CMON’s Marvel United: Multiverse Kickstarter campaign announced a fifth new expansion box, which was not a big surprise: Marvel United Multiverse – Annihilation!
Why wasn’t it a surprise? I perfectly predicted this box and its characters in my last post of 20 Marvel events that might turn up as expansions. It was my #3 choice with 70% odds, and the only miss in my prediction is that I thought CMON might squeeze in the obscure Cammi in addition to Annihilus, Richard Rider, Quasar, and Phyla-Vell.
Score one for me! Score another one for everyone backing this campaign to get the Marvel United Multiverse – Annihilation box, because it sounds like serious fun!
Marvel United Multiverse – Annihilation introduces one new gameplay mode with “Complications,” a deck of extra cards to intersperse with your villain’s Master Plan deck to up the ante with new challenges and restrictions. This is a familiar cooperative game tool for escalating the difficulty of easy games – Spirit Island has a similar mechanic. We happen to enjoy the simplicity of Marvel United, but for anyone who wants a harder version of the game I think this mode will become essential across all expansions.
(Want to play Marvel United right now? Grab either the Marvel United or Marvel United X-Men core boxes right now. They are fun cooperative games that are fun to play with adults and kids alike.)
Annihilation also introduces some fun hero dynamics that show off exactly why I love Marvel United.
Quasar can bank his actions as Wild Tokens, but can’t unleash them until the end game – if you manage to live that long. Phyla-Vell can use Heroic Tokens to shield her from damage. Richard Rider has extra wilds and adjacent location opportunities, plus a triple-wild knockout blow (for the villain and for himself). Moondragon’s special abilities involve plenty of card manipulation for both heroes and villains. And, Annihilus depletes a special pool of Crisis Tokens and regenerates his health as the game progresses.
All of these play options take advantage of the simplicity and extensibility of the game system. It doesn’t need a fourth kind of action, like “Defend,” because the basic system of Move-Attack-Heroic-Wild allows for so many different hacks and customizations via special powers. That makes the game adaptable to any hero, even cosmic heroes whose powers are extremely different than Captain America or Wolverine.
With this box out relatively early in the week, it seems like we can expect two more expansions – one to kick of this weekend, and one late-campaign addition just before the campaign closes on 9th February. At this point, the “Expansion Boxes are Events” theme has been 100% consistent. Does that mean we’re getting two more Event boxes? Or, will the campaign pivot hard at the last possibly moment, as it did last time by adding a Fantastic Four expansion to an X-Men campaign!
This is the third time in this campaign I’ve accurately predicted an expansion (and, fourth if you count my pre-campaign guess of this exact “Coming of Galactus”) box. Will my psychic powers extend to the final two boxes? Let’s check in on my list of expansion box predictions, based on my Guide to Marvel Universe Events.
More Marvel Events to follow-up Marvel United: Multiverse – Annihilation
#1. Siege or Dark Reign AKA Thunderbolts AKA Dark Avengers – 85% odds. I still say this box is the odds on favorite to finish up the campaign… unless CMON is holding onto it for a 4th campaign closer to the release of the Thunderbolts film! Predicted contents: Moonstone, Fixer, Sentry. Possible additions: Ares, Beetle AKA Mach X, Lady Loki, Ghost, Speedball/Penance, Mister Hyde. (Guide to Thunderbolts & Dark Avengers)
#2 King in Black or Absolute Carnage – 75% odds. This campaign hasn’t had a major Spider-Man tie-in yet, although it will be accompanied by a Spider-Geddon box at retail. I think this symbiote-focused event would be the perfect addition. Predicted contents: Knull, Scream, alternate Venom. Possible additions: Agent Venom, Symbiote Dragon(s), The Maker, Star.
