These Turtles Go To Eleven!! (Or, The Top Eleven Figures in TMNT: Unplugged!!)

Mikey Injustice 2

A Heroclix set based on a TMNT video game appearance? Sign me up!

Michaelangelo 8-bit

OOOOOoooohhhh… THAT TMNT video game? Even better!

Hello again!!

We’ve been so busy lately talking about Avengers: Infinity Chases and Colossals and Batman: TAS spoilers and broken Superfriends Chases that we almost forgot… there’s a new Turtles set!

And here’s a secret nobody’s talking about… it’s kinda really good!

It’s also got almost 50 different new pieces (if you include the six new Bystander tokens from the Starter), so that means we’re gonna have to determine…

THE TOP TEN ELEVEN FIGURES IN TMNT: UNPLUGGED!!

But first, how about…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

TMNT ARCADE Poster.jpg

–In the lead-up to the release, I heard a lot of varying opinions on the “pixelated” sculpts that grace many (but oddly, not all–more on that in a minute) of the new pieces in the set. I actually fall on the “I Like It” side of the ledger, but I see why some wouldn’t like it. The sculpts look better from further away, but I think the video game sculpts are a creative new way to introduce cool new mechanics while still giving us familiar characters (more on that later too).

Krang Unplugged.jpg

–Unfortunately, some of the most interesting dials (Krang; Baxter Stockman; etc.) are essentially just repaints, even though they’re representing the video game version of the character. A ”pixelated” Krang especially would have been great!

–With Wizkids busy pumping out product for their Marvel, DC, TMNT and Star Trek licenses, this might be as close as we get to another video game set for quite awhile! For those who remember releases like the Street Fighter set or Halo-Clix, it’s kind of sad. But who knows what the future will hold? If these 8-bit clix are well-received, is it so far-fetched to think that Wizkids might hop on the nostalgia train again and give us a set of Nintendo characters (Mario! Link! Samus Aran!) or Capcom favorites?

So, without further ado…

THE TOP ELEVEN CLIX IN TMNT: UNPLUGGED!!

 

Rocksteady.jpg

11. TMNT4018 Rocksteady — 50 Points — Uncommon: We’ve got our first “Indie-set” Shifting Focus piece!

Yes, he only has, like, two versions to shift between (at least for now), but the ability to snap your fingers and turn a decent close combat piece into a decent ranged attacker is nice.

 

Blue Foot Elite

10. TMNT4015 Foot Elite (Boomerang) — 25 Points — Uncommon: For 25 Points this guy is an absolute STEAL! His top dial includes Sidestep, a 4 Range, 10 Attack with poor man’s Prob (BOOMERANG: When Foot Elite would miss a range attack by 1 or 2, once per turn you may reroll that attack roll.), a 17 Defense with ES/D AND a natural 3 Damage with Enhancement!!

Play 3 or 4 together and you have a slightly mobile (via Sidestep) Boomerang Turret that can spit out up to 6 Damage an attack! That ES/D makes them tough to hit before they get into range, too, so you have a decent chance of getting a devastating attack or two off before your opponent can pick them apart.

 

Muddy Mud Man

9. TMNT4B006 Mud Man — 20 Points — Fast Forces Bystander Token: Yeah, he costs 10 more points than the other tokens, but he’s probably worth 20 or 30 more points in actuality. For those 20 valuable points, you get Plasticity, Sidestep, Quake with a 10 Attack and Super Senses with Shape Change (always a crowd-pleaser!), 3 natural Damage… that’s a solid POG!

But wait… unlike other Pogs, Mud Man here essentially has 2 more clicks, with the possibility to gain even more if he KO’s opposing pieces (again, look at those stats–it’s certainly possible to KO opposing figures with this piece! Especially if he KO’s multiple characters with a well-timed Sidestep/Quake!).

But wait again! That actually undersells that Engulfing Boss Trait (ENGULFING BOSS: Plasticity. Mud Man starts the game with 2 Life tokens, and gains a Life token each time he KO’s an opposing character. When Mud Man would be KO’d, if he has any Life tokens, instead remove one. Protected: Pulse Wave.). It’s actually better than having two more physical clicks. Instead of clicking, Mud Man can take any amount of damage (even if Chase EW050 Superman hits Mud Man with an object and deals, like, 8 Damage…) and it still just costs him 1 “Life” token.

