The Ghost of Clix-Mas Past Presents: The 2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures! (Or, the Second Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Two of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! Yesterday, we reviewed the ground rules; today, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty!]

Over the Hill club

Little Known Fact: For a time, Wizkids toyed with Call-In cards for pieces from Undead

2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures

by Roberto Ty

Having 2020 Vision

As 2019 closes, I thought this would be a good time to look at the best ID Call-In figures in Heroclix for 2020. Quicker than a Thanos finger snap, the rotation will be upon us (most likely in July) and the value of your tightly-held meta pieces will drop faster than Thor’s Hammer on a Frost Giant. The time to sell is now, but can you really make a Nationals run without these ID cards?

The Call-In Sequence

Deadpool ID.jpg

But first, let’s start at the beginning. For newer players, a typical call-in sequence looks like this:

  1. A friendly character (the summoner) uses a POWER action for the Call-In Help ability from the ID card. Your opponent scores the ID card.
    1. Call-In Help – Friendly characters have “POWER: If no other friendly characters have been given this same action this turn and this character is equal or more points than the ID character, place the ID character adjacent, then remove this ID card from the game and your opponent scores it. The ID character returns to your Sideline: at the beginning of your next turn, immediately if no square it occupies is within 5 squares of this character, or it is removed from the map by another effect. ID characters can’t: be carried, be equipped, be given DOUBLE POWER actions, replace, or be replaced. ID characters can be KO’d.
    2. Note the restrictions: The Call-In figure must remain within 5 squares of the summoner. The Call-In cannot be Carried, use Equipment, or be given DOUBLE POWER actions.
  2. In most Meta encounters, typically a team will have Perplex (or multiple Perplexes) at the ready to modify attack and/or damage on the Call-In figure.
  3. Call-in would perform a POWER action.
  4. Ideally, the Call-in would then be removed from the map to prevent being KO’d and scored by the opponent. This is done by moving the call-in 6 squares away from the summoner through Sidestep or Telekinesis. Not always possible though. 

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

Alright, with the basic rules and strategies for Call-Ins covered, the top ID Cards and Call-In figures to rotate out in 2020 are:

  1. TIER I
    1. XXSXID-020 Jean Grey ID (5 points) and 60-point XXS065E Jean Grey
    2. XXSXID-018 Cyclops ID (5 points) and 50-point XXS052E Cyclops
    3. XXSXID-025 Wolverine ID (5 points) and 50-point XXS053E Wolverine
    4. WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn ID (5 points) and 60-point HQ049 Harley Quinn
  2. TIER II
    1. 50-point XXS037AE Professor X and 50-point XXS037BE Professor X
    2. XXSXID-010 Chamber ID (3 points) and 70-point XXS041 Chamber
    3. XXSXID-004 Rusty ID (3 points) and 50-point FFXXS005 Rusty
    4. XXSXID-012 Jubilee ID (3 points) and 50-point XXS026 Jubilee

While this list of retiring ID cards and call-in figures isn’t comprehensive, I focused on the most used cards and Call-In Figures. Let’s look forward to 2020 and the changing landscape of call-in figures.

The Future of Call-In Figures

We go from 43 ID Cards and Wanted Posters to just 18 after rotation. How many are usable? We need to evaluate what abilities the post-rotation call-in figures bring.

ID / WANTED POSTER PTS INSPIRATION / INTIMIDATION OTHER IDENTITIES
WKMDOFP-001 Wolverine 5 Blades/Claws/Fangs Logan, Old Man Logan, Colonel Logan
WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 5 Exploit Weakness Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite
WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 5 Charge
WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 5 Running Shot Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix
WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 5 Penetrating/Psychic Blast
WKMVID-011 Colossus 5 Impervious
WKMVID-012 Professor X 5 Shape Change
WKMVID-013 Banshee 5 When hitting with a ranged attack, after resolutions give all hit characters an action token.
WKMVID-014 Rogue 5 Steal Energy
WKMVID-015 Psylocke 5 Exploit Weakness
WKMVID-016 Angel 3 No Inspiration Archangel
WKMVID-017 Beast 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-018 Cyclops 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-019 Iceman 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 3 No Inspiration Marvel Girl, Phoenix
WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 5 Exploit Weakness Dr. Harleen Quinzel
WKDCID-009 The Joker 5 Perplex
WKDCID-010 Mr. Freeze 5 Incapacitate
WKDCID-011 Poison Ivy 5 Poison, Smoke Cloud
WKDCID-012 Two-Face 5 Probability Control Harvey Dent

FIGURE 1 | Post-rotation ID cards, point cost, and their Inspiration or Intimidation.

The Call-In Value Proposition

In deciding on ID cards and Call-In options, the goal is to look for value. I like figures around 50-points. At this point cost, the Call-In Help ability can be used by a lower cost support figure. While a higher cost Call-In sometimes has better combat values, its higher cost requires a figure of equal value to call it in. This means that a POWER action is being used by a primary attacker just to call in another attacker. It’s a bad two-for-one tradeoff. Still, you may find value in a higher cost Call-In, depending on its abilities. I just don’t like the value proposition.

Now not all Call-In figures are for attacking. You can supplement utility powers in your Build by calling-in characters with support powers like Perplex, Telekinesis, Support, Outwit, Enhancement, Empower, Probability Control, etc.

Furthermore, you not only have to evaluate what the Call-In brings, but whether or not the piece itself is a liability. Can you protect it from being scored? Can you remove it from the map through Sidestep or Telekinesis? 

Since most ID cards are scored once they’re used, you need to factor these things into your evaluation. Points matter and you don’t want to concede them easily.

With that said, ID cards are prevalent because of the high value proposition for a low point investment (3-5 points).

Wanted Posters

The Wanted Posters differ from ID cards because of the Bounty mechanic, which reads:

Bounty: When an opposing character hits this ID character, immediately return it to your sideline and, after resolutions, heal the attacking character 1 click. If this ID character is returned at the beginning of your next turn, heal the character that used “Call In Help” 1 click.

Because of this mechanic, you may opt to use a higher-cost Call-In, hoping your opponent can’t hit. If the Call-In survives, then you can heal the summoner 1 click on your next turn. To me, it’s risky. I don’t want to concede any points and would prefer to just “poof” the Call-In. 

Let’s look at some low-cost options for the Wanted Posters. I won’t review every possible Call-In, but instead recommend what I think is the best option.

Wolvie Wanted poster

WKMDOFP-001 WOLVERINE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Blades/Claws/Fangs

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point WKM19-003 Wolverine

 

  • 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

 

  1. 70-point WCR001E Wolverine
  2. 70-point WCR101E Wolverine
  3. 75-point WCR107 Wolverine

The best options are 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine and 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine.

