The Once and Future Set (or a top ten set review of the Heroclix JLU set)

JLU

Some notes about the set:

  • Most of you won’t get to see this set until well after it’s release date due to COVID-19. So, hopefully my descriptions will do it justice. Also, this set is already in the units section of HCRealms.com.
  • This is the sequel to the Batman the Animated series set in both flavor and substance. Even the Chases continue the Super Friends line-up along with some of the villains getting in on the fun.
  • This set introduces team up cards and I am torn on their effectiveness. I  like the mechanic for the most part, but the execution was a bit off. Let me explain. Because the cards cost 0 points, the figures were assigned point costs that are about right if you are using a team up card, but the figures that have team up cards as possibilities seem over-costed if you aren’t using any cards. And you aren’t always going to have the team up cards you need or even any team up card choices at all. I opened a brick and only got 4 cards. So a lot of pieces like Superman 001 in this set I didn’t have any card options for, not even bad options. Superman 001’s dial costs 100 points, but on it’s own I’d guess it’s probably worth closer to about 80 points. What I think the designers should have done is assign point costs to the team up cards so that the characters in question are still reasonably costed even if you don’t have any team up card options. This isn’t true for all the figures that can use team up cards in the set, but it is for a lot of them.
  • Between this set and X-men animated late last year, it’s a good time to be a fan of animated super heroes. I was a huge fan of this show.
  • This set doesn’t have a lot of good attackers, but it has tons of great support characters.
  • This is the last set to come out before ID cards are retired from modern. Good Riddance!

And now on to the honorable mentions:

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5. JLU045 Hawkgirl AND JLU045.03 Team Up: Batman (60 points) – Unlike what I talked about in the notes about the set, Hawkgirl does have team up options and is worth her point cost even without using a team up card. Charge, flurry, 12 attack, and 12 movement make for a great secondary attacker. Because her starting defense is combat reflexes, she is vulnerable to being attacked at range. That’s why I’ve picked the Batman card to use her with. The stealth and extra movement it brings are very good bonuses for her. She would do well with the Green Lantern Team up card, but I really don’t like any of the Green Lantern dials made since the soon to be retired Elseworlds set. She also has the option of using a powerful Episode team up card that grants the Mystics TA to her Superman, Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, Aquaman, Amazo, and Vixen. Unfortunately, most of those characters don’t have great dials.

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4. JLU046E Martian Manhunter AND Episode Team Up JLU046.11 (50 points) – He has average attack and damage stats, but defensively he’s a powerhouse. He features Impervious, Super Senses, and Shape Change on his first click. However, his best feature is his powerful Episode Team Up card. It reads, “EPISODE TEAM UP: SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN, BATMAN, THE FLASH, GREEN LANTERN, HAWKGIRL: If 1+ listed friendly characters are on the map, Martian Manhunter and the listed characters take a maximum of 1 damage when on their starting click. If all listed characters are on the map, they and Martian Manhunter have [Teen Titans team ability].” Unlike Hawkgirl’s episode team up card, most of the characters listed on this team up have great dials and the ability to add essentially a stop click at the front of those dials is huge.

Superman Robot

3. JLU018E Superman (10 points) – Wizkids did something unique here and created a generic character dial inside of the dial of a named character. At 10 points this dial isn’t really Justice Lords Superman, it’s actually the dial for one of his many Superman Robots. I love the idea of a single figure that can represent both a unique person and a generic character based on what point level you use. I hope Wizkids does more of this in the future. 

As for the dial itself, it’s not ground breaking but for 10 points it’s very good. It’s single click features indomitable, Close Combat Expert, sidestep, toughness, the Justice Lords trait, and the Superman TA. I can see myself running several of these on competitive robot teams to carry figures like I.S.S.A.C. and danger room sinister, or just to fill points after ID Cards leave modern.

Solomon Grundy

2. JLU050 Solomon Grundy (75 points) – This is a great showing for Solomon Grundy that’s very reminiscent of the Hawkman/Hawkgirl figure from the BTAS set. It features a 10 click long dial that essentially has a stop click in the middle. His trait reads, “THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOLOMON GRUNDY: FREE: Turn Solomon Grundy’s dial to the same click # of a different color. // The first time Solomon Grundy would be KO’d, instead turn him to either click #1 and he can’t use this trait for the rest of the game. Protected: Pulse Wave.” Looking at his dial unless you need the extra movement from sidestep on the red dial, you’re just going to want to leave it on the blue side and then choose blue again when he resurrects. With his damage reducers, long dial, steal energy, and high attack value it’s hard to believe this guy is only 75 points.

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1. JLU062 Ultra-Humanite (25 points) – For 25 points you get a solid TK piece with sidestep and willpower. It also has my favorite trait of the set that reads, “INJUSTICE LEAGUE: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6. 6: Give an action token to an opposing character that’s 100 points or less.” So there is a 1 in 6 chance every turn that this 25 point piece can give an action token to an opposing figure anywhere on the map. What I’ve mentioned so far should already be enough to justify his point cost, but he also comes with a special mind control that reads “FAR EASIER TO USE MY SUPERIOR INTELLECT AND MENTAL POWERS: Mind Control, Sidestep. When Ultra-Humanite uses Mind Control, his range value becomes 8 and he has [Improved Targeting: Hindering, Elevated, Blocking, Characters].” He can target through any type of terrain. Walls, a mountain, and the jungles of Wakanda won’t stop his mind control. If he had any defense or other support figures in the injustice league to pair him with, he would have definitely made the top ten.

Here’s the Top Ten:

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10. JLU035 Superman (175 points) – Potentially the toughest Superman the game has ever seen. Defensively he features 7 clicks that all have reducers, protection from outwit, limited self healing, and 3 stop clicks. But what really makes him so impressive is his long range and huge offensive stats located around those stop clicks. Click 4 has 12 attack and 5 damage. click 5 (his first stop click) has 13 attack and 4 damage. Click 6 has 12 attack and 4 damage.

He’s a one man army. He’ll have to be, because unfortunately at 175 points he takes up most of a 300 point build. Still this is a very powerful character with all the bells and whistles, so don’t underestimate him.

Superman

9. JLU105 Superman (125 points) – Now we get to what I believe is the best Justice League Primary attacker in the set (although he’s actually from the fast forces). The reasons why I like him better than the 175 point superman is that he has a lower cost, starting hypersonic, high attack his whole dial, and the ability to make a second attack if he hit with the first. He’s not as tough as the 175 point version, but he still has two stop clicks at the end of his dial. The large amount perplex available to Justice League team will come in really handy here because his second attack isn’t just limited to printed values, so you’ll get twice the bang for your buck when you increase his damage with perplex. Also, this character greatly benefits from WKMP19-S001 Exospex because he has no range and sidestep as his movement power on every click except his first.

Booster Gold

8. JLU053 Booster Gold (80 points) – This is the best Booster Gold ever made. His 10 Attack and 3 damage are underwhelming, but they are bolstered by his special damage power that reads “SKEETS, BOOSTER GOLD’S BIGGEST FAN: Perplex, Probability Control. When Booster Gold uses Perplex to target himself, he may instead modify a combat value other than damage +2.“He’s got running shot and invulnerability on his first click. He also has a trait that lets him protect himself  and his team from ranged attacks. It reads, “CROWD CONTROL: Barrier. Barrier as FREE, but only to generate 2 markers.” He makes a perfect secondary attacker on a Justice League team.

Amanda Waller

7. JLU040 Amanda Waller (35 points) – An Incredible support figure for Justice League teams with leadership, outwit, and perplex all at the same time. Defensively she has both Stealth and Mastermind. In addition, she brings an awesome trait to the table the reads, “BECAUSE THE WORLD NEEDS A BATMAN: During force construction, choose a friendly character of 125 points or less with the Batman Family keyword. That character has the Future keyword. // At the beginning of the game, choose a combat value. This game, that chosen character modifies that combat value +1.” But that trait is only as powerful as the best Batman Family figure you can use with her, which means the next character on this list must be…

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6. JLU005B Batman (40 points) – No figure has been getting more buzz than this one since being previewed. He has the ability to target everyone in range at the same time with his trait “SOMETHING WHEN GONE, YOU CAN NEVER REGAIN: FREE: For the rest of the game, Batman can’t use the Batman Ally team ability and whenever he occupies a clear square and is given a RANGE action to use Incapacitate, Mind Control, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast, he can use [Improved Targeting: Hindering, This character can make range attacks while adjacent to opposing characters. (May target adjacent or non-adjacent opposing characters.)] and may instead target all opposing characters within line of fire.” Combine his targeting with his 12 attack and his uses of incapacitate or mind control can easily hit a whole team at once. At the back half of his dial is psychic blast that has been in debate online about whether his damage is divided among all hit targets or not. Regardless of the outcome of that ruling, opponents are going to target him first on your team so you won’t get to use those last few clicks very often.

He’s very good if you want to center your team around using him effectively, but he’s not someone you throw on a team without a plan.

Ace GIF

5. JLU058 Ace (60 points) – An incredible support figure with tons of powers. On offense she got a special mind control that reads, “DRIVE YOU INSANE: Mind Control. When Ace uses it, after resolutions give a hit character an Insanity token. // When a character with an Insanity token attacks, modify their attack -2 and then remove one of their Insanity tokens. If they missed all targets with that attack, after resolutions deal them 1 unavoidable damage.” She’s only a 6 range, 10 attack, and no way to move and attack, but if she hits with that it will probably stop the next attack that character makes. But, the real reason to play her is her game breaking trait, “WARP PERCEPTIONS AND REALITY: Shape Change, ProbabilityControl. Other characters (friendly and opposing) can’t use Probability Control except for Themed Team Probability Control.” Of course your opponent could try to take her out, but her last trait will punish them for it. It reads “BATMAN MUST TALK HER OUT OF HER FINAL PSYCHIC BACKLASH: When Ace is KO’d by an opponent’s close attack, deal 1 unavoidable damage to that character. When Ace is KO’d by an opponent’s range attack, deal 1 unavoidable damage to each opposing character. Protected: Pulse Wave.” Her biggest downfall is a Lack of good keywords. Project Cadmus is probably her best team choice.

the atom

4. JLU059A The Atom (40 points) – With Perplex, Outwit, and the ability to make other characters tiny it’s easy to see why he makes a good support character. But he’s more than your average support character. Making other characters tiny is great to allow you to carry a figure that you wouldn’t normally able to carry. ABPI011 Ant-Man has a similar power and I learned to use to great effect when I won a WKO sealed tournament last year using Ant-Man. Atom can also use shrink an adjacent opposing figures to deny them the ability to use their equipment until you next turn, or make it easier for another character to break away from that character, or to open up a line of fire. He also has a special movement power that reads, “RIDING ALONG UNDETECTED: Leap/Climb, Stealth. When an adjacent character is given a MOVE or POWER action, after resolutions you may place The Atom adjacent to that character.” He can use this to tie up opponents and take advantage of of his 19 starting defense. He can also use this to be move along with friendly units that couldn’t carry him because they were using hyper sonic speed or carrying someone else. And because he isn’t actually being carried he can still take a non-free action after being moved. Someone would have to do something absolutely crazy to be a better Justice League Support character.

