Heavy Is the Head That Wears the Crown!! (Or, an Article About My Experiences at the 2019 Summer Michigan Wizkids Open!!)

So the newest Michigan Wizkids Open Champion has just been crowned, and the winner is… Me!!! It could be luck, it could be my awesome play, or it could just be because the Canadian nationals were on the same day and the normal Toronto crew was absent. But whatever way you slice it, I won and I’ll take it!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Clearly it was luck!! Just kidding. I kid… ]

But enough self aggrandizing for now, let me tell you about…

My Team

ABPI011 Ant-Man – (30 points) My second favorite member of the team. His defenses are top notch for his point cost and he made a wonderful secondary attacker with a surprising amount of KOs on the day, but the real reason to play him is his ability to make anyone else on my team small. This allowed for excellent mobility by letting any of the other three characters carry each other. My favorite move was shrinking and carrying a double-token-ed Kobik up to an opposing character and then having her use her cube to give that character an action token when they thought they were safe. It also solved a lot of line of sight issues by shrinking my guys to let Kobik or Hulk see who they needed to see.

ABPI014 Hulk – (125points) The damage dealer of the team, and also the damage absorbing member of the team. His 12 attack and 5 damage made opponents fearful, but it’s the amount of clicks of life he had combined with his healing that truly made him great. Several times during the day he hit for 5 and 6 damage (often while outwitting defense before the hit). And opponents hated how he just wouldn’t die. With reducers on every click an opponent would have to bring psychic blast, outwit, or the raw damage output of someone like Thanos to even have a shot at knocking out Hulk. He has 8 clicks of life and heals for 1 the turn after he’s hit. Opponents would end up having to effectively go through 10 or 11 clicks of life before they finally saw the Hulk be KOed. 

ABPI021 Ayo – (30 points) The easiest of my team to KO. She had some moments to shine and made a good piece to use carry others with Ant-Man around, but overall she paled in Comparison to Ant-Man and she was exactly the same amount of points. Her biggest blades roll all day was 3 points of damage.

ABPI069 Kobik – (100 points) The best member of my team. I’d read about her exploits at nationals this year, but I hadn’t ever played her or even seen her in person. She has a distinct learning curve, but once you get the hang of her she is everything they said she was. Whether it was using dual target mind control from 11 range, or taking away Power Cosmic AND Mystics TA, or giving someone an action token (and pushing damage) with her item – she was worth the the hype. I was not a believer before today, I am now.

ABPI069T Hi, I’m Kobik – (15 points) Kobik’s cosmic cube was the real star of the show. It’s what makes her so broken. All three options it provides are great and as free actions with no chance of having to roll dice to avoid taking damage (like both of the set’s gauntlets), there is no reason not to use this every turn. I now believe that this is the most powerful item in the set (and that’s really saying something).

Total: 300 points

The Games

I ended up going 6 and 1 for the day only losing versus a team featuring both the Thanos Ultra Chase and Taskmaster in round round 1. Five of the wins were 300 to 0 or 300 to 30 (losing only Ayo).

The Semifinals

Versus:

  • ABPI074 Thanos (160 points)
  • ABPI061 Taskmaster (100 points)
  • ABPI005 A.I.M. Red Squad (20 points)
  • ABPI007 Wakandan Scientist (15 points)
  • 295 points total

This was versus the same Thanos team that I had lost to 300 to 0 in round 1. I was determined not to make the same mistakes twice. He won map roll and we played on Amok Time. My team is close combat focused and on this map I was in danger of getting killed by ranged attacks before I ever got near his team. I courageously hid in a corner behind a pillar until he got to about mid map with only Kobik sticking out. I managed to land a dual target mind control when he got to within 11 of me, but missed with Thanos and had Skeet roll impervious against Taskmaster. On his turn he gave Taskmaster running shot and ridiculously modified stats and tried to attack Kobik. She hit shape change and he had no other targets. Then I sprang into action on my turn. Hulk was shrunk by ant man and carried up to Taskmaster by Kobik. Kobik used her item to give Taskmaster a second token so he couldn’t do anything the next turn. Ayo carried Ant Man up to base Thanos. Kobik gave both Thano’s TAs to Hulk so Thanos lost willpower. On my opponents turn he he could do anything with Taskmaster except chose combat reflexes. Thanos faced the decision of pushing to try to attack Ant-man because he already had one action token. He chose to pass the turn. On my next turn Hulk outwitted combat reflexes and brought taskmaster down to his last click. Then one of my 30 point attackers finished Taskmaster off. The rest of the game went well from there. Kobik eventually made it over to Thanos and kept adding action tokens every turn while simultaneously denying him willpower. The Hulk eventually killed everyone except Skreet (who was killed by a mind controlled Thanos). The game ended in a 300 to nothing victory.

