Each deck and expansion has its own unique features. If interested, here is a summary of each set and what you can gain from it.
*Deck 1 (OG) is all about power stacking. There are plenty of +2 power cards, a good amount of +3 power cards, one card I am aware of that is +4 power, and surprisingly two cards that offer +5 power. One card that is banned from tournament play that is the be all end all card is “Man of Steel”. It is the highest cost of cards in the main deck of this set, only +3 power, and allows the player to place all super powers from their discard pile into their hand, resulting in wiping out lineups or defeating Super Villains with ease.
*Deck 2 (Heroes Unite) is probably one of the more balanced games that gains power through certain card types in the discard pile, and otherwise has plenty of defenses and attacks. Power Rings are the way to go, and you’ll likely get the most off of the Blue Lantern Power Ring if you have a deck full of heroes.
*Deck 3 (Forever Evil) involves a lot of destroying and gaining VP tokens, and introduces playable villains.
*Deck 4 (Teen Titans) incorporates the use of multiple ongoing cards that allow you to activate an ability when you discard them.
Crisis 1-4 all coincide with their respective decks. Each has crisis cards that also go into play with each super villain. In addition to 6 regular Main character cards, “Crisis” versions of each respective deck’s main characters are featured to make it easier to play through the amped difficulty of Crisis mode.
*Crisis 1 brings about Justice League Dark characters and their abilities. A rather annoying Main character to play as is Swamp Thing, which allows a player to play locations in the lineup or off of another player if they have it out in play, essentially benefiting off of them.
*Crisis 2 brings about multiple Black Lantern villains. Plenty of weaknesses will be given in this mode, and at least one particular Superman-Killing supervillain who will at least destroy a defense card if the player uses it to defend.
*Crisis 3 allows you to spend VP tokens more. Unlike Deck 3 where you fight the Justice League, you will find yourself instead fighting the Crime Syndicate. Aside from one of the best defenders in the game (Crisis Sinestro), you will also come across Crisis mode Lex Luthor, who will help you recruit more Crisis main characters to play as for a hefty cost of 6 VP tokens.
*Crisis 4 has “unity cards” which are ongoing and activates each time another unity card is played, and plays off of another player that already has unity cards in play. Unlike the previous crisis games, where one crisis card affects everyone, each person is dealt their own personal crisis that only affects themselves, and others cannot help resolve them.
As mentioned by MrMiracle, Rivals involves 1v1 action only. Although they are standalone games, i won’t refer to them as deck#s. Continuing on with other decks, however…
*Deck 5 (Confrontations) is a team based game. You choose to either be one of 4 super heroes or of 4 super villains. This game theoretically supports up to 4 players, but is played similarly to Rivals. If you would like to add more flavor, you may mix and match and add Rivals main characters with their respective (kick) stack. Each player has 3 of the same main character card with different game texts and costs 9, 12, and 15 respectively (also the player levels are 1, 2, and 3 respectively. The player level is important to certain card gametext mechanics).
*Deck 6 (Rebirth) involves a new “boardgame” play style involving character movements in 10 places that seemingly involves more teamwork than competing amongst each other, and uses 5 out of 7 locations per “scenario” (rather than the typical purchasable locations every other deck and expansion possesses). With each subsequent scenario, additional cards are unlocked to gain, certain locations may receive damage and/or may be destroyed or repaired, your character may earn a signature card to give themselves a distinct advantage to beat a scenario, and more Super Villains will come up to amp the difficulty. You’ll find yourself defeating 5 Super Villains to survive scenarios (each time a 5th SV is revealed, the entire team has 3 turns to defeat them, and loses the scenario if each player is unable to, so the more players, the higher the chance). Each scenario is replayable up to a certain amount before it is deemed a failure, but you may skip on to the next otherwise. It offers a scorecard based on what is accomplished per player and scenario. Out of all main decks, this one is most difficult to add into the Multiverse expansion set or in setting up “cubes” for tournament style games due to its featured “Move” ability not being used in other games before it.
Finally, all the other crossover expansions and their perks. These guys will offer 6 superhero (6 supervillains for CO5) main characters to choose in place of the typical ones found in the main decks and offer perks that coincide with their respective expansion.
*CO 1 (Justice Society of America) is an expansion that really enables what you can do with punches for your advantage. A personal favorite, you can add this expansion to nearly any deck, and can find comfort in spamming a 1-2 combo with Hourglass and Mystic Bolts cards to gain a fairly unusual advantage in spamming said cards and an additional third card for the remainder of the game if both are purchased.
*CO 2 (Arrow, aka Arrowverse) allows for cards to be placed under your main character. Certain players allow you to retrieve those cards at a later point in the game to coincide with what they can do with it (i.e. John Diggle allows for defense cards that are actively avoiding attacks to be placed under his character rather than the discard pile, then placed from under the character to on top of the deck one card per turn during that player’s next turn).
