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The Champions are here and determined to bring optimism to the world after Civil War II when Avenger fought Avenger. This 100 card small box expansion contains new Heroes, Schemes, Villains, and Masterminds.Champions.
The MONSTERS UNLEASHED boxed set Champions expansion introduces a new generation of heroes and villains and some of them including Gwenpool (aka Gwendalyn Pool), Viv Vision, Ms Marvel, Nova and Fin Fang Foom in particular find there way into the LEGENDARY CHAMPIONS expansion pack. Here are also the brilliant Totally Awesome Hulk (aka Amadeus Cho) plus Pagliacci and his Wrecking Crew.

Supporting character Fin Fang Foom from the Marvel MONSTERS UNLEASHED box set now appears as one of the two Masterminds. It (Fin Fang Foom is an alien dragon from Kakaranathara aka Maklu IV) has 4 Mastermind Tactic support cards: Alien Dragon Technology, Flammable Acid Breath, Multipronged Assault and Supersonic Dive Attack; all with the same card illustration as their Mastermind leader but each with their own Fight abilities. To the best of my knowledge I searched the internet and through all the LEGENDARY cards I have)this is the first time that the second Mastermind in CHAMPIONS, Pagliacci, has appeared in the game in any form (I may be wrong and would welcome any  information to set me right please). Like Fin Fang Foom (Mastermind) Pagliacci has four supporting Mastermind Tactic cards with the same illustration but different abilities: Commedia Dell'Morte, Creative Assassin, Insane Clown Has A Posse and Jester of the Twisted Opera. From the internet I discovered that Pagliacci is an Assassin that leads the Commedia Dell'Morte crime syndicate. In this boxed expansion he "Always Leads" the Wrecking Crew.

 

Both Masterminds also have a series of associated "Villain" cards.
The Wrecking Crew are made up of: Bulldozer (x2) Piledriver (x2) Thunderball (x2) and The Wrecker (x2).
The villains for Fin Fang Foom are members of Monsters Unleashed and the eight cards are all different, no duplicates: Goom, Groot from Planet X, Monsteroso, Orrgo, Tim Boo Ba, Trull the Unhuman, Sporr and Zzutak.

The Heroes: Gwenpool, Ms Marvel, Nova, Totally Awesome Hulk and Viv Vision. There are 14 cards in each CHAMPION (Hero) set. New players to the game or those unfamiliar with the Marvel Universe may be a little confused as to there being no "Hero" under the card's title

Gwenpool cards. Come On, Nobody reads Card Names (x5 Covert) I Heard Keywords Are Powerful (x3 Instinct) I'm The Best At Board Games (x1 Instinct) I'll Rescue You If I Feel Like It (x5 Instinct). 

Ms Marvel cards. Big Impact (x5 Strength), Long Arm of the Law (x5 Covert), Need to Stretch My Legs (3 Covert) and Rising Hope (x1 Strength).

Nova cards.  Growing Nova Force (x1 Ranged), Holographic Projection (x3 Ranged), Interstellar Hero (x5 Ranged) and Space Cop (x5 Strength).

Totally Awesome Hulk cards. Beloved Behemoth (x5 Strength), Growing Pains (x3 Strength), Incredible Mind, Awesome Body (x5 Tech) and Smartest Man in the World (x1 Tech)).

Viv Vision cards.  After Molecular Density (x1 Tech ), Crowdsourcing (x3 Ranged), Expanding Neural Network (x5 Tech) and Walking Wi-Fi (x5 Tech).

These Champions are Teenage Super Heroes. They formed together as an heroic team (somewhat like DCs Teen Titans) to fight for Justice and against criminal use of power. 

 

The remaining four cards (of the 100) are Schemes: Clash of the Monsters Unleashed.  Divide and Conquer. Hypnotize Every Human. Steal All Oxygen On Earth.

To date, every expansion for this super superhero card game that I have seen, introduces new rules and/or regulations, generally described as "Keywords". This expansion, CHAMPIONS, is no exception, and as well as a very new keyword there are three additional keywords that have been seen before but perhaps forgotten in the greater scheme of things and are revised here to give them a well-deserved extra airing.

The revitalised keywords are from what I have discovered (I haven't got any of these sets but the internet is a good place to search for information - especially Boardgamegeek):  Versatile (from the well appreciated Dark City), Size-changing (found in Civil War), and Demolish (from Villains) and the new keyword is the excellent "Cheering Crowds" which gives the heroes a boost as if they were being cheered on by bystanders in similar fashion to the fans who line the Mall whenever the Queen (of England) is out and about (or when there's a Royal Wedding, a star studded red carpet for a film premiere or perhaps a popular football match - I'm sure you get the picture).

