Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Captain America, the first Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D’s blue eyed boy scout arrives on the scene with a vibranium shield and a host of allies at his side. Before you bother reading the review, if you want a deck that can do everything very well and beat all the currently released scenarios, this is the pack for you. Let’s take a look at it.
Captain America/Steve Rogers
Let’s look at Steve first, recover 3 is not the strongest in the game and I’ll likely not use it much, especially if I can use Steve’s Apartment or have Cap’s Helmet in play. He also boasts a setup power allowing him to automatically recover his shield from the deck or discard pile at the start of game. Unlike #Thor though once you lose it you’ll need to cycle through your deck to get it back, so don’t just burn it for a resource. Steve’s main power however is to reduce the cost of the first ally played each round by 1.
Captain America is one of the most versatile heroes in the game, boasting good stats in all areas and a self readying function built into his card. This power, to discard a card and ready, means Cap is the ultimate solo hero, he can both defeat villains and control the scheme without really breaking a sweat.
Cap’s Shield is his primary card that many of his other cards resolve around. The shield itself costs 1 and buffs Cap to a nice 3 defence, capable of weathering most attacks and gives him Retaliate 1 to boot. Shield Toss is a super charged attack, costing 0 to do 4 damage to X enemies where X is a number of cards you discard. Assuming Cap has no other card draw he could easily still hit four enemies for 4 damage a piece which is enough to take out most minions and hit the boss. Shield Block, like Spiderman’s Backflip, cancels all damage from an attack, although you do need the Shield in play for it to work.
Steve’s Apartment is a single cost support and only works in alter ego form but it provides some healing and a card draw and while in Alter Ego form you can also make use of Steve’s discount for allies. Super Soldier Serum, like God of Thunder, is a resource producing card, providing a strength resource to trigger cards like Heroic Strike. While Cap’s Helmet is a nice break glass in case of emergency card that allows Cap to survive a killing blow and return to life with a single hit point remaining.
Cap’s signature ally is Agent 13, who immediately removes 2 threat from a scheme upon entering play and with 2 thwart and a single attack you’ll likely want her to tackle the schemes when Steve cannot. Her slight drawback is that she is not an Avenger for triggering a lot of the leadership cards in this deck, but Honorary Avenger will solve that problem.
Cap’s leadership cards consist of 4 allies, Squirrel Girl, Wonderman, Hawkeye and Falcon. The first two cost 2 (1 with Steve’s discount), Squirrel Girl is awesome, damaging every enemy in play when she is played which is perfect against swarms like Ultron or teams like the Wrecking Crew. Wonderman boasts an impressive 3 attack, but requires a card to be discarded each time he does so. Hawkeye is always worth playing, dealing 2 damage to every minion as it enters play and Falcon, who is the most expensive of the crew, has the ability to clear up to 3 threat as he enters play.
Avengers Assemble, when you can play it, is a great card, readying all Avengers in play and giving them +1 Attack +1 Thwart. However at a cost of 4, with Cap’s hand limit of 5, I’m not likely to be able to play it. Make the Call, which allows you to pull allies from your discard pile, is another card that I often end up using as a resource as it never seems to come out when I need it.
Strength in Numbers however can be a good card for getting extra versatility out of your allies. You can exhaust X allies to draw X cards which means they don’t take any consequential damage but still perform a useful function, especially as you can use cards to ready Cap or power up a Shield Toss.
Finally the Quinjet delivers free Avengers allies to the table, but it takes a bit of time to charge up.
The main neutral card of note is Avengers Tower, which increases your ally limit to 4 if all of your allies are Avengers. In addition you can exhaust it to reduce the cost of an avengers ally by 1 or 2 when combined with Steve’s built in discount.
Baron Zemo joins the game as Cap’s nemsis minion alongside two Hydra Soldiers. He has 5 health, just enough to survive a shield to the face and Quickstrike meaning he will attack upon entry. The side scheme causes some minor indirect damage and adds an acceleration icon, but with just three threat per player Cap can easily clear this without worry.
As with the other Heroes I’ve reviewed I played solo and beat each scenario before commiting thoughts to pixels and with Captain America I beat every available scenario first time out of the gate with the exception of Klaw who I beat on the second and who, so far, I find to be the trickiest of the villains in the game.
Cap’s ability to ready means that some villains can’t actually progress their schemes as you can easily remove upto 6 threat a round with Cap using Fearless Determination, I dread to think how much more efficient he would be in a Justice Deck. However, I never found out as I beat all the scenarios with no deck building required. Cap is capable of laying the smackdown on the villain, clearing multiple minions and handling schemes and side schemes like a boss. It was almost too easy.
Now, all that said, I had some close calls, some scenarios came down to the wire and had things gone a little differently I might have lost, but still, so far, Captain America has the most consistent win rate of any Marvel Champions hero I’ve played with.
Captain America is also a very easy hero to understand. Unlike Iron Man or Black Panther, you don’t really need to plan ahead, you just get your shield into play, then thwart or fight depending on which needs controlling or if you’re low on health pay a visit to your apartment and call up some friends.
For this reason Captain America makes a really good starter hero, he’s an all rounder and you’ll feel heroic when playing him, but he’s also just a little bit too powerful and he makes the win feel a little bit unsatisfactory when it was all but a foregone conclusion.
If you want to play as Captain America this pack allows you to do that. If you want a straightforward, no nonsense hero that you could give to a beginner for their first game Cap is your guy. If you play solo and you want a versatile hero who can control the board, look no further. However if you want nuanced gameplay and clever mechanisms, I think you might want to try some other heroes first.