The Finals

Versus:

  •  ABPI010 S.H.I.E.L.D. Diplomat (20 points)
  • ABPI011 Ant-Man (30 points)
  • ABPI012 Crystal (50 points)
  • ABPI021 Ayo (30 points)
  • ABPI022 A.I.M. White Squad (20 points)
  • ABPI041A Falcon (60 points)
  • ABPI056 Kang, the Conquerer (80 points)
  • 300 points total

This was another team I had played earlier in the day. Our first match was pretty even until Hulk KO’d his Ant-Man and I used his Ant-Man to turn the tide of the battle. He won Map Roll and we played on the Docks, which features a large Elevated Terrain feature in the middle. He advanced up and created a time portal before I could do anything, but once any of his guys got within 11 squares, Kobik started taking shots at them from range (Ignoring Elevated) with her dual target Mind Control. Unfortunately for me, that only resulted in Redwing hitting Falcon for 1.

The next turn my opponent had Falcon use Hypersonic Speed to attack Kobik. A miss. On my turn, Hulk charged out and knocked Falcon to his stop click. My opponent had been waiting for Hulk to come into range and on his turn he had Kang Teleport and then use Running Shot to get to the edge of the elevation and shoot Hulk for 4 Penetrating damage. Then Crystal flew in and used free action Quake to damage both my 30 point characters. By blocking the stairs, Kobik couldn’t get next to Kang and give him action tokens–a smart move on my opponents part!

The match remained close as Kang KO’d Hulk with only a few minutes remaining, and then Ayo immediately after. However, I responded next turn by KOing his Ant-Man and then (in the same turn) using that Ant-man (now friendly to my force) to KO Crystal. In the end I won 190 to 155. I lost Hulk and Ayo and he lost everyone except Kang and Ayo.

Conclusion

For my first WKO Event win, I received the following LE’s: Ambrose Chase, Reverse Flash, Flash, and Steve Trevor. I also pulled a Kobik today that I am going to use repeatedly until she is retired. And most importantly of all, I got sweet, sweet, bragging rights until the next WKO comes around.

See you then!!

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More Avengers, Less Punctuation!! (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati!!)

Hello Again! Annnnnd, we’re back! Better late than never, right?

And we couldn’t have asked for a funner set with which to return to feature writing! Now we can continue our run as the most enjoyable Heroclix-focused gaming blog out there!

And our new reign is all thanks to this new expansion featuring our friend T’Challa and his Illuminati buddies!

Your Reign is Over.jpg

Okay, maybe “friend” was a strong term. Alright T’Challa, how about we just, like, surrender and go right into the article?

Then Lets Get This Started

Then it’s agreed!! So without further ado, let’s start with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

Thor Lightning

–I really think this is the most powerful set we’ve gotten since The Mighty Thor, which came out way back in, like, August of 2017.

Just like that set, this expansion has extremely powerful Chases, Equipment and Cosmic entities.

Personally, I love this stuff. I mean, who saw an Elders of the Universe Sub-Theme coming? Moreover, who thought these pieces would be so good. Which reminds me…

Elders of the Universe Banner

–The Elders of the Universe Sub-Theme is REALLY freaking good!!

Collector, Astronomer, Champion, Gardener, Trader, Voyager, Runner, Grandmaster, Challenger, Possessor… and I’m still probably forgetting a few. But they are ALL playable and several are downright META!!

The Finder

–The packs seem to be somewhat searchable! So far I’m 11 for 13 in picking packs with Equipment (including an Ultra-Chase Thanos!!)

But this isn’t a total neckbeard disaster like Trinity War was, because 2 of the Chases and the Super Rare Prime all come sans additional elements, so if you only go looking for packs with Equipment, you’ll never pull something like the Black Panther Chase. Speaking of…

Infinity Gauntlet

–The Chases aren’t tied together by any one Theme, really, except that they’re all pretty damn good (okay, Starbrand only shines in Limited, but still). Secret Wars: Battleworld was the same way. Still, I miss Themed Chases!

