May 18, 2022

Uno Ultimate - Doctor Strange & Scarlet Witch

If you're the type of person that regularly checks out the board game section when you're doing a toy run, you may have seen the latest incarnation of Uno, Uno Ultimate Marvel. Although I don't currently have the "base" game, I had to pick up these add-on packs for two of my favorite Marvel characters. I'd been hunting for these and finally bit the bullet on eBay only to find them in Target at 50% off a few days later! 

You might be asking what makes Ultimate Marvel different from the endless re-themes of Uno we get. In this version, each player chooses a specific hero deck to play with. The base game includes Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel. There's also one other add-on deck for Spider-Man. As you might expect, each deck has a different strategy to it.

Each 58 card deck has an assortment of the usual Uno cards along with: a hero card with the character's special power, enemies related to them, events, a paper insert that describes how the character plays, and Wild cards with extra effects. The add-on decks say you need the base game to play, but you can get by with a deck for each player if you know the rules, which I'll lay out here.

Here's where it starts to get different from mild-mannered Uno. There are two ways to win! The usual, empty your hand way or if you're the last player left with cards in their deck. You run out of cards, you're out of the game. You don't just play against each other, you're playing against the game too.

Some of the regular cards have an exclamation point on them. When you play one of these, you have to flip a danger card. Each player's events and enemies are shuffled together to make a single draw deck for everyone. It could be an event (possibly good or bad) or an enemy (always bad!). The enemy goes in front of you when flipped and has an immediate effect. They have a different effect when "attacking" you i.e. still in front of you at the start of your next turn. The bottom of an enemy card will tell you what kind of card you have to play to "defeat" them to the discard pile. 

There's a few new mechanical effects for this version. Add makes you add cards to your hand. Burn forces you to discard from the top of your draw pile. And Recover lets you add discarded cards back to your deck to keep you in the game longer. It's also worth noting that while each character deck has normal Uno cards, they're not all built the same. For example, Scarlet Witch has no Yellow cards in her deck and Spider-Man only has 5 and 6 in Green.

What would a comic based card game be without collecting? Each add-on deck comes with a sealed pack of two random foil cards (the base game has 4 foils). These are flashy foil versions of the different Hero and Wild cards. The reason there's only three cards in this pic is that I got a duplicate of one. 
Honestly, I would have preferred if they just had foils of the Hero cards. I wouldn't play with the foils unless I used card sleeves. And of course, there are 5 levels of rarity to the cards. I am not buying multiples of decks I already have to try and get specific randomly inserted foils! Or so I'm telling myself at the moment.

If they ever do a Star Wars version of this, my wallet is doomed!

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