Manufacturer: Upper Deck EntertainmentLegendary: Marvel Deck Building Game has just become Fantastic! The Fantastic Four expansion introduces Marvel's first family into the world of Legendary. Play as your favorite heroes while battling Masterminds such as the World Devouring Galactus and the ever elusive Mole Man.
100 Playable Cards
2 Villian Groups
Game Length: 30-60 minutes
This is not a stand-alone game. A copy of a stand-alone Legendary Deck Building Game is required to play.
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- Great Expansion, Especially if you love the FF
Fantastic Four is the first small expansion for Legendary and adds, shockingly, the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, 2 masterminds and their "always-leads" villains, and 4 schemes. This totals up to 100 cards. It adds new abilities and Costing $20, is the Fantastic Four worth it?
Before we talk about the heroes we need to talk about the new keyword on hero cards, Focus. Focus lets you spend Recruit Points for powerful benefits during your turn.
Normally I go into some in-depth discussion about the background of the heroes but I feel like people know enough about Marvel to skip the indepth background. I'll touch a little bit about them and move on to discuss the cards in their deck. All the heroes in the FF have the FF team symbol and trigger different effects based off this symbol.
Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic: The head of the Fantastic Four and husband of Sue Storm, Reed Richards was the mastermind behind the plan that inadvertently created the FF (Fantastic Four). He took himself, his best friend, Sue Storm and her younger brother up into space to conduct scientific experiments and were bombarded by cosmic rays. Each member of the team gained super powers. Mr. Fantastic can stretch himself like his body is made of rubber. He's also a genius.
Mr. Fantastic's deck has 11 tech cards and 3 instinct cards. His deck focuses on card draw/letting you draw additional cards into your hand at the end of your turn. His only attack card is the one you see in the hero card picture, though his rare card lets you spend 1 recruit point to get 1 attack useable only against the Mastermind. He can also spend recruit points to draw 1 additional card at the end of his turn. He can trigger that ability multiple times.
I really like Mr. Fantastic. His card draw is great, his attack can easily give you +5 or more attack during your turn, and his rare card is incredibly solid. The fact that he's full of tech makes him useful as well, especially against The Legacy Virus schemes and other schemes. He's a great hero to pick and mixes well with the FF. They really did a great job with him.
Sue Storm/Invisible Woman: She married Reed during their adventures. Her power is invisibility/creating and manipulating force fields.
Her deck consists of 9 covert cards and 5 ranged cards. She can use focus to KO cards in her hand/discard pile and to rescue bystanders (but only 4 per turn). Her cards typically give you 2 focus or 2 strike, though one will give you +2 attack if you play another card that costs 4 during your turn. all her cards cost 4 but her rare card which costs 7, gives you 5 attack and lets you reveal the card instead of discarding a card due to an ambush effect and draw two cards.
Invisible Woman is my favorite member of the FF when I was a kid and is my favorite member of the team now mainly due to her ability to pay 2 recruit points and KO cards in your hand/discard pile. This is a powerful ability to weed your deck out quickly in the beginning of the game and start becoming a crazy power in the game. She's a solid hero to recruit but you don't want to buy too many of her cards since she only gives 2 recruit/attack per card. However, she makes up for that by letting you eliminating your SHIELD starter heroes early on in the game, something I'm always a big fan on.
Johnny Storm/Human Torch: The younger brother of Sue Storm he's like a teenager. He can light himself on fire, fly, throw fireballs, etc.
His deck consists of 9 ranged cards and 5 instinct cards. His ranged cards all give you attack (and a lot of it) but some of them cause you to gain wounds as well. You get 4 attack for gaining the wound, however. He can also use focus to spend 6 recruit to get +4 attack, and his rare card gives you +1 attack for each city space that has a villain in it. His instinct card gives you 2 recruit points and lets you KO a wound in your hand/discard pile for 1 additional recruit point.
Human Torch is my least favorite FF member. I like that he gives you a lot of attack but I don't like all the wounds clogging up my deck. I'll buy his instinct card because it's always great to have KO wound cards but I'll skip his gain a wound/4 attack card. I'd rather ignore the wound all together and have a different card in my hand instead. He's useful but not one on my personal favorite heroes. I also don't like the Hulk for the same reason, though they did a great job in creating both heroes to act how they do in the comics.
Ben Grimm/The Thing: Reed's best friend and an expert pilot, Ben Grimm is the guy you have to feel bad for in the FF. He was turned into a giant rock-person and given superhuman strength, but he's a rock so it doesn't make up for it at all.
His deck consists of 9 strength cards and 5 instinct cards. His strength cards give him attack or the ability to use focus to gain attack (card gives him 3 focus but he can spend it to gain 2 attack) and he can also use focus to move villains around the city. That's helpful when fighting the Mole Man or when using specific hero cards. His rare card gives him 5 attack and +3 for each other strength card you played that turn. His instinct cards give him 2 recruit and an additional +2 recruit if you've played another FF hero during your turn... for the cost of 3 points.
