The dimension-spanning Secret Wars story, introduced into Legendary with a big box expansion in the summer of 2015, continues in Legendary’s sixth expansion, released in December of the same year. However, while Secret Wars, Volume 2 may be a sequel to the set immediately preceding it, like all Legendary expansions you only need the base game to use it. Many of the new features added in Volume 1 – such as multiclass heroes, recruitable villains, multiple masterminds, and the “Player as Mastermind” game mode – reappear here, but this second set contains all the cards and rule explanations necessary to use those features. Is it better if you have both sets? Absolutely! In some ways Volume 2 completes what Volume 1 started, but both sets are entirely independent of one another mechanically.
For previous Legendary sets –
Legendary: A Marvel Deck-Building Game
Captain America 75th Anniversary (This expansion was released after Secret Wars: Volume 2, but the review is already up and available through the provided link.)
What’s in this set – 16 new heroes, 4 new Masterminds, 8 Schemes, 6 Villain Groups and 3 Henchmen Villain Groups, 3 new types of Bystander (10 cards total), and 10 Ambition cards.
New Keywords – While its predecessor made significant additions to the general game mechanics, Volume 2 affected the game significantly in a different direction: keywords. The most keywords any prior expansion had ever introduced was three, but Secret Wars, Volume 2 added five new keywords and reused three others.
- Charge – Arguably the most game-changing of the new keywords, Charge affects villains in the city, enabling them to escape quicker. Charge is always accompanied by a number, which indicates the amount of city spaces a villain or villains advance. Often, Charge is part of an Ambush, in which case it takes effect after the villain has entered the Sewers. So, if you draw a villain from the Villain Deck with “Ambush: Charge one space,” that villain would enter the Sewers, then advance into the Bank, pushing any villain in the Bank forward, according to the normal advancement rules. This makes a Charging villain potentially very dangerous, as they could cause one or more villains in the city to escape.
- Circle of Kung-Fu – A villain with this keyword will always be tougher than he appears, unless you have his specific counter. Every instance of this keyword is preceded by a number (3rd Circle, 5th Circle, etc.). That number indicates the counter you need: if you do not reveal a hero whose cost is equal to or greater than the villain’s Circle of Kung-Fu, then that villain gains Attack equal to his Circle! So, a villain with a 4th Circle of Kung-Fu has +4 Attack unless you have a hero with a cost of 4 or higher.
- Fateful Resurrection – Villains with this keyword have a chance to come back when defeated. When you fight a villain with Fateful Resurrection, look at the top card of the Villain Deck. If that card is a Scheme Twist or Master Strike, put the villain in the Sewers as if he was played from the Villain Deck. However, you would still do the villain’s Fight effect or rescue any Bystanders he had captured, as normal. If a villain has ascended to become a new Mastermind and then Fatefully Resurrects, he remains a Mastermind rather than reenters the city.
- Patrol – This keyword directs you to look at a specific location or feature of the game, such as “Patrol the Rooftops” or “Patrol Your Discard Pile.” Depending on whether that location is empty or occupied, Patrol may do one thing or another, or nothing if the stated criterion is not met. Meeting the criterion later in your turn will not activate any Patrol abilities you’ve already played, but it will allow you to benefit if you use additional Patrol abilities after that point.
- Spectrum – This works similar to a Critical Strike superpower, but with a more flexible trigger. If you have at least three different hero classes (not colors, so grey heroes don’t count) among the cards in your hand or in play, then you can play any or all Spectrum abilities for the rest of your turn. Multiclass heroes are particularly valuable for activating Spectrum abilities.
In addition to the new keywords, three others make a return from previous expansion: Teleport from Dark City, Wall-Crawl from Paint the Town Red, and Cross-Dimensional Rampage (Colossus, Deadpool, and Wolverine) from Secret Wars, Volume 1.
New Bystanders –
- Alligator Trapper – This Bystander activates a Patrol when rescued, granting 2 Recruit if the Sewers are empty. If you rescue this Bystander by defeating a villain in the Sewers, you still get the effect, since you are considered to remove the villain in the Sewers prior to rescuing the Trapper.
