Hello once more, and welcome to our first Top Ten Set Review for the newest DC Heroclix expansion, World’s Finest!
I’ll be going first today, with Ninwashui trailing not far behind with his own Second Opinion.
Before we begin, a word of warning:
This piece is long. Seriously. Like Bill Simmons long. This might be the longest article we’ve ever published [EDITOR’S NOTE: Incidentally, Ninwashui has no hope of matching my word count, but his inadequacies as a Heroclix dial evaluator when compared to me are not important right now–this is about the figures.]. I really should have split it in two. Remember that “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we published a year and a half ago? In three parts?
Yeah, I think this is longer than all three of those. Combined.
So sit back, grab a cold drink (probably not in that order) and enjoy the feast that is to come.
Cuz we’re starting right now with some…
NOTES ABOUT THE SET:
–I think I say something positive about the sculpts almost every set, but this time… I’m gonna do it again. The articulation on some of these sculpts is astounding! The faces in particular. As recently as three years ago, character’s faces always ended up as blurry blobs; now you can often tell who a character is on their facial features alone. Bravo, WizKids! Bravo!
–Now for some bad news. This is probably the most top heavy set Wizkids has ever produced. Almost all the firepower is in the Rare, Super Rare, Chase and LE slots. Which means you’ll often be pulling–at most–one good figure per pack. Ninwashui will come on here later with his Second Opinion and try to sell you on the “Shifting Focus”-Traited Batman or Superman figs. They’re fun for a house game where the build is, like, 200 Points; beyond that, they’re really not very good.
I mean, seriously, let’s take a brief look at the hot mess that is some of the Common slot figs (I say some cuz I don’t want to step on the Worst Figures bonus segment that ends this article):
–Robotman (130 Points): Completely generic dial, although his stats aren’t terrible for the points (I actually think there’s a tiny bit of value in his 50 Point dial). At least you’ll need him for a Doom Patrol Theme; that’s the main reason to collect him, I suppose.
–Iron (50 Points): 50 Points buys you four Clicks of a slow close combatant with no Willpower. If you play a better member of the Metal Men with him, he’ll gain Sidestep and every once in a blue moon he’ll deal one more damage with a successful object attack. Considering the cheapest Metal Man (or Metal Woman) is 25 Points, you’d probably be better off just Possessing him with, well, any Possessor, really. But then you’ll ask yourself: “Why am I wasting a Possessor on such a loser dial?”
Let’s be honest: the only reason to own Iron is if you’ve managed to pull an Alloy (you’ll want Iron for your Sideline).
–Tin (50 Points): To be clear: you are paying 50 Points for Perplex. His 9 Attack and 2 Damage with a 4 Range are not awful for his cost, but you’re really playing him for that Perplex. These are pretty average values and powers for his point level, but “average” makes him among the best Commons in the set. Now, here’s where things get interesting.
If you play two copies of Tin together, suddenly they each get Sidestep and can use their Perplexes to modify any combat value (except Damage) by +2 instead. That Sidestep combined with their top dial Willpower means they should be able to scoot around the map as a mobile Perplex-unit that’s always there when you need them. So, in conclusion, while one Tin on his own is average, two Tins played together are actually (gasp!) kinda good!
–Creeper (75 Points): I have played him like three times now in Sealed Tourneys. He’s just not good. The problem is he really seems like he SHOULD be, and he sucks you into playing him every time. He has a ton of powers. He has the always useful Outsiders TA. But even with Traited Sidestep and Stealth, he just doesn’t seem to be able to get to his target unscathed. And that’s a major problem when he has no Willpower, no dampeners, only does 2 Damage after his top Click and has only 5 Clicks of life. I think he’d be okay in Modern Age Constructed when played by someone with a specific plan of attack for him, but in a Meta where a piece like Nick Fury will see him coming from across the board, he’s almost less than useless.
And on and on… I think you get the idea. Are the Witch and Warlock playable? Absolutely. Is Booster Gold good? Sure. Blue Beetle is downright… well, he’s decent when played with Booster, which limits your options a bit, but whatever. Still not gonna be Top Ten worthy. Even Poison Ivy Prime, while solid, was nowhere near my Top Ten.
I can’t remember the last time I did a Set Review and no Common showed up in the Top Ten or even as an Honorable Mention slot. Well, that day is here.
–And as we noted last set, I guess Wizkids has sort of hinted that this situation was coming with their recent DesignInsight articles that stated their interest in simplifying the Common and Uncommon character mechanics and saving the more ambitious designs for Rare figures or above. But “simple” doesn’t have to mean “underpowered” or downright “useless.”
Just last set we had Common figures like Hat, who has only 5 Clicks, no Special Powers and exactly one, two-sentence long Trait. And he currently has a 5-Star rating on HCRealms.com. He’s also got the Justice League Elite and Mystical keywords, which means he’s a piece people will look for if they want to create an Elite Build or if they need an effective piece to round out a Mystical squad. In other words, it’s not a bad day if he shows up in the back you just bought.
