In the Disney Villainous board game, you play as one of six Disney villains. This article looks at each character and ranks them in terms of their difficulty to play and overall design.
Which villain characters are in the Disney Villainous board game?
There are 6 villains in the Villainous board game.
- Captain Hook from Peter Pan
- Jafar from Aladdin
- Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
- Prince John from Robin Hood
- Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland
- Ursula from The Little Mermaid
Each character is heavily themed.
Everything from their mini, artwork, realm board, objective, cards and playstyle. A lot of thought has gone into designing a game that makes you behave like the character you’re playing if you want to win.
6. Prince John
Prince John is the lion villain from Disney’ Robin Hood movie who is obsessed with his jewels and finery. He loves his rings and jewels and is outraged when they get stolen!
Your objective as Prince John’s in Villainous is to start your turn with at least 20 power.
Prince John’s mini is a golden-coloured crown shape. It’s shorter than all the other minis and is not as obviously personified. I like that it’s small to emphasise that he’s a young Prince playing at being a ruler and that the crown is too big for him.
For me, the other distinctive feature about Prince John is that his fur-edged robe is far too big for him. I’d like to have seen this emphasized in the model. It would have been more in keeping with the other minis.
It makes perfect sense that the colour of Prince John’s mini is gold. It matches his jewels and his lion fur.
The colour on his cards and realm board is a warm brown which was probably needed to increase the contrast between the gold text and backgrounds. The brown is ok, but it’s not a lush as the deep purples, greens and reds of the other characters.
The locations on the board are Sherwood Forest, Friar Tuck’s Church, Nottingham and The Jail. They all make sense for the game. Sherwood Forest is on the opposite side of the board to The Jail which shows that they are not necessarily close to each other in the realm.
The Jail is unique in that Prince John can choose to move heroes to it. Any hero placed there doesn’t block any actions so has no negative effect on Prince John.
All the usual suspects are in Prince John’s fate deck. Little John, Maid Marion, Friar Tuck and Robin Hood.
There’s one especially fitting card in there too – Steal from the Rich. It’s great for the theme.
How would you expect Prince John to get rich and defeat the outlaws in his way?
By taxing everyone, throwing outlaws in jail and using the Sheriff of Nottingham and your army to defeat heroes for you of course! If there’s any card that sums up Prince John, it’s Beautiful, Lovely Taxes.
What he’s like to play
When you play as Prince John you will find yourself thinking about how you can exploit and tax your subjects to get as much power as you can, as quickly as you can.
Difficulty to play – Easy
If left to your own devices as Prince John, you’ll win in no time.
There are only two hero cards that prevent you from getting power or issuing taxes – King Richard and Robin Hood. So if you concentrate on getting power and only spend power to vanquish allies when you really need to, you’ll win much faster.
I’ve written a full strategy guide for how to win as, and how to defeat, Prince John if you want to find out more.
Rank – 6
For some reason, I find Prince John’s objective boring – collect 20 power. Plus, (and I know this is completely superficial) I want to use a cooler looking mini with a board and cards in a more appealing colour.
Jafar is the evil sorcerer villain from Aladdin. In the Disney film, he is power hungry. He wants the magic lamp so he can use Genie’s power to make all of Agrabah bow down to him.
Jafar’s objective in Villainous is to start his turn with the magic lamp at Sultan’s Palace and Genie under his control.
As one of the tallest minis in the game, Jafar’s mini gives the impression he is looking down on everyone else.
The long elegant lines flowing up from the table to the top of his shoulders make his mini look sophisticated. You can imagine his figure floating stealthily around, sidling up to people and whispering in their ear.
Jafar’s game colour is black. It really suits him and really makes the gold accents on the cards and board pop. It puts you in mind of the gold on the magic lamp and the other treasures in the Cave of Wonders.
The locations on Jafar’s realm board are fitting for Jafar’s character – Sultan’s Palace, Streets of Agrabah, Oasis, Cave of Wonders. I especially like that the Cave of Wonders is locked until Jafar find the Scarab Pendant to reveal its location.
Especially that he wins by getting the magic lamp and the Genie in the Sultan’s palace. It’s perfectly matched to the film.
