The Once and Future Set (or a top ten set review of the Heroclix JLU set)

JLU

Some notes about the set:

  • Most of you won’t get to see this set until well after it’s release date due to COVID-19. So, hopefully my descriptions will do it justice. Also, this set is already in the units section of HCRealms.com.
  • This is the sequel to the Batman the Animated series set in both flavor and substance. Even the Chases continue the Super Friends line-up along with some of the villains getting in on the fun.
  • This set introduces team up cards and I am torn on their effectiveness. I  like the mechanic for the most part, but the execution was a bit off. Let me explain. Because the cards cost 0 points, the figures were assigned point costs that are about right if you are using a team up card, but the figures that have team up cards as possibilities seem over-costed if you aren’t using any cards. And you aren’t always going to have the team up cards you need or even any team up card choices at all. I opened a brick and only got 4 cards. So a lot of pieces like Superman 001 in this set I didn’t have any card options for, not even bad options. Superman 001’s dial costs 100 points, but on it’s own I’d guess it’s probably worth closer to about 80 points. What I think the designers should have done is assign point costs to the team up cards so that the characters in question are still reasonably costed even if you don’t have any team up card options. This isn’t true for all the figures that can use team up cards in the set, but it is for a lot of them.
  • Between this set and X-men animated late last year, it’s a good time to be a fan of animated super heroes. I was a huge fan of this show.
  • This set doesn’t have a lot of good attackers, but it has tons of great support characters.
  • This is the last set to come out before ID cards are retired from modern. Good Riddance!

And now on to the honorable mentions:

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5. JLU045 Hawkgirl AND JLU045.03 Team Up: Batman (60 points) – Unlike what I talked about in the notes about the set, Hawkgirl does have team up options and is worth her point cost even without using a team up card. Charge, flurry, 12 attack, and 12 movement make for a great secondary attacker. Because her starting defense is combat reflexes, she is vulnerable to being attacked at range. That’s why I’ve picked the Batman card to use her with. The stealth and extra movement it brings are very good bonuses for her. She would do well with the Green Lantern Team up card, but I really don’t like any of the Green Lantern dials made since the soon to be retired Elseworlds set. She also has the option of using a powerful Episode team up card that grants the Mystics TA to her Superman, Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, Aquaman, Amazo, and Vixen. Unfortunately, most of those characters don’t have great dials.

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4. JLU046E Martian Manhunter AND Episode Team Up JLU046.11 (50 points) – He has average attack and damage stats, but defensively he’s a powerhouse. He features Impervious, Super Senses, and Shape Change on his first click. However, his best feature is his powerful Episode Team Up card. It reads, “EPISODE TEAM UP: SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN, BATMAN, THE FLASH, GREEN LANTERN, HAWKGIRL: If 1+ listed friendly characters are on the map, Martian Manhunter and the listed characters take a maximum of 1 damage when on their starting click. If all listed characters are on the map, they and Martian Manhunter have [Teen Titans team ability].” Unlike Hawkgirl’s episode team up card, most of the characters listed on this team up have great dials and the ability to add essentially a stop click at the front of those dials is huge.

Superman Robot

3. JLU018E Superman (10 points) – Wizkids did something unique here and created a generic character dial inside of the dial of a named character. At 10 points this dial isn’t really Justice Lords Superman, it’s actually the dial for one of his many Superman Robots. I love the idea of a single figure that can represent both a unique person and a generic character based on what point level you use. I hope Wizkids does more of this in the future. 

As for the dial itself, it’s not ground breaking but for 10 points it’s very good. It’s single click features indomitable, Close Combat Expert, sidestep, toughness, the Justice Lords trait, and the Superman TA. I can see myself running several of these on competitive robot teams to carry figures like I.S.S.A.C. and danger room sinister, or just to fill points after ID Cards leave modern.

Solomon Grundy

2. JLU050 Solomon Grundy (75 points) – This is a great showing for Solomon Grundy that’s very reminiscent of the Hawkman/Hawkgirl figure from the BTAS set. It features a 10 click long dial that essentially has a stop click in the middle. His trait reads, “THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOLOMON GRUNDY: FREE: Turn Solomon Grundy’s dial to the same click # of a different color. // The first time Solomon Grundy would be KO’d, instead turn him to either click #1 and he can’t use this trait for the rest of the game. Protected: Pulse Wave.” Looking at his dial unless you need the extra movement from sidestep on the red dial, you’re just going to want to leave it on the blue side and then choose blue again when he resurrects. With his damage reducers, long dial, steal energy, and high attack value it’s hard to believe this guy is only 75 points.

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1. JLU062 Ultra-Humanite (25 points) – For 25 points you get a solid TK piece with sidestep and willpower. It also has my favorite trait of the set that reads, “INJUSTICE LEAGUE: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6. 6: Give an action token to an opposing character that’s 100 points or less.” So there is a 1 in 6 chance every turn that this 25 point piece can give an action token to an opposing figure anywhere on the map. What I’ve mentioned so far should already be enough to justify his point cost, but he also comes with a special mind control that reads “FAR EASIER TO USE MY SUPERIOR INTELLECT AND MENTAL POWERS: Mind Control, Sidestep. When Ultra-Humanite uses Mind Control, his range value becomes 8 and he has [Improved Targeting: Hindering, Elevated, Blocking, Characters].” He can target through any type of terrain. Walls, a mountain, and the jungles of Wakanda won’t stop his mind control. If he had any defense or other support figures in the injustice league to pair him with, he would have definitely made the top ten.

Here’s the Top Ten:

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10. JLU035 Superman (175 points) – Potentially the toughest Superman the game has ever seen. Defensively he features 7 clicks that all have reducers, protection from outwit, limited self healing, and 3 stop clicks. But what really makes him so impressive is his long range and huge offensive stats located around those stop clicks. Click 4 has 12 attack and 5 damage. click 5 (his first stop click) has 13 attack and 4 damage. Click 6 has 12 attack and 4 damage.

He’s a one man army. He’ll have to be, because unfortunately at 175 points he takes up most of a 300 point build. Still this is a very powerful character with all the bells and whistles, so don’t underestimate him.

Superman

9. JLU105 Superman (125 points) – Now we get to what I believe is the best Justice League Primary attacker in the set (although he’s actually from the fast forces). The reasons why I like him better than the 175 point superman is that he has a lower cost, starting hypersonic, high attack his whole dial, and the ability to make a second attack if he hit with the first. He’s not as tough as the 175 point version, but he still has two stop clicks at the end of his dial. The large amount perplex available to Justice League team will come in really handy here because his second attack isn’t just limited to printed values, so you’ll get twice the bang for your buck when you increase his damage with perplex. Also, this character greatly benefits from WKMP19-S001 Exospex because he has no range and sidestep as his movement power on every click except his first.

Booster Gold

8. JLU053 Booster Gold (80 points) – This is the best Booster Gold ever made. His 10 Attack and 3 damage are underwhelming, but they are bolstered by his special damage power that reads “SKEETS, BOOSTER GOLD’S BIGGEST FAN: Perplex, Probability Control. When Booster Gold uses Perplex to target himself, he may instead modify a combat value other than damage +2.“He’s got running shot and invulnerability on his first click. He also has a trait that lets him protect himself  and his team from ranged attacks. It reads, “CROWD CONTROL: Barrier. Barrier as FREE, but only to generate 2 markers.” He makes a perfect secondary attacker on a Justice League team.

Amanda Waller

7. JLU040 Amanda Waller (35 points) – An Incredible support figure for Justice League teams with leadership, outwit, and perplex all at the same time. Defensively she has both Stealth and Mastermind. In addition, she brings an awesome trait to the table the reads, “BECAUSE THE WORLD NEEDS A BATMAN: During force construction, choose a friendly character of 125 points or less with the Batman Family keyword. That character has the Future keyword. // At the beginning of the game, choose a combat value. This game, that chosen character modifies that combat value +1.” But that trait is only as powerful as the best Batman Family figure you can use with her, which means the next character on this list must be…

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6. JLU005B Batman (40 points) – No figure has been getting more buzz than this one since being previewed. He has the ability to target everyone in range at the same time with his trait “SOMETHING WHEN GONE, YOU CAN NEVER REGAIN: FREE: For the rest of the game, Batman can’t use the Batman Ally team ability and whenever he occupies a clear square and is given a RANGE action to use Incapacitate, Mind Control, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast, he can use [Improved Targeting: Hindering, This character can make range attacks while adjacent to opposing characters. (May target adjacent or non-adjacent opposing characters.)] and may instead target all opposing characters within line of fire.” Combine his targeting with his 12 attack and his uses of incapacitate or mind control can easily hit a whole team at once. At the back half of his dial is psychic blast that has been in debate online about whether his damage is divided among all hit targets or not. Regardless of the outcome of that ruling, opponents are going to target him first on your team so you won’t get to use those last few clicks very often.

He’s very good if you want to center your team around using him effectively, but he’s not someone you throw on a team without a plan.

