The Legend Lounge – MUN, Part 1: Captain America

Nope, that A on his head doesn’t stand for France…

Marvel Universe is upon us, ladies and gentlemen, weighing in as the largest VS set yet, and carrying on where Marvel Legends left off with its emphasis on Legend characters and the wide range of mighty effects that require them in play.  Raising the Legend concept to new heights is the much-hyped “Super Legend” of MUN, chosen by popular vote, none other than Steve Rogers himself, Captain America.

With Super-Soldier Serum pumping through his veins, Captain America has championed the ideals of freedom and justice for over sixty years, relying on his enhanced physical abilities and his trademark indestructible shield to fight everything from Nazis to shape-shifting aliens.  It is fitting, then, that he should be represented so prominently in the MUN expansion.

Captain America has a total of four versions in MUN for each even drop up to 8, all of which are quite formidable, though suited for different strategic angles.  They are:

Captain America, The Patriot – a 2-drop Concealed Reservist that puts a +1/+1 counter on all your characters when he comes into play if you rally successfully;

Captain America, Champion License – a 4-drop Leader who can substitute an adjacent defender with another character, and gives invulnerability to adjacent characters when he becomes stunned;

Captain America, Living Legend – an oversized 6-drop who can exhaust to prevent another Avengers or Invaders character from being stunned; and

Captain America, Sentinel of Liberty – an 8-drop who prevents your other characters from being stunned while he is visible and in your front row.

Of course, Captain America’s most famous piece of equipment is his shield, which also makes its way into MUN as a recurring piece of equipment (it returns to your hand) that exhausts Cap to force your opponent to exhaust a ready character he controls.

Captain America is renowned for his relentless endurance in combat, so the MUN designers wisely reflected that in his Legendary plot twists:

Charging Star gives him a hefty +4 DEF bonus and can be used to negate opposing harmful effects played on him during the attack.  Shield Slash is a -3 DEF penalty that you can dish out on Cap’s foes, only to have it return to hand so that it can be played again.  Final Justice prevents an attacking Cap from being stunned for the turn, which makes him impossible to deal with when defending on initiative, particularly from concealed characters.  Lastly, if your opponent somehow manages to stun Captain America even with all of that defensive prowess, Stars and Stripes recovers Cap as often as you want for the cost of a little endurance.

Lastly, let us not forget Cap’s trusty sidekick James “Bucky” Barnes, who returns in his original Invaders “boy wonder” persona as a huge 5/4 1-drop who plays only if Cap is on your side and leaves when Cap gets stunned.  He also takes up the mantle of the fallen Captain America as a 7-drop, paying further homage to the legend while adding his own signature as a Cap who uses a gun loaded with -3 DEF bullets.

Falcon, a fellow Avenger, gets tougher if Cap is rallied for successfully.  Not sure what this is supposed to embody, but Captain America is referenced, so he merits discussion.

So, how does Captain America hold up as a Super Legend, based on the MUN cards dedicated to him?  Pretty darn well, indeed, particularly if you’re looking to play a game of survival.

On your initiatives, Captain America is ridiculously hard to stun, between Charging Star and Final Justice.  The latter is a definite four-of in every deck featuring Cap, simply because it means Cap isn’t getting stunned that turn no matter what your opponent does, as long as Cap gets to attack.  This is beastly on the 4-drop, who can redirect an incoming attack to his unstunnable self, and a game winner on the 8-drop, since then none of your characters can be stunned.  Shield Slash is somewhat less impressive, lasting only for the attack, but its utility lies in the fact that it can be returned to your hand at the cost of Cap exhausting, which isn’t so bad off-initiative and works well in conjunction with his shield effect.  Speaking of the shield, since it doesn’t actually require an exhaust for its power to work, it can be used to shut down any ready characters missed by your attacks.

Off-initiatives, Charging Star works just as well to brickwall an incoming attack, as does Captain America’s Shield for lessening the number of attackers to expect that turn.  Stars and Stripes, while great on your initiatives as well for preserving your board, becomes more integral off-initiative for forcing your opponent to deal with Cap again and again, so long as you have the endurance to pay.  In an ideal situation with Coast City and a 4-drop Cap online with a 3-drop and a 2-drop, your opponent won’t have any good attacks available.  If he attacks Cap, Cap can either brickwall the attack or recover from it.  If he attacks the character not protected by Cap, Cap can redirect the attack to himself.  In either case, your opponent will have one less attacker due to the effect of the shield.

The supporting cast members aren’t quite as flashy, although they are decent in their own right.  Falcon is a possible 6/7 flyer, and little Bucky is the size of a 3-drop.  The problem with Bucky is his not being an Avenger, which makes him a sort of odd duck in an off-curve Avengers build featuring the 2-drop Cap.  Poison Ivy 3-drop antics may be more in order, but that Invaders affiliation is going to be tough to work with.  The older Bucky can mow down the DEF of enemy characters, either spreading out the -3 DEF or concentrating fire into a -9 DEF total penalty, and since he can become Captain America for the turn, the Legends suite of Cap works just as well with him, giving the plot twists additional mileage.

The MUN Super Legend appears to live up to the distinction, and it would be interesting to see how Cap fares in actual gameplay, particularly against aggressive deck archtypes, against which I feel he will be almost unstoppable.  Likewise, one wonders how Clash of Worlds will affect his usage.  Or for that matter, Carrying the Torch.  The possibility of the Hulk using Captain America’s Legend plot twists in addition to his own is simply… well, it’s just too horrible a prospect.

Next:  The Jolly Green Worldbreaker


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