More Avengers, Less Punctuation!! (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati!!)

Hello Again! Annnnnd, we’re back! Better late than never, right?

And we couldn’t have asked for a funner set with which to return to feature writing! Now we can continue our run as the most enjoyable Heroclix-focused gaming blog out there!

And our new reign is all thanks to this new expansion featuring our friend T’Challa and his Illuminati buddies!

Your Reign is Over.jpg

Okay, maybe “friend” was a strong term. Alright T’Challa, how about we just, like, surrender and go right into the article?

Then Lets Get This Started

Then it’s agreed!! So without further ado, let’s start with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

Thor Lightning

–I really think this is the most powerful set we’ve gotten since The Mighty Thor, which came out way back in, like, August of 2017.

Just like that set, this expansion has extremely powerful Chases, Equipment and Cosmic entities.

Personally, I love this stuff. I mean, who saw an Elders of the Universe Sub-Theme coming? Moreover, who thought these pieces would be so good. Which reminds me…

Elders of the Universe Banner

–The Elders of the Universe Sub-Theme is REALLY freaking good!!

Collector, Astronomer, Champion, Gardener, Trader, Voyager, Runner, Grandmaster, Challenger, Possessor… and I’m still probably forgetting a few. But they are ALL playable and several are downright META!!

The Finder

–The packs seem to be somewhat searchable! So far I’m 11 for 13 in picking packs with Equipment (including an Ultra-Chase Thanos!!)

But this isn’t a total neckbeard disaster like Trinity War was, because 2 of the Chases and the Super Rare Prime all come sans additional elements, so if you only go looking for packs with Equipment, you’ll never pull something like the Black Panther Chase. Speaking of…

Infinity Gauntlet

–The Chases aren’t tied together by any one Theme, really, except that they’re all pretty damn good (okay, Starbrand only shines in Limited, but still). Secret Wars: Battleworld was the same way. Still, I miss Themed Chases!

Why wouldn’t they have just shifted Starbrand and Black Panther to Battleworld and put Infinity Gauntlet Black Panther Chase in this set?

Anywhozl… let’s get on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Okay, I can go all day with Honorable Mentions (this set is REALLY deep), but, with apologies to figures like Challenger, Rune, Eitri and Prime Black Panther, I’m only going to talk about two pieces:

Voyager

2. ABPI017 Voyager — 50 Points — Common:

Okay, she should actually be higher on this list, because she is a Meta-level Taxi. But there’s so many great pieces in this set, so she’s going here!

But she starts with either Outwit or Perplex, the best Telekinesis Special (STRAINING MY POWERS OF TELEPORTATION: Telekinesis, but only to place characters. When Voyager uses it, neither she nor the target character’s square need line of fire to the destination square.) I’ve seen in a long time, Phasing/Teleport and the Power Cosmic TA.

Did I mention she only costs 50 Points?

Medusa

1. ABPI030 Medusa — 50 Points — Uncommon:

Here comes another solid Medusa dial!!

Her Trait (AN EXTENSION OF MYSELF: Living Hair has the printed combat values, and can use the standard powers, displayed on the dial of the character that generated it. Protected: Pulse Wave.) is her main reason for being here; if you play multiples of her, she can get scary in a heartbeat.

And if you have enough Empower on the board, watch out!!

 

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO…

Here are…

THE BEST TEN PIECES IN THE SET!!

 

Trader

10. ABPI05 Trader — 50 Points — Rare:

He’s cheap! He’s got Power Cosmic! He’s got Perplex!

I know, I know, 50 Points would be a bit much for JUST a Perplexer, but with Sidestep and Power Cosmic, it’s easier to move Trader where you need him each turn than some other supporting characters.

But he made the main list for one reason: his Attack Power (LET’S MAKE A TRADE: FREE: Choose an equipped character (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares and line of fire. If Trader is equipped, and both equipments have Equip: Any, those equipments are now equipped to the other character.), which can allow for all sorts of shenanigans!

Choose Pen/Psy and Outwit with a character equipped with the Infinity Gauntlet, then switch in, say, the Power Gem for even more damage! And guess what? You can then use the Infinity Gauntlet with the character who previously had the Power Gem!

And that’s just what you can do with friendly swaps! You can also use it defensively to take better stuff from your opponents! The possibilities are endless!

Yelena Belova

9. ABPI013B Black Widow — 30 Points — Common Prime:

Wow! I like her 60 Point line a lot too, but man, for 30 Points, you get an absolute toolbox of abilities at your disposal!

To wit:

She has Sidestep, she ignores Characters on movement, she has Traited Shape Change and Stealth, 10 Attack, 2 Damage and a Special Defensive Power (LETTING YOUR GUARD DOWN: Combat Reflexes. FREE: Choose an adjacent character and a standard defense power. Until your next turn, the chosen character can’t use the chosen defense power.).

