Going to the Next Level

Ever since we released The Next Level (also known as Boss Monster 2) we’ve had players asking for advice on how to combine it with their other Boss Monster cards. Our response has always been to encourage players to explore and experiment, but we know some people are looking for more concrete direction. Once you’ve played a few standalone games of The Next Level, read on to learn three ways you can combine both versions of Boss Monster. (Or download this article as an easy-to-print PDF.)

1. The Monster Mash-Up

The simplest way to combine BM1 and BM2 is to pick one set of Heroes (we prefer the fancier Next Level Heroes), set aside the other set’s Heroes, and just shuffle together the rest of the decks: Bosses, Rooms, and Spells.

This combo maximizes variety, makes the game more unpredictable, and takes advantage of synergies between cards in the two sets. To really maximize the fun, try throwing in some of the powerful new cards from Paper & Pixels or the Collector Box

2. The Official Combo

For a balanced Boss Monster experience featuring our favorite cards, follow this deck list. It preserves many of the most classic cards from the original, while sticking to the more consistent power level of cards in The Next Level. We call it “the official combo.” 

20 Bosses
All Bosses from BM1 and TNL
42 Heroes
All Heroes from The Next Level (none from BM1)
15 Cleric Rooms
2x Arcane Crypt (TNL)
1x Dark Portal (TNL)
1x Dragon Graveyard (TNL)
1x Haunted Hall (TNL)
2x Imp Temple (TNL)
1x Incubus Gym (TNL)
1x Inner Sanctum (TNL)
1x Madman’s Manor (TNL)
1x Open Grave (BM1)
1x Specter’s Sanctum (BM1)
1x Succubus Spa (BM1)
1x Vampire Bordello (BM1)
1x Wraith’s Throne (TNL)
15 Fighter Rooms
1x Barbarian Hall (TNL)
1x Beast Menagerie (BM1)
1x Fangroot Garden (TNL)
2x Goblin Armory (BM1)
1x Goblin Mess Hall (TNL)
1x Megaworm Burrow (TNL)
2x Minotaur’s Maze (BM1)
1x Neanderthal Cave (BM1)
1x Rust Monster Pen (TNL)
1x Shrooman Cave (TNL)
2x Spawn Point (TNL)
1x The Arena (TNL)
15 Mage Rooms
1x All-Seeing Eye (BM1)
1x Antimagic Zone (TNL)
1x Brainsucker HIve (BM1)
1x Elemental Generator (TNL)
1x Frostbat Cave (TNL)
1x Hall of Mirrors (TNL)
1x Liger’s Den (BM1)
2x Lost Library (TNL)
2x Observatory (TNL)
1x Sorcerobe School (BM1)
2x Spellslime Pit (BM1)
1x Witch’s Kitchen (BM1)
15 Thief Rooms
1x Blockpile Puzzle (TNL)
2x Bottomless Pit (BM1)
1x Bullet Builder (TNL)
1x Chump Chomper (TNL)
1x Collapsing Bridge (TNL)
1x Deadly Treadmill (TNL)
1x Decapitator (TNL)
1x Dizzygas Hallway (TNL)
1x Recycling Center (BM1)
1x Spiked Pit (TNL)
1x The Smashinator (TNL)
2x Wreck Room (TNL)
15 Multi-Treasure Rooms
1x Bom-Boy Factory (TNL)
1x Centipede Tunnel (BM1)
1x Construction Zone (BM1)
1x Cursed Tomb (TNL)
2x Dragon Hatchery (BM1)
1x Hatchling’s Hoard (TNL)
2x Mimic Vault (BM1)
1x Save Point (TNL)
1x Torture Chamber (BM1)
1x Warp Tube (TNL)
2x Werewolf Den (TNL)
1x Zombie Prison (BM1) 



35 Spells
1x Annihilator (BM1)
2x Another Castle (TNL)
2x Assassin (BM1)
1x Cave-In (BM1)
2x Counterspell (BM1)
1x Exhaustion (BM1)
2x Fairy Fountain (TNL)
1x Fear (BM1)
1x Freeze (BM1)
1x Giant Size (BM1)
2x Hiring Spree (TNL)
2x It’s On (TNL)
1x Lightning Bolt (TNL)
1x Motivation (BM1)
1x Party Up (TNL)
1x Pause (TNL)
1x Pity (TNL)
1x Princess in Peril (BM1)
2x Secret Stash (TNL)
1x Shortcut (TNL)
2x Surprise Gift (TNL)
2x Teleportation (BM1)
1x Undead Minion (TNL)
2x Wild Monster (TNL)
1x Zombie Attack (BM1)

Because this deck list contains only 75 Rooms, it means you can easily combine this set with Crash Landing for 5-6 player games. The resulting experience is ideal for big multiplayer matches.