I get that from a design standpoint not every figure is going to be a home run–you actually want to have certain pieces be stronger in certain situations than others. That’s what makes for a healthy game environment. I just think the rarity distribution for those pieces was significantly off for this set, and I’d invite anyone who disagrees with that conclusion to compare the effectiveness of the Commons from Superman/Wonder Woman to the Commons from World’s Finest. It’s really not even close.
–Has the community decided on a shorthand name for the Chases’ Rookie Levels? I prefer “Tower Click,” and that’s the term I’ll use here [EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh-ho, just wait until you’re done with this review. “Tower Click?”–you’ll be sick of it, you’re going to hear it so much! Yup, those Chases are gonna show up a BUNCH! Sorry, I didn’t design them–don’t blame me for these guys clogging up your Meta and emptying your bank account. Wizkids did it.], but I’ve also heard “Sentry Mode” and “Turret Mode/Click,” so your mileage may vary.
–Lastly… ugh. This is an ugly set for Sealed. If I handed you two packs and guaranteed you a Super Rare and a Rare, you could pull something like World’s Finest and Mary Marvel in those slots (you’re probably going to win), or Platinum and Mercury (thanks for playing!).
I know some folks weren’t happy with Nick Fury Sealed (“Wow! I got a 65 Point Nick Fury, Jr., and a whole bunch of 50 Point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. And you got Super Rare Jane Foster Thor, who can kill everybody on my side with about two ranged attacks. Through Hindering Terrain. Or Elevated Terrain. Or other characters. Good Lord…“), but I’ve found this World’s Finest Sealed Environment to be much, much worse. If you are running a Sealed, make it a 300 Point Build. Anything higher just increases the imbalance towards Tentpoles. Trust me, I learned this the hard way…
Okay! Enough notes. No more paperwork. Let’s talk about…
5 HONORABLE MENTIONS!!
5. WF036 Toymaster — Rare — 30 Points: Juston Seyfert and Ragnarok just found a new running buddy! He has an Attack Special [UPGRADE YOUR STUFF: UNIQUE MODIFIER – Modify the attack value of adjacent friendly characters by +1. If that character has the Armor or Robot keyword, also modify their defense value by +1. (UNIQUE MODIFIER – Characters can only be modified by one effect of this name.)] AND a Damage Special (I’M BETTER WITH ROBOTS: Toymaster can use Support. When he does, increase the d6 result by 1 if the target has the Robot or Armor keyword and decrease it by 1 otherwise.) that can supe up your robotic Tentpole immensely.
Toymaster isn’t much different from some Common generics like Witch, except that he adds that defense buff and an advanced healing component as well–provided that his target has the “Robot” or “Armor” keyword. Plus, with Willpower, Stealth and the ability to move through Hindering (via his Batman Ally & Superman Ally TA’s), he’s a much more nimble supporting piece than the generics. And his keywords rock. Finally, a guy who enhances Robots AND has the “Robot” keyword!
FUN BUILD FACTS: If you really feel like being sneaky but don’t care so much about Theme, equip him with Ion for another 25 Points and watch him Outwit opposing characters through Stealth with his Supes TA. With Ion, you can also choose to give him Impervious, Phasing/Teleport OR Telekinesis as needed.
What you’ve then essentially done is taken the best of the 50 Point Starter Set Toymaster and added it to the Main set version (plus a whole lot extra) for just 5 Points more. Hell, TK was the main reason to play the Starter version anyway. And the Starter version’s limited Wildcard ability frankly sucks compared to the Main set’s already included Batman Ally and Superman Ally TA’s.
CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #13: Possessors are, y’know, pretty #@^$ing good. That is all.
4. WF052 Monsieur Mallah — 150 Points — Super Rare: This is a true Switchblade Clix that can do just about anything, since between Mallah and the detachable Brain, these pieces have just about all the powers in the game.
If you’re worried about getting out-actioned, choose to take the Brain off at the beginning of your turn and have the lil guy (thing?) go to town with his 8 Range, 2 Damage, Pen/Psy and Outwit.
On the other hand, if you’re up for some tentpole on tentpole violence, keep Brain attached, have Mallah launch a nice 3 or 4 (depending on how you want to use your Perplex) damage Pen/Psy/Energy Explosion attack of his own, and then try and use his Leadership Special next turn to remove an action token from himself.
There’s too much power and game-changing support in this set for Mallah to crack my Top Ten, but he has to be mentioned.
3. WF035E Elasti-Girl — 50 Points — Rare: By far the best of the Doom Patrol pieces in this set [EDITOR’S NOTE: Not that I’m a huge fan of either the New 52 or the Doom Patrol, but for the love of all that’s holy, why didn’t Element Woman from Trinity War have the “Doom Patrol” keyword? It’s not new. If you were a fan and wanted to put together a New 52 Doom Patrol from, say, their appearance in Justice League #30, all the pieces have basically been made, but now you’re actually breaking Theme to put them together. Sigh… ], Rita Farr has a great Veteran dial, but her Experienced dial is even more intriguing.