Ace GIF

5. JLU058 Ace (60 points) – An incredible support figure with tons of powers. On offense she got a special mind control that reads, “DRIVE YOU INSANE: Mind Control. When Ace uses it, after resolutions give a hit character an Insanity token. // When a character with an Insanity token attacks, modify their attack -2 and then remove one of their Insanity tokens. If they missed all targets with that attack, after resolutions deal them 1 unavoidable damage.” She’s only a 6 range, 10 attack, and no way to move and attack, but if she hits with that it will probably stop the next attack that character makes. But, the real reason to play her is her game breaking trait, “WARP PERCEPTIONS AND REALITY: Shape Change, ProbabilityControl. Other characters (friendly and opposing) can’t use Probability Control except for Themed Team Probability Control.” Of course your opponent could try to take her out, but her last trait will punish them for it. It reads “BATMAN MUST TALK HER OUT OF HER FINAL PSYCHIC BACKLASH: When Ace is KO’d by an opponent’s close attack, deal 1 unavoidable damage to that character. When Ace is KO’d by an opponent’s range attack, deal 1 unavoidable damage to each opposing character. Protected: Pulse Wave.” Her biggest downfall is a Lack of good keywords. Project Cadmus is probably her best team choice.

the atom

4. JLU059A The Atom (40 points) – With Perplex, Outwit, and the ability to make other characters tiny it’s easy to see why he makes a good support character. But he’s more than your average support character. Making other characters tiny is great to allow you to carry a figure that you wouldn’t normally able to carry. ABPI011 Ant-Man has a similar power and I learned to use to great effect when I won a WKO sealed tournament last year using Ant-Man. Atom can also use shrink an adjacent opposing figures to deny them the ability to use their equipment until you next turn, or make it easier for another character to break away from that character, or to open up a line of fire. He also has a special movement power that reads, “RIDING ALONG UNDETECTED: Leap/Climb, Stealth. When an adjacent character is given a MOVE or POWER action, after resolutions you may place The Atom adjacent to that character.” He can use this to tie up opponents and take advantage of of his 19 starting defense. He can also use this to be move along with friendly units that couldn’t carry him because they were using hyper sonic speed or carrying someone else. And because he isn’t actually being carried he can still take a non-free action after being moved. Someone would have to do something absolutely crazy to be a better Justice League Support character.

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3. JLU031B Crimson Avenger (30 points) – So this is a Justice League support character that does something crazy. Just like ABPI069 Kobik he can give an action token to an opposing character as free action. So no having to roll dice, or worrying about defense powers, and he can do it after moving or being carried. Unlike Kobik he doesn’t need to be adjacent, he just needs to be within 5 squares of the character he’s giving the token to. His trait reads, “KNOCKOUT GAS:Smoke Cloud as FREE, but only to generate 4 markers. When Crimson Avenger uses it, after resolutions choose an opposing character occupying or adjacent to one of his Smoke Cloud markers and give that character an action token.He can also use his smoke cloud to hide friendly characters when he’s not in range of an opposing character. Aside from his trait he also has perplex, stealth, poison, and combat reflexes. This guy is low-key powerful and not many people have caught on to him yet.

amazo

2. JLU012 Amazo AND JLU012.05 Team Up: The Flash (125 points) – Amazo is the best primary attacker in this set and he has 5 different team up cards as options. The Flash team up is by far the best. It grants Hyper Sonic Speed and Super senses. He can also use his power adaption trait to get more powers. It states, “POWER ADAPTATION: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose a character within 4 squares and line of fire and up to 2 standard powers that character can use. If Amazo is 100 or 125 points, you may choose 3 standard powers instead. Amazo can use the chosen powers and has the printed range value of that character until he chooses again.” And all of these powers he acquires work with his defensive trait that reads, “INVINCIBLE ANDROID BODY: Amazo takes a maximum of 1 damage when attacked by a character that can use a power other than Willpower that Amazo can use. He can’t be healed, equipped, or chosen for Mastermind.” I should note that his team up card also has an additional disadvantage built in. You can’t have characters on your sideline except those for the Amazo Team Up Cards. (You need to declare what effect your Sideline game elements are for during game force construction.) So that means no ID or trouble alert characters. Obviously he’ll hit his stride after ID cards are retired in a few months.

When I first saw this guy I thought he’d make a perfect primary attacker for the danger room pieces from the last X-men set. Or, he’d at least head up a really nice team of robot pieces from various sets (Ultron, I.S.S.A.C, Cyclops Sentinel, etc…) He could also be part of a very good Cadmus Labs teams with JLU058 Ace, JLU040 Amanda Waller, and JLU051E Batman Beyond. But honestly, any team could use a piece that is a great attacker and only takes one damage from opposing attacks. So lots of opportunity for this guy.

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1. JLU069E Brainiac (10 or 0 points) – This set introduces a new form of sideline active characters with a new trait called “LET’S CAUSE TROUBLE!: SIDELINE ACTIVE – Friendly characters have “FREE: If this character critical hit this turn or made the third attack this turn to hit all opposing targets, place a character from your Sideline that can use a Let’s Cause Trouble! trait adjacent on its blue starting line.” // At the beginning of your turn, if Brainiac started the game due to the Let’s Cause Trouble! trait, roll a d6. 4-6: Return Brainiac to your Sideline.” Brainiac is clearly the best of those 4 characters, but they are all worth having. He starts with 11 attack, triple target incapacitate, outwit, and a special phasing power that works like running shot. He also has a trait that says “THE EARTH…IT’S DISAPPEARED!: Once per turn for all characters with this effect, roll a d6. 3-4: Give each opposing character within 4 squares of Brainiac that occupies elevated terrain an action token. 5-6: Deal each opposing character within 4 squares of Brainiac that occupies elevated terrain 1 penetrating damage.” So imagine you roll a critical hit on your turn and you put this guy out for free, you can then incapacitate up to three opposing figures, use his trait against elevated figures, and use outwit on someone’s defense power. That’s a really good deal for 0 points and and could be a huge change in momentum in a game.

Because this character lives on your sideline and doesn’t cost points or affect your theme team bonuses, there is absolutely no reason to not put him on every sideline of every team (not featuring Amazo) for the next two years until he’s retired. And that’s why he’s the best character in this set.

 

 

That’s it for this set review. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of my picks.

 

 

A Critical Missives Brick Opening: JLU

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Hi guys. Critical Missives got a brick of the new set and I’d like to share all of the pictures with you. Of the 10 packs I got 1 Prime, 1 Chase, 3 SRs, and 5 packs with just rares (although four of those packs contained Team up cards). I’m a big fan of this set and I’m happy with my pulls. So without further Ado…

Pack 1 (Prime Batman)

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Pack 2 (Stripe)

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Pack 3 (Amanda Waller)

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Pack 4 (Green Lantern Team up, Blight)

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Pack 5 (Lex Luthor Team up, Static Shock)

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Pack 6 (Gorilla Grood Chase)

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Pack 7 (The Atom)

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Pack 8 (Green Arrow Team Up, Amazo)

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Pack 9 (The Flash Team Up, Shade)

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Pack 10 (Ace)

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As usual, you can find all these dials in the forum section of hcrealms.com. Good luck with your bricks!

Oh Captain, my Captain (or a top 10 set review of Captain America and the Avengers

Cap Prerelease

Some notes about the set:

  • The Avengers and Shield keywords did well. The Masters of Evil were pretty good. The Thunderbolts were refugees from a previous set where the power level wasn’t quite as high. They would be decent 3 years ago, but not now.
  • The espionage trait is my shared favorite trait in a long time, and it is all over this set. It makes a lot of useful figures in the lower rarities.
  • Speaking of rarities, some of the SRs and Chases are the most powerful we’ve ever seen. Especially the Avengers and SHIELD pieces.
  • We got the best versions of some of the marvel mainstays (Thor, Hulk, Spider-man) that we’ve ever seen.

And now on to the honorable mentions:

5. CAAV062E Baron Zemo (45 points) – At 45 points he does everything you need him to do. He’s a stealthy outwit character, who grants your whole team the Avengers Initiative TA, and makes your whole team into one named keyword. If the core Thunderbolts were better,  he would be in the top 10.

4. CAAV018B The Captain (45 points) – The first character on this list with the living legend trait that reads, “LIVING LEGEND: The first time each game The Captain would be KO’d, instead turn him to his last non-KO click, then roll a d6 and heal him equal to half the result. Protected: Pulse Wave.” In the captain’s case that likely means that he will come back on his support clicks, but that’s still a really good deal. So for his 45 points you get 6 clicks, then the trait essentially acts as a stop click and gives you at least more click of life after that. Your opponent is going to spend at least 3 good attacks KOing this guy and he’s only 45 points! Beyond that the designers just decided that he deserved 11 attack on every click. All of them. I have never seen that before. At the beginning of the game he’ll also pick up the Marvel TA of your choice (like Avengers Initiative, Masters of Evil, Underworld), or become immune to probability control!

nick fury

3. CAAV007 Nick Fury (75 points) – This is a great showing for Nick Fury that I am sure will show up on a few winning builds before long. He’s the first character on this list with my favorite new trait “Espionage” that combines well with his starting outwit. It reads, “ESPIONAGE: Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, Improved Targeting: Hindering.” Beyond that, he’s able to make his own strike team of very capable SHIELD agents by hitting his leadership rolls. Should he come under fire, he also has one last trick up his sleeve. A special stop click that reads, “LIFE MODEL DECOY: STOP. Mastermind. When this click is first revealed, after resolutions roll a d6. Place Nick Fury up to that many squares away from his current square.

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2.  CAAV006 Sharon Carter (35 points)  – Bringing leadership, perplex, the shield TA, and possibly outwit to your team. She’s guarded from ranged attacks by both ESD and the Espionage trait. With a starting 10 attack, 5 range, and 2 damage she’s a capable 3rd string attacker from the safety of hindering terrain.

war machine

1. CAAV053A War Machine (100 points) – How is a guy that can attack twice in a turn most turns (“60% of the time, it works every time”) not be in the top 10? Well this is just an extremely powerful set and there is a guy a little further up the list that is almost the same as him, but slightly better. That being said, War Machine is no slouch. In another set he would be challenging for the top spot. He’s an Offensive powerhouse who can ignore hindering terrain for targeting. He also features running shot, psychic blast, and a self-perplex he can use to add to his starting 11 attack and 4 damage. In addition, he has a trait that reads “MINI-GUN TARGET LOCK: When War Machine hits, after resolutions you may give a hit character a Target Lock token, then remove all other Target Lock tokens. // FREE: Make a range attack using War Machine’s printed attack and damage values, but only to target the character with his Target Lock token.” His real weakness is defense. He does start with 18 defense and invincible, but his 6 clicks of life will seem rather short when he comes under fire from opposing forces.

Here’s the top 10:

10. CAAV049 Taskmaster (60 points) – At sixty points with stealth and perplex he makes a great support figure for Thunderbolts or SHIELD  teams. But labeling him a support figure would discount his starting 12 attack, blades claws fangs, and the ability to gain charge or flurry. He’ll hide as support figure until the opponent gets close enough for him to pounce and embarrass a higher cost figure in one-on-one combat. Sneaky good.

