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!

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OverLooked!! (Or, Three 5-Star World’s Finest Pieces That Went Overlooked in 2016!!) (Or, The Fourth 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 4! 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.]

sad-batman

So, I skipped Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters this year. Kept meaning to go, but I never did. The truth is, I show up opening weekend now for just about any MCU property (bring on “Marvel’s Fancy Ghosts!!“) because Marvel movies have earned my trust–the DCEU really hasn’t yet. But that’s a conversation for another day.

Anyway, I finally bought BvS: DoJ on Blu-Ray and watched the whole Extended Edition (or whatever it’s called) the other day. Yeeeesh. It is a mess (why was Lois Lane even IN this movie?!), and critics were right to write it off. Buuuut… But…

Ben Affleck is trying in this movie. He really is. It’s a good performance that will, frankly, end up overlooked in the annals of cinema when people think back on 2016.

Which brings us, in a roundabout way, to today! 2016 saw the release of NINE different Heroclix sets (which doesn’t even count all the Fast Forces, Starters and Monthly OP LE’s we got). We got a ton of 5-Star worthy figures this year, but not all have made their way into the Meta.

So today, we’re going to take a look at three overlooked 5-Star figures from this year’s first set, World’s Finest, and try to figure out what went wrong!

overwatch-calvarys-not-coming

Cheers love! The cavalry’s… not coming.

THE THREE MOST OVERLOOKED 5-STAR FIGURES OF WORLD’S FINEST!!

Nightlantern

3. WF037B Nightlantern: The Rare Prime from the year’s first full set, World’s Finest, Nightlantern still carries a 5-Star rating on HCRealms.com and was supposed to set the Meta on fire with his “Everyone is now an Entity!!” Trait (EVERY PERSON I KNOW IS AN AMALGAM OF TWO FROM YOUR UNIVERSE?: When building your force, you may pay 25 points and put a standard character on your sideline, called an Amalgam. At the beginning of the game, equip the Amalgam to a standard friendly character (other than Nightlantern) that is higher points than the Amalgam’s highest point value and link it to that character’s dial. For the rest of the game, the Amalgam provides the below effect when equipped: EFFECT: At the beginning of your turn or when when this character is clicked, you may choose a standard power on the equipped dial. This character can use that power until your next turn or clicked.).

When the set was first released, Nightlantern was going for a blistering $65-$75–unheard of for a Rare Prime, but folks were obsessed with all the possibilities he provided. Well, fast forward 10 months, and folks are dying to unload him for less than half of that original amount.

What Went Wrong: The Meta just never evened out for this piece. It doesn’t help that his dial is a little pricey at 150 for what you get (remember, that 150 doesn’t even include the extra 25 Points for an Amalgam): One Click of Hypersonic, 2 almost useless Clicks of TK and Leadership, etc.

Basically, to make use of his best ability (his Trait), you have to invest more than half of your total Build points in a 300 Point game. That is tough to make work.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sure it’s tough, but that didn’t stop us from compiling a pretty comprehensive list of possibilities back in March!]

In a Meta era where folks are building entire teams around maximizing the number of Call-In Cheese Wheels they can use in one game, finding 25 Points to spend on an Amalgam is nearly impossible (or, to look at it another way, you’re spending the exact same amount of points that 5 Call-Ins would cost you).

Will We See Him Again?: If Wizkids decides that they’ve had enough of the Avengers Round Table and the Avengers ID cards and rotates them out around May of next year, then maybe. The JLA Teleporter will still be around, but if it’s suddenly impossible to call-in Hawkeye, Thor or Nick Fury, the Call-In strategy as a whole may fall out of favor.

There’s not really any recent Resources to pick from, so in this scenario (remember, Pandora’s Box and the 7 Deadly Sins would have rotated out as well, since they were released prior to the Round Table in 2015) players looking to upgrade a character with some off the board shenanigans would almost certainly give Nightlantern another look.

But it’s not nearly clear yet which way Wizkids is going to go with next year’s set rotations.

KC SUpes

2. WF061R Superman: This is the World’s Finest Chase KC Supes on his “Tower Click.” For just 35 Points, he’s extremely tough to KO (18 Defense, Invincible PLUS the KC TA), but he has the potential to lock down two of your opponent’s best pieces every turn with his Damage Special (I WANT TO FARM IN PEACE: Superman can use Incapacitate with two targets and an attack value of 12. Hit characters can’t make ranged attacks during their turn.).

Considering that he also has an 8 Range and the Superman Ally TA, there’s not a lot of places for your opponent to hide, especially if you win Map Roll and are able to take the game someplace without much Blocking or Elevated Terrain. Ended up ranked at number five in our World’s Finest Top Ten, which was pretty high considering how stacked that set was!

What Went Wrong: A few things. First, just like with Nightlantern, if you’re playing a popular Meta Build like an Ultron Drone Call-In team or a Devil Dinosaur Critter Spawn team, Superman doesn’t really fit so well into either of those archetypes. You’re 35 Points would be better spent elsewhere.

And even if you’re not playing one of those two teams, this version of Supes isn’t a great counter to either of those rosters, either. There’s just too many targets, even with his double bolts. Nick Fury? Sure! Supes can see through Stealth and tag him almost every turn (or at least make Fury spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with a 35-Point piece while you surround him with the rest of your force).

The other thing that hurt Supes here in the Meta was a controversial post-release ruling in May that basically made it impossible to use Supes–or any KC “Tower Click” figure–as a “Time Walk” Call-In piece. So he was kind of neutered both coming and going.

Will We See Him Again?: Probably not. The Call-In ban really hurts. However…

Wizkids just ruled recently that–in certain circumstances–Superior Foes Chameleon can actually use KC “Tower Click” pieces as a disguise. This may breathe new life into Supes’s Meta career, assuming Chameleon catches on a little bit more. Control is just that important in the Meta right now.

And of course, his regular dial should continue to see Meta play as a Call-In on its own…

weapon-drop

Oh. Yeah…

1. FFWFS100 Weapon Drop: This is almost a Resource masquerading as a Special Object. Offering (somewhat unpredictable) access to great abilities like Pulse Wave, Regen and Pen/Psy, the Weapon Drop seemed poised to become this cycle’s Gamma Bomb, a must-have Special Object that would show up time and time again.

And yet, despite all that, and despite its 5-Star rating on HCRealms.com… you just don’t really see it played that much.

What Went Wrong: Nothing in particular–I just think its time has not come yet. World’s Finest was released in February, and at that point, there was really less than two months left in the 300 ROC Limited format. I don’t think there was enough time for players to really embrace this piece’s Meta potential before the ROC rotated in a straight 300 Modern format.

Will We See It Again?: Well, as we slowly get back to that format, I think you’ll start to see the Weapon Drop show up more and more.

In a Resource-rich environment, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. In a Resource-less environment, though, it suddenly becomes extremely versatile and powerful.

 

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments below. And let us know if you enjoyed this look back at World’s Finest and if you want to see OverLooked become a regular feature on the site!

Lastly, don’t forget to come right back to this space tomorrow(-ish) for more 12 Days of Clix-Mas!!

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

 

Upcoming Games: Team Spirit, TMNT and… Oh Yeah… MORE SMASHCLIX!!

Just a couple of quick local game announcements for SE Michigan Clix’ers before we go back to our regular scheduled programming!!

Hello once more! Here is the upcoming schedule for Heroclix games at Comics & More in Madison Heights:

03/30/2016:

Team Spirit

Game: TEAM SPIRIT

Entry Fee: $5.00

The Setup:

Man, March is the month of the Hero/Hero faceoff! Batman vs. Superman! Daredevil vs. Punisher! Captain America vs. Iron Man!! Wait, that’s May…

Nevertheless, we will be playing “Team Spirit,” a 400 Point Golden Age game wherein each player constructs two Themed Teams–one Marvel Team, and one DC Team. But not just any Themed Team; you will be constructing Themed Teams that are comprised of members of an actual superhero team. Which superteams you choose to construct will be up to you–there is no master list we’re working from, so you can build any teams that appeal to you, so long as it’s a named supergroup.

NOTE: We are looking for superHERO teams, not supervillain squads. Having said that, please note that this rule only applies to the actual team you select. If, for example, you are playing a traditional Hero team (say, “X-Men”) and happen to include a figure who is traditionally a villain BUT HAS THE APPLICABLE KEYWORD (say, DoFP017 Magneto), that IS allowed.

NOTE PART TWO (ELECTRIC BUGALOO): Very much like the “Civic Pride” game we played previously, you can sort of tune this scenario to your preferred difficulty level. Want to go the easy route? Select Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D. and Justice League or Green Lantern Corps. Want to make it a little harder? Choose some teams like Marvel Knights or Heroes for Hire and Outsiders or Justice League International. Really want a challenge? Try and beat the field playing teams like Champions or All-Winners Squad and Team 7 or Legion Espionage Squad which–hey!–is actually a thing!

