To Infinity… And Beyond!! (Or, A List of the Top Ten Pieces in Avengers Infinity!!!)

Were waiting

So we’ve been waiting for an Avengers Infinity Top Ten Set Review…

So have I guys!

But since HypeFox is still working on his, I thought I’d drop mine… hmmm… how about right now!!

But first…

Some Notes About the Set:

  • The packs were more expensive, but worth it. Each one had seemingly two chances to pull something cool. In my Dune Buggy pack I pulled a chase and in a pack with 4 regular sized uncommon and common figures you’re going to get a Colossal rare or Super Rare.
  • The abstract entities are godlike in the comics, but none are very good for their cost in HeroClix. AIG023R Eternity may be the lone exception. Thankfully they are good for display purposes and people will likely seek them out for that reason.
  • Although there were only two really bad characters in this set (AI003 Black Widow, AI027 Starfox), I wasn’t real impressed by the Space Knights. They were ok, but not interesting and likely wouldn’t do well as a team. Unfortunately they were literally every Prime in the set. Which means this was another set with lackluster Prime figures. Which is a real bummer when you buy a brick and get a Prime instead of a Chase.
  • Early on I was worried that every colossal in this set would be a Colossal Retaliator. I was glad to see that wasn’t the case.
  • I love that the Infinity Watch got such nice remakes. Maxam was a great new figure. Now we just need a modern Mole Man. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Do we though? I mean, he was in like one issue of Infinity Watch! Maxam was in a ton! It was great that the GG version of him had the IW Keyword, but really, he was basically just their landlord. This is the Infinity Watch roster we really wanted!]
  • Why did we not get a Thanos with the Reality Stone? All the other Infinity Watch members made the set with their respective stone Traits. Missed opportunity. [EDITOR’S NOTE: It seems like a huge oversight. The only thing I can think of is that we might get him as a Con Exclusive next year. It’s possible that this was their intention all along, but that they were already too far down the road with the Thanos-Copter as a ConEx this year. Alternatively, Reality Gem Thanos could show up randomly in another cosmic set or cosmic-adjacent set (the only thing on the schedule that’s even remotely fits this description is Battleworld in October). Remember, Thanos is coming back in Avengers 4, so there will still be a bunch of Thanos tie-in products from Marvel licensees arriving next year.]

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Adam-Warlock

5) AI038 Adam Warlock (125 points) – With most of his stats and powers he appears to be just an average attacker. However push him to click 2 and he gains a special power that allows him to do what no one else in modern Clix can: “OUTSIDE OF ETERNITY, CHAOS AND ORDER: Outwit. FREE: Choose a target opposing character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t use PROTECTED: Outwit and its powers lose Protected: Outwit.

Throw in a trait that grants steal energy for ALL attacks and then passes regular Steal Energy to another piece when KOed and I can see him being quite successful with the right support around him. If he had his special power on his first click he would be on the cusp of being Meta.

He’s also one of HypeFox’s favorite Marvel heroes, so listing him as a mere Honorable Mention will annoy him to no end.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: ]

Spider Mobile.jpg

4) AIG015 Spider-Mobile (50 points) – Don’t think of it as a vehicle, think of it as armor. It’s armor that grants another piece with (hopefully) great stats 7 extra clicks of health for just 50 points. For Example, if you use Chase Thor from this set as a pilot then all 7 clicks will have a constant 12 attack and 4 damage the whole dial. And once you get through those clicks your opponent still faces an angry Thor on click 2 or 3.  However the real reason to play this piece is the Trait: SPIDER SPOTLIGHT LOCKED ON: FREE: Improved Targeting: Hindering. Choose a character within range and line of fire. That character can’t use Shape Change or Stealth this turn.” We’ve seen characters before that allow your team to ignore stealth (JW052 Green Lantern, ADW038 Jessica Jones, WKM17-013 Dazzler, etc…), but I’ve never seen a character that will also allow others to ignore Shape Change.

Photon.jpg

3) AI049 Photon (90 Points) – The best thing she brings to the table is a Special Power that hurts opposing bystanders the likes of which the game has never seen before. Additionally she has a Trait that would be good to build a team around. “THE 5TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: DIVERSITY: Flurry. Once per turn, when Photon’s attack roll has a 5, friendly characters modify their defense +1 for every two printed keywords they have until your next turn.”

(Hint: CWSOP002 Iron Man has 6 keywords!)

She’s good up close with Traited Flurry and Pulse Wave that starts showing up on click 2. If you are planning to use her at range then you should probably bring another character with Enhancement. She also has the best Stop Clicks of any of the Chases with your choice of using Flurry or RCE to go along with her Precision Strike.

Vision.jpg

2) AI005 Vision (100 points) – Vision’s Special move power is what puts him on this list. “WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT ME: Phasing/Teleport. When Vision is given a MOVE action, after resolutions he may make an attack (close or range).”

Unfortunately, his 10 attack and three damage aren’t going to scare many people. So make sure to bring some other characters along that can help those values.

The Unseen.jpg

1) AI043 Unseen (65 points) – On the eve of NFAOS056 Nick Fury retiring from Modern they decided to include another version of him from that same “Original Sin” storyline in this set… albeit with some major focus/role changes. This new piece is similar in that they both have Probability Control, almost every form of Improved Targeting known to man and a way to turn off powers. Where the new version is better is that it’s almost exactly half the point cost of the original and can free action smoke cloud after moving. All it’s missing is offense. Like any form of offense at all. Time will tell if a 65 point support character is Meta, but I am just hesitant enough about it that it didn’t quite make the top 10.

Speaking of which… here is my…

TOP TEN PIECES IN AVENGERS INFINITY!!:

Gamora.jpg

10) AI020 Gamora (65 points) – For 65 points you get a very efficient close combat piece who is dangerous on every click. What sets her apart from other similar characters are her 12 starting attack, relatively low cost, and Traited Probability control that passes to another friendly character when she is KOed: TIME GEM CHOOSES ITS BEARER: Probability Control with minimum range value 8 // When Gamora is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, choose a friendly character. For the rest of the game, that character can use Probability Control.”

The only things keeping her from being higher on this list are a weak defense and the existence of AI030 Mantis who fills a similar roll and costs less.

Sentry 459

9) AIG013R Sentry #459 (150 points) – There is a new Trait introduced on this set that was seen on quite a few Colossal figures that shows some promise thanks to the new rules for Quake called Mass Destruction. It reads, MASS DESTRUCTION: Super Strength. When Sentry #459 is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.” In my opinion this 150 dial is the most efficient character to feature that Trait.

It has better combat values then all of the other similarly costed characters with “Mass Destruction” and the Green Hulk is the only other “Mass Destruction” piece that comes close to being as useful in combat.

Giant Girl.jpg

8) AIG001 Giant-Girl (70 points) – Giant Girl has roughly 250 thousand different starting lines. I feel like the 70 point line isn’t too expensive and doesn’t make it very easy for the opponent to KO her before she gets an attack off.

To be honest I’d probably vary her point value according the team I was playing with her. The best parts about her is that she can Colossal Retaliate on any click, gets bigger when she KOs someone, and she makes a great Taxi for as low as 10 points. I didn’t include her Fast Forces or title character version on this list because I felt their combat values were just not up to snuff.

Iron Man 1.jpg

7) FFAI001E Iron Man (50 points) – Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, just a really efficient piece for the points. His great movement values make him a very good Taxi. His 4 clicks of Invulnerability make him tougher than just about every other 50 point piece. And his ability to see through Stealth is just the cherry on top.

Cosmo

6) AI039 Cosmo (70 points) – This is one of the Guardians pieces in the new set with a Trait that grants Protected: Outwit or +1 to Attack and Defense. There are very few situations where I’d chose Protected: Outwit with this or any of the Guardians pieces. +1 to Attack and Defense is just too good.

Now let me tell you what’s special about Cosmo. He has Outwit and Ignores Hindering for Targeting which a great combo. He also TK and Willpower on his first click. So on turn one move everyone up and on turn 2 use TK without taking push damage. Because of his Trait he has 19 starting defense and can get up to 12 Attack with his multi-target Mind Control. But the real kicker is his unique special power starting on click two that reads “YOU HAVE LOUD BRAIN: Free: Choose an opposing character within range. Until your next turn, that character can’t be given POWER actions.” That’s a free action and doesn’t require line of fire. There are lots of Power actions in the game, but the first ones I will be looking to use this on are Charge, Running Shot, and Hypersonic Speed.

Nadia Van Wasp.jpg 5) AI044 Wasp (70 points) – While she isn’t great on offense without some help, her defenses are excellent. She has a special Traited Shape Change that reads PYM PARTICLES IN MY BLOOD, RED ROOM TRAINING IN MY MIND: Shape Change. When Wasp uses it and succeeds, after resolutions the attacker is dealt 1 penetrating damage.” It reminds me of TMT002 Loki and WF030 The Wizard. If I was facing her I would attack her last. She also gives you the option of Outwit on click 1 or a Special Perplex when you push to click 2.

Mantis

4) AI030 Mantis (50 points) – Like AI020 Gamora she is an efficient close combat piece that features a 12 starting Attack Value. The advantages that Mantis has over Gamora are a better Defense, an extra click of life, a lower point cost, and IM:Hindering. While Gamora has a better Trait, Mantis’s trait is no slouch either. It reads: I WILL HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS: Friendly characters within 4 squares have “FREE: This character can’t use Battle Fury or Earthbound/Neutralized this turn.” At very least that can help you carry Battle Fury characters and you could potentially build a team around it.

Quasar

3) AI037 Quasar (125 points) – Whenever Quasar hits with a ranged attack he gets to use Barrier as a few action. That can be crippling to the opposing team. If he does that more than a couple of times in a game, you’re likely going to win. So it’s up to you to do everything you can to make that happen. Run him with someone like ADW038 Jessica Jones to counter Stealth. You should also include some good close combat pieces to discourage your opponent from basing him.

Tonys car

2) AIG012 Tony Stark’s Car (10 Points) – As a 100 point vehicle this piece is Ok, but as Special Terrain it’s Meta.

Everyone knows special terrain can be useful because of the WKDP17-008 Boxing Ring. Unfortunately every Special Terrain created since then has been less powerful.

Until now.

This car has a power that reads, It’s still rolling. Use as cover:” Adjacent friendly characters can use Energy Shield/Deflection.” It also has an option to move it one square at the risk of KOing it. I would never do that. As long as your opponent can’t shoot you across the car, then they won’t be able to KO it. I would place the car within firing range of the opposing starting zone and then stand in front of the car for the whole game. You still get ESD and the opponent won’t be able to KO the car. 10 points to give your whole team ESD for the whole game is a steal. Buy this now while it’s still cheap.

Starfox.jpg

1) AI048 Starfox (80 points) – Hmm. This character has a double Perplex and the Eternal keyword. Where have I seen that before? I wonder if there is some top meta piece out there that he would work well with?

Chase Starfox is still a great piece in it’s own right. We all know that a double Perplex can be deadly, but Starfox also sports the best of the Chase Traits. it reads, THE 4TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: PASSION: Flurry. Once per turn, when Starfox’s attack roll has a 4, after resolutions heal each friendly character 1 click if they are adjacent to another friendly character.” So whenever you roll any 4 while attacking with this guy he will heal your entire team for 1 click of damage regardless of where they are on the board (as long they have a friendly piece next them.) That’s huge. I don’t ever remember seeing any other figure capable of a full team heal. And this isn’t even it’s own action, it’s just part of him attacking.

His whole dial also features Steal Energy so when he gets damaged he has an additional option to heal up. He’s not an offensive powerhouse, but with his Trait, Stop Click, Power Cosmic TA, and 12 starting attack — he’s the best character in this set.

 

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Eight Things I Want From Avengers: Infinity!! (Or, More Irresponsible Speculation!!)

Hi There! It’s been awhile (well, we’ve been tweeting up a storm the last few months, but still!).

Fresh off getting my butt kicked at the Spring WKO (look, I’d write about Call-Ins ruining the game, but it’s been discussed to death and Wizkids apparently has market research to show that people like extra value inserted into packs via things like Equipment or ID Cards, so, they’re not going away anytime soon… ), today we’re starting to get ready for one of the biggest sets of the year.

Yup! We’re talkin’ Avengers: Infinity!

Spoilers won’t start for a little while yet, so now is the perfect time for some of our patented Irresponsible Speculation!!

Here are eight things I hope we’ll get in this set!

FF

8. Fantastic Four Characters!!

Okay, I like the FF as much as anyone, but the two characters I’m really talking about here are Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom.

Unfortunately, both of these characters are probably still on the ban list until the Disney/Fox merger is complete (probably 16-24 months from now).

Still, Surfer (and, to a lesser extent, Doom) were big characters in the original Infinity Gauntlet (from which many of the characters in this set come), so their absence would definitely be missed.

 

Helicarrier

7. Helicarrier!!

C’mon, Wizkids! We want a Helicarrier already!