9. CAAV071 Ghost Rider (70 points) – for only 20 points more than ABPI017 Voyager you get a figure that can move your whole team AND kicks a huge amount of butt for his point cost. You’ll lose the starting outwit that voyager has, but gain in every other category. His biggest draw is his trait that reads “THE AVENGERS HAVE A SWEET NEW RIDE: Passenger: 3, but only to carry character who share a keyword regardless of [Wing symbol]. // Ram. When Ghost Rider uses it, he modifies speed +3 and does not take unavoidable damage from it.” He’s the first clix in the game to be able to use ram and not take damage from using it. So your opponent needs to constantly worry about how many characters they have across from this guy or they risk him attacking 2 or 3 at a time from up to 13 squares away.  Offensively, he starts with charge, exploit weakness, and 4 starting damage! On Defense he has a full dial of damage reducers and the rarely-seen-these-days mystics team ability.

8. CAAV052 Spider-Man (85 points) – PlayStation Spider-man comes in at number 8 with an impressive dial. Defensively he’s a stud with a Stealth Mode dial that would make even Batman jealous. It brings a special movement power that reads, “TAKING OUT FISK’S OPERATIONS ONE HIDEOUT AT A TIME: Sidestep, Stealth. // FREE: Place Spider-Man in a square of hindering terrain within 4 squares and line of fire.” Combine that with his toughness, shape change, and super senses that succeeds on a 4-6 (it’s also immune to outwit) and you have one of the hardest characters to damage we’ve ever seen. Which means he should make it to his target untouched. That’s where he switches to Fight (AKA instant-kill) mode. The main attraction of that mode is his higher attack values and his damage power that states “THE RIGHT GADGET FOR THE JOB: FREE: Choose one: Outwit, Perplex, Close Combat Expert, or Exploit Weakness. Spider-Man can use the chosen power until your next turn.” So Spidey has better gadgets now than Batman does. Wizkids will be hearing from Bruce’s Lawyer.

7. CAAV075E Peggy Carter (50 points, but more likely 0 points) – She has 4 clicks of life that are bolstered by the Living Legend trait . This is important because she may be KOed when she first comes into play and get use out of that trait right away. She also brings out a Becky Barnes bystander when she comes into play and Becky is a skilled close combat attacker with willpower and 18 defense bolstered by combat reflexes.

It was hard to pick which spot on my list this lady should get, because 99% of the time she’s played she will be coming into the game from your sideline for the low cost of zero points. I can 100% say she is worth the zero points you are paying for her. But she is only as good as the best Captain America or Steve Rogers you can play with her, which means the next character on this list has to be:

6. CAAV038 Steve Rogers (50 points) – From the moment this guy was previewed people online have been theory crafting teams based around his trait which reads, “WE’LL TAKE ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET, IF YOU’RE WORTHY: Leadership. During force construction, you may choose a standard character of 50 points or less. That character loses its printed keywords (for the entire game) and then gains either the Avengers -or- S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword (choose one).” Most of the Internet settled on Prime Vulture being the best new Avenger, but teams with Mr. Oz, Danger Room Magneto, and (if I get my way) Super Friends Hawk Girl are also possibilities. Besides his trait he’s also a capable support figure with perplex, leadership and the SHIELD team ability. Defensively he features combat reflexes and the Living Legend trait.

5. CAAV074E Ultron (100 Points) – The go-to figure for robot or Masters of Evil Teams. Yes, I am aware that Ultron has a higher cost dial with a 14 starting attack. This point level is where I envision him being played the most. He still has a great starting attack of 12, perplex to help his team, sidestep that works well with equipment like the power stone, psychic blast, his ENCEPHALO-RAY trait, and 2 of the 3 stop clicks that the 150 point dial has. But most importantly the 100 point dial gives him what he needs most – room from other characters on your team. 150 points is a lot to use on one figure in today’s 300 point meta.

4. CAAV070E Thor (75 points) – The best Thor we’ve ever seen and just like Ultron I like him best on his mid dial rather than his full dial. He’s the most efficient 75 point ranged secondary attacker I have ever seen. The number on reason is the extra powers his lightning marker gives him while attached. “CRACKLING WITH ELECTRICITY: When Thor has the Lightning marker attached, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Poison. // When Thor has the Lightning marker attacked, he has Mystics team ability, but only for close attacks.” Poison in particular is super useful against characters like Q or Kobik that have great defenses, but no reducers. Beyond that trait his starting dial has running shot, 11 attack, 4 damage, invincible, and probability control. As an added bonus, this Thor is also the first one I can remember having a stop click.

3. CAAV058 Immortal Hulk (100 points) – The reason why is most people are using him is that he is a nearly-immortal ID card launcher. So he can just walk up to the other team and starting summoning out cards like 100 point Colossal Iceman or 85 points Asgardian Storm and there is not much that the opposing team can do about it. They can’t kill him and if they try it will likely only make things worse. But on the other hand the longer the game goes on, the more powerful Hulk will become. Thanks to his trait which reads, “POWERED BY SADISTIC VENGEANCE: When a friendly character within line of fire is damaged by an opposing attack, put a Vengeance token on this card. FREE: Remove two Vengeance tokens to use Charge at no cost.” So late game after Hulk has built up 2 or more vengeance tokens you can just push Hulk yourself to transform him and you can still make a charge attack that same turn with his starting 12 attack value and 4 damage value. That’s his secret. He’s always angry.

captain marvel

2. CAAV054E Captain Marvel (95 points) – Despite her protests, her cat being a Flerken is the best part about this piece. Chewie the cat has a special movement power that reads “MAYBE IT IS A FLERKEN: : Flurry, Plasticity, Giant Reach: 2“. That goes along well with his blades/claws/fangs, super senses, and perplex. And the best part is that Captain Marvel can put out the Chewie bystander as a free action. Captain Marvel also has a special movement power that reads “HIGHER!: Hypersonic Speed. When Captain Marvel uses it, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to an opposing character she moved through. If that character is a vehicle, deal it 3 penetrating damage instead.” So in the same turn she can move through a person to damage them, make an attack with hypersonic speed, and then drop a Chewie bystander (who gets to use his Flurry and BCF). Beyond everything I mentioned, she has starting probability control and two stop clicks (the 2nd of which is very strong). This makes her a very well rounded character deserving of the 2nd spot on this list.

1. CAAV053B Punisher War Machine (90 points, but you should only play him at 95) – Like I mentioned earlier in War Machine’s entry this guy is very similar, but better. An offensive powerhouse the likes of which we have never seen before. He can attack twice two out of every 3 turns with his trait that reads, “THE WAR NEVER ENDS: Colossal Stamina. // If Punisher War Machine has two action tokens, he has FREE: Make an attack.” And if he wants to burn clicks of life by using colossal stamina, he can make two attacks every single turn (even if he started the turn with two action tokens). His special attack is not limited to his printed values, so increasing his damage with a power like perplex is twice as useful on him. He also has the ability to see through hindering to go along with his starting 12 attack and 4 damage value. On defense he has a trait that reads, “(+5) THE MAN INSIDE IS THE REAL MACHINE: During force construction, you may include a character named “Punisher” of 75 points or less on your Sideline. When Punisher War Machine would be KO’d, instead replace him with that Punisher on its last click then roll a d6 and heal that Punisher half the result. This game, that Punisher can’t be healed any other way. Protected: Pulse Wave.” So just when opponent thinks they are done with this nightmare there is a still a little more to go. Add it all up and this is definitely the best character in the set.

That’s it for this set review. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of my picks.

By The Numbers: A Captain America and the Avengers Preview!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Roberto Ty is back with a preview of the next set! Roberto’s already on to some other column ideas, so if you like what you see here, let him know in the Comments below!]

Cap Prerelease

Pre-release events for Captain American and the Avengers began Wednesday, January 22nd. The set has been largely spoiled through various unboxing videos and retail store online previews. As with any new set, the anticipation is high for new figures that will impact the Metagame. Before looking at Meta construction, most players will have the chance to test run the new figures in Sealed Pre-release events. The Sealed format offers a more level playing field for casual and competitive players alike…if the set design is balanced. While I’m sure there will be primers written in the next few days that will do a deep dive, figure by figure analysis, I prepare by taking a broader view at the numbers.

Rarity Distribution

 

Rarity # Figures
Common 17 plus 1 Prime
Uncommon 17 plus 1 Prime
Rare 17 plus 1 Prime
Super Rare 17 plus 1 Prime
Chase 6 with ClixFX base
Ultra Chase 1

 

The Numbers

The following numbers are based on what has been spoiled so far. We’re still missing a handful of figures, but this small number shouldn’t impact greatly our general analysis.

Point Value Distribution

 

Point Value # Figures
150 2
125 2
100 7
95 1
90 5
85 7
75 17
70 2
65 7
60 8
55 1
50 21
45 5
40 3
35 1
30 4
25 3
20 2
15 1

 

The bulk point values for figures fall in these two values, 50 and 75 points, providing most builds the potential to field at least 3 figures on average. At the high-end is 150-point Captain Marvel and on the low-end a 15-point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. As most experienced players know, a tentpole figure doesn’t always translate to success. Low-point support pieces are just as critical and this set has many low-point characters to fill out your teams. There are 16 figures under 50 points.

Keywords and Team Abilities

 

Keyword # Figures
Avengers 29
Soldier 21
S.H.I.E.L.D. 19
Thunderbolts 19
Scientist 18
Spy 17
Masters of Evil 17
A.I.M. 11
Ruler 11

 

No surprise here, the dominant keyword for an Avengers set is Avengers, followed by Soldier, Scientist, S.H.I.E.L.D., Thunderbolts, Spy, Masters of Evil, and A.I.M. Since Probability Control is typically in short supply, making a Named Themed Team is another way for you to manipulate the dice in your favor. Look to build an Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Thunderbolts, Masters of Evil, or A.I.M. named theme team.