FFXDPS001E Wolverine. Wolverine has Improved Movement: Hindering, TELL CYCLOPS I MADE HIS CAR A CONVERTIBLE special power with 8 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with 11 attack, Toughness with 17 defense, and 3 damage. His value is in his Special Movement Power:

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) TELL CYCLOPS I MADE HIS CAR A CONVERTIBLE: Charge, Flurry.

50-point XDPS001 Wolverine. While Wolverine’s damage isn’t as good (no Flurry), he does brings value with his trait:

(☆ TRAIT) THE NOSE KNOWS, BUB: Opposing characters within 3 squares can’t use Stealth or Shape Change.

This stealth-busting, Shape Change-denying Wolverine has Charge with 9 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with an incredible 12 attack, Toughness with 18 defense and 2 damage. I ranked him lower than the Fast Forces version, but remember that you can list multiple options for each ID/Wanted Poster. You just need to declare which one you’re using at the beginning of the game.

Kate Pryde

WKMDOFP-002 KATE PRYDE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Other Identities: Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite

Call-In Options:

 

  • 60-point or 40-point WCR003 Kitty Pryde (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WKMP18-006 Shadowcat

60-point or 40-point WCR003 Kitty Pryde. Kitty can be used as a 60-point or a 40-point call-in. The only changes in combat values are her attack (11 to 10) and her defense (18 to 17).

With 0 range and only Sidestep, she’ll need to be close to attack. Her real value comes from her trait:

(☆ TRAIT) LOCKHEED: FREE: Once per game, generate a Lockheed Bystander.

Lockheed is the main threat. He has 5 range with a single target, Running Shot with 8 movement, Energy Explosion with 10 attack, Energy Shield/Deflection with a 17 defense, and 1 damage. Kitty is called in, Sidesteps, and generates Lockheed. Lockheed uses Running Shot and targets an opponent 5 squares away with Energy Explosion. That’s a 12-square reach (2 from Kitty’s Sidestep, 1 form being placed adjacent, 4 from Running Shot, and 5 from range). You’ll always use Energy Explosion because of his 1 printed damage. By using Energy Explosion that damage becomes 2.

ENERGY EXPLOSION RANGE: Make a range attack, and all other characters adjacent to an original target also become targets. Hit characters are dealt 2 damage instead of normal damage.

Colossus.jpg

WKMDOFP-003 COLOSSUS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Charge

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus

 

  • 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus. Colossus is a Giant Colossal Retaliator without Colossal Indifference. This means he can attack smaller characters normally and not just by Colossal Retaliation. Colossus has:

+ Improved Movement: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through. This character can move through squares adjacent to or occupied by opposing characters without stopping, and automatically breaks away, even if adjacent to a character than can use Plasticity. 

He has Charge with 7 movement, Quake with 11 attack, Impervious with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Colossus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. If that character is within the same row or column as Colossus, place Colossus adjacent to that character and make a close combat attack targeting all characters in the rows or columns between where Colossus began this action and his current square, regardless of adjacency. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

Colossus will be mainly as a call-in to retaliate. Because his retaliation has a condition of being in the same row or column of the opposing attacker, you’ll need to pay attention to his placement. If you do a non-retaliation attack first, it may help position Colossus for his retaliation. Bottom line: pay attention to position.

Rachel Summers ID

WKMDOFP-004 RACHEL SUMMERS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Running Shot

Other Identities: Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point WCR009E Rachel Summers

 

  • 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix. Between the two, Phoenix call-in is the better call-in. Phoenix has Colossal Indifference and can’t attack smaller characters unless it’s through retaliation. She has 10 range with 3 targets, Phasing/Teleport with 10 movement, Telekinesis with 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with a 16 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM with 3 damage. Phoenix’s traits are:

(☆ TRAIT) COSMIC ENTITY: Phoenix can’t be the target of an attack with more than one target.

(☆ TRAIT) ETERNAL FLAME OF DESTRUCTION AND REBIRTH: Energy Shield/Deflection, Poison. When Phoenix uses Poison and an opposing character took damage from it, after resolutions choose one: heal 1 click for each opposing character damaged this way -or- heal each adjacent friendly character 1 click.

The first trait is situational while her second trait is Poison.

POISON: FREE: If this character hasn’t moved or been placed this turn, deal 1 damage to all adjacent opposing characters.

It’s important to note that being placed on the map from the sideline isn’t the same being moved or placed when on the map. Therefore, Phoenix can use Poison before she retaliates.

Now, let’s look at her special powers:

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. If Phoenix starts on the 25-point line, she can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Phoenix within 3 squares of the chosen character then make a ranged attack targeting that character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares, regardless of line of fire. Instead of normal damage, deal each hit character 1 penetrating damage for each action token they have. Hit targets that can use Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast modify their combat values -1 until your next turn.

Her retaliation is where Phoenix increases her value. She deals 1 penetrating damage for each token on each hit target! Incredibly potent if timed right.

Magneto.jpg

WKMDOFP-006 MAGNETO WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Penetrating/Psychic Blast

Call-In Options:

  1. 50-point XDPS011B Magneto
  2. 65-point XDPS100 Magneto
  3. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto (OUR PICK!)

25-point XDPSG015P Magneto. Another fantastic colossal retaliator call-in! It’s important to note that Magneto is a standard size, even though he has a 2×2 base. He doesn’t have Colossal Indifference, which means he can make normal attacks and not just through retaliation. Magneto has 8 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, Telekinesis with 10 attack, Toughness with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM special power with 3 damage.

Let’s look at his trait:

(☆ TRAIT) THE FORCE OF MAGNETISM IS AT MY COMMAND: Leadership. FREE: Choose a character within range and line of fire. Place that character in a square adjacent to its current square.

Magneto increases his value with his Leadership. His trait also allows him to reposition one of your opponent’s characters. Now for his retaliation:

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM: FREE: If no other friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Magneto or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Magneto such that he can make a ranged attack targeting the chosen character then do so.

His retaliation power is good, but isn’t the the main reason he will be used.

 

ID CARDS

 

colossus id

WKMVID-011 COLOSSUS ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Impervious

Call-In Options:

  1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus
  2. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)
  3. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

We reviewed our Colossus pick earlier under the Wanted Posters.

Prof X ID.jpg

WKMVID-012 PROFESSOR X ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Shape Change

Call-In Options: Uhhhh… none, actually. There is a 100-point XDPS035 Professor X, but I don’t recommend him.

Banshee ID.jpg

WKMVID-013 BANSHEE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: When hitting with a ranged attack, after resolutions give all hit characters an action token.

Call-In Options: No options available post-rotation. 

