Black Widow is a new character that released last month for the Marvel Champions LCG. She is the fourth hero to be added to the game. This review is mostly focused on a solo experience, so some opinions might not make a lot of sense if you mainly playing multiplayer. If you haven't read the review of Marvel champions yet, I suggest you read it first.
Is Black Widow good?
Let's just start off with a very good and important question. Is Black Widow any good as hero and is Natasha Romanoff any good as alter-ego? I think Black Widow is a good hero, but does lack on some points and one big one is hit points. You'll want to invest into some health or defenses when playing with Black Widow. Her abilities are nice when combined with the cards that she has. I think she has the tools for controlling the game, but she has to get to a stable point where she is able to do that.
Preparations are the trademarks of Black Widow. They are the traps that she sets up for the enemies. They basically range around all aspects of the game. Most of her base preparations do something to keep Black Widow alive. One of them stuns and damages an enemy and two disrupt the enemy when attacking. You also have preparations for every aspects and also a basic one, but that one is only available with a Spy character. I think it's very cool that every aspect has their own preparations. It allows you to also play them with other classes. And they are quite good too!
One of the main weaknesses to a build specific to preparations is the fact that you can also not have any preparations on board. Black Widow is at her weakest when she has no preparations on board or has the wrong preparations on the board. Luckily she has the tools to be able to find preparations in her deck/discard pile. However, she also has to find those tools first.
Another weakness in my eye is that the preparations are only able to trigger in hero form. Though, I have to admit I very much love the theme around preparations. Set up traps/gather intelligence in advance in alter-ego and take advance of them in hero form. Very thematic cards for Black Widow.
Black Widow has 2 Thwart, 2 Attack and 2 Defense. That's a good stat-line. Most heroes have this stat-line, although some have their stat points in something else like attack (She-Hulk). Having 2 points on everything makes Black Widow very versatile. She also has a hand size of 5 and a total of 9 hit points. Her hand size is good, being as good as most other heroes. Her hit points are very low. She actually has the lowest hit points currently in the tied by Iron Man. However, Iron Man have hero cards that easily boost his hit points while Black Widow is missing those cards. So her hit points are something to keep in mind. Some big villain turns can easily kill Black Widow in one turn!
Her ability is a very nice ability and is a nice way to ping off toughness cards or kill off any low health enemies. However, you do need to have preparation cards in play to get value of this. So in that way, the ability isn't really free. I think this ability is great in combination with other cards that work well with the preparation cards like Safe House, Black Widow's Gauntlet and Synth-Suit.
And another small thing is her typing. She is a Avenger, Spy. While spy doesn't really do anything special (Except for Espionage), the Avenger type is a very good one right now. Ally decks with Avengers Assemble! are very good in this game. And I think they also work well with the play style of Black Widow. Allies are able to soak up damage while Black Widow is setting up preparation cards.
Then on to Natasha Romanoff. Natasha has a 3 recovery. Which is sort of fine for her. I would have loved to have some more recovery as you'll be switching to Alter-ego quite often due to her low hit points and her great ability. Due to her low hit points, you'll almost always switch after you've taken a hit and don't have any good defenses up. Her hand size is 6, which is good. Similar to other alter-egos in the game.
Then her ability. I think her ability really helps what Natasha wants to do. Natasha wants to set up traps to control the game and being able to draw more cards is great. One of the things when Natasha struggles is when she either has no preparations and/or has the wrong preparations. This ability allows her to find those preparations or other preparation finding cards faster!
Then her typing. Natasha is a S.H.I.E.L.D, Spy, which isn't very exciting as of this moment.
I think Black Widow is a very nice addition to the Marvel Champions game. I also think she is quite difficult to play due to having to manage your resources very carefully. She is not a Captain America and will need some help through other cards especially with her hit points.
I think her early game is quite weak, but she certainly shines if she is able to get control of the situation. However, due to her low hit points she could always be one big attack away from defeat (especially if you are playing solo). I think her early game relies a lot on some key cards. Especially the cards that draw/benefit off preparation cards. Preparation cards are her toolkit. And speaking of them. I love the thematic theme of her cards. A spy that set up traps/gather intelligence and then using that in battle. Brilliant!
If you are looking for a fun, but hard to control hero? Then Black Widow could be for you. Although, Ms. Marvel also fits that bill quite well and, in my opinion, a bit better than Black Widow. Make sure to read my review about her as well! However, if you are looking for a very strong hero. Well then you are better off getting Captain America. He is one of the stronger base heroes in the game right now.
Thanks for reading this review! I tried a new style of review for this one. If you enjoy this review, leave a comment so I can improve on it with the next review!