- Shapeshifted Copycat – This Bystander represents a villain hiding among the civilians. When you rescue it, the Copycat enters the city as a villain with 3 Attack. If you defeat the Copycat as a villain, put it in your Victory Pile, where it counts as a Bystander for all purposes.
- Undercover Agent – When you rescue this Bystander, you get to choose any player, including yourself, and grant that player a S.H.I.E.L.D. Officer.
New Masterminds –
- Immortal Emperor Zheng Zhu – You will need to recruit at least one hero’s rare card in order to compete with Zheng-Zhu properly. His 7th Circle of Kung-Fu makes him formidable without a 7 or higher cost hero, and his Master Strike severely punishes you if you don’t have a hero of that cost. You will want to include at least one Marvel Knight in your Hero Deck, as some of Zheng-Zhu’s tactics interact with that team. He leads the K’un-Lun villain group.
- King Hyperion – The first Mastermind who prefers to take a personal approach to Legendary combat, King Hyperion’s Master Strike causes him to enter the city and Charge three spaces! He gives every player a Wound if allowed to escape, but defeating him while in the city does not remove any of his tactics. Depending on the Scheme he’s paired with, Hyperion can be strong enough to earn elite Mastermind status alongside Thanos, Galactus, and Apocalypse, although on average he would rank just below them. He leads the Utopolis villain group.
- Shiklah, the Demon Bride – Her Master Strike helps escort Scheme Twists to the top of the Villain Deck, increasing the chances for the players to fail, and for her villain group, Monster Metropolis, to Fatefully Resurrect. Shiklah possesses the first ever recruitable Mastermind tactic: “Shiklah’s Husband, Deadpool.”
- Spider-Queen – Increasing in power for every Bystander that has been dragged off, the Spider-Queen leads the Spider-Infected henchmen group (the first Mastermind since Doctor Doom in the base game to lead henchmen), and sports a Master Strike that will hurt the players no matter what. When her Master Strike activates, every player must put Spider-Infected from their Victory Piles into empty city spaces, triggering those henchmen’s Ambushes in the process. If a player cannot put a Spider-Infected in the city, whether because the player has none or there are no empty city spaces, then that player gains a wound.
New Villain Groups –
Secret Wars: Volume 2 contains six villain groups:
- ’92 X-Men – Seven out of eight of these “villains” are recruitable when defeated, but only five of those seven are considered X-Men; the other two cards are unaffiliated. The eighth, unobtainable card is Professor X, who will ascend to become a Master Mind if he escapes.
- Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars – Although their Attack values would put them on the lower end of the difficulty scale, these villains use keywords and special mechanics to stick around. One of them, Deadpool himself, will ascend to become a new Mastermind if he escapes.
- Guardians of Knowhere – A medium to high difficulty group, several of the Guardians can Fatefully Resurrect, and one can ascend to become a Mastermind with a nasty Master Strike.
- K’un-Lun – All of the villains in this group possess Circles of Kung-Fu, ranging from 3rd to 6th. The lower-difficulty half have beneficial Fight effects, while the more difficult half bring injurious Escapes to the battle.
- Monster Metropolis – Not a particularly tough group, but almost all of them have Fateful Resurrection.
- Utopolis – A challenging group, since most of them Charge as part of an Ambush. All of them have Escape effects as well, one of them (two cards) becoming a Scheme Twist and another one ascending to Mastermind status.
The set also contains three henchmen groups:
- Khonshu Guardians – These henchmen’s strength increases to 5 Attack when in the Sewers, Rooftops, or Bridge, making them one of the tougher henchmen groups in the game.
- Magma Men – Identical in abilities to the base game’s Sentinels, except that the Magma Men have Fateful Resurrection, making them slightly more challenging to play with.
- Spider-Infected – Something of a mixed blessing, but weighted towards beneficial. Their Ambush captures a Bystander, which is good if you can beat them, but harmful if you can’t stop their escape. Their Fight effect makes up for that, though, by allowing you to Wall-Crawl the next hero you recruit this turn.
New Ambition Cards – Secret Wars, Volume 1 instituted a new game mode into Legendary, allowing one player to take on all the others as the Mastermind. This was made possible by the addition of Ambition cards, forming a deck for the Mastermind player to use to oppose the heroes and advance the Scheme. Volume 2 adds ten new Ambition cards – many of them taking advantage of the keywords introduced in this set – and includes instructions for how to play this game mode on its rules sheet. Without the thirty Ambitions from Volume 1, this game mode might seem rather limited, but it is still fully playable even if you only have Volume 2.
