Black Bolt’s Gas Is Deadlier Than His Voice. (Or, A Top Ten Set Review Earth X!!)

 Earth X

Some Notes About the Set:

Sinister Six

  • Don’t let the inclusions of Black Panther, Hulk, Cap, or Iron Man fool you – This is a Spider-man set. Most of the pieces revolve around him which is weird since I don’t remember the comic revolving exclusively around him.

Miles Morales

  • They finally gave a us a great Mile Morales figure… almost.  EAX037b Spider-man has powers and abilities that represent Miles perfectly, but the keywords seem like they are describing another character altogether (Most people think they seem like they are for Spider-man 2099). So for those of you waiting to create an awesome Champions team… better luck next time.

Hulk Earth X

  • The Sculpts are really well done this set! Daredevil and Hulk stand out in particular to me.
  • Wizkids suckered me in to spending more money than I otherwise would have. I traded for an SR Iron Man. He works best with the Map in the starter. So I bought a starter. Then I heard the Token Pack had the Iron Avengers on the back so I bought that too. In the end this SR will be costing me more than most Chases. I hope it’s worth it.
  • Below I am ranking the figures in this set, but the real winners are the equipment. In particular the Symbiote and the Goblin Glider will be Meta staples until they are retired.
  • I didn’t include him in the list below, but EAX021 Fancy Dan has gotten a lot of attention from some big HeroClix names. I haven’t figured out the best way to use this guy yet, but he may be a part of some very successful teams. Consider him an “unofficial” Honorable Mention…

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Fat Spidey

5. EAX015 Spider-Man (30 Points) – His special white power reads, “Everyone has Power, So My Only Responsibility is to My Daughter: Leap/Climb. When Spider-man moves, after resolutions you may choose a friendly standard character adjacent to a square he moved through. If you do, place that character adjacent and it can’t be given a costed action this turn.” That lets him serve as a Taxi pre-combat and then as an incredible re-positioning piece that can move any of your pieces to where they need to be in a fight, whether or not they started adjacent. Of course, the best reason to put him on this list is that he gives Spider-man Family key worded pieces their first TA to copy without breaking theme since 2014! Spidey fans, rejoice!

Medusa X.png

4. EAX060 Medusa (75 points) – Speaking of pieces that a are really good at re-positioning other pieces during a fight…

Her damage potential isn’t high and her defenses are soft, but she brings a lot to a build in other ways. She has a Special Power and a Trait that are worth mentioning here: “ Lethal Locks: Plasticity, Giant Reach: 3. Telekinesis as FREE, but replace all “6” with “3” in the text of the power,” and also “ Lockjaw’s Tuning Fork: FREE: Improved Movement: Characters, Elevated, Hindering, Blocking. Passenger: 2, but only to carry characters that share a keyword regardless of . Move up to 3 squares.

Essentially she can move herself up to 6 spaces in a turn as free actions and still make attacks with her range of three or giant reach of three and quake. She can also carry characters up to 3 spaces with her or TK them as free actions instead of using those powers on herself.

Pres Osborn

3. EAX029 President Osborn (50 points) – In truth, none of the characters with the New York Crime Boss Trait are bad, but President Osborn is the one that will see the most play. The Crime boss trait reads like this: “ New York Crime Boss: Leadership, Mastermind. When President Osborn uses Leadership and succeeds, instead of removing an action token you may generate two Hired Flunky bystanders (MAX 4).

What sets Osborn apart from his Mafia peers is that he has MUCH better keywords along with the unique ability to double Perplex his “bodyguard”. I can see that being abused to great effect.

Stegron

2. EAX038 Stegron (75 points) – So in the same set that brought us Sinister Syndicate figures that gain a huge buff when exactly 6 figures are on your team, we get this guy (with the same keywords) that can generate up to 3 bystanders. That seems really useful on a Syndicate team.

As for the figure himself, he’s slow and his lack of Willpower is something you will really lament. However, when he and his friends finally do catch up with the opposing team, they’ll bring a lot of pain for a very low 75 point cost.

