META Diary: December ROC Win-A-Map!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Roberto Ty is back with another META Diary including a breakdown of the team he used and the detailed planning he put into the role of every piece on his team! Roberto’s already on some other column ideas, so if you like what you see, let him know in the Comments below!]

By Roberto Ty

December 1, 2019

RoC November 2019.jpg

Garden City, MI — What qualifies as a great attendance for a Heroclix event? Looking at the numbers from the various ROC States Championship, a great turnout is 12 players (Michigan had 26). It’s reasonable to expect a smaller crowd for a less prestigious event like a ROC Win-A-Map. Today’s competition drew a great crowd of 13 players.

Restricted Win-A-Map

The local shop hosting the Win-A-Map prefers to run major events with restrictions. Usually they  ban Colossal Retaliators (cannot start on their lower-point retaliation-click) and ID cards along with one-man-army Uni-mind and the annoying Q Prime.

WIN-A-MAP FORMAT

  • 500-point Modern
  • Highlander Rule (Primes are primes, all other characters are considered to be silver ring)
  • Ban List: ID cards, Special Terrain, Colossal Retaliators starting on their lower-point retaliation-click, Uni-mind, and Q Prime.

After brainstorming some builds, I gravitated toward a monster team with Onslaught. There was little time to practice with Thanksgiving, but I managed to put in four hours of testing on Black Friday. I tried a couple Onslaught-based teams and a Cosmic team nested around Dark Phoenix. Woefully under-practiced and feeling my usual stress before a competitive meta event, I rolled the dice and stuck with Onslaught.

Breaking Down My Monster Mash Team

MY MONSTER TEAM
200 RE068 Barbatos
125 XDPSG006R Onslaught
50 EAX062E Captain Venom
– 5 WKMP19-S105 Nightbringer (Mandarin Ring)
75 XDPSG022R Mojo
35 RE014 Prez Rickard
– 5 WKMP19-s103 Spin (Mandarin Ring)
5 EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble
500

Suffering the Onslaught

Onslaught images

By now most meta players (which I’m not) have experienced just how annoyingly good Onslaught is (I have), but in case you’re not as lucky, I will highlight his abilities:

  1. (☆TRAIT) BEHIND THE SCENES: Onslaught can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.
  2. (☆TRAIT) PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Onslaught has PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.
  3. (SPECIAL ATTACK) “KILL YOU, CAIN MARKO? WHAT A SPLENDID IDEA!”: Onslaught can knock back characters that can use Charge or Combat Reflexes. // When Onslaught hits with a close attack, a hit character unequips all equipment and drops any held objects and after resolutions, Onslaught knocks back a hit character 9 squares.
  4. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) RESHAPING REALITY: Probability Control, Shape Change. When Onslaught uses Probability Control to reroll an opposing character’s attack roll and the final result is a miss, after resolutions you may place that opposing character up to 3 squares away from their current square.
  5. Improved Targeting: Hindering and Characters with nine range and three targets.
  6. Brotherhood of Mutants and X-Men Team Ability

Having seen enough of this guy in the X-Men Animated Series pre-release and release day events and in the ROC States Championship, I wanted to build around his strengths. With the format being 500-modern, I would have plenty of room to include more formidable attackers and complementary support.

The Bad Mofo

Barbatos.jpg

Barbatos is exactly that: one bad Mofo. He is the must-have of the Rebirth chases. At 100-points he is more of a secondary attacker with some unique abilities that can be useful on the right build. However, the correct move was to use him at the full 200-points as the primary attacker on my monster team. What makes him such a bad-ass:

  1. (☆TRAIT) ASSEMBLE AN ARMY OF NIGHTMARES: Friendly characters with the Monster keyword can use the Batman Enemy team ability. Friendly characters with the Dark Knights keyword can use the Batman Ally team ability.
  2. (☆TRAIT) DRAG YOU INTO THE DARK MULTIVERSE: Phasing/Teleport. Phasing/Teleport as FREE, but only to move up to 4 squares and when he does, after resolutions adjacent opposing characters have Immobile until your next turn.
  3. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) SO FALLS THE REALM OF LIGHT: Opposing characters within 6 squares that can use Outwit, Perplex or Support can use Battle Fury.
  4. Improved Targeting: Hindering
  5. Quintessence Team Ability
  6. Giant

On top click he has a 12 movement, 8 range, 12 Penetrating Psychic Blast, 19 Invincible, and 4 Damage. The idea was to free phase 4 squares, immobilize adjacent opposing characters and/or attack with Penetrating Psychic Blast. Then I could use Onslaught’s FREE Telekinesis to place him in hindering terrain for his Stealth via the Batman Ally team ability. Additionally, Barbatos gave monster keyword friendlies, the Batman Enemy team ability. With his top attack of 12, my entire team got a bump to their attack when they were adjacent to Barbatos.

The Director

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Now that I had my bad Mofo, it was time for a behind-the-scenes maestro and what better director than the Electrifyin’ Mojo? What he brings to the team:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) BEHIND THE SCENES: Mojo can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) MORE ACTION!…RATINGS ARE DROPPING!: Whenever a character misses all targets of their attack, give Mojo a Bored token. FREE: Remove 2 Bored tokens to either place Mojo anywhere on the map -or- make an attack.
  3. (SPECIAL MOVEMENT) KEEP THE CAMERAS ON THEM!: Sidestep. When an opposing characters uses Sidestep, after resolutions Mojo may move up to 2 squares.

You can begin to see that my team doesn’t have the traditional move and attack capability (i.e. Running Shot, Hypersonic Speed, or Charge), but there’s a lot of mobility inherent to each monster’s special trait. With the prevalence of Sidestep in the game, Mojo takes incredible advantage of this fact by being able to move after the resolution of my opponent’s Sidestep. A subtle, but very effective special damage power that could help control positioning. Additionally, Mojo would help place Barbatos through his own Telekinesis. Like a good director, Mojo sets the battle scene.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Venom Cap

The minute Captain Venom was introduced, the monster keyword got a huge bump. Let’s breakdown why:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) ALIEN SYMBIOTE: Plasticity, Shape Change. Captain Venom automatically breaks away.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED: During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.
  3. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES: Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.

Captain Venom is the natural leader for my monster band. He makes the generic monster keyword into a named one. This would provide me with additional sources of Probability Control through Theme Team Probability Control. It also gave me a fighting chance to win the map and gain control of the environment my team would battle on. As I mentioned in the previous Meta Diary, a good map can neutralize an advantage your opponent’s team possesses (i.e. XDPSG007 Juggernaut is incredibly weak on a map like Galador Promenade that has no blocking terrain). Captain Venom’s role wouldn’t be on the front lines, but as a commander providing the support for a victory. I decided to play him at his 50-point level, where he’s only four clicks long. My foot soldiers would have to rally around him to keep him alive. Despite his short dial, most of my opponents never thought to target him for a quick kill. This often was to my advantage because Captain Venom just needed to attack in a turn and all monster keyword friendlies would get a +1 to their attack.

The Human

Prez Rickard.jpg

In monster movies, there’s always one human that sympathizes with the monster’s plight. By playing Captain Venom at his lower point value, I was able to include my version of the human monster sympathizer: Prez Rickard. Kudos to Jose Rodrigo Rosales Guerrero, the 2016 Mexican Heroclix Champion,  for designing such a capable figure. At 35-points Prez Rickard has the best Leadership in the game. His two traits and low point cost make him an easy addition to any team:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) EVERYONE’S FAVORITE TEENAGE PRESIDENT: Prez Rickard doesn’t count for or against themed teams.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICA: Leadership, but succeeds on [4-6]. When Prez Rickard uses it and succeeds, instead you may remove one action token each from any number of opposing characters. For each one removed, remove an action token from a friendly character within 6 squares. In all my games, he was well-worth his points.

Final Team Building Thoughts

The strategy would be to attack my opponent from range while not being able to be targeted at distances greater than four squares away. To further help control the battlefield, I added the following game elements:

  1. IRON AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE MAP LOCATION BONUS FROM EARTH X STAR TOWER INDOOR MAP. With only a +4 to map roll, there was a good chance I wouldn’t win map since all the teams had to be themed. Including this map location bonus meant that at the very least I could generate a Crimson Sage bystander for her Probability Control if I didn’t win the map roll. If I won map, then I would use Captain Venom’s Indomitable to POWER action in consecutive turns to roll a d6 to potentially generate a bystander (d6 result: 1-Tank, 3-Crimson Sage, or 5-Bolt).
  2. NIGHTBRINGER (MANDARIN RING). I would equip this to Captain Venom to give him Stealth and the ability to generate 2 Smoke Cloud markers for FREE.
  3. ZERO (MANDARIN RING). I would equip this to Prez Rickard to give him Barrier. He could generate 1 Barrier marker for FREE.

Swiss Rounds

Phoenix Mags.jpg

GAME 1 — My first round opponent was a regular at the venue. He thought that we were required to bring a named theme team and therefore had built an X-Men team that consisted of the Convention Exclusive WKMP19-002 Phoenix Force Magneto, which he would equip with the Red Skull’s s007 Cosmic Cube, OP WKM19-013 Wakanda Queen Storm, XDPS003 Beast, XXS053E Wolverine at the 50-point starting line, XXS007A Moira MacTaggart, ABPIS001 Reality Gem (Infinity Gem), and WKMP19-S101 Remaker (Mandarin Ring). He won map and chose X-Men Regenesis Lombard Street Outdoor Map. I generated a Crimson Sage bystander for my consolation. I chose the side with the higher elevation 3. In all my games, my first turn is usually spent using Onslaught’s and Mojo’s Telekinesis to equip the Mandarin Rings to Captain Venom and Prez Rickard. His team was pretty scary with a lot of Perplex abilities to boot. Magento would present the greatest challenge with his Running Shot 11 Movement and 8 Range with 2 Targets. He could easily get into the radius necessary to target Onslaught with a few Perplex modifications to his movement. The Storm is also a nice addition to his team because she gives Stealth to characters within three squares that share a keyword with her. Unfortunately for him, both Onslaught and Barabatos has Improved Targeting: Hindering. We both positioned conservatively at first, but once he moved his team midway I went after his Wolverine with Barbatos hitting him to his STOP click. I tried to follow that up with Onslaught’s Mind Control, but Wolverine had Battle Fury. I had to choose a different target, Storm, but failed to hit due to her defense being Perplexed up. He would try to retaliate using his Magneto, but I successfully rolled for Shape Change with Onslaught. I then would KO his Wolverine with Barbatos and move my team away from the Magneto threat. I won 50-0. Record: 1-0.

Loki.jpg

GAME 2 — Game 1 was a low-scoring affair and was proof that I hadn’t practiced enough with my team. Despite this I learned a few things that I hoped to correct in my Game 2 matchup with a well-known Clix player. He has an incredible track record locally, winning several major events and usually placing in the Top 4. Most recently he placed 2nd in the Michigan ROC States Championship. He brought a mystical swarm team in the form of TMT002 Loki with TMT002T God of Trickery that allowed him to generate two faux Lokis, TMT053A Hela, EW040 Al Jhor Dan, SWB031 Alex Wilder, RE026E Billy Batson, TMNT4024 Shredder with TMNT4024A ILLUSIONARY DOUBLE, RE014 Prez Rickard, and WKMP19-S107 Incandescence (Mandarin Ring). He was a +8 to map roll, a net of +4. I rolled a 12! Quickly looking at his team I knew that he would definitely force the action by basing me with his Lokis. They are really annoying tie-up pieces that generate more Lokis if they successfully hit their Shape Change rolls. Then if I managed to KO them, Hela would bring out a Warrior Soul in their place. After first turn positioning and equipping, the action started with his Loki basing my Onslaught. This was definitely a faux Loki and I spent a couple actions killing it, not realizing that I didn’t score the points for them. Once that was explained to me, I decided to simply avoid them. He managed to land some damage on Captain Venom and I knew I would have to carry him away with Onslaught. I really used the map to my advantage to isolate his swarming ability and placed Captain Venom in a safe location protected by a wall and Onslaught. At this point, he had moved Al Jhor Dan into position where he could choose Telekinesis through his pick-a-power ability to place Hela within 4 of Onslaught. Unfortunately, his rolls were terrible. When he needed a 5, he would roll a 4. This allowed me to come in with Barbatos and immobilize his Hela. Because of her Mystics Team Ability I didn’t necessarily feel a need to attack and instead one-shot his Alex Wilder, killing him, and because he’s a traitor figure, he was now friendly to my force. This gave me two of the following powers: Perplex, Probability Control, or Outwit, depending on the power my opponent chose that I couldn’t use. He gave me Perplex and Probability Control. This allowed me to modify Onslaught with all my Perplexes and kill Al Jhor Dan in a single shot. Win 115-0. Record: 2-0.

