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DC Comics: Deck-Building Game

Batman! Superman! Wonder Woman! Aquaman! The Flash! Green Lantern! Cyborg! The Justice League of America is ready for action – are you? Fight the never-ending battle for truth, justice, and peace in the DC Comics Deck-Building Game!

DC Comics Deck Building Game cards
images © Cryptozoic

To start the game, each player chooses one of the seven over-sized hero cards, each of which has a special power, and starts with a deck of ten cards. Each turn, a player starts with a hand of five cards and can acquire or conquer the five types of cards in the game: heroes, villains, equipment, super powers, and locations. To defeat villains, you'll need to have power – but when any villain is defeated, a new one comes into play, attacking all the heroes while doing so. Make sure you've acquired defenses – like superspeed or bulletproof powers, or The Batsuit equipment – to protect yourself from harm.

Craft your hero deck into a well-oiled machine to take on the most vile villains in the DC Universe in your quest for Victory (Points)!

User Reviews (24)

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Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Advanced Reviewer
Guardian Angel
60 of 61 gamers found this helpful
“Every game is a crossover event: messy but still fun”

DC Comics: Deck-Building Game is a simple variation on a standard deckbuilder, using the trappings of starting Superheroes to provide variation of play and strategy between players, and adding the complication of a Supervillain deck both as a resolving series of obstacles and a clock for the end of the game. The game is very easy to learn, but lacks thematic cohesion.

Players choose one of seven starting Superhero cards, each featuring a classic DC hero (though how “classic” Cyborg is, is open to debate) with a different ability. These abilities generally involve generating more Power (the currency used to buy cards for your deck) or drawing more cards. Starting decks are identical, with seven Punch cards (+1 Power) and three Vulnerability cards (chaff cards which generate no Power and are worth no Victory Points). After determining who goes first (which will always be The Flash if he was one of the Superheroes chosen), players take turns using five-card hands to attempt to purchase cards to enhance their decks. Purchases can be made from a fixed Kick pile (+2 Power, 1 VP), or from the Line-Up, flipped from a central deck full of Heroes, Villains, Super Powers, Equipment, and Locations. As the game progresses and players are better able to generate high Power hands, they can take on the Supervillains, gaining a powerful tool for their deck, a big chunk of VP, and flipping the next Supervillain who will then immediately “attack” all of the players in some nasty and unforgiving way. Victory Points are counted at the end from all cards in a player’s deck, subtracting for any Weakness cards (-1 VP chaff) that were given out during the course of play.

Part of the fun in the game is in getting the right setup of cards in combination, particularly if they interact well with your Superhero. Batman, for example, interacts well with Equipment cards — the more his player acquires, the more robust his deck will be. Each of the heroes has certain “signature” cards which will work better with that hero’s innate strategy: sticking with the Batman example, there are The Batcave (a Location which allows you to draw a card the first time you play an Equipment each turn), Utility Belt (an Equipment that is worth 5VP if your deck contains four or more other Equipment at the end of the game), and The Dark Knight (a Hero card that gains you all of the Equipment in the Line-Up, and which has an extra kicker if you also played the Catwoman Hero card). This being a “common deck” deckbuilder in the mold of Ascension, however, you have no guarantee of being able to purchase cards which will work specifically with your chosen strategy, and in fact, may have other players actively purchasing cards just to deny them to you.

Many Villain cards include Attack abilities which target one or more of the current player’s opponents; to counter these, a number of Defense cards are available. This is one of the areas where the theme breaks down — if you (the player) are representing a Superhero, why does your turn involve using Villains to assault other Superheroes? Similarly, defeated Supervillains also enter the players’ decks. Since there is no restriction on who can buy which cards, nor any “homefield advantage” for Aquaman, for instance, trying to buy his own Trident, decks end up looking like a hodge-podge arsenal of tools and characters from all throughout the DC Universe. If you’re looking for a gameplay experience which mirrors a comic book narrative of superheros coming together to struggle against villainy, you won’t find it in the base DC deckbuilding games. (Instead look at Legendary or the Crisis Expansions for the DC deckbuilders.)

This base game does have some balance issues. Most of the Location cards are card-draw based, and thus can accelerate the speed of decks that acquire them considerably — those who are winning tend to continue to win more. Deck thinning, a key component of most deckbuilding games, is relatively scarce, and highly prized when it does come around.

Despite the thematic and balance issues, DC Comics: Deck-Building Game is still a great deal of fun to play. The game is fairly simple to learn, and unlike its Marvel counterpart, does not require 15-20 minutes of intricate setup before gameplay can even begin. Anyone who is introduced to deckbuilding games like this one which use Cryptozoic’s “Cerberus Engine” can graduate to other such games without difficulty. All in all, the game is fun, but is not immersive. This base set is decent on its own, but its issues are better addressed by later base games in the series. Still, Cryptozoic continues to breathe new life into “tired” editions of DC Comics: Deck-Building Game with its Add-On Packs and Crisis Expansions.

