Disney Villainous Strategy Prince John – Character Villain Guide

By Emily Sargeantson

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Prince John is the villain from Disney’ Robin Hood movie who is obsessed with his jewels and finery. Playing as Prince John in the Disney Villainous board game is the same! This Disney Villainous strategy guide for Prince John shows you how you can collect lots of power quickly and win the game (and maybe buy more jewels!).

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.

Prince John from Villainous surrounded by his cards
Prince John from Villainous surrounded by his cards

In this strategy guide I look at:

  • The Prince John Villain Guide
  • Strategy to win as Prince John
  • Prince John’s cards
  • Important cards in Prince John’s deck
  • Prince John’s board
  • How to stop Prince John from winning

The Prince John Villain Guide

Let’s take a look at the Villainous Villain Guide for Prince John before getting into a fuller strategy for his character.

Objective

Start your turn with at least 20 power.

‘Start your turn’ is very important here. People may fate you on the next turn before you win.

The Jail

The Jail location in Prince John’s realm doesn’t have any actions at the top of it. So if you move a hero to the Jail, it’s not blocking you from doing any actions.

It’s Good to Be the King!

There are some special cards in Prince John’s deck which help you to earn power from heroes in your realm.

Beautiful, Lovely Taxes

You get 1 power for each hero in your realm.

Sheriff of Nottingham

At the start of your turn, you can move the Sheriff of Nottingham and get 1 power if there are any heroes at the new location.

You can move the Sheriff of Nottingham to any space on the board, not just adjacent spaces, which makes him even more useful.

Warrant

A very useful card to spread out across your board. You gain 2 power every time a hero is played at this location.

Special Fate Cards

This section of the Villain Guide just looks at the fate cards.

Steal from the rich

This card allows you opponent to steal 4 power from you can put it onto a hero. When you defeat that hero, you get the 4 power back.

Robin Hood

Whenever Robin Hood is in your realm, anytime you gain power you gain 1 less. Pesky Robin Hood!

Little John

When Little John is played he steals 4 power from you. The power is placed on his card. When you defeat Little John, you get the 4 power back.

Strategy to win as Prince John in Villainous

Assume that other players will fate you

As soon as they see your pile of power chips building up, your opponents will fate you. So don’t let them see your power building up. You can always subtly keep you power pile out of view from other players!

Another tactic to put your opponents off for a little longer is to spend your power playing Warrant cards, the Sheriff of Nottingham and Sir Hiss. These will all help you to gain power later.

Defeat King Richard and Robin Hood but ignore the other heroes

Only King Richard and Robin Hood really affect you being able to get power or issue taxes. The rest of the heroes are more of an inconvenience and it may cost you more in building up soldiers to vanquish them than it’s worth.

You also earn money from heroes by using Beautiful, Lovely Taxes, so it is actually a good thing to have a few of them around.

Play Sir Hiss on Friar Tuck’s Church

That way, you can always access the 2 power when a hero is inevitably played at this location.

Play only a few allies and use them wisely

Try to only vanquish enemies when you have cards which mean you won’t lose your allies in the process. You will need several allies, or boosted allies to defeat the tougher heroes like Lady Kluck, Robin Hood and King Richard.

I’d suggest playing a maximum of 1 Rhino Guard, 1 Wolf Archer, Sheriff of Nottingham and Sir Hiss. You can then use the move ability to get your allies to where you need them to defeat heroes.

The Sheriff of Nottingham has his own move ability and he collects power too, so he’s very useful.

Always weigh up your cost and gain

It might be that playing an ally or defeating a hero which has stolen 4 power is just not worth it. If you need to pay extra to get another ally out to defeat a hero, would you be better off just going to The Jail and collecting 3 power?

A closer look at Prince John’s cards and board

To give yourself the best chance of winning as prince John it helps to understand what cards you’ve got in your deck and how you can best use them with your realm board.

Prince John’s cards

Prince John’s cards by type

Prince John's Villainous cards by type

Prince John has 30 cards in his Villainous deck. They are fairly evenly spread between allies, effects and abilities.

But when you look at the abilities on the cards, things get really interesting.

Prince John’s cards by ability

Prince John's Villainous cards by ability use strategically to win

Woah! That is a lot of cards dedicated to getting power or reducing the amount you spend. Over a third of his cards directly relate to your character objective of getting 20 power!

So there are 5 main card types in Prince John’s deck.