Thanos UC

GAME 3 — Another matchup with a well-known and highly-skilled player. Because of my low point total, I knew I had to win this game to make Top 4. His Cosmic team consisted of full-point Ultra Chase ABPI074 Thanos equipped with the Ego Gem (Infinity Gem) and ABPIS002 Time Gem (Infinity Gem), Chase CMM021 Captain Marvel with the TMTS005 Enchanted Crowbar, ABPI048 Astronomer with ABPIT006 Bearer of the Power Gem, ABPI064 Collector with ABPIT003 Bearer of the Reality Gem and ABPIS003 Power Gem (Infinity Gem), and WKD17-B003 Ape Green Lantern bystander. I win map roll. Much of the game was positioning and I knew he had excellent sources of Telekinesis in Astronomer and Collector with the Reality Gem. I would have to use the walls to prevent line of sight and use Prez Rickard’s Barrier through the Zero ring to prevent him taking a running shot with Captain Marvel. Ultimately I made a couple errors that cost me the game. The first error was not anticipating that Captain Marvel’s ability to Charge at no cost after using Running Shot was not dependent on hitting. He used Telekinesis to position Captain Marvel to Running Shot and destroy my Barrier. She then Charged on Barbatos landing a huge hit. This forced me to retreat to keep him alive. I decided to retaliate and Mind Control his Thanos to attack his own team, which I did successfully, but not enough to KO anyone. He then placed Thanos into position with Telekinesis where he could Sidestep within Onslaught’s radius. Having used Thanos only once myself, I forgot about his awesome Perplex, which essentially neutralizes PROTECTED: Outwit when he uses it on an opponent. He Perplexed Onslaught’s defense down then proceeded to Outwit my Shape Change and defense. He then modified Thanos’ damage and hit Onslaught, killing him  in one shot as last action was called. Loss 0-125. Record: 2-1. Final placement was 6 of 13 players.

Twilight of the Monsters

Progenitus.jpg

I really enjoyed my team and felt it mostly performed as I had anticipated. My strategy was sound. I do believe that if I had practiced more I could have possibly placed even higher. I forgot a few other items that could have helped my team. Particularly Mojo’s bored tokens that he accrues when any characters miss an attack, including my own team. Mojo then can remove two bored tokens to either be placed anywhere on the map or to make a close attack. I had utilized this in practice, but forgot it on my own missed attacks on game day. Overall, I’m not sure I would change much to my team since each element served a purpose and all my pieces worked well together. About the only adjustment I could make was to the equipment, but even then I thought they did well. I did forget to use normal Barrier from the Zero Ring and not just the free 1 Barrier marker. This definitely could have helped in my third game, where I could have put up a Barrier that was 2 squares deep. I would like to possibly consider adding the Pym Pocket Tank, but that would force me to either drop both Mandarin rings or the map location bonus and a ring. Overall, it wasn’t the day for Monsters, but then again you never know when they might return to rule the day.

Thanks for reading another Meta Diary installment.

And That’s the Top 5, Because Stone. Cold. Said So! (Or, a Look at the Top 5 Figures in the WWE Set!!)

Some notes about the set:

  • These wrestlers are more effective than they have any right to be in Heroclix. They can do a Flying Leap that hurts Superman. They can Body Slam Galactus. They can put the Living Tribunal in a Submission Hold. When I wrote Wizkids for an explanation about how plausible this was, they replied saying “I need you to get all the way off my back about this.” Apparently this set was designed by the writer from the Pitch Meetings series on You Tube.

  • The WWE Rules and Grand Entrance are what put these guys over the top (pun intended).
    WWE Rules: This character can’t be the target of range attacks or Outwit if: they’re on click #1, they’re on a click with a blue click #, -or- they’ve already been targeted by a range attack this turn. Protected: Pulse Wave.
    Grand Entrance: During your first turn, if this character is in your starting area, they have “FREE: Move.” (Grand Entrance is great for picking up Equipment.)
  • I think that in order to be meta, you’ll need to splash these guys onto generic  keyworded or non keyworded teams. I don’t see entirely WWE teams making it too far in a modern tournament.
  • In a lot of sets I usually like the lower dials on figures better than the full point dials. In this set I can’t find a single lower dial I like better.
  • John Cena is on this list, but just like the wrestler himself you can’t see it.

Now on to our Honorable Mentions that just missed the cut:

Pedigree

3. WWE003 Triple H (85 points) – The Cerebral Assassin was just a nickname, but Wizkids went ahead and gave him the Assassin keyword (along with Politician.) His Special Power makes him a great leader for those keywords. It reads “ Numbers Game: Empower. Friendly characters that are adjacent or share a keyword with him besides WWE can use Empower.” Beyond giving his whole team Empower his signature move Pedigree is very good. It gives him +1 Damage, adds an action token to whomever it hits, combines with his stun to give a hit target -1 to Attack and Damage next turn, and works in conjunction with Charge. Down dial he gets Slam (my favorite WWE power) to add action tokens followed by some additional clicks with the combination of Flurry and Outwit.

Sweet Chin Music!

2. WWE106 Shawn Michaels (75 points) – Shawn Micheals is mostly a one-trick pony, but it’s a heck of a trick. At 75 points his damage value maxes out at 2 and he doesn’t have charge or any starting attack power. He does have a Perplex power that he can use to help out your team while remaining safe from ranged attacks due to his WWE team ability. Then once every 4-5 turns he builds up enough “Tuning Up the Band Counters” to make his signature move Sweet Chin Music absolutely deadly.  It reads, “ Signature Move: Sweet Chin Music: CLOSE: Improved Movement: Characters. If Shawn Michaels has 1 action token, move him up to half his speed value and then make a close attack, modifying attack and damage +1 for each Tuning Up The Band token. After resolutions, remove those tokens.” So Shawn Micheals can move 2 squares from sidestep, then 1 more from Nimble, and then 5 more from Sweet Chin Music before hitting attacking someone with a 14 att value and 5 damage! It’s obvious to see why they didn’t give a higher starting damage than 2, but it sure makes playing him feel super uneven. The other thing that makes him hard to put on a team is that he is one of the few characters in the set to not have any generic keywords that would let you easily include him on a non WWE team.

Chokeslam

1. WWE0014 Kane (100 points) – Kane has great keywords and on the right map *cough* Wakanda *cough* he’ll be attacking up to four people at once. However, in my opinion he gets out shined a bit by his brother the Undertaker. His “Fiery Posts” Special Power is very map dependent, but when it works it really works well. It reads, “ Fiery Posts: POWER: Choose up to 4 opposing characters within 6 squares that are adjacent to 2+ Ropes.Make a close attack targeting all of them regardless of adjacency. Each hit character is dealt 2 penetrating damage.” He doesn’t have a starting support power, but he does have a 9 click long dial with 4 starting Damage. On the back end of his dial he has Charge, Reversal, Toughness, and Prob Control all at once. His signature move, Chokeslam, can do up to 7 damage if your dice are lucky, but an opposing character needs to start the round adjacent to Kane when Kane has one action token. Most opponents will see that coming. A fun fact Hypefox told me is that Kane has the Politician Keyword in Heroclix because he’s a Mayor of a town in Tennessee in real life! 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I believe it’s Knox County, Tennessee!]

Here’s my Top 5:

Mr. Socko

5. WWE102 Mankind (75 points) – Mankind is an effective tough combatant that will just keep coming back for more punishment thanks to his 7 clicks of Toughness and the healing from his Special White Power. It reads “ Cactus Jack or Dude Love: FREE: Choose one: Mankind can use Perplex until your next turn -or- heal Mankind 1 click.” He doesn’t hit for a lot of damage, but whenever he does hit most of the time he will also give that hit character an action token. That comes from him having both Slam and a Signature Move that gives action tokens. It reads, “ Signature Move: Mr. Socko: CLOSE: If Mankind has 1 action token, make a close attack. After resolutions, a hit target gains Immobile and is given an action token.” Both Slam and his Signature Move also work with his top dial Charge.

Flying Elbow

4. WWE0010 Macho Man Randy Savage (100 points) – He was one of the greatest guys to ever shoot a promo before a fight (Ohhh Yeahhhh). Wizkids gave him a special damage power to reflect that. It reads, “ ONE OF THE GREATEST TALKERS IN WWE HISTORY: Perplex. When Macho Man uses it to target himself, he may modify a value except damage +2 instead of +1. When he uses it to target an opposing character, until your next turn that character can’t use Outwit or Perplex.” So he can give himself a 20 Defense, or 13 Attack, or he can give someone like the Unimind -1 att and completely block that character from using Outwit or Perplex (not that Outwit works against WWE figures most of the time anyways). Defensively, he starts with Reversal and Super Senses that along with his high defense from Perplex makes him a frighteningly effective tie up character. If you are the opponent, you’ll have to get through his 20 Defense and Super Senses that’s Immune to Outwit and you only are able to break away on a 6 thanks to Reversal. If you miss, or if he rolls Super Senses, or if you try to break away and fail then Macho Man gets a free attack on his next turn due to Reversal. Macho Man’s Signature Move the Flying Elbow is a harder to pull off version of Kane’s Choke Slam that can do up to 6 damage if your dice are lucky, but only if he starts the move next to at least two ropes (printed hindering or blocking not on a diagonal square).

The Three Amigos

3. WWE017 Eddie Guerrero (70 points) – He’ll lie, cheat, and steal just one of your opponent’s attack dice with his special take on Prob Control. It reads “ Lie, Cheat and Steal: Probability Control, but you may choose to reroll only one die.” At his point level that combined with his WWE TA might be enough right there to justify playing him. However, he also is one of only 2 figures in the set to have a stop click and his signature move The Three Amigos can be deadly. It reads “ Signature Move: Three Amigos: If Eddie Guerrero has 1 action token, Flurry. When Eddie Guerrero uses it, he can make 3 close attacks instead of 2 and his maximum damage value is 3.” Unfortunately, Eddie doesn’t have much ability to move and attack so characters with powers like Hypersonic Speed will be real tough for him to handle without help.

The People’s Elbow

2. WWE001 The Rock (90 points)- For 90 points the Rock brings starting Charge, Slam, Invulnerability, and Perplex. That’s everything I want in a starting click for a WWE figure and he has a 9 click long dial that features Slam (my favorite WWE power) on most of it. His signature move The People’s Elbow is one of the few in the set to add to both attack and damage value. It reads, “ SIGNATURE MOVE: PEOPLE’S ELBOW: CLOSE: Improved Movement: Characters. If The Rock has 1 action token, move him up to 2 squares then make a close attack, modifying attack +1. If he hits, friendly characters modify damage +1 when attacking that hit character this turn. (Including this attack’s damage)” And because it’s a close action it can be combined with Charge. So he can move up to 6 squares and make a close attack with an 12 Attack Value that will do 4 damage if it hits (this doesn’t include his Perplex).

Tombstone Piledriver

1. WWE013 Undertaker (100 points)- I actually like the Rock’s dial a little better than the Undertaker’s (though he’s no slouch), but the Undertaker will be on more successful teams due to his popular Monster and Mystical Keywords. In all of the Pauper winning teams over the past few weeks, the Undertaker has been the most popular figure. He’s most often seen with fellow monster Onslaught.

The Undertaker’s starting dial features Sidestep, Submission Hold (similar to Poison with Immobile thrown in), Invulnerability, Outwit and 4 Printed Damage. He has the only stop click in the set besides Eddie Guerrero and it stops his dial on a blue click number which (like his starting click) make him immune to ranged attacks and Outwit. That’s really helpful for preventing a KO when he’s that far down his 9 click dial. Beyond that his signature move Tombstone Piledriver is really good and can give him up 14 Attack and 6 Damage depending on the circumstances. It reads “ Signature Move: Tombstone Piledriver: CLOSE: If Undertaker has 1 action token, make a close attack. Modify attack and damage +1 for each action token on the target, and an additional attack +1 if the target has Immobile.

That’s enough to make the Undertaker the Heavy Weight Champion of this set.

But wait what’s this?

My gawd King!

