Okay! I registered this blog like two weeks ago! Might be time to actually post something, eh? For my inaugural post, we’re gonna talk about some Marvel Clix!!
IIM has been out for awhile now, and as I’ve finally gotten to play with some of the pieces, I’m finally ready to rate these figs. This set turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would; I was not excited for more armored madness so soon after what I thought was a very strong Iron Man 3 movie set. But now that I’ve seen these pieces in action, I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. My list is meant as a general rating of each figure’s effectiveness across a broad range of formats, not just Sealed or 300 point Meta games. I actually prefer 400 point games myself, but these figs all have uses in just about any gametype.
Firstly, there were a host of figures that just couldn’t crack the cream of the crop, but are still quite useful in their own right. This set has some surprising depth to it, and much of that depth makes up my:
5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:
—Bulldozer (#014r) 70 points – Common: With his trait (HEAD DOWN, HEAD FIRST: At the end of your turn, choose a side of the square Bulldozer occupies. Lines of fire drawn to Bulldozer that pass through that side of the square are blocked until your next turn.), he’s basically a moving barrier that can also attack in a pinch and—probably more usefully—break through opposing barriers with his Improved Movement—Ignores Blocking Terrain and destroys blocking terrain as he moves through it. His attack is never more than pedestrian, and his defense won’t keep him around very long, but if you have time to line him up where you need him, you can cause some big headaches for your opponents. Just stay away from the Experienced version; for a whopping 75 more points, you get the SAME charge, SAME attack, 2 clicks of Invuln (granted, he defense goes up a tick to 18, but not until his second click!) and a measly one more damage. And if that somehow sounds okay to you, go look at Prime Hyperion’s dial and what 75 points gets you there. Yes, he’s a Prime, but 75 points is 75 points. Experienced Bulldozer is actually on the short list for WORST figs in the set, which makes this a very schizophrenic piece.
—Tony Stark (#015) 70 points – Uncommon: A great support piece that has a lot of things going for it and only one real drawback—his most interesting ability (ARGONAUTS: Tony Stark can use Mind Control and Stealth. When he uses Mind Control, he may only target a single character with the Armor or Robot keyword, but may target friendly characters.) doesn’t show up until his second click. If he had that ability from the start, he would have most definitely made the Top Ten. Still, there’s a lot to like here. He alternates between Outwit and Perplex, he has a Stop click, so it’s really hard to one-shot him, and with his Extremis Healing Factor, he can even heal himself. And it’s all topped off by the Stark Industries keyword, which we’ll get into a little later (suffice to say it’s one of the best named keywords out there, and it doesn’t even have an ATA yet!)
— King Hyperion (#041a) 266 points – Super Rare: A great piece, King Hyperion is tons of fun to play. He has a great mechanic (GENOCIDAL RAGE: Give King Hyperion a power action and make a close or ranged combat attack targeting a single friendly character with a point value of 15 or more. If he KO’s that character with this attack, after actions resolve, heal him of 1 damage, remove all action tokens from him, and modify his combat values by +1 until your next turn and he may immediately be given an action as a free action that may be used to activate this power again.), but once again, it doesn’t show up until click 2. Notice a recurring theme with these Honorable Mentions? You have to hope you can safely guide them to their second clicks! Not too hard in most cases, but if you make these pieces the focus of your army (which you’d HAVE to do in King Hyperion’s case), you’re adding an element of uncertainty to your strategy. Also, at the end of the day, Hyperion (the Prime version of this fig) is just a lil’ bit better.
—Iron Paladin (#053) 110 points—Chase: He’s a Chase piece, so many folks will never get a chance to use him (although most of the Chases from this set are pretty reasonable on eBay right now—about the cost of 2 boosters). Still, he’s pretty efficient as a close combat attacker with good average AV’s and a great Attack ability (SWORD OF FAITH: Opposing characters can’t use defense powers when they are the target of Iron Paladin’s close combat attack.) that is probably the best answer right now to the “How do I take down Absorbing Man?” dilemma that’s cropping up in the Meta. The fact that he picks up Mystics in the latter part of his dial and has a roughly 55% chance to regenerate into another Chase figure AFTER HE’S K.O.’d earns him a spot just outside the Top Ten.
—Maggia Goon (#004) 20 points – Common: A 20-point fodder piece almost makes the Top Ten?! Well, yeah, when you can effectively tie figs up that are 5 times your cost (or more!), you deserve a pretty good ranking. Plasticity plus a VERY interesting defensive power (PROTECTION RACKET: When targeted with an attack, Maggia Goon may use the printed defense value of the character targeting him.) make him a really annoying nuisance for anyone unlucky enough to play against him. He’s got an OK keyword (Maggia) that makes him cool to run with Count Nefaria (but doesn’t lend itself to much else), and he eventually picks up a 1-damage Exploit Weakness if he’s forced to do damage in the middle of the game, but all of that just wasn’t enough to push him from the fringes of Honorable Mention and into the Top Ten… but it was close. Did I mention he’s only 20 points?