Why wouldn’t they have just shifted Starbrand and Black Panther to Battleworld and put Infinity Gauntlet Black Panther Chase in this set?

Anywhozl… let’s get on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Okay, I can go all day with Honorable Mentions (this set is REALLY deep), but, with apologies to figures like Challenger, Rune, Eitri and Prime Black Panther, I’m only going to talk about two pieces:

Voyager

2. ABPI017 Voyager — 50 Points — Common:

Okay, she should actually be higher on this list, because she is a Meta-level Taxi. But there’s so many great pieces in this set, so she’s going here!

But she starts with either Outwit or Perplex, the best Telekinesis Special (STRAINING MY POWERS OF TELEPORTATION: Telekinesis, but only to place characters. When Voyager uses it, neither she nor the target character’s square need line of fire to the destination square.) I’ve seen in a long time, Phasing/Teleport and the Power Cosmic TA.

Did I mention she only costs 50 Points?

Medusa

1. ABPI030 Medusa — 50 Points — Uncommon:

Here comes another solid Medusa dial!!

Her Trait (AN EXTENSION OF MYSELF: Living Hair has the printed combat values, and can use the standard powers, displayed on the dial of the character that generated it. Protected: Pulse Wave.) is her main reason for being here; if you play multiples of her, she can get scary in a heartbeat.

And if you have enough Empower on the board, watch out!!

 

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO…

Here are…

THE BEST TEN PIECES IN THE SET!!

 

Trader

10. ABPI05 Trader — 50 Points — Rare:

He’s cheap! He’s got Power Cosmic! He’s got Perplex!

I know, I know, 50 Points would be a bit much for JUST a Perplexer, but with Sidestep and Power Cosmic, it’s easier to move Trader where you need him each turn than some other supporting characters.

But he made the main list for one reason: his Attack Power (LET’S MAKE A TRADE: FREE: Choose an equipped character (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares and line of fire. If Trader is equipped, and both equipments have Equip: Any, those equipments are now equipped to the other character.), which can allow for all sorts of shenanigans!

Choose Pen/Psy and Outwit with a character equipped with the Infinity Gauntlet, then switch in, say, the Power Gem for even more damage! And guess what? You can then use the Infinity Gauntlet with the character who previously had the Power Gem!

And that’s just what you can do with friendly swaps! You can also use it defensively to take better stuff from your opponents! The possibilities are endless!

Yelena Belova

9. ABPI013B Black Widow — 30 Points — Common Prime:

Wow! I like her 60 Point line a lot too, but man, for 30 Points, you get an absolute toolbox of abilities at your disposal!

To wit:

She has Sidestep, she ignores Characters on movement, she has Traited Shape Change and Stealth, 10 Attack, 2 Damage and a Special Defensive Power (LETTING YOUR GUARD DOWN: Combat Reflexes. FREE: Choose an adjacent character and a standard defense power. Until your next turn, the chosen character can’t use the chosen defense power.).

That’s a lot of usability! Plus she’s a Wildcard!

Her only downside is a lack of decent keywords (Martial Artist is probably her best).

Doc Strange AbPI.jpg

8. ABPI053A Dr. Strange — 120 Points — Super Rare:

The bearer of the Soul Gem has a ton going for him.

Running Shot and Pen/Psy top dial. Mystics TA. A sweet Damage Special (WE MUST WORK TOGETHER: Perplex. When Dr. Strange uses it to target another friendly character, you may choose a standard damage power that character can use. Dr. Strange can use that power until your next turn.) that encourages thought in who you pair him with.

All in all, a really efficient supporting/Secondary Attacker piece!

Gary Frank Hulk

7. ABPI014 Hulk125 Points — Common:

This is the definitive “Peter David/Gary Frank-era” Hulk dials, and they just casually throw it on a Common Hulk?

We’ve got Charge (with Improved Movement: Blocking, so Barrier and Printed Walls mean nothing to him), 12 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Indomitable and Impervious and 5 (FIVE!) Damage top dial with Outwit!

