Team Ideas: Enemies of Asgard

The ROC World cup results are in and apparently Uni Mind Is a thing now. 20 of the top 32 teams featured him.

I had been working on the team for a while that might have a decent chance against the Uni-mind by throwing several low point (or no point) figures in his way to chump block (MTG term for tie up) and then rise from the grave to do it all over again. So here is the team:

  • TMT053A Hela – 150 points
  • SMWW055P Eclipso (on Hela) – 25 points
  • TMT002 Loki – 65 points
  • TMT002T God of Trickery – 10 points
  • TMTG001P Surtur – 25 points
  • TMTG007P Frost Giant – 20 points
  • NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 (Nick “balls of ” Fury) – 5 points
  • Total = 300 points

So this team is built around Hela’s trait, “RELEASE THE SOULS OF HEL: When a non-bystander character is KO’d, heal Hela 1 click and you may generate a Warrior Soul bystander normally (in an adjacent square) or in that character’s square.” These warrior souls aren’t pushovers either. With phasing, blades, and super senses they can be frightening in large numbers.

The goal is to make all of your pieces besides Hela irritating enough so that your opponent will need to kill them before killing Hela because the Loki figures and the retaliators will each grant you a warrior soul bystander token when they die. Even if the Loki figures are killed by their own effect or push to KO, you still get bystanders!

So hopefully play will go something like this:

  • Move a Loki illusion up to someone. Coerce them to attack you.
  • You either hit Shape Change and get a free Loki, or you don’t.
  • If the Loki Illusion dies make a warrior soul in that spot.
  • Then on your turn retaliate with frost giant and give someone an action token. When Frost Giant dies make a warrior soul in that spot.
  • If the opponent manages to kill the Loki Illusion, the Frost Giant, and then both warrior souls they will have earned a whopping 20 points and probably needed to use 4 actions to do it.
  • Repeat with second Loki Illusion and Surtur on the other side of the board.

Eventually you will start killing your opponents figures which generate more souls and make things worse for your opponent. While the rest of your forces keep the opponent busy. Hela can phase from place to place and pick off weakened characters with the extra damage she gets from eclipso. And when the time is right she can line up a Nick Fury or Surtur killshot on the opponents best figure.

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What Else could Hypefox get Wrong? (An Elseworlds Top 10 second opinion)

Here’s my quick and dirty Elseworlds Top Ten list: (note this was written after the release of the new rules)

10) EW024E Nekhrun, The Bat-God (100 points) – At 100 points he has relatively low stats and a short 5 click dial. You’ll need to keep him behind the rest of your team because your opponent will be aiming for him first. In certain games his trait that gives your entire team stealth won’t matter (like when he faces Superman Allies) . In other games his trait will make your whole team completely invisible. That’s why he is on this list.

9) EW002 Superman (90 points) – This the fifth Superman to feature shifting focus and by far the most well rounded. This version can move almost as far as the hypersonic version and is a lot less squishy. His quake gives you the option of knocking a crowd of opposing figures away from each other or just hitting one character for his full damage. He is also the only version with indomitable. When the original 4 Shifting focus Supermen came out they were winning constructed tournaments. I predict you are going to see this guy make at least a small splash in the meta.

8) EW005 The Flash (45 points) – While his 10 attack and three damage aren’t going to win him any popularity contests, he also brings 14 movement and 19 defense to start. That’s nearly unheard of in his price range. He’s a nightmare for opposing support pieces.

7) EW018 The Flash (60 points) – This guy brings basically the same package that the 45 point version brings, but the 15 extra point also buys you a “get out of one ranged attack free” monopoly card. He’s not Bizzaro Green Arrow, but Bizzaro Green Arrow can’t knock out opposing support figures while protecting you from ranged attacks.

6) EW040 Al Jhor Dan (90 points) – He’s Jakeem Thunder light. His downsides are that he’s got a smaller dial, lower stats, no prob, and the ability to only pick one power per turn. His upsides are that he has indomitable, a double perplex, and costs 50 points less than Jakeem. Jakeem is still better, but this guy is in the ballpark.

5) EW047 Batman (100 points) – For 100 points this guy has a really efficient dial. He has a attack value that doesn’t fall below 11, a 7 click long dial, and 5 of those clicks have outwit. People are complaining that this dial doesn’t represent the armored Batman that attacked Superman with a steamroller in each hand from the comics. If you ignore that and just look at the dial, you’ll have a lot of fun with him.

4) EW015 Superman (70 points) – This is a dial that is undercosted so they had to give it a negative trait. Thankfully in most cases I would gladly take a click of damage to KO an opposing figure. Even better his conscience won’t bother him a bit while piloting one of the games many vehicles. Call this guy “Grand Theft Auto Supes”.

3) EW017 Green Lantern – It’s hard to beat Running Shot and Pulse Wave on a 60 point character. Throw in TK, 18 defense, the upgraded JLA TA, and Indomitable and you’ve really got my attention. You can only make 8 attacks before losing all of your powers, but that just means you need to use him as a taxi and TK support until you are in Pulse Wave range. If you make even 4 Pulse wave attacks in a game you’ve more than covered his 60 point cost.

2) EW050 Superman (230 points) – It’s really hard to run a figure of 200+ points in a 300 point game. Or at least it was hard before The Mighty Thor set came out with several objects that can make this guy the angel of death. With Hypersonic Speed getting a major downgrade Superman’s full move charge makes him the new King of the Alpha Strike pieces. Use TMTS009 Mjolnir, TMTS015 Gungnir, TMTS008 Enchanted Ball and Chain, TMTS005 Enchanted Crowbar, TMTS010 Thunderstrike, TMTS001 Bloodaxe, or even TMTS002 Knobbed Mace. Play any three of those on your team and just equip the one that will help you the most each game. You’re Welcome.

1) EW049 Green Arrow (80 points) – As long as ID cards are legal this will be the figure from the Elseworlds set that will see the most tournament play. With 12 attack, RCE, Improved Targeting, his ability to ignore defenses, and his low 80 point cost there is no reason not to use this guy as a call in figure on just about every tournament team.

What IF Hypefox Got it Wrong? (A What IF Top 10 second opinion)

This is a quick and dirty rebuttal to Hypefox’s Top Ten:

My Top 10

10. WI039 Peter the Hunter 90 points – Pog madness! Try him him with Con LE earth X Cap and/or anyone with the green lantern TA. Also works well with JLA teleporter. He is the one guy I have seen that I would use with the alternate universe trait from the sideline due his “spectacular” (see what I did there) ability to heal.
9. WI024 Karolina Dean 75 points – Marvel’s Starfire. She made my list due to the general effectiveness of her dial and her awesome defense ability that stops 1 damage from ranged attacks. I am dying to combine her with the uncommon Doctor Strange from ADW that heals people after they are attacked.
8. WI047 Poison 90 points – The only chase I felt was good enough to be on this list. I love his penetrating poison damage combined with his plasticity. His Carnage Gwen token is a great end dial surprise.
7. WI043 Peace Machine 50 points – He is a very unique support piece that brings TK to soldier and Armor teams. His high defense, indomitable, outwit, and special force blast are all great. However, it’s his damage limiting trait that I think someone is going to really abuse.
6. WI042 Punisher of the Strange 100 points – At first glance he doesn’t seem like he is worth his points, but since Hypefox was really down on this guy I knew I had to try him. His relatively long dial and toughness combine well with his mystics TA. His running shot and psychic blast combine well with his ability to see through stealth. And one way or another he deals penetrating damage on every click.
5. WI015 Iron Man 40 points – I am salivating at the idea of building an armor themed team around this guy. 2 extra points of damage for adjacent ranged armor attackers is huge. Even 25 point Iron Heart becomes a 4 damage beast next this Akron Man! On his last click he becomes an attacker, but you might not have noticed that he keeps his 7 range the whole time. So if you had someone to enhance his damage (like another copy of him) then he can also be a secondary attacker.
4. WIG001P Ameridroid 15 points – Possibly the best retaliation attacker ever. Low attack, low defense. But, even if you miss, you can move the targeted piece 6 squares in any direction! There Is a lot that can be done with that.
3. WI037 Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace 50 points – For 50 points you get a secondary attacker with 5 stop clicks. Leave Getrude next to a character with support (like Tony Zucco) and Old Lace will live forever.
2. WI038R Cosmic Spider-Man 75 points – In the running for being the games best call in figure (with balls of Fury and a new *spoiler* Elseworlds Figure). He’s also great if you just play him as a 75 point taxi and secondary attacker.  Play a primary attacker to draw attention away from him and just watch him get surprise KOs left and right.
1. WI040R Goblin King 75 – For a month his 175 point version was the games best figure. Now post nerf he is relegated to just being the games best 75 point support figure. He can taxi your guys and support them with any two powers you might need (TK and perplex sound good)  If you don’t push him off his first click then he will also make a decent secondary attacker.

And The Results Are In…

As reported on Facebook by “Two Clicks from KO”, Howard Brock Is the 2017 world champion. I wanted to take a few minutes to go over the team he reportedly played.

Team Name: 2017 World Champ

Theme: None

  • WI040E Goblin King – 175 points
  • JW060V The Joker – 50 points
  • ADW071 Iron Heart – 25 points
  • WF043 Mercury – 25 points
  • SFSMS101 Symbiote – 6 points
  • 3 unknown ID cards – 15 points

Total296 Points

Team Synopsis: This team gets all of it’s offense from the Goblin King and throws in the best support figures to give him even more power. Additionally the creator of this team looks like he wanted to minimize points the other teams ability to get points by KOing support figures. Both the Joker and Iron Heart are not worth trying to KO for the amount of points you get. Mercury is pretty easy to KO, but after that if want to earn points you’ll have to try to KO the Goblin King.

Here’s a little about each piece:

Yup… I think they got the sculpt right!

JW060V The Joker – This piece was rated #1 in our Joker’s Wild Top 10 article. It was easy to tell then that this piece was bonkers for it’s point cost. Four major sets later and it’s still the toughest and best tie up piece in the modern age.

ADW071 Iron Heart – This piece was rated number #2 in our Avengers Defenders War Top  10 article. She’s not as tough as the Joker, but she will probably be the hardest 25 points you ever earn if you try to KO her. Besides being tough she is the cheapest Taxi in modern and offers outwit, or perplex, or prob on every click.

WF043 Mercury – This piece was my 5th Honorable Mention in my World’s Finest Top Ten article (and he didn’t even make it into Hypefox’s Top Ten article). He was the cheapest figure with TK that the game has ever seen and years later that is still true. Beyond that he doesn’t bring much to the table, but for his 25 point cost it’s really all you need.

