There have been several games to come out of the deck building category. Many are really good and super competitive. Today we will look at one that pits the players together in a common cause: to thwart the plans of the villains and evildoers of the Marvel Universe, and free the innocent bystanders, in this cooperative play deck builder.
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is both pseudo card drafting and a full-fledged deck building game. It currently ranks 105th overall on BGG. It plays between 1-5 players, 3 being the sweet spot. It is a relatively quick game at 45 action packed minutes. Players find themselves using the heroes from the Avengers, X-men, and others to defeat the villains on the streets, in the sewers, at the bank, roof tops, and bridges. Clever use of synergistic cards can help players to create powerful combos, and win together.
The game begins by players picking a "Master Villain" from the 4 provided (there are so many more with expansions available for this game). The Master Villain is coupled with a random scheme card, which drives the twist in each game, and then players add some run of the mill henchmen and some other villain groups. Next the players can now choose which hero characters will fight this scheme. Characters such as Iron Man, Hulk, Wolverine, and Spiderman can be chosen with each character providing some extra synergistic bonus. Each round is played in turn order, with each player starting out with some basic recruitment value cards, and attack value cards.
Players start the game with 12 cards drawing 6 every round. At the beginning of a turn players release a villain, and next display their 6 cards, they can use recruitment values to recruit new and usually better heroes from the hero HQ pool, and can use attack value to KO the villains. Then players will add any newly recruited heroes to their discard pile, discard their 6 cards to their discard hero pile and add KO'd villains to their KO pile. Lastly the player draws back to 6 cards. Once all their draw pile is exhausted players shuffle their hero discard pile and draw from it again, allowing players to use and reuse their cards multiple times.
So there is no new twist to the deck building mechanism, it is just like most out there. So what makes this deck builder special? First you get to fight as super heroes! All those great characters from all the movies and comics, and with all of the expansions there are not many heroes who don't get covered. Second, there are randomized plot twist and master strikes that change the game each time they appear, making the game more random and difficult. Lastly, this is a cooperative game, so players can win together and help each other along the way (though victory points awarded for KO'ing villains, grants a Legendary Hero from all the winners). The boys and I love this one. We love to win together, the replay-ability is excellent, and the game is really pretty simple once you understand the deck building mechanic. I would recommend this to anyone who likes card games, especially if you love comics!!
Thanks for this review - it's nice to see something short and sweet!
I play almost exclusively solo (but with 2 or 3 heroes). I like the game a lot, although prefer Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game myself.
I do think you undersell the game a bit - there isn't much on the way of new mechanisms here it's true, but that makes it easy to pick up. And some of the games that used similar mechanisms seem to have vanished (yeah Resident Evil Deck Building Game and Shadowrift I'm looking at you). One the victim of a lack of licence maybe, the other was always hard to find in UK. But this game I think is rather slicker yet deeper.
I also think you oversell the game - I don't see the theme as superheroes, although the artwork is nice, as you don't really seem to be a single hero or team leader. Instead, I see it as more like editing the comic book, with the plot unfolding, and the co-writers debating about the balance and investment of the individual heroes in the evolving plot. I think this is a hoot, but others complain that thematically it's not very superhero-y.
What can I say? It's a lot more superhero than DC Comics Deck-Building Game I think, but if you really want to play a card game as a superhero, maybe look at Sentinels of the Multiverse, but though I love it, it's fiddlier, increasingly suffering from bloat, and not a deckbuilder,
My 2p of course, ymmv!