Storm’s weather deck gives her a degree of board control rivaled only by the Sorceror Supreme. Each weather card affects every character in play, be they friends or foes. When she swaps weather cards using her Weather Control ability, they also activate a one-time effect.
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Storm’s ability to weather any obstacle by triggering massive changes at will makes her one of the strongest heroes in the game. The fact that her weather cards affect every character in play means she requires careful consideration when playing her, especially in a team setting.
As powerful as the weather may be, mother nature’s wrath is indiscriminate, and a poorly planned move can rain on her own team’s parade just as easily as the villains.
The key to her character is Storm’s four-card weather deck. She starts with one in play and can swap between them once per phase with her Weather Control ability.
Each one affects every character in play, hero, villain, minion, and ally. This alone makes Storm incredibly powerful. When she swaps to it, she also triggers a secondary effect of the card. For example, Thunderstorm always grants +1 attack to all characters but deals 2 damage when swapped, while Clear Skies always grants all characters Stalwart, but also lets Storm draw a card when swapped.
The weather deck allows Storm to adapt to pretty much any situation. She can lower the attack of every villain and minion by 1 with Blizzard. Any characters who are already stunned or confused would discard them if they gained Stalwart with Clear Skies. On top of that the triggering effects can grant anything from Threat Removal with Hurricane, Damage with Thunderstorm, or even making a non-elite minions text box blank with Blizzard.
The only thing restricting her power is how she affects the team as a whole. Granting the enemy Retaliate, or Stalwart at the wrong time can make a bad situation worse. She can accidentally lower her entire team’s attack with Blizzard, or allow the villain and minions to thrash her team with an extra attack point.
Playing Storm in a team setting makes her that much more interesting because of how much you have to focus on team play. Weather Control can only be triggered once per phase. However, Storm’s Weather Goddess card also allows you to swap Weather Cards.
Since both have the “action” keyword, another player can ask you to play them on their turn. So, as an example, you could play Thunderstorm at the start of a round, and switch it to Blizzard at the end of the round, regardless of turn order as long as you’re working as a team. It’s a simple but effective tactic.
Wet, Cold, and Windy
Most of Storm’s hero kit banks off of her weather cards in some way, making both even more potent than usual if she manages to match them up. Lightning Bolt already deals 8 damage which puts it on par with most heavy-hitting attack cards, but if Thunderstorm is active, it also activates its ability to deal 2 damage to an enemy.
The combination of her weather deck and hero cards makes it so there’s really nothing Storm can’t do. She has damage covered through a Lighting Bolt-filled Thunderstorm, she can remove threat with Torrential Rain and Hurricane, and she negates attacks with Flash Freeze, especially when combined with Blizzard.
If that weren’t enough, she can also deal 3 damage to the villain and every minion engaged with a player AND activate her weather effect while doing so by using Blast of Wind. Storm isn’t just able to fit into any role, she fills them all at once. Her low stats somewhat mitigate it, but even they can be enhanced with her Crown and Cape. One of which is also a resource generator, and the other readies her when she activates a Weather effect. She even has access to enhanced healing with Ororo’s Garden.
Power creep has definitely become an issue in Marvel Champions, and Storm doesn’t bother creeping, her power floods the game in a way that can’t be ignored. Her only restraining factor is the fact that she has to be played well. In the case of Doctor Strange, you could make multiple mistakes, and it wouldn’t matter. With Storm, mistakes and bad plays can cost you and your entire team.
The fact that you wield immense power, but can accidentally blow yourself up with it does make Storm a more interesting hero to play, as opposed to an overpowered hero who pretty much pilots themselves.
Unsurprisingly, X-Men receive additional support in Storm’s pack, this time with a focus on Leadership. Uncanny X-Men might actually break Cyclops‘ Leadership decks beyond repair. Lowering the cost of X-Men allies by one is a massive economical boon.
Leadership Skill is nifty because of its versatile nature, being able to choose when and where to grant an ally a +1 can make a huge difference. It can be enough to finish a key Side Scheme or a minion. The mere act of being able to control when it goes off makes it a great card.
To Me My X-Men is extremely strong but risky, getting to play and use an ally is huge, especially because put into play effects would still go off, then it goes to your hand, completely negating the cost of To me My X-Men. But if there isn’t an X-Men in your next five cards, it’s a waste altogether.
My continued annoyance with reprints featuring new art continues, this time with Endurance. The only thing worse than a reprint is one that makes my collection messier.
Overall the new aspect cards are pretty great. I definitely enjoy the X-Men keyword being fully supported in this cycle as opposed to the split between Web-Warrior, and Champion that happened in the last cycle.
Storm’s Nemesis is Callisto, whose thing is apparently knives. I’m going to tell on myself here, but I’m not as knowledgeable on X-Men lore compared to the rest of Marvel, so maybe there’s more to Callisto than I know. But Storm, who literally commands the weather being dragged into a Knife Fight is incredibly amusing to me.
Knife Fight forms the core of what the set is about. Callisto is a nice and punchy minion with 3 attack and Quickstrike. But Knife Fight is the star of the set. She gets a tough status when one is revealed and clearing the Leader of the Morlock’s side scheme fetches one.
I actually like Knife Fight though, it’s a dangerous card but somewhat unique. You take damage equal to the enemy with the highest attack, but then you also deal your attack back to them. I like that, nobody wins in a knife fight. Don’t believe me? Try it with sharpies and see if you come out unscathed.
It’s a solid nemesis set with a neat gimmick.
The Shadow King Encounter Module
Storm comes with fewer aspect cards in place of a new encounter module, the Shadow King. The Shadow King is all about taking control of your allies with Possessed. The thing is, two encounter sets already exist that do something similar. Enchantress and Legions of Hel both deal with that concept.
Now each of the sets handles it slightly differently. In Shadow King’s case, he can’t take damage while a controlled minion is in play. It’s a solid set to be sure, anything that targets ally cards specifically is great in my book. But when a set is taking up aspect card space, I’d like to see it be a bit more unique than a slightly different spin on two existing sets.
Storm definitely crosses the line into being overpowered. However, her design and weather card mechanism is extremely unique, and as strong as she is, you can still lose if you play her poorly. She requires a lot of coordination in multiplayer and while some heroes have dabbled in team play, it’s not optional with Storm.
Playing her feels like you command the weather and all that power, intensity, and danger that comes with it. That said I do take issue with some of her weather cards and how they fit thematically into the game. The fact that weather cards affect everyone is great, weather is indiscriminate, and if she makes it rain, it rains on everyone.
I get why Blizzard lowers attack power, I can even reason that Clear Skies gives you Stalwart by making everything visible and breathing easy. I do not understand how a Hurricane makes everyone retaliate or how a Thunderstorm would give everyone a +1 attack. Her thematic design feels a bit sloppy in that regard.
Theme aside, even though Storm is indeed fun to play. Powercreep in any form is not a good thing in a game like Marvel Champions. It has consequences for existing content and future content still in the design phase. Wielding Storms’ power at least sidesteps the issue of trivializing the challenge, simply because of the effort required not to screw over your team in multiplayer. An experienced player can and will be the star of the show, however.
Interested in the card holders I use in my photos? They are from InfinitionsTabletop on Etsy
- Storm’s Weather Deck is very unique
- A powerful hero that takes skill to play
- Great new aspect cards
- The teamplay dynamics involved in using Storm is interesting
- Storm is the subject of the game’s ongoing power creep and is too strong relative to older heroes.
- Some cards are reprints of existing ones with new artwork
- The Shadow King encounter module is too similar to Enchantress and Legions of Hel