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3. JLU031B Crimson Avenger (30 points) – So this is a Justice League support character that does something crazy. Just like ABPI069 Kobik he can give an action token to an opposing character as free action. So no having to roll dice, or worrying about defense powers, and he can do it after moving or being carried. Unlike Kobik he doesn’t need to be adjacent, he just needs to be within 5 squares of the character he’s giving the token to. His trait reads, “KNOCKOUT GAS:Smoke Cloud as FREE, but only to generate 4 markers. When Crimson Avenger uses it, after resolutions choose an opposing character occupying or adjacent to one of his Smoke Cloud markers and give that character an action token.He can also use his smoke cloud to hide friendly characters when he’s not in range of an opposing character. Aside from his trait he also has perplex, stealth, poison, and combat reflexes. This guy is low-key powerful and not many people have caught on to him yet.

amazo

2. JLU012 Amazo AND JLU012.05 Team Up: The Flash (125 points) – Amazo is the best primary attacker in this set and he has 5 different team up cards as options. The Flash team up is by far the best. It grants Hyper Sonic Speed and Super senses. He can also use his power adaption trait to get more powers. It states, “POWER ADAPTATION: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose a character within 4 squares and line of fire and up to 2 standard powers that character can use. If Amazo is 100 or 125 points, you may choose 3 standard powers instead. Amazo can use the chosen powers and has the printed range value of that character until he chooses again.” And all of these powers he acquires work with his defensive trait that reads, “INVINCIBLE ANDROID BODY: Amazo takes a maximum of 1 damage when attacked by a character that can use a power other than Willpower that Amazo can use. He can’t be healed, equipped, or chosen for Mastermind.” I should note that his team up card also has an additional disadvantage built in. You can’t have characters on your sideline except those for the Amazo Team Up Cards. (You need to declare what effect your Sideline game elements are for during game force construction.) So that means no ID or trouble alert characters. Obviously he’ll hit his stride after ID cards are retired in a few months.

When I first saw this guy I thought he’d make a perfect primary attacker for the danger room pieces from the last X-men set. Or, he’d at least head up a really nice team of robot pieces from various sets (Ultron, I.S.S.A.C, Cyclops Sentinel, etc…) He could also be part of a very good Cadmus Labs teams with JLU058 Ace, JLU040 Amanda Waller, and JLU051E Batman Beyond. But honestly, any team could use a piece that is a great attacker and only takes one damage from opposing attacks. So lots of opportunity for this guy.

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1. JLU069E Brainiac (10 or 0 points) – This set introduces a new form of sideline active characters with a new trait called “LET’S CAUSE TROUBLE!: SIDELINE ACTIVE – Friendly characters have “FREE: If this character critical hit this turn or made the third attack this turn to hit all opposing targets, place a character from your Sideline that can use a Let’s Cause Trouble! trait adjacent on its blue starting line.” // At the beginning of your turn, if Brainiac started the game due to the Let’s Cause Trouble! trait, roll a d6. 4-6: Return Brainiac to your Sideline.” Brainiac is clearly the best of those 4 characters, but they are all worth having. He starts with 11 attack, triple target incapacitate, outwit, and a special phasing power that works like running shot. He also has a trait that says “THE EARTH…IT’S DISAPPEARED!: Once per turn for all characters with this effect, roll a d6. 3-4: Give each opposing character within 4 squares of Brainiac that occupies elevated terrain an action token. 5-6: Deal each opposing character within 4 squares of Brainiac that occupies elevated terrain 1 penetrating damage.” So imagine you roll a critical hit on your turn and you put this guy out for free, you can then incapacitate up to three opposing figures, use his trait against elevated figures, and use outwit on someone’s defense power. That’s a really good deal for 0 points and and could be a huge change in momentum in a game.

Because this character lives on your sideline and doesn’t cost points or affect your theme team bonuses, there is absolutely no reason to not put him on every sideline of every team (not featuring Amazo) for the next two years until he’s retired. And that’s why he’s the best character in this set.

 

 

That’s it for this set review. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of my picks.

 

 

A Critical Missives Brick Opening: JLU

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Hi guys. Critical Missives got a brick of the new set and I’d like to share all of the pictures with you. Of the 10 packs I got 1 Prime, 1 Chase, 3 SRs, and 5 packs with just rares (although four of those packs contained Team up cards). I’m a big fan of this set and I’m happy with my pulls. So without further Ado…

Pack 1 (Prime Batman)

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Pack 2 (Stripe)

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Pack 3 (Amanda Waller)

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Pack 4 (Green Lantern Team up, Blight)

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Pack 5 (Lex Luthor Team up, Static Shock)

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Pack 6 (Gorilla Grood Chase)

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Pack 7 (The Atom)

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Pack 8 (Green Arrow Team Up, Amazo)

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Pack 9 (The Flash Team Up, Shade)

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Pack 10 (Ace)

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As usual, you can find all these dials in the forum section of hcrealms.com. Good luck with your bricks!

Oh Captain, my Captain (or a top 10 set review of Captain America and the Avengers

Cap Prerelease

Some notes about the set:

  • The Avengers and Shield keywords did well. The Masters of Evil were pretty good. The Thunderbolts were refugees from a previous set where the power level wasn’t quite as high. They would be decent 3 years ago, but not now.
  • The espionage trait is my shared favorite trait in a long time, and it is all over this set. It makes a lot of useful figures in the lower rarities.
  • Speaking of rarities, some of the SRs and Chases are the most powerful we’ve ever seen. Especially the Avengers and SHIELD pieces.
  • We got the best versions of some of the marvel mainstays (Thor, Hulk, Spider-man) that we’ve ever seen.

And now on to the honorable mentions:

5. CAAV062E Baron Zemo (45 points) – At 45 points he does everything you need him to do. He’s a stealthy outwit character, who grants your whole team the Avengers Initiative TA, and makes your whole team into one named keyword. If the core Thunderbolts were better,  he would be in the top 10.

4. CAAV018B The Captain (45 points) – The first character on this list with the living legend trait that reads, “LIVING LEGEND: The first time each game The Captain would be KO’d, instead turn him to his last non-KO click, then roll a d6 and heal him equal to half the result. Protected: Pulse Wave.” In the captain’s case that likely means that he will come back on his support clicks, but that’s still a really good deal. So for his 45 points you get 6 clicks, then the trait essentially acts as a stop click and gives you at least more click of life after that. Your opponent is going to spend at least 3 good attacks KOing this guy and he’s only 45 points! Beyond that the designers just decided that he deserved 11 attack on every click. All of them. I have never seen that before. At the beginning of the game he’ll also pick up the Marvel TA of your choice (like Avengers Initiative, Masters of Evil, Underworld), or become immune to probability control!

nick fury

3. CAAV007 Nick Fury (75 points) – This is a great showing for Nick Fury that I am sure will show up on a few winning builds before long. He’s the first character on this list with my favorite new trait “Espionage” that combines well with his starting outwit. It reads, “ESPIONAGE: Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, Improved Targeting: Hindering.” Beyond that, he’s able to make his own strike team of very capable SHIELD agents by hitting his leadership rolls. Should he come under fire, he also has one last trick up his sleeve. A special stop click that reads, “LIFE MODEL DECOY: STOP. Mastermind. When this click is first revealed, after resolutions roll a d6. Place Nick Fury up to that many squares away from his current square.

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2.  CAAV006 Sharon Carter (35 points)  – Bringing leadership, perplex, the shield TA, and possibly outwit to your team. She’s guarded from ranged attacks by both ESD and the Espionage trait. With a starting 10 attack, 5 range, and 2 damage she’s a capable 3rd string attacker from the safety of hindering terrain.

war machine

1. CAAV053A War Machine (100 points) – How is a guy that can attack twice in a turn most turns (“60% of the time, it works every time”) not be in the top 10? Well this is just an extremely powerful set and there is a guy a little further up the list that is almost the same as him, but slightly better. That being said, War Machine is no slouch. In another set he would be challenging for the top spot. He’s an Offensive powerhouse who can ignore hindering terrain for targeting. He also features running shot, psychic blast, and a self-perplex he can use to add to his starting 11 attack and 4 damage. In addition, he has a trait that reads “MINI-GUN TARGET LOCK: When War Machine hits, after resolutions you may give a hit character a Target Lock token, then remove all other Target Lock tokens. // FREE: Make a range attack using War Machine’s printed attack and damage values, but only to target the character with his Target Lock token.” His real weakness is defense. He does start with 18 defense and invincible, but his 6 clicks of life will seem rather short when he comes under fire from opposing forces.

Here’s the top 10:

10. CAAV049 Taskmaster (60 points) – At sixty points with stealth and perplex he makes a great support figure for Thunderbolts or SHIELD  teams. But labeling him a support figure would discount his starting 12 attack, blades claws fangs, and the ability to gain charge or flurry. He’ll hide as support figure until the opponent gets close enough for him to pounce and embarrass a higher cost figure in one-on-one combat. Sneaky good.

9. CAAV071 Ghost Rider (70 points) – for only 20 points more than ABPI017 Voyager you get a figure that can move your whole team AND kicks a huge amount of butt for his point cost. You’ll lose the starting outwit that voyager has, but gain in every other category. His biggest draw is his trait that reads “THE AVENGERS HAVE A SWEET NEW RIDE: Passenger: 3, but only to carry character who share a keyword regardless of [Wing symbol]. // Ram. When Ghost Rider uses it, he modifies speed +3 and does not take unavoidable damage from it.” He’s the first clix in the game to be able to use ram and not take damage from using it. So your opponent needs to constantly worry about how many characters they have across from this guy or they risk him attacking 2 or 3 at a time from up to 13 squares away.  Offensively, he starts with charge, exploit weakness, and 4 starting damage! On Defense he has a full dial of damage reducers and the rarely-seen-these-days mystics team ability.

