By Lex "Gaz the Dungeonmaster" Ansems on September 17, 2014

Did you ever wonder what would happen if The Hulk, Deadpool, Wolverine and Iron man took on Galactus in a battle for the world?.... Sounds pretty awesome right? Well that’s exactly what happened in my first game of Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game (Legendary for short). We lost, the world went to hell in a handbag, but hey, it was fun!

In Legendary you build a deck full of superheroes from the Marvel universe. So, all the Avengers, X-men, The Fantastic Four (these are included in the expansion) and fight the bad guys from the same Marvel universe. Dr Doom, Magneto, Red Skull and many more.

You start by picking the mastermind villain's scheme, in other words their nefarious plan for taking over the world. After this, you proceed to build a hero and villain deck out of the available cards. With basic agents you “buy / recruit” super heroes from the hero deck. These heroes are more powerful and do more stuff then the basic soldiers. Every turn, you flip one or more cards from the villain deck to progress the bad guys and depending on the scheme at hand stuff happens and it's up to you and your set of heroes to make things right. Depending on how well you've chosen your heroes and strategy you either win or lose. And that is the basic setup of Legendary.

The game can be played with 1 to 5 players but in my experience 3 or 4 is the best number of players to try and save the earth with. The more players join in, the more options you'll have hero-wise. However, with more players joining in, the villain deck gets more turns, so thing become a lot more difficult.

The choice in villains, henchmen and scheme for world domination will determine the strength of the bad guys. The choice in heroes will determine your play style and combo's you can make and, as a result, also influences the difficulty of the game.

The game itself looks great, the board is well made, and sturdy with set places for everything. The art is just like in the comic books. It looks great, it feels great, it is great. The theme itself is not as essential for the game as it looks. You could replace the Marvel Heroes with standard fantasy or sci-fi characters and the game would still work just fine. But you have to admit, who doesn’t want to see Deadpool, the Hulk and Iron Man fighting together and kicking butt.

But to everything good there is always a bad. The only thing that really annoys me about the game is the box. While it may look the part, there are no separate slots for all the hero/villain cards, no spacers between the groups, just some flimsy divider cards. So if you pack it, you'll have a boat load of cards (the basic set alone contains 500 cards) which are only separated by more cards. If you are not careful when carrying the box, these cards are bound to slide all over the place instead of staying in their respective groups. So people with OCD, prepare for hell.

My final verdict:
The game itself is great! With all those possible combinations of villains, heroes, schemes the replayability is great. The game looks fantastic and the four expansions bring in even more good guys, bad guys and evil plans. If you're a Marvel fan you can buy this game for just the art and the aesthetics. For the deck builders among us, the game is balanced, interactive and fun.

Upper Deck Entertainment
Published: 2012
Designer: Devin Low
Players: 1 - 5 players, ages 14 & up
Playtime: approx. 45 minutes