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This is the fifth in a seven part series on superhero games. In this entry, I’ll discuss Legendary plus a bunch of its expansions.

Legendary is our favorite deck building game, which explains why we have so many expansions:

  1. Captain America 75th Anniversary
  2. Dark City
  3. Fantastic Four
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Paint the Town Red
  6. Secret Wars 1

Professor and I play this game quite a bit, so I’ll just explain the 2 player set up. You choose 5 Heroes (each has a 14 card deck) and shuffle them together to create the 70 card Hero Deck. Each Hero has at least one icon on the card indicating the Hero Type. This is important to look at when you’re choosing your Heroes because if Iron Man is the only Tech Type Hero you have, it’s going to be difficult to use some of his special abilities. Also, some Villains and Masterminds attack you unless you have a certain class of Hero or a Hero on a certain team (like Avengers).

You choose your Mastermind and Scheme, which will tell you what has to be in your Villain Deck (Villain Groups, Henchmen Groups, Bystanders, Scheme Twists, and Master Strikes). The Mastermind plus its 4 Mastermind Tactic cards and the Scheme card go in their indicated locations on the board. The rest of the “villain” cards are shuffled together to create the Villain Deck. There’s also places on the board for the rest of the Bystanders, Wounds (30 in the base), and SHIELD Officer Maria Hill (30). Each player gets a 12 card starting deck (8 SHIELD Agents and 4 SHIELD Troopers).

Unless a card flipped over during the game says otherwise, there are always 5 Heroes available to recruit in the HQ. Recruit cost is indicated in the lower right of a card and recruit points are indicated with a star. For example Black Widow’s Mission Accomplished card costs 2 recruit points.Savage Land Mutates

The first thing you do on your turn is flip over the top card of the Villain Deck, usually placing it in the City, and follow any instructions on the card. Each villain has an attack power indicated by a Wolverine-like slash in the lower right, and you have to have that that much attack power to defeat that villain. For example a Savage Land Mutates Henchman Villain has an attack of 3, which can be defeated by Hawkeye’s Covering Fire since it has an attack of 3.

Once you’ve followed the instructions on the card from the Villain deck, you take your turn. You decide which order to play your cards in (which can be important for special abilities), so you can recruit and then attack or vice versa. You can even recruit, attack, and then recruit again. Sometimes you might only be able to recruit or attack, and there are some unfortunate turns when you can’t do anything.

The ultimate goal is to defeat the Mastermind (which has to be done 4 times to win), but other goals depend on which Mastermind and Scheme you chose. You may need to stop Villains from escaping the City (this happens when there isn’t room on the City for another Villain) or rescue Bystanders.Covering Fire

One thing that really helps is the ability to KO cards because you can get rid of the starter cards and get to the higher level, harder hitting cards. The last time we played, this deck cleaning ability was something we were really lacking, so we really struggled to get the 12 attack needed to defeat the Mastermind (Authoritarian Iron Man).

The competitive aspect of the game is that at the end, the player with the most points from defeating villains wins. We usually skip this part.

Each expansion adds new Heroes and abilities, Masterminds, Schemes, and Villain Groups. Some expansions add new Henchmen Groups, special Bystanders, and Wound types. Then a few add new cards like Sidekicks and Ambition. The Guardians of the Galaxy expansion adds Shard tokens.

So we have a lot of Heroes to choose from when building our Hero Deck, and we certainly haven’t tried every Hero or every combination. We do know that Avengers (from the original game) often work really well together (Black Widow, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Captain America, and Hulk), but the Fantastic Four does not make a good team. We almost always play with Spider-Man. He’s Professor’s favorite hero, and his cards often let you draw more cards during your turn which can be extremely useful. I like Black Widow, especially when we’re rescuing Bystanders, because her “ultimate” ability card gives you attack power equal to the number of Bystanders you’ve rescued.

When we get to choose the Henchmen Groups, we usually pick Savage Land Mutates (they let you draw an extra card for the turn after you defeat them) and Hand Ninjas (they give you +1 Recruit when you defeat them).

We haven’t tried out all the Schemes or Masterminds yet, but some are more difficult than others. The Schemes Dark Alliance and Crush Them With My Bare Hands can cause you to lose if you get an unlucky shuffle of the Villain Deck. The former causes you to lose once the 7th Scheme Twist is drawn and the latter when the 8th Master Strike (Twists count as Master Strikes)

has taken effect. Also some Scheme/Mastermind combos are just a bad idea like Carnage with Pan-Dimensional Plague. Carnage gives you a lot of Wounds and the Scheme causes you to lose when the Wound deck runs out.

We love playing this game and love it’s replayability.

In the next entry, I’ll discuss another favorite Sentinels of the Multiverse.

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