Featured Player: Alex Alexopoulos Shares Tips and Tactics on Attaining Legendary Status with UDE’s Legendary™: A Marvel Deck Building Game!


While deck building games over the past year have recently gained market share in the gaming industry, you may find yourself to be very hard-pressed to find a game that can both appease casual and competitive players alike. Upper Deck Entertainment’s Legendary™: A Marvel Deck Building Game is a platform that really delivers, currently with nine Masterminds to battle and several hero mash-up possibilities, each time you play, you will be completely immersed into a unique deck building experience.


Alex Alexopoulos (right) shares some insight on how to become a “Legendary” player with Upper Deck Entertainment’s new Marvel deck building game.

Competitive play can be tricky. There are several routes you can take to victory, though misreading the situation can leave to you looking from the outside in. Here are some tips that have allowed me to do well in the competitive circuit of Legendary™:

Combos are great but test the water before you jump in

We all know cards like Wolverine‘s and Angel‘s card drawing abilities are quite powerful and if you know it, so do your opponents. Remember to pay attention to the Archetypes your opponents are trying to draft, as sometimes, you will find that more than a few players will try to build the same type of decks. If you notice this early enough, even if you’ve picked up a Wolverine draw card, you can change your strategy to a more basic attack-based and deck-thinning approach while your opponents fight out for the scraps. This will allow you to rack up some early Victory points.


Sometimes it’s good when bad wins

Never be afraid to ask for the Victory point count. It’s crucial. You’re not always in control of the cards you get to see in the HQ. Sometimes, you’re sheer out of luck and no matter how hard you try, you can’t put together what some people would consider an efficient deck. If you find yourself in this situation, ask for the Victory point count. Most people that have a consistent deck build going are more interested in building that deck than ending the game immediately. They will be doing a lot of recruiting from HQ, which sometimes leaves a lack of attack power in their deck early-to-mid game. If so, take this opportunity to get in for some quick Victory Points by collecting any type of attack card regardless of its attribute. After you’ve got a Victory point total, if you find yourself in the lead or close to, do your best to help that pesky mastermind end the game for you. Remember, if the mastermind wins, the game is over. It doesn’t matter how powerful your opponents decks are. If they were not focusing early-to-mid game on getting points, they might find themselves susceptible to a loss with this strategy.


Too good to be true?

There are some new mechanics that have been introduced in Upper Deck Entertainment’s Legendary™ Dark City expansion that will allow you to either wipe the floor with your opponents or leave you on your knees begging for a mercy. Teleport and Versatile can be a trap at times. Teleport gives you the ability to put aside your cards for a turn and add them on to your hand on your next draw phase. While this is an extremely powerful mechanic, many players find themselves losing entire turns hoping for the big score on their next go-round. Remember there is no guarantee that when your turn comes around, there will be anything worthwhile left on the board for you to fight and/or recruit. Also, teleporters, beware, depending on the mastermind, you may not have the hand you just drew when your next turn comes around. Ask your good old friends KingPin and Apocalypse about that one!


Versatile can be an early game trap as it is such a strong mechanic, allowing you to choose either attack or recruit, everyone will be gunning for it. But if you are not first to the dance, let it be! Many of the low costing versatile cards come with an activation cost and if not paid, will basically do nothing for you, acting like an early game wound card.


It pays to play Upper Deck Entertainment’s Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game!

I hope some of these tips help and I can’t wait to see you guys at Gen Con where I’ll attempt to retain my title in one of the two $5000 cash tournaments and if my tips so happen to have helped defeat me in the process, feel free to share the prize money with me. Pre-register for the tournaments today at Gen Con’s website or visit the Upper Deck Entertainment booth at the show for more details! Good luck agents!

And in the spirit of community, we want to hear your tips and tactics for success with the game and we will reward you for it. Be one of the first twenty fans to share at least one great original tip in the comment section below on how to become dominant at Legendary™ and we will hook you up with an exclusive Dark City game mat for FREE! Make sure you provide an accurate email address so we can follow up with those selected to receive a mat for your addresses!

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Victor Mikolajczyk
July 29th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Nice picture of me on the left! One added tip, something that might have gotten me the most points throughout all of the games I played; Discard your cards people! Always try and get rid of your initial cards as soon as possible (start with the 1 buys and then the 1 attacks)! You want to try and get as little cards in your deck as possible so you can keep drawing your powerful cards over and over again! This also helps if there is a tie breaker at the end and the deck size is counted to determine the winner. The smallest deck size I have ever gotten to was 8 and at that point I could kill a mastermind every turn! Just my 0.02$ have fun and good tips Alex!

Alexander St-Louis
July 30th, 2013 at 9:49 am

Great article. I hope to have the chance to play in the event when I go to gencon!!!