As you’d expect to find in Jafar’s fate deck there are characters like Genie, Jasmine and Aladin. The ability for Aladin and Abu is really in keeping with the film. Both of them can steal an item from Jafar. Of course, they’ll steal the lamp given half a chance!
Jafar’s draw deck mostly centres around using his evil sorcery to defeat his enemies and hunt for the magic lamp. He can turn into the giant snake, trap heroes in the giant hourglass and use Iago to fetch and carry things for him.
What he’s like to play
You will find yourself obsessing over the magic lamp, defeating your enemies with spells rather than allies, and you will want to control Genie and use him for your evil schemes.
Difficulty to play – Medium
To win Jafar needs two specific cards.
- The Scarab Pendant to unlock the Cave of Wonders location
- The Magic Lamp to summon Genie
So to play effectively as Jafar you need to use your abilities to discard cards and scry your deck until you’ve found the cards you want. Only then do you need to think about defeating any heroes in your way.
How easy it is for you to win is very dependent on where these cards are in your deck.
Check out my strategy guide for Jafar to find out more.
Rank – 5
Although Jafar is one of my favourite villains and I love how he is themed, he can be a bit boring to play. You need to spend turns discarding and searching for cards while everyone else is playing allies and spells. It’s just not as fun.
4. Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts is the croquet playing villain from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
As the Queen of Hearts, you win by hacing a Wicket at each location and successfully taking a shot.
The Queen of Hearts really stands out in its bright red colour.
The bustle dress shape is wonderful and the detailing on the front is great. Her heart-shaped head with her little crown finishes off the model nicely. Despite being the second smallest model, she has just as much presence on the table as the other villains.
The Queen of Hearts’ model, board and cards are red. What other colour could they be?!
The red on the board is more of a deep burgundy red and isn’t as bright as the mini, but it makes the bright red in the artwork on the board really pop.
On the Queen of Hearts’ realm board, you’ll find the Courtyard, Hedge Maze, Tulgey Wood and White Rabbit’s House.
I’d love to have seen the Mad Hatter’s House as a location. But it’s not featured much in Alice in Wonderland, and the Queen of Hearts doesn’t visit there so it makes sense that it’s not included.
The fate deck for the Queen of Hearts features characters like Alice, Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter and Caterpillar. There are a couple of effects cards in the deck too.
Mome Path is a nice one that’s keeping with the film theme. It allows an opponent to move one of the Queen of Hearts’ allies to another location.
The Makes You Larger cards cause heroes to grow in size and prevent the Queen of Hearts from taking certain actions. This is a nice reference to the grow larger biscuits Alice finds in the film.
The themeing on the Queen of Hearts’ deck is great. She has some Makes You Smaller cards which can shrink heroes like Alice. The dynamic between these and the Makes You Larger cards in the fate deck is fun.
In general, there are a lot of cards guards which can be converted into wickets for playing croquet. And of course, no Queen of Hearts deck would be complete without a few Off With Your Head! cards.
What she’s like to play
As the Queen of Hearts, you will focus on playing a marvellous game of croquet and making the winning shot. Everything else is just an annoying distraction from your fun. Off with their heads!
Difficulty to play – Medium
The Queen of Hearts doesn’t need a couple of particular cards to win the game. Instead, she needs to play a card guard at each location, change them all into wickets and then play one of the three Make the Shot cards from her deck. If she makes the shot, she wins.
Rank – 4
The idea to make croquet the focus for the Queen of Hearts makes for an interesting villain to play. I like the dual role the card guards play as allies and as wickets and the shrinking and growing of the characters is fun.
3. Captain Hook
Captain Hook is the villain from Peter Pan. In the Disney film, he’s flamboyant and is obsessed with getting his revenge on Peter Pan for feeding his hand to the crocodile Tick Tock.
Captain Hook’s objective in the Villainous is to defeat Peter Pan at the Jolly Roger.
Captain Hook’s mini emphasises his flamboyance. Check out that huge feathered hat and long flowing coat!
The lush reddish purple colour of his board and cards makes me think of crushed velvet and opulence which is the impression his character gives in the film.
