Marvel Champions continues to add new heroes to the mix, and two of the latest additions include everyone's favorite cosmic duo of Rocket Raccoon and Groot as part of the Guardians. of the Galaxy expansion. Now Fantasy Flight has introduced another former member of the Guardians, but it's probably not what you're expecting. The new recruit is none other than Venom, but not the Eddie Brock version. Instead, we get the Flash Thompson Venom in the new Venom Hero Pack, who quickly became a fan favorite and allowed the symbiote to discover what it felt like to be a hero again in the comics, and in Marvel Champions he brings a welcome versatility to the team that if used correctly can pack a major punch.
Venom comes with his fifteen signature cards and has a Justice-themed deck, and where he really shines is in his arsenal of weaponry. Venom can control an extra restricted upgrade at any given time, and his Alter-Ego ability allows you to discard cards from the top of your deck until you discard a Weapon upgrade during setup and add it into your hand. You can then use his Symbiotic Bond to generate needed resources to build that arsenal further or use Locked and Loaded, which allows you to search the deck for a Weapon Upgrade and add it to your hand.
Speaking of upgrades, you can wield the powerful Multi-Gun Upgrade, which allows you to deal 2 damage to an enemy, deal 1 damage to each minmion engaged with a teammate, and remove 2 threat from a scheme. You can also wield Venom's Pistol, which kicks in when you use one of Venom's basic powers and gets him +1 Power. The Run and Gun Event card is also handy, as it allows you to Ready Venom and each Weapon Upgrade you control. This can lead to a huge combo, as if you have both his Multi-Gun and his Pistol Upgrades you could deal your base damage, use Run and Gun, ready everything again, and relaunch those attacks, potentially dealing 12 damage and removing 10 Threat from Schemes in one turn. Not too shabby.
Cards like Grasping Tendrils can cancel enemy attacks, while Behind Enemy Lines will allow you to remove 3 Threat from a Scheme and Confuse an enemy, and you can combo that with other weapons like the Sonic Rifle to add to the enemy's haze or add even more weapons to the mix with the use of a Side Holster.
There has to be a balance of course, and for Venom the greatest enemy is himself, or rather the symbiote powering him. The symbiote has a mind of its own and it can lash out at him during the game. There are four Enraged Symbiote cards that are placed off to the side (like other heroes' Nemesis Decks), and during the game, certain cards will ask to put Nemesis cards into play. If this happens with Venom, you will put all four of the Enraged Symbiotes into play engaged with Venom, and while this is the case you cannot remove Threat from the Klyntar Frenzy Side Scheme either, so you'll have to deal with your demons head on to keep things from becoming too overwhelming.
Venom sounds like a blast to play (aside from the whole symbiote taking over him thing), and fans can add him to the roster when he launches in July.
What do you think of Venom? Let us know in the comments and as always you can talk all things tabletop and Marvel Champions with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!