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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - Board Game Box Shot

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

In Legendary, players take on the roles of Marvel heroes, including the Avengers and X-Men, and team up to defeat an evil Mastermind. The players have to defeat the likes of Magneto, Loki, Dr. Doom, or Red Skull to win the game - if they do, the players are ranked by the most Victory Points accumulated during play.

Over 500 cards with original artwork, full color game board & color rule book. Over the course of the game, players will recruit powerful hero cards to add to their deck in order to build a stronger and stronger deck of ultimate Marvel superhero combinations! Innovative “mastermind” mechanics allow the game to fight back against the players and if players are not careful, villainous Marvel masterminds like Magneto, Loki and Dr. Doom threaten to accomplish dark schemes and defeat all the players at once!

User Reviews (19)

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Smash Up Fan
91 of 98 gamers found this helpful
“Great fun, can be a little easy”

Marvel Legendary is a cooperative deck building game where players play cards from their hands to either defeat villains or recruit more hero cards into their deck. Play continue until they can defeat the mastermind villain 4 times. Each time an attack is performed on a mastermind (and sometimes other villains), there is an effect that sometimes makes the game harder, but sometimes give you a bonus. Players loose if they fail to stop the masterminds scheme. There are various different schemes that you can play and combine with different masterminds, villains and henchmen to give the game high replay-ability.

At the end of the game and if the heroes win, you can add up your legendary points (as received when defeating villains or rescuing bystanders) and the one with the most points is most legendary.

Game Setup
I am a family gamer for the most part and was playing this game with my 11 year old daughter (who is an absolute sucker for super heroes, especially Marvel). The initial setup of the game is a little cumbersome due to the sheer number of deck types. There are heroes (of course), villains, henchmen, masterminds, scheme, bystanders, shield agents, and more and during setup you need to choose various decks, some of them are combined and placed out on the board. The cumbersome part is finding all the decks that you need to choose from the box. The deck separators are generic so it is hard to tell which decks are where, plus all decks have the same back. It would have been nice to get deck separators that had icons or images that represent the deck (like Sentinels of the Multiverse). Not the worst thing in the world but it does take a good 10 minutes or so to set the game up.

First Playthrough
Once you get started, things move along pretty quickly. Players take turns by:

1. Drawing a Villain Card and following its directions and placing in the city. You also follow any special rules that may be on the card.
2. Play your hand. This entails playing different cards from your hand and using their recruit points to recruit new heroes into your hand, or using your cards attack values to defeat villains.

The game has nice effects that can sometimes be chained together to give you a really satisfying attack. It is also interesting how decide to build your deck. For example, certain heroes compliment each other so you can choose to only recruit Cyclopes and Wolverine cards to build your deck to be efficient. For me this is great because it is easy enough for kids to play, yet adults appreciate the finer points of building their deck.

Even with the first play through, this game felt easy. Defeating the mastermind 4 times was not very difficult and I never felt like we got hit real hard by anything the villains threw at us. We did play the recommended setup for a first game so hopefully it gets harder…

Second Playthrough
Second play through was much easier to get setup and going. We had a new player and it was fairly easy to explain to them how to play, once everything was setup.

This time around we chose villains/henchmen randomly and ended up fighting Magneto. This time around things were a little bit harder. We did have some villains escape and felt like we got knocked upside the head a couple of times. A few villains were able to escape with some bystanders but we did manage to beat the game again and it was still fun.

We have found Legendary to be a fun game for our family. It has a pretty good balance for kids and enough strategy aspects to keep adults interested. It was not hard to learn (especially after the first play through) and learning how to combine the different hero cards is just plain fun. It could be a little harder at times but I have heard that the Dark City expansion makes the game a bit more difficult so maybe we will pick that up and try to turn up the heat a little.

I will say that compared to Sentinels of the Multiverse, I like Sentinels better. BUT – my kids disagree, they like Legendary better. Overall I would give the game a 7.5 to 8.

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Gamer - Level 3
Rated 25 Games
88 of 95 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 3
“Huge hit with the family”

After the disappointment with King of Tokyo (wife really hated it), and the trouble getting my wife into Eaten by Zombies, I wasn’t sure what would happen with Legendary. At first glance, and considering my wife likes some of the superhero movies but couldn’t care less about comics, I wasn’t sure this would go over so well. Throw in the 60 dollar price tag, and things didn’t look so good.

My gaming group, however, is full of Marvel fans who also like deckbuilders, so I figured for them it was a no-brainer. Easy. The surprise came when I sat down with the wife and kid, to teach it to them, and they both immediately latched onto it and fell in love.

Everyone plays as a “recruiter”, with identical starting decks. 8 Shield Agents that can recruit Marvel Heroes from the “HQ” spot on the board (always five out at a time, replaced when one is bought/removed), and 4 Shield Troopers that deal 1 attack each to a villain or henchman when they are played. Players work to defeat villains from escaping the city (5 spaces on a very nice included board) while building their deck up to become stronger and beat the Mastermind (Loki, Magneto, Red Skull, and Dr. Doom) 4 times, before the Mastermind is able to complete his evil scheme.