WI040E Goblin King – If we had written a What If Top Ten article by now then this piece would be at (Spoiler Alert) #1. Of course that’s not much of a spoiler if you have even looked at this piece. Someone at Wizkids decided that Jakeem Thunder wasn’t strong enough and thought they should do better. For extra fun you can throw the Symbiote special object on him like the world champ did. I’m sure you’ll read a lot more about this guy soon.

That’s it for tonight. Congratulations to the new World Champion Easton Brock.

The Totally Awesome Set!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Avengers Defenders War!!)

AVD War.png

Well now! It’s been awhile, but I’m finally back, and my return to writing articles here on Critical Missives couldn’t have come at a better time!

Because Avengers Defenders War is here, and it’s so much more than “Marvel’s Joker’s Wild,” as some around here (HypeFox) have dubbed it, although there are some such comparisons to be made..

To wit:

(AKA, Some Notes About the Set:)

Porcupine

Yup. If you open Porcupine in a meaningful tournament, you are definitely “FIKKT.”

  • The Commons and Uncommons are both exciting  and good, but the Rares kinda suck. And by “kinda” I mean, like, they are really, truly, awfully garbage-y. There are MAYBE three Rares that might ever see play from me in this set. Opening a pack with ADW049 Porcupine or ADW043 Machete as your Rare is just a real downer. 
Gladiator

Pull me as your Rare in Sealed and you’ll have the same look on your face.

  • While I had some very good experiences using this set in Sealed, most people (HypeFox) were not as enthusiastic. I spoke to one person playing sealed at a Wizkids Open whose Rares were ADW042 Gladiator and ADW041 Foggy Nelson. In fact, Gladiator was his most expensive piece at 60 points. It’s hard to face off against pieces that are 150 points or more like ADW040 Count Nefaria when nothing you have to use is over 60 points. Those boosters might as well have come with a note telling you what time Battle Royals were going to start.

Ron Burgandy Wizkids

  • There were no Primes in this set. That meant a case might have 3 SR’s and a Chase in one brick, and just 3 SR’s in the other. So if you bought just a brick you weren’t guaranteed a Chase or a Prime.

Sir Not Appearing.png

  • Big pictures of Thor and Namor on the boxes, no trace of  them in set. I’m still waiting to pull one.

Shifting Focus key

  • And finally, on a personal level, I really love Shifting Focus and I hope they do more of it in sets to come.

Okay! Enough of that! Let’s get into some…

TOP FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Vision Phasing

5. ADW006 Vision —  50 Points — Common: I don’t remember ever seeing a dial with 5 clicks of Invincible and Impervious for 50 Points. It’s also unusual to see a 50 Point dial with Indomitable. Add to that an offense that lets him do 3 Damage through reducers and you’ve got yourself a great package.

His only weaknesses are a complete lack of range and no move and attack save for two top clicks of Sidestep. Thankfully, both of those weaknesses can be fixed with a free action when you shift to ADW024 Vision because, oh yeah, HE ALSO SHIFTS FOCUS IN CASE HE WASN’T ALREADY OVERPOWERED FOR HIS POINTS!

Hulk Gray

4. ADW021 Hulk —  75 Points — Uncommon: For 75 points you get 6 Clicks featuring Invincible and then Impervious. He has 4 Damage for his entire dial and Traited Super Strength to add to the damage even more (and add knockback under the new rules that are coming out). When he does get hurt, his combination of Flurry and Steal Energy will help minimize the pain.

He’s very undercosted for his points which is why Wizkids added a negative Trait to his card (LEAVE HULK ALONE!: At the beginning of your turn, if Hulk was targeted with an attack since your last turn, place an Anger token on his card. If Hulk wasn’t targeted with an attack since your last turn, remove an Anger token from his card. After placing or removing Anger tokens, if Hulk has 5 Anger tokens or more he is immediately KO’d.). Fortunately for Hulk enthusiasts, Wizkids was too conservative with the trait and I have a hard time imagining it ever mattering in a game. 

Wasp Costume Change.gif

3. ADW023 Wasp —  40 Points — Uncommon: I’ll bet a fair amount of you reading this article will think that that this an unusual choice. But I love this piece. She is one part Secondary Attacker and one part Support Figure. Offensively she is similar to ADW035 Dr. Strange, but instead of hiding behind your other characters she can remain in the open. Why? Because this 40 point character has a 21 defense against ranged attacks! Psychic Blast allows her to bypass damage reducers when she wants to get offensive or she can Costume Change to ADW023 Wasp and use her dual target Incapacitate. Her supporting Leadership power allows her to remove tokens from a much higher point character and her small size also allows almost anyone to carry her.

Batroc.jpg

2. ADW050 Batroc —  40 Points — Rare: Batroc usually doesn’t get much respect in the comics, but in the HeroClix world he’s the real deal. Even though his Attack and Defense values are average, he really stands out in three areas: His low point cost of 40; his Improved Movement that ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain and also Characters; and his Special Movement Power Zey Call Me… Ze Lee-Pair. It reads,Batroc can use Sidestep. When he has one action token, he may use Sidestep twice this turn and may be given a free action to make a close attack.” If he starts a turn with one action token, he can move up to 4 spaces (ignoring most terrain and moving through characters) and make a free action attack with Precision Strike. And after all that, he still clears tokens!

Klaw.jpg

1. ADW059 Klaw —  110 Points — Super Rare: Klaw is that rare balance of strong offense, defense, and movement. On offense he’s got a starting 4 Damage Value and the ability to pick any Attack Power once each turn. That can be Psychic Blast, Pulse Wave, or even Telekinesis if the situation warrants it. He also has a Movement Special Power that lets him ignore almost all terrain and Sidestep as many as 6 squares each turn.

That means he could Sidestep through a wall and then Pulse Wave someone on the other side. On defense he has Can’t Hurt What’s Made of Sound which states,Klaw can use Super Senses. If Klaw would take more than 2 damage, he takes 2 damage instead.” The only thing keeping him from going higher on this list are low(-ish) Attack Values and a lack of Willpower.

All of which brings us to…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN AVENGERS DEFENDERS WAR!!

Ghost Rider

10. ADW064 Ghost Rider —  75 Points — Super Rare: This is the best of the mounted figures that move through opposing forces in a straight line, but all three in this set are worth owning. He starts with his super movement power that lets you do 2 Penetrating Damage by attacking every opposing figure in a straight line.  On defense he starts with Invulnerability and Indomitable.

What sets him apart from the other mounted figures is that when he hits an opposing figure he can move them one space to either side of the path he traveled. Taking into account that he ignores most terrain this could make him very good against opposing Stealthy characters or really any piece that relies on adjacency (defense balls, Mastermind, etc.).

Nuke

9. ADW048 Nuke —  70 Points — Super Rare:  I love characters that can heal themselves and Nuke has that covered. At the start of his turn he can choose the Red Pill for +1 attack in close combat, the Blue Pill for Precision Strike, or the White Pill for a one click heal in lieu of attacking this turn.

He starts with Running Shot, Energy Explosion (which combos nicely with the Blue Pill and Precision Strike) and when he gets damaged he gains Charge plus Super Strength (which is when you’ll want to start popping Red Pills to grant him +1 attack). When it’s time to clear tokens a White Pill will heal some of the damage he’s taken. He’s not going to take down a 150 point (or more) figure single-handedly, but he offers a lot for just 70 points.

Totally Awesome Hulk

8. ADW052 (Totally Awesome) Hulk —  160 Points — Super Rare: I’ll say it again. I love characters that can heal themselves. Before you play him (or play against him) his healing isn’t obvious. He is one of those pieces that is better in practice than on paper.

His BATTLING MONSTERS! Trait (BATTLING MONSTERS!: When Hulk hits an opposing character with the Monster keyword or with a printed damage value of 4 or more, after actions resolve remove an action token from him.) doesn’t come in handy that often, but his BEST HULK EVER Trait is one of the best Traits I’ve ever seen. It reads, “Hulk can use Super Strength. When he KO’s an opposing character, heal him a number of clicks equal to the damage that would have been taken minus the actual damage taken.” When you combine the Traited Super Strength with his printed 4 damage on every click, he can dish out a lot of damage. That leads to high damage KOs which in turn power his healing.

I used him in Sealed to take first place during a Prerelease. In all three games he was knocked down to at least his second to last click, but ended each game near the top of his dial. While he can’t do everything himself, with the proper supporting figures he can soak up damage and KO his way to good health.

CountNefaria

7. ADW040 Count Nefaria —  200 Points — Rare: He has bad keywords (Lethal Legion, Maggia, Ruler), but a pretty decent dial for 200 points. He starts with Running Shot, Psychic Blast, Invincible to go along with his Stealth. His 7 Range and Stealth helps keep Outwit from targeting him on his first three clicks and Flight means that his movement won’t be hampered by hiding in Hindering Terrain.

The reason why he is so high on this list is his improved form of regeneration “IONIC RESERVES.” He has it sprinkled through out his dial. It says, “Count Nefaria can use Invulnerability and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration and has one action token, he doesn’t subtract 2 from the d6 roll.” With a lucky roll he could regenerate for 6 clicks of healing!

Chairdevil

6. ADW068 Daredevil (AKA Chair Devil)—  80 Points — Chase: For 80 Points you get the 6 clicks with the Mystics TA, Traited Stealth, Precision Strike, and Super Senses. He has better than average attack and Flurry in the middle of his dial to make that Precision Strike hurt.

That might be enough to justify his point cost right there, but his Trait “LEADER OF THE HAND” allows him to generate nearly unlimited tie up figures with Stealth and the Hydra TA. It reads, “Once per turn, give Daredevil a power action to place a #adw015 Hand Ninja from outside the game in a square of hindering terrain within range and line of fire. If a friendly character with The Hand keyword was KO’d since your last turn, this is a free action instead.

So at the beginning of the game you can make a few ADW015 Hand Ninja before the other force even gets close. Then for the rest of the game when ANY other member of the Hand on your team gets KOed you can make another ADW015 Hand Ninja as a free action on your turn.

Doc Strange SF

5. ADW035 Dr. Strange —  50 Points — Rare: This version of the Doctor is equal parts Finger Bang DXF017 Deadpool (Sidestep, Psy Blast) and DXF059B Wiz Kid (+1 to stats to adjacent characters)Add to that his Shifting Focus versions that Transport your team (ADW001 Dr. Strange) or Defend it (ADW019 Dr. Strange) and you’ve got a great figure and one of the most versatile pieces in the set!

Punisher Rocket Launcher.png

4. ADW030 Punisher-–  50 Points — Uncommon: Everyone who attended an ADW Prerelease knows about (Rocket Launcher) ADW009 Punisher. That guy dished out ranged group damage that far exceeds his 50 point value. Unfortunately, as easily as he can dish out the damage he can also easily take it in return. That means that most of the time you will need to use the much more subtle ADW030 Punisher.

