EDIT: In this review, I assumed that you are able to bounce back any event you want. However, you are limited to just attack/thwart/defense cards. Leadership then becomes a less ideal deck for Ms. Marvel. Sorry for the confusion!
Ms. Marvel is one of the newest additions to the Marvel Champions LCG. She is the second hero pack to be released in the game. Captain America was the first hero pack to hit the scene. Unfortunately, we have not yet written a review for Captain America due to the stocking issues of the hero/villain packs.
Be aware that I mostly play this game solo. So some of my opinions on cards might not make sense if you are playing a lot of multiplayer. If you haven't read the review of Marvel champions yet, I suggest you read it first.
Who is Ms. Marvel?
So who is Ms. Marvel? As an MCU fan, she was unknown to me. Ms. Marvel was originally the counterpart of Captain Marvel. Both of them got their powers through Kree technology. If you want to read more about her, you can do so on the Ms. Marvel Wikipedia page. We are here to talk about her pack!
Ms. Marvel pack contents
Ms. Marvel comes with 60 cards. This includes:
- Ms. Marvel herself and her obligation card
- Ms. Marvel's pre-built deck containing 40 cards. Her deck uses the protection aspect
- The 6 nemesis cards of Ms. Marvel.
- 12 extra cards. 3 for Aggression, 3 for Justice, 3 for Leadership and 3 basic cards
The cards that you get with the pre-built deck are reprints and new cards. For a full list of all the new cards, check out https://marvelcdb.com/set/msm
Ms. Marvel cards
I'll be discussing the cards down here, so if you want to remain spoiler-free when you play your first game with Ms. Marvel, you should probably stop reading now and get to play with her!
Ms. Marvel plays very differently than the other hero's. She isn't a heavy hitter, good defender or a good thwart user on her own. As you can see on her card down here, she is a 1/1/1 hero. Her hand size is decent, comparable with the other heroes. 6 cards when in alter-ego and 5 cards when in hero form. Ms. Marvel is actually quite low on health. She has the same amount of health as Spiderman. Luckily she is able to recover very well with a recovery of 5.
Then her abilities. Her alter-ego ability is to discard cards until you hit a Ms. Marvel card. When you do, add that card to your hand. This ability can be very good! Most of the Ms. Marvel cards are good draws, however some of very situational. Luckily you can always use them to pay for other cards. The only downside is that you'll draw through your deck very quickly and might be discarding very important cards. Her Hero-form is the real reason to be using Ms. Marvel. After you play an event, you can exhaust Ms. Marvel to return the event back to your hand. This is great if you have a high-value event or want to use it to burst the enemy down. Luckily, Ms. Marvel's deck is filled with those events. Let's take a look at all her cards! I'll try to keep my thoughts short as we have a lot of cards to cover.
- Red dagger: Red dagger is just great. 3 health, 2 attack and 2 thwart for just 3 costs is already great. And the ability to return it to your hand when it's destroyed is great as well.
- Big hands: Big hands is a good attack event that has very good synergy with her Hero ability to end games. This is basically Haymaker, but with one more damage.
- Sneak by: Sneak by is basically the counterpart of Big hands. While Big hands focuses on doing damage, this one is focused on thwart. Together with her hero ability, you can very easily remove a lot of thwart from the main scheme.
- Wiggle room: I like this game as it feels like a good defense card. Mostly, because you get to draw a card, meaning you can keep on finding more important events like Big hands or Sneak By
- Aamir Khan: This card is very good. You get to choose to put a card back in your deck and also get to draw a card. Avengers Mansion costs 4. This one costs 1 to draw a card and it also does even more! Putting the card back in your deck isn't that big of a deal when your deck is still full, but if you do this while your deck contains only a few cards, you are almost guaranteed to get that card. It also helps to delay the reshuffling of the discard pile, as you'll be going very fast through your deck because of Ms. Marvel's alter-ego ability. The only downside is that you can only use it in alter-ego form and you cannot target another player.
- Bruno Carreli: This card is kinda weird for me. It's basically a store where you can put cards to be used for later. Sounds very cool, but usually I don't have a spare card to put down there. And you also have to be in alter-ego form to do so. It's good when you need it, but nothing very special in my eyes unless I am missing something.
- Nakia Bahardir: Nakia is just a good card because you are able to make any card cheaper. Kind of like a Helicarrier, that can only be used in alter-ego form and is a lot cheaper.
- Biokinetic Polymer Suit: Helps a lot when playing events. Nothing special, is just a good card.
- Embiggen!: Now this is an exciting card. This together with Big hands can really close out games. You play Big hands, exhaust this for a total of 6 damage, get Big hands back with your hero ability and play it again for a total of 10 damage! This together with aggression can get the villain down very quickly. Even without aggression, this card is very good as a control tool with your damage cards.