Each round, the LOSER of the Map Roll must select first which team–Marvel or DC–that they wish to play; then their opponent gets to choose which team they would like to play. Note that this could result in matchups of teams from the same universe.

Now here’s the important part: All points earned by DC players will be scored as “DC Points,” and all points earned by Marvel players will be scored as “Marvel Points.”

What do those points get you? Well, we will be giving out 3 Top Prizes for this event. And they will go to:

1st Place: 1st Place will go to the player with the most match victories as normal (total accumulated Victory Points–both Marvel and DC–will be used to determine any tiebreakers). This player will receive a Vampire Batman (wkD-012 Batman).

Overall Marvel Winner: This will go to the player who accumulates the most Marvel points through all three rounds. This player will receive 1 copy of each figure in either the Marvel Knights Monthly OP Kit (Ghost Rider, Daredevil & Punisher) or the Gamma Smash! Monthly OP Kit (Red Hulk, She-Hulk & A-Bomb).

Overall DC Winner: This will go to the player who accumulates the most DC points through all three rounds. This player will receive 1 copy of each figure from an OP Kit of the Judge’s Discretion (basically, it will be the new Brave & The Bold OP Kit IF THAT KIT HAS ARRIVED IN THE STORE AT THE TIME OF THE EVENT!! IF NOT, ANOTHER DC KIT WILL BE SUBSTITUTED!!)

(These prizes will go to three different participants; the 1st Place winner will be ineligible for the other 2 prizes.)

Some final thoughts on this game:

–Each player can bring up to 3 Maps if they wish to do so and choose one of those Maps if that player wins the Map Roll. Otherwise, a random assortment of store Maps will be provided.

–Remember, the LOSER of the Map Roll has to pick which of their teams they’re playing first; the WINNER of the Map Roll gets to see which team he or she is playing against before they choose their own team.

–Even if you lose in the first round, YOU ARE NOT TOTALLY OUT OF IT!! You can still compete for the Marvel or DC prize.

–Again, which team you play each round is up to you; if, for example, you don’t like the way that Marvel team you put together performed in Round 1, you can choose your DC squad in Round 2. Your fate is not determined by the Map Roll in this scenario.

–Because you can play either squad in a given round, you might think about the types of problem pieces you think you’ll face and construct your two teams somewhat differently. If, for example, you come up with a well-rounded Marvel team that you think can take on just about anything except, say, a strong bruiser with Hypersonic Speed, you may want to consider putting together a DC team that would act as counter specifically to Hypersonic Speed pieces (ie characters with Outwit or Plasticity, etc.).

In other words, if you can identify the main weakness of the first team you construct, it may be in your best interest to build your second team to combat any teams that could take advantage of the first team’s weakness.

04/13/2016:

TMNT Nick

As of now, this is the TMNT release date. We will be playing some form of Sealed TMNT–watch this space for further cost and Build details as they become available.

04/27/2016:

SuperSmashBros3

Yup! It’s the return of SmashClix!! We got some pretty great feedback and suggestions from the first go-round running this scenario, so expect even more carnage–and the ability to use more characters in each game!! We’re finalizing the details now, so keep watching this space for all the updated Build and game details as we get closer to this date!

 

That’s all for now for the upcoming game announcements!! And come right back to the main page in a few days for an article focusing in on Nightlantern–this one has been in the works for awhile, so you won’t want to miss it!

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

 

 

 

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

WF 3

Whew! Made it.

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

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

And like my esteemed colleague, I shall start with…

Notes

Some Notes About the Set:

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

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

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

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Mercury

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

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

Shifting Focus Batman

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

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

Consider the following team:

Do you Bleed? You Will.

(KeywordJustice League)

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

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

Metallo

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

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

Zatara 2

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

Rita Farr

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

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

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

I give to you…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

The Chief Doom Patrol

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

Supes v Bats

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

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

The Wiz Ard

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

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

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

KC SUpes

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

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

KC SHAZ

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

Bat SUpes Duo

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

KC GL

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

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

Spectre 2

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

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

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

God Packs & Monsters!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of World’s Finest!!)

 

WF 1

Whoops! Not these two… they’re the Con Exclusive.

Hello once more, and welcome to our first Top Ten Set Review for the newest DC Heroclix expansion, World’s Finest!

I’ll be going first today, with Ninwashui trailing not far behind with his own Second Opinion.

Before we begin, a word of warning:

This piece is long. Seriously. Like Bill Simmons long. This might be the longest article we’ve ever published [EDITOR’S NOTE: Incidentally, Ninwashui has no hope of matching my word count, but his inadequacies as a Heroclix dial evaluator when compared to me are not important right now–this is about the figures.]. I really should have split it in two. Remember that “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we published a year and a half ago? In three parts?

Yeah, I think this is longer than all three of those. Combined.

So sit back, grab a cold drink (probably not in that order) and enjoy the feast that is to come.

Cuz we’re starting right now with some…

Notes

NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–I think I say something positive about the sculpts almost every set, but this time… I’m gonna do it again. The articulation on some of these sculpts is astounding! The faces in particular. As recently as three years ago, character’s faces always ended up as blurry blobs; now you can often tell who a character is on their facial features alone. Bravo, WizKids! Bravo!

–Now for some bad news. This is probably the most top heavy set Wizkids has ever produced. Almost all the firepower is in the Rare, Super Rare, Chase and LE slots. Which means you’ll often be pulling–at most–one good figure per pack. Ninwashui will come on here later with his Second Opinion and try to sell you on the “Shifting Focus”-Traited Batman or Superman figs. They’re fun for a house game where the build is, like, 200 Points; beyond that, they’re really not very good.

I mean, seriously, let’s take a brief look at the hot mess that is some of the Common slot figs (I say some cuz I don’t want to step on the Worst Figures bonus segment that ends this article):

Hot Mess Express

Thank you to whoever came up with this meme. Perfect introduction for this segment!

Robotman

Robotman (130 Points): Completely generic dial, although his stats aren’t terrible for the points (I actually think there’s a tiny bit of value in his 50 Point dial). At least you’ll need him for a Doom Patrol Theme; that’s the main reason to collect him, I suppose.

Iron

Well… get used to it, Iron.

Iron (50 Points): 50 Points buys you four Clicks of a slow close combatant with no Willpower. If you play a better member of the Metal Men with him, he’ll gain Sidestep and every once in a blue moon he’ll deal one more damage with a successful object attack. Considering the cheapest Metal Man (or Metal Woman) is 25 Points, you’d probably be better off just Possessing him with, well, any Possessor, really. But then you’ll ask yourself: “Why am I wasting a Possessor on such a loser dial?”

Let’s be honest: the only reason to own Iron is if you’ve managed to pull an Alloy (you’ll want Iron for your Sideline).

Tin

Tin (50 Points): To be clear:  you are paying 50 Points for Perplex. His 9 Attack and 2 Damage with a 4 Range are not awful for his cost, but you’re really playing him for that Perplex. These are pretty average values and powers for his point level, but “average” makes him among the best Commons in the set. Now, here’s where things get interesting.

If you play two copies of Tin together, suddenly they each get Sidestep and can use their Perplexes to modify any combat value (except Damage) by +2 instead. That Sidestep combined with their top dial Willpower means they should be able to scoot around the map as a mobile Perplex-unit that’s always there when you need them. So, in conclusion, while one Tin on his own is average, two Tins played together are actually (gasp!) kinda good!

Beware the Creeper

No, seriously, beware the Creeper. He’ll really sink your–wait, that’s not even the RIGHT Creeper! Dammit! Let’s get it together, people!)

Creeper (75 Points): I have played him like three times now in Sealed Tourneys. He’s just not good. The problem is he really seems like he SHOULD be, and he sucks you into playing him every time. He has a ton of powers. He has the always useful Outsiders TA. But even with Traited Sidestep and Stealth, he just doesn’t seem to be able to get to his target unscathed. And that’s a major problem when he has no Willpower, no dampeners, only does 2 Damage after his top Click and has only 5 Clicks of life. I think he’d be okay in Modern Age Constructed when played by someone with a specific plan of attack for him, but in a Meta where a piece like Nick Fury will see him coming from across the board, he’s almost less than useless.

And on and on… I think you get the idea. Are the Witch and Warlock playable? Absolutely. Is Booster Gold good? Sure. Blue Beetle is downright… well, he’s decent when played with Booster, which limits your options a bit, but whatever. Still not gonna be Top Ten worthy. Even Poison Ivy Prime, while solid, was nowhere near my Top Ten.

I can’t remember the last time I did a Set Review and no Common showed up in the Top Ten or even as an Honorable Mention slot. Well, that day is here.

Design Insight

–And as we noted last set, I guess Wizkids has sort of hinted that this situation was coming with their recent DesignInsight articles that stated their interest in simplifying the Common and Uncommon character mechanics and saving the more ambitious designs for Rare figures or above. But “simple” doesn’t have to mean “underpowered” or downright “useless.”

