Some General Notes About the Set:
- The Trinity for whom the set was named (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) each fielded their most powerful Clix versions ever. For as many times as those three characters have been made, that’s pretty impressive. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I dunno... the Justice League Strategy Game versions of the Trinity are pretty damn good too. That’s a close race. For example, JL:TW Batman can pick any standard Attack or Damage power with his Special Attack Power. JLSG Batman already can just USE almost every dang Standard Power in the game with his Special Attack Power. That’s Energy Explosion, Sidestep, Smoke Cloud, Regeneration and Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain. Oh, and he Ignores character when he Sidesteps. And he can go on the JL Team Base. And so on. The point is, both versions of the Trinity are fantastic.]
- For as impressive as the Trinity were, their counter parts in the CSA were unimpressive. Ultraman is good, Superwoman is ok, and Owlman is just plain “not great”. That all changes in the Fast Forces however, where each of these characters was Clix’d much, much better.
- This set featured several characters who come with ways of avoiding Outwit without needing the Quintessence TA. These pieces are: Ultraman, The Outsider (Prime), Lex Luthor, Black Adam, and Despero. [EDITOR’S NOTE: What’s The Grid, chopped liver? Granted, his power is situational depending on your opponent, but still!] I love this trend and they need to keep it going. With the amount of Outwit floating around in Modern right now I was starting to think characters with Impervious weren’t really worth playing. If a Defense Power is just going to get Outwitted anyway then you might as well have a cheaper one. These characters and future characters will hopefully start letting us play big point Impervious characters competitively again.
- Keywords are starting to really matter. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Especially with the Entity keyword nerf!] There are a number of figures in this set that grant benefits to characters with the same keyword, more than I remember in any recent sets. John Constantine grants Stealth to Justice league Dark, Green Lantern gives the Justice League of America Sharpshooter, and Killer Frost protects Secret Society of Super Villain members from Steal Energy. There are many more. This is a nice bonus for a guy like me that usually plays keyword teams.
- During our local sealed event for this set release a bunch of us had to look up what the CSA team ability did because we all remembered playing it, but it had been so long no one remembered what it actually did. Congrats to Wizkids for making something old fun and new again.
- The CSA will be a lot better in a Tactics environment than a No Tactics format. Having a bunch of 3 point bystanders to put tokens on for their TA really helps ramp up their power level.
- For the first time ever there is an Ultra Chase (Prime Chase?!) and you don’t need to own it to play competitively. JLTW069 White Rabbit is an interesting and effective piece, but I doubt she will be on any of the top teams at Nationals this year. Before it was revealed I was worried that the piece would be so uber that people wouldn’t be able to field a tournament competitive team without one. It would make amateurs like myself feel like we are no longer able to compete. When I get a feeling like that I tend to move on to other games. Bravo to Wizkids for making a cool figure, but not a Meta defining figure.
- The Prime selections in this set weren’t great compared to the last three or four sets. Dr. Light is decent, but not overpowered. The Outsider was just okay (although, like I said, I like the Outwit protection). Freddy Freeman is actually pretty good. Nick Necro I am just not sold on – time will tell. However, the main /fail with the Primes in this set is that none of them were John Constantine with the power of Shazam. That happened in the comics (briefly) and had that figure been made it would likely have been my favorite in this whole set.
5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:
[EDITOR’S NOTE: For the first time, we are including pieces from the relevant Fast Forces pack as being officially “part” of the set, and thus eligible for inclusion on this Top Ten list. Too many good pieces were falling through the cracks of our coverage because of their distinction as “Fast Forces” figures. Starting today and going forward, we believe this change will remedy that.]
5. JLTW029 Ocean Master – Atlantis Themed Teams are likely still not going to be vying for the top spots at Nationals this year, but because of this figure they are now much closer to being truly relevant. This is the best “Water Terrain-creating” figure ever produced. It will take him a 12 on his role at the start of the game to cover most maps entirely with water (only a 3% chance). However, on some maps the starting areas are in the corners and you can flood those starting at the side. Because maps are longer than they are wide if you can entirely flood a map from the side with an 8 or better on the tidal wave role. (42% chance).
The most likely scenario is that you role a 7 on the tidal wave role. In that case the first 14 rows of the board become water and the remaining 10 rows remain normal. For a lot of characters that’s all you’re going to need. Most characters gaining a bonus from water either just need to start there and can move out (TT015 Aquaman, ASM025 Manphibian, JLTW008 The Trench) or they can shoot from Water Terrain and hit enemies on dry land (JLTW028 Mera, FFLOD004 Black Manta, FI022 Nerkkod). That gives you a lot of options building a team.
For added fun pair him with GOTG047BR Thanosi and both traits together will practically drown the opposing team. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Hmmm… this is dangerously close to being clever.]
