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Marvel’s Midnight Suns Character Build Guide

Welcome to our Marvel’s Midnight Suns Character Build Guide. This guide will show you an in-depth […]

Welcome to our Marvel’s Midnight Suns Character Build Guide. This guide will show you an in-depth analysis of every card found in Midnight Suns, suggested decks for each character, and comments on mods.

Contents

Marvel’s Midnight Suns Character Build Guide

This guide will show you an in-depth analysis of every card found in Midnight Suns, suggested decks for each character, and comments on mods.We know that there are people who have a hard time finishing the Marvel’s Midnight Suns game. If you are one of those who find it difficult to finish the game, let’s take you to our Marvel’s Midnight Suns guide.

Important Notes

A few bullets to inform you about the guide before we begin:

  • If you came here just to find out whether you should build your Hunter as Dark, Light or Balanced, the short answer is ‘Dark’. The longer answer is that Hunter is strong as hell no matter what you do, but Dark outperforms the rest because it’s damage-centric. Light has some decent tools, but Dark hits like a truck and that’s what matters in this game. Balanced, meanwhile, passes up on a great Legendary for no good reason, and requires you to walk a tightrope instead of playing naturally.
  • I wrote this guide based on my experience with the game set to maximum difficulty. If you’re playing at a lower one, some statements may be less important than they should be.
  • If I say a hero/card/whatever is weak, underwhelming, bad, trash, or any other negative descriptor, that doesn’t mean I’m saying it’s useless. You could complete the game with the worst heroes and worst cards. All I’m saying is that there are stronger options available. Don’t start posting comments like ‘I beat the game using nobody but Blade and Captain America so clearly you’re wrong’, because they’re stupid and will make me hate you.
  • There are some story missions which are split into two parts. For those missions, any buffs you create (e.g. Magik’s Limbo’s Grasp) in the first half will still be there in the second half. You can and should abuse this where possible by stacking up damage buffs in the first part and then slapping the supervillain around with gleeful abandon in the second; however, I have not taken this into account for my ratings because it has very limited application across the game.
  • Remember that Quick refunds the card play if anything dies as a result – it doesn’t have to be your target. Knocking an enemy into an Environmental explosive which then kills a minion will still refund the card play; triggering that explosive without spending a card play does not, because there’s nothing to refund.
  • Be free with your Combat Item usage. If you’re anything like me, you’ll tend to packrat consumables and never use them – don’t do that in this game. You can make more very easily, and the resources you use to do so are useless for everything else besides making Essence, a resource you’ll have coming out of your ears with all the cards thrown at you by missions. Seriously, you can’t even sell them. Take the best Combat Items along that you can find, use them liberally, and if it really bothers you so much, run Doctor Strange so he can restore them.

The Characters

Tier List

Check out our Marvel’s Midnight Suns Tier List 2023 guide for details!

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Methodology

Or ‘Why did you put my favourite character in X tier you braindead primate?!’

Note that heroes’ placement in a tier is random – I’m not saying Iron Man is better than Dark Hunter (and he most certainly is not), but they’re both better than Blade. As are all other heroes and most common household pets.
While Midnight Suns isn’t XCOM, or even close to an XCOM game, a few XCOM maxims do apply:

1. Enemy damage and abilities are irrelevant if they’re dead before they get a turn. As such, the most important requirement for any hero is an abundance of reliable damage, so as to remove as many threats as possible before they get a turn.

2. The action economy is the be-all and end-all of the game, so anything you can do to screw with it is golden. Cards with Free, Quick, and to a lesser extent Marked, are invaluable assets for any hero.

3. When you don’t want to ever get hit, defensive abilities become borderline useless. In other words, the best defence is an extremely powerful offence. The eagle-eyed reader may notice this is exactly the same point as #1 – that’s how important it is. On higher difficulties heroes will go down to 2-4 hits regardless of their health pool (unless their name is Hulk), so there’s limited value in heroes that are trying to soak damage rather than remove it.

4. To be absolutely clear, the Balanced Hunter placement in B tier is for a truly neutral Hunter. A well-balanced Hunter build taking from both Light and Dark options probably belongs in A tier alongside Light Hunter. That wouldn’t have looked as fitting on the tier list, though.

Buffs and You

As you might have grasped if you’ve played even a fraction of the game before reading this guide, buffs and debuffs can play a substantial part in gameplay. Incidentally, if you haven’t played a fraction of the game before reading this guide, kudos to you for reading this. Seriously, that’s pretty cool of you.

Some buffs and debuffs are substantially more useful (or detrimental) than others, though. I feel it’s therefore necessary to lay out my views on them here, as this may help to explain my rationale on card analysis later. I have also included some enemy-specific debuffs, primarily because I like to be unnecessarily thorough (which is why this guide exists in the first place, really).

Buffs

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Block – Prevents incoming damage from most sources; capped at a maximum equal to the character’s health. Useful, but not hugely so as block values don’t tend to scale enough to protect from sufficient hits, and doesn’t prevent damage from sources like Bleed, Wounded etc.

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Concealed – Cannot be targeted, though can be damaged through AoE. This status is highly desirable if you can land it at the end of your turn, as enemies whose target is concealed will typically just skip their turn entirely. That said, taking any action or taking damage will remove the status, making it fairly hit-and-miss as far as statuses go.

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Counter – When attacked, will hit their attacker in return. Theoretically a very powerful effect – after all, if damage is good and screwing the action economy is good, this is both! – but in practice the damage it deals is simply too low to do anything more than kill off the minions you wanted to farm heroism on. Note that this isn’t true for enemy Counter, which tends to hit about as hard as the enemy usually would and should therefore be avoided wherever possible.

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Cure – Not strictly a buff, so much as the absence of debuffs – Curing a target will remove any and all debuffs they’ve been subjected to. Extremely valuable as a secondary effect as it can remove effects which would otherwise completely screw up your game-plan, such as Wounded; generally not valuable enough on its own to be worthwhile.

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Frenzy X – An enemy-specific buff which makes them act after every X cards played. Very dangerous, as you’d expect of something which messes with the action economy. Enemies with Frenzy should be removed as a priority so that you can go back to spamming your Quick cards at will.

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Invulnerable – The Nirvana of buffs, the recipient cannot be damaged by enemy attacks. Currently only exists on Magik’s legendary card. Note that while invulnerable you can still receive debuffs – and due to Darkchylde’s Taunt effect you probably will – so pay attention so you don’t inadvertently kill yourself to Wounded damage on the following turn.

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Protected – The target cannot be targeted or damaged with AoE. Remove this by removing the protector – either by removing their Block, or where possible, hitting them with Stun or Bind.

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Resist – Invulnerable’s baby sister, but still extremely potent, a stack of Resist blocks a single source of incoming damage. Note that it won’t stop status damage from things like Bleed or Wounded, nor will it prevent debuffs from being applied (and a few bosses, like Dread Maidens, just ignore it entirely). All the same, Resist is incredibly useful for ensuring that the few stragglers left alive after your initial blitzkrieg don’t manage to pick someone off.

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Strengthened/Overpowered – Increase the target’s Offence (and therefore their damage) by 50%/100%. One of the better buffs (for obvious reasons); unfortunately most of the sources of this are awkward to activate. The best and most reliable source of either is via Combat Items.

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Taunt – Force the enemy to attack a specific target. Generally fairly weak as a buff since you usually want damage spread across your team so nobody goes down, but some abilities interact with it in a positive way. Also the only way certain heroes (coughWolverinecough) can be useful, since their only real purpose is to soak damage.

Debuffs and not you (hopefully)

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card AnalysisBerserk – Extremely rare debuff which causes the recipient to attack the nearest unit, friend or foe, on their turn. Unfortunately forced enemy attacks seem to be inexplicably weaker than their regular ones.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Bind – Prevents the target from taking any actions, and unlike Stun is not removed by incoming damage. Remember that Supervillains get two actions, and this will only prevent one of them.

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Bleed – Deals a chunk of damage to the target at the end of their turn, ignoring defensive buffs like Block or Resist. Damage seems to be based on the recipient’s max health. Unfortunately by its nature Bleed deals its damage after the target has been allowed to act, making it pretty much worthless as debuffs go. Its main use is in activating several of Blade’s secondary effects.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Confused X – Enemy-specific debuff, the hero will take a random action each time you play a card until the end of the turn or after X cards have been played. Although random, I’ve found Confused is more often than not a benefit – it’s common for a confused character to run off and use Environmentals to damage enemies without expending your precious heroism. It does, of course, render the character’s cards unplayable for the duration, but it’s still often not worth spending any resources to cure.
Wondering why Charge is my image for Confused? It’s because I’m confused why anyone would put it in their deck.

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Corrupted – The recipient takes damage at the end of their turn, much like Bleed. Unlike Bleed, however, they then apply the Corrupted debuff to any nearby targets – friend or foe. This does mean you can run into a big group of enemies and then end your turn to give them all your Lilin-AIDS; this will make you laugh until you realise you just ran into a big group of enemies that all get to attack before they take the damage. Better to just make sure the recipient ends their turn well away from any friendlies.

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Dazed X – The recipient hero is unable to act until X cards have been played. Unfortunately not removed by damage, so your only recourse is to disregard that hero until the debuff is gone.
Because it’s got damage for days! Get it? Ha ha!…Okay, look, work with me here, there aren’t any cards with Dazed on them. I’m doing my best.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Marked – Refunds the expended card play when killed, effectively making any card Quick. Note that like Quick, it will only refund the card play expended to kill the target – you don’t get any refunds for kills which don’t take a card play, nor can you refund more than one card play at a time.

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Stun – Target is unable to act on their turn. Removed by any source of damage, so remember to only apply it to things you don’t plan on hitting for the rest of the turn. Note that you can remove it on allies with environmentals that happen to hit them.

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Vulnerable – Target takes 50% more damage from all sources. Works slightly differently to Strengthened – this will increase damage from effects which don’t rely on Offence for damage calculation (such as Ghost Rider’s Judgement), but won’t give any additional benefit to cards which have effects calculated on Offence (e.g. Ghost Rider’s Immolate). Less valuable than Strengthened in general because you only have to apply Strengthened to one target – the hero doing all the work – whereas Vulnerable would need to be applied to every relevant target.

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Weak – Target’s offence is reduced by 50%. It’s unclear exactly how this interacts with Strengthened. Regardless, not a particularly valuable status to inflict – you want enemies dead, stunned, or their damage Resisted. Better than nothing, though.

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Wounded – The recipient hero takes damage every time they play a card. This applies equally to Free and Quick cards, so it prevents you from screwing the action economy too heavily (the horror!). It only applies to cards, though, so you can move around and use environmentals all you want without being hit.
Because if you have this in your hand, Wolverine is probably going to be wounded after the mission. That one wrote itself.

Secondary Stats

You may have noticed that Hunter and your other heroes accrue secondary stats through things like Sparring and Friendship (because one of the developers apparently watches too much animé). But when it comes to doling out the stats, who should get what? And which hang-outs should Hunter prioritise to get the best bang for her buck?

Fear not, I’m here to answer those wholly rhetorical questions that I’m sure none of you ever asked!

Critical Chance – Unsurprisingly, the chance of any given drawn card being a Critical, with a damage bonus based on the character’s Critical Damage stat (spoiler warning!).

Who should get it? – Any character who routinely acts as your primary damage-dealer via Offence-based damage sources. Iron Man is your safest bet, although you may prefer to load up Nico since she really wants to ensure her spells kill things. Hulk is also a pretty good choice. Avoid giving this to Magik, as a sizeable chunk of her damage comes from Limbo’s Grasp, which can’t crit.

Hunter – Crit is actually pretty bad for Hunter, as her Wrath card gives her auto-crits anyway. Obviously it’s still not bad, as you can’t guarantee drawing Wrath every mission, but it’s lower value than it is for your teammates.

The cap for this stat is 125, being a 50% crit rate. No permanent auto-crits for you, sorry.

Critical Damage – The bonus damage generated by Critical cards, acting as a modifier to the card’s damage.

Who should get it? – Essentially, give this to whoever you’re also giving Critical Chance to, as the more the character crits, the more value this stat is giving you. You could argue that this is less useful for characters who can reliably boost their own Offence, such as Hulk or Spiderman, as it makes crits more likely to overkill; on the other hand, it also gives those characters enough damage to reliably one-shot the biggest of enemies, so that argument cuts both ways.

Hunter – Unlike crit, crit damage is phenomenal on Hunter and is by far her best secondary stat. When under Wrath’s effect, crit damage is a wholesale damage boost, and a high crit damage stat is the best way to push Hunter from ‘strongest hero on the team’ to ‘walking demigod’.

Crit damage caps at 150, which gives a 75% damage bonus.

Fortitude – Gives the character a percentage of their max health as block at the start of the mission.

Who should get it? – Since this is purely defensive and only gives benefits at the very start of the mission, it’s not great in general. The obvious choice, therefore, is to pump Captain America full of this stuff since he’s the only one who’ll get any damage out of it. That said, it’s also good on anyone who actively tries to soak hits – Wolverine, Hulk, and to a lesser extent Captain Marvel will all make good use of it. Alternatively, in a pinch, give it to literally anyone just in case they take a stray hit somewhere. Additionally, note that since Fortitude directly scales from max health, higher level heroes will get more benefit from it.

Hunter – This is a terrible stat for Hunter, since she’ll rarely want to take hits, and even when she does get hit she’ll probably have Resist to cover it. It’s better than nothing, certainly, but only barely.

This caps out at 50% of your max health, being 100 Fortitude.

Power– Increases the area covered by AoE abilities, including circular AoEs, point-blank AoEs, and line AoEs.

Who should get it? – While technically usable by any hero, you’ll usually want to throw Power to heroes who make substantial use of AoE – Scarlet Witch is the immediate candidate, followed by Hulk and Ghost Rider. Note that Power is arguably detrimental for Nico as it limits her ability to focus Witchstorm on a single target.

Hunter – Power is debatable on Hunter. On the one hand, Dark Hunter will only ever AoE via her Legendary card of choice. On the other, maximising targets hit by that Legendary is maximising the number of obliterated enemies. Light Hunter will get a lot more mileage out of Power due to Holy Burst being the powerhouse card of that build.

Power caps out at 100, giving a 25% boost to the size of the area. Not much, admittedly, but it can make a big difference when it matters.

Resilience – Gives the character a chance to ignore debuffs on application.

Who should get it? – This is a pretty fantastic stat overall, despite its defensive nature – debuffs range from annoying to straight up crippling, so disregarding them can be fantastic. Initial impulse would be to focus on giving this to your tanks – Captain America, Wolverine and so on – but I would argue that it’s more important to focus on keeping your carries free from distraction. In particular, Magik really likes Resilience because Darkchylde doesn’t prevent status afflictions.

Hunter – Resilience is great on Hunter for the same reasons it’s great on everyone else – particularly because she tends to accrue Resist easily (at least if you’re using the right passives), so she’ll like being able to no-sell hits.

Resilience caps out at 100 for a whopping 60% chance of ignoring negative status effects. You want that.

Strength – Increases knockback distance.

Who should get it? – Honestly this is a pretty garbage stat in general, as it doesn’t increase the damage dealt by knockback. Its primary use is giving you additional freedom on your Quick attacks with Knockback, allowing you to more frequently aim the damage-dealing portion at a non-minion and still trigger Quick by knocking them into a minion. As such, prioritise heroes with free-targeted Knockbacks first – Scarlet Witch and Ghost Rider – followed by anyone else with a Quick knockback. Avoid heroes like Blade, who lack knockbacks on their Quick attacks (and in fact, avoid him in general because he sucks. Both figuratively and literally).

Hunter – Still underwhelming for Hunter, but you’re probably going to be running double Quick Slash on her so it’s not awful. If you made the mistake of not running Dark Hunter you may want this more than otherwise since it helps to make Bladestorm more appealing.

Strength caps out at 100, or 50% more knockback distance.

Willpower – Heals the character at the start of each turn.

Who should get it? – Much like Fortitude, Willpower is entirely defensive and so your first impulse is going to be to give it to your tanks as priority (though unlike Fortitude it’s not going to boost Cap’s damage). In my opinion, though, this is better off going to Ghost Rider and Hulk, both of whom are going to want to take damage as part of their kit; they both also have ways to increase their max health, so they’ll get more overall healing from this.

Hunter – Pretty terrible for Hunter, given her ability to Resist damage. Take it if you have to, but otherwise focus on accruing more damage to go with your damage.

Willpower caps at 100, giving 20% of your max health as healing every turn – a lot less useful than it sounds considering how quickly heroes go down in this game.

Modifying Cards

Using Fluffy’s guide you can see what mods your cards can get. But which ones should they get? That’s where I come in.

Standard Attack/Heroic cards


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By which I mean damage-dealing Attacks and Heroics that don’t have Quick or Chain on them. The main reason these cards are run is because they do substantial damage; otherwise you’d be running support or heroic cards in those slots instead. As such, the most valuable mod you can get for them is Quick. Unfortunately, Quick is really quite rare to find as a mod, so in its absence you should aim for:

  • Increased damage for cards with high base damage – not on cards whose damage primarily comes from a secondary effect. Usually avoid situational damage boosts (e.g. ‘to damaged targets’) as they only serve to make a situational card even more situational.
  • Card draw, either hero-specific (if the hero is a carry) or general (if they’re not).
  • Redraw benefits – this kind of card tends to only be useful when it can kill a single target and useless if it can’t. It’s going to be a common redraw target, so getting some kind of benefit when you do so is useful.
  • Quick, for obvious reasons.

Quick Attacks


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Being any Attack that has Quick on it naturally. These are mostly used to generate Heroism while cleaning up minions, so your card mods should lean into these benefits. Avoid debuff mods, as you’ll basically never want to use a Quick attack if it’s not killing the target.

