Wonder Woman and the Daily Planet Newsroom!! (Or, a Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Superman/Wonder Woman!!)

"Oh, so you don't think there were enough Superman figures in SLoSH, eh?"

On dates Superman and Wonder Woman can often be seen making large craters in front of some of Metropolis’s finest restaurants.

Some General Notes About the Set:

Morpheus 2

NO ONE IS QUITE SURE EXACTLY HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME AT THE MOMENT?! On this point Hypefox is absolutely correct. When the equip rules came out I told the HeroClix face book group I’m in that this seems like a rule change that would affect  all possession characters. People told me I was nuts. Then a second article came out that same day and confirmed everything I said. We still don’t know if equip applies to all resources. I think it does. Other people argue the other way and the Wizkids rules forum have ignored all questions on the subject. Maybe they will put out a rule book this year so we know how the @#$% to play this game. According to the magic 8 ball on my desk signs point to no, and that’s the most official answer anyone has on the subject.

— Wizkids apparently would rather fill this set with the entire staff of the Daily Planet then give you more than just a little Wonder Woman Content. There have been four different versions of Odin (Father of Thor) in HeroClix. There are still none of Zeus (Father of Wonder Woman). But, hey we got the generic investigative journalist I’m sure everyone has been waiting on. If you want an Ares you’ll still be using the one they published in the 2010 75th Anniversary Set, but if you were waiting on generic newsboys – you are in luck!

–Most of the Wonder Woman side of this set is in the form of Gods and they were all pretty cool. Their Divine Aura trait is both effective and thematic. My only complaint about the Greek Gods is that there aren’t more of them in this set. I would have like to see some legendary Greek heroes and even some Olympus guard generics that have a minion power with Deities.

–Wizkids has been making a big deal about saying they put tons of never before clixed characters into their newest sets, but sometimes remakes would be a good thing. For example, the Apokolips keyword did get a few new entries in Parademon, Brutaal, Steppenwolf, and Brimstone. However, Everyone else you’d normally associate with Apokolips (except Darkseid and Kalibak) has rotated out of Modern. We haven’t had a new version of Desaad since he was first made in 2002!

–Wizkids Collation issues are far worse in this set than we have ever seen before. A guy online posted a picture of two cases he bought were every single pack was duplicated in each case. Other reports have some bricks opening with no Chases and some opening with as many as seven chases. I would have thought it was a hoax but every time we played with this set at the store, we saw duplicate packs amongst  what we opened. I’m a believer.

–There are four versions each of Superman and Wonder Woman in this set and all of them are at least good. The two chases especially are great. The real standout here is the excellent THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME trait that shows up on 2 versions each of Superman and Wonder Woman. If you have less figures on your team then your opponent, it will give a huge advantage.

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

Titano 2

5. SMWWG005R TitanoOf all of the new Colossal pieces Titano is the one that I am most likely to play as more than just a retaliation piece. The major reason for that is his low price of 75 points for 9 clicks that includes a stop click with Colossal Retaliation. It also doesn’t hurt that he also has a great trait, “MONKEY SEE LOIS, MONKEY DO: When a friendly character named Lois Lane moves, after actions resolve Titano can be given a move action as a free action to move up to the same number of squares. When a friendly character named Lois Lane makes an attack targeting an opposing character, after actions resolve Titano can make a close combat attack as a free action.” Metropolis teams will be making a monkey out of opposing teams.

The 90's are back, and they brought their Superman with them. (Artwork by Sassophilaco sassophiliaco.deviantart.com)

4. SMWW041AE Superman Blue He is that 50 point value where you would look for him to be a support figure. For his price you get a great taxi with a trait that protects your team from pulse wave. His 18 defense and energy shield/deflection will mean that your opponent will need to get pretty lucky to hit him from range. His 7 range, running shot, and energy explosion will punish opposing figures that group together.

Krypto

3. SMWW050 Krypto He’s a watch dog for your Kryptonians with his trait , “LOYAL COMPANION: When a friendly character named Superman, Superboy, or Supergirl within 8 squares takes damage from an attack, after actions resolve you may place Krypto in a square adjacent to the attacking character.” Beyond that he’s tiny, has 11 attack, he ignores shape change, and he ignores super senses.

Lois-Erica

Still the best Lois Lane.

2. SMWW047 Lois Lane For 45 points she has outwit, willpower, and the Superman TA. But what make really good is how hard she is to KO. Her special power states, “HUNTING DOWN A LEAD: Opposing characters can’t draw lines of fire to Lois Lane unless they are within 2 squares or she’s adjacent to a friendly character.” On top of that she has a second special power that states, “HE’S HERE WHEN I NEED HIM: Adjacent friendly characters named Superman can use Defend. If this power is revealed when taking damage from an opposing character’s attack, stop turning the dial. If you do, you may place a friendly character named Superman adjacent to Lois Lane.” Taken together those two powers mean you have to get next to Lois to hurt her and if you do hurt her then you’ll find yourself nose-to-nose with Superman. He’ll probably drop a car on you next turn.

lorilemaris_1200_835_81_s

1. SMWW042 Lori LemarisI love characters with Interesting traits that make you want to build a fun team around them. In this case Lori’s Trait, “THE SEA SINGS OF THEM: When Lori Lemaris or a friendly character named Mermaid is KO’d by an opposing character, opposing characters within 5 squares of the KO’d character that are occupying water terrain are each dealt 2 penetrating damage.” She begs to be used on a fully water map and/or with JLTW029 Ocean Master. And nothing says you can’t use multiples of her. Imagine your opponent KOing one of her and then taking 6 penetrating damage back in return.