That’s a lot of usability! Plus she’s a Wildcard!

Her only downside is a lack of decent keywords (Martial Artist is probably her best).

Doc Strange AbPI.jpg

8. ABPI053A Dr. Strange — 120 Points — Super Rare:

The bearer of the Soul Gem has a ton going for him.

Running Shot and Pen/Psy top dial. Mystics TA. A sweet Damage Special (WE MUST WORK TOGETHER: Perplex. When Dr. Strange uses it to target another friendly character, you may choose a standard damage power that character can use. Dr. Strange can use that power until your next turn.) that encourages thought in who you pair him with.

All in all, a really efficient supporting/Secondary Attacker piece!

Gary Frank Hulk

7. ABPI014 Hulk125 Points — Common:

This is the definitive “Peter David/Gary Frank-era” Hulk dials, and they just casually throw it on a Common Hulk?

We’ve got Charge (with Improved Movement: Blocking, so Barrier and Printed Walls mean nothing to him), 12 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Indomitable and Impervious and 5 (FIVE!) Damage top dial with Outwit!

He has one “drawback” Trait (WEAKENED BY RAGE: When Hulk takes damage from an attack, after resolutions give him a Rage token. Modify Hulk’s combat values by -X, where X is the number of Rage tokens. At the end of your turn, remove all Rage tokens and heal Hulk that many clicks.) that actually HELPS his survivability!

Yes, he doesn’t have any Outwit protection himself, and yes, he is a Close Combat piece, but man, there’s not much else you’d want. Pair him with a TK’er or a Vehicle and you’ve got a boatload of trouble for your opponent.

Black Panther incarnation

6. ABPI072 Black Panther — 85 Points– Chase:

The original Panther offers a TON of usefulness for his points. His only problem is that is top heavy and kind of a glass cannon; if you’re opponent can lay hands on him, he’s in trouble.

Luckily, that’s hard to do. If you win map, his main Trait (THE PANTHER GOD: Stealth. Opposing lines of fire can’t be drawn to Black Panther if he occupies printed hindering terrain. Protected: Pulse Wave.) should make even touching him darn near impossible (and of course he has Improved Movement: Hindering and Elevated)!

He starts with Hypersonic Speed, Precision Strike with a 12 Attack, 19 Defense with Super Senses and 3 Damage with Traited B/C/F (BEFORE HUMANS TOPPED THE FOOD CHAIN: Blades/Claws/Fangs. Opposing characters within 3 squares can’t use Blades/Claws/Fangs.) and Battle Fury to burn through Shape Change.

Yes, he’s only a close attacker, but he’s got some great potential damage output combined with some wonderful mobility and survivability!

As a special bonus, that B/C/F Trait kind of shuts down those SR Wolverine Call-Ins, too!

 

Chase Cap

5. ABPI071 Captain America — 150 Points — Chase:

This is a little bit of a cheat as well since I’m again counting the Chase Equipment that comes with him–The Infinity Gauntlet. But with his Infinity Gauntlet, Cap here has six Clicks that have to be gone through one by one since he has Power Cosmic, Invincible and a sweet defensive Trait (THE GEMS… THEY WANT TO BE TOGETHER: Barrier. Barrier as FREE, but only to generate 1 marker. Captain America can’t be healed and takes a maximum of 1 damage from an attack. Protected: Pulse Wave.) that makes it hard to target Steve, much less KO him.

His damage output isn’t huge, but if he hits, he can change the board with his Attack Special (PUSHING PLANETS AWAY: KNOCKBACK. When Captain America knocks a character back, add 10 to the amount of knock back.) that features a Knockback power like we’ve never seen (and props for being comic accurate!).

If you want an unkillable Call-In generator, call on Cap.

 

Taskmaster.jpg

4. ABPI061 Taskmaster — 100 Points — Super Rare:

100 Points for the most versatile piece in the set.

Taskmaster has the Wildcard TA, Indomitable, Sidestep, Toughness and Leadership top dial, plus his first Trait (JUST BECAUSE YOU HIRED ME, DOESN’T MAKE US FRIENDS: Taskmaster doesn’t count against themed teams.) ensures he’ll always fit on your team.

His second Trait (I MEMORIZED MOVES FROM DOZENS OF CHUMPS, TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT!: FREE: Choose two: Charge, Flurry, Running Shot, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Incapacitate, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Precision Strike, Combat Reflexes, Energy Shield/Deflection, Close Combat Expert, Exploit Weakness, Ranged Combat Expert. Taskmaster can use the chosen powers until your next turn. This turn, characters targeted by Taskmaster with an attack can’t use the chosen powers until your next turn.) gives him access to almost any other power in the game that you might want. Hell, give him Iron Man’s Infinity Gauntlet and he literally WILL have access to any four powers in the game that you might want at any one time!

Someone is going to figure out how to exploit him because he’s basically designed to be exploited. He’s essentially a one-man Shifting Focus piece that plugs in to any Themed Team.