8. CAAV052 Spider-Man (85 points) – PlayStation Spider-man comes in at number 8 with an impressive dial. Defensively he’s a stud with a Stealth Mode dial that would make even Batman jealous. It brings a special movement power that reads, “TAKING OUT FISK’S OPERATIONS ONE HIDEOUT AT A TIME: Sidestep, Stealth. // FREE: Place Spider-Man in a square of hindering terrain within 4 squares and line of fire.” Combine that with his toughness, shape change, and super senses that succeeds on a 4-6 (it’s also immune to outwit) and you have one of the hardest characters to damage we’ve ever seen. Which means he should make it to his target untouched. That’s where he switches to Fight (AKA instant-kill) mode. The main attraction of that mode is his higher attack values and his damage power that states “THE RIGHT GADGET FOR THE JOB: FREE: Choose one: Outwit, Perplex, Close Combat Expert, or Exploit Weakness. Spider-Man can use the chosen power until your next turn.” So Spidey has better gadgets now than Batman does. Wizkids will be hearing from Bruce’s Lawyer.

7. CAAV075E Peggy Carter (50 points, but more likely 0 points) – She has 4 clicks of life that are bolstered by the Living Legend trait . This is important because she may be KOed when she first comes into play and get use out of that trait right away. She also brings out a Becky Barnes bystander when she comes into play and Becky is a skilled close combat attacker with willpower and 18 defense bolstered by combat reflexes.

It was hard to pick which spot on my list this lady should get, because 99% of the time she’s played she will be coming into the game from your sideline for the low cost of zero points. I can 100% say she is worth the zero points you are paying for her. But she is only as good as the best Captain America or Steve Rogers you can play with her, which means the next character on this list has to be:

6. CAAV038 Steve Rogers (50 points) – From the moment this guy was previewed people online have been theory crafting teams based around his trait which reads, “WE’LL TAKE ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET, IF YOU’RE WORTHY: Leadership. During force construction, you may choose a standard character of 50 points or less. That character loses its printed keywords (for the entire game) and then gains either the Avengers -or- S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword (choose one).” Most of the Internet settled on Prime Vulture being the best new Avenger, but teams with Mr. Oz, Danger Room Magneto, and (if I get my way) Super Friends Hawk Girl are also possibilities. Besides his trait he’s also a capable support figure with perplex, leadership and the SHIELD team ability. Defensively he features combat reflexes and the Living Legend trait.

5. CAAV074E Ultron (100 Points) – The go-to figure for robot or Masters of Evil Teams. Yes, I am aware that Ultron has a higher cost dial with a 14 starting attack. This point level is where I envision him being played the most. He still has a great starting attack of 12, perplex to help his team, sidestep that works well with equipment like the power stone, psychic blast, his ENCEPHALO-RAY trait, and 2 of the 3 stop clicks that the 150 point dial has. But most importantly the 100 point dial gives him what he needs most – room from other characters on your team. 150 points is a lot to use on one figure in today’s 300 point meta.

4. CAAV070E Thor (75 points) – The best Thor we’ve ever seen and just like Ultron I like him best on his mid dial rather than his full dial. He’s the most efficient 75 point ranged secondary attacker I have ever seen. The number on reason is the extra powers his lightning marker gives him while attached. “CRACKLING WITH ELECTRICITY: When Thor has the Lightning marker attached, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Poison. // When Thor has the Lightning marker attacked, he has Mystics team ability, but only for close attacks.” Poison in particular is super useful against characters like Q or Kobik that have great defenses, but no reducers. Beyond that trait his starting dial has running shot, 11 attack, 4 damage, invincible, and probability control. As an added bonus, this Thor is also the first one I can remember having a stop click.

3. CAAV058 Immortal Hulk (100 points) – The reason why is most people are using him is that he is a nearly-immortal ID card launcher. So he can just walk up to the other team and starting summoning out cards like 100 point Colossal Iceman or 85 points Asgardian Storm and there is not much that the opposing team can do about it. They can’t kill him and if they try it will likely only make things worse. But on the other hand the longer the game goes on, the more powerful Hulk will become. Thanks to his trait which reads, “POWERED BY SADISTIC VENGEANCE: When a friendly character within line of fire is damaged by an opposing attack, put a Vengeance token on this card. FREE: Remove two Vengeance tokens to use Charge at no cost.” So late game after Hulk has built up 2 or more vengeance tokens you can just push Hulk yourself to transform him and you can still make a charge attack that same turn with his starting 12 attack value and 4 damage value. That’s his secret. He’s always angry.

captain marvel

2. CAAV054E Captain Marvel (95 points) – Despite her protests, her cat being a Flerken is the best part about this piece. Chewie the cat has a special movement power that reads “MAYBE IT IS A FLERKEN: : Flurry, Plasticity, Giant Reach: 2“. That goes along well with his blades/claws/fangs, super senses, and perplex. And the best part is that Captain Marvel can put out the Chewie bystander as a free action. Captain Marvel also has a special movement power that reads “HIGHER!: Hypersonic Speed. When Captain Marvel uses it, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to an opposing character she moved through. If that character is a vehicle, deal it 3 penetrating damage instead.” So in the same turn she can move through a person to damage them, make an attack with hypersonic speed, and then drop a Chewie bystander (who gets to use his Flurry and BCF). Beyond everything I mentioned, she has starting probability control and two stop clicks (the 2nd of which is very strong). This makes her a very well rounded character deserving of the 2nd spot on this list.

1. CAAV053B Punisher War Machine (90 points, but you should only play him at 95) – Like I mentioned earlier in War Machine’s entry this guy is very similar, but better. An offensive powerhouse the likes of which we have never seen before. He can attack twice two out of every 3 turns with his trait that reads, “THE WAR NEVER ENDS: Colossal Stamina. // If Punisher War Machine has two action tokens, he has FREE: Make an attack.” And if he wants to burn clicks of life by using colossal stamina, he can make two attacks every single turn (even if he started the turn with two action tokens). His special attack is not limited to his printed values, so increasing his damage with a power like perplex is twice as useful on him. He also has the ability to see through hindering to go along with his starting 12 attack and 4 damage value. On defense he has a trait that reads, “(+5) THE MAN INSIDE IS THE REAL MACHINE: During force construction, you may include a character named “Punisher” of 75 points or less on your Sideline. When Punisher War Machine would be KO’d, instead replace him with that Punisher on its last click then roll a d6 and heal that Punisher half the result. This game, that Punisher can’t be healed any other way. Protected: Pulse Wave.” So just when opponent thinks they are done with this nightmare there is a still a little more to go. Add it all up and this is definitely the best character in the set.

That’s it for this set review. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of my picks.

By The Numbers: A Captain America and the Avengers Preview!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Roberto Ty is back with a preview of the next set! Roberto’s already on to some other column ideas, so if you like what you see here, let him know in the Comments below!]

Cap Prerelease

Pre-release events for Captain American and the Avengers began Wednesday, January 22nd. The set has been largely spoiled through various unboxing videos and retail store online previews. As with any new set, the anticipation is high for new figures that will impact the Metagame. Before looking at Meta construction, most players will have the chance to test run the new figures in Sealed Pre-release events. The Sealed format offers a more level playing field for casual and competitive players alike…if the set design is balanced. While I’m sure there will be primers written in the next few days that will do a deep dive, figure by figure analysis, I prepare by taking a broader view at the numbers.

Rarity Distribution

 

Rarity # Figures
Common 17 plus 1 Prime
Uncommon 17 plus 1 Prime
Rare 17 plus 1 Prime
Super Rare 17 plus 1 Prime
Chase 6 with ClixFX base
Ultra Chase 1

 

The Numbers

The following numbers are based on what has been spoiled so far. We’re still missing a handful of figures, but this small number shouldn’t impact greatly our general analysis.

Point Value Distribution

 

Point Value # Figures
150 2
125 2
100 7
95 1
90 5
85 7
75 17
70 2
65 7
60 8
55 1
50 21
45 5
40 3
35 1
30 4
25 3
20 2
15 1

 

The bulk point values for figures fall in these two values, 50 and 75 points, providing most builds the potential to field at least 3 figures on average. At the high-end is 150-point Captain Marvel and on the low-end a 15-point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. As most experienced players know, a tentpole figure doesn’t always translate to success. Low-point support pieces are just as critical and this set has many low-point characters to fill out your teams. There are 16 figures under 50 points.

Keywords and Team Abilities

 

Keyword # Figures
Avengers 29
Soldier 21
S.H.I.E.L.D. 19
Thunderbolts 19
Scientist 18
Spy 17
Masters of Evil 17
A.I.M. 11
Ruler 11

 

No surprise here, the dominant keyword for an Avengers set is Avengers, followed by Soldier, Scientist, S.H.I.E.L.D., Thunderbolts, Spy, Masters of Evil, and A.I.M. Since Probability Control is typically in short supply, making a Named Themed Team is another way for you to manipulate the dice in your favor. Look to build an Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Thunderbolts, Masters of Evil, or A.I.M. named theme team.

 

Team Ability # Figures
No Affiliation 32
S.H.I.E.L.D. 10
Masters of Evil 10
Avengers 8
Team Player 6
Mystics 4
Underworld 3
Power Cosmic 2
Hydra 2
Defenders 1
Spider-Man 1

 

While the Avengers keyword dominated, the team ability doesn’t top the list. Instead, S.H.I.E.L.D. is prevalent, thanks to all the low-cost support agents and officers. Let’s review these team abilities. Knowing what they do will help you build your sealed team quicker.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Adjacent friendly characters modify range +1. POWER: Choose an adjacent friendly character. Once this turn, the chosen character modifies its damage +1 when making a ranged attack.

Masters of Evil. Colossal Stamina.

Avengers. When this character is given a MOVE action, modify speed +1.

Team Player. Wild Card. Uncopyable.

Of these team abilities, S.H.I.E.L.D can really have a great impact on your build, especially if your team has range. So let’s look at the range breakdown next.

Range and Improved Abilities

Range # Figures
0 10
1-5 33
6 16
7 10
8 4
9 1

 

Expect the bulk of your team to have limited range. This means that if you do pull a figure with a range of 6+, set it in the pile for consideration to make your team. Characters with the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability can aid your team if your range is limited.

  • Improved Ability
# Figures
  • Movement: Hindering
27
  • Targeting: Hindering
19

 

Thanks to the Espionage trait, many characters have Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, and Improved Targeting: Hindering. Let’s look at the dominant traits next.

