Marvel’s ragtag group of intergalactic heroes finally make their presence felt in Legendary: Guardians of the Galaxy. Inside this small box expansion, you’ll get the five protagonists from the movie, two new villain groups, two new masterminds, and the introduction of the most dramatically new gameplay mechanics since the game’s inception. They may be the stars of 2014’s biggest movie, but can they also hold their weight as an expansion for Marvel’s deck-building game?
Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Groot and Rocket Raccoon certainly pack a punch. Some of that comes from the usual types of abilities we’ve seen from Legendary cards of the past. However, the two new gameplay mechanics that this expansion introduces puts them over the top. One of those new wrinkles added to the mix is the Artifact keyword. Cards with this keyword stay in front of you for the rest of the game after they’re played for the first time. With these in play, you’ll get the benefits of that card every time it’s your turn. Star-Lord’s cards make great use of this mechanic, as his deck features Artifact cards and cards that make Artifacts better.
The most dramatic change to the game are the inclusion of Shards. These cardboard tokens are used to represent additional attack power that can be banked for future use. In cases where you need an extra nudge to hit a Mastermind, or want to defeat an an enemy but have a hand with only recruit cards, these come in very handy. Be careful though, as your enemies can and will use those same Shards against you. Gamora’s cards make great use of this new addition.
Attempting to thwart their heroics are the Kree Supreme Intelligence and Thanos. I’ve never heard of the former, but he poses a decent challenge while making good use of Shards. Thanos, though, is the real star of this show. Armed with the Infinity Gems, he possesses a whopping 24 attack power. However, for each Infinity Gem you’re able to defeat and turn into an Artifact, he loses two attack power, making for a fairer fight. As if the Guardians themselves weren’t big enough of a draw, having Thanos as part of the set opens the door for you to mix all of your Legendary sets up to create the Infinity Gauntlet battle you’ve been dreaming of.
Boasting a stellar lineup of characters, dramatic new gameplay mechanics and full-compatibility with all of the other Legendary cards to-date, Guardians of the Galaxy is my new favourite of the small box expansion packs. While I still wish that Marvel and Upper Deck would go back to the big box expansions like Dark City, it’s hard to complain when the small boxes are this good. I recommend adding this one to your Legendary collection without hesitation.