Colorful comic-style art
Good gateway deckbuilding game
Easy setup and cleanup
Short (30 min) play time

Thematically weak
Unbalancing cards
Minimal deck-thinning

Gameplay experience enhanced by expansions

DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite review
DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Forever Evil review
DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Teen Titans review

DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Rivals – Batman vs The Joker review

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Reporter Intern
I play yellow
91 of 98 gamers found this helpful
“If you can avoid it's Weaknesses, it's a brilliant introduction to the deck building genre.”

The DC Deck Building Game (DCDBG) is one of my personal favorite deck building games. However, it does have some issues/flaws that would make it a terrible choice for some gamers.

As an introduction to the basic mechanics of a deck building game, DCDBG is fantastic. If you are new to deck building games or want to teach new players the concept of deck building, I would highly recommend DCDBG. There aren’t many extra things going on in DCDBG aside from abilities listed on the cards themselves, and the game only has one type of currency (power). Also, even though everyone plays as a hero with a special ability (Batman, Superman, etc), a player can win without focusing entirely on utilizing that ability.

The game does have a few “flaws” that could ruin the game for some people though. One flaw is the fact that the game is so simple. Without playing a longer game, it’s hard to get a lot of depth into your play strategy before the game is over. The fact that the game is fairly straight-forward means that there aren’t many alternative paths to winning either.

Another huge flaw which may turn people away from DCDBG is the terrible implementation of theme. This has been mentioned in other reviews, but it bears repeating. Your base currency card is a Punch, which provides +1 Power. You use the Power from your Punches to purchase equipment, villains, heroes, and super powers…what? I can understand how that would make sense if you were “capturing villains”, but why would you punch a fellow hero to recruit them to your deck? Also, because the abilities of the heroes you play as are pretty tame and you can, for example, add Heat Vision to your deck as Batman, it doesn’t really feel like you are immersed in the role of your hero.

Personally, I enjoy the simplicity of the game. There are more complicated deck builders out there for when I want to play something complicated. It’s also easy for me to ignore the flaws in theme because I enjoy all the awesome characters and powers that are included. I don’t really care if I’m playing Batman with all Batman stuff or if I’m some weird DC super hero mash-up. The game is a blast to play regardless, and everyone I have played the game with wants to play it again. And again.

My Star Values:
Replay: 3/5 Replay value will varying depending on how much you enjoy all the characters and abilities, and if you like the DC Comics Universe.
Components: 4/5 The artwork is awesome, the cards themselves are good stock quality. That said, the components are all cards, so they lack the “wow” factor of a 5/5.
Easy to Learn: 5/5 The use of a single currency makes the game incredibly easy to teach. You could teach this game in about 5-10 minutes to people who have never even heard of deck building games.

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Gave My First Grade
66 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“Deckbuilding - villain stomping fun”

The DC deckbuilding game is, unsurprisingly, a deckbuilding game with the DC comic license. I like deckbuilding games and my initial impression is that the cards look good, feel like good card stock, and the game feels fun.

Unlike other deckbuilding game there is only one resource, power. Power is used both to fight the super villains in the super villain stack (more on this below) and to buy better cards for your deck which are either heroes, equipment, superpowers, locations, or even villains. This makes the game easier to learn because you do not have to teach a new player how to decide whether to choose to go down a purchasing or fighting path like you would in Ascension.

To begin each player is assigned randomly a hero card which provides a benefit. Batman gets one additional power for every equipment you play during your turn while Superman gets one additional power for each differently named superpowers you play during your turn.

The starting deck of each player is 7 punches (+1 power each) and 3 vulnerabilities (0 power). There is a Line Up of 5 available cards to purchase and one super villain you can defeat and acquire for your deck. The base rules say that no new cards come out during your turn, so the 5 you see are the 5 you can buy.

There are cards which attack other players, forcing them to gain a weakness (0 power card that provides -1 victory point at the end) or put a starting card from their discard pile onto the top of their deck. There are defense cards that let you discard them to not be effected by an attack and to draw a card or some other bonus. The only attacks that can not be blocked are the super villain cards that other players play after first defeating the super villain.

The super villain stack contains Ra’s Al Ghul as the top revealed card for every game. There are 11 other cards of which you randomly choose 7 to put face down below Ra’s. These cards provide a better victory point to cost ration than other cards, usually 5 or 6 points. Once you defeat a super villain it goes to your discard pile and becomes part of your deck. Some of these super villains provide you a bonus, some do an attack that is not called an attack (and I believe therefore is not able to be defended against – but I may be wrong on this).

Locations (ex. Batcave, Fortress of Solitude, Arkham Asylum) stay in play once played and allow you do draw an additional card when you play a specific type of card (equipment, superpower, villain respectively). They cost 5 power each and are better the earlier that you acquire and play them.

I have played the game only with one opponent so far but the game accommodates 2-5 players. Some cards clearly get better with more opponents

The game is fun and I have only begun to scratch the surface. The art is good and the flavor is fun. My only request for future cards is that I would like more ability to thin out my deck – the term in this game is destroy. I do not doubt that the lack of destroy cards is intentional, but the Ascension player in me wants more of an ability to destroy.