“Sinister Ambitions” Scheme – The “Playable Mastermind” mode is not everyone’s cup of tea, so for many players all those Ambition cards from both Secret Wars volumes are dead space. With this Scheme, not anymore! Sinister Ambitions adds ten Ambition cards to the Villain Deck, converting their rules text into Escape effects. If you have both Secret Wars sets, then you will have forty Ambitions to choose from, so each time you play this Scheme could be radically different than the previous times! This Scheme, more than anything else, completes what Secret Wars, Volume 1 started. If Sinister Ambitions had been a Scheme in Volume 1, then that expansion would have been indisputably perfect.
New Heroes – Secret Wars, Volume 2 does not introduce any new teams, but it rounds out several. No fewer than seven teams gain at least one new member in this set, not including an unaffiliated hero! If all you had was the base game and you were looking to expand or improve teams, this would be the set you’d want.
Beast – Reminiscent of Black Panther from Secret Wars, Volume 1, all of Beast’s cards are multiclassed. However, unlike Black Panther, they are all the same classes: strength and tech. This uniformity feeds directly into Beast’s first common, his uncommon, and his rare. His first common lets you reveal the top card of your deck, and draw it if the card is a strength or tech hero. The rare contains a Critical Strike superpower of two strength and two tech – not as difficult to attain as it may sound if you’ve built to Beast – which lets you draw three cards. His uncommon is where his true power lies: it provides 2 Attack up front, plus 1 for every strength hero you’ve played, and 1 for every tech hero you’ve played. Since all of Beast’s cards count as both strength and tech heroes, you would get +2 Attack for every one of his cards that you’ve played prior to his uncommon! Although Beast doesn’t provide any actual Recruit points, his second common does help significantly with the recruitment process. The card lets you Patrol any city space, and if the one you choose is empty, the the hero below it costs three less Recruit during your turn. Definitely a solid hero, deserving of being the core of a deck, although he can certainly help fill out another deck, especially one built around multiclass heroes, such as a Black Panther deck. Supplement Beast with other strength and tech heroes, avoiding other classes if you can help it.
Captain Britain – Both of Captain Britain’s commons use a mechanic we’ve seen with Iron Fist and the base game Captain America, but he benefits from multiple teams rather than costs and colors. His first common grants +1 Recruit for each team you have represented among the heroes in your hand and in play, while his second common provides +1 Attack for each team. Oddly, this means that Captain Britain is stronger when not paired with other Illuminati. His uncommon supplies 2 Attack up front, and can draw two cards if you pass two separate qualifications: a Patrol in the Rooftops, which if empty permits you to reveal the top two cards of your deck. If those two cards have different team affiliations, you draw them; otherwise, you must put them back. Captain Britain’s rare lets you draw three extra cards when you draw a new hand, likely making your next hand a strong one. This rare is similar to Dr. Strange’s, but not quite as powerful: Dr. Strange’s rare allows you to look at the top three cards of your deck, and then choose to draw any number of them, and Teleport those you didn’t draw. Although his uncommon and rare are a bit underpowered, Captain Britain’s commons are solid, provided your deck includes multiple teams. A good hero for rounding out a deck or adding some extra power, but not the best to build a deck around.
Black Swan – Most deck manipulators act upon your personal deck, but Black Swan manipulates the Villain Deck instead. Her uncommon is the key to her set: as an instinct and range multiclass it can activate superpowers on both her commons, and its ability sets up her first common. The uncommon allows you to look at the top three cards of the Villain Deck, rescuing any Bystanders you reveal, and then return the cards in any order you wish, giving you the opportunity to set up the first common’s range superpower, which gains additional Attack if the top card of the Villain Deck is a Scheme Twist. The common also permits you to put non-Scheme Twists on the bottom of the Villain Deck if you desire, letting you postpone Master Strikes or villains you’d rather not face right now. Black Swan’s second common is more straightforward, granting 2 Recruit and an instincts superpower that lets you KO a card from your hand or discard pile, drawing a card if you do so. Her rare returns to Villain Deck manipulation, allowing you to look at the top five cards of the Villain Deck, gaining Attack points equal to the Victory Points of one of the cards you reveal (or two cards, with a team-activated superpower), and then return the cards to the top of the deck in any order you choose. If you want to know what to expect from the villains and devise countermeasures with your teammates, Black Swan is your girl. Her abilities can delay the advance of the Scheme and villains long enough for you and your fellow players to adapt to the circumstances, if you play her cards right. Any character who can look at the cards in the Villain Deck or benefit from certain ones when they are played is a good partner for Black Swan. Doctor Strange is probably the best, since he also uses instinct and range cards.