Just last set we had Common figures like Hat, who has only 5 Clicks, no Special Powers and exactly one, two-sentence long Trait. And he currently has a 5-Star rating on HCRealms.com. He’s also got the Justice League Elite and Mystical keywords, which means he’s a piece people will look for if they want to create an Elite Build or if they need an effective piece to round out a Mystical squad. In other words, it’s not a bad day if he shows up in the back you just bought.

I get that from a design standpoint not every figure is going to be a home run–you actually want to have certain pieces be stronger in certain situations than others. That’s what makes for a healthy game environment. I just think the rarity distribution for those pieces was significantly off for this set, and I’d invite anyone who disagrees with that conclusion to compare the effectiveness of the Commons from Superman/Wonder Woman to the Commons from World’s Finest. It’s really not even close.

–Has the community decided on a shorthand name for the Chases’ Rookie Levels? I prefer “Tower Click,” and that’s the term I’ll use here [EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh-ho, just wait until you’re done with this review. “Tower Click?”–you’ll be sick of it, you’re going to hear it so much! Yup, those Chases are gonna show up a BUNCH! Sorry, I didn’t design them–don’t blame me for these guys clogging up your Meta and emptying your bank account. Wizkids did it.], but I’ve also heard “Sentry Mode” and “Turret Mode/Click,” so your mileage may vary.

WF 2

–Lastly… ugh. This is an ugly set for Sealed. If I handed you two packs and guaranteed you a Super Rare and a Rare, you could pull something like World’s Finest and Mary Marvel in those slots (you’re probably going to win), or Platinum and Mercury (thanks for playing!).

I know some folks weren’t happy with Nick Fury Sealed (“Wow! I got a 65 Point Nick Fury, Jr., and a whole bunch of 50 Point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. And you got Super Rare Jane Foster Thor, who can kill everybody on my side with about two ranged attacks. Through Hindering Terrain. Or Elevated Terrain. Or other characters. Good Lord…“), but I’ve found this World’s Finest Sealed Environment to be much, much worse. If you are running a Sealed, make it a 300 Point Build. Anything higher just increases the imbalance towards Tentpoles. Trust me, I learned this the hard way…

Okay! Enough notes. No more paperwork. Let’s talk about…

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Toymaster

5. WF036 Toymaster — Rare — 30 Points: Juston Seyfert and Ragnarok just found a new running buddy! He has an Attack Special [UPGRADE YOUR STUFF: UNIQUE MODIFIER – Modify the attack value of adjacent friendly characters by +1. If that character has the Armor or Robot keyword, also modify their defense value by +1. (UNIQUE MODIFIER – Characters can only be modified by one effect of this name.)] AND a Damage Special (I’M BETTER WITH ROBOTS: Toymaster can use Support. When he does, increase the d6 result by 1 if the target has the Robot or Armor keyword and decrease it by 1 otherwise.) that can supe up your robotic Tentpole immensely.

Toymaster isn’t much different from some Common generics like Witch, except that he adds that defense buff and an advanced healing component as well–provided that his target has the “Robot” or “Armor” keyword. Plus, with Willpower, Stealth and the ability to move through Hindering (via his Batman Ally & Superman Ally TA’s), he’s a much more nimble supporting piece than the generics. And his keywords rock. Finally, a guy who enhances Robots AND has the “Robot” keyword!

FUN BUILD FACTS: If you really feel like being sneaky but don’t care so much about Theme, equip him with Ion for another 25 Points and watch him Outwit opposing characters through Stealth with his Supes TA. With Ion, you can also choose to give him Impervious, Phasing/Teleport OR Telekinesis as needed.

What you’ve then essentially done is taken the best of the 50 Point Starter Set Toymaster and added it to the Main set version (plus a whole lot extra) for just 5 Points more. Hell, TK was the main reason to play the Starter version anyway. And the Starter version’s limited Wildcard ability frankly sucks compared to the Main set’s already included Batman Ally and Superman Ally TA’s.

CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #13: Possessors are, y’know, pretty #@^$ing good. That is all. 

Mallah

4. WF052 Monsieur Mallah150 PointsSuper Rare: This is a true Switchblade Clix that can do just about anything, since between Mallah and the detachable Brain, these pieces have just about all the powers in the game.

If you’re worried about getting out-actioned, choose to take the Brain off at the beginning of your turn and have the lil guy (thing?) go to town with his 8 Range, 2 Damage, Pen/Psy and Outwit.

On the other hand, if you’re up for some tentpole on tentpole violence, keep Brain attached, have Mallah launch a nice 3 or 4 (depending on how you want to use your Perplex) damage Pen/Psy/Energy Explosion attack of his own, and then try and use his Leadership Special next turn to remove an action token from himself.

There’s too much power and game-changing support in this set for Mallah to crack my Top Ten, but he has to be mentioned.

Elasti-Girl

3. WF035E Elasti-Girl50 Points — Rare: By far the best of the Doom Patrol pieces in this set [EDITOR’S NOTE: Not that I’m a huge fan of either the New 52 or the Doom Patrol, but for the love of all that’s holy, why didn’t Element Woman from Trinity War have the “Doom Patrol” keyword? It’s not new. If you were a fan and wanted to put together a New 52 Doom Patrol from, say, their appearance in Justice League #30, all the pieces have basically been made, but now you’re actually breaking Theme to put them together. Sigh… ], Rita Farr has a great Veteran dial, but her Experienced dial is even more intriguing.

Her second Trait (PROTOPLASMIC PHYSIOLOGY: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose tiny symbol, giant symbol, or colossal symbol. If you do, Elasti-Girl has the chosen symbol until she chooses again. If she chooses tiny symbol, modify her combat values by -1. If she chooses colossal symbol, modify her combat values by +1.) means that she can either Carry or be Carried right off the bat, so it’s tough to envision mobility issues for any team that uses her as a Tertiary Attacker or Supporting piece.

She has Charge and the ability to deal up to 4 Damage on her top click, and while she has no dampeners, she does sport the ever popular Shape Change/Super Senses combo on top of her 18 Defense (when Colossal).

Down dial she turns into a really good tie-up piece with Plasticity and Perplex. This is a very versatile dial that offers a ton of value for just 50 Points.

Worlds Finest 75 Point

Honestly, though, Clark, we really could have shaken hands on the ground. You did not need to fly us up here.

2. WF060R World’s Finest75 PointsSuper Rare: Stats are pretty good for a 75-Point piece. Duo Attack. 4 Damage to start. Charge the whole dial, Super Strength the whole dial, Toughness, Combat Reflexes and CCE the whole dial. And–oh yeah–none of their powers can be countered. What’s not to love?

They have 3 Clicks. One strike from a piece that does 4 or more damage KO’s them instantly.

But–BUT–that dial isn’t as shallow as it may seem. Remember, this piece has both the Superman Ally AND Batman Ally TA, so your opponent will either need to find a solution for your Stealth or deal with your un-Outwittable Combat Reflexes, which suddenly means they have to hit a 20.

And that’s what it comes down to. You’re making a 75-Point bet that you can get this piece to your opponent’s front line for a huge, 6-Damage Charge before they can snipe it out of the air. If you make it there unscathed, you have a Secondary Attacker that’s giving you A+ Primary Attacker damage output. If you can’t, you may have dug yourself a hole to deep to get out of.

KC Batman

1. WF062R Batman 25 PointsChase: Incidentally, KC Bat’s 150 Point main dial could easily have gone here too (13 Attack with Precision Strike!). But his “Tower Click” is probably where his Meta bread will be buttered.

Like all of his KC brethren (and sistren?), Batman’s Tower Click comes with a mobility hindering Trait (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Batman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 6 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) that requires you to be very precise about where you Place him to start the game (incidentally, more than with any other Tower Chase, Map Choice is important to you if you’re playing this Batman. A nice Elevated ledge of some sort near the center of the battlefield turns him into a nightmare for your opponent).

Then you get to the reason you’re playing him:  his Damage Special (I MONITOR GOTHAM FROM THE BATCAVE: Batman can use Outwit with a range value of 10. Opposing characters 4 or more squares from him can’t draw lines of fire to him.).

Yup. You get a nigh-untargetable 10-Range Outwitter for just 25 Points who’s Defense bumps up to a 20 against close combat attacks. And who can also turn into a Secondary Attacker if he ends up as the last piece on your force (or if your opponent hits a Crit).

And because he’s a KC piece, ol’ Bruce here has no problem Outwitting the sin out of any of the other KC Chase main dials.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I actually love this from a flavor standpoint too, as it makes Bats the one piece every other KC figure is vulnerable too. Lots of parallels to the actual Kingdom Come story. Well done, Wizkids!]

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, ON TO…

THE TOP TEN FOURTEEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST!!

Yikes. After 5 Honorable Mentions, there’s still 14 more freaking figures worth talking about? Damn, this is a powerful set!

