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Disney Villainous Strategy Guide for Maleficent

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Maleficent Strategy Guide

Maleficent is one of the best Disney villains. Besides the fact that she looks cool, she has a fun backstory too. All she wanted was to be invited to a party and when she wasn’t, she went ballistic. I mean who hasn’t felt left out before? Okay sure, maybe cursing a child was a step too far, but hey. Oh, and she can turn into a dragon so she gets some bonus points there.

In this strategy guide, I will break down this iconic character and show you how to win as Maleficent.

Maleficent Strategy Guide


Let’s start with a quick rundown of Maleficent’s objective and how to reach her goal.

Objective

To win as Maleficent you must start your turn with a curse at each location in her realm.

What are Curse Cards?

Maleficent is the only villain in the Disney Villainous core set who has her own card type. She has three types of curse cards in her deck which grant additional effects to the locations in her realm. Curses have powerful abilities, but they do come with a downside so you will want to be careful when and where you play them.

These are the three curse cards in Maleficent’s deck you will need to focus on finding in order to win the game:

  • Dreamless Sleep
  • Forest of Thorns
  • Green Fire

So now that you know which cards you should be looking for, let’s break down Maleficent’s deck and see what we can learn.

Maleficent’s Cards


Note: Cards with a * next to them are the most important to winning as Maleficent.

Ally Cards


Maleficent's Ally Cards

Cackling Goon

Copies: 3 | Cost: 1 | Strength: 1

Cackling Goon is an interesting card. He isn’t very strong initially with only one strength, but his ability gives him an additional one strength for each hero at his location, so he can potentially be quite powerful.

Raven *

Copies: 1 | Cost: 3 | Strength: 1

Raven may not be your strongest ally, but he may be your most useful one. Raven’s ability allows you to move him to a new location at the start of your turn and use one of the available actions, except fate, at that location.

Savage Goon

Copies: 3 | Cost: 3 | Strength: 4

Savage Goon has no additional abilities, but he has a strength of four so he will be useful when dealing with heroes.

Sinister Goon

Copies: 3 | Cost: 2 | Strength: 3

Sinister Goon is a great all-around ally. He has an initial strength of three, but his ability grants him one additional strength if there are any curses at his location.

Condition Cards


Maleficent's Condition Cards

Note: I am a firm believer that condition cards are a waste of your time, especially at the beginning of the game. So I recommend getting rid of these cards if you draw them. There are some exceptions, but my general rule is this, don’t keep a condition card for more than a turn or two max.

Malice

Copies: 2

Malice can only be played if your opponent defeated a hero with a strength of four or more. When played, it allows you to defeat a hero with a strength of four or less. This isn’t quite an even trade and it’s rare for a hero with that much strength to be defeated. So unless you know your opponent is about to vanquish a strong hero then you may want to discard this one.

Tyranny

Copies: 2

Tyranny can only be played if another player has three or more allies in their realm. When played, it allows you to draw three cards from your deck then discard any three cards. Unless your opponent already has two, or ideally three, allies in their realm then discard this one.

Curse Cards


Maleficent's Curse Cards

Dreamless Sleep *

Copies: 2 | Cost: 3

Dreamless Sleep makes it so all heroes at this card’s location lose two strength. The downside is that this curse is discarded if you play an ally to this card’s location. The trick here is to play this card where you already have allies ready to fight off heroes.

Forest of Thorns *

Copies: 3 | Cost: 2

This is my favorite curse card. Forest of Thorns makes it so that no hero can be played to its location unless they have a strength of four or more. The downside is if your opponent can play a strong enough hero to this location then the curse is discarded.

There are three copies of this curse in Maleficent’s deck so if you are able to find and play all three then it will make it extremely difficult for heroes to be played in your realm.

Green Fire *

Copies: 3 | Cost: 3

Green Fire has a similar effect as Forest of Thorns. Green Fire forbids any heroes from being played to its location. The downside is that if Maleficent moves to this curses’ location then it is discarded.

There are three copies of this card in Maleficent’s deck so you will probably see this come up a lot. I prefer Forest of Thorns to this card because this card will limit the number of locations where you can move to. So I would try and play this curse last.

Effect Cards


Maleficent's Effect Cards

Dragon Form

Copies: 3 | Cost: 3

Dragon Form, besides an awesome name, lets you defeat a hero with a strength of three or less. There are three copies and it has a heavy cost of three power, but it has a second effect. If you are fated by your next turn you receive three power, making this card free.

Vanish *

Copies: 3 | Cost: 0

Vanish is a great rule-breaking card. It allows you to stay at your current location instead of moving on your next turn. Oh, and it costs nothing to play and there are three copies!

Item Cards


Maleficent's Item Cards

Spinning Wheel *

Copies: 1 | Cost: 1 

When a hero is defeated at the Spinning Wheel’s location, you gain power equal to that hero’s strength minus one. Spinning Wheel can be an excellent way for you to gain a lot of power.

