Dial “M” for Mutant Massacre!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Uncanny X-Men!!)

Morlock Massacre

Hello Again!! Been awhile, hasn’t it? I blame Ninwashui. Doesn’t matter though. Because today I’m back with an overdue look at the best pieces from the recent Uncanny X-Men set!

In fact, let’s just jump right in with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET!!

–This expansion continues the smaller-point, simplified wording and mechanics trend that started with TMNT (and continues unabated with the Civil War OP set). While you’ll find an occasional beater (UXM053B Phoenix is 250 Points… of something), the majority of this set sits between 60 and 110 Points.

–Also like TMNT, you really have to look hard to find any sort of Improved Targeting. Stealth means a lot more in UXM Sealed than it has in previous sets like World’s Finest or NFAoS. Which is fine. But it also puts a lot of these figures at a possible disadvantage in the Meta…

–Speaking of (well, not the Meta necessarily, but venue play), I wonder if shops will start running what would typically be standard Modern Age events as “TMNT-on” events. By which I mean, there was a definite shift in design and a scaling back of power creep when Turtles was released. TMNT, UXM and Civil War (both the Movie Set and the OP) all seem like birds of a feather in terms of power level, so they’re almost begging to be played without the added complication of, say, KC Chases from World’s Finest or Balls of Fury.

Alright then! Without further ado, let’s get into the…

TOP TEN FIGURES IN UNCANNY X-MEN!!

Sugar Man

9. UXM064 Sugar Man — 120 Points — Chase: Sugar Man is a hard piece to evaluate, because so much of what he does is ethereal text outlined in his monstrously-long-winded Trait (WHAT KIND OF SLAUGHTER DO I FEEL LIKE TODAY?: At the beginning of the game, if Sugar Man was not equipped with any other item during force construction, you may choose two of these three objects as described on this card: Axe, Hammer, Sword. Sugar Man may be equipped with both chosen objects. Sugar Man’s Weapons: When on the map, Sugar Man’s Weapons are considered heavy objects. A character in a square with our holding this object may be given a power action to equip it. If not equipped, this object can only be KO’d in an object attack. A character equipped with one of these objects may use the following effects: Axe Effect: Attack rolls of 10-12 count as critical hits. Hammer Effect: When character hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token if your attack was 10-12 Sword Effect: Can use Blades/Claws/Fangs).

But his other powers start to get a lot more interesting if he has, say, B/C/F and all of his rolls of 10 or more are Crits. His Stop Click (SHRUNK MYSELF INTO YOUR BOOT: STOP. Sugar Man has Tiny Symbol and can’t be healed. When this click is revealed, place any equipped objects onto the map adjacent to Sugar Man. When an adjacent opposing character moves or is placed, after actions resolve you may place Sugar Man adjacent to that character.) and 8-Click long dial also give him lots of longevity for someone under 150 Points.

As Secondary Attackers go, he’s not elite, but he does offer just enough to make him really interesting if you get lucky with some rolls. If you can get him next to a potential victim and roll two 10’s with Flurry and B/C/F and hit two 6’s, you could deal 14 damage from one attack.

On the other hand, unless you’re packing TK, it’ll be tough to get him where you need him (he’s only got Sidestep top dial), and while his 11 Attack Value is a tick above average, it’s hardly a guarantee that either Flurry attack will hit, and he has no built-in way to counteract Impervious, Super Senses or Shape Change. Which means that even after doing all the work to position him for a big strike, there’s a half-decent chance that you may still end up dealing no damage or missing entirely, even IF you make your Attack Roll.

Nightcrawler

9. UXM002 Nightcrawler50 Points — Common: Kurt Wagner gives you five solid clicks for 50 Points, and if you can get him next to a key opposing piece, he can tie them up with his 18 Defense (with Combat Reflexes) and give them fits with his Precision Strike on offense.

But the reason he’s in the Top Ten is because he can do what almost no other figure in the history of the game can do thanks to his Damage Special (*BAMF*: Give Nightcrawler a power action and place him in any square within line of fire. If that square is within 4 squares of the square he began this action in, he may make a close attack.).

Yup. He can zip across an entire map (if it’s the right map) if he wants to. There’s not another piece I’m aware of yet that can do the same thing.

Sunfire Prime

Yup. Even I’m an Avenger.”

8. UXM043B Sunfire — 120 Points — Rare PRIME: Honestly, all THREE versions of Sunfire from this set (are there that many Shiro Yoshida fans out there? Did we really need three versions of him? Especially since NONE of them have the Big Hero 6 keyword?!) are extremely good.

I decided to spotlight the Prime, who is almost impossible to hit from range (20-21 Defense), essentially has Mystics if you hit him with a close attack and sports Running Shot, Pulse Wave, Poison, Energy Explosion AND a natural 4 Damage top dial. That’s a hell of a lot going on with a figure who is still cheap enough to just be a Secondary Attacker.