Rogue ID.jpg

WKMVID-014 ROGUE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Steal Energy

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point FFXDPS002E Rogue
    2. 60-point XDPS002 Rogue

 

  • 60-point WCR011E Rogue (OUR PICK!)

 

60-point WCR011E Rogue. Rogue has flight, Charge with 9 movement, Quake with 11 attack, SOUTHERN BELLE special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. Her combat values are on a par with the other Rogue call-ins, but it’s her trait adds additional value to make her our selection. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) LET ME GIVE YOUR POWERS A SPIN FOR A WHILE, SUGAH: When Rogue hits a single opposing character with a close attack, after resolutions you may choose a standard power that character can use. Until you choose again, Rogue can use the chosen power and has the printed range value of the hit character.

(SPECIAL POWER) SOUTHERN BELLE: Invulnerability, Willpower.

True to the Rogue in the comics, when she hits she steals a standard power. In most cases, you’ll target a character with support powers like Perplex, Outwit, and Probability Control..

Psylocke ID.jpg

WKMVID-015 PSYLOCKE (5-POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Call-In Options:

    1. 45-point DCXM009 Psylocke

 

  • 40-point WCR020E Psylocke (OUR PICK!)

 

40-point WCR020E Psylocke. Psylocke has Improved Movement: Hindering, 6 range with 2 targets, NINJA TRAINING special power with an 8 movement, Precision Strike with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and Perplex with 2 damage. Her trait gives her Incapacitate that can disable an opponent’s attack or defense powers.

(☆ TRAIT) PSYCHIC BOW: Incapacitate. When she uses it and hits, after resolutions, choose a standard attack or defense power the hit character can use and that character can’t use that power until your next turn.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) NINJA TRAINING: Sidestep, Stealth.

Both these abilities make this Psylocke our pick. She can Sidestep, Perplex her attack up for Incapacitate, then when she hits, she can choose an attack or defense power to turn off? Yes, please! It’s a great way to get around pesky defenses! Unfortunately, she’s a Chase.

Angel ID.jpg

WKMVID-016 ANGEL (3-POINTS)

Other Identities: Archangel

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point WCR015E Angel (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WCR105E Archangel

40-point WCR015E Angel. Angel has flight, RETURN TO EARTH special power with 10 movement, 10 attack, DO YOU NOT KNOW AN ANGEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE? Special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) RETURN TO EARTH: Charge. When Angel uses it, you may choose to not half his speed. If you do, he has PASSENGER: 0

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) DO YOU NOT KNOW AN ANGEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE?: Super Senses, Willpower.

While the 80-point version of this character has a 12 movement and an 18 defense, the other stats are the same.  It’s why I recommend using the 40-point version—less risk of your opponent scoring him.

Beast ID.jpg

WKMVID-017 BEAST (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 FFXDPS003E Beast

 

  • 50 XDPS003 Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 40 WCR005E Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

 

50 XDPS003 Beast. Our first double selection. Both call-in options bring different value to a team. This Beast supplies Perplex and has Improved Movement: Elevated, Hindering, and Characters. He has Sidestep with 10 movement, 10 attack, Combat Reflexes with 17 defense, and A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME special power with 2 damage.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Beast uses it, if the target shares a keyword with him, you may instead modify the value except damage +2 or -2.

40 WCR005E Beast. Beast provides Outwit or Battle Fury to attack those pesky Shape Change characters. If he chooses Battle Fury, he modifies his combat values by +1. He has Improved Movement: Elevated Hindering and Charge with 8 movement, Quake with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and 3 damage.

(☆ TRAIT)  LETTING THE BEAST OUT: FREE: Chose one: Outwit -or- Battle Fury and modify Beast’s combat values +1. Beast can use the chosen effect(s) until your next turn.

Cyclops ID

WKMVID-018 CYCLOPS (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

 

  • 70 XDPS013 Cyclops (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70 WCR002E Cyclops
  2. 70 WCR102E Cyclops
  3. 75 WCR108 Cyclops

70 XDPS013 Cyclops. The first ID where we feel the pain of rotation. The post-rotation call-in options for Cyclops just can’t compare to the 50-point XXS052E Cyclops. This version has 8 range with a single target, OPTIC BEAMS special power with 10 movement, Penetrating/Psychic Blast with 11 attack, Willpower with 18 defense, and COMMANDING LEADER special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) OPTIC BEAMS: Running Shot, Force Blast.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COMMANDING LEADER: Leadership. When Cyclops use it and succeeds, after resolutions chose another friendly character that shares a keyword and has 0 action tokens. This turn, that character has “FREE: Halve speed, then Move.”

While the special movement power is nice, his damage power only benefits X-Men teams (Cyclops’ only keyword: X-Men).

Iceman ID.jpg

WKMVID-019 ICEMAN (3-POINTS

Call-In Options:

 

  • 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point WCR013E Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

 

15-point XDPSG025P Iceman. Both Iceman options are excellent and bring different utility. This Iceman is a colossal Ice Voltron and has Charge with 5 movement, 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! with 17 defense, and COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! special power with 3 damage. His abilities aret:

(☆ TRAIT) CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT!: STOP. If Iceman started the game on the 15-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Iceman or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Iceman such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. After resolutions, he can immediately use Incapacitate at no cost, but may target smaller characters.

Voltron Iceman’s trait is can potentially take out multiple colossal retaliators. While he has Colossal Indifference, his retaliation power allows him to use Incapacitate at no cost on smaller characters.

 

50-point WCR013E Iceman. Iceman has 5 range with 2 targets, Hypersonic Speed with 9 movement, 10 attack, MY ICE SLIDE WILL MELT…EVENTUALLY special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) WATCH YOUR STEP…IT’S SLIPPERY: When Iceman hits one or more opposing characters with a range attack, choose one for all hit characters: speed -2 -or- attack -1. Hit characters modify the chosen combat value until your next turn.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) MY ICE SLIDE WILL MELT… EVENTUALLY: Barrier, Toughness, Willpower. Whenever Iceman moves, after the resolution of each move, you may immediately place a Blocking terrain marker in a square he moved through. Remove that marker at the beginning of your next turn (even if this is lost).

Iceman’s trait and special defense increase his value. While he can only move 5 squares with his Hypersonic Speed since he must be close to the summoner, he can make a ranged attack, targeting an opponent 3 squares away (half his 5 range, rounded up). His special defense can be used strategically to place a blocking terrain in a square he moved through.

Jean Grey ID.jpg

WKMVID-020 JEAN GREY (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 XDPS014 Jean Grey
    2. 75 XDPS047 Jean Grey

 

  • 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50 FFXXS004E Jean Grey

For the XDPSG010P Phoenix call-in, refer to the review above.

harley Quinn ID

WKDCID-008 HARLEY QUINN (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Exploit Weakness.

