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Monsoon
02-25-2014, 08:40 PM
I just played five games of it (three as part of a group of 3, two as a group of 4) and have some lengthy thoughts. Don't feel bad if you TL;DR this.

Lots and lots of card type synergy

MUCH more so than the original game, cards are targeting specific types. There are a bunch of effects like Robin in the first DCDBG, where you can draw specific card types out of your discard pile, or Green Arrow in the first DCDBG, where you earn bonus victory points for having cards of a certain type. Way more of that. It makes sense to focus on one or two specific card types, and then only buy cards that are either of that type, or allow you to strengthen cards of that type (i.e. Plastic Man, Granny Goodness). Unless you're playing a hero that explicitly goes in another direction (i.e. Red Tornado).

Equipment has been buffed

Of the four "major" types Equipment has seen the biggest boon. In the first DCDBG Heroes and Villains were roughly equal (Heroes had more draw/gain effects and could provide Defenses, Villains had higher Power and victory point costs and could provide Attacks), while Superpowers were rare and on average more powerful, and equipment was relatively abundant, but inexpensive. The type curve has been realigned - Equipment has cards in the 6-7 cost range now, with TREMENDOUS synergy between the various Power Rings and a few other big-cost cards. Batman is way better in this selection of Equipment than in the first game, making him no longer the worst character (my thoughts on the Batman card are complicated - at first I thought he was better than Cyborg and Flash, then eventually I decided he was the worst Superhero, and now I think he's average). Basically, the types are now better balanced, and Equipment no longer sucks compared to the other three. If anything the Heroes and Superpowers seem a little weaker than they used to be, but that's probably because I was blown away by how much better the Equipment is in this new game.

Everything is faster and stronger: the four games I played all took the normal amount of time (roughly 45 minutes), but we went through the main deck way faster than usual. Generally our power scores felt higher than usual, but villains had nastier First Appearance effects, players were more adversarial with their Attack cards. I won only one of the five games, and it was in large part because I managed to get a pretty good Equipment recovery loop going with Nightwing and a few of these new, improved Equipment cards.

Location, Location, Location

I like the Locations in this set a little better. They're less likely to trigger draws than the five Locations from DC1, but still fit their themes well and are welcome additions. I thought that the Location cards in the first DCDBG were a little too powerful; these seem balanced juuust right.

The art

The selections of DC art are still very nice. I think it's 90% from New 52; I recognize one or two stills from late-2000s DC runs, specifically Flashpoint. WAY more Green Lantern series cards in this set. Other than that, it's still mostly Justice League guys with the eight Superhero characters from this version with a few surprise exceptions. More Teen Titans, Birds of Prey, and even some Legion of Superheroes stuff in here. Much less Batman in this new set (mitigated a bit by several Batgirl- and Nightwing-themed cards). Pretty good overall selection.

My personal favorites

Favorite cheap card is probably the Soultaker Sword, as it has a great, simple ability deck-deleting function that anyone would want along with +2 Power. I really like most of the new Power Rings as well, and I'm deeply afraid of the discard pile combos that you can set up (with Starbolt, Hawkgirl, Manhunter, and maybe a few others). My favorite expensive card is probably Mind Control Hat, which is at once useful, hilarious, and part of the second-craziest card combo in the game (along with Jervis Tetch). The nuttiest combo is Kyle Rayner with some Power Rings, which is downright terrifying. Best Supervillain? Nekron. No question.

Superheroes Tier List, Because **** You That's Why

Top Tier

Black Canary
Nightwing
Hawkman

These three each focus on one card type, and provide Power bonuses (Hawkman for Heroes, Canary for Villains, Nightwing for his 1st Equipment) and draw bonuses (Nightwing for his 2nd Equipment) when you play cards of that type. If the cards you want appear, then all three of these Superheroes are very effective. The power count will get higher for Hawkman and BC, but the additional draw from Nightwing is probably better than automatic points on the board most of the time. Canary gets the highest ranking only because Supervillain cards also count as Villains, and those are the best cards in the game. The combined Villain+Supervillain count makes it also the most abundant card type. Pretty good for Dinah.

Mid Tier

Booster Gold
Starfire
Shazam!

