Marvel Super Hero Squad Trading Card Game

Marvel Super Hero Squad CardsThe Marvel Superhero Squad Collectible Card Game was released early in 2012 by The Upper Deck Company. It is a CCG based on Marvel Entertainment’s popular all ages comic series, The Superhero Squad, which features child friendly versions of popular Marvel Superheroes like, Iron Man, Captain American, and Thor. The game was designed by Devin Low, and takes two players around 10 minutes to finish a game.

Marvel Super Hero Squad Card Game

I started by purchasing a Two Player Intro Pack that included two player decks with 30 cards each, two 10 card booster packs, 2 player mats, and a fancy cardboard coin. After I played a few games with my son, I purchased two additional theme decks. Each theme deck includes a 30 card deck based on a particular hero, a 10 card booster, and another one of those fabulous cardboard coins. Can you tell I don’t like the coins? I will explain why later. All of the cards feature some great artwork and amusing flavor text. The player mats are fine, but you really don’t need them, and my 8 year old son got tired of them after only a few plays. You actually do need the dumb cardboard coin, or something like it anyway.

The game is very simple as far as CCGs go. All cards have both an attack value, and a defensive capability. Each attack is one of six types including speed, strength, energy, animal, elemental, and tech. Many cards will have an additional power bonus based on various situations, and some may be more than one type. A player’s turn is broken down as follows:

  1. Flip the stupid cardboard coin.
  2. Draw a card from your deck.
  3. Play a card from your hand.

Okay, let’s start with the coin. Each card has a power level requirement that must be met in order for a player to use it. At the start of the game, the power level is 1, but it increases each time a player gets a +1 on the coin toss. You can play cards that are equal to or lower than the current power level, but you may not play cards that are higher than the current power level, unless another card says you can. Hey, this is a CCG remember?

Players draw a card from their deck. Interestingly enough, this is the same as taking a point of damage. In this game, the first person to run out out of cards loses the match.
When a player plays a card from their deck, the opponent has the opportunity to block that attack with a card from their hand. At the bottom left of each card, there is a small shield containing one of the six power types. If the defender can play a card from their hand with a shield that matches the power type of the attacking card, then that attack is blocked and both cards go to the discard pile. If the defender cannot block the attack, then he or she must discard cards from the deck until either a card is discarded that can block the attack or until the number of cards discarded is equal to the value of the attack. Some attacks have special abilities that allow them to stay on the table and have effects that last for more than a single turn. These cards are called keepers. Keeper attacks can be blocked just like regular attacks. Additionally, if you block an attack from a keeper from your hand or on the first card drawn from the discard, it destroys the keeper.
Players continue until someone runs out of cards.

I usually stay away from any type of collectible card game because of the costs involved, but this is a good little game. I certainly prefer it over the Pokemon CCG, which my son also enjoys. I prefer it to the Pokemon game because it plays faster and I like superheroes. I’ve found that in some of the games of Pokemon I’ve played with my son that there is a clear winner by mid-game, and the Superhero Squad CCG usually is a nail-biter right to the very end. I enjoy playing with my son, and I think it has already been worth the money I spent on a few decks.

Super Hero Squad Dice

You will need a couple of additional items to make you game more enjoyable.
Get rid of the stupid cardboard coin! It’s too light to flip it correctly and it bounces around on the table and is really annoying. Instead, use a six-sided die. I purchased a blank die from my friendly local neighborhood game store, and then put stickers on half of the sides. If we roll a side with a sticker, then the power goes up.
Use a d20 to keep track of the current power level. You know you have a few of those sitting around somewhere.

You can pick up the Marvel Superhero Squad Collectible Card Game at many major retailers, usually near the Magic the Gathering cards. If you can pick it up from your friendly local neighborhood game store, that’s all the better.

The Superhero Squad Card Game is also playable for free online through the Marvel Superhero Squad Online website. A good friend of mine plays this game quite a bit this way, and was telling me about some groups for adult players who want to find a bit more challenge. If I can get more information from him, I will edit the post with additional links and resources.

Hulk smash!

 

6 Comments

  1. MiddleClassJoe

    Having been a Magic player back in the 4th/5th edition days, I tried to get into the Game of Thrones LCG last year. While I love card games/deck building, I just can’t justify spending the time and/or money required to make those games fun anymore.

    Besides having art that is right up my alley, it’s got enough of the CCG feel to scratch the CCG itch for me. I don’t see myself spending hundreds of dollars on it or playing it 100+ times a year, but I could definitely see buying a couple more packs and putting together a Thor/Wolverine deck.

    • Jeff Myers

      I’ve spent less than $40 and I feel like I have enough cards to enjoy the game; although, I’ve been eyeballing that Iron Man theme deck. Ben and I play it fairly often, and it travels well. I think we will get quite a bit of play out of this game.

      Why Thor and Wolverine?

    • You had mentioned that there were some resources for more advanced gamers that want to play this online. Is it a league or do you just play against whoever is available? You had also talked about some deck building strategies and I thought there might be a website or some forums for people that were interested.

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