Corvus Glaive – It’s a bad day to be a Bystander when Corvus Glaive is in the Hero Deck. Most of Corvus’s cards can KO at least one Bystander, turning the slaughter into Attack points. His second common KOs a Bystander from the Bystander stack, permitting you to use the rescue effect if that Bystander is a special one. His uncommon yields 3 Attack up front, plus additional points locked behind a team-activated superpower. The power KOs a Bystander, then grants you 1 Attack for every four Bystanders in the KO pile. His first common spares the poor Bystanders, but it still exploits them through a Patrol effect, granting 2 Attack if any Bystanders are in the escape pile, or 2 Recruit if none are. A good card for recruiting in the early game, but once a villain makes off with a Bystander this common becomes dedicated solely to Attack, and only Corvus Glaive’s rare can change that. The rare supplies 6 Attack and a team-activated superpower, which KOs a Bystander from the escape pile and from every player’s Victory Pile, gaining 1 Attack for every Bystander KOed this way. Corvus Glaive is a sharp contrast to heroes who benefit from rescuing Bystanders, such as Black Widow and Jean Grey, and should not be recruited with such characters into the same deck (although including them together in the same game could make for an intriguing tug of war over the Bystander). He is, however, an excellent choice to use with his boss, Thanos, who also profits from slaying Bystanders.
Phoenix Force Cyclops – Building a deck with this version of Cyclops takes dedication, as it requires you to KO good cards in order to get the most out of him. His first common, for instance, KOs itself when played, but allows you to gain a hero costing 4 or less into your hand. His second common can also KO itself, and doubles its Attack from 2 to 4 if you do so. Sounds odd so far, yes? But with his uncommon his abilities make a lot more sense, letting you gain a hero that was KOed this turn. Keep in mind, though, that the uncommon isn’t restricted to Phoenix Force Cyclops cards: any hero that was KOed on your turn is free game, including those KOed by a Scheme, a villain escape or effect, or any other source. This gives the uncommon a great deal of value, even if you aren’t building a deck around him. His rare can clean out unwanted cards from your hand – up to three – and replace them with card draws, potentially turning a modest or weak hand into something far more powerful, while simultaneously ridding your deck of trash. Phoenix Force Cyclops’s mechanics are such that his cards are difficult to use as supplements to other heroes, though not impossible. Nevertheless, he works best in a deck designed around his cards and mechanics.
Ruby Summers – The alternate universe daughter of Cyclops and Emma Frost, Ruby Summers possesses abilities from both her parents. The order you play her cards doesn’t matter too much, but you should considering not playing her first common until after you play her second common or her rare, as both of those force you to discard in order to play them. If you discard the first common to meet the requirement of the rare or second common, you may Teleport it instead of discarding it, thus building a stronger successive hand. That first common can also protect you from losing cards to discards on other players’ turns: if a card forces you to discard it, you can set the card aside and regain it at the end of the current turn. Ruby’s uncommon brings a powerful Attack with a team-activated superpower that can grant Recruit points based on the number of villains you defeat during the turn. Her rare packs a massive punch, providing a whopping 10 Attack – the highest printed Attack on any Legendary hero card to date – but at the expense of discarding three cards, though that’s a price worth paying most of the time. Ruby pairs best with the base game Cyclops, or with heroes that allow you to draw more cards, especially those that take advantage of the strength or range classes.
