My WKO Diary and the Top Ten Sealed Pieces in Batman: The Animated Series—Part TWO!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Previously, on Critical Missives, HypeFox journeyed to his local WKO to try his hand at some Sealed Meta. He made Top 8, and was just about to start his Top 8 playoff run… ]

TOP EIGHT:

versus…

Roberto Ty (@tydesign)

Superman Animated.jpg

His Team:

BTAS001A Batman — 50 Points

BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points

BTAS006 Alfred — 20 Points

BTAS022 Mr. Freeze — 100 Points 

BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points

Total = 300 Points

What Goes Down: Here we go! This was my first WKO playoff game. I know Roberto very well–he plays at my LGS, so we’ve faced off many a time.

I’m usually much more aggressive than Roberto; his turns are much more planned out than mine (to his credit). Still, looking at his lineup, I’m feeling pretty confident.

We dance for the first few turns as we line up potential Alpha Strikes. Eventually he has no choice but to go for it with Supes’s once-a-game Hypersonic Speed.

He misses. Now I’ve got him!

Except I miss. Reroll with my Robin–miss again. Yuck.

He quickly moves his Batman and Mr. Freeze up. After I take out his Alfred, his Mr. Freeze starts to go off. Eventually, Wonder Woman and my Joker fall. My Duo Flurries through his Batman, and his Supes is a bit injured.

I take out his Joker finally, and he responds by chopping through my Hawkman dial. This works to my advantage though, as I get to start on Click 1 of Hawkgirl’s dial, which give me Outwit and Hypersonic Speed.

The Outwit allows me to take away Freeze’s dampeners, and Robin lands a couple hits.

Roberto moves Freeze back. On my turn, I clear Hawkman & Hawkgirl. It’s neck and neck. Still, Freeze is now within Hypersonic range, and on my next turn I should be able to take him out, although then Superman will get a free shot on Hawkgirl (he’ll need an 8 though to do three).

I’m running through these Scenarios as Roberto contemplates his next move. And then:

“TIME! LAST ACTION!”

Doh!

Roberto’s not in a position to make an attack at that point, so it’s going to come down to points.

I’ve KO’d his Joker, Batman and Alfred for 100 Points.

Roberto has KO’d my Chase Wonder Woman and Joker for… wow. 100 Points!

That’s right! We’re going to a roll-off!

We roll at the same time, and I watch carefully as my first die comes to a stop on a 6. Yes! The second bounces for a bit before it lands on a 1. No!

Still, 7 is respectable. I look over at Roberto’s dice:

CRITICAL HIT!

Yup. He rolled two 6’s!!

I’ve lost, and Roberto is moving on.

Still, it was a hard fought battle on both sides, and Roberto deserved to move on in this tournament.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Of course, I almost screwed that up when I absent-mindedly packed up my stuff and accidentally grabbed his Superman!! Luckily, he had another one with him. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR CLEANUPS, FOLKS!]

RESULT: LOSS (4-1), OUT OF TOURNAMENT

Which brings me to what I learned, and my…

TOP TEN SEALED PIECES IN BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES!!

 

Green Lantern SF.gif

10. BTAS069 Green Lantern — 70 Points — Chase: He’s a reasonably priced Taxi that morphs into your Primary Attacker just one click in.

That’s when his Flying combines with Running Shot, Pulse Wave and 3 Damage top dial–with Perplex to boot!

While his Trouble Alert Trait might entice you to keep him in your Sideline, he’s actually one of the most effective mobile attackers in the set.

He’s crunchiness against anyone sporting a yellow power and his inability to do anything against Stealth keep him from going higher on this list.

 

Joker BTAS.jpg

9. BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points — Common: Four PACKED clicks for just 30 Points, including TOP DIAL PROB!! He also offers a Special Attack Power (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.) that essentially combines Smoke Cloud and Incapacitate.

This plays like a 50 Point dial that they inexplicably mislabeled. If you pull him, I strongly suggest you play him.

 

Hawkgirl SF.png

8. BTAS073 Hawkgirl — 50 Points — Chase: Charge and Exploit and SIX FREAKING Clicks for 50 Points is great (yeah, she has to attack first each turn or get a major penalty, but whatever). But her ability to generate up to TWO Autonomous Bird tokens with Flurry is why she’s on this list.

If you can move up someone with Empower after generating the tokens… oh boy! She can cause no end of issues for you opponents.

 

Zatanna JLU

7. BTAS061 Zatanna — 75 Points — Super Rare: Solid dial with a Perp & Prob Special plus the ability to pop out free Bats with Enhancement. See above for why useful tokens are good (okay, these Bats aren’t quite as good, but Zatanna has a better dial for Sealed than Hawkgirl).

 

Man-Bat BTAS.png

6. BTAS057 Man-Bat — 75 Points — Super Rare: Hypersonic AND Stealth, plus some Special Super Senses shenanigans. He’s a solid attacker that can unleash some real havoc if played on the right map.

 

The_Flash SF.png

5. BTAS068 The Flash — 60 Points — Chase: Yep. Another freaking Chase. But most of them are soooo good for their points! And that’s before you look at the Meta implications of their TroubleAlert Traits.

Still, in a Sealed environment, 3 Damage top dial is good. Hypersonic Speed is great. Probability Control is priceless.

Barry Allen here gives you all three for just 60 Points.

 

Supes

4. BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points — Rare:  Sometimes, you just want to open a brick to build your team around. Well, here you go. 4 Damage top dial plus two really good Specials, especially in Sealed.

The first (I’LL BE THERE IF YOU NEED ME: Charge. Once per game, Superman can use Hypersonic Speed.) gives you a great chance at landing an Alpha Strike. The second (TAKING THE HITS MY TEAMMATES CAN’T: Leadership. Adjacent friendly characters can use Mastermind, but only to choose Superman.) can really throw a monkey wrench into your opponent’s attack plans.

 

Wonder Woman SF.jpg

3. BTAS067 Wonder Woman — 70 Points — Chase: Hypersonic Speed top dial with 3 Damage, a great Taxi ability (GIVING THE SUPER FRIENDS A RIDE IN THE INVISIBLE JET… EVEN AQUAMAN: Hypersonic Speed, [Wing Symbol], Passengers: 2. Wonder Woman may carry one same size character with [Dolphin Symbol] in addition to any other carried characters.) and an even BETTER Attack ability (LASSO OF TRUTH TO CAPTURE THEM ALL AT ONCE:: FREE: Choose an opposing character within 5 squares and line of fire that has a character adjacent to it. Roll a d6 for that character and each character adjacent to it. [4-6]: give the character you rolled for an action token.).

Add in some Shape Change to eat up some opposing attacks and you have one of the best Sealed pieces in the set.

 

Batman BTAS.jpg

2. BTAS040 Batman — 125 — Rare: Wow! This piece will absolutely wreck opposing Primary Attackers. He’s got Outwit, TA-granted Stealth, Sidestep, Quake with a 12 (!) Attack, 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes (and remember, he’s got Stealth, so most attacks against him are going to be from Close Combat) and Indomitable, Toughness and the ability to ignore opposing Shape Change.

And that’s just his top dial.

And that’s before you add in the Batarang Equipment which gives him a FREE RANGED ATTACK EVERY TURN THAT IGNORES ALL KINDS OF STUFF ON TARGETING!!

 

Hawkman and Hawkgirl

1. BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl — 125 — Super Rare: I went on and on about this piece last time in Part One of this article. But it’s all true.

There is no more mobile attacker in the whole set. This piece also has the best survivability AND the most consistent offense of any piece in the set.

If you open this piece in a Sealed, you must build your team around it.

It’s that good.

 

Okay! Thanks for staying with us. Our next piece should be Ninwashui’s Top Ten Set Review for Batman: The Animated Series.

So we’ll see you then!!

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My WKO Diary and the Top Ten Sealed Pieces in Batman: The Animated Series—Part One!!

BTAS.jpg

Welcome Back!!

Today we’ve got another blow-by-blow tourney report for you; and this time, it’s my own!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ninwashui, eat your heart out!]

It’s our coverage of the Southeastern Michigan Wizkids Open from this past Saturday (July 21st), and it’s start now!

TOURNEY REPORT FOR 07/21/2018!!

Eternal Games

11:00 – 11:30AMYou are looking live at a bustling Eternal Games in Warren, MI! Okay, not live, I guess, since this was six days ago, but still, it’s a pretty nice venue that frequently hosts the biggest Clix tourneys in the area, and registration is underway!

Between the Main Event and the Battle Royal side events, I’d wager about 26-32 different Clix players will make their way to the venue today. That’s a healthy, if not overwhelming turnout (this venue can turn out 40-50 players sometimes for a WKO or ROC. Unfortunately, several players from my venue alone are on out-of-town vacations this week–including Ninwashui.).

