“With great power comes great responsibility.”
In the Marvel universe, those six words carry great significance as the driving principle behind one of the greatest heroes ever known: Spider-Man. This web-slinging, wisecracking hero is beloved by many, but he also has his fair share of mortal enemies. Fortunately, Peter Parker is not the only wall-crawler protecting the streets of New York from villains and their sinister schemes…
Fantasy Flight Games is thrilled to announce Sinister Motives, the fourth campaign expansion for Marvel Champions: The Card Game!
In this expansion, you and your fellow heroes take to the streets and rooftops of New York City and face off against a rogues gallery of classic Spider-Man villains, including Sandman, Venom, Mysterio, and the notorious Sinister Six. As with previous expansions, you can play each of these scenarios individually or as part of a larger campaign, and with a sinister spread of new modular encounter sets, there will be ample opportunity to mix things up for all of your Marvel Champions games. Sinister Motives also kicks off a new wave of playable heroes for the game, starting with two iconic web-warriors: Ghost-Spider and Spider-Man (Miles Morales), both of whom come with fully pre-built and ready-to-play decks right out of the box.
New York City. The Big Apple is home to some big names, both on the side of the law and against it. Somebody has hired some particularly big names to stir up trouble for our heroes, and so we kick off the Sinister Motives campaign with Sandman (Sinister Motives, 61).
This gritty foe is certainly no pushover. By spreading his sand all throughout the City Streets (Sinister Motives, 65), Sandman can wreak a wide range of havoc in multiple ways at once. The heroes will have to remove sand counters from City Streets if they hope to slow down this slippery villain, all while dealing with his pesky Sand Form (Sinister Motives, 66) and his army of Sand Clones (Sinister Motives, 67).
Not long after catching Sandman, the heroes will have to deal with the wild and dangerous Venom (Sinister Motives, 73). This symbiote-empowered villain puts facedown boost cards on your identity every time you attack and damage him, and his main scheme, "Leave Us Alone!" (Sinister Motives, 76B) lets him use all of those extra boosts when he activates against you! This causes Venom’s damage output to ramp up fast, but fortunately, this villain has a signature weakness that you can exploit: the bell tower.
While the tower is quiet (Sinister Motives, 77A), you can choose to build up its chimes instead of damaging Venom (and giving him extra boost cards to use against you). Then, once the bell is ringing (Sinister Motives, 77B), take advantage of the increased damage dealt to Venom to take him down in as few hits as possible! Just be careful—Venom may be aggressive, but he isn’t a fool, and sometimes he will Guard the Bell Tower (Sinister Motives, 79) to stop you from using it to your advantage.
Once you get Venom to calm down, you won’t have much time to rest, because next you must face the baffling Mysterio (Sinister Motives, 84), the campaign’s third villain.
This master illusionist puts the heroes into a dizzying Maze of Mirrors (Sinister Motives, 87B), and he disrupts their actions by shuffling encounter cards into their decks and discard piles. These cards will come in as extra facedown encounter cards at inopportune moments, so you will have to stay on your toes. Watch out for Mysterio’s illusions, such as Humongous Hallucination (Sinister Motives, 89) and Shifting Apparition (Sinister Motives, 91), and try not to let this Fearmonger (SinisterMotives, 93) get the best of you!
A Dastardly Team
Of course, no Spider-Man-themed campaign would be complete without the iconic squad of villains, the Sinister Six! This terrible team consists of Doctor Octopus (Sinister Motives, 94), Electro (Sinister Motives, 95), Hobgoblin (Sinister Motives, 96), Kraven the Hunter (Sinister Motives, 97), Scorpion (Sinister Motives, 98), and Vulture (Sinister Motives, 99). While each of these villains may not have that much health—their hit points don’t scale with the number of players, after all—they make up for it in their tenacity and their Sinister Synchronization (Sinister Motives, 100B).
Unlike most scenarios in Marvel Champions, you don’t win against the Sinister Six simply by defeating them—they just keep coming back to hound you again and again. The only way to win is to escape, which you do by completing both sides of the side scheme, Light at the End (Sinister Motives, 102A). But this is easier said than done, since the Sinister Six hardly play fair. While working together, they will have Heightened Morale (Sinister Motives, 103) and will occasionally Take One for the Team (Sinister Motives, 106). They even have their own version of team-up cards, such as Hobgoblin and Vulture collaborating as Frequent Flyers (Sinister Motives, 108) or Doctor Octopus and Scorpion unleashing mayhem with their Robotic Enhancements (Sinister Motives, 110). Clearly, this is a team of villains that will put up one heck of a fight!