Booster Gold gives power and draw bonuses to Defense cards, allowing him to indulge in a variety of card types and likely getting STRONGER each time a new Supervillain enters play. If he can get Defenses, he's awesome. If he can't, he's below-average. Since BG focuses on a card mechanic instead of a card type, he's like Flash from the first DCDBG. Starfire is kind of an anti-Superman. She gets a draw when there are NO Superpowers in the line-up, which encourages her to buy up Superpowers; sometimes it seems like a free draw each turn (since Superpowers are the second-scarcest card type anyhow). Shazam! has a built-in ability similar to that of the Riddler card, and that's okay. Only decent if you don't like what's in the line-up or feel like gambling, which isn't that often but certainly can happen.

Low Tier

Batgirl
Red Tornado

Batgirl's power, trading a Punch card for a draw once per turn, is okay in the mid-game, where Punch cards are undesirable and common enough to be annoying, but early on it's iffy and in the late game it shouldn't trigger very often. Red Tornado is like the anti-Green Lantern, since his ability only triggers when you have a bunch of card types in your discard pile. RT's probably the worst Superhero, since his is a small bonus (just +2 Power) and you'll have an empty discard at least once every 4 turns by the mid-game.

OVERALL DC COMICS DECK BUILDING GAME SUPERHERO TIER LIST

(top is best, bottom is worst)
Aquaman
Martian Manhunter
Green Lantern
Cyborg
Black Canary
Nightwing
Hawkman
Batman
Booster Gold
Flash
Starfire
Superman
Wonder Woman
Shazam!
Batgirl
Red Tornado

This list is changed from my thoughts as early as six months ago. I hadn't realized how useful Flash and Cyborg were (draws > points on the board most of the time) and I'm not quite as high on Batman and Superman as I used to be. Batman is probably better using the new cards, since Equipment seems so much stronger. I also think Wonder Woman is better than I originally assumed, because starting with a card advantage is pretty key, but she's really reliant on a bunch of Villains appearing in the line-up. Aquaman is still OP.

Matt_Hyra
02-25-2014, 09:23 PM
Sweet write up!
Glad you are digging the powerful new Equipment.
Curious as to what people think of Talon...

Tamahome
02-26-2014, 02:19 AM
Wonder Woman is amazing rank her much higher than you. Number 2 for me right behind aqua man.

Hoping to see someone from this forum provide a spoiler for the cards! Can't wait for my group to get together to play this bad boy!

szuturon
02-26-2014, 05:32 AM
I disagree with your ranking of heroes from the classic game. Here's a section from a spreadsheet I've used to keep game stats from the classic DC Deck Building Game.

1478

About 95% of the games I recorded from when my friends and I play, were 3 or 4 player games. The remaining are 2 player games. And yes... we play a lot.

LRoq617
02-26-2014, 09:14 AM
I disagree with your ranking of heroes from the classic game. Here's a section from a spreadsheet I've used to keep game stats from the classic DC Deck Building Game.

1478

About 95% of the games I recorded from when my friends and I play, were 3 or 4 player games. The remaining are 2 player games. And yes... we play a lot.

With all due respect to the research, there's no way Flash is the 2nd best character from the 1st set, and I've played this game pretty extensively myself. He's definitely worse than Aquaman, and generally worse than Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. I usually rank Superman above him as well just because of consistency (always having Super Powers > not always having drawing ability). In my experience, the only time Flash looks like an all-star is when he has a location plus the appropriate support.

szuturon
02-26-2014, 01:18 PM
My friends have this talent for playing Flash really well. They do it even during games where I do my best to steal their locations/draw cards from them. Especially in a 4 player game though, I have found that Flash is a legitimate threat. The extra turn he can end the game wins it for him a lot.

Personally I would not think he'd be that high either, but I definitely would not rank him under Superman. Flash does not need as many expensive cards as Superman to succeed. He also does not need to stick to one card type in order to be effective. Superman on the other hand buys too many kicks early on in hopes to score an early Heat Vision or Super Strength (generally). If neither show up or get bought before he gets them, he's in for a rough game. Flash's ability simply allows for a much more efficient deck. Throw a single Nth metal in there and suddenly it's like he has only good cards every turn.

In any case, my first impressions (4 games)...
- I liked how * VP cards were in the first set better. A Green Arrow is worth a lot but comes with the risk of not working if you don't buy enough heroes. There's absolutely no risk in buying a card like Sciencell. A Sciencell with just 2 villains is break even in value compared to its cost to buy.

- I like how Nightwing is weaker than Batman as he should be. I especially love how his card (Wonder of the knight?) is a stronger version of Robin. He grew up and got really really good.

- Don't see how this game can be balanced if combined with the first set.

LRoq617
02-26-2014, 02:24 PM
My friends have this talent for playing Flash really well. They do it even during games where I do my best to steal their locations/draw cards from them. Especially in a 4 player game though, I have found that Flash is a legitimate threat. The extra turn he can end the game wins it for him a lot.

