Let’s Build An Excalibur Team!!

Here’s a keyword team with some meta implications. It’s based around two powerful team up cards. The first for Rachel Grey reads, “TEAM UP: EXCALIBUR THEMED TEAM  If 4+ friendly characters with the Excalibur keyword are on the map, they can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5+ squares away.” This is the same thing as the “Behind the Scenes” trait from the XDPS, but it will protect your entire team. It’s also superior to what Prime Bishop can do because he lets opponents target from 1 square further away and only prevents attacks instead of all targetting.

The second team up card is for Rogue. It states “TEAM UP: , CAPTAIN BRITAIN, GAMBIT, JUBILEE, RICTOR If 1+ listed friendly characters are on the map, Rogue and listed character’s Excalibur, Mystical Protectors trait also triggers with close attacks. If 3+ are on the map, when they hit, after resolutions heal the attacker 1 click.” With Rachel Grey forcing the other team into close quarters this team up is a must. Also, we’ll be using three of the listed characters, so they will heal a click whenever they hit any opposing character.

Here’s the team I had in mind:

  • Theme: Excalibur +6
  • HoX068-70 Apocalypse (Krakoan) (70 points)
  • SVACs002 Illusion Generator (10 points)
  • HoX036-60 Rogue (60 points) – with team up
  • HoX052-50 Gambit (50 points)
  • WKMP19-s107 Incandescence (Mandarin Ring) (5 points)
  • HoX001.01 Rachel Grey  (40 points) – with team up
  • HoX063 Mother (35 points)
  • HoX053-30 Captain Britain (35 points)
  • Total = 300 points.

Here’s what each piece brings to the team:

HoX068-70 Apocalypse (Krakoan) – This is an Excalibur keyword theme team, but each piece also has the Xmen keyword and is lower points than Apocalypse. That’s not an accident. It’s so that Apocalypse can use his Krakoan Revival trait. If your opponent wants to KO any of your pieces, he will need to KO Apocalypse first. That’s no easy task because of Apocalypse’s stop click that offers immediate healing the first time it’s revealed and when it shows up a again it has invulnerability and mastermind. Because these powers appear on the stop click they can’t be outwitted or bypassed via pulse wave. A single target pulse wave can be redirected via mastermind and a multi-target pulse wave will have it’s damage reduced to zero by invulnerability. Additionally Apocalypse can be healed easily with the Xmen TA and anyone he masterminds damage to that would be KOed can simply be revived. Also, every time he is hit activates his mystics TA. KOing him is not impossible, but it’s a puzzle that some teams may not have an answer for.

SVACs002 Illusion Generator – Since you know Apocalypse will be the prime target, you might as well give him as much protection as possible. This gives shape change (which can’t be outwitted due to Apocalypse’s cosmic energy) and every time he makes the roll an autonomous bystander is generated that you can put in the opponents line of fire. These bystanders will make opponents waste even more actions killing bystanders instead of what they are really after.

HoX036-60 Rogue – Aside from bringing her team up card to the team, she is a hypersonic harasser with battle fury and she brings a special trick that your opponent may not see coming. “TURNS OUT, I DON’T NEED THE GLOVES: FREE: Choose an adjacent character and a standard power they can use. Until your next turn, Rogue can use that power and has that character’s printed range value.” Also, like Apocalypse she has the mystics TA.

HoX052-50 Gambit – He’s the best character in the set for killing opposing bystanders and you know opponents are going to be running bystanders because you will be giving them bystanders with Krakoan Revival. Aside from KOing bystanders Gambit is just an excellent attacker whose triple target energy explosion will be able to target large numbers of enemies at the same time. He also has the mystics TA.

WKMP19-s107 Incandescence (Mandarin Ring) – Use this to super charge Gambit’s attacks. It turns him into a damage dealing machine.

HoX001.01 Rachel Grey – Aside from her excellent Team up card she can be a decent super figure with her Enhancement and Telekinesis. She’s also useful for healing with her Xmen Team Ability and on the latter half of her dial she can be a decent attacker.

HoX063 Mother (35 points) – Keep her in your starting area and just continuously use her first +1 title character ability.  Depending on what the other team is doing you will probably just use her -3 ability on turn 4 and let her be killed by damage at the end  of that turn. You’ll give your opponent 35 points and let them damage one of your figures and place it in your starting area, but the trade off is worth it. After turn 4 all of the remaining 5 figures on your team will be able to use perplex for the rest of the game. This will take your team with otherwise average attacking stats and just supercharge them. It’s just a ridiculous advantage. Thanks to Krakoan Revival, your opponent can’t do anything to stop this unless they KO Apocalypse first, and that’s just not going to happen by turn 4.

HoX053-30 Captain Britain – On a team with 6 people leadership is a must and her leadership can potentially remove 2 action tokens in a turn. Aside from that, she brings outwit, mystics TA, and could be a capable attacker if someone increases her attack value via perplex. Rachel Grey is already ensuring that opponents will be in charge range and that’s where she Captain Britain thrives.

That’s it for today.

Let’s Build An Old Man Phoenix Team!!

Just like my previous article about Apocalypse Prime (and my article about Maggott that got debunked on Facebook), here’s another build about a top piece from House of X HoX067 Old Man Phoenix.

Here’s the team I had in mind:

  • Theme: Xmen +5
  • HoX067 Old Man Phoenix (160 points)
  • SVCS004 Carnage Symbiote (10 Points)
  • HoX003b Bishop (40 points)
  • HoX006 Cypher (35 points)
  • xdpG020p Dark Phoenix (30 points)
  • HoX044-25 Magneto w/ Xmen Team up HoX044.03 (25 points)
  • Total = 300 points.

Here’s what each piece brings to the team:

HoX067 Old Man Phoenix (160 points)– This is your primary attacker. He enjoys flurrying, using his claws, and healing whatever damage opponents throw at him. He’s powerful, but also very straight forward so not a ton to write about here.

SVCS004 Carnage Symbiote (10 Points) – Assign this to Old Man Phoenix. It grants him Shape Change (that can’t be outwitted) and even more healing because more healing is always a good thing. Also Plasticity means that when he says “I go where I want to go”, no one will argue.

HoX003b Bishop (40 points) – The last thing you want to do is get your Shiny new Wolverine shot full of holes from across the board. Bishop will make sure that opponents will have to stay close in order to hurt you and that’s exactly how Old Man Phoenix likes it. Plus he makes a good second attacker and his outwit could come in handy.

HoX006 Cypher (35 points) – So the combination of Cyber and Prime Bishop should hopefully let your Old Man Phoenix get the drop on on opponents despite having a zero range. The combo of sidestep and TK is perfect for firing your primary attacker into battle. As bonus the perplex is handy and the special barrier will remind you a little of Valaria Von Doom in her prime. What I mean by that is that since Cypher can see through characters he can literally put his barrier behind an opposing character and then automatically knock that opponent into it. He can also use barrier to surround an opponent on all four sides because of his improved targeting.

xdpG020p Dark Phoenix (30 points) – She’s a long range attacker and currently the games best retaliator in modern. You opponent is going to need a lot of hits on Old Man Phoenix to KO him, and Phoenix is a great (and thematic) distraction that will hopefully  give him time to heal some of his wounds. Also if you up her damage to 4 with Cypher she will heal if she does that amount of damage to (or KOs) an opposing figure, and that will be a huge headache for your opponent.

