The Build 5!! (Or, What I’d Play At The 6/28/14 ROC at Gamer’s Gauntlet!!)

ROCSo Gamer’s Gauntlet is the first (and maybe only) place in Michigan to hold a ROC tournament. As you can tell from my ROC top ten article, I’m a big fan. Now I have a chance to go to one that’s only a few miles from my house. HypeFox can’t go because he has a family event. Ha-ha! The bad news… we’re in the same family. So unfortunately the article below will be what I would have been playing because I also won’t be able to attend. Bummer. Ah well, on with the article.

 

The Format: 300 point modern. Anything goes. The meaner the better. Resources. Entities. Shuma Gorath. Galactus. Cop Cars. Sentry and Void… Yikes.

 

My Team: (That I would be playing)

 

We're back!

We’re back!

Revenge of the Nerfed 2.0

  • WXM042 Fantomex
  • WXM010 Shatterstar
  • DP043 Black Talon
  • WOL063P Ophidian (possessing Fantomex) (If I had access to the Parallax Entity, I would use that instead.)
  • Total = 300 points

This team is more than it appears at face value. It’s hides two powerful power interactions. The first power interaction is one that I published here first in March. Shatterstar was nerfed so that the person he teleports can’t take an action the same turn he teleports. Fantomex can get around that by having WXM042BT E.V.A. take the trip with Shatterstar. That means Shatterstar can teleport E.V.A. and Fantomex can make a surprise attack on anyone anywhere on the board. This combo was designed to cross the board even faster than the Iron Pharaoh’s Falcon and Assassinate him. Shatter Star can’t attack, but hey it’s still pretty cool.

A few weeks ago a guy on hcrealms posted a team he went to nationals with and lost. His team featured two cool combos. WOL067P Adara and WOL099 Despotellis together give any adjacent team members 20 defense. Pretty awesome, but I’m not using it here. His other combo was Shatterstar and Black Talon. If Black Talon mind controls Shatterstar he can then give Shatterstar the once per game teleport to move anywhere on the map. Then because Shatterstar hasn’t taken an action that turn there is nothing keeping him from attacking. So Imagine teleporting across the board next to someone like SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor and just opening up with Blade/Claws/Fangs and Flurry. That’s likely a kill shot.

Now think about combining those two power interactions I talked about. On turn 3 Black Talon mind controls Shatterstar. Shatterstar teleports E.V.A. across the board. E.V.A. uses outwit, Shatterstar uses BCF/flurry, and Fantomex uses RCE before your opponent has a chance to do anything. In a 300 point game, what is your opponent going to have left after that? And using Ophidian (again, I’d prefer Parallax, but Ophidian works nicely too, and he’s who I’d have access to) actually gives me access to Pulse Wave. So if I Charge with Shatterstar to get him out of the way, I can Pulse Wave if there’s a particularly hard to hit fig that I’m just dying to reach out and touch! At the end of your first attack, even if everything goes wrong and your opponent KO’s everything you teleport over to him, you’ve still only lost 73 points. Fantomex and Black Talon were never really there and those two pieces together make a hell of a plan B in a 300 point game.

 

Writing this article makes me wish I could attend, but it’s just not in the cards. If anyone does get a chance to go, post a comment and let me know. I’m curious as to what teams will show up in the top 4.

Advertisements

Local Tournament Report: War of the Light Month One (06/18/2014 @ Comics And More)!!

DCU Fast Fact: Most Lantern rings found their masters by being discovered at the bottom of a cereal box!

DCU Fast Fact: Most Lantern rings found their masters by being discovered at the bottom of a cereal box! Saint Walker prefers Boo-Berry while Atrocitus is, of course, a Franken-Berry man… alien… thing.

Welcome back!! Outside of Ninwashui’s recap that just hit yesterday, it’s been a little while since we ran a Build column or a Local Tournament Report of any kind (I think Month 4 of AvX!), so we’re going to correct that right here! Why? The War of the Light isn’t just coming any more–it’s here!! As we said, you already got Ninwashui’s take. But here’s what happened from a different perspective–mine!

We played Month One of War of Light at our trusty local venue Comics & More, so you know what that means!! It’s time for a…

Local Tournament Report

LOCAL TOURNAMENT REPORT!!

The Format: Each participant is given 2 boosters of the limited edition War of Light DC Heroclix set. From the figures contained within the two boosters, competitors must make the best 300 Point army they can and compete in 3 Rounds of competitive play.

The Stipulations: No outside Relics or Resources (since this was Month One at this venue, the Power Battery wouldn’t technically be “released” until after the games were done), but if you pulled a Ring, you could play it!

What I Opened: Okay… here’s where things took a turn. Keep a couple things in mind:  first, most venues were only going to open one pack of WoL per person; we just got fortunate enough that we had nearly the perfect number to open 2 packs per person. Again, we were just lucky, since everyone and their mother is trying to get their hands on this set. Having said that, most people opened packs that contained one rare; some opened their packs and discovered that one of them had a Super Rare, which are generally more powerful than most of the rares in this set and, thus, give a slight advantage to the player opening them than if they had just opened two rares. And then there was me. The ten figures I opened were:

COMMONS:

WOL001 Orange Construct35

WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit50

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit50

WOL015 Arisia75 

WOL017 Boodikka75

Common Options Analysis: Some decent pulls there. The generic recruits in Wave One are all pretty solid for their points; moreover, because they’re generics and thus fewer points than many of the named characters, they’re great for filling in that last 35-50 points you might have left over when building a team in Sealed. That being said…

I didn’t use a one of these.

UNCOMMONS:

WOL023 Mongul165

WOL029 Brother Hymn85

Uncommon Options Analysis: Some really cool Uncommons. Mongul is a good pull because he can be you primary attacker if you don’t pull anything beefier in your Rare/Super Rare/etc. slot. Brother Hymn is flat out one of the best support pieces in the set. Top dial, he flies, has Barrier, Prob with 3 damage (so he can even be a secondary attacker if circumstances demand him to be), a limited Perplex, Enhancement AND he can pump up the Range of adjacent characters! Not bad for 85 Points.

I ended up using Brother Hymn.

RARES:

WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan)250

Rare Options Analysis: Now this is more like it! Hal Jordan as Parallax is definitely the sort of heavy hitter that can wipe the floor with opposing figures in this sort of format. His only problem is that he can’t fly (no, this doesn’t make sense on any level, but whatever–if he could fly, he’d probably be close to an even 300 in terms of point cost), but since I pulled a Sinestro Corps Recruit, I had a ready-made taxi whose 5o Point cost would fit beautifully with Parallax’s 250 Point cost. But…

I went another way.

SUPER RARES:

WOL057B Red Lantern Superboy Prime190

Super Rare Analysis: Wow! This is one of those heavy hitting Super Rares I was talking about! Superboy Prime has great top dial stats (he could easily go toe-t0-toe with Parallax, who costs another 60 Points) to combine with an even better power set that featured abilities like Hypersonic Speed, Invincible and Super Strength!

I chose to use Red Lantern Superboy Prime and teamed him with Brother Hymn!

But wait… that’s only 9 figures… and I’m 25 Points shy of 300. Hmmmm…

"Rawr! I mean, hisssss..."

“Rawr! I mean, hisssss…”

CHASES:

WOL063 Ophidian185/25

Chase Analysis: Okay, these are the types of pulls that make people hate you in Sealed. All I can tell you is, it’s not my fault! These were random pulls! Ophidian in particular and the Entities in general are basically like resources when you use their “Entity Possession” Trait. Considering that this is Month One, and peeps aren’t even allowed to use the Green Lantern Power Battery yet, the fact that I was the only one who pulled an Entity means that I’m effectively the only one with a resource.

Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good.

So, to review, my team was:

This is what dumb, stupid luck looks like.

This is what dumb, stupid luck looks like.

Brother Hymn and Red Lantern Superboy Prime (Possessed by Ophidian).

And now, to the Report!

 

ROUND 1:

VERSUS: Ninwashui!

FACING:

A Rock and a soft (blue) face.

A Rock and a soft (blue) face.

WOL047 Ganthet – 175 Points

WOL019 Bedovian – 115

WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring – 4

=294 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City

FIGHT!

This, unfortunately for my writing partner, ended up being a stomp. Ninwashui pretty much ran into a brick wall. He won Map Roll and not much else.

Ninwashui started by moving up, but he made a couple mistakes with his initial placement of Bedovian; he put him right next to Ganthet (which negated Bedovian’s top dial Movement Special DID THAT ROCK JUST BLINK?: When it isn’t your turn and no other characters are within 2 squares of Bedovian, lines of fire to him are blocked.); and he forgot that Ophidian gave Superboy Prime the ability to gain Sidestep and +1 to his Range or Movement. This really didn’t end up being that big of a deal, since I ended up missing the attack roll, but the extra spaces I saved by being able to use a ranged attack instead of having to run up all the way let me move out Superboy Prime up to some Elevated Terrain after the attack and out of harm’s way (because neither of his figures had any move-and-attack powers top dial).

On his second turn, Ninwashui clears (with no move-and-attack top dial, he doesn’t have many options here), and when my next turn starts, I Perplex up Superboy Prime and go to town on Bedovian, hitting him for 5 damage (3 actual, after Bedovian’s Invuln reducer). Luckily for me, this knocks Bedovian off of his best damage clicks (no more RCE) and on to his Yellow Lantern Perplex down clicks. While this is normally a decent power, I’ve seen what Superboy Prime becomes in his mid-dial (since I now own his figure!) and I am not too worried. Brother Hymn takes a shot at Bedovian to (hopefully) finish him off but misses.

On Ninwa’s turn, he bases Superboy Prime with both of his figures. I clear on my turn, which allows Ninwashui to open fire on Superboy. He uses Ganthet’s Perplex to pump up his own damage, and then uses Ganthet’s Special Attack Power (WITH PAIN, HOPE: Ganthet can use Incapacitate. When he does, after actions resolve, hit characters are each dealt his printed damage value and, until your next turn, each hit character increases its defense value by the number of action tokens it is assigned.) and hits. Superboy Prime takes 3 actual damage and gets an action token (and a corresponding +1 to his Defense). Unfortunately for Ninwashui, he’s about to find out what I already know. On Click 4, Superboy Prime gains a Special Attack Power of his own (RAGE OF A PETULANT CHILD: Superboy Prime can use Poison and deals penetrating damage while using it. Opposing characters can’t counter Superboy Prime’s other powers and abilities or modify his combat values.). So now he has penetrating Poison and both Ninwashui’s figures are based with him. Bedovian now has a base of 3 damage and a Perplex that no longer works on Superboy Prime. Oh, and Click 4 on Ophidian bascially gave back Superboy Prime access to all the powers he lost from his top dial.

Essentially, the rest of the match goes like this for Ninwashui:

Actual footage of Ninwashui attempting to break Ganthet away from Red Lantern Superboy Prime for a Running Shot.

Actual footage of Ninwashui attempting to break Ganthet away from Red Lantern Superboy Prime for a Running Shot during War of the Light Month One.

Within the next two turns, Bedovian is dead and Ganthet is hurting (Poison plus a successful attack), and the game ends soon afterwards (I don’t recall if it was another Superboy Prime attack or just his Poison, but it doesn’t really matter).

DECISION:

VICTORY! 300-0.

Learning

WHAT I LEARNED:

–Red Lantern Superboy Prime is a beast, but his low-ish Defense stats (especially mid-dial) mean that you CAN hit him. Still, his top dial Invincible and mid-dial un-Outwittable Impervious also mean that it’s gonna take A LOT of damage to chew through his 8 Clicks of life, and he’s got a great Regeneration power on his last two clicks. If you pull him, he’s very close to a Must Play. His offensive potential is consistent throughout his entire dial, and he’s great in close (really good mid-dial with that penetrating Poison) or from range. I don’t think he’s Meta, but you can have a ton of fun with him in Constructed.

–Ophidian (and, presumably, the rest of the Entities) are the real deal. The recent results from Nationals at Origins and the ROC’s this month confirm that the Entities are here to stay for the next two(-ish) years in the Meta. I’d expect their price to fall marginally in the next few months as more are opened, but not by much, and once their gone (basically, once War of the Light is over), I wouldn’t be surprised if their price jumps up again. They seem to be opened at an approximate rate of 2 per every 3 bricks, so we’ll see. Keep in mind too, that we don’t know what the Red, Indigo, Violet or Green Entities will do (and we’re presuming that there will be no Black Entity, since that Battery–if memory serves–was powered by the Anti-Monitor, who we already know is going to be a Con-Exclusive Colossal and who does NOT have the “Entity Possession” ability).

