Alright! The Joker’s Wild (uh, revised) release date has finally arrived, so before we focus on that, I think we need to discuss a really underrated set that just dropped not too long ago!
I’ve already heard reviews from some folks saying that this second Turtles set, while fun, isn’t on the same level as the first set. I disagree; this set is a bit more subtle, and it’s best figures are support pieces, but there is a lot of gold here if you dig a little. Unfortunately, most of it is Super Rare or scarcer.
Still, there’s enough good pieces to put together a list of…
THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN TMNT: HEROES IN A HALF SHELL!!
10. TMNT2009 Foot Ninja (Twin Katanas) — 30 Points — Common:
This is a dangerous little package. Sidestep, Stealth, Willpower and an Attack Special (TWIN KATANAS: Foot Ninja can use Blades/Claws/Fangs. When he does, he may instead roll 2d6 and choose one as the result.) that gives you two bites at the B/C/F roll!
Basically, everything you want from TMNT2004 Leonardo, except 30 Points cheaper.
9. TMNT2025 Donatello — 100 Points — Rare:
Just a solid dial from top to bottom with an AWESOME Damage Special (TEEN TURTLE INTELLECT: At the beginning of your turn, choose one: Outwit, Perplex, or Support. Donatello can use the chosen power until your next turn.).
He also has Traited Stealth and Toughness and doesn’t care about Hindering or Elevation on Movement.
His top-dial Sidestep (instead of Charge) is the only thing that’s really holding him back from being further up this list…
8. TMNT2030 Armaggon — 170 Points — Super Rare:
A shark from the future who’s armed to the teeth! What’s not to love?
He has decent stats, the increasingly useful Future and Animal keywords, Indom, a Damage Special (FUTURE SHARK: Armaggon can use Probability Control. He can use it normally, or he can use it twice on your turn, but only to target himself.) that lets him Prob his own attack roll TWICE along with a Trait that gives him free attacks on turns when he’d normally just be clearing (BEWARE HIS TAIL!: Give Armaggon a free action when he has two action tokens to make a close attack.)!
That Trait is important because he actually just starts with Phasing/Teleport top dial instead of a move and attack power. And that’s what keeps him here at the end of the list and not the top–the fact that your paying a hefty Primary Attacker fee and yet he doesn’t have a way to move and attack in the same turn unless said move gives him his second action token.
The last ability of his that I want to briefly touch on is his Improved Movement: Ignores Characters Trait. If you’ve seen some of the madness that is to come in the form of the Bizarro Chases and the 50-Point wall of HAHAHAHAHAHA SR Joker, you know that tie-up figures are coming back with a vengeance. So while the ability to ignore characters while moving might not seem too important now, it might become vital in the near future!
7. TMNT2024 Rat King — 100 Points — Super Rare:
Another great SR with the Animal keyword, this version of the Rat King can be devastating… on the right Map! In his case, the more Hindering Terrain, the better.
He ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, but even if he didn’t, his Trait (RATS EVERYWHERE… I AM EVERYWHERE: Give Rat King a free action if he occupies hindering terrain. Place him in another square of hindering terrain within 6 squares.) would have him zipping around the Map regardless.
His top dial Movement Special (PAWNS IN MY GAME: Rat King can use Stealth. He can use Mind Control as if he had a range value of 6 and when he does, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain; Ignores Hindering Terrain; Ignores Blocking Terrain; Ignores Characters.) has great synergy with his other powers; even though he only deals 2 Damage on his own, his Mind Control will potentially let you make your enemy’s pieces work for you. And his Damage Special power bestows both Prob and Perplex, which only makes him more valuable.
While Rat King seems at first glance like a supporting piece that you have to pay Secondary Attacker points for, if you can hit even just a couple of those Mind Controls a game, you should have no problem getting your points worth out of him.
6. TMNT2013 Fugitoid — 50 Points — Uncommon:
A highly mobile Taxi, Fugitoid can use his Movement Special (INVENTOR OF THE TRANSMAT: Fugitoid can use Phasing/Teleport with a speed value of 12. When he does, he can use the Carry ability to carry up to 4 characters, but only those that share a keyword with him.) to mobilize your entire force if you’ve built it correctly. His three keywords–Robot, Scientist and TMNT Ally–should leave you with plenty of army options.
His Trait (RUNNING FROM THE FEDERATION AND TRICERATONS FOR YEARS: Fugitoid can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Stealth. When an attack misses Fugitoid, after actions resolve you may place him up to 3 squares away from his current square.) is fine, and with the resulting 19 Defense from Range, you should be able to keep him hopping around the Map in advantageous ways.