I really like The Thing, but that's most due to his instinct card. His strength card's aren't anything to right home about (except for his rare) and he struggles to get his synergy going with the team because he's the only strength hero. Mix him with some other heroes and you've got a good chance. He's the easiest hero to mix with other heroes outside the FF because his abilities aren't as dependent on the FF as everyone elses'. We commonly use him, Invisible Woman, and Mr. Fantastic and 2 other heroes when we play.
Silver Surfer: SS from here on out. A former enemy of the FF, he was a herald of Galactus, Norrin Radd came to Earth to let Galactus destroyed it, was shown friendship and nobility by the FF and rebels against Galactus, betraying him, saving Earth, and ending up being exiled to Earth in the process. He wields the power of the cosmos and rides a silver surfboard.
One of the most versatile heroes in the game, SS is the member of no team and has 4 ranged cards, 5 strength cards, and 5 covert cards. All of his cards but his rare card use the focus ability as well. His ranged card gives him 3 recruit and focus: spend 9 recruit to get 9 attack, his strength card lets him get 2 recruit and focus 6 to defeat a 5 or 6 strength villain, and his covert card gives him 2 recruit and lets him focus 2 to draw a card. Finally, his rare card lets you double the amount of recruit you have during your turn, always an amazing ability that you can never, ever go wrong with.
SS is my favorite hero in this expansion because you can basically plug him in with any team against any villain and have no problem with doing so. His focus abilities aren't dependent on any specific team and are all useful and he's always a great hero to have. He definitely sees the most playtime in our group because he's a great 5th team member for any hero team.
Masterminds/Always Leads Villains:
Mole Man The first enemy the FF fought, the Mole Man was a nuclear scientist named Harvey Rupert Elder who was a dwarf and stumbled upon Monster Island off the coast of Japan. He went into a cave, discovered an underground society of mole people, went blind, and became their king. He wants to rule the world that rejected him.
The Mole Man always leads the Subterranean villains, a group of 8 villains who all have the Burrow ability. Burrow means that, after you defeat the villain, if the Streets space in the city is empty, you move the villain there and need to fight them again to defeat them completely. If the Streets are full you defeat them normally. The Subterranean villains are a mixed bag of easy to harder to kill villains (3 attack, 4 attack, 6 attack, 7 attack for the villains) and can be annoying but don't have any major effects to worry about. They aren't too hard to fight and are not that big of a worry.
Mole Man has 7 attack (but gets +1 for each Subterranean villain that has escaped during the game) and his Master Strike causes all Subterranean villains in the city to escape. This is ANNOYING, especially if it happens early and you have 3 or 4 Subterranean villains out. One of his tactics can also pull defeated Subterranean villains from your victory pile to the Escaped Villains pile, which is also annoying. All in all Mole Man is not too difficult to defeat. I'd make him a medium-strength villain that you can make a lot harder depending on your scheme/other cards in the villain deck. He's fun to fight against but doesn't put up too much of a challenge against the heroes.
Galactus: A giant being, Galactus was around before the Big Bang, survived the Bang and was changed into what he is now, a person who needs to suck the life out of planets to survive. He empowers others as heralds to find suitable worlds for him to eat (usually worlds full of life. Who wants to eat Jupiter?).
Both Galactus and his always-lead villain group, the Heralds of Galactucs, have the Cosmic Threat ability. Cosmic threat has a symbol next to it (like tech, or covert) and each hero you play of that type during your turn makes the villain 3 easier to defeat. So if you have a 10 attack villain with Cosmic Threat: Covert and you play 3 covert heroes, he's only 1 attack, and if you play 4 covert heroes you can defeat him for free. Galactus has every symbol in the game. If you want to fight him you declare ONE of the hero types and subtract 3 for each card of that hero type you've played this turn. However, you can only use this ability once per turn against Galactus. If you play enough heroes that you can defeat him for free once, he's back to full strength for the second round of fighting him and you cannot use the Cosmic Threat ability again during your turn.
Galactus and his heralds are a really, really tough nut to crack. His heralds are 9, 10, 11, and 12 attack and while you can fight them easier later on in the game in the beginning they just clog up the city and escape which is a huge pain. They definitely make the game harder. However, the icing on the cake is Galactus. His master strike ability is to destroy one of the spaces in the city, making villains escape faster and, when all the spaces are gone, eating the world and winning the game. Combine that with his 20 attack and he's a beast and a half. Only a very well balanced team can defeat him, and we've only done it once. We've failed 6 or 7 times. I love Galactus, however, because he's such a beast. He deserves it because HE FREAKING EATS PLANETS! Not a pansy, that's for sure.
