The Ghost of Christmas Present… uh, PRESENTS… The Marvel Heroclix Set We Should Have By Now, But Don’t!! (Or, The Fourth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

 

 

New FF Intro.jpeg

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, 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 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces!]

Welcome back for Night Four of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2018!!

Tonight we’re going to look at a (for now) imaginary set that, when you think about it in the abstract, we should have gotten already, but for whatever reason, Wizkids has yet to produce.

FF Tortured

Yup… getting the FF back in Clix has indeed been a torturous endeavor.

Whew! That’s as awkward an article description as any I think I’ve ever written. Nevertheless… here we go!

The Marvel set we should have gotten by now but haven’t is…

New Fantastic Four.jpg

THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR:

There’s been no shortage of articles detailing Marvel’s alleged (wait, is it even still “alleged” anymore? Hasn’t it been proven?) reluctance to allow any licensed merchandise featuring the X-Men or Fantastic Four. But the weird part is, this shadowban of FOX movie properties seems to have expired some time ago for the X-Men. How long ago? Well, long enough ago that their big return to Clix, Uncanny X-Men, HAS ALREADY SHIFTED TO GOLDEN AGE!

When you consider that the first Deadpool set and the DoFP comic book Gravity Feed (which itself was essentially just Marvel using Wizkids to send Fox a giant middle finger) both came out in Spring 2014, we were really only without Marvel’s Merry Mutants in Heroclix for about two years. Meanwhile, Marvel’s First Family hasn’t had a core character appear in any set since Fear Itself in 2013 (the Super Rare FI033 Angrir) and a regular set since Chaos War in 2012. 20-FREAKING-12!!

So this leaves me with two questions:

1.) Why are the FF (and their related characters) being withheld from Clix while the X-Men have basically had a green light to appear for going on three years now when their respective licenses were both being held by the same competitor?!

2.) IF the FF were to ever be allowed to front another Heroclix set, which version of the team would I personally like to see as the focus of such a set?

The answers:

1.) Nobody knows.

Seriously. At this point, I’m really not sure if anyone even freaking knows. And even if someone deep inside of Marvel or Wizkids did know, I doubt they’d ever tell us.

2.) Hmmmm… how about…

All of them?

And thus, I would simply call this hypothetical set “New Fantastic Four” (from the famous Walt Simonson run) and plaster the box art with both the traditional Reed-Sue-Johnny-Ben lineup AND the Hulk, Spidey, Wolverine and Ghost Rider lineup.

I mean, did you know that if you look up the FF all-time roster on Wikipedia there are 17 names BEFORE it even gets to the New Fantastic Four entry?

So this set would still have a ton of Marvel Heroclix staples like Spidey and Wolverine WHILE AT THE SAME TIME finally giving us Modern Age designs for the traditional lineup! I’d even add in a “Fantastic Five” sub-theme from the MC2 Universe.

Add in some Doctor Doom and a Latveria sub-theme along with a new Surfer and Doc Strange-led “Defenders” sub-Theme, and you’ve got more than enough pieces for a full five-figure set.

Hell, if you want to ensure that this set would literally blow off the shelves and sell out everywhere nearly instantly, Wizkids could meme us all and make the Chase theme for this set “Fox-owned figures that played starring roles in the stories other sets were based upon yet never showed up.”

Chase figures like:

Sue Storm AOU Best

–Invisible Woman (from the “Age of Ultron” comic story and Limited Edition set)

Wolverine and Wolverine.jpg

–Wolverine and Wolverine duo fig (from the “Age of Ultron” comic story and Limited Edition set)

The Silver and Golden Surfers.jpg

–Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock duo fig (from the famous Infinity Gauntlet series and the Avengers: Infinity set)

Molecule Man slice

–Infinite Molecule Man (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

Black Priest Doc Strange.jpg

–Black Priest Doctor Strange (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

Rabam Alal.jpg

–Doctor Doom as Rabam Alal (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

And, of course, the special Ultra-Chase that fans have been demanding for almost four years:

God Emperor Doom

God. Emperor. Doom!

Boom. Mic drop.

This set would not sit on shelves. These are the characters fans want in Modern right now!

What do you guys think? Would you get hyped for “The New Fantastic Four?”

Let me know in the Comments below!

And next time the Ghost of Clix-Mas Presents appears, he’ll have a theoretical DC set to talk about that WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN YET!!

And come see us tomorrow night for Night Five of Clix-Mas 2018!

MCU 10 years

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally, this article was going to be about the TWO Marvel sets we should have by now but haven’t gotten yet. The other hypothetical set that people have been clamoring for is a MCU: Tenth Anniversary/Infinity War set. But this was a little bit harder to pin down for two reasons: First, it’s unclear whether we will be getting an MCU set for Avengers: Endgame. I don’t think anything’s been announced, but Captain Marvel’s MCU Clix set was sort of thrust on us in a low-key way, and I’m not sure we’d hear for certain either way until January or February. Secondly, a MCU Tenth Anniversary set seems to mean something different to everyone. Some folks just want the movies we never saw Clix’d from Phase 2 on (Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Ant-Man 2, etc.). Others really just want the (well, formally, now I guess) Netflix heroes Clix’d. So it would have been harder to articulate exactly what people would want from that set, even though it’s an expansion theme that I hear people requesting all the time!]

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Ghost of Christmas Past Presents: My Three Favorite Golden Age Clix… And What I Think They Can Tell Us About the Current State of Figure Design!! (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, 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 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 just went down right here!]

Top Ten Iron Man Figures

Okay!

Welcome to the Third Night of Clix-Mas!!

Today I’m gonna take a stroll down memory lane and look at my three favorite Golden Age Clix of All-Time and try to figure out A.) Why I like them so much and B.) If there’s something about their design that can inform us about the game as it stands today!

So, without further ado…

 

SAV

3. CW057 Sentry and Void — 300 Points — Chase:

Why This Piece: On an aesthetic and backstory level, I have always liked The Sentry. Actually, let me rephrase that. I loved Paul Jenkins initial Sentry event, where he wove The Sentry into the Marvel Universe via Forrest Gump-like flashbacks. Even Stan Lee and Wizard Magazine (the premier comics price guide and entertainment zine at the time) got in on the act.

I don’t really know what the hell Bendis was doing with The Sentry in New Avengers, but some people liked that storyline, so whatever. But even I will admit that The Siege was pretty cool.

When we got to Chaos War, Ninwashui and I were just starting to get back into Clix. Once I found out this figure existed, I knew I had to have it to complete my Sentry collection. So I was predisposed to like this piece. But there’s more to it than that. On a pure design level, Sentry and Void was a masterpiece.

Now, Heroclix has always had expensive tentpoles, including other 300 point “One Man Army” pieces. In the early days of Heroclix, high-pointed pieces were generally overpowered. As people got more sophisticated with army builds and tactical strategy, these larger point pieces sort of fell out of favor. Hell, even today there’s a post-Kyle-Rayner-WOL-LE unofficial rule that you shouldn’t try any piece in the Meta that costs more than 150 points (and Kyle has been out of rotation for a few years now).

But back in 2012, Sentry and Void was a 300 point piece that actually had teeth! Power Cosmic, the Multi-Attack ability and top dial Hypersonic Speed solved many of the issues that made other high-cost pieces not viable in the Meta. To wit:

–With Power Cosmic, “Sentroid” could not be Outwitted, so you could just about always count on being able to take the action you wanted to take on your next turn without worrying that, say, your move-and-attack power would be nullified by some 30 point support piece.

–The inherent Willpower from PC and the Multi-Attack ability went a looooong way towards keeping this piece from being hopelessly out-actioned by the opposing force, a common problem for other behemoths.

–And Hypersonic Speed and Flight meant that Sentry and the Void didn’t have any of the mobility issues that slowed other high-cost pieces.

Sentry and Void also had an interesting Trait that allowed you to sub in a different version of either The Sentry or The Void (kind of a clunky precursor to “Shifting Focus”) for additional battlefield flexibility and a mid-dial Movement Special Power (ASGARD MUST FALL: Once per game, give Sentry and Void a double power action. For the rest of the game even if this power is lost elevated terrain is considered grounded hindering terrain. Deal Sentry and Void and each character occupying elevated terrain 1 unavoidable damage.) that essentially allowed you to level the Map if you got stuck in a disadvantageous terrain position on the Map.

Having said all that, Sentry and Void did have a few weaknesses as well, beyond the obvious weakness of only having one figure make up your entire army.

–No Improved Targeting meant that despite Sentry and Void’s awesome Range (11), they still had to run up to anyone in hidden in Stealth, which could sometimes leave them in a slightly vulnerable position given that their Movement Speed was only 10, which was actually on the low-end for Hypersonic Speed figures.

–A top dial 11 Attack was fine, but hardly gamebreaking, and left Sentry and Void severely vulnerable to forces that had fielded multiple sources of Probability Control and–to a lesser extent–Perplex.

This left Sentry and Void in a spot where it was viable in the 300 point Meta, but hardly dominant.