Personally I would not think he'd be that high either, but I definitely would not rank him under Superman. Flash does not need as many expensive cards as Superman to succeed. He also does not need to stick to one card type in order to be effective. Superman on the other hand buys too many kicks early on in hopes to score an early Heat Vision or Super Strength (generally). If neither show up or get bought before he gets them, he's in for a rough game. Flash's ability simply allows for a much more efficient deck. Throw a single Nth metal in there and suddenly it's like he has only good cards every turn.

In any case, my first impressions (4 games)...
- I liked how * VP cards were in the first set better. A Green Arrow is worth a lot but comes with the risk of not working if you don't buy enough heroes. There's absolutely no risk in buying a card like Sciencell. A Sciencell with just 2 villains is break even in value compared to its cost to buy.

- I like how Nightwing is weaker than Batman as he should be. I especially love how his card (Wonder of the knight?) is a stronger version of Robin. He grew up and got really really good.

- Don't see how this game can be balanced if combined with the first set.

The thing about Flash vs. Superman is that there are less cards that are available to buy that read "Draw _ card(s)" then there are Super Powers, and again, Superman will always have a solid early game thanks to a 3-cost card that grants him 3 power that's always available. Flash CAN be amazing, but consistently, he's not, at least not in my play sessions. Even when I've won with him, it's always like "Got a Location, whoopee, probably would've done as well or better with any other character."

I do believe there is merit in Flash always going first, however. IMO, it's the strongest part of his ability. He always has the first pick of the lineup and it can't be overturned.

Monsoon
02-26-2014, 03:34 PM
I'm not 100% sold on Wonder Woman, because I don't like the idea of getting a bonus only when cards are gained and not when cards are played. It's a one-time bonus for each card, even if it's the most common card type. The next time I get a group for this I might try using her again; I admit I avoid her in general and it would probably help trying it again.

I agree that Flash is only super-good if he gets a Location or a good drawing card (i.e. Fastest Man Alive) somewhat early on, but when he's good he's great. Card advantage is better than Power on the board at least six times out of ten. It's also why I think that Nightwing is better than Batman - I'd rather have +1 Power and a draw than +3 Power, easily. And how often do you get more than 3 Equipment in a single hand except at the very end of the game? Rarely.

Heh, Flash also turns The Penguin into one of the best cheap Villain cards. Fun little combo.

For the record, I think Aquaman is the best Superhero, but my favorite ones to use are Cyborg and Martian Manhunter. Third is probably Flash. I like being able to focus on two card types and still trigger Superhero bonuses. I get more success with MM than any other Superhero, and it's not close. Of the new Superheroes, the ones that I like the most are probably Nightwing, Booster Gold, and Starfire. I really like the Equipment cards in DC2 and additional draws are my preferred strategy; I think BG could be really awesome if he gets a few Defenses and Supervillains start to fall; and I'm intrigued by Starfire's surprisingly frequent draws and emphasis on the line-up rather than cards played.

Blackbird_13
02-27-2014, 05:37 AM
Shazam! is also much more powerful in the Hidden Super Villains variant.. almost over powered.

Ironfist
02-27-2014, 09:22 AM
Booster gold is the worst hero in this set. We played 3 games , granted only 3 people, and the game where booster gold was played the guy only used him 4 times. He is just like the flash whereas if you get certain cards it helps but if someone buys defenses you are screwed-- and everyone buys them with the overpowered villains. Red Tornado works out well if you also have vandal savage and get to start a lot of turns with +3 power before playing a card.

WE have found Sciencell is the most op card because of cheap villains and the "Super" villains also count.

LRoq617
02-27-2014, 11:11 AM
Booster gold is the worst hero in this set. We played 3 games , granted only 3 people, and the game where booster gold was played the guy only used him 4 times. He is just like the flash whereas if you get certain cards it helps but if someone buys defenses you are screwed-- and everyone buys them with the overpowered villains. Red Tornado works out well if you also have vandal savage and get to start a lot of turns with +3 power before playing a card.

WE have found Sciencell is the most op card because of cheap villains and the "Super" villains also count.

I'm getting that impression about him as well. We did, however, play proxied versions of the new heroes with the original set prior to the set's release, and the only game where he was played, the player managed to purchase Blue Beetle on turn 3, so to say it was best case scenario is an understatement. Outside of that scenario, he does seem kinda mediocre, though Forcefield from the new set seems like a must have if you're going to be successful.