He has one “drawback” Trait (WEAKENED BY RAGE: When Hulk takes damage from an attack, after resolutions give him a Rage token. Modify Hulk’s combat values by -X, where X is the number of Rage tokens. At the end of your turn, remove all Rage tokens and heal Hulk that many clicks.) that actually HELPS his survivability!

Yes, he doesn’t have any Outwit protection himself, and yes, he is a Close Combat piece, but man, there’s not much else you’d want. Pair him with a TK’er or a Vehicle and you’ve got a boatload of trouble for your opponent.

Black Panther incarnation

6. ABPI072 Black Panther — 85 Points– Chase:

The original Panther offers a TON of usefulness for his points. His only problem is that is top heavy and kind of a glass cannon; if you’re opponent can lay hands on him, he’s in trouble.

Luckily, that’s hard to do. If you win map, his main Trait (THE PANTHER GOD: Stealth. Opposing lines of fire can’t be drawn to Black Panther if he occupies printed hindering terrain. Protected: Pulse Wave.) should make even touching him darn near impossible (and of course he has Improved Movement: Hindering and Elevated)!

He starts with Hypersonic Speed, Precision Strike with a 12 Attack, 19 Defense with Super Senses and 3 Damage with Traited B/C/F (BEFORE HUMANS TOPPED THE FOOD CHAIN: Blades/Claws/Fangs. Opposing characters within 3 squares can’t use Blades/Claws/Fangs.) and Battle Fury to burn through Shape Change.

Yes, he’s only a close attacker, but he’s got some great potential damage output combined with some wonderful mobility and survivability!

As a special bonus, that B/C/F Trait kind of shuts down those SR Wolverine Call-Ins, too!

 

Chase Cap

5. ABPI071 Captain America — 150 Points — Chase:

This is a little bit of a cheat as well since I’m again counting the Chase Equipment that comes with him–The Infinity Gauntlet. But with his Infinity Gauntlet, Cap here has six Clicks that have to be gone through one by one since he has Power Cosmic, Invincible and a sweet defensive Trait (THE GEMS… THEY WANT TO BE TOGETHER: Barrier. Barrier as FREE, but only to generate 1 marker. Captain America can’t be healed and takes a maximum of 1 damage from an attack. Protected: Pulse Wave.) that makes it hard to target Steve, much less KO him.

His damage output isn’t huge, but if he hits, he can change the board with his Attack Special (PUSHING PLANETS AWAY: KNOCKBACK. When Captain America knocks a character back, add 10 to the amount of knock back.) that features a Knockback power like we’ve never seen (and props for being comic accurate!).

If you want an unkillable Call-In generator, call on Cap.

 

Taskmaster.jpg

4. ABPI061 Taskmaster — 100 Points — Super Rare:

100 Points for the most versatile piece in the set.

Taskmaster has the Wildcard TA, Indomitable, Sidestep, Toughness and Leadership top dial, plus his first Trait (JUST BECAUSE YOU HIRED ME, DOESN’T MAKE US FRIENDS: Taskmaster doesn’t count against themed teams.) ensures he’ll always fit on your team.

His second Trait (I MEMORIZED MOVES FROM DOZENS OF CHUMPS, TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT!: FREE: Choose two: Charge, Flurry, Running Shot, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Incapacitate, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Precision Strike, Combat Reflexes, Energy Shield/Deflection, Close Combat Expert, Exploit Weakness, Ranged Combat Expert. Taskmaster can use the chosen powers until your next turn. This turn, characters targeted by Taskmaster with an attack can’t use the chosen powers until your next turn.) gives him access to almost any other power in the game that you might want. Hell, give him Iron Man’s Infinity Gauntlet and he literally WILL have access to any four powers in the game that you might want at any one time!

Someone is going to figure out how to exploit him because he’s basically designed to be exploited. He’s essentially a one-man Shifting Focus piece that plugs in to any Themed Team.

 

Kobik_(Earth-616)_from_Thunderbolts_Vol_3_1_001

3. ABPI069 Kobik — 115 Points — Chase:

If you like unkillable moving castles that let you Call-In almost any X-Men piece you want, meet your new best friend.

Outside of being hard to even hit, Kobik has a fun Trait that has the potential to wreck your opponent’s strategy so long as you construct the rest of your team correctly (REWRITE AFFILIATIONS: FREE: Choose both a friendly character and an opposing character with printed team abilities. Those characters can use the team abilities printed on the other character instead of their own printed team abilities until your next turn.).