This close combat version of the Punisher features an improved form of BCF, Combat Reflexes, Indomitable, Wildcard TA, and most importantly Stealth. This dial alone is worth the 50 points even if you never switch forms. So keep him in that form until it’s just the right time to strike and then “say hello to my little friend!” for fun and profit!

Iron Man ADW.jpg

3. ADW053 Iron Man —  165 Points — Super Rare: So the first thing everyone thinks of when they see a Primary Attacker character in Modern that allows them to pick a power is “how does that character compare to JW053B Jakeem Thunder?”

Here are Iron Man’s advantages:

  • Better Keywords
  • Slightly better combat values
  • Better powers before you start picking powers (including damage reducers)
  • He can gain new powers via a free action, not just at the start of turn

Here are Jakeem’s advantages:

  • 1 click longer dial
  • 25 points less cost
  • 1 square longer range
  • Can chose a Defense Power
  • Doesn’t lose existing powers when he gains new powers
  • Choosing powers is Traited and lasts the whole dial
  • Has a Team Ability

JW053B Jakeem Thunder is still a better piece, but there are some situations where Iron Man is better. Keeping in mind that Jakeem Thunder is the piece to beat right now in competitive play, coming close means that this Iron Man is a piece you should look to own.

RiRi Williams.jpg

2. ADW071 Iron Heart—  25 Points — Chase: She is one part ADW007 Black Panther (cheap Outwit), one part JW025 Hawkman (cheap Taxi),  and one part JW060V The Joker (she doesn’t die easy).

Her Sidestep, Flight, and 10 Movement make her a top tier Taxi and at 25 points there is no Taxi piece cheaper in Modern Age. She starts with Outwit, but she shuffles among all the best supporting powers (Outwit, Perplex and Probability Control) as she takes damage.

Her 18 defense is bolstered by the Trait ARMOR’S FALLING APART ON ME. It reads, “Iron Heart begins the game with 1 Broken Armor token. When she is dealt damage, instead roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. If the result is equal to or less than the number of Broken Armor tokens, she is KO’d. If not, turn her to that click number and give her another Broken Armor token. This can’t be ignored.” So the first time she takes damage she has an 17% chance of being KOed. After 2 hits it’s 33%. After 3 it’s 50%. On average she will be KOed after 3 hits, but it can take as many as 6 hits to KO her if you have lucky rolls. Also, it’s only the number of hits that count, not the amount of damage, not even if it’s Pulse Wave damage. It’s all the same to RiRi.

WF061 Superman with an Ultra Heavy Object will do 8 damage to any other character, but it still is just one broken token for Iron Heart. WF048 Zatara can sacrifice himself to do a 4 damage Pulse Wave attack. Iron Heart will just take one broken token in place of that damage. That’s insane for 25 points.

Dr. Strange Earth's Guardian.png

1. ADW051 Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian—  80 Points — Super Rare (Title Character): One of my main complaints about DXF060 Deadpool, Merc With A Mouth is that his keywords (Initiative and X-Factor) don’t leave a lot of options for team building. In fact they kinda suck. Well, Wizkids must have heard those complaints because Dr. Strange was made with the Avengers and Mystical keywords. If you can’t find good team building options with those keywords then I have nothing for you.

His dial alone is almost worth 80 points. 7 range with Sidestep, 11 Attack, Psychic Blast, 3 Damage, and Probability Control should do well on offense. Defensively, 18 Defense, the Mystics TA, and Energy Shield/Deflection are above average for his point cost. He also has 6 clicks of life and his values for attack and defense stay relatively the same throughout.

He has three Title Character Abilities. His first ability reads “Every Scrap Of Hidden Sorcery: Modify Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian’s or an adjacent friendly character’s damage value by +1 this turn.” That’s a great effect and I would use that often, but it’s his third title ability that really blows me away. It says, “Sorceror Supreme: For the rest of the game, as long as Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian is on the map you may reroll an attack roll each turn.” That’s huge. It’s in addition to any use of Probability Control your team might have, and it lets him join the ranks of the only two other characters in Modern who can affect your rolls anywhere on the board: SMWW060 Mr. Mxyzptlk and TMNT2029 Renet Tilley.

And that’s why Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian is the best character in this set.

The Joke Is On Us!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Joker’s Wild!!)(Or OR The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again (and this time, with feeling!), we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 5! If you missed The First Night of Clix-Mas, you can read what it’s all about right here! Night 2 was the nascent edition of a new holiday scenario we’ve been cooking up and can be found… here-ish! Night 3 took a brief look back at Horrorclix. Night 4 was the debut of a new feature called “Overlooked” which examined some pieces from World’s Finest that don’t see quite as much play as they seemingly should… . And Night 5 was Part 1 of a brief 3-part series that examines how Heroclix would look if there were a Core Set released every year or two… And Night 6 saw HypeFox Theory-craft his own Marvel Heroclix Core Set! Night 7 saw Ninwashui calling an audible and promising to throw his hat in the ring and finally write an article!]

im-not-going-to-kill-you-joker

Actually, I’m not going to do much of anything in this movie! A-ha. A-ha-ha-haaa. Yeah.

Hello again! I feel like it’s been too long since I published an article, so I think tonight is as good a night as any to pop by.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Wow. You only waited ’til Night 8 this year to actually contribute something? Welcome to the party, pal. I’ll just be over here, GENERATING THE FIRST SEVEN ARTICLES MYSELF!!]

Really? Oh, hey, great. Thank you. You really didn’t have to do that.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh no, I REALLY DID!!]

Ahem. Well… thank you?

Anyway, so as not to waste any more time, I am jumping in feet first with… a full Top Ten Set Review!! And speaking of jumping in feet first, let’s get right to it with some…

Some Notes About the Set:

  • Overall Power Level of the set ? More than any other set I can remember, the power level of this set seems to vary widely.  For 50 points you can get Rare JW047 Killer Croc or Rare JW033 The Joker, who just flat aren’t very good. However, for that same 50 points you can get Chase JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow who can essentially nullify ranged attacks against your entire team.
  • To reiterate: for 45 Points, you can field Chase and noted turd-ka-bob JW065 Aquaman and just let your opponent know right away that you really aren’t into competing this game. Or for 5 more points, you can play an essentially unkillable JW060 Joker. Hmmm… Should I play the figure who can “make water” for one whole turn, or should I play the piece that changes how my opponent wants to come after my team? So hard to choose…
  •  I feel like 5 or 6 pieces in this set weren’t made with the same point system as the rest of the set just to sell it. In fact, I don’t think JW060V The Joker was made with any regard to the point system at all.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You ain’t kidding!]

  • Comic Accuracy – Overall not great. This set gave us JW034 Harley Quinn, whose top dial 10 Movement Value with Hypersonic Speed matches FL001A The Flash. JW060V The Joker  can take more punishment than any Superman ever made. And JW041 The Specter only has a 4 click dial for 40 points.
  • Sub Themes:
    1. JSA – They may not reflect the power levels in of the characters in the comics well, but if you ignore that fact you have great filler pieces for a variety of teams. The “Past” keyword gets a huge bump this set to go along with a an already good list of characters like SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur (who was possibly my biggest Top Ten article miss ever.)
    2. Court of Owls – It seems on the surface that this might be a good team to run, but problems that aren’t obvious right away (like JW038 Talon not having the Underworld TA) make me wonder if this keyword will ever see tournament play. Their saving grace is that they all also share the Gotham City Keyword.
    3. Outsiders – The Outsiders TA has always been good, but in the past it’s seemed like most of the characters with it have had point values far too high for the value the character brought to the team. This set I could see most of the outsiders being worthy of tournament play. Any outsider not named JW054 Geo-Force or JW037B Looker (Prime) in this set is worth a look (See what I did there?).
    4. League of Assassins – The league had 4 pieces in this set. 3 of them are okay, but they probably won’t amount to much as a team because the new JW021 Ra’s Al-Ghul is pretty useless outside of sealed play.
    5. Suicide Squad – The Squad got 9 pieces in this set and they are the complete opposite of the Outsiders. Most of the pieces they got are terrible except for where those pieces also have keywords for other teams like JW044 Katana, and JW034 Harley Quinn.
    6. Gotham Underworld, Arkham Asylum, and Gotham City – The Batman villians have a similar keyword problem to the Justice League. There is the Justice League keyword and the Justice League of America Keyword. Usually figures don’t have both. They seem to give Batman villians Gotham City or Gotham City Underworld keywords at random. For example, Rare JW034 Harley Quinn has the Gotham City keyword and not Gotham City Underworld. The Common and Uncommon versions of JW002 Harley Quinn and JW018 Harley Quinn both have the Gotham City Underworld Keyword and not the Gotham City Keyword. Other characters have both. I’m also not sure why the Arkham Asylum Keyword exists. Those should all just be Gotham City Underworld. Taking all of that into account the Gotham City Underworld keyword did the best in this set, but with few fliers and a lack of the Underworld TA these villains still lack a reliable way to get battle other than walking there individually.

My Honorable Mentions:

talon

5. JW038 Talon 120 PointsRare: Talon would be much higher on this list except for three problems. At 120 points he lacks Willpower. 3 damage is low for a primary attacker (yes I am aware of his precision strike). And, finally, it’s hard to keep a good amount of JW005A Court of Owls Initiates with him unless you choose to ignore Theme.

He does have a lot of good points with this character (like Improved Movement, Traited Stealth, and conditional Mastermind) and with a lot of planning he may just work for you.

flash-jsa

4. JW036 The Flash35 pointsRare: He’s the cheapest Hypersonic Speed character in Modern and almost the cheapest of all time. He’s completely a one trick pony, but at 35 points he really doesn’t need anything else to be worth playing. Beyond his Hypersonic Speed, his 12 Move, 11 Attack, and 18 Defense are great for the points.

Al Pratt Atom.jpg

3. JW022 The Atom25 pointsUncommon: This guy is the cheapest character ever printed with Close Combat Expert and 3 or more top dial Damage. He’s tied with JLTW204R The Trench for being the cheapest character to ever start with 17 Defense and Combat Reflexes. He makes a super effective team with JW025 Hawkman. He’s even somewhat pushable because he doesn’t lose any powers or Attack Value from Click 1 to 2. It’s possible this guy could start showing up as filler on tons of tournament teams the same way that FFJLTW007 Atomica does.