We know we’re getting vehicles in this set (Spider-Mobile!!); we know that at least one of those vehicles will be S.H.I.E.L.D.-related (Nick Fury’s flying car!); and you’ve even given us special Helicarrier maps in the past, so we know you guys are familiar with them!

Brainiac’s Skull Ship proves that you don’t mind making big ships, either! So the time has come for everyone’s favorite flying gunships to enter Heroclix!

 

Thanos Come and Get Me.jpg

6. Title Character Thanos!!

Of all the things on this list, this one might be the most likely.

The Title Character mechanic has been a lot of fun (and so far, not nearly as overpowered at it first might have seen, although Ninwashui and I still think Title Character Thor has a lot of untapped Meta possibilities), and Title Character Thanos would have the potential to be the coolest one yet (and this wouldn’t be a bad pose for his scuplt, either).

They wouldn’t necessarily have to give him the Infinity Gauntlet on this piece (although a Chase series of characters who have all wielded it at some point would be cool–hmmm, maybe there were really 9 Things I should have written about for this article), but Thanos is certainly deserving of the Title Character treatment considering he’s long been one of Marvel’s greatest villains.

 

Adam Warlock.jpg

5. Title Character Adam Warlock!!

And, in keeping with the recent trend of two Title Characters per set, who better for the second slot than Thanos’s greatest foil, Adam Warlock?

In addition to being one of my favorite characters, Adam Warlock was pretty much THE MAIN PROTAGONIST of Infinity Gauntlet (you can argue that Thanos was still the main character of the story; you can also argue that, from a certain point of view, Thanos was actually the protagonist in a weird way and Adam Warlock was the antagonist of the story, keeping Thanos from what he most desired–is it clear that I loved this story and have read and thought about it WAAAAY too much over the last 25 years?).

A Title Character Adam Warlock with the Infinity Watch keyword and some sort of Soul Stone Title Character ability would absolutely make my day!

 

Uatu

4. Updated Colossal Watcher!!

We haven’t gotten a Watcher since Galactic Guardians and this is the perfect time for an update!

I really liked the way the GG version played, which could fill different roles on your team for different point costs. Really, if they just updated the sculpt and Uatu’s stats, they could pretty much just release the last dial they made for him!

 

Infinity Gems.jpg

3. Infinity Gems!!

Look, we just got Equipment in Thor, and since then, virtually nothing. Give us some Infinity Gem Equipment inserts!!

This is almost too obvious of an idea for Wizkids to actually execute, but I would love to see it.

Who wouldn’t want to outfit their team of choice with the six Infinity Gems?

Oh, speaking of that…

 

Infinity Watch.jpg

2. Full Roster of the Infinity Watch!!

See that guy in the lower right corner? 12-year-old me remembers his name–Maxam! And for a time, he was an official member of the Infinity Watch–and he remains un-Clixed!

We know we’ll be getting some Infinity Watch pieces in this set, so it’s time for Wizkids to give us the WHOLE team! So yeah, we want Maxam, for sure, but the Galactic Guardians pieces haven’t aged well at all, so go ahead and give us updated versions of the entire team!

(For the record, that’d be Adam Warlock, Thanos, Drax, Maxam, Pip the Troll, Gamora and Moondragon.)

 

Galactus

1. Some form of Galactus!!

Yeah, he’s also tied up with the FF license Disney is trying to get back, but we’ve gotten a Zombie Galactus in the last few years, so he’s always a possiblity. But the unique nature of this set would allow them to give us a Modern Galactus that could be pulled right from a normal booster, something that’s never happened with a Galactus piece!

 

Okay, that’s my list! What’s on yours? Let me know in the Comments below!

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

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

Justice League Trinity War

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

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

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

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

 

darkknightsmetal2

1. DARK KNIGHT: METAL:

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

But this set would allow Wizkids to give us:

–All new versions of the Justice League;

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

–Alternate Earth versions of DC heroes and villains;

–Primes:

Common Prime: Jokerized Damien Wayne;

Uncommon Prime: Joker of Earth-22;

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

Super Rare Prime: Nightmaster;

–Chases:

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

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

 

Time Runs Out.jpg

2. TIME RUNS OUT:

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

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

Black Priests.jpg

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

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

 

All of which would lead us into…

 

Secret Wars.jpg

3. SECRET WARS (2015):

This could even be a Storyline OP, right?

But we would get:

–The members of the 616 life rafts;

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

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

–A Colossal Thing as “The Wall!”

–More Thanos!

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

God Emperor Doom.jpg

–An Ultra-Chase God-Emperor Doom!!

 

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

Which ones would you like to see?

Sound off in the comments below!

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

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

Ghost of Christmas Past

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

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

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

 

THE MOST UNEXPECTEDLY META SET:

TMNT Shredders Return

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

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

TMNT3023 Shredder Clone

TMNT3028 Leonardo (Space Leo who screws with equipped items)

TMNT3030 Savanti Romero

TMNT3031 Wyrm

TMNT033 Mini Shredder

TMNT035 Shark Shredder

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

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

 

THE LONGEST-AWAITED STARTER SET IN HEROCLIX HISTORY:

Mighty-Thor-Starter2.jpg

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

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

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

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

 

MOST UNDERRATED SET OF THE YEAR:

Elesworlds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

It’s Mighty’s Thor’s World; We’re Just Living in It! (Or, All The Mighty Thor Coverage I Could Fit Into One Post!!)

Mighty Thor Banner

Welcome back!!

I’ve been on vacation, gotten a cold and have been grinding away at some day job work drama since our last article. So I’ve been gone a minute.

But I’ve had a bunch to say about TMT, and, frankly, there’s so much to talk about with this set that a normal Top Ten column won’t cover everything (but we’re still going to do one, so sit tight–soon, soon!!).

Today, we’re going to break this set down into some random categories (chosen by me, natch) and talk about some of the hits and misses from this set.

BEST HEALER:

Jane Foster

TMT022 Jane Foster30 PointsUncommon: Back in the day (circa, oh, say 2012-2013), Donald Blake ruled the Meta scene (okay, maybe not “ruled,” but still… ) as the best Support-equipped supporting piece in the game. 33 Points got you an 11 Attack with Support, which made it extremely likely you could heal your pieces back to top dial. Donald even had a Movement Special on clicks 2-4 that let him turn into Chaos War Thor, too. And wit the Avengers keyword, he fit on a lot of teams.

Fast forward roughly five years, and WizKids has decided that, apparently, DONALD BLAKE WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH!! What?!?!

Jane Foster costs three points less, has one less click of life and and even worse Defense Value (15 to Blake’s 16). Buuuuuuut… she also comes packing Defend, so on her first two clicks, she will ALWAYS hit on just a six or more! Donald’s 11 Attack only hits a 17 Defense with that same roll.

Okay, so she’s a good healer, but what else? Well, first, she’s not a good healer, she’s a GREAT healer! Why? Cuz she can pull off her Support tricks no matter how close your opponent gets thanks to her wonderfully flavorful Damage Special (PLEASE TRY TO HOLD STILL: Support, even if her target is adjacent to an opposing character.)!

Another problem with Donald Blake was that he could be sniped fairly easily if your opponent really needed to stop a heal. If they could hit a 16 Defense Value and deal 4 Damage, Blake was wiped off the map.

Well, Jane’s Trait makes this a LOT harder (ONLY HERE TO HELP: Opposing characters of 75 points or more can’t draw lines of fire to Jane Foster unless it is the only character on the map from that force. When an adjacent friendly character is KO’d by an opponents attack, after resolutions you may roll a D6 and replace Jane Foster with TMT #017 Thor on a click # equal to the result.).

So you can’t even target her with your Primary Attacker (or even many Secondary Attackers). Moreover, if you don’t go after her first (which we just established is kind of difficult), Jane can transform into a Goddess of Thunder–possibly on click one!

Lady Thor

Dude, I’m top dial, I got this. I’m about to deal 8 damage. By the way, I cost 30 freaking points.

Yup. You have a 16% chance to sub out your 30 Point piece for a 100 Point figure WHO CAN IMMEDIATELY ATTACK TWO DIFFERENT ENEMIES FOR 4 DAMAGE EACH!! That’s a possible gain of up to 70 points for your army in a 300 Point game! This is a huge advantage! I CAN’T STOP USING CAPS LOCK AND EXCLAMATION POINTS WHEN I TALK ABOUT THIS PIECE!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Wait, she has the Asgardian keyword too?! So I can recklessly advance my title character Thor Odinson up the map for an Alpha Strike and then, if my opponent retaliates, I can just spend 1 Plot Point to immediately place Jane next to Thor and heal him EVEN IF HE’S BASED?! That’s madness!!]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yup!]

 

COMMON PIECE MOST LIKELY TO BREAK THE BANK:

Loki 002

TMT002 Loki65 + 10 Points — Common: Yes folks, we have a Common piece that’s still holding over $5 a copy on eBay more than a month after release. My Lord this was a deep set.

Loki has what has to be the best value Wizkids has ever offered us in terms of add-on Traits (GOD OF TRICKERY (+10 POINTS): During force construction, you may add two TMT #002 Loki to your starting force on the click #1 that appears after the (orange) KO. It has a 0 point value for all effects (including scoring).).

For just 10 Points, you get two REALLY GOOD copies of a 65 Point piece. Huh?! THAT’S NOT HOW MATH WORKS, DAMMIT!!

First of all, Loki and all of his copies have both Super Senses AND Shape Change, so they are a nightmare to get rid of. If Loki actually HITS a Shape Change, he gets to spawn ANOTHER version of himself. And all of these copies have a 10 Attack with Incapacitate, so be prepared to, y’know, never get to do anything on your turn except take tokens off of your army at the end of your turn whenever you’re playing this guy. Sheesh.

Considering there’s not really a hard limit to the amount of TMT002 Lokis you can have on the map at one time, people have been scooping him up on the secondary market left and right.

 

THE MOST UNDERRATED COLOSSAL: 

Frost Giant

TMTG007P FROST GIANT — 20 Points — Colossal Booster: First of all, the sculpt is cool. Second of all, HOLY CRAP HAVE YOU SEEN HIS DAMAGE SPECIAL?!?!

(ONCE YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO FEEL THEIR CHILL… YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD AND JUST DON’T KNOW IT: At the end of your turn, choose one: Give an adjacent opposing character an action token, -or- Give each adjacent opposing character that’s lower points an action token.)

Uh… what is this doing on ANY 20 Point generic, much less one THAT CAN HOP AROUND THE BOARD AND BASE ANY OPPOSING FIGURE WHO SUCCESSFULLY ATTACKED LAST TURN?!

Incapacitate isn’t the best power in the game, but it becomes REALLY freaking good if you don’t even have to roll for it!! And when you start playing two (just costs 40 Points) or three (only 60 Points) or four (still just 80 points), it gets really silly. Remember, they give action tokens AT THE END OF YOUR TURN, so you can move them 6 squares beforehand.

Yes, Carnage is borderline broken. Yes, Mangog is borderline broken. Hell, even Surtur is really, REALLY good. But generic Frost Giant is definitely the most underrated, though I suspect not for long.

 

BEST PRIME: 

TIE: 

Skurge Prime

Prime Odin

TMT029B Skurge — 125 Points — Uncommon Prime:

TMT041BE Odin the Destroyer — 175 Points — Rare Prime:

I really can’t decide, but holy crap are the Primes solid in this set. Red Leader, the Common Prime, has a lot of potential as a supporting piece and can actually resurrect under certain circumstances; Angela is a lot of fun, but I’m not sure she’s actually better than her A-side, Hela (more on this from Ninwashui soon).

But Skurge is awesome. He is a killing machine who is just SO hard to take down.  Once he throws down his Last Laugh marker granted by his Trait (I WILL STAY BEHIND AND THE LAST LAUGH WILL BE MINE: FREE: Once per game, generate a Last Laugh marker in the square Skurge occupies. As long as Skurge occupies the square with the Last Laugh marker, he modifies defense +2, takes a maximum of 1 damage from attacks, and can’t be moved or placed by opposing characters.), he becomes next to impossible to hit AND he can dish out 4-5 damage up to 7 squares away pretty consistently (his Damage Special runs almost his entire dial and gives him his choice of RCE or CCE).

For 125 Points, he is a beast.

Odin the Destroyer is an absolute monster though. I like his 175 Point level the best for a couple reasons. The first reason is pretty basic: more support is almost always better when running a tentpole.

The second is more complicated. With the recent change to Invincible (which Odin starts with on his Experienced dial), Odin is extremely tough to bring down at range with abilities Pen/Psy, since he now reduces even penetrating damage. He also can’t be Outwitted due to his Power Cosmic Team Ability. This means there’s a good chance Odin will get where he’s going without being sniped to death, which is always a concern with Close Combat pieces.

But if he can actually get his hands on an opposing figure, the pummeling can commence. His second Trait even gives him the closest thing to Multi-Attack we’re likely ever going to see going forward (INCALCULABLE MIGHT: POWER: If Odin the Destroyer has 1 action token, give him any two actions at no cost.).