HoX044-25 Magneto w/ Xmen Team up HoX044.03 – Magneto brings a ton of options for a very low point cost. Like Phoenix he’s a long range attacker and retaliator at the same time. But when he retaliates he can be placed anywhere that he can make a ranged attack on his target. With his long range and improved targeting that’s almost anywhere on the board. He ignores characters for targeting so he can target the most vulnerable opposing character even if that figure is behind someone. Or he can target your opponents whole team at once with his triple target energy explosion. Additionally his teamup states, “When Magneto attacks only characters with the Ruler keyword or that can use Leadership, after resolutions remove an action token from him and give each hit character an action token. (After revealing forces, you may replace character cards with their alternates. You can’t choose a Team Up card if your starting characters share a name).” That can make him a tokening nightmare and combines well with his brotherhood TA.

That’s it for today.

Eaten by Maggotts!! (team build article)

Note: Several problems were discovered with this article after printing. Voyager can only carry figures she shares a theme with. Also, bystanders created that turn can’t use poison.

Greeting fellow Clixers,

I (like a lot of people) have been looking over the previews for House of X and theory Crafting teams. One of the figures that I’ve been looking at is this:

Her special power states, “SCIENCE COMMANDER OF ORCHIS Leadership. // UNIQUE MODIFIER – Friendly bystanders within 5 squares modify their combat values +1.” So I’ve been looking at characters that generate bystanders like caa054e Captain Marvel, ABPI030 Medusa, WKMP19-105 I.S.A.A.C. and xdp048 Jason Wyngarde. But that’s not who I am going to use today. Today I’ve chosen to go with:

That’s right, it’s the 2018 Team Championship figure previewed on clixnexus.com, Maggott.

Here’s the team:

  • Name: Eaten by Maggotts!!
  • Theme: General Butt Kicking/General Icky-ness
  • Theme Map Bonus: We don’t need no stinking Map Bonus
  • ABPI017 Voyager (50 points)
  • ABPI017 Voyager (50 points)
  • HoX051 Maggott (40 points)
  • HoX051 Maggott (40 points)
  • HoX051 Maggott (40 points)
  • HoX051 Maggott (40 points)
  • HoX016 Dr. Alia Gregor (20 points)
  • SVAC014 Mary Jane Watson (15 points)
  • EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble (5 points)
  • Total = 300 points

This team is heavily inspired by the team that won the “David Newmark open” (which had UC Thanos as the prize). That 400 point team was two voaygers, a bunch of medusas, and some red aim guys for empower. It just mobbed people with endless hair bystander tokens. So why am I switching Medusa to Maggott? 5 reasons:

  • He’s ten less points (which is important because I am trying to shrink the team from 400 to 300)
  • He’s got probability control (and his tokens are tiny so he can see over them to use it)
  • His tokens offer him options on what to use during his alpha strike as opposed to always just using the hair bystander
  • His tokens don’t weaken as he takes damage
  • His Meany token has poison. So you can carry the 4 Maggots across half the board and just melt anything that doesn’t have a damage reducer without rolling dice. Also, with two Voyagers on the team you can use her outwit to take away opposing damage reducers on a lot of figures.

So this team can make all the way across the board in 2 turns (even phasing through walls) and doesn’t need to equip items at the start of the game. The turn you move up to the opposing team you can use 2 outwits, drop 4 Meanys, use poison 4 times, and make four Meany attacks (boosted by Dr. Alia and backed up by 4 prob controls). Turn 2 you can pick the the Meanys up and put them down again so they can do it all again. But, then the 4 Maggots can also attack (possibly with boosted stats if their Meany hit) and Mary Jane can spawn her Paparazzi bystanders (who can also attack this turn). You can do all of that in the same turn because Mary Jane and every bystander you generate all have Autonomous and Dr. Alia has Leadership.

That’s it for today. Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this team.

 

Let’s Build An Apocalypse Prime Team!! Or… The Fifth Night of Clix-Mas 2020!!

So now that all of the pieces from House of X are known I wanted to build a dream team around one of the top pieces from that set. This guy:

Specifically the 150 point version of him. I’ve been theory crafting teams based on his keywords and I believe using the Ruler keyword to add him to the Spiderman Family keyword creates the best team for him. Here’s the team I had in mind:

  • Theme: Spiderman Family +5
  • HX059BV Apocalypse (150 points)
  • SVCS004 Carnage Symbiote (10 Points)
  • SVC068 Spider-Pharaoh (60 points)
  • WKMP19-S101 Remaker (Mandarin Ring) (5 points)
  • SVC028 Flash Thompson (35 points)
  • SVC027 Gwen Stacy (25 points)
  • SVC014 Mary Jane Watson (15 points)
  • Total = 300 points.

Here’s what each piece brings to the team:

HX059BV Apocalypse (150 points) – This is your primary attacker. He gets to chose one power each turn via his CELESTIAL TECH and this gives him a wealth of options for both attack and defense. You’ll likely choose Hypersonic Speed when first closing with the enemy and then flurry or pulse wave when you are engaged with the enemy. Defensively he is Protected against both Outwit and Psychic Blast. He has full dial Steal energy and the BEHIND THE SCENES trait. And if he chooses to use his CELESTIAL TECH trait defensively he could chose Mastermind and shunt attacks to his secondary attackers or even better some of Mary Jane’s Paparazzi bystanders. He could also chose Regeneration if he’s taken damage.

SVCS004 Carnage Symbiote (10 Points) – Assign this to Apocalypse. It grants him Shape Change (that can’t be outwitted) and Healing to go along with the other defenses and healing I already mentioned. The plasticity will make sure that once he gets up to his target, they won’t get away.

SVC068 Spider-Pharaoh (60 points) – Group transportation and several support figures rolled into one. You’ll most often use her Leadership, Probability Control, and Empower to support the Close Combat attackers on your team, but don’t forget that she is a capable attacker herself with 4 starting damage. 

WKMP19-S101 Remaker (Mandarin Ring) (5 points) – Equip this to Spider-Pharaoh for the extra defense shape change offers and the poison may come in handy for close encounters.

SVC028 Flash Thompson (35 points) – Your secondary attacker. Grant him Exploit Weakness and steal energy by naming him the Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death. There are two awesome reasons to use him. He shuts down opposing shape change within 4 squares even if those figures can’t be outwitted. And the second reason is that if the Opponent KOs him, the Agent Venom he turns into is a super deadly close combat attacker with Flurry Blades/Claws/Fangs and Battle Fury.

SVC027 Gwen Stacy (25 points) – Another secondary attacker. Grant her Poison and steal energy by naming her the Apocalypse’s Horseman of Pestilence. Just like flash Thompson she can take away enemy defenses just by being near them, although she removes super senses instead of shape change. And while she does turn into a nice version of Ghost Spider, it’s not nearly as deadly a transformation as Flash Thompson’s.

