While I still play every week or so, in general my family duties don’t allow me to attend some of the bigger HeroClix events. However, on the night before the ROC SQ in Warren, Michigan, I was able to rearrange my schedule to where I had a mostly free day on Saturday. My only real problem was that I needed to make an ultra-competitive team for a big field of Meta players and I had only a few hours to dream something up.
Still, I had a few ideas floating around in my head:
- A Pro-Registration team with CWSOP102 Iron Man, CWSOP008 Wasp, and CWSOP020 Jack O’Lantern. I figured if I threw Jocasta and Eclipso on the first two they would be nearly unkillable and Jester was just there to gum up the works. Add in a full Pandora’s Box and that’s 300. [EDITOR’S NOTE: How is “Nearly Unkillable” NOT the title of a straight-to-video Steven Seagal and/or Jean-Claude Van Damme movie? It’s not. I checked. But it definitely SHOULD be!]
- A Wild Card Team with SFSM049 Spider-Man, AOU007 Yellowjacket, SMWW055P Eclipso, FFJLTW007 Atomica, WF062R Batman and a full Pandora’s Box to make 300. Yellowjacket at full size is a surprisingly capable Taxi. Each attacker had Perplex and Batman could suck up a CSA Team Ability action token each turn with no ill effects.
- A Soldier team with SMWW065R Superman, CWSOP101 Captain America, UXM057P Proteus, NFAOS062 Captain America’s Motorcycle, SMWWG006P War Wheel (or the Atom), and a full Pandora’s box to make 300. Sadly I didn’t have a War Wheel or Atom that I could get my hands on in time…
- The Sinister Syndicate Team I detailed in my Top 10 Article for The Superior Foes of Spider-man. Nearly that exact team took second in an ROC Qualifier down south a few weeks ago.
While I felt those were all at least viable builds (“viable” meaning I’d at least have a chance against most matchups I’d see), I ended up going a different way. So who did I play?
In a way I was forced into the final roster I chose because the only Colossal Retaliation Figure I owned was Titano and I felt Colossal Retaliation would be big on the competitive scene (as it turned out, I was right–Colossals literally LITTERED the field). Since I wanted to play Theme, I was slightly limited by Titano’s keywords. Probably a backwards way into army building, but that’s where I was.
I wanted something that would be really fun for me to play, too. Well, my favorite two HeroClix mechanics are token generation and Stop Clicks. I also wanted multiple attackers and in my opinion Klarion is far and away the best figure in the 60-90 point range I was looking at for the Animal theme. I’d argue he might be the best 70 point figure ever. Still, I needed a Primary figure with the Animal keyword to anchor the Klarions and Titano around.
Arriving at the SQ:
I saw a lot of interesting teams when I showed up. A guy from my venue had a combo team with Black Swan (which seemed like a good idea, but I heard did not go that well). Another guy used some borrowed pieces to play a team centered around CWSOP101 Captain America and CWSOP102 Iron Man (he mentioned later that he didn’t suffer many KOs in his games, but the games were slow and low scoring.) Looking around the room I saw a team made almost entirely of Ultron Drones along with 3 SMWWG003P Brimstone, and a SMWWG004P Solaris. The Colossals were lined up like missiles (just like I talked about doing way back in my Superman Wonder Woman Top 10 article). In general Colossals were on most teams, there weren’t as many KC figures as I would have thought, and one particular figure showed up on a lot of teams… including mine!
It turns out SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur was on a lot of the top teams. Part of that could have been the fact that the entire world championship team that designed him showed up and was playing him, but in general he was on a lot of different teams. As the day went on I could also see that he was on a lot of teams that WON, including the eventual overall winner. I barely remember seeing Devil Dinosaur in the standings of the last ROC.
So, my final roster was:
Team Name: Pokémon Trainers (Animal Theme)
WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy
WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy
SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur
JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Full)
Total = 300 Points
And off I went!
Round 1 VS. A new player from Flint, MI (name unknown):
I remember talking to this guy after we finished our match and he was a real nice guy. He’d only started playing about 6 months previous to our match. Unfortunately, things didn’t go his way. His team was good and his tactics weren’t bad, but this was a bad matchup for him. That combined with good dice for me and bad dice for him meant that I took the win. I score 300 points for the round.