On top of her great trait that she brings really good stats to the table. 11 starting attack doesn’t happen very often on a piece that is 45 points. In fact the only cheaper character in modern with 11 starting attack is… the mermaid from this set. Add to that triple target mind control (with no feedback damage), willpower, and a 19 defense when she is in water and you’ll really start to wonder why she is only 45 points.

Top Ten Figures in SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN:

Superman

10. SMWW049 SupermanSome figures get a lot more millage out of the special powers granted by resources and/or entities. This is one of those figures. With nine clicks of life and 12 starting attack those stats are great for his point value. However the starting sidestep is a bit disappointing. Resources and/or entities can correct that problem. You should also factor in his awesome trait, “THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME: At the end of your turn, if Superman was given a non-free action this turn and an opposing force has more characters on the map than your force, place an Outnumbered token on this card. Give Superman a free action and remove 2 Outnumbered tokens from this card to make a close or ranged combat attack.” Given the right support this figure can be one of the top figures in the game.

batmanvsuperman-xlarge

Example Team: World’s Finest Dawn of Justice (keyword: Justice League)

  • SMWW049 Superman
  • JLTW051R Batman
  • AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (2 Assigned Characters)
  • Justice League ATA
  • ID Card of your choice
  • Total=300 points

The phoenix force with two assigned characters gives out starting running shot and +1 damage! Add that to Superman’s Sidestep, his range, and Batman’s TK – you’ll be able to make a ranged attack into the opposing starting area starting from your starting area. If your THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME trait is active, you’ll be able to do absurd things like have Superman move 12 spaces and make a free action close combat attack (with an ultra heavy) while carrying Batman (who can use outwit perplex and Prob to help you)!

General Lane

9. SMWW028 General Lane Most sets have a 50 point uber-support figure and in this set General Lane is it… except that he only costs 40 points. What he brings to the table is a trait that grants the friendly figures Superman Enemy TA, he has the Police TA, enhancement, and leadership that can remove a action token from ANY soldier regardless of point cost. I’d strongly consider putting the general in charge of any team army of soldiers.

This seems excessive...

4th of July Apokolips style.

8.  SMWW019B Brutaal I’m a fan of characters that are immune to outwit and have high attack values. Brutaal is nearly immune to outwit and has highest consistent attack values I have ever seen… assuming you can get to your opponents side of the board. His starting click is super impressive, but with hypersonic and a possible 13 attack on click 2 you shouldn’t be afraid to push him.

Gal-Gadot-Wonder-Woman-Costume

7. SMWW033 Wonder Woman It took a while for me to decide, but I believe Wonder Woman is the best 200 point deity in this set. (sorry SMWW023 Apollo and SMWW037 First Born) All 3 of them have the impressive trait, “DIVINE AURA: Wonder Woman can’t be targeted by opposing Outwit or Probability Control unless the targeting character is more points or has the Deity keyword.” But, there are three reasons why I believe Wonder Woman is the best. She has the Mystics TA, she has the THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME trait, and she has better keywords.

"No, seriously, any second now, I'm totally gonna fly!"

6. SMWW065E SupermanWith SMWW049 Superman, SMWW019B Brutaal, and now SMWW065E Superman 175 points is the place to be when fielding a Superman (or faux Superman). This Superman shares the same trait as the other two figures, “WAIT, THAT’S NOT SUPERMAN…: If Superman is on your sideline when your opponent’s force is revealed and your force includes a character named Superman or Superboy of an equal or higher point value, you may replace that character with Superman. If you do, Superman begins the game with an action token.” What makes him better than the other 175 point Supermen on this list is his starting hypersonic and his incredible two stop clicks on the end of his dial. It reads, “WINTER PALACE: Superman can use Barrier, Regeneration, and Super Senses. When this click is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial, and after actions resolve give the attacker an action token. If you can’t, deal that character 1 penetrating damage.” It will be very hard for any solo character to knock this guy out.

Brainiac_Red_Son_001

5. SMWW063P BrainiacOf the two possessors in the set, this one offers better powers (outwit, psychic blast, regeneration), but not as long of a dial. So depending on how long of a dial the character has that you want to possess, SMWW055P Eclipso may be better. However if you do chose to go with Brainiac, his mid dial special white power can be game breaking. It reads, “WORLD IS RUNNING LIKE CLOCKWORK: Once per turn when an opposing character is given a power action, you may immediately remove an action token from Brainiac.” If you chose to possess a character that starts at multiple point levels you may be able to start with this power.

Brimstone DCAU

4. SMWWG003P BrimstoneThis the best of the retaliation attackers because you will ALSO get to retaliate with his penetrating poison after making your attack.  It’s true his retaliation attack area of affect isn’t as large as someone like the Atom, but that just means it will be very easy to not damage your own team in the process. I suggest leaving this guy in your starting area and letting your opponent trigger him.  At 20 points each you can even play multiples of him. You can only use one a turn, but you’ll have multiple “Brimstone Bombs” to throw at an opponent over the course of a game.

Example Team: Apokolips Now! (keyword: Apokolips)

  • SMWW019B Brutaal
  • JLTW206 Parademon
  • SMWWG003P Brimstone
  • SMWWG003P Brimstone
  • SMWWG003P Brimstone
  • SMWWG003P Brimstone
  • Total=300 points

So using this team you can just send in Brutaal in as a distraction and let your opponent hit him. Hopefully you can mastermind all of the damage over to your Parademon. That first attack will start an unfortunate chain of events (for your opponent). On your turn your first Brimstone launches out of your starting area. It lands and immediately does an attack and then gets to do penetrating poison against any of opponents pieces that it’s touching. Your opponent might not realize that this will keep happening every time his attacks hit (including attacking a brimstone) until you run out of Brimstones or your opponent runs out of friendly figures. Probably that second one.