Lady Shiva.png

2. JW043 Lady Shiva 50 points Rare: One of the first ever figures with the Batman Enemy TA and a starting 12 Attack. She’s also the cheapest figure ever to start with a 12 Attack. Her Attack Value along with precision strike and flurry mean that she can hurt pieces well above her point cost. On defense she is eligible for the League of Assassins ATA and her special defensive power could keep her in the fight against pieces that need a help to hit her 19 defense in close combat. It reads, “I AM THE ULTIMATE TEST: Lady Shiva can use Combat Reflexes. Adjacent opposing characters can’t have their combat values increased when making close attacks.”

mr-freeze

1. JW049 Mr. Freeze 90 pointsSuper Rare: He’s somewhat similar to UXM051 Iceman. The differences are that he’s less offense and more defense. Iceman had Running Shot, two targets, and a 7 Range.

Mr. Freeze has sidestep, 1 target, and 5 range. They both give an action token and a marker to people hit from range. Both have a consistently high damage value of 3 their entire dial and Mr. Freeze’s version of the ice wall token does an additional penetrating damage. The real difference is on defense.

His last two clicks have the power, BACK TO REFRIGERATION: Mr. Freeze can use Toughness. At the beginning of your turn, heal Mr. Freeze a number of clicks equal to 3 minus the number of adjacent opposing characters.” That means that at the beginning of your turn (assuming he isn’t next to someone) he will heal three clicks without even using an action. It’s like he has a Regeneration power that guarantees you roll a 5 and doesn’t cost you an action! Keep in mind that he has damage reducers every click, so the chance of you seeing those clicks is reasonably high and then the opponent will have to go through those damage reducers for a second time. (or a third, or a forth, or…)


The Top Ten:

Batman Outsiders.jpg

10. FFJW001 Batman 75 points – Fast Forces: His Trait “STUDENT OF ALL MARTIAL ARTS” means that lowest Attack Value will be a 10 and his first two starting clicks will be at least a 12. (he gets +1 per adjacent character and he has zero range so if you are attacking you are adjacent to at least one enemy) His Traited Toughness, 18 starting Defense, full dial Combat Reflexes, and 7 click dial make him very hardy for a 75 point figure. On offense his “HIT YOU WITH MY HANDS AND FEET” is just ripe for abuse. It lets him attack all adjacent characters at once and unlike other similar powers, each hit is dealt normal damage not just printed damage. That means Perplex and Empower can help deal additional damage. Imagine you have 2 uses of Perplex for his Damage Value and b\Batman is next to 3 people. If he hits with his boosted 14 attack value, each target would be dealt 5 damage.

killing-joke-joker

9. JW059 The Joker140 points Super Rare: For some reason they decided that any Super Rare or Chase version of the Joker would be really hard to KO. This version is hard to even damage. He has Mastermind that you can’t bypass with Precision Strike thanks to his MAD AS A HATTER trait. You could Outwit it if he’s not in Stealth, but you can’t Outwit his best power because it’s a Trait and it’s not even on his card. The 10 point JW003A The Joker Thug printed in the same set has a trait that states, “THE JOKER IS THE KING OF GOTHAM: When building your force, The Joker Thug does not count against a themed team if your force has a character named The Joker on it. If an adjacent friendly character named The Joker is hit with an attack, The Joker Thug may become the hit target of that attack instead, even if it would be illegal.” Because of the keyword exception there is no good reason not to run a least few Joker Thugs with this Joker on every team. When they stand next to him, pulse wave is the only power in the game that will do damage to him. And even Pulse Wave will still stop at the Joker’s last click – which is a stop click with even more Mastermind.

On offense the Joker has Traited Poison that deals Penetrating Damage to lower point characters. Then on odd clicks he has Blades/Claws/Fangs and his Special THE KILLING JOKE!: The Joker can use Ranged Combat Expert and Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters. When The Joker hits with an attack, hit characters are each given up to 2 action tokens.” On his even numbered clicks he has the less exciting Precision Strike and Outwit, but that’s still a deadly powerset.

What keeps Joker from being higher on this list? Two things. The first is that he’s only able to KO people he can reach. By that I mean he has no move and attack ability, and as no improved movement. That means on offense you will often need to walk the Joker up to an opposing figure and  wait until the following turn to attack. In the meantime you have to hope that figure hasn’t moved out of your range or you might not be able to attack anyone the next turn either. A taxi or a figure with Telekenesis helps greatly with this. The second thing is that in order to remain untouchable, you will need to have several Joker Thugs at your side. The Joker has a 10 Movement, but the thugs only have a 6. The ideal situation would be to have the Joker carry two thugs by himself via the underworld TA. The problem is that he doesn’t have the underworld TA. The best ideas I could think of without breaking up your theme team are to either play WF059R Lex Luthor & Joker or play JLTW002 Catwoman. Neither seem like ideal options.

penguin-jw

8. JW050 The Penguin — 40 points — Super Rare: For 40 points you are getting a slowly building robot army that provides the opponent no points when killed, have no limitations on how many can be in play at once, and don’t even count against your actions unless they are attacking. Depending on what you are playing against, I would likely suggest leaving penguin in your starting area and making a JW050BTC Robo-Penguin (the ranged attacker) every other turn. He’s the new version of one of my favorite pieces AAOU007 Ultron Sentry, and he’s even easier to use. Penguin only has 4 clicks and really only Stealth to protect him, but you’ll have 260 points worth of your team left to do that job!

katana-jw

7. JW044 Katana75 pointsRare: Katana in this set is just an all around strong figure. She has Stealth and the ability to move through Hindering Terrain,. she gets stronger the first three times she KOs a character each game (which great against opposing figures that make tokens), and she has the Outsiders TA while still having a reasonable point cost. On offense her Charge and Exploit Weakness with 3 damage means that she can heavily damage almost any character. Adding the slash token to whomever she hits will make an opponent think twice about hitting her back the following turn. A real steal for the points.

Alan Scott.jpg

6. JW052 Green Lantern35 pointsSuper Rare: At only 35 points Green Lantern is a great taxi with 10 Movement, Flight, and Willpower. But unlike a lot of low cost Taxis, when he is not using his actions to move other characters, he can help turn the tide of battle.

His Trait GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT gives him 1 Barrier token he can place each turn as a free action. He can also use Barrier normally and then again that turn a free action to place a total of 5 blocking terrain tokens. Especially on an indoor map, that could keep the opposing team from making any attacks against you on the following turn.

What I’ve just mentioned is plenty of value for 35 points.

However, he’s got two other tricks up his sleeve. First, he can make a wall instead of one of his Barrier tokens. What good does that do? Well if you place a wall between two characters, they are no longer adjacent. You can use that wall that to prevent Poison damage, block line of fire to help friendly pulse wave be move effective, prevent an opposing character from using Mastermind, prevent an opposing character from being carried, or allow a friendly character to automatically break away. His second trick is that opposing characters adjacent to any of his Light Wall or Barrier markers can’t use Stealth and modify their defense values by -1. So he can place a free action barrier token next to a stealthy character and now not only can your entire force target that character with Ranged attacks, but that (formerly stealthy) character will be at minus 1 defense the entire time!

Bizarro Joker.jpg

5. JW063 Bizarro Joker — 45 points — Chase: Bizarro Joker only has one purpose. He’s arguably the best tie up figure – ever. He has Traited Plasticity, a full dial of damage reducers, and two Stop Clicks. The trick is getting him next to at least two opposing figures before he takes too much damage from ranged attacks. If you can get him next to at least two opposing figures, then his Special Power “BIZARRO POISONwill heal him for at least two a turn. That healing, combined with his STOP clicks means that even if he is on his last click he will heal past his STOP clicks and as long as he isn’t damaged three times in a row, he can’t be KOed. Then your opponent will just be stuck. They can’t break away (Plasticity), kill Bizarro Joker (Stop Clicks and healing), or attack anyone else (because they are adjacent to Bizarro Joker). This 45 point figure may completely neutralize half of the opposing team. His only real vulnerabilities are that his healing can be Outwitted, or that he can taken out by ranged attacks (probably at least 4) before getting adjacent to enough characters. But that is totally understandable. I mean it’s not like they could make a Joker that is completely unkillable and still be in the in the 50 point range. Right? RIGHT?

Anarky JW.png

4. JW003B Anarky75 points — Common Prime: Anarky’s dial is pretty unremarkable, but if you are looking for a way to keep opposing figures from coming to your side of the board you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to do it then with this figure. If you need time to build Robo Penguins, turn a Supreme Intelligence dial or deploy Pandora’s Box Sins – this is your guy. Bomb markers give you the option of blowing up if an opposing character is within 3 of the marker and they have a 50% chance of doing 3 Penetrating damage to everything within 3 of the marker. At the start of the game you get 6 bomb markers to place anywhere except within 4 of a starting area or another bomb marker.

That’s pretty strong by itself, but you can maximize their efficiency in two ways. First there no limit to how many bombs can be set off at the start off your turn. If an opposing figure is in range of two or more bombs you can set off all of them at once for maximum damage. The second way to maximize efficiency is to recognize that while the bombs you start with can’t be placed near other bombs, there is no such restriction on bombs brought into play via Anarky’s special attack power “LEAVING THEM A LITTLE SURPRISE: Give Anarky a power action. Place adjacent a Bomb special marker as described on this card.” You can use that power to place bombs adjacent to other bombs which should prevent an opponent from going anywhere near that area for the rest of the game.

Jakeem Thunder JW.png

3. JW053B Jakeem Thunder 140 points SR Prime: The newest figure made that allows you to pick your powers every turn. Jakeem Thunder is no Zombie GOTG062 Super Skrull, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be highly effective. With only a few restrictions, Jakeem can pick any two powers each turn to add them to his own. He can still pick a lot powerful combinations. For example, Running Shot/Pulsewave, Ranged Combat Expert/Sidestep, Plasticity/Poison, Combat Reflexes/Stealth, Hypersonic Speed/Super Strength, Perplex/Telekinesis, or Flurry/Blades/Claws/Fangs. On turns where you aren’t taking any action with him, you can choose Shape Change or Stealth and any defense power. You can even have Regeneration at any point on your dial, or choose support to heal others.

Where he really gets nuts is where he’s helped by Possession or Resources. The Wrath Sin from Pandora’s Box will make it so he doesn’t need to worry about his lack of Willpower and he’ll have Combat Reflexes to go along with the Energy Shield/Deflection already on his dial. Or you could add an entity like Eclipso so you can choose a defensive ability from Eclipso and let Jakeem choose 2 offensive abilities with his trait. Even better, you can do both!

bizarro_green_arrow_01

Me am mascot for Target!!”

2. JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow50 PointsChase: Me am making entire team vulnerable to range attacks. Me no offer unprecedented protection like has been seen many times before in HeroClix. Me am not most expensive figure in set and not for good reason. Me will not let team essentially ignore the first four (or more) range attacks made against them. Me will not define the meta and will not be a piece that you need to plan around when making a tournament team. Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and Green Arrow love seeing me on opposite team. They know that they will have an easy time dealing with me.

the-killing-joke-joker

Why is he dripping wet in this picture?