SVC014 Mary Jane Watson (15 points) – There’s not much more I can say about Mary Jane that I didn’t already say in my Spiderman and Venom Absolute Carnage Top 10. You can assign her to be Apocalypse’s Horseman of Famine, but that won’t make much difference in most games.

That’s it for today. Stay Safe out there.

Let’s Talk Watchlist!! Or… The Fourth Night of Clix-Mas 2020!!

So the 2020 3rd Quarter watch list results have come out and unlike previous watchlists, I think the meta has been drastically changed. You can see WizKids post here. Let’s Break it down.

WKMP18 G001 Tri-Sentinel AND XTAS G025 Iceman

These no longer have the extra effects of the retaliation (blowing up terrain, incap) without them actually targetting an opposing piece to retaliate on. This was a needed change as it was confusing and not what was originally intended.

F4 063 Valeria Von Doom AND SVC 058 Venom Groot

These 35 point characters are no longer able to damage opposing characters on their turn using effects like the spin ring to move opposing characters. This was another welcome change. No character at that point level should be able to damage an opposing character that has reducers without needing to roll dice. That effect is just too powerful.

SVC 067 Spider-Man 1776 – *NEW ADDITION*

Wow this was unexpected, but welcome. Wizkids has said before that limiting a teams actions is unfun and they promised not to do it again. Then they did it again. But they are sorry and they won’t do it again. Until the next time they do it again. At least 1776 is still a pretty good piece even with the nerf to it’s big trait.

BWM 017 Black Widow

This was an unexpected change, and a lot of people online were wondering if it was a necessary one. Black Widow is very good, but a nerf that basically just starts her with two less tradecraft tokens doesn’t seem to hurt her that much. If this was all they were going to do, I might have left her alone.

So where does this leave the Meta?

So they are still very powerful figures out there that weren’t altered by this watchlist. Captain Marvel, Jason Wyngarde, Prime Vulture, Prime Batman, Prime Leopard, Mary Jane, Marvella, God Emperor Doom, Punisher War Machine, and the danger room robots all come to mind immediately. Plus Black Widow wasn’t nerfed that badly and Soldier 1776 is still usable even without his trait. So expect to still see Prime Vulture teams, Avenger Teams, Multiple kinds of Spiderman teams (robots, soldiers, rulers, scientists, etc…), Hellfire Club teams, Latveria Teams, and X-men teams when the new set drops. But this also opens up some opportunity for teams that were almost meta, but held back by Valeria, Black Widow, or Soldier 1776. Monsters with Absolute Carnage and Onslaught? Maybe. Robot teams with Amazo? Probably. An all Skrull team with multiple Super Skrulls? It could happen.

When one top piece falls in Heroclix another always rises to take it’s place. And I’m excited to see what’s next.

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. 

th

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.

Absolute-Carnage-Miles-Morales-1-spoilers-7 (1)

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:

c7e4d0800759a2051bd5a36feaeb130f

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!

51ZmOowJkFL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

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).

JUL188968_ft

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.

pn2ntl6tvxrbcrw0wvbz

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.

Knull_(Earth-616)_from_Venom_Vol_4_3_001

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.

carnage

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.

e1c1a17443cd3412912c4b73cae6d412

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.

All Shall Bow before Doom (or a top ten set review of the Heroclix Fantastic Four set)

Here are the honorable mentions:

5. F4027 Valeria Richards (40 Points) – She’s a key support figure if you are going to run a Fantastic four team. Her attack special reads, “LET’S SEE, WHAT CAN I MAKE WITH THIS?: FREE: Choose a standard attack power. Valeria Richards can use that power this turn.” Which means she can pick a power like TK one turn and then the next turn choose Pulse wave. Add to that her double Perplex and she is a must have uncommon from this set.

4. F4039 Franklin Richards (65 points) – Franklin is kinda a mix between WXM038 Legion (Whom I used to really enjoy playing) and EW017 Green Lantern (The power battery is draining). Just like those guys he can gain any power, but there is a serious drawback. His Special attack power reads “EVERYTIME I USE MY POWERS, I GET CLOSER TO LOSING THEM: FREE: Choose 3 standard powers. Franklin Richards can use the chosen powers until your next turn. // At the end of your turn, if Franklin Richards activated this power or made an attack, roll a d6. Deal him unavoidable damage equal to half the result.” So you won’t be picking powers every turn, but if you pick and choose your turns carefully, you will get way more that 65 points worth of value from him. His stats and incredible 11 click dial length further increase his value. As does his ability to grant the Power Cosmic TA to all Fantastic Four figures within 4 squares. Smart Players are really going to be able to abuse this guy.

3. F4048 Karnak (40 points) – The Inhumans are back and this guy is going to try to put them into the competitive scene. Combined with a taxi like ABPI059 Lockjaw he can outwit the most stubborn of defenses. His special damage power reads,
IN EVERYTHING, A WEAKNESS: Close Combat Expert, Outwit. When Karnak has no action tokens and uses Outwit, adjacent opposing characters can’t use Protected: Outwit or PROTECTED: Outwit until your next turn.” Combine him with the aforementioned lockjaw and ABPI030 Medusa to make a great one-two punch.

2. F4055E Agent Venom (50 or 75 points) – Whether you run this guy at 50 or 75 points really depends on the rest of your team. Both are good options. From the moment he was previewed players have been going nuts over his trait, “CALL IN HELP FROM… ME!: Once per turn, when another friendly character that shares a keyword with Agent Venom hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 3-6: Place Agent Venom adjacent to a hit opposing character.” Add to that the usual Symbiote tricks (Plasticity, Shape Change) and his ability to grant shape change to others at 75 points or his Perplex/BCF combo at 50 points. 

1. F4054 Wolverine (75 points) – A very offensive minded Wolverine that has Flurry and BCF on every click. He starts with a movement special that states, “BLOODTHIRSTY BARRAGE: Charge, Flurry, Sidestep. // When Wolverine KO’s an opposing character, after resolutions remove an action token from him.” He also makes a decent taxi with his sidestep and THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR trait that grants him Passenger:1. On defense he starts with 18 toughness and a trait that will ensure he remains a threat all game as long as you still have fantastic four pieces on the board. It reads, “I DON’T STAY DOWN EASY: When Wolverine would be KO’d except by this Trait, instead put him on this card with 4 Healing tokens. At the beginning of your turn, remove a Healing token. When you remove the last one, place him on the map on click #6 within 4 squares of a friendly character with the Fantastic Four keyword. If you can’t, KO him. Protected: Pulse Wave.” It’s worth noting that click 6 for Wolverine has 12 attack to go along with his BCF and Flurry. So if you can get him to come back into play next to an opposing figure, that figure is in for a world of hurt.

Here’s the Top Ten:

 

10. F4053B Ghost Rider (40 points) – This is as mean of a 40 point dial as you will ever see. Alejandra has a starting click most other 40 point characters could only dream of. Hypersonic Speed, precision strike,  Invulnerability,  probability control, and Indomitable mesh well with her better than average stats. Her dial is short at 3 clicks, but her stop click and healing from steal energy will make the dial feel longer. The Mystics TA will mean that the very least the opponent will receive some vengeance for attacking her. Add to that her unusual Retaliation trait and you get a lot for very little point investment.