*CO 3 (Legion of Superheroes…also the only expansion I currently don’t own) features a new game mechanic called “Time Travel”. A card from the lineup may be played during a turn, but is returned to the lineup at the end of a turn.
*CO 4 (Watchmen) will wither away decks by destroying cards. Also, unlike other traditional deck 1-4 games where you defeat a supervillain stack, the objective is to find out who the traitor amongst you is before running out of the main deck. This deck also features a purchaseable location that allows you to buy a card from the destroyed pile, at the cost of destroying a card on top of the main deck.
*CO 5 (Rogues) features a mechanic that a lot of tournament style players love…teamwork. each flash villain you play as gets to play the top of any opponent’s deck and rewards that opponent 1 VP token. That is merely just their 2nd ability. Many will choose Golden Glider because her 1st ability allows her to draw a card for each time she doesn’t play a card she owns…which means an opponent’s card, a card from the lineup, or even the top of the villain stack if you happen to have purchased the hero card J’onn J’onzz from Deck 1. If playing with multiple cards just because, Rorschach’s main char card nearly does a teamwork ability, except instead of rewarding the foe a VP, you discard a card, so a foe’s card may potentially be played twice in one turn, and GG allows the player to draw twice for each turn. This in turn allows a GG/Ror player to essentially earn high powered cards fairly early in the game and win quickly. Also, the cards in this expansion do not contain VP, but only earns VP tokens upon purchase.
*CO 6 (Birds of Prey) adds a mechanic of rotating certain ongoing cards 90 degrees, and a perk is unlocked once that card has achieved 360 degrees rotation. It is recommended having a decent sized play area to keep track of these cards when you play them. This is my least favorite expansion to add since I keep things nice and tidy, and prefer leaving my discard pile face up and upside down to distinguish between my deck and played ongoings.
*CO 7 (New Gods) is similar to Confrontations, but instead of defeating Main Characters, you instead defeat Locations in the same manner.
*CO 8 (Batman Ninja) uses a mechanic that is like the opposite of Time Travel called “Ninjutsu”. Cards with this text has Ninjutsu as an extra ability that the owner of the card can use, but forfeits the card at the end of the turn, putting it back into the lineup. If playing as Batman, all non-kick cards cost 3 or more have the Ninjutsu ability, where the player draws a card. I do believe cards with existing Ninjutsu abilities stacks on their ability with the draw. There are 5 main supervillains, starting with Joker with a cost of 9. The rest are 10. Each main SV has a type on each side of their respective cards, and depending on the card type, one card from the lineup may be attached to that SV per turn. The cost of the SV is not affected, but all cards attached to the SV are gained. The SV is not gained but flipped over due to being an oversided card like the Main Character cards. Once all SVs are defeated, each has a Retaliation attack (including Joker). Once defeated, Joker’s attack affects the one that defeated him, while subsequent SVs affect all players. Once all of them are beaten and their cards flipped over, they are all combined to create a super mech Joker with a cost of 23. This final SV may be defeated for its VP unlike the 5 main SVs.
And finally, the expansion that combines all decks with one another…
*Multiverse. This game features its own set of cards to be shufffled into a starting main deck. Every other deck and expansion owned are considered “multiverse decks”. Similar to Crisis mode, this game has Event cards that are played. With each event results in 5 cards from one set to be placed in its own multiverse lineup along with the regular 5. After all 5 multiverse cards have been purchased, a new event and 5 more multiverse cards from a different set join the multiverse lineup, even during the middle of a turn, so the purchaser gets dibs on what cards come off of the next set. This game is not to be played in co-op. As such, disintegration from the Watchmen deck should be removed (Rebirth did not exist prior to this expansion). Each player is dealt a green multiverse location (they are similar to Rebirth locations), and each location is protected by 3 supervillains that each player drafts that are…I believe cost 9, 10, and 11 respectively. If a MVL’s gametext is accomplished, the player may use the SV’s first attack against every other player (i.e. if two super powers are played this turn, you may resolve your super villain’s First Appearance Attack on your foes). However, a player may attack a foe’s location and defeat their SV champion. If all three are defeated, the location is no longer playable. There are 3 Multiverse Supervillains to defeat. Brainiac is the 1st and is cost 10. If a player’s location is defeated before Brainiac is defeated, the game ends right away. Telos is the 2nd SV and I don’t recall his cost, but he may be 15. The final SV is Deimos, and he is a 23 cost. He has a stack ongoing where a card from the main deck is placed on the lineup and onto the multicerse lineup (2 cards per turn), and if the main deck runs out, “Deimos wins”. He essentially acts like a crisis supervillain.
A new deck will be coming this year (Quarter 3) called Dark Nights: Metal. From what was brought about, you may lose heroes if multiple weaknesses are played, but you have the opportunity to free and recruit them. Aside from purchasing CO 3, this is one deck I am looking forward to, and hope it is more compatible with the other sets than the Rebirth game.