 

Kobik_(Earth-616)_from_Thunderbolts_Vol_3_1_001

3. ABPI069 Kobik — 115 Points — Chase:

If you like unkillable moving castles that let you Call-In almost any X-Men piece you want, meet your new best friend.

Outside of being hard to even hit, Kobik has a fun Trait that has the potential to wreck your opponent’s strategy so long as you construct the rest of your team correctly (REWRITE AFFILIATIONS: FREE: Choose both a friendly character and an opposing character with printed team abilities. Those characters can use the team abilities printed on the other character instead of their own printed team abilities until your next turn.).

She also has Power Cosmic, Perplex, Prob and an 8 Range, Shape Change, Super Senses and a 19 Defense on her first two Clicks. That is a LOT to get through!

On top of that, at 115 Points, she gets the best Cosmic Cube (FREE: Choose one: Place this character up to 3 squares away from its current square; -or- Until your next turn, [Improved Targeting: Elevated, Hindering] and modify range +2; –orGive an action token to an adjacent opposing character. If you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage. Light Object.) and a once-per-game Sideline shenanigans Trait [REWRITE HISTORY: POWER: Once per game, choose an adjacent friendly character on their starting line and a characters on your sideline with the same name as the chosen character. If the first character is equal or more points than the second, replace the first character with the second on their starting line. (That character can’t have the same set symbol and collector number.)].

She has already started showing up as a Supporting Character/Call-In generator, and I don’t think she’s going away any time soon!

 

Collector.jpg

2. ABPI064 Collector — 55 Points — Super Rare:

55 Points gets you the Power Cosmic TA now?! Holy crap!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hell, 50 Points gets you PC now. Look at Voyager!]

Oh, and it also gets you (usually) six clicks of life, 11 Attack with pretty much the best version of Incapacitate the game has ever seen (I FIND YOUR HAMMER VERY… UNIQUE: Incapacitate. When Collector uses it, instead of giving action tokens, after resolutions you may choose one Equipment-Object equipped to a hit character and unequip it. // FREE: Equip an unheld and unequipped opposing Equipment-Object within range and line of fire.) and a Trait that lets him take full advantage of it (MY COLLECTION GROWS: Collector can be equipped with any number of Equipment-Objects at the same time. Protected: Pulse Wave.)!

Get used to seeing this guy on Meta teams for the next two years…

 

Thanos Annihilation

1. ABPI074 Thanos — 160 Points — Ultra Chase:

Where to start with a figure that does virtually everything? First of all, he comes packing Skreet, who might be the best POG we’ve ever gotten.

Skreet

Skreet has Flying, Phasing/Teleport with 8 Movement, Pen/Psy with a 10 Attack and 4 Range, a 19 Defense (19!!) with Tiny Size and Impervious and a native 2 Damage with her lone Special Power (CHAOS MITE: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Skreet uses it, she modifies a value +2 or -2 instead, then rolls a d6. [1-2]: The modifier becomes 0 instead.).

Yep! That’s right! Thanos comes with his own Tertiary Attacker WHO ALSO HAS THE BEST PERPLEX SPECIAL IN MODERN!!

And you know what? THAT’S NOT EVEN THE ONLY GAME ELEMENT HE COMES WITH!! Whaaa… ?!

Yup!

Thanos also comes with the little-known SEVENTH Infinity Gem—The Ego Gem–for free!! This Gem allows it’s bearer to collect other gems (thus getting around the “one Equipment at a time” rule) AND let’s it’s bearer increase any Combat Value by +1. So, basically, you have a Perplex even if someone somehow Outwits your Perplex.

Okay! Now that we’re like 5 paragraphs in, we can finally talk about what is actually on Thanos’s dial!

First of all, he’s rocking both the Power Cosmic and Mystics TA. Yeah–probably the two best TA’s in the game, and Thanos has both of them.

He starts with a 12 Attack and 4 Damage top dial, along with Sidestep and an 18 Defense with Invincible. His Damage Special (THE BIOLOGICAL APPLICATION OF COSMIC POWER: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Thanos uses it to target a friendly character, that character can use [Power Cosmic] until your next turn. When Thanos uses it to target an opposing character, that character can’t use Willpower or PROTECTED: Outwit or Protected: Outwit until your next turn.) is flat-out amazing, and is one of the best Damage Specials in the game!

Starting on Click 2, Thanos’s Attack Special (GENOCIDE IS NOT WHAT MISTRESS DEATH DESIRES, BUT IT’S WHAT THE MAKER’S FOLLOWERS DESERVE: Precision Strike. FREE: Make an attack targeting an opposing character, but only if there’s another opposing character with the same name on the map. // When Thanos KO’s a character, after resolutions KO all bystanders generated by that character, then heal him 1 click for each bystander KO’d this way.) allows him to literally clear house if your opponent was careless enough to double stack characters on their team.