ROUND 2:

VERSUS: Dan, a regular at our venue.

FACING:

My, that's a white hot Lantern!

My, that’s a White hot Lantern!

WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points

WOL017 Boodikka – 75

WOL015 Arisia75

=300 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City (Again)

FIGHT!

Dan won Map Roll and went first. He advanced to the large Elevated Terrain in the center of the map, taking care to stay out of range of any sniping spots from the small Elevated area in front of my starting zone. On my turn, I used Ophidian to increase Superboy Prime’s Range by +1, then upped it again with Brother Hymn. I then Sidestepped Superboy Prime up to the small patch of Elevated Terrain and took a RCE shot (+1 to Attack and +1 to Damage) at White Lantern Swamp Thing. Hit! 5 Damage (4 get through due to Swamp Thing’s Toughness). That leaves Swamp Thing on a problem click for me with a Special Damage power (RESURRECT THE FALLEN: When a friendly character within range and occupying hindering terrain would be KO’d, roll a d6. On a result of 5, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 1 click, and they are now assigned 1 action token. On a result of 6, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 2 clicks, and remove all action tokens they are assigned.) that means I have to be very careful about when I try to take down Swamp Thing’s supporting crew. Swamp Thing’s Trait (RESTORE THE GREEN: Give Swamp Thing a move action, after actions resolve, you may place hindering terrain markers in any clear squares he moved through and he may make a close combat attack targeting one opposing character occupying a hindering terrain marker Swamp Thing just placed. These markers aren’t removed when Swamp Thing is KO’d.) means that Dan can get Hindering Terrain almost anywhere he wants.

Meanwhile, Boodikka and Arisia close on Brother Hymn while I keep Superboy Prime just out of line of fire and take Swamp Thing down to his Stop Click. While I de-token, Dan takes out Brother Hymn and Regenerates Swamp Thing back to click 5. I decide to change tactics and use Hypersonic Speed to take out Arisia (who happened to be standing in Clear Terrain). By pumping up Superboy Prime’s Movement +1 with Ophidian, I’m able to dart around the map and take pot shots at Swamp Thing and Boodikka while usually avoiding a counter-attack. Of course, with my team a figure down, I’m also hard-pressed in terms of actions to do anything but get Swamp Thing to his Stop Click. Finally, I take out Boodikka on the Elevated Terrain in the Center of the map, and Dan meets me there with Swamp (back at Click 5 again, I believe). At this point, Superboy Prime is down a few clicks, and Swamp Thing can Ignore Characters on Movement, so waiting on Superboy’s penetrating Poison clicks won’t do anything.

Finally, I solved Swamp Thing’s stop click by choosing Pulse Wave from Ophidian and getting, well, lucky. I roll two fives for doubles on Pulse Wave, which knocked Swamp Thing off of elevation… AFTER he hit his Stop Click. Game over.

DECISION:

Victory! 300-85 (Though, as you can probably guess from the description above, this was MUCH closer than the score might indicate.)

Learning

WHAT I LEARNED:

–White Lantern Swamp Thing is the Truth! He’s got decent values, but the White Lantern “Life” Stop Click is great, and his special resurrection Damage Power really makes an opponent think about what order they should attack your figures in. Yes, it only has a 33% chance of going off, but that’s just as good as Shape Change or Super Senses, except HE’S GIVING THE POWER TO OTHER FIGURES! Very cool. The fact that he ignores everything on movement and has a TRAITED move-and-attack power means that he’s not just a support piece–he’s a legitimate threat as an attacker. That he can also place Hindering Terrain markers wherever you want on the map offers a ton of possibilities for army building in Constructed as well.

–Let there be no doubt–Ophidian was the difference in this battle. The fact that I could simply pick up a power as useful as Pulse Wave at the drop of a hat was really the difference in the game. If the roles had been reversed, and Swamp Thing had been Possessed by Ophidian, I would have been staring at a loss here.

ROUND 3:

VERSUS: A new player we’ll call A.

FACING:

"Get it? I'm the First Lantern. And I live... IN A LANTERN! Booyah!"

“Get it? I’m the First Lantern. And I live… IN A LIGHT LANTERN! Booyah! Honestly, this stuff writes itself at this point!”

WOL049 First Lantern – 260 Points

WOL001 Orange Lantern Construct – 35

=295 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City (Again, again)

FIGHT!

For the final round, I faced a brand new player. I didn’t know a lot about the First Lantern, but I did know that A would need some advice during the game, given that it was only the second tourney game he’d ever played (he had a Round 1 bye).

Basically, First Lantern’s top dial Damage Special (DISCOVERED THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM FIRST: At the beginning of your turn, choose a color other than white. Until your next turn, any opposing character within range and line of fire can’t use powers of that color.) allowed A to take away my ability to use Hypersonic Speed. I was still able to slightly out-maneuver A’s team with Superboy Prime picking Sidestep from Ophidian and meeting up at the main Elevated Terrain with the patch of Blocking Terrain in the center. Finally, he got off a shot on Brother Hymn because of some careless placement and a failed attack by me, and then he brought in his Orange Lantern Construct on a Charge/Blades/Claws/Fangs, which finished off the good Brother. At this point, I realized that I needed to stop providing advice and start worrying about the fact that A was kicking my butt!

Because he kept choosing Brown (or Gold–however you want to describe the color of Hypersonic Speed and Impervious), he actually had Superboy on the ropes (or specifically, his penetrating Poison clicks). Eventually, I Poisoned the Construct to oblivion, but it wasn’t until I got a hit in on the First Lantern and got him past his Invincible clicks that the Poison actually did anything. Still, the game came down to A’s turn when he still had Superboy’s Impervious negated and 3 Damage showing. Superboy Prime had Shape Change from Ophidian… and hit it. Otherwise, a roll of six or higher would have ended the game.

Unfortunately for A, while I missed several more attacks, I proceeded to hit Shape Change TWICE MORE in the next couple rounds. Finally, a penetrating Poison went off, and the First Lantern was no more.

DECISION:

Victory295-85 (This was the closest game yet, and it was only through-yep!-more dumb luck that I won.)

Learning

–No one deserves to be on the receiving end of three Shape Changes in a row when they have the game basically won, but there it is. Yikes. Still, for just his second tourney game, A played very well.

–First Lantern is a good piece that would be great if he could either fly or if he cost about 200 Points. At 260 points, he’s just a bit expensive for what he does. Still, going forward, as the Build total increases each month, First Lantern will become a better and better piece with the ability to team more and better support figures with him.

–Orange Lantern Construct is a GREAT piece for his points. He’s the cheapest non-Entity piece in Wave One, and he’s well worth including in your force if you can fit him in.

–I just noticed that I haven’t said anything about Brother Hymn, but he was a champ. He’s arguably the BEST support piece in Wave One.

With the Final Round results, I finished first.

THE SPOILS:

He's MINE! AND MINE AND MINE AND MINE!!

He’s MINE! AND MINE AND MINE AND MINE!!

(Although, if we’re being honest, Red Lantern Superboy Prime and freaking Ophidian are a pretty damn good haul on their own!!)

Local Tournament Report – 6/18/14 Comics and More (War of the light Month 1)

An early concept drawing of Krona...

An early artists concept drawing of the Guardians…

The Format: 300 point Sealed with two boosters of War of the Light. No outside anything, except the judge let us include the green ring and shield construct from the scenario pack. I didn’t have those.

What I pulled:

WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit

WOL005 Green Lantern Recruit

WOL011B Hal Jordan (Blue Lantern)

WOL013A Romat-Ru

WOL015 Arisia

WOL019 Bedovian

WOL021 Lyssa Drak

WOL029 Brother Hymn

WOL045 Brother Warth

WOL047 Ganthet

WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring

Ok… now I’ll post my SR and Chase figs…

 

None.

 

What I played:

This is what the Oans looked like before they evolved into the Guardians.

This is what the Oans really looked like before they evolved into the Guardians. They don’t like to talk about it.

 I considered strongly doing an all blue team (WOL011B Hal Jordan (Blue Lantern), WOL029 Brother Hymn, WOL045 Brother Warth), but that wouldn’t give me a good attacker or let me use my yellow ring as effectively. I also considered a yellow team (WOL013A Romat-Ru, WOL019 Bedovian, WOL021 Lyssa Drak), but I didn’t think Lyssa Drak was very effective. In the end I went with WOL019 BedovianWOL047 Ganthet, and WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring for a total of 294 points.

 

Round 1 Facing:

Note to self - Do not take this guy on with a Smurf and a Rock.

Note to self – Do not take this guy on with a Smurf and a Rock.

WOL057B Superboy Prime (Red Lantern)

WOL029 Brother Hymn

WOL063P Ophidian

Total = 300 points

What? Did someone bring a nationals team to a sealed event? What soulless monster would even play these pieces together having pulled them? Oh yeah, it’s my writing partner HypeFox.

The game starts out with me winning the roll to go first. That was about the only good thing from this game. I notice both sides of the map have tons of elevated to hide behind. I pick the side that doesn’t have all the elevated around one starting area. I’m already underpowered this game I don’t need to also go uphill. I start out moving up with Bedovian out front to block Line of Fire to Ganthet.. We close on each other in the next few moves. At that point I realize he has hypersonic speed and I have no movement abilities at all. I’m not about to base him just to have him punch me and run away. I perplex up my defense and sit there. He places Brother Hymn to use perplex and prob. Superboy Prime makes a close combat attack and rolls a 4 for a miss. Unfortunately Superboy Prime makes it to elevated terrain while I am grounded. I have no shot at him. I could push Bedovian to take a pot shot at Brother hymn, but I figured the game would be won or lost based on knocking Superboy Prime off his hypersonic clicks. I have a token on both my characters on my turn so I just sit and clear. He (thankfully) gives Superboy Prime a second action token and give him an action to hit Bedovian with a heavy object. Hit for 5 damage (EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re welcome?). Brother Hymn shoots Bedovian and misses.

Now I actually have a chance to hit back. I base Superboy Prime with both my characters. He clears his characters on his turn. I get to make an attack! I start by having Ganthet hit with his special incapacitate. 4 damage and a token. That got rid of the Hypersonic Speed on his dial! Then he points out that Ophidian picks up Hypersonic Speed on click 4, and with Ophidian Possessing Superboy, nothing really has changed. Bedovian pushes and misses.

I give both characters a second token and then I read the new powers Superboy Prime has. Exploit weakness and penetrating poison. I have both my characters double tokened and adjacent to him. You can guess how the rest of this goes. Bedovian dies in two turns before he can take another action. Ganthet gets poisoned to his third click and takes a damage from Brother Hymn before he can take an action. At that point he has Pulse wave and running shot. I try to break away so that I can use pulse wave for max damage on just Superboy Prime. I roll a 1. Ganthet is KOed by prime the following turn.

Ouch.

 

Round 2 Facing:

A bye (we had 9 people). But hey this ended up being my best game of the night. During this time I watch Hypefox playing a team featuring Swamp Thing. He missed a good opportunity to use barrier to prevent Prime from getting hit. I hope he loses. He doesn’t, but I had hoped he did.

 

Round 3 Facing:

Rage Ball!

Rage Ball!

WOL013A Romat-Ru

WOL021 Lyssa Drak

WOL059A Zilius Zox

WOLR307 Blue Lantern Ring

Total  = 278 points

This was a brand new player. I mean new as in brand new that day! He was a Green Lantern fan and wanted to find out what HeroClix was.

I helped him every turn with strategy and rules. I’m not going to go into the synopsis on this one because he mostly did exactly what I suggested every round as he was learning how to play and in essence it was like me playing me. Having said that, here are the highlights:

  • WOL059A Zilius Zox faced off against Ganthet pretty much one on one. It did not go well for Ganthet thanks to his old friend penetrating poison.
  • Bedovian finished off Zilius Zox from range, but faired poorly after that because the two remaining Sinestro corps members could perplex his printed damage down to zero.
  • WOL021 Lyssa Drak doesn’t really seem to do that much (zero range), but it didn’t really matter.

In the end the help I gave the new player gave him his second win ever. I wasn’t about to do anything good this tournament, so that was the best possible outcome.

