Card Review – Thor Hero Pack

Another week, another card review! In this article Tim and James will review the cards from the Thor Hero Pack.


We are going to be rating cards between 1-5 using the system below.  Our ratings are an overall score taking into account True Solo and Two-Handed/Multiplayer.

This time we are going to be rating the thirteen cards from the Thor Hero Pack.  If you’d like to rate the cards yourselves to see if our opinions match up, here’s a link to marveldb for a visual reminder of the cards we are rating.


 

[Tim] (1/5) Way too expensive to consider, even with his potential cost reduction.  Ally slots are in high demand, and with Aggression getting some great ones in recent packs, there’s no way Hercules pushes himself to the front of the queue.  Gareth and myself recently played some games where both of us were using the Aggression aspect, and neither of us took Hercules.  I think that says it all.

[James] (1/5) Hercules is an ally that sees very little play, and for good reason. To reduce his cost down to a level where he feels good value for what you’re getting (9 damage + a chump block) you would have to be engaged with 2-3 minions, which is obviously going to be scenario dependant and a less than ideal board state to be in. Aggression has numerous ways of dealing damage, including several other allies that do it better, so Hercules providing nothing but another source of damage is also a point against it. Had his base THW been higher he might have been situationally useful, but as it stands Hercules currently ranks amongst the worst Aggression cards in the game.


 

[Tim] (3/5) Average statline for her cost, but a decent ability (especially if you can pay for her with an energy resource).  She’s obviously less great if you’re playing a scenario that is very light on minions, but otherwise she’s very handy.  Solid ally in my opinion.

[James] (4/5) Valkyrie is a fine addition to Aggression’s minion control line up. She does require a specific resource to get the most out of her ability, but when fulfilled it’s very useful for either dealing with a smaller minion or setting up a larger minion to be more efficiently dealt with. What stops her from being a 5 for me is the sheer amount of minion control Aggression has (Relentless Assault and Into The Fray for example) in addition to how many good allies the aspect now has access to.


 

[Tim] (1/5) The only character that I’ve ever used this with is Thor, mostly to trigger his “Have at thee!” ability, but also to bunch up minions in front of him for a massive Lightning Strike.  In that circumstance you feel like an absolute boss, but I’ve not used this outside of that one instance.  Some people might recommend using this card as a cheap way to remove a stun from your character, but that’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel in my opinion.  Even though I’ve rated this card a 1, I would still try and make use of it in a Thor multiplayer deck, it’s just that I don’t think that one very specific example justifies rating it higher.

[James] (1/5) Get Over Here! can be useful for one particular hero in multiplayer, but even then you’re probably better off putting other cards in those slots. Its damage is bad, and the second effect only triggers if you have a trait that most heroes do not currently have access to. A case could be made that it can help save another player who is being swarmed, but given the ease in which you can defend for other players I think it would be a pretty weak case. If we were rating cards specifically for Thor it would get a 2, but given the more general nature of these reviews I feel Get Over Here! should just stay in the binder.


 

[Tim] (3/5) Some of you probably rate this card higher, but to be honest I think I’m being generous with a 3/5.  There’s a lot of conditions involved with getting the +3 ATK; your hero has to be making a basic attack (not all of them want to) and you have to exhaust a weapon.  There will be those of you already putting it to good use with Thor and Black Panther, but it’s just not a card that I particularly like or think is worth including over many other cards.

[James] (3/5) Mean Swing is a good build around card for heroes that come pre-loaded with weapons, or decks that are planning on using Jarnbjorn as a source of additional damage. With a weapon to exhaust it offers very efficient burst damage. It’s a card that you wont see in every Aggression list but it’s one that will only grow in popularity as the aspect gets access to more and more weapons.


 

[Tim] (2/5) Alter-ego actions need to be good to justify playing them, and drawing 3 cards is definitely good.  However, getting enough glory counters on it to activate can either be laughably easy or next to impossible.  It’s also not helped by “You” being changed clarified to only being your identity.  I want to like this card, and I often include it in first drafts of deckbuilds, but I quickly find myself cutting it.

