Marvel United got a huge reception when it splashed onto the board gaming scene in 2020. While critics poo-poohed the game because they said it was too simplistic in its gameplay and too childish in its Chibi-styled miniatures, fans recognized that the core mechanism of laying cards in a circular pattern was genius and a heck of a lot of fun to boot.
But one persistent criticism of the game was that the different hero decks could be too samey at times and that playing one hero was just like playing any other, so just pick your favorite miniature and be done with it.
Well, the next version of the game came via Kickstarter – Marvel United: X-Men – and it’s a game changer. The game is elevated in many ways, the primary being that individual characters feel much more unique than before and villain gameplay has a greater variety of styles as well. In short, the designers keep the core brilliance of the rotating game play, but then pushed the boundaries creatively in order to develop much more variety and individuality into the game.
I’m a huge fan. My entire family loves it, including my nephews. But since there is so much more variety within the play style of the characters now, it felt appropriate to make a list of the 7 that we think are best.
The 7 Best Heroes from Marvel United: X-Men
7 Boom Boom
Boom Boom has always been a sort of a whatever character in the comics. She’s fine but the “ohmygoshwhatever, I’m just soooo sassy” type character grates thin after a short while.
And this is true in terms of Marvel United as well. I wouldn’t use Boom Boom every game by any means. She doesn’t have any double Heroic cards, so she’s not great at rescuing civilians and clearing threats. In fact, her movement isn’t great and she only has one double-wild card.
So why is she on this list? Well, dropping bombs on the board is fun! Boom Boom takes advantage of the new versatility in play styles as much as any other character. She comes with bomb tokens and her Time Bomb special effect allows a placement of one of those tokens.
It’s really fun!
Firstly, I buy Dazzler’s first appearance in the comic books every time I get the opportunity. She’s a fascinating character. She’s also great in Marvel United!
Firstly, she’s pretty versatile with a nice assortment of Move, Attack, Heroic, and Wild symbols. She’s not OP by any stretch but she has just enough for you to feel competitive without her Specials.
But Dazzler Special Effect can be a one-shot. Her Sound Conversion card allows Dazzler to “Gain [Attack] tokens equal to the number of [Civilian] in [her] location.” She also gets Heroic token equal to Henchmen. So she gathers tokens, then with one move can clear a location. That’s dazzling!
Polaris has a couple of nice Wild cards, plus some good enough Move and Heroic as well. And her Attack is great!
What that means is Polaris is a good, well-rounded team player that is pretty straight-forward to understand and play. So, if you are a fan of the character, don’t hesitate at all to bring Polaris into any team against almost any scenario.
4 Emma Frost
Let’s just get this out of the way: At this point, Emma Frost has been a hero in the comics much longer than she was ever a villain.
Emma Frost has great general cards with a bunch of doubles. So she’s solid right out of the gate.
But her Omega Class Telepath card Special is amazing! The ability to use the two previous cards instead of just one? That can absolute swing a match-up!
Nightcrawler has the absolute best movement in the game. Plus, he’s great at repositioning other players as well.
Sure, he has a limitation. His card text sets he must move, and that feels like a move to mitigate what is his incredible movement abilities. But you pretty much want to move all the time anyway, so what is seen as a restriction really isn’t that big of a deal.
What you are left with is an incredible character with the game’s best movement who BAMFS all over the board knocking out opponents and repositioning teammates. Mein Gott!
Storm is an all-around great character. Firstly, she has plenty of double symbols. But she also had great Attack and is really great at movement while also repositioning other characters around the board.
She’s so good and useful, in fact, that I recommendation is that Storm is a character that you strongly consider using every single time you play.
Psylocke is an absolutely incredible character!
Firstly, just about every regular card in her deck is a double. So, she has lots of Wild and Attack ability without even pulling her Special cards.
But both her Special cards are among the best in the game! Her Telepathy cards allow you to swap out any Hero card in the Timeline. That could absolutely swing a game in your favor!
Then, her Psionic Blast cards allow you to cancel a BAM. That’s unbelievably useful! When you are against the ropes, those two Psionic Blast cards can buy you to time to regroup better than pretty much any cards from any characters.
Marvel United was a fun game. Then Marvel United: X-Men kept everything fun about the first game, then course corrected the weak area, which was variability in strategy and game play, by letting each individual character shine both thematically and within their individual gameplay. The result was a definite level up for the game.
You can get Marvel United: X-Men here. Although I tried to avoid Kickstarter exclusive characters as much as possible, I understand I wasn’t always successful. But get that base game linked over there! That will get you introduced to the game and you won’t be disappointed.