A new contender has entered the ring! He’s saying that he’s actually going to be the most popular piece from the set. It’s turning into real slobber knocker. The Undertaker is down! He rises from the dead… And gets knocked down again. He’s out cold.

We have a new Heavyweight Champion of this set!

It’s…

1. WWE111 WWE Ring (5 points) – This will definitely be the piece from this set that you will end up seeing the most. It’s as powerful as the boxing ring in a slightly different way.

It reads:

Ropes exist along the edge of the Ring. (When you knock a character back into the Ropes, you may choose that their knock back path continues in the opposite direction back along that same path.)
 Once per turn, you may reroll the close attack of a friendly character in the Ring.
 Once per turn, you may reroll the range attack of an opposing character outside the Ring that’s targeting a friendly character inside the Ring.

 Consolation: “At the beginning of the game, choose a friendly character. Once per game, you may reroll that character’s attack. Once per game, you may reroll an attack targeting that character.

So if you take a powerful long range attacker like 125 point Onslaught and put him in the ring then you get a free use of Prob Control ( that can’t be outwitted or otherwise stopped – even by pulsewave) when anyone outside the ring shoots at him. If they get in the ring with him then Onslaught gets to reroll his own attack rolls when he targets that figure with a close attack. That’s huge advantage for only 5 points.

That’s it for this set review. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of my picks (including my suprise #1.)

 

 

 

 

META Diary: Michigan ROC State Championship!!

Danger Room Dice Masters

Right concept, wrong game. Hmmm…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We have a guest columnist today! This is a firsthand account of Southeastern Michigan Meta player Roberto Ty and his run last week at the Michigan ROC State Championship! We’re hoping to feature Roberto semi-regularly on this site, so if you like what you see, let him know in the Comments below!]

Michigan ROC State Championship

November 9, 2019

By Roberto Ty

Warren, MI – Twenty-six players brought a wide range of teams for the ROC Michigan State Championship at Eternal Games. There was a lot of mystery in the days leading up to this event in part due to the new Pauper format where players are restricted to using game elements of a common or uncommon rarity level. Convention exclusives and OP figures are excluded and a Highlander rule is in effect. The most impactful rule, however, was not a restriction, but rather the inclusion of the WWE Universe figures. Released only two weeks earlier, the WWE characters brought their own multiverse abilities (such as Grand Entrance) and an even greater X-Factor–the WWE Ring–to the event that rivaled the latest Pauper meta contenders from the X-Men The Animated Series: Dark Phoenix Saga set like Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs, Nimrod, and Onslaught.

 

Brotherhood Pauper

It’s A Team Decision

A month before the event, I practiced several teams to gain insight both for my final build and to become familiar with character dials. The latter became moot as WizKids made a controversial decision: players were allowed to look at the back of an opponent’s card. This would go into effect on November 6, just three days before the event.

Juggernaut Pauper

Juggernaut, The… Quite Stoppable One-Man Army

What looks good on paper (for Pauper)… maybe should just stay on paper. Nothing exemplified this more than XDPS-G007 Juggernaut. He dominated many pre-release and release events and was the one-man army that seemed likely to dominate the Pauper format…until you practiced with him. At 300-points, he may be unstoppable, but he certainly wasn’t unbeatable. And just like the comics, he is easily overwhelmed by a team… and that team didn’t even have to be the X-Men. I lost to a Star Trek team that won map roll and placed us on a map without blocking terrain. Juggernaut needs blocking terrain to win because of his two synchronous Traits:

CITY-WIDE RAMPAGE: If Juggernaut destroyed 3 or more pieces of blocking terrain during one of his actions, after resolutions remove an action token from him.

MY MUTANT BROTHERS AND SISTERS: Once per turn when an effect other than clearing removes an action token from Juggernaut, after resolutions heal him 1 click.

Juggernaut can’t win map–certainly not consistently. So I shelved him and formed a new plan.

Nimrod Animated

Nimrod and My Dice

While map matters, so does a plan. The Juggernaut practice emphasized the importance of winning map and to win map I needed a Themed Team. I gravitated toward 175-point XDPS-G003 Nimrod and supported him with XDPS011b Magneto and XDPS-G002 Sentinel Squad One or XDPS011b Magneto,  XDPS023b Sabretooth, and XDPS-G001 Sentinel. While Magneto and Sabretooth were hard to kill due to their Danger Room Construct Traits, they also didn’t have the offensive output I typically like on my builds. 

DANGER ROOM CONSTRUCT TRAIT: When Magneto makes an attack, after resolutions give him an Error token for each [1] in the attack roll (maximum 3). // If Magneto has 2 or less Error tokens, characters take a maximum of 1 damage from Magneto’s attacks, Magneto takes a maximum of 1 damage from opponent’s attacks, and he can’t be healed or chosen for Mastermind. Protected: Pulse Wave.

Using Magneto as the pilot circumvented the damage restriction and allowed Sentinel Squad One to use the pilot’s offensive values (8 range, 12 attack, and 4 damage). Despite this, I didn’t feel the team was very strong: Nimrod didn’t have a move and attack, the team was only a +3 or a +4 (depending on the build) map roll, and there was no Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control. Without these support powers, a lot was left to my dice rolls. Nimrod’s Running Comparative Evaluation Of Reference Data trait offered him additional protection when being attacked…but only if I could roll higher than my opponent. The trait reads:

RUNNING COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF REFERENCE DATA: When Nimrod is attacked and would be hit, you may roll 2d6. If your roll is equal or higher than the attacker’s attack roll, Nimrod evades that attack and after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to their printed damage value.

I didn’t roll higher than my opponent’s attack roll in my practice games. I couldn’t even roll a 1 to get Error Tokens on my Constructs either. Leaving it to chance was risky and I needed to come up with another plan.

Phoenix Rise and Fall

Rachel Summers Phoenix

More lessons on paper. On paper, I didn’t like XDPS-G010 Phoenix because she had a short dial for 175 points, only had a move and attack on her top click, and a very hittable 17 defense up close (she has Energy Shield Deflection). Even with a STOP click, I wasn’t that impressed…until I played against my friend, who used her to great effect on a non-theme team. His team had a lot of options that centered on supporting her effectiveness and her incredible 10 range. Another practice friend use the XDPS Fast Forces X-Men, which also opened my eyes on their usefulness as main force characters and not just as Call-In options. I decided to go with Phoenix, XDPS03 Beast, FFXDPS005 Gambit, and XXS007 Moira McTaggert. This build offered the ability to Perplex by +4 (+2 from Beast, +1 Moira McTaggert, +1 Phoenix), +4 Named Theme Team Probability Control, X-Men Team Ability for healing, Leadership, and decent secondary attackers. Additionally, Gambit’s trait gave the entire team Probability Control against attacks from Great Size characters. His trait:

HUNTED AND ON THE RUN: Friendly characters that are adjacent or have the X-Men keyword can use Probability Control when attacked by characters with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol].

The team proved quite effective and won a lot of the practice matches, but despite this I was hesitant after playing a 300-point modern game that was restricted to non-Marvel and non-DC characters. My build was: TREKRF028r Q, TREKOS044 Trelane, TREKBG016 Miles O’Brien, WWE012 Asuka, and WWE017 Eddie Guerrero. This team exposed me to the effectiveness of the WWE characters and it gnawed on me up to the week of the event.

Brotherhood TWO

The Return of Juggernaut in The Brotherhood of Mutants

I had a competitive Pauper event prior to the ROC that was essentially a practice run. My friend, who couldn’t attend the ROC, offered me his team, which was 100-point Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, Blob, and Amelia Vought for a Brotherhood of Mutants named theme team.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This friend was indeed our own Ninwashui.]

This team build was a hard-to -kill and point-denial team. I went 1-1, losing the first game 0-0 in a roll off and winning the second game 13-0. These results didn’t offer me the certainty I needed. In fact, going into Saturday, I found myself returning back to the Phoenix team.

Juggernaut Bitch

“I’m the Juggernaut, B****”

Game Time Decision

Be prepared. I brought my Phoenix and Brotherhood teams and it wasn’t until I filled out my build sheet that I decided to go with Juggernaut. I was seeing enough WWE characters that I was concerned that Phoenix wouldn’t be able to target them because of the WWE rules:

WWE Rules: This character can’t be the target of range attacks or Outwit if: they’re on click #1, they’re on a click with a blue click #, -or- they’ve already been targeted by a ranged attack this turn. Protected: Pulse Wave.

So, then this was my…

FINAL TEAM:

100 XDPSG007R Juggernaut
50 XDPS011B Magneto
45 XDPS023B Sabretooth
60 XDPS021 Blob
45 XDPS019 Amelia Voght
300 (Brotherhood of Mutants, +5 map initiative roll, +5 Theme Team Probability Control)

Maps: Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns, Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map, The Mighty Thor Jotunheim Lake

Having a plan. Based on the two games I played on Thursday, I would engage my opponent primarily with Magneto and Sabretooth, forcing the action. Blob would be a tie-up piece and a tertiary attacker. Juggernaut would break grouped formations with Quake and Amelia Vought would provide him support through her Mutant Messiah trait and her special defense power, Transmute Out of Danger.

MUTANT MESSIAH: At the beginning of the game, for all characters with this trait, choose a friendly character with the Acolytes or Brotherhood of Mutants or X-Men keyword. That character can use Mastermind, but only to choose characters with this trait.

TRANSMUTE OUT OF DANGER: Super Senses. Once per turn, when Amelia Voghtor an adjacent friendly character would take 3 or more damage, you may give that character two action tokens to take 1 unavoidable damage instead. If you do, after resolutions you may place that character in a square adjacent to her current square.

Swiss Rounds

Giant-Girl images.jpg

GAME 1—The matchup was with a friend and judge at a local venue I play at. I actually played him at the Thursday Pauper event and beat him 13-0. This was a nice first-round pairing since it would be a fun, low-stress, and friendly match that would allow me to ease into a potentially intense, strategic-thinking kind of day. He won map roll with his Avengers team—Voyager, Hulk, Medusa, Crystal, AIM White and Red, 2 Giant-Girls, several IDs, WWE Ring, and Iron Avenger Assemble (Stark Tower Location Bonus). We did a lot of positioning for the first few turns. I initially was going to engage him with one of my Constructs, but he left his Giant-Girl partly exposed and I took advantage with Magneto’s incredible range. Knocking her out. He then called in Kitty to generate Lockheed for an Energy Explosion, which missed. The game ended 13-0. Record:1-0.

Deathstroke images.png

GAME 2—Because of my low points, I was placed at one of the lower tables and was matched up against my brother-in-law, who ran a non-theme team that consisted of ABPI010 S.H.I.E.L.D. Diplomat, RE001 Deathstroke, EAX030 The Skull, AI004 Hawkeye, AIG001-20 Giant-Girl, and HQ029 Batman. It was an atypical build and I wasn’t sure initially what the main threat was, outside of Deathstroke. I didn’t worry about The Skull’s across the map Mind Control because I knew I would win map and put us on Underground Caverns. I positioned conservatively and managed to siphon his team in the middle of the map. The blocking terrain really hindered his team and I took advantage by targeting his Giant-Girl with Magneto. I then set to work on Deathstroke and took him out in a couple turns. His team really got locked down and he wasn’t able to really make a dent in my hard-to-damage team. Record: 2-0

Onslaught images.jpg

GAME 3—My next opponent was someone I played before at the major events. He ran one of the teams that I didn’t want to see, an Onslaught team that included Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, HQ004 Big Tony, BTAS007 Leslie Thompkins, and XDPSG004p Proteus. What I feared about Onslaught was his trait:

PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Onslaught has PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. // Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.

While Juggernaut could potentially charge right in on Onslaught, it was risky if he hit his Shape Change roll. If Onslaught failed his Shape Change roll, then Ensign Crusher’s special attack power allowed Onslaught the ability to reroll it once per turn. Crusher’s power:

I GOT IT, CAPTAIN!: Once per turn, when a friendly character that’s adjacent or has the Starfleet keyword rolls for Leadership, Shape Change, Super Senses, or Impervious they may re-roll that roll.

Onslaught could then attack and get Juggernaut off his top click and his special defense power:

SHIELDED BY MY HELMET: Colossal Stamina, Invincible. Juggernaut has PROTECTED: Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, Pulse Wave.

