The Thor Hero pack is an expansion for Marvel Champions, a living card game, you can find Marvel Champions products at Fantasy Flight Games.
The Mighty Thor
Thor and his core cards put him into the role of a minion killer. Thor has low thwart but decent defense and attack that is further boosted by Mjolnir. His alter ego form, Odinson ensures his hammer is never out of reach for long.
Thor has the most painful hand sizes of the currently released heroes. Only five in alter ego form and four in Thor Form. This is balanced out by the fact that Thor’s cards are quite good. And he can end up with some ridiculous drawing capability when he is in his element, which is fighting minions. His ability can technically pop off twice a round, once in each phase.
This also means that Thor can really struggle against Villain decks with low minions counts. Defender Of The Realm can be a great card, netting you the extra draw in the hero phase while removing threat for a zero cost card. It’s risky though, because with low minion decks you chance adding acceleration tokens quickly.
On the flip side cards like Asgard are a shame to see. I consider cards like this to be “maintenance cards”. They are something used to bring a hero up to speed with abilities other heroes already have. It’s not that it is inherently bad, but it is boring and a shame it takes up one of the fifteen Thor specific cards.
Thor is a hero that wants to remain in hero form as much as possible. His helmet adds a whopping five hit points to his already chunky 14. Hammer throw can be devastating and a lightning strike can clear the board of minions instantly. His basic cards don’t give him much in the way of thwarting though and is a weakness with his own thwart of one.
Defender of the Nine Realms can help if you can risk it. Thor favors faster victory’s solo but in multiplayer he takes on the role of minion destroyer. Thor combos well with pretty much every aspect. Justice obviously balances out one of his core weaknesses, while aggression can double up on his heavy-hitting and minion wiping power.
Protection helps keep Thors already tanky and well-chiseled arse in hero form while leadership lets his allies thwart and take shots for him while he handles business.
The rest of the cards are mostly aggression to fill out Thor’s preset deck. Many of them, like Thor, is all about minion killing. Hercules is an expensive heavy hitter that’s cheaper if you’re getting surrounded while Valkyrie claps some minion cheeks the moment she comes into play.
A few of the aggression cards don’t have a lot of synergies (yet) outside of Thor. Meanswing requires a weapon which is pretty much regulated to Thor and Black Panther since they have weapon cards. You can use it with Jarbjorn in other decks, but you would be relying on it entirely. Meanswing is still a great card though.
Get Over Here is a nice little ping of damage but really works for Thor since it can steal a minion from an ally and trigger Have At Thee. It’s less useful in solo play, however. Cards like Heimdall, invulnerability, and Hall Of Heroes are much more versatile.
The other aspects get some love but the most notable card for me is the Justice addition. Under Surveillance is incredibly good in solo or duo play. There is almost no instance where raising the cap on the main scheme is a bad idea and could literally buy you enough time to win the game.
To the surprise of no one, Loki is Thor’s nemesis. True to his character Loki is a gigantic pain in the rear if he ever comes into play. Mainly because every time you defeat him, it is a complete coin flip on whether or not he is actually defeated. Nothing hurts more than whiffing a heavy attack card on him to simply be denied.
This isn’t a complaint, it’s absolutely true to the character and the trickster can be maddening, that is the point. Family Feud can be an absolute pain to deal with as well. Thor wants as many Asgard cards out as possible which can make the amount of threat on it quite steep. Thor has issues thwarting in the first place.
Ice giants are meaty minions that enter play with tough, but even worse they stun you if they are used a boost card. This means at some point, an ice giant is gonna ruin your day.
Overall Thor’s nemesis cards feel thematic and Loki’s design is incredibly clever. His obligation is pretty par for the course but the rest of the set is interesting to play against.
The pack succeeds at one of it’s most important goals. Playing Thor feels like you are playing the God of Thunder. Thor is a heavy-hitting avenger but he is brash. He never has many options outside of punching something or using his hammer and this is reflected in his hand sizes.
He doesn’t plan so his thwart is low, but he will gladly seek out henchmen and pummel the information out of him via Defender of the Realms. When he is tuckered out, Lady Sif is there to remind him who he is. Hammer throw and Odinson’s ability reflect very well on Thors throwing and recalling his hammer and while lighting strike won’t pop often, it is a spectacle when it does.
Minions have never lasted long in front of Thor, only the biggest bads can take him toe to toe and his cards reflect that fact. Henchmen simply make him laugh and allow him to showboat his abilities and thus draw more cards.
If Thor is your favorite hero, you will enjoy playing him in Marvel Champions.
Out Of The Box
While all the cards in the pack are good, his preset deck leaves a lot to be desired. While parts of it synergize well with Thor’s love of minion bashing, his struggle to get cards in his hand can make it very hard to play many of his more expensive cards. Remember, cards are also the resources required to play them.
This can make him far more reliant on drawing double energy cards and make his basic deck more luck-based than other heroes, leaving you with dead turns, and that never feels good.
This issue is exacerbated against low minion decks. Thor simply requires too much set up in his base deck to play his good stuff effectively. Aggression works with him, it just needs to be fine-tuned. This can be incredibly frustrating if you don’t enjoy making decks because it initially makes Thor seem far weaker than he really is.
Thor comes to the table hard and makes a mess, just like he does in the movies and comics. His pack not only brings another great hero, but a super interesting nemesis and great cards all around. Just keep in mind he is difficult to play, but that doesn’t make him less great than any other hero. You will want to tweak his preset deck at the very least though.
His pack expands the aggression pool with some goodies, even if some of them are currently less versatile than I would like. Seriously though, Under Surviallnce for the Justice aspect is the bomb.
You might wanna check out my review of the Marvel Champions Core Set.
- Playing Thor feels like playing the mighty God of thunder
- Thor’s minion destroyer playstyle is interesting
- Thor pairs well with every aspect and has clear strengths and weaknesses
- Loki is a very cleverly designed nemesis card
- Under Surveillance is a powerful new card for the Justice Aspect
- Hammer Throw and Lightning Strike feel thematically awesome.
- Thor’s preset deck is a little weak
- Some of the aggression cards aren’t too versatile within the current card pool
- Cards such as Asgard feel like cheap maintenance cards and aren’t very exciting