(EDITOR’S NOTE: Meet NinwaShui, our newest contributor! He’s a veteran of many Heroclix tournaments and has played the game for quite a while. His last tournament victory–Month 6 of Fear Itself–came at my expense and earned him a Colossal Serpent! Ninwa is here today to provide another perspective on a couple of my most recent posts.)
A SECOND OPINION!!
About the set:
I liked this set a lot in terms of theme, but compared to WXM it had a slightly lower power level. There are a larger percentage of figures in this set that I feel I would never field on a team. The power level in the playable figures is definitely comparable. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, as I think WXM is the most powerful set we’ve ever seen.
The chases are cool and they are all playable, but they aren’t the super beautiful one man armies that the last set featured. For a causal player the WXM chases are better, but the chases in this set are much more likely to show up on tournament teams in the current meta.
The current meta:
In my listings below I judge the current meta based on what I’ve seen from recent tournie reports. At the moment, those are mostly from the ROC. Essentially right now you seem to have 5 choices:
-A 300 point team base (Hellfire, X-men blue).
-A 200 point team base (New mutants) and 100 points of something else.
-A 200 point Shuma Gorath and 100 points of something else.
-68 point Catwoman, a 14 point bat belt, and 218 points of something else.
-A 250 point team with at least 3 characters (or two and a bystander), splitlip, and a full book of the skull. This is the most common team you see. I commonly refer to this team and meta environment as “Hammers raining from the sky.”
My 5 figures that almost made the top ten:
5. IIM031 Crimson Cowl – This is a good support figure for MOE teams. Never play her without the Hammer industries ATA. She might have made the top 10 if IIM002 Rescue wasn’t in the same point range in the same set.
4. IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC) – He is probably the best figure to use the SUMMON ANCESTRAL SPIRIT: IRON MAN trait to summon. But he lacks the trait himself which means you don’t want to start with him in play. Otherwise, incredible range and his lack of move and attack is easily fixed in a hammers raining from the sky environment.
3. IIM028 Death’s Head – I’ve seen this guy in action and he is deadly on every click. Park him behind the rest of your team and shoot straight through them with his improved targeting. He’s best played with small cheap supporting figures because of his SIDE JOB power mid dial. His average attack value and lack of a move and attack ability are easily fixed in a hammers raining from the sky environment.
2. IIM020 Detroit Steel – This guy made top 16 at a an ROC out of nowhere. I listened to a podcast where they thought it was a joke in the tournament report. Then I checked his dial. His TARGETING SOLUTION allows you to shoot a stealthy guy in hindering OR the guy hiding behind the stealthy guy in hindering. That second option is usually better. Precision strike means that super senses and mastermind are just as useless as stealth. The Hammer ATA is enough to make this guy a pretty darn good figure.
1. IIM030 Mandarin – This guy and his rings would be one of the best support figures in all of modern except that you can’t use other resources with him. He’s not powerful enough to warrant not running your own book of the skull. However in a tournament that doesn’t allow resources, but does allow special objects, this guy rocks. In particular there is one ring to rule them all. The ring binding all the others together in darkness is, appropriately enough, the Black Light ring. There are 3 reasons it’s awesome. “This character can use Smoke Cloud as a free action.” Normal smoke cloud sucks. Smoke cloud as a free action is awesome. “Opposing characters that begin their turn in a square with one of these terrain markers placed by this ability modify their speed and range values by -2.” These are additional bonuses to what smoke cloud already does when used on opposing characters. Go read the new 2013 version of that power again on your PAC card. And if you make opposing characters shoot through hindering, that is an additional -1 to their attack beyond the smoke cloud’s inherent -1 to attack. Also, remember that placing smoke cloud under characters without a way to avoid hindering movement penalties cuts their movement in half. Awesome. And here’s the best part: “This character and adjacent friendly characters can use Stealth if they occupy a square with a terrain marker placed by this ability.” That means if you use smoke cloud on your own team it gives stealth to Mandarin and anyone adjacent to him! Awesome.
In addition to being a competent ranged attacker Mandarin also starts with another ring besides black light. Mento Intensifer (mind control as a free action) is probably the best secondary ring.
The top ten most powerful figures from the Invincible Iron Man Set:
10. IIM002 Rescue – Probably the best support figure in modern not named Scarlet Witch or Tony Stark. The only thing keeping her from being higher on this list is that 65 is a lot in a 300 point army for someone who does zero damage.