4. JLTW034 Element Woman – Defensively this may be the strongest character ever printed especially considering her point cost. Shape Change, Super Senses, and Impervious on her first clicks and then Impervious throughout. Because lets face it, you will be choosing Earth 95% of the time. Her lack of offense and Willpower is her downside. You could just use her as a really tough Barrier figure, but if your opponent is just ignoring her then I could see choosing Fire for a turn as a nice surprise. When she really comes into her own is with a Resource. A Hammer or a Green\Black construct could make her really ridiculous.
3. JLTW038 Hawkman – 12 starting Attack is always a good way to get me to notice a figure right away. With dice like mine, high Attack figures are a necessity if I want to be competitive. His full movement Charge that also allows for a post attack Sidestep (although you still need to hit your break-away roll) to activate his Energy Shield/Deflection are really great together. His weakness is that he’s meant to be played more like a speedster than Superman. He doesn’t hit very hard unless he’s standing still, but you are going to want to keep him moving to use his Energy Shield/Deflection.
2. JLTW042 The Grid – The Grid is just really effective for his point cost. His Outwit\Improved Shape Change combo along with his TA should protect him well against anyone who is can be targeted by Outwit. You could run him up and let an opponent focus on him (and miss) before using his Running Shot/Pulse Wave to retaliate on the following turn. With Probability Control and Outwit he’s competent support as well as a great secondary attacker. Two great tastes in one!
1. JLTW055 Tim Hunter – When I pulled this guy at our Sealed tournament I realized two things. The first was that he is completely useless in Sealed. Completely. The second is that this may be my favorite character in the set to try and build a combo team around. Ever since then I’ve been working on ideas. WOL050AE Spectre (Red Lantern) lets him be Untargetable at range. FL045 Etrigan the Demon grants Invincible, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Charge, and Exploit Weakness. JLTW053A John Constantine grants Stealth, Outwit (OR Perplex), and double Probability Control! Again, for emphasis, teaming him with John Constantine gives your side FOUR PROBS a turn!!
I’ve also been pondering how to get him to his 4th click. I’ve thought about having him follow an IM3105 Extremis Mercenary into battle. I’ve also considered using FL063 Phantom Stranger to Mastermind exactly 3 Damage (Phantom Stranger can Mastermind any amount of damage). I think I’ve settled on the easiest method being a White Lantern Battery and letting your opponent do the Damage for you.
My next Team Build article will likely feature him soon.
My Top 10 Figures of the Set:
10. JLTW053A John Constantine – If you are running a Justice League Dark team, he is practically a must play. While playing JL Dark he grants Stealth to any adjacent JL Dark friendlies. We’ve only seen that a few times before with FFDP004 Red Hulk, JLTW051 Batman, and BM001 Batman. Beyond that He’s got mystics TA, his choice of Outwit or Perplex, and that neat Special Damage Power that grants Probability Control twice per turn. We’ve only seen someone able to use Probability Control more than once per turn with FL047 Zoom. That’s pretty good company to be in.
9. JLTW037B Freddy Freeman – Extremely effective for his points. He’s maybe enough just by himself to make a certain keyword that has largely been unseen at competitive events for ages start showing up again. That keyword is Teen Titans. (Most people forget there was a DC 5 figure pack set between Batman and SLoSH). But the best part about this figure is his ability to effectively heal when hurt. That and yelling Shazam when using Pulse Wave is totally worth it.
8. JLTW059 Despero – Despero’s stats for his point cost don’t quite measure up to other figures in his point range. However it’s his Trait that makes him great. “PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Despero can’t be the target of Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast by characters of a lower point value.” A giant 200 point character that is likely immune to Outwit and Psychic Blast can be really scary. Invincible and Impervious are really formidable if you can’t find a way to bypass them. At 235 points he also leaves enough room in a 300 point build for a good support piece.
7. Superman – For 250 points you get one of the toughest characters ever printed. One click of Invincible, seven clicks of Impervious, and two of Super Senses. 12 Attack, 19 Defense, and 5 Damage to start, plus Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength. He’s also a pseudo support figure with his Leadership Special and the ability to grant his TA to anyone in the Justice League. This is the Superman we’ve always wanted. His weakness is that he’s a 250 point character with absolutely no Outwit protection. Or should I say no protection other than breaking an Ultra Heavy object over an Outwitter’s head for 8 damage using Hypersonic speed. That happened to me in sealed and it turned out that it was all the Outwit protection Superman needed.
6. JLTW044 Power Ring – This is my sneaky pick for the most overlooked character in the set that will be showing up in the Meta later. When you look at him you might think that he’s not a very good attacker for 70 points… and you’d be right. However this guy is really a support piece. Don’t think of him like a 70 point attacker, think of him as a better version of FFDP006R Mercy or WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit (with a little bit of DP048 Blink and FFFL003 Mirror Master thrown in for good measure) and you’ll start to get the picture of how you can use him most effectively…
5. Martian Manhunter – At 300 points he can’t stop you from Outwitting his powers – if you can see him at all. Better hope your character with Outwit can see through Stealth. Otherwise it’s going to be a really long game. I faced this guy in sealed with Superwoman and Sea King. After a few turns of him beating on me he decided to just go toe to toe with me to save time. I did get lucky and hit him once, but the game was never in doubt.
