My WKO Diary and the Top Ten Sealed Pieces in Batman: The Animated Series—Part TWO!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Previously, on Critical Missives, HypeFox journeyed to his local WKO to try his hand at some Sealed Meta. He made Top 8, and was just about to start his Top 8 playoff run… ]

TOP EIGHT:

versus…

Roberto Ty (@tydesign)

Superman Animated.jpg

His Team:

BTAS001A Batman — 50 Points

BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points

BTAS006 Alfred — 20 Points

BTAS022 Mr. Freeze — 100 Points 

BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points

Total = 300 Points

What Goes Down: Here we go! This was my first WKO playoff game. I know Roberto very well–he plays at my LGS, so we’ve faced off many a time.

I’m usually much more aggressive than Roberto; his turns are much more planned out than mine (to his credit). Still, looking at his lineup, I’m feeling pretty confident.

We dance for the first few turns as we line up potential Alpha Strikes. Eventually he has no choice but to go for it with Supes’s once-a-game Hypersonic Speed.

He misses. Now I’ve got him!

Except I miss. Reroll with my Robin–miss again. Yuck.

He quickly moves his Batman and Mr. Freeze up. After I take out his Alfred, his Mr. Freeze starts to go off. Eventually, Wonder Woman and my Joker fall. My Duo Flurries through his Batman, and his Supes is a bit injured.

I take out his Joker finally, and he responds by chopping through my Hawkman dial. This works to my advantage though, as I get to start on Click 1 of Hawkgirl’s dial, which give me Outwit and Hypersonic Speed.

The Outwit allows me to take away Freeze’s dampeners, and Robin lands a couple hits.

Roberto moves Freeze back. On my turn, I clear Hawkman & Hawkgirl. It’s neck and neck. Still, Freeze is now within Hypersonic range, and on my next turn I should be able to take him out, although then Superman will get a free shot on Hawkgirl (he’ll need an 8 though to do three).

I’m running through these Scenarios as Roberto contemplates his next move. And then:

“TIME! LAST ACTION!”

Doh!

Roberto’s not in a position to make an attack at that point, so it’s going to come down to points.

I’ve KO’d his Joker, Batman and Alfred for 100 Points.

Roberto has KO’d my Chase Wonder Woman and Joker for… wow. 100 Points!

That’s right! We’re going to a roll-off!

We roll at the same time, and I watch carefully as my first die comes to a stop on a 6. Yes! The second bounces for a bit before it lands on a 1. No!

Still, 7 is respectable. I look over at Roberto’s dice:

CRITICAL HIT!

Yup. He rolled two 6’s!!

I’ve lost, and Roberto is moving on.

Still, it was a hard fought battle on both sides, and Roberto deserved to move on in this tournament.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Of course, I almost screwed that up when I absent-mindedly packed up my stuff and accidentally grabbed his Superman!! Luckily, he had another one with him. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR CLEANUPS, FOLKS!]

RESULT: LOSS (4-1), OUT OF TOURNAMENT

Which brings me to what I learned, and my…

TOP TEN SEALED PIECES IN BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES!!

 

Green Lantern SF.gif

10. BTAS069 Green Lantern — 70 Points — Chase: He’s a reasonably priced Taxi that morphs into your Primary Attacker just one click in.

That’s when his Flying combines with Running Shot, Pulse Wave and 3 Damage top dial–with Perplex to boot!

While his Trouble Alert Trait might entice you to keep him in your Sideline, he’s actually one of the most effective mobile attackers in the set.

He’s crunchiness against anyone sporting a yellow power and his inability to do anything against Stealth keep him from going higher on this list.

 

Joker BTAS.jpg

9. BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points — Common: Four PACKED clicks for just 30 Points, including TOP DIAL PROB!! He also offers a Special Attack Power (DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.) that essentially combines Smoke Cloud and Incapacitate.

This plays like a 50 Point dial that they inexplicably mislabeled. If you pull him, I strongly suggest you play him.

 

Hawkgirl SF.png

8. BTAS073 Hawkgirl — 50 Points — Chase: Charge and Exploit and SIX FREAKING Clicks for 50 Points is great (yeah, she has to attack first each turn or get a major penalty, but whatever). But her ability to generate up to TWO Autonomous Bird tokens with Flurry is why she’s on this list.

If you can move up someone with Empower after generating the tokens… oh boy! She can cause no end of issues for you opponents.