  • Any kind of card draw.
  • Heroism generation.
  • Resist or Strengthened on KO.

Chains


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This applies to both Attacks and Heroics that have Chain. In the vast majority of cases these cards have extremely underwhelming damage values, so you should usually resist the impulse to add a damage modifier – as they say, you can’t polish a turd.

  • Chain +1 is usually pretty good, despite the aforementioned turd-polishing idiom, as it provides additional flexibility as well as more damage.
  • 25/50% chance to apply Marked, as provided you’ve got some decent damage cards Marked is effectively the same as ‘kill’. After all, you usually have more cards than card plays available.
  • On the rare example of Chain cards that actually do worthwhile damage – Hulk’s Rampage, for instance – Increased Damage is pretty fantastic.

AoEs


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Applies to both Attacks and Heroics that hit areas. Mods for these are usually similar to those for Chain cards – but unlike Chain, AoE cards usually hit pretty hard and therefore are good recipients of damage increases.

  • 25/50% chance to apply Marked, for the same reasons as Chain above.
  • Increased damage, because Hulk smash.
  • Draw a card for each KO is usually pretty great, but dependent on the size and quality of the AoE – you’ll get a lot more mileage from this out of, say, Hulk’s Worldbreaker than you will from Photon Beam.

Free Skills


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In other words, any Skill card with Free on it naturally. You will almost always want to play Free cards immediately on drawing them, so avoid any Redraw modifiers.

  • +1 Heroism – free Heroism is always nice.
  • +2 Redraws – so are free Redraws.
  • Draw Last Attack played – Free cards can’t get card draw usually, because cycling a Free card is kind of filthy, but for some reason they can get this one. Abuse it at will.

Non-Free Skills


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All other Skill cards. These are usually utility-based. The holy grail for these cards is Free, but failing that…

  • Free. What’s better than utility? FREE utility. That said, don’t go nuts farming and spending a million credits to get Free on all your utility cards – the +2 Heroism can be very helpful for juicing up big Heroism dumps.
  • Card draw/Redraws – More utility for your utility.
  • +2 Heroism – Big same.

Legendaries


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It can take a lot of rerolls to get a good modifier on a card. Unfortunately, to reroll the modifier on a Legendary card requires a Legendary blueprint, which are a pain in the backside to get in significant numbers. As such, I strongly recommend that for your own sanity you take the first even vaguely useful modifier for any given Legendary and make do with it. It just isn’t worth spending 20 hours grinding missions just to get a slightly better copy of a card that probably has Exhaust on it anyway.

Bad cards


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Every hero has bad cards. That’s just an inevitable part of card games. Some heroes even run those bad cards, usually because they’re bad heroes. If any given card you’re modding is bad, or only good in certain very specific circumstances, the best modifier you can give it will usually be some kind of Redraw effect (and particularly +1 Resist on redraw). It may be a garbage card, but it can at least be useful when thrown away.

Character Card Analysis & Builds

My analysis of each character follows. I have applied the following template to each:

Name – The character’s name. If you needed me to explain this to you, you may be beyond help as far as the guide goes.

TL;DR – A simple summary of the hero’s effectiveness. For those of you who don’t want to read my endless text, and yet are still willing to take my word as gold for some reason.

Passive – The hero’s passive effect. Note that I’ll only be including the max friendship effect, as I have been reliably informed that friendship is magic.

Combo – The character’s effect when they lead a combo.

Cards – The character’s cards listed in order Attacks-Skills-Heroics, then in alphabetical order. Note that every character bar Hunter has ten cards total – four common cards available from the start, three rares, two epics, and one legendary unlockable through their challenge once they hit max friendship. I will only be running analysis of the upgraded version of each card, because really, who cares what the un-upgraded version does?
Note that I have described the card in each entry – this isn’t because I assume people can’t read cards, but rather because damage is usually based on a hero’s Offence stat, so their actual damage isn’t necessarily obvious from a screenshot.

Recommended Builds – The set of cards I recommend you run as standard in a character’s deck. If you really want to be sweaty about it you can tailor each character’s deck for each mission – drafting in Stun effects for missions you need to bypass Protect and so on – but realistically this is far from necessary. Most characters have clear winners and losers as far as cards go, and the game really isn’t hard enough to need this amount of min/maxing. That said, if it makes you feel good, go for it.

Where appropriate I’ve provided multiple sets of options for heroes (because I’m nice like that), but this isn’t possible for every hero, either because they’re very one-dimensional in what they do or just because a lot of their cards are kinda bad. For heroes with only one build listed, their alternate build should be considered to be the ‘Hardcore’ build. This entails opening the deck-builder, closing your eyes, and clicking cards at random while screaming at the top of your lungs.

Hunter – Collars

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‘So what’s your superpower?’
‘I’m the Hunter. I hunt things.’
‘Well yeah, but… how? What abilities do you have?’
‘My mother is the mother of demons.’
‘..So you’re a demon?’
‘Well, no, she only became the mother of demons after I was born’
‘So.. your power is…?’
‘To have the most cosmetics, the most badass outfits, and generally look awesome no matter what I do.’
‘Ah, like Emiru[en.wikipedia.org]. Got it.’

TL;DR – She’s the main character, so no matter how good she is you’re probably going to use her a lot. Fortunately, she’s all kinds of badass.

Combo – None. She’s very much the combo-ee rather than combo-er.

Passives

Unlike other characters, who have to do with a measly single passive, Hunter gets to pick two of them – one from her collar and one from her suit. Since there’s a fair amount of choice this deserves a section of its own, although in all honesty most of them kinda suck. Note that I won’t be telling you where to acquire these passives, because that belongs in a different guide (and definitely not because I can’t be bothered to try to remember where they all came from).

Collars

Although their descriptions don’t specify this, all Collars generate a special card when activated; playing their card is Free and has the specified effect. This gives you more freedom in when you use them so you don’t waste Obsidian Collar on a Quick Slash or something.

Balanced Collar – Play three Power cards (i.e. neutral Hunter cards) to draw two Hunter cards. Despite being a ‘neutral’ collar, this is probably the best one to use for Light Hunter too because the Light-specific ones are a bit underwhelming and there are some strong neutral cards.

Ivory Collar – Play three Light cards to gain the effect ‘your next Hunter Attack card is not discarded’. Really quite meh, it’s fairly easy to obtain the benefit thanks to Holy Spark but the payoff isn’t particularly useful. Note that it specifies ‘Attack’ card, so you can’t use it to double up on a Legendary.

Obsidian Collar – Play three Dark cards to gain ‘your next Hunter Attack card deals double damage’. Unlike the Ivory collar, this one is crazy good and an auto-take for a Dark Hunter. Double damage might seem like overkill, but on the highest difficulties enemies have a lot of health; regardless of that, a Wild Strike with this collar behind it will one-shot almost anything.

Paragon/Renegade Collar – Play five Light/Dark cards to gain ‘Your next Light/Dark card is Free’. Two different collars for Light and Dark, but aside from being different types they’re otherwise functionally identical. Neither is especially good, though, despite how powerful the Free effect is, simply because of how prohibitively expensive they are to trigger – for the Renegade Collar in particular, by the time you trigger it the fight’s probably almost over. The Paragon Collar is more accessible thanks to Holy Spark, but it’s still a close contest between that and the Balanced Collar’s reliable Hunter-specific card draw (particularly as Light Hunter doesn’t have access to All Out).

Unity Collar – Play a Light, a Dark and a Power card in any order to gain a stack of Fast. The other ‘Balanced’ collar, but unfortunately a pretty terrible one; Fast is an okay buff, but Hunter doesn’t usually run enough Heroic cards to make much use out of it. Stick to the Balanced Collar.

Conclusion – If you’re running a Dark Hunter, you use Obsidian Collar, no contest. If you’re Light, there’s an argument for either Balanced or Paragon Collars, but personally I favour the former. And if you’re trying to run a balanced Hunter, you’re stuck with the Balanced Collar either way because the Unity Collar is trash.

Hunter – Suits

Suits

Note that while Suit effects are unlocked as you progress the story and the relevant suit is created, the passive effect is not locked to the suit – once it’s unlocked, you can use whichever passive with whichever suit you like. This time, while there’s more choices available, there’s really only one real winner until you’ve completed the story (and even then it’s debatable).

Ancestral Suit – Ancestors’ Guidance – Hunter abilities do not Exhaust. This is basically useless until you get hold of Annihilation, at which point it becomes worth considering. Unfortunately, while your ultra-nuke doesn’t Exhaust, it also doesn’t return to your hand, so this probably isn’t worth using.

Borderline – Vengeance – Enemies who attack Hunter have a 25% chance to gain a stack of Marked. Marked is great, but the low probability of a proc is not, and having to take hits to activate it is even worse. Avoid this passive; the suit, on the other hand, looks badass.

Dark/Light – Dark Champion/Defender of the Light – Dark/Light Attacks and Heroics have a greatly increased chance to be Critical. The crit rate increase is unclear, but does seem to be quite high. The trouble is that Wrath exists and is both neutral and fantastic, so there’s basically no reason to ever use this passive.

Demonchylde – Heightened Senses – Charlie gains a stack of Resist each turn. Hunter and Charlie Attacks have a greatly increased chance to be Critical. Confusingly shares a name with the Magik Legendary card, this passive is essentially the same as the Light/Dark Champion passives, but only apply to Attacks and not Heroics. The main reason you’d take this is to give Charlie the Resist if you’re really struggling in the Trials; otherwise, look elsewhere because Wrath is a thing.

Faithbreaker – Symbiote Shell – When Hunter plays a card, there’s a 10% chance to generate a Symbiote Bind card which costs one Heroism and applies Bind to a target. Symbiote Bind is rarely going to be worth playing, and it takes a while to generate one anyway. Avoid. On the bright side, this suit is the only one badass enough to compete with the Borderline suit.

High Tech – Fully Charged – Hunter either gains a stack of Resist or generates one Heroism at the start of each turn. One of the earliest passives you’ll unlock (unless for some reason you’re not using Iron Man), and yet this one is by far the best. It requires no input or conditions, and will either feed you Heroism (which is nice) or give you Resist (which is often even better).

Midnight Sun – Shadowstalker – Once per mission, redraw any Heroic Hunter card to gain Concealed. Pretty sucky. Concealed is nice if you can proc it when you really need it in an emergency, but realistically the Resist from Fully Charged is going to do far more over the course of the fight than one instance of Concealed will. What’s more, running this passive means your Hunter Heroic cards – which includes Combo cards – are stuck in your hand until you either play them or need to proc this. Garbage.

Salem – Salem’s Saviour – When Hunter kills one or more Lilin with an ability, there’s a 50% chance to draw a card. This could actually have been pretty good, but unfortunately it specifies Lilin rather than working on all enemies, making it a bit lacklustre. Free card draw is good, certainly, but the benefits of Fully Charged are generally more impactful and more useful. Worth considering at least.

Super – Master of the Hunt – Reduces all Collar thresholds by one, and Hunter is immune to all negative status effects. An absurdly good passive. The trouble is, you get it by completing the story, and it’s unlikely you’re going to want to keep playing after winning it until DLC comes out; you’ll also be pretty used to Fully Charged by that point and so prone to dying because you forgot you don’t get free Resist anymore. Note that the Collar reductions make the Balanced Collar start to edge out even the Obsidian one because Wrath is Free and you’ll almost always want to be running two Quick Slash, allowing you to cycle Hunter cards extremely hard.

Conclusion – Fully Charged up until you’ve beaten the game, for sure. If for some reason you keep playing after that point, you can swap to Super if you want to giggle like a schoolgirl every time someone tries to stun you.

Hunter – Power cards

A moment of appreciation for whichever poor bastard had to come up with a dozen synonyms for ‘hit thing with swords’.

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Forcefully knocks back one enemy, with a 25% chance to apply Stun.

We immediately start off with proof that just because Hunter is strong doesn’t mean all her cards are. Spending an entire card play just to knock something back is laughably bad; Stun, meanwhile, is a good debuff but is atrocious if you can’t guarantee it. Even if this was a 100% chance it wouldn’t be worth including in a deck; as it is, this is pure garbage.

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Deals [50%] damage and knocks back with Quick.

I hope you like this card’s animation, because you’re going to be seeing it a lot. This is the archetypal Quick card, doing exactly what you want it to do – it deals damage, it knocks back, and it’s Quick. No matter what Balance your Hunter is, you’ll probably be running this card.

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Deals [50%] and forcefully knocks back.

The message this card sends is ‘if you slow down, you suck’. Take Quick Slash, remove the Quick, and make the knockback Forceful – that’s how to make a card worse in three easy steps. The best thing I can say about this card is it’s better than Charge.

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Spawns three Environmental explosives on the map – one Light, one Dark, and one randomly chosen between the two. Knocking enemies into a Light explosive will stun them, while the Dark one applies Vulnerable.

This is an interesting card, at least, and is the only way in the game to create new Environmental interactions (besides creating Drops, at least). As you’ll hear from me repeatedly, though, Environmental damage doesn’t scale very well throughout the game, so this is only going to get worse as the game goes on. Furthermore, it requires you to spend a card play to do… not much of anything, really. Despite having some synergy with cards like Spiderman’s Opportunist and Scarlet Witch’s Detonate, this is not worth a deck slot or a card play.

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Hunter gains 40% of her max health as Block and two stacks of Counter.

This isn’t too bad as far as defensive cards go – the Block amounts are reasonable, and Counter can provide some chip damage. The trouble is, this is not a game that rewards defensive play. What’s more Hunter is not there to be defensive; it’s not what she’s good at, and it’s not what she wants to do. What she wants to do is murder anything that looks at her funny, and this card will not help her do that. Avoid.

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Gives all Hunter cards in hand, and any drawn for the next two turns, Critical. Free.

What was I just saying? ‘Murder anything that looks at her funny’? Yeah, this is more like it. This is possibly the most busted support card in the game; it not only makes all your cards crit, it keeps doing so for two more turns. And for some bizarre reason it’s ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ FREE! Why they deigned to put this card in the game and then gave trash like Mindbender Exhaust I really don’t know, but I’m not complaining. Play this card every time you draw it and be happy that things are dying.

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Deals [100%] damage to all enemies in a solid AoE, forcefully knocking back each one, then draw a card for each kill.

One of three Hunter Legendary cards, and probably the first one you’ll see unless you’re a complete saint/prick. It’s pretty decent, certainly – at the point you obtain it you probably won’t have many good AoE cards, and while its damage is fairly lacklustre the knockback helps with that. The additional card draw is also very much appreciated. That said, you can only run one Legendary card and eventually this will be competing with Annihilation. No more needs be said.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card AnalysisDeals [200%] damage to a single target while applying one stack of Vulnerable and two of Marked. Hunter cannot act for the rest of the turn.

Vulnerable is decent, and Marked is good. Sadly [200%] damage is very low for a Hunter card, and they’re only being applied to a single target. The real dealbreaker though is that Hunter can’t act after using this – and she’s the single best single-target damage dealer in the game. In other words, the one person you want following it up, cannot. Avoid.

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Deals [150%] damage to a single target. While it’s in your hand, Hunter gains 15% of her max health as Block at the end of her turn.

An interesting card, certainly – I wish there were more cards like this in the game, but sadly the effect is unique. More sadly, this isn’t really worth including in your deck – gaining Block for free every turn is nice, but your Fully Charged passive should be giving you enough survivability to keep you going, and you’ll never actually want to play it. Not worth a deck slot.

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Deals [500%] damage and Exhausts. While this is in your hand, its cost decreases by one Heroism per turn.

This card hits hard, there’s no doubt about that. The question is, though, is it worth it? The Heroism cost is extremely high, and while it does go down by one per turn, most non-story missions are over inside three turns (at least if you’re playing and building right!), so it’s never going to be particularly cheap. Meanwhile, it only hits a single target with no added effects. Generally this card just isn’t worth it, particularly as Wrath makes your cards hit hard enough that this is usually overkill. Cool concept, but in practice not worth it.

Hunter – Light Cards

Because being a ♥♥♥♥ to everyone all the time is a lot of work.

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Deals [100%] to an enemy, or restores [200%] health to a hero. Generates one Heroism when redrawn.

Kind of meh, sadly. The flexibility is definitely nice, but [100%] damage really isn’t ever going to be worth a card play, so you’re mostly looking at the heal – but if that’s what you want, you should be running, well, Heal. It does at least have an in-built Redraw effect, but if you’re including a card in your deck so that you can Redraw it, you’re doing something very wrong.

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Deals [100%] to an enemy with Quick, or Cures a hero.

Much better. Quick cards are always good to have around, and thanks to this card Hunter is the only hero that can run four of them without needing card mods. You’ll be using the Cure effect a lot less often than the Quick effect, but equally, when you do use it you’ll be very glad you had it. You might ask whether this is better than Quick Slash – it is not – but the fact is that Light doesn’t really have anything better in the way of Attack cards, so you may as well run both.

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Deals [50%] damage and gives all subsequently-played Morning Star cards +[50%] damage, to a maximum of [300%].

My eyes lit up when I saw this card – I’m a sucker for stacking mechanics – but the bitter truth is that on rational analysis it isn’t very good. The damage numbers are too low for too long, particularly since they’re being played by your main big hitter. I can’t even say that they’re strong if you find one modded with Quick, because you’re still having to run two of them in your deck. For the bloody minded of you, though, go for it – after you’ve played four of them, the fifth will hit for the same damage that Dark Hunters were throwing out on turn one with Wild Strike. On the other hand, the name is a nice pun, so it’s got that going for it.

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A Free card which doubles all Heroism generation for the turn.