Then factor in the amount of wasted attacks from Mud Man’s SS/SC combo, and you have twenty points of mud that can cause all kinds of issues for your opponent. Even his main liability (mobility; ie his ability to get into attack range) is somewhat offset by his Sidestep and the fact that he’s a Standard character (and thus able to be carried by normal Taxis or TK’d by supporting pieces).

This is arguably the most solid Pog we’ve seen since Skadi’s Warbot (at least in terms of Pogs you can field by themselves).

 

Raph Auto Scroll.png

8. TMNT4037 Raphael — 100 Points — Chase:

7. TMNT4036 Michaelangelo — 100 Points — Chase:

All of the Chases have ridiculously good mobility via there shared video game level Trait (AUTO-SCROLLING SKATE LEVEL: At the beginning of your turn, you may move Raphael 1 square. FREE: Move up to 3 squares in a direct path.) and the fact that they all Ignore Characters on Movement.

What sets this Raphael apart from, say, the Leo Chase is Raph’s weapon Special (SAIS: Flurry. When making a close attack, Raphael deals penetrating damage.) and the fact that he’s sporting Battle Fury, so he chews right through opposing Shape Change.

Mikey gets slotted one spot higher because he’s got top dial Perp, bottom dial Support and his personal weapon Special (NUNCHAKUS: Flurry. Each time Michelangelo hits an opposing character, after resolutions you may give that character an action token.) that throws action tokens on opposing pieces as long as he simply hits them.

Penetrating Damage is fantastic. But I would personally value the board control offered by Mikey’s ability to give action tokens to pieces he hits.

 

Karai

6. TMNT4026 Karai — 75 Points — Rare:

Finally, a TMNT-Universe Recruiter! Her Trait (REBUILD THE FOOT CLAN IN THE OLD WAYS: Leadership. When building your force, friendly characters 75 points or less with the Martial Artist keyword also have the Foot Clan keyword.) opens up all kinds of Themed Team builds between disparate Martial Artist or Foot characters.

Then you get to her dial:

–She Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain on Movement.

–Her top dial Special Movement power (TEACHINGS OF THE ASHI NO HIMITSU: Sidestep, Stealth. When Karai uses Sidestep, if no opposing character has line of fire to her when giving the action, she can move up to 4 squares instead of 2.) will have her hopping all over the board, and she’s rocking an 11 Attack top dial with B/C/F AND a 6 Range with RCE, so Karai is deadly from up close or afar.

The only thing she’s really missing is some form of Willpower. In this era of Equipment, giving her a Symbiote (Shape Change, Plasticity and the possibility of taking her already solid stats to the next level) or Mjolnir (she can hop around with her giant Sidestep Special and strike for boatloads of B/C/F damage from a Stealthy position).

(Incidentally, there’s a pretty good case to be made for Karai as the best TMNT 4 Sealed piece. Usually only matters for release events, but there it is!)

 

Shredder and Clone

5. TMNT4005 Shredder Illusion — 20 Points — Common:

4. TMNT4024 Shredder — 80 + 20 Points — Rare:

Another pair of figures that are really meant to go together.

The Shredder Illusion is a solid little sort of Damage-dealing lottery ticket. He has a micro-Charge (Charge with a Movement Value of 6) and only 1 Damage top dial, but his (its?) B/C/F makes that 1 Damage almost meaningless.

The Illusions also have the ability to be nice little tie-up pieces, with Shape Change and Combat Reflexes making them particularly hard to deal with once they’ve latched on.

They’ve also got one solitary Trait (TEMPORARY SHREDDER ILLUSION: For all characters that can use this trait, whenever a friendly character within 6 squares named Shredder would take damage, you may reduce that damage by 1 in addition to any other effects that reduce damage. If you do, after resolutions, deal 1 unavoidable damage to a friendly character named Shredder Illusion.) that works exceedingly well with any character named Shredder in general and the Rare Main Set Shredder in particular.

Shredder proper is a Close Combat monster, with Charge, 12 Attack with Blades/Claws/Fangs, Mastermind and a native 4 Damage (if you literally don’t want to roll the dice for B/C/F).

The +20 Kicker is certainly worth it, as it activates a Trait ((+20) ILLUSIONARY DOUBLE: FREE: If no friendly character named Shredder Illusion is on your force, generate a TMNTUP #005 Shredder Illusion. Your opponents don’t score that character.) that gives you CONSTANT Mastermind fodder and, again, access to that Temporary Shredder Illusion Trait.

