Some notes about the set:
- The Avengers and Shield keywords did well. The Masters of Evil were pretty good. The Thunderbolts were refugees from a previous set where the power level wasn’t quite as high. They would be decent 3 years ago, but not now.
- The espionage trait is my shared favorite trait in a long time, and it is all over this set. It makes a lot of useful figures in the lower rarities.
- Speaking of rarities, some of the SRs and Chases are the most powerful we’ve ever seen. Especially the Avengers and SHIELD pieces.
- We got the best versions of some of the marvel mainstays (Thor, Hulk, Spider-man) that we’ve ever seen.
And now on to the honorable mentions:
5. CAAV062E Baron Zemo (45 points) – At 45 points he does everything you need him to do. He’s a stealthy outwit character, who grants your whole team the Avengers Initiative TA, and makes your whole team into one named keyword. If the core Thunderbolts were better, he would be in the top 10.
4. CAAV018B The Captain (45 points) – The first character on this list with the living legend trait that reads, “LIVING LEGEND: The first time each game The Captain would be KO’d, instead turn him to his last non-KO click, then roll a d6 and heal him equal to half the result. Protected: Pulse Wave.” In the captain’s case that likely means that he will come back on his support clicks, but that’s still a really good deal. So for his 45 points you get 6 clicks, then the trait essentially acts as a stop click and gives you at least more click of life after that. Your opponent is going to spend at least 3 good attacks KOing this guy and he’s only 45 points! Beyond that the designers just decided that he deserved 11 attack on every click. All of them. I have never seen that before. At the beginning of the game he’ll also pick up the Marvel TA of your choice (like Avengers Initiative, Masters of Evil, Underworld), or become immune to probability control!
3. CAAV007 Nick Fury (75 points) – This is a great showing for Nick Fury that I am sure will show up on a few winning builds before long. He’s the first character on this list with my favorite new trait “Espionage” that combines well with his starting outwit. It reads, “ESPIONAGE: Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, Improved Targeting: Hindering.” Beyond that, he’s able to make his own strike team of very capable SHIELD agents by hitting his leadership rolls. Should he come under fire, he also has one last trick up his sleeve. A special stop click that reads, “LIFE MODEL DECOY: STOP. Mastermind. When this click is first revealed, after resolutions roll a d6. Place Nick Fury up to that many squares away from his current square.“
2. CAAV006 Sharon Carter (35 points) – Bringing leadership, perplex, the shield TA, and possibly outwit to your team. She’s guarded from ranged attacks by both ESD and the Espionage trait. With a starting 10 attack, 5 range, and 2 damage she’s a capable 3rd string attacker from the safety of hindering terrain.
1. CAAV053A War Machine (100 points) – How is a guy that can attack twice in a turn most turns (“60% of the time, it works every time”) not be in the top 10? Well this is just an extremely powerful set and there is a guy a little further up the list that is almost the same as him, but slightly better. That being said, War Machine is no slouch. In another set he would be challenging for the top spot. He’s an Offensive powerhouse who can ignore hindering terrain for targeting. He also features running shot, psychic blast, and a self-perplex he can use to add to his starting 11 attack and 4 damage. In addition, he has a trait that reads “MINI-GUN TARGET LOCK: When War Machine hits, after resolutions you may give a hit character a Target Lock token, then remove all other Target Lock tokens. // FREE: Make a range attack using War Machine’s printed attack and damage values, but only to target the character with his Target Lock token.” His real weakness is defense. He does start with 18 defense and invincible, but his 6 clicks of life will seem rather short when he comes under fire from opposing forces.
Here’s the top 10:
10. CAAV049 Taskmaster (60 points) – At sixty points with stealth and perplex he makes a great support figure for Thunderbolts or SHIELD teams. But labeling him a support figure would discount his starting 12 attack, blades claws fangs, and the ability to gain charge or flurry. He’ll hide as support figure until the opponent gets close enough for him to pounce and embarrass a higher cost figure in one-on-one combat. Sneaky good.
9. CAAV071 Ghost Rider (70 points) – for only 20 points more than ABPI017 Voyager you get a figure that can move your whole team AND kicks a huge amount of butt for his point cost. You’ll lose the starting outwit that voyager has, but gain in every other category. His biggest draw is his trait that reads “THE AVENGERS HAVE A SWEET NEW RIDE: Passenger: 3, but only to carry character who share a keyword regardless of [Wing symbol]. // Ram. When Ghost Rider uses it, he modifies speed +3 and does not take unavoidable damage from it.” He’s the first clix in the game to be able to use ram and not take damage from using it. So your opponent needs to constantly worry about how many characters they have across from this guy or they risk him attacking 2 or 3 at a time from up to 13 squares away. Offensively, he starts with charge, exploit weakness, and 4 starting damage! On Defense he has a full dial of damage reducers and the rarely-seen-these-days mystics team ability.
8. CAAV052 Spider-Man (85 points) – PlayStation Spider-man comes in at number 8 with an impressive dial. Defensively he’s a stud with a Stealth Mode dial that would make even Batman jealous. It brings a special movement power that reads, “TAKING OUT FISK’S OPERATIONS ONE HIDEOUT AT A TIME: Sidestep, Stealth. // FREE: Place Spider-Man in a square of hindering terrain within 4 squares and line of fire.” Combine that with his toughness, shape change, and super senses that succeeds on a 4-6 (it’s also immune to outwit) and you have one of the hardest characters to damage we’ve ever seen. Which means he should make it to his target untouched. That’s where he switches to Fight (AKA instant-kill) mode. The main attraction of that mode is his higher attack values and his damage power that states “THE RIGHT GADGET FOR THE JOB: FREE: Choose one: Outwit, Perplex, Close Combat Expert, or Exploit Weakness. Spider-Man can use the chosen power until your next turn.” So Spidey has better gadgets now than Batman does. Wizkids will be hearing from Bruce’s Lawyer.