(And yes, if he’s your Primary Attacker, he can also bring in some heavy-hitting X-Men for Call-Ins!)

In Epic (400+) games, Thanos is an absolutely street sweeper!

But even in 300 Point games, he is an absolute force to be reckoned with.

And that’s why he’s number one on this list!

 

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Black Bolt’s Gas Is Deadlier Than His Voice. (Or, A Top Ten Set Review Earth X!!)

 Earth X

Some Notes About the Set:

Sinister Six

  • Don’t let the inclusions of Black Panther, Hulk, Cap, or Iron Man fool you – This is a Spider-man set. Most of the pieces revolve around him which is weird since I don’t remember the comic revolving exclusively around him.

Miles Morales

  • They finally gave a us a great Mile Morales figure… almost.  EAX037b Spider-man has powers and abilities that represent Miles perfectly, but the keywords seem like they are describing another character altogether (Most people think they seem like they are for Spider-man 2099). So for those of you waiting to create an awesome Champions team… better luck next time.

Hulk Earth X

  • The Sculpts are really well done this set! Daredevil and Hulk stand out in particular to me.
  • Wizkids suckered me in to spending more money than I otherwise would have. I traded for an SR Iron Man. He works best with the Map in the starter. So I bought a starter. Then I heard the Token Pack had the Iron Avengers on the back so I bought that too. In the end this SR will be costing me more than most Chases. I hope it’s worth it.
  • Below I am ranking the figures in this set, but the real winners are the equipment. In particular the Symbiote and the Goblin Glider will be Meta staples until they are retired.
  • I didn’t include him in the list below, but EAX021 Fancy Dan has gotten a lot of attention from some big HeroClix names. I haven’t figured out the best way to use this guy yet, but he may be a part of some very successful teams. Consider him an “unofficial” Honorable Mention…

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Fat Spidey

5. EAX015 Spider-Man (30 Points) – His special white power reads, “Everyone has Power, So My Only Responsibility is to My Daughter: Leap/Climb. When Spider-man moves, after resolutions you may choose a friendly standard character adjacent to a square he moved through. If you do, place that character adjacent and it can’t be given a costed action this turn.” That lets him serve as a Taxi pre-combat and then as an incredible re-positioning piece that can move any of your pieces to where they need to be in a fight, whether or not they started adjacent. Of course, the best reason to put him on this list is that he gives Spider-man Family key worded pieces their first TA to copy without breaking theme since 2014! Spidey fans, rejoice!

Medusa X.png

4. EAX060 Medusa (75 points) – Speaking of pieces that a are really good at re-positioning other pieces during a fight…

Her damage potential isn’t high and her defenses are soft, but she brings a lot to a build in other ways. She has a Special Power and a Trait that are worth mentioning here: “ Lethal Locks: Plasticity, Giant Reach: 3. Telekinesis as FREE, but replace all “6” with “3” in the text of the power,” and also “ Lockjaw’s Tuning Fork: FREE: Improved Movement: Characters, Elevated, Hindering, Blocking. Passenger: 2, but only to carry characters that share a keyword regardless of . Move up to 3 squares.

Essentially she can move herself up to 6 spaces in a turn as free actions and still make attacks with her range of three or giant reach of three and quake. She can also carry characters up to 3 spaces with her or TK them as free actions instead of using those powers on herself.

Pres Osborn

3. EAX029 President Osborn (50 points) – In truth, none of the characters with the New York Crime Boss Trait are bad, but President Osborn is the one that will see the most play. The Crime boss trait reads like this: “ New York Crime Boss: Leadership, Mastermind. When President Osborn uses Leadership and succeeds, instead of removing an action token you may generate two Hired Flunky bystanders (MAX 4).

What sets Osborn apart from his Mafia peers is that he has MUCH better keywords along with the unique ability to double Perplex his “bodyguard”. I can see that being abused to great effect.

Stegron

2. EAX038 Stegron (75 points) – So in the same set that brought us Sinister Syndicate figures that gain a huge buff when exactly 6 figures are on your team, we get this guy (with the same keywords) that can generate up to 3 bystanders. That seems really useful on a Syndicate team.

As for the figure himself, he’s slow and his lack of Willpower is something you will really lament. However, when he and his friends finally do catch up with the opposing team, they’ll bring a lot of pain for a very low 75 point cost.

Spidey A side

1. EAX037a Spider-man (90 points) – This is an unusual showing for Spider-man. Gone is the usual Charge or Hypersonic speed that we are used to seeing with him. In it’s place is running shot and incapacitate via his web shooters item. While the item is the worst in the set, the figure using it is pretty good (which makes him the complete opposite of EAX051 Venom).  Besides running shot the other thing that makes this guy stand out is a trait I don’t remember seeing before on any other piece – Collosal Retaliation on a standard size character. It reads, “ Protect My Family: FREE: If no other friendly character has activated this trait this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked a friendly character with the Spider-Man Family keyword since your last turn. Place Spider-Man such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.” With a trait like that it’d be hard to justify not putting him on a Spider-Family theme team.