Her second Trait (PROTOPLASMIC PHYSIOLOGY: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose tiny symbol, giant symbol, or colossal symbol. If you do, Elasti-Girl has the chosen symbol until she chooses again. If she chooses tiny symbol, modify her combat values by -1. If she chooses colossal symbol, modify her combat values by +1.) means that she can either Carry or be Carried right off the bat, so it’s tough to envision mobility issues for any team that uses her as a Tertiary Attacker or Supporting piece.
She has Charge and the ability to deal up to 4 Damage on her top click, and while she has no dampeners, she does sport the ever popular Shape Change/Super Senses combo on top of her 18 Defense (when Colossal).
Down dial she turns into a really good tie-up piece with Plasticity and Perplex. This is a very versatile dial that offers a ton of value for just 50 Points.
2. WF060R World’s Finest — 75 Points — Super Rare: Stats are pretty good for a 75-Point piece. Duo Attack. 4 Damage to start. Charge the whole dial, Super Strength the whole dial, Toughness, Combat Reflexes and CCE the whole dial. And–oh yeah–none of their powers can be countered. What’s not to love?
They have 3 Clicks. One strike from a piece that does 4 or more damage KO’s them instantly.
But–BUT–that dial isn’t as shallow as it may seem. Remember, this piece has both the Superman Ally AND Batman Ally TA, so your opponent will either need to find a solution for your Stealth or deal with your un-Outwittable Combat Reflexes, which suddenly means they have to hit a 20.
And that’s what it comes down to. You’re making a 75-Point bet that you can get this piece to your opponent’s front line for a huge, 6-Damage Charge before they can snipe it out of the air. If you make it there unscathed, you have a Secondary Attacker that’s giving you A+ Primary Attacker damage output. If you can’t, you may have dug yourself a hole to deep to get out of.
1. WF062R Batman — 25 Points — Chase: Incidentally, KC Bat’s 150 Point main dial could easily have gone here too (13 Attack with Precision Strike!). But his “Tower Click” is probably where his Meta bread will be buttered.
Like all of his KC brethren (and sistren?), Batman’s Tower Click comes with a mobility hindering Trait (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Batman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 6 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) that requires you to be very precise about where you Place him to start the game (incidentally, more than with any other Tower Chase, Map Choice is important to you if you’re playing this Batman. A nice Elevated ledge of some sort near the center of the battlefield turns him into a nightmare for your opponent).
Then you get to the reason you’re playing him: his Damage Special (I MONITOR GOTHAM FROM THE BATCAVE: Batman can use Outwit with a range value of 10. Opposing characters 4 or more squares from him can’t draw lines of fire to him.).
Yup. You get a nigh-untargetable 10-Range Outwitter for just 25 Points who’s Defense bumps up to a 20 against close combat attacks. And who can also turn into a Secondary Attacker if he ends up as the last piece on your force (or if your opponent hits a Crit).
And because he’s a KC piece, ol’ Bruce here has no problem Outwitting the sin out of any of the other KC Chase main dials.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: I actually love this from a flavor standpoint too, as it makes Bats the one piece every other KC figure is vulnerable too. Lots of parallels to the actual Kingdom Come story. Well done, Wizkids!]
AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, ON TO…
TEN FOURTEEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST!!
Yikes. After 5 Honorable Mentions, there’s still 14 more freaking figures worth talking about? Damn, this is a powerful set!
14. WF030 The Wizard — 50 Points — Uncommon: Finally! A non-Rare, non-Super Rare, non-Chase, non-LE piece makes the list! Maybe only because I had to expand it by four whole slots, but still!
The Wizard is a piddly 50 Point support piece who sports no standard powers top dial except Prob (with a 6 Range) but has one of the best survivability Special Powers I’ve ever seen (ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.).
And while he sports a crappy 16 Defense with no kickers for his entire dial, his special Traited Shape Change (POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.) actually makes attacking him a dangerous gamble–especially since he can usually only be attacked up close. Believe me–that Tiger token is no joke (and heaven help you if he hits his Shape Change more than once and you have multiple Tigers floating around the battlefield).
In Sealed, The Wizard’s a monster, taking up waaaaaay too much of your opponent’s time and attention, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up in the Meta. It’s bad enough that your opponent has to jump through so many positioning hoops just to get to The Wizard, and if you can make even one Shape Change role (Blue Battery candidate, perhaps?), you might just change the outcome of the game.
