Marvel Dice Throne Review, A fantastic dice and card driven superhero battler

Review of Marvel Dice Throne

Marvel Dice Throne lets you battle popular Marvel Heroes through a Yahtzee-like dice system mixed with card-driven randomness mitigation and hero upgrades.

We’ve been playing around with the Marvel Dice Throne Four Hero Set that includes Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Thor and Loki. Everyone in our gaming group has really been digging it, both at two players and in teams. We all love how each character feels and plays differently.

Disclosure: Links below may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks to The Op for providing us with a review copy of this superhero dice chucker.

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What’s up with Marvel Dice Throne?

The cover for the four hero set we have for Marvel Dice Throne

Marvel Dice Throne was designed by the team of Gavan Brown, Nate Chatellier and Manny Trembley and features artwork from Manny as well as Damien Mammoliti.

The Dice Throne series comes from Roxley Game and features fantasy tropes. This licensed version comes from The Op and features Marvel Super Heroes. All games in the Dice Throne series, including this Marvel one, are compatible with each other.

The four-hero box we are looking at today lets you play two, three, or four players. You can increase that player count if you own any additional Dice Throne sets. Games take about 15 minutes per player, once you know the game. While the game mechanics here aren’t heavy, each character is very different and features their own set of status effects, tokens, and rules which gives it a bit of a learning curve each time you try (or face off against) a new character.

Marvel Dice Throne involves players upgrading and battling their heroes through clever card play and dice manipulation, where they will roll their dice and spend them to attack and defend against the other characters. You can fight one-on-one, play king of the hill, or battle in teams. The set we have includes Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Thor and Loki, who can be paired up or paired off in any combination you like.

What you see when you first open up Marvel Dice Throne.

One of the highlights of this game are the Gametrayz organizers that are used to sort out each of the heroes and their components. You can get a good look at these in our Marvel Dice Throne Unboxing video on YouTube.

The trays are awesome. One thing I love about them is that they get people excited about the game as soon as you put them out on the table. An added bonus is that, except for a small punch board on top, the game is ready to play right out of the box. I love being able to just drop the four boxes on a table and say, “Pick a hero!”

The components inside the trays are also top-of-the-line. Each hero has their own unique playerboard, a sideboard, a variety of tokens, a unique set of etched dice, a unique deck of cards, and two pre-assembled dials for tracking combat points and health.

A look inside the Loki Box for Marvel Dice Throne

One thing that confused me at first is that each box also includes a standee. That isn’t actually used in this game but is there for other games in the Dice Throne series. Specifically Dice Throne Adventures and Marvel Dice Throne Missions (which is coming soon).

The rulebook is a bit floppy but clear and very detailed (and I mean detailed in a people run Dice Throne tournaments kind of way). It can be a bit to get through the first time and you will find yourself referencing back to the book often, especially when it comes to the various damage types.

Marvel Dice Throne Overview of Play

Playing Marvel Dice Throne with my daughter.

I’g going to start this overview of how to play Marvel Dice Throne with the standard 1v1, two-player game. 

Each player grabs a hero box, opens it up and sets all the content in front of them, leaving the standee in the box. They will unfold the hero board and place the sideboard next to it. Status tokens are placed onto the sideboard in their matching spots. Note the stack limits when doing this and if you have any extra tokens they can be returned to the box. Both players shuffle their individual decks and draw four carts. They set their health dials to fifty (50) and set their combat point (or CP) dial to two (2). Finally they both check their hero sideboards to see if there’s any additional set up for their characters.

Each turn in Marvel Dice Throne starts with the active player getting one CP and drawing a card, though this is skipped for the first turn for the first player. The player then has the option to play cards from their hand by spending the CP cost on the cards. If low on CP they have the option to discard cards for one CP each.

Some of the cards from the Spider-Man character for Marvel Dice Throne

Most cards played during this phase will be cards that provide additional CP or upgrade character abilities. Upgrade cards are played on top of the matching ability on the hero boards. There are also a wide variety of action cards that vary by character.

