A mastermind card is chosen, naming the specific big baddie to be fought. The villain deck is then created, including the mastermind's minions as well as other evil opponents like Hydra, Hand ninjas, or Spider-Man's rogues. A scheme card is then drawn, detailing the mastermind's plan, as well as acting as a timer of sorts. When scheme cards are drawn from the villain deck, bad things happen to the players. As the game progresses, the bad guys show up, rampaging through the city. Players use the cards they drafted from the Hero deck to keep the city streets clean, gathering strength over time in order to defeat the mastermind four times, ending the game in a victory. If the mastermind's final scheme card resolves first, however, evil wins!
While players are encouraged to specialize in perhaps two or three hero's power cards, as long as you can afford it, you can purchase any card on your turn. You can have Cyclops, Black Widow, Wolverine, Deadpool, and Nick Fury in your deck if you want. But it might make your deck less optimal to do so. If you limit your choices to a few heroes, your odds of unleashing combos become far higher. Often, these little synergies between cards will make the difference between taking down the mastermind, or having to content yourself with blowing up a lowly Doombot.
If it seems complicated, well... it is. Legendary will be difficult to pick up for gamers who've not played a deck building game before. But the theme of noble super heroes teaming up to take down sinister bad guys makes the basic premise of the game very easy to pick up. After a few plays, even a beginner, or a young player, will understand the best strategies and be able to make a valuable contribution. Since it's a cooperative game, it's far more accessible to new players, who won't get discouraged if they are "out played" by veterans, which can be a problem in competitive deck building games.
Legendary is a fantastic game, easily one of the best deck building games available. Marvel's super heroes are as popular now as they've ever been, and the game implements the special powers and abilities of fifteen different heroes effectively. Turns go by quickly, and a game can be completed in an hour or less, making it a great choice when time is short. Best of all, the cooperative nature of the game promotes interaction and planning with other players, a shortcoming of other deck building games. Legendary is an excellent game, possibly the best I've played this year, and it's certainly worth a look for fans of either comic heroes or deck building games like Dominion.