Since the Willpower provided by Fugitoid’s Indomitable is a “may” decision, you should almost always neglect to use it the first time it comes up so that Fugitoid shifts to its second Click, which has virtually identical stats to Fugi’s top dial, except he then picks up Outwit!
Until then, though, you’re maneuvering a piece that has just a 9 Attack Value, no Range and deals only 2 Damage in the unlikely event that it hits someone. In other words, it will often not be worth taking an offensive action with this piece unless you have no other options.
5. FFTMNT2005 April — 25 Points — Fast Forces:
So, if you want to field a TMNT Ally team, you’re gonna need some supporting pieces that enhance your attackers and do so within Theme. Well, if you’re looking for such a piece, April is here to help!
She only has two clicks, and really only one useful ability, her Damage Special (I’VE GOT PIZZA GUYS!: Once per turn, you may choose one of the following: Give April a free action to heal one adjacent character with the TMNT keyword 1 click. -or- Give April a power action to heal all adjacent friendly characters with the TMNT keyword 1 click each.).
She also sports Plasticity and Super Senses, so she has some use as a tie-up piece in a pinch; but her Trait (WE GOTTA SAVE APRIL: When April would be KO’d by an opposing character’s attack, place her on that character’s card instead and place a Rescue token on April’s card. Friendly characters with the TMNT Ally keyword modify their attack value by +1 when targeting a character that has April on its card. If a character with April on its card due to this effect is KO’d, place April into a square it last occupied on click #1. At the end of the game, the opponent scores 25 points for each Rescue Token on April’s card. This ability can’t be ignored.) makes it so that almost anything your opponent does to get rid of April actually plays right into your hands!
Again–your opponent KO’ing April actually makes it easier for you to KO their pieces! And the alternative to that is for your opponent to ignore April, if possible (again, that Plasticity may throw a wrench into those plans), and watch as she constantly heals your ENTIRE TEAM EVERY TURN WITHOUT EVEN ROLLING ANY DICE!!
This is how you make Turtle teams viable!
4. TMNT2032 Griddex — 125 Points — Chase:
This is just a good ol’fashioned BEATSTICK who also comes with juuuuust enough trickeration to make executing an 11-Damage Alpha Strike feasible!
His low Movement (with Charge) is made up for by the fact that he has Improved Movement: Ignores Elevation and his Trait (SHRINK TO SAVE YOURSELF!: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose one to last until your next turn. Griddex has Giant Damage Symbol; -or- Griddex has Tiny Damage Symbol but can’t make attacks.), which can be used either offensively or defensively.
Worried Griddex will get sniped on approach? Choose Tiny Size and watch as your opponent tries to hit a 20 Defense Value (or more with Hindering).
Want to pick up an Ultra-Heavy object and Charge your opponent for 11 Damage, but find you’re just one square short? Choose Giant Size and add +1 to your reach!
Remember, the Trait is a “may” power, so if you want to keep him regular size for TK’ing (or whatever), just decline to use the power that turn.
But wait–4 native Damage plus 3 from an Ultra-Heavy is only 7 Damage? How is he dealing 11? His Attack Special (POUND, CRUSH, SMASH: Griddex can use Super Strength. When he makes a close object attack and hits, after actions resolve he may make a close attack targeting the hit character.) is just as ridiculous as Armaggon’s… except Griddex costs 45 Points less!
3. TMNT2034E Shellectro — 50 Points — Chase:
Shellectro is a really efficient Secondary Attacker who somehow only costs 50 Points. Wing Symbol plus 9 Movement also makes him a pretty good Taxi, too!
Running Shot with a 7 Range, 10 Attack with Pen/Psy, 17 Defense with ES/D AND 3 native Damage with an awesome Captain Marvel-esque Special (COUNTER FORCE BOLT: When Shellectro hits with a range attack, choose one hit opposing character. That character can’t make range attacks until your next turn.)… this is the sort of starting click you only used to see on 70 or 80 Point figures.
TMNT got a huuuuuuge boost this set as a viable keyword (and Shellectro has “Scientist” as well!).
2. TMNT2018 Shredder — 50 Points — Uncommon:
So… is 50 Points is all we have to pay for an above average Secondary Attacker nowadays? First Shellectro and now this?
Shredder is a close combat machine with Charge and B/C/F, but what takes him over the top is Defense Special (YOU CANNOT BEAT ME, EVEN FOUR TO ONE: Shredder modifies his defense value by +1 for each opposing character within 3 squares.), which can shoot his Defense Value up to 20 in the right circumstance!