She also has Power Cosmic, Perplex, Prob and an 8 Range, Shape Change, Super Senses and a 19 Defense on her first two Clicks. That is a LOT to get through!

On top of that, at 115 Points, she gets the best Cosmic Cube (FREE: Choose one: Place this character up to 3 squares away from its current square; -or- Until your next turn, [Improved Targeting: Elevated, Hindering] and modify range +2; –orGive an action token to an adjacent opposing character. If you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage. Light Object.) and a once-per-game Sideline shenanigans Trait [REWRITE HISTORY: POWER: Once per game, choose an adjacent friendly character on their starting line and a characters on your sideline with the same name as the chosen character. If the first character is equal or more points than the second, replace the first character with the second on their starting line. (That character can’t have the same set symbol and collector number.)].

She has already started showing up as a Supporting Character/Call-In generator, and I don’t think she’s going away any time soon!

 

Collector.jpg

2. ABPI064 Collector — 55 Points — Super Rare:

55 Points gets you the Power Cosmic TA now?! Holy crap!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hell, 50 Points gets you PC now. Look at Voyager!]

Oh, and it also gets you (usually) six clicks of life, 11 Attack with pretty much the best version of Incapacitate the game has ever seen (I FIND YOUR HAMMER VERY… UNIQUE: Incapacitate. When Collector uses it, instead of giving action tokens, after resolutions you may choose one Equipment-Object equipped to a hit character and unequip it. // FREE: Equip an unheld and unequipped opposing Equipment-Object within range and line of fire.) and a Trait that lets him take full advantage of it (MY COLLECTION GROWS: Collector can be equipped with any number of Equipment-Objects at the same time. Protected: Pulse Wave.)!

Get used to seeing this guy on Meta teams for the next two years…

 

Thanos Annihilation

1. ABPI074 Thanos — 160 Points — Ultra Chase:

Where to start with a figure that does virtually everything? First of all, he comes packing Skreet, who might be the best POG we’ve ever gotten.

Skreet

Skreet has Flying, Phasing/Teleport with 8 Movement, Pen/Psy with a 10 Attack and 4 Range, a 19 Defense (19!!) with Tiny Size and Impervious and a native 2 Damage with her lone Special Power (CHAOS MITE: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Skreet uses it, she modifies a value +2 or -2 instead, then rolls a d6. [1-2]: The modifier becomes 0 instead.).

Yep! That’s right! Thanos comes with his own Tertiary Attacker WHO ALSO HAS THE BEST PERPLEX SPECIAL IN MODERN!!

And you know what? THAT’S NOT EVEN THE ONLY GAME ELEMENT HE COMES WITH!! Whaaa… ?!

Yup!

Thanos also comes with the little-known SEVENTH Infinity Gem—The Ego Gem–for free!! This Gem allows it’s bearer to collect other gems (thus getting around the “one Equipment at a time” rule) AND let’s it’s bearer increase any Combat Value by +1. So, basically, you have a Perplex even if someone somehow Outwits your Perplex.

Okay! Now that we’re like 5 paragraphs in, we can finally talk about what is actually on Thanos’s dial!

First of all, he’s rocking both the Power Cosmic and Mystics TA. Yeah–probably the two best TA’s in the game, and Thanos has both of them.

He starts with a 12 Attack and 4 Damage top dial, along with Sidestep and an 18 Defense with Invincible. His Damage Special (THE BIOLOGICAL APPLICATION OF COSMIC POWER: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Thanos uses it to target a friendly character, that character can use [Power Cosmic] until your next turn. When Thanos uses it to target an opposing character, that character can’t use Willpower or PROTECTED: Outwit or Protected: Outwit until your next turn.) is flat-out amazing, and is one of the best Damage Specials in the game!

Starting on Click 2, Thanos’s Attack Special (GENOCIDE IS NOT WHAT MISTRESS DEATH DESIRES, BUT IT’S WHAT THE MAKER’S FOLLOWERS DESERVE: Precision Strike. FREE: Make an attack targeting an opposing character, but only if there’s another opposing character with the same name on the map. // When Thanos KO’s a character, after resolutions KO all bystanders generated by that character, then heal him 1 click for each bystander KO’d this way.) allows him to literally clear house if your opponent was careless enough to double stack characters on their team.