1. JW060V The Joker50 PointsSuper Rare: So they went ahead and made a Joker that is completely unkillable in the 50 point range. I mean yeah he does take damage if you attack him, but he has 30 clicks of life.  Oh and he doesn’t take pushing damage. Oh and he has traited Super Senses. Oh and he may randomly heal up to three clicks at the start of your turn without using an action. So an opponent may KO the Joker if he devotes all his actions to it over 8-10 turns, but what is the other 250 points of your team doing during that time? There is two reasons why I’m saying that the joker is unkillable during a standard time length game. The first is that with everything I just mentioned, your opponent will likely run out of time. Especially if you are weakening his team with attacks during that time. The second reason that Joker is unkillable is that by now everyone knows about him. And If your opponent knows about this figure, they won’t even bother trying to attack him.

But what about offense? This 50 point character would a take a long time to KO anyone. Well that’s actually true, but you have 250 points left to play some offense. This isn’t the best offensive figure ever, it’s arguably the best tie up figure ever. Place him next to your opponents best attacker and just sit him there. If your opponent attacks him, you win. If your opponent tries to break away and fails, you win. If your opponent breaks away for a turn, then just move right back next to him the following turn, and eventually you’ll win.

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, there you have it! Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments below! And don’t go too far–Night 9 drops tomorrow!]

I’m The Best There Is at What I Do… And What I Do Is Lose to the Best!! (Or, Local Tourney Report: ROC Super Qualifier – Eternal Games in Warren, Michigan 10/01/2016)

ROC

While I still play every week or so, in general my family duties don’t allow me to attend some of the bigger HeroClix events. However, on the night before the ROC SQ in Warren, Michigan, I was able to rearrange my schedule to where I had a mostly free day on Saturday.  My only real problem was that I needed to make an ultra-competitive team for a big field of Meta players and I had only a few hours to dream something up.

Still, I had a few ideas floating around in my head:

  • A Pro-Registration team with CWSOP102 Iron Man, CWSOP008 Wasp, and CWSOP020 Jack O’Lantern. I figured if I threw Jocasta and Eclipso on the first two they would be nearly unkillable and Jester was just there to gum up the works. Add in a full Pandora’s Box and that’s 300. [EDITOR’S NOTE: How is “Nearly Unkillable” NOT the title of a straight-to-video Steven Seagal and/or Jean-Claude Van Damme movie? It’s not. I checked. But it definitely SHOULD be!]
  • A Wild Card Team with SFSM049 Spider-Man, AOU007 Yellowjacket, SMWW055P Eclipso, FFJLTW007 Atomica, WF062R Batman and a full Pandora’s Box to make 300. Yellowjacket at full size is a surprisingly capable Taxi. Each attacker had Perplex and Batman could suck up a CSA Team Ability action token each turn with no ill effects.
  • A Soldier team with SMWW065R Superman, CWSOP101 Captain America, UXM057P Proteus, NFAOS062 Captain America’s Motorcycle, SMWWG006P War Wheel (or the Atom), and a full Pandora’s box to make 300.  Sadly I didn’t have a War Wheel or Atom that I could get my hands on in time…
  • The Sinister Syndicate Team I detailed in my Top 10 Article for The Superior Foes of Spider-man. Nearly that exact team took second in an ROC Qualifier down south a few weeks ago.

While I felt those were all at least viable builds (“viable” meaning I’d at least have a chance against most matchups I’d see), I ended up going a different way. So who did I play?

In a way I was forced into the final roster I chose because the only Colossal Retaliation Figure I owned was Titano and I felt Colossal Retaliation would be big on the competitive scene (as it turned out, I was right–Colossals literally LITTERED the field). Since I wanted to play Theme, I was slightly limited by Titano’s keywords. Probably a backwards way into army building, but that’s where I was.

I wanted something that would be really fun for me to play, too. Well, my favorite two HeroClix mechanics are token generation and Stop Clicks. I also wanted multiple attackers and in my opinion Klarion is far and away the best figure in the 60-90 point range I was looking at for the Animal theme. I’d argue he might be the best 70 point figure ever. Still, I needed a Primary figure with the Animal keyword to anchor the Klarions and Titano around.

Arriving at the SQ:

I saw a lot of interesting teams when I showed up. A guy from my venue had a combo team with Black Swan (which seemed like a good idea, but I heard did not go that well). Another guy used some borrowed pieces to play a team centered around CWSOP101 Captain America and CWSOP102 Iron Man (he mentioned later that he didn’t suffer many KOs in his games, but the games were slow and low scoring.) Looking around the room I saw a team made almost entirely of Ultron Drones along with 3 SMWWG003P Brimstone, and a SMWWG004P Solaris. The Colossals were lined up like missiles (just like I talked about doing way back in my Superman Wonder Woman Top 10 article). In general Colossals were on most teams, there weren’t as many KC figures as I would have thought, and one particular figure showed up on a lot of teams… including mine!

devildinosaur

It turns out SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur was on a lot of the top teams. Part of that could have been the fact that the entire world championship team that designed him showed up and was playing him, but in general he was on a lot of different teams. As the day went on I could also see that he was on a lot of teams that WON, including the eventual overall winner. I barely remember seeing Devil Dinosaur in the standings of the last ROC.

So, my final roster was:

Team Name: Pokémon Trainers (Animal Theme)

WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy

WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy

SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur

SMWWG005P Titano

JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Full)

Total = 300 Points

And off I went!

rules-lawyering

Round 1 VS. A new player from Flint, MI (name unknown):

I remember talking to this guy after we finished our match and he was a real nice guy. He’d only started playing about 6 months previous to our match. Unfortunately, things didn’t go his way. His team was good and his tactics weren’t bad, but this was a bad matchup for him. That combined with good dice for me and bad dice for him meant that I took the win. I score 300 points for the round.

This was actually my first big HeroClix tournament in forever. Before this I had only done local shop play and Battle Royals. In the back of my mind I was worried that all I would face would be “rules lawyers” all day. So this was good friendly opening match to get rid of any nervousness.

aquaman

Or just unite two of me!

Round 2 VS. A Younger Player from Toronto, CA (name unknown)

This round I faced a team with BVS006 Aquaman, FFBVS004R Aquaman, three 30 point Ultron Drones, and a Round Table. In my wildest imagination I never believed I would face an Aquaman today, much less 2. The Drones and Round Table were more of what I expected.

If I had won Map Roll (I had +4 to my roll versus his nothing), this would have been a much easier game. Of course I lost. So now I am fighting 2 Aquamen on a map of entirely water terrain that gives swimmers improved movement and +2 speed.

His force came at me in two waves. The Aquamen came at me first while the Drones slowly advanced. To start off he did a couple of hit and runs with Hypersonic Speed versus the Klarions and Devil  Dinosuar. He made it hard to strike back by using free action Barrier with the other Aquaman to block himself into a corner. He couldn’t attack Titano because of Titano’s Plasticity. It took me a few turns to remember that Devil could see right over the barrier since he was a giant and we were on an outdoor map. So I popped out both Teekl’s and used their Perplex to pump up Devil’s Damage Value to 5 and had him attack the Hypersonic Aquaman directly.

It was near that time that the Ultron Drones got in range and popped out a Nick Fury. Nick took away Devil’s defensive ability and hit him for 4 damage. I forgot about Devil’s second type of stop click on click 4 and clicked him to click 5 instead. Then both Aquamen followed up and KOed him.

I responded by dropping an angry Titano on the Ultron Drones the next turn. That didn’t go as well as I had hoped. After his first attack dealt 1 damage to each drone, Titano was KOed by future Ultron’s power, “SPIKES AND CRACKLING ENERGY: Ultron can use Poison and deals penetrating damage while using it. If Ultron possesses this power after taking damage from an attack, deal the attacker 1 unavoidable damage.

Thankfully even after Devil Dinosaur was KOed, the Klarions (and one Teekl) empowered by the Box were able to mop up the entire opposing team. In fact, I don’t believe they took any damage after that point. I score 300 points for the round.

Zatara 2

Round 3 VS. Tom Kerr from the Meta Lab

Tom was the eventual first place finisher and he played like it. He was very methodical, but also still very friendly. I lost, but didn’t feel bad about it.

His team was SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur, FFUXM002 Jean Grey, WF048 Zatara (played forward), War Wheel, and a Full round table. Of course I lose map roll. So he takes us to a map with the smallest amount of hindering terrain I have ever seen on a map. Almost none for my Klarions to hide in.

Turn one he has Devil call in Nightwing who brings out Tony Zucco and this advances the Round Table. Then he uses the Wheel to carry his Devil up. I respond by equipping a Klarion with Wrath and then passing. I was thinking that he was going to have to come to me. I was wrong.

On turn two he uses Jean to TK out Zatara. Zatara calls in Green Arrow and uses his Perplex to up green arrows attack to 14. Tony Zucco ups his Damage by one. Green Arrow uses running shot and easily KOs Titano, hurts Devil, and a Klarion. Then Jean Grey simply teleports Zatara back to the starting area. It’s then that I realize the situation I am in. He doesn’t have to come to me. He can hurt me while most of his characters are in his starting area; I have to take my team and go to him or I will lose the game without making an attack.

I move my Klarions up at full speed and my Devil Dinosaur moves up slowly. His Devil Dinosaur is now in the middle of the map and it makes tokens that together with the figure make an incredibly effective roadblock. As I kill his tokens that just advances his table a click or two each KO. He doesn’t really need need them to do damage. They just need to get in the way.

Two turns after the Green Arrow attack Hawkeye shows up and takes out my healthiest Klarion with the exact same starting area TK trick. Somehow I get all the way to his starting area and can attack, but he is already well into power 2 on the Round Table. It states, “I CAN’T GET THERE, BUT I CAN ADVISE: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an ID Card attached to this resource that you didn’t choose last time. Until your next turn, friendly characters can use the Inspiration of that ID Card.” That combined with the inspirations on the Superman and Wonder Man cards means all of his characters can use Invincible their entire dial every single turn. So even if I had hit Jean Grey I couldn’t have done much. Not that it mattered because my dice revolted on me at that point. My opponent suggested that I throw them out after the game. I should have listened.

My Klarions and Teekls die before Devil Dinosaur can effectively threaten the other team. So it’s just him versus the entire other team. I have some fun taking on his Devil Dinosaur token army versus my token army, but after a couple of turns of that his round table clicks to the end and he spits out a full point Martian Manhunter. I end up only KOing the War Wheel, some Devil tokens, and Tony Zucco (after missing him once). I score 45 points for the round.

arcade

Round 4 VS. Local Player Adam

Adam is well known in the SE Michigan area and I have seen him at every major event I ever attended. He even helped judge the Battle Royals at the Gen Con I attended. He’s very friendly. The winner of our match would make the top 16. The loser might not.

