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Monster Box of Monsters Expansion Review

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All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game at two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


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Want more Hogwarts Battle in your life, this Monster Box of Monsters will definitely give you that!  Be warned though this expansion might be just as hard to tame as the textbooks in the movie if you don’t have some tricks up your sleeves or a magic wand!

Monster Box of Monsters Review

7 out of 10
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters A Pair of Meeples Review Block

Is it Good For Two Players? : Yes, any more players, and this expansion can be frustratingly difficult.

If the base game of Hogwarts Battle has become too easy for you and you’re looking to up the difficulty of the game while adding some new content, then the Monster Box of Monsters might be a great expansion for you. It does address some of the issues we had with the base game by adding some new elements that make it feel like a more full fledged deck builder, but the game still has many prominent flaws. Overall it does breathe some new life into the game by adding exciting new cards and content and making it fun again, even though id didn’t fix everything we wanted it to.

Theme: 7/10
Replayability: 7/10
Components: 4/10
Conflict: 0/10
Fun: 6/10

Husband’s Rating
7 out of 10
Wife’s Rating
7 out of 10

Pros

Lots of new content that breathes new life into the game

New mechanics and game elements address some of the problems with the game

Makes the game feels like a more full fledged deck builder

Adds a lot of variety and replayability to the base game

Cons

Might be too difficult for some

Still leaves some game problems and flaws unaddressed

Luck of the draw in terms of the Hogwarts Deck is made worse

Gameplay Experience:

If you have read our review of the base game, you’ll know it’s a game we love to play, but one with many, many, flaws. This expansion does help with some of them but doesn’t completely fix the game, but it sure does breathe some new life and excitement into the game.

Now before you read any further, if you haven’t played through all seven boxes of the base game, stop reading to avoid spoilers about them as we’ll probably have to cover a few things from them to review this expansion.

Okay, if you’re still here, you’re ready, or you’re a weirdo and like to spoil your own surprises.  Either way, let’s get down to it!

It wasn’t long before we got the Monster Box of Monster’s expansion because we didn’t want to let Hogwarts Battle go, even though we were starting to see it was a very mediocre game in terms of design due to its many problems. We hoped the influx of new content from the expansion would make the game exciting and new again, and it did.

The expansion is set up just like the base game with boxes you have to open as you progress through multiple games that introduce new content and rules.

Monster Box of Monsters Two Player Expansion Review

If the base game was too easy for you, let’s just say this expansion really ramps up the difficulty.  It took my wife and me a ridiculous number of tries to win the first game, which was kind of fun but made us question whether the Monster Box of Monsters would give Hogwarts Battle the staying power we wanted it to have.

Again, we don’t want to spoil too much about the contents of the expansion so we’ll be fairly broad about it.  As we progressed through the boxes, slowly due to how difficult they were, we found ourselves enjoying the game almost as much as we had when we first got it. 

The new creatures and monsters taken from the movies add a lot of variety to the game, especially given their new and unique health types (which require influence to defeat), making them feel very different from the villains in the base game.  This expansion also includes Luna Lovegood as a playable character which for many fans is a nice addition to seeing all their favorite creatures and monsters.

Monster Box of Monsters Luna

The new mechanisms this expansion adds also do help to alleviate some of the problems with the base game too, while also making them worse at the same time, which sounds impossible, but it’s true.

The banish cards are an essential addition that all good deck builders have, allowing players to finally thin their deck and make it stronger in Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle.  The expansion also introduces detention cards though too which can negate this new positive if you’re not careful, adding useless negative cards to your deck, making it weaker and weaker.  These are one of the main causes for the increased difficulty, but they definitely make each game feel a bit more strategic as players will have to avoid detentions at all costs or try to banish them if possible.

The game also includes encounter cards, instead of the Horcruxes faced in game 7 of the original.  These add much needed variety with their unique defeat goals and effects, but certain combinations of creatures, villains, and encounters can be absolutely brutal and near impossible to beat.  So while it does make the game feel more repayable it almost exacerbates the problem of the wildly varying degrees of difficulty that are almost entirely up to luck.

Overall, the Monster Box of Monsters did breathe some new life into the game by adding exciting new cards and content and making it fun again, even if it was at times frustratingly difficult. It made it feel more like a true deckbuilder though as players now have to be mindful of their deck and work hard towards thinning it by reducing detentions and banishing weaker cards.

It still left some of the major problems of the base game unsolved such as no way to consistently scale difficulty but you can look past that usually when you get to play a decent modern board game with a theme you really enjoy, even if it is just for a few more plays until the excitement of the new cards, creatures, and rules wears off, just like it did with the base game.

Monster Box of Monsters Two Player Rules Summary:

We’re not going to go over the rules in depth since this expansion doesn’t drastically change the gameplay, it just adds a few new elements.  If you want to avoid all spoilers about the new elements introduced skip this section.

Creature Cards

The new creature cards work similarly to the villains in the base game but some now require influence to defeat, which can only be assigned one at a time to the villain.  This somewhat addresses the problem of the quick defeating of villains when players are too strong, as said creatures will stay active for longer affecting the players a little bit more.

Monster Box of Monsters Creature Cards

Encounter Cards

This is to replace the Horcrux cards from the original game.  They require players to complete various tasks such as dice rolls, health losses, or specific purchases.  They up the difficulty for sure and add some new variety to the overall feel of the game, but how much more difficult they are is very luck dependent.  This is because the effect they have is often very dependent on which villains are active at the same time since they usually have a compounding effect.

Monster Box of Monsters Encounter Cards

Detention Cards

These are cards that players now sometimes obtain from creatures, encounters, or dark arts cards.  They are negative cards that bulk up a player’s deck, making it weaker with each one added.  If players aren’t careful this mechanic ramps up the difficulty significantly almost to the point of frustratingly hard.