Soulsword Colossus – The second version of Colossus in Legendary, and the first with the X-Men affiliation. Soulsword Colossus uses a complex system of causing other players to gain Wounds, and then saving them from injury. His uncommon sets off a Cross-Dimensional Colossus Rampage with a strength superpower, with the incentive of granting +2 Attack if at least one other player doesn’t reveal a Colossus card. That’s where his second common comes in, allowing you to discard it to prevent a player from gaining a Wound, and drawing two cards in compensation for the discard. You can, of course, use this protection ability at any time, so you can set up some very nice hands by defending against Wounds on your turn or between turns. Colossus’s first common combines rescuing a Bystander with a KO mechanic. Activate a covert superpower on the card, and you may fight a Bystander as if it were a 3 Attack villain with a Fight effect that forces you to KO a hero. No problem; that just gets rid of unnecessary S.H.I.E.L.D. heroes faster. This common is a great way to put excess Attack points to use. The second common is a covert-strength multiclass, enabling it to activate the superpowers of both the uncommon and the first common, although that would mean you cannot discard it to defend against Wounds, so you may have to make some important tactical decisions, unless you have other copies of that second common or other strength heroes to set off the Rampage superpower. Colossus’s rare grants 5 Attack and a potentially overpowered, team-activated superpower, which lets you gain an X-Men from the HQ or the KO pile for free, and add it to your hand for immediate play! If you get the hang of his mechanics, Soulsword Colossus is very good and a lot of fun to play with. Pair him with other strength or covert heroes, with emphasis on strength. If you aim for a deck of strength and covert X-Men to back Colossus up, you should be able to activate all of his superpower abilities whenever they come up.
Time-Traveling Jean Grey – With several Patrol or city-dependent abilities, Jean relies on her uncommon to move villains to adjacent city spaces. Her uncommon can also activate the covert superpower on Jean’s first common, which reduces the Attack of a villain in the Rooftops of Bridge. Her rare provides 5 Attack, plus a flexible Patrol ability locked behind a team-activated superpower, which lets you recruit the hero beneath any empty city space for free, and put that hero on top of your deck. Up to this point, Jean’s set looks decent, maybe even good. Unfortunately, her second common is nearly game-breakingly underpowered. For a 4 cost you get a single Patrol ability, which grants you an extra card on your next turn if the Bridge is empty. At its cost, this card needed more than a modest Patrol, especially considering that Patrols are somewhat unreliable abilities to begin with. Compare Jean’s card with a Mr. Fantastic common and a Groot common – The Mr. Fantastic card provides 2 Recruit, with a Focus ability that lets you spend 2 Recruit to draw an extra card on your next turn, an ability that can be activated multiple times, as long as you have the Recruit points for it. And that’s for a 3 cost. Then there’s the Groot common, also a 3 cost, which grants you 1 Attack plus a guaranteed extra card on your next turn. Jean’s card doesn’t even come close to these two! Some players have determined to house rule the card, sticking an extra 2 Recruit on it, which does seem to justify the cost. If you’re not fond of altering cards by house rules, then consider these five cards KO fodder!
Agent Venom – All of Agent Venom’s cards either offer both Attack and Recruit or one or the other, but regardless all his cards have both icons, making him feel like a Versatile hero from Dark City. Venom’s rare takes advantage of the double icons, providing +1 Attack for every card you have played this turn with an Attack icon, as well as +1 Recruit for every card with a Recruit icon. Beyond his rare, however, he has no special mechanics or synergy to build around, although that is not a bad thing. His cards work well together, but can be easily paired with any other cards. His first common uses a Spectrum ability to double the Attack and Recruit he provides, while his uncommon employs a Patrol for a “draw a card” benefit. His second common, while displaying both Attack and Recruit icons, only provides one or the other, depending on whether a Villain is in the Bank or not. Very straightforward and quite useful, Agent Venom can go with just about anyone, but especially look for cards that either posses both icons or take advantage of them to ally him with. Proxima Midnight and Domino come immediately to mind.