The Wizard

14. WF030 The Wizard — 50 Points — Uncommon: Finally! A non-Rare, non-Super Rare, non-Chase, non-LE piece makes the list! Maybe only because I had to expand it by four whole slots, but still!

The Wizard is a piddly 50 Point support piece who sports no standard powers top dial except Prob (with a 6 Range) but has one of the best survivability Special Powers I’ve ever seen (ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.).

And while he sports a crappy 16 Defense with no kickers for his entire dial, his special Traited Shape Change (POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.) actually makes attacking him a dangerous gamble–especially since he can usually only be attacked up close. Believe me–that Tiger token is no joke (and heaven help you if he hits his Shape Change more than once and you have multiple Tigers floating around the battlefield).

In Sealed, The Wizard’s a monster, taking up waaaaaay too much of your opponent’s time and attention, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up in the Meta. It’s bad enough that your opponent has to jump through so many positioning hoops just to get to The Wizard, and if you can make even one Shape Change role (Blue Battery candidate, perhaps?), you might just change the outcome of the game.

Streaky 2

13. WF100 Streaky — 50 Points — LE: The Prize Kit piece from World’s Finest actually offers the cheapest source of top dial Hypersonic Speed that I’m aware of (excluding Possessor shenanigans such as Possessing a character who has a secondary dial that starts on Click 3 with Ophidian). And with a native top dial damage value of 3, a Defense Value of 18 (with Super Senses and Toughness) plus a Despotellis-like Trait (THIS CAT HAS CLAWS!: When an adjacent opposing character is moved or placed, after actions resolve you may place Streaky adjacent to that character. Streaky does not require opponents to break away.), Streaky is actually one of the best Tertiary Attackers in the Modern Age right now.

Plus, pets with capes are always cool. Just ask Krypto.

Metallo

12. WF055 Metallo — 150 Points — Super Rare: Metallo is another Primary Attacker plucked from Superman’s rogues gallery who offers a ton of versatility. His Trait (RAPIDLY MORPHING FRAME: Give Metallo a free action and choose one: choose a standard attack power, and he can use that power until your next turn -or- modify his combat values by +1 until your next turn.) is borderline bonkers, especially if you choose the second option on his top dial; suddenly he becomes a 9, 12, 19, 5 with Charge, Invincible and Shape Change. Those are big time stats for a 150 Point character.

Down dial he picks up an extremely useful Special Poison Attack Power (YOU’VE EXPOSED MY KRYPTONITE HEART: Metallo can use Poison. When he does, he removes an action token from himself for each opposing character that took damage from his Poison and he deals penetrating damage to characters with the Kryptonian keyword.) that will let him constantly take tokens off if he’s positioned properly.

Beatsticks who can potentially take actions every turn are exceptionally rare, which is why Metallo made this list.

Element Man

11. WF040 Element Man — 100 Points — Rare: For 100 Points, you get Traited Plasticity, Shape Change and Giant Reach to go with his top dial Super Senses, Sidestep and Pick-a-Power Attack Special (A PERIODIC ARSENAL: Give Element Man a free action and choose a standard attack and/or defense power. Element Man can use the chosen powers until your next turn, even if this power is lost. If Element Man chose both attack and a defense power, deal him 1 unavoidable damage at the end of your turn.).

So you get half of the versatility of noted Meta piece Zombie Super Skrull at almost half the price. However, Rex Mason here comes standard with some options that Skrully doesn’t, including the ever-useful SC/SS combo. And Giant Reach isn’t something that Super Skrull can pick anyway.

The cherry on the cake is his Outsiders Team Ability, which will solve a lot of problems before you even go to pick an Attack and/or Defense power.

Zatara

10. WF048 Zatara — 100 Points — Rare: Wow! Like his daughter before him in the Justice League: Trinity War set, Zatara’s dial can be played backwards or forward, which essentially means he can be a support-y piece or a secondary attacker.

But unlike some other pieces that straddle the lines of two Build roles, here’s the kicker: Zatara’s damn good at both roles.

Do you want a…

Secondary Attacker? Great. Play his dial backwards and you get a piece with Running Shot (only a 6 Range, but his Movement is 9, so he ends up with a okay-ish Threat Range of 11), 11 Attack with Pen/Psy, 17 Defense with ES/D to discourage return fire and 3 native Damage with Enhancement, to make follow-up shots with your Primary Attacker that much more deadly.

An early-game Support Piece? Play his dial normally and you’ll have top dial access to Telekinesis AND a Damage Special (THE ORIGINAL MAGICIAN: Zatara can use Perplex and Probability Control. When he uses Perplex, he may modify the chosen value (except damage) by +2 if he targets another friendly character he shares a keyword with.) with improved Perplex!

Either way, in the middle of his dial he gains a game-changing Special that can potentially swing an entire game (SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.). 4 Damage via a Pulse Wave that DOESN’T target any friendlies? Yes please!

I’ve heard some chatter about whether it’s worth 100 Points to potentially do 4 Damage to one or two opposing characters. Here’s what I would counter with:

A. You don’t have to actually use that ability until you deem it most advantageous to you.

B. If that Click is showing, but you still think you can do more work with Zatara, he also has Regeneration at the same time he has that Special, so you can simply Regenerate him back to his Supporting/Secondary Attacker clicks.

C. Also… you’re technically not sacrificing 100 Points at that point. You’re in the middle of his dial, so your opponent has already whittled away some theoretical points. If anything, this is a way to get EXTRA points out of a damaged character.

D. As we all know, 4 Damage via Pulse Wave is different than 4 Damage from another type of Attack. Remember, Pulse Wave ignores virtually every game effect! Invincible? Nice. You’re still taking four. Super Senses? Pulse Wave don’t care. Oh, you have Shape Change? How nice for you. Take 4. And on and on…

(Incidentally, the one situation you really need to be wary of is your opponent Mind Controlling Zatara when he’s on Clicks 3-5. That is a real danger, and something you have to be extra-mindful of if you see your opponent has access to Mind Control. This is why it’s so important to know your pick-a-power pieces! If your opponent has Zombie Super Skrull, Vartox or Engineer, they have access to Mind Control. If they’re playing Metallo or Element Man, they don’t. Mind Control is a Speed Power, so if the piece can’t pick a Speed Power, you’re good.)

So after all that, the real question is, which character is more versatile: Element Man or Zatara? Let the debate begin!

Harlequin

9. WF053B Harlequin — 90 Points — Super Rare PRIME: I’m convinced she immediately becomes one of the best Secondary Attackers in the 300 Point Meta. She’s also hard as hell to pin down.

Her KC Team Ability basically grants her a second bite of the Super Senses apple, since she already comes equipped with Super Senses. In a Resource environment, giving her the Blue or Red Decoy would not be a bad idea at all (the Blue Lantern and Decoy would basically give her FOUR freaking avoidance rolls if she’s attacked with anything other than Pulse Wave, Precision Strike and Battle Fury; the Red Lantern and Decoy would give her three shots to avoid a normal attack plus Penetrating Poison, which combos awesomely with her top and bottom dial Sidestep).

Her magnificent Trait (MURDEROUS JACK-IN-THE-BOX ON MY BACK: Give Harlequin a free action and place adjacent a Jack-in-the-Box bystander token printed on this card, then immediately give it an action as a free action. After actions resolve, remove that token from the game.) actually gives you a Tertiary Attacker THAT CAN ACT EVERY TURN free of charge. A possible 3-6 extra damage every turn? Yes please.

Finally, her Attack Special that shows up on her last two Clicks (POP! GOES THE WEASEL: Harlequin can use Pulse Wave. When she does, once per game you may choose that her damage value becomes 3 and is locked and she can’t place Jack-in-the-Box tokens for the remainder of this game.) isn’t quite as good as Zatara’s Special Pulse Wave… BUT IT’S STILL A BETTER VERSION OF THE BEST POWER IN THE GAME!

To find all this in a package that costs less than 100 Points is well worth the use of your only Prime slot.

Lex Luthor & Joker

8. WF059 Lex Luthor & Joker — 200 Points — Super Rare: Man, I was torn between this dial and the 75 Point dial. Ultimately, the 75 Point dial didn’t make even my Honorable Mentions, but it was close, and I’m not mad at you if you think that dial is better.

200 Points is a lot to spend on just 7 Clicks of life, but their survivability is increased exponentially by their second Trait (IT’S USUALLY ONE OF US THAT’S BEHIND EVERYTHING: Lex Luthor and Joker can use Mastermind. Lex Luthor and Joker and other friendly characters of 20 points or more can use the Underworld team ability.). Their first Trait (WORLD’S VILEST TEAM: Lex Luthor and Joker’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.) means that none of their powers can be Outwitted, either.

Their top dial Specials (Movement and Damage) grant them two separate uses of Sidestep, Perplex and at least one use of Outwit to go with their Duo Attack, Pen/Psy and ES/D.

