We recently finished season #1 (which you can read about here) and decided to dive straight into another one. In this article we are going to present which villains we will be fighting and then draft characters and aspects for this season.
We decided to make no changes to our villain tiers, so it remains the same as last season:
The Ant-Man hero pack has now been released which means that Ant-Man will join our hero roster and all of the cards from that pack will be useable for this season. Our initial impressions of Ant-Man are that he is a strong character, but for his first season at least we are going to put him in the default difficulty, Expert. Here are the difficulties for this season:
We will begin by taking it in turns drafting characters that we will be using that season. Once that is done, we will draft aspects that we are going to use for each Villain. One consideration with regards to the aspects is that we will make sure that we use each aspect an equal number of times (this means we can’t just pick Leadership every time for some easy wins!).
Season 2 Villain Lineup
This season we will be facing the following:
- Rhino (Running Interference)
- Red Skull (Hydra Assault & Hydra Patrol)
- Kang (Temporal)
- Ultron (Master of Time)
Season 2 Heroes
There are currently 14 heroes available and we will be using all of them. We will also be using one of the heroes we draft twice this season (but must use a different aspect each time).
Season 2 Draft
[Tim] This season we’ve got 14 characters so that means everyone will be drafted (even Black Widow!). Would you like to take first pick?
[James] Thank you, Tim. My first pick will be Ms. Marvel.
[Tim] Ms. Marvel is a great choice! While I’m slightly disappointed that I won’t get to use her this season, it’s a good excuse to try someone new. Speaking of which, I’m going to draft Ant-Man.
[James] Was very tempted to grab the new guy myself, but first dibs on Ms. Marvel was too good to pass up. For my second pick I choose Spider-Man.
[Tim] Damn, that’s another of my stalwarts gone! Definitely going to have to diversify this season. I wanted him last season but didn’t get him; I’m going with Hawkeye.
[James] Excellent choice. My third pick will be Captain Marvel. Almost feels like sacrilege to leave her on the table this long but I had higher priority heroes I was after.
[Tim] She definitely would have been my next choice, so good decision there James. I’m going to delve into the Heroic characters and go for Captain America. I’ve always enjoyed using him.
[James] Captain America is a very fun character to play, in fact if we did not have the Heroic rule in place he would be my first pick every time. My fourth pick is going to be a character I’ve had good results with in the past, She-Hulk.
[Tim] Yep, your good results with She-Hulk see her currently 3rd overall in our character rankings for the Showdown series. I know it’s early days yet, but reckon you’ll carry on using her with Justice?
[James] We’ll see how the aspect draft goes but there’s a very good chance that’s the direction I’ll go with her. Leadership is another viable option though, especially if I were to use a Strength in Numbers build to boost her limited handsize.
[Tim] Strength in Numbers is a good card to build around for characters like that. Okay, I should probably choose a character. I’ll go with Spider-Woman.
[James] She was not particularly high on my list this time around but it’s nice to see her not getting picked last again. Do you have a particular aspect combination in mind yet?
[Tim] I want to use some Leadership cards like Morale Boost or the new card, Moxie, to see if I can boost her stats. Then put in some ready effects like Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Probably Leadership and Aggression.
[James] Sounds interesting. For my next pick I’m going for a character I did not do so well with the last time I used him, and that’s Black Panther. Hopefully I’ll do him justice this time around.
[Tim] Hopefully you can do better with him than I did last season. I was terrible! Okay, I’ve been using him a lot recently and just done an article on him; I’m picking Hulk!
[James] A smashing choice. Hope that Leadership deck serves you well if that’s the direction you decide to take him in. She was Miss Irrelevant last time but my next choice is Black Widow. Another character I’m seeking redemption with.
[Tim] Poor Black Widow. It’s not like she’s a bad character, I just don’t think that either of us are particularly enthused about using her. She can definitely pull off some shenanigans with Rapid Response though. For my 6th pick I’m going for Thor!
[James] Down to the final two. Would be pretty scummy of me to leave you with a second Heroic character, and Iron Man just isn’t a character I get on too well with so my final pick will be Doctor Strange.
[Tim] Well that’s very nice of you, James. I’m glad that your dislike of Iron Man has caused you to come to this decision. So that completes the character draft, next we should do aspects.
[Tim] Like last season, since you got first pick on characters, I’ll take first pick on aspects if that’s okay? First villain this season is Rhino. I think that I’ll go with Protection.
[James] Always good to get one of your Protection picks out of the way against the easiest villain. I’ll take Leadership.
[Tim] Yeah I fancied using Captain America stunlock against Rhino (harking back to one of my early articles, Rhino’s Revenge). My other aspect choice for Rhino will be Aggression. I want to just smash through him if possible. That means you also get Justice for this one. Next up, Red Skull, and you get first pick of aspects.
[James] I remember the article well, it was a good read. First pick against Red Skull is actually kind of a tough choice, but I’m going to do something slightly controversial and call Protection first.
