The rapidly growing popularity of Marvel’s most famous mercenary, capped by a highly
successful solo film in 2016, inspired Upper Deck to base an entire small box expansion around the mouthy anti-hero. Featuring characters from Deadpool’s more recent adventures, and employing frequent use of his iconic fourth wall breaking throughout, Legendary Deadpool takes the crown as the most deliberately humorous Legendary expansion to date.
What’s in this set – 5 heroes with one new team (two if you haven’t played Legendary Villains), 2 Masterminds, 2 Villain Groups, and 4 Schemes.
For previous Legendary sets –
New Feature: 1/2 Points – Various hero cards in this set feature Attack or Recruit points in 1/2 increments instead of whole numbers. These work the same as ordinary Attack and Recruit points, although a single half won’t do you any good on its own. Cards with 1/2 points tend to be cost-balanced as if the 1/2 wasn’t there, so stacking such cards will net you a few bonus Attack or Recruit points than the cost would suggest, giving you a slight edge.
New Keywords –
- Excessive Violence – Found on both heroes and villains, this keyword grants abilities or effects if you fight a villain or Mastermind and spend one more Attack point than necessary. Doing so will immediately activate all Excessive Violence abilities among the cards you’ve played. You may only fight with Excessive Violence once per turn, so you may only use the ability on each card once per turn. Also, any card you play after fighting with Excessive Violence will be too late for the party and cannot be activated, so plan your plays accordingly.
- Revenge – Some villains feature this keyword followed by a card type (usually the name of their villain group). When you fight a villain with Revenge, that villain gets +1 Attack for each card of the specified type that you have in your Victory Pile. (We saw this exact effect on the Mandroid Henchman Villain Group in the Civil War expansion, although there was no corresponding keyword at that time.) This is a personal effect, so it doesn’t matter how many of the cards the other players have in their Victory Piles; all that matters if how many you have in yours.
New Masterminds –
- Evil Deadpool – Sewn together from the dismembered parts of other Deadpools, Evil Deadpool starts at a respectable 11 Attack, but can rise to max of 15 because of his Revenge for Mastermind Tactics. His Master Strike forces every player to discard a card, and further punishes the player (or players) who discards the lowest-costing card. In essence, this requires each player to choose between discarding a valuable card or discarding and gaining a Wound, making it a pretty hefty penalty regardless. Evil Deadpool always leads the Evil Deadpool Corpse villain group.
- Macho Gomez – With 9 Attack to start with and Revenge for Deadpool’s “Friends,” Macho Gomez is no slouch. His Master Strike is unique in that it primarily affects the current player rather than everyone. The player who draws the Master Strike immediately puts the Strike in front of him as a “bounty,” then each player gains a Wound for every bounty in front of him. Don’t want a bounty, or have too many? During your turn you may pay 1 Recruit any number of times to remove a bounty from yourself and hand it to the player on your left! Macho Gomez leads the Deadpool’s “Friends” villain group.
New Villain Groups –
- Deadpool’s “Friends” – Initially with low Attack values, all members of this villain group have Revenge and/or other mechanics to gain additional power.
- Evil Deadpool Corpse – Every villain in this group has Revenge, plus some punishing Fight, Ambush, or Escape effects. A few of them offset this difficulty with some beneficial Fight effects.
New Schemes – The Schemes in this set do not distinguish themselves so much by their mechanics as by their thematic humor. “Deadpool Writes a Scheme,” for instance, has Deadpool breaking the fourth wall all over the place, making for what feels like haphazard gameplay rules. “Deadpool Wants a Chimichanga,” on the other hand, has a very standard set of rules, but insists that all Bystanders should be referred to as chimichangas, leading to some bizarre and hilarious dialogue during gameplay! (“Okay, so Magneto captures a… Shapeshifted Chimichanga?! What the…”)
New Heroes – As full of himself as Deadpool is, he doesn’t ride alone in this expansion. The Merc with a Mouth is accompanied by an entourage of wacky and mentally unstable companions. Four of the anti-heroes in this set (including a new version of Deadpool) belong to a new affiliation, the Mercs for Money. The fifth and final character fights under the banner of Hydra, a team introduced in the Legendary Villains spinoff, and expanded on in Legendary Villains: Fear Itself, but a brand new team to the main Legendary line if you haven’t dabbled into Villains.
Mercs for Money
Deadpool – Like the man himself, Deadpool’s skill set is a bit chaotic, even disjointed, but it also manages to cover all the iconic aspects of the character: Wounds and healing, breaking the fourth wall, and general gabbiness. His first common either provides 2 Attack or 2 Recruit, depending on the time of day in the real world. Or, you can get both benefits if you activate a tech superpower. His second common will either get rid of a Wound in your hand or discard pile, or give you a Wound if you do not already have one. If you’re able to purge the Wound, you gain +1 Attack, supplying a total of 3 1/2 Attack for a cost of 4, an excellent value. Deadpool’s uncommon is a card you can build a deck around, and the only one of his cards that can tie his entire skill set together. The uncommon provides an extra 1/2 Attack for each other card with flavor text you’ve played on your turn. Fortunately, Deadpool and his allies use flavor text all over the place, so building a “flavor deck” shouldn’t be difficult. His rare grants a one-time use ability triggered by Excessive Violence, allowing you to take a second turn immediately after finishing your current turn. Now, the text on this card is somewhat ambiguous, and could be interpreted to mean that each player may only use this ability once per game (the base game Deadpool’s rare and some cards in this set permit or even force players to exchange cards). That, however, would be up to your gaming group. Overall, this version of Deadpool is best used as support, with the exception of his uncommon, which you can build an entire deck around. His first common works well in tech decks, while his second common would be an excellent fit with heroes who make use of Wounds, such as Hulk or (possibly the best teammate for this card) the base game Wolverine.