After their first two ranged-based Clicks, they morph into some pretty lethal close combatants with Charge, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness and their Attack Value balloons up to 12.

Pair these two with the right goons and cannon fodder and they can be the most dangerous piece on the battlefield.

Mxy vs Bat-Mite

Okay, at this point I’ve run so many World’s Finest art pieces that I’m just gonna start running related images that amuse me.

7. WF060 World’s Finest — 300 Points — Super Rare: Uh… wait, didn’t we already cover this? Oh, this is the Veteran dial! Right… okay.

I can’t remember the last time the same figure made a Top Ten Set Review with more than one dial. But World’s Finest deserves it. Why? Because this is probably the best 300 Point One-Man-Army dials that Wizkids has published since Sentroid back in Chaos War.

When evaluating a OMA dial, I like to ask a series of questions:

  1. Does the piece have readily available move-and-attack abilities? If I’m only using one piece, I can’t be wasting turns positioning. This becomes less of an issue as the game goes on and your opponent starts losing pieces, but especially up top there HAS to be really good move-and-attack. World’s Finest has Hypersonic Speed, which is about as good as you can get.
  2. Does the figure have Outwit/Counter protection? All the move-and-attack abilities in the world won’t help you if your opponent can just shut you down with a small supporting piece that sports some Outwit. World’s Finest covers this (and then some) with its first Trait (WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.).
  3. Does the figure have a way to reroll out of missed attacks and/or bad situations? Hey, Heroclix is dice game, which means there is just about always going to be an element of random chance. With a One-Man-Army, missed attack rolls are just killer. You might as well have just skipped your turn. Actually that would have been better, because at least then you wouldn’t have had to put an action token on your only figure. World’s Finest has two answers for this. First, they have Duo Attack, so if you choose to activate Duo Attack, you’ll at least have a second attack to fall back on if you miss with your first. But what I really like about this piece is that its second Trait (GOOD DISTRACTION, BRUCE: Once per turn, when World’s Finest misses all targets with an attack and haven’t used the Duo Attack ability this turn, after actions resolve they may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially allows you a do-over if you miss while performing non-Duo Attack actions (like, y’know, Hypersonic Speed).
  4. Does the figure have a high Damage output? Basically, are they capable of one-shotting opposing support figures and seriously hurting opposing Primary Attackers? The longer you are out-actioned, the worse your chances of winning become. But if you can eliminate a support figure or even a secondary attacker before Turn 3? Well, you’ve just drastically evened the odds. To do that, though, you need to be able to dish out some serious damage. For a OMA piece, that usually means sporting a native 5 Damage with the ability to enhance that with a penetrating kicker of some sort or a value enhancer (like Super Strength). World’s Finest passes this test with 5 Damage top dial AND Super Strength.
  5. Does the figure have a way to avoid opposing damage reducers and/or counteract opposing attack avoidance abilities? Look, no piece is perfect, but again, if I only have one figure to use each turn, I can’t have successful attack rolls turned into nothing via successful Impervious or Super Senses rolls, just as I can’t get stopped before I get started if my opponent hits a Shape Change or Skrull TA roll (or whatever). World’s Finest… actually doesn’t have a way around this, at least not until some Outwit turns up mid-dial (when it may be too late). No Pen/Psy or Exploit Weakness, no Precision Strike and no Battle Fury.

Okay! So World’s Finest passed 4 out of 5 OMA tests with flying colors, which leads me to the conclusion that it IS in fact a viable One-Man-Army figure. You just have to start the game with the mindset that it might be better to start with a high-probability KO on that supporting piece that only has Toughness versus going head-on against that opposing tentpole that sports Impervious. Remember, World’s Finest has Invincible top dial, not Invuln or Impervious, so even that smaller figure with the 10 Attack and 2 Damage may pose a threat. Whittling down your opponent’s pool of actions will often times be priority number one.

Because if you can narrow the game down to your best piece against his, well… you’re gonna win.

Shazam!

6. WF065 Shazam! — 170 Points — Chase: Man, it would have been so easy to just list nothing but Chases and Primes for this. But Shazam! has a lot going on with his dial that I just love.

First of all, he has the normal KC Chase Trait (WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Shazam’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”. Shazam’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”.) that makes all of his powers uncounterable to all but, like, two pieces (KC Flash and KC Batman) unless shenanigans are involved.

Secondly, with the change to the KC TA, he basically has the crowdpleasing Shape Change/Super Senses combo IN ADDITION to his nigh-uncounterable top dial Invincible.

On the offensive side of things, he sports a 15 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Precision Strike (so he can get through even other Chases’ KC TA), an 18 Defense and 4 native damage. I wish both his Attack and Damage were one tick higher, but with 130 Points still left over for support, those are easy complaints to remedy.

Finally, he also has the Calculator TA, so depending on how you round out the rest of your Build, you can give him the Batman Ally, Superman Ally or Mystics TA (or perhaps all three!).

Very efficient killing machine.

Superman Farming in Peace

5. WF061R Superman — 35 Points — Chase: This is the Chase Supes on his “Tower Click.” It’s pretty simple. He has an 18 Defense with Impervious (thus making him impossible to KO with normal Poison, something the other Towers can’t claim), the Superman Ally TA AND the KC TA.

But what makes him so great is, obviously, his Tower Power (I WANT TO FARM IN PEACE: Superman can use Incapacitate with two targets and an attack value of 12. Hit characters can’t make ranged attacks during their turn.).

That makes him another potential Time Walk piece, where he can basically force your opponent to skip a turn with some well-timed Incapacitates. Even the KC Trait that’s supposed to limit him (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Superman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 7 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) actually ends up being a boon, since you can throw him right into the action in the middle of the Map or on a strategically important piece of high ground.

Hope your opponent has fun taking actions with his best pieces once every three turns.

Mary_Marvel

4. WF041 Mary Marvel — 150 Points — Rare: Hypersonic, Super Strength (with the ability to deal up to 7 Damage with an Ultra-Heavy), Invincible and Prob–there’s not a lot to not like here. The only fly in the ointment is that her Defense Value of 17 is fairly weak for a Primary Attacker. Having said that, her wonderfully flavorful Trait (SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.) offers some very real Outwit protection while her Defense Special (SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.) may mean that you have to get through her entire dial again AFTER YOU KO HER THE FIRST TIME!

This is a great piece to Build a Meta team around (and I suspect Ninwashui will agree, since he’s been giddily sending me Mary Marvel teams all weak!).

Darkseid Supergirl

3. WF056 Supergirl200 Points — Super Rare: Choosing between Supergirl and Mary Marvel really came down to splitting hairs, but Kara’s Trait (DARKSEID’S ASSASSIN: When Supergirl hits with an attack, after actions resolve, give each hit character an action token. If one or more hit characters were unable to be given an action token, remove an action token from Supergirl. If one or more hit characters can use the Batman Ally, Justice League, or Superman Ally team ability, heal her 1 click.) is honestly so ridiculous that I gave her the nod.

You know what the best way to avoid a counter-attack is? Pile up action tokens on opposing pieces. Can you imagine her with her cousin’s KC Chase Tower version? If your opponent isn’t careful, they’ll never take a meaningful action!

Beyond her Trait, she has great stats and a long, healthy dial that’s just full of move-and-attack powers!

(Not for nothing, but her 100 Point dial almost made the Top Ten as well–it’s that sick!)

KC Green Lantern

I don’t know much about the artist Sweet-Bread, to whom this image is attributed, but I do know that the guy (or girl) can freaking draw KC Green Lantern–this is awesome!

2. WF064R Green Lantern — 30 Points — Chase: Another Tower Chase. Green Lantern has a couple things going for him that set him apart from all but one of his KC counterparts.

Firstly, his dial sports an 18 Defense with Barrier. Yup. You can plop him down in the middle of the battlefield and watch him throw up Barriers two out of every three turns. Very useful.

Next comes his Damage Special (I PROTECT FROM AFAR: Green Lantern can use Perplex to target friendly character regardless of line of fire.). Homeboy Alan Scott here has a 9 Range, and you’re telling me he doesn’t need to worry about line of fire?! So basically, I can have Perplex and Barrier for the entire game for just 30 freaking points?

And just get a load of his keywords: GREEN LANTERN CORPS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE SOCIETY, Future, Mystical and Politician. Mystical? When’s the last time a Green Lantern sported the Mystical keyword?

And hell, with Politician, you could actually theme him with Nighthawk Prime! I suppose the only better thing than playing one broken piece is playing two together, right?

Sheesh. 9 Range with no line of fire. I could make an argument that Wizkids shouldn’t be giving any character the ability to use a support power on a friendly piece from 9 Squares away without worrying about line of fire. It’s just too damn good of a power! What’s next? A piece that can use Prob across the entire Map? I mean, I know that’s ridiculous, and they would never do that, but you get my point. How much closer to the edge can these designers go?