The locations on his board all make perfect sense for his character – Jolly Roger, Skull Rock, Mermaid Lagoon, Hangman’s Tree. The artwork for each location is very different which makes each one feel very distinct.
I especially like that his objective to defeat Peter Pan is at the Jolly Roger.
Captain Hook’s fate deck contains the best-themed card in Villainous. The copy on Tick Tock’s card is just genius!
The rest of his fate deck has all the characters you’d want to find including Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys and of course, Peter Pan.
In Captain Hook’s draw deck you can expect to find Smee, a bunch of pirates, cannons, a cutlass or two and abilities like cunning and obsession.
What he’s like to play
At the start of the game, you’ll spend your time thinking about two things – finding Peter Pan and discovering the Never Land Map.
When you’ve found these all you can think about is getting your pirate crew to defeat him at the Jolly Roger!
Difficulty to play – Medium
You need to find two important cards to achieve your objective and one of them is in your fate deck, not your draw deck. So there is quite a lot of luck involved in how likely you are to win.
While playing as Captain Hook, it can actually be beneficial to behave like his Disney character and boast about how awesome you are and how threatening your pirate crew are. That’s because you want people to play fate cards against you. One of them might be Peter Pan!
For more on how to play his character, I’ve written a full strategy guide to Captain Hook.
Rank – 3
I really like Captain Hook’s character in Villainous. I like how the deck emphasises his need for revenge and how as his character you are absorbed with finding Peter Pan and defeating him.
Ursula is the sea witch from Disney’s The Little Mermaid who makes unfair deals with poor unfortunate souls for her own gains.
To win as Ursula, you need to start your turn with the Trident and the Crown at Ursula’s Lair.
Ursula’s mini is one of the coolest in Villainous. It is a lovely purple like Ursula in The Little Mermaid.
But the thing that really makes the mini awesome, are the tentacles along the bottom. They really capture the swirling way that Ursula moves in the film.
Given that Ursula herself is purple, it makes sense that her mini, cards and board are too. It’s a really rich colour which looks a little more blue and darker on the board than on the cards.
The locations on the realm board are – Ursula’s Lair, Eric’s Ship, The Shore and The Palace. I like that the order of the locations progress closer and closer in land as you move from left to right, beginning with Ursula’s Lair and ending with The Palace.
Unlike other villains, one location on Ursula’s board remains locked throughout her entire game. There is no way for her to unlock it. The locked location is always either Ursula’s Lair or The Palace.
Ursula’s fate deck contains characters like Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, Eric and King Triton. They each have abilities that make it more difficult for Ursula to win, especially Ariel.
Ariel blocks Ursula from moving items. That’s a pain when she needs to get the Trident and the Crown to her lair to win.
Ursula’s deck is pretty unique in villainous and perfectly tied to her character in The Little Mermaid.
She only has two allies – Flotsam and Jetsam – and they aren’t very strong for defeating heroes. Luckily, exactly half of her deck are effects which are spells like Whirlpool and Change Form. That’s to be expected for a sea witch.
There are also six Binding Contract cards. These are played on heroes to trap them into a contract with Ursula. If she can manipulate a hero into moving to the location on the contract, that hero is defeated!
What she’s like to play
As Ursula you have very few allies, instead, you rely on your spells to trick heroes into entering contracts with you so that you can steal their souls.
Difficulty to play – Hard
Playing Ursula requires a different way of thinking to the other Villains. It’s not about playing lots of allies to defeat heroes. It’s about using Binding Contracts on heroes and then using spells to get them to do what you want.
While doing that, you need to search through your deck to find the Crown and the Trident cards you need to win. But as soon as you play the Trident it is stolen by King Triton and you need to defeat him to get it back. Then you need to move both these items to your Lair.
And you need to do all of this with one of your locations always unavailable.
For more info, check out my strategy guide for how to win as Ursula.
Rank – 2
Ursula is one of my favourite Disney villains. I love the diva vibe she has going on, and Poor Unfortunate Souls is one of the best Disney songs!