This was actually my first big HeroClix tournament in forever. Before this I had only done local shop play and Battle Royals. In the back of my mind I was worried that all I would face would be “rules lawyers” all day. So this was good friendly opening match to get rid of any nervousness.
Round 2 VS. A Younger Player from Toronto, CA (name unknown)
This round I faced a team with BVS006 Aquaman, FFBVS004R Aquaman, three 30 point Ultron Drones, and a Round Table. In my wildest imagination I never believed I would face an Aquaman today, much less 2. The Drones and Round Table were more of what I expected.
If I had won Map Roll (I had +4 to my roll versus his nothing), this would have been a much easier game. Of course I lost. So now I am fighting 2 Aquamen on a map of entirely water terrain that gives swimmers improved movement and +2 speed.
His force came at me in two waves. The Aquamen came at me first while the Drones slowly advanced. To start off he did a couple of hit and runs with Hypersonic Speed versus the Klarions and Devil Dinosuar. He made it hard to strike back by using free action Barrier with the other Aquaman to block himself into a corner. He couldn’t attack Titano because of Titano’s Plasticity. It took me a few turns to remember that Devil could see right over the barrier since he was a giant and we were on an outdoor map. So I popped out both Teekl’s and used their Perplex to pump up Devil’s Damage Value to 5 and had him attack the Hypersonic Aquaman directly.
It was near that time that the Ultron Drones got in range and popped out a Nick Fury. Nick took away Devil’s defensive ability and hit him for 4 damage. I forgot about Devil’s second type of stop click on click 4 and clicked him to click 5 instead. Then both Aquamen followed up and KOed him.
I responded by dropping an angry Titano on the Ultron Drones the next turn. That didn’t go as well as I had hoped. After his first attack dealt 1 damage to each drone, Titano was KOed by future Ultron’s power, “SPIKES AND CRACKLING ENERGY: Ultron can use Poison and deals penetrating damage while using it. If Ultron possesses this power after taking damage from an attack, deal the attacker 1 unavoidable damage.”
Thankfully even after Devil Dinosaur was KOed, the Klarions (and one Teekl) empowered by the Box were able to mop up the entire opposing team. In fact, I don’t believe they took any damage after that point. I score 300 points for the round.
Round 3 VS. Tom Kerr from the Meta Lab
Tom was the eventual first place finisher and he played like it. He was very methodical, but also still very friendly. I lost, but didn’t feel bad about it.
His team was SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur, FFUXM002 Jean Grey, WF048 Zatara (played forward), War Wheel, and a Full round table. Of course I lose map roll. So he takes us to a map with the smallest amount of hindering terrain I have ever seen on a map. Almost none for my Klarions to hide in.
Turn one he has Devil call in Nightwing who brings out Tony Zucco and this advances the Round Table. Then he uses the Wheel to carry his Devil up. I respond by equipping a Klarion with Wrath and then passing. I was thinking that he was going to have to come to me. I was wrong.
On turn two he uses Jean to TK out Zatara. Zatara calls in Green Arrow and uses his Perplex to up green arrows attack to 14. Tony Zucco ups his Damage by one. Green Arrow uses running shot and easily KOs Titano, hurts Devil, and a Klarion. Then Jean Grey simply teleports Zatara back to the starting area. It’s then that I realize the situation I am in. He doesn’t have to come to me. He can hurt me while most of his characters are in his starting area; I have to take my team and go to him or I will lose the game without making an attack.
I move my Klarions up at full speed and my Devil Dinosaur moves up slowly. His Devil Dinosaur is now in the middle of the map and it makes tokens that together with the figure make an incredibly effective roadblock. As I kill his tokens that just advances his table a click or two each KO. He doesn’t really need need them to do damage. They just need to get in the way.
Two turns after the Green Arrow attack Hawkeye shows up and takes out my healthiest Klarion with the exact same starting area TK trick. Somehow I get all the way to his starting area and can attack, but he is already well into power 2 on the Round Table. It states, “I CAN’T GET THERE, BUT I CAN ADVISE: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an ID Card attached to this resource that you didn’t choose last time. Until your next turn, friendly characters can use the Inspiration of that ID Card.” That combined with the inspirations on the Superman and Wonder Man cards means all of his characters can use Invincible their entire dial every single turn. So even if I had hit Jean Grey I couldn’t have done much. Not that it mattered because my dice revolted on me at that point. My opponent suggested that I throw them out after the game. I should have listened.