13. WF100 Streaky — 50 Points — LE: The Prize Kit piece from World’s Finest actually offers the cheapest source of top dial Hypersonic Speed that I’m aware of (excluding Possessor shenanigans such as Possessing a character who has a secondary dial that starts on Click 3 with Ophidian). And with a native top dial damage value of 3, a Defense Value of 18 (with Super Senses and Toughness) plus a Despotellis-like Trait (THIS CAT HAS CLAWS!: When an adjacent opposing character is moved or placed, after actions resolve you may place Streaky adjacent to that character. Streaky does not require opponents to break away.), Streaky is actually one of the best Tertiary Attackers in the Modern Age right now.
Plus, pets with capes are always cool. Just ask Krypto.
12. WF055 Metallo — 150 Points — Super Rare: Metallo is another Primary Attacker plucked from Superman’s rogues gallery who offers a ton of versatility. His Trait (RAPIDLY MORPHING FRAME: Give Metallo a free action and choose one: choose a standard attack power, and he can use that power until your next turn -or- modify his combat values by +1 until your next turn.) is borderline bonkers, especially if you choose the second option on his top dial; suddenly he becomes a 9, 12, 19, 5 with Charge, Invincible and Shape Change. Those are big time stats for a 150 Point character.
Down dial he picks up an extremely useful Special Poison Attack Power (YOU’VE EXPOSED MY KRYPTONITE HEART: Metallo can use Poison. When he does, he removes an action token from himself for each opposing character that took damage from his Poison and he deals penetrating damage to characters with the Kryptonian keyword.) that will let him constantly take tokens off if he’s positioned properly.
Beatsticks who can potentially take actions every turn are exceptionally rare, which is why Metallo made this list.
11. WF040 Element Man — 100 Points — Rare: For 100 Points, you get Traited Plasticity, Shape Change and Giant Reach to go with his top dial Super Senses, Sidestep and Pick-a-Power Attack Special (A PERIODIC ARSENAL: Give Element Man a free action and choose a standard attack and/or defense power. Element Man can use the chosen powers until your next turn, even if this power is lost. If Element Man chose both attack and a defense power, deal him 1 unavoidable damage at the end of your turn.).
So you get half of the versatility of noted Meta piece Zombie Super Skrull at almost half the price. However, Rex Mason here comes standard with some options that Skrully doesn’t, including the ever-useful SC/SS combo. And Giant Reach isn’t something that Super Skrull can pick anyway.
The cherry on the cake is his Outsiders Team Ability, which will solve a lot of problems before you even go to pick an Attack and/or Defense power.
10. WF048 Zatara — 100 Points — Rare: Wow! Like his daughter before him in the Justice League: Trinity War set, Zatara’s dial can be played backwards or forward, which essentially means he can be a support-y piece or a secondary attacker.
But unlike some other pieces that straddle the lines of two Build roles, here’s the kicker: Zatara’s damn good at both roles.
Do you want a…
Secondary Attacker? Great. Play his dial backwards and you get a piece with Running Shot (only a 6 Range, but his Movement is 9, so he ends up with a okay-ish Threat Range of 11), 11 Attack with Pen/Psy, 17 Defense with ES/D to discourage return fire and 3 native Damage with Enhancement, to make follow-up shots with your Primary Attacker that much more deadly.
An early-game Support Piece? Play his dial normally and you’ll have top dial access to Telekinesis AND a Damage Special (THE ORIGINAL MAGICIAN: Zatara can use Perplex and Probability Control. When he uses Perplex, he may modify the chosen value (except damage) by +2 if he targets another friendly character he shares a keyword with.) with improved Perplex!
Either way, in the middle of his dial he gains a game-changing Special that can potentially swing an entire game (SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.). 4 Damage via a Pulse Wave that DOESN’T target any friendlies? Yes please!
I’ve heard some chatter about whether it’s worth 100 Points to potentially do 4 Damage to one or two opposing characters. Here’s what I would counter with:
A. You don’t have to actually use that ability until you deem it most advantageous to you.
B. If that Click is showing, but you still think you can do more work with Zatara, he also has Regeneration at the same time he has that Special, so you can simply Regenerate him back to his Supporting/Secondary Attacker clicks.
C. Also… you’re technically not sacrificing 100 Points at that point. You’re in the middle of his dial, so your opponent has already whittled away some theoretical points. If anything, this is a way to get EXTRA points out of a damaged character.
D. As we all know, 4 Damage via Pulse Wave is different than 4 Damage from another type of Attack. Remember, Pulse Wave ignores virtually every game effect! Invincible? Nice. You’re still taking four. Super Senses? Pulse Wave don’t care. Oh, you have Shape Change? How nice for you. Take 4. And on and on…
(Incidentally, the one situation you really need to be wary of is your opponent Mind Controlling Zatara when he’s on Clicks 3-5. That is a real danger, and something you have to be extra-mindful of if you see your opponent has access to Mind Control. This is why it’s so important to know your pick-a-power pieces! If your opponent has Zombie Super Skrull, Vartox or Engineer, they have access to Mind Control. If they’re playing Metallo or Element Man, they don’t. Mind Control is a Speed Power, so if the piece can’t pick a Speed Power, you’re good.)