In Villainous, Ursula is not the easiest character to play as. But I like that you need to be smart about where you move her to how you win with spells and abilities instead of allies. She’s an engaging character to play as.
Maleficent is the witch from Sleeping Beauty who curses Princess Aurora after not being invited to her Christening.
In Villainous, your objective as Maleficent is to start your turn with a curse at each location.
The bright green of the Maleficent mini is glorious. The model has the same tall elegance that Jafar’s mini has. Her horns are emphasised so there’s no mistake you’re dealing with a devilish character.
The dark green of her realm board and draw deck may be inspired by the green of her magic in Sleeping Beauty. She breathes green fire as the dragon and when she vanishes from King Stefan’s Castle it’s in a blaze of green.
When combined with the green in the artwork of the location on her board, it looks great.
Maleficent is free to move anywhere in the realm from the beginning of the game. This makes sense, seeing as in the film she can appear in the castle even when she’s not welcome!
The locations on Maleficent’s realm board are the Forbidden Mountains, Briar Rose’s Cottage, The Forest and King Stefan’s Castle.
I like that the Forbidden Mountains and King Stefan’s Castle are on opposite sides of the board with The Forest and Briar Rose’s Cottage in between. It does give the impression of the lay of the land in the realm – castles at either side with a forest in between.
As you might expect, guards, the good fairies, Aurora, Prince Phillip and the Sword of Truth are all cards in Maleficent’s fate deck.
The abilities on the fate cards focus mostly on moving characters to different locations and banning allies, curses and Malecifant to be in particular places. It builds on the film concept of people only being allowed in certain places with permission.
For example, Maleficent not being invited to the Christening and her keeping people away from her castle in the aptly named Forbidden Mountains.
Maleficent’s draw deck is packed with goons, curses like the Forest of Thorns, and spells like Vanish and Dragon Form. It even has her Raven ally. I feel like Maleficent’s deck is the most tightly themed out of all the villains.
I especially like the ability on the Spinning Wheel card, given its role in Sleeping Beauty.
What she’s like to play
When you play as Maleficent you are obsessed with spreading your evil magic curses to every location in the kingdom. You’ll use your best friend Raven, your army of goons and your magic to take down anyone who gets in your way.
Difficulty to play – Hard
At first glance, Maleficent looks simple enough to play. Just whack down a curse at each location and you’ve won.
But each curse comes with restrictions and must be discarded if: Maleficent moves to that location, a hero is played there or you play an ally there. So you need to think carefully about your strategy from your very first turn. Otherwise, you’ll be your own worst enemy.
Other players also know that Maleficent’s win is easy to achieve if she’s left alone. So you will have fates to content with from very early in the game.
Don’t worry. I’ve written a strategy guide for Maleficent that can help you win.
Rank – 1
Maleficent isn’t one of my favourite villains from Disney. However, I think her character is the most fun to play.
You need to think ahead, there are lots of fates played on you to keep you on your toes and her combination of allies and spells give you options. She’s a lot of fun.
Characters in the Villainous expansions
Is your favourite Disney Villain missing from Villainous? Maybe they are in one of the expansions! If not, you can vote for the characters you’d like to see in the next Villainous expansion on the Wonder Forge website!
Each expansion adds three more characters and the expansions can be played as standalone games. You can mix and match any villains together whenever you play!
Wicked to the Core Characters
I’m writing the strategy guides for these characters at the moment. Click their name to see my guide!
- Dr Facilier (The Shadow Man) from The Princess and the Frog
- Hades from Hercules
- Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
See what people are saying about Villainous: Wicked to the Core on Amazon.
Evil Comes Prepared Characters
- Scar from the Lion King
- Yzma from the Emperor’s New Groove
- Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective
See more detail about Evil Comes Prepared at Amazon.
Perfectly Wretched Characters
- Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmations
- Mother Gothel from Tangled
- Pete from Steamboat Willie
Get more info about Perfectly Wretched at Amazon.
Conclusion – Villainous villains overview
I like that there is a 50/50 split of male to female characters in Villainous.
I’m super happy that Ursula and Jafar are in there and I love that Scar, Doctor Facilier, Cruella de Vil and Yzma are available in expansions!