#3. War of the Hulks – 65% odds. CMON still has enough Gamma characters in reserve for an all-Hulks box that packs a major punch. Predicted contents: Red She-Hulk, alternate Hulk, Thundra, Leader. Possible additions: A-Bomb, Doc Samson, Skaar, Bi-Beast, U-Foes, or an alternate She-Hulk. (Guide to Hulk, Guide to She-Hulk – Jennifer Walters, & Guide to Red She-Hulk)
#4. Inferno – 55% odds. Inferno is one of the most-recognizable Marvel events of all this time and is currently experiencing a boost of nostalgia due to the Dark Web storyline in Spider-Man and X-Men. Predicted contents: Goblin Queen, Cameron Hodge, Rictor, Meggan. Possible additions: one or more Marauders, S’ym, N’astirh, Wiz Kid, Artie & Leech, Power Pack.
#5. War of the Realms AKA Asgardians! – 49% odds. Even though the campaign architects have demurred when asked about the potential for further Asgardians, I still say this recent event with a classic cast makes perfect sense. Predicted contents: Makelith, alternate Thor, Enchantress, Warriors Three. Possible additions: Executioner, Sif, Heimdall, classic Valkyrie, Throg. (Apparently, Angela may be off limits due to licensing issues that still affect her toy incarnations.)
#6. Messiah Complex – 4o% odds. With the campaign’s focus squarely on the mid-00s, this 2008 X-Men event might have a real shot at becoming reality. Predicted contents: Exodus, Armor, Anole, The Cuckoos. Possible additions: Elixir, Dust, Hellion, Rockslide, Random, Lady Mastermind, Purifiers, various Marauders, alternate Sinister, villainous Bishop!
#7. Secret Wars – 35% odds. Secret Wars is Marvel’s highest-provide event with a future movie attached. It would complete the “Multiverse” theme of this campaign by implementing an Incursion mechanic. Predicted contents: anti-hero Thanos, Hyperion, Manifold, Black Swan. Possible additions: The Maker, Smasher, Ex Nihilo, Abyss, additional members of Squadron Supreme.
#8. Siege of Darkness AKA Midnight Sons and/or Legion of Monsters – 30% odds. This was hodgepodge of a guess seemed so certain early in the campaign, but the chances have declined as it has focused on Marvel’s most-recognizable events. Predicted contents: classic Ghost Rider, Morbius, Werewolf by Night, Daimon Hellstrom. Possible additions: Lilith, Zarathos, Man-Thing. (Guide to Ghost Rider & Guide to Werewolf by Night. Plus, check out the Cosmic Circus Midnight Sons reading guide from my colleague Vin!)
#9. Evolutionary War AKA New Warriors – 27% odds. Will CMON roll the dice on this older event without an iconic hero line-up as a backdoor way to have the New Warriors enter the campaign? I don’t think it’s impossible – and Speedball was in the actual event. Predicted contents: High Evolutionary, Speedball. Possible additions: Terminus, Night Thrasher, Justice, Namorita, Silhouette, Rage. (Guide to New Warriors)
#10. Shadowland – 25% odds. While it’s not one of Marvel’s most-popular events, Shadowland comes with a ready-made cast of characters. Predicted contents: alternate Daredevil, The Hand, Lady Bullseye. Possible additions: anti-hero Elektra,Misty Knight, Coleen Wing, classic Ghost Rider, White Tiger
#11. AXE AKA Eternals – 22% odds. Despite the surprising news that The Eternals was Disney Plus’s most-watched movie of 2022, this expansion still hasn’t shown up. However, I’m starting to think it could be the final day surprise. Predicted contents: Ikaris, Sersi, Thena, Scout. Possible contents: Makkari, Deviants, a Celestial. (Guide to Eternals)
#12. Runaways – 18% odds. There really isn’t an event for The Runaways, and they lack the MCU name recognition of the Eternals. However, I wouldn’t totally count them out as a final-day kicker for the comic fans and completionists. Predicted contents: Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes, Nico Minoru, Chase Stein, Alex Wilder. Possible additions: Gert & Old Lace, Victor Mancha, Katie Power. If we’re not getting that, I’d rather hold out for a future campaign. (Guide to Runaways)
#13. Monsters Unleashed – 15% odds. This campaign opened with a massive Galactus sculpt, so why not swing for the fences with a few more big hunks of plastic? The big downside here is that Elsa Bloodstone is already announced, and she was a main character in this event. Without her, it feels like a non-starter. Predicted Contents: Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Kid Kaiju, Fin Fang Foom. Possible contents: uh… other… monsters?