Learning

What I Learned:

  • HypeFox has a soul as black as midnight (EDITOR’S NOTE: How many tourney wins against you in a row is that now? Man, I’ve lost count…).
  • The entities like Ophidian are the real deal when possessing a character. Expect them to be mainstays at every major tournament until they are retired.
  • WOL021 Lyssa Drak is not worth the points. If you are one of those players who just has to field an aloof,  half-naked blue-skinned psychic vampire, well, y’know, then go for it. Just don’t expect her to do much except stand there half-naked and occasionally show her casual disdain for everyone else by Perplex figure’s stats down. That’s about all she does.
  • WOL047 Ganthet needs to be played with care. His “Perplex the whole team” power is cool, but at his point cost he pretty much is most of the team. He would do much better with TK or a hammer.
  • If I had a chance to get a WOL059A Zilius Zox I would definitely do so in the future. Nasty lil’ big-headed bugger.
  • I would say WOL057B Superboy Prime (Red Lantern) is above average in constructed, but top notch in this sealed environment. Half the defense powers in this set are Energy Shield, so a close combat attacker with Hypersonic does really well here.

1-2-3-4!! Let’s Have a Light War!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 06/22/2014!!)

Roundup

Howdy folks!! Has it been another week already?

My Tigers have been extremely schizophrenic this season (can a person or entity be “extremely” schizophrenic? Or is it one of those things where you’re either schizophrenic or you’re not? Hmmm…), but at least we’ve won our last four games and retaken first place from the Royals. Good Lord, the Royals… even typing the words “retaken first place from the Royals” makes me queasy. How in the blue hell did the Royals ever get themselves into first place in the Central (even if it was just for a few days). For our international readers who don’t follow baseball, this would be like, say, Fulham finding itself in first place midway through the Premier League season last year (of course, Fulham ended up relegated, so hopefully the Royals will find themselves in a similar swoon soon…).

I mean, here is a typical shot of the Royals fan base during a normal season:

Yep. These are Royals fans.

Yep. These are Royals fans.

And here is a typical Royals highlight:

What entering a War of the Light event feels like after you open your two boosters and find that the best figure you pulled is Brother Warth.

What entering a War of the Light event feels like after you open your two boosters and find that the best figure you’ve pulled is Brother Warth.

Opposing players celebrating at home plate while a Royals catcher looks plaintively into the dugout for some sort of clue on what to do next?

Check.

Check.

So you see, these are the Royals I’m used to dealing with. I can’t handle First-place Royals. It’s not natural. It throws off the balance of the universe. The only team the Royals should be looking down at is the Houston Astros, and only because Houston is in year nine of their three-year rebuilding plan. But, the Tigers have once again dethroned KC, at least for the time being, and all is right with the world.

Now then, with work, a friend’s wedding and a few other things requiring my attention this week, I’m a day or two late with my regular wrap-up this week, for which I apologize. But, that does mean that now is the perfect time for….

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix just released Episode 50! What a fantastic achievement! Keep it up, gentlemen! This week they discuss some War of the Light Wave One Sealed Advice!

Push to Regen

Episode 2.4 is still Push to Regen’s most recent podcast. You can also check their Podbean for updates and the first three episodes of Season 2!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is … still Episode 20, which sees the return of the Round Table!! Also, if you missed the announcement two weeks ago, Hunter Smith has decided that he will be leaving as a regular on the Quarry Round Table episodes; while he didn’t rule out an occasional pop-in, Hunter is done after this month as a continual presence due to nothing other than not enough time.


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

Lot going on with the ROC this week! Let’s dive in!

-You can catch up with most of the recent ROC upcoming tourney announcements right here!

-Due to my schedule, I’ll not be able to attend myself, but local southeastern Michigan venue Gamer’s Gauntlet has a ROC event scheduled for the end of this month. I’ve heard nothing else about this from any other source; check out their website for more details (via the link above). NOTE: If anyone is attending this event and wants to write a Local Tourney Report or even just a Top 8 recap, you can send it in and we’ll publish it. Or, if you want to write it up for your own site/blog/social media outlet, send us a link here or via Twitter (@criticalmissive) so we can spread it around!

-If you missed it three weeks ago, a brief announcement was made that the recent “Watchlist 2: Electric Bugaloo” changes will go into effect, well, immediately.

-Mama, there goes that man again! Patrick Yapjoco has won YET ANOTHER ROC!! And the sun rises in the morning, and the sky is still blue, etc. etc. … Honestly, the thread link to the left is worth checking out just to see who played what. It sounds like one of the funner ROC events just in terms of the varied rosters that folks were fielding. Patrick won with Iron Pharaoh (Possessed by the Parallax Entity), Bullseye (Possessed by the, uh, Utility Belt), Despotellis and Astral Dr. Strange (which’ll rotate out at the end of the month).

We’ve talked (and talked AND TALKED!!) about how great the Pharaoh is, and I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Bullseye either. But the second place finisher that Patrick beat to win was playing a Captain America and the Winter Soldier fueled S.H.I.E.L.D. Theme Team that featured the AWESOME Cap and Black Widow Duo Figure that we’ve been on about here and here! Cool stuff. I love seeing the various mutations the Meta takes as people really start to find new techniques for winning.

Wizkids

WIZKIDS NEWS:

-Origins has come and gone, which means there is a newly crowned U.S. National Champion! Check the link to see what he played…

-A U.K. Champion was also crowned a short while back!!

-Also, if you were living under a rock last week, or just, y’know, away from the internet (that’ll learn ya for going camping with the family!!), WizKids is rotating sets finally, which should juice the Meta starting July 1st!! Pretty much everything Marvel and DC BEFORE M:10 and DC:10

-A general FYI: a month ago, WizKids announced a monthly New OP kit system!


Preview

Previews:

–No previews of any note this week, although there are now rumors of a Yu-Gi-Oh! resource and storyline event coming up! Whaaa… ? More details as they available…

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week we’re gonna take a break from my ramblings and publish the second place team from Tyler Martin that I was just talking about in the ROC section. Let’s see what he played!

Team Name: Tyler Martin Don’t Have Time For You

Theme: S.H.I.E.L.D. (+3 to Map Roll)

Build Roster:

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow – 130 Points

ASM017B Brother Voodoo – 79 

CATWS013 Agent 13 – 55

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force – 12

(with 3 Assigned Characters and 5 Fragments) – 24

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The report lists the Phoenix Force in Tyler’s army as costing 36 points while having 3 Assigned Characters and only one Fragment left on the base, which would only cost 33 Points. So either Tyler’s army was 3 points lighter than reported, or he was using all 5 Frags. For our purposes here today, we’ll say it was the latter, since that gives us a nice even 300 Point army!)

=300

The Captain America and Black Widow Duo is fantastic. At this point and Shard level, the Phoenix Force would be providing them with +1 Defense to start (giving them a 19 Defense value) and Charge, and they already have Sidestep, Stealth and the ability to ignore Hindering on Movement and Targeting with the Avengers Initiative TA!! Brother Voodoo can Phasing/Teleport to almost anywhere on the map to support with his Prob Control, and–by the way–Mind Control someone as a free action when he’s done. Agent 13 can shut down any figure’s defensive powers when she gets to her second click, and using the Phoenix Force with her gives her a Poison that suddenly is penetrating. Her attack isn’t much to writer home about, but with Shape Change and Combat Reflexes, it’s unlikely the figure she’s tying up will hit her either.

All in all, a really solid effort and great design by Tyler!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–No big Hollywood news to speak of this past week. More Gotham trailers are rolling in, but really, everyone’s waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy to hit at the beginning of August!)

Critical Missives:

–No new articles this past week (didn’t have time, unfortunately), but you can look for a War of the Light-themed Local Tournament Report tomorrow!!

–In other big news… we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Wait–it’s already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

So until the next article (which–just a guess–will release tomorrow, God help me),

Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

National Origins!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 06/15/2014!!)

Roundup

Hey There!!

No, you haven’t stumbled upon the never-before-seen prequel script for some Nicholas Cage-starring Indiana Jones clone! We’re here to talk about Heroclix!

And the World Cup. Team USA over Ghana? Did not see that coming! Course, I don’t follow soccer/futbol too much outside of the World Cup, so I’d probably be the last guy you’d want to predict these things. Between baseball, football, basketball and hockey, I just never got into it.

"Wait, Delta Force-era Chuck Norris plays soccer? I'm in!"

“Wait, Delta Force-era Chuck Norris plays soccer? I’m in!”

All of which is to say, sorry for the delay; but it looks like this is gonna be a…

MID-WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix just released Episode 49! Lots of great discussion about recent significant tourney winners and runners up, as well as a discussion about the Return of the King pieces that just released.

Also, June’s Best Build Contest is underway; I finally found time to submit (mine’s the Iron Pharaoh/Fantomex/Shaman team; yeah, I basically submitted a version of the same team I’m always on about–sue me. We’ll take a look at a Modern age version of that team in just a little bit).

Push to Regen

Episode 2.4 is still Push to Regen’s most recent podcast. You can also check their Podbean for updates and the first three episodes of Season 2!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is … still Episode 20, which sees the return of the Round Table!! Also, if you missed the announcement last week, Hunter Smith let it be known on last week’s Dial H For Heroclix Podcast that he unfortunately will be leaving as a regular on the Quarry Round Table episodes; while he didn’t rule out an occasional pop-in, Hunter is done after this month as a continual presence due to nothing other than not enough time.


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

-Catch up with most of the recent ROC upcoming tourney announcements right here!

-Not that I’ll be able to attend, unfortunately, but local venue Gamer’s Gauntlet has a ROC event scheduled for the end of this month. I’ve heard nothing else about this from any other source; check out their website for more details (via the link above).

-If you missed it a couple weeks ago, a brief announcement was made that the recent “Watchlist 2: Electric Bugaloo” changes will go into effect, well, immediately.

-And once again, if you want to know what the most frequently used ROC figures are, check out Ninwashui’s latest article that dropped a couple weeks ago!

Wizkids

WIZKIDS NEWS:

-Origins has come and gone, which means there is a newly crowned U.S. National Champion! Check the link to see what he played…

-A U.K. Champion was also crowned!!

-Also, if you were living under a rock last week, or just, y’know, away from the internet (that’ll learn ya for going camping with the family!!), WizKids is rotating sets finally, which should juice the Meta starting July 1st!! Pretty much everything Marvel and DC BEFORE M:10 and DC:10

-A general FYI: a few weeks ago, WizKids announced a monthly New OP kit system!


Preview

Previews:

–No previews of any note this week, which is fine, since there was a lot else going on!

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Okay, like I said before, this week we’re going to revisit an old build and add some new pieces. At the U.S. National Heroclix Championships (see above), Tim Bold piloted a team that featured Iron Pharaoh and Black Talon to a 2nd place finish (similar in concept to Ninwashui’s “Who’s the Boss? Tony is the Boss!” column). Well, I’m going to take that concept and merge it with my old Iron Pharaoh/Shaman concept. Let’s see what it looks like:

Team Name: Lockheed and Loaded

Theme: Mystical (+4 to Map Roll)

Build Roster:

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110 Points

(with the Cyclops Fragment)

IIM0040 Shaman – 92 

DP043 Black Talon- 60

WXM080 Lockheed16

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force – 12

(with the Colossus Fragment still Attached) – 3

1 Assigned Character – 3

=299

So, the strategy here is the same as it is every time with this group, really–delay and conquer. The harder you can make it for your opponent to get to you, the more body blows you can throw at their best pieces with the Pharaoh and the better your chances of success will be. If you win Map Roll, you’re gonna choose something like the Wundagore Mountain (hard to move around without flying or the ability to ignore Elevated Terrain) or K’un Lun maps (lots of blocking terrain to set up impassable Barriers).

When it comes time to attack, Iron Pharaoh will have 1 Outwit (his own), 1 Perplex (Shaman’s), a native 10 Attack and 3 Damage as well as RCE to split however he wants, and a possible +1 to Damage and Attack depending on the keywords of his target, all while seeing through just about everything via his Falcon… and then Black Talon gets to try and Mind Control him to do it all over again. Wash, Rinse and Repeat!

Shaman is your secondary attacker and support piece all in one, and Lockheed is there to provide another figure for Map Roll, to act as a tertiary attacker if your opponent approaches in any sort of Enhance Ball (he has EE) and to fly peeps away four squares if it’s not to your advantage to use “No Flights” for some reason (no, he’s not tiny, so he can Carry… up until Shaman does his thing.). 80% of the time, you’ll probably want to bust it off first turn, but if your opponent is using taxis who don’t depend on the Wing Symbol to Carry, it might behoove you to hold off.

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–No big Hollywood news to speak of this past week.

Critical Missives:

–Another week gone by, another couple big articles by yours truly (a postmortem on the AvX set, now that it’s all finished) and a look at GW Bridge and the various Build possibilities he opens up by Ninwashui (as promised three weeks ago in his Deadpool set review!).

