Jun 21, 2018

[Games] Legendary: Secret Wars - Volume 2 Review

Building on the fun craziness provided by Legendary: Secret Wars - Volume 1 of course a Volume 2 big box expansion was in order. And thus we get Legendary: Secret Wars - Volume 2 which at times feels like a "lighter" expansion as it explores more of the parallel realms that got incorporated into Battleworld but also adds some tricky keywords that nicely shake up your deck building gameplay.

The game also introduces some relatively niche factions that have not gotten new members in some time but they're still pretty strong and it's hard to not have them in the set for all the fun they bring. In other words - it's another solid addition to the game featuring a lot of fan favorites.

Legendary: Secret Wars - Volume 2 is a big box expansion for the Legendary Marvel Deck Building game as designed by Devin Low.

The set brings in new factions that were central to Secret Wars to some degree, particularly the insidious Cabal to finally face off against the Illuminati. But you also get to enhance existing factions with new heroes like Agent Venom and fan favorite Spider-Gwen. You also get some of the quirkier characters from alternate universes like Dr. Punisher The Soldier Supreme and Ruby Summers.

The game also features a number of new keywords and rules. Spectrum unlocks new powers if you also played cards of three different hero classes that turn. Patrol triggers effects based on whether or not a villain card is occupying particular parts of the city. And you get weird stuff like villain abilities like Circle of Kung-Fu (or Quack-Fu for Howard the Duck). And there's the rather annoying Fateful Resurrection that gives villains a chance to come back into play right after you defeat them. And don't forget Charge that has villain cards leaping forward as soon as they enter the city, increases the chances of pushing other villain cards out of the city, thus triggering escape effects.

What I Liked: The character assortment in this set is pretty bonkers with the Spider Friend getting the biggest boost with Agent Venom, Silk and Spider-Gwen. Corvis Glave and Black Swan are also interesting additions as "hero" cards despite their villainous nature and Shang-Chi is a tricky Defender character but his card strategy is quite unique. Spectrum is a glorious simple card mechanic similar to Savior from the Captain American expansion where once you hit the minimum threshold you already get the bonus abilities.

In terms of the villains, the additions in this set are a lot more playful and crazy with the likes of Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars and the Monster Metropolis both featuring crazing additions from the Deadpool part of the Marvel Universe. And you get odd gems like X-Men '92, themed to the popular 90's X-Men animated series.

What Could Have Been Better: Patrol is a rather infuriating keyword that during your mid-game is hard to trigger is you're bound to have villains in the different city spaces, thus often negating their effects. This is especially felt with rather terrible heroes like Time-Traveling Jean Grey. She's a really, really bad hero and I've yet to see someone play her effectively in our many games.

Then the difficult level gets kind of bonkers, especially when you square off Masterminds like Immortal Emperor Zheng-Zhu, the primary foe of Shang-Chi. You need to gather a ridiculous amount of attack points to defeat him and often you'll run out of time, especially when playing the related scheme Master the Mysteries of Kung-Fu or even The Fountain of Eternal Life. So on the whole it feels like game balance was not a primary concern here as some scenarios and villains just go gonzo.

TL;DR: Legendary: Secret Wars - Volume 2 is a really fun set and it rounds out your Secret Wars experience for your games. It's hard to argue if one set or the other is better but it's a key set to have if you love the characters included. Thus the expansion gets a good 4 resurrecting villain cards out of a possible 5.

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