All’s Well That Ends Well!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8Night 9Night 10 or Night 11 just by clicking the preceding links!]

12 Nights of Clixmas

 

Well, I think a hale and hearty “Merry Christmas” is due, wouldn’t you say? I also want to wish a Happy Holiday season to all our readers, whether Christmas is a holiday you celebrate or not.

In 2014, Critical Missives grew from a blog without much direction that averaged a few clicks a day to one that features lots of original content and several recurring features that draw thousands of views a month from all over the globe (we recorded views from 92 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES!!). And we have all of you folks to thank for that.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

No, we’re not HCrealms.com, nor are we trying to be–those fine folks already do a great job with their site. But we do feel that we have some original thoughts about gaming in general and Heroclix in particular every now and then, and we’re delighted every time one of you stops by to check us out. Hopefully you found something worth your time, whether it was a Build idea, a new way of looking at a character, venue information or–even better–just a cheap laugh or two.

So Night 12, the final night of Clix-mas, is devoted to you folks. We wanted to express our gratitude to you all for getting us to where we are, as well as tell you where we plan on going.

Before the end of the year, we have HypeFox’s Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Flash, and once January hits we’ll have more Weekly Roundups, and end 0f year “Best Of” (not unlike this column that we ran last year) and we’ll dive deep into the Gotham Episode Guide!!

We hope to see you there! But until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

Avengers Thank You

Advertisements

“Ninwashui’s ‘A Clixmas Carol'” (Or, the Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8Night 9 or Night 10 just by clicking the preceding links!]

A Clixmas Carol

by Ninwashui

"This is what me and HypeFox actually look like, FYI..."

This is what me and HypeFox actually look like, FYI…

It’s late at night on Christmas Eve and I am sitting here in front of my PC, with HCRealms.com up, planning teams. No, actually, that’s a lie. I am actually obsessing over a recent loss at a tournament.

A guy played 4 Wall Constructs on a 4 person team. I was piloting a Red Lantern team and when we met in battle and I got a few shots in, but it wasn’t nearly enough. He used Pulse Wave to quickly KO two of my men. I was left with 2/3 of my build, but only one character with a natural 3 damage showing and the other people left on team didn’t have move and attack abilities left on their dial. Even though I had all these characters on the board I was no longer capable of attacking his team. All these pieces left on the board and no matter what dice rolls I got or what strategy I used, from that point forward there was nothing to be done except lose.

So I am sitting here. Plotting. Obsessing. Planning team upon team. I should be lying in my bed, getting a decent night’s sleep so I can enjoy Christmas morning, but instead I am just sitting there planning. Plans of immortal Groots and Poisonous Grasshoppers are running through my head and I’m rejecting them all. They’re not good enough. None of them are good enough. And then my head starts to nod… and I am asleep. No, I’m awake! Asleep. Awake…

And then I hear it.

Someone–or more accurately some THING–creeping down the hallway, each step echoing like plastic parts rattling around in a cardboard box. Fearfully I turn my gaze to the door. Slowly now, ever slowly, it rounds the corner to my office and it’s… a man. Carrying several huge tackle boxes full of HeroClix, all stacked on top of each other in front of his face.

Trembling, I summon what courage I have left and ask, “W-who are you?” He–it’s a man, now, I can see his silhouette–he starts to reply in a deep jagged voice I don’t recognize. “Kyrphlxx.” Then he coughs and reveals himself by putting the boxes down on a chair.

In a familiar voice he bellows, “It’s me–your brother, HypeFox.”

“What are you doing here? Christmas isn’t until tomorrow.”

“You, Ninwashui, you… have brought me here,” and he points a bony finger in my direction. “You’ve forgotten what’s important. both in HeroClix… and in life. Will you be at my house on Christmas Day? Or will you still be here trying to figure out how to beat he who defeated you not a fortnight ago?

“You don’t understand! I’m so close!” I point at the Builds I’ve collected on the screen. “I’m SO CLOSE TO FIGURING IT OUT!”

“And once you finally figure out how to defeat that Build, Ninwashui, will someone else not find another Build that’s even more powerful? And will you not be right back where you started?”

“No,” I reply. “I can beat that guy. I’m going to buy some Entities off eBay. and I can always search the Forums on the Realms for strategies. I can beat that guy next time. I can beat them all!”

Hypefox sighs.

“I’ve been where you are. I’ve spent too much money and time on HeroClix. You need to learn what I could not before it’s too late. You need to remember that HeroClix is supposed to be a game, not an obsession. It’s not real life. I need to get that through to you before it’s too late. Now, you’re dreaming and it’s almost Christmas, so I’ve arranged something festive for you. Tonight you will be visited by three people. Without their help you cannot hope to shun the path you tread. Expect them tonight. But be warned: while the first two are friends, the last is one of the greatest enemies of fun the world has ever known. He will tempt you… but his is a path that leads to ruin. And years of obsolescence. Y’know what? It’ll make more sense after you meet him.” And just like that his giant tackle boxes fall over. I glance at the pile for just a moment, then turn back to HypeFox–but he’s gone. And now so are the tackle boxes. I am alone again. Or at least I thought I was…

Standing behind me I suddenly notice a tall figure. I turn and it’s my friend Scott. I’m startled, but he immediately cuts off my gasp and says, “I’m here to remind of your HeroClix past.” Suddenly we’re not at my house anymore. Instead, both of us are watching our younger selves in my parents basement. It’s 11 years ago. We had just stated playing HeroClix about a month earlier. Hypefox, Scott, and I were having a battle royal and sitting around an early map trying to figure what was hindering terrain and what was blocking. I noticed my team had Rogue and the Juggernaut. They weren’t very good, but they were some of my favorite characters from the comics and I just loved playing them for that reason.

Then something occurred to me. I turned to the older version of Scott that had brought me here. “I understand why you brought me here. You wanted me to remember why I play HeroClix. You wanted to remind me of why I thought it was fun. I get that. But, why are you here tonight? You don’t play HeroClix anymore.” He took a few seconds to think and replied, “That’s true. The way the game progressed didn’t follow my interests. Once they invented white powers the game was a little a more complicated than I liked for something that’s just a way to pass the time with friends. But, that’s not the case for you. You like Chess and you love playing complicated games. That’s how you have fun. Even though we have fun differently we can still have fun together–as long as it’s fun and not winning at all costs. That’s why I’m here tonight. Remember that and we’ll always be friends.” And then a mini Juggernaut comes flying through the air. I turn to look for who threw it, but I’m not there anymore. I’m back at my desk. But I’m not alone…

Standing there is my friendly rival Andrew from my local HeroClix venue. It seems that no matter how many people are at Comics & More on a particular night, we always end up playing each other. If I’m doing badly then I will see him at the losers table. If I am doing well then I see him in the Finals. The last time we played we were both competing to not be in last place at a Flash Sealed event. I won that round fielding a team that wasn’t good, but slightly less-worse than his. The time before that he won the day when he “Krampus’d” me.

He started addressing me as soon as he saw me. “I don’t have to take you far to show you what I need to show you tonight. What do you remember about playing HeroClix against Brian, the judge at our venue?”

“Well he’s very good. I’ve probably lost more than half the times I’ve played against him. I noticed he loves playing theme teams and usually they aren’t very good. I mean the pieces he uses aren’t the most powerful, but he plays them well and usually ends up beating me or at least playing me close. I’ve never had a blow out win against him. I know he got 4 Entities playing War of Light events. Maybe that means he’ll start using them on some really over-powered teams.”

“I know exactly what he’s doing with his Entities. Here let me show you.”

“Are you going to teleport me to his house?” He looks at me like I’m nuts.

“Wow. That’s creepy. I’d rather not, if that’s fine with you. Why would you even–”

“It’s been a long night.”

“I mean, how are we suppose to teleport, exactly? You know teleportation isn’t real, right? You know what? Just pull him up on Facebook. And then we’ll agree that we never had this conversation.”

I look up Brian, our venue judge, on Facebook. Just like Andrew said, his Facebook page shows all the unimaginably-evil plans for the Entities he owns. Actually, when I look closer the plans he has are the opposite of evil. The exact entry reads “I need X-Mas money! Make me an offer for these Entities.” He’s selling them all off to buy Christmas gifts for his family! He wasn’t really interested in making cutthroat teams–his Clixing would be just fine without the Entities. I turn to ask Andrew about it, but he’s gone.

But in his place is someone I sense is decidedly more evil…

Behind me is a figure in a black cloak, his countenance obscured by shadows from his large, billowing black hood.

“Your friends have shown you the weakling you are. But I can show you something else. Something… different.” His voice is strange. Each syllable drips with venom, but there is a hollowness to him, an emptiness that almost echoes against the walls. “I’ll show how to never lose a game of HeroClix ever again.”

Just like that his cloak opens up like a black hole and sucks me inside! It’s total darkness. When I can see again I’m looking at… myself. But I’m older. At least 5 years. I’m at very nice long wooden table. I look around at the room and it’s Comics & More. But it’s very different. The toys are gone and the comics are down to just one small bookshelf. In their place are row after row of nicely polished playing tables and some giant shelves with HeroClix for sale. There’s a slogan on the wall that says “Winning Means Never Having to Feel Like a Loser.”

