Power Rangers Rangers United Review

The box art for the Rangers United expansion for Heroes of the Grid

Review

Power Rangers Rangers United Review

January 13, 2022

By: Tyler Chancey

 
 

Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid Rangers United is the third big box expansion for Renegade Game Studios acclaimed board game featuring the color-coded teenagers with attitude. In many ways, it pushes the game forward with brand new footsoldiers, monsters, villains and locations. It debuts two brand new Ranger teams from both the comics and the TV show, all building on the base game's foundation. But it also indicates a turning point for the game as a whole when it comes to power creep.

What's Included In The Rangers United Expansion Box?

Rangers United contains the following. You get seven brand new Rangers, each one with their own miniature, combat deck, character card, and zord, as well as two new megazord cards. In addition, you get two new outer locations, the Cyber Dimension and the Research Lab, as well as the Grid Battleforce headquarters. Finally, you get twelve new Tronic footsoldier miniatures, complete with their own deployment cards and combat deck, four new Monsters: Darkonda, Blaze, Roxy, and Dayne, as well as a brand new villain, Kiya.

A game board full of tronic footsoldiers and the Beast Morphers ranger team
Quick, defend the Morph X!

Which Beast Morphers Heroes Are Included In Power Rangers Rangers United?

First, there is the content from Power Rangers Beast Morphers. This is the first time a show from the Hasbro Era has appeared in Heroes of the Grid. In many ways, Rangers United draws heavily from Beast Morphers, taking not just the team but their footsoldiers, locations, and major antagonists as well.

As for the team: Devon, Ravi, and Zoey, they work really well together. Devon is fantastic for both combo potential and improvised defense. Cards like Accelerate or Unleash The Beast give teammates extra attacks with extra dice. Lightning Reflexes adds energy to the shared pool and lets a teammate swap the top card of their deck with a card in their hand before damage is resolved. Even his signature weapon, Cheetah Claws, which hits for six dice and lets a teammate play an attack as a follow-up at the cost of losing a full ranger turn in a battle. Finally, there is his character ability, Quick Wits, which lets him draw a card and reduce incoming damage from any attack by the drawn card's shield value.

 
 
A hand of cards featuring Devon from Power Rangers Beast Morphers
Devon can be reckless, but these combos are nasty.

Ravi by comparison is closer to a revenger tank. A lot of his cards like Gorilla Smash have abilities that trigger when they are discarded for defense. These range from adding energy to the pool or dealing damage to cards. This works really well with his character ability, Grid Battleforce Technique, which lets these abilities activate a second time once per battle. This support helps power up his nastier cards like Heavy Throw, which can ignore Guard, and his Beast X Cannon, an X cost card that deals splash damage to adjacent cards. This works well with his Overheat reaction, which gives you bonus attack dice, but if you defeat your target, one of your teammates gets hurt as well.

A hand of cards featuring Ravi from Power Rangers Beast Morphers
Hit Ravi, I dare you.

Finally, Zoey's focus is on crowd control and support. Rabbit Punch is a double attack that lets you draw an extra card. Tornado Takedown returns to the deck if it defeats an enemy as well as letting a teammate draw a card. On the flip side, Rapid Metabolism shuts down energy drain, and her Backflip card lets her reduce damage by spending a bit of energy. On top of that, her Problem Solver character ability generates energy whenever a Ranger in a battle draws a card during said battle.

A hand of cards featuring Zoey from Power Rangers Beast Morphers
She spends energy to gain energy, sounds about right for Zoey.

Overall, the Beast Morphers team feels like a direct response to the issues I had with the Dino Thunder team. While the main group do have defined roles, they cover their bases more with general versatility. This is felt in their zord cards which compliment their strategies rather than double down on them. Racer Zord gives you a free two dice attack, giving Devon a bit more offense, the Wheeler Zord lets you relocate two footsoldiers, which gives Ravi more control over the battlefield and the Chopper Zord gives a teammate a free mulligan on their combat deck, which helps the team strategize more.