KC Spectre

“No, Norman McCay, THIS is how you make an entrance. The key today is the same as it has been for a hundred millennia past:  no pants.”

1. WF066R SpectreChase35 Points: Oh good Lord, they made a piece that can Prob the entire freaking map. Are you serious? Sigh…

Okay, okay, let’s start over. Let’s pretend you didn’t just read Green Lantern’s entry and try and put into perspective just how great Spectre is.

So… you’d pay 25 Points to plop, say, Ophidian or Chase Brainiac onto a character to boost one stat by +1 a turn and pick from a range of 3 or 4 powers every turn, right? I mean, we all know that Entities and their ilk are great values, right? Well, how much would you pay for a free Prob every turn for the entire game? Probably even more than 35 Points, right? Let’s break it down.

Ol’ Jim Corrigan here is the last of the “Tower Chases” that we’re gonna talk about today. He also happens to be the very best. First of all, remember how we talked about that “Isolated From Your Violent World” Trait being sort of a pain for KC Batman and most of the other Chases except Green Lantern? Well, meet the other exception. That Trait is actually EXTREMELY beneficial to Spectre–it’s not a hindrance in the least.

It allows you to put him at or near the center of any map, which becomes bonkers when you look at his Tower ability (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.). Did you read that last part? REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE?! Uh, yes please! Now look at his native Range. No, go look. I’ll sit here and wait.

Yup. It’s a 12. So, REGARDLESS OF WHICH MODERN AGE MAP IS CHOSEN, you can find a nice, comfy spot near the center of the map to plop Spectre down in and relax, secure in the knowledge that he can now see ANY Square on the map. He just needs to be somewhere in your twelfth Row and at least four Columns from each side.

Okay. So we’ve established now that with the right initial placement (and remember, his Trait means he’s completely immobile once you Place him, so choose carefully), Spectre can Prob across the entire Map. That is easily worth 35 Points. But what makes him more valuable is the razor-thin list of options your opponent has to deal with it.

Poison? Sure, if your opponent moves a Poison-enabled character up 12 Squares and waits a turn without you doing a thing to stop it, then yeah, Spectre can be Poisoned to death (Incidentally, this is a risk you take with all the Tower Chases save Superman. Well, mostly save Superman.).

Pulse Wave? Yup. There’s not much that Pulse Wave doesn’t do.

Outwit? Yeah, maybe, if you can get close enough.

Attacking? Up Close? Sure. If you can advance up 12 Squares and hit an 18 Defense twice, congratulations. You just used (and probably left exposed) what was almost certainly your best attacker to take out a 35 Point piece. Now take an Unavoidable Click of Mystics damage.

From Range? Uh… yeah. Go ahead and try that. First, hit a 20 Defense, since Spectre’s rocking an 18 Defense Value with ES/D. Then do it again (Spectre’s Prob).

Now, if that 20 is a problem and you have access to the Outsiders TA, go ahead and use that, although if you’re playing a Modern Age game, that means you’re locked in to playing either Element Man (Good choice! He’s great. You have a fighting chance!), Jade (not a bad piece, but since she’s half your army at a cost of at least 151 Points and undoubtedly your Primary Attacker AND you really have to move her into position first before you can use her TA since you can’t use her TA in the middle of a Running Shot AND thatkindofdefeatsthewholepurpose and why, oh God, why have you forsaken me?!?!) or Creeper (Seriously though, don’t play Creeper. Beware the $#%@ing Creeper. You know why. And if not, go back up and read for content this time).

But whatever–you hit a 20 Defense from Range twice! Bravo! Now, did you do it with Precision Strike? No? Well, Spectre still might not be dead yet and there’s a 33% chance that you wasted all your opening moves to take out a 35-Point character and still failed.

But that’s pessimistic. Let’s say Spectre fails his KC roll. Yay! You did it! You KO’d a 35 Point support piece.

Now take a g-dd–n Click of Unavoidable Mystics damage. Sunova-!!

Soooo… I think I made my point. You’re almost better off just leaving him for last, except then he actually turns into an even harder to kill Secondary Attacker who stills has a 12 freaking Range Value.

And also… dammit, you’re just never better off leaving an opposing Prob’r up and, uh, Probb’ing.

Carlos

No Probb’ing at the table. Not at the table, Carlos.

At least they didn’t give this dial to a Chase-level figure who represents the never-before Clix’d alternate version of a popular character from an iconic storyline.

Sigh… Just take my money, Wizkids. I hate you.

 

BUT WAIT!!

Nightlantern

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hmmm… all these entries, and not one mention of Nightlantern, the Rare Prime? Surely he’s SOMEWHERE among the top pieces in the set, right? 

Well… yes and no. His dial is actually pretty average for its cost. Decent stats, but he definitely has a glass jaw in terms of how long his dial keeps his best powers. Obviously, his main value is his Trait (EVERY PERSON I KNOW IS AN AMALGAM OF TWO FROM YOUR UNIVERSE?: When building your force, you may pay 25 points and put a standard character on your sideline, called an Amalgam. At the beginning of the game, equip the Amalgam to a standard friendly character (other than Nightlantern) that is higher points than the Amalgam’s highest point value and link it to that character’s dial. For the rest of the game, the Amalgam provides the below effect when equipped: EFFECT: At the beginning of your turn or when when this character is clicked, you may choose a standard power on the equipped dial. This character can use that power until your next turn or clicked.). Just let that sink in for a few, because we’re gonna examine this piece in greater detail… in a future article.

(Hey, no complaining–we’re already wellllll past 7000 words here AND you’ve still got a special bonus after this!)

But because of his unique Trait AND the fact that his usefulness changes DRASTICALLY based on the point value of the game, I’ve decided to make Nightlantern ineligible for the Top Ten and will instead give him his own spotlight in an upcoming piece. 

And yes, this is basically what we did with Rare Bizarro back when SLoSH came out. Sometimes a single piece just needs a whole article.]

 

THE STINGER AFTER THE CREDITS–AKA, BONUS TIME!

Okay. Now that we’ve talked about the best this set has to offer, for a little bonus content, let’s dive headfirst into the worst of the World’s Finest offerings! I give to you, at no extra charge…

THE TWO WORST FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

Mr. Nobody

Wait, the evil organization I lead is called the ‘Brotherhood of Dada?’ Uh… maybe this isn’t Grant Morrison’s best idea...”

1. Mr. Nobody (55 Points): He’s a mobile (minimum-range) Outwitter top dial; after that first Click, he loses Outwit and gains Prob. He has a weird Special Attack Power that lets you mildly mess with an opposing figure’s dial, but it costs a Power Action AND he has to be up close and personal (remember, he loses Phasing/Teleport after that top Click, so he’s far less mobile at that point). Of course, that’s probably still your best option with him, since you’re really not going to do much damage with his 8 Attack Value and a native Damage Value that quickly goes from 2 to 1. Mid-dial he picks up Steal Energy, but I would argue that the use of that Steal Energy moves him up to a worse Click! His keywords are pretty awful (just “Brotherhood of Evil” and “Politician”), and almost everything he does can be done by other pieces in Modern, and usually for a cheaper cost. If you’re running a Brotherhood of Evil Themed Team with Monsieur Mallah, okay, I get it; two Mr. Nobody’s is your only option (although you’re probably still giving away a ton of points, even with a Resource). But if you want to Theme Monsieur Mallah so bad, why not just run a Secret Society Team? Waaaaay more options.

Occultist

Nope. This–that’s the wrong Occultist. Ooooo, I wish I paid you so I could fire you.

2. Occultist (20 Points): Eh… it’s hard to be too mad about a generic figure that costs only 20 Points. But his (her? it’s?) Movement Special Power (BLOOD MAGIC: When an adjacent friendly character takes damage from an opponent’s attack, put a number of Blood Magic tokens on that friendly character’s card equal to the damage taken. Even if this power is lost, that friendly character may be given a free action to remove one Blood token and use Perplex targeting itself.) is a hell of a long way to go for the chance to maybe, possibly, if the stars all align, use Perplex, like, twice, in a whole game. For the EXACT same cost, you can play either the Witch or the Warlock who offer much more enhancement certainty with their Special Powers and who are both much harder to hit and who both HAVE THE EXACT SAME KEYWORD. Hell, Witch even adds “Monster” to her keyword line.

Blood Magic Meme

Occultist is a classic Sex Panther Piece, which, for those who aren’t familiar, is a term derived from “Anchorman” and refers to any piece with an overly complicated power that, in the end, isn’t as good or consistent as other basic, readily available options.

Okay! There you have it! The Ten Fifteen Nineteen (Hmmm… do I subtract the two worst entries, or… Can I get a ruling on this? Anyone? Aw, crap, my Editor’s fallen asleep. That probably explains why half the images were wrong. Y’know, I should probably wrap this up soon.) Best Figures in World’s Finest.

Whew!

And don’t forget to bring it right back here in a few days when Ninwashui issues his… SECOND OPINION!

