Love superheroes, no matter whether they are from the Marvel universe or DC Comics? Do you like to play or want to learn how to play a deck building game? If your answer to both questions is yes, then you shouldn’t look any farther than having these two deck building games.
First is the DC Deck Building Game, a card game that everybody should be introduced to. The DC Deck Building Game is easy to learn and perfectly suitable to those who are trying a deck building game for the first time. You can choose Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Cyborg, or The Flash before you start a game. The goal of the game is to collect as many points as you can while defeating groups of super villains that will always start with Ra’s al-Ghul. Each super villain has a value and to defeat them, you have to build your deck by buying what I like to call basic cards. These include heroes, super powers, villains, equipment and a location. Each of these cards have unique abilities that can give you an edge to buy more cards, discard any cards you currently hold, or destroy a card that gives a penalty toward the end of the game. To start, each player will be given 10 cards which consist of basic cards- 7 Punch cards that are worth 1 power each and 3 Vulnerabilities cards. Power is the currency in the game.
Like basic cards, each of the superheroes also have their advantages, either because you buy a specific card listed as a superhero card or their starting power when the game begins. For example, players who choose The Flash as their superhero always move first and draw an extra card whenever it is your turn. Out of those 10 cards you received earlier, players start off with 5 cards in his/her hand and try to buy a card. After players are done buying, they have to let go of all of their cards including the one you buy, placing them in a discard pile, then you have to pick from the remaining 5 cards left in your deck. When your deck runs out of cards, you take your discard pile, shuffle them, and put it into your deck. To give other players a penalty, players can buy a villain card and play them at your next turn.
You can start the game with either of 8 or 12 super villains. Whenever you attack a super villain and defeat them, a new super villain will come and replace them, and they will attack each player when they make their first appearance. All of them are nasty attacks that may give disadvantages to the other players. The game ends when there are no more super villains to beat or the main deck, which is not your deck, has no more cards to sell. Although it seems to be hard at first, after each session you it is actually a very easy game to play. The game is for 2 – 5 players and the standard duration of the game is 45 minutes to 1 hour per session.
Another deck building game that is based on a superheroes universe is Marvel’s Legendary. In this game, you can choose several heroes from the X-Men (Cyclops, Storm, Rogue, Emma Frost, and Wolverine), Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow), Nick Fury, Deadpool and Spider-Man. Unlike the other game, these are the basic cards and players can only choose a certain amount of heroes according to how many players are in the game. The same applies to cards that need a setup. In Legendary, instead of having a single value as currency, card values are now divided into a currency value and an attacking value which is to be used to attack villains and Mastermind. Other differences are that instead of you starting with 10 cards, you start off with 12 cards (8 currency cards, 4 attacking cards) and can have 6 cards in hand instead of 5 like in DC Deck Building. Legendary has the same rule and goal as DC Deck Building but with an additional twist. This time around in addition to facing a single super villain called Mastermind, you also have to defeat a group of villains.
The Mastermind, on the other hand, has to be defeated 3 times to win the game. Unlike the DC one, this game has a board to illustrate the villain activity and has a destroyed cards space. The villain has 5 places to visit before the said villain can make his escape, so it is up to players to defeat the villain before that happens. When villains escape, it serves as the player’s penalty points. To make things more complicated, in the villain deck, there are 3 types of cards that gives players a disadvantage or an advantage. First is the Master-strike card, which prompts Mastermind to attack all players and a Scheme Twist card, which activates the scheme scenario in play. There are 8 schemes in total, ranging from making the heroes fight each other to giving each villain a power up. The third one is a Bystanders card. When this card is played, the nearest villain to the villain deck captures the Bystanders. Each villain can capture up to two Bystanders at most. When there are no villains in any of the 5 places, Mastermind will capture the Bystanders. Defeating the villain or Mastermind that has the Bystanders will grant a player points plus any additional points that the Bystanders carried. The special rule of the game concerns Mastermind. Each Mastermind has his follower. For example, Magneto always leads his Brotherhood so players have to include his army of Brotherhood in the villain deck.
Unlike the DC Deck Building Game, this game can be played by a single player. Different setups apply if it is for a single player campaign. These two games have their own expansion packs. What’s so special is that both the DC Deck Building Game and Legendary expansions can be treated as a stand-alone game, meaning that you don’t have to buy a previous version of each game to play them. In comparison, I would say the DC Deck Building Game is easier to learn rather than Legendary but you must strategize well when playing Legendary as the game’s punishments have more after-effects compared to the DC Deck Building. With that said, I would recommend the DC Deck Building Game for those who are new while its counterpart is for a veteran of such games. Illustration wise, Cryptozoid seems to be more creative in handling the DC hero. In Legendary, the illustration of each hero remains the same even if, let’s say Black Widow, has a different ability than another Black Widow. The only way to differentiate between them are the color of the card frame, with no frame being a rare card. Also the manual book in Legendary isn’t as clear as the DC Deck Building Game but that shouldn’t stop you from playing either of them.
This is my first table-tops games review, so if you would like to see more, please comment below.
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