[Tim] I’m actually surprised by that and also worried. What scheme have you got up your sleeve? I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks! My first aspect choice for Red Skull will be Justice. I’m hoping that it’ll help with all of those side schemes!
[James] Ha, absolutely nothing to be worried about. Probably. For my second aspect I’m going to use one of my Aggression picks. It’s quite a minion heavy scenario so I’m hoping Relentless Assault will do some work for me.
[Tim] Yep, good logic. So that leaves me with Leadership for this one. Okay, next up Kang, and my turn again to pick first. I’m going to choose Aggression.
[James] I’m going to choose Leadership.
[Tim] I’m just looking at what has been drafted so far and both times Aggression has been chosen that person has also ended up with Protection. I mean, I’m not going to break that trend, just thought it was interesting. I’ll go with Protection for Kang, which means you get Justice.
[James] Interesting how that pattern has emerged. I believe that leaves me with Aggression and Protection against Ultron, and you’re back on the Justice and Leadership cycle.
[Tim] Yeah that’s correct. Well that completes the draft. All that remains is for us to take a bit of time to think about how to assign our characters this season!
Season 2 Fixtures
[James] After sleeping on it these are the pairings I settled on.
When I drafted Ms. Marvel the intention was to make her the hero I used twice during this Showdown, however, I’ve been playing a lot of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (great game) on the PS5 recently, and that swayed me into using Spider-Man twice instead.
With Rhino I opted to use Spider-Man for thematic reasons, pairing him with the Justice aspect. I have not played this pairing since the pre-launch TTS days so it’ll be nice to take the deck out for a swing again. Secondly I decided to use my Heroic character. Pairing Doctor Strange with Leadership feels a bit like a cop out, but after the performance with Captain America in the last Showdown I’m going full try hard to hopefully get a better result.
Moving on to Red Skull I first decided to use the Ms. Marvel Aggression deck I’ve been eager to try out in a Showdown. Tim has posted some good results with the pairing, and it’s a deck I’ve always enjoyed myself. Once set up she can deal out a fair amount of damage without being a slouch when it comes to threat control. I’ll also be using a defence based Black Widow Protection deck, which I’m a lot less excited about, and ended up here pretty much by default. My last outing with this pairing did not go too well so I’ll be looking to improve on that result.
With Kang I decided to use my trusted She-Hulk Justice deck. I’ve had some good success with this deck in the past and it’ll be interesting to see how Shulk holds up against a tougher scenario. I also decided to use Spider-Man with the Leadership aspect for obvious reasons (it’s a very good deck).
Finally, we have Ultron. It was tempting to lead with Captain Marvel Aggression because I’m confident that deck could handle this scenario, but I decided to mix it up a bit and give Protection more of a chance to shine. Black Panther was paired with Aggression instead in the hope that Energy Daggers and Relentless Assault can keep the drones in check. Captain Marvel will be taking on Ultron using a defenceless Protection deck that uses Energy Barrier and Nova to keep those pesky drones under control.
[Tim] It didn’t take me long to come up with the following list:
I decided to put Captain America against the easiest villain this season due to being on Heroic 1 difficulty. Neither of our Heroic characters did well last season, and they both used Protection, but I’m determined to get a better result with Captain America this time. The Protection aspect gives him the potential for a quite an effective stunlock deck, so I’m going with that. Also against Rhino is Hawkeye using Aggression. Hawkeye is quite fragile but I’m hoping to just nuke Rhino down before that becomes a problem.
Against Red Skull I have put the new guy, Ant-Man. I’m going to be using him twice this season and I thought that he’d be fun to try out against Red Skull. Lay Down the Law seems to be the perfect card for Ant-Man as he’ll almost certainly be changing form every round. Also against Red Skull would be Hulk. I’ve been having a lot of fun with him recently with a Leadership build (link to article here) and would be running the same deck.
I’ve still not played against Kang so I had no idea what to expect. Spider-Woman would be taking him on with Aggression, but I’m also going to use Leadership. As mentioned earlier in the article, I want to try and go for a cheap event deck, using cards like Morale Boost, Moxie, and Skilled Strike to boost her stats, then Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to ready her. It might fall flat on its face, but I’m interested to give it a try. I’m using Protection Iron Man for another season and will probably go with the same strategy as last time; load the deck with energy resources and Repulsor Blast the villain’s face off!
Finally, against Ultron I’d be use Ant-Man once more, but with Leadership this time. With allies like Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and Squirrel Girl, as well as his own Army of Ants, I thought that Ant-Man would be well-equipped to deal with the swarms of drones. I have regained use of Thor this season and would be pairing him with the Justice aspect to off-set his thwarting shortcomings. Thor loves minion-heavy scenarios and I think he will do well here.
So those are our draft picks, here’s our schedule for Season 2:
- Sunday 6th December – Rhino
- Sunday 13th December – Red Skull
- Sunday 20th December – Kang
- Sunday 27th December – Ultron
- Sunday 3rd January – Review
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Tim & James