This would have made Juggernaut susceptible to Onslaught’s Mind Control. With all this in mind, we both used the first few turns to position, until I made what could have been a fatal error. He blew out a piece of blocking terrain with Magneto that allowed him to hit Juggernaut with Onslaught. I forgot to Mastermind the damage to Amelia Voght. This forced me to retreat so I could heal by destroying blocking terrain and removing an action token from Juggernaut.

My Magneto then struck back on Onslaught, getting him off his top click, which was important so that he no longer had Shape Change. He was still formidable since he now had Super Senses, which Ensign Crusher allowed him to also reroll once per turn. I knew I had to take out his support out and I largely used Juggernaut to do this with:

MASS DESTRUCTION:  Super Strength. When Juggernaut is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.

I won, killing Ensign Crusher, Big Tony, Leslie Thompkins, and Proteus. Record: 3-0.

Mirror Match

GAME 4—The Mirror Match. I faced the brother of my friend who had built our Brotherhood teams.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This was our own HypeFox!]

He initially was playing a very good Onslaught team during the week and like me, decided to go Brotherhood. I won map roll and decided to change the map to Stark Tower because I wanted to limit the amount of healing either of us could do. I took out his Amelia Voght early and thought I had gained the advantage, but he quickly turned the game around thanks to me missing the first attack with Juggernaut. This was par for the course all day unfortunately. In each of my matches, Juggernaut missed his very first attack when it would have done the most damage. I battled, but he was able to make several Impervious rolls in a row and that cost me the win. Record: 3-1.

Top 16

Wakanda images.jpg

GAME 5—This was the 8-9 matchup. I was 8th due to my low point total and my opponent was 2-2 with a lot of points. He rocked a very cool Wakanda team: FFABPI003 Shuri, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, ABPI007 Wakandan Scientist, ABPI029A Black Panther, 75 FFABPI006 Okoye, and 30 ABPI021 Ayo. He won map and chose Rebirth Metal Arena with no blocking terrain! Juggernaut would be severely handicapped and I would need to use him judiciously.

This type of team is built to take you by surprise and I was really surprised. First, Shuri’s trait:

SCIENTIST OF WAKANDA: UNIQUE MODIFIER-Friendly characters with the Wakanda keyword modify defense +1 if they are closer to your starting area than any other starting area.

We of course battled closer to his starting area. I positioned midway on the map while he placed Okoye next to the Dune Buggy for added protection. I had to be wary not to get within her full charge special power:

THE DORA MILAJE ARE FIRST TO FIGHT: Charge, but do not halve speed.

Magneto would use Ranged Combat Expert to modify his attack to a 14 so he could hit Okoye’s high defense, dealing his 1 maximum damage. He knew this would be a problem because I wasn’t going to move my team in to be swarmed. His team had a ton of Perplex on his team that could do serious damage to Juggernaut. With the ability to look at the back of the cards, I knew that Black Panther and Okoye had middle-dial Outwit, which would be dangerous if Juggernaut was knocked off his special defense power that gave him PROTECTED: Outwit.

I knew I would have to move my team around to force him to come chase me. He approached my team with Black Panther and Okoye—his main attackers—but they didn’t have the reach to get there in one turn. Next turn I moved my team away and tried to hit his support and KO them with Juggernaut, but I missed badly. Again.

He then came back with Black Panther, but made a positioning error that allowed me to pummel him with Juggernaut rolling a critical hit with a heavy object. I followed up with a range attack from Magneto. I was up 95-0 and won. Record: 4-1.

Top 8

Wesley-Crusher-3.jpg

GAME 6—My opponent was another player I knew from a local venue. I was impressed by his performance. He was a new player and it was his first major event. Despite being new, he had gone undefeated for the day. His practice and diligence was paying off. 

I knew this was going to be a difficult matchup. It was another Onslaught build, but this time it consisted of TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, XDPS023A Sabretooth, RE024 Veronica Cale, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, AIG005 Dune Buggy Special Terrain, and EAXLB-SC I Keep The Trains Running (Location Bonus).

I won map and chose Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns Indoor Map. A good portion of this game was positioning, with neither of us willing to overextend our teams to get swarmed.

I had left my Blob exposed to Onslaught’s Mind Control, which he made. He used Blob to attack Sabretooth, but missed. Since Blob wasn’t friendly to my force, he was not Immobile from his trait and rolled for a breakaway that he was successful on.

NOTHING MOVES THE BLOB: Immobile, but only if it’s not your turn. // At the end of your turn, if the Blob was not moved or placed this turn, give him a Stability token. Blob modifies defense +1 for each Stability token. When he moves or is placed, remove his Stability tokens.

He was able to kill my Amelia Voght, which put me down on points. I had to get more aggressive and kill his support with Juggernaut’s move and quake. I moved and last action was called. I made my free Quake and was able to kill off a couple of support pieces for the win. It was a low-scoring affair that I won. Record: 5-1.

Top 4

Crystal

GAME 7—This matchup was against a well-known player and former World Champion. His team was Avengers: AIG001-10 Giant-Girl, FFAIG001P Giant-Girl, ABPI012 Crystal, ABPI017 Voyager, TMT106E Hulk, ABPI030 Medusa, TMT023 Eric Masterson, FFAI001E Iron Man, TMTS001 Bloodaxe, and 5 EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble  (Location Bonus).

My opponent won map and placed us on Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map. As I mentioned earlier, I was worried about this match up because the build has so many options for dealing with different teams. It also has multiple ways to hurt you with free attacks either from Crystal’s free Quakes or through multiple attacks from Medusa’s Living Hair. If that weren’t enough then Hulk comes in with a 12 attack and 4 damage.

I tried to position strategically again, but in hindsight should have been more aggressive from the opening bell. I took out his Giant-Girls early, but failed to make critical attacks with Juggernaut when I needed to in order to change the outcome of the game. Once he was able to get Juggernaut off his top defense power, he quickly pressed his advantage and Outwitted his defense. Once he took out Juggernaut, it was pretty much an uphill battle for my Danger Room Constructs and Blob. I got 1 Error Token the entire game and was never ever able to deal enough damage to his team while in contrast he was whittling me down with all his free attacks. Final Record: 5-2, 4th Place Finish.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ninwashui’s design finished the day at 10-3. Not a bad record for a Meta-rich environment!]

Final Thoughts

My 4th Place was not my highest finish in a major event, but it was my highest in constructed. While the Pauper format, did introduce a variety of interesting builds, there were still clear archetypes that were followed (Avengers, Nimrod, and Onslaught). It will be interesting to see what other winning builds will show up in other states. I wouldn’t be surprised if a WWE team winds up winning. They are that good, especially in this format.

Will Pauper catch on? I hope so, it can offer a more affordable game to newer players. I still think it could use more tweaking so that we see more creative and unique builds, but overall the format reinvigorated the game from my perspective. It really was fun to sit down across a team that wasn’t Cosmic with Colossal Retaliators and equipment.

What’s the plural for multiple Onslaught? (Or a top ten list of the best figures in X-men the Animated Series)

Some Notes about the set:

  • You can largely ignore the small figures. In my opinion, the Colossal figures are where all the fun is.
  • Robots might be meta now that thanks to all the new effective pieces from this set.
  • Brotherhood might be meta now (yes really).
  • Wolverine and beast are pretty good, but the rest of the regular x-men didn’t wow me.

The Honorable Mentions

5. XDPSG022 Mojo (75 points) – The first of many figures on this list with my favorite new trait, behind the scenes. It reads, “Behind the Scenes: Mojo can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.” It prevents even probability control  from being used against Mojo unless the target is at short range. Beyond that Mojo at 75 points is a really nice support piece featuring a combination of sidestep, TK, and perplex.  As the game progresses he’ll be able to make use of his last trait to devastating effect. It reads, “More Action!… Ratings are Dropping!: Whenever a character misses all targets of their attack, give Mojo a Bored token. // FREE: Remove 2 Bored tokens to either place Mojo anywhere on the map -or- make an attack.” It doesn’t take  much for most teams I run to produce misses. The fact that later in the game this guy can attack twice in a turn or teleport anywhere on the board as a free action is nuts.

4. XDPSG001b Stealth Sentinel (100 points) –  With very good values on attack or stealth and free action smoke cloud on defense, Stealth Sentinel brings a lot to the table. His ability to strike from range and then hide anywhere on the map is awesome. He also has the ability push with Colossal stamina and then immediately heal himself by changing modes.  On offense his two stop clicks offer extra protection and on defense his poison offers another way to attack difficult to hit characters.

3. XDPS048 Jason Wyngarde (75 points) – He’s immune to outwit, has leadership that hits anywhere on the board, and there is a good chance he can mind control the entire opposing team each time he uses it. Hellfire club teams may be a thing, but he’s more likely to get use out of his brotherhood keyword. However the best reason to run this guy is his trait which reads, “Psionic Illusion: FREE: Choose a character on your sideline of 150 points or less (on their highest-point line). Generate a bystander printed on that character’s card. Each bystander generated this way has [MAX 1]. You may activate this ability only twice per game.” Dropping tokens on someone as a free action is just awesome. His battle cry is, “Have an Old Lace to the Face.” 

2. XDPSG003 Nimrod (275 points) – While not much of a primary attacker because of his lack of move and attack options, he may have a future as a One Man Army. If you play him at 175 your opponent could ignore him and stay out of range, but if he’s the only piece on the board then your opponent has to start attacking him. That’s when they’ll face his defensive trait, “Running Comparative Evaluation of Reference Data: When Nimrod is attacked and would be hit, you may roll 2d6. If your roll is equal or higher than the attacker’s attack roll, Nimrod evades that attack and after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to their printed damage value.” From there it’s a roll off. If you can out roll your opponent then they will never touch you. If they out roll you, then you won’t have a good day. This sort of character doesn’t work for me, but seems to work against me so I am including it on this list.

1. XDPS043b Mr. Sinister (40 points) – He is the least likely of the danger room pieces to be used because of his lack of the brotherhood keyword. However, on robot theme teams he’s practically a must play. He boasts outwit that sees through stealth and poison for close encounters. On defense he has stealth, shape change, and energy shield deflection to go along with his practically being immortal from the danger room trait. So the 5 hits he needs to be KOed will likely take well more than 5 attempts from your opponent. He’s a stealthy outwitter that we’ve loved in the past for 30 points (like ADW007 Black Panther) except he’s 40 points and they added everything but the kitchen sink. In any game where outwit matters, he’ll be the best piece on your team.

The Top Ten:

10. XDPSG023a Shadow King (150 points) – He has a the Power Cosmic TA and and the Brotherhood keyword which I don’t think is really justified for this character, but hey if the designers are going to throw us a bone we might as well use it. The TA he has means if he were to ever gain additional powers from another source, those powers couldn’t be outwitted (more on that later). On defense he has the behind the scenes trait, can reduce penetrating damage, invulnerability, and probability control. On offense he ignores stealth, has a phasing/triple target mind control combo, and pulse wave to discourage people from getting 4 spaces or closer to him (which is required by his behind the scenes trait).

9. XDPSG005 Exodus (75 points) – The hero of many sealed teams. He has running shot and pulse wave (which is always dangerous) backed up by his special leadership power “Named By Magnus Himself to Lead Mutants Forward: Leadership. When Exodus uses it and succeeds, instead of the normal effect, you may remove an action token from up to 3 adjacent friendly characters that each share a keyword (with him). If you do, until your next turn modify Exodus’s combat values +1 for each token removed.” I played a 400 point brotherhood theme team on release day and several times I got +2 to all my stats just before doing a running shot/pulse wave. It was not good (for my opponent). His printed defense is just 18 with toughness, but he is standard size so you can hide him behind other tougher brotherhood characters. He brings one other unique trait to the team more powerful than others like it (way better than WCR008.1E Magneto), “Genoshan Force Field: At the beginning of the game, choose 2, 4, 6, or 8 to be X. // When a character more than X squares away would move within X squares of Exodus and wasn’t given a MOVE action, that character stops moving. When a character more than X squares away attacks one or more characters within X squares of Exodus, modify their attack -1.” So your opponent can move through it, but can’t use hypersonic, charge, or running shot without stopping at the chosen range. The range you pick is based heavily on their team. You can make charge and hypersonic almost useless, or at the very least give +1 ranged defense to your whole team.

