Weekly Once More!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 04/27/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Well then! Been awhile, hasn’t it? Between the Easter Holiday and my Tigers suffering their 22nd postponement even though we’re only like 3 weeks into the season, it’s safe to say I’ve been a bit distracted.

I mean, a few days ago against the Twins, we brought in a rookie named Jose Ortega to pitch in a pressure situation about twenty minutes after he got off the bus from Toledo. SPOILER ALERT: It didn’t go well. I think he managed like 1 Strike for every 5 Balls he threw. By the time his manager, Brad Ausmus, made his way to the mound to show mercy on the poor kid and take him out, he had managed to load the bases on no hits. Seriously, not one stinkin’ hit. Not something you see everyday from a Major League pitcher, so maybe I should have celebrated my good fortune of having borne witness to such a rare event, but at that point I had heard enough and was too busy trying to choke on my own tongue like Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. Finally, Ausmus marched slowly back to the mound, took the ball, looked solemnly at the bullpen and raised his left hand, which, as all Tigers fans know, is the universal gesture for “Phil Coke, can you please come in here and make things worse?”

We, uh, … Yeah. We didn’t win that game.

I hope Ortega does better in the future–I really don’t wish him ill–but, statistically speaking, a half-asleep visiting Tigers fan roused from the coldest section of Target Field bleachers should be able to put up a box score of 4 BB’s and 4 ER on no hits in 1 and 1/3 innings, right?

Anyway, this is the part of the Weekly Roundup where I normally wallow in a happier Tigers memory from years gone by:

 

Ah, Joaquin Benoit, where have you gone? What’s that? San Diego?! Uh… good luck with that!

 

Anyway, we’re back in the saddle again as we review the week that was in Heroclix!! After a week away, it’s time for…

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix is up to Episode 42! This week the guys discuss more of the spoiled War of the Light dials (from Newsarama) and discuss the upcoming FLASH set that has just been announced before touching on what they played this past week and some Community news.

Clixcast

ClixCast,,, still dark.

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is back from their two-month hiatus. Their last new episode was April 5th. Check their Podbean for updates!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry’s latest episode is … Episode 16!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings, which you can find right here!

–Not much else going on in the ROC at the moment, but if you check the ROC page on HCRealms.com, new ROC announcements come down every day!

Preview

Previews:

-New War of the Light dials seem to go up every day–Newsarama is a good place to look, but eventually all that info filters down to HCRealms, so you can always check their Units page. Too many to comment on here, but so far, most look like a lot of fun, even if they’re not quite Meta-worthy. But man, this set is gonna be impossible to collect!

-Triple DeadPool spoiler! Banshee, Black Tom Cassidy and Siryn! Black Tom has a ridiculously useful Force Blast ability that simultaneously deals 1-3 penetrating damage, and his dial only costs 57 measly points! Siryn seems slightly less useful at 86 points, although she has a bizarre Pulse Wave that can also Mind Control anyone it hits, even if they’re friendly (I think–definitely some wonky wording there). But the big winner here is the Super Rare Banshee! Man, his Echolocation is sick (8 Range, Ignores Hindering AND Elevated Terrain), and his “It’s Going to Get A Little Loud” Trait is disgusting–go look at it right now. All that with two team abilities, and he’s still less than 100 points! Outstanding. You folks know how much I love Improved Targeting, and Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain is as rare as it is useful–which is to say, it’s EXTREMELY useful! Out of these three, he’s the one who excites me the most.

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for "Entertainment News."

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for “Entertainment News.”

Entertainment News:

-Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to accelerate–this is a show you need to catch up on if you gave up on it earlier. Hopefully I’ll have a special tie-in article at some point soon that will feature a complete Episode Guide for the first season.

Critical Missives:

–Just one new article last week, but it was one I had a lot of fun writing. It featured a look back at Invincible Iron Man from six months on and considered the different ways this set has affected the Heroclix environment.

Okay!! That’s all I got this week! See ya later this week for more wonderful Clix goodness!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

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The Big Six-MO… nth! Anniversary!! (Or, 10 Burning Questions About Invincible Iron Man!!)

"Well, this should be interesting."

“So… what’s new with you?”

We are time traveling today, folks! We’re journeying to the distant past, waaaaay back, back before even Lydea Mallor roamed the tables and countertops of this planet we call Earth, back when bringing Shuma-Gorath and a Mole Man to a ROC was still legal (whereas now, of course, bringing Shuma and a Mole Man to a ROC will earn you 3-5 years at County). Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the distant, distant past of six months ago! Invincible Iron Man was released just before Thanksgiving of 2013 (HCRealms.com lists it as November 20th on their Units page; that’s as good a date as any), so it was six months ago that the world was introduced to pieces like the Silver Centurion, Tony Stark, Absorbing Man (the LE) and Iron Pharaoh. What did we learn from this set, and how is it affecting both casual games and the Meta today? Well, to find that out, we’re debuting a new column gimmick today that we like to call…

10 BURNING QUESTIONS!!

Here we go!

Q1. Both HypeFox AND Ninwashui weighed in on the merits of many individual pieces–Invincible Iron Man was the subject of the first set reviews published by Critical Missives, right? How did they both do? Would their personal Top 10 (and 5 Honorable Mentions) change if they were assembling those lists today?

Mistakes Were Made

Mistakes Were Made

A1: Okay, first of all, that’s like 3 questions. You’re already ruining this gimmick and it hasn’t even started yet! To review, my Top Ten IIM figs were:

10. Grey Gargoyle (Super Rare) 

9. Iron Pharaoh (Chase)

8. Crimson Cowl (Rare)

7. Rescue (Main Set Version) (Common)

6. War Machine (Rare Prime) 5. War Machine (Rare)

4. Hyperion (Veteran Super Rare Prime)

3. Count Nefaria (Super Rare)

2. Absorbing Man (LE)

1. Silver Centurion (Common Prime)

While my Honorable Mention consisted of:

5. Bulldozer (Rookie Common)

4. Tony Stark (Uncommon)

3. King Hyperion (Super Rare)

2. Iron Paladin (Chase)

1. Maggia Goon (Common)

So, would I change anything? Surprisingly, not a ton. These lists have held up fairly well. Having said that, if I were ranking IIM figs today, it would look more like this (* denotes figure who didn’t appear on previous lists):

10. Tony Stark

9. Rescue (Main Set version)

8. Count Nefaria

7. Iron Doom*

6. Iron Man* (Experienced Common version)

5. War Machine (Rare version)

4. Absorbing Man (LE)

3. Shaman* (Super Rare)

2. Iron Pharaoh

1. Silver Centurion

With an Honorable Mention of:

5. War Machine (Prime) 

4. King Hyperion

3. Iron Man* (Rare)

2. Crimson Cowl

1. Hyperion* (Experienced version!)

So, what have I learned in the six months that the set has been out and in the four months since I wrote the lists?

Well, for one thing, Iron Pharaoh is reeeeeaaaallly good.

"I could have told you that."

“I could have told you that, mortal.”