And now, on to the Top 10!

Earth X Loki

10. EAX058 Loki (150 points) – Okay, so Loki has some obvious problems for a 150 point character. No inherent move and attack. No Willpower. No obvious protection from Outwit.

So what makes him worth playing? His second Trait reads: “ In The Minds Of Mortals: Shape Change, Stealth. Once per turn, when a character of less points within line of fire makes an attack, you may reroll one die of that attack.” That means he gets a free use of a power like Probability Control (but better) every turn. That’s good, but not awesome until you combine it with the actual Probability Control he has top dial. Together it lets you reroll friendly or opposing dice twice in one turn and that can just be crushing to an opponent. Especially if you add some other fun reroll characters like Trelane, Renet Tilly, or The Unseen.

Some of his weaknesses can also be compensated for as well. That Stealth helps mitigate opposing Outwit and something like the Goblin Glider will give him all of the movement he could ever need. He can also be Carried, which will help keep his action token count low.

Beetle Pod

9. EAX035 Beetle (75 points) – According to Mugatu, the Sinister Syndicate is just So Hot Right Now.

And if you are going to play the Syndicate, it’s really hard to justify not including Beetle because of his Trait. It says: “Organizer Of The Sinister Syndicate: Leadership. When a friendly character within 6 squares replaces its attack value using the Sinister Syndicate team ability, modify its attack +1.”

Aside from that Trait, the Beetle figure is good, but not over powering. However, on a keyword team full of mostly close attackers, his ranged attacks are a nice change of pace.

Sandman

8.  EAX006 Sandman (50 points) – Don’t look now but they put a pick a power character into the common slot for this set. So his first click already has Sidestep, Super Senses, Shape Change, and Stealth as long as there are more 3 or more characters on a team. Assuming you move him around with a Taxi (like SFSM029 Overdrive) you can pick another power to add to the ones I’ve already mentioned. Most of the time that will be Invulnerable. Either way, those powers added together make the best array of defensive powers we’ve ever seen on a 50 point character.

Then, once it’s time to go on the offensive, he can drop the Invulnerability and choose either Charge or Flurry. I’ve already (during the Release Event) been on the receiving end of a Flurry attack from this character when it had 4 damage and 11 attack. That was an unexpected–and also very quick–game loss for me.

Black Bolt Earth x

7. EAX047 Black Bolt (150 points) – Officially one of the highest point characters in the set and also one of the best. His starting click with Hypersonic Speed and 5 damage is downright scary. Beyond that, he has a Trait that makes him practically immune to attack until he’s taken an action. It reads: “ONLY ONE MAN COULD MOVE THAT QUIETLY: When Black Bolt has no action tokens, lines of fire drawn to him are blocked.

You just need to find a find a good taxi like EAX060 Medusa or a vehicle (or LE Lockjaw!!) and you’ll maximize the effectiveness of the Trait. He also has a comic accurate Special Power on his last two clicks: “WOUND WITH A WHISPER, SHATTER WITH A SCREAM: Pulse Wave. When Black Bolt uses it, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Blocking Terrain and you may instead choose a number from 1 through 5 to be the range value for Pulse Wave (You don’t halve it and can’t modify it). After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within that use of Pulse Wave’s range.” Choosing your range combined with Running Shot makes it real easy to hit an opposing character with a 5 damage single target Pulse Wave.

Not bad for a figure that’s almost KOed.

Miles I Am

6. EAX037b Spider-man (75 points) – As I mentioned in the set notes, the keywords on this figure are disappointing, but the figure itself is not. Part Spider-man and part Batman, he’s just a well-rounded figure that delivers everything you’d want for his point cost.

For 75 points he comes with Indomitable and the ability to ignore everything while moving except for walls. He’s got consistently strong attack and damage values and the option of having Stealth to go along with his Outwit on his first few clicks. He’s also got Super Senses his whole dial (and it’s immune to Outwit). So he’ll be a stealthy support figure on your team until he’s ready to play the hero and then he’ll Charge in with that awesome 12 attack on his opening click.

Green Goblin.jpg

5. EAX050 Green Goblin (75 points) – It’s better to think of this guy as a version of The Flash rather than a typical Green Goblin piece. Gone is his traditional Running Shot.

Now, thanks to his Goblin Glider equipment, he has full dial Hypersonic Speed, which is also bolstered by the Sidestep printed on his dial. And unlike the Flash or most Green Goblins we’ve seen in the past, this piece starts with two clicks of Invulnerability on defense.