 

Team Ability # Figures
No Affiliation 32
S.H.I.E.L.D. 10
Masters of Evil 10
Avengers 8
Team Player 6
Mystics 4
Underworld 3
Power Cosmic 2
Hydra 2
Defenders 1
Spider-Man 1

 

While the Avengers keyword dominated, the team ability doesn’t top the list. Instead, S.H.I.E.L.D. is prevalent, thanks to all the low-cost support agents and officers. Let’s review these team abilities. Knowing what they do will help you build your sealed team quicker.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Adjacent friendly characters modify range +1. POWER: Choose an adjacent friendly character. Once this turn, the chosen character modifies its damage +1 when making a ranged attack.

Masters of Evil. Colossal Stamina.

Avengers. When this character is given a MOVE action, modify speed +1.

Team Player. Wild Card. Uncopyable.

Of these team abilities, S.H.I.E.L.D can really have a great impact on your build, especially if your team has range. So let’s look at the range breakdown next.

Range and Improved Abilities

Range # Figures
0 10
1-5 33
6 16
7 10
8 4
9 1

 

Expect the bulk of your team to have limited range. This means that if you do pull a figure with a range of 6+, set it in the pile for consideration to make your team. Characters with the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability can aid your team if your range is limited.

  • Improved Ability
# Figures
  • Movement: Hindering
27
  • Targeting: Hindering
19

 

Thanks to the Espionage trait, many characters have Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, and Improved Targeting: Hindering. Let’s look at the dominant traits next.

Traits

 

☆ Trait # Figures
Assembled Bolts and Masters 19
Assembled Avengers 14
Espionage 13

 

☆ Assembled Bolts and Masters. Once per turn when (name of character) hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Masters of Evil or Thunderbolts keywords, remove an action token from Ghost -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.

☆ Espionage. Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, and Improved Targeting: Hindering.

☆ Assembled Avengers. Once per turn when (name of character) hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Avengers keyword, remove an action token from Iron Man -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.

I think the most impactful Trait is Espionage, primarily as a Stealth-busting option. There is a large number of characters with Stealth, but thanks to this Trait I wouldn’t build around it.

Team Mobility: Flight and Telekinesis

 

Team Mobility # Figures
Flight 19*
Telekinesis 3
*051 Moonstone has flight, but Passenger: 0.

 

The ability to move your team can often be the difference in a victory or a loss. In this set, there are 19 characters with flight, with only 18 being able to carry. I would, therefore, value flight characters and automatically put them in the pile for consideration when building my sealed team.

The other method for moving your teammates is Telekinesis. Unfortunately this power is in short supply with only 3 characters possessing the power.

Indomitable and Willpower

INDOMITABLE
Rarity # Figures
Common 3
Uncommon 4
Rare 3
Super Rare 8
Chase 3
Ultra Chase 1
TOTAL 22
WILLPOWER
Rarity # Figures
Common 3
Uncommon 1
Rare 1
Chase 1
TOTAL 6

 

The ability to perform an action in consecutive turns without taking pushing damage can be a difference maker. Indomitable is more prevalent in the Super Rare rarity while Willpower isn’t too common a special power at all. If you pull a Super Rare or higher, chances are you’re playing it. Therefore if you do find a lower rarity character with either Indomitable or Willpower, you just might put the figure in your consideration pile.

Powers

A little programming note before we breakdown the powers for movement, attack, defense, and damage. If a power is included in a special power, then I listed it as that power and not under the special power breakdown. For example, if a special damage power provided Shape Change then I listed it under Shape Change and not under the special. In evaluating the powers, I considered the starting clicks and not later clicks. While later-dial powers are a consideration when building your force, most of the time these are tiebreakers evaluations.

Movement

 

Power # Figures
Running Shot 27
Stealth 25
Charge 21
Sidestep 17
Phasing / Teleport 5
Mind Control 3
Hypersonic Speed 2
Plasticity 2
Force Blast 2
Flurry 1
Leap / Climb 1
Earthbound / Neutralized 1

 

As discussed earlier, the Espionage trait provides many characters with Stealth, but they also neutralize that power through their Improved Targeting: Hindering. I wouldn’t build round Stealth in sealed.

Next is Running Shot. With the bulk of characters having 5 or less range, look for Running Shot characters that have 6+ range to include on your build.

Both Charge and Sidestep see a good representation in this set, coming in at 18 and 15 figures respectively.

Looking at the higher quantities is one way to evaluate the figures to include on your team. Another is to look at the small numbers on powerful abilities like Hypersonic Speed. With only 2 figures, pulling a Hypersonic Speed character for your team gives you a mobility advantage other players might not have.

Attack

 

Attack Value # Figures
14 1
12 10
11 42
10 20
9 3
Attack Power # Figures
Precision Strike 14
Penetrating / Psychic Blast 11
SPECIAL 10
Energy Explosion 10
Super Strength 7
Blades, Claws, and Fangs 7
Quake 7
Incapacitate 5
Telekinesis 3
Pulse Wave 1
Steal Energy 1

 

The majority of figures have an 11 or 10 attack, which is common in modern. Some of the attack powers like, Precision Strike, will be better evaluated when we look at the defensive powers. Certainly both Precision Strike and Penetrating/Psychic Blast will be strong against higher rarity tent poles that are more likely to have better defenses.

Defense

 

Defense Value # Figures
19 1
18 39
17 35
16 2
Defense Power # Figures
Toughness 13
Impervious 11
Invincible 11
SPECIAL 10
Energy Shield Deflection 9
Combat Reflexes 9
Invulnerability 9
Super Senses 8
Mastermind 7
Willpower 6
STOP 5
Defend 3
Barrier 3
Regeneration 1

 

18 and 17 defenses are the most common. With 11 being the most common attack value, there is a 58.3% chance of hitting. See the probability chart below.

 

PROBABILITY CHART*
Defense
Attack 19 18 17 16
12 58.3 72.2 83.3 91.7
11 41.7 58.3 72.2 83.3
10 27.8 41.7 58.3 72.2
9 16.7 27.8 41.7 58.3
* Probability chart courtesy of Ninwashui

 

Damage

 

Damage Value # Figures
5 1
4 18
3 41
2 12
1 6
Damage Power # Figures
SPECIAL 17
Leadership 17
Outwit 16
Perplex 12
Shape Change 11
Probability Control 8
Exploit Weakness 5
Empower 5
Close Combat Expert 4
Battle Fury 3
Enhancement 3
Ranged Combat Expert 1

 

Because of the low-cost of many figures in this set, many teams will have 4 or more characters on their team. Leadership will be critical and thankfully there’s plenty of it. With few characters having PROTECTED: Outwit (either from a special trait/power or the Power Cosmic team ability), Outwit is a must include on your team. Other common support powers, like Perplex and Probability Control, will also be an auto-includes, but look for other less common powers that enhance damage, like Empower, Enhancement, or the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability to help your team to victory.

When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield

Breaking the set down to numbers is allows you to look at the set broadly without studying every figure for your pre-release. We get a sense of what to expect and can quickly evaluate figures for our team builds. Some key takeaways are:

  1. Leadership. Chances are you’ll have more than 3 characters on your team, you’ll need leadership to increase your action total by 1 in a standard 300-point build. Good chance you’ll pull a character with Leadership.
  2. Mobility. You’ll want to have flyers. You’ll need to taxi your team, right?
  3. Range. Ranges of 1-5 is common. Look for 6+ to gain an edge.
  4. Move and Attack. Running Shot, Charge, and Sidestep dominate. Hypersonic Speed would give you the edge, but highly unlikely you’ll land 1 of the 2 characters with it.
  5. Outwit. You’d better include it on your build. There’s a lot of it so you know your opponent will be doing the same.
  6. Perplex. Not prevalent enough to guarantee that you’ll pull a character with it. Look for other means to modify your stats with powers like Empower, Enhancement, or the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability. But if you do manage to get a character with it, you better include it on your team. Just a look at the probability chart and you’ll easily see how modifying values will greatly increase your victory chances.
  7. Probability Control. Always useful to have, just hard to come by. Look to build a named theme team to get access to it. Plenty of Avengers keyword in this set.
  8. Precision Strike and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. These two powers are always good to have. So when you pull them, put these figures in the strong consideration pile for your team.

 

What’s Next?

While I would love to do a detailed breakdown of figures before the release in a few weeks, it’s unlikely I’ll have the time. However, look for more game recap articles that will hopefully give you insight into what’s really working in this set. After all, what’s good on paper isn’t always good in practice.

Good luck and have fun at your Pre-release and Release events!

Here Is Your Clix-Mas Checklist!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas 2019 And Where We Want to Go From Here!!)

Christmas Grab Bag.jpg

Thank you for checking out our Clix-Mas 2019 extravaganza! Here is the final roll call for the other eleven entries in this year’s series:

Night One: We announced the kick-off of Clix-Mas 2019 and laid the ground rules for success or failure;

Night Two: Roberto Ty dropped by for an in-depth review of Call-In Cards and their current place in the Meta;

Night Three: HypeFox took a look at the 10 Best Chases of the Year;

Night Four: Ninwashui finally showed up to dissect his recently successful Brotherhood Pauper Build and create a Modern-competitive revision;

Night Five: HypeFox wrote a missive about the Five Things Wizkid Did Right This Year;

Night Six: HypeFox previewed everything we know about Heroclix’s 2020 releases;

Night Seven: We brought back our “Simply The Best” series! Look for Part Two, coming soon;

Night Eight: HypeFox picked three IP’s that he thought would make great Heroclix sets;

Night Nine: HypeFox briefly reviewed the history of MCU Heroclix sets and ranted about the one MCU figure we still need;

Night Ten: Roberto Ty returned for a comprehensive review of the current state of Colossal Retaliators;

Night Eleven: HypeFox returned with a brief shout-out to his favorite aspect of Heroclix;

Which brings us to tonight!

In looking back, I’m proud of what we accomplished. I think we actually brought more content (in terms of word count and article depth) than we ever have before in any prior Clix-Mas, and more writers contributed than ever before!

As always, we hope to bring you content on a more regular basis, including finishing up 2019’s “Simply the Best,” and releasing several more articles before the 2020 Clix year gets up and running in February!