Call-In Options:

 

  • 65-points BTAS014 Harley Quinn (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-points FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn (OUR PICK!)

 

 

These two Harley Quinn options don’t compare to the title character, but each one should still see play.

65-points BTAS014 Harley Quinn. Harley has 5 range with a single target, Stealth with 8 movement, Poison with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and Outwit with 3 damage. While having no move and attack, Harley is a good secondary character that can bring a Outwit to a team.

50-points FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn. Where the other Harley brought Outwit this one supplies Perplex. She has a 5 range with two targets, Sidestep with 7 movement, Quake with 10 attack, Energy Shield/Deflection with 17 defense, and AIN’T WE THE GREATEST? special power with 2 damage.

AIN’T WE THE GREATEST?: Perplex. When Harley Quinn uses it, if she does not choose damage and targets a friendly character named Poison Ivy, Catwoman or The Joker, modify the chosen value by +2 instead.

Joker ID

WKDCID-009 THE JOKER (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Perplex

Call-In Options:

    1. 100-point WKDP18-009 The Joker

 

  • 30-point BTAS003 The Joker (OUR PICK!)

 

    1. 80-point BTAS042 The Joker

 

  • 75-point BTAS054 The Joker (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point FFBTAS103 The Joker

With two solid call-in options for Joker, I prefer the 30-point version. Both are worth reviewing.

30-point BTAS003 The Joker. Joker has 4 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS? special power with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, Probability Control with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.

This Joker packs a lot of neat tricks that make him an asset beyond his Probability Control.

 

75-point BTAS054 The Joker. I always hesitate calling in higher-point figures for my opponent to potentially score, but this Joker brings Plasticity, Perplex, and Outwit. He starts with 0 range, JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS, ROBIN LAID AN EGG… special power with 9 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with 11 attack, Willpower with 18 defense, and BATMOBILE LOST A WHEEL, AND JOKER GOT AWAY special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS, ROBIN LAID AN EGG…: Charge, Plasticity, Sidestep.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) BATMOBILE LOST A WHEEL, AND JOKER GOT AWAY: Outwit, Perplex. When the Joker uses either, his minimum range value is 9.

Mr Freeze ID

WKDCID-010 MR. FREEZE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Incapacitate

Call-In Options:

  1. 75-point BTAS009 Mr. Freeze
  2. 100-point BTAS022 Mr. Freeze

At these high-point levels, I can’t really recommend any.

Poison Ivy ID.jpg

WKDCID-011 POISON IVY (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Poison, Smoke Cloud

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point BTAS004 Poison Ivy (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50-point BTAS031 Poison Ivy
  2. 65-point BTAS043 Poison Ivy
  3. 75-point FFBTAS104 Poison Ivy

 

40-point BTAS004 Poison Ivy. As a call-in for Perplex, Poison Ivy brings 3 range with a single target, Stealth with 8 movement, Incapacitate with 10 attack, Combat Reflexes with 17 defense, and Perplex with 1 damage.

Two Face ID

WKDCID-012 TWO-FACE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Probability Control

Other Identities: Harvey Dent

Call-in Options:

 

  • 55-point BTAS021 Harvey Dent (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point BTAS008 Two-Face

55-point BTAS021 Harvey Dent. Harvey has nice support: the Police team ability and Probability Control. Dent has 6 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, 10 attack, Toughness with 17 defense, and Probability Control with 2 damage. He also has the Batman Ally team ability that gives him Stealth.

 

Final Call

While we don’t know all that 2020 will bring, we can assume that there won’t be too many more X-Men options. My recommendation is to practice and test which call-in options work for your play style. While I tend to use lower-cost call-in figures, you may find that a higher-point option might be the better for your team. Just remember to value and protect points! 

The chart below shows the ID cards with our call-in selections.

ID / WANTED POSTER CALL-IN
WKMDOFP-001 Wolverine 50 FFXDPS001E Wolverine

IM: Hindering, Charge, Flurry, BFC

50 XDPS001 Wolverine

Charge. Opposing within 3 can’t use Stealth or Shape Change.

WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 60 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

40 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

Giant. Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters. Penetrating damage.

WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

Poison. TK. Colossal Retaliator does 1 penetrating damage for each token on targets. 10 range with 3 targets.

WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 25 XDPSG015P Magneto

Sidestep. TK. FREE place a character within range and line of fire in an adjacent square from its current square.

Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters.

WKMVID-011 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

Giant. Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters. Penetrating damage.

WKMVID-012 Professor X NONE
WKMVID-013 Banshee NONE
WKMVID-014 Rogue 60 WCR011E Rogue

Flight, Charge, Quake. Can pick a standard power that a hit character can use, Rogue can use that power.

WKMVID-015 Psylocke 40 WCR020.1E Psylocke

IM: Hindering, Stealth, Precision Strike, Incapacitate. Choose attack or defense power on hit character. Hit character can’t use the chosen power.

WKMVID-016 Angel 40 WCR015E Angel

Flight, Charge.

WKMVID-017 Beast 50 XDPS003 Beast

Sidestep. IM: Elevation, Hindering, Characters. Perplex, modify +2/-2 if target shares a keyword.

40 WCR005E Beast

IM: Hindering, Elevated. Charge. Outwit or Battle Fury and +1 combat values on Beast.

WKMVID-018 Cyclops 70 XDPS013 Cyclops

8 range, RS, Force Blast, PPB.

WKMVID-019 Iceman 15 XDPSG025P Iceman

BFC trait. When Iceman KO’s a Giant/Colossal, can charge at no cost another Giant/Colossal. Colossal Retaliator, can use Incapacitate for FREE on smaller characters after retaliating resolves.

50 WCR013E Iceman

HSS, Hit Characters -2 speed or -1 attack. 1 Barrier Marker on movement path.

WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

Poison. TK. Colossal Retaliator does 1 penetrating damage for each token on targets. 10 range with 3 targets.

WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 65 BTAS014 Harley Quinn

Stealth, Outwit.

50 FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn

Sidestep, Quake, Perplex.

WKDCID-009 The Joker 30 BTAS003 The Joker

Sidestep, PC, Smoke Cloud. Free close attack on opposing in his smoke cloud, give an action token instead of normal damage.

75 BTAS054 The Joker

Charge, Plasticity, Sidestep. Outwit/Perplex with a 9 range.

WKDCID-010 Mr. Freeze NONE
WKDCID-011 Poison Ivy 40 BTAS004 Poison Ivy

Stealth, Perplex.