(And yes, if he’s your Primary Attacker, he can also bring in some heavy-hitting X-Men for Call-Ins!)

In Epic (400+) games, Thanos is an absolutely street sweeper!

But even in 300 Point games, he is an absolute force to be reckoned with.

And that’s why he’s number one on this list!

 

Black Bolt’s Gas Is Deadlier Than His Voice. (Or, A Top Ten Set Review Earth X!!)

 Earth X

Some Notes About the Set:

Sinister Six

  • Don’t let the inclusions of Black Panther, Hulk, Cap, or Iron Man fool you – This is a Spider-man set. Most of the pieces revolve around him which is weird since I don’t remember the comic revolving exclusively around him.

Miles Morales

  • They finally gave a us a great Mile Morales figure… almost.  EAX037b Spider-man has powers and abilities that represent Miles perfectly, but the keywords seem like they are describing another character altogether (Most people think they seem like they are for Spider-man 2099). So for those of you waiting to create an awesome Champions team… better luck next time.

Hulk Earth X

  • The Sculpts are really well done this set! Daredevil and Hulk stand out in particular to me.
  • Wizkids suckered me in to spending more money than I otherwise would have. I traded for an SR Iron Man. He works best with the Map in the starter. So I bought a starter. Then I heard the Token Pack had the Iron Avengers on the back so I bought that too. In the end this SR will be costing me more than most Chases. I hope it’s worth it.
  • Below I am ranking the figures in this set, but the real winners are the equipment. In particular the Symbiote and the Goblin Glider will be Meta staples until they are retired.
  • I didn’t include him in the list below, but EAX021 Fancy Dan has gotten a lot of attention from some big HeroClix names. I haven’t figured out the best way to use this guy yet, but he may be a part of some very successful teams. Consider him an “unofficial” Honorable Mention…

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Fat Spidey

5. EAX015 Spider-Man (30 Points) – His special white power reads, “Everyone has Power, So My Only Responsibility is to My Daughter: Leap/Climb. When Spider-man moves, after resolutions you may choose a friendly standard character adjacent to a square he moved through. If you do, place that character adjacent and it can’t be given a costed action this turn.” That lets him serve as a Taxi pre-combat and then as an incredible re-positioning piece that can move any of your pieces to where they need to be in a fight, whether or not they started adjacent. Of course, the best reason to put him on this list is that he gives Spider-man Family key worded pieces their first TA to copy without breaking theme since 2014! Spidey fans, rejoice!

Medusa X.png

4. EAX060 Medusa (75 points) – Speaking of pieces that a are really good at re-positioning other pieces during a fight…

Her damage potential isn’t high and her defenses are soft, but she brings a lot to a build in other ways. She has a Special Power and a Trait that are worth mentioning here: “ Lethal Locks: Plasticity, Giant Reach: 3. Telekinesis as FREE, but replace all “6” with “3” in the text of the power,” and also “ Lockjaw’s Tuning Fork: FREE: Improved Movement: Characters, Elevated, Hindering, Blocking. Passenger: 2, but only to carry characters that share a keyword regardless of . Move up to 3 squares.

Essentially she can move herself up to 6 spaces in a turn as free actions and still make attacks with her range of three or giant reach of three and quake. She can also carry characters up to 3 spaces with her or TK them as free actions instead of using those powers on herself.

Pres Osborn

3. EAX029 President Osborn (50 points) – In truth, none of the characters with the New York Crime Boss Trait are bad, but President Osborn is the one that will see the most play. The Crime boss trait reads like this: “ New York Crime Boss: Leadership, Mastermind. When President Osborn uses Leadership and succeeds, instead of removing an action token you may generate two Hired Flunky bystanders (MAX 4).

What sets Osborn apart from his Mafia peers is that he has MUCH better keywords along with the unique ability to double Perplex his “bodyguard”. I can see that being abused to great effect.

Stegron

2. EAX038 Stegron (75 points) – So in the same set that brought us Sinister Syndicate figures that gain a huge buff when exactly 6 figures are on your team, we get this guy (with the same keywords) that can generate up to 3 bystanders. That seems really useful on a Syndicate team.