As I enter the Clix area, I’m debating whether I actually want to enter the Main Event or just hold off for a bit a play some Battle Royals. I wasn’t able to play in the B:TAS Pre-release, although I did make it to our Release event. Still, I’m not overly familiar with all the pieces in the set, and I haven’t played much Meta since this past March, when I had a disastrous Constructed WKO at this same venue.

But when I look over to the competitors who have already entered, I count at least 6 players that I know personally (3 of whom I would term as regular fixtures at my “home” venue, Comics & More in Madison Heights; and three who have played there more than once in the past 12 months).

There are some STRONG players here, but the fact that I know almost a fourth of them tips the scales for me. I’m gonna play the Main Event until I know I’m out of the running, then maybe catch a Battle Royal on my way out.

NOON: Packs have been distributed. There are twenty to twenty-two players (never did see a final count) in the Main Event. Time to get cracking.

I immediately open my first pack.

Common Batman, Common Joker… AND A SUPER RARE HAWKMAN & HAWKGIRL!!

HMHG SR

I knew this piece was in the set, but I didn’t know exactly how good it was (boy, was I about to find out!).

While I’m sitting there admiring my shiny new SR, everyone else around me has just about finished opening their packs. I start calculating what everyone’s opened in my head. I opened one SR… the guy next to me opened a Ventriloquist w/Scarface… and suddenly there were only two packs left to be opened from the Brick that was distributed to the five players immediately at this end of the long table.

Tim, a really nice guy who occasionally treks across town to play at C&M, pops open his last booster. It’s Super Rare Zatanna. Hmmm…

My first thought is, “Damn, that would have been a nice addition to both my collection AND the army I’m building with Common Joker and SR Hawkman & Hawkgirl.”

Then I realize that no one has pulled a Chase yet from our Brick. This is both a good thing and (potentially) a bad thing. I WAS familiar with many of the Superfriends Chases from this set, and while they all have an absolutely SICK Sideline Active Trait called “TROUBLE ALERT” that lets you call them into the game for no cost under certain circumstances, most of them have almost intentionally blandly designed dials that are not great for Sealed play.

There are a few exceptions, though. Green Lantern could be quite useful. Batman is really efficient for 60 Points AND has Running Shot and 3 Damage top dial, both of which are rarities in this set. Apache Chief and Hawkman can pull off some Close Combat shenanigans. The Flash is actually kinda good.

I open the last pack… Poison Ivy… Rare Robin and… CHASE WONDER WOMAN!!

Chase Wonder WOman

Yup!! In a set with 7 dials that have any sort of access to Hypersonic Speed (3 of which are CHASES, natch!), I pulled two of them.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

My final team:

BTAS003 The Joker30 Points:

What He Brings: Ridiculously cheap Prob. Also a Special Smoke Cloud (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.) that also gives him a sneaky good Incapacitate.

BTAS041 Robin — 75 Points:

What He Brings: Fairly expensive Prob, plus Running Shot (again, not a common power in this set), Incapacitate and down dial Enhancement and Perplex. He’s also got six Clicks of life and some pretty good evasion (ES/D top dial, Combat Reflexes & Super Senses down dial) to potentially eat some attacks.

BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl — 125 Points:

What They Bring: Uh… great stats, versatility and almost every power you’d want in the game? In addition to being able to choose between two different AWESOME dials at the start of your turn, there are two Traits here which are just bonkers-good in general and god-tier good in this Sealed environment.

The first (ETERNAL LOVE AND ETERNALLY CURSED: At the beginning of your turn, you may turn Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s dial to the same click number of a different color. // When Hawkman & Hawkgirl would be KO’d, you may instead turn them to click #1 of a different color and they can’t use this trait for the rest of the game. Protected: Pulse Wave.) grants that versatility I was just talking about AND gives them a Stop Click to end all Stop Clicks!!

The other Trait (BRINGS AERIAL MOBILITY TO THE TEAM: Sidestep, but may move up to 3 squares instead. Modify attack +1 when targeting only characters without [Wing Symbol].) takes their already great mobility and sends it into the stratosphere AND gives them +1 to attack, like, 75% of the set!

Lastly, for some reason, Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s card only lists Hawkman’s powers. Hawkgirl’s dial (which features Hypersonic Speed and Outwit) is nowhere on the card. This actually turned out to be a big advantage for me as well, even though I didn’t realize it at the time and it really had nothing to do with how smartly or stupidly I played.

Other than all that, Hawkman & Hawkgirl didn’t bring much at all…

BTAS067 Wonder Woman — 70 Points: 

What She Brings: Hypersonic Speed, the ability to Carry two people, 3 Damage, Invuln (huge in this set), Shape Change, and a Lasso Special Attack (LASSO OF TRUTH TO CAPTURE THEM ALL AT ONCE:: FREE: Choose an opposing character within 5 squares and line of fire that has a character adjacent to it. Roll a d6 for that character and each character adjacent to it. [4-6]: give the character you rolled for an action token.) that flings tokens like your drunk uncle flings $1’s at a gentleman’s club.

On this team, that means I have two sources of Prob and 3 ways to Incapacitate/add action tokens to my opponents’ characters.

Total= 300 Points

Okay! Here we go…

Oh, wait. Hold on a sec. I forgot to list my Map choices… oh dear.

Uh… yeah. Only after registration and army building do I realize… I forgot to bring any maps. So every game I play will be on one of my opponent’s maps.

Sheesh.

ROUND ONE:

versus…

Kaleb

Lex Luthor BTAS

His Team:

BTAS002 Robin — 30 Points

BTAS017A The Riddler — 50 Points

BTAS025 Maxie Zeus — 40 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Get used to seeing this piece–I faced this guy several times!)

BTAS044 Lex Luthor — 50 Points

BTAS074 Hawkman — 50 Points

Total = 295 Points

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is as good of a time as any to note that these matches are reconstructed from my memory and notes taken after each match, so if something doesn’t add up, assume it’s my faulty memory and not some sort of cheating or sneakiness on anyone’s part.]

What Goes Down: So… back in March, at the last WKO when I played a Stealthy team that could still Prob from across the board, I lost Map roll EVERY GAME (including one in which taking the game to Wakanda probably would have elicited a “Good game” from my opponent before we even began!).

Well, on this day I won Map Roll in EACH GAME I PLAYED!! And, I could never take full advantage of this because I brought exactly zero Maps with me.

The lesson, as always: Don’t forget your stuff!

Having said that, this round we end up playing on an Indoor Map with a lot of rooms (I think it was a Premium Map).

Kaleb proves right away that he’s a really crafty player (more on that later), and he flips that Uncommon Batman back and forth between his two dials expertly, which keeps Bats in Stealth practically the whole game.

But he’s about to run into two major problems (none of which he can do much about).

First (and this will be a recurring Theme), I just absolutely had a big mobility advantage over his team.

And second, because of dice luck and positioning, he’s gonna be forced to throw WAAAAY too many resources at my Common Joker. After a few attacks back and forth, he tries to take out Joker with his severely injured Robin.

Snake Eyes. Robin is KO’d.

This means that he has to throw Batman at Joker to finish the job (otherwise Joker would just keep Probbing any misses I had and Incapacitate key members of his squad). Except his dice go cold with Bats, and even when he hits, I Super Sense out of it.

Meanwhile, Hawkman & Hawkgirl start laying waste to the rest of his team, with Wonder Woman swooping in for backup. We had a slight hiccup where I didn’t realize exactly how her Lasso Special worked (it turns out it does target friendlies too), so I had to go back a turn and add an Action Token to her (yes, even in the boiler room of a WKO, most accidental misplays can be settled in seconds between the two competitors as long as they’re both reasonable and respectful with each other. Who knew?!).

It won’t be until Round 2 that I’ll read through Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s card completely and find their silly-good Sidestep ability. Had I known that, I probably would have KO’d more of Kaleb’s characters. Still, I end up winning by about 50 Points or so (something like 80 to 30).

RESULT: WIN (1-0)

ROUND 2: 

versus…

Mike B.

Ventriloquist.jpg

His Team: 

BTAS002 Robin — 30 Points

BTAS008 Two-Face — 75 Points

BTAS023 Kyodai Ken50 Points

BTAS030 J-Man — 50 Points

BTAS058 The Ventriloquist — 40 Points

BTAS070 Apache Chief — 50 Points

Total = 295 Points

What Goes Down: Well, another Map Roll win, another choice of whatever my opponent brought. This time, I’m playing Mike B., and it’s going to be a fun game!

