Power Rangers Light and Darkness and Villain Pack 5 Review

Corrupting lion spirits, fallen mystical knights, an alien that is of two minds of everything. These are our new heroes and villains in the Power Rangers Light and Darkness big box expansion.

Published: December 9, 2022 11:00 AM /

Reviewed By:

An image of the Power Rangers Light and Darkness and Villain Pack 5 packs

Power Rangers Light and Darkness is the fourth big box expansion for Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid. It's the first expansion to really dig into the more esoteric elements of the franchise, specifically series that challenged the tropes of simple good and evil. In that regard, it holds some of the most experimental playable rangers to date, some devastating monsters, and a new wrinkle to how footsoldiers are handled.

What's Included in the Power Rangers Light and Darkness box?

Power Rangers Light and Darkness contains the following. You get five brand new rangers with their own combat deck, character card, and zord, as well as two new megazord cards. You also get two new outer location, Pai Zhua Academy, Ocean Bluff Reservoir, as well as the Jungle Pizza Headquarters. As for challenges, the box contains 8 Rinshi footsoldiers as well as four Rinshi Beast elite footsoldiers. Finally, the box contains three new monsters: Cursed Tyzonn, Snide, and Koragg, a new Nemesis in the form of Zen-Aku, and new villain Dai Shi.

A screenshot of ranger miniatures from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
They've been through some trials, but they'll still mess them up.

What New Rangers are in Power Rangers Light and Darkness?

As the title implies, all five new rangers in Power Rangers Light and Darkness have complex backstories that toe the line between hero and villain. Because of that, they have wildly different playstyles that lead to very different group dynamics.

Leanbow's cards from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
Hit him. I dare you.

The most straightforward of these heroes is the magic knight Leanbow from Power Rangers: Mystic Force. He's the closest thing to a dedicated tank that Heroes of the Grid has. Almost all of his cards have a star effect that triggers when he takes damage. His highest cost card, Knight Saber, allows him to use any star effect in his discard pile if he blocks with it. His Shield of Light and Wolf Armor enhances defense even further by giving bonus shields to cards. Finally, his character ability allows him to substitute a different Ranger's star ability for one of his own.

A handful of Heckyl's cards from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
If he's about to die, you're in trouble.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is Heckyl. While Heckyl debuted in Power Rangers: Dino Charge as a villain, the version in this expansion is him as the Dark Ranger from the Boom! Studios comic event Beyond The Grid. His playstyle is all about playing cards from the discard pile. This can be done either through his character ability or his Dark Energem maneuver. However you choose to do it, Heckyl's cards become more effective this way. His Spino Charge attack gets an energy discount. Talon Slash provides shared energy. The list goes on. The obvious downside is that this leaves Heckyl vulnerable to attacks since most of his cards will either be in your hand or in the discard pile.

A handful of Tyzonn's cards from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
This might be the game's first crit fishing character.

Next up is Tyzonn from Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive. He can manipulate dice results to an extent, adding some unconventional support. His character ability as well as his Mercury Strike attack treats all misses as critical hits and all crits as misses. Since there are two miss results and one crit result on Heroes of the Grid's dice, you do the math. In addition, his Mercury Guard reaction allows you to reduce incoming damage via rolling dice.

A handful of Merrick's cards from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
Eight ball, corner pocket.

Merrick from Power Rangers: Wild Force is more focused on damage and providing extra combat options. Howling Wolf grants a free re-roll for any teammate. Claws of the Wolf allows a teammate to just roll three damage dice instead of playing a card. Trick Shot actually deals damage based on how many misses you roll. His signature attack, Lunar Cue, is a bit weak compared to other high cost cards, but it allows you to ready an exhausted zord. Arguably his secret weapon is Laser Pool, a maneuver that allows you to deal damage to certain enemy cards every time you defeat one of them until the end of a battle.

A handful of Jarrod's cards from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
We can call it the art of fighting without attacking.

Finally, there is Jarrod from Power Rangers: Jungle Fury. On paper, Jarrod's deck is strange. He has no attacks; just maneuvers and reactions. This is because he has multiple effects that chain into heavy damage. Intercepting Strike deals damage equal to how many shields were lost when defending. Zocato Power adds extra damage dice rolled during a turn. Claws of Fire instantly destroys a card with a health value of four or less. Finally, there is his Spirit of the Lion card, which allows you make extra attack rolls at the end of each turn. If played properly, Jarrod can make short work of monsters and bosses.

A handful of zords and megazords from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
Reliable and unusual in equal measure.

