"Everybody's got a weakness."
Hades is one of three playable Villains in the Villainous expansion, Wicked to the Core. He is from the movie Hercules, released in 1997, in which he is voiced by James Woods. He is illustrated in the game by Jason Kang.
He has a unique card type, Titan. Titans have a Strength like Allies and can be used to defeat Heroes. They are his win condition, as he needs to move at least three of them to Mount Olympus. They can be trapped, which means they are turned sideways 90°, and cannot be moved, cannot participate in Vanquish actions, and do not count towards Hades' objective, until they are untrapped.
Hades must play Titans and move them so he has at least three untrapped Titans at Mount Olympus. He can only win at the start of his turn.
Hades' Realm contains the following locations, from left to right:
- The Underworld
- The Gardens
- Discard Cards | Play a Card
- Gain 3 Power | Play a Card
- Mount Olympus
- Fate | Move an Item or Ally
- Play a Card | Gain 1 Power
The following cards are in Hades' Villain deck:
- Get Ready to Rumble! (×3)
- Mortality Potion (×3)
- Planets Align (×3)
- Achilles' Heel (×2)
- Eye of the Fates (×2)
- I Rule! (×2)
- Rage (×2)
- Ruthless (×2)
These include 5 Allies (Cerberus; Hydra; Nessus; Pain; Panic), 4 total Conditions (Rage; Ruthless), 12 total Effects (Get Ready to Rumble!; Planets Align; Achilles' Heel; Eye of the Fates; I Rule!), 4 total Items (Mortality Potion; Chariot), and 5 Titans (Arges; Hydros; Lythos; Pyros; Stratos).
The following cards are in Hades' Fate deck:
- Go the Distance (×2)
- Lightning Bolt (×2)
- Medallion (×2)
- The Gospel Truth (×2)
These include 6 total Effects (Go the Distance; Lightning Bolt; The Gospel Truth), 7 Heroes (Hera; Hercules; Hermes; Megara; Pegasus; Phil; Zeus), and 2 total Items (Medallion).
Hades is a challenging Villain to play. His goal is straightforward - get three Titans to Mount Olympus - but reaching (and maintaining) that win condition takes some time, and is easily set back by his Fate deck.
Your first priority should be finding and playing your Titans. There are five in your deck, each with a different Ability. The order in which you play them doesn't matter too much, but it's nice to get Arges out quickly to get the extra Power. Use Discard Cards aggressively to reach them. Eye of the Fates is a bit of a gamble; if the next card in your deck is an Ally or Titan, you've essentially just wasted 2 Power when you could have just discarded the Effect, but if you reveal two or more cards, you'll be getting your money's worth. The only cards you should hang onto when hunting for Titans are Chariot and Panic (which should be played immediately), and your Mortality Potions.
Once you have Titans on the board, you want to be moving them at every opportunity. Using just the Move an Item or Ally action, you will need to spend at least 9 turns just moving Titans (not taking into account a Hero blocking Mount Olympus or waiting to find your next Titan), so you don't want to waste any time. This process can be sped up by the Chariot, probably the best card in your deck; play it as soon as you draw it, and use it often - a good tactic could be to hop between The Underworld and Mount Olympus to double up on Move an Item or Ally actions. Your other moving tool is Get Ready to Rumble! - once you've found and played at least three Titans, you'll want to stop discarding these and start playing them, preferably for 5 Power to get the most out of them. In fact, if you can manage to save up enough Power, playing two copies of Get Ready to Rumble! (three with the Chariot) to sneak multiple Titans into Mount Olympus can catch your opponents by surprise!
Mortality Potion is one of your best tools, as it allows you to use your Titans in battle without losing them. This ability to keep "Allies" on the board is Hades' biggest strength, so make use of it, particularly against threats like Hercules and Zeus.
One key to winning as Hades is keeping Mount Olympus clear. Before you get a Titan in there, you'll want to be playing your Allies there, so you can regularly Vanquish anyone squatting there while you move a Titan at The Underworld. Ruthless can help you save Power in dropping both Allies and Titans, as long as you can get it to trigger (when playing against Prince John, Ratigan, or Syndrome for instance), but don't hold onto it if opponents aren't hoarding Power. Rage is relatively easy to trigger, and while it's most useful for getting Zeus out of Mount Olympus or Hercules out of The Underworld, it can also be used as an alternate way to keep your upper Fate and Move actions open, but if your opponent isn't going to be defeating anytime soon, discard it.
As mentioned previously, Hades' win condition is very vulnerable - there are six cards in his Fate deck that immediately either trap or move back Titans. However, only two of those (the Lightning Bolts) affect more than one Titan, so getting four Titans into Mount Olympus makes you a lot harder to stop. Hades also should be aggressively Fating, both to buy himself time, and also to cover up opponents' top-row Fate actions. Since Hades wants to visit Mount Olympus often to move Titans anyway, this should not be much of an issue.
When playing against Hades, it can be easy to think he's not a threat, and that you can just reactively Fate him when he's getting close, but there's no reason to be nice to him. If he gets out the Chariot, the game gets a lot easier for him, so find The Gospel Truth and discard it as soon as possible. Getting out Zeus and Hercules to optimal spots (usually Mount Olympus and The Underworld, respectively) can be very helpful, particularly early on. In general, though, Hades' deck is fairly reactive, so take the pick that will set back the Lord of the Dead the most.