#14. Fear Itself – 12% odds. This would be a villain-focused box combined with a heroic equipment card mechanic. Predicted contents: Sin, classic Valkyrie, Attuma, Grey Gargoyle. Possible additions: Cul, alternate Thor
#15. House of X AKA Dawn of X – 10% odds. Given Krakoa’s sustaining popularity and an X-Men film on the horizon later this decade, perhaps a Krakoa box is more of a fourth campaign stretch goal. Predicted contents: big-helmet Xavier, Moira MacTaggert, Omega Sentinel, Exodus, Quentin Quire, anti-hero modern Sinister. Possible additions: Black Tom, Proteus, Gorgon, pirate Kate Pryde, hero Pyro, Fenris, Nanny & Orphan-Maker, or mutants from Amenth or Arrako. (X-Men Reading Order)
#16. Operation Galactic Storm – 8% odds. This vintage early-90s event offers some slightly more-obscure core Avengers with a slight nod to the MCU. Predicted contents: Sersi, Starfox, Janet as Wasp, Supreme Intelligence. Possible additions: alternate White Vision, bearded Thunderstrike Thor, Mar-Vell as Captain Marvel.
#17. Atlantis Attacks AKA Agents of Atlas – 5% odds. While the first Atlantis Attacks was a full-line event, the title was repurposed recently for Marvel’s team of pan-Asian heroes. Could an expansion thread the needle between the both, in addition to bringing a Serpent Crown to the game? Predicted contents: alternate Namore, Attuma, Jimmy Woo, Amadeus Cho. Possible additions: Lyra, Ghaur, alternate Shang-Chi, Aero, Wave, White Fox, or Sword-Master.
#18. Secret Empire – 3% odds. This could be an interesting box similar to Secret Invasion if it simply adds Hydra army-building troops, but with Falcon Cap already off the table it feels like it’s missing a potential anchor. Predicted contents: Madame Hydra, Arnim Zola, alternate Black Wdiow, hydra troops. Possible additions: Viper, Baron von Strucker, Pym/Ultron
#19. AXIS – 2% odds. Heroes become villains. Villains become heroes. This box offers more in the realm of gameplay additions and less when it comes to new heroes since we already received Magneto, Iron Man, Medusa, and FalCap in this campaign. Possible contents: anti-hero Sabretooth, Hobgoblin,… uh… psychic Red Skull? We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
#20. Maximum Security – 1% odds. I have four words for you: Ego The Living Planet.
Not Likely, 2020s edition: Devil’s Reign (too fresh, not enough characters), Empyre (Wiccan & Hulkling already announced)
Not Likely, 2010s edition: Original Sin (not enough characters, Nick Fury already announced), Infinity (Black Order already used), Age of Ultron (mostly just Wolverine and Invisible Woman), Avengers vs. X-Men (already done with the Phoenix Five set).
Not Likely, 2000s edition: House of M (mostly just Wanda), Secret War (Nick Fury is already announced)
Not Likely, 1990s edition: Onslaught (already in-game), Maximum Carnage (too many symbiote possibilities since then), Infinity War and Infinity Crusade (basically just more of Thanos and Adam Warlock).
Not Likely, 1980s edition: Acts of Vengeance (not enough characters), Contest of Champions (not really an event)
[…] was this box such a surprise for me? I had it marked as “Not Likely” on my list of 20 possible predictions because we already have Carnage in the game felt like the cast didn’t contain enough possible […]