Marvel Champions Storm Hero Pack Review - The Goddess of Storms Packs a Punch

Marvel Champions is bringing several fan-favorite X-Men into the game, and one of the most adored X-Men is without question Storm. The Windrider continues to be one of the franchise's most popular heroes, and now she brings her unique power set into Marvel Champions with a focus on affecting the whole board, removing Threat, and teamwork. When everything comes together during a given set of turns, Storm can absolutely wreck the battlefield, but the challenge can be maintaining that momentum as circumstances evolve and change. It's part of what makes her Hero Deck so compelling, and those who specialize in seeing the whole field and adapting on the fly will find so much to love with her additions to the game.

As you would expect, Storm's Hero Deck revolves around a weather mechanism represented by a four-card Weather Deck. These four cards can be changed and shifted in various ways, and they each provide a bonus that is permanent (until a new card is Weather Card is activated) and include a Special Action. The kicker is that the bonus on each Weather Card doesn't just affect you, instead affecting every Character in play. That means that if you have Thunderstorm selected, every Hero and Villain gets a +1 to their Attack, and likewise, Clear Skies gives every Character the Stalwart ability, which means no one can be Stunned or Confused.

(Photo: ComicBook)

This opens up so much room for tactical play, but you'll need to look ahead as much as possible, as you can easily be left in a bad Weather formation at the wrong time and have your plan heavily disrupted. This happened to me thanks to needing desperately to remove Threat from a Scheme, and to make it happen I switched from Clear Skies to Hurricane, which allows you to remove 2 Threat. I was planning on switching back at the next available chance, but lo and behold the villain had other plans, and with Stalwart removed, all the sudden Stuns and Confusion Tokens were back on the table and hit quite hard.

That's just one example mind you, but it speaks to how even the briefest of periods in the wrong Weather can have real effects. It's also part of what makes Storm so fun to play, as her power set and teamwork abilities allow her to reach so much of the board, and thankfully many of her cards allow you to switch up those Weather Cards in some way.

If Wolverine is all Attack, Storm is a more balanced fighter, but has key cards that excel in both. While you'll need Storm's Crown Upgrade to get your Basic Thwart to 2, Torrential Rain allows you to remove 3 Threat from among all Schemes in play, and then you can activate Hurricane (if it's in play already) to remove 2 more, and there are 3 of those cards in her deck. On the attack side, Lightning Bolt can hit with 8 damage, and if Thunderstorm is in play, add 2 more to that.

(Photo: ComicBook)

Flash Freeze and Blast of Wind might be two of her best cards though. Flash Freeze allows you to interrupt when a villain attacks you and hit them with a -3 attack while attacking you during this phase, but it affects any minions engaged with you as well. That saved my life on more than one occasion, and it keeps you from having to recover as often. Likewise, Blasts of Wind lets you choose a player and have them deal 3 damage to the villain and each minion engaged with them while also letting you use the special ability of your chosen Weather Card. It's a win-win scenario.

In fact, many of Storm's cards can affect your team, giving them more Hit Points (Uncanny X-Men), bonuses to Attack and Thwart (Leadership Skill), and getting allies into play (To Me, My X-Men), and speaking of Allies, Storm has one of my favorite collections of Ally cards in the game. The character lineup of Havoc, Mirage, Gentle, Pixie, and Forge feels fresh and gets some fan favorites into the mix, but they also provide even more tactical options for Storm to take advantage of. Whether it's raw power (Gentle), getting more allies in play (Pixie), stunning a foe (Mirage), or adding support (Forge), you've got plenty of avenues to pursue, and other cards in Storm's deck also allow you to get more Allies on the table in general.

(Photo: ComicBook)

Storm has had history with quite a few heroes and villains, but you can't go wrong with Calisto or Shadow King, and both are included here. I will say it would have been great to have a Black Panther team-up card included due to the history between them, but I did appreciate that Forge was in the mix.

Storm's Weather Deck is simultaneously her greatest strength and her biggest weakness. It's all about how you utilize it and adapt to the current situation. There are certain times when it might be beneficial to simply not touch it for most of the game due to how it benefits you, and I feel it can be easy to just stick with one Weather Card and not experiment with the rest, but I love the risk vs reward factor the deck brings to the character overall. The number of allies and the creativity of the lineup is also a significant high point, and both Support Locations (Utopia and X-Mansion) are quite useful and worth getting into play.

Overall Storm's Hero Pack embraces the character's key concepts and utilizes them well to keep things fresh and make the overall team experience even better. The Weather Deck also introduces its own challenges and makes the back and forth of each phase more exciting, though it can also completely backfire on you if you're not paying attention. The risk and reward to it all makes Storm one of the more compelling X-Men characters in the game thus far, and she will make a wonderful addition to your next game.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Marvel Champions Storm Hero Pack is now available at your local game shop and online platforms.

Review copy provided by the publisher