Monsoon
02-27-2014, 12:20 PM
I think the Flash - Booster Gold comparison is apt. There are about 15 or 16 Defense cards in the game (main deck is 211 cards), plus two copies of the Hero of the Future card that gets a boost from Defenses. BG's effect is more powerful than The Flash's (since it can trigger multiple times in one turn, and can be used outside of his own turn), but Defense cards are more rare than draws. I think BG is risky, but the reward is pretty good if he gets lucky.

houjix
02-27-2014, 12:43 PM
We've been using proxies of the new heroes with the first game since about GenCon.

The number of draw cards is about even to the number of defense cards in the first deck, so Flash and BG are roughly equal there. The ratios of draw cards to main deck in the first game are almost the same as defenses to main deck in HU, so they are about even when you compare them on that front. However there is close to twice as many draw cards as defenses in the HU main deck, so Flash got a big upgrade when using only HU main deck and in a combined deck Flash will have about 50% more triggering cards than BG.

They both have the same problem though. Draw cards and defense cards are good for everyone. When Flash and BG hit the right cards the deck works beautifully, but having their main cards higly sought after by everyone really hurts them.

Skinner
02-27-2014, 01:15 PM
Starfire is nuts and if you don't think having a nearly continual 6-card hand for the whole game is among the best powers available, you're probably drunk.

houjix
02-27-2014, 01:46 PM
Starfire is nuts and if you don't think having a nearly continual 6-card hand for the whole game is among the best powers available, you're probably drunk.

We've always gotten a good laugh when Super Strength starts in the line-up. X-ray Vision is the other one we chuckle at as no one will buy it just to tick off the Starfire play and force them to get it.

Skinner
02-27-2014, 01:55 PM
I'm happy to buy XRV if I'm playing Green Lantern! :)

I've not yet mixed the games though, only hammered out a bunch of games with HU only yesterday and the one game I played at GenCon, so it's possible that her likely % to hit the free card consistently drops a bit, but after ~10 games yesterday she was the far-and-away leader of the pack in our group's eyes.

LRoq617
02-27-2014, 06:41 PM
Starfire is nuts and if you don't think having a nearly continual 6-card hand for the whole game is among the best powers available, you're probably drunk.

She definitely seems like she flies more than she falls, but there are still some bad games, and I'll still be happy to buy XRV if it means more cards later. Gotta pay it off somehow.

Still, when the 2nd game I played with her started the lineup off with a Heat Vision, I was pretty crushed.

vbui0803
02-28-2014, 12:34 AM
Loving this heroes unite expansion. I hope on future expansions we get more superpower cards or cards that focus more on superpower. Because there's so many villians in main deck, and with more focus on equipment in this expansion. Would like to see more cool superpowers and cards that work with them. Need to make sure superman gets some boosts also haha.

Tamahome
02-28-2014, 10:25 PM
Starfire is definetly nuts.

kmonarq7
03-01-2014, 08:23 AM
I played Starfire last night and got a whopping THREE extras draws the entire game.

Matt_Hyra
03-01-2014, 09:47 AM
I played Starfire last night and got a whopping THREE extras draws the entire game.

Sometimes you need to buy out the Super Powers in the Line-Up first, and then use her ability... If you don't mind making smaller purchases over one large one.

kmonarq7
03-01-2014, 11:49 AM
My problem, Matt, is that I wasnt able to build up much power based on the draws I had. I didnt get my power total over 4 for about 10 rounds...and because of that I wasnt able to clear items out of the lineup. I'm playing more tonight, so I will have some more time to determine how the Superhero plays.

IAmTheGreat
03-02-2014, 06:51 AM
If you couldn't get over 4 power for 10 turns then you're doing something wrong

kmonarq7
03-02-2014, 10:07 AM
The cards in the lineup were too high priced to buy out of the gate, and I was trying to play to star fire's strength. Looking back, I probably should've bought more kicks

Tamahome
03-02-2014, 05:34 PM
Sounds like you need to pay more attention to kick. Starfire is very very good.

XavierTroy
03-02-2014, 07:39 PM
One thing I've learned is when in doubt, buy kicks.

kmonarq7
03-03-2014, 09:33 AM
Yesterday it worked out with Starfire in a tournament. I got an extra card almost the whole game.

