In Marvel Champions, Ms. Marvel has a fun set of unique Hero Cards, and of particular interest to me are those that synergize with Event cards; Ms. Marvel’s Morphogenetics ability, Embiggen! and Shrink.
Morphogenetics let’s her bounce an event back to hand, to play again or use as a resource for another card, and Embiggen! and Shrink let her boost both an Attack event and a Thwart event every round. These cards and abilities make up for her otherwise lack-luster stats (1s across the board for thwart, attack and defense) and lead to a unique playstyle, and one that I’ve quite enjoyed. I was interested to see how hard one could build into this event based deck, so I had a deep dive into all the events, and presented it as a blog.
In addition to those mentioned above, there are other cards in Ms. Marvel’s 15 hero cards that play into the event deck. She has 3x Big Hands as an attack event to pair with Embiggen!, 3x Sneak By as a thwart event to pair with Shrink, and 2x Wiggle Room as a defense event. And all of these can be used with Morphogenetics to be returned to hand.
Ms. Marvel also gets the Biokinetic Polymer Suit in her kit, which is an extremely efficient resource generator at only 1 cost, and the ‘downside’ of only working on events doesn’t matter if the goal is to play lots of events.
The only other cards in Ms. Marvel’s fixed hero card package are Red Dagger, a solid ally, and allies are never bad, and the three persona supports; Aamir, Bruno and Nakia, who provide good resource and card support, but I won’t go into any further here (but I’m sure there’s plenty of strategy and analysis that can be done on them).
So no duds in the first 15 cards of the deck. Good start.
Before hitting all the aspects, let’s start by looking at the basic cards that could go in any deck. There’s one basic attack event (Haymaker), one basic thwart event (Emergency) and one basic defense event (Warning), which can all be bounced with Morphogenetics.
Haymaker is solid and can be used with Embiggen! but is strictly worse than Big Hands. Still not bad and could be included in a deck depending on card slots, though maybe only 1 or 2 copies. It’s not amazing, but better than not having enough attack events to use with Embiggen! every turn.
The other two basics are a bit suspect, Emergency can’t be used with Shrink (reduces threat added rather than remove threat), and both Emergency and Warning just don’t add much value as cards, even with the chance to return them to hand, as the Morphogenetics is only really once per round there’s better cards to include.
Now onto looking at the Aspects.
Aggression is really the only aspect I’ve played with Ms. Marvel, and the one that made me want to look deeper. Aggression currently has access to 4 attack events (Get Over Here!, Melee, Relentless Assault and Uppercut) and 1 thwart event (Chase Them Down).
Melee and Relentless Assault are both good value cards to use with Embiggen!, particularly Melee, as the extra 2 damage applies to both sets of damage, dealing 5 damage to one enemy and 5 damage to another. Get Over Here! seems ok (but I haven’t tried it), as Embiggen! turns into 3 damage for zero cost and Uppercut is fine, but not as good as the other attack options of Big Hands, Melee or even Haymaker, so probably doesn’t make the cut into a deck.
Chase Them Down is great value, and a second option in the deck (alongside Sneak By) to trigger Shrink.
The upcoming Hulk pack that’s very slowly getting revealed has shown a few more events that fit this synergy; attack events Drop Kick and Toe to Toe, and thwart event “You’ll Pay for That!”.
Drop Kick won’t be worth it in Ms. Marvel with the bonus effect being a bit too tricky to activate, Toe to Toe and “You’ll Pay for That!” could be alright, though I don’t know whether Shrink would let you increase the threat removed by “You’ll Pay for That!” above the ‘maximum of 5’. Without having a thorough trawl through the rules, I imagine we’ll need a clarification on that when its released.
Edit: A couple of people have pointed that Ms. Marvel can get set up to use Drop Kick without needing 3 physical resources in hand, with cards such as Biokinetic Polymer Suit, Nakia Bahadir, Helicarrier, Martial Prowess (soon, also coming in Hulk) and even Enhanced Physique, though I wouldn’t recommend the last one. So Drop Kick will probably be a pretty good include, 6 damage, a stun and a card draw for 3 cost.
Justice has a fairly low number of these type of events, but they’re all pretty good. Concussive Blow and Stealth Strike for attacks and For Justice! as a thwart.
Paired with Embiggen!, Concussive Blow can be 5 damage and a confuse for 3 cost, or Stealth Strike could be 6 damage and 2 thwart for 3 cost in the best case. For Justice! doing 6 thwart for 2 cost with Shrink.
It turns out Leadership doesn’t have any Attack, Thwart or Defense events to use with Morphogenetics, Embiggen! or Shrink. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a Leadership Ms. Marvel deck, but you can’t really make one using the event heavy style being examined here. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some fun ideas out there using Bruno Carrelli to set up crazy Leadership combos.
Now Protection has a bunch of events, both attacks and defenses. For attacks, there’s Counter-punch, Momentum Shift and Tackle.
Counter-punch isn’t good here, as Ms. Marvel won’t be defending much with her defense stat of 1, and even then her attack back would only be 1, or 3 with Embiggen!. Both Momentum Shift and Tackle are really good though, Momentum Shift healing 2 and dealing 4 for 2 cost, or Tackle dealing 5 and a stun for 3 cost. And Tackle even has Ms. Marvel as the card art!
Unlike the other aspects, Protection’s theme is defense (or you could say it’s protection) and so has several defense events: Desperate Defense, Expert Defense and Preemptive Strike.
Desperate Defense and Expert Defense‘s value will depend more on the Protection build. There’s probably enough Protection cards to make a deck where Ms. Marvel wants to defend, but that would be a different type of deck than the event heavy, Embiggen!+Shrink deck. Preemptive Strike could be good, doesn’t need Ms. Marvel to defend, but just be the target of the attack. Except the only synergy is with Morphogenetics, there is an upgrade like Embiggen! or Shrink to boost defense events. Defense events don’t have the same punch as the attack or thwart events.
I started with Aggression, and having looked at the options in the other aspects, I think Aggression is still probably the best option for this type of deck, with good events for both attack and thwart in addition to Ms. Marvel’s hero cards. Chase Them Down might be the decider here, since it is free triggering both Embiggen! and Shrink‘s bonuses in a single turn is easier with resources left for an attack event.
And you can reassess Ms. Marvel again with every new release and new event cards, for improvements or different aspects. I already mentioned the Hulk cards above and there’s bits of some cards spoiled from The Rise of Red Skull box. There’s a Press the Advantage Aggression attack event spoiled that looks really good, and a Clear The Area Justice thwart event partially spoiled (unknown cost).
Who knows, Clear the Area might be whats needed to put Ms. Marvel Justice over the top!
Anyway, that’s all for now.