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

The Finest Set Preview in the World!! (Or, a Brief Look at What We Know About World’s Finest!)

Bats Supes

Okay! We’re just one day away from the next set (pre-)release, so it’s about time we round up all the rumor mills and discuss what we actually know about the next Clix release: World’s Finest!

Thanks to the intrepid sleuths at HCRealms.com’s Upcoming Sets and Rumors Forum along with the always-welcome Scott Porter unboxing videos (the chain for World’s Finest starts here) and the follow-up ComicBook.com unboxing video, we now know quite a bit, actually.

The entire set list has pretty much been spoiled at this point, and it seems like a pretty good roster. As more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan, I was pleasantly surprised at how many of these figures I really want. When one considers that the set immediately preceding this one (Superman/Wonder Woman) had a very similar primary theme (but sets are heavy on Supes), and that the DC set immediately before that, Trinity War, had a similar primary theme (Justice League characters) AND pretty much the exact same sub-theme (DC’s mystical characters), I wasn’t able to muster up much enthusiasm when this set was announced.

Now, the Doom Patrol and Metal Men characters only mildly interest me, but there’s some deep-cut characters that the game has never attempted to adapt before (Zantanna’s dad Zatara–a Rare in this new set–comes instantly to mind) that I can’t wait to get my hands on. And we’ve needed a new Desaad for a looooong time; I just never thought this would be the set where he’d make an appearance.

From a production standpoint, the designers brought back the oversized Giant type of figures (Elasti-Girl is one such piece) that we saw so many of in Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes. And they made a great choice for the Chase figure theme–Kingdom Come, which is one of my favorite DC stories of all time.

(So if you got caught up in that FaceBook hoax from a few weeks ago, never fear–you’re about to get the real thing!)

Yup–we’re getting Kingdom Come Batman, KC Superman, KC Green Lantern, KC Wonder Woman, KC Shazam and KC Spectre! If KC Spectre is also a Giant-sized figure (like his 2 War of Light versions), I’ll be a happy camper indeed. And it seems like all the Chases have a 25-Point dial that has the potential to give you access to half that character’s dial… for just 25 Points!

And we’re also getting a Super Rare Prime KC Harlequin, it looks like. If you’re trying to collect all of the KC figures that WizKids has made, like I am, that SR Harlequin is going to be a tough piece to find.

Well, that’s all we have today! Come back next time for our full Top Ten Set Reviews!!

Upcoming Games: Red Vs. Green!! (Or, the Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 9! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here, and Night 5 went down right here! Night 6 is now up, and can be found here. Night 7 showed up right about… here, while Night 8 came stumbling through the door over here.]

Can't tell if cosplay or real footage...

Can’t tell if cosplay or real footage…

Another quick local game announcement for SE Michigan Clix’ers…

At 6:15pm on Wednesday, December 30th at Comics & More in Madison Heights, we’ll be playing: Red Vs. Green!

This is a holiday-themed, 400-Point Golden Age game with an entry fee of $5.00.

We will be playing for figures from the “Suicide Squad” monthly LE kit: Deadshot (new sculpt), Amanda Waller (new dial) and Captain Boomerang (new dial), with the winner getting their choice of any of those pieces!! However…

IMPORTANT PRIZE NOTE: IF WE GET THE WIZKIDS ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN HOLIDAY KIT IN TIME, WE WILL AWARD PRIZES FROM THAT INSTEAD!! 

The Stipulations: Each entrant will construct two teams: one team shall be comprised of figures whose primary sculpt color is Red; the other team shall be comprised of figures whose primary sculpt color is Green.

Once everyone is paired each round, players will roll for Map Choice as per usual. The winner of the Map Roll shall choose which colored team he or she wishes to play; their opponent must play a team of the opposite color.

Resources, Relics, Bystander Tokens, Constructs and ID Cards are not allowed as part of your Force Build. If a character BRINGS a Relic or Bystander Token with them into play at the start of the game, however, that IS allowed (Emerald Empress and Rick Jones come to mind as examples, although Rick Jones’s sculpt would disqualify him).

In the same vein, Entity Possession is NOT allowed UNLESS the possessing figure started the game on the map (for example, if you paid 185 Points to add Butcher to your Red Team Build, if he’s KO’d, you may then have him Possess another friendly character as per normal; you may NOT field his 25-Point dial).

Colossals and Vehicles are allowed, provided that they are primarily red or green.

 

Spidey Human Torch Christmas

A Quick Note About the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas (2015):

"HypeFox and Ninwashui... YOU HAVE FAILED THIS BLOG!"

HypeFox and Ninwashui… YOU HAVE FAILED THIS BLOG!

Well, tonight is Christmas, and, as I’m sure you’ve probably noticed, we’re only on Night 9! Yup. We fell three entries short of our 12-entry goal this. Looking back on things, it’s crazy that we actually accomplished our goal last year–the first year we tried to publish 12 articles in 12 days. This year was a big year personally for both Ninwashui and myself, and we just weren’t quite able to reach the finish line.

Nevertheless, even though we didn’t finish in time this year, that doesn’t mean we won’t finish! You will get your remaining 3 Clix-Mas articles before the clock strikes 2016, so keep checking back with the main page for more new content!

I truly hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season, and we look forward to bringing you more Clix content in the year ahead. Thanks to all of you, we’ve experienced quite a bit of growth this year (more on that on Night 12), and we really appreciate all the great feedback!

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

Who Watches the Watchlist: Part Deux!! (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 6! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here, and Night 5 went down right here! Night 6 is now up, and can be found here. Night 7 showed up right about… here.]

Hot Shots Part Deux

Hello again!

Two nights ago, we reviewed the Watchlist changes from the beginning of the year. Now we’re gonna take a look at the most recent Watchlist from July 27th of this year. Did these changes make the game better? Or did they go too far in some cases? Let’s take a look!

2015 Q2 WATCHLIST:

AKA “The Felix Faust” Watchlist! Who, it so happens, is our first corrected piece to review! Let’s take a look:

Felix Faust

  • Felix Faust: There were two main changes wrought by Faust’s World Championship dominance. First, all of Faust’s nastiest d20 abilities now have a maximum effectiveness range of 7 squares. What’s that, you say? 7 squares is still pretty damn good? Well, normally I’d agree, but considering that before the Watchlist these shutdown abilities had an effective range of THE ENTIRE MAP, so I supposed I’d have to say that this was a step in the right direction. Pieces that are meant to shutdown the opponent’s pieces are always going to be hard to balance. In this case Faust was just ungodly for his measly 70 Point asking price. The second change that came in the wake of Faust running roughshod over THE WORLD is that d20 rolls can no longer be rerolled. Yup. Rerolling d20’s was a thing in the summer of 2015, since it enabled you to lock your opponent down completely. No more! Verdict: Having played against Mr. Faust since these changes came down, I can say that they probably didn’t do enough. He’s still able to dominate a game if his controller has ANY kind of dice luck!

Doc Strange

  • Doctor Strange: No changes to the good Doctor, which isn’t that surprising given that Doctor Strange here costs about 80 more points. Verdict: This was the right call. Why Faust was so much cheaper is beyond just about everyone.

Avengers Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

  • Scarlet Witch: This one’s a little harder to discuss, since her problematic ability is written like a phone book. For the record, this is how her power now reads: HEX MAGIC: Once per turn, after an attack roll has been determined, Scarlet Witch may give the attacker up to 3 Hex Magic tokens if the attacker is within range. A character may not be given Hex Magic tokens if they would have more than 3 Hex Magic tokens on their card. For each token she gives the attacker, reduce the attack total by 1. Opposing characters may be given a free action to remove a Hex Magic token and modify any friendly character’s attack value by +1 this turn. Basically, they added the “A character may not be given Hex Magic Tokens if they would have more than 3 Hex Magic tokens on their card” bit. Verdict: Her ability was worded veeerry loosely originally, so I’m not surprised it got changed. Pretty moderate change, too. And definitely necessary.

Yellow Power Battery

  • Yellow Power Battery: No change. Verdict: Nor should there have been. This Battery works just fine.
  • Orange Power Battery: Ditto. Verdict: Ditto.

And there ya go! This Watchlist wasn’t as packed as the last one. Does that mean WizKids has learned their lessons and taken the appropriate measures to make sure we’ll never have to deal with another Watchlist ever again?

Uhh… no. But that’s okay. At least WizKids is quicker to own up to a huge failure now and do whatever it takes to fix it. It seems like they’re making a concerted effort to achieve a modicum of transparency.

Having said all that, I’ll see ya tomorrow night for the 9th Night of Clix-Mas!!

Who Watches the Watchlist? (Or, The 6th Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 6! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here, and Night 5 went down right here!]

Watchmen by monkeybiziu.

Uh… the Watcher? Banner art by monkeybiziu.