Just a quick aside, Hall of Heroes the website is very good and you should visit it if you haven’t already!

[James] (3/5) Hall of Heroes gives Aggression some much needed card draw, but like a lot of Aggression cards it comes with numerous caveats. Firstly it requires a steady source of minions to fuel, making it scenario dependant, and under the new ruling of You it does not count if the minion is defeated by an ally or support card. Secondly the card draw ability can only be triggered in alter-ego, which is pretty rough particularly in true solo. Despite those negatives the tempo boost it can provide still make it a card worth considering.


 

[Tim] (2/5) I think that readying a hero is over-valued for many characters in the game.  Heroes like Quicksilver or Spider-Woman like being able to ready themselves as they often have enhanced stats, and heroes like Hulk or Thor with a Combat Training in play (so they have 4 Attack) will like it, but for many others it simply converts into two threat removed or two damage done.  Battle Fury is okay, even with the restrictions and bit of self-damage, but I don’t think that most characters will find it useful.  

[James] (3/5) Battle Fury won’t make its way into every Aggression deck, but a hero ready that triggers off what the aspect does best is always worthy of consideration. Two resources, a damage and a specific triggering condition is on the steep side cost wise, but I still find it to be more playable than Tenacity. Battle Fury can be particularly useful in helping with threat control as it enables your hero to thwart for a second time after defeating a minion with a card like Relentless Assault.


 

[Tim] (3/5) I like Jarnbjorn and I think it is a good build-around card.  Your deck is going to want to include a lot of physical resources to make the most of it, but characters like Captain America will be able to easily include it in their deck thanks to cards like Super-Soldier Serum.  Jarnbjorn is also a good choice for going with Mean Swing and generally makes your turns more efficient as you can squeeze more value out of every turn.

[James] (3/5) Jarnbjorn not only opens up another way of playing Aggression but it also ensures that every hero could run some number of Mean Swing. Whilst it requires a certain amount of commitment to when deck-building to ensure you can pay for Jarnbjorn’s effect reliably the damage it provides can help burn through the villain quicker, or keep the board clear of minions. Although it does not make it into every Aggression deck it gives the Aggression player an interesting choice to make when choosing their 25, which is more than what some other aspects have.


 

[Tim] (2/5) He’s expensive and definitely won’t make it into a lot of decks, but he’s powerful when you can play him.  With the new resource card, The Power in All of Us, expensive basic cards are becoming more playable.  Heimdall has also started finding his way into more Thor decks thanks to the aforementioned resource card and also Team-Building Exercise.   His enter play effect gives you a lot of control over the encounter deck that round, and for that alone he can save games, especially in true solo.

[James] (3/5) Heimdall is a fairly interesting ally that I’ll freely admit to not having used a great deal. Not only is his ability very strong as it gives you knowledge and gets rid of a potentially obnoxious encounter card (Shadow of the Past anyone?), but he offers some good threat control too. His cost really puts me off though, and with how many allies most aspects have access to now he’s not one I see myself including anytime soon. That being said I can recognise Heimdall’s value, and understand why other people include him, so feel he at least deserves a good rating.


 

[Tim] (1/5) The effect is nice but it costs way too much; I’m not sure that it would even get played if it cost one.  You are much better off spending your resources on a three-cost ally who can at least thward or attack before blocking for you, than wasting your time with this card.

[James] (1/5) Tough status cards are great for soaking huge attacks, particularly ones that have nasty secondary effects such as Rage of Ultron and Stampede. However, as good as tough may be, Invulnerability is simply far too expensive. For the same amount of resources you could play Mockingbird, effectively blocking two villain attacks whilst also removing two threat. I appreciate that chump blocking and tough cards are not the same, but there’s so little overkill in the game at the moment it’s a fairly subtle distinction.


 

[Tim] (4/5) This is a definite auto-include in true solo, but its power diminishes the more players that you add to the game (as its effect does not scale), so that’s why I haven’t rated it a 5/5.  Really not a lot to say about it; play it as soon as you can as it gives you so much wiggle room with the main scheme.  Great card.