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64 of 71 gamers found this helpful
“Simple and Elegant”

The title tells you everything you need to know about what this game is about. You take on the role of a DC superhero, and you attempt to defeat a series of Super Villains by building a deck. Pretty simple. If you’ve played deck building games before, you’ll have no trouble catching on to this one. Even players new to DBGs learn the game quickly. I’ve introduced several of my friends to the DBG genre with this game, and they loved it.

The box contains a 114 card Main deck, 12 Super-Villain card, 7 Super Hero character cards, the deck starter cards (Punch and Vulnerabilty), and the Kick and Weakness cards (staple cards that stay available through out the game). The players start with a 10 card deck and a Super Hero character card (it doesn’t go in your deck, but provides an always active Ability). They add to their decks by playing cards that generate Power. At the beginning of the game and the end of each turn the players fill The Line Up with cards from the Main Deck, providing options for spend the Power a player generates. Most of the cards you add to your deck also give you victory points (Weaknesses being the main exception in that they actually subtract VP). At the end of the game, the player with the most VP in his or her deck wins.

You can also spend Power to defeat the cards in the Super-Villain Stack. For each game, you randomly and secretly determine which 8 Super-Villains go in the stack, though Ra’s Al Ghul is always the first. Each time a player defeats a Super-Villain, a new one is revealed and gets a chance to “attack” the players. Once all the Super-Villains are defeated the game ends and players tally their VP.


The games is quick to set up out of the box and easy to learn. The instructions are clear and concise. Just about any experience level gamer should have no problem getting into this game.

The production quality of the game is high and the art is very nice.

The mechanics at the heart of the game are simple and solid, but variety of card effects keeps the game engaging. The game moves quickly so no one spends too much time waiting for their turn, and you can finish a game in about an hour.


The story conceit of the game, that the deck represents your Super Hero character, falls apart with any amount of scrutiny. Why would Batman have Heat Vision? Why would Superman add Lex Luthor to his deck?

Because the cards come randomly from the Main Deck, it can be difficult to stick with a strategy. Superman’s ability thrives on playing Super Powers, but if not many come out to buy, you’ll have to rethink that strategy. In the same way, because everyone is buying from the same pool of five cards, you won’t know what will be available until your turn comes up. That makes it hard to make a plan while the other players take their turns.


I love this game. I’ve played it a dozen times since we bought it and had a good experience every time. It works with as few as two people, but the sweet spot is probably 3 or 4. Compared to the other DBGs I’ve played, set up time is quicker and the learning curve is milder. There are a couple of shortcomings, but the fun of the game outweighs them. I’m not sure how much an expansion could game, but I’ll be more than willing to try it when one inevitably surfaces!

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Comic Book Fan
PC Game Fan
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
63 of 70 gamers found this helpful
“Simple deck builder that's fun and easy to learn”


“DC Comics: Deck-Building Game” is a fast paced deck building game in which players choose a Super Hero from the DC universe and try to get as many Victory Points (VP) as they can by buying cards and defeating Super-Villains.


1. Easy to learn

2. The art is wonderful

3. Quick set up, quick tear down

4. Game time is short (around 30-45 min once you know how to play and what the cards each do)

5. Player interaction adds fun and complexity without making players feel picked on (if you have sensitive players this is important)

6. The Super-Villain mechanics add fun, anticipation and excitement

7. Some turns can have that EPIC feeling that you want in a Super Hero themed game where you get a ton of Power because you made the right choices

8. Wording on cards is consistent and has little confusion if you read them fully (some games have very ambiguous wording, I haven’t found that in this game at all)


1. The Super Heros do not feel totally balanced (they are close, but they don’t feel completely right)

2. Some people have a problem with thematic inconsistencies (e.g. you can be the Flash but by the Batmobile card so the Flash is using the Batmobile). If you can approach the game as not an RPG but rather a simple and fun card game then this shouldn’t be a problem for you, if you can’t then this will be a problem for you

Basic Rules

The resource of this game is Power and it is what is used to buy cards and defeat Super-Villains (defeating a Super-Villain is the same as buying it, it’s just a different term). The more Power you can generate per turn, the better because it means you can buy higher cost cards or more cards with a lower cost, both of which net you VP.

At the start of the game everyone is given a starting deck that has the same 10 cards, 7 Punches (+1 Power) and 3 Vulnerabilities (is a junk card, it does nothing). All players shuffle their starting decks and draw 5 cards.

The basic model of game play following the start goes something like this:
1. Play cards in your hand

2. Buy cards from a line-up of cards, placing them into your discard pile

3. Discard all played cards

4. Draw a new hand of 5 cards, if you don’t have 5 cards left in your deck then shuffle your discard pile and this becomes your new deck to draw from

5. Next player’s turn

This goes round and round until all cards in the main deck (the deck that the line-up is replenished from) are gone OR all of the Super-Villains have been defeated. Each card in the game has a VP value and at the end of the game you simply add them all up and whoever has the most wins.