We end up playing on a Harley map (the one with the giant Slingshot/Catapult things, although those don’t end up coming into play), and Mike takes the high ground.

It doesn’t take long for Apache Chief to go Colossal, but it does take Mike a few turns to get the rest of his team moved up into position. Because of my two Hypersonic Speed pieces, I’m able to run mini-raids and punch into his front line.

To slow me down, Mike moves Kyodai Ken up and damages my Robin, but he misses the follow-up shot, which leaves Kyodai high and dry. I quickly dispatch that piece and go to work.

After a few more rounds where we go back and forth, it quickly becomes apparent that the Invulnerability on Hawkman & Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman is going to be a tough nut for Mike’s characters to crack. To his credit, Mike makes great use of his Robin’s Perplex and then Empower to crack the 3 damage threshold, but against my particular Build, it just takes too long to get his pieces into position.

Hawkman & Hawkgirl start going to town with Charge and Quake, which proves particularly deadly against Mike’s team since so many of his character’s powers depend on or are at least greatly enhanced by adjacency.

Once The Ventriloquist and J-Man fall to Hawkman & Hawkgirl, Mike concentrates fire on Wonder Woman, who I had pushed into Toughness on Click 2 in order to take out one of his pieces with a second attack. Unfortunately for him, I end up hitting something like 4 out of 6 Shape Change roles, so Apache Chief has to sit there and do nothing most turns.

Mike B. played an effective Build extremely well, but this was a terrible matchup for his team any way you sliced it. Had he been able to pull a couple Suited Henchman to work with The Ventriloquist (he pulled none) and/or manged to finish off my Robin early on, he might have bought himself some more time to set up a Killbox. And me hitting Shape Change so often probably put the nail in the coffin on this match.

I end up taking his full team.

RESULT: WIN (2-0)

ROUND 3: 

versus…

Chase

Grey Ghost

His Team: 

BTAS007 Leslie Thompkins –15 Points

BTAS018 Renee Montoya — 30 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Mama there goes that man again!)

BTAS024 Lock-Up — 40 Points

BTAS047A Killer Croc — 80 Points

BTAS059 Grey Ghost E — 40 Points

Total = 280 Points

What Goes Down: Chase was probably the nicest guy I played against, and that’s saying something. This WKO was a lot more fun and friendly than the last one I went to.

Regardless, my dice are on fire this game and I basically tear Chase’s team to shreds before he can get any meaningful attacks in against my guys.

My Joker’s Smoke Cloud actually comes up huge here. Because most of his characters are both close combat pieces AND unable to ignore Hindering Terrain on movement, Joker’s Smoke Cloud effectively became Barrier.

I hop over to his Batman first. I hit both attacks and KO him in one turn. Next turn I focus on Lock-Up and bring him down to his second-to-last Click. Finally Killer Croc makes it over to my squad.

But it’s too late. I switch H&H to Hawkgirl’s dial and Outwit Croc’s D, then slice through his dial with merciless precision.

Grey Ghost is a great piece, but on his short dial with Batman already KO’d, there’s almost nothing he can do.

Oddly enough, I keep missing Leslie Thompkins, but soon enough she falls too and the game is over.

RESULT: WIN (3-0)

ROUND 4: 

versus…

???? (I failed to record my opponent’s name this round.)

ManBat

His Team: 

BTAS003 The Joker — 30 Points

BTAS018 Renee Montoya — 30 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Mama there goes that man again! Again!!)

BTAS043 Poison Ivy — 65 Points

BTAS057 Man-Bat — 75 Points

What Goes Down: Man-Bat is a great piece, but his low-ish attack combined with the fact that I usually have two Probs pointed at him at all times means he missed faaar more than he hit this game.

My opponent gets the first licks in for a change, but I roll really well with my Joker and manage to take out his Joker, Batman, Renee and Poison Ivy within the span of about 3 or 4 turns before he manages to finally finish off my Joker.

Eventually I corner Man-Bat at the edge of the map and finish him off.

It was a much closer game than I made it sound, but in the end my dice were just hotter than my opponent’s. Again, he was a shrewd player, but I was frankly just packing more Hypersonic Speed than he was.

(Wonder Woman’s Shape Change came through again, too!)

RESULT: WIN (4-0)

So, at this point, it’s a little unclear how many Rounds were supposed to be played. The organizers had previously mentioned that we’d play either four or five rounds this day.

Well, it turns out that we were only going four Rounds before we broke off into a Top 8. After all the results came in and were calculated, I finish second in the field (about a hundred points behind the gentleman in first place).

I’m going to the Top 8, which officially makes this my best showing ever at a WKO!!

But for that story, you’ll have to wait just a lil bit longer!

(Hey, we’re already pushing 3000 words here!)

Next: The Top 8 story PLUS the Top 10 Sealed pieces in Batman: The Animated Series!

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Or, Let’s Face It, Christmas Past at This Point!) Is Back With a Harley Quinn Top 10!! (Or, The Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

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

Harley Quinn bombshell.jpg

After tonight, there’s just one Night left in the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2017!!

For Night Eleven, at long last, we’re gonna burn through a Top Ten Set Review for Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls!

 

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN HARLEY QUINN AND THE GOTHAM GIRLS:

 

Batman god of knowledge.jpg

10. HQ062 Batman, God of Knowledge — 225 Points — Chase: 

Advertised as the Uni-Mind killer (“His Trait shuts down Perplex!! Kind of!!”), Batman GOK is hardly that. He’s way too many points to be any sort of silver bullet.

Buuuut… that doesn’t mean he’s a terrible piece.

His God Trait (GOD OF KNOWLEDGE: Opposing characters within 6 squares and lower points can’t use Perplex.) is somewhat useful, he sees through Hindering Terrain and Characters, he has a 9 Range AND can Outwit a single opposing character twice a turn.

If you can keep him top dial, his Movement Special (MOBIUS CHAIR: Phasing/Teleport. Batman, God of Knowledge can use it as FREE if he has no action tokens. // Batman, God of Knowledge may carry friendly characters with “wing symbol”.) plus his Pen/Psy and 4 Damage will actually give him a puncher’s chance against almost any single foe.

 

Wonder Woman DS War.jpg

9. HQ067 Wonder Woman — 125 Points — Chase:

Yeah, this list is gonna be mostly Chases. I’m sorry, but that’s where most of the goodness in this set is. Don’t look at me. It’s not my fault.

Regardless, Diana has one of the most solid close combat dials I’ve ever seen. She’s a 9-click long Brick who’s almost impossible to Outwit, has a 12 Attack, Charge, Exploit Weakness with 4 Damage and Indomitable.

She also has a kind of bizarre Trait (NEVER GIVE UP: When a friendly character of 50 points or more is KO’d, give her a Determination token. When Wonder Woman would be KO’d, if she has one or more Determination tokens, instead turn her to click #8 then remove all Determination tokens and heal her that many clicks.) that let’s her resurrect if some of her teammates are KO’d!

 

Kite Man.jpg

8. HQ044 Kite Man — 15 Points — Rare: 

I hate when they put micro-costed characters at the Rare level. It can really screw up Sealed games.

Having said that, 15 Points for 4-clicks of anything is pretty good. When you factor in his Taxi Trait (KITE MAN. HELL, YEAH.: Passenger: 2. At the beginning of your turn, if Kite Man is holding an object, he may move up to 2 squares.) and the fact that he flies with a Movement Value of 10, he actually starts to become freaking AMAZING for his points!

 

Harley Quinn Yellow.jpg

7. HQ043B Harley Quinn — 100 Points — Rare Prime: 

Her Super Rare Prime got more buzz, but this is a really efficiently priced package!

100 Points for Hypersonic, Perplex (only on opposing pieces, but still), KNOCKBACK, 3 Damage with Enhancement and a 5 Range.

If you were to create the perfect Secondary Attacker in a lab, this dial is close to the result you’d come up with!

 

Green Lantern GOL.jpg

6. HQ064 Green Lantern, God of Light — 175 Points — Chase:

Nope. This isn’t the last Chase on this list (sigh).

Buuuuut, I have to put him on this list because of his Movement Special (I AM EVERYWHERE!: POWER: Place Green Lantern, God of Light in a square that’s within half his speed value, then make an attack.). He also has Pulse Wave and 4 Damage top dial, so that makes that Special even more ridiculous.

 

Kirk DePaul.jpg

5. HQ003B Kirk DePaul, Manhunter — 65 Points — Common PRIME:

Wow! This is another great Secondary Attacker. 6 Clicks for 65 Points, and that includes a top dial with Sidestep, Precision Strike with a 12 Attack and an absolutely awesome and versatile Trait (TALENT, TRAINING, AND GENETIC DESIGN: FREE: Choose: Close Combat Expert, Combat Reflexes -or- Ranged Combat Expert, Energy Shield/Deflection. Kirk DePaul, Manhunter can use the chosen powers until your next turn.)!

