Some Notes about the set:
- You can largely ignore the small figures. In my opinion, the Colossal figures are where all the fun is.
- Robots might be meta now that thanks to all the new effective pieces from this set.
- Brotherhood might be meta now (yes really).
- Wolverine and beast are pretty good, but the rest of the regular x-men didn’t wow me.
The Honorable Mentions
5. XDPSG022 Mojo (75 points) – The first of many figures on this list with my favorite new trait, behind the scenes. It reads, “Behind the Scenes: Mojo can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.” It prevents even probability control from being used against Mojo unless the target is at short range. Beyond that Mojo at 75 points is a really nice support piece featuring a combination of sidestep, TK, and perplex. As the game progresses he’ll be able to make use of his last trait to devastating effect. It reads, “More Action!… Ratings are Dropping!: Whenever a character misses all targets of their attack, give Mojo a Bored token. // FREE: Remove 2 Bored tokens to either place Mojo anywhere on the map -or- make an attack.” It doesn’t take much for most teams I run to produce misses. The fact that later in the game this guy can attack twice in a turn or teleport anywhere on the board as a free action is nuts.
4. XDPSG001b Stealth Sentinel (100 points) – With very good values on attack or stealth and free action smoke cloud on defense, Stealth Sentinel brings a lot to the table. His ability to strike from range and then hide anywhere on the map is awesome. He also has the ability push with Colossal stamina and then immediately heal himself by changing modes. On offense his two stop clicks offer extra protection and on defense his poison offers another way to attack difficult to hit characters.
3. XDPS048 Jason Wyngarde (75 points) – He’s immune to outwit, has leadership that hits anywhere on the board, and there is a good chance he can mind control the entire opposing team each time he uses it. Hellfire club teams may be a thing, but he’s more likely to get use out of his brotherhood keyword. However the best reason to run this guy is his trait which reads, “Psionic Illusion: FREE: Choose a character on your sideline of 150 points or less (on their highest-point line). Generate a bystander printed on that character’s card. Each bystander generated this way has [MAX 1]. You may activate this ability only twice per game.” Dropping tokens on someone as a free action is just awesome. His battle cry is, “Have an Old Lace to the Face.”
2. XDPSG003 Nimrod (275 points) – While not much of a primary attacker because of his lack of move and attack options, he may have a future as a One Man Army. If you play him at 175 your opponent could ignore him and stay out of range, but if he’s the only piece on the board then your opponent has to start attacking him. That’s when they’ll face his defensive trait, “Running Comparative Evaluation of Reference Data: When Nimrod is attacked and would be hit, you may roll 2d6. If your roll is equal or higher than the attacker’s attack roll, Nimrod evades that attack and after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to their printed damage value.” From there it’s a roll off. If you can out roll your opponent then they will never touch you. If they out roll you, then you won’t have a good day. This sort of character doesn’t work for me, but seems to work against me so I am including it on this list.
1. XDPS043b Mr. Sinister (40 points) – He is the least likely of the danger room pieces to be used because of his lack of the brotherhood keyword. However, on robot theme teams he’s practically a must play. He boasts outwit that sees through stealth and poison for close encounters. On defense he has stealth, shape change, and energy shield deflection to go along with his practically being immortal from the danger room trait. So the 5 hits he needs to be KOed will likely take well more than 5 attempts from your opponent. He’s a stealthy outwitter that we’ve loved in the past for 30 points (like ADW007 Black Panther) except he’s 40 points and they added everything but the kitchen sink. In any game where outwit matters, he’ll be the best piece on your team.
The Top Ten:
10. XDPSG023a Shadow King (150 points) – He has a the Power Cosmic TA and and the Brotherhood keyword which I don’t think is really justified for this character, but hey if the designers are going to throw us a bone we might as well use it. The TA he has means if he were to ever gain additional powers from another source, those powers couldn’t be outwitted (more on that later). On defense he has the behind the scenes trait, can reduce penetrating damage, invulnerability, and probability control. On offense he ignores stealth, has a phasing/triple target mind control combo, and pulse wave to discourage people from getting 4 spaces or closer to him (which is required by his behind the scenes trait).
9. XDPSG005 Exodus (75 points) – The hero of many sealed teams. He has running shot and pulse wave (which is always dangerous) backed up by his special leadership power “Named By Magnus Himself to Lead Mutants Forward: Leadership. When Exodus uses it and succeeds, instead of the normal effect, you may remove an action token from up to 3 adjacent friendly characters that each share a keyword (with him). If you do, until your next turn modify Exodus’s combat values +1 for each token removed.” I played a 400 point brotherhood theme team on release day and several times I got +2 to all my stats just before doing a running shot/pulse wave. It was not good (for my opponent). His printed defense is just 18 with toughness, but he is standard size so you can hide him behind other tougher brotherhood characters. He brings one other unique trait to the team more powerful than others like it (way better than WCR008.1E Magneto), “Genoshan Force Field: At the beginning of the game, choose 2, 4, 6, or 8 to be X. // When a character more than X squares away would move within X squares of Exodus and wasn’t given a MOVE action, that character stops moving. When a character more than X squares away attacks one or more characters within X squares of Exodus, modify their attack -1.” So your opponent can move through it, but can’t use hypersonic, charge, or running shot without stopping at the chosen range. The range you pick is based heavily on their team. You can make charge and hypersonic almost useless, or at the very least give +1 ranged defense to your whole team.