8. XDPS019 Amelia Vought (45 points) – The only acolyte to have the brotherhood keyword, she is the ultimate mastermind character who also brings perplex with her.  Her trait reads “Mutant Messiah: At the beginning of the game, for all characters with this trait, choose a friendly character with the Acolytes or Brotherhood of Mutants or X-Men keyword. That character can use Mastermind, but only to choose characters with this trait.” So she gives mastermind to certain pieces, but she also has another trait to go along with it, “TRANSMUTE OUT OF DANGER: Super Senses. Once per turn, when Amelia Voght or an adjacent friendly character would take 3 or more damage, you may give that character two action tokens to take 1 unavoidable damage instead. If you do, after resolutions you may place that character in a square adjacent to her current square.” For example, if Shadow King was the mutant Messiah and Phoenix Psychic blasts him for 7 damage, you could mastermind the damage to Amelia and if Amelia had no action tokens, she would take 1 unavoidable damage from the attack and 1 damage from getting two action tokens and pushing.  Your Shadow King would be completely untouched. If Brotherhood becomes a constructed powerhouse (for the first time ever) she will likely be the reason.

7. XDPS047 Jean Grey (75 points) – Currently the meta consists of 75% cosmic teams and 25% of teams from all the other keywords combined. She is one of two pieces in this set to have that keyword (Dark Phoenix is the other). She has limited outwit and is a strong mind controller because of her trait, “Inner Circle Club: Black Queen: Outwit, but only to choose a black power or a special power. // Mind Control. When Jean Grey uses it as RANGE, modify attack +1 and she may instead target any number of characters of lower point value. (Must still be opposing and within range and line of fire.)” She pairs well with friendly mind controllers Jason Wyngarde, or Kobik thanks to her trait “Jason Wyngarde Has Shown Us the Way: Sidestep. Other friendly characters can target Jean Grey when using Mind Control.” And she could also be used as a bomb to be sent directly at your opponents because of her special power, “The Phoenix Unbound: STOP. Invulnerability, Power Cosmic Team Ability, . When this click is first revealed, after resolutions deal 3 damage to all other (friendly and opposing) characters within 6 squares. // POWER: Replace Jean Grey with XDPS #G020 Dark Phoenix on click #25.” 3 damage with no die rolls is awesome and it gets past things like stop clicks or the danger room trait since the damage does not come from an attack. However despite all of the various ways to use her, I predict you will mostly be seeing her as a popular call-in.

6. XDPSG018 Wendigo (15 points) – The second most powerful “vampire dial” ever made. his trait reads, “Ancient Mystical Curse: Colossal Stamina, Steal Energy. When Wendigo uses Steal Energy, he may heal past his starting line.” He has steal energy on every click which pairs well his special movement power, “In the Mountains, No One Hears You Scream: Charge, Flurry. When Wendigo ends his movement, after resolutions he may make a close attack but only to target a character with a Wounded token.” So imagine running a couple of these at 15 points each. If your opponent targets them right away they will die pretty easily and you’ll be out 30 points. But if they don’t get targeted right away, they will run amok. Every turn your opponent has to concentrate his attacks on the rest of your 270 point army the wendigos will grow and hurt things until they become a major threat.  All from a 15 point investment each.

5. XDPS011b Magneto (50 points) – Arguably the most powerful of the three danger  room pieces (depending on what you are facing). This is a 50 point ranged attacker who could raise his attack value to a 14 via his ranged combat expert. He also has dual target and psychic blast to make sure his damage sticks against almost any two targets in the game. Sure he likely won’t kill the other teams primary attacker, but he will weaken them. That’s what he is for, doing two 2 or 3 damage to the other teams most expensive piece while being relatively safe from attack himself. Even the best pieces are noticeably weaker 2 or 3 clicks off their top dial. (unless your a 300 point juggernaut)

4. XDPSG007 Juggernaut (100 points) – I have been waiting since the Infinity challenge set for them to make a really good Juggernaut, it’s only taken them a little over 17 years. He’s secretly my favorite comic book character and Kuruth from fear itself was the last playable Juggernaut we got. He was noticeably absent from both the Xavier’s School and Re-genesis sets.

This Juggernaut will probably the most play at 100 points, but with a good team to back him him up he’s dangerous at 200 points as well. At 300 points he won’t win nationals this year, but he’s still not really a “casual” piece. What makes him so deadly? First, he attacks exactly like the Juggernaut should by running straight through all terrain and smashing whatever is on the other side with his trait, “Mass Destruction: Super Strength. When Juggernaut is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.” The second thing that makes him so deadly is that so many powers just plain don’t work against him. His special defense reads, “Shielded by My Helmet: Colossal Stamina, Invincible. Juggernaut has PROTECTED: Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, Pulse Wave.” In addition to all of the listed powers, exploit weakness and psychic blast won’t help you because of his invincible. If you want to KO him, you’re going to have to get through his clicks the hard way.  The third reason Juggernaut is so deadly, is that he has multiple ways to heal and remove tokens from himself. One of his traits reads, “My Mutant Brothers and Sisters: Once per turn when an effect other than clearing removes an action token from Juggernaut, after resolutions heal him 1 click.” So removing a token with leadership or removing a token by rolling 10  or better while attacking (Brotherhood TA) also both heal him 1 click of health that turn. And he has a 3rd trait that will do more of the same, “City-Wide Rampage: If Juggernaut destroyed 3 or more pieces of blocking terrain during one of his actions, after resolutions remove an action token from him.” Finally Wizkids has given us a piece worthy of his motto, “Nothing can stop the unstoppable Juggernaut.”

3. XDPSG023b Storm (25 points) – As a 25 point second (or third) attacker you’ll never see better at that point cost. She has a 2 stage colossal retaliation that reads, “Colossal Retaliation: Mind Warp: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Storm or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Storm such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. If she hit, after resolutions she can use Mind Control at no cost as RANGE, modifying attack +3, to target the hit character and up to two others (within range and line of fire).” She has another trait that also gives her an additional free action she can use every turn,Summon a Vortex of Wind: Energy Shield/Deflection. // FREE: Choose up to 3 opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire, then roll a d6. Knock back each of the chosen characters a number of squares equal to the result.” So this 25 point character can free action to retaliate and punch someone, then if she hits use triple target mind control on anyone within range (ignoring characters for targeting), then she force blasts up to 3 characters within 6 squares of her and she still hasn’t made a costed action that turn. At that point she could attack (unlike most retaliators she doesn’t have colossal indifference), or just run away to do everything again later. Unfortunately, just like with the Jean Grey chase we will probably see her most as a popular call in piece. 

2. XDPSG006 Onslaught (125 points) – My favorite new primary attacker in the set and largely overlooked so far. On defense he has the behind the scenes trait, shape change, probability control (that sees through characters), Invulnerability, and PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. On offense he has starting 4 damage, Improved Targeting: Hindering/Characters, and his Psychic Juggernaut trait says, “// Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.” He also has two TAs to help him. He can be healed with the X-man TA (not likely) or remove a token from himself when his a roll is 10 or more with the brotherhood TA (way more likely). The thing that holds him back the most is his keywords (only armor and monster), however because he isn’t unique you can run two of him. I think 2 Onslaught (125 points each), Dr. Frankenstein (30 points), Carnage (10 points), and 10 points of ID cards, will be a strong meta team in the coming year.  (2 or 3 Wendigos in place of Dr. Frankenstein and Carnage isn’t a bad way to go either.)

1. XDPSG020 Dark Phoenix (30 points) – *Writer’s note: At the time of this writing it is assumed that Dark Phoenix heals every time she hits for 4 damage or KOs something. IE 4 KOs from a single action is 4 clicks of healing. Hitting for 4 damage and KOing something in a single action is 2 clicks of healing. If that changes then her position on this list would change.*

Dark Phoenix is the most powerful “vampire dial” ever made. With just a little bit of perplex to help her she will quickly turn from a small 30 point long range attacker into something that will eat his whole team. Her healing trait reads, “Feeding On Life Forces: When Dark Phoenix KO’s an opposing character, or an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, after resolutions heal her 1 click. She may heal past her starting lines this way but can’t be healed in any other way.” After 9 clicks of healing she becomes literally a 300 point character. How does she get that healing? The best way is killing off bystanders. Her trait says KO anything, so bystanders count towards that healing. Even better, it doesn’t say KO an opposing piece so if you have something low in health or a bystander run those into where she is doing a colossal retaliation and heal a click for each one you KO. Her colossal retaliation reads “Colossal Retaliation: Child of Light And Darkness: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Dark Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Dark Phoenix such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so also targeting all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. Hit characters are given an action token and each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.” There aren’t many bystanders that X-men generate that I can think of, but the cosmic keyword has AIG025P Groot. For twenty points you get 2 bystanders, a one click Groot, and your opponent gets a bystander. All of these can be fed to Dark Phoenix. At my local shop one of the guys recently played Dark Phoenix along with two AIG025P Groot and AI049 Photon. The results were frighteningly effective.

Heavy Is the Head That Wears the Crown!! (Or, an Article About My Experiences at the 2019 Summer Michigan Wizkids Open!!)

So the newest Michigan Wizkids Open Champion has just been crowned, and the winner is… Me!!! It could be luck, it could be my awesome play, or it could just be because the Canadian nationals were on the same day and the normal Toronto crew was absent. But whatever way you slice it, I won and I’ll take it!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Clearly it was luck!! Just kidding. I kid… ]

But enough self aggrandizing for now, let me tell you about…

My Team

ABPI011 Ant-Man – (30 points) My second favorite member of the team. His defenses are top notch for his point cost and he made a wonderful secondary attacker with a surprising amount of KOs on the day, but the real reason to play him is his ability to make anyone else on my team small. This allowed for excellent mobility by letting any of the other three characters carry each other. My favorite move was shrinking and carrying a double-token-ed Kobik up to an opposing character and then having her use her cube to give that character an action token when they thought they were safe. It also solved a lot of line of sight issues by shrinking my guys to let Kobik or Hulk see who they needed to see.

ABPI014 Hulk – (125points) The damage dealer of the team, and also the damage absorbing member of the team. His 12 attack and 5 damage made opponents fearful, but it’s the amount of clicks of life he had combined with his healing that truly made him great. Several times during the day he hit for 5 and 6 damage (often while outwitting defense before the hit). And opponents hated how he just wouldn’t die. With reducers on every click an opponent would have to bring psychic blast, outwit, or the raw damage output of someone like Thanos to even have a shot at knocking out Hulk. He has 8 clicks of life and heals for 1 the turn after he’s hit. Opponents would end up having to effectively go through 10 or 11 clicks of life before they finally saw the Hulk be KOed. 

ABPI021 Ayo – (30 points) The easiest of my team to KO. She had some moments to shine and made a good piece to use carry others with Ant-Man around, but overall she paled in Comparison to Ant-Man and she was exactly the same amount of points. Her biggest blades roll all day was 3 points of damage.

ABPI069 Kobik – (100 points) The best member of my team. I’d read about her exploits at nationals this year, but I hadn’t ever played her or even seen her in person. She has a distinct learning curve, but once you get the hang of her she is everything they said she was. Whether it was using dual target mind control from 11 range, or taking away Power Cosmic AND Mystics TA, or giving someone an action token (and pushing damage) with her item – she was worth the the hype. I was not a believer before today, I am now.

ABPI069T Hi, I’m Kobik – (15 points) Kobik’s cosmic cube was the real star of the show. It’s what makes her so broken. All three options it provides are great and as free actions with no chance of having to roll dice to avoid taking damage (like both of the set’s gauntlets), there is no reason not to use this every turn. I now believe that this is the most powerful item in the set (and that’s really saying something).

Total: 300 points

The Games

I ended up going 6 and 1 for the day only losing versus a team featuring both the Thanos Ultra Chase and Taskmaster in round round 1. Five of the wins were 300 to 0 or 300 to 30 (losing only Ayo).