Until then, thanks for reading!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a wish for a wonderful New Year to all of you.

See you soon!

 

Editorial: What I Love Most About Heroclix!! (Or, The Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! We revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7! Three nights ago we listed three licensed properties we’d love to see Clix’d! And two nights ago we tracked the history of MCU movie sets and the one piece from Marvel’s movie franchises that hasn’t been made yet! Last night, Roberto Ty came back with a comprehensive look at Colossal Retaliators in the Meta!]

Wizkids Heroclix.jpg

So this Clix-Mas has been flying by for me. We’re already here on Night Eleven!

And as we wind down this Clix-Mas season, I wanted to take a minute to write about my favorite aspect of Heroclix.

Heroclix is one of the most customizable games that has ever been designed. The Point Value system allows for games at all points levels, from micro-battles at 100 Points to Epic, Mega-Colossal Brawls that top 3000 Points or more.

And Wizkids still supports those Epic Game formats, even though the standard game is still 300 Points. But the customization goes beyond that.

Heroclix is almost like Dungeons & Dragons in that you can really craft any Scenario that you’d like. Do you want to restrict games to Golden Age or Modern? That’s fine, but you can go much further than that, too.

Hell, a few years ago,I created a Scenario set entirely within the Magic: The Gathering Universe! And it actually kinda worked!

And one of the most popular games we run at our local venue was a Heroclix version of Super Smash Bros.that Ninwashui and I created!

So every now and then, when I see people complaining about how a certain piece “ruins the Meta” or how Heroclix is dying because of some random issue (and Lord knows I’ve done this myself), I just think “Hey, if you don’t like that format… make your own!”

It’s perfectly doable!

So that’s all I have for today. Just wanted to take a quick minute to reflect on the nearly infinite ways the game can be customized.

Have you played or created a fun new Heroclix Scenario? Let me know in the Comments below.

 

2019 Critical Review: Colossal Retaliators!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! We revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7! Two nights ago we listed three licensed properties we’d love to see Clix’d! And yesterday we tracked the history of MCU movie setsand the one piece from Marvel’s movies that hasn’t been made yet… ]

Welcome to Night Ten of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, 2019!

Once again… it’s Roberto Ty!

Having 2020 Vision

Time for another year end critical review. Like the previous article on call-in figures, we’re looking at retaliators that survives rotation. Previously, I suggested that the time to sell your was now and while that still holds true, the retaliators have fewer options going forward. You may have to keep them until just before Nationals.

The Colossal Retaliator Sequence

For newer players, a typical sequence for colossal retaliation looks like this:

  1. Colossal Retaliators are played on their final retaliation click (the last click before KO). They are low-cost figures that add utility to teams.
  2. An opponent damages a teammate or attacks a retaliator (assuming he doesn’t kill the retaliator) and this triggers a Colossal Retaliation.
  3. On your turn, you can retaliate against the attacker through the Colossal Retaliation ability, provided that character is still on the map. The retaliation ability varies from figure to figure and may have additional benefits and conditions.

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye…Like Really, Really, Really Hard

The list of retiring retaliators are:

  1. 10-point AIG001-10 Giant-Girl
  2. 25-point AIG009P Jakar
  3. 15-point AIG017P Giganto & Namor
  4. 20-point AIG025P Groot
  5. 10-point FFAIG001P Giant-Girl
  6. 25-point TMTG001P Surtur
  7. 20-point TMTG003P Groot
  8. 10-point TMTG004P Carnage
  9. 15-point TMTG005P Ms. Marvel
  10. 30-point TMTG006P Mangog
  11. 20-point TMTG007P Frost Giant
  12. 10-point TMTG008P Flora Colossus
  13. 35-point WKM17-G001P Dormammu
  14. 15-point WKMP17-001P Giant-Man
  15. 30-point WKD17-G001P Titano
  16. 25-point WKDP17-001P Sinestro
  17. 20-point WKDP18-001P Starro
  18. 15-point EWG001P The Skyscraper Wonder Woman

We go from 26 colossal retaliators to 8. While it’s better to sell before rotation, can you make a deep run at Nationals without these retaliators?

The OG

With limited options going forward, we need to evaluate which retaliators to keep. 

Value Factors

 

  • Keywords. Due to their low cost, multiple retaliators are used to increase the roll for map initiative on theme teams.

 

  • Bystanders. Retaliators that generate bystanders are valuable. Bystanders can be used to tie up an opponent or as fodder to trigger a retaliation.

 

  • Abilities. Beyond retaliation, does the character bring additional qualities like Leadership, Outwit, Perplex, Poison, Probability Control, or Telekinesis to a team?
  • Defense. Can the retaliator survive? Most retaliators have hittable defenses. The better retaliators have ways to evade or reduce damage.

 

 

 

Tier I (MVP)

 

Groot Colossal.jpg

20-POINT AIG025P GROOT

Hands down, Groot is the MVP of retaliators. His value isn’t solely from his retaliation, but from his other abilities. He has a 3 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION special power with 10 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE with 17 defense, and Leadership with 3 damage. On paper, his combat values seem average. So let’s look at his abilities:

(☆ TRAIT) ORIGIN: BEFORE THE GUARDIANS: If Groot is part of a Guardians of the Galaxy themed team, he has PROTECTED: Outwit this game. Otherwise, he modifies his attack and defense +1 this game.

(☆ TRAIT) PUNY MORTALS, WE WILL CRUSH YOU LIKE AN INSECT: At the beginning of the game, you may generate a Dr. Leslie Evans bystander in an opponent’s starting area that’s friendly to their force. If you do, generate two Walking Wood bystanders. // Whenever Groot hits one or more characters with an attack, after resolutions generate a Walking Wood bystander (maximum 5 on the map).

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Groot or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Groot such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Groot began the game on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

His value can be summed up as follows:

  1. 11 attack (10 printed +1 from his trait) and 18 defense (17 printed +1 from his trait).
  2. Leadership.
  3. Generates a Dr. Leslie Evans bystander for the opponent’s team and you get two Walking Woods.

When we survey the Cosmic-keyword characters that have Leadership, there are very few. It makes Groot that much more valuable to Cosmic theme teams. While giving your opponent a Dr. Leslie Evans can work against you, the trade off to get two Walking Woods is worth the exchange. Let’s look at these bystanders.

AIG025BTA Dr. Leslie Evans. The good doctor has Stealth with 5 movement, 8 attack, I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GROOT! special power with 15 defense, and Outwit with 1 damage. His special reads:

I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GROOT!: When attacked by a Groot or Walking Wood, Dr. Leslie Evans modifies his defense +3.

AIG025BTB Walking Wood. The Walking Wood has ALL TIMBER IS UNDER MY CONTROL special power with 4 movement, 10 attack, Toughness with 16 defense, and Shape Change with 3 damage. Its special reads:

ALL TIMBER IS UNDER MY CONTROL: Flurry, Plasticity, Sidestep.

You can see why the trade off is worth it. Walking Woods are formidable attackers and can tie up your opponents. If your opponent attacks and kills them, it would trigger a retaliation.

 

Tier II (The Real Retaliators)

 

Mangog.jpg

1. 30-point TMTG006P Mangog

Surtur.jpg

2. 30-POINT TMTG006P MANGOG

I rank Mangog slightly higher than Surtur because of his damage potential, higher defense, and the Cosmic keyword. He has the Power Cosmic team ability, Sidestep with 5 movement, Super Strength with 10 attack, IMPERVIOUS COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 19 defense, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MULTI-POWERED TAIL special power with 4 damage. His trait and special powers read:

(☆ TRAIT) PULL THE ODINSWORD: POWER: Once per game, if Mangog completely occupies an opponent’s starting area and hasn’t been moved or placed by another friendly character this game, turn his dial to the next starting line higher than his current starting line, and that becomes his new starting line and point value.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) IMPERVIOUS COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Impervious. If Mangog began the game on the 30-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MULTI-POWERED TAIL: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Mangog or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Mangog such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares and line of fire, then do so. Hit characters are each dealt 4 damage instead of normal damage. After resolutions, make a close attack targeting each opposing character within 2 squares and line of fire. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage.

Mangog’s playability is really high. I considered placing him in Tier I, but ultimately decided to keep the attackers together in Tier II. To breakdown his value:

  1. With only a 10 printed attack, you’ll want to have Perplex handy before retaliating. Perplex his attack to an 11. Twelve would be better. You don’t want to miss so make sure you have Probability Control too.
  2. When he hits, he deals 4 damage to the attacker and all other opposing characters within 3 squares and line of fire. After resolutions, he can make a close attack targeting each opposing character within 2 squares and line of fire. When he hits, he deals another 3 damage. 
    1. Be careful positioning Mangog for his retaliation. While he can use colossal reach 3 squares, you may want to actually be in closer because the second attack targets characters within 2 squares. Position him strategically for maximum carnage!
  3. Power Cosmic team ability gives him Willpower and PROTECTED: Outwit.
  4. A 19 defense with Impervious! Most retaliators don’t have values so good. This gives him survivability to pull off his trait.
  5. Finally, don’t sleep on his trait. If he hasn’t been moved or placed by another friendly character this game, he can take a POWER action to PULL THE ODINSWORD when he fully occupies an opponent’s starting area. When he pulls the sword, he can be healed to his next starting line at 150 points. That’s value!

25-POINT TMTG001P SURTUR

Surtur has the following keywords: Asgardian, Deity, Monster, and Ruler. Because the monster keyword is strong right now, Surtur makes the list of retaliators to keep until rotation. He has the Power Cosmic team ability and has 8 range with a single target, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WATCH THE WORLD BURN special power with 6 movement, 12 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 18 defense, and TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM special power with 3 damage. His trait and special powers read:

(☆ TRAIT) VULNERABLE TO COLD: Characters that can use Incapacitate modify their damage by +1 when attacking Surtur.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WATCH THE WORLD BURN: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Surtur or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Surtur such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then do so. After resolutions, deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Surtur began the game on the 25-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM: Opposing characters can’t use defense powers if they are the only target of Surtur’s attack.

