99 Figures But A Superman Ain’t One!! (Or, A Second Opinion on SLoSH!!)

That's high praise!!

That’s high praise!!

The title of this entry notwithstanding, I’ve decided NOT to open with some lame, jokey observation about how–unless you pull an exceedingly rare Chase–Superman is completely missing from a set that has his name in the title. But only because, at this point, everyone has beaten me to it.

Having said that, my initial impressions were similar to those of Ninwashui. Not a ton of filler crap, and most of the really weak figs aren’t commons for once. At the same time, I feel there are several comments I need to make about the set as a whole before I highlight certain figures.

1. Even more so than IIM, Improved Targeting is going to be a THING going forward (don’t get Hunter Smith and the guys at Dial H For Heroclix started–they’re all but convinced this mechanic will destroy the game), and figures that see through blocking or (Lord forbid) elevated terrain without some sort of MAJOR restriction are going to be extremely tough to deal with. Let’s take a quick look back at IIM–remember we told you that Iron Pharaoh’s day was going to come (Ninwashui even wrote up a few army builds that have since popped up in one way or another in some recent ROCS), since his Golden Falcon, Soaring let you see through just about ANYTHING? Well, the Pharaoh is VERY good, but he does have one major restriction–his falcon can only “soar” three spaces, and he can only draw a line of fire three spaces from the falcon, so his range with that Improved Targeting: Everything, You Bastard! is fairly short.

I am a thing, going forward. Ever forward...

I am a thing, going forward. Ever forward…

So we fast forward to SLoSH, and the designers have decided that they suddenly don’t need to be as careful with range any more. I’m not going to give away the store here (just keep reading for my TOP TEN!), but when rating these figs, I’m starting from this premise:  If a character sees through ANY type of Terrain, that’s a huge bonus. If they have a Range greater than 8, that’s also really good. But if a character can see through at least one type of Terrain AND has a Range greater than 8? These are the characters most likely to break the game–and if/until they end up on Watchlist 2: The Reckoning, they are going to be the characters you will want to be fielding when you really want to build a cutthroat army!

Shawties.

Shawties.

2. The sculpts are very cool in this set! They’ve finally found a way to scale size so that the Giant figures actually ARE gigantic compared to normal-sized figs and yet are just a bit shorter than Colossals WHILE STILL FITTING IN A 5-FIGURE BOOSTER. Yes! Well done, WizKids!

3. Remember early Clix, when seeing a Wildcard team ability on a character not named Spider-Man or Doctor Doom was so rare you could count them on one hand? Well, this ENTIRE FREAKING SET has either the Legion of Super Heroes TA or the Calculator TA. Even characters who have other team abilities (like Mon-El or Emerald Empress) STILL HAVE ONE OF THE WILDCARD ABILITIES! That means two things:  First, in sealed, any non-wildcard TA has even more value than usual because, chances are, EVERY OTHER MEMBER OF YOUR ARMY CAN COPY IT! Second, when constructing an army for an event with SLoSH pieces, many of the tentpoles in this set get much better depending on what TA’s they can copy, so you’re going to have to be really careful in who you surround them with. This is a change from IIM, when you were much more focused on what keywords your supporting figs had.

Alright! Let’s go right in to five…. HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