While most pieces have trouble with Outwit, this Shredder in particular is really vulnerable to a well-timed Outwit on his Mastermind or Charge, so that is something to keep in mind when using this guy.

 

Alopex

3. TMNT4033 Alopex — 90 Points — Super Rare: 90 Points gets you Hypersonic Speed with Precision Strike and 3 Damage top dial. She Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain on Movement, and she sports the crowd-pleasing Super Senses/Shape Change combo on Defense.

Two Traits also bump her effectiveness and allow her to manipulate probabilities on the Map.

The first (CURSED BLADES OF VENGEANCE: When Alopex hits an opposing character, give them a Curse token. // Characters with one or more Curse tokens modify attack -1, and any attack made by those characters that misses all targets becomes a critical miss.) can have a big effect on your whole team’s survivability.

The second (CATCH A TIGER BY THE TAIL: At the beginning of the game, choose an opposing character. Alopex modifies attack +1 when attacking the chosen character and modifies defense +1 when attacked by the chosen character.) enhances her own survivability, and can pump her Defense up to nigh unhittable levels if she gets a pop in first (which is likely given that Hypersonic Speed she’s sporting).

 

Donnie 2012

2. TMNT4029 Donatello — 80 Points — Super Rare: The whole set of Super Rares in this set is pretty universally solid; having said that, I like the SR Donnie better than his brothers in this series.

While they all share some version of the “Tales… ” Trait (TALES OF THE TMNT: At the beginning of the game, for all characters that can use this trait, choose a “Tale:” trait that a friendly character can use. This game, all friendly characters with a “Tale:” trait can use the chosen trait instead of any other “Tale:” trait.), Donatello’s is perhaps the most gamechanging (TALE: MAZES AND MUTANTS: This character has PROTECTED: opposing Perplex, opposing Probability Control.).

When you factor in his own top dial Prob, you suddenly can field a team of Turtles that pretty much has total control of Prob and Perplex–two of the strongest support abilities in the game–for the whole game!

This is more environmental control than the typical Turtles team allows.

 

Krang Unplugged number one

1. TMNT4034 Krang — 130 Points — Super Rare: Basically the ranged version of the Shredder piece I was just raving about.

Krang’s issue is that he sports Phasing/Teleport top dial instead of a move-and-attack ability, so he needs a good Taxi or a TK’er. Other than that, he’s a straight killer, with an Attack dial that alternates between Pen/Psy and Pulse Wave, Defense that alternates between Invincible, Invulnerable and Impervious.

He also has top dial Outwit and a Damage Special Power (RECOVERED THE TURNSTONE!: Shape Change, but succeeds on a 4-6. Perplex, but modifies the combat value +2 or -2. Opposing characters can’t use Perplex or Shape Change.) on the bottom of his dial that is one of the best Special Powers ever given out.

His Boss Trait, like Shredder’s, also resurrects him TWICE (GAME BOSS: FLASHING RED: The first two times Krang would be KO’d, instead turn him to click #6, then heal him 1 click if an opposing force has 1 or 2 characters on it; otherwise, heal him 2 clicks. Protected: Pulse Wave.), and has a decent chance of landing him on his Turnstone clicks.

Finally, his last Trait (RUTHLESS ALIEN CONQUEROR: When Krang KO’s an opposing character, put a Conquest marker in a square they occupied. Opposing characters modify their attack and defense values -1 for each Conquest marker within 3 squares of them.) can really pin down an opponent who didn’t bring a team with good mobility and/or range.

It is possible for your opponent to just ignore Krang, or try and get him to his less effective middle clicks (Clicks 3 & 4) and keep him there, but it’s not clear that allowing a piece with 8 Range and Pen/Psy essentially unfettered access to attack your team is a really very good idea.

 

Okay!! That’s my list! What’s yours? Let us know in the Comments below!

 

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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.

 

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

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

Harley Quinn bombshell.jpg

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

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

 

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

 

Batman god of knowledge.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wonder Woman DS War.jpg

9. HQ067 Wonder Woman — 125 Points — Chase:

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

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

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

 

Kite Man.jpg

8. HQ044 Kite Man — 15 Points — Rare: 

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

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

 

Harley Quinn Yellow.jpg

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

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

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

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

 

Green Lantern GOL.jpg

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

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

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

 

Kirk DePaul.jpg

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

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

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

 

king Shark.jpg

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

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

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

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

 

Harley Quinn black and red.PNG

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

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

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

 

Prometheus.jpg

2. HQ045 Prometheus — 135 Points — Rare: 

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

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

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

 

Flash GOD.jpg

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

The Ghost of Christmas Present Is Going on a Star Trek!! (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Star Trek: Away Team!!)(Or OR The Fourth 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!]