Red Son Wonder Woman

3. SMWW066 Wonder WomanAt 165 points this version of Wonder Woman is just really efficient for her points. Her 19 starting defense is really unusual for primary  attackers under 200 points and her opening powers of hypersonic speed, super strength, and invincible are perfect. She never dips below a 10 attack value, her dial is 9 clicks long and, and she has a stop click with regeneration. Even when damaged, she very dangerous on every click. On top of all that she has the trait that protects her team, “COMMUNISM IS SOCIAL JUSTICE: When a friendly character with a lower point value than Wonder Woman is targeted with an attack, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.

artemisa

2. SMWW025 ArtemisJust like 175 points seems to be the sweet spot for Supermen, 125 points is the sweet spot for amazons. Artemis is my favorite because ever since the days of SI008B Ms. Marvel, I’ve had a real appreciation for flying, stealthy, close combat pieces.  Artemis starts with Stealth, Flight, charge, indomitable, invulnerability and willpower. She has great attack values that remind me a lot of Brutaal, a dial that’s effective for all 8 clicks, and the and the Divine Aura Trait shared by all the deity. But what really puts her over the top is her special power, “I LOVE A CHALLENGE: When Artemis attacks only the highest point opposing character, modify her attack and damage values by +1 for the attack, and the damage dealt is penetrating damage.” She is definitely the best character in this set unless Wizkids choses to create a figure that disrupts the basic rules of the game. But they’d never do that…

MrMxyzptlk

1. SMWW060 Mr. MxyzptlkSo Wizkids created a figure that messes with one of the most basic rules of the game. Now instead of you rolling your dice, your opponent essentially chooses if he likes what you rolled and if not he changes it. It’s not like Probability Control, you don’t get to try again and range is not a factor. He changes it and now that is what you’ve rolled. His trait reads, “MESSING AROUND WITH THE ODDS: At the beginning of the game, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Give Mr. Mxyzptlk a power action if there is no d6 on this card, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Whenever any dice that can be rerolled are rolled (including as part of a 2d6 roll), you may remove the d6 from this card and replace one of those die results with the rolled result from the d6 removed from this card.” There are so many times that anything Mr. Mxyzptlk rolls can be used, you don’t really realize it until you play against him. If he has a 1 showing then your opponent should expect to be the victim of a critical miss soon. 6 means that a critical hit for your team is coming. With a 5 he could guarantee you make a super senses roll. With a 4 he can guarantee that your opponent misses his super senses roll. A 3 can guarantee your opponent can’t break away. A 2 almost guarantees your opponent’s best attacker will miss next turn. And there are tons of other uses for his messing with the odds trait . If your opponent is using blades/claws/fangs or regeneration then they are at his mercy. So far I have not played a game against him without him turning one of my rolls that would have hit into a critical miss. That’s a huge swing in any game. And that’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

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Upcoming Games: The Doctor Is Out!

Another quick local game announcement for SE Michigan Clix’ers!!

SHIELD Number One

This week at Comics & More in Madison Heights, we will be playing Week 3 of our custom “Dark Dimensions” series!

In Week 1, we played “A Guy With a Plan.” For week 2 of our Dark Dimensions Series, we ran a new, completely original scenario called “Omega Level Override,” based on Mark Waid’s continuing S.H.I.E.L.D. run.

The Scenario:

Week 3: “Home Invasion”

Coulson’s ongoing investigation into the activities of Mys-Tech and the identity of their mysterious benefactor leads him to consult the world’s foremost expert on the arcane–Doctor Strange!

Unfortunately, the doctor is not at home–and Mys-Tech seems all too aware, as they’ve taken this opportunity to break-in to Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum in order to steal the ancient and powerful Book of Morphesti!

If Coulson wants any answers, he’s going to have to stop Mys-Tech’s agents and recover The Book before someone accidentally unleashes an apocalypse! But just getting to the ancient tome is going to be a challenge. Coulson knows as much as anybody that traversing the Sanctum Sanctorum without a mystically-inclined guide is dangerous business.

Because this house has secrets that pre-date Doctor Strange, and it’s never been kind to unwanted guests…

The Build Rules: You must choose to play as one of two factions: S.H.I.E.L.D. or Mys-Tech. Each faction has their own benefits and restrictions, as outlined below. Regardless of which faction you choose, your team must be a 400 Point Themed Team, and all the figures must be both Marvel and Modern Age.

The Mystical Guide: Traversing the Sanctum Sanctorum without a mystic is hazardous to your health… and your Clix! Therefore, when you build your force, you must include a Modern Age Marvel character with the Mystical keyword. That character has your faction’s keyword (either S.H.I.E.L.D. or Mys-Tech) this game.

Special “Home Invasion” Scenario Rules:

–This scenario will be played on the “Doctor Strange Mansion” Indoor Map from Amazing Spider-Man. The winner of the Map Roll may choose to either go first OR choose which side of the Map they’d like to start on.

–Protect your Mystical Guide! If your Mystical Guide is KO’d, the rest of your team gains the following Trait for the rest of the game:

Morphesti Has Been Opened!: This character can use Shape Change and Battle Fury. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 for all characters on your team with this Trait. On a result of 1 or 2, deal those characters 1 unavoidable damage.”

–If your Mystical Guide has been KO’d, any time a friendly character enters Hindering Terrain for any reason (Movement, Knockback, etc.), roll a d6. On a result of 1-3, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage and then place that character in an adjacent square of clear terrain.