Really cool article Alex. Sounds like a fun game, I;d love to give this a try.


Go mono or go home. Unless you’re specifically out to draft Cap, multi-color drafting will more often than not weaken your deck.


Hang on to those Troopers! They’re starter cards, it’s true, but I’ve found them useful well into the game. Only KO them if you can’t drop an Agent.


Tip: Get S.H.I.E.L.D. Officers early in the game. Not only do they help with recruiting early in the game, they give you backup for your S.H.I.E.L.D Agents later on. When you have to K.O. a hero, use an Agent. It’s less painful.


Great tips, Alex.
In my playgroup, I found that asking the Victory Point count has determined the goals of the players in that particular game, and sometimes the players would work for the evil win.
A tip I can tell: thinning your deck have to be your first goal. So recruiting heroes that can do that has to be the top priority, even if you are drafting Spider-Man.


It’s important to realize your role and how the game will pan out in the coming turns. If you’re last and the previous players already jumped on all cheap efficient heroes in the HQ, don’t settle for the lack luster ones, or jump in on an already competitive tactic, instead use your recruiting to purchase shield agents and use them in subsequent turns to add reach to your deck that other players may not have. This will get you more powerful heroes in the mid game, and help you create formidable attack power later on.


My tip: Be sure to recruit heroes that can block the mastermind’s tactic early. Nothing worse than a small deck clogged with wounds.


It’s an obvious tip, but do not be seduced by a rare that does not help your deck. Black Widow’s Silent Sniper can be a powerful card, but if you do not have Villains capturing Bystanders (for example when fighting the Killbots), you just paid 7 for a 4 Attack card with no ability. If you have built a weeny deck with Spidey and Elektra, then Gambit’s High Stakes Jackpot isn’t as powerful as it could be and could stall Spidey’s card draw. Most rares are good most of the time, but always be on the lookout for those times they’re not


My one tip would be: Don’t leave fight/recruit points on the table. By that I mean, if you have 5 recruit, you may be better off recruiting a 2 & a 3 cost hero instead of a 4 cost hero, and wasting that final recruit point. Just something to consider…


TIP: KOing heroes from your hand or deck isn’t always a bad thing. Getting to KO some of your lower end cards later in the game makes your better cards come up more frequently. I find myself looking for KO opportunities in the mid to late game to help create a better deck.


TIP: Build up Recruitment points early. Be the first to be able to get the most unique hero when it comes out with a high cost.


My tip: read the scheme and the mastermind carefully at the start of the game. See what types of cards can counter the scheme twists and master strikes and put a premium on drafting those from the HQ even if they are not the most exciting. Every twist/strike that catches your opponents helps you, if you can avoid it.


Never be afraid to build up recruit power early on. Getting that recruit power will allow you recruit better heroes and will allow you to put a dent in the mastermind deck or sweep away a ton of high attack villains for massive VP gain. Another reason why it’s good to build recruit early on is because, chances are, if you run into a situation where you have to knock out heroes (and honestly, who hasn’t), you’re probably going to throw away the SHIELD agents, so you want to make sure you have some backup recruit power so you can still recruit a few more heroes to get those extra few attack points needed to attack the mastermind, especially in the mid or later part of the game.


Great tips! I’m hoping to make it out to Gen Con.
Tip: attack fast and early. Don’t be afraid to KO agents early too! I personally like teaming Rogue and Wolvie DC. Keep a thin deck.


The Tournament rule structure you mention of ignoring the Mastermind and the Schemes goes 100% against the rules of Legendary: Marvel as they come out of the box. I’m puzzled as to how then, especially in 5 player, any win is seen as anything more than luck when the players are just scrambling for Victory Points and then actively encouraged to let the bad guy win!
The Heroes that pop in the HQ, and the cards that come out of the Villian Deck to populate the City spaces are based on shuffling and luck. If on your turn you have no good cards to recruit from the HQ, and no Villians in the city that your Fight total will beat, then you will (through 0 fault of your own) lose to those players who are simply lucky.
Don’t believe me? Play a couple of 5-player games yourself with people who have played it as often as you, using the pure tournament posted rules where everyone still gets Victory Points if the bad guy wins (which is Not what happens in the regular game). You’ll find skill goes out the window and the person who is lucky both in recruiting and the City pops wins. Always.
How therefore, does this warrent a blog article which in turn simply states the obvious: Pay attention to the board and pray you get lucky, if you’re falling behind then sabotage the game via schemes to end early and hope for 2nd place. ?
And is that the true original intent of how this game should be played? Having bought it recently to play with the family, and enjoying the fact of actually beating the bad guys and not just racing to glory-hound (what kind of hero game does that?) I see that tournament play is falling to previous Upper Deck game levels…


