Okay! So today, we’re dusting off a gimmick we started allll the way back in early 2014: The Flash Figure Review (not to be confused with the Flash Top Ten Set Review, of course, which was a review of Flash figures, as opposed to a Flash Figure Review. Which is what this is. Okay, now I’m confused… )!
Nightlantern, the Prime Rare from the recent World’s Finest set, has to be discussed on his own merits; thus, I excluded him from my initial World’s Finest Top Ten. But now we’re gonna talk a bit about his special Trait and the best way to utilize it in the Meta.
First, let’s look at exactly what that Trait does:
“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.”
Yup. For 25 Build Points, Nightlantern here turns any standard character into a Possessor (with a few more restrictions than Entities and those with the Possession Trait).
[EDITOR’S NOTE: See the WizKids “DESIGNINSIGHT” article for more information on exactly what qualifies a character as a “Standard Character” nowadays.]
So the question becomes, what are your best options for Amalgam figures? Well, that is obviously going to change depending on what figures you’re playing with Nightlantern and which powers you think they might benefit from the most.
But what might be more helpful is examining the parameters of the power and taking a look at all the useful Amalgam dials out there and categorizing what they can provide. To do THAT, let’s take a quick look at the Trait’s built-in limitations and what those mean when it comes time to pick an Amalgam.
In a 300 Point game, you’re probably going to be looking at Amalgam figures that are 99 Points or less, since whoever they’re going to enhance is probably only going to be a 100-110 Point figure (Nightlantern is 150 himself, and you have to add 25 Points to whoever his running buddy is going to be, so you’re probably not going to be able to fit any figure who’s more than 100 Points if you want to leave room for a Resource, Relic or additional supporting character).
We also know that the enhanced figure can only copy Standard Powers, not White Powers, so we’re looking for Modern Age figures (well, at least for most games) who are about 99 Points or less and have at least 3 (if not 4) useful standard powers on their top click, so you’re provided the maximum amount of options from which to choose. Even if you think you only need one or two powers to make a piece sing, having up to two more useful choices every turn can be a real lifesaver.
And remember, the Amalgam character MUST be less points than the character who is equipping them. I like to refer to this as the Amalgam’s Threshold. As in, “Hey, I’m playing Prime Captain Marvel and I’m going to equip an Amalgam to him. Mar-Vell is 82 Points, so I can’t go past the 81 Point Threshold when I’m picking a figure to be his Amalgam.”
[EDITOR’S NOTE: That, of course, was a terrible example, since you can’t play Prime Nightlantern and Prime Captain Marvel on the same force.]
Having said all that, the easiest way to search potential Amalgam pieces is to pick the power you most want to give your piece and then search HCRealms for that power. While I can’t list every useful possible figure in this space (we’d be here forever), we can go over a few really useful Amalgams.
For example, a problem I run into often is finding great figures who have no move-and-attack powers top dial. Well, there are plenty of ways to fix that. Let’s look at a few:
IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO GIVE A FIGURE CHARGE…
The upcoming TMNT set is an excellent place to look–and we still don’t know all the pieces in it. But all the Common Turtles offer Charge on their first three Clicks. Of those pieces, TMNT004 Donatello adds a top dial Outwit as well. But the real find here is TMNT012 Casey Jones (Uncommon) who offers Charge AND Willpower for his first 3 Clicks, along with Battle Fury if you find yourself surrounded by Shape Changers! If you wanted to take a low-cost Secondary Attacker and make them REAL dangerous REAL fast, Casey Jones is your man.
AOU017 Iron Man (Uncommon) costs 90 and offers your choice of Charge, Super Strength, Invuln AND Outwit.
AOU019 Hulk (Uncommon) has an 80 Point Threshold and offers Charge, Super Strength and Impervious.
And so on.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO GIVE A FIGURE RUNNING SHOT…
Might I suggest:
CATWS007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Commander (Common): 65 Points with access to four powers. Running Shot (Awesome! RS is difficult to find on decent sub-70 point characters); Energy Explosion (Pretty Good); Toughness (Meh); Leadership (Meh +)
GOTGM004 Nova Corps Officer (Common): 55 Points. Running Shot, Toughness and Enhancement. You would only choose this guy for the cheap threshold Running Shot, which he holds on to for 2 Clicks.
FFNFAOS002 Agent Coulson (Fast Forces Pack): Coulson here grants you Running Shot, Pen/Psy AND Energy Shield/ Deflection for the low, low cost of 75 Points.
OH, AND IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO GIVE A FIGURE HYPERSONIC SPEED…
Your options include:
AVAS022 Ultra-Girl (Uncommon): With a Threshold under 100 Points (98 to be exact), Ultra-Girl offers Hypersonic Speed on her first two Clicks along with top dial Invuln.
IIM013 Northstar (Common): Wow! Two top dial AND bottom dial Clicks of Hypersonic Speed and, best of all, Northstar only costs 75 Points. You want to give Balls of Fury Hypersonic Speed? Do it. Prime Captain Marvel from GotG? Uhhhh… no, since both he and Nightlantern are Primes.
However, for a Threshold cost of just 5 Points more…
IIM209 Aurora (Common): She’s 80 Points and offers Hypersonic Speed on her first 3 Clicks, Precision Strike on her first two AND Energy Shield/Defelection on every click! For her price, she’s awesome!
You can also check out JLTW043 Johnny Quick (Rare); FL001A Flash (Common) and WF002 Superman (Common)–they’re all great sources of Hypersonic Speed.
And here’s a few more cheap pieces with 3-4 really good power options for your Amalgam-ing pleasure.
CATWS013 Agent 13 (Mass Market Rare): A Meta piece on her own for just 55 Points, she offers Plasticity (important nowadays with all the great Hypersonic Speed pieces out there), Combat Reflexes and Shape Change.
GOTGM010 Nebula (Core Hobby Rare): Her 73 point threshold offers 4 top dial choices: Stealth, Precision Strike, Mastermind and Shape Change.
AAOU010 Scarlet Witch (Hobby Rare): She’s only 55 Points and offers Stealth, Willpower AND Perplex top dial. Willpower alone fixes the biggest flaw on a bunch of different characters in the 75-100 Point Range.
AAOU015 Nick Fury (Mass Market Rare): 45 Points. Offers access to Stealth, Willpower and Shape Change.
AAOU105 Black Widow (Starter Set): 75 Points with FOUR standard powers top dial. Sidestep, Precision Strike, Willpower and Shape Change.
AAOU106 Hawkeye (Starter Set): 75 Points, again with FOUR standard powers to start. Stealth, Pen/Psy, Willpower and Enhancement.
Whew! Okay then. As always, your mileage may vary when spelunking for good Amalgam pieces.
It’s probably also important to note that as the Build total in any given game rises, the usefulness of Nightlantern increases (since it gives you room to play larger Threshold Amalgams).
Any buried treasure that we missed? Sound off in the Comments section!
And, as always, keep it tuned to this space right here. With this year’s Modern Age Set Rotations already dropping (as of yesterday), we’ve got plenty to talk about going forward!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!