Even the Beast X Megazord helps turn the team's biggest problem into an asset. If you're not careful, the entire Beast Morphers team can actually burn out on cards. This is bad since it can leave you vulnerable to enemy attacks as well as limit combos and synergies. This makes the Beast Morphers team one of the rare groups in the game that benefits from slower more deliberate play than sweeping super attacks. But the Beast X Megazord helps keep them in the game longer by letting you play a card from the discard pile at a reduced energy cost up to three times per battle. If used right, both hand size and energy economy become a non-issue.

Roxy, Blaze, and a dozen tronic miniatures
Break out the magenta paint, everyone!

Which Villains Are Included In Power Rangers Rangers United?

As for the new threats this team brings with them, they are a bit uneven. While the tronic footsoldiers have some solid artwork, their combat style feels a bit stale. On balance they are a mix between the Quantrons and Mastadon Troopers. They fight in swarms, drain energy, and punish large ranger teams. In fact, they share an attack card with the Quantrons, Cyber Slash. Their only stand out card is their Passive, Energy Thieves, which drains energy from the pool every time a card resolves, but it's only a 2 health card.

Alternatively, Grid Battleforce HQ is a decent substitute for a command center. It doesn't fully power-up rangers that enter, but instead offers a free Recover action and the ability to perform a “weapon transport.” Basically if you're in the HQ and a teammate is in a battle, you can let them play a card from your hand is if you were there. The played card returns to your deck after it is played and your teammate just needs to discard a card as a cost.

 
 

The stand outs however are Roxy and Blaze. These evil cyber avatars can be deployed both as individual monsters or paired. The latter can be especially nasty since Roxy focuses on energy drain with cards like Morph-X Heist and Heartbreaker. Combine those with her Passive Sinister Sabotage, which forces players to mill cards from the bottom of their decks every time energy is drained, and you have a serious resource bottleneck. In comparison, Blaze has much more aggressive attacks like Shockwave Kick, the shield-destroying Crimson Sword, and Spiteful Slash which deals more damage if you have more cards in your deck.

The cards and miniatures for Roxy and Blaze from Rangers United
One steals your energy, the other kicks you in the face. It's effective.

As an aside, Rangers United does include an odd duck monster: Darkonda from Power Rangers in Space. Overall, he's not a bad monster, he just seems a bit at odds with the rest of the box's contents, even more so than in Villain Pack 4. Furthermore, Rangers United only has one real new unique mechanic: Triple Threat Boss deployment. Instead of choosing a major villain as the boss for your game like Rita, Zedd, or Lord Drakkon, Triple Threat lets you mix the combat deck of three different monsters and have that be the final challenge. It's a great idea since it can help give weaker or less played monsters a chance to shine. It's not as transformative as Psycho Assault Mode or Mastermind Mode, but it is a solid quality-of-life addition.

The Omega Rangers fighting tronics and mastodon troopers on a game board
For any other team, this would be a nightmare. For the Omegas, this was clean up.

Which Omega Rangers Heroes Are Included in Power Rangers Rangers United?

On the flipside of Rangers United, there is the raw power escalation that comes from the Omega Rangers. Based on the Boom! Studios comic event, Necessary Evil, the original Mighty Morphin' rangers Jason, Trini, and Zack, get recruited into the universe-defending ranks of the Omega Rangers. But due to the nature of these reality-warping threats, they leave Earth under the alibi of attending a Peace Conference to protect their friends and family.

And in general terms, Omega Jason, Zack, and Trini are much more aggressive updates on their Mighty Morphin' versions. Mighty Morphin' Jason's character ability just let a teammate reroll an attack? Omega Jason's Fire Strike and Omega Katana do the same thing. Mighty Morphin' Zack's Hip Hop Kido and Power Axe deals splash damage across multiple targets? Omega Zack's Air Slash, Fakeout Strike, Omega Kamas, and Omega  Air Power character ability does even more. Omega Trini is arguably the biggest role change, going more into single-target assault with cards like Find Weakness, Avalanche Swing, and her Omega Maul attacks, as well as her Omega Earth Power letting you discard copies for bonus attack dice.

 
The character and zord cards for the Omega Rangers from Rangers United
The Omega Zords are arguably the most versatile in the game as well but giving examples would get too wordy.