Welcome back to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Tonight, we’re gonna go back and look at the first Watchlist that dropped this year and the changes that it brought with it. Did those changes make the game better? Did they course correct too far in some cases? Let’s take a look!

(And yes, we’ll take a brief look at the most recent Watchlist from this year very soon in one of the coming 12 Nights of Clix-Mas articles!)

2014 Q4 WATCHLIST:

Ah, come back with me now, back to last January. It was a time when men were men, and Entities still transferred all of their keywords to the piece they were possessing! Yup! That was the main reason for the Q4 Watchlist: the Entity issue! Let’s go point by point and see what worked, and what didn’t!

Ion War of Light Butcher Entity

  • Entities: The main change here was that Entities would no longer transfer all of their keywords–particularly the “Entity” keyword. All they would transfer from here on out was their Lantern Corps keyword. Verdict: This was actually a very successful change that brought a bunch of balance to the game. The Entities were already powerful enough; by allowing them to transfer the “Entity” keyword to the piece they were Possessing, it allowed power players to make really overpowered Themed Teams out of characters who should never grant Theme when paired together. Entities were still played heavily after this change, but the playing field was leveled just a bit, which is exactly what a Watchlist fix should do. Selfishly, I wish that they’d still let them transfer their “Cosmic” keyword as well (all but Black Hand have it, I believe), as that would have kept a few more interesting Build options available, but that’s a small complaint when so much good was accomplished here.

bill-agent-of-aim

  • Bill, Agent of A.I.M.: The reason most people played him was his Special Attack Power (MY HIGH-ENERGY FINDER THING:Give Bill, Agent of A.I.M. a power action and choose the highest-point opposing character. Until your next turn, that character can be targeted with a ranged combat attack by one friendly character without line of fire to that opposing character.) that shows up on Click 2. This power was changed so that the character getting the benefit of Bill’s technology has to be adjacent to Bill. Verdict: This was a pretty reasonable change, and while it did make Bill slightly less useful, his power was still good enough to keep Bill in the Meta rotation.

Iron Pharaoh cover

  • Iron Pharaoh: This one really hit me hard. His special Trait (GOLDEN FALCON, SOARING: When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to move this marker up to 3 squares. Iron Pharaoh can draw lines of fire and count range (up to 3 squares) from the Falcon marker using Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.) was just absolutely gutted. After the Watchlist, the Pharaoh had to choose to either move OR attack, something the figure was never really designed to do. Verdict: While Iron Pharaoh was certainly a powerful force in the Meta, an occasional ROC win doth not a broken piece make. But even if you accept that Iron Pharaoh was a problem piece (and ignore the fact that within a year, WizKids would have published several silver bullet pieces for the Pharaoh, like Jack Hawksmoor), the official change really destroyed this piece, to the point that he was almost unplayable afterwards. This particular change was probably WizKids’s biggest overreach since they’d been publishing a Watchlist.
This is how Iron Pharaoh owners felt after the Watchlist dropped.

This is how Iron Pharaoh owners felt after the Watchlist dropped.

Bizarro

  • Bizarro: This was another pretty simple pair of fixes. WizKids decided that he could only be played in 25 Point increments up to 150 Points (as opposed to playing him all the way up to 300). Also, it was decreed that Bizarro could ONLY be healed through the use of Support. Verdict: This was another winner. It’s hard to describe how dominant Bizarro was in the Meta back in 2014 if you’re a newer player, but he was everywhere. He still turns up on certain Meta teams to this day, so he’s still a quality piece, but at least he’s fair now.

Proxima Midnight

  • Proxima Midnight: Proxima was reviewed, but it was decided that she was working as intended. Verdict: Sanity prevails. There’s nothing wrong with being a good piece–it’s when a piece becomes gamebreaking that a designer really needs to get involved. If only they’d been as levelheaded about Iron Pharaoh…

Well, that’s all for tonight! And yes, we’re running a few days behind if we’re gonna get everything out by Christmas. Just stay tuned, though, and we should have articles coming fast and furious in the next two days!

The Ghosts of Clix-Mas Future Part 2: Electric Bugaloo!! (Or, The 4th Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 4! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. And last night’s article (Night 3) is here.]

Clixmas future masthead 2

Welcome to the 4th Night of Clix-Mas! Last night we took a look at the Clix we know we’re getting in the first six months of 2016. Tonight, we’re gonna put our thinking caps on and speculate at what we MIGHT be getting in the second half of the year.

JULY 2016:

'Murica!! F-yeah!!

‘Murica!! F-yeah!!

Outside of a Monthly OP kit (The Defenders, with a new Moon Knight sculpt plus another Shang-Chi dial and Shroud dial. Moon Knight hasn’t been seen since ASM, so he’s pretty sorely needed, but the Shang-Chi and Shroud we got in Deadpool were both good, and there’s a chance they’ll still be Modern legal when this kit comes out.) and the third month of Civil War, I think July will be pretty dry for Clix releases. Which I’m fine with, given the crush of Spring product we just talked about last night.

AUGUST 2016:

I have no idea who took this photo, but it's awesome. I found it here.

I have no idea who took this photo, but it’s awesome. I found it here.

Here’s where things get interesting. There’s been an August Clix set release for the past two years, and each one has been Marvel. Now, we’d be coming off of the Civil War Movie Set, Uncanny X-Men AND the Civil War SLOP set by the time August rolls around, so WizKids might want to change it up a bit and go DC, right?

Not so Fast

Looking back, there were even MORE Marvel sets before August last year (or at least it sure seems like there were), and August brought us Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and some brand new Vehicle rules. So this really could go either way.

Here’s how I would handicap it:

If it’s Marvel, this has to be a Spidey set, right? The two things we haven’t seen in awhile from Marvel Clix are a ton of Spideys and monsters, both generic and otherwise. Both were prominent in the recently rotated Amazing Spider-Man, and monsters aren’t going to sell a set on their own.

If it’s a DC set, then this could really be anything, then, but let’s narrow it down based on what we know. We know WizKids likes making money (this may shock you, but most businesses work like this); we know that WizKids likes to headline sets with major characters in the set name and/or on the box, even if they barely show up in the set itself (coughSLoSHcough), because it tends to boost sales.

(At the risk of starting a Marvel/DC flame war, you could argue that WizKids has been a little more adventurous with their Marvel license having based sets around Deadpool, GotG and Nick Fury in the last two years alone. Hmmm…)

We also know that DC has pretty much thumped the Trinity drum to death the last year and a half with sets based on, well, the Trinity (Trinity War), Superman (Superman/Wonder Woman and the upcoming World’s Finest), Wonder Woman (see previous examples) and Batman (again, see previous examples).

While it’s still possible we’ll see an all Batman set, it’s almost as likely that we’ll see something Green Lantern related, especially if War of Light rotates out of Modern (which would be aggressive on WizKids’s part, but not inconceivable, given how much trouble the Entities caused). With sub-themes that could fit in the Lantern framework, this would be a decent way to go.

But.

If WizKids was ever going to base a set on a non-Trinity, non-Justice League IP, this would be the perfect time to unleash a Suicide Squad set. While that would have been unthinkable even three years ago, we got Guardians of the Galaxy in August of 2014 because of the movie that was being released at the same time; well, Suicide Squad is in theaters starting in early August of 2016.

The final prediction and handicap:

Suicide Squad

A DC Suicide Squad set: (I’ll give it as high as 3-1 odds)

Runner-Up: A Marvel Spider-Verse set (which I’d put at about 5-1 odds)

SEPTEMBER 2016:

Again, just a Monthly OP kit. Which could really be anything.

OCTOBER 2016:

Of course we’ll get another Monthly OP kit, but I could also see WizKids sneaking in a second Turtles Gravity Feed here if the first one sells as much as it seems like it will. Yu-Gi-Oh! is always a possibility, too.

NOVEMBER 2016:

Another Monthly, but the main draw here will be the last set of 2016. And based on everything we just discussed (remember, I predicted Suicide Squad for August), I’m going to say that in November, Marvel takes a chance on another character not named Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk or Spidey:

Doctor-Strange-1

Doctor Strange!

Yes, this could still be a Spider-Verse set, but there is going to be a ton of marketing dollars thrown around for this movie, so if WizKids wanted to switch things up, this would be the time to do it, since those marketing dollars will mitigate a lot of risk!

Plus, we could see a Secret Wars Chase sub-Theme (with Strange as the leader of the Black Priests, Ultimate Reed as the Maker and maybe, just maybe we’d even get a Rabum Alal Doom!) or even a monsters-as-Howling Commandos sub-theme (which would open the door for a lot of monster Clix updates!).

(5-1 Odds)

DECEMBER 2016: 

The Monthly OP kit will feature another Holiday-themed figure. Gonna guess it’ll be either ol’ Saint Nick himself, one of his reindeer or a Snowman.

Well, there you have it. Tons of needless speculation about what may or may not come in time for Christmas 2016!

And for more crazy Heroclix discussion, check this space tomorrow!!