WKDCID-012 Two-Face 55 BTAS021 Harvey Dent

Batman Ally/Police TAs, Sidestep, PC.

And that’s all I have for tonight! Thanks for reading!

Another Year, Another… 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!! (Or, The First Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

Superhero Christmas Stan Lee style

RIP Stan The Man Lee

Welcome everybody to this year’s installment of… the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

By now, most of you are familiar with the drill; instead of our usual drip-feed of content from our ragtag writing and editorial team, we endeavor to provide you, dear reader, with 12 different articles in 12 days!

And we’ve been successful for the last two years running!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Did you just jinx us? I think you just jinxed us.]

–Remember, this doesn’t necessarily mean a new article every day; some days may have no new content while some days will have two or even three posts!

After a couple of down years, this new posting format has led to better outcomes for all involved in 2017 and 2018.

Okay, with the ground rules set, I’ll just wish everybody a safe and happy holiday season, and check back with this space soon for the first ever Clix-mas article not written by HypeFox or Ninwashui…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Marvel Christmas

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!.” Night 10 was a look at upcoming Monthly OP kits! Finally, we listed some of our other favorite Clix content creators on Night 11!]

Welcome to the final night of Clix-Mas 2018!!

Like we do every year, we just want to close out the last post of the season with a hearty “Thank You” to all of our readers and commenters.

There will be some great Clix and movies and games coming our way in 2019, and we plan to continue to do what we’re doing–just hopefully more often!!

We hope that you and yours have a great holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa, or nothing at all, even.

Thank you all so much for sticking with us! We’ll see you in the new year!

–The Staff at Critical Missives

The Ghost of Christmas Present Presents: My Favorite Current Clix Content Creators!! (Or, The Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Dial_H_Logo_2

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!.” And finally, Night 10 was a look at upcoming Monthly OP kits!]

Hello again, and welcome to Night 11 of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today will be short and sweet, but I wanted to call out a few of the many Clix creators whose content I really enjoy!

PODCASTS:

Dial H For Heroclix: One of the longest running Clix casts out there (Episode 237 just dropped two days ago!), the current hosts have fantastic chemistry and seamlessly cater to both casual and Meta players in every outing!

Two Clix From KO: Another fun podcast that trends a little more towards the serious players. Lots of cutting edge info here! Episode 157 just released a couple weeks ago and introduced Aaron’s new cohost!

(I also enjoy Edward Shelton’s commentary wherever he pops up too!)

YOUTUBE: 

Mr. Clixfix: You will not find a more consistent content creator when it comes to Heroclix.

Married With Clix: These two are my go-to for box openings not done by Scott Porter! They also make great contributions to the Meta Lab project!

Speaking of…

Scott Porter: He is the premier Clix video host, whether he’s unboxing new sets or appearing on “Indomitable.” I honestly don’t really start getting excited for new sets until I see Scott popping unreleased packs on my computer screen.

BLOGS: 

APEX PREDATORS: Again, there’s a lot of great content out there, but if you want to walk along the cutting edge, this is the blog for you. There’s a ton of articles written by some of the most successful modern Clixers of all-time!

 

Okay, that’s really it for today. We’re closing down the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas with a brief message tomorrow. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!

 

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future Presents: A Look At Some Upcoming OP Kits!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!”]

Welcome to Night 10 of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today we’re going to take a look at what Wizkids has planned on the OP kit front… especially because “Best There Is Games” on YouTube has just gotten their hands on some Deadpool OP kit images!

This kit is coming to Local Game Stores in January, and it will feature Deadpool (natch), Wolverine and Negasonic Teenage Warhead!

Click the link above if you want to see the cards and dials for Deadpool and Wolverine. But suffice it to say that Negasonic Teenage Warhead is the winner of the bunch.

She’s 40 points and comes with 4 Clicks. She has 4 Range and top dial Sidestep, ES/D with a 17 Defense and a Special Attack Power ( Watch This!: Pulse Wave, Telekinesis. POWER: If Negasonic Teenage Warhead has no action tokens, she can use Pulse Wave and Telekinesis at no cost in either order.) on her first two Clicks (along with a 10 Attack).

With the Heroes for Hire keyword and the Mercs For Money Trait (Mercs For Money: When another friendly character with the Heroes For Hire keyword KO’s and opposing character, after resolutions heal Negasonic Teenage Warhead 1 click.), she will slide right in with your favorite characters from 2017’s Deadpool and X-Force!

If you place in a local event and get a chance at one of these pieces, Negasonic is probably your best choice!

Now the fact that hard news about these pieces is already filtering through definitely inspires confidence that we’ll see the other already announced kits actually drop when they’re scheduled for release.

For the record, that means we’ll be getting:

–Heroes For Hire Monthly OP kit (February)

–Too Many Spider-Man OP kit (March)

–Public Enemy: Bullseye OP kit (April)

–X-Men: Empowered OP kit (May)

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print for the moment

Good luck with your January events, and we’ll see you here tomorrow night for some more Clix-Mas!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are sourcing this information from a video posted by “BEST THERE IS GAMES” on YouTube! We highly recommend clicking the link and checking out there content for pictures of the actual cards for these figures (and hints on what the sculpts will look like!).]

 

 

Scenario: Raid Night! (Or, Raid Boss Scenario #1: Living Tribunal!!)(Or, Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

This Is Raid Night

Hello again!

Today we’re trying something completely different!

This is our new Raid Boss Scenario series, where we take existing Colossal/high point figures, alter a few things about them and then create Single and/or Multi-Player Raid scenarios based around that piece!

So first, a definition. If you’ve been playing Heroclix for awhile, you probably have a general understanding of most of these terms, as they’ve been around for a long time (although exact terminology may vary by LGS).

Lich King raid

We’re trying to do the Heroclix version of this, essentially.

–RAID BOSS SCENARIO: A game wherein a high-costed figure (generally–but not always–a Colossal) is piloted by one player (sometimes referred to as “The Boss”) while a second (and sometimes third) player assembles a team (sometimes referred to as “The Raiders”) of equal points designed to beat the Raid Boss.

By now, Heroclix has a long and storied tradition of making some great high-point figures. However, some of them aren’t quite Boss material unless you tweak a few things about the figure. Luckily, Heroclix is a versatile game! It’s very nature allows you to create almost any Scenario you can imagine for house games!

(Ninwashui and I have tried this a couple times, and we had a lot of fun. So as we try out a few more “Bosses,” we’ll report back any alterations we attempt that seem to work.)

Up first for the “Boss” treatment is…

Living Tribunal with Card

AIG024 Living Tribunal!!