9. F4047A Silver Surfer (150 points) – I’ve seen him played on competitive teams at 75 points, but I think he has what it takes to to be played as a full 150 point Primary attacker. I know I’ve said that 150 points is a lot to pay for a single character in a 300 point build (like when I talked about CAAV074 Ultron), but I think the Surfer has everything he needs to be successful at that point cost. He has the Power Cosmic TA, Hypersonic Speed on every click, lots of damage reducers, and a 9 click long dial. His damage values are a little low for a 150 point character, but that’s where Dawn Greenwood helps. She is a free bystander the Surfer gets at the start of the game that has both enhancement and perplex. Even better, if she is killed by an opposing attack, the Surfer gets +1 to all his stats for the rest of the game. She just needs to watch out for poison and pulse wave.

8. F4049 The Thing (50 points) -So the first thing everyone sees with they see this dial is BUZZ AND CHUCK. I say ignore them, and then take another look and you’ll see the the most unique support figure in the game. He has sidestep, a special traited perplex, empower, and 19 defend. The 19 defend in particular is very rare and beneficial to any team that runs him.  But, he also has something that no 50 point support figure has ever had… four clicks of Invincible. Being the toughest support figure ever can be especially helpful in games where opposing figures are dealing penetrating damage via traits (like widows recruit). Unlike most support figures he’s not bad in in battle so make sure to push Buzz or Chuck to KO as soon as possible so the Thing can attack.

7. F4053A Ghost Rider (50 points) – I predict that this version of Ghost Rider will see even more play than the prime version because of her special starting defense. It reads, THE GUARDIAN PHANTASMA: Defend, Energy Shield/Deflection, Toughness, Willpower. // Adjacent friendly characters of equal or lower points or that share a keyword with Ghost Rider can use Energy Shield/Deflection.” So for any team that matches her keywords, she is worth consideration due to the extra protection she provides. Imagine giving that bonus to Onslaught or a bunch of Wendigos. Add to that her special version of a stop click and you can she why I think she will be on a variety of teams. 

6. F4034 Invisible Woman (60 points) – Every Susan Richards in the set shares the same trait for subbing in sideline characters, but this version of Sue is the only one with the the Shield and Avengers Keywords. That trait says, “FORM THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR: At the beginning of the game, you may replace up to 4 friendly characters with the same number of characters from your sideline on their starting clicks. All replacement and replaced characters must have the Fantastic Four keyword and different names. The total points of the replacement characters can’t exceed the total points of the replaced characters.” Although if you are facing characters that use stealth or that can’t see through stealth, you are probably going to want to leave her in play. Just like the Ghost rider that shares ESD, Sue shares something with her teammates as well. Her Trait reads “YEAH, MY POWER SET IS REALLY GOOD FOR ESPIONAGE: Stealth, [Improved Targeting: Hindering]. Adjacent friendly characters that share a keyword (with her) can use Stealth and [Improved Targeting: Hindering].” That could be a huge boon against the right opponent.

5. F4021 Dr. Doom (45 points) – Here’s the Doctor Doom that we’ve been missing for the past few years. I’ve been excited to build around this guy ever since he was previewed. His Doombot making trait is the best reason to play him. It reads, MY ROBOTS OFTEN CONFUSE MY FOES: Leadership, Mastermind. When Dr. Doom uses Leadership and succeeds, instead of the normal effect, you may generate a [F4] 005 Doombot.” That’s a 33% chance of getting a free F4005 Doombot at the start of each turn. That’s pretty good, but you can take that up to absurd levels by assigning him the the Reign of Terror map bonus. It reads, “(+5 points, or 0 points if every character on your starting force has the Latveria keyword). LOCATION: At the beginning of the game, choose a friendly character. Once per turn, when that character rolls for Leadership you may reroll the result. If that character is named Dr. Doom, they increase their roll for Leadership by +1. CONSOLATION: Once per game, when a friendly character would roll for Leadership, they automatically succeed.” That 33% chance to generate a Doombot then jumps to a 75% with the map bonus. For even more fun throw in fellow scientist TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher.  Beyond making Doombots, this Doom supports them with Enhancement and starts with a nice Running Shot/Energy Explosion Combo.

4. F4058R Super Skrull (50 points) – Super Skrull is making people take notice with his trait. It reads, “THE POWERS OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR: At the beginning of your turn, choose two. Super Skrull has the listed effects until your next turn. INVISIBLE WOMAN: Sidestep, Stealth, Barrier as FREE but only to generate one marker. THE THING: Charge, Impervious, Close Combat Expert. MR. FANTASTIC: Plasticity, Super Senses, Giant Reach: 4. HUMAN TORCH: Running Shot, Energy Explosion, range of 6.” Most of the time that means you will be picking Mr. Fantastic and the Thing to become a nearly unhittable brawler. Especially when combined with his starting Shape Change and Skrull TA. Combine 5 of him with a F4040 Skrull General and you’ll have your own 280 point secret invasion ready to go.

3. F4013B Black Leopard (50 points) – Black Leopard has a game breaking trait the likes of which we haven’t seen since NFAOS059B Nighthawk . It reads, “TO FIGHT FOR EQUALITY IN RUDYARDA: The maximum attack, defense, and damage values of opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire are each equal to Black Leopard’s printed value of that type.” Beyond that he’s got a long six click dial and (thankfully) lowish stats to go along with his starting Perplex and Leadership. He’s the first character your opponent will want to KO, which means your whole game plan should revolve around protecting him.

2. F4063 Valeria Von Doom (30 points) – She features leadership, Perplex, and very good defenses for her point cost. But it’s her trait that is making her see meta play (including on the winning ROC National team). It reads, “HUNTING ANOMALIES FROM OTHER WORLDS: FREE: Roll a d6 and place Valeria Von Doom up to that many squares away. // When an opposing character is placed within 4 squares and line of fire, after resolutions deal them 1 penetrating damage.” The first part of the trait combines well with her sidestep to let her move up to 8 squares as a free action. But it’s the second part of her trait that has everyone excited. It obviously affects opposing pieces like retaliators that are placed close to her. But it also affects things like the Telekinesis power and Knockback.  So equipping her with something like the WKMP19-S103 Spin (Mandarin Ring) lets her place any character in within a range of three into an adjacent square and do a penetrating damage to that character after actions resolve. That’s really good for a 30 point investment.

1. F4061R God Emperor Doom (100 points) – This is a character we’ve been begging for since the Battleworld set came out. At 100 points he’s got a short 4 click long dial and Battle Fury on two of his 4 clicks, but I love this guy. He features IMPROVED TARGETING: Hindering to go along with his running shot and superb 9 range. He also has a starting 12 attack and Probability Control because missing attacks is for mortals. He defense is nothing special with a 17 defense value and invulnerability, but when he does get hit he has 2 STOP clicks to protect him from being KOed. He should be able to rely on Doombots for defense or heal with steal energy and the new improved Minions of Doom TA if he does get hurt. He’s the leader of Battleworld and gets this unique trait, GOD OF BATTLEWORLD: When establishing themed teams, God Emperor Doom gains all Battleworld keywords. // Leadership, Perplex, Colossal Stamina. When God Emperor Doom uses Perplex to target another character with a Battleworld keyword, you may instead modify a combat value except damage by +2 or -2.” His last trait makes him one of the best figures in the game to deal with equipment. It reads,HMMM… AND DO YOU HAVE AN INFINITY GAUNTLET NOW?: FREE: Choose an opposing character within range and line of fire. That character can’t use the EFFECT of Equipment until your next turn.” It is especially important in the post ID card era.

