Why 'Down Time' matters
Marvel Champions is a fantastic game. I love how it's so modular and scale-able. Plus, the fact that playing solo mode requires a different strategy than 2-player or 3 or 4 is incredible, and the sheer number of variations to your play experience is astounding between villains, heroes, traits, difficulties, and more!
In fact, I've found that the value of cards often changes depending on who you're fighting, the number of players in your game and the difficulty level. Down Time is a perfect example.
I hear people rag on Down Time a lot, and I totally get it...I thought this card was mediocre at best the first time I saw it too. It wasn't until we started our Heroic Mode Series that I realized just how important Down Time actually can be.
When you take on a Heroic Villain, you'll learn that you can't flip to your Alter-Ego side nearly as often relative to other difficulty levels because the risk can be too great that you'll "scheme out" and lose when you're drawing so many encounter cards every round. This combined with at least one card in every Villain deck that exhausts your identity means players simply are not able to take many recovery actions during a game.
If you can maximize the value of each recovery action by healing an additional 2 damage, it can make a huge difference. I can't even tell you the number of times Down Time has saved me in Heroic mode games. Even if you only get to trigger the ability once, paying 1 to heal 2 is still fine; its the same ratio as First Aid, but better because it's an Upgrade and not an Event. Events can often clog up your hand because you need to hold on to them to be able to play them at the right time. Upgrades are played on the table – so you don't have to hold them – and triggered when appropriate, which allows you to draw more cards.
The other added benefit to Down Time being an Upgrade is that you can sacrifice it to Villain effects that force you to discard an Upgrade or Support you control – like Caught off Guard. Let me tell you...it feels really bad if you're playing Captain America and you have to discard your Shield, or Black Panther and you have to discard a piece of your suit. Most heroes have key enhancements that are either Upgrades or Supports which are integral to the play-style of that particular hero (which I'm sure is why Caught off Guard is in the Standard encounter set, so it's in every Villain deck...evil game designers). Paying 1 for Down Time to effectively protect or insure one of your key Upgrades/Supports is absolutely worth it in my opinion.
So what do you think about Down Time? Are you reconsidering your opinions now? Do you usually include it in your decks? Comment below!