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Review – Marvel Legendary: Ant-Man (Upper Deck)

Marvel Legendary Ant Man box art
Marvel Legendary Ant Man box art

Welcome to the Microverse

In Upper Deck’s small box expansion Marvel Legendary: Ant-Man, players will experience the strange “Microverse” of quarks and tachyons where the rules of physics can be bent… and even broken!

 

The Story

Welcome to a world of microscopic science and adventure… welcome to the Microverse! Ant-Man and Wasp are world-renowned adventurers – two of the original founding Avengers. Together, they have fought for justice in the Avengers’ greatest victories…and their most terrifying defeats. Far beyond other size-changing Heroes, Ant-Man and Wasp can actually shrink down to sub-atomic size, entering a strange “Microverse” of quarks and tachyons where the rules of physics can be bent… and even broken!

Ant-Man Heroes

Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, has always had a giant ego to match his genius intellect. In a fit of hubris, he created the powerful robotic intelligence “Ultron.” Ultron secretly upgraded itself again and again until it fought its way out of Ant-Man’s control. Ultron eventually built massive legions of robotic soldiers, threatening the world repeatedly and upgrading into a stronger form each time.

Isolated, Ultron built himself a robotic bride named Jocasta, forcing Ant-Man to adapt a variant of Wasp’s brainwaves into the robot. Jocasta later broke free, becoming an Avenger in her own right with her powerful intellect and electromagnetic energies.

In another reality-bending adventure, the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay pulled the Avengers into an alternate Earth. There, she twisted their minds into medieval identities as her “Queen’s Vengeance.” In this land of chivalry, the Villain-turned-Avenger Black Knight felt right at home. Ultimately, it was the Avenger Wonder Man who was able to overpower Morgan le Fay by channeling his ionic energies to break her spell.

 

What’s in the Box

The expansion includes 100 playable cards. There are 5 new Heroes (Ant-Man, Black Knight, Jocasta, Wasp, and Wonder Man); 2 new Villain groups (Queen’s Vengeance and Ultron’s Legacy); and 2 new Masterminds (Morgan le Fay and Ultron).

Ant-Man Masterminds

Upper Deck also continues the tradition of including an advanced option for each Mastermind, with the double-sided cards that flip over for a more difficult Epic Mastermind. There are also 4 new schemes, including an Age of Ultron scheme. This scheme follows the 1970s comic book storyline rather than the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe one, where Hank Pym creates the powerful robotic intelligence, Ultron.

 

New Keywords

As with every new Legendary expansion, Ant-Man introduces new keywords. Empowered and Chivalrous Duel are new to the Ant-Man expansion, while Size-Changing and Microscopic Size-Changing have previously appeared in Legendary® Civil War and Legendary® Champions.

Size-Changing and Microscopic Size-Changing

This keyword represents Heroes and Villains using superpowers to shrink, grow, or massively change their size or the size of a weapon, technology, or energy.

When a Hero card has Size-Changing, another card with that same class can be recruited for 2 less. If a Villain card has Size-Changing, you can fight that Villain for 2 less if you have played any cards with that same class on that turn.

Ant-Man and Wasp can change their size to a whole new scale with Microscopic Size-Changing. Another card with that same class can be recruited for 2 less for each card of that class that you played this turn, up to the indicated number of times. Additionally, Microscopic Size-Changing can actually reduce a card’s Recruit cost to zero or even a negative cost. When recruiting a Microscopic Size-Changing Hero with a negative cost, you gain those negative recruitment points, which you can apply to the recruitment of another hero. Pretty cool!

Ant-Man Ultron Mastermind
Ant-Man Ultron Mastermind

Likewise, if a Villain card has Microscopic Size-Changing, you can fight that Villain for 2 less if you have played any cards with that same class on that turn. And with Microscopic Size-Changing, that Villain is fought for 2 less attack for each card of the same class that is played this turn, up to the indicated number of times.

Empowered

The Empowered keyword represents Heroes and Villains who draw power from ambient energy, technology, or superpowers around them. Some Heroes are Empowered by a specific class. If there are other cards of that same class in the HQ, they get +1 attack for each of those cards. Similarly, if a Villain is Empowered, they will get +1 attack on the active player for each corresponding class cards in the HQ. Some cards are “Double Empowered” or “Triple Empowered”. This gives them +2 or +3 for each corresponding class card in the HQ.

As cards enter and leave the HQ, Empowered cards can get stronger or weaker. Recruiting a specific Hero from the HQ at a specific time will weaken an Empowered enemy or strengthen an Empowered Hero in your hand. Planning the order to play your cards can create very powerful turns.

Chivalrous Duel

The Chivalrous Duel keyword represents how Morgan le Fay and the knights of her “Queen’s Vengeance” hail from a realm of honorable combat. You can’t gang up on an enemy in a Chivalrous Duel – only one Hero may duel the enemy.

 

Overall Impression

Admittedly, I am not super familiar with many of the earlier ages of comic books. But that is one thing that I really appreciate and love about playing Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. With each new expansion, I learn about more characters, their origins, and their stories.

Ant-Man scheme cards

If it wasn’t for this expansion and Upper Deck’s specific cultivation of heroes and schemes, I probably would not have known that Ultron was initially Hank Pym’s own robotic creation, different from Tony Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program from the MCU’s Age of Ultron movie. I may never have known about his robotic bride, Jocasta, who later broke free and became an Avenger herself.

I’ve said it before: I am a Marvel Legendary completionist. I will buy whatever sets they throw out there. This is a small box expansion, so there are just a handful of new heroes, villains, masterminds, and schemes. But the use of Size-Changing and Microscopic Size-Changing in the context of Ant-Man and his allies and foes is fun. Creating combos with the Empowered keyword can set up very powerful combos. And who doesn’t like a killer combo?

So if you enjoy Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Game Statistics

  • Release Date: 2018
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Playing Time: 30-60 minutes
  • Age Range: 14+
  • Player Count: 1-5

 


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About the author

Shanon Connelly

(a.k.a. “Super Muffin Girl”) is an avid board gamer, cosplayer, and all around nerd girl. She has been cosplaying for over 10 years, attending several conventions every year. She recently started a YouTube gaming channel, "Time to Play!", which previews and reviews board games. Follow Shanon on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@supermuffingirl).

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