Welcome to Night 4 of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today we’re diving right in to a Top Ten Set Review of Star Trek: Away Team!

So, without further ado, here are…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN STAR TREK: AWAY TEAM!!

Nurse Chapel

10. STAT009 Nurse Chapel15 PointsCommon: Does what it says on the box. She has sneaky good mobility (notably from having Sidestep on each click) and a special Support that heals Starfleet personnel a click more than everyone else. Willpower means that she can attempt a heal two out of every three turns–which she may need to given that her Attack tops out at 9. Still, this is a pretty useful package for just 15 Points.

Yeoman Rand.jpg

9. STAT022 Yeoman Rand25 PointsCommon: Very similar to Nurse Chapel, except her Special Power (Can I Help You Captain?: POWER: Remove an action token from an adjacent friendly character of 50 points or less. If that character has the Starfleet keyword, it may be a character of 100 points or less instead.) allows her to take away action tokens.

This can be very useful if you’re building around it. Her top dial Willpower means its a trick you can keep running, too.

Captain Kirk.jpg

8. STAT026 Captain Kirk100 PointsRare: One of the three (THREE?!?) Title Characters in this set, Captain Kirk has a long dial (8 clicks), Running Shot/Pen/Psy, Indomitable, Super Senses and Leadership… and that’s before you even get to his Title Character abilities.

His master ability actually lets him “Beam In” Starfleet characters from outside of the game! It takes awhile to build up, but it’s not impossible to beam in extra 40 or 50 point piece in a regular game. Pretty impressive.

Lt Uhura

7. STAT029 Lt. Uhura 40 PointsRare: One of the best supporting pieces in the set, Uhura costs 5 more points than KC Green Lantern on Tower Mode, but also offers a bit more.

First, her Trait (Communications Officer: At the beginning of the game, you may choose a copyable team ability that an opposing character can use. As long as Lt Uhura is on the map, adjacent friendly characters and friendly characters with the Starfleet keyword can use that Team Ability.) is reeeeeallly good on a Starfleet Themed Team.

(Incidentally, more than a few of the pieces in Star Trek: Away Team seem like they’ll get even better as more faction options become available upon the release of future sets.)

Second, her Perplex Special (Monitoring All Channels, Captain: Perplex. When Lt Uhura uses it, she has a range value of 10 and can use Targeting: Ignores Hindering, Elevated, Blocking.) is, for my money, one of the best in the game. It’s even better than KC Green Lantern’s when you consider the fact that she can actually move via Sidestep or normal movement, whereas Green Lantern is stuck in one place the whole game.

Mirror Universe Uhura.jpg

6. STAT038 Uhura (Mirror Universe Version) — 75 PointsSuper Rare: And then there’s the more lethal version of Uhura from the “Mirror, Mirror” universe.

She has two things that make her stand out.

First, her awesomely-named Trait (Assassination Of Superiors Is A Common Means Of Advancing In Rank: FREE: Choose an adjacent opposing character of 100 points or less. That character can’t use defense powers until the beginning of your next turn.) makes her the new Winter Soldier Agent 13.

Second, her second and third clicks are absolutely LETHAL when combined with her Trait. She has both Flurry and B/C/F on both clicks, which she can use to absolutely end figures that cost three times as much as her.

Finally, her Mirror Universe Team Ability is basically Mystics, so she’ll even do penetrating damage on her way out.

Mirror Universe Spock.jpg

5. STAT036 Mr. Spock100 PointsRare: While his dial is not bad, the main reason Mirror Mirror Spock is this far up the list is his awesome Barrier Special (Agony Booth: Barrier. When Mr. Spock uses it, after resolutions if an opposing character is adjacent to 4 of his Barrier markers, roll a d6 and deal that character penetrating damage equal to half the result.).

So, wait, for 100 Points I can completely shut down my opponents best character by surrounding that piece with four Barrier tokens AND squeeze in up to 3 penetrating damage at the same time?! Sign me up!!

