[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two!]
Welcome to Night 3 of Critical Missives… ‘s… “The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!”
Tonight, the Ghost of Christmas Past is going to tell us a few of his favorite things from the Clix year that was, starting with…
THE MOST UNEXPECTEDLY META SET:
This set released all the way back in early February of this year, and it came close on the heels (just 3 months after, really) of its underwhelming predecessor, TMNT 2: Heroes in a Half Shell.
And yet, this set had hit after hit, from the Rares to the SR’s to the Chases. Almost all of the following characters have seen play in (at the very least) the Top 16 of a ROC:
—TMNT3023 Shredder Clone
—TMNT3028 Leonardo (Space Leo who screws with equipped items)
—TMNT3030 Savanti Romero
—TMNT033 Mini Shredder
—TMNT035 Shark Shredder
The Space Turtles were all pretty good, really, as were all of the Shredder Chases. For a set with only 35 pieces, an inordinately large amount of those pieces ended up being really powerful!
This set actually made fans excited for more Turtles sets. Quite the feat considering a lot of folks were having Turtles fatigue heading into its release. We’ll see if Wizkids can keep the momentum going when TMNT: Unplugged releases next March.
THE LONGEST-AWAITED STARTER SET IN HEROCLIX HISTORY:
Sooo… before this was released in August, Heroclix KINDA had rules. In that, there was a rule book, but it was old, and most of it still applied, but there were always some weird interactions, and SOMETIMES Wizkids would address these online, but sometimes they wouldn’t, and in those cases yourguessisasgoodasmineandAAAGGGHHHH!!
This Starter FINALLY debuted the new rules for Heroclix going forward, and the updated wording actually did resolve (and/or prevent) a lot of rules ambiguity. Even if some of the new rules seemed bizarre or needlessly revised (See: Improved Targeting: Blocking; Mind Control; etc.), at least we finally had some guidance from on high. So the actual contents of this Starter hardly mattered beyond the new rules. Buuut…
Holy crap are these good pieces!! This was one of the best Loki’s we’ve ever gotten, and the Hulk piece is also pretty extraordinary (50 Points for free 4-Damage Quake?! Sweet!). And they gave us a 5-Click Cap for 50 Points that comes with Charge, ES/D, Combat Reflexes and CCE! Plus he pumps the Attack of adjacent friendly characters!
This would have been a top-selling Starter if it just had the new rules and 6 trash pieces. Instead, Wizkids put in some good design work on these figures AND included an Asgardian Shield! One of the best products they put out this year.
MOST UNDERRATED SET OF THE YEAR:
What If… ? and Elseworlds sounded great in concept, but by the time Elseworlds debuted in July, the best piece in What If… ? (Goblin King) had been nerfed, half of the Chases were down to about $25 and shops were stuck with bricks that no one really wanted any more.
Also… it’s tough to invest much in full sets of Heroclix that are released in consecutive months! It’s even tougher when those sets reuse sculpts as if Wizkids had to make a 56-piece set out of, like 14 different molds.
Having said all that… Elseworlds is an infinitely better set than What If… ? was.
First of all, the source material (particularly The Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come) is simply better and more popular the What If… ? source material. As a Marvel guy, it hurts to say that, but it’s true. It just is.
Secondly, this set has great pieces at all rarity levels.
–More Shifting Focus Batman and Superman pieces at the Common level (I never loved those pieces, but Ninwashui does and they have shown up intermittently in the Meta);
–Figures like Nekhrun, the Bat God and “Drained Power Battery” Green Lantern at the Uncommon level (I mean, Running Shot/Pulse Wave with Flying, a 7 Range, Indomitable and a TWENTY Defense from range seems fair for 60 Points, right?);
–Kingdom Come The Ray, Green Oracle and The Drummer at the Rare level;
–The very Meta Al Jhor Dan and the extremely efficient The Flying Batman (seriously, compare this piece at 140 to the dials for the Movie Superman or Movie Batman dials from the BvS Movie set last year);
–And a 4-figure murderer’s row of Chases from the Dark Knight Returns. Green Arrow, Superman, Robin… even the Batman piece is really good for his points.
I can’t think of another set that has such a bad reputation while simultaneously being chock full of good pieces.
Well, that’s all for today–I don’t want to step on our annual January “Simply the Best” column–but be sure to tune in tomorrow for some more Clix-Mas!!