Improved Targeting of ANY kind gives you a major leg up on your competition, and the Pharaoh basically gives you Improved Targeting: Ignores the $#%@&^! Map via his Golden Falcon, Sharting (On Your Opponent’s Entire Strategy) Trait. The Dial H guys have pointed out on more than one occasion that ranged-attack based teams have an inherent advantage (all other things being equal) over close combat teams; they’re usually going to get the Alpha Strike. How do close combat teams combat this advantage? Primarily with Map choice (by choosing a map with terrain that aids what their strategy is, whether that’s advancing and hiding behind Blocking or Elevated Terrain), or with Stealth, etc. Well, Improved Targeting is an ability that specifically hoses those few options and turns what was a minor advantage into a MAJOR advantage for the ranged-attack team. And in ranged-attack versus ranged-attack matchups, if one team has Improved Targeting and the other team does not, the team that does–if it’s positioned well–will still have that same Alpha Strike advantage AS IF IT WAS FACING A CLOSE COMBAT TEAM.

And when you add resources that provide things like Sidestep (like, say, The Phoenix Force) into the mix, even common figures that people may have once overlooked (<cough>E Iron Man 001 <cough>, which, y’know, I totally meant to put on my intial list, but, uh, forgot, and stuff, and really, what had happened was…) suddenly become “breakable.”

"Careful! I'm 'breakable!'"

“Careful! I’m ‘breakable!'”

Experienced Iron Man 001 plus Sidestep (whether it’s from the Phoenix Force, or from Agent Sitwell, with whom he shares a keyword, or…) plus the right map choice [think Fear Itself Month 1 (The Raft) or AvX Month 1 (Latveria), or any map with a ton of Blocking Terrain] turns this Iron Man into a piece that can potentially Outwit an opposing character THROUGH BLOCKING TERRAIN AND HE DOESN’T CARE IF SAID OPPOSING FIGURE HAS STEALTH! Then he can attack that figure and then, in this scenario, (this is the best part) SIDESTEP BEHIND OTHER BLOCKING TERRAIN SO THAT HE CANNOT BE RETALIATED AGAINST! He’s basically Darkseid without all the “I cost at least 200 Points” drama! Hell, Sitwell is 60 Points AND provides another Perplex (and possibly a prob, assuming your other figs are also S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword figs like these two). I don’t know about you, but when you factor in the fact that this Iron Man also has top click Running Shot, Invuln and Precision Strike, I’d rather play him and Sitwell for 210 than just Darkseid for 200. Overlooking this piece was probably a bigger mistake than under-ranking Iron Pharaoh–at least the Pharaoh made the list.

Here’s a version of a Dial H Best Build I submitted this month that features this particular Iron Man:

Team Name: Nothing to See Here

Theme: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Map ChoiceFear Itself Month 1 (The Raft) or AvX Month 1 (Latveria)

IIM001AE Iron Man – 150

CATWS014 Agent Sitwell – 60

CATWS011 Maria Hill – 60

The Phoenix Force – 12

Assigned Character x2 – 6

Cyclops, Colossus, Magik & Emma Frost Fragments – 12

= 300

Nothing to See here is designed to throw Outwits from every conceivable angle on the board while IM blasts fools through walls. May not win a ROC, but if you win the Map Choice, it’ll be tons of fun to play!

I also overlooked Shaman in a major way. He, too, didn’t make either of my lists–he was one of my last eliminations for Honorable Mention as I recall–but the build possibilities that his Trait (“NO FLIGHT” SPELL: Once per game, give Shaman a free action and until he is KO’d, other characters with “wing symbol” or “transporter wing symbol” have “boot symbol” instead.) grants cannot be overstated. What often goes overlooked on Shaman however is his capability as a secondary attacker–he’s not just a support piece. His first click gives you 10 Attack with TK, 17 Defense with both ES/D AND a souped-up Barrier, and he has 3 Damage top click WITH Perplex! For less than 100 Points!

Look how annoying you can be with him:

Team Name: No Flights, No Tights

Theme: Mystical (Generic)

Map Choice: AvX Month 1 (Wundagore Mountain)

IIM040 Shaman – 92

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot – 30

The Phoenix Force – 12

1 Assigned Character – 3

Cyclops Fragment – 3

=300

This team can double Barrier to protect Iron Pharaoh while his Golden Falcon goes out and treats the map like a Seagull treats a parking lot after a big lunch. If you win Map Roll, yikes. Your opponent better have a non-flying piece equipped with Phasing/Teleport and the Carry ability–essentially, Cloak from ASM (there’s a couple others, but he’s the best). If not, he or she will have to take the long way around a freaking mountain only to be met by a double Barrier tandem who each have the Mystics TA when AND IF you can actually hit them. All the while, Iron Pharaoh will be chilling like the Boss that he is and taking pot shots of at least 5 damage (and it’s quite easy to make that even more) at your best figs after he’s Outwitted their defense. This is the definition of “a bucket of yuck” for your opponent.

"I thought I was clear before, but, to reiterate... Y'all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!"

“I thought I was clear before, but, to reiterate… Y’all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!”

So those two figs are probably the ones I missed the mark on the most. Some other figs whose ranking I would change have gotten stronger (Iron Doom) or weaker based on subsequent releases. For example, Absorbing Man LE has taken a slight hit with the release of figs like CATWS013 Agent 13, who can just void someone’s defense completely, but  overall, Iron Pharaoh and Shaman were my biggest mistakes, I believe. Next question!

Q4. Other than Shaman, what figure hasn’t been exploited in the Meta as much as you thought they would be? And why?

A4. Hmmm… that’s a surprisingly good question. And it was just two questions! Well done! You’re getting better! Still ruining the gimmick, but you’re getting better!

Let’s see… well, to be honest, I’m surprised people didn’t find more of a use for Grey Gargoyle, the Super Rare. His trick of only letting an adjacent opponent clear one token at a time (instead of two if they’d been pushed) and having some pretty good close combat stats made me think someone would find a way to make him really nasty. If you combine him with AvX Professor X, you could really slow an opponent down, but you wouldn’t have much offense in a 300 Point game–or a Theme Team. That seems like a combo worth trying in, like, a 500 Point game. For the Meta, he may just cost too much for what he does. It may be as simple as that.

A smug French dude isn't worth what it costs to deal with him? Stop the presses!

A smug French dude isn’t worth what it costs to deal with him? Stop the presses!

Q6. What about the Silver Centurion? Is he still as good now as he was 6 months ago?

A6. Okay, I feel like you’re kind of plateauing in terms of the progress you were making with the whole “asking questions” thing. You just asked two questions again! And the first one was barely even a question–what about the Silver Centurion? Oh, you’d like to know if he’s still as good now as he was 6 months ago? WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST ASK THAT INSTEAD OF WASTING YET ANOTHER QUESTION?

I suppose I should just answer both questions by answering the one THAT WAS ACTUALLY A QUESTION! Sigh…

Yes, he’s as good as he was 6 months ago. He still brings a quality secondary attacker WITH HIM, which tends to scare or, at the very least, frustrate anyone unfortunate enough to play against him. His Point cost WITHOUT the Torpedo is still very reasonable (especially since he’s immune to half of the best attack abilities in the game); and, with the Avengers keyword, he can tack on the Secret Avengers ATA to (somewhat) stymie his biggest fear–Outwit. He’s shown up at or near the top of countless ROC events, and nothing’s really come down the pike that really makes him weaker now than he was then. He’s still the best fig in the set. It’s closer now than it was before, but even without Improved Targeting of any kind, he’s still a complete badass and one of the best Primary Attackers in Modern.