Khan.jpg

4. STAT048 Khan — 100 Points — Chase: Some of the guys I play with were slightly disappointed with his dial, but I like it. Primarily because of his sweet Damage Special (Although Your Abilities Intrigue Me, You Are Quite Honestly Inferior.: FREE: Choose a standard damage power that an opposing character within range can use. Khan can use that power until your next turn. If you choose Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control, also modify his combat values +1 until your next turn. Khan has PROTECTED:Outwit.).

He’s slightly dependent on the pieces that your opponent is playing, but he can punch above his weight in the right matchups.

Gorn

3. STAT043 Gorn100 PointsSuper Rare: A relentless close combat monster, Gorn is ten clicks long for just 100 Points. He only has one Special (it’s on Defense) that doesn’t show up until halfway through his dial (Bare-Handed Against The Gorn, I Have No Chance.: Toughness. At the beginning of your turn, heal Gorn 1 click. Protected: Outwit.).

But his dial becomes reeeaaaallly interesting when you equip him with Proteus. If ever there was a piece that didn’t care about that possible one damage a turn from Proteus, it’s Gorn. And with +1 to all stats, Gorn becomes even that much harder to deal with.

Charlie X.jpg

2. STAT037 Charlie X40 PointsSuper Rare: At first, he just seems like a typical Prob-equipped supporting piece with really good mobility for his Points (Sidestep, Willpower).

But what really makes him dangerous is his Trait (Don’t Laugh At Me!: When Charlie X is the only target of an attack that misses, after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to its printed damage value.).

So you can let Charlie flit about the board controlling rolls, or you can try and take him out–and risk taking massive damage!

Trelane

1. STAT044 Trelane50 PointsSuper Rare: So yeah, the Super Rares in this set are pretty good.

His Traits ( It’s My Game And My Rules: At the beginning of the game, roll a d6 and place it on this card. POWER: If there is no d6 on this card, roll a d6 and place it on this card. Trelane has PROTECTED: Outwit.) and (I Can Do Anything I Want. I Should Think You Would Have Realized That By Now.: Whenever a character rolls an attack roll, you may remove the d6 from this card and replace a die in the roll with it.) essentially make him the new Mr. Myxzptlk.

He only deals two damage (with a 10 Attack top dial), but he also has Super Senses and a STOP click to keep him annoying your opponent for most of the game.

 

And there you have it. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below. And be sure to head back here tomorrow for more Clix-Mas!!

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

Elseworlds War.jpg

Annnnnd… we’re back!!

Good Lord, where has August gone?

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

But first…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

DKR 1

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

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

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

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

 

Planetary Cover

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

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

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

 

New Rules.jpg

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

Superman Chase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now, without further ado…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN ELSEWORLDS!!

Elijah Snow

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

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

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

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

Drummer

Well, that clears that up!

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

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

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

The Ray

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

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

Carrie Kelly

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nekhrun.png

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

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

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

Kid Flash Justice Rider

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

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

GL The Nail.jpg

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

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

Al Jhor Dan.jpg

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

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

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

Frank Miller Superman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DKR Green Arrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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!

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!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ahem. Well… thank you?

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

Some Notes About the Set:

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

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You ain’t kidding!]

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

My Honorable Mentions:

talon

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

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

flash-jsa

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

Al Pratt Atom.jpg

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

Lady Shiva.png

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

mr-freeze

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

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

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


The Top Ten:

Batman Outsiders.jpg

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

killing-joke-joker

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

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

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

penguin-jw

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

katana-jw

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

Alan Scott.jpg

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

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

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

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

Bizarro Joker.jpg

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

Anarky JW.png

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

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

Jakeem Thunder JW.png

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

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

bizarro_green_arrow_01

Me am mascot for Target!!”

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

the-killing-joke-joker

Why is he dripping wet in this picture?

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

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

 

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

Ninja, Ninja (W)rap… -Up!! (Or, Let’s Review the Ten Best Figures in TMNT 2: Heroes in a Half-Shell!!)

tmnt-team-base

Perfect template for a TMNT Team Base sculpt?

Alright! The Joker’s Wild (uh, revised) release date has finally arrived, so before we focus on that, I think we need to discuss a really underrated set that just dropped not too long ago!

I’ve already heard reviews from some folks saying that this second Turtles set, while fun, isn’t on the same level as the first set. I disagree; this set is a bit more subtle, and it’s best figures are support pieces, but there is a lot of gold here if you dig a little. Unfortunately, most of it is Super Rare or scarcer.

Still, there’s enough good pieces to put together a list of…

 

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN TMNT: HEROES IN A HALF SHELL!!