–In other big news… we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Wait–it’s already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

So until the next article (which–just a guess–will have something to do with War of the Light),

Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

 

The AvX Postmortem!! (Or, 4000 Words on Why Cyclops Was Wrong!!)

"Son, unless the category is convoluted character back stories, you gonna lose this one."

“Scott! Unless this conflict is decided by which side has the most convoluted back stories, your X-Men will lose!”

AvX has come and gone, and outside of some Local Tourney Reports and a few article mentions of Scarlet Witch, we really didn’t cover the actual pieces too much. Well, that changes today. Today, we’ll go through the best and the worst pieces and talk about which ones will be relevant in the Meta six months from now and which ones you won’t even pull out to complete a Theme Team. We’ve talked at length before about what the Phoenix Force Resource can do for your squad, so today we’ll focus on the individual characters in this set. Before we begin with the individual spotlights, you should probably be aware that there are (including all the different Team Base Dials) 42 different dials in this set (pretty much every starter fig comes with at least a V and E dial). So it’s actually a bit bigger than most people realize. And with that, we’ll get on to:

 

THE 6 BEST:

"Let's see Elizabeth Olsen pull off this costume!"

“Let’s see Elizabeth Olsen pull off this costume!”

AVX006E Scarlet Witch 100 Points: She’s support in a bottle, with Perplex, Prob and Support all contained in her Damage Special Power. She can virtually eliminate your opponent’s best TA with her Trait (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.), which is one of the coolest Traits in the game in terms of function and flavor. Her Defense Special is also one of the best in the game (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 she has both the Avengers and the Mystics TA on top of that! With a top dial 3 damage with Precision Strike and 8 Range, she’s that rare support piece that’s actually a useful tertiary attacker too! FFCW006R Scarlet Witch and JL52016R Enchantress both offer similar powers for 50 less points, so there hasn’t been an overwhelming need for this Wanda on the Meta scene yet. But with those pieces retiring and with only FFDP006R Mercy available as a replacement in the same point range (it should be noted that War of the Light is bringing us WOL033 Sister Sercy, who has a similar dial to the pieces I mentioned and costs 66 Points; however, her only keyword is Blue Lantern Corps., which means she’d probably break theme on any Meta team she’s included on, since I don’t see Blue Lantern Corps. as being viable in a tournament environment; Map Choice can become so important at that level, so I don’t think she’ll get used a ton, but I guess we’ll see), I wouldn’t be surprised to see people take another look at this Scarlet Witch, since she fills so many role for such a reasonable cost (and has great keywords; Mercy has Thunderbolts and that’s it. That’s better than just having BLC, but it still narrows your build options). And if you play her with the Phoenix Force, you can give her TK, too (with the Emma Fragment).

Cyclops, right before he turned into Magneto. CYCLOPS WAS WRONG!

Cyclops, right before he turned into Magneto. CYCLOPS WAS WRONG!

 AVX009E Cyclops – 100 Points: He has enough offense (Running Shot and 4 top dial damage with an awesome 8 Range and Improved Targeting: Ignores Blocking Terrain and, when he does, blow up that blocking terrain after actions resolve) to be considered a primary attacker, but you get him at secondary attacker prices! He offers a bit of support as well with Outwit and Leadership; as of Watchlist 2, however, he’s lost some of his luster. His defense at this point level is a mere 17 with Toughness and only 5 clicks of life, so he represents a big risk that was greatly mitigated by firing from the other end of the map when used in conjunction with SLOSH048 Tellus. Now that Tellus’s Link Telepathically 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.) only works with other LoSH keyworded figures, I’d expect that this version of Scott Summers is a little to chewy to stay in the ranks of the Meta.

Buuuuuut, having said that, if Cyclops does stick around the tourney scene, it’ll be because of his good buddy Sean Cassidy. We know DP051 Banshee is going to be a Meta piece, and it just so happens that this particular Cyclops makes an awesome running buddy for him. Banshee is 98 points; unlike Scott Summers’s WXM version (94 Points), Cyke here clocks in at an even 100, which means his Leadership can pull tokens off of Banshee (which is huge, since the lack of Indomitable is one of the only drawbacks to playing Banshee). Banshee’s Police TA will help Cyclops’s 10 Attack; Cyclops’s Outwit can counter (even through Blocking Terrain!) opposing Precision Strike or any other ability your opponent might use to get around Sean’s 18 Defense with Super Senses. And they each have the X-Men TA, so they can each heal the other of one damage if there’s a click you just need them to stay on (like Cyke’s Top Dial–or Banshee’s second click). That’s a fairly formidable pair, there, and you still have 102 points left for more X-Men and Resources. Let’s see what that might look like real quick:

Team Name: Ech0-Disintegration

Theme: X-Men

DP051 Banshee98 Points

(Assigned the Colossus Fragment) – 3

AVX009E Cyclops100

(Assigned the Cyclops Fragment) – 3

WXM204 Shadowcat70

(Assigned the Magik Fragment) – 3

AVXR100 Phoenix Force – 12

3x Assigned Characters – 9

= 298 

As described above, this team is designed for all sorts of synergistic shenanigans between Banshee and Cyclops. If you win Map Roll, you want something with a lot of Elevated, Hindering AND Blocking Terrain. Wundagore Mountain is just one example of a map that should work for you, with a top level of elevation that also has plenty of walls for Cyclops to blow through. There’s several from FEAR ITSELF that will work just fine too. Also, with the Phoenix Force and this setup, Banshee has an 18 Defense with Super Senses and Invuln–not too shabby. If your opponent has any bystander tokens (likely if it’s a Hammer team) or any figure that you think you can pick off early, it’s in your best interest to do so. Once you either roll doubles and hit or KO an opposing character with an attack, the Phoenix dial turns to Click 2, where all of your team would get Force Blast, +1 to their Attack, ES/D AND Perplex!! Shadowcat is simply there to Carry Cyclops if need be and to keep Incapping M10 Iron Man if he ever shows his face–plus she’s a great Outwit source and tie-up piece.

"I assure you, that WAS your card!"

“I assure you, that WAS your card!”

AVX008 Professor X – 150 Points: The main reason I have Xavier on here is his awesome Movement Special (I CAN’T LET YOU DO THIS: Professor X can use Mind Control and is not dealt unavoidable damage from it. Opposing characters within range must be given double power actions instead of power actions.). Giving opposing figs 2 chips instead of one, or just plain preventing them from doing what they want in the first place is a great power. In effect it is similar to Mokk’s main Trait from Fear Itself (ADVANCED PETRIFICATION: Opposing characters with a lower point value within 4 squares of Mokk can’t be given non-free actions if they already have one action token.), except the good Professor here only stops power actions. On the surface, Xavier’s power may not seem quite as good, but the Prof doesn’t care about other characters point cost, if effective out to 8 squares instead of 4… and–oh yeah!–he gives you that stopping power for 90 less points!! And he comes with both the Avengers and X-Men keywords (and can attach to either base!). Lot to like here.

150 Points is too much for a non-Primary attacker in 300 Point Meta games, but if you find yourself in a 400 Point tourney (or more), he’s a strong choice. In AvX months three and four, he showed up quite a bit, and for good reason (or REASONS, as we just discussed above!).

"Mooooooortalllllll Kombat!"

“Mooooooortalllllll Kombat!”

AVX102 Lei-Kung the Thunderer125 Points: His Trait is fine if you’re pairing him with Iron Fist or Shang-Chi (TEACHER & PUPIL: During the beginning of your turn, give Lei-Kung the Thunderer a free action and choose a friendly character within 3 squares, with the Martial Artist keyword, and with a lower point value. The chosen character may modify either their attack or defense value by +1 until your next turn.), but his special Movement and Damage powers are what make him really efficient, giving him Charge, Flurry, Plasticity and a special version of Quake that gives hit characters action tokens.

Let’s take a look at another Flash Build with Lei-Kung!

Team Name: Thunderer Cats!!

Theme: Martial Artist

AVX102 Lei-Kung the Thunderer100 Points

DP047B The Cat81

(w/ Complete Utility Belt) –14

DOFP009 Nightcrawler86

=300 

Martial Artist teams are in a weird spot right now. With the new Theme Team rules, they don’t really have any easy access to Probability Control. They’ve actually got a few pretty decent Taxi options now, however, which used to be an issue. I’ve gone with Nightcrawler because he’s so hard to hit AND can make a Close Combat attack if he carries someone 6 squares or less. The Cat is quite dangerous on his own, but he’s especially deadly with the Belt, and if you keep him close to Lei-Kung, you can pump his Attack to 13 or his Defense to 18, depending on the situation. And then, of course, Lei-Kung himself can come and bring the Thunder (read: action tokens) to break up any of your opponent’s formations. If you can win Map Roll and find a map with enough hiding spots (Hindering Terrain), you’d have a good chance of getting to your opponent before he can get too many shots off at your team. Alternatively, if you wanted to use the Phoenix Force, you could sub in Colleen Wing for The Cat.

"I am the Lord... of this hollowed out rubble!"

“I am the Lord… of this hollowed out rubble!”

AVX014 Magneto200 Points: Again, an awesome Trait (ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THIS, SCOTT?: Magneto can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Telekinesis. During the beginning of your turn, if Magneto has two action tokens, he can use Telekinesis as a free action, but may only use it to place friendly characters.) that makes him so hard to hit with a ranged attack (plop him in Hindering and it’s a 21 to hit for most characters!), especially now that Chaos War Hawkeye is rotating out in 3 weeks. Invincible means that even if you hit him, you’re not doing much damage, and after his top dial 4 damage he stays at 3 for most of the rest of his dial and even picks up Outwit. Rare was the X-Men team I played against during AvX that didn’t feature Magneto. He’s not 300 Points Meta, but in 400 or more, he should get a lot of consideration.

"Wait, is it safe for Thor to channel lightning this close to Iron Man's suit?"

“Wait, is it safe for Thor to channel lightning this close to Iron Man’s suit?”

AVXT001R Avengers200 Points: Their attack value is looooooow (9 to start though, like Spinal Tap’s amps, eventually it goes to 11–I’ll steal the .gif Ninwashui found for his last article to illustrate that).

This is actually what it looks like to turn a Green Lantern ring up to 11...

They have top dial Perplex and Running Shot with 3 Bolts, but otherwise, every power you would want them to have they get down dial. So patience is a key. But the real reason they’re here in the Top 5 Best instead of the Top 5 Worst is because they can get just about EVERY power under the sun via the Asset Dial depending on which Avengers roster you choose to field.

Just look at these Team Base powers:

AVX001 Captain America: This team character can use Combat Reflexes and Defend.

AVX002 Iron Man: This team character can use Perplex. When they do and Black Panther is also attached, you may modify an opposing character’s combat value by -2 instead.

AVX003 Thor: This team character can use Energy Explosion.

AVX004 Spider-Man: This team character can use Super Senses.

AVX005 Wolverine: This team character Blades/Claws/Fangs and Regeneration.

AVX006 Scarlet Witch: This team character can use Probability Control.

AVX007 Black Panther: This team character can use Outwit. When they do and Iron Man is also attached, you may counter a team ability as if it were a power.

AVX008 Professor X: When this team character uses Solo Adventure to place Professor X on the map, he may immediately use Mind Control as a free action.

AVX016 Hope Summers: Give this team character a free action and choose the asset ability of any character that could be attached to the team base but isn’t. This team character can use that asset ability until your next turn.

DP015 Daredevil: This team character ignores opposing characters’ Stealth.

DP019 Deadpool: When this team character is attached, opposing characters can’t use the Avengers or X-Men team abilities.

DP033 Red Hulk: This team character can use Poison. They can use it normally, or damage dealt from it can be penetrating damage. If damage dealt from Poison is penetrating damage, at the end of your turn you must roll the d6 and turn the asset dial that many times clockwise.

That is a WIDE array of choices, and you can put them in whatever order you choose! This team base offers the most customization of any 200 point character in the game! The X-Men Team Base is also good at the same point level; I just prefer the (at least currently) superior variety of the Avengers abilities.

Turbo from Go-Bots, twenty years past his prime and with a heavy drinking problem...

