For a review of the core dice throne battle system, check out my review of the Marvel Dice Throne four hero box.
True to the heroes they are based on, Captain Marvel can deliver heavy damage while Black Panther builds up kinetic energy to unleash in his own attacks. Much like other Marvel Dice Throne characters, the overall spirit of their abilities translates well to the Dice Throne Battle System.
You can find a video version of this review on my YouTube Channel.
Compared to the other small hero box that contains Doctor Strange and Black Widow. Captain Marvel and Black Panther fall lower on the complexity scale with more straightforward mechanisms and a simpler dice distribution.
Captain Marvel is an upfront bruiser that maintains a pretty constant damage output through Cosmic Flares. Black Panther, on the other hand, grows stronger each time he takes damage by turning that Kinetic Energy around on his enemies.
|Gideon’s Bias||Marvel Dice Throne: Captain Marvel vs Black Panther Information|
|Review Copy Used: Yes||Publisher: The Op, Roxley|
|Number of Plays: 8+||Designers: Gavan Brown, Nate Chatellier, Manny Trembley|
|Player Counts Played: 2||Player Count: 2 (up to four with additional characters)|
|Fan of Genre: Partially||Genre: Dice Roller, Hand Management, Combat|
|Fan of Weight: No||Weight: Light|
|Gaming Groups Thoughts: Enjoyed It||Price: $29.99|
Black Panther is all about his passive ability called Energy Absorption. Each time Black Panther takes damage, he gains Kinetic Energy, and his own damage increases for every two Kinetic Energy he has. Once he has 8, they all get discarded, and he gains 2 CP, draws 2 cards, and deals 5 damage.
One of my favorite things about Black Panther isn’t his play style, it’s how he influences your opponent’s approach to fighting you. Black Panther is a character that you want to hit hard, dealing just a few points of damage here and there only makes him more dangerous thanks to his Kinetic Energy. This is especially true since the sole purpose of his defensive ability, Bashenga’s Honor is to deal damage back to you.
That means many powers that don’t deal damage at all but allow you to build up status tokens or other boons start looking more attractive when facing him. Every character you face in Dice Throne requires you to adjust your strategy to some degree, but nowhere near as much as Black Panther does, and I think that’s really interesting.
Black Panther’s other status effect, Vibranium Suit, further cements the need to go big on your swings as it simply blocks 3 damage. Small attacks are going to quite literally bounce off of him and hurt you instead.
Most of Black Panther’s abilities are pretty straightforward, and the extra card draw granted by reaching 8 Kinetic energy or his Triple Threat ability makes him versatile enough to be able to respond to many situations.
Unfortunately, Black Panther is somewhat one note. His playstyle has distinct advantages over certain characters, but there’s not much wiggle room to change it up. He has a singular focus, and you’re going to be more successful by simply leaning into it. Playing him can feel like a railroaded experience.
That being said, his playstyle, abilities, and cards reflect thematically on the Wakadan King, and his passive ability is a clever way to implement his suit’s ability to absorb and reuse Kinetic Energy
Captain Marvel is equally as straightforward as Black Panther. She lacks the same kind of innovation that his Kinetic Energy brings, but makes up for it with more variety. Many of her upgrade cards grant her additional powers altogether, increasing your overall options with each one played.
Captain Marvel is a heavy hitter, her Cosmic Ray status effect can add between 1 and 6 extra damage to an attack, and if that weren’t enough, her Cosmic Flares help keep the pressure up. She can stack three of them, and she deals damage to all opponents during her upkeep phase before removing one.
Now on paper, she has a bit of an edge in three or four-player free for all. You would need additional characters to play at a higher player count, but I digress. Her Cosmic Flares damage all opponents, and that’s pretty unique. In practice, however, it just made the table gang up on me when I played her since I could damage everyone every turn. So her Cosmic Flare falls flat in that regard.
I do enjoy the pressure that Cosmic Flare can inflict in a two-player game. Having consistent damage each turn pours some nitrous on the damage race that leaves the other player scrambling to keep up. Especially given Captain Marvel’s high damage output.
One thing that kinda disappoints me is how little the game captures her durability. Captain Marvel is basically Marvel’s equivalent to a Kryptonian like Superman.
Her defense ability rarely blocks much damage, although she can use her radiance status effect to alter it, it rarely blocks more than a damage or two. Dice Throne, in general really doesn’t favor defense. When teaching the game I’ve noticed players have the hardest time grasping that a defensive roll rarely actually means defending anything. That’s a shame.
Another oddity is her placement in the same box as Black Panther. Remember how I said Black Panther has an inherent advantage against certain characters? Captain Marvel is one of them. Her Cosmic Flares constantly feed him Kinetic Energy, and you have to purposefully refrain from gaining them, and that’s not always possible thanks to the randomness of dice rolls.
She can dish out the high damage needed to bypass Black Panther’s advantage. But the fact that you need to purposely work around a large aspect of her character in order to play against the only other hero that was included with her is not ideal.
A perfect balance between a large roster of characters is never going to be possible. However, If they are the only two heroes you have, it can feel unfair. She probably should have been paired up with another hero.
Captain Marvel and Black Panther both have their merits. But they are definitely my least favorite characters out of the entire Marvel Dice Throne roster. They do a good job of reflecting the characters within the system, but there’s nothing there to really wow me the way the other characters do.
Doctor Strange has an entire spell system, Black Widow has unique time bomb tokens, and Loki’s illusions are awesome. Even compared to simpler characters such as Thor, they still lack the same kind of novelty that his hammer brings.
Both characters are solid, but far from noteworthy. The lower complexity could make them a good first choice if you have never played Dice Throne before, but the fact that Captain Marvel has a disadvantage against Black Panther pretty much tosses that out the window. The four-hero box is more expensive, but I’d recommend it to first-timers instead.
Captain Marvel vs Black Panther is worth picking up if you happen to be a big fan of either character from the comics or movies. Or if you desperately want more Marvel in your roster. Beyond that? I’d honestly recommend looking at other non-marvel Dice Throne heroes since they are cross-compatible with the Marvel Roster.
Interested in the card holders I use in my photos? They are from InfinitionsTabletop on Etsy
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- Both heroes are straightforward and easy to play
- Black Panther forces the other player to alter their playstyle and that’s neat
- Captain Marvel gains plenty of new abilities through upgrade cards making her pretty flexible
- Neither character is truly noteworthy, falling short of the innovative mechanisms presented by other Marvel Dice Throne characters
- Black Panther’s playstyle can feel railroaded
- Captain Marvel has a distinct disadvantage against Black Panther