To help identify certain cards, basically those with special actions or conditions, there is a "snowflake type icon" next to the card's Attack or Cost value. This "snowflake" can be found on Fin Fang Foom, 7 of the Monster's Unleashed Villains, 3 Gwenpool cards, all 14 Ms Marvel cards, 1 Nova card, all 14 Totaly Awesome Hulk cards and 5 Viv Vision cards.

     

I'm not going to reprint it now, but I advise you to read the examples of how to use the Cheering Crowds ability because it is a little more complicated than it first seems. Cheering Crowds basically lets you play a duplicate of the card you just played immediately after you played it. This is a powerful and fun addition to the game and no doubt will be featured in future expansion sets. To use Cheering Crowds you need a card worth duplicating and a Bystander card which you can discard, thus creating the twin.

Versatile. Cards with this keyword are there to give the heroes bonus recruitment or fight. Use Versatile with Cheering Crowds and you have a powerful combination.

Size-Changing. Works for Heroes or Villains. Allows the character to expand or contract their physical size and for some characters this can also affect their weapons - causes some surprising fun and occasional disraught for the player on the receiving end of its effect.

Demolish. This is a marvellous effect for Villains who use Enchanted Weapons against the Heroes. Demolish is a rather strong word for the actual effect which is the loss of a card, randomly determined by the value of the top card of the Hero deck, "Decimate" or "Devastate" even "Pulverise" work better for me than "Demolish" but in truth it doesn't matter what the keyword is, the effect chalks one up for the Villains.

There is one extra little Easter-Egg that requires mentioning and that is the Mastermind cards Fin Fang Foom and Pagliacci are not general run-of-the-mill character cards, they are actually double-sided - check you are using the correct side when playing - with Red text under the title determining that this side of the card is for the "Epic" version of the Mastermind and although I can think of several words to describe using them on this side I think the rules sheet says it perfectly, they are "extra-nasty".

Schemes are just schemes. Each set has them, they are required, they add to the fun, but funnily enough they are always the least spoken about. This is probably because they set the scene (funny that) for the game as to what cards are used in the setup and the particular Twists they might introduce to prevent smooth playing. 

You can make a reasonably good, playable, deck from the 100 cards in this set but they are better suited for integration with the other cards you have - if you have no other cards you could make two 50 card decks from this set but to be honest if you don't already own a boxed set with the rules then it is unlikely you are going to purchase an expansion. If you want a good fun deck you might try doing what I did as soon as I had the opportunity, adding the Gwenpool cards into a Deadpool based deck - Dead-Gwen-Pool, is a fun combination. Try that, along with some choice padding and then play them against a combo of cards featuring Fin Fang Foom and Vulture; two techo Masterminds against a pair of camera-hogging, fourth-wall-breaking Boneheads. Having played through that scenario 2-3 times as games I'd pay well to see that as an MCU movie! What I wouldn't do (though I did) is combine Ms Marvel and the Totally Awesome Hulk. They sound a phenominal choice to merge together and perhaps a good movie-director could make something of them, but in this game they are both a little underpowered to really hit the heights that other combinations, Heroes or Masterminds or Villains, from the many amazing sets of LEGENDARY cards, expansions and boxed sets, can reach. 

LEGENDARY is not just a card game of fighting, it is an exciting way to use your imagination through the creation of fun filled or powerful decks or a combination of both. Build your decks, play them against each other and if one is too powerful or too weak then use your creativity to fabricate decks that are reasonably balanced (for playing against friends) or totally prodigious in strength and power for tournaments or when your opponent means serious business.

 is a good self-standing set (yes, obviously you need a base set as well) but it makes a better training ground from which to spawn, contrive and concoct unbeatable (well almost) decks of immensity. 

Some expansions you can do without, unless you are obsessional about the game, but certain releases are exceptional to the game, and this is definitely one you should have.

You should be able to obtain LEGENDARY CHAMPIONS from your favourite local games store for between £16.00 - £25.00. Remember that although you can purchase this for the same price online by supporting your local game store you are keeping a bricks and mortar building in business. Plus you get personal service, can take the game home with you as soon as you hand over the cash or credit card and will be at home delving into all of it's fun and dark secrets whilst the online buyer is still sitting by their front door waiting for the postman to arrive.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015