By now, you may be wondering who the final villain in Sinister Motives will be. We’re not going to reveal who it is today, but we will leave you with this hint: what happens when you combine the abilities of two quintessential Spider-Man villains? The answer is a truly terrifying and formidable foe!
The villains in Sinister Motives are an unruly bunch, and they can make things extremely unpleasant for the citizens of New York. Fortunately, this expansion also comes with two high-speed heroes ready to swing in and protect their city!
First up is Ghost-Spider (Sinister Motives, 1A), an alternate-universe version of Gwen Stacy who was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. Ghost-Spider is a combo-heavy hero able to react to a wide range of situations with ease. Her innate ability, Dizzying Reflexes, lets her ready after resolving an Interrupt or Response ability, which means she can build up some impressive momentum in pivotal moments. With cards like Ghost Kick (Sinister Motives, 2) and Phantom Flip (Sinister Motives, 4), Ghost-Spider can deal a pile of damage or remove an impressive amount of threat by combining them with her basic powers and Dizzying Reflexes. Her ability works during the villain phase as well, giving cards like Pirouette and Punch (Sinister Motives, 5) the bonus effect of readying her just in time for the next hero phase. Combine all of that with her Web-Bracelets (Sinister Motives, 9), and Ghost-Spider is ready to react to anything the villains throw at her!
That said, sometimes pulling off Ghost-Spider’s killer combos may require a bit of setup, but fortunately Gwen (Sinister Motives, 1B) has access to some handy assets to get her momentum going. Gwen’s father, George Stacy (Sinister Motives, 7), can hang onto event cards for you until the moment you need them, while Ticket to the Multiverse (Sinister Motives, 8) is a powerful upgrade that can completely reset your turn once per game!
Befitting her react-and-punish playstyle, Ghost-Spider comes with a pre-built Protection deck that can help her lock down the villain phase. Use Across the Spider-Verse (Sinister Motives, 18) to call on the aid of fellow web-warrior Silk (Sinister Motives, 10) to preemptively discard a treachery card from the encounter deck, and with Spider-UK (Sinister Motives, 12) on defense, you can deal some solid damage to an enemy that dares to attack you. Jump Flip (Sinister Motives, 14) out of the way of an attack to trigger your Dizzying Reflexes, and if a villain phase is particularly nasty, use What Doesn't Kill Me (Sinister Motives, 16) on your next turn to help you regain your momentum—just make sure you have at least one “physical” resource available to pay for it!
Also patrolling the streets of New York is Ghost-Spider’s crime-fighting partner, Spider-Man (Sinister Motives, 30A)! Though he shares his hero name* with Peter Parker, Miles Morales (Sinister Motives, 30B) is a mighty wall-crawler in his own right with two especially potent innate abilities, Venom Blast and Spider Camouflage. Spider-Man can only trigger these abilities through the use of certain cards in his deck, but they always leave their mark whenever he activates them. Swing In (Sinister Motives, 33) to the situation to remove some threat and confuse the villain with Spider Camouflage, then hit your enemy with a Web-Shot (Sinister Motives, 34) to deal some damage and stun them with Venom Blast. Once your foe is stunned and confused, launch a dizzying assault with Arachnobatics (Sinister Motives, 31) to deal an impressive 8 damage!
Sometimes, you may not have the resources to pay for all those events but still want to activate Venom Blast or Spider Camouflage. That’s where upgrades like Power Within (Sinister Motives, 37) and Defense Mechanism (Sinister Motives, 38) come into play, allowing you the freedom to trigger those abilities at precisely the right moment. If you’ve burned through most of Spider-Man’s cards, swap to alter-ego form to get one back into your deck, then take advantage of your Double Life (Sinister Motives, 32) to leap right back into the fray.
Spider-Man swings into Sinister Motives with a pre-built Justice deck, and while Ghost-Spider’s deck focused on web-warriors, Spider-Man’s deck is all about the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Allies like Monica Chang (Sinister Motives, 40) and Agent 13 (Sinister Motives, 46) let you get extra uses out of supports like Field Agent (Sinister Motives, 44) and the tried-and-true Surveillance Team (Sinister Motives, 45). Once you have plenty of S.H.I.E.L.D. cards in play, use events like Homeland Intervention (Sinister Motives, 42) and Global Logistics (Sinister Motives, 43) to leave the villain’s schemes in tatters!
*Note: Even though Spider-Man (Miles Morales) shares his hero name with Spider-Man (Peter Parker) from the Marvel Champions core set, their identity-specific cards are not interchangeable. This includes their hero cards, obligations, and nemesis encounter sets.