Marvel Dice Throne Review

Published: November 8, 2022 11:00 AM /

Reviewed By:

Box art for Marvel Dice Throne

Marvel Dice Throne is what happens when you try to represent tricks and illusions, wildly unpredictable chaos magic, the unstoppable might of a Norse god's hammer, and the proportionate speed and strength of a spider into the beloved dice game. But how exactly do these characters from the House of Ideas make the transition into this competitive board game? Better than you think.

The contents of the box in Marvel Dice Throne
Complex, compact, and easily movable. This is fantastic packaging.

What is in Marvel Dice Throne?

Picking up a copy of Marvel Dice Throne will get you the following. You'll get four playable characters: Loki, Miles Morales, Thor, and Scarlet Witch. Each of these characters come with their own character board, a character leaflet explaining their unique mechanics, their own set of unique six-sided dice, a set of special tokens tied to their abilities, a Command Point counter, a health counter, and a deck of 32 cards.

First, it must be said that set up and clean up for Marvel Dice Throne is spectacular. Everything I have mentioned above is tucked away in a single plastic tray, all with dedicated areas for dice, cards and tokens. This is standard for all four characters in the box. Set up takes a matter of minutes and clean up is just as fast.

Finally, Marvel Dice Throne is a standalone experience. While it is compatible with other Dice Throne content, you have everything you need to play in this box.

How Does Marvel Dice Throne Play?

Overall, Marvel Dice Throne is straightforward. Each turn starts with you drawing a hand of cards then rolling your set of dice up to three times. You can then play cards to either change the results of the dice rolls or modify your character board. The final result of the dice will correspond to certain attacks or abilities on your character board, which you can use to reduce your opponent's health. The defender can use their own abilities to block the attack or mess with the dice the attacker rolled. The first player whose health reaches 0 loses. If you can imagine playing Yahtzee with some extra rules thrown in, you can get the hang of Marvel Dice Throne.

Miles Morales' Hero Board from Marvel Dice Throne
He just keeps getting back up.

But where Marvel Dice Throne really comes alive is how its four characters are represented. First there is the Ultimate Spider-Man: Miles Morales. In terms of offense, Miles has some pretty standard options. Most of his attacks are reliable strikes, ranging between 3 to 7 damage on average. But this is coupled with Miles' Webbed status effect. When inflicted on an enemy, damage thrown at them becomes undefendable, meaning there is no way to offset Miles' assault. Furthermore, Miles can use Combo tokens. These are gained whenever he performs certain attacks and it allows him to take another combat turn, possibly doubling his damage output. Thankfully, he can only carry one Combo token at a time and he can only spend it once per turn. As for defense, Miles has Invisibility tokens, which he can spend to block undefendable attacks, and his potent Spider-Sense which can half any incoming damage.

He's the most straightforward character in Marvel Dice Throne, but he still holds that distinct Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man energy.

Thor's Hero Board from Marvel Dice Throne
Must resist Hammer Time joke....

A slightly more aggressive character in this set is the Mighty Thor. Most of his playstyle revolves around using his hammer Mjolnir, as well as Guard Break and Electrokinesis. Mjolnir is a token that starts on his hero board and it can be thrown at an opponent for small bits of damage over time. Electrokinesis is something that can be spent to draw extra cards. Finally, Guard Break is something you can spend to potentially make an attack undefendable. Almost all of Thor's attacks revolve around using these resources, either to keep resources handy or to make each powerful blow – which can hit double digits with the right rolls – land as hard as possible. The only real downside with Thor is that, in addition to all of this resource management he really doesn't have much defense. Mighty Summon allows you to heal a bit when you attack, and his only dedicated defense skill, Thunder Wheel only has a chance to block damage. Because of this, Thor's whole playstyle is hit hard and worry about defense later.

Loki's Hero Board from Marvel Dice Throne
Not so fast, are you really sure you wanna hit me?

His brother, Loki is in a similar vein. But while Thor is a straightforward bruiser, Loki is all about control and mind games. Spellbound is a status effect he can put on opponent's to disable certain attacks. Bag of Tricks is something that can take away precious resources, heal Loki, or damage his opponent. Finally, Illusion allows the player to shuffle around three illusion cards and force their opponent to choose one whenever they attack; the card revealed determining whether or not the attack completely fails, hits, or partially hits. Almost all of Loki's attacks generate one of these three tokens and it can lead to some daunting match ups. In fact, his only defensive roll, Tip The Scale, doesn't block damage but has the chance to gain an Illusion. But when you have a chance to just ignore a hit or completely shut down their offense, you can win each match with a thousand tiny cuts.

Scarlet Witch's Hero Board from Marvel Dice Throne
No more crap rolls....

Finally, the most complex character in the set has to be Scarlet Witch. This is mostly due to how Marvel Dice Throne represents her reality-warping Chaos Magic. She has four different unique resources. Probability Manipulation allows you to change the value of any even-numbered dice roll by one. Reality Warp forces your opponent to use one of your dice during an attack, effectively lowering some of their offensive options. Conjure allows to you take one of your opponent's positive status effects – for example Miles' Invisibility or Loki's Illusions – and use it for yourself. Finally, Crackle is something you can spend whenever you attack that deals bonus damage based on how many different status tokens are on your opponent.

But Scarlet Witch isn't just all about playing off her opponent. She has some terrifying offensive attacks. Darkhold lets you gain cards and resources if you roll a single pair. Mind Blast can potentially be pure damage, the kind that can't be mitigated at all. Finally, Jinx is all about rolling additional dice to compound even more damage or status effects.

If there is a weakness to Scarlet Witch, it is that some of her defense does rely on playing off your opponent. Being able to turn Loki's own Illusions and Bags of Tricks against him for defense is amusing, but it isn't exactly as potent against something more direct like Miles and Thor. Also, while her ability to game the system and change dice rolls are powerful, she doesn't have a lot of healing or defense. But when you can just change your dice to whatever you want, do you really need so much defense?

A screenshot of a Marvel Dice Throne match between Miles and Loki
The tension started early here and it didn't let up.

Taken as a whole, I was really impressed with how balanced and thought out Marvel Dice Throne is. My very first game was Miles vs. Loki, and I was worried that the difference in complexity would lead to a skill gap. However, while my opponent as Loki made some smart early calls trying to shut down Miles' combo potential, I kept doubling down on Miles' bread and butter strategies. I kept relying on Spider-Sense for defense and Invisibility to slip out of devastating attacks, all while working with what I had for attacks. Eventually, the odds broke in my favor. Loki wasn't able to keep my attacks locked down forever and I kept guessing right with his illusions. It was a close victory, but it felt amazing.

But there is still plenty of room to be creative with Marvel Dice Throne. One particular match of Wanda vs. Thor became particularly cruel as her Crackle tokens actively made Thor's complex resource management more of a liability, leading to some attacks that almost took off half of his health.

If there is a minor complaint I do have with Marvel Dice Throne it is how the Command Point and health counters are produced. They function perfectly well and sport some solid artwork, but the parts stick a little too much. This might change with continued use, but it was an annoyance all the same.

Should I Buy Marvel Dice Throne?

If you enjoy complex dice and card gameplay, then Marvel Dice Throne brings that same competitive fun to comic book superheroes. Each character's playstyle is authentically brought to the table, from the very artwork to the mechanics to the game pieces used to represent them. Pick up a copy as soon as you can.

The copy of Marvel Dice Throne used in the creation of this review was provided by the publisher.

Review Summary

Minor game piece issues aside, Marvel Dice Throne is an exciting, competitive, and fantastically produced superhero dice and card game. (Review Policy)


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