The Semifinals

Versus:

  • ABPI074 Thanos (160 points)
  • ABPI061 Taskmaster (100 points)
  • ABPI005 A.I.M. Red Squad (20 points)
  • ABPI007 Wakandan Scientist (15 points)
  • 295 points total

This was versus the same Thanos team that I had lost to 300 to 0 in round 1. I was determined not to make the same mistakes twice. He won map roll and we played on Amok Time. My team is close combat focused and on this map I was in danger of getting killed by ranged attacks before I ever got near his team. I courageously hid in a corner behind a pillar until he got to about mid map with only Kobik sticking out. I managed to land a dual target mind control when he got to within 11 of me, but missed with Thanos and had Skeet roll impervious against Taskmaster. On his turn he gave Taskmaster running shot and ridiculously modified stats and tried to attack Kobik. She hit shape change and he had no other targets. Then I sprang into action on my turn. Hulk was shrunk by ant man and carried up to Taskmaster by Kobik. Kobik used her item to give Taskmaster a second token so he couldn’t do anything the next turn. Ayo carried Ant Man up to base Thanos. Kobik gave both Thano’s TAs to Hulk so Thanos lost willpower. On my opponents turn he he could do anything with Taskmaster except chose combat reflexes. Thanos faced the decision of pushing to try to attack Ant-man because he already had one action token. He chose to pass the turn. On my next turn Hulk outwitted combat reflexes and brought taskmaster down to his last click. Then one of my 30 point attackers finished Taskmaster off. The rest of the game went well from there. Kobik eventually made it over to Thanos and kept adding action tokens every turn while simultaneously denying him willpower. The Hulk eventually killed everyone except Skreet (who was killed by a mind controlled Thanos). The game ended in a 300 to nothing victory.

The Finals

Versus:

  •  ABPI010 S.H.I.E.L.D. Diplomat (20 points)
  • ABPI011 Ant-Man (30 points)
  • ABPI012 Crystal (50 points)
  • ABPI021 Ayo (30 points)
  • ABPI022 A.I.M. White Squad (20 points)
  • ABPI041A Falcon (60 points)
  • ABPI056 Kang, the Conquerer (80 points)
  • 300 points total

This was another team I had played earlier in the day. Our first match was pretty even until Hulk KO’d his Ant-Man and I used his Ant-Man to turn the tide of the battle. He won Map Roll and we played on the Docks, which features a large Elevated Terrain feature in the middle. He advanced up and created a time portal before I could do anything, but once any of his guys got within 11 squares, Kobik started taking shots at them from range (Ignoring Elevated) with her dual target Mind Control. Unfortunately for me, that only resulted in Redwing hitting Falcon for 1.

The next turn my opponent had Falcon use Hypersonic Speed to attack Kobik. A miss. On my turn, Hulk charged out and knocked Falcon to his stop click. My opponent had been waiting for Hulk to come into range and on his turn he had Kang Teleport and then use Running Shot to get to the edge of the elevation and shoot Hulk for 4 Penetrating damage. Then Crystal flew in and used free action Quake to damage both my 30 point characters. By blocking the stairs, Kobik couldn’t get next to Kang and give him action tokens–a smart move on my opponents part!

The match remained close as Kang KO’d Hulk with only a few minutes remaining, and then Ayo immediately after. However, I responded next turn by KOing his Ant-Man and then (in the same turn) using that Ant-man (now friendly to my force) to KO Crystal. In the end I won 190 to 155. I lost Hulk and Ayo and he lost everyone except Kang and Ayo.

Conclusion

For my first WKO Event win, I received the following LE’s: Ambrose Chase, Reverse Flash, Flash, and Steve Trevor. I also pulled a Kobik today that I am going to use repeatedly until she is retired. And most importantly of all, I got sweet, sweet, bragging rights until the next WKO comes around.

See you then!!

Does anyone else remember the Rebirth set? (Or a top ten list of the best figures in Rebirth)

So it’s been some time since the heavily anticipated Black Panther and the Illuminati set dropped, I thought I’d try something a little different. We totally missed publishing a top 10 for Rebirth due to reasons that don’t really matter to most of our Heroclix readers. So while you are spending countless hours thinking about who wears what piece of Infinity bling best,  here’s a little something to entertain you. Since this article is months late, lets skip the honorable mentions (Prez Rickard, Dolphin, Lex Luthor, Nightwing, Billy Batson) and just go right into the Top 10.

10. RE044 Shade, The Changing Girl (45 points) – She’s a one trick pony, but it’s a heck of a trick. Her special white power reads “SHE JUST KIND OF SHOWS UP: Phasing/Teleport, Plasticity. POWER: Place Shade, the Changing Girl in any square with an (unheld) object.” On turn 1 an opponent’s team is completely immune to any shenanigans, but there are no rules protecting objects on the field. So if you get the first turn you can teleport to the opposing team’s best equipment and sit on it. She has 6 clicks and traited shape change to (hopefully) survive the fury this will generate in your opponent. And if she’s backed up by her friends AIG025P Groot or TMTG006P Mangog, it may be better for your opponent to just let that equipment go.

9. RE013 Cyborg (75 points) – There’s no special trick or combo with this guy, he’s just really useful on the battle field and well rounded on both offense and defense. He’s a great secondary attacker that brings support options as well. There is something useful for him to do on every click. He’s the definitive version of the character for me. Did you hear that Wizkids? You got this one right, no need to make any more of him. (unless it’s the “Teen Titans go” version)

8.  RE031 Batman (85 Points) – It’s not very often you get an affordable playable figure with the Outsiders TA, but this one fits the bill. He will be completely untargetable at range on any map you’d likely ever choose to run him on. He’s not going to to be a big damage dealer with only 3 printed damage, but his combination of outwit, Outsiders TA, and double target incapacitate means that your opponent can’t just ignore him. This is a Batman that beckons opponents to follow him into the shadows. I really like that flavor.

7. RE001 Deathstroke (100 points) – This figure was the M.V.P. on many sealed teams during the Rebirth release tournament. He’s a great offensive figure with options to use both running shot and charge. Even better he’s got the ability to deal penetrating damage while using either one. His defense is nothing special, but the ability to heal two clicks after KOing an opposing figure should definitely come in handy.

6. RE068 Barbatos (200 points) – This is the only one of the Dark Knight Metal chases that I would run at full points. His ability to phase through walls and attack with Psychic Blast is just devastating on indoor maps or around terrain like the boxing ring. Especially if an opposing team can’t see through stealth to make any attacks in return. His special damage power is also ripe for abuse. It reads, “SO FALLS THE REALM OF LIGHT: Opposing characters within 6 squares that can use Outwit, Perplex or Support can use Battle Fury.” His biggest downfall is that he is a giant and thus can’t have equipment.

5. RE063E The Dawnbreaker (75 points) – He’s a capable secondary attacker and brings the monster keyword their best taxi ever thanks to his Green Lantern TA. His starting invincible and “WE WILL NOT HIDE IN THE SHADOWS ANYMORE” trait will *hopefully* keep him safe. But, the real reason to run him is “NIGHTMARE CONSTRUCTS: Barrier. Whenever an opposing character generates one or more bystanders, after resolutions you may generate the same bystander(s). These bystanders you generate modify combat values +1 this game and have [MAX 1].” Medusa hair bystanders, walking wood, Dawg, and Skreet are some of the competitive tokens out there that are seeing play on popular teams and now they can be your opponents Nightmare (see what I did there). 

4. RE037BE Black Adam (100 points) – To quote hcrealms user BionicBoy, “This is a highly effective and mobile starting line. Very easy to heal back up to full as well.” He got that right. This guy saw some tournament wins when he first debuted leading some JSA teams. Now that the Jokers wild set has retired from Modern he’s lost some tools, but he’s still an effective attacker and ID summoning virtuoso. The ability to move up to 8 and still summon an ID call in after that is unmatched in modern.

3. RE062E The Murder Machine (100 points) – Everyone knows about ADW Hawkeye and Earth X Vulture, here’s DCs version of those killing machines. The big difference with this guy is that he doesn’t to move after he attacks and kills something, so his next target better be nearby. What he gets in return are something the other two can’t boast – a defense that doesn’t wilt at the first sign of being attacked. He’s also got prob control and that big starting 4 damage to go along with his 7 range and improved targeting: blocking  terrain. His ability to use energy explosion and dual targets should not be overlooked because KOing even the weakest bystander will allow him to attack again.

2. RE055E Starfire (50 points) – Obviously this isn’t a very long dial, but her stop click will make the dial long enough that your opponent will likely aim for a better target. If you ignore her, you’ll face her running shot and pulse wave combo. If you don’t ignore her, you could land her on that stop click and face flurry with 4 damage! She also had Quintessence at 50 points before the Elders of the Universe came along and made that sort of thing seem normal. Look for her to be a popular second (or third) attacker on cosmic teams.

1. RE052E Mister Oz (40 points) – Part Unseen and part God of TK, Mister OZ gives your team unparalleled TK while simultaneously nerfing that same power for your opponent. If you’ve got an attacker without good movement abilities then this is your guy to fix that issue. And once your attacker makes it into battle, his 12 range prob control that sees through everything will help make sure the battle goes your way. Expect him to be a staple of cosmic teams for years to come.

 

More Avengers, Less Punctuation!! (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati!!)

Hello Again! Annnnnd, we’re back! Better late than never, right?

And we couldn’t have asked for a funner set with which to return to feature writing! Now we can continue our run as the most enjoyable Heroclix-focused gaming blog out there!

And our new reign is all thanks to this new expansion featuring our friend T’Challa and his Illuminati buddies!

Your Reign is Over.jpg

Okay, maybe “friend” was a strong term. Alright T’Challa, how about we just, like, surrender and go right into the article?

Then Lets Get This Started

Then it’s agreed!! So without further ado, let’s start with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

Thor Lightning

–I really think this is the most powerful set we’ve gotten since The Mighty Thor, which came out way back in, like, August of 2017.

Just like that set, this expansion has extremely powerful Chases, Equipment and Cosmic entities.

Personally, I love this stuff. I mean, who saw an Elders of the Universe Sub-Theme coming? Moreover, who thought these pieces would be so good. Which reminds me…

Elders of the Universe Banner

–The Elders of the Universe Sub-Theme is REALLY freaking good!!

Collector, Astronomer, Champion, Gardener, Trader, Voyager, Runner, Grandmaster, Challenger, Possessor… and I’m still probably forgetting a few. But they are ALL playable and several are downright META!!

The Finder

–The packs seem to be somewhat searchable! So far I’m 11 for 13 in picking packs with Equipment (including an Ultra-Chase Thanos!!)

But this isn’t a total neckbeard disaster like Trinity War was, because 2 of the Chases and the Super Rare Prime all come sans additional elements, so if you only go looking for packs with Equipment, you’ll never pull something like the Black Panther Chase. Speaking of…

Infinity Gauntlet

–The Chases aren’t tied together by any one Theme, really, except that they’re all pretty damn good (okay, Starbrand only shines in Limited, but still). Secret Wars: Battleworld was the same way. Still, I miss Themed Chases!

Why wouldn’t they have just shifted Starbrand and Black Panther to Battleworld and put Infinity Gauntlet Black Panther Chase in this set?

Anywhozl… let’s get on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Okay, I can go all day with Honorable Mentions (this set is REALLY deep), but, with apologies to figures like Challenger, Rune, Eitri and Prime Black Panther, I’m only going to talk about two pieces:

Voyager

2. ABPI017 Voyager — 50 Points — Common:

Okay, she should actually be higher on this list, because she is a Meta-level Taxi. But there’s so many great pieces in this set, so she’s going here!

But she starts with either Outwit or Perplex, the best Telekinesis Special (STRAINING MY POWERS OF TELEPORTATION: Telekinesis, but only to place characters. When Voyager uses it, neither she nor the target character’s square need line of fire to the destination square.) I’ve seen in a long time, Phasing/Teleport and the Power Cosmic TA.

Did I mention she only costs 50 Points?

Medusa

1. ABPI030 Medusa — 50 Points — Uncommon:

Here comes another solid Medusa dial!!

Her Trait (AN EXTENSION OF MYSELF: Living Hair has the printed combat values, and can use the standard powers, displayed on the dial of the character that generated it. Protected: Pulse Wave.) is her main reason for being here; if you play multiples of her, she can get scary in a heartbeat.

And if you have enough Empower on the board, watch out!!

 

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO…

Here are…

THE BEST TEN PIECES IN THE SET!!

 

Trader

10. ABPI05 Trader — 50 Points — Rare:

He’s cheap! He’s got Power Cosmic! He’s got Perplex!

I know, I know, 50 Points would be a bit much for JUST a Perplexer, but with Sidestep and Power Cosmic, it’s easier to move Trader where you need him each turn than some other supporting characters.

But he made the main list for one reason: his Attack Power (LET’S MAKE A TRADE: FREE: Choose an equipped character (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares and line of fire. If Trader is equipped, and both equipments have Equip: Any, those equipments are now equipped to the other character.), which can allow for all sorts of shenanigans!

Choose Pen/Psy and Outwit with a character equipped with the Infinity Gauntlet, then switch in, say, the Power Gem for even more damage! And guess what? You can then use the Infinity Gauntlet with the character who previously had the Power Gem!