 

foot-ninja-twin-katanas

10. TMNT2009 Foot Ninja (Twin Katanas) — 30 PointsCommon:

This is a dangerous little package. Sidestep, Stealth, Willpower and an Attack Special (TWIN KATANAS: Foot Ninja can use Blades/Claws/Fangs. When he does, he may instead roll 2d6 and choose one as the result.) that gives you two bites at the B/C/F roll!

Basically, everything you want from TMNT2004 Leonardo, except 30 Points cheaper.

donnie-2011

9. TMNT2025 Donatello100 PointsRare:

Just a solid dial from top to bottom with an AWESOME Damage Special (TEEN TURTLE INTELLECT: At the beginning of your turn, choose one: Outwit, Perplex, or Support. Donatello can use the chosen power until your next turn.).

He also has Traited Stealth and Toughness and doesn’t care about Hindering or Elevation on Movement.

His top-dial Sidestep (instead of Charge) is the only thing that’s really holding him back from being further up this list…

armaggon

8. TMNT2030 Armaggon170 PointsSuper Rare:

A shark from the future who’s armed to the teeth! What’s not to love?

He has decent stats, the increasingly useful Future and Animal keywords, Indom, a Damage Special (FUTURE SHARK: Armaggon can use Probability Control. He can use it normally, or he can use it twice on your turn, but only to target himself.) that lets him Prob his own attack roll TWICE along with a Trait that gives him free attacks on turns when he’d normally just be clearing (BEWARE HIS TAIL!: Give Armaggon a free action when he has two action tokens to make a close attack.)!

That Trait is important because he actually just starts with Phasing/Teleport top dial instead of a move and attack power. And that’s what keeps him here at the end of the list and not the top–the fact that your paying a hefty Primary Attacker fee and yet he doesn’t have a way to move and attack in the same turn unless said move gives him his second action token.

The last ability of his that I want to briefly touch on is his Improved Movement: Ignores Characters Trait. If you’ve seen some of the madness that is to come in the form of the Bizarro Chases and the 50-Point wall of HAHAHAHAHAHA SR Joker, you know that tie-up figures are coming back with a vengeance. So while the ability to ignore characters while moving might not seem too important now, it might become vital in the near future!

rat-king

7. TMNT2024 Rat King 100 PointsSuper Rare:

Another great SR with the Animal keyword, this version of the Rat King can be devastating… on the right Map! In his case, the more Hindering Terrain, the better.

He ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, but even if he didn’t, his Trait (RATS EVERYWHERE… I AM EVERYWHERE: Give Rat King a free action if he occupies hindering terrain. Place him in another square of hindering terrain within 6 squares.) would have him zipping around the Map regardless.

His top dial Movement Special (PAWNS IN MY GAME: Rat King can use Stealth. He can use Mind Control as if he had a range value of 6 and when he does, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain; Ignores Hindering Terrain; Ignores Blocking Terrain; Ignores Characters.) has great synergy with his other powers; even though he only deals 2 Damage on his own, his Mind Control will potentially let you make your enemy’s pieces work for you. And his Damage Special power bestows both Prob and Perplex, which only makes him more valuable.

While Rat King seems at first glance like a supporting piece that you have to pay Secondary Attacker points for, if you can hit even just a couple of those Mind Controls a game, you should have no problem getting your points worth out of him.

fugitoid

6. TMNT2013 Fugitoid50 PointsUncommon:

A highly mobile Taxi, Fugitoid can use his Movement Special (INVENTOR OF THE TRANSMAT: Fugitoid can use Phasing/Teleport with a speed value of 12. When he does, he can use the Carry ability to carry up to 4 characters, but only those that share a keyword with him.) to mobilize your entire force if you’ve built it correctly. His three keywords–Robot, Scientist and TMNT Ally–should leave you with plenty of army options.

His Trait (RUNNING FROM THE FEDERATION AND TRICERATONS FOR YEARS: Fugitoid can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Stealth. When an attack misses Fugitoid, after actions resolve you may place him up to 3 squares away from his current square.) is fine, and with the resulting 19 Defense from Range, you should be able to keep him hopping around the Map in advantageous ways.

Since the Willpower provided by Fugitoid’s Indomitable is a “may” decision, you should almost always neglect to use it the first time it comes up so that Fugitoid shifts to its second Click, which has virtually identical stats to Fugi’s top dial, except he then picks up Outwit!