I don’t even need to come up with an army to prove my point–just check out the ROC results from the past few months and you’ll see a ton of great builds featuring the Silver Centurion.

"I'm going to assume I'm in a blizzard and not surrounded by the white nothingness of entropy as it slowly consumes the universe around me.  On another note--how sweet does my armor look next to a white background?"

“I’m going to assume I’m in a blizzard and not surrounded by the white nothingness of entropy as it slowly consumes the universe around me. On another note–how sweet does my armor look next to a white background?”

Q8. Can I have more questions?

A8. No.

Q9. What is the power legacy of this set in the current Modern Age format?

A9. Finally! Two questions in a row where you actually just asked a single question! Alright! Well, in terms of power, this set had more pieces that will show up in the Meta than the Marvel set that preceded it, Wolverine and the X-Men. But that’s okay–not every set has to have pieces that are geared towards a single format (in this case, 300 Point Modern Age). WATX had plenty of pieces that are a lot of fun to play, and it introduced Team Bases to the Marvel Heroclix world. It also had some of the most popular Chase characters ever (the Phoenix Five), so loading it up with cutthroat power pieces would have given them less to do when it came time for Invincible Iron Man. Iron Pharaoh has turned up on quite a few Meta teams, but the character itself was never more than, like, an alternate cover–I don’t think there was ever even a story about him. But when he can exist in a game alongside 13 different Wolverines, I think that means that Heroclix in general is actually in good shape. There’s plenty of little things that irk me, but you can play competitive games now with a ton of different characters. That’s a huge step forward from just 14 months ago, when it was Ghost Rider and… well, and nothing else. It was just Ghost Riders as far as the eye could see, each one giving the next a Penance Stare.

This was the Meta in early 2013.

The Meta in early 2013.

Q10. Wow. What happens when Ghost Rider gives a Penance stare to Ghost Rider?

A10. That was probably your best question. I’m glad you saved it for last. Anyway, the Ghost Rider giving the Penance Stare would end up here:

Being John Malkovich

All paradoxical loops inevitably lead to John Malkovich’s head. And thank you for RUINING THE FIRST OUTING OF OUR NEW GIMMICK WITH YOUR HORRIBLE QUESTION-WASTING!!

Q11. You’re welcome?

A11. I hate you.

Back later this week with some AvX Month 3 Tourney Reports…

 

By your powers combined, I am… the Phoenix! (Or the Build 4/23/2014)

Hmm... 5 people who have powers that combine into a powerful force. Where have I seen that before?

Hmm… 5 people who have powers that combine into a powerful force. Where have I seen that before?

 

Greetings true believers. (Stan Lee stole that from me.) This weeks “article” revolves around different team ideas I’m considering for this month’s AvX tournament at my local venue and copyright infringement. By which I mean, hopefully, the armies below might give you a good idea for your next tournament.

Now on with the show. (Wow that was a cool phrase. I’m an originator.)

The Format: AvX Month 3. 500 Points. You can use the Phoenix force resource and the three parts we’ve received so far (Colossus, Namor, Cyclops). If you need to know what they do look them up on HCrealms. If I told you that would take literally all the time I have to write the rest of this article. It’s not simple or easy to describe.

The Phoenix Force Resource: Through careful analysis, HypeFox and I have determined the best way to use the resource with the pieces we have. It’s the resource itself (12 points), all three fragments (3*3 = 9 points), and 2 assigned characters (2*3 = 6 points). That’s 27 total points. Why do it that way? Because if you leave the Colossus fragment on the resource the 2 assigned people get un-outwit-able (EDITOR’S NOTE: Just say “Unoutwittable.” There! I made it a word now! No more reaching for the “-” key!) poison, flight, and invulnerability! It’s the Invulnerability that makes it all worth it. There have been a lot of clix that are considered very good because of an of un-outwit-able defense on otherwise decent dials. For example SM058 Kal. This means that I have the Namor fragment (which grants nothing useful) and the Cyclops fragment (which grants RCE) to assign to each team I list below. I am also going to note this configuration of the phoenix force resource as “Standard Phoenix Force Resource“.

Now on with the teams!

 

Team 1: TK for the win.

Standard Phoenix Force Resource

AVX014 Magneto

WXM045 Phoenix (With Namor Fragment)

WXM038 Legion (With Cyclops Fragment)

Total = 500 Points

The key to success with this team are the proper uses of the TK power and Legions trait. Legion was assigned the RCE fragment so that he can make a strong attack before using his trait to select a new power. That way you can avoid having your ranged attack canceled by rolling battle fury or the -2 to attack emotions. He also gets Invulnerability over all seven clicks to cover defense. That means you should be free to chose a good supporting (Perplex, Outwit, Probability Control), or healing (Regeneration, Support) power. You may have to choose a power (like Running Shot) before you make a successful attack, but want to avoid doing that as much as possible. That’s where Magneto’s TK comes in handy. If you can attack with him first and add a second token then he can TK Legion into battle and let Legion attack without having to use his trait. Remember also that even though all of your character’s fly, Legion can choose to gain Earthbound via his trait and then be carried.

To start the battle have Magneto, Phoenix, and Legion arranged in a straight horizontal line with Legion in the middle. Try to have no tokens on Legion and on one Magneto. If your opponent gets the drop on you then have Legion gain Support on your next turn via his trait and heal up your injured guys. If you get a chance at an opening shot, use Legion to TK Magneto into battle and have Magneto use Running Shot and Pulse Wave. If that’s a second token for Magneto have him use TK to pull a teammate up into battle. If you use TK on Phoenix, she can then use Running Shot and her 8 range to hit almost anywhere on the board. You could also pull Legion up to Magneto in case you need to use Support next turn.

 

Team 2: Revenge of the Nerfed X-Force.

Standard Phoenix Force Resource

WXM042 Fantomex

WXM041 Spiral (With Cyclops Fragment)

WXM018 Sunspot (With Namor Fragment)

AVX005R Wolverine

WXM010 Shatterstar

Total = 499 Points

I made an entire Revenge of the Nerfed article about the strategies for this team. You shouldn’t need any more explanation than that.

 

Team 3: I finally get to use Iron/Man Iron Patriot.

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force

AVXR101 Fragment – Cyclops

AVXR102 Fragment – Namor

AVXR100X Assigned Character

AVXR100X Assigned Character

IM3017E Iron Man and Iron Patriot (With Cyclops Fragment)

AVX012 Colossus (With Namor Fragment)

Total = 499 Points

Note that this team couldn’t quite fit in the Standard Phoenix Force Resource configuration. (1 point too much) I’ve been looking for a good way to use IM3017E Iron Man and Iron Patriot and this might be it. This team is pretty straightforward with a couple interesting synergies. First, when using a duo attack IM3017E Iron Man and Iron Patriot has a trait that says they get a standard attack and a ranged combat action. With their existing dial that didn’t mean too much, but add the Cyclops fragment to them and that ranged combat action is now RCE. The second interesting synergy is that both pieces in this army have 18 defense with defend. That means that while they are standing together they will each have 18 defense until after your opponent has damaged both of them.

 

Team 4: A balanced team.