I love this game! great content, great artwork and great gameplay! Another great strategy that I use often when playing with my friends is recruiting the heroes with the high recruits points on my first couple of rounds. OF course most of them don’t help with attack but usually all of the other players are picking those attack heroes up and doing most of the work in the beginning so after a couple of rounds you have a lot more recruiting power to pick up some of those larger more powerful cards while your fellow player are just stuck in the middle with average attack and recruit most of the time. Hope this tip helps! try it out:)

Brian Mikolajczyk
July 30th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Make sure you recruit agents as often and as early as possible. Waiting and trying to save points to only buy heroes will leave you hamstrung and behind the eight ball as the villains start stacking up! Easier to K.O. agents than your rare Hulk too!!!


My tip: Focus your deck on one or two combos, and don’t let yourself get distracted by shinies that don’t contribute! It’s easy to find yourself with enough Recruit points to buy a cool, powerful looking card, but if it’s not going to fit the engine of destruction you’re building (destruction of evil, obviously), think twice before buying it. A cheaper card that plays better with your deck may be better.


The smartest thing you can do in the first couple turns (or as long as it works), is when a good card comes up in the HQ, make it apparent that you want it (when you actually want Something else). This gives your opponents an incentive to buy something they may not really need to. If I am playing an attack heavy deck, I will usually make it appear that I want a draw card when it comes up, when in reality, I want that card that does 3 attack. Bluffing is the most important thing you can do. Bargaining is a close second. I will usually agree to leave a card in the HQ to take down a problematic villain of I can. But at the cost that my opponents leave a card in the HQ so I can try and get it next turn. If they agree and then grab that card so I can’t get it, well then good for them. From that point I won’t care so much about winning, as I will that my opponents don’t.

Bluffing and bargaining. Difficult to use together, but both worth while in different games.


It may sound simple but pay attention to the heroes you recruit and the ones your opponent does. I’ve won several games at my local comic shop by either recruiting heroes my opponent needs as precursors. Staving a black widow player of covert heroes can really dampen them.

It’s also good to know what other players want in case you have the chance to let a villain escape sometimes you can KO a hero to ruin another players strat.

Have fun, don’t be too serious and don’t starve an opponent so much that you lose the game (no one likes it when Loki wins).


Card draw, card draw, card draw. Yes there are big combos and big super powers out there but they won’t work unless you have them in your hand. Card draw is still crucial even with Dark City. Yes Dark City has many ways of thinning your deck, but topping that with card draw allows you to pull out your combos more frequently.


I have a small group I play with regularly. If I had one tip on why I win more than anyone else in my group it is this: WATCH THE OTHER PLAYERS. If I know that my opponents are working combo angles I’ll draft a key card that comes up before they can. If they are drafting a single type I’ll be on the lookout for a card that will critical for them. This isn’t the whole of why I win either but it is the key to why I win more. Paying even a little extra attention to what the other players are trying to do pays out everytime.

Good article, sad I have to miss GenCon this year as the tournament sounds like fun.


One tactic we like to add to give a spice to our game is to take 6-10 random villians and added them hero deck if you draw one, you have to defeat it before you can buy heros out of the hq. A great tatic is to remember this is a team game first, if you don’t work with each other you never win the game. So we play to win the goal then after words if we know we can then we go for the big guns. If you don’t win it doesn’t matter how much victory points you have.


Great article! One tip from me would be to not always fight the mastermind just because you can. Multiple villains with their fight effects could be far more beneficial to you in the long run. Its all about maximizing your attack to the last point if possible.


Official rules: look to recruit Deadpool and use him to add extra bystanders into the mix, for more victory points.

As a alternate/additional rule my family likes to allow a player on thier turn to choose to KO one of thier own Shield cards if there was already a villian in the city before thier turn began. Can’t help you win an official tournament game, but speeds things up and gets players closer to the deck they really want to use anyway.


Use Black Widow’s bystander abilities in combo with one another to devastating effect.


Know your villain decks. I have noticed many times that people do not pay attention to the villain in the game and some of them call for you to have a certain kind of hero in your hand to defeat that villain. Knowing that can help you get some victory points early. Also it can help you help the mastermind to win if needed as Alex talked about in the article as there are various villains that make you play the next cards in the villain deck if you can defeat them. Can come in handy on certain schemes.


I posted earlier, but it seems to have disappeared. Another tip: just because you can recruit doesn’t mean you should. Leave room for the cards you want to come up more frequently

Michal Slusarczyk
July 31st, 2013 at 2:41 am

Be not afraid to loose a turn to KO Wounds (especially when you have more than one). It may seem that loosing a turn may not be so good, but getting rid of these annoying cards is much better than buying a not-so-good hero or fighting a really-weak-villain. It speeds up your deck, thus making odds to work for you.

