To Infinity… And Beyond!! (Or, A List of the Top Ten Pieces in Avengers Infinity!!!)

Were waiting

So we’ve been waiting for an Avengers Infinity Top Ten Set Review…

So have I guys!

But since HypeFox is still working on his, I thought I’d drop mine… hmmm… how about right now!!

But first…

Some Notes About the Set:

  • The packs were more expensive, but worth it. Each one had seemingly two chances to pull something cool. In my Dune Buggy pack I pulled a chase and in a pack with 4 regular sized uncommon and common figures you’re going to get a Colossal rare or Super Rare.
  • The abstract entities are godlike in the comics, but none are very good for their cost in HeroClix. AIG023R Eternity may be the lone exception. Thankfully they are good for display purposes and people will likely seek them out for that reason.
  • Although there were only two really bad characters in this set (AI003 Black Widow, AI027 Starfox), I wasn’t real impressed by the Space Knights. They were ok, but not interesting and likely wouldn’t do well as a team. Unfortunately they were literally every Prime in the set. Which means this was another set with lackluster Prime figures. Which is a real bummer when you buy a brick and get a Prime instead of a Chase.
  • Early on I was worried that every colossal in this set would be a Colossal Retaliator. I was glad to see that wasn’t the case.
  • I love that the Infinity Watch got such nice remakes. Maxam was a great new figure. Now we just need a modern Mole Man. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Do we though? I mean, he was in like one issue of Infinity Watch! Maxam was in a ton! It was great that the GG version of him had the IW Keyword, but really, he was basically just their landlord. This is the Infinity Watch roster we really wanted!]
  • Why did we not get a Thanos with the Reality Stone? All the other Infinity Watch members made the set with their respective stone Traits. Missed opportunity. [EDITOR’S NOTE: It seems like a huge oversight. The only thing I can think of is that we might get him as a Con Exclusive next year. It’s possible that this was their intention all along, but that they were already too far down the road with the Thanos-Copter as a ConEx this year. Alternatively, Reality Gem Thanos could show up randomly in another cosmic set or cosmic-adjacent set (the only thing on the schedule that’s even remotely fits this description is Battleworld in October). Remember, Thanos is coming back in Avengers 4, so there will still be a bunch of Thanos tie-in products from Marvel licensees arriving next year.]

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Adam-Warlock

5) AI038 Adam Warlock (125 points) – With most of his stats and powers he appears to be just an average attacker. However push him to click 2 and he gains a special power that allows him to do what no one else in modern Clix can: “OUTSIDE OF ETERNITY, CHAOS AND ORDER: Outwit. FREE: Choose a target opposing character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t use PROTECTED: Outwit and its powers lose Protected: Outwit.

Throw in a trait that grants steal energy for ALL attacks and then passes regular Steal Energy to another piece when KOed and I can see him being quite successful with the right support around him. If he had his special power on his first click he would be on the cusp of being Meta.

He’s also one of HypeFox’s favorite Marvel heroes, so listing him as a mere Honorable Mention will annoy him to no end.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: ]

Spider Mobile.jpg

4) AIG015 Spider-Mobile (50 points) – Don’t think of it as a vehicle, think of it as armor. It’s armor that grants another piece with (hopefully) great stats 7 extra clicks of health for just 50 points. For Example, if you use Chase Thor from this set as a pilot then all 7 clicks will have a constant 12 attack and 4 damage the whole dial. And once you get through those clicks your opponent still faces an angry Thor on click 2 or 3.  However the real reason to play this piece is the Trait: SPIDER SPOTLIGHT LOCKED ON: FREE: Improved Targeting: Hindering. Choose a character within range and line of fire. That character can’t use Shape Change or Stealth this turn.” We’ve seen characters before that allow your team to ignore stealth (JW052 Green Lantern, ADW038 Jessica Jones, WKM17-013 Dazzler, etc…), but I’ve never seen a character that will also allow others to ignore Shape Change.