Player Interaction

There are 2 ways that players can interact with each other:

1. By buying cards in order to deny other players the chance to buy them. This is an indirect way of interacting with another player and in some case they may feel like they were not attacked because another equally good card turns over after the one you bought which they can now buy

2. By playing cards which affect other players. Many of the Villain cards in the game have effects that will cause bad things to happen to other players. These effects however are applied to ALL other players so no one person can ever say they are being picked on. This helps to reduce frustration between players if you have people who don’t handle conflict well


There are 2 forms of luck in this game:
1. Which cards flip over into the line-up right before your turn (i.e. at the end of the turn of the person before you)

2. Which cards you draw on any given turn (i.e. the order of the cards in your deck). There are some cards that allow you to stack your deck ever so slightly so there can be some minor removal of luck here, but for the most part you are at the whim of the shuffle


The skill in this game revolves around which cards you buy and the order in which you play cards during each of your turns. Let’s talk about each:

1. When buying cards you need to know which cards are best to buy given the following factors: a) which cards are best for your Super Hero, b) which cards are best for your deck given it’s current makeup and c) which cards are best for your opponents. When you can accurately assess any given card given these 3 criteria then you can make the right choice of which card to buy in order to either bolster your deck or disable your opponent’s.

2. When playing cards it is important to understand that you play them in order. Certain effects can be utilized in order to come up with conventions that other players wouldn’t consider. An example would be to say play 2 cards with 3 Power total, buy a card with cost 3 and put it into your discard pile, then use a card to get the card you just bought from your discard pile and play it during the current turn. This is something that many people don’t think of doing but in certain circumstances is the right thing to do.


The design of the cards is very easy to read and quickly understand what is going on and the sizing on fonts is well suited. The art of the cards is also top notch, this is actually one of the things I like about this game the most as other games I have played (I am looking at you “Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game”) don’t this level of art.

Verdict (or “Should you spend your money on this game”)

If you like playing quick and fun card games this is a fantastic game. The aesthetic and design of the cards, coupled with the epic art for the DC characters makes for a nice looking game.

Who it is NOT for
If you are looking for a game with a story or plot like “Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game” then this game is NOT for you. If you cannot get past the idea that you are playing as Batman and can buy cards like “Super Strength”, “Heat Vision” or even “Gorilla Grodd” for that matter, in order to defeat your fellow Super Heroes then this game is not for you.

Who it IS for
If you just want to sit down for a fun game that takes 30-45 minutes in which you can mess with your friends, defeat some Super-Villains and have some turns that make you feel like a super hero because your master plan has finally come together in that one epic hand, then this game is for you.

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Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
62 of 69 gamers found this helpful
“Simple but Fantastic!”

The overall objective of the game is to get the most points. The cards you “buy” give you those points. Cards usually provide power which is the “money” of the system. When the Super-Villain Deck is depleted, the game is over. Sounds simple? Pretty much is. You can play cards in any order you want on your turn, but the order can matter. Super-Villains do mean things to everyone unless you have defense. There are some cards that give you more points depending on the type of cards you “purchase” for your deck, so that can give you goals to get more points.

I’m sure you can read all about it in the game description, but let’s look at what I feel are the pro’s and con’s of the game.

Simple to Learn – very few rules make the game flow along and a quick clip.
Varied Art – apparently they learned from the Marvel game that the same old art becomes bland. Not to mention the art is FANTASTIC!
Variety of Cards – I like that they have Equipment and Super Power and Villains that you can buy and they aren’t super repetitive. The main deck keeps you cycling through a lot of different cards, so it is exciting to see what will come up.
The Hero – sure, you don’t really feel like the Flash, but it is neat that everyone has a certain advantage (power) to go along with the character they draw. That makes it feel more varied and can make you go after specific cards depending on who you have.
The Super-Villains – Oh, I love the Super-Villains when they pop up and give everyone a big smackdown. I also really like how you have to keep an overall focus on this deck to really win.

Almost too simple – Not a lot of meat here. If you want a lot of meat, it isn’t for you. I don’t mind it in this type of game, plays about right to me. Luck of the draw will outdo a lot of strategy here.
Theme is PASTED on – So, you don’t REALLY seem to be your own super hero, right? I mean, it’s not like you’re recruiting villains to beat Atrocitus. I think in the context of the game, it works for me, so it isn’t that big of a negative. Legendary probably has a bit stronger theme if that’s what you’re looking for, but even that is “iffy” when it comes to theme.

Right now, the pro’s outweigh the cons for me. More expansions would be fantastic. However, I wonder how they would handle the already large deck situation when adding even more. But I definitely want more heroes I can be and more super-villains to “fight”. This game is just FUN! In fact, I like Legendary but I feel this is more FUN than Legendary. Much quicker to explain (not that Legendary is hard) and so much easier to set-up and tear down. That’s a huge plus over Legendary right there. They’ve varied things enough where I feel excited to see what comes up next. For me, I’m a big comic book fan, I also like deck builders. The combination works for me just right and scratches more of an itch than Legendary.