In that same game, I also survived TWO Kyle Rayner "Holy Trinity" endings when card attacks forced players to discard cards or swap hands. Was very fortuitous. Felix Faust for the win!

losjackal
03-03-2014, 11:37 AM
In a tournament yesterday, we found that Sonic Siren with the ability to destroy a card in the Line Up is quite useful for Starfire to get rid of an expensive Super Power.

dwang85
03-05-2014, 10:52 AM
Played a game yesterday with my friends where I was Starfire and managed to pick up the "Oa" location as well. It was pretty sweet getting practically 7 cards every turn.

Monsoon
03-08-2014, 08:13 PM
OK, I still like Booster Gold, but I agree that the scarcity and high desirability of Defense cards makes him a little less-good than I first assumed. Wonder Woman is definitely better than I first thought, and Red Tornado is still my least-favorite. My adjusted power rankings:

(top is best, bottom is worst)
Aquaman
Martian Manhunter
Green Lantern
Cyborg
Nightwing
Wonder Woman
Starfire
Black Canary
Hawkman
Flash
Batman
Superman
Booster Gold
Shazam!
Batgirl
Red Tornado

AaronH
03-09-2014, 08:33 AM
Surprised Cyborg is so low for you. He should be about tied with Aquaman, his ability is crazy good. And I'm surprised to see Superman so low (below Batman!), especially with how easy the new set made it to pile on the Superpowers.

gallowsnoose
03-10-2014, 01:09 AM
I rather liked it myself, with Starfire being the best hero from when I played it last. I probably pulled off 15 draws. Plus I pulled an World's Mightiest Mortal, so it always seemed to go "Oh there's super powers. Now there's not!" I don't really rank the Super Heroes because it's more the players capabilities. What seems to be a weak hero becomes deadly in the right hands. Just a simple super power helping you out isn't enough to me to make a tier list.

One very minor gripe, in a game I thoroughly enjoy and want to get the first set to compliment this one, I think they should have waited to pull the trigger on Green Lantern and Sinestro until this set. Since a running theme seems to be Brightest Day/Darkest Night it would have been nice to have it as a set. Along with the Teen Titans and so on. Would have thematically worked extremely well. Mind you, this is not enough of a problem to even make a blip of effect. Still, I would have thought it was a bit more interesting.

atheist4thecause
03-16-2014, 09:06 AM
There is absolutely no way IMO to create a Super Hero list without stating the number of players. For instance, Aquaman and Wonder Woman seem to be really good in heads up, but in 5 player they are pretty weak IMO. One thing I am surprised about in Monsoon's rankings is how far apart Aquaman and Batgirl are. I'm assuming those rankings are for heads up, and admittedly I play more 5 player, but the two seem to have a pretty similar feel to them with different strengths. Batgirl can you the card you bought on T1 into your hand on T2. If I calculated things right, the chances of this happening is actually 2/7 if you use Batgirl's power both T1 and T2. So she can get you rolling like that. Aquaman also puts cards you buy on type so he can make sure you have a good card (or more, but they are also limited to 5 or less cost) while Batgirl scales a bit better into the late game IMO where you can discard weak cards to gain strong ones by cyclying through your deck. I have a tough time believing that if Aquaman is #1 Batgirl is the 2nd worst.

Monsoon
03-17-2014, 03:48 PM
My lists are generally considering 3 player games. I don't have a large dedicated gaming group, and the DC DBG is one of my favorites, but not necessarily that of the rest of my group :/

And yeah, I'm not saying that Batgirl is bad (none of them are "bad"), but I don't like the idea of discarding Punches for draws, when deleting those cards from my deck is often a priority and you're giving up a (admittedly paltry) +1 for a draw. By the endgame, those draws are harder to come by than other Superhero draws (i.e. Starfire, Flash, Cyborg, Nightwing). I think that Batgirl is one of the worse Superheroes.

AlexKnaak
03-21-2014, 03:07 PM
I absolutely LOVED the first DCDBG and when I heard about an expansion I jumped on it immediately. I love the new deck and super-villains, they are AMAZING! But I think the new Super-heroes are something to be desired.

LexLuthorJr
03-25-2014, 11:12 AM
I gave up on trying to rank the effectiveness of the Superheroes.

The way my friends play is so freaking crazy it's impossible to tell.

Kersus
05-21-2015, 09:57 AM
I finally played HU and was blown away by how much more powerful everything was and how much higher our victory totals were. The Lantern Rings are huge. I bought this to expand the main game but now I see they really need to be separate games. I'm not saying I won't try merging them, but HU is generally more powerful. I had one hand fairly early on with this crazy draw synergy that had me get 28 power and I wouldn't have even called that mid-game. This version felt a lot more like Ascension with the longer turns than the original did.