Living Tribunal is 900 points and he is pretty much the master of all of the Marvel multiverses. His dial is great, and really does lend itself to a fun Boss fight. However, I can tell you from experience that if you’re going to Pilot him in a Boss fight, his Traits need a few upgrades.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Now is as good a time as any to mention that in running any Raid Scenario, any tweaks you make should never affect anything that’s actually PRINTED on the Boss’s dial–essentially, don’t try to give him new stats or standard/Special abilities. It just gets too confusing.]

Right! Any “edits” we’re making to a Boss are made by adding/removing Traits, which is what we’re going to do here.

(I usually just make a note on my phone or write down the revisions on a piece of paper.)

For example, on Living Tribunal, the “Cosmic Entity” Trait is, essentially, worthless for a Boss (he’s a solo piece in this Raid Scenario, so he would never be a target of a Multi-Attack).

Instead, we’re going to replace “Cosmic Entity” with a new Trait of our own design:

Judge of All Realities: FREE: Choose a Team Ability. Opposing Characters can’t use the chosen Team Ability until your next turn.

Also, for Raid encounters, we suggest setting the Action Total cap at 5. In this instance, that would actually reduce down to four for the raiders due to the Boss’s “You Can’t Kill the Abstract–Living Tribunal” Trait (but could be increased back up to a max of 5 with Leadership, etc.).

That was all Ninwashui and I did for our Living Tribunal Raid! We ended up going 1-1 against each other, but each game was a lot of fun!

I’ve heard of other folks running similar games deciding to put a minimum point threshold for each character (so you don’t end up with literally 30 pieces on the board); Ninwashui and I didn’t feel the need to do this (he was playing mostly 90-200 point pieces anyway while I played the Living Tribunal), but your mileage may vary.

living tribunal heroic mode

This is what “downing the Boss” looks like in this Scenario…

Finally, once the Raiders have “farmed” out the raid encounter, you can always spice it up with a “Heroic Mode.” In this case, “Living Tribunal–Heroic Mode” would consist of all of the above new rules, plus one more Trait:

Simultaneous Multi-versal Manifestion: Living Tribunal can use the Multi-Attack ability.

So far, Raid Night has been a fun way for us to spice up our home games. We’ll run another one of these once we test out a different Boss.

Until then, come see us here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas shenanigans!

 

 

The Ghost of Christmas Present Presents: The One Sub-Theme I Want… (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

X-Men 2099

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary!]

Welcome to the Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!

Tonight’s post is really more of a question:

With news dropping a few days ago that we’re getting the Elders of the Universe and the Infinity Gems back in Modern with next year’s Avengers: Black Panther and the Illuminati set, which past sub-theme (figures, mechanics or equipment) do you want to see return to Heroclix?

For me, it’s pretty easy (especially now that we’re getting a new Infinity Gauntlet, so that’s off the list):

X-Men 2099 spread.png

I want new X-Men 2099 pieces!

Yes, the 2099 corner of the Marvel Universe isn’t always remembered as fondly as other stories 0f the 90’s, but having grown up during that era I recall actually really liking this series as much or more than any other X-tales.

(For the record, Spider-Man 2099 and Doom 2099 were actually better than folks remember as well.)

Anyway, John Francis Moore and Ron Lim still stand in my mind as one of my favorite creative teams of all-time.

How big of a fan was I?

Well, when I got a little bit older, I started buying X-Men 2099 covers straight from the artists! I spent money I probably didn’t really have back then to have them custom-framed, and they still hang on my walls to this day!

So yeah, I like these characters a lot!

And Wizkids hasn’t completely ignored them. There was a special limited edition release in December of 2006 when they made seven characters from the 2099 universe–including two from X-Men 2099 (Junkpile and Mean Streak).

Since then, we’ve gotten a really good version of Miguel O’Hara (in ASM), but nothing 2099-related since then. That’s five X-focused sets (counting the two Deadpool sets but not counting wider sets like AvX) since GSX in 2011 with not even ONE X-Men 2099 sub-Theme!

I doubt that we’ll see them show up in X-Men Adventures either, but please Wizkids! Xi’an Chi Xan, Skullfire, Bloodhawk, Metalhead, Shakti… these characters and stories are too much fun too just leave unclix’d!!

So which sub-theme or equipment from the past would you like to see updated for Modern Clix? Sound of in the Comments below, and then come back here for Night Nine of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

The Ghost of Christmas Booker T Presents: Our Fifth Anniversary!! (Or, The Seventh Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Booker T 5 time

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement!]

Well, Night Seven of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2018 is going to be short and sweet.

I officially got the notification today: Critical Missives is five years old. Wow! Where did the time go?!

Personally, my life has undergone some major changes in that time. I had just started dating a wonderful girl when I started this blog five years ago; we’ve now been married for three years with our first bundle of joy on the way!!

My brother Ninwashui has been here the whole time as well; first as a reader, and then (when he couldn’t stand my Top Ten rankings and felt the need for a rebuttal) as a contributor. The site wouldn’t be what it is today without him.

We started small, and we’re still small, but we’ve picked up some wonderful fans along the way. As of this year the site has garnered more than 80,000 views among a dozen different countries (actually, there’s a dozen different countries with more than a thousand logged views. The actual list of countries where we have at least a single view is 143. Not bad for a southeast Michigan gaming blog!!).

So whether you’ve read one of our articles or a hundred, I’d like to end our little celebration with a simple Thank You! Hopefully we’ll see you again!

And join us right here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas mayhem!!

The Ghost of Christmas Future Presents: Breaking News! Avengers: Black Panther and the Illuminati!! (Or, The Sixth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Black Panther Infinity Gauntlet.jpg

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Finally, Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets!]

Ho ho ho!!

Welcome to Night Six of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!! Sorry we’re a little late tonight, but we got some hot off the presses news!

About a year after I called for Infinity Gem Equipment in my Irresponsible Speculation!! Preview of the Avengers: Infinity expansion… we’ll actually be getting just that!

That’s right–Wizkids announced another Avengers set for next year, and it’s gonna have some big hitters in it, with sub-themes including Wakanda itself, the Illuminati, The Cabal, The Elders of the Universe and possibly even the first Malibu character in Clix, Rune (who himself once went after the gems, which would make him a perfect inclusion here).

There will be 78 total figures in the set broken down thusly:

17 Commons (plus 1 Prime)
17 Uncommons (plus 1 Prime)
17 Rares (plus 1 Prime)
16 Super Rares (plus 1 Prime)
6 Chases
1 Ultra Chase
11 Equipment Objects (included with select figures in 5-Figure Boosters)

Never before Clix’d pieces include Astronomer, Challenger, Eitri, Enigma, Everett K. Ross, Kobik, Okoye, and as mentioned before, Rune.