Standard Phoenix Force Resource

WXM046 Warlock (With Namor Fragment)

 AVX009 Cyclops (With Cyclops Fragment)

WXM209 Jean Grey

M10A007 Storm

Total = 500 Points

The Idea here is simple. Warlock consistently uses his Perplex on himself to give himself 20 defense. That along with his Shape Change and Invulnerability should keep him safe as he makes a hell of a distraction for the other team up close by using Pulse Wave and Poison. Everyone else uses Jean Grey’s Enhancement to take good sized pot shots from range.

 

Team 5: The Dune Buggy of Death.

Standard Phoenix Force Resource

AVX012 Colossus(With Namor Fragment)

WXM046 Warlock (With Cyclops Fragment)

WXM033 Forge

WXM017 Jean Grey

Total = 496 Points

  • Step 1: choose Steal Energy or Precision Strike with Warlock’s “ANY SHAPE FOR ANY OCCASION” power.
  • Step 2: use Jean Grey to TK Warlock to a vertical axis containing multiple members of the opposing team within the next 11 squares. Elevated, hindering, and outdoor blocking terrain don’t matter because Warlock gets flying from the Phoenix force. If you’re indoors use Colossus to clear the walls away.
  • Step 3: transform to vehicle.
  • Step 4: Walk Forge and Colossus up to Warlock so they can be carried.
  • Step 5: Use the Perplex from Forge and Warlock to add to Warlock’s attack by 2 and his damage by 1. (you don’t want to miss)
  • Step 6: Ram! Move straight forward 11 spaces and make 1 close combat attack roll targeting everyone you pass through. Every hit person takes 5 damage!

When it’s your opponent’s turn Colossus’s 18 defend and Forge’s healing should be enough to protect Warlock from your opponents counterattack.

 

What will I play: It depends on several factors. I’m probably leaning most towards team 1 and 4. But if I sense an Iron Pharaoh, then I’ll go with team 2. Team 3 is probably more of a fun team. Team 5 would have worked as a complete surprise, but Hypefox is going to read this article before the tournament. I’ll post a my results in a week. Until then, “You stay classy San Diego.” (I swear that’s totally my phase.)

I Must’ve Forgot–You Can’t Trust Me!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 04/13/2014!!)

Roundup

I’m back!

So we’re not too far off from our normal schedule. Oh, hey, remember how, during the last Weekly Roundup I told you the weather had warmed up and things were getting back to normal here in Southeastern Michigan?

Well, it hit 80 here two days ago.

And looking out my window now, I see a fresh dusting of #$&^%#$%#%#^$(^% SNOW!! AGAIN!! COME THE #$#@ ON ALREADY!!

Man!! Y’know what? I can’t deal with this anymore! Let’s just get right to it, shall we? Let’s get right into…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!! Hop to it, ‘Clix Nation!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix returned with a full-sized episode–Number 40! This week the guys discuss all the War of the Light Dials (mostly prize support) that have been spoiled. If you still want to see what entries have been inspired by the Dial H April Dial Design Contest (this thing seems to grow every month!), you can do so right here (the idea this month is for all the competitors to design their own Fast Forces team! I’m working on a Cull Obsidian Fast Forces as I write this. Proxima Midnight was Week 1, Ebony Maw was Week 2, and now I’m completing the team this week with Thanos, Corvus Glaive, Supergiant and Black Dwarf).

Clixcast

ClixCast, dark again, checked it, wrecked it, let’s move on (with apologies to Tag Team).

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen was new on April 5th. Not sure when their next show was, but check their Podbean for updates!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry latest episode is still… Episode 15! No news yet on when an edited version of the mysterious 13th Episode will appear…

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings, which you can find right here!

-ROC’ing the UK results!

ROC Event rule change! That… applies only to the members of the ROC Board. Huh?! Actually, this is just cleaning up some eligibility language and basically says that members of the ROC Board and others in a position of authority must turn over any money they win to… the ROC. To further the ROC’s goal of global domination!!

Preview

Previews:

-Do you like the Heroes for Hire? Do you want to play a HfH team with Misty Knight or Colleen Wing, but you don’t have the Super Rare Duo piece from ASM? Well, buy a few packs of Deadpool when it’s released in May, and you’re likely to get both of them! They’re both Commons; Misty Knight has more top dial damage dealing capabilities, but if you’re a gambling man, Colleen Wing gets B/C/F down dial. Both are kind of average, in my opinion, but they each have decent keywords and give you more options for Heroes for Hire.

-Lots o’ Green Lanterns from War of the Light were revealed, dials and all, by Newsarama! Don’t know that any of the figures spoiled will really affect the Meta (these guys all cost a lot without being totally viable as primary attackers), but they sure look like a lot of fun, and some of them may get way better with the new Construct mechanic!

-Speaking of, the Green Lantern Power Battery was also spoiled! If you thought the Phoenix Force was confusing, just wait! The Power Battery is a pseudo-character that stays in play the entire game and can be attacked and KO’d like a character (although it’s almost impossible to damage it?!?) and can cost up to 70 points (Good Lord!).

-Not to be forgotten in all the War of the Light frenzy, Cable is going to be a Super Rare in Deadpool! And he’s really expensive for what he does. Still, I like him better than AvX Cable.

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for "Entertainment News."

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for “Entertainment News.”

Entertainment News:

-Once again, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out in theaters now and it is awesome! It was number one at the box office for a second week in a row. There are two scenes AFTER the credits start rolling, it moves the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a bold new direction, but most of all… it was fun! Great story, some great reveals… and oh, by the way, DON’T WATCH AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. UNTIL YOU WATCH CAP 2!! Speaking of which…

"I have a tattoo that says 'SPOILER ALERT.'"

“I have a tattoo that says ‘SPOILER ALERT.'”

-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. … Holy Schnikes. I can’t write SPOILER ALERT enough to talk about this show, but last week did NOT disappoint. If you like rollercoasters, watch this damn show! Some terrific turns last week; can’t wait for tonight’s ep! By the way, the title of this week’s Weekly Roundup is a Twentyonepilots lyric from their hit song “Holding On To You,” but it might as well have been the title of last week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Critical Missives:

–Just one new article last week, but it was a doozy! 3000+ words that covered figures who get a particularly nice bump from AvX!

That’s all I got this week! See ya later this week for more Clix goodness!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

 

The Only Way to Fix a Fixer Upper!! (Or, The Pieces That Improve the Most When You Play Them With the Phoenix Force Resource!!)

"She was messing with the Phoenix Force, wasn't she?"

“The only way to fix a fixer upper is… to give it Running Shot?”

Well Hello there!

Today, we’re going to take a brief look at the Phoenix Force and try and pick some figures who have kind of fallen through the cracks recently and see what happens to them when you give them access to the Phoenix Force! Every time a new resource is released, some of the best minds in the game (Editor’s Note: And sometimes even we here at Critical Missives!) will reevaluate the current Meta and see who benefits from what the new resource has to offer. Granted, just about ANY figure gets better when you assign a resource to it, but, as we all know, not all dials are created equal. Similarly, not all dials benefit equally from every resource.

(FYI–While this list is hardly comprehensive, it should be noted that I’ll be sticking to Modern Age figures)

Well, that’s kinda what we’re doing today.