 

THE TOP TEN… PIECES OF EQUIPMENT IN THE MIGHTY THOR: 

Mjolnir

  1. TMTS009 Mjolnir — 10 Points — Heavy Object: Makes so many Chargers just otherworldly good. Try It With: EW050 Superman is just 240 Points of disgusting with this, and Mistress Death is Meta when she’s holding Thor’s hammer.
  2. TMTS008 Enchanted Ball and Chain — 10 Points — Heavy Object: When you absolutely, positively need to KO every Clix in the room, accept no substitutes. Try It With: You can put EW050 Superman on crowd control duty with this thing and watch him mop up the entire map. TMT052 Hulk will literally break through walls and then destroy the room with this thing.
  3. TMTS006 Mirror of Mysolljh — 7 Points — Light Object: For 7 Points, you can give any character a “66% get out of any attack FREE” card. That’s pretty damn good, no? Try It With: Literally any piece that does not have Shape Change, but if they already have Super Senses, that’s even better.
  4. TMTS012 Casket of Ancient Winters — 12 Points — Light Object: There will be builds that will abuse this to no end. Even more than Mjolnir, I think the Casket is the most likely piece from this set to end up on a future Watchlist. Try It With: Any team that is set up to keep your opponents from doing anything. Like, say, a build with 2-3 Frost Giants (who have the Asgardian keyword even at 20 points and thus would remain unaffected by the Casket).
  5. TMTS001 Bloodaxe — 10 Points — Heavy Object: Steal Energy, Battle Fury and Exploit Weakness. In other words, the works!
  6. TMTS011 Stormbreaker — 10 Points — Heavy Object: Deserves this spot for the static +2 to Range alone. Energy Explosion unfortunately isn’t as good as it used to be, or this would be higher. Having said that, Quake got a huge boost.
  7. TMTS016 Dragonfang — 10 Points — Light Object: It gives you re-rollable B/C/F. Try It With: Any “sticky/tie-up” figure with low damage output (<cough> Ha-Ha Joker <cough>).
  8. TMTS015 Gungnir — 10 Points — Light Object: The one-time +3 Attack, Penetrating Damage add-on is nice, but I’m more interested in the “This characters attack rolls can’t be rerolled” portion. Unfortunately, it stops YOU from probbing as well; otherwise, it’d be higher on this list.
  9. TMTS010 Thunderstrike — 10 Points — Heavy Object: Another object that lets you heal while causing maximum mayhem. The Bloodaxe is more efficient though.
  10. TMTS102 Asgardian Shield 4 Points — Light Object: One of the most simple pieces of equipment in the set is also one of the best. It just gives you ES/D. But it does it for just 4 freakin’ points! That means your average piece with an 18 Defense is now an impenetrable 20 from range! The cost/benefit ratio here is too good to pass up!

 

Well, that’s all for today! We will keep hammering (pun intended) out the Thor coverage until… well, really until the next set comes out!

In the meantime, keep up with all of our latest musings on Twitter @criticalmissive !!

 

Tiana house.png

Finally, on a personal note, my cousin and her husband just lost their home to the wildfires blazing through California.

If you have the inclination and ability to help, a friend of theirs has set up a GoFundMe page to assist them while they rebuild the next chapter of their life together. The page can be found here. Even small amounts help tremendously!

If you’re not in a position to donate, I totally understand. You can still help by going to our Twitter page and retweeting our pinned tweet about the fire.

Sunfire Chase

At the end of the month, I’m going to choose one person at random who retweeted that message and send them an Uncanny X-Men Age of Apocalype Sunfire Chase!

Until next time, Stay Safe (seriously!), and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

 

What If… You Inserted Your Favorite ‘What If… ?’ Joke Into This Headline? (Or, A Top Ten Set Review of What If?!?!)

Hype-Uatu

Hello once more, faithful readers! I am your host, Hype-Uatu, and today I’m here not just to reveal another Top Ten figures column, but to show you the unlimited possibilities of an infinite number of alternate universes!!

But, uh, I’m mostly here to reveal another Top Ten column. So, without further ado…

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

What If Spidey

5. WI001 Spider-Man — 55 Points — Common: You know you’re dealing with a What If… ? set when you get ALMOST as many alternate universe versions of Spidey as you got with the last Spider-Man set.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For the record, Superior Foes of Spider-Man had Spideys from nine different alternate universes (if you include Spider-Girl and Spider-Gwen) while What If… ? has seven (including the wonderful Aunt May as Spider-Ma’am).]

This, if you haven’t figured it out yet, is regular, Amazing Fantasy #15-debuting, 616 Peter Parker. Putting that aside… this is a hell of good version of Peter!

He has five Clicks and starts with a sweet Speed Special Power (WEB SWING: Spider-Man can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, modify his damage value by +1 if his target is on a lower elevation than the one Spider-Man occupied when he began moving.) that allows this 55 Point piece to move up to 8 spaces and deal 4 Damage! In fact, he has Hypersonic Speed on every one of his Clicks!

He toggles between 3 and 2 Damage throughout his dial, has the Spidey Family Team Ability (so he’s a Wildcard) and starts with an 18 Defense with Super Senses.

Very solid for the points.

 

Young Avengers Runaways

4. WI011 Molly Hayes — 50 Points — Common: Yeah, I know we used that shot in the Preview column, and you’re going to see it a lot more today. But hey, if Wizkids can reuse sculpts like 3 or 4 times in the set, we can reuse clip art, right? Actually, we’re prolly going to reprint some entries from our extensive Preview article too, sooo…

But on to Molly Hayes!

For 50 Points, you get Charge, 10 Attack and a Damage Special (KNOCK KNOCK: Molly Hayes can use Close Combat Expert, but as a close combat action. When she does and hits, the target is knocked back 4 squares instead of any other knock back.) that lets her punch above her weight class! And, if she’s doing said punching while standing next to a Runaway or Young Avenger, her Team Trait (RUNAWAYS: Once per turn, when Molly Hayes attacks, if she is adjacent to a friendly character with the Runaways or Young Avengers keyword, she can re-roll a 1 on a die of the attack roll.) will give you some insurance against missing!

 

Jessica Jones Agent of Shield
3. 013 Jessica Jones — 65 Points — Common: From our Preview:

“Probably the best Jessica Jones we’ve ever gotten, although most of the previous Jessicas just kinda suck, so that’s not a huge compliment.

Still, this Jessica has both the Shield AND Avengers Team Abilities, 10 Speed with Flying AND Charge, Super Strength, Super Senses and Toughness and one of the coolest-named Traits out there (Keeping My Last Name, Though: When building your force, if your force also includes one character named Captain America, Jessica Jones gains all the keywords of that character this game.) that lets her team with any Cap!

All in all, this piece is a lot of fun!”

 

What If Cosmic Spidey

2. WI038 Cosmic Spider-Man — 275 Points — Super Rare: Okay, not only are we reusing clip art and entries from our Preview column, we’re reusing some of the same pieces from the column you’re already reading!

That’s because two pieces in particular have three different point levels and pretty much all of them need to be talked about (for various reasons).

The full-points version of Cosmic Spider-Man will probably get out-actioned in most 300 Point games (although he’s really worth looking at in 400+Point contests), and his Damage Value never rises above four (and indeed it hovers at three for large parts of his dial).

But–but… he has the Power Cosmic AND the Spidey TA’s, he has an 11 Attack on more than half of his Clicks and he sees through EVERYTHING except other characters.

He’s also got the Avengers, Spider-Man Family and Cosmic keywords, so he fits on a lot of teams.

He’s not quite good enough to be a one-man army outside of What If… ? Sealed, but he’s still really good.

 

What If Goblin King

1. WI040 Goblin King — 275 Points — Super Rare: Now this guy… this guy could be a one-man army! His keywords aren’t as good as Cosmic Spidey’s, and he has one less Click of life, but he starts with both better Attack AND better Damage values.

He doesn’t see through anything, which can pose a problem, but he has two great Traits.

The first (FORCE YOU TO RELIVE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE: When an opposing character misses Goblin King with an attack, after actions resolve give that character a Nightmare token. Characters with a Nightmare token modify their attack values by -1. When a character with a Nightmare token makes an attack, after actions resolve remove one Nightmare token from that character.) makes him harder to hit, but the Second (INFINITY GAUNTLET: Give Goblin King a free action and choose two standard powers. Goblin King can use the chosen powers until he chooses again.) just happens to be the best pick-a-power Trait Wizkids has ever bestowed on a character.

Note that he can choose his powers as a Free Action, which should read “whenever the hell you want” as opposed to choosing at the beginning of your turn, which is when most other pieces have to make their choice.

That also means that on many turns, you’ll actually be cycling through FOUR different powers in a turn. For example, you may choose Hypersonic Speed and Precision Strike on one turn. Then, when your next turn comes around, YOU STILL HAVE THOSE POWERS! So you can make another Hypersonic attack and then choose, say, Super Senses and Shape Change (remember, he already has either Invincible or Impervious on his first five Clicks!) and make Gobby nearly impossible to hit on down turns!

And as impressive as that sounds… that’s not even really his best dial!

 

Okay!! Enough of that! Let’s move straight in to…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN WHAT IF… ? !!

 

Thor What If

10. WI005 Thor — 110 Points — Common: This is the 616 version of Thor. Here’s what we said during our Preview:

“This Thor is awesome. Six Clicks of life with a Range of 6 (with 3 Bolts), Traited Energy Explosion and a SWEET Attack Special Power (Lightning Strike: Damage dealt from attacks made by Thor cannot be reduced below his click number.) that basically works like Pen/Psy except it seems like they priced it at about half the cost of normal Pen/Psy (he has it on EVERY Click!).

Like Spidey 001, he lacks Willpower, but his other Trait (Founding Member: When Thor is given a non-free move action he isn’t given an action token for that action.) helps quite a bit with that, especially at the start of the game.

As we’ll talk about in a minute, much of the crazy-good that is coming in this set is coming in at the Super Rare level, but if you’re playing Sealed, there’s a decent chance that you won’t get one of those. But chances are that you might still find yourself with a great Primary Attacker if you open this guy in one of your Common slots.”

 

What If Goblin King

9. WI040R Goblin King — 75 Points — Super Rare: Okay, I feel like we were just talking about this guy.

Watcher 1

Hype-Uatu says…

The truth is, I really wanted to talk about Nico Minoru here. We discussed her in the Preview, so believe me, I would have loved to just slot her here and move on. But… I can’t. Why? Well, unless you are SPECIFICALLY PLAYING A RUNAWAYS OR YOUNG AVENGERS THEMED TEAM, Rookie Goblin King is just plain better. Empirically. Outside of the caveat I just mentioned, there is simply no universe where playing Nico is a better choice than playing Goblin King. And as Hype-Uatu, I should know. I’ve seen literally ALL OF THEM.”

To be honest, the differences are so stark that it’s hard to believe Rookie Goblin King and Nico Minoru were both designed with the same point system.

Nico has five Clicks; the Avengers TA; a pick-a-power Special that lets her take two powers with caveats (SISTER GRIMM: Give Nico Minoru a free action and choose up to two standard powers, each of a different combat type. You may not choose a power from a type chosen during your last turn. Nico Minoru can use the chosen powers until your next turn.); never has more than 2 printed Damage; Willpower on her first three Clicks, nothing after that; and her Runaways Team Trait.

Gobby only has four Clicks; the Power Cosmic TA (with its built-in Willpower); starts at 4 printed Damage and never goes below three; Invuln; Phasing; and his aforementioned pick-a-power Trait that lets him grab any two powers he wants with no restrictions. Oh, and he has a better range and Perplex down dial.

If Goblin King’s Rookie dial didn’t exist, Nico would be a great play and she would have this spot. Unfortunately, this is Gobby’s universe, and we’re just living in it.

 

Young Avengers Runaways

8. WI024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points — Uncommon: From our Preview:

“So, these are probably the best Runaways they’ve ever done. None are bad (Victor Mancha as Iron Lad is probably the worst for his points, but he’s still playable), and three are quite good. Karolina is one of the “quite good.”

At 75 points, she’s at the high end of the Taxi/Supporting Figure cost spectrum, but she’s also a more than capable Secondary Attacker. Here’s a list of everything she brings top dial:

7 Range; Flight; 10 Movement with Running Shot; 10 Attack with Pen/Psy; 18 Defense with a great, damage-absorbing Special Power (REACTIVE ENERGY BARRIER: Karolina Dean can use Barrier and Defend. When Karolina Dean or adjacent friendly characters are targeted by a range attack, modify the attacker’s damage value by -1.);  3 Damage with Enhancement.

She also has the Runaways Trait/Defacto Team Ability (RUNAWAYS: Once per turn, when Karolina Dean attacks, if she is adjacent to a friendly character with the Runaways or Young Avengers keyword, she can re-roll a 1 on a die of the attack roll.), which in itself is not bad at all.