Monster Box of Monsters Detention Cards

Banish Cards

There are some new Hogwarts cards and rewards that allow players to banish cards, which is a much needed mechanism due to the new detentions and increased difficulty.  Due to the huge deck of cards though, players may struggle to get the cards they so desperately need, so that can sometimes be an issue.

All of these things work together to make the game significantly harder compared to the original game.  Many players may struggle to beat the first box of the game, if I recall it took us 6 tries and that was with two players, which is much easier than a four player game.

Conclusion:

If the base game of Hogwarts Battle has become too easy for you and you’re looking to up the difficulty of the game while adding some new content, then the Monster Box of Monsters might be a great expansion for you. 

But… be warned, it significantly ups the difficulty!  It took my wife six tries to make it through the first box, and that’s playing with only two players which is much easier than with more.  Fortunately, the last 3 boxes are a little more reasonable than the first but even they are still a drastic step up from the base game.

It does address some of the issues we had with the base game by adding some new elements that make it feel like a more full fledged deck builder, but the game still has many prominent flaws.  The difficulty is still so wildly varied that you never know what type of game you’re going to get, which is not a great attribute for a game that takes this long to play.  This expansion also makes the game longer making these unpredictable games more frustrating.

For those who are like us though and are big fans of the theme though we do our best to try and look past these flaws, and make the game work as well as we can.  The new official rule modification and some of the house rules that we have started using make the problems a little more bearable.  You can see how to make the game better in our post here: How To Make Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Better: House Rules and Legacy Campaign

So if you’re up for the challenge, and itching for some of your favorite creatures from the movies to battle, and want to replenish the replayability of your base game while being open to ignoring some design flaws, then Monster Box of Monsters might be a worthy addition for your collection.

Is Monster Box of Monsters Good For 2 Players?

Honestly, with the increase of difficulty this expansion provides, we don’t think you would want to play this game with more than two players, it’s hard enough at this low player count!  We can’t emphasize enough that it’s so difficult that beating box one with 3 or 4 players will be near impossible.  

So if you plan to play through the boxes in their legacy campaign style like intended then two players is the way to go.  If you’re just in it for the new cards and content, then by all means play at whichever player count you prefer, but just know playing with more will be much much more difficult!

Pros:

  • Lots of new content that breathes new life into the game, from Luna as a playable character to all the familiar creatures, there’s lots for fans of the theme to enjoy.
  • New mechanics and game elements address some of the problems with the game.
  • Makes the game feels like a more full fledged deck builder and a step in the right direction in terms of improvements
  • Adds a lot of variety and replayability to the base game with all the options at the player’s disposal after making their way through the boxes.

Cons:

  • Might be more difficult than a lot of fans of the base game are willing to put up with
  • Still leaves some game problems and flaws unaddressed such as game length and the extremely unpredictable difficulty levels from game to game.
  • Luck of the draw in terms of the Hogwarts Deck is made worse due to the addition of more cards making it so that occasionally cards players need never become available.

Hogwarts Battle - The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion Card Game
Hogwarts Battle - The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion Card Game
Hogwarts Battle - The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion Card Game

We hope this Monster Box of Monsters two player review has helped you.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site's costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Expansion Card Quality Differences

We are unsure about newer printings of the game and expansions, but the cards from Monster Box of Monsters and The Charms and Potions expansions are slightly different in terms of color and size than the ones included in the base game. These variations aren’t just limited to the Hogwarts cards, the villains, dark and other cards also have the same issues.

This shouldn’t be a big deal for most, but we wanted to give a fair warning to those who may have issues with this. We don’t pay attention enough to notice the colors, but the difference in sizes does make shuffling a bit annoying. Our solution is to just table shuffle which we would strongly recommend to ensure the cards get nice and mixed up.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Expansion Card Quality Differences

If these card quality differences are something you can’t live with but still really want the expansions you can purchase a couple sets of these official Hogwarts Battle sleeves that make sure every card is the same and protected.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Card Sleeves | 160 Card Protector Sleeves for Hogwarts Cards from Harry Potter Deckbuilding Games | Cardsleeve Back Artwork Featuring Hogwarts Crest
  • Hogwarts Battle Card Sleeves provide see-through sturdy protection for the Hogwarts Cards in games 1-7, including all starting decks
  • Card Sleeves will fit standard card sizes
  • This pack does not fit the Dark Arts, encounter, Villains or Location Cards
  • Two (2) packs provide enough sleeves for base game and both expansions
  • This pack will sleeve only the Hogwarts Cards from the Hogwarts Battle Deck Building Series
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Square and Large Card Sleeves | 80mm x 80mm and 80mm x 105mm Card Protector Sleeves for Harry Potter Deckbuilding Games | Cardsleeve Back Artwork Featuring Hogwarts Crest
  • Protego cards! Maximize the longevity of your Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle cards with collectible card sleeves designed to guard the corners and surfaces of cards.
  • Officially licensed and designed premium quality soft card sleeves to protect your Hogwarts Battle cards from dust, scratches, and spills, plus is easy to store for safekeeping - one side is transparent, opposite side features Hogwarts crest.
  • Square sleeves for Dark Arts, Horcrux, Encounter cards; Large sleeves for Hero, Turn Order, Location, Patronus, Villain, and Proficiency cards.
  • One (1) pack provides enough sleeves for base game; Two (2) packs provide enough sleeves for base game and both expansions.
  • Each pack includes 135 card sleeves - 65 sleeves of 80mm x 80mm size and 70 sleeves of 80mm x 105mm sleeves.

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