7. CAAV075E Peggy Carter (50 points, but more likely 0 points) – She has 4 clicks of life that are bolstered by the Living Legend trait . This is important because she may be KOed when she first comes into play and get use out of that trait right away. She also brings out a Becky Barnes bystander when she comes into play and Becky is a skilled close combat attacker with willpower and 18 defense bolstered by combat reflexes.
It was hard to pick which spot on my list this lady should get, because 99% of the time she’s played she will be coming into the game from your sideline for the low cost of zero points. I can 100% say she is worth the zero points you are paying for her. But she is only as good as the best Captain America or Steve Rogers you can play with her, which means the next character on this list has to be:
6. CAAV038 Steve Rogers (50 points) – From the moment this guy was previewed people online have been theory crafting teams based around his trait which reads, “WE’LL TAKE ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET, IF YOU’RE WORTHY: Leadership. During force construction, you may choose a standard character of 50 points or less. That character loses its printed keywords (for the entire game) and then gains either the Avengers -or- S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword (choose one).” Most of the Internet settled on Prime Vulture being the best new Avenger, but teams with Mr. Oz, Danger Room Magneto, and (if I get my way) Super Friends Hawk Girl are also possibilities. Besides his trait he’s also a capable support figure with perplex, leadership and the SHIELD team ability. Defensively he features combat reflexes and the Living Legend trait.
5. CAAV074E Ultron (100 Points) – The go-to figure for robot or Masters of Evil Teams. Yes, I am aware that Ultron has a higher cost dial with a 14 starting attack. This point level is where I envision him being played the most. He still has a great starting attack of 12, perplex to help his team, sidestep that works well with equipment like the power stone, psychic blast, his ENCEPHALO-RAY trait, and 2 of the 3 stop clicks that the 150 point dial has. But most importantly the 100 point dial gives him what he needs most – room from other characters on your team. 150 points is a lot to use on one figure in today’s 300 point meta.
4. CAAV070E Thor (75 points) – The best Thor we’ve ever seen and just like Ultron I like him best on his mid dial rather than his full dial. He’s the most efficient 75 point ranged secondary attacker I have ever seen. The number on reason is the extra powers his lightning marker gives him while attached. “CRACKLING WITH ELECTRICITY: When Thor has the Lightning marker attached, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Poison. // When Thor has the Lightning marker attacked, he has Mystics team ability, but only for close attacks.” Poison in particular is super useful against characters like Q or Kobik that have great defenses, but no reducers. Beyond that trait his starting dial has running shot, 11 attack, 4 damage, invincible, and probability control. As an added bonus, this Thor is also the first one I can remember having a stop click.
3. CAAV058 Immortal Hulk (100 points) – The reason why is most people are using him is that he is a nearly-immortal ID card launcher. So he can just walk up to the other team and starting summoning out cards like 100 point Colossal Iceman or 85 points Asgardian Storm and there is not much that the opposing team can do about it. They can’t kill him and if they try it will likely only make things worse. But on the other hand the longer the game goes on, the more powerful Hulk will become. Thanks to his trait which reads, “POWERED BY SADISTIC VENGEANCE: When a friendly character within line of fire is damaged by an opposing attack, put a Vengeance token on this card. FREE: Remove two Vengeance tokens to use Charge at no cost.” So late game after Hulk has built up 2 or more vengeance tokens you can just push Hulk yourself to transform him and you can still make a charge attack that same turn with his starting 12 attack value and 4 damage value. That’s his secret. He’s always angry.
2. CAAV054E Captain Marvel (95 points) – Despite her protests, her cat being a Flerken is the best part about this piece. Chewie the cat has a special movement power that reads “MAYBE IT IS A FLERKEN: : Flurry, Plasticity, Giant Reach: 2“. That goes along well with his blades/claws/fangs, super senses, and perplex. And the best part is that Captain Marvel can put out the Chewie bystander as a free action. Captain Marvel also has a special movement power that reads “HIGHER!: Hypersonic Speed. When Captain Marvel uses it, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to an opposing character she moved through. If that character is a vehicle, deal it 3 penetrating damage instead.” So in the same turn she can move through a person to damage them, make an attack with hypersonic speed, and then drop a Chewie bystander (who gets to use his Flurry and BCF). Beyond everything I mentioned, she has starting probability control and two stop clicks (the 2nd of which is very strong). This makes her a very well rounded character deserving of the 2nd spot on this list.
1. CAAV053B Punisher War Machine (90 points, but you should only play him at 95) – Like I mentioned earlier in War Machine’s entry this guy is very similar, but better. An offensive powerhouse the likes of which we have never seen before. He can attack twice two out of every 3 turns with his trait that reads, “THE WAR NEVER ENDS: Colossal Stamina. // If Punisher War Machine has two action tokens, he has FREE: Make an attack.” And if he wants to burn clicks of life by using colossal stamina, he can make two attacks every single turn (even if he started the turn with two action tokens). His special attack is not limited to his printed values, so increasing his damage with a power like perplex is twice as useful on him. He also has the ability to see through hindering to go along with his starting 12 attack and 4 damage value. On defense he has a trait that reads, “(+5) THE MAN INSIDE IS THE REAL MACHINE: During force construction, you may include a character named “Punisher” of 75 points or less on your Sideline. When Punisher War Machine would be KO’d, instead replace him with that Punisher on its last click then roll a d6 and heal that Punisher half the result. This game, that Punisher can’t be healed any other way. Protected: Pulse Wave.” So just when opponent thinks they are done with this nightmare there is a still a little more to go. Add it all up and this is definitely the best character in the set.
That’s it for this set review. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of my picks.