I look at myself and notice that I’m arranging pieces for a tournament. I’m alone so I must be planning out my team before everyone gets there. I look at some of the things that I have displayed in front of me. I see at least 10 different Chase Primes. I see a new type of Possession Piece called a “Multiverse Alternate Reality Incursion Entity”. I see a new Infinity Gem Resource. I see a Quinjet. I even see two Team Bases with Galactus and the Spectre on them on them! All of these things must have come out in the next 5 years and it seems like I have them all!

The hooded figure speaks. “In your future HeroClix rides a wave of popularity generated by a new breed of player. The type of player that will win at any cost. Six months from now WizKids hires a new CEO. One they know will be able to get every last dime out of a well established successful brand. He’ll start by introducing new revenue streams such as needing a to pay for a special license just to purchase packs of HeroClix. Then he’ll make all of the most powerful figures more rare and hard to find with each passing set. The power level will increase so much from set to set that almost every figure in the previous set is useless as soon as the next set comes out.”

I look at all the pieces in front of me.

“Am I the new CEO?”

“No…” replies the hooded figure. “I am. But you’re the first and best of the new win at any costs HeroClix player base. You could even be the most successful Clix player ever. You just have make the right choice tonight–the choice to embrace your destiny.”

Then It happens. I was so busy looking at all of the HeroClix figures on display that I missed seeing the piece of paper on the table in front of my future self. I see it now, and I know that my future self has taken a dark path. The paper is a tournament flyer. It reads, “Come face the best HeroClix player in the world. Tournament hours 8-midnight on Christmas Eve.” I’m not alone at Comics & More because it’s early before a tournament. I’m alone because it’s Christmas Eve and everyone else is with their families tonight.

I point at the paper and turn to the figure in Black.

“I know now what kind of person I am in the future. That man has gone down a dark path. The only question now is who are you? Who is the CEO that is so determined to get every bit of profit out of his fanbase that he invented things like a pack license and the Prime Chase rarity?”

Slowly the hooded figure laughs and removes his hood. “My name? Oh, I think you know my name, Ninwashui. I think you’ve known it all along!”

The next CEO of WizKids

The next CEO of WizKids

“I’m former University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon.”

I wake up screaming at my keyboard, with Dave Brandon’s empty laughter ringing in my ears.

I look around. It’s morning. It’s Christmas. I look up at my screen and during the night I’ve created the most evil team I’ve ever seen. It exploits timing rules and a broken combo to KO an opposing team before they’ve left their starting area. This could beat anything wall guy could throw at me. I’ll be the best player ever. Then I look closely at it. A casual player wouldn’t even get an attack off against this team. It would win every game 300 to nothing. Before I even realize it I am pressing delete. I take a minute to send a simple text about my night to HypeFox and get ready to go see him. Somewhere he’s reading what he’ll soon tell me is the most confusing back-t0-back texts he’s ever seen.

“Hey HypeFox. It turns out I’m not evil.”

“Also, screw Dave Brandon.”

I stretch and stand. I head to the bathroom for a quick shower, but as soon as I look at the mirror, I’m startled by another visit from Phantom HypeFox.

“You know, Ninwa, I’ve been thinking–if you had used an Orange Power Battery, you could have prevented the Wall Guy from–”

I wave my hand to cut him off.

“Not today, HypeFox.” And I notice now that for the first time in the last couple days I’m actually smiling. “It’s Christmas, and I’ve got somewhere I gotta be.”

 

holly

From Hypefox and Ninwashui to all of our readers:

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

The Ghost of Critical Missives’ Future!! (Or, Critical Missives Presents: A Viewer’s Guide to Gotham: Season 1!!) (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8 or Night 9 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Hello! Welcome to Night 10 of The 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Television

Today we’re going to preview what I hope will become a semi-regular feature here on Critical Missives:  Episode Guides for comic-book TV shows! We’ve been teasing these for awhile now, but the 12 Nights of Clix-mas has finally given us the chance we needed to make it a reality! First up will be a FOX Freshman series about a cop. Who lives in a very dangerous city. Today, we’re just publishing a recap of the Pilot, but the full article (which should come in early January, smack dab in the middle of the Heroclix Dead Zone) will have every episode that has run to that point! We’ll also make that page stick so that we can keep adding to it as the season continues.

After the Gotham project’s done, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be next, followed by Flash!

Having said all that, enjoy the preview!

 

"The name's Gordon!"

The name’s Gordon!”

We’ve seen the first half of the first season of GOTHAM, so buckle in–it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

 

Gotham Title

 

Series Overview:

Gotham tells the story of Commissioner James Gordon’s rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman’s arrival.

Season Overview:

The first season of Gotham is the story of the distinguished war veteran and perpetually serious-faced James Gordon, who comes back to his hometown of Gotham to take a job as a detective with the GPD. His private agenda is to fight the corruption eating at the city’s core by helping to solve as many crimes as he can while also exposing the misdeeds of those in power, but he is alternately impeded and aided by his partner, Harvey Bullock. He also quickly finds out very quickly that his new job has put his girlfriend, Barbara, in harm’s way.

Detective Gordon introduces himself.

Detective Gordon introduces himself.

Meanwhile, gangster Fish Mooney bides her time as a lieutenant in the Falcone crime empire as she waits for the perfect time to dispatch her boss, Carmine Falcone, and take over, but her plans take a detour when her confidence is betrayed by one of her own employees, a violent, passive-aggressive young man named Oswald Cobblepot…

Showrunner: Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist)

Main Cast:

Ben McKenzie…………………………………………..(James Gordon)

Donal Logue……………………………………………..(Harvey Bullock)

Jada Pinkett Smith…………………………………..(Fish Mooney)

Robin Lord Taylor……………………………………(Oswald Cobblepot)

John Doman……………………………………………..(Carmine Falcone)

Erin Richards……………………………………………(Barbara Kean)

Zabryna Guevara……………………………………..(Sarah Essen)

Camren Bicondova……………………………………(Selina Kyle)

Cory Michael Smith………………………………….(Edward Nygma)

Sean Pertwee……………………………………………(Alfred Pennyworth)

David Mazouz…………………………………………..(Bruce Wayne)

 

Recurring Cast:

Victoria Cartagena……………………………………(Renee Montoya)

Andrew Stewar-Jones………………………………(Crispus Allen)

Drew Powell……………………………………………..(Butch Gilzean)

J.W. Cortes……………………………………………….(Detective Alvarez)

Richard Kind…………………………………………….(Mayor Aubrey James)

Makenzie Leigh………………………………………..(Lisa)

Claire Foley………………………………………………(Ivy Pepper)

David Zayas……………………………………………..(Sal Maroni)

Carol Kane……………………………………………….(Gertrude Kapelput)

Nicholas D’Agosto…………………………………….(Harvey Dent)

 

Episode 1.01: “Pilot

Gordon Wayne Pilot

Written By: Bruno Heller

Directed By: Danny Cannon

Tonight, on Gotham… : James Gordon, Gotham PD’s newest detective, is partnered with grizzled veteran cop Harvey Bullock by their Captain, Sarah Essen. The city is rife with violence and corruption, which sickens Gordon, who has come back to his hometown to do his best to clean it up. Bullock, for his part, seems to be every bit the sort of “dirty” cop that Gordon is crusading against. Before either can object to their pairing, however, they’re assigned to the investigation of the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, two titans of the Gotham business, political and social landscapes.

Bruce-Wayne-in-the-Gotham-TV-show

The case soon takes them through the Gotham City underworld where they encounter Fish Mooney, a ruthless lieutenant in the Falcone crime family. Eventually Mooney’s information leads Gordon and Bullock to corner their lead suspect, Mario Pepper, but Bullock is forced to kill him before Pepper can assault Gordon.

Back at the station, Gordon and Bullock are applauded as the heroes who solved the Wayne murders, although something isn’t sitting right with Gordon. Against Harvey’s objection, Gordon journeys to Wayne Manor to speak with Bruce Wayne–Thomas and Martha’s young son who is now in the care of the family butler, Alfred–so that he can tell Bruce that he screwed up; Mario Pepper wasn’t the guy who killed their parents.

Eventually, a witness to the killings comes forward. Street urchin Selina Kyle was there when the Waynes were murdered, and she may know who did it.

Meanwhile, Fish Mooney finds out that Gordon is still investigating what should be a closed case, and she dispatches a team to kill Gordon and Bullock. Before the hit goes down, however, Carmine Falcone finally makes an appearance and gives Gordon and Bullock a reprieve–provided that Gordon “plays ball.”

Previously, Fish had determined that none other than her little errand boy, Oswald Cobblepot, was the one who tipped Gordon off in the first place about Pepper not being the real killer, so Carmine orders Bullock to have Gordon execute Cobblepot. Gordon, realizing he has no choice, walks Cobblepot down to the edge of a pier with a gun to Cobblepot’s head. Cobblepot begs for his life and says that there’s a war coming to Gotham. He’s seen it coming for awhile now, and he can help avert it.

Gordon Cobblepot

When they arrive at the end of the pier, Gordon can only whisper one sentence to Cobblepot before he aims his gun: “Don’t come back to Gotham.”

Gordon pulls the trigger and fires–right NEXT to Cobblepot’s head. Cobblepot falls into the water and Bullock is now satisfied that Gordon’s “gotten his hands dirty” by murdering Cobblepot. Gordon can keep his life–and his job–for now.