Both my wife and daughter caught on quick to the simple nature of the 2 currencies (fight and recruit), as well as starting to recognize combos/synergies between certain cards/heroes. Every turn a card is drawn from a villain deck, which can be a villain to enter the city and be fought, a bystander that gets captured, a Master Strike (the Mastermind attacks, usually dealing wounds and possibly causing other “damage” to players decks), and Scheme Twists. Enough Scheme Twists enter play, and evil wins.

Our first family game vs Red Skull, we were 2 scheme twists away from a loss, and it wasn’t looking good, until we finally started pulling better fight hands. We won, but the next villain card would have been another scheme twist that would have given us all 3 wounds! Had that come out 2 cards earlier, we may not have survived. Was very intense and fun. Defeating villains and rescuing bystanders also nets you victory points, so as to declare the “most legendary” hero at the end. I won with 15 pts, wife had 14, daughter had 11. Close game!

Components are top notch. Art for each character is the same on all of their cards, but that didn’t bother me. Each character has 8 common cards (2 diff. types, 4 cards of each type), 3 uncommon cards, and one rare. There are 15 heroes in the base game, we had five in the 3 player game (Hawkeye, Spiderman, Cyclops, Wolverine, Iron Man).

There are 60 dividers for separating/organizing cards, which is way more than enough. Box insert holds sleeved cards fine, with plenty of/room for expansions. There is also a nice quality board with rules reference/turn order and spaces for all the cards in play. Very nice to have.

Overall, this is the most fun we’ve had with a card-based game since Cutthroat Caverns, which we also enjoy a ton. To be honest, Legendary kind of reminds me of that in the sense that while everyone has to work together to ensure the “game” doesn’t win, you also have opportunities to trip up/hinder other players so that you come out the most legendary hero of the battle (like Iron Man bragging on how it was him who saved everyone’s hides, and Cap arguing back that if not for his calm, level headed leadership no one would have made it. We really liked that, adds some tension and all to the game.

Highly recommended for fans of deckbuilders like Ascension, fans of superheroes/Marvel.

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Cooperative Game Explorer
Rated 100 Games
88 of 95 gamers found this helpful
“Our favorite DBG!”

When I first heard about the arrival of the then-new deckbuilder, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, from Upper Deck Entertainment (the baseball card company?) and designer Devin Lowe (of Magic: The Gathering?), I was only mildly interested in learning more: “Oh cool, a card game about superheroes in the age of overabundant superhero movies, published by a trading card company and designed by a CCG developer.” I thought that surely this would be a cute card game with recognizable heroes out to thwart the bad guys and save the world. Was I initially oversimplistic, or was I sure to be getting a superhero-themed Yu-Gi-Oh! game?


Designer: Devin Low
Publisher: Upper Deck Entertainment
Plays: 1-5 Heroes (though I would recommend 1-3)
Ages: 14+ (probably younger, depending on reading aptitude)
Time: 45-60 Minutes (the first couple plays a bit longer, and all dependent on number of players)
Framework: Deck Building, Cooperative, Card Game

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I learned the game by way of the rulebook AND via Rodney Smith’s Watch It Played! series. Rodney is a delightful board game teacher and aficionado that deserves all the praises he receives. That disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about the components.

In the box you receive a rulebook, a large folded game board, and a heap of cards. The rulebook is concise, well-written, with many examples of play and special instances. I am typically not a fan of ANY rulebook, but I can appreciate this one. The game board is a large mounted board, with several outlined play areas to hold decks and keep track of the different cards you need to play. I like it overall, but I feel that the HQ and city area art are way too busy to accommodate the equally-busy playing cards used in the game. I would have preferred the entire board in the unobtrusive blue with the faint swishes that adorn the rest of the board. Honestly, the board is non-essential after you know the game well enough. The cards (500 in the base game alone!) are comprised of all the heroes, villains, schemes, twists and everything else needed to play the game. As previously mentioned, the cards are decent quality, and they have incredible artwork, but the art is very busy and detracts from the legibility of most of the card names on top. In the base game, the hero cards all use the same art, whereas in expansions, the art is different for each hero, depending on TYPE of card. Some gamers complain about the cards from the base game using the same art for each type, but it really is NOT a gameplay issue. They fixed that in the expansions anyway.

I do not delve into explaining setup and rules of play, as multitudes of reviews and videos do that already. Again, I would like to urge you to watch the Watch It Played video for a great explanation and playthrough. Instead, I will get straight on to what most potential game investors want – another opinion on the game as a whole.

So, after 50+ plays of the base game (solo and otherwise), plus numerous more plays with expansions thrown in, what are my thoughts? Was I initially oversimplistic? Yes. This is not at all a CCG or superhero re-skin of an existing card game. It is its own beast, and though an argument could be had that all deck builders are incredibly similar, this feels different from the others. No, you probably cannot choose to be the Hulk and only the Hulk – and this is where the theme breaks down for some people. You cannot be the Hulk, but you can call upon the Hulk’s different abilities to help in the fight with the baddies. This is where I think many people who dislike the theme or the game could benefit – try not to think about your cards as the characters that you are playing, but rather that you are the orchestrator for the battles, choosing each hero’s abilities and playing them in particular orders. I suppose, in a strange way, that you can almost put a Yu-Gi-Oh! spin on this game by becoming the duelist and commanding the Hulk to use his Hulk Smash ability on the lowly Hand Ninja. Or on the Green Goblin. Or on Kingpin.