Traits

 

☆ Trait # Figures
Assembled Bolts and Masters 19
Assembled Avengers 14
Espionage 13

 

☆ Assembled Bolts and Masters. Once per turn when (name of character) hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Masters of Evil or Thunderbolts keywords, remove an action token from Ghost -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.

☆ Espionage. Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, and Improved Targeting: Hindering.

☆ Assembled Avengers. Once per turn when (name of character) hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Avengers keyword, remove an action token from Iron Man -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.

I think the most impactful Trait is Espionage, primarily as a Stealth-busting option. There is a large number of characters with Stealth, but thanks to this Trait I wouldn’t build around it.

Team Mobility: Flight and Telekinesis

 

Team Mobility # Figures
Flight 19*
Telekinesis 3
*051 Moonstone has flight, but Passenger: 0.

 

The ability to move your team can often be the difference in a victory or a loss. In this set, there are 19 characters with flight, with only 18 being able to carry. I would, therefore, value flight characters and automatically put them in the pile for consideration when building my sealed team.

The other method for moving your teammates is Telekinesis. Unfortunately this power is in short supply with only 3 characters possessing the power.

Indomitable and Willpower

INDOMITABLE
Rarity # Figures
Common 3
Uncommon 4
Rare 3
Super Rare 8
Chase 3
Ultra Chase 1
TOTAL 22
WILLPOWER
Rarity # Figures
Common 3
Uncommon 1
Rare 1
Chase 1
TOTAL 6

 

The ability to perform an action in consecutive turns without taking pushing damage can be a difference maker. Indomitable is more prevalent in the Super Rare rarity while Willpower isn’t too common a special power at all. If you pull a Super Rare or higher, chances are you’re playing it. Therefore if you do find a lower rarity character with either Indomitable or Willpower, you just might put the figure in your consideration pile.

Powers

A little programming note before we breakdown the powers for movement, attack, defense, and damage. If a power is included in a special power, then I listed it as that power and not under the special power breakdown. For example, if a special damage power provided Shape Change then I listed it under Shape Change and not under the special. In evaluating the powers, I considered the starting clicks and not later clicks. While later-dial powers are a consideration when building your force, most of the time these are tiebreakers evaluations.

Movement

 

Power # Figures
Running Shot 27
Stealth 25
Charge 21
Sidestep 17
Phasing / Teleport 5
Mind Control 3
Hypersonic Speed 2
Plasticity 2
Force Blast 2
Flurry 1
Leap / Climb 1
Earthbound / Neutralized 1

 

As discussed earlier, the Espionage trait provides many characters with Stealth, but they also neutralize that power through their Improved Targeting: Hindering. I wouldn’t build round Stealth in sealed.

Next is Running Shot. With the bulk of characters having 5 or less range, look for Running Shot characters that have 6+ range to include on your build.

Both Charge and Sidestep see a good representation in this set, coming in at 18 and 15 figures respectively.

Looking at the higher quantities is one way to evaluate the figures to include on your team. Another is to look at the small numbers on powerful abilities like Hypersonic Speed. With only 2 figures, pulling a Hypersonic Speed character for your team gives you a mobility advantage other players might not have.

Attack

 

Attack Value # Figures
14 1
12 10
11 42
10 20
9 3
Attack Power # Figures
Precision Strike 14
Penetrating / Psychic Blast 11
SPECIAL 10
Energy Explosion 10
Super Strength 7
Blades, Claws, and Fangs 7
Quake 7
Incapacitate 5
Telekinesis 3
Pulse Wave 1
Steal Energy 1

 

The majority of figures have an 11 or 10 attack, which is common in modern. Some of the attack powers like, Precision Strike, will be better evaluated when we look at the defensive powers. Certainly both Precision Strike and Penetrating/Psychic Blast will be strong against higher rarity tent poles that are more likely to have better defenses.

Defense

 

Defense Value # Figures
19 1
18 39
17 35
16 2
Defense Power # Figures
Toughness 13
Impervious 11
Invincible 11
SPECIAL 10
Energy Shield Deflection 9
Combat Reflexes 9
Invulnerability 9
Super Senses 8
Mastermind 7
Willpower 6
STOP 5
Defend 3
Barrier 3
Regeneration 1

 

18 and 17 defenses are the most common. With 11 being the most common attack value, there is a 58.3% chance of hitting. See the probability chart below.

 

PROBABILITY CHART*
Defense
Attack 19 18 17 16
12 58.3 72.2 83.3 91.7
11 41.7 58.3 72.2 83.3
10 27.8 41.7 58.3 72.2
9 16.7 27.8 41.7 58.3
* Probability chart courtesy of Ninwashui

 

Damage

 

Damage Value # Figures
5 1
4 18
3 41
2 12
1 6
Damage Power # Figures
SPECIAL 17
Leadership 17
Outwit 16
Perplex 12
Shape Change 11
Probability Control 8
Exploit Weakness 5
Empower 5
Close Combat Expert 4
Battle Fury 3
Enhancement 3
Ranged Combat Expert 1

 

Because of the low-cost of many figures in this set, many teams will have 4 or more characters on their team. Leadership will be critical and thankfully there’s plenty of it. With few characters having PROTECTED: Outwit (either from a special trait/power or the Power Cosmic team ability), Outwit is a must include on your team. Other common support powers, like Perplex and Probability Control, will also be an auto-includes, but look for other less common powers that enhance damage, like Empower, Enhancement, or the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability to help your team to victory.

When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield

Breaking the set down to numbers is allows you to look at the set broadly without studying every figure for your pre-release. We get a sense of what to expect and can quickly evaluate figures for our team builds. Some key takeaways are:

  1. Leadership. Chances are you’ll have more than 3 characters on your team, you’ll need leadership to increase your action total by 1 in a standard 300-point build. Good chance you’ll pull a character with Leadership.
  2. Mobility. You’ll want to have flyers. You’ll need to taxi your team, right?
  3. Range. Ranges of 1-5 is common. Look for 6+ to gain an edge.
  4. Move and Attack. Running Shot, Charge, and Sidestep dominate. Hypersonic Speed would give you the edge, but highly unlikely you’ll land 1 of the 2 characters with it.
  5. Outwit. You’d better include it on your build. There’s a lot of it so you know your opponent will be doing the same.
  6. Perplex. Not prevalent enough to guarantee that you’ll pull a character with it. Look for other means to modify your stats with powers like Empower, Enhancement, or the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability. But if you do manage to get a character with it, you better include it on your team. Just a look at the probability chart and you’ll easily see how modifying values will greatly increase your victory chances.
  7. Probability Control. Always useful to have, just hard to come by. Look to build a named theme team to get access to it. Plenty of Avengers keyword in this set.
  8. Precision Strike and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. These two powers are always good to have. So when you pull them, put these figures in the strong consideration pile for your team.

 

What’s Next?

While I would love to do a detailed breakdown of figures before the release in a few weeks, it’s unlikely I’ll have the time. However, look for more game recap articles that will hopefully give you insight into what’s really working in this set. After all, what’s good on paper isn’t always good in practice.

Good luck and have fun at your Pre-release and Release events!

And That’s the Top 5, Because Stone. Cold. Said So! (Or, a Look at the Top 5 Figures in the WWE Set!!)

Some notes about the set:

  • These wrestlers are more effective than they have any right to be in Heroclix. They can do a Flying Leap that hurts Superman. They can Body Slam Galactus. They can put the Living Tribunal in a Submission Hold. When I wrote Wizkids for an explanation about how plausible this was, they replied saying “I need you to get all the way off my back about this.” Apparently this set was designed by the writer from the Pitch Meetings series on You Tube.

  • The WWE Rules and Grand Entrance are what put these guys over the top (pun intended).
    WWE Rules: This character can’t be the target of range attacks or Outwit if: they’re on click #1, they’re on a click with a blue click #, -or- they’ve already been targeted by a range attack this turn. Protected: Pulse Wave.
    Grand Entrance: During your first turn, if this character is in your starting area, they have “FREE: Move.” (Grand Entrance is great for picking up Equipment.)
  • I think that in order to be meta, you’ll need to splash these guys onto generic  keyworded or non keyworded teams. I don’t see entirely WWE teams making it too far in a modern tournament.
  • In a lot of sets I usually like the lower dials on figures better than the full point dials. In this set I can’t find a single lower dial I like better.
  • John Cena is on this list, but just like the wrestler himself you can’t see it.

Now on to our Honorable Mentions that just missed the cut:

Pedigree

3. WWE003 Triple H (85 points) – The Cerebral Assassin was just a nickname, but Wizkids went ahead and gave him the Assassin keyword (along with Politician.) His Special Power makes him a great leader for those keywords. It reads “ Numbers Game: Empower. Friendly characters that are adjacent or share a keyword with him besides WWE can use Empower.” Beyond giving his whole team Empower his signature move Pedigree is very good. It gives him +1 Damage, adds an action token to whomever it hits, combines with his stun to give a hit target -1 to Attack and Damage next turn, and works in conjunction with Charge. Down dial he gets Slam (my favorite WWE power) to add action tokens followed by some additional clicks with the combination of Flurry and Outwit.

Sweet Chin Music!

2. WWE106 Shawn Michaels (75 points) – Shawn Micheals is mostly a one-trick pony, but it’s a heck of a trick. At 75 points his damage value maxes out at 2 and he doesn’t have charge or any starting attack power. He does have a Perplex power that he can use to help out your team while remaining safe from ranged attacks due to his WWE team ability. Then once every 4-5 turns he builds up enough “Tuning Up the Band Counters” to make his signature move Sweet Chin Music absolutely deadly.  It reads, “ Signature Move: Sweet Chin Music: CLOSE: Improved Movement: Characters. If Shawn Michaels has 1 action token, move him up to half his speed value and then make a close attack, modifying attack and damage +1 for each Tuning Up The Band token. After resolutions, remove those tokens.” So Shawn Micheals can move 2 squares from sidestep, then 1 more from Nimble, and then 5 more from Sweet Chin Music before hitting attacking someone with a 14 att value and 5 damage! It’s obvious to see why they didn’t give a higher starting damage than 2, but it sure makes playing him feel super uneven. The other thing that makes him hard to put on a team is that he is one of the few characters in the set to not have any generic keywords that would let you easily include him on a non WWE team.