And the best part? This iteration has the Avengers keyword, so he fits on a metric poop-ton of different teams.

Scarlet Witch

7. UXM055 Scarlet Witch 75 Points — Super Rare: And now we start a run of Super Rare pieces that are 75 Points and awesome!

Ol’ Wanda here has five clicks of support-y goodness including her Damage Special (WINDS OF MAGICK: Scarlet Witch can use Enhancement and Probability Control.) and a Trait (HEX MAGICK: Give Scarlet Witch a power action to attach the Hex Magic marker to a character within range and line of fire, removing it from anywhere else. If that character is friendly, when that character attacks, a Critical Hit is an attack roll of 10-12. If that character is opposing, when that character attacks, a Critical Miss is an attack roll of 2-4. When Scarlet Witch is KO’d, remove the Hex Magic marker.) that can drive grown men to cry.

Quicksilver!

“Nope, Not what we meant by ‘gun control,’ Pietro.”

6. UXM054 Quicksilver75 Points — Super Rare: We can’t spotlight Wanda and not showcase her brother, right?

His Movement Special (FASTER THAN YOU’LL EVER BE: Quicksilver can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does he can automatically break away and he can use Flurry as a free action instead of the close attack.) makes his somewhat fearsome except that his top damage is only three. However, if you can Perplex that up (or equip him with, like, Proteus), pretty soon you’ll have a guy who can cover most of the board–actually, with his Trait (IT’S LIKE I’M EVERYWHERE AT ONCE: When Quicksilver moves through a square, you may immediately place the Speed Shadow marker in it, removing it from anywhere else. Whenever Quicksilver makes a close attack, he may target characters adjacent to the Speed Shadow marker.), he pretty much CAN cover most of the board–and gets to attack twice with a 12 Attack and 4 Damage.

Another case of a Secondary Attacker who can put up Primary Attacker damage.

Malice Polaris

5. UXM059 Malice — 75 Points — Super Rare: This set seems to be chock full of entities who can possess people [EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s, like, two. That’s hardly a “chock.” Whatever that is.].

This is Malice right after she took control of Polaris, as represented by her Attack Special (STILL FIGURING OUT YOUR POWERS: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6. Until your next turn, on a result of 3-4: Malice can use Force Blast. 5-6: Malice can use Telekinesis.) and Damage Special (WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT WHAT YOU GET: Malice can use Perplex and Shape Change.).

Those two Specials combined with the rest of her dial make Malice a solid Secondary Attacker for a very reasonable point cost, but she has one last trick up her sleeve. Her Trait (I’M DONE WITH YOU, PRETTY: When Malice would be KO’d, you may equip her to another friendly character. EFFECT: Character can use Perplex and Shape Change.) means that even if your opponent takes Malice out early, well, that’ll only make your Primary Attacker that much better.

Pixie

For what basically amounts to a group of ‘gifted’ high school students, you guys sure seem to encounter and then murder a lot of aliens. I mean, like, a LOT.”

4. UXM056 Pixie — 75 Points — Super Rare: Yeah, she’s only got five clicks of life, but those are five pretty darn efficient clicks! She’s probably one of the best hybrid figures of the last few years, in that she fills three roles for your team for the price of one.

First, she starts with a 12 Movement Value top dial along with a Special Power (TELEPORTATION SPELL: Pixie can use Phasing/Teleport. When she does she may carry characters with “wing movement symbol” and may carry 2 characters. She may carry 4 characters instead if they all have the X-Men keyword.) that makes her a damn fine taxi if you’re not playing an X-Men Themed Team and a RIDICULOUSLY GOOD taxi if you are.

She also is a half-decent supporting piece since she offers Perplex on her first 3 Clicks and her Trait (PIXIE DUST: Pixie can use Smoke Cloud as a free action but places only 1 hindering marker. Characters occupying this hindering marker modify their defense values by -1 in addition to attack values.) can either help shield friendly Stealth-ers OR essentially Perplex down two more values on an opposing piece.

Finally, with a starting 3 Damage and a second Click that offers B/C/F AND Precision Strike, she’s got the Damage Output potential (hell, she might one-shot a piece that has top dial Super Senses!) AND the defensive moxie (Super Senses to evade attacks and the Mystics TA to make it hurt if your opponent does connect) to be an effective Secondary Attacker as well!

 

Kitty Pryde Phased

Winner of the “2016 Han Solo in Carbonite” modeling award…

3. UXM023B Kitty Pryde65 PointsUncommon (PRIME): Okay, so a couple years ago, Ninwashui wrote a piece wherein he made the case that Incapacitate was one of the worst powers in Heroclix. At that time, there were two types of figures with Incapacitate. Either it was a high-cost piece that you’d rather try and deal damage with anyway (so Incap was useless), or it was a low-cost piece that either had a bad Attack Value or a really thin dial so that they died before they were useful.