In the very last scene, a startled fisherman could have sworn he just saw something move in the water. He looks to investigate, but finds nothing. Then he turns around and finds Cobblepot standing there with the fisherman’s own fillet knife. Before the fisherman can run, Cobblepot brutally slices his neck open.

Oswald

Reaction: There was a lot going on in the Pilot–arguably too much. Gordon is really kind of one-note so far, and Bullock is painfully over the top, to the point that Logue really looks uneasy in the role. That will change (mostly because Logue gets more comfortable as the writing gets better), but Bullock is tough to take seriously in these first few episodes.

Fish Mooney is the one major character (so far) that the writers have cooked up exclusively for the show (meaning she isn’t based on a comics counterpart), and the verdict is still out. I like the concept of her (although the name is awful–it would be more at home in a Dick Tracy comic than a Batman story); the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith (who I normally love) seems to be trying to channel Eartha Kitt with each of her line readings is really distracting. The writers clearly love her, because they put her in almost every scene. Still, the whole momentum of the show seems to grind to a halt.

The actors playing Alfred and Bruce are good, but it already seems like it’s going to be tough to shoehorn them into the story every week. Leaving the Waynes’ murder unsolved will give Gordon a reason to check in with them every now and then, but so far Pertwee seems almost wasted as Alfred. An episode or two detailing his backstory (which is quite adventurous, at least in the comics) and why he’s so devoted to the Wayne family would go a long way.

These sorts of problems are actually common for a pilot, as everyone–including the writers–is still sort of feeling their way around. But the biggest find in terms of the cast is Robin Lord Taylor. He’s the one actor on this show who had a clear idea of what he wanted to do with his character from the get go, and he really pops in every scene he’s in, whether it’s well written or not. The writers will grow to lean heavily on Cobblepot as the series goes on, and this is in no small part due to Taylor’s performance.

The one thing the show really has going for it is the cinematography. This show looks gorgeous. They got the feel and atmosphere just about dead on. If I lived in Gotham, this is what I’d expect to see when I looked around. I know some folks aren’t sold–they still have the hyper-realized production design from the Tim Burton movies fresh in their mind. But for my money, this aspect of the production was a home run.

Overall, Gotham’s first episode has a shaky foundation, but there are definitely some intriguing elements to build on.

Verdict: C-

 

And there ya go! Look for the full Episode Guide in January!

And now that you’ve seen the Ghost of Critical Missives’ Future, come back Christmas Eve night for a special Ninwashui-penned “Christmas Carol”-style look at Heroclix…

Community Outreach!! (Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7 or Night 8 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Community

Welcome to the Ninth Night of Clix-mas!! Tonight, we’re going to take a moment to pause and reflect… on Heroclix. Or, more specifically, on Heroclix Community resources.

Heroclix is more than just a tabletop miniatures game. It’s an ever-evolving franchise with dynamic rules and a growing fan and player base! With that said, the availability of information about the game is at an all-time high. So tonight we’re going to discuss and list some of the many different sources you can go to for everything from team ideas to rules questions.  Here is your…

HEROCLIX COMMUNITY!!

 

Official Information Sources:

 

WES

WizKids Event System: The WizKids Event System is an awesome new tool that comes direct from the games makers that serves two major purposes. First, local venues can post official upcoming tournaments and events which then become searchable for anyone who wants to know what’s going down in their area.

Secondly, there is now a Rules forum where folks can ask specific rules questions and get an official response right from WizKids! No more posting on various Forums and just blindly hoping that the people who respond know what their talking about.

 

Heroclix Dot COm

Heroclix.com: The official site for the game offers Previews, Articles and Downloads galore. You want this year’s Official Rules? Here they are. You want a Dwarf token from Fear Itself? Print and Play is here too! Almost every official reference you’d ever need is posted right here for your convenience!

 

Unofficial Information Sources:

 

HCRealms

HCRealms.com: Probably the biggest ‘Clix site out there. They do host a great many articles; some are useful, many are not. The Units section is EXTREMELY useful; while you have to deal with the occasional typo (or Comment Troll who deliberately misinterprets rulings on controversial figures), it’s put together by volunteers who do a pretty accurate job. The Advanced Search features doesn’t always work properly when searching by Point range, but that’s a small, churlish complaint for an otherwise ridiculously helpful tool.

Since HCRealms sponsors the ROC, the ROC tab on their site is a great place to go for ROC info.

Finally, the Forums host a great many discussions that you might find interesting. Of special note is the Upcoming Sets rumor forum, which gets contributions from folks who are either really astute about guessing what’s coming or people who are in the know (or sometimes both; also, sometimes neither) based on the fact that they’ve received advanced vendor communications for one reason or another.

Basically, if you’re a Clix enthusiast, this should be your information hub.

 

Heroclix World

Heroclixworld.com: I’ve found this to be the best site for quick rules lookups–the navigation makes it a breeze. Also, if you just do a search for a certain power, Heroclixworld.com is usually the first site that pops up in the results–at least if you’re using Google.

 

photo

Critical Missives Twitter Account: And of course, there’s US!! Pretty sure you already know about our site, since you’re here reading this, but we also have a Twitter account. In addition to tweeting notifications with links every time we publish something, occasionally you get breaking news, special Builds and site updates, too… when you Follow us!

 

Podcasts:

 

Dial H

 

Dial H For Heroclix: This is probably the main Podcast I listen to. It’s also the only one that churns out fresh episodes each and every week, thus making it the most current as well. The guys have an excellent understanding of the rules and are great at reviewing figures as well. If you’re looking to get a little more ‘Clix coverage every week, this is probably the best place to start. Also, they cover ancillary Heroclix products like The Lord of the Rings and Yu-Gi-Oh! ‘Clix in much more detail than we do here at Critical Missives.

Also of note: Every month, Dial H hosts 2 different contests!

The best has to be their Dial Design contest, where they establish a weekly theme, and then you get to design a figure (using the HCRealms Dial Generator) that meets those parameters. Each entry is scored each week, and after three weeks a winner is crowned. Said winner gets bragging rights for a month plus a set of action tokens featuring a character of their choice made by Hunter Smith, one of the show’s hosts!

They also host a monthly Best Build contest, where the guys list an upcoming game at their local venue. It’s up to listeners to submit the best teams they can think of for that particular game, and then the hosts each choose one of the entries to play. Whoever does the best in that game wins a set of action tokens for their designer.

 

The Quarry

The Quarry: This is a high-end, ESPN Roundtable-style discussion of recent ROC tournament results in specific, and the Meta in general. Hosted by Edward Shelton, aka Darklogos, the podcast itself can usually be found in different places on the ROC tab on HCRealms. Lots of great strategy talk here from extremely talented players.

 

So, those are a lot of the sources I use when I need information on Heroclix! Hopefully there’s something on this list that you didn’t know about before–and if so, welcome to the wider Heroclix community!

 

A Weekly Roundup?! It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 12/21/2014!!) (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6 or Night 7 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Roundup

And a Merry Clix-Mas to all, and to all, a good (Blackest) Night!! Welcome back, welcome back!!

It’s been almost a month since we Rounded Clix, so I think it’s high time we did it again! I hope this Winter Solstice finds you all well and in good spirits!

We’ve got a lot to get to today, so we should probably just dive right into…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix is new every week; this past week brought us another milestone: Episode 75, wherein the guys discuss potential Meta pieces from Flash and the name of Austin’s new game!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–As far as I can tell, Episode 29 is still the most recent ep of The Quarry! The Roundtable discusses results from the Indianapolis ROC!

"We're a Thing again!"

–Well, just as quickly as they came back, ClixCast seems to have gone away! They have yet to release an October or November ep, but you can catch their August and September offerings right here!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–You can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

–Except for the just-dropped Majestix announcement, which you can catch right here!

 

Preview

–In case you missed it last week: there is going to be a “Spider-Man Symbiotes” Monthly Op Kit in May of next year! Looks like there’ll be 3 different versions of Venom!

–No other current Previews, but that’s to be expected as they JUST released Flash. I’d expect no real previews until WizKids’s annual 12 Days of Clix-Mas promotion, where we’ll get a look at next year’s offerings like Justice League: Trinity War, Avengers Assemble and both Avengers: Age of Ultron offerings!

 

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Jenny_Sparks_The_Secret_History_of_the_Authority_5

Alright, for this week, we’re just gonna build an army from some of the new Flash pieces that just released!!

Team NameRespect My Authori-tah!!

ThemeNone

Map Choice Preference: Nothing specific–just something that’s a bit out in the open so you can take ranged shots.

Roster:

FL061 Jenny Sparks 125 Points

FL060R Engineer 90

GOTG007B Captain Marvel 81

=297 Points

What This Build Does:

This is a Themed Team for a No Resources, No Entities environment (since it obviously features neither of those things) that features 3 of the most versatile Scientist-keyworded figs in Modern right now. It’s specifically designed to give you three figures who can each fill multiple roles.

Jenny Sparks is an awesome Primary Attacker because of her Trait (ELECTRICAL CORTEX SHORT CIRCUIT: When Jenny Sparks hits an opposing character, that character can’t use special powers from now until your next turn.). However, she also offers a Special Leadership (IF YOU DIE, I’LL JUST DIG YOU UP AND PUT YOU TO WORK AGAIN: Jenny Sparks can use Leadership. When she does and the result is 6, remove all action tokens from all adjacent friendly characters with the Authority keyword.) that pairs especially well with Engineer, who can taxi Jenny and then have a chance for Jenny to take any and all tokens off of her next turn!