8. XDPS019 Amelia Vought (45 points) – The only acolyte to have the brotherhood keyword, she is the ultimate mastermind character who also brings perplex with her. Her trait reads “Mutant Messiah: At the beginning of the game, for all characters with this trait, choose a friendly character with the Acolytes or Brotherhood of Mutants or X-Men keyword. That character can use Mastermind, but only to choose characters with this trait.” So she gives mastermind to certain pieces, but she also has another trait to go along with it, “TRANSMUTE OUT OF DANGER: Super Senses. Once per turn, when Amelia Voght or an adjacent friendly character would take 3 or more damage, you may give that character two action tokens to take 1 unavoidable damage instead. If you do, after resolutions you may place that character in a square adjacent to her current square.” For example, if Shadow King was the mutant Messiah and Phoenix Psychic blasts him for 7 damage, you could mastermind the damage to Amelia and if Amelia had no action tokens, she would take 1 unavoidable damage from the attack and 1 damage from getting two action tokens and pushing. Your Shadow King would be completely untouched. If Brotherhood becomes a constructed powerhouse (for the first time ever) she will likely be the reason.
7. XDPS047 Jean Grey (75 points) – Currently the meta consists of 75% cosmic teams and 25% of teams from all the other keywords combined. She is one of two pieces in this set to have that keyword (Dark Phoenix is the other). She has limited outwit and is a strong mind controller because of her trait, “Inner Circle Club: Black Queen: Outwit, but only to choose a black power or a special power. // Mind Control. When Jean Grey uses it as RANGE, modify attack +1 and she may instead target any number of characters of lower point value. (Must still be opposing and within range and line of fire.)” She pairs well with friendly mind controllers Jason Wyngarde, or Kobik thanks to her trait “Jason Wyngarde Has Shown Us the Way: Sidestep. Other friendly characters can target Jean Grey when using Mind Control.” And she could also be used as a bomb to be sent directly at your opponents because of her special power, “The Phoenix Unbound: STOP. Invulnerability, Power Cosmic Team Ability, . When this click is first revealed, after resolutions deal 3 damage to all other (friendly and opposing) characters within 6 squares. // POWER: Replace Jean Grey with XDPS #G020 Dark Phoenix on click #25.” 3 damage with no die rolls is awesome and it gets past things like stop clicks or the danger room trait since the damage does not come from an attack. However despite all of the various ways to use her, I predict you will mostly be seeing her as a popular call-in.
6. XDPSG018 Wendigo (15 points) – The second most powerful “vampire dial” ever made. his trait reads, “Ancient Mystical Curse: Colossal Stamina, Steal Energy. When Wendigo uses Steal Energy, he may heal past his starting line.” He has steal energy on every click which pairs well his special movement power, “In the Mountains, No One Hears You Scream: Charge, Flurry. When Wendigo ends his movement, after resolutions he may make a close attack but only to target a character with a Wounded token.” So imagine running a couple of these at 15 points each. If your opponent targets them right away they will die pretty easily and you’ll be out 30 points. But if they don’t get targeted right away, they will run amok. Every turn your opponent has to concentrate his attacks on the rest of your 270 point army the wendigos will grow and hurt things until they become a major threat. All from a 15 point investment each.
5. XDPS011b Magneto (50 points) – Arguably the most powerful of the three danger room pieces (depending on what you are facing). This is a 50 point ranged attacker who could raise his attack value to a 14 via his ranged combat expert. He also has dual target and psychic blast to make sure his damage sticks against almost any two targets in the game. Sure he likely won’t kill the other teams primary attacker, but he will weaken them. That’s what he is for, doing two 2 or 3 damage to the other teams most expensive piece while being relatively safe from attack himself. Even the best pieces are noticeably weaker 2 or 3 clicks off their top dial. (unless your a 300 point juggernaut)
4. XDPSG007 Juggernaut (100 points) – I have been waiting since the Infinity challenge set for them to make a really good Juggernaut, it’s only taken them a little over 17 years. He’s secretly my favorite comic book character and Kuruth from fear itself was the last playable Juggernaut we got. He was noticeably absent from both the Xavier’s School and Re-genesis sets.