It’s cute and all, and Heroism is nice… most heroes would probably run this and be happy about it, because being Free means it’s definitely a good card. The trouble is, Hunter is not most heroes – she’s the baddest of asses, and she has some of the best cards in the game. Competition for deck slots is extremely fierce, so you’re going to struggle to fit this card in. Having said that, Light Hunter doesn’t have the same nuke potential that Dark Hunter has, so I can see some merit in having this to enable your more psychotically-minded allies to do their thing.

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Restores [300%] health to a hero target. If the target is overhealed, draw two cards.

As far as healing cards go, this is very nice. [300%] is usually enough to be an overheal, particularly as Hunter will usually be your highest level character, and drawing two cards is a very nice perk. We’re once again forced to confront the fact, though, that this is not what Hunter is for. You can build her as a healer and support, yes, but that doesn’t mean you should when she has some of the most potent damage cards in the game available to her. No thank you.

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The next card you play is not discarded. Exhaust.

This card is atrocious. Effectively you’re spending an entire card play to add a copy of your next card to your hand. Even the best legendary in the game is not worth a card play just to get a single copy of. I don’t know why you would ever include this in your deck.

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Changes the cost of one random Heroic card in your hand to zero. Free.

Alone among the Light Skill cards, this is actually pretty good. A free card to functionally generate however much Heroism it happens to be is not too shabby at all, particularly given the costs of some of the stronger Legendaries. There are two issues, however. The first is that, as already discussed, Hunter is there to kill things, not mess around. The second is that this is only hitting a single random card, and there’s a fair chance that it’ll wind up being a Combo card rather than the beefy AoE or Legendary Heroism dump you were hoping for. If you want this effect, tell Nico to get her Empower out.

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Deals [150%] and knocks back in any direction. Draws a card on kill.

Not bad, especially for only one Heroism; the damage is low, but the free-target knockback is nice, and drawing a card is always welcome. But despite those benefits, it’s a Hunter card, and Hunter can do better. Much better.

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Deals [100%] damage to enemies and heals [300%] health to allies in an AoE.

This, on the other hand, is really quite nice. The damage is once again low, but the heal is big and chunky, and more important it hits in a very generous area. If you ever want to heal allies, you want to do so while also dealing damage – and that’s what this card does. If you’re playing Light Hunter, give this card serious consideration.

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Summons Charlie for three turns and draws two of her cards, then Exhausts.

The Light-specific Legendary, where Dark players get Annihilation, Light players get this. I will now pause while the Dark players finish laughing.
Seriously though, this is an awful trade-off. That isn’t to say Charlie is bad – she’s sweet, and her cards are pretty good as far as they go – but there’s just no world in which this is efficient. You’re spending four Heroism and a card play to draw two cards, and they’re probably not as good as your own cards. The only reason you’d want to play this is to have Charlie tank some hits instead of your actual team, and even for that purpose she’s really quite squishy (or if you just really love Charlie, I suppose, which would be understandable).

Sorry Light players, you’ll have to be satisfied with Bladestorm unless your holiness will tolerate running an un-upgraded Annihilation.

Hunter – Dark Cards

These cards were made for murder, and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these cards are go- oh, you’re dead. Never mind then.

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Deals [150%] damage. On kill, Hunter gains Concealed.

A pretty nice card for what it is; [150%] damage is middling for an Attack card, but Concealed is a pretty nice buff where you can get it since enemies don’t change targeting in response – you may as well be stunning anything trying to hit you. That’s cool and all, but this is Dark Hunter territory and we don’t hide; we kill things. This card just isn’t killy enough.

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Deals [100%] damage. If the target has Stun or Bind, deals an additional [400%] damage.

Speaking of killy things, on stunned targets this thing hits as hard as Patience. Y’know, the card that costs six Heroism. That’s pretty damn killy. Trouble is, it requires Stun or Bind – and the express purpose of applying those status effects is so you don’t have to deal with them this turn. Spending a card play on stunning a single enemy and a second one on killing them is criminally inefficient. Hard pass.

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Deals [250%] to a single target. Hunter gains a stack of Vulnerable.

Here we go. This card is one of the cornerstones of the Dark Hunter alongside All Out. It hits as hard as most heroes’ Heroic cards, and instead of costing Heroism is actually generates it. The only downside is that you take a stack of Vulnerable in return, and while that can be mildly troubling, it’s not much of a problem if everything around you is too dead to take advantage of it. What’s more, Resilience applies to that Vulnerable stack, so you’ve got a chance to just ignore it entirely – and even if you do become Vulnerable, you should have a stack or two of Resist from Fully Charged to cover you. This is a very good card; use it.

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Upgrade all the cards in your hand for the rest of the mission. Hunter takes [150%] damage.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know why this card is in the game. I have to assume the card designers were not talking to the game developers, and were under the impression that it would be much harder to upgrade cards than it actually is. As it stands, there’s pretty much no reason you’ll be going into missions without upgraded cards past the first hour or two of gameplay, so no reason to ever run this card.

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Restore an ally to full health and Cure them. Hunter takes 15% of her max health as damage.

I mean… it’s okay, I guess, as far as heals go. Guaranteeing the target heals to full is nice, as is having Cure attached – Nico’s Restore doesn’t have that, after all. Two problems though: One, this doesn’t kill things, and you’re a Dark Hunter. And two, the person you care most about surviving – Hunter – can’t be healed by this card, and instead takes damage from it. Yeah, that’s gonna be a no from me dawg.

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A targeted enemy attacks their nearest ally. Exhaust.

On paper this might seem good – some of those enemies hit pretty hard, after all, especially supervillains – but in practice they seem to pull their punches when not aiming them at you. What’s more, even in the best of cases, this is only going to kill a single enemy and you don’t have full control over which one it is. Definitely, definitely skip this card – if you really want to see enemies beat up on each other, ask Wanda to bring Chaos Reigns on the next mission.

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Deals [200%] damage to a single target, then discards all Hunter cards from your hand and draws two new ones.

The utilitarian Yang to Wild Strike’s Yin, this is the second half to Dark Hunter’s extremely potent arsenal. It might seem, at first glance, like discarding all your Hunter cards is a heavy price to pay… but here’s the thing: Hunter cards are good. You want to play them. It’s really not a big cost to have to play them before playing All Out – and by doing so, you turn the drawback into drawing two cards for your best character. Some heroes are happy just doing that, let alone with [200%] damage on top of it. The only downside to this card is that if you run two of them, you’ll sometimes make one discard the other, which is sad because you wanted to play them both.

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Consumes all Heroism to deal [75%] damage for each Heroism expended in an AoE. Exhaust.

This is a lovely, juicy card. Admittedly, as a Heroism dump, it’s not very flexible – you’re going to need to pump up your Heroism numbers before you play it, certainly. It’s also Legendary, and so a pain to get hold of, as well as having Exhaust. But none of that matters when you play it and realise it’s going to be one-shotting everything you point it at. As soon as you get this, put it in your deck and never look back. Meanwhile, the Light Hunter players don’t get to upgrade this because they’re busy playing with their dog. The poor, misguided fools.

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Applies three stacks of Berserk to a single target.

The story of this card is a sad tale of poor resource management. Firaxis wanted to make another damaging Dark card, but regrettably discovered they’d used up all their damage making the others, so there was none left for this one. They had no choice but to create the Berserk status, a debuff that doesn’t appear on any other card, so that they could use the enemy’s damage instead.
…But seriously though, this card isn’t great. So long as you stay away from them it can functionally shut down a target for three turns, and that’s cool and all, but it costs four Heroism and only affects one target. The only real reason to play this card is because due to having multiple stacks it can eat a supervillain’s entire turn, while Stun and Bind will only consume one of two actions – but that’s not really enough reason to bring it along.

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Forcefully knocks back an enemy in any direction, then discards a random card from your hand.

And, having used up all of the damage for Hunter cards and enemies, Firaxis were forced to print a Dark Heroic card with no damage on it at all. For shame. This is pretty terrible, honestly – forceful knockback isn’t particularly powerful of an effect (although the freedom of direction is nice), and it’s definitely not worth discarding a card for. It does at least cost zero Heroism (the only Heroic card in the game with no base cost, no less), but that still doesn’t make it good.

Recommended Hunter Builds

Real talk, before we begin – I might talk a lot of crap about Light and Balanced Hunter builds (because Dark is so deliciously powerful), but no matter how you build her Hunter is going to be one of the most powerful heroes you have access to. So long as you steer clear of the obvious traps like Charge and Dark Blessing, you’ll be laughing. All the same, this is a guide, and it’s my job (and my pleasure) to tell you what’s best.

So, which is the best? If you read the previous sections you’ll know – Dark Hunter, and by a wide margin. While Light Hunter is trying to do everything and Balanced Hunter is trying to keep things level, Dark Hunter is murdering absolutely everything in sight. It has the best damage, the best card draw, and thanks to Fully Charged and some nice AoE-bearing teammates (hopefully) it doesn’t need to worry too much about incoming fire.

The one thing Hunter can struggle with at times is, as I’ve said, AoE. Dark Hunter is entirely single-target outside of Annihilation, a very expensive single-use Legendary; Light Hunter has Holy Burst, but that’s really more for chip damage than nuking. This can be wholly rectified by finding a few Quick modifiers for your good cards, but until then you’ll need to know your limits.

Recommended teammates – Thanks to her sheer power, Hunter works with pretty much anyone. Doctor Strange is nice for Dark Hunter, though, thanks to his ability to return her powerful Attack cards to hand, while Iron Man can provide AoE and support cards. Light Hunter, meanwhile, works very well with The Hulk as her ubiquitous Quick effects can pick off any survivors from his onslaught and also heal him to keep the Rage from damage flowing. Finally, Balanced Hunter works equally well with anyone, because it lacks the powerhouse tools of the other two variants. That’s what they get for refusing to pick a side.

Dark Hunter Annihilation

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As with all truly good deck lists, this Dark build has only the minimum of one-ofs – Annihilation is singular due to being a Legendary, and Wrath takes the fall as the other singleton because you really don’t need more than one – it lasts for two turns and Dark Hunter draws enough cards to get it back in time anyway. Two copies of Quick Slash are necessary for clearing up minions and generating Heroism, two copies of Wild Strike kill most small and medium-sized threats, and All Out kills something else and then refills your hand so you can do it all over again. A glorious, bloody, satisfying cycle.

For card mods, you’re looking for the usual – Quick for your nukes, card draw or Heroism generation for your Quick Slashes, and either card draw or Redraws for your Wrath. You don’t need to put too much effort into finding them though – I only have Quick on one copy of All Out and none on Wild Strikes, and I murder things just fine.

To close, I will note that on paper you could be fooled into thinking that Dark Hunter doesn’t actually hit all that hard. After all, it’s just [250%] and [200%] damage sets, and that’s not that high, right? Other heroes can put out similar numbers to that! Well, here’s the thing: Firstly, Hunter is Hunter. You’re going to be using her a lot – probably for every mission in the game, really, since she’s the main character and she can’t be wounded or sent on Ops missions – so she will inevitably be the highest level character you have, with a correspondingly high Offence stat. Secondly, you have Wrath and the tools to draw it reliably, so essentially every single card you play is going to be a crit. And thirdly, yes, there are some enemies that these cards will struggle to kill despite the first two points – which is why Obsidian Collar exists. Just do the things you were going to do anyway and hey look, suddenly I have a 2,500 damage Wild Strike crit to delete literally any enemy I want from the map.

Dark Hunter hits fairly hard.

Light Hunter Swiftness

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So, you wish to follow the path of the Nice Guy, eh? Very well, young padawan, let’s see what we can do…

In the end, on reviewing the card lists, I came down in favour of building Light Hunter as a Heroism generator with some capacity for healing. Having access to a full four Quick Attacks is really quite effective for ensuring that you’ll always have tools to keep your Heroism high and enemy minions dead, so we start with those; Holy Spark’s ability to Cure is very situational but can be extremely effective. We add in Bladestorm (because Summon Charlie, sweet though it is, simply isn’t good), and Wrath (because even when most of your cards are just Quick problem-solvers, it’s still pretty busted). We’re left with two open, flexible slots; I decided on a copy of Holy Burst to chip enemies down to enable my Quick cards to finish them while also healing up my allies, along with a copy of Call To Arms to underline the Heroism-bot approach. Heal was also a strong contender – more for the card draw than the actual healing – but in the end I feel consistency is key.

For card mods, you’re looking for card draw, card draw and more card draw. With this build you should have no trouble generating Heroism, so you really don’t need to worry about that; Redraw effects are potentially nice since it’s easy for those Quick cards to run out of targets, but they’re strictly less useful than drawing cards. With both your Skill cards being Free, you don’t even need to look for Free modifiers, so you can go ham on looking for card draw everywhere you can find it.

Just remember to bring your Balanced Collar (since your cards are already cheap, so making them Free is pretty pointless) and a teammate with some big Heroic cards to take advantage of all that Heroism you’ll be generating.

Recommended Hunter Builds (cont.)

Balanced Hunter Neutrality

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What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?

This list is for the true neutrals out there – a list with no Light or Dark cards whatsoever. We start with a Wrath, a Bladestorm and two Quick Slashes, because of course we do – it’s not like we have much to work with here, and those are some good cards. With them included, however, we’re down to the dregs. I’ve opted for a mix-up of four different options to give a balanced set of tools for Hunter to dip into: Fury can help an ally take out a tough target, Patience can sit in hand being discounted while she waits, and Guarding Strike helps her to soak some of the excess damage coming in from the enemies that are still breathing because you didn’t go Dark. Deadly Ground, meanwhile, provides some utility via its debuffs and gives Spiderman an excuse to exist.

You are, of course, forced into using the Balanced Collar, which is fine because it’s still pretty good. Your card mods are pretty open, but you probably want some kind of Redraw effect on Guarding Strike (that’s the only reason it’ll ever leave your hand), and a cost reduction on Patience would be quite welcome.

It’s not a great list, but don’t blame me – it’s your own fault for being so neutral.

Balanced Hunter Diplomacy

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Okay, okay, so the previous list was a big excessive. Let’s try again – a Balanced Hunter list taking the best from both aspects.

What’s this? A Hunter deck with no Quick Slashes? HERESY! Unfortunately there simply isn’t room for them, and since Light has some nice versatile Quick Attacks available, they’ll do nicely. To balance them out we reach for Dark’s wonderful Wild Strike, allowing our Balanced Hunter to still pack a mean punch when she wants to. Wrath and Bladestorm are again inevitable picks since we don’t get to play with Annihilation; All Out gives us access to some nice refill potential on the Dark side.

Needing a Light option to balance it out, I considered Call To Arms or Inspire, but rejected them – to be truly Balanced we need to work equally well with all teammates, not rely on ones with big Heroics. Instead I opted for Holy Burst for its wide AoE, which can top off teammates while also chipping away to enable card draws from Bladestorm.

In all honesty I quite like this list. It doesn’t pack the same punch as Dark Hunter, but then, nothing in the game does – and what it does bring is some nice versatility, allowing Hunter to solve virtually any problem asked of her. It’s objectively weaker than the Light Hunter list simply because it lacks a theme – it doesn’t do any one thing especially well, while Light Hunter enables teammates – but it’s still very powerful and a welcome addition to any team.

Blade

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Slashes people with a sword, shoots them with guns, stabs them with stakes, his name is BLADE… and yet he only has a chance to cause Bleed. And only if he likes you. This threatens my suspension of disbelief far more than the game being about superhumans fighting demons.

TL;DR – Quite possibly the single worst hero in the game. His cards mostly revolve around the Bleed status, which is unfortunate because that status is garbage. On the bright side, though, he does look pretty cool.

Passive – 25% chance of causing 1 Bleed when damaging enemies. This could be 100% and he would still be garbage. Not only is Bleed delayed damage when you want to kill things before they rip your face off, it’s also pretty lackluster numbers-wise. Treat this as a chance to trigger his cards’ secondary effects instead.

Combo – Deals [50%] bonus damage to Bleeding targets. Considering the base damage of Combo cards, adding two sets of [50%] really isn’t much, let alone with the qualifier that it has to be bleeding too. Really not great.

Cards

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Deals [50%] damage, with a [100%] bonus if the target has Bleed.

Overall one of the weakest Quick attacks in the game (although still better than Captain America’s) – a target will only have Bleed if you already burned a card play giving it Bleed, making the Quick effect less beneficial. Nonetheless, at the end of the day it’s still Quick, so it’s still a useful card for cleaning up minions and generating Heroism. The winner of 2022’s coveted ‘Most Obviously Lethal “Non-Lethal” Move In A Video Game’ award.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage, deals all Bleed damage on the target immediately, and gains Strengthened on kill.

Like several of Blade’s other cards, this could actually be really strong if the game worked differently – it overcomes the main weakness of Bleed, being its delay, while also giving a source of Strengthened. Unfortunately that still means you’re spending two card plays – once to apply Bleed, once to consume it – and that assumes you don’t need to play a support card to guarantee the Bleed, too. If you can get a Quick mod on this it’s actually pretty great, but otherwise don’t bother with it.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage, plus an additional [150%] if the target took damage this turn.

Unlike Blade’s other cards, this one is really quite good. The damage numbers on it are substantial, albeit contingent on the target already taking damage – quite achievable without card plays via Environmental attacks, AoE, or a good old fashioned shove – and there’s no ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ around with unimpressive status effects. If you’re trying to make Blade into an actual carry you’ll want to take Reaper, but if you’re living in the real world run this so he might be able to kill something on occasion.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage with Chain 3.

Like most Chain cards, this just kinda sucks. Freedom to target multiple enemies or a single target is nice in theory, but not when you’re limited to 150% Offence as damage with no additional effects – Relentless will outperform this in virtually every situation, with Strike only ever becoming good if you’ve removed all your Quick cards from your deck for some reason. The main reason you’d run this is in combination with Make ‘Em Bleed to apply Bleed to multiple enemies, thus getting the Glaive damage boost – in other words, to burn three card plays on killing a handful of enemies. There are better ways to do this.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Draw 2 Blade cards, and give the next 3 Blade cards played a guaranteed Bleed effect.