So after all that, the real question is, which character is more versatile: Element Man or Zatara? Let the debate begin!
9. WF053B Harlequin — 90 Points — Super Rare PRIME: I’m convinced she immediately becomes one of the best Secondary Attackers in the 300 Point Meta. She’s also hard as hell to pin down.
Her KC Team Ability basically grants her a second bite of the Super Senses apple, since she already comes equipped with Super Senses. In a Resource environment, giving her the Blue or Red Decoy would not be a bad idea at all (the Blue Lantern and Decoy would basically give her FOUR freaking avoidance rolls if she’s attacked with anything other than Pulse Wave, Precision Strike and Battle Fury; the Red Lantern and Decoy would give her three shots to avoid a normal attack plus Penetrating Poison, which combos awesomely with her top and bottom dial Sidestep).
Her magnificent Trait (MURDEROUS JACK-IN-THE-BOX ON MY BACK: Give Harlequin a free action and place adjacent a Jack-in-the-Box bystander token printed on this card, then immediately give it an action as a free action. After actions resolve, remove that token from the game.) actually gives you a Tertiary Attacker THAT CAN ACT EVERY TURN free of charge. A possible 3-6 extra damage every turn? Yes please.
Finally, her Attack Special that shows up on her last two Clicks (POP! GOES THE WEASEL: Harlequin can use Pulse Wave. When she does, once per game you may choose that her damage value becomes 3 and is locked and she can’t place Jack-in-the-Box tokens for the remainder of this game.) isn’t quite as good as Zatara’s Special Pulse Wave… BUT IT’S STILL A BETTER VERSION OF THE BEST POWER IN THE GAME!
To find all this in a package that costs less than 100 Points is well worth the use of your only Prime slot.
8. WF059 Lex Luthor & Joker — 200 Points — Super Rare: Man, I was torn between this dial and the 75 Point dial. Ultimately, the 75 Point dial didn’t make even my Honorable Mentions, but it was close, and I’m not mad at you if you think that dial is better.
200 Points is a lot to spend on just 7 Clicks of life, but their survivability is increased exponentially by their second Trait (IT’S USUALLY ONE OF US THAT’S BEHIND EVERYTHING: Lex Luthor and Joker can use Mastermind. Lex Luthor and Joker and other friendly characters of 20 points or more can use the Underworld team ability.). Their first Trait (WORLD’S VILEST TEAM: Lex Luthor and Joker’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.) means that none of their powers can be Outwitted, either.
Their top dial Specials (Movement and Damage) grant them two separate uses of Sidestep, Perplex and at least one use of Outwit to go with their Duo Attack, Pen/Psy and ES/D.
After their first two ranged-based Clicks, they morph into some pretty lethal close combatants with Charge, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness and their Attack Value balloons up to 12.
Pair these two with the right goons and cannon fodder and they can be the most dangerous piece on the battlefield.
7. WF060 World’s Finest — 300 Points — Super Rare: Uh… wait, didn’t we already cover this? Oh, this is the Veteran dial! Right… okay.
I can’t remember the last time the same figure made a Top Ten Set Review with more than one dial. But World’s Finest deserves it. Why? Because this is probably the best 300 Point One-Man-Army dials that Wizkids has published since Sentroid back in Chaos War.
When evaluating a OMA dial, I like to ask a series of questions:
- Does the piece have readily available move-and-attack abilities? If I’m only using one piece, I can’t be wasting turns positioning. This becomes less of an issue as the game goes on and your opponent starts losing pieces, but especially up top there HAS to be really good move-and-attack. World’s Finest has Hypersonic Speed, which is about as good as you can get.
- Does the figure have Outwit/Counter protection? All the move-and-attack abilities in the world won’t help you if your opponent can just shut you down with a small supporting piece that sports some Outwit. World’s Finest covers this (and then some) with its first Trait (WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.).
- Does the figure have a way to reroll out of missed attacks and/or bad situations? Hey, Heroclix is dice game, which means there is just about always going to be an element of random chance. With a One-Man-Army, missed attack rolls are just killer. You might as well have just skipped your turn. Actually that would have been better, because at least then you wouldn’t have had to put an action token on your only figure. World’s Finest has two answers for this. First, they have Duo Attack, so if you choose to activate Duo Attack, you’ll at least have a second attack to fall back on if you miss with your first. But what I really like about this piece is that its second Trait (GOOD DISTRACTION, BRUCE: Once per turn, when World’s Finest misses all targets with an attack and haven’t used the Duo Attack ability this turn, after actions resolve they may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially allows you a do-over if you miss while performing non-Duo Attack actions (like, y’know, Hypersonic Speed).