5. Slosh046 Superboy (Super Rare): Yuck. I hate when I let Ninwashui do his set reviews first, cuz sometimes we end up with the same conclusions. This is a very solid figure; Mon-El is simply better in every way for the points. It’s the same argument I made back in the IIM set review we did a few months ago, and I’ll continue to harp on it here:  don’t pay retail value for figures that you can get on a moderate to steep discount! Case in point:  between Mon-el and Superboy, they both have the same TA’s, they both offer Leadership and move and attack powers, but Mon-El’s stats and power distribution are simply better (Hypersonic Speed where Superboy has Running Shot and–eventually–a limited form of HS, etc.). Superboy is a better supporting piece with his top dial Enhancement and Trait that offers Willpower to those less fortunate souls on your team who didn’t come equipped with it, but honestly, in a three hundred point game, who’s running a 175 point piece to support smaller priced figs? And yet, Superboy can still hold his own as a main attacker; he’s just not Mon-El. In higher point games, where you want to swarm your opponent with a legion of, well, Legionnaires, Superboy starts to gain ground on Mon-El for the extra few damage-free actions he’ll give his teammates. And of course, if you’re already using a Prime elsewhere in your build, Superboy would become your selection by default. But there’s just not many build situations where Superboy and another Prime are going to be better than Mon-El any whatever you want to team him with. Superboy is good, but everything he offers is just not quite enough to crack the actual Top Ten…

4. Slosh004 Science Police Officer (Common): Now this is a cool lil’ supporting piece. His Damage SP (TACTICAL DEPLOYMENT: When an opposing character within 8 squares is given a free action, if that character has been given a non-free action this turn, after actions resolve, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage.) is nifty and annoying to your opponent, but I’m actually more impressed with his 6 Range and Police TA for 45 points. 

3. Slosh011 Sensor Girl (Common): The definition of a pest. She sees through Hindering Terrain (i.e. Stealth) and other characters, she has Shape Change and a Traited Perplex-lite ability that does juuuuuust enough to be annoying (ILLUSIONS SEEM REAL: Sensor Girl can use Perplex, but only to modify an opposing character’s attack or defense value.). Combine that with a Wildcard TA, 10 Attack and Probability Control, and you have a 75 point nuisance that can really grind some of your best characters down in really subtle ways, as I found out firsthand at my venue’s SLoSH sealed event (Stupid Sensor Girl. Grrrrrrrr…).

2. Slosh024 Lex Luthor (Uncommon): The usual sort of Luthor piece that we get, except someone Frankensteined all of the best Luthor powers and abilities from past figs together into a 150 point piece of aggravation. He gives the Superman Enemy TA to any adjacent lower-costing figure, he also gives them 18 Defense through his 18 Defend, he starts out with Flying and Invulnerability AND 3 damage with Probability Control. Just a bucket of yuck if you’re sitting across the table from this piece. And if you’re actually playing him… where are you in your life? How did it come to this? Harvey Dent once said that “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Well, brotha’, by playing this piece… you’ve finally lived long enough to see yourself become the villain (What? Bitter? Me? Why would I–well, yeah, I did get beat with a Luthor/Sensor Girl team at the SLoSH sealed, but that has no bearing on my impartiality as a set rater, I assure you…).

My opponent from the SLoSH sealed event.

A portrait of my opponent from the SLoSH sealed event this past week.

1. Slosh008 Phantom Girl (Common): Wow! Where did she come from? A lil’ 72-point package of usefulness, Phantom Girl sports some good keywords (Future, LoSH), good Defense values (17 w/Super Senses that eventually turns into an 18 w/Energy Shield/Deflection!), a top dial Move and Attack Special Power (PHASING ATTACK: Phantom Girl can use Incapacitate. When she is given a move action, after actions resolve, she may be given a close combat action as a free action, targeting any one opposing character occupying a square she moved through.) that lets her suppress figures that your opponent intentionally leaves behind his main attack force (medics, barrier technique guys, Iron Pharaoh or Fantomex, just to name a few) and another ridiculously awesome top dial Flying/Phasing Special Power that can nerf your opponent’s heaviest hitters (INTANGIBILITY AND DISRUPTION: Phantom Girl can use Phasing/Teleport. When she uses Phasing/Teleport and passes through any squares occupied by characters holding an object, she may remove any of those objects from the game. When she uses Phasing/Teleport and passes through characters assigned any relics or resources, those characters can’t use those relics or resources until your next turn.).