This Juggernaut will probably the most play at 100 points, but with a good team to back him him up he’s dangerous at 200 points as well. At 300 points he won’t win nationals this year, but he’s still not really a “casual” piece. What makes him so deadly? First, he attacks exactly like the Juggernaut should by running straight through all terrain and smashing whatever is on the other side with his trait, “Mass Destruction: Super Strength. When Juggernaut is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.” The second thing that makes him so deadly is that so many powers just plain don’t work against him. His special defense reads, “Shielded by My Helmet: Colossal Stamina, Invincible. Juggernaut has PROTECTED: Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, Pulse Wave.” In addition to all of the listed powers, exploit weakness and psychic blast won’t help you because of his invincible. If you want to KO him, you’re going to have to get through his clicks the hard way. The third reason Juggernaut is so deadly, is that he has multiple ways to heal and remove tokens from himself. One of his traits reads, “My Mutant Brothers and Sisters: Once per turn when an effect other than clearing removes an action token from Juggernaut, after resolutions heal him 1 click.” So removing a token with leadership or removing a token by rolling 10 or better while attacking (Brotherhood TA) also both heal him 1 click of health that turn. And he has a 3rd trait that will do more of the same, “City-Wide Rampage: If Juggernaut destroyed 3 or more pieces of blocking terrain during one of his actions, after resolutions remove an action token from him.” Finally Wizkids has given us a piece worthy of his motto, “Nothing can stop the unstoppable Juggernaut.”
3. XDPSG023b Storm (25 points) – As a 25 point second (or third) attacker you’ll never see better at that point cost. She has a 2 stage colossal retaliation that reads, “Colossal Retaliation: Mind Warp: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Storm or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Storm such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. If she hit, after resolutions she can use Mind Control at no cost as RANGE, modifying attack +3, to target the hit character and up to two others (within range and line of fire).” She has another trait that also gives her an additional free action she can use every turn, “Summon a Vortex of Wind: Energy Shield/Deflection. // FREE: Choose up to 3 opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire, then roll a d6. Knock back each of the chosen characters a number of squares equal to the result.” So this 25 point character can free action to retaliate and punch someone, then if she hits use triple target mind control on anyone within range (ignoring characters for targeting), then she force blasts up to 3 characters within 6 squares of her and she still hasn’t made a costed action that turn. At that point she could attack (unlike most retaliators she doesn’t have colossal indifference), or just run away to do everything again later. Unfortunately, just like with the Jean Grey chase we will probably see her most as a popular call in piece.
2. XDPSG006 Onslaught (125 points) – My favorite new primary attacker in the set and largely overlooked so far. On defense he has the behind the scenes trait, shape change, probability control (that sees through characters), Invulnerability, and PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. On offense he has starting 4 damage, Improved Targeting: Hindering/Characters, and his Psychic Juggernaut trait says, “// Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.” He also has two TAs to help him. He can be healed with the X-man TA (not likely) or remove a token from himself when his a roll is 10 or more with the brotherhood TA (way more likely). The thing that holds him back the most is his keywords (only armor and monster), however because he isn’t unique you can run two of him. I think 2 Onslaught (125 points each), Dr. Frankenstein (30 points), Carnage (10 points), and 10 points of ID cards, will be a strong meta team in the coming year. (2 or 3 Wendigos in place of Dr. Frankenstein and Carnage isn’t a bad way to go either.)
1. XDPSG020 Dark Phoenix (30 points) – *Writer’s note: At the time of this writing it is assumed that Dark Phoenix heals every time she hits for 4 damage or KOs something. IE 4 KOs from a single action is 4 clicks of healing. Hitting for 4 damage and KOing something in a single action is 2 clicks of healing. If that changes then her position on this list would change.*
Dark Phoenix is the most powerful “vampire dial” ever made. With just a little bit of perplex to help her she will quickly turn from a small 30 point long range attacker into something that will eat his whole team. Her healing trait reads, “Feeding On Life Forces: When Dark Phoenix KO’s an opposing character, or an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, after resolutions heal her 1 click. She may heal past her starting lines this way but can’t be healed in any other way.” After 9 clicks of healing she becomes literally a 300 point character. How does she get that healing? The best way is killing off bystanders. Her trait says KO anything, so bystanders count towards that healing. Even better, it doesn’t say KO an opposing piece so if you have something low in health or a bystander run those into where she is doing a colossal retaliation and heal a click for each one you KO. Her colossal retaliation reads “Colossal Retaliation: Child of Light And Darkness: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Dark Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Dark Phoenix such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so also targeting all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. Hit characters are given an action token and each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.” There aren’t many bystanders that X-men generate that I can think of, but the cosmic keyword has AIG025P Groot. For twenty points you get 2 bystanders, a one click Groot, and your opponent gets a bystander. All of these can be fed to Dark Phoenix. At my local shop one of the guys recently played Dark Phoenix along with two AIG025P Groot and AI049 Photon. The results were frighteningly effective.