 

Zatanna JLU

7. BTAS061 Zatanna — 75 Points — Super Rare: Solid dial with a Perp & Prob Special plus the ability to pop out free Bats with Enhancement. See above for why useful tokens are good (okay, these Bats aren’t quite as good, but Zatanna has a better dial for Sealed than Hawkgirl).

 

Man-Bat BTAS.png

6. BTAS057 Man-Bat — 75 Points — Super Rare: Hypersonic AND Stealth, plus some Special Super Senses shenanigans. He’s a solid attacker that can unleash some real havoc if played on the right map.

 

The_Flash SF.png

5. BTAS068 The Flash — 60 Points — Chase: Yep. Another freaking Chase. But most of them are soooo good for their points! And that’s before you look at the Meta implications of their TroubleAlert Traits.

Still, in a Sealed environment, 3 Damage top dial is good. Hypersonic Speed is great. Probability Control is priceless.

Barry Allen here gives you all three for just 60 Points.

 

Supes

4. BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points — Rare:  Sometimes, you just want to open a brick to build your team around. Well, here you go. 4 Damage top dial plus two really good Specials, especially in Sealed.

The first (I’LL BE THERE IF YOU NEED ME: Charge. Once per game, Superman can use Hypersonic Speed.) gives you a great chance at landing an Alpha Strike. The second (TAKING THE HITS MY TEAMMATES CAN’T: Leadership. Adjacent friendly characters can use Mastermind, but only to choose Superman.) can really throw a monkey wrench into your opponent’s attack plans.

 

Wonder Woman SF.jpg

3. BTAS067 Wonder Woman — 70 Points — Chase: Hypersonic Speed top dial with 3 Damage, a great Taxi ability (GIVING THE SUPER FRIENDS A RIDE IN THE INVISIBLE JET… EVEN AQUAMAN: Hypersonic Speed, [Wing Symbol], Passengers: 2. Wonder Woman may carry one same size character with [Dolphin Symbol] in addition to any other carried characters.) and an even BETTER Attack ability (LASSO OF TRUTH TO CAPTURE THEM ALL AT ONCE:: FREE: Choose an opposing character within 5 squares and line of fire that has a character adjacent to it. Roll a d6 for that character and each character adjacent to it. [4-6]: give the character you rolled for an action token.).

Add in some Shape Change to eat up some opposing attacks and you have one of the best Sealed pieces in the set.

 

Batman BTAS.jpg

2. BTAS040 Batman — 125 — Rare: Wow! This piece will absolutely wreck opposing Primary Attackers. He’s got Outwit, TA-granted Stealth, Sidestep, Quake with a 12 (!) Attack, 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes (and remember, he’s got Stealth, so most attacks against him are going to be from Close Combat) and Indomitable, Toughness and the ability to ignore opposing Shape Change.

And that’s just his top dial.

And that’s before you add in the Batarang Equipment which gives him a FREE RANGED ATTACK EVERY TURN THAT IGNORES ALL KINDS OF STUFF ON TARGETING!!

 

Hawkman and Hawkgirl

1. BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl — 125 — Super Rare: I went on and on about this piece last time in Part One of this article. But it’s all true.

There is no more mobile attacker in the whole set. This piece also has the best survivability AND the most consistent offense of any piece in the set.

If you open this piece in a Sealed, you must build your team around it.

It’s that good.

 

Okay! Thanks for staying with us. Our next piece should be Ninwashui’s Top Ten Set Review for Batman: The Animated Series.

So we’ll see you then!!

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My WKO Diary and the Top Ten Sealed Pieces in Batman: The Animated Series—Part One!!

BTAS.jpg

Welcome Back!!

Today we’ve got another blow-by-blow tourney report for you; and this time, it’s my own!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ninwashui, eat your heart out!]

It’s our coverage of the Southeastern Michigan Wizkids Open from this past Saturday (July 21st), and it’s start now!

TOURNEY REPORT FOR 07/21/2018!!

Eternal Games

11:00 – 11:30AMYou are looking live at a bustling Eternal Games in Warren, MI! Okay, not live, I guess, since this was six days ago, but still, it’s a pretty nice venue that frequently hosts the biggest Clix tourneys in the area, and registration is underway!

Between the Main Event and the Battle Royal side events, I’d wager about 26-32 different Clix players will make their way to the venue today. That’s a healthy, if not overwhelming turnout (this venue can turn out 40-50 players sometimes for a WKO or ROC. Unfortunately, several players from my venue alone are on out-of-town vacations this week–including Ninwashui.).