The only new Ranger to join this team is the Solar Ranger, Ellarien. Her whole combat deck revolves around energy and support. Her Void Chakram adds energy to the pool if it is empty. Stronger Together and Solar Strike let teammates use character abilities multiple times or even copy card attacks. But her biggest draw is her Solarix maneuver, which lets a teammate play any card immediately for free. Coupled with both her Solar Zord and Solar Megazord cards, which can add three or even seven energy to the pool, Ellarien will keep your team in the fight and let them go all out.

Which Omega Rangers Villains Are Included In Power Rangers Rangers United?

But Power Rangers only escalate a fight to match an enemy threat, and the ones pulled from the Omega Rangers' roster are some of the toughest challenges in Heroes of the Grid to date. First is Dayne, a ruthless Kraven-esque bounty hunter known for dismantling his enemies with cruel, unwinnable situations.

The combat cards for the monster Dayne from Rangers United
Dayne's whole strategy is just saying no while hitting you in the face.

That is perfectly reflected in his playstyle. First, Dayne has a Nemesis ability that deals bonus damage to Rangers when one of his Passive cards resolves. This is important because almost all of his attack cards are Passives with some diabolical overlapping effects. Blinding Shot turns all crits into misses. Isolate Prey makes it so only the Lead Ranger can play cards. Just As Planned makes it so you can't target any enemy cards that haven't been resolved yet. While he may not have any major flashy attacks, with the kind of control Dayne has on the battlefield he really doesn't need them.

Finally, we have the big bad of the Omega Rangers: the former Omega Blue Ranger Kiya. On paper, Kiya is a fantastic boss. After the universe-altering events of Shattered Grid and Necessary Evil, she wants to rid the universe of Power Rangers, and has plenty of power to do so. In fact, the biggest draw to her playstyle is that she feels more like a charged up Ranger than a traditional boss, putting her in the highest difficulty tiers alongside Wizard of Deception and Master Vile.

Kiya's miniature and combat cards from Rangers United
I have suffered complete party wipes from her, and they felt unfair each time.

But in practice, Kiya's style feels antithetical to Heroes of the Grid's strengths. Generally speaking, boss encounters have mostly predictable tactics: flat damage cards, resource drain, etc.. This is meant to push a team to their breaking point in terms of strategy and threat management. By comparison, almost all of Kiya's damage cards revolve around dice rolls and chance. Anointed Strike drains energy and deals 4 dice worth of damage. Omega Trident deals 6 dice worth to the Lead. Deep Scars lets her roll damage dice every single turn based on how many cards of hers you've beaten. Grim Conviction forces players to mill cards if Kiya rolls any misses.

These wild swings of chance can lead to Kiya either being a pushover or a frustrating curbstomp. This can be infuriating if you've run an otherwise flawless game only to have her roll multiple crits and wipe out the team. Given the game's careful balance of rewarding strategy as well as luck, this feels like a step too far in one direction.

The character and zord cards for the Beast Morphers team from Power Rangers Rangers United
This team as a whole is just stellar, no notes.

What Are Our Final Thoughts On Power Rangers Rangers United?

As the name implies, Power Rangers Rangers United excels at introducing brand new ranger teams. The Beast Morphers team is fantastic right out of the box and the Omega Rangers are great for fans of the comics. As for the threats they face, those range from stale footsoldiers, solid monster challenges, a nightmarish nemesis, and a boss that pushes the game's dice rolls to their breaking point.

Should I buy Power Rangers Rangers United?

If you enjoy the Boom! Studios Power Rangers comics, love Beast Morphers, or want more locations and variety in your game of Heroes of the Grid, Power Rangers Rangers United could be the right fit for you. If you're not a fan or familiar with the Power Rangers comics, or you hate luck-based bosses in your game of Grid, then this might not be the expansion for you.


The copy of Rangers United used in this review was provided by the publisher.

Review Summary

Review Summary

Rangers United introduces some fantastic playable rangers, but at the cost of some undercooked footsoldiers and a boss that's more infuriating than challenging.
a candid selfie of the staff writer, husky build, blond hair, caucasian.
Staff Writer

Born in 1990, Tyler Chancey's earliest memories were of an NES controller in his hands, and with it a passion that continued into his adulthood. He's written for multiple sites, has podcasted, and has continued to shape and encourage new talent to greater heights.

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