He even gets B/C/F and Regen at the end of his dial!

 

king Shark.jpg

4. HQ054 King Shark — 90 Points — Super Rare: 

So, if you can actually win the Map Roll and take your Suicide Squad to a Map with a lot of water, King Shark’s Damage Special (ME AND MY CHUM: Sidestep. FREE: If King Shark occupies water terrain, move him up to his speed value.) turns him into a straight up killer.

His top dial features Flurry, and 11 Attack AND 4 Damage with Shape Change and Exploit Weakness. So if you can use his Water Terrain Special and Sidestep effectively, he can start chopping away for 8 Damage (Dealt) a turn!

Also, the Sinister Six shared Trait (ONLY SIX OF US?: Stealth, but only if your force has three or more characters. Improved Movement: Hindering Terrain, but only if your force has five or more characters. Modify all combat values +1, but only if your force has exactly six characters.) is really cool and would let him one-shot significantly higher-costed characters if you can make it work!

 

Harley Quinn black and red.PNG

3. HQ059A Harley Quinn — 200 Points — Super Rare: 

Okay, yes, this dial might be a tad overcosted. But it’s one of the funnest dials I’ve ever seen!

Her first two Clicks are all gold–Hypersonic, Poison, Impervious and Perplex. She also has Indom and some darn good stats! Down dial, she gets a great Damage Special (I’M GONNA FURADICATE YOU!: When Harley Quinn hits an opposing character, for the rest of the game, if that character can use Invincible or Impervious, that character can’t use those powers but can use Invulnerability instead.) as well!

 

Prometheus.jpg

2. HQ045 Prometheus — 135 Points — Rare: 

Sidestep! Indom! Perplex! Good stats! Improved Targeting: Hindering Terrain. Plus one hell of a Trait (DOWNLOAD A COUNTER TO YOUR ABILITIES: FREE: Choose a standard attack and damage power. Prometheus can use those powers until your next turn.)!

If we haven’t mentioned it before, being able to continually pick good powers whenever you want is always pretty freaking good!

Incidentally, I was actually able to use Prometheus to take down a Shazam! Chase during our HQ Release Event. Very potent!

 

Flash GOD.jpg

1. HQ063 The Flash, The God of Death — 125 Points — Chase: 

Whoa!! 125 Points buys WAAAAY more than it used to!! There’s a reason this guy is WELL over a hundred bucks on the secondary market!

14 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, Precision Strike with an 11 Attack, 19 Defense with Super Senses and 4 native Damage top dial! Oh, and he ignores Hindering Terrain, keeps any opposing characters within 6 squares of him from healing, has Steal Energy AND has the ability to heal every time an opposing character is KO’d!!

Oh, and with the Quintessence TA, he has Willpower and none of his powers can be countered. That makes him one of the cheapest heavy hitting Primary Attackers Wizkids has ever designed!

 

Alright!! That’s it for tonight! Thank you to everyone reading this. Feel free to post your personal Top Tens below!!

Also… we’re one day away from hitting our 12 for 12 goal! Christmas Day is basically going to be a wrap-up with some info about what to look forward to from us in January!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and I’ll see you all here tomorrow!

The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation Is Back With a Look at Modern Marvel/DC stories That Would Make Great Heroclix Sets!! (Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

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

Justice League Trinity War

Justice League: Trinity War showed how one plot line from the comics can form the backbone of a regular set release, not just Storyline OP’s.

Welcome to Night Nine of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, our annual event where our little operation here tries to churn out fresh content for twelve straight nights!

After yesterday’s semi-editorial about the woeful state of Marvel publishing, I thought today would be a great day to look at three recent (read: published in the last five years) Marvel or DC stories that would form the basis for great Heroclix sets (or even just great sets in general)!

So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

 

darkknightsmetal2

1. DARK KNIGHT: METAL:

From the last five years?! How about a story that’s ONGOING RIGHT NOW! Now, Wizkids might have to make a slight title change for marketing purposes–maybe something like “Batman: Metal” or “Justice League: Metal,” although it’s not impossible that they’d be just fine with the name as is.

But this set would allow Wizkids to give us:

–All new versions of the Justice League;

–Cool, creepy generics like Jokerized Robins; more Court of Owls pieces;

–Alternate Earth versions of DC heroes and villains;

–Primes:

Common Prime: Jokerized Damien Wayne;

Uncommon Prime: Joker of Earth-22;

Rare Prime: The Superman of Earth-1 (renegade Superman who the Batman of that world killed by becoming the Devastator);

Super Rare Prime: Nightmaster;

–Chases:

The Dark Knights (The Red Death, The Devastator, The Drowned, The Dawnbreaker, The Merciless, The Murder Machine, The Batman Who Laughs) and Barbatos.

I think a set like this would have DC Heroclix fans really excited, and it would synergize well with this year’s Elseworlds and Harley Quinn sets!

 

Time Runs Out.jpg

2. TIME RUNS OUT:

This was the lead up to Secret Wars, but that encompasses like two or three years worth of comics!

–You’d have entire teams of alternate Earth Avengers you could draw from;

Black Priests.jpg

–Strange, never before seen POWERFUL generics like the Black Priests;

–Ultra powerful Chases like Doctor Strange as the leader of the Black Priests; a new Black Swan piece; Thanos leading the Cabal; and Doctor Doom as Rabum Alal.

 

All of which would lead us into…

 

Secret Wars.jpg

3. SECRET WARS (2015):

This could even be a Storyline OP, right?

But we would get:

–The members of the 616 life rafts;

–The long awaited return of the Fantastic Four, although not quite as we remembered them;

–Any number of alternate versions of all of the Marvel Heroes and Villains–you could cherry pick from your favorite tie-in Battleworld series;

–A Colossal Thing as “The Wall!”

–More Thanos!

–A Chase Molecule Man, Chase Black Panther (with Infinity Gauntlet), or even…

God Emperor Doom.jpg

–An Ultra-Chase God-Emperor Doom!!

 

So yeah, there are still plenty of other great stories from Marvel and DC out there for Heroclix to adapt!

Which ones would you like to see?

Sound off in the comments below!

The Ghost of Christmas Past Wants to Talk About His Favorite Things From 2017!! (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two!]

Ghost of Christmas Past

Wait, why does this Ghost of Christmas Past look like Jim Carrey?!

Welcome to Night 3 of Critical Missives… ‘s… “The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!”

Tonight, the Ghost of Christmas Past is going to tell us a few of his favorite things from the Clix year that was, starting with…

 

THE MOST UNEXPECTEDLY META SET:

TMNT Shredders Return

This set released all the way back in early February of this year, and it came close on the heels (just 3 months after, really) of its underwhelming predecessor, TMNT 2: Heroes in a Half Shell.

And yet, this set had hit after hit, from the Rares to the SR’s to the Chases. Almost all of the following characters have seen play in (at the very least) the Top 16 of a ROC:

TMNT3023 Shredder Clone

TMNT3028 Leonardo (Space Leo who screws with equipped items)

TMNT3030 Savanti Romero

TMNT3031 Wyrm

TMNT033 Mini Shredder

TMNT035 Shark Shredder

The Space Turtles were all pretty good, really, as were all of the Shredder Chases. For a set with only 35 pieces, an inordinately large amount of those pieces ended up being really powerful!

This set actually made fans excited for more Turtles sets. Quite the feat considering a lot of folks were having Turtles fatigue heading into its release. We’ll see if Wizkids can keep the momentum going when TMNT: Unplugged releases next March.

 

THE LONGEST-AWAITED STARTER SET IN HEROCLIX HISTORY:

Mighty-Thor-Starter2.jpg

Sooo… before this was released in August, Heroclix KINDA had rules. In that, there was a rule book, but it was old, and most of it still applied, but there were always some weird interactions, and SOMETIMES Wizkids would address these online, but sometimes they wouldn’t, and in those cases yourguessisasgoodasmineandAAAGGGHHHH!!

This Starter FINALLY debuted the new rules for Heroclix going forward, and the updated wording actually did resolve (and/or prevent) a lot of rules ambiguity. Even if some of the new rules seemed bizarre or needlessly revised (See: Improved Targeting: Blocking; Mind Control; etc.), at least we finally had some guidance from on high. So the actual contents of this Starter hardly mattered beyond the new rules. Buuut…

Holy crap are these good pieces!! This was one of the best Loki’s we’ve ever gotten, and the Hulk piece is also pretty extraordinary (50 Points for free 4-Damage Quake?! Sweet!). And they gave us a 5-Click Cap for 50 Points that comes with Charge, ES/D, Combat Reflexes and CCE! Plus he pumps the Attack of adjacent friendly characters!