So let’s break this down. I give her a Move action with Phasing/Teleport. She moves through, say, an opposing Batman who’s been assigned the Utility Belt and that I couldn’t otherwise see because of Stealth. Suddenly, Batman can’t use the Belt next turn and–after I’ve safely hidden Phantom Girl around a corner, or on Elevated, or wherever, I get a free close combat attack that will at worst feature a 10 Attack with 2 damage. Again, for emphasis: She COMPLETELY NERFS opposing resources and relics just by Phasing through the figures using them. In yet even MORE words, Phantom Girl uses move actions to turn your opponent’s precious Infinity Gauntlet into a soft, spongy orange children’s toy. And they snuck her in as a Common. Okay WizKids. Good game. You got me with this piece. I did not see Phantom Girl coming (which, I guess, was the point, right? I mean, she IS called Phantom Girl, after all).

Whew!! Okay, we’re just getting started here, so now that we’re done with the preliminaries, I give to you… the Top Ten Figures in SLoSH!!

Darkseid saw your meme, destroyed it, and replaced it with his own.

Darkseid saw your meme, destroyed it, and replaced it with his own.

10. Slosh044r Darkseid (Rare): I keep hearing oh, he’s too many points to build around. Oh, he’s too many points for what he does. To which I say, uh, no, y’know, uh, I kinda, y’know, I’m gonna go ahead, and with all due respect, y’know, I’m just–I’m gonna disagree, kinda, and stuff, if that’s cool? Y’know, with you? Oh, wait, that’s not what I say at all. That’s actually my opponent talking after I’ve made him COWER BEFORE DARKSEID.

I’m going to go back to my premise from above:  Does he see through at least one type of Terrain (Oh yeah–3 different types, actually!)? Is his range greater than 8 (Yup again–it’s 10–with 2 bolts!)? As Ninwashui likes to say, when a figure does something that no other figure or very few other figures can do, someone, somewhere out there, is gonna figure out how to break that figure. He can Outwit figures that can’t even see him. He can shoot through blocking with no fear of a forced reroll because your Prob specialist can’t see him either until it’s too late (or unless her name is AvX Scarlet Witch, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion).

He’s got too many powers to list here, but one (BOOM TUBE TECHNOLOGY: If Darkseid has no action tokens, he can use Running Shot and Improved Movement: Ignores Characters. If he has one action token, he can use Phasing/Teleport, and when he does, he may be given a ranged combat attack as a free action after actions resolve.) bears special mentioning. When you combine Boom Tube Technology with all of his Improved Targeting powers and vast range, there’s not really anywhere to hide from Darkseid. If you’re on the map, he’s gonna come find you. He’s certainly not unbeatable, but you have to be SO damn careful with your positioning (while knowing full well that it just may not matter!) that’s it’s mentally exhausting. That’s not a part of the game we cover too much, but it is a factor. You’re going to make mistakes playing against Darkseid; you just have to hope that your opponent doesn’t capitalize on all of them.

9. Slosh201 Cosmic Boy (Common): Another duplicate from Ninwa’s list, although I have him a shade higher. I love figures that allow armies to exist where otherwise there would be nothing; he’s not quite Duhg, but he’s close. His Trait (WELCOME TO THE LEGION: When you build your force, choose one character of 50 points or less. That character gains the Legion of Super Heroes keyword and “wing symbol” this game. If your force includes other characters with this trait, you may increase the point value of your chosen character by 50 points if this character doesn’t use this trait.) is actually shared by some other Legionnaires, so it’s not exactly proprietary, but he is the best fig with which to Welcome folks to the Legion for two reasons:  firstly, he takes up the least amount of points in your build. Seems straightforward enough, but this is not the last time a figure will make it on this list simply because it’s the most cost-effective use of a broken or near-broken Trait. Second… Cosmic Boy is actually MORE than just the trait. He’s got top dial TK, Willpower and Perplex–all for 70 points. That makes Rokk Krinn one of the more efficient dials in the whole set, even before you throw in his Trait!