Photon.jpg

3) AI049 Photon (90 Points) – The best thing she brings to the table is a Special Power that hurts opposing bystanders the likes of which the game has never seen before. Additionally she has a Trait that would be good to build a team around. “THE 5TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: DIVERSITY: Flurry. Once per turn, when Photon’s attack roll has a 5, friendly characters modify their defense +1 for every two printed keywords they have until your next turn.”

(Hint: CWSOP002 Iron Man has 6 keywords!)

She’s good up close with Traited Flurry and Pulse Wave that starts showing up on click 2. If you are planning to use her at range then you should probably bring another character with Enhancement. She also has the best Stop Clicks of any of the Chases with your choice of using Flurry or RCE to go along with her Precision Strike.

Vision.jpg

2) AI005 Vision (100 points) – Vision’s Special move power is what puts him on this list. “WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT ME: Phasing/Teleport. When Vision is given a MOVE action, after resolutions he may make an attack (close or range).”

Unfortunately, his 10 attack and three damage aren’t going to scare many people. So make sure to bring some other characters along that can help those values.

The Unseen.jpg

1) AI043 Unseen (65 points) – On the eve of NFAOS056 Nick Fury retiring from Modern they decided to include another version of him from that same “Original Sin” storyline in this set… albeit with some major focus/role changes. This new piece is similar in that they both have Probability Control, almost every form of Improved Targeting known to man and a way to turn off powers. Where the new version is better is that it’s almost exactly half the point cost of the original and can free action smoke cloud after moving. All it’s missing is offense. Like any form of offense at all. Time will tell if a 65 point support character is Meta, but I am just hesitant enough about it that it didn’t quite make the top 10.

Speaking of which… here is my…

TOP TEN PIECES IN AVENGERS INFINITY!!:

Gamora.jpg

10) AI020 Gamora (65 points) – For 65 points you get a very efficient close combat piece who is dangerous on every click. What sets her apart from other similar characters are her 12 starting attack, relatively low cost, and Traited Probability control that passes to another friendly character when she is KOed: TIME GEM CHOOSES ITS BEARER: Probability Control with minimum range value 8 // When Gamora is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, choose a friendly character. For the rest of the game, that character can use Probability Control.”

The only things keeping her from being higher on this list are a weak defense and the existence of AI030 Mantis who fills a similar roll and costs less.

Sentry 459

9) AIG013R Sentry #459 (150 points) – There is a new Trait introduced on this set that was seen on quite a few Colossal figures that shows some promise thanks to the new rules for Quake called Mass Destruction. It reads, MASS DESTRUCTION: Super Strength. When Sentry #459 is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.” In my opinion this 150 dial is the most efficient character to feature that Trait.

It has better combat values then all of the other similarly costed characters with “Mass Destruction” and the Green Hulk is the only other “Mass Destruction” piece that comes close to being as useful in combat.

Giant Girl.jpg

8) AIG001 Giant-Girl (70 points) – Giant Girl has roughly 250 thousand different starting lines. I feel like the 70 point line isn’t too expensive and doesn’t make it very easy for the opponent to KO her before she gets an attack off.

To be honest I’d probably vary her point value according the team I was playing with her. The best parts about her is that she can Colossal Retaliate on any click, gets bigger when she KOs someone, and she makes a great Taxi for as low as 10 points. I didn’t include her Fast Forces or title character version on this list because I felt their combat values were just not up to snuff.

Iron Man 1.jpg

7) FFAI001E Iron Man (50 points) – Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, just a really efficient piece for the points. His great movement values make him a very good Taxi. His 4 clicks of Invulnerability make him tougher than just about every other 50 point piece. And his ability to see through Stealth is just the cherry on top.