What Can Be Learned From Sentry and Void: In an era of where it seems like even Thor is getting multiple 50 and 75-point representations, I was worried that we’d never see a serious 300 point OMA ever again. But The Might Thor set from last August and the Avengers: Infinity expansion from May brought us a lot of great high-point and Colossal figures.

Still, I think Carnage from TMT might be the closest they’ve gotten to a viable 300 point piece (the jury’s still out on 300 Point Tri-Sentinel and 300 Point Starro). I really want to see Wizkids give us a viable 300 Point piece that kind of lands right in that “Goldilocks” design sweet spot of not overpowered, not underpowered, but just right for the competitive scene.

Spectre 2

2. WF066R Spectre — 35 Points — Chase:

Why This PieceReally, this could be almost any of the KC “Tower Mode” pieces; I just chose the Spectre because he was my favorite.

But this whole series of pieces was a home run that has paid dividends over multiple sets (we seem to get new KC pieces every year as Con Exclusives, and two more showed up in last year’s “Elseworlds” expansion!).

35 Points for one Click is expensive, but his Damage Special (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.) is potentially game-altering if not dealt with promptly. He has great Defense (18 with ES/D plus the KC and Mystics TA) for his cost as well.

As a cherry on top, this is his SECOND dial; he has a whole main dial if you’d rather use him that way.

All in all, a ton of value.

What Can Be Learned From Spectre: WizKids has a history of releasing broken Chase figures (usually from the DC universe) that just oppress the Meta from the first day they’re released (Lydea Mallor; just about every Entity from WOL).

The KC Chases didn’t do that. Oh, they were powerful as hell, and certainly viable in some Meta Builds, but they weren’t “must-haves” for folks who want to play competitively (or even folks who were just trying to keep up with the Joneses at their FLGS).

I can’t think of another Sub-Theme of Chases and/or Primes that walked that “Goldilocks” tightrope of being useful and popular and yet not gamebreaking. The fact that these characters come from one of the most popular DC graphic novels of all-time also helps.

I would like to see more Chase Sub-Themes like this. Figures that are playable in so many different Builds. I pulled a Chase Raphael on a skateboard at the last Turtles release we did. Awesome! Except I haven’t really been able to find the right build to field him since then.

But if you lucked into one of the KC pieces, you were excited not just because you pulled a rare piece that was gonna be worth some money; you knew that you were going to be able to play that piece again and again and again (I can’t tell you how many “Mystical” theme teams I’ve rounded out with this Spectre. Suffice to say: a lot!).

The recent “Superfriends” Chase theme from BTAS is the closest I think Wizkids has gotten to finding another evergreen Chase/Con Ex sub-theme that excites fans, but even with those pieces most people are fielding them exclusively in their Sideboard, which can be really annoying. But that’s another discussion for another day.

Speed Demon Speeches

1. DP053A Speed Demon — 110 Points — Super Rare:

Why This PieceAnd now we come to my favorite piece of all-time! I used this guy probably more than any other piece I own. He’s the reason I still love running Sinister Syndicate teams to this day.

I’m gonna repeat myself again here, but it’s all about the design, design, DESIGN!!

Speed Demon was incredibly useful not just because of his whole dial Hypersonic Speed, but also because of his ridiculously awesome, unique Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.).

This Trait was sooooo good that I thought it would be repeated ad nauseam in the Flash set that had been announced for later that year.

Nope. They never used it again.

But that Trait was a silver bullet against so many turtle strategies and adjacency-based squads.

He was certainly beatable. Only six clicks with an average 17 Defense from range and no Outwit protection of any kind. And at 110 points, you were paying close to a Primary Attacker cost for a Secondary piece. But he was able to wreak so much havoc on the opponent’s gameplan that he was worth his points and then some.

What Can Be Learned From Speed Demon: Really, it’s that we need more creative Traits like “Speed Cyclone Uplift” in the game. I would love it if we got back to figure designs with characters that had powers that forced your opponent to adapt to on the fly (in other words, pieces that force your opponent to actually PLAY THE GAME WITH YOU), rather than pieces that are just there to facilitate the next Call-In card use.

 

Wow! I thought this subject would be 500 words and out, but I guess I got a little carried away. 1700 words later, here we are.

Who are your favorite Golden Age pieces?

Sound off in the Comments below, and then meet us back here on Monday for the Fourth Night of Clix-Mas!!

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future Presents: Star Trek: TNG: Irresponsible Speculation!! (Or, The Second Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

TNG Cast Photo

I am SO excited to see these characters Clix’d!! Well… most of them. Like at least one of the Crushers. Two Thirds of this set will be sooooo awesome!

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, 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 2018 can be found in our previous post!]

So, who’s excited for a full, 5-figure Star Trek: TNG set?

Well, put your hands down, cuz it ain’t happening.

Instead, WizKids split the set in two. What’s more, they also decided to use a Gravity Feed distribution model AND delayed both parts until next year.

Way to stoke that Trek excitement WizKids!!

Picard Gif 1

Anyway, this preview will now focus on the first set (Resistance is Futile), due (for now) in June of 2019.

Now, I’ve watched EVERY episode of TNG multiple times. Unfortunately for me, I’m old enough that when I was growing up, staying up to watch a double dose of TNG repeats airing on the local UHF station from 11:30pm-1:30am was the height of time-shifted entertainment (we’re talking ’92-’95-ish here). Those reruns are actually how I got into the show.

TNG remains my favorite version of Trek, so I had been imagining what my dream set would be for some time.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Eh, that could be a lie. Ask me on the right day and I’ll say DS9. Sisko was my always my favorite Captain, even if he was just a Commander for the first few seasons. He was a little more “man-of-action-y,” which led to more cool space battles, even if that wasn’t what Trek was ideally about.]

Sisko wins

Now THAT is a tactical genius right there!

Now that we know what the rarity breakdown will be, I’m gonna try and get ultra-nerdy and come up with my ideal “Star Trek: Away Team: The Next Generation: Resistance Is Futile: Too Many Colons!” set!

Keep in mind, from the solicit we know that this first set will focus on Starfleet, Klingons, the Borg and Q Continuum as general themes.

Without further ado, here is my ideal Gravity Feed (sigh… ) Star Trek: Away Team: TNG set!

First…

9 COMMONS (PLUS 1 PRIME): 

Security Officers

Wait, I don’t think all of these were generics…

001: Federation Security Officer— This piece would have the UFP TA, Sidestep with 1 Damage and RCE (“Set Phasers to Stun”) on the front end, Charge and 2 Damage on the back end. Four or five clicks. 50 Points or less.

Borg drone

002: Borg Drone– Five clicks for 50 points, although I would probably have 2 five click-dials and let the player choose which one they were fielding at the beginning of the game with a Trait that is literally called “Resistance is Futile.’

The first dial would be close-combat oriented; the second would be support-y.

Oh, and we’d probably need a Borg TA. Something really strong that represents their adaptability, particularly their shields.

THE BORG: Once per turn, whenever a friendly character using this Team Ability is damaged by an opposing character’s attack, modify the Defense of all other friendly characters using this Team Ability by +1 until end of turn.”

Borg Invader

Pulling… it… OFF!

003A: Borg Assimilator– Four clicks with the Borg TA and some sort of special Mind Control power that let them use one of a hit character’s printed powers when executing their Mind Control attack.

Hugh

003B: Hugh– Hugh would be like a 75-100 Point Borg. I’m honestly not sure what power set I would give him (Shape Change? Support?) but he needs to be in this set!

Nurse Ogawa

004: Nurse Ogawa– Three Clicks with the UFP TA. Like 20 Points or so. She would have a Special Damage Power that reads “Second in Command of Sickbay: Support. Probability Control, but only to reroll rolls made while using the Support power.”

That wording gets a little clunky, but I think you get the gist.

Tamarian_first_officer

Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra, bitches!

005: Tamarian First Officer– Because I don’t care what anybody says: “Darmok” was awesome, and it deserves a couple of references in this set. This guy would be 40-60 points with some B/C/F and Leadership mixed in (maybe even some Empower).

You can make a pretty strong argument that the Darmok characters are better thematic fits for the next TNG set, “To Boldly Go… ,” and you may be right. But they’re trying to jam all of the important Romulan, Ferengi, and Cardassian characters (and even freaking Armus, the oil slick that killed Tasha Yar) that appeared in TNG into that set, so I’m gonna put the Tamarians in this one.

Klingon Warrior

006: Klingon Warrior– This would be your generic Klingon fighter. Think Asgardian Troll as far as the dial goes.

Wesley Crusher.jpg

007: Ensign Wesley Crusher– <sigh> He has to be included. Look, I’m not trying to pile on–it’s kind of a cliche at this point to find Wesley a lil annoying–but he was an integral part of the show’s early seasons and frankly has to be in this set.

In his defense, his character got way less annoying when they actually put him in a uniform.

Anyway, this version would be pretty squishy but offer a pretty strong combination of Perplex and a conditional Outwit (“Non-commissioned Genius: Perplex. FREE: Choose a Team Ability possessed by an opposing character within range and line of fire. That character cannot use that Team Ability this turn.).