1. Defeat heroes

This set of 5 cards are only made up of two different cards. Wolf Archers which are an ally of strength 2 that can defeat heroes at their own location or an adjacent location.

The other card is Set a Trap, which allows you to move an ally to any location an immediately vanquish a hero. That is a very powerful move. You could use a tough ally and an archer to take anyone down.

2. Gain power / reduce power cost

By far the highest number of cards in your deck are ones which either get you power or cause you to spend less of it. 8 of these cards are completely free to play and 6 of those give you power. No need to speculate to accumulate for you.

4 of these cards only cost 1 power to play and should earn you that power back very quickly.

The most expensive card to play is the Sheriff of Nottingham at 3 power. He is also the only ally card that can directly get you power. And he can be moved to locations with heroes to gain you 1 power each time.

3. Do not discard ally during vanquish

You could see these cards as helping you to protect the power investment you made when paying to play allies.

Two of these cards are Bow and Arrows. When applied to an ally, they give it +1 strength, but also when that ally would be discarded, the Bow and Arrows are discarded instead.

The other card is Intimidation. Intimidation allows you to perform a vanquish action and not discard any allies used to defeat the hero. This could be very useful if using multiple allies to vanquish a more powerful hero.

4. Move a hero to The Jail

The card which allows you to move a hero to The Jail is called Imprison. You have 3 of them in your deck. They cost 2 power to play but can help you to move heroes away from the actions that you want.

You will most likely move heroes away from Friar Tuck’s Church because it earns you the most power.

5. Basic ally, no effects

These three cards are all Rhino Guards. They cost 3 power to play but they are your toughest unit. When combined with a Wolf Archer, Rhino Guards these allies can defeat every hero apart from Lady Kluck if she is boosted by Alan-a-Dale’s +1 strength.

Other

The other cards are a couple of allies and Sir Hiss. Sir Hiss is a very useful card to you. See the next section to find out why.

Important cards in Prince John’s deck

Of course, all the cards in Prince John’s deck are useful to you. But there are some which can really help you to get to 20 power quickly.

Important cards in Prince John's Villainous deck
Important cards in Prince John’s Villainous deck

Sir Hiss

Sir Hiss allows you to perform an action that’s been covered by a hero if Prince John is at that location. Of course, you’ll play him on Friar Tuck’s Church to get the 2 power every time Prince John is there!

Sir Hiss only costs 2 power, so you only need to earn the 2 power back once to break even on your investment.

Warrant

Just like Prince John in the film you want to catch Robin Hood! Slap a Warrant in Sherwood Forest, Friar Tuck’s Church and Nottingham and you’ll get 2 power every time a hero is played at these locations.

Don’t bother playing a Warrant at The Jail, your opponents won’t be silly enough to play a hero there!

Sheriff of Nottingham

The only ally that can earn power and get you closer to winning. The Sheriff of Nottingham costs 3 power to play, but you can earn that power back because he gets you 1 power every time he is played at a location with heroes. Do it 3 times during the game and you’ve got your investment back.

Paired with Bows and Arrows or Intimidation, the Sheriff can even vanquish heroes for you without being discarded.

Beautiful, Lovely Taxes

Is there anything more Prince John than this card? It’s completely free to play and gets you 1 power for every hero in your realm. Ideally, save this until there are quite a few heroes to collect taxes from.

Greed

In my opinion, Prince John has the most powerful condition cards in all of Villainous. Whenever another player has 6 power or more you can play Greed for free and immediately gain 3 power.

There are two of these in your deck, so play them both and you’re over a quarter of the way to the power you need to win.

Prince John’s Villainous board

Prince John's realm board in Villainous
Prince John’s realm board in Villainous

At the start of the game, all Prince John’s locations are unlocked. Some of the locations are more useful to you than others.

Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest is not a hugely useful location for you. It’s useful that you play your first turn there because of the discard cards action. If you have a hand that will only earn you power later in the game, or cards which cost a lot to play then discard on draw a new hand.

You won’t spend much time in Sherwood Forest because it only allows you to play 1 card, the 1 power gain is very low and may get blocked by a hero anyway, and you probably won’t fate other people very much.

Why bother? Let the other players take care of that. You are the timer player that dictates how long the game lasts. So if you just do your thing, you will win.

Friar Tuck’s Church

A very useful location for you. From here you can play 2 cards, which is very handy especially if they have zero or very little power cost.