Spidey A side

1. EAX037a Spider-man (90 points) – This is an unusual showing for Spider-man. Gone is the usual Charge or Hypersonic speed that we are used to seeing with him. In it’s place is running shot and incapacitate via his web shooters item. While the item is the worst in the set, the figure using it is pretty good (which makes him the complete opposite of EAX051 Venom).  Besides running shot the other thing that makes this guy stand out is a trait I don’t remember seeing before on any other piece – Collosal Retaliation on a standard size character. It reads, “ Protect My Family: FREE: If no other friendly character has activated this trait this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked a friendly character with the Spider-Man Family keyword since your last turn. Place Spider-Man such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.” With a trait like that it’d be hard to justify not putting him on a Spider-Family theme team.

And now, on to the Top 10!

Earth X Loki

10. EAX058 Loki (150 points) – Okay, so Loki has some obvious problems for a 150 point character. No inherent move and attack. No Willpower. No obvious protection from Outwit.

So what makes him worth playing? His second Trait reads: “ In The Minds Of Mortals: Shape Change, Stealth. Once per turn, when a character of less points within line of fire makes an attack, you may reroll one die of that attack.” That means he gets a free use of a power like Probability Control (but better) every turn. That’s good, but not awesome until you combine it with the actual Probability Control he has top dial. Together it lets you reroll friendly or opposing dice twice in one turn and that can just be crushing to an opponent. Especially if you add some other fun reroll characters like Trelane, Renet Tilly, or The Unseen.

Some of his weaknesses can also be compensated for as well. That Stealth helps mitigate opposing Outwit and something like the Goblin Glider will give him all of the movement he could ever need. He can also be Carried, which will help keep his action token count low.

Beetle Pod

9. EAX035 Beetle (75 points) – According to Mugatu, the Sinister Syndicate is just So Hot Right Now.

And if you are going to play the Syndicate, it’s really hard to justify not including Beetle because of his Trait. It says: “Organizer Of The Sinister Syndicate: Leadership. When a friendly character within 6 squares replaces its attack value using the Sinister Syndicate team ability, modify its attack +1.”

Aside from that Trait, the Beetle figure is good, but not over powering. However, on a keyword team full of mostly close attackers, his ranged attacks are a nice change of pace.

Sandman

8.  EAX006 Sandman (50 points) – Don’t look now but they put a pick a power character into the common slot for this set. So his first click already has Sidestep, Super Senses, Shape Change, and Stealth as long as there are more 3 or more characters on a team. Assuming you move him around with a Taxi (like SFSM029 Overdrive) you can pick another power to add to the ones I’ve already mentioned. Most of the time that will be Invulnerable. Either way, those powers added together make the best array of defensive powers we’ve ever seen on a 50 point character.

Then, once it’s time to go on the offensive, he can drop the Invulnerability and choose either Charge or Flurry. I’ve already (during the Release Event) been on the receiving end of a Flurry attack from this character when it had 4 damage and 11 attack. That was an unexpected–and also very quick–game loss for me.

Black Bolt Earth x

7. EAX047 Black Bolt (150 points) – Officially one of the highest point characters in the set and also one of the best. His starting click with Hypersonic Speed and 5 damage is downright scary. Beyond that, he has a Trait that makes him practically immune to attack until he’s taken an action. It reads: “ONLY ONE MAN COULD MOVE THAT QUIETLY: When Black Bolt has no action tokens, lines of fire drawn to him are blocked.

You just need to find a find a good taxi like EAX060 Medusa or a vehicle (or LE Lockjaw!!) and you’ll maximize the effectiveness of the Trait. He also has a comic accurate Special Power on his last two clicks: “WOUND WITH A WHISPER, SHATTER WITH A SCREAM: Pulse Wave. When Black Bolt uses it, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Blocking Terrain and you may instead choose a number from 1 through 5 to be the range value for Pulse Wave (You don’t halve it and can’t modify it). After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within that use of Pulse Wave’s range.” Choosing your range combined with Running Shot makes it real easy to hit an opposing character with a 5 damage single target Pulse Wave.

Not bad for a figure that’s almost KOed.

Miles I Am

6. EAX037b Spider-man (75 points) – As I mentioned in the set notes, the keywords on this figure are disappointing, but the figure itself is not. Part Spider-man and part Batman, he’s just a well-rounded figure that delivers everything you’d want for his point cost.