8. Slosh 17b Cheetah (Uncommon PRIME): Another good dial that starts getting silly when you add in some Wildcard potential with the Calculator TA. She’s got a Movement SP (POUNCE MY PREY: Cheetah can use Leap/Climb. When Cheetah resolves a move action, you may give her a close combat action as a free action.) that gets her into the fray quickly AND lets her make an attack right away, and her 19 Defense against close combat attacks means she probably isn’t going anywhere, unfortunately for your opponent. But the best part? She’s only 90 points. It’s like they took all the best aspects of the most efficient Charge/Blades pieces from the last couple years and distilled them into this Cheetah.

Good luck.

Good luck with all of that.

7. Slosh Solomon Grundy (Super Rare): Grrrr! More agreement with Ninwashui. Well, that’s only going to increase as we get closer to the top. Grundy here is as ridiculous as Ninwashui made him out to be. Solid to slightly above average Attack values, solid to above average Damage values, a fairly easy way to auto heal a click of damage every turn or two, some move and attack… and, oh yeah–he’s almost impossible to KO. Strike that–you can KO him; he just ain’t gonna stay dead for any length of time. Your best hope is to Outwit Impervious and knock him straight through those Invincible clicks. Good luck.

6. Slosh055E Validus (Super Rare): Awesome sculpt. An even better figure. His Trait is (stop me if you’ve heard this before) COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS (MONSTROUS BODY: Validus can use Super Strength and can’t be targeted by Penetrating/Psychic Blast. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6, and on a result of 4-6, Validus can immediately use Pulse Wave as a free action with a locked damage value of 2, ignoring friendly characters.). Improved Pulse Wave for free. Every turn, there’s a chance that happens. Whaaa… ? I know what you’re thinking, and yes, he’s a freaking WILDCARD as well. They really did give everyone a Wildcard TA. Here, now and for the first time, I present the minutes from one of the development meetings at WizKids from the time SLoSH was being created:

Designer 1: “Uh, hey guys, we gave him 12 Attack, Psychic Blast and you already said he’s immune to opposing Psychic Blasts…. and now you want to give him a chance to bust off an improved version of one of the best attack powers in the game every turn. Are we sure we want to release him like this? No one’s gonna want to play against a figure like that.”

Designer 2: “You’re right. No one will play him. Let’s make him a Wildcard too.”

Designer 1: “That’s not remotely what I was suggesting.”

Designer 2: “No, that’s good work. Great suggestion.”

Designer 1: “[Heavy sigh.] I’m going to lunch.”

Behind the scenes at the WizKids figure development lab...

Behind the scenes at the WizKids figure development lab during Validus playtesting…

5. Slosh048 Tellus (Super Rare): Another “army enabler,” Tellus possesses some of the best top dial skills (Probability Control, Telekinesis) and this Trait (LINK TELEPATHICALLY: Friendly characters within 4 squares can draw lines of fire and count range and squares from the square of any one friendly character within 4 squares of Tellus.). You will want to build armies around this guy. He is extremely “breakable.” It may take a month or two, it may take six months, but you will see Tellus become a top performer at ROC.

4. Slosh040 Emerald Empress (Rare): She comes packing her own relic (EMERALD EYE OF EKRON: At the beginning of the game, place an Emerald Eye of Ekron relic token in Emerald Empress’s square. This object doesn’t count towards your force and is described on the back of this card. Emerald Empress automatically succeeds when rolling for the Emerald Eye of Ekron. When Emerald Empress is assigned the Emerald Eye of Ekron and has two action tokens, she can use her speed powers as a free action.) and she knows how to use it:

(EMERALD EYE OF EKRON (SPECIAL OBJECT):
Immobile
Relic Roll: 6
This character can use Mind Control, Incapacitate, Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters, and isn’t dealt unavoidable damage from Mind Control. When this character takes damage from an attack, Emerald Eye of Ekron is placed in an adjacent square. Characters may attempt to be assigned Emerald Eye of Ekron more than once per game.).

