tastes. On top of that, it seemed like the comics struggled with exactly what to do with the character for a while, with its best moments returning him to his high school roots (Ultimate-Spider-Man, introducing Miles Morales).  Tom Holland has done a lot in my eyes to bring a sense of fun back to the character, while still focusing on the struggles of balancing his personal life, his school life, and his superhero life.  

In-game, I 100% agree with RJ’s assessment.  Spider-Man (in the movies) is most entertaining when he’s in the middle of an action scene and a dozen things start to go wrong.  Because of his reflexes and his intelligence, he’s able to juggle those obstacles and still keep the upper hand. His hero suite of cards definitely seems to capture that feeling.  

RJ: A 2-cost ally that allows you to ping something for 1 free damage every turn? Sign me up. I don’t think I ever thwarted with Black Cat as the only thing my eyes see is 0 consequential damage on attack. I don’t use her as a blocker except in emergencies because her attack is just too useful to toss away. I’ll gladly discard 2 cards in order to get her on the board early, though you can build your deck in a way that her forced response isn’t as painful to you.

Brian: With 20% of his specific hero cards having the mental resource, your odds aren’t terrible to play Black Cat and refill your hand with at least one card even before you start taking aspect/basic cards into account.  Other than that, nothing to add from RJ’s commentary, aside from the fact that HERO FOR HIRE is interesting. Hopefully we see some support for this trait in the future (sadly, neither Luke Cage nor the upcoming Iron Fist share it, so we might be waiting for a little while).

RJ: As I stated earlier, I think this is one of the best cards in the game, if not the best card. A 0-cost event that lets you prevent all attack damage. I am not sure what else you could ask for in a card. In my own infancy of the game, I would often save this for a big swing from the villain but found they rarely came. Now I am more aggressive in playing this card to prevent damage without having to exhaust my hero to do so.

Brian: The majority of my games have been my wife and I playing against Rhino.  We’ve had a few occasions where Rhino ends up having both copies of Charge on him, meaning that he’s for sure going to explode through whichever player ends up being attacked first, and we’ve exhausted our ability to stall in alter-ego form (threat is too high) and all options to Stun him.  It’s an awesome gameplay moment to gulp as he goes into Spider-Man to attack, you draw for Spider-Sense, and end up with Backflip to completely negate all that scary incoming damage.  

RJ: I really like this card, but I have an issue with it: I always forget I have it in my hand to play. We’ll get through the encounter phase of the villain, and I’ll say (often outloud) “man, that really sucked!” Then I’ll look down at my hand and see this card staring straight back up at me. I believe this is a super powerful card, if only I could remember to play it…

Brian: The entire standard set of encounter cards are ALL Treachery cards, and a lot of the scarier effects in the villain-specific or scheme-specific encounter cards tends to be Treachery cards.  Between drawing back up to your hand size before the villain phase AND Spider-Sense, you’re guaranteed to be able to play this if you see it. Definitely keep this in hand if it’s possible you’ll lose the game if the villain ends up scheming or attacking more than you think he’ll be able to.

RJ: Off the top of my head, this is the best resource-to-damage ratio card in the game. A 3-cost card for 8 damage is straight up bonkers. This card is obviously meant for the main villain, as the other damage dealing cards are in small enough increments that you’re able to pick off some minions if you need to, whereas this one you don’t want to be wasting damage on the little, annoying guys.

Brian: This is a fantastic card to see late game, especially if you have Web-Shooters out there to help you pay for it; it’s even better if you have two copies in-hand and the ability to pay for both.  Sixteen damage straight into the villain’s face is pretty satisfying.

RJ: Say it with me: “aggressive. Mulligan.” Getting Aunt May out turn one for free using Peter’s ability is nothing less than overpowered. She allows you to play more risky with Spider-Man as you can conceivably recover for 7 points of damage a turn if played correctly. Even if you aren’t recovering for 7, recovering for 4 and then being able to use Spider-Man as you see fit is outstanding.

Brian: Agreed.  Between his 3 DEF and this card, Spidey can soak up and subsequently recover a decent chunk of damage when you need him to be the fall guy.

RJ: This is probably my least favorite Spider-Man card. I recognize its usefulness for sure, but most of the time I would rather play something else instead. Granted, when any minion is defeated by any player, you can use this to remove threat from any scheme, but, again, I would just rather use my resources for something else. That is just me personally.

Brian: I mostly agree with RJ, but if you’re playing Justice,  this can be pretty potent when paired with Interrogation Room when you’re fighting against a villain/scheme that uses a lot of minions.  I definitely don’t want to see this in my opening hand, though.

Brian: This is a card that I definitely want to see in my opening hand.  Being able to drop this bad boy for free as your first action feels good.  Even if you aren’t in a position to play it while in alter-ego form, it can be a worthwhile investment in future turns IF you don’t have a ton of other cards that are immediately playable, especially since it can basically pay for itself (outside of the opportunity cost of needing to ditch a card in hand to pay for it if you’re in hero form).

RJ: Brian hit the nail on the head here – this is essentially +3 resources if you can play this your opening turn for free. Otherwise, it’s a one-for-two trade which is still fair. Getting free resources in future turns when you’re ready to make some big swings is game-changing.

Brian: Expensive, but incredibly useful when you need to stop an enemy from making two attacks.  This has saved my bacon a few times.
RJ: I love this card for the reason Brian outlined: you stop an enemy for two attacks. I feel as if this card is better late game than it is early game, but the truth is it’s useful no matter when you play it. If you are able to Stun the enemy on top of being webbed up then you can go an entire 4-player round with potentially not having to worry about the villain attacking you.

Preferred Aspect?

RJ: I really like the Justice aspect for Spider-Man. The justice cards really compliment his base deck well, in my opinion. Spider-Man was never really about hitting hard and overpowering an enemy with brute force, he was more focused on devising a plan to stop the enemy’s plan, and hitting him once or twice with a well timed strike. With his base deck only having one damage dealing card, the rest of the cards set him up for success by stalling the enemy and stopping their plans. I think FFG really hit it out of the park with how Spider-Man plays. I am having a hard time using anything other than Justice with Spider-Man because of how well it works.

Brian: Agreed.  I like pairing him up with someone running either Aggression or Leadership (with Allies who can do some decent damage).  In that way, you’re able to stay on top of dealing damage to the villain while also being able to manage threat.

Look for more Marvel Champions articles in the future! Make sure you’re subscribed to our channel on YouTube to see our gameplay!

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