Chokeslam

1. WWE0014 Kane (100 points) – Kane has great keywords and on the right map *cough* Wakanda *cough* he’ll be attacking up to four people at once. However, in my opinion he gets out shined a bit by his brother the Undertaker. His “Fiery Posts” Special Power is very map dependent, but when it works it really works well. It reads, “ Fiery Posts: POWER: Choose up to 4 opposing characters within 6 squares that are adjacent to 2+ Ropes.Make a close attack targeting all of them regardless of adjacency. Each hit character is dealt 2 penetrating damage.” He doesn’t have a starting support power, but he does have a 9 click long dial with 4 starting Damage. On the back end of his dial he has Charge, Reversal, Toughness, and Prob Control all at once. His signature move, Chokeslam, can do up to 7 damage if your dice are lucky, but an opposing character needs to start the round adjacent to Kane when Kane has one action token. Most opponents will see that coming. A fun fact Hypefox told me is that Kane has the Politician Keyword in Heroclix because he’s a Mayor of a town in Tennessee in real life! 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I believe it’s Knox County, Tennessee!]

Here’s my Top 5:

Mr. Socko

5. WWE102 Mankind (75 points) – Mankind is an effective tough combatant that will just keep coming back for more punishment thanks to his 7 clicks of Toughness and the healing from his Special White Power. It reads “ Cactus Jack or Dude Love: FREE: Choose one: Mankind can use Perplex until your next turn -or- heal Mankind 1 click.” He doesn’t hit for a lot of damage, but whenever he does hit most of the time he will also give that hit character an action token. That comes from him having both Slam and a Signature Move that gives action tokens. It reads, “ Signature Move: Mr. Socko: CLOSE: If Mankind has 1 action token, make a close attack. After resolutions, a hit target gains Immobile and is given an action token.” Both Slam and his Signature Move also work with his top dial Charge.

Flying Elbow

4. WWE0010 Macho Man Randy Savage (100 points) – He was one of the greatest guys to ever shoot a promo before a fight (Ohhh Yeahhhh). Wizkids gave him a special damage power to reflect that. It reads, “ ONE OF THE GREATEST TALKERS IN WWE HISTORY: Perplex. When Macho Man uses it to target himself, he may modify a value except damage +2 instead of +1. When he uses it to target an opposing character, until your next turn that character can’t use Outwit or Perplex.” So he can give himself a 20 Defense, or 13 Attack, or he can give someone like the Unimind -1 att and completely block that character from using Outwit or Perplex (not that Outwit works against WWE figures most of the time anyways). Defensively, he starts with Reversal and Super Senses that along with his high defense from Perplex makes him a frighteningly effective tie up character. If you are the opponent, you’ll have to get through his 20 Defense and Super Senses that’s Immune to Outwit and you only are able to break away on a 6 thanks to Reversal. If you miss, or if he rolls Super Senses, or if you try to break away and fail then Macho Man gets a free attack on his next turn due to Reversal. Macho Man’s Signature Move the Flying Elbow is a harder to pull off version of Kane’s Choke Slam that can do up to 6 damage if your dice are lucky, but only if he starts the move next to at least two ropes (printed hindering or blocking not on a diagonal square).

The Three Amigos

3. WWE017 Eddie Guerrero (70 points) – He’ll lie, cheat, and steal just one of your opponent’s attack dice with his special take on Prob Control. It reads “ Lie, Cheat and Steal: Probability Control, but you may choose to reroll only one die.” At his point level that combined with his WWE TA might be enough right there to justify playing him. However, he also is one of only 2 figures in the set to have a stop click and his signature move The Three Amigos can be deadly. It reads “ Signature Move: Three Amigos: If Eddie Guerrero has 1 action token, Flurry. When Eddie Guerrero uses it, he can make 3 close attacks instead of 2 and his maximum damage value is 3.” Unfortunately, Eddie doesn’t have much ability to move and attack so characters with powers like Hypersonic Speed will be real tough for him to handle without help.

The People’s Elbow

2. WWE001 The Rock (90 points)- For 90 points the Rock brings starting Charge, Slam, Invulnerability, and Perplex. That’s everything I want in a starting click for a WWE figure and he has a 9 click long dial that features Slam (my favorite WWE power) on most of it. His signature move The People’s Elbow is one of the few in the set to add to both attack and damage value. It reads, “ SIGNATURE MOVE: PEOPLE’S ELBOW: CLOSE: Improved Movement: Characters. If The Rock has 1 action token, move him up to 2 squares then make a close attack, modifying attack +1. If he hits, friendly characters modify damage +1 when attacking that hit character this turn. (Including this attack’s damage)” And because it’s a close action it can be combined with Charge. So he can move up to 6 squares and make a close attack with an 12 Attack Value that will do 4 damage if it hits (this doesn’t include his Perplex).

Tombstone Piledriver

1. WWE013 Undertaker (100 points)- I actually like the Rock’s dial a little better than the Undertaker’s (though he’s no slouch), but the Undertaker will be on more successful teams due to his popular Monster and Mystical Keywords. In all of the Pauper winning teams over the past few weeks, the Undertaker has been the most popular figure. He’s most often seen with fellow monster Onslaught.

The Undertaker’s starting dial features Sidestep, Submission Hold (similar to Poison with Immobile thrown in), Invulnerability, Outwit and 4 Printed Damage. He has the only stop click in the set besides Eddie Guerrero and it stops his dial on a blue click number which (like his starting click) make him immune to ranged attacks and Outwit. That’s really helpful for preventing a KO when he’s that far down his 9 click dial. Beyond that his signature move Tombstone Piledriver is really good and can give him up 14 Attack and 6 Damage depending on the circumstances. It reads “ Signature Move: Tombstone Piledriver: CLOSE: If Undertaker has 1 action token, make a close attack. Modify attack and damage +1 for each action token on the target, and an additional attack +1 if the target has Immobile.

That’s enough to make the Undertaker the Heavy Weight Champion of this set.

But wait what’s this?

My gawd King!

A new contender has entered the ring! He’s saying that he’s actually going to be the most popular piece from the set. It’s turning into real slobber knocker. The Undertaker is down! He rises from the dead… And gets knocked down again. He’s out cold.

We have a new Heavyweight Champion of this set!

It’s…

1. WWE111 WWE Ring (5 points) – This will definitely be the piece from this set that you will end up seeing the most. It’s as powerful as the boxing ring in a slightly different way.

It reads:

Ropes exist along the edge of the Ring. (When you knock a character back into the Ropes, you may choose that their knock back path continues in the opposite direction back along that same path.)
 Once per turn, you may reroll the close attack of a friendly character in the Ring.
 Once per turn, you may reroll the range attack of an opposing character outside the Ring that’s targeting a friendly character inside the Ring.

 Consolation: “At the beginning of the game, choose a friendly character. Once per game, you may reroll that character’s attack. Once per game, you may reroll an attack targeting that character.

So if you take a powerful long range attacker like 125 point Onslaught and put him in the ring then you get a free use of Prob Control ( that can’t be outwitted or otherwise stopped – even by pulsewave) when anyone outside the ring shoots at him. If they get in the ring with him then Onslaught gets to reroll his own attack rolls when he targets that figure with a close attack. That’s huge advantage for only 5 points.

That’s it for this set review. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of my picks (including my suprise #1.)

 

 

 

 

What’s the plural for multiple Onslaught? (Or a top ten list of the best figures in X-men the Animated Series)

Some Notes about the set:

  • You can largely ignore the small figures. In my opinion, the Colossal figures are where all the fun is.
  • Robots might be meta now that thanks to all the new effective pieces from this set.
  • Brotherhood might be meta now (yes really).
  • Wolverine and beast are pretty good, but the rest of the regular x-men didn’t wow me.

The Honorable Mentions

5. XDPSG022 Mojo (75 points) – The first of many figures on this list with my favorite new trait, behind the scenes. It reads, “Behind the Scenes: Mojo can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.” It prevents even probability control  from being used against Mojo unless the target is at short range. Beyond that Mojo at 75 points is a really nice support piece featuring a combination of sidestep, TK, and perplex.  As the game progresses he’ll be able to make use of his last trait to devastating effect. It reads, “More Action!… Ratings are Dropping!: Whenever a character misses all targets of their attack, give Mojo a Bored token. // FREE: Remove 2 Bored tokens to either place Mojo anywhere on the map -or- make an attack.” It doesn’t take  much for most teams I run to produce misses. The fact that later in the game this guy can attack twice in a turn or teleport anywhere on the board as a free action is nuts.

4. XDPSG001b Stealth Sentinel (100 points) –  With very good values on attack or stealth and free action smoke cloud on defense, Stealth Sentinel brings a lot to the table. His ability to strike from range and then hide anywhere on the map is awesome. He also has the ability push with Colossal stamina and then immediately heal himself by changing modes.  On offense his two stop clicks offer extra protection and on defense his poison offers another way to attack difficult to hit characters.

3. XDPS048 Jason Wyngarde (75 points) – He’s immune to outwit, has leadership that hits anywhere on the board, and there is a good chance he can mind control the entire opposing team each time he uses it. Hellfire club teams may be a thing, but he’s more likely to get use out of his brotherhood keyword. However the best reason to run this guy is his trait which reads, “Psionic Illusion: FREE: Choose a character on your sideline of 150 points or less (on their highest-point line). Generate a bystander printed on that character’s card. Each bystander generated this way has [MAX 1]. You may activate this ability only twice per game.” Dropping tokens on someone as a free action is just awesome. His battle cry is, “Have an Old Lace to the Face.” 

2. XDPSG003 Nimrod (275 points) – While not much of a primary attacker because of his lack of move and attack options, he may have a future as a One Man Army. If you play him at 175 your opponent could ignore him and stay out of range, but if he’s the only piece on the board then your opponent has to start attacking him. That’s when they’ll face his defensive trait, “Running Comparative Evaluation of Reference Data: When Nimrod is attacked and would be hit, you may roll 2d6. If your roll is equal or higher than the attacker’s attack roll, Nimrod evades that attack and after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to their printed damage value.” From there it’s a roll off. If you can out roll your opponent then they will never touch you. If they out roll you, then you won’t have a good day. This sort of character doesn’t work for me, but seems to work against me so I am including it on this list.

1. XDPS043b Mr. Sinister (40 points) – He is the least likely of the danger room pieces to be used because of his lack of the brotherhood keyword. However, on robot theme teams he’s practically a must play. He boasts outwit that sees through stealth and poison for close encounters. On defense he has stealth, shape change, and energy shield deflection to go along with his practically being immortal from the danger room trait. So the 5 hits he needs to be KOed will likely take well more than 5 attempts from your opponent. He’s a stealthy outwitter that we’ve loved in the past for 30 points (like ADW007 Black Panther) except he’s 40 points and they added everything but the kitchen sink. In any game where outwit matters, he’ll be the best piece on your team.