Amanda Rogers.jpg

008: Amanda Rogers– If the Q Continuum is going to be a focus, I’d imagine they’re gonna put the only Q-kid from the series in here somewhere (probably not at Common, but that’s where I’m putting her!).

She would be more like 40 or like 90 points with some Support-y stuff up front, followed by a Stop click that activates her God Mode on her last two Clicks.

I also would not mind a Q Continuum Team Ability that mimicked the KC Team Ability (these are nigh-omnipotent beings after all).

Anyway, by putting her at Common, folks who pulled poorly would still have a good chance to get a higher point fig to build around.

Tasha yar

009: Lt. Tasha Yar– Like 60 Points with alternating CCE and RCE. Basically a better-statted version of 001 Starfleet Security Officer.

 

AND NOW…

8 UNCOMMONS:

 

Lwaxana Troi

010: Lwaxana Troi– A squishy support piece that could use a Power Action to reduce your opponent’s Action Total by one on their next turn (representing her mental abilities and negotiating skills).

Ensign Ro.jpg

011: Ensign Ro Laren– Everyone’s favorite spunky, no-nonsense helmsperson who inexplicably turned down a regular role on DS9!

Standard UFP Team Ability with some sort of mechanic that allows her to shift her allegiances after being KO’d or down dial (when she brutally betrayed the Federation and joined the evil Maquis! Yes, I realize that’s not how it went down…).

Miles O'Brien.jpg

012: Chief Miles O’Brien– He has to be a Taxi, right? Only he would use some sort of Special Phasing/TK combo.

Leah Brahms

013: Dr. Leah Brahms– She would give a bonus to movement for other friendly characters and a special stat bonus to Geordi!

Jack Crusher

014: Jack Crusher– Past keyword. UFP TA. Would probably give a stat boost to Wesley Crusher.

Katherine Pulaski.jpg

015: Dr. Katherine Pulaski– 45 Points. Support. UFP TA. Special Attack Power: “Beam Him Straight To Sickbay: POWER: Choose a friendly character with the Starfleet keyword that’s not not on their starting Click and give that character an Action Token. If you do, place that character in a square adjacent to Dr. Katherine Pulaski.

Gowron.jpg

016: Gowron– Okay, they probably won’t put three Klingons in a row, but all three of these dudes are important Klingons in modern Trek lore.

Kmpec

017: K’mpec– The High Chancellor. He’d have Leadership that wouldn’t be adjacent-dependent for Klingons.

Duras

018: Duras– Would allow for Klingon/Romulon hybrid teams. Heck, I’d even bring back the Arch-Enemy ring for Duras and Worf!

 

PLUS… 9 RARES:

 

Remmick.jpg

019: Lt. Commander Remmick– Think Brood Queen with all the power of Starfleet! this was one of the more disturbing storylines that Trek ever tried, even if they pulled the plug after two installments (what did ever happen to that signal Remmick sent at the end of “Conspiracy?”). I’d actually give him the Starfleet keyword and design a way for him to “infest” other characters with the Starfleet keyword–both friendly and opposing.

Worf

020: Worf-– 100 points. Kind of like a ranged Drax dial. Both Klingon and Starfleet keywords.

Picard.jpg

021: Captain Jean-Luc Picard– Title Character Picard!! This is where they should let their imaginations run wild!

I thought they were actually too restrained with the title characters from the Original Series Away Team set. I would rather see something that more easily affects the game board.

Like, what if Picard had the possibility to “promote” another piece with multiple starting lines up one dial (like when Mangog pulls the Odin sword?) as his ultimate? The possibilities are endless!

Kurn

022: Kurn– Worf’s brother. Starts the whole “Sons of Mogh” storyline that results in Worf straight killing Duras for his crimes!

Prof Moriarty.jpg

023: Professor Moriarty– The nemesis that Data accidentally creates on the Holodeck! Robot keyword, with lots of Perplex and Outwit! I’d even consider giving him a “Steal Your Transport” type of power like Nebula had back in the first GotG comics set!

William Riker.jpg

024: Lt. Commander Riker– Clearly this will be the bearded version! I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s an Uncommon in the second set, so that they can make a Prime Thomas Riker!

Geordi Laforge.jpg

025: Lt. Commander Geordi Laforge– He should add +2 to friendly character’s Movement speed. Or maybe even give him a Special that says: “POWER: An adjacent character may use Running Shot or Charge as FREE this turn.” That would be pretty sick.

Q2

026: Q2– In the series, he restores Q’s powers in a Season 3 episode (a rather good one, too). How that translates into Clix, I don’t know. What I do know is that this guy would–like Q himself–having Living Tribunal-levels of power.

Maybe make him another silver bullet against Colossal Retaliators and/or Cosmic characters?

Lal

027: Lal– Data’s daughter! Again, Robot keyword. Should have a special Perplex for Data.

 

ALSO…

5 SUPER RARES (PLUS 1 PRIME!): 

 

Tam Elbrun

028: Tam Elbrun– Wow! This Betazed had crazy mental powers that eventually grew out of control. He can read pretty much everybody’s thoughts. How you express that in game could take several forms. He should definitely have a way to cancel opposing Shape Change or Super Senses.

Noonian Soong.jpg

029: Noonian Soong– Scientist keyword. He’s the old man who created both Data and Lore. He should be the Chase Agamotto of this set, really.

Rasmussen,_Berlinghoff

030: Berlinghoff Rasmussen– Time travelling crook! I would give him a Trait where he can roll for a different power each turn (representing the different items he steals).

Troi

031: Deanna Troi– Well… we know she’s in the set. I don’t see why she would be an SR, but I don’t know yet how they’re going to translate her empathy powers into actual Clix. Anyway, this is my irresponsible speculation, so I’ll put her where I want, dammit!

Data GIF.gif

032A: Data– Think Prime Deathlok from Wolverine and the X-Men. Strong Robot with Outwit and high stats but his combat potential is held back by his credo to never murder.

Lore

032B: Lore– And then of course Lore would be the opposite, with lots of Outwit and Perplex, too.

I mean, Data and Lore have to be at least one set of the Primes, right? And given Lore’s later connection to the Borg (in Season 7, I believe), it only makes sense to make them the SR flipsides.

 

AND FINALLY… TWO CHASES!!

 

Locutus,_full_torso

033: Locutus of Borg– Okay, if the SR Prime isn’t Lore, then it would have to be Locutus. But I think Picard really needs to show up in the Rare slot, so making Locutus a Chase seems like the only other option.

Q

034: Q– So, I think there’s a good chance Q ends up as a Super Rare. They could actually make him the SR Chase with one version wearing the Farpoint gear, and the other version wearing a Starfleet uniform (or they could do the Deja Q powerless version that ran around telling people “to change the gravitational constant of the universe” to solve complex problems). But if he’s a Chase with Trelane or Mxyptzlk-like powers only with better stats, he will really drive sales of the set.

 

Okay! So, there’s my version of a kickass Star Trek Gravity Feed set, and there’s still plenty of great stuff like Armus and Guinan left for the next set! Come June, we’ll see how close I got.

What do you all want from a Star Trek: TNG Clix set? Post in the Comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Wonderful(ly Busy) Time of The Year!! (Or, Welcome to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2018!!)(Or, The First Night of Clix-Mas!!)

Jonah Hex Christmas

ANOTHER dead Santa? What exactly does Jonah Hex DO in this story?!

Welcome to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2018 (which is our most popular feature BY FAR every year!)

For those unfamiliar, The 12 Nights of Clix-Mas is a series of twelve articles in twelve days. Basically, it means we’re going to finally get off of our backsides and provide some content on this site every day leading up to Christmas.

Some, like this announcement article, will be short. Others, like my long overdue Battleworld Top Ten Set Review, will be much longer.

If you want to see how last year’s event went, you can work backwards from Night 12, which will have links to every article we published last year!

Generally we sort of theme each post to Christmas Past, Present or Future. Some years, we really don’t come close to our goal of 12 articles in 12 days. Some years, we do (last year was obviously a good year!).

So come right back here tomorrow for the Second Night of Clix-Mas 2018–we’re gonna preview next year’s Star Trek: The Next Generation set!

–HypeFox

Happy Thanksgiving!

We here at Critical Missives would like to wish all of our American readers a safe and happy holiday weekend!

On a personal level, I’m finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with my own recovery from surgery on my leg, ankle & heel back in October.

I’m still not able to walk without crutches, but I should be able to accomplish that sometime around the New Year.

And so I am so thankful for the unending support of my family and friends as they help me through a difficult year. My wife in particular should be nominated for sainthood!!

On the Critical Missives front, we should have two new Top Tens coming next week, and a Special Project that I’m working on should drop shortly after that!

Now that I have a little more mobility, I can get to my computer again and start writing once more!

Have a great Holiday Season everybody! We’ll see you soon!