As I enter the Clix area, I’m debating whether I actually want to enter the Main Event or just hold off for a bit a play some Battle Royals. I wasn’t able to play in the B:TAS Pre-release, although I did make it to our Release event. Still, I’m not overly familiar with all the pieces in the set, and I haven’t played much Meta since this past March, when I had a disastrous Constructed WKO at this same venue.

But when I look over to the competitors who have already entered, I count at least 6 players that I know personally (3 of whom I would term as regular fixtures at my “home” venue, Comics & More in Madison Heights; and three who have played there more than once in the past 12 months).

There are some STRONG players here, but the fact that I know almost a fourth of them tips the scales for me. I’m gonna play the Main Event until I know I’m out of the running, then maybe catch a Battle Royal on my way out.

NOON: Packs have been distributed. There are twenty to twenty-two players (never did see a final count) in the Main Event. Time to get cracking.

I immediately open my first pack.

Common Batman, Common Joker… AND A SUPER RARE HAWKMAN & HAWKGIRL!!

HMHG SR

I knew this piece was in the set, but I didn’t know exactly how good it was (boy, was I about to find out!).

While I’m sitting there admiring my shiny new SR, everyone else around me has just about finished opening their packs. I start calculating what everyone’s opened in my head. I opened one SR… the guy next to me opened a Ventriloquist w/Scarface… and suddenly there were only two packs left to be opened from the Brick that was distributed to the five players immediately at this end of the long table.

Tim, a really nice guy who occasionally treks across town to play at C&M, pops open his last booster. It’s Super Rare Zatanna. Hmmm…

My first thought is, “Damn, that would have been a nice addition to both my collection AND the army I’m building with Common Joker and SR Hawkman & Hawkgirl.”

Then I realize that no one has pulled a Chase yet from our Brick. This is both a good thing and (potentially) a bad thing. I WAS familiar with many of the Superfriends Chases from this set, and while they all have an absolutely SICK Sideline Active Trait called “TROUBLE ALERT” that lets you call them into the game for no cost under certain circumstances, most of them have almost intentionally blandly designed dials that are not great for Sealed play.

There are a few exceptions, though. Green Lantern could be quite useful. Batman is really efficient for 60 Points AND has Running Shot and 3 Damage top dial, both of which are rarities in this set. Apache Chief and Hawkman can pull off some Close Combat shenanigans. The Flash is actually kinda good.

I open the last pack… Poison Ivy… Rare Robin and… CHASE WONDER WOMAN!!

Chase Wonder WOman

Yup!! In a set with 7 dials that have any sort of access to Hypersonic Speed (3 of which are CHASES, natch!), I pulled two of them.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

My final team:

BTAS003 The Joker30 Points:

What He Brings: Ridiculously cheap Prob. Also a Special Smoke Cloud (DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.) that also gives him a sneaky good Incapacitate.

BTAS041 Robin — 75 Points:

What He Brings: Fairly expensive Prob, plus Running Shot (again, not a common power in this set), Incapacitate and down dial Enhancement and Perplex. He’s also got six Clicks of life and some pretty good evasion (ES/D top dial, Combat Reflexes & Super Senses down dial) to potentially eat some attacks.

BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl — 125 Points:

What They Bring: Uh… great stats, versatility and almost every power you’d want in the game? In addition to being able to choose between two different AWESOME dials at the start of your turn, there are two Traits here which are just bonkers-good in general and god-tier good in this Sealed environment.

The first (ETERNAL LOVE AND ETERNALLY CURSED: At the beginning of your turn, you may turn Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s dial to the same click number of a different color. // When Hawkman & Hawkgirl would be KO’d, you may instead turn them to click #1 of a different color and they can’t use this trait for the rest of the game. Protected: Pulse Wave.) grants that versatility I was just talking about AND gives them a Stop Click to end all Stop Clicks!!

The other Trait (BRINGS AERIAL MOBILITY TO THE TEAM: Sidestep, but may move up to 3 squares instead. Modify attack +1 when targeting only characters without [Wing Symbol].) takes their already great mobility and sends it into the stratosphere AND gives them +1 to attack, like, 75% of the set!

Lastly, for some reason, Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s card only lists Hawkman’s powers. Hawkgirl’s dial (which features Hypersonic Speed and Outwit) is nowhere on the card. This actually turned out to be a big advantage for me as well, even though I didn’t realize it at the time and it really had nothing to do with how smartly or stupidly I played.

