Marvel Champions Green Goblin Pack Review

The Green Goblin scenario pack is an expansion for the Marvel Champions living card game. You can find Marvel Champions products at Fantasy Flight Games.

The Green Goblin

The Green Goblin scenario pack comes with two full scenarios based on the Green Goblin. One pits Norman Osborn against the heroes as he attempts to take over Stark Industries, and the second scenario has the Green Goblin transforming citizens into Goblin minions with mutagenic gas.

Additionally, the pack includes four-modular encounters that can be slotted into any villains deck. These modules showcase other popular Spider-Man villains such as Scorpion, Electro, and Tombstone.

Both main scenarios play completely different. Even though Green Goblin is the villain of both, each scenario has its own version of him.

Risky Business

The first scenario revolves around Norman Osborn attempting to take over Stark Industries. This puts an interesting spin on the game because the heroes can’t just go and beat up on Norman Osborn, that would be a bad look.

Likewise, Norman cant directly engage the heroes. Instead, the heroes attack his criminal enterprise, and Norman attempts to buff it in-between scheming. If the players remove all the tokens from Criminal Enterprise, Norman’s state of madness takes over. He becomes the Green Goblin and can attack and be attacked directly.

Once his State of Madness runs out of tokens, he turns back to Norman Osborn, and the process must be done over again. Most of the Risky Business cards interact with Criminal Enterprise and State of Madness in some way, either adding or removing tokens.

Conceptually it’s a neat idea, and the villain alter ego mechanic is thematically strong. Norman Osborn is using nefarious means to fuel his hostile takeover, but the heroes cant confront him unless he takes the form of the Green Goblin. They have to dismantle his empire to draw him out.

In practice, however, the scenario is extremely flawed. Norman Osborn adds counters to Criminal Enterprise when he attacks. He doesn’t damage the heroes unless he is in the Green Goblin form. This means that the heroes never really have to worry about him scheming since they won’t have to flip to alter ego mode as long as he is Norman Osborn.

This allows the players to take as much time as they need to prepare before flipping him to Green Goblin. Once you figure out the trick, it’s impossible to lose. Winning may be easy, but it takes forever, and the engagement is low. Players are just slowly laying down the cards they need until they are ready to go nova and take out the Green Goblin in swift order.

The scenario quickly becomes monotonous to play, to the point that I have no desire to play it at all. It’s interesting once or twice, then burns out. Certain modules can make it slightly more tense, but even something like Doomsday chair just makes the overall process slower, not harder.

Risky business had a really cool concept, but its design was executed poorly, which is a shame. The game is lacking a high number of scenarios to choose from, though the Rise of the Red Skull box will remedy that next month.

Mutagen Formula

The second scenario is a full-on assault from the Green Goblin. He is unleashing a mutagen fog over the city and transforming people into his goblin minions. The scenario is focused on overwhelming you with an army of goblins, and the Green Goblin himself is no pushover. The fact that he adds a threat to the main scheme whenever he damages you is a terrifying prospect.

Both of his main schemes actually start with threat already on them, and players start the game engaged with a Goblin Thrall. Mutagen Formula starts the game with the pressure already mounting on the heroes. To make matters worse, Green Goblin’s stage 2 and 3 both throw additional encounter cards at the players. Yes, that means if you start the game on expert mode, you are getting three encounter cards on turn 1.

The encounter deck is highly focused on throwing out goblins, buffing them, and making them unavoidable. Some minions and schemes even come into play as a boost effect or force you to shuffle them back into the deck to ensure you have to face them.

The theme is strong here as well, the longer the heroes take to stop Green Goblin, the more citizens get transformed, and the larger his army grows. Ultron sought to overwhelm you with a thousand small minions. Green Goblin might not have those kinds of numbers, but his minions are far more fierce. Most of them have higher hit-points and stats. Some like Monster stun you, and Goblin Knight tries to bring in reinforcements.

To take the brutality even further. Green Goblin completely breaks the rules with I See You. He can find the hero in alter ego form and attack them anyway. A lot of heroes only switch to alter ego when they are low on health, so this can be a game-ending card frequently.

While Mutagen Formula is nowhere near as innovative as Risky Business, it pulls off its concept very well. The entire encounter deck is full of villainous synergy with a core focus of using Goblin Minions in a variety of ways.

Green Goblin puts pressure on the players early and never relents, this makes Mutagen formula the most challenging scenario out thus far. Nothing the villain throws at the player can really be ignored and every encounter phase is a thrilling nail biter.

Modular Encounters

The Green Goblin Scenario pack contains four modules that can be added to any villain deck. Goblin Gimmicks is the basic one and is pretty straight forward. Pumpkins Bombs can be problematic though, since the damage is indirect, and Intimidation forces a hard choice on the player. Give the villain a facedown boost card, or discard resources.

A Mess of Things draws Scorpion into the mix, and he is a nasty one. He is a tough minion that has quick strike and stuns the hero, but his other cards also can stun the heroes. Stun is incredibly powerful in the game and shouldn’t be underestimated. Scorpion easily ups the ante of any villain deck he is thrown in.

Power Drain brings in Electro. He and his cards are all about milling out the villain’s deck, which causes the main scheme to accelerate. For a truly electrifying experience, put Power Drain in Klaws deck and watch how fast acceleration tokens build up.

The last module has the villain hiring Tombstone to run interference with the heroes. Tombstone is a rightfully tanky and hard to take out minion. But the rest of his cards are also unique in that a few of them attach to the hero. Tombstones cards are focused on making the player spend precious resources or deal with the consequences, including being unable to switch forms.

All four modules are very well designed, thematically and from a gameplay perspective. Scorpion’s tail can stun heroes, and he can ambush them even if he isn’t in play. Electro drains the power grid, and the resulting blackout allows the villain to progress faster. Tombstone’s criminal organization interferes with the heroes. Even Goblin Gimmicks makes sense, the villain either bought, stole, or got the gadgets on loan from the Green Goblin.

Verdict

The Green Goblin Scenario pack just missed landing on true greatness. Risky Business brings the pack down as it’s one of two scenarios, and the scenario itself is a real drag to play and poorly designed.

The pack is still worth picking up though. Mutagen Formula is an incredibly well designed, challenging, and fun scenario. The modular encounters are a must-have as their value will only increase as more scenarios are added, plus they pair well with the core set villains.

Green Goblin is a much-needed injection to the game as we direly need more scenarios. Unlike the Wrecking Crew, the pack has value beyond its core concept as it includes modular encounters. Mutagen Formula is also a great scenario by itself, even if the Risky Business didn’t quite pay off.

You might also be interested in checking out my review of the Marvel Champions Core Set. If you enjoy this content, consider checking out my Kofi page.

Pros

  • Mutagen Forumla is a well designed, thematic, and challenging scenario.
  • Mutagens Formula’s core concepts put immediate pressure on the players in new ways
  • Includes four modular encounters that are great additions to the game
  • Scorpion, Tombstone, and Electro all appear in the modular encounters

Cons

  • Risky Business is one of two scenarios in the pack, it’s poorly designed and a real drag to play.