My WKO Diary and the Top Ten Sealed Pieces in Batman: The Animated Series—Part TWO!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Previously, on Critical Missives, HypeFox journeyed to his local WKO to try his hand at some Sealed Meta. He made Top 8, and was just about to start his Top 8 playoff run… ]

TOP EIGHT:

versus…

Roberto Ty (@tydesign)

Superman Animated.jpg

His Team:

BTAS001A Batman — 50 Points

BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points

BTAS006 Alfred — 20 Points

BTAS022 Mr. Freeze — 100 Points 

BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points

Total = 300 Points

What Goes Down: Here we go! This was my first WKO playoff game. I know Roberto very well–he plays at my LGS, so we’ve faced off many a time.

I’m usually much more aggressive than Roberto; his turns are much more planned out than mine (to his credit). Still, looking at his lineup, I’m feeling pretty confident.

We dance for the first few turns as we line up potential Alpha Strikes. Eventually he has no choice but to go for it with Supes’s once-a-game Hypersonic Speed.

He misses. Now I’ve got him!

Except I miss. Reroll with my Robin–miss again. Yuck.

He quickly moves his Batman and Mr. Freeze up. After I take out his Alfred, his Mr. Freeze starts to go off. Eventually, Wonder Woman and my Joker fall. My Duo Flurries through his Batman, and his Supes is a bit injured.

I take out his Joker finally, and he responds by chopping through my Hawkman dial. This works to my advantage though, as I get to start on Click 1 of Hawkgirl’s dial, which give me Outwit and Hypersonic Speed.

The Outwit allows me to take away Freeze’s dampeners, and Robin lands a couple hits.

Roberto moves Freeze back. On my turn, I clear Hawkman & Hawkgirl. It’s neck and neck. Still, Freeze is now within Hypersonic range, and on my next turn I should be able to take him out, although then Superman will get a free shot on Hawkgirl (he’ll need an 8 though to do three).

I’m running through these Scenarios as Roberto contemplates his next move. And then:

“TIME! LAST ACTION!”

Doh!

Roberto’s not in a position to make an attack at that point, so it’s going to come down to points.

I’ve KO’d his Joker, Batman and Alfred for 100 Points.

Roberto has KO’d my Chase Wonder Woman and Joker for… wow. 100 Points!

That’s right! We’re going to a roll-off!

We roll at the same time, and I watch carefully as my first die comes to a stop on a 6. Yes! The second bounces for a bit before it lands on a 1. No!

Still, 7 is respectable. I look over at Roberto’s dice:

CRITICAL HIT!

Yup. He rolled two 6’s!!

I’ve lost, and Roberto is moving on.

Still, it was a hard fought battle on both sides, and Roberto deserved to move on in this tournament.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Of course, I almost screwed that up when I absent-mindedly packed up my stuff and accidentally grabbed his Superman!! Luckily, he had another one with him. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR CLEANUPS, FOLKS!]

RESULT: LOSS (4-1), OUT OF TOURNAMENT

Which brings me to what I learned, and my…

TOP TEN SEALED PIECES IN BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES!!

 

Green Lantern SF.gif

10. BTAS069 Green Lantern — 70 Points — Chase: He’s a reasonably priced Taxi that morphs into your Primary Attacker just one click in.

That’s when his Flying combines with Running Shot, Pulse Wave and 3 Damage top dial–with Perplex to boot!

While his Trouble Alert Trait might entice you to keep him in your Sideline, he’s actually one of the most effective mobile attackers in the set.

He’s crunchiness against anyone sporting a yellow power and his inability to do anything against Stealth keep him from going higher on this list.

 

Joker BTAS.jpg

9. BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points — Common: Four PACKED clicks for just 30 Points, including TOP DIAL PROB!! He also offers a Special Attack Power (DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.) that essentially combines Smoke Cloud and Incapacitate.

This plays like a 50 Point dial that they inexplicably mislabeled. If you pull him, I strongly suggest you play him.

 

Hawkgirl SF.png

8. BTAS073 Hawkgirl — 50 Points — Chase: Charge and Exploit and SIX FREAKING Clicks for 50 Points is great (yeah, she has to attack first each turn or get a major penalty, but whatever). But her ability to generate up to TWO Autonomous Bird tokens with Flurry is why she’s on this list.

If you can move up someone with Empower after generating the tokens… oh boy! She can cause no end of issues for you opponents.

 

Zatanna JLU

7. BTAS061 Zatanna — 75 Points — Super Rare: Solid dial with a Perp & Prob Special plus the ability to pop out free Bats with Enhancement. See above for why useful tokens are good (okay, these Bats aren’t quite as good, but Zatanna has a better dial for Sealed than Hawkgirl).

 

Man-Bat BTAS.png

6. BTAS057 Man-Bat — 75 Points — Super Rare: Hypersonic AND Stealth, plus some Special Super Senses shenanigans. He’s a solid attacker that can unleash some real havoc if played on the right map.

 

The_Flash SF.png

5. BTAS068 The Flash — 60 Points — Chase: Yep. Another freaking Chase. But most of them are soooo good for their points! And that’s before you look at the Meta implications of their TroubleAlert Traits.

Still, in a Sealed environment, 3 Damage top dial is good. Hypersonic Speed is great. Probability Control is priceless.

Barry Allen here gives you all three for just 60 Points.

 

Supes

4. BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points — Rare:  Sometimes, you just want to open a brick to build your team around. Well, here you go. 4 Damage top dial plus two really good Specials, especially in Sealed.

The first (I’LL BE THERE IF YOU NEED ME: Charge. Once per game, Superman can use Hypersonic Speed.) gives you a great chance at landing an Alpha Strike. The second (TAKING THE HITS MY TEAMMATES CAN’T: Leadership. Adjacent friendly characters can use Mastermind, but only to choose Superman.) can really throw a monkey wrench into your opponent’s attack plans.

 

Wonder Woman SF.jpg

3. BTAS067 Wonder Woman — 70 Points — Chase: Hypersonic Speed top dial with 3 Damage, a great Taxi ability (GIVING THE SUPER FRIENDS A RIDE IN THE INVISIBLE JET… EVEN AQUAMAN: Hypersonic Speed, [Wing Symbol], Passengers: 2. Wonder Woman may carry one same size character with [Dolphin Symbol] in addition to any other carried characters.) and an even BETTER Attack ability (LASSO OF TRUTH TO CAPTURE THEM ALL AT ONCE:: FREE: Choose an opposing character within 5 squares and line of fire that has a character adjacent to it. Roll a d6 for that character and each character adjacent to it. [4-6]: give the character you rolled for an action token.).

Add in some Shape Change to eat up some opposing attacks and you have one of the best Sealed pieces in the set.

 

Batman BTAS.jpg

2. BTAS040 Batman — 125 — Rare: Wow! This piece will absolutely wreck opposing Primary Attackers. He’s got Outwit, TA-granted Stealth, Sidestep, Quake with a 12 (!) Attack, 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes (and remember, he’s got Stealth, so most attacks against him are going to be from Close Combat) and Indomitable, Toughness and the ability to ignore opposing Shape Change.

And that’s just his top dial.

And that’s before you add in the Batarang Equipment which gives him a FREE RANGED ATTACK EVERY TURN THAT IGNORES ALL KINDS OF STUFF ON TARGETING!!

 

Hawkman and Hawkgirl

1. BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl — 125 — Super Rare: I went on and on about this piece last time in Part One of this article. But it’s all true.

There is no more mobile attacker in the whole set. This piece also has the best survivability AND the most consistent offense of any piece in the set.

If you open this piece in a Sealed, you must build your team around it.

It’s that good.

 

Okay! Thanks for staying with us. Our next piece should be Ninwashui’s Top Ten Set Review for Batman: The Animated Series.

So we’ll see you then!!

My WKO Diary and the Top Ten Sealed Pieces in Batman: The Animated Series—Part One!!

BTAS.jpg

Welcome Back!!

Today we’ve got another blow-by-blow tourney report for you; and this time, it’s my own!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ninwashui, eat your heart out!]

It’s our coverage of the Southeastern Michigan Wizkids Open from this past Saturday (July 21st), and it’s start now!

TOURNEY REPORT FOR 07/21/2018!!

Eternal Games

11:00 – 11:30AMYou are looking live at a bustling Eternal Games in Warren, MI! Okay, not live, I guess, since this was six days ago, but still, it’s a pretty nice venue that frequently hosts the biggest Clix tourneys in the area, and registration is underway!

Between the Main Event and the Battle Royal side events, I’d wager about 26-32 different Clix players will make their way to the venue today. That’s a healthy, if not overwhelming turnout (this venue can turn out 40-50 players sometimes for a WKO or ROC. Unfortunately, several players from my venue alone are on out-of-town vacations this week–including Ninwashui.).

As I enter the Clix area, I’m debating whether I actually want to enter the Main Event or just hold off for a bit a play some Battle Royals. I wasn’t able to play in the B:TAS Pre-release, although I did make it to our Release event. Still, I’m not overly familiar with all the pieces in the set, and I haven’t played much Meta since this past March, when I had a disastrous Constructed WKO at this same venue.