Next is the offensive roll phase where the active player rolls and re-rolls their dice up to three times. Each time they can re-roll any number of dice. Then they pick one of their hero abilities to activate. Each ability requires a different set of symbols on the dice, a set of the same number, or a short or long straight. 

Assuming the resulting attack isn’t undefendable, the opposing player makes a defence roll. They pick a defensive ability, roll the indicated number of dice, and read off the ability to see how the dice are spent. Note that, at least in this set, most defence rolls don’t just reduce damage.

Using Spider-Man's Web Shot ability in a game of Marvel Dice Throne a great super hero battle game

Finally the active player gets another chance to play cards. They can improve their character with upgrade cards, use additional actions, etc.

Some cards can also be played during the offensive roll phase, interrupting and manipulating either side’s dice. When resolving that phase make sure you leave time for your opponent to respond to your actions.

Once you are done the second card phase, play swaps to the opposing player who then plays through these phases themselves. They continue doing this until one of them is reduced to zero health and then the other player wins.

The big thing to watch for in this game is that this, like many duelling card games, is an exception-based game. Every character is unique with their own abilities and feature cards that can do all kinds of things that mess with the basic rules.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man Venom Shock Wave - the ultimate Marvel Dice Throne attack requiring six sixes.

Spider-man can turn invisible and defend against undefendable attacks, Thor can toss and retrieve his hammer, Scarlet Witch can steal other characters’ abilities, Loki can set up illusions that make him very hard to hit, and way more. 

Playing Marvel Dice Throne with more than two players doesn’t change the game much at all. The main thing is that a new phase is added where you roll the dice to determine who you attack. What I like about this is that the options aren’t just a random opponent, they also include you choose or your opponent chooses.

With more than two players you can play king of the hill (a.k.a. last player standing). With four players you can also choose to play in teams. Who doesn’t love a good superhero team-up?

Teams share one health pool and can freely share information and strategy. The main change we noticed when playing teams is that you will be using those dice manipulation cards to help your ally as much as to hinder your foes. 

Marvel Dice Throne is much more than Yahtzee with supers.

Playing a four player game of Marvel Dice Throne from The Op a great Marvel board game.

When I first started introducing Marvel Dice Throne to people after learning how to play I called it “Super Hero Yahtzee” and I’ve learned that this is doing the game a huge disservice. Yes, the basic dice rolling mechanic in Dice Throne is the same as in Yahtzee, and yes, you are trying to get various sets out of your die rolls, but that’s where the comparison ends. 

At first I had friends and family members who choose to not even try the game due to my poor choice of description. These are people who then later, once I convinced them to play, ended up really digging the game. They discovered there are tons of ways to mitigate the luck of the dice, and that the game is actually fairly strategic.

Even just thinking of Dice Throne as just a dice game is wrong, as it’s just as much a duelling card game, one that has a lot of similarities to Living Card Games and Trading Card Games. The cards are how upgrade your character, how you manipulate the dice, and depending on the character, can be the main source of your abilities, as I was surprised to discover the first time I played Miles Morales.

A look at some of Loki's cards from Marvel Dice Throne

Unlike many other dueling card games there is no deck construction in Dice Throne. Every character has their own unique deck and despite them all having the same backs, you can’t mix and match cards between characters.

The real highlight of Marvel Dice Throne is how thematic it is, how each character plays differently and plays in a way that fits the Marvel Comics heroes and villains being portrayed. This comes out through all aspects of the game, including the icon distribution on the dice, the contents of each hero’s deck, the various status effects they can put into play and of course the abilities on each player board. 

My wife, Deanna, described it as all of the powers and cards just “felt right” for each of the characters, which was both super thematic, and fun.

Loki's sideboard in Marvel Dice Throne. There is a ton of asymmetry in this game!

With every character being quite different from the others, the games has some unexpected weight. While Marvel Dice Throne seems to be marketed as a fast and furious battle game, I’ve seen the game bog down with analysis paralysis. If you take your time to figure out the odds and play the angles there’s a lot of depth to be found in Marvel Dice Throne, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you want out of the game.