On Offense he starts with Precision Strike and moves to Energy Explosion down dial. It’s also worth noting that every click except his first and last clicks will have Perplex or Outwit. But the best part about this figure is his special Stop Click at the end. It reads: “IMPALED BY THE REMOTE CONTROL GLIDER:FREE: KO a Goblin Glider equipped to Green Goblin. If you do, modify attack +3 and make a range attack targeting a single opposing character that deals 3 penetrating damage instead of normal damage. If he misses, KO Green Goblin.

That’s one of the most comic accurate special powers I have ever seen. Even if you don’t hit, you earn tons of style points for using it.

Skull

4. EAX030 The Skull(40 points) – For 40 points you get a figure that does what no other figure ever has been able to do before. He can use Mind Control with unlimited range and he’s the cheapest figure ever to start with a 12 attack!

With all that going for him on offense, he’s a defensive pushover, right? Actually no. He also happens to be the cheapest figure ever to feature 2 Stop Clicks and those Stop Clicks have Mastermind.

His only weaknesses are having just one keyword and that fact that Mind Control isn’t always useful against every opponent every game. So some games he won’t be much help, but in other games this 40 point figure will be the most feared part of your 300 point Build.

Earth X Daredevil

3. EAX054 Daredevil (60 points) – The Heir Apparent to JW060 The Joker, Daredevil trades the Jokers almost complete inability to be killed for some increased offense. Where the Joker has 10 attack and 1 damage, Daredevil has 11 attack and 3 damage. That’s a huge upgrade. He also has some nice powers to go along with that increased offense. Hypersonic Speed, Quake, Blades Claws Fangs, or Plasticity and Poison can all be chosen after each time an opponent attempts to KO Daredevil.

On defense the only thing that will hurt Daredevil is an attack roll with a 6 in it. That means he will last a lot longer against a few big enemies than a lot of small enemies. It also means that things like Poison, pushing damage, Mystics damage, or Shredder Elite damage can never KO him.

Iron Man Earth X

2. EAX056 Iron Man (125 points) – This character is the best Bystander Token creator since JW050 The Penguin. And he brings new options to Avengers teams the likes of which they have never had before.

His real cost is actually 5 points more because you’ll always want to use his special map with him. With that map he can generate a Bystander as a free action most turns. You can chose to take Iron man into battle to make use of his Barrier or leave him in your starting area. Once he takes a hit, or enough Iron Avengers are KOed, he switches to a powerful attacker. He’ll have Running Shot 11 attack and 4 damage. Once he takes a few more damage from that point he gains Pulse Wave to go along with his Running Shot.

Venom Cap

1. EAX062 Captain Venom (75 points) – Captain Venom brings new power to the already powerful Monster keyword. To that end he’s got a Trait and a Special Power that both help monsters. The Trait states, “EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED:During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.” His Special Power is, “READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES:Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.”

His dial is also very good for the points and if he can make it to Close Combat without getting hit at Range then he will do well for your team. However the real reason he’s the number one figure in this set is the strength of the Monster Keyword. That keyword won the world Championship in 2018 and if Captain Venom has anything to say about it, they’ll be a favorite to repeat in 2019. And that’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

 

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!!

 

Missing: One God Doom. (Or, A Top Ten Set Review of Secret Wars Battleworld!!)

Some Notes About the Set:

  • We didn’t get God Doom in this set and we are never going to. We didn’t get Doom with the combined powers of the Iron Fist, the Starbrand, the Sorceror Supreme, and the Spirit of Vengence. We’ll never see him either. We also won’t ever see Universe creatin’ Reed or Franklin Richards. We did get three of the Avengers B.C.. So at least that’s something. I’ve been hoping to see them for a while now.
  • The power level of the set is high with at least 3 (probably more) good choices for new tent pole characters to build around in today’s meta. (see entries 1,2 and 3 on the list below for examples)
  • The Battleworld Keywords were poorly done. Nick the Fury and Big Boss Hill should definitely not share a named Battleworld keyword.
  • The Baron Traits are even more powerful than the Headmaster traits from the X-men set. On the flip side, any character with a Battleworld keyword has a hidden weakness to opposing Barons. If you come up against a baron that can apply the -2 modifier to your best figure, then you will lose a large majority of those games.
  • The uncommons are where it’s at for this set. If you’ve only got a little bit to spend on this set, I would recommend picking up those. You’ll be happy with what you get.

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

15) SWB015 Molly Hayes (25 points)- For 25 points she has trait stealth, occasional sidestep, 4 starting damage, 5 clicks of health (all with toughness), a damage value that doesn’t go below 3, and 18 starting defense. She is deadly on every click. I have seen her embarrass other figures more than 4 times her cost. Her weaknesses are her movement value and her inability to push. Thankfully these are weaknesses you can compensate for. Any taxi will usually be enough to help you get the most out of her. However, she may also be the answer to Heroclix’s greatest question. “Now that we have all of these vehicles in modern, who should we use to pilot them?” A simple AIG005 Dune Buggy will remove all of her weaknesses and both figures together cost a total of 55 points.