Finally, it’s worth noting that if you want to play the “classic” lineup of Gert, Nico, Chase, Molly and Karolina… they all add up to 300 Points exactly! Yes! Great job Wizkids! Oh, and if you want to add in Victor Mancha as Iron Lad, then they’re… 400 Points exactly! Wonderful design! As much as I like complaining about some of the things Wizkids does, they deserve credit for a fantastic job here. These may not be the “real, 616”-Runaways, but if you’re a fan of the characters, you should seek these pieces out. It’s honestly one of the strongest Sub-Themes from top-to-bottom that Wizkids has given us in quite awhile.”

 

Doctor Stark Common

7. WI022 Dr. Stark — 115 Points — Uncommon: Again, from our Preview:

“Big investment for a Secondary Attacker, but Dr. Stark can completely screw with your opponent’s team.

He has the Mystics TA, Phasing/Teleport, a 10 Attack with Pen/Psy, a 7 Range, 17 Defense with Impervious and 3 Damage with Prob. That’s all decent, but probably not worth 115 Points. But he also has the aforementioned From Another World Trait along with one of the best-named Traits the game has ever seen (AUTOMATED COUNTERSPELL: Dr. Stark can use Energy Shield/Deflection. Opposing characters within 4 squares can’t use Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Precision Strike, or Pulse Wave.)!

Slap the SFSMS101 Symbiote suit on him and you essentially have a sticky bomb that is capable of hamstringing your opponent’s entire force.”

I always hesitate recommending a piece if you HAVE to use an object or Resource to get the most out of him, but Dr. Stark with the Symbiote suit is a giant pain in the neck for most opponent’s to play around.

 

What if Thor

6. WI030 Thor — 105 Points — Rare: From our Preview:

“Your usual Thor smorgasbord of Running Shot and Pulse Wave with Sidestep and Pen/Psy mixed in down dial. What makes this Thor interesting is the ability to grant him extra attacks via his Damage Special (UNDER SETH’S THRALL: Give an adjacent friendly character with the Mystical keyword and point value of 50 or more a double power action that deals no pushing damage. When you do, Thor may make a close or range attack.).

If WW009Raven was 50 Points instead of 40, he’d be sick. Still, someone is going to find a way to break this.”

 

Gert-and-Old-Lace

5. WI037 Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace — 50 Points — Super Rare: There! I finally found a new image for a Runaway! Are you happy now, internet? You finally got some new content from me, okay? Geez…

Ahem. Alright, having said that… From our Preview:

“She has an 8 Attack and only does 1 Damage. Why is she on the notable list again?

Oh yeah… cuz she has an unkillable pet Raptor! Her second Trait (MY PARENTS ONLY LEFT ME ONE THING: At the beginning of the game place adjacent an Old Lace Bystander. When Old Lace would take damage, you may instead deal Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace 1 unavoidable damage.) allows Gert to hang back in her Starting Zone (preferably on Hindering to take advantage of her top dial Stealth) and simply absorb any damage done to Old Lace! Which basically gives her dino buddy 5 Stop Clicks–and that’s assuming you never find a way to heal Gert!

She also comes packing a fantastic Leadership Special–one of the best we’ve ever seen, frankly (YOUNG AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace can use Leadership. When they do and succeed, you may instead remove an action token from one friendly character with the Runaways or Young Avengers keyword, regardless of adjacency or point value.), which synergizes with leaving her in your Starting Zone.

You also have to remember that all these Runaways ALSO have the Young Avengers keyword. So while playing them as a 300 Point squad is fun, if you don’t think they’re quite Meta, you can, say, sub out Chase Stein and Molly Hayes and throw in, say, CWSOP031 Wiccan and STILL have a NAMED Themed Team!

Something like:

Team Name: Picture Me Young Avengin’!!

Theme: Young Avengers

Roster:

WI036 Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace — 50 Points

WI024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points

WI031 Nico Minoru — 75 Points

CWSOP031 Wiccan — 90 Points

wkMVID-009 Spider-Man — 5 Points

NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 — 5 Points

Total: 300 Points

Sideline: 

WI038R Cosmic Spider-Man — 75 Points

NFAOS Peggy Carter — 60 Points

Now that is a Themed Team that’s full of tricks! And Prob, Perp and other enhancers. And unkillable Raptors.”

Yup. I’m an A-hole!

 

Peace Machine

4. WI043 Peace Machine — 50 Points — Super Rare: This was one of Ninwashui’s favorite pieces from the set. His stats and powers are fine for a Support piece (Sidestep, TK, 19 Defense with Toughness and Outwit, with actual Support down dial–although he has a big fat 0 for his Damage Value).

His coolest feature is his second Trait (SUPPRESSION FIELD: If a character would take 4 or more damage, it takes 3 instead.), which puts the kibosh on some of these early Alpha Strike Strategies.

He’s also not a bad figure to Mastermind damage to, especially if you need him there for your opponent’s turn to limit burst damage but gone on your turn as you plan your counter-attack!

 

What If Cosmic Spidey

3. WI038R Cosmic Spider-Man — 75 Points — Super Rare: Yup! Him again.

You are looking at the best Call-In piece in the game, in my opinion. If there’s another character 75 Points or less who can bunker-bust Barriers or other Blocking Terrain AND deal 4 Penetrating Damage, I’m at a loss as to who it could be.

And yes, you read that right. He comes in with Sidestep, 7 Range and the ability to shoot through anything except other characters (and he blows up Blocking Terrain when he shoots through it, too!), an 11 Attack Value with Pen/Psy and 4 printed Damage.

And any 75 Point figure, even if they’re on their last click, can call this piece in for the low, low cost of 5 Points.

That is money well spent!

 

What if Peter the Hunter

2. WI039 Peter the Hunter – 90 Points — Super Rare:  From our Preview:

“This is an aggressive close combat Spidey dial (Charge, 11 Attack with B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness) that gets turned up to 11 because of all of his Traits.

With his first Trait, Peter the Hunter brings his own army (ENSLAVED KRAVEN FAMILY: At the beginning of the game, place the 4 bystanders listed on this card into your starting area. These bystanders can use the Carry ability this game, but only to carry each other. The first non-free action you give one of these bystanders each turn doesn’t count towards your action total.).

These are ridiculously good pogs that you get FOR FREE!! I won’t go over all of them here, but you get a mix of Stealth, Charge, RCE, B/C/F and even Outwit. The fact that they can Carry each other is also bonkers.

His Second Trait is the standard Sideline Trait that half of these pieces have (FROM AN ALTERNATE EARTH: If this character is on your sideline, you may give a free action to a friendly character named Spider-Man or Kraven the Hunter that’s equal or more points. Replace that character with this character on the same click number.), but when combined with Peter’s third Trait, it can suddenly be devastating to your opponent.

His Third Trait (KILLED MY GREATEST ENEMIES: When Peter the Hunter KO’s an opposing character of 50 or more points, after actions resolve heal him to click #1 and place a Trophy token on this card. When Peter the Hunter would be KO’d, you may instead remove a Trophy token and turn him to his last non-KO click.) is probably stupid. In fact, I know it is.

To recap: You can be on the last Click of a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SPIDER-MAN (up to Click #6), switch to Peter the Hunter, and if you can use him to KO any opposing character of 50 Points or more (Peter can deal up to 4 Range damage on his last Click), suddenly he is not only back to his top dial, but he essentially gains a STOP CLICK too!

Someone will figure out a way to break him right quick.”

Hopefully that someone is you, and not your opponent!

What If Goblin King

1. WI040E Goblin King — 175 Points — Super Rare:

Watcher 2

Hype-Uatu says…

In the Heroclix Universe you are familiar with (commonly referred to by us Watchers as Heroclix Universe 616, natch), Wizkids recklessly created an uber-piece called “Jakeem Thunder.” This piece rules the Meta scene that you now know.

But what if there was a different Meta scene in a different universe where someone at Wizkids decided that Jakeem Thunder was actually too weak? One where he said to his boss, ‘Okay, Jakeem, sure, but what if we did him as a Marvel character with the #$)^#ng Infinity Gauntlet? You know, cuz he’s not quite powerful enough as currently constituted?’

Well, I can tell you this… in the universe I speak of, Goblin King quickly took over the Meta and was the winning piece on the 2017 World Championship team at Origins

And that designer was promptly promoted for breaking the game.

Again.

Man… some of these alternate universes are just so different from our own!

Okay, that’s all for today!

Agree? Disagree? Post your Top Ten in the Comments section!

And until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

Coming Up Next-i-er!! (Or, A Look at the Rest of Your Year!! Part 3: Marvel’s What If… !!)

What If One

I loved this issue when I read it back when I was ten. Now I look at the cover and think, “Wait a minute, Peter’s being punched by Hulk and Thor AT THE SAME TIME and he doesn’t even feel it?! When has the Symbiote suit EVER WORKED LIKE THAT?” Also, what was the heroes’ plan here? Mister Fantastic’s like, “Thor, you and the Hulk are two of the strongest beings on this planet! See if you can overpower Peter physically. If not, I’ve cooked up a special device that should destabilize the Symbiote at a molecular level. But if all that fails, Black Cat, we’ll need you to walk over and scratch him!”

Welcome back!

Today we’re continuing with our year-long Set Preview series by taking a look at Marvel’s What If… ? Heroclix 15th Anniversary expansion set (which actually just came out yesterday!).

Almost the entire setlist has been revealed, so we’ll list the every piece here and talk specifically about selected entries.

COMMONS:

SPidey

001 Spider-Man — 55 Points: Incidentally, the first five figures of the set all seem to be normal versions of popular 616 heroes. This particular version of Spidey is notable for only costing 55 Points while possessing a great Movement Special (Web Swing: Spider-Man can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, modify his damage value by +1 if his target is on a lower elevation than the one Spider-Man occupied when he began moving.) and Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain.

His lone drawback is really having no Willpower, but he is really solid and a sneaky good play in Sealed.

002 Iron Man

003 Punisher

004 Daredevil

Thor What If

005 Thor — 110 Points: This Thor is awesome. Six Clicks of life with a Range of 6 (with 3 Bolts), Traited Energy Explosion and a SWEET Attack Special Power (Lightning Strike: Damage dealt from attacks made by Thor cannot be reduced below his click number.) that basically works like Pen/Psy except it seems like they priced it at about half the cost of normal Pen/Psy (he has it on EVERY Click!).

Like Spidey 001, he lacks Willpower, but his other Trait (Founding Member: When Thor is given a non-free move action he isn’t given an action token for that action.) helps quite a bit with that, especially at the start of the game.

As we’ll talk about in a minute, much of the crazy-good that is coming in this set is coming in at the Super Rare level, but if you’re playing Sealed, there’s a decent chance that you won’t get one of those. But chances are that you might still find yourself with a great Primary Attacker if you open this guy in one of your Common slots.

006 Iron Lad

007 Oni Hulk

008 Punisher Squad

Doctor Stark Common

009 Doctor Stark — 45 Points: This is not really the Doctor Stark you’re looking for, but this is as good a time as any to talk about a Trait he possesses that recurs throughout the set (From an Alternate Earth: If this character is on your sideline you may give a free action to a friendly character named Doctor Strange or Iron Man that’s equal or more points. Replace that character with this character on the same click number.) that allows you to swap him into the action in the middle of the game. So, in essence, virtually any Doc Strange or Iron Man now has a one-time use Shifting Focus ability.

010 Iron Rick

011 Molly Hayes

012 Chase Stein

Jessica Jones Agent of Shield

013 Jessica Jones — 65 Points: Probably the best Jessica Jones we’ve ever gotten, although most of the previous Jessicas just kinda suck, so that’s not a huge compliment.

Still, this Jessica has both the Shield AND Avengers Team Abilities, 10 Movement with Flying AND Charge, Super Strength, Super Senses and Toughness and a cool Trait (Keeping My Last Name, Though: When building your force, if your force also includes one character named Captain America, Jessica Jones gains all the keywords of that character this game.) that lets her team with really AND Cap out there!

All in all, this piece is a lot of fun!

UNCOMMONS:

014 Spider-Man 

015 Iron Man

016 Punisher

017 Daredevil

018 Thor

019 Captain Britain Iron Man

020 Oni Leader

PunisherSHIELD

021 Punisher of S.H.I.E.L.D. — 90 Points: He’s only five Clicks long for 90 Points, but those clicks are packed! He’s got some form of Running Shot or Sidestep AND Precision Strike for most of his dial, he’s got a Balls of Fury-like Damage Special (A SHOT AT THE REAL BAD GUYS: When attacking only characters with a point value of 100 or more, modify Punisher Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s attack and damage values by +1. When attacking only characters with a point value of 200 or more, modify both values by an additional +1.) and he can draw lines of fire and count range from friendly Punisher Squad figures (#008 in this set).

He also has a situational Trait (I’LL BRING THE BUILDINGS DOWN: When Punisher Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is KO’d, deal 3 damage to each character occupying an elevation other than 1.) that you may be able to exploit on certain Maps.

Dr. Stark Meme

022 Dr. Stark — 115 Points: Big investment for a Secondary Attacker, but Dr. Stark can completely screw with your opponent’s team.