Engineer, even at the 90 Point level, is also a decent Primary Attacker OR Supporting Piece because she can pick up to three different Standard Powers a turn (not unlike Zombie Super-Skrull). She can be whatever you need her to be every turn.

Finally, Captain Marvel can ALSO be a Primary Attacker! He also offers a supporting Defend power (DEFEND HUMANITY FROM MY PEOPLE: Captain Marvel can use Defend and Super Senses. Modify the defense values of adjacent friendly characters without the Kree keyword by +1. This power can’t be countered.) that’ll boost the Defense of Jenny Sparks and Engineer to 19 if they’re both adjacent! And his Attack Special (UNI-BEAM: Captain Marvel can use Energy Explosion, Incapacitate, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When Captain Marvel hits with a ranged combat attack, hit targets can’t make attacks during their next turn.) is among the best in the game, and will ensure that every turn either Jenny is countering ALL of an opposing figs Special Powers, or Captain Marvel is stopping them from attacking at all!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

We’re doing an all-Hollywood column for Night 10!!

 

Wizkids

WizKids is giving away a ton of Yu-Gi-Oh! Clix, DVD’s and Blu-Rays!! Entering is pretty simple, and you can do it right here!

 

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

Critical Missives:

–My local venue is dark until January, so that’s when the Local News section listing Local games will return.

–See above links if you’ve missed any 12 Nights of Clix-Mas columns!

–We’ll be right back tomorrow night with a post about the Heroclix Community!!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch where you draw you Lines of Fire!!

They Made Who?!? (Or, The 10 Strangest Clix I Never Thought I’d See That Came Anyway in 2014!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5 or Night 6 just by clicking the preceding links!]

GLXMAS

Welcome back to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

So, whenever WizKids announces a new set, everyone races to figure out exactly which characters will be making an appearance. They do this for a variety of reasons, but there’s a certain crowd that just wants to know how many characters are “getting Clix’d” for the first time. Well, there are only so many characters who have yet to be “Clix’d,” so eventually WizKids makes some characters that might have you scratching your head. Alternatively, sometimes they’ll prominently feature a character whose profile in the comics is marginal at best.

Well, tonight, we’re gonna take a look at the 10 Clix that actually got made this year that I, well, REALLY was not expecting.

In order of appearance…

Tellus_005

10. SLOSH048 Tellus: I’ll be honest–I didn’t even remember this guy at first. Even for the Legion, he’s kind of weird. But what really gets me is not only did he get a figure this set, his figure was so good that he showed up on the first Watchlist and had to be slightly nerfed (even though the figure that really made him go, Astral Dr. Strange, rotated out… ). When folks talk about the Legion of Superheroes, they’re usually talking about characters like Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl or even (God help us) Matter-eater Lad. They usually don’t mean the weird yellow member with the toadstools on his back that can talk with his mind.

Toyman

9. SLOSH050 Toyman: I’m not surprised that he was on the roster for SLOSH; that much seems perfectly reasonable. But the way they made him sort of the premier Super Rare of the set, what with his supporting Toy figures and all–that’s what really surprised me. And the fact that all his toys can attach to him is kind of cool. But then, after getting everyone all excited about his mechanics via their preview section WizKids went and made sure that he kind of really sucks for his points, which really goes the extra mile in making this piece a perplexing headscratcher.

Jasper Sitwell

8. CATWS014 Agent Sitwell: Full disclosure: I love Movie Clix, particularly Marvel Cinematic Universe Clix. I get the same sense of anticipation watching characters debut in the MCU that I did back when the Ultimate universe wasn’t such a huge mess and they “Ultimate-tized” a different Marvel staple character every other month. So if there’s a Marvel Movie set on the release schedule, you can bet I’ll be at Target waiting for them to unbox the cases.

There was some talk leading into Cap 2 that Sitwell would sort of become the new Coulson, which is to say that he’d be the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent who would act as the connective tissue between all the MCU movies. Even then, at the most, I thought we might see ol’ Jasper here show up as a crappy Common in some far-off Avengers: Age of Ultron set (MILD SPOILER ALERT FOR AN 8-MONTH OLD MOVIE: Don’t think Sitwell will be making any more MCU appearances, so he won’t be showing up in A: AoU!).

Instead, he was an important Target (read: Mass Market) Exclusive Rare piece that is actually really useful on S.H.I.E.L.D. teams (surprise surprise) as a Perplexin’, Sidestepin’ support piece–arguably the best S.H.I.E.L.D. support piece in Modern not named Brother Voodoo (who’s really more of a Secondary Attacker anyway). Was not expecting that!

But what I really found bizarre is that his sculpt is pretty close to the picture above–just Sitwell standing there, holding his coffee mug. A somewhat strange–but not unwelcome–addition to the MCU roster of figures!

"Rawr."

“Rawr.”

7. DP001 Headpool & 6. DP003 Dogpool: Okay, honestly, most of the Deadpool Corps could have made this list, but I really thought we might see Kidpool at some point, and Lady Deadpool was almost a given. But freakin’ Dogpool?! And Headpool–not that people didn’t like that character, but he’s a disembodied head–how do you make that in Clix form? I would have thought he would end up as some sort of Bystander Token. Instead, he’s a pretty important support piece for a variety of Meta Builds.

And freakin’ Dogpool is almost as good–maybe just a tad bit overcosted. But definitely useful, especially with the right Word Balloons. The only weirder Deadpool Corps. member would have been Championpool, but we didn’t get him. At least, not yet.

Dr Bong

5. DP040 Doctor Bong: I mean, really? We really got this guy this year? This actually happened, and we’re all cool with it? Even in a set called Deadpool, this was pretty amazing. I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised. What’s really crazy is that ol’ Doc Bong is actually kind of sneaky-good for his points! Running Shot Pulse Wave (even with a 9 Attack) is really good, and he’s actually got a support dial (with access to Outwit and Perplex!). Bizarre character, bizarre power-set; just a really weird package.

Cosmic X-23

4. DP104 Cosmic X-23: X-23? Not my favorite character, but sure. She’s pretty popular. I get it. She would not be out of place in a Deadpool set. But Cosmic X-23?! Whaaa… ? Of all the characters who have ever been Captain Universe, X-23 is the one WizKids gives us (I realize we’ve gotten a few in the past, but c’mon!). Her 100 Point dial is insane–not insanely good, or insanely bad, just insane as in “it seems like this was designed by someone not right in the head.” The 275 Point dial is good, not great, but it looks like a lot of fun at least.

Doorman Deathurge

3. GOTG041 Deathurge: As a big GLA fan, this one kind of tickled my funny bone. At some point around the end of GLA: Misassembled, Doorman was killed, but he was brought back by an entity named Oblivion to serve as his avatar Deathurge! That’s what this figure is, complete with the GLA keyword. I really love that this figure exists in Modern; I just never thought we’d see it! Incidentally, Deathurge finally gives GLA Themed Teams a Primary Attacker (not the best, but he has multiple options for dealing penetrating damage and still, 1 option is better than 0 options).

Zombie Skrull

2. GOTG061 Skrull: The Zombie Chase no one asked for! This character is so crappy I couldn’t even find a decent image of him; instead, you get a random Zombie-ish looking Skrull who’s impersonating Reed Richards for some reason. This character is the only Zombie Chase who’s not Unique–you can play as many of these crappy Zombies as you want! Yay!!

Why this wasn’t a Chase Zombie Thanos, I have no idea. Biggest waste of a Chase slot I can think of…

zoom-blacklantern

1. FL053B Zoom: Okay, this one is kind of a cheat. If you’d asked me coming into this year if I thought we’d see a Black Lantern Zoom, I’d have said yes, so I can’t say that this character was completely unexpected. However, I would have bet dollars to donuts that he’d have come in the War of Light OP Expansion. The fact that we got him in Flash came as a complete shocker to me. A pleasant shocker (eeeewwww), since I managed to pull one. But a shocker (okay, I’ll stop now) nonetheless.

 

Okay! Those were my Top Ten most unexpected figures from 2014! What were yours? Feel free to post ’em in the Comments section below.

And be back here tomorrow night for Night Eight of the Twelve Nights of Clix-mas. Hmmm… might be time for a Weekly Roundup…

 

The Five Worst Figures in FLASH!! (Or, the Sixth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4 or Night 5 just by clicking the preceding links!]

So, Ninwashui’s already told us which Flash figures he thinks are the best. But what about the other end of the spectrum? Which figs from the new set should you avoid at all costs? I’m glad you asked! Ninwashui prepared a whole list…

 

Ninwashui’s 5 Worst Figures in Flash:

 

Central City Police Officer

5. FL204 Central City Police Captain – This guy can add all the Central City Keyword guys to those cool Police teams that were winning tournaments back in the Streets of Gotham days. That’s a huge boost, right? Wrong! Of the 17 Central City-keyworded Dials in Modern, 7 already have the Police keyword. That leaves you with mostly sub-par speedsters like FL002 Max Mercury, FL003 Jesse Quick, and FL035 Impulse. It’s true that the Prime Dark Flash is a viable option, but I don’t think that the Dark Flash along with the CC Police Captain and 150 points of police characters from the 2.5 year old Streets of Gotham set are going to get you many wins.