14) SWB006 Sheriff Steve Rogers (50 points)- I have to admit that I expect big things from Sheriff Steve and I haven’t seen them yet in tournament results. His special power states, “NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW: Leadership. When Sheriff Steve Rogers or an adjacent friendly character is attacked, the attacker cannot positively modify or replace their attack value.” Which essentially boils down to your figures with Energy Shield (including him) being well nigh unhittable with ranged attacks. With the right team build that could make Sheriff Steve essentially the new version of JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow.

13) SWB030 Stick (45 points)- For 45 points you get 5 clicks of pretty decent close combat powers and stats. He’s got Close Combat Expert and Combat Reflexes on every click as well as steady combat values. But the real reason to play him is for what he can do to help other close combat pieces. He’s got starting Empower and a trait that allows someone who missed a close attack roll to make a close combat attack once as a free action. What you might not realize when you first read him is that the character that missed doesn’t need to use that free attack immediately. You can save it up for whenever it’s needed most. 

Image result for spider island

12) SWB018 Spider-Man (70 points)- It’s the same Spiderman Dial we’ve been getting for years. Charge, Super Senses, 18 defense, 6 Range, Spider-man TA, etc… Only this one has starting outwit along with full dial perplex and full dial leadership. He’s a 50 point support piece melded with your typical Spider-man dial and still only costs 70 points. Sure he does have a trait that says he can’t move or attack the first two turns of the game, but I find that typically doesn’t make a huge difference in most games. His lack of willpower is the only thing keeping him out of the top 10 and I’m wondering if that that was a mistake.

11) SWB022 Ultimate Thor (125 points)- What can I say I love the ability to see through stealth and I really love the even rarer ability to use outwit on a character hiding in stealth. Beyond that he’s got steady attack and damage values, the wonderful crack the case trait, and damage reducers his whole dial. You could also plan a nice team around his 100 point value and the ability that point level gets to teleport to other Thors. It all depends on what you need, but both point values are good.

10) SWB044 Witch Hunter Angela (45 points)- There are 2 constants you are going to see at competitive modern tournaments: ID Cards and Colossal Retaliation. Witch Hunter Angela (and to a lesser extent SWB040 Spiderling) is Wiz Kids silver bullet for Colossal Retaliation. Her trait reads: “THE WITCHBREED SUMMON MORE FOUL MONSTROSITIES: Witch Hunter Angela and other friendly characters within 4 squares modify attack +2 when attacking characters with [Colossal symbol] or the monster keyword. Witch Hunter Angela and other friendly characters within 4 squares modify defense +2 when being attacked by characters with [Colossal symbol] or the monster keyword.” That boils down to +2 defense against Colossal Retaliation and +2 attack against them to make sure they they won’t live to make a second attack. Beyond that she’s a standard Charge/Blades piece that’s cheap enough to fit on a lot of teams and still have plenty of points for a main and secondary attacker.

9) SWB023B She-Hulk (130 points)- Similar to SWB018 Spider-Man this is the typical She Hulk piece that we’ve seen several times before, but with several support powers thrown in and still a reasonable point cost. She has starting Empower and Enhancement to go along with her full dial Perplex and Leadership. Unlike Spider-man she does have some cool new tricks that we haven’t seen a She-Hulk come with before. She has full dial plasticity (which is always great on any close combat piece) and a 19 starting defense which combos well with her perplex. Additionally, she has a steady attack value and a neat trick where figures next to her can’t use Shape Change, Mastermind, or Stealth.

8)  SWB028 Maestro (175 points)- He’s like a slightly bigger badder version of She-Hulk. He’s got the same leadership, perplex, and 19 starting defense. He’s got full dial steal energy. He should be very tough to KO because of his damage reducers, dial length, and steal energy. And at the end of his dial he’s got the ability to make multiple attacks and even attack while double token-ed, so just when you think you are finally going KO him he’ll start healing again. If you don’t outwit you’re in trouble.

7) SWB065 Agamotto (170 points)- He’s got starting 12 attack, 19 defense, and 4 damage. He can see through stealth, he’s got a power cosmic TA, and his Probability control can hit you anywhere on the board. He’s a great ranged attacker who should do quite well for you as long as you can keep him out of close combat. Make sure to team him up with ADW035 Dr. Strange for token removal and let the mystical fun commence. (Side Note: I can’t ever see myself using this guy at his 90 point line. If it were 60 points that would be more appropriate.)

6) SWB055 Dino-Thor (90 points)- It’s hard to believe this guy is only 90 points, but I guess with a negative trait and no damage reducers it somehow still works out in the points system. His starting click powers just work really well together. He has 12 movement with Hypersonic Speed. So he can move 12, make a close combat attack, and then use his special power SCALES OF JUSTICE to give an adjacent opposing character -1 to all stats and greatly reduce their ability to fight back. When he does finally get hurt his combination of steal energy and regeneration should quickly get him back in fighting shape.