Do you push your luck and try and roll again, or do you settle for the power you can set off now? If you are rolling again, which dice are you keeping and which are you re-rolling? Are you going to use that card to manipulate your die, or save it for next round? 

Something worth mentioning again is the fantastic component quality in the entire Dice Throne line, it really is top of the line. I know the company is talking about putting out a lower priced version without the trays and I think that’s a mistake.

Check out the awesome GameTrayz they use to hold each character in Marvel Dice Throne!

The presentation of this game immediately sets the tone before you even play. Everyone I’ve shown this game to has been wowed by the way it looks and that presentation and obvious show of quality drives people to want more.

Before I even played my first game I wished we had some of the expansions. Yes, the gameplay is solid, and yes we enjoyed it, but that presentation brought things to another level. The careful design that went into the player trays not only makes the game look good but helps facilitate play, as well as making set up and take down quick and easy.

Marvel Dice Throne is an example of a game that not only met but exceeded my expectations for it. I really was expecting a super hero dice chucker, more of a quick romp. Instead I got a super asymmetric and thematic super hero battle, with a ton of tactics and some strategy.

It’s the depth in Marvel Dice Throne that keeps me coming back and has me wanting to pick up more heroes to try. Right now I’m very tempted by the new X-Men sets that just came out to coincide with the return of the X-Men animated series. 

Playing Thor in Marvel Dice Thrones, a super asymmetric supers game.

If you are already a Dice Throne fan, I see no reason not to pick up the Marvel Dice Thone sets (this one, any of the others, or all of them). The fact that they are fully compatible with the rest of the line is a big draw, and as someone who’s only tried the Marvel version, I’m tempted to pick up one or more of the other sets. The idea of having Loki take on Santa has a definite appeal. 

If you are a Marvel Comics or MCU fan and want a game that lets you battle your favourite heroes against one another Marvel Dice Throne is a good choice. While it can be played casually, with a nice short playtime, you can also dive deeper and take the time to learn each character’s ins and outs and turn it into a more tactical and strategic contest.

I think that Marvel Dice Throne can be a great welcome mat game for people who might not be hardcore hobby gamers, as a way to find out about Dice Throne as a product line. While reading about people’s thoughts on the series, I saw more than a few people that they bought it because it was superheroes and then went on to buy all the original Dice Throne products as well. 

The best possible roll you can get when playing Miles Morales in Marvel Dice Throne

I think this game will also appeal to fans of duelling card games and maybe some fans of older Supers games like Overpower or the Vs System will find a modern superhero battle game they can enjoy here. 

If you are looking for a pure strategy, open information, or low luck battle where you can outplay and outthink your opponents, that’s not what you are going to find here. While there are lots of ways to mitigate the randomness in Marvel Dice Throne, you are still dealing with dice and cards here. 

The same is true if you want something cooperative, where you all work on the same side facing off against a terrible foe. You won’t find that in this box, but don’t worry that is something that’s coming soon. Check out Marvel Dice Throne Missions which was recently part of a successful kickstarter. That also promises to offer a solo experience for those who enjoy gaming by themselves.

What really made Marvel Dice Throne work for us was how thematic it is. We loved how playing Loki felt totally different from playing Thor, and how playing the two against each other felt like watching an actual battle between the two characters.

What’s a game you love because it really fits it’s theme? Let us know in the comments below, or better yet start a conversation over on The Tabletop Bellhop Discord.

Marvel Dice Throne 4-Hero Box with Scarlet Witch, Thor, Loki & Spider-Man…
  • Suit up for battle in Marvel Dice Throne – a game of intriguing dice, tactical card play, powerful Marvel heroes, and unique abilities. The 4-hero box is a fast-paced 2-4 player combat game (1v1, 2v2, or free-for-all). Select from a variety of Marvel heroes (Scarlet Witch, Thor, Loki, Spider-Man) that play and feel completely distinct from one another.
  • Attack opponents and activate abilities by rolling your hero’s unique set of five dice. Accumulate combat points and spend them on cards that have a large range of effects, such as granting permanent hero upgrades, applying status effects, and manipulating dice directly (yours, your teammate’s, or even your opponent’s).
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