-Relics, ATA’s, Team Bases, Avengers ID Cards, Resources and Bystander/Horde Tokens are NOT allowed as part of your Build UNLESS they are specifically allowed by your faction or brought into play via a Trait or ability possessed by a member of your team.

Special Faction Rules:

Shield Agents of

-If you choose to play as S.H.I.E.L.D.: You must play a S.H.I.E.L.D. Themed Team. You may include the S.H.I.E.L.D. ATA and/or up to 3 Avengers ID Cards in your Build by paying their normal costs.

Mys-Tech

If you choose to play as Mys-Tech: You must play a Themed Team, but you may NOT include any character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. or Avengers keyword. (You are encouraged to choose a team of “villainous” characters, but it is not a requirement). If one or more characters on your team has an available ATA for one of their keywords, you may include that ATA in your Build by paying all applicable costs. During Force Construction, all characters on your team gain the Mys-Tech keyword.

The Cost: To enter this week’s game, the cost is $5.

The Prize: Winner and Fellowship will both receive wkM15-011 Doctor Strange!!

Okay! That about covers it! Feel free to post any scenario questions in the Comments, and I’ll answer them as soon as I can.

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

 

Wait… That’s Not Superman!! Actually, It’s More Like 16 of Them… (Or, a Top Ten Set Review for Superman/Wonder Woman!!)

Oh, so you didn’t think there were enough versions of Superman in SLoSH, eh?

Oooooh, it’s good to be back. Today, we’re going to dive into the just released Superman/Wonder Woman DC Heroclix set! We haven’t seen much from the DC side of things in a little while (even for a huge Avengers fan like myself, this summer featured perhaps a bit too much face time for the ever-assembling heroes), but that’s about to change as the first of two straight DC-focused sets has just dropped!

Before we get into the individual pieces, though, let’s discuss…

Some Notes About the Set

Some General Notes About the Set:

–While there are some individual standout pieces (who we’ll obviously get to in a moment), Superman/Wonder Woman is definitely a step backwards in terms of overall power level. Not that this really comes as a big surprise–I think WizKids has been deliberately doing this for a while now, starting all the way back in May with Avengers Assemble. It seems like WizKids has been making a concentrated effort to dial back the game’s Power Creep, and with that in mind, Avengers Assemble featured a ton of 9 and 10 Attack Values, as did the Limited Edition Age of Ultron Organized Play set that proceeded it this summer.

(Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the outlier–that set was absolutely LOADED with Meta power pieces. Holy $#!t was that a dynamic set.)

Superman/Wonder Woman goes about containing Power Creep in a different way, I think. You see Attack Values of 10 or 11 quite often, and many pieces start with 4 or even 5 Damage top dial (I mean, it’s called Superman/Wonder Woman, so you’d expect some decent Damage Values). But if you look closely, many of the best pieces have simple Standard Power sets on their first click, and don’t get any elaborate, gamechanging Special Powers until Click 2 or Click 3.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Less Special Powers on Common & Uncommon pieces is another conscious design decision by WizKids, and it’s something we should see more of going forward–but they’re doing that to sort of clean the game up a little bit and make it less complicated, not so much as a counter to Power Creep.]

Let’s do a quick case study with NFAOS056 Nick Fury (a Super Rare from the last set) and SMWW064 Green Light (a brand new Red Son Chase from Superman/Wonder Woman).

Nick Fury SR

Nick Fury’s got great stats for his cost (120 Points), every sort of Improved Targeting you could realistically expect and an absolutely killer Trait. Beyond that, his Special Damage Power (WATCHER’S EYES TO SEE SECRETS: Nick Fury can use Probability Control. Give Nick Fury a free action and choose a power that an opposing character within range and line of fire can use. That character can’t use that power until your next turn.) appears right there on his top Click. Fury is already a Meta staple and will stay that way until he rotates out in two years (assuming WizKids doesn’t find a way to nerf him between now and then).

Green Light

Green Light has decent stats for his cost (90 Points) and a somewhat useless Trait unless you are planning on putting together the swarm team to end all swarm teams, but he’s also been blessed with an unbelievably powerful Special Attack Power (Box Within A Box Within An Infinite Number Of Boxes: Green Light can use Barrier. When he does, instead of placing markers normally, you may choose a single base opposing character within range and line of fire and place a blocking terrain marker in each unoccupied square adjacent to the character. That character gains earthbound/neutralized until your next turn. At the beginning of your next turn before removing the markers, give the chosen character an action token if it’s adjacent to at least three of these markers.).

That’s a power that could quickly eat someone’s lunch; it’s a power that’s so useful that apparently WizKids had to make sure that you can’t access it until Green Light’s 3rd Click. Keep in mind, Green Light has a 17 Defense with just Toughness top dial, so it’s not impossible for someone to hit him so hard that never really gets a chance to use it.

This is a common theme throughout this expansion. If you look at a character’s card from this set and see an awesome Special Power, I’ll guarantee that that character doesn’t get to use said power until they’re at least halfway to being KO’d.

–In that same vein, there’s a lot of great Common dials in Superman/Wonder Woman that look great when examined as a whole, but when you look at that starting Click, they give you kind of a sick feeling in your stomach. What?! Common Superman has an 11 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Invincible and the JSA Team Ability and 4 native Damage top dial?! AND he has 8 clicks for just 100 Points?! Sign me up!!

Well… he also just has Leap/Climb for Movement (doesn’t even have the Wing Symbol) and no Willpower of any kind. He also doesn’t have the Justice League keyword, either, so he’s not the easiest guy to throw in a Build.