- Does the figure have a high Damage output? Basically, are they capable of one-shotting opposing support figures and seriously hurting opposing Primary Attackers? The longer you are out-actioned, the worse your chances of winning become. But if you can eliminate a support figure or even a secondary attacker before Turn 3? Well, you’ve just drastically evened the odds. To do that, though, you need to be able to dish out some serious damage. For a OMA piece, that usually means sporting a native 5 Damage with the ability to enhance that with a penetrating kicker of some sort or a value enhancer (like Super Strength). World’s Finest passes this test with 5 Damage top dial AND Super Strength.
- Does the figure have a way to avoid opposing damage reducers and/or counteract opposing attack avoidance abilities? Look, no piece is perfect, but again, if I only have one figure to use each turn, I can’t have successful attack rolls turned into nothing via successful Impervious or Super Senses rolls, just as I can’t get stopped before I get started if my opponent hits a Shape Change or Skrull TA roll (or whatever). World’s Finest… actually doesn’t have a way around this, at least not until some Outwit turns up mid-dial (when it may be too late). No Pen/Psy or Exploit Weakness, no Precision Strike and no Battle Fury.
Okay! So World’s Finest passed 4 out of 5 OMA tests with flying colors, which leads me to the conclusion that it IS in fact a viable One-Man-Army figure. You just have to start the game with the mindset that it might be better to start with a high-probability KO on that supporting piece that only has Toughness versus going head-on against that opposing tentpole that sports Impervious. Remember, World’s Finest has Invincible top dial, not Invuln or Impervious, so even that smaller figure with the 10 Attack and 2 Damage may pose a threat. Whittling down your opponent’s pool of actions will often times be priority number one.
Because if you can narrow the game down to your best piece against his, well… you’re gonna win.
6. WF065 Shazam! — 170 Points — Chase: Man, it would have been so easy to just list nothing but Chases and Primes for this. But Shazam! has a lot going on with his dial that I just love.
First of all, he has the normal KC Chase Trait (WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Shazam’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”. Shazam’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”.) that makes all of his powers uncounterable to all but, like, two pieces (KC Flash and KC Batman) unless shenanigans are involved.
Secondly, with the change to the KC TA, he basically has the crowdpleasing Shape Change/Super Senses combo IN ADDITION to his nigh-uncounterable top dial Invincible.
On the offensive side of things, he sports a 15 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Precision Strike (so he can get through even other Chases’ KC TA), an 18 Defense and 4 native damage. I wish both his Attack and Damage were one tick higher, but with 130 Points still left over for support, those are easy complaints to remedy.
Finally, he also has the Calculator TA, so depending on how you round out the rest of your Build, you can give him the Batman Ally, Superman Ally or Mystics TA (or perhaps all three!).
Very efficient killing machine.
5. WF061R Superman — 35 Points — Chase: This is the Chase Supes on his “Tower Click.” It’s pretty simple. He has an 18 Defense with Impervious (thus making him impossible to KO with normal Poison, something the other Towers can’t claim), the Superman Ally TA AND the KC TA.
But what makes him so great is, obviously, his Tower Power (I WANT TO FARM IN PEACE: Superman can use Incapacitate with two targets and an attack value of 12. Hit characters can’t make ranged attacks during their turn.).
That makes him another potential Time Walk piece, where he can basically force your opponent to skip a turn with some well-timed Incapacitates. Even the KC Trait that’s supposed to limit him (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Superman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 7 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) actually ends up being a boon, since you can throw him right into the action in the middle of the Map or on a strategically important piece of high ground.
Hope your opponent has fun taking actions with his best pieces once every three turns.
4. WF041 Mary Marvel — 150 Points — Rare: Hypersonic, Super Strength (with the ability to deal up to 7 Damage with an Ultra-Heavy), Invincible and Prob–there’s not a lot to not like here. The only fly in the ointment is that her Defense Value of 17 is fairly weak for a Primary Attacker. Having said that, her wonderfully flavorful Trait (SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.) offers some very real Outwit protection while her Defense Special (SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.) may mean that you have to get through her entire dial again AFTER YOU KO HER THE FIRST TIME!
This is a great piece to Build a Meta team around (and I suspect Ninwashui will agree, since he’s been giddily sending me Mary Marvel teams all weak!).
3. WF056 Supergirl — 200 Points — Super Rare: Choosing between Supergirl and Mary Marvel really came down to splitting hairs, but Kara’s Trait (DARKSEID’S ASSASSIN: When Supergirl hits with an attack, after actions resolve, give each hit character an action token. If one or more hit characters were unable to be given an action token, remove an action token from Supergirl. If one or more hit characters can use the Batman Ally, Justice League, or Superman Ally team ability, heal her 1 click.) is honestly so ridiculous that I gave her the nod.
You know what the best way to avoid a counter-attack is? Pile up action tokens on opposing pieces. Can you imagine her with her cousin’s KC Chase Tower version? If your opponent isn’t careful, they’ll never take a meaningful action!
Beyond her Trait, she has great stats and a long, healthy dial that’s just full of move-and-attack powers!
(Not for nothing, but her 100 Point dial almost made the Top Ten as well–it’s that sick!)