3. The E-Rated Combo

Boss Monster was designed as an adult-oriented PG-13 game, but we’ve heard many stories of parents playing with their kids. While we love the idea of young boardgamers learning to build dungeons, the theme of hero-slaying can sometimes be a little mature. Here’s a combo that lightens things up:

12 Bosses
Cerebellus (BM1)
Cleopatra (BM1)
Draculord (BM1)
Eclipse (TNL)
Kadabra (TNL)
Killa (TNL)
King Croak (BM1)
Nicolius (TNL)
Porkus (TNL)
Smoake (TNL)
Torix Uz’kali (TNL)
Xyzax (BM1)
41 Heroes
All Heroes from Boss Monster (none from TNL) 



15 Cleric Rooms
2x Arcane Crypt (TNL)
2x Dracolich Lair (BM1)
1x Dragon Graveyard (TNL)
2x Haunted Hall (TNL)
2x Imp Temple (TNL)
1x Inner Sanctum (TNL)
2x Madman’s Manor (TNL)
2x Specter’s Sanctum (BM1)
1x Wraith’s Throne (TNL)
15 Fighter Rooms
2x Beast Menagerie (BM1)
2x Fangroot Garden (TNL)
1x Goblin Mess Hall (TNL)
2x Goblin Nursery (TNL)
1x Megaworm Burrow (TNL)
3x Neanderthal Cave (BM1)
2x Shrooman Cave (TNL)
2x Spawn Point (TNL)
15 Mage Rooms
2x Brainsucker Hive (BM1)
2x Dark Laboratory (BM1)
2x Hall of Mirrors (TNL)
2x Liger’s Den (BM1)
2x Observatory (TNL)
2x Sorcerobe School (TNL)
1x Spellslime Pit (BM1)
2x Witch’s Kitchen (BM1)
15 Thief Rooms
2x Bottomless Pit (BM1)
1x Chump Chomper (TNL)
2x Collapsing Bridge (TNL)
1x Deadly Treadmill (TNL)
2x Dizzygas Hallway (TNL)
2x Recycling Center (BM1)
2x Spiked Pit (TNL)
1x The Smashinator (TNL)
2x Wreck Room (TNL)
35 Spells
1x All Your Base (TNL)
2x Annihilator (BM1)
2x Another Castle (TNL)
2x Fairy Fountain (TNL)
2x Fear (BM1)
2x Giant Size (BM1)
2x Hiring Spree (TNL)
2x Motivation (BM1)
2x Party Up (TNL)
1x Princess in Peril (BM1)
1x Secret Stash (TNL)
2x Teleportation (BM1)
2x Wild Monster (TNL)
15 Multi-Treasure Rooms
2x Construction Zone (BM1)
2x Cursed Tomb (TNL)
2x Dragon Hatchery (BM1)
1x Hatchling’s Hoard (TNL)
2x Mimic Vault (BM1)
2x Monstrous Monument (BM1)
2x Save Point (TNL)
2x Warp Tube (TNL)

In addition to removing cards with pixelated blood or saucy innuendo, this combination avoids the wordiest and most complicated cards. That means it’s also a great set for teaching the game to more casual players!

Item Cards

For a more challenging game that gives the Heroes an edge, Tools of Hero-Kind can be added to any of the above combinations. The only scenario where that gets a little out of whack is if you add Tools of Hero-Kind to a Crash Landing game. However, we have a solution coming in summer 2017: Implements of Destruction! This all-new mini-expansion includes sci-fi Item cards perfect for Explorers, as well as new Items for the other Hero types.

What’s Your Combo?

The three combinations above are just a starting point. We love customizing the games we play, and we hope you’ll do the same with Boss Monster! Here are the guidelines we shared in our Next Level FAQ:

  • Include 2 Advanced Rooms for every 5-6 ordinary Rooms.
  • Include equal numbers of the four treasure types (including Hybrid Rooms).
  • Include roughly equal numbers of Trap and Monster Rooms (recommended but not critical).
  • For Bosses, include roughly equal numbers of each starting treasure type (recommended).
  • Include 24 ordinary Heroes (plus the Fool) and 16 Epic Heroes (plus The Brothers, if desired).
  • Maintain an equal balance of treasure icons and damage values.
  • Remove Heroes as appropriate for 2- or 3-player games.

With these guidelines and examples in mind, we hope you have fun building your own Boss Monster experience. To make sure you have all the deck-building tools you need, be sure to visit our online store for a copy of The Next Level and other expansions!