Were you left feeling like Marvel United was missing some of your favorite Heroes? Look no further than the Black Panther-themed expansion for the game. Read our Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther review to learn what new additions this offers.
Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther Overview
Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther is one of many expansions for Marvel United.
We’ll only be looking at what this expansion adds to Marvel United’s gameplay, so if you’re unfamiliar with it, check out our Marvel United review.
Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther is an expansion packed with content. In it, you’ll find 3 new Heroes to add to your games, 1 Villain, 6 new Locations, and a Challenge mode. All these new components can be played together or mixed and matched with other Heroes, Villains, Locations, and Challenges from Marvel United’s base game or expansions.
This Marvel United expansion comes with 3 Heroes from the Black Panther universe: Shuri, Winter Soldier, and of course, Black Panther. Each has their own deck of 12 Hero cards with actions and signature abilities that represent their personality.
Shuri is very much a team player. Her deck of cards has more Wild action icons than other Heroes — even if it is only a single icon on most cards.
Her special abilities also “heal” a player by allowing them to draw back up to 3 cards.
(As a reminder, your hand of cards is your Hero’s health; you lose 1 card for each point of damage you take, and you are “KO’d” when you have no cards in hand.)
Not surprisingly, Winter Soldier’s deck focuses on Attacks. As an “Expert Assassin,” he’s able to gain 2 Attack tokens, and you can save them up for a future turn. With 3 cards like this, it means that in one turn, you can deal 6 damage to enemies simply by spending the 6 tokens.
As strong as he is, he’s just as slow and not very heroic. With only 1 Heroic and 3 Move icons, playing as the Winter Soldier means you must really coordinate well with other players.
The star of the Rise of the Black Panther expansion is, fittingly, Black Panther. His deck is undoubtedly the most well-rounded and versatile of the 3 Heroes.
What’s more, with his “Panther Habit” cards that feature a Move, Heroic, and Attack icon, you’ll feel like you’re accomplishing a lot on your turn.
The downside to these cards is that 2 of the 3 icons are for Black Panther’s use only, so they’re less helpful for other players than some of his double-icon cards.
Villain — Killmonger
Along with the Heroes, Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther also comes with 1 Villain, the iconic Killmonger.
Killmonger’s villainous plan focuses half on dealing damage to the Heroes and half on creating chaos at Locations. (He also beefs up the Thug tokens at two Locations; they will require 2 damage instead of their usual one.)
The biggest difference you will notice in Killmonger’s actions, compared to other Villains, is his use of Crisis tokens (that are included in the Marvel United base game). He effectively replaces Civilian and Thug tokens at Locations with Crisis tokens through various means.
Typically, these tokens remain in place for the game unless you are playing with a Hero or Location with the ability to remove them. As such, one of the Heroes’ losing conditions is when at least 4 Locations have 3 or more Crisis tokens.
This expansion comes with 6 Locations, all related to Wakanda, the home of the Black Panther.
Each of the Locations also features fitting “End of Turn” effects, not only for the Black Panther universe but the Location itself.
Shuri’s Lab, for example, matches the healing aspect of her Hero’s special ability and allows a player to draw back up to 3 cards, while Jabari Village grants a player 1 Wild token at the end of their turn. (Hopefully, the cleverness of this effect and how it alludes to the Jabari as ‘wildcards’ isn’t lost on you.)
Endangered Locations Challenge
Lastly, the Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther expansion comes with a new challenge mode: Endangered Locations. When used, this challenge creates a connection between each Hero and one of the game’s Locations.
During setup, each player is given a pair of numbered tokens. They then choose 1 Location and add their token to it.
Whenever a player’s Location is full — there’s no room to add Civilian, Thug, or Crisis tokens — the player who controls that Location suffers 1 damage.
Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther Review
Black Panther is one of my favorite movies in the MCU, so I was very excited to get this expansion to the table. Overall, though, I felt unimpressed by Rise of the Black Panther’s gameplay.
My favorite Hero in the expansion is Black Panther. When you play as him, you feel like you’re getting a lot done each turn. Sure, there may be times when your cards in the Storyline are less helpful for the next player, but you make up for that by accomplishing it yourself.
I wished I liked Shuri and Winter Soldier more, but the truth is that they both felt middle-of-the-road.
Shuri’s special cards are extremely useful, but the rest of her deck feels mediocre and unsatisfying.
Winter Soldier’s attack can be amazing — and sometimes, it’s exactly what you need! But that’s really all he is, strong attacks.
With so little movement and heroics, playing as Winter Soldier can be quite frustrating, especially when you’re playing against a Villain that moves around a lot or adds a ton of Civilians to Locations. You often feel like you’re not doing enough to help the team.
In this expansion, I was most disappointed by Killmonger. In the Marvel universe, Killmonger is such a powerful force, but not In Marvel United.
When I first faced him, I expected to get my butt handed to me. Instead, I found myself easily avoiding him while I focused on minimizing the number of targets he had available to turn into Crisis tokens.
Initially, I thought the Crisis tokens would add an interesting level of tension, especially when I first played without Heroes or Locations that could remove them. Rather, they felt more like a timer for the game-end and less like a threat.
Endangered Locations Challenge
I have mixed feelings about this new challenge. It’s remarkably simple to introduce into any game and gives each player a Location to focus on, but this simplicity also makes the challenge feel uninteresting and unnecessary.
Games of Marvel United tend to be difficult already, and if you’re cooperating well, all players should be responsible for helping out where they can. Being tied to a Location doesn’t make me feel more invested in it; if anything, it makes me feel annoyed when I have to take damage because of it.
Sadly, the Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther expansion didn’t meet my expectations. I’m torn on whether it will remain in my collection because I love Black Panther, and I enjoyed the new Locations.
If you’re a huge fan of the Black Panther characters and setting, Marvel United: Rise of the Black Panther might be worth checking out. It stays true to the Black Panther theme, but I’m not sure that necessarily translates well to the Marvel United gameplay.