Some of the equipment we’ll be getting includes the Cosmic Cube, The Infinity Gems and The Infinity Gauntlet.

Obviously we don’t know much more than that, but we can make some educated guesses based upon what we know from the comics! So let’s indulge in some quick…

IRRESPONSIBLE SPECULATION!!

New_Avengers_Vol_3_2

One of the best Marvel covers of the last 10 years…

Speculation #1: The name of the set will be Avengers: Black Panther and the Illuminati.

Why is this important? Well, first of all, “Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati” just sounds and looks like a weird run-on sentence. It’s kind of terrible, like someone just reciting stream-of-consciousness-style everything that they remembered from the set as a title. As a title, it means nothing because it COULD mean anything.

Now, Avengers: Black Panther and the Illuminati is a different story! That could have several distinct meanings!

Firstly, during Hickman’s run on New Avengers, the Illuminati took center stage. It basically could have been called Avengers: Illuminati. Currently, Black Panther is also maybe/kinda/sort of trying to reform the Illuminati as a more inclusive organization in his capacity as Avengers chairperson. This storyline may keep developing and even reach a crescendo just before or even during this set’s release in June.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Or by then Marvel may reboot everything for a tenth time in 5 years as no one is buying their books right now. Or any books really.]

Nice. Way to bring the mood down.

Annnnnnyhow… that colon may seem small, but it’s presence makes a huge difference in my opinion. Or maybe I’m just being anal about it.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Can’t both be true?]

Ahem.

Cosmic Cube

Speculation #2: There’s 11 Equipment, and we may already know what 8 of them are…

Why is this important? They’ve already told us that the Cosmic Cube is being remade. That’s 1. The Infinity Gems are in this set (see next entry for what else this may tell us). That’s six more pieces right there, folks! They’re not going to make all the gems one collective piece of equipment, right? Especially since the other piece of equipment in the set they told us about is The Infinity Gauntlet!

So that means there’s just 3 unknown pieces of equipment out there! And we have six months to guess what they are!

Illuminati Gems.jpg

Speculation #3: The Illuminati members from Hickman’s New Avengers run will be the Gem-bearers in this set (ie they will be the figures that the gems come with).

Why is this important? Because if my guess is correct, it tells us a lot about the roster for this set. That would mean new versions of Iron Man (w/ the Reality Gem), either Professor X or Beast (w/ the Mind Gem–in between the distribution of the gems and the start of the incursions, Professor X was murdered by Cyclops or something in AvX–I honestly could be conflating stories, here, but it’s not really that important), Namor (w/ the Time Gem), Black Bolt (w/ the Space Gem), Doctor Strange (w/ the Soul Gem) and… someone(?) with the Power Gem?

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Honestly, the color assignment for the gems has been all screwed up ever since the MCU started, so I don’t always remember which was which when I’m reading the comics now. I’m pretty sure about the Soul, Reality and Mind; after that, I can never remember.]

See, that’s where the theory falls apart. Because in the comics, Reed Richards has the Power Gem at that point. And even though Disney’s acquisition of Fox should be finished by that point, it’s unclear (at best) whether Marvel will let Wizkids make any FF pieces by then (my best guess is no). Sooooo…

The-Elders-Of-The-Universe

Okay, the Stranger is not an Elder of the Universe, but I don’t have time to look up other art for them.

Speculation #4: Speculation #3 is pure fanboy wish fulfillment horse dookie!

Why is this important? It’s really not. But in this Scenario, Wizkids will just make new versions of the Elders of the Universe (from whom Thanos stole the gems in the first place) and have THEM come with their respective gems. Plus we’re also getting… uh… Astromancer? No, Astronomer! That’s it!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, we’re HUGE Marvel Cosmic fans, and even we forgot this guy existed. But hey, in this Scenario, we’d get a new… Runner. Guy. Dude. Yaaay! Oh, $#!t, we might even get another Gardener! Actually… I’d potentially be excited for another Champion!]

Infinity Gems

Coloring. Fail.

Speculation #5: Wizkids wants this set to sell. Also, they’re not stupid.

Why is this important? Look, I’m not trying to worry anyone here who is huge fan of the Infinity Gems (like myself) and wants Wizkids to make them accessible, but whether it’s the Illuminati that comes with the Gems or the Elders of the Universe, I mean… there’s six Gems… and six Chase slots…

You do the math.

Rune Infinity gauntlet

Speculation #6: Who is the Ultra-Chase?

Why is this important? History says it probably isn’t, as the previous two Ultra-Chases–while very powerful for their points–didn’t make a huge Meta impact. But with Black Panther wielding the Gauntlet during Secret Wars having already been Clix’d, I can think of a few possibilities:

–Captain America wielding the Infinity Gauntlet given to him by the Illuminati in New Avengers #’s 2-3 (or thereabouts).

–God Emperor Doom (also from Secret Wars–but this would be contingent on FF characters being available, which again seems unlikely)

–The aforementioned Rune, who, even as a Malibu character (Malibu comics was the independent publisher behind the Ultraverse, a pretty cool superhero universe that eventually ran out of money and was bought by Marvel in or about the late 90’s/early 2000’s) once held the Gauntlet for a brief moment before the Silver Surfer used the Power Cosmic to literally dismember Rune’s hand (as I recall–I could be misremembering something).

Rune was basically an evil space vampire who already had cosmically powered gems around his neck (the Star Stones–hey, maybe those are another piece of equipment in the set!), so of course he had to try and get a whole new set.

Look, it makes sense (kind of). He’s probably going to be the only Ultraverse character in the set, since the Ultraverse isn’t a listed sub-theme. I know Rune isn’t a popular or well-known character, but neither was the White Rabbit.

Now Wizkids could either make Rune (as he is or with the Star Stones equipment) the Ultra-Chase, or they could be reeeeeeeeeal evil and make Rune the Ultra-Chase… and have him come with the Infinity Gauntlet!

$500 Ultra-Chases anyone?

Yikes.

 

Okay, that’s it for tonight! Sorry we were a little late, but we’ll see you again tomorrow for more 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

The Ghost of Christmas Past Presents… My Three Favorite Sets for Heroclix Sealed Play and Why I Love Them!! (Or, The Fifth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

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[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years!]

Welcome to Night 5 of The Twelve Nights of Christmas!

Tonight I’m gonna talk about my favorite Sealed sets.

Sealed balance is mixed bag for Wizkids. It’s one of my favorite ways to play, but not every set is as much fun to play Sealed as some others are. The following sets I think are some of the best Wizkids has ever made, albeit for various reasons.