Should you add it to your collection? If you enjoy superheroes: Yes. If you enjoy controlling superheroes: Yes. If you enjoy deck builders: Yes. If you enjoy (semi-)cooperative games: Yes. If you enjoy card games: Yes. If you enjoy tense, but not draining gameplay: Yes. If you enjoy (carefully!) shuffling cards: Yes. If you enjoy boring games: No.

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Gamer - Level 5
Comic Book Fan
Smash Up: Robot Faction Fan
81 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“The Whole Marvel Universe In A Game”

If you’ve read my recent review of the Star Trek TNG deck building game, you’ll know I mentioned I have the Marvel Legendary deck building game, too. Star Trek is a great game and easily fulfills the deck build niche I was hoping to fill. However, Marvel Legendary comes at the DBG genre from a completely different place…cooperative (mostly).

Marvel puts the players together against a nefarious Master Villain (called the Mastermind) who has hatched a scheme that the heroes will desperately have to thwart! But wait! There’s a little thing to remember… the players don’t play the Marvel heroes. Instead, players will draft cards from 5 different heroes from across the Marvel Universe. These cards aren’t supposed to be the actual character but rather represent what that hero brings to the effort of defeating the villains. This distinction might sound odd or weird but it works. In the base set, Spiderman’s agility and resourcefulness comes into play as his cards allow you to draw more and more low cost cards from your growing deck. Hulk gets stronger and stronger the more Strength cards you use. in this way, the essence of the Heroes is present even if you don’t play a specific card that is supposed to represent the actual Hulk or Spiderman.

Marvel is a deck builder though. You start out with a deck of 12 basic Shield generic heroes, 4 for fighting and 8 for resources. Each round, you get to use the resources you have that turn to purchase Hero cards from the 5 HQ slots or a Shield Officer who gives better resources than the basic ones.

As for fighting villains, each round you draw a new card from the villain deck. If it’s a villain, put him or her in the sewer space, shifting all villains already in the city one space to the left if necessary. If the villains run out of room in the 5 city spaces, the left most villain escapes into the city and there is a cost when that happens, depending on the scheme being played. Another thing to worry about is if the villain escaping has an innocent Bystander with them. The penalty of losing a Bystander is even worse and some games, it’ll cost you the win! If you have enough attack built up that round, you can go against the Mastermind and have to take one of their Tactics cards and follow the instructions.

At the heart of Marvel is the Scheme. These are the plans the Mastermind is trying to complete. Schemes vary wildly from a simple Midtown Bank Robbery (very old school Marvel) to an Attack on the Shield Helicarrier (harkens to the Avengers movie). All of the Schemes have their own terms for winning and losing the game, how many of the Scheme Twists will be in the villain deck, what each Scheme Twist card does when drawn and any other changes to the standard set up and play. Schemes change so many of the parameters that much of the replay value is from trying all of them with different hero combinations. (Will the X Men pull this off better than the Avengers? ) One thing to remember when setting up the game is to match at least some of the heroes to the villains or vice versa. Many of the Villains and Masterminds work best against specific Heroes. A few Villains, like the Blob can only be defeated by X Men Heroes. Of course, you could always mix and match ( Two or Three X Men and the rest random Heroes, for example) and that’s another source of replay value.

Personally, I prefer a mix of choosing and random draw for Schemes, Masterminds, Villains, Henchmen and Heroes. Some combinations just don’t work right. Using the earlier example, if Blob is roughing you up, you better have an X Men in your Hero deck or it’ll be a long game!

To me, Marvel is so much fun, even if I’m not playing a specific character, even if each player has some Spiderman in their deck, I still feel like he’s present in his own way. I recently played a game focusing on really tough Heroes (Thor, Hulk, Colossus, etc.) against Hulk’s Radiation Villains, Thor’s Asgard Villains and others and it was really awesome, though the damage done was incredible!

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Advanced Grader
Novice Reviewer
78 of 85 gamers found this helpful
“Coop until someone else is winning.”

Legendary is a Marvel themed deck building game made by Upper Deck. The setup includes a Mastermind that the superheroes need to thwart first, and then once they know that the mastermind is defeated, they brag about it over Shawarma and compare kills for an individual victory(just kidding about the shwarma.).

I would compare the deck building portion of this game to Dominion and Ascension, those of you who are familiar with both. Each hero represents a certain theme of cards that will be put into the deck. For example, Gambit gives cards that can manipulate the deck and Deadpool does things that could hurt the party but are ultimately for his benefit. You pick five random heroes and this forms the hero deck that you will be using to draft cards.

