The different Heroes and Villains for Marvel United spice up its standard gaming experience with each play. If you’d like to inject unpredictability into your games, look no further than this expansion. Continue reading our Marvel United: Deadpool review to learn more about its dramatic additions.
Marvel United: Deadpool Overview
If you’ve never played Marvel United, you’ll want to read our review first since we’ll just be looking at what Deadpool adds.
Marvel United: Deadpool was first introduced in CMON’s second wave of content, featuring all things X-Men, for Marvel United. Mutants can now be added to any game, mixing and matching the first wave’s content with X-Men Heroes and Villains.
This wave also introduced the idea of the Anti-hero — a character that could be played both as a Hero and as a Villain.
Marvel United: Deadpool comes with 3 versions of Deadpool: Hero (blue), Villain (red), and Challenge (red-purple). In addition, they threw his sidekick, Bob, in as an Anti-hero.
Furthermore, the expansion includes the Deadpool Chaos Challenge mode and 1 Location, Deadpool’s Apartment.
Anti-hero Bob, Agent of Hydra…
If you were expecting Deadpool to be the most chaotic element of this expansion, Bob certainly gives him a run for his money.
With his cards’ special abilities ranging from running away to accelerating the gameplay to even heroically self-destructing, it’s sometimes hard to know which side Bob is on.
Fighting against Bob is not any less tumultuous. With only 1 point of health, he seems shockingly easy to defeat.
That is until you consider that, as his Threat cards, he’s recruited the most brutal Marvel Henchmen. Plus, you must also complete all 3 missions before attacking him.
picture villain bob threat cards. Caption:
As a Villain, Bob’s only focus is his retirement. On his Villain Dashboard, he has a “Retirement Plan Track” with a Savings Tracker (a cube).
Throughout the game, he will increase his savings in several ways — his “BAM!” effect and Master Plan cards, for instance — and you’ll lose if he ever reaches 12.
The Many Faces of Deadpool
As a Hero, Deadpool is incredibly powerful; all but 2 of his cards have special abilities. The drawback is that every one of these cards only has a 1 Action icon. So, while Deadpool might be a strong Hero on his own, he isn’t great at helping his teammates out.
A Deadpool character, Hero or not, would not be complete without a touch of chaos. In Marvel United: Deadpool, his chaotic nature is brought into the game via the Chaos Challenge deck.
When you’re playing as Hero Deadpool, you draw the top 2 cards from this deck and choose 1 to resolve whenever you play his “Breaking the Fourth Wall” card (as shown below).
Chaos Challenge Deadpool
The deck also comes into play when you use the red-purple Deadpool to play the Chaos Challenge, a mode of play that interferes with the Heroes and the Villain.
In this challenge, the Marvel United game is set up, as usual, going through all its steps, including having players choose 1 Hero each to play against 1 Villain. After setup is complete, the red-purple Deadpool is added to a Location.
From now on, whenever a Hero or Villain ends their turn in Deadpool’s Location, the top card of the Chaos Challenge deck is drawn and resolved.
The only “true” villain included in Marvel United: Deadpool is yet another version of Deadpool. However, much like the other Deadpools, his gameplay is unlike that of other Villains.
The most significant change to note when playing against Deadpool is that he can’t be defeated.
You may wonder how you are supposed to win when defeating the Villain is the only victory condition in the basic version of Marvel United.
Well, the truth is, you don’t really.
Your “goal” against Deadpool is to rescue Civilians, defeat Thugs, and clear Threats. When Deadpool has played all the cards in his Master Plan deck, the game ends, and your team of Heroes scores points for what you’ve accomplished.
However, you’ll also lose points.
Whenever a Hero is “KO’d,” they are removed from the game entirely, and the controlling player must then choose another MarvelUnited Hero with which to continue playing. When the game ends, each eliminated Hero is worth -10 points.
You may also wonder if you can inflict any damage on Deadpool, given the beating he’ll hand the Heroes.
The answer is yes, sort of.
Unlike most Marvel United games, you won’t use the Mission cards, so Deadpool can be targeted right from the start of the game.
The catch, and of course, there is one, is that Deadpool never dies. When he loses his last point of health, he immediately recovers back to full health — although, as a reward, the Villain’s turn is delayed by 1 card.
Marvel United: Deadpool Review
Aesthetically, Marvel United: Deadpool is quite a piece of work. With all of “Deadpool’s” homemade modifications and taped clippings to his commentary plastered everywhere, it’s clear this game was intended to immerse you in the Deadpool theme.
And it is done very well.
Perhaps too well.
What I mean by this is the expansion is meant to replicate Deadpool’s extremely chaotic and unpredictable nature. Yet, doing so turns a game I usually enjoy into a mess.
Hero Deadpool & Bob
Playing with Deadpool or Bob as a Hero is silly fun at first, but that feeling dulls and quickly turns into frustration, particularly if you’re using both in the same game.
Not only are neither especially helpful teammates, but their special abilities tend to mess with the state of the game so much that it becomes difficult to plan and strategize.
Of all the aspects of Marvel United: Deadpool, the Chaos Challenge was the part I didn’t mind. It was easy to implement and fun to discover the cards, even if they were random and disruptive.
The novelty of it, however, wore off after the first game when the thrill of discovery had all but vanished.
Bob as a Villain was equally unenjoyable for me as he was Hero. He is very challenging and made even more so thanks to his Threat card Henchmen.
I don’t always mind a brutal Villain, but Bob is so all over the place in his tactics that it’s difficult to find a clear path to victory through his randomness.
It’s a shame, too, because I do love the idea of the Anti-hero and being able to get double the gameplay out of a single character.
Villain Deadpool is up there among my least enjoyable gaming experiences — ever.
First, I’m not usually a fan of cooperative “beat-your-own-score” games. I want a tangible goal to feel like I’m accomplishing something while playing, not simply an arbitrary ranking at the end.
Second, I dislike cooperative games that unrelentingly beat up on players. Being “KO’d” on your first or second turn is demoralizing. This pattern of ‘play a turn or two, then get KO’d’ continues for the rest of the game.
(Don’t even get me started on how tedious it is to have to swap out all the components and replace them with a new Hero’s every time this happens.)
Finally, a game with Villain Deadpool takes forever to play.
Since Deadpool plays all his cards, that’s 12 turns— or well over an hour’s worth of time — that you’re going around to Locations, accomplishing extraordinarily little, and getting pulverized.
Perhaps there are those who find this excruciating style of play enjoyable, but I’m not one of them.
Marvel United: Deadpool is not an expansion that I can recommend, and what I enjoyed most (the Chaos Challenge) is average at best.
It is an expansion committed to the Deadpool theme, so if you like that, I’d try playing it at a convention or local game store.
You’ll be able to experience the few fun moments Marvel United: Deadpool has to offer without being stuck with it once the novelty wears off.