 

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

 

 

The Once and Future Set (or a top ten set review of the Heroclix JLU set)

JLU

Some notes about the set:

  • Most of you won’t get to see this set until well after it’s release date due to COVID-19. So, hopefully my descriptions will do it justice. Also, this set is already in the units section of HCRealms.com.
  • This is the sequel to the Batman the Animated series set in both flavor and substance. Even the Chases continue the Super Friends line-up along with some of the villains getting in on the fun.
  • This set introduces team up cards and I am torn on their effectiveness. I  like the mechanic for the most part, but the execution was a bit off. Let me explain. Because the cards cost 0 points, the figures were assigned point costs that are about right if you are using a team up card, but the figures that have team up cards as possibilities seem over-costed if you aren’t using any cards. And you aren’t always going to have the team up cards you need or even any team up card choices at all. I opened a brick and only got 4 cards. So a lot of pieces like Superman 001 in this set I didn’t have any card options for, not even bad options. Superman 001’s dial costs 100 points, but on it’s own I’d guess it’s probably worth closer to about 80 points. What I think the designers should have done is assign point costs to the team up cards so that the characters in question are still reasonably costed even if you don’t have any team up card options. This isn’t true for all the figures that can use team up cards in the set, but it is for a lot of them.
  • Between this set and X-men animated late last year, it’s a good time to be a fan of animated super heroes. I was a huge fan of this show.
  • This set doesn’t have a lot of good attackers, but it has tons of great support characters.
  • This is the last set to come out before ID cards are retired from modern. Good Riddance!

And now on to the honorable mentions:

DS-BqBbX0AA5fIn

5. JLU045 Hawkgirl AND JLU045.03 Team Up: Batman (60 points) – Unlike what I talked about in the notes about the set, Hawkgirl does have team up options and is worth her point cost even without using a team up card. Charge, flurry, 12 attack, and 12 movement make for a great secondary attacker. Because her starting defense is combat reflexes, she is vulnerable to being attacked at range. That’s why I’ve picked the Batman card to use her with. The stealth and extra movement it brings are very good bonuses for her. She would do well with the Green Lantern Team up card, but I really don’t like any of the Green Lantern dials made since the soon to be retired Elseworlds set. She also has the option of using a powerful Episode team up card that grants the Mystics TA to her Superman, Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, Aquaman, Amazo, and Vixen. Unfortunately, most of those characters don’t have great dials.

martian-manhunter-jonn-jonnz-1059188-1280x0

4. JLU046E Martian Manhunter AND Episode Team Up JLU046.11 (50 points) – He has average attack and damage stats, but defensively he’s a powerhouse. He features Impervious, Super Senses, and Shape Change on his first click. However, his best feature is his powerful Episode Team Up card. It reads, “EPISODE TEAM UP: SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN, BATMAN, THE FLASH, GREEN LANTERN, HAWKGIRL: If 1+ listed friendly characters are on the map, Martian Manhunter and the listed characters take a maximum of 1 damage when on their starting click. If all listed characters are on the map, they and Martian Manhunter have [Teen Titans team ability].” Unlike Hawkgirl’s episode team up card, most of the characters listed on this team up have great dials and the ability to add essentially a stop click at the front of those dials is huge.

Superman Robot

3. JLU018E Superman (10 points) – Wizkids did something unique here and created a generic character dial inside of the dial of a named character. At 10 points this dial isn’t really Justice Lords Superman, it’s actually the dial for one of his many Superman Robots. I love the idea of a single figure that can represent both a unique person and a generic character based on what point level you use. I hope Wizkids does more of this in the future. 

As for the dial itself, it’s not ground breaking but for 10 points it’s very good. It’s single click features indomitable, Close Combat Expert, sidestep, toughness, the Justice Lords trait, and the Superman TA. I can see myself running several of these on competitive robot teams to carry figures like I.S.S.A.C. and danger room sinister, or just to fill points after ID Cards leave modern.

Solomon Grundy

2. JLU050 Solomon Grundy (75 points) – This is a great showing for Solomon Grundy that’s very reminiscent of the Hawkman/Hawkgirl figure from the BTAS set. It features a 10 click long dial that essentially has a stop click in the middle. His trait reads, “THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOLOMON GRUNDY: FREE: Turn Solomon Grundy’s dial to the same click # of a different color. // The first time Solomon Grundy would be KO’d, instead turn him to either click #1 and he can’t use this trait for the rest of the game. Protected: Pulse Wave.” Looking at his dial unless you need the extra movement from sidestep on the red dial, you’re just going to want to leave it on the blue side and then choose blue again when he resurrects. With his damage reducers, long dial, steal energy, and high attack value it’s hard to believe this guy is only 75 points.

ultra humanite

1. JLU062 Ultra-Humanite (25 points) – For 25 points you get a solid TK piece with sidestep and willpower. It also has my favorite trait of the set that reads, “INJUSTICE LEAGUE: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6. 6: Give an action token to an opposing character that’s 100 points or less.” So there is a 1 in 6 chance every turn that this 25 point piece can give an action token to an opposing figure anywhere on the map. What I’ve mentioned so far should already be enough to justify his point cost, but he also comes with a special mind control that reads “FAR EASIER TO USE MY SUPERIOR INTELLECT AND MENTAL POWERS: Mind Control, Sidestep. When Ultra-Humanite uses Mind Control, his range value becomes 8 and he has [Improved Targeting: Hindering, Elevated, Blocking, Characters].” He can target through any type of terrain. Walls, a mountain, and the jungles of Wakanda won’t stop his mind control. If he had any defense or other support figures in the injustice league to pair him with, he would have definitely made the top ten.

Here’s the Top Ten:

1813447-batman_beyond_season_three_20070327011704562_000

10. JLU035 Superman (175 points) – Potentially the toughest Superman the game has ever seen. Defensively he features 7 clicks that all have reducers, protection from outwit, limited self healing, and 3 stop clicks. But what really makes him so impressive is his long range and huge offensive stats located around those stop clicks. Click 4 has 12 attack and 5 damage. click 5 (his first stop click) has 13 attack and 4 damage. Click 6 has 12 attack and 4 damage.

He’s a one man army. He’ll have to be, because unfortunately at 175 points he takes up most of a 300 point build. Still this is a very powerful character with all the bells and whistles, so don’t underestimate him.

Superman

9. JLU105 Superman (125 points) – Now we get to what I believe is the best Justice League Primary attacker in the set (although he’s actually from the fast forces). The reasons why I like him better than the 175 point superman is that he has a lower cost, starting hypersonic, high attack his whole dial, and the ability to make a second attack if he hit with the first. He’s not as tough as the 175 point version, but he still has two stop clicks at the end of his dial. The large amount perplex available to Justice League team will come in really handy here because his second attack isn’t just limited to printed values, so you’ll get twice the bang for your buck when you increase his damage with perplex. Also, this character greatly benefits from WKMP19-S001 Exospex because he has no range and sidestep as his movement power on every click except his first.