But when I look over to the competitors who have already entered, I count at least 6 players that I know personally (3 of whom I would term as regular fixtures at my “home” venue, Comics & More in Madison Heights; and three who have played there more than once in the past 12 months).

There are some STRONG players here, but the fact that I know almost a fourth of them tips the scales for me. I’m gonna play the Main Event until I know I’m out of the running, then maybe catch a Battle Royal on my way out.

NOON: Packs have been distributed. There are twenty to twenty-two players (never did see a final count) in the Main Event. Time to get cracking.

I immediately open my first pack.

Common Batman, Common Joker… AND A SUPER RARE HAWKMAN & HAWKGIRL!!

HMHG SR

I knew this piece was in the set, but I didn’t know exactly how good it was (boy, was I about to find out!).

While I’m sitting there admiring my shiny new SR, everyone else around me has just about finished opening their packs. I start calculating what everyone’s opened in my head. I opened one SR… the guy next to me opened a Ventriloquist w/Scarface… and suddenly there were only two packs left to be opened from the Brick that was distributed to the five players immediately at this end of the long table.

Tim, a really nice guy who occasionally treks across town to play at C&M, pops open his last booster. It’s Super Rare Zatanna. Hmmm…

My first thought is, “Damn, that would have been a nice addition to both my collection AND the army I’m building with Common Joker and SR Hawkman & Hawkgirl.”

Then I realize that no one has pulled a Chase yet from our Brick. This is both a good thing and (potentially) a bad thing. I WAS familiar with many of the Superfriends Chases from this set, and while they all have an absolutely SICK Sideline Active Trait called “TROUBLE ALERT” that lets you call them into the game for no cost under certain circumstances, most of them have almost intentionally blandly designed dials that are not great for Sealed play.

There are a few exceptions, though. Green Lantern could be quite useful. Batman is really efficient for 60 Points AND has Running Shot and 3 Damage top dial, both of which are rarities in this set. Apache Chief and Hawkman can pull off some Close Combat shenanigans. The Flash is actually kinda good.

I open the last pack… Poison Ivy… Rare Robin and… CHASE WONDER WOMAN!!

Chase Wonder WOman

Yup!! In a set with 7 dials that have any sort of access to Hypersonic Speed (3 of which are CHASES, natch!), I pulled two of them.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

My final team:

BTAS003 The Joker30 Points:

What He Brings: Ridiculously cheap Prob. Also a Special Smoke Cloud (DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.) that also gives him a sneaky good Incapacitate.

BTAS041 Robin — 75 Points:

What He Brings: Fairly expensive Prob, plus Running Shot (again, not a common power in this set), Incapacitate and down dial Enhancement and Perplex. He’s also got six Clicks of life and some pretty good evasion (ES/D top dial, Combat Reflexes & Super Senses down dial) to potentially eat some attacks.

BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl — 125 Points:

What They Bring: Uh… great stats, versatility and almost every power you’d want in the game? In addition to being able to choose between two different AWESOME dials at the start of your turn, there are two Traits here which are just bonkers-good in general and god-tier good in this Sealed environment.

The first (ETERNAL LOVE AND ETERNALLY CURSED: At the beginning of your turn, you may turn Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s dial to the same click number of a different color. // When Hawkman & Hawkgirl would be KO’d, you may instead turn them to click #1 of a different color and they can’t use this trait for the rest of the game. Protected: Pulse Wave.) grants that versatility I was just talking about AND gives them a Stop Click to end all Stop Clicks!!

The other Trait (BRINGS AERIAL MOBILITY TO THE TEAM: Sidestep, but may move up to 3 squares instead. Modify attack +1 when targeting only characters without [Wing Symbol].) takes their already great mobility and sends it into the stratosphere AND gives them +1 to attack, like, 75% of the set!

Lastly, for some reason, Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s card only lists Hawkman’s powers. Hawkgirl’s dial (which features Hypersonic Speed and Outwit) is nowhere on the card. This actually turned out to be a big advantage for me as well, even though I didn’t realize it at the time and it really had nothing to do with how smartly or stupidly I played.

Other than all that, Hawkman & Hawkgirl didn’t bring much at all…

BTAS067 Wonder Woman — 70 Points: 

What She Brings: Hypersonic Speed, the ability to Carry two people, 3 Damage, Invuln (huge in this set), Shape Change, and a Lasso Special Attack (LASSO OF TRUTH TO CAPTURE THEM ALL AT ONCE:: FREE: Choose an opposing character within 5 squares and line of fire that has a character adjacent to it. Roll a d6 for that character and each character adjacent to it. [4-6]: give the character you rolled for an action token.) that flings tokens like your drunk uncle flings $1’s at a gentleman’s club.

On this team, that means I have two sources of Prob and 3 ways to Incapacitate/add action tokens to my opponents’ characters.

Total= 300 Points

Okay! Here we go…

Oh, wait. Hold on a sec. I forgot to list my Map choices… oh dear.

Uh… yeah. Only after registration and army building do I realize… I forgot to bring any maps. So every game I play will be on one of my opponent’s maps.

Sheesh.

ROUND ONE:

versus…

Kaleb

Lex Luthor BTAS

His Team:

BTAS002 Robin — 30 Points

BTAS017A The Riddler — 50 Points

BTAS025 Maxie Zeus — 40 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Get used to seeing this piece–I faced this guy several times!)

BTAS044 Lex Luthor — 50 Points

BTAS074 Hawkman — 50 Points

Total = 295 Points

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is as good of a time as any to note that these matches are reconstructed from my memory and notes taken after each match, so if something doesn’t add up, assume it’s my faulty memory and not some sort of cheating or sneakiness on anyone’s part.]

What Goes Down: So… back in March, at the last WKO when I played a Stealthy team that could still Prob from across the board, I lost Map roll EVERY GAME (including one in which taking the game to Wakanda probably would have elicited a “Good game” from my opponent before we even began!).

Well, on this day I won Map Roll in EACH GAME I PLAYED!! And, I could never take full advantage of this because I brought exactly zero Maps with me.

The lesson, as always: Don’t forget your stuff!

Having said that, this round we end up playing on an Indoor Map with a lot of rooms (I think it was a Premium Map).

Kaleb proves right away that he’s a really crafty player (more on that later), and he flips that Uncommon Batman back and forth between his two dials expertly, which keeps Bats in Stealth practically the whole game.

But he’s about to run into two major problems (none of which he can do much about).

First (and this will be a recurring Theme), I just absolutely had a big mobility advantage over his team.

And second, because of dice luck and positioning, he’s gonna be forced to throw WAAAAY too many resources at my Common Joker. After a few attacks back and forth, he tries to take out Joker with his severely injured Robin.

Snake Eyes. Robin is KO’d.

This means that he has to throw Batman at Joker to finish the job (otherwise Joker would just keep Probbing any misses I had and Incapacitate key members of his squad). Except his dice go cold with Bats, and even when he hits, I Super Sense out of it.

Meanwhile, Hawkman & Hawkgirl start laying waste to the rest of his team, with Wonder Woman swooping in for backup. We had a slight hiccup where I didn’t realize exactly how her Lasso Special worked (it turns out it does target friendlies too), so I had to go back a turn and add an Action Token to her (yes, even in the boiler room of a WKO, most accidental misplays can be settled in seconds between the two competitors as long as they’re both reasonable and respectful with each other. Who knew?!).

It won’t be until Round 2 that I’ll read through Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s card completely and find their silly-good Sidestep ability. Had I known that, I probably would have KO’d more of Kaleb’s characters. Still, I end up winning by about 50 Points or so (something like 80 to 30).

RESULT: WIN (1-0)

ROUND 2: 

versus…

Mike B.

Ventriloquist.jpg

His Team: 

BTAS002 Robin — 30 Points

BTAS008 Two-Face — 75 Points

BTAS023 Kyodai Ken50 Points

BTAS030 J-Man — 50 Points

BTAS058 The Ventriloquist — 40 Points

BTAS070 Apache Chief — 50 Points

Total = 295 Points

What Goes Down: Well, another Map Roll win, another choice of whatever my opponent brought. This time, I’m playing Mike B., and it’s going to be a fun game!

We end up playing on a Harley map (the one with the giant Slingshot/Catapult things, although those don’t end up coming into play), and Mike takes the high ground.

It doesn’t take long for Apache Chief to go Colossal, but it does take Mike a few turns to get the rest of his team moved up into position. Because of my two Hypersonic Speed pieces, I’m able to run mini-raids and punch into his front line.

To slow me down, Mike moves Kyodai Ken up and damages my Robin, but he misses the follow-up shot, which leaves Kyodai high and dry. I quickly dispatch that piece and go to work.

After a few more rounds where we go back and forth, it quickly becomes apparent that the Invulnerability on Hawkman & Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman is going to be a tough nut for Mike’s characters to crack. To his credit, Mike makes great use of his Robin’s Perplex and then Empower to crack the 3 damage threshold, but against my particular Build, it just takes too long to get his pieces into position.