Turbo from Go-Bots, twenty years past his prime and with a heavy drinking problem…

AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man175 Points: People made a lot of noise at first about how “narrow” his Trait was in terms of characters he could actually deal penetrating damage to (HERE GOES NUTHIN’: Phoenixbuster Iron Man’s attacks deal penetrating damage if the target character is assigned a relic or a resource or possesses any of the following: “Giant damage symbol”, “Colossal damage symbol”, the Power Cosmic team ability, the Cosmic or Phoenix Force keyword, or the word Phoenix in its name as a separate word.), but I actually think his Trait is great! First, if you’re playing a ROC event or even a local tourney, unless Relics and Resources are banned, lotsa folks are gonna be playing them, and most (pretty much all of them except the Utility Belt, Penguin and the Bat Cave, although, to be honest, I forgot how the Bat Cave even works since it’s so rarely played…) affect either the entire team or a good portion of it. Second, even if you’re opponent isn’t playing a Relic or Resource, the “Cosmic” keyword is more prevalent then ever, considering we just saw DC Heroclix get a space-based set in SLoSH (11 characters with the Cosmic keyword, including Highfather), they’re about to get another one in War of the Light, and Marvel’s about to get a couple in the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie set along with the Guardians of the Galaxy set proper!

Third… his dial is actually really good! Running Shot with 10 Movement and a 10 Range means he can swing 15 squares in a single attack. That’s pretty damn good. Top dial 11 Attack with Pulse Wave is also pretty nasty. Let’s take a look at what Tony can do for you:

Team Name: Busted Lips

Theme: Armor

AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man175 Points

(w/ Secret Avengers ATA) – 5

FI301 Splitlip20 

IIM015 Tony Stark70

FIB018 Store Clerk3

FIR100 Book of the Skull6

(w/ 7 Hammers) – 21

 =300 (Exactly! Yay!)

So, this is probably a pretty obvious build, but you Hammer up Tony Stark and Phoenixbuster Iron Man as quick as possible with Splitlip’s ability, then you start going to town. Tony Stark should only need a 6 at that point to Mind Control–well, himself, really. Then you try and destroy your opponent’s best figure with a couple doses of Running Shot/Pulse Wave via a 13 Attack (with a Hammer) and 10 Range! Yes, this is a variation on Ninwashui’s Tony Stark/Iron Pharaoh team from a few months ago. And that’s fine, cuz it’s not a bad idea at all, especially with a fig that has a chance to do penetrating damage each time he attacks! Remember, even if his Trait doesn’t help you, PB Iron Man still has Pulse Wave for 4 Clicks and Pen/Psy for his last three–you’ll have chances to get damage through, I promise you.

 

And we're sure she's not talking about the source of her marital problems with Bill?

And we’re sure she’s not talking about the source of her marital problems with Bill?

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

AVX003R Thor100 Points: Great scuplt with a great Trait (CALL THE STORM & TEAR OPEN THE SKY: Thor can use Super Strength. When Thor targets and hits more than 1 opposing character with an attack, targets of the attack are dealt penetrating damage.) that really makes him into a sort of mini-Phoenixbuster Iron Man. For 75 less points.

AVX004 Spider-Man125 Points: Extremely effective for his points, and definitely worth fielding depending on the build. He’d be the best Spidey out there if WizKids hadn’t just released DP060 Superior Spider-Man, who is an absolute beast.

 -AVX007 Black Panther100 Points: A Swiss Army knife of close combat abilities, T’Challa’s Damage Special Power (KING OF WAKANDA: Black Panther can use Empower, Leadership, and Outwit. When he uses Leadership and the result is 6, in addition to the normal effects he may remove an action token from himself.) makes him another “support in a bottle” type of character, only he can deal some melee damage as well. He actually makes a great teammate for the previously discussed AVX006E Scarlet Witch because of his Trait (YOU DON’T GET TO GIVE UP: Once during your turn, another friendly character within 4 squares that shares a keyword with Black Panther can use Willpower.), which allows Wanda to use her “No More Mutants” Trait without taking pushing damage. Wild Card TA, top dial Stealth, the ability to ignore Hindering Terrain and Characters while moving and a bevy of good keywords (Avengers, Illuminati, Scientist, etc.) make him a solid choice for a bunch of different builds. He’s probably the best Panther they’ve ever made, although AV024 Black Panther from Avengers is close.

-AVXG001 Dark Phoenix Cyclops1000 Points: If 1000 Point tourneys were more common, this dial would have made the Top 6. He’s insane for his points (mostly because of his Special Pulse Wave, which can hit multiple characters for up to 5 damage the first time it appears on his dial), but he’ll rarely see play because most venues only do large enough builds for him every 3 months or so. Incidentally, Cyke’s 300 Point dial actually made a Top 16 at a ROC recently, but didn’t go any further because it’s too easy for him to get out-actioned at that point level. Still, all three of his dials are solid, and he’s a rare piece that you need to be aware of in Epic games.

The Sculpted Facepalm.

The Sculpted Facepalm.

THE 4 WORST!!

And finally, a few mentions about the pieces I think should be avoided… AT ALL COSTS!

A visual comparison of IIM001AE Iron Man and AVX002 Iron Man.

A visual comparison of IIM001AE Iron Man and AVX002 Iron Man.

AVX002 Iron Man150 Points: The worst Modern Age Iron Man, this exercise in frustration only saw play in AvX from those desperate souls who fielded him in Month 1 hoping to take advantage of his Trait (ENHANCED REPULSORS: All of Iron Man’s attacks generate knock back.) on a map that featured a mountain in the middle. Which was fine, except that you better hope you win Map Roll and that your opponent decides that it’s a good idea to engage you on the top of said mountain. Even then, you still have to actually hit, which–with a dial that sports only a few 10’s and 9’s for Attack Value–might be fairly difficult. His Damage Special is just annoying (INVENTING ON THE FLY: Once per turn, Iron Man can use Outwit or Perplex.) since it’s an either/or proposition AND it doesn’t appear top dial. Just compare what you get here with what you get with IIM001AE Iron Man for the exact same amount of points. It’s not even close. One final note: His keywords suck (No Stark Industries? Really?!).

"Uh, sure, Illyana, you, uh, you definitely made the list."

“Uh, sure, Illyana, you, uh, you definitely made the list.”

AVX013E Magik75 Points: She looks like she should be really good. She’s got a cool sculpt, 2 Team Abilities (Mystics and X-Men) and a vast array of powers like top dial TK, ES/D and a Special Movement Power that lets her deal penetrating damage to characters with the Mystical keyword. All backed up by her Taxi Trait (TELEPORTATION DISKS: Give Magik a power action and choose an adjacent character. Place Magik in any square within range, place the chosen character in an adjacent square, and roll a d6. On a result of 1-4, the chosen character can’t be given a non-free action until your next turn.). So why is she on this list?

Let’s start with her Trait. It’s basically a very fancy way of saying “I can carry someone 5 squares.” Yes, one third of the time, you might be able to do something after that, and she’s not restricted by any symbols or the size of the base of the chosen character, so her Trait is slightly useful from that regard. But if you’re not playing her with a Colossal or peanut base fig, or having her carry a flier or something like that, then she’s pretty useless as a Taxi service with a route of only 5 squares (Ironically, one of the best figures for her to carry would probably be Phoenixbuster Iron Man, who would then have a 33% chance to make a Running Shot that would cover another 15 squares for a 20 square swing).

Well, what about her Movement Special? All of her attacks deal penetrating damage to other Mystical characters! Okay, that’s fine–certainly a popular keyword. But in this era of Power Creep, somehow Magik got stuck with a bunch of 9’s and 8’s for her Attack Values like she’s straight out of Infinity Challenge or something. Which makes her B/C/F and–to a slightly lesser extent–Pulse Wave almost useless. Ah, but she’s got top dial TK! Lots of people played 75 Point FFCW006 Scarlet Witch just for her top dial TK! Well, that’s not nearly the only reason they played her, but if you’re using Magik’s TK, then her Trait is really useless, isn’t it? Neither is a free action, which means you can only choose one or the other. Which means you’re paying “Taxi” points twice for her.

Basically, for almost everything she does, there are better options. Oh, and if you thought Iron Man’s keywords sucked, you should probably know that he looks like DP101 Deadpool compared to Magik (X-Men, Mystical and–wait, that’s it.)

Build your army around Hope Summers and you'll end up in a corner with your head down too.

Build your army around Hope Summers and you’ll end up in a corner with your head down too.

AVX016 Hope Summers122 Points: Her Trait makes her interesting (POWER MIMIC: Give Hope Summers a free action. Choose a standard power possessed by any character within 4 squares. Hope Summers can use that power until your next turn as if she had a range value of 6.); her point cost makes her almost unusable. For 3 more points, I’ll take Lei-Kung every time. The only reason she’s a must own is because she has the best Asset Dial power for both Team Bases (see above).

Probably more effective than AvX Cable.

Probably more effective than AvX Cable.

AVX101 Cable124 Points: The same issues as his sister, although they both get slightly better when played together (although not nearly better enough to, y’know, ACTUALLY PLAY THEM TOGETHER). If you know you’re gonna play against some Avengers, he’s passable. Now that AvX is over, however, I don’t see him being useful in life.

 

Okay, that’s just about everything I can think to say about AvX! Thanks for checking out the AvX Postmortem! Back Monday for the Weekly Roundup!! Until then, as always, stay safe and watch those lines of fire!

 

 

 

 

 

Team Ideas – The Bridge to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Idea

Among the other competitive pieces to come out in the Deadpool set (detailed here and here), we got a new figure that falls into a category of pieces that I refer to as “recruiters,” DP041 G.W. Bridge. Like TDW015 Duhg and SLOSH201 Cosmic Boy, DP041 G.W. Bridge has the ability to give any character a keyword that they didn’t have before. In a correctly built team, he can give any character the Six Pack, Weapon X, or Solider keywords. Just one problem… those are boring. Reasonable but boring. And they aren’t worth all the hoops you have to jump through to get them. That leaves the S.H.I.E.L.D keyword. That’s more fun.

So what does it take to get that keyword in a 300 point army? Well G.W. himself is 68 points, and the cheapest S.H.I.E.L.D generic, AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., is 19 points. Together the 4 generics required and G.W. are 144. That means I can give the S.H.I.E.L.D keyword to any character 156 points or less. So I can easily create a team like this:

 

Little known fact: this is how Michael Jackson would have looked in another 10 years.

Little known fact: Red Skull’s appearance is actually the result of the world’s worst nose job.

Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D, Director Skull

DP041 G.W. Bridge

CATWS014 Agent Sitwell

CATWS002 S.H.I.E.L.D. Soldier

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AVM016 Red Skull

Total = 296 points

 

See that was way more fun than the Six Pack keyword. Let’s try Another one for those of you who saw the latest Captain America Movie:

 

Sometimes his chest TV shows his face, other times it shows Game of Thrones.

My face, now in HD…

Arnim, Head of the I.T. Department

DP041 G.W. Bridge

AVM206 Agent Coulson

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

DP054 Arnim Zola

Total = 300 points

 

Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s fun but not all that competitive. Is there any way giving someone S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword actually helps you in battle other than giving you a theme team bonus? Just one. It’s this guy: CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. I’ve tried this guy out in battle and he’s the real deal. Just about any attack aimed at the pieces you care about get redirected to this guy and you lose a 36 point character instead of your 100+ character. Alpha Strike? Just stand there and take it. If they swoop in for a hit on your team that just means they’ll be in a great position for you to hit them next turn. To bump it up a notch the special mastermind power on CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent also works with CATWS106 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent because they share the same name. That means you would only lose 25 points of your force to an attack instead of 36. Even better.

The downside of having six S.H.I.E.L.D. characters on a team in a 300 point game is that it will take you all of your actions just to move them around, much less make any attacks. S.H.I.E.L.D. keyworded figures aren’t know for flying. What a S.H.I.E.L.D. team really needs is something to carry them. There is no helicarrier in HeroClix (currently), but I thought of the next best thing. Here’s my final (competitive) team:

 

The ring is the mightiest weapon in the universe... and it get's HBO.

The ring is the mightiest weapon in the universe… and it gets HBO.

Hal Jordan, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

DP041 G.W. Bridge

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

CATWS106 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

CATWS106 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

TT033E Green Lantern

Total = 300 points

 

TT033E Green Lantern is exactly what S.H.I.E.L.D. needs. He can carry your whole team. That means moving all 6 guys in 1 action. He’s a virtual helicarrier. The offense on this guy is great. He’s got 8 range, perplex, and he can choose to gain Close Combat Expert, or Ranged Combat Expert as the situation warrants. Since the rest of his team all has the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA, that will allow him to turn his range up to 11.

This is actually what it looks like to turn a Green Lantern ring up to 11...