This would have been a top-selling Starter if it just had the new rules and 6 trash pieces. Instead, Wizkids put in some good design work on these figures AND included an Asgardian Shield! One of the best products they put out this year.

 

MOST UNDERRATED SET OF THE YEAR:

Elesworlds

What If… ? and Elseworlds sounded great in concept, but by the time Elseworlds debuted in July, the best piece in What If… ? (Goblin King) had been nerfed, half of the Chases were down to about $25 and shops were stuck with bricks that no one really wanted any more.

Also… it’s tough to invest much in full sets of Heroclix that are released in consecutive months! It’s even tougher when those sets reuse sculpts as if Wizkids had to make a 56-piece set out of, like 14 different molds.

Having said all that… Elseworlds is an infinitely better set than What If… ? was.

First of all, the source material (particularly The Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come) is simply better and more popular the What If… ? source material. As a Marvel guy, it hurts to say that, but it’s true. It just is.

Secondly, this set has great pieces at all rarity levels.

–More Shifting Focus Batman and Superman pieces at the Common level (I never loved those pieces, but Ninwashui does and they have shown up intermittently in the Meta);

–Figures like Nekhrun, the Bat God and “Drained Power Battery” Green Lantern at the Uncommon level (I mean, Running Shot/Pulse Wave with Flying, a 7 Range, Indomitable and a TWENTY Defense from range seems fair for 60 Points, right?);

–Kingdom Come The Ray, Green Oracle and The Drummer at the Rare level;

–The very Meta Al Jhor Dan and the extremely efficient The Flying Batman (seriously, compare this piece at 140 to the dials for the Movie Superman or Movie Batman dials from the BvS Movie set last year);

–And a 4-figure murderer’s row of Chases from the Dark Knight Returns. Green Arrow, Superman, Robin… even the Batman piece is really good for his points.

I can’t think of another set that has such a bad reputation while simultaneously being chock full of good pieces.

 

Well, that’s all for today–I don’t want to step on our annual January “Simply the Best” column–but be sure to tune in tomorrow for some more Clix-Mas!!

But THIS… Does Put A Smile On My Face!! (Or, Let’s Talk About the Infinity War Trailer!!)

Thanos Infinity Gauntlet

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We don’t do many trailer reactions on this site, primarily because we’re mostly about gaming in general, and Heroclix specifically. Also, while some folks manage to publish genuinely entertaining reaction videos on YouTube (The Ecomog #StruggleNation guys and Emergency Awesome are some of my personal faves), most are just schlubby guys staring slightly below the camera while shouting “Wow!” and “Oh S—!!” over and over again.

But while we are assembling our Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls Top Ten (I’ve heard some people call it “Joker’s Wild” with funner Primes and Chases, but really–no, wait, that’s pretty much it), I thought I’d break from tradition and embark on a little story time about why I wanted to talk about this particular trailer, what exactly seems to be going on with the movie’s story, and maybe even why the Colossal Thanos on the Throne of Death is the default masthead for this blog! 

So, without further ado… on with the show!]

Infinity War poster.jpg

Marvel finally dropped a trailer for Infinity War today. This is the movie I’ve been waiting for ever since I was a little kid, and one that I never thought I’d ever get in my lifetime.

I’ve lived in Michigan my whole life. Grew up just outside of Detroit. For most of my childhood my family would drive up to Lexington, Michigan at least once during every  summer month (after school had let out). Lexington was about 90 minutes away from Detroit, and my grandparents had a small cottage there near Lake Huron.

Now Lexington was (and pretty much still is) the epitome of a small, Midwestern town. It had a Main Street, a few restaurants, a General Store (where, after much petulant badgering, my grandmother would break down and buy me DuckTales stickers and baseball cards) and an indoor bazaar/flea market that, at least in my memory, was always filled to the brim with dusty, undiscovered treasures.

My father was never one to pass up a garage sale or a flea market, so whenever he would head into town, my brother and I always got up early to go with him, particularly because every time we went to that indoor market, someone would be selling… comic books.

In 1992, I was 11 years old, and while I had a general idea who Batman, Superman and Spider-Man were, I was really just discovering the broader range of comic book characters that were out there. That was also the time in my life when I had started earning my own money through delivering newspapers and mowing lawns, so it was not uncommon for me to hit the comic stands with $5, $10 or sometimes even $20 (for our younger readers, you’ll have to trust me–this seemed like a small FORTUNE to 11-year-old me!).

Now I always had to examine the covers of all the comics that were for sale, and my gosh, if I saw a cover advertising a guest appearance by another hero, well, that comic was probably going home with me (I mean, what’s better than getting TWO heroes for the price of one comic?!).

Daredevil 306

I think I still have this issue in my basement somewhere. It came out the same month as Infinity War #1, I think. And it had Daredevil AND Spider-Man!! 11-year-old me was most impressed.

Well, later on in the Summer of 1992, I saw this:

Infinity War 1

A double-sized comic that pretty much had ALL the heroes in the MCU. This blew my mind! I eagerly devoured all six issues of Infinity War; then, the following year, I did it all over again with the sequel, Infinity Crusade.

When I got a little older and I could drive myself to the local comic shop on Wednesdays after high school, I was able to track down bits and pieces of Thanos Quest and Infinity Gauntlet (but, frustratingly, never the whole thing–finding those issues, or even a TPB, became sort of my white whale. Especially because this was before eBay and Amazon).

But the ending of Infinity Gauntlet, where Adam Warlock had to sacrifice his peaceful afterlife in the Soul Gem to literally take on the responsibility of the entire universe while Thanos lost universal omnipotence but gained a mantle of inner peace stuck with me.

Infinity Gauntlet ending

I can still quote the last line of Infinity Gauntlet decades later. “Somehow I feel that, in the long run, Thanos of Titan came out ahead in this particular deal.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Starlin does not get nearly enough credit for all the concepts and characters he introduced into the Marvel Universe. He has had a brilliant career, but he’s never mentioned in the same conversations as his contemporaries like Alan Moore and Frank Miller. Watchmen and DKR are brilliant, but Starlin did something arguably harder; he told an all-time great story that took place IN CONTINUITY. This is incredibly difficult to do. How many crossovers have come anywhere close to Infinity Gauntlet’s brilliance? Very few… And while we’re at it, when it comes to drawing Thanos, there’s Ron Lim, and then there’s everyone else. Period.]

It was such a powerful ending; I finally realized that sometimes the good guys don’t completely win, and sometimes the bad guys aren’t gonna get punished. And yet, from there, Thanos develops from a villain into more of an anti-hero who is eventually entrusted with the Reality Gem and actually helps save the universe during future Infinity catastrophes (and Keith Giffen even wrote a marvelously fun and complex Thanos 12-issue series back in 2003-2004 that continued this redemption arc in unexpected ways).

Fast forward to 2012. I can’t believe that Marvel movies that don’t have Spider-Man or an ‘X’ in the title are actually succeeding at the box office. My childhood is coming to life before my eyes. “Avengers” hits and its everything everyone wants it to be. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and nothing like it has ever been attempted at the level on which “Avengers” was executed. It’s a gigantic hit.

Also that year, I met a girl. My third date with her also happened to be my birthday. “Avengers” was our first date, and she’d been madly interrogating my friends in order to figure out what she should get me. Then, in front of a bunch of my family members who she’d only just met that night, my girlfriend handed me a gift bag. This is what was inside:

Infinity Gauntlet TPB

We were married in 2015.

Coincidentally, that was also an “Avengers” year.

I relate all this so that you know that when I hit “Play” on YouTube this morning to watch the “Avengers: Infinity War” trailer, I wasn’t just carrying 10 years of MCU movies with me; I was sitting there with memories of some of the happiest times in my life swimming around my head, waiting with giddy anticipation.

So you can probably guess that I liked it.

It could have been two minutes of a static, black screen and I would have called it “boldly understated” or something. But it wasn’t two minutes of a black screen. It was colorful; vibrant; thrilling; scary; nostalgic; bold; smart; new and surprising and familiar, all at the same time.

In two minutes and twenty-four seconds, this trailer brought together virtually every dangling thread from every Marvel movie in history. Somehow the writers have seamlessly blended the storylines of “Infinity Gauntlet” and “Infinity” (the talented Jonathan Hickman’s magnum opus from 2013) not only with each other but also woven them into the altogether different continuity of the MCU. This is such a complicated structural endeavor that it boggles the mind anyone would even attempt such a thing.