There is also a villain deck that is formed by 2 random groups and 1 group selected by the Mastermind card. Random things are also placed in this deck such as Masterstrike, Scheme Twists and Civilians. This deck is used to progress the Mastermind’s scheme and has a possibility of having the Mastermind win, in which the hero team loses and no winner is selected.

– The Mastermind, Scheme and Villains are the saving grace to this game in my opinion. It gives a nice feel of villains actually invading the city and trying to stop them. Schemes also change what the superheroes need to do to stop them.
– If you actually randomize the setup process, no game will be alike. The superhero deck can change as well as the villains, constantly changing the combos available and also changing how you thwart the Super Villain.

– Setup is a disaster. Yes, having options to randomize the game is pretty cool, but the setup and tear down is very annoying. Hero deck is 5 random heroes that you shuffle together and later need to separate so you can pick 5 random heroes for next game. Villain cards are 3 groups of villains + Masterstrikes + Scheme Twists + Civilians, that also need to be shuffled and separated when you are done. If that wasn’t bad enough, Upperdeck doesn’t provide slots for card separation, they give you an empty squares with big cardboard dividers to separate the groups.
– You don’t identify as one of the heroes. Heroes only signify the card type that you are putting into the deck, but anyone can get any mix of cards.
– Co-op is almost nonexistant. Yes, technically the group can lose if they don’t step up to defeat the Mastermind but the entire time you play, you are thinking how to get yourself more points before everyone else by the end.
– While there are several pieces of art for this game, you feel robbed on the heroes because they only use one art work for all the cards of that hero.

Overall, I like that the game has options and fighting off the villains/mastermind is a nice different twist to deck building games. However, I have to admit that having both DC and Marvel deck building games, the DC Deck Building game gets way more playtime than this game does for the fact that it has an easy setup and as a comic fan I like that I can identify as a hero, where as in Legendary you never get that feel.

I would recommend this game to those who play deck builders and are looking for more options/features out of a game. But if you do decide to invest, please be weary of the annoyance is setting up and putting the game away.

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Intermediate Reviewer
69 of 76 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1

For the beginning I have to say: Getting this game here in Germany was really a pain in the a…! Because of the licensing of Upper Deck it is not available in Europe and I had to order it in US with quite high shipping costs, taxes for the import and few weeks of shipping time. But enough of that. Finally it arrived and I was able to play it. An what can I say. It is as good as I hoped it would be.


Unlike most other Card Games/Deck Building Games it comes with a board which makes playing a lot nicer and more fun. The board of good solid material and not too overloaded with graphics and text. Just enough to know where everything goes and what to do.
The art on the cards is beautiful and as far as I know specially designed for this game. The cards themselves seem to be a little thinner as cards in other games but still very good quality.


I don’t want to explain all the rules here so I’ll make it quick. In a normal 2-5 player game you choose 5 heroes from the 15 who come in the Box, an evil Mastermind, villain groups and a scheme for the Mastermind. As in all deck building games you start with a bunch of weak common cards in your deck (staff of S.H.I.E.L.D) and as time passes by you can afford and buy real heroes. Every turn a villain card gets turned over an most of the times this means a villain enters the board and starts his rampage through the city. As you get better cards you are able to fight these villains, stop them from escaping the city again and maybe even attack the evil Mastermind controlling these monsters. After attacking the Mastermind 4 times (and of course winning these attacks) you defeat him and victory is yours.
The game comes with 8 different schemes which all have a different influence on the the winning or losing conditions, the difficulty and even the gameplay.

One last thing: Unlike in other deck building games a hero is not just one card. For example Iron Man consists of 14 cards which represent different kinds of his abilities. So during your turn you aren’t playing Iron Man itself as a one card but you are playing different moves he does during a battle. This gives the feeling of a great teamwork when different heroes do “their different things” in the battles.

Replay Value:

Because of 15 different heroes, 11 different villain/henchman groups, 4 Masterminds and 8 schemes which all can be mixed there is an uncountable number (ok, i’m just too lazy to do the math) of varieties to the game. This gives a great Replay Value and no game should be like any other.


– great artwork
– gameplay mechanic is a little better than most other Deck Building Games
– really transports the superhero feeling
– great replayability
– insert and dividers for sorting your cards properly


– the use of just one picture per hero on the cards
– because every villain has two copies of him in the deck it is possible that one villain (for example: Sabertooth) can be at two different locations at one time
– cost and shipping-time to europe 😉

Last Words:

As you can see in my review I really love this game. I’m a fan of the Marvel Universe and being able to play these heroes and fight super villains is a lot of fun. If you are a fan of Marvel Comics and/or Deck Building Games I highly recommend this game for you.
I hope Upper Deck won’t wait too long until we see an Expansion for this game with more heroes and more great villains.

Best wishes,

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Critic - Level 1
68 of 75 gamers found this helpful
“Avengers (and other Marvel Heroes) Assemble!”

Legendary is one of those games that gets better with each play. The first time I played it was when a friend brought it out at my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). Out of the three players, I was the only one who hadn’t played the game before. Within a round, I was up and running and feeling as if I was an old pro. That speaks volumes for a game that has some thematic differences from deck-building games such as Dominion.

