Feb 1, 2016

[Games] Legendary: Villains - Fear Itself

Fear Itself is not my favorite Marvel comic book crossover event. But for one reason or another this storyline was selected as the basis for the first and thus far only expansion for Legendary: Villains, it was inevitable that we'd eventually get around to getting a copy of the card set for ourselves.

And while the comics weren't all that amazing, they did make for interesting additions to the ever-expanding world of Legendary deck building games. And the set also introduces some interesting card mechanics that do make the expansion a good addition to the collection.

If anything, this expansion did help make the comic book series seem a little better even if only in hindsight. While the story was a little confusing, the individual characters certainly make for interesting game pieces, in a manner of speaking. And to try and command a deck involving even just of the infamous hammer wielders does make for some interesting game sessions. But the adversaries in their path have also become equally potent, all the more making things fulfilling to attempt to complete.

Synopsis: Legendary: Villains - Fear Itself is the first expansion created for the Legendary: Villains line as created by Devon Low. The game continues to support 1-5 players and provides 100 new cards for the game.

The game provides six new allies for your fight against the heroes. Of course you start with Skadi as the leader of the Worthy - these being Kuurth, Nul, Skirn, Nerkkod, and Greithoth, these being the hammer-enabled versions of Juggernaut, The Hulk, Titania, Attuma, and Absorbing Man respectively. Each is empowered with their respective hammers and diverse card mechanics.

The game introduces the mechanic of Thrown Artifacts, which are similar to the Artifacts introduced in the Guardians and the Galaxy expansion. However these artifacts can be "thrown," which means they go to the bottom of the player deck. Throwing the artifact of course triggers special abilities like adding +2 Strike or providing +2 Recruit. And since they go straight to the bottom of your deck, the chances of drawing them again are much sooner than other cards that go through the regular reshuffling mechanic.

On the flip side we have a new adversary group in the form of the Mighty, these being the Uru-empowered versions of various heroes. They are typically led by the Commander Uru-Enchanted Iron Man, who is pretty lethal in his own right. Possessing Uru-enchanted weapons means they can reveal cards from the Adversary Deck and add the victory points to the strike value of the character. Players must determine ahead of time how much Strike they're going to allocate to the battle since they're unable to trigger other card effects to boost your power. And so a lot of times it becomes rather all-or-nothing when fighting the Mighty.

The game provides 3 more plots to play through including the titular Fear Itself scenario. The games are never all that easy, which is a shame since you don't fully get to feel like you really have a lot of power being one of the Worthy. They have some interesting card combos that can make things a lot of fun when taken all together, but getting those combos are never easy, as is a common problem in Legendary games.

It was interesting to note that they avoided trying to create character cards for the Grey Gargoyle and The Thing as hammer wielders. Admittedly it might have been more fun to have their power sets involved in the game, but admittedly things got pretty crazy in the comics and I get why they had to keep them out of the mix. There are just some lines that aren't easy to cross even in a card game.

Legendary: Villains - Fear Itself is still a decent enough expansion that adds some good game play diversity. I wish there was a bit more to it than just the Worthy or maybe even more adversaries than the Mighty and Iron Man, but they didn't really map out a larger expansion given the 100 card size of the expansion, But the game still gets a good 3.5 Asgardian hammer cards out of a possible 5.


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