The Marvel Champions card game is easily one of my top ten favorite tabletop games. This game probably gets more time on my table than any other title in my collection. And with new content being released almost monthly, there is no shortage of heroes for you to take control of. Which is why I thought it would be fun to do a list of my Top 10 Marvel Champions Heroes.
Now, any list like this, especially with it being a cooperative game, is going to be highly subjective. If you poll 100 Marvel Champions players, you’d be lucky to find two people who have the same top 10 lists. But regardless, I’m going to give it a go anyway. Note that I’m basing this list on both how powerful the hero is in the game and also how much fun it is to play. This is not strictly a tier rating list. And with the rate of new heroes being released, I’m guessing this will be subject to change in the near future as well. But that’s enough preamble. Let’s get to the good stuff.
Top 10 Marvel Champions Heroes
Quicksilver is great because he’s so versatile with just his basic powers. He relies heavily on these, but his ability to unexhaust himself means that you can use them more than once per turn, or even use different ones. Want to thwart and punch? Go for it. Or maybe you need to defend an incoming attack and then thwart the next turn. No problem. And somewhat like Iron Man, he’s the kind of hero that builds himself up as the game progresses. Once he starts getting his upgrades out, those basic abilities become even more powerful.
When I think of Gamora, the phrase “death by 1000 cuts” comes to mind. She is not a hero, like say Drax, that is going to overwhelm your enemy with a crushing attack—although she does have a few potent strikes. Instead, she is going to slice and dice you into tiny little french fries. And if you want some versatility in your hero, Gamora can build her deck with attack or thwart events from other aspects. This synergizes well with her hero powers that trigger off playing event cards. I enjoy that every time you play an event, you also get a small bonus with it as well.
A hero that is definitely a “jack of all trades,” Spectrum relies on her three “form” cards to boost herself. Depending on where she wants to focus (attacking, thwarting, or defense) she can change energy forms to give that particular skill set a boost. The only downside is that she can sometimes be trapped in a form, requiring her to flip back to alter ego first, or use a hero card to change on the fly. Yet that’s balanced by her ability to fill in any missing role on the team.
Ant-Man, much like Spectrum, is another really versatile hero. He also has three different forms: alter-ego, Giant-Man, and Ant-Man. Yet where their paths diverge is that Ant-Man is all about changing forms as much as possible. Whenever he does change, he gets a specific bonus–be it damage, thwarting, or a point of healing. So this definitely isn’t a hero where you just sit in hero-form the whole game. Each form also has its own focus. Want to do some thwarting and go pew pew? Flip to Ant-Man. Want to smash things like Hulk? Giant-Man it is! And many of his hero cards will have different effects depending on what form Ant-Man is in, further adding to the flexibility of the hero.
6. Black Widow
In my mind, Black Widow is one of the best support characters in the game. She’s not a show-stealer that’s going to do heavy amounts of damage or thwarting, but she’s a great addition to have on any team. Her whole kit revolves around preparation cards and trying to use as many as possible. This allows Black Widow to be ready for any situation that comes up. A minion come into play with a tough card? She can immediately plink it off. Shadows of the Past show up to ruin your game? She can dump it. One of my favorite combos is to pair Black Widow with the Leadership aspect and the Rapid Response card. I was able to keep Maria Hill coming back to the table over and over the whole game, giving my teammates lots of bonus card draws.
5. War Machine
A lot of the heroes so far have thrived on their flexibility and are able to adapt to almost any situation. War Machine heads in the opposite direction. This boy is all about doing damage… lots of it. When in hero form, he gets ammo counters that can be used to power his arsenal of weapons. These range from his signature shoulder cannon, which can be fired off each time you spend the ammo; or to simply go full auto and do 8 damage with overkill. War Machine just begs to be paired with an aggression deck, giving him access to weapons like Jarnbjorn that can boost his damage output by spending red resources. You want to make things go boom, War Machine can do it.
4. Captain America
As you might expect, Captain America is great at just about anything you might want him to do. He can attack, block, thwart, and even do some area of effect with his iconic shield. Which is, of course, as awesome as you might expect. It gives him retaliate, ups his defense, and can even become a thrown weapon. And the Captain is a natural pairing with the Leadership aspect as well. While in Steve Rogers form, the first ally he plays each round is 1 resource cheaper. With all of his base states being a 2, and the ability to ready himself by discarding a card, you can use him to fill just about any role on the team. And once you get his helmet into play, he can even come back from being KO’d!
I love Spider-Woman because she doesn’t have to just settle for one aspect but gets to pick two. And not only that, but her core deck also includes cards from every aspect. Why is this important? Because of her Superhuman Agility power. For each different aspect she plays in a round, she gets a +1 to all of her base stats. This means that whatever she needs to do on a turn, she will naturally get better at it just by playing cards she was already going to use. Not only that but by taking advantage of a dual aspect card pool, she can also give herself some great combos.
2. Scarlet Witch
Wanda Maximoff is quite the hero. She can either take command of a game or accelerate it past the brink. That’s because a lot of her powers will churn through the enemy’s deck. Yet the trade-off lets you harness the power of her Chaos magic. Her cards will let you pull from the encounter deck to do things like boost the damage of her Molecular Decay card, gain a variety of random beneficial effects from her hex bolt, or even pay for a card entirely. She can also let you redraw the villain’s boost card if you get a particularly nasty one. That’s some serious power. However, you do have to exercise a bit of caution with her or you might wind up with a lot of acceleration tokens pretty quick. On the other hand, it is pretty nice seeing that Shadows of the Past card end up in the discard pile.
1. Doctor Strange
Coming in at the top of my ranking is Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme. If you’ve spent any time playing Marvel Champions, you might have heard that he’s one of the strongest heroes in the game. This is not necessarily from a damage output, but just from sheer abilities. He has a separate deck of spells, called invocations, that he can cast from each turn. These do things such as damage the enemy, swap out status cards, and protect your fellow players with tough cards. His deck’s signature ally, Wong, is equally awesome. He can either help you cycle through your invocation deck, or just heal you for a point. No need to send him into battle to get stomped. Dr. Strange can do a little of everything and steal the show while he’s doing it.
So those are my Top 10 Marvel Champions heroes. Who are your favorites to play? Let me know in the comments below.