And that’s before you remember that Marvel can’t use the Fantastic Four, Galactus or the Silver Surfer (my God, Surfer was probably the fourth or fifth most important character IN Infinity Gauntlet!!) and that they are CHOOSING not to use Adam Warlock until the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie (or, at least, we assume this to be so).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I feel like this hasn’t been discussed enough. Again, to make this clear… ADAM WARLOCK IS THE #$&^#(! PROTAGONIST OF INFINITY GAUNTLET!! This would be like a producer going up to Peter Jackson in 1997 and saying, “Look, we’re gonna give you a green light on this Lord of the Rings thing, but only if you lose those weird Hobbit characters. Especially that Frodo guy.“]

This should be an impossible task. But then you watch the trailer, and Black Panther says “Get this man a shield!” and Cap steps out of the shadows to help defend Wakanda against an Outrider invasion, and I’m about frothing at the mouth to find out the earliest date I can pre-order tickets for this movie.

It’s like Kevin Feige and the screenwriters had a workaround for everything.

WRITERS: “Uh, Infinity Gauntlet basically starts with Silver Surfer rushing to warn Earth after a run-in with Thanos and crashing into the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Surfer Crashes

FEIGE: “And?”

WRITERS: “Annnd… we can’t use Silver Surfer.”

Doc and Wong

FEIGE: “Great. So, now the Hulk will be the one to crash into the Sanctum.”

WRITERS: “Uh… he’s not even in space.”

FEIGE: “He will be.”

Hulk Sanctum

Kevin Feige is an absolute stone cold gangster. I’m convinced of this. He saw the possibility for this whole cinematic universe when all anyone else saw was B- and C-list characters with no film potential at all. That’s what I love most about the MCU. Feige and his team just plow ahead.

–Don’t have the rights to Spider-Man or the X-Men? Guess what. We’re focusing exclusively on the Avengers. And we’re gonna do that so well that Sony will be begging us to take over Spidey from them.

–Natalie Portman doesn’t want to come back for Thor 3? Great. We’re not gonna set it on Earth anyway. We’re gonna get Tessa Thompson to play a Valkyrie and it’s going to get the best reviews of any of the Thor movies. Bye Felicia.

–Our original stars are now ten years older and want gobs of money? Great. We’re gonna give it to them for now, but we’re also going to create the next generation of heroes on screen to eventually replace them. And the audience is going to f-ing love every minute of it.

I’m amazed at how many times Marvel has reinvented what a “superhero movie” can be.

For all the reasons I just described, I loved, loved LOVED this trailer, and I can’t wait to take my wife to go and see it in a theater.

Look, I haven’t even really touched on the story of “Infinity” and how it relates to this production, but this probably isn’t going to be the last time I talk about this trailer or this movie, either. But I think I’ll leave it right here for now.

Excelsior.

What Else Is New? (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Elseworlds!!)

Elseworlds War.jpg

Annnnnd… we’re back!!

Good Lord, where has August gone?

Anyway, the 15th Anniversary summer of Heroclix rolls on for Wizkids, and once again we have a new, 5-Figure Booster set… which means we need a new Top Ten!! Especially since, y’know, we’re just a few days out from The Mighty Thor!

But first…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

DKR 1

Man, what if Warner Brothers made a DCEU adaptation of “The Dark Knight Returns,” only they stripped out almost the entire plot, most of the cast, the characters’ motivation and the entire contextual legacy of 50 years of Batman and Superman stories but kept the part where Batman and Superman punch each other and threw in a jar of Lex Luthor’s pee? That could make for a sweet movie!!

–This Elseworlds set seemingly had more material to draw from than the Marvel What If… ? expansion in that What If… ? was a specific (sometimes even monthly) Marvel title, whereas pretty much anything outside of regular DC continuity seems to fall under the Elseworlds banner. So Elseworlds got to field pieces from amazing, all-time great stories like “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Kingdom Come,” while What If… ? couldn’t use elements of “Marvel Zombies,” “Earth X” or “Old Man Logan” because those stories were told outside of the pages of the actual What If… ? comic.

(That’s not really a nit, by the way; just an observation).

So even though I tend to gravitate more towards Marvel stuff, I found myself looking forward to this set a little more, simply because I was more familiar with many of the specific stories and characters being referenced (again, “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Kingdom Come” are among the best stories ever told in the medium of comics; my favorite comic story ever is still “Infinity Gauntlet,” for a variety of reasons, but catch me on the right day and I might say that “DKR” is the best story I’ve ever read).

 

Planetary Cover

Incidentally, THIS is one of the best covers I’ve ever seen…

–Putting this list together is a little more difficult than assembling the What If… ? Top Ten in that there’s no Goblin King-type figure who is heads and tails above almost everything else in terms of power level.

Elijah Snow seems like the only figure who might drive the highway to the Watchlist Danger Zone, but even then, you need to have 3 or 4 copies of him to get really stupid. Will a wide enough swath of Meta players go to that much trouble, especially when Wizkids just Watchlisted away Jakeem Thunder’s number one predator while leaving Jakeem untouched? Seems doubtful…

 

New Rules.jpg

–This is also one of the toughest evaluations we’ve ever had to do since the rules are changing in some very significant ways this week. Which means that a figure that’s really good today may be less than desirable in a couple days! Just look at Cosmic Spidey from the previous set! What If… ? came out in June, and that set’s already been decimated at the upper end by either the Watchlist or the new rules!

Superman Chase

–Finally, a quick shout-out to the DKR Chase Superman sculpt. It really captured the way Frank Miller drew him in that story. All of the Chase sculpts were really cool. Great job, Wizkids!!

–I’m not doing a formal Honorable Mention, since this is a bit of a smaller set. Informally, however, the 5 Honorable Mention figures WOULD have been:

5. EW002 Superman (Shifting Focus piece which offers Indom & Quake; his Special Quake with Precision Strike combo lost a little with the New Rules nerf of PS.)

4. EW019 Oliver Queen, Templar (Decent offense with the punch to get through reducers. Does not fear Mystics TA. Unfortunately, despite all that, he’s not even the best 80 Point Green Arrow in this set.)

3. EW047 Batman (The overlooked Chase. Doesn’t pack a huge punch, but a 12 Attack and Precision Strike will get damage through. Very map dependent, though. The more Hindering, the better, as his Trait allows him to hop from clear terrain in Hindering Terrain 4 squares away.)

2. EW044 Diana Prince (People ragged on this piece because it was a 40 Point Wonder Woman. But if you scratched the name off of this piece and just looked at the dial, you’d see a lot of support combined with the ability to defend herself up close.)

1. EW037 The Flying Batman (140 Points is too much for what he does, but man, he’s fun. He has both the Supes Ally TA and the Batman Family TA. It is always a good thing to have Stealth AND be able to see through Stealth. Hypersonic Speed top dial along with 4 Damage is deadly… just not 140 points worth of deadly.)

And now, without further ado…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN ELSEWORLDS!!

Elijah Snow

10. EW046E Elijah Snow — 70 Points — Super Rare: Planetary’s infamous leader packs in a lot of usefulness on his Experienced dial. While his dial is only four clicks long, he has an 8 Range with Running Shot, Pulse Wave, Barrier and Leadership, and Indomitable on top of all that.

His first Trait (THE BIG FREEZE: Once per game, give Elijah Snow a free action. For the rest of the game, while Elijah Snow is on the map other characters that can’t use the Flight ability can only move in a direct path.) can really make things difficult for any piece without Flight, and his second Trait (CHILL IN YOUR BONES: Give Elijah Snow a free action and choose one that hasn’t been chosen yet this game: Power, Close Combat, Range Combat, or Move. Until your next turn, when an opposing character is given an action of the chosen type, after actions resolve give that character an action token. If you can’t, deal them 1 unavoidable damage.) can slow down just about everyone else.

When you consider the new Rules taking effect, Leadership is suddenly a useful power to have. Imagine playing 3 of these guys together. Your opponent will think Felix Faust has been un-banned, and you still have 90 points left for a Primary attacker (someone like fellow Planetary alum Jakita Wagner, maybe?)!

Elijah Snow takes an expert hand to really exploit, but–especially in mulitples–he can pose some real threats to your opponent.

Drummer

Well, that clears that up!

9. EW036 The Drummer — 40 Points — Rare: Once again, we have a member of Planetary with only four Clicks of life who comes packing some major trickeration. He deals 0 Damage his whole dial, has an Attack Value of 8 with no Attack Powers and a Defense of 16 (albeit with ES/D).