He has the Mystics TA, Phasing/Teleport, a 10 Attack with Pen/Psy, a 7 Range, 17 Defense with Impervious and 3 Damage with Prob. That’s all decent, but probably not worth 115 Points. But he also has the aforementioned From Another World Trait along with one of the best-named Traits the game has ever seen (AUTOMATED COUNTERSPELL: Dr. Stark can use Energy Shield/Deflection. Opposing characters within 4 squares can’t use Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Precision Strike, or Pulse Wave.)!

Slap the SFSMS101 Symbiote suit on him and you essentially have a sticky bomb that is capable of hamstringing your opponent’s entire force.

Iron Punisher.jpg

023 Iron Punisher — 100 Points: There’s no trickeration here. This is Frank Castle in an Iron Man suit. You get Running Shot, Pen/Psy with a freaking 12 Attack Value and 3 Damage. Yes, he has the From An Alternate Earth Trait, but really, he’s so good for his points that you might just want to start him.

He’s also got a frontrunning Damage Special (DID WE FREE AMERICA?: When Iron Punisher KO’s an opposing character, modify a friendly character’s damage value by +1 until your next turn.) that will help keep the game’s momentum rolling in your favor.

Young Avengers Runaways

024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points: So, these are probably the best Runaways they’ve ever done. None are bad (Victor Mancha as Iron Lad is probably the worst for his points, but he’s still playable), and three are quite good. Karolina is one of the “quite good.”

At 75 points, she’s at the high end of the Taxi/Supporting Figure cost spectrum, but she’s also a more than capable Secondary Attacker. Here’s a list of everything she brings top dial:

7 Range; Flight; 10 Movement with Running Shot; 10 Attack with Pen/Psy; 18 Defense with a great, damage-absorbing Special Power (REACTIVE ENERGY BARRIER: Karolina Dean can use Barrier and Defend. When Karolina Dean or adjacent friendly characters are targeted by a range attack, modify the attacker’s damage value by -1.);  3 Damage with Enhancement.

She also has the Runaways Trait/Defacto Team Ability (RUNAWAYS: Once per turn, when Karolina Dean attacks, if she is adjacent to a friendly character with the Runaways or Young Avengers keyword, she can re-roll a 1 on a die of the attack roll.), which in itself is not bad at all.

Finally, it’s worth noting that if you want to play the “classic” lineup of Gert, Nico, Chase, Molly and Karolina… they all add up to 300 Points exactly! Yes! Great job Wizkids! Oh, and if you want to add in Victor Mancha as Iron Lad, then they’re… 400 Points exactly! Wonderful design! As much as I like complaining about some of the things Wizkids does, they deserve credit for a fantastic job here. These may not be the “real, 616”-Runaways, but if you’re a fan of the characters, you should seek these pieces out. It’s honestly one of the strongest Sub-Themes from top-to-bottom that Wizkids has given us in quite awhile.

025 T.V.’s Spider-Man

RARES: 

026 Spider-Man

027 Iron Man

What if Punisher

028 Punisher — 60 Points: Another Punisher piece with a 12 Attack! He doesn’t have a move-and-attack ability up top (he does have Stealth though), but he does have Willpower, Precision Strike and a sweet, sweet Trait (SET THE TRAP: Give Punisher a power action to place a Decoy bystander adjacent to an opposing character within range and line of fire, removing any existing Decoys from the game. When a Decoy is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, deal 3 penetrating damage to each character adjacent to the square it occupied unless the attack total was 2 or greater than Decoy’s defense value.) that makes him kind of Anarky-lite.

The Decoys themselves have Plasticity, a Special Pulse Wave (RIGGED TO BLOW: If Decoy was not placed on the map this turn, it can use Pulse Wave. When Decoy uses Pulse Wave and actions resolve, KO it.) with a 5 Range and 9 Attack along with Shape Change.

So even though they only have a 15 Defense, they have the potential to be quite annoying to your opponent.

029 Daredevil

What if Thor.jpg

030 Thor — 105 Points: Your usual Thor smorgasbord of Running Shot and Pulse Wave with Sidestep and Pen/Psy mixed in down dial. What makes this Thor interesting is the ability to grant him extra attacks via his Damage Special (UNDER SETH’S THRALL: Give an adjacent friendly character with the Mystical keyword and point value of 50 or more a double power action that deals no pushing damage. When you do, Thor may make a close or range attack.).

If WW009Raven was 50 Points instead of 40, he’d be sick. Still, someone is going to find a way to break this.

Young Avengers Runaways

031 Nico Minoru — 75 Points: Okay, yeah, I just used this art for Karolina. I’m probably gonna use it again for Gert, just because it’s a great shot of the whole team.

Nico here is notable for the fact that she’s another pick-a-power piece. Her Trait (SISTER GRIMM: Give Nico Minoru a free action and choose up to two standard powers, each of a different combat type. You may not choose a power from a type chosen during your last turn. Nico Minoru can use the chosen powers until your next turn.) lets you grab two powers, actually. On a 75-Point piece!

She also has Willpower naturally on her first three clicks as well as the Runaways Trait I mentioned with Karolina.

032 Victorious

033 Spider Ma’am

034 TV’s Daredevil

035 Daredevil, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

036 Captain America

SUPER RARES: 

Young Avengers Runaways

037 Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace — 50 Points: She has an 8 Attack and only does 1 Damage. Why is she on the notable list again?

Oh yeah… cuz she has an unkillable pet Raptor! Her second Trait (MY PARENTS ONLY LEFT ME ONE THING: At the beginning of the game place adjacent an Old Lace Bystander. When Old Lace would take damage, you may instead deal Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace 1 unavoidable damage.) allows Gert to hang back in her Starting Zone (preferably on Hindering to take advantage of her top dial Stealth) and simply absorb any damage done to Old Lace! Which basically gives her dino buddy 5 Stop Clicks–and that’s assuming you never find a way to heal Gert!

She also comes packing a fantastic Leadership Special–one of the best we’ve ever seen, frankly (YOUNG AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace can use Leadership. When they do and succeed, you may instead remove an action token from one friendly character with the Runaways or Young Avengers keyword, regardless of adjacency or point value.), which synergizes with leaving her in your Starting Zone.

You also have to remember that all these Runaways ALSO have the Young Avengers keyword. So while playing them as a 300 Point squad is fun, if you don’t think they’re quite Meta, you can, say, sub out Chase Stein and Molly Hayes and throw in, say, CWSOP031 Wiccan and STILL have a NAMED Themed Team!

Something like:

Team Name: Picture Me Young Avengin’!!

Theme: Young Avengers

Roster:

WI036 Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace — 50 Points

WI024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points

WI031 Nico Minoru — 75 Points

CWSOP031 Wiccan — 90 Points

wkMVID-009 Spider-Man — 5 Points

NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 — 5 Points

Total: 300 Points

Sideline: 

WI038R Cosmic Spider-Man — 75 Points

NFAOS Peggy Carter — 60 Points

Now that is a Themed Team that’s full of tricks! And Prob, Perp and other enhancers. And unkillable Raptors.

What If Cosmic Spidey.jpg

038 Cosmic Spider-Man — 275, 175 or 75 Points: This is the usual Cosmic mix of powers (Hypersonic Speed, Invincible, etc.), but what makes this a standout piece is his Uni-Vision-powered Improved Targeting that sees through Hindering, Elevated and Blocking Terrain (and destroys Blocking when he attacks through it).

The 275 Point dial is fun, but not necessarily competitive.

The 175 Point dial is closer to Meta, but his damage is frankly a little light. Still, with both the Power Cosmic TA and the Spidey TA, he’s worth a look.

His 75 Point dial is probably the best Call-In piece in the game right now. He’s got Sidestep and an 11 Attack with Pen/Psy that can do 4 Penetrating Damage. When you add that to his Uni-Vision, that becomes gamechanging.

What if Peter the Hunter.jpg

039 Peter the Hunter — 90 Points: This is an aggressive close combat Spidey dial (Charge, 11 Attack with B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness) that gets turned up to 11 because of all of his Traits.

With his first Trait, Peter the Hunter brings his own army (ENSLAVED KRAVEN FAMILY: At the beginning of the game, place the 4 bystanders listed on this card into your starting area. These bystanders can use the Carry ability this game, but only to carry each other. The first non-free action you give one of these bystanders each turn doesn’t count towards your action total.).

These are ridiculously good pogs that you get FOR FREE!! I won’t go over all of them here, but you get a mix of Stealth, Charge, RCE, B/C/F and even Outwit. The fact that they can Carry each other is also bonkers.

His Second Trait is the standard Sideline Trait that half of these pieces have (FROM AN ALTERNATE EARTH: If this character is on your sideline, you may give a free action to a friendly character named Spider-Man or Kraven the Hunter that’s equal or more points. Replace that character with this character on the same click number.), but when combined with Peter’s third Trait, it can suddenly be devastating to your opponent.

His Third Trait (KILLED MY GREATEST ENEMIES: When Peter the Hunter KO’s an opposing character of 50 or more points, after actions resolve heal him to click #1 and place a Trophy token on this card. When Peter the Hunter would be KO’d, you may instead remove a Trophy token and turn him to his last non-KO click.) is probably stupid. In fact, I know it is.

To recap: You can be on the last Click of a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SPIDER-MAN (up to Click #6), switch to Peter the Hunter, and if you can use him to KO any opposing character of 50 Points or more (Peter can deal up to 4 Range damage on his last Click), suddenly he is not only back to his top dial, but he essentially gains a STOP CLICK too!

Someone will figure out a way to break him right quick.

What If Goblin King

040 Goblin King — 275, 175 or 75 Points: Forget the Chases; this is the piece everyone is after. It’s possible he’s even better than Jakeem Thunder, and that’s before you realize he doesn’t take your Prime slot.

We will go into his dial in more detail in our Top Ten Set Review, but he is bonkers good (and already will cost you more than most of the Chases on eBay!).

And if you’re planning on going to Origins for the World Championship this year, you’re going to want to come up with a strategy to beat him.

Because you will see him.

041 The Advocate

042 Punisher of the Strange

043 Peace Machine

044 Thordis

045 In-Betweener

046 Scarlet Centurion

CHASES:

047 Poison

048 Venom Hulk

049 Venom Thor

050 Venom Punisher

Have fun during Release Week! We will be back soon with our Top Ten Set Review!!

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

The Totally Awesome Set!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Avengers Defenders War!!)

AVD War.png

Well now! It’s been awhile, but I’m finally back, and my return to writing articles here on Critical Missives couldn’t have come at a better time!

Because Avengers Defenders War is here, and it’s so much more than “Marvel’s Joker’s Wild,” as some around here (HypeFox) have dubbed it, although there are some such comparisons to be made..

To wit:

(AKA, Some Notes About the Set:)

Porcupine

Yup. If you open Porcupine in a meaningful tournament, you are definitely “FIKKT.”

  • The Commons and Uncommons are both exciting  and good, but the Rares kinda suck. And by “kinda” I mean, like, they are really, truly, awfully garbage-y. There are MAYBE three Rares that might ever see play from me in this set. Opening a pack with ADW049 Porcupine or ADW043 Machete as your Rare is just a real downer. 
Gladiator

Pull me as your Rare in Sealed and you’ll have the same look on your face.

  • While I had some very good experiences using this set in Sealed, most people (HypeFox) were not as enthusiastic. I spoke to one person playing sealed at a Wizkids Open whose Rares were ADW042 Gladiator and ADW041 Foggy Nelson. In fact, Gladiator was his most expensive piece at 60 points. It’s hard to face off against pieces that are 150 points or more like ADW040 Count Nefaria when nothing you have to use is over 60 points. Those boosters might as well have come with a note telling you what time Battle Royals were going to start.

Ron Burgandy Wizkids

  • There were no Primes in this set. That meant a case might have 3 SR’s and a Chase in one brick, and just 3 SR’s in the other. So if you bought just a brick you weren’t guaranteed a Chase or a Prime.

Sir Not Appearing.png

  • Big pictures of Thor and Namor on the boxes, no trace of  them in set. I’m still waiting to pull one.

Shifting Focus key

  • And finally, on a personal level, I really love Shifting Focus and I hope they do more of it in sets to come.

Okay! Enough of that! Let’s get into some…

TOP FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Vision Phasing

5. ADW006 Vision —  50 Points — Common: I don’t remember ever seeing a dial with 5 clicks of Invincible and Impervious for 50 Points. It’s also unusual to see a 50 Point dial with Indomitable. Add to that an offense that lets him do 3 Damage through reducers and you’ve got yourself a great package.

His only weaknesses are a complete lack of range and no move and attack save for two top clicks of Sidestep. Thankfully, both of those weaknesses can be fixed with a free action when you shift to ADW024 Vision because, oh yeah, HE ALSO SHIFTS FOCUS IN CASE HE WASN’T ALREADY OVERPOWERED FOR HIS POINTS!