Other than all that, Hawkman & Hawkgirl didn’t bring much at all…

BTAS067 Wonder Woman — 70 Points: 

What She Brings: Hypersonic Speed, the ability to Carry two people, 3 Damage, Invuln (huge in this set), Shape Change, and a Lasso Special Attack (LASSO OF TRUTH TO CAPTURE THEM ALL AT ONCE:: FREE: Choose an opposing character within 5 squares and line of fire that has a character adjacent to it. Roll a d6 for that character and each character adjacent to it. [4-6]: give the character you rolled for an action token.) that flings tokens like your drunk uncle flings $1’s at a gentleman’s club.

On this team, that means I have two sources of Prob and 3 ways to Incapacitate/add action tokens to my opponents’ characters.

Total= 300 Points

Okay! Here we go…

Oh, wait. Hold on a sec. I forgot to list my Map choices… oh dear.

Uh… yeah. Only after registration and army building do I realize… I forgot to bring any maps. So every game I play will be on one of my opponent’s maps.

Sheesh.

ROUND ONE:

versus…

Kaleb

Lex Luthor BTAS

His Team:

BTAS002 Robin — 30 Points

BTAS017A The Riddler — 50 Points

BTAS025 Maxie Zeus — 40 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Get used to seeing this piece–I faced this guy several times!)

BTAS044 Lex Luthor — 50 Points

BTAS074 Hawkman — 50 Points

Total = 295 Points

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is as good of a time as any to note that these matches are reconstructed from my memory and notes taken after each match, so if something doesn’t add up, assume it’s my faulty memory and not some sort of cheating or sneakiness on anyone’s part.]

What Goes Down: So… back in March, at the last WKO when I played a Stealthy team that could still Prob from across the board, I lost Map roll EVERY GAME (including one in which taking the game to Wakanda probably would have elicited a “Good game” from my opponent before we even began!).

Well, on this day I won Map Roll in EACH GAME I PLAYED!! And, I could never take full advantage of this because I brought exactly zero Maps with me.

The lesson, as always: Don’t forget your stuff!

Having said that, this round we end up playing on an Indoor Map with a lot of rooms (I think it was a Premium Map).

Kaleb proves right away that he’s a really crafty player (more on that later), and he flips that Uncommon Batman back and forth between his two dials expertly, which keeps Bats in Stealth practically the whole game.

But he’s about to run into two major problems (none of which he can do much about).

First (and this will be a recurring Theme), I just absolutely had a big mobility advantage over his team.

And second, because of dice luck and positioning, he’s gonna be forced to throw WAAAAY too many resources at my Common Joker. After a few attacks back and forth, he tries to take out Joker with his severely injured Robin.

Snake Eyes. Robin is KO’d.

This means that he has to throw Batman at Joker to finish the job (otherwise Joker would just keep Probbing any misses I had and Incapacitate key members of his squad). Except his dice go cold with Bats, and even when he hits, I Super Sense out of it.

Meanwhile, Hawkman & Hawkgirl start laying waste to the rest of his team, with Wonder Woman swooping in for backup. We had a slight hiccup where I didn’t realize exactly how her Lasso Special worked (it turns out it does target friendlies too), so I had to go back a turn and add an Action Token to her (yes, even in the boiler room of a WKO, most accidental misplays can be settled in seconds between the two competitors as long as they’re both reasonable and respectful with each other. Who knew?!).

It won’t be until Round 2 that I’ll read through Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s card completely and find their silly-good Sidestep ability. Had I known that, I probably would have KO’d more of Kaleb’s characters. Still, I end up winning by about 50 Points or so (something like 80 to 30).

RESULT: WIN (1-0)

ROUND 2: 

versus…

Mike B.

Ventriloquist.jpg

His Team: 

BTAS002 Robin — 30 Points

BTAS008 Two-Face — 75 Points

BTAS023 Kyodai Ken50 Points

BTAS030 J-Man — 50 Points

BTAS058 The Ventriloquist — 40 Points

BTAS070 Apache Chief — 50 Points

Total = 295 Points

What Goes Down: Well, another Map Roll win, another choice of whatever my opponent brought. This time, I’m playing Mike B., and it’s going to be a fun game!

We end up playing on a Harley map (the one with the giant Slingshot/Catapult things, although those don’t end up coming into play), and Mike takes the high ground.

It doesn’t take long for Apache Chief to go Colossal, but it does take Mike a few turns to get the rest of his team moved up into position. Because of my two Hypersonic Speed pieces, I’m able to run mini-raids and punch into his front line.