The Top Ten:

10. XDPSG023a Shadow King (150 points) – He has a the Power Cosmic TA and and the Brotherhood keyword which I don’t think is really justified for this character, but hey if the designers are going to throw us a bone we might as well use it. The TA he has means if he were to ever gain additional powers from another source, those powers couldn’t be outwitted (more on that later). On defense he has the behind the scenes trait, can reduce penetrating damage, invulnerability, and probability control. On offense he ignores stealth, has a phasing/triple target mind control combo, and pulse wave to discourage people from getting 4 spaces or closer to him (which is required by his behind the scenes trait).

9. XDPSG005 Exodus (75 points) – The hero of many sealed teams. He has running shot and pulse wave (which is always dangerous) backed up by his special leadership power “Named By Magnus Himself to Lead Mutants Forward: Leadership. When Exodus uses it and succeeds, instead of the normal effect, you may remove an action token from up to 3 adjacent friendly characters that each share a keyword (with him). If you do, until your next turn modify Exodus’s combat values +1 for each token removed.” I played a 400 point brotherhood theme team on release day and several times I got +2 to all my stats just before doing a running shot/pulse wave. It was not good (for my opponent). His printed defense is just 18 with toughness, but he is standard size so you can hide him behind other tougher brotherhood characters. He brings one other unique trait to the team more powerful than others like it (way better than WCR008.1E Magneto), “Genoshan Force Field: At the beginning of the game, choose 2, 4, 6, or 8 to be X. // When a character more than X squares away would move within X squares of Exodus and wasn’t given a MOVE action, that character stops moving. When a character more than X squares away attacks one or more characters within X squares of Exodus, modify their attack -1.” So your opponent can move through it, but can’t use hypersonic, charge, or running shot without stopping at the chosen range. The range you pick is based heavily on their team. You can make charge and hypersonic almost useless, or at the very least give +1 ranged defense to your whole team.

8. XDPS019 Amelia Vought (45 points) – The only acolyte to have the brotherhood keyword, she is the ultimate mastermind character who also brings perplex with her.  Her trait reads “Mutant Messiah: At the beginning of the game, for all characters with this trait, choose a friendly character with the Acolytes or Brotherhood of Mutants or X-Men keyword. That character can use Mastermind, but only to choose characters with this trait.” So she gives mastermind to certain pieces, but she also has another trait to go along with it, “TRANSMUTE OUT OF DANGER: Super Senses. Once per turn, when Amelia Voght or an adjacent friendly character would take 3 or more damage, you may give that character two action tokens to take 1 unavoidable damage instead. If you do, after resolutions you may place that character in a square adjacent to her current square.” For example, if Shadow King was the mutant Messiah and Phoenix Psychic blasts him for 7 damage, you could mastermind the damage to Amelia and if Amelia had no action tokens, she would take 1 unavoidable damage from the attack and 1 damage from getting two action tokens and pushing.  Your Shadow King would be completely untouched. If Brotherhood becomes a constructed powerhouse (for the first time ever) she will likely be the reason.

7. XDPS047 Jean Grey (75 points) – Currently the meta consists of 75% cosmic teams and 25% of teams from all the other keywords combined. She is one of two pieces in this set to have that keyword (Dark Phoenix is the other). She has limited outwit and is a strong mind controller because of her trait, “Inner Circle Club: Black Queen: Outwit, but only to choose a black power or a special power. // Mind Control. When Jean Grey uses it as RANGE, modify attack +1 and she may instead target any number of characters of lower point value. (Must still be opposing and within range and line of fire.)” She pairs well with friendly mind controllers Jason Wyngarde, or Kobik thanks to her trait “Jason Wyngarde Has Shown Us the Way: Sidestep. Other friendly characters can target Jean Grey when using Mind Control.” And she could also be used as a bomb to be sent directly at your opponents because of her special power, “The Phoenix Unbound: STOP. Invulnerability, Power Cosmic Team Ability, . When this click is first revealed, after resolutions deal 3 damage to all other (friendly and opposing) characters within 6 squares. // POWER: Replace Jean Grey with XDPS #G020 Dark Phoenix on click #25.” 3 damage with no die rolls is awesome and it gets past things like stop clicks or the danger room trait since the damage does not come from an attack. However despite all of the various ways to use her, I predict you will mostly be seeing her as a popular call-in.

6. XDPSG018 Wendigo (15 points) – The second most powerful “vampire dial” ever made. his trait reads, “Ancient Mystical Curse: Colossal Stamina, Steal Energy. When Wendigo uses Steal Energy, he may heal past his starting line.” He has steal energy on every click which pairs well his special movement power, “In the Mountains, No One Hears You Scream: Charge, Flurry. When Wendigo ends his movement, after resolutions he may make a close attack but only to target a character with a Wounded token.” So imagine running a couple of these at 15 points each. If your opponent targets them right away they will die pretty easily and you’ll be out 30 points. But if they don’t get targeted right away, they will run amok. Every turn your opponent has to concentrate his attacks on the rest of your 270 point army the wendigos will grow and hurt things until they become a major threat.  All from a 15 point investment each.

5. XDPS011b Magneto (50 points) – Arguably the most powerful of the three danger  room pieces (depending on what you are facing). This is a 50 point ranged attacker who could raise his attack value to a 14 via his ranged combat expert. He also has dual target and psychic blast to make sure his damage sticks against almost any two targets in the game. Sure he likely won’t kill the other teams primary attacker, but he will weaken them. That’s what he is for, doing two 2 or 3 damage to the other teams most expensive piece while being relatively safe from attack himself. Even the best pieces are noticeably weaker 2 or 3 clicks off their top dial. (unless your a 300 point juggernaut)

4. XDPSG007 Juggernaut (100 points) – I have been waiting since the Infinity challenge set for them to make a really good Juggernaut, it’s only taken them a little over 17 years. He’s secretly my favorite comic book character and Kuruth from fear itself was the last playable Juggernaut we got. He was noticeably absent from both the Xavier’s School and Re-genesis sets.

This Juggernaut will probably the most play at 100 points, but with a good team to back him him up he’s dangerous at 200 points as well. At 300 points he won’t win nationals this year, but he’s still not really a “casual” piece. What makes him so deadly? First, he attacks exactly like the Juggernaut should by running straight through all terrain and smashing whatever is on the other side with his trait, “Mass Destruction: Super Strength. When Juggernaut is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.” The second thing that makes him so deadly is that so many powers just plain don’t work against him. His special defense reads, “Shielded by My Helmet: Colossal Stamina, Invincible. Juggernaut has PROTECTED: Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, Pulse Wave.” In addition to all of the listed powers, exploit weakness and psychic blast won’t help you because of his invincible. If you want to KO him, you’re going to have to get through his clicks the hard way.  The third reason Juggernaut is so deadly, is that he has multiple ways to heal and remove tokens from himself. One of his traits reads, “My Mutant Brothers and Sisters: Once per turn when an effect other than clearing removes an action token from Juggernaut, after resolutions heal him 1 click.” So removing a token with leadership or removing a token by rolling 10  or better while attacking (Brotherhood TA) also both heal him 1 click of health that turn. And he has a 3rd trait that will do more of the same, “City-Wide Rampage: If Juggernaut destroyed 3 or more pieces of blocking terrain during one of his actions, after resolutions remove an action token from him.” Finally Wizkids has given us a piece worthy of his motto, “Nothing can stop the unstoppable Juggernaut.”

3. XDPSG023b Storm (25 points) – As a 25 point second (or third) attacker you’ll never see better at that point cost. She has a 2 stage colossal retaliation that reads, “Colossal Retaliation: Mind Warp: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Storm or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Storm such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. If she hit, after resolutions she can use Mind Control at no cost as RANGE, modifying attack +3, to target the hit character and up to two others (within range and line of fire).” She has another trait that also gives her an additional free action she can use every turn,Summon a Vortex of Wind: Energy Shield/Deflection. // FREE: Choose up to 3 opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire, then roll a d6. Knock back each of the chosen characters a number of squares equal to the result.” So this 25 point character can free action to retaliate and punch someone, then if she hits use triple target mind control on anyone within range (ignoring characters for targeting), then she force blasts up to 3 characters within 6 squares of her and she still hasn’t made a costed action that turn. At that point she could attack (unlike most retaliators she doesn’t have colossal indifference), or just run away to do everything again later. Unfortunately, just like with the Jean Grey chase we will probably see her most as a popular call in piece. 

2. XDPSG006 Onslaught (125 points) – My favorite new primary attacker in the set and largely overlooked so far. On defense he has the behind the scenes trait, shape change, probability control (that sees through characters), Invulnerability, and PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. On offense he has starting 4 damage, Improved Targeting: Hindering/Characters, and his Psychic Juggernaut trait says, “// Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.” He also has two TAs to help him. He can be healed with the X-man TA (not likely) or remove a token from himself when his a roll is 10 or more with the brotherhood TA (way more likely). The thing that holds him back the most is his keywords (only armor and monster), however because he isn’t unique you can run two of him. I think 2 Onslaught (125 points each), Dr. Frankenstein (30 points), Carnage (10 points), and 10 points of ID cards, will be a strong meta team in the coming year.  (2 or 3 Wendigos in place of Dr. Frankenstein and Carnage isn’t a bad way to go either.)

1. XDPSG020 Dark Phoenix (30 points) – *Writer’s note: At the time of this writing it is assumed that Dark Phoenix heals every time she hits for 4 damage or KOs something. IE 4 KOs from a single action is 4 clicks of healing. Hitting for 4 damage and KOing something in a single action is 2 clicks of healing. If that changes then her position on this list would change.*

Dark Phoenix is the most powerful “vampire dial” ever made. With just a little bit of perplex to help her she will quickly turn from a small 30 point long range attacker into something that will eat his whole team. Her healing trait reads, “Feeding On Life Forces: When Dark Phoenix KO’s an opposing character, or an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, after resolutions heal her 1 click. She may heal past her starting lines this way but can’t be healed in any other way.” After 9 clicks of healing she becomes literally a 300 point character. How does she get that healing? The best way is killing off bystanders. Her trait says KO anything, so bystanders count towards that healing. Even better, it doesn’t say KO an opposing piece so if you have something low in health or a bystander run those into where she is doing a colossal retaliation and heal a click for each one you KO. Her colossal retaliation reads “Colossal Retaliation: Child of Light And Darkness: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Dark Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Dark Phoenix such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so also targeting all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. Hit characters are given an action token and each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.” There aren’t many bystanders that X-men generate that I can think of, but the cosmic keyword has AIG025P Groot. For twenty points you get 2 bystanders, a one click Groot, and your opponent gets a bystander. All of these can be fed to Dark Phoenix. At my local shop one of the guys recently played Dark Phoenix along with two AIG025P Groot and AI049 Photon. The results were frighteningly effective.