Silk – Not all of the Spider-Friends employ the 2-cost system the original Spiderman initiated, but Silk happens to be one of those that do. She also relies very heavily on Spectrum abilities. Her first common provides two classes, along with a straightforward “draw a card” Spectrum ability. Her second common leans towards overpowered (for the cost), by providing 2 Attack for its 2 cost, not to mention its Spectrum ability, which lets you draw the top card of your deck if it costs 2 or less. Silk’s uncommon shakes things up a little bit by using a team superpower. If you’re using Silk to build a Spider Friends deck, however, that superpower should be instantly activated. The superpower lets you draw the top card of your deck, but only if it cost 1 or 2. If it costs 0, you KO it instead. The rare uses another Spectrum ability, this one letting you look at the top four cards of your deck. You get to choose as many of those four that cost 2 or less and draw them, putting the rest back in whatever order you wish. Anyone building a Spectrum or Spider-Friends deck should give Silk serious consideration; for such a low cost, she has the potential to string together some powerful combos.
Spider-Gwen – Another 2-cost Spider Friend, Gwen’s abilities focus around Patrols. In fact, only her rare lacks a Patrol ability, and her uncommon has two separate Patrols. Gwen’s cards don’t require any special order of play, unless you’re lucky enough to get her rare. The rare lets you look at the top three cards of your deck and put them back in any order. You get +1 Attack for each of them that costs 2 or less, and if any of them did cost 2 or less, you should put those back as the top cards. Then, play her first common, which can draw a 2 cost hero from the top of your deck if the Bridge is empty. This common is also multiclassed, and grants 2 Attack up front! Not bad for a cost of 2. Gwen’s second common Patrols the Rooftops, rescuing a Bystander if the space is empty, then granting additional Attack for every two Bystanders you have in your Victory Pile. Finally, her uncommon: with two Patrol abilities, this card has the potential to provide up to 3 Attack, but one of the Patrols will become obsolete very quickly. The first Patrol examines the Bank, and provides 1 Attack if it’s empty, while the second Patrol checks your Victory Pile. If you have nothing in your Victory Pile, you get an additional Attack point, but once you defeat a villain or rescue a Bystander this Patrol will become useless. Nothing to complain about, though, since for 2 cost this card can still provide 2 Attack, one of that guaranteed. That’s nothing to criticize. Spider-Gwen, of course, works best with other 2-cost Spider-Friends, but you could consider using her in decks with other heroes who rescue Bystanders, such as Black Widow or the first version of Jean Grey.
Dr. Punisher, Soldier Supreme – So, apparently at one time, very briefly, the Punisher was possessed by Dr. Strange and went out and fought crime and stuff… Well, stranger things have happened with superheroes, I suppose! Dr. Punisher combines features of Dark City’s Punisher and Secret Wars, Volume 1’s Doctor Strange. He relies on his first, multiclassed common to trigger superpowers on his second common and his uncommon. His first common only has a cost of 2, and supplies 1 Recruit plus a Patrol ability, allowing you to draw a card if the Streets are empty. His second common provides 2 Attack, and its tech superpower will KO the top card of your deck if that card costs 0, and grants an additional Attack point for doing so. His uncommon, in addition to 2 more Attack, lets you reveal the top card of the Villain Deck and fight it if you uncover a villain. If you activate the uncommon’s Critical Strike superpower, you can also gain Attack points equal to the Victory Points of the villain you revealed. His rare starts with an Attack value of 5, but gains an additional Attack point for every empty city space, thus potentially maxing out at 10 Attack if all city spaces are clear. Overall, a decent hero with a simple mechanical structure, but most likely to end up serving as a supplement to other decks, rather than the basis for a deck.
Shang-Chi – Deck manipulation is the name of the game here. Shang-Chi allows you to shuffle your discard pile back into your deck faster, and then benefits from doing so. His first common starts off the process with its instincts-activated superpower, letting you shuffle your discard pile into your deck immediately. If you manage to recruit heroes prior to using this superpower, you’ll not only get them into your deck faster, but you may even be able to use them on the same turn you recruit them if you get some draw card options. Once your discard pile is in your deck, then Shang-Chi’s uncommon gets to shine. The uncommon Patrols your discard pile, and if it’s empty, you get 2 Attack, in addition to the 3 the card already provides. His second common does not tie in to the shuffling mechanic, but it does have the instinct class, making it useful towards activating the first common’s superpower. Finally, Shang-Chi’s rare: you will probably find this card in your hand more often than any other single card, particularly if you can constantly start the shuffling chain reaction. Anytime you shuffle your discard pile and the rare is in it, set it aside and place the rare on top of your deck once you are done shuffling. This means that whenever you reshuffle while the rare is in your discard pile, you are guaranteed to get the rare on your next turn, if you don’t get to draw it during the current turn, of course. Supplement Shang-Chi with instincts heroes and heroes that draw cards. Wolverine would be his ideal partner.