Here are the rudimentary basics: You are recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to thwart a master villain’s bid for city-wide domination. I would say worldwide domination, but the henchmen and sub-villains make their way through a single city, so that master villain must be using this unnamed city as a testing grounds prior to world domination. Anyway…you have a Villain deck in which villains and henchmen are revealed each turn and move up a track that starts in the sewers, moves into the streets and, if you’re unlucky, escape to wreak havoc somewhere else. Included in this deck are innocent bystanders who can be captured by the villains and dragged along as hostages. There’s also a hostage deck that from which some villains take hostages or from which you can save them and gain points. Also in the villains deck are Scheme Twist cards which make bad things happen to you, or Master Strike cards that activates the Master Villain and his dastardly destructive powers.

Each game has a scheme, a storyline if you will, that determines the conditions in which the game beats you. Each Scheme Twist drawn draws you ever closer to losing the game. Your victory condition: Defeat the Master Villain four times. Simple as that.

Marvel Legendary is, at its core, a deck-building game. So, on another track on the massive playing board that comes with the game, your heroes are revealed. You can purchase heroes to give you extra attack or purchasing power from this track. Or you can purchase S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that give you extra attack power. As your deck increases, so does your power and ability to beat the bad guys before the city is overrun.

OK. That’s the game in a nutshell. Reveal a villain. Play your hand of cards to purchase and/or fight. Stop the villains from escaping the city, while trying to contain the scheme and ultimately defeating the Master Villain.

With over 500 cards, Legendary is, well, almost legendary in size. You randomly choose the cards that will make up the hero and the villain decks. And, as the latter begins to dwindle down to nothing and you still haven’t defeated the big bad guy and your one or two scheme twists away from losing, the pressure mounts and you feel the tension increase. Making this game so durn fun!

Downside: With over 500 cards that you really want to protect, buying deck protectors will cost you an added $60+ or so. And, with the game already at a pretty hefty price (between $60 and $70 on average), that puts this at the high end of gaming experiences.

On the Upside: Great artwork. Great theme. Great components (it’s an Upper Deck product, and it shows!). Hulk, Green Arrow, Captain America. Thor. And the box has plenty of room for the expansions that are sure to come.

Marvel Legendary is a great game, giving a strong storyline to the deck-building genre, adding depth to the game play, and making you want to play over an over and over again. This is not a game that will gather dust on your shelf.

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Cryptozoic Entertainment fan
AEG fan
67 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“Assemble the greatest”

Let’s face it, by now, you understand and know of deckbuilding games. But when you want to combine that with Marvel, the possibilities are just endless in size. Legendary is that game that you keep coming back for more and it looks to become one of the top deckbuilding games around.

Legendary is a deckbuilding game that centers around the world of Marvel. From Spider-Man to Iron Man, Captain America to The Hulk, heroes will assemble together to try to defeat the likes of Red Skull and Loki from, you guessed it, taking over the world. First, you gotta follow some set up rules before you dive in.

You gotta pick your Mastermind. Red Skull, Magneto, Dr. Doom and Loki are the Masterminds and from there, you build the villain deck, made up of a select group of Henchmen (weaker bad guys) and the Villains (stronger bad guys who tend to follow a Mastermind). Scheme twists are added to the deck to go with whatever scheme you decide to randomly do. Allow a villain to escape the city can cost more then a hero. And you can’t forget those bystanders as well. Once that’s done, you randomly select you heroes to create the Hero deck and the game is on.

On your turn, you flip a card from the Villain deck and go from there. You start with some basic cards and try to have enough recruit points to start buying super hero cards to make your deck more powerful to start taking out the villains before going one on one with the Mastermind. This can go on for a while since the Mastermind tends to always come back a few more times before finally being defeated.

There’s a lot of rules I just can’t cover but it makes you really think that your part of the team since all your friends are fighting together to stop the Mastermind. At the end, whoever has the most victory points is the true Legendary Superhero.

This game is possibly one of the best games out there. The artwork, while looking the same for the heroes, is that of comics and it’s great. The learning curve isn’t steep at all and after a few games, everyone will get the hang of it and hope to get their favorite hero to play with. With 11 schemes to randomly choose from, the challenge is there. Plus, the rulebook also adds some more challenges if you think the game is getting a bit too easy for you. Marvel Legendary shines as a deckbuilding game and with so much space in the box, expansions will indeed assemble into this great game.

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Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
66 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“Good game, not great”

A semi-cooperative game where everyone drafts from the same pool of heroes and fights off hordes of villains. You have to defeat the Mastermind 4 times in order for the game to end, or it can end in a draw or the evil can win on certain conditions.

I like a lot of what this game does. It’s easy to teach and is pretty simple. Unlike most games, after reading the rules, there wasn’t a whole lot I could mess up. The few times I had questions, they were answered concisely in the rule book. So how do things average out?