Hulk Gray

4. ADW021 Hulk —  75 Points — Uncommon: For 75 points you get 6 Clicks featuring Invincible and then Impervious. He has 4 Damage for his entire dial and Traited Super Strength to add to the damage even more (and add knockback under the new rules that are coming out). When he does get hurt, his combination of Flurry and Steal Energy will help minimize the pain.

He’s very undercosted for his points which is why Wizkids added a negative Trait to his card (LEAVE HULK ALONE!: At the beginning of your turn, if Hulk was targeted with an attack since your last turn, place an Anger token on his card. If Hulk wasn’t targeted with an attack since your last turn, remove an Anger token from his card. After placing or removing Anger tokens, if Hulk has 5 Anger tokens or more he is immediately KO’d.). Fortunately for Hulk enthusiasts, Wizkids was too conservative with the trait and I have a hard time imagining it ever mattering in a game. 

Wasp Costume Change.gif

3. ADW023 Wasp —  40 Points — Uncommon: I’ll bet a fair amount of you reading this article will think that that this an unusual choice. But I love this piece. She is one part Secondary Attacker and one part Support Figure. Offensively she is similar to ADW035 Dr. Strange, but instead of hiding behind your other characters she can remain in the open. Why? Because this 40 point character has a 21 defense against ranged attacks! Psychic Blast allows her to bypass damage reducers when she wants to get offensive or she can Costume Change to ADW023 Wasp and use her dual target Incapacitate. Her supporting Leadership power allows her to remove tokens from a much higher point character and her small size also allows almost anyone to carry her.

Batroc.jpg

2. ADW050 Batroc —  40 Points — Rare: Batroc usually doesn’t get much respect in the comics, but in the HeroClix world he’s the real deal. Even though his Attack and Defense values are average, he really stands out in three areas: His low point cost of 40; his Improved Movement that ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain and also Characters; and his Special Movement Power Zey Call Me… Ze Lee-Pair. It reads,Batroc can use Sidestep. When he has one action token, he may use Sidestep twice this turn and may be given a free action to make a close attack.” If he starts a turn with one action token, he can move up to 4 spaces (ignoring most terrain and moving through characters) and make a free action attack with Precision Strike. And after all that, he still clears tokens!

Klaw.jpg

1. ADW059 Klaw —  110 Points — Super Rare: Klaw is that rare balance of strong offense, defense, and movement. On offense he’s got a starting 4 Damage Value and the ability to pick any Attack Power once each turn. That can be Psychic Blast, Pulse Wave, or even Telekinesis if the situation warrants it. He also has a Movement Special Power that lets him ignore almost all terrain and Sidestep as many as 6 squares each turn.

That means he could Sidestep through a wall and then Pulse Wave someone on the other side. On defense he has Can’t Hurt What’s Made of Sound which states,Klaw can use Super Senses. If Klaw would take more than 2 damage, he takes 2 damage instead.” The only thing keeping him from going higher on this list are low(-ish) Attack Values and a lack of Willpower.

All of which brings us to…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN AVENGERS DEFENDERS WAR!!

Ghost Rider

10. ADW064 Ghost Rider —  75 Points — Super Rare: This is the best of the mounted figures that move through opposing forces in a straight line, but all three in this set are worth owning. He starts with his super movement power that lets you do 2 Penetrating Damage by attacking every opposing figure in a straight line.  On defense he starts with Invulnerability and Indomitable.

What sets him apart from the other mounted figures is that when he hits an opposing figure he can move them one space to either side of the path he traveled. Taking into account that he ignores most terrain this could make him very good against opposing Stealthy characters or really any piece that relies on adjacency (defense balls, Mastermind, etc.).

Nuke

9. ADW048 Nuke —  70 Points — Super Rare:  I love characters that can heal themselves and Nuke has that covered. At the start of his turn he can choose the Red Pill for +1 attack in close combat, the Blue Pill for Precision Strike, or the White Pill for a one click heal in lieu of attacking this turn.

He starts with Running Shot, Energy Explosion (which combos nicely with the Blue Pill and Precision Strike) and when he gets damaged he gains Charge plus Super Strength (which is when you’ll want to start popping Red Pills to grant him +1 attack). When it’s time to clear tokens a White Pill will heal some of the damage he’s taken. He’s not going to take down a 150 point (or more) figure single-handedly, but he offers a lot for just 70 points.

Totally Awesome Hulk

8. ADW052 (Totally Awesome) Hulk —  160 Points — Super Rare: I’ll say it again. I love characters that can heal themselves. Before you play him (or play against him) his healing isn’t obvious. He is one of those pieces that is better in practice than on paper.

His BATTLING MONSTERS! Trait (BATTLING MONSTERS!: When Hulk hits an opposing character with the Monster keyword or with a printed damage value of 4 or more, after actions resolve remove an action token from him.) doesn’t come in handy that often, but his BEST HULK EVER Trait is one of the best Traits I’ve ever seen. It reads, “Hulk can use Super Strength. When he KO’s an opposing character, heal him a number of clicks equal to the damage that would have been taken minus the actual damage taken.” When you combine the Traited Super Strength with his printed 4 damage on every click, he can dish out a lot of damage. That leads to high damage KOs which in turn power his healing.

I used him in Sealed to take first place during a Prerelease. In all three games he was knocked down to at least his second to last click, but ended each game near the top of his dial. While he can’t do everything himself, with the proper supporting figures he can soak up damage and KO his way to good health.

CountNefaria

7. ADW040 Count Nefaria —  200 Points — Rare: He has bad keywords (Lethal Legion, Maggia, Ruler), but a pretty decent dial for 200 points. He starts with Running Shot, Psychic Blast, Invincible to go along with his Stealth. His 7 Range and Stealth helps keep Outwit from targeting him on his first three clicks and Flight means that his movement won’t be hampered by hiding in Hindering Terrain.

The reason why he is so high on this list is his improved form of regeneration “IONIC RESERVES.” He has it sprinkled through out his dial. It says, “Count Nefaria can use Invulnerability and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration and has one action token, he doesn’t subtract 2 from the d6 roll.” With a lucky roll he could regenerate for 6 clicks of healing!

Chairdevil

6. ADW068 Daredevil (AKA Chair Devil)—  80 Points — Chase: For 80 Points you get the 6 clicks with the Mystics TA, Traited Stealth, Precision Strike, and Super Senses. He has better than average attack and Flurry in the middle of his dial to make that Precision Strike hurt.

That might be enough to justify his point cost right there, but his Trait “LEADER OF THE HAND” allows him to generate nearly unlimited tie up figures with Stealth and the Hydra TA. It reads, “Once per turn, give Daredevil a power action to place a #adw015 Hand Ninja from outside the game in a square of hindering terrain within range and line of fire. If a friendly character with The Hand keyword was KO’d since your last turn, this is a free action instead.

So at the beginning of the game you can make a few ADW015 Hand Ninja before the other force even gets close. Then for the rest of the game when ANY other member of the Hand on your team gets KOed you can make another ADW015 Hand Ninja as a free action on your turn.

Doc Strange SF

5. ADW035 Dr. Strange —  50 Points — Rare: This version of the Doctor is equal parts Finger Bang DXF017 Deadpool (Sidestep, Psy Blast) and DXF059B Wiz Kid (+1 to stats to adjacent characters)Add to that his Shifting Focus versions that Transport your team (ADW001 Dr. Strange) or Defend it (ADW019 Dr. Strange) and you’ve got a great figure and one of the most versatile pieces in the set!

Punisher Rocket Launcher.png

4. ADW030 Punisher-–  50 Points — Uncommon: Everyone who attended an ADW Prerelease knows about (Rocket Launcher) ADW009 Punisher. That guy dished out ranged group damage that far exceeds his 50 point value. Unfortunately, as easily as he can dish out the damage he can also easily take it in return. That means that most of the time you will need to use the much more subtle ADW030 Punisher.

This close combat version of the Punisher features an improved form of BCF, Combat Reflexes, Indomitable, Wildcard TA, and most importantly Stealth. This dial alone is worth the 50 points even if you never switch forms. So keep him in that form until it’s just the right time to strike and then “say hello to my little friend!” for fun and profit!

Iron Man ADW.jpg

3. ADW053 Iron Man —  165 Points — Super Rare: So the first thing everyone thinks of when they see a Primary Attacker character in Modern that allows them to pick a power is “how does that character compare to JW053B Jakeem Thunder?”

Here are Iron Man’s advantages:

  • Better Keywords
  • Slightly better combat values
  • Better powers before you start picking powers (including damage reducers)
  • He can gain new powers via a free action, not just at the start of turn

Here are Jakeem’s advantages:

  • 1 click longer dial
  • 25 points less cost
  • 1 square longer range
  • Can chose a Defense Power
  • Doesn’t lose existing powers when he gains new powers
  • Choosing powers is Traited and lasts the whole dial
  • Has a Team Ability

JW053B Jakeem Thunder is still a better piece, but there are some situations where Iron Man is better. Keeping in mind that Jakeem Thunder is the piece to beat right now in competitive play, coming close means that this Iron Man is a piece you should look to own.

RiRi Williams.jpg

2. ADW071 Iron Heart—  25 Points — Chase: She is one part ADW007 Black Panther (cheap Outwit), one part JW025 Hawkman (cheap Taxi),  and one part JW060V The Joker (she doesn’t die easy).

Her Sidestep, Flight, and 10 Movement make her a top tier Taxi and at 25 points there is no Taxi piece cheaper in Modern Age. She starts with Outwit, but she shuffles among all the best supporting powers (Outwit, Perplex and Probability Control) as she takes damage.

Her 18 defense is bolstered by the Trait ARMOR’S FALLING APART ON ME. It reads, “Iron Heart begins the game with 1 Broken Armor token. When she is dealt damage, instead roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. If the result is equal to or less than the number of Broken Armor tokens, she is KO’d. If not, turn her to that click number and give her another Broken Armor token. This can’t be ignored.” So the first time she takes damage she has an 17% chance of being KOed. After 2 hits it’s 33%. After 3 it’s 50%. On average she will be KOed after 3 hits, but it can take as many as 6 hits to KO her if you have lucky rolls. Also, it’s only the number of hits that count, not the amount of damage, not even if it’s Pulse Wave damage. It’s all the same to RiRi.

WF061 Superman with an Ultra Heavy Object will do 8 damage to any other character, but it still is just one broken token for Iron Heart. WF048 Zatara can sacrifice himself to do a 4 damage Pulse Wave attack. Iron Heart will just take one broken token in place of that damage. That’s insane for 25 points.

Dr. Strange Earth's Guardian.png

1. ADW051 Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian—  80 Points — Super Rare (Title Character): One of my main complaints about DXF060 Deadpool, Merc With A Mouth is that his keywords (Initiative and X-Factor) don’t leave a lot of options for team building. In fact they kinda suck. Well, Wizkids must have heard those complaints because Dr. Strange was made with the Avengers and Mystical keywords. If you can’t find good team building options with those keywords then I have nothing for you.

His dial alone is almost worth 80 points. 7 range with Sidestep, 11 Attack, Psychic Blast, 3 Damage, and Probability Control should do well on offense. Defensively, 18 Defense, the Mystics TA, and Energy Shield/Deflection are above average for his point cost. He also has 6 clicks of life and his values for attack and defense stay relatively the same throughout.

He has three Title Character Abilities. His first ability reads “Every Scrap Of Hidden Sorcery: Modify Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian’s or an adjacent friendly character’s damage value by +1 this turn.” That’s a great effect and I would use that often, but it’s his third title ability that really blows me away. It says, “Sorceror Supreme: For the rest of the game, as long as Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian is on the map you may reroll an attack roll each turn.” That’s huge. It’s in addition to any use of Probability Control your team might have, and it lets him join the ranks of the only two other characters in Modern who can affect your rolls anywhere on the board: SMWW060 Mr. Mxyzptlk and TMNT2029 Renet Tilley.

And that’s why Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian is the best character in this set.

Tippy-Toe-ing Through The Rainbows On Unicorns!! (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Deadpool & X-Force!!)

Squirrel Girl

Welcome Back, Welcome Back!!

Well, Avengers/Defenders War is almost upon us, so I figured it was time to crank out at DXF Top Ten. Unfortunately, my brother Ninwashui has been immobilized for the better part of the last month with a serious illness that he’s only now getting over, so we’re a bit behind on things (what else is new?).

But enough jibber-jabber! Okay! You folks know how this works: Five Honorable Mentions, followed by Ten Top… uh, Ten figures!!

Also, normally I’d start with some Notes About the Set, but, well, I kinda already covered that during the Wind Apocalypse of 2017!

The only thing I’ll add is that I think this is one of the strongest top-to-bottom sets that we’ve gotten since World’s Finest (and probably the most powerful Marvel set we’ve gotten since Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.), so no Top Ten list (even with our customary five Honorable Mentions) could cover every great figure in this set. So if we left something off, hopefully that piece will come up in a future article (so sorry, Chipmunk Hunk!). It’s not that we don’t like, say, Fast Forces Stingray, or Solo in his Deadpool uniform–it’s just that there’s only so much we can spotlight in one article!! But this is a deep, deep set that will spawn a ton of Meta play!