My Klarions and Teekls die before Devil Dinosaur can effectively threaten the other team. So it’s just him versus the entire other team. I have some fun taking on his Devil Dinosaur token army versus my token army, but after a couple of turns of that his round table clicks to the end and he spits out a full point Martian Manhunter. I end up only KOing the War Wheel, some Devil tokens, and Tony Zucco (after missing him once). I score 45 points for the round.
Round 4 VS. Local Player Adam
Adam is well known in the SE Michigan area and I have seen him at every major event I ever attended. He even helped judge the Battle Royals at the Gen Con I attended. He’s very friendly. The winner of our match would make the top 16. The loser might not.
He was playing SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur, a 30 point Ultron drone, UXM018 Vanisher, SMWWG004P Solaris, AVAS044 Arcade, and the Round Table (featuring Nick Fury, Green Arrow, and Spider-Man).
He had an interesting trick built into his team that quite frankly I would like to copy in the future. We did the map roll and he lost. Arcade is pretty bad when he is not on his own map so Adam used a Round table power I have never seen used before, “I’M BETTER SUITED FOR THESE FOES: After revealing your force but before placing characters in your starting area, you may replace a friendly character on your force with an ID Character of equal or less points from your sideline. That character is no longer an ID Character and its ID Card is removed from this resource.” Suddenly that nearly useless arcade was a CWSOP108 Spider-Man.
The Map I picked had lots of walls and made moving up difficult. I stayed near my starting area and kept putting on Sin Relics. I was able to equip 4 before the battle started in earnest. He used Vanisher to take Spider-Man and 3 Devil tokens and they all based my Titano. My devil was close enough to spawn Homocide Crabs, but I was not careful with how close I placed one to Titano and my attack KOed him while it did 1 damage to to the 5 opposing characters. That was my first placement mistake this game.
I had taken out the tokens and a teekl took out vanisher without an issue. When his Solaris retaliated a low roll meant I only lost one crab Token. Unfortunately at that point my rolls turned on me again and they would stay awful for the rest of the game. I spent two turns with my whole force just missing Spider-man. By then his devil was close enough to Call in Green Arrow and that was the turning point. Green Arrow did 1 to my devil and 3 to each of the Klarion hiding in stealth right next to him. That was my second placement error this game.
A turn later his Devil summoned some Rockabilly Modoks and hit my Devil past his bystander summoning clicks. Fearing a Nick Fury Call in next turn I charged in with my Devil and took out his Ultron Drone. That’s where I made my third placement mistake. I could have based all three Modoks and denied him Psychic Blast, but I missed it. On his turn his Devil attacked me and knocked my Devil past Invulnerability and his unbased Modok put my Devil on his last click. I had Regeneration and a use of Probability Control from Teekl. I rolled two 1s in a row and the next turn my Devil was KOed.
After that his Table reached power three and Nick Fury came out and KOed a Klarion. We battled back and forth and as time was called I just had a Teekl left and he had a heavily injured Devil Dinosaur. I scored 190 points just missing out on Devil and two cards.
At the end of 4 rounds I had scored 835. They posted everyone’s scores and cut the tournament down to just the top 16 at this point. I was ranked as #17. The 16th ranked player had 845 points. I lost by 10 points.
After that I dropped and played Jay Solomon (Meta Lab, Married with Clix, 2 Clicks from KO) and George Massau in the first battle royal of the day. The bad rolls continued and I finished fourth. The good news? HypeFox showed up right after my Battle Royal, won the Battle Royal he joined (by pulling, of all things, a Devil Dinosaur)… and actually ended up with worse prizes winning his heat than I did by losing mine.
- My biggest mistake was made in building my team. As the 3rd and 4th rounds proved the Round Table is far superior with Devil Dinosaur and I think just superior in general.
- At any major tournament anyone plays in the near future I will need to have a plan for Devil Dinosaur. Calling in Green Arrow and Nick Fury worked the best today.
- I am totally going to use that Arcade trick soon (Thanks Adam!).