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featured black widow

Unmatched

Black Widow

Overview

Black Widow is a Russian spy turned hero created for Marvel Comics in 1964, first appearing in Tales of Suspense #52. Originally, she was a recurring antagonist in the Iron Man comics. She would later make many guest appearances in other comic series’ such as Daredevil, star in her own series Amazing Adventures, and join the hero team the Avengers. Her live-action debut was in the 2010 film Iron Man 2 where she was portrayed by Scarlett Johansson. She became a pivotal character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, featuring in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame before starring in her own feature film Black Widow in 2021.

Natalia Alianovna “Natasha” Romanova is a former Russian spy, turned S.H.I.E.L.D secret agent, turned Avenger. Trained as a spy by the KGB, Natasha is ruthless, efficient, and an incredibly skilled martial artist and assassin. During her time in the KGB she joined the Black Widow program and was given an augmented version of the Super-Soldier serum, granting her peak human endurance and durability. Once she defected, she took on the code-name Black Widow to make it her own and turn it into something better. In Unmatched, Black Widow takes on special missions to gain the advantage over her targets.

Black Widow is included in the Unmatched Marvel: For King and Country game set, where she takes on special missions against the honorable king Black Panther and the brainwashed super-soldier Winter Soldier.

black widow card

Hero Stats

Health: 13 / Attack: Ranged / Movement: 2

Special Ability: Mission Ready

Before drawing your starting hand, add The Moscow Protocol card to your hand. Then, shuffle your deck and draw 5 cards. (Your starting hand is 6 instead of 5.)

Sidekick: Maria Hill

Health: 6 / Attack: Ranged / x1

Strategies and Tips

Black Widow

Your top priority when playing Black Widow is to complete your missions. Thankfully, her playstyle revolves around deception and sneaky maneuvers, all of which help making completing your missions easier. More than most heroes, you need to plan ahead when using Black Widow. She has the tools to hold her own in any matchup on any map, and she is capable of dealing massive amounts of auto-damage and clearing out 1 hp minions without any issues. That is, so long as you are able to efficiently complete her missions.

Primary Strengths

She has tools to deal with any matchup

High amount of auto-damage

3+ player free-for-alls

Primary Weaknesses

Opponents will have knowledge of some of her deck and hand

Low health for hero and sidekick

Low value defense options

The following are 3 tips to successfully complete your missions:

Tip #1: Mission Brief

Black Widow Mission

The most important cards in Black Widow’s deck are her missions. These are schemes you can only play when you meet the mission requirements. At the end of each mission, you are required to reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal the next mission card, then you add it to your hand and shuffle the other revealed cards back into your deck. There is only one copy of each mission in your deck, and of course, if there are no more missions in your deck then you do not need to search through it. The following are your missions:

The Moscow Protocol – Mission: An opposing fighter took damage this turn. Once complete, draw 1 card, gain 1 action, and acquire a new mission. You will always start the game with this card in your hand. The effect is nothing special, but it does allow you a chance at a better card to attack with on your next turn if you had no good options.

The Budapest Gambit – Mission: You have 2 or fewer other cards in your hand. Once complete, draw 5 cards, each opponent discards 1 random card, and acquires a new mission. This is her most situational mission. Drawing 5 cards is useful but it gets you much closer to fatigue. If you find yourself in a tight spot where you are pinned down and are burning through cards defending, this is a good way to even the odds. 

The Firenze Agenda – Mission: Black Widow is adjacent to an opposing hero. Once complete, deal 2 damage to each opposing fighter in Black Widow’s zone and acquire a new mission. As a ranged hero you don’t want to be adjacent to an opposing hero, so this is a good mission to start your turn if a melee fighter ends their turn adjacent to you.

The Kinshasa Directive – Mission: Black Widow is in your starting space. Once complete, choose an opponent. They discard 2 cards and you acquire a new mission. Forcing your opponent to discard is always valuable. Stay aware of your board presence so when this mission arrives you are ready to execute. 