Think of it this way – when you target him you need to get past Stealth and he has Hypersonic Speed so close combat attacks are hard to line up. Then 1/3 of the time Shape Change stops your attack. Then you have to try to hit a 19. Even with a 12 attack that’s a 42% miss chance. Then he uses Probability Control and you have to hit that 19 again. Finally, if you get past all of those obstacles then he STILL has a 1 in 3 chance of making you miss with Super Senses. It’s been too long since I took any kind of college math for me to add that all up, but I’d say the chances of the average figure doing damage to him is extremely low.
4. FFJLTW002 Owlman (Fast Forces) – Fast Forces FFJLTW001 Ultraman, FFJLTW003 Superwoman, and FFJLTW006 Deathstorm are all very good figures, but this easily the best of the Fast Forces CSA bunch. His dial is top notch. INTO THE SHADOWS is pretty effective on the right map and ALL CRIME PROFITS ME IN THE END grants him Mastermind. I love Mastermind on figures that I actually want to keep healthy, and I don’t like it on figures like FL034 Amanda Waller or SLOSH050 Toyman. I’m not sure which dial (Point level) I like best, but his 100 Point version makes a very effective support character with Probability Control, Empower, Enhancement, and Outwit.
Just like JLTW055 Tim Hunter, this guy brings a lot of good ideas to mind for fun team building. I’ve finally found a good way to play a lot of my favorite characters from the Batman Arkham Orgins set. Or, he can be the head of a Gotham City Police team like DKR100 Batman used to do. He can even combine everything into one team like TDW015 Duhg. Do WXM023B Cerise and BMAO021 Bane make good team mates on a Gotham City Underworld team? You can find out. My Recommendation is to try FFJLTW002E Owlman, FL046E Harley Quinn, and JLTW051 Batman. That Gotham Underworld Themed Team can pump Batman up to 6 Damage with a 12 Attack and have one or two uses of Probability Control in case Batman does miss.
3. JLTW049 Sinestro – If you field a team with JLTW049 Sinestro on it then any character you face with the Quintessence team ability is at an incredible disadvantage. Even without that coming into play, Sinestro is well worth his points. He starts with Running Shot and Pulse Wave which is great on offense. But his best power may be his Special Damage Power which reads “FEAR THE SINESTRO CORP: Sinestro can use Perplex, but only to decrease combat values. Until your next turn, a character targeted by this Perplex can’t target Sinestro unless the targeted character or Sinestro are the only characters on their force on the map.” That means you can keep your opponent’s best figure from targeting Sinestro until you’ve wiped out the rest of his team. As an added bonus he has Injustice League, Legion of Doom, Ruler, and Sinestro Corps keywords so there are tons of good characters that share a keyword with him. And the Parallax Entity can make any character over 25 points share a keyword with Sinestro.
For added fun play him with JLTW033E Lex Luthor. Whomever you target with Perplex will literally just have to sit there while Sinestro tears their team apart.
2. JLTW065 Greed – HypeFox has been talking up this guy ever since the set came out. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, I’ve been talking him up since he showed up on the Units page a couple of days before JL: TW was even released. So there!] He has the two best TAs in the game and one of the coolest Mind Control powers I’ve ever seen (Try to Mind Control someone with Running Shot so they can take a shot and end their movement next to you!) But the real reason that he is the best of the 7 deadly sins is that similar to SLOSH047B Black Witch he can provide Relics for your team in a No Resource environment and he’s half the cost of SLOSH047B Black Witch. I’d recommend AVXS103 Fragment – Colossus (for Poison, Flight, and Invulnerability), JLTWR101A Envy (for Sidestep, Energy Shield/Deflection, and Attack Value replacement), or FIS102 Mokk’s Hammer (for Running Shot, Plasticity, and +2 attack), or FIS107 Angrir’s Hammer (for Steal Energy, Toughness, Regeneration, and +2 attack). Additionally, he provides the JLTWS104 Greed relic to someone else on your team and you can still play a Resource! That brings him up to a total of 83 points and even considering his short dial, you’re still getting an incredible deal.
1. JLTW051 Batman – This is the best version of Batman ever created. Considering how many good version of Batman there are, that’s really saying something. He is the only character I am aware of that can have all the best support powers at once without outside help (Outwit, Perplex, Probability Control, and Telekenesis). At 150 points he’s a competent primary attacker with support capabilities and at 85 points he’s the best support character ever printed. During close combat situations he can choose Pulse Wave and Shape Change or Blades and Exploit weakness if other characters are around. He can even throw in Steal Energy if necessary. In ranged combat he has Running Shot and he can choose Pulse Wave, Ranged Combat Expert, or Close Combat expert. Add to all that the fact that he can use support with a 12 printed attack and Probability Control which likely makes him the best healer ever in addition to everything else. He doesn’t give you quite an many options as FL060 Engineer or GOTG062 Super Skrull, but his already existing abilities and great stat values make him equal or exceed those characters. All of this together makes him the best character in the set.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments section below!
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