This is actually what it looks like to turn a Green Lantern ring up to 11…

DP041 G.W. Bridge is very similar to TT033E Green Lantern offensively as he also can gain Close Combat Expert, or Ranged Combat Expert as needed, but instead of perplex he has outwit. Additionally, they both strikingly similar defensively – which means they both have a lousy defense. That’s their weak point. At least it was until they got to this team. With two CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, and two CATWS106 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, it’s likely the first four times your team takes a hit neither Green Lantern or G.W. Bridge will take any damage at all. They will just be able to sit there and take pot shots with their RCE and willpower while any living S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents enhance their damage with the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA. The other team isn’t going to out range you with all the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA floating around and even if they base you, your damage dealers can get Close Combat Expert and your two CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents have empower! That’s a no win situation for the opponent. The only things you need to fear are Precision Strike, Pulse Wave, and Energy Explosion. You have an outwit to help nullify those powers.

Just like with my Iron Pharaoh team, I feel my Green Lantern S.H.I.E.L.D. team is very capable of competing at an event like the ROC and I haven’t seen anything like it published anywhere. It’s original to me right here and now. It’s designed to win in a no resource allowed tournament and will need to be changed for a tournament where resources are allowed. If you get a chance to play this team at a real tournament, leave a comment here and let me know how you did.

 

 

Days of Past Sets Future!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 06/08/2014!!)

Roundup

Hello Again!!

(Or perhaps–as our site’s metrics indicate we’ve picked up quite a few new readers this week–hello for the first time!)

Welcome to the Critical Missives Weekly Roundup, where we recap the week in Clix, offer some news and community updates, a few random opinions on stuff, and get you caught up on life–or at least your gaming life. Or at least some of the stuff that happened. With Heroclix. It’s a low bar, but we usually manage to reach it!

So then, without further ado, here is…

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix just released Episode 48! I jumped the gun a little bit in reporting host Hunter’s nuptials and honeymoon, but he sits in with the guys and discusses both a new format for their show and which important Modern Age figures will be rotating out come July when, well, a whole bunch of sets will rotate out of Modern (more on this in a little bit in the WizKids section).

Also, June’s Dial Design just finished Week 2; incidentally, I was, unfortunately, too busy to submit this month, but there have been some really cool entries.

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is done cooking up Episode 2.4!! You can also check their Podbean for updates and the first three episodes of Season 2!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is … Episode 20, which sees the return of the Round Table!! Having said that, Hunter Smith announced on this week’s Dial H For Heroclix Podcast that he will be leaving as a regular on the Quarry Round Table episodes; while he didn’t rule out an occasional pop-in, Hunter is done after this month as a continual presence.


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

-A couple new ROC’s have been announced for Kentucky and Indiana!

-Not that I’ll be able to attend, unfortunately, but local venue Gamer’s Gauntlet has a ROC event scheduled for the end of this month. I’ve heard nothing else about this from any other source; check out their website for more details (via the link above).

–If you missed it a couple weeks ago, a brief announcement was made that the recent “Watchlist 2: Electric Bugaloo” changes will go into effect, well, immediately.

–If you want to know what the most frequently used ROC figures are, check out Ninwashui’s latest article that dropped yesterday!

As far as what will be used frequently going forward, I think we’ll see:

-From War of the Light, all of the Entity Chases (but especially Parallax and Entity) will be huge (when played at their 25-point level as “Possessors”); Despotellis should also see a lot of usage;

-From Deadpool, Speed Demon (in particular) and Thunderbolts Teams (in general) should become popular as Speed Demon’s Cyclone Trait offers one of the only ways in the game right now to deal damage without making so much as an attack roll. He’s relatively cheap on eBay at the moment (plenty available around $14.00, which is basically the price of one pack), but once he starts dominating the Meta, look for that price to go up in a hurry. Especially because there’s slightly less of him than other Super Rare, since he’s a Prime;

"'Top o' the morning to ye."

“‘Top o’ the morning to ye.”

-And also from Deadpool… yeah, Banshee. Of course. And possibly Zombie Electro;

-Someone will take a shot at building an army around Phoenixbuster Iron Man, and that person will be awesome in all aspects of life (but they’ll still lose, probably, unless their match-ups fall perfectly).

-Someone will try building a Mystical team around Shaman, as I’ve previously predicted! (Hint: He teams best with Iron Pharaoh!! Also, Map Choice is really important with that type of team!)

-Mercy from the DeadPool Fast Forces is basically the next Scarlet Witch from Chaos War! Of course, at 100 points, AvX Scarlet Witch is pretty good too; but run out and get FF:DP before they’re all sold out and your paying $40 for a $17 quick set! The 75-Point Fast Forces Elektra is also really efficient for her points!

Wizkids

WIZKIDS NEWS:

–WizKids is rotating sets finally, which should juice the Meta starting July 1st!! Pretty much everything Marvel and DC BEFORE M:10 and DC:10

–A general FYI: a few weeks ago, WizKids announced a monthly New OP kit system!


Preview

Previews:

–Final War of the Light color (Black) went live on Newsarama. Black Lantern Spectre looks sweeeeeet.

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week, we’re gonna keep it new and simple for you guys out there:

Team Name: You’lllllll Neveeeerrrr Seeeee Me Commmmmiiiiinng

ThemeThunderbolts

DP053A Speed Demon – 110 Points

FFDP006R Mercy50 

DP036 Bullseye- 110

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force12

(with the Colossus Fragment still Attached) – 3

Cyclops, Emma Frost and Magik Fragments 9

2x Assigned Characters6

=300

Bullseye is taxi’d by Mercy, and then he simply runs amok with his 12 Attack value and triple target 8 Range Precision Strike (remember, Fragments give characters the Flight ability but NOT the Wing symbol, so Mercy can still carry them!). Speed Demon agitates everyone and uses his Trait to fling opposing figures into position for Bullseye to mutilate. Also, with 2 Assigned Characters and 2 Fragments left on the base, Bullseye and Speed Demon get the Defense pumped up +1 to 18 (or 20 against Close Combat attacks as they both have Combat Reflexes) until you KO an opposing figure or roll doubles on an attack roll and hit (the 2 ways the Phoenix Force Resource moves). Bullseye and Speed Demon also get Empower, Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs, which opens up some interesting possibilities, especially for Speed Demon. Since he ignores characters, he can still make his Cyclone Trait go off by Charging 6 or 7 squares around a character and then he can B/C/F them for the possibility of six damage BEFORE he spins them away in his Cyclone. Then you simply rinse and repeat!!

This is a team that would be a lot of fun to play, and it uses all new characters!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Dr. Strange: The Movie may in fact have a director!

Otherwise, not a ton of Hollywood news at the moment. Well, Ben Affleck went to a Tigers game (he’s in town shooting Batman and Superman, or whatever they’re calling it right now). That was kinda cool.

Critical Missives:

–Two big articles last week: A second opinion on the DeadPool set by yours truly; and the frequency of pieces used in the ROC tournaments!

And we’ll be back this week with a special look at Six Pack possibilities in Flash Figure #2 by Ninwashui and some other goodness from me! And in two weeks… a WOL !! Wheeee!

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

 

ROC’ing the Meta… Just like Shuma-Gorath Did!! (Or, A Look at the Top Pieces for ROC Super Qualifiers!!)

Welcome Back!

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?

Can you smell what the ROCK is cooking?


 

So I’ve continually talked about how the ROC’s are great source of information for the current Meta. Well, on a whim (and somehow finding myself with some rare time to kill) I decided I should tally up all of the Top 4 finishing teams from the entire history of the ROC to see who the Top 10 most popular figures are. Why? Well, if you’re thinking of entering a ROC tourney near you, this might give you an idea of which army you want to build; but even if this doesn’t give you an idea of what to play, it should (perhaps even more importantly) give an idea of what you’ll be facing in the finals if you make the Top 16.

Welcome... to the ROC! (How many ROC puns will I make today? I dunno, but that's prolly not my last).

Welcome… to the ROC! (How many ROC puns will I make today? I dunno, but that’s prolly not my last).

For the record, there are 21 tournament results posted. Four teams from each would be 84 team results to work with, but one tournament only posted the top two teams. All of which means that I’m pulling data from 82 Top 4 teams total.

In the interest of total transparency, the picture below should illuminate the primary methodology I used to determine the following results.

"Me calculating the ROC results for my article. Damn, I'm a handsome beast!"

Showing my work.

Before getting to the actual figures, here are the ranks for the most popular:

Resources

Resources:

1. FIR100C The Book of the Skull
2. NMLR100C Utility Belt
3. IIMR100C Power Plant
4. AVXR100 The Phoenix Force
5. IGR101C Infinity Gauntlet

The Book of the Skull is my favorite Resource, so this pleased me. HypeFox is more of a Phoenix Force or Infinity Gauntlet guy.

Actually, Gen13 came in last in terms of frequency of use, just after the nonexistent Great Lakes Avengers Team Base.

Actually, Gen13 came in last in terms of frequency of use, just after the Great Lakes Avengers Team Base. Which is not a real thing. Better luck next time, Fairchild!

Team Bases:

1. WXMT004 New Mutants
Tied for 2nd. TTT002R Justice League, WXMT001E X-Men: Blue Strike Force, WXMT006 Hellfire Club: Inner Circle

No other team bases have made a Top 4 table, which surprised me. Would have thought Trinity of Sin would have shown up at some point.

Bystander

Bystander Tokens:

1. FIH002 Warbot (Rocket)
2. FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot
3. FIB003 Damaged Warbot
4. FIB005 Super Fan
5. FIB018 Store Clerk

Skadi’s Warbot coming in second is the upset here.

And now without further ado here’s…

ROC

The Top 10 Figures of the ROC.

Tied for 10th place. WXM023B Cerise – Cerise is the only representative from the Wolverine and the Xmen set and one of only 2 primes to make the list. She arguably would have made it even higher on this list except for popularity of the other prime and the fact that they can’t be played together. For 60 points, she’s one of the most efficient Soldier and Police keyworded figs around.

Tied for 10th place. SLOSH008 Phantom Girl – When Phantom Girl phases through opposing characters she gets to target one of them with a close combat action. Every other figure with a similar power gets a close combat attack (like all those characters with hypersonic speed). The fact that she gets a close combat action gives her unique ability to use the bat belt and NMLR106 Handcuffs to handicap opposing figures. From SLOSH039 Bizarro to WKM-G01R Shuma-Gorath, she can wrap them up tight.

Tied for 10th place. IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC) – This blog has done plenty to hype this piece (here and here) so it’s inclusion on this list is no surprise. What is surprising is that no other piece from the Invincible Iron Man set made this list.

Tied for 10th place. GG026 Mole Man – How did this make the list? WKM-G01R Shuma-Gorath is the biggest reason. He is set to be retied by July 1 2014 and it seems like WizKids made DP043 Black Talon as his replacement.

9th place. JL52016R Enchantress – The 2nd best way to spend 50 points in modern. She is not only support, but a decent secondary attacker as well. Especially with a resource.

8th place. SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor – The best of the Chases from SLOSH. Lydea is one part Out-of-the-Shadows Batman and one part relic stealing Cat Woman. Her Regen stop click at the end of her dial is just icing on the cake.

7th place. M10A009E Iron Man – If you absolutely know your opponents are playing a resource, then this is their kryptonite. His dial is very efficient for it’s cost, but his trait is the only reason people ever play him.

Tied for 5th and 6th place. SOGV003A GCPD Motorcycle (Autopilot) – This is never played without the GCPD ATA. If you’ve played this without the GCPD ATA, you did it wrong! Combined the cycle and ATA allow to carry two characters regardless of stat symbols 4 squares a turn as a few action. That police motorcycle is a steal for it’s point cost.

Tied for 5th and 6th place. SLOSH039 Bizarro – HypeFox once told that this should be my favorite character in the whole game. I love stop clicks and for this guy every click is a stop click. Depending on point value this is the toughest character ever made.

4th place. FFCW006 Scarlet Witch – She very similar to JL52016R Enchantress, but slightly better. She’s been a popular piece to play when she was first introduced due to her combination of perplex, probability control, and barrier on the same character. She is set to be retied by July 1 2014 and it seems like WizKids made FFDP006R Mercy as her replacement.

3rd place. GG014 Astral Dr. Strange – This is a great way to spend 13 points. The free move definitely puts it over the top. However, a lot of the play this piece has seen lately is with SLOSH048 Tellus. The combo is free move this 13 point figure into range and then have your whole team shoot through it. On your opponent’s turn the only thing in range is this 13 point figure.

2nd place. ASM017B Brother Voodoo – Brother Voodoo is the most popular prime character to date. He’s also my pick for most powerful character (for the points) ever. He’s made the top teams from the very first ROC all the way through the most current one. It seems like a lot of top 4 teams start with Brother Voodoo and fill in the rest from there. Think about this-of the 82 published top 4 ROC teams, this character was on 24 of them (EDITOR’S NOTE: DAAAAAMMMMN)!