To slow me down, Mike moves Kyodai Ken up and damages my Robin, but he misses the follow-up shot, which leaves Kyodai high and dry. I quickly dispatch that piece and go to work.

After a few more rounds where we go back and forth, it quickly becomes apparent that the Invulnerability on Hawkman & Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman is going to be a tough nut for Mike’s characters to crack. To his credit, Mike makes great use of his Robin’s Perplex and then Empower to crack the 3 damage threshold, but against my particular Build, it just takes too long to get his pieces into position.

Hawkman & Hawkgirl start going to town with Charge and Quake, which proves particularly deadly against Mike’s team since so many of his character’s powers depend on or are at least greatly enhanced by adjacency.

Once The Ventriloquist and J-Man fall to Hawkman & Hawkgirl, Mike concentrates fire on Wonder Woman, who I had pushed into Toughness on Click 2 in order to take out one of his pieces with a second attack. Unfortunately for him, I end up hitting something like 4 out of 6 Shape Change roles, so Apache Chief has to sit there and do nothing most turns.

Mike B. played an effective Build extremely well, but this was a terrible matchup for his team any way you sliced it. Had he been able to pull a couple Suited Henchman to work with The Ventriloquist (he pulled none) and/or manged to finish off my Robin early on, he might have bought himself some more time to set up a Killbox. And me hitting Shape Change so often probably put the nail in the coffin on this match.

I end up taking his full team.

RESULT: WIN (2-0)

ROUND 3: 

versus…

Chase

Grey Ghost

His Team: 

BTAS007 Leslie Thompkins –15 Points

BTAS018 Renee Montoya — 30 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Mama there goes that man again!)

BTAS024 Lock-Up — 40 Points

BTAS047A Killer Croc — 80 Points

BTAS059 Grey Ghost E — 40 Points

Total = 280 Points

What Goes Down: Chase was probably the nicest guy I played against, and that’s saying something. This WKO was a lot more fun and friendly than the last one I went to.

Regardless, my dice are on fire this game and I basically tear Chase’s team to shreds before he can get any meaningful attacks in against my guys.

My Joker’s Smoke Cloud actually comes up huge here. Because most of his characters are both close combat pieces AND unable to ignore Hindering Terrain on movement, Joker’s Smoke Cloud effectively became Barrier.

I hop over to his Batman first. I hit both attacks and KO him in one turn. Next turn I focus on Lock-Up and bring him down to his second-to-last Click. Finally Killer Croc makes it over to my squad.

But it’s too late. I switch H&H to Hawkgirl’s dial and Outwit Croc’s D, then slice through his dial with merciless precision.

Grey Ghost is a great piece, but on his short dial with Batman already KO’d, there’s almost nothing he can do.

Oddly enough, I keep missing Leslie Thompkins, but soon enough she falls too and the game is over.

RESULT: WIN (3-0)

ROUND 4: 

versus…

???? (I failed to record my opponent’s name this round.)

ManBat

His Team: 

BTAS003 The Joker — 30 Points

BTAS018 Renee Montoya — 30 Points

BTAS028 Batman — 75 Points (Mama there goes that man again! Again!!)

BTAS043 Poison Ivy — 65 Points

BTAS057 Man-Bat — 75 Points

What Goes Down: Man-Bat is a great piece, but his low-ish attack combined with the fact that I usually have two Probs pointed at him at all times means he missed faaar more than he hit this game.

My opponent gets the first licks in for a change, but I roll really well with my Joker and manage to take out his Joker, Batman, Renee and Poison Ivy within the span of about 3 or 4 turns before he manages to finally finish off my Joker.

Eventually I corner Man-Bat at the edge of the map and finish him off.

It was a much closer game than I made it sound, but in the end my dice were just hotter than my opponent’s. Again, he was a shrewd player, but I was frankly just packing more Hypersonic Speed than he was.

(Wonder Woman’s Shape Change came through again, too!)

RESULT: WIN (4-0)

So, at this point, it’s a little unclear how many Rounds were supposed to be played. The organizers had previously mentioned that we’d play either four or five rounds this day.

Well, it turns out that we were only going four Rounds before we broke off into a Top 8. After all the results came in and were calculated, I finish second in the field (about a hundred points behind the gentleman in first place).

I’m going to the Top 8, which officially makes this my best showing ever at a WKO!!

But for that story, you’ll have to wait just a lil bit longer!

(Hey, we’re already pushing 3000 words here!)

Next: The Top 8 story PLUS the Top 10 Sealed pieces in Batman: The Animated Series!