And now, without further ado, the Top Ten figures in Invincible Iron Man!
10. Grey Gargoyle (#046) 95 points—Super Rare: This was the hardest figure for me to place on this list. I can make an argument for him not being included at all; I can also make the case that at #10, he’s not getting nearly the respect he deserves. I just don’t know. Having said that, this feels about right. When this figure appeared on the setlist, like most people I assumed he was really just an average figure with a few tricks up his sleeve that was really just meant to give folks someone to revert Mokk into. Now that I’ve seen his dial, he’s actually much more interesting than I first gave him credit for.
All three of his special abilities (GRADUAL PETRIFICATION: When an adjacent opposing character would clear action tokens, that character only clears one action token instead of two. & STONE SWIPE: Grey Gargoyle can use Incapcitate. When he uses Incapacitate, he may give up to two action tokens to a hit target. & STONE SHATTER: Grey Gargoyle deals pentrating damage to characters with two action tokens. ) are great. I think it was Edward Shelton who pointed out on “Dial H for Heroclix” a few weeks back that putting tokens on your opponent’s figures is always good, even though it seems like players in the Meta sometimes go through cycles where they forget how devastating Incap can be and then almost have to rediscover its power. I almost equate it to card advantage in Magic: The Gathering—if you draw more cards than the person sitting across from you, you’re probably gonna win. Well, in Heroclix, if you are taking more meaningful actions than your opponents, you’re probably beating them. And so folks will come up with crazy ways to do that, whether it be with Duo Attack or crazy shenanigans with Stealth or Barrier, and sometimes they’ll forget that the easiest way to accomplish this is Incap.
Stone Swipe is as good as close combat Incap gets. But that’s also my problem with this figure. He is all about close combat, but his defense might be too chewy for him to get close enough to opposing figures to wreak havoc. He also has no Willpower of any kind to effectively take advantage of all the tokened figures he’s generating. You can give him Nul’s Hammer, but there’s a lot of figures who suddenly become tenable in a variety of formats if you give them a Hammer. He’s got great keywords in A.I.M., Masters of Evil and Scientist, but at 95 points, he almost HAS to be your secondary attacker in a 300 point game. The good news there is that he has great damage values for his point level. Still, with all the question marks hanging over Gargoyle’s role, #10 feels like the right landing spot for him on this list.
9. Iron Pharaoh (#051) 110 points – Chase: The best of the Chases, Iron Pharaoh boasts a 9 (9!!) range and a trait that should practically let you see half the freaking map at any one time (GOLDEN FALCON, SOARING: When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to move this marker up to 3 squares. Iron Pharaoh can draw lines of fire and count range (up to 3 squares) from the Falcon marker using Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.) His second click is the best, as he defense stays at 18 (it goes from Invuln to Toughness, but I can live with that tradeoff) and he keeps Outwit but his attack goes up to 11 and he gains a pretty good Mind Control special power (PHARAOH’S SLAVE: Iron Pharaoh can use Mind Control, but only to target characters of fewer points that himself. When he does, after actions resolve, deal 1 unavoidable damage to the character he hit with his Mind Control.) Some late dial Pen/Psy and Prob Control means that he should be a steady damage dealer throughout his dial, and he defense against ranged attacks never goes below 17.
He’s kind of Fantomex-lite, with some distinct advantages and disadvantages. Since he produces a special Terrain token, and not a bystander token, his Falcon is a lot harder to mess with than E.V.A., who’s a Bystander. E.V.A., on the other hand, can move 8 spaces at her leisure, whereas the Falcon can only move three. The Falcon gives the Pharaoh some of the best Improved Targeting in the game, whereas as E.V.A. just gives Fantomex Toughness. Both extend their parent figures range quite a bit, with E.V.A. giving Fantomex an essentially 13 range and the Falcon only adding 3 to the Pharaoh (although, with his native 9 range, he can cover quite a bit of the board). The Pharaoh is 32 less points than Fantomex, which also helps in the grand scheme of things. To be clear, I’m NOT saying this piece is as good as Fantomex; just that he’s in the same ballpark. The fact that you don’t even have to start the game playing Iron Pharaoh and there’s still like a 55% chance that he can pay huge dividends for you is kind of mind-blowing (“Well, that does it. You killed my Stealth Suit Iron Man. Let me just make a roll here and—oh, look at that. I get to bring in Iron Pharaoh. On his best click. For free. Cool.”).
Add in some strong keywords, and you have just a solid, solid piece. I don’t think he’ll have a huge 300 Meta impact, but he really starts to shine in 400 point games, which opens up a few more shenanigan build possibilities.