So, with that said… LET’S GET ON WITH IT!!

 

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

Terror

5. DXF101 Terror100 PointsLE:

This is one of the better release date LE’s we’ve gotten in quite some time (at least as far as figures go–that Symbiote object from SFoSM is getting used a TON in the Meta right now). Terror is an interesting character who has been tooling around the Marvel Universe for 25 years and who has now, finally, been Clix’d (with THREE versions no less!).

What makes his dial so interesting is his Morro-like Trait (HE WON’T BE NEEDING IT: When an adjacent standard character is KO’d, choose a standard power that character could use on any click. Terror can use that power this game.) that theoretically allows him to access almost any power in the game! And remember, his Trait doesn’t care if that figure is opposing or friendly–only that it’s adjacent.

Beyond that, Terror gives you seven Clicks of life, Sidestep, 3 native damage, three Regen Clicks on the back end and a weird Outwit that only letss him counter Pink powers (Sidestep, Precision Strike, Invincible & Empower), which, I guess, is better than NOT being able to counter anything.

I can’t quite say that he’ll be a Meta staple (he takes a lot of in-game planning to get going), but he is worth a look and he’s a lot of fun to field.

 

Fantomex

4. FFDXF003 Fantomex75 Points –Fast Forces:

Wow! Now this is what a 75 Point Secondary Attacker piece should look like! Great evasion with his Rooftop Movement Special (ROOF-RUNNING GUNFIGHTER: Fantomex can use Running Shot. On opponent’s turns, lines of fire drawn to Fantomex are blocked if he occupies the rim of elevated terrain.) and E.V.A.-provided Super Senses combined with a solid 3 Damage top dial with Energy Explosion and two bolts.

Alternatively, you can pop E.V.A. off and take advantage of her (his? its?) Outwit. For the points, this is an extremely solid complement to almost any Primary Attacker. If you Theme him and get to choose Map, he can really become a gamebreaker.

 

TT.jpg

3. DXF010 Tippy-Toe — 25 Points — Common:

Tippy-Toe is 25 points of tie-up annoyance that can also help break up teams that depend on hunkering down in covered, adjacent positions (Bizarro Green Arrows and the like)… but only on certain Maps (specifically those with a bevy of Hindering Terrain).

Her Attack Special (SQUIRREL TALK: Give Tippy-Toe a free action to deal 1 damage to an opposing character within 8 squares and line of fire that occupies printed hindering terrain.) lets her nibble at enemies from across the board. If they have Stealth or she loses that top dial power, though, she can still walk right up to characters to tie them up with her 18 Defense (plus Super Senses) and scratch them for 1 Exploit Damage.

 

Slapstick

2. FFDXF010 Slapstick — 50 Points — Fast Forces:

50 Points for Hypersonic Speed (or whatever Speed power you want), Willpower and 2 Damage with Precision Strike? Okay! Once again you are paying Support/Tertiary Attacker prices for a solid Secondary Attacker. Slapstick is awesome for taking out opposing Support pieces before they can impact the game.

 

Hulkpool.jpg

1. DXF064 Hulkpool — 125 Points — Chase:

Most of the (EIGHT!!) regular Chases in this set are pretty damn good. Even if you don’t like the dials by themselves, you have to remember that each of them can gain one of EIGHT different abilities as a free action from a Comic Panel marker if they have no action tokens at the beginning of your turn.

You can choose from Smoke Cloud (meh); Enhancement (eh… situationally useful); an extra Bolt (somewhat useless now–really useless in about two months when Energy Explosion gets nerfed); Quake (comes with this figure and is more on the “meh” side than not); Precision Strike (almost always useful); Stealth (wait, I can give what is essentially a Hulk dial Stealth? This is very useful!! Now I might make it across the board unscathed!!); Combat Reflexes (very useful!!); or Energy Shield/Deflection (even usefull-er!!).

This makes these pieces EXTREMELY adaptable, and adaptability is one of the key strategies in the current Meta (look no further than the domination of Jakeem Thunder right now).

So add to all that a dial that features 10 Movement with Charge; 12 Attack with Super Strength; 18 Defense with Impervious and 4 top dial damage WITH Probability Control! He also has Indomitable and 8 Clicks of life. His last 3 Clicks feature a Revert Special Power that basically lets you heal him one Click and then replace him with ANY figure that has Deadpool in its name (except for the new title character Deadpool).

Again, to reiterate:  you get insane Primary Attacker stats mixed with what basically amounts to a Resource (the eight Comic Panel powers) in an increasingly Resource-less Meta environment and HE BRINGS ALONG ONE OF THE THREE BEST SUPPORT POWERS IN THE GAME!!

This is the best Hulk dial they’ve made in a long time, AND THEY’VE MADE INSANELY GOOD HULK DIALS NONSTOP FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS!! I mean, can you name another Hulk with the ability to pop on ES/D or Stealth top dial to actually get across the board in one piece? Or another Hulk piece who can change into a competent Ranged Attacker at the end of his dial?

Do not sleep on Hulkpool!

 

And now, for your…

TOP TEN DEADPOOL AND X-FORCE FIGURES!!

 

Mistress Death

10. DXF052 Mistress Death — 100 Points — Super Rare: 

Yes, there is a lot that she doesn’t do. But her Touch of Death Trait (TOUCH OF DEATH: When Mistress Death hits with a close attack, immediately place a Touch of Death token on the target’s card if it doesn’t already have one. For the rest of the game, when a character with a Touch of Death token is dealt damage by an attack, double the damage dealt.) is almost bonkers-good–if you can get it off.

She also has another Trait (YOU CAN’T KILL DEATH… OR MARRY HER, I TRIED: When Mistress Death would be KO’d and there is another friendly character on the map, you may instead place her in your starting area on click #3 with 2 action tokens and the opponent scores her. This can’t be ignored.) that causes her to revive throughout the entire game as well as a third (THIRD!!!) Trait (THE REALM OF DEATH EXPANDS: When another standard character is KO’d, remove an action token from Mistress Death.) that means she’ll potentially be taking an action almost every turn as long as you are dishing out lethal punishment. And a 12 Attack with Pulse Wave is nothing to sneeze at, either.

If you can find a way to boost her with Plasticity (Symbiote maybe?) or TK her next to someone for consistent same turn strikes (hello Stryfe! or Jean Grey! or… you get the idea), you can turbo-charge the Damage Output of your entire squad in a hurry.

But I wish there was just some piece out there that could open some sort of Space Portal and let Death pop out adjacent to an opposing figure and attack it in the same turn. Alas, we live in a world governed by the laws of physics, but man, sometimes I just want to tell the laws of physics that they can kiss my… nevermind, this is a family website.

Well, family-ish.

 

Swarm

9. DXF054 Swarm — 120 Points — Super Rare:

Another piece that is just really hard to KO. Swarm has a Trait (ONLY THE QUEEN MATTERS: Unless the attack roll is doubles, Swarm takes no more than 1 damage from attacks.) and an Attack Special (ORPHAN SWARMS: Each time swarm hits an opposing character, after actions resolve put a Bee Swarm bystander adjacent to that character unless there already is one.) that can take over the game in certain matchups, especially if your opponent hasn’t packed the right abilities to counter him.

And yes, Poison is getting slightly nerfed in that it will no longer combo with Sidestep, but the Bee Swarm tokens that Swarm generates with each hit don’t count against your action total when they move, either, so navigating the map starts to become really tricky for your opponent (not Prime Anarky tricky, but still).

 

Stryfe.jpg

8. DXF058 Stryfe– 135 Points — Super Rare: 

Looking strictly at his dial and Standard Power mix, 135 might seem a tad high. However, his Attack Special (MIND OVER MATTER: Stryfe can use Telekinesis. He can use it as a free action if he has been given a non-free action this turn.) will allow him to send most of his minions exactly where they need to be on the map or bring an opponent to him.

But where he gets really evil is when your opponent actually KO’s him (THE LEGACY VIRUS: When Stryfe is KO’d, choose a named keyword. Opposing Characters with that keyword are dealt penetrating damage equal half their current click number. This can’t be ignored.). Which means there’s a timer on the game for your opponent. Either they come to Stryfe early, or they don’t come at Stryfe at all. Remember, you can even PUSH Stryfe into a KO and he goes off. Or you can just push him to his late-dial Running Shot/Pulse Wave, which is also a crowd-pleaser.

There’s a lot of options with this guy.

 

Dreadpool.jpg

7. DXF001B Dreadpool — 130 Points — Common PRIME:

So, his opening 8 Movement with Running Shot, 12 Attack with Pen/Psy, 18 Defense with Super Senses and 3 Damage with Perplex (!) is almost worth the 130 Points right there. Then you factor in his Willpower through Indomitable and his AWESOME Trait (DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED: Dreadpool can use Steal Energy. At the beginning of your first turn, choose a named keyword an opposing character possesses. At the end of your turn, give Dreadpool a free action to make a close or range attack targeting a single opposing character with the chosen keyword if he has not attacked any character with the chosen keyword this turn.), and you realize that your favorite new Primary Attacker is quite capable of Alpha Striking half of the pieces in the Meta!

 

Cable

6. DXF014 Cable — 120 Points — Common: 

Where to start? Indomitable, 4 Damage with Prob, 11 Attack with Pen/Psy, Traited Stealth, Invuln AND ES/D (provided he has less than 2 Action Tokens), and a Movement Special (BODYSLIDE: Cable can use Phasing/Teleport. When he does and moves 5 squares or less, after actions resolve he may make a close or ranged attack.) that practically re-imagines Running Shot for the modern Meta.

Also, he has damn near every keyword you could ever want a mutant hero to have (Armor, Future, X-Men, X-Force, New Mutants, Soldier and Six-Pack!!), so he Themes quite nicely. And as a Primary Attacker who only costs 120, you’ll have plenty of room for supporting pieces.

 

Domino

5. FFDXF006R Domino — 25 Points — Fast Forces: 

Her 75 Point dial is also really good, but 25 points for 3 Clicks of Stealth, a 7 Range, 9 Attack with Precision Strike and 2 Clicks of Prob is a ton of bang for your buck. Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain is being given out less and less lately, so that dial-long Stealth is going to be hard to deal with for many teams.

Top dial Prob almost never comes this cheap, and almost never with a Range greater than 6. She’s already seen Meta play in several ROC’s, and I expect that to only continue.

 

DP MWAM.jpg

4. DXF060 Deadpool, Merc With a Mouth — 70 Points — Super Rare:

The first ever “Title Charcter” Clix, this version of Wade is simply under-costed by about 40 points. He comes packed with a way to heal himself and can eventually work up to Slo-Mo Bullet Time, wherein he can deal 2 Penetrating damage to every opposing piece within 6 range as a free action. Yowza!

Otherwise, you’re just stuck with a Deadpool that has 8 Clicks of life, 11 Attack, Indomitable and 17 Defense WITH ES/D!!

His keywords aren’t great (Initiative, X-Factor), but that seems a small price to pay for so much goodness.

————————-INTERMISSION: FLASH FIGURE REVIEW #3: WIZ Kid!————————

Wiz Kid

Okay!! So, this is kind of a first for us, but we’re about to do a mini-article INSIDE of another article!! This is Flash Figure Review #3, and we’re gonna spotlight… Wiz Kid, the Super Rare Prime!

For a little 25 Point nugget of a piece, he’s already created a small bit of controversy.

First, let’s talk about his dial. 25 Points. You get about the numbers you’d expect: 3 Clicks of life, Toughness (with an above average 18 Defense value top dial, although it quickly falls), 5 Range, 7 Speed (with Flying, although his lone Trait states that he can’t Carry anyone) and 2 Damage with a Special Power (TECHNOFORM YOUR WEAPONS: Adjacent friendly characters modify their attack, range and damage values by +1.) that is pretty much the whole reason for playing him.

WHY WIZ KID BELONGS IN THE TOP TEN:

For those in the community who love him, they point out that for 25 Points you get a pretty mobile battery for your ENTIRE squad–he is, in effect, a Resource unto himself. With the right positioning, he can add two to three more damage dealt a turn. He doesn’t need line of fire to activate his ability, so you can keep him behind your heavy hitters. And with his Range extension, it’s possible (again, depending on a whole host of factors) that Wiz Kid will allow you to position your characters just out of reach of your opponent while still being able to attack, Outwit, Perplex and Prob opposing pieces, which is kind of the Holy Grail of board control strategies.

While his keywords kind of suck (Initiative and X-Factor, exactly the same as Title Character Deadpool), they’re not without options.

To wit:

Not this Nighthawk

Not this Nighthawk, although his costume is way cooler…

Team Name: Mercs and Mouths

Theme: Initiative

Roster:

DXF059B Wiz Kid25 Points

DXF060 Deadpool, Merc With a Mouth70 Points

equipped with  UXM057P Proteus — 35 Points

FFDXF010 Slapstick50 Points

NFAOS059A Nighthawk120 Points

= 300 Points

HOW IT PLAYS: 

(Incidentally, there’s also a pretty competitive and fun option for this Build that subs in X-Factor pieces for the Initiative pieces including Boom-Boom and the Super Rare Iceman broken-ness from UXM.)