Staff *

Copies: 1 | Cost: 1

Staff reduces the cost to play curses and effects when Maleficent is at its location. Be sure to be at the same location as the Staff whenever you play your curses so you can save power.

Maleficent’s Card Stats

So now that you know Maleficent’s cards, let’s see which type is most important to her.

Disney Villainous Maleficent Card Types

As you can see from the chart Maleficent mostly uses ally and curse cards. These two card types alone make up 60% of Maleficent’s deck. This goes to show just how important these two card types are. It’s worth noting that she actually has more ally cards than any other card type.

We can dive deeper into Maleficent’s deck and see how her cards are used. This will give us greater insight into which strategies will be the most effective.

Maleficent’s Abilities Stats

Disney Villainous Maleficent's Abilities

Draw Cards & Gain Power / Reduce Cost of Power

As you can see there aren’t many cards that will allow Maleficent to gain power or draw more cards. Coming in at roughly 7% per ability these cards are rather rare, so you are going to want to focus on moving to locations in her realm that have these actions.

Basic Allies 

Maleficent’s deck is full of ally cards, but 10% of her deck is the Savage Goon card which has no additional ability.

Defeat Heroes & Allies with Buffs

Maleficent will have to deal with a lot of heroes on her quest for revenge. It’s a good thing that about 50% of her deck are ally cards and effects like Dragon Form that will help you dispose of heroes quickly.

Curses that Block / Weaken Heroes

Maleficent’s deck contains plenty of curse cards and they all either prevent heroes from being played or weaken them. A little over 20% of her deck is curse cards so you will likely come across these often. This is good news for you since you need these cards to win the game.

As you can see Maleficent is all about playing allies, defeating heroes, and playing curses. Now that we know which cards and abilities Maleficent has, let’s dive into her realm and see which actions she has at her disposal.

Maleficent’s Player Board


Maleficent's Player Board

Maleficent’s player board has no locked locations in her realm so she is free to move wherever. Let’s take a look and see which locations are most useful.

Forbidden Mountains

The four actions at the Forbidden Mountains include:

  • Move an Item or Ally
  • Play a Card
  • Gain 1 Power
  • Fate

Both move an item or ally and play a card actions are in the top position so these are the ones that are at risk of being covered by a hero card.

This location doesn’t have much going for it. You can use the move an item action to move your Spinning Wheel and Staff items to where you need them, but other than that this location is a bit of a bust. I would recommend playing Green Fire here.

Briar Rose’s Cottage

The four actions at Briar Rose’s Cottage include:

  • Gain 2 Power
  • Move an Item or Ally
  • Play a Card
  • Discard

Both gain power and move an item or ally actions are in the top position so these are the ones that are at risk of being covered by a hero card.

This location is similar to Forbidden Mountains. It does give you additional power and there is a discard action here which will help you find curses faster.

The Forest

The four actions at The Forest include:

  • Discard
  • Play a Card
  • Gain 3 Power
  • Play a Card

Both discard and play a card actions are in the top position so these are the ones that are at risk of being covered by a hero card.

This location is great for gaining power which you are going to need to play all your ally and curse cards. Between the two play a card actions and the discard action, The Forest makes for an excellent location to help burn through your deck to find the cards you need.

King Stefan’s Castle

The four actions at King Stefan’s Castle are:

  • Gain 1 Power
  • Fate
  • Vanquish
  • Play a Card

Both gain power and fate actions are in the top position so these are the ones that are at risk of being covered by a hero card.

You will be spending a lot of time here since this is the only location that has the vanquish action. Other than that you can always use the fate action to help slow your opponents down.

How to Win as Maleficent


So now that you how to play as Maleficent and how her mechanics work, let’s take a look at these tips to win as Maleficent in Disney Villainous.

Play Allies and Defeat Heroes Quickly

Maleficent’s goal is one of the simpler goals in Disney Villainous. All she has to do is play a curse to each location in her realm. Sounds easy right? Well not really.

Your opponents will very easily be able to see how far along you are in your goal. It’s as easy as counting to four. So the moment you play a curse, even if it’s your first one played halfway into the game, in their mind your 25% done. You are now a threat that must be taken care of.

So make sure that you are playing plenty of allies to your locations before playing your curses. This will allow you to handle any heroes that will come your way. Leading me into my next tip…

Be Sneaky and Play Multiple Curses

Since you are likely to be fated quite a bit when you play a curse card, you are going to want to play more than one curse card on your turn. As Maleficent you are going to want to give off the impression that you are having a hard time finding any curse cards. All the while you are playing allies and gathering curses.

Maleficent can technically play up to three curse cards in a single turn. She can do this by moving to The Forest, which has two play a card actions, and have Raven move to any other location that allows you to play a card. This will allow you to take your opponent’s by surprise and take a huge lead. Just remember that your opponents will likely panic and start fating you, so be sure to have your allies ready for battle.