Hawkman & Hawkgirl start going to town with Charge and Quake, which proves particularly deadly against Mike’s team since so many of his character’s powers depend on or are at least greatly enhanced by adjacency.

Once The Ventriloquist and J-Man fall to Hawkman & Hawkgirl, Mike concentrates fire on Wonder Woman, who I had pushed into Toughness on Click 2 in order to take out one of his pieces with a second attack. Unfortunately for him, I end up hitting something like 4 out of 6 Shape Change roles, so Apache Chief has to sit there and do nothing most turns.

Mike B. played an effective Build extremely well, but this was a terrible matchup for his team any way you sliced it. Had he been able to pull a couple Suited Henchman to work with The Ventriloquist (he pulled none) and/or manged to finish off my Robin early on, he might have bought himself some more time to set up a Killbox. And me hitting Shape Change so often probably put the nail in the coffin on this match.

I end up taking his full team.

RESULT: WIN (2-0)

ROUND 3: 

versus…

Chase

Grey Ghost

His Team: 

BTAS007 Leslie Thompkins –15 Points

BTAS018 Renee Montoya — 30 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Mama there goes that man again!)

BTAS024 Lock-Up — 40 Points

BTAS047A Killer Croc — 80 Points

BTAS059 Grey Ghost E — 40 Points

Total = 280 Points

What Goes Down: Chase was probably the nicest guy I played against, and that’s saying something. This WKO was a lot more fun and friendly than the last one I went to.

Regardless, my dice are on fire this game and I basically tear Chase’s team to shreds before he can get any meaningful attacks in against my guys.

My Joker’s Smoke Cloud actually comes up huge here. Because most of his characters are both close combat pieces AND unable to ignore Hindering Terrain on movement, Joker’s Smoke Cloud effectively became Barrier.

I hop over to his Batman first. I hit both attacks and KO him in one turn. Next turn I focus on Lock-Up and bring him down to his second-to-last Click. Finally Killer Croc makes it over to my squad.

But it’s too late. I switch H&H to Hawkgirl’s dial and Outwit Croc’s D, then slice through his dial with merciless precision.

Grey Ghost is a great piece, but on his short dial with Batman already KO’d, there’s almost nothing he can do.

Oddly enough, I keep missing Leslie Thompkins, but soon enough she falls too and the game is over.

RESULT: WIN (3-0)

ROUND 4: 

versus…

???? (I failed to record my opponent’s name this round.)

ManBat

His Team: 

BTAS003 The Joker — 30 Points

BTAS018 Renee Montoya — 30 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Mama there goes that man again! Again!!)

BTAS043 Poison Ivy — 65 Points

BTAS057 Man-Bat — 75 Points

What Goes Down: Man-Bat is a great piece, but his low-ish attack combined with the fact that I usually have two Probs pointed at him at all times means he missed faaar more than he hit this game.

My opponent gets the first licks in for a change, but I roll really well with my Joker and manage to take out his Joker, Batman, Renee and Poison Ivy within the span of about 3 or 4 turns before he manages to finally finish off my Joker.

Eventually I corner Man-Bat at the edge of the map and finish him off.

It was a much closer game than I made it sound, but in the end my dice were just hotter than my opponent’s. Again, he was a shrewd player, but I was frankly just packing more Hypersonic Speed than he was.

(Wonder Woman’s Shape Change came through again, too!)

RESULT: WIN (4-0)

So, at this point, it’s a little unclear how many Rounds were supposed to be played. The organizers had previously mentioned that we’d play either four or five rounds this day.

Well, it turns out that we were only going four Rounds before we broke off into a Top 8. After all the results came in and were calculated, I finish second in the field (about a hundred points behind the gentleman in first place).

I’m going to the Top 8, which officially makes this my best showing ever at a WKO!!

But for that story, you’ll have to wait just a lil bit longer!

(Hey, we’re already pushing 3000 words here!)

Next: The Top 8 story PLUS the Top 10 Sealed pieces in Batman: The Animated Series!

These Turtles Go To Eleven!! (Or, The Top Eleven Figures in TMNT: Unplugged!!)

Mikey Injustice 2

A Heroclix set based on a TMNT video game appearance? Sign me up!

Michaelangelo 8-bit

OOOOOoooohhhh… THAT TMNT video game? Even better!

Hello again!!

We’ve been so busy lately talking about Avengers: Infinity Chases and Colossals and Batman: TAS spoilers and broken Superfriends Chases that we almost forgot… there’s a new Turtles set!

And here’s a secret nobody’s talking about… it’s kinda really good!

It’s also got almost 50 different new pieces (if you include the six new Bystander tokens from the Starter), so that means we’re gonna have to determine…

THE TOP TEN ELEVEN FIGURES IN TMNT: UNPLUGGED!!

But first, how about…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

TMNT ARCADE Poster.jpg

–In the lead-up to the release, I heard a lot of varying opinions on the “pixelated” sculpts that grace many (but oddly, not all–more on that in a minute) of the new pieces in the set. I actually fall on the “I Like It” side of the ledger, but I see why some wouldn’t like it. The sculpts look better from further away, but I think the video game sculpts are a creative new way to introduce cool new mechanics while still giving us familiar characters (more on that later too).

Krang Unplugged.jpg

–Unfortunately, some of the most interesting dials (Krang; Baxter Stockman; etc.) are essentially just repaints, even though they’re representing the video game version of the character. A ”pixelated” Krang especially would have been great!

–With Wizkids busy pumping out product for their Marvel, DC, TMNT and Star Trek licenses, this might be as close as we get to another video game set for quite awhile! For those who remember releases like the Street Fighter set or Halo-Clix, it’s kind of sad. But who knows what the future will hold? If these 8-bit clix are well-received, is it so far-fetched to think that Wizkids might hop on the nostalgia train again and give us a set of Nintendo characters (Mario! Link! Samus Aran!) or Capcom favorites?

So, without further ado…

THE TOP ELEVEN CLIX IN TMNT: UNPLUGGED!!

 

Rocksteady.jpg

11. TMNT4018 Rocksteady — 50 Points — Uncommon: We’ve got our first “Indie-set” Shifting Focus piece!

Yes, he only has, like, two versions to shift between (at least for now), but the ability to snap your fingers and turn a decent close combat piece into a decent ranged attacker is nice.

 

Blue Foot Elite

10. TMNT4015 Foot Elite (Boomerang) — 25 Points — Uncommon: For 25 Points this guy is an absolute STEAL! His top dial includes Sidestep, a 4 Range, 10 Attack with poor man’s Prob (BOOMERANG: When Foot Elite would miss a range attack by 1 or 2, once per turn you may reroll that attack roll.), a 17 Defense with ES/D AND a natural 3 Damage with Enhancement!!

Play 3 or 4 together and you have a slightly mobile (via Sidestep) Boomerang Turret that can spit out up to 6 Damage an attack! That ES/D makes them tough to hit before they get into range, too, so you have a decent chance of getting a devastating attack or two off before your opponent can pick them apart.

 

Muddy Mud Man

9. TMNT4B006 Mud Man — 20 Points — Fast Forces Bystander Token: Yeah, he costs 10 more points than the other tokens, but he’s probably worth 20 or 30 more points in actuality. For those 20 valuable points, you get Plasticity, Sidestep, Quake with a 10 Attack and Super Senses with Shape Change (always a crowd-pleaser!), 3 natural Damage… that’s a solid POG!

But wait… unlike other Pogs, Mud Man here essentially has 2 more clicks, with the possibility to gain even more if he KO’s opposing pieces (again, look at those stats–it’s certainly possible to KO opposing figures with this piece! Especially if he KO’s multiple characters with a well-timed Sidestep/Quake!).

But wait again! That actually undersells that Engulfing Boss Trait (ENGULFING BOSS: Plasticity. Mud Man starts the game with 2 Life tokens, and gains a Life token each time he KO’s an opposing character. When Mud Man would be KO’d, if he has any Life tokens, instead remove one. Protected: Pulse Wave.). It’s actually better than having two more physical clicks. Instead of clicking, Mud Man can take any amount of damage (even if Chase EW050 Superman hits Mud Man with an object and deals, like, 8 Damage…) and it still just costs him 1 “Life” token.

Then factor in the amount of wasted attacks from Mud Man’s SS/SC combo, and you have twenty points of mud that can cause all kinds of issues for your opponent. Even his main liability (mobility; ie his ability to get into attack range) is somewhat offset by his Sidestep and the fact that he’s a Standard character (and thus able to be carried by normal Taxis or TK’d by supporting pieces).

This is arguably the most solid Pog we’ve seen since Skadi’s Warbot (at least in terms of Pogs you can field by themselves).

 

Raph Auto Scroll.png

8. TMNT4037 Raphael — 100 Points — Chase:

7. TMNT4036 Michaelangelo — 100 Points — Chase:

All of the Chases have ridiculously good mobility via there shared video game level Trait (AUTO-SCROLLING SKATE LEVEL: At the beginning of your turn, you may move Raphael 1 square. FREE: Move up to 3 squares in a direct path.) and the fact that they all Ignore Characters on Movement.