And one else, often forgotten during -in-home gameplays, Legendary is not a coop game!


Be deliberate about the Villains and Masterminds your defeating. To go with Alex’s tip about forgoing the Mastermind, sometimes a city Villain with a few bystanders is a better target in terms of VP than a Mastermind.

Also, if Hydra is in play, be ready for Supreme Hydra to appear, if you were farming Hydra villains and you nab him… game over. Same thing if your opponents were doing the same thing.

If your playing Masters of Evil and you have a lot of tech heroes in the Hero Deck, start building to make ready for Ultron and you’ll see another good VP boost.


Planning the order of the plays on your turn can be important. This is especially true if you have super powers available to use or deck manipulation. Example having a spiderman that can look at the top card of the deck and draw it if it costs less than two revels a card that costs 3. wolverine lets you draw that card. the second spiderman in your hand now has a chance to draw the second card.


Cull your deck often and early if you can (harder in this game).


And I forgot. As I said, culling your deck in very important. Remove card quickly as you can, obtain SHIELD officers, and remember, later in the game, buying is not required. If your deck is working, keep it thin, keep it trim. It only hastens the end if you are not doing well.


Unless you are playing with Nick Fury get rid of your starting S.H.I.E.L.D cards. This leaves your deck with higher value and more powerful cards. Also don’t forget the Maria Hill cards. A lot of times you may not have enough for a hero in the HQ but at least you could add some recruit power in the form of multiple Maria Hill cards. She tends to get forgotten on the corner of the board.


The main thing to do is, know the heroes, know the masterminds. With this knowledge, comes great power. You can immediately start planning your game strategy, if you know the best hero/mastermind combos. Whether you’re rescuing bystanders or playing multiple tech cards (etc.), to increase your attack power, draw more cards or build recruitment points, KNOW THE CARDS. If you have to play a few dozen solitary games, then do it. I believe Louis Pasteur said “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

Knowledge is power.
Good luck!


Copy Powers Rogue with Hulk leads to punishing hits


Sleeve your cards! It’s to easy for them to get nicks or marks on them. If this happens you’ll start to realize what the cards are before they’re drawn. If others know then they can plot against you or it may give them a strategic advantage against the next villain in the draw deck or know what cards you have.


Always rescue as many bystanders as possible. They are only worth 1 victory point, but they often make the difference between winning a match and not. Heroes such as Black Widow, Hawkeye, Rogue, and Jean Grey facilitate the rescuing of bystanders. I recommend making their recruitment a priority, as long as their hero classes fit with your overall deck strategy.


Know the abilities in your deck. Drafting powerful cards that you can’t use is a waste.

My wife and I had a great time in the tournament at Origins and may give it a go again at the GeCon one. We’re hoping Fantastic Four will be available there.


TIP: Card draw is amazing since you don’t have to worry about being “decked out” like other games. Speaking of amazing, Spiderman’s draw abilities along with Angel (Strength of Spirit), Daredevil (The Man Without Fear), Iron Fist (Living Weapon – just plain WOW), and Wolverine (Reckless Abandon), all from the new Dark City Expansion are just pure card draw goodness. Also a shout out to Forge (B.F.G.), can’t wait to build around this ability.


When playing tons of games with my friends I have found the key to victory is not to be afraid to try a combo and if it isn’t working not to be afraid to KO cards you paid for. When all else fails build a new combo! Also know your combos going in. A little research and memorization can go a long way. Playing multiple solo matches has only increased my ability to form quick and successful strategies on the fly when you have to make those tough decisions. So essentially don’t be afraid to KO anything and practice really does make perfect! Get out there and be the next champion!


I think the best thing you can do is okay practice one player games with as many different combinations as you can. This way you can find ways to handle different masterminds with more creative ways. You will also be able to see how the “other player” may react to certain things. Some of my best combos have been from solo play!


This is by far the coolest deck building game out there!
I especially like the co-operative dynamic. Though it is surely a competitive game, sometimes you truly have to work together in some of the more difficult matchups if you are going to survive. I have found myself convincing other players to go for the safe play rather than the greedy one in order to conquer the mastermind. I agree with picking up shield officers as an early strategy (similar to buying up silvers in Dominion).
This is a great game. You’ll never play the same game twice!


When Black Widow is in play, use her various bystander effects in combination to build up devastating attacks.


Try to focus on one or two types of cards ( power, tech, ranged) having those buffs in your hand can completely change the fight against the mastermind. Awesome game! No two playthroughs are ever the same. I can’t wait to try the expansion.

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