Today we’re taking a big look at the recent Guardians of the Galaxy Movie set that just released last week. Before we being, to get you in the right mood, let’s take a look at the poster for the movie:
This is how a movie poster is supposed to look if you want people to actually see the movie. Now, if you would rather have your stars look like they’re on the cover of a Betamax Porky’s rip-off from the mid-80’s, then by all means you should throw them in front of your movie’s crappy logo and set it all against a boring black background. I’m looking at you, Sex Tape.
Yup! These are our heroes! To see the just-dropped extended trailer, click right here!
Now that everyone’s caught up on where these pieces came from, let’s take a look at the figures themselves (EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re skipping the Starter Set for today–it’ll take us 4000+ words just to get through the Main Set! Look for a Starter Set review next week.)!!
(EDITOR’S NOTE: As promised, you can find the Starter Review right HERE!!)
We’ll go right in order, and at the end of each figure review we’ll grade each piece on a scale of 1-5 Oxygen Filtration Masks!!
“I make this look good.”
GOTGM001 Star-Lord – 95 Points – Common: A tricksy dial that has move-and-attack powers throughout, depending on how you choose to move. Confusing? Sort of, but it kind of captures the character, I think. His Trait (OXYGEN FILTRATION MASK: Star-Lord ignores damage dealt by Poison.) becomes a bit more interesting in a world where Despotellis is a thing, but his top dial Leadership is almost wasted unless your playing a couple of Guardians from the Movie Starter (more on them later) at their Rookie point level. That he possesses the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ravagers AND Soldier keywords is a definite plus.
GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this version of Peter Quill actually HAS a Trait called “Oxygen Filtration Mask,” his grade was bumped up by a 1/2 Filtration Mask.)
GOTGM002 Gamora – 73 Points – Common: Three Traits on a 73 Point figure! Yay! At least, “yay,” you know, until you actually read them. She starts with a great Improved Movement Trait (DEADLIEST WARRIOR IN THE GALAXY: Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, May move through squares adjacent to opposing characters, but still needs to break away normally.) that’s immediately undone by the fact that her only native move-and-attack power is Sidestep, which alternates through her dial with Flurry. If you can get her hooked up with a Hammer or the Phoenix Force to provide her with Charge, then this dial starts to become very interesting. Her second Trait (SIBLING RIVALRY: When Gamora attacks an opposing character named Nebula, modify Gamora’s attack and damage values by +1. Opposing characters named Nebula can’t use Shape Change.) will never, ever come into play, because as colossally Meh as this Gamora is, Nebula is even worse. Her final Trait (WORKING BOTH SIDES: When a hindered line of fire is drawn to Gamora, she modifies her defense value by +2 instead of +1.) is moderately useful in keeping her alive against ranged attackers long enough to base them for an attack if you can find the right approach. Still, without any Charge, that’s gonna be a long hike. Now, if any of her Blades/Claws/Fangs slots matched up with her Flurry slots, I’d like her a lot more. Heh. Looking back on what I just wrote, I think I used the word “if” roughly 3021 times. Which probably means that as she stands, she needs A LOT of help to be effective.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM003 Nova Corpsman – 45 Points – Common: A bit expensive for their base stats, but on a Nova Corps team(for Magic: The Gathering fans, Nova Corps teams basically work like Sliver decks) , what they add to the Worldmind (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword and occupying hindering terrain modify their attack and range values by +1 unless already modified by this effect.) make these guys well worth it. Let’s do a quick Flash Build with ’em!
Team Name: Ain’t Nova But a Thing
WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points
GOTGM003 Nova Corpsman – 45
GOTGM014 Rhomann Dey – 75
R100C Power Plant – 30
White Lantern Swamp Thing is an awesome new piece from War of Light. Alongside his great stats and specials, his 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.) provides just what Nova Corpsman and Rhomann Dey need to gain the Corpsman’s Worldmind benefit, and mid-dial, Swamp Thing can also use those Hindering Terrain markers to keep the others alive with his Damage Special (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.). And if Dey does fall, Swamp Thing gets to join the Nova Corps and gains access to the Worldmind! This team won’t win you any tournaments, but it should be pretty fun to play.