Meh. Guaranteed Bleed is nice for activating Blade’s other effects, but usually not worth burning a card play for; the main reason you’ll want to play this is to draw Quick Strike for cleaning up minions. The worst part is that because it draws cards you can’t even hope for a Free modifier to make it usable. Poor Blade.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Every enemy with Bleed gains 2 Marked and restores [100%] health to Blade.

Once again, in another world this could be a fantastic card. Marked is a really useful status effect, and the built-in heal could also be nice for topping up. Unfortunately, once again, there just aren’t enough ways of reliably applying Bleed without burning through card plays – you’re looking at spending one on Make ‘Em Bleed, one on your Bleed applicator of choice, and then hoping Marked lets you clean up everything else on the map. Plus both utility cards become useless unless you have both available to you. Once again, worth using if you’re struggling to make Blade into a strong hero, avoid otherwise.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage with Chain 4, drawing a card for each kill.

Great. One more swing than Strike, and instead of generating Heroism it costs an absurd 3. Whoopee.

In all seriousness though, this isn’t too bad of a card if you can manage to trigger it without spending a card play – say, via The Hunger – and there’s plenty of minions around. Unfortunately those circumstances are extremely rare, and any kind of card play cost makes this kind of Heroism expenditure laughable. Hard pass.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [200%] damage to all enemies in an area and applies Bleed. If any of the targets already had Bleed, deals an additional [200%].

At least Blade’s Legendary is pretty good. The AoE size is nothing to write home about, but 200% Offence in an area is nothing to be sniffed at, and it also has guaranteed Bleed to ensure that anything left alive can be cleaned up with his other abilities. It’s generally not worth trying to manipulate events to get the bonus damage – this card is better suited to being a Bleed applicator than Bleed beneficiary – but if you happen to have already set up a The Hunger group this is a pretty fantastic follow-up. If this wasn’t Legendary and didn’t Exhaust, Blade might actually be playable.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [250%] damage, with an additional [200%] if the target has Block.

The damage numbers on Savage are actually pretty high, making it situationally very useful – 450% offence is a pretty damn big hit (unless your name is Hunter, in which case it’s a normal hit). Unfortunately there are usually only 1-2 enemies with Block on any given mission, and without Block you’re spending 2 Heroism on dealing moderate damage to a single target. Pretty lacklustre, all the more so because this is about as close as Blade gets to utility.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [225%] damage and has Lifesteal.

Not completely terrible, really… as far as Blade cards go, at least. Granted it’s essentially just Savage but with lifesteal instead of anti-Block, but realistically you’re far more likely to need to heal in a mission than to beat down a blocker with Blade specifically. Having said that, The Hunger’s healing does make the lifesteal entirely redundant, so if you’re running a Blade carry build you really shouldn’t use this. If you’re not, it’s probably the best Heroic you’re going to get outside of Glaive.

Recommended Blade Builds

As I’ve alluded to in my card analysis, there are really two ways you can go about building Blade. The first is to set him up to apply Bleed as reliably as possible, then using The Hunger and Reaper to cash in on that Bleed. The second is to accept that there is no way of doing the first method in a way that doesn’t suck, then build him as damage control – take the best cards you can for having Blade do what little he can with absolutely no support whatsoever.

I strongly recommend taking the latter approach, and never using Blade unless you’re forced to by either a story mission or a very nice general mission reward. For those of you who are dead set on using him, though, I’ve included a suggested build for the former as well. Good luck to those guys, I guess.

Recommended teammates – Doctor Strange’s damage boosts can make Strike and Daywalker actually worth playing, and the additional card play from Agamotto’s Gaze can make The Hunger combos easier to pull off. The real answer, though, is whoever’s left behind at base.

Blade Carry

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

This is about the best you’re going to get to with a Blade carry build. Two copies of Make ’em Bleed are necessary to ensure you draw the requisite cards for the combo, and also to generate Heroism since the build only runs one copy of Quick Strike. Daywalker and/or Glaive can then apply Bleed to as many enemies as possible. This is followed up by The Hunger to Mark those enemies, and finally, Reaper (or Glaive) can be used to clean up the Marked targets.

It’s clunky and awkward, but so is Blade. As far as mods go, +1 Chain on Daywalker goes a long way, and additional Blade-specific card draw on Reaper is very useful. Don’t bother giving Reaper Quick, because its damage is laughable without Bleed (which you won’t be applying without hitting the target). You may want to run a single copy of Strike instead of Quick Strike, relying on allies for Quick attacks for Heroism and giving you an additional option to apply Bleed (and clean up stray minions at the same time).

Realistic Blade

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

This is a far more realistic build which accepts that Blade will never be the star of the show, instead focussing on doing as much as he can with the garbage he has available. Relentless can be used for its chunky damage to finish off stragglers left alive by other heroes – a Quick modified Relentless is extremely valuable for him – while Stake is used to allow Blade to soak some damage. Make ’em Bleed is useless in this build, but still marginally more useful than The Hunger because it at least generates some Heroism and can pick you up a Quick Strike or two.

Aside from Quick on Relentless and the usual card draw or Heroism generation on Quick Strike, your card mods should either generate additional Redraws (to help you find other heroes’ cards), card draw, or have beneficial redraw effects (because you’ll usually want to get rid of them ASAP).

Captain America

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

The world’s ultimate soldier, so perfect that he… never actually carries a gun. Or a sword. Or in fact a weapon of any kind, save for a ‘weapon’ made exclusively for not killing things with. He is apparently unaware of what soldiers are actually for.

TL;DR – A defensive tank hero who had the grave misfortune to be cast in a game that doesn’t want you to tank or be defensive. Can approach halfway decent damage numbers provided he stops doing his job entirely.

Passive – Begins combat with [50%] Block (in addition to any given by Fortitude), and gains [20%] Block per turn. Unfortunately these amounts are laughably small, rendering this passive effectively meaningless.

Combo – Both heroes gain Block. Would be a lot better if Block wasn’t just a much less useful version of Resist, but at least it’s better than Blade’s.

Cards

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage and knocks back, forcefully if the target already took damage this turn. In the unlikely event of a kill, draws 2 cards.

A less than stellar card, as it doesn’t deal enough damage for anything with a substantial health bar to notice and doesn’t have enough utility to be worth using for its effects. That said, if you manage to find one with Quick on it, it becomes an incredibly useful card and an auto-include.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage, knocks back and Taunts.

Unimpressive name, unimpressive card. It exchanges the substantial card draw from Brooklyn Handshake for… taunt. This is not a worthwhile trade, and there is no reason to ever run this in your deck unless you really hate Captain America and want to fill his deck with Taunt cards to ensure he’s beaten senseless at every opportunity. The one saving grace this card has is that if you look very closely at the card, you’ll see it wins the ‘derpiest hero expression’ award, which is something at least.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage with Quick and Taunt.

Probably the single worst Quick card in the entire game. Just [50%] damage, no knockback, no other utility… and adds in Taunt, which is of questionable use even on a card you’re not using exclusively on targets that will be dead after you hit them. It says a lot about the game that even a card this bad is still an auto-include just because it has Quick on it.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage, and also consumes 33% of Cap’s Block to deal additional damage at a 1:1 ratio.

A rare example of a Captain America card that can deal respectable damage, this unfortunately comes at the price of having to stack Block on him until it reaches that point. It also means he suffers even more than Captain Marvel does when it comes to Taunt – he’s intended to soak damage, but doing so ensures he will never be able to deal damage worth a damn. Still, at least it gives him a damage option.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Taunts all enemies targeting a specified ally, then gains 50% of his maximum health as Block along with a stack of Counter.

This is the support card you run if you want your Cap to act as a tank. It gives a respectable amount of Block (although still not enough to soak many hits), and also provides Counter, which would be a lot more useful if Counter did more than sod-all damage. It can also be used as Shield Bash fuel in a pinch, and may be better than the alternative for that purpose…

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Cap gains 30% of his maximum health as Block, and gives allies half that amount. Also draws two cards.

…Which is this card. Due to providing less Block than Dig In this is strictly worse for dealing damage. The thing is, though, Captain America is not someone you take to deal damage. Building him to deal damage disregards the fundamental point that he’s, y’know, bad at it. If you instead want a Captain America who supports his team (because they’re better at doing things than he is), this is the card you want – it provides an admittedly small amount of Block to allies, while also drawing cards – and the cards you draw are probably going to be better than the ones you currently have if you’re reduced to playing this.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Cappy gains Block equal to the damage he deals for the next two turns; also draws two Captain America cards.

This card unfortunately suffers from the same problems Blade has – it’s a card which enables the rest of his deck (by both providing the Block needed to fuel his damage and also preventing it from being lost when used), but using it means spending a card play to make bad cards slightly less bad. Given how lacklustre Captain America cards are in general, drawing more of them probably isn’t a good thing, either.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [150%] damage, plus another [100%] damage if the enemy is targeting Captain America. On kill it also draws two cards.

Not entirely awful damage, but not particularly impressive either considering it’s costing you a card play and a point of Heroism. If you’re not getting the two cards from the kill then this isn’t worth playing; if you are, it’s probably still not.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [125%] damage and taunts all enemies in a standard-sized AoE. Also applies one stack of Weak.

This isn’t actually too bad of a card; AoE damage can be useful, and applying Weak will give Cap a fighting chance of surviving after Taunting multiple enemies at once. That said, Weak or no Weak, you’re still running into the problem that you’ll be losing most or all of your Block from using this card, which means the rest of your cards now deal next to no damage. If you want to run your Captain America as a pure tank, you want this, but even if you want a pure tank (which you don’t), Wolverine does that job better. As such, avoid.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Consumes 100% of Captain America’s Block to deal that much damage to all enemies in a line AoE, then draws a card for each target hit.

A very rare example of target-based card draw which doesn’t require kills to activate, and an even rarer example of a Captain America card that stands a fighting chance of killing something. If you’ve managed to avoid Cap getting hit for most of the fight, this is your payoff card – and it’s actually pretty good for the card draw if nothing else. Unfortunately being a Legendary with Exhaust, it’s not going to win you many missions.

Recommended Captain America Builds

Blade’s main rival for the title of ‘worst hero in the game’, Cap has to choose between either dealing mediocre damage with far too much setup, or tanking for his team for a turn before dying horribly. Neither is particularly useful, but given the way Midnight Suns works, you’re usually better off going for the former – mediocre damage is still better than no damage.

If you want to make ol’ Cappy work, I strongly recommend you stack him with as much Fortitude as you can get for him and try to find him card mods that give him Block without requiring a card play, either via Redraw effects or as on-kill effects for his Quick Punch. You can then treat him as a utility bot who can throw the occasional hit out via Shield Bash or Shield Charge.

Recommended teammates – Cap really lacks substantial damage, so Iron Man, Nico or a Dark Hunter are strongly recommended to provide the burst damage necessary to remove bigger threats. You may find some success combining him with a second source of Taunt like Captain Marvel or Wolverine, allowing you to spread incoming damage out to soak it with Block; however, this usually leaves you critically low on damage output.

Captain America Utility

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis
This is probably your best option as far as builds go. Taunt is generally avoided in favour of utility and stacking Block, with both Shield Bash and Shield Charge available for dealing damage when the rest of your team needs an assist. Tactician’s card draw is prioritised over Dig In’s additional Block because at the end of the day you’re hoping to never need to hit anything.

You’ll want to look for card mods that give Block on Redraw (or on kill, for Quick Punch) so you can boost up Shield Bash without wasting a card play. Otherwise, look for utility effects.

Captain America Tank

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis
If you’re really dead-set on making him into a tank, this is probably how you’d do it. Both Shield Bash and Shield Charge are removed because you can’t expect to have Block when you’re busy taunting everything; these are replaced with Punch and Shield Bounce for Taunt. Tacticians are also dropped because your teammates shouldn’t need Block; a second copy of Dig In is provided, both for the Counter chip damage and because you’ll need every point of Block you can get to survive the enemy turn. Good luck.

Captain Marvel

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

One of Marvel’s most powerful heroes, she can fly through space and punch holes through spacecraft, and yet her most noteworthy contribution to this game was her romance subplot with Blade. Which was adorable, by the way.

TL;DR – In theory, a tank who can become a damage dealer via her passive. In practice, useless until she goes Binary, then becomes mediocre.

Passive – Goes Binary after playing three Captain Marvel cards, gaining 50% of her max health as Block and doubling her damage until all Block is gone. Also has a 20% chance to generate Counter when killing an enemy (but can only get one stack per turn).

Combo – Both heroes gain Counter, rendering her passive redundant. Unfortunately wholly unimpressive since Counter damage is low and you have to take hits to trigger it.

Cards

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage, with another [75%] if the enemy is targeting Captain Marvel.

As with all Captain Marvel cards, without Binary this is awful. With Binary, however, it deals a reasonably impressive [250%] provided the enemy is targeting Captain Marvel. Still not amazing – Dark Hunter laughs at numbers like those – but it’s about the best you’re going to get out of her. It’s sure as hell better than most of her cards.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [75%] damage, Taunts, and gain Block based on the damage dealt.

Awful, awful card. Without Binary it deals laughable damage, making it a complete waste of a card play. With Binary its damage still isn’t worth a card play, and isn’t going to give you as much Block as the enemy will deal to you in damage – so you’re spending a card play to make it less likely you’ll maintain Binary. Never play this.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage with Taunt and Quick. If Binary, also has Knockback.

Much like Captain America’s version, this card inexplicably has both Quick and Taunt on it, so you’ll only ever be able to trigger one effect per play (hint: it should never be Taunt). On the bright side, if Captain Marvel is Binary it deals [100%] and knocks back, making it functionally identical to Hunter’s Quick Slash – in other words, it becomes a good card.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Taunts all enemies in an area and gains one Counter. If Binary, also gains two Resist.

Here is where Captain Marvel starts to really hit the same wall Captain America has – you can either act as a tank or deal damage, but you can’t do both because soaking hits removes your block and thus your ability to hurt things. Unlike Cap, though, Carol stands a chance of actually dealing noticeable damage to things, so you will pretty much never want to play this without already being Binary. You probably won’t want to play it even with it, because it’s a pretty bad card overall – the only real reason to do so is if you’re already targeted and want the Resist to keep your Block intact, in which case you should taunt a random patch of empty space.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Draw Captain Marvel cards until you have four of them in your hand.

For most other heroes this would be a fantastic card – four card draw before mods is a lot, and being tied to a specific hero makes it more reliable for drawing the tools you’re looking for. Unfortunately, it’s a Captain Marvel card, and most of her cards are pretty underwhelming. Nonetheless, this does serve a purpose – you’ll often want to play it on your first turn to draw Quick Jabs in order to get Binary online quickly. Note that this card has a warping effect on Captain Marvel’s modifier preferences – you should avoid modifiers that draw her cards specifically, and will get even more benefit from Quick and Free modifiers than other heroes do.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Captain Marvel gains 25% of her max health as Block and 33% max health as healing.

With this card Captain Marvel manages a rare feat – having a card which is worse than a Captain America card. Healing is usually less useful than Block because it doesn’t maintain Binary and is much more prone to overhealing, and the card has no other secondary effects on it at all. This card straight up sucks; the only reason to ever use it is if you’re trying to build Captain Marvel as a tank for some reason.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [150%] damage and knocks back. On kill, draw a Captain Marvel card.

Not a completely awful card, but really isn’t worth 2 Heroism. Even [300%] damage is lacklustre compared to a lot of other heroes’ abilities, and the card draw is Captain Marvel-specific and so has anti-synergy with One Step Ahead. Even Carol has better cards than this available to her.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [125%] damage and Taunts in a line AoE.

And here is an example of a better card. Photon Beam hits almost as hard as Fists of Radiance (albeit without knockback), but does so in a fairly generously sized line AoE. It’s still not dealing incredible damage by any stretch of imagination, but nonetheless can be worth playing to pick off a weakened target while also softening up a bunch of others. Obviously, without Binary you don’t want to play this, and with Binary you need to be careful about how many enemies you leave alive for fear of losing Binary.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Consumes all Heroism, dealing [60%] damage per Heroism expended to a single target. Also consumes all Block.

A godawful card. Even disregarding the last line, [120%] damage per Heroism is terrible for a Heroism dump; it’s also restricted to a single target and so would be very prone to wasting Heroism on overkills if it wasn’t so low damage in general. Then you factor in the Block removal and realise it’s also going to break your Binary and render Captain Marvel useless for a while. The nicest thing I can say about this card is that it’s epic and so you can shred it for a decent chunk of Heroic Essence.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage in a circular AoE.

Saving the best for last, right guys? R-right? Well, sadly, no. Carol’s Legendary card somehow hits for less damage than Photon Beam does; it also carries no secondary effects. To make matters worse, like most Legendary AoEs it destroys most Environmental objects in the radius – which is a real problem, because some of them probably deal more damage than this does. If you can find a version modded with some kind of debuff on it this is worth playing, particularly if you find Marked. Otherwise the most damage it deals is to your hopes and dreams.

Recommended Captain Marvel Builds

Captain Marvel seems to be Firaxis’ attempt at a Bruiser character – someone who can take some hits while also dealing respectable damage. Unfortunately they fell down at the ‘while also’ part – like Captain America she’s very much capable of doing only one or the other. Unlike Captain America, though, she lacks the tools to even make a respectable stab at being a tank.

As a result I have only one Captain Marvel build to offer.

Recommended teammates – She’s fairly self-contained, so no really strong synergies with anyone. A tank teammate can help to taunt enemies off her to ensure Binary stays intact, but this can leave your damage output unacceptably low; alternatively, Doctor Strange’s damage boosts are also doubled by Binary and can leave her capable of dealing sizeable hits.