Amanda Waller

4. FL034 Amanda WallerFor it to be worth going to the trouble of using Waller to add a character to a the ranks of a the Suicide Squad, Suicide Squad has got to be a great keyword, right? I mean, you should be able to assemble one hell of a Themed Team right? Well… not so much. In the Flash set there are 4 other squad members and the Fast Forces has three. Some of these are good. None are great. Three of the (only) seven available Suicide Squad figures in Modern are named Captain Boomerang, but the Squad doesn’t even get his cool Black Lantern version. All of which is to say, without more Squad members to choose from, Amanda here is… pretty useless.

Steve Trevor

3. FL018 Steve Trevor For 54 points you get one good click with no Willpower. And that’s assuming you can find a good use for his Psychic Blast with a 5 Range before an opponent bases you, breathes on Trevor and gets 54 easy points. Steve also has a Special Leadership power, but that will only allow him to lead the worst characters in the set. As an added bonus, his Justice League of America keyword only appears on two other figures in Modern. I mean, it’s almost as good as the West Coast Avengers keyword!

Argus Agent

2. FL005 A.R.G.U.S. Agent – I really feel like this was a personal slap in the face by WizKids to me. We finally get a silver bullet to deal with Iron Pharaoh and it’s this guy. Sure he can remove the Falcon from the game, but he has to be on his second click and within 4 squares AND survive long enough to be given a power action. It seems pretty unlikely that this will ever happen. Even worse, if your opponent isn’t playing Iron Pharaoh or Captain Cold, then fielding this guy is just a complete waste of time.

"Ohhhh-kay. This just got awkward."

Ohhhh-kay. This just got awkward.

1. FL003 Jesse Quick – This piece isn’t worth 90 Points. Even if she started with 3 Speed Force Tokens, I’m still not sure she’d be worth 90 points. She starts with Charge and a bare bones Defense which makes it harder to get Speed Force Tokens with her than any other Speedster piece. Even if you WERE to get three Tokens, the payoff is minimal. If you somehow got five while she was still on her top click, well, sure, THEN she is worth her points. I would play the 65 point FL001A The Flash over her 10 times out of 10. I was a fan of Jesse’s original piece back in the day and I would love for more playable JSA pieces, but sadly this one is just the worst.

 

BUT WAIT!! WE CAN’T END THIS ARTICLE WITHOUT A… SECOND OPINION!!

 

HypeFox’s 2 Worst Figures in Flash:

 

Why two? Because these two “pieces” are in a class by themselves. A.R.G.U.S. Agent is not great, Amanda Waller is really limited, and Jesse Quick straight blows. But these two figures are far and away the worst in the set!!

 

"Yeah, Steve, you can go. We won't be needing your services any longer."

Yeah, Steve, you can go. We won’t be needing your services any longer.”

2. FL018 Steve Trevor54 Points – Uncommon: If anything, Ninwashui might have been too kind. Now, his first Click is not terrible. For his points. And, that’s the end of the good.

His Leadership is useless. Why? Exactly how many 53 Point or less characters can you fit on a 300 Point team? While still being able to field a proper Primary Attacker? To make good use of his Leadership Special, you need to field at least two. So your Build is at 160 or more already. Oh, you’re using Tactics? Like Entities or a Resource? Congratulations. You have less than 100 Points for your Primary Attacker. Which means, his Leadership is so bad that it’s actually affecting how you build your team. Which in turn means, he would be better off with just straight Leadership. Also, Empower is okay; Enhancement would be better.

Also, ANY OTHER LEADER would be better.

Bizarro Flash

1. FL019B Bizarro Flash111 Points – Uncommon Prime: At, like, 81 Points, Bizarro Flash would be intriguing. Unfortunately he costs 30 more Points than that. And to some people, he’s the best Prime in the set. I think those people are insane, but they’re out there (Bizarro Flash currently has a five-star rating on HCRealms.com–I repeat: 5 freaking STARS!!). Bizarro Flash takes all the drawbacks of the Speed Force mechanic and amplifies them by making them all take even longer to be earned.

He starts with Sidestep. Which means you’d better be packing some major TK support pieces to get him to where he needs to go, or you can forget about building up Speed Force tokens. It’ll be turn 4 before you get even one. His dial is set up backwards, so that his best stats and powers are at the end. Now, I’m am not the smartest man who ever lived, but just about EVERY piece that’s ever been set up in this manner NEVER lands on it’s best end-dial click–unless it has a Special Stop Click. Which Bizarro Flash doesn’t have. Which means that, even with 8 clicks, chances are he can be 2-shotted right off the map. Of course, he doesn’t have any source of Willpower either, so you can kind of push him to where you need him to get to. Eventually.

A lot of people online are making a lot of noise about how awesome his Specials are (one even shuts down Hypersonic Speed), but again, he has to have a Speed Token to make any of them work, and it’s remarkably tough for him to get those. His second Trait gives him a Speed Token if he MISSES with all of his attacks in a turn, but not until the end of turn, when you can’t do anything with it. And that also supposes that he somehow was adjacent (or within 2 squares) to someone that he could actually attack.

Now, in a Tactics environment, you can fix some of what ails him with Entities or Resources, but I could say that about most figures in this game.

With no named keywords, fitting him on a team and not breaking Theme is difficult. And worst of all, he takes up your Prime slot, so you can’t actually play a useful Prime. Don’t believe the hype; Bizarro Flash may sound like a cool concept, but field him and you’ll put yourself at a massive disadvantage.

 

And that’ll do it for the Sixth Night of Clix-Mas!! Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you tomorrow for more ‘Clix madness!

Things to Do In Gaming When You’re (In a Heroclix) Dead (Zone)!! (Or, the Fifth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3 or Night 4 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Bored Baby

So we’re just about to that time of year when ‘Clix news kind of goes dark for awhile and there’s not much happening in the Heroclix world. Flash was great, but December and January generally don’t bring much in the way of new product (there may be some Attack Wing or Yu-Gi-Oh! stuff going on, but that’s about it). Which is fine. February is gonna start a string of four straight months of major releases (JLA: Trinity War, Avengers Assemble, Avengers: Age of Ultron and, um, Avengers: Age of Ultron–and those are just the bigger sets!), so, honestly, a lot of folks could probably use the breather (I know my wallet could).

Even talking with some of the folks at my local venue, I know this is the time of year where general Heroclix fatigue starts to set in a little bit. I’m personally psyched for JLA and Avengers sets, but I know some players who were much more excited about visiting more of the strange corners of the Marvel and DC Universes in the Deadpool and Flash sets. Which is fair enough. The point is, at some point, everyone probably needs to take a breather–even if it’s from a hobby that you love.

Personally, I love gaming in all sorts. So today, we’re gonna take a look at some other games that readers of this blog might find interesting to pursue while we wait for February!

 

The Blizzard Universe:

Blizzard-Logo

 

Games They Make:

Starcraft II

World of Warcraft

Hearthstone

Diablo III

Heroes of the Storm

OverWatch

 

Activision/Blizzard has been making addictive games for twenty years, but most of their games have a strong sci-fi/fantasy element that may appeal to folks who enjoy spinning dials on miniature versions of their favorite comic book heroes. The other important thing about Blizzard games is that they’re constantly evolving; not just with big expansions that you have to buy separately (although their is that for World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Diablo 3), but with monthly–or in some cases, even weekly–patches that constantly create new goals and rewards for players.

The other things that really sets Blizzard apart is their storytelling and their wonderful roster of characters. In many circles, Sarah Kerrigan, Jim Raynor, The Lich King, Thrall, Malfurion and Illidan, Deckard Cain and Diablo are just as iconic as Captain America, Iron Man, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

Now, the two games I really want to focus on here are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. Why? Because they’re both (theoretically) free to play.

Hearthstone:

Hearthstone Gameplay

Hearthstone is an online Collectible Card Game featuring characters and settings from the Warcraft universe (specifically World of Warcraft). While you can certainly buy expansion packs with cash (at a sliding scale if you buy in bulk; expect to pay between about $1.16 and $1.50 for a pack of 5 cards), you can also earn in-game gold by completing daily quests to buy the exact same packs. Also, the game gives away packs at certain times (for example, if you logged in during the launch of the newest expansion, Goblins Vs. Gnomes, you were rewarded with 3 free packs).

There are also deck-specific cards that you can earn for free as you play through the tutorial for each character class.

In the long run, you may end up investing a little money, but the barrier to entry is low. It’s not the perfect CCG, but it has a lot of potential and it’s a pretty shallow learning curve that offers it’s own Meta game once you get the basics down.

Heroes of the Storm:

Heroes-of-the-Storm-Screenshot-1

This game isn’t even out yet, but it’s already generating a lot of buzz–and you can sign up for the Beta right now on their website! Described by its own developers as a “team brawler of heroic proportions,” Heroes of the Storm plays almost like a RTS version of Super Smash Brothers. Basically, you choose your Blizzard cannon hero, get teamed up, and try to take out your opponent. As previously stated, folks are eagerly anticipating this game’s release, and it should be free to play.