Who benefits?

Who benefits?

So, before we get started, I should point out that the Phoenix Force is a little complicated (I know–what resource isn’t? But it doesn’t help that the instructions have a MAJOR misprint either), so if you have any questions about the basic (and even advanced) mechanics of HOW the resource works, check out Hunter’s (from Dial H for Heroclix) YouTube explanation video. He goes over the resource from every angle, and answers most of the questions you might have about it.

What I personally like about this resource is that you assign figures Fragment Relics at the start of the game (for free) and get benefits RIGHT AWAY (no moving to pick up hammers, etc.). Yes, the resource does progress in terms of the abilities it grants like other resources, but it gives you more abilities more quickly than other resources–specifically, this resource’s first click mods can be taken advantage of much more easily than some of the other resources out there.

Okay! Now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to break down some of my favorite figs based on their current HCRealms.com Unit ratings (1-5 Stars) and talk about some of their fatal flaws and how the Phoenix Force can potentially put them over the top!

Let’s start with some…

4-Star Figures!

Now THAT is an Iron Doom!

Now THAT is an Iron Doom!

IIM042 Iron Doom (IIM Super Rare) — 200 Points

What He Brings Himself on His 1st Click: Indomitable with 8 Range, Wildcard TA, 8 Movement with Running Shot (although that’s his ONLY click of Running Shot), Naked 12 Attack, 18 Defense with Super Senses, Master Mind and Leadership (and he prevents other figures of lower point costs from using either Master Mind OR Leadership–a proviso that is much more interesting in a world filled with CATWS005 Shield Agents!) and 4 Damage with an awesome SP (LORD OF THE WORLD: Iron Doom can use Outwit and Perplex. Give him a free action and roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On an result of 4-6, when he uses Outwit, he may counter a power possessed by an opposing character anywhere on the map.).

Whew! That’s a lot. So why don’t we see him more? In other words, …

What’s Wrong With Him?: Well, he’s tough to fit in on a 300 point team for a few reasons (although we’ll discuss his role in higher point games in a second). He doesn’t fly, nor does he have ANY improved movement or targeting. That’s a HUGE negative for a figure of that point cost. Also, he only has Running Shot for 1 click! That’s it! That’s actually one reason why I found this figure so cool, at least from a design standpoint–it’s like the dial designer said to himself, “If I omit virtually every standard Move and Attack power, can I get away with giving this piece EVERY OTHER SINGLE POWER IN THE GAME?!?!” Plus, it’s Tony Stark AS Doctor Doom. Just a fun concept. So I like the flavor of this guy. But when it comes to his place in the game, if your opponent gets even 1 damage through, he’s lost all efficiency.  That’s where the Phoenix Force comes in.

The Phoenix Fix: Now, you can fix SOME of what ails Iron Doom by teaming him with a 50 Point IM3006 Tony Stark, who would provide Mastermind fodder (not a great choice for Mastermind, but in a 300 Point game, that’d be all you could afford), Avengers Initiative TA (which would give Doom Improved Movement AND Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering), Enhancement and Outwit (and with the new Theme Team rules, you now have a Theme Team as they’re both Scientists). But that basic Move and Attack issue remains.

If you play the Phoenix Force with 4 Fragments (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus and Magik) and 2 Assigned Characters (Iron Doom with the Cyclops Fragment and Tony Stark with the Fragment of your choice–probably Emma Frost or Magik, unless your opponent is playing Lydea Mallor or someone of her ilk; then, you’d probably want to assign him the Colossus Fragment to keep her from getting it), you’d still have 20 points left over for either a Splitlip (who would mess up your Theme Team bonus, although that’s not a huge deal), a couple of S.H.I.E.L.D. Support Horde Tokens, a KGB Horde Token (gives you a small amount of Prob) or some Warbots. Whatever you choose is probably going to be carried by Iron Doom and might be used as Master Mind fodder in a pinch, so choose wisely. But, for the purposes of this build, we’ll go with Splitlip and say screw the Theme Bonus.

Team Name: No Escaping Your DOOM!!

IIM042 Iron Doom

IM3006 Tony Stark

FI301 Splitlip

The Phoenix Force

Assigned Character x2

Cyclops Fragment, Colossus Fragment, Emma Frost Fragment, Magik Fragment

=300 Points

Now, to start the game, Iron Doom has: Indomitable with 8 Range AND Avengers Initiative TA; 8 Movement with Flight, Running Shot AND Charge; 12 Attack (or 13 or 14, depending on how you use RCE) with Blades/Claws/Fangs and Poison; 19 Defense with Leadership, Master Mind and Super Senses; 4 Damage with RCE, Empower, Perplex AND an Outwit that can potentially Outwit a power ANYWHERE ON THE BOARD. And, during the start of your turn, you can also give him Invuln, Mystics TA against ranged attacks or TK. Plus, when you can get Tony Stark to fly in next to him, you have up to +3 to Ranged Damage (from Splitlip AND Tony Stark’s Enhancement plus 1 or 2 more from the RCE that the Cyclops Fragment grants him) AND a Master Mind target who has access to either Toughness (Splitlip) or Invuln (again, Tony Stark if you can get your positioning right)! That’s a figure who’s hard to take down. This isn’t a team that will win a ROC, but it’ll be competitive in most House Games.

In Epic games (400 points or more) Iron Doom only gets better! With Wildcard TA’s, you’ll have room for even more Support, and you can add in another Fragment to get this team access to the second-to-last Power Set to start the game (Running Shot instead of Charge, +1 to Attack instead of Defense, etc.). In a serious 400 or 500 Point game, a Phoenix Force-powered Iron Doom really does become viable as the main piece on a competitive force.

"I'm not a 5-star figure, eh?"

“I’m not a 5-star figure, eh?”

AVX006E Scarlet Witch (Starter Set) — 100 Points

Yep! I was shocked too. She’s only a 4-star fig as of today. Let’s take a look!

What She Brings Herself on Her 1st Click: 8 Range! For the cost of 1 pushing damage, she can flat destroy your opponent’s strategy if they’re depending on TA’s (NO MORE MUTANTS: Once per game, give Scarlet Witch a double power action and choose a team ability. Any other character that can use that team ability must roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and if the result is 1 – 5, that character can’t use the chosen team ability for the rest of the game.). She also has a 9 Movement with Phasing, 10 Attack with Precision Strike, 16 Defense with another awesome SP (MYSTICAL WARDS: Scarlet Witch can use Energy Shield/Deflection. When Scarlet Witch is hit with an attack, the roll is ignored and the attacker must roll again. This new roll can’t be rerolled or ignored.) and 3 Damage with possibly the best supporting SP IN THE GAME (CASTING SPELLS: Scarlet Witch can use Perplex, Probability Control, and Support.)! So, essentially, she’s the best support figure/secondary attacker in Modern right now (in my opinion, of course).

What’s Wrong With Her?: Well… not much! Like Iron Doom she doesn’t fly, but with Phasing she really doesn’t have to. She has no reducers, but that’s assuming you can hit her 18 damage from Range TWICE!! No, the main thing that she’s missing is, again, move-and-attack. She has almost every other desirable power in the game! Having said that, at some point you’ll probably want to use that No More Mutants Trait, which means that she’ll either need Willpower OR Regeneration. Let’s see if the Phoenix Force can help with that!