What sets this Raphael apart from, say, the Leo Chase is Raph’s weapon Special (SAIS: Flurry. When making a close attack, Raphael deals penetrating damage.) and the fact that he’s sporting Battle Fury, so he chews right through opposing Shape Change.

Mikey gets slotted one spot higher because he’s got top dial Perp, bottom dial Support and his personal weapon Special (NUNCHAKUS: Flurry. Each time Michelangelo hits an opposing character, after resolutions you may give that character an action token.) that throws action tokens on opposing pieces as long as he simply hits them.

Penetrating Damage is fantastic. But I would personally value the board control offered by Mikey’s ability to give action tokens to pieces he hits.

 

Karai

6. TMNT4026 Karai — 75 Points — Rare:

Finally, a TMNT-Universe Recruiter! Her Trait (REBUILD THE FOOT CLAN IN THE OLD WAYS: Leadership. When building your force, friendly characters 75 points or less with the Martial Artist keyword also have the Foot Clan keyword.) opens up all kinds of Themed Team builds between disparate Martial Artist or Foot characters.

Then you get to her dial:

–She Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain on Movement.

–Her top dial Special Movement power (TEACHINGS OF THE ASHI NO HIMITSU: Sidestep, Stealth. When Karai uses Sidestep, if no opposing character has line of fire to her when giving the action, she can move up to 4 squares instead of 2.) will have her hopping all over the board, and she’s rocking an 11 Attack top dial with B/C/F AND a 6 Range with RCE, so Karai is deadly from up close or afar.

The only thing she’s really missing is some form of Willpower. In this era of Equipment, giving her a Symbiote (Shape Change, Plasticity and the possibility of taking her already solid stats to the next level) or Mjolnir (she can hop around with her giant Sidestep Special and strike for boatloads of B/C/F damage from a Stealthy position).

(Incidentally, there’s a pretty good case to be made for Karai as the best TMNT 4 Sealed piece. Usually only matters for release events, but there it is!)

 

Shredder and Clone

5. TMNT4005 Shredder Illusion — 20 Points — Common:

4. TMNT4024 Shredder — 80 + 20 Points — Rare:

Another pair of figures that are really meant to go together.

The Shredder Illusion is a solid little sort of Damage-dealing lottery ticket. He has a micro-Charge (Charge with a Movement Value of 6) and only 1 Damage top dial, but his (its?) B/C/F makes that 1 Damage almost meaningless.

The Illusions also have the ability to be nice little tie-up pieces, with Shape Change and Combat Reflexes making them particularly hard to deal with once they’ve latched on.

They’ve also got one solitary Trait (TEMPORARY SHREDDER ILLUSION: For all characters that can use this trait, whenever a friendly character within 6 squares named Shredder would take damage, you may reduce that damage by 1 in addition to any other effects that reduce damage. If you do, after resolutions, deal 1 unavoidable damage to a friendly character named Shredder Illusion.) that works exceedingly well with any character named Shredder in general and the Rare Main Set Shredder in particular.

Shredder proper is a Close Combat monster, with Charge, 12 Attack with Blades/Claws/Fangs, Mastermind and a native 4 Damage (if you literally don’t want to roll the dice for B/C/F).

The +20 Kicker is certainly worth it, as it activates a Trait ((+20) ILLUSIONARY DOUBLE: FREE: If no friendly character named Shredder Illusion is on your force, generate a TMNTUP #005 Shredder Illusion. Your opponents don’t score that character.) that gives you CONSTANT Mastermind fodder and, again, access to that Temporary Shredder Illusion Trait.

While most pieces have trouble with Outwit, this Shredder in particular is really vulnerable to a well-timed Outwit on his Mastermind or Charge, so that is something to keep in mind when using this guy.

 

Alopex

3. TMNT4033 Alopex — 90 Points — Super Rare: 90 Points gets you Hypersonic Speed with Precision Strike and 3 Damage top dial. She Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain on Movement, and she sports the crowd-pleasing Super Senses/Shape Change combo on Defense.

Two Traits also bump her effectiveness and allow her to manipulate probabilities on the Map.

The first (CURSED BLADES OF VENGEANCE: When Alopex hits an opposing character, give them a Curse token. // Characters with one or more Curse tokens modify attack -1, and any attack made by those characters that misses all targets becomes a critical miss.) can have a big effect on your whole team’s survivability.

The second (CATCH A TIGER BY THE TAIL: At the beginning of the game, choose an opposing character. Alopex modifies attack +1 when attacking the chosen character and modifies defense +1 when attacked by the chosen character.) enhances her own survivability, and can pump her Defense up to nigh unhittable levels if she gets a pop in first (which is likely given that Hypersonic Speed she’s sporting).

 

Donnie 2012

2. TMNT4029 Donatello — 80 Points — Super Rare: The whole set of Super Rares in this set is pretty universally solid; having said that, I like the SR Donnie better than his brothers in this series.

While they all share some version of the “Tales… ” Trait (TALES OF THE TMNT: At the beginning of the game, for all characters that can use this trait, choose a “Tale:” trait that a friendly character can use. This game, all friendly characters with a “Tale:” trait can use the chosen trait instead of any other “Tale:” trait.), Donatello’s is perhaps the most gamechanging (TALE: MAZES AND MUTANTS: This character has PROTECTED: opposing Perplex, opposing Probability Control.).

When you factor in his own top dial Prob, you suddenly can field a team of Turtles that pretty much has total control of Prob and Perplex–two of the strongest support abilities in the game–for the whole game!

This is more environmental control than the typical Turtles team allows.

 

Krang Unplugged number one

1. TMNT4034 Krang — 130 Points — Super Rare: Basically the ranged version of the Shredder piece I was just raving about.

Krang’s issue is that he sports Phasing/Teleport top dial instead of a move-and-attack ability, so he needs a good Taxi or a TK’er. Other than that, he’s a straight killer, with an Attack dial that alternates between Pen/Psy and Pulse Wave, Defense that alternates between Invincible, Invulnerable and Impervious.

He also has top dial Outwit and a Damage Special Power (RECOVERED THE TURNSTONE!: Shape Change, but succeeds on a 4-6. Perplex, but modifies the combat value +2 or -2. Opposing characters can’t use Perplex or Shape Change.) on the bottom of his dial that is one of the best Special Powers ever given out.

His Boss Trait, like Shredder’s, also resurrects him TWICE (GAME BOSS: FLASHING RED: The first two times Krang would be KO’d, instead turn him to click #6, then heal him 1 click if an opposing force has 1 or 2 characters on it; otherwise, heal him 2 clicks. Protected: Pulse Wave.), and has a decent chance of landing him on his Turnstone clicks.

Finally, his last Trait (RUTHLESS ALIEN CONQUEROR: When Krang KO’s an opposing character, put a Conquest marker in a square they occupied. Opposing characters modify their attack and defense values -1 for each Conquest marker within 3 squares of them.) can really pin down an opponent who didn’t bring a team with good mobility and/or range.

It is possible for your opponent to just ignore Krang, or try and get him to his less effective middle clicks (Clicks 3 & 4) and keep him there, but it’s not clear that allowing a piece with 8 Range and Pen/Psy essentially unfettered access to attack your team is a really very good idea.

 

Okay!! That’s my list! What’s yours? Let us know in the Comments below!

 

Call It A Gift Then!! (Or, Y’know… Let’s Talk BRIEFLY About Avengers: Infinity War!!)

Avengers Infinity War masthead

Wow!!

I mean… we knew it was going to be good.

But WOW!!

So, I have some thoughts. I might ramble a bit, but I want to get this column out so we’re free and clear for some Clix coverage in the immediate future!

[SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW!! BUT IF YOU READ THIS BLOG AND HAVEN’T SEEN THIS MOVIE YET, YOU MUST BE A UNICORN… ]

I wrote before about what the trailer for this movie meant to me (check that piece out here), and now that I’ve seen the whole film, I can say it did not disappoint in any way.

Did it have elements of Thanos Quest? Yep. Did it have characters from Hickman’s Infinity event from a few years ago? Sure.

But make no mistake: This was an adaptation of Infinity Gauntlet (or the first part of Infinity Gauntlet, at least), one of the crown jewels from Marvel’s brilliant history. And it’s something that would have been ABSOLUTELY INCONCEIVABLE just ten years ago.

Some of the Highlights:

Josh Brolin as Thanos: Absolutely delivered one of the best performances of his career. A lot of folks have been talking about Thanos as perhaps the best mo-cap movie character ever created, as if he’s only the result of technological breakthroughs. That’s certainly true, but Brolin truly became this character even though we never seen him physically onscreen.

The creators (specifically the writers and directors) said this would be Thanos’s story, and they were not lying. And a lot of that hangs on Josh Brolin’s shoulders;

Chris Hemsworth as Thor: This character has gone from the forgotten MCU Avenger to everyone’s favorite overnight. No one really missed him in Civil War; Ragnarok seemed like just an obligatory, almost contractual entry on Marvel’s calendar. Then we actually saw the damn thing, and it was terrific.