Finally, I want to briefly touch on the new zords in Power Rangers Light and Darkness. A few of these zords are just extensions of each ranger's playstyle: Catastros enhances star abilities, the Rescue Runners change dice roll results, and the Lion Animal Spirit provides extra attacks. But some do provide unconventional novelty. The most eclectic is the Wolf Wildzord. Every time it uses its ability, you switch it out for two different wild zord cards: the alligator and the hammerhead shark. As far as megazords go, the Predazord is malleable, allowing you to gain energy, deal damage, or gain extra defense on each turn, and the Flashpoint Megazord allows a Ranger to get a card from their discard pile every time they crit.

A screenshot of monsters and villains from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
It's like looking into a murderous mirror.

What New Villains and Henchmen Are In Power Rangers Light and Darkness?

Thematically, Power Rangers Light and Darkness must be commended for how their villains play in this expansion. This is because every villain in this expansion isn't just a corrupted or evil version of each ranger, their very playstyles actively counter one another.

A handful of Corrupted Tyzonn and Snide cards from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
If these guys feel like they're targeting you, that's intentional.

Koragg actively punishes defenders and shuts down star effects with Dark Magic Strike and Eye of the Master. Snide has multiple cards that go after the Ranger with the fewest cards in their deck. Cursed Tyzonn is not only a tank with his Liquid Form passive, he also punishes high damage cards with his Metal Hunter.  Zen-Aku is a constant escalation of multiple attacks with his nemesis ability and his Crescent Wave and Waxing Arc attacks. Finally, Dai Shi is a nightmare of multiple ongoing Passives that deal damage under certain conditions and card effects that skip ranger turns in a battle.

A handful of Rinshi and Rinshi Beast cards from Power Rangers Light and Darkness
This would be concerning for even veteran players.

But the biggest draw of Power Rangers Light and Darkness might just be the footsoldiers. As I mentioned in the summary, this Heroes of the Grid expansion includes brand new elite footsoldiers. These are enemy units that are just a bit tougher than a regular footsoldier, but just below the challenge of a regular monster. Ultimately, it's a new enemy type that works. Each combat card in the Rinshi Beast deck is a completely unique challenge and help break up the team's focus from just dealing with the monster or villain in the moment. In addition, a defeated elite footsoldier counts as two footsoldiers on the experience track, which can lead to gaining zords quicker.

A screenshot of villain miniatures from Power Rangers Villain Pack 5
The future is full of surprises.

What Is In Power Rangers Villain Pack 5?

As a part of Power Rangers Light and Darkness' crowdfunding campaign, one of the goals included Villain Pack 5. As the name implies, the pack contains five iconic enemies from the series: Trakeena, Dekar, Commander Vrak, Frax, and Ransik.

If you wanted more Nemesis enemies in Heroes of the Grid, then Villain Pack 5 has plenty of them. In keeping with Dekar's lust for a worthy opponent, he has card effects that put a certain ranger in his line of fire. Vrak's overly pompous sense of self-worth is translated really well where only the ranger with the most cards in their hand can attack him until he loses a card.

Ransik and Trakeena's Villain cards from Power Rangers Villain Pack 5
Special mention must also be given to Trakeena being a bruiser in her own right.

But the biggest draw of the pack by and far is the debut of Power Rangers Time Force's big hitters Frax and Ransik. Frax brings a lot of memorable twists to footsoldier power while also using them as human shields, making him a more defensive version of Finster. Alternatively, Ransik is the stuff total party wipes are made of. This is due to his Mutant Strength passive which boosts the health of cards synergizing with his Blast Burn, an attack that hits the entire team for damage equal to its current health. Combine that with his devastating Bone Blade, which can down a teammate and skip the next ranger turn, and Ransik lives up to his reputation of being one of the deadliest villains in the franchise.

Should I Buy Power Rangers Light and Darkness and Villain Pack 5?

Power Rangers Light and Darkness is a refreshing experimental expansion to Heroes of the Grid. It pushes more unconventional playstyles and is packed with surprising team synergies. Plus, the new elite footsoldiers help add some extra dimension to defending locations in each game. In addition, Villain Pack 5 is an excellent addition to the game, not just for bringing Time Force villains into the game, but for helping add some additional Nemesis challenges to the table.

The products used in the creation of this review were provided by the publisher.

Review Summary

Power Rangers Light and Darkness provides some experimental twists on certain playstyles as well as new elite footsoldiers. In addition, Villain Pack 5 is a stellar adaptation of iconic baddies. (Review Policy)

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Ever since he was small, Tyler Chancey has had a deep, abiding love for video games and a tendency to think and overanalyze everything he enjoyed. This… More about Tyler