Rolling Down the Street… Like a Turd in the Wind (or a top ten set review of the Spider-Man and Venom: Absolute Carnage set) (AKA The Third Night of Clix-Mas 2020!!)

*Note: this is written after the 2020 Quarter 3 Watchlist changes to Venom Groot and Spiderman 1776.

Here are the honorable mentions:

5.SVC061 Spirit Spider (90 Points) – At 6 clicks he doesn’t have a very long dial and his stats aren’t especially good for his point cost, however he brings a lot of traits and special powers to the table. Offensively he has “PENANCE WEBS: Penetrating/Psychic Blast. // Incapacitate as FREE. When Spirit Spider uses it, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each hit character that had attacked a friendly character since your last turn.” A free action dual target incap every turn is huge and there aren’t many ranged attackers with the Spider-Man keyword so his Psychic Blast will set him apart from the rest of his team. Defensively he’s got “SPIRIT SENSES: Super Senses. When Spirit Spider uses it and succeeds, after resolutions, deal the attacking character 1 penetrating damage.” So whether he hits super senses or he misses any attacker will take take one penetrating damage in return (via mystics TA). And if an opponent doesn’t go after him first, he gets more powerful via his trait “THE SPIRIT OF PETER LIVES: When another friendly character with the Spider-Man Family keyword is KO’d by an opponents attack, choose a standard power on that character’s card and note it. This game, Spirit Spider can use the noted power(s)

4. SVC048 Shriek (45 points) – She’d not very tough, but for 45 points she has really good offensive abilities. She features the excellent Maximum Carnage trait that says, “MAXIMUM CARNAGE: Once per turn when Shriek hits, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to up to 2 opposing characters that weren’t hit but are adjacent to a hit character.” If she has no action tokens she also has Pulse Wave which pairs really nicely with her top dial running shot. She also features a special Psychic Blast which ignores Super-Senses and counters it for the remainder of the turn.

3. SVC057 Venom Dr. Strange (45 points) – At 45 points he’s a mean little support figure for several keywords that lack good support figures. (Monster and Codex) In the support category he brings leadership, prob, TK and outwit if he pushes. Defensively he has shape change, super senses, and the mystics/Defenders TA. Offensively he has running shot, 7 range and the ability to call in a venom Groot from the sideline if he misses. Unfortunately, his lack of willpower is glaring as he loses a lot moving past click 1. 

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2. SVC055 Superior Spider-Man (85 points) – Definitely a Superior piece on offense, but lacking a bit in defense. His charge/flurry/precision strike combo can be deadly especially if he uses his own perplex on his stats and his item gives you one of the results you are looking for. His equipment is what really ups his game. It states, “EQUIP: ANY. UNEQUIP: DROP. EFFECT: Giant Reach: 2. At the beginning of your turn, you may roll a d6. This character has the listed effect until your next turn. 1-2: Modify Attack and Defense +1. 3-4: Incapacitate as FREE. 5-6: FREE: Make a close attack. Heavy Object.” That’s a huge offensive bonus. Unfortunately, he’s 85 points and has an 18 defense with super senses as the only thing protecting him. Get your hits in quick with him because your opponent will be gunning for him first.

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1. SVC053B Doppelganger (65 points) – He has some great keywords: Codex, Cosmic, Maximum Carnage, Monster, Mystical. A movement power reminiscent of Prime Vulture, “PERFECT KILLING MACHINE: Charge, Flurry. // Once per turn when Doppelganger uses Flurry, if he hits with both attacks, after resolutions he can immediately use Charge at no cost, but only to target characters he has not attacked this turn” He also has two excellent traits SYMBIOTE CODEX HUNTER and MAXIMUM CARNAGE. So why isn’t he in the Top ten? Well, the Answer is that there have been a lot of good primes lately and you can only have one per team. With EAX019B Vulture, CAAV053B Punisher War Machine, JLU005B Batman, and F4013B Black Leopard all in modern right now there is a lot of competition with this piece. There’s also another prime in this set that I keep planning builds around more than Doppelganger.

Here’s the Top Ten:

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10. SVC028 Flash Thompson (35 points) – My second favorite Secret Identity character brings a unique trait to the table that reads “THE REAL “ANTI” VENOM: Opposing characters within 4 squares can’t use Shape Change.” In sealed for his set that power came in super handy, but it’s also great in constructed. Some of the best equipment grants shape change (carnage symbiote, remaker) and WizKids tends to give that power out a lot to a lot of powerful figures (Onslaught, Knull, Super Skrull, etc…) Beyond his trait he just a good close combat attacker for his points featuring close combat expert and poison. Unless, your opponent tries to KO him. Then he turns in the back half of Agent Venom’s dial which is arguably better than the front half of that dial. Defensively it features Shape Change, Super Senses, and Toughness. Offensively it features Flurry, Blades/Claws/Fangs, and Battle Fury. You do not want that showing up next to a figure you care about!

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9.  SVC007B Venom (80 points) – Defensively this guy has 7 clicks all with damage reducers, healing from the SYMBIOTE CODEX HUNTER trait, some steal energy, and a special stop click. But it’s special movement power that makes him great, “DRIVEN MAD BY KNULL: Charge, but do not halve speed. When Venom uses it, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each adjacent character (friendly and opposing).” Don’t get me wrong full move charge is cool, but at the end of the day you just can’t beat automatic dealing damage without having to roll dice.

