Trials of Chaos: Legendary Marvel – Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3

Chaos here!

This past weekend, Marvel Studios released James Gunn’s final installment in his Guardians of the Galaxy saga.  It is my belief that Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 could easily be argued to not just be a great movie but the strongest of the franchise.  Gunn provided a strong closing to his trilogy and I look forward to what he has to offer through the DC characters in the next few years.

With all that said, we’re actually here for board games, right?  As per usual, I’ve decided to use Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game to try to recapture the feeling of the latest MCU movie and to challenge myself to a game.  So, welcome to another edition of… 

The Trials of Chaos!!!

The Trials of Chaos is where I put myself up against a board game challenge to test my mettle.  I only allow myself one shot at victory.  There are no second chances or redos.  I can either emerge a winner or reveal to the world I have been found wanting.  

For this trial, I have selected: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game.

The Challenge:

In honor of the recently debuted Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3,  I have created a scenario and setup for Legendary: Marvel a Deck Building Game that tries to capture certain elements of the movie.  From this point forward, there will be some spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3I will be taking on this untested challenge, which will pit me against Mr. Sinister, who will be a stand in for The High Evolutionary.

The Setup:

This Scenario will be played with Golden Solo Rules (the popular fan variant)


  • Drax, The Destroyer (Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Nebula (Into the Cosmos)
  • Rocket Racoon (Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy)

Scheme: Detonate the Helicarrier (Dark City)

Mastermind: Mr. Sinister (Dark City)

Villain Groups: 

  • Marauders (Dark City)
  • Wrecking Crew (Champions)

Henchmen: Sidera Maris, Bridge Builders (Into the Cosmos)

I have included sidekicks and new recruits as possible buys.

Setup Rationale:

A lot happens in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3.  I considered the idea of using the “Rescue Baby Hope” scheme, with Rocket being the stand in for Hope, since the High Evolutionary wanted to capture Rocket.  However, I’ve played that scheme plenty, so instead I decided to focus on the climax of the movie.  At the end of the film, The High Evolutionary’s ship is blowing up and the team must race to get themselves and others off before it’s too late.  “Detonate the Helicarrier” work for the exploding ship and the pressure of a clicking clock.

For the High Evolutionary, I substituted in Mr. Sinister.  He’s also someone who experiments on people.  Even better, his use of bystanders could represent the innocents needing rescue from the doomed ship.  This easily extended to the bystander mechanics of the Marauders.  The Marauders would be The High Evolutionary’s goons (tell me Scalphunter can’t be War-Pig).  

To continue filling out the villain’s side, the Sidera Maris Bridge Builders would be the wave of robots at the end of the movie.  Finally, I opted for the Wrecking Crew.  This team of meatheads would be perfect to represent our organic (meat) armored guards from the halfway point of the movie.  They weren’t technically involved in the climax, but they were too good of an idea to ignore completely.

The easiest part of deciding the setup was picking the heroes.  I grabbed the Guardians of the Galaxy from their set.  Since this setup needed six heroes, I also grabbed Nebula.  For those who want some variety, you could sub in the Guardians from the new MCU set or include Adam Warlock since he also featured in the movie.

With the game set, it’s time to get playing!

The Game:

For those unfamiliar with Golden Solo Rules, some of the biggest changes include playing double villain cards each turn and also having a new hero in the HQ each turn, pushing the leftmost out of play.  The double villain cards would increase the overwhelming pressure and sense of a ticking clock.  The heroes running through helps capture the feeling of characters fleeing the ship.

The game did a good job of worrying me early on.  Baddies flooded the board and the ship (HQ) started blowing up before too long.  My initial strategy involved grabbing some green Groot cards to give me fight power and to help thin my deck.  Drax’s “Knives of the Hunter” also meant that I would always have at least some fight.  

I quickly realized though that between the flow of new HQ cars and the KOing through explosions it was hard to make a long term plan on what to buy.  Anything that seemed good now could easily be gone by the next turn.

I slowly built up strength to fight the villains in the city.  They, however, were doing what they could to build up The High Evolutionary (Mr. Sinister) by bringing him shards.  

As the game went on, my deck became extremely thin thanks to Groot and the Bridge Builders’ KO mechanics.  Since I knew I didn’t have much time to build up a deck, I focused on getting fight early and then destroying my recruit cards.  I hoped what I amassed would be enough and I wouldn’t burn out too soon.  Again, Drax’s artifact fight and the use of shards truly helped.

It also helped that The High Evolutionary (Mr. Sinister) wasn’t a big powerhouse himself.  He boosted himself a bit but he always remained manageable.  Eventually, my deck got going pretty well, it only became a question of whether I could get my hits in before it was too late.

By the end of the game, I was down to six cards in my deck and two artifacts in play.  I hit the mastermind for the final time and won the game pretty handily.  However, by that point there was only one HQ space left, and almost 70% of the hero deck had been run through.  I peaked at the villain deck after the game ended and discovered I was three turns from the final scheme twist killing me.

Also, I liked how the bystander Magma joined my deck at the end of the game.  That was a fantastic and unintentional nod to Adam Warlock’s help in the final moments of the climax.  Go coincidence!

The Guardians beat the High Evolutionary and got to safety!  Together they achieved one last glorious adventure.

Final Results:

Points Earned:

– 30 points from Mastermind Tactics

– 12 points from villains

– 8 points from henchman

– 5 points from bystanders

Points Lost:

– 21 from Scheme Twists Played (3 points per scheme twist)

– 6 from villains escaped (1 point per escaped villain)

– 12 from bystanders carried away

Final Score: 16 Points

Chaos’ Final Thoughts:

The game ended up being quite a bit of fun.  The mastermind never seemed too hard, but the exploding ship/helicarrier is where the real tension came from.  The constantly shifting HQ landscaping kept me on my toes, while I also worried about how much damage the next explosion would bring.  Every draw at the end made me worried the game would end too soon.

I think I played this correctly by emphasizing attack.  While it pained me to see some great high-cost cards fall to the wayside, a slower build up would have been a mistake.  Also, I won, so I couldn’t have played too badly.

I hope anyone who tries this setup enjoys it too.  Now off into the forever!

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