Regardless, Wiz Kid’s presence here should have your characters regularly attacking with a 12 or 13 Attack Value and 3 or 4 Damage minimum.

Nighthawk himself has not just one Trait (NIGHT AND DAY: At the beginning of the game, an opponent chooses Night -or- Day. If they choose Night, modify Nighthawk’s combat values by +1. If they choose Day, modify the defense values of all characters by -1 unless they occupy hindering terrain or are friendly to Nighthawk.) but two (PUSHING THE DEFENDERS TO BE MORE PROACTIVE: Nighthawk and friendly characters that share a keyword with him may replace their attack value with the unmodified attack value of an adjacent friendly character sharing that same keyword.) that pair pretty nicely with Wiz Kid’s power.

(I actually think Nighthawk’s A-side is an overlooked gem, but this article is about Wiz Kid, so we’ll talk about Nighthawk in a different column.)

This team is EXTREMELY vulnerable to Energy Explosion, but should synergize well. And Slapstick is great for taking out annoying opposing support pieces (see his Honorable Mention entry above for more details).

WHY WIZ KID DOESN’T BELONG IN THE TOP TEN: 

For those taking the opposite view, just the mere fact that Wiz Kid is a Prime is a major bummer. This is a list of top Meta performers from the past year or so that you are unable to field (either in your army or as a Sideline piece) if you choose to use Wiz Kid:

FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

JLTW003B Doctor Light

JLTW037B Freddy Freeman

 AVAS013B 3-D Man

AVAS053B Ragnarok

NFAOS007B Peggy Carter

NFAOS059B Nighthawk

WF037B Nightlantern

WF053B Harlequin

UXM023B Kitty Pryde

UXM043B Sunfire

JW003B Anarky

JW053B Jakeem Thunder

That list is like a Meta All-Stars team. And that doesn’t even include Dreadpool or the Regen’ing Rare Prime Shifting Focus Deadpool. So yeah, using Wiz Kid as your Prime slot is a significant cost in and of itself.

Also, while Wiz Kid is almost like having a mobile Resource on the map with your team, he is also a highly KO-able Resource. And he requires you to play your team in an adjacency ball for his ability to work, which makes your build highly susceptible to Energy Explosion pieces.

Weasel in the last Deadpool set arguably did Wiz Kid’s tricks better (and added a limited Prob) for just two more measly points. He saw SOME Meta play, but not necessarily a ton. Is his past usage a good predictor of what Wiz Kid will do in the Meta? Hard to say…

Still, with a piece as divisive as this, I thought it best to remove him from the Top Ten list entirely and consider him separately from everyone else. I guess what you have to decide in the end is whether Wiz Kid a Top Ten piece, or a sucker’s bet? I happen to think he’s very useful on a very narrow set of teams, but only time will tell.

——————END OF INTERMISSION: FLASH FIGURE REVIEW #3: WIZ Kid!——————-

 

Fenris Comics

3. DXF049 Fenris — 60 Points — Super Rare:

Looking at their pedestrian stats (Running Shot with only 8 Speed; 9 Attack; wheee!!), you would not be faulted for being unimpressed with yet another low-costed, low-upside piece that yet again features two characters on one dial BUT NO FREAKING DUO ATTACK ABILITY [EDITOR’S NOTE: Seriously, why did that go away? I loved Duo Attack, you loved Duo Attack, everyone loves Duo Attack!!]!!

But then you look at their sole Special Ability (SHE IS THE POWER, I AM THE FOCUS: When Fenris make a range attack, modify their attack and damage values by +2 and choose one: damage dealt is penetrating or the attack causes knock back.) in their Attack slot, and you wonder if it’s too late to snag one for under $10 on eBay.

These folks are among the best Secondary Attackers in the game, and they only cost 60 Points. They even come with a 7 Range and Enhancement!!

They’ve already impacted the Meta at several ROC’s, and I expect that to only continue. And with their Hydra keyword, and all the Hydra figures from NFAOS, and the Hydra Cap Chase rumors in Avengers/Defenders War, I mean, there’s gotta be a really decent Hydra Build out there somewhere, right?

 

Deadpool on a Unicorn

By johnny bijos. Check his stuff out right here!

2. DXF069 Deadpool — 140 Points — Ultra Chase: 

Good Lord. Yeah, no one’s gonna want to track down an Ultra Chase if all it does is kick ass, ignore damage and chew bubble gum while making free close attacks, right?

Let’s dive in.

First, the sculpt is ridiculously awesome.

Second, this guy has Charge, Pen/Psy, Impervious and Exploit Weakness top dial. He has a Speed of 11, an Attack Value of 12, an 18 Defense and 4 native Damage. That Defense Special that grants Impervious (YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING SO AWESOME: Deadpool can use Impervious. Once per game, when Deadpool would take damage, you may choose that he takes no damage instead.) also lets you just decide once per game to ignore any attack of your choosing that actually lands.

Normally you’d be bummed about a piece with Charge and Pen/Psy since those two powers don’t work together, but here it feels more like Deadpool can just wreck face from anywhere on the map.

He also has Indomitable and Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain and Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, just in case you thought your 11 Speed Value sucked. Which it totally does not, by the way.

I mean, what other piece in the game allows this to happen:

Timmy, Power Gamer: “And… 11. I hit your Deadpool. For… 4 Damage.”

You: “Eh… nah. I’m not really feeling it.”

Timmy, Power Gamer: “What? You can’t just choose to not take damage when I hit you!”

You [holding up card]: “It turns out I can.”

Also, he makes free Close Attacks (THAT HORN JUST AIN’T FOR SHOW: At the beginning of your turn, if Deadpool has no action tokens, he can make a close attack using Blades/Claws/Fangs.), cuz that’s a thing he needed to be worth his points.

Well, at least you still need a lot of skill to play a piece like this. It’s not like you can just walk this Deadpool up to your opponent end, hit their best piece ONCE with your 12 Attack Value and then not have to worry about that piece for the rest of the game.

Oh, wait, that is EXACTLY what you can do (I’M HERE TO SPREAD JOY AND RAINBOWS: I’m Here To Spread Joy And Rainbows: When Deadpool hits an opposing character, after actions resolve, you can place the Rainbow Joy Marker on that character, removing it from anywhere else. A character with a Rainbow Joy Marker cannot attack Deadpool unless it is the only character on its force. At the beginning of its player’s turn, a character with a Rainbow Joy Marker can roll a d6: on a result of 5 or 6, they may remove the Rainbow Joy Marker.).

Unbelievable.

 

Venompool

1. DXF068 Venompool — 80 Points — Chase: 

Again, really, almost all of the Chases could’ve filled these slots, but Venompool here is the class of the bunch.

It’s not just that his sweet dial that features Sidestep, Poison, an 11 Attack with 4 Damage (and Exploit Weakness) and an 18 Defense with Super Senses.

It’s that you can take all that and add in an obnoxiously good Trait (RETCON EXPONGIFIER GUN: When an opposing character uses Probability Control, after actions resolve, that character cannot use Probability Control for the rest of the game.) to go along with any of the EIGHT Comic Panels on your sideline.

Does your opponent see through Stealth? No? Then boom, Venompool’s got Stealth. Oh, those long-range bombers can see through Stealth? Great. Now my Venompool has ES/D. And on and on.

Venompool is coming, folks. Venompool is coming.

 

Alright, that is the end of another Top Ten! Try as I might, I just couldn’t fit Shatterstar, Boom-Boom, Chase Pirate Deadpool and a host of others (still looking at you, Chipmunk Hunk. But not you, Koi Boy.).

But we will be taking a look at all the Shifting Focus Deadpools. Since they really need to be looked at as a whole, they will probably be at the center of our next Flash Figure Review!!

How’d we do? Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts in the Comments below!

Until next time,

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

Welcome to Preview Week, Part 2!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to our first ever Preview Week, which is devoted to–you guessed it–Previews!! With Deadpool and X-Force dropping in one week, we’re gonna devote the next five days to taking a look at what’s gonna be coming our way this year–from DXF and beyond! Part 1 dropped two days ago and can be found here.]

Today we take a look at some of the interesting Rares and Super Rares from DXF!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s just so much to talk about with the Rares that we’re gonna save Super Rares and Primes for tomorrow, followed by Chases and beyond in Part 4!]

Without further ado…

RARES:

deadpool-bathrobe

DXF034A-C Deadpool75 PointsRare: Wow–Deadpool in an ultra-supporty role? Whaa… ? Yup–it’s true. All three versions of this “Shifting Focus” sculpt have the same powers. They only differ in their main named Keyword and which Keyword their powers affect.

But they will all give you 4 Range, 3 Damage top dial, Phasing/Teleport, a limited Prob, a limited DOUBLE PERPLEX and Defend. And yes, you can shift to him AFTER making a ranged or close attack with some of his more offensive versions, then use his double Perp and Prob on his teammates. Awesomesauce.

 

Howard the Defender Duck.jpg

DXF035 Howard the Duck50 PointsRare: Look, everyone loves Howard the Duck, but there’s just not a ton to work with here. Sidestep, Stealth, minimal Damage Output and a Special Damage Power (We Can Do This the Wrong Way, or My Way!: At the beginning of your turn, choose a standard power that an adjacent friendly character can use. Until your next turn, all characters within 6 squares and line of fire of Howard the Duck can’t use the chosen power.) that might hurt you as much as it hurts your opponent, especially since ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS HAS TO ALREADY HAVE THE POWER YOU WANT TO DISALLOW!!

He picks up a decent Incapacitate Special in the middle of his dial (Fowl-Mouthed!: Howard the Duck can use Incapacitate. When he does, he may target all adjacent opposing characters.), but it’s not enough to save this piece.

 

squirrel-girl

DXF039 Squirrel Girl85 PointsRare: A close combat machine who is also a token generator, Squirrel Girl becomes more of a problem for your opponent as the game goes on.

With her first Trait (Chuk Chitty Chit Chit Chkk!: Give Squirrel Girl a free action when she has one action token and place a Squirrel bystander adjacent.), she can generate her own tie-up supporting figs and her third Trait (Fighting Squirrel Man!: Give Squirrel Girl a free action if there are 6 Squirrel bystanders on the map. Replace them with a Squirrel Man bystander in one of their squares.) lets her bring in what is essentially another Secondary Attacker (Squirrel Man).

 

boom_boom.jpg

DXF042 Boom-Boom — 60 Points — Rare: Running Shot mixed with an absolutely AWESOME Attack Special (3,2,1… Boom!: Boom-Boom can use Energy Explosion and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When she makes a range attack and has no action tokens, modify her attack and damage values by +1.) makes Boom-Boom an extremely efficient Secondary Attacker.

 

Shatterstar.jpg

DXF044 Shatterstar60 PointsRare: Basically the close combat version of the Boom-Boom I just mentioned. He has Traited Sidestep and Toughness, and his Attack Special (Twin Blades: Shatterstar can use Blades/Claws/Fangs. When he does, once per turn he may reroll the d6.) lets him essentially Prob his Blades roll.

I would definitely say there’s some dark horse Meta potential with both Boom-Boom and Shatterstar as they’re both Secondary Attackers for Tertiary Attacker prices.

 

doop-mjolnirs

DXF046 Doop90 or 35 PointsRare: I just played him at his 35 Point level at a Sealed last night and he was great. His Trait is long and wordy:

The Unimaginable Power of Doop: Give Doop a power action. Roll a d6 that can only be rerolled once per turn by removing a Headline token from him.
1-2 Moving Between Panels: Place Doop and all adjacent characters into any square adjacent to themselves.
3-4 Doop Space: All characters within 4 squares are placed adjacent to Doop.
5 Gleaming The Cosmic Cube: Choose a friendly character and it can use the Power Cosmic team ability until your next turn.
6 Hailstorm of Mjolnirs: Doop makes a range attack with a range value of 10 and Targeting: OO>. Instead of normal damage, each hit character and each character adjacent to 1 or more hit characters is dealt 3 damage.

And it’s totally usable at either point level. At 35 Points, he still comes with Sidestep, Invincible and Prob, which makes him nearly indispensable in a Sealed environment. In the Meta, I still prefer Spectre on his Tower Click for the same 35 Points, but it’s close, and Doop doesn’t break Theme on X-Force or X-Statix Builds.

The Con Exclusive is still better, but the more I play this Doop, the more useful he becomes.

 

Okay! That’s all our time for today, but keep watching this space for some standout Super Rares, Primes, Chases and more as we Preview the Deadpool & X-Force set–and beyond during Preview Week!

 

And finally, I want to once again give special thanks to Wizkids, Scott Porter, all the eagle-eyed folks in the HCRealms.com community (especially Jaysol for putting everything there together), the good people at Married With Clix and everyone else who’s helped spoil this set. This article wouldn’t have been possible without all of their hard work.