Here’s the real question though. Will this hold up over time? That I can’t guess.

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59 of 66 gamers found this helpful
“Great First Deck Building Experience”

The theme of this game (obviously DC comics) was very well implemented including lots of New 52 artwork, the most recent run of DC comics. There are villain, super-villain, hero, super-hero, power, equipment, weakness, vulnerability, and location cards with the super-hero cards being the only ones that aren’t added to your deck. The latter provide you with special abilities that you as an individual can use throughout the game. The only issue with the theme is that you can being playing as Wonder Woman using your heat vision while driving the batmobile in Arkham Asylum with Mr Freeze at your side fighting against the Anti-Monitor. My husband and I took advantage of this situation to add some role-playing in the form of weaving an entertaining story as to why this would ever happen, which added a huge element of fun to the game.

The mechanics of the game are the basic deck building mechanics with one type of currency used for everything (purchasing cards as well as defeating super villains) so it’s a great game to teach the mechanics of deck building. My only difficulty was remembering when to shuffle my discard pile because of the complexity of the conditions and how it can really impact game play if you do it at the wrong time.

The overall goal of the game is to defeat the chosen number of super-villains before the source deck runs out of cards for everyone to buy. Players can play as many cards as they have in their hands and buy as many things as their “power” total (the game’s currency) allows in any given turn. This means that you can move through the deck of source cards a lot quicker than you would expect. However, I have played this game with 2, 4, and 5 players and as well as the maximum number of super-villains without coming close to running out of cards from the source deck before defeating (buying) all of the super-villains. It seems like there are just so many cards! As such, it seems this other end game condition is just one that the creators of the game included for an “in the unlikely event…” situation.

Overall, a fun game that scales well from 2-5 players including a more interactive experience when it is not your turn (due to the high number of cards with an attack aspect) than a game like Dominion. Fanboys of DC will probably love the theme although people not as familiar with the DCU might not appreciate many of the cards.

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Advanced Grader
Novice Reviewer
57 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“Simple Execution”

The DC deck building game is a more simple version of Ascension for those of you who are familiar with Ascension. Here are the Pros and Cons for the game:

– It’s easy to pick up and play. There are a few rules that need clarification from time to time, but for the most part it’s easy to catch on for what you need to do.
– Easy setup and tear down.
– Artwork is excellent (and displays a lot of the 52 art for comic fans)
– In addition to building a deck, you play as a hero that can provide you benefits and ultimately guide your strategy.

– Being simple is good and bad. Those of you looking for something that is more complicated and includes more options, DC is a simplified version of deck builders.
– Cards are themed after heroes, but can be acquired by anyone. For example, batman’s utility belt can be acquired by Aquaman. This doesn’t really bother me so much but I’ve seen some critics who feel that this takes away from their particular hero.

I’m a big Ascension Fan, and at first I thought this game was fun but simple. However, my roommate and I began playing it more and more because it was so easy to just set it up and play a short game. I will also say that as a DC fan, the theme really helps. It’s really nice to see all the heroes, equipment, villains and superpowers that you come to love. I would recommend this game.

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Rated 50 Games
57 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“DC Comics Deck-Building Game Review by David Lowry”

Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Martian Manhunter, the world’s greatest hero’s join forces to vanquish the super-villains and archenemies. Each bent on the destruction of the Justice League. In the DC Comic Deck-Building Game, you get to pick the role of one the famed heroes and compete with fellow heroes to defeat all the super-villains lined up to take you out.

Publisher: Cryptozoic Entertainment

Game Designer: Matt Hyra and Ben Stoll

Players: 2-5

Ages: 15 to adult

Playing Time: 30- 45 minutes

Contents: 214 game cards including, 36 punch starting cards, 16 vulnerability starting cards, 114 main deck cards, 16 kick cards, 12 DC Comics super-villain cards, 20 weakness cards, 7 oversized DC Comic super hero cards and 1 rule book.

Suggested Retail Price: $40.00

Parental Advisory: Safe for kids

In the DC Comics Deck-Building Game you are randomly dealt a Super Hero to play. If you are dealt The Flash, you always go first. The Flash super Power allows for you to go through your deck quickly which makes sense, as he is the fastest man alive. Other heroes have benefits like Batman gives you bonuses for playing equipment cards, Superman likes super Power cards, Wonder Woman lets you draw more cards for every super villain you defeated each round.

You start with a hand of 7 Punch cards worth one Power each and 3 Vulnerability cards worth nothing. These effectively water down your hand and need to be purged as soon as possible. Each of your Punch cards comes with 1 Power, which is the currency in the game to either buy additional cards or defeat Villains and Super-Villains. You shuffle and draw 5 cards for each hand. Once you have played your hand any cards used or drawn are discarded and then 5 new cards are drawn for your new hand.