Slapstick – A cartoon character come to life, Slapstick relies heavily on Excessive Violence effects. His first common is a simple card, granting 2 1/2 Attack and permitting you to rescue a Bystander if you use Excessive Violence. The range class on this common will activate the range superpower on his second common, a fourth wall-breaking ability that lets you draw a card if any of your fellow players are taller than you, grants +1 Recruit if any are shorter than you, or both benefits if both circumstances are true. Slapstick’s uncommon returns to Excessive Violence, which will let you draw an extra card when you draw a new set of cards at the end of your turn. Finally, his rare’s Excessive Violence ability provides two benefits, permitting you to recruit a hero from the HQ for free, and then shuffling your discard pile into your deck. A hero with straightforward abilities, Slapstick works well in decks built around Excessive Violence. With his large amount of range cards, he can also help pad out a range-centered deck.
Solo – While all the heroes in Deadpool make use of 1/2 points, Solo embraces them entirely. All of his cards feature an extra 1/2 point tacked onto the end of his numbers, which can add up if you focus on it. Ironically, Solo lacks a overarching mechanic, making him more of a support character than a solo one. His first common and his uncommon can pad out a tech deck, especially the uncommon, with its tech superpower that allows you to break the fourth wall and draw the top card of your deck if that card has a gun in the artwork (which would include all of Solo’s cards and the S.H.I.E.L.D. starter heroes, for example). His first common, in addition to tech decks, can work in Spider-Friends decks, due to its 2 cost, and with its lack of rules text, would make an excellent addition to a deck built around Black Bolt. Solo’s second common uses an Excessive Violence effect to grant a Recruit point in addition to the Attack it already provides, so a deck built around Excessive Violence will benefit here. His rare supplies a measly 2 1/2 Attack, but also cuts a single villain’s Attack value in half for your turn. Further, activating a Mercs for Money affiliation superpower will let you cut the Mastermind’s Attack in half for a single fight, in addition to the other benefits of the card. Solo brings some good options to support a variety of decks, including a few niche builds. A useful inclusion to the Hero Deck.Stingray – With his two commons, Stingray combines card drawing with city manipulation, and with his uncommon and rare presents options for KOing unwanted cards. His second common is a good starting point, as it draws a card and lets you move or swap a villain into an adjacent city space, and its tech class will activate a superpower on his first common. That first common also draws a card, and its superpower grants additional Attack against a villain in the bridge of sewers, or against the Mastermind. His uncommon supplies Recruit points, and its Excessive Violence ability allows you to KO a card in your discard pile or from your current turn. While KOing Wounds is always a good idea if you get manage it, KOing heroes here will pay off beautifully if you manage to get Stingray’s rare. His rare also permits you to KO a card, and its team-activated superpower turns all KOed heroes into extra Attack, granting 1/2 point for every hero in the KO pile. Stingray’s emphasis on the tech class make him an excellent contributor or primary hero for a tech-themed deck. He partners well with the tech cards from his teammate, Solo (despite Stingray’s lack of guns in his artwork).
Bob, Agent of Hydra – In the Fear Itself expansion to Legendary Villains, the rules sheet stated that you could consider Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. as the same affiliation for all purposes if you didn’t have any other Hydra characters. Whether that exception applies here or not is unspecified, but it doesn’t matter as far as Bob’s mechanics are concerned. Bob uses a combination of team, class, and Excessive Violence effects to draw as many cards as possible. His first common lets you reveal the top card of your deck and draw it if it is a Hydra or S.H.I.E.L.D. hero. His second common grants Recruit points, and uses Excessive Violence to draw a card. This card’s covert class will assist nicely in activating the superpower on Bob’s uncommon, which will have you look at the top card of another player’s deck and ask them a yes or no question about it. If the player guesses correctly, he draws the card. Otherwise, you draw a card. This gives you the opportunity to either assist a teammate or serve your own needs by adjusting your question to make it easier or more difficult to guess. Bob’s rare uses Excessive Violence to KO up to two Hydra or S.H.I.E.L.D. heroes in your discard pile, letting you draw as many cards as you KO. Bob can easily support any deck, but works particularly well in decks built around Excessive Violence effects or drawing cards. As the core hero of a deck, he should be surrounded by other S.H.I.E.L.D. or Hydra heroes, preferably covert, and no other affiliation if you can help it. Whether Bob’s Hydra team counts towards activating S.H.I.E.L.D. superpowers will have to be up to house ruling, and if you rule “no,” then avoid recruiting S.H.I.E.L.D. cards that require more S.H.I.E.L.D. heroes to reach their full potential, such as Nick Fury or Elsa Bloodstone’s uncommons.
Despite some good heroes, interesting mechanics, and its fun, lighthearted tone, whether Deadpool is a “must buy” expansion or not will depend on your opinion and knowledge of the character and his adventures. Not being a Deadpool fan myself, I wasn’t very hyped about this expansion, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. If you don’t mind or if you enjoy a little wackiness, I’d say the humor in this set is enough to merit a purchase. However, Captain America 75th Anniversary and Paint the Town Red still remain as the best “small box” options available.
Next, we’ll take a look at Legendary’s latest expansion, a walk through the grim and gritty streets of Marvel’s Noir universe!