8. Crimson Cowl (#031) 57 points – Rare: One of the best support pieces in the set with some more great keywords. Hammer Industries can give her limited Perplex, which is really NEVER not worth 5 points. While her attack never goes beyond “pedestrian,” attacking is one of her least efficient uses. She has arguably the best pound-for-pound Leadership ability in Modern right now, and she starts with first turn TK. And if she goes off top click, she gains a plasticity and Carry Special. A support piece under 75 points that can TK OR Carry other figs AND take action tokens off them AND Perplex any stat but damage—that’s pretty damn good. If you’re playing a Hammer OR Masters of Evil team, Crimson Cowl should be one of the first figs you reach for. Great in both 300 or 400 point games.
7. Rescue (#002) 65 points – Common: So, like a lot of people, when I’m evaluating figures and I get really excited, it’s usually because the figure falls into one of two categories. The piece will either be a heavy hitter with a hefty cost but great stats and abilities; or, as in the case of Rescue, I’ll see everything she offers and then do a double take when I see how much she costs. Perplex (on everything but damage), Flight, first-click TK, DOUBLE Incapacitate with an 11 AV and 6 range, with Force Blast and 17 Defense with Toughness thrown in just for good measure… I mean, this dial seems like it should cost 90 points or more. Then you throw in her Traited ability that lets her carry up to THREE figs if they’re not on their first click, and I start drooling. Doesn’t matter if they fly, or if they have the transporter symbol, or if they’re a Duo (as long as they are on a single base—oh look, IM3 has two Duos that occupy a single base AND share keywords with her for good measure!) Rescue is the best common in the set, and she has uses across the format board. Sealed? If I pull her, I’m playing her! 300 point Constructed? Depending on any stipulations, I’m gonna seriously think about it. 400 points? You can build a FILTHY Stark Industries team and you’d BETTER have Rescue on it. Stark Industries hasn’t had a huge impact (beyond the number one fig—we’ll get to him in a few minutes) on the Meta yet (partly because they’ve yet to receive an ATA), but in formats larger than 300, they are really sick. In 300 (if you’re using resources—my venue typically doesn’t allow it unless it’s the resource for a storyline event like Fear Itself or AvX), you could do a lot worse than something like Booklip (50 points), Rescue & Silver Centurion. You would still have 14 points left for ATA’s or whatever you want. But in addition to boosts from the book, you’d have Enhancement, TK, Double Incapacitate, Perplex (on anything but damage) AND Support backing up a constantly free-quaking Silver Centurion, who would also be backed up by his torpedo. AND you’d have 2 Theme Team Probs. That army wouldn’t dominate the Meta by any means, but you could certainly be competitive. Tony’s girl is just ridiculous.
6. War Machine (#029b) 245 points – Prime: Outside of some merely average attack values, this guy is sick. With running shot, his range is effectively 14 squares with a PRINTED 5 DAMAGE! And with his Alpha Strike ability, he can push to take two attacks in one turn. Just sick. Then you look at his trait: RETALIATORY STRIKE: Each time War Machine is targeted with an attack, put a Retaliation token on this card. Give War Machine a free action and remove 2 Retaliation tokens; he then may make a ranged combat attack against a single target. That is just silly. He doesn’t even have to take damage or even be freaking hit. This means that at some point, the designer of this piece was like, “Let’s give this 245-point tank MORE FREE ATTACKS!” And everyone else in the office was like, “Yeah, we’re cool with that. We’ll cosign that.” Whaaaa… ? I still like the IM3 War Machine with a built-in Duo Attack just a bit better for 25 less points, but man, it’s close. Sick, heavy hitter. But he’s not even the best War Machine in the set when you consider point cost…
5. War Machine (#029a) 125 points – Rare: 125 points for this? Sign me up! Just like his Stark Industries keyword-sharing sister-from-another-mister Rescue, War Machine makes you hold up and go, “Wait a minute. Is this secretly a 150-point character masquerading as 125 secondary attacker?! In addition to two great Team abilities (Avengers AND S.H.I.E.L.D. AND Stark Industries—Booklip, anyone?), and three great named keywords, this War Machine can dish out a bunch of damage and he can do it from about 14 squares away. Add in his Trait: VARIABLE THREAT ADAPTATION: At the beginning of the game, choose a standard power. When an opposing character attacking War Machine can use the chosen power, modify its attack and damage values by -1 for that attack. And suddenly your lil’ 125-point War Machine is shooting for 4 damage and isn’t taking very much in return. This is the War Machine that you’d get at a place like Costco; the other War Machines all look like you’d paid retail!!