Cosmo

6) AI039 Cosmo (70 points) – This is one of the Guardians pieces in the new set with a Trait that grants Protected: Outwit or +1 to Attack and Defense. There are very few situations where I’d chose Protected: Outwit with this or any of the Guardians pieces. +1 to Attack and Defense is just too good.

Now let me tell you what’s special about Cosmo. He has Outwit and Ignores Hindering for Targeting which a great combo. He also TK and Willpower on his first click. So on turn one move everyone up and on turn 2 use TK without taking push damage. Because of his Trait he has 19 starting defense and can get up to 12 Attack with his multi-target Mind Control. But the real kicker is his unique special power starting on click two that reads “YOU HAVE LOUD BRAIN: Free: Choose an opposing character within range. Until your next turn, that character can’t be given POWER actions.” That’s a free action and doesn’t require line of fire. There are lots of Power actions in the game, but the first ones I will be looking to use this on are Charge, Running Shot, and Hypersonic Speed.

Nadia Van Wasp.jpg 5) AI044 Wasp (70 points) – While she isn’t great on offense without some help, her defenses are excellent. She has a special Traited Shape Change that reads PYM PARTICLES IN MY BLOOD, RED ROOM TRAINING IN MY MIND: Shape Change. When Wasp uses it and succeeds, after resolutions the attacker is dealt 1 penetrating damage.” It reminds me of TMT002 Loki and WF030 The Wizard. If I was facing her I would attack her last. She also gives you the option of Outwit on click 1 or a Special Perplex when you push to click 2.

Mantis

4) AI030 Mantis (50 points) – Like AI020 Gamora she is an efficient close combat piece that features a 12 starting Attack Value. The advantages that Mantis has over Gamora are a better Defense, an extra click of life, a lower point cost, and IM:Hindering. While Gamora has a better Trait, Mantis’s trait is no slouch either. It reads: I WILL HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS: Friendly characters within 4 squares have “FREE: This character can’t use Battle Fury or Earthbound/Neutralized this turn.” At very least that can help you carry Battle Fury characters and you could potentially build a team around it.

Quasar

3) AI037 Quasar (125 points) – Whenever Quasar hits with a ranged attack he gets to use Barrier as a few action. That can be crippling to the opposing team. If he does that more than a couple of times in a game, you’re likely going to win. So it’s up to you to do everything you can to make that happen. Run him with someone like ADW038 Jessica Jones to counter Stealth. You should also include some good close combat pieces to discourage your opponent from basing him.

Tonys car

2) AIG012 Tony Stark’s Car (10 Points) – As a 100 point vehicle this piece is Ok, but as Special Terrain it’s Meta.

Everyone knows special terrain can be useful because of the WKDP17-008 Boxing Ring. Unfortunately every Special Terrain created since then has been less powerful.

Until now.

This car has a power that reads, It’s still rolling. Use as cover:” Adjacent friendly characters can use Energy Shield/Deflection.” It also has an option to move it one square at the risk of KOing it. I would never do that. As long as your opponent can’t shoot you across the car, then they won’t be able to KO it. I would place the car within firing range of the opposing starting zone and then stand in front of the car for the whole game. You still get ESD and the opponent won’t be able to KO the car. 10 points to give your whole team ESD for the whole game is a steal. Buy this now while it’s still cheap.

Starfox.jpg

1) AI048 Starfox (80 points) – Hmm. This character has a double Perplex and the Eternal keyword. Where have I seen that before? I wonder if there is some top meta piece out there that he would work well with?

Chase Starfox is still a great piece in it’s own right. We all know that a double Perplex can be deadly, but Starfox also sports the best of the Chase Traits. it reads, THE 4TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: PASSION: Flurry. Once per turn, when Starfox’s attack roll has a 4, after resolutions heal each friendly character 1 click if they are adjacent to another friendly character.” So whenever you roll any 4 while attacking with this guy he will heal your entire team for 1 click of damage regardless of where they are on the board (as long they have a friendly piece next them.) That’s huge. I don’t ever remember seeing any other figure capable of a full team heal. And this isn’t even it’s own action, it’s just part of him attacking.