And that’s just what you can do with friendly swaps! You can also use it defensively to take better stuff from your opponents! The possibilities are endless!

Yelena Belova

9. ABPI013B Black Widow — 30 Points — Common Prime:

Wow! I like her 60 Point line a lot too, but man, for 30 Points, you get an absolute toolbox of abilities at your disposal!

To wit:

She has Sidestep, she ignores Characters on movement, she has Traited Shape Change and Stealth, 10 Attack, 2 Damage and a Special Defensive Power (LETTING YOUR GUARD DOWN: Combat Reflexes. FREE: Choose an adjacent character and a standard defense power. Until your next turn, the chosen character can’t use the chosen defense power.).

That’s a lot of usability! Plus she’s a Wildcard!

Her only downside is a lack of decent keywords (Martial Artist is probably her best).

Doc Strange AbPI.jpg

8. ABPI053A Dr. Strange — 120 Points — Super Rare:

The bearer of the Soul Gem has a ton going for him.

Running Shot and Pen/Psy top dial. Mystics TA. A sweet Damage Special (WE MUST WORK TOGETHER: Perplex. When Dr. Strange uses it to target another friendly character, you may choose a standard damage power that character can use. Dr. Strange can use that power until your next turn.) that encourages thought in who you pair him with.

All in all, a really efficient supporting/Secondary Attacker piece!

Gary Frank Hulk

7. ABPI014 Hulk125 Points — Common:

This is the definitive “Peter David/Gary Frank-era” Hulk dials, and they just casually throw it on a Common Hulk?

We’ve got Charge (with Improved Movement: Blocking, so Barrier and Printed Walls mean nothing to him), 12 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Indomitable and Impervious and 5 (FIVE!) Damage top dial with Outwit!

He has one “drawback” Trait (WEAKENED BY RAGE: When Hulk takes damage from an attack, after resolutions give him a Rage token. Modify Hulk’s combat values by -X, where X is the number of Rage tokens. At the end of your turn, remove all Rage tokens and heal Hulk that many clicks.) that actually HELPS his survivability!

Yes, he doesn’t have any Outwit protection himself, and yes, he is a Close Combat piece, but man, there’s not much else you’d want. Pair him with a TK’er or a Vehicle and you’ve got a boatload of trouble for your opponent.

Black Panther incarnation

6. ABPI072 Black Panther — 85 Points– Chase:

The original Panther offers a TON of usefulness for his points. His only problem is that is top heavy and kind of a glass cannon; if you’re opponent can lay hands on him, he’s in trouble.

Luckily, that’s hard to do. If you win map, his main Trait (THE PANTHER GOD: Stealth. Opposing lines of fire can’t be drawn to Black Panther if he occupies printed hindering terrain. Protected: Pulse Wave.) should make even touching him darn near impossible (and of course he has Improved Movement: Hindering and Elevated)!

He starts with Hypersonic Speed, Precision Strike with a 12 Attack, 19 Defense with Super Senses and 3 Damage with Traited B/C/F (BEFORE HUMANS TOPPED THE FOOD CHAIN: Blades/Claws/Fangs. Opposing characters within 3 squares can’t use Blades/Claws/Fangs.) and Battle Fury to burn through Shape Change.

Yes, he’s only a close attacker, but he’s got some great potential damage output combined with some wonderful mobility and survivability!

As a special bonus, that B/C/F Trait kind of shuts down those SR Wolverine Call-Ins, too!

 

Chase Cap

5. ABPI071 Captain America — 150 Points — Chase:

This is a little bit of a cheat as well since I’m again counting the Chase Equipment that comes with him–The Infinity Gauntlet. But with his Infinity Gauntlet, Cap here has six Clicks that have to be gone through one by one since he has Power Cosmic, Invincible and a sweet defensive Trait (THE GEMS… THEY WANT TO BE TOGETHER: Barrier. Barrier as FREE, but only to generate 1 marker. Captain America can’t be healed and takes a maximum of 1 damage from an attack. Protected: Pulse Wave.) that makes it hard to target Steve, much less KO him.

His damage output isn’t huge, but if he hits, he can change the board with his Attack Special (PUSHING PLANETS AWAY: KNOCKBACK. When Captain America knocks a character back, add 10 to the amount of knock back.) that features a Knockback power like we’ve never seen (and props for being comic accurate!).

If you want an unkillable Call-In generator, call on Cap.

 

Taskmaster.jpg

4. ABPI061 Taskmaster — 100 Points — Super Rare:

100 Points for the most versatile piece in the set.

Taskmaster has the Wildcard TA, Indomitable, Sidestep, Toughness and Leadership top dial, plus his first Trait (JUST BECAUSE YOU HIRED ME, DOESN’T MAKE US FRIENDS: Taskmaster doesn’t count against themed teams.) ensures he’ll always fit on your team.

His second Trait (I MEMORIZED MOVES FROM DOZENS OF CHUMPS, TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT!: FREE: Choose two: Charge, Flurry, Running Shot, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Incapacitate, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Precision Strike, Combat Reflexes, Energy Shield/Deflection, Close Combat Expert, Exploit Weakness, Ranged Combat Expert. Taskmaster can use the chosen powers until your next turn. This turn, characters targeted by Taskmaster with an attack can’t use the chosen powers until your next turn.) gives him access to almost any other power in the game that you might want. Hell, give him Iron Man’s Infinity Gauntlet and he literally WILL have access to any four powers in the game that you might want at any one time!

Someone is going to figure out how to exploit him because he’s basically designed to be exploited. He’s essentially a one-man Shifting Focus piece that plugs in to any Themed Team.

 

Kobik_(Earth-616)_from_Thunderbolts_Vol_3_1_001

3. ABPI069 Kobik — 115 Points — Chase:

If you like unkillable moving castles that let you Call-In almost any X-Men piece you want, meet your new best friend.

Outside of being hard to even hit, Kobik has a fun Trait that has the potential to wreck your opponent’s strategy so long as you construct the rest of your team correctly (REWRITE AFFILIATIONS: FREE: Choose both a friendly character and an opposing character with printed team abilities. Those characters can use the team abilities printed on the other character instead of their own printed team abilities until your next turn.).

She also has Power Cosmic, Perplex, Prob and an 8 Range, Shape Change, Super Senses and a 19 Defense on her first two Clicks. That is a LOT to get through!

On top of that, at 115 Points, she gets the best Cosmic Cube (FREE: Choose one: Place this character up to 3 squares away from its current square; -or- Until your next turn, [Improved Targeting: Elevated, Hindering] and modify range +2; –orGive an action token to an adjacent opposing character. If you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage. Light Object.) and a once-per-game Sideline shenanigans Trait [REWRITE HISTORY: POWER: Once per game, choose an adjacent friendly character on their starting line and a characters on your sideline with the same name as the chosen character. If the first character is equal or more points than the second, replace the first character with the second on their starting line. (That character can’t have the same set symbol and collector number.)].

She has already started showing up as a Supporting Character/Call-In generator, and I don’t think she’s going away any time soon!

 

Collector.jpg

2. ABPI064 Collector — 55 Points — Super Rare:

55 Points gets you the Power Cosmic TA now?! Holy crap!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hell, 50 Points gets you PC now. Look at Voyager!]

Oh, and it also gets you (usually) six clicks of life, 11 Attack with pretty much the best version of Incapacitate the game has ever seen (I FIND YOUR HAMMER VERY… UNIQUE: Incapacitate. When Collector uses it, instead of giving action tokens, after resolutions you may choose one Equipment-Object equipped to a hit character and unequip it. // FREE: Equip an unheld and unequipped opposing Equipment-Object within range and line of fire.) and a Trait that lets him take full advantage of it (MY COLLECTION GROWS: Collector can be equipped with any number of Equipment-Objects at the same time. Protected: Pulse Wave.)!

Get used to seeing this guy on Meta teams for the next two years…

 

Thanos Annihilation

1. ABPI074 Thanos — 160 Points — Ultra Chase:

Where to start with a figure that does virtually everything? First of all, he comes packing Skreet, who might be the best POG we’ve ever gotten.

Skreet

Skreet has Flying, Phasing/Teleport with 8 Movement, Pen/Psy with a 10 Attack and 4 Range, a 19 Defense (19!!) with Tiny Size and Impervious and a native 2 Damage with her lone Special Power (CHAOS MITE: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Skreet uses it, she modifies a value +2 or -2 instead, then rolls a d6. [1-2]: The modifier becomes 0 instead.).

Yep! That’s right! Thanos comes with his own Tertiary Attacker WHO ALSO HAS THE BEST PERPLEX SPECIAL IN MODERN!!

And you know what? THAT’S NOT EVEN THE ONLY GAME ELEMENT HE COMES WITH!! Whaaa… ?!

Yup!

Thanos also comes with the little-known SEVENTH Infinity Gem—The Ego Gem–for free!! This Gem allows it’s bearer to collect other gems (thus getting around the “one Equipment at a time” rule) AND let’s it’s bearer increase any Combat Value by +1. So, basically, you have a Perplex even if someone somehow Outwits your Perplex.

Okay! Now that we’re like 5 paragraphs in, we can finally talk about what is actually on Thanos’s dial!

First of all, he’s rocking both the Power Cosmic and Mystics TA. Yeah–probably the two best TA’s in the game, and Thanos has both of them.

He starts with a 12 Attack and 4 Damage top dial, along with Sidestep and an 18 Defense with Invincible. His Damage Special (THE BIOLOGICAL APPLICATION OF COSMIC POWER: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Thanos uses it to target a friendly character, that character can use [Power Cosmic] until your next turn. When Thanos uses it to target an opposing character, that character can’t use Willpower or PROTECTED: Outwit or Protected: Outwit until your next turn.) is flat-out amazing, and is one of the best Damage Specials in the game!

Starting on Click 2, Thanos’s Attack Special (GENOCIDE IS NOT WHAT MISTRESS DEATH DESIRES, BUT IT’S WHAT THE MAKER’S FOLLOWERS DESERVE: Precision Strike. FREE: Make an attack targeting an opposing character, but only if there’s another opposing character with the same name on the map. // When Thanos KO’s a character, after resolutions KO all bystanders generated by that character, then heal him 1 click for each bystander KO’d this way.) allows him to literally clear house if your opponent was careless enough to double stack characters on their team.

(And yes, if he’s your Primary Attacker, he can also bring in some heavy-hitting X-Men for Call-Ins!)

In Epic (400+) games, Thanos is an absolutely street sweeper!

But even in 300 Point games, he is an absolute force to be reckoned with.

And that’s why he’s number one on this list!

 

Black Bolt’s Gas Is Deadlier Than His Voice. (Or, A Top Ten Set Review Earth X!!)

 Earth X

Some Notes About the Set:

Sinister Six

  • Don’t let the inclusions of Black Panther, Hulk, Cap, or Iron Man fool you – This is a Spider-man set. Most of the pieces revolve around him which is weird since I don’t remember the comic revolving exclusively around him.

Miles Morales

  • They finally gave a us a great Mile Morales figure… almost.  EAX037b Spider-man has powers and abilities that represent Miles perfectly, but the keywords seem like they are describing another character altogether (Most people think they seem like they are for Spider-man 2099). So for those of you waiting to create an awesome Champions team… better luck next time.

Hulk Earth X

  • The Sculpts are really well done this set! Daredevil and Hulk stand out in particular to me.
  • Wizkids suckered me in to spending more money than I otherwise would have. I traded for an SR Iron Man. He works best with the Map in the starter. So I bought a starter. Then I heard the Token Pack had the Iron Avengers on the back so I bought that too. In the end this SR will be costing me more than most Chases. I hope it’s worth it.
  • Below I am ranking the figures in this set, but the real winners are the equipment. In particular the Symbiote and the Goblin Glider will be Meta staples until they are retired.
  • I didn’t include him in the list below, but EAX021 Fancy Dan has gotten a lot of attention from some big HeroClix names. I haven’t figured out the best way to use this guy yet, but he may be a part of some very successful teams. Consider him an “unofficial” Honorable Mention…

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Fat Spidey

5. EAX015 Spider-Man (30 Points) – His special white power reads, “Everyone has Power, So My Only Responsibility is to My Daughter: Leap/Climb. When Spider-man moves, after resolutions you may choose a friendly standard character adjacent to a square he moved through. If you do, place that character adjacent and it can’t be given a costed action this turn.” That lets him serve as a Taxi pre-combat and then as an incredible re-positioning piece that can move any of your pieces to where they need to be in a fight, whether or not they started adjacent. Of course, the best reason to put him on this list is that he gives Spider-man Family key worded pieces their first TA to copy without breaking theme since 2014! Spidey fans, rejoice!