As for the figure himself, he’s slow and his lack of Willpower is something you will really lament. However, when he and his friends finally do catch up with the opposing team, they’ll bring a lot of pain for a very low 75 point cost.

Spidey A side

1. EAX037a Spider-man (90 points) – This is an unusual showing for Spider-man. Gone is the usual Charge or Hypersonic speed that we are used to seeing with him. In it’s place is running shot and incapacitate via his web shooters item. While the item is the worst in the set, the figure using it is pretty good (which makes him the complete opposite of EAX051 Venom).  Besides running shot the other thing that makes this guy stand out is a trait I don’t remember seeing before on any other piece – Collosal Retaliation on a standard size character. It reads, “ Protect My Family: FREE: If no other friendly character has activated this trait this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked a friendly character with the Spider-Man Family keyword since your last turn. Place Spider-Man such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.” With a trait like that it’d be hard to justify not putting him on a Spider-Family theme team.

And now, on to the Top 10!

Earth X Loki

10. EAX058 Loki (150 points) – Okay, so Loki has some obvious problems for a 150 point character. No inherent move and attack. No Willpower. No obvious protection from Outwit.

So what makes him worth playing? His second Trait reads: “ In The Minds Of Mortals: Shape Change, Stealth. Once per turn, when a character of less points within line of fire makes an attack, you may reroll one die of that attack.” That means he gets a free use of a power like Probability Control (but better) every turn. That’s good, but not awesome until you combine it with the actual Probability Control he has top dial. Together it lets you reroll friendly or opposing dice twice in one turn and that can just be crushing to an opponent. Especially if you add some other fun reroll characters like Trelane, Renet Tilly, or The Unseen.

Some of his weaknesses can also be compensated for as well. That Stealth helps mitigate opposing Outwit and something like the Goblin Glider will give him all of the movement he could ever need. He can also be Carried, which will help keep his action token count low.

Beetle Pod

9. EAX035 Beetle (75 points) – According to Mugatu, the Sinister Syndicate is just So Hot Right Now.

And if you are going to play the Syndicate, it’s really hard to justify not including Beetle because of his Trait. It says: “Organizer Of The Sinister Syndicate: Leadership. When a friendly character within 6 squares replaces its attack value using the Sinister Syndicate team ability, modify its attack +1.”

Aside from that Trait, the Beetle figure is good, but not over powering. However, on a keyword team full of mostly close attackers, his ranged attacks are a nice change of pace.

Sandman

8.  EAX006 Sandman (50 points) – Don’t look now but they put a pick a power character into the common slot for this set. So his first click already has Sidestep, Super Senses, Shape Change, and Stealth as long as there are more 3 or more characters on a team. Assuming you move him around with a Taxi (like SFSM029 Overdrive) you can pick another power to add to the ones I’ve already mentioned. Most of the time that will be Invulnerable. Either way, those powers added together make the best array of defensive powers we’ve ever seen on a 50 point character.

Then, once it’s time to go on the offensive, he can drop the Invulnerability and choose either Charge or Flurry. I’ve already (during the Release Event) been on the receiving end of a Flurry attack from this character when it had 4 damage and 11 attack. That was an unexpected–and also very quick–game loss for me.

Black Bolt Earth x

7. EAX047 Black Bolt (150 points) – Officially one of the highest point characters in the set and also one of the best. His starting click with Hypersonic Speed and 5 damage is downright scary. Beyond that, he has a Trait that makes him practically immune to attack until he’s taken an action. It reads: “ONLY ONE MAN COULD MOVE THAT QUIETLY: When Black Bolt has no action tokens, lines of fire drawn to him are blocked.

You just need to find a find a good taxi like EAX060 Medusa or a vehicle (or LE Lockjaw!!) and you’ll maximize the effectiveness of the Trait. He also has a comic accurate Special Power on his last two clicks: “WOUND WITH A WHISPER, SHATTER WITH A SCREAM: Pulse Wave. When Black Bolt uses it, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Blocking Terrain and you may instead choose a number from 1 through 5 to be the range value for Pulse Wave (You don’t halve it and can’t modify it). After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within that use of Pulse Wave’s range.” Choosing your range combined with Running Shot makes it real easy to hit an opposing character with a 5 damage single target Pulse Wave.

Not bad for a figure that’s almost KOed.

