By Hodey Johns
Disney's Villainous can be a lot of fun, but beginner players may find themselves struggling depending on what character they choose.
Disney's Villainous has come a long way since its inception in 2016. In those years, numerous expansions have been added to the base game, introducing new villains for players to experiment with. While this growth is a great thing to see for fans of the game, it can make getting into it a little daunting for newcomers. With so many villains to choose from, players might have a hard time with their first few games.
Each of the villains in Disney's Villainous has their own unique objective, and though everyone follows the same rules more or less, there are a lot of different factors to consider when playing a specific villain. For this reason, some are a lot easier for new players to pick up and do well with than others, and beginners would do well to stick with those villains at least for the first few games. Ultimately players should try all the villains, practice with the ones they enjoy the most, and select one based on their favorite style. That being said, some villains just happen to consistently win when played correctly.
Updated on October 18th, 2022 by Hodey Johns: It was originally stated that "this tier list ranks the characters based on how easy they are to pick up for beginners, not how well they perform against other villains" within this article. That's not what the title says and players were justifiably confused when they tried to figure out why each character was ranked where it was. This list has been modified to have the most powerful villains at the top of the list and the worst ones at the bottom based on their potential in an expert's hands. Additionally, there have been several expansions released since this article debuted, so those villains have made their way onto this list after playing each one for a bit. There is an active, healthy, and documented competitive scene for this tabletop, those stats and results have influenced this guide.
- Queen of Hearts
- Evil Queen
- Dr. Facilier
- Madam Mim
The Queen of Hearts has been stellar from the beginning, vanquishing heroes with simple activate actions. She is constantly in the top tier regardless of the matchup.
She will need to manage her power correctly, but, when done correctly, the Evil Queen gives experts a great deal of control over outcomes.
Maleficent's goal requires her to play a curse to each location in her realm, another straightforward objective that new players should be able to handle with ease for the most part.
Dr. Facilier players will need to understand the Fortune pile and know how to get the most out of it, but when they do understand it, they'll see why he sits on top of the win percentage charts at the moment.
Tabletop gaming can get expensive with all of the expansions, but the addition of Madam Mim is worth the investment. She's a counter to some of the game's most difficult matchups.
- Captain Hook
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Captain Hook must vanquish Peter Pan at the Jolly Roger, but there are tricks to finding and moving him around that make this something of an inevitability, even in a longer tabletop affair.
Ratigan's objective has the potential to change midway through the game, which can easily throw a new player off balance but the pro players can influence this when they need a second win condition.
Yzma players deal with four separate fate decks compared to everyone else's single deck. This gives her player choice that veterans can leverage to their advantage.
It's complicated to win with Syndrome, who admittedly has some direct counters to his objectives. But against most villains, he's a threat to win without much they can do
- Prince John
Prince John simply must accumulate 20 power in order to win, and it doesn't get much simpler than that. Players could technically achieve this goal without playing any cards, making him a great choice for casual players that want to jump right in without worrying too much about optimal strategies and learning all the rules.
Jafar's objective is multifaceted, as he must find the unlock the Cave of Wonders, find the Magic Lamp, Hypnotize the Genie, and then move the Magic Lamp to the Sultan's palace. This is a lot to keep track of, but they are consistently doable.
Pete also has four random objectives that all tend to be simple. This means that players will need to get some luck with Pete to win consistently as drawing a more complex objective can end the game. Conversely, if he pulls four easy ones, he's got the game won before it starts.
Gaston feels like a mix of an awesome sci-fi tabletop game and solitaire because of how in his own world he is.He has to remove his eight obstacles. So long as other players don't interfere too often, he's not too bad.
- Horned King
- Lady Tremaine
Ursula is particularly challenging due to the way she uses contracts to vanquish foes. Those who like to vanquish heroes usually prefer to play the Queen of Hearts due to the ease of the process.
Hades must get three titans to Mount Olympus. Though this sounds simple, the task itself is difficult as Hades' own fate deck is stacked heavily against him.
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Getting a cauldron to each location is what the Horned King needs to do to win, but that's hardly a given. He summons Ancient Soldiers to help, and he's fun to play, but the speed it takes for him to win is usually a few turns behind the rest.
The evil stepmother with that iconic Disney dress makes Lady Tremaine a flavor player. Her cards are straightforward and easy to interpret but she could use a little more power behind each one.
- Cruella de Vil
- Mother Gothel
Cruella De Vil may test a player's ability to understand moving allies around, ultimately relying on activating cards in a similar way to the Queen of Hearts. Because she has to do this more times than the Queen of Hearts, they are on opposite endss of the tier list.
Scar introduces a new features called the succession pile, but it's easy to understand. Players just need to vanquish Mufasa and then vanquish other heroes until they win. The number of heroes is usually, to Scar's detriment, a bit higher than his offensive output.
Mother Gothel must constantly keep tabs on Rapunzel's location. Just mathematically, that's not likely over the course of an entire game.
As a nitche character who can counter characters like Gaston, Lotso is occasionally a good pick. But, more often than not, he finds himself in the losers circle. Cast in a Disney movie known for good music and scary villains, Lotso is a good fit, but his ability to knock others off of their game doesn't necessarily add up to a victory.
Disney's Villainous is available now.