- Shrink: This is just like Big hands and Sneak by, the counterpart of Embiggen!. Instead of increasing your damage, it will increase your thwart by two. You can use this together with Sneak by to remove a lot of thwart on the main scheme and I think this card is great if you are playing some sort of control deck.
Well, those are all the Ms. Marvel cards that you'll be seeing every time you play her. Overall, I think her set can be matched with a lot of other styles of decks. For example, Embiggen! can be played with Melee. If you play Melee with Embiggen! on the board, you do 5 damage to two opponents. And then you can get it back with your ability and do it again next round. Because of Embiggen! and the ability to get your events back, I think Ms. Marvel fits very well in Aggression. However, she is also very open to a control deck due to Shrink. However, I think she doesn't have a good finisher for a control deck. Maybe something big will be added in a later pack that can be used as a finisher for control decks.
Now let's go to the other cards in the pack and then finish it off with some of the decks that I have played or are planning to be playing.
- Nova: Sam Alexander: Nova is an ally for the protection aspect. And I think it's quite a good ally. It provides value even if it isn't attacking/thwarting. However, is it any better than the current protection allies (Black widow & Luke cage)? I think it's too different from the other allies to answer that question. I think it fills a nice spot due to not having to attack to get value.
- Preemptive Strike: This is a decent card. It only hits the normal boost icons and I think this is 1-2 on average. So, 1-2 damage + prevent for 1 is decent. I think wiggle room is a lot better than this.
- Tackle: This card is quite bad if you do not get the additional effect off. 1 stun for 3 isn't the best. With the additional effect of 3 damage, it gets a bit better, but I think it's still not an amazing card. Compare it to Mockingbird, which gets you 1 stun, 3 damage or 3 thwart over multiple turns or a blocker. I think Mockingbird is a better card to play. However, this card could see play if you are playing a stun lock deck.
- Energy Barrier: I think this card is great! There is no limit on how many times you can use this on a turn. So you could prevent 3 damage and deal 3 damage on the same turn, which is great. Another benefit is that this card is a Tech upgrade that can help a lot in an Iron Man protection deck.
- Lockjaw: Lockjaw is... Ehmmm.. not that good in my eyes. I think this, however, opens the door to some interesting mechanics. Ms. Marvel is very good at putting cards in her discard pile. Maybe if more cards like this get added, Ms. Marvel might be able to have a deck where you play a lot of cards from your discard pile.
- Endurance: Just a solid card in my eyes. 3 hit points for 1 is good. Nothing special about this card.
- Enhanced Reflexes: For 2, this is quite a good energy generator. It isn't as good as the web-shooter in Spiderman, but I think it could find a place in decks that really want energy resources like Captain Marvel. It also works well with Nova.
- Melee: Melee is currently one of the reasons to play Ms. Marvel with aggression. She is able to do 2x5 damage with Embiggen! and is also able to bounce it back. Would it see play in a deck without Ms. Marvel? Maybe. This card does something else than the other damage cards and that's better board control. You are able to kill 2 medium sizes minions instead of one big minion.
- Concussive Blow: This card is basically Tackle, but with confusion instead of stun. I personally think stun is better than confusion as you rather want to be in Hero form than Alter-ego. So I think this card is worse than Tackle.
- Morale Boost: Good card for just 1 cost. It's also better in multiplayer due to being able to choose another hero.
- Down Time: It could be good for a hero with a low recovery, but I think most heroes don't have enough health to really take advantage of the higher recovery.
Now that we have had all the cards, let's talk a bit about some decks for Ms. Marvel.
Ms. Marvel aggression: I think this is currently the best Ms. Marvel deck available. One of the things I think Ms. Marvel is missing in her core set is that she doesn't really have a good way to close out games. With aggression and Embiggen!, she is able to do a lot of damage on one turn and also be able to do a lot of damage on the next turn due to her ability. She is also able to survive due to her high recovery and has enough good ways to remove thwart. Definitely try out this deck!
Ms. Marvel leadership: Leadership is also a good way to use Ms. Marvel and this is also because of her ability. There are just so many good events to be able to bounce in leadership that she just seems made for this deck. The allies also help her with attacking and defending her low health.
Ms. Marvel is a hero with a different playstyle than the other heroes. Her core set has a lot of good cards, but she isn't really being pushed one way. She is just good at everything, but not amazing in anything. That's why it feels like she has a hard time finishing out games, due to her low damage in her core set. Luckily aggression can help her with that. I think that if there are more high-value cards, Ms. Marvel could also transform in a heavy control deck, but those cards aren't in the game (yet). She is maybe not the best hero of the game, but she is a lot of fun to play with and I expect her to become stronger with new cards being released.
Let us know in the comments what you think of Ms. Marvel!