Marvel Champions: Ant-Man Breakdown

It’s time to dip back into the world of Marvel Champions! Today, let’s take a gander at Ant-Man, also known as Scott Lang. Yep, we’re getting the younger, hipper Ant-Man here; apparently, the developers had originally intended to use classic Ant-Man Hank Pym, but Marvel asked them to use Scott instead, presumably for better MCU synergy.

I really like Ant-Man, so I’m looking forward to digging into this one! As a reminder, these breakdowns only look at the character’s unique cards and don’t discuss Aspects, deck-building strategies, or the like.

The Hero
We’ll start the way we always do: with the actual Hero card. Scott Lang has a respectable 12 Hit Points, and in alter-ego mode, he’s got 3 Recovery and a hand size of 6. He also has an ability called Time to Unwind: after flipping to alter-ego you immediately heal 1 damage. Nice!

Now, let’s flip to his hero side…. but wait! Which hero side are we flipping to?

That’s right–through the magic of slightly different card construction, Ant-Man has three sides: alter-ego, giant hero, and tiny hero! This is a really cool way of handling Ant-Man’s size changing powers. It’s a gimmick he shares with Wasp (who we’ll cover next time) and it’s a ton of fun to play.

Let’s look at tiny hero form first. It’s got a hand size of 5, 2 Thwart, 1 Attack, and 2 Defense. It also has the ability Puny Pest: after flipping to this form, you immediately remove 1 Threat from a scheme. Yeah, as you can tell, Ant-Man is heavily incentivized to flip pretty much every turn, which I find very interesting.

The card actually folds out into a double-sized card for giant form, which boasts 1 Thwart, 3 Attack, 3 Defense, and a hand size of 4, plus the ability Giant Nuisance (which deals a damage to an enemy after flipping to this form). Again, I love the incentive for flipping; it’s a great way to translate the character’s constant shrinking and growing into a card game format. It also makes it so that pretty much every turn feels productive, because you’re almost always kicking off one of these abilities.

The flexibility of having different stat layouts is nice, too, with tiny form focused on thwarting while giant form is better at attacking.

Upgrades
Upgrades are always my favorite part of a hero’s kit. Ant-Man has a powerful one in the form of Ant-Man’s Helmet, a 3-cost card that allows you to heal 2 damage when you flip to giant form or draw a card when you flip to tiny form. Even more reasons to flip? Yes, please!

Next, he has two copies of Giant Strength, a 1-cost power-up that gives you a +1 bonus for the rest of the turn after you change to giant form. It’s a solid boost for a low cost, and if you have both out, giant form becomes a real juggernaut. Admittedly, it’s limited to the turn that you flip, but hey, you should be flipping all the time anyway!

Finally, there’s the 1-cost Wrist Gauntlets. These are easily the least impressive upgrades of the bunch; if you’re in giant form, you can exhaust them and spend 2 Physical resources to stun an enemy, while if you’re in tiny form, you can exhaust them and spend 2 Energy resources to confuse an enemy. That’s a lot of hoops to jump through for a rather unspectacular effect.

Allies & Supports
Ant-Man has the requisite single ally, in this case the unstoppable Wasp! Costing 3 resources, Wasp offers 3 hit points, 2 Thwart, and 2 Attack. When she enters play, she either deals 2 damage to an enemy if you’re in giant form or removes 2 Threat if you’re in tiny form. Neat! I like that she’s tied into the whole shrinking/growing mechanic.

In terms of supports, Scott has three copies of Army of Ants. For a scant 1 resource, you can toss out one of these bad boys and then exhaust it while in tiny form to deal 1 damage to an enemy. Individually, not that impressive; get all three out, though, and suddenly tiny form can deal a lot more damage.

Events & Resources
Ant-Man has some handy events, starting with the 3-cost Giant Stomp. Playable only when you’re in giant form, Giant Stomp deals 1 damage to every minion in play as well as a whopping 8 damage to an enemy. An excellent way to clear out minions while also landing a hefty blow on the villain!

There’s also Hive Mind, a 2-cost card that can only be played in tiny form. It removes 2 Threat from a scheme, plus an additional Threat for each Army of Ants you have out–that’s a potential 5 Threat for only 2 cost. Not bad!

My favorite, though, is Resize. It’s free to play; it simply allows you to switch to your other hero form and draw a card. Since Ant-Man is all about flipping, this card is extra useful, especially if you have Ant-Man’s Helmet out.

Scott also has a special resource card called Pym Particles. They grant a Wild resource, and they heal you for 2 if you’re in giant form or allow you to draw a card if you’re in tiny form.

Nemesis & Obligation
Ant-Man’s Obligation is Care for Cassie–aw, that’s kinda sweet. You know the deal with these by now; you’ve got the standard exhaustion, or you can discard a card and be locked into your current form for a turn. Not terrible either way.

Yellowjacket is the star of the Nemesis deck, swooping in with 4 hit points, 2 Scheme, and 2 Attack. If you’re in giant form, Yellowjacket sizes up too, gaining Retaliate 1. If you’re tiny, Yellowjacket shrinks down and gains +1 Attack. Again, very cool way to maintain the theme of the deck! His side scheme is Tech Theft, which has 2 Threat per player on it and erases all abilities from Tech cards. That’s bad, but honestly, there are characters that it affects much worse that Scott–Iron Man, for instance. Yellowjacket’s deck also features a couple of Size Increase upgrades, which add +2 Scheme and +2 Attack to whoever they attach to. Thankfully, these bonuses are limited, running out after 3 turns. There’s also Yellowjacket’s Plan to content with, which forces you to discard from the encounter deck until you reveal a card from Yellowjacket’s Nemesis set–ouch.

Conclusion
Ant-Man is a super fun character no matter which Aspect you pair him with. His flipping mechanic is a clever take on the character’s size-changing powers, and it pretty much guarantees that you’ll have something to do every turn, even if you draw a bad hand.

Next up is Wasp, who revisits the size-changing theme!

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