The main deck comprised of 114 cards (not including Super-Villains, Punch, Kick, Vulnerability or Weakness cards) is shuffled and placed in the middle of the table. Place 5 cards out in a line for the line-up. This is where most of your deck will come from.

The Super-Villain stack is set off to the side of the main deck on the table. The Super-Villain deck can be comprised of 12 different cards but usually 8 cards are used unless you prefer to play a longer game. The Super-Villain card Ra’s Al Ghul is always the top card to start any game. All the other cards are placed facedown underneath the Ra’s card. Make sure to shuffle this deck and randomly draw out the cards not being used so that the deck is unknown to the players.

The Kick and Weakness cards are also place at the end of the Line-Up with the Super-Villain cards. The Kick (+2 Power) cards are always available for purchase at the cost of 3 Power if the cards in the Line-up are either to expensive to purchase or the players doesn’t like the current cards in the Line-Up. Weakness cards are given to the players in the form of an attack either played by the Super-Villain cards being revealed or a player invoking the attack of a villain they put into play. Weakness cards again water down the hand and provide a -1 victory point per card at the end of the game.

Once play begins you can purchase cards from the Line-Up to improve your decks and can purchase as many cards as your total Power allow. The purchase or defeat cost is on the bottom right corner of the card in the Line-Up or Super-Villain stack. Once you purchase a card, the space in the Line-Up is left there until after that players turn is done, then the Line-Up is refilled back up to 5 cards.

Cards are played in any order and the text on the cards is resolved immediately. This makes it very important to know what is in your hand and what order to play the cards in. Villain cards played may have an attack against the other players, Equipment cards may give you bonuses or allow cards to be destroyed, and Location card text may be triggered as well as your Super Hero Card. You may purchase cards from the Line-Up at anytime during your turn even if you haven’t already played all of your cards. During a players turn, if they defeat a Super-Villain and completed all their actions, they draw back up to 5 cards and then the next Super-Villain card is flipped up and the First Appearance text is resolved against all players in the game.

If during an attack be either a player or a Super-Villain, a player may have a card in their hand with a defense. They can then play this card if they chose to ward off the attack and resolved the text on the card for defense. Once the player has finished their turn, all cards purchased or defeated go face-up in the discard pile to be redrawn later, this includes all Villain and Super-Villain cards.

Once all of the Super-Villains have been defeated the game immediately ends and the players count up their victory points on the bottom left corner of the cards in their deck.

Cards my have certain benefits such as Location cards once played stay out in front of the player the rest of the game and may be triggered each and every turn. Super-Hero cards like Superman for example, have their abilities triggered every time a Super Power (orange) card is played.

There are quite a few variants of the game that can be played as well:

Two Heads are Better Than One – This variant is a 1 on 1 game, where each player plays two different Super Heroes at the same time. This allows for game text to apply to both Super Heroes.

Team Game – This 2 on 2 variant has one team working together to defeat the opposing team. Teams alternate turns and are free to discuss strategy. Attacks do not affect your teammate but if you are attacked, you may defend your teammate. Once the game is over, both players add their totals together and the team with the highest total wins.

On Patrol: This is basically the standard game except you may immediately fill any holes in the Line-Up on your turn after a purchase or defeat of a villain. If any attacks appear during the refill of the Line-Up they affect you and only you.

The game cards are good quality and weight and the artwork is extremely well done. The rule book is laid our fairly well and easy to understand making the game easy to pick up quickly and get playing immediately. The Super Hero cards are of a much larger size than the playing cards and unfortunately don’t fit well into the box. The space provided makes it very difficult to get them out and could lead to damaging the cards. The other cards slots leave a lot to be desired as well. If you decided to sleeve your cards to protect them, the current box will provide major fitting issues for putting away your game. Good box design is critical for deck building games and this is one area where the game fails but I am glad to say the only area.

The DC Deck-Building Game is really a lot of fun. It’s a very easy game to learn and teach. It’s playing time make it an easy filler while waiting for other people to show up or something you are able to play several times in one sitting for those that really get into it. While not as strategic as some deck building games it really fills the void for those looking for something that keeps the action going and this game will suffer a lot less from those people with analysis paralysis. While the theme is DC Super Heroes, the theme isn’t really a factor in the game. When you are supposed to be a Super Hero like Batman, but yet you are playing villain cards that you previously defeated, that really doesn’t make sense but it’s okay. The game delivers on many levels while any little nit picking things really don’t matter or take away from the game play. After playing this game at many different game nights and teaching it to other people who don’t normally play board games or usually only play Magic: The Gathering, the response has almost been very favorable and the game store it was played and demoed at sold all their copies to these people.

I will give this game about a 7.5 out of 10 stars as it does lack depth but it is certainly worth the price and wins in the fun department. [rating=7.5]

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Private eye
58 of 66 gamers found this helpful
“Not much to see here.”

During our annual Christmas family gaming time, my brother surprised us by bringing out the DC Deckbuilder Game. Having played Marvel Legendary, I assumed gameplay would be similar since it was in the same genre, same mechanic, and released in about the same time. While I enjoyed Legendary and found the theming to be appropriate to the play, I had just opposite experience with the DC.