Green Fire and Raven Combo

Green Fire forbids heroes from being played to its location. The only problem is that if Maleficent moves to its location then it is discarded. The trick is to play Raven and use it to move to the Green Fire location. This way Raven can activate one of the abilities that Maleficent can’t get to. Green Fire will also keep Raven safe from heroes like Prince Phillip who has the ability to discard all heroes from his location.

Dragon Form or Malice + Dreamless Sleep

Dragon Form is great for taking down heroes with low strength, but if a stronger hero gets played then your out of luck, right? Wrong. If you can play Dreamless Sleep to the hero’s location then it will reduce that hero’s strength by two. Essentially giving Dragon Form the ability to take down heroes with a strength of five.

You can also do this combo with Malice instead of Dragon Form, but since Malice is a condition card it is much harder to pull off.

How to Beat Maleficent


Maleficent has one of the simpler goals in Disney Villainous. All she has to do is play a curse card at each location in her realm. This can make it tough to beat her if you aren’t careful. Here are a few tips to stop Maleficent from winning.

Fate Maleficent Early

Maleficent focuses on playing ally cards and curse cards. A lot of her curse cards prevent you from playing heroes to their locations. So if you can get heroes out early then you will be able to bypass their effects.

Where Should You Play Heroes?

If it is still the beginning of the game and no heroes have been played on Maleficent’s board then you should play a hero to the Briar Rose’s Cottage.

This will cover up both the gain power and move an item or ally actions. Maleficent needs a lot of power to play her curses so taking away one of her main sources of power will really hurt her.

The Forest is another location I would play heroes to since it will cover up the discard and play a card actions. Blocking these two actions will keep Maleficent from burning through her deck to get her curse cards.

Maleficent’s Fate Cards


Maleficent's Fate Cards

Note: Cards with a * next to them are the most important to stop Maleficent.

Aurora *

Copies: 1 | Strength: 4

Aurora is an excellent hero. When played she allows you to reveal the top card of Maleficent’s fate deck and if it’s a hero then you can play it. If not then it’s returned to the top of the deck. No harm no foul. With a strength of four and an ability to play two heroes in a single fate action, she will be extremely helpful.

Fauna *

Copies: 1 | Strength: 2

Fauna allows you to discard Dreamless Sleep from her location when played. She has a low strength of two and her ability is a bit circumstantial so she isn’t a high ranking fate card for me.

Flora

Copies: 1 | Strength: 3

Flora is a great card to keep tabs on Maleficent. Until Flora is defeated Maleficent must play with her hand revealed. So if she is trying to be sneaky and collect multiple curses to play at once you will know. She also has a decent strength of three.

Guards

Copies: 3 | Strength: 3

Guards are a great way to help reduce Maleficent’s allies. In order to perform a vanquish action to defeat Guards at least two allies must be used. Which is good since his strength is only three.

King Hubert

Copies: 1 | Strength: 3

King Hubert allows you to move one ally from each location to his location. He will be useful if Maleficent is hiding her allies, like Raven, behind Green Fire. You may be able to pull them out of Green Fire and play Prince Phillip to discard them.

King Stefan *

Copies: 1 | Strength: 4

When played, King Stefan allows you to move Maleficent to any location. This is great news for you if she has Green Fire in play. If Maleficent moves to this curse’s location then it is discarded. This will set Maleficent back quite a bit. He also has a strength of four making him a bit harder to defeat.

Merryweather *

Copies: 1 | Strength: 4

Merryweather has one heck of an ability. Curses cannot be played to her location so Maleficent will be forced to defeat her in order to win the game. Play Sword of Truth to her and it will bring her strength to six making her tough to beat.

Once Upon a Dream *

Copies: 2

This will allow you to discard a curse from a location that has a hero. This will set Maleficent back a bit.

Prince Phillip *

Copies: 1 | Strength: 5

Prince Phillip allows you to discard all allies from his location when played. So he can potentially clean house under the right circumstances.

Sword of Truth *

Copies: 3

Sword of Truth must be attached to a hero with no other attached items. That hero gets an additional two strength and the cost to play a curse to this location is increased by two power.

Conclusion – Villainous Strategy for Maleficent


Although Maleficent’s goal may seem easy to accomplish on its surface if you aren’t careful you will find yourself swarmed by heroes. Here is my strategy to win as Maleficent in a nutshell:

Play Allies Quickly

You will want to play as many allies as possible before playing your curses. The second you play a curse you are likely to be fated so you need to be prepared.

Use Raven

Try and find Raven and use his ability to gain an extra action at the start of your turn. Combo Raven with Green Fire for maximum effect.

Play Multiple Curses at Once

As I mentioned earlier, you are likely to be fated once you play a curse card so you might as well play as many curses as you can on a single turn to get a better lead.

I hope you enjoyed Maleficent’s strategy guide. If you did check out our guides for Captain Hook, JafarPrince JohnQueen of Hearts, and Ursula.

Or if you would like to know my thoughts on the game as a whole check out our Disney Villainous Review.

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