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Avatar: The Last Airbender Fire Nation Rising Board Game Review

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Avatar: The Last Airbender Fire Nation Rising

WBG Score: 8

Player Count: 1-5

You’ll like this if you like: Thanos Rising, King of Tokyo, Hit Z Road.

Published by: The Op

Designed by: Patrick Marino, Andrew Wolf

There have been a number of "Rising" games. I covered the history and the Batman Who Laughs version here. The latest version from The Op who provided this game for review is Avatar: The Last Airbender. Based on a huge franchise that has made films, tv shows, and hundreds of comics, like the other games in this series, Avatar comes with a big following, but does it live up to this? Let's get it to the table and see how it plays.

Set Up

First place the main board, made up of three pieces together at the centre of the table. Let each player choose a character to play as, taking their player board, token and card, and placing it in front of them. In a solo game, take two for yourself. It works as a two player.

Then decide on the difficulty and place between ten and 13 Villain cards into the deck to suit your desired game style. Now shuffle this deck and place one card in each of the nine spots around the board. Place the fire nation statue into the central spot, along with the fire nation cards shuffled and placed next to the board.

Place the Pai Sho and damage tokens into a central location on the table, along with the dice pool and final battle cards for later use. Finally take the balance and ruin tracks and decide which difficulty you want to play. This is marked by the symbol on the bottom left of the balance track. Place the balance and ruin markers on the bottom spot. You are now ready to play. It should look a little like this, colourful huh!?

How to Play

Players will now take it in turns to place their character token into one of the three locations on the main board. Players are looking to recruit new characters to join their team and increase their powers and take out the villains that could end their game. If you ever loose all characters from the same team, or any ten then the game is lost for all players. In order to win, you need to build up your team during the first phase where the balance and ruin tracks advance, and then win the three final battles.

On your turn, you will place your token into one of the three locations on the main board, and then flip the top fire nation card. This will determine if the fire nation statue will stay in it's current location or rotate one space either way. It will then tell you to move the ruin marker up either zero, one, or two spaces.

Then, all Villains in the current location of the fire nation statue will activate, simply carrying out the actions on their card. Generally this will heal other villains or attack other characters. The fire nation statue itself will also attack, adding one damage to all hero's in its current location, including those in front of the active player if they placed their token into this same location.

Players then have the chance to fight back, by rolling dice. This is what this game is all about, and there are a lot of dice in the game. They feel and look great on your fingers and eyes with their embossed edges and bright colourful design.

As players roll dice, they are looing to match the symbols on the characters they want to recruit in the sector they are in, or on the villains they are looking to fight. Each character has its own set of dice to roll, and as you recruit new characters they will brig new dice to roll in this phase, offer re-rolls, or other useful powers. After you have rolled all your dice you must assign at least one to one card or action. Either fighting a villain, recruiting an ally, activating a power on your player card, or moving on the balance track. You can see some of the spots on the balance track need certain dice faces to be rolled in order to progress.

More so on the harder tracks.

When you assign dice to villains, if you manage to get one dice for each face needed, you can add one damage token to this card at the end of your dice rolling phase. Most cards have two to six damage spots, sometimes more. You need to fill a track before that card can be defeated. So, for the Pirate Captain below for example, it needs one water and one fire dice face to add one damage, and two damage to defeat it.

As you assign dice, you can then re-roll any un-assigned dice. This continues until all dice are assigned. If ever you cannot assign a dice, the dice is lost. One dice must be used each round. But remember you have four positive ways to use them, and re-roll to use. So I would say 90% of dice can be used in the game. But of course there is some luck here and a wasted dice is frustrating.

One way you can mitigate this, other than the re-rolls, is by using the Pai Sho tokens. These are gained via different character powers, or you can take one if ever you cannot use any of your dice to fight a villain, recruit an ally, or move on the balance track. Often you can flip two tokens, and choose one to take. You can then spend these tokens at any point to replace a dice face you haven't rolled yet, add an extra dice, re-roll dice, or remove damage.