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!!
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:
WOL001 Orange Construct – 35
WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit – 50
WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit – 50
WOL015 Arisia – 75
WOL017 Boodikka – 75
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.
WOL023 Mongul – 165
WOL029 Brother Hymn – 85
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.
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.
WOL057B Red Lantern Superboy Prime – 190
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…
WOL063 Ophidian – 185/25
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:
Brother Hymn and Red Lantern Superboy Prime (Possessed by Ophidian).
And now, to the Report!
WOL047 Ganthet – 175 Points
WOL019 Bedovian – 115
WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring – 4
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:
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).
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).
VERSUS: Dan, a regular at our venue.
WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points
WOL017 Boodikka – 75
WOL015 Arisia – 75
Coast City (Again)
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.
Victory! 300-85 (Though, as you can probably guess from the description above, this was MUCH closer than the score might indicate.)
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.
VERSUS: A new player we’ll call A.
WOL049 First Lantern – 260 Points
WOL001 Orange Lantern Construct – 35
Coast City (Again, again)
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.
Victory! 295-85 (This was the closest game yet, and it was only through-yep!-more dumb luck that I won.)
–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.
(Although, if we’re being honest, Red Lantern Superboy Prime and freaking Ophidian are a pretty damn good haul on their own!!)