It seems like some of the recent rules overhauls are trending towards making it very difficult to play both an Entity and a Resource Attachment on one character (although your guess is as good as ours at this point as to what WizKids really intends to do there), so fixing things like “no move-and-attack top dial” are going to be a little more difficult going forward.

–Or not. Did I mention that NO ONE IS QUITE SURE EXACTLY HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME AT THE MOMENT?! I actually tried explicitly asking whether Entities and Resource Attachments could be used by the same character at the same time on the WizKids Event System Rules Forum, and instead of posting an answer, their rules folks just e-mailed this:

Morpheus 2

Seriously, someone might want to get on that.

–From an aesthetic point of view, the sculpts are more subtle in this set. It doesn’t have the abundance of translucent flash that, say, Flash had, but the articulation is phenomenal. It seems like WizKids gets better every set at depicting motion–just look at Krypto’s lil’ cape if you don’t believe me!

Alright! Enough notations. Let’s get into the…

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

This seems excessive...

The fire seems excessive…

5. SMWW019B BrutaalUncommon Prime175 Points: Very much a “does what it says on the box” sort of figure. His top Click is absolutely murderous (Running Shot, Pen/Psy, Invincible AND Shape Change), but he only has conditional Willpower via a Trait (basically, you have to be on your opponent’s side of the map–not always easy, but hardly impossible). His Attack Value also stays consistently high throughout his entire dial (once the game gets going, it’s not hard to keep him at a 12 Attack unless your playing against Nighthawk Prime), and his third Trait makes him really tough to Outwit (SPAWN OF APOKOLIPS: Brutaal can use Super Strength. Opposing characters can’t target him with Outwit unless it is granted by the Superman Enemy team ability.).

The only thing I really don’t like here is that even at 175 Points, Brutaal is REALLY top-heavy; pushing him to Click 2 is fine, and Click 3 is still misery for your opponent, but if Brutaal ends up on anything after that, his effectiveness goes way down unless you are very close to your quarry–there is a HARD transition from heavy ranged hitter to close combat beatstick when you get to Click 4. There’s things you can do to compensate for this when building your team of course, but it’s something you will have to be mindful of as you’re playing him. Having said that, his nigh-unOutwittable top dial Invincible should help keep him in that first-3-Clicks-sweet spot long enough to put a serious hurt on whoever you’re playing.

Yes, occasionally Green Lanterns sneeze, and no, it's not pretty...

Yes, occasionally Green Lanterns sneeze in space, and no, it’s not pretty…

4. SMWW035 Green LanternRare180 Points: His dial is actually somewhat similar to Brutaal’s, except Green Lantern turns into more of a gunner down dial. His main advantage over pieces like Brutaal is that he can resurrect himself via his awesomely-named Trait (THE GREEN WILL NOT LET ME DIE: The first time each game that Green Lantern would be KO’d, instead turn him to click #5, then for the rest of the game when Green Lantern clears action tokens, you may heal him 1 click. This ability can’t be ignored.).

Lana Lang

3. SMWW029 Lana LangUncommon50 Points: Lana makes this list just for her sheer value. You get three Clicks of support-y powers like Empower and her Special Attack (THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW: ALL THE SHOCKING DETAILS… FULL COVERAGE AT 8: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an opposing character within 4 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character’s combat values can’t be increased or replaced with a value higher than its printed values.) THAT IS EVEN BETTER THAN NIGHTHAWK PRIME’S TRAIT*, since it also stops replacement values!!

(*This statement assumes that Lana Lang starts her turn within four squares of the opposing character you wish to shut down. Oh, and it also assumes the targeted character doesn’t have Stealth, and isn’t hiding behind another character, or a wall, or is sitting on a different elevation, since Lana needs line of sight, and–oh, wait a minute. Lana can only do this to one opposing character, whereas Nighthawk stops your opponent’s entire force from increasing stats… SIGH. Okay, I guess it’s not nearly as good as Nighthawk Prime’s Trait. But it’s still pretty damn useful.)

So that’s a decent amount of supporting abilities–maybe not entirely enough to justify her 50 Points, but not bad. But then, if she takes just three damage (whether through pushing damage or just absorbing enemy attacks, which would be even better), she morphs into a pretty good tertiary attacker with Wing Symbol, Charge, B/C/F, Super Senses and Toughness, which she keeps FOR FOUR MORE CLICKS!! That’s right, you get 7 quality Clicks for the low, low cost of 50 Points! It’s like they pulled a dial from Hypertime into the future, made it more useful but kept the point cost the same.

"Yep. Just out here in deep space... posing."

Yep. Just out here in deep space… posing.

2. SMWW013B Captain AtomCommon Prime130 Points: The good Captain here offers a top Click that is almost identical to Brutaal’s (the Movement Value and Damage Value for Captain Atom is 1 less) first Click, except that Captain Atom adds in Indomitable and he costs 45 Points less!! Brutaal does have some built-in Outwit protection, but not 45 Points worth. I mean, before you get too wrapped up in the fact that Brutaal does 1 more Damage than Captain Atom, remember that you could actually play, say, Captain Atom and Fast Forces Fitz (who brings lil’ H.E.N.R.Y. with him) for just about the same amount of points!

Clark Kent

1. SMWW026 Clark KentUncommon55 Points: One of my favorite pieces from the set. Clark has a pretty good Reporter Trait (THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW: YOUR PLANS: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an opposing character within 4 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t be given power actions.)–and remember, he has the Superman Team Ability so he can see through Stealth–he starts with Stealth and Prob and, on his back half, has the ability to summon a Superman Token with Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength.