Easy to play, simple to learn, quick to teach.
There are good potential strategies in this game, especially trying to get your cards to work together. When your strategy comes together it can be a beautiful thing.
The theme, what isn’t to like about recruiting super heroes to fight super villains? Great theme.
The mechanics work well together and everything makes sense. Feels fun once it gets going and you start putting that deck together. You really get antsy to use that new hero you just recruited.

Makes you want expansions immediately!
The luck of the draw. It can be frustrating, just like in a lot of deckbuilders, when you draw all your weakest cards in a hand and can’t do anything or much that turn. Especially if you get it on the last turn.
Only 5 heroes at a time, sometimes you just want a tad more variety. I get that you wouldn’t really want to do more with how the way the game works. Sometimes the combinations of heroes can be frustrating, especially with some of the Master Strikes that villains launch. If you didn’t have any X-Men and you’re going against Magneto, it can be frustrating just as an example.
The cards wear down quickly, especially the edges show wear right away!
They should have/could have made the villain deck cards with a different color on the back.
Clean-up and set-up take FOREVER!

Overall I like the game, but it does feel like the game is just missing a few things. But the fun factor makes up for it. There’s limited interaction and there are times when the game feels like it is playing itself. Then again, when villains start escaping the city and all looks lost and you come back, that can be really fun too. So mixed feelings in some aspects, but it is fun. Looking forward to picking up a future expansion if they make some to see if it adds even more life to the game.

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Book Lover
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Intermediate Reviewer
47 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“A Summer Superhero Blockbuster In a Box”

If you’ve ever read a Marvel comic book or watched one of their movies and wondered how it would be to serve on a team of superheroes and face a diabolical evil mastermind intent on world domination (or, at the very least, taking you out), this is your game. Either as a solo game or cooperatively with two to five players, and with a healthy assortment of heroes, big bads, not-so big bads, and scenarios, Marvel Legendary guarantees numerous replays as well as hours of fun.

Initial Thoughts
If you’re interested in giving a deckbuilding game a try, this is a terrific gateway into the genre. If you’re a comic fan interested in giving a deckbuilding game a try, for crying out loud—get this game already! As a former (recovering?) comic book collector, the theme attracted me immediately. When I saw the different expansions that were available beyond the base set, I was hooked. While some find issue with the illustrations on the cards—specifically that the artwork for each hero, mastermind, villain, and henchman group remains the same (i.e. all of Captain America’s cards, regardless of the power on the card, have the same comic art)—I can easily get past that.

What’s In The Box?
*It’s a deckbuilder; you’re gonna get cards. LOTS of cards. Specifically, 560 beautifully illustrated cards including SHIELD Agents, Troopers, and Officers; heroes like Captain America, Nick Fury, Deadpool, Storm, The Hulk, and Wolverine; evil masterminds like Loki, Dr. Doom, Magneto, and the Red Skull; villains like the Skrulls, Hydra, and the Brotherhood of Evil; henchmen like the Sentinels and Foot Ninjas, and Evil Schemes like The Legacy Virus, Midtown Bank Robbery, and Secret Invasion of the Skrull Shapeshifters.
*Big plastic insert with several card dividers and more than enough space to accommodate several of the expansions)
*Gameboard measuring 19 inches x 27 inches

The players start with a generic, twelve-card hand made up of SHIELD agents and troopers. From that meager start-up hand, you work together to construct a team of superhero cards, using recruitment points to “buy” cards to make your own deck over the course of the game to fight a designated villain. The villains have considerable variety between them, both in strength and powers, and the fight will feel different for each one. For example, when Dr. Doom’s Doombots take over bystanders, the feeling is thematically very different from Sabretooth’s feral swipes. Nonetheless, players do compete a little; saving bystanders does net points that determine who the most heroic was at the end of the game, provided that players did not lose to the villain. But this aspect generally comes across more as more of an afterthought. Heck, you don’t even need to keep track of the hero points if you don’t want to.

The game itself is well thought out, mechanically solid, and easy even for children to learn. Also, since there’s no blood or gore, it’s thematically safe enough for children (even with Deadpool as a hero pick). The game also seems to amp up the difficulty with more players. Many of the ability cards are simply different recruitment or attack values, so the type of cards you play do not vary much, but each heroes strengths and abilities shine through. The Hulk gets stronger when he’s wounded, Black Widow can do more damage if Bystanders have been rescued, Rogue can mimic other players’ powers.

Final Thoughts
I can’t stop playing this game, either solo or with my son. Discovering new ways the heroes combo together, enjoying how thematic the heroes and villains are, savoring the tension as I turn over another villain card (AUGH! NOT ANOTHER SCHEME TWIST!), and bringing down the mastermind—they all combine to make Marvel Legendary a terrific cocktail of superhero fun.

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Gamer - Level 1
44 of 51 gamers found this helpful
“Great gameplay, forever cleanup”

One of the reasons we got this card deck building game was cause my husband is highly into Marvels and we thought this would be a great addition to the household. Rules and instructions were pretty clear although I did find it weird with regards to ‘using the cards you discarded the previous round as your new deck’ concept for quite a bit.

