Updated: Nov 24
Mild mannered Jennifer Walters, attorney at law, is transformed into the emerald goddess after she receives a blood transfusion from her gamma infused cousin Bruce. As She-Hulk she is capable of terrific bouts of rage, however unlike her cousin she manages to reconcile the two sides of her personality and comes to live in harmony with her angrier self.
How does this super-strong ass-kicking lawyer change Marvel Champions? Let’s take a look.
Note this review uses the prebuilt aggression deck for She-Hulk listed in the back of the rules.
She-Hulk has possibly the best ability combo of any of the core set heroes. Her alter ego Jennifer Walters can simply cancel a threat being placed (once per turn) but when she flips to She-Hulk she immediately deals 2 damage. Better still as this damage is not an attack it can neatly avoid guard and retaliate.
Stats wise she boasts an attack of 3, which is plenty mighty and a defense of 2 although you won’t make extensive use of that. Her thwart of 1 is rather puny but mostly because when you thwart you’ll be using her cards. Her recover of 4 is not insignificant and her HP of 15 makes her a survivor, although She-Hulk does have a tendency to invite a lot of damage too.
Unlike other heroes in the core set, She-Hulk has very few upgrades. The only permanent one is Focused Rage which She-Hulk can exhaust to take a damage and draw a card. Obviously this helps offset her hand size of 4. The other, Superhuman Strength, gives She-Hulk +2 Attack but after she attacks you have to discard it but it does impart stun. The downside of Superhuman Strength is the discard is a forced effect so if you attack at all even using an event card the forced effect is triggered.
Mostly She-Hulk’s deck is made up of events, the vast majority of which deal damage. Ground Stomp deals 1 damage to all enemies regardless of where they are, useful for wiping out Ultron’s drones or cleaning tough off all enemies simultaneously. One Two Punch allows you to ready She-Hulk after a basic attack, meaning without other upgrades she’s dealing 6 damage for 1 resource, but combo it with Superhuman strength and you have 8 damage and stun. Finally we have Gamma Slam which is the most powerful card in the base set in my opinion. Here She-Hulk deals damage equal to the damage she has suffered (max 15), this is enough to defeat any minion, along with most of the stage 1 boss forms. It is staggeringly powerful but it does cost 4 and being able to trigger it for maximum effect means you are rather close to your own demise.
She-Hulk’s non attack events include Split Personality, which allows her to flip and draw up to her hand-size, making She-Hulk one of the few heroes who can flip twice in a single round. And Legal Practice which can only be triggered in alter ego form, but allows you to shed cards to remove threat from a scheme. As I mentioned with Black Widow, this ability to scheme while in Alter Ego form is something I really like, thematically, however I found I was often not in a position to take advantage of it.
Lastly we have her support and ally. The Superhuman Law Division is a cool upgrade that allows you to spend a mental resource to remove 2 threat from a scheme but can, again, only be triggered in Alter Ego. And the signature ally comes in the form of Hellcat, a 2 thwart, 1 attack ally who can be returned to your hand for an action.
The aggression set here is largely the same as the one for Iron Man. Personal favourites though, The Hulk, who is much less likely to be discarded by She-Hulk due to the make up of her deck and Combat Training which helps boost She-Hulk up to 4 attack.
One of my biggest problems with Marvel Champions when comparing it to Lord of the Rings or Arkham Horror the Card Game is that the scenarios all playout roughly the same. Sure, there are different threats but at the end of the day you win by knocking out the bad guy. With She-Hulk that problem is intensified because she can lay out huge amounts of damage and so you burn through the scenarios quicker. For example, beating Ultron took 9 minutes from me opening the box to finishing the scenario, while Norman Osbourne was locked up in the Raft in a little over 5! I anticipated that Green Goblin would offer some resistance, what with his percent for swarms and schemes and well he might have done so, if he’d gotten a word in edgewise but instead he simply chowed down on a knuckle sandwich.
That is not to say that the beatdowns aren’t fun, deliberately loading up on damage so you can turn around and gamma slam a south african vibranium smuggler into the middle of next week is always hilarious, however it does feel like a shortcut to victory. You care less about the schemes and machinations, the baddies are doing evil things but you’re not going to stop them by interfering with their plans, you’re just going to break all their limbs until they stop being bad.
And to be fair, I was going all out. In most of these fights I probably couldn’t have seen out another round, either threat was out of control or I was a tattered shambles, clinging on by solitary singular hitpoint on more than one occasion. And that’s the rub with She-Hulk, her strength is impressive but it comes at the cost of your health dial and if you gamble with your survival you are walking a knife edge.
The Wrecking Crew put up a little more resistance, defeating me twice with just a single member of their number remaining, hobbling around using a magic crowbar as a crutch, but despite being bloody and bruised they somehow got the drop on the lawyer from the City of Angels.
My first game with She-Hulk I thought maybe she would be more like Black Widow, able to thwart in her alter-ego lawyer form, defeating evil in the courtroom rather than in the streets but certainly in solo, she’s better off just punching her way out. And honestly that’s a bit of a shame, I really wanted to spend more time as Jennifer, working the case and maybe with more players that is how you can play She-Hulk. I would certainly be interested in switching her into a justice build and trying out a more thwart-y version of her.
If you’re looking for a hero who can lay the smackdown on every villain in the game then look no further. She-Hulk is strength and speed rolled up in a delectable green package. She is a broad that can take a hit and come back swinging. But be aware that her reckless, all out approach, can also be her downfall if the scenario runs for more than three rounds. Certainly an enjoyable hero with potential for further versatility depending on her choice of aspect.