Welcome to our first installment of a new feature here at Wreck ‘n Rule. We are, collectively as a team, rediscovering our love of Marvel Champions. You’ll be seeing us progress through the various villain releases, mostly in chronological order according to their release date.
In video form, you’ll be seeing some mix of Joe, Kevin, RJ, and Frenchie as they punch their way from villain to villain from the core set onward to the newest releases. You’ll see me doing the same, but typically in articles written from a solo perspective (occasionally playing two-handed solo and perhaps occasionally joined by my wife, sometimes also in video format).
So far, I’ve only played against Rhino, Klaw, the Risky Business version of Green Goblin, and Ebony Maw, so a lot of these articles will explore my initial experiences and impressions as I play through the back catalog of the game. As for heroes, I’ve only used Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, She-Hulk, Thor, and Doctor Strange, so I’m eager to try the rest of the stable of heroes.
I keep a few Marvel Champions podcasts in my listening rotation (with Marvel Champions Monthly being my favorite), so I have some vague ideas of the reputations of the villains to come, but I haven’t examined their cards or capabilities closely. For the most part, I’ll be coming into each encounter without really knowing what I’m facing.
As for my hero choices, they’ll be chosen randomly from what was available when the villain was first released. I’ll be using the full catalog of hero cards, however. For the most part, I’ll also try to keep the Guardians characters for when I get to the Guardians campaign, so you won’t see them appearing until that point.
The majority of the images I’m pulling for these articles will be from MarvelCDB, which is a fantastic resource for deck-building.
For this first match-up as we revisit Rhino from the core box, I randomly selected She-Hulk as my hero.
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert player by any means, nor am I attempting to roll in with a completely optimized deck. For each encounter, my goal will be to post two articles: a pre-game explanation of my decklist and a post-game recap of the match against the villain, along with a bit of commentary on the villain’s cards and the associated modular encounter sets.
Hero #1: She-Hulk
She-Hulk certainly got a lot of flack back in the early days of the game, when I was keeping a closer eye on the various Facebook groups and Discords. I’m sure that with the subsequent release of a lot of very powerful heroes, she probably hasn’t risen much in esteem.
With that said, I always liked her for solo play. Having 15 hit points gives you a lot of room to soak up hits from the villain and minions. On top of that, her alter-ego mode has an ability that will basically always be useful and REC 5 is a very nice way to bounce back from being at death’s door. It’s interesting that she’s one of the few heroes that seems to incentivize flipping back and forth between her two sides, and that she’s able to both mitigate the villain’s scheming and ping out direct damage. Finally, 3 native ATK is a good starting point, so it never really feels bad to exhaust her to punch someone in the face.
From here, let’s take a look at the cards included in her hero kit.
Hellcat is a little bit of a bummer with a cost of 3 (especially since Shulkie only has a hand size of 4 in hero mode). At the same time, 2 THW for an incidental damage isn’t shabby at all, and the possibility of returning her to your hand before she gets defeated to use her as a resource is a neat little way to squeeze some additional efficiency out of an ally outside of attacking, thwarting, or chump blocking.
Gamma Slam is a ton of fun, but you don’t want to see it until late game, and preferably don’t want to use it unless it’s the final attack needed to defeat the villain.
Ground Stomp shines when you have multiple little minions on the board and/or when you’re looking to ping off Tough, but don’t want to waste She-Hulk’s base 3 ATK.
I don’t think I’ve ever played Legal Practice, but it might serve as a decent way to lower threat on schemes if you’re really in a pinch.
Great for laying some hurting down upon the villain and/or using it to wipe out the pesky elite minions that pop out from time to time.
This one feels like a dud. I can’t recall ever playing it. I suppose it can sort of be a way to reset your hand in hero mode, using it to flip to alt mode and drawing 5 cards, then using your flip to get back to hero mode (and hit someone for 2 damage), then proceeding through your turn with hopefully better cards.
This one also feels like a dud. I guess removing two threat for a single card isn’t shabby, but you’re also spending two cards before you even get there (this card itself along with whatever is used to pay for it) just to gain that ability. At that point, you’re probably better off just spending three resources elsewhere.
This is a great way to try to build up a future Gamma Slam and to fix her hero mode’s low hand size. Being 3 cost does hurt a bit, though.
I like this one. I’ll happily swing for 5 ATK and stun the enemy along the way.
I don’t feel like I’m taking anything revolutionary with the remainder of my 40 cards, but I was pleasantly surprised that I had a decent amount of both physical and mental resources to trigger the bonus effects for both For Justice! and Concussive Blow.
I’m also tossing in a few copies of Lay Down the Law, seeing as how She-Hulk gets bonuses for changing form.
Granted, I’m using She-Hulk against Rhino, and it should be a cake walk unless I get a bad beat (seeing Advance, Assault, Charge, or Stampede at a really inopportune time). With that said, I do think I probably have a few too many cards at 3+ cost, but if I can keep Rhino at bay with stun or confuse, all should be gravy.
Look out soon for Part 2, where I’ll debrief my throwdown against Rhino and break down his villain kit! Until then, Wreck ‘n Rule!