The Phoenix Fix: I would use her on a team with a couple Fragment users and leave 1 Fragment on the resource. Wanda would gain Charge (now we have Move-and-attack!), +1 to Attack and Toughness (we have a reducer!). So we’ve solved two of her three problems just with what the Phoenix Force gives her on its first click. You’d still need a figure with Support to heal her after she uses No More Mutants (unless you use someone like AvX  Black Panther to give her Willpower), but we’ve fixed most of what ails her already! For a basic army build featuring Scarlet Witch and the Phoenix Force, let’s try a Mystical build like this:

Team NameLife’s a Witch, and Then You DIE!!

AVX006E Scarlet Witch

IIM040 Shaman

FI007 Iron Fist

The Phoenix Force

Assigned Character x2

Cyclops Fragment

Colossus Fragment

Emma Frost Fragment

=299 Points

Wanda would be dangerous from close or from range, the Emma Frost Fragment would give you multiple TK options with her and Shaman, and if you won the map roll (granted, you’d only have +3 to map roll, but that’s not too shabby) and got to go first, you’d be able to fly into position and then zap your opponents flyers with Shaman’s “No Flights” spell, which you’re much more prepared to deal with than they are (hopefully!) with Wanda having phasing and Shaman being able to fly still and White Ranger Iron Fist ignoring both Hindering AND Elevated Terrain. If you were able to take the fight to, say, AvX’s Wundagore Mountain map, you’d have a SIGNIFICANT advantage. This is a team that wouldn’t necessarily do one thing extremely well, but it would do almost everything. Plus, the ability to take away both your opponent’s best TA AND their Flight ability is kind of nasty. If the Map roll goes your way, you can give your opponent fits. And if you assign Cyclops’s Fragment to Shaman, if you can move the resource dial even once, all of the sudden he’s got Sidestep and RCE (one of the cooler combos in the game right now) with a 10 Attack and 3 Damage, 7 range, and an 18 Defense with Barrier and ES/D with a Perplex floating around!! He’s now a Ranged Attacker TO BE FEARED, especially with Wanda backing him up with her Perplex and Prob. This team would take a minute to get going, but they’d be a nightmare to hit from range AND have a fantastic tie-up piece in White Ranger Iron Fist who can dish out healthy amounts of damage himself!

Okay, that blurb turned into a write-up of BOTH Scarlet Witch and Shaman, so consider that 2 for the price of 1 (for the record, Shaman is also a 4-star character, so it still works!)! Can’t believe I almost forgot him!

"Y'all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!"

“Y’all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!”

 

Alright, now let’s look at some…

5-Star Figures!

We’re also going to take a look at two pieces who ALREADY rate 5-stars on HCRealms,com, but with the Phoenix Force, they get downright broken!!

First up is…

"Finally, I will lead an army worthy of--dammit, it's just my infirm uncle, a midget and a bloody Troll! What mewling quim came up with this?"

“Finally, I will lead an army worthy of–dammit, it’s just my infirm uncle, a midget and a bloody Troll! What mewling quim came up with this collection of @$$holes?”

AVM211 Loki (Chase) — 220 Points

He is already a MONSTER (as he should be–he did take on the combined box office power of Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlet Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg AND Samuel L. Jackson–Good God, what a cast! No wonder this thing made a billion dollars!), but as Michigan State’s own Mike Valenti likes to say, let’s do the format!

What He Brings Himself on His 1st Click: How about the Power Cosmic TA (Willpower, powers can’t be countered). How about the Mystics TA (so if you manage to penetrate his defenses, you get a click of unavoidable damage for your troubles)? How about any copyable TA’s possessed by your opponent? (Three sentences in and we’re not even done with his Team Abilities? Good Lord!)

When you get to his dial, he has 11 Movement with Phasing, 11 Attack with Pulse Wave, 18 Defense with Super Senses and Traited Toughness, and 4 Damage with Shape Change! Now THAT is a dial!

What’s Wrong With Him?: Well, again, he’s almost impossible to fit on a 300 point team because of his cost, and because of that we’re gonna discuss some higher point games with Loki. But beyond his cost, just like Iron Doom, he doesn’t fly. Phasing helps slightly with that; although it can’t be used in conjunction with Charge or Running Shot. It doesn’t matter anyway though because Loki has neither. That is his fatal flaw. But we’re going to fix that with The Phoenix Force!

The Phoenix Fix: We’re gonna run a 400 point game here. The Phoenix Force with 5 Fragments plus 2 Assigned Characters is 33 Points, so when you add Loki in we’re at 253. Add in Splitlip for Loki to carry around the map, and now we’re in business! Asgardian Troll is a fun lil’ close combat attacker, and The Serpent is your other Assigned Character, even though he’s mostly just Phasing around the map to maintain adjacency to his nephew. So, assuming that you leave the Colossus Fragment on the resource dial and have Loki use the Cyclops Fragment and carry Splitlip, his first click looks like this: 11 Movement with Phasing and Running Shot with 9 Range; 11 Attack with Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion; 18 Defense with un-Outwittable Toughness and Invuln (since you’d select that as your Phoenix Power every turn just about) and Super Senses AND Defend; and 4 Damage with Shape Change! Jerry Seinfeld has a message for your opponents while they evaluate a Phoenix-powered Loki:

Seinfeld Good Luck

 

If you don’t have a really good Pulse Wave piece who has a way to get a significant Alpha Strike in, you’re in trouble before you even sit down to play. And we haven’t even gone into everything Loki gets with all the TA’s. Plus, if the Serpent is next to Loki, The Serpent’s Leadership has the potential to take tokens off of Loki even though Loki’s more points! Shhheeeeessssh!. So it goes a lil’ something like this:

Team Name: Stay Up All Night to Get Loki!!

AVM011 Loki

FI027 The Serpent

FI301 Splitlip

FI002 Asgardian Troll

The Phoenix Force

2 Assigned Characters

All Five Fragments

=398 Points

 

And now for our last 5-Star figure! It’s none other than…

"We're in the best Phase 2 movie, right? Right?"

“We’re in the best Phase 2 movie, right? Right?”

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow (Chase) — 130 Points

Our last figure up for discussion is also the newest! Let’s take a look!

What They Bring Themselves on Their 1st Click: How about the kitchen sink? I mean, S.H.I.E.L.D. AND Avengers Initiative TA’s, 10 Movement with Sidestep and Traited Stealth, 11 Attack with Precision Strike and Duo Attack, 18 Defense with Toughness and 3 Damage that ignores the Duo Attack modifier! In a word, Awesomesauce. Which is kind of like two words that I mushed together.

What’s Wrong With Them?: Again, not much! They’re a 5-Star character. Outside of Sidestep, they have no move-and-attack though…

The Phoenix Fix: In a 300-Point game, Cap and BW are really good. But, when we give them some S.H.I.E.L.D. Movie Fig support, along with THE PHOENIX FORCE, they really shine! How about:

Team Name: I Have a Plan–Attack!! (Okay, I know that was a Iron Man line, not a Cap quote, but at least he was saying it to both Cap and Black Widow! So that kinda still counts!)