A rabid wombat who you can’t quite hit but has the potential to stab you for 6 damage every turn is a nightmare to deal with. But Shredder has one more (Traited) trick up his sleeve-less armor (THERMITE GRENADE: When Shredder is KO’d from an attack, deal 3 penetrating damage to all characters within 3 squares, and on the same elevation, of the square that he last occupied.).
So, even if you manage to KO him, chances are you had to fatally injure your own characters to do it.
1.TMNT2029 Renet Tilley — 55 Points — Super Rare:
So, when this set was still being revealed, Ninwashui and I had a conversation that went something like this:
HypeFox: Hey, Ninwashui, who’s the best Taxi in Modern right now?
Ninwashui: Uh, Fugitoid? He can Carry four different characters if they know the password (i.e. share a keyword), and he eventually gains Outwit, and–
HypeFox: What if I told you there was someone better. In the same set.
Ninwashui: Well, Shellectro is ridiculous for his points, so an argument could be made–
HypeFox: Nope. Not him either.
So, in a set where the designers had already given us two of the best Taxis ever, the powers that be decided that we needed, arguably, the BEST Taxi ever made.
How did this happen, you might ask? Well, luckily Critical Missives has obtained a transcript of one the design conversations that lead to Renet’s dial:
Lead Designer: “Alright Steve, what do you have for the Turtles 2 super rare slots? We were gonna do another Renet, right?”
Steve: “Yeah. So I was thinking of a good existing template figure for her. How well do you remember that Fast Forces Scarlet Witch from Chaos War? Her Rookie dial, I mean?”
Lead Designer: “You mean the one that could do just about everything you ever need from a supporting piece, but only cost 50 Points? She had a 6 Range, Prob, Perplex, Mystics TA and Barrier. She was a nightmare. She even had Pen/Psy in case you ever wanted to attack with her, which was stupid because she could already control the flow of the game with all of her other powers and abilities. Way under-costed. Let’s not do that again.”
Steve: “Okay, yeah, but what if we took away Barrier, Perplex, the Mystics TA and reduced her Range to 5?”
Lead Designer: “Ehh… I dunno. You always do this. You say you’re gonna take some stuff off the dial, and then right after you do and get the figure approved, you add like five more things to the piece.”
Steve: “No, no, it’s cool. Not even gonna give her a Team Ability.”
Lead Designer: “No Mystics? Well… okay. And no Barrier, right? I guess that would keep her a little bit closer to that 50 Point cost. She’ll still be pretty good though.”
Steve: “Yeah, but not unbalanced.”
Lead Designer: “No, not unbalanced, I guess. Okay. Let’s do it!”
Steve: “… ”
[Types away on his keyboard.]
Lead Designer: “What? Why are you smiling?”
Steve: “Real quick, I just added two more clicks of life to her, so she’s got five clicks now instead of Scarlet Witch’s three.”
Lead Designer: “Wait, what? This is what we JUST talked about!”
Steve: “No, no, it’s fine. Just two bare clicks. Two… bare… ish… clicks.”
Lead Designer: “What did you put on those clicks, Steve?”
Steve: “Nothing! Just, y’know Phasing/Teleport. Like Scarlet Witch had.”
Lead Designer: “Uh-huh. And… ?”
Steve: “And… I bumped her Movement up to 12, added in Sidestep and a special portal-based Carry ability that lets her take four other characters with her wherever she goes.”
Lead Designer: “WhatwhatwhatwhatWHAT? She’s a Taxi now too?”
Steve: “Oh, and to make up for her reduced Range, I gave her a special Prob on her even clicks that lets her Prob rolls from anywhere on the map.”
Lead Designer: “To be clear: you’re saying that since her Range was reduced by 1 measly square, you thought a good balance to that was to let her Prob from anywhere on the board. Thus making her Range pretty much irrelevant.”
Steve: “Yeah. Well that, and, y’know, I gave her Charge and Blades in the middle of her dial for when folks move in close to her.”
Lead Designer: “Who even makes a ‘Prob from across the board power?’ Range and line of fire requirements are the only thing that keep Probability Control from getting out of hand! Do you know how much more she’s gonna have to cost now that you’ve added all these other powers in?”
Steve: “Waaaay ahead of you. Instead of fifty points, how about… fifty-five points?”
Lead Designer: “Get the hell out of my office.”
Steve: “Thanks for the lemonade.”
Alright! Agree? Disagree? Feel free to post your comments down below! And come back soon for Ninwashui’s Joker’s Wild Top Ten Review!!