Captain Marvel Binary Damage

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

I’ve avoided Utility cards with this build because Captain Marvel’s utility pretty much exclusively focusses on buffing herself, which really isn’t worth a card play. One Step Ahead is included for the purposes of getting Binary online; your ideal first turn when playing her should involve playing it and two copies of Quick Jab (in whatever order they show up in), going Binary, and then treating her like any other hero.

You might think that you should prioritise keeping enemies off her to maintain Binary, but in practice this just isn’t worth doing – if you’re having to make that choice then somebody’s taking damage one way or the other, and it’s probably going to be better making Captain Marvel useless than having a much better hero be downed.
Note that if you find any cards with Quick or Free on them, you should slot those in (removing Cosmic Ray or Photon Beam if necessary), as they’ll help get Binary online faster and can be dumped to enable One Step Ahead.

Doctor Strange

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Arrogant, pedantic, verbose, annoying… He’s essentially me but with magic. I’m a little jealous.

TL;DR – The only character in the game that succeeds at being a support, primarily because he gives you two things you want – damage and card draw – rather than trying in vain to soak hits.

Passive – 50% chance to generate 2 Heroism per turn. A great passive, free Heroism is never a bad thing.

Combo – Gives all cards in your hand a damage bonus (provided they can hit enemies – sadly no damage boost on self-buffs). Also pretty great, simply adding more damage (albeit indirectly) to a card that deals a chunk of damage.

Cards

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage, with an additional [75%] at 4 and 6 Heroism.

A pretty solid damage card once it’s fully juiced, but although [250%] damage is pretty good, it’s not really what you’re bringing the good Doctor to do. Putting copies of this card in your deck is simply taking away slots that could be used on his fantastic utility; the fact that you need 6 banked Heroism to reach those numbers just serves to underline that this card should be avoided.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

No inherent damage, but has Quick and Knockback which becomes Forceful at 3 Heroism.

The lack of damage makes this a less than stellar Quick card – there are occasions when you’ll be unable to kill anything with it because there’s nothing to knock them into – but if you can hit the fairly easy Heroism threshold then those occasions will become very rare. Either way, it’s a Quick card, so you probably want it, even if it is going into a deck that generates an impressive amount of Heroism on its own.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Draws the last two Attack cards played and gives them [50%] damage until they leave your hand. Also gives you four card plays on your following turn.

The first of Strange’s fantastic support cards, this card does a lot of great things. Firstly, the card draw is far better than normal card draw because you know exactly what you’ll be getting, as well as being able to curate it to give exactly what you want. It also gives you an additional card play on your next turn – making this functionally free over two turns – and provides a (usually redundant) damage boost to your drawn cards.
The fact that a card this good can struggle to find a spot in your deck really goes to show just how good Doctor Strange’s support cards are. Note that it specifies ‘four’ card plays, not +1, so playing multiple copies of this in one turn won’t let you play a million cards on your following turn.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Restores two Combat Items you’ve used on this mission, and provides 2 Redraws.

Another great card, but this one’s effectiveness is entirely determined by how good the Combat Items you brought along are. So long as you picked some solid ones, though, this is pretty strong. If you’re the sort of person who farms resources to always have exactly the items you want on hand then you’ll get less value out of this than most people would; personally I simply treat the text of this card as being the text of two Combat Items plus some Redraws. Would you play a card that draws four cards and gives your primary damage dealer +100% Offence? I sure as hell would.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Gives all cards in hand [50%] damage for the rest of the mission.

The effectiveness of this card is primarily determined by how you’ve built your heroes’ decks. If you’ve built the way Firaxis seems to have intended, with an eclectic mix of utility and damage, it’s pretty weak. If, on the other hand, you’ve built them the way I suggest – with an endless supply of Quick effects, card draw and big AoEs – then this becomes absurdly powerful. Quick cards simply have their thresholds raised, allowing them to be used against more enemies; meanwhile, the more card draw you have, the more cards this will hit and the more often you’ll draw the already-buffed cards to play them again. Look for card draw modifiers for this above all else, because it draws cards before activating its effect, giving you more bonuses.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Gives a specified hero Concealed and heals them for [200%].

Fairly weak, but they can’t all be winners. This is essentially an emergency button used to protect a critically injured (or heavily focussed) teammate; however, as always, the better strategy is usually to just kill the enemies that are threatening them. You can pull off some pretty nasty tricks with this card because Concealed doesn’t change enemy targeting – so you can throw out a big taunt with a tank and then Conceal them to leave those enemies standing around doing nothing on their turn. Trouble is, that’s two card plays you’re not using to kill things.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [150%] damage and applies two stacks of Weak. At 4 and 6 Heroism, costs +2 and deals another [150%] damage.

Like Strange’s other damage cards, this one isn’t great. It can do some decent damage when fully stacked up, but unfortunately that also increases its cost – [450%] damage may be strong, but spending six Heroism to do it definitely is not. The Weak status, meanwhile, doesn’t do much for you since you’re still leaving that enemy alive to hit you (and also apply debuffs), just mitigating half the damage. Don’t bother with this one – if you want to mitigate damage, look to Strange’s other Heroic cards, and if you want to kill things look to a different hero.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Applies Bind and a stack of Vulnerable to a single target.

This is much better than Axe of Angarruumus for taking care of a single target – Bind prevents its attack altogether rather than merely mitigating some damage, while the Vulnerable status will probably contribute more actual damage than Axe would deal once your teammates get involved. The problem with this card, however, is that the main reason to Bind something is because you can’t deal with it that turn – so you stun it while you kill everything else, making the Vulnerable redundant. It does have some limited benefit against Supervillains, but note that Bind will only stop one of their actions, not two.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Spends 3 Heroism to deal [100%] damage in an AoE. At 4, 6 and 8 Heroism, spends that much Heroism to deal another [100%] damage.

Probably the least powerful Heroism dump in the game (aside from Rain of Blows, which doesn’t exist as far as I’m concerned). It’s still pretty powerful despite that, however – when properly empowered it can chunk a good number of enemies all at once. It’s no Annihilation, but it’s still worth bringing – after all, you’ve got to find something to do with all that Heroism, haven’t you?

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Gives all allies 1 Resist and Cures them. At 6 Heroism it spends an additional 3 to give a second stack of Resist.

Another solid support card, this is a very nice way of protecting your entire team if there are multiple enemies you can’t deal with (say, because you spent your turn throwing out damage boosts instead). Try to avoid playing it Enhanced though – 6 Heroism is a lot to spend on a few stacks of Resist.

Recommended Doctor Strange Builds

I only have one recommended build for Doctor Strange, but that isn’t to say his builds don’t have flexibility – rather, it’s because you start with two copies of Winds and one of Seven Suns, then throw in your choice of utility cards and you’ll probably have a good deck. Just avoid Bolt and Axe – both are weak compared to his utility cards and serve only to shift Strange from being a strong support to being a mediocre damage dealer.

Recommended teammates – Really anyone will work with him – he’s there to support and enable others, after all. That said, anyone with Chain loves his damage boosts, and anyone with a lot of Heroic cards (i.e. Iron Man and Ghost Rider) love his Heroism generation.

Doctor Strange Utility

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Personally I favour double Blessing, since it can provide handy damage boosts to whatever Quick cards I happen to draw and unlike Gaze its boost lasts all mission. I only run a single copy of Astral Meditation, as one free set of Combat Items is usually enough. I would run two Agamotto’s Gaze as well, but since we’re limited to four cards of any one type, that slot is instead taken by Shield of the Seraphim in case of emergency.

Modifiers for Strange cards should usually focus on card draw – he likes to accrue a lot of cards in hand to land Blessings on – and also Draw Last Attack because it lets you get the benefit from the damage boost multiple times. Aside from Free, there isn’t much else Strange wants – extra heroism is nice, but really not necessary given how many Skill cards he plays.

Ghost Rider

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He’s not a ghost, nor does he ride. And in fact, he also doesn’t ride ghosts. Which is a shame, because that would be really cool, now I think about it.

TL;DR – A pretty solid hero with impressive damage output, but falls short of greatness because it’s easy for him to become crippled and unable to really contribute.

Passive – Adds a Drain Soul card to your hand after killing three enemies, and doing so also increases his max health by 15% (up to twice per mission).

Combo – If the target is killed, it explodes for a small amount of damage. Pretty useless, overall.

Cards

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Forceful knockback in any direction and has Quick. Playing this causes Ghost Rider to deal himself [100%] damage.

An unfortunately poor Quick card – the free-targeted knock is nice and all, but it’s not worth slapping yourself for the same damage the target is taking. If it had some damage to the primary target this would be much better, but nope. Even so, you have to take at least one attack, and Quick is Quick.

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Deals [150%] damage with Knockback and gains Ghost Rider two Souls, but also causes you to discard a random card.

Although Firaxis seem to think the discard effect here is a drawback, it can often actually be a benefit – if you play it towards the end of the turn, at worst it’s discarding a card you didn’t think was good enough to play that turn. More often, though, it’ll discard a card you didn’t actually want at all – meaning you draw an additional card on your next turn, functionally acting as a delayed redraw. Despite this, however, this card isn’t really worth playing due to its awkwardness and lack of Quick – and if you do find one with a Quick modifier on it, that discard effect really does become a drawback.

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Creates a Drop on the map with a higher kill rate which lasts for two turns. Also gives Ghost Rider a stack of Strengthened.

Definitely an interesting effect, and one which can be extremely useful; it can turn your move-slap into a lethal blow, after all. Try not to gamble on it with Quick effects if you can help it, though, since RNG is the enemy of clean clears. The Strengthened effect is also very welcome considering how hard Ghost Rider hits already. This does wind up being a pretty situational card, and can easily be a dead draw in a lot of situations – when it’s good, though, it’s very good.
Note – when playing this, there’s a small chance that Sarah Michelle Gellar will appear and kick your teeth in. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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For the next two turns, enemies killed by Ghost Rider will explode for [50%] damage.

Laughably bad skill. Even if the damage was impressive this would be poor due to the tremendous awkwardness involved and the fact that it can damage teammates; as it is, [50%] damage is wholly ignorable by any non-minion enemy. There is no reason to ever put this in your deck.

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Replaces Ghost Rider with a drop for a turn, similar to Hellmouth plus Concealed. Also heals him for 33% of his max health. Ghost Rider can’t do anything after playing this for obvious reasons.

A curious card, it’s essentially an emergency button for Ghost Rider to save him from imminent doom. The built-in heal is very welcome, allowing him to claw back some of the health his cards have cost him; the drop is less useful, however, usually requiring a move to position it before use. On the whole (ha) this is inferior to Hellmouth, as there are far more efficient ways of healing (e.g. Nico’s Restore, Combat Items) and they don’t require you to lose a character for a turn – and as I’ve stated repeatedly throughout this guide, defensive options are rarely the way to go in this game.

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Deals [50%] damage with Chain 2 and Lifesteal. Each time this card is played, all subsequent Drain Souls (whether generated or not) have +1 Chain and +1 Heroism cost.

Considering this is effectively Ghost Rider’s signature card, you’d think it’d be less… well, terrible. While he definitely welcomes a Lifesteal option, [50%] damage per chain is garbage, and gaining +1 Heroism cost per Chain added eradicates any use this might have had. You may occasionally find yourself playing this, primarily because you don’t have anything better to do, but that should only ever be via generated copies. Ghost Rider has far, far better Heroic options than this.

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Deals [350%] damage in a wide AoE, then discards your hand.

Speaking of better Heroic options, here’s one now. It hits like a truck (okay, fine, like a car), and it has a pretty good width on it too. Discarding your hand can seem scary, but so long as you hold this until the end of your turn it’s not really a big problem – the only challenging aspect is playing your turn around the knowledge that you’ll be playing it. If you can find one with a card draw modifier on it then all the better, as this almost entirely mitigates the drawback.

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Deals [200%] damage to a single target; gains an additional [50%] damage each time Ghost Rider takes damage from enemies or himself while it’s in hand.

Although it’s a little bit ‘meh’ – dealing moderate single target damage with no secondary effects – Hell’s Fury occupies one very important niche in Ghost Rider’s deck – it’s the only damage he has which is both reliable and without drawback. Even when sat at 1% health with critical (i.e. non-discardable) cards in hand, he can still play this to contribute something so long as he can scrounge up a single point of Heroism, and that justifies inclusion in his deck. That said, don’t try to play around this by repeatedly damaging yourself to juice it – it’s not worth that. Just keep it on hand for emergencies.

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Consumes 25% of Ghost Rider’s current health to deal twice that amount to a single target and every other nearby enemy.

Another strong Heroic for Ghost Rider, this card is capable of some chunky damage numbers. The inclusion of AoE is what pushes it from ‘decent’ to ‘strong’, so it’s definitely worth keeping a copy on hand to blast a big target with. That said, you should be conscious that it very quickly loses its sting as Ghost Rider takes damage, so if you’re going to play it, play it early. Incidentally, while finding one with a Lifesteal modifier might seem good, it’s actually not – since the damage (and therefore healing) is tiny when he’s at low health, all Lifesteal does is mitigate the drawback when he’s already healthy.

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Consumes 50% of Ghost Rider’s current health to deal four times that amount to a single target, then Exhausts. Also fills the Souls meter.

The final Ghost Rider card is arguably the most impressive – this card is capable of being the third highest single-target damage cards in the game (#2 and #1 are a stun-primed 7-rage Hulk Mighty Blow and an infinitely-redrawn Hellfire Beam, if you’re curious). It shares the same issues as Judgment – low health renders it effectively useless – but the absurd potential of the card makes it invaluable nonetheless. Note that it always fills the Souls meter when played, so you can expect a little bit of health returned from his passive if you’ve not already exhausted it. Plus a copy of Drain Soul to immediately redraw.

Recommended Ghost Rider Builds

Again only one recommended build for Ghost Rider, this time because he has a mix of good and godawful cards so there’s really not a lot of choice involved. No matter what you do with him, though, Ghost Rider is going to play like a gun – he’ll do a lot of damage to whatever you point him at, but sooner or later he’s going to run dry and stop being effective. Use him as a problem solver and he’ll serve you well; alternatively, bring along a few healing Combat Items (or a Nico) to ‘reload’ him.

Recommended teammates – Nico or Light Hunter to provide healing to stay at full capacity.

Ghost Rider Generalist

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Most of this list writes itself – you’ll always want two copies of Lash for Quick, a copy of Hellmouth for Strengthened, and four of the good Heroic cards. I’ve opted for one of each Heroic on the basis that each one is situational; you may prefer to run two Judgments, but I find you can run out of health very quickly, making them useless. The main debate is on the last slot – I personally opt for a second copy of Hellmouth, but you may prefer to replace this with a copy of Straight To Hell for self-sufficiency.

For card mods, aside from the usual suspects (i.e. Quick/Free), the most valuable things you can find are health restore on redraw (or on kill, for Lash). These will let you top off Ghost Rider periodically, keeping him loaded for longer without having to resort to Combat Items. Alternatively, a Lifesteal Hell Ride will usually be a full heal in most circumstances.

The Hulk

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Why is The Hulk even in this game? We’ve got plenty of beefy dudes who hit things hard. Clearly this was a token inclusion to appease green people. After all, like pimpin’, being green ain’t easy.

TL;DR – Everything Captain Marvel wishes she was, The Hulk is capable of very high damage numbers while also soaking substantial damage. He’s limited only by his lack of Quick cards.

Passive – Gains a stack of Rage every time he takes damage, to a maximum of five. Each stack of Rage increases his Offence substantially (around ~56%). The Hulk expends one stack each time he uses an Attack or Heroic (unless he doesn’t). Like Hunter, he also can’t suffer Injuries.

Combo – None. I guess you could argue that his passive lets him gain massive amounts of Offence, so his combo boost is damage… which is better than most other Combo effects, so that’s cool.

Cards

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Deals [100%] damage, with another [150%] if the target is stunned. On kill, does not consume Rage.

Without Stun, this is just a fairly low-grade attack (albeit 100% Offence for The Hulk is usually more than anyone else’s standard Attacks). With Stun, it becomes a beefy hit. Regardless, treat this like a Quick card – you really don’t want to be playing it if it’s not going to kill the target. A moderate amount of damage is not worth losing a stack of Rage for. Usually this isn’t worth running – The Hulk’s deck should revolve around generating mass Rage and then throwing big AoEs around – but if you can find a copy with Quick then it suddenly starts looking a lot more enticing.

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Forceful knockback on the target, Taunts and applies a stack of Weak.

If you covered the card art, you could probably convince me that this is a Captain America card – and by that I mean it’s garbage. The Hulk does not want to be wasting time Taunting targets (other than to generate Rage en-masse), Weak is a low-grade debuff, and most criminally of all, the only Offence modifier it has is the one on the knockback. Most heroes could do better, and The Hulk most certainly can.

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Deals [50%] damage and Stuns the target. Also generates a stack of Rage and doesn’t consume any. If the target is at full health when played it deals an extra [100%] damage.

The must-take Attack for The Hulk, Smash would be fantastic for its on-demand Rage generation alone. The addition of Stun makes it even more tantalizing since you can then ignore whatever you hit for the rest of the turn; the bonus damage is just icing on the cake. Note that while the obvious combo is to Smash a target and then Crush it, getting both sets of bonus damage and generating a Rage stack, this is actually a poor option – it uses two card plays getting a single kill and wastes the utility of the Stun effect.
Incidentally, even if this card sucked it would be obligatory to run two of them simply because of its name.

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Consumes every stack of Rage to heal The Hulk for 33% of his max health per stack; any overhealing instead increases his max health. It then increases his maximum Rage by one and Exhausts.