9. IIM049 Iron Monger -Do you remember that time he sued the Scarlet Witch because she used the Mystics TA without his permission? Good times. With his ability to nullify any copy-able TA from the opposing team you may disrupt their whole game plan. His attack value looks sub par until you take into account his -2 perplex to defense. Anyone he can target with perplex he should be able to hit.
8. IIM015 Tony Stark – There has to be a way to break this piece and it’s Mole Man-like ability to make your armor pieces awesome. Maybe “Send in the Drones” Ultron is the key? Also, you should consider that because of his stop click and automatic regeneration for 1 at the start of your turn a lot of pieces in this game can’t knock him out one-on-one. You need to either outwit him or attack twice in one turn. 255 point AVM Hulk can’t knock out this figure by himself. Think about that.
7. IIM048 Count Nefaria – I agree with Hypefox that this fig is great for all the reasons he listed. He’s not higher on my list because I believe IIM029B War Machine is better and he’s only 1 point more.
6. IIM029A War Machine – A great attacker at a bargain price. The trait he has is wonderful and Stark Industry theme units are really hot right now. He has Booklip written all over him.
5. IIM056 Iron Soldier (1910s) – I think this is the best character to start with for the SUMMON ANCESTRAL SPIRIT: IRON MAN trait. Full dial stealth plus the ability to move through hindering terrain–that’s been awesome since Hypertime Batman and it’s still awesome now. Rock solid attack values. +1 att and +1 damage versus armor, past and soldier keyword figs. Also a smoke cloud power you actually want to use. His lack of move and attack is easily rectified in a hammers raining from the sky tournament.
4. IIM029B War Machine – His ALPHA STRIKE power will let you hit the other side of the board in one turn, possibly ambushing the other team before they are ready for you. His RETALIATORY STRIKE is an interesting way to help him not get out-actioned by a more balanced team.
3. IIM041B Hyperion – If you just saw his starting click you might think this was a dial for Galactus. This is the Superman dial that we’ve been waiting for and that we know WizKids will never give us, because if they did there would be no reason to make another ever again. He is a one man army with enough room to still run a resource. The only thing keeping him from being higher on the list is the lack of a broken white power or a trait that needs to be sent immediately to the watch list without passing Go or collecting $200.
2. IIM103 Absorbing Man – Here’s that broken white power I mentioned was missing from Hyperion. I don’t know about the rest of you, but with the way I roll in tournaments getting a 7 or better on my dice is sometimes a long shot. There’s a 58% (roughly) chance of that. Well, there’s only a 16%(roughly) chance after hitting this guy to actually damage him (I know his defense is low, but you still have to make that roll first obviously, so when you look at it altogether, he has a very small chance of taking damage for every attack directed at him). He’s got 5 clicks so you will likely need to hit him twice to KO him and all the while he’s hitting your team for 5 damage a shot. If you build a team a around him (TK, taxi, outwit, etc…) he’s deadly. Nul’s hammer makes him even more unfair.
1. IIM001B Silver Centurion – With the Absorbing Man I said he was deadly when a team a was built around him. Silver Centurion doesn’t even need that much to win. His Torpedo trait will hopefully be watch listed soon and even if it’s removed completely he would still be very playable. His only real weakness is a lack of indomitable and that’s easily rectified.
The 5 worst figures in the Invincible Iron Man set:
5. IIM047E Titanium Man – 150 points for 5 clicks? Is he nearly indestructible like the absorbing man? No. 10 attack. 17 defense. Down to 3 damage after two clicks. His 250 version seems like an average figure. The 150 point version feels like they put the 150 point line in the wrong place.
4. IIM024 Centurius – His EVOLUTIONIZER power isn’t that great in a hammers raining from the sky environment and this guy literally has nothing else to offer. Play Rescue for 7 points less.
3. IIM021 Sasha Hammer – Sasha gives you a 1 in 3 chance to resurrect a 150 point character. Without that trait she’d be an average 50 point character. Unfortunately she costs 90. Hell, if you played a better 90 point character to begin with, your 150 point character might not have gotten KOed in the first place.
2. IIM036 Ghost – What is this guy’s purpose? Not really support. Mobile blocking terrain? He can push to click 2 and do some damage up close, but at that point you might as well play 40 point IIM207 Puck.
1. IIM016 Pepper Potts – A 33 point character with 2 activation clicks. Sure, if your opponent knocks her out while she’s adjacent to Tony Stark she can turn into a low point Rescue, but why would you opponent ever try knocking her out first?