Marvel Champions Designer Breaks Down How a Turn Works

Fantasy Flight Games is putting their own spin on Marvel's iconic universe of characters with Marvel Champions, a living card game that will release in the next few weeks. With the release right around the corner, we're here to get you up to speed on how to actually play the game, and who better to lay that out for players than the design team? We had the chance to talk with Marvel Champions Designer Caleb Grace all about the game, and during that conversation, he took us through an entire turn and broke each phase down as well, so here's the rundown on how a turn works in Marvel Champions.

"Marvel Champions is played over a series of rounds, and each round is broken into two phases: the Hero Phase and the Villain Phase," Grace said. "During the Player Phase, players take turns playing cards from their hands and exhausting their identity card to use one of their basic powers: thwart (THW), attack (ATK), or recovery (REC). Thwarting removes threat from scheme cards, preventing the villain from winning the game. Attack deals damage to the villain, bringing the players closer to defeating the villain and winning the game. And recovery heals damage from a player’s identity. The first two can only be done in hero form, whereas the last one can only be performed in alter-ego form."

"After each player has finished their turn, play passes to the Villain Phase," Grace said. "During the Villain Phase, the villain activates against each player in turn order. How the villain activates against a player depends on what form they are in. If a player is in alter-ego form, the villain schemes. If a player is in hero form, the villain makes an attack against that player. When this happens, that player can exhaust their hero to use their defense (DEF) in order to prevent damage equal to its value."

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(Photo: Fantasy Flight)

"After the villain is finished activating, each player is dealt an encounter card and players take turn revealing and resolving them," Grace said. "These cards represent the exciting and dangerous things that can happen during a Marvel story: additional side schemes present the heroes with new challenges, minions enter play to aid the villain, there’s a sudden catastrophe, etc, etc. After each encounter card is revealed, the round ends and play proceeds to the next round."

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(Photo: Fantasy Flight)
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Marvel Champions releases on November 1st. Let us know which hero you're most excited to play in the comments, and feel free to hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things tabletop!