There are 4 schemes in this expansion.
Invincible Force Field makes if so that each twist you draw from the villain deck is added next to the Mastermind and you have to pay 1 recruit point or 1 attack for each twist next to the Mastermind to defeat them in addition to their normal attack value to defeat them. This twist definitely makes some of the easier masterminds (I'm looking at you Red Skull) easier to defeat and makes Galactus basically impossible. Use if you want a more challenging Mastermind to fight but not a more challenging game in general. If 7 twists are drawn the heroes lose.
Flood the Planet with Melted Glaciers makes you stack each twist next to the Scheme and then KO each hero in the HQ whose cost is less than or equal to the number of twists next to the Scheme. If 20 or more non-gray heroes are KO'd, you lose! This is a challenging twist that can quickly escalate out of control if you draw multiple twists in a row. Definitely a challenge but not an impossible Scheme to defeat.
Bathe Earth in Cosmic Rays causes you to choose a non-gray hero in your hand, KO it, and replace it with a hero from the HQ who costs the same or less than the hero you KO'd. You lose if there are as many non-gray heroes KO'd as 6x the number of players. This scheme is either really easy or really hard, depending on when you draw your twists. Draw them early in the game and you have a good chance to not have to worry about the twist, later and you're going to be KO'ing cards. This is probably the easiest scheme in the expansion to fight, however, because it can have almost no effect on the game if you draw a lot of twists early.
Pull Reality Into the Negative Zone causes things to switch on the 2nd, 4th, and 6th twist to Enemies costing recruit points to fight and heroes attack to recruit. Twist 1,3,5, and 7 return to game to normal. If 8 twists are drawn the heroes lose! This is my favorite Scheme in this expansion because it's so much fun to play! It really messes around with your long-term strategy and can be a boon or a huge problem depending on if you have a lot of attack or recruit-giving heroes. This scheme is a lot of fun to play and it always seems to reverse the points/attack order right before you have a huge hand set up!
Thoughts: I love the FF expansion. It adds my favorite superhero team, the FF, to the game, and does a great job of it. The heroes are all really useful, especially if you use the FF as a team, and the Masterminds and villains are interesting. The schemes are new and different and a lot of fun as well. Basically, everything in this expansion is great. I like the focus ability and wish to see it more often because it's really useful and gives you an additional option during your turn on what to do if there's no hero you really want to recruit in the HQ. It doesn't slow the game down much for us (though I know other people complain that it does) because we usually plan most of our turn out in advance and it's easy to tell if you want to focus or not. I love Galactus and how tough he is to beat too! Awesome.
I'd recommend this expansion to anyone who likes Legendary. This adds some great cards to the base game and the hardest Mastermind to date to the game. There's nothing here I don't like, even the fact that you have to use the FF as a team. It makes sense. They didn't solo a lot and mostly worked together to fight their villains. This is a great expansion for a great game and I hope we can see more FF heroes in the future, like a FF She-Hulk or Power Man, maybe even the Future Foundation so we can add Spiderman, Valerie and Franklin, and others to the mix. If you like Legendary you should own this expansion as well.
Game Play Quality Price Value
- FF heroes play nicely together
As you would expect from a thematic standpoint, the heroes in this Fantastic Four expansion interact very well together. Much like the X-Men, they benefit from being used collaboratively. This makes it simple to modulate the difficulty of the game: for an easier time, play with a bunch of FF heroes together, for more of a challenge, mix only one or two FF heroes in with heroes from other groups. Overall it's as good a value as any of the other small-box expansions to Legendary: Marvel, so if you're looking to expand your collection with a small-box I suggest choosing the one whose theme most appeals to you.
Game Play Quality Price Value
- Another great addition to the Legendary: Marvel universe!
The Fantastic Four expansion adds some great new cards to Legendary: Marvel. All four titular heroes are present with Silver Surfer rounding out the 5th spot as a playable hero. Galactus is one of the most challenging masterminds in the game and my group has still not been able to defeat him. The artwork is great as usual and the new schemes are interesting. The Fantastic Four heroes work best when played together but they are also descent when paired with heroes from the other sets. This might not be the most popular expansion, but this set is full of wonderful fan service.
Game Play Quality Price Value
- Nice Addition to the Marvel Legendary Family
The small box expansions to marvel legendary (i.e. FF, GotG, PtTR) generally come with 5 new heroes, 2 new masterminds and villain groups, and 4 new schemes, and 2 or more new game mechanics. The added mechanics to this set weren't as interesting to me as other sets but they still add more replay value to the game as a whole. To me the real gem in this set is getting Galactus as a new mastermind. He is one of the top three most challenging masterminds in the game and has a really thematic secondary win condition.
Game Play Quality Price Value