But he also has Sidestep on every click, a 10 Range, a great shared Special Damage Power (PLANETARY: ARCHAEOLOGISTS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: Once per turn, The Drummer can use either Outwit or Perplex.) and an absolutely AWESOME Trait (READING THE INFORMATION FLOWS: Once per turn, when an opposing character within range and line of fire would use one of Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control during their turn, you may choose that instead the opposing character can’t use that power that turn.).

Cornering the market on three of the best powers in Heroclix–Outwit, Perplex and Prob–is probably a good way to win in this game. Just sayin’.

The Ray

8. EW033R The Ray — 25 Points — Rare: Okay, this is a one-trick pony, but it’s a heck of a trick. His Damage Special (JUSTICE SHINES BRIGHT: Give The Ray a free action and choose an opposing character within 8 squares. Until your next turn, if The Ray has line of fire to that character, that character can’t make attacks.) can absolutely shut down a tentpole for as long as he can see them, really, and heaven help them if they try to shoot The Ray down from Range. That’s a 20 or 21 Defense (if you initially place him in Hindering) PLUS a Super Senses roll. They’re basically going to have to waste an attack up close, and even then it’s not a sure thing.

On many maps, even if they do waste an attack on the Ray, chances are that’s going to leave them wide open for a counter. That’s a lot of gamechanging potential from a 25 Point piece.

Carrie Kelly

7. EW048 Robin — 40 Points — Chase: If Night Nurse and Overdrive had a Clix baby, it would look something like Carrie Kelly as Robin.

This piece has been hotly debated, but I come down on the side of she’s useful, particularly since they’ve fixed her Bystander tokens with the recent errata (they’re now officially vehicles THAT CAN CARRY! Woo-hoo!).

Those tokens come down as part of her first Trait (COMPUTER CLASSES, DUH: At the beginning of the game place adjacent either the Batcycle or Batwing bystander. When that bystander is KO’d, after actions resolve place the other bystander adjacent.), and in addition to being useful taxis, they can also fix a few pieces that have great stats but no move and attack power (The Batcycle grants Running Shot while the Batwing has Sidestep).

She also starts out with Support and Precision Strike, and her Leap/Climb lets her vacate the scene real quick if she’s not Piloting one of her vehicles. Combat Reflexes combined with the Batman Ally TA makes her really hard to even attack.

Finally, her last Trait (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: GET SEEN AND YOU’RE FIRED: When Robin occupies clear terrain, she can use Shape Change. When she occupies hindering terrain, she can use Perplex but only to target another character occupying hindering terrain.) gives her one of two useful abilities: Shape Change or Perplex, based on where she is on the Map.

If she was a great Taxi at 40 Points, she’d be good. If she was a good support piece, she’d be worth the 40 Points it takes to field her. But when you consider that she’s outstanding in both roles, 40 Points is a steal.

Nekhrun.png

6. EW024E Nekhrun, The Bat God — 100 Points — Uncommon: The Rare piece that can hold his own in close combat situations (Sidestep, Super Strength, 3 Damage) or ranged (7 Range, Ranged Combat Expert, Batman and Quintessence Team Abilities).

But the reason I really like him is because whether your opponent goes after him first or last, his Trait (AVATAR OF DARKNESS: Other friendly characters can use the Batman Ally team ability. When Nekhrun, The Bat-God is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, for the rest of the game other friendly characters can’t be targeted by opposing characters 4 or more squares away.) is insanely beneficial for your whole squad.

In an era where Resources are going away, the ability to add a competent Secondary Attacker AND give your whole team Stealth for just 100 Points seems like a good deal.

Kid Flash Justice Rider

5. EW012 Kid Flash (Justice Rider) — 60 Points — Common: Kind of the ultimate harasser masquerading as a Secondary Attacker. His Movement Special (QUICKEST SHOT IN THE WEST: Kid Flash (Justice Rider) can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, he doesn’t halve his range value.) gives him a Threat Range of 16 (10 Movement plus 6 Range), and it makes his lone Trait (HIGH NOON: If Kid Flash (Justice Rider) is the last character with this trait to hit an opposing character with a range attack, until your next turn, if the hit character makes a range attack, Kid Flash (Justice Rider) must be one of its targets.) REAAAAALLY annoying considering that opposing character’s have to track Kid Flash down for retribution before they can move on with their lives.

Your opponent’s whole turn can get derailed really quickly if you start dictating who he has to attack. And while there are several characters with this Trait, Kid Flash’s Hypersonic mobility makes him the pick of the litter.

GL The Nail.jpg

4. EW017 Green Lantern — 60 Points — Uncommon: Meet the Elseworlds version of DXF’s Fenris. Doesn’t deal quite as much damage on the front end, but has more mobility. Also, he can use TK and Pulse Wave top dial, so he’s basically a Taxi and an excellent Secondary Attacker wrapped up in one.

He may be just 60 points, but he’s more than capable of punching above his weight.

Al Jhor Dan.jpg

3. EW040 Al Jhor Dan — 90 Points — Super Rare: Pick-a-Power pieces are inherently good. This has been proven in droves in the Meta over the last 3 years. In a Resource-poor environment (like, say, the current Meta), their versatility becomes even more apparent–and important.

So while Al’s P-A-P Trait (GENIE OF THE LAMP: Give Al Jhor Dan a free action. Choose a standard power and choose one of the following: “wing symbol”, “dolphin symbol”, “giant symbol”, or “tiny symbol”. Al Jhor Dan can use the chosen power and has the chosen symbol until your next turn.) isn’t as good as, say, Jakeem’s, or Goblin King’s, it’s still a Pick-A-Power Trait, so it has to be respected!

He’s also only 90 Points and, unlike, say, What If… ?’s Nico Minoru, the rest of his dial is not blank. Al comes packing Indomitable, Sidestep, ES/D and a Perplex Special (1001 (KNIGHTS OF EMPIRES): Al Jhor Dan can use Perplex. If he uses Perplex to modify the same character and same value as during your last turn, he can modify it by +2 or -2 instead.) before you’ve even chosen which power you want to pick.

Frank Miller Superman

2. EW050 Superman — 230 Points — Chase: So here’s where I cheat a little bit. When Elseworlds came out, Superman was pretty good. Now that there are cheap 10 Point Equipment pieces (and many of those have been spoiled/revealed, something that wasn’t the case when Elseworlds first came out) that are coming out this Wednesday, he’s even better. So, yes, this article is late, but at the same time, I can’t pretend I don’t know what’s coming, right?

With that in mind, let’s first look at what that 230 Points gets you. In addition to his randomly protective Trait (A SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY… AND OBEDIENCE: At the beginning of your turn, you may roll a d6. 5-6: Superman’s powers can’t be countered and his attack rolls can’t be rerolled by opponents until your next turn. 3-4: You may remove an action token from him. 1: He can’t be moved or placed until your next turn.), Supes is blessed with 9 Clicks of life, a 9 Range and the Superman Ally Team Ability. He also has an 11 Movement with an AWESOME Special Power (WE MUST NOT REMIND THEM THAT GIANTS WALK THE EARTH: Superman can use Charge and Stealth. If Superman began the turn occupying hindering terrain, don’t halve his speed value when using Charge this turn.), a 13 (THIRTEEN!!) Attack Value with Super Strength, a 19 Defense Value with Indomitable AND Invincible and a 5 native Damage Value top dial.

So right off the bat, we have a character with Stealth that can see through Stealth. This has historically been a great combo, and it’s as useful today as it’s ever been. BUT THAT’S NOT EVEN HIS MAIN TRICK!

Being able to line up a 5 Damage (or more with an object) close attack with a Threat Range of 12 squares is insane. Now add something like, say, Thunderball’s Enchanted Ball and Chain (EFFECT: Quake, but deals this character’s printed damage value instead of 2. ), and suddenly things get very interesting. The main problem with running an overly expensive tentpole in a 300 Point game is that you’ll get out-actioned, since your tentpole can only attack 2 out of every 3 turns (assuming your tentpole doesn’t have Colossal Stamina, yada yada). But that doesn’t matter IF YOU’RE ATTACKING HALF OF YOUR OPPONENT’S TEAM FOR FIVE DAMAGE WITH KNOCKBACK EACH TURN!

Or what about Mjolnir? It comes with one of the new Thor Chases. It’s text states: “Effect: If targeting a single character within range, treat that character has adjacent for close attacks. When making a close attack against a non-adjacent character modify attack and damage + 1.”