The coop idea was good, although like other previous players have mentioned, apart from taking over the villains, at the end of the game, whoever happens to have the higher victory points ‘wins’.

The difficulty of this game varies greatly. My husband and I have won and lost the game almost equal to one another. Some scheme twists are super duper hard (for instance if you draw the twist card in your turn, you have to knock out all the heroes that are available for recruit and put 5 new ones) as well as having Mastermind villain with a really high defence level (such as Dr. Doom and Loki). Due to the different variety of mastermind, scheme twist, heroes and villains, each gameplay will vary from one another, which is great as it adds a new twist to every gameplay.

I will certainly buy the expansions later once my husband and I have defeated the current masterminds and scheme twists and would highly recommend it to others who are into Marvel.

Oh and btw, organising the cards after the game takes FOREVER. I truly appreciate the designers of the game in providing card dividers however, wish there is some sort of a machine that would allow us to separate the cards on their own rather than putting them into different piles based on the hero cards each time.

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Baseball Fan
Book Lover
Plaid Hat Games fan
Comic Book Fan
27 of 31 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Making mine Marvel”

Superheroes are awesome. Marvel superheroes are more awesome (oh Dark Knight, you’ll always have a place in my heart, but Spidey’s my guy).

My first Marvel game was the RPG from the 1980s. I was about 12 when I got it and it was a perplexing maze of rules. Matters were made worse when none of my friends were interested in playing. So much dust it gathered.But then Upper Deck released Marvel Legendary.

They had me at Marvel. They earned my devotion by making it a dependable solo game and a fun co-op.

The rules aren’t particularly complex. If you’ve played Ascension, you’re set.

In short, you draft heroes into your deck, use heroes to beat on bad guys and stop them from flooding the city, and ultimately take down the super bad guy not once, not twice, but four times. No one stays dead in comics anyway. Occasionally, a Mastermind card is drawn and the Big Bad Boss drops in on the good guys. Sometimes bystanders get captured and you have to exercise great responsibility and try to rescue them.

Hassling your efforts and adding a rich dimension of story to the game is the scheme twist. When scheme twist cards are revealed from the villain deck, terrible things happen. Heroes can be captured, heroes can be knocked out, Howard the Duck returns to the Marvel U…kidding about that last one. Or am I? This game has pumped out a few expansions.

I love the variety of characters. Spider-Man, Thor, Deadpool, Storm, Rogue, Cable, Moon Knight and so on.

The abilities of the cards, heroes and villains, feel appropriate to the characters. Nightcrawler, for example, has a teleport activity that let’s you set him aside from your hand and scoop him up in your next hand. Bamf!

The villains range from easy – Red Skull is a wuss (but I’ll bet Red Onslaught would take you down) – to silly hard like Galactus. You ain’t taking an eater of worlds down with the Scarlet Spider, Bishop, the Punisher and some wisecracks.

Dark City is a punishing expansion that demands players strategize together. If you don’t, your chances of laying the hurt on Mr Sinister (who’ll just re-gen anyways) get slim.

There’s an element of chance as the hand you draw from your own deck is randomized, ’cause you shuffled, right?

But who you recruit and how you use them feels like it matters.

You can also get carried away recruiting heroes because so much awesomeness is to be had. Professor X can gain a defeated villain and turn him into a hero with the villain’s attack value? I need that. But you’re left checking out trees and not seeing the forest of baddies spawning all over poor, benighted quasi-New York.

My wife is my best friend and she’ll play most games with me (including this one) but I’ll admit my love of Marvel heroes is lost on her, so I wanted a solid solo game. Marvel Legendary works as well solo as group co-op. However, I would caution no more than three players. More than three players crowded around the board feels, well, crowded.

Bottom line: it’s plain fun. But if you’re a Marvel fan, it’s a “get yourself lost in the game” game.

Marvel Legendary fans have created all sorts of scenarios and combos that might be worth checking out. I’m still loving the game as is and haven’t gone down the rabbit hole, but there’s a pile of variety out there.

The drawbacks for me aren’t so much about game play but about aesthetics.

In the core game, hero cards used the same artwork… boooring. Marvel has created and curated so much great art over the years. Use it! Upper Deck heard this for the Dark City release and there is different art for each type of hero card.

As the father of a young girl who also plays this game, I’d like to see no objectification of women. The ***** are disproportionately hilarious but do very little for female self-esteem and male perspectives on the female body. Marvel has some of the strongest female superheroes around made even better by writers such as Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kathryn Immonen. The overdone bods aren’t necessary.

All in, a game worth getting; more so if you make yours Marvel.

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I play yellow
Gamer - Level 4
78 of 100 gamers found this helpful
“Solo and Group Play!”

This is the current hotness with my group. There are only really 3 superhero games in circulation right now (Sentinels of the Multiverse and the DC Deck builder being the other two.)

The Marvel game is a co-op/competive. This seems odd at first but you can always ignore the visctory points racked up by each player and simply enjoy the shared victory or defeat of the mastermind. I have never played where we were out just for ourselves, as the mastermind is most powerful in the beginning as our decks are chocked with SHIELD agents.