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow

 CATWS011 Maria Hill

AVM206 Agent Coulson

CATWSH001 SHIELD Support

The Phoenix Force

Assigned Character x2

All 5 Fragments

S.H.I.E.L.D. ATA x3

=292

Cap and BW now have Running Shot, 12 Attack, 18 Defense with Defend and RCE when you give them the Cyclops Fragment! Here’s a Heroclix formula for you: Traited Stealth + Sidestep + 6 Range + RCE + Avengers Initiative TA + DUO FREAKING ATTACK THAT IGNORES THE NEGATIVE DAMAGE MODIFIER ALL OTHER DUO ATTACKS ARE SUBJECT TO = YOUR OPPONENT DOING THIS:

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

Followed by his friend coming over from another game to see what’s going on:

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

Until finally the Judge comes over to wonder what all the fuss is about and sees what the hell you’re playing for what was supposed to be a “fun build” tournament:

Triple Facepalm

Again, just for emphasis,  you’ve just made a figure who has: Un-Outwittable Stealth; the ability to move and see through Hindering (i.e., most Stealth); Flight; Running Shot; Sidestep; 6 Range with 2 Targets; RCE; Energy Explosion with two targets; Poison; 3 Damage with improved Duo Attack; 18 Defense with Defend; the Phone Book; the Kitchen Sink; and on and on…

And Maria Hill can TK them around the Map with her Fragment! They’ll each have access to Invuln via the Colossus Fragment, and at this point you’re just a really, really bad person who, as Ninwashui likes to say, probably lacks a moral compass.

So, there ya go! There’s four fun builds based around the newest Marvel Heroclix resource. Have fun! Experiment! Folks are not even close to breaking this thing’s true potential yet.

And–more importantly–I got through a 3000-word article without mentioning Iron Pharaoh!! That absolutely has to be some kind of record!!

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

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

Or, you know, at least I almost did!

So what figs do you think will benefit the most from The Phoenix Force? Post your suggestions in the Comments below, and we’ll be back again in a few days for another Weekly Roundup!

Getting Warmer (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 04/06/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Well hello there Batman!! This is the first week of the year that us Michiganders haven’t been completely f-ing snowed in!! We set all kinds of snowfall records. I usually love Winter, but I’m done. 50 degrees Fahrenheit is like Heaven right now…

But enough weather talk. That’s not what you came here for! You’re here for…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!! Here we go, ‘Clix Nation!

 

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was back again with another short-ish episode (well, short for them–it’s still over an hour). This week the guys discuss the buildup of spoilers over the last week, including some Gen Con exclusives. Additionally, their new Best Build Contest for April is live. I kinda like the army I cooked up, but you can check out everyone’s army (and, more importantly, the build parameters so you can construct your own entry) right here (mine is posted under the User Name “The Underneath”). If you want to see what entries have been inspired by the Dial H April Dial Design Contest (this thing seems to grow every month!), you can do so right here (the idea this month is for all the competitors to design their own Fast Forces team! I’m working on a Cull Obsidian Fast Forces as I write this. Proxima Midnight was Week 1, and now I’m working on Ebony Maw).

Clixcast

ClixCast was dark again this week. This is as long as they’ve gone without a show in a while now…

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is still on its two-month hiatus. Which might actually be a three-month hiatus–wait, what? They’re back?! Oh, my stars and garters! Alrighty then! Welcome back guys!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry is back with some freshly mined content. I give you… Episode 15! Wherein all the madness of Clixathon is broken down by a roundtable of experts…

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings, which you can find right here!

 

Preview

Previews:

–Well, with Improved Targeting now a THING, you knew it was only a matter of time before we saw another Bullseye. He’s a rare from the upcoming Deadpool set, and for 110 points, I really like him. His dial is short but sweet, with only 6 total clicks but sporting Running Shot, an 8 Range, 12 Attack and 3 Damage with Prob top dial. With the Phoenix Force or the Book of the Skull, he can be very deadly.

–The 2014 Convention Exclusive figures have been announced, and it is an ECLECTIC mix to say the least. But soon to be legal at a tournament near you are:

Doop (Gee, I wonder if he’ll be like this awesome amateur dial someone cooked up on HCRealms… I don’t know who THEUNDERNEATH is, but he must be one handsome genius! Oh, wait, they spoiled the dial… and he’s not. Frowny face. But, his sculpt is awesome! Happy Face!)

Hulk & Red She-Hulk (Okay…)

Whiplash (Huh?!)

Impossible Man (Okay, he could be cool… and I don’t think he’s been ‘Clix’d since Secret Invasion…)

ZOMBIE FREAKING GALACTUS on a 2×2 Colossal Base (AWESOME!!)

Amazo (I still remember his original version–he was a badass with Hypersonic Speed back when Hypersonic Speed was darn near broken!)

Jonah Hex (Click the link for his dial–nice lil’ secondary attacker for 100 points. The best Jonah yet, although that is saying almost nothing.)

World’s Finest (Power Girl & Huntress–the New 52 version. They also set them up like Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, where you can play individually or as a Duo)

Resurrection Man (Yeah! About time!)

Black Lantern Anti-Monitor Collossal (Lol. Another Zombie Colossal. Both are beyond cool. Both will be had by me somehow!!)

-And as if all that wasn’t enough, DoFP revealed… Senator Kelly.

 

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for "Entertainment News."

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for “Entertainment News.”

Entertainment News:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out and it is awesome! There are two scenes AFTER the credits start rolling, it moves the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a bold new direction, but most of all… it was fun! Great story, some great reveals… I’ll be going back for a second helping at some point. And it looks like I’m not alone–the movie debuted to almost $100 million, a record for April. No SPOILERS though–maybe next week, after everyone’s had a chance or two to see it!

-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is brand new tomorrow, and its “UPRISING” storyline ties right into Cap 2. Should be explosive! Look for Bill Paxton and a host of guest stars to help/hinder our heroes tomorrow night on ABC!

Critical Missives:

–Just one new article this week, expounding on the brokenness of SLoSH main set Bizarro!

 

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print here in ClixLand! See ya later this week!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

How Bizarre, How Bizarre!! (Or, What to Make of Bizarro and the Flash Figure Review #1!!)

Bizarro Ted from How I Met Your Mother.

Bizarro Ted from How I Met Your Mother. Or maybe Bizarro Grimm?

And now for something completely different! Occasionally, certain figures need to be talked about at lengths that don’t quite jibe with the brief write-ups we get when we do Set Reviews. When that happens, we’ll sometimes omit those figures from the actual Set Reviews altogether so that we can have a little more room to expound on things–in this case, almost 900 words. It’s something we like to call a:

FLASH FIGURE REVIEW!!

Or should I say, “Me am Flash Figure Review #1!!”

So after discussing the SLoSH Top 10, I mentioned that Slosh039 Bizarro really needed a column all his own, and thus I wasn’t going to include him in the set review itself. Well, his day has come!

Wow! Bizarro is at times the best use of points you’ll ever field. His Trait is his major asset: “ME AM NOT BIZARRO!: Bizarro costs 25 points for each Orrazib token you place on his card, up to 12 tokens. When Bizarro takes damage, remove one Orrazib token from his card. When Bizarro is healed, add one Orrazib token to his card (no more than the initial amount). When there are no Orrazib tokens on this card, KO Bizarro. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 and click Bizarro that many times. This ability can’t be ignored.”

