Marvel United is a game packed with mortal — albeit super — Heroes; what it needed was to be touched by the gods, specifically Asgardian deities. Read our Marvel United: Tales of Asgard review to learn more about this heavenly expansion.
Marvel United: Tales of Asgard Overview
Tales of Asgard is an expansion for Marvel United, so you’ll need components from the core set to play any of its elements. Furthermore, we’ll only be covering what’s new in Tales of Asgard; read our Marvel United review to learn the gameplay basics.
Like its counterparts, Rise of the Black Panther and Enter the Spider-Verse, Marvel United: Tales of Asgard includes 3 Heroes, 1 Villain, 6 Locations, and a brand-new Challenge mode.
You can use these new components to play an Asgardian-based saga or combine them with other Heroes, Villains, Locations, and Challenges for the ultimate cross-over game.
The new Heroes — Thor, Valkyrie, and Korg — come ready to play with their own custom deck of 12 Hero cards.
Thor’s mini may look small and unassuming, but this Hero is still mighty. Not surprisingly, his strongest attribute is his Attack. However, unlike other Attack-minded Heroes, Thor is more balanced.
For example, his special ability with Mjolnir and 3 Attack icons appears on 3 of his cards; but a Move action balances this powerful attack.
Valkyrie’s attributes are less impressive than Thor’s, especially when more than half her cards only feature a single action icon.
Her warriorship is represented by her “Warsong” special ability, which can be quite useful when you find yourself in a bind. However,it’s less helpful for the next Hero since it’s always accompanied by only 1 Attack icon.
As a stone-based character, you might expect Korg to be the Hero most likely to go around smashing things. Amazingly, he feels like the most well-rounded of the included Heroes, especially when you consider his special power’s adaptability to Attack in adjacent Locations or his own.
Villain — Loki
The Tales of Asgard expansion would only be complete with the mischievous Loki as its Villain.
As a Villain, Loki’s motivation is trickery; he’ll do what he can to mislead the Heroes into a false sense of security before messing with them.
Through his various Villain effects, he will damage Heroes, increase his health (even above its starting value), speed up the game, and deflect damage done to him onto the Heroes.
The contradictory special effects on Loki’s Master Plan cards will leave Heroes unsure of whether they should group themselves at a single Location (“Spread Discord”) or spread out (“Sorcery”) in anticipation of his Villain turn.
If you’re lucky and choose “right,” the Heroes won’t suffer damage, but Loki will speed up the game by adding a facedown Master Plan card to the Storyline.
The Traitor Challenge is one of the more complex challenge modes in the Marvel United expansions because a traitor is introduced into the game.
In addition to the regular setup steps, each player is given a secret Allegiance card; one player’s card will say “Traitor,” while the remaining players’ will show “Loyal.”
The goal of the Loyal players is to suss out who the Traitor could be.
They also want to discard each of their Mistrust tokens before 2 missions have been completed. A player can do this by choosing to play their Hero card facedown on their turn and not gain any of its benefits.
The Traitor’s goal is to discreetly work against the other Heroes to help the Villainsincethey’ll win if the other Heroes lose.
As soon as 2 missions are completed, the players simultaneously point at the player they believe is the Traitor. All the Allegiance cards are then revealed and every Loyal player that guessed correctly gains 1 Wild token.
Any Loyal Heroes who didn’t discard their Mistrust token now take damage until they’re “KO’d.”
Finally, the Traitor player removes their Hero’s components from the game and directly takes on the role of the Villain. Whenever it is the Villain’s turn, they draw 2 cards from the Master Plan deck and choose 1 to play.
Loyal Heroes win the game in the usual way; the Traitor wins if they defeat the Heroes as the Villain.
Marvel United: Tales of Asgard Review
I was shocked by how much I enjoyed playing with Thor and Korg. As I mentioned earlier, Thor is an extraordinarily powerful Hero in the game and Korg’s well-rounded Hero deck is definitely above-average.
Valkyrie, unfortunately, is less exciting than the others, but I like her as a Marvel character, so I don’t mind playing with her from time to time.
Regrettably, Loki isn’t an impressive Villain. Much like how I was disappointed by Killmonger’s integration, Loki’s mischievous and cunning personality doesn’t come through in his Marvel United Villain.
The designers have clearly attempted to capture his trickster nature with some of his Threat and Master Plan cards. However, they are typically easy to clear and mitigate, so they rarely feel impactful.
I can’t review this aspect of the expansion because I’ve never played it — and I likely never will.
Never have I thought, “You know what Marvel United is missing? A traitor mechanic!”
I appreciate that the designers have tried to add a variety of challenges to the different expansions to mix up not only the way the components interact but also the style of play itself.
The brutal truth is that the challenges largely feel unnecessary and clunky, so much so that they tend to detract — or, at best, distract — from what is typically a fun and tense gaming experience.
For me, the Traitor Challenge feels like it will be the worst of the bunch; I haven’t and I won’t ask 3 other players to sit through an experience I can bet we won’t enjoy.
The Asgardian Heroes added to the Marvel United universe are fantastic. Unfortunately, some of the other elements were underwhelming. If you like the Asgard theme and want some strong, Attack-minded Heroes, consider the Marvel United: Tales of Asgard expansion.