 

Marvel: Avengers Alliance:

avengersalliancescreens1

This is a Social Networking game I got hooked on back in 2012 and have occasionally revisited ever since. Like many games of this sort, it is free to play, but only to a point. You can advance in this game and never spend a dime, but it will be slow going.

Basically, you play as yourself AS A S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENT, and as you go along you start collecting different Avengers to assist you (as playable characters). This game features an obscene amount of grinding, but there is a sort of Pokemon-style satisfaction that you get every time you collect a new playable character. Each character can also be outfitted with different items and leveled up, so there’s plenty to do. Also, the developers’ definition of “Avenger” is pretty loose–yeah, you can add Cap and Thor to your team, but you can also earn part-time Avengers like Moon Knight or Tigra, or even never-really-was-a-proper-Avenger characters like Squirrel Girl. Some of the most powerful characters in the game are actually villains that you earn the right to add to your team (guys like Magneto or Doctor Doom).

This game is definitely a time suck, but, like I said, you can play it for almost no money.

 

Fanduel:

Fanduel Images

 

This one’s for the ‘Clixer who’s also a huge sports fan. Fanduel offers daily fantasy leagues (entry fees start at as little as $1–you can pay through PayPal) that pay out real money (DISCLAIMER: This site deals in real money, so if you’ve had gambling issues in the past, please stay far, far away…) as soon as that day’s games end. All the major sports are available to play (when they’re in season).

The way it works is pretty simple. You get a salary cap (usually around $60k); you select your roster of players; and then you watch as everything your players do that day earns you points. If you’ve picked wisely enough, you’ll usually earn back your entry fee (although you can win a lot more, too). If you haven’t, well, there’s always tomorrow.

From a Heroclix perspective, what I like about playing this sort of Fantasy game are the decisions you have to make when building your roster. It’s not unlike how you would approach building a team in Heroclix. You only have so much available capital to use, so you can’t just take every superstar you want (in the same way that you usually can’t fit more than one high-cost figure onto a 300-Point ‘Clix Build). You want Lebron James on your NBA team? You can have him, but it may mean starting Khris Middleton in your other Small Forward spot. Who’s Khris Middleton? Exactly.

 

Well, that’s it for today. But if your looking for a cheap (-ish) gaming distraction while we wait for next year’s new offerings, hopefully something above strikes your fancy!

And tomorrow night, we’ll be right back here for Night 6 of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! We’re gonna take a look at the WORST figures in Flash!

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

 

Power Struggle!! (Or, Do Some Standard Powers Need Fixin’?!) (Or, The Fourth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are knee-deep into the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!! Night One, Night Two & Night Three have come and gone, but you can always click on any of the links to catch up if you missed a night!]

Get it? It's literally a 'power struggle.' Cuz, like, they have powers! And they're, y'know, struggling!

Get it? It’s literally a ‘power struggle.’ Cuz, like, they have powers! And they’re, y’know, struggling!

Welcome back!

Watchlist 3 was released a little while ago, which means that there are figures and/or mechanics in the game that the Powers-That-Be are taking a look at to see if they’re too strong to the point that they hurt the competitive balance of the game. That got me to thinking (always sketchy territory, that)… what if WizKids took a look at some of the Standard Powers currently in the game to see if they too needed some TLC. They’ve done it before (most recently in 2013, when they added the Pink Powers), so it’s not completely unprecedented.

Now, not every Standard Power is created equal; some are just always going to be more useful than others, and that’s fine. That’s intended from the designers, even. But some powers are so useless, you could take them out of the game and no one would notice! That’s not good, but we’re here to help.

Now, Ninwashui touched on some of the weaker powers last year; and yet, some of the same problems still exist. So I’m going to take another brief look at some of the standard powers in the game that I think are either weak or outdated, and talk specifically (as in, the exact wording I’d use) about how to fix them!

 

The Weak Power All-Stars:

 

Black Panther Leap Climb

Leap/Climb:

You don’t have to take my word for it; WizKids doesn’t even like this power. Why do I say that? BECAUSE THEY NEVER GIVE IT OUT ANYMORE!! Honestly, there’s, like, 10 Marvel Modern Age figures that have Leap/Climb top click. That’s 10 out of roughly 30,000 different Modern Age Marvel dials [EDITOR’S NOTE: That is a rough estimate.].

Before I get going on why Leap/Climb sucks, let’s look at the current wording:

Give this character a move action and move it up to its speed value; during this movement, this character adds 2 to its d6 roll when breaking away and can use HeroClix Improved Movement / TargetingHeroClix Improved Movement / TargetingHeroClix Improved Movement / TargetingHeroClix Improved Movement / TargetingHeroClix Improved Movement / Targeting. When you give this character a close combat action, it may target a character regardless of the target’s elevation.

Doesn’t seem so bad, until you realize that a ton of different figures have many of those Improved Movement abilities as, y’know, IMPROVED MOVEMENT ABILITIES!! As in, they have the power already and it doesn’t take up their Movement slot!!

Think about the last time you played Engineer or Chase Super Skrull, where you can choose any Movement power you want. Would you ever in a million years choose Leap/Climb? No, you wouldn’t, because you not an a-hole.

How I Would Fix Leap/Climb:

Give this character a power action; halve its speed value for the action. Move this character up to its speed value and then it may be given a close combat action as a free action. During this movement, this character adds 2 to its d6 roll when breaking away and can use HeroClix Improved Movement / TargetingHeroClix Improved Movement / TargetingHeroClix Improved Movement / TargetingHeroClix Improved Movement / TargetingHeroClix Improved Movement / Targeting. When you give this character a close combat action, it may target a character regardless of the target’s elevation.

Boom. We just made Leap/Climb awesome!!

I know what you’re saying.

You: “Uh, you just added Charge to Leap/Climb.

Me: “Your damn right I did! Why? Because just about any character who should have Leap/Climb is a character who probably moves and attacks a lot in the comics. Thus, Leap/Climb shouldn’t just be a static ability that no one uses–it’s meant to represent characters like Black Panther or Spidey, characters who jump from foe to foe or scale walls at a moment’s notice.”

You: “But won’t that just make Charge obsolete?

Me: “Not at all. Toughness is a lesser version of Invulnerability, but I would hardly call Toughness obsolete. It’s just not as good as Invulnerability. Leap/Climb would simply be a better version of Charge, in that same way. And you would expect it to cost more, as well.”

There! Now, if you design a bruiser who just pummels people in the comics, you can give him regular ol’ Charge. But if you have someone who bounds around a lot in the comics, you can give them the now superior Leap/Climb! You’re welcome.

 

Cyke blasting Cap

Force Blast:

Ninwashui has talked several times before about all the reasons why this power both literally and figuratively blows. When it can only be used against adjacent characters, but something like 90% of close combat-based figures ignore knock back, you have a problem. Let’s look at the current wording real quickly:

Give this character a power action and roll a d6; a single adjacent opposing character is knocked back from this character a number of squares equal to the result. When this character hits with an attack, you may choose that it generates knock back if it doesn’t already.

That last sentence about being able to choose to generate knock back if you want when you attack is a new addition from the 2012 wording of the power. That one line was WizKids’s last attempt to “beef up” Force Blast. A noble effort, to be sure, but it’s still not quite good enough. This power is probably gonna require some major surgery if it’s to be saved.

How I Would Save Force Blast:

Give this character a close combat action and roll a d6; a single adjacent opposing character is knocked back from this character a number of squares equal to the result. When this character hits with an attack, you may choose that it generates knock back if it doesn’t already. When this character targets an opposing character with the  or HeroClix Tiny Symbol symbol, knock back can’t be ignored.

So I did a couple things here. First, I changed it from a power action to a close combat action. You may be asking why.

I said, you may be asking why…

You: “Oh! Uh, yeah, um, sorry, I didn’t realize this was a recurring gimmick for this article. <Ahem> Uh, why did–”

Me: “Why did I change Force Blast from a power action to a close combat action? Good question.”

You: “Uh… thanks?”

Me: “By making it a close combat action, I’ve done a couple things. First, Force Blast now interacts with stuff. Like Charge! Or the new Leap/Climb I just gave you. Yes, it would share the same dial slot as those other two, but that hasn’t stopped other figures from gaining, say, Charge and Flurry at the same time. We can give figures a white power that allows them to use both powers simultaneously. Also, there are certain Relics or Constructs that would allow a character to have both powers as well.”

You: “That almost sounds useful.

Me: “I’d agree! Sure, it would still be hard to deal damage with Force Blast–it would still have to be used very strategically. But by now being able to combo with other move-and-attack powers, you can actually set up a Force Blast in one turn instead of hoping to get one off over two turns. Your opponent would have to be really careful about their figure placement around a Force Blaster, or they could be taking some knock back damage, or at the very least end up in a different spot from where they wanted to be. Which is how it should be, as opposed to how it is now, where you usually don’t care whether or not an opposing fig can even use Force Blast, unless you plan on landing right next to them and then not do anything for a turn. Which, y’know, is pretty rare. Unless you like using terrible strategies.

You: “They would definitely have to be more careful–this is is true. But I’m not sure that dealing damage was ever the primary intent of Force Blast.”