His whole dial also features Steal Energy so when he gets damaged he has an additional option to heal up. He’s not an offensive powerhouse, but with his Trait, Stop Click, Power Cosmic TA, and 12 starting attack — he’s the best character in this set.

 

Advertisements

Tournament Report 3/17 WKO in Warren Michigan

What I played:

  • NFAOS056 Nick Fury
  • EW027 Superman 
  • WKM-R001 Supreme Intelligence ( On Superman)
  • NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 (calling in another Nick Fury)
  • XXSXID-006 All-New Wolverine (calling in All-New Wolverine)

I thought my two character spy team was pretty meta. The Supreme intelligence got clicked to click 2 granting Superman full dial Stealth and Willpower and purposely never moved past that point. So both Characters had stealth and the ability see through hindering terrain. Additionally Superman got Shape Change and Super Senses on his first click until making his first attack. I envisioned Nick taking shots and Superman Flying him away as the opponent closed in.  Additionally the team was only two figures so the opponent couldn’t just KO one little figure like a retaliator and run away from me the rest of the game.

I expected to face Uni-mind, Shredders, and this PJ Bolin team where ADW chase cap rides around with General Lane, Beta Ray Bill, and Overdrive. Against the Uni-mind I could see through his stealth if he chose it and use the Watcher Eye to cancel on of his powers (including Perplex). Against Shredders I was going to lean heavily on the invincible, Stealthy, Hypersonic Superman. The Shredders would have been hard pressed to damage him. Against the PJ Bolin Team I was hoping to use Hypersonic Superman or the All-new Wolverine call in to Damage beta Ray Bill. Once that figure takes a single click of damage the whole team is exposed.

Round 1 –

Versus:

  • TMTG006R Mangog
  • NFAOS059B Nighthawk
  • JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow
  • TMTG001P Surtur
  • I forget the other 10 points of his team

I didn’t know how long Mangog’s Dial was and with the support characters he had with him I judged (correctly) that I wasn’t going to stop him from pulling the Odin Sword. Instead I KOed everything except Mangog and the Bizzaro Green Arrow He was carrying and got my team to a stealth patch hidden in the middle of the map. I was able to finish off Bizzaro Green Arrow, but then his Mangog landed some nice shots on Superman (who thankfully has 8 clicks) with Giant reach before time was called. I missed a bunch of rolls that game, but still got the win. Had the game gone longer I am not sure who would have won, but time was called and he only scored 8 points worth of ID cards.

Round 2 –

Versus:

  • SMWW028 General Lane
  • SFSM029 Overdrive
  • ADW069 Captain America
  • TMT063E Beta Ray Bill
  • JLA Teleporter and 5 cards.
  • (PJ Bolin designed team, but not played by the actual PJ Bolin)

I started of with a positioning mistake and he made me pay for it. I went behind blocking instead of staying in stealth. He moved up overdrive, had Cap use outwit and put his damage to 3 with enhancement and attack to 12 with perplex. I still got Shape Change and Super Senses with Superman so the odds were in my favor that this attack would fail. He hits his attack roll easily and I miss both of mine. Superman loses Hypersonic and the opponent’s whole team is sidestepped backwards by Overdrive so that I am out of range for ranged attacks. He is just close enough that I can use Superman to call in All-New Wolverine and send the Jonathan token after Beta Ray Bill. Even after the perplex from Wolverine and a Probability control reroll from Nick I can’t get a seven. He stays there an additional turn so that Overdrive isn’t taking pushing damage. I get two more chances with Jonathan. Both miss. Superman has to clear and Nick can’t see to get a shot because of Beta Ray Bill. The next turn he KOs Superman and I don’t get to make any more attacks that game. Kind of a bummer to lose to a team I knew I would see that day.