Most likely, you’ll find Surtur on Monster teams. If you provide him some protection, he’s a fierce retaliator:

  1. He has the Power Cosmic team ability, which will give him PROTECTED: Outwit and Willpower.
  2. He has a 12 attack.
  3. Before retaliating, I would Perplex up damage. His first attack against the attacker deals his normal damage. His TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM power will get around pesky defense powers.
  4. After hitting, he deals 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares. 
  5. Like Mangog, you’ll want to pay attention to placement. Always retaliate from 2 squares away. 

 

Tier III (Honorable Mentions)

The last tier, I won’t spend too review in-depth because I feel these are judgement calls and will depend more on your play preference. Notice that they all have the same point value.

Carnage.jpg

1. 10-point TMTG004P Carnage

Flora Colossus 2.jpg

2. 10-point TMTG008P Flora Colossus

GG1.jpg GG

3. 10-point AIG001-10 Giant-Girl and 10-point FFAIG001P Giant-Girl

 

10-POINT TMTG004P CARNAGE

With the Monster-keyword, Carnage will see play. When he retaliates, after attacking he can generate a Symbiote bystander adjacent to the target. He doesn’t need to hit to produce the Symbiote.

TMTG004BT Symbiote. Plasticity with 6 movement. Blades/Claws/Fangs with an 11 attack, Super Senses with 16 defense, and Shape Change with 2 damage.

 

10-POINT TMTG008P FLORA COLOSSUS

Flora is a low-cost addition to cosmic theme teams and is used to increase your map roll. She can heal past her starting line. At the end of your turn, roll a d6. On a result of 5–6: Heal 1 click. If she occupyies water terrain, Heal 2 clicks.

 

10-POINT AIG001-10 GIANT-GIRL AND 10-POINT FFAIG001P GIANT-GIRL

Giant-Girl is low-cost retaliator that helps Avengers theme teams win map roll. She’ll be relevant in 2020 when we get more Avengers. The AIG001-10 Giant-Girl does not have Colossal Indifference and can attack smaller characters. When she KO’s an opposing character, roll a d6 and heal half the result. She can heal past her starting line. The FFAIG001P Giant-Girl has Colossal Indifference. Her value comes from her ability to use Colossal Retaliation even if another character used retaliated that turn. You’ll want to use her retaliation last.

 

New Year, New Wave

Heading into the new year, here’s the new wave of retaliators, post-rotation:

  1. 30-point WKMP18-G001P Tri-Sentinel
  2. 20-point XDPSG004P Proteus
  3. 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix
  4. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto
  5. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  6. 30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix
  7. 25-point XDPSG023BP Storm
  8. 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman

It’s a short list. Let’s take a look at these eight.

 

Tier I

  1. 30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix
  2. 30-point WKMP18-G001P Tri-Sentinel
  3. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  4. 25-point XDPSG023BP Storm

 

DP

30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix

I debated on who should be crowned number one in Tier I. Ultimately I gave the crown to the Hellfire Queen who later was infected by the Phoenix Force and became Dark Phoenix. Does she deserve top bill? Let’s find out.

Dark Phoenix has the Cosmic, Hellfire Club, Phoenix Force, and X-Men keywords. She has the Power Cosmic team ability and has 10 range with 3 targets, flight, Sidestep with 9 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CHILD OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS special power with 11 attack, SPECKS OF DUST TO ME special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) 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.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) 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.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) SPECKS OF DUST TO ME: STOP. Impervious.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. All her keywords are great to build around, specifically Cosmic and X-Men.
  2. Power Cosmic team ability provides her Willpower and PROTECTED: Outwit.
  3. Incredible 10 range with 3 targets.
  4. 11 attack value.
  5. While her defense value is only 17, she has Impervious to help reduce damage to 0.
  6. Her retaliation will target the attacker and all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. So be careful placing her for retaliation! When she hits, she deals 2 penetrating damage instead of her normal damage.
  7. She doesn’t have Colossal Indifference and can attack smaller characters.
  8. Now for why she’s number one. When she KO’s an opposing character or when an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, she can heal 1 click and can heal past her starting line. Let me break this down:
    1. Perplex her damage to 4 (she has 3 printed) before she retaliates. In many games, I also Perplex her defense.
    2. Early in a match, the penetrating damage from her retaliation isn’t enough to heal unless you are targeting bystanders or other low-cost figures.
    3. Finally it’s been ruled that Dark Phoenix heals 1 click when she deals 4 damage and another click for a KO’d character. So by Perplexing her damage to 4 before the retaliation, you can place her, attack, and deal penetrating damage. Then hit with a normal attack for 4 damage to heal 1 click. If you manage to KO a character then you can heal her 1 more click.
    4. One other thing to consider is if you heal her 1 click, she loses her Colossal Retaliation power and Impervious (she gains Invulnerability). Her defense does go up to an 18, but if you paid attention to my advice, she’ll actually be a 19 defense if you Perplexed her up beforehand.

 

Tri.jpg

30-POINT WKMP18-G001P TRI-SENTINEL

As a 30-point investment, Tri-Sentinel brings a lot to a team. He has 9 range with 3 targets, flight, THE PRIME DIRECTIVE special power with 8 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WHEN NOTHING LESS THAN GENOCIDE WILL DO special power with a 10 attack, and COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 18 defense, and 3 damage. His abilities are:

(+) IMPROVED MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through.

(☆ TRAIT) MYSTICAL WARDINGS: Energy Shield/Deflection. Tri-Sentinel has PROTECTED: Mind Control. When Tri-Sentinel is dealt penetrating damage by an opposing character, after resolutions heal it 1 click.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) THE PRIME DIRECTIVE: Plasticity, Sidestep. When Tri-Sentinel destroys one or more pieces of blocking terrain, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that was adjacent to one or more destroyed pieces.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WHEN NOTHING LESS THAN GENOCIDE WILL DO: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Tri-Sentinel or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Tri-Sentinel such that it can target the chosen character using Pulse Wave at no cost, then do so. After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within 3 squares.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Tri-Sentinel began the game on the 30-point starting line, it can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. Excellent keywords: Hellfire Club, Mystical, Robot, and Sentinel. We initially saw him on Mystical teams (alongside Sheriff Strange, Earth X Daredevil, Alex Wilder, and Black Adam), but thanks to the X-Men Animated Series set, we’ll see him on Robot or Sentinel teams.
  2. Used strategically on a map with blocking terrain, he has IMPROVED MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through.
  3. Incredible reach. He can Sidestep and make a ranged attack of 9 squares—an 11-square reach.
  4. MYSTICAL WARDINGS trait makes him worth his 30-points. Its benefits are:
    1. Energy Shield/Deflection. He goes from an 18 defense to a 20 against ranged attacks.
    2. PROTECTED: Mind Control.
    3. But the most important part of this trait is that when he destroys one or more pieces of blocking terrain, after resolutions he deals 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that is adjacent to one or more pieces he destroyed.

Let’s break down the final part of MYSTICAL WARDINGS. He deals 1 penetrating damage to opposing characters adjacent to one or more pieces of blocking terrain that he destroyed. He’s essentially doing damage to opposing characters by destroying blocking terrain through:

  1. His Improved Movement.
  2. A Range Destroy action.
  3. His Colossal Retaliation special. The important thing to note is that he retaliates with a Pulse Wave that destroys all blocking squares within 3 squares. So first he deals his damage from Pulse Wave then after resolutions he’s dealing 1 penetrating to each opposing character that is adjacent to one of more of the destroyed pieces. Incredible!

You can see why he’ll be a major retaliator going forward, especially on a map with lots of blocking terrain. Commonly used maps with him are Star Trek’s Underground Map (though this will rotate out next year) and ROC Hedge Maze. The Underground map is indoors and provides him protection because of limited sight lines. The outdoor Hedge Maze map has lots of blocking terrain and is difficult to maneuver for non-flyers while he can target them with his great size.

 

Colossus Prime.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG017BP COLOSSUS

Juggernaut Colossus is a Giant with the X-Men team ability. He has Charge with 7 movement, Quake with 11 attack, Impervious with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH special power with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(+) MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through. This character can move through squares adjacent to or occupied by opposing characters without stopping, and automatically breaks away, even if adjacent to a character than can use Plasticity.

(☆ TRAIT) FLYING DEBRIS: When Colossus uses Charge, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that’s adjacent to one or more debris markers he created this turn.

COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Colossus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. If that character is within the same row or column as Colossus, place Colossus adjacent to that character and make a close combat attack targeting all characters in the rows or columns between where Colossus began this action and his current square, regardless of adjacency. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with either the 5-point WKMDOFP-003 Colossus Wanted Poster or 5-point WKMVID-011 Colossus headmaster ID card.
  2. Colossus is a Giant, but can attack smaller characters because he doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  3. He can use Charge, destroying blocking along the way, and for every character that is adjacent to a piece of terrain he destroyed, he deals them 1 penetrating damage.
  4. He can Charge (moving 4 squares) and use Giant Reach to target characters within 2 squares, and then Quake on an 11 attack.
  5. His retaliation can target several characters. When he hits, he deals 2 penetrating damage for each character.

 

Storm colossal.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG023BP STORM

Ororo has been possessed by Shadow King and has the Deity, Monster, Ruler, and X-Men keywords. Since she is being controlled by Amahl Farouk, she doesn’t have the X-Men team ability. She has 8 range with two targets, Sidestep with 7 movement, Precision Strike with 11 attack, THIS NEW HOST PLEASE ME, I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE IT special power with an 18 defense, and 2 damage. Her abilities are:

(+) TARGETING: Lines of fire drawn by this character are not blocked by characters. This character can make ranged attacks while adjacent to opposing characters. (May target adjacent or nonadjacent opposing characters.)

(☆ TRAIT) 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.

(☆ TRAIT) 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).

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) THIS NEW HOST PLEASES ME, I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE IT: STOP.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. As a standard-size character with the Colossal Retaliation power, she can attack characters of any size since she doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  2. Her attack value is 11 while her damage is only 2. The second part of her retaliation allows her to use Mind Control at no cost. When she does, her attack is modified by +3 and she can target the hit character along with two others that are within her range and line of fire.