The Captain and the Devil – For the first time in Legendary, we get two heroes for the price of one, as a gladiator version of Captain America teams up with Devil Dinosaur. Using what are now the traditional mechanics of Legendary Captain Americas, DinoCap benefits from multiple classes in both his commons, represented by Spectrum abilities. Their first common supplies two classes and 1 Recruit, with the potential to jump up to 3 Recruit if you attain Spectrum. The second common works similarly with Attack, going from 2 Attack to 4 with Spectrum. DinoCap’s uncommon brings in a Patrol ability, allowing you to KO a card from your hand or discard pile if the Streets are empty. Their rare is quite interesting, granting an “area of effect” ability that has the potential to take out multiple villains in the city with a little luck. After playing the rare, every time you defeat a villain this turn, each adjacent villain or Mastermind (it means Hyperion, here, since he’s the only Mastermind who could be “adjacent” to a villain) gets -2 Attack. So, if you’re able to hit villains on either side of a third villain, you would reduce that third bad guy by -4 Attack, potentially defeating him for free if he’s a weak enough villain! DinoCap, like the base game Captain, can serve as a supplement to decks built around other heroes, or as the core of a deck.
Elsa Bloodstone – For the first time since the base game, Legendary added a new S.H.I.E.L.D. hero to the game! (The Cap75 expansion included two more, whom we have previously looked at.) With Elsa, you’ll want to focus your deck on two things: activating Spectrum abilities and exclusively recruiting S.H.I.E.L.D. heroes, if you can. Fortunately, you can do both with Elsa’s cards alone. All five classes are represented across her cards. Recruiting her first common will grant you two of these classes, which if combined with any of her other cards will trigger Spectrum. The Spectrum ability on her second common allows you to KO unwanted cards, gaining additional Recruit for doing so. Her rare is very straightforward, providing 6 Attack up front, with another 3 locked behind a Spectrum ability. Elsa’s uncommon is her only card that needs to be played in any sort of order. It grants +1 Attack for every S.H.I.E.L.D. hero played before it, so you’ll want to play it as your last card. Nick Fury from the base game possesses a very similar uncommon – same ability, same cost – but Fury’s card provides 1 Attack up front, while Elsa’s Wall-Crawls, making it very useful early in the game. Team Elsa Bloodstone with any other S.H.I.E.L.D. hero, and consider hanging on to your starter S.H.I.E.L.D. heroes a little bit longer so that you can get the most out of her uncommon.
Arkon the Magnificent – Patrol abilities appear on nine of Arkon’s fourteen cards, so be prepared for that if you’re thinking about recruiting his cards. His second common provides 2 Recruit, plus an additional point if the Sewers are empty (anticipate that they won’t be, however). More importantly, the card is multiclassed, which serves Arkon’s first common well, since the two commons together have enough different classes to trigger the “draw a card” Spectrum ability on the first common. Arkon’s uncommon can provide up to 4 Attack, but 1 of it is locked behind a Patrol requiring two adjacent, empty city spaces. His rare Patrols the Rooftops, and rewards you regardless of whether the Rooftops are empty or occupied: if they are empty, you get 4 Attack and 4 Recruit, and if they are occupied, you get to forcefully evict the villain there for free. With no overarching mechanic governing his cards, Arkon can serve as a ready supplement to other heroes, but works well enough to stand as the primary hero of a deck. If you’re looking to surround him with friends, aim for a variety of classes other than range, so that you can activate his Spectrum ability more easily.
Secret Wars, Volume 2 was immediately followed by the Captain America 75th Anniversary small box set, which we have already taken a look at. This means that we are now completely caught up with Legendary: A Marvel Deck-Building Game! But the game is far from finished; Upper Deck has already scheduled two more expansions this year, with more expected to follow next year. The next set is scheduled for release in August, themed after a major event in the comics that made it to the silver screen just a few months ago: Marvel’s Civil War.
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