He was playing SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur, a 30 point Ultron drone, UXM018 Vanisher, SMWWG004P Solaris, AVAS044 Arcade, and the Round Table (featuring Nick Fury, Green Arrow, and Spider-Man).

He had an interesting trick built into his team that quite frankly I would like to copy in the future. We did the map roll and he lost. Arcade is pretty bad when he is not on his own map so Adam used a Round table power I have never seen used before, “I’M BETTER SUITED FOR THESE FOES: After revealing your force but before placing characters in your starting area, you may replace a friendly character on your force with an ID Character of equal or less points from your sideline. That character is no longer an ID Character and its ID Card is removed from this resource.” Suddenly that nearly useless arcade was a CWSOP108 Spider-Man.

The Map I picked had lots of walls and made moving up difficult. I stayed near my starting area and kept putting on Sin Relics. I was able to equip 4 before the battle started in earnest. He used Vanisher to take Spider-Man and 3 Devil tokens and they all based my Titano. My devil was close enough to spawn Homocide Crabs, but I was not careful with how close I placed one to Titano and my attack KOed him while it did 1 damage to to the 5 opposing characters. That was my first placement mistake this game.

I had taken out the tokens and a teekl took out vanisher without an issue. When his Solaris retaliated a low roll meant I only lost one crab Token. Unfortunately at that point my rolls turned on me again and they would stay awful for the rest of the game. I spent two turns with my whole force just missing Spider-man. By then his devil was close enough to Call in Green Arrow and that was the turning point. Green Arrow did 1 to my devil and 3 to each of the Klarion hiding in stealth right next to him. That was my second placement error this game.

A turn later his Devil summoned some Rockabilly Modoks and hit my Devil past his bystander summoning clicks. Fearing a Nick Fury Call in next turn I charged in with my Devil and took out his Ultron Drone. That’s where I made my third placement mistake. I could have based all three Modoks and denied him Psychic Blast, but I missed it. On his turn his Devil attacked me and knocked my Devil past Invulnerability and his unbased Modok put my Devil on his last click. I had Regeneration and a use of Probability Control from Teekl. I rolled two 1s in a row and the next turn my Devil was KOed.

After that his Table reached power three and Nick Fury came out and KOed a Klarion. We battled back and forth and as time was called I just had a Teekl left and he had a heavily injured Devil Dinosaur. I scored 190 points just missing out on Devil and two cards.

Conclusion:

At the end of 4 rounds I had scored 835. They posted everyone’s scores and cut the tournament down to just the top 16 at this point. I was ranked as #17. The 16th ranked player had 845 points. I lost by 10 points.

After that I dropped and played Jay Solomon (Meta Lab, Married with Clix, 2 Clicks from KO) and George Massau in the first battle royal of the day. The bad rolls continued and I finished fourth. The good news? HypeFox showed up right after my Battle Royal, won the Battle Royal he joined (by pulling, of all things, a Devil Dinosaur)… and actually ended up with worse prizes winning his heat than I did by losing mine.

superheroes-laughing

Takeaways:

  1. My biggest mistake was made in building my team. As the 3rd and 4th rounds proved the Round Table is far superior with Devil Dinosaur and I think just superior in general.
  2. At any major tournament anyone plays in the near future I will need to have a plan for Devil Dinosaur. Calling in Green Arrow and Nick Fury worked the best today.
  3. I am totally going to use that Arcade trick soon (Thanks Adam!).

A Superior Review of the Top Ten Figures in the Superior Foes of Spider-Man!!

Hey everyone! It’s me, Ninwashui! I’m back!

Where have I been? Well, my family life (a.k.a. my kids) occupies a large chunk of my time now, but this set was simply so hot that I just… haaaaad to neglect them all for a few hours and put together my Top Ten list!

With Great Power

That’s me, Mr. Responsibility!

And look, just to be clear, I would never ACTUALLY neglect my family… unless there was a great set that had just come out. I mean, you didn’t see me wasting any father daughter time on Uncanny X-Men, did you?

(Oh, you still want an Uncanny X-Men Second Opinion? Here is what my Top Ten would have been: Iceman, Iceman, Iceman, Proteus, Common Storm, Mystique, Pixie, Quicksilver, Prime Kitty annnnd Iceman! Bleeeeccch. There were, like, three really good pieces in the whole set. Next!)

Anyway, I was very impressed with the dial designs this time around and the Sealed event at our local shop was great–lots of really close games. So let’s get right to it with…

Some Thoughts About the Set:

  • The Super Rares and Chases in this set are awesome. With the exceptions of Ares, Morlun, and Spider-Man 2211, there could be an argument made that all of them deserve to be on this list. Ares is just alright. Morlun and Spider-Man 2211 don’t have a place on any constructed team that I can think of.
  • The Primes kinda suck. There aren’t many bad pieces in this set and even the Serpent Society has their uses (I can envision a Rattler constructed team.).
Rattler

“Hmmm… should I revolve my team around Rattler this evening?

However the Primes in this set just aren’t good. A Prime is supposed to be (theoretically) extra-powerful for the points that’s why you can only ever have one on a team at a time. Even if I ignored that restriction I don’t see myself ever playing any of these guys. If they are going to keep making Primes like this they should just stop making them.

  • The Call in Help From the Spider-Verse Trait is really powerful and fun. I used it to great effect at the Pre-Release and it allows you to chain together attacks from across the map like never before.
  • They are continuing the trend from UXM: point costs are lower (with only a few 200 pointers in the SR slot), almost no one gets Indomitable, almost no Improved Targeting, and a lot less Improved Movement then they should have had in a set full of spider people. I love this new direction the game is heading. It’s nice that Willpower, Phasing, Leap/Climb, Leadership and Stealth are much more useful now.
  • The sketch variants are super cool. I will always buy or trade for a sketch piece over a standard painted one. Not sure why some people don’t like it; doesn’t hurt the game in any way. But hey, that just means more for me.

But enough thinking! Let’s get to…

My Top Five Honorable Mentions:

Miles

5. SFSM031 Spider-Man – 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes and Shape Change makes this guy a top choice for engaging the opposing team’s best figure in close combat. His special white power PARALYZING VENOM STRIKE lets him deal damage AND gives any opposing character hit and action token. That action token doesn’t deal pushing damage, but it still keeps the opposing figure from taking actions. So it’s great in my book.

When you want to tie someone up, this guy is the one you want to call in from the Spider Verse.

Scarlet

4. SFSM017 Scarlet Spider – Another character whose attack deals damage AND gives any characters hit by a ranged attack an action token. The difference is that this character has Running Shot and two targets. He also has a lot of improved movement options. A Defense of 18 with Super Senses which is just fine for his point cost. His real weakness is getting tied up in close combat. Thankfully he has the Spider-man Family keyword so any other character that you have with the CALL IN HELP FROM THE SPIDER-VERSE trait can transport him out of adjacency and safely back to ranged combat.

Cloak 2

3. SFSM036 Cloak – Sure he’s at his best when played with Dagger, but for 35 points Cloak brings enough to the table that he is worth using without her.  He has Stealth, Improved Movement of every kind, the Spider-Man TA, and the Carry ability. What really puts him over the top is his 18 Defense with Defend. Use him to carry a character into battle and then move him around as needed to keep your teams defense consistently high.

Doc Ock

2. SFSM055 Doctor Octopus – Half Superior Scientist, half Weed Whacker.  This guy is delicate in close combat and is fairly vulnerable to Outwit, but he’s still well worth his points. He has a special power up front that allows him to make far more attacks than any 80 point character should ever be able to make in one turn. It reads, “MENTALLY CONTROLLED TENTACLES: When he makes a close combat attack Doctor Octopus can use Giant Reach: 3 and Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters. Give him a power action to make 4 close combat attacks that deal 2 damage. After actions resolve modify the defense value of any character hit more than 2 times by these attacks by -2 until your next turn.” Your opponent is going to see this coming a mile away and target him first, but if you somehow get Doc Ock to make an attack in the middle of the opposing team then it will all be worth it.

SPidey 001

1. SFSM001 Spider-Man – This is a well rounded Spider-Man. 18 Defense, Charge, Super Strength, Close Combat Expert, and a better form of Super Senses are a good value for 70 points. Where he really shines is when he’s Called in from the Spider Verse. If you can call this guy in and have him appear adjacent to an opposing character, then he can combine his Close Combat Expert with a heavy object and make an attack with 12 attack value and 5 damage! It’s got to be the right circumstances, but that’s exceptional for 70 points.

Which brings us right to…

The Top Ten Figures in the set:

Speedy Demony

10. SFSM040 Speed Demon – He’s not as good as his previous version from the Deadpool set that essentially let you move opposing characters around at will, but he is still very good. He has a lower point cost, much better Defense, and Willpower. If you are playing Sinister Syndicate or Thunderbolts he is almost a lock for those teams. Try this team:

Team Name: Need for Speed

Keyword: Sinister Syndicate

  • SFSM040 Speed Demon
  • SFSM029 Overdrive
  • SFSM056 Chameleon
  • WKM16-001 Doctor Octopus
  • 35 points for ATAs, Resources, Thugs, Etc…
  • Total = 300
  • Strategy Tips: Have Chameleon disguise himself as Jester. Start an Alpha strike up to 11 squares away by having Speed Demon run in, attack, and end up one space back from the target after actions resolve. Give Doc Ock the Power Action to double Flurry. Have Overdrive carry Doc Ock and Jester next to Speed Demon. Share attack value. Give Doc Ock 4 attacks. After those resolve have Jester make Jester Bots to tie up the opposing team. Hopefully do it all again next turn.

Betty Brant

9. SFSM007 Betty Brant – It took thirteen damn years, but they have finally made a worthy replacement to the Rookie Con Artist from the X-plosion set in 2003. Anyone who played HeroClix at that time will know this piece. Betty is admittedly 4 more points than the Con Artist, but those extra points give a second useful click where she can heal your team if needed. She also gets a Trait, “I’LL PROVE MY HUSBAND WAS NOT THE HOBGOBLIN IF I HAVE TO RETRIEVE EVERY GLIDER!: UNIQUE MODIFIER. Opposing characters with “Wing Symbol” modify their speed values by -1. If that character is named Hobgoblin, instead modify all of that character’s combat values by -1.” That might not seem like much, but moving one less space can be the difference between making an attack or not.