Round 3 –

Versus:

  • TMT056E Maestro
  • UND002 Dr. Frankenstein
  • JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow
  • TMTG004P Carnage
  • WKM-R001 Supreme Intelligence (on Frankenstein)
  • TMTS001 Bloodaxe (On Hulk)
  • WFWFID-004 Green Arrow (elseworlds Green Arrow)
  • Boxing Ring

The match was a stalemate for most of the time. We couldn’t really see a good way to approach each other.  I had Nick take some pot shots against his team, but Bizzarro was adjacent to everyone and Dr. Frankenstein was easily healing the damage as a free action. I finally decided to try to rope him in. I landed Superman 8 squares away from his team in stealth knowing that he would summon Elseworlds Green Arrow and target Superman. I figured my Shape Change and Super Senses combo had to work this time. The next turn played out like I thought except that again I missed my rolls and he hit his roll. Superman took 5, but he’s still 8 squares away in stealth. On my next turn I stupidly took a shot with Nick (hitting) and cleared Superman’s action tokens instead of just running. It was stupid because of course the damage was healed with a free action and now Carnage could come after a wounded Superman. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized that the Supreme Intelligence was there to grant Dr. Frankenstein Side Step and TK or I could stopped that with a free action from Nick. He sent a 12 attack Maestro with Flurry at Superman and that was it for him. Nick Fury actually put up a good fight, but the healing from the Bloodaxe and the retaliation from carnage was too much for him.

After that I dropped and took my lousy rolls to a battle royale. I missed literally every attack, took fourth, and still walked away happy with an Earth X Cap and SR Venus De Milo.

What would I change if I had to do it again? I liked my team. With better rolls and better placement in game two things could have gone different. Knowing the dial for Bizzaro Green arrow would help too. I think game three I was at a disadvantage, but against most teams there I had a relatively good matchup. I would have liked to have faced the shredders team that I heard eventually won. My two characters work well together and I would run them again.

It’s A Clix-Mas Miracle!! Ninwashui’s Back With A World Exclusive New Heroclix Accessory!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! Then the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! And the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! A couple days ago the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids! Then he came back again under the guise of The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation to talk about Marvel & DC stories that would make great Heroclix sets! Next, the Ghost of Christmas Past stopped by once more to give us his Five Least Favorite Figures of the Year! Finally, the Ghost of Overdue Top Tens presented us with the Top Ten Figures of Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE PART TWO:My God! King! King! That’s… that’s Ninwashui’s music! I can’t believe it! It’s pandemonium! Ninwashui is back! And if he’s back, that means…

Jim Ross

Yup! Ninwashui is back for the Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas! You didn’t think he was gonna sit the whole gimmick out, did you?! He’s been cooking up something special for the last article of the year!

But before we turn things over to him, all of us here at Critical Missives want to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season! This is going to do it for us this year (but this is the first time we’ve hit our Clix-Mas goal since we started the stupid thing three years ago!!), but we’ll be back and better than ever in January of 2018!

Until then, enjoy the final Clix-Mas article of 2017, and until next year, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!]

Yep! It’s me, Ninwashui. What, you didn’t think I’d let HypeFox have all the fun, did you? Nope. I’ve been quite busy, as it turns out, coming up with something I happen to think is pretty cool. Today, dear Critical Missives readers, I bring you… a world first (or at least internet first) Heroclix accessory!

You’ve seen custom maps:

You’ve seen custom action tokens:

You’ve even seen custom terrain markers:

After seeing all that it got me thinking about what I use to carry around my heroclix and if I could add a custom touch to that. Currently I have a box inside my backpack I use to carry around 1-3 armies at a time. This us what it looks like:

It’s the box my kid’s tablet came in. Perfectly usable, but not aesthetically pleasing. There is room for improvement. My brother Hypefox is in the same boat. Being that this is the Christmas season this seemed like a good opportunity for a gift for him. So I started by questioning him about his favorite hero. It came down to this guy:

This was a good choice because the recent movie means that there was a ton of Deadpool themed decorative items that could be used on the box.