[James] (4/5) Under Surveillance gives you just a little more breathing room in regards to the main scheme, and can make flipping to alter-ego a less daunting prospect. Justice may specialise in removing threat, but it can still get out of hand thanks to a badly timed Advance, or the ever annoying confuse status. As much as I like the card it does start to rapidly lose impact with each additional player added to the game, and may just be one of the few “true solo” only cards currently in the card pool.


 

[Tim] (2/5) There’s not many decks where I can see this card being useful (shenanigans with Giant-Man springs to mind), but it’s not an awful card so I can’t justify rating it a 1/5.  The problem that Leadership has it that it has an embarassing number of good cards, so the okay cards get sidelined.  

[James] (2/5) Teamwork has niche appeal in certain decks but it’s a card I would hesitate to call good. Being able to squeeze a little more value out of your allies before they take one for the team can be a solid play, especially if you’ve used cards like Avengers Tower and The Triskelion to go wide so you’ve got plenty of allies just sitting around waiting to be chumped. However, Leadership’s ability to churn out cheap allies does makes the ability to use their stats without losing them a little redundant.


 

[Tim] (1/5) Healing will help reduce the number of times that you have to go to alter ego to use your Recover, but Second Wind means that you’ll be spending most of your resources that turn just to play this.  In my opinion, you’d be better off using your Recover and spending the resources on other things.  I’d be really interested to hear about anyone that is getting good use out of this card, especially in an aspect that has Med Team.

[James] (1/5) The high cost and targeting limitations make Second Wind a pretty bad card overall, and this is further emphasised by how much Protection is focused on either preventing attacks or mitigating damage. Taking damage is inevitable in most cases so having the option to heal can be valuable, but that’s where cards like First Aid and Med Team prove their superiority in that regard as they are more versatile in their application.


 

[Tim] (1/5) I’m going to be consistent and also rate this a 1/5, just like I did with the other Enhanced cards.  Just play Quincarrier or Helicarrier instead.

[James] (3/5) Enhanced Physique can be good in the right deck as it enables you to convert non-physical resources into physical if you need them without compromising the resource composition of your deck, which can be important when it comes to dealing with problematic attachments. It can also be used to set up bigger turns later in the game. Regardless of the intended use it’s important to note that these “resource generators” do not actually generate any resource advantage as you’re simply spending three now for an extra one over three turns later. Enhanced Physique is perhaps the most useful of the basic resource generators as it can fuel cards like Drop Kick, Jarnbjorn and Relentless Assault.


 

Summary

Rank Card Average Rating
1st Under Surveillance 4
2nd Valkyrie 3.5
3rd Jarnbjorn 3
  Mean Swing 3
5th Battle Fury 2.5
  Hall of Heroes 2.5
  Heimdall 2.5
8th Enhanced Physique 2
  Teamwork 2
10th Get Over Here! 1
  Hercules 1
  Invulnerability 1
  Second Wind 1

Quite a lot of low ratings this time!  Thor is one of Tim’s favourite heroes though, so he’d have bought the pack anyway, but probably another skippable pack for anyone not bothered about Thor.

Cheers,

Tim & James

2 thoughts on “Card Review – Thor Hero Pack

  1. Hi, what are your feelings on Hall of Heroes with the new Rules Reference? (Which is now taken down, yes, but there’s a copy paste of what the ruling was on the thread in Board Game Geek. Part of it said that events and upgrades are considered to be extensions of a player’s identity, meaning that they count for Hall of Heroes) Now that events and upgrades count for it, I feel that it’s quite a bit better. I’ve always thought that it was a pretty good card, especially in Wasp, but now I think it’s a lot more viable outside of her (although I think it always was in a few specific scenarios, specifically Ultron and Zola, and maybe Crossbones or Taskmaster, depending on your modulars).

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    • I don’t think either of us would rate it any differently, as we’d be playing with that interpretation of ‘You’ for quite some time, even though it hadn’t been made official.
      Not allowing minions that are defeated by your allies to count is quite a severe downside.

      Like

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