The cards in this game are of quality cardstock and contain artwork that is appropriate to a super hero game. Given that this is a deckbuilder as the name implies, there is no board to speak of and the components themselves are the cards.

Gameplay is very starightforward using the proven Dominionesque deckbuilding mechanisms for players to propegate their powers throughout the game. From strictly a mechanical perspective, this game plays very smoothly and efficiently and was very easy to learn. However, that is about the only thing going for this game.

The significant problem that I had with this game is the theming. Don’t get me wrong, I love the superhero universe be it DC, Marvel, or any other. The issue that I’m describing is that you may find yourself playing Superman in the same turn that you are equiping him with a utility belt, Aquaman’s Trident, and fielding a villain. It just doesn’t make thematic sense and feels distinctly schizophrenic.

At the end of the game I found myself not feeling though I had immersed myself in the sides of good or evil to vanquish my foe, I felt like I had collected only numbered cards for the purpose of a superhero math contest. I have to give this game a thumbs down.

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Critic - Level 1
57 of 65 gamers found this helpful
“Lots of Simple Fun”

There is going to be a lot of comparison between this and the Marvel Legendary deck building game. Some of it is to be expected – DC vs. Marvel for one, mechanics vs mechanics as another – and this review will be no different. DC Comics Deck Building Game comes across as DBG lite in comparison to the other game. But….that’s not bad. And in some ways, it makes DC the better game.

DC Comics Deck Building Game uses Cryptozoic’s deck building mechanic (which will also be in the upcoming Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck Building Game) which isn’t all that different from every other deck builder out there. You have a hand of starting cards, a main deck from which you will build your deck, and a stack of super villains you will have to defeat. From the main deck, you create a line-up (five cards are laid out). This lineup can be made up of heroes, powers, locations, villains, and equipment. Locations, when played, are left in front of you giving you ongoing effects. Other cards are placed into your hand and can be used to purchase new cards or to fight the Super Villain deck.

This is a super (all puns intended) simple game that is a perfect introduction to Deck Building Games for those who enjoy the super hero genre. There is nothing really new to this game. Nothing that jumps out and says WOW! It does what it sets out to do: give players a fun, quick experience. It doesn’t utilize a story mechanic that Marvel Legendary does, nor does it have a “semi-cooperative” mechanic like Legendary. What it has is a down and dirty beat your opponent by grabbing more points theme that is a lot of fun.

If you purchase this one thinking you’re getting the same type of experience as you would with the much more expensive Legendary, you’ll be disappointed. If you want to purchase a game that features comic book staples such as Superman, Batman, Aquaman, and others, then this game will be a great addition to your collection. However, it is in desperate need of expansions for some more heroes and super villains to add some spice to the game.

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Book Lover
56 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“Bif! Pow! Discard!”

There are two things I love in this world: Superheroes and card games. Well, and nachos, but that has nothing to do with this review. My experience with deck-building games was minimal before, but this game got me hooked on them. The set-up is simple (start with ten cards, one hero, and a dream), and the game resolves like ever other deck-building game. Buy cards, play cards, buy super villains (um…) and end up with the most points at the end of the game.

If you’ve ever wanted to get into the deck-building craze, this game is a good place to start.

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I'm a Real Person
56 of 64 gamers found this helpful

This is game is fun due to the variety of cards that can be bought in the line up. Thematically, its doesnt make sense since for example Superman doesnt need Aquaman’s Trident to fight. But I think the character you play isnt as important as the deck building aspect where you build your deck the way want to play it and even obtain villains to use in your deck. This is what I find most interesting about this game. The fact that everything is mashed together. The DC theme makes it interesting, playing superheroes, using other peoples power, obtaining locations that belong to others. I think the comic book theme although not staying true to the reality of the characters is why I keep playing it over and over.

This is quick game because once youre familiar with the cards, you take your turn very fast. The artwork is excellent, comic book style. Makes me want to by the expansions immediately to add more variety to the game. The information on the cards are laid out functionally with good clear text. I find Marvel Legendary cards a bit difficult to read compared to this one when the text are overlaid into the graphics.

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Video Game Fan
Hockey Fan
Movie Lover
Smash Up Fan
56 of 65 gamers found this helpful
“SOOO FUN as well as highly addicting”

I played this game for the first time yesterday at a local gaming club meet-up. I have played Dominion, Legendary Encounters: An Alien DBG,as well as a few others. I gotta say I really enjoyed playing this game. This review isn’t going to focus on whats different about this game compared to other DBGs but instead about how fun the theme was, which i usually don’t find DBGs to be “fun”. I find them more addicting than fun but this game was both.

I find that some DBGs can lose their lack luster after a few play throughs but having a battle theme with punching and kicking being your main actions, I totally got into trying to give my turns some life by verbally acting out my turns, first I grab my batarang and Kick twice followed by a punch in order to over power the Manhunter and take over S.T.A.R. Labs.