This game is covered with 2 expansions (Dark City and Fantastic Four) with another one (Paint the Town Red?) due anytime. The base set’s masterminds all have boon if you hit them while the Dark City masterminds incur the game’s wrath. The Dark City was an auto-buy for me.

The game is similar to Ascention but with good art instead of the mess Ascention brings.

The grudge a lot of players have is the set up and tear down time. I personally like it, bit I see their point.

The big selling point for me was the solo play option!

This game is also supported by the community at large, especially at I have cutom cards for all of my schemes and included some wound variants.

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I Am What I Am
Rated 10 Games
75 of 111 gamers found this helpful
“A good non-started deck builder”

This should not be your first deck builder game. Try some of the others first. The game play is simple if you are playing 2 players but it gets a lot harder the more players you add. In association with learning the game rules and basic strategies for deck building it could really crush a new player. That being said I think Legendary provides veteran deck builders a nice challenge. At 4 players the game can really give you a run for your money and at 5 most times you will find your team frustrated and losing. If you can handle that you will have a good time trying your best to beat the game, let alone your fellow heroes. Having the purchase line and running bad guys line is what makes this a challenge. You need to purchase better cards for your deck while not letting your bad guys run away with the game. The game requires co-op play early and selfish play later if you want to win. If one player chooses not to co-op early they will gain a huge advantage but more often than not the game will destroy the heroes. This is where it becomes a challenge. How much is enough co-op? Each game is different and that is the best part of this game. So have fun using the hulk to wound all your friends and blasting those bad guys.

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Gamer - Level 3
60 of 89 gamers found this helpful
“Great for young gamers”

I must preface this review with a little fact about my son. He’s 12 and he thinks of himself as a great gamer. Unfortunately, when we break out deeper games, he loses focus and gets bored. This often leads to an “epic loss” (in his words)…and on to the review…

Our family has taken well to deck building games, so this game quickly hit the wish list of my 12yo this past Christmas (2012). Using money from multiple gift sources (the price for this game is not for the weak!), he decided to purchase it. For the record, he has NOT been disappointed. I know that others say setup is a con of this game; but from the perspective of a 12yo, he gets to “play” (don’t tell him I called it that) with some cards with beautiful artwork as he sets them up. In his mind, randomizing the decks is part of the game. Once the game is set up, he calls the rest of us in to play and the fun continues. The mechanics are easy to learn and the replayability is high because of the random setup. As a family game, it’s a hit!

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I play purple
58 of 87 gamers found this helpful
“Good Fun, but can become far too easy”

Speaking as a person who’d not spent too much time with other deck builders, I have to say that it was the theme that first attracted me to this. And, from that standpoint, the game does carry itself proudly. However, and I would wager that this is a problem that runs throughout the entire DBG sub-genre, it is possible to build up some pretty uber-powerful combinations, which definitely weighs the game heavily in favour of the player; don’t get me wrong, it is still fun, but once you get to the point where you can pretty much clear the board of all five active villains AND the mastermind in one well-drawn go, then the game does lose a lot of its edge.

That said, there is still plenty of variety in the core deck, so having nigh-godly combinations is not a thing that will happen in every game, rather 1 in 3.

I’d love to see some mechanisms put in place to give the game an extra level of challenge, and hopefully that comes with the upcoming expansion.

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My First Game Tip
6 of 10 gamers found this helpful
“<b>Wife’s Favorite!</b>”

This is my wife’s favorite game to play when we are relaxing with a game in the evening. We’ve played most of the schemes at this point and it always feels engaging and fun. I’ve only played it with two people at this point.

The cards are good quality, the box comes with dividers to make setup easier, and the variety of villains and schemes keeps the game fresh. There are also many expansions for this that are available but I’ve only bought one so far.

This was one of the first games my wife really got into. It’s also the first deck builder we tried. We’ve since tried other deck builders but this one remains her favorite. Mostly because of the variety of play and the familiarity of the characters.

All in all, this is a solid deck builder and is an easy game to introduce to a new gamer.

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6 of 11 gamers found this helpful
“Fantastic and Thematic Deck-Building Game!”

My family first bought Legendary a couple years ago because we love Marvel and wanted to try a deck-building game. We since have added many of the expansions and it has become our most played board game. I love how the theme is interwoven and every game feels like a Marvel story right out of the comics or movies. The deck building mechanism is great and works no matter how many expansions you add. The coop element is great, but it is fun that though you all have to defeat the villain, the player with the most points at the end wins. There is so many different combos of heroes, villains, schemes and masterminds, the game very gets boring! Incredibly well designed game.

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Treasure Map
50 of 102 gamers found this helpful
“Good Game, better solo”

I have played this several times as a two player game, a couple times as a 3-4 player game and once solo. Perhaps it is just the people I play with, but I find this game much more enjoyable as a two player game and even better as solo play. I really enjoy picking the scenario, mastermind and then going through all the Hero cards to decide how to best win – which takes me longer than actually playing the scenario, but hey, whatever works 🙂


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