So now Supes can only target one enemy, but if he starts in Hindering Terrain, his Threat Range is now 20 (which might be a record for any non-Colossal, non-Flash character), and he has a 14 (FOUR-FREAKING-TEEN!!?!) Attack Value and deals 6 Damage (and, oh, yeah, with his Superman Ally TA, even Stealth won’t save an opposing character from his world of hurt). Again, IT’S HARD TO GET OUT-ACTIONED IF EVERY ONE OF YOUR ATTACKS KO’S ONE OF YOUR OPPONENT’S FIGURES!!

I mean, if you can get Supes onto a friendly battlefield like the Wakanda Map, holy God, will he be effective. Your opponent better have some close combat solutions of their own, or it will be a quick game.

DKR Green Arrow

1. Green Arrow — 80 Points — Chase: Five Clicks of offensive awesomeness. Top dial, he has a 12 Attack, 8 Range and 3 Damage with RCE to go with his first Trait (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: NOT HIDING ANYMORE: When Green Arrow occupies clear terrain, he can use Sidestep and opposing characters can’t draw lines of fire to him unless they are within three squares of him or he has 2 action tokens.) which gives him just about everything else you’d want!

He also sees through every type of Terrain but Blocking!!

Defensively, he comes packing Combat Reflexes for close attacks, and that Trait makes it REAAALLY hard to even target him at range.

His second Trait is simply a negative (…IT STILL HURTS WHEN IT’S COLD: Green Arrow can’t make range attacks when he has 1 action token.).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ll say it’s a negative! Some folks out there who are parsing the new rules for exploitable quirks are interpreting Green Arrow’s Second Trait to mean that he can NEVER make a ranged attack, reasoning that characters get action tokens before actions resolve now, meaning Green Arrow would always have at least one action token on him whenever he went to make a ranged attack.

For the record, the new rulebook states: “Just before the action resolves, give the character an action token. This signifies that you have resolved the action.” 

That sounds an awful lot to me like Green Arrow would be able to make his ranged attack AND THEN get an action token. Still, given the amount of times this has come up on social media already, I thought it worth mentioning here.] 

But ol’ Ollie still has one last trick up his sleeve. It’s his Attack Special (KRYPTONITE ARROWS: When Green Arrow hits with a ranged attack, the hit target can’t use defense powers until your next turn. If the hit target has the Kryptonian keyword also give it an action token.), which is always a crowdpleaser!

Obviously, so much goodness top dial means he’s also one of the best figures to call-in right now, too. When you put it all together, he is the best piece in Elseworlds.

 

Agree? Disagree? Post your own Top Ten in the Comments below! And keep an eye out for our Might Thor coverage starting next week!

Merry Christmas!! (Or, The 11TH Night of Clix-Mas!!)

spidey-christmas

Merry Christmas!! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa!!

Thank you so much for all of your support this year! Critical Missives continues to grow, and we have our readers to thank for that!

We hope this Holiday Season finds you all safe and prospering, and we look forward to all the excitement–Clix and otherwise–that 2017 will bring!

We’ve got one more Clix-Mas article coming (hopefully) tonight (Ninwashui’s DC Core Set Thought Experiment!), and sometime next week HypeFox will publish his Second Opinion on Joker’s Wild!

Until Then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ahem. Well… thank you?

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

Some Notes About the Set:

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

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You ain’t kidding!]

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

My Honorable Mentions:

talon

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

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

flash-jsa

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

Al Pratt Atom.jpg

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

Lady Shiva.png

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

mr-freeze

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

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

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


The Top Ten:

Batman Outsiders.jpg

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

killing-joke-joker

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

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

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

penguin-jw

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

katana-jw

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

Alan Scott.jpg

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

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

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

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

Bizarro Joker.jpg

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

Anarky JW.png

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

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

Jakeem Thunder JW.png

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

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

bizarro_green_arrow_01

Me am mascot for Target!!”

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

the-killing-joke-joker

Why is he dripping wet in this picture?

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

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

 

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

The Most-Wanted Ghosts of Clix-Mas Future Return!! (Or,What We Want to See in 2017!!) (Or Or, We Call an Audible on the Seventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)(Whew!!)

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

peyton-manning

That sound you here is Ninwashui yelling ‘Omaha!!’

Okay, here’s the deal!

Some nights, when it’s the middle of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas and you’re blogging by the seat of your pants and you’ve probably had juuuust a bit too much caffeine, you just have to call an audible.

Tonight is one of those nights!

So, this is the Seventh Night of Clix-Mas 2016, which means we have six Clix-Mas blogs in the books, which also means we have six to go (Yikes!) to make our goal of 12 blog entries in 12 days during what is generally the busiest, most stressful time of the year.

In otherwords, we’ve reached the halfway point. Which also ALSO means we’ve started to get some feedback. In this case, that feedback comes from none other than the co-author of this very blog, Mr. Ninwashui himself!

He read yesterday’s article on Theory Crafting a Marvel Core Set and, well, he had some thoughts!

The long and short of the conversation that followed resulted in one main revision to our plans: he is going to write the DC Core Set Theory Crafting article (also known as “Everything Old Is New Again Part 3!!”)!!

Which is great and all, but that also means we’re gonna have to call an audible for today’s column. So don’t worry–you’ll still get Part 3 this Clix-Mas (probably around Night 10 or Night 11, methinks).

So instead, we’re going to revisit one of last year’s most popular Clix-Mas entries: The Most-Wanted Ghosts of Clix-Mas Future!

Christmas Future

No, sorry, you’re definitely getting an MCU Capwolf movie, but don’t worry, the Russo Brothers figure it out. I know. I couldn’t believe it either. I mean, they even make Doctor FREAKING Druid work. And he was played by Miley Cyrus.

If you’ve forgotten how this gimmick works, I’m basically going to go month-by-month for the first six months of 2017 and discuss the sets we know we’re getting and what I hope we get from them!

Let’s get started!

FEBRUARY 2017: 

deadpool-and-x-force

DEADPOOL & X-FORCE:

Or is it X-Force and Deadpool? Unclear at the moment. But we do know this is our next set!

–I would love to see Word Bubbles return. Alas, I think we would have already heard about these if they were appearing in this set, as last time around (Deadpool in 2014) their existence was part of the marketing.

–I didn’t love the Cable we got in AVX or Deadpool (although the New Mutants Monthly LE kit Cable from last year was great on his own and bonkers-good on the Team Base!), so I wouldn’t mind seeing a new version or two in this set as he’s always been one of my favorite Marvel characters.

–The Ultra-Chase rarity returns?! Well then. Not sure who this could be, but if they hadn’t already given us Thorpool in the Deadpool set, that probably would have been my bet. We’ll see.

–Actually, if the Ultra-Chase turns out to be Squirrel Girl (who we know is in the set in one form or another), I’d actually be cool with that.

Deadpool & X-Force releases (for now) sometime in mid-to-late February.

 

MARCH 2017: 

return-of-the-shredder

SHREDDER’S RETURN: 

–Honestly, there’s not a ton more I need from TMNT right now, unless they’re going to dig into the live action movies, which I’m pretty sure are not included in the license.

–This is going to be a very dial-dependent set for me; meaning, the more good figures I see Previewed, the more likely I’ll be to buy more of the set. Otherwise, this is probably the least interesting of the three Turtle Sets they’ve released/announced so far.

 

JUNE 2017: 

jane-foster-what-if

I’ll be honest–I think we know at this point what would happen if Jane Foster had found the Hammer of Thor…

MARVEL HEROCLIX 15TH ANNIVERSARY: WHAT IF?

–Ooooooo, am I excited for this one!

–The thing about a set where literally any figure could fit is that literally any figure could show up in this set. I can’t wait, but I have no idea what’s coming with this one.

–I know a lot of folks want more Exiles; I’d be fine with that, but I really want random characters from random What If? one-shot stories. Pieces like Iron Doom from Invincible Iron Man come to mind. That guy was awesome!

 

JULY 2017: 

elseworlds-multiversity

DC HEROCLIX 15TH ANNIVERSARY: ELSEWORLDS

–Even though this is the same concept as Marvel’s What If, I feel like we’ve seen a lot more of DC’s Elseworlds already. Kingdom Come? We just got a bunch of them (although I’d never object to more). Red Son? Ditto.

–If, however, this set ends up chock full of Multiversity pieces (Captain Carrot PLEASE!!), I will be a happy camper! I even want members of the Gentry. I’d love them as Colossals, but I understand that if I get any at all, they’ll probably just be normal bases, which is okay.

–2017 is going to be an interesting year in Clix

Alright! That’s all for today. We’ve still got a lot in the hopper, such as Ninwashui’s DC Core Set AND his Joker’s Wild Top Ten, both coming before the end of Clix-Mas 2016!!

So get ready, buckle up, and strap in!! And don’t forget to come find us right here in this space in the next 24 hours for more Clix-Mas 2015 goodness!