For 75 points he comes with Indomitable and the ability to ignore everything while moving except for walls. He’s got consistently strong attack and damage values and the option of having Stealth to go along with his Outwit on his first few clicks. He’s also got Super Senses his whole dial (and it’s immune to Outwit). So he’ll be a stealthy support figure on your team until he’s ready to play the hero and then he’ll Charge in with that awesome 12 attack on his opening click.

Green Goblin.jpg

5. EAX050 Green Goblin (75 points) – It’s better to think of this guy as a version of The Flash rather than a typical Green Goblin piece. Gone is his traditional Running Shot.

Now, thanks to his Goblin Glider equipment, he has full dial Hypersonic Speed, which is also bolstered by the Sidestep printed on his dial. And unlike the Flash or most Green Goblins we’ve seen in the past, this piece starts with two clicks of Invulnerability on defense.

On Offense he starts with Precision Strike and moves to Energy Explosion down dial. It’s also worth noting that every click except his first and last clicks will have Perplex or Outwit. But the best part about this figure is his special Stop Click at the end. It reads: “IMPALED BY THE REMOTE CONTROL GLIDER:FREE: KO a Goblin Glider equipped to Green Goblin. If you do, modify attack +3 and make a range attack targeting a single opposing character that deals 3 penetrating damage instead of normal damage. If he misses, KO Green Goblin.

That’s one of the most comic accurate special powers I have ever seen. Even if you don’t hit, you earn tons of style points for using it.

Skull

4. EAX030 The Skull(40 points) – For 40 points you get a figure that does what no other figure ever has been able to do before. He can use Mind Control with unlimited range and he’s the cheapest figure ever to start with a 12 attack!

With all that going for him on offense, he’s a defensive pushover, right? Actually no. He also happens to be the cheapest figure ever to feature 2 Stop Clicks and those Stop Clicks have Mastermind.

His only weaknesses are having just one keyword and that fact that Mind Control isn’t always useful against every opponent every game. So some games he won’t be much help, but in other games this 40 point figure will be the most feared part of your 300 point Build.

Earth X Daredevil

3. EAX054 Daredevil (60 points) – The Heir Apparent to JW060 The Joker, Daredevil trades the Jokers almost complete inability to be killed for some increased offense. Where the Joker has 10 attack and 1 damage, Daredevil has 11 attack and 3 damage. That’s a huge upgrade. He also has some nice powers to go along with that increased offense. Hypersonic Speed, Quake, Blades Claws Fangs, or Plasticity and Poison can all be chosen after each time an opponent attempts to KO Daredevil.

On defense the only thing that will hurt Daredevil is an attack roll with a 6 in it. That means he will last a lot longer against a few big enemies than a lot of small enemies. It also means that things like Poison, pushing damage, Mystics damage, or Shredder Elite damage can never KO him.

Iron Man Earth X

2. EAX056 Iron Man (125 points) – This character is the best Bystander Token creator since JW050 The Penguin. And he brings new options to Avengers teams the likes of which they have never had before.

His real cost is actually 5 points more because you’ll always want to use his special map with him. With that map he can generate a Bystander as a free action most turns. You can chose to take Iron man into battle to make use of his Barrier or leave him in your starting area. Once he takes a hit, or enough Iron Avengers are KOed, he switches to a powerful attacker. He’ll have Running Shot 11 attack and 4 damage. Once he takes a few more damage from that point he gains Pulse Wave to go along with his Running Shot.

Venom Cap

1. EAX062 Captain Venom (75 points) – Captain Venom brings new power to the already powerful Monster keyword. To that end he’s got a Trait and a Special Power that both help monsters. The Trait states, “EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED:During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.” His Special Power is, “READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES:Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.”

His dial is also very good for the points and if he can make it to Close Combat without getting hit at Range then he will do well for your team. However the real reason he’s the number one figure in this set is the strength of the Monster Keyword. That keyword won the world Championship in 2018 and if Captain Venom has anything to say about it, they’ll be a favorite to repeat in 2019. And that’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

 

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!!

 

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5 thoughts on “Black Bolt’s Gas Is Deadlier Than His Voice. (Or, A Top Ten Set Review Earth X!!)

  1. Great review! You must be leaving room for Hypefox’s Top Ten Earth X Review because there are some figures that I would definitely say should be in the Top 10 or at the very least an honorable mention. It’s fun to debate.