Four damage top dial with Outwit? Sure! Free Mind Control or Running Shot after her second action token? Okay!! Even at 190 points, she’s highly efficient and will help you out-action your opponents with her relic.

3. Slosh059 Guardian (Chase): Comes equipped with the best Chase Trait I’ve ever seen (THE GROWING DARKNESS: At the beginning of the game for all friendly characters with this trait, you may remove one attached game element from an opponent’s resource and, if it is a relic, assign it to a character with this trait. At the beginning of your turn, roll 2d6 for all friendly characters with this trait. If the result is lower than the sum total of all of these characters’ click numbers, then modify all opposing characters’ combat values by -1 until your next turn.), 9 Range (with 2 bolts for the Energy Explosion he gets mid-dial), 11 Attack with Penetrating/Psychic blast, Running Shot top dial and an 18 Defense. And all that is assuming that your opponent isn’t playing the Utility Belt, Infinity Gauntlet, Book of the Skull or Power Plant. Cuz if he is, Guardian gets even better! Also, he’s the only Chase fig with 2 stop clicks (PACE WARP: When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial. Guardian can use Phasing/Teleport. When he does, after actions resolve, he may immediately use Regeneration as a free action.)! Definitely worth his 207 points… cuz you can still play him with our #2 fig…

2. Slosh057 Lydea Mallor (Chase): Okay, imagine that same “The Growing Darkness” game-changing Trait that Guardian had; now put it on a figure who’s less than 80 points. She’s also a close combat nuisance who can zip around Hindering Terrain, but her Trait is the reason she’s so highly sought after. That Trait shouldn’t appear on any figures less than 150 points; Lydea Mallor is 79. Where I come from, that’s a bargain!!

"I'm a bargain no matter where you come from, genius!"

“I’m a bargain no matter where you come from, genius!”

1. Slosh005b Mon-El (Common PRIME): Well, it might be anti-climactic, especially since I broke Mon-El down in Superboy’s Honorable Mention blurb, but the facts are the facts… Mon-El is a beast. If you want to compare him to IIM’s number one figure, I’d still rather build around Silver Centurion (who was also a Common PRIME), but it’s close. The Torpedo secondary attacker that SC brings with him (along with the fact that he’s immune to Psychic Blast and Pulse Wave, the two best attack powers in the game) give him the advantage. But Mon-El is still destined to power some really NASTY teams in the future.

Well, there you have it. I’d do a 5 Worst Figs section as well, but Ninwashui pretty much nailed it (Toyman is an admirable attempt to inject fun builds into the game… and a complete failure at the same time. So useless…).

WizKids top executives initial reaction to the reveal of Toyman's dial...

The initial reaction of top WizKids executives to the reveal of Toyman’s dial in a preview on Heroclix.com…

And you know how much I hate agreeing with him…

And that brings an end to our coverage of the SLoSH launch! Hope you enjoyed it! See you Sunday night for the Weekly Roundup!!

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2 thoughts on “99 Figures But A Superman Ain’t One!! (Or, A Second Opinion on SLoSH!!)

  1. I can’t argue with anything Hypefox added to his list that wasn’t on mine. I think that speaks well to the power level and balance of this set.I know firsthand it was a lot of fun in sealed.

    Something neither of us mentioned about luthor is that in addition to everything else his powers can’t be countered. Combined with his indomitable he essentially has power cosmic. Awesome piece.

    At the latest ROC someone won using phantom girl with a bat belt on her. They used the handcuffs on the belt and the fact that she is given a close combat ACTION after phasing to remove whomever the opposing best character was from the battle. In sealed she’s good but in constructed she’s awesome.

    Like

  2. Pingback: But It’s a Dry Heat!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 03/23/2014!!) | Critical Missives

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