Moon Knight.jpg

8. SFSM037 Moon Knight – This is a Secondary Attacker that continues to get more dangerous the longer he is ignored. Moon Knight has a great Special Power that helps him land hits and a Trait that essentially gives him a Stop Click at the end of his dial for every two hits that he lands. And SPOILER ALERT: the last Click on his dial is his best click with 11 attack 18 defense and 4 damage. He should have no problem finding a place with Marvel Knights, Mystical, or Soldier teams. 

 

The Battle of New York. We've seen it, and we covered it.

“The Battle of New York. We’ve seen it, and we covered it.”

7. SFSM006 J. Jonah Jameson – I wanted to come up with something witty here, but user MarcSpectre from hcrealms said it best: “He’s the Spider-man Family insurance policy. He knows a thing or two because he’s seen a thing or two.” If you are going to play with any Spider-Man Family pieces you’re going to want him on your team even if he is going to break your Theme. +2 to Defense on the already high defenses of the spider family is just too high to hit for a lot of teams.

Spider-Man_noir

6. SFSM061 Spider-Man Noir – This is actually one the better ranged attackers in the Spider-Man Family. That and his low 75 point cost makes him one of the best for setting off the CALL IN HELP FROM THE SPIDER-VERSE Trait.

His combination of 6 Range, 11 Attack and Sidestep combine with his Stealth and Outwit to make him a well-rounded figure. He alternates between Outwit and Ranged Combat Expert so you can easily switch his function depending on your need. His 18 defense with Super Senses is perfectly acceptable for his point cost. 

Chameleon

5. SFSM056 Chameleon – HypeFox and I both love this guy. I’ll be very surprised if Chameleon is not high on his list. His flexibility is hard to beat.

Some of our favorite characters so far to use as disguises: CWSOP022 Jester, WKD15-010 Miss Arrowette, SMWW003 Batman, WF034 Batman, UXM047 Mystique, AVAS013A Triathlon, and WKD16-007 Captain Cold. That could actually probably be an article on its own.

Anyway, once he’s hit, if Chameleon’s on click 3 or 4  you could choose to be SMWW026 Clark Kent and start throwing out Hypersonic Superman tokens. Or if you are on exactly click 4, going to JLTW055 Tim Hunter can be a game breaking play. It’s going to be tough limiting this guy to just three options a game…

Spider-Gwen

4. SFSM052 Spider-Gwen – She’s got 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes, just like SFSM031 Spider-Man. But unlike him, she also gets Indomitable. Add that to her Super Strength, Improved Movement, a Traited Super Senses that is impossible to bypass with Precision Strike and her last click that may well send you back to her top dial.

There’s no secret combo with her, she’s just that good.

Thug

3. SFSM005 Thug – This guy is the best ten points you can spend on a Themed Team right now. You will be seeing him abused in multiples and en masse in tournaments very soon. Sure he doesn’t get a Themed Team Prob, but he does get to use ATAs. Pick any good ATA and build a team around that. For example, the Wonders of the World ATA which states, “Give a character using this team ability a power action to heal an adjacent friendly character 1 click. Heal 2 clicks instead if the adjacent character has the Wonders of the World keyword. Deal the character given the action 1 unavoidable damage.” Suddenly any thug you play is a heal battery for your real characters. The Sinister 12 ATA is also a good choice, “When you have more characters on the map than each opponent, modify the attack value of each character using this team ability by +1.

They are also really great to fill out keywords that don’t have enough pieces, or enough good pieces, or enough low cost pieces. Want to make an Amazon army? Here are your soldiers. The same can be said for Asgardians, Atlantians, and White Lanterns. The list is endless.

They are also great in situations where a special power on a figure affects your whole army. JLTW050E Superman’s leadership, UXM005A Emma Frost‘s perplex, and SMWW064 Green Light‘s Empower a Brigade Trait are all good examples. And certainly they are some of the best Mastermind fodder out there. You could even take someone with the Green Lantern Team Ability and fly 8 of them up to tie up the opposing team for several turns.

Try this example team:

Team Name: Thunder Thugs

Keyword: Thunderbolts

  • SFSM040 Speed Demon (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • SFSM051 Baron Zemo (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • 4* SFSM005 Thug (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • Full Pandora’s Box
  • Total = 298
  • Strategy Tips: Set The Thunderbolts ATA to Mystics. The Thugs and Speed Demon also get +1 attack and Sidestep from Zemo. Add to that the Relics from Pandora’s Box and you’ll end up with a gaggle of Thugs with some pumped-up kicks. With 6 people on the team it should be fairly easy to distribute all of the sin relics by turn 7. Use Sidestep to edge ever closer to battle when you are low on actions.

Spider-Punk

2. SFSM062 Spider-Punk – This is the best of the Spider Chases and a pretty straight forward pick. His Improved Movement, Charge and Flurry with 3 starting Damage makes him a great choice to teleport in with the Spider-Verse Trait. In addition, his Super Senses and Shape Change along with his 18 Defense makes it hard for opponents to strike back. And if an opponent DOES manage to damage him, then he gives you your choice of Pulse Wave or Close Combat Expert to go along with his Sidestep. He’s a real steal at 75 points.

Spidey 048.jpg

1. SFSM049 Spider-Man – This guy fills a completely different role, but he is Nick Fury-level good. With the Perplex on his dial and his Super Strength, he can pick up an ultra-heavy object, pump up his Attack to 12, Hypersonic 9 spaces and hit someone for 6 Damage. This isn’t Spider-Man, it’s Superman in disguise.

He has Willpower (unlike most of the rest of the set) and the same hard to bypass Super Senses that Spider-Gwen has, but even better. The web Tokens he puts out by hitting people are even more effective here than on other figures because of his Hypersonic Speed. He has Improved Movement and the best keywords of any of the Spider-Man Family (Avengers and Reporter keywords!)

He only has Hypersonic Speed on his first 3 clicks, but on his last three clicks he has a Special Power that states, “LAST DITCH EFFORT: Spider-Man can use Precision Strike. Give Spider-Man a free action to make a close attack.” So he can still move his full movement and use Outwit! And then he can free action close attack. And then call in someone from the Spider-Verse.  And give the hit character a Web Token.  And then Side step away without having to break away (because of the Web Token).  So even his three “weaker” clicks aren’t actually that weak.

 

Okay! That’s it for me today, but keep it tuned to this space. We’ve got a lot of content in the pipeline!

See ya real soon!

 

Wait, There’s Only One Daily Planet Employee in This Set?! (Or, a Second Opinion of the Top Ten Figures in World’s Finest!!)

WF 3

Whew! Made it.

It’s been a sick winter for yours truly, and I mean that literally (while I can’t say for sure that reading HypeFox’s Top Ten is the thing that made me throw up so violently these last two weeks, I can’t really rule it out, either.).

But I’m finally on the mend, so I think it’s high time I offered all of you true believers out there a fit and proper SECOND OPINION to the World’s Finest Top Ten drivel that HypeFox has already so eloquently vomited out into cyberspace.

And like my esteemed colleague, I shall start with…

Notes

Some Notes About the Set:

  • All of the Chases are excellent and they could have easily taken up this whole list if I let them. Easily. For the purposes of having an interesting article I limited my list to the two best Chases in “tower (lower point) mode” and the two best Chases when played at full points. I suppose that qualifies as a Preview!
  • Once again, this set takes a power leap from the set that immediately preceded it, not unlike the leap we had last year going from Avengers Assemble to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which was one of the most powerful sets ever put to plastic). The Chases have base stats that we haven’t ever seen much outside of Colossals (13 attack, 20 defense, 12 range, etc.). The Commons have redefined replacement figures and several Super Rares that I am not even including in my Top Ten list would have been near the top of the heap in other set reviews.
  • Outwit is not what it used to be; there are now a bevy of Meta-viable Primary Attackers who are either mostly or completely immune to it. In this set there are 5 SRs and 6 Chases that are worthy Primary Attackers and whose powers are also nigh impossible to counter. Add those to the Primary Attackers that are resistant to Outwit from the last set (First Born, Rare Wonder Woman, etc.) and Outwit is not nearly a sure path to victory like it used to be. Personally I am going to start using perplex as my go-to power.
  • These Commons are excellent; what trashy blogger said they weren’t? Oh, that’s right, HypeFox said that since none of the Commons were in his Top Ten, the Commons might be underpowered. I contend that they are just as strong (if not  stronger) as they were in the Nick Fury set and it’s just the Common Prime that wasn’t quite up to snuff. Poison Ivy Prime is no Peggy Carter, Captain Marvel, or 3-D Man. However, the rest of the commons are pretty playable. [HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Soooo… to counter my argument that the Commons in this set aren’t as strong, you’ve submitted as your first piece of evidence that the top end of the Common slot–the Prime–can’t touch the Common Primes from pretty much any previous set going back to Flash? Uh… doesn’t that help MY side of the argument?] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: I’m not finished yet!] [HYPEFOX’S NOTE ABOUT NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Oh.]
  • Ahem. As I was saying… I’ll put my Booster Gold and Creeper up against your Eric Koenig and Clay Quartermain any day. [HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Uh… was that it? Are you finished?] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE TO HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Now I’m finished. You have been debunked and rebuked. Possibly in that order.] [HYPEFOX’S RESPONSE TO THE RESPONSE: Hmmm… I think I smell a Common-Off!] [NINWASHUI: You mean that Russian kid with the BO issue who kept joining Battle Royals at Gen Con?] [HYPEFOX: Nope. Not–that kid’s name was Komanov. That’s not–that’s the wrong Common-Off. No, I mean a Common-Off, as in, you make your best 300 Point team of World’s Finest Commons, and I’ll make my best team of Nick Fury Commons, and we’ll see who wins to settle this debate once and for all!!] [NINWASHUI: Okay. Why didn’t you just suggest that in the first place? You’re just killing my word count here. Anything above, like, 3500 words and people just start tuning you out.] [HYPEFOX: I hate you.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: To be continued… look for the first annual Common-Off results in an upcoming article!]

Okay! Enough tomfoolery. Let’s bounce straight into my…

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Mercury

5. WF043 Mercury – He’s the cheapest figure with TK that the game has ever seen (yes, Clix old-timers, at 25 Points he’s even cheaper than Rookie Mandroid Armor from Clobberin’ Time–that piece cost 28 Points!). He definitely works best with another Metal Man around because gaining Sidestep and improving his Super Senses roll by 1 makes this original Merc With a Mouth (in that his name is Mercury and he, y’know, has a mouth) even more useful for his low 25 point cost (seriously, if you can bait your opponent into wasting a meaningful attack on one of your Mercury pieces and then you hit that 50% Super Sense? Those are the kinds of plays that can swing games).

