Marvel Champions: Thor Breakdown

It’s time for another look at a Marvel Champions hero! Today we’re checking out Thor, god of thunder! Thor was the third hero pack released for the game, and brought in some sweet minion-busting goodness. Let’s take a gander at his deck!

Remember, folks, these breakdowns are only looking at the hero’s unique fifteen-card deck. No deck-building tips or Aspect insights here!

The Hero
Thor has a very worthy 14 hit points, but he breaks the hand size mold a bit–he can only draw up to 5 in alter-ego mode and 4 in hero mode. His alter-ego side, Odinson, has a healthy 4 Recovery and an ability called Worthy, which lets you search your deck and discard pile for Mjolnir and add it to your hand. That’s a pretty standard effect for a hero with an iconic piece of gear (looking at you, Captain America), but I like that he can do it anytime–it’s not tied to Setup. That means that if you ever lose Mjolnir for some reason, it’s easy to get it back.

Flipping to the hero side, Thor’s got 1 Thwart, 1 Attack, and 2 Defense–pretty decent stats. He’s also got an ability called “Have at thee!”, which allows you to draw two cards whenever you engage a minion. Wiping out minions is kind of Thor’s whole thing. What’s nice about this ability is that it’s limited to once per phase instead of once per round; you could theoretically pull a minion in the Villain Phase, draw two, and then engage a different minion in the Hero Phase through a card like Get Over Here to draw another two cards.

Thor’s got a few sweet upgrades, the first of which is the 2-cost God of Thunder. This is a simple card that can be exhausted to generate an Energy resource, a la Cap’s Super Soldier Serum. Just like the Serum, there are two copies included in the deck, which really helps out considering Thor’s small hand size.

After that is, of course, Mjolnir–a 1-cost weapon that gives Thor +1 Attack and the Aerial trait. In my opinion there’s still not enough cards that use the Aerial keyword, but hey, +1 Attack is nothing to sneeze at!

Finally, there’s Thor’s Helmet. This 2-cost upgrade give you an extra 5 hit points, bringing Thor’s total up to 19–damn!

While all of these upgrades are pretty simple, they serve their purpose: making Thor a bigger, beefier boy. What else would you want for the Norse God?

Allies & Supports
Although the Odinson rocked the boat a bit with his hand size shenanigans, he’s sticking to tradition when it comes to Allies and Supports, packing one of each. His ally is Lady Sif (an excellent choice). She costs 4 resources, but comes with 2 Thwart, 2 Attack, and 3 hit points–pretty strong for an ally. On top of that, when she enters play, you can immediately ready Thor, which is a nice little bonus. Thematically, I like to think that seeing his old battle buddy inspires Thor to get back into the fight!

Thor’s lone support is Asgard–a hell of a lot cooler than “a random apartment,” that’s for sure. It serves the important function of giving you +1 hand size, putting the God of Thunder on par with other heroes on that score. I really dig that this is just a passive bonus, too.

The meat of Thor’s deck is in its events. First off we have the 0-cost Defender of the Nine Realms, which allows you to discard cards from the encounter deck until you discard a minion, which you put into play engaged with you before removing 3 Threat from a scheme. This is quite handy considering the fact that Thor is otherwise short on options for dealing with Threat; plus, engaging a minion means drawing some extra cards!

Next up is For Asgard!, which costs 1 resource. It’s alter-ego only, but it allows you to search your deck and discard pile for a card with the Asgard trait and add it to your hand. This is great for pulling one your upgrades, and considering how useful all of those are, you’ll probably want to play this quick!

After that is Hammer Throw, a 3-cost attack event that deals 8 damage (with Overkill!) to an enemy at the cost of exhausting Mjolnir and returning it to your hand. It’s got some similarities to Cap’s Shield Toss, but narrowed to a single target. I didn’t really think about it before, but it’s sort of weird that both heroes have iconic “throw stuff at people” attacks.

Finally, there’s Lightning Strike, a 1-cost event that has you spend X Energy resources to deal X amount of damage to the villain and each minion engaged with you. This has potential to deal a ton of damage, depending on what you have in hand and if you’ve got both God of Thunder upgrades out! It can affect a pretty wild number of targets if you’re playing a minion-heavy villain like Green Goblin, too. It’s also a perfectly Thor move, calling down lightning on your enemies!

Overall, I think Thor has some of the most thematically on-point events in the game: tossing his hammer, hitting people with lightning bolts, and defending the realms in glorious battle. Excellent work on that front!

Nemesis & Obligation
Thor’s Obligation is Odin’s Anger. The alternative option here (other than exhausting your alter-ego, I mean) is actually not too bad: you just have to discard Mjolnir and get Stunned. The Stun is kind of a pain, but Mjolnir is easy to get back with Odinson’s ability; this is one of the few Obligations where I could understand taking that option even if you didn’t have to.

To make up for a simple Obligation, Thor has a real bastard of a Nemesis: Loki. Though the trickster god only has 2 Scheme, 2 Attack, and 4 hit points, he has a monumentally frustrating ability: when he would be defeated, you have to discard the top card of the encounter deck, and if it’s a treachery card, Loki is fully healed. Ugh, healing up and cycling the encounter deck at the same time? Brutal. His side scheme, Family Feud, adds an acceleration token to the main scheme and has Threat on it equal to 2 plus the number of cards with the Asgard trait in play–nothing too crazy there. Loki further adds a couple of Frost Giants to the encounter deck, which have 1 Scheme, 3 Attack, 4 hit points, and the Toughness trait. They can also stun you if they’re drawn as a boost on an attack that deals damage. Finally, he adds the Trickster treachery, which forces you to discard the top 3 cards of your deck and add a Threat to the main scheme for each different card type discarded that way.

Since Thor is a lean, mean, minion-killing machine, it’s hard to imagine playing him as anything other than Aggression. I mean… he’s good at one thing: hitting hard. Why not focus on making him hit even harder?

Thor’s cards do an awesome job of capturing the feeling of the legendary God of Thunder. He can dish out great damage, especially to minions, which feels very appropriate for a warrior-god. His upgrades are solid and make sense for the character, and his events really capture his fighting style–I don’t think I realized before this breakdown how perfect this deck is from a thematic standpoint!

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