Did you take all that in? 25 Points for a Orrazib token–you can pay as little as 25 Points for 1 token or 300 Points for 12. So far so good. Interesting mechanic, and the fact that you roll through his 12 clicks is both good and bad (or great if you continually land on Click #7). Looking at Bizarro’s dial, he has great defensive powers (if not a great defensive value) throughout his whole dial (8 Clicks of Super Senses, 4 Clicks of Impervious). He’s always gonna have at least 3 damage showing, and he can frequently augment that with Super Strength or RCE (or sometimes both). The point of all this is to say that yes, pretty much every one of these clicks is worth 25 Points. But his stats and standard powers aren’t what make Bizarro so unstoppable. Look at the Trait again.

“When Bizarro takes damage, remove one Orrazib token from his card.” This power is what makes Bizarro so damn near to broken. Every packet of 25 Points you spend (beyond the first) on Bizarro nets you all of his stats and standard powers… AND A STOP CLICK! That’s right, one of the best–if not THE best–defensive mechanics in the game is thrown in on every click beyond the first… FOR FREE! What?! Outwit all of his defensive powers if you want, but each attack you aim at Bizarro will–at most–do one damage. There’s not another figure in the game with access to 11 Stop Clicks. As far as I know, in Modern, there’s a couple figures–MAYBE–with access to two Stop Clicks: TAB APP Wolverine and Chase Guardian from SL0SH (yes, there may be a couple more that are escaping my brain at the moment–but you get the point). Chase Guardian is more than 200 Points. A 200 Point Bizarro would have SEVEN Stop Clicks! That is unreal!

I don’t know how WizKids values Stop Clicks in terms of Point Cost, but I can argue that a Stop Click should cost at least 10 Points all by itself (it’s forcing your opponent to invest at least one more action–and possibly more–to KO a figure that would have otherwise already been KO’d. It’s like a football game going to overtime; anything can happen, which is good for you, but terrible for your opponent). Well, we just looked at Bizarro’s dial–each of those clicks seems to be worth 25 Points as they sit. When you add in the Stop Clicks, you are exceeding 25 Points worth of value ON EACH CLICK YOU PAY FOR AFTER THE FIRST. And what am I always telling people? Don’t pay retail point costs when you can get better value if you just shop around (ie, do your research). Well, Bizarro is like the Costco of Heroclix figures–the more you spend, the more you save. In building your army, it is always to your advantage when you field a team that’s within the build rules of the game you’re playing yet contains more points than the game’s build allows. Well, Bizarro is one way to do that (Primes are another way).

Me am no have seven stop clicks? Me am think that not ridiculous!

Me am no have down to eleven start clicks? Me am think that not ridiculous!

And it’s also the reason Bizarro has been showing up so much in the Meta! The sweet spot in terms of his casting cost seems to be somewhere between 3 and 7 Orrazib tokens. In that range, he becomes SO damn hard to kill unless his opponent is playing some sort of swarm team. His only drawback is the possibility you’ll land on one of his four clicks of Sidestep (instead of the 8 clicks of Charge and Hypersonic Speed he has). But even that’s not too bad, especially when Bizarro has a Range of 6.

To make matters more broken, Bizarro has the Superman Enemy TA, which means that if you partner him with someone else who has that TA (cough-Luthor) or a Wildcard TA (Like the entire freaking SLoSH set), you can start all sorts of Outwit shenanigans.

His adaptable cost also make him really popular as a “filler” piece in a lot of armies that come up slightly short in points. I’ve played against Bizarro a couple times now, and I didn’t enjoy either game much because Bizarro was nigh impossible for my guys to take down. For all the fuss everyone has made about Slosh026 Mr. Miracle being hard to take down, Bizarro is almost as difficult to hurt in any substantial way.

So, in conclusion, he is definitely worth seeking out if you want to field a really good Legion of Doom team. Or if you just like 5 star figures. Will he end up on Watchist 2? Possibly. But for now, you can use him to your heart’s content!!

Army Build:

For some fun and basic (“basic” meaning “resource-less”) shenanigans with this character, try:

Slosh039 Bizarro @ 75 Points

Slosh011 Sensor Girl @75 Points

Slosh024 Lex Luthor@ 150 Points

 

Well, that’s all for today–see you this weekend for the Weekly Roundup!!

 

I’ll Get Her Out on the Falcon!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 03/30/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Well, looks like it’ll be another Mid-Weekly Roundup! Sorry, the beginning of this week has gotten away from me a little bit. But we’re back with the Week (and a half) that was in Clix!! Which means…

IT’S TIME FOR THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

Podcasts:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was new again this week (it’s ALWAYS new!) with Episode 38! Up for discussion this week are the Spoiled dials and cards for AvX Month 4 prizes along with their main topic of what the gang likes and dislikes about the current Storyline OP system. Additionally, their new Best Build Contest for April is live. I kinda like the army I cooked up, but you can check out everyone’s army (and, more importantly, the build parameters so you can construct your own entry) right here (mine is posted under the User Name “The Underneath”). By the way… the Phoenix Force is COMPLICATED! FYI.

Clixcast

ClixCast was dark again this week. C’mon guys, don’t pull a Duo Attack and just vanish on us!

Push to Regen

Push to Regen is still on its two-month hiatus. Although it’s been two months now. Hmmm…

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry is back with Episode 14. Episode 13 disappeared without a trace and is currently undergoing “editing.” As to what’s being edited, your guess is as good as mine. But Episode 14 is live!


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–New Tourney announcement!

–Up to date upcoming listings, which you can find right here (minus the new announcement I just listed)!

-Clixathon results are in, and you can view them right here! (Oh, that Meta is CONSTANTLY evolving, ain’t it. Except for Brother Voodoo and Lydea Mallor. They are just CONSTANTS.)

Preview

Previews:

–Once again, every figure in War of the Light has been spoiled (in terms of their name, number in the set and point cost)!! Check ‘em out here! Also, WizKids released all the first Scenario Pack contents along with links to each month’s prizes and suggested builds.

–We’re gettin’ a rare Canucklehead in X-Men, DoFP, and his sculpt will look familiar to comic fans. He’s about as high-costing a Wolverine (156 points) as I can remember, but he’s a Close Combat machine.

–Since his name is on the damn set, you’d almost expect there to be a Deadpool Prime, right? His name is Evil Deadpool, and he’s pretty damn cool.

Entertainment News:

–Wow! What an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Lots of great guest stars, an intriguing mystery and a badass Deathlok… where has this show been hiding?! My favorite little throwaway bit was when Victoria Hand told Agent Sitwell to basically go and report to the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Btw, if you haven’t picked up Sitwell’s Target exclusive rare fig yet, you are missing out. He’s awesome!

–And I still have not yet decided on an Entertainment News segment logo…

Critical Missives:

–Lots of activity on the site this week! We had:

–Ninwashui’s local tourney report for AvX Month 2!

–His followup article on what he wished he had played in the tourney along with an exploit or two for your future dominating pleasure. (Whoa! That’s an awkward sentence! Not quite what I meant…)

–And my article detailing the results of my second Build column!

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print here in ClixLand! See ya later this week!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!