Does anyone else remember the Rebirth set? (Or a top ten list of the best figures in Rebirth)

So it’s been some time since the heavily anticipated Black Panther and the Illuminati set dropped, I thought I’d try something a little different. We totally missed publishing a top 10 for Rebirth due to reasons that don’t really matter to most of our Heroclix readers. So while you are spending countless hours thinking about who wears what piece of Infinity bling best,  here’s a little something to entertain you. Since this article is months late, lets skip the honorable mentions (Prez Rickard, Dolphin, Lex Luthor, Nightwing, Billy Batson) and just go right into the Top 10.

10. RE044 Shade, The Changing Girl (45 points) – She’s a one trick pony, but it’s a heck of a trick. Her special white power reads “SHE JUST KIND OF SHOWS UP: Phasing/Teleport, Plasticity. POWER: Place Shade, the Changing Girl in any square with an (unheld) object.” On turn 1 an opponent’s team is completely immune to any shenanigans, but there are no rules protecting objects on the field. So if you get the first turn you can teleport to the opposing team’s best equipment and sit on it. She has 6 clicks and traited shape change to (hopefully) survive the fury this will generate in your opponent. And if she’s backed up by her friends AIG025P Groot or TMTG006P Mangog, it may be better for your opponent to just let that equipment go.

9. RE013 Cyborg (75 points) – There’s no special trick or combo with this guy, he’s just really useful on the battle field and well rounded on both offense and defense. He’s a great secondary attacker that brings support options as well. There is something useful for him to do on every click. He’s the definitive version of the character for me. Did you hear that Wizkids? You got this one right, no need to make any more of him. (unless it’s the “Teen Titans go” version)

8.  RE031 Batman (85 Points) – It’s not very often you get an affordable playable figure with the Outsiders TA, but this one fits the bill. He will be completely untargetable at range on any map you’d likely ever choose to run him on. He’s not going to to be a big damage dealer with only 3 printed damage, but his combination of outwit, Outsiders TA, and double target incapacitate means that your opponent can’t just ignore him. This is a Batman that beckons opponents to follow him into the shadows. I really like that flavor.

7. RE001 Deathstroke (100 points) – This figure was the M.V.P. on many sealed teams during the Rebirth release tournament. He’s a great offensive figure with options to use both running shot and charge. Even better he’s got the ability to deal penetrating damage while using either one. His defense is nothing special, but the ability to heal two clicks after KOing an opposing figure should definitely come in handy.

6. RE068 Barbatos (200 points) – This is the only one of the Dark Knight Metal chases that I would run at full points. His ability to phase through walls and attack with Psychic Blast is just devastating on indoor maps or around terrain like the boxing ring. Especially if an opposing team can’t see through stealth to make any attacks in return. His special damage power is also ripe for abuse. It reads, “SO FALLS THE REALM OF LIGHT: Opposing characters within 6 squares that can use Outwit, Perplex or Support can use Battle Fury.” His biggest downfall is that he is a giant and thus can’t have equipment.

5. RE063E The Dawnbreaker (75 points) – He’s a capable secondary attacker and brings the monster keyword their best taxi ever thanks to his Green Lantern TA. His starting invincible and “WE WILL NOT HIDE IN THE SHADOWS ANYMORE” trait will *hopefully* keep him safe. But, the real reason to run him is “NIGHTMARE CONSTRUCTS: Barrier. Whenever an opposing character generates one or more bystanders, after resolutions you may generate the same bystander(s). These bystanders you generate modify combat values +1 this game and have [MAX 1].” Medusa hair bystanders, walking wood, Dawg, and Skreet are some of the competitive tokens out there that are seeing play on popular teams and now they can be your opponents Nightmare (see what I did there). 

4. RE037BE Black Adam (100 points) – To quote hcrealms user BionicBoy, “This is a highly effective and mobile starting line. Very easy to heal back up to full as well.” He got that right. This guy saw some tournament wins when he first debuted leading some JSA teams. Now that the Jokers wild set has retired from Modern he’s lost some tools, but he’s still an effective attacker and ID summoning virtuoso. The ability to move up to 8 and still summon an ID call in after that is unmatched in modern.

3. RE062E The Murder Machine (100 points) – Everyone knows about ADW Hawkeye and Earth X Vulture, here’s DCs version of those killing machines. The big difference with this guy is that he doesn’t to move after he attacks and kills something, so his next target better be nearby. What he gets in return are something the other two can’t boast – a defense that doesn’t wilt at the first sign of being attacked. He’s also got prob control and that big starting 4 damage to go along with his 7 range and improved targeting: blocking  terrain. His ability to use energy explosion and dual targets should not be overlooked because KOing even the weakest bystander will allow him to attack again.

2. RE055E Starfire (50 points) – Obviously this isn’t a very long dial, but her stop click will make the dial long enough that your opponent will likely aim for a better target. If you ignore her, you’ll face her running shot and pulse wave combo. If you don’t ignore her, you could land her on that stop click and face flurry with 4 damage! She also had Quintessence at 50 points before the Elders of the Universe came along and made that sort of thing seem normal. Look for her to be a popular second (or third) attacker on cosmic teams.

1. RE052E Mister Oz (40 points) – Part Unseen and part God of TK, Mister OZ gives your team unparalleled TK while simultaneously nerfing that same power for your opponent. If you’ve got an attacker without good movement abilities then this is your guy to fix that issue. And once your attacker makes it into battle, his 12 range prob control that sees through everything will help make sure the battle goes your way. Expect him to be a staple of cosmic teams for years to come.

 

I am vengeance. I am the night. I am a list of the top ten figures in the Batman the Animated Series HeroClix set.

Some Notes About the Set:

  • This set may be titled Batman, but the Justice league got the best pieces.
  • There aren’t many bad pieces in this entire set. That’s why this article was so late, it was tough to choose. And truthfully I think any of my top five could have been the best in the set.

Meanwhile back at the Hall of Justice…

  • I love the chases in this set. The idea of Super Friends is great. They all are worth playing on your force and there is zero reason not to fill any extra spots on your sideline with them. I never thought I’d see an Apache Chief in Heroclix.
  • Including the Phantasm and Super friends is Wizkids way of showing us that they must have access to every DC animated property. While Marvel may rule live action movies, DC is the king of animated movies. There is an incredible amount of material to draw on there for future sets. JLU, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Young Justice, all the movies, and maybe even Teen Titans Go?
  • They’ve made primes great again! I loved all 4 in this set and 2 made my top figure list.
  • It seems way easier to pull good stuff from this set. Chases I believe are averaging one per brick and sometimes come with primes.

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

5) FFBTAS104 Poison Ivy (75 Points)– With just Ivy’s dial alone she really isn’t worth 75 points. Average to low combat values. No stealth, outwit, or perplex. She does have a cool trait that could increase her defense to 20, but limited support powers and lacking offense means she just isn’t that great. That all changes when you look at her ability to make FFBTAS104BT Biting Vines. They have flurry, giant reach and 2 damage with a 9 attack. An opponent can easily KO them with an attack, but they will have to waste an action to do that and IVY can put one into play as a free action every turn.  The best part is that while just about every other bystander token in the game comes into play next to the figure generating it, Ivy’s tokens come into play up to 10 squares away from her. The only requirement is that they need hindering terrain, but she doesn’t even need line of sight to that square.

4) BTAS016 Batman Beyond (100 Points)- The hero of many first place sealed teams also has some value in constructed. Stealth and the ability to see through stealth is rare and most figures that can do that cost too many points because of those abilities. Batman Beyond clocks in at 100 points with an excellent first click. He brings things to Batman Family and Gotham City teams that they don’t see very often (IT: Hindering, Flight, Invulnerability, psychic blast). He also has a limited ability to choose extra powers. That comes in handy when he’s damaged because he can chose steal energy and potentially heal himself. His synergy with BTAS048 Bruce Wayne means you should strongly consider running that figure as well.

3) BTAS035 Wonder Woman (75 Points) – I wish I had some secret combo with her, but she made this list just because she has a great all around dial. Good combat values, good powers (invincible on defense), she flies, she has indomitable, and a good combination of offense and defense. She is a steal at 75 points.

2) BTAS001B Clayface (50 Points)- For 50 points you get a hard to KO stealthy outwit figure that just begs your opponent to waste attacks on him. Take him and run him right at your opponent. If luck is with you then you might hit 3 or 4 shape change rolls (50% chance each time) in a match. Your opponent can’t bypass your shape change with outwit or pulse wave, because Clayface is immune to both. If you’ve had any luck with shape change rolls in the match then when your opponent finally does KO Clayface, he’ll instead transform into a blades claws fangs monster with 3 more clicks left to go. The best part about him is that he doesn’t break up your theme team. Any team that needs a stealthy outwit piece now has one. He can be the 5th turtle, part of an Asgardian army, or the newest member of the justice society.

1) BTAS034 Ra’s Al Ghul (75 Points) – This guy is similar to a lot of other characters in the set that have a the Gotham Crime boss trait like BTAS042 The Joker. When you roll a 5 or 6 on leadership with him you get to put someone into play. The difference with him is that his bystanders are better then suited henchmen, you know exactly what dial you are getting, and they don’t give your opponent  any points when KOed. Aside from that you get a strong close combat piece with both the Batman Enemy and Underworld TAs.

The thing the kept him out of my top ten list is his lack of good TAs. League of Assassins doesn’t have enough good pieces to field a team, he doesn’t have the Gotham Underworld keyword, and he doesn’t even get martial artist like Talia and his ninjas do. Who did Talia learn martial arts from?

Don’t forget to run at least one BTAS010 Ninja with him.

TOP TEN PIECES IN Batman: The Animated Series!!:

10) BTAS073E Hawkgirl (30 points)- Hawkgirl unfortunately has a weakness that is too easy for other teams to exploit leaving her with a 15 defense a lot of the time. However, at 30 points she’s cheap enough to just stick her in a corner and make BTAS073BT Average Bird bystanders the entire game. She makes an average of one a turn so it won’t take long for her to make the board look like a Hitchcock movie. They have almost no defense to speak of or offense for that matter, but they are they to irritate your opponent as fast disposable tie up figures. If you have some perplex or empower to spare then their built in flurry might do some good for you, but they are otherwise only able to damage the weakest characters. For a fun combo try giving them Blades/Claws/Fangs with AI047 Tigra or the new Wolverine wanted poster ID.

