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Review – Marvel Legendary: Revelations (Upper Deck)

Marvel Legendary Revelations box cropped for featured image

Marvel Legendary: Revelations

The Story

Marvel Legendary expansions have been generally released either around the overall concept of a character, team or event. Marvel Legendary: Revelations doesn’t have the same built-in narrative, as it does not contain the same overall concept. Instead, these are more driven by mechanics and then sort of backwards-connected. That said, the overall theme here is that of characters with dark pasts and how they deal with them.

What’s in the Box

Marvel Legendary Revelations box
Marvel Legendary: Revelations

This is the first expansion for Marvel Legendary of this size. At a size of 200 cards, it is half the size in terms of card count of a large expansion. By comparison, an expansion like X-Men has 394 cards. Those who pick it up though will be surprised to see that it comes in the small box size (similar to all of the smaller sets—Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Four, etc.).

Revelations introduces nine new heroes: Captain Marvel, Agent of SHIELD, Darkhawk, Hellcat, Photon, Quicksilver, Ronin, Scarlet Witch, Speed, and War Machine. There are four groups of new villains, and two of henchmen villains: Army of Evil, Dark Avengers, Hood’s Gang, Lethal Legion, HYDRA Base, and Mandarin’s Rings. There are three new Masterminds (all of which become epic): Grim Reaper, Mandarin, and The Hood. Additionally, there are four new schemes, all of which transform (including the very necessary House of M/No More Mutants), and three new bystanders.

It is also worth mentioning that this expansion is the first to contain a fan-designed hero. One lucky fan won the right to design Hellcat. Seemingly, the design process went fairly well; the initial design of the character seems to be mostly what we see in the final version.

New Keywords

There are four new keywords: Dark Memories, Hyperspeed, Last Stand, and Locations (though this is not a keyword, exactly). Dark Memories benefits from different hero types being available in the discard pile. Last Stand gives additional attack based on how many spaces in the city are empty. Hyperspeed is the strongest of the new keywords. Players get to flip through their player decks and get plus one attack for every attack symbol which shows up. Locations are exactly as they would seem, though as of yet, are only available for villain characters.

Overall Impression

Marvel Legendary Revelations House of M No More Mutants cards
House of M/No More Mutants cards

This set knocks a few other big names off of the diminishing list of characters that fans are after in Marvel Legendary by finally providing Scarlet Witch, War Machine, Quicksilver, Hellcat, Photon, and Ronin. Despite these big names making their way into this set, fans might not necessarily be happy with these heroes. War Machine and Ronin end up being middle-of-the-pack heroes. They have decent enough effects, though are probably not characters that one might want to build a deck around. Scarlet Witch was seemingly designed with her role as both villain and hero in mind. Her cards seem to fit well enough into the House of M scheme to not make it impossible, while also giving her playability as a character.

Characters

Marvel Legendary Revelations Hypersonic Cannon War Machine Hyperspeed card
Marvel Legendary: Revelations – Hypersonic Cannon War Machine Hyperspeed

A real standout here is Quicksilver; this is one that players might want to consider for a power deck (designed for taking down Apocalypse, Galactus, Thanos, etc.). If played right, his rare card with Hyperspeed can go for a lot of power (13 or so per turn from this card was typical). As he runs through the remainder of the player deck with this card, it is even possible to draw the same card again if a card is played that allows the player to draw. This means that it can be possible to play the rare twice in a hand. Photon is likely the second strongest character as she does a good job at both recruiting and attacking.

Hellcat ends up being an interesting character, as the result of the fan-design contest. Her abilities are somewhat unlike most other characters across Legendary. It is, therefore, evident that the character was designed by someone other than Devin Low. If used properly, she could be used in inventive ways to manipulate your deck, and could theoretically work well in a lot of different setups.

There were two surprises here. The first is that Darkhawk was such a powerful character and really one that could deserve mention among those considering the build of a power deck. The other surprise was a bad one; this release’s version of Captain Marvel is clunky and almost feels as though it was not well play-tested before being put into the final set. Last Stand doesn’t really work as an effect (though it somehow works better with Photon than with Captain Marvel) as it is too underpowered. The best I can think for Captain Marvel here is that she might work well with one of the SHIELD-focused decks.

Locations

Marvel Legendary Revelations Laser Maze Location card
Marvel Legendary: Revelations – Laser Maze Location card

Locations are also a new and not necessarily important addition to Marvel Legendary. The playing board, and especially the villain area, already gets pretty congested at times with human shields, bystanders, domination, and other effects; this is just one more thing to squeeze into the board. Usually, as well, when we see a new keyword, they tend to show up disproportionally in that release, and so the number of effects coming from Master Strikes is a bit out of proportion. It is nice to see that they had enough foresight to include the HYDRA Base as a henchman villain. This seems to fit more with both the theme and the mechanics than other uses of the locations.

In fact, although Marvel Legendary is generally a better game than the DC Comics Deck-Building Game, this is one case where DC has them beat. The locations seem to have a more organic feel in the DC deck-builder. Conversely, Mandarin’s Rings are kind of an annoyance as a henchman villain, as the main role of these cards is to hinder the weaker cards from the player decks, and the Mandarin’s Rings aren’t the best in this regard.

Final Analysis

As an overall assessment of this set, it is good but suffers, at this point, from the breadth of Marvel Legendary. In the early days, there was a lot of excitement when a small box like Fantastic Four or Guardians of the Galaxy gave us new heroes with some fun mechanics for a cheap price. This is halfway between a small and big expansion in terms of size, but also in terms of overall impact. In terms of fan service alone it is worth it; it is knocking off a lot of characters that players have been yearning for. Fans of Marvel Legendary will likely want this in their collection.

 

Game Statistics

  • Release Date: August 2019
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Playing Time: 45-60 minutes
  • Age Range: 14+
  • Player Count: 1-5

 


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Edward Wendt

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