This card is very much a mixed bag. On the one hand, it consumes all of your Rage – which is a phenomenal resource you’ll spend most of the mission trying to get hold of. On the other hand, a max Rage Always Angry puts The Hulk at over 250% of his own max health, making him extremely difficult to put down and enabling him to soak most enemies’ damage output for the rest of the mission. It’s worth running a copy of this for emergencies – effectively being a single button to convert The Hulk from nuker to tank if he looks like he might fall over – but no more than that. Don’t be seduced by the maximum Rage gain – +1 stack is not worth the effort of generating them all over again.

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Taunt a target, then gain a stack of Rage for each enemy targeting The Hulk. Also adds a stack of Counter.

This right here is the juice – your one stop shop for mass Rage generation. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to run other Taunt cards to make use of this; by the time you unlock The Hulk, virtually every mission you go on will have at least three dogs who all target the same thing. Taunt one and you’re guaranteed a bunch of stacks immediately. Note that while Counter is usually underwhelming, The Hulk’s absurd Offence can make it surprisingly hefty.

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Deals [175%] damage to a single target with forceful knockback. If the target is stunned, adds another [200%] damage.

This card hits very, very hard. Two copies of Smash makes Stun fairly easy to come by, making this a [375%] hit with forceful knockback from a hero who’ll probably have twice as much Offence as anyone else on the team as minimum. And yet, this card generally isn’t worth running. Why? Because The Hulk has access to some huge AoEs. It’s really not worth spending a card play (and a stack of Rage) slapping a single target when you can do almost as much damage to lots of them. If you can find one with Quick, run it; otherwise, ignore.

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Deals [80%] damage with Chain 3 and Taunt. If every hit is aimed at the same target, gain one Heroism.

Sadly, like almost all Chain cards in the game, this is just underwhelming. Sure it hits a lot harder than most of them ([80%] for The Hulk is like [200%] for Wolverine), and sure it refunds a Heroism if it’s thrown at a single target… but Seismic Smash deals more damage to each target it hits, while being capable of hitting more targets. Never, ever run this; even Mighty Blow is a better use of a deck slot.

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Deals [250%] damage and applies Taunt in a large AoE.

Much more like it. This card hits like a truck made of lead razor blades, and it does so in a generous area. Instead of the obvious combo of Smash-Crush, the real Hulk combo is Challenging Roar-Seismic Slam. More Rage, more targets, more destruction. Never leave home without it.

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Deals [33%] damage, knocks back and applies Stun in a line AoE.

A very polarizing card. On the one hand, this is the only source of AoE Stun in the game – the only source of AoE CC, in fact – and being able to shut down an entire group of enemies for the turn is an ability matched only by Magik’s Darkchylde. On the other hand, you could be spending that Heroism on using Seismic Slam to kill them all, and as League of Legends players like to say, death is the best CC. As should be obvious to any attentive reader by now, I side with the latter group – you don’t need to stun an enemy that’s been crushed into a fine paste under big green fists.

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Deals [150%] damage and forcefully knocks back every enemy on the map, then gains a stack of Rage for each kill and Exhausts.

An extremely satisfying card, the aptly named Worldbreaker hits everything on the map for a respectable chunk of damage, throws them around like paper dolls, and obliterates most of the Environmental objects around the place too. If we’re being entirely honest with ourselves, this isn’t actually that good of a card – sure it hits everything, but the damage is middling and it’s very expensive for what it does. Nonetheless, it’s the only source of mass Rage outside of Challenging Roar… and frankly it’s just too cool to not run.

Recommended The Hulk Builds – Marvel’s Midnight Suns Character Build Guide

As I’ve explained in the cards analysis above, there’s two ways to build The Hulk – there’s the obvious way, and there’s the correct way.

The obvious way is to run around throwing Smash and Crush at single targets, slowly building up Rage over time, then using Always Angry to turn that Rage into health, increase your Rage limit and build it up all over again.

The correct way, on the other hand, is to throw out a single Challenging Roar at a nearby dog, hit max Rage instantly, then smash every enemy to pieces with Seismic Slam and Worldbreaker. Not only is this much, much more efficient, it’s also much more entertaining.

Recommended teammates – The Hulk doesn’t really need anything in particular from his teammates, but while he doesn’t care about Doctor Strange’s damage boosts, he does like his card draw and Heroism. He also appreciates Hunter and Iron Man for their ability to kill single large targets that might survive the AoE onslaught.

The Hulk AoE Rage

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As noted above, the crux of this build is to play Challenging Roar on an enemy with linked targeting to gain a lot of Rage from a single card play, then start throwing Seismic Slam and Worldbreaker around until everything’s dead. Two copies of Smash are included because the on-demand Stun (not to mention Rage) is extremely useful and as close to utility as The Hulk gets; if you habitually run Nico and/or Doctor Strange, and so have more Heroism than you know what to do with, you can replace one with a copy of Thunderclap. Always Angry is a debatable inclusion, but I feel it’s worth a slot as a panic button; if such cowardly tactics infuriate you, replace it with a Mighty Blow for maximum smash.

For card mods, you’ll usually want Heroism generation or card draw on Challenging Roar (to ensure you have the wherewithal to follow it up), and some kind of on-kill effect for Seismic Slam (because it will). Smash can be useful with Quick, but remember that it’s primarily there for the Stun; a Redraw effect may be preferable for those occasions when you don’t need to use it.

Iron Man

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He may be a genius, he may have an armoured combat suit, but his real super power is being a rich white man. It sounds facetious, but that’s far more power than any of the rest of the cast has.

TL;DR – The only side-character to make S tier alongside Hunter, Iron Man has a truckload of damage and the utility to bring it to bear. When you bring him on a mission it’s all about him – and despite what the tutorial tries to make out, that’s a good thing.

Passive – Generates one Redraw the first time you play two Iron Man cards each turn. It sounds underwhelming, but the Redraws are never a bad thing, and unlike most other passives it’s reliable.

Combo – Allows you to spend a Redraw to reduce the Heroism cost of the Combo card by one. In most circumstances this is actually a hindrance, as both Iron Man and Hunter cards tend to be better than Combo cards, so you want to redraw Combos, not make them cheaper.

Cards

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Deals [100%] damage and knocks back a single target. If redrawn, gains forceful knockback.

A very weak Attack card, it offers low grade damage and a very poor Redraw effect. This is actually an inside joke by the dev team – Blast is terrible and Quick Blast is great, representing how Tony Stark is so prone to overthinking things. Not actually true, but it would make a lot of sense.

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Deals [50%] damage with Quick and draws an Iron Man card. If redrawn, gains knockback.

Heavily contrasting with Blast, Quick Blast is a great card and an auto-include. Sure you have to burn a Redraw to get knockback, but that aside, this is everything you want in an Attack – it’s Quick, it deals damage, it has knockback, and it draws a card. If you can find a copy modded to give a Redraw, it becomes the poster child of Quick attacks.

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Gives [200%] Block to the targeted hero and generates two Redraws.

This is a really peculiar card – every other card in Iron Man’s deck is entirely selfish, then we have this thing thrown in as an afterthought. Maybe that’s why it sucks so hard – his heart’s not really in it. Regardless, give this one a miss, as moderate amounts of Block really aren’t worth a card play, Redraws or no Redraws. Incidentally, I have encountered at least one person who has suggested running this card to enable Captain America’s Shield Bash, which is entirely the reverse of what should be happening.

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Draws two Iron Man cards, grants two Redraws, and gives Iron Man two stacks of Fast.

Again heavy contrast with the previous card – where Heads Up is out-of-character and garbage, this card is both fantastic and very much on-brand. For a lot of heroes, drawing character-specific cards might be a hindrance; for Iron Man it’s nothing but positive, as not only are his cards great, they juice up Surgical Strike. Added Redraws help to fuel his various card effects, and to cap it all off, it has Fast built in too. Normally Fast is rather underwhelming as a buff, but so much of Iron Man’s kit is built around Heroics that it winds up being extremely effective. I highly recommend this card.

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Applies two stacks of Marked and Vulnerable to a single target. If redrawn, also adds two Marked stacks to all nearby enemies.

This card sits on the cusp of greatness. Marked is a very valuable status, certainly, but even with Vulnerable this is essentially just spending a card play to save a card play. If Redrawn it becomes much more useful, but only if you can position it to land Marked on multiple non-minion targets – which, it should be noted, usually means Vulnerable isn’t going to go on the target you want it on. At the end of the day, whether you use this card entirely depends on whether you managed to get a properly modded Air Superiority or not.

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Doubles your current Heroism, then draws a Heroic card.

This is a feast-or-famine card. Obviously when you have enough Heroism to make it generate three or more, it’s very effective; less than that and it’s very much a poor man’s Leave It To Me. Furthermore, its usefulness very much depends on whether you’ve got things to spend that Heroism on (although given how hungry Tony is for Heroism, you probably do). You’ll probably wind up running this card simply because of a lack of better options, but it’s a close call between this and Mark Target.

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A Free card causing the next Iron Man card played to return to your hand. Can be redrawn to reduce its Heroism cost by one until it hits zero.

A much easier card to analyse, this is flat out bad. Effectively you’re spending Heroism (or Redraws) to turn this into a copy of a card in your hand. You have to stop and ask yourself – are there any Iron Man cards I want to play twice on a turn? Maybe Surgical Strike, maybe, and Quick Blast provided you’ve got enough targets for it. Neither is worth spending Heroism to duplicate, certainly, because if you weren’t running this card you’d have drawn something much better instead. I wouldn’t recommend this card even if it were a Skill.

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Deals [100%] to every enemy on the map. Can be redrawn to add [50%] up to two times.

In isolation, this card is actually kind of mediocre. Its damage is low and can be boosted up to mediocre; it hits every enemy, but without some punch behind it all you’re really doing is getting rid of your Quick targets. It’s even fairly expensive. Despite these drawbacks, however, I strongly recommend running this card. Why? Because if you can find a copy with the +1 Marked modifier, it becomes an absurdly overpowered card and your ticket to clearing missions before the enemy gets a turn. This is literally the only card in the game that I would recommend grinding resources to get a specific mod on, because +1 Marked on this is so undeniably broken. Do it and don’t look back.

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Deals [100%] in a line AoE, then grants +1 Redraw for each kill. Can be redrawn as many times as you like, gaining [50%] each time.

To be honest, this is a bit of a sad duck Legendary. Its damage is identical to Air Superiority, but it trades reliably hitting every target for instead being a line AoE and giving a few Redraws. Its only real strength is that it can be Redrawn infinitely, but while Iron Man can generate a lot of Redraws, he also needs to spend a lot of them to activate his effects – he certainly doesn’t generate enough of them to really need a Redraw dump, and even if he did, he’d want to be spending them on finding more Iron Man cards to power up Surgical Strike. It does, at least, look pretty cool.

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Deals [125%] damage with Chain X, where X is the number of Iron Man cards in your hand when played.

This is the real Iron Man Legendary card. It is the apex, the pinnacle, the Chain card that all other Chain cards hope to be when they grow up. Unlike other Chain cards, Surgical Strike actually deals good damage on each hit; it can also reach higher Chain values than any other card in the game. Not even Chain Hex can reach the Chain levels this can. And to really rub salt into the wound, it’s also the cheapest Chain Heroic card in the game (okay, tied with Eviscerate, but who counts that?). This card is why Iron Man card draw is so strong.

Recommended Iron Man Builds

There isn’t a lot of flexibility available in Iron Man builds. You’re really looking to follow one specific game plan – use Air Superiority to shell the entire enemy force, Surgical Strike to pick off the survivors, and maybe throw in a few nukes from Hunter to pick off the harder targets. Everything else is just card draw and Heroism generation, along with a few Redraws along the way to juice your cards.

Recommended teammates – As noted, Hunter tends to work well with Iron Man (particularly Dark Hunter) due to her ability to straight up murder single targets. He also greatly appreciates Doctor Strange (as do most heroes) for his card draw, Heroism, and the fact that adding damage to Surgical Strike makes it even more filthy.

Iron Man One Turn Missions

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This is your cookie-cutter build, with not a lot of room for modifications – you’re not looking to do much except draw a lot of Iron Man cards and then blast everything to pieces. There are two main changes that you might make, however. If you don’t have a copy of Air Superiority with Marked on it, you’ll probably want to run a copy of Mark Target in place of Hellfire Beam (or better yet, go get Marked). Hellfire Beam itself, meanwhile, is probably objectively worse than Air Superiority; I run Hellfire Beam mostly because I don’t want to grind for a second Marked Air Superiority, and drawing the wrong one would just make me sad.

Aside from Marked, your card mods are mostly going to be card draw (particularly hero-specific card draw) and bonus Redraws, both of which are useful for fuelling the rest of your arsenal. Bonus damage on Surgical Strike also goes a long way thanks to its extremely high Chain potential.

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Magik

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If you force Magik to wear this bubblegum pink armour it triggers a secret event where she calls you a bellend and drops your friendship to zero. That’s why she looks so pissed off in the screenshot.

TL;DR – A powerful hero with a big bag of repositioning tools and some hefty stacking damage. Unfortunately lacks big hits until she’s spent a few rounds setting up.

Passive – 25% chance to generate a Limbo Portal card after an enemy passes through a Portal. Pretty useful for giving Magik some more reliable damage output.

Combo – +1 move when playing the Combo card. Not great, but it does at least give you an actual Move since you’ll probably be using the default one slapping something through a portal.

Cards

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Deals [150%] damage and knocks back.

Like a lot of Magik cards, in isolation this is pretty terrible; [150%] damage is underwhelming, and all it has alongside that is a knockback effect. Taken in context, however, this is one of the deck’s better cards – its damage can be inflated heavily, and assuming you only ever play it with a Portal around it’s guaranteed to have impact damage too. Still isn’t great, unless you can find a copy with Quick. Incidentally, only in a comic book game would a kick deal more damage than hitting something with a big sword.

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Knocks back with Quick. Also provides +1 Moves.

Similarly, this is one of the worse Quick attacks on paper, lacking as it does any intrinsic damage and with only a Move for utility. All it takes is a single Limbo’s Grasp for this to start outperforming Quick Slash, though, and it can very quickly start putting out some real numbers. Even if you didn’t have a way to power it up you’d still be running it for Quick, so always take two. Note that it’s a ‘soul’slash despite Magik not really having anything to do with souls because they already had a Quick Slash and couldn’t be bothered coming up with a new name for the Hunter card.

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Forceful knockback. If it kills, Magik gains a stack of Counter.

Unlike the previous two cards, even knockback can’t save this one. No innate damage, and making the knockback forceful isn’t worth much when Limbo’s Grasp is doing the heavy lifting. I have no idea why Magik would want Counter, either; I can only assume it’s for people who haven’t yet found a second copy of Darkchylde to upgrade it. Avoid like the plague.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [150%] damage and then moves the target to anywhere on the map that they could move to normally.

It’s kind of a cool premise – moving the enemy wherever you want to set up AoEs and Environmental effects – but unfortunately that’s also what the rest of Magik’s deck does. This doesn’t use a player-created Portal (despite clearly involving portals), so it doesn’t get any benefit from Limbo’s Grasp either. Realistically Magik only wants to pair her Grasp with two things – knockbacks and Portals – and this is neither. If you could move enemies onto drops then this would be much cooler, but as it stands I have to say pass.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Free card that creates a Portal. When redrawn, gives an additional Move.

Although Magik’s signature card, this becomes borderline obsolete once you have a couple of Limbo’s Grasp cards unlocked. It’s still not terrible – after all, it’s usable in the early game just to set up good Quick kills – but after a while it starts to feel like a dead draw a lot more often than you’ll be happy about. The bright side is that if you bring a natural copy you can at least mod it to do something useful like generate Heroism for Free.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

For the rest of the mission, any enemy knocked through a Portal takes [150%] damage. Also creates a Portal.

This right here is the card that makes Magik work; without it, she’d probably be in D tier with Blade and Cap. That’s right – a single card is enough to go from D to A, and if it worked with the cards that aren’t portals but clearly are (like Gather) she’d probably be S tier. This adds a decent chunk of damage onto all your other Portal-combos, but more importantly, it stacks. It stacks a lot. I’ve never actually checked what the maximum stack count is on it, but that’s because things don’t tend to live very long once it passes three or four. If you can find a copy with Free then even better, but without that you’ll want card draw to help with Magik’s reliability issues. Remember that in two-part story missions the buff carries over – I abused this in most supervillain fights by showing up with 4+ stacks already loaded, then slapping the villain around the map with comical ease. Even The Hulk can’t stand up to that.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Replaces an enemy or ally with a Drop until the start of your next turn.

An interesting card which pulls double duty – it can either stun (effectively) an enemy or save an ally. It also creates a Drop – unfortunately not one with any kind of buff on it like Hellmouth, but can still be handy. Unfortunately it’s completely outclassed by Darkchylde, and Magik’s deck just can’t afford to run much utility without running into consistency issues, so you’ll probably have to leave this at home. On the bright side, it has some absolutely gorgeous card art.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Magik gains Invulnerable and a stack of Counter, then Taunts all enemies. This card then Exhausts.

Phenomenally powerful and one of the few Legendary cards that provide utility rather than damage, Darkchylde is dirty, dirty, dirty. Even without the upgrade it renders the entire enemy team useless for a turn, meaning you can spend your other two card plays doing whatever you like (though I recommend using them to generate some Heroism to cover the cost of this card). Upgraded, Magik gains Counter alongside it – and while Counter damage isn’t particularly impressive, it’s still free damage which if nothing else can clear up any minions you can’t be bothered to kill. It’s not recommended, but you can use this card to cover for heroes that need a lot of card plays to set up, like Blade/Captain Marvel/The Hulk, by giving them a functionally free turn. Be warned however, invulnerable isn’t foolproof. It won’t stop debuffs (Wounded, Bleed and Corrupted are all nasty), and it also doesn’t stop the damage from a lot of Supervillains.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage to enemies in a wide area and moves them closer together.