Once I had an idea and a theme I created this:

The first ever heroclix army box! It’s Deadpool themed so I refer to it as “the Deadbox”. It features deadpool vinyl decals, a jack chain hinge, an automatic light, a magnetic lock, medical foam interior, and decorative neon accent lighting.

This wasn’t my first attempt. This actually is actually the Mark III version. It was definitely a learning process.

What’s in the box?

So here is what worked that ended up in the final design:

  • The box – to save time and money I started with a craft box I found at Hobby Lobby. It didn’t have a flat top so to I had to fill in the top with a piece of wood that I cut to size.
    • Magnetic lock – it’s actually a child lock I found at Baby’s R’ Us. It allows the box to be locked and have no visible locking mechanism on the outside. The only way to open the box is to hold a superstong magnet in the right place. I hid a strong magnet on the back of a deadpool keychain I got off EBay. It looks like this when you open the box:

  • The light – It lights up automaticly when the box is opened. I found it on Ebay for just over $1. I also bought shorter screws from home depot to avoid going through to the outside of the box.
  • The neon accent lighting – This was EL wire I found at 5 Below.
  • The foam – I’ve been through some stuff this year. In March I got flesh eating bacteria in my leg. My leg was saved, but I have been in physical therapy ever since. They just happened to have some unused foam laying around so it was free. If I didn’t have access to that I would have tried the Foam Factory , Home Depot, or just ordered some from Omni Medical Supply.

  • Some things that didn’t work:

    • Sound module – I ordered a sound module that is normally used in greeting cards from Bigdawgs. The idea was the that I could get the box to play Salt n’ Peppa’s “Shoop” when the box was opened. I chose that song because it was used in the movie and Deadpool didn’t have a theme song. It was working pretty well, but the batteries ran out too quickly. Plus replacement cell batteries of that size aren’t sold anywhere except online.
    • Wireless Bluetooth speaker. I found a wireless Bluetooth speaker for $10 at meijer. Even after taking it completely apart my box just wasn’t big enough to contain the components and protective housing. I hope to revisit this on future boxes.
    • Traxxit – I found this Bluetooth gps tracking unit at 5 Below and I couldn’t even begin to get it work. I threw it out. It’s tracking a garbage truck now.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or suggestions for future box improvements, let me know in the comments.

This set Ragna-rocks (A list of the Top Ten Pieces in the Mighty Thor set)

The Mighty Thor Greg Horn

Honorable Mentions:

5. TMT042 Tyrannus (65 points) – When you absolutely positively need to fill the board with bystanders. This guy has almost zero offense and not much built in defense, but he generates a new bystander token every turn. Even if you never move the pogs you generate, they block line of fire and their plasticity stops opponents moving past them. Don’t think of them as bystanders, think of them as sticky blocking terrain tokens he generates each turn.

4. TMTG007P Frost Giant (20 Points) – As a retaliator he doesn’t have a high attack, but he can do 3 damage to your opponents whole team if you happen to roll well. The real reason he made this list is his low point cost and the fact that he can give any adjacent character an action token every turn whether or not he hits. Great in multiples.

3. TMT002 Loki (75 points) – He’s an army of illusions in one 75 point package. He doesn’t do a lot on offense, but if you roll well on your shape change rolls he will just keep multiplying until you are out of figures to place. I’ve had 6 in play at once. Others online report having a lot more.

2. TMT053A Hela (150 points) – She is not meta unless you really a build a team around her trait. See my previous article. She’s a lot of fun and very hard to put down with her defenses and healing abilities.

1.TMT104 Captain America (50 points) – For 50 points he gets 19 defense for most of his dial (thanks to his free TMTS102 Asgardian Shield) and he has a stop click! On offense he’s got steady attack values and his powers allow him to deal more than his printed 2 damage on every click.