Me: “That’s a very good point. Here’s my counter-point:  I’m don’t know that there ever was a primary intent behind Force Blast, since, once again, MORE THAN HALF OF THE FIGURES YOU’D WANT TO TARGET WITH IT ARE IMMUNE TO KNOCK BACK!! Also, we’ve made it so many of the characters in the game that you’d actually want to use it against would actually be affected by it, instead of simply ignoring it without having to burn an Outwit. Like they’re able to right now.

You: “But it seems like you stole that last part of the fix from Ninwashui’s article–

Me: “Moving on!

 

Batman Smoke Cloud

Smoke Cloud:

This one is a pretty simple fix. The current wording:

Give this character a power action; place up to 6 hindering terrain markers in distinct, adjacent squares that are all within this character’s range (minimum range value 4). At least one of the terrain markers must be within line of fire when it is placed . The terrain markers remain until the beginning of your next turn. Characters that occupy these terrain markers modify their attack value by -1 unless they can use Smoke Cloud or ignore hindering terrain for line of fire purposes.

How I Would Boost Smoke Cloud:

Give this character a power action; place up to 6 hindering terrain markers in distinct, adjacent squares that are all within this character’s range (minimum range value 4). At least one of the terrain markers must be within line of fire when it is placed . The terrain markers remain until the beginning of your next turn. Characters that occupy these terrain markers modify their attack value by -1 unless they can use Smoke Cloud or ignore hindering terrain for line of fire purposes. If this character has not already been given a move action this turn, this is a free action instead.

Look, this power was almost useful. The power itself is fine–people use it all the time with Brother Voodoo or when someone is assigned the “Net” Construct. The common denominator there is that people really only use this power when it’s a free action, so that’s what I’ve done. Now, I’m not trying to break it, so it can only be used as a free action under certain circumstances, but this power would see so much more use with this wording.

You:”Okay, that is almost exactly what Ninwashui proposed in his article last year.”

Me: “Oh really? Well, is Ninwashui here right now?

You: “Uh… no?

Me: “Okay then. So I guess it’s my idea now, isn’t it?”

 

Superman Invincible

Invincible:

What? Invincible? No! This power is epic, you say!

This power is epic, YOU SAY!

You: “Oh. We’re starting the section like this? Uh, okay. This power. Is. Epic.”

Me: “Wow. That was a really stiff line reading. Regardless, I agree. Invincible has been a great addition to the game. But I think it actually needs to be just a little bit stronger to really fulfill it’s role in the game as the ultimate damage stopper. This fix would also help balance another power, so it’s almost like a two-for-one special!

You: “If you say so.

Me: “I do say so. But first, let’s look at the current wording:

Half of damage dealt to this character is ignored.

How I Would Improve Invincible:

Half of damage dealt to this character is ignored. This power can’t be ignored.

Admittedly, this is a small tweak that has MAJOR ramifications. It would also take Pulse Wave down a very small step, which I would argue needs to happen anyway, since Pulse Wave has no natural predators–it’s the best way to deal damage with a Standard Power in the game. Honestly, it’s probably a little TOO good. Well, this would help that.

Some people would argue that this revision would in turn make Invincible too powerful.

You: “<Sigh> Horror. Of horrors. This revision would make Invincible too powerful. Oh. No.

Me: “Okay, you know what? If you’re not gonna do the gimmick right, I’m just gonna monologue.

You: “Please do! I’m running late for work as it is and I don’t actually remember agreeing to do this in the first place–

Me: “That’s not important right now.”

Where was I? Oh yeah–I would argue that Invincible can still be Outwitted, so making it un-Ignorable isn’t a huge deal. Now, there are some cases where characters who have Invincible also have either Power Cosmic, Quintessence or some Trait or Special Power that says their other powers can’t be countered. Does my revision suddenly make Invincible unfair? What could you possibly do to get damage through in these situations?

Actually, it’s pretty simple:

Deal 2 damage.

Honestly, that’s the only threshold you’d have to hit to get damage through against someone with Invincible. Nothing’s changed there. Instead of unfair, I’d argue that it’s EXTREMELY fair. Most characters in the game deal at least 2 Damage on most of their clicks, so it’s a lot harder to get stuck late game against an Invincible figure without a way to deal damage than it would be against a piece with Impervious or Invulnerability.

 

Okay! That’s all for tonight! Thanks for sticking around. We’ll probably have something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT for tomorrow’s Clix-mas entry…

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

Saving People – In a Flash! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Flash!!) (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Three of the 12 NIGHTS of Clix-Mas here at Critical Missives, where we’re providing 12 straight nights of ‘Clix content! If you missed Night One, click here! The Second Night of Clix-Mas can be found here.]

"So we've had sets for  Superman, Batman and the Flash. Do I need to start a KickStarter for an all Aqua-set? Who's ready for a Piranha-man Chase?! Anyone? Hello? Is this an audience or a watercolor painting? But seriously... "

So we’ve had sets for Superman, Batman and the Flash. Do I need to start a KickStarter for an all Aqua-set? Who’s ready for a Piranha-man Chase?! Anyone? Hello? Is this an audience or a watercolor painting? But seriously…

Some General Notes About the Set:

Uh, did everyone else catch the irony of the HeroClix set centered around the fastest man alive arriving like three weeks late? Or that my Set Review is equally as late?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Eh, this is about the elapsement of time from release to review as our GotG Top Ten Set Reviews, so I’m going to say its more of an editorial choice than pure laziness on our part.]

Some Flash Facts about the set:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Uh… are all the italics supposed to make the words seem faster?]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yes. And it’s totally working!!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually… that’s not a bad gimmick for this.]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Thank you. Now shush!!]

  • This set brings a new “Speed Force” shared Trait, but the effectiveness of the Trait varies greatly by character. For example, FL001B Rival gains Impervious, the ability to deal Penetrating Damage, Energy Shield/Deflection and Hypersonic Speed after gaining just 3 Speed Force tokens. FL202 The Flash can literally run off the edge of the map to the other side AND BACK AGAIN by removing just a single token. Meanwhile, FL003 Jesse Quick needs three Speed Force tokens just to get Toughness and Super Strength. You can see a real difference there. Something else to consider is that by the time you’ve built up enough Speed Force tokens to use some of the bigger powers, the game might well be over. Professor Zoom has a power that requires ten freaking tokens. In a 300 point game you will probably have either lost or won before you have more than 3 tokens. Most opposing teams won’t last long enough for you to get 5 hits in with a single character.
  • Flash has some real stinkers (FL002 Max Mercury) and some real winners (FL046 Harley Quinn). Overall, most of the set is pretty playable. With only 2 characters in the 200 point range it seems like it should be great for Sealed, in particular.
  • The set delivered a bunch of Hypersonic pieces, but it also delivered a lot of anti-speedster figures as well. FL028 Tarpit and FL049R Midnighter will stop a speedster or keep him in place, respectively. FL042 Fallout and FL015 Rag Doll punish Hypersonic attackers in particular. FL044 Savitar will cripple anyone who relies on the Speed Force as a way of life and FL031 Turtle will cripple any strategy that doesn’t involve going really, really freaking slow (or using a lot of TK to move around the board).
  • On the negative side, wouldn’t it have been fun if they had more of a Black Lantern sub-theme in this set to go with FL206 Captain Boomerang and FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)? FL051 Elongated Man was already in this set. There was space at the end of his dial for a Black Lantern resurrection the similar to what Captain Boomerang has on his dial. It’s a real missed opportunity. It also would have been a great way to include several characters in the set that needed Modern versions. They could have had 2 point costs with a normal dial and then a Black Lantern dial at the end. Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Firestorm come to mind right away. These could even have filled in the “missing” chase slots. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I LOVE this idea!! A Black Lantern Chase sub-theme definitely would have had me buying more packs. I hadn’t thought of this, but now that you bring it up, it’s probably all I’ll be able to think about during my next Flash Sealed Event. Damn! I mean, did we really need more Trinity of Sin versions ONE SET BEFORE THE TRINITY WAR SET?! Man. I also like this idea because Flash was such a huge part of Blackest night. Ninwashui, this might be your best idea ever.]
"Hello! We should have been your Chases!"

Hello! We should have been your Chases!

 

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

Elongated Man: One time I disguised myself as a vase. For 3 days! Booster Gold: No you didn't. Elongated Man: Okay, maybe not. Who'd want to anyway? Booster Gold: Doesn't Plastic-Man do that all the time?

Elongated Man: “One time I disguised myself as a vase. For 3 days!
Booster Gold: “No, you didn’t.”
Elongated Man: “Okay, maybe not. Who’d want to anyway?”
Booster Gold: “Plastic-Man. Usually in a women’s bathroom.”

5. FL051 Elongated Man – This guy is surprisingly good for his points. Admittedly he won’t be on next year’s Worlds team and you may never see him KO anyone, but he can be a fun support piece. He doesn’t have Willpower, so push through his first click to get him into position. His second click is where the magic happens. That’s the click you’ll use to tie up the opposing team. He shares a power with Groot from the Guardians movie set that lets him tie up characters that aren’t adjacent to him. Combine that with his super Outwit that let’s him draw lines of fire almost anywhere and there are some close combat characters that will be completely powerless against him. For example, if you are facing FL019A The Flash, you simply have to move within one space of him and then you can continuously Outwit Hypersonic Speed. Without outside help, it’s likely Flash won’t move again for the rest of that game.