Until then, though, you’re maneuvering a piece that has just a 9 Attack Value, no Range and deals only 2 Damage in the unlikely event that it hits someone. In other words, it will often not be worth taking an offensive action with this piece unless you have no other options.

april-oneil-2

5. FFTMNT2005 April25 PointsFast Forces:

So, if you want to field a TMNT Ally team, you’re gonna need some supporting pieces that enhance your attackers and do so within Theme. Well, if you’re looking for such a piece, April is here to help!

She only has two clicks, and really only one useful ability, her Damage Special (I’VE GOT PIZZA GUYS!: Once per turn, you may choose one of the following: Give April a free action to heal one adjacent character with the TMNT keyword 1 click. -or- Give April a power action to heal all adjacent friendly characters with the TMNT keyword 1 click each.).

She also sports Plasticity and Super Senses, so she has some use as a tie-up piece in a pinch; but her Trait (WE GOTTA SAVE APRIL: When April would be KO’d by an opposing character’s attack, place her on that character’s card instead and place a Rescue token on April’s card. Friendly characters with the TMNT Ally keyword modify their attack value by +1 when targeting a character that has April on its card. If a character with April on its card due to this effect is KO’d, place April into a square it last occupied on click #1. At the end of the game, the opponent scores 25 points for each Rescue Token on April’s card. This ability can’t be ignored.) makes it so that almost anything your opponent does to get rid of April actually plays right into your hands!

Again–your opponent KO’ing April actually makes it easier for you to KO their pieces! And the alternative to that is for your opponent to ignore April, if possible (again, that Plasticity may throw a wrench into those plans), and watch as she constantly heals your ENTIRE TEAM EVERY TURN WITHOUT EVEN ROLLING ANY DICE!!

This is how you make Turtle teams viable!

griddex

4. TMNT2032 Griddex 125 PointsChase:

This is just a good ol’fashioned BEATSTICK who also comes with juuuuust enough trickeration to make executing an 11-Damage Alpha Strike feasible!

His low Movement (with Charge) is made up for by the fact that he has Improved Movement: Ignores Elevation and his Trait (SHRINK TO SAVE YOURSELF!: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose one to last until your next turn. Griddex has Giant Damage Symbol; -or- Griddex has Tiny Damage Symbol but can’t make attacks.), which can be used either offensively or defensively.

Worried Griddex will get sniped on approach? Choose Tiny Size and watch as your opponent tries to hit a 20 Defense Value (or more with Hindering).

Want to pick up an Ultra-Heavy object and Charge your opponent for 11 Damage, but find you’re just one square short? Choose Giant Size and add +1 to your reach!

Remember, the Trait is a “may” power, so if you want to keep him regular size for TK’ing (or whatever), just decline to use the power that turn.

But wait–4 native Damage plus 3 from an Ultra-Heavy is only 7 Damage? How is he dealing 11? His Attack Special (POUND, CRUSH, SMASH: Griddex can use Super Strength. When he makes a close object attack and hits, after actions resolve he may make a close attack targeting the hit character.) is just as ridiculous as Armaggon’s… except Griddex costs 45 Points less!

 

shellectro

3. TMNT2034E Shellectro50 PointsChase:

Shellectro is a really efficient Secondary Attacker who somehow only costs 50 Points. Wing Symbol plus 9 Movement also makes him a pretty good Taxi, too!

Running Shot with a 7 Range, 10 Attack with Pen/Psy, 17 Defense with ES/D AND 3 native Damage with an awesome Captain Marvel-esque Special (COUNTER FORCE BOLT: When Shellectro hits with a range attack, choose one hit opposing character. That character can’t make range attacks until your next turn.)… this is the sort of starting click you only used to see on 70 or 80 Point figures.

TMNT got a huuuuuuge boost this set as a viable keyword (and Shellectro has “Scientist” as well!).

 

Shreds.jpg

2. TMNT2018 Shredder50 Points Uncommon:

So… is 50 Points is all we have to pay for an above average Secondary Attacker nowadays? First Shellectro and now this?

Shredder is a close combat machine with Charge and B/C/F, but what takes him over the top is Defense Special (YOU CANNOT BEAT ME, EVEN FOUR TO ONE: Shredder modifies his defense value by +1 for each opposing character within 3 squares.), which can shoot his Defense Value up to 20 in the right circumstance!