Tier II (Call-In Help)

These Tier II retaliators may be included on the main force, but also as call-in figures. For more on call-in figures, read my earlier article 2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures.

  1. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  2. 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix
  3. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto
  4. 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman

As we look at the Tier II list, I will only review the retaliators that have not been covered previously.

 

25-POINT XDPSG017BP COLOSSUS

See the Tier I Colossus review above.

 

Phoenix Rachel.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG010P PHOENIX

Phoenix’s keywords are Cosmic, Excalibur, Phoenix Force, Starjammers, and X-Men. Easy to include on Cosmic and X-Men teams, she has the Power Cosmic and X-Men team abilities. Her range is an incredible 10 with 3 targets and she has Phasing/Teleport with 10 movement, Telekinesis with 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE with 16 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM with 3 damage. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) COSMIC ENTITY: Phoenix can’t be the target of an attack with more than one target.

(☆ TRAIT) ETERNAL FLAME OF DESTRUCTION AND REBIRTH: Energy Shield/Deflection, Poison. When Phoenix uses Poison and an opposing character took damage from it, after resolutions choose one: heal 1 click for each opposing character damaged this way -or- heal each adjacent friendly character 1 click.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. If Phoenix starts on the 25-point line, she can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Phoenix within 3 squares of the chosen character then make a ranged attack targeting that character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares, regardless of line of fire. Instead of normal damage, deal each hit character 1 penetrating damage for each action token they have. Hit targets that can use Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast modify their combat values -1 until your next turn.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator. At 25-points she can be called in with either the 3-point WKMVID-020 Jean Grey student ID or the 5-point WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers Wanted Poster.
  2. She has Cosmic and X-Men keywords, two of the most common keywords in modern.
  3. Telekinesis. She can use Telekinesis to place a special object on another figure so that they can equip it on the first turn. Or she can use it to position another teammate.
  4. Poison. As a call-in, she can be placed adjacent to an opponent and use her Poison before retaliating.
  5. Her retaliation targets the attacker and all other opposing characters within 3 squares. When she hits, she does 1 penetrating damage for each action token on the hit target.

For an 8-point investment in two ID cards, I just might have two of her on the sideline.

 

Mags Colossal

25-POINT XDPSG015P MAGNETO

The leader of the mutant resistance will retaliate against his oppressors! While he’s a 2×2 base, Magneto is a standard-size character. He has the Brotherhood of Mutants team ability, an 8 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, Telekinesis with 10 attack, Toughness with an 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM special power with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) THE FORCE OF MAGNETISM IS AT MY COMMAND: Leadership. FREE: Choose a character within range and line of fire. Place that character in a square adjacent to its current square.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM: FREE: If no other friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Magneto or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Magneto such that he can make a ranged attack targeting the chosen character then do so.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with the 5-point WKMDOFP-006 Magneto Wanted Poster.
  2. Magneto can attack characters of any size. He doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  3. Telekinesis. Like Phoenix, he will be used to TK equipment objects to teammates or place friendly characters.
  4. Leadership.
  5. The other significant part of his trait is that he can choose a character within his range and line of fire to move them into an adjacent square from its current square. Note that this works for friendly or opposing characters. You could use TK to place your teammate and then move them an additional square.
  6. His keywords: Acolytes, Brotherhood of Mutants, Hellfire Club, and Ruler. Of these he’ll likely be included Brotherhood or Ruler theme teams.

 

Iceman.jpg

15-POINT XDPSG025P ICEMAN

One of my favorite sculpts in Heroclix, Iceman has taken the ice form of Voltron! He is Colossal size and has 0 range, Charge with 5 movement, 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! special power with 17 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS special power with 3 damage. He has Armor, Champions, Defenders, X-Factor, and X-Men keywords along with the X-Men team ability. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT!: STOP. If Iceman started the game on the 15-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Iceman or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Iceman such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. After resolutions, he can immediately use Incapacitate at no cost, but may target smaller characters.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with the 3-point WKMVID-019 Iceman student ID.
  2. The first part of his trait gives him Blades/Claws/Fangs.
  3. The second part of his trait is interesting, but will be difficult to pull off. When he KO’s a Giant or Colossal, after resolutions, he can use Charge at no cost but only to attack another Giant or Colossal. He only Charges 3 squares (half his 5 movement rounded up) and can attack using a Colossal reach of 3 squares. Effectively it’s only a 6-square reach (3 from Charging and 3 from Colossal reach).
  4. His retaliation allows him to attack a target (don’t forget the Blades/Claws/Fangs) then after resolutions, he can use Incapacitate at no cost and can target smaller characters. What’s important to note is that he has 0 range. So the use of Incapacitate will be from a close attack.

 

Tier III

 

Proteus.jpg

1. 20-point XDPSG004P Proteus

 

20-point XDPSG004P Proteus

Proteus is a straight-forward retaliator that will find his way onto a Monster theme team. He has the Brute keyword and the Power Cosmic team ability. He starts with Improved Movement: Blocking and a 4 movement value, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: A PARALYZING FEAR special power with a 10 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: I DON’T KNOW BETTER special power with an 18 defense, and Battle Fury with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) WARPING REALITY: Barrier, Shape Change, Smoke Cloud. Once per turn, Proteus can use Barrier as FREE or Smoke Cloud as FREE, but only to generate 2 markers. // Other characters within 3 squares can’t use Improved abilities.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: A PARALYZING FEAR: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Proteus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Proteus such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. A hit character gets 2 Fear tokens. Even if this power is lost, characters with Fear tokens must roll a d6 when making an attack, and negatively modify their attack value by half the result, then remove one Fear token.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: I DON’T KNOW BETTER: STOP. If Proteus starts on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

Proteus has average values, but his Battle Fury will help with pesky Shape Change figures. He becomes above average when you factor in his ability to use Barrier or Smoke Cloud as FREE to generate 2 markers. A fun pairing is to use two Proteus with XDPSG007E Juggernaut (who also has the Brute keyword). Juggernaut has Improved Movement: Blocking. After moving, Juggernaut can use Quake at no cost and destroys all adjacent squares of blocking. When Juggernaut destroys 3 or more squares of blocking terrain he gets to remove an action token. When he removes an action token from an effect other than clearing, he gets to heal 1 click. With two Proteus retaliators providing him barrier, Juggernaut is less dependent on a map with lots of blocking terrain and is a more effective tentpole.

 

Colossal Thoughts

A lot of teams employ an alpha strike strategy. If you plan on including retaliators on your main force, you’ll need to protect them from that first strike. That’s why I like the idea of using call-in retaliators. It’s better to concede points from the ID or Wanted Poster than the points of a retaliator. 

Retaliators aren’t just used to attack, many are used for the initiative bonus (map roll) on theme teams. Typically these are low cost figures like the 10-point Flora or Giant-Girl. Post rotation, most of the retaliators will be around 20 points. Iceman is the lowest at 15 points. But at these point levels, it makes it difficult to include these on the main force just to win the map.

Keeping these thoughts in mind, I personally lean toward building teams without main force retaliators and plan on using call-in retaliators instead in 2020.

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Present Presents: Missing in Action!! (Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! We revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7! And yesterday we listed three licensed properties we’d love to see Clix’d!]

Thanos MCU

This wouldn’t be a bad sculpt…

Welcome to Night Nine of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!!

Well, amid all the hoopla surrounding the announcement of the return of the Fantastic Four to Heroclix with the Cosmic Clash Starter coming out next year, there’s still been no movement on the gaping hole that still exists within the Marvel Heroclix lineup…

Where are our MCU Infinity Clix?

Chase Loki.jpg

Things started off wonderfully in 2012 with an Avengers Movie Set that not only gave us some great exclusive Target Clix (who remembers that Chase MCU Loki?) from the film but also a Hobby exclusive side with Red Skull and Odin Chases and other figures that represented the breadth of the MCU up to that point.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In 2012 I bought a few of these on a whim from a Target in my area after not having played Heroclix in 5 or 6 years. I was just looking for some cool movie sculpts to put on my desk. Instead I pulled a Cap and a Loki Chase, and that re-hooked me back into the game!]

Then we got Iron Man 3 Clix, and Thor: The Dark World Clix, Captain America: The Winter Soldier Clix and even Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron Clix!!

Avengers Age of Ultron

This remains one of the greatest Starters ever produced!!

That’s six MCU movies in a row that all received the Clix treatment, including the first Guardians movie which was hardly a sure thing from a licensed tie-in perspective.

A lot of us were looking forward to seeing what the Ant-Man set would bring, only to discover that Wizkids skipped that movie altogether. For the first time in several years, an MCU movie came and went with no Clix adaptation.

MCU Clix came back strong with Captain America: Civil War in early 2016, although Wizkids neglected to include Chases for the first time ever in a MCU set for some reason.

Then Doctor Strange came and went with no Clix set (how sweet would that have been? Chase Dormammu? An MCU Night Nurse? MCU Karl Mordo? Ancient One? Sigh… ), and MCU Clix fans started to worry.

Hela Chase.jpg

But 2017 brought us GotG 2 Clix (which included a now-legendary Yondu Chase) AND Thor: Ragnarok Clix, and all seemed right with the world again.

When 2018 came around, however, Wizkids sat out both Black Panther AND Infinity War, and we were denied the one piece we so richly deserved: MCU Chase Thanos!!

I mean, c’mon! From the moment Wizkids blew that first Avengers set out of the park, we have been patiently waiting for that piece! And we have be denied for 7 years now!

Outside of a Con LE, the only way we’ll ever get an MCU Thanos is if Wizkids decides to give us a full MCU 5-figure booster set which, despite the pitiful state of comic book sales today, still seems extremely unlikely.

The one bright note in all this is that Wizkids has announced an MCU Black Widow set that’ll drop in about 4 months from now. Will this usher in a new age of great movie sets?

Only time will tell.

What version of your favorite character are you still waiting for? Sound off in the Comments below!

And we’ll see you back here tomorrow night for the Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!