Well, Prime Kitty Pryde here doesn’t have Incapacitate–but she does have a Special Movement Power (PHASING ATTACK:  Kitty Pryde can use Phasing/Teleport and Stealth. When she uses Phasing/Teleport, after actions resolve she may make a close attack targeting all characters whose square she moved through. Hit characters are given an action token instead of normal damage.) that’s even better than Incap. All for just 65 points.

There’s no better way to get me excited about putting action tokens on my opponent’s pieces than giving me a weapon that potentially puts tokens on ALL my opponent’s figures at once instead!

And if you can find a way to give her Willpower…

Mags Proteus

Pink is the new purple, not the other way around!”

2. UXM057P Proteus35 PointsSuper Rare: It seems like a steep price to pay for an off-the-board +1 bump to all stats, all while risking a click of damage to the bumpee every turn, but in a world where all of the War of Light Entities have gone to pasture, Proteus is poised to become the new hotness.

There’s already a lot of theorycrafting on the best figures to break with his special Possession Trait (BURNING OUT HOST BODIES: EFFECT: Modify the combat values of the equipped character by +1. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled 1-2: Deal the equipped character 1 unavoidable damage.); Taskmaster from Civil War OP works like gangbusters, and I tested the Sentry LE from the same set with Proteus just the other day and had positive results. Even Rage from Avengers Assemble seems like fun.

And when you get right down to it, his 35 Point off-the-board cost actually isn’t that steep, for a few reasons. First, of course, that stat-bump is huge. But secondly, consider the fact that his other Trait (HE’S USING ORDINARY PEOPLE LIKE PUPPETS!: When building your force, you may pay 35 points to equip Proteus to a character of 100 points or less. When the equipped character is KO’d, equip this to another friendly character of 100 points or less. If you can’t, place him on click #10 into the square of the last character he was equipped and he can’t be healed.) means he’s the first Possessor in the game who can hop from piece to piece as your army is KO’d AND the fact that he can actually pop onto the battlefield as a 11 Attack, 4 Damage Pulse Wave-r with Prob once he runs out of hosts. Yup! He’s the first Possessor who starts off-the-board but has a way to actually come into the game, so those aren’t just 35 dead points if your Possessed character gets KO’d!!

Even if you hate the X-Men or planned on skipping this set, this is a piece you’re gonna want for your collection going forward.

Iceman 1

So thaaaat’s where that sculpt came from…

 

1. UXM051 Iceman110 PointsSuper Rare: A deceptively deep dial that keeps turning up new ways to terrorize your opponent.

First, since he flies and Ignores Characters on movement, there’s not much on the map that’s gonna impede his mobility.

Second, his first Trait (FROZEN SOLID: When Iceman moves, after actions resolve you may make a close attack targeting a single opposing character whose square he moved through and didn’t target with an attack that action. If you hit, attach the Ice Wall marker to that character, removing it from any other character. As long as the Ice Wall marker is attached, that character can’t be moved, placed, given actions, or targeted with an attack. At the end of the next turn, remove the Ice Wall marker.) basically gives him a shot at two legit attacks each turn. No, he does not come with Willpower or Indomitable, but you’re really not losing out on actions since he can do so much in one turn.

Third, even though ICEMAN doesn’t lose out on actions, that doesn’t mean your opponent won’t. Iceman’s Special Damage Power (ICY FATE: When Iceman hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token.) means that on top of tagging his targets with damage, he’ll also keep them locked down with tokens–and that’s not counting the other piece he’ll be locking down with “Frozen Solid!”

In a set of smaller, efficient dials, Bobby Drake stands taller than the rest.

 

Well, that’s it for today. Lots of Builds to discuss, but I think we might wrap up our Uncanny X-Men coverage (finally–and less than a month before the next set drops!) with a spotlight on the WORST figures in the set. Keep it tuned right here, as that should drop later this week!

 

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Patriotic Captain America!! (Or, Happy Fourth of July!!)

Cap 4th

Too obvious? Probably, but hey, with $400+M in domestic grosses, $1.15+B in worldwide box office and a starring role in this summer’s 4 month long OP series, it’s a Captain America summer–we’re just living in it.

So I’m finally, FINALLY approaching something that could be called “healthy,” which means it’s time to get back to a more regular (or at least more frequent!) posting schedule, after missing most of June.

Next up is a belated Uncanny X-Men Top Ten Set Review, followed by a few thoughts on the Civil War OP figures and some Build articles, all of which should take us right to the doorstep of the Superior Foes of Spider-Man!! I’m really looking forward to that one.

I’d also like to give a big tip of the cap to all the servicemen and women who keep my country safe every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So stay safe, watch where you draw your lines of fire (especially with actual fireworks) and meet us right back here later this week!!