WizKids has done an awesome job designing these “Token Creator” pieces, and I hope this is a sub-theme they continue in the future!!

Okay! That’s a solid group of honorable mentions, which can only mean that it’s time to start counting down the…

Top Ten Twelve Figures in SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN:

So, while there isn’t necessarily as many Meta pieces in this set as there were in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., there are twelve more figures worth spotlighting. And hell, it seems like I can never just narrow it down to ten anyway. So like Tony Stark likes to say… here goes nuthin’!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Wrong universe, moron.]

Concept art from Peter Jackson’s studio-thwarted ‘King Kong 2: Electric Bugaloo.'”

12. SMWWG005R TitanoSuper Booster75 Points: On a different character, Leap/Climb and Close Combat Expert would be a pretty sub-standard power mix. But with the new Giant Reach rules established just a few days ago by WizKids in their DesignInsight column, Titano here now has the ability to make a close combat attack from 3 squares away. Which means he can activate Close Combat Expert from three squares away. Suddenly your 75-Point investment essentially has the equivalent of the ability to Charge 4 Squares with a 10 Attack and 3 Damage AND activate CCE on top of it.

But we’re not done. Throw Lois Lane on your team (she’s only 45 Points, shares the Metropolis keyword with Titano, brings a Stealth-busting Outwit, a 6 native Movement Value, is REALLY tough to target at range AND has a Stop Click if you’re also playing a Superman) and suddenly, because of Titano’s first Trait (MONKEY SEE LOIS, MONKEY DO: When a friendly character named Lois Lane moves, after actions resolve Titano can be given a move action as a free action to move up to the same number of squares. When a friendly character named Lois Lane makes an attack targeting an opposing character, after actions resolve Titano can make a close combat attack as a free action.), you have a Colossal Robot Gorilla who can cover up to 9 Squares in a turn and STILL activate Close Combat Expert!!

Let’s see what this looks like as a Build:

Titano 2

Team Name: Metropo-lease Put Me Down!!

Theme: Metropolis

Map Choice Preference: Nothing specific, although the easier it is for Lois to actually move around on her own–remember, she can’t have lines of fire drawn to her by opposing characters unless they’re within 2 Squares or she’s adjacent to a friendly character, so you don’t have to worry about ranged attacks picking her off–the easier it will be for Titano to move and attack.

Roster:

SMWWG005R Titano – 75 Points

SMWW047 Lois Lane 45

SMWW049 Superman 175

=295 Points

What This Build Does: In a no-Resource environment, this should be a pretty competitive Build. You can actually split Lois and Superman up and be fairly confidant nothing will happen to Lois. Just make sure that when Lois grants Titano a free movement, DO NOT finish Titano’s move action with him adjacent to Lois if you can help it. Other than that, feel free to move Lois up, Outwit any bothersome dampeners on opposing figures and then bring the boom with Titano, all in the same turn.

The SR Superman from the same set is a close combat beast with one problem (well, one main problem, at least. There are several others that combined to keep him off of this list.)–he only has Sidestep for move and attack on his top Click. After you split him off just a bit from Titano and Lois, if your opponent choses to come after Supes, no problem–he possesses  a long dial, great stats and the “Odds Are Against Me” running Trait that lets him build up tokens he can cash in for free attacks. Plus, as we stated, Lois and Titano can cross a map in a hurry.

If they come after Lois first, assuming they can even get close enough to hit her, her dial ends on a Stop Click that lets you physically place Superman in any adjacent Square AND lets that Superman use Defend.

As far as Lois goes, she just barely missed the cut on my list, particularly since this was the only Build I really liked her for. I know, the same could be said about Titano–they kind of need each other–but Titano’s really doing the heavy lifting here between the two of them, and his Stop Click (COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: Titano can use Toughness. If Titano began the game on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation. When this power is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing character’s attack, stop turning the dial. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) can’t be countered or Ignored AND his Attack Special grants you at least one last smackdown (COLOSSAL RETALIATION: TWO-FIST PUNCH: Give Titano a free action if no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn and choose an opposing character that attacked Titano or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Titano such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then make two separate close combat attacks targeting the chosen character each with an area of effect that includes all other characters within 2 squares of the target. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage.).

(Btw, if you actually have Chase Red Son Superman, go ahead and disregard everything I said about the SR Superman and just use him.)

I can NOT believe our Tommy Guns are not taking down this gigantic tank!

11. SMWWG006P War WheelSuper Booster15 Points: War Wheel is here because it has my favorite Colossal Retaliation power, which just happens to be it’s only Trait: (COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CRUSH WITH GIANT SPIKES: Give War Wheel a power action if no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn and choose an opposing character that attacked War Wheel or damaged a friendly character since your last turn and occupies the same row or column as War Wheel. Place War Wheel in any 4 squares in the same rows or columns that contain both all of War Wheel and the chosen character. Make a close combat attack whose area of effect is all characters in those rows or columns between where War Wheel began this action and the squares it currently occupies. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.) It’s also here because it costs just 15 Points. 15 freaking Points!! But beyond the Trait, hell, just try finding a Bystander Pog with Indomitable and a 10 Attack Value for 15 Points. Now find one with Sidestep, Toughness, 3 Damage and a 7 Range!! Go ahead, find one. I’ll wait.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, I will not wait. We’re like 2500 words in and still have a lot of ground to cover. On to Blazing Atomic Skull!]