1st place. FI301 Splitlip – With 25 total top 4 ROC appearances it’s the most popular figure. How did it get there? Of all of the teams I looked at that used the book of the skulls, all of them included Splitlip. There are a few teams out there that played him without the book, but no one played the book without him. The fact that he’s the cheapest source of enhancement in modern shouldn’t be forgotten either.

So there you go! If you go to a ROC, expect to see some–if not most–of these characters across the board from you.  Thanks for reading.

And keep on ROC'ing! Okay, that was my last pun...

And keep on ROC’ing! Okay, that was my last pun…

 

The Merc and The Meta (Or, A Second Opinion of the Top Ten Figures in Deadpool!!)

"Good Morning!"

“Good Morning!”

So, Ninwashui has chimed in with his Top Ten list for the new Deadpool set, WITH NO REGARD TO MY OWN OPINION!! Obviously, I could not let this besmirchment stand!

Here then, for the DeadPool set, is your…

Second Opinion!!

That's high praise!!

“That’s high praise!!”

 Some General Notes About the Set:

–While there are obviously some powerful individual pieces, I thought that the overall “Power Level” of this set fell slightly below Invincible Iron Man and SL0SH… and that’s OKAY! The fact that we got a ton of weird characters that I never thought I’d see made (Grasshopper? Sweet! Now my GLA team can–wait, there was more than one Grasshopper?), plus some much-needed Modern Age updates to some figures who have been conspicuously absent until now.

–Having said that, I would still agree with Ninwashui’s assessment that this set was more consistent in terms of the usefulness of the characters; I just feel that the previous two sets both had higher ceilings in terms of the power level of their best pieces. Still, since most of the characters were consistently useful, coming up with a Top Ten (and 5 Honorable Mentions) was pretty tough; so tough, in fact, that I was forced to cheat and list a TOP TWELVE!! Even still, there are some good figures in this set that just aren’t gonna get mentioned here, cuz there’s a lot to like.

–After getting to play a couple games with WizKids’s brand new mechanic, I can say that the Word Balloon feature turned out better than I expected. I thought these were all going to be kitschy, trite add-ons that simply granted silly powers that would only be used once in a blue moon, especially after seeing the “I Never Miss With the Sheep Gun” balloon (Man, I’ve had so many theoretical conversations about the impossibly far flung, Rube Goldberg Machine-induced scenarios in which plopping a Sheep token next to an opposing figure will turn the tide of a game, and while it’s early days yet, I think I’ll be okay if that’s the one Balloon I never pull). Boy, was I wrong.

"I was wrong on this one."

“I was wrong–this is awesome.”

First of all, they’ve made it really flavorful and probably avoided themselves future headaches by creating such a small pool of eligible characters (Deadpool Corps. members and Ultimate DeadPool and ThorPool, etc.). Fewer affected characters means there’s a lot less chance to break the game. And then, within that framework, they created some Word Balloons that are good enough to make you WANT to play a DeadPool. “Hammer Time,” “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?,” “My Common Sense is Tingling” and “ ” are all really good, especially when used with DP019A DeadPool, DP019B Evil DeadPool or DP055 DeadPool. In my opinion, those three figs are already all worth their Points to begin with; throw “Hammer Time” on any one of them (for example) and I believe that you’re actually fielding more points than you’re being charged for (remember, Balloons are NOT Resources in and of themselves, so they can be used in tandem with Resources and Relics. And don’t get me started about the “Possessed” ability on the new War of the Light Chases coming this month (Y’know, just when I finish a 4600-word column on Modern Age Chases, WizKids goes ahead and releases these “Entity” Chase pieces that are probably all gonna be Meta in some way–particularly through the aforementioned “Possessed” Trait).

Remember, if there’s one thing that this site has tried to teach ‘Clixers everywhere, it’s Critical Missives Army Build Axiom #1:

CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #1: DO NOT PAY “RETAIL” POINT PRICES FOR FIGURES WHEN THERE’S A VALUE-PRICED OPTION AVAILABLE!!

Now, the corollary to that is this: Free Points Are Awesome!!

Again, CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM COROLLARY #1A: WHEN BUILDING YOUR ARMY, FREE POINTS ARE AWESOME!!

If you accept that the 3 DeadPools from this set that I just mentioned are already worth their points, and if you accept that Resources in general are EXTREMELY under costed, then you would have to conclude that the DeadPool set–and the various Merc With a Mouth Traited characters–offer a LOT of value for opportunistic builders. I’ll get into this a little more in the individual profiles, but you can create some RIDICULOUSLY powerful characters who can get bonuses from 2 or even 3 sources that aren’t really even on the map–or at the very least, sources that your opponent can do little to nothing about.

–No ChampionPool? C’mon!! How will we ever have a complete DeadPool Corps.?!

–Probably the most useful group of Super Rares ever. Cable is probably the only Super Rare you’d be disappointed to pull in Sealed (well, maybe Kingpin, but Kingpin is really useful in Modern), and there’s a TON of awesome SR’s that people will be playing even years from now…

The Chases. Yikes! While the Z-Virus mechanic is cool, Marvel Zombies was never really my hot sauce, so I could kind of take or leave them. I think it’s cool that they’ll have their own Zombie Team Base, but… we don’t get that Team Base until August’s Guardians of the Galaxy set, and with the info that’s been released so far, it seems like that set’s gonna have ANOTHER 8 ZOMBIE CHASES!! Blleeecccch! Enough already! Guardians should have 6 Chases–all 6 of the members of the Cull Obsidian from last year’s Infinity storyline. Those are the Chases everyone wants and expects–and it’s about 99% for sure that it’s not gonna happen. It would have been so simple and so appropriate to do the Black Order figures that I have to wonder if WizKids has gone completely insane (Hunter on Dial H for Heroclix has stated that this has dimmed his enthusiasm for the set so much that he probably won’t even buy his customary Brick of GotG, much less a case–and I can’t say I blame him). Grrrr… but enough about the NEXT Marvel set! I’m here today to talk about the set that’s actually been released!

So let’s start with the…

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"Dude... I'm'a 'bout ready to smash the $#!t out this flag over here."

“I punch flags! Then I paint them black and wear them!”

5. DP025 Flag-Smasher119 Points Uncommon: Okay, my understanding of flags as a concept is that they are generally emblems of some significance that have been made out of some sort of flexible cloth material. So how exactly does one “smash” a flag? Flag-Tearer? Okay. Flag-Ripper? Sounds menacing, unless you mumble it out loud, in which case it comes dangerously close to sounding like “Fart-Ripper.” Regardless, either name seems like it would make more sense than the perplexing “Flag-Smasher.” Although, maybe that’s why he has top dial Perplex? All I know for sure is that Flag-Puncher here has a couple of devastating abilities that get him close to my Top Ten (but not quite in it). First, his Trait (WE SHALL BE ONE PEOPLE, AND I SHALL LEAD: Flag-Smasher can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, choose a copyable Marvel Team ability. Friendly characters with a lower point value can use that ability until your next turn.) is fantastic! You make your Leadership roll, and all of the sudden all your characters have the Mystics TA. Or Avengers Initiative, or any useful copyable TA you can think of. That’s pretty damn fantastic. And while his starting attack is a 10, he has Running Shot, Pulse Wave and Perplex to go with it, so if your opponent isn’t careful, he could be in for a world of hurt.

Even though Flag-Smasher doesn’t have Willpower, that’s okay as well since pushing him onto his second click gives him a fantastic Movement Special (THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD SHALL CRUMBLE, AND BE ONE: Opposing characters that possess or can use a team ability modify their attack and defense value by -1 unless already modified by this effect.). I mean, if he was nine points less, you could team him with Cul Borson and give most of your opponent’s figs -2 to their Attack!

But that Point total is a problem. I would have loved this character at 90-95 points, or maybe an even hundred. At 119, as great as his abilities happen to be, I think he’s a bit over-costed. If he were 20 Points less, he probably would have made my top 5. Still, his skill set is unique enough to keep him on the Honorable Mentions list.

"Man, if it just had eyeholes, this costume would be perfect!"

“Man, if it just had eyeholes, this costume would be perfect!”

4. DP053B Whizzer120 Points – Super Rare Prime: Obviously has one of the best Improved Movement abilities in the game (he ignores just about everything), especially when he can use Hypersonic Speed his whole dial. Hypersonic Speed + Flurry on his first three clicks is damn good. On his own, he’s a great piece who’s probably worthy of a Top Ten slot. But he’s an Honorable Mention instead for a few different reasons.

First, he’s got the Squadron Supreme keyword, but he still can’t team with Hyperion from IIM because they’re both Primes. That kinda sorta really sucks.

Second, as cool as his Hypersonic Speed + Flurry Special Movement Power is, his defense is predicated on being right next to the character taking a swing at him (since he has Combat Relfexes), which means that it’s almost NOT in your best interest to speed around the board, attack, and then hide. Not the worst thing in the world, and he does have Super Senses as well, but he definitely needs a different play style from how most people play HS characters to be effective.

And finally, Speed Demon’s just got a better Trait for 10 less points, so as far as speedsters go, I’m’a stick with Speed Demon. Which means this is one of the rare instances when the non-Prime actually offers more goodness for less points than the Prime…

"Rawr."

“Now this doesn’t seem safe at all.”

3. DP003 Dogpool 65 Points – Common: Love this lil’ pup. For 65 Points, you can totally nerf Stealth for one of your opponent’s pieces every turn (“BARK” WHAT’D YA FIND BOY? TIMMY IN THE WELL AGAIN?: Dogpool can use Perplex, but only to decrease a defense value. When he uses Perplex, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain and targeted characters can’t use Stealth this turn.). But what’s really neat is that with a 10 Attack and Precision Strke, he can even sneak some damage in on the biggest of foes! And he picks up Blades/Claws/Fangs further down dial–in Sealed, my opponent nailed one of my best figures twice with that. Unfortunately for him, he rolled 1 twice (and that opponent may or may not have been Ninwashui). Still, he more than proved his worth, and that’s even without a full compliment of Word Balloons (I mean, “Hammer Time” on a dog is just fun…).

Now THIS would have made an awesome Duo figure!!

Now THIS would have made an awesome Duo figure!!

2. DP019A DeadPool135 Points – Uncommon: The star of the set, Deadpool at 135 is like a nice blob of clay that you can mold into whatever sort of primary attacker you need him to be. Want to create mass causalities? Throw on “Hammer Time.” Want to make him harder to hurt? Throw on “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?!” or “Quick! Shield Me With Your Bodies!” Or turn him into a Wildcard–the possibilities are nigh endless (okay, there’s only like 12 different Word Balloons or so, so the possibilities definitely have an end), and that’s before you start adding in bonuses from Resources or Possessing Entities. The fact that there are two even crazier versions of DeadPool in this set is the only reason he’s not in the Top Ten.

I'll be honest, this could even be Cobra Commander. YOU try finding Secret Empire Number 9 images!

I’ll be honest, this might be Cobra Commander. YOU try finding Secret Empire Number 9 images!

1. DP204 Secret Empire Number 935 Points – Common: Actually, for once, the comments on HCRealms.com’s Units page explain this fig better than I ever could. A user named MrDgreen: “man, enhance and the Hydra TA, these guys are basically walking relics.” Hydra TA, Enhancement (with a respectable 2 damage), Pyschic Blast and ES/D to prolong their already pretty good 5 clicks of life… Their only drawback is that Soldier is their lone useful keyword (no one is fielding any decent Secret Empire Theme Teams, I promise you).

Alright!! We’re done with the appetizer–here’s the Main Course!

THE TOP TEN TWELVE FIGURES IN DEADPOOL!!

The next character in Sprint's "Framily" commercials.

The next character in Sprint’s “Framily” commercials.

12. DP057 Tiamat – 255 Points – Super Rare: The Beast with Two… bases. Tiamat comes on a peanut base, and he/she/it is a complete badass. 9 Clicks that are all painted, plus 1 ridiculous Trait (CHAMPION AND STEED: Once per turn, when an opposing character has taken damage from his attack, give Tiamat any action as a free action. When you do, after action resolve, remove an action token from Tiamat.). Besides the boatload of points it takes to field Tiamat, the only drawback is that Tiamat can’t account for Hindering or Elevated Terrain when he moves (that’s why we have Hammers though, right?). Close Combat figs are always gonna take a backseat to Ranged-Based figures, but man, this is a Monnnnnnnnster!!