My Top 10:

10. TMT013B Red Leader (50 points) – His special power allows him to use outwit and a special perplex that allows him to increase a single stat by up to 3! If you build your team with some other Thunderbolts on it, you can turn him back to click 1 instead of losing him the first time he is KOed. I’d recommend keeping a Thunderbolt thug in your starting area for that.

9. TMT022 Jane Foster (30 points) – Her ability to heal while either she or the target is based is unheard of. On top of that she has a trait that makes her untargetable to anyone 75 points or over. Even better if your opponent KOs any friendly adjacent figure (even a bystander) she can transform into TMT017 Thor and there is a 1 in 6 shot that she will be on her top click! It’s hard to go wrong turning 30 points into 100 points. Also of note, she (naturally) pairs really well with TMT049 Thor Odinson.

8. TMT062 Thunderstrike (115 points) – He’s an extremely efficient package for his low 115 point cost. His stats are well above average for his points, he can destroy equipment when KOed, adjacent friendly characters get +1 damage when attacking, and his free weapon is arguably the best in game because of the ability to heal the character using it.

7. TMT106E Hulk (50 points) – He has an extremely short dial at this point level, but the game has never seen a piece quite like him anywhere near his cost. He’s got a 12 starting attack, 4 damage, and the ability move his full movement value and still make an attack (with knockback)! He’s not even a slouch on defense with 18 defense and impervious.

6. TMTG006R Mangog (150 points) – Even though his colossal retaliation power is quite good, you’re going to want to play him at his 150 point level. And even though he’s a pretty good 150 point attacker you’re not going to want to attack with him, at least not right away. Playing him creates a mini game within your normal game of HeroClix. Your opponent needs to KO Mangog before he reaches their starting area. Otherwise they will end up facing a 400 point 16 click long Mangog – plus the other 150 points of army that you brought along.

5. TMTG001P Surtur (25 points) – He’s the best single target retaliator in the game. He ignores defense while attacking and then does an additional automatic 1 penetrating damage to every opposing character within 2 of himself. With a single perplex to his damage he could take out a TMT058R Uni-Mind including the stop click. With 2 perplexes to damage he can take a TMT058R Uni-Mind and KO all of the eternals that spawn.

4. TMT061 Thor (160 points) – He is unfortunately very vulnerable to outwit. But, if you can protect him from outwit, or if your opponent isn’t playing outwit, then you are golden. At that point you opponent will need to deal with a figure protected by invincible that can hit with a heavy object from 12 squares away (charge + 6 range) thanks to his free weapon Mjolnir. And the next turn Thor can do it again with the second object he was holding.

3. TMT049 Thor Odinson (175 points) – With hypersonic speed, 12 attack, and 3 great title character abilities this Thor is the best ever made. His first character ability allows him to make a second ranged attack in a single turn and the damage depletion modifier no longer exists. His 3rd character ability will just about cripple opposing forces if you can manage to pull it off. However, it’s his second ability that really has me excited. It gives him the ability to teleport over Asgardians to his side and they can act immediately. So Jane Foster could teleport across the board to heal him, or Fandral could appear and charge at a stealthy character, or a frost giant could show up to give an enemy a token, or Loki could teleport to Thor and block line of fire. You imagination and the Asgardian keyword are the only limits.

2. TMTG004P Carnage (10 points) – The ROC national finals proved that 10 points for a retaliator that generates an awesome bystander every time it retaliates is obscene. You can retaliate, drop a bystander, have it attack, and then walk carnage away from the fight in the same turn to do it all over again later.

1. TMT058R Uni-Mind (165 points) – There is not much I can say about this guy that you don’t already know. His ability to perplex pieces he calls in is arguably better then even using his perplex on himself. He’s the piece to beat right now and if you want to go to a competitive tournament then you need to have a plan for this guy.

 

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.

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.