Atomic Skull

10. SMWW054 Atomic SkullSuper Rare150 Points: For 150 Points, you kind of get exactly the sort of stats and power mix you might expect. Running Shot with a mediocre Range (6). 11 Attack, which is fine, but nothing you haven’t seen before. 18 Defense with a dampener. Pretty standard. 4 Damage top dial is nice, but certainly not unheard of. Then you read his one Special Power, which sits in his Attack slot for his first four Clicks (IONIZING RADIATION: Atomic Skull can use Energy Explosion, Poison, and deals penetrating damage.). Wow! He’s the first character I can think of that deals Penetrating Damage with no ifs, ands or buts.

You want to give him a Bulldozer Construct and have him blow someone with Impervious off a rooftop? All of his Knockback damage is penetrating. That vanilla Poison his Special grants him? He might as well be a Red Lantern, cuz that’s all Penetrating damage. Any attack or effect you can think of with him deals Penetrating damage, which basically means he doesn’t have to be afraid of anyone.

Krypto

9. SMWW050 KryptoSuper Rare50 Points: Possibly the most efficient character in the set for his cost (#2 on this list might have an argument, but we’ll see). Need to bust some opposing Stealth? Krypto has the Superman Ally. Super Senses? He comes packing Precision Strike. Shape Change? His Special Damage power sniffs that out (KRYPTONIAN NOSE: Krypto ignores opposing character’s Shape Change.).

His Trait (LOYAL COMPANION: When a friendly character named Superman, Superboy, or Supergirl within 8 squares takes damage from an attack, after actions resolve you may place Krypto in a square adjacent to the attacking character.) is mildly helpful depending on whether or not you’re building a literal Super-team around him, but his Movement Special (SIC ‘EM, BOY!: Krypto can use Charge and Plasticity.) not only allows him to go on the attack when you need him to, but it also adds Hypersonic Speed to the list of opposing abilities that Krypto takes a bite out of.

No, I’m not ‘Apokolips Bane!’ I’m Brimstone, dammit!

8. SMWWG003R Brimstone Super Booster75 Points: 7 Clicks, Sidestep, 6 Range with an incredible top dial Pulse Wave Special Attack Power (THROWING FIREBALLS: Brimstone can use Pulse Wave. When he does you may choose an unoccupied square within 6 squares and line of fire and he can use Pulse Wave as if he occupied that square.), Penetrating Poison and the obligatory Colossal Retaliation and Indifference powers.

The Pulse Wave is what earns him this spot though; we’ve seen similar versions of this sort of Pulse Wave before (the GOTG Movie Starter comes to mind), but it’s always been limited in some way (usually it’s only usable once per game). The fact that he can do it every turn puts him at #8.

The least

The least “creeper-ish” image of Vartox. Yes, I said the least.

8.  SMWW052E Vartox Super Rare150 Points: This is where the Meta-relevant pieces really start. At 150 Points, Varty gives you Hypersonic Speed, Probability Control and the chance to do a boatload of damage (7) with his Super Strength. His Trait (THE REST OF THE HYPER-POWERS: Give Vartox a free action and choose a standard speed, attack, or defense power that you didn’t choose during your last turn. Until your next turn Vartox can use that power instead of the power in that slot on his dial.) also gives him a wide amount of sneaky versatility. Oh, your opponent just got three damage through on him and thinks he doesn’t have to worry about Hypersonic Speed anymore? Sorry, Vartox can get it back whenever he wants. And so on.

He’s not Zombie Super Skrull, but he’s not far off either, and he saves you 20 Points in your Build, which could be the difference in a Meta-Build between playing a Resource and not playing a Resource. If you can manage to keep him top dial, he will be a nightmare for your opponent.

No, seriously, any second now, I’m totally gonna fly!

6. SMWW065E SupermanChase175 Points: Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Impervious and 4 Damage top dial. His Trait (CRIMINALS BECOME “SUPERMAN ROBOTS”: When Superman hits an opposing character with a close combat attack, put a Lobotomy token on its card. Give Superman a power action and remove any number of his Lobotomy tokens to have Superman use Mind Control as a free action targeting those characters that had at least 1 token removed, regardless of range or line of fire.) lets him Mind Control characters he’s hit FOR FREE and, if none of that works, he has TWO Stop Click Specials (WINTER PALACE: Superman can use Barrier, Regeneration, and Super Senses. When this click is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial, and after actions resolve give the attacker an action token. If you can’t, deal that character 1 penetrating damage.) that actually token the attacker that hit you, which should give you time to actually USE your Regeneration.

Unless your opponent is able to finish Supes off with Pulse Wave, the Red Son is almost impossible to kill.

First Born

5. SMWW037 First BornRare200 Points: So all article we’ve been talking about all the great changes WizKids made to Giant and Colossal characters, and the fact that First Born is Giant-Sized helps him out immensely. He doesn’t fly, but he’ll still have no problem with elevation.

He Charges up to 6 Squares on his first Click, and his Giant Reach gives him the ability to cover two more. He starts with 4 Damage and both Super Strength AND Exploit Weakness, so now he has a Threat Range of 8 Squares and up to 7 Penetrating Damage (assuming he picks up an Ultra-Heavy on the way).

First Born is also the beneficiary of the Divine Aura running Trait (DIVINE AURA: First Born can’t be targeted by Outwit or Probability Control from opposing characters unless the targeting character has a higher point value or has the Deity keyword.) that many of the Deity-keyworded figures in this have, which means that unless your opponent built their team around NFAOS050 Thor (the only Meta-worthy Deity piece I can think of at the moment, although I’m sure I’m forgetting a few) AND found a way to give her Outwit, First Born’s powers aren’t going anywhere (trust me, your opponent isn’t crazy enough to play a piece that costs more than 200 Points, unless he’s going with a Team Base or something, so the first clause of First Born’s Trait isn’t really gonna matter most of the time). And with two Clicks of Invincible right at the top, First Born can soak up Damage like nobody’s business.