8. SVC054 Spider-Man (60 points) – Although a lot of people bag on this guy, I think he’s worth every point. Hypersonic speed, outwit, and 12 starting attack highlights this guy’s incredible opening click. But it’s his ridiculous attack power that really seals the deal. It reads “FOUR HOODLUMS AT ONCE!: When Spider-Man makes a close attack, he instead targets all adjacent opposing characters.” Beyond that he has a standard (but undercosted) Spider-man dial with 2 exceptions. The first is J. Jonah Jameson who is a bystander the other team gets with perplex that he can only use to target your team. The second is his Garbage can special object. The Garbage can states “This object can’t be added to your force (only generated). // When a friendly [SVC] #054 Spider-Man would be KO’d, if this object is unheld, instead you may replace that Spider-Man with [SVC] #016 Peter Parker on click #2 adjacent to this object. If you do, KO this object. Light Object.” I view it as point denial. Instead of scoring 60 for KOing Spiderman, your opponent will only score 10. They will only get the 60 points if they KO Peter Parker (who should be hiding in your starting area).

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7. SVC070E Steampunk Peni (45 points) – At 45 points she brings the ability to add robots to the Spiderman keyword along with a special perplex and… not much else. But robots are one of the strongest generic themes right now and that won’t change while the X-men Animated series is still in modern rotation.

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6. SVC067E Spider-Man 1776 (50 points) – Oh how the mighty have fallen. Two days ago this would have been the the best figure in the set because of his trait. It reads, “THE GENERAL THAT FOUNDED A NATION: Leadership, Super Senses. // Opposing forces have Action Total -1 (minimum 2). // Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Leadership or Autonomous.” But now that trait has been given errata so that opponents are only minus actions on turns where he hits opposing characters. Despite that he’s still a very well rounded character featuring perplex, a stop click, and traited leadership/super senses. And post watch list soldiers feature two of the strongest meta pieces in Punisher War Machine and Captain Marvel. Expect him to still be a top piece.

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5. SVC052E Knull (125 points) – At 125 points Knull features a ton of defense and tricks. He starts with stealth, free action smoke cloud, impervious, and shape change with a 50% success rate. And as a bonus he can straight up teleport within his own smoke cloud markers. On offense his starts with 4 damage, outwit, and his special equipment All-Black the Necrosword. It states “Indestructible. EQUIP: ANY. UNEQUIP: DROP. EFFECT: Giant Reach: 2. // When this character makes a close attack, opposing characters can’t use Shape Change or Super Senses and can’t reduce damage below 1. Heavy Object.” He doesn’t have penetrating damage so opposing characters with damage reducers will really slow down his damage output unless he can get by that with his outwit. However, any character relying on Shape Change or Super Senses will be completely defenseless against Knull.

4. SVC066 Spider-Hamurai (60 points) – At 60 points he adds martial artists to the Spiderman keyword. Which is not that big of a deal because you can get you Prime Batman, Karnak, and not many other pieces you’d actually care to add to your team. House of X will add some good options, but nothing meta defining. The real reason I put him so high on my list is that he’s the best attacker of all the chases. He’s worth running even if you don’t add martial artists to your team. His trait IT’S CROW-NIN HUNTING SEASON allows him to pick a character or TA and make free attack against those character (or characters) every turn. Beyond that he has traited Blades/Claws/Fangs, a full dial of precision strike, and exceptional attack values. Defensively he just has one power, but in the right circumstances it will be all he needs. It reads “BUSHEEPDO HONOR: Combat Reflexes. // If Spider-Hamurai is adjacent to exactly 1 opposing character and neither is adjacent to any other characters, other characters can’t be moved or placed adjacent to either of them and can’t target either of them.” This guy will get a lot more benefits from a symbiote equipment then your average piece will.

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3. SVC051R Absolute Carnage (60 points) – If you run a monster team this guy is a must play. If he had any generic keyword you could use to put him on Spiderman theme team, he’d be the best character in the set. Defensively he just has toughness along with healing and shape change from his equipment. That’s just fine at his point level. Offensively he’s just nuts for his points with two ridiculous traits. The first is the Maximum Carnage trait that I detailed previously. The second states “SPREADING MY SYMBIOTES ACROSS THE WORLD: Flurry, Giant Reach: 3. // When Absolute Carnage KO’s an opposing character of 25+ points, after resolutions you may generate a [SVC] #011 Carnage Minion in that character’s square.” With those traits, his Blades/Claws/Fangs, and Perplex he’s going to KO lots of stuff. And every time he does he heals (via his equipment) and makes a “mini-me”. For 60 points that’s insane!

2. SVC038 Marvella (15 Points) – She’s an extremely low point character that can use barrier. In fact, she’s the lowest point character ever to have barrier except for the worker spider bystander from the Hobbit starter set. Being that she is so cheap you know that someone is going to run 4 of her so they can just wall off their team every turn. And if you combine multiple copies of her with someone like SVC014 Mary Jane Watson, opposing teams may not have enough actions to attack you after dealing with the walls and bystanders you’re building each turn. It’s not a fun way to play, but it’s legal and a very viable strategy. When see tournament results of a team with Spiderman theme this is one of two characters that almost always sees play.

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1. SVC014 Mary Jane Watson (15 points) – I have a yet to see a tournament result of a Spiderman team that did not play Mary Jane. She can summon an average of two tie up bystanders at a time. Those bystanders can all use their incapacitate right when they are summoned. And none of that costs your team any actions because of autonomous. And just like Ben Kenobi when you strike her down she will become more powerful than you could ever imagine. Or, at least she will become an Iron man with Invulnerability and Perplex. Best 15 point character ever and a must play if you are even considering playing a Spiderman Team.

That’s it for this set review. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of my picks.

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