"I have Stop Clicks! Sort of!"

“I have Stop Clicks! Sort of!”

11. DP057A/057B Typhoid Mary/Bloody Mary100 Points – Super Rare: One of the most unique figures WizKids has turned out in a while now, due to her Trait (I’M JUST MARY WALKER, SOAP OPERA ACTRESS/ BLOODY MARY, PSYCHOTIC BUTCHER: Each time a new click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponents attack, roll a d6. On a result of 6 stop turning the dial, and Typhoid Mary ignores all further damage dealt this turn. On a result of 4-5 you may replace her with DP #058b Bloody Mary on the same click number and then deal her the remaining damage minus 1.) and the fact that both bases come together! She’s slightly over-costed given that’s she’s mostly a supporting piece to start, but as she gets down dial she turns into a solid damage dealer as well.

WizKids's sculpts get more and more lifelike each set...

WizKids’s sculpts get more and more lifelike each set…

10. DP050 Wolverine and X-23168 Points – Super Rare: Another Close Combat figure that has been gifted with so many abilities that Ranged-based attackers won’t necessarily have the Alpha Strike advantage on them. Their best powers come from an awesome Trait (SNEAK AND KILL: Wolverine and X-Men can use Sidestep and Stealth. Unhindered lines of fire drawn to Wolverine and X-23 during an opponent’s turn are blocked unless Wolverine and X-23 have 2 action tokens or are adjacent to an opposing character not on its starting click.) that combines with their Special Attack Power (SLICE AND DICE: Wolverine and X-23 can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and Flurry. When using Blades/Claws/Fangs, their minimum d6 result is 3. If they hit a character twice during a turn, they may use Incapacitate as a free action, targeting that character.) to give them the coveted Charge, Flurry and Blades/Claws/Fangs combo. So, to review: Top dial, they can move up to 7 squares in one turn and still attack between their Sidestep and Charge, then they get to attack you twice with Flurry and–if they hit both times (not unreasonable to think they will with that 12 Attack)–they also plop an action token on their target. Easy ways for them to heal once they hit Click 3 means that their 7 Clicks of life will seem like it’s almost double that. I can’t quite say that they’ll be a Meta piece, since their Point cost is fairly high even for a Primary Attacker, but man, if I sat down at a ROC and saw this Duo in my opponent’s starting area, I wouldn’t exactly feel too comfortable either.

 

"Rawr!"

“Rawr!”

9. DP060 Superior Spider-Man160 Points – Super Rare: The most powerful Spidey since ASM’s Spider-Man 2099, Sup Spidey is basically Toyman from SL0SH done right. Depending on which Spider Bots you attach, you can either give him a 50-66.6% to evade all attacks not made by Banshee or someone with Precision Strike (and that’s assuming that they hit his 18 Defense to begin with), or you can double his Outwit and Perplex Range. Either choice makes him really hard to deal with (although I’d go with the Super Senses bonus myself). So hard, in fact, we’re gonna do a quick Flash Build with him!

Team NameA Superior Way to Die!!

Theme: Scientist

DP060 Superior Spider-Man160

(w/ the Secret Avengers ATA) – 5

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0135

Sideline: Like a bazillion Spider-Bots (both Mark 1 and Mark 2).

=300 (Exactly! Yeah!)

This may be one of the most self-explanatory armies we’ve ever published. Iron Monger 2.0’s Trait (REWIRE YOU FOR EXPLOSIVES: When a friendly character is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, you may deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character adjacent to that character.) makes friendly characters (like, say, little disposable Spider-Bots) go boom when your opponent deals damage to them. Superior Spider-Man spits out a Spider-Bot as a free action (depending on your d6 roll) every turn, and if your opponent doesn’t kill them, they can start surrounding his figures and causing serious problems (like jacking up each other’s Attack Value and firing off a bunch of Incaps right in a row. A classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. It will take a minute to get everything going, so you’d want a map that slows your opponents roll out a little bit (like that crazy Fires of Apokolips map or whatever it was called from the SLoSH kit).

"Wheeeee."

“Wheeeee.”

8. DP055 DeadPool215 Points – Super Rare: Insanity in a box. He comes with the “Hammer Time” Word Balloon, which pumps his attack up to a 13 and lets him mix some Energy Explosion Marshmellows in with his Pulse Wave Lucky Charms. If you play him with a TK’er, he’s devastating on most maps. You’d want to pull him anyway just for his Word Balloon; the fact that he’s one of the best figures in the set is just gravy. 215 is a lot to sink into one figure, but damn! Keep in mind, too, that he has the Asgardian keyword, so Splitlip and the Book of the Skull sits you down at 265 with a Theme Team and 35 Points left to spend in a 300 Point game. He’s even better in Epic Games.

"The H does not stand for Hero, incidentally."

“The H does not stand for Hero, incidentally.”

7. DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra90 Points – LE: This is the engine that Hand swarm teams needed. He’s less than 100 Points and enables the Hydra TA to work for Close Combat attacks as well. Since most Hand characters (even the generics) already have this TA, it basically turns your Hand swarm into a mobile meat grinder. Hook him up with the Hand ATA to make it nearly impossible to target him until its too late. One of the best Wolverines currently in Modern Age (and since there’s roughly 2000, that’s saying something!). He also has one of the best Charge Special Movement Powers in the game (especially considering his point level).

"I am not a Bruce Lee rip-off."

“I am not a Bruce Lee rip-off.”

6. DP047A Shang-Chi90 Points – Rare: Why does this entire set either cost 90, 100 or 110 Points? Weird. Anyway, Shang-Chi is a Close Combat nightmare. If sets were measured in the effectiveness of their Close Combat pieces, Deadpool would be the best set ever released! Shang-Chi is the beneficiary of another near-broken Trait (COUNTER-BLOCK: Each time an opposing character targets and misses Shag-Chi with an attack, put a Counter token on this card. Give Shang-Chi a free action and remove all Counter tokens to make that many close combat attacks with a locked damage value of 2. At the end of your turn, remove all Counter tokens.). Add in some GREAT keywords (Avengers, Martial Artist and HfH, among others), Empower, a couple of Improved Movements (including Elevated), a 12 Attack, and an 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes, and you have the Phone Book of Modern Age Close Combat abilities. His dial should be in the 120-135 Range; in reality, it’s 90. There ya go.

"Yep! I'm back!"

“Yep! Zombie Electro. Again.”

5. DP064 Electro – 90 Points – Chase: And now we start to get into the figs you can build competitive teams around. Check out my column on the most effective Chase pieces in Modern Age from last week for some suggestions on the shenanigans you can get into with Zombie Maxwell Dillon.

The cover to "Black Talon and the Ex-X-Men #1," the least selling X-book of all time.

The cover to “Ex-X-Men #1,” the least selling X-book of all time.

4. DP043 Black Talon60 Points – Rare: They should call him Black Shenanigans, except that sounds like it could be the title of a racist D.W. Griffith propaganda film from the early-1900’s. So scratch that. But the point remains–with his Damage Special Power (CONTROL OF THE MINDLESS UNDEAD: Black Talon can use Mind Control with a range value of 8, and when he does he may target friendly characters. If all of his targets are friendly, a lower point value, and have the Monster keyword, he may use it as if had 3 bolts.) & Trait (POWER OF THE LIVING LOA: When Black Talon uses Mind Control, you may place a KO’d opposing character in an adjacent square on its starting click, and that character becomes the target. After actions resolve, that character is removed from the game.) someone (as Ninwashui always likes to say) is gonna find a way to break him. One of the early episodes of the Quarry featured an interview with a ROC winner (or judge–I can’t remember) who had determined within his playgroup that the ability to Mind Control friendly characters shouldn’t appear on figures less than, like, 110 Points or something. He had all kinds of mathmatical reasoning and whatnot, I’m sure–just like I’m sure that WizKids heard that interview, chuckled, and then said “Oh yeah?” out loud and to no one in particular. Whether you agree with my half-remembered anecdote or not, giving a friendly Mind Control ability to a 60 Point figure is damn near absurd. Never mind the fact that he can also use Mind Control to target opposing characters WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN KO’D AND THUS REMOVED FROM THE GAME!! I mean, that’s almost an afterthought, and it’s also a near-gamebreaking ability. He will power some ROC Top 16 teams in the near future–count on it.

"The all-new Thunderbolts! Justice... like rainbows?"

“The all-new Thunderbolts! Justice… like rainbows?”

3. DP053A Speed Demon110 Points – Super Rare: Here’s what you need to know: his Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) is among the most broken currently in Modern and allows him to sneak in a second attack in one turn, except that you don’t even actually make an attack; assuming you can devote six squares out of your 14-square Movement to circle an opposing figure, this will go off on anything less than a roll of 6. Again, this Trait works WHILE HE’S USING HIS HYPERSONIC SPEED and it allows you to place an opposing character where you want him to be, which can really screw up your opponent’s positioning. It’s also probably the best way to go when you need to damage someone without making an attack (to get around the Mystics TA, for example). It’s sick and wrong.

Like his Prime version, the Whizzer, Speed Demon also has an 11 starting Attack with 3 damage. But unlike his Prime version, as Speedy gets down dial he only gets better, picking up a +2 Perplex (on anything but damage) and a Movement Special that keeps HS but adds in a second attack. This means that he’s actually as good–if not BETTER–on click 4 as he is top dial. That’s pretty sick on a 110 Point character. He’s another piece you should be seeing at an ROC soon, given everything that he does and the fact that his insanely good keywords (Among others, HfH, Sinister Syndicate AND Thunderbolts–plenty of options just with those!) make him eligible for a bevy of different armies. Let’s look at a basic Sinister Syndicate Build:

Team Name: Sinister Six-ish

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

DP053A Speed Demon110 Points

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven70

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

ASM019 Vulture 61

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIR100 The Book of the Skull6

(w/ 7 Hammers attached–all except Greithoth’s) – 21

=300 (Exact-a-mundo again!)

You’ll get +3 to Map Roll and 3 Theme Team Probs. So, with Gulyadkin the Lion’s token, you should have 6 characters at the start of the game, which will hopefully be at least one more than your opponent so that your Sinister Twelve ATA’s go off. Vulture can taxi Alyosha, who can give his pet a free move every turn too, and Speed Demon is, well, Speed Demon, so once you Hammer Up, mobility shouldn’t be an issue. Speed Demon in particular (with a now 12 Attack) should run amok. Not ROC-worthy, because you’re team would be too vulnerable from Range (depending on Map Choice), but this team can dish out a ton of damage!

Gotta love the backwards arm.

Gotta love the backwards arm.

2. DP019B Evil DeadPool100 Points – Uncommon Prime: Just looking at his stats and powers, you’d think his dial was made up of rejected SLoSH Bizarro clicks. But when you look closer, you’ll see an amazing damage dealer whose main flaw–low top dial defense–is easily fixable with a Resource and/or Word Balloon, and his Regeneration Special (WEIRD REGENERATION FROM LEFTOVER PARTS: Evil Deadpool can use Regeneration. Choose an opponent to roll another d6. If the opponent’s roll is higher than your d6 roll, add the two results together and subtract 2. Evil Deadpool is healed of damage equal to this amount instead. Each time Evil Deadpool would heal past his starting click in this way, modify his combat values by +1 for the rest of the game, even if this power is lost.) means that he can survive almost anything that gets thrown at him and actually come back stronger! Put him on a Book of the Skull team, give him “Hammer Time” when he attacks and suddenly you’re opponent is in for a world of hurt–and you still have 170 Points left to support him. Awesome piece!

"Get used to seeing me around, homies."

“Get used to seeing me at every ROC, homies.”

1.DP051 Banshee98 Points – Super Rare: Just stupid for his Points. His Trait (IT’S GOING TO GET A LITTLE LOUD: Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Super Senses. Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Impervious, Invincible, or Invulnerability but can use Toughness instead. When Banshee hits a character that can’t use a power due to this trait, increase damage dealt to that character by 1.) shuts down just about every good defensive power and in a lot of cases increases Banshee’s damage by one. I talked about how stupid broken he gets the more Resources etc. that you add to him in last week’s Weekly Roundup. At this point, you should either buy one yourself or be prepared to deal with him–a lot.

(One Final Note: Fast Forces: Deadpool is technically it’s own Micro Set; having said that, I should note that the Elektra and the Rookie Mercy figs from that set would have made my Honorable Mention and Top Ten, respectively had then been part of Deadpool proper. In other words, you’re gonna want that Fast Forces…)

Whew!! 4500 words on Deadpool, and there’s still so much we didn’t cover. But I hope this helps–now get out there and dominate!