Miles I Am

6. EAX037b Spider-man (75 points) – As I mentioned in the set notes, the keywords on this figure are disappointing, but the figure itself is not. Part Spider-man and part Batman, he’s just a well-rounded figure that delivers everything you’d want for his point cost.

For 75 points he comes with Indomitable and the ability to ignore everything while moving except for walls. He’s got consistently strong attack and damage values and the option of having Stealth to go along with his Outwit on his first few clicks. He’s also got Super Senses his whole dial (and it’s immune to Outwit). So he’ll be a stealthy support figure on your team until he’s ready to play the hero and then he’ll Charge in with that awesome 12 attack on his opening click.

Green Goblin.jpg

5. EAX050 Green Goblin (75 points) – It’s better to think of this guy as a version of The Flash rather than a typical Green Goblin piece. Gone is his traditional Running Shot.

Now, thanks to his Goblin Glider equipment, he has full dial Hypersonic Speed, which is also bolstered by the Sidestep printed on his dial. And unlike the Flash or most Green Goblins we’ve seen in the past, this piece starts with two clicks of Invulnerability on defense.

On Offense he starts with Precision Strike and moves to Energy Explosion down dial. It’s also worth noting that every click except his first and last clicks will have Perplex or Outwit. But the best part about this figure is his special Stop Click at the end. It reads: “IMPALED BY THE REMOTE CONTROL GLIDER:FREE: KO a Goblin Glider equipped to Green Goblin. If you do, modify attack +3 and make a range attack targeting a single opposing character that deals 3 penetrating damage instead of normal damage. If he misses, KO Green Goblin.

That’s one of the most comic accurate special powers I have ever seen. Even if you don’t hit, you earn tons of style points for using it.

Skull

4. EAX030 The Skull(40 points) – For 40 points you get a figure that does what no other figure ever has been able to do before. He can use Mind Control with unlimited range and he’s the cheapest figure ever to start with a 12 attack!

With all that going for him on offense, he’s a defensive pushover, right? Actually no. He also happens to be the cheapest figure ever to feature 2 Stop Clicks and those Stop Clicks have Mastermind.

His only weaknesses are having just one keyword and that fact that Mind Control isn’t always useful against every opponent every game. So some games he won’t be much help, but in other games this 40 point figure will be the most feared part of your 300 point Build.

Earth X Daredevil

3. EAX054 Daredevil (60 points) – The Heir Apparent to JW060 The Joker, Daredevil trades the Jokers almost complete inability to be killed for some increased offense. Where the Joker has 10 attack and 1 damage, Daredevil has 11 attack and 3 damage. That’s a huge upgrade. He also has some nice powers to go along with that increased offense. Hypersonic Speed, Quake, Blades Claws Fangs, or Plasticity and Poison can all be chosen after each time an opponent attempts to KO Daredevil.

On defense the only thing that will hurt Daredevil is an attack roll with a 6 in it. That means he will last a lot longer against a few big enemies than a lot of small enemies. It also means that things like Poison, pushing damage, Mystics damage, or Shredder Elite damage can never KO him.

Iron Man Earth X

2. EAX056 Iron Man (125 points) – This character is the best Bystander Token creator since JW050 The Penguin. And he brings new options to Avengers teams the likes of which they have never had before.

His real cost is actually 5 points more because you’ll always want to use his special map with him. With that map he can generate a Bystander as a free action most turns. You can chose to take Iron man into battle to make use of his Barrier or leave him in your starting area. Once he takes a hit, or enough Iron Avengers are KOed, he switches to a powerful attacker. He’ll have Running Shot 11 attack and 4 damage. Once he takes a few more damage from that point he gains Pulse Wave to go along with his Running Shot.

Venom Cap

1. EAX062 Captain Venom (75 points) – Captain Venom brings new power to the already powerful Monster keyword. To that end he’s got a Trait and a Special Power that both help monsters. The Trait states, “EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED:During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.” His Special Power is, “READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES:Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.”

His dial is also very good for the points and if he can make it to Close Combat without getting hit at Range then he will do well for your team. However the real reason he’s the number one figure in this set is the strength of the Monster Keyword. That keyword won the world Championship in 2018 and if Captain Venom has anything to say about it, they’ll be a favorite to repeat in 2019. And that’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

 

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!!

 

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!!