Medusa X.png

4. EAX060 Medusa (75 points) – Speaking of pieces that a are really good at re-positioning other pieces during a fight…

Her damage potential isn’t high and her defenses are soft, but she brings a lot to a build in other ways. She has a Special Power and a Trait that are worth mentioning here: “ Lethal Locks: Plasticity, Giant Reach: 3. Telekinesis as FREE, but replace all “6” with “3” in the text of the power,” and also “ Lockjaw’s Tuning Fork: FREE: Improved Movement: Characters, Elevated, Hindering, Blocking. Passenger: 2, but only to carry characters that share a keyword regardless of . Move up to 3 squares.

Essentially she can move herself up to 6 spaces in a turn as free actions and still make attacks with her range of three or giant reach of three and quake. She can also carry characters up to 3 spaces with her or TK them as free actions instead of using those powers on herself.

Pres Osborn

3. EAX029 President Osborn (50 points) – In truth, none of the characters with the New York Crime Boss Trait are bad, but President Osborn is the one that will see the most play. The Crime boss trait reads like this: “ New York Crime Boss: Leadership, Mastermind. When President Osborn uses Leadership and succeeds, instead of removing an action token you may generate two Hired Flunky bystanders (MAX 4).

What sets Osborn apart from his Mafia peers is that he has MUCH better keywords along with the unique ability to double Perplex his “bodyguard”. I can see that being abused to great effect.

Stegron

2. EAX038 Stegron (75 points) – So in the same set that brought us Sinister Syndicate figures that gain a huge buff when exactly 6 figures are on your team, we get this guy (with the same keywords) that can generate up to 3 bystanders. That seems really useful on a Syndicate team.

As for the figure himself, he’s slow and his lack of Willpower is something you will really lament. However, when he and his friends finally do catch up with the opposing team, they’ll bring a lot of pain for a very low 75 point cost.

Spidey A side

1. EAX037a Spider-man (90 points) – This is an unusual showing for Spider-man. Gone is the usual Charge or Hypersonic speed that we are used to seeing with him. In it’s place is running shot and incapacitate via his web shooters item. While the item is the worst in the set, the figure using it is pretty good (which makes him the complete opposite of EAX051 Venom).  Besides running shot the other thing that makes this guy stand out is a trait I don’t remember seeing before on any other piece – Collosal Retaliation on a standard size character. It reads, “ Protect My Family: FREE: If no other friendly character has activated this trait this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked a friendly character with the Spider-Man Family keyword since your last turn. Place Spider-Man such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.” With a trait like that it’d be hard to justify not putting him on a Spider-Family theme team.

And now, on to the Top 10!

Earth X Loki

10. EAX058 Loki (150 points) – Okay, so Loki has some obvious problems for a 150 point character. No inherent move and attack. No Willpower. No obvious protection from Outwit.

So what makes him worth playing? His second Trait reads: “ In The Minds Of Mortals: Shape Change, Stealth. Once per turn, when a character of less points within line of fire makes an attack, you may reroll one die of that attack.” That means he gets a free use of a power like Probability Control (but better) every turn. That’s good, but not awesome until you combine it with the actual Probability Control he has top dial. Together it lets you reroll friendly or opposing dice twice in one turn and that can just be crushing to an opponent. Especially if you add some other fun reroll characters like Trelane, Renet Tilly, or The Unseen.

Some of his weaknesses can also be compensated for as well. That Stealth helps mitigate opposing Outwit and something like the Goblin Glider will give him all of the movement he could ever need. He can also be Carried, which will help keep his action token count low.

Beetle Pod

9. EAX035 Beetle (75 points) – According to Mugatu, the Sinister Syndicate is just So Hot Right Now.

And if you are going to play the Syndicate, it’s really hard to justify not including Beetle because of his Trait. It says: “Organizer Of The Sinister Syndicate: Leadership. When a friendly character within 6 squares replaces its attack value using the Sinister Syndicate team ability, modify its attack +1.”

Aside from that Trait, the Beetle figure is good, but not over powering. However, on a keyword team full of mostly close attackers, his ranged attacks are a nice change of pace.

Sandman

8.  EAX006 Sandman (50 points) – Don’t look now but they put a pick a power character into the common slot for this set. So his first click already has Sidestep, Super Senses, Shape Change, and Stealth as long as there are more 3 or more characters on a team. Assuming you move him around with a Taxi (like SFSM029 Overdrive) you can pick another power to add to the ones I’ve already mentioned. Most of the time that will be Invulnerable. Either way, those powers added together make the best array of defensive powers we’ve ever seen on a 50 point character.

Then, once it’s time to go on the offensive, he can drop the Invulnerability and choose either Charge or Flurry. I’ve already (during the Release Event) been on the receiving end of a Flurry attack from this character when it had 4 damage and 11 attack. That was an unexpected–and also very quick–game loss for me.

Black Bolt Earth x

7. EAX047 Black Bolt (150 points) – Officially one of the highest point characters in the set and also one of the best. His starting click with Hypersonic Speed and 5 damage is downright scary. Beyond that, he has a Trait that makes him practically immune to attack until he’s taken an action. It reads: “ONLY ONE MAN COULD MOVE THAT QUIETLY: When Black Bolt has no action tokens, lines of fire drawn to him are blocked.

You just need to find a find a good taxi like EAX060 Medusa or a vehicle (or LE Lockjaw!!) and you’ll maximize the effectiveness of the Trait. He also has a comic accurate Special Power on his last two clicks: “WOUND WITH A WHISPER, SHATTER WITH A SCREAM: Pulse Wave. When Black Bolt uses it, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Blocking Terrain and you may instead choose a number from 1 through 5 to be the range value for Pulse Wave (You don’t halve it and can’t modify it). After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within that use of Pulse Wave’s range.” Choosing your range combined with Running Shot makes it real easy to hit an opposing character with a 5 damage single target Pulse Wave.

Not bad for a figure that’s almost KOed.

Miles I Am

6. EAX037b Spider-man (75 points) – As I mentioned in the set notes, the keywords on this figure are disappointing, but the figure itself is not. Part Spider-man and part Batman, he’s just a well-rounded figure that delivers everything you’d want for his point cost.

For 75 points he comes with Indomitable and the ability to ignore everything while moving except for walls. He’s got consistently strong attack and damage values and the option of having Stealth to go along with his Outwit on his first few clicks. He’s also got Super Senses his whole dial (and it’s immune to Outwit). So he’ll be a stealthy support figure on your team until he’s ready to play the hero and then he’ll Charge in with that awesome 12 attack on his opening click.

Green Goblin.jpg

5. EAX050 Green Goblin (75 points) – It’s better to think of this guy as a version of The Flash rather than a typical Green Goblin piece. Gone is his traditional Running Shot.

Now, thanks to his Goblin Glider equipment, he has full dial Hypersonic Speed, which is also bolstered by the Sidestep printed on his dial. And unlike the Flash or most Green Goblins we’ve seen in the past, this piece starts with two clicks of Invulnerability on defense.

On Offense he starts with Precision Strike and moves to Energy Explosion down dial. It’s also worth noting that every click except his first and last clicks will have Perplex or Outwit. But the best part about this figure is his special Stop Click at the end. It reads: “IMPALED BY THE REMOTE CONTROL GLIDER:FREE: KO a Goblin Glider equipped to Green Goblin. If you do, modify attack +3 and make a range attack targeting a single opposing character that deals 3 penetrating damage instead of normal damage. If he misses, KO Green Goblin.

That’s one of the most comic accurate special powers I have ever seen. Even if you don’t hit, you earn tons of style points for using it.

Skull

4. EAX030 The Skull(40 points) – For 40 points you get a figure that does what no other figure ever has been able to do before. He can use Mind Control with unlimited range and he’s the cheapest figure ever to start with a 12 attack!

With all that going for him on offense, he’s a defensive pushover, right? Actually no. He also happens to be the cheapest figure ever to feature 2 Stop Clicks and those Stop Clicks have Mastermind.

His only weaknesses are having just one keyword and that fact that Mind Control isn’t always useful against every opponent every game. So some games he won’t be much help, but in other games this 40 point figure will be the most feared part of your 300 point Build.

Earth X Daredevil

3. EAX054 Daredevil (60 points) – The Heir Apparent to JW060 The Joker, Daredevil trades the Jokers almost complete inability to be killed for some increased offense. Where the Joker has 10 attack and 1 damage, Daredevil has 11 attack and 3 damage. That’s a huge upgrade. He also has some nice powers to go along with that increased offense. Hypersonic Speed, Quake, Blades Claws Fangs, or Plasticity and Poison can all be chosen after each time an opponent attempts to KO Daredevil.

On defense the only thing that will hurt Daredevil is an attack roll with a 6 in it. That means he will last a lot longer against a few big enemies than a lot of small enemies. It also means that things like Poison, pushing damage, Mystics damage, or Shredder Elite damage can never KO him.

Iron Man Earth X

2. EAX056 Iron Man (125 points) – This character is the best Bystander Token creator since JW050 The Penguin. And he brings new options to Avengers teams the likes of which they have never had before.

His real cost is actually 5 points more because you’ll always want to use his special map with him. With that map he can generate a Bystander as a free action most turns. You can chose to take Iron man into battle to make use of his Barrier or leave him in your starting area. Once he takes a hit, or enough Iron Avengers are KOed, he switches to a powerful attacker. He’ll have Running Shot 11 attack and 4 damage. Once he takes a few more damage from that point he gains Pulse Wave to go along with his Running Shot.

Venom Cap

1. EAX062 Captain Venom (75 points) – Captain Venom brings new power to the already powerful Monster keyword. To that end he’s got a Trait and a Special Power that both help monsters. The Trait states, “EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED:During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.” His Special Power is, “READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES:Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.”

His dial is also very good for the points and if he can make it to Close Combat without getting hit at Range then he will do well for your team. However the real reason he’s the number one figure in this set is the strength of the Monster Keyword. That keyword won the world Championship in 2018 and if Captain Venom has anything to say about it, they’ll be a favorite to repeat in 2019. And that’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

 

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Marvel Christmas

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!.” Night 10 was a look at upcoming Monthly OP kits! Finally, we listed some of our other favorite Clix content creators on Night 11!]

Welcome to the final night of Clix-Mas 2018!!

Like we do every year, we just want to close out the last post of the season with a hearty “Thank You” to all of our readers and commenters.

There will be some great Clix and movies and games coming our way in 2019, and we plan to continue to do what we’re doing–just hopefully more often!!

We hope that you and yours have a great holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa, or nothing at all, even.

Thank you all so much for sticking with us! We’ll see you in the new year!

–The Staff at Critical Missives

The Ghost of Christmas Present Presents: My Favorite Current Clix Content Creators!! (Or, The Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Dial_H_Logo_2

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!.” And finally, Night 10 was a look at upcoming Monthly OP kits!]

Hello again, and welcome to Night 11 of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today will be short and sweet, but I wanted to call out a few of the many Clix creators whose content I really enjoy!

PODCASTS:

Dial H For Heroclix: One of the longest running Clix casts out there (Episode 237 just dropped two days ago!), the current hosts have fantastic chemistry and seamlessly cater to both casual and Meta players in every outing!

Two Clix From KO: Another fun podcast that trends a little more towards the serious players. Lots of cutting edge info here! Episode 157 just released a couple weeks ago and introduced Aaron’s new cohost!

(I also enjoy Edward Shelton’s commentary wherever he pops up too!)

YOUTUBE: 

Mr. Clixfix: You will not find a more consistent content creator when it comes to Heroclix.

Married With Clix: These two are my go-to for box openings not done by Scott Porter! They also make great contributions to the Meta Lab project!

Speaking of…

Scott Porter: He is the premier Clix video host, whether he’s unboxing new sets or appearing on “Indomitable.” I honestly don’t really start getting excited for new sets until I see Scott popping unreleased packs on my computer screen.

BLOGS: 

APEX PREDATORS: Again, there’s a lot of great content out there, but if you want to walk along the cutting edge, this is the blog for you. There’s a ton of articles written by some of the most successful modern Clixers of all-time!

 

Okay, that’s really it for today. We’re closing down the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas with a brief message tomorrow. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!