Booster Gold

8. JLU053 Booster Gold (80 points) – This is the best Booster Gold ever made. His 10 Attack and 3 damage are underwhelming, but they are bolstered by his special damage power that reads “SKEETS, BOOSTER GOLD’S BIGGEST FAN: Perplex, Probability Control. When Booster Gold uses Perplex to target himself, he may instead modify a combat value other than damage +2.“He’s got running shot and invulnerability on his first click. He also has a trait that lets him protect himself  and his team from ranged attacks. It reads, “CROWD CONTROL: Barrier. Barrier as FREE, but only to generate 2 markers.” He makes a perfect secondary attacker on a Justice League team.

Amanda Waller

7. JLU040 Amanda Waller (35 points) – An Incredible support figure for Justice League teams with leadership, outwit, and perplex all at the same time. Defensively she has both Stealth and Mastermind. In addition, she brings an awesome trait to the table the reads, “BECAUSE THE WORLD NEEDS A BATMAN: During force construction, choose a friendly character of 125 points or less with the Batman Family keyword. That character has the Future keyword. // At the beginning of the game, choose a combat value. This game, that chosen character modifies that combat value +1.” But that trait is only as powerful as the best Batman Family figure you can use with her, which means the next character on this list must be…

batman

6. JLU005B Batman (40 points) – No figure has been getting more buzz than this one since being previewed. He has the ability to target everyone in range at the same time with his trait “SOMETHING WHEN GONE, YOU CAN NEVER REGAIN: FREE: For the rest of the game, Batman can’t use the Batman Ally team ability and whenever he occupies a clear square and is given a RANGE action to use Incapacitate, Mind Control, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast, he can use [Improved Targeting: Hindering, This character can make range attacks while adjacent to opposing characters. (May target adjacent or non-adjacent opposing characters.)] and may instead target all opposing characters within line of fire.” Combine his targeting with his 12 attack and his uses of incapacitate or mind control can easily hit a whole team at once. At the back half of his dial is psychic blast that has been in debate online about whether his damage is divided among all hit targets or not. Regardless of the outcome of that ruling, opponents are going to target him first on your team so you won’t get to use those last few clicks very often.

He’s very good if you want to center your team around using him effectively, but he’s not someone you throw on a team without a plan.

Ace GIF

5. JLU058 Ace (60 points) – An incredible support figure with tons of powers. On offense she got a special mind control that reads, “DRIVE YOU INSANE: Mind Control. When Ace uses it, after resolutions give a hit character an Insanity token. // When a character with an Insanity token attacks, modify their attack -2 and then remove one of their Insanity tokens. If they missed all targets with that attack, after resolutions deal them 1 unavoidable damage.” She’s only a 6 range, 10 attack, and no way to move and attack, but if she hits with that it will probably stop the next attack that character makes. But, the real reason to play her is her game breaking trait, “WARP PERCEPTIONS AND REALITY: Shape Change, ProbabilityControl. Other characters (friendly and opposing) can’t use Probability Control except for Themed Team Probability Control.” Of course your opponent could try to take her out, but her last trait will punish them for it. It reads “BATMAN MUST TALK HER OUT OF HER FINAL PSYCHIC BACKLASH: When Ace is KO’d by an opponent’s close attack, deal 1 unavoidable damage to that character. When Ace is KO’d by an opponent’s range attack, deal 1 unavoidable damage to each opposing character. Protected: Pulse Wave.” Her biggest downfall is a Lack of good keywords. Project Cadmus is probably her best team choice.

the atom

4. JLU059A The Atom (40 points) – With Perplex, Outwit, and the ability to make other characters tiny it’s easy to see why he makes a good support character. But he’s more than your average support character. Making other characters tiny is great to allow you to carry a figure that you wouldn’t normally able to carry. ABPI011 Ant-Man has a similar power and I learned to use to great effect when I won a WKO sealed tournament last year using Ant-Man. Atom can also use shrink an adjacent opposing figures to deny them the ability to use their equipment until you next turn, or make it easier for another character to break away from that character, or to open up a line of fire. He also has a special movement power that reads, “RIDING ALONG UNDETECTED: Leap/Climb, Stealth. When an adjacent character is given a MOVE or POWER action, after resolutions you may place The Atom adjacent to that character.” He can use this to tie up opponents and take advantage of of his 19 starting defense. He can also use this to be move along with friendly units that couldn’t carry him because they were using hyper sonic speed or carrying someone else. And because he isn’t actually being carried he can still take a non-free action after being moved. Someone would have to do something absolutely crazy to be a better Justice League Support character.

1493333-crimson_avenger

3. JLU031B Crimson Avenger (30 points) – So this is a Justice League support character that does something crazy. Just like ABPI069 Kobik he can give an action token to an opposing character as free action. So no having to roll dice, or worrying about defense powers, and he can do it after moving or being carried. Unlike Kobik he doesn’t need to be adjacent, he just needs to be within 5 squares of the character he’s giving the token to. His trait reads, “KNOCKOUT GAS:Smoke Cloud as FREE, but only to generate 4 markers. When Crimson Avenger uses it, after resolutions choose an opposing character occupying or adjacent to one of his Smoke Cloud markers and give that character an action token.He can also use his smoke cloud to hide friendly characters when he’s not in range of an opposing character. Aside from his trait he also has perplex, stealth, poison, and combat reflexes. This guy is low-key powerful and not many people have caught on to him yet.

amazo

2. JLU012 Amazo AND JLU012.05 Team Up: The Flash (125 points) – Amazo is the best primary attacker in this set and he has 5 different team up cards as options. The Flash team up is by far the best. It grants Hyper Sonic Speed and Super senses. He can also use his power adaption trait to get more powers. It states, “POWER ADAPTATION: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose a character within 4 squares and line of fire and up to 2 standard powers that character can use. If Amazo is 100 or 125 points, you may choose 3 standard powers instead. Amazo can use the chosen powers and has the printed range value of that character until he chooses again.” And all of these powers he acquires work with his defensive trait that reads, “INVINCIBLE ANDROID BODY: Amazo takes a maximum of 1 damage when attacked by a character that can use a power other than Willpower that Amazo can use. He can’t be healed, equipped, or chosen for Mastermind.” I should note that his team up card also has an additional disadvantage built in. You can’t have characters on your sideline except those for the Amazo Team Up Cards. (You need to declare what effect your Sideline game elements are for during game force construction.) So that means no ID or trouble alert characters. Obviously he’ll hit his stride after ID cards are retired in a few months.

When I first saw this guy I thought he’d make a perfect primary attacker for the danger room pieces from the last X-men set. Or, he’d at least head up a really nice team of robot pieces from various sets (Ultron, I.S.S.A.C, Cyclops Sentinel, etc…) He could also be part of a very good Cadmus Labs teams with JLU058 Ace, JLU040 Amanda Waller, and JLU051E Batman Beyond. But honestly, any team could use a piece that is a great attacker and only takes one damage from opposing attacks. So lots of opportunity for this guy.