The best Idea I have for including other Metal Men is… just play two of him. Even 2 of him at 50 Points are still almost the cheapest TK available in Modern. I’ve got a good team idea for him that will rate it’s own separate article. Let’s just say that this guy bringing TK to the Robot keyword is a BIG DEAL.

Shifting Focus Batman

4. WF003 Batman (And WF004 Batman, WF018 Batman, WF034 Batman) – I’ve been a huge fan of Morph pieces in the past, such that I even wrote this article about them. The new “Shifting Focus” pieces in this set do not disappoint. Unlike all of the pieces I wrote about in my previous article, these “Shifting Focus”-Traited pieces say “Give X a free action if he began your turn on the map.” That’s a step up from “Give X a close combat or move action”.

Now these Batman pieces aren’t going to take down a 200 point piece by themselves, but you’d be hard pressed to find a piece their size or less that they can’t take down. You’ll spend most of your time as the 003 Batman due to his free action movement power, “HIDING BEHIND YOU: Give Batman a free action if he occupies hindering terrain or no opposing character can draw a line of fire to him. If you do, place him into a square of hindering terrain within 6 squares and line of fire.” Once you move up as a free action you can then switch to 034 Batman and use double target Incapacitate. If your opponent bases you then you can switch to 004 Batman. And if you really need an Outwit, 018 Batman is ready and waiting.

Consider the following team:

Do you Bleed? You Will.

(KeywordJustice League)

  • WF003 Batman (with Justice League ATA)
  • WF049 Superman (with Justice League ATA)
  • AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (all fragments, 2 assigned characters)
  • ID Card of your choice
  • Total=300 points

Sorry about the title, but I am running out of unique things to call a Batman/Superman team. The Phoenix Force at this level grants Running shot, +1 damage, and defend. Also at any level it grants Flight and Poison. The Flight helps Batman in particular to use Charge and Running Shot regardless of terrain, and the Emma Fragment will let Batman TK Superman out for an Alpha Strike.

Metallo

Just gonna go ahead and recycle this art from HypeFox’s Top Ten…

3. WF055 Metallo – If you told me two or three sets ago that a figure with a constant 19 Defense Value on his entire dial and a 12 starting Attack was coming out for only 150 points I would have told you that was definitely going to be the best character in that set. Then Mary Marvel, World’s Finest, and the KC chases happened. This guy is getting ignored and he is going to surprise people some day soon when he finally gets noticed. I was just at a Wizkids open where he Pulse Waved a 200 point World’s Finest to death by himself and made it to the final match. Ignore this guy at your peril.

Zatara 2

2. WF048 Zatara – This guy is similar to Zatanna in the way his dial works, but I think he is superior in every way for 20 points less. I like his front support dial versus his back offensive dial. The offensive dial is about Average. The support dial is superior. With TK, Prob, and a double Perplex I like to refer to him as Mary Marvel’s pit crew. What really puts him over the top is the incredible power you see after he takes one damage: “SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.” If this power shows up and you are near 2 or more characters on the opposing team I would almost always use it. If the time isn’t right to use this power, then you can just choose to Regen and still come out ahead because of your Mystics TA.

Rita Farr

1. WF035E Elasti-Girl – This is likely the best 50 point non-support oriented character we’ve ever seen. There really aren’t many good reasons not to keep her as a Colossal the whole time, since the new Colossal rules make her so good.

She could already charge 6 spaces, but now she also has a Giant Reach of 3 squares. She can  also carry smaller figures without losing movement and she has a 10 Attack and 4 Damage. On defense she has Shape Change and Super Senses which together nullify about 55% of all attacks before you even consider her 18 defense.

Okay! Enough of the pieces that ALMOST made the cut. Unlike some other namby-pamby bloggers, I made the tough choices and got my Top Ten down to an actual Top Ten. Funny how that works, eh?

I give to you…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

The Chief Doom Patrol

10. WF051 The Chief – Here is that great 50 point support character that they seem to slip into every set. Even if you don’t share a keyword with him he can still grant any nearby friendly character Sidestep as well as having Outwit and Perplex himself. If your pieces do have either the scientist or Doom Patrol keywords, then he gives you an option to make another friendly character immune to Outwit and he can target his own Perplex and Outwit through any nearby friendly character. He’s definitely a Meta piece that you will start seeing at ROCs soon.

Supes v Bats

9. WF001 Superman (AND WF002 Superman, WF017A Superman, WF033 Superman) – So with this pick I am cheating a little. From what I saw at the sealed events I played at this is a good collection of pieces and I kept dreaming of ways to abuse the +1 defense granted by the 001 Superman. It’s just a really good play to attack with Superman 002 from 15 spaces away and then transform into Superman 001 before the opponent has a chance to hit you back. However I still wasn’t sure if I should include these pieces on my list. 

Then some guy played three copies of these characters on the same team and placed second at a ROC super qualifier. Only Patrick Yapjoco beat him by running the free action limiting Agent 13 with Nick Fury. Now it’s a lot easier to see how viable these pieces are in the Meta. Three copies of Superman 001 grouped together along with the Justice League ATA make for a 21 or 22 defense and that power is uncounterable. That’s just really hard to fight and even worse when you have to face it in a format like ROC Limited.

The Wiz Ard

8. WF030 The Wizard – World’s Finest does everything bigger and better than previous sets. This is the second awesome 50 point support figure in this set and the third 50 point figure on this list. So if you played in any Sealed event you probably heard about this guy and what he can do. For 50 points he’s incredible for 3 reasons. The first reason that he’s almost unhittable at range. His power states, “ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.

Secondly, he has 5 clicks each with a different support power that you can push to. You start with Prob. If you need Outwit instead just push once. If you need Perplex instead that’s just one more push away. You get the idea. Finally, his Trait is what’s getting everyone excited “POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.” Sure you might not roll Shape Change successfully in the average game, but everyone seems to have stories where their rolls went well and this guy made three tigers in a single game [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup. That happened to me.]. That’s an insane amount of value coming from a 50 point character.

7. WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy – He’s similar to AVAS051 Red Wolf in that he can put a secondary attacker into play as a free action, but where Redwolf is a close combat attacker, Klarion is a ranged support piece. Klarion is better than Red Wolf because of his ability to help your other pieces while still remaining moderately dangerous himself. He has Stealth plus Energy Shield/Deflection to keep him safe and Sidestep with Psychic Blast for offense. The fact that Teekl comes into play as a free action means that you can Phase across the board, drop Teekl and have him Charge an opposing character all in the same turn.

KC SUpes

6. WF061 Superman -In terms of raw stats you won’t find a superior character for under his cost. From his first click to his last, he is really dangerous. He’s been criticized for his lack of Hypersonic Speed, but as far as I am concerned that’s just means you will have to put a little planning into playing him. Whether that’s just some TK (FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician) or going to resources (AVXR100 The Phoenix Force), the lack of Hypersonic Speed is not that hard to compensate for. Something additional to keep in mind is that his defense is better than it first appears. The trait that all the Chases share is “WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Superman’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with Kingdom Come team ability symbol. Superman’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with Kingdom Come team ability symbol.” Among other things that means his defense can’t be reduced and his defensive abilities can’t be countered so the opponent will have to get through all those damage reducers the hard way. Then there is the new KC team ability. It grants an additional use of Super Senses against ranged attacks and since it’s a Team Ability it might be the one thing that Nick Fury’s Watcher Eyes can’t bypass.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Although Prime Peggy Carter’s normal eyes can, since she knows her worth, and anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.]

KC SHAZ

5. WF065 Shazam! – Now here’s a piece that isn’t lacking in Hypersonic Speed or a high speed value in general. In fact with his 15 speed value in the Modern Age the only piece under 1000 points that is faster is KC Flash. He shares the WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN trait and KC team ability with Superman and the rest of the Chases in the set. He starts with Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength on offense along with Invincible and Shape Change on defense. His Attack Value never goes below 11 and he has some surprise Running Shot/Pulse Wave clicks at the end. The thing that really puts him over the top for me however is the Calculator TA. He already has the Mystical and Metropolis keywords, so it should not be too hard to find some good TAs for him to copy.

Bat SUpes Duo

4. WF060R World’s Finest – I chose the 75 point version of this character to put on this list because with Duo Attack, this is the hardest hitting 75 point character we’ve ever seen. It unfortunately has quite possibly the short 75 point dial we’ve ever seen, but with Combat Reflexes for close combat protection and the Batman TA for ranged protection World’s Finest should stay top dial for quite a while. Even at 75 they retain their trait: “WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.” The ability to straight up stop Outwit like that has never been seen at the 75 point level. Finally the combination of the Superman TA, their native 4 Damage Value and Duo Attack means that if they can get within 7 of Nick Fury they could potentially knock him out if both attacks hit.

KC GL

3. WF064R Green Lantern – This is the second best Tower Mode KC chase in the set. He has 9 Range, Barrier, and Perplex for just 30 points. At that point level if he is able to use barrier to give your team a breather for a turn then he is an incredible value for his points. On the minus side with barrier on his 18 Defense he is the easiest of the Tower Mode Chases to KO. On the plus side his Perplex is literally the only Perplex you could use to target any of the KC Chases.

2. WF041 Mary Marvel – This set’s best attacker, Primary or otherwise, and the only character I believe to be a real threat to Nick Fury. If she can attack him with Hypersonic Speed before he can attack her, then he’s in a world of trouble. She will have a Probability Control she can use to help herself hit and his Probability Control won’t be able to touch her due to her Trait: “SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.” And if she hits with an ultra heavy object then that’s enough damage to KO him outright. Her values and powers do start to go down quickly past her first click, but she still has a viable way to get right back into the game. She has a white power on her 7th click that states, “SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.” If you roll a 6 on the Regeneration roll then you will be right back to your top dial.

Spectre 2

1.WF066R Spectre – This is the figure in the set that I predict with eventually see the most play. He has Energy Shield deflection and Probability Control that along with his 18 Defense and KC team ability make him exceptionally difficult for even a primary attacker to KO him from range. He also has the Mystics TA that he can share with wildcards (like shazam) and it will guarantee that if anyone does KO him they will take Mystics damage back. The truly overpowering thing about him is his 12 Range combined with his special power, ” I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.” Boards are 24 spaces long. This means that you can place him 10 rows out from your starting area and he can use Probability Control anywhere on the board except the opposing starting area. Your opponent won’t really be able to do anything about it either because the difficultly KOing this piece from range. For 35 points he’s like a half price Mr. Mxyzptlk with the added bonus of having good keywords.

For additional fun try possessing him with Parallax to use the special power, “GRIP OF FEAR: Opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage.” Not bad for 60 points.

Okay! There ya go! See you next time with some special Build articles to help you make use of all these new tools in your toolbox!