4. Hyperion (#041b) 275 points – Prime: Whoa. Talk about beefy. 275 points, so pretty much a 1-man army in a 300-point contest, but man… Power Cosmic, 19 D with Impervious, 12 attack w/Super Strength with a printed 5 damage and—oh yeah—Hypersonic Speed with 13 movement! Has Avengers keyword (always helpful), but what I really like is that even if your opponent chews through his first four big clicks, he still has 200 points worth of dial left, and he gains the second best Improved Targeting available with an 8 range! One-man armies are usually too limited to do much in Meta, but he’d be a lot of fun to play! In a 400 point game, he’s deadly! Love this piece!
3. Count Nefaria (#048) 244 points – Super Rare: Arguably the best non-Stark Industries guy to build a 300-point army around from this set (although the next guy on the list may have something to say about that), Nefaria is 244 points and 11 clicks of flat nasty. He starts with 3 clicks of Hypersonic, and on that third click, he gains Power Cosmic (essentially), 18 D with Imperv, 12 attack and his damage goes up to 5. Oh, and right before you finally get him double chipped and surrounded, this happens: IONIC ENERGY RECHARGE: Once per game, give Count Nefaria a free action. Until your next turn, Count Nefaria ignores all damage dealt to him by opposing characters’ attacks unless it is a critical hit. Unbelievable. So, unless you’ve built your Meta around Longshot (and props to YOU, sir, if you have), you’re probably not gaining any ground on the 5-damage, 12-attacking Madman with superspeed. As the bad man said to Liam Neeson in Taken, “Good luck.“ I’m not saying Ionic Energy Recharge is broken, but I feel pretty confident in saying that I don’t think we’re gonna see another power that just spits on opposing attacks like this for quite some time…
2. Absorbing Man (#103) 153 points – LE: (URU METAL: When Absorbing Man is dealt damage or healed, roll a d6. Absorbing Man ignores the damage dealt or healed unless it is the same as the result of the d6. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) Wow. That escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand. Okay, so I stand corrected. THIS power might be kind of broken. Maybe not, but close. Good Lord, Wizkids! So this guy kind of changes things. 5 clicks for 153 points and he might be UNDERcosted. That sick gut-punch feeling you get when you maneuver things just the way you want them, and then move in for that big hit with an object only to watch helplessly as your opponent effortlessly hits his stupid Shape Change role? Yeah, prepare to feel that quite a bit against this guy. He’s almost not worth attacking unless you can do 5 damage and finish him in one shot. If you get three or four damage through, your simply helping him get to his Flurry clicks where he can start doing massive damage. His trait (ABSORBS ANYTHING: When Absorbing Man is hit with an object or is given a power action when adjacent to a heavy or light object, place that object on his character card and remove any other objects that are on it. When Absorbing Man has a light object on his character card, modify his attack and damage values by +1. When Absorbing Man has a heavy object on his character card, modify his attack and damage values by +2.) really helps out with his low AV’s, and if he gets a Hammer or the Gauntlet, forget about it. This guy should open up some really cool builds in the Meta.
1. Silver Centurion (#001b) 161 points – Prime: Now we’re talking! This piece has already made waves in the Meta, with several top 16 finishes in some of the recent ROC Qualifiers and other tourneys. There’s really nothing not to like here. Very reasonable point cost for your main attacker. He brings his own backup with his first trait (PULSE BOLT TORPEDO: Once per game, give Silver Centurion a power action to put a Torpedo special terrain marker on the map in an adjacent square. When the Torpedo is on this map, you may give Silver Centurion a free action, put an Acceleration token on this card and then move the Torpedo equal to the number of Acceleration tokens on this card as if it were a character with “wing symbol” and Improved Movement: Ignores Characters. At the beginning or end of your turn, if the marker’s square is occupied by an opposing character, you must remove the marker from the map and make a close combat attack roll against that character with an attack value of 11 and a damage value equal to the number of Acceleration tokens on this card, maximum 7.) and his second trait is stupid good as well (HEAT, ACID, AND RADIATION-SHIELDED: Silver Centurion ignores damage dealt by Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Poison, and Pulse Wave. This power can’t be ignored.). In other words, if you want to take him down (in between avoiding his errata-dodging Torpedo, mind you) you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way and go right through his 18 Impervious AND Shape Change. You could try Exploit Weakness, but you have to get to him first, which won’t be easy with his 8 range and 11 Movement top dial. He has two bolts and 4 printed damage as well, so he can just pound folks before they can run up to him. This is why some of the other heavy hitters like Titanium Man and the Iron Man and War Machine duo didn’t make my list; yes, the Centurion is a Prime (so his point cost is gonna be determined a lil’ differently to begin with), but you just pay soooo much less for him than any of the other big’uns. And on top of everything else, he has the Stark Industries AND Avengers keywords. He’s the most efficient attacker in the set, and that’s why he’s number one on my list.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to leave your reactions—or even your own Top Ten—in the comments below.