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Subject: Big Things Come in Small Packages rss

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Justin H

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Let me preface this review by letting you know that I am a huge Legendary fan. I would guess, though, that if you are reading a review of an expansion, that you are already a fan of the base game itself.

I'm basing this review off of playing the set (mostly) by itself, as well as several games with mixed with older content. Here's my general thoughts.


The Good

Simplicity - This set, as compared to the previous sets, is rather straight forward. It focuses mostly on the new keyword Cheering Crowds and brings back the previous keywords Size-Changing, Versatile and Demolish. Demolish is probably the most complex keyword you'll find in this set. Just because the mechanism are simple though doesn't mean you can't pull of some complex combos, but there isn't too much at face value that will leave you scratching your head.

Compatibility - Many small boxes seem to exist in their own universe. While Champions does introduce Cheering Crowds, this mechanism is bystander focused and will work with almost any other set, and exceptionally well if those cards focus on bystanders as well. Size-Changing integrates really easily as well as it only focuses on Hero Classes.


The Bad

Theme - Card designs are definitely on point, but one could certainly question why certain cards were included. Gwenpool was not really a member of the Champions despite showing up briefly in their comics. Pagliacci does not have anything to do with the Wrecking Crew. In Monsters Unleashed Fin Fang Foom was a good guy. Stuff like this can certainly bother people, but I don't let it get in the way of enjoying a set.

"The Bad" aspect of this set really comes down to personal preference. What's most important to you when you play Legendary? The cards? The theme? Both? I'm willing to forgive a little if the set is quality, and this one sure is.



Heroes

Overall the Heroes are more or less about about the same thing, rescuing bystanders and using them to power Cheering Crowds. The keywords factor greatly into how the Heroes play.

Cheering Crowds - The new keyword to this set, and a great one at that. This keyword allows you to return a bystander to the bottom of the bystander deck to instantly play a copy of that card. Many of the cards are designed that they will trigger themselves by using this ability. I really like this ability and it can end up being very powerful just at the cost of 1 VP. Hopefully you'll be getting that back and then some by stomping some Villain face.

Size-Changing - I like this keyword a lot, you'll find it on both Heroes and Villains. If you play a card that matches the Size-Changing class on a Hero you can recruit it for 2 less. You'll find this on cards that are slightly over priced, giving you the opportunity to get them for cheap without making it unfair for others. This is implement in a new way from Civil War by having multiple Classes that can trigger size change. This is implement extremely well on the Rare cards which might not seem initially as strong as some previous rares, but can be picked up for as low as 5 if you have the right colors.

Versatile - Great simple keyword. Should show up in any set where they feel it's relevant. Just make it a standard part of the game UD!!!

Overall - On the face of things the Heroes seem very straight forward. Take off the keywords and they'll look like something that could be from the core set. My initial thoughts were slight disappointment, but after playing them I realized how much a difference the keywords make. They can lead to incredible combos and trigger Cheering Crowds in the right way can be extremely satisfying. As I mentioned above it also seems they kind of play the same way, rescue bystanders, trigger Cheering Crowds, but they all do have their own unique way of getting there. You might have to recruit Heroes or defeat Villains, or maybe even just get lucky to rescue the bystanders that you need. They did a great job at freshening up the old keywords as well. Best part, you can take these young Heroes and just about mix them into any other set with great results.


Masterminds & Villains - Mechanically both are great. Fin Fang Foom is an awesome old school Villain, and Pagliacci, never heard of the dude.

Size-Changing - This is featured on Fin Fang Foom and the Monsters Unleashed. I enjoy this on Villains as much as on Heroes. Being rewarded for having the right Hero at the right time is a nice bonus. The only problem is that if you don't have any Heroes that match the Classes on the Villains you might have a hard time attacking them since they are stronger than normal. There's 8 different Monsters Unleashed Villains, so the classes required are spread out nicely. You will also see multiple Classes on Villains, and 5 different ones on Fin Fang Foom.

Demolish - This returns from the Villains game and is featured on Pagliacci and the Wrecking Crew. I'm fine with this keyword, no love, no hate. You reveal the top card of the Hero deck and then each player targeted by the Demolish effect (usually all players) must discard a card that matches the cost of the revealed Hero. It's unpredictable, and sometimes will completely whiff and sometimes make you drop that card you needed to defeat that Villain, or recruit that specific Hero. Overall I do not find it too tough, unless you get Demolished several times before your turn. This may be more dangerous with multiple players, however if you're playing solo with the Wrecking Crew expect to see it a lot as well.

Overall - Like the new Masterminds and Villains, and find the Villains to be in the mid-range of difficulty. Pagliacci features a variable Masterstrike that will have two different effects. He can ruin your day if you're playing a scheme that features and "auto-lose" scenario. Fin Fang Foom is a tough cookie, as you need to utilize as many different classes of Heroes as possible to take him down.


Summary - As a whole I really enjoy this set. Some sets I like to play by themselves but this set seems like it can fit in anywhere. While many times I do enjoy more complex sets, it's nice to have this as a breather after the whopper that X-Men was. A great set to use with less experienced players as it is a bit more straight forward but can still lead to exciting combos. This set stands apart from many of the other small boxes due to it's level of compatibility. It's also very nice to see keywords reused and still given a bit of a twist to keep them fresh.

I give it a 9/10.

Let me know if you have any questions, and please comment with your own thoughts.
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Patrick McNamara
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Justin,

Great review! I have mine getting shipped within the next few days. I also usually run through the small box expansions by themselves a few times before integrating them into other expansions. Have you tried mixing them in with other Heroes? I can see Black Widow from the core set working great with Cheering Crowds heroes.
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Justin H

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bigmac33070 wrote:
Justin,

Great review! I have mine getting shipped within the next few days. I also usually run through the small box expansions by themselves a few times before integrating them into other expansions. Have you tried mixing them in with other Heroes? I can see Black Widow from the core set working great with Cheering Crowds heroes.


Yup, this review is based upon playing them by themselves, and mixing in with multiple different sets using a randomizer. Obviously it's impossible to try every combination, but I felt I had a good sample size prior to completing this review.

I would think that your instincts regarding Black Widow being a good pair would be spot on, that particular combination did not shop up for me.

I did have a game where I had Angel (from Dark City) and Ms. Marvel paired up and they worked together fantastically. "High Speed Chase" would cycle through cards, and may trigger "Diving Catch" for bystanders, but more importantly trigger "Long Arm of the Law" from Ms. Marvel with ease. Later in the game Angel's "Drop Off a Friend" was pumped up by "Need to Stretch My Legs" since I didn't require the KO power anymore. And overall the commons matched real nice triggering Size-Changing. Those two were so powerful I can't even remember who else we played with.

Champions are heavily endorsed as playing well with others. It can be helpful if those other Heroes have the capacity to rescue bystanders, but definitely not required.
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