9) BTAS052 Batgirl, Shadow of the Bat (70 points)- For 70 points you get a dial that starts with prob and has access to perplex (via her +1 ability) and outwit (via her -2 ability). Her KO effect makes her a juicy target for your opponent, but her support powers, stealth, and 7 click dial length won’t make that easy. Her -2 ability also includes a free charge for the possibility of two attacks in a turn, attacking while double tokened,  or for attacking after being carried. 

8) BTAS053B H.A.R.D.A.C. Batman – For 75 points you get a 6 dial with damage reducers on every click, indomitable, and a stop click in the middle. He has shape change, can prob his own attack rolls, and has a limited ability to chose a power every turn. Most turns you will chose outwit or perplex based on who is on your sideline, but charge from BTAS001A Batman or running shot from HQ014 Batman are good choices too. It’s too bad you only can bring along one Batman.

7) BTAS069E Green Lantern – TREKOS006 Lt. Kyle has taught me to love the combination of sidestep and telekinesis. It just works out so well for positioning. For just 5 more points than Lt. Kyle, Green Lantern brings flight, barrier, and enhancement. And as a added bonus if he is pushed to his second click he switches to offensive mode with a combination of running shot and pulse wave.

6) BTAS054 The Joker – Everyone’s big complaint about this guy is that he has almost no defense. On the wrong team that’s true. But, if you play him with several JW003A The Joker Thug, he’ll have a mastermind power which is difficult to bypass and as an added bonus the thugs won’t ruin your theme team. Aside from his non conventional defense, he is a fairly standard Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs piece, but with sidestep and plasticity thrown in. And if you are in close range with an opposing piece,  he can activate his Christmas present item as a free action which will give a good result 5 out of 6 times. I’ll take those odds. That’s enough to justify his point cost, but he’s also can use both outwit and perplex at up to 9 range!

 

5) BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl – For 125 points you get 10 clicks with a stop click in the middle! They also bring excellent attack values that never go below 10 and will likely be a 12 if you aren’t attacking a character with flight. Their damage value is only 3, but they bring some things like outwit and flurry to help when fighting against other characters with damager reducers. Their 3 clicks of hypersonic are great, but even the 5 clicks they have with charge should be more than enough movement when you add in their traited sidestep for 3 squares.

4) BTAS064E Robin – Ignore the 30 point dial. For 20 points he’s the cheapest source of perplex in modern not named Fat Tony. He has stealth and combat reflexes to keep him safe. He also has sidestep so that he can hide behind other characters and then step out into the open when needed.  On top of that, he has a similar trait to FFTMNT2005 April (O’neil). If he is KOed you choose an opposing figure of 30 points or more. If you KO that figure then robin comes back into play. Depending on the game, you might get a free Robin (or two).

3) BTAS067 Wonder Woman – Her opening click features starting Hypersonic Speed, flight, the ability to carry an extra person, invulnerability, and Shape Change. But the best reason to use her is her completely broken special power. It states “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.” It’s a free action so it’s useable every turn even she took a costed action (like using hypersonic speed) first. In sealed I was able to give an action token to an entire opposing team of 4 characters using this power AS A FREE ACTION!

2) BTAS040 Batman – There is a very simple reason why Batman is one of the best figures in the set. It’s not his dial. Sure at 125 points his dial isn’t bad. It’s has 12 starting attack and it’s 8 clicks long. Perhaps it’s biggest weakness are the low damage values. With so many good Batman dials out there, it’s not to hard to find one that’s comparable or arguably better.

The entire reason to run this figure is to plan a team around maximizing this Batman’s use of the #s001 Batarang item. It allows him to make a ranged attack as a free action with damage minus 1 and ignoring everything except walls on targeting. So he can move his full movement value (or be carried) and still make an attack. The only other character in modern that can do something similar is the extremely popular DW069 Captain America. Batman’s free attack starts at minus 1 damage, but nothing says you can’t bring that value back up via enhancement or perplex. You could easily plan a whole team around someone like EW004 Green Lantern carrying Batman and a small army of support characters. A team like that could start 13 squares away and cripple an opposing primary attacker with a 5 or 6 damage alpha strike.

1) BTAS061 Zatanna – She reminds me a lot of the best supporting character that 2012 had to offer – the 75 point FFCW006 Scarlet Witch. That character featured Telekinesis, Probability Control, and Perplex on the starting click and was extremely popular in the meta. Zatanna features all of those same powers for the same price. But, she also has psychic blast and can generate two BTAS061BT Bat with enhancement as free actions. With all those support powers she can super charge any ranged primary attacker. But, her best trick is her surprising offense. The Scarlet Witch was pretty useless on offense, but Zatanna can use her perplex, prob control, and enhancement bats on herself to Psychic Blast someone for up to five penetrating damage! After you pull off a move like that, you won’t ever see her as only a support figure ever again. And that’s why she is the best character in the set.

 

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!

Tournament Report 3/17 WKO in Warren Michigan

What I played:

  • NFAOS056 Nick Fury
  • EW027 Superman 
  • WKM-R001 Supreme Intelligence ( On Superman)
  • NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 (calling in another Nick Fury)
  • XXSXID-006 All-New Wolverine (calling in All-New Wolverine)

I thought my two character spy team was pretty meta. The Supreme intelligence got clicked to click 2 granting Superman full dial Stealth and Willpower and purposely never moved past that point. So both Characters had stealth and the ability see through hindering terrain. Additionally Superman got Shape Change and Super Senses on his first click until making his first attack. I envisioned Nick taking shots and Superman Flying him away as the opponent closed in.  Additionally the team was only two figures so the opponent couldn’t just KO one little figure like a retaliator and run away from me the rest of the game.

I expected to face Uni-mind, Shredders, and this PJ Bolin team where ADW chase cap rides around with General Lane, Beta Ray Bill, and Overdrive. Against the Uni-mind I could see through his stealth if he chose it and use the Watcher Eye to cancel on of his powers (including Perplex). Against Shredders I was going to lean heavily on the invincible, Stealthy, Hypersonic Superman. The Shredders would have been hard pressed to damage him. Against the PJ Bolin Team I was hoping to use Hypersonic Superman or the All-new Wolverine call in to Damage beta Ray Bill. Once that figure takes a single click of damage the whole team is exposed.

Round 1 –

Versus:

  • TMTG006R Mangog
  • NFAOS059B Nighthawk
  • JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow
  • TMTG001P Surtur
  • I forget the other 10 points of his team

I didn’t know how long Mangog’s Dial was and with the support characters he had with him I judged (correctly) that I wasn’t going to stop him from pulling the Odin Sword. Instead I KOed everything except Mangog and the Bizzaro Green Arrow He was carrying and got my team to a stealth patch hidden in the middle of the map. I was able to finish off Bizzaro Green Arrow, but then his Mangog landed some nice shots on Superman (who thankfully has 8 clicks) with Giant reach before time was called. I missed a bunch of rolls that game, but still got the win. Had the game gone longer I am not sure who would have won, but time was called and he only scored 8 points worth of ID cards.

Round 2 –

Versus:

  • SMWW028 General Lane
  • SFSM029 Overdrive
  • ADW069 Captain America
  • TMT063E Beta Ray Bill
  • JLA Teleporter and 5 cards.
  • (PJ Bolin designed team, but not played by the actual PJ Bolin)

I started of with a positioning mistake and he made me pay for it. I went behind blocking instead of staying in stealth. He moved up overdrive, had Cap use outwit and put his damage to 3 with enhancement and attack to 12 with perplex. I still got Shape Change and Super Senses with Superman so the odds were in my favor that this attack would fail. He hits his attack roll easily and I miss both of mine. Superman loses Hypersonic and the opponent’s whole team is sidestepped backwards by Overdrive so that I am out of range for ranged attacks. He is just close enough that I can use Superman to call in All-New Wolverine and send the Jonathan token after Beta Ray Bill. Even after the perplex from Wolverine and a Probability control reroll from Nick I can’t get a seven. He stays there an additional turn so that Overdrive isn’t taking pushing damage. I get two more chances with Jonathan. Both miss. Superman has to clear and Nick can’t see to get a shot because of Beta Ray Bill. The next turn he KOs Superman and I don’t get to make any more attacks that game. Kind of a bummer to lose to a team I knew I would see that day.

Round 3 –

Versus:

  • TMT056E Maestro
  • UND002 Dr. Frankenstein
  • JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow
  • TMTG004P Carnage
  • WKM-R001 Supreme Intelligence (on Frankenstein)
  • TMTS001 Bloodaxe (On Hulk)
  • WFWFID-004 Green Arrow (elseworlds Green Arrow)
  • Boxing Ring

The match was a stalemate for most of the time. We couldn’t really see a good way to approach each other.  I had Nick take some pot shots against his team, but Bizzarro was adjacent to everyone and Dr. Frankenstein was easily healing the damage as a free action. I finally decided to try to rope him in. I landed Superman 8 squares away from his team in stealth knowing that he would summon Elseworlds Green Arrow and target Superman. I figured my Shape Change and Super Senses combo had to work this time. The next turn played out like I thought except that again I missed my rolls and he hit his roll. Superman took 5, but he’s still 8 squares away in stealth. On my next turn I stupidly took a shot with Nick (hitting) and cleared Superman’s action tokens instead of just running. It was stupid because of course the damage was healed with a free action and now Carnage could come after a wounded Superman. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized that the Supreme Intelligence was there to grant Dr. Frankenstein Side Step and TK or I could stopped that with a free action from Nick. He sent a 12 attack Maestro with Flurry at Superman and that was it for him. Nick Fury actually put up a good fight, but the healing from the Bloodaxe and the retaliation from carnage was too much for him.

After that I dropped and took my lousy rolls to a battle royale. I missed literally every attack, took fourth, and still walked away happy with an Earth X Cap and SR Venus De Milo.

What would I change if I had to do it again? I liked my team. With better rolls and better placement in game two things could have gone different. Knowing the dial for Bizzaro Green arrow would help too. I think game three I was at a disadvantage, but against most teams there I had a relatively good matchup. I would have liked to have faced the shredders team that I heard eventually won. My two characters work well together and I would run them again.