I had a really good time. I would recommend this for people who are new to deck building games as some of the other ones I have played were kind of dull but took more strategic planning, I didnt think this game required as much planning but was more interesting to play.

i definitely am going to check out the Marvel Legendary Encounters dbg to compare. But I am sure I will end up loving both equally.

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I Am What I Am
Rated 10 Games
56 of 69 gamers found this helpful
“Great casual fun”

This is the staple for deck builders IMO at this time. Others have come before and since but this is the game we use to teach new players to deck building at our store. Very simple play that can grow with time played but the mechanics of the game are just so easy almost anyone can play and have a good time on the first go. We refer to the learning curve and ” Can you read? Then you can play.” Most people think its an overstatement but find it to be so true so fast. Great fun great great system. Setup and clean up become so fast we can play and pick up 5-6 times a night and nobody cares!

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Smash Up Fan
56 of 70 gamers found this helpful
“What if”

This game was fun. I played the LotR (Fellowship of the Ring) Deck Builder first and I thought that was a little better honestly. I thought about this on my way in to work this morning; this game would be better if it had cards that could stop the other players from making big plays. If there is a person about to get the villain, I could play a card during his turn to stop that. THAT would make the game a little bit more strategic and IMO more fun.

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Smash Up: Dinosaur Faction Fan
56 of 76 gamers found this helpful
“Holy Deckbuilder Batman”

What can I say about the DC Deck Builder?

It’s okay. I have played it through roughly 10 times with friends and students so I think I have a pretty decent grasp of the the game.

You start out as a DC Super Hero, you can choose or deal out characters randomly. Each Hero has their own special ability, not bad. Makes sense.

You can then buy cards (at first using punch and kick actions) from a community pool(this is where them starts to break down), that help you defeat or buy more cards (these cards include equipment, lower level heroes, and villains).

The goal is to beat Super Villains who also come with their own special abilities that launch when their card is flipped. The person who defeats the most Super Villains normally wins.

The theme breaks down due in part to the community pool of cards. You can buy cards like Super Strength and Super Speed regardless of who your hero is. I think they could have made some character specific decks and the game would have better flow. I like the idea it’s just the follow through wasn’t great.


If you can get it super cheap, it’s not a bad deck builder, it can be fun. I wouldn’t go out of my way to play it though.

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Smash Up Fan
57 of 79 gamers found this helpful
“simple isn't bad”

DC Comics: Deck building game is a really fun game at it’s core. The game isn’t the most challenging or overally challenging, but the game is quick. The game can end really quickly or take a long time depending on the group your playing with.

The box is a little bigger then I expected it to be but not excessively large. The built in tray is kind of a nice feature, just wasn’t thought all the way through. The hero cards get lost in the spot(i used some trading cards to lift it up makes em easier to get out). The color coded other spots is pretty convinent. The cards are nicely done and easy to read.

The game is really simple, and isn’t hard to learn. I don’t understand why they needed to make cards worth zero, I understand the weakness giving minus one victory point. The vulnerabilty just doesn’t make sense to be in the deck. The supervillian deck can be your worst enemy sometimes.

Overall the game is pretty good, but lacks a little extra nuggets. I doubt there will be an expansion for this. The game itself is pretty fun though, and has been played quit a bit recently in my group. They different modes that the book gives at the end add to the experience also.

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I play purple
Explorer - Level 6
Cryptozoic Entertainment fan
56 of 79 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“An excellent DBG”

This is my first deck building game and I absolutely love it. The DC comics theme has a slight influence on me though! Superman is my mentor! Play is very simple. After reading the rules you will probably not have to go back to them for any rulings. I love the game mechanic of a main deck and a line up of cards on the table and three other decks in play. There is not a lot of beating up your fellow players although defeating some villians and adding them to your deck to play later can give you that option. The super-villians do must of the beatings!

The game starts out a little slow as you slowly build your deck each turn from the cards in the lineup. I think this just increases the suspense of the game. After a few turns the players start to interact with each other a bit more with their card plays.

This game has many things I like. For instance you can sleeve the cards in the deck with cheap sleeves from Wal-Mart. It is a short game averaging maybe 60 minutes. Set up time is very short as well. Also very easy to teach and newbies will not be frustrated playing it their first time. I will be playing this game till the sleeves wear out and need replaced!! Play it today!

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Critic - Level 1
75 of 112 gamers found this helpful
“Unthematic and unoriginal”

I was excited to play my first Superhero-themed game and was sorely disappointed by DC Comics. I might check out the Marvel game and see if that’s any better…

1) Theme: the designers did a poor job integrating the theme to the mechanics. Why are the heroes spending punches and kicks to buy new gear and powers? Are we beating up other heroes and taking their stuff? Why are villains being recruited into our party after we beat them?

2) The mechanics are unoriginal: it’s a bad copy of other, better deck-building games (Dominion, Ascension etc.). Sure the super-villain and the super-hero powers are kinda novel, but not interesting enough to keep me engaged…

I wouldn’t replay this game and I tend to be generous in terms of ratings…


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