2. WF064R Green Lantern — 30 Points — Chase: Another Tower Chase. Green Lantern has a couple things going for him that set him apart from all but one of his KC counterparts.
Firstly, his dial sports an 18 Defense with Barrier. Yup. You can plop him down in the middle of the battlefield and watch him throw up Barriers two out of every three turns. Very useful.
Next comes his Damage Special (I PROTECT FROM AFAR: Green Lantern can use Perplex to target friendly character regardless of line of fire.). Homeboy Alan Scott here has a 9 Range, and you’re telling me he doesn’t need to worry about line of fire?! So basically, I can have Perplex and Barrier for the entire game for just 30 freaking points?
And just get a load of his keywords: GREEN LANTERN CORPS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE SOCIETY, Future, Mystical and Politician. Mystical? When’s the last time a Green Lantern sported the Mystical keyword?
And hell, with Politician, you could actually theme him with Nighthawk Prime! I suppose the only better thing than playing one broken piece is playing two together, right?
Sheesh. 9 Range with no line of fire. I could make an argument that Wizkids shouldn’t be giving any character the ability to use a support power on a friendly piece from 9 Squares away without worrying about line of fire. It’s just too damn good of a power! What’s next? A piece that can use Prob across the entire Map? I mean, I know that’s ridiculous, and they would never do that, but you get my point. How much closer to the edge can these designers go?
1. WF066R Spectre — Chase — 35 Points: Oh good Lord, they made a piece that can Prob the entire freaking map. Are you serious? Sigh…
Okay, okay, let’s start over. Let’s pretend you didn’t just read Green Lantern’s entry and try and put into perspective just how great Spectre is.
So… you’d pay 25 Points to plop, say, Ophidian or Chase Brainiac onto a character to boost one stat by +1 a turn and pick from a range of 3 or 4 powers every turn, right? I mean, we all know that Entities and their ilk are great values, right? Well, how much would you pay for a free Prob every turn for the entire game? Probably even more than 35 Points, right? Let’s break it down.
Ol’ Jim Corrigan here is the last of the “Tower Chases” that we’re gonna talk about today. He also happens to be the very best. First of all, remember how we talked about that “Isolated From Your Violent World” Trait being sort of a pain for KC Batman and most of the other Chases except Green Lantern? Well, meet the other exception. That Trait is actually EXTREMELY beneficial to Spectre–it’s not a hindrance in the least.
It allows you to put him at or near the center of any map, which becomes bonkers when you look at his Tower ability (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.). Did you read that last part? REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE?! Uh, yes please! Now look at his native Range. No, go look. I’ll sit here and wait.
Yup. It’s a 12. So, REGARDLESS OF WHICH MODERN AGE MAP IS CHOSEN, you can find a nice, comfy spot near the center of the map to plop Spectre down in and relax, secure in the knowledge that he can now see ANY Square on the map. He just needs to be somewhere in your twelfth Row and at least four Columns from each side.
Okay. So we’ve established now that with the right initial placement (and remember, his Trait means he’s completely immobile once you Place him, so choose carefully), Spectre can Prob across the entire Map. That is easily worth 35 Points. But what makes him more valuable is the razor-thin list of options your opponent has to deal with it.
Poison? Sure, if your opponent moves a Poison-enabled character up 12 Squares and waits a turn without you doing a thing to stop it, then yeah, Spectre can be Poisoned to death (Incidentally, this is a risk you take with all the Tower Chases save Superman. Well, mostly save Superman.).
Pulse Wave? Yup. There’s not much that Pulse Wave doesn’t do.
Outwit? Yeah, maybe, if you can get close enough.
Attacking? Up Close? Sure. If you can advance up 12 Squares and hit an 18 Defense twice, congratulations. You just used (and probably left exposed) what was almost certainly your best attacker to take out a 35 Point piece. Now take an Unavoidable Click of Mystics damage.
From Range? Uh… yeah. Go ahead and try that. First, hit a 20 Defense, since Spectre’s rocking an 18 Defense Value with ES/D. Then do it again (Spectre’s Prob).
Now, if that 20 is a problem and you have access to the Outsiders TA, go ahead and use that, although if you’re playing a Modern Age game, that means you’re locked in to playing either Element Man (Good choice! He’s great. You have a fighting chance!), Jade (not a bad piece, but since she’s half your army at a cost of at least 151 Points and undoubtedly your Primary Attacker AND you really have to move her into position first before you can use her TA since you can’t use her TA in the middle of a Running Shot AND thatkindofdefeatsthewholepurpose and why, oh God, why have you forsaken me?!?!) or Creeper (Seriously though, don’t play Creeper. Beware the $#%@ing Creeper. You know why. And if not, go back up and read for content this time).
But whatever–you hit a 20 Defense from Range twice! Bravo! Now, did you do it with Precision Strike? No? Well, Spectre still might not be dead yet and there’s a 33% chance that you wasted all your opening moves to take out a 35-Point character and still failed.
