Love her or hate her this cosmic hero isn’t going anywhere. Despite being one of earth's mightiest heroes Captain Marvel isn’t just about aggression, in fact, her base build is Leadership which is what we’ll be looking at today.
Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers
As a starter hero Captain Marvel is pretty solid, 2 Attack and 2 Thwart make her equally good as an attacker or a quester, while her hit points are a rather sizable 11, which pretty good for a mere human. Her downfall is probably her single point of defense, but she has plenty of ways to counter that, including her ability to spend an energy resource for a heal and a card draw.
Her flip side is ace pilot Carol Danvers who can give a card to any player, once per round and has a reasonable recovery of 4. Hand size forms the typical 5-6 split present in most heroes, but Carol has access to a lot of card draw and resources making her pretty powerful.
Captain Marvel’s signature cards run the gamut of card types, although if there is a running theme it will be that many of her cards focus on Energy resources.
Firstly we have her resource cards themselves which provide 3 energy resources in either hero or alter ego form, unlike Hulk’s for example.
And one way she can use those resources is for Energy Channel. This is an upgrade card which comes into play for 0 cost and you can take actions to put upto 5 counters on it, one for each energy resource spent. This is a great way to store excess resources and turn them into damage on a later turn. When you use the card it is discarded and Captain Marvel deals 2 damage per counter on the card. While this might be a little more expensive than other cards capable of dealing 10 damage its cost can be spread over multiple rounds.
And that’s not Carol’s only way of dealing heavy hits, Photonic Blast deals 5 damage and if paid for with an energy resource has a card draw kicker. Her other event, Crisis Interdiction allows her to clear 2 threat and if she has the aerial trait she can clear an additional 2 from a different scheme.
Captain Marvel’s Helmet gives a defence boost, increased while she has the aerial trait, which she can get by playing Cosmic Flight, which can also be discarded for damage reduction.
Alpha Flight Station is the only card in the deck requiring Carol to be in Alter Ego form, although it still works in Hero form, just to a lesser degree. This Support card allows you to discard a card and draw one or two cards into hand.
Finally we have Marvel’s signature ally, Spiderwoman, 3 cost, 2 Attack/Thwart and confuses the villain upon entry, however her 2 health means she won't stick around for long.
Captain Marvel ships with the basic Leadership load out from the core set. My favorite cards in the Leadership aspect are the allies. All of them offer a strong showing, Maria Hill costs 2 but generates a card draw for all players, basically making her free with two or more players. On top of that she has a healthy 2 Thwart, with an unfortunately low 2 health. Hawkeye has a great reactive ability to damage each minion as they enter play. While Vision may be my favourite, capable of dealing 4 damage a turn at the cost of an energy resource.
Get Ready is a great event, capable of readying an ally for free. Make the Call allows you to play allies from any player's discard pile, however this one rarely sees play for me solo, but I can see it being useful in multiplayer. Lead from the Front is a powerful event that adds 1 Attack and 1 Thwart to all characters controlled by a single player.
The Triskellion allows you to increase the ally limit to 4, although this one has never really seen play for me. Inspired is another card with great potential, adding 1 Attack and 1 Thwart to an ally but I rarely play because allies are a limited use commodity and if it’s a choice between boosting my hero or an ally, the hero wins every time.
I like her. Captain Marvel was not my first choice out of the box to play, in fact I came to her last of all, not necessarily through a conscious choice I was just more excited to play as other heroes first. That said Captain Marvel is probably in the upper tier of heroes for me. She is a great solo hero, perfectly capable of going toe to toe with any villain released to date, while not so focused on aggression that she will struggle against the schemes.
My win loss ratio with Captain Marvel was 6/3, with Green Goblin and Norman Osbourne providing the only losses. Captain Marvel has a playstyle that really fits into my wheelhouse, a grand-standy show of power, followed by a brief return to her alter ego to get prepared for her next onslaught.
I really like how much card draw and how many resources her deck provides. Alpha-Flight Station is a card I like to get into play round one and will mulligan to find. This combined with Carol Danvers’ innate card draw and her Energy Absorption cards which each provide 3 resources mean that Captain Marvel is never short of something to play on her turn.
And I can’t really finish a review of Captain Marvel without discussing Channel Energy, which may be one of my favourite attack cards in the game. Other than being limited to max 1 in play, this card has no downside. You can slowly build resources on it over time to prepare for a big hit, or drop Energy and Energy Absorption on it immediately and spurt out 10 damage in the blink of an eye.
Captain Marvel’s prowess is not over exaggerated, she is a powerhouse, capable of extreme damage and resource production/card draw. In her Leadership build she can easily take on an attacking or thwarting role, although her sheer damage output means she’ll lean more heavily to the former.