 

All I Want for Clix-Mas Is My New Licensed Clix!! (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! Finally, we revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7!]

MTG Planeswalkers.jpg

Alright, we’ll get to Part 2 of this year’s Simply the Best feature towards the end of this year’s Clix-Mas, but tonight, we’re going to revisit a DIFFERENT previous Clix-Mas article!

Back on Night Six of Clix-Mas 2017, we looked at three media properties that we thought would make great Heroclix expansions/sets. We chose:

Transformers;

G.I. Joe;

and Stranger Things.

So this year, we can’t choose any of those, even though there’s been little to no movement on those properties as it relates to Heroclix (Wizkids did pick up a license to do Transformers minis, I believe, but I think they’ve already stated definitely that they’re not looking to do TF Clix at this time. Apparently because they hate money).

Instead, here are three more Pop Culture properties we think would excel as Heroclix!

 

WoW Clix.jpgWoW Clix Booster.png

WORLD OF WARCRAFT:

Why It’d Work: I know what you’re thinking. WoW minatures exist!! This has already been tried!

To that I say, “Nay.”

The miniatures market is slightly different from the Heroclix audience, and I think WOW Clix would be a massive hit.

Warcraft is a very specific universe that has already infiltrated the film and comic worlds. And it’s a franchise that would lend itself perfectly to Heroclix.

Reaper.jpg Succubus

Hell, I could design a WOW 5-figure booster set in my sleep. There’s plenty of generics to draw from, and there’s a looooooong list of important characters to fill out Rare, SR and Chase slots.

I mean, if you make the Chases in the first set a Who’s Who of WoW villains, I guarantee you will sell out of the entire print run. If word got out that there was, say, a Chase Illidan or Chase Lich King, WoW fans would empty their wallets in record time.

Beyond that, if it succeeds as a 5-figure booster set, a Gravity Feed or even a non-blind shelf SKU (like WWE), Wizkids could release a set adapting each WoW expansion!

Finally, Warcraft is HUUUUUUUUGE in China. If Wizkids ever wanted to crack open the Chinese market for Clix, getting a license like this would go a long way in aiding those efforts!

Will We Ever See It?

Doubtful. Even though it seems like a perfect fit, I almost think Wizkids would prefer to try and resurrect Mage Knight again and give that a Heroclix makeover again before they’d fork over the cash necessary to make Warcraft Clix happen.

Still, it’s fun to dream…

 

Arena Of the Planeswalkers.jpg

MAGIC: THE GATHERING:

Why It’d Work: Because there’s millions of Magic players worldwide! This would have a ton of crossover appeal!

On a production level, Magic: The Gathering has everything you’d want for a great Heroclix set:

–Plenty of generic opportunities;

–Great individual characters (between Legends and Planewalkers, Magic has that in spades) with a bunch of backstory to draw from and strong, varied power sets to adapt;

–A plethora of diverse sizes and shapes, so that every booster isn’t just filled with 5 Standard sized characters.

This is another set that I think would sell like crazy and benefit both brands. If you’ve seen what Wizkids can do with something like, say, Phoenix Magneto’s sculpt, then you’ve got to be salivating at what they could do with a Chandra Nalaar piece.

chandra

Now this would make a great sculpt!

Will We Ever See It?

Again, doubtful. The same “Why don’t we just save the money and try Mage Knight for the umpteenth time?” objection for WoW still applies here.

Plus, Wizards of the Coast has already licensed several miniatures products, so it’s unclear if there’s even room for a licensed Heroclix Magic set in the market right now.

 

Star Trek Clix

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION: AWAY TEAM:

Why It’d Work: Okay, yes, this is a bit of a cheat. Okay, a complete cheat, since we already have them. But there were 178 episodes of Next Gen, plus 4 movies!! There’s so much more material waiting to be adapted!

Hugh Picard.jpg

I want a true 5-figure booster set, or at least 3 or 4 more Gravity Feeds. But a 5-figure booster set would allow the inclusion of many of the artifacts/weapons seen on the show to make it into the game as Equipment!

I know a lot of folks want Wizkids to keep progressing on to DS9 and even Voyage Clix, and that’s fine, but there’s so much left to explore with TNG Clix!

Will We Ever See It?

Unclear, although I have to think there’s a decent chance after the way “Resistance Is Futile” was received!

Still, it’s a little strange that Wizkids hasn’t announced where they intend to take the Star Trek license next, so that doesn’t necessarily bode well. But it could be that they just have a lot of Marvel and DC stuff already in the pipeline and don’t want to announce anything Trek-related until they have more concrete plans.

The way the last set ended up migrating from 5-figure boosters to two separate Gravity Feeds shows that making TNG Clix was not the smoothest product development they’ve ever had.

Regardless, I can’t wait to see what Wizkids announces next. Just in the last couple years, we’ve gotten Classic Trek, Next Generation Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Orville and WWE Heroclix.

And they were all Modern Legal!

This seems pretty healthy to me for the game overall.

Alright! That’s all I have for tonight!

Which property do you think Wizkids should adapt next? Sound off in the Comments below, and I’ll see you right back here for Night 9 tomorrow!

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Past Presents… Simply the Best: 2019: Part One!! (Or, The Seventh Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! And yesterday, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far!]

Tina Turner STB 2

Welcome to Night Seven of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Tonight, I thought it’d be fun to bring back one of our more popular features from a few years ago… the year end “Simply the Best” review!!

It goes like this: I come up with random (sometimes even arbitrary) categories and then tell you which piece or pieces were the best in category out of everything released this year!

We haven’t done it in awhile, because I used to try to cover everything–and I mean everything–in one column, which would then balloon to almost 4000 words.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: He’s not kidding. It’s been about 5 years since we tried this, and that feature came in at over 3300 words. We (sort of) revived the idea again at the end of 2016 for the Ninth Night of Clix-Mas that year in a two-part parody called “Simply the Rest,” wherein we talked about the worst Clix of the year.]

Well, we’re not going to get quite that in-depth tonight, and we’re actually gonna break this gimmick into a couple parts to make it more manageable.

So, without further ado, here was 2019’s…

SIMPLY THE BEST!!

 

Simply The Best… Primary Attacker of 2019:

Thanos UC

1. ABPI074 Thanos — 160 Points — Ultra Chase:

Okay, I’ve devoted enough ink to how much I love this piece. But this was a weird year for Primary Attackers.

The whole role was almost rendered moot by the ubiquity of overpowered Call-Ins. I mean, you could make an argument that Kobik was a great Primary Attacker since she’s impossible to kill and can Call-In pieces to do her damage for her. But that would be a little too cynical, even for me.

Runners Up:

2. XDPSG007R Juggernaut — 100 Points — Uncommon

The best version of Mr. Unstoppable ever.

3. XDPSG006R Onslaught — 125 Points — Uncommon

4. CMM021 Captain Marvel — 150 Points — Chase

5. RE068 Barbatos — 200 Points — Chase

 

Simply The Best… Sub-Theme of 2019:

Elders of the Universe Banner

1. Elders of the Universe — Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati

These pieces were better than they had any right to be. Collector, Astronomer, Trader… even Voyager and the freaking Gardener showed up in the Meta! Champion had a great dial and he wasn’t even one of the five best Elders in the set!

One of the most unexpected delights of the year!

Runners Up:

2. Brotherhood of MutantsXDPS

This was a close one. Wizkids has done the Brotherhood so many times, and yet with this set, they reinvented so many of the key players that I was blown away. Best Juggernaut ever. Best Blob ever. The Danger Room constructs were creatively designed and were a big part of the new Pauper Meta.

3. Batman: Metal ChasesDC Rebirth

Barbatos is borderline Meta, Red Death and The Batman Who Laughs are both really good, but they’re most notable for their cool sculpts and cohesive theme.

 

Simply The Best… Supporting Characters of 2019:

Kobik 616

Yep. Another article about Kobik…

1. ABPI069 Kobik — 115 Points — Chase:

Once again, I’ve talked her to death this Clix-Mas, but yeah, she’s that good. Mainstay of the current Meta.

Runners Up:

2. Q — 30 Points — Super Rare Prime:

There’s a reason he’s $300. The premier dice manipulator in the Meta right now.

3. Q– 50 Points — Super Rare:

Same as the Prime, except he’s 20 more Points BUT he doesn’t take up your lone Prime spot.

4. RE052E Mister Oz — 40 Points — Super Rare:

The DC version of Unseen. TK plus Prob across most of the board. At the beginning of the year, I would have thought he’d have the #1 Supporting Piece spot locked up.

Nope.

 

Simply The Best… Sets of 2019:

ABPI boxes

1. Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati:

Hands down, the best set of 2019. This set gave us Meta pieces at every rarity level:

Common: A.I.M. Red Squad, Voyager

Uncommon: A.I.M. White Squad, Medusa

Rare: Astronomer, Gardener

Super Rare: Taskmaster, Collector

Chase: Kobik

Ultra-Chase: Thanos 

And that’s just pieces that have shown up in Top 8’s. I’ve probably even missed a few. There’s also a ton more pieces that are just plain fun to play.

Add in all the great Equipment like the Infinity Gems, Gauntlets and Cosmic Cubes, and you have a set for players, collectors and everyone in-between. Worked on every level.

 

Runners Up:

2. XDPS:

Nostalgia for the old cartoon meets really innovative Colossal Design. Pieces like Onslaught and Juggernaut are Meta-relevant while being really fun to play. The Danger Room Construct pieces (read: Primes) were a creative new paradigm. And Chase Jean Grey and Chase Jason Wyngarde were extremely memorable.

The only thing holding this set back is how forgettable most of the regular-sized pieces were.

3. Star Trek Away Team: Resistance is Futile: 

Not just for the Q’s, but for the designers’ interpretation on the Bridge Crew of the Enterprise as well. Gets knocked down a few pegs for not fully fleshing out the Borg or Klingon factions.

4. Earth X: 

Loved the comic; this set was a very faithful adaptation. The Venom Chases were memorable as well!

 

Okay That’s all I have for tonight! Tune back in to this space tomorrow for Part 2!

Until then… Merry Clix-Mas!