The Madripoor Sanction – Mission: Black Widow is in an opponent’s starting space. Once complete, deal 2 damage to each of that opponent’s fighters and acquire a new mission. This effect is Insanely deadly against heroes with multiple sidekicks. (e.g. Medusa, Robin Hood, Elektra) Like with the previously mentioned mission, stay aware of your board presence so you can execute this mission when it is available.

Tip #2: Espionage

Black Widow Espionage

While gathering missions your opponent has the opportunity to see some of your deck, giving them a better idea of what might be in your hand. You shouldn’t be troubled by this, as you can still use this to deceive your opponent. They may have seen the mission card you had to search for, but if you drew another mission that they are unaware of during a regular card draw, then you can use the information they know against them. Work to complete the mission they know nothing about while they focus all of their efforts to stop you from completing the other. 

Additionally, Black Widow has other card effects that will assist you in deceiving your opponent:

Caught in a Web is a Black Widow only versatile card with a value of 3. During combat, this card cancels all after combat effects on your opponent’s card. Lets say your opponent saw two of your Feint cards in your deck after you already used one of them. They think they’re safe, but with this card they are not. The effect is not quite as good as a Feint, but when used strategically it can have a huge impact.

Fake Out is an attack both fighters can use with a value of 1. If you lose the combat, then you draw 1 card and gain an action. This card is excellent for disrupting your opponent’s defensive plans. We recommend using it on your second turn even if you start the turn in your opponent’s zone since they are more likely to save their stronger defense cards for the second attack. 

Widow’s Kiss is a Black Widow only versatile card with a value of 3. This immediately forces your opponent to stay in their space for the rest of the turn. Offensively this is great to keep fighters from running during your first action, and defensively this can set up for a double attack turn.

Black Widow’s other card effects force your opponent to discard and allow you to move yourself and your opponent after combat, which you can use to set up mission completion.

Tip #3: Report to the Director

Black Widow Director

To successfully deceive your opponent and keep them guessing your next move, Maria Hill is invaluable. It is imperative that you keep her alive for as long as possible as she is one of the most important sidekicks in the game for their hero.

Acting Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a Maria Hill only card and arguably the most important card in this deck. As a versatile card with a value of 4, it can be good on attack or defense; however, the effect is what makes this card so amazing. Not only do you get to move each of your fighters up to 3 spaces after combat, even through opposing fighters, but you also get to shuffle 1 scheme from your discard pile into your deck. With three of these cards in your deck, it gives you the opportunity to reuse any three of your missions, or a single one up to three times. This card alone grants Black Widow insane versatility, as you can choose the mission card that is most valuable per matchup. 

Since the card value is so high and the effect is so important, you should always use it to defend. In the event where you are forced to use this early in the game, just make sure there is at least one mission card in your discard pile to reuse. There are also two other cards great for keeping her alive.

Double Identity is a defense card that either of your fighters can use. It has a value of 2 but it gives you the option to swap spaces with your other fighter, making them the defender. With such a low defense value you will be taking some damage, but it allows you to save the life of either fighter in case of an emergency, and more often than not you will want to use this card to keep Maria Hill out of danger.

Life Model Decoy is invaluable for keeping Maria Hill alive and active. This is a Maria Hill only defense card with a value of 0, but this is a good thing. After combat, if Maria Hill was defeated, you get to place her adjacent to Black Widow and set her health to 3. You should always avoid putting Maria in a dangerous position unless this card is in your hand.

When Maria Hill is at full health and being attacked, you want to either use Double Identity or Acting Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. to defend, depending on how many missions are in your discard pile. Once she has taken a few points of damage, keep her out of danger until Life Model Decoy is available to you. You want to make sure you only use Life Model Decoy when her health is low enough to ensure that she is defeated, especially since you only have two of these cards in your deck.

Final Thoughts

Black Widow’s missions act as side objectives during the game which makes gameplay that much more engaging and fun. The low health values of her and Maria Hill make every engagement feel dynamic and keeps the potential damage she can deal balanced. We recommend Black Widow for players who already have some familiarity with the general rules of Unmatched. Her mechanics are a bit more complicated than many of the other heroes but are incredibly effective and powerful when used optimally.

Unmatched Marvel: For King and Country

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