Captain Thunder

4. FL052 Captain Thunder – This guy has a long dial, lots of damage reducers, and a Stop Click, and each of those attributes go well with his Mystics TA. Unfortunately, in HeroClix it’s very difficult to field a piece that costs 200 points or more that doesn’t also have Outwit protection built-in. Zero range also makes him even more of a risky play. However, in an environment where you aren’t likely to see much Outwit (like Flash sealed), he can really shine.

"Uh, how can we miss you if you never leave?"

Uh, how can we miss you if you never leave?

3. FL025 Golden Glider – For only 60 points she makes 6 squares of hindering terrain every time she moves. These hindering markers last until this character is KOed. You can use this for your team to hide in and your opponent can never make use of these squares at all. Beyond just being normal hindering terrain, they require an opponent to break away when they are adjacent to one of these squares. In a long game your opponent’s movement options could be very limited. If you can find a way to let her ignore characters for movement she could be really nasty. Also, she gets bonus points for being Captain Cold’s brother. I’d forgotten about that.

Yup. This is what Google gave me when I asked for a picture of a S.T.A.R. Labs Technician.

Yup. This is what Google gave me when I asked for a picture of a S.T.A.R. Labs Technician.

2. FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician – Pop quiz. Who is the cheapest TK figure in Modern HeroClix? It’s this guy. Okay, now, who is the best cheap medic in modern HeroClix? That’s actually DOFP016 Moira MacTaggert, but I would say this guy on click 2 is in second place. Add to that his ability to give someone Precision Strike and we have a real winner in the support category.

Hmmm... why wasn't this the sculpt?

Hmmm… why wasn’t this the sculpt?

1. FL030 Thorn – With a first click that has Charge, Flurry, BCF, Combat Reflexes, Shape Change, and Stealth for only 65 points she was an easy inclusion on this list. The fact that her Shape Change gets better and starts healing her once she takes a hit is just gravy. The only thing keeping her out of the top 10 is that FL046 Harley Quinn is also 65 points and fills a similar role.

 

Sadly there are still some Flash characters that have yet to be clixed...  [EDITOR'S NOTE: Sadly?!]

Sadly, there are still some Flash characters that have yet to be clixed…
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sadly?]

My Top 10 Figures of the Set:

 

Apollo

10. FL048 Apollo – Any time you see a printed 19 Defense for under 300 points, you should pay attention. Apollo also brings Outwit protection that is sorely needed given his high cost. What sets him apart is that he has Hypersonic, Improved Targeting, Precision Strike, Invincible and Super Senses on his first click. The lack of Willpower on a 200 point character is frustrating, but you could do a lot worse than a team up with FL049R Midnighter.

"Boys, my ocular units are up here."

Boys, my ocular units are up here.

9. FL060R Engineer – With her ability to choose her own powers, she makes a wonderful support character. Running shot and Pulse wave or Hypersonic and Super Strength are great on offense. On defense you can still use Stealth and Shape Change to go along with her Toughness. I recommend the 90 point version over the 175 point version due solely to the existence of GOTG062 Super Skrull. At that 170+ point level Super Skrull is just better.

Kingdom COme Flash

8. FL050 The Flash – This guy can have up to a 20 Movement and he’s dangerous all the way through his dial. With Willpower and his incredibly high Movement there are characters who literally won’t be able to catch this guy. His double attack up front also helps justify his point cost. He’s good on his own, but with some Perplex to his Damage value he should end games very quickly. He’d make a real good Puddin’ for Ms. Harley Quinn.

Pssshh. Rainbow Raider was Geoff Johns REAL inspiration for the War of Light!!

Pssshh. Rainbow Raider was Geoff Johns’s REAL inspiration for the War of Light!!

7. FL026 Rainbow Raider – For a character with 7 range, a full dial of Stealth, and 7 clicks of life, he’s very cheap by today’s standards. I think he plays best by Pushing to click 2 off the bat and being a ranged sniper. An 11 Attack and 3 Damage Value is great for sub 75 points. And then there is his Trait. If I told you that he gave your best figure a mostly permanent +1 to all stats, you’d be wondering why he isn’t on the watch list. Consider that what he really does is give your opponents best figure -1 to all its stats and you’ll see that his Trait is just about as good as the crazy broken Trait I just made up. Then he really gets nuts when you realize he might affect your opponent’s whole team.

Jenny SParks

6. FL061 Jenny Sparks – She is a capable attacker for her point cost, but it’s her Trait that really gets my attention. She is the one way in this game to get past powers that “can’t be countered or ignored“. Think about how often you see that phrase on really good powers that are on really good figures. The IIM103 Absorbing Man that is made of Uru metal folds like tin foil against this piece. WOL107 Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern) and WOL026 Sodam Yat might not ever see their Ion clicks when they are facing Jenny Sparks. That’s right, she disables all Stop Clicks! Think about that. I mean, really, THINK ABOUT THAT!!

"Man... why does every portal end on top of Batman?"

“Man… why does every portal I go through always end on top of Batman?”

5. FL045 Etrigan the Demon –  If you are paying 135 points for just the six Demon Clicks, he’s not that impressive. At least not until you realize the Demon’s self healing potential. Your opponent might see those 6 clicks several times over and take Mystics damage for every hit. No matter how hurt the Demon gets, if he is alive, he can be back to full health in 2 turns. When you consider that he has Invincible to start, your opponent will need to focus fire or risk not being able to KO the Demon at all. Best of all, the sculpt kicks butt.

Harley Quinn Baseball Bat

4. FL046 Harley Quinn – With Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and Stealth, she has great defensive options at her disposal. She is also the second cheapest figure in the game to start with Penetrating Poison (behind only Red Lantern Recruit). She also has Outwit with 5 Range, so you could try to stay hidden and make them come to you. Best of all she falls in love easily. Her ability to make anyone her Puddin’ turns a very good figure into an outstanding figure.

Captain Cold

3. FL038 Captain Cold – When you look at his dial without his Trait you see 10 Attack and 3 Damage and you’d think that was a pretty good 85 point dial. Then you do look at his Trait. Then you realize the Ice Block Markers don’t go away. What? I’ve played against him once where I was fielding a Hydra Team lead by DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra. Captain Cold moved into Range and ice blocked Wolverine without needing to make an Attack Roll. Wolverine never moved for the rest of the game. There are a lot of characters out there who can literally be Ice Blocked and just plain ignored thereafter. Captain Cold is well worth his 100 points.

zoom-blacklantern Rival Flash

2. Prime Speedsters (FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern), FL037B Dark Flash, FL001B Rival) – Listed in order from best to worst. I cheated a little with this entry but it’s not like you can ever play them all on the same team. And if I had listed them separately they would have all made my top 10 and pushed other figures out. Here they are in a Flash:

  • FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)– The best all around Prime. He has three ways to heal himself and Willpower for only 120 points. He also has great offense when you can remove a token. He also has the great monster and Black Lantern Keywords. His major weakness is that you’ll want to remove a Speed Token for the extra damage every attack and that will make it impossible to save them up for better Speed and Regeneration.
  •  FL037B Dark Flash- For 110 points you lose Willpower but you gain 4 top dial Damage. He has the best starting dial without Speed Tokens and only 2 tokens makes all his Damage Penetrating. He also has the best keywords with Teen Titans and Justice League. He doesn’t need to remove tokens for attacking, but he will for Regeneration. His major weakness is that if he has to Regenerate more than once he will likely lose his Penetrating Damage.
  • FL001B Rival – For 105 points he is the hardest of the Primes to get started. He has the best defensive powers, but with starting Charge he practically requires a support figure with TK to put up a good fight. Once he gets that first token things change for him quickly. Hypersonic Speed and Energy Shield/Deflection really bring up his power level. If he can make it to 3 Speed tokens then he additionally gains full Penetrating Damage and Impervious! If he’s still on his first click at that point he has Super Senses, Shape Change, Impervious, and Energy Shield/Deflection. Just to hit that guy you’ll need to plow through an 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection, and Rival’s controller still gets 3 shots at rolling a 5 or a 6 to nullify your attack! Rival is the hardest of the three Primes to start with but is also the most powerful when he has Speed Tokens.

Question_Prime_Earth_0001

1. FL064 The Question – Let me compare this version of the question to the last version (WKD-008 Question), because that is still one of the best pieces in the Modern age.

One of the reasons the last version of the Question was so good was because you could sub in a power that appeared anywhere on his dial in place of one currently there. He could only use 4 powers at a time, but one of the 4 could be tailored to the situation. The new Question can’t pick powers to add, but his first click has 8 Standard Powers on it! Toughness, Charge, Shape Change, Stealth, Poison, Precision Strike, Super Senses and Outwit. Do you really need to pick more powers if you already have that many?

The Stats and cost are similar between both the old and new version of the Question. I love the older versions double Perplex that prevented the other teams from using Perplex, but the new version has the power to subtract an action token from itself every time it uses Outwit. The other team might not be playing anyone with Perplex, but most teams run at least 1 figure vulnerable to Outwit and that could let this figure act every turn! In addition, the new version has Traited Toughness, and if he is played with the Phantom Stranger he gains Quintessence as well! All this makes the new figure superior to the old figure, which should easily make it the best figure in this set.

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: And that will do it for Night 3 of Clix-Mas here at Critical Missives! We’ll see you right here tomorrow for a look at some potential issues with the game and what we’d do to fix them!!]