JubilantPowerfulBlowfish-small

1. JLU069E Brainiac (10 or 0 points) – This set introduces a new form of sideline active characters with a new trait called “LET’S CAUSE TROUBLE!: SIDELINE ACTIVE – Friendly characters have “FREE: If this character critical hit this turn or made the third attack this turn to hit all opposing targets, place a character from your Sideline that can use a Let’s Cause Trouble! trait adjacent on its blue starting line.” // At the beginning of your turn, if Brainiac started the game due to the Let’s Cause Trouble! trait, roll a d6. 4-6: Return Brainiac to your Sideline.” Brainiac is clearly the best of those 4 characters, but they are all worth having. He starts with 11 attack, triple target incapacitate, outwit, and a special phasing power that works like running shot. He also has a trait that says “THE EARTH…IT’S DISAPPEARED!: Once per turn for all characters with this effect, roll a d6. 3-4: Give each opposing character within 4 squares of Brainiac that occupies elevated terrain an action token. 5-6: Deal each opposing character within 4 squares of Brainiac that occupies elevated terrain 1 penetrating damage.” So imagine you roll a critical hit on your turn and you put this guy out for free, you can then incapacitate up to three opposing figures, use his trait against elevated figures, and use outwit on someone’s defense power. That’s a really good deal for 0 points and and could be a huge change in momentum in a game.

Because this character lives on your sideline and doesn’t cost points or affect your theme team bonuses, there is absolutely no reason to not put him on every sideline of every team (not featuring Amazo) for the next two years until he’s retired. And that’s why he’s the best character in this set.

 

 

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

 

 

A Critical Missives Brick Opening: JLU

20200323_163059

Hi guys. Critical Missives got a brick of the new set and I’d like to share all of the pictures with you. Of the 10 packs I got 1 Prime, 1 Chase, 3 SRs, and 5 packs with just rares (although four of those packs contained Team up cards). I’m a big fan of this set and I’m happy with my pulls. So without further Ado…

Pack 1 (Prime Batman)

20200323_185435

Pack 2 (Stripe)

20200323_185851

Pack 3 (Amanda Waller)

20200323_190007

Pack 4 (Green Lantern Team up, Blight)

20200323_190101

Pack 5 (Lex Luthor Team up, Static Shock)

20200323_190209

Pack 6 (Gorilla Grood Chase)

20200323_190310

Pack 7 (The Atom)

20200323_190405

Pack 8 (Green Arrow Team Up, Amazo)

20200323_190440

Pack 9 (The Flash Team Up, Shade)

20200323_190518

Pack 10 (Ace)

20200323_190557

As usual, you can find all these dials in the forum section of hcrealms.com. Good luck with your bricks!

Oh Captain, my Captain (or a top 10 set review of Captain America and the Avengers

Cap Prerelease

Some notes about the set:

  • The Avengers and Shield keywords did well. The Masters of Evil were pretty good. The Thunderbolts were refugees from a previous set where the power level wasn’t quite as high. They would be decent 3 years ago, but not now.
  • The espionage trait is my shared favorite trait in a long time, and it is all over this set. It makes a lot of useful figures in the lower rarities.
  • Speaking of rarities, some of the SRs and Chases are the most powerful we’ve ever seen. Especially the Avengers and SHIELD pieces.
  • We got the best versions of some of the marvel mainstays (Thor, Hulk, Spider-man) that we’ve ever seen.

And now on to the honorable mentions:

5. CAAV062E Baron Zemo (45 points) – At 45 points he does everything you need him to do. He’s a stealthy outwit character, who grants your whole team the Avengers Initiative TA, and makes your whole team into one named keyword. If the core Thunderbolts were better,  he would be in the top 10.

4. CAAV018B The Captain (45 points) – The first character on this list with the living legend trait that reads, “LIVING LEGEND: The first time each game The Captain would be KO’d, instead turn him to his last non-KO click, then roll a d6 and heal him equal to half the result. Protected: Pulse Wave.” In the captain’s case that likely means that he will come back on his support clicks, but that’s still a really good deal. So for his 45 points you get 6 clicks, then the trait essentially acts as a stop click and gives you at least more click of life after that. Your opponent is going to spend at least 3 good attacks KOing this guy and he’s only 45 points! Beyond that the designers just decided that he deserved 11 attack on every click. All of them. I have never seen that before. At the beginning of the game he’ll also pick up the Marvel TA of your choice (like Avengers Initiative, Masters of Evil, Underworld), or become immune to probability control!

nick fury

3. CAAV007 Nick Fury (75 points) – This is a great showing for Nick Fury that I am sure will show up on a few winning builds before long. He’s the first character on this list with my favorite new trait “Espionage” that combines well with his starting outwit. It reads, “ESPIONAGE: Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, Improved Targeting: Hindering.” Beyond that, he’s able to make his own strike team of very capable SHIELD agents by hitting his leadership rolls. Should he come under fire, he also has one last trick up his sleeve. A special stop click that reads, “LIFE MODEL DECOY: STOP. Mastermind. When this click is first revealed, after resolutions roll a d6. Place Nick Fury up to that many squares away from his current square.

Agent_Carter13

2.  CAAV006 Sharon Carter (35 points)  – Bringing leadership, perplex, the shield TA, and possibly outwit to your team. She’s guarded from ranged attacks by both ESD and the Espionage trait. With a starting 10 attack, 5 range, and 2 damage she’s a capable 3rd string attacker from the safety of hindering terrain.

war machine

1. CAAV053A War Machine (100 points) – How is a guy that can attack twice in a turn most turns (“60% of the time, it works every time”) not be in the top 10? Well this is just an extremely powerful set and there is a guy a little further up the list that is almost the same as him, but slightly better. That being said, War Machine is no slouch. In another set he would be challenging for the top spot. He’s an Offensive powerhouse who can ignore hindering terrain for targeting. He also features running shot, psychic blast, and a self-perplex he can use to add to his starting 11 attack and 4 damage. In addition, he has a trait that reads “MINI-GUN TARGET LOCK: When War Machine hits, after resolutions you may give a hit character a Target Lock token, then remove all other Target Lock tokens. // FREE: Make a range attack using War Machine’s printed attack and damage values, but only to target the character with his Target Lock token.” His real weakness is defense. He does start with 18 defense and invincible, but his 6 clicks of life will seem rather short when he comes under fire from opposing forces.

Here’s the top 10:

10. CAAV049 Taskmaster (60 points) – At sixty points with stealth and perplex he makes a great support figure for Thunderbolts or SHIELD  teams. But labeling him a support figure would discount his starting 12 attack, blades claws fangs, and the ability to gain charge or flurry. He’ll hide as support figure until the opponent gets close enough for him to pounce and embarrass a higher cost figure in one-on-one combat. Sneaky good.