In some ways, about a third of Infinity War is basically a sequel to Ragnarok. And it was one of the best parts of the movie. Hemsworth has finally found a groove with Thor; on one hand, I’d understand if he decides he’s done with the grind of portraying a superhero; on the other hand… he’s doing his best work right now! Drama! Comedy! Action! Adventure! Thor has become an amazing character, and I really hope he sticks around.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange: Wow! Doctor Strange has come a long way. More than even in his own movie, this is the Doctor Strange that I remember from the comics!

Some of the Lowlights: 

–Really, not much. Some folks have brought up some minor pacing issues; others didn’t like Star-Lord screwing up the plan. But I didn’t notice anything that took me out of the movie.

No, the only thing I would’ve hoped for was actually some more screen time for Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive. The weapons are cool; their backstory is even cooler. In the comics, Corvus Glaive is actually more of an orator about Thanos than Ebony Maw ever was.

It’s a minor quibble, but not having more of Proxima or Corvus robbed us of two things:

First, if we’d spent a little more time with them, they wouldn’t have felt just like cannon fodder during that final battle in Wakanda.

Secondly, Corvus Glaive has one of the best death scenes in comics when he takes on Hyperion in Infinity.

Corvus Death 1

Corvus Glaive Part 2

Even if they had given this sequence to, say, Iron Man dispatching Ebony Maw, this was one great exchange from the comics that I missed in the film.

How Did They Even Make This Movie Without the Silver Surfer Or, Y’know, Adam Warlock… WHO WAS THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THE ORIGINAL COMIC?

–By dividing up their parts among some of the other characters.

Let’s start with the Surfer. His main purpose in Infinity Gauntlet was three-fold.

First, Surfer is extremely powerful, so when Thanos quite easily dispatches him, that tells the audience that Thanos is a badass who is going to be hell to deal with. Then, Surfer is hurtled towards Earth from space to warn the rest of the Marvel heroes that Thanos. Is. Coming! Finally, Surfer was one of the key heavy-hitting combatants that confronts Thanos at the very end of the story.

Hmmm… pretty much every one of those plot points was given to the Hulk in Infinity War. I was actually surprised at how easily the writers were able to slide Hulk into that role.

Adam Warlock’s part was more complicated. I think they actually split his role and gave it to two different characters.

First… I think it’s pretty clear that most of the Soul Stone shenanigans that Warlock gets into in Infinity Gauntlet were given to Gamora (this actually isn’t too far from the comic–Gamora was with Warlock when he emerged from the Soul Stone in the beginning of the story).

I really think Gamora will find her way out of the Soul Stone eventually. She might be the only non-“snap” death that eventually gets reversed. Remember that orange-tinged scene with young Gamora and Thanos at the end of the film, when it seemed like Thanos was having some sort of vision? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that took place in the Soul Stone where Gamora–at least some part of her–still resides.

But there was one other character who got some of Warlock’s lines, I think. As it happens, he also wielded a green Infinity Gem…

Doctor Strange.

In Infinity Gauntlet, Adam Warlock devises what is essentially a long con to wrest control of the Gauntlet from Thanos (who is impossible to defeat in any sort of battle while possessing the gems). At one point, he explains part of his plan to the Silver Surfer, who is horrified to find out that Warlock is interacting with the crisis as if it is some sort of game.

A Game.png

Indeed, gathering Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to face off against Thanos was nothing more than a ploy to distract the Mad Titan, and their subsequent horrific deaths could in fact be attributed to Warlock’s seeming indifference (we find out later that Warlock had no intention of letting their deaths be permanent, but still… ).

Well, I think there’s a lot more going on in the scene between Tony Stark and Doctor Strange on Titan where Strange tells Stark that giving Thanos the Time Gem was “the only way.”

Strange knows something in that scene that we do not. I’m convinced of it! And even if it meant sacrificing half of the galaxy (albeit perhaps temporarily), Strange was willing to do that if it meant ultimate victory in the end.

 

Whew. Alright, that was a little scattered, but I just wanted to get some thoughts down on paper. I loved, loved LOVED this movie, and I hope you all did too!

Back in a few days with some more Clix coverage!

 

Eight Things I Want From Avengers: Infinity!! (Or, More Irresponsible Speculation!!)

Hi There! It’s been awhile (well, we’ve been tweeting up a storm the last few months, but still!).

Fresh off getting my butt kicked at the Spring WKO (look, I’d write about Call-Ins ruining the game, but it’s been discussed to death and Wizkids apparently has market research to show that people like extra value inserted into packs via things like Equipment or ID Cards, so, they’re not going away anytime soon… ), today we’re starting to get ready for one of the biggest sets of the year.

Yup! We’re talkin’ Avengers: Infinity!

Spoilers won’t start for a little while yet, so now is the perfect time for some of our patented Irresponsible Speculation!!

Here are eight things I hope we’ll get in this set!

FF

8. Fantastic Four Characters!!

Okay, I like the FF as much as anyone, but the two characters I’m really talking about here are Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom.

Unfortunately, both of these characters are probably still on the ban list until the Disney/Fox merger is complete (probably 16-24 months from now).

Still, Surfer (and, to a lesser extent, Doom) were big characters in the original Infinity Gauntlet (from which many of the characters in this set come), so their absence would definitely be missed.

 

Helicarrier

7. Helicarrier!!

C’mon, Wizkids! We want a Helicarrier already!

We know we’re getting vehicles in this set (Spider-Mobile!!); we know that at least one of those vehicles will be S.H.I.E.L.D.-related (Nick Fury’s flying car!); and you’ve even given us special Helicarrier maps in the past, so we know you guys are familiar with them!

Brainiac’s Skull Ship proves that you don’t mind making big ships, either! So the time has come for everyone’s favorite flying gunships to enter Heroclix!

 

Thanos Come and Get Me.jpg

6. Title Character Thanos!!

Of all the things on this list, this one might be the most likely.

The Title Character mechanic has been a lot of fun (and so far, not nearly as overpowered at it first might have seen, although Ninwashui and I still think Title Character Thor has a lot of untapped Meta possibilities), and Title Character Thanos would have the potential to be the coolest one yet (and this wouldn’t be a bad pose for his scuplt, either).

They wouldn’t necessarily have to give him the Infinity Gauntlet on this piece (although a Chase series of characters who have all wielded it at some point would be cool–hmmm, maybe there were really 9 Things I should have written about for this article), but Thanos is certainly deserving of the Title Character treatment considering he’s long been one of Marvel’s greatest villains.

 

Adam Warlock.jpg

5. Title Character Adam Warlock!!

And, in keeping with the recent trend of two Title Characters per set, who better for the second slot than Thanos’s greatest foil, Adam Warlock?

In addition to being one of my favorite characters, Adam Warlock was pretty much THE MAIN PROTAGONIST of Infinity Gauntlet (you can argue that Thanos was still the main character of the story; you can also argue that, from a certain point of view, Thanos was actually the protagonist in a weird way and Adam Warlock was the antagonist of the story, keeping Thanos from what he most desired–is it clear that I loved this story and have read and thought about it WAAAAY too much over the last 25 years?).

A Title Character Adam Warlock with the Infinity Watch keyword and some sort of Soul Stone Title Character ability would absolutely make my day!

 

Uatu

4. Updated Colossal Watcher!!

We haven’t gotten a Watcher since Galactic Guardians and this is the perfect time for an update!

I really liked the way the GG version played, which could fill different roles on your team for different point costs. Really, if they just updated the sculpt and Uatu’s stats, they could pretty much just release the last dial they made for him!

 

Infinity Gems.jpg

3. Infinity Gems!!

Look, we just got Equipment in Thor, and since then, virtually nothing. Give us some Infinity Gem Equipment inserts!!

This is almost too obvious of an idea for Wizkids to actually execute, but I would love to see it.

Who wouldn’t want to outfit their team of choice with the six Infinity Gems?

Oh, speaking of that…

 

Infinity Watch.jpg

2. Full Roster of the Infinity Watch!!

See that guy in the lower right corner? 12-year-old me remembers his name–Maxam! And for a time, he was an official member of the Infinity Watch–and he remains un-Clixed!

We know we’ll be getting some Infinity Watch pieces in this set, so it’s time for Wizkids to give us the WHOLE team! So yeah, we want Maxam, for sure, but the Galactic Guardians pieces haven’t aged well at all, so go ahead and give us updated versions of the entire team!

(For the record, that’d be Adam Warlock, Thanos, Drax, Maxam, Pip the Troll, Gamora and Moondragon.)

 

Galactus

1. Some form of Galactus!!

Yeah, he’s also tied up with the FF license Disney is trying to get back, but we’ve gotten a Zombie Galactus in the last few years, so he’s always a possiblity. But the unique nature of this set would allow them to give us a Modern Galactus that could be pulled right from a normal booster, something that’s never happened with a Galactus piece!

 

Okay, that’s my list! What’s on yours? Let me know in the Comments below!