A rabid wombat who you can’t quite hit but has the potential to stab you for 6 damage every turn is a nightmare to deal with. But Shredder has one more (Traited) trick up his sleeve-less armor (THERMITE GRENADE: When Shredder is KO’d from an attack, deal 3 penetrating damage to all characters within 3 squares, and on the same elevation, of the square that he last occupied.).

So, even if you manage to KO him, chances are you had to fatally injure your own characters to do it.

renet-t-2

1.TMNT2029 Renet Tilley55 PointsSuper Rare:

So, when this set was still being revealed, Ninwashui and I had a conversation that went something like this:

HypeFox: Hey, Ninwashui, who’s the best Taxi in Modern right now?

Ninwashui: Uh, Fugitoid? He can Carry four different characters if they know the password (i.e. share a keyword), and he eventually gains Outwit, and–

HypeFox: What if I told you there was someone better. In the same set.

Ninwashui: Well, Shellectro is ridiculous for his points, so an argument could be made–

HypeFox: Nope. Not him either.

So, in a set where the designers had already given us two of the best Taxis ever, the powers that be decided that we needed, arguably, the BEST Taxi ever made.

How did this happen, you might ask? Well, luckily Critical Missives has obtained a transcript of one the design conversations that lead to Renet’s dial:

Lead Designer: “Alright Steve, what do you have for the Turtles 2 super rare slots? We were gonna do another Renet, right?”

Steve: “Yeah. So I was thinking of a good existing template figure for her. How well do you remember that Fast Forces Scarlet Witch from Chaos War? Her Rookie dial, I mean?”

Lead Designer: “You mean the one that could do just about everything you ever need from a supporting piece, but only cost 50 Points? She had a 6 Range, Prob, Perplex, Mystics TA and Barrier. She was a nightmare. She even had Pen/Psy in case you ever wanted to attack with her, which was stupid because she could already control the flow of the game with all of her other powers and abilities. Way under-costed. Let’s not do that again.”

Steve: “Okay, yeah, but what if we took away Barrier, Perplex, the Mystics TA and reduced her Range to 5?”

Lead Designer: “Ehh… I dunno. You always do this. You say you’re gonna take some stuff off the dial, and then right after you do and get the figure approved, you add like five more things to the piece.”

Steve: “No, no, it’s cool. Not even gonna give her a Team Ability.”

Lead Designer: “No Mystics? Well… okay. And no Barrier, right? I guess that would keep her a little bit closer to that 50 Point cost. She’ll still be pretty good though.”

Steve: “Yeah, but not unbalanced.”

Lead Designer: “No, not unbalanced, I guess. Okay. Let’s do it!”

Steve: “… ”

[Types away on his keyboard.]

Lead Designer: “What? Why are you smiling?”

Steve: “Real quick, I just added two more clicks of life to her, so she’s got five clicks now instead of Scarlet Witch’s three.”

Lead Designer: “Wait, what? This is what we JUST talked about!”

Steve: “No, no, it’s fine. Just two bare clicks. Two… bare… ish… clicks.”

Lead Designer: “What did you put on those clicks, Steve?”

Steve: “Nothing! Just, y’know Phasing/Teleport. Like Scarlet Witch had.”

Lead Designer: “Uh-huh. And… ?”

Steve: “And… I bumped her Movement up to 12, added in Sidestep and a special portal-based Carry ability that lets her take four other characters with her wherever she goes.”

Lead Designer: “WhatwhatwhatwhatWHAT? She’s a Taxi now too?”

Steve: “Oh, and to make up for her reduced Range, I gave her a special Prob on her even clicks that lets her Prob rolls from anywhere on the map.”

Lead Designer: “To be clear: you’re saying that since her Range was reduced by 1 measly square, you thought a good balance to that was to let her Prob from anywhere on the board. Thus making her Range pretty much irrelevant.”

Steve: “Yeah. Well that, and, y’know, I gave her Charge and Blades in the middle of her dial for when folks move in close to her.”

Lead Designer: “Who even makes a ‘Prob from across the board power?’ Range and line of fire requirements are the only thing that keep Probability Control from getting out of hand! Do you know how much more she’s gonna have to cost now that you’ve added all these other powers in?”

Steve: “Waaaay ahead of you. Instead of fifty points, how about… fifty-five points?”

Lead Designer: “Get the hell out of my office.”

Steve: “Thanks for the lemonade.”

 

Alright! Agree? Disagree? Feel free to post your comments down below! And come back soon for Ninwashui’s Joker’s Wild Top Ten Review!!