There usefulness is pretty narrow, but if you intend on playing Nova Corps teams, either Modern or Golden Age, your gonna want a few of these guys.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM004 Nova Corps Officer – 55 – Common: For 10 more points, you get a Trait that’s not nearly as good as the Officer’s subordinate (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Friendly Characters) and a mid-dial Movement Special (PULL BACK!: Nova Corps Officer and adjacent friendly characters not on their first click and of a lower point value can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain.) that kind of lets you move you cheap characters around the board a little easier IF THEY’RE ALREADY HURT! Uh… thanks?
On second thought, no thanks.
GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM005 Rocket Raccoon – 90 Points – Common: The breakout character from the movie is also going to be the breakout character from this set. All three versions of Rocket are pretty damn good. This particular Rocket is a straight nuisance from range with his Tiny Size (even if your attacker can see through Hindering, you’re gonna have to hit a 19 at least to touch him–and that’s assuming he’s using his Tactical Genius granted Perplex on Attack values), and with a 17 Defense base stat plus his Evasive Special (EVASIVE: When Rocket Raccoon is targeted with an attack, roll a d6 and subtract 3 (minimum 1). Increase his defense value by the result.), he’s not much easier to deal with up close, either. His damage dealing is fair to above average, and he’s best engaged with a heavy hitter who can deal 5 damage in one shot (cuz chances are you’re not hitting him twice unless you have Precision Strike or can get him in range of a full damage Pulse Wave–especially if he gets to click 4, where even if you somehow hit a 17-18 from range, you still have to get through Shape Change AND Super Senses. As always, let’s check in with Jerry Seinfeld to see if he has any thoughts on trying to hit Rocket with all those defensive abilities we just talked about:
GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (Highest grade so far! Silly Raccoon!)
GOTGM006 Sakaaran Soldier – 49 Points – Common: Let’s see… Dolphin Movement Symbol and Stealth. Um, okay. That’s solid I guess. 10 Attack with 3 damage top dial is not terrible for 49 Points, and they have the Minions of Thanos and Soldier keywords to go with the (so far at least) completely useless Sakaaran keyword. Their attack from the grave Trait sounds fun (UPON MY DEATH: DESTRUCTION: When Sakaaran Soldier is KO’d, before removing him from the map and even if he is adjacent to an opposing character, make a ranged combat attack with a locked attack value of 9 that can’t be rerolled. The area of effect for this attack is all opposing characters within 4 squares and each hit character is dealt 1 penetrating damage.), as it’s basically a free mini-Pulse Wave, but remember that you’re making that attack with a 9 Attack Value. Not the easiest thing in the world to do, but hey, if you roll a Critical Miss, you won’t have to worry about damaging your figure, since, y’know, they’ll be dead anyway.
GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
Wait, “Sakaaran Commander,” or “Cobra Commander?” I’m confused…
GOTGM007 Sakaaran Commander – 74 Points – Common: This is a weird dial. He has Leadership (but only for adjacent characters that share a keyword with him like Minions of Thanos), his mere presence gives friendly Sakaaran Soldiers Running Shot, and he also comes with top dial Enhancement. Yes, WizKids finally designed a support figure that costs more than the attacker its meant to support! 74 Points is too much to pay for a guy you’re only using to prop up 49 point secondary attackers.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM008 Ronan the Accuser – 275/200/150 Points – Common: The biggest beast in the set! That 275 Point dial is almost begging to be put together with an Entity (Parallax would probably work best, especially on Click 2), but keep in mind that Ronan inexplicably DOESN’T have the Cosmic keyword, so using an Entity with him would break Theme. I like his Veteran and Rookie dials the best; His 200 Point dial just doesn’t have enough “beef.” 3 damage? Pen/Psy or no, that’s not enough for a 200 Pointer. His Rookie dial gives you almost exactly what his 200 Point dial does, except it does it for 50 less points. His starting Defense goes down one, but to be honest, I’d rather have a 17 Invincible instead of an 18 Impervious any day of the week.
GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (275 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)
GOTGM009 Groot – 198/90 Points – Core Hobby Rare: A close combat/tie-up nightmare, Groot is a fun character who unfortunately is extremely over-costed for what he does. At 198 Points, Groot is almost certainly going to be your primary attacker, and with an Attack Value that never bests 10 (save for 1 Click), that’s going to be an uphill climb. His Defense Special (I… AM…: When turning the dial, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Groot has Tiny Symbol, can’t be targeted by ranged combat attacks, and is considered smaller than all other characters. If Groot occupies water terrain or your starting area, you may give him a double power action and heal him of 3 damage. This power can’t be ignored.) is one of the best Stop Clicks in the game (can’t even be targeted by ranged attacks? Good Lord!), but his Damage Special is merely good, not great (since he just has the default Outwit Range of 6).
His Rookie dial is much more reasonably costed, and he can still blow up Blocking Terrain (Barrier buster) and tie opposing figures up very well. Plus, he starts with Invincible! He has an even lower Attack Value, but that’s much more easily overcome at 90 Points versus 198.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (198 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (90)
GOTGM010 Nebula – 73 Points – Core Hobby Rare: Ugh. No move-and-attack and a Trait that’s useless (SIBLING RIVALRY: When Nebula attacks a character named Gamora, Nebula modifies her attack and damage values by +1. Opposing characters named Gamora can’t use Combat Reflexes.) unless your opponent is specifically playing Gamora. No reducers–just regular Mastermind, which means a character under 73 Points will have to tag along wherever she goes. Of course, chances are high that whatever fodder you choose to tag along with Nebula will be a better piece, so you probably won’t want to transfer damage off of Nebula anyway. Decent Attack Value, but when you consider how hard you’ll have to work just to get her based with someone (remember–outside of some down dial Sidesteop, no native move-and-attack!), it hardly seems worth it when she’s only doing 2-3 Damage before any reducers. No Blades/Claws/Fangs, which seems weird if you’ve seen her big moment in the trailer. Unless you are completely beholden to a Minions of Thanos movie Theme Team (and even then, you should still play GOTGM002 Gamora over Nebula, since Gamora has–SPOILER ALERT!–the Minions of Thanos keyword), stay away. Stay far, far away.
GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (This hurts, since I’m a big Karen Gillan from her time on Doctor Who. But her agent clearly forgot to demand a decent Clix version of her character…)
“I’m not going to be ignored, Peter Quill.”
GOTGM011 Irani Rael – 60 Points – Core Hobby Rare: Glenn Close’s Alter Ego is the Maria Hill of Nova Corps teams. She’s very fragile and will just about never deal any damage. She basically stays in your starting area and offers an alternating Perplex or Outwit that she can use counting Range and Line of Fire from any friendly Nova Corps piece. That ability plus her dial is not worth 60 Points, but when you factor in what she brings to the Worldmind (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword ignore knock back and modify their defense values by +1.), she becomes a much better deal. I’d love her if she was 45 Points; 60 is a LOT to spend on a figure that will never deal any damage under any circumstances. Still, she is the best supporting figure option for Nova teams right now.
(On a side note, how great is this cast? John C. Reilly and Glenn Close as supporting Nova Corps characters? Lee Pace, Karen Gillan and Djimon Hounsou as the villains? Djimon Hounsou’s been nominated for an Oscar! Benecio Del Toro doing weird Benecio Del Toro things as the Collector? Michael Rooker as Blue Michael Rooker? And then you have your main cast, which includes Vin Diesel and 2-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper as supporting characters! Even Peter Serafinowicz (the “What a bunch of A-holes.” Nova Corps Officer from the first trailer) has been in a TON of stuff! I can’t wait for this movie!)
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM012 Yondu – 82 Points – Core Hobby Rare: The best Core Hobby Rare, Yondu is kind of like Chaos War Hawkeye-lite. His Keywords aren’t as good (although Ravagers is kind of a sneaky good one), and he’s got a 6 Range instead of 9, but top dial, he can Running Shot for 3 with a Damage Special (ONE. LITTLE. WHISTLE.: When making a ranged combat attack against a single target, modify Yondu’s attack by +2.) that can pump his Attack Value up to 12! Down dial, he has Energy Explosion to go with his 3 BOLTS! With the right support, he can become quite the death dealer.
GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM013 Drax the Destroyer – 94 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: A close combat nightmare without the shortcomings that hobbled Groot. Top dial, Drax features Charge, Flurry, Precision Strike, 18 Defense with Toughness and 3 Damage with Battle Fury. He also gets to choose an opposing figure at the beginning of the game and gets +1 while attacking that figure up close (which pumps his Attack Value to 12!). He even has a small Range of 3, which isn’t much, but isn’t 0 either. In one of the weirder Defense Specials I’ve ever seen, Drax has a chance to have 3 Stop Clicks (THERE WAS NOBODY IN IT I WANTED TO SEE: When this click is revealed while taking damage from an attack, roll a d6 and on a result of 5-6, stop turning the dial. Drax the Destroyer can use Regeneration and, if he has one or more action tokens, he can use it as a free action.) that also allows him to use Regeneration for free in certain circumstances.
In a world where Brother Voodoo and other Mind Controllers still run rampant, Drax should be able to carve out a meaningful place. The only thing holding him back is the lack of Indomitable or any Improved Movement, but something like the latter can quickly be fixed with Hammers or Phoenix Force Shards. Well worth his points.
GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM014 Rhomann Dey – 75 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: A perfectly average Nova Corps member, there are two things that stand out on Rhomann Dey. First, his keywords. He’s rocking Nova Corps, Cosmic (which is always very interesting in an environment with Entities) and Soldier. Second is his Trait (PASSING THE TORCH: When Rhomann Dey is KO’d, choose a friendly character for the rest of the game, that character can use Toughness, has a minimum range value of 6, and has the Nova Corps keyword.). Basically, if he dies, he becomes a bridge to inducting another figure into the Nova Corps, which is really only meaningful if you’re playing enough Nova Corps pieces to make granting access to the Worldmind worth it. Since he’s a Soldier (as are most of his brethren), you can include any piece with the Soldier keyword and pump them up mid-game if that’s the mechanic you’ve constructed your team around.
Having said that, banking on a strategy that includes one of your major pieces dying is almost never reliable–or a good idea. So while Rhomann’s Trait is intriguing, he really stands or falls based on his dial, which is… perfectly average, as I mentioned above. Two Bolt Energy Explosion is almost always useful (even with just a 6 Range), he has top dial Stealth and 3 Damage. Again, no Improved Movement or Targeting (unless you’re running him with other Nova Corps members who can share those powers through the Worldmind), so Stealth may not always be useful. I just have a sinking suspicion that Rhomann is another one of those pieces who will always SEEM more useful than he really is.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM015 Korath the Pursuer – 100/50 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: Finally, another Kree–although Korath isn’t blue like his brethren. Then again, their Supreme Intelligence is a giant green, blobby face, so it’s probably fictionally racist of me to assume that all Kree would be blue. Regardless, Korath here comes with a split dial that’ll either cost you 100 or 50 Points. His 50 Point dial is fine, but with only three clicks and a 16 Defense with Toughness, he’s not going to last long once the shooting starts. Most short dials like this are support pieces; Korath is still a secondary attacker at this point, so his dial doesn’t necessarily match his role. He’s really only useful here if you need a cheap(-ish) Outwitter for your Kree or Minions of Thanos team. Otherwise, stick to his 100 Point dial, which is much more worthwhile.
At 100 Points, Korath gets a really cool Trait (PURSUER TEMPLATES: During the beginning of the game, choose an opposing character. If that character moved and made an attack since your last turn, give Korath the Pursuer a free action and place him in a square adjacent to that character.), an Attack Special Power (AUGMENTED CYBERNETICS: Give Korath the Pursuer a power action and place an adjacent standard object on his card. Modify Korath the Pursuer’s attack and defense value by +1 for each of these objects on his card. When this power is lost, any objects on his card are removed from the game. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) and a Damage Special (SUBDUE THE TARGET: Korath the Pursuer can use Energy Explosion, Force Blast and Incapacitate.). All of which is to say, you can fairly easily get his Attack Value to 11 or 12 and his Defense to 18 or 19. Then, when you’re ready, you can unleash him on the target you chose for his Trait at the beginning of the game. Depending on the map you’re playing on, you’ll then have all sorts of options via that Damage Special. Is your quarry on Elevated Terrain? Force Blast him off! Is he a big’un with a lot of reducers? Incapacitate him! Does he have a Defense-ball going? Energy Explode it with your Augmented Attack Value! Korath is a versatile piece that requires patience and planning to play effectively, but he’s also a piece that can really punch above his weight class.
GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (100 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (50 Point Dial)
GOTGM016 The Collector – 150 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: Finally, a figure with Power Cosmic! And a new Victory Condition Trait (I MUST POSSESS IT: During the beginning of the game, after characters have been placed, 1 Collectible token per 100 points of the game’s build total will be placed on the map. Each Collectible must be at least 3 squares away from each other and any starting area. An opponent places half of the Collectibles and you place the remainder. When a character occupies a square with a Collectible, give it a power action, roll a d6, and on a result of 4-6, place the Collectible on its card. If that character is KO’d, return each Collectible into a distinct adjacent square. When all friendly Collectibles are on friendly characters’ cards and those characters occupy your starting area, give the Collector a double power action and all opposing characters are KO’d.)!
That Trait is bonkers, but the Collector’s dial is pretty good for 150 Points. His un-Outwittable Phasing will help if you’re actually trying to collect the tokens, but he can also hold his own in a fight. 18 Invincible (which, again, can’t be countered because of his Power Cosmic TA) is a tough top dial nut to crack! His damage hovers between 3 and 4 for 2/3 of his dial, and the Collectible Token gimmick is just strange enough to distract an opponent from your real strategy, which should still be to wipe his characters off the board. Because the Collector is Cosmic, he’s also Theme Team-able with an Entity. And if all else fails, you can play him with characters who move freely like Despotellis or–in Silver/Golden Age games–Astral Dr. Strange and actually make a run for the Tokens. The point is, at a cost of only 150, you have plenty of options to fill out the rest of your team.
This is a cool addition to the game who scores highly just based on creativity alone!
GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (We have a new leader, ladies and gentlemen!)
GOTGM017 Star-Lord – 150 Points – Core Hobby Chase: The first Chase! Yay! I just wish… he was better. I like the sculpt (the only Star-Lord that really features Chris Pratt’s likeness), and Running Shot, 11 Attack with Sharpshooter and Energy Explosion (with 7 Range and Two Bolts) is all good. He’s one of the few figures in the set with Indomitable, he’s got an 18 Defense with Invulnerability top dial, and down dial, his Movement Special (ALL-OUT: Star-Lord can use Running Shot. Once per game when he does, modify his combat values by +2 until actions resolve and then deal him 1 unavoidable damage.) could help turn the tide late in the game if things aren’t going your way or provide that last killshot you need to finish off an opposing figure. And if you push him too far with that and leave him vulnerable, his Trait (SCREAM RIGHT BACK IN HIS FACE: When Star-Lord is KO’d due to an opposing character’s attack, deal that character 2 unavoidable damage.) might take his target with him. Finally, his Damage Special (BURST FIRE: When you make a ranged combat attack that deals damage, you may choose to deal Star-Lord’s printed damage value to hit targets instead of normal damage.) is GREAT… it’s just too bad he doesn’t get it ’til he’s down dial.
All in all though, this feels like a 130 Point dial; at 150, I don’t know if there’s enough room to surround him with what he needs to be effective. A decent Primary Attacker, but that’s about it. Might be more effective in higher point games.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon – 100 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Chase: 4 Clicks, all of which are awesome. Top dial, the little guy with the big gun gets: Improved Movement (Hindering and Elevated); 8 Movement with Running Shot; 11 Attack with Energy Explosion (with 7 Range and Two Bolts); 19 Defense (19!!) with Super Senses and Tiny Size (which means he’s a minimum 20 if you’re trying to snipe him!); and 3 native Damage with Outwit and Enhancement. His Trait (HOW ABOUT “ROCKET RACCOON AND HIS HUMAN HANGERS-ON”?: Friendly characters adjacent to Rocket Raccoon with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Ravagers keyword modify their attack values by +1.) also lets like-keyworded teammates pump up their Attack Values.
What we have here then is a support piece that makes a very effective secondary attacker. I mean, outside of Despotellis, Rocket doesn’t have a lot of natural predators. I’ve seen some chatter from peeps worrying about his short dial, but man, you still have to hit him first. Considering all that, I’d have to say that this… is the marquee piece in the set!
GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks (Yes!! We have our dramatically timed winner for Best Figure in the Set!!)
There ya go! Join us next week for a discussion of the Starter Set!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!!