His second Trait (SCION OF HATE: All characters within 3 squares can use Battle Fury. Friendly characters adjacent to First Born modify their attack values by +1.) is interesting as well. He becomes even MORE intriguing when you play him with a Resource like, oh, I dunno, the Indigo Power Battery. If you give First Born the Indigo Wall Construct, depending on what Map your using, you can make it almost impossible for First Born to be shot at from range. Which makes it that much more likely that the 8-Square, 7 Penetrating Damage Charge I mentioned earlier might just be an Alpha Strike. It’ll be like playing Ghost Rider  in the Meta of mid-2013 all over again, only First Born might even be BETTER.

Eclipso

4. SMWW055P EclipsoSuper Rare25 Points: Even with the new Equip rules and all the chaos that has caused, Possession is still a Meta-worthy enhancement. And of the two Possessors in the set (Red Son Brainiac also Possesses), Eclipso is the best.

Right off the bat you have access to Stealth, Precision Strike, Impervious or Shape Change. Those are all great powers. Eclipso’s stats are also pretty good, as you might expect, since you’re gaining access to a 250 Point dial. Down dial, turning onto some Pen/Psy or Probability Control could be the difference in a game that’s running long.

Red Son Wonder Woman

3. SMWW066 Wonder Woman Chase165 Points: Quite simply, Chase Red Son Wonder Woman is Point-for-Point the best Primary Attacker in the set. For only 165 Points you get Hypersonic Speed, Super Strength, a 19 freaking Defense Value with Invincible and she deals at least 4 Damage when she hits.

She also has a Stop Click and a Trait (COMMUNISM IS SOCIAL JUSTICE: When a friendly character with a lower point value than Wonder Woman is targeted with an attack, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.) that’ll do wonders in terms of keeping supporting characters alive.

A brutally efficient package.

The 90's are back, and they brought their Superman with them. (Artwork by Sassophilaco sassophiliaco.deviantart.com)

The 90’s are back, and they brought their Superman with them. (Artwork by Sassophilaco sassophiliaco.deviantart.com)

2. SMWW041AE Superman BlueRare 50 Points: Oh boy, do I love me some 50 Point Taxi/Supporting Characters. Supes Blue is definitely that, but he has Secondary Attacker power sets and stats, too. He also can protect anyone he Carries from Pulse Wave, which is not nothing in the Meta.

While your opponent will need a 20 to hit him from range top dial, Supes Blue can always be pushed onto his second Click, where he has Hypersonic Speed, 3 Damage and Perplex!

He very much reminds me of a slightly more expensive Fear Itself Loki. Sometimes, big things come in small (mostly white and blue) packages, and this 50-Pointer is a gem.

Oh look–you missed another roll! Guess I’m only giving out Tricks this year, which is a Treat. For me.

1. SMWW060 Mr. MxyzptlkSuper Rare70 Points: I know. You thought WizKids learned their lesson about making pieces that offer ridiculous levels of board control for under 100 Points. Well… they didn’t.

Mxy here is not as broken as Felix Faust was this summer, but that doesn’t exactly mean he’s fair, either. His ridiculously useful Trait (MESSING AROUND WITH THE ODDS: At the beginning of the game, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Give Mr. Mxyzptlk a power action if there is no d6 on this card, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Whenever any dice that can be rerolled are rolled (including as part of a 2d6 roll), you may remove the d6 from this card and replace one of those die results with the rolled result from the d6 removed from this card.) essentially means that every d6 or 2d6 roll goes through you. I cannot emphasize how much paralyzing stress this puts on your opponent’s decision making, particularly if you’re sitting on a 1, 5 or 6.

With a 5 or 6 showing, anyone on your team with either Shape Change or Super Senses has a backup d6 roll that will automatically allow that ability to succeed. Need to really hit that Leadership this turn? You’re golden. Roll a six and a one and just miss? Sub in that 6 sitting on Mxy’s card and all of the sudden you have a Critical Hit.

Conversely, your opponent will be DEATHLY afraid of attacking anyone if you have a 1 showing. Normally, you would have about a 1 in 36 chance (roughly 2.78%) of rolling a Critical Miss. But if you are able to change either of the d6 rolls to a 1 with Mxy, suddenly those odds shoot up dramatically (each d6 your opponent rolls has roughly a 16.6% chance of ending up on 1),

And these are just the most basic and obvious uses. Even a 3 or a 4 can be gamechanging if it guarantees your opponent misses that Super Senses roll or subs in for a 1 to make sure you hit with an attack. There’s really a bunch of sneaky plays you can make with this guy–and we haven’t even talked about his 18 Defense with Super Senses, his Quintessence Team Ability or any of his 3 Specials, including his Pulse Wave Special Attack Power on Click 2 that allows you to completely incapacitate any opposing characters you hit while avoiding giving any damage or tokens to your own folks.

This is the best figure in the set, and it’s not close.

 

Agree? Disagree? Post your opinion by leaving a comment, and let us know which pieces are in your Top Ten!

Trick or Treat!! (Or, Happy Halloween!!)

( LukeRadl via now defunct lifeisamovingslideshow1993.tumblr.com)

( LukeRadl via now defunct lifeisamovingslideshow1993.tumblr.com)

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!

Critical Missives will be back next week with a Top Ten review of Superman/Wonder Woman. We’ve also got a few other articles cooking in the fire; more on those when there a liiiiil’ bit closer to being done!

Until then,

Stay Safe! And Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!