 

Deadpool 2014

3. DEADPOOL (2014)

Reason: Great Roster of Characters; Creativity of Mechanics; Sealed Release Prizes

2016’s Deadpool and X-Force almost took this spot, but I give the edge to the original because the Deadpools worked better on their own if you only happened to pull one (and the best ones weren’t all at the Chase level).

Admittedly, you probably liked this set better if you were a Deadpool fan (I know some comic readers can’t stand the character, but I’ve been a fan since the Joe Kelly solo series days), but still, this set had everything!

The Word Balloon mechanic is still one of my favorite pieces of game design to this day! Outside of “Hammer Time,” which you only got if you lucked into the Super Rare Thor Deadpool, all of the Word Balloons were extremely situational, so pulling a Deadpool didn’t automatically mean you were going to steamroll someone. Still, they were occasionally useful, and even if you only pulled a couple ‘Pools from the Common slot (like Headpool and Dogpool), you could interchange their Word Balloons for maximum effectiveness.

But beyond that, this was a set with great, synergistic sub-themes (Sinister Syndicate, Thunderbolts, Z-Virus, Heroes For Hire) that yielded some high-demand figures. The Super Rare level was filled with hits, but even in the Rare slot you could pull a piece like Black Talon and–if you pulled the right supporting cast–steamroll the competition.

Chases were better when played together (although zombie Electro was pretty deadly on his own or paired with other Sinister Syndicate pieces), so again, if you were lucky enough to pull one, it didn’t mean you would auto-win.

The Uncommon, Rare and Super Rare Primes were all a ton of fun (Evil Deadpool!!), and this is also the set that gave us DP053A Speed Demon, probably the most unique speedster dial Wizkids has ever given us!

And you wanted to do well at the Sealed Release events, because Wizkids gave us four (FOUR!!) fantastic LE pieces that only came in the Deadpool OP kits.

–DP101 Ultimate Deadpool, who I think to this day has the most Named Keywords and who also came with an exclusive Word Balloon.

–Bill, Agent of A.I.M., a 30 point Taxi with an Attack Special (MY HIGH-ENERGY FINDER THING: Give Bill, Agent of A.I.M. a power action and choose the highest-point opposing character. Until your next turn, that character can be targeted with a ranged combat attack by one friendly character adjacent to Bill, Agent of A.I.M. and line of fire for that attack isn’t blocked.) that was so good he ended up as a Meta piece for the next year and a half.

Bill, like his counterpart Bob, Agent of Hydra, is one of Deadpool’s most popular supporting cast members and this was the only way to get him as he didn’t appear in the main set.

–Wolverine, Agent of Hydra, who was the “boss” character that both The Hand and Hydra teams were looking for at the time. I wouldn’t say he ended up being Meta, but he made a bunch of ninja teams viable at house games over the next year.

–Cosmic X-23. This was the first solo version of X-23 the game had seen in 4 years. She was borderline Meta, but never really got there. Still, she had two great dials and was also in high demand from players who collect the various Captain Universe pieces.

To this day, I don’t think we’ve seen better release day LE’s. In fact, I think shortly after this set Wizkids switched to including just one release OP LE figure for new standard sets.

 

Heroclix WOL

2. War of Light (2014)

Reason: Titanic, High-Point Battles; $$$$!!

Man, 2014 was the year to be playing Sealed! War of Light was the 2014 Summer OP Limited Edition set, and it was crazy popular.

First of all, there are a LOT of Lantern fans out there, and the Clix community had been waiting for powerful, Modern interpretations of these characters (or, in some cases, their debut). Suddenly EVERY color on the spectrum had enough pieces to field viable teams for house games; some colors (Green, Yellow) even found themselves in the Meta.

Because you could only get these boosters by playing at your local game store (or by sniping a brick on eBay, where they were going for $210-$249 a BRICK during their heyday!), almost every SR was worth more than $25, with some going for $50-$80 the first month the set was released.

And the Chases… each color got a Chase Entity (except for Black, whose Entity piece was SR) that went for $100 plus (or $200 in the case of Parallax) because of both their scarcity and their power level in the Meta (from June 2014–January 2015, EVERY Meta team had at least one Entity on it).

All of which turned these Sealed OP events into lottery draws. So these events were PACKED, and competitors were hyped EVEN BEFORE FOLKS STARTED PLAYING!

Now, I talked a bit about balance with Deadpool (and I’ll talk a LOT more about balance with the #1 set), but WOL was NOT the most balanced set Wizkids has ever designed. Far from it, actually.

But that imbalance just fed into the whole lottery craze! A lot of folks sold their most expensive pulls on eBay after the event, so for some, the event itself was the only time they’d ever get to play with these figs.

And Battle Royales… wow! I’ve never seen so many folks queue up for Battle Royales than the fall of 2014 when the bigger venues in town would run a ROC or other big event! If WOL was on the menu, people would be there!

I can remember being ganged up on in one WOL BR by two different guys who knew each other and happened to be in the same pod as me. Unfortunately for them, I pulled the Weaponer of Qward, so it didn’t go so well for them (as opposed to when the same thing happened to me during an Uncanny X-Men BR, and I got my @$$ handed to me!).

But that was the boom or bust nature of the set. In month one at my LGS, I pulled Ophidian with Red Lantern Superboy Prime. In Round 2 I played Ninwashui, and the game lasted about 15 minutes, since his best pull was Brother Warth (to be fair, I think he actually got Supes down to, like, click 3 or 4).

But I will always remember the furor this set inspired, and that’s why it’s number two on this list!

 

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1. BATMAN, THE ANIMATED SERIES (2018)

Reason: Insanely Well-Balanced!! Plus Some Nice Nostalgia… 

And now for my favorite Sealed Set! Yup! It just came out in July!

This set is arguably the most well-balanced Sealed set Wizkids has ever designed. I’ve written before about how I lucked into possibly the BEST Sealed configuration a person can pull from this set at a WKO, and I still lost on a roll-off in the playoffs against stiff comepetition!

I’ll say it again–even the BEST PIECES IN THE SET were no guarantee of victory!

The point distribution between characters was very narrow for the most part, and outside of a few characters <cough–Hawkman & Hawkgirl–cough>, no piece had distinct offensive or mobility advantages over the others (okay, maybe Rare Batman with his Batarang, which was insanely good in Sealed!).

I’ve played this set Sealed probably four or five times now, and I’ve enjoyed every game!

That’s why it’s my favorite Sealed Set… so far!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I would give an Honorable Mention to Avengers: Infinity, also from this year, solely because it’s the first time we saw Sealed Colossal vs. Colossal play! There were some other slight issues that caused the set to slip down my personal rankings a bit, but for the Colossal novelty alone, I thought it also deserved a mention here. More of this please, Wizkids!!]

What are yours? Sound off in the Comments below, then join us right here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas!!