Visually very impressive, Gather is extremely helpful on paper – it has a generous AoE on it, and the grouping effect can facilitate your more stingy ones (or just a nearby explosive barrel). In practice, though, the grouping effect can be very awkward at times – particularly with Environmental effects, which the game seems to like to avoid. Its damage is also pretty lacklustre considering it doesn’t get boosted by Limbo’s Grasp. The sheer size of the AoE and occasional utility makes this a decent bring if you don’t have Darkchylde yet and need to fill the slot, but otherwise it’s not worth it.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Summons a hero you didn’t bring along for two turns and draws two of their cards, then Exhausts.

Possibly the most disappointing card in the game, this could have been so much more. It could have placed new heroes for knockbacks, it could have let you choose a specific hero and so tailor heroes to counter specific enemy types, it could have had some kind of built-in Combo effect. Instead, we get this – random positioning, random hero, and a wasted card play. Much like Summon Charlie, all this really does is spend four Heroism drawing two cards, and this one has even more randomness behind it. The best you’ll get out of this is someone with Taunt to soak damage for a few turns to protect your real team, and you can’t even guarantee that. Avoid even harder than Soul Blast, somehow.

Recommended Magik Builds – Marvel’s Midnight Suns Character Build Guide

Once again only one deck to recommend, as Magik’s build isn’t very flexible. The difficulty with her is she needs to stack damage with Limbo’s grasp, and then needs to pair Portals with knockbacks to get anything done – it’s easy to find yourself with a hand full of one and none of the other. You can get around this to an extent by using your Move for a knockback, and her Relay passive can bridge some of the gap in the other direction, but even with these stopgaps Magik winds up being less reliable than most heroes.

Recommended teammates – Magik is pretty self-contained, so there aren’t any really strong synergies available. Strong card draw effects from Doctor Strange can help to reduce her inherent variance, and she will appreciate big hitters like Hunter or Iron Man around to deal with the particularly big targets that she’d otherwise have to chip away at. You could argue that a tank like Wolverine could soak for a while until she’s set up, but that would entail running a tank, and you really don’t want to do that.

Magik Portal Power

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

You’re always taking two copies of Limbo’s Grasp, so immediately your space for deckbuilding becomes limited; a copy of Darkchylde is also more or less guaranteed, as are a pair of Quick Soulslashes. The only flexibility you have, then, is the balance between Portal cards and knockback effects – while it would be nice to fit in Gather or Banish for the utility, there just isn’t room without making her even less reliable than she already is. Personally I opt for two copies of Kick and a single Limbo Portal, as I’m actively looking for Limbo’s Grasp (which has a Portal built in) and Relay can feed you more.

For card mods, you want Free or Magik-specific card draw on Limbo’s Grasp, and Heroism or Magik cards on Limbo Portal. Everything else you can be fairly open with – I would however recommend beneficial Redraw effects more than usual, since if you wind up with too many Portals or knockbacks that you can’t pair up you’re going to want to throw them back.

Nico

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

The obligatory FUN(TM) character, playing Nico is like firing a machine gun while falling down the stairs – someone’s getting hurt, but you don’t have much control over who. She’s also super cute.

TL;DR – A lot of damage and a lot of support, Nico is hampered only by her random effects. If you play her to minimise her variance, though, she can be extremely powerful.

Passive – 33% chance to draw a card whenever you play a Nico card. This is great – card draw is always good, and getting it for free is even better. Note – this triggers on any card Nico plays, including mission cards, so you should always open supply crates with her.

Combo – Applies one stack of a randomly chosen debuff between Marked, Stun, Vulnerable or Weak. Generally not great – Combo cards are expensive enough that you want to be killing whatever you hit with them. Stun can be situationally useful though.

Cards

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [150%] damage to a single target and restores [200%] health to a random hero on kill.

Although it looks random (and indeed, says random), this card isn’t quite that bad – it won’t try to heal anyone who’s already at full health, so you’ll always get some benefit from a kill. The damage is lacklustre, but not completely awful; while healing usually isn’t great, it’s not bad as a side effect. If you can find a copy with Quick this becomes handy as a spot heal.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage and applies a debuff – either Stun or two stacks of Marked, Vulnerable or Weak.

A rare example of a bad Nico card, this is never worth bringing along. If it happens to land on Stun it can be situationally useful (although still not great given the low damage); anything else is a waste of a card play. Pretty much the best case you’ll get for it is applying Marked and a little damage to something that’s just outside one-shot range, but that situation arises very rarely (and even when it does, the odds of Curse landing on Marked are only 25%). At least the card art is cute.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [200%] damage to a random target. If it kills, this casts again to a maximum of four total casts.

Now this is much better. [200%] damage is hefty for a multi-target Attack, and although it’s randomly-targeted it’s not too hard to play around so long as you’re packing some solid damage numbers on the rest of your team. You’ll most commonly want to play this card to clean up after a big AoE, since it can pick off both crippled enemies and any random minions that managed to avoid the explosions. It can certainly be awkward, and and there will certainly be times when this beelines straight for the only healthy enemy on the map, but it works out often enough to be worth using.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Applies two stacks of Blood Magic [i.e. innate Lifesteal], Counter, Fast or Strengthened to a hero target, then draws one of their cards.

Unfortunately, this is pretty terrible, in large part because half of its potential effects are done better by Nico’s other cards – Blood Magic by Restore, Fast by Empower. Meanwhile, Counter is pretty much garbage. The only effect you’ll consistently want out of this is Strengthened – which it will not consistently give you – and even then it’s questionable whether that would be worth a card play. The extra card draw is nice, but really not enough to salvage this card; the key to using Nico is to mitigate her randomness, and you can’t mitigate a random effect when every possibility is inherently situational.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Generates an additional copy of every Attack, Skill or Heroic card in your hand, chosen randomly.

This card has high highs and low lows; on another hero it might be worth running simply for the former case. Unfortunately, Nico already has enough random in her life without adding more. To analyse the effectiveness of this card, look at it like face-up card draw. Do you want the cards it’s giving you? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but most of the time it’ll be giving you two or fewer cards. Drawing two cards is good, but having this sometimes be a dead draw is not. Avoid, unfortunately.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Draws a Heroic card, then makes all Heroic cards in your hand cost 0 Heroism until the end of the turn.

Muuuuuuch better. No randomness (outside of card draw), and it can give you some really chunky cards without expending resources for them. Obviously the effectiveness of this card very much depends on who your teammates are – heroes who don’t pack a lot of Heroic cards won’t like this much – but with the right pairing this can be obnoxiously strong. For best results, use this with Heroism-dump Legendaries like Crack The Sky and Annihilation – the effect will scale with Heroism, but they won’t spend any.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Heals a hero target back to full health, then Exhausts. If the target had less than 50% of their health remaining when played, returns to your hand instead.

No fuss, no muss, just fully heal someone and move on with your life. This is the single best heal in the game, but its effectiveness is still questionable – as always, more offence is usually better than throwing heals around. All the same, it’s probably a good idea to bring a copy of this along in case of emergencies – it can really turn fights around. Unfortunately Nico does not have a Magical Girl outfit available to make the animation appropriate.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Consumes all Heroism, then deals [150%] damage for each Heroism expended and generates one point of Heroism for each kill. It then Exhausts.

A hefty, hefty card and one of the best Heroism dumps in the game, Crack The Sky deals a lot of damage (still not as much as Annihilation though, sorry Nics). [150%] damage per Heroism really underlines why Captain Marvel’s Rain of Blows is so garbage – with those kinds of damage numbers, the random targeting barely matters. Note that it’s not entirely random – it’ll stop hitting a target once it’s dead, so you don’t have to worry about throwing all ten shots at a minion. For obvious reasons this pairs best with Empower – no cost for a big nuke, then fills your Heroism up if you weren’t full before casting it. Also has the single best animation of any card in the game.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%], [200%], [250%] or [300%] damage to a single target, chosen randomly when drawn.

A pretty poor card, it has a decent ceiling (but not great) and a terrible floor. Single-target Heroics are pretty bad at the best of times, and randomly determined damage with no secondary effects does not equal the best of times, particularly when Empower is a thing. It’s cheap, but that’s the best you can say for it. Incidentally, for those who aren’t great at maths, the average damage is [212.5%], which is only barely higher than you’d get out of Witchfire.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Targets an enemy, then deals four sets of [75%] damage, with each one thrown randomly at them or a nearby enemy.

Like Crack The Sky, this won’t throw completely wasted shots; unlike Crack The Sky, this is pretty underwhelming. You’ll want to cast this in two situations – either isolated on a single target (making it a max damage Swarm), or to pick off a group of weakened enemies. Not bad, but not great either.

Recommended Nico Builds

You’ve got two options when it comes to building Nico – you can either play her as a full support, or you can make her a support-damage hybrid. I usually lean towards the latter, but honestly either works – full support tends to work better for shorter missions, though. The one thing you don’t want to do is build Nico as a debuffer, because then Nico will be weak-o (okay, that one I’m sorry for).

Whichever way you play her, you should definitely play her because aside from being the most pleasant character in the game to talk to, she also has the coolest animations in the entire game. Crack The Sky, Witchfire, Witchstorm, even Blood For Blood is kinda badass. If you haven’t used her much, I strongly recommend doing so just for the visuals.

Recommended teammates – If you’re playing her as a hybrid, you’ll get a lot of use out of Doctor Strange’s damage buffs due to all her damage cards (at least the ones worth bringing) being multi-hit. She also works pretty well with tanks (shock horror) thanks to packing multiple heals in her utility. If you’re running as full support, meanwhile, you want teammates with big, chunky Heroics to make the most of her Empower.

Nico Nuke-o

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

This is your standard Hybrid build, running Empower and Blood For Blood to provide utility and filling the rest of the deck with good old fashioned nukes. Note that Blood For Blood is used here because I have a Quick copy and find that enemies rarely live long enough to hit me; feel free to swap for a copy of Restore if you’d get more mileage out of it.

Your best card mods are mostly going to be bonus damage on your nukes to take advantage of their multiple hits; support cards should either have card draw or Redraw effects, because Nico probably doesn’t need more Heroism.

Good Girl Nico

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Nico’s support build comes out looking very similar to her hybrid build – but the real difference is how you mod and play it. This deck functions best as a complete cheese build. To play this way, you’ll want to curate her teammates’ decks to only run the really big hard-hitting AoE Heroic cards – we’re talking Annihilation, Seven Suns of Cinnibus, Worldbreaker, Midnight Special. If you’re the nervous sort, you might want to throw in a copy or two of the strongest non-Exhaust Heroics like Surgical Strike and Seismic Slam.

You then mod Nico’s cards for a lot of card draw. You’re specifically looking to draw a copy of Double Up duplicating Heroic cards (you may want to swap the Restore for a second Double Up for this purpose). Once you have one you can Empower – guaranteeing that you draw either a Combo card or a really strong Heroic, while also making them cost 0 – and then Double Up to get around the Exhaust issue. Burning Combo cards early can help with reliability, and if you really want to be cheeky, burn all your Exhaust Legendaries except the one you want to play every turn. Empower will then be drawing it by default, allowing you to spam it over and over again with Double Up, all for zero cost. It’s unreliable, it’s cheesy, and it sometimes goes horribly wrong – but when it works, it’s pretty damn funny.

Scarlet Witch – Marvel’s Midnight Suns Character Build Guide

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

After the success of WandaVision, Scarlet Witch’s agent fought hard to secure a larger part for her in this game. Unfortunately for her, this negotiation fell apart when it was pointed out that she is wholly fictional and the entire premise of this joke didn’t actually make sense.

TL;DR – A lot of potential but lacks strong follow-up to really make her excel. Still winds up being strong on the back of some exceptional support cards.

Passive – Has a 25% chance to debuff each nearby enemy at the start of your turn. The debuff is hard random and so is the chance for it to be applied, so this is of limited use – but it’s free, and occasionally it’ll hit something like Marked, so can’t complain.

Combo – Both heroes gain +1 Resist. The only really good Combo effect, no-selling hits is always useful. It’s not worth bringing Scarlet Witch just for this, but it’s definitely a nice bonus.

Cards

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage with Chain 2, then gives all subsequently played Hex Bolt cards +1 Chain.

When I first saw this I was excited at the prospect of some brand new cheese – infinitely stacking Chain! – but as it turns out it’s limited to a maximum of Chain 5. This is highly disappointing, particularly because higher Chain values are clearly possible with Surgical Strike. The result is a fairly unimpressive card which requires multiple card plays to reach any substantial damage numbers. It is, however, extremely strong when paired with ‘Draw Last Attack’ effects and bonus damage. Sadly as it’s a Chain card it’s not possible to get Quick on it.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage in an AoE centred on Scarlet Witch.

While having a source of non-Heroic AoE is nice in theory, in practice the damage on this is just too low to be worth bringing along. [100%] damage isn’t going to kill much other than minions, and those are cleaned up much more efficiently with Hex Bolt. Sad, but leave this at home.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage and knocks back in any direction with Quick.

Contrasting heavily with Hex Field, this card is fantastic. It has damage, it has free knockback, and it’s Quick. If you can find a copy with some kind of card draw on it, it might just be the perfect Attack card. Alternatively, if you’re a sucker for debuffs, this is one of the better options to give them to – the free knockback makes it much easier to ensure a kill than most Quick cards, so effects like Marked and Vulnerable can be triggered without expending a precious card play.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

For the next two turns, Scarlet Witch and any allies near her gain a stack of Resist and heal for [200%] health at the end of your turn.

An extremely potent support card. It does admittedly depend on positioning and will soak up your Moves if you want to get the maximum value out of it, but in return it hands out protection like a Durex rep. The biggest selling point of this is that it lasts for two turns – you can burn a card play on it one turn for a budget Darkchylde effect, then get it again for free on the following one.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Applies three stacks of Marked to all enemies in an AoE.

A very, very good skill. Marked is a fantastic debuff for all the same reasons Quick cards are so valuable, but it falls down when only applied to a single target. This card hits multiple targets, netting you card plays and allowing you to clear up large groups of enemies with no issues. It even applies multiple stacks, so even if you can’t clear them all that turn you can still do so for free on a later one. The only reason to not bring this would be if you found a Marked Air Superiority and you always bring Iron Man (and even then you’ll probably want this because you can’t guarantee you’ll draw it).

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Increases the size of Scarlet Witch’s AoE abilities by 40% for two turns.

If Scarlet Witch had better payoff cards this could be pretty useful, but as it is it just feels a bit… meh. Chaos Field will usually require you to expect your Move(s) regardless, so this is mostly just benefitting Hex Mark (unless you’re suicidal enough to use No More) – and while more Marked is good, spending an additional card play applying it is rather self-defeating. It’s hard to tell for certain, but this also seems to scale linearly with Power rather than multiplicatively, making it even less appetising.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

All enemies in an area attack each other, with each having a 50% chance to make two attacks.

A rare case of a playable enemy-attack card, this makes up for forced enemy attacks being lacklustre by supplying them in bulk. It is, of course, plagued by randomness – you can’t choose which targets attack what, and it’s possible for lower health enemies to be killed before they get to swing – but it can still put out some solid numbers if you hit a decent-sized group. Unfortunately as any kills made are the enemy’s, not yours, it does not work with Marked.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Triggers an Environmental explosive, but with 100% increased damage and AoE size. Heroes are immune. On redraw, gives +1 Heroism.

When you first get it, this card can seem pretty fantastic – the size of the AoE is very large, and it can combo nicely with other heroes’ cards like Hunter’s Dangerous Ground and Magik’s Gather. As you progress through the game, though, you’ll notice that Environmental damage just doesn’t scale very well – sooner or later this winds up just being chip damage that you can hopefully apply for free via a Marked minion. What’s more, as soon as you run out of Environmental explosives (or the enemies move far enough away from the ones that are left) this becomes useless as anything but Redraw fodder. Avoid.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage to a target, which then explodes for [100%] damage at the start of its turn. If the explosion kills it, another explosion is triggered for [200%] damage.

A very weird and awkward card, not least because it’s possibly the only card in the game you don’t want to kill things with – if its damage kills the target you get no explosions at all. You then need the first explosion to deal lethal damage (to your target, not nearby enemies) in order to get the value from the second explosion. On top of all of this, you also need there to be enemies nearby to receive the explosion damage, and those enemies need to be injured enough that the second explosion kills them (because otherwise you’re just leaving enemies alive for no good reason). It’s a cool card, but it’s got too many requirements to want to use.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Consumes all of Scarlet Witch’s health to deal the same amount as damage to all nearby enemies, then draws a card for each kill and Exhausts.

This is either a decent card or a terrible one depending on whether you care about your end-of-mission star rating. If you do, you will never, ever play this because I guarantees you a 2* rating or worse (unless you’re fighting a supervillain). If you don’t, it can deal some pretty impressive damage to a large group of enemies, making it fairly useful (although comically it still usually deals less damage than Annihilation). Either way, unless you’re playing on a low enough difficulty to get Revive cards, make sure you’ve played all the Scarlet Witch cards you want to play before using this.

Recommended Scarlet Witch Builds

Scarlet Witch she has a lot of bad cards; it would probably be fair to say her deck is bad and being carried to an A rank by Hex Mark and Chaos Field. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make her into a carry, but I’ll provide a build for doing so just in case you’re feeling adventurous or particularly like her – otherwise you’re mostly going to be using her to apply Hex Mark to enemies when Iron Man is otherwise engaged.

