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Munchkin Review: Munchkin 5 De-Ranged

Brief Synopsis

Do you feel that your Munchkins aren't powerful enough? Maybe you want another class, one that not only gets pretty awesome specific-Treasure, but also an ability that helps them evade any monster so long as he/she has a few cards in their hand, and allows them to pick up new Steeds for the same cost as running away!

I've already complained from Munchkin 4 that the Munchkin side was getting way powerful, and this expansion to the main Munchkin game just exaggerates that point.

The box art for Munchkin 5: De-Ranged

The box art for Munchkin 5: De-Ranged

The Central Piece: The Ranger

The fourth expansion of Munchkin adds the new class Ranger, which is arguably overpowered. It’s main ability is to give up cards to a monster’s treasure reward in order to tame that monster and make it their new Steed, using the treasure reward number as the combat bonus. As long as you have five cards, you can skip out of any combat ever without having to try to Run Away, and also gain a new combat bonus. Other than the new class, there isn’t much new here. A smattering of new steeds and hirelings, but not much else.

It's more of house rules on the exceptions to that rule, because what if you load up a Monster with Monster Enhancers to its Treasure reward is 7? Could you discard 7 cards (in certain situations) and make that a +7 bonus? Not to mention, if you choose to fight it back as a Monster instead of a Steed, does it become its regular self again with its normal set of rewards, or does it just double its bonus/Treasure as its level and give 1 Level and 1 Treasure? It's a needlessly complicated card with abilities set to let it get out of any situation, no matter opponents' cards.

Monsters and Curses

The new Level 20 monster is Anubis. He’s pretty standard, not chasing anyone of Level 4 or lower (except Clerics which gives Anubis a +3). If you don’t enforce the rules where any Undead monster can be played on any other Undead monster, Anubis itself can be reinforced by any Undead monsters in anyone’s hand. The Level 18 Hand of Fate is also a unique monster; when it’s killed, the munchkin gets one extra hand for the rest of the game even after death. However, there is a powerful card called Two-Headed. It doubles a single monster’s combat bonus as well as all rewards. However, unlike Mate which creates a copy of a monster, Two-Headed only reinforces a monster card. Any effect that would remove one monster would remove the Two-Headed monster. There’s also a Curse! Arbitrary Game Balance. It makes players with the lowest level or players without any items giving a combat bonus go up a level, except for the victim of the Curse.

Treasures and Helpers

As for Treasures, it’s still more of the same, now just mixed in with a smattering of Ranger-specific gear, as well as Hireling and Steed enhancers to go off the theme of the last expansion, Need for Steed. You'll probably see more of these guy than you want to, and your extra Hirelings can't be killed for loot and its bad strategy to only receive 1 Treasure while going up 1 Level (unless you're already pretty stacked in-game).

Closing Thoughts

The expansion De-Ranged isn’t much of one. It adds a Class that’s much stronger than the rest (even the box of the expansion admits it!), making the game even a little more unbalanced than it was before. If an entirely new equipment card is inserted into the game, you'd think the new Monsters would have a new advantage, right? Well no, things are still capping at level 20 and the biggest bonus some of the Monsters (remembering this doesn't change the bulk of Monster cards before this expansion pack) receive is +2 or 3 against Steeds when they normally receive this amount already. Having a character that can make any Monster into a Steed as well is ludicrous.

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Other than this factor, this expansion doesn’t add anything to the game, it just continues watering down what already is there. Unless you’re trying to get a complete collection of the cards, I don’t see why you would want to buy De-Ranged. But then again, that's just my opinion.

Have you already played the deck?

More Munchkin

And that’s about all I have for the central deck of the fantasy themed Munchkin deck. Next time, I’ll cover Munchkin 6: Demented Dungeon, an expansion that is quite possibly my favorite among all the genre decks (specifically for the Dungeon of Gender Bending), which speaks for itself when I found the original game was very balanced. It really is a whole lotta fun! You can read my other Munchkin Deck Reviews. I've also got plenty more Munchkin Custom Card Ideas!

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