    For sealed and constructed meta, I would add these in the Top 10:
    1. Daredevil
    2. Captain America, Resilient (Avengers Meta Team)

    Honorable Mention add:
    1. Captain Marvel – I think he has potential to build around.

    For sealed, I would add:
    1. Hulk

    It’s debatable:
    1. Medusa – I think I would rank her higher, because of TK, which is gold ion this set for sealed. Plus she has Giant Reach.
    2. What’s it say when the equipment objects are more valuable than the figures?
    3. Iron Man – I’m not sure about him in constructed. After looking at the Stark Tower map, I’m not crazy about the fact that he cannot generate Iron Avengers except by a free action and you cannot choose which one to generate, but instead need to rely on a D6 roll. If I’m the opponent, I’m always choosing the side with 3 and 6 closest to me because those positions generate the weaker Iron Avengers. I do like Iron Man for the fact that the map is Indoors and will provide some protection for Avengers Colossal Retaliators (yes Giant-Girls), but at 125 is there enough to support Iron Man with, especially since he’s not an attacker to begin with? He’s over a third of your build. It feels like potential…on paper…on a paper map.

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    • Ok Tydesign here are my answers to your questions.

      Daredevil – I rated him #3 in the set I think he has a ton of constructed potential. Not sure what else you want me to say with him.

      Captain America – Not a fan. Great powers on offense, but he is a close combat piece with no defensive powers to start with. I am not saying he can’t be successful, but you will need to hide him behind the rest of your team or he will die quickly. And he’s not doing much good back there. I if I play against him I am aiming for him first.

      Captain Marvel- Has a very unique power, but I consider him more fun than useful. You’re just as likely to help your opponent as you are to help yourself. Unless there is a combo I am missing, I don’t think he’s a very powerful piece.

      Hulk – Ran rampant in sealed, but this set is full of short or no range pieces. Against a decent ranged attacker he’ll have trouble making it into close combat without taking a good hit first. Unfortunately being a giant he can’t use something like the exospecs to minimize that problem. That being said he’s still an awesome piece and I wouldn’t be mad at anyone who thought he was top 10 in the set.

      Medusa – At the end of that her TK is cool, but pretty limited by the max 3 range. What is she? Support? Not without perplex prob or outwit. She’s not a secondary attacker either. Her damage output is really limited. She’s not bad, but I just don’t foresee her being super successful. Spoiler Alert: She will fair much better on Hypefox’s list (should he ever publish one).

      Equipment- When equipment (and ID cards) are more sought after than after than figures that’s bad game design. But we are still better off than we were a few years ago with resources.

      Iron Man-You could be right, but there have been quite a few accounts I have seen of people using him that said he won a game for them single handedly. What can I say, I’m a huge bystander token fan. Bystanders coming into play in middle of the board and being able to attack immediately is huge. Groot, Carnage, Poison Ivy, and even Savati Romero showed me that. Also, Iron man is only a bad attacker on his first 2 clicks. After that he’s a great attacker for his 125 point cost. I like the fact that if your opponent doesn’t hit him, he can still get to his attacking clicks by taking damage when Iron Avengers die. Avengers won the last local ROC and I feel like this guy could sub right on that team. And his powers go really well with Giant girl. Lots of bystanders dying is also lots to retaliate against.

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    • Without stepping too much on my upcoming SECOND OPINION!!:

      Medusa: Edward Shelton talked about this on one of his recent podcasts, although not in regard to this figure: We may be entering a very POG-heavy Meta (if we’re not already there). Mr. Shelton was talking about Uncommon Prime Vulture in Earth X using multiple attacks in a single turn (via his Trait) to KO Pogs and basically “reset” the game for those sorts of Builds.

      Well, in addition to being able to move your pieces around the board, Medusa herself can combo her powers to vault 6 squares across the board AND THEN QUAKE WITH A GIANT REACH OF 3! Which means your opponent really has to pay attention to when, how and where they’re deploying any POG’s or squishy support pieces. Her Leadership is just icing on the cake.

      Iron Man: I actually really like him (I know, what a surprise).

      Hulk: … Okay, I’m gonna save the rest for my article!

      Like

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