You can gain 2 power from here if it’s not blocked and you can move an ally or item. All really handy actions to have on a turn.

Nottingham

Nottingham is your second worst location.

The vanquish action can be useful if you need to get rid of a hero otherwise, the play a card, 1 power and fate actions are all mediocre.

The Jail

You’ll enjoy going to The Jail to lord it over your captive heroes. Oh, and collect the 3 power too! Go to The Jail every other turn unless you have a very good reason not to.

It’s amazing really that collecting that amount of power as an action is unblockable by a hero card.

In The Jail, you can also play a card, which is no different from any other location in your realm. The discard ability could be useful though to help you draw cards that help you to play the way you want.

How to stop Prince John from winning Villainous

Prince John doesn’t need any particular cards to win Villainous. All he needs to get is 20 power. It means that he has a lot of control over how he wins.

However, there are some ways that you can slow him down.

Fate him a lot

Because Prince John can win the game by just doing his thing, you need to make that as difficult for him as possible and slow him down.

If you start playing fates on him early in the game, you will be able to get heroes out on locations before he has played any Warrant cards. Then he won’t profit from any heroes that you play.

By playing fates on Prince John a lot also means that you’re more likely to get the really useful cards out on his board that are a huge inconvenience for him.

Choose these fate cards for a big impact

These cards are especially irritating for anyone playing as Prince John.

Effective fate cards to play against Prince John in Villainous
Effective fate cards to play against Prince John in Villainous

King Richard

King Richard has two important traits. Firstly, he is strong. At strength 5, King John needs to use 2 allies or a boosted Rhino Guard to get rid of him.

He also has the bonus of stopping Prince John from playing any effect cards. That means he can’t move a hero to The Jail and perhaps, more importantly, he can’t use Beautiful, Lovely Taxes, to profit from all the heroes in his realm.

Robin Hood

Unsurprisingly, Robin Hood is an excellent hero to play against Prince John. As long as Robin Hood is in play, Prince John gains 1 less power every time he collects power. What a fantastic card to slow Prince John down!

Lady Kluck

Lady Kluck is a great hero to play at Friar Tuck’s Church. She has a strength of 6 so is difficult for Prince John to defeat. She also can’t be moved to The Jail.

So until Prince John defeats her or plays Sir Hiss at Friar Tuck’s Church, he can’t collect 2 power from there.

Clever Disguise and Steal from the Rich

These two cards work most effectively when they are played together on the same hero. Clever Disguise means that that hero cannot be defeated unless Prince John pays 2 power to get rid of the disguise. On its own, that card is only mildly irritating to him.

But if you play this card on the hero that you use for Steal from the Rich, for Prince John to get back his 4 power that hero stole, he will need to spend 2 power to defeat it in this first place. Meaning that his gain is only 2 power. He might choose to leave the hero and take a different strategy instead.

Don’t have 6 power in your hand

Try to never have more than 6 power in your hand. Whenever you do, Prince John may use his Greed card to immediately get 3 power. If he plays both cards during the game, that’s 6 power immediately.

Make sure Friar Tuck’s church always has a hero on it

You want to stop Prince John from collecting the 2 power offered by Friar Tuck’s Church.

Prince John can counter this strategy by using Sir Hiss at Friar Tuck’s Church, which allows him to use an action covered by a hero. If he does that, you may need to ramp up how often you fate him to slow him down.

Conclusion – Villainous Prince John Strategy

To win as Prince John there are four main things you can do.

  1. Spend money early on to set you up for making money when people start playing hero cards on you.
  2. Weigh up whether defeating a hero is worth it or not. They can make you money. But get rid of King Richard and Robin Hood if they appear early on in the game.
  3. Make allies worth your investment and don’t waste them.

Hopefully, this guide has given you some useful insights into how to play Prince John or how to stop him from winning!

If you enjoyed this guide, check out the strategy guides for Queen of Hearts, Jafar, Ursula, Maleficent, Captain Hook and Dr Facilier.

You can check out my thoughts on the character theming and difficulty ranking in my Villainous character guide or check out my thoughts on the game in my review of Villainous.

See what other people are saying about Villainous in the Amazon reviews.

More Villainous articles

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Emily Sargeantson
Hi there, I’m Emily. I’ve loved tabletop games since 2008 when I was introduced to D&D. I started My Kind of Meeple to nerd out about tabletop!