Recommended teammates – I’m getting tired of saying this, but she very much appreciates Doctor Strange’s assistance – even more so than other heroes, in fact, because he not only boosts the damage of her Hex Bolt, but can also re-draw it via Agamotto’s Gaze to get it stacked quickly. A Chain 5 Hex Bolt with a couple of Blessings of the Vishanti on it can get a lot of work done. Additionally, while Magik might seem like a good teammate for Scarlet Witch due to her Gather setting up for AoEs, I would generally recommend avoiding the pairing because Magik will use up your Move on most turns for the knockback, and Scarlet Witch wants a lot of Moves to apply her Passive and Chaos Field.

Scarlet Witch Utility

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

With the bad cards removed, this is what you wind up with. It’s slightly ironic that despite being the cards that carry the deck, I only include one copy each of Chaos Field and Hex Mark – they’re both cards which are great on their own, but get much worse when you have multiple copies in hand. Two Hex Bolts are necessary to be able to draw it regularly enough to juice up; if you drop one, you should drop both. I include No More mostly because I like Legendary cards, but you can probably tell from the fact that it’s not upgraded or modded just how rarely I actually play it – if you don’t use it either, consider dropping it for a second copy of Hex Mark or a one-of Detonate.

For card mods, you should be looking for utility – card draw, Heroism generation, and perhaps an additional Move or two. Debuffs can actually be usable on Hex Bolt so long as they’re aggressive ones (Vulnerable and Marked, really) because Hex Mark can let you spread them onto new targets without expending a card play. Meanwhile, if you can land a copy of No More with Lifesteal then it suddenly becomes extremely usable.

Spider-Man

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

He talks a lot, he’s really awkward… but the real reason a lot of the other heroes don’t like him is he’s the only one of them to have a solo movie in the last decade that didn’t suck.

IMPORTANT NOTE – I am aware that the hero’s name is Spider-Man. However, the hyphen is a pain to type, so I refer to him as Spiderman throughout this guide. I promise you that this is done out of laziness, not ignorance.

TL;DR – He’s quick, he’s cool, but his cards suck so he’s bad. Saved from D tier entirely on the strength of his Legendary card.

Passive – The first Environment attack Spiderman uses each mission costs no Heroism; thereafter, each time he uses one he has a 15% chance to refund the Heroism cost. The former is okay for some free damage, but the rest of this Passive is trash – Environment attacks don’t scale very well as the game progresses, and it’s horribly unreliable.

Combo – Gives both heroes a stack of Fast. This isn’t too bad as a small added bonus – free Heroism is nice and all – but having to drop four Heroism to get it makes it a bit contradictory.

Cards

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage. If this would kill the target, you can Chain it to something else, to a maximum of four targets.

This card is essentially what you’d get if you took Nico’s Witchfire and made it reliable in exchange for giving it garbage damage. [100%] is basically only ever going to kill minions and the occasional crippled enemy, so it’s easy for this to be stuck in your hand doing nothing for the entire mission. The main reason to play it is running dry of Quick attacks with minions still around, in which case you can give something else a love tap while you clean them up.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Knocks back a target with Quick. If the target was already damaged this turn it also deals [100%] damage.

This is really, really not good. To get the damage bonus, you’re not only going to need to find a non-minion you can set up to knock into a minion, but you’re also going to need to burn resources damaging the former first. It has some situational use for cleaning up crippled enemies after a big AoE, but nine times out of ten this is just going to be a Winds of Watoomb without the enhanced effect. Note that since Spiderman gets a free Environmental attack each turn, you can at least use it to set this up (though be conscious of where you’ll be after using it, since it would be embarassing to ruin your line-up).

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Forceful knockback, but towards Spiderman rather than away from. If it kills a target, gain a Move.

Just… wow. Even for a Spiderman card, this is bad. It’s an entire card play just to perform a forceful knockback, and even if you manage to kill something with it, all you get in return is a move. There is no world in which you would ever want this card in your deck, or even close to it. Incidentally, the inverted knock direction does at least make it slightly more reliable for knocking into friendly heroes, which can at least draw you a card. Yay.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

The next two Environmental attacks Spiderman uses will cost no Heroism and deal [50%] additional damage. Also provides two Moves.

Surprisingly, this card isn’t actually too bad. Admittedly Environmental attacks have poor damage scaling (as I’ve said several times already in this section), but Opportunist gives them some additional damage scaling (okay, only [50%], but it’s something), as well as making them entirely free. It even gives you the Moves you’ll need to position them properly! Between the Environmental damage and the damage bonus, you’re probably looking at [300%] – [400%] damage out of this card, which isn’t too shabby despite having limited targeting. Of course, once you run out of Environmental effects it’s just two Heroism. Note – Make sure you use the free Environmental attack from your Passive before playing this, because otherwise it’ll be wasted.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Draw two Spiderman cards. Spiderman gains a stack of Fast and a stack of Resist.

Also not terrible – Resist is good, card draw is good, and Fast is… well, it’d be better on someone else, but it’s better than nothing. If only this drew general cards instead of Spiderman ones (i.e. bad ones), this could actually be a strong card. As it is, the main use for this is to combine with Infernal Spider to ensure you have enough Spiderman cards to play for Free.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Spiderman gains Strengthened. Free.

Continuing with our running theme, this card would be great if it belonged to somebody else. For Spidey, though, it really doesn’t do much – he simply doesn’t have enough damage on his cards for Strengthened to matter all that much. It does boost Environmental damage as well, but not by much. It’s still worth playing, mostly because it’s Free, but even then it’s a close run thing because you could have drawn a different card instead.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

The next three Spiderman cards you play are Free. Also draws a Spiderman card, then Exhausts.

An incredibly potent card, it’s just a shame the cards you’re getting to play with it are pretty weak. Still, bad cards are still good when they’re Free. That said, you need to be very careful to ensure that you have the right cards in your hand before playing this – both Webslinger and Quick Kick are a complete waste of Free, so make sure you either have some other cards to play or else that you’ve already got them and have a Spider Sense in hand.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Binds a targeted enemy. For the rest of the turn, Environmental attacks deal 50% more damage to them.

Not great. Bind is a good status effect and all, removing a single enemy from the equation for a turn – but the rest of the card text is pretty worthless. Environmental attacks (say it with me) don’t scale well – but more to the point, the whole reason you want to Stun/Bind something is so you don’t have to attack it this turn. Even if this was an Attack this would be underwhelming due to the lack of damage or useful secondary effects on it; as a Heroic it’s trash. Points for onomatopoeia at least.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [200%] damage to a single target and applies two stacks of Weak. Also deals [50%] damage to nearby enemies.

What’s this? Can it be? A Spiderman card with decent damage on it? Okay, [200%] damage still isn’t particularly good – Hunter puts out more than that with a regular Attack – but it’s the best Spidey’s got access to, and with Webslinger’s buff it starts to approach some real numbers. The AoE and Weak effects are both pretty much irrelevant, the former because the numbers are so low and the latter because Weak kinda sucks… but you’ll still probably run this just for want of better options.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Forcefully knocks back an enemy in any direction. All enemies near to where the target lands take [100%] damage.

Once again, a terrible card. Zero damage to your target beyond a possible collision, and just [100%] damage from the AoE. I will remind you that Scarlet Witch gets [100%] damage AoE from a basic Attack and doesn’t even want to use it – so effectively you’re paying four Heroism here for a forceful knockback. In fact it’s even worse – it hits fewer targets because it doesn’t hurt the primary target. This is traaaaaaash.

Spider-Man Recommended Builds

I only have one build suggestion for Spiderman – well, two, but the second one is ‘don’t play him because he sucks’. It’s a shame, because I really like him as a character – one of my Marvel favourites, in fact – but his lack of damage is just too hard to work around. Infernal Spider is his only redeeming feature, and it’s unfortunate that his entire deck seems to have been designed on the assumption that you’d have its effect permanently and at all times.

Recommended teammates – There really aren’t any; while he has some in-built synergies with Hunter and Magik for working around Environmental effects, these really aren’t good enough to be worth building for. You also shouldn’t bring him with anyone who Marks (i.e. Scarlet Witch and, if you’re lucky, Iron Man) because Infernal Spider is just going to waste the Mark effects. Your best bet is probably The Hulk, because he packs a lot of damage and Chain Strike can be used to clean up the survivors of his AoEs. Alternatively, bring Iron Man, because his abundance of hero-specific card draw means you can avoid drawing Spiderman cards.

Spiderman Generalist

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

As much as it pains me as a card games player to recommend a list with this many one-ofs, this is probably the best you’re going to get. Quick Kick is necessary to provide some form of damage support, albeit only for minion clearing. Webslinger is useful for the damage boost, but Spiderman’s damage isn’t important enough to justify bringing two of them. Similarly, Opportunist is nice so long as Environmental effects are around, but bring two and you’ll run out of things to use pretty quickly. Your best bet is to use Spider Sense to find some cards, play Infernal Spider, then use it to play Chain Strike/Opportunist/Up Here! because they’re not good enough to be worth spending a card play on.

For card mods, really there isn’t much specific advice available – I am not known for my skill in turd polishing. You’re mostly just looking for card draw to find better cards and some Redraw effects to get some value when you throw these ones in the trash where they belong. Note that Quick and Free aren’t even particularly good for Spiderman, unlike every other hero, because his cards are still unimpressive and they give you less value from Infernal Spider.

Wolverine

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Well, you see, Wolverine’s abilities make perfect sense in context. He’s a mutant, so he has crazy fast healing. Because he can heal so quickly, they were able to graft adamantium onto his skeleton, making him super durable. And he has an enhanced sense of smell because *indistinct mumbling punctuated by vague hand gestures*. See? Perfect sense.

TL;DR – As far as tanks go, Wolverine is the best – lots of multi-target Taunt abilities, some beefy self-healing, and his own innate Revive. Unfortunately, since tanks suck, that isn’t very far.

Passive – Whenever you Redraw a Wolverine card, he regains [100%] health. Since you’ll probably find yourself throwing his cards away a lot, this is actually pretty good.

Combo – Restores health to both participants. Not terrible as far as free bonuses go, I suppose, but as always something offensive would probably be better.

Cards

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [33%] damage with Chain 3 and Taunt. If all attacks hit the same target, applies a stack of Weak.

This card sucks, even by the standards of Wolverine. [33%] damage per chain hit may as well not exist – it can clean up minions and that’s about it. It applies Taunt, sure, but you can probably hit more targets with Stink of Fear. In fact, the only reason I can see for using this is if you accidentally Taunt far too many enemies and have no cards to kill anything, so you panic-Weaken something and hope for the best. Freaking Blade has a better Chain attack than this, and it’s not even good enough for him to use.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [75%] damage with Chain 2. If both attacks hit the same target, Wolverine gains a stack of Strengthened.

A little better. Hitting for a total of [150%] makes this approach the heady heights of mediocre. Gaining Strengthened is nice, but much as with Webslinger, it’d be a lot better on someone who can deal noticeable damage. You might still want to keep this around for prepping Midnight Special, but otherwise, give it a miss. Side note – given you need to play this to gain Strengthened to deal any real damage, its name is ironically misplaced; and in fact, a man of Wolverine’s build probably doesn’t ‘pounce’ much either. I suspect whoever named this card thought they were making cards for an actual wolverine. Note – because it’s based on Offence, the Strengthened from this card actually boosts the healing gained from his Passive.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage, knocks back, and applies a stack of Vulnerable.

Apparently Wolverine has a very different idea of ‘power’ than the rest of the team, because this does laughable damage. It applies a stack of Vulnerable, but that 50% damage boost probably still doesn’t add up to the same damage as you’d get from playing a better card instead. Avoid.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage with Taunt and Quick.

Surprisingly Wolverine has one of the harder-hitting Quick attacks – but due to a lack of knockback, that extra damage will almost never be relevant. Not much else to say about this – it’s Quick, so bring it.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Draw three Wolverine cards. Wolverine cards gain Lifesteal for the rest of the turn.

Another mirror of a Spiderman card – drawing three cards would be great, if only they weren’t Wolverine’s. You’ll mostly want to play this to draw Midnight Special with, because the Lifesteal is more or less irrelevant – Wolverine doesn’t deal enough damage to care about Lifesteal, and if he wants healing he has the far superior Rapid Healing available.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Restores 75% of Wolverine’s max health and Cures him. Can be played even if Wolverine can’t act.

One of the best defensive tank cards around, it’s almost a full heal and cure, and works even through Dazed and Stun. Unfortunately it doesn’t provide any utility, and since it’s healing rather than Block it’s prone to overheal, but it’s still going to be the highest numbers you’re going to get for a tank’s self-defence button.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Taunts all enemies in an AoE, applies a stack of Weak, then gives Wolverine a stack of Counter.

This is the Taunt option you’ll want to use (if you’re playing at a high difficulty, anyway). You can manipulate the area to draw the attention of the enemies you want so as to avoid getting Wolverine killed, and also gain a stack of Counter to get a little bit of chip damage in while he’s soaking. It even applies Weak to give him an outside shot of surviving the enemy’s turn. Alternatively, use it to pull every enemy on the map and rely on Rapid Regeneration to bring you back. This card wins the award for ‘derpiest animation in game’.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [50%] damage with Chain 4. If any target dies, gain a stack of Counter.

This is effectively the same thing as Stink of Fear, but you pay four Heroism (two plus the two you’d have gotten from Stink of Fear) to add a little bit of damage in. That is not a worthwhile trade. In fact, just as with Chain Swipes, Blade has a better version of this card (though that one he at least plays. Occasionally.). Don’t use this unless you’re playing on a low enough difficulty that you can get away with running an actual tank.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Consumes all Heroism, then attacks that many times. The first hit deals [50%] damage, and each subsequent hit deals [25%] more than the last. It then gives a point of Heroism for each kill and Exhausts.

Alone among Wolverine’s cards sits this gem, a genuinely good card. Its random targeting is not ideal, and while it won’t actively overkill (i.e. it won’t swipe an enemy that’s already dead to a previous swipe), it will throw a swing that gets an enemy to low health and then hit it again for massive overkill. Nonetheless, it’s capable of some quite impressive numbers that can start to rival Crack The Sky in its power – though unlike other similar Heroism dumps, you really don’t want to play this until you hit ten Heroism because of its scaling damage. As an aside, I’m quite confused as to how this is ‘special’ – it’s just doing what Wolverine spends all his time doing, but doing it a bit more.
For anyone interested, here’s a table showing the overall damage with each level of Heroism; as you can see, it equals Crack The Sky in average damage per hit at nine Heroism and surpasses it at ten, although in real terms it’s likely to have more overkill.


Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Deals [100%] damage, with another [150%] damage if the target has Block.

Pretty much terrible. [250%] damage is starting to approach decent numbers for a single point of Heroism, but you’re only going to see it hit that hard when it’s hitting a target with Block – which almost certainly means ‘when it’s not going to kill its target’. There are too many enemy targets and too few card plays per turn to want to bring along a card that has no utility and is almost never going to kill anything.

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

Revives Wolverine with 50% of his max health. Free.

A special case – this is added to your hand the first time Wolverine goes down in a mission. It even shows up if you’re playing at a difficulty with no Revives, and on lower difficulties it doesn’t count towards your maximum Revives per mission. The fact that Wolverine has this card is what makes him the best tank in the game (since otherwise you’d want someone with Block rather than healing). Note that even though this card is innate, Wolverine will still count as going down and so still hurt your performance rating at the end of the mission, if that matters to you.

Recommended Wolverine Builds

At higher difficulties, Wolverine can only really be built for damage control, much like Blade or Captain America – he can’t tank that level of incoming damage effectively enough, and he doesn’t deal enough damage or bring enough utility to do anything else. I have, however, included a full tank build anyway – just be warned that it only functions when the difficulty is low enough for him to soak hits without folding like a cheap suit.

Recommended teammates – Wolverine works best paired with someone who can hit hard, since he’s here to soak and not kill. Of all the damage dealers in the game, Ghost Rider is the one who can least afford to take a stray hit – even a light slap reduces his damage output – so he’s probably the one I’d recommend. Alternatively, Scarlet Witch’s Chaos Field can help ensure Wolverine survives for a turn and then heal him up afterwards.

Wolverine Generalist

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

There’s a lot of leeway available in this build – the only really necessary cards are Quick Swipe, Midnight Special, and Berserk to draw them. I run two copies of Lethal Pounce specifically to give him Strengthened for Midnight Special. I then take a copy of Stink of Fear because I consider that if I can’t kill everything on the map, it’s his damn fault and he can suffer the consequences. Finally, I then added a copy of Rapid Healing so that if he survives, he can heal himself as a reward. Good boy, Logan.

Card mod-wise, pretty standard stuff here. Heroism, card draw, Quick and Free. Unusually for a single-target ability, Lethal Pounce sees some benefit from applying Marked – because most of the time you play it because Midnight Special is getting played next, and that stands a strong chance of getting the kill.

Wolverine Full Tank

Yippo's Character Build Guide w/ Card Analysis

For a full tank build, you want to drop your Lethal Pounces – Wolverine isn’t here to deal damage, although you still run Midnight Special as the only really strong card he has. Two copies of Stink of Fear provide the necessary overlap to make it very likely he can Taunt most enemies every turn, with a single copy of Chain Swipes to mop up any stragglers. The main flexibility here is in Berserk – chances are, with the redundancy in the build, you’ll have the tools to Taunt key targets, so the card draw may be unnecessary. If you drop Berserk, replace it with another copy of Rapid Healing so he can keep tanking up every turn. Once again, though, don’t try to do this on max difficulty – nobody can tank that many hits there.

For card mods, this build wants to pick up Block wherever it can – either when played or on Redraw – because he’s still going to be taking a kicking and Block gives him the best chance of surviving the turn. Alternatively, finding Marked on Stink of Fear allows Wolverine to do his best Scarlet Witch cosplay… and that mental image certainly gave me the stink of fear, I’ll tell you.

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