5) SWB031 Alex Wilder (25 points)- This guy hasn’t caught on yet, but I think that’s only a matter of time. For 25 points he’s great on almost any team. He’s got traited Stealth, traited Shape Change, occasional Sidestep and a Special Power that reads, “SEVERAL STEPS AHEAD OF YOU, YOU JUST DON’T KNOW IT: FREE: An opponent chooses two: Outwit, Perplex, Probability Control. Alex Wilder can use the chosen powers until your next turn.” Generally that special power translates in him having perplex and prob control most turns. That’s great for a 25 point character. There is a problem of the opponent gaining control of Alex when he is a KOed, but with proper planning you should be ready for that and essentially turn that into 25 easy to score points followed by you getting your figure back.

4) SWB063E Sheriff Strange (50 Points)- At 50 points he’s the cheapest Baron in the set and he shares the Battleworld: Other keyword with a lot of the best figures in the set. He’s not a primary or secondary attacker, but he can do decent damage at range if you line things up correctly. He’s really more of a Taxi/Support piece. He does have a stop click and he’s the only figure in the Battleworld set with Mystics TA. (Side Note: does anyone else think the Mystics TA is getting really rare now? Not even Morgan Le Fay has it in this set.) I believe you can definitely get 50 points worth of use out of him for everything I mentioned so far, but he’s also the silver bullet for ID cards. His trait reads “THE WALLS OF BATTLEWORLD MUST REMAIN INVIOLATE: Opposing characters must use a DOUBLE POWER action instead of POWER action to activate ID cards.” That won’t stop your opponent from completely using ID cards, but it will slow them down a lot! (Side Note: Sheriff Strange works great with SWB007B Thanos. He can give Thanos a lift and +2 to one of his stats before Thanos has killed anyone. That first kill is always the hardest.)

3) SWB056 Witch Queen Le Fay (150 points)- In a competitive scene where perplex is rampant and even built into arguably the top character (TMT058R Uni-Mind) there is definitely a place for someone like Witch Queen Le Fay. Her Weirdworld trait says, “UNTAMED WEIRDNESS: Opposing characters’ combat values, except range, can’t be modified when attacking Witch Queen Le Fay or being attacked by Witch Queen Le Fay.” It’s true that she can still have her values perplexed down, but I find myself doing that a lot less often than I use perplex on my own figures. Beyond that she has a Special White Power the likes of which we have never seen before. “IT’S NOT YOUR MYSTIC DRAGON, ARKON: [Wing] symbol. Witch Queen Le Fay can use all standard speed powers except Earthbound/Neutralized and Stealth. When she misses any target of an attack, after resolutions she can’t use this special power for the rest of the game.” The available combinations boggle the mind. Plasticity to break away, then sidestep, then running shot, then pulse wave with knock back thanks to force blast. How about sidestep, charge, and flurry? Lots of options to explore.

2) SWB061 Black Panther (150 points)- For 150 points he doesn’t have a bad click… because any click he’s on can be whatever you want it to be. His very first click makes him a defensive powerhouse. I would recommend adding the symbiote on him to make him even harder to damage. With the symbiote on his first click he would have Impervious, Shape Change, Super Senses, and probability control all while being immune to both Pulse Wave and Outwit. That sounds like a giant headache to go up against. On offense you’ll be attacking with the Hypersonic Speed on click 1 most of the time. 11 attack (backed up by probability control), and 4 damage are a great Power/Stat combo for a 150 point character.

1) SWB007B Thanos (175 points)- This should have been a nearly unobtainable SR Prime, but instead it was the common prime that is much more obtainable. Thank you Wizkids for the early Christmas present. His dial is 8 clicks long with reducers the whole dial and the Power Cosmic TA to make sure opponents have to go through those reducers the hard way. He can pick any generic keyword during force construction for easy team building. He also has a cool Special Probability Control that states, “TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO TRY AGAIN: Probability Control. When Thanos uses it to target an attack that would have hit Thanos and it misses him (after all rerolling), generate a [SW: B] #007a Thanos Duplicate on the click #1 that appears after the orange KO. This game, it has a 0 point value for all effects (including scoring).” I don’t think Thanos duplicates are that great, but they are well worth 0 points. I’ll take that deal every time it’s offered. What really makes him great is his ability to upgrade himself. Every time he KOs a character (including his own) of 25 points or more he gets a gem token. His trait states, “ONE STONE AWAY FROM THE INFINITE: FREE: Modify X different combat values of Thanos +2 until your next turn, where X is the number of his Infinity tokens.” He starts with lowish Stats for a 175 point character, but adding +2 to even a couple of those stats makes him real crazy very quickly and that’s why he’s the best character in this set.

 

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!

 

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.