Ravensburger hit upon a winning formula with its Disney Villainous board game – letting you play the baddie and compete in asymmetrical plot-offs. It didn’t take long for them to start applying it to other big franchises in the Disney dominion: namely Marvel and Star Wars. Since Marvel Villainous is a newer game than its Disney cousin, there are fewer Marvel Villainous expansions to worry about, with three boxes released so far, and one more on the way. Here, we’ll go over every Marvel Villainous expansion, and how they stack up.
If you want more comic book fun at your tabletop, here are (we think) the best Marvel board games – and you could also check out our review of Marvel Champions. And if the gameplay of Marvel Villainous excites you, but you want to go to the classics, try our Disney Villainous expansion guide instead.
Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power
Does the base game count as an expansion? It’s worth including, as this probably should be your starting point if you want to try out Marvel Villainous. Since you get five of the most well-known Marvel villains (Hela, Thanos, Killmonger, Taskmaster, and Ultron) to enjoy in one box, it’s quite simply the best value for money. There’s some good gameplay in the box too – Thanos can invade other players’ domains to collect stones, Ultron benefits from a never-ending stream of upgrades, and Killmonger can chuck explosives around.
Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power is likely the best way to learn the core rules – which differ from the Disney version in a few crucial ways. There’s a shared Fate deck everyone puts unique cards into, as well as missions that players can go on for benefits or to complete a plot. There’s also far more interactivity – you can send your minions out to mess with your opponents, for instance, and some villains have objectives that require this.
Mischief and Malice
The first Marvel Villainous expansion, Mischief and Malice came out in August 2021, one year after the base box. It adds a total of three new villains to the game: Loki, Madame Masque, and M.O.D.O.K., and like (virtually) all Villainous expansions, Mischief and Malice can be played standalone, but gets better when you mix in other boxes.
While it suffers from a few balance issues (M.O.D.O.K especially requires a bit of luck even with expert play, thanks to some brutal Fate cards), the good sides of this expansion include great player interaction. The bloodthirsty Madame Masque can snipe heroes from other players’ domains, while Loki (true to his trickster nature) can insert his allies into other people’s timelines, to the benefit of both players. If you’re a big fan of the Loki TV show, this is probably the expansion for you, since Loki’s allies include all sorts of multiverse variants, including a few that never made it to the screen.
We are Venom
It must be said, the price for We Are Venom is a little cheeky. $14.99 for only one character? You need to already own a Marvel Villainous expansion to play the webslinging symbiote, since this is a single villain pack, meaning it’s not standalone. However, Venom is an interesting, unique, and fun villain. He uses a new type of resource ‘Symbiote Tokens’ for a variety of different benefits, not least of which being his main objective – covering Spiderman in alien goop.
Back to three villains for this latest Marvel Villainous expansion, we get Doctor Octavius (Doc Oc), Titania, and Kang the Conqueror in this box. Outside of the new characters featured, the main appeal of this Marvel Villainous expansion is how much it plays around with the rules. Doc Oc can occupy multiple spaces, thanks to his tentacles; and Titania is the first villain with a strength score, aiming to hit the gym until she’s made enough gains to fight She-Hulk.
Meanwhile, Kang’s mission is to… well it’s in the name: conquer. He can send his variants to other players’ domains, and end up conquering their spaces, which means he can muscle in on your territory, using the abilities on your locations! This is probably not the Marvel Villainous expansion to start your journey with, but as soon as you’re up and running with the basic rules, it’s definitely worth a look.
If you’re a clever clogs, able to keep up with Twisted Ambitions, you may also enjoy these devious strategy board games.