The Ms. Marvel Hero Pack is an expansion for Marvel Champions, a living card game. You can find Marvel Champions Products at Fantasy Flight Games. If you find this review helpful, consider checking out my Kofi page!
Ms. Marvel, and Kamala Khan
Ms. Marvel is a complex yet very adaptable hero. She isn’t easy to play, but like her superpower, she is malleable and able to fit into most playstyles. Her stats are weak, and her health is low but her ability more than makes up for it.
Ms. Marvel’s adaptation comes from her ability to reuse and amplify events alongside her balanced array of cards. By exhausting her, you can return an attack, thwart, or defense event you just played to your hand. The most common use is to continually bounce Wiggle Room back to your hand. Wiggle Room is a great card that makes Ms. Marvel hard to take down.
That is only the tip of the iceberg, however. She can bounce not only her own events back to your hand, but events from each of the aspects, this can make for a huge range of combo potential depending on your decks build.
Additionally, she has two great upgrades, Embiggen and Shrink. Both stay on the field, and can be exhausted to boost the effectiveness of thwart and attack events. If she does get hurt, she has a whopping five recovery, and unlike many heroes, she has a lot of options in alter ego form.
Her weakness is her reliance on cards, with her weak stats there is rarely a time you can effectively kill a minion or clear a side scheme by solely using her basic attack, or thwarting; her low health and defense make her squishy. You have to be clever about which cards to keep in your hand when playing Ms. Marvel, but she can be extremely effective when played well.
Protection gets a boost from the Ms. Marvel pack with a few key basic cards thrown in. Tackle is one of my favorite protection cards, the ability to deal damage and stun an enemy with protection is very powerful. Energy Barrier is also a great card that nearly any hero can benefit from. In fact, Ms. Marvel’s adaptability as a theme extends to many of the other cards.
In other reviews, I have criticized some packs for containing cards with niche uses, this isn’t the case here. Cards like Endurance can slot into any deck for a boost of extra health. Downtime can aid any heroes recovery, and Lockjaw can be a great ally to pull out of your back side in a pinch.
Some niche cards are fine, but I really enjoy cards that you can really toy around with when deck building. Melee, a new Aggression card is a great minion killer, while Justice gains Concussive Blow, the sister to Tackle, confusing the villain instead of stunning. it is a perfect fit for the aspect.
Morale Boost is cheap enough that it could be a great and adaptable boost of power for almost every hero in the game. Nova is an interesting ally, I continue to enjoy watching ally cards evolve. Many of their early designs incentivize players to use them as meat shields, but Nova can provide a lot of extra damage if you don’t immediately sacrifice him.
Overall the entire pack of cards is flexible like the hero they arrive with, making the pack a worthy addition even without the hero herself. Every aspect gets some love and it is great to see new and solid basic cards get added to the pool.
Ms. Marvles Nemesis is the Parakeet hybrid clone of the famed Thomas Edison, no, I’m not kidding, read a comic. Edison himself is fairly basic, though three scheme on a minion can end a game quickly if you aren’t careful. The problem is, his mere presence can stop you from flipping to alter ego, and healing yourself, and you cant get rid of him as long as another minion is available.
Making matters worse ie Edison’s Giant Robot. This beast of a minion has a whopping 8 health, but furthermore, you aren’t even allowed to damage it unless you spend a science resource to discover its weakness. Dealing with Thomas Edison and the robot at the same time can be a nightmare.
The villain healing is always frustrating, and Harvest can really pump them numbers against a lot of hero’s but Ms. Marvel can be affected adversely by it due to her inherent persona cards in her hero deck.
Ms. Marvel’s Nemesis cards aren’t the most threatening ones I’ve seen, but they are mechanically sound, cohesive, and provide a decent challenge when pulled. I particularly like the theme behind Harvest, as Edison captures and uses people to heal the villain, targeting Kamala’s friends and family in the process. It’s very accurate to the source material.
Ms. Marvel can alter her body, stretching her limbs, shrinking or enlarging herself, and her cards do a great job of reflecting this, such as Big Hands, her main attack card. She can turn diminutive and sneak around to thwart villains plans and she can enhance any other attack by Embiggening herself.
Her biokinetic Polymer suit is a fine resource as the material stretches with her. The nature of her powers gives her a healing factor that can rival Wolverines, so long as she spends time in her normal form. This is reflected in her massive 5 recoveries.
Ms. Marvel is a kid who was exposed to the Terrigen Mist that unlocked her latent ability. This means shes very inexperienced, explaining why her attack and thwart are so low. Being a kid also means dealing with things outside of being a hero. Her obligation is nothing special, but having to be home by a certain time is thematic.
As a kid she also has a support structure from her family at home and friends at school, which both can offer her moral and emotional support. This is why she has quite a few persona cards that are used when she is in alter ego form, and why she is hit so badly by the Harvest Nemesis card.
Despite her inexperience, Ms. Marvel is able to adapt to many situations and her kit reflects that quite nicely. Once again Fantasy Flight Games has nailed how a hero feels at the table.
Out of the box
Ms. Marvel’s preset deck is solid, and does a good job of covering her low health and defense with energy barrier, endurance, and tackle. It is a good foundation to learn Ms. Marvel’s complex playstyle but it isn’t perfect, no pre-set deck is.
Ms. Marvel’s lack of good basic stats can cause her issues in even the best decks, her preset lacks a lot of offensive power as she has to protect her self and wait for the right time to hit the villain. This can make games drag on as she continually counters damage, and threat, but struggles to find time to fight back.
In solo play, this is only a marginal problem, as long as you don’t mind long games. In multiplayer she may have trouble carrying her weight with the preset deck since she must be very picky about when to act.
It’s solid enough to play a few rounds with, but you will want to alter it as soon as you have an understanding of her playstyle. The individual cards are great, it just needs a bit more synergy.
Ms. Marvel’s design is stellar. She’s a more advanced hero but by no means weaker because of it. Her adaptability, and synergy with events mean she can work with any aspect, and with very good combo potential.
Her design captures her theme quite well, not just as the elastic superhero, but the girl inside, Kamela Khan. Furthermore, most of the cards in the pack are flexible and great for deck building with other heroes.
Her Nemesis cards are on the blander side. Harvest while thematic isn’t all that scary. The villain healing can lose you the game if you’re already in dire straits. But if I pulled Harvest during the encounter phase, I’d just be relieved it wasn’t something worse. Not the reaction you should have when pulling a nemesis card. Though exhausting your personas does sting a bit.
Her preset deck has a glaring weakness, but the individual cards are good. Most importantly Ms. Marvel is fun to play, if difficult to master. She has a style different from other heroes with her reliance on event cards and pulling off a combo with her is satisfying. This Avengers fangirl can hold her own and is definitely worth the purchase.
You should check out my review of the Marvel Champions Core Set! If you enjoy my content, consider checking out my Kofi page!
- Fun and adaptable hero
- Flexible cards outside of the hero’s kit
- Strong theme centered on Ms. Marvel, but also the girl under the mask
- Lots of combo potential with aspect events
- Advanced hero for experienced players
- The Preset deck has a severe offensive weakness
- The Nemesis cards are solid, but bland and Harvest isn’t intimidating