But that’s pessimistic. Let’s say Spectre fails his KC roll. Yay! You did it! You KO’d a 35 Point support piece.
Now take a g-dd–n Click of Unavoidable Mystics damage. Sunova-!!
Soooo… I think I made my point. You’re almost better off just leaving him for last, except then he actually turns into an even harder to kill Secondary Attacker who stills has a 12 freaking Range Value.
And also… dammit, you’re just never better off leaving an opposing Prob’r up and, uh, Probb’ing.
At least they didn’t give this dial to a Chase-level figure who represents the never-before Clix’d alternate version of a popular character from an iconic storyline.
Sigh… Just take my money, Wizkids. I hate you.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hmmm… all these entries, and not one mention of Nightlantern, the Rare Prime? Surely he’s SOMEWHERE among the top pieces in the set, right?
Well… yes and no. His dial is actually pretty average for its cost. Decent stats, but he definitely has a glass jaw in terms of how long his dial keeps his best powers. Obviously, his main value is his Trait (EVERY PERSON I KNOW IS AN AMALGAM OF TWO FROM YOUR UNIVERSE?: When building your force, you may pay 25 points and put a standard character on your sideline, called an Amalgam. At the beginning of the game, equip the Amalgam to a standard friendly character (other than Nightlantern) that is higher points than the Amalgam’s highest point value and link it to that character’s dial. For the rest of the game, the Amalgam provides the below effect when equipped: EFFECT: At the beginning of your turn or when when this character is clicked, you may choose a standard power on the equipped dial. This character can use that power until your next turn or clicked.). Just let that sink in for a few, because we’re gonna examine this piece in greater detail… in a future article.
(Hey, no complaining–we’re already wellllll past 7000 words here AND you’ve still got a special bonus after this!)
But because of his unique Trait AND the fact that his usefulness changes DRASTICALLY based on the point value of the game, I’ve decided to make Nightlantern ineligible for the Top Ten and will instead give him his own spotlight in an upcoming piece.
And yes, this is basically what we did with Rare Bizarro back when SLoSH came out. Sometimes a single piece just needs a whole article.]
THE STINGER AFTER THE CREDITS–AKA, BONUS TIME!
Okay. Now that we’ve talked about the best this set has to offer, for a little bonus content, let’s dive headfirst into the worst of the World’s Finest offerings! I give to you, at no extra charge…
THE TWO WORST FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:
1. Mr. Nobody (55 Points): He’s a mobile (minimum-range) Outwitter top dial; after that first Click, he loses Outwit and gains Prob. He has a weird Special Attack Power that lets you mildly mess with an opposing figure’s dial, but it costs a Power Action AND he has to be up close and personal (remember, he loses Phasing/Teleport after that top Click, so he’s far less mobile at that point). Of course, that’s probably still your best option with him, since you’re really not going to do much damage with his 8 Attack Value and a native Damage Value that quickly goes from 2 to 1. Mid-dial he picks up Steal Energy, but I would argue that the use of that Steal Energy moves him up to a worse Click! His keywords are pretty awful (just “Brotherhood of Evil” and “Politician”), and almost everything he does can be done by other pieces in Modern, and usually for a cheaper cost. If you’re running a Brotherhood of Evil Themed Team with Monsieur Mallah, okay, I get it; two Mr. Nobody’s is your only option (although you’re probably still giving away a ton of points, even with a Resource). But if you want to Theme Monsieur Mallah so bad, why not just run a Secret Society Team? Waaaaay more options.
2. Occultist (20 Points): Eh… it’s hard to be too mad about a generic figure that costs only 20 Points. But his (her? it’s?) Movement Special Power (BLOOD MAGIC: When an adjacent friendly character takes damage from an opponent’s attack, put a number of Blood Magic tokens on that friendly character’s card equal to the damage taken. Even if this power is lost, that friendly character may be given a free action to remove one Blood token and use Perplex targeting itself.) is a hell of a long way to go for the chance to maybe, possibly, if the stars all align, use Perplex, like, twice, in a whole game. For the EXACT same cost, you can play either the Witch or the Warlock who offer much more enhancement certainty with their Special Powers and who are both much harder to hit and who both HAVE THE EXACT SAME KEYWORD. Hell, Witch even adds “Monster” to her keyword line.
Occultist is a classic Sex Panther Piece, which, for those who aren’t familiar, is a term derived from “Anchorman” and refers to any piece with an overly complicated power that, in the end, isn’t as good or consistent as other basic, readily available options.
Okay! There you have it! The
Ten Fifteen Nineteen (Hmmm… do I subtract the two worst entries, or… Can I get a ruling on this? Anyone? Aw, crap, my Editor’s fallen asleep. That probably explains why half the images were wrong. Y’know, I should probably wrap this up soon.) Best Figures in World’s Finest.
And don’t forget to bring it right back here in a few days when Ninwashui issues his… SECOND OPINION!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!