9. CAAV071 Ghost Rider (70 points) – for only 20 points more than ABPI017 Voyager you get a figure that can move your whole team AND kicks a huge amount of butt for his point cost. You’ll lose the starting outwit that voyager has, but gain in every other category. His biggest draw is his trait that reads “THE AVENGERS HAVE A SWEET NEW RIDE: Passenger: 3, but only to carry character who share a keyword regardless of [Wing symbol]. // Ram. When Ghost Rider uses it, he modifies speed +3 and does not take unavoidable damage from it.” He’s the first clix in the game to be able to use ram and not take damage from using it. So your opponent needs to constantly worry about how many characters they have across from this guy or they risk him attacking 2 or 3 at a time from up to 13 squares away.  Offensively, he starts with charge, exploit weakness, and 4 starting damage! On Defense he has a full dial of damage reducers and the rarely-seen-these-days mystics team ability.

8. CAAV052 Spider-Man (85 points) – PlayStation Spider-man comes in at number 8 with an impressive dial. Defensively he’s a stud with a Stealth Mode dial that would make even Batman jealous. It brings a special movement power that reads, “TAKING OUT FISK’S OPERATIONS ONE HIDEOUT AT A TIME: Sidestep, Stealth. // FREE: Place Spider-Man in a square of hindering terrain within 4 squares and line of fire.” Combine that with his toughness, shape change, and super senses that succeeds on a 4-6 (it’s also immune to outwit) and you have one of the hardest characters to damage we’ve ever seen. Which means he should make it to his target untouched. That’s where he switches to Fight (AKA instant-kill) mode. The main attraction of that mode is his higher attack values and his damage power that states “THE RIGHT GADGET FOR THE JOB: FREE: Choose one: Outwit, Perplex, Close Combat Expert, or Exploit Weakness. Spider-Man can use the chosen power until your next turn.” So Spidey has better gadgets now than Batman does. Wizkids will be hearing from Bruce’s Lawyer.

7. CAAV075E Peggy Carter (50 points, but more likely 0 points) – She has 4 clicks of life that are bolstered by the Living Legend trait . This is important because she may be KOed when she first comes into play and get use out of that trait right away. She also brings out a Becky Barnes bystander when she comes into play and Becky is a skilled close combat attacker with willpower and 18 defense bolstered by combat reflexes.

It was hard to pick which spot on my list this lady should get, because 99% of the time she’s played she will be coming into the game from your sideline for the low cost of zero points. I can 100% say she is worth the zero points you are paying for her. But she is only as good as the best Captain America or Steve Rogers you can play with her, which means the next character on this list has to be:

6. CAAV038 Steve Rogers (50 points) – From the moment this guy was previewed people online have been theory crafting teams based around his trait which reads, “WE’LL TAKE ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET, IF YOU’RE WORTHY: Leadership. During force construction, you may choose a standard character of 50 points or less. That character loses its printed keywords (for the entire game) and then gains either the Avengers -or- S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword (choose one).” Most of the Internet settled on Prime Vulture being the best new Avenger, but teams with Mr. Oz, Danger Room Magneto, and (if I get my way) Super Friends Hawk Girl are also possibilities. Besides his trait he’s also a capable support figure with perplex, leadership and the SHIELD team ability. Defensively he features combat reflexes and the Living Legend trait.

5. CAAV074E Ultron (100 Points) – The go-to figure for robot or Masters of Evil Teams. Yes, I am aware that Ultron has a higher cost dial with a 14 starting attack. This point level is where I envision him being played the most. He still has a great starting attack of 12, perplex to help his team, sidestep that works well with equipment like the power stone, psychic blast, his ENCEPHALO-RAY trait, and 2 of the 3 stop clicks that the 150 point dial has. But most importantly the 100 point dial gives him what he needs most – room from other characters on your team. 150 points is a lot to use on one figure in today’s 300 point meta.

4. CAAV070E Thor (75 points) – The best Thor we’ve ever seen and just like Ultron I like him best on his mid dial rather than his full dial. He’s the most efficient 75 point ranged secondary attacker I have ever seen. The number on reason is the extra powers his lightning marker gives him while attached. “CRACKLING WITH ELECTRICITY: When Thor has the Lightning marker attached, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Poison. // When Thor has the Lightning marker attacked, he has Mystics team ability, but only for close attacks.” Poison in particular is super useful against characters like Q or Kobik that have great defenses, but no reducers. Beyond that trait his starting dial has running shot, 11 attack, 4 damage, invincible, and probability control. As an added bonus, this Thor is also the first one I can remember having a stop click.

3. CAAV058 Immortal Hulk (100 points) – The reason why is most people are using him is that he is a nearly-immortal ID card launcher. So he can just walk up to the other team and starting summoning out cards like 100 point Colossal Iceman or 85 points Asgardian Storm and there is not much that the opposing team can do about it. They can’t kill him and if they try it will likely only make things worse. But on the other hand the longer the game goes on, the more powerful Hulk will become. Thanks to his trait which reads, “POWERED BY SADISTIC VENGEANCE: When a friendly character within line of fire is damaged by an opposing attack, put a Vengeance token on this card. FREE: Remove two Vengeance tokens to use Charge at no cost.” So late game after Hulk has built up 2 or more vengeance tokens you can just push Hulk yourself to transform him and you can still make a charge attack that same turn with his starting 12 attack value and 4 damage value. That’s his secret. He’s always angry.

captain marvel

2. CAAV054E Captain Marvel (95 points) – Despite her protests, her cat being a Flerken is the best part about this piece. Chewie the cat has a special movement power that reads “MAYBE IT IS A FLERKEN: : Flurry, Plasticity, Giant Reach: 2“. That goes along well with his blades/claws/fangs, super senses, and perplex. And the best part is that Captain Marvel can put out the Chewie bystander as a free action. Captain Marvel also has a special movement power that reads “HIGHER!: Hypersonic Speed. When Captain Marvel uses it, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to an opposing character she moved through. If that character is a vehicle, deal it 3 penetrating damage instead.” So in the same turn she can move through a person to damage them, make an attack with hypersonic speed, and then drop a Chewie bystander (who gets to use his Flurry and BCF). Beyond everything I mentioned, she has starting probability control and two stop clicks (the 2nd of which is very strong). This makes her a very well rounded character deserving of the 2nd spot on this list.

1. CAAV053B Punisher War Machine (90 points, but you should only play him at 95) – Like I mentioned earlier in War Machine’s entry this guy is very similar, but better. An offensive powerhouse the likes of which we have never seen before. He can attack twice two out of every 3 turns with his trait that reads, “THE WAR NEVER ENDS: Colossal Stamina. // If Punisher War Machine has two action tokens, he has FREE: Make an attack.” And if he wants to burn clicks of life by using colossal stamina, he can make two attacks every single turn (even if he started the turn with two action tokens). His special attack is not limited to his printed values, so increasing his damage with a power like perplex is twice as useful on him. He also has the ability to see through hindering to go along with his starting 12 attack and 4 damage value. On defense he has a trait that reads, “(+5) THE MAN INSIDE IS THE REAL MACHINE: During force construction, you may include a character named “Punisher” of 75 points or less on your Sideline. When Punisher War Machine would be KO’d, instead replace him with that Punisher on its last click then roll a d6 and heal that Punisher half the result. This game, that Punisher can’t be healed any other way. Protected: Pulse Wave.” So just when opponent thinks they are done with this nightmare there is a still a little more to go. Add it all up and this is definitely the best character in the set.

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